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

Turn back the pages - April 21, 1988


Compiled by Julie Rosier

Sawmill to be buzzing in 1989 – Chugach Alaska Corporation‘s plans for a timber mill at the Seward Marine Industrial Center have been given a clear go ahead, according to CAC President and Chief Executive Officer Michael Chittick. Mr. Chittick said Tuesday financing for the $13 million mill has been arranged. He expects the ground breaking to be in late May to early June. The City of Seward and the Alaska Native regional corporation have been negotiating a lease for approximately 20 acres at the Fourth of July Creek site. Environmental concerns had delayed the project. The final proposed agreement will be considered by City Council Monday night. Mr. Chittick will be present to answer questions and explain the proposed timetable for the mill. The mill is expected to employ between 50 to 100 people on a one-shift basis. As the economy picks up CAC also expects to quickly add another shift. The wood products will be rough cut and kiln dried for export and use in the Alaska building industry. Reaction from the community has been swift and positive. Mayor Harry E. Gieseler said the proposal was the “last major hurdle to overcome. I think there’ll be no problems with the lease.”

21 Polish jump ship last week – Like the innumerable avalanches that recently poured off local mountain slopes and with similar rapidity, Polish seaman wanting to defect, slipped into Seward Police headquarters last week and requested protective custody assistance. Beginning April 11 and continuing over an eight-0day period, 21 Polish seaman from eight Polish fishing vessels turned themselves over to authorities and waited in town for contact with U.S. Naturalization and Immigration officials from Anchorage. The men reported in groups of two or three and individually. That brings the total to 29 Polish seaman having requested protective custody with the SPD since the first of over 20 vessels docked in Seward Dec. 26, 1987. The vessels moor at the Alaska Railroad dock on port-of-call waiting for crew changeovers, on crew rest-and-relaxation and vessel resupply.

Seahawk Barlow #1 Alaska AAA wrestler – When Eric Barlow walked off the mat last Saturday night, he did so as a state champion. Only one of three Seward wrestlers in the high school’s history. It wasn’t because of luck or circumstance. It was the end result of goal setting, making sacrifices and working hard towards the goal of being the best in the state. He did it, in front of hundreds of spectators at the Sullivan Area in Anchorage. At the state meet the Seward High School junior honor roll student had gone undefeated through the winners’ bracket, eventually to face Jeff Burwell of Glennallen in the 145-pound weight class. When the whistle went off in the first round, Seahawk Barlow was quick to score with a two-point takedown. But in the second, the match was almost over when the Glennallen matman put the Hawk on his back. Burwell wasn’t successful, but the score stood at 2-2. Barlow fought, then reversed, and at the sound of the buzzer he was ahead 4-2. With the Hawk fans screaming for the green and gold, the third round started with Barlow choosing down. He got a reversal then Barwell scored, but not enough, and when the clock ran out Seward had a state champ at 145. While Barlow was quick to cite the coaching staff for his success, “the best coaching we’ve ever had,” he admitted that he had a couple of mottos: At last year’s state meet, where he placed fourth, he saw on the wall a poster proclaiming, “Pain is temporary and pride is forever.”

Input sought on Caines Head plan – If you’re interested in the development and management of one of Seward’s premier tourist attractions, then you better head to the city council chambers next Wednesday evening. That’s when the Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation invites public comment on the future of Caines Head State Recreation Area. In 1942, at the height of WWII the army began construction of defense facilities at Caines Head, as difficult and expensive as anywhere in the world, only seven miles from downtown Seward. By 1944 2,000 troops were stationed at Caines Head. Part of the area was known as Fort McGilvray. There were barracks (even one for the navy), gun emplacements, bunkers, roads, trails, officers quarters and mess halls. Two years later, as the war wound down, the fort was decommissioned. Today, an increasing number of people flock to the 6,000-acre hard-to-reach recreation area. There are sea mammals, birds, spectacular scenery and good fishing. It’s been unspoiled since the war. Caines Head is virtually an untapped tourist attraction. There’s nowhere to go but up. And that’s why the state is planning to make the area more accessible. Included, according to a news release, in the “division’s recommendations are plans for developing a floating dock and fixed pier for recreational and charter boats, tent shelters, interpretive displays about Resurrection Bay during the war, and a ranger station on the north beach.

Good food, good people: Le Barn Appetit – Nestled in the woods by a cool running salmon stream, a new, tall, barn shaped building squares out against the mountainous backdrop of Resurrection Peak. Park your vehicle in the spacious gravel lot, step onto the homey wooden porch, swing through the doors and treat yourself to some of the best wholesome and satisfying, home-cooked natural food around. La Barn Appetit, located off Resurrection River Road opened their doors for business not long ago. And owners Janet and Yvon Van Dreiessche are offering customers family atmosphere purposely devoid of alcoholic beverages and rich with gourmet, informal, belly-busting great food – and lots of it. “We’re wholesome, natural as much as is possible and satisfying,” Yvon explained as he sat on one of the comfortable benches sipping a creamy apple frappe from a tall glass. “For breakfast we offer all the omelets that you can dream of, my specialty crepes or some of Jim’s sourdough pancakes.” Bacon, sausage, steak or ham are standard breakfast fare and the sourdough comes from manager Jim Seidel’s 40-year-old Alaskan sourdough starter.


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