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

News Briefs


October 19, 2017

Valdez Star photo

Newspaper vending machines were given the boot from the lobby of the Valdez post office last week. The new Post Master says the directive came from the district office overseeing Valdez.

Looking back

Gov. Bill Walker and first lady Donna graced the stage last week during the Valdez Museum and Historical Archive's Relocation Roadhouse Dinner.

The museum fundraiser honored past city councils, from 1964-1967, for their leadership in relocating Valdez to its present site after the old town site was condemned after the 1964 earthquake.

Oct. 1 of this year marked the 50th anniversary of the town's relocation to its present site according to the museum.

Walker, himself a former mayor of Valdez, accepted recognition on behalf of his late father, Ed Walker, who along with his family, was instrumental in building Valdez at its present site.


The City of Valdez is sponsoring workshops to help new and existing businesses receive government contracts.

Representatives of the Alaska Small Business Development Center in Fairbanks will hold two workshops today.

Notice was sent to the Valdez Star with this information: No-cost classes with the SBDC sponsored by the City of Valdez at Prince William Sound College. Wednesday, October 18. Introduction to Government Contracting, 2-3:30 p.m. Developing Your Business Marketing Plan 6-8 p.m. Please go to and our workshop page for more information and to register.

Native day

(AP) As Alaska residents celebrated the state's roots on its first Indigenous Peoples Day, community leaders made sure all those gathered know that the future of Alaska's native traditions is bright.

Gov. Bill Walker attended the celebration at Elizabeth Peratrovich Hall in Juneau a week ago Monday. Walker issued a proclamation in 2015 that made Alaska the first state to officially celebrate Indigenous Peoples Day instead of Columbus Day.

Speakers in Juneau talked about an upcoming program to teach employees native languages _ a way to counter the generations of young Alaska Natives who were forced to not speak or write native.

Alaska Native Brotherhood Grand President Sasha Soboleff said the celebration was a long journey and a peek into the future. Soboleff disagrees with those who say the language and histories of Alaska Natives are fading away.

Rates dropping

(AP) Officials in Alaska on Friday were evaluating the impact of a Trump administration decision to stop payments to insurers that help lower copays and deductibles for people with modest incomes under an Obama-era health care law.

Photo courtesy Governor's office

Gov. Bill Walker and first lady Donna attended the Valdez Museum's Roadhouse Dinner and Fundraiser Saturday, where Walker's late father, Ed, was recognized for his efforts in rebuilding Valdez after the 1964 earthquake.

The White House said the government can't legally continue paying the so-called cost-sharing subsidies because they lack a formal authorization by Congress.

Earlier this year, Premera Blue Cross Blue Shield submitted rate filings with the state of Alaska for two scenarios: continued receipt of the payments and discontinuation of the payments. Premera is the lone provider of individual health policies in Alaska.

Premera projected an average rate decrease of 21.6 percent in 2018, assuming it would not receive the payments. The anticipated rate decrease if the payments continued was 26.5 percent.

State Division of Insurance Director Lori Wing-Heier said by email that the state still projects an average decrease of about 21 percent.

Premera, in making its rate filings, attributed the requested drop to factors including the payment of high-cost claims through a state program and a sharp reduction in the use of medical services by customers.


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