Friday, May 23, 2003

Judge: sockeye case to go to jury Friday
ANCHORAGE - Jurors in the Bristol Bay sockeye salmon price fixing case will begin deliberations Friday, the judge said Wednesday. The trial is winding to a close after more than three months of testimony in the courtroom of Superior Court Judge Peter A. Michalski.

On the beach
Sandy Beach has been trashed. Never in all the decades I've lived here have I seen it look (or smell) so bad.

DIA counterclaims
In her May 20 letter, Dorothy Owen expressed observations regarding the upcoming May 27 election of Douglas Indian Association.

Alaskans deserve better
Imagine a parent who took a significant part of the family's income to buy lottery tickets in hope of someday winning a jackpot. Imagine if the parent did this while the family was struggling to pay its bills, the kids had little support for their educational needs, grandmother was barely surviving on her fixed income and the house's infrastructure was crumbling.

Facts vs. fiction
After reading his recent letter to the Empire on Assembly member conflicts of interest, it became clear to me Richard Schmitz has a conflict with the truth. For the record, Mr. Schmitz, Assemblyman Marc Wheeler is executive director of Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Southeast Alaska.

Conflicts or not
Yes, you do have it right, Richard Schmitz (Letter to the editor, May 21). Assembly member Randy Wanamaker has a conflict of interest and should excuse himself from discussions about mining because he has a business interest in which he and his corporation receive profits from mining.

Whose privilege is it?
While I agree with the idea of a graduated driver's license (GDL) program, I disagree that its provisions should encompass only first-time license holders.

Judge declares mistrial in rape case involving two teens
A Juneau jury could not reach a verdict Thursday in the trial of a man accused of raping two teenage girls last summer. The deadlock forced Superior Court Judge Larry Weeks to declare a mistrial.

This Day in History
In 1935, 135 Michigan and Wisconsin families, comprising 638 men, women and children, arrived in Seward. They were the second and last big group of colonists Uncle Sam was placing in the Matanuska Valley.

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

Photo: Cruise ship traffic
The cruise ship Norwegian Sky, right, leaves Juneau this week with the Rotterdam in dock and the Norwegian Sun, left, coming into port as the cruise ship and tourist seasons begin to get busy in Alaska.

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

Eaglecrest asks city to offset season losses
Warm winters in recent years have sent Eaglecrest's profits downhill, and the board of Juneau's city-owned ski area wants the Juneau Assembly Finance Committee to provide extra cash to help narrow a widening deficit.

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

AroundTown
Listings of local nonprofit events.

Photos: Laughs and brass
Christian Swenson performs as a dinosaur during a brown bag concert in the State Office Building on Wednesday. Swenson will perform his Human Jazz concert this evening at the Juneau-Douglas High School auditorium.

Group pushes school bonds at Native forum
Supporters of two school bond propositions up for a vote in less than two weeks pressed their case "for great schools" at the Native Issues Forum at the Alaska Native Brotherhood Hall on Wednesday. "We have a great opportunity to do this," said Sally Rue, former Juneau School Board president. "It will give us great schools at a relatively modest increased cost."

Robber of Valley gas station remains at large
Police have no suspects in an armed robbery early Wednesday at a Mendenhall Valley gas station. Around 1:45 a.m. a man brandishing a gun told the clerk of the Valley Tesoro, a woman, 47, to open the cash register, police said. The man grabbed an undisclosed amount of money and ran from the store. "The whole thing took less than a few minutes and there was very little conversation," said Sgt. John Boltjes, head of police investigations. "We don't know how much he took - we couldn't release that anyway - but, he actually left about $15 and the change in the drawer.

FYI
Births, Business Licenses and Court Records.

Veteran king-catcher still leads the derby pack
Al McKinley Sr. was more interested in eating than winning when he headed out fishing a week ago with longtime friend Ronald Austin.

Memorial Day services at two cemeteries
As state, federal and city offices and many private businesses close for the Memorial Day holiday, two local organizations will hold ceremonies to honor veterans.

Ferry unions tentatively OK contract offer
Negotiators for two unions representing ferry workers tentatively have accepted the state's offer for new one-year contracts.

Photo: Old-time football, 1910
The Juneau High School football team gets ready to snap the ball while the offense is in a T-formation in about 1910.

Photo: Clear skies at night
The moon emerges from a total lunar eclipse on May 15 as seen over Gastineau Channel and south Douglas Island.

Thank you
...for helping with Seaweek; for the after-prom party; for donating time; for helping fourth-graders; for helping the violin program; for turning off the TV

Substance-abuse conference in Juneau
Juneau will host a national conference on preventing substance abuse by youth.

Old-timers' potluck
The annual potluck of the Auke Bay Old Timers will be held June 7 at the Chapel By the Lake social hall.

Burkhardts celebrate 50th anniversary
Ann Burkhardt and Walter Burkhardt of Haines are celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary on May 26.

After 40 years in class: Do I hear 50?
To paraphrase Mark Twain, "The reports of my retirement have been greatly exaggerated."

Memories of Bonk
The Juneau School District's Duane Bonk is retiring this year after almost 30 years of teaching.

College notes
 

Learn about hazards in the home
Products or appliances in your home may be hazards.

Pure in heart, a star in the kitchen
In "This Day in History," Jan. 17, the Empire reported that in 1956, the fish house of the Juneau Cold Storage was destroyed by fire. This did not include the loss of the freezer or the cold storage plant.

Peter M. Schneider
A memorial service for longtime Douglas resident Peter M. Schneider will be held at 6 p.m. today at the Cathedral of the Nativity. All friends are welcome at the service.

My Turn: Explaining school negotiations to children
Parents in the Juneau School District might consider the popular Harry Potter stories as a means for understanding and sharing with their children the nature of current contract negotiations between teachers and management. In fact, through this literary vehicle parents and children might even consider proactive steps to help the negotiating parties refocus on the real goal of public education.

My Turn: Oil jobs going to outsiders
While giving the oil and gas industry tax breaks may be a good idea to stimulate more investment and thus increase revenue and jobs to the state, it does not address the decades-old and controversial issue of Alaskan hire in the industry.

Tupou leads Bears to state track
Loreen Tupou couldn't stay away - and now she'll make another trip to the state track and field meet this weekend where she'll make a bid for her second state title.

Thunderbird girls claim 1-0 victory over Bears
The state championship dreams of the Juneau-Douglas High School girls soccer team came to a premature end Thursday as the previously unbeaten Crimson Bears were upset 1-0 by the East Anchorage Thunderbirds at Colony High School.

Juneau boys shut out East in state opener
Lee Sullivan won the lunchbox award, but Alex Sadighi got the lunch.

Bear nine splits in Ketchikan
For the second straight year, Ketchikan has left an unwelcome mark on the record of the Juneau-Douglas High School baseball team.

Bavard keeps Juneau pitchers steady
When no one else will, call on the coach's kid. That's how Juneau-Douglas High School sophomore Nicole Bavard was introduced to the catcher's position in softball about five years ago - and she's been playing there ever since.

State Soccer Champions
The scores of the Alaska high school state championship soccer games since the Alaska School Activities Association sanctioned an official state tournament in 2000. Before that, there had been an unofficial state invitational tournament sponsored by the Region IV teams.

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

Midseason position shift sparks boys' scoring renaissance
It was four games into the season and Juneau-Douglas High School boys soccer coach Gary Lehnhart wasn't sure about his Crimson Bears. The Juneau boys had been to the state championship game the past three years, winning the 2001 title, but Lehnhart was wondering if this year's team could live up to the tradition established by his previous squads. The Crimson Bears had graduated more than 20 seniors the past two years and, even though this year's team is again dominated by upperclassmen, Lehnhart worried the graduation losses might be taking their toll.

Cavs win NBA lottery, have dibs on LeBron
LeBron James won't have to go far to play in the NBA. The Cavaliers scored perhaps the biggest victory in franchise history Thursday night, winning the lottery and the right to select James, the 18-year-old high school phenom from nearby Akron.

Spring King Salmon Derby Standings
Here are the standings in the Seventh Annual Spring King Salmon Derby, as reported at 4:48 p.m. on Wednesday, May 21. 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. The derby closes at 9 p.m. on Friday, May 31.

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

Girls are unbeaten, untested entering tourney
Before the 2003 high school soccer season began, Juneau-Douglas girls co-coach Colin Barton thought this year's Crimson Bears might be the best team the school has produced. Barton said he still thinks it might be true, as the unbeaten, once-tied Crimson Bears head for this weekend's state tournament at Wasilla High School and Colony High School. But there's a question mark.

Defense says there was no Bristol Bay bogeyman
The lawyer for a major processor in the Bristol Bay price-fixing lawsuit took a final shot at conspiracy charges Thursday, saying: "There was no bogeyman in Bristol Bay.

Legislative roundup
Bills voted on this week:

Murkowski, Legislature enjoy smooth session
Many questions about the future of the state were unanswered Wednesday night, as lawmakers headed into the House and Senate chambers for the final hours of this year's legislative session. Battles over the public works budget, the Alaska Permanent Fund dividend program and the Regulatory Commission of Alaska were still in flux at 11 p.m. A big question on lawmakers' minds Wednesday evening was how Gov. Frank Murkowski would use his veto pen to cut state spending in this year's budget.

Lawmakers shuffle funds for dividends
Republican and Democratic lawmakers offered different assessments Thursday on the results achieved in the first year of the 23rd Alaska Legislature. The GOP majorities proclaimed success while Democrats warned the Alaska Permanent Fund dividend was jeopardized.

Gov. curbs coastal districts' power
Gov. Frank Murkowski signed a controversial bill Wednesday that restricts the authority of Alaska's 34 local coastal districts. The bill revamping the Alaska Coastal Management Program would not allow the districts to regulate environmental impacts covered by state and federal standards.

RCA bill scrapes through in final hours
In the end, lawmakers agreed Alaska must have an agency regulating the state's utilities, even if they don't agree with all the decisions.

Sealaska announces $40.5 million in earnings
Sealaska's successful investments in the Alaska Native Wireless initiative and the Valley View Casino in California were major contributors to the Native regional corporation's $40.5 million in net earnings in 2002. "An agreement reached between AT&T Wireless and Council Tree Alaska Native Wireless, and the San Pasqual's Casino refinancing of their operations, led to early maturing of the investments and a significant positive return to Sealaska," corporation President and CEO Chris McNeil Jr. said in a prepared statement released Tuesday. McNeil was traveling Wednesday and could not be reached for further comment.

Kenai urges review of anti-terror laws
The Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly, following the lead of dozens of municipalities around the country, has passed a resolution urging national leaders to review anti-terrorism laws many say violate constitutional freedoms. The vote was unanimous.

Russia wildfires push smoke to Alaska
Massive wildfires in southern Russia have pushed smoke more than 3,000 miles to Alaska.

This Day in History
 

Senate approves RCA extension bill
With only a few hours to go, lawmakers were running out of time Wednesday to pass a bill extending the Regulatory Commission of Alaska in another showdown over the "phone wars." Without an extension, the RCA that regulates 300 utilities in Alaska - from the trans Alaska oil pipeline to local garbage haulers - will be dismantled over the coming year, said RCA chairman Dave Harbour.

Disaster declared for flood-damaged Salcha
Gov. Frank Murkowski has issued a disaster declaration for the flood-damaged Salcha area.

State Briefs
U.S. Navy warship to visit Juneau; Kayaker snares 90-pound halibut; Climber brought down from McKinley; Ketchikan borough may boost sales tax; Crewman arrested in assault on shipmate; Quake near Yakutat; Bethel priest accused of sexual misconduct

State to give out $13 million for fisheries projects
Got fisheries development ideas? About $13 million in grants is up for grabs, and the state is accepting applications.

School funding bill passes on final day of legislative session
Lawmakers approved a change in the formula for funding schools Wednesday, imposed a tax on car rentals, boosted business license fees and removed a requirement that the minimum wage go up with inflation. They also gave final approval to a resolution asking the federal government to fix parts of the USA Patriot Act that may infringe on civil liberties.

Treasures from steamer trunks
ive years ago, bead artist Salty Hanes inherited steamer trunks from her mother. They went into storage because Hanes and her husband, Jim, were remodeling their dream house, a 1901 home on Third Street downtown.

Movies where and when
"Matrix Reloaded," (R) plays at 6:45 nightly at 20th Century Twin, with second shows at 9:40 Friday and Saturday nights, and a matinee at 3:45 Saturday and Sunday afternoons.

Rhymes and convictions from the Portland underground
Portland, Ore.-based hip-hop group LightHeaded raps about its spiritual beliefs for a secular record label, Florida's Day by Day Entertainment. But it's not fair to simply tag LightHeaded "a Christian hip-hop group" and dismiss its place in the Pacific Northwest rap underground. Three emcees - Braille, Ohmega Watts and Othello - working with producer Muneshine, make party music in the style they listened to in elementary school: early '90s rap crews such as De La Soul, Tribe Called Quest and Pharcyde. You're likely to hear funk, rock, reggae and jazz - samples of jazz pianist Chick Correa alongside tripped-out '70s riffs from Blood, Sweat and Tears.

A slave to fashion in a small town
So there I was in the dressing room at Fred Meyer pulling on a pair of stretch denim, low-slung jeans I'd found on a rack in the teenage section. I shimmied in, inhaled, zipped and turned to face the mirror. Oh, the horror.

Leftover Salmon
Leftover Salmon had a difficult year in 2002 with the March death of band co-founder and banjo player Mark Vann. More than 14 months later, the 13-year-old Colorado six-piece, self-described "Polyethnic Cajun Slamgrass" band is just happy to be playing at its favorite time of the year: the festival season.

What's happening
The Great Alaska Craftbeer and Homebrew Festival, noon-5 p.m., Saturday, May 24, at the Southeast Alaska State Fair Grounds in Haines. Admission is $20.

On bellbottoms, beards, bustles and mutants
Fashion, in retrospect, is always comical. Pantaloons, periwigs, shoe buckles, bustles and bellbottoms are apt to leave the most disinterested time traveler simultaneously snorting and chortling. The marcelling of the 1920s looks as if it has been applied with a frosting knife, doesn't it? And its cousin, the hair helmet popular with 1970s yuppies, asks us to subscribe to the peculiar notion that all men shall be Alley Oop.

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