Tony Gorman photo
The Valdez Arts Council held its annual end of season board meeting/burnable art picnic at Dock Point a week ago Tuesday.
Hospital hires new administrator
Barbara Bigelow has been named new administrator of Providence Valdez Medical Center, PVMC.
Bigelow will take the reigns over the hospital in Valdez August 5 according to officials of Providence Alaska. She is replacing former administrator Sean McCallister, who is now serving as critical access hospitals administrator for Providence Health & Services Alaska.
Bigelow joins Providence from PeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Center in Ketchikan, where she regional vice president since 2008. Her new duties at PVMC include overseeing the hospital, its extended care center and the counseling center.
She has over 30 years experience in Alaska hospitals according to a Providence Alaska press release, and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in health information management and a Master of Science in business organizational management. Providence says she is also a licensed nursing home administrator and a registered health information administrator.
Oil spill drill coming
A large oil spill drill will be held in Valdez on Wednesday and Thursday of this week according to the US Coast Guard.
In addition to Alyeska Pipeline Service Company, the join exercise will include responders from the Coast Guard, City of Valdez and Alaska Dept. of Environmental Conservation, DEC.
Lt. Allie Ferko said the government-led exercise will be based on a “simulated worse-case oil discharge at the Valdez Marine Terminal.”
Day one of the exercise will simulate operations with players from the Incident Command Post which would be created in the event of an actual oil spill emergency. Day two will see actually deployment of oil spill response equipment, with “simulated protection of sensitive marine areas near the Valdez Marine Terminal, Valdez Duck Flats, and Solomon Gulch Fish Hatchery.”
“This week’s exercise is designed to evaluate the capabilities and effectiveness of Coast Guard, state, local and industry partners in carrying out their collective responsibilities under the Alaska Federal/State Unified Plan, the Valdez Marine Terminal Contingency Plan, and local response plans,” Ferko’s press release said.
The National Preparedness for Response Exercise Program (PREP) was created by the federal government following the Oil Pollution Act of 1990, which was a direct result of the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill. It integrates responders from stakeholders from private companies to federal, state and local officials that would be impacted by an actual event.
Pet dumping disturbing trend
(AP) The adoption Saturday of 21 hamsters and guinea pigs in Fairbanks reflects a troubling trend of animal abandonment at Alaska transfer sites, sometimes in frigid winter temperatures.
The animals that have been dropped off before include cats, dogs, birds, lizards and turtles.
Valdez Star photo
Rep. Eric Feige made a personal appearance Friday aboard the Alert, the Crowley tug boat under contract with SERVS, to present a legislative citation to the captain and crew of the vessel. The citation was issued for the crew’s center-ring role in attempting to save the storm-battered oil drill rig Kulluk last winter.
In year’s past, small pets found bound and abandoned inside boxes have been brought to the Valdez Animal Shelter, including hamsters, kittens and puppies.
The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports the hamsters and guinea pigs were dropped off by an unnamed Good Samaritan who said he found the animals at one of the North Pole transfer sites.
The animals, a mixture of males, females, adults and babies, were left in one container with straw and without food or water.
Throughout the past few years, dozens of animals have been found largely at transfer sites. Many are tied or boxed up near the bins, but some are found stuffed into trash bins.
Valdez residents can drop off unwanted pets at the city-run shelter anonymously any time or day, including holidays. The shelter’s enclosed arctic entry protects pets from outside elements.