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Friday, May 2, 2003

Perhaps UA president deserves a pay raise
Sen. John Cowdery asked an interesting question in Tuesday's Letters to the Editor. He compared UA President Mark Hamilton's salary to Secretary of State Colin Powell's salary, and then asked, "what's wrong with this picture?"

Miscounted the years
In my My Turn column, "A veteran's perspective on the war," which appeared in Wednesday's Empire, I wrote about having been drafted into the Army 55 years ago. I miscounted the years, the kind of thing I'm inclined to do these days.

P.R. nightmare
My commercial fishing family is especially concerned about impacts to the marketability of wild salmon once the word gets out that the "pristine" salmon habitat of our state has been compromised by aerial application of pesticides.

Support kids
April 24 was Stands for Children Day at the Capitol. The rally was to raise awareness of the high cost of alcohol abuse in the lives of young children. There were children from the ages of 3 and up. The children sang songs and danced, as some children passed out flyers and apple cider to legislators and representatives throughout the Capitol.

Longevity Bonus provides dignity
I was excited to see that the Longevity Bonus was being reconsidered! So many seniors depend on that money for food and rent. My father died in 1987 and all my mom gets is his Social Security, which isn't much, and the Longevity Bonus. My mom depends on it for her Medicare premium and prescriptions that she needs to stay in good health.

State's war on wolves
The Department of Fish and Game, the Board of Game and some state legislators are moving at a dizzying pace to launch an all-out war on predators. Proposals to implement predator-control programs throughout the state include killing wolves and relocating brown and black bears in the McGrath area; allowing hunters to shoot wolves from snowmachines in Game Management Unit 16 and in the Nelchina Basin northeast of Anchorage; and allowing members of the public to use land-and-shoot hunting to kill wolves in hunting units 13A, B and E.

High praise
The reporting on the USA Patriot Act resolution project was amazing for its clarity, accuracy and interest.

Don't penalize married people in bonus program
This is in response to income guidelines for the Longevity Bonus. The guidelines, as I read them, would perpetuate the so called marriage tax. If a single person's income limit is $16,000, then two people, whether they are married or not, are double that, or about $32,000. Same with the savings limit. If one person can have a savings account of up to $4,000, then two people can have $8,000.

Kill all the wolves
So we kill all the wolves, the tourist industry has a fit and boycotts Alaska. We lose 1,000 or 2,000 potential visitors. I consider that collateral damage. Gets rid of vermin also. You have to remember, folks, we are the dominant species on this planet. We do what it takes to protect our game animals and our children. While we're at it, get rid of the local bears that get into our garbage. As humans, we have a deep down ingrained fear/loathing of predators. We do what is necessary to eliminate them. And since when do lower animals have rights?

We're dying as fast as we can, governor
I am 84 years old. My friend who came to Alaska with me 55 years ago is going on 91. Some years ago, when the idea of a longevity bonus was put forth, the idea seemed to be that it would maybe honor people who had lived in Alaska a long time and who were retiring or retired and would find a little bonus like that helpful in making it possible for them to remain in Alaska and do their little bit to contribute to the economy and volunteer a bit of their time and expertise to a country that they really loved. There was no indication that it was to be a welfare program. I don't think many of us wanted welfare.

Black cod, a flavorful, too-often-forgotten fish
L ast year, I visited Seville, Spain. There, amongst the Moorish architecture, flamenco and tapas, I learned to appreciate black cod. One evening I made my way to a tapas bar in the heart of the 1,000-year-old city and asked the waiter to bring me some of the bar's specialties, whatever they may be.

AroundTown
Around Town is a listing of local nonprofit events.

Correction
Several Empire Around Town calendars listed the "Grandma's Treasures" silent auction and spring brunch on the wrong day. The fund-raiser for the Meals on Wheels and Senior Meal Program is 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at the Juneau Senior Center, 895 W. 12th St.

Fish and Game names deputy commissioners
Two deputy commissioners have been appointed to the Department of Fish and Game.

This Day in History
In 1934, legal liquor returned to Alaska and 10 liquor stores opened in Juneau.

Fish price report bill moves in House
A bill passed Thursday in the House Finance Committee would make permanent a law that requires fish processors who sell more than 1 million pounds of salmon a year to submit price reports to the state.

Child-safety expert lectures on 'child lures'
For years, well-meaning parents have been telling their children not to talk to strangers, said Kenneth Wooden, a nationally recognized child-safety advocate. "Well, ask a kid to draw a picture of a stranger," Wooden said. "He'll draw an ugly monster. That's not what he needs to stay away from."

House OKs tax break for new gas production
Companies could get a tax credit for bringing new natural gas on line under a bill that passed the House on Thursday.

Working toward a bike for every child
"Every kid should have a bicycle," said Ernie Mueller, retired Juneau public works director-turned-volunteer bike mechanic. He spends his Wednesday afternoons at Dzantik'i Heeni Middle School, fixing bikes for low-income students and teaching the students to fix the bikes themselves. "I like fixing things, and I like working with my hands," Mueller said.

Church to give away 20 used bicycles
Members of Resurrection Lutheran Church are hoping the clear weather stays for the weekend, when they plan to give away more than 20 bikes to needy Juneau residents. "Our mission is to give bikes out to kids primarily, but because most of the bikes are donated and some of them are adult bikes, we're also including adults," said Jeff Hill, who is coordinating the bike giveaway for the church.

Traylor: Turning crutches into pillars
Jerry Traylor didn't come to Juneau on Wednesday just to give a talk, he said. He came to change lives. "I am free, I am thankful and I am blessed," said Traylor, leaning on the crutches that allow him to walk despite the cerebral palsy that has rendered his legs unusable since his birth. He spoke to an audience of 480 people as part of the Pillars of America Freedom Series of speeches sponsored by the Glacier Valley Rotary Club.

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

Photos: Geese on the green
Left, snow geese fly over the wetlands near the Mendenhall Golf Club Wednesday.

Photo: Sharing lunch
Russ Brown entices a crow during his lunch break Thursday at the Steamship Wharf.

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

Princess Tours president says cruise ship industry struggling
Americans are taking shorter, less expensive vacations, and the Alaska tourism industry needs to cater to that market, Princess Cruise and Tours President Charlie Ball told an Alaska Business Roundtable luncheon audience Thursday. "We need to make our products what travelers want," Ball said, "(and) figure out a way to provide less-expensive products."

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

Volunteers an essential element of AWARE
When Kitty Gundy signed up to volunteer at the AWARE shelter in August, she didn't know her shopping skills would be her most valuable asset. "I went there and I talked to Cyd and told her I'd be willing to volunteer for whatever the shelter needed to have done," Gundy said, referring to Cydney Boyer, volunteer coordinator at Aiding Women in Abuse and Rape Emergencies, or AWARE. "It turns out their shopper had just stopped volunteering, so that was what they needed."

UAS to graduate 179 on Sunday
When University of Alaska Southeast graduates walk onto the Centennial Hall stage Sunday afternoon to receive their degrees, there will be more young people and more full-time students than in the past. And that's what the school needs to sustain its growth and build its programs, administrators said. The university expects to confer 28 master's degrees, 103 bachelor's degrees, 40 associate's degrees and eight certificates at its 32nd commencement ceremony, which starts at 2 p.m.

Man accused of dousing woman with lighter fluid gets 6 months
Timothy Nelson, who police said doused his girlfriend with lighter fluid and threatened to set her on fire, will spend the next six months in prison. Juneau Superior Court Judge Patricia Collins granted the girlfriend's request to drop a restraining order keeping them apart. Nelson, 23, pleaded guilty to fourth-degree assault, reckless endangerment and resisting arrest, all misdemeanors, on Wednesday before his sentencing.

Photo: Looking into the sun
Nurullah Reynolds looks through a specially filtered telescope to view storm spots on the sun Thursday.

Off to kindergarten - a grandma's point of view
While browsing about our town last weekend I stopped in an art gallery and saw a piece of art work entitled, "Off to Kindergarten" and had to smile: We were in that situation with our son 28 years ago, and now he will be in the same boat this coming fall when he gets ready to send his oldest child, "off to kindergarten." I asked the young lady at the desk if she had a card that corresponded to that picture and she said, not yet, but she could envision one developing within a year, maybe.

Youths earn GEDs, learn to build
Five youths, age 17 to 20, recently graduated from a three-month course in advanced construction at the University of Alaska Southeast. The course was funded by an $85,000 state workforce investment grant awarded to the Tlingit-Haida Regional Housing Authority.

Thank you
...for contributing; ...for caring; ...for helping.

NeighborsDigest
Heritage institute awards more than $1 million in scholarships; Nursery registration; Sitka High reunion.

Art that rocks
Petroglyphs are defined as pictures cut into rock by prehistoric peoples. How old are they? In its 1993 brochure on the rock art of Southeast Alaska, the U.S. Forest Service suggests that they might be very old: "The oldest rock drawings appear to have been made by a maritime people who migrated here as early as 10,000 years ago."

FYI
Births; Business licenses; Courts; Divorces and dissolutions filed; Judgments.

Alaska salmon in pouches or cans
Dick Hand, of the Alaska Seafood Co., has been in business for 16 years. His plant is located in Lemon Creek, right across from the Alaskan Brewery. What a fascinating operation he runs. He started with the idea of putting salmon in plastic pouches, sterilizing them in a retort, just like canned salmon. He has added a canned salmon product, packed in six-and-one-half-ounce cans. Just about all of his production is first smoked, so you get the extra benefit of that special taste.

Peter Wood Jr.
Former Juneau resident Peter Wood Jr., 61, died April 11, 2003, in Monroe, Wash.

William John Bell Jr.
Former Juneau resident William John Bell Jr., 59, died April 5, 2003, in Sitka.

Doris T. DiCostanzo
Former Juneau resident Doris T. DiCostanzo, 78, died April 28, 2003, in Kent, Wash.

Soaking up the sun while it lasts
If I write about the wonderful weather, will it change for the worse? If it does, will you be mad? Yeah, I would be too if some other amateur practitioner of the obscure laws of physics made good weather disappear by writing about it. I wish I had a dollar for everyone who has said to me during the past week some version of, "This is our summer," or, "Enjoy it while it lasts," or, "Isn't this what happened last spring before everything turned to ....."

My Turn: Pipeline poppycock
The Voice of the Times editorialized on April 14 that Gov. Murkowski was right to slash the funding of the gas line authority from $1.3 million to $150,000 and said he shouldn't give the project anything. The Voice of the Times is wrong again, but that's what you'd expect from an outfit totally beholden to the North Slope producers.

JDHS Softball
CRIMSON BEARS 10, HUSKIES 1

Track team hosts invite
The Juneau-Douglas High School track and field team will get to show off the partially resurfaced Adair-Kennedy Memorial Park track this weekend when the Crimson Bears host the Juneau Invitational this afternoon and Saturday morning.

Local Sports Briefs
Spring salmon derby begins today; May Day Mud Run set for Saturday

Big Zach attack
The Juneau-Douglas High School baseball team had a big Zach Attack in winning its season-opening game 16-9 over the Ketchikan Kings on Wednesday at Adair-Kennedy Memorial Park. The Crimson Bears were led by the slugging of senior third baseman Zach Kohan and the relief pitching of sophomore Zach Mixson as they began their quest for a repeat state title. Kohan hit two home runs and a double off the fence to lead Juneau's offense, while Mixson shut down Ketchikan over the final three-plus innings to pick up the win on the mound.

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.

Local golfer gets first hole-in-one
When Juneau resident Frank Gleason hit his first-ever hole-in-one at the Mendenhall Golf Course last Sunday afternoon, it took a while for him to realize what he had accomplished.

Pitchers' duel
One day after winning a sloppy 25-run game over Ketchikan that featured 11 errors, pitching and defense took center stage as the Juneau-Douglas High School baseball team claimed a 3-0 victory over the Sitka Wolves on Thursday night at Adair-Kennedy Memorial Park. Three Juneau pitchers - starter Zach Kohan, reliever Chad Dubois and reliever Sergio Magallanes - combined on a four-hitter as the Crimson Bears improved to 2-0 on the season.

Juneau girls let two-goal lead slip
The Juneau-Douglas High School girls soccer team held a 2-0 lead on host Colony with eight minutes to play Thursday, but the Crimson Bears let down their guard and the Knights rallied for a 2-2 tie.

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

Crimson Bears softball team wins two more on trip
The Juneau-Douglas High School softball team made short work of its two opponents Thursday night in Fairbanks, ending both games after five innings because of the 10-run mercy rule. The defending state champion Crimson Bears knocked off the West Valley Wolfpack 15-0 at West Valley High School, then beat the North Pole Patriots 13-2 at the Interior Girls Softball Association fields in downtown Fairbanks.

Juneau softball team opens trip with wins
The Juneau-Douglas High School softball team opened its road trip to Fairbanks with a pair of victories Wednesday night at the Interior Girls Softball Association fields.The Crimson Bears beat the winless Delta Junction Huskies 10-1, then beat the previously unbeaten Lathrop Malemutes 6-3 in the nightcap.

Tornadoes head to state
The Juneau Tornadoes wrestling club hopes to take the competition by storm this weekend, as a large contingent heads to Eagle River for the Alaska USA Wrestling Freestyle and Greco-Roman State Tournament. Thirty wrestlers from the club - by far the largest state contingent the Tornadoes club has ever had - will travel north today. Weigh-ins are this evening, with competition on Friday and Saturday at the McDonald Sports Center.

Lawmakers propose creating a 3 percent state sales tax
State House leaders say a year-round 3 percent state sales tax plan introduced Wednesday could raise up to $330 million a year to shrink Alaska's fiscal gap. Gov. Frank Murkowski said he prefers a seasonal sales tax, but did not rule out supporting the proposal. The measure was sponsored by the House Ways and Means Committee, which scheduled its first hearing for 7 a.m. today. The committee was formed recently to craft revenue-generating and other budget-balancing measures.

Flags lowered for Perdue, Price
Alaska flags were lowered at all state offices Thursday in memory of Alaska Constitutional Convention editor Nadine Price, who died last week.

Sockeye trial goes to jury May 27
Jury deliberations in the Bristol Bay price-fixing lawsuit will begin May 27, Superior Court Judge Peter A. Michalski decided Thursday. Michalski wrote that in a written order to attorneys as the trial neared the end of its 11th week.

Leader urges U.S. to listen to Canada on AK gasline
Canada will be able to exert pressure on the U.S. government to prevent subsidies for building a natural gas pipeline across Canada to the Lower 48, Northern Development Minister Robert Nault said Thursday. Nault said providing a loan guarantee for the pipeline owners was "a legitimate approach to take."

Bill aims to curb wage hikes
Not a year after lawmakers raised the state minimum wage from $5.65 to $7.15, making it the highest minimum in the country, a bill would strip the law of a provision that increases the wage each year to adjust for inflation. The law was passed last session, and no inflation-adjustment increase has taken place. The adjustment is required to equal either the rate of inflation reflected in the consumer price index or $1 more than the federal wage, whichever is higher. The law requires the adjustment to take place by Sept. 30 of each year.

Leaders protest proposed sales tax
State and local officials are opposing plans to institute a statewide sales tax because of concerns it would hurt consumer spending, prevent voter approval of local sales-tax-funded projects and eliminate local tax exemptions. House Bill 293 would eliminate all local sales tax exemptions, allowing only exemptions set by the state. One of the exemptions left out of the bill could add hundreds of dollars to the cost of big-ticket purchases such as cars and trucks.

Bill to allow gambling has slim chance of survival
A proposal to allow video gambling machines in bars and clubs to help balance the state budget appears dead or nearly so as the Legislature enters its final weeks. The once-hot idea is stalled in the House Special Committee on Ways and Means. Fairbanks Republican Rep. Jim Whitaker, the committee co-chairman handling the gambling bill, said he has no plans to bring it up again.

Judge dismisses suit against Native corp.
A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit against a Native corporation in Goodnews.

State Briefs
Dog collector gets help with his 400 pooches; Murkowski makes fish board appointments; New state parks director named; Contract awarded for Southeast intertie; Student dies of injuries from Sitka bicycle crash; Athabascan leader dies in Fairbanks; Jury finds for state in Big Lake fire case

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

Only needy may get sr. bonus
Senior citizens would have to prove financial need to continue getting monthly longevity bonuses under a measure being considered by the Senate Finance Committee. Dozens of older Alaskans testified against the idea Wednesday night. Senate Bill 117 would cut off the payments to single seniors making more than $16,824 a year, or couples making more than $22,716. A single adult could have assets, such as a savings account, of up to $4,000. A couple could have assets of $6,000.

The Swamp
The Swamp cartoon

movies where & when
Movie Schedule

briefly
'You Gotta Have Art 2' set for Travelodge; Spirited Away' plays at Nickelodeon; Spring craft market showcases 12 artists; Chapel by the Lake to host recital.

Ensembles showcase the unorthodox, the sonorous
The Juneau Symphony's annual Symphony Showcase allows its musicians a chance to play in small ensembles, the freedom to pick their own pieces and the rare opportunity to play chamber music. So why not select a piece that's a little unorthodox? Flutist Sally Schlichting, French horn player Bill Paulick and kettledrums player Rich Ritter did just that when they chose Ellis B. Kohs' "Night Watch," a quiet mood-and-movement piece written for legendary French horn player Marvin Howe. It's the fourth selection in this weekend's showcase program.

Painting LARGE
The first painting Juneau artist Dorinda Skains ever sold was a 38-foot-tall mural. Her first gallery show, "Introvert Extrovert," isn't quite as towering. It opens Friday, May 2, at the Juneau Arts and Humanities Council Gallery as part of First Friday. "This is the smallest I like to work," Skains said last week, standing in front of her 4-by-5-foot "Watermelon Lily," in her sunny, Front Street studio. "These others," she said, gesturing at three smaller, surrealistic florals, "are driving me crazy."

When is a personalized license plate a good omen?
I have a confession to make: For more than a few weeks now, I have been staking out the driver of a dark pickup. I think her name is Ann. It all started by accident. I was idling at an intersection on Egan when I noticed I was tailing a pickup with the license plate "ANZTOY." I realized I'd been behind Ann and her toy coming home from Blockbuster, on the way to the gym and pulling into the gas station. Ann, toy and I were traveling in the same circles, yet her identity remained unknown. I became curious.

What's up with that?
Q: Why is Evergreen Cemetery part of the city parks and rec department? Q: While on a walk at the wetlands, I saw a large Evergreen Air plane land at the airport. Do you have any info?

what's happening
Theater; Events; Concerts; Exhibits; Nightlife.

Songs far too relevant
Anchorage songwriter Libby Roderick wrote "Dancing in Front of the Guns" on a January day in 1991. She had been invited to a peaceful protest a few days before the beginning of Operation Desert Storm, and she needed a song. "We're facing the guns again," the track begins. "We have faced them before / Humanity's longing after so many deaths / for something more human than war."

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