Tuesday, February 4, 2003

More than one doctor
I write to express support for the preservation of older buildings in Juneau (i.e., what is now called the JAMHI building on the corner of North Franklin and Second St.), but also to comment on the history of pioneer physicians in Juneau.

Snow 'shubble'
Thanks for the skiing. I went on the Plate Pull and down the race car tunnels with my daddy. I had fun eating snow. And French fries too. My favorite thing was putting snow in my skis.

Abortion not the answer
In response to Ms. Danner's letter to the editor, she presumes that pro-life people are unsympathetic to the issues of rape, crisis pregnancies, bad relationships and unpaid child support. On the contrary, anti-abortion advocates have women's best interests in mind when they give them clear and informed information on the physical, emotional and psychological risks of abortion, when they present women with options besides abortion, such as adoption, and when they provide other forms of assistance to women in crisis pregnancies.

Parking relief preferred
As a downtown resident who experiences daily first-hand involvement with the critical parking shortage, I wanted to add my two cents worth to the debate surrounding the proposal to convert the JAMHI building to a parking lot.

Sincere naysayers
In response to M.D. Christenson's critique of my My Turn comments of Jan. 28, I'd opine that one individual's concept of stereotyping is another's notion of profiling. I have no doubt there are sincere naysayers amongst all the categories he lists, including our armed forces arrayed to wage war.

Obsolete logging practices
Alaska Forest Association spokesman Owen Graham's statement that Silver Bay's problem is timber supply is bunk. Right now, Silver Bay owns 16 timber sales, totaling over 60 million board feet - all free and clear of any injunction, and available to log at any time.

Limits on power
Andrea Doll wrote a fine letter, posted Feb. 2, concerning the tension between preservation of our rights and some people's idea of preservation of our safety. She made one common but crucial error, though, when she said, "The Bill of Rights grants our most fundamental rights, including press...", etc.

Mixed feelings about pool
After reading the article about JRC expansion (Empire, Jan. 30), I'm left with mixed feelings. I love the idea of the improved facilities complete with more options for family recreation and the idea of a much-needed pool in the valley makes me consider joining again.

Alleged thief caught near Switzer
A man is being held in prison today without bail after he was picked up in Switzer Village this morning as a suspect in an alleged vehicle-rifling spree.

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

Residents raise stink over fish plant approval
The Juneau Assembly voted unanimously Monday to uphold a Planning Commission decision to allow Alaska Glacier Seafoods to build and operate a fish-processing plant in Auke Bay. While the plant is expected to create seasonal and full-time jobs, residents of the beachfront community were not pleased by the decision rejecting their appeal.

Lena Point development plans under examination
As the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration takes more time to decide the fate of a new fisheries center slated for Lena Point in Juneau, city officials and neighbors are reviewing plans for a new subdivision and sewer system in the area. Because of budget overruns, NOAA is re-evaluating options for the Lena Point project and its current lab at Auke Bay. A decision was expected in mid-January, but Kelly Sandy, director of NOAA's Western Region Support Center, said a determination now is expected by mid-March.

Will winter ever come? Probably not this month
This winter has been warmer and wetter than normal, and a general outlook issued by the National Center for Environmental Prediction suggests the weather will continue on that track through the end of the month.

Photo: A-J Mine drilling in 1935
William Byington operates a drill at the Alaska-Juneau gold mine in 1935. The mine, near downtown Juneau, grew out of panning and sluicing operations in the 1880s and grew into a vast network of buildings and tunnels.

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

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

Court: Accused child molester kept from kids
A Juneau man accused of molesting two young family members can't see his children if he's released from prison on bail, according to a court order issued Monday. Adam Rogers, 27, is charged with six counts of first-degree sexual abuse of a minor, a felony. He is accused of raping two family members, girls ages 3 and 4, from February 2002 to January 2003. The Empire is not releasing the girls' names or Rogers' relationship to them.

This Day in History
In 1920, Juneau police recovered a 500-pound safe stolen the previous day by following the sled tracks to a cabin where two theives were arrested and $200 recovered from an unopened safe.

Around Town
Listings of local nonprofit events.

Marilyn Ruth Ryan
Former Juneau resident Marilyn Ruth (Vincent) Ryan died Jan. 31, 2003, in Longview, Wash., after a long battle with cancer.

Resist funding reductions for independent living program
I have had some time to reflect on Commissioner of the Department of Labor and Workforce Development Greg O'Claray's proposal to cut his department's spending by eliminating funding for Independent Living Services and other programs benefiting people with disabilities.

My Turn: Experiencing home birth
Last Sunday, I read with interest Melanie Plenda's account of Jadey and Scott Grimmett's surprise home birth.

My Turn: Rebalancing the game board
On Jan. 21, the Anchorage Daily News printed an editorial accusing Gov. Murkowski of destroying the balance on the Board of Game and stacking the board too much toward hunters and predator-control advocates. The editorial also accused me personally of being anti-subsistence and basically racist. The editorial finished by warning Alaskans that the new board will encourage more division and conflict over game management.

Tompkins takes 12th in World Cup race
Two Juneau skiers made their mark this past week as they competed in World Cup events in Europe. Joe Tompkins, a member of the U.S. Disabled Alpine Ski Team, competed as a sit-skier in a series of Disabled World Cup races held Thursday through Saturday in Abtenau and Salzburg, Austria, earning enough points to move into 15th place in the overall standings for mono-skiers with 41 points. Tompkins' best race finish was 12th place.

Mackey claims title in Knik 200
Lance Mackey of Kasilof won the Knik 200-Joe Redington Sr. Memorial Sled Dog Race Sunday.

Deborah's Quest
Deborah Bicknell has been mushing dogs a long time - ever since she hitched up her Saint Bernard, Pavlov, and won a junior sprint race in northern New Hampshire in 1957. But who said you can't teach an old musher new tricks? Bicknell, now a 57-year-old grandmother from Juneau who has an artificial left knee and a surgically rebuilt right knee, has been mushing dogs off and on for more than 45 years. Her career includes highlights such as being the first female to win a world championship race in New England, and two starts (and one finish) in the 1,000-mile-plus Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race.

Cavaliers lose to Trail Blazers
Trail Blazers 114, Cavaliers 95

Returning to Action, Ready to Race
Two weeks after completing a grueling course of chemotherapy, veteran musher DeeDee Jonrowe says she will take on another challenge - running the 2003 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.

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

Dog teams get pre-race vet check
FAIRBANKS - Dogs from half a dozen teams set to race in the 20th running of the Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race got a checkup Saturday. The free screening by a group of volunteer and race veterinarians is intended to make sure the canine athletes are healthy enough to tackle the 1,000-mile race between Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, and Fairbanks that starts this coming Sunday.

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

Passengers on small carriers to be weighed for FAA study
ANCHORAGE - Airline passengers traveling in rural Alaska soon will be weighed during a study period, so the Federal Aviation Administration can determine if the weight estimates it uses are accurate. The FAA last week announced it was ordering commuter airlines nationwide to weigh passengers. The order follows the Jan. 8 airplane crash in Charlotte, N.C., in which 21 people were killed.

Tribute to Iditarod founder
Vi Redington, widow of Joe Redington Sr., stands next to the life-size, bronze memorial statue of her late husband.

Man sentenced for crash that killed daughter
Efrem Erofeeff, 27, of Voznesenka, was sentenced Friday to three years in jail with all but a year suspended for negligent homicide and two years in jail with all but six months suspended for assault. He will have to serve a total of 1 1/2 years.

Construction on Prince William Sound fast ferry begins
The second of two Alaska fast ferries is under construction on the East Coast. Officials with the Alaska Marine Highway System and the city of Cordova took part in a plate-cutting ceremony for the state ferry Chenega on Thursday at R.E. Derecktor Shipyard in Bridgeport, Conn. From a home port in Cordova, the Chenega will serve Prince William Sound, said George Capacci, AMHS general manager.

Ex-Fish and Game chiefs slam habitat plan
Five former commissioners of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game are urging Gov. Frank Murkowski drop his plans to take away the power over development projects from the Department's Habitat Division.

Silver Bay Logging files for bankruptcy protection
Wrangell-based Silver Bay Logging has filed for bankruptcy protection, citing depressed lumber prices and increased costs of harvesting federal timber in Southeast Alaska.

Turnagain Pass closed to snowmachines
Off-road areas in Turnagain Pass, 60 highway miles south of Anchorage, are closed to motorized use, while areas in Denali National Park and Preserve where snowmachining is normally allowed still have not had enough snow to open to motorized use.

Rules Committee gives chairman Cowdery more power
The Senate Rules Committee has decided to quit meeting regularly to schedule bills, turning that power over to the chairman, Sen. John Cowdery, an Anchorage Republican. Senate Democrats are outraged, saying majority Republicans are doing the public's business behind closed doors.

Murkowski pays for trip on private jet
Gov. Frank Murkowski has reimbursed former Alaska banking executive Ed Rasmuson for a ride home from a Scotland hunting trip in Rasmuson's private jet last month.

Murkowski names public safety boss
Bill Tandeske is the new commissioner of the state Department of Public Safety. Tandeske will oversee state law enforcement agencies, including the Alaska State Troopers, Fish and Wildlife Protection Division and the office of the state fire marshal.

This Day in History
 

Some Alaska programs face cuts under Bush budget
ANCHORAGE - President Bush's proposed $2.23 billion budget for fiscal year 2004 would cut millions from the Denali Commission and from spending on Alaska Native education but would add money for missile interceptors at Fort Greely and new oil lease sales on North Slope. The budget also calls for drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge by anticipating federal revenues of $1.2 billion from lease sales. State Sen. Lisa Murkowski, an Alaska Republican, praised Bush for including revenue from the refuge.

Governor appoints ex-lawmaker to lead Dept. of Administration
Former state Senate President Mike Miller will take over leadership of the state Department of Administration, Gov. Frank Murkowski announced Saturday.

Governor blasts Habitat Division
The state Habitat Division has a reputation of delaying and derailing major construction projects and a change is overdue, Gov. Frank Murkowski said Monday. Responding to criticism sparked by his decision to reorganize the division and give its permitting duties to the state Department of Natural Resources, Murkowski made a case for lessening its power.

Wolf control action may have to wait until next winter
The state could have to wait until next winter to reduce wolf populations, one of Gov. Frank Murkowski's campaign pledges.

Snowmachiner opens fire on reindeer at farm; three killed, three others injured
Alaska State Troopers are looking for a man on a snowmachine suspected of using a .22-caliber rifle to fire shots into a herd of reindeer at a farm near Palmer.

State Briefs
Group organizes more university workers; Transportation Dept. reconsiders road to Rampart; Two more reindeer die from shooting; GCI announces 2002 earnings

Former lawmaker on permafund board
Former Republican Interior lawmaker Steve Frank will serve on the board of the Alaska Permanent Fund Corp., Gov. Frank Murkowski announced Saturday.

Gov. Murkowski keeps government agencies muzzled
Gov. Frank Murkowski said a gag order placed on state government departments by his administration will not be lifted until a budget is set and a full cabinet appointed. Murkowski acknowledged at a press conference Monday that Chief of Staff Jim Clark has instructed commissioners, division directors and personnel to direct all media questions to Murkowski spokesman John Manly.

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