Alaska Digest

Posted: Wednesday, March 10, 2004

Celebration 2004 applications available

JUNEAU - Applications for Native dance groups and Native artists hoping to participate in Celebration 2004, June 3-5 in Juneau, are now available at Sealaska Heritage Institute, a regional Native nonprofit.

The Institute has posted applications for dance groups, the Native Artists Market and the Juried Art Show and Competition online at

Interested parties also may request applications by contacting the Institute at 463-4844.

The deadline to submit dance group applications is March 15. Native artists who want to reserve a table during the Native Artists Market, which is held during Celebration, must submit applications by April 1.

Native artists who want to compete in the second biennial Sealaska Juried Art Show and Competition also must submit applications by April 1.

The Institute this year will give awards for traditional and contemporary art entered in the juried art show. Best of Show winners will receive $1,500 each, First place winners will receive $1,000 each, Second Place winners will receive $750 each and Third Place winners will receive $500 each.

This year will mark the 22nd anniversary since the Institute founded Celebration, one of the largest cultural events in the state.

Kucinich postpones visit to capital city

JUNEAU - Presidential candidate and Ohio Rep. Dennis Kucinich has postponed his visit to Juneau until next week.

Carol Anderson of the Juneau campaign said Kucinich has to be in D.C. for a floor vote today, and plans to come to Juneau March 18. He will also visit Anchorage, Kenai and Fairbanks, Anderson said.

Events for the visit haven't been nailed down. Anderson said there will be a reception in which the public will have an opportunity to meet him.

Some of Kucinich's key issues are repealing the Patriot Act and U.S. withdrawal from NAFTA and the World Trade Organization. His campaign Web site is

Kensington comment period extended

JUNEAU - The comment period on the draft supplemental environmental impact statement for the Kensington Mine has been extended 30 days.

The new deadline is April 7.

The Kensington is a proposed gold mine located about 45 miles northwest of downtown. Tongass National Forest spokesman Dennis Neill said the Environmental Protection Agency requested the extension to allow more time for review of the document.

Comments may be sent to Steve Hohensee; SEIS Team Leader; Tongass Minerals Group; 8465 Old Dairy Road; Juneau, AK 99801. They may be faxed to 907-790-7464.

Fishermen fear lack of processing capacity

ANCHORAGE - Some commercial fishermen fear they will be forced to ignore millions of returning salmon because seafood companies may not have the capacity to process the predicted bounty expected in Alaska this summer.

The processor squeeze is expected to crimp salmon fishing districts from Southeast to Cook Inlet to Kodiak to the Yukon, but it figures to be most acute at Bristol Bay, site of the world's largest sockeye salmon harvest.

State fishery managers believe as much as 27 percent of the potential sockeye salmon harvest, 9.4 million fish, might be left in the water for lack of buyers.

One fisherman, David Harsila of Seattle, said gillnetters might face limits on how much they can catch, or have no buyer at all for their catch. But Harsila added that fishermen ought not worry too much because state salmon forecasts are notoriously inaccurate, sometimes off by several million fish.

Alaska takes second for growth in elderly

WASHINGTON - Sunshine and warm temperatures aren't the only lures for retirees. They also want cheaper housing and some elbow room, and that has made places like Colorado, Idaho, Utah and New Mexico increasingly attractive to the over-65 set.

Each of those states saw its senior population grow by at least 6 percent between 2000 and 2003, placing them among the 10 fastest-growing states for that age group, according to Census Bureau figures being released Wednesday.

Alaska was second at 14 percent. However, it's thought that is due more to the aging of the state's own residents than to retirees moving in. Arizona followed Alaska, with 7 percent growth in the 65-and-older population.

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