Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Consultant: Alaska is an expensive place for oil, gas business
ANCHORAGE - Alaska is an expensive place to do business but the high costs of working in the Arctic and moving the oil to market by pipeline and tanker are no surprise, says an international oil and gas consultant.

Don't hike tax
I am a third-year veteran worker for controlling tobacco use. And I am against the recent call for an increase in tobacco taxes. Why, when that weed is the worst product that the U.S. ever legalized and subsequently chose not to regulate?

Gay marriage editorial correct
Congratulations on an editorial that is clear, dispassionate and right on target. Churches may decide who gets a seat in their pews. But Rosa Parks showed that everyone has the same right to a seat on the bus.

Tax oil, not people
In the limited 225-word, unsigned opinion piece (Published Anchorage Daily News, April 16, 2004) headed "Push begins for POMV," you write: "Alaskans are unlikely to enjoy a healthy political climate until they banish the idea that services come for free; they never do. And economic incentives will work against growth until some broad-based tax recaptures the public costs that come with it. But the Legislature is too lost in reaction and right-wing ideology even to discuss a rational progressive income tax."

Keep some backcountry skiing for hikers
This is addressed to the folks in the Coastal helicopter that buzzed me multiple times while I was skiing out Hilda Creek beyond Eaglecrest on Sunday afternoon. I can't believe that you would waste your time and money flying to something that would only take you about an hour and a half to get to under your own power.

Rosa Parks reference was misplaced
In reference to Ms. Madden stating that people think her struggle is comparable to Rosa Parks ("National groundswell spurs lesbian couple to wed, April 13,") I'd like to make a couple of comments. The last time I consulted my history books, I found that these were the facts

Beak deformities also seen in Hawaii
My husband and I have been wild bird rehabilitators for seven years. We thought we'd let you know that, while we lived and worked in Hawaii (island of Oahu), we spotted the deformities mentioned in the Juneau bird-beak article at least three times among house finches. However, the finches in question were healthy and spry, which made all attempts to catch them - to attempt to alter beak shape through judicious clipping in order to achieve a more natural feeding shape - useless.

Thinking 'closely and clearly'
Your Empire Editorial of April 18, 2004 (Facing gay marriage issue on two fronts) said:

On the costs of smoking
It is said that every pack of cigarettes bought and smoked costs the American people more than $7 in health care costs. However, every pack of cigarettes hypothetically bought and not smoked costs several times that much in social welfare costs.

Mendenhall campground to close for half of summer
The Mendenhall Lake Campground will be closed for most of this summer's tourist season, leaving Juneau residents and tourists with 60 fewer options for camping in Juneau, the U.S. Forest Service has announced.

Glory Hole to host 'empty bowls' event
The staff of the Glory Hole would like to avoid having empty bowls in the hands of hungry patrons for the rest of this year. So the downtown shelter is organizing the first Empty Bowls fundraiser in Juneau, following the example of hundreds of homeless shelters around the country.

Correction
Due to a reporter's error, an article on Sunday gave the wrong date for a wine tasting fund-raiser for the Juneau Raptor Center. The event is from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Friday, April 30, at the Silverbow, for ages 21 and older.

Restaurants receive an insurance windfall
Five Juneau businesses celebrated Christmas in March last month when they were presented refund checks from workers' compensation insurance premiums they paid in 2000.

Deportation splits Juneau families
Some Juneau social workers are alarmed at the rate immigrants are arrested and their families split in the city. Federal agents have counted 69 immigrant arrests in the past year, some for immigration violations and others for standard crimes.

Smoking ban may go before voters
The Juneau Assembly has moved toward asking voters whether to ban smoking in all public places, a direction that angered both bar owners and anti-smoking advocates Monday.

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

Softball Dog
Mindy Gross practices hitting while a dog she calls, "The Softball Dog" practices its fetching at Savikko Park on Monday. Ballplayers say the dog hangs out around the field all season.

Around Town
Today: Valley Toastmasters meeting, 6:10 a.m. every Tuesday, Henry's Restaurant. Public invited. Details: Jim, 789-3074.

Patience at False Outer Point
James Walker casts his herring while fishing from the rocks Monday at False Outer Point. About five fishermen on land and a few on boats were fishing at the popular North Douglas spot. Walker said the fishing was slow, but the Alaska Department of Fish and Game predicts a strong king salmon season for Southeast Alaska this year.

Photo: End of the line
Alaska Folk Festival Vice President Heather Haugland carries a faux cactus out of the National Guard Armory on Sunday as the 30th Annual Alaska Folk Festival wound down. Haugland and other festival volunteers helped clean up the armory after three consecutive nights of dances.

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

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

Diane Ruth Fawcett
Juneau resident Diane Ruth Fawcett, 41, died April 10, 2004.

Charles W. Beasley
Former Juneau resident Charles W. Beasley, 72, died April 15, 2004, in Edmonds, Wash.

Michael Aaron Nelson
Juneau resident Michael Aaron Nelson, 30, formerly of Provo, Utah, died April 10, 2004. He was born April 15, 1971.

My Turn: Vote no in school election to handle future growth
I am writing to urge you to vote no on May 25, regarding the high school proposition. A "no" vote ensures a new high school. I have seen three students through Juneau-Douglas High School. We had many great experiences, teachers, and extracurricular activities.

Alaska editorial: High oil prices hide the real issue
This editorial appeared in Saturday's Fairbanks Daily News-Miner: Oil most often is associated with making things run smoother, but that might not be the case in Alaska right now. Oil's high price may end up behaving like sand in the gears of government instead.

Aging population means greater need for transit
For most of us, mobility is a necessity we take for granted. Among life's essential routines and responsibilities, we jump into cars to travel a few blocks or several miles at will. Yet, for millions of elderly Americans, individuals with disabilities and people who do not own private vehicles, there are few transportation options, not only in urban areas, but rural areas as well. The result is often a life of forced isolation.

Temperatures could slow Boston Marathon
David Rosenberger rolled his eyes, shook his head in resignation, and muttered the word "frustrated," when reminded of the weather forecast for today's Boston Marathon. Temperatures for the 108th Boston Marathon are expected to reach the mid-80s, according to the National Weather Service. The average maximum for April 19 is 57.

Hot time in Beantown
BOSTON - Weakened by the heat and a mile-long sprint to the finish, Catherine Ndereba had to receive her winner's medal and olive wreath in a wheelchair.

Montreal leaves Boston in ruins
BOSTON - Alex Kovalev and the Montreal Canadiens salvaged their season and brought a shocking end to Boston's.

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.

Alaska MS Run/Walk Results
Results from the Alaska Multiple Sclerosis Spring Run/Walk, a 5-kilometer race held Saturday at Brotherhood Bridge in Juneau. There also was a 2-mile untimed walk course available.

Juneau boys win at Sitka Invite
A rookie senior led the Juneau-Douglas High School boys track team, while a sophomore sprinter added the shot put to her repertoire to lead the Sitka girls to their respective titles in the Sitka Invitational track meet Friday and Saturday at Sitka's Moller Field.

Crimson Bears claim first games that matter
The undefeated Juneau-Douglas High School boys and girls soccer teams both have played several games this young season, but Monday's games in Ketchikan were the first that really mattered.

Sports in Juneau
• Juneau Rowing Club general membership meeting - Meet from 7:30-9 p.m. on Wednesday, April 28, at the Douglas Library meeting room to discuss the summer regatta and an open row (for members and non-members) scheduled to start at 9 a.m. on Saturday, May 1, at the Aurora Harbor float near the Juneau Yacht Club.

Lawmakers using education to try to peddle revenue bills
When Rep. Peggy Wilson, R-Wrangell, was promoting her bill to put a $100 tax on workers in Alaska, she told members of the House Finance Committee the money would go to a good cause.

Alaska Digest
JUNEAU - The Southeast Alaska Child Abuse Prevention Network, an organization of AWARE, will hold a child abuse prevention rally at noon today in the Dimond Courthouse courtyard, on Fourth Street across from the Alaska Capitol.

Property owner grapples with dead-moose dilemma
ANCHORAGE - Eagle River resident Glenn Gibeault discovered a dead moose on his quarter-acre near Eagle River Road last month. As the snow started melting, an ear emerged.

Alaska Digest
News in brief from around the state.

Yukon villagers claim 'bleeding' crucified Jesus statue is a 'miracle'
A statue of a crucified Christ in the Yukon River village of Marshall is causing a stir after villagers claimed it started bleeding. The statue began leaking from classic stigmata points on Sunday or Monday and has continued to do so, according to witnesses at the Yupik village of 360 people.

Speaker Kott thrives on the art of the deal
Speaker of the House Pete Kott cleared his throat. The other 39 state representatives paid attention. "If dogs take over the world and choose a king, let's hope they don't do it by size," he drawled from his desk overlooking the House floor. "Because even Chihuahuas have good ideas."

Legislature mulls bid to reinstitute game board
A big-game guide regulatory board would be resurrected, under a bill making its way through the Legislature.

Alaska weathers downturn in jobs better than most states
FAIRBANKS - Alaska was tied for third place with Florida for job growth last year, according to national employment figures.

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

House to vote on spending cap
Constitutional amendments to limit state spending and change the way Alaska Permanent Fund distributions are calculated will come up for a vote this week in the House.

Photo: Nearing completion
Construction workers work on the new concourse of the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport last week in Anchorage. After years of delays and cost overruns, construction of a new concourse will be completed in time for the bulk of this summer's tourist traffic.

Icy plunge
Luke Thomas plunges into icy water Sunday during the 27th Annual Alyeska Spring Carnival and Slush Cup in Girdwood.

Ketchikan's Elkins to run for House
KETCHIKAN - Ketchikan businessman Jim Elkins - who appeared to have a Senate appointment in hand last year before the governor dropped him - has decided to run for the state House.

State, company sign gas line deal
TransCanada Corp. will file an application under the state's Stranded Gas Development Act for a North Slope natural gas pipeline to the Canadian border, Gov. Frank Murkowski said Monday.

This Day in History
In Alaska: In 1889, Lyman E. Knapp took office as the third governor of the district of Alaska, appointed by President Benjamin Harrison.

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