Turn back the pages — June 18, 1977
Compiled by Julie Rosier
Weinberg Cleared By PTPC — A decision by the Alaska Professional Teaching Practices Commission cleared B.A. Weinberg, superintendent of schools for the LKREAA, of charges brought against him by five area teachers in 1976 of violations of the “Code of Ethics of Education Profession.” The teachers, in their formal complaint, asked for the suspension of revocation of Weinberg’s Administrative certificate. A three-day closed hearing was conducted in Bethel last month by the PTPC. The PTPC decision was released to the public on May 27 and stated, in part, “While we find there have been some violations of the code of ethics, they have not, in the judgement of the commission, when viewed in the total context of the situation in Bethel, been so egregious as to merit revocation or suspension of the respondent’s (Weinberg’s) certificate.” Several former teachers giving testimony at the May hearing traveled from as far away as Kotzebue and Chicago. The hearing was closed, according to the hearing officer for the PTCP, Tim Middleton, by joint consent of Weinberg and the teachers, with the approval of the commission.
No Buoys On River — An oil spill of major proportions or a complete blockage of the navigation channel of the Kuskokwim River has been a likely possibility since the ice went out in late May. For the first time in over 20 years, the Kuskokwim River is not marked by navigational buoys. Each spring the U.S. Coast Guard sends out an “Invitation to Bid” on the installation and removal of the buoys. This year, as most others, the only bid received by the Coast Guard was from Captain Ole Sumstad, owner of the Husky II. That bid was rejected. “They called me and told me I did not get the bid,” said Ole, “And said they would get someone else.” The river remained unmarked when barges began to cluster at the mouth of the river. Puzzled river users wondered at the lack of an interim plan to mark the river by the Coast Guard. Captain John Edwards of the Howard H, a tug belonging to Crowley Maritime, sat at the mouth of the Kuskokwim for 5 days. “I figure it will cost the company about $35,000 just for us to sit and wait.” Edwards said, pointing to the shallow areas off the mouth of the river. “Some barge goes around on a ridge out there, between your high and low tides, it’ll break in half — you’ll have a Kuskokwim Torry Canyon.”
Groundbreaking For New Hospital — Alaska Area Native Health Service Director Gerald H. Ivey announced that ground-breaking ceremonies for the new, $36 million Bethel Comprehensive Health Facility at Bethel, Alaska, will commence Monday, June 20, at 5:30 p.m. The 95,000 square-foot, 50-bed hospital’s projected completion date is targeted for 1980. Invited distinguished guests at the groundbreaking are Senators Ted Stevens and Mike Gravel, Congressman Don Young, Governor Jay Hammond, Dr. Emery Johnson, Director of Indian Health Service; representatives from the Deptartment of Health, Education and Welfare from Region 110 Seattle, Edward Hoffman Chairman of the Board of the Association of Village Council Presidents, Joe Lomack, President, Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation Alex Nic, Present of the Bethel Native Health Board, Peter Three Stars Superintendent, BIA; and hosts will be the Bethel Service Unit Health Board. A potlatch featuring king salmon and Eskimo dances will follow the ceremonies. The new hospital will be a complete, self-contained regional medical facility. Services will include general medical and surgical patient care covering both adult and pediatric care and dental care.
The New School Bus — A break from traditional school transportation will occur in rural Alaska this fall, Greg Thies, Department of Education pupil transportation officer, has announced. The break came recently when the department approved purchase of four-wheel drive vehicles to transport children to and from King Cove city school districts. The vehicles will be the first modern 4-wheel drive school buses owned by public school districts in Alaska. Private bus contractors own and operate all other four-wheel drives used to transport Alaska students. Kuspuk, based in Aniak, has ordered a $34,000 4-wheel drive 66 passenger school bus for the new Kalskag-Lower Kalskag High School located on the Kuskokwim River. King Cove has ordered a $17,000 4-wheel drive 16-passenger school bus van to replace its current vehicle. Delivery is expected before the beginning of next school year. The all-wheel drive feature provides excellent traction in snow, ice, and over rough, dirt and gravel, non-maintained roads, he added. The department pays 90 percent of the purchased vehicles, plus reimburses the districts for monthly maintenance and operation costs.
Facing Up To The Future (Governor Jay S. Hammond) — Something’s got to give. Make no mistake, I’m opposed to new taxes. Isn’t everyone? However, I’m even more opposed to spending one dollar more of our depleting, nonrenewable resource “nest egg” wealth for expanding government salaries or services. Most people seem to agree. At least when I ask if there’s anyone in the audience who thinks we should put one more dollar of “nest egg” wealth into on-going government, the answer is always a resounding “no”! By voting overwhelmingly to place at least 25 percent of our “nest egg” wealth into a permanent fund, Alaskans have demonstrated their awareness that we should not pay for the expansion of government with such monies since they will come to us but once. Instead, government should be allowed to grow only to the extent we’re willing and capable of paying for from either income from investments of “nest egg” wealth or appropriate taxes. Until recently, many Alaskans did not think of our “nest egg” oil wealth as the same as an “inheritance” because Prudhoe Bay should turn over more of that “inheritance” to us in each of the next several years at least. Yet, despite the fact that our receipt of “inheritance” is stretched out over a longer period of time, it is just as inappropriate to feed it into the growth of government over the long run as it would have been to do so had it been conveyed to us in one lump sum.