Celebration planned for first big ship
JUNEAU - Destination Juneau Association, the new pro-tourism advocacy group, is embellishing the traditional welcome for the first major cruise ship of the year, says President Jack Cadigan.
Music, dancing, food and balloons will be on display at 11 a.m. Saturday at the downtown cruise ship dock, one hour ahead of the scheduled docking of Holland America's Nieuw Amsterdam, Cadigan said. The ship, which has a carrying capacity of 1,214 passengers, is coming in two hours ahead of schedule and will take about 45 minutes to tie up, and tourists will be able to observe a friendly welcome on the dock, he said.
Among the participants will be the Janice Holst Dancers and the Stroller White Pipes and Drums, he said.
``The whole objective is positive,'' Cadigan said. ``We've been concerned about the negative (news) releases nationally.''
He said that during travel he has become aware of widespread knowledge of the local controversy about cruise ship pollution. A recent article in the New York Times has been reprinted from Cape Cod, Mass., to Phoenix, Ariz., he said.
``We don't see that Juneau is ugly with pollution,'' he said. ``When you describe the polluted waters and the smoke circling the mountain, that's the image that's received.''
Destination Juneau also has made a few thousand buttons saying ``Ask Me, I Live Here,'' which locals will wear to make cruise ship passengers feel more welcome, he said. Smaller greetings will welcome the first major ship of each cruise line in coming days, he said.
Appreciation day includes free tram rides
JUNEAU - Sunday is ``Juneau Appreciation Day'' for the Downtown Business Association, an event that is intended to become annual.
The Mt. Roberts Tramway will offer free rides between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m., and various association members will have price discounts, prize drawings and guest artists on-site. No schedule of events was released.
In a news release, DBA President Kathy Ellis said it's an opportunity ``to celebrate and enjoy all that downtown Juneau has to offer.''
Nathan Rivas, the new marketing administrator for the association, said the event is ``absolutely'' unconnected to the tourism debate stoked by last fall's vote on a cruise ship passenger tax and currently focused on proposed flightseeing restrictions.
``I wouldn't say it's in response to any of that political aspect going on,'' Rivas said in an interview. ``I would just say we want to do something nice for the community.''
The free tram rides already had been scheduled when the concept of an appreciation day was developed, he said.
Schools hold evaluation meetings
JUNEAU - The Juneau School District is inviting parents, staff and community members to talk about how well each school is meeting its goals.
The meeting schedule is:
Auke Bay Elementary, 7 p.m. May 15.
Gastineau Elementary, 5:15 p.m. May 15.
Glacier Valley Elementary, 6 p.m. June 7.
Harborview Elementary, 5 p.m. May 16.
Juneau Community Charter School, 5:30 p.m. May 18.
Mendenhall River Community School, 6:30 p.m. May 4.
Riverbend Elementary, 6 p.m. May 11.
Dzantik'i Heeni Middle School, 5 p.m. May 10.
Floyd Dryden Middle School, 6 p.m. May 1.
Juneau-Douglas High School, 5 p.m. May 4.
Yaakoosge Daakahidi alternative high school program, 4:30 p.m. May 17.
All meetings are scheduled for the school libraries. The Gastineau meeting was rescheduled from a previously publicized May 8 date.