Tuesday, June 4, 2002

Worthy of a vote
In a letter dated May 16, University of Alaska Board of Regents Chair Chancy Croft voiced his displeasure with the Alaska Legislature for not granting three recent regents' appointees, along with appointees to three other state boards, the courtesy of a vote.

The ultimate concern
I would like to make a point about the current helicopter noise controversy. At present there are three or so major companies providing ice cap tours. They are dispersed about evenly from North Douglas to the airport area. There is minimum congestion within these groups of aircraft.

Positive feedback
While listening to the local radio station today, I heard a recording of people who called in and thanked the disc jockeys, complimenting them on the great work they are doing.

Teachers who care
Encouragement and positive motivation are extremely valuable gifts. This is especially true in regards to our developing youth. Today, I had the distinct privilege of listening to several of Juneau's talented teachers. They provided individualized words of wisdom for each graduating Hemlock House eighth grader at Dzantik'i Heeni Middle School.

Places to ride
As an ATV owner in Juneau, I think we need more trails to ride on. Sometimes my friends and I would ride on trails around my house but then the police would come by telling us to leave. There aren't too many places to ride and if you do, the police or Forest Service come by to kick you out. If there are so few places to ride than I don't see the point of stores even selling ATVs in Juneau.

Relatively harmless pursuits of pleasure
Mr. Scott's heartfelt plea to use public land for ORVs touched me deeply.

Resist temptation
I appreciate the efforts of the Assembly to develop a tourism plan with a comprehensive approach to addressing tourism impacts, especially flight seeing noise from both helicopters and floatplanes.

Business as usual
The largest department in state government, the Department of Transportation with some 3,000 employees, has announced it must layoff 70 workers because of legislative budget cuts. This will result in reduced services.

Silent majority
Somewhere early in the development of the Juneau Tourism Management Plan, someone decided that "management" meant "marketing." If you look at the document, you'll see the goals stated as how to better market, improve our competitive tourism position, etc.

Channel Drive Park wins trail award
The Channel Drive fishing park near the Douglas Island Pink and Chum hatchery won a state Trails and Recreational Access for Alaska awards for excellence.

ASAA recognizes Ron Gleason's contributions
Former Juneau-Douglas High School principal Ron Gleason received a Gold Lifetime Pass from the Alaska School Activities Association last month in recognition of his contributions to high school activities in the state.

Public transit center workshop set
The city is sponsoring a workshop Tuesday about a proposed transit center downtown.

USFS plans new building on Back Loop Road
A Back Loop Road location has been selected for the Forest Service's new office building.

A new church for St. Paul's
More than 600 march in dedication procession for the new church on Sunday.

Local Briefs
Assembly upholds dangerous-dog ruling; Grants help protect local waterways

Storage fire investigation continues
The cause and source of a fire that destroyed a self-storage facility near Lemon Creek on Sunday morning may never be known, a fire official said today.Fire Marshal Randy Waters said he is continuing to investigate the fire that caused millions of dollars in private-property damage and destroyed a building at the Juneau Self-Storage facility. He is sifting through the rubble for clues and interviewing witnesses and renters.

Greens Creek mine honored for improvement in safety record
Safety is a high priority at the Greens Creek Mine, which for senior warehouse clerk Arnie Wetzstein means everyone must be conscious of their responsibilities.

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

Golf course moves toward next big hurdle
After four years of environmental surveys and several redesigns of the 18-hole, 200-acre golf course proposed for West Douglas, developers soon may present an updated permit application to the Juneau Planning Commission, city officials say.

Fire causes $1 million in damage
Derek Jenson can fit the contents of his life into a duffel bag after a fire fueled by propane, rounds of ammunition and boxes of memories ripped through Juneau Self-Storage early Sunday.

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

Around Town
Listings of local nonprofit events.

Dog's death inspires drive for pet-behavior hot line
The Gastineau Humane Society has established the Friends of Buddy Memorial Fund to help pets avoid the famous Labrador retriever's fate.Two months after leading searchers to his dead owner's body on a remote island Buddy was put to sleep for being too aggressive to his new owner.

Bartlett's mobile mammogram unit wins funding from the state
George Ann Smith knows firsthand the value of Bartlett Regional Hospital's mobile mammography unit to women in Haines.

Independent-travel woes hurt Goldbelt's income
Goldbelt Inc. reported a loss of $4.4 million for fiscal year 2001 due in part to the weak independent travel market, President and CEO Gary Droubay told shareholders at the Native corporation's annual meeting."Our company depends a lot upon independent travel, and it was weak again," Droubay said in an interview today.

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

Interim city manager named
Former Deputy Mayor John MacKinnon will run Juneau's city government this summer as the Juneau Assembly looks for a permanent city manager.Assembly members voted unanimously on Monday to hire MacKinnon as interim city manager with the understanding they don't want to see significant staff changes. City Manager Dave Palmer and Deputy Manager Donna Pierce are stepping down at the end of June.

Leslie M. Flores
Juneau resident Leslie M. Grasiela Flores died May 28, 2002, in Juneau.

My Turn: Alaska prosecutors are dedicated public servants
The role of prosecutors in our criminal justice system has been much in the news lately. As attorney general, I am very proud of Alaska's prosecutors who are dedicated to secure justice on behalf of the state and protect victims of crime.

State Softball Champions return Home
Family and friends of the 2002 state champion Juneau-Douglas High School softball and baseball teams welcome them home Sunday at the airport.

Southeast Alaska Gymnastics Open
Results from the Southeast Alaska Gymnatics Open, held May 17-18 at the Southeast Alaska Gymnastics Academy in Juneau. 60 girls and 18 boys from SAGA, Yukon Gymnastics (Whitehorse), Denali Gymnastics Academy (Wasilla) and Ketchikan Gymnastics Academy competed in the event.

Juneau's Williams competes at national tourney
Dean Williams of Juneau recently returned from the United States Tennis Association's National Senior Indoor Championships in Vancouver, Wash.

Sports in Juneau
Friday-Sunday, June 7-9

Auke Rec Short Course Road Race
A quintet of bicyclists passes a viewpoint overlooking Tee Harbor at 19 Mile Glacier Highway on Sunday morning. They were participating in the Juneau Freewheelers Bicycle Club's Auke Rec Short Course Road Race.

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

Kookesh, Wilson face challengers
Differences over the fiscal gap will be at play in three legislative races this year in rural Southeast.

State Briefs
Belknap resigns as ASMI executive director; Fran Ulmer campaign to develop jobs plan; Trooper finds missing boaters in Norton Sound; Nenana man sentenced to 99 years for murder; Seward man convicted of threatening judges; Dot Lake man arrested on sex abuse charges

State finds $1 million to cover Delta Junction debt
JUNEAU - In a lean budget year, lawmakers still managed to find $1 million to pay the costs of an out-of-court settlement for the city of Delta Junction. The money will allow the city to end a dispute with Allvest Inc., doing business as Delta Corrections Corp., to resolve a $1.1 million breach-of-contract dispute.

3 arrested for assault
Three men were arrested Sunday on charges of assault, burglary and conspiracy to kidnap, according to Alaska State Troopers.

Resort reopens as wildfire subsides
The Chena Hot Springs Resort reopened today after being closed for 10 days by a wildfire that charred 22,000 acres and came within a few miles of the resort.

Young proposes Alaska Natives control some park, refuge jobs
FAIRBANKS - Rep. Don Young is proposing that control over some federal jobs in Alaska's parks and refuges be transferred to as many as 12 Alaska Native tribes. Young's bill, which he introduced in mid-May, states that no federal employees should lose their jobs in the transfer of control. Rather, the employees should be assigned to work for the tribes under provisions of an existing federal law allowing for intergovernmental employee sharing.

Major changes in store at Capitol
Sen. Pete Kelly, a conservative Republican from Fairbanks and co-chairman of the powerful Senate Finance Committee, has decided he will not seek re-election.

State charges six with welfare fraud and lying about income
FAIRBANKS - Six Interior residents were indicted last week on charges they lied about their income to the state Department of Public Assistance in order to illegally receive food stamps and other public assistance money.

Gov. Knowles to expand special session to include veterans bill
KETCHIKAN - Gov. Tony Knowles will expand a June 24 special session of the Legislature to include a request for $2.6 million more in funding for a veterans initiative, he said Monday.

Restaurant owner convicted of murder
ANCHORAGE - An Anchorage restaurateur was convicted of killing another Anchorage man and wounding his son in a 2000 shooting in Macedonia. A Macedonian court found Nedzat "Nick" Shabani guilty Thursday of murdering Matt Mehmedi, 46, and attempting to murder his son, Benny Mehmedi, 27, according to the Anchorage U.S. Attorney's office.

Cruise line: Passengers don't like Valdez
Carnival Cruise Lines has wiped Valdez off its books for next year and its eight port calls this year are hanging in the balance.

Court reinstates price-fixing suit
ANCHORAGE - The Alaska Supreme Court has reinstated a class action lawsuit by Bristol Bay salmon fishermen who accused processors and buyers of conspiring to fix prices in the world's largest salmon fishery.

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