Friday, June 20, 2003

Dobson becomes largest cell service provider in state
Dobson Communications Corp. has become the largest provider of cellular telephone service in Alaska. The Oklahoma City-based company announced Wednesday that it had expanded its operations in that state by completing a swap of wireless properties with AT&T Wireless Services.

Easy come, easy go
I need to apologize for voting for Carl Brodersen for the Juneau School Board.

Best bus system
Amen to your article about Capital Transit receiving its much-deserved award. A world traveler, in my opinion these drivers are the best. Dennis drives mornings on the Douglas route, Ben and Robert on evenings.

What's wrong with 'under God'?
If Attorney General Gregg Renkes (Empire, June 12) thinks the Ninth Circuit Court's decision was about the whole of the Pledge of Allegiance, as implied by your article, he is wrong.

Increasing the burden
My son started pre-school this year. In a few more he will be in kindergarten and about a year after that so will my other son. If I have to pick them up from school, how am I supposed to work? I can't afford daycare. And for that matter, what about all the local daycare providers? Are they supposed to pack up all the kids they watch to go get the one or two kindergartners the bus usually drops off? Are we going to end up following the actions of those in Washington where some districts have started charging kids to go to school?

Streamlining the public out of the process
I remember the meetings on establishing the Juneau Large Mine Ordinance. It was contentious, argumentative, and long process. The meetings involved many members of the community who spent considerable time on public testimony and discussions. It was also the beginnings of what I see as intolerance of controversial subjects that divide our community.

So long and best wishes
I was saddened to read that publication of the Alaska Southeaster is coming to an end. This was an excellent publication with a good variety of articles about the people and history of Southeast Alaska. Dave is a lifelong friend and we were members of the Juneau-Douglas class of 1956.

AmeriCorps in crisis
The AmeriCorps national service program is in crisis. AmeriCorps is the program in which people dedicate a year or more of service in exchange for a modest living stipend and education award. Alaska has more than 250 AmeriCorps members serving in schools, agencies and organizations in rural and urban Alaska communities addressing community needs in the areas of public safety, education, human needs and the environment.

The trap not set
We have a bear problem on Montana Creek. A bear killed our dog last week. Hauled her out of the doghouse in an unprovoked attack.

Forced to choose
Without extended kindergarten, parents who can't afford to pick their children up from school will be forced to pay for RALLY until the regular school buses leave. So we are taking the poorest parents and subjecting them to additional expenses.

Funding cuts force SERRC to shed staff
The Juneau office for the Southeast Regional Resource Center will lose three full-time employees at the end of this month due to state and federal budget cuts, the nonprofit agency announced Thursday. SERRC also will close its adult education centers in Ketchikan and Klawock, on Prince of Wales Island. The two centers had a total of five full-time employees.

This Day in History
In 1914, two battery-powered electric locomotives, weighing 4 1/2 tons each, arrived in Juneau by boat. They were scheduled to be used at the Treadwell and the Alaska-Juneau Mines.

New Ship for Security
One of the largest ships in Auke Bay today is a sign of changes in homeland security for coastal Alaska. The 110-foot Coast Guard cutter Long Island is visiting Juneau on the way from its former base in San Diego to its new home port of Valdez.

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

AroundTown
Around Town is a listing of local nonprofit events.

Teenage heart transplant recipient remembered
Ray Bradley has lost 15 family members, including his father and brother, to a genetic heart ailment. But the hardest loss came earlier this month when his teenage daughter Chrysantha died of cardiac arrest. Chrysantha had a heart transplant in 1999 and suffered some setbacks, but appeared to be well in the weeks before her June 5 death at age 18.

Centennial Hall turns 20
In 1867, U.S. Secretary of State William Seward bought Alaska from Russia for $7 million. More than a century later, the city of Juneau spent about the same amount to build Centennial Hall - a conference and civic center that has played a central role in the lives of Juneau residents for the past 20 years. "We paid a little bit more for Centennial Hall" than the United States did for Alaska, said Bill Overstreet, mayor of Juneau at the time of the hall's construction. "I always laughed about that." Centennial Hall celebrates its 20th anniversary this year and hosts special events this weekend, beginning with a community service awards dinner Friday night and ending with the Only Fools Run at Midnight race at 11:59 p.m. Saturday.

Consulting firm gathers more input on waterfront plan
Milling among dozens of colorful maps in a room at Centennial Hall, citizens took time Thursday to give Miami-based consultant Scott Lagueux an earful on Juneau's future waterfront. Lagueux, with the firm Bermello, Ajamil & Partners, is in the third phase of community meetings in the creation of a plan that will guide the development of Juneau's waterfront for the next 20 years. Lagueux gathered comments from public meetings on Wednesday and Thursday nights, as well as Thursday's all-day question-and-answer session. Another question-and-answer session will be held today from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Mendenhall Mall, Suite 360.

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

FYI
Births; Births outside of Juneau; Courts; Judgments.

Counseling center for abuse closes
Tongass Community Counseling Center, which has served the general public and people referred by courts for the treatment of violence and substance abuse, will close at the end of the month, it announced Thursday. Tongass, which opened about 21 years ago, employed six people and served about 600 clients a year, officials said.

Assembly considers changes to election district boundaries
At its Monday night meeting, the Juneau Assembly will consider an ordinance that changes the boundaries of local election districts to balance their populations. City Attorney John Corso told the Assembly four months ago the city is required to make the adjustments. The city also must change how it defines the districts in code, according to City Clerk Laurie Sica. New state and federal standards allow a 10 percent difference between the district populations. Juneau's current election district code allows a 15 percent disparity.

Photo: Monster art
Ryan Benson, 6, and Alexandra Eason, 7, show off the monster faces they made to Janlaine Dalin during the Fine Arts Camp being held at Dzantik'i Heeni Middle School through July 5.

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

Pepper: Example of man's best friend
There is no question that dog is man's best friend, as has been attested through the ages. The number of experiences is innumerable. Who has not heard of the dog, who when his friend and master died, lingered at his side until he also weakened and died? In recent times, since the wonder of DNA research has been explored, we know that your tiny, friendly pet is absolutely the same genetic creature as the wild, 100-pound wolf, who lives in the forest and sustains himself by eating the weak and timorous. At one time, this was uncertain and it was thought the dog may have been an offshoot of various ancestral lines of wolf, coyote or wild dog. The only present difference between wolves and dogs, beside their instinct and temperament, is that dogs can digest certain foods, such as vegetables, which wolves cannot.

Thank You
for supporting Tlingit & Haida Valley Head Start.

JuneauDigest
Nonprofit needs workers to make Flume Trail wider; Girl Scout Council seeks adults with leadership skills.

Photo: Rainforest Trail ceremony
Celebrants cut a plant-decorated ribbon for the official opening of the North Douglas' Rainforest Trail on June 7.

Lelands celebrate one year together
Jennifer Dossman of Ketchikan and Mason Leland of Juneau were married in a ceremony on June 21, 2002, at Whidbey Island, Wash.

Whistler, Gardner marry
Laurie Whistler of Juneau and Doug Gardner of Juneau were married in a Highland wedding on Jan. 18, 2003, at the Northern Light United Church.

Teachers make time for reflection
"There is never enough time in the day." My mother used to groan this at bedtime when we would remember a promise for 20 cupcakes in class the next morning, describe a needed costume for the Thanksgiving play, or ask for a signature on a field trip permission form, which also requested parent drivers. Other than finals week in college, I never quite understood what she meant about the lack of time. And then I became a teacher.

Joar Anderssen Savland
Hoonah resident Joar Anderssen Savland, 72, died June 13, 2002, in his sleep.

Stewart J. 'Jim' Wilder
Juneau resident Stewart James "Jim" Wilder, 62, died on June 16, 2003, at his home, surrounded by his family following a short battle with cancer.

Richard Horn Britt
Juneau resident Richard Horn Britt, 86, died June 18, 2003.

Mary K. Sult
Former Juneau resident Mary K. Sult, 81, died on June 15, 2003, in Eugene, Ore.

My Turn: A different set of historical tax facts
Bertrand Adams' memories of his father and of growing up in Yakutat are quite interesting. Unfortunately, the accompanying discussion of the history of the taxing authority of the federal government in his last two columns is so filled with errors as to call into question all of his conclusions.

My Turn: Why governor trimmed some federal funds
Bringing certainty to the state's future finances is a top priority for the Murkowski administration. When we proposed our budget in March, we advised the Legislature and Alaskans of two goals: spend less and reduce the state's reliance on its savings to prop up spending. The latter was extremely important because if we continued "business as usual," our savings would run out in two years. Alaska then would face a $1 billion shortfall - nearly 40 percent of the state's budget.

Juneau's Only Fools Run makes a return to the midnight hour
After a move to daylight hours last summer, organizers of the annual Only Fools Run have shifted this year's race back to a time when, well, only fools run. The 19th annual race, back to being called Only Fools Run at Midnight, will begin at Centennial Hall at 11:59 p.m. Saturday. There will be two events - a 5-kilometer run and a 1-mile walk - as well as some awards for those who show up in costume.

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

UAF hosts PSU, Morgan State and Army this fall
FAIRBANKS - The University of Alaska Fairbanks Department of Athletics has announced teams to play in the 2003 Mt. McKinley North Star Invitational Basketball Tournament field.

Hundreds head north for Kluane
More than 1,000 cyclists - including several hundred from Juneau - will take to the scenic Haines Highway on Saturday for the 11th annual Kluane Chilkat International Bike Relay.

Soccer and surfing
Soccer and surfing may seem like an odd mix, but several dozen Juneau youths will be looking to get their fill of both over the next week. Three Juneau Soccer Club teams are in Hawaii to compete at the U.S. Youth Soccer Far West Regional Championships in Honolulu. It's a trip they earned last August when they won their respective divisions at the State Cup tournament in Fairbanks.

LocalSportsBriefs
Rainball softball tourney starts today; Murdoch, Wonser beat field at One-Club; U.S.-Great Britain golf tournament rescheduled;.

Photos: Fun on and off the field
Kirsten Jorgensen, left, of the Juneau Xtratuffs U-13 girls soccer team, looks to get the ball past Dara Pagaduan of Mililani High School during a scrimmage in Honolulu on Wednesday. Three Juneau soccer teams are in Hawaii for the U.S. Youth Soccer Association Far West Regional Championships.

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.

Rookie no more
Carlos Boozer Jr. last visited Juneau two years ago, a college player with lofty aspirations. This week he returned to town, an NBA star looking forward to his second season in the pros. Boozer, a former basketball star at Juneau-Douglas High School and Duke University, now plays for the NBA's Cleveland Cavaliers. He will begin his sophomore season next fall with a new coach - Paul Silas - and in all likelihood with the most-talked-about rookie in years - high-schooler LeBron James, whom the Cavs are expected to select with the top pick in next week's draft.

Murkowski signs lobbying bill despite 'reservations'
A bill relaxing the state's lobbying laws by lengthening the amount of time some people could spend attempting to influence government before they must register as lobbyists was signed into law Wednesday. Gov. Frank Murkowski signed Senate Bill 89 despite reservations and said he would ask the Legislature to change the measure next year. The bill changes the rule requiring people to register as lobbyists if they spend more than four hours in a 30-day period attempting to influence government. The new law would lengthen that time to 40 hours in a 30-day period and could exempt nearly a third of the state's registered lobbyists.

New law could let hunters shoot wolves from airplanes
ANCHORAGE - Gov. Frank Murkowski signed a bill Wednesday that could let private hunters shoot wolves from airplanes. Senate Bill 155 allows private citizens to participate in aerial and so-called land-and-shoot hunting in approved state predator-control programs. It also makes it easier for the Alaska Board of Game to implement such efforts. Murkowski earlier had objected out of concerns the bill cuts the administration out of predator control decisions. But he changed his mind.

Taku will be out of service for weekend
The state ferry Taku won't sail again until Monday, as maintenance workers repair recently discovered damage from a mechanical problem that occurred this week. The Taku was in Chatham Strait en route to Sitka on Monday carrying 79 passengers and 10 vehicles when the crew found that a bearing in its drive mechanism had overheated. The drive mechanism transmits the diesel engine's power to the propeller.

This Day in History
In Alaska.

Law signed legalizing roadside memorials
The first time Barbara Dowdy was able to drive the road where her 17-year-old daughter was killed by a drunken driver was the day the family put up a cross there in her memory. "Every year on her birthday and on the date of the accident, we always make sure we stop by and visit and we always see some of Heather's friends there," Dowdy said. Heather Dowdy died Sept. 30, 2000, on the Old Steese Highway north of Fairbanks. The family was dismayed to learn a year later that the state Department of Transportation might make them take down the cross because it violated a state law.

Man accused of traffic murder says he wasn't watching DVD
The 28-year-old Kenai man charged with murder in the vehicular deaths of a couple on the Seward Highway last fall says he was not watching a movie on a DVD player in his pickup when the crash occurred. Erwin "Jamie" Petterson Jr. said little else about the case in a brief telephone interview and referred other questions to his lawyer.

Weakening winds give fire crews a break
State fire officials said Thursday a 1,500-acre wildfire near Central, 90 miles northeast of Fairbanks, could be fully contained today if Alaska's Interior weather continued to cooperate. Crews, however, were still trying to get a handle on a 23,400-acre fire smoldering toward dozens of recreational cabins along the Goodpaster River northeast of Delta Junction.

Correction
Due a reporter's error, an article in Wednesday's Empire about a dead gray whale gave the wrong first name for Mike Payne of the National Marine Fisheries Service.

State Briefs
Man, 89, assaulted by robber with pellet gun; Kenai's former Kmart goes Home Depot; Flags at half-staff for former Rep. Borer; Homer trail accidentally vetoed by governor; Leman names faith-based services panel

AlaskaDigest
Dead whale still sailing off Douglas Island; Native leader wins Women of Courage Award; Filipino Community Square dedication; Moose stomps poodle; Bear baiting ban initiative petition OK'd.

Petition drive challenges new campaign finance law
A petition drive is being organized to reverse legislative action increasing the amount of money individual donors can give to political campaigns. Gov. Frank Murkowski this week signed into law Senate Bill 119, which doubles the amount of money candidates and campaigns can raise from individual donors. The law also makes several changes to the Alaska Public Offices Commission, the state agency that oversees campaign contributions, including encouraging electronic filing of campaign reports.

Daughters of the New Moon vs. The Sun
When Kathleen Gamble and Diana Brown formed a belly-dancing troupe in Juneau in 1976, few people in the city could pronounce the name - Banat el Tanuit. Tanuit, the ancient mother goddess worshipped in the fertile crescent of Mesopotamia 25,000 years before Christ, was still represented when they changed the group's name to Daughters of the New Moon in the mid-1980s.

Quiet magic
A irline security can be a hassle for anyone, but try flying around the world with two magic ducks. Matthew "Magic" Morgan, a 30-year-old deaf magician from West Allis, Wis., often doesn't find out whether his best birds can accompany him until a few days before his flights.

The story of two boys named Scott
When I read the New Jersey Devils won the Stanley Cup, I had this flashback: Fade in to a high school hockey game held under fluorescent lights at Anchorage's old Ben Boeke ice arena. Bartlett and East are tied and the timer clicks away the final minute. Cheerleaders clap their gloved hands and count down, 10, 9, 8. Scott Gomez, No. 11, breaks away, a Bartlett defenseman on his heels, carving across the ice. The crowd stands and bellows.

What's happening
Friday Concerts in Marine Park with Daughters of the New Moon, Thunder Mountain Big Band and emcee Collette Costa. Daughters' performance includes include three choreographed dances by Diana Brown and Kathleen Gamble of Juneau and Morocco of New York City, 7-8:30 p.m. Friday, June 20.

Juneau stores prepare for Potter mania
Hearthside Books has been getting phone calls from cruise ship passengers who hope to pick up a copy of "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" - book five in the seven-part series - when they stop in Juneau. "We've also heard from cruise ship crew members who want a copy," said Debbie Reifenstein, Hearthside co-owner.

Centennial Hall Anniversary Events
Centennial Hall Convention Center will celebrate its 20th anniversary Friday and Saturday, June 20 and 21, with a weekend of events for all ages.

Inner Garden brings in light for solstice
Juneau artist Shawn Hatt Cohen thinks the best way to celebrate the summer solstice is to put on an art show with bright, exuberant pieces. That's the rationale behind "Abundant Light," an eight-artist show open from 1 to 7 p.m. Friday, June 20, and 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturday, June 21, at The Inner Garden, Cohen's store at 214 North Franklin St. The show runs through July 12.

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