Alaska Digest

Posted: Sunday, April 25, 2004

APOC to hear Palmer's complaint

JUNEAU - The Alaska Public Offices Commission on Monday will hear former City Manager Dave Palmer's complaint against the Juneau School Board.

The commission has scheduled a teleconferenced hearing for 1:30 p.m. The Juneau office is on the second floor of the Spam Can building at 240 Main St.

Palmer filed a complaint Wednesday with the commission alleging that the School Board broke state election-spending law by appropriating $750 on materials that could influence an election.

Palmer says state law is clear that such funds can come only through state statutes or municipal ordinances.

Juneau School District administrators have said they were acting on the advice of commission staff, who confirmed they said an APOC regulation allows school boards to appropriate such funds.

A special election is scheduled for May 25 on a citizens' initiative, which Palmer helped organize, that effectively would block construction of a high school at Dimond Park using 1999 bonds. The School Board supports the school.

Free science, math summer camp offered

JUNEAU - The Juneau School District will offer 40 middle school students a free, three-week summer camp to study outdoor science and math.

Camp W.A.T.E.R. will run from June 4 to June 30. The deadline to apply is Friday. The camp's name stands for Wilderness, Adventures, Traditions, Exploration and Research.

The camp blends modern science methods and Native ways of knowing. It includes instruction and cultural experiences in Juneau and a one-week canoe trip in a wilderness setting in Southeast.

Students now in grades six to eight must submit an application. Criteria for selection includes a teacher recommendation, a personal essay, math and science interest, and an answer to a mathematical word problem.

To obtain an application, call Emma Brown at Floyd Dryden Middle School at 463-1850, or Topaz Shryock at Dzantik'i Heeni Middle School at 463-1899.

Police shoot man who crashed into cars

ANCHORAGE - Anchorage police shot and wounded a man outside a downtown bar early Saturday after he smashed a stolen car into several vehicles, injuring three people, including a police officer.

Police said the man was driving recklessly in the crowded parking lot of the Gaslight Lounge, slamming into cars, including three patrol vehicles. Among the injured were two people who were sitting in parked vehicles that were struck by the stolen car.

Police did not release the names of the man or other injured people or the names of officers involved in the shooting.

The suspect was admitted to a local hospital. Two others who were sitting in parked vehicles that were struck by the stolen car also were hospitalized with serious injuries, police spokesman Ron McGee said. The injured officer was treated and released.

Palin says she won't seek U.S. Senate seat

ANCHORAGE - Former Wasilla Mayor Sarah Palin will not run in the Republican Primary against U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, she said Friday.

Palin, who recently resigned as chairwoman of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, made her announcement on the Dan Fagan Radio Show on KFQD in Anchorage.

Palin said she will back former state Sen. Mike Miller in his primary fight against Murkowski.

Murkowski was appointed to the seat by her father, Gov. Frank Murkowski, to fill his unexpired Senate term.

Palin previously has expressed interest in running for the seat, but said she changed her mind because her family didn't want to move to Washington, D.C.

Hybrid goose spotted in Fairbanks

FAIRBANKS - Fairbanks birders are all aflutter over a hybrid goose that showed up at Creamer's Field Migratory Waterfowl Refuge.

The goose appears to be a cross between a Canada, white-fronted or snow goose. It has a white head, orange legs, a black neck, brindle beak and gray bottom.

"With orange feet and a white head I think there's no doubt one of the parents is a snow goose," said Dan Gibson, ornithology collections manager at the University of Alaska Museum in Fairbanks.

While hybridization does occur in waterfowl, upland game birds and some songbirds, it is not common, according to Gibson.

Luke Decicco, a 17-year-old birder, was the first to report the latest sighting. He saw it as he was scoping the fields on April 12 and reported it to Creamer's refuge manager John Wright at the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

Wright hasn't seen anything like it in the 20 years he's worked at Fish and Game. His best guess was that it was a cross between a Canada goose and a white-fronted goose.

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