Tuesday, March 25, 2003

No to business fee hike
I oppose a drastic increase to the business license fee. A small or gradual increase is expected on occasion and probably due in this case but the drastic increase from $50 to $400 charged every two years is ridiculous. You don't stimulate economic growth by making it harder to start a business. If the state truly wants diverse economic growth they should be encouraging business startups and further investing in education.

Give Alyeska Central School a chance
Alyeska Central School (ACS) is a valuable Alaska resource that will vanish if HB174 and SB107 pass during this legislative session. The two reasons cited in the administration's proposal to eliminate ACS are cost savings and duplication of services.

Morally right
Good for Gary Bowen. He is expressing the views of now over 80 percent of U.S. citizens. What our country is doing is morally right - using our strength to help the oppressed and endangered. It makes me proud to be an American.

A biblical perspective
Peace is not the absence of war, because the human heart is evil. Jeremiah 17:9 says that the heart is evil. James 4:1 says that we fight and quarrel because of the evil desires that battle within us.

Cousin and soldier
I just wanted to say thanks for making the article about Will Rusaw. He's my cousin and I had forgotten he went into the army. I hear that the reason for this is he wants to be just like our grandfather Chester Pemberton.

Last hurrah
I watched the debate in the Senate on the measure to prevent opening ANWR. The performance of our delegation requires comment. The junior senator performed with the aplomb of one born to the job.

Stop the whining
I last wrote a letter to the editor shortly after the events of 9/11 when a series of letters appeared in the paper blaming those attacks on the current political party and president. I write now as I did back then, asking is it time to be writing about politics or is it time to come together as most of us did after those terrible events of Sept. 11?

Here comes the bear
Hear ye! Hear ye! Two delayed casualties of this year's Iraq War and last year's Afghan War will be the Alaska Constitutional Budget Reserve, and the governor's hope of maintaining a balanced budget without taxes or "significant government income collection." Here's why.

Freedom's requirements
Imagine the United States today had we protested and not fought the Civil War. Imagine the millions of lives that could have been saved had France chosen to stop Germany when they could easily have done so instead of protesting and giving Hitler the time to amass strength and power.

Assembly to consider Patriot Act resolution
The Juneau Assembly is considering a resolution asking Congress to review and amend recent federal anti-terrorism laws. The laws in question are the USA Patriot Act, the Homeland Security Act and related executive orders. The resolution, requested by Juneau Citizens for the Defense of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, asks Congress to ensure the laws are consistent with civil rights and liberties.

School bonding on Assembly agenda
The Juneau Assembly is considering putting $12.5 million in bonding for school renovations on a June election ballot. The bonds would qualify for 70 percent state reimbursement and be used for improvements at Juneau-Douglas High School and other local schools. The city is planning a separate bond funding item for a Mendenhall Valley high school at a June 3 special election.

Boy busted over BB gun
Police said a 16-year-old boy was arrested over the weekend for allegedly pointing a BB gun at a motorist and having a homemade bomb in his vehicle. The boy, whose name wasn't released, was charged with third-degree misconduct involving a weapon and fourth-degree assault, both misdemeanors.

Photo: Spring training
Ben Ohnstad, 11, hits a pitch by Nathaniel Habeger, 11, as Aaron Badilla, 12, awaits the ball in left field. The boys took advantage of the spring-like weather at Melvin Park Monday afternoon.

Police arrest man suspected of Wharf thefts
A man arrested Friday on suspicion of stealing a purse from a vehicle parked near the Brotherhood Bridge Trailhead also faces a felony charge in connection with a string of thefts from vehicles this winter at the Merchants Wharf parking lot downtown. Scott Stringer, 34, was arrested Friday and charged with theft and criminal trespass, both misdemeanors, in connection with the Brotherhood Bridge incident. He was charged Saturday with second-degree theft, a felony, for allegedly stealing more than $2,000 worth of climbing equipment from the vehicle of Juneau mountain rescuer Steve Handy, which was parked at the Wharf in January.

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

Relative fails to win bail for sex-abuse defendant
A man accused of multiple felony counts of sexually abusing a minor remains in prison today despite a petition by a family member of the alleged victim to have the man released. Superior Court Judge Larry Weeks denied the request Monday at a bail hearing in Juneau Superior Court.

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

Assembly adds $12.5 million JDHS funding measure to June ballot
Juneau voters will see two separate high school bond issues on a June 3 special election ballot. The Juneau Assembly on Monday voted unanimously to add $12.5 million in bond funding for Juneau-Douglas High School and other school projects to the June election. The ballot already includes $12.6 million in bonding for a Mendenhall Valley high school.

This Day in History
In 1959, The Detroit '59ers reached Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, Canada, on their way from Detroit to homestead land on the Kenai Peninsula.

Proposal would keep Glacier Bay ship numbers steady
The number of cruise ships allowed to visit Glacier Bay National Park each year would stay at current levels with a chance for future increases, if a draft National Park Service recommendation becomes policy. The park service would stick with 139 cruise ship visits into Glacier Bay from June to August of each year, with the possibility of increasing to 184 a year, according to a recommendation in a newly released study. The draft environmental impact statement offers five options for motorized vessel traffic in the 3.3 million-acre park north of Juneau.

Photo: Bringing the art back
Hoonah artist Duane Bosch repairs his artwork, titled "Wave," in front of the Augustus Brown Swimming Pool on Monday. The totem pole and panel recently had been been vandalized with graffiti.

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

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

AroundTown
Around Town is a listing of local nonprofit events.

Richard Dalton Sr.
Hoonah resident Richard Dalton Sr., 84, died March 20, 2003, at the SEARHC Mount Edgecumbe Hospital in Sitka.

Lela Susan Copenhagen
Juneau resident Lela Susan Copenhagen, 57, died March 21, 2003, at Bartlett Regional Hospital due to complications related to diabetes.

My Turn: An abuse of armed forces
I am disgusted and sickened by the actions of my president and government. The utterly inane culinary action of the GOP is a perfect distillation of our nation's narcissistic obsession with empty gestures and fiercely vague passions. It seems we are a country of gullible fools, believing every illusion of a cheap side-show magician in order to give ourselves definition, when in truth the emperor has no clothes. Why do we not demand more for ourselves and from those who aspire to leadership and fall so hideously short?

My Turn: Another tale from the jungle
The thought of an inarticulate, 800-pound gorilla swatting a naughty, 20-pound monkey would be a thoroughly tragic narrative of imperialist aggression in a battle of ill-matched opponents if it were not for one little, sad fact: This monkey is rabid.

No two-and-out for Angoon this tourney
For the past two years, Angoon ANS has been two and out in the Legendary C Bracket. But on Monday, it avoided a dubious three-peat with a 71-63 victory over Sitka ANB at Juneau-Douglas High School in the 57th Annual Gold Medal Tournament. In the other losers' bracket game, the defending champion Huna Totem Oldtimers eliminated the Metlakatla Taquan Masters 114-83.

'Old Reliable'
After struggling with its free-throw shooting most of the game, it was only fitting that "Old Reliable" was at the free-throw line with the game on the line for Reliable Transfer of Juneau. Kevin Casperson hit the game-winning free throws for the second straight game, leading Reliable to an 86-85 victory over the Kake Tlingit Heat in Monday's winners' bracket action in the Gold Medal's Mighty B Bracket at Juneau-Douglas High School.

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

Sports: Correction
Due to incorrect caption information provided by the Associated Press, the Craig boys player pictured on Page B1 Sunday was misidentified. The player is Freddy Hamilton.

Gold Medal Boxscores
MIGHTY B BRACKET JUNEAU-RELIABLE TRANSFER 86, KAKE TLINGIT HEAT 85

Strong's 45 points lead Huna past Haines
Nate Strong dominated play as Huna ANB opened the defense of its Mighty B Bracket title with a 110-105 victory over the Haines Merchants, who won three straight championships from 1999-2001. The game didn't end until after midnight this morning.

Dzantik'i Heeni boys rally to defeat Kake by a point
Down by 12 points in the first half, Dzantik'i Heeni rallied to beat Kake 37-36 in the first day of boys middle school action Monday afternoon at Juneau-Douglas High School. Robert Beierly scored 27 points to lead Dzantik'i Heeni, while Bubba Larsen added seven points, including the game-winning free throw with 5.9 seconds left.

Lynden runs away with win against Kake
Lynden Transport of Juneau came out running the court Monday evening, beating Kake LAB 84-53 in the first round of women's Gold Medal action at the Juneau-Douglas High School main gym. "We like to run, so whenever we can get out and run, that's what we want to do," said Heather Clark who led Lynden with 19 points. "We're a runnin' team."

The Legendary C bracket: Edenshaw leads Klawock back to winning form
Sid Edenshaw was back in the Legendary C Bracket for the 57th Annual Gold Medal Basketball Tournament - and it was a good thing for the Klawock Old Totems, as they outlasted Sitka ANB 70-64 for a first-round victory at Juneau-Douglas High School.

Cavs rally to defeat the Nets
Something about traveling to Cleveland brings out the worst in the New Jersey Nets. Zydrunas Ilgauskas scored 29 points to help the Cavaliers overcome an early 13-point deficit and defeated the Nets 93-88 Sunday night.

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.

SE 2A champs to face same foe
The Region V-Class 2A champion Hydaburg boys and Kake girls drew the same foes when brackets for the Class 2A state tournament were announced on Sunday. The Hydaburg boys and Kake girls both will face the Unalakleet-Degnan Wolfpack in Thursday's opening round at Anchorage's Service High School. Hydaburg plays the Unalakleet boys at 1 p.m. on Thursday, while Kake plays the Unalakleet girls at 9:40 a.m.

Chugiak girls, Bartlett boys claim 4A crowns
The Wasilla Warriors came into this year's Class 4A state tournament boasting the top-ranked and top-seeded boys and girls teams. The Warriors left Anchorage's Sullivan Arena on Saturday night carrying two runner-up trophies. The Chugiak girls knocked off Wasilla, 57-42, to claim the girls Class 4A crown, while in the final game of the tournament the Bartlett Golden Bear boys won their second straight state title with a 38-28 win over the Warriors.

The Mighty B bracket: Yakutat attacks
It was a tale of first half and second half for Yakutat ANB during its 87-76 victory over the Klukwan Young Guns in Sunday's Mighty B Bracket opening round of the 57th Annual Gold Medal Basketball Tournament at Juneau-Douglas High School.

Gold Medal Boxscores
Scores

Congress crafting natural gas line legislation once again
Congressional committees are crafting more legislation to promote building a natural gas line from Alaska's North Slope to the Lower 48, but providing financial incentives for the $20 billion line remains a sticking point in Washington.

Murkowski budget slows 2003 session
The 2003 legislative session is moving along slowly with lawmakers at the halfway mark passing just three bills and 11 resolutions out of the 418 different measures introduced this session. Rampart Sen. Georgianna Lincoln, a Democrat, said with so many freshman legislators in the House, she expects a slow session. There were 17 new lawmakers at the start of the session, and now there are 18 with Gov. Frank Murkowski's recent appointment of a replacement member in the House.

Native teacher learns her history
FAIRBANKS - Karen Dullen will soon embark on a journey that will take her back to a pivotal point in the history of both her own family and many other Alaska Natives. Dullen, an Inupiat Eskimo and seventh-grade teacher at Ryan Middle School, will spend next school year on sabbatical studying the contact between Natives along the Koyukuk River and missionaries from the Episcopal Church.

State Briefs
Assembly delays action on Patriot Act resolution; Meetings on tourism guidelines this week; New city manager starts work today; Man forces three from road, may face charges; Fishermen's memorial accepting applications; Lynden, Western Express offer Canada-Alaska service

Musher experiments with new dog harness design
A new harness design may help cut down on sled dog injuries, according to a former Iditarod champion. Jeff King of Denali Park credits the lack of injuries this year to the design that may put less pressure on a dog's hindquarters and a decision to abandon another traditional piece of dog team rigging, the neckline.

Anchorage airport running millions over construction budget
ANCHORAGE - A huge make-over project at the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport is running $186 million over the original budget. State transportation officials said they need to borrow more money to finish the work. But some state lawmakers, who must approve new borrowing, and local airlines, which ultimately would foot the bill, said the project needs to be scaled back.

Alaska could face $30m bill from fishing-fee suit
The state of Alaska could face a bill of nearly $30 million to pay refunds to commercial fishermen from other states who forked over triple the amount paid by Alaskans for the necessary licenses and permits.

Two indicted on fraud charges
A federal grand jury has indicted two Alaska men on charges that they defrauded a Veterans Affairs program of $450,000. Ronald L. Phillips, who owns a bus transportation company in Anchorage, and Walter L. Gearring Jr., who owns Gear-Ring Bus Line and Transportation in Palmer, face one count of conspiracy to defraud, eight counts of wire fraud and seven counts of mail fraud, according to the indictment.

Bill allows fewer to qualify for state medical assistance
JUNEAU - The state would save about $258,000 next year and about 100 fewer Alaskans would get state-funded medical care under a bill moving through the Legislature. The measure, introduced by Gov. Frank Murkowski, freezes the income guidelines that determine whether a person is eligible for some programs paid for by Medicaid. Instead of going up with inflation, the income limits would stay at the current level indefinitely.

State wants old sex offender list online
The state is asking a federal judge to reverse a ruling that required authorities to take some sex offenders off a Web site. The request follows a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling that says the state can require all sex offenders, even those who have finished their sentences, to register with authorities, and can post the offenders' pictures on the Internet.

Photo: Rally for the troops
Tina Gerkman holds a poster with a photo of her son, who is serving in the Middle East, as she joins about 2,000 people at a rally in Anchorage in support of U.S. troops.

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