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Ketchikan: Anti-spill gear
boosted in Southeast
Another pair of oil spill response barges, paid for by the North West CruiseShip Association, has arrived in Southeast Alaska and will be moored at Ketchikan.
Two other pairs of oil-spill barges are already moored at Glacier Bay and Juneau, and another set will be sent to Haines by late September, according to a statement released by the association.
The Vancouver-based group paid $1.3 million for the eight barges to "fulfill its commitment to provide appropriate resources to protecting the waters of Southeast," President John Hansen said.
Cruise ships operating in Alaska had no regional response capability for dealing with oil spills prior to May, the state Department of Environmental Conservation said.
Each of the large ships can carry up to 405,000 gallons of heavy fuel oils.
Before the new barges' arrival, the oil-spill-response equipment was designed for highly refined fuels, primarily diesel, and not the thicker oils used by cruise ships, officials said.
-- Ketchikan Daily News
Ketchikan: Get your splints and sutures here
The new wing of Ketchikan General Hospital began housing patients Wednesday, following two years of construction. Critical patients moved in first, each accompanied by a nurse and a stand-alone vital sign monitor. Then came the parade of medical or surgical patients. Maternity patients brought up the rear.
Now patients can be reached in their rooms, directly by room number. On the other hand, the obstetric/materinity department will be locked 24 hours a day to security for newborns. Family and visitors to the department can gain entrance through an intercom connection.
Furthermore, a new "Nurse Call" system will allow staff to hear and respond to a patient's request anywhere on the floor.
-- Ketchikan Daily News
Juneau: AHFC issues bonds for veterans
The Alaska Housing Finance Corp. has issued $70 million in bonds to provide low-interest mortgages for up to 400 veterans in Alaska.
The state lending agency, with officials from Fannie Mae (the Federal National Mortgage Association) and U.S. Sen. Frank Murkowski, an Alaska Republican, were to announce the bond sale Wednesday.
AHFC provides loans to homebuyers, specializing in low-interest loans to low- and moderate-income people, as well as first-time homebuyers and veterans.
It also helps finance multifamily and rural housing in Alaska.
-- The Associated Press
Haines man dies in Dutch Harbor
A dockworker from Haines is dead after apparently consuming too much alcohol in Dutch Harbor, according to local police.
Scott Davis, 29, was dead when police arrived at the employee housing for Offshore Systems Inc., according to Sgt. John Nichols of the Unalaska Department of Public Safety. The death was reported Tuesday.
Davis had been drinking with several people, according to Nichols, and had reportedly consumed a great deal of alcohol.
Blood samples will be analyzed to confirm the cause of Davis' death, Nichols said. No autopsy was ordered.
-- The Associated Press
Haines: Water main issue
considered by council
At their regular meeting earlier this month, the Haines City Council tried to untangle a disputed water main question. Dave Black gave a lengthy presentation concerning the 1994 installation of a water main in front of his property.
He was authorized by the city in writing to extend the water main from Barnett Drive back 195 feet, with Black to pay for the six-inch PVC pipe and labor.
According to Black, the mayor at the time and the previous public works superintendent verbally approved changes. One, that the city would provide the PVC pipe; two, that the run could be 150 feet; and three, since the city was short on PVC pipe, Black could purchase copper pipe to use in the final 55 feet of the extension -- despite the fact that copper is not an approved material for water mains.
The council also considered a recent letter from Vince Hansen requesting that Black either replace the 55 feet of copper with PVC or pay the cost for the city to make the replacement.
-- Eagle Eye Journal
Sitka: Commission OKs affordable housing
The Sitka Planning Commission voted unanimously Monday to approve a plan put forward by Winnop Excavation that would create "affordable housing" in a neighborhood in Sawmill Creek Road.
Gary and Patti Winnop propose developing more than 30 residential and commercial lots on more than 200,000 square feed or property on the corner of Sawmill Creek Road and Price Street. Several large lots along SMC would be commercially zoned.
Only single-family homes would be allowed on the smaller (7,000 to 10,000-square-foot) lots, with a restriction prohibiting mobile homes.
In an earlier "development" in this scenic area of town, Jerry Kainulainen cut the ribbon to open the Thimbleberry Lake Trail on Aug. 16. The trailhead is located at 3.5 mile of Sawmill Creek Road.
-- The Daily Sentinel
Craig: Learn and Serve Grant awarded
The Alaska State Community Service Commission recently announced the recipients of the Fall 2000 Learn and Serve grants. Craig City School District, Kuspuk School District in Aniak, and the Wendler Middle School in Anchorage will split a total of $34,500 in grant money.
The mission of ASCSC is to "foster, support and promote the ethic of service and volunteerism," said Judith Salo, ASCSC's executive director. "We hope to engage Alaskans of all ages and backgrounds in tangible, results-oriented community projects."
In their first year of using the grant, the Craig City School District will try to provide youth and their families with more local recreational opportunities. Students will design and build a softball/baseball diamond from the ground up. The planning of the field will be incorporated into the students' math and science classes.
-- Island News