Friday, March 22, 2002

Lovely downtown irony: Lefties oppose buses
Oh, how I envy Don Smith! Someone who can generate more controversy than I - at last. As a citizen of the formative Independent Republic of Mendenhall, I can't say that I really give a rat's butt about what happens down in the People's Republic of Juneau. It's been years since the last time I was south of The Hangar or bought anything other than food and drinks in downtown Juneau.

Suggestion for the Empire
I was planning to be quiet for at least a week but today I write in response to Don Smith's recent diatribe concerning his fellow citizens' efforts to speak their voice as the constitution permits.

Feel free to harangue
In response to Don's second tirade about the Marine Park, I made no mention of my position on the project. I was upset with how Don addressed those who disagreed with him. It is hard to tell which is more disturbing, the tone of his remarks or the fallacy of their content.

Missing the point
In response to yesterday's co-letter writers from Skagway, I have no quarrel with this historic town or its residents. I enjoyed my two summers working there, 16 years ago.

When youthful creativity, rules of propriety collide
As is usually the case in controversial issues, the attention generated by the Empire's coverage of the "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" issue has put the incident square in the face of thousands of us who otherwise might never have learned about it.

Fix the tailpipe
I find it difficult to understand how children on school buses can be exposed to such a tremendous volume of diesel exhaust fumes as mentioned in the letter published Monday.

Greed of trinket trade
Sorry, Don, but I have to agree with Kim Helmar's group. As someone who has to run the gauntlet twice a day to get to and from work, I don't want to see buses and people all over the only street to Thane Road.

Marine Park trees are worth saving
I remember when Marine Park was built, I think about 1978 or '79. I worked for Parks Maintenance then and everyone was really excited about the new trees. We all worked really hard to get those trees to take and to grow.

Wasteful spending
It's time we all find a way to fund the state, as well as our city, without putting more tax on our backs. Yes, read our lips, no more tax. We are tired of the waste going on in state and local government. We are being taxed to death and shame on our leaders for wanting more tax money for the answer.

Descending to new depths
Thanks to you and the staff for providing Alaska's Capital City with a good newspaper. I've noticed lots of changes over the past year that have improved the Empire for all of us who subscribe faithfully year after year.

Criminal activity observed
This is a burglar alert for my Lemon Creek neighbors. Yesterday at 10 a.m., my dog alerted me that someone was approaching my house. I was expecting a tradesman, so I looked through my window for a vehicle. There was no vehicle, and I could see no one. However, my dog was still acting funny, and I could hear voices, so I walked to front door to see what was going on.

Muzzling public debate
Don Smith, the publisher of this newspaper, exacerbates a divisive issue - the future of Marine Park - by writing a trash opinion piece. If the qualities of reactionary, ignorant and mean-spirited shock radio can be translated into print, Smith has done it.

Learn about ANWR in multi-media show
Protecting the Arctic Refuge is more than a conservation issue: It is a matter of cultural and human rights. The coastal plain of the Arctic Refuge is the core calving ground of the Porcupine caribou herd, and aboriginal people in the north have depended upon the caribou for thousands of generations for their subsistence needs.

Tired of the diatribes
I would like to respond to Don Smith's editorial about the Steamship Wharf Project, the deckover. I'm tired of the diatribes and rabid comments. The ad Mr. Smith refers to could in no way possible allude to being a CBJ ad. Where's the City Seal or other imagery associated with a city notice?

Selfish, egomaniacal, arrogant and haughty
Having been the victim of CAVE's (citizens against virtually everything) diatribe many times in the past, I admire the publisher of the Juneau Empire for having the courage to subject himself to the same drivel from the same group that has organized to become a cancer on the economic soul of our great community.

Only one ground rule
I am certain that Empire Publisher Don Smith had an important message to convey in his editorial regarding the city's plans for the Steamship Wharf/Marine Park Project. Unfortunately, the message got lost in the din of the insulting and condescending language he used in the editorial.

Benefits come with easier bus access to dock area
I would like to comment on the Steamship Wharf/Marine Park Project. Two weeks ago, I attended a meeting where there was a presentation of the plans for this project. I was very impressed by all the hard work and effort the folks who work for our city had put into this project. They were trying to present something that would benefit the whole community, not just the downtown or tourist sector.

Who's bending the facts?
To the publisher: I was stunned to read your ad hominem attack in Tuesday's paper on Kim Metcalfe Helmar and Ray Preston. Whatever you think of their views, it is outrageous to make a personal attack on these folks - both are long-time (longer than you!) residents who care deeply about our community.

Waterfront project is well-planned growth
Our city Assembly, mayor and especially our city government staff are all to be commended for the excellent job they have done in building up and improving our downtown business district and waterfront area. When I first moved to Juneau in 1972 from the waterfront capital city of Annapolis, Md., I was dismayed when I tried to find Juneau's downtown waterfront.

Firefighters hack into downtown house to kill blaze
Firefighters battled a stubborn fire through holes cut into the roof and eaves of a downtown home for more than an hour Thursday afternoon. No one was hurt, but the house was damaged extensively. The Spruce Street fire was reported about 12:30 p.m. to Capital City Fire and Rescue by someone who noticed smoke and flames coming from the home, which is near Juneau-Douglas High School and Harborview Elementary School.

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

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

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

Convict charged with '96-97 sexual abuse of minors
A Juneau inmate serving time for sexually assaulting adults now faces charges for alleged sexual offenses against young girls. Victor Austin, 42, was served an arrest warrant Monday at the Lemon Creek Correctional Center for two counts of felony first-degree sexual abuse of a minor and four counts of felony first-degree indecent exposure stemming from alleged incidents in 1996 and 1997.

Idaho-based airline wins Juneau FedEx contract
Empire Airlines has won the FedEx shipping contract for Juneau, and will station a Fokker-27 here, according to Tom Komberec, president and CEO of the Idaho-based airline.

FYI
Births

Juneau dissects cost of ice rink
The concrete slab under the ice at the Treadwell Arena will require twice as much steel rebar than earlier thought. The metal building over it will be about 1,500 square feet bigger. And labor costs have gone up in the past year. Those factors and others helped drive the total cost of an indoor ice rink planned for Savikko Park in Douglas from a $3 million estimate last year to between $3.4 million and $3.5 million today, according to information presented to Juneau Assembly members Wednesday.

Photo: UA trade show
University of Alaska Fairbanks Chancellor Marshall Lind talks to students involved with the 4-H Club, including Rocki Hanscom, left, during the University of Alaska System's Trade and Career Fair at Centennial Hall on Wednesday.

Class to provide Native language overview
A new summer course at the University of Alaska Southeast will offer a wide-ranging overview of Alaska's indigenous languages. The three-credit class, Anthropology 393: Alaska Native Languages, is being offered as a cooperative effort between the university and the Sealaska Heritage Institute. It will run from May 20 to July 3.

Local Briefs
DZ students win state math event; Juneau seeks funds for heliport study

Juneau 'Survivor' out but not down
"Survivor" castaways may have given a Juneau woman the boot during Wednesday's episode, but it just may get her foot in the door for a better future. Juneau-born Sarah Jones, 24, was one of 16 contestants chosen to spend 39 days on a deserted island in the South Pacific for the CBS reality television show "Survivor: Marquesas."

Native spoons draw anthropologist to Southeast
A bear cradles an otter in one carving. In another, a mysterious beast rests head-to-head with a human, their tongues connected. The elaborate Tlingit, Tsimshian and Haida carvings decorate the handles of 40 antique ceremonial spoons. The spoons were carved from goat and sheep horn, probably between 100 and 200 years ago. They have been in the collection of Harvard University's Peabody Museum for decades, but virtually nothing was known about them.

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

PO Weller wins federal employee of the year award
Petty Officer Lori Weller of the U.S. Coast Guard was selected as the 2001 Juneau Federal Employee of the Year. She is an active duty Coast Guard reservist who has been serving since 1981. Petty Officer Weller is responsible for the research and production of time-sensitive maritime information in support of fisheries and law enforcement.

Senior Menu
The following meals will be served next week. These meals and Care-a-Van transportation are available to all senior citizens (age 60 and over).

Juneau-Douglas High School honors students' efforts during Wednesday ceremony
Fourteen Juneau-Douglas High School students received Student Recognition awards for the month of March at a ceremony held Wednesday in the school library.

Thank You
... for all the help; ...for all the help

Neighbors Briefs
UAS faculty contributes to many publications; Mapping the soundscape of Alaska on Day of Listening; Juneau resident is USCG Auxiliarist of the Year

Maryanna S. Little
Former Juneau resident Maryanna S. Little, 83, died March 15, 2002, in Petaluma, Calif.

My Turn: Alternatives needed for cases like Yates'
Recently, a Texas court sentenced Andrea Yates to life in prison for the murder of her five young children. The jury rejected her not-guilty-by-reason-of-insanity defense despite compelling evidence that she suffered from severe mental illness. To many of us the verdict carried a shock nearly as heart wrenching as the deaths of her children.

Word of Mouth
Word of Mouth gives readers a forum to express opinions on a variety of issues by telephone. Calls must be limited to one minute. We reserve the right to edit calls for clarity, length and libel.

Warm embrace of 'Outside'
Six months and a continent away, residents of the 49th state remembered Sept. 11. Sled dogs in red, white and blue booties pranced down Anchorage's 4th Avenue at the start of the 1,100-mile Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. New York Port Authority policeman David Lim, who survived the collapse of the World Trade Center towers but lost his K-9 partner, a yellow Lab named Sirius, rode the first sled out. And under the spruce arch that marks the finish line in Nome, Swiss-born musher Martin Buser last week claimed his fourth victory - and took the oath to become a U.S. citizen.

Juneau athletes take part in Alaska's ulu haul
Team Alaska has taken a commanding lead in the ulu count after the first four days of the Arctic Winter Games, which are taking place this week in the communities of Nuuk, Greenland, and Iqaluit, Nunavut, Canada (on Baffin Island).

Juneau's Shultz to compete in Red Bull Extreme event
Launching off a 30-foot cliff into a pillow of deep powder, then carving flawless turns through a 55-degree chute in the Swiss Alps would be a pipe dream for most people. But for Juneau's Mark Shultz, the dream will become a reality this weekend when he competes at the seventh annual Red Bull Extreme snowboarding championships in Verbier, Switzerland. Shultz was selected as one of three American men in a field of 16 of the world's best extreme snowboarders.

Juneau boys make it the state finals
ANCHORAGE -- Shooters keep shooting. Juneau's Curtis Lane went into the locker room at halftime with no points. He was a big donut -- 0-for-5 shooting from the field and 0-for-4 from 3-point range in the Crimson Bears' semifinal game against Wasilla on Friday night.

Bartlett knocks Juneau girls out of tourney
ANCHORAGE -- The Juneau-Douglas High School girls basketball team's season ended Friday morning as the Bartlett Golden Bears handed the Crimson Bears a 58-47 loss in the consolation round of the Class 4A Alaska State Basketball Championships. For 26 minutes, the Crimson Bears girls were the better team on the main court of Sullivan Arena. But the Golden Bears poured it on in the final six minutes, outscoring Juneau 20-10 in that stretch.

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

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

Alaska State 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.

Photo: Giving Colony Knightmares
Juneau's Junior Cumlat (10) dribbles to the hoop as Colony's Clay Hotchkiss defends this morning during Juneau's 51-38 victory in the first round of the Class 4A state tournament at Anchorage's Sullivan Arena.

Craig boys advance to Class 3A title game
Raymond Douville scored 23 points and grabbed 12 rebounds as the Craig High School boys basketball team upset undefeated and top-ranked Barrow 70-68 Friday night, earning a spot in the Class 3A state basketball tournament championship game at 5 p.m. Saturday night at Anchorage's Sullivan Arena.

Indiana deposes Duke
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Mike Davis sprinted to midcourt and disappeared from view. After waiting a lifetime for a chance, Davis got his, knowing full well there were forces lined up against him. When your team has just finished off one of the most improbable comebacks in NCAA Tournament history against the very team that symbolizes NCAA excellence, you have the right to celebrate however you want.

Duke's inside job begins with Boozer
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- As 3-point shooters go, Duke center-forward Carlos Boozer is, well, irrelevant. He has tried one 3-pointer in his career, and it didn't go well, missing against North Carolina in Duke's final game of the regular season. This does not have coach Mike Krzyzewski losing sleep.

Juneau boys advance at state tourney
ANCHORAGE -- The Juneau-Douglas High School Crimson Bears shook off some first-game tournament jitters and came away with a 51-38 win over the Colony Knights today.

At 35 victories and counting, how great is this UConn team?
STORRS, Conn. -- Geno Auriemma has been peppered with questions. At 35-0, is this Connecticut team his best yet, or was it the 1995 unbeaten NCAA champs? How does this edition compare to Tennessee's 39-0 squad in 1998?

Juneau boys advance at state tourney
ANCHORAGE -- The Juneau-Douglas High School Crimson Bears shook off some first-game tournament jitters and came away with a 51-38 win over the Colony Knights on Thursday.

Metlakatla knocks off Nikiski
ANCHORAGE -- The Metlakatla Chiefs knocked off the third-ranked Nikiski Bulldogs 62-58 in the first round of the Alaska Class 3A Basketball Championships at Sullivan Arena on Thursday. For the Chiefs, it was the second big upset in a week. At the Region V-Class 3A tourney in Juneau last Thursday, Metlakatla beat then-No. 2 Wrangell 70-52 to earn a berth in the state tourney.

Indiana ends Duke's reign as champion
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Duke's self-inflicted demise began with a missed layup and ended with a four-second flurry that will be long debated. But there is no debating this: The Blue Devils' reign as national champions ended Thursday night in a 74-73 defeat to Indiana in an NCAA South Regional semifinal at Rupp Arena.

Mustangs corral No. 3 Crimson Bears, 38-30
ANCHORAGE -- For more than 10 minutes, the Juneau-Douglas girls could do nothing right and it cost them the first-round game, 38-30, against Chugiak in the Class 4A Alaska State Basketball Championships Thursday at the Sullivan Arena.

State Briefs
Triple bloopers land robber in jail; Scouts to collect food Saturday; Man pleads guilty to theft, assault; Coast Guard rescues man twice

Barrow whalers share harvest with English town
ANCHORAGE - Two of the largest jawbones in creation left Anchorage on Thursday morning, destined for an English city where they'll become an arch of friendship, shared history and cultural exchange. The bowhead whale bones - each 17 feet long and about 395 pounds - link the North Slope city of Barrow and its whaling culture to the old North Sea port of Whitby, a major English whaling center of the 19th century.

Sales tax faces Southeast opposition
Roxane Lee of Petersburg doesn't want a 3 percent state sales tax stacked on top of the local 6 percent take on retail sales. "Adding 3 percent could be devastating to many, many communities, forcing people to shop elsewhere, including the Internet," Lee told the House Finance Committee this morning, speaking on behalf of Petersburg merchants.

State regulators accept BP valve safety plan
ANCHORAGE - State regulators have accepted BP Exploration (Alaska) Inc.'s plan to improve the failure rate of wellhead safety valves at the Prudhoe Bay oil field.

State Briefs
Man injured when falling steel beams crush vehicle; Alaskans win teaching awards; Police join missing-children telephone alert system;

Court nixes redistricting board's plan
ANCHORAGE - The Alaska Supreme Court on Thursday rejected the state's redistricting map and sent it back to the state Redistricting Board to be reworked, including a House district in Southeast. The map, which was approved by the five-member board last June, faced nine legal challenges. Plaintiffs included individuals, as well as the Republican Party, the cities of Anchorage, Valdez, Wasilla, Cordova and Craig, and the Aleutians East and the Lake and Peninsula boroughs.

Alaska must decide how to apply sulfur fuel rule
ANCHORAGE - Alaska will have to decide by the beginning of next month how a new ultra-low sulfur rule for diesel fuel will be implemented in the state.

Proposed budget cuts could disrupt mental health services
Proposed funding cuts may force officials to place people who attempt suicide and other emotionally ill people in jail or hospital emergency rooms because treatment beds won't be available, says a local mental health care provider.

Education department will amend rules for home-school programs
State education officials said Wednesday that proposed regulations for statewide correspondence programs were amended after the agency received comments from concerned parents. But the amended rules will not be available until the state Board of Education meeting on April 5-6 in Juneau, Deputy Education Commissioner Ed McLain told lawmakers on the Administrative Regulation Review Committee.

Bill allows suits for giving kids booze
Adults who knowingly provide alcohol to minors would be held liable for civil damages under a bill that is making its way through the Legislature. Civil damages include those relating to personal injury, death, or damage to property.

The long arm of the law nabs 16-year Alaska fugitive
ANCHORAGE - An Alaska fugitive has been caught in California, nearly 16 years after he skipped out on robbery charges in Anchorage.

Energy bill amendment allows regulation options for gas line
FAIRBANKS - Companies wanting to build a proposed trans-Alaska natural gas pipeline would get to choose one of two sets of government regulations but would not have a say in the line's route, under new amendments to a U.S. Senate energy bill.

Kwanlin Dun First Nation wants $60 million
WHITEHORSE, Yukon - The Kwanlin Dun First Nation wants at least $60 million for all Yukon First Nations to prepare for a proposed natural gas pipeline along the Alaska Highway.

Permafund plan gains support
The House Finance Committee was poised today to tap into permanent fund earnings for more than $1.1 billion next year. A proposed endowment concept for the permanent fund, along with targeted revenue for schools and infrastructure maintenance, appeared this morning to have widespread approval on the committee, which was to resume deliberations later today.

Bill to change buyback law for fishery passes House
A bill aimed at making it easier to buy back commercial fishing permits cleared the House on Wednesday. Rep. Drew Scalzi, a Homer Republican, proposed the measure as a tool to improve efficiency in Alaska's troubled salmon fishing industry.

Art of the State
U sing gut and seaweed, copy machines and whale bones, oil paint and trade beads, Alaska's artists have created a show of contemporary art representing a wide range of approaches. The "All Alaska Juried Art Exhibition" opens Friday at the Alaska State Museum, with a reception from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. The show features work by some of Alaska's best-known fine artists as well as Alaskans who are new to artistic expression.

Cocktail waitress takes readers to Mars
Bobbi McCutcheon works two jobs: One as a cocktail waitress at the Hangar on the Wharf for two days a week, and the other as a serious writer who makes time in her life for literature. After tiring of the rigmarole involved with finding an agent and selling a book, McCutcheon recently self-published a science-fiction novel, her first book, "Father Mars, Mother Earth."

Movies Where & When
"The Sting," (PG) 8 p.m. Saturday at the Back Room Cinema at the Silverbow Inn.

Comedy doubleheader features Bevins, Palisoul
There's a fine line between laughing at someone and laughing near someone. Comedian Danny Bevins walks that line. Bevins' winning performance at the San Francisco Comedy Competition addressed stereotypes without perpetuating them, and Bevins was willing to make himself the butt of his jokes.

Best Bets: Weekend holds Barlow, bears, comedians
The next week is loaded with events and many of the best are free. Songwriter, guitarist and singer Kim Barlow will perform at a free concert at 7 p.m. Saturday in the Egan Library at the University of Alaska Southeast. It is likely that members of her group, the Glacial Erratics, also will share the stage.

Wit, humor lighten harrowing biography
Randle Glass called his autobiography "A Soft Shoe on Snow," but "Dancing with Death" might have been more accurate. Glass grew up outside Anchorage. He first ran away from home when he was a teen-ager after his religious-zealot mother smashed his Dave Clark Five record and lectured him for the thousandth time about Satan.

Entertainment Briefs
Renaissance Fair at UAS; Photography show at Lyle's; Guest tenor offers voice master class

What's happening
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