Monday, February 23, 2004

In the Stacks: New books on CD and tape for kids
Recorded books for kids come on CD and tape, just like those for adults, and we've just added a bundle of them to the shelves! You can browse for them by scanning the audio book shelves for pink labels or look them up like a book by title or author.

On the move
The Numi Group, a Fairbanks-based technology consulting firm, has hired Alison Elgee and Andy Kline in Juneau to assist with implementation and rollout of the new State of Alaska Child Welfare Information system in partnership with software developer AMS.

Save the community charter school
As a single working mother of a first-grader at the Juneau Community Charter School, I am very concerned about the Juneau School District's proposed budget cuts that could in effect shut the charter school down.

One woman's story dealing with racism
What is racism? Racism in my definition is the separation of people by a controlled thought that you're better than people of color, race and/or nationalities. There is a reason for separation - you need to feel better than them.

Fishing license legislation unfair to U.S. citizens
I hear on KINY radio noontime news that Alaska legislators in Juneau have passed Senate Bill 56, sponsored by Sen. Dyson of Eagle River, that will now allow aliens from the Yukon to purchase fishing licenses and King salmon tags for the same price that Alaskan residents pay.

Put Eaglecrest Ski Area out of its misery
In the 19 years I lived in Southeast Alaska, Eaglecrest Ski Area was the proverbial albatross. It's time to put the poor bird out of its misery!

Senior citizens deserve $250 longevity bonus
Perhaps most young Alaskans don't realize what happened when Gov. Murkowski vetoed the $250 longevity bonus. Senior citizens deserve this modest stipend to pay rent, utilities, fuel bills, purchase food and medical drugs, wheelchairs, canes and numerous medical paraphernalia while still having enough money left for some modest entertainment and attend church on Sunday. They have come up short and need your help. As of this date the Republican Senate still refuses to override the veto.

'Big Media' unwittingly helps terrorist group
Neighbors, we have a problem with U.S. "Big Media." I assert that they are unwittingly aiding and abetting the enemy in the War on Terror. By their actions, they are actually empowering al-Qaida and even effectively recruiting for it. Here's how:

Sitka's leadership needs to change its priorities
Juneau, you might be interested to learn that the City of Sitka ranks building a road out of Juneau as more important than providing adequate ferry service to Sitka.

Tired of being lied to by Bush administration
I think it's possible Fidel Castro has taken to watching our late-night heroes, the comics who can say nasty things about our leaders and get away with it, well, because some of the baser comments are stingingly true.

Save Berners Bay from corporate interests
Berners Bay, Juneau's backyard, crown jewel, is under siege by Outside corporate mining interests and its partners in government. Coeur Alaska Inc., an Idaho-based transnational corporation, seeks to dump its tailings into Lower Slate Lake as part of the Kensington mining project proposal. In so doing, it will violate the state's water quality standards and anti-degradation policy, as well as the federal Clean Water Act.

Hunter objects to state's aerial wolf killing policy
I am writing to protest the aerial grey wolf killing program that has begun in Alaska. It is beyond comprehension that this abhorrent policy was ever instituted. The grey wolves of Alaska have lived in a symbiotic relationship with the caribou and moose for a millennia.

Make your voice heard on city development
Everyone recognizes a well designed city. It's fun to walk in Ghirardelli Square in San Francisco, or on the streets of our nation's capital.

Alaska Medicaid decision puts veterans at risk
A recent decision by Alaska Medicaid to restrict access to important medications used to treat Hepatitis C (HCV) has placed many veterans at risk. Their decision to reduce a physician's treatment options not only hurts veterans who are Medicaid patients, but it also sends a clear message that Alaska is not serious about treating HCV veterans who suffer from Hepatitis C at a rate that is disproportionately higher than the general population. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), HCV infects one out of every 10 veterans. It is four times more prevalent then HIV and is the leading cause of liver transplants. Hepatitis C can lead to liver failure, cancer and death.

There's something amiss at docks department
It is important to get the word out that the City and Borough of Juneau Docks and Harbor Board is considering raising small boat harbor slip fees by as much as 38 percent.

Speak out; Berners Bay's fate rests with you
It seems like the threats to Berners Bay just keep piling up. If it's not Sen. Lisa Murkowski's bill to trade it away, it's plans for a mine that could scatter buildings, roads, and a ferry terminal all over the north shore of the bay.

Waterfront condo concept under fire
A proposed 49-foot-tall condominium building, twice as tall as a nearby state building, is opposed by people who say it will interfere with the city's long-range waterfront plan and obstruct views of Gastineau Channel.

Correction
In Friday's edition, a story noted that the Alcoholic Beverage Control board sets a limited number of beverage dispensary licenses per population. In Juneau, the limit is one license for every 3,000 people.

Photo: Wooden expression
Artist David Walker, left, shares the audience's applause with model Dawn Pisel-Davis after their wood gown won top honors in Friday's Wearable Art Extravaganza at ANB Hall. Walker's creation was called "Another Gown From Wood Lying Around." The event, a fund-raiser for the Juneau Arts and Humanities Council, is in its fourth year. Forty-four wearable art pieces were displayed at the show.

United Way falls short of goal
The United Way in Juneau missed its 2003 fund-raising goal by more than $200,000 and fell well short of the previous year's collections, the agency announced.

Wearable Art Extravaganza
Rampaging Imagination" was the theme of the fourth-annual Wearable Art Extravaganza, held Friday night at ANB Hall.

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

Vandals spray anti-Native slogan on Juneau-Douglas High School wall
Vandals painted a cryptic acronym generally regarded to be derogatory to Alaska Natives on an outside wall of Juneau-Douglas High School late Thursday night.

Brightening the slopes
Niall Johnson went zooming down the Ptarmigan Hill on a snowboard a few Sundays ago at Eaglecrest Ski Area. An outside observer couldn't tell Johnson is a person with developmental disabilities.

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

A day at the beach
Abby Hemenway, 10, looks out over the water as, right to left, Arianna Paul, Robert Newman, 6, and Grace Newman, 2, climb around the end of a marooned log Sunday at Sandy Beach in Douglas.

AroundTown
Around Town is a listing of local nonprofit events.

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

Christa A. Brooks
Christa A. Brooks, 67, died at home on Feb. 14, 2004, following a long struggle with lymphoma.

Toe
Cartoon by Toe

Juneau smoking ban is overdue
In considering the recommendations of its Smoking Ordinance Review Task Force, the Juneau Assembly has what I think is a fairly easy decision in moving to make all public facilities and businesses smoke-free.

Census report: Alaska lowest death rate in U.S.
Last week, the Bureau of the Census released its "Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2003," a sort of paint-by-numbers portrait of both upper- and lower-case us.

Are you a dog owner in denial?
There's one thing Alaskans will defend even more than their annual dividend checks - their dogs. So when talk spreads that some would like to see more restrictions on dogs, pet owners, no doubt, are paying attention. Some outdoor lovers would like to see dogs banned from some trails because man's best friend is not a wild animal's best friend, and dogs scare off wildlife. Other people would simply like to see leash laws enforced or fewer dog droppings around town.

Peratrovich demonstrated moral courage by her actions
O ne of Alaska's historic heroes was born on Independence Day 1911 in Petersburg. As a result, February 16 is a state-recognized holiday. It is time the heroine be recognized as widely as the day is.

Snow report
Eaglecrest Ski Area is open Thursday through Monday. The tubing hill operates weekends and holidays only.

Out&About
Schedule of outdoor events

Winter Web links
Alaska and Pacific Northwest ski area Web sites include:

Fun for all ages
A year ago, Kristina Paulick hated ice skating and Mo Lodovici hadn't been on a rink in two decades. Now they're mastering new skating skills each week and enjoying the exercise, thanks to the Treadwell Arena and the Juneau Skating Club's Basic Skills group classes. Today marks the first anniversary of the Douglas arena's grand opening ceremony, which gave Juneau residents their first ice sports facility free of weather woes.

Dog owners put Valley wolf at risk
A lone wolf frequenting the Mendenhall Glacier Recreation Area is at risk from a small group of irresponsible dog owners. "We've had people out here trying to breed their dogs with the wolf, playing ball with it, trying to feed it - it's gotten really bad in recent weeks," said Michelle Warrenchuk, a U.S. Forest Service naturalist and interpreter at the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center. "It's becoming habituated."

Carr, VanMeter win Tesoro Iron Dog
A pair of Kenai Peninsula racers roared across the finish line Saturday morning at Big Lake to capture the championship of the Tesoro Iron Dog snowmobile race. The victory was the fourth for Mark Carr, 45, of Kenai, but the first since 1999. Partner Dusty VanMeter, 34, of Kasilof, had won twice before, including 2002. They had not won as partners before.

Gatt holds lead as Yukon Quest leaves Dawson
Hans Gatt continued to lead the 1,000-mile Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race as of Saturday night. Gatt, the 2003 champion out of Atlin, British Columbia, left Dawson at 2:52 a.m. Yukon Time Saturday morning after a mandatory 36-hour layover. He reached the community with 11 dogs and left with that many. He had previously dropped three.

Bear girls rout Kayhi
The last unknown was no problem for the Juneau-Douglas High School girls basketball team over the weekend. Junior Mary Rehfeld hit six 3-pointers and scored 29 points over two games as the Crimson Bears swept a Region V-Class 4A series against host Ketchikan, winning 58-41 on Friday and 49-22 on Saturday.

Swingley's back
ANCHORAGE - Four-time Iditarod champion Doug Swingley must be one of the most practical people on the planet. When asked why at age 50 he is back competing in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race - willing to hang onto the back of a sled for more than 1,000 bumpy and sometimes hair-raising miles from Anchorage to Nome - his answer is quick and to the point - or is it a put-on?

Juneau's Flynn earns player of year honors
It's the middle of February, but Laura Flynn's life already is revolving around soccer. Whether leading a community women's soccer clinic today, traveling to play at the Arctic Winter Games later this week or organizing preseason team workouts, the senior captain of the Juneau-Douglas High School girls soccer squad shows a full-time dedication to the sport that helped her win selection as the Alaska's Gatorade State Player of the Year.

Sports in Juneau
UPCOMING EVENTS Friday, Feb. 27 • Fight Night Boxing - Doors open at 7 p.m. and boxing starts at 8 p.m. at Centennial Hall. Many bouts will feature Juneau Fight Club members vs. Ketchikan Fight Club members.

Juneau Gun Club Trap Shooting League
Here are the results from Week Five of the Juneau Gun Club's trap shooting league.

Cavs notch road victory over Knicks
NEW YORK - LBJ at MSG was A-OK for the Cleveland Cavaliers. LeBron James scored 22 points in his first game at Madison Square Garden, where the fans turned on the home team Sunday as the New York Knicks fell behind by 23 points in the fourth quarter of a 92-86 loss.

Juneau Parks and Rec. Coed Volleyball League
Juneau Parks and Rec. Coed Volleyball League scores

Gatt, Steer flip-flop as leader of Yukon Quest
Hans Gatt and Zack Steer see-sawed at the front of the pack of the Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race on Sunday.

Juneau boys keep streak alive
It's been 24 years since the last time the Ketchikan High School boys basketball team won in Juneau. This weekend, the Juneau-Douglas Crimson Bears extended that Region V-Class 4A homecourt winning streak another year - though the Kings nearly ended it.

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.

Alaska Digest
staff and Wire reports

Murkowski's fund rhetoric haunts him
Ed Martin Sr. voted Republican in 2002, thinking the Alaska Permanent Fund that he's fought to defend was in safe hands with Gov. Frank Murkowski. A prolific advocate for the fund in letters to the editor, Martin encouraged everyone he knew to do the same. Two years later, he'd like to take a mulligan.

Ruling: No damages for Alaska Pulp
A pulp mill that dominated the economy of Southeast Alaska for decades should not receive damages from a lawsuit it won against the U.S. Forest Service, a federal judge has ruled. Alaska Pulp Corp., which operated a mill in Sitka for nearly 40 years, had sought up to $8.7 billion in damages from the federal treasury.

Legislative watchdogs open office in Alaska
During her nine years (1992-2000) in the Maine Senate, Chellie Pingree was always aware of Common Cause. The non-profit, non-partisan citizens' lobby organization monitored campaign finance reform and the accountability of elected officials throughout the state, as it's done throughout the country since 1970.

Photo: Rondy run-in
Marcus Odom crashes into a snow berm Saturday during the GT class race in the Fur Rendezvous Grand Prix in Anchorage. No one was hurt and Odom was able to continue the race. The midwinter festival runs for two weeks and three weekends and includes more than 130 events, including the World Championship Sled Dog Race.

Yukon Quest musher Kleedehn finishes race in hospital
WHITEHOUSE, Yukon - Yukon Quest musher William Kleedehn has been telling people he was the first into Whitehorse. Trouble is, he never reached the finish line.

This Day in History
In Alaska; in the nation.

This Day in History
In Alaska: • In 1936, the old log Custom House and Post Office at Sitka, a relic of Russian days, was destroyed by fire.

Bringing Native history home
When Harold Jacobs, a Tlingit, saw a Native headband made of braided hair in a Philadelphia museum this month, he knew whose hair it was. He sang its song. Jacobs' great-great-great-great-great grandmother of Angoon had cut her hair, made it into a headband and given it to her husband to be remembered by, said Leonard John, executive director of the Kootznoowoo Cultural and Educational Foundation.

Hide for sale
Bill Burger, left and Joe Burger hold up a brown-bear hide to be auctioned at the Alaska State Fish and Game horn and hide auction Sunday at Anchorage's Fur Rendezvous.

Legislative roundup
Bills introduced and voted on last week.

Western Alaska woman among last to make grass footwear
ANCHORAGE - Lena Atti's work appears deceptively simple.

AlaskaDigest
Headlines from around the state.

Alaska Digest
staff and Wire reports

UA President Hamilton cautions that Alaska's brain drain is real
The state's economy suffers when businesses go searching for qualified nurses, engineers and other skilled workers in the Lower 48, according to University of Alaska President Mark Hamilton.

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