City's golf course lease up for public review
JUNEAU - The city Land Committee will review a golf course lease it has been negotiating with Totem Creek Inc. at its meeting at 5 p.m. today.
The golf course area encompass 274 acres on the west side of Douglas Island near Outer Point. The golf course will include 18-hold fairways and greens, practice areas and a clubhouse. In the winter, the city will use the golf course for cross-country skiing and winter sports that do damage the turf.
Juneau residents will be charged green fees that are at least 25 percent lower than the fees charged out-of-town residents.
The lease term is for 35 years with an option to review for an additional 20 years.
The Assembly will take public input in its meeting.
Documents about the lease and staff memorandum is available at the city Web site at www.juneau.org.
Land leased in Cook Inlet oil, gas pursuit
KENAI - Several oil and natural gas companies have leased more than a dozen tracts in the Cook Inlet region owned by the Alaska Mental Health Land Trust.
The land trust, whose beneficiaries include Alaskans with mental illness and developmental disabilities, put 39 tracts up for lease, receiving 21 bids on 17 of those tracts in the Nov. 9 offering.
The land trust office said key areas of industry interest were associated with natural gas exploration activities on the west side of Cook Inlet and on the Kenai Peninsula.
Unocal Corp. and Marathon Oil Co. bid on tracts on the peninsula, while Aurora Gas LLC, Forest Oil Corp. and newcomer Storm Cat Energy Corp. bid on tracts on the north and west side of the inlet.
Unocal pumping gas from Happy Valley
KENAI - Unocal Corp. said it has begun pumping natural gas from its Happy Valley field.
The company expects to ultimately pump more than 20 million cubic feet of gas per day from the discovery about seven miles southeast of Ninilchik, said Unocal spokeswoman Roxanne Sinz. She said there are plans for more exploration on the southern Kenai Peninsula.
"We currently have five wells producing (at Happy Valley)," Sinz said.
Unocal began finding gas in the Ninilchik area in 2000, and the company announced in 2003 that it had found a large pocket at Happy Valley.
Judge denies King County ballot request
SEATTLE - A federal judge on Sunday denied the state Republican Party's bid to force one of the state's most heavily Democratic counties to stop counting some ballots in the recount of the extremely close race for governor.
In a conference call with lawyers, U.S. District Judge Marsha Pechman denied the GOP's request for a temporary restraining order barring King County from hand-counting ballots that optical scanning machines reject because they can't be read electronically.
Republican state Chairman Chris Vance, noting that the lawsuit continues, said Pechman's decision dealt with only one aspect of the case.
"We don't believe King County," Vance said. "Our observers have watched. Ballots are being altered. And we don't believe they are being set aside."