News Briefs

Man drowns in Glacier Creek

A body was found Saturday, July 21 in Glacier Creek and was positively identified as Bruce Gray, 44, of Eagle River, who recently moved to Alaska from Minnesota.  The identification was made through fingerprints. After identifying the body, it was discovered that Mr. Gray had been reported missing to the Anchorage Police Department a few days prior to his body being found. The State Medical Examiner has ruled the death a drowning. It appears Mr. Gray had fallen into the creek, hit his head, became incapacitated and drowned. Mr. Gray’s vehicle was found in the area. No foul play is suspected. His body was spotted by pilots from Elmendorf Air Force base, who were participating in military flight drills in the area, and using the Girdwood airstrip. They first spotted the body on approach then circled once more to confirm the sighting.

Girdwood Science Fair a great success

Girdwood Science Campers had a great week in July hiking and exploring many trails in Girdwood. They studied birds, macroinvertebrates in the streams, alpine habitats and wetlands. The camp was lead by Sherry Dugan and Terry Mercurio. Campers appreciated the generous donations and support of the Bake Shop, Girdwood Tesoro, Alyeska Resort and Alaska Railroad.

Temporary delays on Crow Pass Trail

Hiking traffic on the Crow Pass Trail will be temporarily delayed from August 6-9. Brief delays may also occur on the evening of Aug. 3. The trail will not be closed but traffic will be halted periodically so that the Forest Service can address safety issues on some of the old mine features. Forest Service personnel will be present to direct traffic and allow hikers to pass when conditions are safe. Signs will be posted at the trailhead to alert hikers. For additional questions, contact Betty Charnon at 783-3242.

Girdwood Turnagain Arm Lions Club to hold annual Humpy Fest

Rain or shine, on Saturday, Aug. 18 the Girdwood Turnagain Arm Lions Club will host its ninth annual Humpy (pink salmon) Fishing Fest, Second Chance Raffle and Rubber Ducky Races in Girdwood. The event will be held from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. It is the Lions Club main fund raising event of the year. All proceeds from the Humpy Fest help fund the club’s community projects, which include scholarships for local youth, the annual Peace Poster contest, Christmas baskets and eyeglasses for those in need.
The Humpy Fest is a family fun event. Free kids’ games will be at the Lions’ Park from noon until 2 p.m. Rubber Ducky races on California Creek will start at 2 p.m. The “Flying Fish Split the Pot” and second chance raffle will start around 3:30 p.m. in the Girdwood ball field behind the fire station.
Registration for the derby starts at 11 a.m. at the park with judging at 5 p.m. Cash prizes will be given for the largest and smallest fish (by weight) as well as one for the ugliest fish (usually decided by vote of the crowd).
Food and drink will be available for sale during the day.
This community event is made possible by the generous support of many Girdwood, Anchorage and other Alaskan businesses. Volunteer help is welcomed from fellow Lions and Girdwood residents on the day of the event.
Please call Lion Kathy Trautner @ 783-2717 for further information.

DOT delays removal of business signs on Seward Highway

The state Department of Transportation has delayed the date that businesses between Indian and Bird must remove their business signs out of the right of way. Businesses were informed that they would have to remove all signs out of the right of way by May 15; otherwise, the DOT said it would remove them at the end of June. However, the DOT is now decided to extend the removal date, giving business owners until the end of the year to remove them. Rick Feller, spokesman for the DOT, said the signs are illegal and will cost the state nearly $20 million dollars in federal money that would have to be reimbursed if the signs are not removed. Feller said businesses have the right to appeal the decision and apply for an encroachment permit.

Mountain News

Alyeska Resort broke ground on a new employee housing project July 24. The development is slated for what is currently parking lot D. Three eight plex two-story units will provide housing for staff and qualified personnel.
“In keeping with our long term development plans, Employee Housing will be the basis for Alyeska’s ability to recruit and retain quality employees,” said Wade Gesteuyala, Director of Rooms at the Hotel Alyeska. “Our employees are the crux of our operations and the genesis of our continued growth and success”.
Each unit will accommodate particular tenants based on recruitment programs and managed by the Housing Manager and Human Resources department at Alyeska Resort. Employment with Alyeska Resort does not, however, guarantee housing in the facilities.
Builders Choice Inc is the General Contractor working with the staff to complete the project by Oct. 31. The design and construction work together to fast track the overall project.
The Daylodge parking area will remain closed during the summer and fall due to on-mountain construction. The decision was made to insure public safety and insure meeting construction timelines. The Daylodge parking area will continue to act as the staging area for on-mountain improvements requiring that any unauthorized vehicles be towed from the premise. Currently the resort is working on trail improvements to the Weir and snowmaking from the bottom of the mountain to the top of the Tram.
The mountain is also closed for the summer to any activities including hiking and biking due to ongoing construction to upgrade snowmaking and expand and improve trails. It is expected to remain closed to activities next summer as well and perhaps the following summer.
“We’re shooting to have the summer product open in two years,” said spokesman Jason Lott. “Only time will tell.”