Valdez star photo
May flowers were peaking out from the soil in front of Gilson Middle School Monday, despite snowfall that keeps coming down in Valdez. Valdez received 2..2 inches of snow on May Day, and it kept it up through Thursday. The season total was 379.5 inches as of Thursday morning.
Ng named new PWSCC president
Dr. Jacob Ng will be the new president of Prince William Sound Community College (PWSCC) according to University of Alaska Chancellor Tom Case, who issued a press release Monday.
Ng will take over July 1, leaving his current position as Vice Chancellor of Student Services in the Peralta Community College District (PCCD) in California. Ng takes over for acting-president Jed Palmer, who has served since April, when then-acting president Wes Lundberg moved on after taking the temporary spot in place of Doug Desorcie.
Ng has 28 years of leadership experience working in the California Community College System according to the press release. He will be visiting Valdez again later this month according to the college.
RCAC annual meeting this week
The annual meeting of the board of directors for the Prince William Sound Regional Citizens Advisory Council (RCAC) begins in Valdez this Thursday and Friday according to its new administrative deputy director, Stephen Rothschild.
The group, which overseas oil tanker movement in Port Valdez and surrounding Alaska waters, was created after 1989s Exxon Valdez oil spill. Public commentary on issues will be accepted at the Valdez Civic Center beginning at 8:55 a.m. Thursday, May 2. Comments are limited to five minutes per speaker.
This year’s agenda includes presentations by the City of Valdez, the Alaska Dept. of Environmental Conservation and other industry groups. Topics from fire fighting agreements between the city and Alyeska to invasive species and safe oil tanker movements in the port will be covered. A full agenda can be found on the group’s website.
Studded tires allowed unit May 15
Alaska’s Department of Public Safety Commissioner’s Office issued an emergency order Monday, allowing motorist to drive on studded tires until May 15 on all Alaska roads. Studded tires are normally allowed only between September 15 through May 1.
The press release said the extension should provide all motorists an “additional margin of safety on roads experiencing lingering winter conditions.”
But don’t delay switching to non-studded summer tires after the new May 15 deadline. Tickets for driving Alaska roads with studded tires during summer months can cost $50 in tickets. The fines are correctible but DOT warns some municipal police agencies “have a different fine amount depending on city laws.”
Last Frontier Theatre Conference
Organizers are gearing up behind the scenes in Valdez, readying for the 2013 Last Frontier Theatre Conference. The weeklong event held at the Valdez Civic Center runs May 18-25. This year’s roster of events includes long-standing favorites such as daily play labs, and special events such as the Fringe Festival and of course, the gala banquet. This year’s recipient of the 2013 Susan Nims Distinguished Playwriting Award will be Marc Kornblatt of Madison, Wisconsin, for his play “Refuge.” He will receive a $1,000 check from the estate of the late Mrs. Nims. A complete list of events is available online.
Valdez Fly In and Air Show
The fly in turns 10 years old this year, and organizers looking to up for blue skies for this year’s anniversary. The event is slated for May 10 through 12 at Valdez Pioneer Airfield in Valdez.
Photo courtesy Katey Connell
Valdez athletes with the team’s Gloria Walker Team Sportsmanship Award after competing at the Native Youth Olympics state meet in Anchorage.
Groundbreaking event for new school
The City of Valdez announced a long-anticipated ground breaking event for the construction of a new middle school. The event will be held at the current building on Robe River Dr. on May 24 from noon until 1:30 p.m. according the Sheri Pierce, city clerk.
The call for all alumni of the school, from its beginnings as a high school, then jr. high to its current format as a middle school, went out Monday.
There will be a free community barbeque during the event, which coincides with the district’s last day of school. The eighth-grade graduation ceremony will be held at 10 a.m. that morning. Dismantling of the old building and construction of the new is expected to begin shortly after the last day of school.