Thursday, April 24, 2003

Grocery store chains sued over farmed salmon
YAKIMA, Wash. - A law firm is suing the country's three largest grocery chains, contending they should tell shoppers that the farm-raised salmon they sell has been dyed pink. The three lawsuits, proposed as class actions, were filed Wednesday against the Kroger Co., Safeway Inc. and Albertsons Inc., said lawyer Paul Kampmeier of Smith & Lowney of Seattle.

What they mean?
Extreme environmental groups are touting their victorious campaign against economic development and jobs and further state the majority of the American public is behind them.

Down the same path?
I read George Wills' column in the Sunday edition of the Empire ("Converging calamities for airlines) in which he outlines the variety of reasons for the financial troubles of the airline industry. Predictably, he takes a broad swipe at the unions that represent the workers of those airlines. Also, predictably, he ignores the recent revelations about the pending American Airlines bankruptcy.

Juneau dissent is healthy to explore
People who equate criticism of the Bush administration with being anti-America are proving only that they do not have any understanding of what this country is about. Dissent is written into the U.S. Constitution and has been supported by all of the philosophers and statesmen since.

At least he served
I would like to respond to Tony Tengs' My Turn in Monday's paper and say that I would be fine with calling the Department of Defense the War Department because it would not sway my support for our military at all. And when I say "our military" I mean every part of the government that has to do with the military, including our president who is the commander and chief of it.

Amsterdam opens cruise season May 5
The Holland America ship Amsterdam will bring a full load of 1,380 visitors when it sails into Juneau on May 5 to start the 2003 cruise ship season, said company spokesman Erik Elvejord. How many passengers come for the rest of the season, though, depends on whether bookings pick up between now and the fast-approaching summer tourism season.

Former pilot tells how he survived ejection from jet, struggle at sea
Ejected from a fighter plane into the cold Atlantic Ocean at night, his body broken, fighting 5-foot seas and 17-mph winds, and exhausted trying to climb into a life raft, U.S. Air Force Capt. Brian Udell's thoughts turned to his pregnant wife and death. "If I don't get into this raft I will not see the light of the next day," Udell told a rapt audience Wednesday afternoon in Centennial Hall at the Pillars of America Freedom lecture series, hosted by the Glacier Valley Rotary Club.

Commission OKs plan to speed up mine permits
The Juneau Planning Commission unanimously forwarded an ordinance to the Juneau Assembly on Tuesday that would speed permitting by reducing local review of large rural mines in the Juneau area. In doing so, commissioners asked the Assembly to pay particular attention to their individual comments about permit timing, socioeconomic studies and other issues.

Photo: Hands-on quilting
Judy Hall helps her granddaughter, Jadyn, 6, tie a quilt together Tuesday evening at Glacier Valley Elementary School. Fourth-grader Charlie Johnson, 10, helps, too.

'Best Management Practices' aim to combat tourism problems
When the cruise ships sail into town and the buses and helicopters start moving, Juneau residents will have an opportunity to make their own noise for local tour operators. The Tourism Best Management Practices program will be in effect again this year, and residents are invited to voice their concerns with local tour companies on a public comment phone line and e-mail address.

Bartlett board rejects lone renovation bid
Bartlett Regional Hospital's Board of Directors on Tuesday unanimously rejected an over-budget bid - the only bid received - for an expansion project. The $40.9 million bid from Anchorage-based Cornerstone Construction was $11 million more than the city's $29.7 million construction estimate for the project. The board will meet May 21 with its architectural firm - NBBJ of Seattle - to review its options, Bartlett Administrator Bob Valliant said.

Photo: Fish Creek, 1914
This 1914 photograph shows Neil McCush operating the Cropley Lake head gate on Upper Fish Creek, above what is now Eaglecrest Ski Area, on Douglas Island.

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

School cuts loom if city doesn't OK additional funding
Juneau schools Superintendent Peggy Cowan told Juneau Assembly members Wednesday night that staff, activity buses and after-school activities could face cuts if the city doesn't provide about $292,000 in extra funding. The Assembly's Finance Committee, comprising all the Assembly's members, heard the district's proposed fiscal 2004 budget with little comment.

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

Shaping the waterfront's future
Juneau's waterfront could be studded with more shops, expanded with more cruise-ship docks or adorned with a harbor walkway, depending in part on the outcome of public hearings held this week for a new long-range waterfront plan. "This is a community-driven process. We want big ideas to frame development," said Scott Lagueux, a consultant with Miami-based Bermello, Ajamil & Partners. Lagueux is running the meetings and will use the comments to draft a plan. "Everyone has a different value set. We are looking for the common views and themes."

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

Southeast narcotics team confiscates cocaine, methadone in 4 busts
State drug enforcement officers are waiting to arrest at least five suspects police said are connected with shipments of cocaine, marijuana and methadone recently confiscated in Juneau. The Southeast Alaska Narcotics Enforcement Team, known as SEANET, recently seized more than an ounce of cocaine, almost a pound of marijuana and more than 70 tablets of methadone in four separate operations.

Feds ponder upping number of cruise ships in Glacier Bay
The 139 cruise-ship entries currently allowed between June and August in Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve could be raised incrementally to 184 starting in 2004, a National Park Service representative said Wednesday at a public hearing about motor vessels in the park. Wednesday in Juneau, the park service presented a draft environmental impact statement on vessel quotas and operating requirements for visitors to Glacier Bay. The service completed the draft in March.

Planning Commission OKs mining ordinance change
The city's review of a mine's socio-economic impact on Juneau was a main focus at a Juneau Planning Commission hearing Tuesday night. The Juneau Assembly's Land Committee has proposed a slate of revisions to the city's mining ordinance to expedite permitting in rural areas. Under the proposal, a new rural mine would be an allowable use and wouldn't be subject to permitting conditions covered by state and federal environmental reviews.

This Day in History
In 1969, a University of California engineer advised that building a 50-mile bridge from Alaska to Siberia across the Bering Strait was entirely feasible.

Appreciating the beauty of sumptuous, all-afternoon brunches
When I was growing up, breakfast was never a big meal in my family. A bowl of cereal or a couple of pieces of toast were enough to get us out the door each morning. That all changed when I met my partner six years ago. In his family, hot breakfasts were a regular weekday fixture, and weekends and holidays were opportunities for morning indulgence.

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

Pet of the week
Baka is a black lab mix -- but what went into the mix is a mystery. He has a bushy tail and a smooth, black coat with lots of feathers.

Forest Service brings smiles, food, appliances to Glory Hole
Forest Service employees from the Alaska Region Regional Office in Juneau wanted to make a difference for the men, women and children that use the Glory Hole's services. A two-week food drive and some hints from the Glory Hole staff enabled the Forest Service to supply some much-needed foodstuffs, appliances and even some cash to the shelter.

Photo: Riding an Easter breeze
A sailboat plies Gastineau Channel on Easter Sunday.

Thank you
... for the help; ... for matching grant

Neighbors Briefs
Annual 4-H tree sale; Wine-tasting cruise to benefit Red Cross; Scholarships awarded; Animals in need; Juneau Golf Club annual meeting

Young writers, illustrators in 9th annual contest
Young authors and illustrators in kindergarten through third grade recently participated in the Ninth Annual Reading Rainbow Young Writers and Illustrators contest. Sponsored by local public television station KTOO-TV in cooperation with the nationally acclaimed PBS children's series, Reading Rainbow, the contest encourages young children to write and illustrate their own stories.

Local liquor stores working with MADD, teens to raise awareness
Last Saturday, on the occasion of National Youth Service Weekend, local teens worked with the Juneau Alcohol Beverage Retailers Association to educate customers about Alaska's alcohol laws through a project called "Sticker Shock." These youth and their parents entered local stores to attach warning stickers on the bags in which alcohol purchases are placed. The stickers warn customers of the penalties for adults who provide alcohol to minors: Up to $10,000 in fines and up to 1 year in jail for a first offense.

The public library's private advocate
When Nancy Ferrell was growing up in a broken home in Milwaukee, the public library there was her haven."It was a place of enjoyment for me ... and a place for information," Ferrell said. Her childhood escape turned into a lifetime of library use and promotion - a passion that led her to receive the Library Advocacy Award at the Alaska Library Association at the association's convention here in March.

Connie MacLean
Former Juneau resident Connie MacLean, 91, died April 10, 2003, in Coupeville, Wash.

Mary Anderson Wilson
Hoonah resident Mary Anderson Wilson, 92, died April 13, 2003, in Hoonah.

My Turn: Alyeska Central School not unique
The voters of Alaska made it abundantly clear that they want a more scaled-down, efficient state government to deliver essential state services. The governor has proposed closing the Alyeska Central School (ACS) to accomplish these goals and to terminate a state service that duplicates the new and creative efforts of local school districts to offer correspondence courses.

My Turn: America's freedom is historically owed to many dissenting voices
In response to Jody Liliedahl's letter of April 18, I would like to voice a few concerns. First off, being anti-Bush is not anti-American. Having an opinion that killing thousands of innocent people is wrong is not anti-American either. America is all about expressing opinions.

My Turn: Politicians dogging issues
I am surprised that Jim Clark, the governor's chief of staff, would take the time to write a letter supporting the closure of Alyeska Central School. Hopefully there are more important matters vying for his attention. His opening statement regarding Murkowski's intent to close Alyeska as a way to accomplish the goal of achieving scaled-down, efficient state government is a joke.

My Turn: Changes to APOC would hinder open government
Gov. Frank Murkowski and his administration now claim they are trying to streamline rather than eliminate the Alaska Public Offices Commission (APOC). But the trade-offs hidden in the legislation lower the shades on open government and hamper public input in the public process.

Sidelines: Alaska fullback waits for NFL call
A sporting legend looms on the NFL draft board in 2003. A few years back Sports Illustrated put together lists of the 50 greatest sports figures for each of the 50 states. So talented was the Texas list that Pro Football Hall of Fame cornerback Dick "Night Train" Lane ranked a modest 17th. Illinois and Ohio placed a couple of legendary coaches at 17 - Knute Rockne for Illinois and Woody Hayes for Ohio. Michigan and New York placed a couple of boxing champions at 17 - Thomas Hearns for Michigan and Gene Tunney for New York. Thoroughbred champion Man O' War placed 17th for Kentucky.

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

This time the Duke pick wasn't a dud
CLEVELAND - Before rookie forward Carlos Boozer of Juneau was taken by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2002 NBA Draft, the Duke University pipeline to Cleveland wasn't panning out. Former Duke star forward Danny Ferry was acquired from the Los Angeles Clippers along with Reggie Williams for Ron Harper in one of the most controversial trades in the 33-year history of the franchise and played for the Cavs from 1990-2000.

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

NOAA publishes rules for halibut subsistence fishing
Residents of rural communities and Alaska Native tribal groups with a tradition of subsistence fishing will receive an allowance of 20 halibut per day under new federal halibut subsistence fishing regulations that will take effect May 15. The regulations are an attempt to codify what many Alaskans were doing already: fishing halibut for personal use and in some cases exceeding the personal use catch limit of two per day. While Alaska does have regulated subsistence fisheries, mainly for salmon, halibut has never been included.

Tax plan or payback time?
Is a legislative bill to tax car rentals in Alaska a plan for new revenues or political payback? Former Anchorage Republican Rep. Andrew Halcro, who also is president and CEO of Avis Rent-a-Car in Alaska, on Wednesday said House Speaker Pete Kott proposed a 15 percent tax on car rentals as retribution for Halcro's opposition to various plans by Kott in recent legislative sessions.

Wuerch concedes mayor's race to Begich
ANCHORAGE - Mark Begich claimed victory in the Anchorage mayor's race Wednesday after a recount of more than 63,000 ballots. Begich, a former member of the Anchorage Assembly, ended with 28,603 votes, or 45.03 percent of the total. Under a charter change approved at the April 1 city election, Begich needed one vote more than 45 percent to win. He got 17 more.

Senate bill would eliminate credit scoring by insurance companies
Using personal credit ratings to help determine how much a policy- holder pays for home and automobile insurance makes premiums more equitable and does not target low-income consumers, an insurance industry representative said Tuesday during a Senate hearing. Sam Sorich, with the National Association of Independent Insurers, told the Senate Labor and Commerce Committee that insurance companies historically have used factors such as driving record, car type, age and driving experience to determine the insurance risk of a person.

State and Local Briefs
Seat belt helps woman survive crash; State sues over WorldCom losses; Residents invited to give input on waterfront; Pillars series starts today; Recount of Anchorage mayoral ballots begins; Klawock women charged in pull-tab scam; Boy's autopsy mirrors drowned brother's

Senate budget could avoid controversial cuts
JUNEAU - Senate Republicans may preserve the longevity bonus for seniors in next year's operating budget, GOP leaders say. But a compromise may add eligibility requirements to exclude seniors who don't rely on the bonuses. "We're looking at trying to craft something that gets the votes, number one, and looks out for the seniors of very modest means," said Senate President Gene Therriault, a North Pole Republican.

State Briefs
'Bowling for Columbine' to stay 4 more nights; Finance Committee OKs raise in car registration; Bill would make credit reports free; Fishing interests top donors to Sen. Murkowski; Anchorage man attacked after sharing his faith; Board removes physician assistant's license; Soldotna police chief receives award

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