Tuesday, June 24, 2003

Old computer parts still have usefulness
ANCHORAGE - Two piles of used floppy disk drives lie on the floor of a South Anchorage computer shop - one for functional drives, the other for broken ones. Bill Fulton has designs on each. "These are maybe 3 years old, and they still work," Fulton said, pointing to the larger pile. They'll be used in refurbished computer systems or sold separately for a few dollars each.

Heritage Coffee Co. hires new pastry chef
Heritage Coffee Co. has hired Sasha Bonk, a recent graduate of the University of Alaska Culinary Program, as its new pastry chef.

Alaska left out of Canada gas agreement
FAIRBANKS - Alaska has been left out of an agreement between Canada's natural gas producers, Native groups and a major pipeline company to tap gas reserves in Arctic Canada just east of the Alaska border. The line they hope to build is too small to take Alaska gas.

Another perspective: This is bear country
I recently read with much sympathy about the dog being taken out of its doghouse by a bear and subsequently dying. After reading the letter of complaint by the owner, I think another perspective should be mentioned.

Letters disgust, enlighten
Your letters policy as it stands now seems to be working just fine. I usually do not agree with many of the comments made in the letters to the editor, but I love to read them. I read them nearly every day.

Pay now or later
My congratulations to Valerie Kelly for years of professional services in the mental health field and for her contribution to Tongass Community Counseling Center.

Cuts have been fair
Blame Murkowski First. Is this the motto of the Downtown Liberals club? Every time I look in the Empire, there's another letter, comment or My Turn by someone whose only goal is blame Frank Murkowski for all of the state's problems.

Use it or lose it
Empire Publisher Don Smith's editorial in Sunday's paper introduced the paper's Citizens Advisory Board members by name. In one way or another we all know these folks and perhaps even how they might think.

Governor should try Kwethluk for a month
Due to the cuts being made all through Alaska, I think it is time for our governor to experience life in rural Alaska. He should try living in Kwethluk for a month. Kwethluk is trying to upgrade from well water and honey buckets to running water and sewer. It will be years before the installation of pipes and toilets in each house is complete.

Downtown tourism business spotty this season
Lots of tourists step into Cha For the Finest on South Franklin Street to browse, but few are buying Cha's ivory, bone and glass creations. "The first part of the season was OK, and then (business) slacked off," Cha said. The Juneau artist attributed the slow sales to a run of bad tourism years pockmarked by the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, war in Afghanistan and Iraq, the outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome and general economic malaise.

Photo: Sunday morning car fire
Six Capital City Fire and Rescure firefighters responded to this fire in a Chrysler LeBarron at 9:19 a.m. Sunday on North Franklin Street in front of the Baranof Hotel. The fire was contained to the engine a

School district wants more repair funding
The Juneau School District is asking the Assembly to place bonds for three school renovation projects on the Oct. 7 city ballot. The district expects the projects to be eligible for state reimbursement at 70 percent of the bond debt. The district is requesting $4.7 million for further renovations of Floyd Dryden Middle School, $422,000 to replace water pipes in Harborview Elementary School and $153,000 to replace the gym floor at Auke Bay Elementary School.

Deckover project nears completion
The city's Marine Park deckover project is a little more than a week away from completion. A bus parking lot is being built over the water between the cruise ship dock and the area where the buses now load, giving cruise-ship passengers a straight path off their boats.

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

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

Juneau fisherman looks for peace, memories in his work
When the countdown began, 10 seconds from the start of the 1st Annual Quick Draw Saturday afternoon at Centennial Hall, Juneau artist Mark Vinsel studied his photograph and steadied himself. "I was shaking a little bit," said Vinsel, 46, a four-times-a-week fisherman and the office manger for United Alaska Fishermen. "I had a cup of coffee this morning and no breakfast. The other reason was, I was just a little nervous doing something like this."

Youth courts seek regular flow of funds
You don't see state Superior Court judges washing cars to raise funds to keep their courtrooms open. But Alaska's youth courts, in which teenage volunteers dispense justice to about 900 young offenders a year, aren't funded by the state. So far, the 15 or so youth courts in Alaska have relied on a mix of federal grants and support from municipalities, corporations and Native organizations, as well as car washes and other fund-raisers. Staffed by amateur teenage attorneys and judges, the courts handle first-time youthful offenders who have committed crimes such as underage drinking, vandalism and shoplifting. Punishments usually include restitution and community work service.

This Day in History
In 1969, more than 2,300 acres of prime recreation forest was blackened by a fire in the Russian River area on the Kenai Peninsula.

Photo: Bustling downtown, 1919
This photograph was taken in 1919 and made into a postcard, showing what is now Franklin Street in downtown Juneau. During this time, speak-easies and cigar stores lined Lower Front Street, now South Franklin.

110,000 visit hatchery every year
On this overcast afternoon, most of the enormous tanks in the bowels of the Macaulay Salmon Hatchery are empty. The salmon that eventually will fill them are only a couple of inches long. The fish ladder, which will teem with chums and kings later in the summer, is quiet. A few salmon drift languidly in the outdoor pool. But inside the hatchery's aquarium and shop, dozens of tourists mill around, sampling the hatchery's own salmon products, watching king crabs scuttle in the tanks, and learning about the Alaska salmon industry. Over the course of a year, 110,000 people will visit the hatchery, on Gastineau Channel about four miles north of downtown off Egan Drive.

Parking areas to be used as loading zones
The Juneau Assembly passed an ordinance Monday that will change certain parking areas into loading zones for part of the day. The measurer is an effort to relieve congestion downtown. The spaces on the water side of South Franklin and Front streets will be reserved for loading from 6 to 11 a.m., with the exception of two 15-minute parking spaces in front of the Heritage Building. After 11 a.m., the loading zones turn into parking for the general public.

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

Photo: City bird
A raven calls out from the downtown library parking garage Monday.

City changes election districts
The Juneau Assembly approved an ordinance Monday night redrawing two city election districts before the next time voters head to the polls. Outgoing City Attorney John Corso told the Assembly four months ago the city is required to make adjustments to the districts to reflect a change in Juneau's population distribution shown in the 2000 census. The population of Assembly District 1, which includes downtown Juneau and Douglas, is 13,484 people, according to state records.

This Day in History
In 1921, the Douglas Island News published its final issue, then moved to Juneau as Stroller's Weekly.

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

Richard Penrod
Former Juneau resident Richard Jack Penrod, 74, of Anacortes, Wash., died June 19, 2003, at his home.

Glen Rodger Crowe
Former Juneau resident Glen Rodger Crowe, 86, died on June 6, 2003, at Fairchild Medical Center in Yreka, Calif.

Tracy Scott Pickerell
Former Juneau resident Tracy Scott Pickerell, 53, died in June from a heart attack.

William Potter
Former Juneau resident William "Bill" Potter, 65, of Davidson, N.C., died June 16, 2003, at his home.

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

Only Fools Run at Midnight results
Results of the 19th annual Only Fools Run at Midnight, organized by Southeast Alaska Road Runners and held late Saturday night. There were two events - a 5-kilometer run and a 1-mile walk. Race officials reported that due to problems with the timing system, there may be some mistakes.

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

A midnight run of fun
A three-headed monster and a three-month old - along with at least three streakers - came together on the summer solstice Saturday night for the 19th annual Only Fools Run at Midnight. Only the monster and the baby boy were among the 300-or-so official entrants in the joint 5-kilometer run and 1-mile walk, a fundraiser for the Southeast Alaska Independent Living (SAIL). SAIL provides independent living services to people living with disabilities in Southeast.

Soccer squads falter in Hawaii
On paper, the three Juneau Soccer Club teams playing at a tournament in Hawaii this week knew their opening opponents were powerful squads. Now they know it firsthand. All three Juneau teams were shut out on Monday as they opened play in the U.S. Youth Soccer Association Far West Regional Championships in Honolulu. The Juneau Jaguars U-14 boys team lost to Southern California United, 8-0; the Juneau Riptide U-13 boys squad fell to the Classic Cougars of New Mexico, 6-0; and the Juneau Xtratuffs U-13 girls team lost to Surf White of Southern California, 4-0.

Rainball 2003
Pat's Douglas Inn/Louie's repeated as champions Sunday in the Women's C Division of the 2003 Rainball slow-pitch softball tournament at Dimond Park. The team, a juggernaut in Juneau women's softball, won its seventh Rainball title in the last 11 years by beating Viking in an if-necessary game. Pat's/Louie's, coming out of the winners' bracket, lost the first game of the championship round against Viking, but rebounded to take the second.

Alaska officials dispute magazine's claims about halibut
ANCHORAGE - A consumer magazine hit the newsstands this month, telling readers not to eat halibut because a single meal a month has too much mercury, a toxin that can cause neurological and other health problems. Not so, say Alaska health officials. They've studied available data and concluded that any Alaskan - pregnant or not, young or old - can eat as much fish as they want, so long as it comes from Alaska waters. That includes cod, salmon, pollock - even halibut. "Alaska fish, by and large, have very low levels of mercury, especially Alaska salmon," said environmental epidemiologist Tracey Lynn. "They have some of the lowest levels that are ever recorded."

State Briefs
Several McGrath bears return home; Exploration gold drilling to begin on Ester Dome; Troopers crack down on illicit drugs and alcohol; Delta Junction fire burns past Sand Creek; Hiker killed in fall on East Twin Peak

Villagers express concern about losing their VPSO
PORT GRAHAM - Older people in this remote Kenai Peninsula village can still remember what life was like before Seraphim Meganack put on a brown police uniform. They remember the drinking parties spilling out of houses, the stupid drownings, the drunken husbands beating wives. They say it was a godsend when the state started up the village public safety officer program. Meganack, a local commercial fisherman, went to work for the state in 1983, providing the first response to trouble.

Heat sensors offer scientists new way to count walrus
ANCHORAGE - The hot bodies of Pacific walruses snoozing on sea ice may offer federal scientists the first reliable way to count the marine mammals throughout their vast Bering Sea range. For the second spring in a row, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologists and technicians have tested a heat-sensing scanner mounted in the belly of an airplane to find walrus groups scattered amid broken ice floes.

Corps seeks help in hunt for Agent Orange
FAIRBANKS - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers wants help from the public in its hunt for one of the world's deadliest manmade toxins. The toxin could be in Alaska soil that was once part of a Haines-to-Fairbanks military oil pipeline. The search was spurred by an official state request. Army correspondence surfaced in late 2002 confirming that the herbicide Agent Orange was sprayed on the 626-mile-long pipeline's right of way in the 1960s to clear vegetation.

Kotzebue threatens to shut down jail for region
ANCHORAGE - The city of Kotzebue says state budget cuts are forcing it to close the only jail in far northwest Alaska on July 1. Department of Corrections officials say Kotzebue is getting enough money to operate the facility. Caught in between are the Alaska State Troopers, who are scrambling to find a place to lock up prisoners temporarily and to find money for a transportation budget expected to double or triple as they fly more prisoners to Nome.

$25 million cleanup may end by winter
FAIRBANKS - A scrap yard identified nearly 15 years ago as a contaminated site and environmental hazard is nearly cleaned up, according to regulatory agencies. At the end of the project, the Department of Defense will have spent about $25 million cleaning up the Arctic Surplus scrap yard, a 24-acre site off the Richardson Highway about five miles southeast of Fairbanks.

State Briefs
Injured eagle still in serious condition; USDA donates 130 tons of salmon to Cambodia; Dalton Highway reopens after fire moves; Quake rocks ocean south of Aleutians; Unidentified man found dead in Fairbanks; Troopers investigate fire at Palmer school

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