Skagway Shield Soccer League season concludes

In a replay match of 2017’s Skagway Shield Soccer League championships, teams Refugee All Stars and Unnatural Selection battled it out for dominance, with Refugee All Stars ultimately taking the Skagway Shield title for 2018’s soccer season in a 2-1 game.

Unnatural Selection, captained by Zowe Garder, has made it to the championship match three out of four years, according to Soccer League Commissioner Duppy Ticarro.

Refugee All Stars. Ticarro’s own team, have made it to the ultimate match twice. Ticarro said he’s been involved in the league since it began organized play in 2015. The most exciting part of it is reconnecting with the seasonal employees that return year after year, he said.

“The friendships made go beyond the soccer pitch,” Ticarro said in an email. “The ‘beauty’ of the game keeps me returning, and the quality, integrity and character of all participants is also paramount.”

The league this year had six teams, and rosters are capped at 12 for each, meaning there’s consistently over 100 players taking part in the sport over the summer. The season starts in May, runs for 11 weeks and pits each team against each other twice – not including the championship game.

There have been many exciting moments over the years, Ticarro said.

“Each team’s friendship and qualities always shine during pregame, with Skagway FC and their colored smoke bombs to the pre-game dance parties of Unnatural Selection,” Ticarro said. “Providing something for the community is always a driving force to keep our little community active and involved in athletics.”

Julian Coffin-Hadfield, a new captain and returning player this year, said the spirit of competition is fierce sometimes, and the league contains a lot of quality players, but the ultimate goal is to have a good time

“And I think we hit the nail on the head this year again, and [I’m] looking forward to next year, whatever it brings,” Coffin-Hadfield said. A lot of the new players were “stellar,” Coffin-Hadfield said, and the season featured some tight competition.

“It’s just a lot of fun,” Coffin-Hadfield said. “While I’m ready for a week or two off, I’m ready to go play pickup again and then go indoors for the winter at the Rec Center and then head back out in the spring next year and do it all over again.”

Primary Election results

The unofficial results for the Aug. 21 Alaska Primary Election have been released. Several Democratic candidates had put their name forward to vie for outgoing Rep. Sam Kito’s District 33 seat.

Sara Hannan took home 62.16 percent or 1707 of the 2746 votes cast. Tom Morphet was the runner-up, with 19.16 percent (526 votes). Steven D. Handy was third with 15.62 percent (429), and James E. Hart – who had announced that he’d chosen not to run after it was too late to pull his name from the ballot – got 3.06 percent (84 votes).

For the State Senate District Q seat, Jesse Kiehl ran unopposed, securing 100 percent of the 4228 votes cast.

In the primaries for Alaska state governor, the winning Democrat candidate was Mark Begich, who recieved 29,806 votes. The Republican candidate with the most votes was Mike J. Dunleavy, with 39,193 votes.

Skagway had a voter turnout of 17.53 percent in the primary election; out of 1152 registered voters, 202 cards were turned in.

The gubernatorial election will be held on Nov. 6, 2018.

Small initial candidate list for Oct. 2 elections

Only five candidates have come forward so far for the Borough Assembly and Skagway School Board seats up for grabs in the Oct. 2 municipal election.

Roger Griffin is running against incumbents Jay Burnham and Steve Burnham Jr. for the two open chairs at the assembly table.

In the school board race, incumbent John Hischer is running again, with Alanna Lawson appearing as a write-in candidate.

Both the assembly positions and those on the school board are three year terms.

Vacation rental ordinance fails to pass for a second time

Following a number of revamps to language and content within an ordinance regulating vacation/short-term rentals, a vote of 2-3 by the Borough Assembly saw the legislation die on the table for the second time this summer.

Jan Tronrud told the assembly that she had brought the matter up to the municipality originally, though her intent was not to “squash any entrepreneurial goals of people in town.”

“It was to bring the attention to a business that was taking place in the community that was not being regulated,’ Tronrud said, adding that she thinks there is a need for short-term rentals in the community.

Morning Wood Hotel owner Beth Smith said there are fewer and fewer rooms available for overnight guests, and there are “many, many days” where she has to call around town to find available rooms in town.

Figuring out a solution to the seasonal housing issue should fall on the borough’s shoulders, and not be the problem of private citizens, Smith said.

Joanne Korsmo, who runs a vacation rental out of her home, said the short-term rental business has been a positive addition to the town, and that it is not causing any housing issues.

“They [short-term rentals] have in other communities, and I understand why you are worried about it, but it just isn’t happening here,” Korsmo said.

She also said the ordinance portrays short-term rentals in a negative light.

The second line of the ordinance had stated the “Planning and Zoning Commission recognizes that the proliferation of vacation rentals such as those managed by AirBnB and VRBO have an effect on the availability of seasonal housing for persons working in the tourism industry within the Municipality.”

Assembly Member Tim Cochran motioned to remove that second line from the ordinance, saying he didn’t care for the tone and that “we shouldn’t be pointing fingers at any established businesses.” That motion passed 5-0, however the next motion – to approve the ordinance on second reading – failed to get enough votes to pass muster in a 2-3 split, with assembly members Jay Burnham, Dan Henry and Steve Burnham Jr. against.

-DF