The Seward Phoenix Log - News of the Eastern Kenai Peninsula since 1966

Turn back the pages — Nov. 21, 1979

 


Compiled by Julie Rosier

SFI to operate this winter — Fisherman and cannery workers are looking forward to a busy winter with tanner crab and scallop fisheries both experiencing a revival in this area. Seward Fisheries manager Don Hanson reported about a dozen crab vessels have registered with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game to fish Cook Inlet and Prince William Sound this season, and skippers have indicated they will sell their product in Seward. This means gradual rehire of laid-off cannery workers, with about 25 people on the payroll by early January (in addition to the plant’s usual winter maintenance/office staff). In recent years there has been no winter production at SFI, but Hanson predicted the plant may run seven days a week at peak in January and early February this year. He said people wanting to work should keep checking at SFI’s office. Tanner season for Prince William Sound began Nov. 15. The Cook Inlet season commences Dec. 1 with the closure time next May. Considerable tanner crab was processed in Seward in the early 1970s, according to Hanson, but fishermen then went on to richer grounds around Kodiak and in the Bering Sea. “Forecasts for the Bering Sea this winter were dismal,” said Hanson, “thus skippers who formerly fished in the Seward area are returning.” The Seldovia-based Independence, skippered by Mike Miller, is out fishing now, Hanson said. It will soon be joined by the Widgeon, the Rugged Island, the Raymond A, and several other vessels.

Mill operates: Short term prospects okay — Long term prospects for the Kenai Lumber Mill in Seward are still up in the air, according to manager Larry Potts, but for the short term, “I think we will be okay for a while,” he told the Seward Chamber of Commerce last Thursday. The future of the mill has been clouded by difficulty in getting log supplies to continue to operate. Despite promises from the state to make timber available, sales have not developed. Potts told the chamber he hoped to dispel rumors about the situation. Potts said the wood chip market has taken an upswing and the chipper is once again running, taking up the slack left by the short supply of logs for primary processing and shipment to Japan. He said chipper operation will continue through March. He assured local residents the mill will try to operate the chipper with as little disturbance to sleeping habits as possible, and will operate at nights to avoid power problems that have been experienced during peak hours in the past. In addition the mill will be using what log inventory it has to supply United Lumber in Anchorage with lumber next month.

Beautiful Downtown Moose Pass — Friday evening Steve Wilcox, Teacher-in-Charge at Moose Pass, Don and Jean Lamoreaux and their crew of students bustled around the community hall kitchen preparing pancake dinners for the many that showed up for the event. The hall was full of families enjoying the meal and the opportunity to help the kids earn money to support their trip to Fairbanks. Also on sale at the dinner were the many varieties of candy the kids are selling, also for their trip. Bob Woods is home after spending a few days at Providence Hospital undergoing surgery on his foot. Bob broke his toe this summer and didn’t realize it until it had already partially mended so this surgery corrected the damage done when it healed improperly. Also in the hospital was Wayne Simonds, now of Petersburg, who was also undergoing surgery. I’m sure he would love to hear from his many friends in this area while he is recuperating. Bill Merritt was also in Providence last week for surgery — and I’m sure he would also love to hear from his friends.

Bus resumes five day schedule — Bus service carrying passengers and freight between Anchorage and Seward will resume on a five-day scheduled basis Monday, Nov. 26. Jim Ham, Transportation Services, Inc. driver, says the company is planning to run the route five days a week “TSI is going to work it on a trial basis to see if there is enough business now to keep in going,” said Ham, but emphasized the route will have to pay for itself or the company cannot run it. “It will help that skiers will be riding the bus to Alyeska from Seward and Anchorage. This will necessitate a change in arrival time at both destinations by about 30 minutes,” said Ham, “but except for the Alyeska side run the service will be operated exactly the same as it was in the past,” he continued. Ham said the fact Seward is no longer served by a regular air carrier is part of the reason TSI decided to give the run a try. “We’d like to operate seven days a week — we’d be glad to if the business was there.”

Boating law sought — Harbormasters from across the state of Alaska agreed at a meeting this past week here in Seward, to request legislation which would provide Alaska with a state boating law. The law would give enforcement and education responsibility to the state for boating safety enforcement and education. These responsibilities presently rest with the federal government in the form of the U.S. Coast Guard, which has only a minor force dedicated to safety. Capt. George P. Asche, chief of boating safety for the USCG in Alaska, told the harbormasters that this law, if passed by the legislature, would not add new laws, but would get the federal government out, making the state responsible. Asche said the Coast Guard would work with the state on enforcement and education if the legislation passes. He recommended the legislation to the harbormasters. If passed, Asche said boat registration and revenues generated would go to the state and could mean $3-4 million a year in revenues, a figure Asche called self-sustaining. Alaska is one of three states in the U.S. without state boating safety laws. Asche said the Federal Boating Safety Act, passed in 1971, indicated states should adopt their own safety laws and so be eligible for federal funds.

 

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