Sunday, May 11, 2003

Byrd fell short
Your Web page on Friday (This day in history) states in part: "In 1926, Americans Richard Byrd and Floyd Bennett became the first men to fly over the North Pole."

The devil's in the details
With a kid in school it's taken me a while to reach the conclusion that I'll be hard pressed to vote for another school bond issue. The straw that broke my camel's back was the atrium now being constructed at Juneau-Douglas High School.

Photo: Something for the garden
Kathy Pollard fills her tray with pansies Saturday as she takes advantage of Auke Bay Elementary School's annual pansy sale.

Photos: A sight for sore Buckeyes
Michael Orelove, left, Hans Mercer, center, and Bruce Freitag unfurl the Ohio state flag as Friends of the Flags installed the state pennants along Egan Drive on Saturday morning. The all-volunteer group hangs new flags of all 50 states downtown for the summer.

Drafting the future of the waterfront
Juneau's downtown waterfront, which extends from the Douglas Bridge to the rock dump, will change considerably over the next 20 years. How it will change will be determined over the next couple of months - especially at two public workshops this week. "It's incredibly important that people show up and talk about and be a part of these meetings," said Assembly member Jeannie Johnson, a member of the Juneau Port Development Committee, which oversees waterfront development.

This Day in History
In 1929, the first legal boxing event in the Territory of Alaska was held in Juneau. Previously, such boxing was illegal.

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

Obstruction ordinance irks business owners
Anyone who ventures downtown in the summer has seen the snarled, crawling traffic and the mobs of cruise-ship tourists who jam the sidewalks and spill into the streets. "We've got people congestion and motorized vehicle congestion. The combination actually resulted in a woman being hurt last year," said Mayor Sally Smith. "We know the sidewalk obstructions are pushing people into the street."

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

What do you think?
All taxes shrink the economy. Per dollar raised, income taxes would hurt Alaska least, then sales taxes, tapping the PFD or taking the Longevity Bonus, and finally the governor's "user fees" (for using the economy) are the absolute worst. Only the first two provide any incentive for government to support economic growth and diversification.

My Turn: Personal ideologies vs. flesh and blood
I still have vivid childhood memories of watching the action cartoon series "G.I. Joe" with my brothers and I can clearly picture myself bellowing out the theme song in cadence with our television set - "A real American hero, G.I. Joe is there." I'm sure the cartoon's closing segment, "Knowing is half the battle," made us all a little more morally astute, but I wonder if the show had any subconscious influence on my younger brother's decision to join the U.S. Marine Corp.

Empire editorial: Calendar works against passage of statewide sales tax
As the close of the 23rd legislative session looms ominously near, lawmakers are scrambling to build support for passage of a measure to levy a state sales and use tax. This session has brought to light the reality that three basic options exist to raise the needed revenues to meet budgetary obligations; a state income tax, a statewide sales tax or an extraction of some sort from the Permanent Fund.

Toe Cartoon

State campaign could give trout a fighting chance
ANCHORAGE - A campaign by state biologists may give rainbow trout in Anchorage area lakes a fighting chance against northern pike. With the 2003 fish stocking under way, state sportfish management biologist Matt Miller and assistant area biologist Dan Bosch have begun netting and trapping pike from three popular lakes.

Mountain goats: Relying on agility, suction-cup hooves
When British explorer Capt. James Cook first visited Southeast in 1778, Tlingit traders gave him animal hides that had never been seen by Europeans. He thought they were white bears. Instead they were mountain goats. Because mountain goats' natural range only includes the rugged mountains of northwest North America, these shaggy, sure-footed animals were a mystery to early explorers in Alaska. In fact, little was known about this uniquely American animal before 1900.

The bike path less traveled
Mike Miller's winter vacation this year was not spent at an enormous outdoor enthusiast gear swap. But his packing list might have led one to believe otherwise. Life preserver. Ice ax. Spare bike tire tube. Plastic sled. Telemark skis. Insulated Xtra Tuffs.

Out and About
Ongoing: Spring King Salmon Derby, through May 31. Tickets $30 for the month. Details: juneauempire.com/springking/ or www.ccthita-vtrc.org/. May 11: Small-bore rifle silhouette at the Hank Harmon Rifle Range, 8:30 a.m. registration, shoot at 9:30 a.m. Details: www.go.to/-jrpc.

Stalking elusive steelhead
Last weekend as I raced along a familiar trail during the early morning, the air was filled with pungent smells of young skunk cabbage and my ears rang with cries of birds actively feeding on bits and pieces of spawning eulachon. I was carrying my favorite fly rod, a selection of choice flies, and hopes that my secret spot was still a secret. It was spring in Southeast and I envisioned first casts to shadows lurking in clear, deep pools. I was in hot pursuit of my favorite game fish, the elusive steelhead.

Fish report
The king salmon are in and being caught in the traditional fishing areas: Picnic Cove, Breadline, Lizardhead and Tee Harbor. The windy weekend of May 3 and 4 kept most boaters from venturing past Point Retreat. Rough water even made fishing difficult closer to town at the Breadline and Picnic Cove.

Barril throws a no-no vs. Kayhi
Pitching carried the weekend for the Juneau-Douglas High School softball team as the Crimson Bears swept a three-game series from the Ketchikan Kings with what coach Dave Massey thinks might be the team's first no-hitter and a pair of one-hitters. Juneau closed out the weekend series Saturday with a 10-0 victory at Ketchikan's Dudley Field as freshman Hannah Barril threw a five-inning no-hitter.

Spring King Salmon Derby Standings
Here are the standings in the Seventh Annual Spring King Salmon Derby, as reported at 3:19 p.m. on Saturday, May 10. The rankings include the angler's name, weight of the fish (in 10ths of a pound), date turned in and what station the fish was turned into. Ties are broken by the earliest fish turned in.

SERR-Magnific Mendenhall Mudpuddle Meet
Results of the 26th running of the Southeast Road Runners club's Magnificent Mendenhall Mudpuddle Meet, held Saturday on a nine-mile course beginning and ending on the Auke Lake Campus of the University of Alaska Southeast. There was also a kids' race, which was about one mile in length.

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

JFBC-Tee Harbor Short Course Road Race
Results from the Juneau Freewheelers Bicycle Club's Tee Harbor Short Course Road Race, a 22.5-mile race out Glacier Highway and back on Friday night. This was the club's largest pre-July race turnout ever.

Bears sweep titles in Haines
The Hayden siblings won the boys and girls 3,200 meters to lead the Juneau-Douglas High School track and field team to a sweep of the Haines Invitational meet held Friday and Saturday at Haines High School. The Crimson Bear boys scored 238 points to win their half of the meet, with Haines second with 153 points, Petersburg third with 104 and Gustavus fourth with four points. The Juneau girls scored 191 points, followed by Petersburg with 124, Haines with 122, Gustavus with six and Yakutat with one point.

Juneau soccer teams claim a sweep of the Wasilla Warriors
The Juneau-Douglas High School boys and girls soccer teams each pulled a victory out of a maelstrom in Wasilla on Friday evening in the second leg of a three-game swing through Southcentral Alaska. The Crimson Bear boys defeated the host Warriors 2-0, while the Juneau girls beat Wasilla 3-1.

Crimson Bear baseball team will go to state
Before the season started, the Juneau-Douglas High School baseball team had two main goals - win the Region V title and repeat as state champions. One down, one to go.

A dry Mudpuddle run
Twenty-eight runners hit the sun-dappled roads and paths around Auke Lake and the Mendenhall River on Saturday for the 26th running of the Magnificent Mendenhall Mudpuddle Meet.

Slashed ferry fund nettles SE's mayors
Southeast mayors are crying foul over a decision by the Murkowski administration to remove from the state's capital budget $68 million for a high-speed ferry to run from Juneau to Petersburg and another to run between Ketchikan, Wrangell and Mitkof Island. But Republican Sen. Robin Taylor of Wrangell, who introduced the amendment to the budget bill, said the administration wants to hold off on building the ferries for a year to decide if the federal money should be used on high-speed ferries, road projects or a combination of the two.

Couple accused of starving daughter
ANCHORAGE - A Fort Richardson couple is accused of long-term abuse that left their 4-year-old daughter starving and dehydrated, authorities said Friday.Anchorage police said Army specialist Anthony Kirkland failed to protect the girl as Juanita Kirkland withheld food and water, locked her in a dark bedroom and locked the refrigerator to keep her from sneaking food. When the alleged abuse came to light in mid-February, the girl weighed 22 pounds, about half the usual amount for a child her age.

Sampson to head Education
Roger Sampson was named to be the next education commissioner by Gov. Frank Murkowski on Friday. Sampson, an education consultant and former superintendent of the Chugach School District, was picked after a daylong interview with the state Board of Education.

House committee shelves seasonal sales tax
The House Ways and Means Committee is likely to shelve a plan to impose a statewide seasonal sales tax and consider a more simple tax plan. Rep. Jim Whitaker, a Republicans from Fairbanks and co-chairman of the committee, said Saturday there was not enough support to pursue a plan to impose a 2 percent year-round sales tax that doubles in the summer.

State Briefs
Alyeska school reprieved for a year; Government buys canned salmon; Danger of fires persists; Senate OKs vehicle registration hike; Senate approves cigarette tax stamp bill

Legislative roundup
Bills voted on last week:

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