Turn back the pages — April 1, 1976
Compiled by Julie Rosier
Editor’s Note: These articles come from the 1976 April Fool’s Day edition of the LOG. Then editor, Bev Dunham, explained The LOG’s April Fool’s trickery in her column that week, “There has been one other April Fool’s Day which fell on paper day during the 10 years the LOG has been in publication. That year we announced that the Kenai Peninsula Borough had been dissolved. Dot Bardarson told us Linne really believed that one (for a few minutes), and we really pleased!
This Week in City Hall — The creation of the Seward Municipal Zoo took a step nearer reality today when representatives of federal, state, borough and local governments met to decide what conditions are necessary to permit construction of the facility. Included in the zoo master plan are facilities for the care and display of animals indigenous to Alaska with priority emphasis on natural habitat development. Initial plans call for the creation of the Department of Zoo Operation as a function of the municipality with proceeds from admission being utilized to amortize the cost of the central recreation complex, a building which, when completed, will house a public lecture area, lounge, a four-lane bowling alley, family pool room and child care area. A picnic/short-order food service concession may be included in the final plans if satisfactory arrangements can be worked out well in advance of the date bids are advertised. The location of the zoo complex encompasses all of the area northwest of the Jesse Lee Heights subdivision. The natural terrain will permit the exhibition of animals in settings which occur in the wild. Experimental breeding programs will enhance the value of the zoo as a point of interest to naturalists from all over Alaska as well as the lower 48 states.
Vincent named Sewer Chief — The LOG has learned through a telephone interview with a representative of the Environmental Protection Agency, that former city councilman and local plumber Bill Vincent will be managing the neww secondary sewage treatment plant planned for Seward. “Vincent’s support of this project has been instrumental in our progress to date,” the EPA spokesman said. When asked about his appointment to the post of Sewage Superintendent, Vincent said he was pleased. “I am looking forward to the chance to get at the other end of the pipe,” he said. The new plant will be located at the end of 4th Avenue and is expected to be a tremendous tourist attraction.
Coach gives Hawks shock, signs girl — Seward High School Athletic Director Dale Clemens, in a surprise announcement, today revealed he has signed a girl to play for the varsity Seahawk basketball squad for the 1976-77 year. Long a fierce opponent of equal rights, Coach Clemens said he reconsidered his previous stand when the new student arrived last Monday. Clemens introduced his new recruit, “Hen Hawk” Mona Skaboanie to the team during a practice session yesterday. He told the team that Mona is well qualified to be both defensive and offensive — having been raised with a family of 12 brothers. The Skabonie name is no stranger to sports fans in Seward. Mona’s dad, Jimmie Skaboanie has reported basketball action for the LOG this past season. Barely able to conceal his pride in the accomplishments of his daughter, Jimmie told the LOG, “Mona always wanted to play football, but if basketball is all they have to offer I am all for it.” Skaboanie said he was reluctant to allow his daughter to participate in wrestling, ”I want her to retain her basic femininity,” he stressed.
City council ponders new booze ban — The Seward City Council met in a special session Monday night to consider Ordinance No. 4-1-76, which would prohibit the sale of alcoholic beverages in Seward except by doctor’s prescription. Council expects considerable public discussion on this ordinance, which came about through suggestions of Chief of Police Louis Bencardino. The measure faces further problems because Dr. John Noyes says he doesn’t plan to write prescriptions for alcoholic beverages except for medicinal purposes! Mayor Dick Neve noted that council members and certain other individuals would be exempt from this new law. “We do have to be reasonable and rational about this,” he added. In other action at the meeting, Dreamland Bowl owner Marty Kowalski appeared to protest the proposed new municipal zoo which is described in the City Manager Jim Filip’s column this week. Kowalski appeared particularly disturbed that the City also plans a bowling alley at the zoo. “This is just another case of the government going into competition with private enterprise.” He also charged that the entire scheme had been devised in an attempt to discriminate against the Polish minority in Seward.
Dock modified for new service — Dock Superintendent Dick Kirkpatrick advised the LOG Tuesday that Alaska Railroad crews were working this week on dock modifications prior to the arrival of the new barge line that will be serving Seward out of Portland. According to Kirkpatrick, the newly built barge Oregon will start loading on April 9 for an April 18 arrival in Seward, kicking off PAL’s new service between Seward and Oregon. “This is the first service of this type on a regular basis between the Portland and Seward ports although years ago we did get occasional Oregon traffic,” Kirkpatrick said.
Board passes largest ever school budget — Borough School Board members last week unanimously passed a $15,064,233 operating budget which Superintendent Gallaher called “neither a bare bones nor a plush budget.” He compared it to the Anchorage budget of $105 million, “About seven times our figure. But at the same time the enrollment is just seven times what our enrollment is,” he added. The budget total represented a 21 percent increase over last year. More significant to local taxpayers was the 41 percent increase in local effort the budget would require. “However, in looking at other boroughs again,” Gallaher reported, “Matsu is asking for a 50 percent increase in local effort. Last week the board agreed on cutting the community schools program down from $200,000 to $130,00 and added a counselor at the elementary level at $32,000. The budget will go to the assembly at the April 6 meeting. No action on the budget is expected until at least April 20, however. Except for the copies to be perused in the school district offices, no copies have been made available to the public. A heavy detailed, 150-page document, the budget offers much information not formerly included, but apparently the size of the format will be a barrier rather than an assist to informing the public.