Breast Cancer Awareness Walk

Fund-raisers raise more than $13,100

Story and Photo by DIMITRA LAVRAKAS

Skagway’s Breast Cancer Awareness Walk, silent auction and male stripper event last weekend raised over $13,100 for the Cancer Awareness Fund.
Last Friday night’s male stripper night raised $2,700 and the silent auction, $4,900.
The approximately 11-mile walk from Skagway to the Dyea Flats had 63 registered adult walkers and five children.
The walk itself raised $5,500 in pledges, but there’s more, said walk organizers – they’re still waiting for all the pledges to come in.

Meteorite location, finder revealed
Answer: It was on Taku Arm near Atlin

By JASON SMALL
Whitehorse Star
An icy drive last January revealed a cosmic motherlode for an Atlin, B.C. resident.
On May 31 at a press conference in Calgary, it was revealed who found the chunks of meteorite which fell as the result of the fireball which lit up the Yukon sky after blowing up Jan. 18.
Jim Brook discovered the chunks while out on the Taku Arm of Tagish Lake in B.C., near his home, on Jan. 25, exactly a week after the fireball hit the Yukon.
“(The) initial find was in my truck, driving down the lake,” he said in an interview form Calgary, where he attended the announcement.
The location and his name were kept secret at his request.
On the day of the discovery, Brook said there were perfect driving conditions on the lake since it hadn’t snowed for over a week.
As he was driving, he spotted the meteor fragments.
“It was obvious right away,” he said. He said he could see the black crust on the chunks.
Brook said he was traveling to and from his home via the lake. The purpose of his trip was not to search for the fragments, but he was keeping his eyes open.
After spotting the chunks on the ice, he almost made a mistake.
“I almost picked it up.” he said. He caught himself and went back to his truck, where he grabbed a plastic bag, put them in, and took them back home where he froze them.
He went back the next day with more plastic bags and picked up the rest that he could see, which totaled three or four.
Brook, who has some experience and interest in geology, said he had an idea of what to do to keep the samples as pristine as possible.
“I’ve handled some samples in the past and keeping them sterile is important,” he said. “I knew just enough to be aware of the value of keeping them clean.”
The American National Aeronautics and Space Administration did some research on the meteorite pieces.
NASA’s research revealed the pieces were carbonaceous chondrite, which are meteorites that have pieces of organic material in them.
Meteorites date back to the creation of the universe. With the organics present in these samples, it gives scientists an idea of how the universe was created.
About a week after discovering the pieces, Brook took them to Whitehorse and the local office of the Geological Survey of Canada. From there, Brook got in touch with meteor scientists Peter Brown of the University of Western Ontario. That was when the first pieces were sent to NASA in Houston, Texas.
In February, the scientists came up to the Yukon and did some more research.
The discovery was not revealed until February, and the location and finder were still kept secret.
“I had several good reasons for doing that,” Brook said.
He said the location was too close to his home, and since he would be away frequently, he didn’t want people traipsing around.
There was another reason.
“I wanted a chance to go back and recover more without a lot of interference.”
Scientists came up in April and searched for more fragments.
About 500 fragments were found, but many were not recovered after going through the ice and sinking to the bottom. Some turned to mush.
The press release called it the “largest meteorite find in Canadian history.”
The statement also said that because of the richness in organics, the discovery is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Research on the chunks is still ongoing, most of it in Houston.
Brook said the chunks are on loan. Meteorite hunters pay large sums of money for pieces.
The fireball was seen throughout the region and appeared in the northern sky above Skagway.

Nearly 92,000 king salmon set free

Story and Photo by DIMITRA LAVRAKAS

Crystal Ackerman, with the Skagway School hatchery project, samples and counts several of the 91,850 king salmon fry released at Pullen Pond on June 1. Eventually they made their way to the harbor and out into Taiya Inlet.
Kevin Monagle, assistant hatchery manager for Douglas Island Pink and Chum hatchery in Juneau, said he was amazed the fry did so well. Last year they were transported as alevin (eggs) from Burro Creek Hatchery and then to Juneau for rearing.
“It’s kind of a neat deal with these fish, nobody’s ever transported alevins,” he said. “We didn’t know if they’d survive, but I don’t think we lost any in that. They’ve done really well.”
This release marks the first in a 16-year plan to bring the numbers of king salmon up to an appropriate level for sports and commercial fishing in the Upper Lynn Canal.

Spurrier selected as new police chief
At a special meeting of the Skagway City Council Tuesday night, Sgt. Dennis Spurrier was chosen as the new chief of police by unanimous vote.
City Manager Bob Ward said Spurrier will be paid the same amount as retired Police Chief Scott Eddy – $26.41 an hour. Ward said Spurrier was given that amount because of his four-year experience as Skagway police chief in the 1980s.

Birthday Balloon and logo unveiled for 100th birthday

City manager given go-ahead to make sure McCabe project is finished

Story and Photo by DIMITRA LAVRAKAS

City Manager Bob Ward was given the authority to “take whatever steps legally required to ensure the completion of the McCabe project” after an executive session of the Skagway City Council on June 6.
“I just have the authority to do whatever is necessary, including changing contractors,” said Ward after the meeting.
The council has had two executive session in the past several weeks to discuss Alaska Building Contractor’s missing its original deadline for completion of the project. The original deadline was February, but was extended to April 25, and the last completion date was set for June 25, in time for the city’s birthday party.

The next day, the contractors had not heard about the council’s decision.
“I don’t think we can really comment, we haven’t been told anything,” said Daniel Mahoney, job supervisor. “All I’ve heard is through the grapevine.
“I’m tired of the battle, and I’m of the mind to go and do whatever I want to.”
Mahoney said he’d be back for the city’s centennial party.
“I love the old building, and I’ll be back for the big party. I haven’t missed one yet,” he said.
ABC owner Pat Wolf also declined comment until he receives notification.

Fire on Columbia temporarily
cancels Malaspina runs
An electrical fire on the Alaska Marine Highway System’s M/V Columbia on June 6 has changed the M/V Malaspina day boat schedule.
From June 7-12, the Malaspina will take up the Columbia’s task and transport stranded passengers to Bellingham. The Malaspina’s next sailing from Skagway is tentatively scheduled for June 13.
“We’ve moved everybody off the Mal on Friday to the Kennicott on Thursday morning at 4:30 a.m. or offered them a refund,” said Gary Hanson, Skagway Ferry Terminal manager. He said the Kennicott was now fully booked.
All of Columbia’s 434 passengers and 63 crew are safe. The fire, which originated in the main switchboard of the control room, was reported at 12:40. The ship is stable, but has no propulsion power.
The ship was enroute from Juneau to Sitka when the fire occurred. It is presently located approximately three miles north of Tenakee Inlet in Chatham Strait. Passengers were transferred to the M/V Taku and were returned to Auke Bay ferry terminal in Juneau by 8 p.m. Two tugboats have been sent and the Columbia will be towed to Auke Bay where vehicles will be unloaded and its damage assessed.
For more information, call the Skagway Ferry Terminal at 983-2941 or the Juneau office at 1-800-642-0066.