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Daily Sitka Sentinel Newspaper Archives May 11 1990, Page 1

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Sitka Daily Sentinel (Newspaper) - May 11, 1990, Sitka, Alaska Member of the associated press the daily Sentinel weekend edition Friday May la 1990 volume 52 no. 93 Sitka Alaska 35c Best on wheels Sitka pioneers Home employees cheer for themselves after winning the National Hospital week squealing wheels tour for the second year in a Row. The Home beat out two Beds from search it. Edgecumbe Hospital in the race held wednesday on the Edgecumbe Hospital grounds. The just for fun event was part of National Hospital week. Behind a a patients Amy Massey Are left to right Brian Weddell Pamala Widener Heather Saviage and Penny Brown. Sentinel photo by James Poulson 1990 legislature Bills fail. By Larry Persily associated press writer Juneau apr although Ute 1990 Alaska legislature passed a lot of Laws it May be remembered most for what it did no to do. The 60 members did not pass a legislative ethics Bill despite spending More than $70, xxx on a consultant to draft it appointing a special committee and devoting More than too hours debating it. The House killed the Bill on a procedural vote in the final hour of the session. It had passed the Senate just three Days earlier. Subsistence legislation died in both Chambers. The proposed constitutional amendment to establish a Rural preference for subsistence Hunting and fishing failed in a vote by the full House and became a victim of and of session politics in the Senate judiciary committee. Gov. Steve Cowpens proposed constitutional amendment for an education fund was rejected in die Senate in the final minutes of the session tuesday. It passed the House last year but the Republican led Senate was less inclined to help the democratic governor achieve his top legislative goal. Other Bills that died in Public with a floor vote or quietly in committee would have a rewritten slate Campaign finance Laws. The Reform measure would have applied to candidates for governor lieutenant governor. Legislature and All municipal offices. It included new restrictions on donations and fundraising. A spent $20 million to prevent logging in Kachema Bay state Park by buying 24, xxx acres within the Park. The land is owned by the Seldovia native association which has sold the Timber rights to much of the land. A adopted a new system for providing commercial guides and outfitters with Access to big game Hunting areas. The Bill a failure creates uncertainty in the Industry because of a 1988 court ruling that declared the slates system of exclusive guide areas unconstitutional. A made it a crime to intentionally interfere with someone who is Hunting fishing or trapping. Supporters said the new Law was needed to pro continued on Page 12 record number pass by Brian s. Akre associated press writer Juneau apr the Alaska Legislatures 1990 session passed More Bills than any since 1976, and set a record for productivity in the six years since lawmakers have been forced to finish their work within 121 Days. A total of 216 Bills wears sent to gov. Steve Cowper for his signature or veto according to legislative records. That a up from 119 in 1989. During its two year term the 16th legislature considered 1,150 Bills and passed 29 percent of them. The 335 Bills passed were the most since the 10th legislature which took an additional six months to do its work in 1977-78. Itic list of legislation passed this year was led by tougher Oil spill Laws a state by decl savings account a mandatory scat Bell Law and a Bill giving Public schoolteachers the right to strike. Here a a summary of other significant Bills passed in the session that ended tuesday. Unless otherwise noted the legislation remains to be signed into Law or vetoed by Cowper. The Bills would a overhaul state logging Laws requiring among other things protective a Buffer strips along fish bearing streams and tributaries. A allow Competition for in state Long distance Telephone service. A establish a state funded program to clean up alaskans leaking under continued on Page 12 report Only villages certain of getting subsistence rights Anchorage apr the Only alaskans guaranteed subsistence rights when the . Government takes Over management of fish and game on Federal lands this summer will be residents of villages of 2,500 people or fewer according to documents obtained by the Anchorage daily news. Under the 115-Page draft plan people living in cities larger than 7,-000 people would be denied subsistence privileges the plan said. Residents of communities with populations ranging Between 2,500 and 7,000 a Barrow Bethel Cordova Homer Kotzebue Nome Palmer Petersburg Seward Soldotna Wasilla Wrangell Kenai and Kodiak a will have their status determined Rural or Urban by a new Federal subsistence management Board. Whether these communities have Rural or Urban a a characteristics will decide their subsistence status under the Federal plan. Even some communities of fewer than 2,500 people could be denied subsistence if they Are determined to have Urban characteristics according to the draft plan. Federal officials were Uncertain How those characteristics will be defined Walter Stieglitz regional director of the . Fish and wildlife service said thursday night. On july i the Federal government will assume management responsibility for More than 60 percent of the state in order to enforce the subsistence priority. The Alaska National interest lands conservation act requires Federal Protection of that privilege. The courts define subsistence As the customary and traditional Harvest of fish and wildlife for food and cultural enrichment. The slate currently manages fish and wildlife across most of Alaska but it no longer can Grant a subsistence preference for Rural residents because of a state supreme court Deci Sion earlier this year saying the Rural preference is discriminatory and unconstitutional. The legislature adjourned late tuesday without acting on efforts in restore the Rural preference by placing a constitutional amendment before Alaska voters this fall. That clears the Way for the Federal takeover on National lands or across about two thirds of Alaska. State subsistence privileges had been determined on a Community by Community basis by the boards of fisheries and game. Anchorage Fairbanks Juneau the Matakuska Sustina Borough most of the Kenai Peninsula Valdez Whittier and the Galena air Force station were classified As non Rural. Sitka Kodiak and most of the rest of the state were classified As Rural. Commercial fishing would be largely unaffected by the Federal plan. Commercial fisheries take place in state Waters and Stieglitz said no attempt will be made to exert Federal authority there. Subsistence groups unhappy about interception of Salmon by commercial fisheries might however decide to sue to Force Federal action. Subsistence fishermen in the Bethel area already have sued the state in an Effort to Block commercial fishing at false pass in the Aleutian Chain. Stieglitz said he doubts Federal officials can w ind their Way through the Maze of conflicting interests and emotions surrounding the subsistence is sue without getting sued by someone. For a decade the subsistence Issue has left a Trail of litigation through state and Federal courts. State courts twice have overturned the subsistence Law with the latest and most critical decision coming this Winter. That was when the Alaska supreme court ruled the subsistence priority for Rural residents is unconstitutional. A believe me the feds done to want the program a Stieglitz said. A a but its pretty obvious now we wont have any under the leadership of the . Fish and wildlife service Federal officials have been meeting in secret since the state High court ruling to discuss subsistence management plans. State officials and the Public have been told Little of those discussions. A a they re not talking to us a Dan Timm regional supervisor for wildlife in the Alaska department of fish and game said thursday. A a they be told us Well get to review their regulations when they re published in the Federal Register on june 15, or something like a when we think its appropriate to sit Down and talk to them we will a Stieglitz said. He defended secret discussions As routine business for the fish and wildlife service. A a it a the Way regulations Are commonly set a he said. A we did no to think it was a Good idea to go Public with a program. This program still has not been finally All the major issues arc decided he acknowledged but minor Points remain to be ironed out. Until All of those Are settled the Public and other Alaska resources managers will be denied Access to the Federal proposal Stieglitz said. But key Points in the draft plan obtained by die Anchorage daily news include a state regulations would be adopted and modified where necessary to provide for subsistence Hunting and fishing As Well As sport Hunting and fishing this year. A no Federal licenses would be required of alaskans but state Hunting fishing and trapping licenses would be necessary and free Federal permits might be required in some cases. A the Federal government would move to take Over management of fish and wildlife not Only on the Federal continued on Page 12 Epa changes mind on Borax tailings Ketchikan apr the environmental Protection Agency has reversed itself and plans to deny . Borax a discharge permit for molybdenum Mill tailings in Wilson Arm East of Ketchikan. In a letter to the company Friday Epa acting regional director Thomas Dunne in Seattle said the dumping comply with state water Quality standards and Epa was tentatively denying the permit. A the proposed discharge would have significant Adverse impacts on the beneficial uses of Smeaton Bay Wilson Arm a the letter said. It also questioned the a Legal and technical adequacy of the Epa draft permit issued to . Borax in november 1988 under then regional director Robie Russell. Borax a proposed open pit molybdenum mine would be in the non wilderness part of misty Fords National Monument in the tongans National Forest. Wilson Arm about 160 meters deep extends into the 285-meter Smeaton Bay. The mines expected life Span is about 55 years and it would produce about 80, xxx tons of orc per Day at full production company officials have said. The orc Deposit was discovered in 1974, and since then Borax has been applying for permits and waiting for the Price of molybdenum to make production feasible. A of course the company is disappointed a said company spokesman Chuck Davis in los Angeles. A a it a surprising and regrettable that Epa would reverse itself and disregard the Forest service decision and scientific in its final environmental Impact statement issued in october 1988, the . Forest service selected Wilson Arm Over another Inlet Boca de quadra As the preferred site for tailings disposal. Mike Lunn Ketchikan area supervisor for the Forest service said his Agency was a frankly surprised by the Epars decision and a will figure out How this might affect future commercial fishermen and environmental groups have opposed dumping tailings in Wilson Arm saying the Salmon population in the area would be harmed. The Sierra club Legal defense fund filed an Appeal last summer with the Forest service arguing against the Wilson Ami selection and favouring the Boca do quadra site. Borax has said transporting tailings to Boca de quadra would require me construction of a Tunnel and would Cost the company an extra $60 million. It also said die mine would have to shut Down More frequently under that plan. Years of scientific study on the project have shown that w Ilson Arm is environmentally preferred. Davis said. The Epars reversal stemmed from comments received during the draft permit process officials said. In a fact Sheet explaining the Wilson Ann denial Epa said the Wilson Estuary has a significantly larger Salmon population than the Kola Estuary in Boca de quadra. It also said crab and shrimp populations in Wilson Arm could be threatened by tailings. Sediment and Copper would exceed Legal limits for water Quality the Agency said. Epa has tentatively scheduled a hearing in Ketchikan june 6 on its intent to deny die permit. If no a substantive comments Are received during the Public notice period the tentative denial will become final the Agency said. Assembly eyes cuts for school Hospital state Parks compiles list of Sitka projects by will Swagel Sentinel staff writer at their thursday night budget review session members of the Cit cruise ship Calls increased by Sentinel staff Princess Tours plans to triple the number of port Calls to Sitka next year the cruise ship company has announced. This year two ships Are to visit 12 times bringing in 7, xxx visitors next year four ships will make 36 Calls bringing in 27, xxx visitors the company said. A we arc making this commitment to Sitka Over other pans of Southeast Alaska because businesses and the people of the Community have developed a stable Cost environment for us to operate in As Well As Many new and innovative attractions and visitor opportunities a stated Bill pedlar vice president of marketing and sales for Princess Tours. And Borough Assembly said they would prefer to have school District budget Reserve funds under their direct control. Accordingly the Assembly reduced the City a contribution to District operations by 7.5 percent to $2,978,379. The District had asked $241,145 More the same amount awarded by the Assembly last year. The Cut has yet to be made final and Assembly members arc to meet again May 18 Al 4 . For another review session. Mayor Dan Keck and Assembly members Ann Lowe Frank Richards Dave Dapcevich Tom Pratt and Peter Hallgren were present Bob Schell was absent and excused. In a six and a half hour session thursday the Assembly reviewed budgets for Kettleson memorial Library the Swan like senior Center the Centennial building various City Enterprise funds the City a Long term debt and appropriations for the school District and the Hospital. Assembly members asked Hospital administrators to pare their budget and also questioned the hospitals $8 xxx Reserve fund. Assembly members ended the ses Sion with some members indicating a wish to adopt a budget that would be balanced without the need to take $254. Xxx from municipal reserves As proposed in the draft by City administrator Stuart Denslow. Dan slow a $14 million general fund budget is less than i percent higher than last years bul covers a proposed 5.4 percent increase in the City pay scale based on the advice of Washington consultant Vance Jacobson. It Calls for no change in the 6 Mill property lax Levy. Denslow trimmed the requests of his department Heads before submitting his draft to the Assembly including requests for new positions. He said his draft Calls for Only two new positions to be created an accounting manager for the finance department and a clerk typist to be shared by engineering and planning. Hallgren however said he counted four new positions that would be funded. A i can to Tell from the budget How Many employees Are authorized and in what departments they Are authorized to be a he said. A i May be simplistic but i want to Tell people How Many new people we Are Dapcevich asked Denslow to enumerate items that Are expected to require supplemental appropriations during the year in order to have the budget More closely reflect what the City will actually spend. Denslow said Only one project would fit that category a a project to reduce the infiltration of groundwater into the sanitary sewer system and thereby reduce the Load on the Wastewater treatment Plant Public works director a Irry Harmon said the Plant is Only barely within the operating standards set by die Federal government and that unless improvements Are made in the sewer system the City May to required to add a costly chemical treatment system. He added though that this requirement probably would not in imposed As Long As the City continues to show a a taxi Faith Effort to solve the problem. Harmon also noted that none of the $320, xxx in capital improvements granted by the legislature shows up Iii the general fund budget. The legislature did not fund the City a $1 million request for the Wastewater project. Responding to the Assembly com on turned on Page 12 by Sentinel staff the Alaska division of Parks and recreation has several projects planned for state Parks in the Sitka area with funding approved by the legislature before it adjourned this week. Sitka Parks received $250,000 in the capital budget Bill which is now on gov. Steve Cowpens desk. Bill Harry Southeast regional manager for the stale Park system listed the following projects for halibut Point recreation area renovation of existing picnic shellers. Replacement of the existing knit Bridge across the Stream that flows through the Park. Use of Rock fill to stabilize the broiling Beach in front of die South shelter. A construction of a Cabin for a Volunteer Lark watchman replacing the trailer now used. At Pioneer Park said Larry improvements to the fireplace in the main shelter Are planned. Some of the funding along with an appropriation still in hand from a year ago is planned to pave the old Sitka parking lot. Some of the funds would go toward the already publicized Multi Agency Effort to develop a Trail system in the Oki Sitka Starr Gavan Valley area. Another of the main agencies involved with this project is the . Forest service. Old Sitka will also Benefit from the Safe drinking water and toilet act and the s8 a a appropriated for implementing it through out the suite said Larry. The local project will be installation of a drinking water facility Al old Sitka he said. A there is quite a by happening in Sitka Parks a said Garry. He said he was not sure w Hen projects would be constructed but doubted planning and design would be completed in Lime for this Summers construction season. Garry credited the local suite Parks advisory Board with helping to secure the funding and added that the panel would be involved with future planning for the projects As Well. T i

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