Monday, May 13, 2002

In the Stacks
Come into the library and pick up some of our new books on tape (and CD) to jumpstart your summer chores or invigorate your commute!

A book of tips for homesteading in the 21st century
If you've ever considered building your own house with an eye to both environment and economy, this is the how-to book for you. Thomas Elpel has spent years perfecting a five-acre homestead in Montana. The main house is stone and uses a batch solar water heater and wood heat. The south-facing site includes a spring, a pond, an orchard and a strawbale chicken house. Greywater is used on the garden and in the greenhouse. Rainwater is stored in a tank and used for irrigating the orchard.

Sealaska losses
This is in response to the May 7 Empire article "Sealaska loses $21 million", and the $122 million loss of 2001.

Case of disrespect
On the front page of the May 8 paper was a story about a developer (Mr. Richard Harris) who had cut down several large trees and quite a few smaller ones within 25 feet of Duck Creek. Mr. Harris said he wasn't aware he was breaking any rules and that he was opening up some visibility.

Making the most of another chance
I was born and raised in Juneau. I moved to Anchorage in 1998 after I got myself into some trouble. The reason I am writing this letter is because I want to thank someone, I have no clue who he is, but it regards a decision he made as a juror that has had an impact on my life.

Bader's statements require a response
I haven't written to the Empire before about what happened that led to my suspension from school for carrying a banner. But the My Turn column by Superintendent Gary Bader in Thursday's paper compels me to correct his factual errors. I will leave his statements about the law to the courts.

Important clarification
I thought Eric Fry's Sunday, May 12 article, "Juneau's Catholics respond to the scandal," was well written and balanced. He provided area residents an opportunity to learn about the impact of the scandal on local Catholics.

Wisdom and folly
I've spoken up several times in this paper against certain government conduct. To be fair, let me also give credit where credit is due. Over several decades, the people have pressured their government and elected officials to provide jobs and work for Alaskans. However, this function is actually not specified for government in any constitution.

Why put trees, salmon ahead of landowners?
"Trees next to Duck Creek cut without permission" the ominous, front-page headline screamed. Local property owner has the sheer unmitigated gall to dare to cut down trees on his own land. Salmon, frogs and algae may die. Whole area devastated and now resembles the surface of the moon.

Home-schooling is always an option
I applaud the actions of JDHS Principal Deb Morse and the school board regarding the "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" banner issue.

Juneau's Catholics respond to the scandal
Roman Catholics in Juneau have been saddened and angered at the child sex abuse scandal that has rocked the church nationwide, but it hasn't shaken their faith.Jody Liliedahl, a Catholic layman who is caretaker at the church's Shrine of St. Therese in Juneau, said the public needs an apology from the church for the way its leaders' mistakes have affected Catholics.

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

Cathy Muñoz files for state Senate
Cathy Muñoz said she's filing today as a Republican candidate for the state Senate in Juneau.

Photo: Whale escort
A humpback whale dives as the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Midgett leaves the dock in downtown Juneau this morning. Humpbacks have been sighted repeatedly in Gastineau Channel downtown in the last two weeks.

Scandal leads some to ask: Who should be priests?
The child sex abuse scandal in the Roman Catholic Church has stirred up questions about whether the priesthood attracts molesters.Some commentators have suggested that the priestly requirement of celibacy plays a role in sex abuse by bottling up natural outlets for sexuality, and they have called for the priesthood to be opened to married people and women.

Juneau man arrested for Kmart heist
A security supervisor for the Juneau Super Kmart is in jail, awaiting grand jury proceedings after allegedly staging a black-out at the store to steal nearly $100,000 in late March.

Juneau walks for charity
More than 160 walkers participated in the 2002 Alaska Travel Industry Charity Walk on Friday through downtown Juneau. The event, organized by the Alaska Travel Industry Association and United Way of Southeast Alaska, raised about $10,000 for United Charities of Southeast Alaska.

Dispatch changes aim to boost emergency response
Police and fire officials say merging emergency dispatch departments, which took place earlier today, should get help to Juneau residents faster in emergencies.

Around Town
Listings of local nonprofit events.

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

Princess schedules shoreside testing
Princess Cruise Lines plans to test the Star Princess' shoreside power system Tuesday.

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

Dolly 'Irene' Lundstrom McKinley
Juneau resident Dolly "Irene" Lundstrom McKinley died April 26, 2002, at the Juneau Pioneers' Home.

Obituary: Brenda Willis-Bruce
A reception in memory of Brenda Willis-Bruce will follow her memorial service, which is scheduled for 4 p.m. on Tuesday, May 14, 2002, at Northern Light United Church.

Robert D. Norman
Former Juneau resident Robert "Bob" David Norman, 70, of Eugene, Ore., died April 23, 2002, of complications from diabetes.

Toe Cartoon

It's an interactive world out there - or could be
Thank you if you consider the Juneau Empire to be a well-oiled machine - or even a whale-oiled machine. In the interest of full disclosure, of course we are - except when we're not. (See "Proofreader's lament: It looked OK to me," Empire, March 20.)

No public utility regulation for you!
As Alaska's lawmakers enter the final days of the session, the disposition of the Regulatory Commission of Alaska remains undecided.

Alaska's do-nothing Senate
Legislators and others who wonder why the public isn't more involved with the political process and who debate the reasons for public apathy need only look as far as legislative actions this past week.

My Turn: Time for peacekeeping force in Middle East
As Israel is preparing to retaliate for the latest suicide bombing with a large-scale military response in the Gaza Strip, a U.N. peacekeeping force is needed to save innocent lives and homes, administer the creation of the state of Palestine and stabilize the region.

Capitol Notebook: What to expect - the fiscal-gap years
When it comes to the Legislature of a young state, constituents have few absolutes - one being, of course, that every legislator needs to be watched carefully. There is no single right way to guide and instruct legislators, and constituents can use these pointers to supplement and support rather than supplant their own instincts.

Salmon derby lead at 41.8 lbs.
Just 50 feet from Jack Cadigan's boat the Scania, a fisherman pulled in a 40-pound king salmon. Unfortunately, the man had not yet bought a ticket to enter the Spring King Salmon Derby, where the salmon would have placed second among the fish caught so far. "Everyone should enter the derby," said Cadigan. "It's a good cause."

Fish Report
The spring king salmon are here and are being caught in the traditional fishing areas: the Breadline, Picnic Cove, and Tee Harbor. We should be seeing more kings once the weather allows anglers to fish in the more outlying areas such as Cordwood Creek and Lizardhead.

Out and About
In season: Brown bear (March 15-May 31), black bear (until June 30), freshwater steelhead trout (peaks April-June), cutthroat trout (peaks May-June), freshwater smelt (peaks in May), salt and freshwater king salmon (peaks May-July).

Better late than never
Brad Elfers knows the steelhead are back. Despite cold temperatures and low water in northern Southeast streams, Elfers and two friends boated to Admiralty Island last week to flyfish for the seagoing rainbow trout. "We saw about eight fish," said Elfers, who owns Juneau Flyfishing Goods in downtown Juneau. "We hooked three and landed one as a group."

It's a wolf-vs.-wolf world in Denali National Park
FAIRBANKS - Like the tourists who hope to see them, wolves in Denali National Park and Preserve come and go. The average life expectancy for a wolf in Denali Park is three years. About a quarter of the approximately 100 wolves that inhabit the 6-million acre park die each year.

Spring King Salmon Derby Standings
Here are the standings in the Sixth Annual Spring King Salmon Derby, as reported at 10:21 a.m. on May 13.

Tee Harbor Road Race
Results from the Juneau Freewheelers Bicycle Club's Tee Harbor Short Course Road Race, held Friday night from Tee Harbor to Eagle Beach and back. The course was 20.5 miles long. The next Juneau Freewheelers event is an informal, 10.08-mile time trial this Friday night at False Outer Point.

Spring King Salmon Derby Standings
Here are the standings in the Sixth Annual Spring King Salmon Derby, as reported at 11:57 a.m. on May 11. The rankings include the angler's name, weight of the fish (in 10ths of a pound), date caught and what station the fish was turned into.

Homeland defense
The Juneau-Douglas High School softball team made the most of its only home series of the season, winning three games on Friday and Saturday to finish the five-game homestand undefeated.

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

Juneau hands Service boys first loss of season
The Juneau-Douglas High School boys soccer team completed an undefeated three-game road trip by handing the Service Cougars their first loss of the season, winning 3-1 Saturday afternoon at Anchorage Football Stadium.

Keys keys Juneau sweep with 2 homers
Sophomore second baseman C.J. Keys gets most of his action with the Juneau-Douglas High School junior varsity baseball team.But on Saturday Keys got to play with the big boys, making the most of his varsity start by hitting two homers and scoring three runs as the Crimson Bears beat the Ketchikan Kings 8-3 to end a perfect four-game homestand. In Friday's game, Juneau beat the Sitka Wolves 12-4 at Adair-Kennedy Memorial Park.

Juneau girls fall to Service, Colony
The Juneau-Douglas High School girls soccer team entered its three-game road trip this weekend undefeated. But when the Crimson Bears returned home, they had suffered three losses and didn't score a goal.

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

Track teams win in Haines
The Krehlik sisters -- senior sprinter Emily and junior distance runner Molly -- combined to win five individual events and helped three relay teams claim victory as the Juneau-Douglas High School girls and boys track and field teams swept to the titles in the Haines Invitational meet Friday and Saturday at Haines High School.

Ketchikan: Man survives boom tip-over into water
A 10-ton boom truck tipped over into the water as it lowered a skiff at dockside on Thursday, May 2.

Photo: Moose crossing
After stopping to consider its options, a moose heads across the Sterling Highway in Soldotna last week. The animals are a common site on the Kenai Peninsula.

Tanana River floods Salcha
Dozens of Salcha homes were turned into waterfront property over the weekend when a half-mile-wide ice jam caused the Tanana River to overflow its banks.

Gas-line bill dead for now
A bill that would have provided $600 million in property-tax breaks for builders of a gas pipeline will not make it through the Legislature this session.The bill's sponsor, Rep. Pete Kott, an Eagle River Republican, said Saturday evening there is not enough time left to work out final details of a compromise on the bill.

House panel restricts funding for abortions
A bill tightening the definition of "medically necessary abortions" under the Medicaid program was approved by the House Judiciary Committee on Friday, and was under consideration by the House Finance Committee on Saturday evening.

Measure lets doctors negotiate as collective unit
The House on Saturday passed a bill that would let doctors band together to negotiate with insurance companies.

Ketchikan: Sea floor sampled for bridge work
As part of the environmental assessment of the proposed Gravina Access Project, scientists have started looking at the sea floor of the Tongass Narrows.

Senate approves $1.2 billion capital budget
The Senate approved a $1.2 billion capital budget for next fiscal year that includes construction and maintenance projects from the North Slope to the Panhandle.It also includes a fair amount of goodies that lawmakers can take back to their districts.

Sitka: Police seize marijuana, firearms
Sitka Police seized a small amount of marijuana, drug paraphernalia and two firearms from a home at 3306 Halibut Point Road on Wednesday.

Petersburg: Troopers remove man from property
A tense daylong standoff with state and local police ended peacefully Thursday, April 26, when Ray Olsen 76, was evicted from disputed property owned by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court at mile 3.5 of the Mitkof Highway.

Icebreaker responds to concerns
An icebreaking ship used for Arctic research will change its sailing schedule after Eskimo whalers said the ship's original intended route might disrupt the spring hunt of bowhead whales.

Plans call for cutting tunnel fees
The state plans to reduce the cost of driving through the Whittier Tunnel after residents complained the toll was discouraging visitors and unfair to the town.

Senate passes veterans bills
Three bills proposed by Gov. Tony Knowles to aid veterans passed the Senate unanimously Saturday.

Anti-tobacco forces protest lack of spending
Legislators are refusing to spend as much as they promised on a major state campaign against tobacco use, according to advocates with the American Cancer Society.

Ketchikan: Cleveland Peninsula fire takes 5 acres
A forest fire started Sunday, May 5, near Vixen Harbor on the northwest side of the Cleveland Peninsula, burning about five acres before the U.S. Forest Service extinguished it Tuesday afternoon.

Police investigate Fairbanks stabbing
State medical examiners were to perform an autopsy today on a Fairbanks woman found stabbed early Saturday morning.

State briefs
Feds to buy more pink salmon; Senate passes state ferry crime bill; O'Connell resigns as union manager; Man accused of sex abuse with 14-year-old; Teens accused of beating man in Sutton; German airline flies to Fairbanks; Police: Man tries to run down woman; Bars object to military club hours

Photo: Final days of the session
Reps. Drew Scalzi, a Homer Republican, left, talks with Mary Kapsner, a Bethel Democrat, seated at right, and Beth Kerttula, a Juneau Democrat, far right, as they and other representatives gather during an at-ease in the House to change the wording to an amendment Sunday.

2 fixes for budget gap in trouble
A plan to significantly increase Alaska's alcohol tax may be on the rocks. And the same may be true for a proposal to cap state spending.

House, Senate poised to negotiate rural funding bill
The House today upheld its plan to prevent 22 rural school districts from losing state supplemental funding until a new study on education costs is completed. The move sets the stage for negotiations between House and Senate Republicans over the measure.

Photo: Nearing the end of the session
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Pete Kelly, Republican of Fairbanks, left, and Senate President Rick Halford, Republican of Chugiak, confer Saturday during a committee recess at the Capitol. A bond package was one of the items the committee was to address Saturday.

Prison bill moving in Senate
The Senate Finance Committee on Sunday night approved a bill for a private prison in Whittier.

House tries to force Senate to consider school-funding bill
The state House on Saturday took action to force the Senate to consider a school funding bill that's aimed at easing urban-rural tensions.The House attached the funding measure, House Bill 312, to a bill that has passed the Senate. Doing so will force the Senate to vote on whether to accept the measure.

House energizes debate over utility commission
The state House is trying a traditional session-end tactic to extend the life of the state agency that regulates utilities and telephone companies.

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