Wednesday, June 18, 2003

Bristol Bay Native group endorses oil development
ANCHORAGE - In a dramatic turnabout, a powerful group of Bristol Bay Natives has endorsed the idea of oil development in the region, even offshore. "There is widespread to almost unanimous support for onshore, and mixed support for offshore drilling," Paul Roehl, vice president of land and development for Bristol Bay Native Corp., told Petroleum News.

Real life Grinch
Hear now the story of a Robin Hood in reverse, a mean-spirited old Grinch who takes from the old and the poor to give to the rich. Sadly, this tale is all too true.

Gas pipeline: To be or not to be?
We have a commission with absolutely no funding. Big deal. We have approved $17 billion in bonding for a gas pipeline. Costs of an all-Alaska pipeline is $12-15 billion, with more than enough left over to build a liquefaction plant or plants and also the big fish (petro-chemical plants for value added industry).

Southeast needs ferries
According to the very last paragraph of Mr. Barton's "Growth and Transport Investment" My Turn last week, Alaska's Marine Highway System (AMHS) is receiving increased attention. I would like to know exactly how it is receiving that attention.

Mr. Fox in charge
Due to my misreading of the paper and otherwise pure bumbling of the meeting times for what and which parts of the mining ordinance were to be discussed and voted on Monday evening in the CBJ chambers, I managed to miss all but the last 10 seconds of it. But it passed handily anyway with just two no votes.

'What's Wrong with This Picture?' Award
Why on earth would Gov. Murkowski give his Exporter of the Year award to Sealaska Timber Corp.? Sealaska Timber Corp.'s business is exporting round logs, which is basically exporting jobs, and it's not like we have too many jobs in southeast Alaska.

Early-to-school practice is anti-family, anti-child
Research the studies done by child psychologists, neurophysiologists and the myriad of replicated evidence from Stanford, John Hopkins University, U of M, Columbia University, etc. Early "schooling" introduces many, many documented disturbances in young children being pushed into school settings before they're ready.

School board's youngest member expected to resign
Juneau School Board member Carl Brodersen, who just graduated from Juneau-Douglas High School, will not remain on the board, district officials said.Brodersen, who was elected in October to a three-year term, will attend Whitman College in Walla Walla, Wash., said schools Superintendent Peggy Cowan.

Small explosion, fire rock 30-foot tour boat at dock
A small explosion and fire hit a whale-watching boat after it fueled up at the Andrew's Marina dock in Auke Bay on Sunday afternoon. A captain and a deckhand were aboard at the time, but neither suffered serious injuries. Dock attendant Kyle Patten said a flaming panel blew onto the dock, where he extinguished it. "The hatches and everything blew up in the air," he said.

Dead whale spotted near Douglas
In the next few days, cruise ship tourists gazing from binoculars might encounter an unusual sight: a 30- to 40-foot gray whale carcass, bloated with gases, floating in the ocean just south of Douglas Island. "I'm sure the Coast Guard is expecting a lot of calls," said Tom Payne of the National Marine Fisheries Service. "It's really smack dab in the traffic lane. It's floating as high as a small boat." The whale is unusual not just because it is dead, but because it is a gray whale, which is very uncommon in inland waters, Payne said.

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

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

Correction
Due to a reporter's error, Tuesday's Empire article about a city mining ordinance incorrectly described its effect. The ordinance would make rural mines allowable uses.

Photo: Committed to the totem
Juneau Rotary Club members pose with the 40-foot Auk Tribe Pole at Centennial Hall on Tuesday. The club has committed $10,000 along with a $5,000 contribution from Dave Haas and Mary Ellen Arvoldt to restore and move the totem to the new high school atrium.

Rainbow's big move: More space for sprouts
Most days, getting lunch at Rainbow Foods, Juneau's only grocery store devoted to natural foods, features customers competing for space in the food bar line. "It gets pretty crowded there right around lunch time," said the store's owner, David Ottoson. Starting in July, though, Rainbow Foods customers will have plenty of room to pile their lunch plates with spinach, tofu, grains and vegetables. They'll also have more room to eat the lunches, and they'll be able to buy the prepared food throughout the day.

Photo: Hatchery catch at Fish Creek
Bill Razpotnik shows off the king salmon he caught to fishing partner Gary Isturis Monday afternoon at the Fish Creek Pond. The returning salmon are part of DIPAC's hatchery project at the creek. michael penn / juneau empire

This Day in History
In 1964, a dead whale was found near Sitka carrying a Russian-made radio-harpoon. A spokesman for the Bureau of Commercial Fisheries said there was no cause for alarm, as the device was undoubtedly a new type of gear used by the Russian whaling fleet.

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

July's issue will be the last for Alaskan Southeaster
The July issue of the Alaskan Southeaster magazine will be the publication's last, the Huna Totem Corp. announced Tuesday. The final issue has gone to press and been sent to the airplanes, cruise ships and retail outlets that carry it, as well as to 6,000 home and business subscribers. "It's really a question of economics," said Sam Furuness, acting CEO of Huna Totem, the parent company of Juneau-based McPhee Publications, which publishes Alaskan Southeaster. "We have operated the magazine since April 1998 and it never did achieve a break-even point for the company."

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

School Board cuts some early buses
Juneau kindergartners will continue to leave school early, but they won't have an early bus to take them home, the School Board decided Tuesday night. Eliminating the early afternoon buses, which about half of the 360 kindergartners take, will save the school district about $143,000, officials estimated. The cut was part of $1.2 million in deductions the School Board passed unanimously but reluctantly to fill a gap in next year's $40.46 million operating budget.

Photo: A moment for reflection
A couple watches and listens to the roar of Nugget Falls as it flows into Mendenhall Lake on Tuesday.

This Day in History
In 1959, Ernest Williams, a Kake village leader, was the first person arrested in the state's attempt to enforce its new anti-fishtrap law.

Assembly OKs less stringent mining limits
A mining ordinance passed Monday night in the Juneau Assembly could speed development of Coeur Alaska's Kensington Mine Project by six months, according to a company vice president. Coeur Alaska Vice President Rick Richens said construction could begin on the gold mine, which would be built about 45 miles north of downtown Juneau, in the fall of 2004.

Pets of the week
Kermit is a handsome fellow with bright blue eyes and a fluffy coat in shades of brown and cream. For people who love big dogs but haven't room for them, here's Coco, a compact-size chocolate Lab mix.

Home care provides a variety of services
Roger and Mary Hurlock were married for 63 years before his death on May 27, 2001. "We renewed our marriage vows five times!" Mary told me. "Have you ever heard of such a thing?" Having spent a little time with Roger's petite and charming bride, it was easy to imagine why Roger would have wanted to keep that knot tied extra-tight. "Even though he's been gone two years, I still find myself thinking, 'Oh! I've got to get home and start Roger's dinner!' I took care of him for so many years..."

Neighbors Briefs
Garlic mustard weed pull volunteers needed; Manilla Square dedication; Flag Day results

Thank you
...for help with the food drive; ...for donations to Scouts; ...for help with Suzanne's visit; ...for help with the plant sale; ...for supporting our children; ...for boys' soccer help; ...for passing bonds

Master gardeners sponsor tours
The Southeast Alaska Master Gardeners are sponsoring garden tours on Saturday, June 21, and Sunday, June 22, at more than a dozen locations around Juneau. Tours will be conducted 1-4 p.m. each day. Gardeners will be available at each location to talk to those on the tour. Tickets for the two-day tour will cost $10. The money raised from the tours will be used to sponsor an annual scholarship given to one or more graduating seniors from Southeast high schools who are interested in studies in horticulture, botany or related fields. This year, two scholarships were awarded: one for $1,000 and one for $500.

Student Recognition
Vermont law graduates; Tanna Peters honored; Anderson graduates; Badgley on dean's list; Jacoby graduates CalPoly; Unzicker to Monteux; Hickey makes dean's list

Simple acts of individuals restore peace
Peace starts with outward compassion. Man may not be at peace with himself, but through helping others around him he will eventually gain the peace that he craves. We, as human beings often overlook the whole of the world and focus in on our own inner need for peace, but what we must realize is that through the act of helping and expressing humanity to others even the most damaged of souls can find relief.

Stewart James Wilder
Juneau resident Stewart James Wilder, 63, died on June 16, 2003, at home following a short battle with cancer.

Dale S. Thomas
Juneau resident Dale S. Thomas, 74, died June 7, 2003, at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

Joan Osborn Potolicchio
Former Juneau resident Joan Osborn Potolicchio, 70, died June 8, 2003, of cancer in Pasco, Wash.

Janowiec, Neussl make college selections
Recent Juneau-Douglas High School graduate Callan Janowiec didn't have many scholarship offers in April when she won the Alaska Gatorade Player of the Year Award for leading the Crimson Bears volleyball team to an undefeated season and a state title this past fall. She was hoping to find a spot on a college team in the Northeast region of the country, but had no real scholarship offers.

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

Mendenhall Golf hosts U.S.-Britain tournament
Mendenhall Golf Course will host the 13th annual U.S.-Great Britain Friendship Handicap Golf Tournament this Thursday from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. The tournament commemorates the June 19, 1990, visit of former U.S. President Gerald Ford and former British Prime Minister Leonard James Callaghan. The two men made a public appearance at the golf course while on vacation in Juneau.

Photo: Juneau athlete
Jim Mercuhet of Juneau jumps during the standing broad jump event at the 2003 Special Olympics Alaska summer games Sunday in Anchorage.

Kohan, Boyce find a home on the water
When Ellie Boyce of Haines and Michael Kohan of Juneau went to college, neither young women had ever been in a rowing shell before. Earlier this month, both were rowing in the NCAA women's national championships in Indianapolis, and both women said rowing has become a major part of their college identities. Boyce, a senior geology major at Colby College of Waterville, Maine, was in the bow seat of her school's varsity eight boat as the Mules won the NCAA Division III national title on June 1, for her school's first national championship.

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

Taku returns to port for more repairs
The state ferry Taku is back in Auke Bay for repairs after a bearing in its drive mechanism overheated three hours out of port, interrupting the travel of 79 passengers. The ferry was in Chatham Strait, en route to Sitka, when the problem was spotted Monday, said Alaska Marine Highway Operations Manager Capt. Jack Meyers.

Villages upset over Murkowski's veto
ANCHORAGE - Gov. Frank Murkowski's veto of money for village public safety officers in more than a dozen villages will leave them with higher crime rates, some residents said. Rural residents in Southeast, Kodiak and Southcentral Alaska are affected by the veto, which will save the state nearly $1 million a year. Murkowski said Alaska State Troopers will provide the first response in 15 targeted villages.

Educators ponder low math test scores: Is state test too hard?
ANCHORAGE - Low scores by eighth graders taking the statewide benchmark exam may mean the test is too hard, according to education officials. In the four years the test has been given, the drop of eighth-grade math scores does not fit with scores on other grade levels' exams, educators said. For instance, 65 percent of sixth-graders passed math, according to test results from March 2003 released last week. However, fewer than 40 percent of eighth-grade students passed.

Native leader Mallott recovering from surgery
Native leader Byron Mallott, who suffered a brain hemorrhage in January while traveling in New Zealand, is back to work and recovering well, he said. Mallott, 60, returned to his post at First Alaskans Institute earlier this month and said he expects to be fully recovered in about five months. "I'm feeling like I am on the road back to being normal," Mallott said. "I will be getting back to work slowly."

Alaskans propose permanent fund to help Iraqis
ANCHORAGE - Iraq could benefit from a savings account based on the Alaska Permanent Fund, according to a state financier whose idea is getting attention at the nation's highest levels. Longtime money manager Dave Rose suggested the idea of a permanent fund modeled after Alaska's, which contains $25 billion, to Sen. Ted Stevens of Alaska. After asking Rose to develop the idea, Stevens pitched it to President George W. Bush and Secretary of State Colin Powell.

State Briefs
Woman with SARS-like symptoms released; Governor directs DMV to leave offices open; Protected caribou cows, calves released to herd; Finances for Stevens, Young change little

State Briefs
Young's bill to expand Native health care; Interior firefighters corral three wildfires; Tribal leaders aim to increase Indian vote;

Governor signs 20 bills into law, from campaign rules to rental car tax
JUNEAU - Gov. Frank Murkowski Monday signed 20 bills, ranging from a vehicle rental tax to campaign finance changes to parental reimbursement for vandalism by children.

Pushing Alaska salmon as a brand
Beef may be what's for dinner, and eggs may be incredibly edible, but Alaska salmon is wild, sustainable and chock full of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. That's the message the state wants to send to consumers as it makes plans for a multimillion-dollar advertising campaign aimed at moving out the glut of canned salmon and building the Alaska salmon brand name. The campaign is part of the $50 million salmon industry revitalization strategy Gov. Frank Murkowski announced in April. It's still unclear how much of the money will go toward advertising, but Margy Johnson, director of international trade and market development at the state Department of Community and Economic Development, said it could be about $18 million.

Alaska Supreme Court hears English-only arguments
ANCHORAGE - Alaska's so-called English-only law is not meant to be a "linguistic straitjacket," but a tool so government will not have to provide services in dozens of languages, Alaska's Supreme Court was told Tuesday. An opposing attorney argued that Ballot Measure 6, passed by voters, would create a straitjacket on speech. Voters passed the ballot initiative in 1998, but it was challenged before it could become law. A Superior Court judge ruled last year that it violates the rights of citizens to receive information and the free speech rights of government employees.

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