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Sunday, May 19, 2002

In the Stacks
This week's column offers just a taste of the new fiction hitting the shelves at the public libraries.

Who is Helga and why does she want sheep heads?
The cover of "Alaska: Tales of Adventures From the Last Frontier" features several superimposed images: Snowy peaks at the top, black tundra below, then a stripe of blue water and finally sled dogs mushing through snow at the bottom. The design gives no real indication of the wealth of detail that lies within, which is unfortunate.

No rush to judgment
We are writing to ask our Assembly and city leaders to resist the temptation for what may appear as a quick and easy solution to the flightseeing noise problem with a new heliport at Sheep Creek or Dupont in the Thane neighborhood.

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

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

Editor's Note
A notice on the front page of Friday's Empire referred to an article on Fireweed Place that was to appear in this edition. Instead, the article will be published in a future edition.

An Alaska cruise that's strong on nature, culture of Southeast
Unlike passengers on most cruise lines, those on the SS Universe Explorer will not find a casino on board. Years ago, the space was renovated into the largest library on the sea, holding more than 16,000 books and supporting the ship's unique on-board educational program. "We try to focus the passenger on the destination," said Kristina Nemeth, World Explorer Cruises' manager of educational programs.

Shift to Bartlett benefits recovery hospital
The sleep-off room inside the Juneau Recovery Hospital was dim and quiet earlier this month. A man, covered with blankets, slept soundly as an emergency medical technician kept watch.The six-bed area is a former storage room that was remodeled last year. It gives public inebriates who don't need medical attention another place to go, the hospital's Behavioral Health Administrator, Stephen Sundby, said.

Rotarians share success stories
Rotary International, the service organization for business leaders, is strong, profitable and growing, a prominent Rotarian told several hundred members from Alaska, Canada and Russia gathered in Juneau this weekend.

My Turn: Keeping to schedule creates 'fast' ferries
The new Inter-Island Ferry Authority is proving such a success after a shaky start that its ship is called the "new fast ferry." The shaky part was in January and February when technical problems had to be solved in the startup. After the MV Prince of Wales completed its first month of uninterrupted service in March, it showed that a properly designed ferry system is feasible between small Alaska communities without an operating subsidy.

My Turn: Subsistence continues to be a slippery slope
"Less is more." That's ADF&G Commissioner Frank Rue's message on the subsistence issue to urban fishers and hunters.

Legislature running on empty.
Despite burning the midnight oil, extending the regular session and voting itself into a special session, the Alaska Legislature has been dysfunctional and undemocratic this year.

Team mascots slide down the food chain
"One game closer to the state youth hockey Freezer Burn Classic title, the Rampart Rutabagas showed their signature shelf life last night in the last seconds of the third period, wilting the Soldotna Sprouts, 3-2. That means they face the choke hold of the Muldoon Milfoil this evening in what's sure to be a tough game. We may see some serious slicing and dicing on the ice tonight and someone's headed for the compost pile. Back to you, Bob."

Capitol Notebook: Clue: Legislators, in the Capitol, with alibis
Chalk marks outlined the shredded document on the floor.Nearby, red ink stained the carpet and walls. There was no doubt about it. This legislation would never move out of committee again.

Toe Cartoon

Researchers seeking help for summer orca study
Alaska mariners will have the opportunity to assist a marine research project this summer simply by keeping their eyes open and knowing where they are.Researchers are seeking the help of boaters for three days in July for a killer whale population survey as part of a five-year study of Steller sea lions in Alaska.

Fish report
King salmon continue to be caught around North Douglas, Tee Harbor and the Breadline. A few kings also were sampled from more distant areas such as Homeshore.

Salmon derby breaks participation record
Gary Berry was surprised when his 35.9-pound Spring King Salmon Derby catch was announced by Sen. Kim Elton on the floor of the Alaska Legislature May 11."It was funny," Berry said. "I'm with the American Legion and we have a lot of things coming up with the Legislature. I'm trying to bide my time between there and my boat, and I know a few people up there."

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).

Return to Winter
When the Eaglecrest Ski Area closes, the mountains near Juneau open up for spring recreation.Helicopter drop-offs on nearby peaks and glaciers are one way skiers and snowboarders can extend their season. Though some heliriding happens in November, the most popular months are February through June.

Juneau boys rebound nicely after Friday's tie with Kayhi
The Juneau-Douglas High School boys soccer team didn't feel like it played much differently in Saturday's game with Ketchikan than it did on Friday.But there was quite a difference in the scores.

Juneau runs away with Region V titles
The Juneau-Douglas High School track team rode a wave of impressive individual and group performances -- including three region-record relay runs -- to win both the boys and girls titles at the Region V Track and Field Championships held Friday and Saturday at Adair-Kennedy Memorial Park.

Juneau girls end scoring drought with flood of goals
After being held scoreless in its previous four games, the Juneau-Douglas High School girls soccer team finally found inside of the net in a big way this weekend with a pair of victories over the Ketchikan Kings.Led by three goals from senior striker Krista Heard, the Crimson Bears claimed a 9-0 victory over Ketchikan on Friday night at Adair-Kennedy Memorial Park. On Saturday, Heard scored four times and central midfielder Erin Flynn added three goals as Juneau won 10-0 to close out the regular season.

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

One-pitch Softball stats
Results from the Juneau-Douglas Officials Association's one-pitch softball tournament, held May 3-5 at various fields around Juneau and Douglas.

Juneau pitchers dominate in Sitka
While the Juneau-Douglas High School softball team's lumber occasionally slumbered this weekend, the Crimson Bears pitching and defense took no naps as Juneau swept four games this weekend in Sitka.

Spring King salmon Derby Standings
Here are the standings in the Sixth Annual Spring King Salmon Derby, as reported at 10:45 a.m. on Saturday, May 18. 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.

Board puts off imposing Kenai catch-and-release rule
ANCHORAGE - The state Board of Fisheries has voted to delay imposing a controversial Kenai River catch-and-release rule. The board voted 4-3 Friday in a special meeting.

Republicans ponder exit strategies
Senate Republican leaders say they might adjourn the special legislative session even without Democratic agreement on a budget-balancing draw from reserve funds."We're talking to them. But the fact is, we've got a plan and we're moving on with it," said Senate Finance Co-Chairman Pete Kelly, a Fairbanks Republican, in an interview Saturday.

Customs made in Alaska
BORDER CITY, Alaska - The nearest pizza is 20 miles away, in Canada. Buckshot Betty's doesn't deliver, so the men and women who guard the Alaska side of the U.S. border gladly drive across to pick up a pie. Take a credit card to pay, they recommend. Credit card companies give the best dollar exchange rates.

Report: Care at Sitka Pioneers' Home flawed
ANCHORAGE - A state report found the Pioneers' Home in Sitka was remiss in caring for a woman who choked to death in October, probably on a piece of fruit.

Ketchikan: Fourth-grader wins trip to space camp
KETCHIKAN - Ten-year-old Kendra Prince will experience something this summer few other humans have felt: zero gravity. Or a close facsimile.

Sitka: SJC gets grant for new child-care center
SITKA - Sheldon Jackson College has received a $605,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture for a new child-care center on campus.

State Briefs
Man found dead in Gastineau Channel; State jobless rate dropped in April; Man killed in Ketchikan house fire; Masked gunmen rob woman at home;

Sitka: Bear shot, killed on Galankin Island
SITKA - A 325-pound brown bear was shot and killed on Galankin Island the night of May 9 after it killed a resident's Labrador retriever.

Court rejects appeal on license revocation
ANCHORAGE - The Alaska Court of Appeals on Friday rejected an Anchorage man's request to strike down his 20-year driver's license revocation as too harsh.

Last-minute change in school bill killed it, lawmakers say
Democratic and Republican lawmakers and state officials are blaming each other for a breakdown in negotiations Thursday night over a school construction bill. The failure to reach agreement prompted the Legislature to call a special session.

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