Sunday, April 21, 2002

Bears: Romping, napping, grazing, fishing, scratching
For their latest book, husband-and-wife photographers Erwin and Peggy Bauer have chosen the best of nearly 30 years of photographing Alaska's wild bears. Quizzical expressions, unusual postures and moments of intense competition for fishing spots are just some of the delights of "Bears of Alaska."

In the Stacks
New fiction for your spring reading pleasure!

Government reflects the will of legislators
Damn, I must admit I admire Rep. Kohring's spirit! A strong mind in a strong body. Come back with your shield or on it. Those are the makings of the mythology of the free Western man. I don't know if the mythology ever had a basis in objective fact, but if it did, the objective fact didn't last long. Pericles' time in Greece, Rome in the time of The Republic, and the first few years of the original American Republic are the only times that readily come to mind.

Don't sacrifice Thane
"Squeaky wheel gets the grease." There are plenty of squeaky wheels in this town, especially on the helicopter issue, whether it's how many are landing or where they rest. Being a resident of Thane, it seems we get labeled as being quite squeaky, but it seems that this town is looking for the sacrificial heliport lamb and we're it, squeak or no squeak.

Fund emergency medical services
Our state Legislature is considering budget cuts which could seriously compromise the delivery of emergency medical services to the citizens of Alaska. These cuts would decrease funds to both state and regional programs. Alaska needs careful fiscal management at this time. But, I do not think basic emergency medical care should be considered optional when balancing the budget.

Thane heliport is a bad idea
As a Thane resident I'm glad to see the CBJ moving to plan for tourism so that it works for both business and inhabitants. Over the past decade, tourism increasingly has intruded into life in Thane.

A danger to funding is a danger to care
We would like to express our concern over proposed cuts in funding for the Division of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse by the Senate Finance Subcommittee. The proposed cuts in funding for substance abuse treatment would drastically cut the available treatment in Alaska, resulting in longer waiting list for treatment, fewer people receiving treatment and an increase in the utilization of other health care and criminal justice services.

Hats off to crew at Eaglecrest
Last Sunday was the end of a spectacular season at Eaglecrest. Lots of blue sky and sunshine to go with the terrific views. As one longtime Juneau skier observed, it was the best ski season in 35 years.

Peace Corps workers deserve dividends
For the 30 Alaskan Peace Corps volunteers to receive their permanent fund dividends, House Bill 314 must pass the Senate before May 14. Time is short.

Council names 12 elders from across Southeast
Arnold G. Booth, nominated by the Metlakatla Indian Community. Booth, 82, was born in Metlakatla and taught there for 26 years. For 15 years he also coached the high school boys basketball team.

Cultural treasures
Their knowledge is priceless. Their minds contain a wealth of Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian songs, stories, memories and protocol. And now 12 elders from around Southeast officially can call themselves "treasures."The Central Council Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska honored its first-ever "Living Cultural Treasure" designees in Juneau last week, an event that grew from one woman's determination, many communities' appreciation and the lifetime achievements of those receiving the awards.

Native women compete in leadership pageant
Amber Ebarb wasn't sure she wanted to apply for the Miss Tlingit Haida Youth Leadership Pageant because the word pageant conjures up images of swimsuits.But she realized, looking at a list of the questions the contestants must answer about what issues mattered most to them and the Native community, that the Tlingit Haida pageant was about leadership, not physical beauty.

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

Photo: A matter of health
James Young, left, of Juneau has a blood sample drawn Saturday by Dr. George Brown, Juneau pediatrician, during the Health Fair at Centennial Hall.

Courting wellness
Sean, 41, stood before Juneau District Judge Peter Froehlich at his final Wellness Court hearing earlier this year. Yes, he has plans, he said. And yes, he's sober. Everyone in the courtroom applauded. For his time in Wellness Court, he received a movie pass and a bright shining stamp of sobriety. By 10:30 p.m. four days later, Sean was asking a bartender for his third drink.

VFW ladies honored for charitable giving, work
A local social organization will be honored in today's USA Today Weekend Magazine, distributed in the Empire, for an outstanding charitable project.USA Today named the Ladies Auxiliary to the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Juneau as one of 500-plus National Make a Difference Day honorees from the weekend magazine's circulation area.

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

Mary Lynne Reed
Juneau resident Mary Lynne Reed, 55, died April 12, 2002, in San Diego.

Capitol Notebook: Bad timing from Senate R's, House D's
Beep-beep! Beep-beep! Dave Donley's timer punctuated testimony on the 2003 budget. It was a reminder that, in many ways, time is running out.

Is a 'nester' the same thing as a homebody?
In the news this year we are hearing the term "nesting" in regard to people who are staying home more than they used to. We are given to believe it's a rediscovery of the comforts of home or maybe a financial adjustment. For others it could be a fear of traveling far from the house. Again, modern humans have validated an old concept with a new name. Some of us have been various degrees of homebodies all along and it's nice to have a positive label for a change.

My Turn: A good name for DOT's plan of despair: Tunnel Vision 2020
It is called "Vision: 2020," the proposed Alaska Statewide Transportation Plan. The federal government requires it to qualify the state for federal highway funds. However, it's up to state planners to set policy for the plan. Those in Alaska's Department of Transportation missed a chance to create hope instead of despair.

Sorting through port issues
Events over the past three months have put the Docks and Harbors Board (D&H) in the middle of a number of debates.Juneau's waterfront is entering into a new era as the value and utility of this important area factors into a more prominent role in the community's future.

My Turn: Legislative leadership lacks vision
There was a time when things were looking up for Alaskans, and when the leadership in the Legislature that cared about the future of Alaskans. The more I think about the current situation the more I get depressed, and it seems as if there is no end in sight to the destructive wake that the leadership is taking.

The power to tax, the power to destroy
I think the Alaska Legislature, and the American people in general, should come to an understanding of where the original taxing powers came from and what we can do to put things in proper perspective.

Toe cartoon

Fishing report
Spring kings and steelheads are about the best bet for sport fishing this time of the year.Most salmon species, plus halibut, are open for fishing, but there's little if anything to find.

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

Wildlife feasts during lunchtime in Berners Bay
Spring in Berners Bay can be an exciting time. For just a few short weeks at the end of April and early May, it is feast time for hordes of birds and marine mammals that come to feed on prey that is briefly concentrated there.

Gearing up for fishing season
For Al Salsman, half the fun of fishing is getting ready."You can't fish in the dead of winter, but you can still play with your gear," he said. During the off season, Salsman, 58, spends his time working on his rods and reels - cleaning, oiling, making any necessary repairs and installing new line. As if he can't get enough of a good thing, Salsman even makes a point to clean fishing gear he rarely uses, some equipment more appropriate for fishing spots outside of Juneau.

Bear boys ride Ferris
The Juneau-Douglas High School boys soccer team has had eight different players score goals this season, but the Crimson Bears are winning games with their defense.

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

Late goal keeps Juneau girls unbeaten
The Juneau-Douglas High School girls soccer team dominated play, but it took a goal late in the second half by Sarah Croteau for the Crimson Bears to beat the Wasilla Warriors 1-0 on Friday night at the Adair-Kennedy Memorial park.With the victory, the Crimson Bears stayed undefeated with their sixth victory in eight days. Wasilla fell to 0-2 on the season.

Haines: Rettinger joins police
Jason Rettinger has been hired as the city of Haines' newest police patrol officer. Rettinger, 25, begins work April 23.

Whale bones finally off to Great Britain
ANCHORAGE - A pair of 17-foot bowhead whale bones are finally heading to an old English whaling port. The jawbones were destined for Whitby, England - a Sister City of Anchorage - a month ago but were contaminated by algae, rancid oil and whale tissue, said Chris Kennedy, a member of the Anchorage Sister Cities Commission.

Feds hit Carnival for $18 million
MIAMI - Carnival Corp., the world's largest cruise ship operator, pleaded guilty Friday to federal ocean pollution charges and agreed to pay $18 million in fines and restitution. The discharges didn't involve Alaska waters. Carnival admitted that six Carnival Cruise Line ships - Sensation, Ecstasy, Fantasy, Imagination, Paradise and Tropicale - illegally discharged oily waste from their bilge tanks in the past five years. The dumping occurred in the Atlantic, Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico from ships that left Florida.

Bill eases schools' surveys of students
The House approved a bill Friday that eases restrictions on schools trying to survey students about drug use, sexual activity, exercise habits and other private issues.The bill reverses action taken by the Legislature in 1999 requiring parents to sign a consent form before children can participate in surveys inquiring about "personal or private family affairs."

Ketchikan: Local takes third in geography bee
Chelsea Goucher of Ketchikan earned a third-place win at the recent National Geographic Bee state finals in Anchorage.

House OKs bill limiting outdoor recreation companies' liability
A bill shielding outdoor recreation businesses from some liability for accidents passed the House on Friday.The bill's sponsor, Rep. Pete Kott, an Eagle River Republican, said it balances the responsibilities of business operators and their customers.

Public defender pleads no contest
ANCHORAGE - An assistant public defender has pleaded no contest in a case that brought down the chief prosecutor of Alaska.

House panel looks at stiffer penalties for cruelty to animals
The House Judiciary Committee on Friday took up a bill that would increase the penalties for committing cruelty to animals.But the proposal might not make such crimes a felony, as originally intended by the bill's author, Rep. Mike Chenault, a Nikiski Republican.

State Briefs
Bill aims at get-rich-quick scams; Amnesty director to speak; Anchorage smuggler convicted

Ketchikan: Police nab youths
Two boys led Craig and Klawock police on a chase around Prince of Wales Island last week after allegedly stealing a 42-foot pleasure boat, two handguns and two trucks, in addition to trying to sneak aboard the ferry M/V Prince of Wales.

Klawock: Klawock preparing Native teachers
Klawock Schools is helping prepare Alaska Native students for careers as teachers through the PITAS (Preparing Indigenous Teachers for Alaska Schools) program.

Ketchikan: Guard resumes driftnet patrols
The U.S. Coast Guard has resumed flying high seas driftnet enforcement patrols.

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