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

and Associated Press 

News briefs


Check in the mail

Members of Copper Valley Telecom's cooperative will be receiving a total of $2.7 million in capital credit checks this month according to Tabitha Gregory, the cooperative's chief customer relations officer.

"This amount is comprised of all remaining capital credits from 1994 through 1996 and 8 percent of 2015’s capital credits," she said in a press release Friday.

She said the cooperative mailed out over 6,100 checks Nov. 4, and the high amount reflects the overall health of CVTs finances.

Capital credits are the financial margins a cooperative achieves through its business operations. Margins are the difference between the cooperative’s income and its expenses. At the end of each year, margins are allocated to members’ capital credit accounts and periodically, the Board of Directors may decide to retire portions of the capital credits. Retired capital credits are paid back directly to members who had services during the years being retired.

Trail input needed

Levitation 49 is inviting the pubic to provide input about current and future trails from town through Thompson Pass tonight, Wednesday, Nov. 9, from 7 - 9 pm at Prince William Sound College Sugarloaf room. The meeting is free and pubic participation is encouraged.

The meeting will be guided by managers of the National Park Service Rivers Trails Conservation Assistance program. The park service awarded a grant to Levitation 49 to create a master plan for trails from Valdez to 50-mile on the Richardson Highway.

Levitation 49 Executive Director Lee Hart emphasized the goal of the plan has always been to be community driven. "This plan will be strengthened by having a broad diversity of perspectives from motorized and non-motorized users, sportsmen to winter and summer recreational enthusiasts," Hart said.

A key feature of tonight's meeting will be to allow trail users to comment on the master trails map that has so far been assembled. The city, national park service and other public land managers have worked diligently to create the best possible map depicting what's known now about land ownership and status within the large project area.

Pile up

(AP) Anchorage police and Alaska State Troopers are at the scene of a 10-vehicle accident along a bridge on the Glenn Highway.

Troopers spokeswoman Megan Peters says she is unaware of any injuries in the Friday morning accident on the Knik River Bridge.

According to Peters, the roadway is extremely slippery.

She says the incident ``looks like a bumper car episode.''

Higher tax

(AP) President Barack Obama's 2013 tax increases for wealthy Americans neither slowed their income growth nor hurt the economy, according to a study that tapped into a key debate in the presidential race.

The top 1 percent of earners managed to increase their share of the nation's income at about the same pace after their taxes were raised as they had before, according to the study , released Thursday by Emmanuel Saez, an economics professor at University of California, Berkeley.

That outcome suggests that wealthier Americans did not respond to the higher taxes by either working less or saving less, as many economists often say will happen.

Saez and his frequent collaborator, Thomas Piketty, have helped fuel a contentious debate over income inequality with their research into income gains by the wealthiest Americans. Like their previous work, the new study uses recently released tax data from the IRS.

Tourism up

(AP) The number of tourists visiting Alaska continued climbing in 2016, according to preliminary numbers. But industry leaders say a drop in state support for marketing could hurt visitor businesses.

More than 1 million cruise ship passengers visited Alaska for the first time since 2009, according to the Alaska chapter of the Cruise Lines International Association, the Peninsula Clarion reported.

Border crossings from Canada increased 13 percent. Outbound air traffic passengers between May and August rose 6 percent, according to the McDowell Group, a Juneau-based research firm.

The optimism was tempered by the effect of the state's ongoing financial woes, which are tied to the oil industry.

As part of larger budget cuts, Gov. Bill Walker reduced the state support for tourism marketing from a budgeted $4.5 million to about $1.5 million. That's a fraction of the $9.6 million appropriated in in fiscal year 2016 and about $17.9 million in fiscal year 2015.


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