Tuesday, January 7, 2003

Surprising theory
I was complimented by the kind remarks in Don Smith's recent editorial about my return to City Hall, but surprised at his theory of how this would affect the selection of the next city manager, as he has not discussed the subject with me. Even so, I'm sure he would agree that the recruitment and selection of the interim and permanent city manager are entirely the province of the Assembly. My job is to work effectively with whomever the Assembly may choose.

One-sided reporting
Tim Bradner's piece, "Timber industry hopes it's on the way up," (Empire, Jan. 3) is a shameful example of one-sided reporting. A balanced article would have mentioned that the peak period, when Mr. Woodbury claims there were 3,000 jobs in the timber industry, was not sustainable. Those jobs were provided at the expense of future generations of loggers. During the heyday of logging by Alaska's Native corporations, virtually all the timber on Southeast Alaska village corporation lands was cut in less than 20 years with very little left for fish and wildlife values. The cost: No more jobs and greatly reduced opportunities for traditional uses of those lands.

Balance war coverage
War is the ultimate failure of human beings to act with compassion, intelligence and foresight. Bush's proposed war against Iraq exposes U.S. greed, impatience and arrogance. I can't understand why President Bush is so eager for war and why he is supposedly so popular. He is pandering to people's darkest sides, playing on their fears, planting seeds of intolerance, and trying to generate unexamined patriotism.

An unbalanced relationship
For years I have been watching Canada's national gun legislation develop into what will ultimately lead to the end of private ownership of firearms. In the good old days we could drive from Juneau to the interior of Alaska through Canada with our firearms without hassle from Canada authorities. Today this has changed and we are now required to pay a fee and to register our guns to travel through Canada to interior Alaska.

Filtering the spam
In response to Ann Pennington's letter in Friday's Empire, if regulations against computer spam were enforceable it would be a great idea, although I suspect it would require more extreme monitoring of people's private communications, which does not sit well with me.

Apologies for confusion
The Douglas Indian Association Tribal Government postponed the election originally schedule for Jan. 6. The council was working toward the election as quickly as humanly possible.

Worse than cronyism
Gov. Frank Murkowski's decision to name his daughter Lisa as his successor in the U.S. Senate was ill-advised, impetuous, and smacks of nepotism, which is an even worse institution than cronyism.

Danger to world peace
I agree with Carol Anderson's comments about the need for more balanced coverage of America's orientation to the Iraqi situation, although I clearly disagree about what's been left out. Since the beginning of the debate about the need to pre-empt Saddam Hussein's addiction to weapons of mass destruction and to murder and war, the lack of information passed on to the public about his history and habits have been glaringly absent.

The charter and the manager
While I'm glad to see that Donna Pierce has decided to resume her employment with the city, her rehiring cannot and does not change the charter provisions that prevent Mr. MacKinnon from being considered for the manager's job, and it's time that the Empire stopped spreading such misinformation in its editorials.

Police & Fire
Reports by Juneau police, fire officials and state troopers.

Forest Service fights trailhead trash
Holidays and weekends often mean extra work for U.S. Forest Service staffers. People who pull off the road to party along back roads and trailheads tend to leave their trash. And it's often up to Forest Service staff to clean up what's left behind. One of the worst spots is the Windfall Lake Trail parking lot, at the end of a short road that leads from Glacier Highway near Herbert River, said Forest Service law enforcement officer Dave Zuniga.

This Day in History
In Alaska, In the Nation.

Injured Juneau girl and her nieces form singing group
More than a year after a vehicle accident paralyzed 8-year-old Charlotte Brown from the waist down, she and her family are finding inspiration and spirit in song. While Charlotte was in a Seattle hospital recovering from her Dec. 8, 2001, Juneau accident, many performers - from musicians to clowns - came by to visit and lift her spirits, said her father, Jason Brown.

AroundTown
Around Town is a listing of local nonprofit events.

Former JDHS coach sentenced for stealing fund-raiser cash
Former Juneau-Douglas High School basketball coach James Hamey pleaded guilty in Juneau Superior Court today to stealing $1,000 from the basketball program in November to make the new coach look bad. Hamey, who apologized and said he was "disgusted" by his actions, testified he was motivated by malice and anger at not being able to coach for the school district anymore.

Images from another time
Writer James A. Michener, left, talks with Michael Anderson of Portland, Ore., July 3, 1988, after autographing a copy of Michener's most recent book at the time, "Alaska."

Around Town
Around Town is a listing of local nonprofit events.

Police and Fire
Juneau police, fire officials and state troopers reported:

Wet winter weather breaks record
Juneau went from Christmas wonderland to slushy, icy wind tunnel over the weekend. As some of the last vestiges of snow and ice melted from lower elevations this morning, the National Weather Service issued another high wind advisory. The highest wind gusts at the Juneau Airport peaked at 52 mph on Sunday, mirroring conditions Saturday.

Juneau considers funding hazmat team
Juneau is slated to receive a $300,000 federal grant for hazmat equipment, but will need to shell out between $73,000 and $153,000 annually to use it.

This Day in History
In 1959, Ernest Gruening and E. L. (Bob) Bartlett were sworn in as U. S. senators and Ralph Rivers sworn in to the U.S. House of Representatives.

Christmas in January
For Richard Dauenhauer and some other Juneau residents, the holiday most Christians celebrated as Christmas two weeks ago was "just another day." Dauenhauer is a member of the Orthodox Church in America. Today, for the first time in 12 years, Orthodox Christians in Juneau celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ according to the Julian calendar, which places Dec. 25 two weeks after it falls on the Gregorian calendar, the one that designates today as Jan. 7.

Heinz-Peter Sahlender
Heinz-Peter "Pete" Sahlender, 69, died on Nov. 15, 2002, in Lancaster, Calif.

H.D. 'Pete' Meland
Former Sitka resident and state Sen. H.D. "Pete" Meland died Jan. 2, 2003.

Dorothy June Vavalis-Enbusk
Lifetime Juneau resident Dorothy "Lulu" June Vavalis-Enbusk, 56, died Jan. 2, 2003, at her home in Juneau.

My Turn: Governing is more than conservative slogans
I love to hear former Gov. Walter Hickel tell why he made the controversial appointment of Ted Stevens to the U.S. Senate 34 years ago. "A fighter, a survivor" is how he describes one of the most important decisions ever made by a governor in Alaska's brief history.

My Turn: Going to war is a congressional decision
I have publicly observed that people will see what anti-American activity really is when elements of the federal government show by their actions that they don't believe in the principles and technologies of our democratic republic.

Sports in Juneau
Sports in Juneau is a service provided by the Juneau Empire to provide information on upcoming sports and outdoors events in Juneau.

Top Quest musher puts dog team up for sale
Despite the fact that training is going well and his dogs look good, top Yukon Quest musher Peter Butteri of Tok is putting his team up for sale. Six weeks before the start of the race Butteri says he no longer has much enthusiasm for mushing. "I'd prefer to be on a beach in Mexico," Butteri told the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner.

Bucks 106, Cavaliers 94
At Cleveland, Ray Allen scored 16 of his 27 points in the third quarter as Milwaukee won for just the second time in six games.

Sports in Juneau
Information on upcoming sports and outdoors events in Juneau.

Nikiski man dies in traffic accident
A 48-year-old man died over the weekend in a traffic accident on an icy road in Nikiski. Thomas Harrick of Nikiski died at the scene of the single-vehicle accident, which occurred early Saturday afternoon on Holt-Lamplight Road.

Suit aims to block rule on donations
A new state rule requiring Alaska's political parties to disclose their sources and uses of so-called soft campaign money is being challenged in court.

Another aftershock shakes Interior
A light earthquake rattled the Interior early today. The Alaska Earthquake Information Center in Fairbanks said the magnitude 4.6 quake was another aftershock from the massive 7.9 quake that shook much of the state Nov. 3.

Merger expected to double Kinross Gold Corp. size
A pending merger between Kinross Gold Corp. and two Canadian companies would make Kinross the seventh-largest gold producer in the world.

Rural affairs adviser aims to bridge divide
Gov. Frank Murkowski's new adviser on rural affairs has been a North Slope oil lobbyist, labor negotiator, Native beauty queen and college rugby player. Tara Sweeney's varied background should help her handle the wide range of issues she will face, said Murkowski's spokesman John Manly.

Man sentenced in Ketchikan beating
A Ketchikan man has been sentenced to 60 years in prison for the beating death of his former friend. Carl W. Abuhl, 30, was sentenced Friday on his October conviction of second-degree murder for the May 2001 death of Steve Bowen.

Judge calls Kenai legislator's omissions trivial
ANCHORAGE - A state Superior Court judge in Anchorage has ruled that Tom Wagoner's election paperwork omissions were relatively trivial. The decision handed down Monday by Judge Peter Michalski clears the way for the newly elected state senator from Kenai to take his seat when the Legislature convenes Jan. 21.

Flooding leaves Salcha residents stranded
The state Department of Transportation said access to Salcha remained cut off by flood waters on the Old Richardson Highway today and it could be Wednesday before the waters freeze sufficiently to allow construction of an ice road.

Heli-skiing industry hits turbulence in Alaska
Helicopter skiing and snowboarding are a growing industry in many snowy climes, but in Alaska they're having a hard time lifting off. A Girdwood company has scaled back expansion plans after opposition arose to potential new landing sites. Outside Haines, the state has proposed new restrictions on heli-recreation operations at the urging of local residents.

State Briefs
Panel makes recommendations for Bartlett board; Anchorage teen dies from injuries after accident; Police investigate death as homicide; Man shot outside Anchorage bar; Police arrest man for beating woman; Man killed in collision of truck, snowmachine

Founder of riverboat business, former state legislator dies at 82
The founder of a popular Fairbanks riverboat attraction has died at the age of 82. Jim Binkley died Friday as a result of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, Alaska State Troopers said. Binkley had been in great pain in recent years because of a degenerative nerve disease, said his son, Riverboat Discovery President and former lawmaker Johne Binkley.

Court hears arguments on parental-consent abortion law
ANCHORAGE - A state Superior Court judge in Anchorage has begun hearing arguments in a case challenging a state abortion law that requires girls under 17 to get a parent's permission for an abortion.

Inventing for Alaska
ANCHORAGE - Richard Martin wanted to build a better poop scoop, and once he did, he reckoned the rest of the world would want one too. "My wife and I own a dog kennel," said Martin, of Chugiak. "The commercially made poop scoops that I used to use lasted a year to six months." With a cut-down antifreeze jug and long poles, he made a scoop and a rakelike device that held up for six years.

Woman killed, 3 injured in auto accident
A woman was killed and several other people injured late Friday when the car she was driving collided with a truck on Minnesota Drive, police said.

Surfer rescued
The Coast Guard rescued a Ketchikan man from swift currents off Rotary Beach, about a mile from Ketchikan, on Sunday afternoon.

Troopers look into shooting by officer
Alaska State Troopers continue to investigate an officer's fatal shooting of a man Saturday morning near Soldotna as the man drove his car toward another trooper after refusing to get out of his vehicle.

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