Tuesday, March 4, 2003

Patriot for peace
In response to the Outside Editorial of Feb. 27, I went to the International ANSWER Web site and found nothing communist that I could recognize. It was an interesting site. In general, I doubt that the people who are presently involved with ANSWER are communists. They seem to be citizens looking for a way to speak to our government through an organized voice, hoping to be heard.

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.

Save lungs, lives
So here we sit trapped in our homes, all windows and doors closed tight, with an air filter running (costing me more in electricity) because of a few inconsiderate folks who think they live in the wilds of Alaska right here at the head of the Mendenhall Valley.

War is not a game
It is with anger and alarm that I read and listen to news reports, preparing this nation for war as if it were a game in which someone wins. I have lived through four major wars in which my country has taken part.

Not quite virgin timber
Ms. Ferry waxed semi-poetic (Empire, March 3) about old growth forests, kinda suggesting in condescending and pretentious fashion that Chicken Little was right and the trees were all going to fall/be cut down.

Adolescent whining
I read, with some amusement, Richard Cormack's "Happiness Is..." letter to the editor (March 2). Mr. Cormack indicated that Mr. Smith shouldn't be expressing his views. Now, last time I checked, freedom of speech applied to everyone - even if he or she does not agree with your viewpoint.

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.

AroundTown
Around Town is a listing of local nonprofit events.

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.

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

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.

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.

Photo: Drilling in 1935
Val Poor operates a drill at the Alaska-Juneau gold mine in 1935. The mine, near downtown Juneau, grew out of panning and sluicing operations in the 1880s and grew into a vast network of buildings and tunnels.

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

JDHS students win oceanography contest
Juneau-Douglas High School students took first and second place at the Alaska Region National Ocean Sciences Bowl by studying two much-discussed local transportation issues. Fourteen teams from around the state each submitted a research project, gave an oral presentation and competed in a "Jeopardy"-style quiz match, said JDHS oceanography teacher Clay Good.

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

This Day in History
In 1939, The Territorial Senate killed a bill appropriating $14,000 to subsidize radio stations in the Territory of Alaska to "disseminate facts and information."

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.

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.

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.

My Turn: People of faith do good works
Why the attack on government support of faith-based community initiatives in last Tuesday's paper? As I read his comments, I desired for Brian Lieb (Letter to the Editor) a better understanding and appreciation of the part that religion plays in countless benefits we enjoy today.

Norwegian leads mushers out of Manley
MANLEY - Musher Robert Sørlie of Hurdal, Norway, jumped into the lead early Tuesday in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. Sørlie left the Interior town of Manley at 4:30 a.m., following a rest of 4 hours, 9 minutes. Sørlie dropped one dog in Manley, leaving him with 15 for the rest of the race.

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.

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.

Coed Volleyball
The standings from the Juneau Department of Parks and Recreation's coed volleyball leagues through matches of March 2.

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

Musher ends chemo just in time for race
ANCHORAGE - Three days after doctors removed a third of Charlie Boulding's cancerous colon last summer, the 60-year-old dog driver was back on his feet. Four days after that, he was back at work, setting up a fish wheel along the Yukon River not far from his home near Manley.

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.

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

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.

Valdez processor faces new charges
ANCHORAGE - A Valdez seafood processor with a history of pollution and permit violations is in trouble with the government again. Both the state Department of Environmental Conservation and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, with a list of new complaints, are seeking penalties from Thomas Waterer, owner of Nautilus Foods of Valdez.

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.

Kott calls PFD one of Alaska's worst mistakes
House Speaker Pete Kott says creating the permanent fund dividend program was one of the worst mistakes Alaska ever made. The Eagle River Republican said he does not propose eliminating the dividend because it has become an important part of the economy. But he said the Alaska Permanent Fund, the state's oil-wealth savings account, needs to shift from being a "sacred cow" to become a "cash cow for the state."

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.

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.

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.

Murkowski proposes curbs to environmental lawsuits
Environmental groups that unsuccessfully sue the state could be forced to pay legal fees under a measure proposed by Gov. Frank Murkowski. Two bills proposing changes in the state's public interest litigant rules were introduced in the Legislature on Monday by request of the governor.

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.

Nenana Ice Classic tripod raised
NENANA - The Nenana Ice Classic tripod is back on the ice again. Several hundred people gathered Sunday near the Tanana River to watch the annual raising of the tripod, the ceremonial beginning of the annual guessing game of when the ice on the Tanana River will break up, marking the end of winter in the Interior.

Measure would tighten initiative requirements
A plan by a Southeast lawmaker could make it more difficult to get initiatives on the ballot, but the proposal could help stave off future capital-move efforts. Rep. Bill Williams, a Saxman Republican, has argued for several sessions that it is too easy for people in large population centers such as Anchorage or the Matanuska-Susitna Borough to collect the signatures needed to get an initiative petition certified.

State Briefs
Charges pending in Monday crash; Meet the candidates for school principal; City sidewalk ordinance moves forward; Assembly reviews emergency plan; House approves warnings for explicit e-mail;

Education Department wants to close Alyeska correspondence school
The state Education Department proposes closing its Juneau-based statewide correspondence school, Alyeska Central School, in late June in an effort to save $1.2 million in spending.

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.

Anchorage author sues to release Bob Atwood book
ANCHORAGE - An Anchorage author says Alaska publishing legend Bob Atwood is in danger of being forgotten by the state he helped create because the book he wrote is languishing in a warehouse. "Journalism classes are graduating without knowing who Bob Atwood is," said John Strohmeyer, a writer in residence at the University of Alaska Anchorage.

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