State and local briefly

Posted: Friday, July 07, 2000

Mold hits housing complex

JUNEAU - This fungus is no fun.

The Alaska Housing Finance Corp. was looking to replace some asbestos insulation and roof sections when it began renovating the Geneva Woods apartment complex abutting Douglas Highway.

But some leaky pipes contributed to an unexpected expense to remove an unexpected life form -- mold.

According to Vicky Williams, construction director for AHFC, the project is expected to cost nearly $60,000 more than the $470,000 initially budgeted because of the mold.

``When we opened up the walls ... then we found mold in the interior walls,'' she said.

An expert determined that the mold wasn't a danger to the residents of the facility.

The 25 units of affordable housing are owned by the quasi-state agency, and sits next door to Gastineau Elementary School. Today, eight families are living in the apartments, with others having been relocated for the duration of the renovation.

The work is slated to be finished by January, Williams said.

Culture camp begins Monday

JUNEAU - There's a new camp alternative for children in Juneau. And it's free.

Sponsored by the Douglas Indian Association, Sealaska Heritage Foundation and the Environmental Protection Agency, Haa Aani Culture Camp starts Monday and will run through July 21. Camp will be held every week day from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., at Gastineau Elementary School.

The camp is designed for children between the ages of 8 and 14 and will focus on educating its participants on the cultural ties between traditional Tlingit knowledge and modern science.

``We plan to take the kids on daily field trips and teach them about their natural environment from both the traditional ecological viewpoint and the modern environmental management concepts,'' said Harold Frank of the Douglas Indian Association.

Along with daily field trips, Anna Katzeek will teach the Tlingit language and master carver Mick Beasley will hold classes in Tlingit carving and two dimensional design.

The camp's capacity is 30 children and there are about 10 spots still available. For more information, call 364-3567.

Wildfire smoke hits Fairbanks

FAIRBANKS - Recurring wildfire smoke over Fairbanks is expected to continue for several days, and state officials have issued a health warning about it.

The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation issued a health advisory this week cautioning children, the elderly and people with respiratory or heart problems in the Fairbanks area to reduce physical activity and remain indoors on days where smoke is visible.

Fairbanks Memorial Hospital treated two patients Wednesday for shortness of breath related to the bad air, hospital spokesman Rick Solie said.

Fairbanks is virtually surrounded by wildfires, so a slight change in wind is not likely to spark smoke relief, said John See, a spokesman for the Alaska Division of Forestry.



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