Recommendation on Juneau emergency
request due from Disaster Cabinet
The Governor's Disaster Policy Cabinet
is scheduled to reconvene Thursday to
take up Juneau's emergency disaster
request in the wake of the avalanches
that wiped out the Snettisham line April
16th choking off power from the
City Manager Rod Swope's declaration
calls for $25 Million in assistance.
Swope tells us the cabinet plans to have
a recommendation ready by tomorrow.
He doesn't know what direction the
cabinet may be leaning.
Juneau Representative Beth Kerttula
tells us she met with Health and Social
Services Commissioner Karleen Jackson
and her staff Tuesday.
And regardless if a disaster is declared
or not, Kerttula she says the state,
especially Health and Social Services,
is well aware it will be hit with a
"wave of need" as she puts it.
And Kerttula encourages residents not to
be too proud to request assistance.
considers AEL&P loan for 3rd time
The Juneau Assembly is scheduled to meet
again Thursday evening on the proposed
$3 Million dollar interest free loan to
Alaska, Electric, Light and Power.
After listening to public comment
Tuesday, the Assembly gave up on a
approach that called for using the loan
to spread out payments over 12 months.
The overwhelming opposition expressed
fear that the plan would cost rate
payers even more over the course of 12
But many testifying also said that there
should be a mechanism to help vulnerable
people and businesses.
The Assembly will listen to a
presentation from A-E-L and P during the
next meeting on what it can do to
provide more direct assistance for the
In response to Tuesday's Assembly
meeting and public testimony, the
utility issued a release saying it would
not be filing for an amended rate hike
that spreads payments over a year.
President Tim McLeod said AEL&P will
continue to work with members of the
Assembly and other political leaders to
identify a practical method to ease the
Thursday's special Assembly meeting is
scheduled for 5 p.m. at City Hall.
Way assisting in identifying vulnerable
electric utility customers
The United Way of Southeast Alaska is
assisting in figuring out how to get
help to the most vulnerable of Alaska
Electric, Light and Power's customers.
Brenda Hewitt, the organization's
president and CEO, says one of their
partners, Catholic Community Service,
has an energy assistance program used in
She believes they can tweak
the format for use in Juneau and come up
with a plan to help the most vulnerable.
Hewitt says they know who the most
vulnerable are now. What they're worried
about is the next group of people who
were already on the edge.
So she says there's going to be a
"new class of
"vulnerable" that the
community will need to look out for.
Energy expert impressed with Juneau's
conservation effort, will serve as
Energy expert Allen Meier was sent here
by the U. S. Department of Energy to
work with the city and borough on
conservation measures at Mayor Botelho's
He's wrapping up his visit today
Meier tells us he plans to point to
Juneau's experience in the future. He
said it already illustrates more savings
than any other place that he's studied.
So he doesn't think that will be the
problem, but rather sustaining
conservation measures over the next few
months until the Snettisham transmission
line is repaired.
He has suggestions for residents such as
moderating the use of electric water
heaters and on a larger scale for CBJ.
A chief one is the conservation of
water. Meier says a community wide
effort may translate into electricity
savings since it takes a lot of
electricity to supply the water and then
treating it as sewage.
Meier is a senior scientist at the
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in
California. He was first notified of the
problem here by a student of his from
Wayne Leighty is working on his PHD at
the University of California, Davis.
Healy leaving CBJ engineering job in
favor of State DOT
City and Borough of Juneau Engineering
Director Roger Healy is leaving his
position to work for Southeast Region of
the State Department of Transportation
and Public Facilities.
City Manager Rod Swope says Healy is
leaving as of June 1st.
He says they will advertise nationally
in the search for a replacement.
Healy has been in his current position
for about five years.
House joins Senate in calling for
investigation into Young road earmark
The U. S. House of Representatives voted
overwhelmingly today (Wednesday) to join
the U S. Senate in directing the Justice
Department to investigate the road
earmark in which Alaska Congressman Don
Young was involved.
The vote was 358 to 51.
Young took to the floor to defend the
ten million earmark for a Florida
freeway interchange that was in a 2005
One of the questions is how the earmark
ended up in the bill signed by the
President, when the version passed by
Congress included money for widening a
Young has been reluctant to discuss the
issue, citing the ongoing investigation.
He read a lengthy prepared statement on
the subject during debate on a bill that
would make technical corrections to the
have been the subject of much innuendo
concerning my intent and motivation of
this projects," he said, and added,
"These accusations have little or
no connection with actually
Young also claims that, as
Transportation Committee chair, he had
no control over what happened to the
bill after it passed Congress, during
process known as "enrollment."
The earmark was already under
investigation by the Justice department
when the Senate took its vote earlier
for former oil field services executives
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) KINY - Federal
prosecutors aren't ready just yet to
recommend sentences for their two
witnesses in an ongoing federal
In a status report filed in federal
court Wednesday, prosecutors requested
that sentencing for former VECO
executives Bill Allen and Rick Smith
continue to be postponed as the
Prosecutors wrote the investigation is
"exceedingly complex," and
they promised to have another update no
later than July 31.
Both Allen and Smith pleaded guilty last
year to federal bribery charges. They've
been key witnesses in the convictions of
two former state lawmakers so far.
One more trial is pending, that of
former Juneau representative Bruce
Information from: David Shurtleff/Alaska
Public Radio Network
First cruise ship of the season
arrives, Juneau to exceed one million mark
for first time
For the first time, cruise ship visitors
to Juneau are expected to exceed one
million this year.
Juneau's cruise ship season begins this
(Wednesday) morning with the scheduled
arrival of the Norwegian Star at 7.
The vessel was in Juneau's' harbor
before 6 a.m. and docked by 6:30.
It will continue until Saturday,
September 27th with the scheduled
departure of the Infinity at 5 p.m.
Juneau Convention and Visitors Bureau
President and CEO Lorene Palmer says the
estimated number of cruise ship
passengers is one million and 50
She says they bumped right up against a
million last year, but fell a few short
of that mark.
It's projected each one will spend $186
per person which amounts to over $195
Million in spending. Palmer says that
compares to about $176 Million in 2005.
"Just by sheer volume we're going
to see more economic impact in
Juneau," she says.
The figures cited by Palmer do not
include crew spending or spending by
independent travelers who are expected
to number between 70,000 to 75,000.
Cruise ship visitors will come here
aboard about 50 ships owned by 12
different cruise lines.
There are three new ones this year. They
include the Millennium owned by
Celebrity Cruises, Princess
Cruises" Tahitian Princess, and the
Spirit of Glacier Bay owned by Cruise
West. Palmer says the name Spirit of
Glacier Bay has been used in the past,
but this is a new vessel.
release identity of dead Kodiak man
KODIAK, Alaska (AP) - Police in Kodiak
have released the identity of the man
killed in what is believed to have been
a hit-and-run this week.
They say his name is 43-year-old Justin
McGriff, who worked as a dishwasher at
El Chicano restaurant.
Authorities say McGriff apparently lived
in a tent on Pillar Mountain.
His body was found early Tuesday morning
along side Pillar Mountain Road.
Police Chief T.C. Kamai says McGriff
died of what appeared to be massive
injuries, probably inflicted by someone
driving a car or a truck.
His body has been sent to the state
medical examiner in Anchorage for an
Police say they are continuing to search
for the vehicle that hit McGriff.
Information from: KMXT-FM
Man dies in house fire in Alakanuk
BETHEL, Alaska (AP) - Alaska State
Troopers say an Alakanuk man has died in
a house fire.
The Alakanuk Police Department told
troopers that the body of 64-year-old
Charles Clyde Smith was found in the
remains of the house. The fire occurred
Police say the fire appeared to be
Alakanuk is a community of about 650
residents near Bethel on Alaska's
western coastline. It is located on the
Haines area trailer home destroyed by
fire, no injuries reported
Fire destroyed an unoccupied trailer
home at 26 mile of the Haines Highway
early Tuesday morning.
State Troopers say neighbors heard a
loud boom and noticed the flames.
Troopers were notified shortly after 3
The trailer had been unoccupied for over
nine weeks. The Trooper dispatch says
the owner was expected to return in a
There were no injuries.
The State Fire Marshal's Office is
conducting an investigation to determine
the cause of the fire.
aircraft found near mouth of the Big
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - A downed
airplane was found near the mouth of the
Big Susitna River.
Alaska State Troopers say an emergency
signal was received by the plane late
Tuesday. The Rescue Coordination Center
deployed an aircraft to conduct a
search. The C130 spotted the downed
aircraft near Flat Horn Lake near the
mouth of the Susitna River. The plane
was flipped over in approximately 2-3
feet of water.
Troopers say footprints were found
leading away from the plane. They ended
near the tracks of a second unidentified
aircraft, at which point the footprints
The pilot has not been located or
Linehan files appeal of murder
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - An appeal has
been filed in the case of Michelle
Linehan -- the former stripper who was
convicted of murdering a former fiance
The 35-year-old woman maintains her
innocence in the death of Kent Leppink.
The appeal was filed last week by two of
Alaska's best known attorneys -- Jeff
Feldman and Susan Orlansky.
Employee union backs Begich in Senate
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - The state's
largest employee union says its backing
Democratic candidate Mark Begich for the
U.S. Senate seat held by longtime
Republican incumbent Ted Stevens.
The Alaska State Employees
Association/American Federation of State
County and Municipal Employees Local 52
announced its support on Wednesday.
Jim Duncan, the union's business
manager, says Begich "exemplifies
the new direction that Alaska
The union represents more than 8,000
members working for state and local
Begich officially announced his
candidacy last week. Stevens, the
longest serving Republican in U.S.
Senate history, filed in February for
Alaska Air National Guard members deploy
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - Alaska Air
National Guard members will deploy to
Afghanistan this week.
The 25 members of the 175th Wing at
Kulis Air National Guard base will leave
Thursday. They will conduct combat
search and rescue missions, based from
Bagram Air Base.
The deployment is expected to last about
60 days, meaning the Guard members
should be home in early July.
DJs suspended over offensive remark
return to airwaves
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - Two Anchorage
disc jockeys are back on their popular
morning show, three weeks after making a
derogatory comment on the air about
Alaska Native women.
Greg Wood and Chris Wilcox, known as
Woody and Wilcox, returned to the air
today (Wednesday), saying they never
meant to hurt anyone for a comment they
now see was offensive.
The DJs were suspended April 15
following a storm of protest over the
remark that had many comparing the disc
jockeys to Don Imus.
Wilcox and Wood were jesting April 9
about what makes someone a real Alaskan.
One of them switched the verbs on an old
saying that real Alaskans have urinated
in the Yukon River and made love to an
Alaska Native woman.
Many also consider the original saying
Alaska Natives and others have since
canceled advertising with KBFX-FM, a
Clear Channel hard rock station that
features Wilcox and Wood, who are
undergoing cultural awareness sessions
with the Alaska Native Heritage Center
and other groups.
Glacier Bay visitor season begins with
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - Glacier Bay
National Park and Preserve has a new
superintendent at the helm as it gears
up for the arrival of its first cruise
ship of the season on May 6.
Cherry Payne has traded the balmy byways
of the Florida Everglades for the
glacial-fed waters of Southeast Alaska.
A 30-year veteran of the park service,
Payne was most recently the chief of
interpretation and visitor services at
Everglades and Dry Tortugas National
She has also served as acting
superintendent at Cape Lookout National
Seashore in North Carolina and at
Canaveral National Seashore in Florida.
Payne replaces former Superintendent
Tomie Lee, who retired last year.
Glacier Bay is expecting 153 cruise ship
calls this year.
Communications - KINY Radio)