Tuesday, April 22, 2003

Business Briefs
Storm water regulations workshop Thursday; Flyfishing store celebrates anniversary; Summer finance academy planned

Business profile: Dan Miller
Title and company: General Manager, Bicknell Inc. Services: Bicknell Inc. is the Juneau-based general contracting company that is developing land and building homes in the Montana Creek Subdivision. The company also builds roads and lays pavement. "Typically we have four to six houses going at any one time at various stages," Miller said. "Through the winter months we have a couple of construction projects, snow removal and street sanding. And then in the summer we may end up with a couple of hundred different paving jobs."

Tourism workers begin annual migration
As the whales make their way toward Southeast Alaska from Hawaii this month, so do glacier trekking guides, helicopter pilots and boat captains from around the world. "Pilots are kind of nomadic," said Tim McDonnell, vice president of tourism marketing with TEMSCO Helicopters. "They fly in Hawaii, then back in Alaska. They kind of move around with the business."

Techwit: There's always a catch in technology
Catches come in multiples of 11. That's what protagonist William Tell learns in "Then What?" (www.thenwhat.com), a novel about how technology makes us nuts in an exciting kind of way. I've read "Then What?" several times, but that's because I wrote it and didn't have a choice - my editor made me. Described as Monty Python meets the Matrix meets Alvin Toffler on too much coffee, "Then What?" tackles some of the more important questions that face us, like, "Why is everything we like to eat bad for us?" And, "How come you never see the headline, 'Psychic Wins Lottery!'

Delta gold-mine construction could get started in December
ANCHORAGE - If final permits are cleared for the project, construction could begin in December on the $250 million Pogo gold mine development near Delta. The boards of Teck Cominco Ltd. and Sumitomo Metal Mining Co., which own Pogo, are expected to make a final decision to go ahead with the project in September, according to Karl Hanneman, Alaska regional manager for Teck-Pogo Inc., which is managing development of the mine.

Real patriots love and support America's kids
Are we a nation of family values? Children the most important thing? No child left behind? You betcha! Or maybe not. Schools nationwide have to shut down early this year (some teachers volunteering to work for free for two weeks in Portland, Ore., for example). Let's consider our true intentions as a nation.

If salmon are marketed, they need protection
Gov. Murkowski has announced the state is spending millions of dollars to promote marketing of our wild salmon. Declaring that the environment where our fish are reared is clean and pure is key in the promotion. Consumers should feel confident when they buy Alaska salmon, they are buying a product that is pure and free of harmful chemicals.

Renowned crime expert sought by nat'l TV while testifying in Juneau
Perched on the side of a bed in a downtown Juneau hotel room, forensic pathologist Dr. Michael Baden breathlessly attempted to juggle two telephones. Baden, chief forensic pathologist for the New York State Police, had just finished testifying in the third murder trial of 20-year-old Jose "Che" Mateu of Ketchikan. And broadcast news programs wanted his comments on the latest developments in the Laci Peterson case.

Play: To Bhutan and back
A family visit to Bhutan, a small kingdom in the Himalayas, has inspired a local eighth-grader to write a play about friendship. "The Four Friends" by Libby Parker, 13, is Auke Bay Elementary's fifth-grade spring musical, to be performed for the public at 6:30 p.m. Thursday in the school gym. The suggested donation is $3 a person or $10 a family. "I never really planned to write it," Libby said at a recent rehearsal. "But when I found out we were going to Bhutan, it all evolved."

Alleged victim speaks to Catholic investigating panel
A man who accused a Juneau Catholic priest of sexually abusing him in the early 1980s said he was treated "fairly and with respect" during the two meetings he had last week with the Juneau Diocese lay committee investigating the allegations. Joel Post said he was asked by the diocese to testify before the 10-member committee Wednesday and again Saturday. The testimony was part of the committee's investigation into allegations against the Rev. Michael Nash, former pastor of the Cathedral of the Nativity.

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

Caring for the dead, caring for community
A little dab of pink for the cheeks, a quick flip of a small black wand to lift the lashes amid the lingering scent of embalming fluid, and a cadaver is ready for its "final picture." Some might say it's creepy, but Bill Wilkerson, funeral director for the Alaskan Memorial Park and Crematory, says at least he knows none of his customers can hurt him or complain. Wilkerson, 65, runs the only funeral home in Juneau. He cares for the bodies of souls recently departed throughout Southeast and considers it his contribution to the community.

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

Empire writing, photos, design honored in contest
Empire reporter Julia O'Malley's account of the travel difficulties encountered repeatedly by a Juneau man whose name arbitrarily was placed on an FBI "watch list" after Sept. 11, 2001, was judged best general news story in Alaska's big newspapers for 2002 in Alaska Press Club contest results announced Saturday night in Anchorage. O'Malley and former Empire reporter Riley Woodford also were awarded second place for their three-day series of articles about drugs in Juneau.

Assembly backs commission in Duran Construction case
The Juneau Assembly late Monday upheld the Planning Commission's January decision requiring Duran Construction Co. to obtain a permit to process topsoil and store construction equipment on the company's Lemon Creek-area property. The Assembly's vote was 6-2 against the company. A motion to grant a stay to enable the company to work during any 30 days between now and the end of July failed 5-3.

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

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

This Day in History
In 1959, Russia's Literary Gazette reported that Soviet engineers were studying the idea of building a bridge from Siberia to Alaska. The bridge could carry railroad tracks and atomic pumps to divert warm ocean currents toward the Arctic Ocean to warm up the area's climate.

Photo: Portrait of a portrait, 1940
Juneau photographer Trevor Davis holds his well-known image, "Lights of Juneau," in 1940.

User-friendly Tsimshian-language curriculum is basis for courses
Debi White, a Tsimshian Indian in Ketchikan, said her mother remembered elders speaking their Native language when they didn't want the children to understand what they were saying. "So when I was growing up, a few words were spoken but not the language," said White, who runs a cultural program in the schools for the Ketchikan Indian Community. Now, as part of a resurgence of Native culture, parents want their children to understand the traditional languages. A "user-friendly" Tsimshian-language curriculum developed by a former Alaska couple will be the basis for courses this summer in Southeast.

Jeraldine Rose (Thompson) Thomsen
Former Juneau resident Jeraldine Rose (Thompson) Thomsen, 68, died April 7, 2003, in Seattle, Wash., after suffering a heart attack.

Roberta 'Bobbi' Jean Rodgers
Juneau resident and longtime Alaskan Roberta "Bobbi" Jean Rodgers, 63, died April 3, 2003, in Juneau after a short bout with cancer.

Government for, of and by the Iraqis
Now that the war in Iraq is winding down and there is diverse discussion about post-war activities to bring civil government to these people, the United Nations thinks it can play a part in promoting democracy and self-government to the liberated people of Iraq. No one has admitted this will be an easy task and I'm not saying it will be a piece of cake either.

My Turn: Recall the words of President Eisenhower
Many of us increasingly are offended by recent letters telling anyone who is against the war to shut up and support the soldiers who are "fighting for their freedom." Yet this would dishonor the very freedom they are supposed to be fighting for. What soldier wants to be fighting for freedom for a country where everybody is supposed to have their mouths duct-taped shut?

My Turn: Bills provide stable price structure
There has been a lot of talk in the media lately about the effects of House Bill 57/Senate Bill 50 and the motives of those who stand most to profit from its success. The bill has been called the "Agrium Bill" and, while as a manufacturer that uses gas in the products it makes Agrium does benefit from this bill, it needs to be made clear this is a bill that assists all manufacturers of value-added products throughout Alaska.

Empire Cup Standings
Here are the standings of the Empire Cup running series through the KTOO Fun Run held April 19. Races included in the standings so far are the Sweetheart Relay, Flanagan's Run, the Glacier 10K and the KTOO Fun Run.

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

KTOO Fun Run Results
Results from Saturday's 5-kilometer KTOO Run, held downtown near the KTOO radio station on a loop course that went up Basin Road and down the Flume.

U.S. runners try to break through in Boston Marathon
BOSTON - The 107th edition of the nation's most famous footrace starts at 8 a.m. today (ADT) as prelude, one suspects, to another occasion of two recurring Boston Marathon themes. One is the dominance of runners from Kenya, which has produced 11 of the last 12 men's winners and the last three women's winners.

Coed Volleyball
The final 2003 standings from the Juneau Department of Parks and Recreation's coed volleyball leagues through matches of April 15. Some teams received a bonus win for attending the preseason managers' meeting.

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

Bill Tugman Memorial Obstacle Ski Race Results
Results from the Bill Tugman Memorial Obstacle Ski Race held on April 12 at Eaglecrest Ski Area. Competitors had to ski over a steep snow spine, through colorful hoops bedecked with balloons and streamers, through a covered tunnel (like a long tent) and through the dreaded pole forest (lots of slalom ski race poles together).

Wilkens paces SE runners at Boston Marathon
Christian P. Wilkens of Douglas posted the fastest time by a Southeast Alaska resident during the 107th Boston Marathon on Monday. Wilkens, 27, covered the 26.2-mile course in an official time of 3 hours, 0 minutes, 56 seconds to finish in 632nd place overall, 603rd among all male runners and 435th among men in the open division (age 18-39).

Soldotna native's interest in wildlife turns into up-close-and-personal encounters with big cats
SOLDOTNA - Tasha Van Vleet greets one of the cats in her care with a "good morning" as she makes her morning rounds. The cat, Jambo, responds with a yawn. He then emits a purr, gives the back of her hand a few light kisses with his tongue and leans in to have his back scratched.

Educators question new federal law
ANCHORAGE - Jonathan Ward knows more about caribou than most seventh graders. The Steller Secondary School student formulated a research question about how the animals react to people, interviewed experts, and read publications to find the answer. He typed up his results in a research paper, and to teach other students, he's completing a board game that will be part of a presentation to peers and parents. Science teacher Doug Teter figures Jonathan has demonstrated ably his learning, but in a couple of years, that won't be good enough.

State Briefs
'Bowling For Columbine' held over for 2 nights; Assembly to discuss attorney recruitment; Glacier center closes Thursdays, Fridays; Mining ordinance meeting tonight; City meet on SARS; School bond issue supporters meet; State considers ending subsidy on ethanol

U.S. Forest Service reveals big plans for Tern Lake
ANCHORAGE - A lake along one of Alaska's most popular highways could be transformed into a "world class" viewing area under a U.S. Forest Service proposal. Tern Lake is about 80 miles south of Anchorage, south of the Y junction of the Seward and Sterling highways. It attracts a menagerie of birds, mammals and fish within easy viewing of thousands of people traveling between Anchorage and the Kenai River-Seward recreation corridor every summer.

State Briefs
Girl dies in Anchorage apartment fire; Company offering rewards for information on bus vandalism; Alaska unemployment shows seasonal decrease

System could revolutionize small-town garbage woes
HAINES - A new garbage composting system here is being watched closely by small towns around the nation as a possible solution to solid waste disposal. Haines Sanitation's "in-vessel" composting system is still a few weeks away from full operation, but has the potential to reduce by two-thirds the volume of garbage and sewage sludge buried at the landfill, company president Lynda Walker said. Eventually, it also will produce salable compost.

Turning wasted fish into food
Gulf of Alaska trawl fishermen pulled more than 3 million pounds of halibut bycatch last year, and they had to throw all of the dead fish overboard. Trevor Jones, chairman of the Alaska Food Coalition, says he has a better idea for what to do with all that fish. He wants to donate it to food banks and soup kitchens around the state, but the law won't let him.

Photo: Restoring a Raven pole
Northwest Coast carver and historian Steve Brown attaches a golf umbrella to the Raven Stealing The Sun totem pole in Ketchikan to protect it while doing some restoration work.

Realtors pan bill on dual-agent disclosure
ANCHORAGE - A bill that would change disclosure requirements when one agent or brokerage represents the buyer and seller in a real estate transaction has drawn sharp criticism from some members of the industry. The bill, introduced by Rep. Norman Rokeberg, an Anchorage Republican, would change a law that says as soon as a brokerage firm is aware it represents both a buyer and a seller, it must obtain written consent from both parties to act as a "dual agent." The same would be true for an independent real estate agent.

Senator wants board to have more authority on wolf control
A state senator is advocating a measure that would allow the state Board of Game to authorize airborne predator-control programs without backing of the governor. Freshman Sen. Ralph Seekins, a Fairbanks Republican, told the Senate Judiciary Committee he wants the Board of Game to allow private hunters to shoot predators with the help of aircraft if predator control is necessary.

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