Turn back the pages — Oct. 25, 1979
Compiled by Julie Rosier
Shipyard plans progress: Road surveying, land swap in works — Several matters pertaining to the proposed shipyard to be located at the 4th of July Creek industrial area were discussed at the city council meeting Monday night. Smoothing the way for the shipyard has been the number one priority of both the city council and administration for the last three months. The project requires a strict time schedule, with construction to begin in spring and be completed by October of next year. Progress of the land exchange in the proposed industrial area was reported by city manager Johnny Johnson. The swap would allow the shipyard to be built without the necessity of moving the creek. Moving the creek would require extensive environmental studies which would in turn delay the project. Land is being swapped with Dale Lindsey, who owns property in the area. Johnson also reported that a route for the road to 4th of July had “tentatively” been selected as suggested by the firm which is doing preliminary survey work. The road would run through property belonging to Mr. and Mrs. Al Noyes and Virginia Darling. Johnson said the road project is ready to go to centerline survey and minute route selection.
Mutual aid fire department goal — Bear Creek Fire Chief Leonard Weimmar extended an open invitation Monday to municipal and borough officials to tour the service area fire hall and inspect the equipment. Weimar said a mutual aid agreement currently being studied by Seward and Bear Creek prompted the invitation. “If we are going to look at an agreement, I feel it important that Seward officials see what type of equipment we have to offer,” he stated. Present service area rolling equipment includes the main service pumper, which has a five-man crew cab and is fully equipped for resuscitating and carries two Scott Air Packs, along with other life-support equipment, and one backup pumper. Units 5 and 6 each carry 2,500 gallons of water and can be refilled in 3 1/2 minutes. Weimar said Bear Creek Fire Department’s whole plan of attack “is being water misers,” making the most use of water payload by using variable screen nozzles that vary the intensity of water flow from 60 to 200 gallons per minute. Weimar also pointed out their hose bed carries 1,000 feet of 2 1/2 inch hose as well as 550 feet of 1 3/4 inch hose.
Pothole dumps water into lake — High waters in Snow River, Kenai River and Kenai Lake resulted this week from the periodic drainage of Snow Glacier’s largest pothole lake. Don Gallagher, borough civil defense director, reported the pothole lake emptied a year early. Its last drainage occurred in September 1977. The pothole usually dumps water into Snow River every four years. The Snow Glacier potholes are ice-covered lakes in the glacier which fill with water until, when they become full enough, actually lift the glacier and drain beneath it into Snow River. Weather Service statistics show that the potholes characteristically drain for five to seven days. They they fill up again slowly for another four years. Kerry Martin of the U.S. Forest Service said the pothole was only about half full when it began draining late last week, so flooding should not be severe. Gallagher told the LOG that Weather Service reports predicted Kenai Lake would crest early this week at two feet above flood stage — 12 feet at Cooper Landing. In 1977, the lake crested at nearly 15 feet.
First freeze causes accidents — Unwary motorists have had a rash of early winter accidents dues to black ice, State Trooper Don Kitchenmaster reports. Though sanding by private crews has commenced, he advised caution on the road and above all, less speed. “It happens every year with first freeze. Studded tires help, but above all motorists should be more aware and alert, and slow down,” he said. Two Seward residents suffered injuries in the last week. Dorothy Urbach got a head injury requiring stitches when the family car skidded and bounced off both guard rails at the first bridge across Portage Flats. The accident occurred early last Thursday. Black ice was responsible. Urbach is at home doing fine, but advises travelers to “wear seat belts and drive slow.” Less fortunate was Leslie Johnson, whose car skidded off the Sterling Highway at Mile 40 1/2 9:30 Tuesday morning. Her car was coming around a curve and encountered a truck which had jackknifed across the road. When Johnson tried to go around the truck, the car skidded. She suffered a possible broken arm and facial injuries, according to Kitchenmaster.
Mormons prepare for future — Mormon leaders from Anchorage and Salt Lake City were in Seward this month to see that the Seward branch members’ new Arctic Chapel gets off to a good start. Douglas Snarr, head of the Anchorage Alaska Mission, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and Gary Cox, president of the church’s Anchorage North Stake — an area like a diocese, comprising north Anchorage and up to Talkeetna — said the new chapel would be done by Christmas. Brother Tom Evans, who coordinates church construction in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Alaska, said he now has 84 chapels built in his area. Seward’s chapel, and an identical one in Haines, are to be followed by Mormon churches in Cordova, Glenallen, Nome, Bethel, Kotzebue, Kiana, Unalaska, Skagway, Sitka, Wrangell, Ketchikan, Metlakatla and Whitehorse. Snarr explained that his church, whose members tithe, is the second largest builder in the U.S ., “after the federal government” — they complete a building every 10 hours. Snarr said the new church will be “the most functional building in town,” and will house many activities besides worship and Sunday school. “Religion is not just for Sunday,” he said. “We are involved all week. We address ourselves to youth, want to build bodies as well as spirit, and teach people how to give and take, and deal with the world.” Snarr added that the Mormons are the largest single supporters of the Boy Scouts in the U.S.