Thursday, May 23, 2002

Business Briefs
Airport Travelodge wins award; Petro Marine buys Klawock Delta Fuels; Alaska USA offers new online services

On The Move
Brian McKiernan was recently hired as director of national accounts for Glacier Bay Cruiseline. He will be in charge of all new business development programs for the company, as well as expanding its national accounts program.

Couple reopens a Haines tradition
Former Juneau residents Jeff Butcher and his wife, Shannon, are renovating their new purchase, the Hotel Halsingland in Haines, just in time for the tourist season."It's a beautiful hotel," said Jeff Butcher. "It's one-of-a-kind and has overwhelming character."

In the Tank
Juneau gas prices as of Wednesday evening.

Business Profile: Shar Fox
Title and firm: Shar Fox is an acupressure therapist and practices craniosacral therapy at Wellspring Inc. Health Care Center, 2231 North Jordan Ave.

Juneau's economic engine is changing
Why are we here? Anyone who lives through two months of rain sooner or later starts with that question. The economic system that fuels our community is intrinsically linked to this fundamental idea: Why are we here?

Above and Beyond
Composed of more than 37 glaciers, the Juneau Icefield is a big tourist attraction. And with the advent of a new tour company, people can spend more time exploring Juneau's back yard."We're going for the independent traveler and local market," said Sean Janes, president of Above and Beyond Alaska, a newly formed, employee-owned business. "(They're) people who are interested in spending a little more time up on the icefield than the typical cruise ship passengerm who spends only a few hours."

Continuing struggle
This is in response to Eric Fry's article, "Tlingit student plans to carry on culture," featured May 17 in the Juneau Empire.My thanks to Mr. Fry for a story well written. Undoubtedly Hans Chester deserves the recognition and the admiration inspired by the article.

Close to my heart
I first came to know Juan MacFarlane as a young child amongst the boat families at Aurora Harbor in the early 1980s. He was hard to miss. Having a problem with his legs, he wore a pair of heavy leather shoes with a long metal rod attached to each. You could often hear him as he clunked up and down the docks playing.

Mentors connect
We were honored by the Juneau Empire's recent article about our graduation from the University of Alaska Southeast. We'd also like to share another success story. All three of us have been involved with the Big Brothers Big Sisters school mentoring program while in college. While each of us got involved for different reasons, we share one common wish: To make a difference in the life of a child.

Assembly action
On Monday, May 20, the Assembly voted to approve the renovations at Juneau-Douglas High School. They did not postpone, table or agree to reconsider.

Inappropriate assumptions
I applaud the language in the draft tourism plan that says "Juneau has no alternative but to address flightseeing noise in a significant way. Both float plane and helicopter flightseeing impacts need to be addressed." Unfortunately this noble goal is simply not carried out.

Cut Kohring's job
In response to Rep. Kohring's article in the Empire, I hope the first unnecessary government job that is cut is his. I'm sure his salary could help fund at least one "feel good program" that would educate our children about social injustice and slick politicians.

Shocked but not surprised
This is in response to the letter headlined "What's Next?" from Ward Lamb in the May 21 Empire. Has Mr. Ward Lamb ever served in active duty or reserve military of the armed forces of United States or even in the Boy Scouts of America? He would know the value, integrity and honor the U.S. flag holds to a majority of veterans and their families.

Painfully obvious
It became painfully obvious, while as a spectator for the sputtering end to our 22nd Legislature, that the negotiating tactics, or lack thereof, by the close-minded adversaries of Alaska's welfare procrastinated the session to its sputtering completion.

Drink responsibly
The good news this Memorial Day is that drunk-driving fatalities during the holiday weekend are at an all-time low, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. The 31 percent decline in drunk-driving fatalities since 1982 compares favorably to record decrease in drunk-driving fatalities throughout the year.

Kohring is right
Three cheers for Vic Kohring and the other Senate Republicans. The vast majority of Alaskans are opposed to ever-larger government (remember the 83 percent vote against tapping the permanent fund). I completely agree with Mr. Kohring's assertion that the government, "... is a bloated Leviathan..." that must be reined in.

Correction
Due to an editor's error, a headline in Wednesday's Neighbor's section incorrectly referred to a "transplant recipient." The correct term is "transplant candidate."

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

City social service grant plan revised
New recommendations from city's Social Services Advisory Board would add city grant funding to five social service programs and take away assistance from six others.Gastineau Human Services, Alaska Legal Services and the Juneau Alliance for Mental Health Inc. lost funding in the panel's second grant review. The Juneau Boys and Girls Club, Shanti, Hospice and Home Care of Juneau, REACH and Southeast Alaska Independent Living gained funding in the second set of recommendations.

Woman found in Gold Creek identified
Police continued their investigation today into the death of a 39-year-old woman whose body was found in Gold Creek late Tuesday afternoon.Family members identified the body of Kathleen Michelle Fawcett on Wednesday afternoon. Roberta Fawcett, Kathleen's mother, said she needed time to make burial arrangements before she could discuss her daughter's death.

City debates passenger-fee spending
Funding for a heliport study, the city's long-range tourism plan, trails and a boat-loading facility is undecided as Juneau Assembly members debate the best way to spend this year's passenger fee revenue.The city collects $5 per cruise ship passenger "to address the impacts caused by the marine passenger ship industry," according to city code. The city expects to see about $3.5 million in revenue this year and sets aside about 25 percent for general government services.

Jury convicts Sitka couple on 41 counts of sex abuse
A Juneau jury returned guilty verdicts on 41 counts of sexual abuse Tuesday in the trial of a Sitka couple accused of molesting three girls aged 3 to 13 for several years. Cynthia Sky, 40, and Dick Blue Sky, 48, were found guilty on 32 counts of felony first-degree sexual abuse of a minor and two counts of felony child exploitation. Dick Blue Sky was found guilty on seven separate counts of felony sexual abuse of a minor.

Photo: Boat repair
Fisherman Coy Taylor patches holes in his boat, Tar Baby. Taylor and other fishermen took advantage of the 2-foot tide on Wednesday and put their boats on the Harris Harbor grid. They worked on their hulls in preparation for the upcoming fishing season.

Assembly resurrects tonnage fee
Juneau Assembly members are considering a plan to replace a 1-week-old, $1.73 cruise ship passenger fee with a modified version of the city's old tonnage fee to pay for port development projects this year.

Photo: Busy Painters
Debbie Reifenstein and little sister Heather paint during a Big Brothers/Big Sisters group activity at the Boys and Girls Club earlier this month.

Drowned man remembered
For years Dana White watched ships pass him by - writing down their dimensions, documenting the lives of those on board, memorializing their existence with inky permanence and capturing for posterity what he loved about the sea.

Gustavus residents fear lack of float may sink local businesses
Some Gustavus residents fear they will be unable to load and unload their boats, causing local businesses to suffer, if the state is unable to repair the town's broken float by June 1.

Assembly narrows interim manager search
Juneau Assembly members will interview three candidates for interim city manager at the end of the month.A five-person Assembly selection committee decided Tuesday to interview Donald Moore of Wasilla, who was interim city manager in Palmer and Kotzebue and served as Matunuska-Susitna Borough manager for 10 years; Juneau business and municipal consultant and Southeast Alaska Cellular One market manager Jim Kohler; and Juneau developer and former deputy mayor John MacKinnon. Five people applied.

Whale vs. plane brings fame
Sixties pop art icon Andy Warhol once predicted everyone would get 15 minutes of fame. For former Empire reporter Kathy Dye, that time comes this week as one of her articles is featured in a nationally syndicated column by Miami humorist Dave Barry.

Body found in Gold Creek
The body of a young woman is being sent to Anchorage for an autopsy today after being swept into Gastineau Channel from Cope Park by the swift waters of Gold Creek on Tuesday afternoon. The woman, who was not identified, is the second possible drowning victim discovered in the past week. The first was Dana Lee White, 45, who was found dead in the channel near Marine Park on Saturday morning. Police do not suspect foul play and said the incidents don't appear to be related.

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

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

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

School district pulls out of planning team with city
The Juneau School Board on Tuesday withdrew in frustration from a joint city-schools team that was planning a new high school in the Mendenhall Valley and the renovation of Juneau-Douglas High School."The spirit is it hasn't been collaborative, so we'll just go our own way," schools Superintendent Gary Bader said today.

Correction
Due to an editor's error, an article in Tuesday's Empire listed the incorrect year a memorandum of understanding between the Juneau School District and the city was signed. It was in February 2000.

Neighbors Briefs
Graduation party seeking support from the community; Alaska students and educator to be sent to Watershed Summit; Naval reunion set; Skateboarding contest set at park; Tlingit and Haida council holds officer elections

Pets Of The Week
Bagheera and Akela are brothers and would like to stay together. Both are declawed on their front paws. Boscoe is a handsome black and white domestic short-haired neutered male. He gets along with other cats and enjoys attention.

Thank You
...for all the support; ...for all the help; ...for the support; ...for all the donations; ...for all the help;

Academic Honors
Elizabeth "Libby" Watanabe recently graduated from the University of Hawaii at Manoa with a bachelor of science degree in food science and human nutrition.

Protect rhododendrons carefully during mixed weather conditions
The last I wrote about rhododendrons, I got inquiries about what to do about damages done by spring's dry, bright days and bitterly cold nights. Effects ranged from dehydration causing leaf scorch to total desiccation leaving no greenery at all. People tell of beloved specimens 15 or 20 years old, the focus of their landscape and treasure of their property, being withered and looking dead.

Softball tournament to aid transplant recipient
Having a big heart runs in Ray Bradley Jr.'s family, and it's not necessarily a good thing. At least, they think it does. Eight years ago, Bradley, 31, was diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy, a condition in which the heart enlarges, stretching the muscle so it is weak and thin, unable to pump blood efficiently through the body.

Local groups create Marine Park sundial
The sundial on the sidewalk at Marine Park uses a person's shadow to tell the time. Local school classes and volunteer organizations painted each of the numbers on the sundial. More than 36 local groups painted the numbers and produced a community work of art which also tells the time.

Tips help passengers make their flights safe
Last month I spoke of the pre-planning that a pilot does before each flight that is crucial to aviation safety. Each flight, as we are aware, has the potential to have a safe, as well as an unsafe outcome. Once a year I write an article on passenger safety. Most passengers go along for the ride and expect the flight to be uneventful. The majority of the time that is a safe supposition.

DECA gets down to business at conference
DECA students from Juneau-Douglas High School took care of business at a state conference held in last month in Anchorage.DECA, the Distributive Education Clubs of America is an organization that works to improve educational and career opportunities in marketing, management and entrepreneurship for high school and college students. It has 180,000 members in the United States and Canada.

Andrew James Johnnie Sr.
Andrew James Johnnie Sr. died May 20, 2002, in Juneau. Memorial and funeral services start at 6:30 p.m. today at the Tlingit-Haida Community Building on Hospital Drive, followed by a potluck.

Juan Manuel Cutino MacFarlane
Juneau resident Juan Manuel Cutino MacFarlane died May 19, 2002, in Juneau.

Ellen M. Frobese
Former Juneau resident Ellen M. Frobese, 93, died May 18, 2002, in Sequim, Wash.

Dana Lee Joseph White
Juneau resident Dana Lee Joseph White died May 18, 2002, in Juneau.

Patricia Ann Lee
Juneau resident Patricia Ann Lee died May 21, 2002, after a long illness.

Andrew James Johnnie Sr.
Juneau resident Andrew James Johnnie Sr. died May 20, 2002, in Juneau.

My Turn: Alaska now drowning in government excesses
Michael Kron's recent column was critical of my 10-point spending reduction plan. As we cut, a certain number of workers would no longer be on the payroll. I wish to explain its effect on the economy in terms of cash spent and restraints on entrepreneurial activity.

My Turn: Valley high school would benefit many
As a parent and coach in Sitka, I would like to voice my support for the joint school district-city planning teams recommendation to place building a new Valley high school above the JDHS renovation project. One educational research report after another has left little doubt that "super-size" high schools provide a far lower quality educational experience than their smaller counterparts, and the educational benefits that will be felt by youth in Juneau will certainly be greater than the costs involved.

My Turn: Retaining the beauty of our town
If the city of Juneau does not wake up, soon there will be no more Juneau as we know it. Life is hard in Juneau. Our unique charm and beauty are the result of the incredibly hard work of citizens, past and present, combined with our natural gift of water, mountains and a northern rainforest.

Juneau reigns in Sitka
In a cold, driving rain at Sitka's Moller Field, the Juneau-Douglas High School baseball team used a strong pitching performance to outduel Sitka on Wednesday, 9-1.Crimson Bear pitchers Evan Scandling, Zach Kohan and Greg Smith combined for a three-hitter to shut down the Wolves. On offense, Juneau did not have many hits but took advantage of 12 walks issued by the Wolves' pitchers.

Juneau boys open defense of state soccer title
When the Juneau-Douglas High School boys soccer team went to the state tournament last year, the Crimson Bears were a team trying to earn a little respect.When the Crimson Bears arrive here to defend their state championship this weekend, Juneau will be the team the other schools are watching. Not only will Juneau be the defending state champion, but the Crimson Bears have earned national rankings in two different polls this season.

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

Southeast State track Meet Qualifiers
Athletes from Southeast who qualified for this weekend's state track and field meet Friday and Saturday at Bartlett High School in Anchorage.

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

Aces file for bankruptcy
ANCHORAGE - Alaska's only professional sports franchise has filed for protection from creditors in federal Bankruptcy Court The Anchorage Aces are almost $2 million in debt, according to papers filed Monday with the court.

Lena Loop and Kids Kilometer
Results from the Nugget Alaskan Outfitter's Lena Loop and Kids Kilometer races, held Saturday at the Lena Beach Picnic Area. There was a one-kilometer kids run and a five-kilometer race

Spring King Salmon Derby Standings
Here are the standings in the Sixth Annual Spring King Salmon Derby, as reported at 8:27 a.m. on Wednesday, May 22. 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.

Spring King Salmon Derby Standings
Here are the standings in the Sixth Annual Spring King Salmon Derby, as reported at 8 a.m. on Thursday, May 23. 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.

Juneau girls carry confidence into state
After struggling during its previous five games, last weekend's sweep of Ketchikan may have been just what the doctor ordered for the Juneau-Douglas High School girls soccer team as it heads into this weekend's state tournament.The Crimson Bears, who beat Ketchikan 9-0 on Friday and 10-0 on Saturday, ended a three-game losing streak, a five-game winless streak and a four-game scoreless streak with the sweep last weekend.

Crimson Bears ready for state track meet
When she arrived at last year's state track and field meet, Loreen Tupou was a first-year thrower who'd never hurled the discus farther than 100 feet.Tupou was Juneau-Douglas High School's only state champion at last year's state meet, throwing a then-school record 110 feet, 10 inches.

State Briefs
Marine Highway System specials begin June 2; Rural mail plan advances in Congress; State closes nine parks;

Lawmakers finally call halt to special session
Gov. Tony Knowles said today that the Legislature concluded a five-day special session Tuesday with an "embarrassment" - its failure to find compromise on a bill extending the Regulatory Commission of Alaska. The Democratic governor also had a harsh assessment of the overall outcome of the 22nd two-year legislative session, saying Republicans failed to act on the two biggest issues, the $1 billion fiscal gap and subsistence, while indulging in budget trickery.

Special session to cost state up to $25,000 a day
The expense of the extended and special session will not be known for another week or so, but Legislative Affairs Executive Director Pamela Varni said a special session can cost the state as much as $25,000 a day.

Audit says BP hired Alaskans for Northstar
ANCHORAGE - Most of the $400 million BP Exploration (Alaska) Inc. spent to develop its Northstar oil field went to Alaska-based contractors and vendors, according to a new legislative audit.

Fairbanks man convicted of sexual assault
FAIRBANKS - A 38-year-old Fairbanks man pleaded no contest Wednesday to sexually assaulting his 17-year-old live-in baby sitter. Prosecutors offered William Jones a chance to plea to a reduced charge after a trial ended with a hung jury last month. Under the deal, he faces up to five years in prison.

Native whale hunt could end by 2003
SHIMONOSEKI, Japan - A tradition dating back millennia, the Eskimo whale hunt, could be outlawed in the United States because of a measure passed at the urging of Japan to punish the U.S. government for its opposition to commercial whaling.

Photos: Session's end
Rep. Joe Hayes, a Fairbanks Democrat, and Beverly Masek, a Wasilla Republican, say good-bye to each other after the House of Representatives adjourned the special session on Tuesday. A special session was called starting on June 24 to address extending the Regulatory Commission of Alaska.

SE Conference studies ferry system structure
Although the Legislature recently found $20 million to restore the Marine Highway Fund, the Southeast Conference is proceeding with a study of how the management of the ferry system might be changed to ensure financial viability over the long term."That extra $20 million won't last them too long," said Loren Gerhard, executive director of the private, nonprofit organization that advocates for transportation needs in the Panhandle. "I think it buys them a couple of years."

Session hits 'Gavel to Gavel' budget
The Legislature's adjournment Tuesday evening came not too soon for the people working the cameras for "Gavel to Gavel," the public television program that provides live coverage of committee and floor action. The past week of extended and special sessions has been left to the call of the presiding officer, creating additional lag time for camera crews waiting to cover the events.

Family files suit in air crash
ANCHORAGE - Relatives of two people killed in a crash at the Dillingham airport in October have filed suit against PenAir, Cessna Aircraft and the estate of the dead pilot.

State briefs
Ferry study preliminary findings released; Fire danger worsens around state; Copper River salmon prices drop in second opener

ACLU appeals gay benefits case to state Supreme Court
ANCHORAGE - The Alaska Civil Liberties Union appealed a lawsuit Wednesday to the state Supreme Court in an effort to get benefits extended to gay couples working for the state or the Municipality of Anchorage.

Tests determine remains are Chandra Levy's
The expense of the extended and special session will not be known for another week or so, but Legislative Affairs Executive Director Pamela Varni said a special session can cost the state as much as $25,000 a day.

The warmth and darkness of a mezzo-soprano
Liesel Fedkenheuer has sung with opera companies and performed at vocal recitals all over North America, but said Juneau is one of the most interesting places she has been. "Cape Cod was neat, and New York is always thrilling, but it's been incredible here," said Fedkenheuer. "It's beautiful."

Invisible guitars
Not many bands routinely are accused of hiding backup musicians offstage. When m•pact takes the stage Sunday for the final Juneau Jazz and Classics concert, the five band members will be emptyhanded. The guitar solos, horn parts, drums and bass lines - every sound will be created vocally.

Best Bets: Some of jazz's best in Juneau this week
In the eyes of some Juneau musicians, one of the greatest drummers on the planet is coming to Juneau this weekend.Peter Erskine is part of the Bob Mintzer Quartet. Although his name may not be a household word, there are probably few people in Juneau who haven't heard his music.

Chamber music, shipwreck tales on cruise
The third annual Lighthouse Cruise sponsored by the Gastineau Channel Historical Society will take to the water Saturday, June 1. The cruise includes live music, lunch, lectures and special programs on the shipwrecks and history of Juneau-area waters.

Gustavus author to present reading
JUNEAU - Sally Lesh will share stories of her 42 years in Gustavus and read from her book "Lunch at Toad River" at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 30, at the downtown public library.

A look inside the jazz quartet among Jazz & Classics events
Juneau Jazz and Classics heads into its second weekend with a topnotch jazz quartet, a gifted soprano and an a capella jazz-pop quintet taking the Juneau stages.

What's Up With That
Q: What's up with the new large tower on Mount Robert Barron - the large mountain on Admiralty Island named after that young geologist who drowned? Is it for airport safety or just telephone communications? It is quite tall and easily visible from Auke Bay.

A window inside the music
Juneau is invited to a musical conversation. Saxophonist Bob Mintzer won't simply be playing music Saturday night - he'll be having a musical discussion with three other virtuosos. It will be passionate and lively, sophisticated and straightforward, and each will offer his own insights in the language of music.

Movies where & when
Beginning May 26, Gross Alaska Theaters will go to its summer schedule, with two shows every evening and matinees on Saturday and Sunday.

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