Thursday, April 29, 2004

Couple builds thriving business
ANCHORAGE - It took love for what they do and a melding of talents for Mike and Michele Robuck to grow the Alaska Mint from a one-coin operation to a diversified and thriving business.

Interior needs Teck-Pogo mine
I am very disappointed in the recent Teck-Pogo appeal to the wastewater discharges permit. In response, on Friday April 23, I wrote letters to the Environmental Protection Agency, Northern Alaska Environmental Center, and Teck-Pogo strongly encouraging all parties to come to the table for mediation as suggested by Gov. Frank Murkowski, rather than forcing a delay with the legal appeal.

Don't blame mayor in Simpson's defense
While I can understand Ms. Simpson's frustration at being caught up in the Ruedirich troubles, it seems to me regrettable that she needs to find some room in her defense via blaming Mayor Botelho for suggesting a need for a new capitol.

Church-state separation is wrong
Mr. Sundquist (president, Americans United for Separation of Church and State-Alaska Chapter) shared his belief that the founding fathers conveyed to us in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution "their belief that absolute separation of church and state is fundamental to the promise that is America." He used all the right words but got it all wrong.

Choice advocates do disservice to women
"Abortion-rights demonstrators sweep capital," announces the Empire on the front page Monday, April 26. And our illustrious citizens, Fran Ulmer, Susan Knowles and LaRae Jones are proud to attend.

Empire lowers standards with Simpson piece
I read your disturbing piece ("Simpson e-mail ignites capital move squabble," April 25, 2004) over the Internet and felt compelled to write this letter.

It's Alaska: Make room for dogs
Obviously there is some tension between dog owners and the non-owners of Juneau. People need to realize that this is still Alaska. People here have the right to wear Xtra-tuffs to church, and let their dogs walk off-leash.

The Empire gets it wrong - again
I first met Paulette Simpson when she was a volunteer at Juneau's Gastineau Elementary School and I was an Empire reporter covering education. I remember being impressed with her common-sense approach to Juneau's educational reform and the fact that she was a straight shooter. That was almost 13 years ago.

Oil spill victims appreciate column
Thank you for your column on the ironic analogy between Captain Hazelwood and the man who shot the pipeline.

Simpson is capital advocate
Every active member of the Alaska Republican Party is aware of Paulette Simpson's fearless and tireless advocacy for keeping Juneau as the capital. It is also well-known that many Alaskans advocate a capital move. But with opportunistic backstabbers now striking, I wouldn't begrudge Ms. Simpson if she chose to lay down her sword in this fight, and I'm sure capital move advocates would welcome her withdrawal. Are folks in Juneau, including Rep. Kerttula and Sen. Elton, so confident Juneau can afford to lose Ms. Simpson as an ally?

Empire offers positive coverage
My compliments to the Juneau Empire reporters and editorial staff for recent articles detailing some very positive local stories that might otherwise have escaped our attention.

Abortion demonstration helps explain activists
This letter is concerning the abortion demonstration article on Monday's front page. I may be a 19-year-old male conservative but, in a way, I am glad that the "throng" of women protested that their rights to abortion are being oppressed.

Assembly holds the line on spending
The Assembly Finance Committee held the line on funding various city groups Wednesday, but said it would reconsider if it got more money from the state.

Coeur seeks $20 million in aid for ports
The developer of the proposed Kensington gold mine is working toward a tax-exempt deal to build two ports in Berners Bay.

Around Town
Today: Day of Quilting, Sewing and Good Fellowship, 10 a.m. every Wednesday, Resurrection Lutheran Church. Quilts donated to Lutheran World Relief. Details: 586-2380.

City park repairs will cost more money
The city may have to pay at least $15,000 more to complete surface work at Marine Park Plaza after it got bad advice from a building trade organization, city engineer Rorie Watt said Wednesday.

Group says schools should home in on dropout rate
A group of community members and educators meeting Tuesday to review the Juneau School District's priorities recommended focusing on dropouts, among several other topics.

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

Spuhn Island project heats up
Developers proposing home lots on Spuhn Island say they hope the more neighbors know about their plans, the less threatened they will feel.

Correction
A notice in Wednesday's Neighors section gave the incorrect time span for a reception for the king and queen regents by the Pioneers of Alaska. The reception is Sunday from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

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

Investigation leads to sex charges
A Juneau man charged this week with first-degree sexual abuse of a minor also faces a charge of attempted second-degree sexual assault against a woman who told police he molested her as a child.

Teachers: Education is a campaign issue
Some Juneau teachers want education to be an issue in the upcoming U.S. Senate campaign in Alaska. They spoke to a few supporters and others Wednesday night at the downtown library in what was billed as a press conference.

Travel: Swiss Bliss
Have you ever felt like you were in the right place at the right time, almost as if it were destiny? I have, twice. Ironically it happened in the same place, yet three years apart, during completely opposite seasons and thousands of miles from home.

Spring cleaning
Linda Orr of Ricker & Associates Property Management scrubs moss and grime off of the Goldbelt Place sign Tuesday.

Guide goes after wounded brown bear, is charged, injured
After a wounded bear tore at his leg and arm Monday night on Admiralty Island, a licensed game guide was reported as "alert" in the Sitka Community Hospital.

Travel: What's the deal? Alaska fishing trips, discounted train tickets among offerings
The week's best bargains around the globe.

Naming ceremony
The SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium will hold a naming ceremony for its traditional Native-style canoe from noon to 2 p.m. Saturday at Sandy Beach in Douglas.

Corrections
The article on charter school funding in Tuesday's Empire misstated what the cap on school funding refers to. It is the maximum that a city can give the schools, not the minimum amount required by the state.

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

Girl Scout program reconnects daughters, families
A year ago, Tongass Alaska Girl Scout Council entered into a collaborative relationship with Gastineau Human Services, Catholic Social Services and a number of faith-based entities in Juneau.

Sunset
The setting sun creates a kaleidoscope of colors over Gastineau Channel and the distant Chilkat Range earlier this month.

Rielly, McAdoo to marry
Mattie Rielly and Joshua McAdoo of Juneau will be married at 4 p.m. May 1, 2004, at Mount Roberts Tramway. A reception will follow.

Hixon, Ross marry in Las Vegas
Jeannette A. Hixon of Yakutat and Troy R. Ross were married in a ceremony held at 2 p.m. April 7 at "A Special Memory Wedding Chapel," in Las Vegas, Nev. A reception followed at The Imperial Palace. Many friends and relatives of the couple were present and the couple would like to extend their thanks to all who attended.

Thank you
... for food drive success

Neighbors Digest
Juneau's League of Women Voters is hosting a live radio forum/call-in on Thursday, April 29, on KTOO-FM. The program is entitled "America in the World: Iraq" and the number to call is 586-3636.

Pets of the Week
Echo is easy, not fussy about inside or out, Li'l Bit has wide face, knows the rules

Senior Service Corps opens office
On March 17, 2004 Andrea Doll began her job as programs coordinator for the new National Senior Service Corps office in Juneau. The National Senior Service Corps (NSSC) "offers a great opportunity for seniors to be engaged in the community," explains Doll.

Joyce Myn Wolfe
Former Juneau resident Joyce Myn Wolfe, 57, died April 26, 2004, at the Teton County Nursing Home in Choteau, Mont., from natural causes

Drena Ann Austin
Drena Ann Austin, 47, Koot'-shee, Raven/Beaver of the Raven Bone House of Angoon, died April 23, 2004, at Bartlett Regional Hospital in Juneau after a brief battle with a rare type of cancer.

Legislators should step aside if they won't solve fiscal gap
I see in the newspapers around the state that our Legislature is working hard at finding ways to avoid addressing the state's fiscal problems.

My Turn: Mandatory labeling could sink Alaska fishing
This Sept. 30 the business of fishing in Alaska is going to crash into an iceberg known as mandatory country of origin labeling (COOL). Beneath what seems like a simple labeling law are new rules that will cost the seafood industry up to $159 million in the first year alone, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Empire editorial: Charter school needs city funds to thrive
Without help from the Juneau Assembly, and soon, the Juneau Community Charter School could face closure after the next school year.

Pitching for No. 3
The Juneau-Douglas High School baseball team went through a lot of changes since winning its second straight state championship last season. The infield that had been together for three years - all graduated, with all four players now on college rosters and two of them drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers. The top two catchers - both graduated, along with several other role players from the team.

Sports in Juneau
Juneau Freewheelers bicycle club - Tee Harbor Road Race: Meet at 6 p.m. at the Tee Harbor Fire Station for a 6:30 p.m. race start.

Jumpers qualify for tourney in Australia
Five Juneau girls have the chance to go Down Under this summer - thanks to their ability to jump over.

Sports in Juneau
Sports in Juneau is a service provided by the Juneau Empire to provide information on upcoming sports and outdoors events in Juneau.

Sports Briefs
JUNEAU - The undefeated Juneau-Douglas High School boys and girls soccer teams leave town today for their first trip north this season.

Juneau boys, girls walk over Wasilla
The Juneau-Douglas High School boys and girls soccer teams were required to wear flat-soled shoes in Wednesday's road games to protect Wasilla's soggy fields.

KTOO Fun Run
Results from the Southeast Road Runners club's KTOO Fun Run held Saturday in Juneau. Courses were 5 kilometers and 1 mile.

Floaters upset Cruisers for Tier I title in JAHA playoffs
After finishing third in the regular season, the Alpine Portable Toilet Bowl Floaters pulled off an upset in the playoffs as they won the Juneau Adult Hockey Association's Tier I championship 3-1 over the Royal Caribbean Cruisers on Sunday morning at Treadwell Arena.

House poised to take tough permanent fund vote
BREAKING NEWS: See corresponding story on Juneau Empire Homepage for results of the debate.

Big game guide recalls bear attack
Scott Newman said he will go back to work as a charter big game guide, despite flashbacks of bones crunching in the jaws of a wounded brown bear while he tried to fire a jammed rifle.

SeaLife Center's sea lion fattens up
Woody, a resident Steller sea lion at the Alaska SeaLife Center, is packing on the blubber, topping the scales Wednesday at 2,017 pounds - an 800-pound gain since December.

House approves government use of permafund
State lawmakers could dip into the Alaska Permanent Fund to help fund state and city governments under a proposal passed in the House of Representatives Wednesday.

Alaska Digest
News in brief from around the state.

Photo: Land swap
Interior Secretary Gale Norton, at left, and Newtok Native Association president Larry Charles sign a land exchange agreement Wednesday, allowing the village of Newtok to relocate from its site in Western Alaska. Erosion from the Ninglick River is threatening Newtok, forcing its 330 residents to pack up and leave.

Breaking News: Dividend Guarantee of $1,111 stalls permafund proposal
A proposal to use some of the Alaska Permanent Fund for state government stalled in the House of Representatives Tuesday night over an amendment that would guarantee dividend checks of at least $1,111.

Fishermen take long running dispute to federal level
Commercial fishermen exhorted federal subsistence managers to stay out of the long-running dispute over Alaska Peninsula salmon fishing this summer, while subsistence fishermen asked for the exact opposite.

Alaska Digest
staff and Wire reports

This Day in History
In Alaska; in the nation; in the world.

Junked-car scrapper gets Carhartt award
KETCHIKAN - Tom Konen's well-worn and well-scented bib overalls beat out the competition to win the Ugliest Carhartt Trade-in Contest.

What's Happening
Upcoming local arts and entertainment events.

Briefly
Local arts and entertainment news in brief.

Toe cartoon: In the Swamp
Cartoon by local artist Toe.

Boardwalk Boogie
One night at Rosie's Bar during the lost weekend of the Third Annual Pelican Boardwalk Boogie, Homer Cajun and zydeco band Ray-Jen Cajun earned its reputation as "the seven-hour band." They never left the stage. Not until the music ended, well past 4 a.m.

Hunting the whale; observing the supercomputer
Near his home in Anchorage, at his beloved cross-country ski trails in Kincaid Park, freelance writer Charles Wohlforth notices climate change in those winters when the snow is soggy, more suitable for jogging.

Movies: Where & when
Local movie times and locations.

Preserving knowledge through art
From his home in Pilot Station, or Tuutalgaq, a Yup'ik village of 325 eight miles south of St. Mary's on the Yukon River, 57-year-old artist Patrick Minock has gradually built his reputation as a chronicler of scenes throughout the Lower Yukon. He draws the way people live, the tools they use, the tricks they've learned.

Symphony solos at stake in Sunday youth concerto
Years ago, there was just one winner of the Juneau Symphony's annual Youth Concerto Competition. In 2002, there were two. And last year, there were three.

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