Wednesday, June 5, 2002

An important program
Thanks for running the story on the Legislature's funding of half of the necessary costs to replace Bartlett Regional Hospital's mobile mammogram unit. When the need was brought to the attention of Senate Finance Committee member and Majority Leader Loren Leman, he agreed to insert the funding into the Capital Budget with the understanding that the hospital would be able to seek matching funds from other sources.

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.

Go Murkowski
It's the political season again and the air probably won't start to clear until next winter. Still I want to try to shine a light on one thing that has generated enough smoke to blot out the sun. United Fishermen of Alaska's endorsement of Frank Murkowski for governor is the voice of the man on the docks, not a plot by a few conspirators.

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.

Crime and punishment
I am the mother to one of the child victims in the Sky case. I was told by the district attorney's office in Juneau the sentencing hearing for the Skys will be Aug. 19. I was also told that this is the perfect time for Sitka and all of Southeast Alaska to pull together.

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.

Egan Drive protocol
All up and down Egan Drive are signs that say "Slower Traffic Keep Right." To me, this means "Keep right except to pass." I think most drivers don't consider themselves to be "Slower Traffic" so they feel free to drive in any lane at any time without paying any attention to other traffic.

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.

Educator for Fran
As a retired teacher, I am voting for Fran Ulmer because she believes in a strong educational system. Preparing children and young adults for successful lives is a priority for Fran. Recently our schools have had trouble meeting the educational needs of our children because of inadequate funding. Our teachers are some of the lowest paid in the nation.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Academic Honors
Carolyn Detjen of Juneau is among more than 1,200 St. Olaf College students who were recognized for academic achievement at the college's annual Honors Day convocation May 3.

Photo: So, what are they good for?
Wolf Dostal inspects the day's catch after a recent successful family fishing trip.

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

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

Correction
Due to an editor's and a reporter's error, an article in Tuesday's Empire incorrectly referred to Goldbelt's long-term debt when it should have referred to the interest on Goldbelt's long-term debt.

Lena Pt. subdivision held up over fears about sewers
After hearing residents' concerns, the Juneau Planning Commission agreed Tuesday to slow down development of the new subdivision slated for Lena Point.The fear that raw sewage would run alongside homes and into nearby water sources topped the concerns aired by nearly 50 residents of the 85-home Lena Point subdivision at a commission Committee of the Whole meeting.

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.

Eleven candidates vie for four Sealaska board seats
Sealaska shareholders will elect four new members to the board of directors and discuss the corporation's financial future at an annual meeting on June 15 at Centennial Hall.Four incumbent board members and seven challengers are vying for the four open positions on the 13-member board. The terms are for three years.

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.

St. Paul's Consecration
St. Paul's Catholic Church was built in 1962 at 9055 Atlin Dr. in the Mendenhall Valley. The church started in Juneau as a mission and became a parish in 1972.

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

Almost 2,000 expected to attend Celebration
One thousand years ago Natives from the Copper River migrated to the Yakutat area, bringing their dances to the people living on the coast, says Yakutat elder George Ramos.This week, Ramos and the Mount St. Elias Dancers from Yakutat will bring their songs and dances to Juneau for Celebration 2002, continuing an ancient tradition of sharing culture.

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

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

Photo: Balloon parade
Thomas Keeffe, 4, leads a parade of balloon-bedecked children during Tuesday evening's Lynn Canal sightseeing trip aboard the state ferry Malaspina. Juneau magician Jeff Brown, who entertained children on the sailing, made balloon hats and connected the children with more balloons before they marched around the ferry.

Guiding forces behind '02 grads
Madeline Soboleff Levy found her history classes at Juneau-Douglas High School so interesting that she might teach the subject herself.As about 370 seniors, the largest high school graduating class in Juneau's history, prepare for commencement Saturday in the school's gym, a few students paused to look back, often to remember a teacher who was influential, or just friendl

Bids to build NOAA center higher than expected
After hearing residents' concerns, the Juneau Planning Commission agreed Tuesday to slow down development of the new subdivision slated for Lena Point.The fear that raw sewage would run alongside homes and into nearby water sources topped the concerns aired by nearly 50 residents of the 85-home Lena Point subdivision at a commission Committee of the Whole meeting.

Caring for our children who are grieving
At Hospice and Home Care of Juneau, our services are not just for those who are dying. We also provide support for families and caregivers, and offer extensive bereavement programs for anyone who has suffered a loss. Bereavement support is an integral part of hospice care and we are always striving to better serve those in need.

The leaves are back in Southeast Alaska
Soft green pixels appear, slowly closing off distant views and focusing our gazes on closer ones, the leaves are back. The gradual obscuring of dramatic perspectives of lake, slope and shore become once again more intimate ones of devil's club, elderberry and alder. The season opening event is finally in full swing.

Academic Honors
Carolyn Detjen of Juneau is among more than 1,200 St. Olaf College students who were recognized for academic achievement at the college's annual Honors Day convocation May 3.

Thank you
...for the help; ...for all the support;

Neighbors Briefs
JDHS baccalaureate ceremony set; Items needed for annual garage sale; Native program to hold classes; Celebration 2002 parade scheduled

Photo: Saying goodbye
Alaska Army National Guard soldiers say their goodbyes to the civilian security staff at the Juneau Airport. The two organizations have worked together since last October to provide increased security for travelers.

Word Of Mouth
Word of Mouth gives readers a forum to express opinions on a variety of issues by telephone. Calls must be limited to one minute. We reserve the right to edit calls for clarity, length and libel.

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

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

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.

Southeast Road Runners Sea Coast Relay
Results from the 11th annual Sea Coast Relay race, held Saturday on a 21.7-mile course from Mendenhall River School to Eagle Beach. The relay featured five legs of from three to five miles each. 22 five-person teams, one four-person team and five two-person teams competed in the race.

Update: Knowles vetoes Medicaid abortion bill
Gov. Tony Knowles vetoed a bill today that would have redefined "medically necessary" abortions under the Medicaid program.Knowles and Lt. Gov. Fran Ulmer, who is a Democratic candidate for governor, said that the bill passed by the Republican-controlled Legislature last month is an unconstitutional encroachment on the right to privacy of poor women.

Knowles vetoes abortion bill
Gov. Tony Knowles vetoed a bill today that would have redefined "medically necessary" abortions under the Medicaid program.Knowles and Lt. Gov. Fran Ulmer, who is a Democratic candidate for governor, said that the bill passed by the Republican-controlled Legislature last month is an unconstitutional encroachment on the right to privacy of poor women.

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.

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.

State Briefs
City port director to step down; Ketchikan votes to keep school boat afloat; Delta Junction man sentenced for assaults; Man gets 25 years for rape;

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 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.

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.

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.

FBI prepares for attack on pipeline
ANCHORAGE - The FBI is sponsoring a field training exercise to practice for a potential terrorist strike along the trans-Alaska oil pipeline and at the Valdez Marine Terminal.

Group calls for session move costs
The nonprofit citizens' group trying to move legislative sessions out of Juneau wants a commission to study the costs now, not later.Alaskans for Efficient Government has filed a lawsuit against Gov. Tony Knowles for what they say is his failure to appoint the so-called FRANK Commission.

CONTACT US

  • Switchboard: 907-586-3740
  • Circulation and Delivery: 907-586-3740
  • Newsroom Fax: 907-586-3028
  • Business Fax: 907-586-9097
  • Accounts Receivable: 907-523-2230
  • View the Staff Directory
  • or Send feedback

ADVERTISING

SUBSCRIBER SERVICES

SOCIAL NETWORKING