Northwest Digest

Wire reports

Posted: Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Ice harvest begins for carving contest

FAIRBANKS - The 2005 World Ice Art Championships are still a long way off, but workers have begun harvesting the first ice of the season for the event that brings the world's elite carvers to Fairbanks every year.

Using a chain saw and the sliding mount that he created for the task, Tom Gullickson sliced into O'Grady Pond Sunday along lines that outlined areas to be turned into blocks. The mount held the chain saw perpendicular to the pond and easily slid along the surface, allowing Gullickson to perform the work without having to bend over.

Once the blocks were cut and floating in open water, Jamie Hollingsworth and other volunteers used poles to hold the ice in place. Then a heavy equipment operator scooped them from the water and added them to the stacks of ice that will be used to create the wealth of sculptures and children's slides scheduled to adorn the park during the ice art championships.

Collecting enough ice blocks for the championships, which begin March 2, is a long process, said Connie Adkins, a longtime member of Ice Alaska, the nonprofit group that arranges the event.

Assembly to consider energy analysis

The Juneau Assembly's Committee of the Whole on Monday directed city staff to draft an ordinance that will require an energy life-cycle cost analysis in capital improvement projects that exceed $2 million.

The analysis would consider the initial construction cost, the cost of energy consumed over the facility's economic life and the operation and maintenance cost. The city's Energy Advisory Committee made the proposal to the Assembly.

Mayor Bruce Botelho suggested that such an analysis be conducted in projects that cost as little as $1 million. Assembly member David Stone said the analysis would save taxpayers' money in the long run.

City Engineering Director Roger Healy said the proposal is redundant.

"Architects and engineers are responsible for designing facilities that are safe for public use, meet the needs of the public or user, fit the available construction budget and do not burden the owner and the public with high maintenance and energy costs," Healy said. "It's their job."

Assembly member Randy Wanamaker suggested the committee solicit comments from architects who have worked with the city. The committee accepted Wanamaker's suggestion and will consider the architects' comments before forwarding the proposal to the Assembly.

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