State Briefs

Posted: Sunday, August 03, 2003

Waterfront survey to hit mailboxes

JUNEAU - The consulting firm Bermello Ajamil & Partners, which is in charge of drafting a plan for Juneau's waterfront, has sent a survey to Juneau voters on downtown waterfront development options.

The Miami-based consultants, hired by the city, have been gathering public comment at workshops over the last several months. They will deliver a plan to the Juneau Assembly this fall with recommendations for the next 20 years of waterfront development.

The surveys must be returned by Aug. 21. People with questions may call 586-2994 or visit

Firefighters change unions

JUNEAU - The Marine Engineers Beneficial Association union will no longer represent Juneau firefighters, according to MEBA representative Ben Goldrich.

The firefighters petitioned the city's personnel board earlier this summer to end their relationship with MEBA, Goldrich said. The petition was approved by the city in late July.

About 35 employees of the city's fire department will now be represented by the International Association of Fire Fighters, according to Trevor Richards, president of the Juneau Career Firefighters' Association.

"We felt that to improve, encourage and maintain the professionalism of the firefighters we wanted to align ourselves with a firefighters' union," Richards said. "We wanted somebody who knew more about the requirements of the job."

Firefighters deal with issues such as hazardous materials and blood-borne pathogens, and they wanted a union that was used to those and other job-related issues specific to firefighting, he said.

"MEBA doesn't deal with those things on a regular basis that we felt were important to our safety and the safety of the community," Richards said.

MEBA has represented Juneau firefighters for the last 10 or 15 years, Richards said. Goldrich was unable to give a more exact figure.

MEBA also represents municipal employees, Alaska Marine Highway engineers, mariners, barge workers and dock workers, Goldrich said.

Anchorage federal credit union robbed

ANCHORAGE - A man robbed a credit union in Anchorage on Friday, the FBI said.

The robber entered the Alaska USA Federal Credit Union at 777 Juneau St. at about 3:20 p.m., said Thomas C. McClenaghan, special agent in charge for Alaska. The robber told the teller to hand over money, saying he had a gun, although no weapon was seen.

The man fled the scene. FBI officials would not say how much money he took.

Koniag buys into aerospace company

ANCHORAGE - Koniag Inc., an Alaska Native corporation, has bought controlling interest in an aerospace company based in Port Angeles, Wash.

Angeles Composite Technologies Inc. manufactures wing-edge components for aircraft ranging in size from business jets to 747s.

Koniag's purchase price has not been disclosed.

The new partnership will open the door to large-scale U.S. defense contracts, said Mike Rauch, chief executive of the Washington company. He said the venture will inject capital for facilities expansion and could create 400 jobs.

Koniag, which has offices in Anchorage and Kodiak, is certified as a small disadvantaged business, giving it preference for commercial and defense contracts, Rauch said.

Heads up at Anchorage stadium

ANCHORAGE - A small airplane with four people aboard crash-landed Thursday night at Anchorage Football Stadium between two playing fields, one hosting a baseball game and the other a soccer game.

The pilot and two passengers aboard the single-engine Cessna 207 Skywagon, operated by Spernak Airways, were treated at the scene and taken to hospitals. The fourth person in the plane, Seth Siver of Wasilla, walked away.

Siver said two of the others aboard were brothers from Colorado. No one on the ground was injured.

The wreck happened at 8:13 p.m. during the third inning of the baseball game between the Anchorage Bucs and the Fairbanks Goldpanners. About 500 people attended.

Siver said the engine first died while the plane was crossing Cook Inlet and the pilot coasted over the west end of Anchorage.

The aircraft went down on the running track between the baseball game in Mulcahy Stadium and a coed soccer game in the football stadium.

"Instead of crashing and killing, he hit the fence," said Donald S. Raney, a veteran pilot who was watching the baseball game.

"The minute it hit the fence the engine came right off," Raney told the Anchorage Daily News.

The plane flipped once and then came to rest on its belly on grass just off the north end of the track.

As the plane flew over the Kosinski baseball fields to the west of Mulcahy, the crowd noticed the plane and started yelling at players on the field to get out of the way. The Bucs' outfielders scattered.

Siver, the passenger, said the 45-minute trip to Anchorage was uneventful until the engine died over Cook Inlet.

"We were coming across the Inlet and the engine died. He got it started and it died again," Siver said.

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