State Briefs

Posted: Wednesday, October 23, 2002

Fog delays Juneau flights

JUNEAU - Fog kept six of 10 Alaska Airlines flights from making it into Juneau on Tuesday and more were delayed this morning, the company said.

Juneau-bound flights remained in or flew on to Ketchikan, Yakutat, Sitka, Anchorage or Seattle, said airline spokesman Jack Walsh. Fog at the Seattle Tacoma International Airport also delayed at least one Seattle-to-Juneau flight this morning.

As of about 11 a.m. today, Juneau Airport staff said two incoming flights were nearby, hoping for enough clear sky to land.

"There's a lot of people trying to get in and out of Juneau right now," Walsh said this morning. The airline did not provide the number of passengers affected, but Walsh said it was "considerable."

Fog was particularly thick Tuesday evening and this morning. It was expected to lift by midday and Walsh said the airline would do what it could to get people where they were going.

"We're seeing what we can do to free up aircraft and crew to get people in and out when it clears up," he said.

Special navigational equipment used by Alaska Airlines helped two of the four flights that landed Tuesday, Walsh said. "Even with that, there's still minimums," he said. "They're lower than what they were before."

Meeting to focus on collaboration, tourism

JUNEAU - The city is sponsoring a public meeting Thursday that will focus on civic collaboration and tourism in Juneau.

Civic consultant David Chrislip will be in town to work with the Juneau Assembly, city staff members and the public Thursday and Friday. Chrislip co-wrote "Collaborative Leadership: How Citizens and Civic Leaders Can Make a Difference" and recently helped Sitka residents address solid waste issues, according to the city.

At the meeting Thursday, Chrislip will discuss why collaboration is necessary, what it means, how it can help transform a community and how it applies to recent discussions about a Juneau Tourism Partnership. The Juneau Assembly has been trying to form a committee or partnership to implement a long-range tourism plan and lead community discussions about tourism issues.

The public meeting Thursday is from 7 to 9 p.m. at Centennial Hall. Chrislip also will be speaking at the Juneau of Chamber of Commerce lunch at noon Friday at the Aspen Hotel near the airport and will work with Assembly members at a retreat at 4 p.m. Thursday at Wildflower Court. The chamber lunch and the Assembly retreat are open to the public.

Southeast Conference staff shifts

JUNEAU - Southeast Conference Executive Director Loren Gerhard's job will change when he moves to California this fall to attend to a family illness, he said.

"My wife and I have to move to the Bay area because of a condition she has, a lung disease that progresses at varying rates," he said. "She's on a lung transplant list at the University of California San Francisco. ... We have to get there and get in line."

Gerhard will become the projects and policy director at Southeast Conference and stay in touch through phone, e-mail and occasional trips to Juneau. Meilani Clark Schijvens, who has been the community planning administrator, will become the organization's administrative director and oversee day-to-day operations, Gerhard said. The shift will take place in November and the board of directors periodically will evaluate how the new arrangement is working, Gerhard said.

Southeast Conference is a regional organization made up of Southeast Alaska community and business leaders. The group, which has about 100 members, has advocated for economic development, ferry service improvements and a regional electric intertie.

Gerhard said he also is stepping down from the city's Docks and Harbors Board.

Holland America exec to head Providence Health System

ANCHORAGE - A tourism executive is taking the reins at Providence Health System in Alaska.

Al Parrish, who has served as vice president of government and community relations for Holland America Line, will become chief executive of Providence Health System in Alaska on Dec. 15, hospital officials said Tuesday. He'll replace Doug Bruce, who is retiring.

Providence operates hospitals in Anchorage, Kodiak and Seward, and provides home health, assisted living and skilled nursing services in various part of the state.

As chief executive, Parrish will manage Alaska's largest private employer, with a work force of 3,600 people.

Parrish, 57, has a long history of involvement with Providence, having served on its board of directors since 1991. He was chairman of the finance committee for several years.

Anti-war protest planned for Saturday

JUNEAU - Marches in protest of a U.S. war with Iraq will be held in cities around the world Saturday. Juneau citizens opposed to war will gather at 10 a.m. Saturday at St. Paul's Catholic Church in the Mendenhall Valley. At 11 a.m. they will march from St. Paul's to Fred Meyer and back.

"People can bring signs if they want, bring a drum, or think of some chants to do on the way. Just show up, and bring a friend," said Rick Bellagh, one of the organizers.

Bellagh said the march should last an hour to an hour and a half and organizers will have hot drinks and pastries afterward at the church hall. The march is organized by a group of concerned Juneau citizens. The group has been meeting every Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. at Northern Light United Church.

Bellagh said the date for the march was chosen because it is the one year anniversary of the Patriot Act. "The act ... severely limited our civil liberties if they feel the need, in case of emergency," he said.

For more information contact Bellagh at 465-6432 or Tia Anderson at 789-6883.

Anchorage driver killed in trucking mishap

ANCHORAGE - A 27-year-old man died Tuesday when his tractor trailer ran over him in Anchorage's Ship Creek area, police said.

Aaron T. Murray was driving out of a parking lot on East Whitney Road shortly before 1:30 p.m. when he noticed the brakes of his rig were sticking. He apparently got out and went to the back of the truck with a hammer.

Murray was banging on a tire when something released and caused the rig to move backward, running him over, police said.

Police said a commercial vehicle inspector was called in to check the truck.

Compiled from staff and wire service reports.

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