Friday, March 19, 2004

Leave the fluoride out
The chemical engineer in me can see it, sell your toxic waste: Turn a liability into a profit. The aluminum, fertilizer and defense industries have that figured out. They sell fluoride to communities for water "fortification."

Support Kucinich to renew Democratic party
There is one goal that unites Democrats and progressives today: driving George W. Bush and his corporate friends out of the White House and returning this government and this nation to the majority of the American people who work for a living.

Why I'm supporting Dennis Kucinich
Lately, Dennis Kucinich has been providing more fodder for late-night comics than the current bumper crop of celebrity criminals. And the pundits charged with offering intelligent political analysis are frequently even more caustic in their caricatures of the progressive contender for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Support wild fisheries
Legislation currently proposed by Sen. Kim Elton provides an opportunity for both locals and visitors to our state to be more aware of the type of salmon they are eating in Alaskan restaurants. SB 282 would require that restaurants indicate on their menus whether the fish they are serving is wild or farmed.

City should investigate
Juneau City Manager Rod Swope should be fired immediately if the details of the article "Fluoride Was Cut Off to Clean Effluent" are factual. Mr. Swope showed blatant disregard for the public health in allowing the CBJ Public Works Department to stop adding fluoride to our drinking water without any public notification.

Support telecom competition
Because I am so encouraged by the possibilities of the telecom marketplace, I am deeply troubled by what I am learning from the communications debate in Washington and in Juneau today. As it stands now, cable, wireless and satellite companies can freely invest and compete for my business. So why is it that the government insists on outdated rules that prevent local telecommunications companies from doing the same?

AMHS move is extortion
I read with disbelief recent articles about the move of the Alaska Marine Highway System's administrative offices to Ketchikan. While I can understand how excited the city of Ketchikan will be to have the added economic influx from 40 new jobs and the 80-120 new citizens, I am stunned that the Murkowski administration feels good about propping up one city's economy at the expense of another.

Think outside the box
The reason Juneau is a sinking ship is because many Juneau citizens share the same attitude as that portrayed in a recent letter, describing Juneau as a "little box tourist town that's only future is tourism and seasonal jobs."

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

Actors work with students, telling stories
It was the last chance for the children to prepare for performances of the Tlingit story "The Origin of Mosquitoes." But first, the snacks. After that, the 11 students in the Gastineau Elementary library after school Tuesday made a circle and were ready to stretch. One child was worried the performance wouldn't sound like a story.

Forest Service, SEACC hold Couverden meetings
The U.S. Forest Service and Southeast Alaska Conservation Council each held informational meetings about the proposed Couverden timber sale this week, bringing out some who say it's a reasonable offering to mills and others who call it unsustainable.

Baby boy born same day as his father, grandfather
Jennifer and Matt Wolcott's newborn son, Morgan, will always have a reason to celebrate his birthday. Morgan was born on March 8 - the same birthday as his father and paternal grandfather.

Flying into Cambodia
My first impression of Cambodia was definitely an eye-opener. As the plane was coming in for a landing at Siem Reap International Airport, I glanced out the window and saw two tanks sitting in the backyard of a house.

Expert backs Telephone Hill for site of new capitol
Alaska would be best served by a new capitol and Telephone Hill would be a nice location for such a facility, Alan Hantman, the architect for the U.S. Capitol, told officials Thursday in Juneau.

Juneau Democrats welcome Rep. Kucinich
Juneau Democrats received Rep. Dennis Kucinich enthusiastically on Thursday, as the Ohio congressman expounded on what he called the evils of the Bush administration, U.S. involvement in Iraq and the Patriot Act.

Photo: Preparing for Mt. Roberts
Brett Neyhart practices kiting his paraglide wing at Gateway Park on Wednesday. Neyhart is getting ready for paragliding off Mt. Roberts in April.

City to put fluoride back into the water
Juneau officials have decided to put fluoride back in public drinking water for now, but City Manager Rod Swope is calling for a public forum on the issue.

Photo: A mother and soldier reunion
U.S. Army Spc. Lester Hunt is greeted by his mother, Margaret Hunt, on Tuesday at the Juneau Airport. Spc. Hunt said he thought to himself, "Thank God I'm in the USA." when his flight arrived in Juneau.

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

Photo: Sea of herring, 1930s
This photo, titled "An Acre of Herring, Douglas, Alaska," shows the once-prominent herring fisheries of Southeast Alaska during the early 20th century.

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

Teachers, district reach impasse
The Juneau School District and its teachers reached an impasse in contract negotiations Thursday, the parties said. Federal mediation has been set for March 31.

Photo: Reeling in a king
Bobby Harris grabs a king crab that his friend, Tony Clark, reeled in off the Auke Bay dock Thursday evening. The two were recently stationed in Juneau with the U.S. Coast Guard. The fishermen released the crab.

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

FYI
Births, judgments and other legal matters.

Peace groups organize vigil on anniversary of Iraq invasion
Exactly one year after U.S. troops invaded Iraq, members of Juneau People for Peace and Justice and the Juneau chapter of Veterans for Peace will gather Saturday at the Dimond Courthouse to read the names of the American soldiers who have died in the incursion so far.

Market for king, silver salmon stronger
Back at work. I visited Eric Norman, the manager of Taku Smokeries, last Friday, and asked him about the outlook for the coming fishing season. He said that halibut and black cod individual fishing quotas started Feb. 29 and would go to Nov. 15. The entire halibut catch on the Pacific Coast will be 76 million pounds, with most of that in Alaska.

Student recognitions
Honor rolls and other achivements by local students.

... to Bonita Nelson for all her help with science fair
The 2004 Southeast Alaska Regional Science Fair has come and gone. I imagine there are many students, parents and teachers breathing a sigh of relief. The science fair is the culmination of two and a half months of scientific investigation by high school students, along with help from their volunteer adult mentor.

Weir, George marry in Juneau
Heather M. Weir and Russell C. George of Juneau were married in a ceremony on Jan. 10, 2004, at Northern Light United Church. A reception followed at the Moose Lodge.

... for supporting Sam Jackson medical fund-raiser
On behalf of the friends and family of Sam Jackson, I would like to thank everyone who took part and supported the medical fund-raiser on Jan 30 at the ANB Hall in Juneau. Due to the kindness of many friends and businesses, the function was a huge success. The amount raised totaled around $12,000.

Photo: Gold ulu winners
Members of the gold ulu-winning Team Alaska men's volleyball squad pose for a photo at the Arctic Winter Games, which was held earlier this month in Fort McMurray, Alberta.

Neighbor Digest
Community news in brief.

Geneva Pearl Walters
Former Juneau resident Geneva Pearl Walters, 89, died March 16, 2004, in Prescott Valley, Ariz.

Alaska Editorial: Don't let oil prices reduce fiscal caution
Back in June, this newspaper encouraged Alaskans to look beyond the summer's high price of oil and to act responsibly in supporting much-needed change in how the state government acquires revenue to pay for the services it provides.

Juneau's junk-car eyesores are shipping out for Seattle
In the mountain of smashed cars stacked at Channel Construction for loading on a barge this month, you could see the logistical challenge that a final breakdown presents in a town with no road out. It's a longtime struggle that probably explains the wreck ditched in your neighbor's drive or at the trailhead.

My Turn: 'Discussion paper' on moving AMHS lacks careful analysis
In its effort to find some justification for moving Alaska Marine Highway System headquarters to Ketchikan, the administration has made public an 11-page "discussion paper." Its author claims that it is inadequate as a basis for making a decision. I'll certainly take him at his word.

Petersburg's 'Fab Five' ready for state
Call them the "Fab Five" of Little Norway. The Petersburg girls basketball squad - the state's top-ranked Class 3A girls team - will bring its talented starting lineup of five seniors to Anchorage's Sullivan Arena starting today for the state tournament.

From the Sidelines: Iditarod is often a race of odd sights
Hundreds of miles into an Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race a quarter of a century ago, Bill Cotter was mushing his dogs on the frozen Yukon River when he began to see things. Cold and weary after long, sleepless nights along the trail, Cotter became convinced he was watching television. He saw pictures flickering in his mind and he didn't like what he saw.

Barrow boys, girls sweep Mount Edgecumbe
Four teams, two schools, same results. The Barrow Whalers got the better of the Mount Edgecumbe Braves to open state tournament play on Thursday at Sullivan Arena, as the Whaler boys beat the Braves 64-44, and the Barrow girls defeated Mount Edgecumbe 55-47.

Hydaburg opens region tourney with 35th straight Class 2A victory
The Hydaburg High School boys basketball team made good on its top billing in the opening round of the Region V-Class 2A tournament on Thursday at Ketchikan High School's Clarke Cochrane Gymnasium, as four Warrior players scored in double digits and the two-time defending regional champs rolled past Thorne Bay, 72-38.

Mushers continue to cross Nome finish line
Mitch Seavey of Seward was still savoring his surprising victory in the 2004 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Wednesday as 18 more teams crossed the finish line in Nome.

Redemption close for the Metlakatla boys
Redemption is at hand for the Metlakatla Chiefs. With Thursday's 65-54 win over Nome-Beltz to open the Class 3A boys state tournament at Sullivan Arena, the Metlakatla boys set up a rematch with Valdez - their nemesis and perpetual roadblock - in the tonight's semifinals.

Bears march into semis
Following the strict regimen of Coach - make that General - Lesslie Knight, the Juneau girls basketball team marched Thursday to its first state tournament victory in five years. The Crimson Bears, who have been following Knight's mandatory daily schedule since arriving in Anchorage on Wednesday, used a strong third quarter to beat the defending state champion Chugiak Mustangs 49-39 at Sullivan Arena.

Petersburg girls win with strong second half
The top-ranked Petersburg girls basketball team started its state title quest a little slow, but came alive in the second half Thursday to down Dillingham. The Vikings beat the Wolverines 48-30 in the first round of the state tournament at Sullivan Arena.

Sports in Juneau
Sports in Juneau is a service provided by the Juneau Empire to provide information on upcoming sports and outdoors events in Juneau.

SERR-Flannagan's Run
Results from the Southeast Road Runners club's Flannagan's Run races held Saturday in Douglas.

Former teammates are now SE coaching rivals
Josh Muehlenkamp still laughs when he remembers the first time he saw Archie Young. Muehlenkamp was a walk-on freshman guard strolling into the Patty Center at the University of Alaska Fairbanks in 1995, fresh off a stint in the United States Army and a prep basketball career in Washington.

Sports in Juneau
Sports in Juneau is a service provided by the Juneau Empire to provide information on upcoming sports and outdoors events in Juneau.

Bears spark a fire
The Juneau girls basketball team stuck to its strengths and walked away with two big victories at last weekend's Region V tourney. But there was something missing. The Crimson Bears played lethargically, lacking the fire, spirit and drive needed for success at the next level.

Rahlves right behind Miller among international contenders
Daron Rahlves is plenty familiar with the skier that finished just ahead of him in the World Cup standings. After all, they're teammates. Bode Miller got the most attention as the top U.S. skier on the World Cup circuit with a fourth-place finish in the overall. Rahlves was only 130 points behind in fifth.

Alaska sportwriters' state prep 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.

UAA upsets Colorado College
Trailing by a goal in the second period, the University of Alaska Anchorage scored twice in 50 seconds en route to a 4-1 win over Colorado College in the WCHA Final Five play-in game Thursday.

Bartlett's defensive pressure too much for Kings
There may yet be a Cinderella title run this weekend at the Sullivan Arena, but the Ketchikan Kings will not be involved. The Region V-Class 4A boys champs wilted Thursday under the extreme defensive pressure of the top-ranked and heavily favored Bartlett Golden Bears, falling 77-42 in the first round of the boys Class 4A state tournament at Sullivan Arena.

Surprise! UAA Seawolves make it to St. Paul to play in the WCHA's Final Five
While many of the players in this weekend's WCHA Final Five are prepping for the games by studying the opposition, University of Alaska Anchorage goaltender Chris King has other concerns.

Sen. Therriault proposes permanent fund bonus
Alaskans could get a bonus dividend check just in time for Christmas under a plan offered Thursday by Senate President Gene Therriault. The North Pole Republican is proposing a constitutional amendment be put before voters that changes the way Permanent Fund dividends are calculated.

Northwest Digest
News in brief from around the region.

Maad pleads guilty to making a false statement
Nezar Khaled "Mike" Maad has pleaded guilty to making a false statement to the U.S. Small Business Administration to obtain a $242,000 loan and will not be retried in Fairbanks, the U.S. attorney's office said.

This Day in History
In Alaska; in the nation; in the world.

Woman charged in deaths of 3 sons
An Anchorage woman was charged Wednesday with first-degree murder in the shooting deaths of her three teenage sons. Cynthia J. Lord, 42, is accused of shooting each of her sons in the head at their south Anchorage apartment Tuesday, court documents said.

Alaska Digest
News in brief from around the state.

Senate hashes taxes, permafund
The Senate Finance Committee on Wednesday took up two competing measures to raise money for state coffers, each offering something for both sides to hate.

Juneau delegation foresees more money for schools
Alaska's schools will see an increase in funding of at least $84.5 million for next school year, predicts Sen. Kim Elton. But Senate Republicans are balking at the House-approved bill that would combine school funding with capital projects, he said.

This Day in History
In Alaska; in the nation; in the world.

Salsa band mixes old and new
Seven years ago, Pancho Chavez moved from Lima, Peru, to Seattle to study toward a business administration degree at the University of Washington. Somewhere along the way, and without any previous musical experience, he ended up as the lead singer for a salsa band.

What's happening
Upcoming local arts and entertainment events.

Cartoon: In the Swamp
Cartoon by local artist Toe.

Movies: Where & when
Times and titles at local theaters.

Chilly Ridge Rounders to perform at the Friendly Planet
The Chilly Ridge Rounders, a three-piece bluegrass band from Haines, will play an acoustic set from 7:30-9:30 p.m. Saturday, March 20, at the Friendly Planet, near Second and Seward streets.

Diary of a traveling play
Sara Waisanen When we last left Perseverance's traveling tour company, the crew had survived a blown tire near the U.S.-Canadian border and was setting up at the Yukon Performing Arts Centre.

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