Around Juneau

Posted: Sunday, June 25, 2000

Hiker injured in fall near dam

A woman injured in a fall while hiking near Salmon Creek Dam was rescued by a helicopter and hospitalized Saturday afternoon, officials said.

The unidentified woman in her mid-30s apparently sustained a head injury and fractured arm about three miles from the trailhead, firefighters said. A female companion called for help about 2:15 p.m.

Firefighters and the Capital City Rope Rescue Team reached the scene about 4 p.m., administering first aid and securing the woman on a stretcher so she could be hoisted into a TEMSCO helicopter hovering overhead.

The woman was still being evaluated with x-rays at 6 p.m., said Heather Newby, nursing supervisor at Bartlett Regional Hospital. ``She fell about 100 feet, but she is in good condition with a possible fracture,'' Newby said.

Campfire program to start July 3

The first of a series of U.S. Forest Service campfire programs will be held at 7 p.m. July 3 at the Mendenhall Lake Campground. The topic of the program has not yet been chosen.

The programs, covering a variety of topics, will continue at 7 p.m. on Mondays and Thursdays through Labor Day. Forest Services naturalists will present the programs outside near Skaters Cabin or inside the cabin if it's raining.

Cruise ship crew honored for help

On Saturday, the U.S. Coast Guard presented the crew of the cruise ship Sea Lion with a Public Service Award.

The ceremony took place aboard the vessel in Gastineau Channel. The crew was recognized for their help in the treatment and evacuation of a woman from the cruise ship Wilderness Discoverer.

On June 14, the Discoverer broadcast a call for help with a medical emergency. Because the ship was in Glacier Bay, the Coast Guard could not hear the call for assistance. However, the Sea Lion's captain relayed the call to the Coast Guard with his satellite phone.

While they waited for the arrival of the helicopter two doctors who were passengers on the Sea Lion and two crew members who had emergency medical training went aboard the Wilderness Discoverer to assist. They stabilized the woman. She was later safely transported to Bartlett Regional Hospital where she recovered, according to a Coast Guard press release.

Coast Guard commanders switch posts

Two Juneau-based Coast Guard commanders are changing command and exchanging jobs.

The process began Thursday when Cmdr. Brian Goettler relinquished his command of the 33-person Coast Guard Civil Engineering Unit to Cmdr. Virginia Holtzman-Bell during a ceremony at St. Ann's Hall.

Next, Goettler will succeed Holtzman-Bell as the 17th Coast Guard District's planning officer.

During the ceremony, Goettler thanked his staff. He summed up the jobs of the engineers, architects, environmentalists, draftsmen and clerical staff by saying, ``It is many times unglamorous and yeoman's work ... a successful sewage treatment plant project is unlikely to make the nightly news. But, if it fails, it might!''

After accepting command of the CEU, Holtzman-Bell said to its staff, ``You have a solid history of service to the Coast Guard in Alaska.'' Her plans include expanding and enhancing buoy tender moorings and transforming loran stations to automated solid state transmitters.

CEU Juneau is responsible for the long-term maintenance, repair and environmental support of all Coast Guard facilities in Alaska. The unit's responsibility includes facilities valued at $1.4 billion.

Army to wash own clothes; layoffs likely

FAIRBANKS - The Army in Alaska has decided to begin washing its own clothes, meaning most of its civilian laundry workers - most of them physically or developmentally disabled - will be let go.

The Army will save $2.5 million over the next five years by not renewing its laundry contract with Portland Habilitation Center, said Maj. Bryan Hilferty, a spokesman for the U.S. Army Alaska.

Some of the savings will come from eliminating jobs, although the number of cuts hasn't been determined, he said.

``We're very sensitive to the fact that it will probably negatively affect some of our disabled Alaskans,'' Hilferty told the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. ``It's never a good thing to lay someone off, certainly someone who has a hard time getting a job.''

A manager for the Oregon-based contractor believes two-thirds of the 64-person workforce will be given pink slips.

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