Thursday, April 10, 2003

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.

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?

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.

United or divided?
I was listening to Rush Limbaugh the other day and was disappointed to hear him once again drone on and on about the liberals this, Democrats that. All of a sudden I had an epiphany. Why is everyone so caught up about being a Democrat or a Republican? The fact of the matter is, we are at war. It doesn't matter if you are on the left or the right, America is at war and, as Americans, we are unequivocally part of this process.

Examples of hysteria
Mr. Geldhof, there you go again! This time you have not only insulted many 574 card-carrying Alaskans by implying they are lacking in brains, but you have insulted the non-574 card-carrying "greenies" as you call them by implying they have been ineffective.

Let them know you care
To all those writing in protest of the war, complaining of being labeled "un-American," and stating your utmost support of our troops and utter disapproval of our president, I wonder if you think about how your anti-war statements, actions and protest rallies affect the morale of those in Iraq fighting and dying right now for your freedom to continue voicing your opinion.

Concerned for a long time
Golf, the sport of kings and commoners alike, has apparently been around since the mid-15th century and the Scots are given credit for at least its initial development, perhaps its very discovery.

This Day in History
In 1914, Excavation started for the concrete Messerschmidt Building, now the Silverbow Inn, in Juneau.

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

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.

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

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.

A Christian take on Passover
With Passover next week, some Juneau Christians will hear today how understanding the Jewish holiday can enhance Christian faith. Alan Bond, a representative of Jews for Jesus, a San Francisco-based nonprofit organization that advocates Christ as the Messiah, will speak at 7 tonight at the Juneau Church of the Nazarene.

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.

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

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

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

'Day of Silence' aims to support gays, lesbians
Hoping silence would speak louder than words, about 100 Juneau-Douglas High School students vowed not to talk during the school day Wednesday. "We're doing this to recognize the silence gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender students go through in their life in school, from harassment and discrimination and basically not being able to voice themselves out of fear of being hurt," said Coryjean Whittemore, one of the student organizers of the Juneau Day of Silence.

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.

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.

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

Photo: Ready for Showtime
Tessina Davidson, right, and Dorian Smith, center, along with other members of the Juneau-Douglas High School Drill Team practice their motorcycle-themed tournament routine Wednesday evening.

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."

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.

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

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.

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

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: Preserve funds for independent living centers
Gov. Murkowski's proposed budget cuts target centers for independent living (CIL) around the state, now slated for $619,000 in cuts. CILs serve people with disabilities and empower these individuals to achieve job skills training, independence from restrictive institutions, as well as civil rights advocacy, peer support and recreation. This translates into giving people with disabilities equal opportunities in all facets of our society and work places.

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.

Three local teams finish first in soccer tourneys
JUNEAU - Juneau girls indoor soccer teams won two of the three divisions of last weekend's Whitehorse Exchange tourney in Juneau. In the U13 division, the Juneau A team claimed first place and Juneau B finished second. Juneau C placed third and Juneau D wound up fourth.

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

Hornets 100, Cavaliers 81
NEW ORLEANS - Jamal Mashburn scored 28 points as the Hornets defeated maintained their tenuous hold on the fifth playoff seed in the Eastern Conference. The Hornets needed the victory to stay ahead of the Boston Celtics, who won in Washington.

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.

Juneau Tornadoes host youth wrestling meet
JUNEAU - Young wrestlers from across Southeast Alaska will be in Juneau on Saturday for an invitational tourney hosted by the Juneau Tornadoes wrestling club.

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.

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.

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.

State Briefs
E-mail harassment bill passes Senate; City plans pocket park improvements; Glacier Bay vessel meetings set; Anchorage hospital gets SARS false alarm; Sex offender names returned to Web site; Fairbanks man convicted of sex abuse; Errant rocket recovered

GOP turns back Dem's budget amendments
Majority Republicans in the House considering a fiscal 2004 spending plan turned back efforts to restore millions in education funding during budget debates on Wednesday. The House rejected a proposal by Rep. Eric Croft, an Anchorage Democrat, to use part of the state's $1.9 billion Constitutional Budget Reserve to provide more money for schools and the University of Alaska.

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;

Governor feeling 'poorly,' sent to Anchorage hospital
Gov. Frank Murkowski was flown from Juneau to an Anchorage hospital for evaluation Wednesday night after suffering dehydration, his office said. Murkowski, 70, became dehydrated during a return flight from Fairbanks to Juneau on Tuesday, the fifth day of a speaking tour around the state, according to a press statement.

Proposed chem lab closure could hurt UAS recruitment
The governor's proposal to close the state chemistry lab in Juneau to save money could make it harder for the University of Alaska Southeast to recruit and keep faculty who conduct research, according to the school's Natural Sciences Department head. Gov. Frank Murkowski proposed the closure, which he said would save $334,000, in his budget plan early last month.

House kills effort to save Alyeska
A move by Gov. Frank Murkowski to close the Juneau-based Alyeska Central School to save the state up to $1.2 million could be a done deal unless the Senate steps in with budget changes. An attempt by Juneau Democratic Rep. Beth Kerttula to restore funding for the state-run correspondence school failed on a 24-13 House floor vote Wednesday.

Governor criticized for not allowing aerial wolf control
ANCHORAGE - Gov. Frank Murkowski's reluctance to authorize aerial wolf control near McGrath has left some people feeling betrayed. Last week, Murkowski said he would not allow state employees to shoot wolves from helicopters, instead leaving wolf control efforts to hunters and trappers on the ground around McGrath.

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