Wednesday, March 19, 2003

Eva's small world
I'm hoping Eva Small could explain how launching thousands of cruise missiles toward Baghdad, killing horrific numbers of civilians, and causing a humanitarian catastrophe that will be felt for generations, will, as she puts it, "make the world truly a more peaceful place." Whose world is she referring to? Certainly not ours.

Longevity's limits
Hey, Governor, hasn't anyone informed you that senior Alaskans are dying daily, helping you attain your budget goal?

Why can't we be friends?
As opinionated writers and speakers, many of us (myself included) have become talented at outlining people's faults, weaknesses, mistakes and wrongdoing. As my eyes skim these columns of criticism toward our political leaders, toward others' political leaders, and toward our fellow writers, I cannot help but shine a faint light on ourselves for a moment.

Reach out to others who disagree with you
I just wanted to let folks know that after our exchange in the Empire a while back, Richard Schmitz and I met for coffee. I had fun. We discovered that we both grew up on the East Coast, we like the way people back there drink plain old coffee and are satisfied (I had a latte, he had a mocha... ), and we miss the mixed hardwood forests of that region.

Heartened by Small
I would like to express my appreciation for Ms. Small's letter (Empire, March 17). She was able to put into words exactly what I have felt, but been too frustrated to express in any way that would be acceptable to print in this paper.

Consider keeping Treadwell rink open for summer skating
How lucky the residents of the Juneau-Douglas area are to finally have an indoor ice facility. At last, a winter sport that isn't winter-weather dependent! From the current showing of residents at the open skate sessions, the hockey practices and "students" of the Learn-To-Skate program, it appears this facility has been a desperately needed addition to the athletic community.

The full timber story
The Mackovjak letter of March 6 suggests a lack of understanding of the forest industry. Perhaps Mr. Mackovjak would have a different opinion of Sealaska Corp., if he understood forestry issues.

Respectful differences
I would like to respond to Eva Small's My Turn column of March 17. She assumes that people marching for peace are less patriotic or love America less than those advocating war.

Alyeska Central School serves students well
I am writing concerning the legislation proposal to close Alyeska Central School permanently. This proposal is part of Gov. Murkowski's budget.

More wars to follow from culture of fear
In his My Turn column on March 16, Ed Hein stated, "I suspect the Iraq war will be just the first of many wars that our country will initiate." Indeed, speaking at the Azores Summit last weekend, President Bush proudly refers to a war with Iraq as "the first war of the 21st century."

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

This Day in History
In 1959, 56 lobbyists were registered in Juneau for the 1st State Legislative session. A "long session" of 70 days was predicted.

Ready at the front: Juneau residents serve
Michelle Fenumia'i hasn't heard from her husband in three weeks, so she and her 5-year-old daughter Devan must content themselves with photos of Army Sgt. Lui Fenumia'i shaving in the Kuwaiti desert and posing in camouflage with members of his squad. As far as Lisa Viteri knows, her son Spc. Michael Moniak is in the Kuwaiti desert, although she hasn't heard from him since Feb. 27. Spc. Lester Hunt Jr.'s mother Margaret said her son is with the Airborne Infantry in Italy awaiting orders to ship to the Persian Gulf, as is Gloria Cox's nephew, Jesse, an Army mechanic stationed at Fort Hood, Texas. And Pvt. Patrick Wheaton, the son of Pat and Harvey Wheaton, is stationed in Fort Polk, La., and preparing for deployment to Iraq.

Photo: High kick
Aaron Dull, 15, of Toksook Bay, demonstrates the Alaskan high kick during an assembly at Riverbend Elementary School on Tuesday. Dull is one of 12 Mt. Edgecumbe High School students touring Juneau schools this week.

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

Churches plan special services
Several Juneau churches will hold special services this evening if a United States attack on Iraq begins. Holy Trinity Episcopal Church is open for prayer today and will hold a service of prayer at 7:30 p.m. if the bombing starts. Call 586-3532 for more information.

Riley resigns as director of Southeast United Way
Citing a changing world that prompted her to reconsider her priorities, Marsha Riley has submitted her resignation as executive director of the United Way of Southeast Alaska to return to New Mexico where her children and grandchildren live. Riley has been in the top position for the social service clearinghouse for more than two and one half years. She moved to Juneau in 2000 after serving as executive director of the United Way for Lee County, N.M.

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

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

State budget cuts could cost Juneau schools nearly $550,000
The Murkowski administration's proposed cuts to education would cost the Juneau School District about $548,000, including grants that help struggling students, local administrators said. The School Board on Tuesday passed a $39.33 million operating budget for a projected 5,457 students, but said it may have to revisit the plan when it knows what city and state money it will receive.

Juneau taxi driver severely beaten, robbed, left bleeding
Police are searching for a suspect or suspects today who severely beat and robbed a taxi driver before stealing his cab and leaving him bleeding on the ground. A man, 45, who drives for Cabco and whose name was not released, was found by a passerby around 10:30 p.m. Monday in the Jordan Creek Center area. He was taken to Bartlett Regional Hospital where he was treated for a closed-head injury and general trauma to his head and face, said Marijo Toner, hospital spokeswoman.

Swope ready to take charge at City Hall
City Hall veteran and local businessman Rod Swope says he's ready for the challenge of running Juneau's local government. The Juneau Assembly voted unanimously to give Swope, 51, the job of city manager Tuesday after interviewing four finalists. "I'm excited about it, I'm really looking forward to it," Swope said Tuesday. "I think I know what I'm getting into, I really do. It's going to be a tremendous amount of time and stress and really challenging, but I like challenges, I like variety. Every day it will be something different."

Assembly selects Swope as manager
The Juneau Assembly decided this morning to offer former Assembly member Rod Swope the job of city manager. After nearly three hours of discussion this morning, the Assembly unanimously voted to offer Swope the position because of his experience and background in Juneau, Mayor Sally Smith said. "We thought he had strong management skills from his time with the state and knowledge of local issues," she said. "We felt he could navigate well and objectively. He just stood out."

Assembly may consider single-member districts
The Juneau Assembly might expand a discussion about reapportionment to include single-member districts, term limits and a strong mayor form of government. The populations of Juneau's two municipal election districts are out of balance and the city needs to reconfigure them to comply with state and federal court rulings. Changing the boundaries will mean seven of nine Assembly seats will be up for election this fall or next, according to city staff members. Normally, three seats are up for election each fall.

Juneau residents react to expected war with Iraq
Whether it invokes fierce patriotism, a need for prayer or a resigned attitude of trust in the powers that be, President Bush's Monday evening ultimatum to Saddam Hussein seems to have raised more questions than answers for some Juneau residents."I'm just wondering if the true reason (for attacking Iraq) is because Iraq produces weapons of mass destruction," said Ruben Canon, a Filipino citizen who has been living and working in Juneau since April 2001.

Time served for man guilty of fourth-degree assault
A man accused of muscling his way into a room at a downtown hotel while wielding a knife pleaded guilty Tuesday to lesser charges and was released from prison. Ordie Coney, 56, pleaded guilty to fourth-degree assault, a misdemeanor, as part of a plea agreement between defense attorney Jeffrey Sauer and District Attorney Rick Svobodny.

Photo: Now if it'll only stay cold
Jason Nelson and Kurt Parkan built a snowman last weekend in front of their Mountainside subdivision home to express their desire for peace.

Fire in van strands traveling mother, son
Yama Radtke, 7, smelled the smoke and gasoline first. He told his mom, Yumi, who was driving their Volkswagen Streamliner down Glacier Highway. Yumi stopped the van and yelled for him to get out. Confused, Yama did what he was told. A few minutes later the back end of the van exploded into a fireball, sending cinders of their possessions to the sky.<

Pet of the week
Dodie is a small, older dog who has had a hard life. She is a cocker spaniel mix with a short haircut; her coat was so dirty and matted it had to be shaved. Dodie is sweet and quiet. Granite's gray-and-black ticked coat resembles the rock for which he was named, but he is as sweet as a marshmallow inside.

Neighbor briefs
Juneau student accepted into People to People academic program; UAS student wins Soroptimist award; Oath ceremony scheduled for May 16; Life in the Spirit Seminar

Photo: In the tradition of craziness
A detail of Rhoda Walker's quilt answers precisely what the quilt's title asks: "Honey, Have You Seen My Neck Ties?" The quilt won a first prize in the "traditional" category at last weekend's Quilt 2003, an exhibition of 90 quilts presented by Capital City Quilters at Centennial Hall.

Design is work for wintertime
The appearance and disappearance of landscape features that come with the snow are really an eye opener. The swirling cloak obscures differences that identify places, and focuses attention on other features lost since last spring. It makes us think about how these features define our spaces.

Martin, Reber to marry
Sara Martin, formerly of Juneau, and Ryan Reber of Mesquite, Nev., will marry on Saturday, April 26, at the Mesquite Vistas Sports Club in Mesquite.

Women of distinction
AWARE's Women of Distinction Dinner had more than 310 in attendance last weekend. First lady Nancy Murkowski presented a plaque to each of the honorees.

Ronald David Gleaton
Juneau resident Ronald David Gleaton, 53, died March 14, 2003, in Seattle.

Edward O. 'Bud' Fields
Former Juneau resident Edward O. "Bud" Fields, 81, died Saturday, March 15, 2003, at Providence Marianwood near Issaquah, Wash.

My Turn: Look at the budget's details: user fees, spending cuts, development
Complaining by some about Gov. Frank Murkowski's state fiscal plan is comparable to complaining to a baker about the hole in his doughnut. It misses the dough. Murkowski's plan is no new taxes and no tapping the Alaska Permanent Fund earnings without a vote of the people. He advocates cuts in state spending and building infrastructure to promote economic development.

My Turn: Right thing done the wrong way
Regardless of the consequences that result from the impending war, the U.S. has suffered and will continue to suffer because of the way in which this war came about. The Bush administration should be held accountable for the damage that it has done to the United States' historic reputation for truth, tolerance and reasonableness.

Hughes sets state record in NW meet
Paul Hughes of Juneau's Glacier Swim Club paid a small price to set an Alaska Swimming record in the 200-yard breaststroke last weekend. Hughes, a sophomore at Juneau-Douglas High School, was one of two Glacier Swim Club swimmers to compete in the USA Swimming Northwest Sectional Senior Championships that took place March 11-16 in Federal Way, Wash. JDHS senior Jake Kreuzenstein was the other GSC swimmer at the meet, which featured about 800 of the West Coast's top swimmers.

Region's 2A teams ready for tourney
The Juneau-Douglas High School boys and girls basketball teams may be up in Anchorage this weekend playing in the Class 4A state tournament. But that doesn't mean the JDHS main gym won't see some intense high school basketball games. Dozens of players from the smaller schools around Southeast Alaska will converge on Juneau for the Region V-Class 2A tournament this Thursday through Saturday at JDHS. The top two boys teams and top two girls teams will earn spots at the Class 2A state tournament March 27-29 at Anchorage's Service High School.

Flannagan's Run
Results from the Southeast Road Runners club's 20th annual Flannagan's Run, held Saturday in Douglas. There were 1-mile and 5-mile courses, with the 5-mile course being for runners age 14-older only.

Facing the unknown
This season, the Juneau-Douglas High School girls basketball team played all but one of the teams that made this week's state tournament field. Guess who the Crimson Bears drew in their opening game? Out of seven possibilities, the fourth-seeded Juneau girls will play the unknown commodity - the fifth-seeded Soldotna Stars - to begin Class 4A state tournament play at 9:40 a.m. Thursday in Anchorage's Sullivan Arena.

Nash sparks Mavs over hapless Cavs
DALLAS - After a lethargic first half against the league's worst team, the Dallas Mavericks turned to Steve Nash for a spark. Nash came back from a one-point first half and scored 18 during a third-quarter surge as the Mavericks won their third straight, 114-93 over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Tuesday night. "It was a poor first half," said Nash, who finished with 21 points and six assists after missing all five of his first-half shots. "We needed to win this game and we needed to be more assertive and take things over."

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

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

Region V Standings
The Region V basketball standings through games of March 15. Standings are for all three Region V classifications and were reported to the Juneau Empire by school officials and basketball coaches.

UAF wins NCAA rifle championship
FAIRBANKS - The University of Alaska Fairbanks won the NCAA rifle championship Saturday, the fifth straight for the Nanooks and sixth overall. UAF set records for smallbore competition and aggregate scores at West Point, N.Y. The Nanooks are now within one championship of tying West Virginia's string of six straight national titles from 1988-1993.

Juneau boys, girls games to be broadcast on KINY
After clear-cutting their way through last week's Region V-Class 3A tournament, the Craig Panthers boys basketball team - with its seven super seniors - heads to Anchorage this week with an eye on a state championship.

Five Crimson Bear cagers named to all-region squad
Five Juneau-Douglas High School basketball players were named to the All-Region V-Class 4A Teams last weekend at the Region V-Class 3A/4A tournament in Ketchikan. Seniors Joe Ayers, Bryan Hamey and Byron Wild from the boys team and seniors Danielle Larson and Amy Neussl of the girls squad were named to their respective all-region teams.

Craig boys look to make waves in Class 3A tourney
After clear-cutting their way through last week's Region V-Class 3A tournament, the Craig Panthers boys basketball team - with its seven super seniors - heads to Anchorage this week with an eye on a state championship. Craig, along with the Petersburg boys and girls teams and the Mount Edgecumbe girls squad, will represent Southeast at the Class 3A state tournament this Thursday through Saturday at the Sullivan Arena.

Juneau boys to face familiar foe
Maybe it was fate that brought the Juneau-Douglas and East Anchorage boys basketball teams together to open state tournament play Thursday in Anchorage. After the two evenly-matched teams played to a hard-fought split of their two-game series in Juneau last month, T-Birds coach Fred Young whispered to Crimson Bears coach George Houston that he hoped they wouldn't have to face each other again this season.

Iditarod Briefs
Jonrowe, Boulding honored as inspirational by fellow Iditarod racers; Dog dies in Iditarod near White Mountain

Halibut season starts earlier, industry discusses year-round season
Usually around this time of year, halibut fishermen would just be starting out to catch their seasonal allocations. But amid concerns about market competition as Atlantic halibut farms spring up in eastern Canada, the international body that regulates Pacific halibut quotas began the season March 1, two weeks earlier than usual.

Anchorage storm may have set record
ANCHORAGE - Winds that hammered Southcentral Alaska last week may have been the strongest gusts ever measured at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport. The National Weather Service is reconsidering its wind warning standards and looking for other observations of strong winds in the city. The previous airport record of 75 mph hit during a similar storm March 3, 1989.

Northwest Territories expects gas line
WHITEHORSE, Yukon - The premier of the Northwest Territories says the Canadian war for the natural gas pipeline is over and he's won. A year ago, Premier Stephen Kakfwi and then-Yukon Premier Pat Duncan were pushing for a pipeline in their respective territories.

Labor contracts could cost $13 million
A deal offered to the state's 12 labor bargaining units to extend workers' contracts by one year and increase health benefits by $75 a month would cost the state roughly $13 million, according to state officials. Five of the unions and associations have signed tentative agreements with the administration and the remaining seven have until Friday - the 60th day of the legislative session - to make a decision.

Seniors rally against longevity bonus cut
ANCHORAGE - About 100 senior citizens turned out at the Anchorage Senior Center on Monday night to criticize Gov. Frank Murkowski's proposal to eliminate the state's longevity bonus program. Longevity bonuses, started in 1972, are monthly payments of up to $250 to Alaska's senior citizens 65 and older. Ending the bonus program June 30 as the governor suggests would save $47 million, a big chunk of the $189 million the governor wants to cut in state programs this year.

State Briefs
Duffy named Fish and Game commissioner; Man charged with vehicle riffling; Plane lands safely after losing wheel; D.A. says trooper justified in shooting disabled man; Troop resolution passes state Senate; Committee passes bill requiring clergy to report abuse

Lobbyist bill morphs
A new version of a bill aiming to overhaul lobbyist regulation laws was introduced Monday in the House Judiciary Committee. Rep. Lesil McGuire, an Anchorage Republican and chairwoman of the committee, offered a substitute to her earlier proposal that would have given lobbyists 40 hours a month with legislators before having to register with the state. Lobbyists now must register with the Alaska Public Offices Commission - the state agency that regulates lobbyists - after spending more than four hours with lawmakers within a 30-day period.

U.S. Senate rejects ANWR drilling
WASHINGTON - The Senate today rejected oil drilling in an Alaska wildlife refuge, handing the Bush administration a defeat on one of its top energy priorities. Despite intense lobbying by pro-drilling senators and the White House in the hours leading up to the vote, Democrats mustered the support needed to remove a refuge drilling provision from a budget resolution expected to be approved later this week. The vote on an amendment offered by Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., to strip away the provision passed 52-48.

State Briefs
Ice sculptures suffer in deep freeze; Ogg chosen to replace Gary Stevens in House; DIA reports election results; Police say missing brothers likely abducted; Vandals cut brake lines on 50 buses

Five state unions sign tentative pacts
Five of the 12 bargaining units representing state workers have signed tentative contract agreements, Gov. Frank Murkowski said today. The five are: separate Public Safety Employees Association bargaining units, representing state troopers and correctional officers; Public Employees Local 71, representing labor, trades and crafts employees; Alyeska Central School Employees Association, representing staff at the state correspondence school Murkowski has proposed shutting down; and the Mt. Edgecumbe Teachers Association, representing faculty at the state-run boarding high school in Sitka.

Senate votes to reroute trails money to roads
Trail improvements and roadside projects would lose funding to road construction and maintenance under a bill passed in the Senate on Monday. Senate Bill 71 by Sen. Ben Stevens, an Anchorage Republican, would decrease the amount of federal money going into the state's Trails and Recreational Access for Alaska program.

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