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Monday, April 14, 2003

New Alaska history book has holes, but it still is worthwhile
For many students of Alaska history there has been one glaring gap in the literature about the state - there isn't a single, definitive Alaska history book on the market. A new book, "Alaska: Saga of a Bold Land," by Walter R. Borneman (HarperCollins, $34.95 hardback, 608 pages), attempts to fill that gap. Unfortunately, while the book is good overall and a worthwhile addition to collections of Alaska literature, it fails to be that single, definitive Alaska history book that covers everything on the topic.

Collaborating for better customer service
With competition from the Internet, big box retailers and catalogs, Juneau businesses must raise their standards for customer service, said Jackie Stewart, director of the Juneau Small Business Development Center. She and 10 other business organizations and private businesses have come together to hold the first annual Capital City Business Symposium on Tuesday at the Vocational Training and Resource Center on Hospital Drive. The topic of the first symposium will be "Profiting through customer service excellence."

Business profile: Tim Bradley
Title and company: Owner, Tim's Woodworks

On the Move
Kramer joins JCVB; Lawrence joins Baxter Bruce & Sullivan

Historic bar in Ketchikan closing its doors
KETCHIKAN - It was the last last call at the Fo'c's'le Bar on Saturday night. Owner Jamie Elkins, the third generation of his family to run the business, says Ketchikan's oldest bar is closing. Neither Elkins nor his regulars want the bar to close, he said. "We've been having a few bad years, and I've still got some debts to get taken care of," said Elkins. "The customers don't want it to close, but there's not enough business to go around, and people's drinking habits have changed."

False savings
Supporters of maintaining the State Boarding School at Mount Edgecumbe better start getting in touch with their legislators!

Golfing Juneau style
I read Alan Munro's article on the future golf course. He is misleading his readers about this having been a concern of his since the 1980s.

Protection from predators
I read Mr. Sonneman's letter today, and I can't believe that any one would consider it sexist to try and put an end to sex crimes. Or that it is racist to try and finally address the violence that haunts many living in rural Alaska.

Criticism too broad
This is in response to a recent Letter to the Editor criticizing all GOP legislators for their lack of moral values in cutting funding for independent living centers (ILCs) Yes, our Republican governor, given the recommendation of Commissioner O'Claray, did propose a $619,000 cut to ILCs and the elimination of funding for the statewide IL executive director. I wholeheartedly agree with the contributor that these cuts and those who back them are shortsighted.

Harmful legislation
I am extremely troubled by the type of legislation being considered by the Legislature. The most worrisome legislation negatively affects low-income families, children, and seniors. It appears the Majority is so narrowly focused on their political and personal objectives they are not thinking through the impacts.

Support U.S. troops
In response to Marissa Capito's April 11 letter, how can she reasonably state that being anti-war does not mean being anti-troops? All those troops fighting right now, they signed up for military service knowing that they could be sent to war to defend this country. Right now, their job is war. War, I'm sorry to report, is a violent thing.

Stereotyped and upset
I just finished reading Julia O'Malley's article "What an East Coast college didn't teach me" (Empire, April 11). I actually read through it several times and each time, I got more upset about the way in which Julia judged me and stereotyped me.

No time for cuts
In response to Joe Sonneman's letter (Empire, April 11), great idea, Joe! Go ahead and cut the Department of Corrections budget so more criminals can roam Alaska's streets and victimize more innocent, law abiding citizens.

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

Court mulls over protected speech
The questions of what constitutes protected speech and what determines a school event are two issues emerging as a Juneau free-speech case winds its way through federal court. Joseph Frederick was an 18-year-old Juneau-Douglas High School senior last year when he and others, including nonstudents, displayed a banner on a sidewalk across from the school during the passing of the Olympic Torch Relay in late January. The banner read, "Bong hits 4 Jesus."

Juneau median income jumps
A jump in Juneau's median family income, as defined by one federal agency, could benefit people in search of affordable housing, local experts say. The median family income in Juneau grew from $65,200 last year to $81,200 in February, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The figures are used to calculate who qualifies for rental assistance and other affordable housing programs.

This Day in History
In 1938, The steamer Tongass, of the Alaska Transportation Company, arrived in Juneau on her first Alaska voyage.

Boarder Patrol
Scott makes ski and snowboard goggles. Burton makes snowboards. Scott Burton, a Juneau snowboarder with no relation to either company, made Eaglecrest history when he became the first snowboarder on the Eaglecrest Professional Ski Patrol. "I used to tell people that my family was part of the Burton company when I was a kid and they'd be like 'Oh, really?'" Burton said. Now, he relies on other methods to make people admire him.

Who gets to decide what a 'real man' is?
Remember the "Superman" television show from the '50s? Actor George Reeves looked like your dad. But when Hollywood filmed Superman movies in the 1980s, the hero had bulging muscles. When Humphrey Bogart brandished a gun in the 1930s, it was small. But over time, guns in movies grew, from Charles Bronson's to Clint Eastwood's to Sylvester Stallone's.

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

This Day in History
The Alaska House of Representatives decided not to name John Haines the poet laureate after members were unable to come up with any information about him.

Bringing home one of China's daughters
As 14-month-old Ava Min toddled across the carpet of her sunlit home in Auke Bay, her mother, Sherri Brown, described how the little girl was wrapped in blankets and abandoned near a hotel in China's Guangdong Province when she was only a week old. "In China there is a one-child law, it's illegal to abandon your children and boys are your retirement. You can see that it gets complicated," Brown said, as Ava Min climbed on her lap, spewing a discourse of baby babble. "The adoption plan there is that you wrap little girls up and leave them with a bottle where they will be found immediately."

Photos: Festival drumheads get with the beat
Albert Arsenault, above, a member of this year's Alaska Folk Festival guest-artist band, Barachois, drums out the band's "co-op" song with a little help from locals.

Know your place
Knowing that the Strait of Hormuz separates the Arabian Peninsula from Iran was the winning edge for Juneau home-school student Ryan Wetherell in the state geography bee last week. That's quite a feat, studies suggest. National Geographic, which sponsors state and national bees, said only 17 percent of young American adults surveyed last year knew where Afghanistan is. One out of 10 couldn't find the United States on a map.

The Floyd Dryden News & Observer
Students in Sheila Degener's Floyd Dryden Middle School seventh-grade language arts class recently studied newspaper writing and photography. After hearing from Empire reporter Julia O'Malley, the students took photos and wrote articles for publication.

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

Photo: On his own
A male bald eagle named Fletcher is released at the Brotherhood Bridge Park. Members of the Juneau Raptor Center released two eagles on Saturday.

Photo: Spring action
Nathan Ord, 12, heads through the first hoop in the Bill Tugman Memorial Race at the Eaglecrest Ski Area on Saturday. Today's events at Eaglecrest include an obstable race at 11, snow painting at 1, half-price lift tickets for costume wearers and, live, Peabody's Monster in the day lodge.

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

Chuck Keen
Chuck Keen died April 4, 2003, at the Veterans Hospital in Seattle at age 65.

Toe cartoon

Iraq would benefit from the Alaska model on oil
Back in the 1970s, when I was marketing U.S. government securities to the nations that make up the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), I was introduced to the man from Iraq's central bank who was responsible for managing the country's foreign exchange reserves. He had a reputation as a tough negotiator, fighting for every extra basis point.

My Turn: History's links to the present, future
Our Legislature has properly acted to propose HJR 18 - a resolution in support of our armed forces. Legislators worked hard to handle clumsy and ill-constructed language as it moved through the legislative process. The resolution is now "good enough for government work."

What do you think?
Saddam Hussein more than likely assumed cave temperature on the first day of the war when we bombed that building he was in.

Empire editorial: Juneau Access study off and running
As the saga of the Lynn Canal transportation debate enters its ninth decade, a brief review of the historic footnotes will help put the latest chapter into context. The first exploration of the possibility of building a highway to link Juneau with Haines, Skagway or Atlin took place in the 1920s.

My Turn: Not the time for an income tax
A time might come for reinstating the state individual income tax, but the time is not now, not while the nation is in an economic slump and some sectors of the Alaska economy - timber, fishing, mining and even oil - suffer job losses.

Hazards wolves face when hunting
Killing a moose with a gun is one thing. Killing it with your teeth is another. Taking down a healthy adult moose is a dangerous challenge for a pack of wolves. Wolves will take adult moose they catch at a disadvantage - in deep snow or on ice - but healthy adults put up a serious fight. For that reason, wolves take the most vulnerable members of a population, often the young, the weak and the sick.

Out and About
April 13: Smallbore rifle silhouette, Hank Harmon Rifle Range, 8:30 a.m. registration, shoot at 9:30 a.m. Details: www.go.to/jrpc. April 13: Eaglecrest Spring Carnival, 1-2 p.m., Spring Surprise Pick-up on the Tubing Hill; 1:30-3 p.m., scavenger hunt on Hooter and Ptarmigan; Terrain Park Jam, time TBA; 3-5 p.m., live music with Peabody's Monster, day lodge; 4 p.m., costume judging in the lodge. Details: 790-2000.

Snow report
Eaglecrest Ski Area, Juneau: Platter, Ptarmigan and Hooter lifts operate 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Thursday through Monday through April 20, conditions permitting. The tubing hill operates 10 a.m.-4 p.m. weekends.

Earth Day: Giving something back
Earth Day. What do you feel when these words are spoken together? Earth Day. Are there images of hippies, granola and tree huggers dancing in your head? Are you simply wondering why these two words have been brought together? Or maybe you feel some sense of guilt for not recycling that aluminum can yesterday?

A Cabin built by a community
Outdoor enthusiasts who enjoy the solitude of Southeast's wilderness will have a new cabin to use this summer. Territorial Sportsmen and the Alaska Division of Parks plan to have the Bob Hinman Memorial Cabin in the St. James Bay State Marine Park finished by May 1. The 14-by-18-foot cabin is a tribute to former state biologist and Territorial Sportsmen activist Bob Hinman, who died in 2000. The cabin is about 35 miles northwest of Juneau and across Lynn Canal from Bridget Cove.

Juneau boys close out Spokane trip with pair of wins
Halfway through the Juneau-Douglas High School boys soccer team's annual trip to Spokane, Wash., the Crimson Bears had been shut out twice and coach Gary Lehnhart was concerned about his squad's offense. The second half of the trip should ease his mind, as Juneau beat the Mount Spokane Wildcats on Friday, 2-1, and demolished the Mead Panthers on Saturday, 7-0.

Decolonization
When Juneau sophomore Theresa Badilla scored off a nice centering pass from senior teammate Callan Janowiec in just the third minute of Saturday's home soccer game against Colony, the Crimson Bears were, obviously, quite pleased. But maybe a bit too pleased, as Juneau got comfortable and allowed the Knights to stay in the game in the first half. The second half, though, was a different story as the Crimson Bears tacked on three goals and held Colony empty-handed for a 4-0 victory and a weekend sweep of the Knights.

Juneau track teams sweep Sitka Invite
The youngsters led the way for the Juneau-Douglas High School track and field team, helping the Crimson Bears claim the boys and girls team titles at the Sitka Invitational on Friday and Saturday at Sitka High School. In the girls half of the meet, Juneau scored 108 points for the victory. The Crimson Bears were trailed by host Sitka with 69 points, Ketchikan with 29 and Mount Edgecumbe with two.

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

Boozer, two other Cavs post double-doubles
CLEVELAND - The Cleveland Cavaliers can't count on winning the NBA lottery, but at least one number came up for them. Ricky Davis had 37 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists Saturday night and the Cavs rallied for an improbable 104-99 overtime win against the New York Knicks.

Letter: An apology from Ketchikan
We fighters from Ketchikan want to apologize to Juneau boxing fans for what happened. There's no excuse for it. (Editor's note: He's referring to Friday's Southeast Showdown, when the Ketchikan fighters left before the finals after Gabe Duckworth of Ketchikan broke out a window).

'This is Jerry Springer stuff'
The fourth annual Southeast Showdown roughhouse boxing event was cruising along Friday night Alaska Native Brotherhood Hall when it disintegrated into a spectacle that would make the chaos of a Mike Tyson bout almost seem boring and routine.

Juneau track teams open season with sweep in Sitka Invitational
The Juneau-Douglas High School track and field teams opened their season this weekend on a winning note, as both the boys and girls teams claimed titles in the Sitka Invitational at Sitka High School.

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

Anchorage teams win Arctic Man
FAIRBANKS - No fog rolled in, no snow fell and, as a result, a record dropped Friday at the 18th annual Arctic Man Ski and Sno-Go Classic.

Golden Gophers repeat as NCAA hockey champs
BUFFALO, N.Y. - Thomas Vanek came up big again for Minnesota - in the biggest game of his career. The Austrian freshman sparked a four-goal third period, leading Minnesota to the NCAA hockey championship with a 5-1 victory over New Hampshire on Saturday night.

Energy bill aims to open ANWR, give $19 billion tax break to energy producers
WASHINGTON - The House approved nearly $19 billion in tax breaks Friday for energy companies and power producers and set up a showdown with the Senate over energy policy, particularly oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. The House-passed bill includes sweeping incentives for oil and gas development and a mix of tax breaks and other financial breaks aimed at promoting the traditional fossil fuel industries.

Legislative roundup
Lottery: SB 178 would establish a statewide lottery.

Bristol Bay village rallies around its soldiers
ANCHORAGE - With two native sons serving in Iraq, the Bristol Bay village of Togiak is sending what it can to make them comfortable - letters, baby wipes and dried fish. But the akutaq will have to wait until Cpl. Mariano Peters and Pvt. Everett Arnariak return home to the village of 800 people. Village elders had asked if they might send the popular Yup'ik dessert - a mixture of Crisco, sugar and berries, said Kristy Kritz, who is coordinating the care packages for the Togiak Traditional Council.

State Briefs
Troopers ID human remains near Wasilla; Fairbanks man indicted on sexual assault charge; Whale migration to Alaska is under way; Regulators: Limited spring subsistence hunts aren't legal

Murkowski condition a mystery to aides
While Gov. Frank Murkowski was undergoing a medical procedure in Anchorage to open a blocked coronary artery, most in his Juneau office were unaware of the seriousness of the condition, said his press secretary. Prior to the 20-minute procedure, only chief of staff Jim Clark was informed that a cardiologist was about to perform angioplasty on the governor to clear an artery that was between 95 percent and 98 percent blocked, said press secretary John Manly.

University president would take $1 salary
University of Alaska President Mark Hamilton says he'll work for $1 if the Legislature gives the university another $10 million next year. Hamilton made the offer after getting into an argument this week with Sen. John Cowdery, an Anchorage Republican, who was complaining that Hamilton made too much money. "My statement to him very simply was this: If that is standing in the way of funding the university, I will work for a dollar next year and be proud of it," Hamilton said.

State Briefs
Panel to discuss Patriot Act resolution; Patriot Act resolution voted down in Fairbanks; DZ trails, JAMHI building on Assembly agenda; Ketchikan borough lays off two directors; Lawsuit challenges runoff election law; Man jailed for insurance fraud

Legislators want to back out of school-debt reimbursement
State and local lawmakers are crying foul over a plan in the Legislature to renege - for at least one year - on the amount the state will reimburse municipalities for bonds on school construction and renovations. The proposal by Gov. Frank Murkowski would reduce the state's obligation on bond debt reimbursements to 90 percent for fiscal year 2004. The cut would save the state $6.6 million, according to the administration. But budget analysts with the city say it will cost Juneau more than $200,000 in 2004, and possibly more in future years unless the funding is restored.

Salmon-fund options considered
More cold-storage facilities for salmon and other measures to improve quality are among suggestions offered by commercial fishermen as the state tries to determine how to use millions of dollars earmarked for improvements in the economic development of Southeast's salmon industry. About $13 million remains in the state's Southeast Sustainable Salmon Fund from a $60 million, three-year grant from the federal government. That money will be divided among four categories: infrastructure, marketing, fish stock enhancement and education, said Ken Alper, a planner with the state Department of Fish and Game.

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