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Friday, April 25, 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.

A sustainable economy
Everyone is talking economy nowadays. Seniors are telling people the money they get from the government is infused into the economy, giving a boost. President Bush is still saying a tax cut is the resolution to a lagging economy, just as it used to be the reward of a booming, surplus economy. We got armchair economists sending letters to the editor, including me.

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.

Easier to make war than to solve social problems
Kenn Magowan's recent My Turn was excellent. I would like to add that most of our American freedoms were not won on the battlefield in someone else's country. They were earned in the streets of America by civilians who united to form unions, to fight against racism, corporate greed, and to implement social justice.

Spring snuggle
Juneau-Douglas High School seniors Greg Pendergrast and Kelly Morgan share a tender moment while their class took advantage of the sunny weather to study outside on Thursday.

Juneau cruise ship fee stands firm despite federal ban
A federal law prohibiting municipalities from taxing cruise ships without providing a reasonable service in return won't affect Juneau's cruise ship passenger fees, according to the city attorney.

USAF jets stop in Juneau
Two Air Force F-15C Eagle jets left Juneau with a roar Thursday morning, startling residents who heard or saw them zoom over the Gastineau Channel at 9 a.m.

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.

Kids against drugs
Joshua Tupou, Nia Make and Siosi Tupou dance Saka- and Maori-style dances during the sparkling cider "sip-in" in front of the Capitol at noon on Thursday.

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.

Drunken driver gets 6 months for accident, leaving the scene
A Juneau woman who, while drunk, crashed her car into three other vehicles, fled the scene and attempted to elude police on foot, was sentenced Thursday in Superior Court to six months in prison. Crash victims said they were angry at the "light" sentence.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

Assembly backs armed forces resolution
The Juneau Assembly unanimously approved a resolution last week supporting this country's armed forces and their families.

Spring cleanup
Red Langel, an equipment operator for the city, drives a sweeping and vacuuming truck down Gold Street on Thursday.

AroundTown
Listings of local nonprofit events.

Classic toy store to open downtown
When Alicia and Roger Smith had the first of their two children three-and-a-half years ago, they did more than just extend their family. They also gave birth to a business plan.

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.

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

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.

Hot breakfast plan: Learning on a full stomach
Students line up before school starts at Riverbend Elementary and dig into bowls of hot oatmeal, thanks to the efforts of companies, parents and school officials.

Night lights
The Aurora Borealis puts on a show over the forests of North Douglas Island early Thursday morning.

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

Skagway, Bartlett near completion of clinic deal
Bartlett Regional Hospital would manage the Skagway Medical Clinic starting in July, under an agreement that is nearly final.

JAMHI to build housing for patients
Construction should begin near Salmon Creek by fall on two eight-plex apartments for mental health patients, officials with the Juneau Alliance for Mental Health Inc. announced.

Thank you
The staff and students of Glacier Valley Elementary School would like to thank the businesses listed below for their participation in and donations to our spring Scholastic Book Fair held March 18 to 21 at the Glacier Valley School Library.

To dad, about daughter's life choices
Dear Dad, We haven't talked for a while now, but I miss you every day. We left a lot unsaid you and I. It seems to be the way we functioned together - information on a need to know basis. Perhaps now I need you to hear me. There are things I need you to know. I still have questions for you. Is it too late?

FYI
Births, Marriage Licenses, Business Licenses, Court Records, Divorces, Dissolutions and Judgments.

Hitting the rhodies, a sign of spring
Like Santa in the spring, I come back to Juneau trailing a bag of goodies 1,000 miles behind me.

Fishermen remembered - what a gathering it would be
Greater love has no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends." - John 15-13.

Herbert Willie Enns
Douglas resident Herbert Willie Enns, 71, died April 21, 2003, of pancreatic cancer at his home in Douglas.

Dorothy 'Lulu' June Vavalis-Enbusk
Lifetime Juneau resident Dorothy "Lulu" June Vavalis-Enbusk, 56, died Jan. 2, 2003, at her home in Juneau.

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: Why have hearings if no one listens?
I read Jim Clarks My Turn about the governor's plan to close Alyeska Central School and thought, "How could he say all this? Didn't he go to the hearings? Doesn't he know the facts?"

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.

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

Stoudamire is top rookie
Amare Stoudemire won the NBA Rookie of the Year award Thursday, the first player to do so after coming to the league directly from high school.

Track team heads north to Skyview meet
The Juneau-Douglas High School track team had a chance to see where it stood among Region V teams when the Crimson Bears opened their season two weekends ago with a sweep of the Sitka Invitational.

Reaching new heights
David Thomas of Palmer kicks a sealskin ball suspended 87 inches above the ground Thursday during the Alaska high kick competition at the statewide Native Youth Olympics in Anchorage. Thomas won the event with a kick at 88 inches - breaking the record of 87 inches set by Daniel Koso in 1996.

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

Coed Volleyball
The final standings from the 2003 Juneau Department of Parks and Recreation's coed volleyball league postseason tournament.

Whittier drops head tax to lure Princess back
Princess Cruises is returning to Whittier in the 2004 season following a city council decision to repeal a $1 per passenger head tax on cruise passengers.

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.

New hope for Alyeska?
All but the summer program of a Juneau-based, state-run correspondence school would be saved under a compromise offered Thursday by the House State Affairs Committee.

House grapples with clergy's requirement to report abuse
Most legislators agree child abuse should be reported, but they don't agree on how far state law should go in making churches report it.

Senate committee passes lobbying law
The Senate Judiciary Committee has OK'd a bill relaxing the state's lobbying laws.

Clarification
Residents of Yakutat and members of the Yakutat Tlingit Tribe also are among those eligible for a new halibut subsistence fishing program reported Wednesday in the Empire.

Republicans reject GOP member of ethics panel
Senate Republicans rejected the confirmation of Shirley McCoy to the Select Committee on Legislative Ethics on Thursday.

Burglary suspects killed at church
Two men were shot and killed Thursday in what Alaska State Troopers say was an attempted burglary at a Big Lake church.

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.

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

Troopers wait for results in murder case
Alaska State Troopers went back to Tenakee Springs this week to question residents about the death of Maggie Wigen, a trooper official said Thursday.

Sponsor plans to carry on fight for cruise tax
Though it's unlikely a cruise ship head tax will be approved by the Legislature this session, the sponsor of such a measure said he will continue to fight for it.

Troopers call off search for climbers on Devil's Thumb
Alaska State Troopers have called off the search for two Canadian climbers missing on the remote Devil's Thumb north of Petersburg, trooper Chris Umbs said.

Getting initiatives on ballot could get tougher
A bill moving through the House would make it harder for Alaskans to get initiatives on the ballot.

Education Dept. names commissioner applicants
Three educators are being considered to be commissioner of the state Department of Education and Early Development.

The Swamp
Cartoon by TOE

Boardwalk Boogie tickets on sale
Tickets for the 2003 Pelican Boardwalk Boogie, May 8 to 11, are on sale at the Paradise Cafe.

What's Happening
Upcoming arts & entertainment events in Juneau.

Memoirs of a longtime lawmaker
Bless or blame Bill Ray's children. The longtime Alaska legislator says they convinced him to write a book for his grandkids, "so they know what their grandfather did."

Arts scholarships available
The Juneau Arts and Humanities Council is accepting applications for its 2003 scholarship programs.

Haines' museums offer catch-all pass
Haines' four museums - the American Bald Eagle Foundation, Sheldon Museum and Cultural Center, Hammer Museum and Tsirku Canning Co. - are teaming up to sell a $15 pass that's good for one-time entrance into each museum.

Ravenstail weavers to visit glacier center
The Ravenstail Weavers Guild and Northwest Coast Basketry weavers will be at the Mendenhall Glacier Visitors Center.

Can Larry Musarra get some frequent flier miles?
On my way to Anchorage last weekend, I stripped off my coat, bracelets, rings, belt and shoes, but the airport metal detector went off anyway, so I padded over to the mat with the footprint outlines on it and spread my arms while an attendant gave me the pat-down. When the underwire in my bra made her magnetic wand beep, she explained she would have to do "a swoop," running her hand under each breast.

What it means to be Alutiiq
What does it mean to be Alutiiq? And how do you pinpoint the identity of a culture that has been shaped by its independence, as well as its contact with its Unangan, Yupik, Athabaskan and Tlingit neighbors and its battles with colonizing Russians and Americans?

Staffers take on lawmakers in annual skits
The actors, stagehands and lampoonists behind Saturday's 38th Annual Legislative Skits are not in the Capitol limelight for most of the political season.

'Number The Stars' plays Thursday
Northern Light Junior Theatre will perform "Number The Stars," at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 1, at Northern Light United Church. Donations will be accepted at the door.

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