Sunday, February 1, 2004

In the Stacks: Biographies on Hepburn, Castro, Eminem, Jung, and many others
New books at the Juneau public libraries.

Business Digest
Bonnie Glade, general manager of Juneau's Super 8 Motel, was named one of the top general managers in the Northwest United States by U.S. Royal Host, which operates Super 8 Motels.

Forest Service timber sales still faulty
In his Jan. 27 letter, Dennis Watson is absolutely right that in the last decade the Forest Service has offered a great many timber sales that are unprofitable to log. Mr. Watson blames the Clinton administration for the 20-plus uneconomical timber sales that the Forest Service recently canceled. But it must be stated: Bush isn't doing things any better. The Forest Service continues to design timber sales that require so much expensive road building that they have no hope of turning a profit.

Exit exams unfair
Sen. Gretchen Guess is right on! The entire exit exam concept should be revisited. I would take it one step further and say that exit exams are both unfair and unnecessary.

Glad to read O'Malley
We have so enjoyed Julia O'Malley's columns in the Juneau Empire, both before she left Juneau and after she went to Portland. She has a wonderful way of writing of her experiences with humor, angst and hope, and we could not believe that she would not be immediately hired in any media market for her extraordinary talents.

How about the one-time payout proposal of 1999?
Nobody with any influence seems to be bringing up a proposal that many voted down in 1999. Why not let the public consider taking a one-time payout from the Alaska Permanent Fund? Last time it was mentioned I believe the number was $25,000. I was for it then and I am for it now (and I think a great many other people would be for it now as well).

Create system that will do away with taxes forever
The Legislature has done its best to avoid a poison-pill tax bill for years. Now our governor is proposing to use a portion of the Permanent Fund to balance the state budget. Since more money is needed to run the essentials of government and keep a balanced budget, and the constituency does not favor tapping into the PFD, why not create a tax system the people would be willing to participate in?

It's about what's right for the people, not party
I read Rudy Ruedrich's letter to the editor and I had to reply. It has been a very long time in Alaska politics since I have seen a politician do what is right for the state, not what is right for the party.

Valley school momentum hits the wall
Juneau-Douglas High School is overcrowded - walk the halls and you'll see, one person says. The school isn't overcrowded - just take a look, another person says. Having two high schools will hurt the students' education, a man says. No, plainly it will help the kids, says a woman. Voters will have to wade through those differences of opinion if they decide whether to block construction of a second high school in Juneau.

Photo: Just lining up the shot, Dad
Quade Weiler, 5, stumbles over the ice at Twin Lakes on Saturday as his dad, Fred Weiler and brother, Zane, 6, clear the snow in preparation for a Sunday afternoon hockey game.

Hospital looks to cut $6.5 million from construction, renovation plan
Bartlett Regional Hospital and city officials will shave $6.5 million from the hospital's $40 million addition and renovation project, and send it out to bid again.

Who gains, who loses in small schools?
If voters have to decide in a special election whether to block the construction of a second high school in Juneau, they'll have to make some value judgments.

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

Five small fires set in high school in December
Juneau-Douglas High School teachers are watching the halls more carefully as authorities try to identify whoever has been setting fires there. The school had five small fires in December, said city Fire Marshal Rich Etheridge. The latest was on Dec. 28.

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

Fund raising for two high schools' activities: Is it possible?
Are the Falcons financially feasible? Amid a sea of pros and cons about building a second high school in Juneau, an informal survey of more than a dozen coaches and advisors at Juneau-Douglas High School demonstrated near-unanimity on a single overriding concern: In a community already carrying a heavy burden of financial support for school activities, how will a second set of programs be funded if and when the Valley high school, with its Falcon mascot, comes online?

The extra costs of another school
Erik Lundquist, chairman of the science department at Juneau-Douglas High School, thinks a second high school is a good idea, but he wants to know the school district can afford to run it.

Toe cartoon
Local editorial cartoon by Toe.

Tongass Tales: Fairy and ferry
The Alaska Department of Transportation's future for Southeast Alaska includes more roads with shorter ferry runs. Shorter ferry runs mean lower cost to the traveler. Naturally, environmental organizations oppose roads. Current ferry workers oppose changing the ferry system. Both groups advocate pouring more money into a dying system that already requires a subsidy of $32 million a year.

Out & About
Upcoming local outdoor events.

Snow Report
Local snow conditions.

Biologist chronicles history of waterfowl hunting
Harold Duebbert does not stop at loving history. He lives it. He still hunts ducks out of a boat he made 40 years ago. He shoots a 1912 L.C. Smith Model 12 shotgun. The decoys over which he shoots ducks were carved by his own hands. He prefers old-style tan waterfowl hunting jackets and caps to the modern computer-generated camouflage prints.

The indomitable
Earth stood hard as iron, frosty winds made moan," goes the poem, and while the earth hasn't often been iron-hard this year, there has been the usual moaning among birders about Southeast Alaska's dearth of winter birds.

Web sites
Web sites of interest to local outdoors enthusiasts.

How to get involved in the bird count
Position a comfy chair within full view of your bird feeder, keep a pad and pen at hand and record who comes to call. Then log onto www.birdsource.org to record your results.

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.

Busy weekend at Eaglecrest Ski Area
Juneau's Chris Hinkley won two Super-G races on Friday at Eaglecrest Ski Area during the Alaska Marine Lines Series Junior Olympic Qualifiers.

Five JDHS wrestlers win titles, state berths at Region V Meet
The Juneau-Douglas High School wrestling team had five individual champions, but it wasn't enough to keep the tournament-host Ketchikan Kings from claiming their fifth Region V wrestling title in six years.

Juneau's Tompkins fourth at Worlds
Joe Tompkins of Juneau took fourth place in his disability classification and was the top American in Saturday's downhill race at the Disabled Alpine World Championships in Wildschoenau, Austria.

Crimson Bears Male-muted
On Friday, the Juneau-Douglas High School boys basketball team was shorthanded. On Saturday, the Crimson Bears had another first-half letdown. Such was the case as Juneau dropped its two homecoming games to the No. 4 Lathrop Malemutes over the weekend.

Lathrop girls run by Juneau
Boasting height, fleet feet and a deep bench, the Lathrop High School girls basketball squad overwhelmed Juneau-Douglas on the Crimson Bears' homecoming weekend. The tenacious Malemutes forced turnovers, prevented shots and kept the Crimson Bears off their game for a 39-25 victory on Friday.

Photos: Wild ride
Photos from the Super-G race of the Alaska Marine Lines Series Junior Olympic Qualifiers Friday at Eaglecrest Ski Area.

This Day in History
In Alaska; in the nation; in the world.

First wolves die under Alaska's predator project
Fourteen wolves have been killed in a state-sponsored predator control program that has prompted demonstrations nationwide and a call for a tourism boycott of Alaska.

Alaska Digest
News in brief from around the state.

State, pipeline owners to open TAPS tariff negotiations
Five owners of the trans-Alaska oil pipeline have agreed to begin early negotiations with the state on a tariff structure that could translate into millions of dollars for Alaska.

Search finds no Agent Orange
A search of Alaska soils has failed to find traces of the world's deadliest manmade toxin, according to a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers report.

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