Wednesday, February 5, 2003

Three messages plus
Ah, three asymmetrical My Turns in one Sunday's editorial pages. Amazing, I really can't resist saying something about them. There is the My Turn by all those ex-state fish and game commissioners and one by a hereditarily and newly anointed U.S. senator and one from a descendant representative of the very first North Americans.

More than parking
I don't support keeping old buildings up because they are old. I do, however, object to the mindset that wants parking lots everywhere. One of Juneau's charms has always been that we had not surrendered our downtown to cars, like so many cities where every other block is reserved for cars.

Liberal hypocrisy
Greg Capito states in his letter to the editor last week that Bush has failed to "produce convincing evidence" against Iraq. What more convincing evidence do we need than the discovery of those 11 undeclared canisters? Those containers, had they not been found by the CIA, would have been holding something other than weed killers; more like people killers.

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.

No longer safe
On Jan. 29, my assistant, Blue Riley, found that her car had been broken into while she attended a class at the Birthing Center. Her purse was taken and in it she had, besides her personal items and money, two deposits for over $6,000, from our school, one of them that includes $600 in cash. The person that took her purse is affecting not only Blue's personal life, but also the lives of many families and young children we provide services to at the Juneau Montessori School.

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.

Mainstream' voice
It's time for the U.S. and our allies to disarm and remove Saddam Hussein. He is a war criminal, terrorist and the most prolific mass murderer alive, with the body count increasing daily. He must go as soon as possible, for the good of the Iraqi people, the Middle East, and the world.

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.

Respect for others
I am in the eighth grade. I think we should respect other cultures because in a town next to us there are a lot of people from other cultures. I respect them, but other people do not.

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.

Protect fishery resources
Anybody who has lived in Washington, Oregon or California knows that economic development occurred there at the expense of salmon streams and the saltwater estuaries that are nurseries for many saltwater species. Up and down the coast, many fisheries have crashed as a result.

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.

Republicans not out to hurt Native students
Curtis Sommer of Tanana recently wrote (Empire, Jan. 24) that rural Natives would not have attended the governor's inaugural ball or "hobnob and have a good time with Republicans" as Juneau Democrats have because, he alleged, Republicans are out to "rob, cheat and steal" Alaska Native students' education.

Scores rise as tests get easier
Students statewide and in Juneau did much better on the new, easier version of the high school exit exam, sparking hopes here that few students will be denied a diploma. Students must pass the reading, writing and mathematics tests of the Alaska High School Qualifying Examination to get a diploma. The Class of 2004, this year's juniors, are the first students who must pass the exam.

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

Photo: Arena to open
The Treadwell Arena in Douglas, pictured here Jan. 19, opens to the public for the first time Thursday. The day starts with an open skate for people age 50 and up at 10:30 a.m.

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.

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

Carcasses to Cash
Most people would be hard-pressed to say anything positive about the smell of decomposing fish carcasses. But some fishermen and processors in Southeast Alaska are learning to smell opportunity in them. Salmon carcasses are what's left of the fish after processors turn the flesh into fillets or steaks. Kake Foods, a wholly owned subsidiary of Kake Tribal Corp., used waste from the fish it processed in 2002 to produce an organic fertilizer.

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.

This Day in History
In 1898, The steamer Clara Nevada blew up near Eldred Rock in Lynn Canal. All aboard were lost.

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
Around Town is a listing of local nonprofit events.

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.

How hard should an exit exam be?
Some people are concerned Alaska's new high school exit exam isn't hard enough to spur students to improve academically. But others say it doesn't have to. The new test doesn't necessarily force the school system to make structural improvements, said Juneau School Board President Chuck Cohen.

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

Neighbors Briefs
Boy Scouts to hold charity auction; Sons of Norway to host first Nordic Fest; Coast Guard Women's Association taking grant applications

Days that try many Southeast Alaska gardener's souls
These are days that try gardener's souls. Snow and ice is fading away. Good dark earth is appearing and looking so ready for a little cultivation. Many of us want to just take a poke or two, just to peek at the tips of primroses, or to check out and see if early daffodils are popping up. What can it hurt? Even if it does, it would be worth a couple of lost blossoms amidst the plethora of color in May to have a treat today.

Preschool earns high marks
Gold Creek Child Development Center in Juneau now proudly displays the National Association for the Education of Young Children torch, signifying that it meets national standards of excellence. Gold Creek is the first child care facility in Southeast to receive the recognition of national accreditation, NAEYC in Southeast said.

Pets of the week
When Kiara's owner moved, she left behind this quiet, shy and loving cat. Kiara has a fluffy, orange coat and has been spayed. Daisy is nicknamed "the Velcro dog" because she sticks close to people she likes.

Thank you
would like to thank local high students Cassie Gamez, Crystal Coogan, Krystal Robinson and Malia Fournier for their gracious act of kindness. Our family thanks you for the stuffed animal you brought our son while he was ill at Bartlett Regional Hospital.

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.

Kayhi faces state tourney backlash
KETCHIKAN - Last October, Rick Collins got the gift he had desired most of all in seven years as head wrestling coach at Ketchikan High School - hosting the state championship. Then he reluctantly took the role of Alaska wrestling's little kid on the block, watching as the state's big boys desperately tried to take it away.

Sitka boys sweep Prince Rupert series
The Sitka High School boys basketball team continued its hot streak as the Wolves swept a two-game series against the Prince Rupert Secondary School Rainmakers of British Columbia early this week at Sitka High School. Karel Uddipa led the Wolves in scoring each night as Sitka beat the Rainmakers 58-42 on Monday and 68-46 on Tuesday. The games were originally scheduled for Friday and Saturday, but were postponed due to ferry connections.

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.

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.

Cavs keep close, but fall to Wizards
WASHINGTON - The All-Star break comes at the right time for Michael Jordan, who is piling on the minutes and the points with Jerry Stackhouse out of the lineup. Jordan, two weeks shy of his 40th birthday, scored 27 points in 43 minutes Tuesday night as the Washington Wizards beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 93-84.

2003 Cabin Fever Doubles Tennis Tournament
Results from the 2003 Cabin Fever Doubles Tennis Tournament held Jan. 24-26 at the Valley location of JRC/The Alaska Club.

Juneau Gun Club Trap League Standings
Standings after the third week of shooting in the 12-week Juneau Gun Club Trap League.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

Photo: Seven roses for seven lost
Nancy Anderson and Audrey Russell walk past seven roses tied to the Challenger Learning Center of Alaska's flagpole in Kenai on Tuesday in honor of the seven astronauts who perished in last weekend's Columbia disaster.

State Briefs
Murkowski to seek funds for pipeline authority; Citizens group says Alaskans shut out by Legislature; Wards Cove tells fishermen to pack up and pay up; Processors vs. fishermen in price-fixing case; Nonresident hire in Alaska up slightly

Legislators want Natives to be part of state's seal
FAIRBANKS - For almost 100 years, a gold-and-black design mixing images of natural beauty and resource development has represented Alaska on signs and official documents. A group of state representatives says it's time to change the state seal to better reflect the Alaska's cultures and recognize the contributions of Natives.

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.

State says Ketchikan airport needs changes
KETCHIKAN - A recent inspection of the Ketchikan Airport revealed deficiencies that threaten its operation, according to a letter from the state to borough officials. The letter lists problems with maintenance, training, documentation, staffing, organization and safety.

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.

Anchorage airport receives federal funds for runway upgrades
ANCHORAGE - Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport will receive $51.3 million in federal funds over the next six years to help pay for taxiway and runway improvements. The funding, announced Monday by government and airport officials, will come from a pool of funds administered by the Federal Aviation Administration and earmarked for projects that add capacity to the nation's commercial air system.

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.

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

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.

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