State Briefs

Posted: Wednesday, February 20, 2002

Assembly favors Scholz for Planning Commission

JUNEAU - A majority of Juneau Assembly members Tuesday recommended Jim Scholz be appointed from among four candidates to fill an empty seat on the Juneau Planning Commission.

The Assembly, meeting as the Human Resources Committee, recommended Scholz, who is Southeast regional sales manager for Northland Services. The recommendation will be forwarded to the Assembly for an official vote.

Also considered were business owner and volunteer Nancy Waterman, attorney Richard Monkman and engineer John Cooper.

The candidates were interviewed in open session, but the Assembly's discussion about the applicants took place in executive session, according to committee Chairman Don Etheridge. The Assembly members took three informal nomination votes following the closed-door session, he said.

The final vote was in favor of Scholz, with Ken Koelsch, Jeannie Johnson, Dale Anderson, Randy Wanamaker and Etheridge voting yes, Etheridge said. Assembly member Marc Wheeler said he also voted for Scholz in the final tally, but earlier supported Waterman.

Etheridge said he voted for Scholz because he had a balanced approach to development.

"Mr. Scholz had the best answers for the questions we had," he said. "My constituency likes the idea of having jobs available."

Assembly member Frankie Pillifant said she supported Waterman, but was heartened by the overall interest in the Planning Commission.

"Each of the candidates had wonderful attributes and each one I learned something from," she said. "I was looking for an opportunity to improve the diversity on the committee, the diversity in experience, not just gender."

Applicant Clancy DeSmet withdrew from consideration because he plans to attend law school this fall, according to a letter to the committee.

Portland's Anne Weiss to perform

Juneau - Anne Weiss, a singer, guitarist and songwriter based in Portland, Ore., will teach a vocal workshop from 7 to 9 p.m. today at the Mendenhall Center.

She also will perform at 8 p.m. Thursday at Schooner's Espresso and Coffeehouse in Mendenhall Center. Juneau songwriters Buddy Tabor and James Denali will open the concert.

To register for the workshop, call 789-0090. Tickets for the Thursday concert are on a sliding scale of $7 to $10.

Injured girl coming home after accident

JUNEAU - Charlotte Brown, 7, who was seriously injured in a vehicle accident in December, will be released soon from a Seattle children's hospital after nearly two and a half months of recovery.

Charlotte sustained spinal cord and back injuries as well as internal bleeding stemming from a Dec. 8, 2001, vehicle accident involving her family. Charlotte was uninjured after her family's vehicle slid off Egan Drive and rolled over. But a second vehicle, which also slid off the road, struck Brown.

Charlotte's father, Jason, said she will be released from Children's Hospital and Regional Center on Sunday. He said doctors told the family that Charlotte had met all her recovery goals including transferring herself from her bed to her chair, dressing herself with some help and breathing in her own.

"She still isn't walking and we will continue to pray that she will again some day," said Jason Brown.

Torgerson won't run again for Senate

JUNEAU - Sen. John Torgerson, a Kasilof Republican, announced Tuesday that he will not run for re-election this fall.

In a prepared statement, he said "there is clearly a benefit to allowing new ideas and new blood in the Legislature, and it's time for me to step aside and give someone else a chance."

A former Kenai Peninsula borough Assembly member, Torgerson, 54, was first elected to the Senate in 1994. He is chairman of the Senate Community and Regional Affairs Committee, the Senate Resources Committee and the Joint Committee on Natural Gas Pipelines.

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