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Posted: Monday, November 19, 2012 12:00 am | Updated: 4:15 pm, Fri Jan 25, 2013.

Fairbanks Daily News-Miner editorial

Thumbs up: Golden Valley Electric Association has a new CEO, but he’s someone many people in Fairbanks already know: Cory Borgeson.

Borgeson has been GVEA’s general counsel since 1989. The longtime Fairbanks attorney filled in as interim CEO for the past several months after Brian Newton left.

With high electricity prices and a variety of ideas about how to reduce them, this is not the right time for the utility to be leaderless. It’s good to see the board choose a leader who knows the issues and the community.

 

Thumbs up: The board of the new municipal gas utility is shaping up well.

Fairbanks North Star Borough Mayor Luke Hopkins appointed Bob Shefchik earlier this month. Shefchik, currently at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, had a long career with the Fairbanks North Star Borough and school district. He’s a good addition to the board.

Others on the board include: Bill Butler, North Pole’s director of city services; Steve Haagenson, former CEO of Golden Valley Electric Association; engineer Frank Abegg; and Mike Meeks, director of public works at Fort Wainwright.

Hopkins has two more appointments to make. He said he’d announce them Dec. 6.

 

Thumbs up: Fairbanks businesswoman Kyong Hollen has been named the 2012 Outstanding Philanthropist by the Alaska chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals.

Hollen, who owns K Janitorial and Santina’s Flowers, volunteers and supports numerous local organizations. She established two scholarships at the University of Alaska Fairbanks in 2010.

Hollen, who was born in Korea, came to Fairbanks in 1986 and became a citizen two years later.

 

Thumbs down: The Alaska Bird Observatory will close, the organization announced last week. The observatory has made valuable contributions to bird research and education during the past two decades.

Funding sources across the board have dropped so much that the observatory couldn’t stay open, according to the board. Three full-time and two part-time staff members will lose their jobs.

The greater loss will be to the community, which has made the observatory its go-to place for information.

 It’s also a great loss to bird research. The observatory has created a unique set of data by netting and banding songbirds in the woods around Creamer’s Field. The data from summer 2012 will be the last.

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