Monday, June 10, 2002

In the Stacks
Kick off your summer with some good reading! Here are a few more of the great children's books on the shelves at the public libraries.

Faceless in Virginia
I find the recent ads paid for by the faceless "Americans for Job Security" to be appalling.

Cause and effect
I'm prompted to write by Keith Hermann's letter to the editor in the Empire on June 5. I always thought that the "slower" in "Slower traffic keep right" meant those driving slower than the speed limit should keep right - that if you are driving the limit no one should be passing anyway.

Service that could make a difference
I wanted to commend Alaska Airlines on a situation that happened Thursday night for a client of mine who also happens to be the pastor of our church. John Bigelow, pastor of Bethany Baptist Church, has been on a liver transplant list for some time. They gave him a beeper and told him to be prepared when a liver becomes available.

Spirit of Celebration
Twelve dance groups participated in the first Celebration in 1982. This weekend almost 50 dance groups from throughout Alaska, western Canada, Washington and Hawaii converged in Juneau to perform at Celebration 2002.

100 ticketed for trash violations
Juneau residents who attract bears by ignoring the city's trash ordinance used to get warnings. Since Bob Dilley began working the city's enforcement beat in February, about 100 residents have been ticketed for improperly storing their garbage.

Goodbye, Class of 2002
Brian Nowlin and Jesse Stringer arrived for the Juneau-Douglas High School commencement Saturday by scooter, after driving to a parking space on a nearby hill."Just memories," Nowlin said. "Fun times and just having fun." With one foot in childhood and the other in adulthood, Nowlin and Stringer joined about 360 other graduating seniors for the 98th high school commencement in Juneau's history.

Independent travelers getting rarer
A predicted slowdown in travel to Juneau in the wake of Sept. 11 has left the cruise ship industry unscathed, but may be taking a toll on local businesses that depend on independent travelers. No firm numbers are available yet, but anecdotal evidence from a wide variety of Juneau establishments catering to independent travelers shows a slowdown in bookings and an increase in cancellations for the key summer season of mid-May through mid-September.

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

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

Celebration: Making the connections
Toni Welch experienced an epiphany at her first Celebration in 1998."Coming and seeing the dancers, the pride and traditions and togetherness, I was just overwhelmed," she said. "You can be brought up totally aside from the tradition and you come to this and it reaches down so deep inside you - and it's there."

Rotting Davis Log Cabin faces demolition this week
The Davis Log Cabin in downtown Juneau is slated for demolition this week, a victim of rotting logs and fuel oil tank improvements.

Friends of the Flags
Eirik Kellogg and Jim Akins put up the Maine state flag last month on Egan Drive. Friends of the Flags, a local nonprofit group, raises and cares for the 50 state flags that fly between the Douglas Bridge and Marine Park each summer.

Around Town
Listings of local nonprofit events.

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

Changes that won't require a miracle
As probably is the case within your family, your workplace and/or your classroom, changes at the newspaper sometimes are dramatic and sometimes subtle.As a result there are times when (we hope) you say: "Hey, look at this cool thing the Empire did."

Word of Mouth
Word of Mouth gives readers a forum to express opinions on a variety of issues by telephone. Call 586-4636 and press 8255 to leave a message. Be sure to leave your name and telephone number.

My Turn: Alaskans have a choice on the Tongass
The Forest Service is soon to make big decisions about the fate of the Tongass National Forest that surrounds us. In May the Forest Service began a 90-day public comment period seeking advice on how to manage the remaining wildlands in the Tongass. Now is the time for Alaskans to let their voices be heard.

A better opinion poll provides a better idea of move sentiment
One recent poll suggests we can hang a "For rent" sign on the Capitol because 54 percent of the Alaskans contacted think moving legislative sessions to the Matanuska-Susitna Borough or Anchorage is the thing to do.Another recent poll says 65 percent of Alaskans statewide would vote against moving legislative sessions outside Juneau. Which poll are we to believe?

My Turn: Alaska's fish need to have habitat protected
Too often, those of us of us who love to catch fish - commercial, sport and subsistence users, focus on our differences rather than searching for common ground. Now, all of us who care about salmon, trout and steelhead, have an issue we all can agree upon - habitat protection.

My Turn: Choosing a life of public service
I have heard nothing but praise and admiration from those who had the opportunity to meet with New York Police Officer Rick Mack during his visit to Juneau last week.

The burner controls are just for show
I can't believe I charred the ribs, again. I have been cooking all manner of carrion for many years with a high incidence of success, but I have to say, the new BBQ is giving me a lot of trouble. It's not really new, I think it's been around for more than a year, but I finally got the nerve to start using it recently.

My Turn: Exhibit offered an opportunity for learning
After reading the article about the library exhibit in Friday's Empire, I would like to make a few comments and corrections. Joanna Markell did her usual thorough and fair job of reporting; I don't think the omissions and errors are hers.

State fiscal plan needed
Rep. Ken Lancaster, R-Soldotna, has proposed a novel solution for the Legislature's lack of action on a long-range fiscal plan for the state: Bring lawmakers back to work.

Toe cartoon

Hatchery kings boost area fishing
Not many people can pull this one off. But if you're lucky and know where to go, you can now reel in four king salmon a day.What's called the terminal fishery opened Saturday. It allows residents and visitors alike to catch more kings in parts of Gastineau Channel, Auke Bay and Fritz Cove. And there's no size limit.

Fish Report
The king salmon fishing in Auke Bay and the Point Bishop area was extremely hot over last weekend.

Out and About
In season: Black bear (until June 30), freshwater steelhead trout (peaks April-June), cutthroat trout (peaks May-June), freshwater smelt (peaks in May), salt and freshwater king salmon (peaks May-July).

Big fish:
More big fish caught this spring in Juneau-area waters.

Basics of black bears and bear hunting
Rules and other information about bear hunting include:

A matter of taste
Mike Nizich had 16 bears in his shop last week.Nizich doesn't have a bear problem. Just the opposite - he's a taxidermist. Spring is the prime season for bear hunting and Nizich has his hands full cleaning, salting and preparing hides for tanning.

Pt. Bridget Park offers trail options
Point Bridget State Park was created in 1988 by the state Legislature. This was the culmination of some 15 years of effort by recreationists, conservationists and the Juneau Area State Parks Advisory Board to get a state park for the state capital. Point Bridget State Park trails lead to and through this beautiful and exciting park.

Bursell treads well in ditch run
Sticks and stones didn't break any bones, but they did provide challenges for the 40 runners who competed in the Treadwell Ditch Trail Run on Saturday.

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

Southeast Road Runners Treadwell Ditch Run
Results from the Treadwell Ditch Trail Run, held Saturday on a 5.5-mile course from Sandy Beach in Douglas to the snowmobile trail parking lot at the top of Blueberry Hill. 40 runners completed the race.

A day at the races
The Tribal Renegades huddled together for a quick prayer before they climbed into their Tlingit war canoe for the Gathering of the Canoes races Sunday afternoon at Sandy Beach in Douglas.

Juneau Freewheelers Dredge Lake Mountain Bike Race
Results of the Juneau Freewheelers Bicycle Club's Dredge Lake Mountain Bike Race, held on Saturday. Competitors completed two or five laps on the Dredge Lake Trail off Back Loop Road.

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

Vandals damage phone cable in Fairbanks twice
Vandals have twice cut a fiber optic cable that provides long distance telephone service to some Fairbanksans, costing the company that maintains the cable more than $100,000, Alaska State Troopers said.

Ketchikan: Mother, baby struck in crosswalk
A mother and infant received minor injuries after they were struck in a crosswalk by a motor vehicle in Ketchikan last Sunday afternoon.

Financial boom eludes Alaska
At the end of America's longest economic boom, Alaska and Louisiana were dead last in a ranking of economic growth, the government reported today.

Viral illness hits cruise ship passengers
ANCHORAGE - A viral infection that commonly strikes cruise-ship travelers in Alaska has struck again. More than 250 cruise-ship, tour-bus and railroad passengers have reported daylong bouts of nausea, vomiting and diarrhea since Memorial Day.

Study shows Kenai River wetlands shrinking slightly
KENAI - A new federal study indicates the wetlands that support the Kenai River system are drying up - but at a much slower rate than other developed areas of the state and the Lower 48.

State briefs
NTSB: Trooper plane ran out of fuel; Fire damages home; Knowles signs bill aimed at court cases

Scientists drill Alaska's depths for clues to climate
Seeking clues into Alaska's climate change since prehistoric times and how it might relate to recent global warming, an international scientific team spent the past month drilling deep into ancient ice high in the St. Elias Mountains.

Sitka: Sex-contact report forwarded to DA
After investigating reports that a male Mount Edgecumbe High School teacher had sexual contact with two female students, police have forwarded the case to the district attorney's office.

Historic house destroyed by mistake
A territorial ombudsman is investigating the destruction of the Sewell House, a historic Whitehorse building.

Candidates for House agree on priorities
The first local debate of the election season produced more good-natured chuckles than sparks Friday as Republican House candidate Bruce Weyhrauch and Democratic contender Tim Grussendorf found themselves agreeing on issues during a Juneau Chamber of Commerce forum.

Skagway: Film to be shot on stampeders' route
"The Quest for Gold," the third in a series of historic reenactments for Canada's History Channel, will be shot this summer on the historic route from Dyea to Dawson.

Hearings planned on regulatory panel
The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold hearings this week in Anchorage on reauthorizing the Regulatory Commission of Alaska.

Knowles staff slams stealth-PAC issue ad
The Knowles administration on Friday lashed out against soft money television ads from a Republican-friendly trade group that accuse the Democratic governor of piloting the state's economy into the ground.Americans for Job Security, a Virginia-based nonprofit with Republican ties, paints a false portrait of the state's economy, said Labor Commissioner Ed Flanagan.

Lawsuit filed in drowning death
The family of a Rapid City man, killed when a chartered Southeast Alaska fishing boat capsized, has filed a wrongful-death lawsuit against the Sturgis, S.D.,-based company that owned and operated the boat.

Klawock: DEC gives spill report
The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation's Prevention and Emergency Response Program gave a situation report on a home heating oil tank spill that happened on Tlingit Street in Klawock on May 23.

Alaska sends trade delegation to S. Korea
A delegation of Alaska business leaders and state officials is in South Korea on a six-day trade mission. The group is led by Community and Economic Development Commissioner Deborah Sedwick and first lady Susan Knowles.

Ketchikan: Man charged in hospital break-in
A 31-year-old man is in custody for allegedly breaking into a drug-storage room at Ketchikan General Hospital and stealing a large quantity of prescription drugs. The break-in occurred between Friday, May 31, and Saturday, June 1.

Alaska to offer lower interest on student loans
This fall, the Alaska Student Loan program is introducing the AlaskAdvantage Stafford Loan, a federally guaranteed loan, and the Alaska Supplemental Education Loan, a new state loan.

Haines: Single-car wreck prompts probe
Haines police are investigating whether alcohol or excessive speed may have contributed to a single-car rollover that injured two residents last week.

McGrath fire finally under control
More than two weeks after it began, the McGrath fire that scorched more than 90,000 acres has been tamed.

Fisherman arrested for drunken boating
A fisherman was charged with boating under the influence after a confrontation with a Coast Guard crew responding to a fire on his boat, the Coast Guard said.

Senate OKs bill to save millions on Alaska mail
The U.S. Senate has approved changes to Alaska's bypass mail system expected to save the Postal Service $30 million a year.

Public assistant head steps down
Jim Nordlund, who served for seven years as director of the state's welfare division, is quitting, the governor's office said today.

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