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

News Briefs


Few return nomination petitions for city offices

Two weeks into the 30-day nomination period to run for elected office in Valdez, only one candidate had returned a completed petition to the clerk’s office it was reported Monday.

David Lyle returned a completed petition with at least 25 valid signatures to have his name on the ballot for the October elections for Valdez City Council. Council incumbents Karen Ables and Mike Wells have taken out petitions but have not yet returned them to the clerk’s office according to Sheri Pierce.

James “Hotai” Williams has taken out a petition to run for council but had not returned the completed petition to the clerk, nor has Steve Brockman, an incumbent running for school board.

There are three seats for two-year terms up for election on city council, and two three-year seats opening on the board of education.

Any registered Valdez voter with one year of residency can run for city council or school board according to Pierce. Hopefuls must pick up a nominating petition at the clerk’s office located at city hall during regular business hours. Petitions must be returned to the clerk’s office – with the required signatures of at least 25 registered Valdez voters, before the end of business day on Friday, August 16.

Grant Aviation owes big bucks to municipalities

(AP) Just weeks after the Valdez City Council sent over $7,000 in bad debt to collections for back rent it was owed by Grant Aviation, the city of Homer is now threatening to sue the same flight company for back rent after the company pulled out of both cities earlier this year.

The company was four or five months behind on rent when it left Homer in February and owed the city about $20,000, Homer city manager Walt Wrede told KBBI radio.

``We thought that things were going well for them here,'' he said. ``We found out about them leaving through the newspaper. They didn't contact us ahead of time to let us know.''

He said the city is preparing a lawsuit after several unsuccessful attempts to reach company officials. ``They've been unresponsive so they're leaving us with little choice,'' he said.

Representatives of Grant Aviation, which has operated in Alaska since 1971, did not respond to KBBI's request for comment. The company, according to its website, owns 20 small aircraft and operates in Alaska communities including Anchorage, Kenai, Bethel, Dillingham and Dutch Harbor.

Grant Aviation had been operating out of Homer for about three years when it left. The company also pulled out of Valdez in February.

Wrede said the city hasn't sued yet and it holding out hope it won't get to that point. He says the departure of Grant Aviation, as well as two of the airport's three car rental agencies, has left a hole in the budget for the airport terminal.

In February, the city of Kenai secured a judgment in state court for more than $56,000 in terminal lease payments and landing fees owed by Grant. Kenai City Attorney Scott Bloom said Grant has been making installment payments since the judgment but is still behind.

Coasties kept hopping around Sound

US Coast Guard personnel in Valdez and Cordova have been spread thin in Prince William Sound after numerous marine vessels found themselves in hot water the past two weeks. Three separate high-profile incidents have occurred since the pleasure craft “Falcon” caused a fire after its engine caused a small explosion in the Valdez small boat harbor.

Valdez Star photo

Sod or turf? That is the question city and school officials will tackle Thursday, August 1 at 6 p.m. at the Valdez City Council chambers when the council and school board meet to decide if artificial turf or sod would be the best option for the temporary football field. The location of the field will be the portion of the parkstrip directly across the street from the fire department on Pioneer Dr.

The Coast Guard reports that last Wednesday, a 77-foot integrated tug and barge grounded on the Gulf of Alaska coast, sixty miles southeast of Cordova. The Cordova-based barge Hook Point-Alaganik was working at a tsunami debris cleanup site at the time of the incident.

On Friday, Coast Guard personnel responded to an 81-foot fishing vessel, Savannah Ray, which had grounded in Bainbridge Passage.

On Sunday, the Coast Guard is investigating an allision had occurred between an Alaska Marine Lines barge and the Coast Guard Cutter Sycamore in Cordova.

The Sycamore, a 225-foot seagoing buoy tender, was at its moorings when the allision occurred and suffered damage to its bow.

All incidents are resolved or under control and under various stages of investigation.


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