Posted: Wednesday, November 29, 2000

Former Juneau resident remains in coma

JUNEAU - Sean Shipler, 14, a former Juneau resident, remains hospitalized in a coma at Overlake Hospital Medical center in Bellevue, Wash. Shipler was hospitalized following cardiac arrest on Nov. 2 at Inglewood Junior High in Sammamish, Wash. He suffered brain injury as a result of oxygen deprivation during the cardiac arrest.

Shipler underwent surgery last week to treat an abnormal heart rhythm. The procedure was successful in bringing his heart function back to normal.

He will be transported to a children's rehabilitation facility, where he will undergo specialized rehabilitation for brain injury patients, said Amy Frederick, Overlake spokeswoman.

Donations from Juneau may be mailed to the Sean Shipler Benevolence Fund, c/o Bank of America, 500 228th Avenue NE, Sammamish, Wash., 98074.

Dead cormorant found near Baranof oil spill

JUNEAU - There is a single wildlife casualty so far in the oil leak on Baranof Island, but otherwise the environmental damage appears minimal, according to the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

A cormorant carcass with oil spotting was found Tuesday morning near the federal research center at Little Port Walter, according to DEC environmental specialist Scot Tiernan. Although a necropsy would be needed to pinpoint the cause of death, hypothermia could result from contact with oil, he said.

But the oil leak - 500 to 1,000 gallons that escaped from an aging steel storage tank in an abandoned salmon saltery in New Port Walter - appears contained, Tiernan said. "Luckily enough, it doesn't appear it's been a heavy environmental problem."

No specific cause for the leak has been established, other than the deterioration of the tank, which could be 100 years old. There was an average of four inches of rain daily in the area when the leak was discovered Nov. 18, Tiernan said.

Two contract employees from a Sitka environmental firm remain on-site, he said. A variety of federal and state agencies responded to the leak, and the U.S. Forest Service will pick up the costs, he said. No cost estimate was available today.

Traveling Knowles talks about oceans, gas

JUNEAU - Gov. Tony Knowles is sharing Alaska's perspective on ocean pollutants and natural gas in various national forums through Tuesday.

Today, Knowles is in Monterey, Calif., for a meeting of the new Pew Oceans Commission. Knowles, a member of the commission, is calling for a comprehensive plan of ocean research with special attention on the issue of persistent organic pollutants banned substances such as DDT that have been carried to polar regions by wind and water currents and migratory species.

On Thursday, Knowles will seek a resolution in support of a natural gas pipeline to the lower 48 states at the meeting of the Western Governors' Association in San Diego, which continues through Saturday.

Natural gas takes center stage at the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission meeting in San Antonio, Texas, beginning Sunday. As current chairman, Knowles will discuss the IOGCC's accomplishments in 2000, including the Ohio gas summit and his vision for the coming year. One of the featured discussion groups is titled, "Natural Gas 2001: Keys to Satisfying America's Insatiable Energy Appetite."

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