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From Our Listeners

Southeast Alaska News

Council to consider $100K more for CH2MHill

Wed, 2014-04-16 15:21

Ketchikan is seen from the water on a beautiful sunny day.

The Ketchikan City Council meets in regular session Thursday, and on the agenda is a $100,000 addition to the city’s contract with engineering consultants CH2MHill. That firm has been working with the city on the decade-long process to convert the public water treatment system from free chlorine to a combination of UV light and chloramine.

According to Water Division Manager John Kleinegger, public opposition to the change that arose early this year led to the city using CH2MHill’s services more than anticipated.

Specifically, Kleinegger noted in a memo that the firm helped the City Council and city staff respond to citizen concerns; requested letters from the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation and the American Water Works Association showing support for chloramine treatment; and provided assistance in refuting information in a letter to the mayor from national consumer advocate Erin Brokovich.

Representatives from CH2MHill also attended three Council meetings to provide information about chloramine water disinfection, and provided updated cost estimates in case the city needs to develop another treatment system.

A ballot initiative petition was turned in two weeks ago by a group that opposes the city’s use of chloramine. If it passes the city’s legal review, city voters would be asked to decide whether to prohibit chloramine in the public water system.

The city turned on the new chloramine disinfection system last week. The city has an interim permit to operate the chloramine/UV facility, and that permit expires Sept. 30th. The city must prove that it has met all regulations, and answered all state DEC concerns before final approval will be given.

Kleinegger noted that CH2MHill’s assistance likely will be needed during that interim period. In a memo to Kleinegger, the firm’s vice president and project manager, Floyd Damron, wrote that CH2MHill also would assist the city attorney with any questions he might have for his legal review of the ballot proposition petition, at an estimated cost of up to $10,000.

If the additional $100,000 is approved, the CH2MHill contract with the city will total $1.375 million.

Also Thursday, the Council will talk about whether to move forward with a fence along the Third Avenue Bypass, to discourage people from throwing items down the hill into residential areas.

The meeting starts at 7 p.m. in City Council chambers. Public comment will be heard at the start of the meeting.

KRBD Garden Party

Wed, 2014-04-16 13:42

KRBD is having a Garden Party at the station on Sunday, April 27, starting at 10 am until, well until we’re done and we’ve planted everything. We’ll be BBQing on the grill (Halibut skewers) and other stuff. If you’d like to bring a side dish or a particular spring garden party type drink, please do. While we have you there we’ll talk about the work of the Community Advisory Board and ask your opinion on how best to proceed this coming year.Come join in the garden party fun.    Oh, and bring gloves…I have the band aids!

Workshops offered by PeaceHealth

Wed, 2014-04-16 12:38

Lindsey Duckworth and Marty West speak about a workshop on Patient and Family Engagement, and a presentation on Cancer Screenings.  PeaceHealth

State starts aerial surveys of Seymour Canal

Wed, 2014-04-16 10:04

An aerial survey was conducted Monday of Lynn Canal, Tenakee Inlet, and Seymour Canal by state biologists looking for herring. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game say survey conditions were good with calm to light winds under a high overcast sky.

In a press release, ADF&G says they found that predator activity was light in all three areas.

In Lynn Canal, approximately 85 sea lions and three whales were observed scattered in small groups. No herring or herring spawn was observed. The most active group of sea lions was in the vicinity of Slate Cove and could indicate the presence of eulachon staging for spawning.

In Tenakee Inlet, approximately 75 sea lions and five whales were observed scattered singly or in small groups. No herring or herring spawn was observed.

In Seymour Canal, 49 sea lions and one whale were observed, widely scattered in small groups. No herring or herring spawn was observed.

The next survey of the Juneau area is planned for this Friday, April 18.

UAS Ketchikan Report

Wed, 2014-04-16 09:00

Gail Klein speaks about scholarships.  Graduation is coming up May 3rd.   UAS041614

Wed Apr 16, 2014

Wed, 2014-04-16 08:26


Listen to iFriendly audio.
Senate candidate Sullivan opposes healthcare reform, and not so keen on dolphins. Wrangell Medical Center gets makeover.

Parnell puts on virtual town hall

Wed, 2014-04-16 00:07

Republican Gov. Sean Parnell is having a virtual town hall tonight at 6 p.m. for Alaskans to ask questions on key issues facing the Last Frontier.

The questions can be asked via email at AskAKGov@alaska.gov, by posting to Parnell’s Facebook page or by tweeting them to @AKGovParnell with the hashtag #AskAKGov.

read more

Coast Guard: Tug engine failure blamed on water in fuel

Wed, 2014-04-16 00:07

It is a mariner’s worst nightmare: At sea, in a bad storm, pulling a heavy load and working to keep control in a dicey situation.

Then, all the engines quit. And won’t restart.

Precisely this event occurred in late December 2012 to the crew of the Edison Chouest vessel Aiviq as it struggled to keep towlines on Shell’s conical drill vessel Kulluk.

read more

House panel moves Gov.'s pension plan

Wed, 2014-04-16 00:07

JUNEAU — The House Finance Committee advanced Gov. Sean Parnell’s plan for addressing the state’s pension obligation Tuesday, but the issue is far from settled.

As HB385 was moving from committee, Senate Finance was meeting on the opposite end of the fifth floor of the Capitol, discussing other options.

read more

Untold reality of state's minimum wage debate

Wed, 2014-04-16 00:06

Whether a minimum wage increase is approved by voters or lawmakers, the result will be the same: The Legislature will have the power to make changes.

Backers of the August ballot initiative are concerned the Legislature is taking up the matter so it has the ability to strip parts of the bill in future years, which they argue couldn’t happen with a voter-approved initiative.

Think again.

read more

Legislature passes bill on AGDC appointment

Wed, 2014-04-16 00:02

JUNEAU — The Alaska Legislature has passed a measure allowing out-of-state residents to serve on the board of a corporation that could play a key role in a major liquefied natural gas pipeline project.

The Senate’s 13-7 vote makes clearer the way for Richard Rabinow, a former pipeline company executive from Texas, to serve on the board of the Alaska Gasline Development Corp.

Gov. Sean Parnell appointed Rabinow last September and has defended the appointment as falling within his discretion under the constitution. Rabinow faces confirmation Thursday.

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Child porn indictment for former UAA instructor

Wed, 2014-04-16 00:01

ANCHORAGE — An Anchorage grand jury has indicted a former astronomy and physics instructor at the University of Alaska-Anchorage on 14 child pornography charges.

Assistant Attorney General Adam Alexander said Tuesday that state troopers are trying to locate 37-year-old Curtis Osterhoudt.

The indictment accuses him of distribution and possession of child porn both at his residence and in his office at UAA.

read more

Hughes apologizes for news release headline

Wed, 2014-04-16 00:01

JUNEAU — Alaska House members apologize for a news release on a breastfeeding initiative that had the words “smart and sexy” in the headline.

HCR18 sponsor Rep. Shelley Hughes said she intended to draw attention to the issue but not the kind it garnered.

She apologized Tuesday for the “poor choice of words” and said she was sorry if she offended anyone.

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Developers eye Anchorage site for housing project

Wed, 2014-04-16 00:01

ANCHORAGE — Developers are planning to build an upscale housing complex in Anchorage at the site of an aging mobile home park.

The group of California developers is seeking to break ground next summer at the 30-acre Riviera Terrace Mobile Home Park, the Anchorage Daily News reported.

The plan calls for four construction phases of row houses and apartments, with a total of 450 housing units at the east Anchorage location.

read more

Huggins: Late Saturday target to finish work

Wed, 2014-04-16 00:01

JUNEAU — Senate President Charlie Huggins says lawmakers are aiming to complete their work by Saturday night.

Sunday is the scheduled end of the 90-day session, but that’s Easter. Legislative leaders have said they’d like to complete their work before then, if possible.

There are several major pieces in play, including the budgets and bills dealing with education, the state’s unfunded pension obligation and setting the state’s participation rate in a major liquefied natural gas project.

read more

Kuskokwim ice not thick enough for auto travel

Wed, 2014-04-16 00:01

BETHEL — It may be that time of the year where you need to keep your automobiles off the Kuskokwim River.

KYUK reports the river ice is melting enough that conditions could be dangerous for heavy vehicles.

Kwethluk village public safety officer Max Olick says the river is not safe enough for autos, and he urged caution when people are traveling.

If people do intend to travel on the river, they should inform others of their travel plans.

He says there is standing water on the river and pot holes.

Juneau resident gets state director appointment

Wed, 2014-04-16 00:01

A former Juneau Assembly member has been named the state director of the Division of Corporations, Business and Professional Licensing.

Sara Chambers has led the Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development’s division on professional licensing since 2011.

The former Alaska Journal of Commerce “Top 40 Under 40” recipient assumed her new role late last month.

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Kansas church plans Alaska Native center protest

Wed, 2014-04-16 00:01

ANCHORAGE — A Topeka, Kan., church known for protesting at the funerals of soldiers says it plans to picket the Alaska Native Heritage Center on June 1.

The Westboro Baptist Church says in an online flyer published Sunday that it plans to send protesters to the center because “God hates your idols.”

The Anchorage Daily News says the plans are triggering talk of a counter protest, prompting a Facebook group to launch for that purpose.

read more

School leader on leave as law firm eyes procedures

Wed, 2014-04-16 00:00

FAIRBANKS — The superintendent of Fairbanks schools was placed on leave while a hired law firm investigates how the district handled a case of alleged sexual abuse by an employee, school board officials said.

The school board met in a closed-door session on April 7 and afterward said it had placed Fairbanks North Star Borough School District Superintendent Pete Lewis on leave.

Officials declined to provide a reason for the move beyond saying it was not a disciplinary action, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported Monday.

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Developers eye Anchorage site for housing project

Wed, 2014-04-16 00:00

ANCHORAGE — Developers are planning to build an upscale housing complex in Anchorage at the site of an aging mobile home park.

The group of California developers is seeking to break ground next summer at the 30-acre Riviera Terrace Mobile Home Park, the Anchorage Daily News reported.

The plan calls for four construction phases of row houses and apartments, with a total of 450 housing units at the east Anchorage location.

read more

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