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Monday, April 29, 2002

In the Stacks
This week's column features books for kids!

Hickel offers the 'Alaska Solution' to cure what ails the world
No stranger to national politics and well-known in Beltway circles, two-time former Alaska Gov. Walter Hickel recently penned a letter to President George W. Bush. "I told him, 'I support what you're doing, but next time, you should skip the war and go straight to the Marshall Plan'," Hickel explained in a phone interview.

More moderation
In the past couple of weeks we've seen letters to the editor and articles in the Empire in support of the environment and that successfully countered the piece by Anchorage Times Editor Tom Brennan that appeared in the Empire on April 12, titled, "Greens are really bad for the environment and the economy."

Youthful choices
With both profound appreciation and excitement I commend the Juneau Empire for running the letter, "Time to Reflect," in last Wednesday's Letters to the Editor column.But even more, my heartfelt gratitude goes to the anonymous inmate at Lemon Creek prison who took the time, the courage, and especially the concern to write it.

Probably not
I loved the way Sen. Murkowski managed to tie oil drilling in ANWR to the current news agenda: Its relatively small output, starting in seven years, would help fight terrorism and also save the steel industry. Why didn't he claim the oil would rehabilitate abused altar boys?

Wellness Court is still an experiment
The recent Empire article on Wellness Court gave a good overview of the pilot program being developed in Juneau. A small amount of funding was awarded to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence to lay the groundwork for a Wellness Court program in District 1 Court.

Downsize government
Why is it that no one in the Legislature can get these words out of their mouths? "We need to downsize government."

Expressing disbelief
After reading about the "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" banner lawsuit, I felt that I must write to express my disbelief at the lack of moral conscience of the Juneau School Board and Ms. Deborah Morse. It should be clear to anyone who has taken even a middle-school civics class that such activity is protected by the First Amendment.

Classic leadership
Alaska State Employees Association Business Manager Spanky O'Connell has announced that he will resign May 25. Sanctimoniously declaring in this statement his own vast experience, Spanky demonstrates his classic leadership style by further insulting the majority of ASEA members who voted in the recent union election, thus: "The newly elected majority of our (?) executive board has demonstrated ... that they want to manage our (?) union from a political perspective based on their own narrow frame of reference."

Worthy of exemption
I feel that Fireweed Place should not have to pay property taxes because it is occupied by senior citizens. Senior citizens in their own homes that they own don't have to pay them (on the first $150,000 of value).

Photo: Helping to clean up the city
SAGA crew leader Nikken Palesch, left, and Adam Empson, 5, help Dzantik'i Heeni Middle School students Kylie King, center, and Samantha Green pick up garbage at Marine Park on Friday as part of National youth Service Day.

Juneau hot for winter games
Juneau athletes and coaches who traveled to Greenland for the Arctic Winter Games last month came back with a renewed commitment to bring the Games here in 2006.Arctic Winter Games Ad-Hoc Bid Committee Chairman Jim Powell said Alaska's capital city already has much of what's needed to host the games, including sports venues, a full-service airport and a population that's not too large.

Knifing trial jury ends up deadlocked
A jury took nearly two days to decide that it couldn't decide whether a Juneau man stabbed an acquaintance more than 20 times on purpose or in self-defense.

Douglas deer
Two Sitka black-tailed deer make themselves at home on Robert and Anna Warfield's lawn on Saturday on North Douglas.

Around Town
Listings of local nonprofit events

Mark Farmer leaves Juneau
Bear activist and former candidate for city office Mark Farmer moved to Anchorage last week.

Reception for ice rink candidates Tuesday
The public will have the opportunity to meet the top candidates for city ice rink manager at a reception Tuesday.

Spring kings
Ramon Isturis displays a 28-pound king salmon he caught Saturday morning off the rocks at False Outer Point.

Hale 'mussels' to the top of science
Natalie Hale has found a way to turn the innocuous mussel into a scientific star.The Juneau-Douglas High School sophomore won the Alaska State Science Fair in Anchorage last month with her study of how fecal coliform bacteria from pollution affected mussels in the Juneau area. Now she's getting ready to travel to an international science fair next month, and her research may be published in scientific journals.

Main breaks: Mud floods S. Franklin
Dannie Lazaro was in the back room of the Filipino Community Hall doing some paperwork after a Bingo game ended late Sunday night when he saw the walls buckle, the back door bow and part of Gastineau Avenue come crashing into the room around his feet.

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

Medicaid reductions bite into mental health programs
Lower Medicaid payments and Juneau Youth Services' own billing problems have forced the agency to scale back construction plans, dip into savings and reduce employee benefits, officials said.

Native traditions turned into feats of athleticism
They were playing her song. Again.A beaming Nicole Johnston stood atop the winners' podium in Katuaq Hall in Nuuk, Greenland, a gold medal draped around her neck and the words to the "Star-Spangled Banner" spilling from her lips.

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

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

9 survive after skiff overturns
Nine people ended up in Tongass Narrows after an overloaded skiff capsized Saturday night, the Coast Guard said. Two people were treated for hypothermia and minor injuries, but no one was seriously hurt.

Security plans allow wharf access - with some limits
Juneau residents will be able to walk along the downtown dock this summer with some limits, according to city and U.S. Coast Guard officials.The Coast Guard has been working with communities throughout Southeast Alaska over the past several months to update port security plans following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. With the first cruise ship of the season due to arrive Tuesday, the city of Juneau's plan is nearly finished, city Port Director Joe Graham said.

Architects urge city to rebid JDHS project
Bids to renovate Juneau-Douglas High School will be lower if the city waits a month and rebids the project, the architects said Friday.But Assembly member Dale Anderson said it wouldn't be fair to the current low bidder to go out to bid again.

Rev. Diane Baldwin Tickell
Former Juneau resident the Rev. Diane Baldwin Tickell, 84, died April 24, 2002.

How may I (digitally) assist you?
I know life is already full of too many TLAs (Three Letter Acronyms), but here's another: PDA. Heard of it? Stands for Personal Digital Assistant. Strictly speaking, a digital assistant is a helper that requires the use of your digits - your fingers - making the knife one of the first cutting-edge PDA technologies.

My Turn: The shock and sorrow of Sept. 11 continue to resonate
One of the recent USA Weekend editions in the Sunday paper featured a short article listing a Web site where anyone could enter thoughts about the Sept. 11th tragedies.

Toe Cartoon

Capitol Notebook: Roses are red, and the ink is, too
When Denny DeWitt brought me long-stemmed red roses, I knew it was a strange week.DeWitt is the highly capable aide to House Finance Co-Chairman Eldon Mulder. My fan club isn't based in that office.

Marine Highway funding cuts hit SE Alaska's economic hopes
Because our highway in Southeast Alaska runs over water, its importance is far greater than a conventional road system because it operates on a limited schedule and each user pays for the privilege.Unquestionably, serious belt tightening in government spending is called for if we hope to close the fiscal gap.

Alaskans united on saving permanent fund dividend
Recently, a group of well intended, life-long Alaskans reunited hopefully to save the Alaska permanent fund dividend from the Alaska Legislature's deceptive fiscal plan. We call ourselves the "83 Percent Coalition."

Word Of Mouth
Word of Mouth gives readers a forum to express opinions on a variety of issues by telephone. Call 586-4636 and press 8255 to leave a message. Be sure to leave your name and telephone number.

Out and About
April 30: U.S. Forest Service closes Blueberry Access Trail to Dan Moller Ski Bowl to motorized use. Call 586-8800 for details.

Fish Report
The Alaska Department of Fish and Game announced Friday that the king salmon bag and possession limit for nonguided resident anglers will increase to two king salmon 28 inches or more in length in marine waters of Southeast Alaska.

Preparing to launch
A boat that is used daily is a lot less likely to break down than one that is used once a month, according to Mike Grieser, owner of New Life Motors.So boats that haven't been used since last fall probably need a good going-over before launching or heading out this spring. "It's better to find problems on the beach than after you're out on the water," Grieser said

Annual Spring King derby starts Wednesday
The big salmon are running, just in time for the sixth annual Spring King Salmon Derby."My son just brought in a 30-pounder Wednesday," said Archie Cavanaugh, director of the month-long fish-catching contest.

Cope Park Mountain Bike Race Results
Results from Friday night's Cope Park Mountain Bike Race, the first race of the season sponsored by the Juneau Freewheelers Bicycle Club. Racers rode laps around the edges of Cope Park.

Strategy wins in Native Youth Olympics
Leroy Shangin had a strategy for the Alaskan high kick at this year's Native Youth Olympics. While other athletes competed barefoot or wore basketball footwear, the 18-year-old high school senior donned his wrestling shoes.

Juneau boys, girls track teams place 4th in Anchorage
A skeleton version of the Juneau-Douglas High School boys and girls track and field teams claimed a pair of fourth-place finishes in the team standings at the West Anchorage Invitational meet held Friday and Saturday at West Anchorage High School.

Juneau boxers tagged in Glacier Gloves
Juneau Douglas Boxing Club trainer Delfin Evenson called it a "baptism by fire" after his club members won just one of their nine fights during the inaugural Glacier Gloves boxing tournament Friday night at Alaska Native Brotherhood Hall.Evenson wasn't too disappointed by Juneau's showing, considering many of the boxers were entering the ring for the first time, but he did think it could have been better. Friday night's USA Amateur Boxing-sanctioned event featured 16 bouts between young boxers from Anchorage, Fairbanks, Sitka and Whitehorse, Yukon Territory.

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

Get muddy and wet!
Like lemmings to the sea, 66 local runners scattered across the moonscape of Gastineau Channel at low tide Saturday morning in search of the shallowest water traverse to complete the 22nd annual May Day Mud (and Mountain) Run."Our strategy was to let a lot of people go out in front of us and do the course work," first-time racer Bethany Bereman said. "We saw the people who were waist deep and decided not to cross there."

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

Gastineau Channel Little League kicks off 51st season in Juneau
Robin Woodby and Eric Stewart looked dapper in their matching green-and-white Cellular One Devil Rays team jackets, while teammate Dustin Miller tossed a baseball up and down during Saturday morning's opening ceremonies for the Gastineau Channel Little League's 51st season in Juneau.

Wrangell: World events hit Wrangell permafund
Gary Rohweler of Solomon Smith Barney issued a report to the Wrangell Council last week on the health of Wrangell's permanent fund. Wrangell learned that events of the past two years have not been kind to their money.

Some timber sales OK'd
A federal judge has tailored an injunction that will allow some logging on the Tongass National Forest this summer.U.S. District Judge James Singleton of Anchorage issued an order Friday that stops timber harvest in most Tongass wilderness, but allows work on some existing timber sales and the Swan Lake-Lake Tyee electric intertie near Ketchikan to go forward.

Haines: Police crack down on youth drinking
The Haines Police Department and Alaska State Troopers are joining forces to try to curb underage drinking.

Petersburg: M/V LeConte arrives at unmanned terminal
The state ferry LeConte normally receives little attention when compared to its bigger sisters, but no one expected the greeting - or, rather, the lack of one - on April 17 in Little Norway.

Teen arrested in baby's death
A 16-year-old boy from Ketchikan was held without bail Sunday after being charged with first-degree murder in the death of a 6-week-old baby.

Bill changes attendance for 1st-graders
A bill that makes some 6-year-olds comply with the same compulsory attendance requirements as older students passed the House on Friday.The bill also includes a measure to require high school students to take a semester of Alaska history to graduate. But that requirement may doom the measure when it reaches the Senate, one lawmaker said.

Sitka: Sitka High students OK after van rollover
A van in which seven Sitka High School students and their chaperone were riding last weekend slid off the road and rolled over. No one was seriously hurt.

Ketchikan: Charter school move considered
The Ketchikan School District is considering moving the Ketchikan Charter School into Valley Park Elementary School. Superintendent Harry Martin said last

State: This year's quotas for king salmon are the highest in many years
This year's commercial and sport quotas for king salmon in Southeast are the highest in many years, state officials said.The state Department of Fish and Game announced Friday that the all-gear quota of non-hatchery kings will be 356,464. Last year's quota was 190,000 kings.

Official pledges help for vets
The man in charge of federal veterans programs wants to give Alaska veterans access to federal or state veterans homes.

Unseasonably cold April keeps ice thick on the Nenana
FAIRBANKS - Bad news for people who bought April guesses in the Nenana Ice Classic: The Tanana River is showing no sign of budging. Breakup on the Tanana River is expected to occur later than usual this year and the jackpot is expected to be smaller for the Ice Classic, the annual guessing game for the Tanana River breakup.

Russians come to Alaska to learn about free-market health care
Ten health care professionals from the Russian Far East are coming to Anchorage next month to learn more about how to provide health care in a market economy.

Senate gives nod to budget
The Senate approved a budget on Friday that cuts virtually every state agency in response to a looming fiscal deficit.But the plan includes more money for per-pupil spending on K-12 education, would keep state parks open and minimize layoffs for Alaska State Troopers.

Private prison amendments fail
An attempt to scale back the size of a private prison in Whittier and expand state prisons elsewhere failed Friday.

Haines: Fire destroys Small Tracts shop
A fire that destroyed a Small Tracts Road shop April 13 apparently started from sparks from a workman's grinder that ignited fiberglassing chemicals.

Military drills
USS Abraham Lincoln crew members direct an F-14D Tomcat into position Thursday on one of the nuclear-powered carrier's four steam catapults. The flight operations in the Gulf of Alaska were part of annual Northern Edge military exercises.

State Briefs
Knowles names security chief; Locals win awards as volunteers; Fish trade comment deadline approaches; Meet ice rink candidates Tuesday; Anchorage man shot dead Friday

Bill's critics: Elders to lose housing, many to lose welfare
A proposal that temporarily could throw thousands of the state's poor off of welfare drew heated and emotional testimony at a House State Affairs Committee on Saturday.

Anchorage woman dies in car crash
An Anchorage woman died after her car rolled on a busy west side street Saturday night. Anchorage police said the woman, Lisa J. Taylor, was ejected from the car after she apparently lost control and the car rolled several times.

Financial proposals make no headway
House lawmakers and Gov. Tony Knowles were unable to break the impasse over tax proposals aimed at the state's deficit during a weekend meeting.

Fiscal plan at risk due to tax breaks for gas?
Fairbanks Rep. Jim Whitaker says the powerful co-chairman of the House Finance Committee threatened to kill a state fiscal plan and punish Fairbanks because of Whitaker's push to transform a bill that offers tax breaks for a natural gas pipeline.

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