Updates and area happenings from the Valdez area
Burglary case pending still
Valdez police say charges against an unnamed suspect in a rash of burglaries are expected to be filed with the District Attorney’s office this week. The long investigation into the thefts that occurred in the aftermath of the town’s snow crisis in late January have been long-coming. Two weeks ago police announced a suspect was being held in Anchorage on unrelated charges and a number of stolen items had been recovered. The first of a series of expected theft and burglary allegations may be heard by a grand jury later this week.
RCAC questions Alyeska commitments
The Prince William Sound Regional Citizens' Advisory Council announced it had released a report quetioning whether Alyeska Pipeline Service Co. has fully demonstrated that it is met the oil-spill prevention commitments in its contingency plan for the Valdez Marine Terminal. RCAC said the report, by Eagle River-based Harvey Consulting, reviewed 13 specific oil-spill prevention commitments in the Alyeska contingency plan. The report concluded that the company was unable to demonstrate full accomplishment of seven of the 13 commitments but noted that a lack of data from Alyeska contributed to the shortcomings, which may or may not be valid.
“ It does not establish that the company is, in fact, out of compliance with its prevention commitments,” RCAC said.
The full report, a synopsis and RCAC recommendations to rectify the negative conclusions are available at the group’s website, www.pwsrcac.net.
Snow depth shrinking
Valdez has seen a total of 348.8 inches of snow this season, with 20.3 of those inches falling in February according to the National Weather Service. The snow depth stands at 72 inches in undisturbed areas. Rains have been contributing to eroding snow conditions, after warm weather brought 4.58 inches of precipitation in February.
Steep Life Contest
The Valdez Convention and Visitor’s Bureau has partnered with H2o ski guides to sponsor a photo contest of the Valdez area. Evan Daigneault said the contest will end with a Contest Finale at the Valdez Civic Center April 4. The event will likely be the only fundraising event held by the organization, which is under an intense restructuring of its business model. Prizes have been donated by the Prospector and H2o. Photographers may submit up to five scenery photos that must have been taken within a 100 mile radius of Valdez. All photos will be featured on the VCVB website and could be used for other future promotional campaigns. See full rules and details at ValdezAlaska.org.
Robotics team takes third
The LEGO robotics team from Hermon Hutchens Elementary School had a successful trip to the LEGO Robotics State Championship Tournament in Fairbanks according the Cynthia Shidner, the teacher overseeing the school’s team, which is open to students as an extracurricular activity. The team took third place in the competition of winning several top spots in the qualifying competitions late last year.