Northwest Digest

Posted: Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Woman arrested in Juneau Drug theft

JUNEAU - A 24-year-old Juneau woman was arrested Friday for charges related to the Juneau Drug burglary on Aug. 18, police said.

Elisa Darlene Evenson was charged with two counts of felony second-degree aiding and abetting burglary, two counts of felony second-degree misconduct involving a controlled substance, one count of felony second-degree theft and two counts of misdemeanor third-degree theft.

Evenson was lodged at Lemon Creek Correctional Center on $15,000 bail.

Joshua River Riley was arrested by police on Aug. 23 after an investigation into the burglary. He was charged with two counts of second-degree burglary, two-counts of second-degree theft and two counts of third-degree misconduct involving a controlled substance.

Evenson was implicated as a suspect during the investigation, police said.

Kodiak processors settle with EPA

KODIAK - Four fish processors in Kodiak have settled fines with the Environmental Protection Agency over violations of the Clean Water Act.

The companies agreed to pay the EPA more than $190,000.

The largest fine of $85,000 was levied against Global Seafood North American.

Alaska Fresh Seafood Inc. will pay $44,500, Western Alaska Seafood $40,000 and Alaska Pacific Seafood $21,000.

The fines came after inspections the EPA and the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation in summer 2003.

The most common violations were unauthorized drains sending untreated seafood waste into the ocean, not following standard monitoring procedures for the disposal of oil and grease, failure to have a copy of the EPA permit on site and failure to have a quality assurance plan in place.

Dave Woodruff of Alaska Fresh Seafood said that while he does not like paying $45,000 in fines, it could be worse. The EPA, he said, could have fined Alaska Fresh $11,000 per violation for each day the violation occurred.

If the agency had wanted to pursue civil action, the fine could have been as much as $27,500 per violation per day.

Woodruff said the bulk of the violations cited at his plant "paper things," problems with the way the plant operated that were not necessarily hazardous to the environment but which did not follow EPA regulations.

The most major violation, Woodruff said, was a broken drainpipe under the plant's dock that allowed wastewater to flow into the ocean unfiltered.

UAF looks to profit from electronics

FAIRBANKS - Scientists at the University of Alaska Fairbanks are hoping to bring more money to the school by making small electronics for companies that supply the U.S. military.

In August, the university received final approval to use miniaturization technology by Tessera Technologies Inc., to provide packaging and assembly services for semiconductor devices.

The technology - known as chip-scale packaging - results in anything from flash memory cards to microprocessors that are smaller and more powerful.

Most U.S. producers have moved their factories overseas to reduce labor costs for the technology, which is used in the large-scale production of consumer electronics.

Officials at the university are targeting companies that build electronics for the military and are therefore looking for laboratories in the United States to do research and testing.

The university has a contract with Crane Aerospace and Electronics to provide electronic microprocessors and memory chips for the military.

UAF scientists are working with another defense contractor to miniaturize memory modules for use in satellites.

"We think we can provide a small business or defense contractors the testing capability that will allow them to try several designs before sending a product into mass production," said John Dickinson, chief financial officer for UAF's Office of Electronic Miniaturization.

Search under way for missing plane

ESQUIMALT, British Columbia - Search and rescue crews searched an area off the coast of Vancouver Island on Monday after a floatplane with two U.S. men aboard disappeared from radar.

The missing Cessna 185 was flying from Ketchikan, Alaska, on Sunday and was scheduled to make a fuel stop at Port Hardy. It disappeared while approaching the Port Hardy Airport at about 8:45 p.m.

On Monday, the Canadian Coast Guard Ship Bartlett recovered a backpack and identity papers from one of two U.S. residents on board the aircraft.

The occupants of the plane were identified by the Rescue Co-ordination Centre as Bryan Gilbert, 46, of East Wenatchee, Wash., and Marshall Stout, 30, of California.

In a news release, the center said the search was concentrated on an area 6 miles north of Port Hardy in Queen Charlotte Strait, off the northern tip of Vancouver Island.

A Canadian Forces CH-149 Cormorant helicopter was taking part in the search along with three Coast Guard ships.

The Rescue Co-ordination Centre said weather in the area was good.

Judge ends ban on new strip clubs

SEATTLE - A federal court judge on Monday ruled that the city can no longer enforce its 17-year moratorium on new strip clubs, saying it is an unconstitutional restraint on free speech.

But if the City Council votes next week to adopt a new rule banning lap dances, few new strip clubs may open, anyway.

In his 13-page ruling, U.S. District Judge James L. Robart said the city's rationale for repeatedly extending the ban lacked merit. The city had argued that it was not a censorship issue, but that city officials were waiting for the state and county to adopt cabaret regulations, and that the city's Department of Planning and Development was overworked.

"The city's intent and motive for violating the constitution are of no consequence," Robart wrote.

Marianne Bichsel, a spokeswoman for Mayor Greg Nickels, said the ruling was not unexpected. Nickels has proposed a "4-foot" rule for the city's strip clubs, which would mean exotic dancers must remain 4 feet from their clientele, and the city is working to develop new zoning regulations for strip clubs.

Without the zoning regulations, "You could zone strip clubs in neighborhoods throughout the city," she said. "That's what we're trying to prevent."

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