Daily Sitka Sentinel from Sitka, Alaska on September 8, 1980 · Page 1
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Daily Sitka Sentinel from Sitka, Alaska · Page 1

Sitka, Alaska
Issue Date:
Monday, September 8, 1980
Page 1
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Member of the Associated Press T H E DAilv S E N T I N E i, ^^h^ Sitka Alaska 25* Monday, September 8, 1980 Polish Workers Strike Over Unkept Promises WARSAW, Poland (AP) -Dissident* today reported work- era have struck an airplane factory in southeastern Poland because a local Communist Party leader sought to keep them from forming an independent trade union, one of the key concessions granted strikers in this country's labor crisis. The dissidents claimed Alojzy Kotarba, first secretary of the party committee for the Rzes- zow region, told workers in Mielec that there was "no need for independent trade unions" in the area. He allegedly asked workers to sign petitions declaring they would not organize unions independent of party and government control in accordance with agreements made by the regime with strik- ers in Gdansk, Szczecin and Silesia. The agreements apply nationwide, according, to the government. Dissidents said workers at the Mielec airplane plant were in the fourth day of their walkout. It was not 'known how many workers were on strike at the plant, a major producer of airplanes, motorcycles and other transport products. More scattered strikes brought a warning from Warsaw Radio that the new rights promised workers recently may be held up if the walkouts continue. Poland's Council of Ministers, the senior government organization, has ratified increases in pay and allowances promised under agreements to end recent strikes, the party paper Try buna Ludu reported. The newspaper said the council set the minimum monthly wage at, $80, an increase of about $13.50. In addition, retirement pay will be increased by $16.50 to a minimum of $70 a 'month, and allowances for families will be standardized, the paper said. During last month's strikes, workers complained that party members, police and the miljk tary received higher family allowances than other people in a society that supposedly stresses equality. The paper also reported that the new Communist Party chief, Stanislaw Kania, met with city party officials in Warsaw and said "the views of the working class" should be taken into consideration when forming policy. Mysterious Fuel Leak Gives Kotzebue Free Heat, Worries / ^ ^. » KOTZEBUE (AP) -- The village of Kotzebue is sitting atop an underground fuel spill of at least 200,000 gallons and nobody knows where it came from. But many of the 3,100 residents of the village above the Arctic Circle on the northwestern Alaska coast aren't complaining because it provides them with a free source of heating fuel. School officials can't gripe either. In the past two years, they estimate they've pumped 100,000 gallons of the diesel fuel from their basement and into their furnace. State and local officials aren't so happy, however, fearing the underground reservoir will leak into the f i s h - r i c h ' ^ zebue Sound less than 100 feet away, contaminate the local sewage treatment plant or perhaps even erupt into an inferno. Chevron U.S.A. has oil storage tanks near the school that hold 6 million gallons of diesel fuel but the company says it has checked its lines and found no leaks. The existence of the mysterious ooze is outlined in Friday's editions of the Fairbanks News-Niner. "I've never been so concerned about safety in all my life, especially when I smelled it in the school," John Janssen of the state Department of Environmental Conservation told -·the..newspaper...,,-- t V ; J _ : -...-..._. He said the DEC was con- Long-Time Sitkan Alice Guertin Dies Services for Alice S. Guertin, long-time Sitka resident, will be held 1 p.m. Tuesday at Sitka Lutheran Church with Rev. John Lindsay officating. Burial will be in the Moose Lodge section of the City Cemetery, with the Emblem Club participating. Pallbearers will include three members of the Elks Lodge and three member of the Moose Lodge. Visitation will be 7-8:30 p.m. tonight at Prewitt Funeral Home, and friends wishing to meet with the family also may stop by the Lutheran Church immediately following Tuesday's services. The family has requested that in lieu of flowers donations be made to the Heart Fund. Mrs. Guertin, 76, was born October 3, 1907, in Foreston, Minn., the daughter of Newt and Anna Nelson Carlson. She attended schools in Foreston, then moved to Los Angeles. She was working as a hostess at La Palma Restaurant when she married Frank Guertin June 8, 1939. The couple'took a honeymoon trip to Alaska -- and liked it so well they stopped off in Juneau and never finished the trip back to California. Later that year they moved to Sitka, and for 30 years owned and operated Sitka Laundry and Cleaners. They also owned Fisherman's Liquor for more man 22 years. They retired five years ago. Mrs. Guertin was a member of the Emblem Club, Women of the Moose, and Pioneers of Alaska, and was a Charter and Life -Member of Soroptimist Club. She was a member of the Lutheran Church. Surviving are her husband of the home; son Frank Guertin Jr. of Juneau; a sister, Bea Hanlon, Sitka; a brother Henry Carlson, Fairbanks; and three grandchildren, Tiffany, Sean and Noah Guertin, all of Juneau. tacted last week about the fuel by Kotzebue City Manager Gene Moore, who said he decided to call DEC when the petroleum began showing up in large quantities in the sewer system. If enough of it gets into the sewage lagoon, it will "kill the bacteria (which decomposes the sewage) and render the whole lagoon no good, period." Moore said. Janssen said he was told that for at least 10 years some villagers have been digging pits in their yards where they scoop fuel out by the bucketful. The underground pool is thought to be 4-8 feet beneath the surface and . several acres .square. . . . The school ^estimates""It gets 500 gallons a day by skimming the fuel off the top of ground water that seeps 'into the basement. The city even got into the act this summer, using the liquid to hold down the dust on unpaved streets, Moore acknowledged. Although many people have taken advantage of the leak, Moore said he doubts anyone will be upset when the source is discovered and the supply cut off. The big concern now is safety, he said. DEC officials say the fuel is a refined product, not a natural crude oil seep. Janssen said other possible sources include an abandoned Union 76 fuel storage area, an old Bureau of Indian Affairs fuel line, the hospital fuel storage facility or the school's own fuel tanks. Chevron spokesman Ed Hillyard said the company pressure-tested its tanks and lines Aug. 21 and found no leaks. "It's physically mipuoaiwit for the product to come from our tanks," Hillyard said. The Chevron tanks are downhill from the leakage and "if we have a spill it will go into the sound," he added. Janssen said the fuel collected by villagers looks clear, indicating it hasn't been in the ground very long. "If I can find out who is responsible they are going to have to clean it up," Janssen said. Casualties Heavy As Soviets Move Into Afghan Stronghold By GENE KRAMER Associated Press Writer NEW DELHI, India (AP) -Heavy casualties on both sides in the war in Afghanistan are reported as Soviet forces advance into a strategic mountain 'valley northeast of Kabul held by Afghan rebels for nearly 2% years. Afghan and foreign sources reported the air and ground attack by special Soviet counter- guerrilla units and 500 Afghan tribal mercenaries was launched on the deep, winding Panjahir valley late last month. Tliey said it produced some of the heaviest fighting since an estimated 80,000 Soviet troops were sent to Afghanistan last December to try to put down the tribal rebellion against the communist government. The sources said the Soviets apparently were trying to take the valley before the first snowfall in November. They said it was their 13th attempt and that anti-communist tribesmen had controlled it since the first communist government took over Kabul in April 1978. A source in Kabul who has proved accurate in the past, quoting travelers to the Afghan capital, said rebel Panjshir tribesmen held off the attack for two days before Soviet motorized infantry and armored units backed by formidable air support advanced in bloody fighting from Gulbahar, at the mouth of the valley, to Rokha, 20 miles away. Soviet helicopters put troops on the mountaintops, then the troops closed in on the rebels from above and below, according to the reports. The travelers reportedly said they saw 10 Soviet helicopter gunships and two other planes shot down and that many of the 400 Soviet tanks and armored vehicles in the attack were destroyed or trapped in the area. Both the rebels and the Soviet forces suffered heavy casualties and 20 to 30 percent of the buildings in the 20-mile- stretch were destroyed by Soviet bombardment and shelling, the reports said. SLOW DISASTER -- Above, the tug "Neoga" lies on her side on the beach in Olga Straits. The tug, valued at $1.5 million, was still burning' out of control at noon today. A Coast Guard firefighting crew and the tug "Womack" wait for .the fire to die down enough to salvage the wrecked vessel. Below, the "Neoga" is shown at the beginning of the fire Sunday morning. The tug "Calumet" stands by in a futile attempt to stop the fire. (Sentinel and Coast Guard photos) North Slope Eskimos Bilked, Case in Fairbanks Indicates BARROW (AP) -- North Slope Eskimos may have been bilked out of as much as a half a million dollars, the Anchorage Daily News said in copyright story in its Saturday editions. The newspaper said a six- week investigation had revealed transfers of hundreds of thousands of dollars from the Barrow village corporation to subsidiaries in the Bahamas and possible tax fraud. Questions about the financial affairs of the Ukpeakvik In- upiat Corp., Alaska's second largest native village corporation, surfaced earlier in the year in a Fairbanks court case, the Daily News said. By reviewing court records and interviewing law enforcement authorities, the Daily News said it learned: --UIC last year channeled a least $432,000 to the Bahamas to establish banking and insurance firms, in large part to avoid U.S. taxes. --Arctic Slope Regional Council, which oversees UIC under terms of the Native Claims Set- tlement Act, invoked provisions of the act in April to temporarily withhold payments to the company because of questions about the Bahamas investments. "There have been charges made that are very broad, very serious and very damaging to the corporation," said William Donohue, UIC's attorney. "We will get to the bottom of it ... to see if corporate assets have been misused and if money has been misspent," Donohue told the Daily News. The regional and village corporations have hired a private investigator to look into the matter, the Daily News reported. One Arctic Slope official, who asked not to be identified, told the Daily News he believes much of the money now invested in the Bahamas may now be gone. "We don't think much more than $1 million was lost," he is quoted as saying in the Daily News. "And up here, that isn't very much money." The three companies formed by the corporation in the Bahamas are The Barrow Co., a general holding company; Inner World Insurance Co., Ltd.; and Ukpeakvik Bank Trust. The Daily News said they were established last year at the urging of former corporation financial consultant James Gatzka. According to court records and Gatzka himself, he was fired last August amid accusations he had embezzled $13,000 from UIC, the Daily News said. He has denied the charge. The Daily News said court records show the massive transfer of funds to the Bahamas left the corporation with less than $50,000 in liquid assets. Despite the size of the investments, UIC's shareholders were not informed about the 1 ' Bahamas operations and a number of UIC board members apparently were unaware of the nature of the investments, the Daily News reported. Fire, Burns By the Sentinel Staff The tug "Neoga," valued at $1.5 million by its owners Samson Tug and Barge, was burning out of control at noon today on a beach in Olga Straits. The 106 foot long tug has been burning since before B ^,m.J3unday. ^. \/. ^'A^Coast^Gliia^ Coast Guard cutter "Woodrush" and- another tug were standing by the burning vessel, which is too hot to approach. The tug had been enroute to Sitka with a filled log barge when it caught on fire. According to Bill Haws, captain of the "Neoga", the vessel caught fire when an 0 ring blew on a hydraulic valve, spilling oil on an exhaust stack. "It practically exploded" said Hawse, adding that there was no chance of containing the fire. The Coast Guard received a call from the distressed tug just before 8 a.m. Sunday and a helicopter and the cutter "Woodrush" were immediately sent to the scene, about 12 miles north of Sitka near Olga Point. Since the tug had fueled up shortly before its trip, there was an estimated 30,000 gallons of diesel fuel on board which is continuing to feed the fire. When the fire began, the seven crewmembers evacuated to the log barge until the Samson Tug boat "Calumet" arrived an hour later to take them board. The "Calumet" then stood by while fire fighting efforts were ttempted. However, Haws remarked, "The only way they could have put the fire out would have ' been to sink it. "The tug was finally pushed ashore nd beached, where it continues to burn. Because of the large amount of diesel fuel on board, an oil "boot" surrounds the wreck to trap some of the fuel escaping. An oil slick, however, is in evidence surrounding the area. Also because of the amount of fuel, no one is able to predict when the flames will die down enough to salvage the remains of the wooden hulled tug. Jack Parrish, Samson Tug and Barge Co., said that while he valued the tug at $1.5 million, its replacement cost will be a great deal more. He added that extensive rebuilding had been done on the tug two years ago. The boat had a wooden hull construction with steel decks. Parrish said the company had no immediate plans of replacing the tug. FORECAST Occassional rain tonight Tuesday with winds diminishing to 15 mph tonight. Temperatures in the 50s. Outlook for Wednesday: windy rainy. HYDRO REPORT September 8, 1980 KWH used 13$ QQQ KWH used last year 12l'wo KW peak ^ KW peak last year . gejQQ Lake level ^ Rule curve , 1 7 TIDE TABLES Tides for Tuesday, Sept. 9 High tide at 2:19 a.m. Low tide at 8:41 a.m. High tide at 2:56 p.m. Low tide at 8:55 p.m. Courtesy of Bailey's Marine Hardware Katlian St. across from Pionwr Bar 9.8' -0.4' 9.5' 1.2'

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