News briefs


Valdez Star photo

Work on city sidewalks from the Ferry Terminal and down Egan St will begin early next week, in preparation for the DOT resurfacing project.

Aleutian Village

The Valdez City Council held a work session Tuesday night to discuss options for dealing with the pending closure of Aleutian Village Trailer Park.

The work session was scheduled to occur prior to the council's regular meeting.

Options presented in the agenda statement were:

A) Do nothing;

b) Relocation Assistance;

c) Buy-Out;

d) Develop new residential mobile home subdivision;

e) Extend an existing mobile home park;

f) RFP for a new third party operator;

g) Lease (Interim Operations), purchase, redevelop and subdivide.

Absentee voting

Valdez voters who will not be able to get to the polls for the May 3 municipal elections can vote early in person at city hall during regular business hours. Requests for ballots that can be cast by fax or email opened with the city clerk's office Monday.

Voters will be electing a new mayor, three city council and three school board members.

There are four proposition on the ballot. The city clerk's office included an insert in this edition of the Valdez Star that explains the four propositions.

Road construction

DOT said that preliminary work on the resurfacing of parts of Hazelet and Egan Streets will begin next week.

"The first two weeks of construction, April 25th through May 7th, Harris Sand & Gravel anticipates removal of existing sidewalk and curbs starting at the Ferry Dock on the south side of town and moving on to Egan Drive," DOT said in information distributed with a map of the areas that will be part of the project. "During this time period the public can expect to see traffic control being set up and readied for the project. This should not cause any inconvenience to the general public and will serve to minimize delays when the project is fully underway."

Harris will be mobilizing an excavator at the starting point of the Ferry Dock/Terminal and will be removing all the existing sidewalk and curbs, "moving their way to Egan Dr. Truck traffic can be expected during this time as they haul away the old sidewalks and curbs, and that the first week in May, concrete will be poured for the curbs," it continued.

DOT also said that it does not expect negative impact on business access and pedestrian traffic.

Capitol noise

(AP) Lawmakers are being warned that if they do not gavel out, workers will be adding the roar of jackhammers to the end-of-session din in the state Capitol.

The executive director of the Legislative Affairs Agency, Pam Varni, said structural reinforcement work will begin Monday at 7 a.m. and continue through 3 p.m., each day when contractors will stop making noise.

Varni says she's informing legislators that they may want their meetings to occur later in the day as the noise will be disruptive and could be too loud for them to conduct business.

The session was scheduled to end Sunday but big pieces remained unresolved Monday.

Building upgrades will continue through the summer. Legislators are under contract to be out of the Capitol by May 2.

Dunleavy chided

(AP) Public commenters berated two Wasilla legislators for inserting controversial language restricting sex education in schools in a parental rights and student testing bill.

The Senate Finance Committee heard two hours of testimony after Wasilla Rep. Wes Keller introduced his bill, which allows school districts to temporarily suspend standardized testing.

Earlier this week, Wasilla Sen. Mike Dunleavy, whose district represents Valdez, added to the bill language requiring potential sex educators to have teacher's licenses and only teach school board-approved material. The language is similar to provisions contained in a Senate bill he sponsored that died in a House committee.

The nearly 40 people who testified against the bill focused on Dunleavy's additions, saying they ignored public opposition to his bill. They also pointed to high state rates of teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections as reasons for comprehensive sex education.

Valdez Star

The municipal elections are May 3.


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