Turn back the pages — March 19, 1987
Compiled by Julie Rosier
Line vandalized, pickets follow — It’s not Seward’s fight, but the city was pulled into the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers’ strike against Chugach Electric Association on Sunday, when vandalism to the 115 volt transmission line feeding Seward was followed by union picketing that blocked repairs and forced the city to operate on standby generation. IBEW picketers, who have been active throughout Chugach’s service area in an effort to hang onto work rules that Chugach would like to eliminate, on Monday and Tuesday blocked access to a power pole at Mile 33.5 where an insulator had been shot down and the dangling high-voltage line had set the pole smoldering, on the grounds that Chugach’s union linemen normally maintain that stretch of the line. They did not picket at two other vandalized sites, Mile 21 and Mile 25, where the city’s IBEW linemen normally handle the maintenance.
Seamen jump ship — Unofficial sources say that at least six Polish seamen may have jumped ship from a visiting foreign vessel and may seek political asylum in the United States. Gary Johnson, the director of the regional office of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, said that if is his understanding that “there are some who have left their ship” but that “nobody has applied for asylum.” I suppose they’ll come in and see us. I hope they do.” Mr. Johnson said that the Polish community in Anchorage generally takes care of them and brings them in. He said that asylum applications are treated confidentially and it would be premature to discuss the matter. “Even if they did, I couldn’t comment on it,” he said. “They may or may not apply for asylum.”
100 local people apply for Spring Creek prison jobs — Interest in jobs at the Spring Creek maximum security prison reached a new high last Monday when an overflow crowd gathered in the AVTEC auditorium to listen to an applicant training presentation on correctional officer positions. The prison, now under construction and scheduled for completion next fall, will create approximately 219 full-time positions at site, said Superintendent Tom Laney in a Tuesday interview. Early this week about 100 locals took written examinations for correctional officer I positions. Mr. Laney said that competition was stiff and that ranking on the statewide register depended on how the applicants did on the test. While about 160 of the positions will be correctional officers, most of the others will be in clerical, food service and maintenance. Many will be filled by local residents.
Secure facility and mentally ill — Guilty but mentally ill, not guilty by reason of insanity; criminal and sentenced, but needing mental health care; our state corrections system attempts to serve individuals with the above classifications. For years some have been served at Alaska Psychiatric Institute. The forensic unit at API has had a negative impact on the facility. High security interferes with what should be a therapeutic hospital environment. It is my personal belief that a forensic unit for those that are mentally ill, but placed in correctional environments, should not be at API. The Spring Creek MAXIMUM SECURITY facility is, in my opinion a more appropriate setting. I believe a unit for these people could be funded and built at Spring Creek to the benefit of those mentally ill in corrections, to the benefit of the statewide mental health system and, by the addition of mental health related jobs could benefit Seward.
Vaudeville show needs talent – Talent Wanted: actors and actresses, musicians, artists, seamstresses, idea-people. That’s who businesswoman Christy Johnson is looking for when she holds the first organizational meeting of her proposed summer “Vaudeville” production. She’s asking all interested persons to meet at 7 p.m., March 25, in the Brosius Noon Mall. “I’ve been thinking about this for sometime now. We need something like this in Seward. It could be a profitable enterprise. The basic idea is to have kind of a vaudeville type act from the 1906 era. It’ll be based on Seward and should include dancing and singing. Probably 45 minutes to an hour long and we’ll run it as many times as we can each week. It’ll be summertime and the hardest part of this will be to get people to commit themselves to the entire summer. I visualize this as being a whole lot of fun. That’s how I see it.”
Kenai River sparks controversy — Landowners along the Kenai River in Cooper Landing and other places were dismayed Tuesday night when the borough assembly adopted a resolution to appoint a committee to draft a comprehensive plan proposal for the Kenai River corridor. According to one of the resolutions sponsors, Soldotna assemblyman Frank Mullen, the plan will define the corridor area outside cities, establishing goals, criteria and objectives to be met in future development there. Former state Senator Don Gilman was on hand to give background on the history of state river laws. He said recent river legislation aimed at local control, although local control was a main reason some assemblymen gave for supporting the resolution. Landowners said they wearied of hearing the old carrot on the stick approach, “if we don’t do it the state will.”
Astrophysicist, studies evolvement of Seward — When you or your children or grandchildren look to the moon in the next century and you wonder how the earth station came to be think of the role Seward had in getting it built. No doubt a small role, but an important one. Last week, an astrophysicist from the national laboratory in Los Alamos, New Mexico was in Seward interviewing long-term residents on how Seward evolved as a town. The point is, when an earth station is established on the moon, it will evolve into a town just as Seward evolved when the decision was made to build a railroad from tidewater to the “Inland Empire.” Taking a year’s sabbatical from his responsibilities as one who studies celestial bodies, Eric Jones is in Alaska writing a history on the development of towns. He’s been talking to people who want to be here just as he expects people will want to live on the moon. “An awful lot of people will want to go to the moon and many will want to return. But some will stay and figure out a way to stay,” he said, not unlike what has happened in the development of towns in New Zealand, from where he just returned, and in Alaska.