Alaska Digest

Posted: Thursday, July 29, 2004

New shelter complete in Lisianski Inlet

PELICAN - The Tongass National Forest Hoonah District has completed construction of a new shelter at Lisianski Inlet.

The Bohemia Shelter, built of yellow cedar, will be popular because other Forest Service cabins and shelters in the area are out on the coast, residents said.

"A lot of times the weather doesn't really permit you to get to them," said Tom Andrews, who stayed at the Bohemia Shelter recently with his girlfriend, Sandra Ramsdell, and five children.

"We thought (the shelter) was great," Andrews said. "It's well put together with a nice fire pit and stove. It's a good location, with a dock. Especially this winter, it will be a great hunting camp," he said.

According to the Forest Service, the Adirondack-style shelter is intended to provide an emergency refuge for stranded boaters, but also is available for camping on a first-come, first-served basis. The dock, owned by the city of Pelican, is adjacent to the shelter.

The shelter is closed on three sides but open in the front. On the inside, two bunks are located along the back wall with enough space for six people to sleep. A wood stove with a flat cook top is positioned near the front of the shelter. Pegs inserted in support beams are intended for clothing and gear for drying. A stone fire ring and wood bench are located in front of the shelter facing the beach.

The shelter also marks the beginning of the Takanis Lake Trail. The trail ascends Bohemia Basin before crossing a saddle and descending to Takanis Lake, 4.4 miles from the trailhead.

There are about 175 recreation cabins and trail shelters, along with more than 500 miles of trails on the 17-million-acre Tongass forest.

For more information about recreation cabins, trail shelters or other recreational opportunities, visit the Tongass National Forest Web site at

Eldred Light Station offered to nonprofits

HAINES - Eldred Rock Light Station, about 25 miles south of Haines, is being made available at no cost to eligible nonprofit organizations for educational, cultural, historic or park and recreation uses.

The lighthouse has been determined "excess" to the needs of the U.S. government. The transfer is authorized by the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act of 2000.

To receive an application for obtaining the property, letters of interest should be submitted by Aug. 21 to Russ Holm, realty officer for the General Services Administration, Real Property Disposal (9PRF-10), 400 15th St. SW, Room 1161, Auburn, WA 98001-6599 and a copy should be sent to Judith E. Bittner, SHPO, State of Alaska, Office of History and Archeology, 550 W. 7th Ave., Suite 1310, Anchorage, AK 99501.

Fire put out on charter

JUNEAU - A charter boat required assistance Wednesday morning in Lynn Canal just south of False Point, but no one was injured, the Coast Guard reported.

At about 9 a.m., the Juneau Command Center received a report that the Jaynefer, a 34-foot vessel based in Juneau, had a small fire on board. There were four people on board, and the fire was put out by the boat's master, according to the report.

Another charter vessel, the Top Dog, offered assistance and took the Jaynefer into tow before a Coast Guard boat took over and completed the tow back to Juneau, the report stated.

Wanted man turns up in downtown accident

JUNEAU - A man being sought for allegedly not showing up to serve a jail sentence turned up downtown early Wednesday, police believe, as a drunken driver who did more than $25,000 in damage near South Franklin Street.

Police arrested Marc Maki, 22, charging him with a criminal mischief felony and misdemeanor counts of drunken driving, refusing a chemical test, reckless endangerment and driving with his license revoked.

He also was arrested on a warrant, charging him with failing to serve jail time on previous charges of theft and assault, police said.

At 12:39 a.m. Wednesday, police responded to a report of an accident near the Mount Roberts Tramway. A car reportedly struck a pickup truck, an Alaska Electric Power & Light transformer, a lamppost and several trees.

Officers found a damaged car with three flat tires and arrested its operator, Maki.

AEL&P employees estimated damage to the transformer exceeded $25,000, police said. Damage to a pickup truck was estimated at $2,500.

A man, 24, who was riding with Maki complained of neck pain, police said. He was taken to Bartlett Regional Hospital, where he was treated for injuries and released.

Maki was lodged at the Lemon Creek Correctional Center. Police impounded the car he was driving.

Reluctant witness may be jailed in murder trial

KENAI - Although a mistrial was not declared Wednesday in the Erwin J. "Jamie" Petterson Jr. murder trial, the presiding judge did order a key witness to jail for refusing to testify.

"I'm going to order Mr. (Jonathan) Douglas incarcerated, but I am going to stay my order until 1:30 p.m. Friday, July 30," said Kenai Superior Court Judge Charles Cranston.

On Tuesday, assistant district attorney June Stein characterized Douglas' refusal in mid-trial as a strategic move by Petterson's defense to "sabotage the state's case," and requested the mistrial.

Defense attorney Chuck Robinson denied the charge.

Douglas has until Friday to decide to testify or go to jail for being in contempt of court.

He was a passenger in a Ford pickup truck driven by Petterson, 29, on Oct. 12, 2002, when the vehicle crossed the centerline of the Seward Highway and collided head-on with a Jeep Cherokee, killing an Anchorage couple, Robert Weiser, 60, and Donna Weiser, 56.

According to an Alaska State Trooper report, Petterson and Douglas were watching an in-dash DVD movie and Petterson's northbound Ford crossed into the southbound lane, hitting the Jeep.

The Jeep burst into flames, and passers-by were able to pull Donna Weiser's body from the wreck, but not Robert Weiser's. Both died at the scene.

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