Wednesday, February 27, 2002

On The Move
Nerland named president of KeyBank's Alaska district.

Prime drops mean prime time for home sales
Home loans in Alaska rose sharply during the first half of 2001 and continuing drops in the prime rate are expected to propel the trend well into this year.The Alaska Housing Finance Corp. and non-AHFC lenders reported a 31 percent increase in home loans through June 2001, compared to the same period in 2000, according to a report called Project Jump Start 2002, recently issued by AHFC's Department of Planning and Program Development.

Business Profile: Shawn M. Hooton
Firm and title: Shawn M. Hooton is the sole proprietor of Seahook Charters of Alaska. Hooton has been a fishing guide for five years, and this is his third year as a fully licensed hunting guide, working with his father, Larry.

Business Briefs
Tsimshian carver aboard ship; Where's the cash?; Quarterly survey shows relative costs of food; Hotel lowers room rates; Appliqu class offered; South African hair weaver visits Juneau; Renovators offers referrals; Frozen salmon exports are on the increase; Small business solutions and where to get them; Wells Fargo offers DVDs via Netflix for customers

What makes a house move
utting a house on the market can be divided into two, labor-intensive parts. The first is getting the house ready for listing with an agent. The second is getting the house ready for an open house or a showing. "People consider our job to be advertising and selling their homes, but our real service is spending time and effort in preparation before there is any contract with the homeowner," said Scott Granse, an agent with Re/Max of Juneau.

Reflections past and future
I e-mailed Bert Adams Sr., telling him how I enjoyed his article, "Memories of the house on Ninth Street" (Empire, Feb. 17). I said how wonderful it is to have beautiful memories, to be able to write about them and share them with others and how things have changed.

Standing corrected; still behind report
We stand corrected. We apologize for mistakenly stating you had not printed an article about Dr. Tom Power's "Role of Metal Mining in

Silent majority happy
I was amazed to read the article written by Melanie Plenda last Friday regarding the return of the former police chief. I thought I picked up the Enquirer instead of the local Empire. It read like the reporter had bumped into Andy Capp late in the night at the pub and asked him what he thought of his last work place.

Toast to Poe, Mac
If Bill McAllister decides to audition for The Washington Post he should include a tearsheet of his superb Sunday Capitol Notebook piece, "Quoth the Senate: 'Nevermore'."

Two pounds of iron can even things out
In response to Mr. Adams's letter "No reason to own a gun," I laughed when I read the comment on our "excellent police force" keeping him safe. If being kept safe to Mr. Adams equates with how fast they are on the scene after a crime is committed, then they are indeed "excellent." This is not meant to insult the local police. Just stating the obvious.

Fiscal plan preferred to 'freezing, faking'
Two weeks ago, right before Valentine's Day, the Empire reported on the budget bills that were filed Feb. 11 in both the House and the Senate. The bills pretend to approve full funding of the state employee contracts, but then whack the departmental budgets by the amount needed to pay for them. Talk about bait and switch ... but that's not all!

Don't tread on me: The hobo spider protects its turf in Juneau
Hobo spiders can be even-tempered, friendly and even useful in many a household - just don't tick them off. Recently a Juneau man was hospitalized because of a bite from an elusive spider, said Fred Boehme, owner of Pied Piper Pest Control, who was called to rid the man's home of the arachnid.

Fanfare ushers Alaska Air pilot into dawn of retirement
Doug McWhorter picked Flight 73 from Juneau to Anchorage today as his last as an Alaska Airlines pilot, adding one more memory to a lifetime in the sky. After 14 years with Alaska Airlines, McWhorter is retiring. A celebration with family and friends was planned for later today in Anchorage, his home.

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

Assembly approves some park names, waits on one
The Juneau Assembly approved names for two new parks and an ice rink Monday. But the panel referred the name "Lynn Cox Auke View Park" to the Human Resources Committee for more discussion. It would apply to a new park on the bypass road near Lena Point.

UA students lobby, learn at the Capitol
An afternoon of lobbying by university students at the state Capitol on Monday was a lot like participating in a contortionist's act. The students wedged themselves into cramped offices and squeezed their ideals amid the closely held beliefs of legislators or staffers with a dozen other appointments and many other concerns.

Put a lid on it
The Juneau Assembly voted Monday to fund a city-wide bear education campaign as it polishes a new law that would ban plastic lids from many of the town's Dumpsters.

Photo: Egan Drive cross country
Mark Zeiger cross-country skis beside the Egan Drive during his lunch break on Monday. Zeiger skied from downtown to the Yacht Club and back. More than 4 inches of snow fell on Monday.

Boat show features tours of cutter
JUNEAU - The U.S. Coast Guard cutter Liberty will be open for public tours this weekend in conjunction with the 23rd annual Juneau Boat Show, sponsored by the Glacier Valley Rotary Club.

Boat show caters to broad range of users
Whether you enjoy motoring through the waves at 60 mph or kayaking silently past rookeries, the three-day Rotary Boat and Sports Show at Centennial Hall has something for you.

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

Polaris House creates a sense of belonging
A daytime gathering place for people with mental illness is scheduled to open soon in Juneau. Polaris House, to be run by its users, will be provided as an arm of the Juneau affiliate of the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill. It will be a drop-in center, probably open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., for people suffering from mental illness.

Pictures of India
India presented Juneau filmmaker Joel Bennett with cobras, elephants, tigers, lions and vast herds of camels, but its people impressed him the most. "There's this huge pulsating life that goes on 24 hours a day," he said. "People are born, marry, die; there are festivals - virtually every human experience imaginable is happening in front of you in 24 hours."

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

20 years for rapist
Describing a 2001 sexual assault as the worst example of that crime ever to reach his courtroom, Juneau Superior Court Judge Larry Weeks today sentenced Donald Seaman to 20 years in prison for raping a homeless woman over the course of two days last April.

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

Civil Air Patrol aids in Home Land Defense mission
The mission of Civil Air Patrol (CAP) is changing dramatically. The tragedy of Sept. 11 not only changed lives forever but it has begun to change the way every emergency service organization in the nation plans and conducts its business. These changes have long reaching effects in our every day lives. Who would have thought our transportation system could be turned into a weapon of mass destruction? The potential for this sort of thing is nearly unlimited in a free and open society like the United States of America.

Bishop Nikolai to be installed in Sitka
His Grace, the Right Reverend Nikolai, Bishop of Sitka and Alaska, will be officially installed as the ruling bishop of the Russian Orthodox Diocese of Sitka and Alaska on March 4 and 5 at St. Michael the Archangel Russian Orthodox Cathedral in Sitka.

Neighbors Briefs
Sitka to host hazardous materials workshop; Tlingit Haida Youth Leadership Pageant accepting applications; Mayor to celebrate Dr. Seuss; Art work accepted for Juried Exhibition; Scholarships available;

United Way grant helps feed Food Bank
On Tuesday, the United Way of Southeast Alaska presented the Southeast Alaska Food Bank with a check representing a grant of $21,800 at the Juneau Rotary Club meeting at the Baranof Hotel. The check was accepted by Food Bank treasurer Laraine Derr, who provided details of the Food Bank's current project - raising a new building. The grant is a very significant one, Derr said.

Dean's List
Aimee N. Bodron, a junior at the State University of New York at New Paltz, was on the dean's list for carrying a 3.5 or greater GPA for her third and fourth semesters. For the current semester Aimee is participating in a Latin American Studies Program at the Universidad Espiritu Santo in Guayaquil, Ecuador.

Pet Of The Week
Ricky is a large gray neutered male who has been waiting for his forever home for a long time. This handsome kitty is so very friendly, easy going and playful and is said to get along with both dogs and cats.

Lucinda Burley
Longtime Juneau resident Lucinda Burley, 72, died Feb. 24, 2002, at Bartlett Regional Hospital in Juneau following a long illness.

Eugene Thomas Specht
Longtime Juneau resident Eugene Thomas Specht, 84, died peacefully Feb. 22, 2002, at his residence.

Elizabeth J. Magnuson
Former Juneau resident Elizabeth J. Magnuson, 78, died Feb. 19, 2002, in Fairbanks of cancer and diabetes.

James Fredrick Voltz
Former Juneau resident James Fredrick Voltz, 57, died Feb. 23, 2002, at his residence in Fox Point, Wis.

'Carnivore' eats privacy
We are familiar with the warnings: There are terrorists on U.S. soil still plotting our destruction, and the only way to thwart them is to give up a lot of our privacy. Let the government tap our phones and open our mail - whatever it takes .

Deceptive capital move
This week, the State Division of Elections certified signatures on a petition to move the Legislature to the Matanuska-Susitna Borough. The question will be put to voters in November. There are many problems with this ballot proposition, beginning with the attempt to deprive Alaskans of knowing how much such a move would cost.

My Turn: Are tourists drawn by Alaska golf courses?
I am writing to applaud the city and state officials who have been given the thankless task of reviewing the golf course proposal at Peterson Creek. When 200 acres of public land is being examined with the idea of committing it to a private enterprise, there should be extensive public scrutiny.

Word Of Mouth
Word of Mouth gives readers a forum to express opinions on a variety of issues by telephone. Calls must be limited to one minute. We reserve the right to edit calls for clarity, length and libel.

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

Skagway boys take fourth, girls fifth in Tok Invitational
The Skagway High School boys basketball team fell behind by eight points in the first quarter, but roared back to claim a 92-59 victory over the Minto Lakers in the fourth-sixth place game Saturday at the Tok Invitational in Tok.

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

Paralympics hope to feed off Olympics
SALT LAKE CITY -- The Paralympics begin March 7 and organizers hope the spirit of the Winter Games carry over to the 10-day event for the physically challenged.

North Pole woman jailed for beating kids
FAIRBANKS - A Fairbanks judge has sentenced a 52-year-old North Pole woman to 2 1/2 years in prison for repeatedly beating three children in her care. In announcing the sentence Monday, Superior Court Judge Mary Greene noted the severity of abuse the children received from Lottie Beasley.

State Briefs
House bill would more severely punish rapists; Troopers investigate death of 23-year-old man in Port Heiden; Pipeline suspect begins his federal trial in Fairbanks; Another snowmachiner died over the weekend; Education officials gather in Juneau

Measure sets buffer zones for loggers
Loggers in Interior Alaska would have to spare more trees close to lakes and streams under legislation that passed the House on Monday. The bill is a compromise supported by the timber industry, fishermen and environmentalists, said Rep. Drew Scalzi, a Homer Republican.

Caucus ponders taxes, earnings
The bipartisan Fiscal Policy Caucus is facing a crossroads on using its potential clout to move the Legislature toward a long-range fiscal plan. The plan, as it was being refined this morning, could include an income tax and a draw from permanent fund earnings that would eat into inflation-proofing of the principal - two likely explosive elements that caucus members acknowledged won't boost their re-election campaigns.

Symphony of Seafood plays in Chicago
The Alaska Symphony of Seafood took its show to Chicago in February. The group has promoted dining on fish since 1993 by hosting a New Products Contest and Gala in Anchorage. The presentation has grown to become the largest event of its kind in the United States.

New fish oil-diesel blend could benefit rural villages
ANCHORAGE - Alaska's groundfish harvest may energize more than the coastal economy if a unique demonstration of Bering Sea fish power works out.

Despite slower mail, Postal Service still makes the grade
FAIRBANKS - The way Alaska's mail comes and goes, within the state and to the Outside, changed dramatically following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. But the Postal Service in Alaska still gets A-minus and B-plus grades in official tests.

Plan unites ferries and state rail
State Sen. Jerry Ward proposes to help solve the state ferry system's budget problems by coupling it with the Alaska Railroad and giving the new system 500,000 acres of state land. But officials from the ferry system and the railroad don't like the idea.

Legislative move headed to ballot
Alaskans apparently will vote this fall on whether to move legislative sessions to the Matanuska-Susitna Borough, the first ballot initiative challenging Juneau's status as the capital city since 1994. Alaskans for Efficient Government, an Anchorage group that says more Alaskans need access to legislators, has met the threshold of 28,783 signatures necessary to put the issue on the general election ballot in November, according to the state Division of Elections.

State Briefs
Ketchikan men face child-porn charges; Business seminar focuses on financing; Foreigners warned of job scams; Deadline looms for McNeil permits

Legislative-move kingpin Uwe Kalenka no stranger to conflict
Though not officially a sponsor of the initiative to move legislative sessions from Juneau to the Matanuska-Susitna Borough, Uwe Kalenka spearheaded the campaign to get the measure on the 2002 ballot and has cast himself as spokesman.

Warming may lead to Arctic shortcut
ANCHORAGE - For centuries, explorers have dreamed of sailing through Arctic passages as a shortcut between Europe and Asia. The dream of navigating the Northwest Passage and the Northeast Passage has never been closer to reality, said Lorna Knaus, chief executive officer of Pacific Rim Board of Trades.

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