Wednesday, April 9, 2003

Gains in other Alaska industries offset seafood employment losses
KENAI - Alaska's salmon industry saw more jobs disappear last year along the Gulf of Alaska, continuing a trend that has seen a 38-percent decline in seafood industry employment there over the past eight years.

Parental wrath ahead
Our Republican legislators have not been listening to the impassioned pleas of parents and children from across the state. The bill to close Alyeska Central School would eliminate accredited school services to over 3,000 summer school students and over 1,000 regular students as of July 1.

Missing the big picture
Sunday's Juneau Empire contained a hysterical column by Dave Fremming purporting to explain why everything in Alaska has gone bad. Mr. Fremming's essential point is that Alaska has become hugely dependent on federal largesse. He then went on to explain the basic problem in Alaska is due to some sort of left-wing conspiracy perpetrated by a vast environmental cabal.

Conflicts of interest
The Juneau Assembly's Lands Committee wants to change the current mining regulation ordinance that is working very well.

Searching for scapegoats
Mr. Fremming's My Turn on Sunday loudly urges us to "go out on a limb and challenge the environmentalists." I hear the sound of sawing behind us on the limb that Alaskans sit on together.

Hey, paper patriots - why don't you enlist?
If this is such a popular war, why are there no long lines in front of U.S. military recruiting centers?

Waste of public funds
Reading Sue Schrader's diatribe over the development of the Juneau golf course is troubling. She is using every tool the law provides to first impede and finally prohibit the development of what could be one of Juneau's finest recreational opportunities.

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

Unions defend labor agreements
Local unions say the city's requirement of union labor on large publicly funded construction projects doesn't cost more, but does guarantee skilled labor and helps keep money in the community. Unions were caught off guard late last month by one of the recommendations of a professional review of the design for the new Mendenhall Valley high school. The review suggested the city not mandate union labor for the project, or at least limit its scope, to save money.

This Day in History
In 1979, Sean McQuire finished his 10-month, 7,000-mile walk from the Yukon River to Key West Florida, in support of Alaska wilderness.

Wigen murder investigation includes search in Juneau
Alaska State Troopers on Monday said they have served search warrants in Juneau and Tenakee as part of the investigation into the murder of a 19-year-old woman whose body was found April 1 in a shallow grave in Tenakee. Trooper spokesman Greg Wilkinson declined to comment on why a warrant was issued in Juneau after Maggie Wigen's body was found in Tenakee and she was last seen alive in the small town 50 miles southwest of the capital city. He also would not say whether troopers have a suspect in the murder.

Correction
Due to an omission in information provided to the Juneau Empire, a schedule for this week's 29th Annual Alaska Folk Festival, published in Sunday's Inside section, left out information about Thursday night's dances.

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

Photo: Ready to play
The Alaskan Guitars, left to right, Lydia Kline, Aaron Cohen, Emily Waste and Haley Nelson, practice backstage at Centennial Hall on Tuesday before their set at the 29th Annual Alaska Folk Festival.

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

Dogs can stay on Rainforest Trail
Dogs can continue to use the Rainforest Trail as the city reviews the larger issue of whether man's best friend belongs on all Juneau trails. City Parks and Recreation Director Kim Kiefer said dogs can stay on the Rainforest Trail, near the end of North Douglas Highway, but the city will install signs encouraging people to keep their dogs on leashes and clean up after them. Her department had proposed banning dogs on the trail starting May 1 to protect wildlife and habitat.

Juneau reservist called up for 'Enduring Freedom'
Jamie McDermott retired his Marine Corps uniform in 2001 after 11 years of active duty. He wanted to raise his children in Juneau and spend more time with his family, so he kept a commission in the Marine Corps Reserves and took a civilian job with the Coast Guard, conducting intelligence work related to homeland security. He didn't expect to get called up.

This Day in History
In 1881, the Harrisburgh post office was established. It was renamed Juneau the following January.

Panel OKs easing up of mining law
The Juneau Assembly's Lands Committee on Monday approved changes to the city's mining law to make it easier for mines to open and operate in rural Juneau. The committee unanimously approved a draft ordinance that would ease city permitting in rural areas of the Juneau borough. Under the proposal, a new rural mine would be considered an allowable use and wouldn't be subject to permitting conditions that are covered by federal or state environmental reviews. The proposal also would allow the city's community development director to give "summary approval" to changes at an existing mine.

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

Photo: First act
The Docktones from Douglas perform Monday at the 29th Annual Alaska Folk Festival held at Centennial Hall. The event runs through Sunday.

Resident spends night unnoticed outside sr. home
A woman who lives at the Juneau Pioneers' Home spent Saturday night on the ground outside the building after falling Saturday morning, said Dwight Becker of the Alaska Division of Senior Services. "We think it happened at about 10:30 in the morning on Saturday," said Becker, the agency's program coordinator for assisted living licensing. "She apparently fell and ended up being found the next day, Sunday, we're not sure what time yet. It appears she had spent all day Saturday until the next day out in the yard, and that can be pretty serious."

Planners give OK to golf course
After six years of debates over design and environmental impacts, the Juneau Planning Commission late Tuesday unanimously approved a conditional use permit for a West Douglas golf course. Commissioners also rejected a proposal to ban the use of pesticides on the course. The decision to approve the project was 8-0. The vote against banning pesticides was 7-1.

Correction
Due to a reporter's error, an article in Tuesday's Empire incorrectly listed the occupation of Juneau resident Laura McDermott.

Dryden bid comes in under budget
A bid to renovate Floyd Dryden Middle School came in under budget Tuesday, and city officials say construction could begin in June. McGraw's Custom Construction of Sitka had the lowest bid, at $3.84 million, plus $104,000 for installing sliding doors in the commons and fixing up the technology room.

Photo: Award in Iraq
Gen. Tommy Franks, left, commander of the U.S. Central Command, shakes hands with Sgt. Lucas Goddard, a 2000 Sitka High School graduate, after decorating him with the Bronze Star in An-Najaf, Iraq, today. Goddard, the son of Kathi and Nick Goddard of Juneau, is with the 1st Brigade of the 101st Airborne Division.

Barron, Landwehr wed
Barbara Barron and Joe Landwehr were married in Las Vegas, Nev., on Dec. 20, 2002.

Advanced biology students with a point of view
Some advanced biology students at Juneau-Douglas High School are putting their opinions on the line and online. Ten sophomores in Jonathan Smith's class have researched both sides of a controversial Alaska issue that has a biological element, come to a conclusion, and published them on a Web site. They are inviting public comments.

Kitka is Rotary March Student of the Month
Stephanie Bailey Kitka, a junior at Juneau-Douglas High School, was selected for recognition by Juneau's Glacier Valley Rotary Club as Student of the Month for March 2003.

Soup - and something for the spirit, too
Juneau resident Kiatcha Lie attends the weekly Lenten luncheon at McPhetres Hall because she is hungry. But it's not necessarily the soup and bread that satisfies her appetite. "I wanted more food for my spirit," Lie said. "The world demands an awful lot and it's hard to find spiritual food."

Thank you
...for Career Day help; ... to Juneau police;

Donald Robert Kemp
Former Juneau resident Donald Robert Kemp, 62, died March 4, 2003, of a heart attack during a flight to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. from his home in Decorah, Iowa.

Roberta 'Bobbi' Jean Rodgers
Juneau resident and longtime Alaskan Roberta "Bobbi" Jean Rodgers, 63, died April 3, 2003, in Juneau after a short bout with cancer.

My Turn: It's time - the silence must end
I 've been taught that there are times for silence. When you are in church and no audience participation is required, then big time silence is expected. When you wet your bed and your over-worked mom is giving you the what for, silence is a must. When your grandfather (pour moi mon pépre) is telling a story from his childhood that even you could recite line by line, you cherish the moment and let him tell it, mentally noting how the distances seemed to grow or the mackerel run now fills the bay.

My Turn: We ought to legalize gambling
As a person that has made their living, (pulltab dealer, single parent, two children) in the charitable gaming industry for the past five years, I have a little different take on Gov. Murkowski's theory about pulltabs. Pulltab gaming is basically paper slots. Ideally, it should be fast-paced, with a lot of give and take. In order for this to work it has to payout at a high percentage. Our organization pays out at about an 80 percent rate (comparable to Vegas odds). Pulltabs are all about turnover. The more you sell the more you make.

Huskies one win away from improbable repeat
ATLANTA - After Connecticut claimed its second NCAA women's basketball championship in three seasons last April, it seemed that the Huskies might have to live off that triumph for a while before returning to the Women's Final Four.

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

Happy to be a champion
It's been more than a week now since the Auburn University men's swim team claimed the NCAA title. Many things around campus have started to return to normal for the Tigers. Even the rain has helped wash the strands of toilet paper out of the two trees in front of Toomer's Drug Store following Auburn's traditional "Rolling of Toomer's Corner" after any big victory.

Juneau boys head to Spokane
Seven years ago, Juneau-Douglas High School boys soccer coach Gary Lehnhart received a favor from his coaching friends in Spokane, Wash. Those friends - who headed up some of Washington state's top high school teams - agreed to allot some of their limited preseason game slots to the Crimson Bears to give the developing Juneau program a look at new competition.

Diana-mite! Taurasi, UConn repeat
ATLANTA - After winning the national championship last year, Connecticut lost its four senior starters but still had the one player it needed - Diana Taurasi. The fearless junior with the flashy moves proved that UConn could rebuild and still repeat.

Anatomy of a Goal
In this sequence of photos from the Juneau-Douglas High School boys soccer team's 4-1 win over Kayhi last Saturday in Ketchikan, Crimson Bear senior Axel Thibodeau scores a goal against Kings goalie Jon Demmert.

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

Letter: Hoonah's Gold Medal fans
I must compliment Hoonah on its great fans at Gold Medal. It's a real treat to get to play in front of them even when you are on the other team. Numerous, smiling and yelling, they sure make the game fun and exciting. Good job, Hoonah fans. You should go to the Forest Service and cheer for Chicken Creek considering what Sealaska is going to do to it.

Alaska Young American Bowling Alliance State Tournament Standings
Standings after the first session of the Alaska Young American Bowling Alliance state tournament, held April 3-6 at Channel Bowl in Juneau. There is a second session scheduled for April 25-27 at Channel Bowl, and that session will feature most of the Juneau bowlers. Results won't be final until after the second session.

DOT seeks comments on Juneau Access
The state Department of Transportation held its first public meeting Tuesday night on plans by Gov. Frank Murkowski to move forward with completion of an environmental study of a road or other transportation link between Juneau, Skagway and Haines. The meeting at the Mendenhall Mall was held in an open-house format with short presentations explaining how DOT will pursue completion of the environmental impact statement for the Juneau Access Project.

House Republicans reject Democrats' budget amendments
The House is poised to approve a fiscal 2004 spending plan that restores more than $50 million in cuts proposed by Gov. Frank Murkowski. House Republicans met for several hours behind closed doors on Tuesday to hash out an agreement on a plan to send to the Senate. The measure includes about $20 million more for K-12 schools than first proposed by Murkowski, and a general fund budget for the University of Alaska that provides no increase over the current year's total.

State Briefs
House Finance sends larger budget to floor; Murkowski signs bill to spur talks on pipeline; Blackhawk visit to Juneau rescheduled; Douglas Golf Course may be OK'd tonight; Wildlife Society chapter meets in Juneau; Federal panel approves Alaska crab plan

Bill: Drivers would lose licenses for fatal crashes
In 1994, 19-year-old Palmer resident Micah Campbell lost his life in an auto accident when an oncoming vehicle crossed the double yellow line to pass another car, pulled into his lane and caused a head-on collision. The 17-year-old driver of the oncoming vehicle survived and was given 300 hours of community service as punishment for killing Campbell and another person who was in the car.

Medicaid changes would bump some out of health care
A Senate committee Monday proposed saving about $2 million next year by providing health care to fewer pregnant women and children. The Health Education and Social Services Committee did so by amending a bill to put tighter limits on how much money a family can make and still qualify for Denali KidCare.

State Briefs
Pandas make brief stop in Anchorage; Troopers won't release cause of Wigen's death; Salmon infrastructure meeting tonight; Activist jailed on trespassing charge; Youth media awareness series scheduled; Senators ask for Juneau immigration staff;

Court won't reconsider decision on roadless rule for forest
BOISE, Idaho - The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals won't reconsider its December decision upholding the Clinton administration's roadless rule that banned logging and road construction on a third of federal forests. The San Francisco-based court refused Idaho's petition to submit the ruling of a three-judge panel to the full court. The denial was issued last Friday without comment.

Jury acquits teen in baby's death
KETCHIKAN - A jury acquitted a Ketchikan teen Tuesday of charges he killed his girlfriend's baby. After less than a day of deliberating, a jury of eight women and four men found 17-year-old Josh Rowden innocent on all counts. Rowden was accused of killing 7-week-old Adrian Fackrell in April 2002, when he was 16 years old. The baby was the son of Rowden's girlfriend, Leah Fackrell.

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