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



Photo courtesy Katey Connell

The Valdez Federation of Teachers - Committee on Political Education (VAFT-COPE) donated over $19,000 to the Valdez Playground Project, which is raising funds to replace the playground at Hermon Hutchens Elementary School.

iPhones @ CVT

Fans of iPhone and other Apple products will be able to receive service from Copper Valley Wireless beginning Friday.

"Copper Valley Telecom announced today that it will offer iPhone 6, iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus beginning Friday..." a press release sent Friday by Tabitha Gregory said. "iPhone users on Copper Valley Wireless' Network can take full advantage of the more than 1.5 million apps on the App Store and gain access to revolutionary features like 3D Touch and Live Photos."

iPhones activated on Copper Valley's 4G LTE network will receive data service of up to 20 MBPS, the fastest wireless data in Valdez, the Copper Valley, Cordova and Prince William Sound. 4G LTE roaming is available across the U.S. on the nation's largest 4G LTE network. Copper Valley will also offer AppleCare+ and accessories.

Playground donation

The Valdez Federation of Teachers - Committee on Political Education (VAFT-COPE) donated over $19,000 to the Valdez Playground Project.

The project's aim is to replace the aging playground at Hermon Hutchens Elementary School. Spearheaded by the PTA, the envisioned playground will be a state-of-the-art affair costing over $300,000.

The project is relying on donations - of time and money - to become a reality. The group has raised $107,000 according to its website,

Fish tax

(AP) Fishing industry and lawmakers puzzled over the origins of a proposed one percent tax increase in fisheries business taxes and fishery resource landing taxes.

During the third hearing on the bill by the House fisheries committee, fishermen testified that they did not understand the origins of the increase. It is expected to raise $18 million in new revenue for the state annually, according to the Department of Revenue.

The director of the department's Tax Division, Ken Alper, says the department studied the current tax structure. He says the Alaska Department of Fish and Game also was consulted to produce the new tax rate.

Republican Rep. Charisse Millett says she is uncomfortable with the lack of available information on the origins of the proposed new tax.

Gas options

(AP) Gov. Bill Walker said Wednesday that the state and its partners on a proposed mega-liquefied natural gas project will look at different options for moving forward amid low oil prices.

More details are expected in early March, Walker's office said.

In a letter last month to officials with project partners BP, ConocoPhillips and Exxon Mobil, Walker said he wanted agreements reached on eight areas before the end of the regular legislative session, which is scheduled to conclude in mid-April.

The administration had been targeting a spring special session for lawmakers to consider contracts and a constitutional amendment to support long-term tax and royalty terms sought by the companies.

But the parties have said talks are difficult. Lawmakers also have heard from the companies about the challenges in the current price environment.

LNG tax

State Revenue Commissioner Randall Hoffbeck said last week it doesn't appear that gas line contracts will be in place in time for the legislature to be able to review them and get a constitutional amendment on the ballot this fall.

Hoffbeck said something could break in the next few weeks that could allow that to happen. If a constitutional amendment is not on this fall's ballot, the soonest it could appear is 2018.

The state is pursuing a major liquefied natural gas project with the North Slope's major producers - BP, ConocoPhillips and Exxon Mobil Corp. The state-sanctioned Alaska Gasline Development Corp. holds the state's interest in various parts of the project.

The producer partners have said they want predictable and durable tax and royalty terms. The attorney general has said a constitutional amendment to support these terms would be needed, Deputy Natural Resources Commissioner Marty Rutherford told lawmakers last month.


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