Wednesday, February 26, 2003

Different view of 'dignity'
Paul Wescott's response to Dawn Miller's letter is beyond ridiculous. Wescott argues that people who look older should not be carded when purchasing alcohol.

Mr. Schmitz presumes too much
In Richard Schmitz's My Turn of Feb. 24, he painted all those who marched against the rush to war with Iraq as supporters (consciously or unconsciously) of Saddam Hussein.

Return to wards?
When the CBJ Charter was drawn up in the late '60s or early '70s, one of the good things about it was that differences in populations between election districts for municipal elections were not a factor because to be elected a candidate had to gain the majority of votes from the whole municipality.

Ice rink safety
I would advise anybody who is considering using the new ice skating rink to think twice about it during the open skate. Saturday evening there was not a single ice rink employee out patrolling the ice, children were playing tag, purposely knocking people down, and the rink was so full you did not have three feet in front of you to maneuver.

Bush's war, not mine
I have no idea what Jeremiah Crockroft is trying to convey in his letter about war and liberals.

Red herring season
Richard Schmitz ("{Questions and answers about war and peace," Empire, Feb. 24) certainly knows how to paint the town red. The author suffers bad eyesight, though, and perhaps failed math in high school.

Please ask me for I.D.
I read with interest the letter from Paul Wescott regarding the idea that asking for identification from anyone wishing to purchase alcohol is "an affront to the dignity of your elders."

Parental responsibility
I find it interesting that in an article quite obviously geared toward a problem with our kids, no where in Ms. Miller's article can one find the words "parent," "parental responsibility," or "parental accountability." I should be amazed but I'm not.

Do the math
My understanding is that most agree Alaska lacks quality teachers, ones who are willing to stay in Alaska. To them I say, "help!" I am a senior at the University of Alaska Anchorage where I am studying history and math. My dream, the only occupational goal I have ever had, is to become a teacher.

Church and state
Recently, Lt. Gov. Leman announced that our president and governor have made the "faith community" a partner in "meeting the needs of people." Usually one for the quaint notion of separation of church and state, I find this idea quite compelling.

Liberals on watch
Stuart Thompson spews more liberal propaganda in his letter to the editor, commenting that attacking Iraq would be a war "by presidential discretion." The truth is that Congress passed the resolution last year giving its support to all of Bush's military action.

Wrangell mourns victims of shooting
Wrangell residents are in shock and mourning after police released the names of four people found shot to death in a downtown Wrangell home early Monday. Police said they are investigating the shootings - the deadliest in Southeast in 20 years - as a murder-suicide case. The bodies of William Paul Gablehouse, 48, Sheryl Roberta Nelson, 43, Shandelle Marie Nelson, 18, and Adrienne Shalon Nore, 23, were discovered around 3:55 a.m. at Sheryl Nelson's home at 407 Reid St. in downtown Wrangell. The town of 2,400 people is about 155 miles south of Juneau and 89 miles northwest of Ketchikan.

This Day in History
In 1969, Arctic explorer Bernt Balchin predicted that the Arctic Ice Pack was thinning and may become open sea by the end of the century.

Donna Pierce named acting city manager
The Juneau Assembly on Monday named longtime city staffer Donna Pierce to be acting city manager. Pierce, who is deputy city manager, will replace Interim City Manager John MacKinnon. Pierce was Juneau's deputy city manager for 11 years before resigning last summer. She returned to the job in January.

Hospital board postpones new dress code
Bartlett Regional Hospital's board of directors on Tuesday directed administrators to delay implementing a controversial new dress code.

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

Chamber chief heading to Cairo
Jamie Parsons, executive director of the Juneau Chamber of Commerce, announced Tuesday he will leave his post by the end of August to move to Egypt with his wife, Mary Beth, who has accepted a two-year teaching assignment.

Photo: Nice while it lasted
John Sisk moves over to ski on newly groomed snow as Nordic Ski Club member Don Thomas sets the track at the Mendenhall Glacier Campground on Monday afternoon.

On the road in 1915
John Garnero and Robert Garnero stand on the road to Perseverance Mine in 1915.

Twin Lakes skaters falling through thin ice
Paul Dzwonowski, 42, stepped onto the ice at Twin Lakes where his friends were playing their daily lunchtime game of hockey. As he did, jagged lines splintered beneath his feet in a million directions, leaving him nowhere to go but down. Dzwonowski, who fell into Twin Lakes around noon Monday, was one of two people in as many days to go through the ice. "I should have gone skiing instead," said Dzwonowski after the incident. "I knew the ice didn't look right. But I went out anyway 'cause I saw my buddies out there so I figured it was safe.

Tourism committee in the works
The Juneau Chamber of Commerce is working to form a committee to address tourism issues in Juneau.

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

Festival band plays for Florida
Galen Heffern plays his baritone horn during the Juneau-Douglas High School Festival Band concert Tuesday evening at Dzantik'i Heeni Middle School.

Juneau man pleads to federal child porn charges
A Juneau man accused of using the Internet to attempt to lure a young boy into a sexual relationship pleaded guilty Tuesday to lesser charges.

AroundTown
Listings of local nonprofit events.

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

7 of 9 Assembly seats to be up for election
Seven of nine Juneau Assembly seats will be up for election this fall or next because of reapportionment, City Attorney John Corso said Monday. The populations of the city's two election districts are out of balance, based on new information from the state Division of Elections, City Clerk Laurie Sica told the Juneau Assembly on Monday. While state and federal standards allow a 10 percent difference between the district populations, Juneau's disparity is 12.1 percent, she said.

Academic honors
 

Woman honored with totem
Mona Catherine Jackson has lived in Massett, British Columbia, Hydaburg, Sitka and Ashville, Tenn.

Thank you...
...for the kindness.

Rotary club names Ignell student of the month for January
Staci Ignell, a senior at Juneau-Douglas High School, was selected as Student of the Month for January by the Glacier Valley Rotary Club.

Now is best time to try different plants, flowers
It's one of the best times of the year, when fantasy reigns and all the possibilities of a robust gardening year lie ahead.

'Blizzard of Oslo' performances set
"The Blizzard of Oslo," a musical comedy is being performed at Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church, 4212 Mendenhall Loop Road.

Pets of the week
Tisha is a curious and happy puppy, a black-and-white German shepherd and malamute mix. Allie is a quiet and undemanding cat with a very soft, long tortoiseshell coat.

John A. Moore
Longtime Alaska resident John A. Moore, 74, died Feb. 19, 2003, in Seattle.

Patrick 'P.K.' Farrell
Patrick "P.K." Kent Farrell, 54, died Feb. 21, 2003, in Boise, Idaho, after a long illness resulting from complications of hepatitis C and liver and kidney failure.

My Turn: ANWR is not just a refuge
There are a few things I would like to bring to the attention of Ms. Renshaw, who in her letter (Empire, Feb. 20) claimed that ANWR was set up solely as a refuge. In 1960 when Eisenhower created the refuge this may have been his intent. However, in 1980, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge was changed in two significant ways.

My Turn: All tribal seats should be up for DIA election
It is entirely understandable if tribal members enrolled in the Douglas Indian Association are expressing frustration with the failure of the current council to follow through with an election.

Empire editorial: Catching up on the mail
The lively activity on our opinion page this past week is testament that our constitutional right to free speech is being vigorously exercised, at least here in Juneau. Many of the letters to the editor were submitted in response to two thought-provoking commentaries that took strong positions.

My Turn: ANWR, oil and Native people
Laura Martinson raises interesting points in her My Turn regarding potential oil exploration in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR).

Quest mushers protest penalties
Two mushers who were disciplined during the Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race are protesting their penalties.

Cavs cut down Nets to claim first win since All-Star break
Zydrunas Ilgauskas scored 29 points and Jones added 14 as Cleveland got its first win since the All-Star break, 93-90 Tuesday night over the New Jersey Nets.

Lee takes 13th in Snow Thrill
One stumble at the end of his second run was enough to keep him from making the finals, but Juneau's Elijah Lee still ranked as the top American at the Red Bull Snow Thrill of Chamonix held last weekend in Chamonix, France. Lee, who lists Eaglecrest, Alaska, as his hometown on his International Free Skiing Association biography sheet, was tied for ninth place with 28.60 points after the first run on Thursday. But he dropped to 13th after Friday's second run with 51.00 points for the two runs combined. His score of 22.40 ranked 16th for the second run.

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

Schoenbar edges Dryden for Southeast wrestling championship
Floyd Dryden Middle School of Juneau had more individual champions, but it wasn't enough to counter the depth of Ketchikan's Schoenbar Middle School as Schoenbar edged Dryden to win the Southeast Middle School Wrestling Championships held Friday and Saturday in Ketchikan.

Southeast Hoops Roundup
The Ketchikan boys basketball team broke a halftime tie and cruised to a 60-48 victory over the Sitka Wolves on Friday, then the Kings jumped on top early and ran away with Saturday's game 62-42 to complete a sweep of a two-game Region V-Class 4A series at Ketchikan High School's Clarke Cochrane Gymnasium.

Denton leads way
Heidi Denton won her third race of the week on Saturday, leading 14 Juneau Ski Club members who qualified for the Junior Olympics Western Regionals based on a week-long ski meet at Alyeska Ski Resort in Girdwood. Denton, who competes in the J-1 age group (born in 1984-85), was the top female skier in Saturday's second Super G race. The Juneau-Douglas High School senior posted a single-run time of 1 minute, 3.36 seconds to beat a pair of J-3 (born 1988-89) skiers from Alyeska Ski Club, Erica Durtschi in 1:04.08 and Brittany Mumma in 1:04.58.

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

Denali draft backcountry plan released
The National Park Service has released a draft of its backcountry management plan for Denali National Park and Preserve.

Homer foundation puts $50,000 toward library
HOMER - Local residents in this Kenai Peninsula town have turned to their own resources to help pay for a new library and other projects with a unique institution, the decade-old Homer Foundation.

Seattle company buys Seward seafood plant from Ward Cove
A Seattle-based company has purchased a processing plant in Seward from Wards Cove Packing Co., which is leaving the salmon business.

State Briefs
City schedules school bond election; Man charged with threatening phone company; Power outage hits Douglas; California man accused of sex abuse of Fairbanks girl; Northern Edge military exercises begin next week; Kenai teachers press for contract

Placer rules bode ill for Dawson City, Yukon, locals say
Business leaders in Dawson City, Yukon, are predicting devastation of the local economy and departure of half the population if new regulations for the placer gold mining industry are allowed to stand.

Murkowski asks USDA to purchase surplus fish
More than 6 million cases of canned Alaska pink salmon are in processors' warehouses around the state. Some will be sold on the market, and others will remain in the warehouses, gathering dust. The governor has asked the U.S. Department of Agriculture to buy $30 million worth of the fish, but whether the deal will go through remains to be seen. "The Alaska salmon industry has been brought to its knees by the large quantities of foreign farmed salmon that are glutting the U.S. markets as well as the downturn in the Japanese economy," Gov. Frank Murkowski wrote last week in a letter to the federal agency.

State seeks relief from federal education mandate
State officials may turn to Congress for help if the Bush administration doesn't give them the leeway they seek to make a sweeping federal education initiative work in Alaska.

Education endowment would use fund earnings
Legislators and the Murkowski administration are looking at proposals to fund education using permanent fund earnings, House Speaker Pete Kott said Monday. Kott, a Republican from Eagle River, said such a proposal is being examined by several members of the Republican-controlled House, but he would not identify them.

Murkowski names new press secretary
U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski has chosen Kristin Pugh as her press secretary to replace Chuck Kleeschulte, who has been named communications director.

Wrangell teacher ID'd as shooter
Wrangell teacher William Gablehouse shot his ex-girlfriend, her daughter and her niece early Monday before turning the gun on himself, Wrangell police said Tuesday.

Lawmakers criticize education cost study
Lawmakers from urban and rural Alaska alike have their doubts about a cost study designed to give the Legislature guidance about how it distributes education dollars. "I think there are too many questions for us to be looking at it as something we can use right now," said Wrangell Republican Rep. Peggy Wilson, who leads the Health and Education and Social Services Committee in the House.

Permafund initiative backers sue state, lieutenant governor
Sponsors of a proposed ballot initiative to limit the Legislature's ability to use the Alaska Permanent Fund to pay for government are suing the state and Lt. Gov. Loren Leman for not certifying their petition. The lawsuit was filed last week in Anchorage Superior Court.

Lawmakers debate cancer coverage
Two plans to continue Medicaid coverage of breast and cervical cancer diagnoses and treatment were passed out of the House Health, Education and Social Services Committee on Tuesday.

This Day in History
 

Teacher housing bill passes committee
The Senate Health, Education and Social Services Committee on Monday passed a measure that would make it easier for teachers to get housing loans through the Alaska Housing Finance Corp.

Firm wants to turn Whittier eyesore into tourist resort
A New York investment firm announced plans to buy an old military building in Whittier for more than $21 million.

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