State Briefs

Posted: Tuesday, March 25, 2003

Assembly delays action on Patriot Act resolution

JUNEAU - Juneau Assembly members on Monday postponed action on a resolution asking Congress to review and amend recent federal anti-terrorism laws.

Members decided to delay work because City Attorney John Corso and Human Resources Committee Chairman Marc Wheeler were out of town on Monday, Juneau Assembly member Jim Powell said. The Human Resources Committee's next meeting is April 14, he said.

The city's draft resolution asks Congress to ensure the USA Patriot Act, the Homeland Security Act and related executive orders are consistent with civil rights and liberties.

Meetings on tourism guidelines this week

JUNEAU - Local residents who are interested in or concerned about tourism traffic, flightseeing or commercial use on local trails are invited to meetings with tour operators this week.

Tour operators, cruise lines and the city are putting together this year's Tourism Best Management Practices program and are interested in hearing from the public, said Kirby Day, director of shoreside operations for Princess Cruises and Tours in Juneau.

"If you can't come out, you can comment back to the city in the next week to 10 days," he said. "There may be things we missed."

The Tourism Best Management Practices are designed to minimize the impacts of tourism on local residents. They address engine idling, trailhead parking and cruise ship loudspeakers, among other items. The voluntary tour guidelines that have been in place since 1997 are updated each year. Last year, 50 companies and 877 individual employees signed on to the program, Day said.

Public meetings are scheduled from 7 to 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday at Centennial Hall and from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday at Floyd Dryden Middle School.

A complete copy of the draft guidelines are available at Click on "Best Management Practices."

New city manager starts work today

JUNEAU - Local businessman and former Juneau Assembly member Rod Swope starts work as Juneau's city manager today.

The Juneau Assembly officially hired Swope on Monday at a $105,000 annual salary with the same health insurance, retirement benefits and vacation as other city employees.

The Assembly selected Swope as city manager after interviewing four finalists last week. Swope is the co-owner of Galligaskins gift shop downtown and a former commissioner of the state Department of Natural Resources.

Longtime Deputy City Manager Donna Pierce said today said she has no plans to leave City Hall in the immediate future.

Man forces three from road, may face charges

JUNEAU - A man allegedly drove his vehicle the wrong way on Glacier Highway Monday, forcing three vehicles from the road and smashing his Isuzu Rodeo into a tree. Police said he may face criminal charges.

The 40-year-old man, whose name was not released, sustained minor injuries in the crash and was taken to Bartlett Regional Hospital. Police said he was kept overnight for observation. Spokespeople were not available for comment on the man's condition today by the Empire's mid-day deadline. No one else was injured in the incident.

The man may face drunken driving charges once police receive the results of his blood alcohol tests, said Sgt. Ben Coronell. Police are looking to see if the man's level was more than 0.08 percent. It is illegal to drive with a BAC over 0.08.

According to a police press release, police began receiving calls around 10:30 p.m. of a "Blazer-type" vehicle going the wrong way on Glacier Highway near Auke Lake and forcing three vehicles from the road. Only one of the vehicles sustained damage, which was minor.

Around 10:40 p.m., a man called police saying a vehicle was in a ditch behind his house on Rivercourt Way. When police arrived, they found the Isuzu about 50 feet into the trees on Riverside Drive. He was slumped over the wheel, which was bent in half from the force of the accident, and bleeding profusely from his head and face, police said. Coronell said the man injured his face when it went through the windshield during the crash.

Fishermen's memorial accepting applications

JUNEAU - The Alaska Commercial Fishermen's Memorial is accepting applications for new names to be engraved on the wall.

The wall honors commercial fishermen who have died while at work.

Applications and full payment of $600 are due by April 15. The names will be engraved just before the Blessing of the Fleet and Dedication of Names, which will take place May 3 at 10 a.m.

Lynden, Western Express offer Canada-Alaska service

ANCHORAGE - Lynden Air Freight Inc. has joined forces with Western Express Airlines to offer door-to-door cargo service.

The service began last month and serves primarily the Alaskan oil trade. It's offered between 10 western Canada hubs to 30 Alaska sites, giving shippers priority two-day and standard three-day service.

The service provides a trade link between western Canada and Alaska, said John Tolin of Lynden Air.

Lynden Air, a subsidiary of Lynden Incorporated, is an international air and ocean freight forwarder. Western Express is a regional all-cargo carrier based in Vancouver, B.C.

Beside oil trade customers, Lynden expects to attract shippers in marine, fishing and mining industries.

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