Turn back the pages — Aug. 9, 1979
Compiled by Julie Rosier
Borough reapportion lessens Seward power — Seward will lose three votes on the borough assembly if a reapportionment ordinance adopted by the assembly Tuesday is ratified at the polls Oct. 2. The ordinance does not alter the weighted vote system in use now, but does assign new weights to each election district, based on a special federal census of 1978. Under the reapportionment plan, non-city dstricts will gain considerable voting power, exercising a majority block of 80 of the 144 total votes on the assembly. A public hearing on the ordinance is scheduled for Aug. 21. The legality of the new apportionment plan is in question. The possibility exists that the state may be attempting to reapportion the assembly after declaring the new plan illegal. Addressing this question, Seward Assumblyman Keith Campbell, who voted against the plan said, “I think this is possibly an exercise in futility. If the reapportionment ordinance should fail on Oct. 2, or if the state shoots it down, the assembly will still have six months from the date on which it declared itself misapportioned (July 17), to devise and implement another plan, before the state can reapportion the assembly. And alternate plan, which would have established four districts, each with four at-large-members, was killed at the July 17 meeting. That plan would not have benefited the growing non-city districts, and may also have been illegal.
Ranger to administer Kenai Fjords — Last year large chunks of Alaska were designated national monuments by controversial presidential decree. The Harding Icefield and environs comprise one of these areas — now the Kenai Fjords National Monument. Kenai Fjords brings half a million acres to the National Parks system and a ranger-in-residence to Seward. Ranger “Jeff” Keraker has set up headquarters in the Phoenix Building on Third, where she will provide information to visitors four hours a day. Hours are to be arranged, but in the meantime Kerraker can be reached by phone. Kerraker said main access to the monument at Exit Glacier will become easier to reach in the future. The state is improving the road which now washes out as Resurrection River floods and meanders in its basin. She doubts a ranger station will be established at the foot of the glacier like at Portage, because the river moves too much. But turnarounds for autos, picnic areas and signs for people wanting to walk around the area are possible. If access to Exit Glacier is established, she plans to arrange guided walks. Kerraker is confident National Monument status “will not lock people out” of the icefields, and could increase visitation. “National monument regulations in Alaska differ from those elsewhere,” she said. Traditional uses are not a curtailed. That means snowmachines are OK, though in this area sport and subsistence hunting are not.
Bear costs 60 days — James A. Chester, 19, pleaded no contest and was sentenced to a total of 60 days in jail plus $200 fine for three violations of Alaska’s game laws at an Aug. 7 hearing before acting magistrate Iris Johnson. Chester was charged with three misdemeanors, each of which carries a maximum sentence of $1,000 fine and six months in jail — taking game in a closed season, taking game in a closed area, and failing to salvage game for human use. Fish and Game officer John Taylor testified the bear had been shot through the stomach and intestines near the city dump on Aug. 1, and that the defendant had taken one claw from the animal. Chester told the court it was boring sitting around in camp (he is with the military), and he had been drinking and gone out shooting. “I was there and the bear was, too. And I was looking to shoot stuff up,” he said. The commander of the Army Recreation Camp, where Chester is stationed, spoke on behalf of the defendant stating he was a good soldier who had previously volunteered his services to city projects, including the beach cleanup this spring. He said Chester had never caused any discipline problems in the past, and he did not think Chester had a drinking problem.
German med student works here — Dr. Winnfried Brunner, a medical student at the University of Freiburg in southern Germany, joined Dr. John Gray and the staff at Seward Medical Clinic July 25 as a student observer. Brunner will remain here until Sept. 15, and will resume his studies in Germany next October. Dr. Brunner’s university is located in Konstanz, which borders on Germany, Switzerland and Austria. The city is called the “capital of the Black Forest” — a very scenic part of Europe — but Dr. Brunner said he’s found Alaska as beautiful as he’s hoped for — ”the nicest place in the world.” The 22-year-old doctor has two more years of medical training before he is officially “doctor” in his homeland — unlike American med students, who are accorded the title when working in clinics before they graduate. If he decides to specialize — and in Germany, most doctors are specialists — he must study for six additional years. Brunner would like to go into internal medicine. Brunner said medicine in the U.S. is “very advanced — especially internal medicine,” and he would like to take part of his specialist training here. The main difference between medical training here and in Germany, Brunner said, is that German students learn much more theory and have far less clinical experience than Americans.
Flotsam and Jetsam (Editor’s Column) — What has a sore eye, a tennis elbow, a sprained ankle and a sick husband? The LOG Staff, that’s what! Luckily all that is not on one human being — but is spread between Carole (eye), ankle (Jody), husband (Karen) and elbow (Ye Olde Editor). The only able-bodied person on the regular staff is Pam who says she’s feeling uneasy. But then she is about to take off for a vacation to Michigan and doesn’t want to do it in a disabled state! Helping out this week to get out the combined regular weekly appear and the special derby edition is Karla Schaefermeyer. Without her the wounded birds at the LOG might not have been able to get the derby edition into print!