Business Profile: Cal Richert
Title and Business: Callen E. "Cal" Richert is the sole proprietor of Last Frontier Forestry & Tree Service.

Slow sales sap SE syrup
Slow sales last year have put a damper this spring's production of Birch Boy birch syrup products near Haines, according to the operation's owners.Daniel and Susan Humphrey, who run Birch Boy Products about 20 miles north of Haines, are not going into full syrup production this year because of a large back stock and the high cost of completing a season.

Technology kicks once-ubiquitous caboose into retirement
ANCHORAGE - The end is near for the lowly caboose. That little boxcar linked to the back of a freight train, used primarily as an observation platform for railroaders, has been all but replaced by modern technology in the Lower 48.

Birch Boy unique in Southeast
For more than a decade, Daniel and Susan Humphrey have been working to harvest the potential of the flora near Haines - as well as open the minds of locals and tourists. "In Alaska people have a few products in mind, but syrup is not one of them," said Daniel Humphrey, who with his wife runs Birch Boy Products.

Business Briefs
UAS students host sale; Political consultant elected to national board; Poem included with GCI bills; Martha's Flowers celebrates Secretaries Week; MADD Board of Directors elected; Regents approve adjuncts' contract; McKenzie is Pharmacy Tech of the Year; Edward Jones hosts investing program; International Union of Operating Engineers Local 302 meets

Individual responsibility
To tax or not to tax alcohol seems to be the question. I will once again explain the fallacy of the pro-tax group's arguments. Alcoholism is not a social problem; it is an individual problem. The costs of alcohol-related tragedies are not the responsibility of our society; they are the responsibility of the individual.

About the tourism plan
I think the Juneau Draft Tourism Management Plan ("D-TMP") addresses many of the concerns and offers ideas for reconciling the diversity of opinions that exists in our community. I like the plan and hope that we are able to "succeed at both cruise tourism and destination travel - with success being defined on Juneau's terms."

Valuing children
We United States citizens are among more fortunate humans to live in a nation with unprecedented levels of material prosperity and life work opportunity. This may even be more true for citizens of Alaska. Besides vistas of geographic and natural beauty, we have untapped natural and economic resources.

Don, Lew, Frank all do a great job
I would like to make a few comments on Dee Longenbaugh's My Turn article that appeared in the April 15 paper. In that article, it was said that Juneau, on some sort of livable and tourism scale, was at a "4," which, according to Longenbaugh, was some sort of negative rating. Longenbaugh went on to say negative things about Don Smith, Lew Williams and Frank Murkowski and seemed to imply that these gentlemen were out of step with ordinary people.

National Day of Prayer
In the wake of tragic events in our country, scores of citizens have turned to their faith for comfort and many have recognized that hope and help must come from a source beyond themselves. "God Bless America" has almost become our nation's theme song. For the first time since the Civil War, on Dec. 4, 2001, the two houses of Congress observed a National Day of Reconciliation, assembling to "humbly seek the blessings of providence for forgiveness, reconciliation, unity and charity for all the people of the United States."

Health fair benefits
Last year I attended the health fair in Juneau held at Centennial Hall. As an adult male, I am skeptical of doctors, dentists, or any medical facilities. Therefore, I was not eager to attend, but because I wasn't feeling myself, and also being prompted by my new girlfriend at the time, I went.

Theft hurts
I would like to take this opportunity to warn all the Juneau merchants that the light-fingered thieves are out stealing again.

Paying for improvements
Now that we are going to design and construct the Marine Park/Steamship Wharf improvements, we need to determine how we're going to pay for them.

Harebrained proposal
I object strenuously to locating a heliport at Sheep Creek, Dupont or anywhere in the Thane neighborhood area. It is a terrible idea because of the narrow road, the negative effects on one of the most peaceful neighborhoods in Juneau - Thane - and the likely high cost to the public.

Making a difference
The TV screen showed Dan Rather in a way that I had never seen him. He looked like he had been pulled, pushed out of bed and set in front of the video cameras. The woman I usually rode to work with phoned and informed me she would be late picking me up. My brother and I watched the World Trade Centers crumble, sway and collapse.

Fiction is not fact
The U.S. Constitution has wording to the effect that "all men are created equal." However, it doesn't say anything about all opinions being equal. The current hot topic in Juneau concerns development of the waterfront dock area. Discussions about this subject are necessary but participants need to be reminded that all opinions are not equal, and that they must separate fact from fiction.

Police block Thane Road
Dumpsters in seven newly declared "bear problems areas" will need metal lids or secure enclosures by Thursday under a new city law.City Manager Dave Palmer identified seven bear problem areas in Juneau over the weekend. They include parts of Auke Bay, the east Mendenhall Valley area, Lemon Creek, Coogan Drive, West Juneau and parts of Douglas, the downtown hillside and the area around Bartlett Regional Hospital.

Thane and Era ask for more data on heliport
Era Helicopters and the Thane Neighborhood Association have asked the city for more information about a proposed satellite heliport before it decides how to address helicopter flightseeing noise.In an unusual joint letter presented Monday, the two organizations asked the city to thoroughly research how a new heliport might work, how much it would cost and what the impacts might be.

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

Photo: Painting season
Eric Leegard puts out the sailboat Mariah's anchor on Tuesday afternoon at Sandy Beach. Leegard, a retired boat-building instructor for the University of Alaska Southeast, deliberately beached the boat to repaint the bottom.

Students stage rally against tobacco
A group of Juneau-Douglas High School students gathered at the state Capitol this morning to urge state legislators to maintain tobacco prevention funding.Nine members of Teens Against Tobacco Use rallied on the Capitol steps with signs, an anti-smoking skit and cardboard cutouts of human figures representing tobacco-related deaths. The cutouts were then delivered to selected senators.

Bus center may use downtown parking lots
A new downtown transit center could sit behind Centennial Hall or in the parking lot across from Merchants Wharf, according to preliminary designs.City planners met with about 20 Juneau residents Tuesday to get input on where to put the Capital Transit bus center, what it might look like and whether route changes might be needed. The top two sites are the parking lot behind Centennial Hall and the lot at the corner of Main Street and Egan Drive, across the street from Merchants Wharf, city consultant Dennis Haskell said.

Former astronaut urges fearless approach to life
For astronauts who traveled to the moon in the 1960s and '70s there was no Plan B if something went wrong.But despite the dangers of space travel, former astronaut and moonwalker Eugene A. Cernan said he never was afraid. "I was apprehensive because we were vulnerable to unplanned circumstances," Cernan told an audience of about 450 people Wednesday afternoon at Centennial Hall. "But I was never afraid because I never considered not coming home."

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

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

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

City staff pinpoint 7 bear hot spots
Dumpsters in seven newly declared "bear problems areas" will need metal lids or secure enclosures by Thursday under a new city law.City Manager Dave Palmer identified seven bear problem areas in Juneau over the weekend. They include parts of Auke Bay, the east Mendenhall Valley area, Lemon Creek, Coogan Drive, West Juneau and parts of Douglas, the downtown hillside and the area around Bartlett Regional Hospital.

Five-hour standoff in Thane ends peacefully
A young man with a loaded gun surrendered peacefully to police Wednesday after threatening to kill himself during a five-hour standoff on Thane Road.Police and Capital City Fire and Rescue closed the last half-mile of Thane about 10:30 a.m. but reopened it after the man handed over his gun around 3 p.m.

Subsistence, economy concern Tlingit and Haida Central Council
Subsistence, the Southeast economy and its own programs are likely to be important topics at the 67th annual General Assembly of the Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska, which has convened in Juneau this week.

Like salmon, maples and roses also have spring run
The whole Willamette Valley groans with the spring run of nursery stock, caravans of refrigerated semi trucks flow south, east, and north. The few hundred headed for the Asian markets are loaded onto container ships in Seattle, and among those will be the infinitesimally small shipment going to Juneau.

'Dads on Duty' raffle scheduled for April 26
The Auke Bay Cooperative Preschool will be holding its annual "Dads on Duty" raffle on April 26. First prize is six men for six hours doing yard work, small repairs and projects around the home, plus a $100 gift certificate for supplies. Last year's winner, Delores Graver, had the dads paint her house and do lawn and yard work. Projects from other years include building a retaining wall, cleaning out a garage, building shelves and interior painting.

Knit one, purl two
One blue block the size of a salad plate may be inconsequential. However, stitch it to 23 other knitted or crocheted blocks, and you have a lap afghan.That's the crafty philosophy behind Warm Up Southeast, a group founded by LaVena Sargent. Sargent is the hostess of the KATH television program, "Around Our House," in which she takes everyday materials like clothes pins and glitter and creates interior decorating masterpieces.

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

Pet Of The Week
Koko is a handsome, sweet and loving mature gray and white mix domestic medium-hair cat. He enjoys being brushed and is very sweet when he gets to know people.

Neighbors Briefs
Health fair set for April 19-20; Multiple sclerosis group presents program; Fireman's Ball to be held in Tenakee Springs; Pesticide classes to be held next week

Glen Stuart Shepard
Former Juneau resident Glen Stuart Shepard, 52, died April 19, 2002, at home in McMinnville, Ore., of an aneurysm.

Alfredo 'Fred' P. Yadao and Asuncion 'Asyon' L. Yadao
Longtime Juneau residents Alfredo "Fred" P. Yadao, 88, died April 14, 2002, and Asuncion "Asyon" L. Yadao, 82, died January 13, 2002, in the Philippines.

Celia S. Leonidas
Juneau resident Celia S. Leonidas, 63, died April 17, 2002, in Juneau.

My Turn: Old forest is a worthy investment
Floyd Peterson raised interesting questions about clear-cut logging in his April 12 letter. The decision to liquidate old-growth timber holdings appears to make sense to corporate thinking. After all, wood volume in the ancient forest is not increasing, like a bank account that bears no interest.

My Turn: Protecting the environment isn't 'extreme'
I really get tired of this polarization between so-called non-environmentalists and so-called environmentalists. It's such a paralyzing stand-off and for what reasons? It's as if caring for the health of the environment were a nasty idea. Shouldn't we all be concerned for the well-being of the planet and do our part locally to protect it and to repair damages done, as we hopefully learn from the mistakes of the past?

My Turn: Parental involvement improves education
Charter schools, correspondence programs, private schools and traditional home schooling have grown since I first came to the Legislature in 1989 and are now the choice of many Alaskans.

My Turn: Legislative cooperation is needed for homeland security
At a time when national leaders say the threat of a significant terrorist attack on our homeland is greater than ever, Alaska is becoming less prepared to prevent or respond than we were on Sept. 11, 2001.

My Turn: Compliments, criticism equally valued
The Postal Service is in the news. I am a member of the Board of Governors and see first hand the reasons why. Each person, each business, each organization in our country looks forward to receiving mail. We deliver to 138 million addresses every day. We carry 207 billion pieces of mail each year - letters, periodicals, catalogs, advertisements and packages.

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

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

Juneau strikers set for big test
The Juneau-Douglas High School boys soccer team has been going to Spokane, Wash., for six years now to open the season.This weekend, one of the Spokane teams will be in Juneau for the first time in what is believed to be the first visit to Alaska by a Lower 48 squad since high school soccer began in the mid-1980s.

Five Southeast runners finish Boston Marathon
Colleen Jones of Auke Bay was the top finisher from Southeast Alaska in Monday's Boston Marathon.Jones, 39, was one of five Southeast residents and 35 Alaskans to complete the 26.2-mile race, which is the oldest, continuously held footrace in the United States. There were 38 Alaskans entered in the race, but results weren't available for all of them.

Bears set for track season
When the Juneau-Douglas High School track and field team heads to Sitka for its season opener this weekend, there will be a lot of new faces among the Crimson Bears including a new coaching staff.But with enough familiar faces on the team, the Crimson Bears are feeling good about their chances to repeat as Region V champions and improve on their finishes at last year's state meet. The Juneau girls tied for 12th last year at state and the boys tied for 14th place.

Bears complete sweep
It wasn't a perfect game, but the Juneau-Douglas High School girls soccer team remained perfect on the season with a 3-2 victory over the Colony Knights on Tuesday at Adair-Kennedy Memorial Park.The Crimson Bears improved to 4-0 on the season with the victory, which completed a two-game sweep of the Knights, who fell to 0-2 after dropping both games by identical 3-2 scores. Colony took fourth place at last year's state tournament and Juneau finished fifth, and both teams returned nearly their entire rosters this season.

Staveland, Bentz move up in minor leagues
Two of Juneau's three minor leaguers have been promoted. Not only are they playing for new teams this season, but they're in new roles with those teams.Left-handed pitcher Chad Bentz was promoted to the Brevard County Manatees in the Florida State League, the top Class A team in the Montreal Expos system. Last year Bentz was a starting pitcher for the Vermont Expos, a short-season Class A team in the New York-Penn League.

U.S. Senate rejects oil drilling in ANWR
WASHINGTON - The Senate dismissed a centerpiece of President Bush's energy policy today, denying Republicans a vote on oil drilling in an Alaska wildlife refuge as part of an energy bill. Senate Republicans fell 14 votes short, 54-46, of the 60 needed to break a Democratic filibuster of an amendment, offered by Alaska's senators, to open the wildlife refuge to oil companies.

Senate proposal calls for no increase for university system
FAIRBANKS - The state Senate's operating budget chief has introduced a proposal to give the University of Alaska the same amount of state funds as lawmakers approved last year. But two Fairbanks senators vowed to push for a boost in UA funding despite the proposal unveiled Tuesday by Anchorage Republican Sen. Dave Donley.

Native leaders ask Congress for Native hunting, fishing priority
FAIRBANKS - Several Alaska Native leaders and a lawyer argued for a Native hunting and fishing priority and more wildlife management agreements with tribes at a congressional hearing Wednesday. The Senate Indian Affairs Committee took testimony on subsistence hunting and fishing issues as part of an oversight hearing.

Dems push for vote on ANWR
WASHINGTON - Senate Democrats are maneuvering for a quick vote on oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, confident they can turn back one of the Bush administration's top energy priorities. A proposal that could lead to allowing oil companies to develop the 1.5 million-acre ANWR coastal plain in northern Alaska was introduced Tuesday by Alaska's two senators.

State Briefs
Juneau Assembly funds session-move studies; Assembly gives Lena park the Native name Aant'iyeik; Anchorage judge calls activist's political party idea a wisecrack; Shellfish farming bill passes House; Elderly Savoonga man spends two days in snow cave; Glennallen man sentenced for harassing anglers

Report: Salmon numbers swing with climate
Thousands of years before dams or commercial fishing boats, Pacific salmon experienced huge population swings that coincided with major climate shifts, scientists report.

Alaska missile defense contract announced
ANCHORAGE - A $250 million contract to built test bed facilities for a national missile defense system was awarded Tuesday to Fluor Alaska, the Army Corps of Engineers announced. The contractor will build test silos plus support facilities at Fort Greely, 100 miles southeast of Fairbanks, and upgrade radar at Eareckson Air Force Station on Shemya Island near the tip of the Aleutian chain.

PFDs may curb welfare checks
Low-income Alaskans temporarily could lose access to financial assistance from the state under a bill passed by the Senate on Tuesday.Senate Bill 340 would direct state agencies to consider permanent fund dividends a source of income when determining eligibility for financial assistance.b

House eases burden for marijuana evidence
Law enforcement agents would process a smaller amount of marijuana to assist in prosecuting drug suspects under a bill approved in the House.

Super squid in Sitka
A bright-red, 12-foot-long visitor from the deep is providing a great lead-in for Sea Week in Sitka.The massive squid, snagged by Kevin Kambak while longlining for black cod off Yakutat, drew a huge crowd to the harbor Wednesday morning before going on a road trip to local schools.

Stevens Votes to Open ANWR, Rescue Steel Industry
Juneau Assembly funds session-move studies; Assembly gives Lena park the Native name Aant'iyeik; Anchorage judge calls activist's political party idea a wisecrack; Shellfish farming bill passes House; Elderly Savoonga man spends two days in snow cave; Glennallen man sentenced for harassing anglers

State Briefs
Whittier prison bill now includes beds in Bethel; Trial begins for woman charged in son's death; Bonham of World Plus pleads no contest in securities case

Report: Exxon spill victims recovering
ANCHORAGE - A new report says killer whales, pink salmon, common murres and four other species damaged by the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill have rebounded and should be considered recovered.

Chugach schools lauded by lawmakers
It wasn't that long ago that the tiny Chugach School District in Southcentral Alaska faced problems as fundamental as the three "R's." As early as 1993, students scored rock bottom on national tests, teacher turnover was 55 percent and many parents were absent from their children's academic lives.

Season for scaling continent's highest peak gets under way
ANCHORAGE - The climbing season has begun on North America's highest peak. The National Park Service began setting up its base camps on Mount McKinley this week and a few climbers are already making their way to the summit, said Ranger Daryl Miller."There's a team of Japanese climbers. We've had several soloists and we have another going up today," Miller said Tuesday.

Bipartisan backers step up push for alcohol tax
Supporters of an alcohol tax increase hope they're on the verge of a breakthrough in the Legislature."If there's one thing people can do, it's focus on my guys - the Senate majority," Senate Finance Co-Chairman Dave Donley, an Anchorage Republican, told Juneau clergy Tuesday. "I think we're very, very close."

Knowles signs spill bill defining best technology
ANCHORAGE - Gov. Tony Knowles signed a bill Wednesday that environmentalists claim rolls back a court decision about what "best available technology" means in regulating how oil companies clean up spills. The state Supreme Court two months ago ruled that Alaska environmental regulators were not using a clear definition to enforce a law that requires companies to use the "best" technology in oil spill response plans.

Senate restores food safety cut
A key Republican senator said this morning that his caucus wants to maintain the state's food safety and sanitation inspection program at its current level.But as public testimony on the proposed 2003 budget continued before the Senate Finance Committee, there were many concerns expressed about proposed cuts in alcohol treatment.

From Native art to the Birdman
Juneau's mines and shipwrecks, Native culture, the colorful characters and quirky tales of Juneau's past will be featured in five presentations this month at the Juneau-Douglas City Museum. "The Great Mines of Juneau" by historian and author David Stone and city museum curator Mary Pat Wyatt will open the series Monday, April 22.

What's Up With That?
Q: What's with the "No Parking" signs around town, particularly the ones around the Governor's Mansion? Every day and night there are cars and trucks all the way around it just about. I see the parking attendant going around town, but it goes unnoticed there.

'Trojan Women' and the price of victory
The gods were not happy with the carnage. The day after the Trojans pushed a wooden horse into their walled city, Troy was in ruins. The gift from the Greeks was a brilliant trick, inspired by the goddess Athene, and after a 10-year siege the Greeks took the city in one bloody night.

Best Bets: Earth Day and crash courses in local lore
I know every day is Earth day, but Saturday is really Earth Day.Denise Wolvin and folks at the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center have put together an impressive program for Earth Day. Events run from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. at the visitor center with shows in the auditorium, booths, guided hikes and games.

Movies where & when
"The Panhandle Picture Show," collection of 15 short films and videos, most by Southeast Alaska filmmakers, 7 p.m. Saturday, April 20, at the Gold Town Nickelodeon, $7.

Due to incorrect information supplied to the Juneau Empire, singer Therese Thibodeau's name was misspelled in the April 11 article on "Madama Butterfly."

Performers wanted for park concerts
Juneau - The Juneau Arts and Humanities Council invites performers to participate in the upcoming summer Concerts in the Park series.

Grass-roots creativity and Alaska filmmaking in video fest
Avalanches and eye candy come to Juneau with The Panhandle Picture Show. Described as "a quirky little video festival" by organizers Kim Lehner and Mark Fontenot, the Haines-based contest for short movies screens at 7 p.m. Saturday, April 20, at the Goldtown Nickelodeon theater.

Violist, violinist win symphony's youth competition
Juneau - Franz Felkl and Nina Schwinghammer are the winners of the Juneau Symphony's 2002 Youth Concerto Competition.

What's Happening

Rockers get ready for Battle of the Bands
T his winter the Sonic Death Monkeys took over Joab Cochrane's living room.His daughter Natasha is the band's drummer and Joab said the four sophomore girls are welcome to rehearse at his house. "I'm proud to see them spending as much time as they are," he said. "All these girls are talented, and there's some discipline there."

Local moviemakers featured in festival
Plank House, Juneau photographer Theresa Manzanares first effort at moviemaking, garnered a $500 first prize in The Panhandle Picture Show. Plank House is one of 13 videos that will be screened in succession in the two-hour show, beginning at 7 p.m. Saturday, April 20 at the Goldtown Nickelodeon theater.

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