Monday, May 12, 2003

Peninsula carvers find their niche building special carousel
KENAI - A handful of woodcarvers here are helping keep the memories of fine-crafted carousels alive by making a brand-new carousel. It will be open to everyone at Hansen's Custom Carving just outside Soldotna on the Sterling Highway. Unlike carousels of the past, however, the unique peninsula attraction will feature things Alaskan: a caribou, a grizzly bear, a moose, a walrus and possibly a Dall sheep and a musk ox.

Haida coffee shop gets legal help in Starbucks fight
VANCOUVER, British Columbia - The owners of a small coffee shop on the Queen Charlotte Islands have lined up a prominent lawyer to defend them in a trademark-infringement suit filed by coffee giant Starbucks. Vancouver lawyer Joe Arvay has agreed to defend HaidaBucks Cafe against the Seattle-based company, which claims the aboriginal owners are violating copyright and creating confusion in the marketplace by using a name similar to its own.

ACS sells most of yellow pages business
ANCHORAGE - Alaska Communications Systems Group Inc. has raised about $118 million to pay down its debt by selling off most of its directory business. The owner will be a new company, called ACS Media, that had its initial public offering on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Thursday. ACS is keeping 12.6 percent of the new firm and its president is taking the helm.

Business profile: Toni Fagg
Title and company: Owner, Divine Appointment Beauty Services: People who want thicker, longer hair can benefit from the hair-extension services Fagg offers, she said. Fagg has devised a system for attaching real or synthetic hair to her clients' real hair, giving them longer locks that last up to four months.

Out of touch
The governor stated in his "My Turn" column of May 8, "Loading additional taxes on Alaska's most productive citizens is simply bad economic policy." This was in defense of his support for a sales tax rather than an income tax. I disagree with his opinion about a state income tax being unfair.

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.

Photos: A day for appreciating Juneau
Brian Wharton, third from left, holds his son, Benjamin, 3, as Benjamin blows bubbles at the Nature Center at the top of the Mount Roberts Tramway on Saturday during Juneau Appreciation Day.

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.

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.

Summer classes mean catching up or getting ahead
If past practice is an indication, about one of 12 Juneau public school students will spend part of their summer in class. Nearly all will be there because they weren't meeting the district's standards in the core subjects of reading, writing or math. "You'd categorize the students as being struggling learners, so our focus is to help students meet the core," said Kimberly Homme, the district's Summer Connection principal.

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

Camp blends Native lore, science, serious canoeing
Anna Buchanan said paddling the last in a line of canoes was hard work. But by the end of a weeklong canoe trip near Hoonah last summer, "I was in the front," the middle school student said happily. Camp W.A.T.E.R., a three-week summer camp that blends Native knowledge, Western science and some serious canoeing, is still looking for applicants.

This Day in History
In 1926, Juneau's first concrete paving began, from Seward Street to the Alaskan Hotel.

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.

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."

Shoes of church's bellringer hard to fill
SITKA - Sunday mornings won't sound the same after Sasha Hartman moves away this week. For the last two and a half years, Hartman has been the bell- ringer at St. Michael's Cathedral. But Hartman is moving to Spruce Island near Kodiak. The Orthodox church has yet to find a replacement.

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.

Of secrets and devil's club juice
In the tidy kitchen of her assisted-living apart- ment in Juneau, Flo Kenney, 69, brews potions - devil's club juice for fatigue and caribou leaf salve to soothe tennis elbow or, even, to heal flesh rent by a black bear's claws. "It's a big pharmacy out there - there's roots and plants," Kenney said. "People don't talk about it anymore. Kids go to the grocery store and spend $7 on cough syrup."

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

Photo: Rally for education funding
Anatoly Khmelev, "Mr. K" to his physical education students at Auke Bay Elementary School, sniffs a carnation during a teacher's rally Saturday on the Capitol steps. "A Mother's Day Wish: Adequate Funding for Education" was the name and theme of the rally.

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

My Turn: Alaska's seniors are a $2 billion industry
It really doesn't make much sense, does it? Here Gov. Murkowski runs for office on a platform of economic development and, within a month of taking office, tells the Legislature to cripple an industry that generates billions of dollars of revenue for the state each year. (And, yes, that's right - we're talking billions with a "B.")

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.

My Turn: A graduated drivers license program will save lives
Years ago, before there were computers, kids were taught how to drive by a trusted adult. Sadly, that's not the case nowadays for many teenagers. They leave the DMV with that priceless piece of plastic and very little driving knowledge.

My Turn: Think trees: celebrate Arbor Day
Arbor Day is an annual observance celebrating trees in our lives and promoting tree planting and care. Arbor Day is celebrated in Alaska on the third Monday in May. On this day, reflect on the beauty of trees but also think about the benefits trees provide in our neighborhoods.

Toe Cartoon

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Local Sports Briefs
Floyd Dryden students hit the bullseye in archery tourney; Hershey's Track and Field Meet set for May 18

Mud, Sweat and Gears
There were spills and chills during the Juneau Freewheelers Bicycle Club's "Mud, Sweat and Mother's Day" mountain bike race held Sunday at Dimond Park. The first break in Juneau's unusual stretch of nice weather meant a the few hardy riders who showed up for the race were greeted by a blustery wind and a temperature about 15 degrees colder than what they'd experienced in recent days.

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.

Juneau boys upend Service
The Juneau-Douglas High School boys soccer team ended its final road trip of the regular season in winning fashion late Saturday, as the Crimson Bears edged the Service Cougars 2-1 in a fast-paced game with a few unusual twists. The Crimson Bears (9-3-1 overall) got on the board first, in the eighth minute of the game. Senior Axel Thibodeau got his head on a corner kick, and then senior Kalon Wright knocked the ball to the ground, one-touched it and shot it past the Service goalkeeper.

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.

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

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.

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.

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

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.

Legislative roundup
Bills voted on last week:

Bill nails fraudulent PFD filers
People who file fraudulent permanent fund applications would stand a greater chance of being punished if a new bill passes the Legislature. House Bill 205, which the House approved Friday, would allow the Department of Revenue to impose a $3,000 fine on people it determines have submitted fraudulent applications. Under current law, if the state takes a person to court for permanent-fund fraud, the court may assess a fine of up to $5,000, but the department itself cannot impose a fine.

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.

Playful, inventive spectacled eiders astonish scientists
SEWARD - Only a few weeks after 12 young spectacled eiders settled into their new aviary at the Alaska SeaLife Center, researchers tossed them a pair of colored ping-pong balls. Would they shy away? Pick one color over another? To the astonishment of the biologists, the six male and six female adolescents scrambled around the tanks, splashing and batting, struggling to knock the balls into the drain.

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.

Appeals court mulls role of dealer in drug death
ANCHORAGE - The Alaska Court of Appeals is pondering whether a person who sells drugs to someone who ends up dead of an overdose should be held responsible to some extent for that death. On Wednesday, the three-judge appeals court returned the case of Shaun Whitesides to a Ketchikan judge with instructions to collect more information and send it back to them.

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.

State Briefs
Stevens denies pressuring Smithsonian; Man with famous name wins drug case appeal; Awards of doctoral degrees increase at UAF;

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.

Psychiatrists: Impacts of gambling are already present in Alaska
KENAI - Alaska may not have racetracks and casinos, but the state isn't free of the social impacts of gambling, say psychiatrists who study gamblers' behavior. Municipalities and nonprofit organizations can run bingo parlors, sell pull-tabs or hawk lottery tickets on such natural events as breakup on the Tanana River. Such activities may seem innocuous, but betting, periodically reinforced by winning, can grow to pathological addiction for some.

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

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