Valdez Insider
Question ofthe Week
With this winter coming to a close, rank which winter was more memorable:
  Snowmageddon 2011-2012
  The Damalanche 2013-2014
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Local News
Sarah Histand, PWSCC Health and Fitness Center Coordinator and Valdez resident, ranked among the 19 participants in this year's Alaska Mountain Wilderness Classic, a race known for being the longest unsupported ski race in North America. According to a report from PWSCC, Histand competed with her brother, Ben Histand, as part of a two person team covering approximately 200 miles of terrain on skis with a route that gained a total of 15,000 feet of vertical gain through the Wrangell St. Elias Mountains. Starting in McCarthy, Sarah and Ben reached the finish line at mile 94.5 of the Tok Cut Off Road in 7.5 days. "Some days we had really good traveling conditions," Sarah told her colleagues adding, "we would ski for long days (13 hours or more) and make big miles - up to 40. Other days were through much more difficult terrain, and after putting in the same long days we'd only get 15 to 20 miles." Sarah related stories of extreme windy days that pushed the pair backwards on their skies, forcing them to put on skins or remove the skis entirely. Wilderness Classic competitors choose their own routes working through various kinds of terrain including rivers, mountain passes, glaciers, brush and valleys. Histand detailed the team's gear set up in the PWSCC report explaining that she and her brother traveled with ultralight winter camping gear, skinny metal edged cross country skis and food supplies, weighing approximately 40 pounds at the start of the race. Histand told PWSCC that she entered the Classic even though she wasn't sure she was "up for tackling all of its challenges," but with the successful 200 mile trip behind her she reported experiencing a "great sense of strength and empowerment," adding, "It was truly life changing."

The House approved a measure that would raise Alaska's minimum wage to $9 an hour starting July 1st, reports the Alaska Dispatch. According to their report the measure was narrowly approved in a 21-19 vote and will now proceed to the State Senate. Should the measure also clear the Senate it will remove an existing initiative from the statewide August ballot seeking to raise the minimum wage to $8.75 starting next January. According to the Dispatch, opponents of the bill are suspicious of the timing of its introduction, worrying that it will remove the issue from the ballot and then be reversed by the legislature.  A report last week from the Fairbanks News-Miner explained that this would not be the first time such a thing has occurred citing an incident in 2002 when lawmakers revoked new provisions regarding the minimum wage from a similar bill a year after the law took effect. According to the Dispatch, allowing the issue to be decided by statewide vote would protect the measure from changes for two years, a restriction that does not apply to acts of the Legislature.
CLICK HERE to read the full article from the Alaska Dispatch
CLICK HERE to read the full article from the Fairbanks News-Miner

The Valdez Police Department will conduct A.L.I.C.E. training at Valdez City Schools today. According to Bill Comer over the VPD, A.L.I.C.E. (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evaluate) is a response system for handling armed assailants or violent intruders in the schools. The VPD will also provide bullet proof whiteboards throughout the school system. The VPD will also present A.L.I.C.E. information at tonight’s School Board meeting.
CLICK HERE for more information on A.L.I.C.E.

News Watch
Anchorage Daily News
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Fairbanks Daily News

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Sarah Histand Ski Challenge

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Valdez weather