Turn back the pages — Nov. 3, 1977
Compiled by Julie Rosier
Assembly cool on talks with school board — Getting together with the school board periodically to talk things over was technically approved by the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly last week by a fraction of a vote. With the assembly total vote 144, something over 72 is required for action. The resolution received 72.67 yes votes and 62.3 no. Assembly President JoAnn Elson, who voted in the negative, responded to Paul Fisher’s query as to when she would appoint the school board liaison committee. “The resolution passed very slimly, and it states ‘the Assembly president is authorized to appoint’; it does not say when.” Fischer, who presented the resolution, replied, “If you don’t know by the next meeting I will introduce a resolution for a committee.” Except for an appeal from Stan Long to “approach this group in sincerity in trying to overcome our problems,” there was no discussion on the controversial motion prior to the vote. In favor were Bert McAllister, Soldotna; Vice O’Reilly, Kenai; Don McCloud and Keith Campbell, Seward; Tommy Corr, Pat O’Connell, Fischer and Long from outside cities. Opposed were President Elson and Carl Hille, Kenai; Erle Cooper, Homer; John Crawford, Seldovia; and John Davis, Jean Douglas, and Jim Arness from outside cities. In the Lower 48 for medical treatment was Lew Fields. Taking up most of the meeting discussion were warehouses — one for the borough and another for the Central Peninsula General Hospital.
Boro workers get 5 percent increase — Borough employees and administration wound up 24 sessions of negotiating last week with an agreement on a 5 percent increase for borough employees and a built-in cost-of-living factor. The increase is effective Oct. 1 and follows a 10 percent increase granted July 1. The earlier increase however, added only about 6.2 percent to salaries, with the additional percentage paid in retirement and health benefits. A decision was also made to change over from the borough’s retirement program to the public employees retirement program, which covers Alaska state employees. Provision was also made to give employees credit for all the years of service preceding the borough retirement program five years ago. The contract, which still must be ratified by the assembly and the Kenai Peninsula Borough Employees’ Association, would be in effect for two years. If cost-of-living for the year rises about 6 percent the percentage beyond 5 percent would be added to salaries. Another 5 percent increase will be added to borough salaries Oct. 1, 1978, with the same provisions for cost-of-living rises.
Business plans 3rd annual Xmas Carnival — Plans for the Third Annual Christmas Carnival were formulated Monday, Oct. 31. The carnival is organized by several Seward businesses, in conjunction with KRXA Radio and the LOG. The carnival will be held on Friday and Saturday, Dec. 2 and 3. Santa Claus will be on hand both days, and the various organizations in town are invited to participate by having bake sales and bazaar items for sale at carnival headquarters in the Brown and Hawkins Building. The people of the communities of Moose Pass and Cooper Landing are invited to participate and to bring their children in to see Santa and take advantage of the free movie and other events. The stores will be open late both evenings, with a Christmas preview of gift items and shopping bargains. Theme of the carnival this year is “An Old Fashioned Christmas,” to tie into the plans for the upcoming Diamond Jubilee Year, Seward’s 75th Anniversary. Stores will be encouraged to decorate on the old-fashioned theme and to have clerks attired in period costumes. Plaques or trophies will be give out to the businesses with the best and most appropriate decorations and costuming.
Carnival fun for all ages — A gala Halloween carnival held last Monday evening at the elementary school drew crowds of townspeople. The fun event, sponsored by the various classes of junior and senior high school students and student organizations, inspired a lively spirit of carnival adventure for the young and young at heart. Children’s faces reflected the thrill of a trip through the Haunted House. Wondrous fortunes told by a “genuine” gypsy and game booths were popular with all ages. There were prizes large and small. In fact, some of the consolation prizes were most eagerly sought. The cake was a great favorite, with winners carrying off delicious home-baked confections throughout the evening. Many an old fashioned belly laugh rang out as audiences watched the antics of Laurel and Hardy movies flicker across the screen of the Silent Movie Theatre. It was worth the price of admission to hear projectionist Darryl Jelsma laugh at the hilarious situations on the screen. Come to think of it — those were the first guffaws I’ve ever heard a banker utter!
Iditarod plaque received by history society — Through a program of the Alaska Office of History and Archaeology, the Resurrection Bay Historical Society has obtained a bronze plaque commemorating Seward as the starting point of the Iditarod Trail. Since 1973 a renewed interest had developed in the historic trail, with the running of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race from Anchorage to Nome. Because the race begins in Anchorage, the local historical society felt the need of bringing to the attention of visitors and residents alike that Seward was the original beginning point of the Iditarod Trail. In fact, Anchorage did not even exist when gold was discovered in the Iditarod area in 1908. In 1903 when Seward was founded, there already existed an unmarked 1,600 mile pack and dog sled trail from Resurrection Bay to the rich gold fields of Nome and the Seward Peninsula. Discovery of the gold in the Innoko-Iditarod District in 1908 saw the peak development of the route and the beginning of the name Iditarod Trail. Mostly a winter trail, the route was officially surveyed and blazed from Nome to Seward in 1910-11. This shortened the trail to 958 miles. In 1915 a record shipment of 1.5 tons of gold, hauled by 46 dogs, came south over the trail from Iditarod to Seward.