Monday, March 11, 2002

In the Stacks
Here are some of the new children's books hitting Juneau Public Libraries shelves this week!

How children shared the challenge of Western trails
Based on over 500 diaries, journals, letters, reminiscence, autobiographies and memoirs, "Stories of Young Pioneers" describes the experiences of children and celebrates their strength and courage during the great western migrations of 1842 to 1868. Families were lured by gold, land, or the idea that the climate might cure consumption. About half of the thousands who headed west were 18 or under. Some were married at age 15 and bore children of their own along the way.

Steel ghosts
Like some old, wounded beast that crawled into the forest to die, the hulking body of the 1948 Studebaker Land Cruiser rusts in peace a stone's throw from Skaters Cabin on Mendenhall Lake. Near the Herbert River, a Depressionera coupe settles into the earth, its onceelegant curved fenders riddled with bullet holes.

JDHS ignores student's constitutional rights
I am writing regarding the article, "Banner student suspended again" in Friday's Empire. This is an absolutely ridiculous, embarrassing and unfair situation for everyone involved, especially Joseph Frederick.

Alcohol tax will help education
There seems to be a price for anything: The clothes on our backs, the food we eat, the roads we drive on and the crashes that occur on those roads. Each year the state pays an estimated $21 million for the damages of alcohol-related crashes (McDowell Group Study, 2001.) This is outrageous considering this money could be used to pay for new roads, better schools, books in our schools, or prevention.

Logical compromise
When the school board adopted the weapons-in-school policy, we very carefully listened to the impassioned argument of the Leatherman-carrying student school board member to exempt Leathermen from the policy because they were a "tool, not a weapon."

Protect the refuge
The Arctic Refuge is an irreplaceable national resource, home to birds, grizzlies, rare musk oxen, polar bears, and other wildlife; it is too valuable to sacrifice for six months of oil (perhaps) 10 years from now.

One size doesn't always fit all
About the Senate bill that changes first-graders' attendance requirements from 7 years old to 6, there are other existing circumstances the Legislature needs to be made aware of regarding statements supporting adding more restrictive language to this bill by Sens. Therriault and Davis.

Clean-up in order
Now that their South Franklin store has been closed for several months, perhaps someone from Diamonds International will get around to taking down the wind-tattered shreds of their "Grand Opening" banner.

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

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

Photo: The wind won this one
Elsie and Fernando Rado put away their kite Saturday afternoon after strong winds at Sandy Beach fractured it. Warming temperatures and snow are in the forecast. Michael Penn / the juneau empire

AWARE honors four women
A librarian, a nurse, a designer and a politician were honored Saturday night as Juneau's Women of Distinction for the year.

Latest tourism survey: "Mixed reviews" for 2002
Bookings for 2002 are a mixed bag, Alaska tourism businesses reported in a recent survey for the Juneau Convention and Visitors Bureau. The Alaska tourism industry has been concerned that fewer people will travel because of the economic downtown since Sept. 11 or fears of terrorism.

Around Town
Listings of local nonprofit events.

Photo: A maze of color, amazing quilts
Juneau residents view a variety of handmade quilts Saturday during the quilt show at Centennial Hall. Members of the Quilt Guild entered 119 quilts in the judged show. Another 35 were displayed for a silent auction. The show continues today from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Oregon and Alaska fish stories
A controversy over water usage in the Oregon-California Klamath Basin is receiving national attention. The facts break down like this: Last March, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) issued statements claiming that if local farmers used their normal allocations of water, suckers in a nearby lake would be killed due to a lowered water level in the lake.

Leatherman suspension at JDHS on hold
Joseph Frederick, the Juneau-Douglas High School student given a 30-day suspension last week for carrying a Leatherman tool, will be able to return to school this week pending a Thursday hearing on that suspension.

High winds to slow down in next two days
Strong winds are expected to lose velocity by Wednesday afternoon, according to the National Weather Service.

Meeting lets public comment on school budget
The Juneau School District will present information, collect comments and answer questions from the public about the proposed fiscal years 2003-04 district budget at a meeting Tuesday evening.

Police and Fire
Reports from Juneau police, fire officials and state troopers.

Juneau residents worry about tolerance after Sept. 11
When some Americans heard of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, among their first concerns was that the events would spread more intolerance within the United States, a panel of Juneau residents and others said Saturday.

Title

Geolanda Lee (Whiteley) Schmidt
Former Juneau resident Geolanda Lee (Whiteley) Schmidt, 34, died Feb. 17, 2002, at Conemaugh Hospital in Johnston, Pa., due to a sudden illness.

Placing an undue burden on neighbors
There's a reality problem at South Franklin Street. Another threat to our severe hazard zone is in the works. Most of the residents and business people in our once cozy and happy neighborhood have given up. But I'm hoping that if I explain the absurdity of the logic behind this latest ridiculous plan to chop up our hillside, the Planning Commission might see the light.

Underfunding the state university
The House Finance Committee leadership announced its general fund spending targets late last month, which will be used as starting points for the Legislature's budget debate. Those targets, they said, included an increase in funding for the University of Alaska system of 2.4 percent, or about $4.6 million.

Toe Cartoon

To change or not to change
To change the oldest Native organization in Alaska or not to change it? For the past year, that has been the question among members of the Alaska Native Brotherhood (ANB). It appears there is a significant percentage of members who feel there needs to be a change or two in the constitution, while another group thinks that if it is going to be changed, then let's "retire it with dignity" and adopt an entirely new one.

Ninety years of fun, friendship, empowerment
It was March 12, 1912, when the first group of girls met as Girl Scouts. A wonderfully eccentric, middle-aged visionary named Juliette Gordon Low decided it was time that the girls of Savannah, Ga., "and all the world" had something special and worthwhile to do. And the Girl Scouts of the USA was born.

Capitol Notebook: The devil is in the details
As the Legislature went on its mid-session break, there was a lingering whiff of smoke, even of sulfur, in the air. The glow has faded from last month's "caucus of the whole" meeting in the House. Inversely, Democratic rhetoric is getting stoked.

Oregon and Alaska fish stories
A controversy over water usage in the Oregon-California Klamath Basin is receiving national attention. The facts break down like this: Last March, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) issued statements claiming that if local farmers used their normal allocations of water, suckers in a nearby lake would be killed due to a lowered water level in the lake.

My Turn: Sloppy research and/or rewriting our history?
Recently, I've seen considerable local hype touting the newly released movie, "We Were Soldiers." It's been in the form of TV/radio commercials, magazine and even newspaper ads and articles. While undoubtedly an accurately reenacted and realistic war movie in the "Saving Private Ryan" and "Blackhawk Down" genre.

My Turn: Legal history worth checking out
Do you know what the street the Birdman of Alcatraz was on when he killed a man in Juneau? Why was the first judge of Alaska fired? Who was the Juneau lawyer who represented the last two men hanged for murder in the Territory of Alaska?

Iditarod officials report 1st dog death
Race officials have reported the first dog death in this year's Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.

Boozer, Gruening make the big dance
Two former Juneau-Douglas High School basketball players, and seven Alaskans, will be among those competing this week in the Big Dance, also known as the NCAA Division Basketball Championships.

Buser keeps Iditarod lead
Ramy Brooks has cut half an hour from the lead of Martin Buser in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, but the three-time champion from Big Lake still had a lead of two and a half hours, with a bigger team than his closest pursuer.

Gold Medal adds middle school division
The 56th edition of the Juneau Lions Club's Gold Medal Basketball Tournament will feature a new bracket -- just for kids. A middle school division will begin play this year, joining the three divisions for men and one for women in the tournament. The tournament takes place on March 24-30, with all four of the adult championship games taking place on March 30 and the middle school title games on March 29.

Photo: Special athlete
Richard Togiak, 10, of Dillingham sprints to the finish of the 25-meter snowshoe event of the Special Olympics Alaska 2002 Winter Games at Kincaid Park in Anchorage on Sunday.

Buser maintains his solid lead in Iditarod
KALTAG -- Martin Buser popped B.B. King into his compact disc player and left Kaltag for Unalakleet on Saturday afternoon, maintaining a solid lead in the Iditarod trail Sled Dog Race.

Iditarod vets swap skills for adventure
From a sled dog's perspective, the people in the green parkas probably seem a little nosy. Helpful, nice, but awfully curious.

Calling all the hot shots
Rick Paulo yawned as he screwed his pool cue back together and approached the table to play yet another match in the Red Hook Capital City Classic pool tournament early Saturday morning at the Viking Lounge. Paulo, one of Juneau's top players, needed to play Ketchikan's Jim Scudero to earn a spot in today's eight-ball finals. But he was feeling groggy after a full day of pool when he and Scudero lagged for the first break about 1:30 a.m. Saturday.

Blue Devils rout Wolfpack to win ACC tournament
The third-ranked Blue Devils became the first program in the 49 years of the Atlantic Coast Conference to win four straight championships as MVP Carlos Boozer of Juneau scored 26 points, Jason Williams added 24 and Mike Dunleavy had 18 in the 30-point blowout.

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

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

Tompkins lives his dream
On Saturday, Joe Tompkins' Paralympics dream became a reality as he competed in the downhill race under blue skies at Snow Basin, Utah. Despite missing a medal, the Juneau monoskier was pleased with his sixth-place finish.

Tompkins continues his dream
With a disappointed shake of his head, Joe Tompkins entered the finish area of Sunday's Super G race held at Snow Basin, Utah. As in Saturday's downhill, Tompkins placed sixth in his final chance for a medal at the 2002 Winter Paralympic Games.

Paulo rallies to claim two billiards titles
Rick Paulo looked at his shot and shook his head. He looked again, stepped back from the table and nervously slid his pool cue back and forth in his hands, then cracked a smile.

Duke to play for fourth ACC title
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Third-ranked Duke watched Maryland lose in the ACC semifinals, then made sure it didn't make a similar slip up. Seeing the No. 2 Terrapins, who snapped Duke's record streak of regular-season conference titles at five, fail to make the championship game reminded the Blue Devils to stay focused.

Craig: New swim coach
The Waverunners swim team has a new coach and new Craig resident in John Gadbois. He will coach the team for the next several months while it looks for a permanent coach. Gadbois comes to Craig with 22 years of experience as a swim coach. He has worked with all levels of swimmers from beginners to Olympic athletes.

A love letter to Petersburg
On a recent Sunday afternoon at the Wright Auditorium, theater attendees were transported back in time as the Clausen Memorial Museum presented the Petersburg USA Radio Broadcast of World War II.

Psychiatric patient lost for three hours
A patient from Alaska Psychiatric Institute was temporarily missing during a supervised weekend shopping trip in a downtown Anchorage mall.

Politics put millions for ferry, roads in jeopardy
Highway contractors in New Mexico might have scuttled a large transportation package in Alaska.

Ketchikan: Firm pays EPA fine
A Ketchikan company has paid a $6,000 administrative penalty to settle 1997 Clean Water Act violations at Gravina Island, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Custody dispute turns deadly
An Eagle River woman is in Mexico, searching for her 2-year-old daughter as she tries to cope with her son's death.

EPA allows Alaska log transfer sites to operate
A federal agency said it will allow timber companies to operate sites in Alaska where logs are transferred from land to sea, although it will take more public comment on new rules that govern the areas. Some people are concerned that log transfer sites harm marine life, but timber companies say the new rules for government permits protect the environment.

Cruise line to halt gifts of cash
Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. today said it has halted its cash contributions to Alaska communities due to slack bookings that followed the Sept. 11 terrorists attacks and a pending merger with P&O Princess cruises.

Epidemic of rabies hits northern coast
ANCHORAGE - State epidemiologists say a rabies epizootic - an epidemic among animals - is under way in northern Alaska. From Oct. 1 to late February, the state virology laboratory in Fairbanks had tested 166 animal carcasses from rural villages. Microbiologists determined that 66 animals, a fraction under 40 percent, tested positive for rabies, said lab manager Don Ritter.

Airport reviews jetliner wrong turn
A Nippon Cargo Airlines plane preparing for takeoff from Anchorage Feb. 2 rolled onto a taxiway instead of a runway, but air traffic controllers quickly caught the mistake and steered the craft back on the correct path.

Kivalina moves to reopen
ANCHORAGE - The chief executive of the Northwest Arctic Borough School District says Kivalina's only school could reopen March 18 - if school officials receive commitments from the villagers to back the school's discipline policy. Meanwhile, state Education Commissioner Shirley Holloway has appointed an independent committee to review the Kivalina school closure.

Ketchikan veneer plant wants cash from creditors
Lawyers for Gateway Forest Products want the Ketchikan Gateway Borough, Ketchikan Pulp Co. and Foothill Capital Corp. to provide $400,000 for attorney fees and other administrative expenses.

Ketchikan: Connoisseurs hit boats
Burglars - evidently thirsty - have been taking advantage of Ketchikan's harbors.

Wrangell: Bill promotes new boroughs
The question of whether Wrangell should form a borough developed new urgency with the introduction of Senate Bill 323 on Feb. 25 by Fairbanks Republican Sen. Gary Wilken.

Game Board's new members reflect Knowles' concerns
FAIRBANKS - The Alaska Board of Game began a 10-day meeting Friday with three new members weighing in on a variety of issues including predator control and restricting harvests.

State Briefs
Parents invited to JDHS meetings; Phillips cuts COLAs; Don't drive on the river

Chilkat: Juneau couple buys historic hotel
Over the last two decades, Seattle native Jeff Butcher has played a number of roles in the hotel industry, from washing dishes as a teen to most recently serving as top executive at Juneau's Goldbelt Hotel.

Skagway: Delegation supports student
Skagway senior Clayton Harris has taken one step closer to his dream. With nominations from Alaska U.S. Rep. Don Young, and Sens. Frank Murkowski and Ted Stevens, Harris is on a short list to get into West Point.

Sitka: City: Coke is it
Sitka Public Works Director Hugh Bevan isn't afraid of new frontiers. Even if that means taking the bold step of putting Coke in a Pepsi machine.

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