Local Briefs

Posted: Tuesday, August 21, 2001

Assembly approves outreach effort

JUNEAU - The Juneau Assembly on Monday approved funding to reach out to other Southeast Alaska communities to garner support for keeping legislative sessions in Juneau.

An initiative to move legislative sessions to the Matanuska-Susistna Borough could appear on the 2002 ballot if a citizens group pushing the measure gathers enough signatures.

The Assembly approved spending $20,000 from the Better Capital City Fund so Assembly members can travel to other communities in the region.

Assembly member Jim Powell, who broached the idea at a Finance Committee meeting last week, described the effort as a way to strike up a conversation in the region about a possible session move and reach out to Juneau's neighbors.

The Assembly also approved spending $1,000 each to sponsor upcoming meetings of Southeast Conference and the Alaska Travel Industry Association. Southeast Conference is a nonprofit regional development organization made up of community leaders, businesses and municipalities.

"It's money well spent. It's money spent to make money and create good neighborly relations," Assembly member Dale Anderson said.

At a work session next Monday, Assembly members will discuss a proposal from local attorney Joe Geldhof to support the Inter-island Ferry Authority. The IFA is planning to build two ferries to serve communities in southern Southeast Alaska, replacing Alaska Marine Highway service.

"The important thing is to show our neighbors to the south that we're not against everything," he said.

Assembly panel considers lighting measure

JUNEAU - The Assembly Lands Committee on Monday evaluated a proposal to regulate outdoor lighting in Juneau, forwarding a draft ordinance to the city's Energy Advisory Committee and the Planning Commission for further review.

Lands Committee chairman Marc Wheeler said the proposal would limit the brightness and maximum height of outdoor light fixtures. The measure was introduced at the request of Juneau residents who were concerned about the glare from bright lights, he said, but suggested the city take a cautious approach to the issue.

"I would encourage us not to jump forward too fast if we're going to do this at all," he said.

In other action, the committee approved a proposal to reduce the distance a person needs to be from a public road to shoot a firearm. The distance would be a quarter-mile instead of a half-mile under the changes, putting Juneau in line with state guidelines. The full Assembly will consider the measure next, Wheeler said.

Six rescued after boat flips near Juneau

JUNEAU - Six people were rescued near Hawk Inlet after the boat they were in was swamped by high seas, the Coast Guard said. No one was injured.

The crew of the fishing boat Sea Gull was having difficulty pulling in its nets when high seas flipped the boat on Sunday near Admiralty Island, said Petty Officer Mitchell Fletcher. Other vessels in the area picked up the crew members and took them to Hoonah.

Most of the 400 gallons of diesel fuel the vessel was carrying had dissipated by Monday, said Lt. Cmdr. Joe Paitl, of the Coast Guard Marine Safety Office in Juneau.

Chugiak teacher killed in plane crash

ANCHORAGE - A teacher at Chugiak High School was killed Friday night when her father's small plane crashed in California.

Heather Johnson, who taught English, boarded her father's plane in Sacramento and headed to a friend's wedding in Placerville. The plane crashed into a neighborhood, killing both Johnson and her father, KTUU TV in Anchorage reported.

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