Wednesday, January 22, 2003

It couldn't hurt
Is the announced closing of Kmart final? Do you think the corporate office would hear and respond if we were to write letters, asking them to keep the store open?

A youthful mistake
I have read the Empire for many years and know there are always two sides to each story. I have been quite saddened by the events that were caused as a result of Laura Stidolph's drinking and driving. I am very grateful that no one was seriously hurt.

Real value of kings
A read with interest Eric Fry's article in the Sunday Jan. 12 Empire, "King Plan Hacks at Sport Harvest." I am a sportfisherman, own a charter boat and hold a commercial fishing permit. I do not dispute the article's statement that 10,000 additional king salmon could mean $300,000 to commercial fisherman. Unfortunately the article implies by omission that commercial fisherman are residents of Alaska.

One driver, one vehicle, one liability coverage
Some would say insurance is a necessary evil. I would be one of those! We do need the service but I question some of the practices. It is refreshing to see a bipartisan bill to eliminate the use of credit scoring to rate auto insurance.

Manage all wildlife for sustainability
In response to Mr. Hendricks' letter (Empire, Jan. 20), "Protect game not predators," why must we protect game to the detriment of predators and protect predators to the detriment of game? I believe that we can protect and manage both for sustainability as mandated in Alaska's Constitution.

Time out from partisanship
I encourage all Juneauites to participate in the 2003 Inaugural events on Jan. 25. Inaugural celebrations are important rituals in any community, but especially in the community that is the seat of government. As Alaska's capital city, it is Juneau's unique privilege to congratulate and welcome an incoming administration to its new home.

Powers of the people
After reading the Sunday Empire's "What do you think" about U.S. military force ousting Saddam, it suddenly occurred to me that we Alaskans might get some David and Goliath action done regarding the federal government. Current events have given us possibly the greatest opportunity in 200 years to increase states rights and citizen authority at the expense of improper federal power.

Valley high school vision
I would like to clarify some issues raised by Mr. Good's My Turn in Friday's Empire. The issue the Assembly will vote on Jan. 27 is whether to build the Valley high school as proposed by the School Board, or build a smaller Valley high school. The state money available is for school construction.

BEARS retools sanctuary plans
Members of a fledgling Juneau nonprofit group are reworking plans for a bear sanctuary after the state ruled against their proposal to rehabilitate problem bears. The state Department of Fish and Game told BEARS Inc. in November that it has a long-standing policy against releasing wild animals held in captivity. BEARS, which stands for Bear Education and Rehabilitation Sanctuary, wanted to condition wayward bears at a center in Juneau.

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

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

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

Rescuer loses gear to thief
Sitting at a sporting goods shop where he had purchased most of his climbing gear over the years, Steve Handy eyed the cost to replace the items he used with Juneau Mountain Rescue. All of Handy's climbing and rescue gear was stolen Jan. 8 from his 1992 GMC van parked at Merchants Wharf.

2003 : Honoring Martin Luther King Jr.
About 300 people attended a ceremony Monday at Centennial Hall to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Photo: House fire
A fire broke out around 10 a.m. today in the attic of a house at 578 Alder Street downtown. Smoke billowed from the eaves as Capital City Fire & Rescue workers broke into the house's roof and shattered several windows to locate the source of the fire.

Officials: Skillet of bacon causes house fire
Some slow-cooking bacon left on a stove caused a fire that ripped through a downtown home Tuesday morning, fire officials said. No one was injured in the fire. Capital City Fire & Rescue workers received a call around 9:53 a.m. for a house fire on Alder Street downtown. About 22 firefighters arrived to find smoke belching from the ridge vent on the roof and a from a street-level window of the two-story home, Capt. Pete Hettinger said in a press release.

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

City aims to sell W. Juneau center
The city wants to sell the Children's Community Center building in West Juneau after the day- care program inside shut down last year. The Children's Community Center day-care program closed in November after nearly 30 years in operation. The parent organization that ran the center - Workers with Children - had been struggling with debt and staffing issues, board member Shawn Damerval said.

This Day in History
In 1911, Mount Wrangell erupted and Central Alaska was shaken by an earthquake.

Corrections
Due to a reporter's error, the Jan. 17 FYI section incorrectly stated Michael Roberts had been indicted on charges involving a 14-year-old girl and a 14-year-old boy. Both alleged victims were 15-year-old girls.

This Day in History
In 1968, the fast-paced comedy show "Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In" premiered on NBC TV.

School board OKs Cowan for supt.
Juneau School District Assistant Superintendent Peggy Cowan will take over as superintendent starting Feb. 1 and will serve until June of 2004, when her contract will be up for renewal, the School Board decided Tuesday night. Outgoing Superintendent Gary Bader, who has been superintendent since 1999, resigned to take a position as chief investment officer with the state Department of Revenue's Treasury Division.

Pets of the week
Kit-Kat is a friendly, big, black and white tuxedo cat. He loves being petted and has been neutered. Annie is a very sweet medium-size black lab mix. She knows how to "sit" and "lie down" and is working on "stay."

Wysocki, Fleischhauer marry
Bob Wysocki and Rose Fleischhauer eloped to Las Vegas, Nev. on Jan. 4, 2003.

Pullen, Edwards wed
The marriage of Karyn Michele Pullen, daughter of Donna C. Boyle of Manahawkin, N.J., and the late Thomas H. Pullen, to Louis L. Edwards III, son of Mr. and Mrs. Louis L. Edwards Jr. of Juneau, took place on July 20, 2002, on the beach in Ship Bottom, N.J.

Photo: Gustavus peace march
Gustavus residents marched for peace on Saturday. Forty-five adults and children and a few dogs walked throught the rain and fog to share stories, readings and song in support of world peace. Courtesy of Tom McCabe

Housing First to stop accepting applications for program
Housing First Inc. said recently it will stop accepting applications for its popular assistance program on Jan. 31. Housing First has made 14 loans to low-income home buyers in Juneau this past year, and it anticipates using all its remaining funds within the next three months.

Forum helps prepare for emergencies
Are you prepared for winter storms, earthquakes, terrorists? Since the advent of Y2K and now Sept. 11, an increasing number of people are talking about the need for emergency preparedness. Careful planning helps ensure you'll have what you need to be safer and more comfortable until emergency crews arrive.

Larsen earns his Eagle Scout rank
As a Boy Scout, Travis Larsen has hiked 155 miles, spent more than 50 nights camping outdoors and contributed more than 70 hours of community service, but his biggest Scouting achievement was earning the Eagle award recently.

Mary Agnes Secrist
Former Juneau resident Mary Agnes Secrist, 67, died Jan. 7, 2003, at a Fort Worth, Texas, hospice.

Empire editorial: Welcome governor, legislators, commissioners and staff
Today marks a new beginning for Alaska. The start of the 23rd legislative session since territorial days ended in 1959 will see many new faces in Juneau and new tenants in the Governor's House for the first time in eight years. Alaska's capital city extends a warm welcome to Frank and Nancy Murkowski, and to the new and returning members of the House and Senate, the incoming commissioners, deputy commissioners, department heads and to all the department and chamber staff members who will make Juneau home for the next four months or the next four years.

My Turn: School stewardship neither arrogant nor greedy
Coaches Hamey and Knight - The law has acted, justice dispensed. Let the coaches and program move on and the healing begin. Skaters Geldhof and Wheeler - There hasn't been so much ado about skating since the Canadian duo in the Olympics. Geldhof and Wheeler's time for icing is acknowledged, let's move on to the positive community opportunities of the ice arena.

My Turn: Murkowski family's roots in Alaska run deep
Once upon a time (about 1950) in the little town of Ketchikan, Alaska ( pop. 4,000) there were only two banks. First National Bank of Ketchikan was located on the northwest corner of Dock and Main streets. The other, Miners' and Merchants' Bank, was located across the street on the northeast corner of Dock and Main. President of First National was Frank Murkowski. He and Mrs. Murkowski had a son, Frank. A director and major stockholder in M&M was attorney Lester Gore. He and Mrs. Gore had a daughter, Nancy, born in Nome when the family lived there. The youngsters were sweethearts in Ketchikan High School.

My Turn: Will new high school make a difference?
It should come as no great surprise to voters of Juneau that some teacher leaders in this community are cynical about the prospect of a new high school in the valley. The issue of whether Juneau needs another high school is not a matter of downtown versus the Valley, and to pose it as such is simply divisive.

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

Milestone moment
FORT WORTH, Texas - Linda Waggoner was a self-described "small-town girl" from Granbury who hadn't seen much of the world until she met Jody Conradt. To Waggoner, a freshman on Conradt's first University of Texas women's basketball team in 1976, big living would have meant a road trip to Waco. Conradt had other ideas.

Sitka boys claim title at Heritage Christian tournament
The Sitka High School boys basketball team has been undergoing some adjustments this season as new coach Mike Blewett has installed a new offense and made other changes. Last weekend, the Wolves showed their adjustments are working as they claimed the championship in the Heritage Christian School Invitational tournament in Anchorage.

Region V Standings
The Region V basketball standings through games of Jan. 18. Standings are for all three Region V classifications and were reported to the Juneau Empire by school officials and basketball coaches.

Cavs see too much Magic in Smart's coaching debut
CLEVELAND - Keith Smart watched from a new courtside seat, but saw a very familiar game. Tracy McGrady scored 35 points and spoiled Smart's coaching debut with Cleveland, leading the Orlando Magic to a 103-94 win Tuesday night over the Cavaliers.

Cavs make Smart move after firing Lucas
CLEVELAND - Looking for some advice, Keith Smart sat down with his college coach a few years ago and asked for some tips on how to be successful. "He told me, 'Make sure you are prepared and make sure you are organized'," Smart recalled.

Juneau girls head north to Anchorage
Earlier this month, the Juneau-Douglas High School girls basketball team improved its conditioning with three weeks of practices and scrimmages. Last weekend, the Crimson Bears built up their confidence with a pair of challenging - but ultimately comfortable - wins over the Dimond Lynx.

Notre Dame can't break UConn's 56-game winning streak
SOUTH BEND, Ind. - Connecticut never gave Notre Dame a chance to add to its collection of streak-ending upsets. Barbara Turner scored a season-high 25 points in her first start, leading UConn to its 56th straight win Monday, a 72-53 victory over Notre Dame - the last team to beat the Huskies.

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

Game on: Lawmakers sworn in for 23rd legislative session
Lawmakers kicked off the 23rd session of the Alaska Legislature this morning with the swearing-in ceremony at the Capitol. Fresh faces abounded in the House and Senate, with freshmen constituting close to two-thirds of the lawmakers this session.

Woman sues Salvation Army in Alaska after sex assault conviction
ANCHORAGE - An Oregon mother has sued the Alaska division of the Salvation Army, accusing it of allowing a former youth services officer to transfer to Oregon while knowing he had been accused of molesting young boys in Alaska. The lawsuit was filed Tuesday in federal court in Anchorage. In her suit, the Oregon woman says that the Salvation Army in Alaska knew Paul Fanning had molested children here and transferred him to Oregon "as a result of the reports of his sexually inappropriate conduct with children in Alaska."

Victims' families offended by DWI video
ANCHORAGE - Alaska State Troopers have distributed about 400 copies of a free video, aimed at reducing the number of drunken-driving deaths around the state. The video, "DWI: Alaska's Deadly Plague," is a compilation of photos from 30 fatal alcohol-related crashes in 2000. But some family members of the 38 people who died in the crashes say they are disturbed that the victims' family members weren't consulted before the video was produced.

PETA protests Haines park plan
HAINES - Plans to open a wildlife park near Haines have run afoul of the world's largest animal rights organization. Members of People for Ethical Treatment of Animals have been bombarding Haines Borough Assembly members with e-mails asking them to stop filmmaker Steve Kroschel's plans to open a 40-acre wildlife viewing park this summer.

Canadian panel seeks research funding shift to protect wild salmon
VICTORIA, British Columbia - Aquaculture research funds should be redirected to protect wild Pacific salmon by reducing risks from fish farming, a Canadian government council has concluded. The Pacific Fisheries Resource Conservation Council is also trying to find a way to end the "festering public debate" over salmon farming in British Columbia, chairman John Fraser said.

GOP seeks smaller budget
House majority Republicans said Tuesday they anticipate a flat budget and a spending freeze, and will consider nontax revenue measures this session such as implementing a lottery or selling state land. Similarly the Senate majority caucus said it doesn't anticipate increases in the budget and instead hopes to see reductions.

Foundation promises $2 million for Yukon Kuskokwim career center
ANCHORAGE - The Rasmuson Foundation will donate $2 million to a Yukon Kuskokwim career learning center in Bethel, the center announced Monday. The foundation will make the donation to Yuut Elitnaurviat, which is Yup'ik Eskimo for "People's Learning Center." The center is a multi-agency collaboration set up to provide career education and training for the region's industries.

State Briefs
Man jailed for pointing gun at girl; Possible closing of school protested; Troopers investigate connection between deaths; Hotel opens 10 months after fire; Neighbors to pay to clean up junkyard; Police say woman's death was homicide

State Briefs
Wind, cold to continue; City bond sale Saturday; Panel to discuss Herbert River land; SERRC closed for three days; Kenai borough teleconference office opens; Fred Meyer eyes Ketchikan lot

Anchorage survivor rode out deadly B.C. avalanche
CALGARY, Alberta - First there was a loud crack, and then the avalanche came - a 100-foot-wide wall of rock-hard snow that buried seven backcountry adventurers, including snowboard pioneer Craig Kelly and three other Americans. John Seibert of Anchorage said Tuesday he has never seen anything like it in more than three decades of climbing mountains, skiing desolate slopes and kayaking wild rivers.

Anchorage police investigate third death at trailer
ANCHORAGE - Anchorage police are investigating the death of a woman found Monday in an east Anchorage trailer. Police say the cause of death is not yet known, but it is being investigated as suspicious. The name and age of the woman have not been released.

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