10 YEARS AGO

Dec. 4, 2010 — Employees at the Arctic Region Supercomputing Center were told Friday the program will likely lose its Department of Defense contract next summer, resulting in a dramatic restructuring and probable layoffs for most of its 46 employees.

ARSC, located at the University of Alaska Fairbanks since 1993, had a budget of about $12 million last year. About 95 percent of that funding comes from the Department of Defense, which has a local contract to provide military and security assistance.

25 YEARS AGO

Dec. 4, 1995 — NEW YORK — Quilts. Flannels. Jeeps. If it smacks of the country, it's chic.

Hungering for comfort and simplicity, Americans are reveling in things rural.

They’re trekking up mountains — or down Madison Avenue — in fancy hiking boots. They’re splashing houses and apartments with gingham, baskets and, as Christmas nears, garlands and gingerbread houses.

Ask Kurt Abrams, who oohs and ahs about his new Ford Explorer, the best seller among the “sport utility vehicles” that constitute the fastest-growing segment of the domestic auto market for several years.

No matter that he’s a New Yorker, born and bred. With such a car, the country beckons.

“I’m starting to contemplate taking my kids camping,” says Abrams, a father of two who works for a pharmaceutical company. “I didn’t think about it before. I’m trying to figure out things to do with the vehicle.”

50 YEARS AGO

Dec. 4, 1970 — The Alaska Railroad will propose a 15 per cent blanket increase in freight rates, subject to approval of the Interstate Commerce Commission according to John Manley, general manager.

He said paperwork is expected to be sent to the ICC later this week, with the freight rate hike to go into effect sometime in January.

The boost, if approved, will be the first by the Alaska Railroad since a 9 per cent went into effect on Sept. 28,1968.

Sea-Land can be expected to seek a similar rate hike within a month or so.

75 YEARS AGO

Dec. 4, 1945 — WASHINGTON, D.C. — The House Naval Affairs Committee today reaffirmed its approval of a search for new oil sources in its Alaskan reserve and recommended the Appropriations committee approve necessary funds.

Commodore W.G. Greenman, Director of Naval Petroleum Reserves, told the House Naval Affairs Committee it would be necessary to carry on the explorations by private contract because of the impending demobilization of naval personnel now engaged in the work.

He estimated costs for technical work and the drilling of wells for the next three years at $8,900,000. He said the costs would run at least 66 per cent higher than the original estimates based on the use of navy personnel and equipment.