Items of Interest

Official announcement has been made by Secretary of Commerce Redfield of the discovery of a practical navigable channel from Bering sea into the mouth of the Kuskokwim river, thus opening the second greatest river in Alaska to commerce. The discovery was made by Captain Lukens of the coast and geodetic survey. In a statement announcing the discovery, Secretary Redfield says that although it cannot be predicted with certainly what this new region will develop when thoroughly prospected, it is not unreasonable to suppose that the near future will see the Kuskokwim river of commercial importance compared with that of the Yukon river.

"The Kuskokwim river," says Secretary Redfield, "is nine miles wide at its mouth and navigable for over six hundred miles inland. The great submerged flats of the delta of this river extend one hundred miles out to sea, and it was through this uncharted delta that the surveying steamer 'Yukon' made the discovery of the channel which means so much to the commerce of that section of Alaska. The Kuskokwim is one of the three great Alaskan rivers emptying into the Bering sea which has been opened to commerce as a result of the charting operations of the coast and geodetic survey. The mouth of the Yukon was surveyed in 1898, and in a few years that river became one of the greatest commercial arteries of Alaska. In 1909 and in 1910 Nuskagak bay was charted, and now the Kuskokwim, by far the most dreaded and unknown of these rivers, will no longer be a menace or a mystery to the navigator who has one of the new charts of its entrance about to be issued by the survey."

The big reinforced concrete dam across the Colorado river at Austin, Texas, which backs up the water in a lake twenty-six miles long, supplying the city with water and power, has been completed under the direction of the City Water Company. The dam was built primarily as a source of water supply for the city, and also for the generation of electric current for distribution in and around Austin. The enterprise was started in 1912. It is expected that about seventy-five hundred horse-power of hydro-electric energy may be developed, and the entire cost of construction and equipment is estimated at one million seven hundred and fifty thousand dollars. The new dam replaces the first one, which was built in 1893 and swept away in April, 1900. Under an ordinance passed by the city council and ratified by popular vote, an agreement was authorized under which the entire property of the company will be owned by the city of Austin upon payment to the trustees of sixty-four thousand dollars per annum for twenty-five years. This sum will pay the interest and redeem the principal of the bonds.

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Evil a Deception
February 6, 1915

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