Tuesday, February 3, 2004

Juneau motel manager wins regional award
JUNEAU - 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.

Fewer schools was a mistake elsewhere
Having spent a large part of my life in the "Upper One," I understand that most Alaskans "do not care how they do it in the Lower 48, especially California." If that still rings true, then you should not repeat California's past mistakes.

Expect hunters when living near wetlands
In response to Friday's (Jan. 30) front page article "Wetlands neighbors call for nonhunting buffer," I would like to say that hunters have been on the Mendenhall wetlands long before Mr. Wright or any of us built homes near the wetlands.

Please continue support for the new high school
I ask the Juneau Assembly members to please continue to support the new high school. Juneau-Douglas High School is already overcrowded. Waiting until there are 2,100 students enrolled at JDHS before we even start the process of finding funds from the Legislature and building a second high school, as the petition asks the assembly to do, will force too many kids to suffer in a terrible learning environment.

Second school is needed
I am outraged that citizens are trying to stop the construction of a second high school. I know first-hand that overpopulation in the classroom is a setback. A new school would mean better student/teacher ratios. Too many students are slipping through the cracks just because no one notices them.

Story has good ending, but there's a moral
Your story about the return of Tsuga to the Mertls (Jan. 29) was touching, but missed a key point: Why were their dogs being allowed to run at-large in the first place? Loose dogs, especially in tandem, pose a significant threat to wildlife. The dog was found high on Sheep Mountain. We can assume it hadn't ranged that far just to find a spot to relieve itself. Tsuga was reportedly trapped between some rocks. Just what critter had Tsuga cornered when he became caught?

It's time for a shakeup
In both the Anchorage Daily News and Fairbanks Daily News-Miner there were articles about the mayors lodging a "vote of no confidence" in the Alaska Legislature. It's about time the Legislature got a shakeup.

Support driver's ed bill
I'm a driver's education instructor in Post Falls, Idaho. I have taught for the last 28 years. In 2001 the Idaho Legislature changed the law for new drivers to a similar proposal as Alaska's Legislature. It does make a difference to the young driver.

Clean up after your dog
I often walk my dog along Basin Road. It's a dramatic place: Spectacular cliffs interlaced with tumbling cascades, a beautiful clear river and all the hallmarks of a Southeast Alaska rain forest.

Second school not in Juneau's interests
I'm against the building of the new high school. Before you start to think I'm a public-education-hating right-winger, hear me out: The proposed new high school will add huge property tax, sales tax and fund-raising burdens to our community.

Make those who benefit the most pay the most
We should not tap the Permanent Fund for either operating expenses or capital projects, and there's no compelling reason to enact regressive statewide sales taxes either. Generating and reclaiming fair and responsible revenue streams is the best method to reverse our growing budget shortfalls.

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

Local dog owners launch effort to clean up trails
Some dog owners concerned about their pets being banned from trails in Juneau are starting a movement to adopt and clean those areas.

Dzantik'i Heeni building, grounds to see improvements
The Juneau Assembly has appropriated $400,000 to improve the building and grounds at Dzantik'i Heeni Middle School.

Culture sharing in China
When Barbara Knapp and her daughter, Laura, visit China this summer, they'll spend most of their time teaching English to middle school-aged Chinese students.

Assembly eyes term limits for city panels
Some city boards and commissions would lose members with years of institutional knowledge if the Juneau Assembly enacts term limits, board officials told the Empire.

Around Town
Today Low Impact Exercise, 10 a.m., Juneau Senior Center and Valley Senior Center. Details: 463-6175.

Super Bowl snack run
Jimmy Brackett pulls a trout out of his fishing hole Sunday on Twin Lakes to add to his bucketload.

New dock in the works
Work started Monday on the Jacobsen Dock, a 380-by-60-foot floating dock at the rock dump.

Blessing at benefit concert
Eric Drake, second from left, and his fiancee, Maria Miller, receive a blessing from Cy Peck Jr. at the start of a benefit concert held for Drake on Saturday evening at Centennial Hall.

2004 prediction: Cruise passengers up by 9%
The cruise ship industry in Juneau will continue to grow this year, with an increase of about 9 percent in expected visitors, said Lorene Palmer, president of the Juneau Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Around Town
Today Valley Toastmasters meeting, 6:10 a.m. every Tuesday, Henry's. Details: Jim, 789-3074.

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

Winter run
Paula Smedley runs Monday on Thane Road with her dog, Scout.

Raymond Thiemeyer
Juneau resident Raymond Clarence Thiemeyer, 64, died of cancer Jan. 28, 2004, at Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital in Sitka.

My Turn: A transportation plan should include safe routes to school
Each morning I pass the new school zone at Mendenhall Loop Road and Stephen Richards Drive in Juneau. It is good to see our Alaska Department of Transportation respond to community concerns about the dangerous intersection so quickly by adding flashing lights and a lower speed limit while children are present.

My Turn: Jobs highest Murkowski priority
A television producer recently asked me a question. The answer seemed obvious until I gave it some thought: "What is it about having a job that is important to people?"

Bartel, Casey win final AML races
Melinda Bartel and Rory Casey, both of Girdwood's Alyeska Ski Club, claimed victory in Sunday's slalom race at Eaglecrest Ski Area in North Douglas.

Region V-Class 4A Wrestling Tournament
Results from Saturday's Region V-Class 4A wrestling tournament held at Ketchikan High School. The top two finishers in each weight class advance to the Class 4A state tournament Feb. 6-7 at Chugiak High School.

Skiing down a slippery slope
Juneau Ski Club member Kristen Brandner passes a gate during Friday's Super-G race during the Alaska Marine Lines Series Junior Olympic qualifying races at Eaglecrest Ski Area.

Sports in Juneau
NEW CALENDAR ITEMS • Arctic Winter Games Team Alaska boys volleyball team - The Team Alaska boys volleyball team, which features seven Juneau residents and is coached by Juneau's Phil McMurray, will be playing some of the top Juneau Department of Parks and Recreation men's volleyball league teams from 2-4:30 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 7-8, at the Gastineau Elementary School gymnasium.

ASBN State Prep Basketball Poll
ASBN State Prep Basketball Poll

James, Boozer carry Cavs past Wizards
James, Boozer carry Cavs past Wizards

Thomas 46th in cyclocross world championships
Former Juneau cyclist Tucker Thomas finished 46th in the junior men's race Saturday at the Cyclocross World Championships in Pont-Chateau, France.

Bradford, Beedle, Burger win ski races
With a fresh blanket of snow on the ground, 19 local skiers took to the freshly groomed lower nordic loop at Eaglecrest Ski Area on Saturday for Juneau's first cross-country ski race in two seasons.

Sports in Juneau
NEW CALENDAR ITEMS • Juneau Youth Football League annual meeting - Meet at 4 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 8, at the Dzantik'i Heeni Middle School commons for election of new board members and voting on two minor by-law changes.

Tompkins sixth in worlds Super-G
Joe Tompkins of Juneau took sixth place and was the top American in his division during Sunday's Super-G race at the International Paralympic Committee Alpine Ski Championships in Wildschnau, Austria.

Smoking rate among adults remains high in Alaska
ANCHORAGE - Alaska's rate of adult cigarette smoking is the second highest among the 50 states and the District of Columbia, according to a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Effort to cut drug costs encounters opposition
Sharron Lobaugh says her son tried 18 drugs over 15 years - and spent about three years in the hospital - before he found a medicine that successfully controlled his schizophrenia.

This Day in History
In Alaska • In 1925, diphtheria serum was delivered to Nome from Nenana by dogsled relay. Part of this route later became the Iditarod Dogsled Race route.

Northwest Digest
NOAA receives site prep bids for new center: JUNEAU - NOAA Fisheries has received bids for the new fisheries research center to be built on Lena Point.

Ads hawk new way to figure out dividends
The Alaska Permanent Fund Corp. is planning to spend up to $1.6 million on television and radio advertisements promoting a new method of calculating dividends, and a newly formed citizens' group says it's a misuse of public money.

Ice Bowling
Micah Gilliam, 4, participates in a bowling event at the 28th Peninsula Winter Games over the weekend in Soldotna.

Highway bill hits snag over tax hike
WASHINGTON - The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee put off a vote on a six-year, $375 billion transportation bill because of disagreements with GOP leaders and the White House over raising the gasoline tax.

This Day in History
In Alaska: • In 1939, the "saloon bill," permitting beer, wine, and hard liquor to be sold by the drink, passed the Alaska Senate by a 5-3 vote.

Court ruling leaves 6 million fish fry in limbo
KENAI - Six million salmon fry swim now in a kind of limbo at the Trail Lakes Hatchery in Moose Pass since the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals banned their release into Tustumena Lake.

Murkowski to address joint session on gas pipeline progress
Gov. Frank Murkowski will appear before a joint session of the Legislature on Wednesday to talk about the state's plans to reach a deal on a natural gas pipeline.

Alaska Digest
Scientists seek to keep whales from longlines

Could Alaska trade forest restoration for money?
Restoration of forests, wetlands and other habitat that offset carbon dioxide emissions by cars and factories could raise million of dollars for Alaska, according to Rep. Ethan Berkowitz, an Anchorage Democrat.

Funding up for salmon project, down for other natural resources
WASHINGTON - President Bush is calling for increased spending for wildfire prevention and salmon restoration, but would cut other spending for natural resources and environmental programs.

Democrats fail at adding benefits to senior drug bill
House Democrats tried unsuccessfully Monday to increase the benefits that would be provided under Gov. Frank Murkowski's proposed senior citizen prescription drug bill.

House to take up bill that creates tougher requirements for initiatives
House lawmakers are considering perennial legislation to make it more difficult for voter initiatives to get on the ballot in Alaska.

Law would set up separate legal system for Native villages
ANCHORAGE - A federal law establishing a commission to draw up a new legal and governmental system for rural Alaska could have a far-reaching impact on the flow of funds to those villages.

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