Wednesday, July 2, 2003

Techwit: This just in: Seein' ain't believin'
Remember when seeing was believing? When in doubt we'd say, "show me." Almost always, a picture was proof enough. But these days there's so much high-tech trickery going on it's hard to know what you're looking at. Pictures have never been completely honest. Just by using the right camera angle you could make Danny DeVito look tall and svelte. And before computers came along there were people who could use razors and air brushing to create a realistic picture of a pregnant, two-headed Elvis talking to aliens. This took real talent. But these days anyone can do this stuff. Even me, who couldn't create a recognizable stick figure before computers.

Icicle fined for Seward waste
ANCHORAGE - Icicle Seafoods will pay an $85,000 fine for violating the federal Clean Water Act at its Seward processing plant, the company and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said. The Seattle-based company also agreed to halve the amount of fish waste it annually discharges into Resurrection Bay, from 10 million pounds to 5 million. Icicle's problems surfaced in 1999 when dive surveys, an EPA inspection and the company's own reports revealed that an underwater pile of fish waste exceeded the legal size limit, said Robert Grandinetti, an EPA compliance officer. Instead of being an acre or less, the pile measured about 1.4 acres, he said.

State chilly to fry machine maker
ANCHORAGE - Representatives of a Pennsylvania company proposing an Alaska factory to build a patented french fries vending machine were told Monday the building they want already has a tenant. Mike Barry, chairman of the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority, said a South Anchorage fish processing plant desired by the company already is occupied by Alaska Seafood International, and that will not change as long as ASI doesn't violate its lease.

Let customers decide where to shop
I was appalled at reading a recent My Turn column (Empire, July 1) authored by a former president of the Juneau Chamber of Commerce suggesting or implying that being in a retail business in Juneau is a birthright that should be bestowed upon the family by consumers.

Overreacting to NPR story
I am the manager of the community radio station in Petersburg. We receive federal, state, and municipal funding along with contributions from listeners and businesses throughout the Petersburg area.

Another chance to pull garlic mustard weeds
The Alaska Soil and Water Conservation District, U.S. Forest Service State and Private Forestry (USFS), Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), Cooperative Extension Service, and Juneau Invasive Plants Action (JIPA) would like to extend our sincere thanks to everyone who volunteered at the invasive weed pulling events held on May 18 and June 21.

There's no 'winning' in back-and-forth letters
The recent letters survey has been interesting and enlightening. If nothing else we should be reassured the First Amendment's alive and well in Juneau.

Jury awards $1 million for home loss
A Juneau couple whose home was destroyed in 1998 by a portion of Fritz Cove Road that collapsed on it was awarded a settlement from the state of almost $1 million Friday. After five hours of deliberation, the jury determined the state was responsible for the collapsed road and therefore liable for the damage to the home of Clair and Brenda Markey. "We alleged that because it was a public road that damaged the private property, that it is damage caused by the state of Alaska," said the Markeys' attorney, Tom Findley.

Ferry skipper suspended for grounding
The Alaska Marine Highway System captain in charge of the state ferry Kennicott when it hit a rock in Wrangell Narrows last month will have his license suspended for a month, the U.S. Coast Guard said Monday. The Coast Guard determined lack of sufficient rest may have contributed to the problem, but noted Capt. Gary Anderson, 53, had an unblemished record in his 11 years with the ferry system until the June 3 incident. Capt. George Capacci, general manager of the ferry system, said Anderson's workload was not unusual for a ferry captain. The ferry system requires that captains get at least 10 hours off per 24-hour period, and at least 70 hours off per week, but there are no requirements for sleep.

Correction
Due to a reporter's error, the date of the Juneau Assembly's meeting to consider skateboarding in Marine Park was incorrect in an article on Page A1 of Monday's Empire.

Photos: Remembering Rabinowitz
Drum major Bea Findlay leads the Juneau Volunteer Marching Band up Main Street on Monday toward the Dimond Courthouse for a garden memorial in honor of Supreme Court Justice Jay Rabinowitz.

Photo: 'Lights of Juneau,' 1925
Taken in 1925, this photograph looks out across the Gastineau Channel at the "Lights of Juneau" and the Alaska-Juneau gold mine. The A-J mine was built in 1916 and became one of the largest gold mines in North America.

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

Reifenstein donation helps establish dialysis center
Since Pat Reifenstein's husband, George, died from emphysema in 1999, she's been trying to decide what she could do to help the people of Juneau remember him. This year she decided to donate $200,000 to Bartlett Regional Hospital Foundation to start a dialysis center in the Mendenhall Mall. She hopes it will help keep his memory - and dozens of people with kidney failure - alive. "George loved Juneau," Reifenstein said. "I decided the best thing to do was to try to thank this city and hospital and in turn do some good for a very needy population of folks that have to be on dialysis."

Photo: Mascot Bar, 1910
Clientele of the Mascot Bar on Douglas Island pose for a photo in 1910. The town of Douglas originated to service mining activities in 1881. In 1910, more people lived on Douglas Island than in Juneau because of the Treadwell mines on Douglas.

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

This Day in History
In 1969, Bristol Bay's striking fishermen blockaded the mouth of the Naknek River to keep non-striking boats from moving out to fishing grounds.

Sealaska to enter plasma business
Sealaska, the regional Native corporation for Southeast Alaska, has invested $3.75 million in International Bio Resources, a Louisiana-based company specializing in the collection and sale of blood plasma. The board of directors announced the investment, which was finalized June 19, at Sealaska's 30th annual shareholder meeting held in Anchorage on Saturday. The newly formed Sealaska Life Sciences LLC will manage the investment, which amounted to 10 percent ownership of International Bio Resources, as well as look for other investments in the health-care field, company officials said.

This Day in History
In 1954, a fire caused $50,000 damage to the Aleutian Bowling Lanes in Anchorage.

Juneau, Montana groups join to push development
The Juneau Economic Development Council has combined forces with TechLink, a nonprofit organization based in Bozeman, Mont., to help small businesses in Alaska develop and use new technology. The Northern Technology Partnership will help Alaska businesses access government funding for developing and marketing new technology. Though the partnership was formalized this month, JEDC and TechLink have been developing a relationship for years, said Lance Miller, executive director of the JEDC. Triverus, a design and development engineering company based in Anchorage, already has taken advantage of TechLink's services. The company won a $100,000 Small Business Innovation Research grant from the U.S. Department of Defense to develop a system for cleaning the decks of aircraft carriers.

Correction
Due to a typist's and an editor's errors, Tuesday's commentary by David Mallet incorrectly referred to the cost of "apprehension, persecution and punishment" of criminals. The reference should have been to "prosecution" instead of "persecution."

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

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

Karpstein, Hunter to marry
Heather Karpstein of Juneau and Adam Hunter of Hartland, Wis., were engaged on May 13 to be married on June 12, 2004, in Juneau.

Neighbors Briefs
Violence impact training; Alaska's First Lady hosts piano recital; Scholarships granted; Kids' book clubs; Page graduates; Noreen receives degree; Robus on dean's list

Student Recognition
Kaitlyn Shaw named to Randolph-Macon dean's list; Linfield College grads;

Kathy Wurth, Bob Swanson to wed
Bob Swanson and Kathy Wurth are pleased to announce their wedding. It will be at 3 p.m. July 6 at Skater's Cabin. Friends and family are invited.

Lorraine, Klei to wed
Fred and Jody Schmitz are pleased to announce the engagement of their daughter, Jaimee Lorraine of Juneau, to Ian Martin Klei of Kennewick, Wash.

Weston, Anderson marry
Brandy Weston of Juneau and James Anderson of Sandy, Utah, were married on May 17 at Logan Temple in Logan, Utah. All are invited to a wedding reception in their honor from 3 to 5 p.m. on July 5, at Auk Rec in the large pavilion.

Fourth of July celebration was a high time in old Alaska towns
Fourth of July in the early days of Alaska was celebrated with earthy gusto. In Juneau, it was a particularly high time because it was one of two or three days off miners were given each year - a rare opportunity to enjoy a full day of leisure. For many, this was the most important holiday of the year - a time for exuberance and energy, with few religious overtones or constraints.

Thank you
... for the gift; ... for being there; ... for the support; ... for the help; ... for the support

Pets of the week
Jessie is very friendly and just a little shy. Her black-and-white tuxedo coat has fancy detailing down the back. Jackel is an active, playful, one-year-old black Lab mix. He is not only neutered and housebroken, but has graduated from obedience school.

Lauris Sanford Parker
Juneau resident Lauris "Larry" Sanford Parker, 84, died June 27, 2003, in Bellevue, Wash.

Lois May Spicer
Juneau resident Lois May Spicer, 83, died on June 27, 2003, in Juneau.

Christian F. Wyller
Juneau resident Christian Frederik "Fred" Wyller, 70, died on June 30, 2003, at Wildflower Court after a lengthy battle with ALS, Lou Gehrig's Disease.

My Turn: Juneau in the rearview mirror
A little more than 20 years ago I packed up my truck, hitched a small sailboat on trailer to it, and drove to Juneau from Anchorage to take a position as a legislative aide for the representative for the university district where my stepmother still lives. I sold my downtown publishing business, kissed my wife goodbye, and embarked on an adventure that has now come full circle.

My Turn: Big box stores can hurt small towns
Home Depot has announced it is not coming to Juneau any time soon. While this is good news for Don Abel Building Supply and Valley Lumber, what may not be so obvious is the importance to other Juneau retailers and the community at large.

My Turn: Nation's Founding Fathers were thinkers and subversives
I was happy to read Guy J. Crockroft's first line of his letter last week thanking me for making him think, but acknowledging he often disagreed with my opinions. I was disappointed when I got to the end of his letter about the Pledge of Allegiance, because I actually didn't find much critical thinking in it.

My Turn: We must find alternatives to imprisonment
It is time for Alaska (and our American society) to reassess our criminal justice system, not from a moral perspective, but from an economic and practical one. Two things stand out: First, our society imprisons more people per capita than any other industrialized country. Second, we no longer can afford the extraordinary costs associated with imprisoning so many people. We are running out of discretionary money.

Xtratuffs get taste of big-time soccer
After making a bit of Juneau soccer history last week, the Juneau Xtratuffs U-13 girls soccer team got the chance to become television stars. The Xtratuffs and two other Juneau teams were in Hawaii to play at the U.S. Youth Soccer Association Far West Regional Championships. The Xtratuffs were eliminated in the first round of competition, though they became the first Juneau team to ever win a game at that tourney.

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

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

Mat-Su schools must move vending machines or lose funds
ANCHORAGE - High school students in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough will have to make it through lunchtime next year without access to vending machines for pop, candy and snacks. A state audit last spring faulted the district for putting the machines too close to cafeterias where students eat federally funded free and reduced-cost meals. A U.S. Department of Agriculture rule bars schools from offering competitive foods, especially those with little nutritional value, at the same times that student meals are served.

State Briefs
Man arrested for car theft, drunken driving; Women in Martial Arts plan retreat; Safety panel chairman plans ATV hearing; Noisy driver protests RV parking lot camping;

Hatchery harvest lower than last year
The spring troll season ended this week with a low hatchery harvest and a 15 percent drop from last year in the number of participating fishermen, according to the Department of Fish and Game. As the summer season began Tuesday, some predicted the number of fishermen would remain lower than average. Spring troll fishermen caught about 34,000 salmon in the season that ended Monday, said Brian Lynch, the salmon troll fishery management biologist for Southeast. About 36 percent of those were hatchery salmon, which are not subject to the U.S.-Canada Pacific Salmon Treaty Agreement. The treaty determines the number of kings that can be caught in Southeast Alaska waters. Some of those wild salmon are returning to Canadian rivers.

Permanent fund earns enough for dividend
ANCHORAGE - It will be smaller, but it will be there. State officials say the spring stock market rally lasted long enough to preserve a mainstay of the state's economy and many residents' pocketbooks - Alaska Permanent Fund dividends. Earlier this year, the dividend was in doubt because of Wall Street's long losing streak. But speaking after the stock market closed Monday, the day the dollars had to be counted, fund officials said the oil-wealth savings account earned enough to pay a dividend.

Law expands dividend eligibility for military
Alaskans who serve in the military will be allowed more time away from the state before losing their eligibility for the Alaska Permanent Fund dividend under a new state law. The dividend is paid out of Alaska's oil-wealth savings account to every eligible man, woman and child in the state. Dividends last year were worth $1,540, and this year are expected to be approximately $1,100. Senate Bill 148 by Anchorage Republican Sen. John Cowdery was signed June 12 by Gov. Frank Murkowski.

Judge sides with family in hunting case
ANCHORAGE - A state judge has issued a reprimand for state troopers' handling of a case in which members of a Russian Old Believer family were tried and acquitted of illegally shooting a bull moose. A state Fish and Wildlife Protection officer bullied the family when searching their home and then lied about his evidence when swearing out his criminal complaint, District Judge M. Francis Neville of Homer said after a three-day trial ended June 16.

State official says ex-military dump could be dangerous
FAIRBANKS - A state Department of Natural Resources official says he believes chemical weapons testing equipment will be found at a former military dump site near Fort Greely. Robert Layne's assessment contradicts the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' characterization of the site as being mostly household waste. "All the debris on the site indicates testing equipment," said Layne, the agency's land manager for contaminated sites.

$325 million approved for military in Alaska
FAIRBANKS - The Senate Appropriations Committee approved a military construction bill last week that would spend $325 million in Alaska during the coming federal fiscal year. That's $29 million more than the Bush administration requested. Much of the Alaska money would go to the two military outposts in the Fairbanks region, Fort Wainwright and Eielson Air Force Base.

State Briefs
Dog owners warned about fireworks; Peterson announces candidacy for Assembly; Snagging salmon banned at Auke Creek shore; Interior officials warn of fireworks danger; Juneau's June rainfall more than normal

Fisherman returns to the water after 10-year hiatus
KENAI - Soldotna fisherman Charles Schmelzenbach couldn't stay away. He embarked Thursday as the captain of a commercial sockeye salmon driftnetting boat for the first time in 10 years. Schmelzenbach rejoined a fishing industry that many feel has fallen upon hard economic times, in the shadow of lower prices per pound, smaller fish returns and less of a share of the harvest from earlier years. But money wasn't what motivated his comeback.

Bear shot in Haines after piglets killed
HAINES - A Haines man shot and killed a brown bear after it killed two piglets kept in a pigpen behind his home. Greg Stigen said he shot the bear in the neck Monday after he found it trying to bury one of the dead piglets in a mound of dirt.

Tongass may move to 10-year timber sale contracts
Timber companies that log the Tongass National Forest could bid on 10-year sale contracts if the forest becomes exempt from the roadless rule. Current sales typically run three to five years. Last month, the state and the U.S. Forest Service reached an out-of-court settlement that temporarily exempts the Tongass from the Clinton-era rule, which prohibits timber harvesting and road-building within about 58 million acres of the 192-million-acre national forest system. About 9.6 million acres of Southeast Alaska's 16.8-million-acre Tongass have been designated roadless.

Troopers raid Native pulltab operation
ANCHORAGE - Authorities have raided a pulltab operation owned by the Native Village of Barrow, fueling a long-simmering dispute between the state and village leaders who say they have a federal right to conduct gambling without an Alaska gaming permit. Alaska State Troopers and a gaming compliance investigator seized 2,500 pounds of pulltabs, a cash register, business records and other items Monday from the tiny wooden building housing the operation. Troopers said the state has received complaints about illegal gambling conducted by the Eskimo tribal group.

New rules issued for port, ship security
WASHINGTON - Thousands of U.S. ports and ships will have to toughen security against the threat of terrorism under rules issued by the Homeland Security Department on Tuesday. Much of the cost will be borne by the maritime industry. Some 10,000 ships and 5,000 coastal facilities will be required to assess their vulnerabilities, hire and train security officers and purchase security equipment. The nation's 361 ports will have to establish security committees, draft security plans and hold training drills and exercises.

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