not ruled out yet in Fisherman's Bend
Fire investigators are still in the
process of determining the cause of the fire that
destroyed the Fisherman's Bend Store
Marshal Rich Etheridge says arson or an
accidental cause has not been ruled out
He says there are still many interviews
to conduct and evidence to process.
The department has been working with the
insurance company's fire investigator,
the state fire marshal's office as well
as local police.
says there's a large amount of debris
and the what's left of the structure is
on an elevated surface so getting heavy
equipment in to move some big timbers
has been challenging.
fire destroyed the structure and the
debris was coated with ice, with
temperatures below freezing for the
first few days after fire.
Capital City Fire Rescue responded to a
report of smoke in the building just
after midnight last Saturday morning.
The fire spread quickly and the wooden
structure was fully involved in flames
shortly after firefighters arrived on
front doors of the building were blown
off by a smoke explosion that occurred
soon after the fire was reported.
roof collapsed at about 3:30 in the
Temperatures at the time of the fire
hovered around the zero degree mark or
below with gusting winds.
injuries were reported. There were a few
bumps and bruises, according to the fire
marshal, and no cases of frostbite
he left the scene, Etheridge says it was
nine below zero.
says the biggest problem was dealing
with hose lines freezing up after the
were shut off and repositioned and
ladders freezing in place.
building was insured.
Palin crashes in the Iron Dog
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - Todd Palin,
husband of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin,
was injured when his snowmachine hit a
barrel hidden beneath fresh snow in the
2,000-mile Tesoro Iron Dog race.
A Galena race checker Ray Debenham says
Palin and teammate Scott Davis from
Soldotna were on the outskirts of Galena
along the Yukon River, racing at high
speed toward a fuel stop, when the crash
The impact stopped the snowmachine and
sent Palin, 43, flying, the Anchorage
Daily News reported Friday.
"He flew about 70 feet off the
machine, they said. He's going to have
some bruises," Debenham reported by
telephone from Galena.
After the crash, Davis stopped his
snowmachine, went back to get Palin,
loaded him up and took him straight to
the clinic in Galena to be checked out.
Palin and Davis are the defending Iron
wants more info on Redfern's hoverbarge
The Department of Natural Resources is
requesting more information from Redfern
Resources about its hoverbarge proposal
for transporting Tulsequah Chief Mine
ore concentrate on the Taku River.
The comment period for the Alaska
Coastal Management Program consistency
review was to end February 21st.
That's been suspended until Redfern
responds to DNR's request for more
Redfern is proposing using a hoverbarge,
a shallow-draft tug and an amphibious
vehicle to bring supplies and transport
ore from the Canada mine.
court finds in favor of state in
pipeline tariff case
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - The Alaska Supreme
Court says that owners of the
trans-Alaska oil pipeline charged too
much in the past to ship North Slope
crude oil to refineries in the state.
The opinion from the state's high court
Friday upholds a 2002 ruling by the
Regulatory Commission of Alaska that
owners of the 800-mile pipeline should
refund the excess revenues collected
from shippers - about $80 million plus
The plaintiffs in the case include
Tesoro Alaska and Williams Alaska, which
both owned refineries in the state at
A spokesman for BP PLC, one of the
pipeline owners, says the company is
reviewing its legal options.
asked to identify corridor for second
CBJ officials continue to seek ways to
construct a North Douglas Crossing.
Juneau Mayor Bruce Botelho has drafted a
letter to the Alaska commissioner of
Natural Resources requesting that his
department and other state agencies,
including the Department of Fish and
Game, consider the local government's
request for identifying a transportation
corridor through the Mendenhall Wetlands
Once the state acts on that request,
City Manager Rod Swope says they can
probably proceed to secure necessary
permits and line up funding. In
addition, an environmental impact
statement is necessary if federal
funding is involved.
Right now the use of federal funds is
not allowed since the corridor is in a
refuge with wetland areas.
The Assembly last year selected
Vanderbilt Drive as the preferred
crossing point on the mainland side of
shaking up natural gas line proposal
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - ConocoPhillips may
be trying to shake up the natural gas
pipeline picture -- but it's not causing
any waves in Juneau.
Governor Palin and House Speaker John
Harris Thursday didn't have
much reaction to the news that
ConocoPhillips will re-evaluate its
plans to build a North Slope natural gas
The company's plans didn't have state
backing to start with. And state leaders
say they're not even sure what
ConocoPhillips' plans are.
During a joint news conference
yesterday, Harris said he would like to
learn more about it.
He has been holding public gas line
meetings featuring the administration
and industry players.
He had hoped to hear from ConocoPhillips
on Monday, but the company postponed. A
day before that scheduled meeting,
ConocoPhillips met for four hours with
Palin about their plan.
Brian Wenzel is ConocoPhillips vice
president of Alaska North Slope gas
development. He said the company left
that meeting feeling frustrated.
He says they have seen, "no real
encouragement from the administration,
no real engagement on that
There's only one pipeline application
currently under consideration by the
Public comments are being accepted for a
few more weeks on the proposal from
Federal regulators look at pipeline
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - The operator of
the trans-Alaska oil pipeline is working
with federal regulators looking at
malfunctions of new equipment to
automate the 800-mile system.
New pumps were sidelined for five weeks
at Pump Station 3 while faulty power
generators were adjusted to operate in
Alyeska Pipeline Company's Mike Heatwole
says old pumps were used until the new
equipment was restarted Tuesday.
Heatwole says vibrations also were found
in the new equipment, but don't pose a
risk. Stronger vibrations showed up last
year in Pump Station 9, the first
facility overhauled in the ongoing
automation project. Heatwole says that
problem has been resolved.
Guard suspends search for balloonist
The search for missing hot-air
balloonist Michio Kanda was suspended by
the Coast Guard after searching
Chief Steve Harrison in the Juneau
Command Center with that word. He says
negative results through yesterday
prompted the suspension.
The cutter Hickory from Hawaii was
originally scheduled to arrive in the
search area 420 to 450 miles south of
Adak Island Thursday.
He says the cutter reached the lower
part of the search area, but not the
Following its release, the cutter headed
to its homeport.
the 16 day search, the Coast Guard
covered over 40,000 square miles,
roughly the size of Kentucky.
The Cutters Rush and Jarvis initially
headed to the search area until they
were forced to turn back due to weather.
The Rush sustained a two foot crack in
its hull and was taking on water in 30
to 40 foot seas. Crew was able to
temporarily patch the hull which allowed
the cutter to make port in Dutch Harbor
for further repairs.
The Chief of Response for the Coast
Guard in Alaska, Captain Michael Inman,
said the weather took its toll and made
for challenging search conditions.
The 58 year old Kanda left over two
weeks ago on January 31st for a
56-hundred mile trip from Japan to
Portland, Oregon. He was reported
missing that night when he failed to
respond to communication checks.
He was equipped with a personal life
raft and 20 days of food and water.
A C-130 crew spotted white and blue
cylinder-shaped objects and a tan object
Monday almost 300 miles northeast of the
balloon's last known location.
Attempts to relocate the debris were not
successful. It was never established
that the debris came from the balloon.
It's not the first time Kanda has been
He attempted to cross the Pacific Ocean
with a colleague in 2004, but his
balloon became enveloped in snow clouds
midway and they had to ditch in the
Kanda has set several world records in
hot air ballooning for flight duration,
altitude and distance over the last 30
among leaders in pork
WASHINGTON (AP) - A Washington-based
watchdog group lists Alaska Sen. Ted
Stevens as the top player in the
capital's pork barrel playground.
Only a dozen House members and half as
many senators have declined to play.
The other 500 members of Congress
managed to obtain $18 billion in
so-called earmarks for funding of
projects in their states or districts.
The story is told in a database
assembled by the congressional watchdog
group Taxpayers for Common Sense.
The champion is Stevens. The Alaska
Republican obtained the lion's share of
the earmarks his state is getting this
year. Stevens' pork adds up to $506 for
every Alaska resident.
Stevens to address state lawmakers
Tuesday; Native forum Monday
Alaska U. S. Senator Ted Stevens will be
in the state capital next week.
He's scheduled to address a joint
session of the Legislature Tuesday.
It's scheduled for 11 a.m.
is scheduled to speak at the Native
Issues Forum Monday.
The forum at the ANB Hall on West
Willougby is open to the public.
The luncheon event is scheduled to begin
at about 11:45 Monday.
consider whether to oppose national ID
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - Alaska lawmakers
are considering a bill that would bar
the state from spending money to meet
federal regulations for a national
Bill sponsor Bill Wielechowski
(will-eh-COW-ski), an Anchorage
Democrat, said the requirements of the
U-S Department of Homeland Security
could be the start of a surveillance
society where the federal government can
track the movements of its citizens.
The federal rules would require that
every citizen carry a card approved by
the U-S government to board a plane or
enter a federal facility -- or a
Seventeen states went on record last
year opposing Real I-D. About 20 more
have legislation currently under
Congress passed the Real I-D law in
2005, but implementation has been
delayed amid concerns from states about
the cost, threats to privacy and the
potential for infiltration of people's
Senate Bill 202 was heard in the State
Affairs Committee today (Thursday).
Public testimony on the bill will
continue next Tuesday.
proposing to ban PBDE's in Alaska up for
A bill that would make Alaska the
twelfth state to ban or phase out the
manufacture, sale and distribution of
new products containing a type of toxic
flame-retardant will be heard by the
House Labor and Commerce Committee
HB 271 is sponsored by Juneau
Representative Andrea Doll.
Doll says studies show that
polybrominated diphenyl ethers, or PBDEs
negatively affect brain development in
young children, including memory and
They also cause thyroid problems, slow
sexual maturation and significantly
reduced sperm counts in adults.
According to studies, about 15 million
Americans have unsafe levels of PBDEs in
PBDEs are commonly used in mattresses,
carpet pads and upholstery, as well as
the plastic housings of computers and
other electronic devices.
When products containing PBDEs are
burned, the toxins become airborne, and
are a threat to firefighters.
Alternatives to PBDE-containing plastics
are widely available.
Many companies are voluntarily phasing
out the use of PBDEs; including DELL
computers, Canon, Hewlett-Packard,
Mitsubishi and Sony.
Mattress companies that don't use any
PBDEs include Sealy, Serta, Simmons, and
HB 271 is scheduled to be heard at 3
this afternoon in House Labor and
NYC police say fugitive in Alaska has
history of violence
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - New York City
police say a man they tracked to Alaska
has a history of violence.
Twenty-five-year-old Michael Baranovics
was arrested February 7th at a home in
Butte south of Palmer.
New York City Police Detective Gerald
Kluberdanz says Baranovics has ten
arrests. He says six were assaults and
four were violent.
Kluberdanz says the fugitive warrant was
based on a 2004 robbery at gunpoint.
Kluberdanz on February 2nd received a
tip that Baranovics was in Alaska.
The detective also came up with a 2003
report of an Alaska license plate stolen
from a car in Queens.
The plate belonged to a resident of
Butte and led authorities to the home
were the fugitive from justice was arrested.
Baranovics is being held at the Mat-Su
Pre-Trial Facility in Palmer.
Bail is $750,000, cash only.
(Anchorage Daily News)
Man charged after twice spraying bar
patrons with bear spray
KODIAK, Alaska (AP) - A Kodiak man faces
assault charges after allegedly twice
spraying bar patrons with bear spray.
Kodiak police charged Daniel Pement
after the incidents Saturday and Sunday
at the B&B Bar.
Police say the first happened Saturday,
15 minutes after Pement was escorted
from the bar. He allegedly returned and
Police talked to him later and took the
bear spray, but were called away on a
more urgent matter.
Then on Sunday, police reported to the
bar again after Pement allegedly sprayed
patrons with another can of bear spray.
Police found Pement walking down the
street and charged him with six counts
of misdemeanor assault.
(Kodiak Daily Mirror)
civil rights leader remembered
Saturday is Elizabeth Peratrovich Day in
The past Grand President of the Alaska
Native Sisterhood is honored and
remembered each year for her efforts to
eliminate discrimination and bring about
equal rights in Alaska.
She worked with
members of Native organizations to win
approval in the Territorial Legislature
of the Anti-Discrimination Act of 1945.
The act was the first such document
approved by any state or territory since
the Civil War.
A celebration dinner honoring
Peratrovich is scheduled from 5 to 7
Friday evening at the ANB Hall.
The event sponsored by Valley ANS/ANB
Camp 70, Juneau ANS-ANB Camp 2, Sealaska
Corporation, and Tlingit and Haida
Central Council is free of charge.
Bears lose first game of road trip,
men's team in Sitka
The Lady Crimson Bears are on a road
trip up north.
They lost the first game of the road
trip last night to Palmer 56 to 46.
They play Wasilla tonight and then move
to Anchorage to take on Service
The men's basketball team from Juneau
Douglas High School is in Sitka this
Tip off tonight and Saturday on KINY is
Maggie now among her own kind
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - The elephant
that formerly lived in Anchorage has
been united with others of her kind.
Handlers at the Performing Animals
Welfare Society sanctuary in San
Andreas, California, on Tuesday removed
a fence and let Maggie interact with
four other elephants.
Maggie had been kept in a private yard
since leaving the Alaska Zoo in November
Communications - KINY Radio)