Tuesday, March 12, 2002

Gun refresher course
Kadashan's article in the Sunday Empire, "To change or not to change," was of great interest. The Alaska Native Brotherhood, or ANB, has a long and illustrious history of fighting for Native equality, in a white-dominated society.

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.

An awesome task
Kadashan's article in the Sunday Empire, "To change or not to change," was of great interest. The Alaska Native Brotherhood, or ANB, has a long and illustrious history of fighting for Native equality, in a white-dominated society.

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."

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.

All the way to heaven
Joseph Frederick clearly has a little too much time on his hands and apparently likes to push people's buttons. Readers should ignore his ridiculous antics, and maybe he'll find something more productive to do with his time.

Missing Greg
If you go to the Mendenhall Post Office on a daily basis, you were sometimes fortunate to go to the middle station at the counter. There a kind and friendly fellow, with a quiet sense of humor, greeted you. Sometimes our mailboxes were too full to receive more mail, and a package notice was tucked among the other many items.

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.

Around Town
Listings of local nonprofit events.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

Public urination earns 20-day sentence
A man accused of urinating in public in downtown Juneau, an offense that usually garners a citation from police, will be in prison for the next 20 days. Daniel Trapp, 42, pleaded no contest in Juneau District Court on Monday to a charge of disorderly conduct stemming from an offense of Feb. 7, when he urinated against a store front on South Franklin Street, authorities said.

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

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

JDHS student arrested on warrant
Joseph Frederick, the twice-suspended Juneau-Douglas High School student, was arrested Monday on a warrant for failure to comply with his probation from an underage drinking conviction last summer. Frederick's lawyer described the arrest as "continued harassment" of the teen-ager.

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.

Margaret H. Bergquist
Juneau resident Margaret H. Bergquist, 78, died Feb. 27, 2002, at the Juneau Pioneers' Home.

My Turn: Assembly passes buck to Thane residents
While City Manager Dave Palmer recently said "it's too early to rule any options out," that is exactly what he and the Assembly have done by limiting alternatives for a new heliport to two Thane locations. As a resident of Thane, I am concerned about the negative impacts a heliport would have on this neighborhood and am looking for better leadership from city officials.

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.

My Turn: Empire failing in its free press role
The government was never interested in the correction of my Medicaid billing errors but rather, in our first contact I was told, "We are going to make an example out of you." Their tactics included extensive and detailed threats against my wife.

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.

Legislative move is a distraction
Think we'd get better government if we moved the Legislature to the Matanuska-Susitna Borough? Don't bank on it. The initiative to require a move to Mat-Su is a distraction from more important issues facing the Legislature this session and election season: the state's budget shortfall and a constitutional amendment for a rural subsistence priority.

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.

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.

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

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

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.

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 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.

Juneau hosts Region V tournaments
The Juneau-Douglas High School boys and girls basketball teams will get to sit back and watch the first two days of the Region V-Class 4A and Region V-Class 3A tournaments this weekend before the Crimson Bears take to the floor for their tourney openers on Friday night.

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.

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.

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.

Stevens has substantial cash for campaign
FAIRBANKS - Sen. Ted Stevens has raised substantial cash to help finance his re-election campaign this year. The Stevens for Senate committee had $1.44 million in cash at the end of December, according to figures in a summary faxed to the Federal Election Commission late last month.

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.

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

UAF team puts clean car engine in snowmachine
FAIRBANKS - A team at the University of Alaska Fairbanks has mounted a small car engine, complete with catalytic converter, in a snowmachine to compete against clean snowmobile designs from engineering students at 15 other universities. It's a refined version of the machine the students entered last year in the Clean Snowmobile Challenge, held annually in Jackson, Wyo. The competition, sponsored by the Society of Automotive Engineers, is intended to promote development of practical low-emission snowmachines.

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.

Proposals call for doubling shellfish farming in Alaska
The number of shellfish farms in Alaska could more than double under proposals moving through the Legislature. Two Kenai Peninsula lawmakers are pushing bills to require the Department of Natural Resources to identify 90 new sites to grow shellfish.

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.

Oral historians record and then protect Alaskan's words
FAIRBANKS - Sit down at one of two desktop computers at the University of Alaska Fairbanks library and you can hear voices from the past come to life. Project Jukebox, part of UAF's Oral History Program, blends digitized recordings with historic photographs, maps, text and sometimes video clips.

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.

Knowles: House budget cuts are extreme
Gov. Tony Knowles scolded House Republicans on Monday for proposing $90 million in budget cuts that he said are intended to "inflict pain" as a way of building public support for a long-range fiscal plan. "You shouldn't have to punish Alaskans to do your job," the Democratic governor said in a news conference called during the Legislature's mid-session break.

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.

Buser wins his fourth Iditarod title
NOME - Martin Buser cruised down Front Street behind a team of 10 dogs today to claim his fourth victory in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, finishing the race in record time. With the temperature a chilly 11 degrees, a crowd lined the street to welcome him to this Gold Rush town on the edge of frozen Norton Sound.

UA president receives award for supporting freedom
ANCHORAGE - University of Alaska President Mark Hamilton has received national recognition by scholars for his support of academic freedom. Hamilton's support of free speech throughout the UA system inspired the award he received from the National Association of Scholars on Sunday night.

State Briefs
Flags lowered for former Craig legislator Charles M. Jones; Ketchikan nurses approve their first hospital contract; Two men may have frozen to death; Accused child molester loses appeal in state court

ANWR: How many jobs will it produce?
WASHINGTON - Pitching the president's energy agenda, Interior Secretary Gale Norton told a farm group in Arkansas last week that oil drilling in an Arctic wildlife refuge would produce more than 700,000 jobs.

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