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Saturday, June 14, 2003

CIRI shareholders seek dividend
Shareholders have told Cook Inlet Regional Inc. to hand out $63 million in special dividends. By a more than 2-to-1 margin and over the objections of CIRI's leadership, the company's owners voted in a corporate election Saturday for $10,000 each for the average shareholder. The vote was advisory but sent a strong message that the board of the Anchorage-based Native corporation is likely to heed. "We'll try to accommodate them as best we can," said William Prosser, chairman emeritus and head of the board's finance and investment committee. Roy Huhndorf, a dissident board member and former CIRI president, predicted that Alaska's most profitable Native corporation will reluctantly hand over the money.

Manufacturing indeed
Kudos for printing the story about the Empire's request for a property tax exemption. Shame on Morris Communications for it becoming a story in the first place. Kudos to those Assembly members and the mayor who carried denial of the claim. Shame on the Assembly members who don't seem to have a clue where to draw the line.

Improved ferry system is what's needed now
It's bad enough that the Murkowski administration is pushing the Juneau Access road project forward despite massive state funding shortfalls, the majority vote against it in Juneau, and resolutions of protest from the Haines and Skagway local governments. Now, the Alaska Department of Transportation plans to waste even more money on the project by including a west side alternative in its study (Juneau Empire, "Road Study," June 4). Last time DOT excluded this route from the study because it saved neither time nor money.

New penalties: drunk drivers will lose their cars
Under a new city ordinance, driving drunk means losing your car or truck for three business days. "Before a driver even gets in the car, this serves as a deterrent," said Cindy Cashen, executive director of Mothers Against Drunk Driving. Drunken driving carries numerous penalties, including car impoundment and jail time, depending on a driver's prior violations. Before this ordinance was passed, Juneau police could release a vehicle to a responsible party on the day of the offense.

Juneau residents to celebrate flag
Before Juneau celebrates America's birthday July 4, it will recognize the birthday of the U.S. flag Saturday. "We're going to honor the flag, and celebrate the anniversary of its birth," said Jim Davis, past exalted ruler of the Juneau Elks Lodge.

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

City enforces sidewalk obstruction ordinance
Blocking downtown sidewalks, even with an open car door, can lead to a $100 fine starting this week. "You can't block the sidewalk to the point folks (passing by) are going to have step out into the street. We will cite for those kinds of things," said Capt. Tom Porter of the Juneau Police Department.

Cool creek on a warm day
Brian Adamson, 19, and Monica Puustinen, 21, enjoy a cool swim in Montana Creek on Thursday afternoon.

AroundTown
Around Town is a listing of local nonprofit events.

DIPAC floats to the rescue of July Fourth fireworks show
The Douglas Island Pink and Chum hatchery long has provided one of the staples of a Juneau summer: salmon. This summer, it will provide another fixture: a barge from which to launch the annual July 4 fireworks show above Gastineau Channel.

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

Juneau students' pass rate on state exam holds steady
Most Juneau students passed the state exams they took in the spring, and at about the same rate as local students did the previous year, school district officials said. Students first take the high school exit exam, composed of tests in reading, writing and math, in their sophomore year. This year's sophomores at Juneau-Douglas High School passed the exam at rates of 74 percent for reading, 89 percent for writing, and 71 percent for math, the school district said.

Barrick, Shaw to marry
Ivana Barrick of Juneau and Michael Shaw of Friday Harbor, Wash., will be married in a ceremony at 6 p.m. on June 20 at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, 5 mile Glacier Highway. A reception will immediately follow. Friends and family of the couple are invited to attend.

Around the world in ... port
My friend, Phileas Fogg, asked me to go around the world with him. In 1872, he wagered with a group of friends at the Reform Club in London that he could complete the trip within 80 days. I didn't take him up on his offer, although I did check his book out at the library. I thought I could duplicate his adventures by going down to the Juneau docks, and walking aboard one of the great ships in the harbor, to talk with the crew. Then I would be able to travel around the world as I listened to their stories.

Chief Kowee Shaman, chief and guide
Chief Kowee, or Cowee of the Auk Tlingits, was the best-known Juneau Tlingit chiefs during the time Juneau was founded. Juneau photographers Winter & Pond took a photo of his house about 1887. Nailed to the clapboard above the door is a 5-foot plaque, painted with his name, spelled Kow-ee. Auks tried more than once to get prospectors interested in this area. In 1879, for example, Auks gave specimens of gold-bearing quartz to officers of the USS Jamestown.

JuneauDigest
Shotgunning clinic scheduled today, Sunday; Waterfront plan meetings to be held next week; Local groups invited to help with tide gauge; Boys & Girls Club to hold fund-raiser.

Riehle, Miller to wed
Joy Lynn Riehle of Newburgh, Ind. and Liam Anthony Miller of Juneau will be married in a ceremony to be held July 19, 2003, in Newburgh, Ind. A reception will immediately follow the ceremony at the American Legion Hall in Newburgh.

Graduation
Lucy Baumgarnter Looper of Juneau graduated at the 54th Annual Sheridan College Commencement Ceremony on May 17. Looper received an associate of science in general studies with high honors, which required a minimum accumulative grade point average of 3.75.

Parlez-vous franais, japonais, espagnol ou russe?
When Cheri Carson, a Juneau-Douglas High School Japanese teacher, sees her students in the community, they stop and bow correctly - showing the proper respect to a teacher - saying enthusiastically, "Sensei! Konnichiwa!" Often they are big slouchy dudes in baggy jeans and chains, but they straighten up, and use the appropriate formal language for a social superior, as required in Japanese culture.

Focus on real transportation issues
Last Sunday, the ever self-possessed John MacKinnon authored a column panning trails and touting highway safety. MacKinnon, the current deputy commissioner of the state Department of Transportation, concluded his little diatribe with comments calculated to be cutting and aimed at trail users. One wonders why Mr. MacKinnon was compelled to author a column reiterating the obvious and needlessly blasting trail use and enjoyment.

Pew oceans report is not gospel
I read with concern Mr. Munro's June 11 letter regarding the Pew Commission's report on the status of America's oceans. Mr. Munro used his perspective to indict both Sen. Stevens and Sen. Murkowski. In addition, Mr. Munro appears to accept the findings of the report as the gospel. The Pew Commission cannot be viewed as an impartial entity. With few exceptions, the Pew Commission has rarely found a fishery it likes. Pew is well established as the primary funding entity for organizations opposed to the commercial fishing industry. Notwithstanding that, the report does identify serious problems in our nation's fisheries, although not in Alaska.

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.

Photo: Exclusive club
Jake Hakari uses an iron to putt on the eighth hole of the Mendenhall Golf Course during last June's Juneau Junior Golf Club One-Club tourney. This year's event, which raises money for the club, is scheduled for Sunday; participants are allowed to use only one club for all of their shots - from drives to putts. For more information, see Sports in Juneau on page B2.

UAF hires Andrew as women's hoops coach
The University of Alaska Fairbanks on Thursday announced the hiring of Lynne Andrew as its new head women's basketball coach. Andrew was one of two finalists for the position, which drew more than 60 applications following the resignation of nine-year coach Jenny Benson in March. She is expected to start her new position on July 7.

Efforts to save salmon must account for human nature
Efforts to save wild salmon have ignored fundamental factors that stand in the way of success, including the rapidly growing population of the Northwest, increasing water demand and the inability of people to limit their consumption, scientists said Thursday. "It is arguable that no solution is possible until we recognize these root problems," said William E. Rees, a professor of ecological economics at the University of British Columbia. "If we don't confront our nature, we will be destined to repeat our history and potentially the next societal collapse will be on a global scale."

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

Another breakdown sidelines state ferry
The state ferry Taku is out of service until further notice after its shaft clutch assembly failed when the ship tried to leave the Auke Bay terminal at 7 a.m. Thursday. No one was hurt and Alaska Marine Highway System engineers are investigating what went wrong, system Capt. Jack Meyers said.

Murkowski cuts millions
As of September, 18,000 Alaska senior citizens no longer will be able to count on monthly longevity bonus payments from the state. The move will save the state an estimated $45 million and accounts for one-third of the governor's budget cuts. "This program does not achieve, in my opinion, its original purpose of rewarding our pre-statehood pioneers," Gov. Frank Murkowski said Thursday in Anchorage.

Hundreds of high-schoolers fail state exit exam
State academic test scores show hundreds of students failing the high school exit exam and making little or no progress on benchmark tests given in third, sixth and eighth grades. The results of March testing, from the state Department of Education and Early Development, show more than 60 percent of eighth-graders failed the math test. Third-graders' scores hardly moved from spring 2002 exams. Sixth-graders' scores in reading and writing stayed exactly the same, according to statewide summaries released Wednesday.

AlaskaDigest
Bridge project garners Young a Golden Fleece; Nobel Prize winner comes to UAA; Grand jury indicts Big Lake pastor; Homer pulls out of intertie plan; Murkowski signs bill for salmon processors.

At Large: Self-help for those with housework anxiety
Want to know what used to keep me awake Sunday nights? Socks. I'd lie there, breathing, thinking about how the next day when I wanted to put my clogs on and go to work, there would be no clean, matching socks. Feet-sweating, gritty-toe days make me feel out of control, like I'm in one of those dreams where you are driving a bus full of schoolchildren down a winding, mountain highway in South America, and then the steering wheel comes off in your hands.

KTOO and CrossSound hold Juneau's (and perhaps the world's) very first Piano Slam
KTOO-FM Program Director Jeff Brown and CrossSound Artistic Co-Director Stefan Hakenberg have one mandate for the first annual CS/K2 Piano Slam! Anything goes, as long as it doesn't damage Northern Light United Church's grand piano. The Piano Slam, co-sponsored by KTOO and CrossSound, will be held 7 p.m. July 13 at the downtown church. Brown and Hakenberg are looking for musical pieces, performance art, spoken word, magic shows - anything that involves a grand piano.

Movies where and when
"2 Fast 2 Furious," (PG-13) plays at 7 and 9:30 nightly at 20th Century Twin, with afternoon matinees at 2:10 daily.

What's Happening
Friday Concerts in Marine Park with Stroller White Pipes and Drums, Juneau Tlingit Dancers, Jeff Brown's Feets of Prestidigation and emcee Michael Orelove, 7-8:30 p.m. Friday, June 13.

Entertainment Briefs
Chomsky documentary at Nickelodeon; Stroller White, Tlingit Dancers play Concert in the Park; JUMP deadline set for July 1

Attack of the horns
But as soon as Paulick heard symphony Music Director Kyle Wiley Pickett wanted to play five of Williams' scores from the original "Star Wars," he knew he had to do something to strengthen the orchestra's horn section. Paulick, the brass section leader and a symphony member since 1974, went so far as to double the section.

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