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

By Staff Reports
Valdez Star 

News Briefs


Judge Joel Bolger

Former Valdez judge elevated to Alaska Supreme Court

Judge Joel Bolger, who spent several years in the Superior Court in Valdez, has been appointed a seat on the Alaska Supreme Court. Gov. Sean Parnell appointed Bolger to replace outgoing judge Justice Walter “Bud” Carpenti, who is retiring. According to a press release issued by the governor’s office, Bolger was appointed in 1997 as a district court judge in Valdez, followed by an appointment to the Kodiak Superior Court. Since 2008, he has served as a Court of Appeals judge in Anchorage. Bolger has been active in the formal education of judges, magistrates, and lawyers.

The Alaska Supreme Court serves as the appeals court for the state’s District and Superior Courts, as well as the Alaska Court of Appeals. The chief justice and four associate justices hear cases in Anchorage on a monthly basis and in Fairbanks and Juneau on a quarterly basis. The court also administers the state’s judicial system.

CVEA fields power bill complaints

Copper Valley Electric Association issued a press release Monday addressing January electricity bills, which in many cases were “higher than expected, in some cases significantly higher than their December bill…” CVEA says it did not raise rates, which are fixed, but does ask consumers to review possible higher power consumption during the month of December, and attempted to explain how power bills are figured.

“What does fluctuate on the power bill from month to month are fuel costs and the heat credit,” CVEA said. “Fuel costs are based on the actual cost of fuel used to generate power for the month and are a pass-through to the member. As communicated to the members during the rate study in 2012, the heat credit is given to members when CVEA is generating power using the Cogeneration Plant and selling the excess heat. The amount of the credit is based on actual heat sales. When looking at the January bill, members will notice that the heat credit is less per kWh than the previous month. Sometimes the heat credit is reduced when the Cogeneration Plant is down for maintenance or other reasons.”

The full text of the press release can be found on the homepage of the CVEA website.

Gasline tax break before legislature

Mollie Clark

Valdez firefighters responded to a pickup truck that was on fire Sunday in Keystone Canyon.

AP-State property taxes would be waived during construction of an Alaska gas pipeline project under a proposal by an Anchorage lawmaker.

Sen. Bill Wielechowski has proposed waiving the taxes for a project designed to carry at least 500 million cubic of feet of gas per day until gas begins to flow. His office said that could apply to an in-state gas line, a line designed to carry gas to a liquefied natural gas facility at tidewater or a large diameter line.

By one estimate, state property taxes during construction could be as high as $600 million. Wielechowski, in a news release, said that's a small sacrifice up-front that could yield large benefits later. The bill is SB33


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