Monday, March 3, 2003

Foreign films at the library
Move the couch a little closer to the TV and try some foreign films!

Seeking facts, wisdom
I would imagine that most Juneau folks, whether left, right or middle of the road, abhor the thought of a war with Iraq. In almost any conceivable scenario, thousand of innocents will be injured or killed by explosive, chemical or biological weapons.

Straight from the IRS
I'd like to know where Paul Zimmerman is getting his statistics about Bush's tax plan. The ACLU? The DNC? My facts, however, come straight from IRS itself.

Naive expectations
This is a salute to the many men and women who have fought for years to preserve the patches of giant old growth forest so that I may now wander among these cathedral-like trees.

A lesson to be learned
I don't usually respond to editorials but the Feb. 25 editorial challenging recent letter writers begs a response.

Still awaiting an answer
The letter lauding John MacKinnon for his DUI signs is fine but let's not forget that in the same article , about three years back, in which your oh so wise mayor, in an article discussing the senior sales tax exemption, stated that seniors were just a group cheating death.

Happiness is ...
I am pleased to inform Publisher Don Smith that he has made me and a lot of people I know very happy. Thank you very much for the several days of tranquility since your last Publishorial.

UFA moves forward
As a local fisherman returning from the crab gourds, I have been catching up on the latest politics of United Fishermen of Alaska (UFA) and our newly elected state officials.

Hands off
Do you want to see just how fast we the residents of Alaska can come up with a recall election?

Students turn scientist for fair
Juneau's few snow dumpings this winter provided skiing, sledding, snowshoeing and snowmachining opportunities for many local residents. For Kacie Timothy, 16, they provided a science project. "There were two major snow-deposit events this winter, before the one this week," said Timothy, a sophomore at Juneau-Douglas High School. She was one of 105 students who participated in the Southeast Alaska Regional Science fair held Saturday at the Marie Drake gym at JDHS.

4 manager finalists chosen
The Juneau Assembly's top four picks for city manager hail from Kansas, California, Wisconsin and Juneau. Assembly members released their top four candidates for city manager on Friday after spending several hours reviewing resumes Wednesday. Seventy people applied for the job.

Photo: Coast Guard recognition
U.S. Coast Guard Lt. Dale Shepardson, skipper of the cutter Liberty, receives certificates of appreciation from the State of Alaska and the City and Borough of Juneau from Michael Oliver of the Glacier Valley Rotary Club at Centennial Hall on Saturday.

Juneau power supplies holding despite low snowfall
El Niño's hold brought warmer temperatures and less snowfall than normal to Juneau last month, but the town's hydroelectric power reservoirs are in good shape, according to Alaska Electric Light and Power. Juneau received 6.2 inches of snow in February, almost a foot below the normal 18 inches. The grand total for snowfall this season is 39 inches, or 41.8 inches below the normal of 80.8 inches through February, according to the National Weather Service.

Archeologists lecture at visitor center
Archeologists with the U.S. Forest Service are meeting this week in Juneau. To share their knowledge, five of the experts will present lectures tonight through Thursday night at the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center.

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

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

Juneau science fair winners head to international contest
A pollution-detecting experiment that used mussels earned first place in the Southeast Alaska Regional Science Fair for Carl Brodersen, a senior at Juneau-Douglas High School. Brodersen, 18, designed an experiment that used the production of byssal threads, strands that allow mussels to attach to rocks, in Pacific blue mussels as a pollution indicator.

This Day in History
In 1975, two people in New Stoyahok died of botulism after eating fermented beaver tail.

AroundTown
Around Town is a listing of local nonprofit events.

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

Curio shop, 1905
This photograph was taken in 1905 of John Feusi's Curio Shop on Front Street in Douglas. Feusi bought and sold goods, such as basketry and totem poles, made by Alaska Natives. He also sold furniture, hardware and other items.

Title

Toe Cartoon

The power of grace under pressure
Fewer than 18 months have passed since foreign terrorists hijacked four jetliners and wreaked murderous havoc from New York City to the Pentagon to southwestern Pennsylvania. In response, countless Americans pledged never again to take their blessings for granted. Awakened and inspired individuals rededicated themselves to being better citizens, friends and loved ones.

My Turn: Blacklists are valuable in the continuing fight against spam
If you are like me, you hate spam. You know, spam - those junk e-mails that fill up your inbox. I get dozens of them every day, from the scores of annoying "Refinance Your Home Now!" offers to the extremely vulgar "Hot Teen Sex!" advertisements for porn sites. I have to spend a part of my day every day hitting DELETE-DELETE-DELETE on my keyboard. It's really frustrating. I have better things to do with my time, and I know my employer would prefer I be spending that time actually doing something productive.

What do you think?
I think they should take over the Kmart building when they move out and turn it into a high school. Lots of space, lots of parking, auto shop, kitchen, etc.

My Turn: Alternatives to alternatives
In a recent "My Turn" article entitled, "Experiencing Home Birth," the author eloquently summarized the powerful experience of childbirth. Unfortunately, she also perpetuated some misconceptions about hospital-based birthing experiences, especially here in Juneau.

Alaska editorial: Fund lobbying to open ANWR
Slashing Arctic Power's budget, as proposed by the Alaska House, could be a victory for green activists fighting to block oil exploration in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

My Turn: Fishermen deserve market-based solution
The fundamental question concerning the proposal to allow foreign processors into Alaska waters is one of processing capacity. And yet, the underlying current of the debate concerns control over the seine fleet.

A fund plan instead of taxes
During the fall election campaign, Frank Murkowski said there is no fiscal crisis in Alaska, just a crisis in management. He was right. There is a better way.

Eaglecrest cross-country workshops March 7-9
Cross-country skiing expert Adam Verrier will teach a series of classes at the Eaglecrest Ski Area on March 7, 8 and 9. Verrier was a member of the 1994 U.S. Olympic team in Lillehammer. He is the 2003 national Nordic ski champion in his age class, said Bart Watson of the Juneau Nordic Ski Club.

Out and About
March 2: Steel Plate Handgun Speed Shoot, registration 9 a.m. Divisions for DA revolvers, SA revolvers and Semi-Autos. Bring 100-plus rounds. Hank Harmon short range. Details: www.go.to/jrpc/.

Skulls on the shelf
The squirrel skull peeked out at me from the jumble of roots in the woods behind my house. It was perfectly clean. I was 10 years old and I took it home and put it on a shelf in my bedroom. Years later I was studying biology and I'd added a raccoon and a deer skull to my collection. A friend gave me a desert-weathered antelope skull and I picked a few mice skulls out of owl pellets. Some people thought my skull collection was morbid, but most of my friends appreciated the outdoors and natural history. No one realized that technically, it was completely illegal.

Heading north for Nordic
Though their numbers are waxing, members of the Whitehorse Cross Country Ski Club still have plenty of room on the trails for Juneau skiers looking for a change in scenery. "We get people up here from Juneau and Haines and Skagway and they say, 'Oh, it's so nice to see the sun,' " said Mary Whitley, secretary for the club. "They have a wonderful time skiing - they can feel so invigorated."

Snow report
• Eaglecrest Ski Area, Juneau: Platter, Ptarmigan and Hooter lifts operate about 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Thursday through Monday. The tubing hill and terrain park are closed.

Iditarod Winners
The past winners of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, the 1,150-mile race from Anchorage to Nome. Winning mushers are listed with their times in days, hours, minutes and seconds.

Crimson Bears sweep Kayhi to claim top spot
Alida Bus' 3-pointer from beyond halfcourt at the end of the first half. Letasha McKoy shutting down Ketchikan star Anne Elliott on defense. Danielle Larson's 23-point performance. The Juneau-Douglas High School girls basketball team was positively giddy when recounting its feats after routing Ketchikan, 77-45, Saturday night to complete a two-game sweep of the Kings in Ketchikan.

Iditarod Red Lantern Winners
Past winners of the Red Lantern award from the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, an 1,150-mile race from Anchorage to Nome. The Red Lantern award is given to the race's last finisher each year. Mushers are listed with their times in days, hours, minutes and seconds.

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.

Crowd-pleaser: Bears sweep Kings to win regular-season crown
After the Juneau-Douglas High School boys basketball team beat the Ketchikan Kings 79-53 on Friday night, Juneau senior Kolt Garvey was talking to his parents while wearing a bright red hard hat in honor of the renovations being completed at JDHS. The hard hat was appropriate attire, as the Crimson Bears worked over the Kings in Friday's victory, then completed the sweep with a 78-65 Saturday senior night win. The sweep clinched the regular-season Region V-Class 4A title for Juneau, earning the Crimson Bears a first-round bye in the region tournament March 12-15 in Ketchikan.

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

Alaska's Jay Hakkinen wins sprint title at biathlon nationals
Jay Hakkinen and Denise Teela used perfect shooting to win sprint titles Sunday at the U.S. Biathlon Championships.

Judge delays trial for man accused of multiple crimes
FAIRBANKS - A judge has delayed a trial for a man accused of murdering a woman in an Ester apartment, stabbing a man in Fairbanks the same day and conspiring to kill three other people.

Report: State's mining reputation is slipping
ANCHORAGE - Alaska's image as a place to explore for and develop minerals is slipping in the world mining industry, according to an annual survey presented to state lawmakers, commissioners and members of the Murkowski administration. In a joint House and Senate Natural Resources Committee presentation on Feb. 19 and at a commissioners' and administration staff meeting the next day, Fairbanks-based consulting geologist Curt Freeman presented results of an annual mining industry survey conducted by the Fraser Institute, an economic think tank based in Vancouver, B.C.

Transport bill sails through House fisheries committee
Homer fisherman Buck Laukitis usually makes about 15 percent of his yearly income fishing coho salmon at the end of the Alaska Peninsula each fall. Not in the last five years, though. The fall fishing season in the False Pass area has been reduced drastically or eliminated since the processors stopped sending tenders to transport the fleet's catch back to the plants.

31st Iditarod kicks off in new location
Sixty-four dog teams pushed off on the frozen Chena River this morning, launching the 31st Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race along a novel route born out of Alaska's warm winter. Mushers and their dogs lined up for the 10 a.m. restart in Fairbanks, enjoying snow, which was in short supply for Saturday's ceremonial start in Anchorage. Amid the din of barking dogs, several thousand fans turned out to witness the Iditarod's first appearance in Fairbanks.

Boards of game, fisheries stumped over commissioner
JUNEAU - The boards that oversee fishing and hunting in Alaska are at an impasse over their nominations for the next Fish and Game Commissioner. After a teleconference earlier this week, the state Board of Game and Board of Fisheries were unable to agree on a candidate to forward to Gov. Frank Murkowski for consideration.

Groups survive close calls with avalanches
Two groups of skiers survived avalanches Saturday in Hatcher Pass. One slide partly buried a skier who fell as he descended Microdot Mountain with five others in Independence Mine State Park, said Pat Murphy, an Alaska State Parks ranger. The skier, a 46-year-old man, plunged 1,000 feet down the mountain and over a cliff in the river of snow, Murphy said. When he stopped, he was buried up to his neck with one arm sticking out.

Tulsequah construction could start in spring '04
Construction of a multi-metal mine in British Columbia that has environmental groups worried because of its proximity to the Taku River could begin as soon as spring 2004, the developer says. The Tulsequah Chief mine is on the Tulsequah River a few miles from where that waterway runs into the Taku. It's about 10 miles east of the border and about 40 miles from Juneau. It was operated for a few years in the 1950s, but closed in 1957 and has not been reopened.

State Briefs
2003 Iditarod has ceremonial start; State issues public health alert for hepatitis; Snowmachining opens up in Denali, Hatcher Pass; Resort road proposal picks up momentum;

Legislative roundup
Bills introduced last week.

This Day in History
In Alaska; In the nation; In the world.

House ponders bill to loosen lobbyist regulation
A proposal to change the definition of "lobbyist" drew praise from the business community and scorn from Democrats and a state regulator Friday at the House Judiciary Committee. House Bill 106, introduced by Anchorage Republican Rep. Lesil McGuire, would give lobbyists 40 hours a month with lawmakers before having to register with the Alaska Public Offices Commission.

Correction
Due to an editing error, a caption with a photo from the ceremonial start of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race in Sunday's Empire listed the wrong names for the musher and Idita-rider. The musher is Jeff King of Denali Park and his Idita-rider is Angelo Grelli of San Francisco.

Measure targets vandals' parents
Two bills moving through the Legislature would make parents responsible for a greater amount of damages when their children commit acts of vandalism. State law says parents or guardians of minors who destroy property can't be sued for more than $10,000.

Fairbanks clinic makes abortions available again
Abortions are being offered in Fairbanks for the first time in more than three years. The opening of a Planned Parenthood of Alaska clinic has drawn protests and a boycott. Women from the Fairbanks area have had to travel out of town for the procedure since 1999 when the sole abortion provider retired.

Fishermen unite to create regional brands, revive sagging salmon sales
In the new world of Alaska regional seafood marketing, sockeye salmon will be on ice seconds after being plucked from the sea. They'll be coddled like newborns to prevent bruising. And they'll have brand names that remind customers of where they come from: Aleutia. Kenai Wild. Copper River. Kodiak.

Scientists seek info on orca sightings
Alaska marin-ers are being asked to keep track of cruising killer whales this week to find out how many swim near the state in the winter. If enough people scan fjords, channels and icy bays, the count will produce an unprecedented large-scale snapshot of cold-season killer whale distribution.

Yukon court halts Elvis Presley lawsuits
It's official: Elvis Presley may no longer file lawsuits against the government. Calling him a serial litigant, a Supreme Court judge last week ruled that Presley, a Yukon musician and artist who changed his name from Gilbert Nellis about five years ago, may not file any more lawsuits until he pays all his outstanding court costs and gets special permission from the courts.

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