The Valdez Star - Serving Prince William Sound and Copper River Basin

News Briefs

 

Photo courtesy Alyeska Pipeline Service Company

Fishing vessel crew members practice loading spill response equipment onto their boat during a recent Vessel of Opportunity training in Cordova, which earned Alyeska the Stewardship & Sustainability Award from the Alaska SeaLife Center.

Alyeska awarded

Alyeska Pipeline Service Company was recognized by the Alaska SeaLife Center (ASLC) last week for its leadership role in sustaining ocean resources.

According to a press release, Alyeska's Vessel of Opportunity Program was recognized with the center's Stewardship & Sustainability Award "which honors an industry leader that demonstrates the highest commitment to sustainability of ocean resources."

The award was presented to Alyeska leadership February 21 at the Alaska Marine Gala in Anchorage.

The Vessel of Opportunity Program started in 1990 to ready citizens and fishing industry professionals around Prince William Sound to provide oil spill response support. Alyeska says SERVS - Ship Escort/Response Vessel System - provides education and training to more than 1,500 crew members of approximately 450 vessels from six Prince William Sound ports, including Valdez, Cordova, Whittier, Homer, Kodiak and Seward.

Public pot law

(AP) A state board wants to make permanent the emergency regulation passed this week defining public places where marijuana can't be smoked.

When voters approved legalizing recreational marijuana in November, they prohibited smoking in public but did not define what a public place was.

The state's alcohol board, which is in charge of regulating marijuana for now, met the first day of legalization to enact an emergency regulation that defines public places as anywhere generally accessible to the public, including schools, parks and roads.

The emergency regulation expires June 23. The agency is taking comments on whether to make it permanent.

Some communities have created their own definitions, which can only enforced by local police. Alaska State Troopers can only enforce state statutes, spokeswoman Megan Peters said by email.

No Krispy Kreme

(AP) A popular national donut chain won't be opening stores in the nation's northernmost state as planned.

Kristy Kreme in 2013 announced that its first Alaska store would open on March 1, 2015. But the Alaska Dispatch News on Thursday reports the opening will now be months away.

Lafeea Watson with Krispy Kreme says in an email that the franchisee hasn't broken ground yet, so there's no possibility of a March opening.

The franchisee, North to Alaska LLC, says it will have three stores in Anchorage and one in Wasilla. However, it doesn't yet have opening dates.

Border closure worries small Alaska town

(AP) Residents in a small southeast Alaska community are worried that overnight closure of the Canada border will have hurt safety and the local economy.

Photo courtesy Alyeska Pipeline Service Company

A fishing boat crew member tries on a HAZMAT suit during a recent Vessel of Opportunity classroom training session.

The Canada Border Services Agency says the new hours would be 8 a.m. to midnight daily for the border between Alaska's Hyder and the British Columbia town of Stewart.

Hyder is home to less than 90 people on the southeastern tip of Alaska's panhandle. Stewart is about 2 miles northeast, with a population of about 400.

The Alaska Dispatch News reports that Hyder relies on Canada for its area code, electrical services and medical facilities.

Hyder Community Association President Wes Loe likens the closure to ``putting a chain across your own driveway.''

Border agency spokeswoman Stefanie Wudel says emergency vehicles will continue to have 24-hour access to the roads.

 

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