Wednesday, May 28, 2003

Platinum producer plans summer prospecting in Southeast Alaska
ANCHORAGE - A British Columbia platinum producer plans to prospect in Southeast Alaska this summer for the metal that is almost twice as precious as gold. Vancouver-based Freegold Ventures staked more than 6,000 acres in the Union Bay area 35 miles northwest of Ketchikan in 2000, said company consultant Curt Freeman. Drill tests the following year were interesting enough to attract partners.

Seattle emerges as hub for Alaska cruises
SEATTLE - It's not the most glamorous introduction to Seattle for passengers stepping off the Star Princess cruise ship at Terminal 30.Instead of souvenir shops surrounding a quaint dock, visitors are greeted with enormous cranes, barges stacked high with containers and the sights and sounds of an industrial zone. The converted container terminal offers little in tourist comforts beyond the red, white and blue building that the Port of Seattle had built as part of a $16.5 million renovation to prepare the area for cruise ship passengers.

Teenagers against Hollywood stars pushing tobacco
At 1 p.m. on May 31, the local Teens Against Tobacco Use group joined by supporters will walk together in recognition of World No Tobacco Day. World No Tobacco Day gives us one more opportunity to look at what the tobacco industry is really up to.

Forty tons of doubt
While out dragging my shiny salmon spoon around the other day, I leaned over the side of the boat to quickly wash off an apple in the cool, clean, blue-green waters of Southeast Alaska - something I've done instinctively for over 30 years without a moment's hesitation.

Against tobacco addiction
As we remember and contemplate the costly sacrifice of lives in defense of our country, let's not forget the daily loss of American lives to a deadly yet insidious enemy: tobacco consumption. This treacherous enemy doesn't wear a beard, won't be targeted by cruise missiles, and actually comes wrapped in a figurative American flag - "Made in America."

Bleeding-heart liberals, please
If the Juneau Empire is going to continue to run columns by Republican politicos with headlines like "Democrats believe Bush will win election," could we please have an occasional column some bleeding- heart liberal?

Irresponsible bonds
I would like to offer the following regarding the upcoming school bond ballot after having read "Juneau's fiscal future worries city's leaders" in the Sunday paper.

Missing Alaska already
I think Mr. Soza's letter (Whose privilege is it, Empire, May 23) is the most thought-out logical argument about graduated driver's licenses seen to date. It is not an emotional response, but rather one that calls for introspection. I appreciate the candor of his statements and favor his equitable viewpoint.

Disrespect for seniors
I read with some disappointment the Juneau Empire article on May 23 describing Gov. Murkowski's plan to eliminate the Longevity Bonus as a cost-saving measure.

More counterclaims
Once again Mr. Butch comes far short of the facts (DIA counterclaims, Empire, May 23). Looking through the correspondence, I find election dates for May 10, 12, 17, 19 and 27. Pick a day, I'm sure no one will be confused. One of the major reasons the 2001 election failed was because of the electioneering by an employee

Ex-Assembly member is critical at Johns Hopkins
Longtime Juneau activist and former Assembly member Rosalee Walker was in critical condition Monday night in the Cardiology Care Unit at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Md., suffering from pneumonia and congestive heart failure. "Things are looking very optimistic," said Diane Randall, Walker's daughter. "The doctors I spoke to (Sunday) evening said she wasn't going to make it. The doctors said (Monday) morning that she had turned the corner. So she is showing some improvement."

Rotary clubs aim to eradicate polio
In September 1994, the World Health Organization declared Alaska, along with the rest of the Western Hemisphere, polio-free. But that didn't stop members of the three Rotary clubs in Juneau, and members of the almost 30,000 Rotary clubs worldwide, from continuing the international organization's efforts to eradicate polio from the entire world.

Daughters honor a fighting spirit
As Patricia Lee lay dying, all nine of her children gathered around her bed, took turns holding her one last time and told her it was OK to let go and say goodbye. After a five-year battle with cancer that started in her breast and spread to her brain, spine and liver, Lee died a little over a year ago. Since her death, her children and husband, Roger, have struggled to live without their "rock." Two of the children, Tina Lee, 30, and Tara Lee Mason, 32, decided to honor her spirit by participating in an Avon-sponsored, 26-mile walk for cancer this July in Portland, Ore.

Klukwan Inc. moving to Haines
Klukwan Inc., the village corporation for Klukwan, a village near Haines, has decided to move its headquarters from Juneau to Haines, company officials said. "We own our own office building in Juneau, we own an office building in Haines and looking at our current corporate needs we decided we didn't need the space in Juneau," said Tom Crandall, president of the corporation.

Juneau remembers those who served
Valeta Pratt served in the U.S. Air Force for eight years in the 1960s. Two of her sons served in the Air Force as well. One of them died of hepatitis three years ago. "This day is very special to me," Pratt said Monday at the Memorial Day service held by American Legion Post 25 at Alaska Memorial Park. She was one of about 60 people who attended the service, which consisted of a short talk by post commander Jim Ruotsala, a prayer and the ceremonial placement of wreaths on the cemetery lawn while a bugler played "Taps."

Photo: Dock run
Tanya Nizich, left, and Angie Kemp are accompanied by Archie as they go for an evening run on the cruise ship dock Monday.

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

New SARS screening policy rejects hotel guest
After spending four days in Alaska last week criss-crossing the state on business, mining executive John Fox and consultant Peter Bosse were ready for a one-night stay at the Westmark Baranof Juneau before heading home. But when they arrived at the hotel last Thursday with reservations made two weeks in advance, the two were turned away as a potential risk for carrying severe acute respiratory syndrome, known as SARS.

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

42.3-pound king salmon leads derby
Thomas Lee caught a big fish Saturday morning. So big, it stands a good chance of winning the Seventh Annual Spring King Salmon Derby and earning Lee $7,000 in cash and prizes. Lee turned in his 42.3-pound, gilled and gutted fish at DeHart's at 11:40 a.m. Saturday. The fish was almost 4 pounds heavier than the previous leader, a 38.6-pound fighter turned in by Al McKinley Sr. on Saturday, May 17.

This Day in History
In 1935, the flu epidemic in Barrow was reported practically over after 18 villagers died.

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

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

Photo: Downtown gardening
Ellen Carlee plants a row of flowers in front of her Calhoun Avenue home Monday.

Pets of the week
Mica is a young, neutered Lab with some mystery genes mixed in. The result is a beautiful dog with a sweet disposition. Clyde is a young, neutered tomcat with endearing ways. Quiet and still a little shy, he is a former stray.

Neighbors Briefs
Benefit film showing for boys' soccer team; Quilt show wants entries; Old-timers' potluck; Springtime 4-H fair

Student's 'My trip to the dump' wins top prize in writing contest
HOONAH - Hoonah City Schools had its second annual writing contest this spring. Students wrote in the categories of non-fiction, fiction and poetry. Writing is an essential tool that aids in communication and the development of education. When focused on the writing process, students learn to develop ideas using the six writing traits.

Carter, Flatt to marry
Megan Carter and Jason Flatt of Juneau will be married in a ceremony planned for June 14 at 2 p.m. at the Juneau Yacht Club. A reception will follow at the Juneau Yacht Club. Friends and relatives of the couple are invited to the wedding and reception.

Gatekeepers can provide safety for elderly
The police officer conducted a welfare check on an elderly woman when a neighbor notified him that her water was about to be shut off due to lack of payment. He discovered Sarah, age 84, weak, malnourished and disoriented, living in a home that hadn't been cleaned for months. The policeman contacted Southeast Senior Services (SESS) looking for assistance. The SESS care coordinator went to Sarah's home, provided a comprehensive evaluation of her situation, and made the necessary contacts. After a brief hospitalization due to dehydration, Sarah returned home.

Thank you
... for Pillars of America; ... for the whale watch cruise

Hues, Brown engaged to marry
Elyce Hues of Mt. Angel, Ore., and Jarhid Brown of Juneau will be married on June 21 in a private ceremony in Juneau. A reception will be held on July 5 at Silver Fall Lodge in Oregon.

Matilda S. Dzinchi
Juneau resident Matilda Dzinchi, 94, died May 23, 2003, at the Juneau Pioneer's Home.

M. Cleone Sylvester
Juneau resident M. Cleone Sylvester, 79, died May 8, 2003, in Juneau.

Steven Michael Ballew
Former Juneau resident Steve Ballew, 49, died May 23, 2003, at his home in Haines.

My Turn: Beyond bricks and mortar
Big or small, Juneau is about to gain another high school. But, beyond brick and mortar, it's what happens inside schools that makes the biggest difference in the lives of students. Reluctantly, I am willing to support Proposition 1 to build a bigger-than-necessary new school in the Valley. And it's a great idea to approve Proposition 2 to finish JDHS as it can only save us money.

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

Urata, Felix qualify for synchronized swimming nationals
Juneau synchronized swimmers Koko Urata and Sarah Felix qualified for the 2003 Esynchro Age Group National Championships with their performance at a regional competition earlier this month in Portland, Ore.

State Track Meet Results
Results from the 2003 Alaska School Activities Association State Track and Field Championships held Friday and Saturday at Bartlett High School in Anchorage. Results are for the top eight finishers and the results of any other Southeast athletes from Friday's preliminaries.

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

Dredge Lake Mountain Bike Race Results
Results from the Juneau Freewheeler Bicycle Club's Dredge Lake Mountain Bike Race, held Saturday at Dredge Lake Park.

Spring King Salmon Derby Standings
Here are the standings in the Seventh Annual Spring King Salmon Derby, as reported at 3:57 p.m. on Sunday, May 25. 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.

Spring King Salmon Derby Standings
Here are the standings in the Seventh Annual Spring King Salmon Derby, as reported at 3:03 p.m. on Tuesday, May 27. 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.

Bears survive elements, opponents
The Juneau-Douglas High School baseball team faced more than one opponent each time it took the field in Ketchikan last Friday and Saturday, but the Crimson Bears emerged with three wins to end the regular season. Juneau defeated Sitka 9-8 on Friday - while also battling a wicked storm that forced the postponement of a game later that evening. On Saturday, the Crimson Bears fought off fatigue to post a pair of wins - 8-3 over Sitka in the early game, and 6-3 over Ketchikan to conclude the series.

Treadwell Ditch Trail Race
Results of the Southeast Road Runners' Treadwell Ditch Trail Race, held Saturday, May 24 on a five-mile course from Sandy Beach in Douglas to the snowmobile parking lot at the top of Blueberry Hills. Most of the course followed the historic Treadwell Ditch Trail.

Senate wants review of defense test program
FAIRBANKS - The Senate has reinstated some of the internal review requirements for missile defense testing eliminated by the Pentagon more than a year ago. Senate lawmakers passed a bill Friday with additional provisions in its version of the National Defense Authorization Act for 2004. The bill now goes to a House-Senate conference committee, where the fate of the missile defense language is uncertain.

Alaskans spend on Republicans, not Democrats
FAIRBANKS - Alaskans leaned heavily toward Republicans when it came to political donations during the federal elections last year. In fact, they had the highest margin in the nation, according to a recent analysis. Alaskans and Alaska-based political action committees gave 88.2 percent of their total contributions to Republicans while Democrats got 11.6 percent, according to the study by the Center for Responsive Politics. The Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit group analyzes campaign funding.

State Briefs
JDHS hosts solo and ensemble show tonight; Nickelodeon to screen 'Bend It Like Beckham' for fund-raiser; Man found aboard fish processing boat; More than $650,000 OK'd for storm damage; Changes made in POW deer hunting; Winds push wildfire toward subdivision; Searchers look for overdue walrus hunters

Hughes school has its first graduate
FAIRBANKS - The Johnny Oldman School in Hughes has its first high school graduate. The entire population of the Athabascan village on the Koyukuk turned out to honor Jimmie Ambrose at the May 20 graduation ceremony. The village has about 65 residents.

High court rules state is not liable
ANCHORAGE - The state is not liable when a juvenile released from its custody later commits a murder, the Alaska Supreme Court has ruled. The court was asked to consider a negligence case filed by the family of Anchorage cab driver Richard Sandsness, who was killed by 17-year-old Darrel Whitaker seven weeks after Whitaker was released from McLaughlin Youth Center.

Goldbelt selling cruise ship unit
ANCHORAGE - Goldbelt Inc., the Juneau-based Alaska Native corporation, is selling its regional cruise ship subsidiary. The corporation, which has several tourism businesses, lost $4.4 million in 2001. Last year, the loss ballooned to $18 million, though $14 million of that was due to the reduction of the market value of its investment in Glacier Bay Cruiseline, according to Gary Droubay, Goldbelt's president and chief executive.

DWI argument rejected
FAIRBANKS - The Alaska Court of Appeals has shot down a man's argument that he should not be charged with felony drunk driving because his offense occurred before a new state law making his crime a felony went into effect. Friday's ruling involves the case of Eric B. Fowler, 33, who was arrested on a charge of driving while intoxicated July 4, 2001.

State Briefs
Governor signs medical parole, SARS bill; Overdue walrus hunters return safely to Gambell; Blaze near Anderson continues; Light earthquake jolts Kodiak Island; Ranger District plans Back Loop Road building; Reservations available for Forest Service shelters; Troopers kill injured bear in North Pole

Fish and Game picks Kenai subdivisions to be bear-safe models
KENAI - A Kenai neighborhood is being set up to become a bear-safe model for other communities. With help from several organizations, the Valhalla Heights and Shaginoff subdivisions will receive special garbage receptacles to curtail visits from garbage-foraging bears.

Retrial of Nikiski couple begins in animal cruelty case
ANACONDA, Mont. - A Nikiski couple moving their kennel of collies to Arizona arrived at the Canada-Montana border with a trailer full of wet, hungry and cold animals and no dog food, a prosecutor told a jury here Tuesday. "They were driving a beat-up, run-down 1982 Peterbilt truck, dragging a 45-foot trailer stuffed with animals," prosecuting attorney John Coble told the jury of three men and three women.

Anchorage schools lose more than 1,000 students
ANCHORAGE - The Anchorage School District has lost more than 1,000 students this school year, which will reduce its state funding by millions of dollars. The cuts will be particularly hard since the district already is predicting a multi-million-dollar shortfall because of state education cuts.

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