Thursday, March 7, 2002

Maintenance, they say, keeps the plumber away
When a homeowner phones for help after coming home to a cold house on a cold day, "It's a panic shot," said Pete Zecevich, service manager/dispatcher for The Plumbing & Heating Co. "Heating is something everybody takes for granted, and the furnace is something foreign to them," Zecevich said. "So it's a real scream for help (when it's not working). If the house smells like car exhaust, they're worried about health, too. We have to assure them we will get there as soon as possible."

Gambling on precipitation
Alfred Cook says the snow removal business is "so hot and cold that if you rely on it as a sole source of income, then you're a gambling man." Cook, of Cook Snow Removal & Sanding, has been in the business for more than 20 years and employs one driver in addition to himself. His clients are a mix of businesses, private residences and multi-residential complexes.

Business Profile: Mary Szczepanski
Name and title: Juneau resident Mary Szczepanski is sole proprietor of Healing Touch Alaska, a private practice. She is a certified Healing Touch practitioner and instructor and a certified holistic nurse with a total of 14 years experience in these fields. She also teaches self-help classes.

Business Briefs
Extended stay savings offered; Small engine special fired up; Gumdrop House spring hours; Sign Pro sold to local man; Reducing business tax burdens explored; Course considers extending credit; Real estate pre-licensing class scheduled; Conference for professional women set; Free listings offered for summer hires; Author lectures on ship; Japanese tourists fly to Alaska via Hawaii

Lawyer: Father denies causing harm to baby
Your front page story about the parents charged with injuring their baby violated the most fundamental rule of journalism - get both sides of the story.

No longer sure
Back in 1987, a history teacher informed me that the Soviet Union would become more like America, while America would become more like the then Soviet Union.

For strengthening U.S.-Russia relations
The Lend-Lease Program was a turning point during World War II. From 1941-45, about $12.5 billion in war materials and other supplies were shipped to the Soviet Union over four major routes.

Police and Fire
The Juneau Police Department and the Alaska State Troopers reported that they did not make any arrests in Juneau on Tuesday, nor did the police report any traffic accidents or other incidents that the Empire includes in this section.

Photo: Auke Bay ice
Fresh ice coats the harbor at Auke Bay on Wednesday morning as clear skies have brought colder weather to the area this week.

Local Briefs
Fire destroys Juneau hangar office; Board grants teacher leave

Post office to stay in Auke Bay
A contract securing the continued operation of the Auke Bay Post Office for the next five years will be signed this week, the property owner who rents space to the U.S. Postal Service confirms. Myron Klein and the postal service made a "verbal contract" Tuesday morning for a five-year lease with a slight rent increase, Klein said.

Disc golf course takes off
Juneau model airplane enthusiasts won't get a runway at Amalga Meadows, but will receive help from the city to find a place to fly. The city's Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee on Tuesday unanimously turned down a proposal from the Gastineau Aeromodelers Society to install a 70-by-400-foot grass runway at Amalga Meadows for model planes. Instead, the panel directed Parks and Recreation Director Kim Kiefer to work with the group and other landowners to find a permanent place to fly.

Insurance hike may sting workers
Custodians, teacher aides and administrative assistants at Juneau's public schools are asking the school district for help in covering a big hike in their insurance rates. Employees told the School Board on Tuesday that the increases would drive some of them from their jobs and make it hard to hire replacements.

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

Photo: Asking the king to dinner
Ginger Byrom of DeHart's Auke Bay store pulls a king crab out of a tank for customer Georgia Liedtke on Wednesday afternoon. DeHart's buys live crab from the fishing boat Sunrise and sells it from a tank outside the store.

Blocking bears: Juneau looks at lid options
The trash containers in a garage at Juneau's landfill exemplify the town's ongoing struggle with hungry bears. The lids tell much of the story: some are plastic with wire tie-downs, another is heavy-duty steel. Off to one side is a prototype aluminum model.

Hearing-aid fraud gets home arrest
The former owner of a local hearing aid outlet has begun serving six months of house arrest and five years of probation in compliance with a sentence handed down last week in federal court in Juneau.

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

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

Tenakee researchers looking for history, fish tales
For the better part of a half-century, the fortunes of the Superior Packing Co. and the settlement of Tenakee Springs were closely intertwined. Now, nearly 50 years since the cannery was shuttered and with most of the buildings long gone, local researchers are hoping to piece together its history through the stories and photographs of people who were there.

Pet Of The Week
Boscoe is a quiet, easygoing neutered male tuxedo kitty who is a former stray from the Douglas area. Boscoe is very affectionate and friendly and gets along with other cats.

Thank you
... for all the help

Neighbors Briefs
Tolerance in the aftermath of Sept. 11; Alaska Masonic leader visits Southeast lodges; Listeners, talkers needed to deal with subsistence

Design of a Playhouse
A playhouse built by a high school construction class is now delighting members of a Lemon Creek family that won it in a raffle at the 25th annual Juneau Home Show, held Feb. 22-24 at Mendenhall Center. The yellow playhouse with brown trim was delivered to the yard of the Weimer family by members of the construction class on the evening the Home Show closed, Feb. 24. Craig Mapes, the instructor for the Juneau-Douglas High School construction class, tagged along to see the reactions of the family.

Photo: Deejay in training
Laughton Elliott-DeAngelis learns to operate KTOO's sound board. Laughton is a member of Floyd Dryden Middle School's radio production club, an activity funded by a 21st Century Grant.

AWARE to honor four Juneau women for community contributions
On March 9, AWARE (Aiding Women in Abuse and Rape Emergencies) will hold its sixth annual Women of Distinction Dinner and Silent Auction at Centennial Hall. The event will honor four distinguished local women who have made significant contributions to improving the lives of Juneau's women and children. Community members submitted nominations, and the honorees were selected by AWARE's board of directors.

Fred A. Sorri Jr.
Former Juneau resident Fred A. Sorri Jr., 77, died Feb. 21, 2002, at Live Oak Manor in Live Oak, Calif.

Joyce L. (Weymouth) Peterson
Former Juneau resident Joyce L. (Weymouth) Peterson, 80, died Feb. 15, 2002, at her home in Wenatchee, Wash.

Dony Mallare Corpuz Sr.
Longtime Juneau resident Dony Mallare Corpuz Sr., 96, died peacefully March 4, 2002.

My Turn: Budget proposal will have you eating at your own risk
There may be no such thing as a free lunch, but in the most advanced county in the world, we have come to take for granted that at least lunch will be free from food poisoning. Not so under a legislative proposal that would shut down the state's retail food safety and sanitation program.

My Turn: How will students learn constitutional values?
Your Feb. 28 story and My Turn column on the suspension of JDHS student Joseph Frederick for displaying the "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" banner during the Olympic Torch Relay raise a few questions I think are worth asking.

My Turn: False, hurtful and misleading statements
I am writing to correct statements made in the "My Turn" column of Feb. 28. Mr. Michael Balonek, a VISTA volunteer who has been in Juneau for four months, wrote that it is unfair to test low-income students with the Alaska Benchmark Exams. I commend Mr. Balonek for his commitment to society and his volunteer efforts. However, I take issue with his statements and conclusions. Beyond being false, they are hurtful and misleading.

My Turn: Californians as crows and Alaskans as eagles
L.A. Times columnist John Balzar takes a poke at Alaskan "rugged individualism" by stringing pearls of words together (Empire, Feb. 22). His prose and wit serves his profession well. It better. Columnists are a major natural resource in his state, next to politicians.

My Turn: Gov. Knowles and left-wing 'hacks' cannot be trusted
Our national leaders have recommended that we get back to living normal lives so that the major evil which arose Sept. 11 in New York City would not get the best of us. I agree with this recommendation. Part of my living normally is to point out where local mischief lies and figure out how to excise it.

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.

My Turn: Accommodating traffic
As a former member of the Juneau Planning Commission I was privileged to see the initial efforts of the combined planning for the Juneau waterfront between Gold Creek and Merchants Wharf. The idea is great and the program involving citizen participation is well planned.

Eaglecrest's ski school teaches all abilities
For someone who has never strapped a board or two on their feet, the idea of shushing down a mountain with the wind in their face may seem daunting. But with a little help from Eaglecrest's ski school, that idea can become a reality with just a few lessons.

Snow Report
The status of Alaska ski areas.

Out and About
In season: Wolf (Aug.-April), grouse (Aug.-May), ptarmigan (Aug.-May), coyote (Sept.-April) and hare (Sept.-April).

New snowboarders gain from pain
David McMaster knows how hard it can be to start snowboarding. "After my first lesson I spent about an hour and a half in the tub and slept about 12 hours," said the Eaglecrest Ski and Snowboard School instructor. "That first week can be a little painful." But there's a quick gain after the pain, said McMaster and fellow snowboard instructor Dave Harju.

Redpoll invasion in Juneau
A tight swirl of 75 small birds nervously flew up from the alder thicket near the Loop Road bridge over the Mendenhall River, but then quickly settled into the next grove of alders only a few yards away with constant "chett-chett-chett" calls.

Region V Standings
The Region V basketball standings through games of March 2. Standings are for all three Region V classifications and were reported to the Juneau Empire by school officials and basketball coaches.

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

Craig boys split with Ketchikan
The official records won't show it, but the Class 3A Craig High School boys basketball team won its season series with the Class 4A Ketchikan Kings by splitting a two-game non-conference set in Ketchikan over the weekend.

Local Basketball Standings
Scores from basketball games played this past weekend

Swingley: I'm retiring
RAINY PASS -- Lagging far behind the top competitors, Montana champion dog musher Doug Swingley said Tuesday he's retiring from the competition in this year's Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. "This is my victory lap," the four-time Iditarod winner said shortly after arriving at the Rainy Pass checkpoint Tuesday morning. "I'm retiring from competitive racing. You won't see me up front anymore.

Alaska State Basketball Polls
Here are the Alaska Sportswriters High School Basketball Polls, as voted on by statewide sports reporters and compiled by the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner.

Beedle fourth overall in Telemark nationals
Despite wearing a cast on his left hand to protect a broken thumb, Juneau's Matt Beedle finished in fourth place overall during a series of four U.S. Telemark Ski Association races last weekend in Crested Butte, Colo.

Buser wins nuggets
OPHIR, Alaska -- Veteran Martin Buser reached the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race checkpoint at Cripple early Wednesday night, claiming gold nuggets and a trophy for being the first to the race halfway point.

Tompkins soaking up Paralympics experience
For the last few years, Joe Tompkins' dream has been to compete in the Winter Paralympic Games. That dream will become reality this weekend, as the Juneau monoskier competes in the downhill race on Saturday and the Super G on Sunday.

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

Fielder first out of Ophir as leapfrogging continues
OPHIR -- The leapfrogging among mushers continued Wednesday in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. Linwood Fiedler of Willow breezed through Ophir at 7:35 a.m., beating first-arrival Martin Buser of Big Lake out of the checkpoint one minute after arriving.

Haida Nation files claim over offshore oil and gas reserves
NORTH VANCOUVER, British Columbia - The Haida Nation is going to court to lay an unprecedented claim to the land and surrounding waters of the Queen Charlotte Islands, an area that includes billions of dollars in oil and gas reserves. Louise Mandell, the band's lawyer, said she believes it's the first time an aboriginal band has laid title to surrounding waters and offshore resources.

Chignik has a home for a loyal dog
ANCHORAGE - A new home awaits Buddy, the black Labrador retriever that stayed by his dead owner's side for 12 days after a tree-cutting accident on a remote Prince William Sound island. The dog is headed for the Alaska Peninsula village of Chignik. There, he'll take up residence with Chignik Mayor Jim Brewer and his wife, Polly Aleck. The couple was selected out of 1,000 people who wanted to adopt Buddy after the dog's story drew national attention last week.

3 percent sales tax set for committee OK
A state sales tax of 3 percent appears headed for approval by a House panel next week. The tax, which would raise an estimated $250-300 million annually, was discussed this morning by the House State Affairs Committee and seems to have the necessary votes to pass, although it is a bitter pill to swallow for Chairman John Coghill and House Majority Leader Jeannette James, both North Pole Republicans.

Alaska fishermen support labeling
The United Salmon Association last week voiced support for federal legislation that would require the labeling of farmed salmon products. The bill also would require that the country of origin be on labels for all retail fisheries products.

US Senate sets southern route for gas pipeline
FAIRBANKS - The U.S. Senate has approved an amendment to the energy bill that would route a natural gas pipeline from Prudhoe Bay through Interior Alaska, instead of across the state's northern coast and Canada.

Next fast ferry in jeopardy
The entire Southeast Alaska Transportation Plan could unravel if the Senate doesn't approve a debt-financing package that includes a fast vehicle ferry for the southern Panhandle, according to state officials. Senate President Rick Halford said today that the so-called GARVEE bonds for state road and ferry projects aren't likely to win approval this year, although they were approved by the House last year with only one dissenting vote.

Senate bill changes 1st-graders' attendance requirements
A bill that makes some 6-year-olds comply with the same compulsory attendance requirements as older students passed the Senate on Wednesday. The bill would require parents who enroll their children a year earlier than is now required by law to make sure the students attend school regularly.

State Briefs
State wants Demers to pay up; Panel to review naming policy; Leask named to permafund board; Bill targets spill ruling

Lawmakers pore over competing plans for prisons
A House committee on Tuesday looked at a plan to build one large private prison in Whittier, while a Senate committee took up a bill to expand state-run prisons around the state. Frank Prewitt, a consultant for Cornell Companies, said that firm's proposal for a 1,200-bed private prison in Whittier would cost $44 a day less than a Knowles' administration plan to expand existing prisons and jails. The Knowles proposal does not include Juneau's Lemon Creek Correctional Center.

State briefs
Police question man about hangar fire; House OKs bill for prison in Whittier; Group seeks recall of Assembly, mayor; Bill would end some coastal zone appeals;

Senate support waning for funds to push tourism
A bill to provide emergency marketing aid to the state's tourism industry lacks support among majority Republicans in the Senate, said Senate President Rick Halford. Cruise ship bookings continue to recover as travel fears following the September terrorist attacks ebb. The emergency need to spend $6 million for a marketing campaign is becoming less apparent among members of the Senate, Halford said.

Social agency accused of theft
ANCHORAGE - State advocacy officials have accused a private nonprofit agency of stealing money from Alaskans put under its care by the court system. A Jan. 15 letter written by three state officials who oversee the welfare of elderly and vulnerable Alaskans states that Fairbanks-based Community Advocacy Project of Alaska, or CAPA, has failed to account for the money of clients and should not be assigned more cases until its operations are drastically reformed. The letter was addressed to the state's four presiding judges.

Explorations in fiber and color
Ellen Anderson recreated a sun-dappled lake bottom and the curling bark of a madrone tree in layers of handdyed silk, beads, gold thread and painted flannel. "Rocks Underwater" and "Bark Bag" are among seven pieces Anderson contributed to a group show opening Friday at the Juneau Arts and Humanities Council Gallery. "Fabulous Fibers ... and Beads" also features beadwork and basketry by Nancy Karacand and hand-dyed silk by Susan Sloss. The show opens with a reception from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Friday.

A fairy tale of love that won't rest
Perseverance Theatre is taking audiences to Brood, a tiny, tedious town located south of reason, north of heartbroken and smack in the middle of memory with its latest play, "The Wooden Breeks." Playwright Glen Berger and visiting Director Wier Harman flesh out this farcical fairy tale depicting what happens to those who get stuck obsessing over the past.

What's happening
Theater

More than 125 quilts in weekend showcase
There's more than quilts at Quilt 2002. "We'll have traditional styles, holiday-themed quilts, contemporary, miniature quilts," said Joanne Wilder, one of the show's organizers. "We'll also display nonjudged items like wearable art and tote bags, table runners, things that aren't quilts or wall hangings, but that people want to show."

Best Bets: Visual feast, musical banquet this weekend
Juneau will be rich with color this weekend. Two art shows will provide a visual feast, and a concert featuring three bands should satisfy a yearning for music. Perseverance Theatre opens a new play this weekend, but I'm trying to ignore it.

Music scholarship available
JUNEAU - The Anchorage Festival of Music announces the third Young Alaskan Artist Scholarship Award. This award gives young performers an opportunity to display their talent at a recital in Anchorage and provides scholarship money for further music study.

Movies where & when
"It Happened One Night," (Not rated) shows at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Back Room Cinema at the Silverbow Inn.

'Save the Land Jam' features 3 bands
Acid jazz, gypsy music and bluegrass provide the jam at the "Save the Land Jam" Friday night. The Fiery Gypsies, the Panhandle Crabgrass Revival Band and Kudzu will take turns on stage at the ANB Hall for a dance and concert to benefit the Gustavus Land Legacy. The music is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. with the Fiery Gypsies

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