News briefs


Valdez Star photo

Babbie Jacobs, program officer for the Alaska Community Foundation, explains the mission of the nonprofit organization and how its services could benefit Valdez. Jacobs made the presentations at the Senior Center and Valdez Museum last week at the behest of Patricia Relay.

Wegner named assistant city manager

Todd Wegner is the new assistant city manager of Valdez. John Hozey, Valdez city manager, made the announcement last week during Wednesday night’s council meeting. Wegner is a lifelong Valdez resident and is currently the city’s director of Parks and Recreation. He replaces former assistant city manager Eric Phillips who announced last may he was leaving Valdez to assume the directorship of the Dept. of Community and Economic Development for the Mat-Su Borough.

No Kings for dipnetters

The Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game issued an emergency amendment Tuesday morning to the 2012 Copper River Dipnet Fishery, once again prohibiting sport fishers and dipnetters from keeping King Salmon harvested from the Copper River. The dipnet fishery opens midnight, June 18. Red Salmon limits are 15 for a single person household or 30 for a household of two or more people.

Parnell signs energy legislation

Governor Sean Parnell signed two pieces of legislation Tuesday morning sponsors say will promote economic development and accelerate energy production throughout Alaska.

Parnell signed Senate Bill 25, the Alaska Sustainable Strategy for Energy Transmission and Supply (ASSETS). SB 25 creates opportunity for new energy infrastructure in the state. Sponsored by Senator Lesil McGuire and Representative Lance Pruitt, the bill establishes a new fund in the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority (AIDEA) for financing energy development throughout Alaska. AIDEA can now make direct loans to borrowers for energy projects or participate in loans through banks or credit unions. AIDEA will also be able to insure project obligations by offering a loan or bond guarantee. Examples include improving energy efficiency in commercial buildings and renewable energy development.

Senate Bill 66, introduced by the governor, creates a new markets tax credit assistance guarantee and loan program with AIDEA. The program allows AIDEA to issue guarantees and finance projects in low-income areas or otherwise serving low-income populations.

During the past two budget cycles, the state has funded more than $1.5 billion for energy infrastructure and investments.

Point Thompson hearings opened

The Senate Judiciary Committee has scheduled a hearing for next week on Exxon Mobil's development plans for the Point Thomson leases.

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports the hearing was scheduled for Tuesday, June 12, at 10 a.m. in the Anchorage Legislation Information Office.

Officials of the Legislature and administration were slated to testify in the morning. Exxon Mobil representatives would testify in the afternoon.

Point Thomson has more than 1 billion barrels of technically recoverable oil and gas condensate and 7 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. It has been the subject of much contention over the years because Exxon Mobil has repeatedly declined to bring the field into development.

The state and Exxon have entered into an agreement to get the company to develop the field.

Valdez Star photo

A US Coast Guard Jayhawk lands next to an Alaska National Guard Blackhawk near the Kelsey Dock Saturday as part of the city’s Military Appreciation Day events.


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