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Tuesday, April 23, 2002

A healthy concept
The laudable concept of identifying and establishing human, living, cultural treasures from within our own community is a concept that Juneauites might wisely adopt, for the entire community at large.

Rough recommendation
I want to recommend Theatre in the Rough's production of "The Trojan Women." The lighting and stage design are magical. The choreography and costumes are beautiful.

Mean enough to be recalled?
"Just plain mean" was such a mild term (Letters to the Editors, April 19). It should be closer to high treason against the people they represent.

Kadashan fan
I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoy the articles by Kadashan, Bert Adams Sr. His articles are great, they show a lot of intelligence and caring in most of his pieces.

Thanks from fan of local sports photos
The front page of your April 17 sports section inspired me to write this long-overdue fan letter to the Empire and photographer Michael Penn. His stunningly beautiful shot of Juneau's Laura Flynn breaking away to set up her game-winning goal is a superb study in athletic grace, balance and concentration. The perfect moment and composition is completed with the blurred image of the Colony defender.

About that bridge
I apologize in forgetting to mention I lived in Ketchikan for over 40 years. My reasons for being anti-bridge are varied.

Peaceful demonstration
Thanks to Mary Noble for writing a heartfelt My Turn in Friday's paper and getting the word out about the peace gathering downtown on Saturday.

Emblematic of our resolve
This Sunday as I strolled passed the S.O.B toward the Governor's Mansion, I saw an Earth Day surprise: An urban clear cut! There, above the sidewalk clinging to the mossy rocks, were sappy stumps where a formerly quaint young stand of spruce had been.

Where to start?
There are so many interesting letters, articles and a local editorial to read this Sunday! I'd like to comment briefly on several issues, if that is considered Hoyle.

Insulted, not paranoid
This week I received a letter from a hospital in Lake Charles, La. It was a bulk mail survey, asking if my daughter received good care at their ER. It was not bulky or overposted. It wasn't leaking white powder or ticking, but somehow it aroused the suspicion of the postal inspector in Lake Charles. On the back was stamped "OPEN FOR INSPECTION OF CONTENTS," and over the original seal was a USPS seal.

'Stage 4' defined
Since the question of the source of my remarks about Juneau reaching stage 4 of tourism has been raised, I will answer it briefly.

Thomas wins re-election to central council
The General Assembly of the Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska, meeting in Juneau last week, passed resolutions to establish inter-tribal education and tourism commissions, an employment service, and a program to monitor subsistence areas for pollution, among others.

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

Poll: Tour plan not balanced
Most people who responded to a recent city Web poll think a draft long-range tourism plan for Juneau will foster tourism-related business opportunities. But almost half think the plan is out of balance in favor of the tourism industry.

Used-car dealer closes shop
McQueen Motors, a Glacier Highway consignment used-car sales lot, is empty and for sale after its owner vacated the business and left town last week, said property owner Tom Kohann.The closure and owner Curtis McQueen's departure come amid allegations by the FBI that he underpaid vehicle owners and pocketed the difference.

Wind storm downs light pole at airport
A sudden wind storm at the Juneau Airport on Sunday morning sent the boom of a construction crane crashing into a nearby light pole, breaking the pole at its base and landing it across Shell Simmons Drive.

Hovel or haven?
The U.S. Forest Service cabin at Limestone Inlet, about 24 miles south of Juneau, has seen better days. Vegetation is taking over and the corrugated metal walls show signs of age. Built in 1977 as temporary quarters for timber crews, the cabin is in disrepair. The Forest Service is scheduled to tear down the structure in mid-May, but the agency wants to hear from the public first, Juneau District Ranger Pete Griffin said. While uninhabitable by most standards, the cabin could provide shelter to boaters trying to escape rough weather in Stephens Passage, he said.

Airport short-term parking reopened
The short-term parking lot at the Juneau Airport will reopen Monday, the first time since the Federal Aviation Administration imposed a 300-foot parking ban around airports after the Sept. 11 attacks.But people using the lot will have to allow their vehicles to be searched and pay $1 extra in fees. Drivers should be prepared to open vehicle trunks, truck canopies, large enclosed containers or van backs, the airport said.

Photos: The little mollusk
Aquarium Manager Rich Mattson dresses Abby Bowman up as a clam during a presentation on Monday at DIPAC. Bowman was learning about mollusks with her Juneau Christian School classmates. About 500 area second-graders are visiting DIPAC's Sea Week program, "What Makes a Mollusk?"

Stell to step down as UAS provost
University of Alaska Southeast Provost Robbie Stell, who has been with the school for 33 years, has announced she will retire in June 2003.

Juneau man on trial, victim still missing
The trial of a Juneau man accused of bludgeoning and stabbing an acquaintance more than 20 times earlier this year begins today - without the victim. George Shavers, 48, was indicted by a Juneau grand jury earlier this year on charges of felony first-degree assault with a dangerous weapon and felony tampering with evidence.

NTSB issues initial report for fatal crash
A veteran Alaska pilot was carrying bundles of roofing shakes to a friend's lodge when his plane crashed on the Mendenhall Wetlands on April 10, according to a preliminary report from government investigators.

Local students to learn the value of volunteering
Hundreds of Juneau students will leave school Friday to learn an important lesson - the value of community service. Students in grades seven through 12 will participate in National Youth Service Day, spending time assisting local charities and the city on a number of projects.

Empire's 9/11 coverage honored in press contest
The Juneau Empire won 13 Alaska Press Club awards, including six firsts, in the 2001 statewide contest results announced Saturday night in Anchorage.

Bids for JDHS way over budget
McQueen Motors, a Glacier Highway consignment used-car sales lot, is empty and for sale after its owner vacated the business and left town last week, said property owner Tom Kohann.The closure and owner Curtis McQueen's departure come amid allegations by the FBI that he underpaid vehicle owners and pocketed the difference.

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

Local Briefs
JDHS renovation bids due today; Consumer protection added to car dealer bill

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

Around town
Listings of local nonprofit events.

Robert Louis Jernberg
Former Juneau resident Robert Louis Jernberg, 95, died April 4, 2002, in Kirkland, Wash.

Charles W. Kidd
Former Juneau resident Charles W. Kidd, 86, died April 21, 2002, in Lancaster, Pa., after a short illness.

Feeling lonely, sad in a beautiful place
Several days ago, a perfect window in the weather, I set off for a paddle to Hilda Point. It wasn't planned, so I went solo. This is wh

DWI's must be treated seriously
Mothers Against Drunk Driving has worked diligently over the years to encourage the criminal justice system to work harder in enforcem

Word Of Mouth
Word of Mouth gives readers a forum to express opinions on a variety of issues by telephone. Calls must be limited to one minute. We reserve the right to edit calls for clarity, length and libel.

Bears earn national rankings
The Juneau-Douglas High School boys soccer team expected to receive some notice after sweeping a pair of games from national power Ferris of Spokane, Wash., 2-0 and 3-0 over the weekend.But not like this.

Coed Volleyball
Final standings from the Juneau Department of Parks and Recreation's 2002 coed volleyball league. Standings for some teams include an extra win for attending the preseason rules meeting.

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

Juneau softball unbeaten at Kayhi
The Juneau-Douglas High School softball team rode some hot bats to three victories Friday and Saturday in Ketchikan, giving the Crimson Bears a sweep of its opening series.

Crimson Bears sweep Sitka Invite track meet
Led by double-event victories from senior Jesse Stringer, senior Stephen Perry and junior Molly Krehlik, the Juneau-Douglas High School boys and girls track teams swept the team titles in the season-opening Sitka Invitational track meet Friday and Saturday at Sitka High School.

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

State's fiscal plan faltering
House Republican leaders said today they haven't given up on a long-range fiscal plan but will move ahead on incremental revenue-raising measures, rather than a package.

Grant to help fund sewer projects
ANCHORAGE - A $23.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture will help the state continue to supply rural Alaska with safe water and sewer systems. The agriculture money, along with another federal grant expected this year from the Environmental Protection Agency, will be matched with state funds and used on water and sewer projects in 22 villages from Beaver to Pilot Point.

Photo: Elvis on slush
Chad Aurentz rides across a pool during the 35th Annual Spring Carnival Slush Cup on Sunday at the Alyeska Resort in Girdwood.

New income tax plan on table
ANCHORAGE - A $23.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture will help the state continue to supply rural Alaska with safe water and sewer systems. The agriculture money, along with another federal grant expected this year from the Environmental Protection Agency, will be matched with state funds and used on water and sewer projects in 22 villages from Beaver to Pilot Point.

1 of 4 workers hurt in Unocal blaze remains hospitalized
Three of the four people injured Saturday in a fire on an oil platform in Cook Inlet have been released from the hospital.

Veneer plant faces liquidation
The company that tried to make the old Ketchikan pulp mill into a veneer plant appears headed for liquidation.

3 Natives win environmental prize
Three Native people who fought opening ANWR to oil development have won the Goldman Environmental Prize, given annually by the San Francisco-based Goldman Environmental Foundation. The three winners will receive $125,000.

State-owned pipeline plan passes House
JUNEAU - A bill calling for possible state ownership of a natural gas pipeline from the North Slope passed the House on Monday. The measure would require the Joint Committee on Natural Gas Pipelines to prepare a report by January 2004 on the feasibility of such a state-owned line.

Chief ASEA staffer resigns
The business manager of the largest state employees union has resigned.

Snowmobilers recount fall into Portage glacier crevasse
When snowmobiler Mike Gribbon came to, he was standing on a wedge of ice 75 feet deep inside a glacier near Portage. Blood-streaked ice rose against his chest, hips and face. A wall pressed his back.

Support grows for fourth amendment to restrain spending
Yet another proposed constitutional amendment to tighten state budgeting is gaining legislative support.The Legislature could require the governor to submit a list of budget priorities under an amendment advanced by the House State Affairs Committee this morning.

Murkowski endorsed by MEBA
Another labor union has endorsed U.S. Sen. Frank Murkowski for governor of Alaska.

Fairbanks fugitive tracked down
For 26 years, fugitive Howard Myers lived as John Murray, a name he picked off a tombstone. On Friday, the 67-year-old's freedom came to an end when he was located by police in Toronto, Canada. He will likely be extradited, officials say.

Student wins seat despite crime
Kelsey Hough was convicted April 2 of counterfeiting $100 bills, but that didn't hurt his chances in student elections at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Gas-line tax break moving quickly
JUNEAU - A measure giving up to $500 million in tax breaks for construction of a natural gas pipeline is moving quickly through the House. Rep. Pete Kott, R-Eagle River, is sponsoring the bill, which would exempt a natural gas pipeline from local and state property taxes while it is being built and for the first two years of operation. It would also exempt it from sales taxes.

Telephone competition at stake?
"Phone wars" could be coming to the Legislature again, according to General Communication Inc.The battleground might be a bill reauthorizing the Regulatory Commission of Alaska, which oversees telephone, electric, gas, water, sewer and garbage utilities, among others.

State Briefs
Squid making waves at University of Washington; Fairbanks man gets 99 years in prison for killing woman; Man enters plea in Sutton killing; State sets up Web site to recruit teachers; State conducts FAS survey

Fee increase would pay for new licenses
State lawmakers are considering increasing the fees for driver licenses and identification cards to generate revenue and pay for more sophisticated licensing technology.A statement from bill sponsor Rep. Pete Kott, an Eagle River Republican, said the current technology used to produce licenses was developed in the 1950s. He also said Alaska is one of the last four states that has not implemented more tamper-proof forms of identification.

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