Posted: Monday, June 11, 2001

Ferry Way closed to through traffic

JUNEAU - A leaking sewer pipe has led to emergency excavation work on Ferry Way downtown.

The city of Juneau and Glacier State Contractors began conducting repair work at 8 a.m. today, said Thomas Trego, wastewater collection supervisor. Ferry Way will be closed to through traffic, with traffic detouring to South Franklin Street.

When the wastewater department recently shot videos of downtown sewer lines, they found a "gusher" coming out of this line, which serves the Marine View Building, said Ernie Mueller, city public works director.

"At high tide, the sewer laterals and sewer mains in that downtown area are under water, so when there is a break, we get a lot of salt water in the Juneau Douglas Treatment Plant, which causes us problems," Mueller said.

The sewer main on Ferry Way was probably built in the early 1970s, and new laterals, or branches, were installed in 1985. The leak, which has been pinpointed precisely, is near a join of a new lateral to the old main, Mueller said. Repairs should take about eight hours.

For more information, call Wastewater Collections at 790-2525 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

July 4th decorating deadline Wednesday

JUNEAU - A building-decorating competition will extend the Fourth of July season for Douglas residents.

"It's something that we feel pretty (strongly) about as far as flying the Old Glory on Flag Day, so we're encouraging folks to dress up," said Sandy Williams, husband of event organizer Susanne Williams. "In doing that, we sort of extend the Fourth of July season. It extends it from the middle of June 'til after the Fourth."

The Douglas Volunteer Fire Department will judge entries at 7 p.m. Wednesday. Buildings within the old Douglas city limits, from Lawson Creek to Treadwell, are eligible in one of three categories: Home, Commercial and Apartment. Certificates of recognition for first, second and third place in each of these categories will be awarded June 14.

"Put up some flags and bunting and whatever else you want to do, maybe some lights ... in recognition of what the Old Glory is all about," Williams said.

To help the judges spot all the buildings, entrants are asked to call 364-2243 with a street address before the Wednesday night viewing. The competition is organized in cooperation with the Douglas Fourth of July Committee, and questions can also be directed to Rich Poor at 364-3329.

Legal services director dies

ANCHORAGE - Robert Keith Hickerson, 50, executive director of Alaska Legal Services Corp., died Saturday at his Anchorage home.

The statewide nonprofit law firm provides lawyers to low-income people in civil cases. Hickerson was awarded the Alaska Civil Liberties Union 2000 Equal Access to Justice Award for his efforts to address the needs of Alaska's low-income citizens and tribes. He was chiefly responsible for bringing the Native American Rights Fund to Alaska, and for developing one of the leading Native law legal services programs in the United States.

A memorial service will be held Tuesday at the First Presbyterian Church in Anchorage.

Fairbanks wants restrictions on outhouses

FAIRBANKS - The Fairbanks North Star Borough is trying to outlaw outhouses in neighborhoods that already have sewer and water hookups.

The ordinance put forward by borough Assembly member Bonnie Williams would require properties that have a sewer line to either hook into it or get a septic system. Already established outhouses are not affected by the proposal.

The issue of outhouses was brought to a head by a situation in a subdivision where some rental properties owned by a plumber have modern facilities while others only have outhouses. Neighbors are concerned about sewage from the outhouses seeping into the water table. But the landlord has said he doesn't have the time or money to update the properties.

The Assembly is accepting public comment, and could take a vote on the issue Thursday.

Coast Guard rescues swamped boaters

ANCHORAGE - Three people were airlifted safely from a beach near the mouth of Resurrection Bay near Seward on Sunday afternoon after their 22-foot boat swamped in the surf off Fox Island, according to the Coast Guard.

William St. Pierie, Zachary Woods and Bonnie Woods had been trying to land on the island for an afternoon of sightseeing when their boat filled with water, the Coast Guard said. They made a distress radio call to the Coast Guard at 1:36 p.m. and swam ashore.

Five other boats went to the scene and one radioed to the Coast Guard that all three victims appeared to be in good condition on the beach. A Coast Guard Jayhawk helicopter carrying crews working on navigation aids near Whittier responded. After dropping off three crew members in Seward, the helicopter flew to Fox Island and picked up the shipwrecked boaters at 2:33 p.m.

Police investigate death after fight

ANCHORAGE - A St. Paul Island woman died after she was involved in what police describe as an altercation in north Anchorage on Sunday. Caroline J. Merculief, 25, died outside an apartment.

Police were called to the apartment at 12:58 a.m. Sunday. They said Merculief was apparently involved in a fight with several people after she attended a party at the apartment.

Police are awaiting autopsy results to determine cause of death and are investigating the death as a homicide.

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