News briefs


Photo courtesy USCG District 17/PO 3rd Class Alexander Sheltra

A Coast Guard Station Valdez crew member assists a 72-year-old man off the pier in Valdez.

Coastie rescue

Emergency responders, including a Good Samaritan vessel, rescued three people from a vessel near Port Valdez Thursday. They were experiencing a medical crisis on the water.

U.S. Coast Guard personnel from Station Valdez hurried to the scene on a 45-foot Response Boat–Medium crew after receiving a report from the 33-foot recreational cabin cruiser "Study Beauty" that the boat's occupants, including a 10-year-old boy, were nauseous and going in and out of consciousness.

"The captain himself was beginning to experience the same symptoms. The good Samaritan vessel "Salish Aire" and crew were in the vicinity of the Study Beauty and rendered assistance," the Coast Guard said in a press release.

The vessel was in Sawmill Bay, in the Valdez Arm according to the Coast Guard.

"The RB-M crew took a 10-year-old boy, a 63-year-old woman, and a 72-year-old man along with two nurses who were assisting the three, to Valdez where emergency medical personnel were waiting transfer to further medical care," the Coast Guard said. "Two nurses from the "Salish Aire" boarded the "Study Beauty" and provided medical assistance by giving them oxygen."

The Coast Guard credited the Good Samaritans for swiftly responding to the crisis.

Valdez at play

The Last Frontier Theatre Conference is in full swing this week - and you don't have to be a playwright to enjoy a number of the events.

While writers and actors work during the day developing plays and honing the craft in other ways, nights are dedicated to theatre and the conference host, Prince William Sound College, is inviting the public to attend the plays that are performed nightly through the week.

This includes Wednesday night's performance of Sycorax, a modern take on a character in Shakespear's The Tempest. Slated for 8 p.m. Wednesday. Recommended for those age 12 and older.

Thursday, also at 8 p.m. will see TBA Theatre present Jacob Marx Rice's "Leni & Josef," recommended for audiences above the age of 16.

Friday, at 7 p.m. is set aside for all ages when Cyrano's Theatre Company presents what the Conference describes as "two Greek scamps and a German drummer who come to Valdez all the way from... Rome!"

Enjoy "Don Quixotes" by Glyka Stoiou, a comedy version of Cervantes' classic story.

Shaker study

(AP) Researchers at the University of Alaska Fairbanks are working on a new way to forecast seismic activity in central Alaska by examining low-frequency earthquakes.

Seismologist Carl Tape and his colleagues have been examining earthquakes that have energy waves occurring at much lower frequencies in an effort to better understand what leads up to the seismic activity, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported a week ago Tuesday.

While two energy waves, called P- and S-waves, are associated with typical earthquakes, low-frequency earthquakes don't have these waves, Tape said, a professor at the university's Geophysical Institute.

"The fundamental question is how to understand the physics and mechanics of earthquakes," Tape said. "I can explain it so simply but I cannot give you a reliable prediction. We want to understand the other processes before earthquakes."

The research is centered on 13 seismic monitoring stations in the Minto Flats fault zone, which runs under the Tanana River west of Fairbanks. The researchers are attempting to gain a better idea of how the earth slips and how earthquakes begin, which could lead to predicting when an earthquake might occur, Tape said.

100,000 more

(AP) Alaska will house 100,000 more people by 2045, according to population forecasters.

The state is expected to have almost 838,000 residents by the year 2045, a new forecast released Tuesday by the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development said.

The state currently has just more than 737,000 people, the Juneau Empire reported .

The projected growth in state population comes as Alaska records a year-over-year population decline.

"There will be continued aging of the population and bigger increases in deaths than births," said Eddie Hunsinger, the lead demographer on the project.

The state releases a long-term population forecast every other year.

In 2016, the projection was a state population of just under 900,000 by 2045. In 2014, the projection was for 925,000 by 2042. In 2012, it was for 915,000 by 2035.

Hunsinger's projection is that migration will average -0.1 percent in the long term, and only by beating that average will the state increase its population. As fertility rates decline (Hunsinger is projecting an average of 2.15 births per woman, a fertility rate barely above even), immigration becomes the key driver of population.

Tony Gorman photo

Rock climbing is a family affair and these youngsters proved it last week during the Rock and Flow Festival hosted by Valdez Adventure Alliance. The three-day event featured numerous ways to rock climb, enjoy the outdoors and enjoy yoga and the flow arts.


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