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Thursday, June 26, 2003

Ferrying bikes, riders
I would like to thank Capt. Jack Meyers and the Alaska Marine Highway System for all their efforts to make sure the revised ferry schedule took all SE Alaska participants to the Kluane Chilkat International Bike Relay. All teams made the race and had proper pre-race instructions.

Living with the outcome
Limiting the number of times any individual can have a letter to the editor published is a tough decision. On the one hand sits freedom of speech and balanced reporting; on the other sits abuse of both. The Empire should certainly continue to provide us all with a forum to express our views and opinions.

Get informed
A cheerleader's job, so to speak, is to support the home team. They don't pick the coach, the team, the plays or opponents. Their only function is to shout "Hurray for our side."

For a limit
Here's one person that is in favor of "reasonable" limits on frequency of letters to the editor.

Bad habits and parenting
My car windshield was shot with a BB/pellet gun Friday night. Disturbingly, the shot was right on target for my face had I been sitting in the car. I have been reading of other vandalism around town of broken windows in houses, office buildings and cars and have heard and seen groups of teenagers roaming around destroying things.

Pleasant surprise
What a pleasant surprise to open the opinion page and find a Horsey cartoon! I have been a fan of his since he drew for the University of Washington student newspaper 30-some years ago.

Cuts of shame
I am appalled and very saddened to read of the Legislature's decision to drastically reduce funding to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence for treatment assessment of alcohol-related offenders, prevention grants, and the Alcohol Safety Action Program in Juneau schools.

Force for good
I thank Mary Noble for writing, because she makes me think. Usually she makes me think she is wrong, and her latest letter is no exception. Her selective presentation of facts makes it sound as though anyone who wants to say the United States is one nation "under God" must be a bigoted jingoist xenophobe racist who sees an "evil" immigrant or godless commie behind every fence post!

Brodersen says his short term on board was worth it
A June high school graduate who is resigning one year into his three-year term on the Juneau School Board said it is still worthwhile for voters to elect students to the board. "It is definitely a concern," said Carl Brodersen, who will attend Whitman College in Washington state this fall. "What you have is people finally getting into the swing of it and leaving just as they learn to swing. But it is important to have multiple ages (on the board), and the number of high school students running is rare, so you don't have to be overly concerned about it."

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

This Day in History
In 1969, Sen. Frank E. Moss (D-Utah) told a conference that Alaska, with about 40 percent of the fresh water in the U.S., should evaluate the "possibility of massive water transfers within about five years."

Rural schools look to online courses
Alaska educators hope new online courses will help students, especially in small rural schools, meet state standards and be prepared for college. The courses also will help schools obey new federal requirements to use highly qualified teachers. Alaska Online, a consortium of nine school districts, has been offering a pilot program of 21 courses for high school students for a year and will start officially this fall. The Juneau School District is not participating.

Photo: Going up
Frank Huley helps with a tent pole at Dimond Park on Tuesday as the big tent was set up for this weekend's 14th Annual Gold Rush Days.

Cloudy water not a health concern
Fizzy, milky-white water pouring from Juneau faucets over the last week may not be appetizing, but it's not a health concern, according to Grant Ritter, Juneau's water utility superintendent. "There's air in the water. It's just a visual effect that's not pleasing because everybody likes to see nice clear water," Ritter said. "We maintain our testing schedule and the water has always been bacterially sound." Ritter said several hundred people have called to report the cloudy water, which is the color of skim milk, and hisses in a glass. The water clears a few minutes after it is drawn from the tap.

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

Vets report largest kennel cough outbreak in 20 years
On a Monday morning a few weeks ago, D.J. Lindsay woke to the sound of her 4-year-old bull mastiff, Cedar, hacking like a cat with a hair ball. "She was choking like something was caught in her throat," Lindsay said. " I actually thought she had a pig ear stuck in her throat, because the neighbor gave her a pig ear the night before." When the coughing persisted, Lindsay took Cedar to the vet and discovered her dog had tracheobronchitis, or kennel cough, a throat infection that can lead to pneumonia.

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

Photo: Restoring a totem pole
Bob Banghart readies wooden supports while the Auk Tribe Totem Pole is taken down Wednesday at Centennial Hall. With work by AEL&P employees, the 40-foot pole has moved to Juneau-Douglas High School for restoration and permanent display inside the school's new atrium.

Photo: Along for the ride
Sonja Campos pulls a wagon with her daughter, Madison, 3, left, and Darian Perov, 6, alongGlacier Highway during an outing on Monday.

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

This Day in History
In 1969, the Atomic Energy Commission moved 250 sea otters from Amchitka Island in preparation for a one-megaton nuclear test.

Touring on the Trolleys
Fast and furious" is not an accurate description for Cindy Starter's driving style, as she carefully negotiates the red trolley she drives through traffic, around corners and in between pedestrians. But it's an almost-perfect description of the delivery of her tourist spiel. "On the right we'll be driving by a statue of Joe Juneau you can give him a high five low five any kind of five," she said in one breath, her voice a mix of a robot and an auctioneer.

Pets of the week
Misty is a playful, affectionate family dog who loves to cuddle, play ball and run on trails. She is a young adult German shepherd mix with lots of energy. Salia (rhymes with Maria) belonged to a woman who went to live at Fireweed Court. Now this quiet, sweet kitty needs a new home.

JDHS students fare well at debate tourney
The Juneau-Douglas High School debate and forensics team competed in the state tournament this spring at the University of Alaska Anchorage. In policy debate, seniors Lauren Brooks and Christa Fagnant won fourth-place medals. In Humorous Interpretation of Literature, Fagnant won the second-place silver medal. Christie Eriksen was a finalist in Original Oration and she was selected to give her speech at the final event, the Command Performance, at which exemplary pieces were performed in front of all contestants.

Thank you
...for support of the 2003 Law Enforcement Torch Run; ...from the family of Richard G. Dalton Sr. for being with us; ...for helping the Glory Hole; ...for continued support;

Teen cancer survivors share experience
Cancer strikes 11,000 American children a year. Andrea Sharp, 16, and Michelle Palmer, 18, both of Juneau, are sharing their experiences with cancer with more than 70 girls attending day camp this week, a camp sponsored by the Tongass Alaska Girl Scout Council.

Photo: Manilla Square dedication
Bonn R. Trinidad waves to the crowd after the unveiling of a bust of Philippines national hero Dr. Jose Rizal during Saturday's Manilla Square dedication ceremony. Trinidad was one of the proponents for naming the downtown square.

Neighbors Briefs
Lighthouse fund-raiser; Gold Rush Days needs participants, vendors; Marriage vow renewal; Council seeks artists, art for JAHC Gallery; July 4 birthday party features Mr. McFeely; Cranes as peace symbols; Girl Scouts resident camp; Southeast Youth Camp

George Gullufsen
Former Juneau resident George "Gully" Gullufsen, 83, died June 11, 2003, in Temecula, Calif.

Alaska editorial: Juneau activist doesn't want the new highway
Juneau residents think in ways that are different from most other Alaskans. All things considered, folks in Southcentral and Central Alaska believe it would be a good thing if they could hop in a car, truck or motorhome and drive on a highway all the way to the state's capital city. They can't do it now, because no roads connect Juneau to anywhere but Douglas, a community on Admiralty Island just across the Gastineau Channel.

My Turn: Alaska's schools see quality for all
For a year our state has intensely negotiated with the federal government over how to implement the most sweeping federal school reform law in history - the No Child Left Behind Act. Fortunately for Alaska, Sen. Lisa Murkowski persuaded U.S. Secretary of Education Rod Paige to visit some of our most remote schools to show how difficult it is to implement NCLB in Alaska.

Juneau girls make history in Honolulu
Before they left for Hawaii to play in this week's U.S. Youth Soccer regional tourney, members of the Juneau Xtratuffs U-13 girls team joked about how they would explain their boot-inspired name to Outside opponents. On Tuesday, there were no boots required. The team simply played "xtra tuff" on the field and walked off with a 3-0 win over FC Marauders 89 of Washington - the first-ever victory for a Juneau team at the Far West Regional Championships. Margaret Sekona scored twice and Isabel Waldman knocked in one goal for the Juneau girls.

At full SAIL in the Kluane bike relay
While many of the more than 1,100 riders in last Saturday's 148.4-mile Kluane-Chilkat International Bike Relay were racing against the clock or other competitors, for others just finishing the course brought a sense of accomplishment. One group in the latter category was ORCA, an eight-man special needs team from Juneau sponsored by the Outdoor Recreation and Community Access program, which is part of Southeast Alaska Independent Living (SAIL). ORCA featured eight riders - Lee Hagmeier, Lloyd George, Ken Marvin (of Sitka, the only non-Juneau rider on the team), Ed Parish, Melvin Starr, Ray Reed, Mirov Menefee and Leroy George. Hagmeier is blind; the others have developmental disabilities.

Steadying force
The new coach of the Cavaliers looks you right in the eye. He listens to your questions. He is a huge man, at 6-foot-7 and at least 250 pounds, who doesn't seem very comfortable sitting behind a desk. He's a pure basketball coach. He is not about clothing contracts or radio shows. He's not interested in dressing for success. On this warm Tuesday afternoon, he wears an informal coaching shirt with a collar, a pair of shorts and sandals.

All three Juneau soccer teams fall in tournament
The Juneau Xtratuffs U-13 girls soccer team accomplished more than any previous Juneau team at the Far West Regional Championships, but they were unable to advance to the next round at this week's tourney in Hawaii. After beating a Washington team on Tuesday - the first time a Juneau squad has won at the tournament - the Xtratuffs fell to the Mustang Fury of Northern California 5-0 on Wednesday and were eliminated from tournament play.

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

Kake's Anderson selected for Aussie tourney
Kyle Anderson Jr., a high school basketball player from Kake, has been selected to play in the 2003 Down Under Hoops Classic in Australia next month.

Paddlers set off on Dawson dash
With a dash down Main Street and a splash in the river current, the 33 teams competing in this year's Yukon River Quest canoe and kayak race departed from the starting line in Whitehorse on Wednesday.

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

Local Sports Briefs
Rainball announces MVPs and all-tourney teams for 2003; 19th annual Only Fool's Run at Midnight raises $5,200 for SAIL; Yukon River Quest begins today

Legislators will hit the road
ANCHORAGE - A pair of legislative committees will travel across the state to talk to Alaskans about how to pay for state government and other fiscal matters. Members of the House Special Committee on Ways and Means, which authored the state sales tax plan that died in the House last session, plan to visit about 20 Alaska communities.

Official says salmon plan 'on track'
WASHINGTON - Despite a judge's ruling striking down a salmon recovery plan, a top federal official said Tuesday that government efforts to recover threatened Pacific Northwest salmon are "largely on track." Robert Lohn, regional administrator of NOAA Fisheries, said a 10-year plan adopted in late 2000 is adequate to restore threatened salmon and steelhead in the Pacific Northwest.

Alaska could lose 116 volunteers
The AmeriCorps programs announced cuts last week that could eliminate all 116 AmeriCorps volunteer positions in Alaska next year, leaving four nonprofit programs in the state that use volunteers searching for ways to continue their services. "It's just hugely disappointing that this is the way it's gone," said Joe Parrish, executive director of the Southeast Alaska Guidance Association (SAGA). The Juneau-based organization he runs could lose funding for 58 AmeriCorps volunteers - teenagers and young adults from Alaska or Outside who spend three, six or 12 months in Alaska serving the state's needy communities.

Plane crash kills 2 in White Pass
SKAGWAY - A private Cessna airplane on a flight from Juneau crashed Wednesday on a foggy mountainside in the White Pass, 12 miles north of Skagway, killing both people aboard. The plane settled on a ledge 500 feet above the Klondike Highway at an altitude of approximately 3,500 feet. "We were having lunch in the truck on the road, and Thor (Henricksen) saw him clip the mountain with his wing tip, and we all got out of the truck and heard him crash with a big thud," said Keith Knorr, foreman of the state Department of Transportation and Public Facilities' road crew in Skagway. "Ray (Hosford) and I drove to the top of the hill and saw him. Thor went to get emergency rigs up here.

Voters may get to decide taxes, cruise-ship fees
Alaska voters going to the polls in 2004 may get their say on taxes, bear baiting, cruise-ship fees, the draft and decriminalizing marijuana. But they won't get to vote on seceding from the United States. The lieutenant governor's office turned down that proposal last week. Lt. Gov. Loren Leman has certified two other proposals - one to ban bear baiting and one to set up a task force to study exempting Alaska from the draft - but has yet to decide on three other initiative applications filed this year.

State increases pipeline checks after BP oil spill
ANCHORAGE - State environmental protection officials and BP Exploration (Alaska) Inc. are stepping up North Slope pipeline inspections after a spill blamed on corrosion last month. An estimated 1,500 gallons of crude oil and 4,500 gallons of oily water leaked from a 24-inch pipeline in the Prudhoe Bay oil field where the line passed through a culvert underneath a caribou crossing. The crossing is a gravel mound that allows the animals to traverse pipelines.

State Briefs
City chooses primrose as its official flower; Earthquake rocks ocean floor south of Aleutians; North Pole man charged with murder; Governor proclaims Wild Salmon Week; Wildfire spreading

Ketchikan airport getting a facelift
KETCHIKAN - Work on the first floor segment of a facelift of the Ketchikan International Airport terminal is nearing completion, said airport business manager Lance Mertz. The airport renovation started about six months ago. "In the first floor we have brand new bathrooms, a new ceiling and lighting, new carpet, a new bag belt, a new location for the commuter airlines, a new revolving door," Mertz said Monday.

Sitka man builds a whopper of a wanigan
Robert Kite has been living in the smallest trailer in Sitka. After a bit of remodeling he's preparing to move into the city's largest wanigan. The two-story addition Kite has built onto his 8-by-20-foot trailer in Sollars Trailer Court now gives him a spectacular view of the ocean and Mt. Edgecumbe. It has a skylight, and eventually may have a roof-top garden. "I didn't know how big a place I was building, 'cause I'd never built one," Kite said of the 960-square-foot L-shaped structure alongside his tiny trailer.

State Briefs
USS McClusky to visit Juneau for July 4; Police ID man found dead in Fairbanks; Appeals Court denies heat-of-passion defense; Denali National Park to hold fall road lottery;

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