Alaska Digest

Posted: Friday, July 20, 2007

City certifies fluoride petition Thursday

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JUNEAU - A petition submitted to put a fluoride proposition on the Oct. 2 municipal ballot was certified by Municipal Clerk Laurie Sica on Thursday.

A group dubbed Citizens Promoting Dental Health wants voters to decide this fall whether fluoride should be returned to the city water supply.

In November 2006, the Juneau Assembly voted to halt water fluoridation in Juneau after the mayor's Juneau Fluoride Study Commission was split on the issue 3-3. The city stopped adding fluoride to the water supply in January.

Citizens Promoting Dental Health collected 1,952 signatures from qualified voters, or 25 percent of the votes cast in the last municipal election, to get the measure onto the October ballot.

Under the city charter, the Assembly may adopt the proposed initiative without any change in substance within 45 days. If it does not do so, the proposition will be placed on the Oct. 2 ballot for voters to decide.

The petition will be presented to the Assembly at its regular meeting at 7 p.m. Aug. 6 in City Hall.

Blaze damages trailer in Lemon Creek

JUNEAU - A fire destroyed a Lemon Creek trailer home early Thursday morning. No one was injured, according to Capital City Fire and Rescue.

At about 12:38 a.m., 15 fire and rescue team members responded to 5905 Churchill Way to find a single-wide trailer totally engulfed in flames.

Fireman quickly gained control of the fire and stopped the blaze from spreading to nearby mobile homes, the fire department reported.

Several spot fires were doused while crews worked to cleanup the scene.

The trailer was reported as a total loss. Officials said they did not know who owned the home.

Salvation Army smoke still a mystery

JUNEAU - Willoughby Avenue was shut down for almost an hour around 1 p.m. Thursday, as emergency crews responded to a report of smoke at the Salvation Army.

About 26 firemen and emergency personnel went to the scene at 538 W. Willoughby Ave., according to Capital City Fire and Rescue.

Finding only black smoke, the department searched the upstairs apartment area with infrared imaging, but were unable to determine the cause of the smoke.

Taku to return to service today

KETCHIKAN - The state ferry Taku will return to service today after the completion of a $6.6 million federal capital improvement project to replace its main propulsion shafting system, overhaul its engine and make numerous life safety and amenities improvements.

The Taku departed Todd Shipyard in Seattle on Tuesday after the seven-month overhaul and refurbishment project was complete. It went to Bellingham, Wash., for resupply and departed for Ketchikan on Wednesday. It is scheduled to resume revenue service today when it leaves Ketchikan for Prince Rupert, British Columbia.

As part of the overhaul and refurbishment, the Taku was fitted with new controllable pitch propeller system and propulsion control system modifications. It also underwent an overhaul of its main engines as well as several safety improvements and the painting of its hull.

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