Turn back the pages — March 6, 1975
Compiled by Julie Rosier
This Week in City Hall – The Seward Advisory Harbor Commission met last week to present a proposed ordinance which would have increased present small boat moorage rates to $6 per foot of boat per year. The commission and several members in the audience attacked the proposed rate as being too much of an increase to levy at the present time. Discussion between the commissioners, members of the public and the city manager focused on the need to meet expenses, provide a reasonable level of service and maintain personnel levels adequate to the jobs at hand. A revenue and expense summary prepared by Comptroller Burton W. Baugh was reviewed by the commission. The summary indicated an excess of revenues over expenditures of $6,427 for the period July 1 to Jan. 31 but also noted a bond payment requirement of $11,950 which still has to be met in 1975 prior to the end of the fiscal year. From the summary it was determined the harbor is just breaking even for the present year of operation. The city manager noted the increased costs of providing personnel in the harbor (true of all other city operations as well) and pointed out the ever increasing cost of doing business and providing services. With no relief in sight, the only answer supported by the administration is a general rate increase in the harbor.
Specking Report, by Rep. Keith Specking – Telecommunications are an all important subject to our district. With many areas within the district television is either not available or of such poor quality that one must use his imagination rather than his eyes to get a picture. We have attempted to solve the problem by use of low wattage translators located on mountain tops; these are subject to weather and access problems of a near impossible nature. I am convinced that we will only reach a solution through the use of strategically located earth stations that receive satellite signals and are then distributed by local stations. I have discussed this with the experts and I have asked that they prepare an outline for me that would enable you to have an understanding of when you could reasonably expect to have first class television, and what it will cost. At best this is a long range solution. The short range answer can only be one of improving existing translator facilities. I am dedicated to helping with this; that is as much as I can state at this time. Fish and Game board proposals before the legislature are in two forms; one bill, HB 117 that I introduced seeks to divide the board into separate boards of game and fish. This view seems to have some popularity based on the increasing complexity of management for both fish and game resources.
Board Learns Fed Funding Plans for Year – In excess of $440,000 will be received under three federal title programs this coming year, Dr. Jim Hall told borough school board members Monday night and he recommended that the school district match these funds with $30,000 in next year’s budget. Board members unanimously voted the $30,000 be included in the 1975-76 budget. “All in all we’re underwriting about 46 personnel in the district with these federal funds,” Hall added. Title 1A provides 11 or 12 tutors in schools throughout the borough with $167,000; and Title 1B, a $12,000 grant, gives special education assistance to Native students. Title 3 funds three special programs – science coordinator and development of a science curriculum for small high schools, $57,000; a counselling program for Sears Elementary and Kenai Elementary in Kenai; and a drama-reading program in Homer, $46,000. Title 4, Indian Education Act funds $86,000 and a Vest (work experience program) grant totals $42,000. Steve Verba was voted a contract to teach business education in Seward High School, replacing Maurice Chirstie, whose resignation was accepted the previous meeting.
Assembly Gives Employees Raise – As ordinance providing a 13.1 percent increase in borough employee’s salaries was passed with a 14 to one vote at last week’s Assembly meeting on a motion by Don McCloud. Negative vote was cast by Erle Cooper, Homer, because he felt it “puts a wider and wider range between government employees and the man who is trying to earn enough to pay the taxes.” Lew Fields expressed concern that this percentage raise meant so much more to the higher salaried employees, than to the lower salaried. Mayor Stan Thompson reminded assemblymen that they would have “another crack” at adjusting the increase at budget time since it becomes effective July 1. An ordinance to add a secretary to the legal department, which is now sharing one secretary with Mayor Thompson, passed by with a bare majority. Some assemblymen who cast a no vote apparently thought the assembly should better be establishing their own legal department. Cooper and Harry Bjerregaard shared this view.
“Little Bob” writes musical for Kenai – Bob Richardson, band instructor at Kenai High School, music instructor at the Kenai Peninsula Community College and incidentally the son of Mr. And Mrs. “Big” Bob (R.F.) Richardson of Seward, will be conducting his first all original musical, to be performed in Kenai, Thursday through Saturday, March 13-15. “The Ballad of Kenai” is an all original two-act musical drama, telling a story familiar to most Alaskan towns undergoing constant change. It covers a time span from the ancient Indian creative myths through the probable future of plastidomed cities. Richardson has composed more than a dozen songs expressing the moods, feeling and flavor of different characters and eras in Peninsula history. He will be conducting a live and enthusiastic orchestra to accompany the songs and dances of the show. Frank J. Malone, Kenai poet, has written the spirited, sometimes nostalgic lyrics. The Peninsula Dancers (who brought “Fiddler on the Roof” to Seward last March) under choreographer, Jean Haller, form the nucleus of the 42-member cast which also includes Bob’s wife, Trena. Lance Petersen is author and director. The show is sponsored by the Peninsula Dancers and the Kenai Peninsula Community College.