Monday, April 5, 2004

Review: Memoir is both amusing and serious
"North to Wolf Country: My Life Among the Creatures of Alaska"

The wrong tax proposals
There are several ideas for taxes to address the state's budget crisis. I believe all of them have some serious flaws.

Make your own choices
With so many social dilemmas lately, I just don't know where to turn for advice. I feel so helpless and lost. Should dogs be allowed on trails? What about dogs with people in tow? Perhaps only dogs that already did their business at home. Oh, and they can't be too big or mean either. And what about fluoride? If I want my kid to have it, should everybody have it? What about adults who don't have real teeth? Will fluoride ruin their dentures? Don't forget the Pledge of Allegiance. If I choose to use the word "God," will I be chastised?

Murkowski shafted Juneau
I would like to take this opportunity to thank Sen. Bert K. Stedman for his public tongue-lashing from the March 30 edition of the Empire. Mr. Stedman is absolutely right, we should be grateful that our governor has decided to shaft 50 or so Juneau families out of a job (if they don't move to Ketchikan), so that he could secure about 7,000-8,000 votes from Ketchikan.

Perfume is bad, but not poison
My comment regarding Tawanda Evans' letter of March 30: I agree on the issue of perfume and air fresheners being a problem, but I am also for all tobacco smoking to be removed from public places. Both are a problem. Tobacco smoke, however, is also poisonous.

Heartfelt sorrow
As former Jesuit Volunteers who were privileged to serve at KNOM radio in the 1980s and 1990s we extend our heartfelt sorrow to any victims of alleged sexual abuse by KNOM founder Fr. Jim Poole, S.J.

All of Southeast needs jobs, not just Ketchikan
It's always hard to see jobs leave a community, but in the case of the AMHS moving to Ketchikan it seems to be a logical move for the state of Alaska. Living in Sitka we've experienced job loss by the way of our pulp mill shutting down, the loss of the privately owned satellite companies that were a benefactor of the mill.

Is leashing your dog too much to ask?
Last Saturday my friend and I walked the Dike Trail in the Mendenhall Wetlands Game Refuge. In the course of two hours we met 11 parties with dogs. Not one dog was on a leash.

Don't whine about the peace rally
In response to Mr. Richardson's opinion, "Peace rally a bust," March 30, 2004. Maybe your rally was a bust because by far and large, myself included, not many support your opinion.

Stedman and constituents
While in Juneau recently, I visited our representatives in the Legislature. After a friendly meeting with Rep. Wilson, I was surprised by Sen. Stedman's confrontational manner. When I brought up the Southeast Alaska Transportation Plan, I perceived him to become very agitated.

Don't muzzle school councils
Your Sunday (March 28) editorial intrigues me: Your assumption seems to be that site councils will advocate in favor of a new school and that that is somehow nefarious.

Alaska robbed of public discussion
I'm sure those who elected our present governor are pleased to see that they have chosen a king. King Murkowski and his cronies have robbed the people of Alaska, especially of Juneau, of any discussion about moving the AMHS offices to Ketchikan.

Saving us from ourselves
I, for one, want to thank Alaska Sen. Ben Stevens for his valiant effort to save us, the voting public, from ourselves. I strongly agree with the measure that he recently proposed to require that, in Alaskan cities with populations over 100,000, there should be a runoff until the election has been decided by a majority of voters.

Thoughtful, independent woman is remembered
Maggie Wigen still looks over the kitchen at Rainbow Foods, down Fourth Street from the Capitol. "I have her photo up," said Linda Cohen, a friend who works at Rainbow. The picture depicts Wigen walking through a snowy forest with her dog, Sauk. "We spent quite a bit of time hiking up Perseverance (Trail)."

Clarification
The Christopher Bishop, 21, who was listed in last Sunday's police blotter for a drunken-driving charge is not the Christopher Bishop, 22, who is a member of the National Guard.

Kidney dialysis center opens in Juneau mall
Juneau patients requiring kidney dialysis will no longer have to set up home equipment or move to Seattle or Anchorage for treatment. The Renal Care Group, which operates 380 dialysis facilities nationwide, opened the Reifenstein Dialysis Center in the Mendenhall Mall on Wednesday.

Docks, Harbors employees get wage hikes under new pact
Docks and Harbors Department employees will see pay raises out to 2005 and other changes under a new three-year contract.

Photo: Recorder players share a laugh
With recorders in hand, Tinaya Harris, 9, and Susan Stevens, 10, both Auke Bay Elementary students, share a laugh while students from all local public elementary schools and some from home-school programs packed the Juneau-Douglas High School auditorium to hear an excerpt from "L'Enfant et les Sortileges," an opera that will be performed Saturday and Sunday by the Juneau Symphony and Opera To Go.

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

A year later: a murder unsolved
Life changed when her 19-year-old daughter, Margaret "Maggie" Wigen, was murdered. Maggie Wigen, whom she had raised as a single mother, was also her best friend, Karin Wigen said recently from her home in Bisbee, Ariz.

Activist fights for dike trail
Laurie Ferguson Craig grew up in Chicago but probably knows the Airport Dike Trail better than anyone in town.

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

Chrome domes for charity
Dept. of Fish and Game employee Chris Lewis, left, gets his head shaved by Jean Lowe as Lori Van Steenwyk shaves her husband Matt's head Friday at the Fish and Game building. Van Steenwyk promised to shave his head if the department raised more than 2,000 pounds of food during its Fish and Game Food Drive.

Photo: MADD benefit
Ruth Simpson, left, volunteers Rebecca Easton to bid on a pie at auction Sunday afternoon at the Senior Citizens Center during the MADD Hatter's Tea Party.

Around Town
Today Board Roles and Responsibilities, a training session for nonprofit organizations, 9-11 a.m., Vocational Training and Resource Center, 3239 Hospital Drive. $25. Details: 1-877-834-5003.

Supporters of Native-oriented school programs ask for direct district help
Some parents and educators would like to see two successful Native-oriented programs have secure funding and reach more students in the Juneau School District.

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

Governor's prayer-breakfast attendees urged to love God, neighbors, themselves
The second annual Governor's Prayer Breakfast drew about 100 people to the commons of Juneau-Douglas High School on Saturday morning.

Kenneth Lee Green
Juneau resident Kenneth Lee Green, 48, died March 23, 2004, in Juneau. He was born Aug. 20, 1955, in Riverside, Calif. He previously had resided in Gresham, Ore., where he worked in heavy machinery, moving to Juneau in 1989 to be near family.

Nora Marcia McLaren Nye
Former Juneau resident Nora Marcia McLaren Nye, 90, died March 29, 2004, in Hollister, Calif., surrounded by family.

Ketchikan's double standard
This letter is in response to the two articles in last Monday's Empire. Specifically, the "My Turn" and the editorial from the Ketchikan Daily News. In both articles the writers deplore the fact that Juneau is raising a hue and cry about losing 44 Marine Highway jobs to Ketchikan.

Toe cartoon
Editorial cartoon by local artist Toe.

My Turn: Alaska progressing toward commercialization of our gas
It is important for everyone to understand that, despite MidAmerican's decision not to invest in the natural gas pipeline project at this time, we are making significant progress toward the eventual commercialization of our gas resources.

Empire Editorial: Time to stop sending millions to those bilking the system
Alaska residents who live Outside face the threat of losing one of the sweetest deals ever. They are in jeopardy of no longer receiving Alaska Permanent Fund dividends, which they can collect for 10 years after leaving the state.

After a long wait, soon a new home
After five months in a hotel room, what I miss most are the textures and flavors of home life. They're simple things, really, such as the music collection, being able to cook a pot of soup on a Saturday afternoon, artwork on the walls, a truly thirsty bath towel, grilling on the back deck and lights on dimmer switches.

Snow report
Conditions on local trails and at Eaglecresk ski resort.

One step at a time
There's an old Taoist saying about a thousand-mile journey beginning with one step. For 32-year-old Russian expatriate Pasha Chernyakov, that step was a hard fall. While snowboarding at Eaglecrest on April 7, 2001 Chernyakov unsuccessfully flipped off a 60- to 80-foot cornice on the Eagle's Nest run, breaking his back and beginning a painfully rewarding journey.

Winter Web links
Alaska and Pacific Northwest ski area Web sites.

Out & About
Upcoming local outdoor events.

Southeast Wild: Here come the hooligan: Springtime in Berners Bay
Spring is here, and along with it comes a parade of events along the coast of southeastern Alaska that prepares many species for the months to come. One of those events is the annual spring-spawning runs of eulachon that occurs in numerous rivers, from March until May, throughout southeastern Alaska.

International event
Six boys soccer teams from the Yukon journeyed south over the weekend for an annual series of games against Juneau Soccer Club squads.

Yukon racers lead the way at 2004 Buckwheat Ski Classic
Yukon skiers dominated the competition at the 2004 Buckwheat Ski Classic, held March 27 at Log Cabin, British Columbia.

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.

Cavaliers lose a must-win game
Jason Richardson made sure LeBron James didn't pull off any last-minute heroics. Richardson scored Golden State's final 10 points and the Warriors defeated Cleveland 103-100 Saturday night in what Cavaliers coach Paul Silas called a must-win game to stay in playoff contention.

Photos: Glacier dash
First big run of the season: Roughly 100 runners take off from the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center parking lot for the annual Glacier 10K and 1-mile Run on Saturday.

Sports in Juneau
UPCOMING EVENTS: Juneau-Douglas High School Dance Team community show - The JDHS Dance Team will hold its season-ending community show on Thursday, April 8, at 7 p.m. at the JDHS gym.

Crimson Bear girls honored
The Juneau-Douglas High School girls basketball squad focused on team play this season.That attitude carried over into the postseason awards.

2004 Alaska Sportwriters' all-state basketball teams
The 2004 Alaska All-State high school basketball teams, selected by Alaska sportswriters, compiled by the Anchorage Daily News and released today.

Chad Bentz makes it to the show
Chad Bentz was a little nervous when he got to the Montreal Expos' spring training camp Saturday morning. The left-handed relief pitcher from Juneau was on the bubble and didn't know if he'd be able to stay with the Expos. It was cutdown day, the Expos had to trim their roster to 25 players, and they still had 35 on the board.

Glacier 10K/1-mile run
Results of the Southeast Road Runners/Juneau-Douglas High School track and field team Glacier 10-kilometer and 1-mile races, held Saturday on a road course starting and finishing at the Mendenhall Glacier Visitors Center.

Alaska Digest
News in brief from around the state.

Unions sign interim contract for Fairweather
Maritime unions have signed a temporary employment contract with the state so workers for the new fast ferry Fairweather can be hired and trained. The ship originally was scheduled to begin serving Juneau, Skagway, Haines and Sitka on May 3, but the stalled negotiations have prevented the state from hiring the employees.

Gustavus votes to incorporate
Southeast Alaska has a new city. After two failed attempts dating to the early 1980s, Gustavus has voted to incorporate. The mail-in ballot initiative, certified Thursday, passed 182-127 and takes effect Monday.

Alaska Digest
Staff and Wire reports

UFA endorses Sen. Murkowski
The United Fishermen of Alaska endorsed Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski on Friday for election to the Senate seat she was appointed to last year. Murkowski is running against former Alaska Gov. Tony Knowles, a Democrat. Her father, Gov. Frank Murkowski, appointed her to the Senate seat he vacated when he won the gubernatorial election last year.

Interior man dies in fall
A man attending an April Fools Day party fell to his death from a 75-foot private clubhouse the owner has described as a "rotating space needle."

Stevens gets funds for Arctic games
KENAI - Tucked into the huge national appropriations bill are millions of dollars for the 2006 Arctic Winter Games on the Kenai Peninsula.

State orders haz-mat review of new ferry offices
Department of Transportation Commissioner Mike Barton said Friday the state will not move ferry system administrators to the Ketchikan Pulp Co. administration building if the facility is unsafe.

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