Monday, April 15, 2002

A courageous woman of the Arctic - with a difference
Pushcart Prize-winning poet and former Juneau resident Sheila Nickerson has followed up her book "Disappearance: A Map" with another stark tale of human suffering and loss in the Far North.While "Disappearance" dealt with the mysterious disappearance of a number of characters - early explorers as well as her own contemporaries - Nickerson has chosen a central character, a 34-year-old Inuit translator, as her focus here.

In the Stacks
New videos for your enjoyment!

Home-school rights
I left the State Board of Education meeting April 4 in discouragement because it appeared to me there were covert motives behind the proposed regulations for correspondence programs being tossed around without actually being said. I find some of the reasons being given behind those regulations very misleading to the public.

A different problem
In Molly Kemp's dissertation in the April 10 Empire article about the Tenakee Village public safety officer, she asked the wrong question.

Strength in diversity
Marc Moran's Sunday letter at least acknowledges that his group, the National Alliance, is a hate group. We can all agree on that point. However, the rest of his logic fails. He clearly demonstrates that he is the bigot, the hater and the demonizer.

Applied logic
I appreciate Michael Hekker's My Turn of April 12. I totally agree. Too many of us are complacent in our consumption of news and propaganda. Headline after headline repeats the same biased news about the tragedy of Israeli soldiers dying and the cruelty of terrorist suicide bombers.

Litter woes
Hi. My name is Nicole Neussendorfer. I am 6. People have been not taking care of the Earth. When I walk home from my bus stop, I see a lot of garbage and it has mostly been in the little stream. Thank you.

Capital creep sources
In a recent My Turn, Anchorage Rep. Joe Green offered Juneau residents a message about access to the Capital City. Rep. Green has always been forthright about his support to move the Legislature. His views reflect those of his Anchorage constituents. I am one of his constituents.

Intelligent Americans
I recently read the comments of James Steele (Letters to the Editor, April 9) regarding the distribution of National Alliance flyers in Juneau. I can't tell you how gratifying it is to see that someone is gracious enough to allow another American to exercise his constitutional right to freedom of speech. What a patriot.

Comprehensive plan
A Native cultural center in Juneau is a wonderful idea. However, I saw no mention of a cultural center in any of the documents regarding the Steamship Wharf/Marine Park Improvement Project.

Tax alcohol amply
I recently witnessed the House Finance Committee table the alcohol excise tax bill, HB 225, and I was horrified. Did you know compared to the measly 3.5 cents tax on a drink, 10 cents would bring in about $34 million in additional revenue for the state?

Hypocritical ideas
This is in response to Michael Hekkers' recent My Turn, in which he decries Israel's political and military stances. His My Turn recitation of repression, land grabbing, military violence and economic devastation of the Palestinian people evoked from me parallel thoughts of what Caucasians have done (and still do) to the indigenous peoples of Alaska.

Unforeseen consequences
I am a full-time resident of Tenakee Springs and am upset over the possibility of a recall of our city council members by a few part-time residents (Empire, April 2). How can people who live in a town only sometimes possibly know what goes on and doesn't go on there on a regular basis?

Assembly: Keep strong manager
Juneau Assembly members have decided not to change from a strong manager to a strong mayor form of city government as they continue the search for someone to replace outgoing City Manager Dave Palmer.

Photo: Little folks' festivity
Dawn Pisel, in character as Clarabella, dances with children to the music of Katie Henry during the Saturday morning Folk Festival's children's concert at Centennial Hall.

Searching for a shot at a normal life
Little Victoria Wilson can't play with other kids. She can't venture outside. She lives in an isolated world, nurtured by her mother's devotion and kept alive by a stream of shots and infusions.But time and failed treatments are catching up with the 2 1/2-year-old Juneau girl, and Tori's family is hoping that someone in Southeast Alaska can provide the bone marrow match she needs for her best chance at survival.

Downtown blaze destroys clan house
The third fire in nine months to sweep through an abandoned downtown clan house and homeless haven did not injure the three people trying to keep warm inside Sunday night, police said today.

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

A third of Glacier Bay fishermen denied claims
The National Park Service has turned down more than a third of the people who wanted compensation for commercial fishing closures in Glacier Bay. But the agency expects some successful appeals and says it will pay out the entire $23 million in the compensation fund.

City seeks vision for a waterfront
In 1986, the Juneau Assembly identified the subport as a place for the Pioneer's Home, a private developer was evaluating whether to put a golf course at the rock dump, and the cruise ferry Princess Patricia was looking for a place to dock, according to a waterfront plan from that time. Today, community residents are debating how to fit cruise ships, picnics, concerts, buses, ice skating and festivals into the Steamship Wharf-Marine Park area.

USPS works overtime to postmark taxes
The U.S. Postal Service will offer extended services for last-minute taxpayers tonight, the deadline to get income taxes postmarked.

Panel wants pacts with cruise lines
A Juneau Assembly subcommittee is recommending the city pursue project-based funding agreements with the cruise industry instead of implementing a more general tonnage tax.The full Assembly will consider the issue Monday and may go into a closed-door session to decide the details of such an arrangement. A proposal to add bus staging and green space to the Marine Park-Steamship Wharf area also is on the agenda.

Buddhist scholar Rita Gross to speak
Feminism and Buddhism will the focus of two presentations this week by visiting scholar Rita Gross.

Photo: Intro to the didjeridu
Doug Bridges of Tacoma, Wash., demonstrates his handmade didjeridu Saturday during his Folk Festival workshop at the National Guard Armory. michael penn / the juneau empire

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

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

Around Town
Listing of local nonprofit events

Feds to buy possibly worthless fishing permits
The National Park Service will spend about $700,000 to retire 10 limited-entry permits in the crowded Southeast tanner crab pot fishery. Critics say the permits are worthless and many will be revoked soon by the state anyway.

City holds transit center workshop
The city is sponsoring a public workshop about a new downtown transit center Tuesday.

UAS trying to make taxes less taxing
Juneau residents having difficulties preparing their federal tax forms can turn to the 14 local tax preparers listed in the phone book. But for those living in Kaltag, Hughes or Chignik Lagoon, the options are much more limited.

Hazel Pearl Virdell Nordenson
Longtime Juneau resident Hazel Nordenson, 84, died April 10, 2002, in Juneau.

Evelyn Jenkins Kurt
Juneau resident Evelyn Jenkins Kurt died April 12, 2002, in Colorado.

My Turn: Ban oil imports from the Middle East
It was April Fool's Day but no joke when Saddam Hussein proposed that Middle East nations embargo oil to the United States. Those threats immediately boosted the price of oil above $25 a barrel. Great, and for several reasons.

City management void deepens
Deputy City Manager Donna Pierce's announcement that she would be stepping down from her job at the end of June puts the management of the city on a precarious perch.City Manager Dave Palmer turned in his resignation on March 26 and will leave office on the same day as Pierce. Both officials have chosen to vacate their positions for personal reasons and depart in good standing.

Juneau easily matches the uniqueness of Last Frontier
I'm always amazed when someone groans when they tell me they have to go to Juneau as if they were being punished and sent to Siberia.

My Turn: When winds blow right through the house
It's 2 a.m. on April 4 here on Second Street in Douglas, and the winds have been howling for about a month now. The weather forecast was for gusts to 75 mph, but it's obvious somebody forgot to put a "1" in front of the 75.

Capitol Notebook: If you can't say something bad...
It was a four-letter word. And it wasn't "fish." House Finance Co-Chairman Bill Williams, within easy earshot of the audience, barked some explicit advice at Rep. John Davies during a break in a committee hearing this week. In fact, Williams offered the same advice twice.

Word Of Mouth
Word of Mouth gives readers a forum to express opinions on a variety of issues by telephone. Calls must be limited to one minute. We reserve the right to edit calls for clarity, length and libel.

Toe Cartoon

A nice town with tourism problems
Juneau is a nice town, full of pleasant people. It also has problems. On the scale of livable cities and tourism, it is at a 4, the highest possible negative rating.

Out and About
In season: Wolf (Aug.-April), grouse (Aug.-May), ptarmigan (Aug.-May), coyote (Sept.-April) and hare (Sept.-April).

Eaglecrest ends season with lots of snow
The snowcat crews are grooming their last runs of the season this morning. And by late afternoon, the ski lifts will shut down, despite the 5 to 12 feet of hard-packed snow piled below them.Today is the last in the Eaglecrest Ski Area's 2001-02 season, which will be celebrated with the annual Costume Race and Slush Cup.

Travel on Mount Troy
It was almost four months ago that I listed the Mount Troy ski traverse on the Juneau Alpine Club calendar. I changed plans on that January trip because of unfavorable snow conditions and went kayaking instead.I elected to lead the trip later in the season and on this March 30 morning the sun was shining and fresh powder was predicted to be in the bowl. Five skiers and two snowshoers met at the Dan Moller trailhead, above West Juneau, to begin the climb to the summit of Mount Troy and ski or snowshoe down to Eaglecrest.

Snow Report
The status of Alaska ski areas.

Rowing club kicks off with slide show
JUNEAU - Peter McKay's slide show "Rowing Southeast Alaska" will highlight a Thursday meeting of the newly formed Juneau Rowing Club. McKay is known for his long-distance rowing adventures in the wilds of Southeast Alaska and his slides highlight trips he has made around Baranof, Chichagof and Admiralty islands.

Outdoors Briefs
Bowhunter education program offered; Tongass biologists awarded for study

Juneau Jumpers seventh at world meet
The Juneau Jumpers, competing as one of three Team USA squads, took seventh place in the senior all-girl division at the World Jump Rope Championships held April 4-9 in Ghent, Belgium.

Hinkley wins twice in state 12-under championships
Christopher Hinkley of Juneau Ski Club won the Super G and giant slalom races in the J-4 age group at the Alaska State 12-Under Ski Championships held March 29-31 at Eaglecrest Ski Area.

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

Juneau boys soccer sweeps in Ketchikan
Lee Sullivan and Jon Rue both recorded three-goal hat tricks as the Juneau-Douglas High School boys soccer team claimed a 9-0 victory over the Ketchikan Kings on Friday night at Norman Walker Field near Schoenbar Middle School in Ketchikan.

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

Crimson Bear girls kick off season with a sweep
Senior co-captain Erin Flynn scored a goal each day to help the Juneau-Douglas High School girls soccer team open its season with a pair of victories over the Ketchikan Kings.The Crimson Bears beat Ketchikan 2-0 on Friday night and won 7-0 on Saturday afternoon in a pair of games played in the rain and mud at Norman Walker Field near Schoenbar Middle School in Ketchikan. It rained heavily for both games, and the dirt-and-sand field became a quagmire by the end of Saturday's game.

Sitka: Russians get a glimpse of Sitka life
Nine students and a teacher from Russia have been getting a taste of life at Mt. Edgecumbe High School - including a look at MEHS life during World War II.

Chilkat: Mountie rescued from crevasse
A Canadian Mountie conducting a snowmachine safety patrol near Chilkat Pass narrowly avoided serious injury March 30 after falling 90 feet into a glacial crevasse. The accident was the second in the area in as many weeks, prompting a call for caution to snowmachiners.

Petersburg: DOT kills wounded wolf at airport
The shooting of a wolf inside the Petersburg airport's security fence March 28 need not alarm local residents with worries of huffing and puffing and houses being blown down.

One snowmobiler dies, two rescued
Two snowmobilers survived falling about 70 feet into a crevasse south of Portage on Sunday with minor injuries. The men were trapped a few miles from where an Eagle River man died on Saturday when his machine plunged into a deep, mile-long crevasse.

State briefs
Juneau students learning Bears 101; JDHS to orient eighth-graders; 'Theology of wild' offered; Phillips christens double-hulled tanker

Oil prices chip at budget gap
Higher-than-expected oil prices have trimmed the state's recurring budget deficit but not enough to avert a fiscal meltdown in 2004, according to the spring revenue forecast.

Sitka: $147,000 awarded in dance-floor mishap
A Sitka jury awarded $147,000 last week to Elizabeth Hill, whose hip was fractured when an intoxicated man ran into her on the dance floor at the Sitka Moose Lodge in April 1999.

Redistricting board draws up election map
A legislative redistricting plan approved over the weekend makes no new changes to the legislative map for Southeast Alaska.

Petersburg: Smith recovering from surgery
Mayor Ted Smith underwent triple bypass surgery on March 22 at Swedish Hospital in Seattle and is expected to recover fully.

Material in drums still a mystery
The greenish material found in two dozen 55-gallon drums at Fort Greely remains a mystery, but there's no indication they were filled with chemical weapons or hazardous waste.

Survivor describes mountain tragedy
ANCHORAGE - Inching his way down a 45-degree ice face on Mount St. Elias, choosing his route carefully to avoid what would be almost certain death if he fell, John Griber turned when he heard a swishing sound above.

Concealed weapon bill passes House
Anyone with a permit to carry a concealed weapon in another state could also carry a gun in Alaska under a bill that narrowly passed the House on Friday.

Strip club closes
A controversial strip club in Unalaska abruptly closed its doors after only three months of operation.

Bishops issue pastoral letter on subsistence
ANCHORAGE - Alaska's Catholic bishops have issued a pastoral letter on subsistence that frames the debate in Catholic teachings. The 4,800-word letter, titled "A Catholic Perspective on Subsistence: Our Responsibility Toward Alaska's Bounty and Our Human Family," is being sent to about 20,000 households statewide, church leaders said Friday. The letter is signed by heads of the dioceses in Anchorage, Fairbanks and Juneau.

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