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

News Briefs


Valdez Star photo

The small boat harbor in Valdez is preparing for the upcoming summer season, while city officials work quietly behind the scenes to make a giant step forward in preparing for a whole new harbor across the road from the spit.

RCAC annual meeting Thursday

The Prince William Sound Regional Citizens' Advisory Council announces that their annual board meeting will be taking place in Valdez on May 1 and 2 at the Valdez Civic Center.

The tentative times for public sessions are from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, and from 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on Friday. The meeting is open to the public, except for executive sessions. Public comments are scheduled to be taken Thursday starting at 8:55 a.m. according to the group.

Wednesday, April 30, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. will be a reception at the Civic Center that is open to the public that is co-hosted by the Alaska Tanker Company and the council according to Stephen Rothchild, RCAC president.

The council will be conducting regular business during the meeting including the election of officers, orientation for new volunteers, and seating the established committees.

PWSRCAC is the oil movement watchdog group formed in the wake of the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill.

Feige to meet voters

Rep. Eric Feige will meet with the Valdez public Monday according to Michael Paschall, an aide from Feige's office.

The constituent meeting will be held from 3-4:30 p.m. at the Valdez Legislative Information Office in the state building on Meals Ave.

Feds fund new Valdez harbor

The quest for funding needed for Valdez to build a new small boat harbor appeared unexpectedly last month, when the $10 million federal portion of the project was included in President Obama's budget.

The project, which will cost in excess of $20 million, calls for $10 million in federal funding, a matching number in state spending, plus local buy in.

Valdez taxpayers have already funded several million dollars for the project, with the state sporadically contributing small portions.

Work on the project has been in the works in excess of ten years.

New guessing game starts

(AP)The ice has broken up on the Tanana River in Nenana and organizers of Alaska's largest guessing game are working to determine who has won some or all of this year's record jackpot of more than $363,000.

Nenana Ice Classic manager Cherrie ("Sherry'') Forness said the ice broke up Friday at 3:48 p.m. Alaska Standard Time.

She says organizers are still entering information into a database and no winners will be announced until that is complete. She says that could take a week.

Forness says this year's jackpot of $363,627 is the largest in the classic's 98-year history.

The jackpot goes to the person who most closely guesses when the ice breaks up, or when the wooden tripod on the ice moves enough to stop a clock it's connected with on the shore.

In many years, there are multiple winners, but a couple from Kenai pocketed last year's entire $318,500 jackpot.

US Senate race costly

(AP) Republican U.S. Senate hopeful Mead Treadwell's campaign brought in nearly $300,000 during the first quarter. But much of that was in the form of loan Treadwell made his campaign.

Filings with the Federal Election Commission show Treadwell lent his campaign $175,500 in March, just before the reporting period ended. He reported contributions of about $123,000.

The campaign reported total debts of about $234,000 and cash-on-hand of nearly $143,000 as of March 31.

Treadwell shook up his campaign last month, a decision his then-spokesman said would help free up the campaign's finances.

Treadwell is vying for the GOP nomination to take on Democratic U.S. Sen. Mark Begich in November.

Among his GOP rivals, Dan Sullivan ended the quarter with about $2 million available. Joe Miller had nearly $300,000 on hand.

BP selling some Slope assets

(AP) BP announced Tuesday it is selling its interests in four North Slope fields to Hilcorp.

BP is selling all its interests in the Endicott and Northstar fields and half its interests in the Liberty and Milne Point fields.

These fields produce about 20,000 barrels of oil a day, less than 15 percent of BP's net North Slope production. The Alyeska Pipeline Service Co. says there has been an average of nearly 580,000 barrels a day flowing through the trans-Alaska pipeline from the North Slope this year.

The company says about 250 employees working these fields should learn more about the status of their jobs soon.

BP says in a release the sale will allow it to concentrate on Prudhoe Bay field and help advance an Alaska liquefied natural gas project.

Gasline law passes legislature

Valdez Star photo

Workers at the small boat harbor ready to repair winter damages along the wooden walk way on North Harbor Dr.

(AP)The Alaska House has passed legislation setting the state's participation in a major liquefied natural gas project.

The vote was 36-4. The Senate was expected to concur with the House changes.

SB138, from Gov. Sean Parnell, would set state participation at about 25 percent in a project also being pursued TransCanada, the Alaska Gasline Development Corp., and the North Slope's major players. It would allow the project to move to a stage of preliminary engineering and design and cost refinement.

It also would allow the state to negotiate project-enabling contracts that would be brought back to lawmakers for consideration.

Some supporters expressed cautious optimism that this would lead to a long hoped-for project. Critics questioned if this was the best deal for the state.


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