State and local briefly

Posted: Monday, June 19, 2000

Kookesh elected Sealaska chairman

SEATTLE -- State Rep. Albert Kookesh was re-elected to the Sealaska board of directors Sunday and then chosen board chairman at the Native corporation's annual meeting in Seattle.

Shareholders also re-elected Marjorie Young of Craig, Daniel Leston of Federal Way, Wash., Ethel Lund of Juneau, and Richard Stitt of Juneau to the board.

Kookesh, an Angoon Democrat, replaces Young as chairman. Young said more than 78 percent of shareholders voted in person or by proxy.

Board members re-elected Rosita Worl of Juneau as vice chairwoman.

Sealaska President and CEO Robert Loescher concluded his business report by announcing an initiative in the coming 18 months to include Sealaska shareholder descendants in the corporation.

``I call upon the shareholders to join the Sealaska management and board of directors and find a way to include our children and grandchildren and shareholder descendants in Sealaska,'' he said.

Sealaska reported net earnings of $10 million last year. The corporation made dividend and distribution payments totaling $9.4 million to its close to 16,000 shareholders.

Haines man dies in truck accident

HAINES -- A Haines man died after losing control of his truck early Saturday on the Haines Highway, Alaska State Troopers said.

Jesse Garrett Hertz, 28, lost control of the truck near mile 18 after hitting the soft shoulder while negotiating a corner.

Hertz, who was not wearing a seat belt, was thrown from the truck and suffered massive head trauma. He died at the scene.

Princess ship leaving Juneau earlier

JUNEAU -- Princess Cruises has announced that the Sea Princess, a 1,950-passenger vessel, will leave Juneau an hour earlier on remaining southbound voyages this summer.

The Sea Princess comes into Juneau on alternate Wednesdays. Departure will be at 4 p.m. instead of 5 p.m., according to Princess spokesman Kirby Day.

``This change is due to operational issues and arrival sequencing in Ketchikan the next day,'' Day said in an e-mail to interested parties.

Princess already had shortened its port hours in Juneau this year, in response to passage last fall of a head tax on cruise ships.

Pipeline control center may leave

VALDEZ -- Alyeska Pipeline Service Co. is reviewing the efficiency of its operations and is studying the possibility of moving its pipeline control center from Valdez to Anchorage or Fairbanks.

``That particular issue will be evaluated as part of a systemwide analysis of the way we're doing business,'' Alyeska spokesman Tim Woolston told the Valdez Vanguard.

The operations center controls the valves along the 800-mile trans-Alaska oil pipeline, monitors the pressure of the line and monitors and controls the loading of tankers at the Valdez Marine Terminal.

Any decision to move the center would be at least two years down the road, Woolston said.

Woolston said such a move may be an option as the company upgrades the entire control system.

Rain slows wildfires in Interior

FAIRBANKS -- State officials are hoping that a wildfire 45 miles east of here in the Chena River State Recreation Area is close to burning itself out.

Darla Hasselquist, a spokeswoman for the state Division of Forestry, said rain soaked the Granite Tors Trail fire over the weekend. The blaze has charred about 500 acres.

Precipitation has reduced the amount of smoke generated by the fire, and that's usually an indication the blaze may be dying down, she said.

``There is high humidity in that area and it is not burning actively,'' she told the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner.

The burn is in a ``limited suppression zone,'' meaning it will not be battled by firefighters unless it threatens life or property.

Two other wildfires were reported burning around the Alaska Interior. One was near Tanana and the other near Minto.

Both were caused by lightning strikes last week and both have been slowed by cool, humid weather.

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