Friday, April 16, 2004

C-SPAN makes people boring
A study appearing in the April issue of Pediatrics journal has found that every hour preschoolers watch television each day boosts their chances - by about 10 percent - of developing attention deficit problems later in life. I had the same reaction to hearing this that I had to hearing that scientists had proven that inhaling tar and poisonous gas (otherwise known as cigarette smoking) was bad for people. Gosh, really? Sure glad someone spent billions figuring that out.

Alaska Railroad report: passenger numbers down
Ridership on the Alaska rails fell to a 13-year low last year, according to data released by the Alaska Railroad on Tuesday.

Arctic Slope shareholders want larger dividends, more profits
Shareholders of the Arctic Slope Regional Corporation are demanding bigger profits and larger dividends from the billion-dollar company.

EMT/firefighter is no hater
I would like to respond to Chris Heckler's response to Pat Eggers' letter about reckless motorcycle riders. Chris, I've noticed that when most people put the label of "hater" or "phobic" on those they disagree with, it means that the labeler has closed the mind and stopped thinking about the points that have been made. I do hope this is not true in your case.

Congratulations to lesbian couple
My congratulations to the couple flying down to California. I can understand their desire to make the statement. What people do not realize is that this is not going away.

Tobacco activists make AARP proud
I was pleased to see the Juneau Empire give front page coverage to the governor's rally with local high school students to support the $1-per-pack increase in the tobacco tax. I serve as state president of AARP and AARP is strongly supporting the tobacco tax increase.

Prevent child abuse
The greatest gift a parent can give their children is a healthy relationship in which they act as a role model. Yet, it isn't always possible for them to give this gift. Many factors can get in the way of positive parenting, including lack of preparation or knowledge of critical issues surrounding parenting, financial or other environmental stresses, difficulty in relationships, stress of single parenting, and depression or other mental health problems.

Beliefs fuel misunderstanding
I am writing in response to a letter titled "Share Burden Equally" that was just published on April 9, 2004. The author argues that "violence against humans is sad and unjust," but "providing extra services (for Alaska Natives) only encourages racism and increases the burden on the taxpayers ... and is, therefore, the dividing line between peoples."

Find another solution, but keep morning buses
I am also a person that was terribly affected by the lack of transportation in the past. I live off the bus line and had to walk out (about 15-20 minutes) to catch the bus with my toddler on my back, take the bus to Juneau Christian Center for day care, wait another hour for the next bus and then do the same for the return trip. The worst thing for CBJ to do is to cut back service in the morning.

Ferry label change is a waste
I am sure the residents of Hoonah will feel "connected" to the Aurora, which operates in Prince William Sound. And Wrangell folks will gain a "sense of identity" by having their city's name on a ship that will be taken out of service in a few months. What a waste of $37,000. But then, it makes about as much good business sense as moving the ferry headquarters to Ketchikan, doesn't it?

Bill unfair to military, students
This letter is being written in response to HB-547, proposed by Rep. Paul Seaton, R-Homer. To withhold the permanent fund dividend from Alaska residents living outside the state due to military call to duty and students in college is very unfair to those Alaska citizens.

Did we give up?
The anniversary of Maggie Wigen's death inspired much momentum, as many community members, family, and friends of Wigen contacted political representatives and law enforcement agencies, in addition to writing letters to the Empire, seeking to increase public awareness on this issue.

Tobacco rally, tax exploit children
Recently I attended the so-called rally for the push on the tobacco tax increase and was rather appalled. I have never before seen such a blatant exploitation of children to push a political agenda. Resorting to using kids as a source of raising money is utterly ridiculous and is nothing short of propaganda.

Police & Fire
Reports from Juneau police, fire officials and state troopers.

Committee to decide the future of Juneau 4-H
No matter what University of Alaska Cooperative Extension Service decides about its future in Juneau, one thing is clear: Jim Douglas can't be replaced.

Photo: Another thing to do today
Mike Grimes, an employee of Capital Service, takes a studded tire off a car wheel Wednesday. Not only do Juneau car drivers have to have their federal income taxes filed by today, they also have to have studded tires off of their vehicles. There is no warning or grace period for having studs off your car. Police will issue $100 fines.

FYI
Births, judgments and other local legal matters.

Photo: Before Centennial Hall
Juneau-Douglas City Museum / 85.30.002 This aerial photo shows the pre-construction site of Centennial

Photos: Swinging at the folk fest
Above: The Hot Club of Cowtown, guest artists for the 30th Alaska Folk Festival,

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

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

Photo: The sun, the park and other things
Darrellene Karlson, a student at the University of Alaska Southeast, plays a song of her own composition Wednesday during lunch hour at Marine Park. Karlson won't be performing at the Alaska Folk Festival but will be attending festival jam sessions and workshops like many other musicians in town.

Marshal: JDHS fire not accident
A fire set Wednesday in a Juneau-Douglas High School boy's restroom is similar to blazes determined to be deliberately set on campus earlier this school year, Fire Marshal Rich Etheridge said.

Photo: Native village, early 1900s
This photo, taken around the turn of the 20th century, shows the Douglas Native village behind railroad tracks that led to Treadwell. A massive fire struck Douglas on Oct. 10, 1926, burning the entire eastern part of town, including the Native village and most of adjoining Treadwell. The village was located at present-day Savikko Park.

Glacier dock extension OK'd
Glacier Seafood gained approval Tuesday to build its Auke Nu Cove dock another 35 feet seaward in a plan worked out to protect nearby eelgrass beds.

Travel Tales: Experiencing The Belgian Blues
I had been warned about not losing the shirt off my back when traveling overseas, but someone forgot to warn me about not losing the pants off my backside.

Center offers legal self-help
More Alaskans heading to court on family-related matters have the chance to understand what's going on through the Family Law Self Help Center, said staff attorney Stacey Marz. Even people who lose their court cases have said they like the information provided by the Anchorage-based center, which is run by the Alaska Court System, Marz said while visiting Juneau on Thursday.

Center provides help via phone, Internet
Alaskans with questions about family-law court cases can get many answers on the Internet. But the state's Family Law Self-Help Center continues to help people on the telephone.

Police & Fire
Reports by Juneau police, fire officials and state troopers.

Thank you letters
Letters of thanks for local assistance.

Husband and wife team spread feng shui knowledge
Courtesy of Sahaj Korner and Guru Surya Schaberle Eastern art: The husband and wife team of Sahaj Korner and Guru Surya Schaberle will be teaching feng shui courses through the next three weeks.

Barbara and Randolph Jones wed
Barbara Terry Jones of Juneau and Randolph Jones of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., were married in a ceremony on Feb. 7, 2004, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Neighbors Digest
Community news in brief.

Students invited to learn about safety
Come on out Saturday, April 17 for the Bike, Boat, Blade Board Safety Bash from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at Glacier Valley School. Kindergarten through eighth graders and their parents are invited out for a fun filled day to learn about water and wheeled sports safety.

On similarities between doctors and plumbers
I always knew there was something about plumbing that was like being a doctor. For the past 20 years, I have been engaged part-time in the plumbing business. My wife bought an apartment building, so over the years I have been called to fix a leaky faucet or to clear a blocked drain. I never liked to use chemicals, but preferred to use a device called a snake.

Joseph Judson
Longtime Juneau and Hoonah resident Joseph Judson, 70, died April 10, 2004, in Anchorage.

Joseph Judson
Longtime Juneau and Hoonah resident Joseph Judson, 70, died April 10, 2004, in Anchorage.

Struggling clubs can't see being Fraternal Order of Nonsmokers
The downtown Juneau Elks Club is a throwback. It's purple, for one thing. It serves half-pitchers of old-fashioned American lager, and members drink it. People like belonging. Eddie Rabbitt still loves a rainy night.

Alaska Editorial: Alaska needs Congress to break up the 9th Circuit
Is it possible for a single circuit among the 13 circuits of the U.S. Court of Appeals to effectively serve one-fifth of the nation's population? Is it right that a single circuit has nearly twice as many judges as the next largest appellate circuit?

Wildlife group defends its ads critical of aerial wolf killing
Complaints by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game about recent Defenders of Widlife newspaper advertisements simply don't hold water. Defenders is confident that all information presented in our advertisements about aerial wolf killing is factually correct.

Sports in Juneau
Sports in Juneau is a service provided by the Juneau Empire to provide information on upcoming sports and outdoors events in Juneau.

Photo: Scoreless inning
Scoreless inning: Montreal Expos relief pitcher Chad Bentz - a Juneau-Douglas High School alum - pitches against the Florida Marlins in the ninth inning of Wednesday's game in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The Marlins won 9-0. Bentz pitched one inning and did not allow a hit or walk.

Spokane games give Bear boys new confidence
Call them the Crimson Bears A.S. - After Spokane. The Juneau-Douglas High School boys soccer team began practicing this season with a near-complete turnover from the starting lineup that won a state championship last year.

James leads Cavs out of cellar
The Cleveland Cavaliers emerged from the NBA's dark side this season. LeBron James lit the way. Hyped as the best player to turn pro straight out of high school, the 19-year-old James not only lived up to almost impossible expectations - he soared above them.

Cavs close with a win
Fittingly, LeBron James finished his rookie season on a positive note. The most hyped player to enter the NBA straight out of high school scored his final two points of 2003-04 on a crowd-pleasing dunk with 30 seconds remaining in a 100-90 victory Wednesday night over the New York Knicks.

Juneau Parks and Rec volleyball standings
The final 2004 standings through matches of April 14 for the Juneau Department of Parks and Recreation's 2004 coed volleyball leagues. Some team records include a bonus victory for having a representative at the preseason managers' meeting.

Florida extends scoreless streak against Montreal
Carl Pavano was determined to keep the shutout streak going for the Florida Marlins. Pavano and a pair of relievers combined to blank the Montreal Expos 3-0 Thursday, extending the Marlins' scoreless string to a team-record 30 innings.

Dominating opener
Intercepting passes and goal kicks, scoring off rebounds and ricochets, the Juneau-Douglas High School girls soccer team was omniscience in action Thursday en route to a season-opening victory.

Sports in Juneau
Sports in Juneau is a service provided by the Juneau Empire to provide information on upcoming sports and outdoors events in Juneau.

Team of destiny
Before they ever played a high school game, coach Colin Barton knew the seniors on this year's Juneau-Douglas girls soccer team were something special.

Sitka votes to keep sports at Class 4A
Responding to the requests of athletes, coaches and parents, the Sitka School Board on Monday voted unanimously against a proposal that would have changed Sitka High School's classification for sports and activities.

'Spring Fever' brings full weekend of soccer
The inaugural Spring Fever soccer series kicks off tonight when the Juneau-Douglas High School girls play Pagosa Springs, Colo., at 7 p.m. at Adair-Kennedy Memorial Park.

This Day in History
In Alaska; in the nation; in the world.

State troopers probe suspicious wolf kills
Several wolves were likely killed illegally by a private pilot who shot the animals from the air or shortly after landing outside an aerial predator control area, Alaska State Troopers said.

Murkowski collects $540,000
U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski raised more than $540,000 during the first quarter of 2003. That brought the total for Murkowski's campaign to nearly $2.5 million, she said, with $1.5 million cash on hand.

Third-strike drug offender sentenced to life in prison
A man convicted of conspiring to move cocaine north from Mexico has been sentenced to life in prison under the federal "third strike" law.

Alaska Digest
News in brief from around the state.

Union calls for a vote on strike
The largest of the state employee unions plans to ask its 7,500 members to authorize a strike in response to what the union called stalled contract negotiations.

Democrat-backed oil tax bill gets hearing
A Democrat-sponsored bill boosting oil-production taxes faces opposition from oil companies and skepticism in committee.

Sealaska may pay for illegal tree felling
Sealaska Corp. could face a state fine for cutting 36 trees too close to salmon streams on Prince of Wales Island. The Alaska Department of Natural Resources sent the regional Native corporation a charging document this month that alleges multiple violations of the Forest Practices Act, the state's main logging law.

Murkowski: Let voters decide on fund issue
As time begins to run out on the Alaska Legislature, Gov. Frank Murkowski called on lawmakers to let voters decide whether to use a portion of the Permanent Fund to balance the state budget.

Bill would return historic site to Athabascan village
Leaders of the Athabascan village of Minto would regain possession of the historic site of the village through a bill proposed by state Sen. Georgianna Lincoln.

Homer approves size limit for retail stores
The Homer City Council has voted to fend off a feared invasion of big box stores by setting a size limit on new retail construction.

State: Oil prices to hit record high
The state is predicting record prices for Alaska North Slope oil for fiscal year 2004, at $31.13 per barrel, state Revenue Commissioner Bill Corbus said Thursday.

Premera conversion could send $150 million to Alaska
Alaska could receive $150 million or more for health care if Premera Blue Cross is allowed to convert from a nonprofit to a for-profit company, according to state reports.

Northwest Digest
News in brief from around the region.

This Day in History
In Alaska; in the nation; in the world.

Miller enters GOP primary for U.S. Senate
Former state Senate President Mike Miller said Wednesday he will run in the August Republican primary against U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, whose father appointed her to the post when he was elected governor in 2002.

Movies: Where & when
Local movie times and locations.

Eye of the Storm
As the lone full-time member of Fairbanks jam band Gangly Moose to have attended the Alaska Folk Festival, drummer Kliff Hopson has informed bassist John Knetchel and guitarist Dave Parks of the logistical difficulties of the band's 12:15 p.m. Saturday main-stage slot.

Five Buck Fiddle returns with new CD
Fairbanks old-time dance band Five Buck Fiddle (www.fivebuckfiddle.com) will return to the Alaska Folk Festival for its second appearance in three years, this time with its brand-new, 15-song, debut, self-titled compact disc. But the seven-piece string band will be missing its founder and namesake, fiddler Uncle Buck, aka Richard Schoen. A carpenter, he accidentally sliced three finger-tips off his fretting hand two weeks ago in a table-saw accident.

Toe Cartoon: In the Swamp
Cartoon by local artist Toe.

One member now in college, but Emeralds return for fourth fest
When the Emeralds played the Alaska Folk Festival last year, and received a standing ovation on a Friday night, the Anchorage teens had just released their first compact disc, "The Emerald Edge," and were without fiddle player Martha Leffek.

Briefly
Local entertainment news in brief.

What's happening
Upcoming local arts and entertainment events.

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