Sunday, May 25, 2003

A worthy Dawn
Dawn Miller will do an excellent job as the executive director of the United Way of Southeast Alaska. Her strong work ethic, grand use of humor, and stunning ability to communicate well with people can be continually counted upon.

Budget squeezes JDHS AP courses
Mindy Roberts, a junior at Juneau-Douglas High School, says an advanced-placement course in English language and composition revealed aspects of books in ways she never saw before. She's counting on advanced-placement courses, through which high-scoring students can earn college credits, as a way to make college affordable. But Roberts couldn't get into the senior AP English course because one section was canceled.

Photo: Visiting warship
The USS Stethem, a San Diego, Calif.-based Navy destroyer, tied up at the subport dock Friday. The ship will be in port through Monday.

Salmon-lawsuit jury finds against conspiracy
ANCHORAGE - Jurors took about six hours Friday to decide there was no conspiracy by salmon processors and Japanese importers to control the price paid to Bristol Bay fishermen nearly a decade ago. After sitting through nearly four months of testimony and the last morning of closing arguments, jurors quickly rejected the multimillion-dollar class action lawsuit brought on behalf of 4,500 fishermen in the world's largest sockeye salmon fishery.

Juneau's fiscal future worries city's leaders
With looming cuts at the state level and rising costs for city employees' health care and the public employee retirement system, Juneau's budgetary future looks less than rosy. Officials are brainstorming ways to reduce spending and generate revenue. "There's no question, we are going to face some difficult decisions in the near future," said Assembly Finance Chairman Jim Powell.

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

Drunk-driving conviction gets man one year for fatal crash
A man accused of striking and killing another man as he walked down a Hoonah Highway in December was convicted Friday of misdemeanor drunken driving and sentenced to one year in prison. Victim Gary Smith's family said a year in prison isn't enough punishment for Gerard White. "There's not one second of one day I don't think of my dad," Smith's only daughter, Jolene, 22, testified. "He was the most nicest person in the whole world. He never bothered anybody.

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

Richard 'Dick' E. Stickel
Former Juneau resident Richard "Dick" E. Stickel, 85, died April 30, 2003, in Brea, Calif.

Jacob (Jake) L. Hoffman
Former pastor and missionary Jacob L. Hoffman, 86, died May 22, 2003 in Juneau.

What do you think?
The weather is nicer, the shops are open and even we locals do visit some of them, and the visitors on the street create some excitement, but I walk, not try to drive in downtown. If we had a better harbor for visiting yachts between the subport and Gold Creek that would draw locals as well.

Empire editorial: Vote for school bonds
Juneau voters will go to the polls for a special election on June 3 to consider two school bond propositions. Proposition 1 will determine whether the city should issue $12.6 million in bonds to pay for the remaining part of the planned high school at Dimond Park in the Mendenhall Valley. Proposition 2 is a separate $12.5 million bond measure that would help pay for continuing the renovation of Juneau-Douglas High School and possibly other schools.

Toe Cartoon

Trails Day celebrated with hikes, trail work
Healthy Trails, Healthy People" is the theme for National Trails Day 2003, celebrated June 7. Juneau can take pride in the many ways our community keeps its trails healthy, providing numerous opportunities for citizens to enjoy a healthy lifestyle that includes walking, hiking, backpacking, biking or pushing strollers on more than 90 beautiful trails.

Big Fish Pictures

Fish report
Catch rates for king salmon remained about the same in the most recent survey period. The average marine boat angler spent 32 hours fishing before landing a keeper. During the same week last year it took 29 hours. The five-year average is 36 hours per king salmon.

Porcupines: Watchable wildlife, but a gardener's worst nightmare
Porcupines can provide uncommon chances to see a wild animal up close, but for some gardeners, a porcupine is worse than a thousand slugs. Gardeners in Alaska contend with a variety of pests, but few are as devastating as a hungry porcupine. In the wild, these giant rodents eat buds and young green leaves, targeting the most tender and nutritious foods available. When they wander into towns they apply their well-developed sense of taste to gardens, ornamental trees and flower beds.

Taku fish are kings of spring
Some of the king or chinook salmon being caught during the 2003 Spring King Salmon Derby are from the Chilkat River near Haines and the Macauley Salmon Hatchery in Juneau. But by far Taku River kings dominate the sport catch near Juneau each spring.

Out and About
Ongoing: Trail of Time guided hikes, 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. daily, Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center. Details: 789-6635. May 25: High Power Rifle and Sporting Rifle Shoot, at the Hank Harmon Rifle Range, 8:30 a.m. registration, shoot at 9:30 a.m. Details: www.go.to/jrpc.

Spring King Salmon Derby Standings
Here are the standings in the Seventh Annual Spring King Salmon Derby, as reported at 7:18 p.m. on Saturday, May 24. 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.

Larson pitches a no-hitter vs. Sitka
It was a weekend of pain and near-perfection for the Juneau-Douglas High School softball team. The Crimson Bears swept a three-game series against region rival Sitka on Friday and Saturday at Melvin Park - including a complete-game no-hitter by sophomore pitcher Ashley Larson on Friday night that was very nearly a perfect game.

A Monts-umental victory for Juneau
ANCHORAGE - Ernest Monts didn't have the greatest of starts in the boys 100 meters at the state track meet Saturday at Bartlett High School. But Monts made up for it with a great finish as he won the state championship in the event. Monts had an OK start, but he trailed East Anchorage's Peter Madrid as they came out of the blocks. Monts still trailed at the 50-meter mark, with Chugiak's Luke Steele and Dimond's Josh Cutting also with the leaders.

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

Crimson Bears win final three
The Juneau-Douglas High School baseball team rebounded from its first loss of the season on Thursday to win the last three games of its series in Ketchikan. The Crimson Bears (13-1) defeated the Sitka Wolves 9-8 on Friday in a deluge. Juneau coach Jim Ayers said the conditions were the worst he has ever seen for a baseball game.

Juneau defense shuts out Service for title
WASILLA - Their defense has been called the Bear-lin Wall, but nobody was able to tear it down. The Juneau-Douglas High School boys soccer team's defense - led by seniors Kirk Mearig, Kyle Thibodeau, Joe Stendahl and goalkeeper Colin Conerton - pitched a shutout for the state tournament, as the Crimson Bears claimed their second state title in three years with a 1-0 victory over the Service Cougars on Saturday afternoon at Wasilla High School.

Juneau girls win last two games to take fourth place
PALMER - The Juneau-Douglas High School girls soccer team won its last two games of the state soccer tournament, but it was a bittersweet ending to the season for the Crimson Bears. The Crimson Bears claimed fourth place with a 2-0 victory over the Colony Knights early Saturday morning at Colony High School. In Friday's consolation semifinal, Juneau edged the Palmer Moose 2-1 at Wasilla High School. Juneau also won the team sportsmanship award.

State Briefs
Judge declares mistrial in Juneau rape case; Fairbanks fugitive to appear in federal court; Man injured in cycle accident dies; Man accused of trying to board plane knives;

Business interests got help from Legislature
It was a banner year for business in the Legislature. Lawmakers approved tax credits for oil and gas exploration, passed bills to block lawsuits and streamline regulations, and got rid of a requirement that the minimum wage go up with inflation. But critics say some of that legislation could hurt the environment, consumers, workers and individual business sectors.

Anchorage seafood plant loses state funds
ANCHORAGE - The state has rejected a request to keep pouring millions of dollars into the struggling Alaska Seafood International plant in Anchorage. The seafood factory no longer can count on free rent in the huge state-owned building it occupies. And the state will not continue paying $100,000 a month for power, insurance and other upkeep on the building as the company had requested.

'Stars aligned' for GOP session in Alaska
Republican Gov. Frank Murkowski was sworn into office in December with a pro-business agenda and to the accolades of GOP lawmakers who said after nearly a decade "the stars are aligned." As midnight faded on the 2003 session and legislators packed up and went home, observers say the Republicans were right.

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