Northwest Digest

Posted: Thursday, July 14, 2005

Raven causes morning power outage

JUNEAU - Alaska Electric Light and Power officials said a wayward raven was to blame for a power outage to about half its Juneau customers Wednesday morning.

Juneau Office Manager Gayle Wood said that at 6:52 a.m. the Mendenhall Loop, airport and Auke Bay substations went down, leaving everything from the Mendenhall Valley and outbound without power.

Service was restored to some customers 12 minutes later. It was restored to all customers in 18 minutes, Wood said.

Crews attributed the outage to a raven that shorted out lines in AEL&P's Lemon Creek yard. The raven was found dead at the scene.

Web cam tracks Lena Point construction

JUNEAU - Anyone who wants to know the progress on building the new Ted Stevens Marine Research Institute at Lena Point can use their computer mouse to find out.

The National Marine Fisheries Service has installed a Web camera for the $51 million project on a bluff overlooking the construction site.

It can be accessed at

"The camera takes a low-resolution snapshot every second or so," said Ron Berg, acting administrator for the agency's Alaska regional office.

"The Web cam has a quarter-mile zoom. It can pan 360 degrees and tilt 180 degrees," said NMFS computer expert Will Jones, who coordinated the contractors who installed the web cam.

The camera is mounted on top of a 30-foot pole, with a complete view of the construction site. It is designed to withstand severe weather, including 110 mile per hour winds.

After the construction job is finished, the Web cam will get a new job as a building security camera, according to NMFS officials.

Scientists and staff now housed at the Auke Bay Laboratory will occupy 85 offices and 14 laboratories in the institute. The two-story building will comprise 69,000 square foot of floor space.

Officials estimate that workers will occupy the new building by Feb. 2007.

The University of Alaska Fairbanks also plans to build a neighboring marine research building at Lena Point.

Senate aide named to head Board of Game

JUNEAU - Alaska Department of Fish and Game Commissioner McKie Campbell has appointed Juneau resident Kristy Tibbles as the new executive director for the Alaska Board of Game.

The position became available earlier this month after the resignation of the board's executive director Landa Baily.

For the last four years, Tibbles has worked as a legislative assistant to Senate President Ben Stevens. She served as a budget subcommittee aide, assisted in the passage of legislation and coordinated constituent relations.

Prior to that, Tibbles served as a legislative assistant to former Senator Drue Pearce. She received her B.A. in biology in Dec. 2000 from the University of Alaska at Anchorage.

"Through her educational background and legislative experience, Kristy has gained an extensive knowledge of fish and game issues," Campbell said this week.

Tibbles, a Colorado native who has lived in Alaska for 13 years, will administer the process for the seven-member Board of Game, which is responsible for conservation and utilization of Alaska's game resources.

Girls arrested for breaking windows

ANCHORAGE - Four girls were arrested this week, accused of breaking more than 50 windows at a Wasilla area elementary school.

The girls smashed the windows at Tanaina Elementary School by throwing rocks through the glass from the outside, the school's longtime custodian said.

Neighbors heard glass breaking at the school and called authorities, Tanaina custodian Doug Garrison said. Then one neighbor sneaked through the bushes with his cellular phone and spotted the girls throwing rocks through the windows.

"He was talking to the troopers on his cell while he was watching the kids break the windows," Garrison said. "So we got an eyewitness, and they got caught."

A surveillance camera spotted girls of similar appearance breaking a window at the school's portable classrooms last Thursday, Garrison said.

Alaska State Trooper James Kimura pulled up to Tanaina just before 11 p.m. Monday and eventually arrested the girls, who were released to their parents. The troopers are forwarding charges of criminal mischief to juvenile authorities.

The trooper counted 33 broken windows.

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