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Gas station closed this week
JUNEAU - Downtown Union gas station is closed for business this week but might reopen by Saturday with a new owner.
Mike Lindsey, who operated the business but leased the property from Tesoro, said he had to shut down because Tesoro wanted to sell the land and building but declined his offer to buy it.
However, Paul McCormack, Lindsey's former partner, has tentatively inked a deal with Tesoro to buy the property and plans to reopen it under new management. McCormack said he will employ the same mechanics for the station, which will be called Capital Service.
"It's a change of ownership - same employees, just old management will be gone," said McCormack, adding the station will continue to offer full gas and tow-truck services plus minor to major mechanical work.
McCormack said the station probably will open only for gas service this weekend and for full services by Monday. He said he hoped to close the deal today.
Lindsey said he has tried since December to buy the property from Tesoro and does not know why the company declined his offer.
Lawmakers deny live Web audio coverage
JUNEAU - A panel of lawmakers has rejected a bid by KTOO-TV to stream live audio of legislative hearings on the Internet by permanently connecting to existing wiring in the Capitol.
However, KTOO's General Manager Bill Legere called the setback a small technical matter, not a roadblock to the project, which supporters hope will make the Legislature more accessible to the public and help quash perennial efforts to move sessions out of Juneau.
"Everybody who spoke about it supported the concept of streaming so the public could obtain access, and I see this as a question of being able to assure the Legislature there won't be any problems or mistakes," Legere said.
KTOO on Wednesday asked the Legislative Council for permission to permanently connect to the audio system in hearing rooms and House and Senate chambers. The arrangement would save the station the trouble of sending employees to the rooms every day to make manual connections.
However, some lawmakers on the panel, which meets during the interim, were concerned KTOO would inadvertently transmit audio of private conversations over the Internet when public hearings were not in progress, Legere said. The proposal on Wednesday failed 7-5, with most voting in favor; KTOO needed support from at least eight lawmakers on the 14-member panel to prevail. Two members were absent.
KTOO will try to resolve lawmakers' concerns and make another appeal to the council, Legere said. If the council denies KTOO's bid again, the project would be more costly and logistically difficult but still doable, he said, adding KTOO still plans to stream live audio of hearings next year.
KTOO already videotapes some legislative events and broadcasts them live in its television program "Gavel-to-Gavel." The station also streamed its video coverage live on the Internet in May. The audio project is more expansive because it will stream live audio of hearings happening simultaneously, whereas "Gavel-to-Gavel" shows only select events one at a time.