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

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March 6, 1986

The Seward Phoenix LOG

Tanker gone, stench remains – Julie Owens’ knees turned to jelly at the thought of boarding a small plane. But after two days apart from her husband and kids, the young Moose Pass mother gritted her teeth and took a Tuesday Harbor Air flight to Seward, muttering “I bet Dennis will never offer to take the kids to preschool again.” Some 29 Moose Pass families were evacuated, separated from children and spouses, and stranded on Monday and Tuesday while a rail tanker full or urea-formaldehyde spewed foul clouds of formaldehyde, water vapor, carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide that permeated homes and businesses in the Crown Point area with the stench of dead fish. Residents noticed a fishy smell coming from the top of a railcar on Saturday. By Sunday, an exothermic reaction taking place inside the overheated car and it was billowing so much noxious vapor, that Bill Hightower went to have a look. He then called trooper Rod Pelch, who contacted Moose Pass fire chief Don Lamoreaux and Sherm Nebel, Alaska Oilfield Specialties vice president. Monday morning, Nebel was on the scene along with state troopers and a field officer for the Department of Environmental Conservation. Troopers closed the highway and ordered residents from Mile 18 to 28 to evacuate. Emergency headquarters were set up at Moose Pass School. The roadblock was lifted Tuesday night after the tanker was moved to a rail siding at Hunter, 10 miles north of Moose Pass.

N.L.R.B. reverses stance on SeaWay firings – “I’m just thankful to have the ILWU to back me,” said Gary Duncan, who heard Tuesday morning that the National Labor Relations Board will order SeaWay Express to put him back to work at the Seward dock. Duncan and two co-workers, Jim Heddinger and Lee Sorenson, were fired last July after leaving a company meeting. SeaWay manager, Fred Piel, then said the men were dismissed because of their “disrespectful, insubordinate and discourteous attitude.” Duncan, a $13.50/hour trucker, countered, “It boiled down to my being a union activist.” SeaWay workers were on the brink of a representational election at the time. The board ordered that the company put all three men back to work.

Seward girls just want to have a little fun – Dallas, Sampson, Caesar, Gabriel and Chaz delighted a full house of women at Seward’s Folly Monday night. The all-male revue showed the women of Seward what burlesque is all about. For two hours the professional dancers kept smiles and a few blushes on the faces of the crowd.

‘Very likely’ Endell to request prison beds – It’s “very likely” that the Department of Corrections will ask the Legislature for $22.7 million this session to add 288 beds to Spring Creek prison. Roger Endell, Commissioner of Corrections, revealed in a Tuesday phone interview that the Spring Creek expansion was part of a $140 million capital projects wish list that was detailed in a Corrections “discussion paper” he authorized.

Unlocked Seward car stolen, found burned in Anchorage – A 1978 Ford pickup left unlocked and with the keys in the ignition downtown on Feb. 7, was found burned the next day by Anchorage police.

SPD has highest City turnover – Employee turnover during the past five years was highest in the police department, according to figures provided by City Hall. The police department is also the largest City department. Twenty-eight people left their jobs as police officers, dispatchers, jail staff or animal control officers. Police Chief Louis Bencardino commented that high turnover is common in small police departments due to lack of room for advancement, and also noted “we’re a semi-military department” and “we’re harder on our people.”

Fire on Nash Road – The Bear Creek Volunteer Fire Department responded to a two-story structural fire at the Suddath retail store on Nash Road March 6 at 2:05 p.m. Firefighters responding with five rescue and fire units found heavy smoke and fire on the first and second floors around the heating stove and stair way. The mail fire area was quickly extinguished.

Harbor Dinner Club – Now open for lunch and dinner on Mondays. Prime rib, Friday and Saturday.

Exit Glacier is scene of ski race – Kenai Fjords National Park hosted an open house at the Exit Glacier ranger residence March 2. Snow had closed the road at mile 1 which made the trip to the cabin a total of six miles. Ten people entered a mile and a half ski race held the same day.

Liberty Theatre – Now showing: “101 Dalmatians” and “Cartoon Classics.” Next attraction: “Iron Eagle.”


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