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Cordova plans head tax vote
CORDOVA - Cordova residents will vote March 6 on a measure imposing a $5 fee on cruise ship passengers.
Sponsor Kelly Weaverling said the measure is modeled after Juneau's passenger fee.
While Cordova doesn't see the number of cruise ships that stop at some Southeast Alaska ports, Weaverling said residents want to be prepared. Sponsor Natasha Edwards said supporters of the petition don't want to discourage tourism, but want ship operators to contribute more to the community.
Juneau began a $5 fee on cruise ship passengers this year. A $5 passenger fee petition also is circulating in Ketchikan.
Fuel spill totals about 250 gallons
HOONAH - Officials say the weekend sinking of two tugboats near Hoonah caused the spilling of about 250 gallons of diesel fuel.
The mishap occurred Saturday at a dock owned by Whitestone Logging Camp at Hoonah Island, the Coast Guard said. It is believed one of the vessels lost a hull fitting and sank, dragging the second vessel down with it. No one was aboard either tugboat.
A boom was placed around the site to keep diesel fuel from spreading beyond the vessels. Divers also were called in to seal all fuel vents on the tugboats, according to the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation.
Crews were able to raise the 58-foot OB-1 on Sunday. Similar efforts were underway to raise the 67-foot Rocona II.
Bottomfish harvests set
ANCHORAGE - Alaska's 2001 bottomfish harvests will open Jan. 20, according to Penny Dalton, director of the National Marine Fisheries Service.
The fishing industry had been waiting for the announcement of a firm date because of uncertainty created by the Steller sea lion crisis. The fisheries service earlier this month announced a sweeping new fishery management plan designed to protect the mammals.
A cod fishery will be delayed by 20 days, but the billion-dollar bottomfish harvest will begin on time.