Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Washington state, cruise lines ink pact on wastewater
The state Department of Ecology has negotiated a voluntary agreement with cruise ship lines aimed at keeping the big ships from dumping wastewater in Washington's inland marine waters. But critics complain that the ships face negligible penalties for violating the deal.

Kenai Peninsula fertilizer plant to operate at only 65 percent this year
Even with ramped up production, the Agrium fertilizer plant on the Kenai Peninsula will average only 65 percent this year.

Tell lawmakers to support ferries
The term "subsidy" as applied to the Alaska Marine Highway System funding is a misnomer. There is no ferry subsidy any more than there is a school subsidy, a national defense subsidy, a highway and road subsidy or a weather forecasting subsidy. The AMHS is a public service like any other, paid for with public funds for the public good.

Don't toss butts out the window on Egan
To the woman driving her light brown GMC 4x4 pick-up truck with step sides on Egan Drive to town at about 7:45 Friday morning: I can certainly understand why you wouldn't want to dirty the inside of your nice looking truck with your cigarette butts.

Schools should teach ethnic cultures
I am an Alaska Native Tlingit & Haida Indian. I was born in Alaska and live in Juneau. Mr. Duff Mitchell's letter to the editor, "Understanding cultures reduces racism" is the most intelligent, sensible and appropriate letter regarding such a sensitive issue as racism. Any man with that much common sense, knowledge and understanding should be the governor of this great state.

Keep the standardized in high school test
I find the very idea of changing the format of the standardized high school exit test to accommodate those with disabilities appalling. The purpose of a standardized test is to measure everyone who wants to graduate against the same standard.

Decrease minimum wage and spending
Republicans and Democrats in the Senate Finance Committee want to raise taxes ("Senate Hashes Taxes, Permafund," March 18). However, the Governor's own report, "Taking Responsibility Today For Alaska's Tomorrow," issued late last year, cited out-of-control spending, not inadequate revenues, as the cause of Alaska's budget problems.

School budget response is overkill
Each year the district can carry over 10 percent of the budget if it wants to, according to Superintendent Peggy Cowen. That is about $4 million. They choose to carry forward between $500,000 and $2 million. This is sort of a rainy day account for hard times.

Couverden is welfare logging
Trees are one thing we are not short of in Southeast. I think we should all be building our homes out of local wood instead of importing lumber from down south. While I support logging I am concerned about government spending.

Pressure authorities to solve murder case
About a year ago my dear friend Maggie Wigen was murdered in Tenakee Springs. It is extremely painful to realize that I will never have her come over to drink tea, go on a hike, or just hear her laugh at my stupid jokes. However, even more painful is realizing that Maggie's killer is walking around free and unrestricted.

Pulling fluoride was unconscionable
Deciding to stop adding fluoride to the public water supply almost a year ago without informing the public is unconscionable.

Fluoride is a dangerous fraud
I was pleased to see the fluoride issue being brought to the public's attention in the Juneau Empire, and to learn that City Manager Rod Swope is aware that it actually is a debatable issue.

KTOO programmer fair
When Public Broadcasting comes to mind, it is rarely thought of as conservative programming. Nevertheless, when I approached Susan Fitzgerald, a program director at KTOO, my request for her to be "fair and balanced" by interviewing Jim Sedlak, founder and CEO of STOPP Int'l. ( STOPP stands for Stop Planned Parenthood) on Jan. 22, 2004, was, much to my surprise and pleasure, granted.

New Sergeants
Juneau Police Department Chief Richard Gummow, center, introduces newly promoted Sergeants Kris Sell, left, and Ed Mercer during a promotion ceremony Monday at the police station.

Around Town
Today: Day of Quilting, Sewing and Good Fellowship, 10 a.m. every Wednesday, Resurrection Lutheran Church. Quilts donated to Lutheran World Relief. Details: 586-2380.

Spring?
C.J. June, 13, with an assist from his father, T.J. June, not shown, flies a kite Tuesday at Savikko Park. C.J. was taking advantage of a favorable southeast breeze on a springlike day.

Catching some rare rays
A playful tabby basks in the sunshine on the Fourth Street stairway Tuesday. The frisky feline - craving food or attention or both - jumped off the railing and left to continue its acrobatics at another downtown venue.

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

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

Heavy traffic
Juneau Green Team's John Grummett is heavily guarded by Klawock's Jewel Walker, left, and Al Tagaban during the C bracket game Monday in the Gold Medal Basketball Tournament, sponsored by the Juneau Lions Club.

Eagle holding court
An eagle watches the action Monday on South Franklin Street while a flock of crows perches near the Mount Roberts Tramway.

Teens charged in Valley burglary
An 18-year-old burglary suspect released from jail Tuesday is free to practice with the Juneau-Douglas High School soccer team, the magistrate said at his initial court appearance.

Around Town
Today:Valley Toastmasters meeting, 6:10 a.m. every Tuesday, Henry's Restaurant. Public invited. Details: Jim, 789-3074.

Assembly OKs term limits for board members
Members of city boards and commissions will face a nine-year term limit, the Juneau Assembly decided Monday night.

Citizens call for openness in legislative discussions
Members of the public asked a legislative ethics committee Monday to adopt stronger rules to prevent legislation from being discussed behind closed doors.

District effort to lobby voters won't apply to school vote
The Juneau School Board has introduced a policy that will allow the district to spend public money to influence ballot propositions. But Superintendent Peggy Cowan said the board does not intend to spend money to influence the upcoming special election about building a high school at Dimond Park.

Thank you
... for time, effort and generous hearts

Neighbors Digest
staff reports

Life is civil in a provincial French town
Angers is an easy town to love. It is surrounded by kilometers of fertile farmland and river valleys. Chateaux are sprinkled around the countryside, easily accessible within a day's outing.

The guv wasn't a major - or citizen
T he governing of Alaska has had many faces. After its discovery in 1741 by Vitus Bering on behalf of Russia, it was governed by executives of the Russian America Company, such as Alexander Baranof.

Swearing-in ceremony
The Office of Public Advocacy, Juneau Court Appointed Special Advocate Program, would like to congratulate its newest group of CASA volunteers. They have completed 32 hours of core training and have been sworn in by Judge Weeks. The volunteers are now qualified to speak on behalf of the community's abused and neglected children in court.

Here are some tips for reducing travel stress
Security issues, the expense, lack of food or drink and our own health concerns are some of the factors that can make today's airplane trip quite an ordeal. Here are some important travel tips intended to reduce the stress associated with air travel.

Pets of the week
Allen was bedraggled but now is major hunk, This Boots is made for walkin'

Vadra Fleek Boss
Former Juneau resident Vadra Fleek Boss, 65, died Jan. 15, 2004, in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, where she made her home for 20 years.

Jimmie Ernest Rogers
Former Juneau resident Jimmie Ernest Rogers, 58, died March 14, 2004, at his home in Wasilla due to complications from cancer.

Patricia N. Stevens
Juneau resident Patricia N. Stevens, 55, died March 21, 2004, at her home in Juneau.

My Turn: Fluoridation is key to promoting oral health
T he Department of Health and Social Services became concerned after hearing that the city and borough had stopped fluoridating the city water last summer and local medical and dental practices were not aware of the change. The Juneau Empire March 15 article, "City: Fluoride was cut off to clean effluent," brought the issue to the public light.

City dog panel is anti-dog, pretending to save wildlife
I have a hard time hiding my shock and dismay about the article, "Panel Proposes Changes in Leash Law." I could not believe that "the panel" would use the disguise of wildlife conservation to ban dogs from trails. Simply walking down any trail in Juneau is going to disturb wildlife. According to a study entitled "Wildlife responses to pedestrians and dogs" in the Wildlife Society Bulletin 29(1): 124-132, Miller, Knight and Miller found that off-leashed dogs had no more effect on birds than humans do without dogs. Does this mean we should think about banning humans from the trail to conserve wildlife?

If lawmakers do nothing, they're not defending your PFD check
This editorial ran in Thursday's Anchorage Daily News: Those Alaskans who believe that no action on Alaska's fiscal gap is a de facto defense of their yearly permanent fund dividend should think again.

Opinion: End capital creep; keep union talks in Juneau
Thumbs down to former Juneau Sen. Jim Duncan for holding up the state's union negotiations with his proposal that the talks be moved to Anchorage for convenience and financial savings for the Alaska State Employees Association.

Huna wins with D in 2-OT thriller
Down five points in the second overtime, Huna ANB turned to its defense to beat the Metlakatla Merchants.

Sports in Juneau
NEW CALENDAR ITEMS: ORCA Ski-A-Thon - The ORCA Ski-A-Thon will be held at Eaglecrest Ski Area on Saturday, March 27.

Local Scores
local scores

Angoon sends Klukwan home in thrilling C win
The Angoon old timers completed the comeback it couldn't accomplish on the opening day with a thrilling 80-77 win over the Klukwan Chilkats on Tuesday in what's becoming a regular occurrence in many games at the 58th Annual Lions Club Gold Medal basketball tournament.

Huna ANS solves Mystery Team
The first Gold Medal schedules called it the Mystery Team. But it didn't take long for Huna ANS to solve it.

Angoon women fend off Kake
It wasn't quite a piece of cake, but Angoon Kwaan did get its piece of Kake KWBA in the end.

Ludlow wins giant slalom, Mancuso is second at Alpine Championships
GIRDWOOD, Alaska - Libby Ludlow was cut, scraped, bruised and sick. But she wore the grin of a winner. Ludlow ended the U.S. Alpine Championships by taking her first national title Tuesday, claiming the giant slalom by beating five-time medalist Julia Mancuso.

U.S. Alpine National Championships
U.S. Alpine National Championships

SE 2A teams off to state
The Skagway girls face Tri-Valley and the Hydaburg boys play Tok on Thursday to open the Class 2A state basketball tourney at Service High School in Anchorage.

Cavs drop third in a row
CLEVELAND - LeBron James struggled to defend Joe Johnson, leading to a third straight loss for the Cleveland Cavaliers. Johnson tied a career-high with 31 points as the Phoenix Suns hurt Cleveland's playoff hopes with a 103-86 win Tuesday night

Cochran wins his second ski title
GIRDWOOD, Alaska - Jimmy Cochran knew he was getting a break when race favorite Bode Miller slipped on the opening run of the giant slalom Monday at the U.S. Alpine Championships.

Gold Medal Scores
Gold Medal Scores

Sports in Juneau
Today, March 23 • 58th Annual Gold Medal Basketball Tournament - B Bracket: Hydaburg vs. Klawock, 5:30 p.m.; Yakutat ANB vs. Angoon ANB

McKoy, Rhea make Class 4A girls all-tourney team
Juneau's Tasha McKoy and Talisa Rhea were named to the Class 4A girls all-tourney team at last weekend's state basketball tournament in Anchorage.

Green Team beats Klawock, advances to C Bracket semis
The Juneau Green Team earned a trip to the C Bracket semifinals after a decisive 78-71 victory over the Klawock New Timers on Monday at the Lions Club Gold Medal basketball tournament.

Haida iron men tough out B win
Playing just five guys, Hydaburg needed a little help to close out a victory over Klawock in Gold Medal Basketball Tournament B Bracket losers' bracket action on Tuesday.

This Day in History
In Alaska: In 1906, a fire destroyed much of the business district of Wrangell.

Alaska Digest
staff and Wire reports

State workers' contract talks stalled
Contract negotiations between the state and Alaska's largest collective bargaining unit have stalled and union business manager Jim Duncan is calling for negotiations to move from Juneau to Anchorage.

Nearing home
The Fairweather, a 235-foot low-wake catamaran bound for Alaska, is berthed in Seattle on Tuesday. The vessel can carry 35 cars and 250 passengers at speeds up to 48 miles an hour.

House Finance approves seafood branding tax bill
Fishermen could tax themselves to pay for development and marketing of regional brands of seafood under a bill approved Tuesday by the House Finance Committee.

Alaska Digest
staff and Wire reports

Kenai Peninsula fertilizer plant to operate at only 65 percent this year
ANCHORAGE - Even with ramped up production, the Agrium fertilizer plant on the Kenai Peninsula will average only 65 percent this year.

Framed Ten Commandments to stay
FAIRBANKS - A framed copy of the Ten Commandments will remain at Fairbanks City Hall, despite opposition by the Alaska Civil Liberties Union Foundation, Mayor Steve Thompson said.

Assembly calls for postponing AMHS move
The Juneau Assembly wants the state to delay a plan to move the Alaska Marine Highway System headquarters to Ketchikan until economic and other studies are done.

Biologists warn against giving food to hungry moose
KENAI - Emaciated moose, some of them starving, have been seen wandering the Kenai Peninsula in search of food along roadways. A few have dropped dead in residential areas.

Sealaska earns $28.8 million
Sealaska's 17,200 shareholders will receive a dividend of $2 or $3 per share depending on individual status, authorities from the regional Native corporation for Southeast Alaska announced Friday.

This Day in History
In Alaska:In 1910, President William Taft proclaimed the Sitka National Monument.

Mike Miller eyes U.S. Senate race
FAIRBANKS - Days after announcing his resignation as state Administration Commissioner, Mike Miller said he's eyeing the U.S. Senate office held by fellow-Republican Lisa Murkowski.

Trappers net profit at Fairbanks fur auction
FAIRBANKS - Bethel students and others made a tidy profit at the Alaska Trappers Association fur auction, where they unloaded red fox pelts, bear hides and other animal furs.

New spin given to fund debate
As the House grapples with a way to win public support for using part of the $28 billion Alaska Permanent Fund to balance state spending, a key Senate Republican floated a more direct approach.

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