State Briefs

Posted: Monday, May 05, 2003

Amsterdam's arrival heralds cruise season

JUNEAU - The cruise ship season begins today in Juneau with the arrival of Holland America's ship, the Amsterdam.

The ship was scheduled to leave Seattle on Friday, May 2, carrying 1,460 passengers and 647 crew members. It will arrive in Juneau at 1 p.m. today, and will leave at 11 p.m. for Glacier Bay.

"The first week is pretty slow," said Lorene Palmer, president and CEO of the Juneau Convention and Visitors Bureau. "We'll have four ships."

One ship will be in town Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. The largest ship this week will be Celebrity Cruises' Mercury, which will arrive on Thursday with a capacity of 1,870 guests and 900 crew members.

"Things will really not kick into gear until the 13th, with five ships," Palmer said.

The last cruise ship will leave Juneau on Sept. 25.

Schlueter retires from Coast Guard

JUNEAU - A Juneau man retired from the Coast Guard after almost 28 years of service to the maritime community. Chief Petty Officer William E. Schlueter retired to Juneau following a ceremony aboard the Coast Guard cutter Storis, while under way for homeland security patrols.

Schlueter's last tour of duty was aboard the Coast Guard's oldest commissioned cutter, the Storis, home ported in Kodiak. He served for three years as the Navigation Division chief, in charge of the quartermasters, the navigation equipment and charts aboard the Storis. Schlueter received a Coast Guard Achievement Medal for his three years aboard the cutter.

The citation complimented Schlueter on his superior performance of duty, and how he "brought a wealth of knowledge to the Storis, acting as a voice of experience throughout his tour."

Dornan/Douglas memorial fund seeks applications

JUNEAU - The Wythe Dornan and Brian Douglas Memorial Fund is accepting applications for funding from organizations and individuals that enhance the health, education and welfare of Southeast Alaskans.

The fund was created in 1994 in memory of Dornan and Douglas, who moved to Alaska in 1989 and died in 1993, at the ages of 27. The couple volunteered at the Glory Hole, served as foster parents for several children and supported activities that protect the environment.

A small group of volunteer trustees, including the parents of Dornan and Douglas, administer the fund, which is supported by the donations of family and friends.

"We give, oh, about 12 to 18 grants a year," said Paul Douglas, Brian Douglas' father and a member of the board of trustees. Grants have gone to several schools and youth groups in Southeast Alaska.

"We've given away in excess of $50,000 in the life of the fund so far," Douglas said.

The average amount of a grant from the fund is between $200 to $3,000. No grant will exceed $5,000, he said.

Nonprofit organizations that contribute to the well-being of Alaskans and special groups, such as amateur sports groups or children's music or theater groups, are invited to apply for funding. Funding will also be awarded to individuals working for nonprofit organizations who wish to further their training.

For more information or for an application, write Paul Douglas at 5050 Thane Rd., Juneau Alaska, 99801, or call 463-3042. Applications must be postmarked no later than June 1, 2003. Grants will be awarded by Sept. 1.

Some Ice Classic winners have guessed correctly before

ANCHORAGE - "It feels good" to be a winner of this year's Nenana Ice Classic, says Sandy Masterfield of Palmer.

But Masterfield, 76, says she's kind of used to it. She was an Ice Classic winner in 1980, when she won $6,000.

She and her husband, Ernie Masterfield, who shared one of 19 winning tickets this year, were not the only ones to repeat.

John Gilcrist of Soldotna, was a 1998 winner, said Cherrie Forsness, manager of the Classic.

"How lucky!" Forsness said. In the seven years she's been managing the 87-year-old contest, she's seen repeat winners only two or three other times, she said.

Each winning ticket is worth $15,842.11.

The ice on the Tanana River at Nenana broke apart at 6:22 p.m. Alaska Standard Time Tuesday evening, ending the annual guessing game in which Alaskans and other entrants place a bet on the actual time the ice will go out.

The 19 winners, representing a total of 46 people, since five winners were pool entries, all picked the same moment and will split the overall purse of $301,000.

"We'll have a lot of checks to write," said Forsness. The checks are to go out June 1.

The Ice Classic did not release the names of all the winners, Forsness said. The 13 employees of Alaska Airlines in Fairbanks who won on a single ticket as 13 Lucky Ice Holes Pool did not want their names released, she said.

After federal taxes, net winnings will be about $11,400, said winner John Echternacht, also of Palmer.

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