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Daily Sitka Sentinel Newspaper Archives May 21 2015, Page 1

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Daily Sitka Sentinel (Newspaper) - May 21, 2015, Sitka, Alaska 75 Cents Volume 76 No. 97 Sitka, Alaska Thursday, May 21, 2015 6 Pages 7 Daily A h om S e - own e d i n ews t p a p e r s e k r v i n g S i t a k a s i n c e 1 9 4 S 0 • ww e w. s i t k a s n e n t i n e l . c om t / sitk i asenti n nel el 5 Years Sentinel Special Islamic State Takes Palmyra PAGE 6 61 º / 52 º Partly Sunny Winds: NW 15- 20 MPH Sitka Forecast for: May 22 - Saturday, May 23- Silver Shadow 9: 30 a. m.- 5 p. m. O’Connell Bridge Total Passengers: 448 The Daily Sentinel will not publish Monday, May 25, in observance of Memorial Day. By TOM HESSE Sentinel Staff Writer New interest in the Gary Paxton Industrial Park may be key to economic growth in Sitka, says the executive director of Sitka Economic Development Association. Speaking at a Chamber of Commerce luncheon Wednesday, Garry White discussed the state of Sitka’s economy and SEDA’s efforts to encourage growth. A lot of those efforts are currently focused on the city- owned industrial park. The City of Sitka contracts with SEDA for management of the park, and White handles that job too. He said over $ 24 million of private money has been invested in the park since the city took it over. “ There’s a good mantra that you put in public dollars and private dollars will follow, and I think that’s the case here,” White said, adding that about $ 11 million in government funding also has gone into improvements Economic Progress Tied to Industrial Park at the park. Right now, White said, the various operations based in the park employ 43 full- time employees and 380 seasonal employees, with Silver Bay Seafoods accounting for the bulk of that. Silver Bay is expanding its facilities as well as looking at building a marine services center. At the same time, Alaska & Pacific Packing just signed a lease agreement with an option to buy land for a business that specializes in build ing fish processing equipment. A new water bottling venture called iWater has land arrangements in place, and White said Monarch Tannery, which is expanding from the basement of the administration building, is becoming the biggest tanner of sea otter pelts in Southeast. Perhaps the biggest news, however, is in bulk water. “ They want to be up and going by July 1,” White said. A company called Alaska Bulk Linda Schmidt watches as Keet Gooshi Heen fourth- grader Jessica Christner uses a spotting scope to view and identify birds in the Starrigavan estuary Wednesday afternoon during the annual BioBlitz. The event involved 100 students working with 50 volunteers, including 20 “ content experts,” to catalog all the species they could between 9 a. m. and 2 p. m. Pictured at left is Aspen Guizar. The event is a collaborative effort of the Sitka Conservation Society, Sitka Sound Science Center, UAS Sitka Campus, U. S. Forest Service, National Park Service, Alaska Deptartment of Fish and Game, the Sitka Tribe of Alaska, the Sitka School District and parents. ( Sentinel Photo by James Poulson) By BECKY BOHRER Associated Press JUNEAU ( AP) — The Senate Education Committee on Wednesday advanced a rewrite of legislation that would leave as optional sexual assault prevention and awareness programs in Alaska public schools. The version of HB 44 that passed the House last month would have re quired such programs and those related to dating violence. Critics saw this as an unfunded mandate, and the Senate committee rewrite says districts may adopt such programs and policies. Sen. Gary Stevens, R- Kodiak, said his response was “ baloney” to “ obstructionists” who say action cannot be taken on the sexual assault program provisions because it is an unfunded mandate. He noted that a number of school districts already provide programs on sexual abuse and dating violence within their existing budgets. The Rasmuson Foundation last month indicated it would entertain a grant application to develop curriculum and training, if the bill becomes law. The rewrite incorporated elements from other school- related bills, rais ing questions about whether doing so went outside the scope of work of the special session called by Gov. Bill Walker. Under the constitution, special sessions called by the governor shall be limited to subjects designated in his call, subjects presented by him and reconsideration of bills vetoed by him after the adjournment of the last regular session. The call included HB 44, “ Sexual Abuse/ Sexual Assault Prevention Programs, previously under consideration” by the Senate and House. A legal memo from a legislative attorney, requested by the committee chair, Sen. Mike Dunleavy, said there could be a constitutional issue with the committee’s approach, depending on how broadly or narrowly a court might view it. Sen. Lesil McGuire, R- Anchorage, brought up that concern in testimony before the committee. The hearing was Senate Panel Advances School Sex Assault Bill BRIAN MELLEY & CHRISTOPHER WEBER Associated Press GOLETA, Calif. ( AP) — The oil spill this week on the Santa Barbara coast is just a drop in the bucket compared with the catastrophic blowout here in 1969, but it has become a new rallying point for environmentalists in their battle against drilling and fossil fuels. No one expects damage on the order of the ‘ 69 disaster, which helped give rise to the modern environmental movement and led to passage of some of the nation’s most important environmental laws. Nevertheless, the new spill from a ruptured underground pipe is being held up as another reason to oppose such things as fracking, the Keystone XL pipeline that would run from Canada to Texas, the moving of crude by Santa Barbara Oil Spill Gives Foes an Opening WESTERDAM VISIT – Keet Gooshi Heen Elementary School teachers and 80 fifth- graders pose for a photo in front of the cruise ship Westerdam at Old Sitka Dock Wednesday. Port Agent Fred Reeder, the ship officers and crew met the group on the pier before all went aboard. The students were treated to lemonade and cookies in the Vista Lounge and a live show by ship entertainers “ Recycled Production.” On the Lido deck students were served lunch including a make- your- own sundae bar with 20 toppings and 2 chocolate fountains. Gifts were presented to the students including photos from the mornings’ pose. ( Photo provided) Continued on back page By DAVID ESPO & CHARLES BABINGTON Associated Press WASHINGTON ( AP) — In a triumph for President Barack Obama, sweeping legislation to strengthen the administration’s hand in global trade talks advanced toward Senate passage Thursday after a showdown vote that remained in doubt until the final mo ment. The 62- 38 vote, two more than the 60 needed, came from a solid phalanx of Republicans and more than a dozen Democrats. But the decisive thumbsup came — literally, and long past the allotted time — from Democratic Sen. Maria Cantwell of Washington after she and a few others seized the moment as leverage to demand a vote next month on legislation to renew the Export- Import Bank. “ It was a nice victory. We’re going to continue and finish up the bill this week,” Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell, R- Ky., and Obama’s most important Senate ally on the trade bill, said after sealing the agreement that Cantwell, Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and others had sought. The Senate action to move toward a final vote was “ a big step forward,” Obama said at the White House, predicting that a trade deal would “ open up access to markets that too often are closed.” The president was up late Wednesday night placing telephone calls to lawmakers, and he spoke with Cantwell again shortly before the vote. Final Senate passage would clear the way for a fierce struggle in the House. The legislation would allow Obama to make trade deals that Congress could either support or reject but not change. Previous presidents have had similar authority, and administration officials argue that Japan and other Pacific- region countries in a current round of 12- nation trade talks will be unwilling to present bottom- line offers if they know lawmakers can seek more concessions. But the real political divide is over the value of international trade agreements themselves, and the result has been a blurring of traditional political lines. Supporters say such agreements benefit the American economy by low ering barriers overseas and expanding markets for U. S. services and goods. But in rebuttal that became particularly pronounced two decades ago when President Bill Clinton sought and won a North American Free Trade Agreement, labor unions and Democratic allies in Congress argue the deals cost jobs at home and send them to nations with lax environmental and safety standards and low wages. Obama’s Trade Bill Closer to Passage Adult Spelling Bee organizers Jeff Budd and Cheryl Vastola pose for a publicity poster. ( Photo provided) Continued on back page Adults to Get Their Turn at Being Spellers Garry White ( Sentinel Photo) Water has paid over $ 1.3 million for exclusive rights to export Blue Lake water. Company officials signed their latest contract in 2012 for $ 1 million. Now they’ve got a prospective buyer in California, and have early designs on a floating pipeline for loading water onto ships. “ Sounds like a pretty big project, but they’re taking it on in small bites,” White said. The buoys to support a floating pipeline are being shipped up from Ketchikan, and White said engineers have been working with city staff to integrate the structure with the existing bulk water pipeline that has been installed at the industrial park. “ It’s exciting. We could be shipping water,” White said. “ Or we could not.” As for the existing industry in the park, White said Silver Bay Seafoods is making strides in turning fish waste train, and drilling in far- flung places. “ What we see from this event is that the industry still poses enormous risks to an area we cannot afford to lose,” said Joel Reynolds of the Natural Resources Defense Council. The timing of the leak — days after a federal agency approved Shell’s plan for drilling in the Arctic, and while the Obama administration considers opening the Atlantic to exploration — could work to the advantage of environmental groups. Closer to home, it could galvanize opposition to plans for new drilling in the Santa Barbara Channel, where Union Oil’s oil platform blew out 46 years ago, spewing an estimated 3 million gallons of crude along 30 miles of coast. Some 9,000 birds died. Tuesday’s spill involved an estimated 105,000 gallons of crude; about By SHANNON HAUGLAND Sentinel Staff Writer To describe one of the champion Adult Spelling Bee teams as cocky might be an understatement. “ We already know we’re going to win,” said Jeff Budd, who is competing in his seventh spelling bee as Team Zero Inc. Budd said he’s the coach of the team, and his partner and team captain is Don Muller. “ Percentage- wise we are the winning- est spelling team in Sitka.” The annual Adult Spelling Bee is 2 p. m. Sunday at Kettleson Memorial Library. The library is currently in Stratton Library on the SJ campus, while Kettleson is undergoing major renovation. But other aspects of the annual event will remain the same, with lastminute entries encouraged, treats for sale and other unusual gimmicks in the Friends of Kettleson Memorial Library’s efforts to raise funds for the library renovation project. Money raised will go toward some items that weren’t covered with the $ 6.3 million renovation project, said Kari Sagel, president of the Friends of Kettleson. “ A self- checkout machine, assistive devices for people with vision problems and other disabilities, a DVD dispenser,” Sagel said, listing some ideas from the Friends group. “ We’re also looking at outside landscaping – benches, rocks. Anything not covered ( by funds for the project) we want to be ready to meet that need.” While the Adult Spelling Bee is conducted in a format similar to kids spelling bee, the tone and spirit are considerably lighter. The event in the past has been a popular spectator sport, although the audience is not allowed to shout out answers. Entrants can compete as individuals or as teams of two. Extra features of this bee are that contestants can purchase help from the audience, pay to skip a word, pay for a “ redo,” get a “ lifeline” by phone, or get someone to spell the word from the dictionary, which the spellers then have to spell themselves. One of the highlights of past bees has been the sentences provided that demonstrate the use of the word to be spelled. In this event, the sentences are read automatically by the pronouncer, without a request from the contestant. Sam Woolsey is the pronouncer this year. Sagel took on the job of picking the words and writing the sentences in the first year. She said she hadn’t intend ed to be funny, and was surprised by the good response from the audience. Many of the sentences have local references and all are original. Some from past years: For “ krill”: “ What did the shrimp say to the whale? Don’t krill me!” For “ palindromic”: “ After Hannah, Eve, Bob and Nan, they ran out of pal indromic names for their quintuplets.” For “ ballast”: “ The balloon ride op erator was fond of referring to difficult customers as ‘ ballast.’” For “ umbilical”: “ It’s time to cut Continued on back page BioBlitz Continued on back page

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