Thursday, April 8, 2004

Ketchikan seeks veneer mill operator
Wanted: a new operator for a failed veneer plant at Ketchikan's Ward Cove. The Ketchikan Gateway Borough has contacted veneer operators in Washington, Oregon and California who might be interested in running the mill it bought after Gateway Forest Products went bankrupt in 2001.

Study fluoride and have a vote
I've been reading the two sides of the fluoride drinking water issue in our morning paper. One side from concerned citizens and the other from health professionals in the community. Who is right? Perhaps to some degree both sides are.

U.S. intelligence should be truthful
Mr. Ray McGovern, retired now after spending 27 years working as an analyst for the CIA, did not mince words last Wednesday at the Juneau World Affairs Council when he explained how George W. Bush, under the guidance of Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle and Donald Rumsfeld, distorted CIA intelligence to lie to the American people and to the world for the purpose of starting a war with Iraq.

Number 1305: Find a restroom
On Saturday, April 3, around 9:30 a.m., I went to the Mendenhall Glacier to enjoy a lovely morning. The main parking lot was full with people embarking upon some sort of run, so I went to the next parking lot, also very full.

A word on motorcycle comments
Only one word comes to mind while reading Pat Eggers' letter to the editor on Thursday, April 1, 2004, on motorcyclists not using "brains." Hater!

Tyrants' decisions affect ferry workers
I'm a bid job holder on the M/V Kennicott and recently learned that all bid jobs will become Juneau-originating. This means that roughly half the crew who now originate in Ketchikan (and most are long-time residents) will have to get to Juneau to work.

Let's ban anything that's unhealthy
By now everyone has heard about the Juneau Clean Air Committee, which is trying to extend the smoke-free workplaces to include all restaurants and bars. Part of their argument focuses on safety in the workplace. I pose this question to you folks: Why stop at smoking?

Charter school flies the flag
The Juneau Community Charter School supports displaying the American flag in public schools. Our flag flies in each classroom at the school, the school office and entry way. In fact, with 60 students and five flags, we probably have the highest flag-student ratio in Juneau.

Princess putting safety first
Princess Tours is in the process of training its 85 local driver-guides in preparation for the 2004 tour season. These local residents are your friends, neighbors, firefighters, your children's teachers, and others from our community - many of whom have worked for Princess for several years.

Only race that counts is human
Regarding Shaun McMahon's letter to the editor: I myself am part Irish. And being so, I wanted to ask a few questions in regards to your remarks. First of all you stated "I'm Irish, we've only been considered white for the last hundred years or so." I take it that you are saying the Irish were finally accepted in an elite group that is only slated for the white. I ask why you would even want to be affiliated with a group who looks down on others because they feel you do not meet the standards.

Take from oil, not permanent fund
President Putin has just increased Russia's oil tax to 60 percent. Nigeria's oil tax is 85 percent. Do you think that the sheiks of Kuwait or Saudi Arabia tax any less than 85 percent? Why should they when they too are owner states?

Don't whine about 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. You tortured us, the reader, with six paragraphs of rambling, whining nonsense. Here's a tip. If you want to participate in "peace" rallies, go to the states.

Photo: Talking science
Danielle Orbistondo, 13, an eighth-grade student at Juneau Christian School, talks about her science project that took first place Wednesday in the school's annual science fair.

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

Correction
Due to incorrect information provided to the Empire, a history photograph cutline published Friday, April 2, incorrectly stated that the demolition of the Hotel Juneau took place in 1947. Hotel Juneau was actually demolished in July of 1972 to make way for the state courthouse building.

Cedar Park building to become Juneau Jewish center
The Juneau Jewish Community finally has its own place to worship after meeting in homes and other sites over the years. Members hugged each other in joy Wednesday after learning they were the highest bidders to purchase Cedar Park Center from the city.

Knowles talks to residents about schools, taxes, Iraq
U.S. Senate candidate Tony Knowles urged a rollback in the Bush administration's education policies as he campaigned in Juneau on Tuesday.

Board will reconsider school's move
The Juneau School Board will revisit its decision to move the alternative high school to the basement of Harborview Elementary School.

A listing of Easter services in Juneau
Local holiday service times.

Correction
Due to a reporter's error, Tuesday's story about the resignation of Alaska Marine Highway System general manager George Capacci incorrectly stated that Kathy Capacci works at Bartlett Regional Hospital.

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

How the garden grows
Lenore Honsinger takes advantage of the good weather Tuesday to rake her garden.

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

Hoonah gears up for tourists on May 11
Workers are being hired and the finishing touches put on buildings in Hoonah as developers prepare for Hoonah's first season as a cruise ship destination. The first of 33 ships will arrive in Hoonah May 11, inundating the town of 868 with about 2,200 tourists and bringing in needed tourism dollars.

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.

Scientist helped chart Southeast's island maze
When the United States purchased Russian America in 1867, little was known about this vast territory. The Coast and Geodetic Survey set out to remedy that with a series of expeditions.

Dr. Soboleff - a community leader and a man of substance
Before taking a break from writing this past winter, I had not yet written about one of the famous men of Juneau's history. He had his 95th birthday on November 14.

Murderball's a hit but French hot lunch just doesn't cut it
"It's like this, Mom," Shane, our fifth grader, explained after the first couple of days at the Ecole St. Laud. "When I speak French, it's the tape measure being pulled out really slow. When they talk back, it's the tape measure snapping back." He's right - the retractable tape measure sums up the language situation well.

Thank you letters
On behalf of Auke Bay School, I would like to extend our appreciation to the many people that helped make our recent Hoe Down on Feb. 20 a success. This is the only fund-raiser the music program has all year, and we are very thankful to the many volunteers who helped this year.

Pets of the Week
Klondike overflowing with love; swims, Neutered Arnold is playful, handsome

Gwendolyn 'Gay' Himes Reynolds
Former Juneau resident Gwendolyn "Gay" Himes Reynolds, 88, died October 31, 2003, at Grays Harbor Community Hospital in Aberdeen, Wash.

Frank Glade Wright Sr.
Former Haines and Hoonah resident Frank Glade Wright Sr., 78, died April 4, 2004 at Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital in Sitka.

Alaska editorial: State head tax would be unfair
It's no surprise that House Finance Committee approval of a $100 head tax on workers Thursday was transparently reluctant. The idea is patently unfair - and onerous for those who can least afford the burden.

My Turn: Dogs need leashes at wetlands to protect migratory birds
II recently helped complete a study of bird use of the Mendenhall Wetlands. The primary objective of this study was to determine areas on the wetlands of special importance to birds. Another objective was to determine what attracted birds to these areas.

Alaska schools need money, and not just for teaching
An $84.5 million increase in education funding is a lot of money, but money well spent: It is an investment in our most valuable resource, our children. As the chairman of the House Special Committee on Education, I am very proud to say that the state House for 2004 made education its true top priority this year.

Empire editorial: Fairweather to cut travel time and costs
A big thumbs-up to Alaska's fast ferry Fairweather and the reception it got from Juneauites upon its arrival at the Alaska Marine Highway System terminal on March 27.

Rose's shot has thorns for Cavs
CLEVELAND - Jeff McInnis is nursing two new injuries: a sprained left ankle and some severely damaged NBA playoff hopes.

Urata, Felix 15th at junior national meet
The 14-year-old duo of Kimiko "Koko" Urata and Sarah Felix combined to take 15th place in the duet preliminaries Saturday at the 2004 Speedo Junior Synchronized Swimming Championships in Clermont, Fla.

Penny-wise Expos beat Marlins, 3-2
Juneau's Chad Bentz made his debut for the Expos, pitching two-thirds of an inning of scoreless relief in the seventh. Bentz allowed one hit, a two-out, two-strike single to Juan Pierre, and threw seven strikes in his nine pitches.

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.

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.

Juneau boys soccer team opens season with win in Spokane
Despite nearly a complete turnover from its squad that won last year's state championship, the Juneau-Douglas High School boys soccer team produced the same result - a win - in its opener on Wednesday.

Newcomer leads Marlins over Expos
MIAMI - In a lineup with seven players who started the final game of the World Series, Florida Marlins newcomer Hee Seop Choi made the biggest impact.

Grizzlies put Cavs on verge of elimination
The load was a little heavier, but James Posey continued to carry the Memphis Grizzlies. Posey took up the offensive slack of three missing Grizzlies, scoring 35 points Wednesday night in Memphis' 50th win of the season, 92-74 over the reeling Cleveland Cavaliers, whose slim playoff hopes faded even further with the loss.

UConn makes history
NEW ORLEANS - A triple for the women, a double for the school. Connecticut's championship sweep is complete.

Canada wins women's hockey title - again
HALIFAX, Nova Scotia - Canada won its eighth women's world hockey championship Tuesday night, beating the United States 2-0 in a game featuring two players from Alaska - goalie Pam Dreyer of Chugiak and defenseman Kerry Weiland of Palmer.

Mother, children survive plunge off bridge
FAIRBANKS - A mother and her two young children escaped injury after their sport utility vehicle and the U-Haul trailer it was towing crashed through a city bridge railing and fell 20 feet onto the frozen Chena River.

State Senate fails to pass spending cap
An effort to put a state spending cap in the Alaska constitution failed in the Senate on Wednesday. The measure - which some have said is critical to gaining public support for taxes or use of Alaska Permanent Fund spending - fell two votes short of the 14 needed to put a constitutional amendment before voters.

House nixes cuts to public broadcasting
The House of Representatives has rejected a spending cut that the state's public broadcasting director said would have eliminated all public television service in Alaska outside of Anchorage and Fairbanks.

Bill would raise ship wastewater standards in U.S.
A far-reaching federal cruise ship pollution bill introduced in Congress last week effectively would ban all wastewater dumping in the narrow channels of Alaska's Inside Passage. The bill sets shore-distance requirements for dumping and establishes observer programs and a system awarding damages to whistleblowers.

State House grants small cruise ships wastewater exemption
The state House of Representatives voted unanimously Tuesday to partially exempt small cruise ships from a wastewater dumping law passed in 2001.

Consultant urges patience in pipeline project
If Alaska's Big Three oil producers move ahead with a $20 billion North Slope natural gas pipeline, it would eclipse any project they have ever undertaken, said the state's chief oil and gas consultant.

Judge orders pipeline shooter to pay $17 million in restitution
FAIRBANKS - The man convicted of shooting the trans-Alaska oil pipeline and causing a 285,000-gallon crude oil spill has been ordered to pay $17 million in restitution.

Lawmakers propose hate-crimes penalties
An Alaska Senate bill would elevate crimes motivated by prejudice, bias or hate, set minimum sentences for misdemeanor hate crimes and allow civil lawsuits based on discriminatory harassment.

House restores state parks funding
The prospect of state cabin closures and private park management has disappeared with a House amendment restoring $350,000 to the parks budget.

Photo: Eagle's safety nest
Marion Owen / The Associated Press Lanny VanMeter of the Kodiak Electric Association poses next to a power pole in Kodiak outfitted with hoops and triangles designed to keep eagles from landi

This Day in History
In Alaska: In 1911, the sailing ship Jabez Howes of Columbia River Packers was wrecked at Chignik.

Disabled students able to graduate without exit exam
Alaska high school seniors with disabilities will not need to pass the high school exit exam to graduate this spring. More than 500 students will be affected immediately by an agreement reached Wednesday in a class-action lawsuit that charged that Alaska's exit exam puts disabled students at a disadvantage.

House bill would permit casino to open in Anchorage
A casino could open in Anchorage under a bill that popped up in the House on Tuesday.

This Day in History
Highlights from Alaska.

Alaska Digest
staff and Wire reports

Alaska Digest
News in brief from around the state.

Murkowski spending plan OK'd in House, heads for Senate
The House approved a fiscal 2005 operating budget on Tuesday that cuts where Gov. Frank Murkowski didn't want to cut, spends more than Senate Republicans wanted to spend and doesn't balance itself.

A block of wood and a world of their own
From their cliff-top homestead, four miles northwest of Pelican along the Lisianski Inlet, Eric and Pam Bealer can see 40 miles north, past Glacier Bay to the end of the St. Elias Range.

Briefly
Local arts and entertainment news in brief.

Cartoon: In the Swamp
Cartoon by local artist Toe.

Meet the guest artists
With the 30th Alaska Folk Festival days away, April 12-18 at Centennial Hall and the Armory, the Empire takes a look at how each of the three guest artists was invited to play.

What's Happening
Upcoming local arts and entertainment events.

Movies: Where & when
Local movie times and showings.

Overlapping Shakespeare and Tlingit traditions
In the library at Glacier Valley Elementary School, roughly 60 fourth- and fifth-grade students have been exploring the ways in which the world of William Shakespeare and the oral tradition of Tlingit legend overlap.

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