News briefs


Source: Alaska Redistricting Board

Valdez, as part of the new House District 6, will still have an open Senate seat after Monday’s latest tweeking from the redistricting board.

Power line relocation commentary period closing

The Dept. of Natural Resources (DNR) has extended its public commentary period regarding the easement application filed by Copper Valley Electric Assoc. to use state lands near the Worthington Glacier to relocate power lines currently located in an avalanche zone.

“This is notification that the public comment period for this application, ADL #80113, has been extended for 10 days by request,” DNR said in a public notice issued May 18. “Public comments must be received no later than the new deadline of May 26, 2012.”

Members of the public and other interested parties may offer their comments for or against an easement application. Comments or questions should be directed to the attention of Henry Tashjian at the Southcentral Region Office, 550 West 7th Avenue, Suite 900c; telephone number (907) 269-0029, email

School budget passed by council

The Valdez City Council passed the 2012/13 budget for Valdez City Schools Monday night. The city will provide the district with $9,441,283. The amount is the maximum allowed by state law, $8,168,329, and includes over $1 million in funding for outside of the cap.

Worthington Glacier budget slashed

Alaska State Parks have cut funding to pay for a summer attendant for the Worthington Glacier this summer, prompting the Valdez City Council to pass a resolution Monday night urging the state to cough up funding for the position. Valdez woman Nell Clayton has run the small bookstore and visitor center located at the popular state park for 11 years at a cost of less than $10,000. The council’s resolution carries no legal authority but does carry political clout, according to officials. Clayton submitted a petition with signatures of over 300 people she gathered in an 8-hour span to support the request for a city resolution and state funding. Clayton claims over 45,000 people, including busloads of tourists, visit the road-accessible glacier each season and is in need of constant maintenance and monitoring.

State funds Valdez by $5.5 million

Valdez capital projects will receive $5,571,700 in funding from the state’s coffers after Gov. Sean Parnell signed the state’s $12.1 billion budget Monday. Funding for a new small boat harbor in Valdez will receive the lion’s share of the funding, with $5 million dedicated to the project. Copper Valley Electric Coop will receive $500,000 to pursue its recently announced Tiekel River Hydro Electric Project. The Valdez Senior Center is getting $200,000 to build a new carport and another $150,000 to upgrade its aging atrium. KCHU public radio will receive $40,000 to expand, upgrade and repair its broadcast capabilities. The state owned National Guard Armory will receive $37,000 in deferred maintenance while the Valdez Court Building will receive $144,200 in deferred maintenance.

No change for Valdez redistricting

Valdez will see no changes in its new voting districts for House and Senate after the Alaska Redistricting Board filed a notice of compliance Tuesday with the Alaska Supreme Court. According to the Associated Press, the filing asks the court to approve new voting district maps it redrew after a May 10 court order. The board reworked House Districts 31-34 and Senate Districts P and Q.

The court said the reformulated plan should not be altered based on the federal voting rights act. The high court found no justification under the act for deviating from state constitutional requirements in southeast Alaska. The reformulated plan is due to the court for further consideration by noon Tuesday. The redistricting board also has tentatively set Wednesday meeting in Anchorage. If accepted by the court, the new plan must also pass muster with the Dept. of Justice before it can go into effect.

Fish On in Valdez

The Valdez Halibut Derby is set to begin Saturday, May 19.

The first prize for the largest fish caught during the summer-long derby is $15,000. According to the derby website, a ticket costs $10 for the day or $50 for the season and must be purchased before heading out on the water. The limit for halibut in Prince William Sound is still two per person and weigh-in for the derby is open until 8pm at the derby shack located kitty corner from the Harbormasters office.

In addition to the grand prize of $15,000, a second place prize of $5,000 and third place is $2,000 for catching the largest three fish of the year. The Valdez Fish Derbies will award a 4x4 truck to one lucky participant of the derby. Every $10 spent on a ticket is an entry to win the truck regardless of whether anglers catch a fish or not (a season ticket is five entries).

Valdez Star photo

A handful of concerned citizens, including Harold Blehm and Lisa Wax, attended a public meeting May 1, where the Dept. of Natural Resources and Copper Valley Electric Association held an open forum to gather input on a proposal to move CVEAs avalanche prone t-line to a location that is out of danger, but closer to the viewshed of the Worthington Glacier.


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