July 25, 2013 | Vol. 39, No. 30

Yesterday's News

July 26, 1913 – The Day is rapidly approaching when there will be no “waste places” of the earth. Modernism is sweeping aside all the old customs, traditions and habits of the world and there is no spot too remote or too small to escape his attention.

A railroad is piercing that Africa where Livingstone faced countless deaths and where scores of other explorers found weird animals and strange men, to add to the truthful “fairy story” of nature's wonders.

Australia has ceased to be a land of oddities and is yielding to the Anglo-Saxon's push and energy. China, rousing from her sleep of centuries, has taken up frock coats and high hats.

Even India, slow, unchanging India, has discovered that she possesses rare wheat fields and immense iron deposits and soon will be shipping out structural steel, as she is already shipping wheat.

However, it remains for Stefansson to shatter one more of the cherished traditions of all time.

He is taking a phonograph North with him and under the unchanging sun or long night of the Pole will charm the natives with the golden throat of Caruso.

Caruso in the Arctic! The idea is heretically progressive. Soon they will be manufacturing ice on the Equator for export to Greenland!

August 3, 1983 – Icicle Seafoods needed shelter for 100 employees last week while it prepared for a deluge of salmon deliveries.

Many workers are reportedly doubling up in bunk houses and living with community residents.

Doug Robberson, who manages the Petersburg plant, called the city's housing shortage a serious problem. He proposes the city, Petersburg citizens and the canneries work on a long-term comprehensive plan to prevent a repeat of this year's space shortage problem.

Solutions might include more tent spaces, additional bunk houses, or private housing enterprises, according to Robberson and city officials.

Icicle finished a 70-person capacity tent city at Scow Bay this year, but even that additional space is insufficient, Robberson said. The company is currently employing 600 workers. About 318 workers were hired through the Alaska State Employment Office, said John Johnson, office director. The office provided Icicle with 30 local workers and 288 workers who came from outside the area.

July 29, 1993 – As the flooded Midwest struggles with too much rain, two towns in the continent's largest temperate rain forest haven't had enough this summer. They're running out of water.

The Navy may be called to rescue thirsty Wrangell and Petersburg.

The two island towns in the normally soggy Tongass National Forest could go dry next month if the skies do not open up and replenish their reservoirs soon, officials said Tuesday.

June and July have been unusually dry and warm on Alaska's Panhandle.

Wrangell has had just 1.94 inches of rain this month with just four days to go. In a normal July, the town gets 4.56 inches. Petersburg gets 5 inches of rain in an average June, but received about half that last month.

Both towns rely on normally plentiful runoff to fill their relatively small reservoirs. Dry summers have caused temporary shortages before, most recently in 1990 and 1987.

At the request of town officials, Sen. Frank Murkowski, R-Alaska, recently wrote to the Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard to ask about the availability of desalinization equipment should the shortage reach emergency proportions.

July 31, 2003 – Like a tale from earlier days, a weary Swedish rower brought his skiff to rest on the waterfront of a tiny settlement founded by native Tlingit Indians and hardy Norwegian fishermen, and was given chocolate chip cookies!

“Oh, they were good,” Greg Lundgren said as he and his travel partner stretched their combined six legs. “I haven't eaten anything all day. My first thought was of a beer, but these are just fine. I think Alaskans must be the friendliest people going.”

Lundgren, and his samoyed mix dog Elvis, arrived in Petersburg Saturday afternoon in an 18-foot classic Whitehall-style rowboat.

Lundgren quit his job in Colorado as a manufacturers rep two years ago, thinking any adventures to be done had best be attempted while he felt young. He wanted an adventure where he could bring Elvis along.

“The Inside Passage is just a classic travel route,” Lundgren said.

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