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

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Valdez Museum webpage

A virtual tour of Old Town is now possible with the new app released by the Valdez Museum.

Old town tour

A virtual tour of Old Town Valdez is available courtesy of friendly folks at the Valdez Museum.

The museum released an app for cell phones and other mobile devices that will guide users through a walking tour of Old Town sites.

It is available on the museum's website.

Visitors to the actual Old Town site can use their phones to scan QRs included on signage posted at critical places along the walk.

"The virtual tour features historic sites marked by the Pioneers of Alaska Igloos #7 and #2," the museum says on its website. "Viewers can access historic photos and information which elaborate the story of Old Town from its role in the Klondike gold rush era to the 1964 Good Friday Earthquake and subsequent relocation of the town."

Tours of the Old Town site - with a human guide - are also being offered by the museum throughout the summer.

Drop by the museum on Egan Dr. or visit the website for more information.

Fish Day

The US Forest Service is teaming up with the US Coast Guard to host the annual Kid's Fish Day event the Forest Service said last week.

The event will last from1-3:00 p.m. this Saturday.

It is a hands on event held yearly at the Crooked Creek Information Site which is run by the Forest Service.

"This is a free event for kids age 3 to 10," the Forest Service said. "They will learn how to make lures, tie a knot, the fish life cycle, make a fish print, how to remain safe while fishing and boating."

Chenega cut

(AP) The Alaska Marine Highway System is moving forward with plans to lay up the fast ferry Chenega because it can no longer afford to operate the vessel.

Officials announced Friday they are seeking bids from companies able to house the 11-year-old Chenega. Ferry system spokesman Jeremy Woodrow said they are looking to lay the ferry up in Seattle, where it is being overhauled, The Juneau Empire reported.

A notice published by the state says the Chenega lay-up will begin this fall and last through September 30, 2017, "with the option to renew for two additional one-year terms."

"The fiscal reality is we just can't afford to run it," Woodrow said.

The Chenega is one of Alaska's fast ferries and has significantly cut travel time for riders. But the ferry has come at a higher per-hour operating cost than conventional ferries.

Budget cuts have also forced transportation officials to decommission the ferry Taku, which is laid up in Ketchikan. The Taku will be sold, but Woodrow said there are no plans yet to sell the Chenega.

The Chenega began operating in 2005, one year after its sister ship, the Fairweather. The state announced last year it would idle the Fairweather, Taku and Chenega from May 1 to Sept. 30 of this year.

The Chenega will be moored to a floating pier or dock in Puget Sound and bids for the lay-up site are due by the end of July.

Going to pot

(AP) Alaska marijuana regulators aren't ready to buy into Amsterdam-style cannabis cafes just yet and are going back to the public for more feedback.

The Marijuana Control Board on Thursday considered a draft regulation that would have allowed cannabis shops to sell product for onsite use only, like a bar would sell alcohol. However, after a member raised concerns, the board is now looking at a narrower plan that would allow people to buy marijuana products in an authorized store and go into a separate area to partake. They could take unused portions home with them.

Board member Mark Springer said the initial discussion over onsite use had gone from providing a place for tourists off of cruise ships to buy and use legal marijuana toward allowing for marijuana bars. He said he thought the approach adopted Thursday would be more publicly palatable.

The public will get another chance to weigh in. The first retail business licenses are expected to be issued in September.


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