Friday, March 7, 2003

Techwit: Consider these three ideas about Alaska's technology future
There's a fine line between being a visionary and a village idiot. Here are three ideas about Alaska's future that will test your ability to distinguish between leadership and lunacy.

Business profile: Frank Balogh
Title and company: Owner, Alaska Auto Repair and Sales Inc.

These stores have locals in mind
Rita Dienst may sell most of the candles in her downtown store to cruise ship passengers, but tourists are not the reason she opened her store 10 years ago. "We're not tourist-oriented, we're locals-oriented," said Dienst, who owns the Northern Lights Candle Co. "We're here for the locals." Despite the huge decrease in sales that ensues when the last cruise ship leaves Juneau in the fall, Dienst and several other proprietors of stores on or near South Franklin Street downtown choose to stay open year-round. It's a decision that is based more on ideology than economics, some of them said.

Don't send Southeast timber and jobs to Asian markets
As Southeast Alaska's largest private landowner, it is hard not to notice, and be dismayed by what the Sealaska Native Corporation has done to the lands it gained under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA).

Fund education
I am a student that has graduated from Juneau-Douglas High School. I graduated in 2001, and when I graduated I remember seeing books from like the '80s or something along those lines.

Respectful discourse
Thank you for your column, "Grace under pressure," (Empire, March 2). There are a few of us out here who join you in your effort to rise above the incredible pettiness of our politics - here and nationally.

Political aptitude test
If you can pass this test you are eligible to join the peace movement. The test consists of one multiple-choice question.

Democrats playing games
It may be catchy to hear the media-hyped slogan "no blood for oil," but that whole idea is a complete joke. Who has a vested interest in Iraqi oil?

Take this box and ...
Whether it be Guy, Jeremiah, or Isaiah I've read my last Crockroft letter! Those guys (Guy and Jeremiah anyway) seem to have letters in the Empire nearly every week while an opposing view, from me, is never printed. So much for the liberal media bias!

On landing in fog at Juneau
Cloud seeding using dry ice would help out in cases where the temperature is 34 or less with little or no wind. In cases where the temp is higher than 34 with more wind, cloud seeding would not help much.

Caught red-handed
I am not mistaken! I have known Richard Schmitz since he arrived in Fairbanks in the early '70s. His toe tapped and his hands clapped at the Buddy Tabor concert last month. Many saw him. He paid admission. He smiled.

Focus on similarities
Many thanks to Richard Schmitz for his response to my letter to the editor. Not only was it entertaining (and I mean this sincerely), it inspired me to return to the International ANSWER Web site and check out what he described.

Forest protection
Jim Mackovjak did a good job describing Sealaska's abuse of power (Empire, March 6).

Knowledge vs. wisdom
There was a recent letter to the editor, that, I'm assuming, mirrors the beliefs of many. The letter was pro war, but more importantly pro president with respects to his decision-making ability upon the subject of war.

War equals failure
I am very disappointed in Sen. Lisa Murkowski's "Somewhat disappointed" letter in Wednesday's paper. The senator completely misses the point when she paints peace activists with not wanting Saddam Hussein to disarm.

Zales closure surprises merchants, customers
Nugget Mall merchants and customers were surprised to discover Zales, a jewelry store in the mall since 1975, closed its doors for good Tuesday night. "The lease expired in that mall, and as with any of our stores it was evaluated on cash flow and opportunities in other locations, and we chose not to renew," said David Sternblitz, senior director of investor and public relations for the Texas-based Zales Corp.

This Day in History
In 1887, Arthur Delaney was appointed Alaska Collector of Customs. He was Juneau's first mayor and also a U.S. district judge.

Early city budget shows $2 million shortfall in funds
Juneau Assembly members are starting work on next year's budget $2 million in the red. In-depth budget discussions aren't expected to start at City Hall until next month, but an early picture given to Assembly members Wednesday showed a $2 million shortfall tied to revenue reductions and funding requests. The city budget is about $175 million.

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

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

Debate: How to pay for school projects?
Juneau voters likely will see more funding for school projects on an upcoming ballot, but local officials haven't decided when and how much. Assembly members floated a proposal Wednesday to put up to $11 million in local bonding for school projects on the June 3 special election ballot to qualify for partial state reimbursement. The city is planning a separate June ballot question to ask voters to approve more bonding for a Mendenhall Valley high school.

Inquiry: Overloading caused 2002 crash at Juneau Airport
Whenever Stephanie Madsen watched her husband Tom putting a polish to his 1956 Beech E18S airplane - his name shining on the door, eyes smiling just for her - she saw their future. But standing in a Juneau hangar last April - staring at a pile of mutated metal, the plane's door hanging from its hinges - she saw their future end. Nearly a year after the crash that killed her husband, a pilot with more than 30 years of flying experience, the National Transportation Safety Board said the plane went down because it was overloaded with cargo.

Counseling director Kelly helps clients find meaning
Helping people put together the pieces of their lives is what provides Valerie A. Kelly with her greatest rewards. "You have to put the pieces together with an appreciation of what the picture is, what the process is that goes into it, the person who made the puzzle - all that stuff is what social work is about," said Kelly, 49, the executive director of the Tongass Community Counseling Center and a licensed clinical social worker. "It's about finding meaning."

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

New hotel under way
The building under construction next to the Douglas Bridge will be a 12-unit hotel when completed. Developer Don Madsen, owner of Juneau Hotel Properties and several local apartment complexes, is building the 5,165-square-foot hotel on Ninth Street near Egan Drive, about 10 feet from the Douglas Bridge, according to a Community Development Department staff report.

FYI
Births

Alyeska school shutdown would cost jobs in Juneau
The Murkowski administration has proposed closing a state-run correspondence school to save money and eliminate duplicate services. But supporters of Alyeska Central School say its program isn't matched elsewhere and the state is just shifting costs. "The question is why," said Juneau's Jack Cadigan, who taught at Alyeska from 1986 to 1998. "You don't save any money. You throw (about) 40 people out of work. You relegate students, certainly in some instances, to lesser-quality education."

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

Photo: On their marks - 1907
This photograph, by Case and Draper, was taken of the Juneau Volunteer Fire Department Hose Team in 1907. The department was organized in 1899 by a group of local citizens, which brought about annual hose- team competitions during Juneau's 4th of July celebration.

This Day in History
In 1903, Homer Bird was hanged at Sitka for a murder committed on the Yukon.

Auke Bay sunset
The sun sets over Auke Bay, viewed from Fritz Cove Road, in the last afternoon hours of Feb. 21. The hours of daylight are increasing by a few minutes each day and will continue to do so until the summer solstice - the longest day of the year - on June 21.

Parenting seminar set
The Juneau Evangelical Pastor's Association, the Echo Ranch Bible Camp and the Juneau Youth for Christ/Campus Life are sponsoring the parenting seminar Breaking Free this weekend.

Neighbors Briefs
Teachers to celebrate Dr. Seuss' birthday; Community Schools to hold workshop; Alzheimer's disease conference set

Art of spiritual dreaming classes scheduled
A five-part study in the art of spiritual dreaming will be held from noon to 2 p.m. on Saturdays between March 15 and April 2 at the Juneau Eckankar Center, 110 Seward St.

Christian Ministries Association to hold 10th annual convention
The Alaska Christian Ministries Association is holding its 10th annual convention, Exploring Connections, Friday and Saturday, March 14 and 15, at Chapel by the Lake. "It's actually for lay people, pastors, any kind of people interested in supporting their church," said Lesley Thompson, chair of the Alaska Christian Ministries Association. "I've been the last three years, and it is such an incredible experience."

Thank you
...for the kindness; ...for the work; ...for the support.

Halibut knives make a comeback
This is a story of knives and young boys and big halibut. One of the most picturesque sights along the old Juneau waterfront was to see a halibut boat unloading. With the halibut sling rising up out of the hold and dropping on the table, one or two men stood ready with their knives to chop off the heads.

A Phoenix epiphany
I had a Phoenix epiphany today. A Phoenix epiphany is what I call a moment when I remember some of the beautiful experiences I had with kids when I was teaching in the Phoenix Program at JDHS. One of the best experiences was the Capitol City Science Fair. Advising kids on their projects was always an adventure.

Ford Horst
Ford Horst of Juneau and Truckee, Calif., died Feb. 9, 2003, in Reno, Nev.

Martin Norman Fall
Juneau resident Martin Norman Fall, 44, died Feb. 8, 2003, in Juneau.

Alice Joyce Hanlon
Juneau resident Alice Joyce Hanlon, 50, died March 2, 2003 in Seattle, Wash.

Alice Joyce Hanlon
Juneau resident Alice Joyce Hanlon, 50, died March 2, 2003, in Seattle, Wash.

My Turn: The case against foreign fish processors
I have to disagree with Allan Engstrom's letter about allowing foreign processors into Alaska. I am not a processor, but work in the fish industry, and have the benefit of some economics training, as well as some real live experience in fisheries. I'd like to make an analogy with a fictitious company we'll call Global Logging.

My Turn: For real answers, visit Web sites
Jane Roodenburg needs a new Web browser, I'm afraid. Ms. Roodenburg, in her letter to the editor of March 4, states: "I went to the International ANSWER Web site and found nothing Communist that I could recognize" and "I doubt that the people ... involved ... are Communists. They seem to be citizens looking for a way to speak to our government through an organized voice, hoping to be heard."

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

Silence is golden for Crimson Bears
After clinching the regular-season Region V-Class 4A title last weekend, the Juneau-Douglas High School boys basketball team has nothing to play for this weekend in Sitka except pride - and silence. The Crimson Bears, ranked fifth in this week's state Class 4A poll, don't want to hear the bell the Sitka High School Wolves ring after every homecourt victory.

Norwegian musher first to leave Galena
GALENA - Top teams in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race passed through the Galena checkpoint early today, with Norway's Robert Sørlie maintaining his lead. Sølie arrived in Galena just after midnight and left about 25 minutes later. Defending champion Martin Buser of Big Lake, a four-time champ, was about 3 1/2 hours behind him, leaving Galena just before 4 a.m. Third-place musher John Baker of Kotzebue checked out of Galena just before 5 a.m.

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.

Carroll, Zhang, Syed lead winners at badminton tourney
JUNEAU - Twenty-five badminton players - including four from Fairbanks - participated in the 2003 Herb Jaenicke Memorial Badminton Tournament last weekend.

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

Alaska athletes place high in NCAA ski championships
HANOVER, N.H. - Cross-country skiers from Germany, Norway and Slovakia put Alaska on the map Wednesday at the NCAA Ski Championships. Mandy Kaempf of the University of Alaska Anchorage claimed second place in the women's 5-kilometer freestyle race, UAA's Tobias Schwoerer and Sigrid Aas of UA Fairbanks each placed third and Michal Malak of UAF grabbed fifth place on the opening day of the championships.

Juneau girl to ski in Junior Olympics
Isabel Waldman of Juneau qualified for the United States Ski Association's Rocky Mountain/Central Division J-3 Junior Olympics, which take place March 9-15 in Winter Park, Colo.

Juneau girls making their final adjustments
The Juneau-Douglas High School girls basketball team has already clinched the top spot at the Region V-Class 4A tourney later this month. But the Crimson Bears still have a lot to play for this weekend as they travel to Sitka to face the Wolves in the last two games of the regular season. The Juneau girls play Sitka in a pair of region games at 8 p.m. on Friday and 6 p.m. on Saturday.

Sørlie is first to reach race's halfway point
EAGLE ISLAND - Norway's Robert Sørlie has become the first musher to reach the halfway point in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. Sørlie reached Eagle Island on the Yukon River at 3:29 a.m. today, maintaining the lead he has held for hundreds of miles. He won $3,000 in gold nuggets for reaching the halfway point first.

Panther power
Small-town high school basketball in Alaska can be a fickle affair. Transfers, coaching changes and multiple activities drawing on a limited enrollment can lead to years of losing records - and sometimes no team at all. So when success shines on a small school's boys and girls teams in the same season - as has happened in Skagway this year - it gets the whole town talking.

Cavs lose 50th game of season
CLEVELAND - Carlos Boozer lost 12 games in four years of high school in Alaska, and just 13 in three years at Duke. He's already lost 50 as an NBA rookie. Playing for the Cleveland Cavaliers certainly has its drawbacks.

Spending plan reaction splits along party lines
Reaction to the budget cuts Gov. Frank Murkowski proposed Wednesday night was predictably split along party lines. Republicans praised the governor while promising not to "rubber stamp" his proposal, and Democrats complained he broke multiple campaign promises and vowed to present alternative measures. "At first blush, we're not impressed," said House Minority Leader Ethan Berkowitz, an Anchorage Democrat. "This is just a litany of taxes, and I think that's the wrong way to go."

State Briefs
Senate approves breast and cervical cancer bill; Bill would let voters pick issues-only ballot; Tanker traffic shut down for ice; Ketchikan ponders city, borough consolidation

Sen. Lieberman introduces ANWR wilderness bill
FAIRBANKS - U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman has introduced legislation to designate the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge's coastal plain as official federal wilderness, but he acknowledged it has little chance of passage. "I'm not kidding myself. With the composition of the Senate today, that would take quite a lot of change in position," the Connecticut Democrat said Wednesday.

Lawmakers cool to cuts in education
Gov. Frank Murkowski is proposing to cut spending on schools next year by nearly $28 million, partly by giving them less help busing their students and repaying their bond debt. But the idea is getting a cool reception in the Legislature. Democrats, who are in the minority, are denouncing it as a broken promise by the Republican governor, who said in his campaign last fall he would fully fund education.

State courts offering mediation alternatives
The Alaska Court System is trying to keep more people out of court - or at least out of traditional, adversarial court proceedings. The courts have established several small mediation programs that often keep people out of the traditional proceedings, Supreme Court Chief Justice Dana Fabe said in her annual speech to the Legislature on Wednesday.

Senator wants new court
ANCHORAGE - U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, an Alaska Republican, has introduced a bill to break the federal court system's large Western circuit in two.

Murkowski budget cuts programs
A budget proposal introduced Wednesday night by Gov. Frank Murkowski would cut state programs, implement taxes and consolidate government in an effort to reduce state spending. In his State of the Budget address, Murkowski said his budget would total about $2.169 billion. It would increase revenues by about $110 million and drop general fund spending by about $55 million. The budget also would result in cuts to 21 state programs and the loss of about 200 state jobs, some of which are unfilled. The budget also would tax tourists and increase the gas tax by 12 cents, in addition to raising fees on gaming revenues and business licenses.

State Briefs
Elementary principal dies in crash; Travel packaging seminar set; Robber pistol-whips couple; Fairbanks students protest war; Man faces baby-assault charges; Senate wants more roads;

Alaska Board of Fisheries approves chinook plan
KETCHIKAN - The Alaska Board of Fisheries has adopted a new chinook salmon management plan for Southeast Alaska while leaving unchanged a key allocation split between the commercial troll fleet and sport fishermen. Chinook - or king salmon - issues were scrutinized closely during the board's meeting, which ended last week in Ketchikan.

Boycott promised if state approves predator control
ANCHORAGE - Alaska can count on a tourism boycott if wolves are killed to boost moose populations for hunters, the president of a national animal rights group told the Alaska Board of Game on Thursday. "For every dollar you spend to kill a wolf, we will match in launching an offensive," said Priscilla Feral of Friends of Animals, headquartered in Darien, Conn.

Bill would give tax break for value-added salmon
Fish processors who invest in new equipment could receive a tax break under a bill being considered in the Legislature. House Bill 90 would give processors a break on their fisheries business tax if they invest in equipment to produce "value-added salmon products." The measure would not include equipment for heading or gutting salmon, but would include machines that fillet, skin, marinate, dry and smoke fish, among other operations.

Kenai to host Arctic Winter Games
The Kenai Peninsula Borough, not Juneau, will host the 2006 Arctic Winter Games, the game's International Committee announced today. The international winter sports competition and cultural event is held every two years, bringing together about 1,600 young athletes from Alaska, Canada, Greenland, Siberian Russia and northern Scandinavia. Under a rotating schedule, Alaska is scheduled to host the games in 2006. Juneau, Fairbanks and the Kenai Peninsula submitted bids.

Criminal probe into Alaska Airlines reportedly reopened
SEATTLE - Government lawyers in San Francisco have reopened a criminal investigation into the crash of Alaska Flight 261, The Seattle Times reported Wednesday. Quoting unnamed sources, the newspaper reported Alaska Air Group Inc. would confirm the development in an annual report to be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission this week.

Taking 'Manna from Heaven' to American moviegoers
Director Maria Burton's voice may sound tired, but out of the seven family members who make up Five Sisters Productions, she is the lucky one. "I'm the only one getting any sleep right now. I feel kind of bad," Burton said this week in a phone interview from Los Angeles. "You never sleep when you are opening a film - I have to provide long-distance emotional support."

What's up with that?
Q: What's up with spotty cellular service around Juneau? At some places - Eaglecrest is one of them - phones with one prefix will work, while phones with other prefixes will not.

Singers needed for Horst memorial
JUNEAU - The Juneau Lyric Opera invites Juneau singers who know the Horst family to sing in an open chorus at the memorial service for musician Ford Horst at 3 p.m. Sunday, March 9, at Chapel by the Lake.

'Battle of the Bands' at ANB Hall
JUNEAU - "Rock the Capital Battle of the Bands" will be held at 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 7, at the Alaska Native Brotherhood Hall. "This is something I have dreamt about doing since I was a teenager - finally I have enough know-how and the connections in the industry to do it," said organizer Ethan Simons, who is 25.

First Friday: Masks, maps & skin baskets
This weekend's First Friday Art Walk, on March 7, features beaded baskets, collage landscapes, children's paintings, children's book illustrations, maps, masks and many other multimedia masterpieces. The Alaska State Museum of History and Art will open an exhibition of craft pieces from around the state, "Earth Fire and Fibre XXIV," and the Friends of the Alaska State Museum will host a reception and offer free admission from 4:30 to 7 p.m. The show will feature the winners of a biennial contest that takes submissions from new artists. This year, 140 artists submitted pieces from 25 Alaska communities. Judges selected 62 works by 51 artists, in media ranging from fish gut to fabric.

'Benny's Flag': A true tale of an ordinary boy
My favorite children's books are those that stimulate the imagination in surprising ways, books like "Eloise" by Kay Thompson or "Dory Story" by Jerry Pallotta, stuff I love to read to my kids because the magic works on me too. Children's books that are nonfiction often lack this aspect and I miss it when I read them, so I often avoid them altogether. However, after reading the true story "Benny's Flag" to my children, I realized that my preference for this kind of kids' book is somewhat limiting to my children and that nonfiction certainly can stimulate their minds in ways that fanciful fiction cannot.

Movies where and when
"Tears of the Sun," (R) starts Friday, March 7, and plays at 7 nightly at Glacier Cinemas, with second shows at 9:25 Friday and Saturday nights, and matinees at 1:30 and 4 Saturday and Sunday afternoons.

Best Bets: 'Manna from Heaven,' skating and Kissinger
A couple of events this week are total no-brainers: go to First Friday - it's free and there will be plenty of Costco brie (hey, that rhymes) - and try to see "Manna From Heaven," which will be playing downtown all next week.

Librarians host writer's tea, Whalen Turner
JUNEAU - The Alaska Library Association is hosting a dessert reception with Juneau writers and librarians from across the state at 7 p.m. Friday, March 7, at the Egan Library at the University of Alaska Southeast as part of an association meeting.

What's happening
"The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)," presented by Theatre in the Rough, at 8 p.m. Thursday to Saturday through March 8 at McPhetres Hall. Tickets $14 in advance at Hearthside Books, or $16 at the door.

Bad Girls of the North want artwork
JUNEAU - Bad Girls of the North, a cooperative of Anchorage artisans, is seeking artists, artisans and crafters who would like to sell their work at the 2003 holiday "unique boutique" art and craft fair. There will be "unique boutique" fairs in Anchorage, Fairbanks and the Mat-Su Borough.

Fairbanks play festival taking submissions
JUNEAU - The Fairbanks Drama Association and The Looking Glass Group Theatre are seeking submissions from Alaska playwrights for the "8-by-10 Festival." Eight 10-minute plays will be selected for rehearsed staged readings on May 2 and 3 at the drama association's Riverfront Theatre in Fairbanks.

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