The Juneau Assembly will meet tonight (Monday) as Committee of the Whole, as members try to decide what to do with the Alaska Commercial Fishermen’s Memorial, now that a floating cruise ship dock is to be built in front of it.
The assembly asked the city’s Docks and Harbors Board to work with the memorial’s board of directors to, if necessary, come up with a mutually acceptable plan for relocating the monument. But Docks and Harbors was unable to come up with a recommendation at its meeting last week. The CBJ Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee previously recommended that the memorial not be moved to Marine Park until there’s a plan in place.
The memorial board prefers to have it stay where it is – on the south waterfront near Taku Smokeries – but not with a dock in front of it. Marine Park is its second choice, and a third option is moving it to the recently completed seawalk south of the current location.
The memorial board’s is concerned with how the dock will affect the annual Blessing of the Fleet. Port Engineer Gary Gillette explained at last week’s Docks and Harbors meeting that boats would still be able to pass in front of the memorial with a dock there, but it might be a tight fit.
“It’s not meant to say that in all conditions or all boats in a series might be able to make this particular route,” Gillette said. “We’re just showing that a boat could physically go through there, which is important to us for maneuvering to our facility, as well as the potential to go in front of the memorial for the blessing.”
Gillette will present the three options for what to do with memorial at tonight’s Committee of the Whole meeting. The committee may choose to make a recommendation to staff or to the full assembly for action at a regular meeting.
Also on the agenda for tonight’s meeting is a presentation by the Association for the Education of Young Children on childcare – an assembly priority; and ongoing discussion of the AJ Mine. The meeting gets underway at 6 p.m. in City Hall Assembly Chambers.
- A lawsuit filed in federal court this week seeks to remove the residency requirement for people gathering signatures for state ballot initiatives.
- For the second time in two years, a Skagway political figure has been ordered to pay a fine for incomplete financial disclosures. Assembly hopeful Dan Henry failed to disclose substantial debt on his candidate paperwork. He will still be able to run for office in the upcoming election.
- Administration officials have a mouthful of a name for it: the “capped hybrid head tax.” It's a flat 1.5 percent of wages and self-employment income, with a maximum of twice the value of that year's Alaska Permanent Fund dividend.
- A federal district court has sided with conservationists fighting to preserve the U.S. Forest Service's "roadless rule" that limits road building in national forests. Alaska conservationists opposed to expanded logging in Tongass National Forest hailed the ruling as a victory.