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Saturday, April 13, 2002

Ugly clearcuts
As my wife and I sit drinking our morning coffee and looking out our window we are horrified. Sealaska Timber is picking up right where they left off last year, clear-cutting within our view and to the east of us. But what is even more horrifying is that they are preparing to pick up where they left off four years ago directly across and to the west of Hoonah.

Income tax beats loss of Permafund checks
This letter is in response to Loren Gerhard's My Turn, "The PFD party's over, let's move on," of March 25. Like many, I was not a resident of Alaska during the debate and initial inception of the PFD. But quoting page five of Gov. Jay Hammond's most recent book "Chips From the Chopping Block," he states the fund's purpose was to "counter selective greed with collective greed." Collective greed means that all residents would share in its excess wealth and not just a selective few (special interests).

Hear these small words of hope
A few days ago, I sat down at Marine Park, read a book of Rumi poetry, and tried to mourn the lost beauty of the park in the coming future. Afterward, I sat in my bare downtown apartment and meditated, contemplating ways to curb and prevent the corruption of the land. Steadily, though, I woke up, shaking off the pretense of lack of pretense.

Final resting place
I recently was placed in a position to take care of the cremated remains of a Vietnam veteran, one Jack Medley. Not by choice, but by fate. Some of you may have known Jack. He apparently attempted suicide from the Douglas Bridge several times. A friend, Rick Shaw, was often contacted and helped him home.

Misdirected tax dollars
Thank you to Patricia Judson for having the courage to speak the truth about media bias against the Palestinian cause. To support her point, I would like to add a few more comments.

Oil, politics
It is no wonder that several Jewish lobbies are supporting Sen. Murkowski's desires to drill in ANWR. He says that it doesn't require much land, just a piece here and here and here and here. This is very similar to the Israeli settlement plan in Palestine.

Stewart Ely: Connecting communities with music
Singer Stewart Ely, who closed Thursday's Alaska Folk Festival concert, plays many roles living part of the year in Juneau and part in the fishing village of Pelican. But the one he plays best is that of organizer of the Pelican Boardwalk Boogie, a folk festival held each May in the small coastal town 70 miles west of Juneau on Chichagof Island.

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

Speeding car damages 4 parked vehicles, wall
Charles Curtis arrived at the scene of a five-vehicle accident Thursday afternoon near Egan Drive and saw what used to be the subport fence sticking out of his mangled engine block, with his truck's antifreeze spilled onto the concrete below. Curtis went pale, doubled over twice and tried to catch his breath. "When I saw it I just couldn't believe it," said Curtis. "He rammed it perfect."

Pregnant woman hurt in DWI accident
A 22-year-old pregnant woman is expected to be released from the hospital today after being treated for injuries she suffered as a passenger in a car struck in an alleged drunken-driving accident downtown Thursday night.

Local briefs
Tourism poll participation down; Eaglecrest to end season with races; Suspect pleads out in toddler's death

Investigators seeking answers in plane crash
The investigation into Wednesday's fatal plane crash on the Mendenhall Wetlands near the Juneau Airport is continuing.An investigator from the National Transportation Safety Board and two inspectors from the Federal Aviation Administration were examining the aircraft this morning in a hangar at the airport, said Terry Gordon, manager of the FAA Flight Standards District office in Juneau.

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

Photo: Fiddlers at the Capitol
Joel Martin, 12, center, plays with 22 fellow Fairbanks Tetra Fiddlers on Thursday in the House State Affairs Committee Room at the Capitol. The group of children, from elementary to high school, traveled to Juneau to take part in the Alaska Folk Festival and are scheduled as the opening act tonight.

FYI
Births

City holds line on tax rate
Juneau's property tax mill rate and most services will stay the same next fiscal year under a draft budget presented to the Juneau Assembly on Thursday.The mill rate and most services would be the same as in the current year, except for three new Police Department positions, City Manager Dave Palmer said. The proposed budget adds a community service officer to deal with bears and two police dispatchers to consolidate and improve emergency communications citywide, he said.

Thank you
...for the photos; ... for the support; ...for all the help.

Senior Menu
The following meals will be served next week. These meals and Care-a-Van transportation are available to all senior citizens (age 60 and over).

Neighbors Briefs
Transit center workshop set; Silverbow introduces folk fest granola bar; AWARE offers training

American Cancer Society looks for relay recruits
The race is on for teams to participate in the first American Cancer Society Relay for Life in Juneau."Team recruitment kicks off Saturday and Sunday, April 13 and 14, at the Nugget Mall," said Relay for Life co-chairwoman Staci Augustus.

Juneau schools get gift of Olympic proportions
The 2002 Olympic Torch Relay only visited Juneau for a day, but a gift will allow the spirit and legacy of its passage to carry on in Juneau schools.An official Olympic torch - one of those used by a relay runner in Juneau on Jan. 24 - has been donated to the Juneau School District to commemorate the participation of students in the event. Juneau Parks and Recreation Director Kim Kiefer - who served on the local torch relay organizing committee - presented the torch to the Juneau School Board at its April 2 meeting.

Justice and love are more powerful than hate
Sept. 11 seemed to sink a terror in our bones. Our president has declared a war on terrorism and especially Osama Bin Laden. More than six months have passed and instead of the "war" winding down, it seems to be escalating. How many have already died?Countless common people of Afghanistan who have struggled just to live under a heartless regime, some American service personnel, some of the Taliban network and others. The total number killed, although unknown to us, probably far surpasses our guesstimates. How many more will be maimed and killed? Meanwhile, at home, our freedoms are gradually being eroded.

Charles 'Tom' Madsen Sr.
Juneau resident and veteran Alaska bush pilot Charles "Tom" Madsen Sr., 52, died Wednesday, April 10, 2002, when the Aleutian Spirit, his twin-engine E-18S, crashed after take-off from the Juneau Airport.

My Turn: If you listen to the opera often enough ...
The thing about opera, of course, is that it is so insidious. I can't help thinking that ever since my 5-year old daughter started rehearsing for her part in "Madama Butterfly," our life has got a bit more, well, dramatic.

My Turn: Industrialized downtown tourism is repugnant
I'd like to respond to Jim "The Mad Hatter" Scholz and his pitch for expansion of bus parking on the prime downtown waterfront.

My Turn: Sovereign Palestinian state required
Please write letters to the editor and elected officials protesting the Israeli repression of Palestinians and supporting a sovereign Palestinian state. For the past 55 years, Israel has created a military state that has bred Palestinian violence while the U.S. has turned a blind eye.

My Turn: Greens are really bad for the environment and the economy
The question must be asked: "Are environmentalists good for the environment?"And the answer may be more difficult to answer than you think. Many people would reflexively say "Oh sure" and go back to hugging their bunnies.

Yet another special session?
Like death, taxes and the annual return of swallows to San Juan Capistrano, a legislative special session is on tap again in Juneau. Once again, the focus will be on finding a solution to one of the state's most enduring and long-festering controversies - subsistence. The source of the controversy is a small minority of Republican senators who are preventing the necessary two-thirds vote to place the issue where a vast majority of both lawmakers and the voters who put them there want it - on the ballot.

Juneau soccer teams head to Ketchikan
The Juneau-Douglas High School girls soccer team had one of its youngest rosters in years last season, when it stayed even with eventual state champion East Anchorage until the final minutes before dropping a 1-0 decision in the state tournament semifinals.The Crimson Bears open their 2002 season today in Ketchikan and the Juneau players are hoping to build upon last year's success, which saw the team eventually finish fifth at state.

Juneau boys hope to avoid repeat of last year's controversy
After sweeping four games in Spokane, Wash., last weekend, the Juneau-Douglas High School boys soccer team was still riding the high when it returned home for practices this week.But it didn't take long for the Crimson Bears to shift their focus to this weekend's games in Ketchikan. The defending state champion Crimson Bears still remember what happened last year in Ketchikan, and they want to make sure there isn't a repeat of last year's controversy on this trip.

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

Alaska's subsistence halibut fishing goes legal
ANCHORAGE - Subsistence halibut harvests from a centuries old fishery will soon be legal. The North Pacific Fishery Management Council voted unanimously Thursday to recognize and regulate a subsistence halibut fishery that biologists estimate harvests 1.5 million pounds of fish annually in coastal Alaska waters.

BP to ban tourists from road
ANCHORAGE - BP Exploration (Alaska) Inc. said it is closing the road that leads through the Prudhoe Bay oil fields to the Arctic Ocean. The company said Thursday it will not allow tour companies to travel the seven-mile stretch of road this summer, due to security concerns stemming from the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

State briefs
2 presumed dead on Mt. St. Elias; House OKs supplemental funds; Mystery barrels at missile site

Effort to redraw districts begins
Nineteen potential redistricting plans were on the table late this morning as a state panel started a second round of deliberations on a new legislative map. The Alaska Supreme Court last month struck down the previous plan, which would have pitted up to 20 Republican incumbents against each other in the August primary election.

Workers' generosity could kill moose
ANCHORAGE - Federal Express has told its employees at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport to quit feeding an orphaned moose calf hanging around the company's hub. Some workers had taken to feeding the animal and even petting it, said biologist Rick Sinnott of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. While there is some risk the young moose could starve, Sinnott said, the greater risk is in feeding the animal.

Lawmakers try new combos to fix budget
The state's $1 billion fiscal gap isn't gone. Nor is it forgotten.Various meetings and exchanges, all out of public view, have gone on throughout the week in an attempt to move a revenue package out of the House. "My goal is to have something on the floor next week," Rep. Jim Whitaker, a Fairbanks Republican, said in an interview this morning.

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