Wednesday, May 1, 2002

In the Tank
A look at Juneau gas prices as of Tuesday evening

Business Profile: David Summers
Title and firm: David Summers is the owner of The Bowl Store, featuring products from the Great Alaskan Bowl Co.

Business Briefs
Killer Whale Week Cruise features Keiko researcher; Customer service workshop offered tonight; Small business seminar; Alaska Women's Yellow Pages go online

The business of plants
While most of Juneau was skiing and sledding, Cindy Bowhay was planting her garden.Bowhay, who owns and manages Glacier Gardens Yard Doctor with her husband Steve, started planting seeds at the end of December. Now, as the rest of town turns to gardening, Bowhay has plants ready, selling them retail at her nursery on James Boulevard and wholesale at local stores such as Fred Meyer.

Keeping the bank on your side during bad times
Has your company lost money? Have you changed the financial structure of your company so that it is not meeting bank requirements for leverage, working capital or some other financial ratio? Is your loan officer second-guessing your every move? Your line of credit coming due and you are worried the bank may not renew? What must you do to maintain your credit until you can turn your company around?

Remember the weekend
What a spectacular weekend we had in Juneau. The weather provided a perfect setting for all the things we know and love about our piece of the world. I ask each and every one of you to burn your weekend activities and enjoyment of those activities into your memory.

Ego trip?
Why did Andrea Baker in her letter to the editor "Expressing disbelief" state that "As both a parent and a practicing attorney..." have to include her profession (practicing attorney)?

Legislators listening to liquor lobby too much
The liquor industry, led by outside distillers, has spent over $300,000 to hire the most influential lobbyists, conduct questionable push polls, and organize against the dime-a-drink excise tax increase proposed by Rep. Lisa Murkowski and Sen. Dave Donley. Meanwhile, every poll I have seen or heard about says that somewhere around 70 percent of Alaskans support this tax increase.

NYC coming back
We here in New York appreciate all the prayers offered by people like Dixie Alms (Empire, April 28) for us after 9-11. New York is coming back, but it will be a long, hard process.

Not all bad
Inasmuch as so much of our opinion process is rooted in situational ethics these days, I would never presume to speak for any "silent majorities." Usually it is amusing to me when others feel they do. Nonetheless, I can't help but feel there are a lot of other people who feel as I do about the "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" controversy.

Legislature ensures Southeast will suffer
I try not to get angry with anyone over politics and religion but, I've decided to drop politics from that goal.

The educational theater
As spring announces the reality of my second year working full time as a substitute teacher in the Juneau School District - while taking classes at the University of Alaska toward K-8 certification - I'm struck by the quality of the many who strive to provide the tools and understanding for Alaska children and youth. A product of Alaska public education myself, I took school for granted as a kid.

Protect ancestral lands from Murkowski's bill
As the tribal leader of the Auk Kwaan, the original settlers of Juneau, I am writing to express our outrage at Sen. Murkowski's introduction of the Cape Fox Land Entitlement Adjustment Act of 2002. This bill allows Cape Fox Corporation from Saxman to exchange private timberlands near Ketchikan for public lands near Slate Lakes, in the Berners Bay watershed, north of Juneau. This is the very same area where Coeur Alaska, operator of the Kensington gold mine, hopes to save money by dumping its mine tailings.

A work in progress
Congratulations to the Empire staff for the awards you all received! How rewarding to have so many folks from the Empire be recognized for the fine work that they do.

More about wolves
This is in response to the information I put in my first commentary on wolves. It has been compiled by Fish and Game wolf biologists in Southeast Alaska and the Interior.

Possibly inattentive, tired - but not rude
I disagree with the comments made by Rosalee Walker in her letter of April 19. Her claims of rude behavior by Sen. Dave Donley I believe to be erroneous.

Couple wins asylum - after more than a decade of waiting
Luis and Rosario Aguirre, a married couple who fled from civil war in their native El Salvador more than a decade ago, now have peace of mind. They were among 20 Alaska residents who received approval for their "green cards" in Anchorage last week, granting them the right to live here permanently and seek citizenship.

City crew continues cleanup after mud flood
City crews worked today to complete repairs and the cleanup from a water main break and mudslide that damaged Gastineau Avenue and the Filipino Community Hall on Sunday night.Though some Gastineau residents were without water for most of Monday, their homes were hooked up to a temporary water system by 5 p.m., said Jeffrey Wilson, an engineer on the construction team contracted almost a year ago to install sidewalks, repave and rebuild Gastineau Avenue.

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

JDHS students to put car know-how to the test
Two Juneau-Douglas High School seniors will be looking for trouble in Anchorage later this week - under the hood. Chad Thomas and Justin Rasmussen leave Thursday to participate in the Ford/AAA Student Auto Skills Contest, where they will put their auto troubleshooting knowledge to the test against nine other high school teams from across the state.

Ship launches season
The arrival of the season's first cruise ship and its 2,000 passengers began to provide answers to the questions many locals have had on their minds since last September: Will they come and will they spend?"We thought since we got such a deal on our tickets we could afford to be a little more extravagant in town," said Jon Hanson of Puyallup, Wash., who came to Alaska on the Norwegian Sky with his wife Glenys to celebrate their 33rd wedding anniversary.

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

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

Closing a career in public works: Ernie Mueller retires
With two days left on the job, city Public Works Director Ernie Mueller was grappling with a mudslide on Gastineau Avenue."I was concerned about getting water to the folks who didn't have it. The road we can deal with," he said, returning to his office after a trip downtown Monday morning. "There's never a dull moment in this business. There's always something happening."

Assembly grants school district the maximum minimum
The Juneau Assembly voted Monday to fund the Juneau School District at least to the maximum allowed under state-mandated spending caps next fiscal year. District officials will now have to wait to see if their request for supplemental funding is granted. On an 8-1 vote, the Assembly set its minimum funding commitment for the district at $17,731,200. The district's total budget for the next fiscal year is about $38 million.

Submerged fishing boat survives raising from Gastineau Channel floor
After spending nearly eight months at the bottom of Gastineau Channel, the 43-foot Cherokee Maid was raised from the depths on Tuesday and beached near Thane Road.The fishing vessel sank during a storm last September off Norway Point, where it was moored at a private buoy. It settled on the channel bottom, with its mast visible at times protruding from the water.

City delays decision on cruise fees
The Norwegian Sky didn't face a tonnage fee when it became the first cruise ship of the season to pull into Juneau today. But it might pay a new passenger fee for port projects.

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

Glory Hole donation
Members of the sixth grade student council at Floyd Dryden Middle School present Lance Young, executive director for The Glory Hole, with a check earlier this month. The council raised $338 from bake sales at the school.

Thank you
... for the help; . . .for your support

Pet of The Week
Spud is an affectionate, 2-year-old neutered male. His blue eyes stand out from his solid white short-haired coat. Spud plays with other cats and would be good with older children and adults. He also likes to sit on your lap while being brushed.

Academic Honors
Academic honors from local college students.

Rhododendron desirable in any garden
The most desired landscape plant in our area is the rhododendron; this garden icon is on almost every list for almost every yard, and no wonder. Strong looking, reliably hardy, and evergreen without having needles, these plants are also endowed with glorious flower trusses in reds, pinks, lavenders, purples, blues, whites and in warmer conditions there are even good yellows.

Science award
Matthew Wendel, left, accepts an award from Rik Pruett. Mt. Juneau-Gastineau Lodge #21 of the Free and Accepted Masons of Alaska, participated in judging the Capital City High School Science Fair for an independent award.

Neighbors Briefs
Church to hold marriage seminar; Asthma Awareness Day set at hospital; Savikko Park facilities closed; After-Prom Party set at racquet club

John Charlie Flory
Juneau resident John Charlie Flory, 82, died April 26, 2002, in Juneau.

Charles Everett 'Jud' Judson
Lifelong Juneau resident Charles Everett "Jud" Judson died April 23, 2002, in Juneau.

My Turn: Who does the Assembly majority represent?
There they go again! Five-to-four. Why is this CBJ Assembly so intent on proving to the cruise ship industry that the city is indeed friendly to the industry? Why does the Assembly choose to roll over and wait for the North West Cruiseship Association to let us know how much they would prefer to pay and for which projects?

My Turn: Public funds and state employees have value
As a nine-year Alaska resident and an eight-year state employee, I feel compelled to respond to ridiculous and offensive comments put forth by Mr. Morin (Letter to Editor, April 29) suggesting that Rep. Victor Kohring is actually on to something by proposing that the state of Alaska can nibble its way to reducing the budget deficit to the tune of $1 billion (give or take a few hundred million depending of the current price of oil).

My Turn: Alcohol industry is in decline
It's time for truth in advertising when the supporters of the alcohol tax talk about the proposed tax. They would try and make us believe that any increase in taxation would be used to fight alcohol abuse. Under Article IX Section 7 of the Alaska Constitution, "the proceeds of any state tax or license shall not be dedicated to any special purpose, except as provided in Section 15 of this article or when required by the federal government for state participation in federal programs."

Word Of Mouth
Word of Mouth gives readers a forum to express opinions on a variety of issues by telephone. Calls must be limited to one minute. We reserve the right to edit calls for clarity, length and libel.

Juneau soccer, softball teams heading up north
The Juneau-Douglas High School boys soccer team will be carrying some extra baggage when it makes its first road trip north for games in Palmer and Anchorage this weekend.This will be the first road trip since the Crimson Bears found out they earned a pair of national rankings early last week, and it will be Juneau's first trip north as the defending state champions. That may make Juneau a marked team.

Batter up!
The Juneau-Douglas High School baseball team is loaded with confidence as it prepared to open its season today Ketchikan.The Crimson Bears have won the last two Region V titles, and this year there are several returners who spent a summer playing together on Juneau's first American Legion team in a decade.

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

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

ASAA reunites wrestling season
ANCHORAGE -- The Alaska School Activities Association this week eliminated wrestling's split seasons and moved forward on a plan to add a fifth classification for basketball and volleyball.

Joe Green announces his departure from Legislature
JUNEAU - Rep. Joe Green, an Anchorage Republican, announced Monday he will not seek re-election to the Legislature. Green, 68, is completing his tenth year representing District 10 in South Anchorage.

State Briefs
Candle causes fire in home; Child slasher Jason Pritchard sentenced to 99-year terms; Boyfriend admits to abuse of baby that died; Russian bombers probe American airspace

Elton's is lone vote against flag resolution
It was a tough vote in an election year, but Kim Elton had done it before.Juneau's Democratic senator was the lone dissenter Monday in Senate approval of a resolution urging Congress to pass a constitutional amendment against "physical desecration" of the American flag.

New cash source for JDHS repairs?
Juneau has some hits and misses in proposed construction and maintenance projects unveiled in the House Finance Committee on Tuesday.As part of the first state general obligation bond issue in 20 years, the committee would provide $2.7 million to cover a higher-than-expected bid for renovation of Juneau-Douglas High School. But the proposed new valley high school, at about $27.9 million, isn't included.

Hold harmless bill dies in House State Affairs Committee
JUNEAU - A proposal that would consider permanent fund dividends a source of income for those receiving certain state financial assistance was voted down in the House State Affairs Committee today.

House OKs measure to limit claims on small-plane insurance
Legislation placing caps on punitive damages awarded as a result of airplane accidents passed the House on Tuesday.The weight of an airplane and number of seats would determine the amount a person could recover under the bill by Rep. Andrew Halcro, an Anchorage Republican.

House panel reverts to gas tax 'holiday'
A proposed tax break for a natural gas pipeline is again a "holiday," rather than a deferral, with a reversal Monday by the state House Finance Committee.The bill, passed by the committee 9-2, again guarantees a state and local property tax exemption during pipeline construction and for the first two years of operation, worth an estimated $760 million.

Senate panel seeks independent ferry authority
The Alaska Marine Highway System would be severed from the state Department of Transportation and given a land selection of 500,000 acres as a funding base under a bill passed by the Senate Transportation Committee on Tuesday.

'Fair tax' wins support from both parties
A sales tax/income tax hybrid anchors a proposed $500 million-plus revenue package agreed to Monday night by Democratic Gov. Tony Knowles and a bipartisan House negotiating team.An alcohol excise tax increase of $22 million and the use of $250 million in permanent fund earnings round out the package, which would cut the projected $1 billion annual budget gap in half by fiscal year 2004.

Evidence may have been destroyed in fighting hotel fire
ANCHORAGE - The cause of the fire that destroyed a hotel nearing completion in downtown Anchorage remains a mystery. And the Anchorage Fire Department is looking into whether firefighters may have disturbed the scene so much that investigators may never be able to determine what happened.

State Briefs
Assembly to review city tourism plan; State wants B.C. fish farm moratorium continued; Young's bill aims to arm airline pilots; Senate approves bill to force governor to chose priorities; Juneau attorney to head state's criminal law agency; Ice Classic winners will share $304,000 jackpot

House passes private prison measure
A bill clearing the way for a 1,000-bed private prison in Whittier passed the House on Monday.Representatives voted 24-14 for the measure, which calls for the state to contract with the city of Whittier, which would contract with Cornell Companies Inc. to build and operate the prison. Whittier is on Prince William Sound, southeast of Anchorage.

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