Friday, May 30, 2003

Vote 'Yes' on 1 and 2
I urge "Yes" votes for both high school bonds. My family will not directly benefit from these projects, as our youngest child will graduate in 2004. Having spent numerous hours volunteering at JDHS in recent years, I've experienced the extreme overcrowded conditions. Students, teachers, administrators and parents all tell us overcrowding is a factor in our student dropout rate, a very serious problem at JDHS.

Twixt 18 and 21
I write this letter in the hopes that an older and wiser individual will enlighten me. As I am only 18, I think most people agree that I could do with some enlightening. Here's your chance.

To a safe harbor
We bid thee farewell, the captain and his ship, the F.V. St. Peter. One last voyage to your final resting place in the deep green waters of Southeast Alaska. Bless your ship for all the safe passages through all the storms and gales and rescues from all the stormy seas. You have carried your valuable cargo to a safe harbor. For the John family.

Ready to cut
Gov. Murkowski speaks about the importance of family life in this great state of ours, and yet he holds the scissors in his strong hand ready to cut off the longevity bonuses to our elders who really need the financial help.

What about Gary?
Gary Paul Smith died Dec. 8, 2002 because of a drunk driver. Yes you can say any sentence can't bring Mr. Smith back, but you can serve justice.

Cover the industry
One day last week I noticed a nice thank you to the cruise ship industry that appeared in the Juneau Empire. One that came from the Juneau Empire itself.

No more delays for a Valley high school
The time for a high school in the Valley has come and gone, and I feel we should finally get the job done.

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

Juneau Planning Commission to reconsider mining ordinance
The Juneau Planning Commission will try again next week to act on an ordinance allowing summary approval of changes to existing permits for rural mines. The panel voted 4-2 Tuesday in favor of a motion to approve the ordinance as being in compliance with the comprehensive plan. But five commissioners were needed to send the ordinance back to the Juneau Assembly, which asked for the review. Three of the nine commissioners were not at the meeting and two voted against the motion, saying they needed more information.

Juneau voters to decide on school bonds
In a special election that concludes Tuesday, voters have an opportunity to approve or reject two bond propositions to fund the renovation of Juneau-Douglas High School and the construction of a new high school in the Mendenhall Valley. So far, absentee turnout has been a trickle. "I'm hoping people will remember to vote, but I'm anticipating the turnout is going to be light," said City Clerk Laurie Sica.

Easing foot traffic woes
A group of consultants is strolling with tourists in Juneau this week in an effort to find a solution to persistent overcrowding on downtown sidewalks. "We are watching the operation and the flow - where people are coming from and going to at peak hours," said Sonia Hennum of Portland, Ore.-based Kittelson & Associates, a transportation and traffic planning firm. "We are interested in the interaction between what we call 'travel modes,' like tour buses and people walking."

Correction
Due to a reporter's error, a Wednesday Empire article on SARS incorrectly reported the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends travelers avoid unessential travel to travel alert areas.

District promotes Glacier Valley principal to asst. superintendent
Glacier Valley Elementary Principal Bernie Sorenson has been selected to become Juneau's new assistant superintendent of schools. "I am really sad to leave (Glacier Valley) but I am hoping that whatever I learned there, I can take some of that to this new position," Sorenson said.

Trail money rerouted to roads
Millions of dollars in federal money used in Alaska for trails and roadside parks will be diverted to road construction and improvements under a bill passed this year by the Legislature. Terms of Senate Bill 71 mean expensive trail projects such as the proposed $3.8 million Under Thunder Path, slated to be built in the shadow of Thunder Mountain from the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center to the McNugget intersection, could be put on the back burner.

FYI
Births; Business Licenses; Courts; Divorces and dissolutions; Judgments.

AroundTown
Around Town is a listing of local nonprofit events.

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

Cruise line to improve waste water management
The Washington state Department of Ecology on Thursday ordered Norwegian Cruise Line to improve its waste water management and establish a system to guard against the accidental release of waste water. The order came after an investigation into the May 3 release of 40 tons of human waste into the Strait of Juan de Fuca by the Norwegian Sun, a ship that docks in Juneau several times this summer.

Douglas tribe elects council
Fifty-seven members of the Douglas Indian Association cast ballots Tuesday to fill all nine of the association's council seats. Official election results had not been released by Thursday afternoon, but the preliminary count seemed to be fairly accurate, said Tony Strong, a Juneau lawyer who supervised the elections.

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

Thank you
...for the support; ..for the hard work.

Coming out of the education closet
Recently someone walked into the Floyd Dryden library, leaned across the circulation counter, looked up at me and asked: "What do I need to do to have your job?" I didn't miss a beat: "I have a master's degree in library and information science from the University of California at Berkeley."

Two local businessmen are kings of the caviar
It's not that easy to get a mention in the New York Times. Of course, if you are famous like Gov. Murkowski and Deidre McDonnell, you get noticed, but for a fish buyer? That's a long pull. I was never written up in the Times and I'm 68 years of age. But Eric Norman, fish buyer of Taku Smokeries, was quoted in the Jan. 15 edition. He was not on the front page, or even in the business pages, but it is still noteworthy to be in the Dining Out section. He wasn't reported to have dined out at a swank New York restaurant. His quote came while sitting in his office on the Juneau dock.

JuneauDigest
Adult keel boat class scheduled; Teacher's retirement celebration set.

Rock 'n' roll dance to benefit Doctors without Borders efforts
Juneau families can help support international medical relief efforts and have fun by attending a family rock 'n' roll dance from 7 to 10:30 p.m. Saturday, May 31, at McPhetres Hall. The dance will raise funds for Doctors Without Borders, a Nobel Peace Prize-winning organization that delivers emergency aid to victims of wars, epidemics and natural and human-made disasters. Tickets are $5 for adults, $3 for kids age 3 to 18, and $15 for a family. Refreshments will be on sale and additional donations will be collected. All proceeds will go to Doctors without Borders.

Run, walk or stroll in Relay For Life
The race is on for teams to participate in Juneau's second American Cancer Society Relay For Life. The annual event is slated for July 19 at Dimond Park, near Riverbend Elementary School in the Mendenhall Valley. According to Cheri Kunz, team recruitment co-chairwoman, the event will run from 3 p.m. on July 19 to 6 a.m. on July 20. "Volunteers are needed to form teams of eight to 20 individuals," Nicki Germain, team co-chair said. Cancer survivors Nicki Germain, Pat Yearty and Tish Griffin-Satre are already lining up team members for this year's event. Ruth Johnson, captain of one of three Wells Fargo teams, participates because her mother "has survived three occurrences of cancer and is 77 years strong."

Aaron Eugene Weston
Juneau resident Aaron Eugene Weston, 45, died May 3, 2003, at the Heart Hospital of New Mexico in Albuquerque, N.M.

Sharon D. Fitzgerald
Juneau resident Sharon D. Fitzgerald, 67, died May 24, 2003, in Puyallup, Wash., after a long illness.

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

My Turn: High school bonds: Good for education and for taxpayers
Next Tuesday's special election will feature two bonding propositions for our high schools. Voters will determine whether to finish the renovation project at Juneau-Douglas High School and to construct a Valley high school at a similar size to what voters approved in 1999. In 1999, Juneau voters approved a $62 million bond issue to build a high school in the Valley ($49 million) and to renovate JDHS ($13 million). Many people are now questioning why we need more money. It's apparent this community has been caught off guard estimating construction costs. In addition to the two high school projects, recent bid submittals for the NOAA facility and the hospital building came in grossly over estimates. With JDHS, many surprises have surfaced with renovating a 45-year-old structure. Construction of the new high school has been on hold for almost four years, waiting for state matching funds while costs of construction materials have continued to escalate.

Empire editorial: Citizens Advisory Board seeks new members
As the Juneau Empire Citizens Advisory Board completes another year, we wish to extend a heartfelt thanks to those whose terms have ended, and also invite local residents who have in interest in serving to apply for the open seats.

My Turn: Randy Wanamaker has harmony of interests
Rather than debate the merits of the proposed mining ordinance changes, several citizens have asserted conflict of interest claims against Assembly member Randy Wanamaker. These citizens claim Mr. Wanamaker has forced through proposed changes to the city's mining ordinance and that he has a conflict as chairman of Goldbelt and as a former mining industry consultant. I have worked with Randy Wanamaker on various employment, permitting and natural resource management issues. I attended a number of hearings on the mining ordinance so it is clear to me these claims are a red herring. The real issue is whether Juneau will have economic development.

Sports in Juneau
Sports in Juneau is a service provided by the Juneau Empire to provide information on upcoming sports and outdoors events in Juneau.

Local Sports Briefs
Rosen breaks records; Burton-Carrillo earns black belt

Spring King Salmon Derby Standings
Here are the standings in the Seventh Annual Spring King Salmon Derby, as reported at 4:19 p.m. on Wednesday, May 28. 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 8:52 a.m. on Thursday, May 29. 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.

Juneau-Douglas High School Boys Basketball Awards
Awards given to members of the Juneau-Douglas High School boys basketball team during its postseason award banquet on May 13.

Danielle's day
As the only senior for the Juneau-Douglas High School softball team, first baseman-left fielder Danielle Larson has been called upon to be a steadying influence for the young Crimson Bears. With only three upperclassmen on the team - there are two juniors on the squad - Larson's leadership has been critical as the Crimson Bears overcame the loss of six seniors from last year's state championship team to graduation. Juneau lost its first two games of the season, but since then has won 17 straight and put itself into position for another run at the state title.

State Soccer Tournament Special Awards
The special awards presented at the Alaska School Activities Association state soccer tournament, held Thursday through Saturday at Wasilla High School in Wasilla and Colony High School in Palmer.

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

Photo: Trout express
Ken Bellows of Air Sitka lands his Cessna 185 on Sitka's Swan Lake to stock it with about 500 rainbow trout Tuesday. Bellows gets special permission to land on the .4-mile-long downtown lake to transfer fish collected by Department of Fish and Game workers on nearby Kruzof Island.

No one injured in ferry blaze
More than 165 passengers and crew of the state ferry Columbia awoke to news of a fire on board early Wednesday, said U.S. Coast Guard officials. No one was injured in the blaze that started in the electrical center of the ship's second generator around 1:45 a.m., Coast Guard Petty Officer Sara Raymer said Wednesday. The ship has four generators, including an emergency generator, but usually operates on one or two, she said.

Crews clean up Prudhoe Bay pipeline spill of oil, gas and water
ANCHORAGE - Crews were cleaning up a mixture of crude oil, natural gas and water Wednesday that spilled from a pipeline in Prudhoe Bay. State regulators and BP Exploration (Alaska) Inc. were investigating the spill, which was spotted Tuesday afternoon. Walt Sandel, an environmental specialist with the state Department of Environmental Conservation, estimated the spill at 500 gallons, or about 12 barrels.

This Day in History
In Alaska; In the nation; In the world.

Biologist: ship likely killed whale
A ship probably struck a humpback whale whose carcass was seen floating near the mouth of Yakutat Bay in mid-May, according to a federal biologist who examined the animal. The whale was struck with enough force to sever its skull from its spine, said Michael Payne, head of protected resources with the National Marine Fisheries Service in Juneau. Payne led an examination team after the whale washed ashore near Icy Bay.

Lisa Murkowski enters long season of fund raising in need of $2-4 million
Lisa Murkowski says she hasn't had a spare minute since taking over as Alaska's junior U.S. senator five months ago. But she says she'll find the time to raise millions of dollars for her 2004 campaign to keep the seat given to her by her father when he became Alaska's governor. Lisa Murkowski, an Alaska Republican, said she will need $2 million for her campaign. She has $300,000 and hopes to raise $500,000 by the end of June, she said at a Tuesday press conference in Anchorage.

Four die in plane crash in Denali
ANCHORAGE - Two mountain climbers, a tourist, and a pilot were killed Wednesday when their small plane went down in Denali National Park and Preserve, according to officials with the National Park Service. One of the victims was pilot Keli Mahoney, 35, of Talkeetna, a musher who ran twice in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race and twice in the Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race.

Ketchikan borough seeks state grant to buy cannery
KETCHIKAN - The Ketchikan Gateway Borough is applying for a $5 million state grant to buy the Wards Cove Cannery. Borough Manager Roy Eckert said Wednesday the borough planned to apply for two state fisheries economic development grants, one to purchase the Wards Cove Cannery and another, also for $5 million, to build a new community cold storage facility in Ward Cove.

Governor names new top trooper
Gov. Frank Murkowski on Thursday announced the appointment of Col. Julia Grimes as the new director of the Alaska State Troopers. Grimes, a 20-year veteran of the troopers, is the first woman appointed to the position. She will be based in Anchorage.

Ferry pulled off route after fire
A fire on the state ferry Columbia has put the ship out of commission while repairs are made to its generators, Capt. George Capacci, general manager of the Alaska Marine Highway System, said Thursday. Capacci said the U.S. Coast Guard and the American Bureau of Shipping won't allow the vessel to resume regularly scheduled service until repairs are made. He said the state hopes to have the ferry running again by Wednesday.

State Briefs
Troopers issue 250 citations for seat belts; Truck kills 18-month-old; Former fugitive pleads innocent to bank fraud; Church replaces troubled priest; Dogs in bad shape before leaving Alaska

AlaskaDigest
Wal-Mart not eyeing Kmart building; Bodies of plane crash victims recovered; Coast Guard cutter retired in Kodiak; Prosecutor says pastor may face grand jury; Crews subdue Anderson fire, battle Tok blaze; Man cleared of murder.

New head prosecutor appointed for state
Anchorage District Attorney Susan Parkes will lead the state's team of prosecutors, Attorney General Gregg Renkes announced Tuesday as he continued to reshape the department and change some lawyers' roles. Parkes will work from Anchorage in her new job as deputy attorney general for the Criminal Division, Renkes said.

Movies where & when
"Matrix Reloaded," (R) plays at 6:45 nightly at 20th Century Twin, with second shows at 9:40 each night, and matinees at 2 p.m. daily.

Hanson's back with a new CD
Songwriter Sarah C. Hanson moved away from Juneau in 2000, but she's coming back Friday, May 30, to sing songs about Fairbanks, her new home. Hanson, 28, an acoustic guitarist, had no idea she would stay in Fairbanks when she visited in the summers of 1999 and 2000.

What's Happening
"In Cahoots," performed by Wild Rumpus Clown Theatre, at 8:30 p.m. Friday, May 30, and Saturday, May 31, at Marine Park. Pay-as-you-will. Will play at the same times the following weekend, June 6 and 7. Details: 463-1571.

Play about cancer to show at ANB Hall
JUNEAU - The Alaska Native Brotherhood Hall will host "Understanding: Step into the Light," a play about cancer, at 7 p.m. Friday, June 6. Admission is free.

On parents and making rhubarb pies
Last weekend I was in my yard picking rhubarb to make a pie when I had this memory flash. I saw my parents in the days when Dad had wide sideburns and Mom wore turquoise rings and bell-bottom Levis. In the vision, which I must have remembered from a photo somewhere, they were my age and newly married, holding beers in a sunny back yard. It would be around four years before they had me, and 20 years before they became enemies.

Where is the apple cake and who stole my underwear?
Roblin Davis, Emily Windover and John Leo - the three Juneau residents who make up Wild Rumpus Clown Theatre - began sketching ideas last fall for their first three-clown performance. They didn't have a plot, but they did have dessert. Windover brought an apple cake for Davis. With the pastry, they also had the prop that serves as an improvisational springboard for "In Cahoots," their acrobatic and equally existential clown performance. The show plays at 8:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, May 30 and 31, and June 6 and 7, at Marine Park downtown. Admission is pay-as-you-will, and the show is suitable for all ages.

Pride Week begins Sunday at Silverbow
Juneau Pride Week, the town's fourth annual gay pride celebration, begins Sunday, June 1, with the Juneau Pride Festival, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. at the Silverbow Bakery.

Rock 'n' roll dance benefits Doctors Without Borders
JUNEAU - McPhetres Hall will host a family rock 'n' roll dance to benefit the group Doctors Without Borders from 7 to 10:30 p.m. Saturday, May 31.

Spring King Derby ends with dance
JUNEAU - The Alaska Native Brotherhood Hall will host an End of the Spring King Salmon Derby Celebration dance at 9:30 p.m. Saturday, May 31.

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