After 53 years of continuous service, the turbines at Sitka’s Blue Lake Hydro plant are quiet. Walt Dangel, one of the original powerhouse operators at Blue Lake, threw the switches turning off the plant in a small decommissioning ceremony Monday morning (8-18-14). Dangel was assisted by Frank Rogers, Sitka’s senior plant operator. The two old turbines produce a combined 6 megawatts of power. They’re being replaced by three new turbines that will produce 16 megawatts.
Planners with the Alaska Department of Transportation fielded questions from a packed house of skeptical residents from Petersburg and Kupreanof last week. The DOT officials were vetting a draft of the state’s latest plan for transportation for Southeast. Local residents were concerned with a loss of ferry service. They also faulted the plan’s focus on construction of new roads while existing pavement goes unmaintained. more
On a remote corner of the Tongass National Forest, a six-year-long stream restoration project is wrapping up. The cost: an estimated 1.2 million dollars, funded largely from grants obtained by the Nature Conservancy. The project is intended to restore salmon streams damaged over 40 years ago on Kuiu Island. more
With some ballots yet to be counted, a referendum to repeal Gov. Sean Parnell's signature oil tax law is trailing by nearly 7,000 votes. When the first returns came in, the referendum was up by exactly five votes. The Vote Yes Repeal the Giveaway team marched into Anchorage's Election Central cheering enthusiastically and believing momentum was on their side. But as the night wore on, the numbers began to turn against the ballot measure. Wednesday morning, 48 percent of voters had voted yes on the referendum and 52 percent had voted no.
Unofficial results of Tuesday's primary election are in, and it looks like there may be one upset in the Valley. Mat-Su Borough Assemblyman Jim Colver could upset incumbent Eric Feige for the Republican nomination for the House District 9 race. Former state representative Bill Stoltze won the Republican nod for the Senate District F.
Tuesday's Republican primary pushed three Anchorage candidates a little closer to Juneau. Anand Dubey had a clear lead over challenger Mark Fagnani for the Republican candidacy for House District 21. Don Hadley bested challenger Kevin Kastner for the Republican nomination in House District 16. Liz Vazquez won the Republican nod for House District 22 with more than 52 percent of the vote. Challenger Sherri Jackson finished with 47 percent.