Sunday, July 6, 2003

Many chapter books and young-adult titles available
This week is for chapter book and young adult readers. Don't forget - chapter book readers who are going into grades 2,3,4, and 5 have until July 8 to sign up for the I Love to Read book clubs, which meet on Tuesdays from 7 to 8 p.m. at the downtown library. Call the Youth Services Department at 586-0435 for more information.

Legislature practiced cowardly politics
A few weeks before the governor put forth his now-infamous list of cuts, he asked the Legislature to pass a $400 million tax cut ($100 million/year for four years) for the oil companies. His hope, I believe, was to give the oil companies further reason to drill for more oil in Alaska.

The price is not right
I take affront to Mr. Abel's July 1 My Turn. It is not my duty to line his or any other retail establishment's pocket with excessive money from unbelievably inflated charges. If Wal-Mart, Fred Meyer and Safeway can operate in SE Alaska, it's only because they charge fair prices.

Environmentalists, not Wal-Mart, hurt Ketchikan
I think Bruce Abel (July 1) and Dave Fremming (July 2) both make excellent points concerning their views on the effect of large chain stores opening up in small communities. I try and shop locally as much as possible, but sometimes the savings of purchasing an item online or through a catalog is so great that I have to go that route.

Better customer service would earn loyalty
In response to Mr. Bruce Abel's My Turn of July 1, I can understand the Juneau retailers' concerns in regards to the box stores coming into town. However, I would be a lot more loyal to Juneau stores if they would learn to serve their customers.

Marshaling praise
Glad to know that Judge Stewart served as marshal for the Fourth of July parade. His family has contributed greatly to the city and to the state.

Clearcuts would target the heart of the forest
In Lew Williams' op-ed calling for more Tongass clearcuts, he spins out a string of figures to support his claim that logging has not and never will deplete the resources of the Tongass. While he got some of the numbers right, Williams is playing a numbers shell game that hides the fact that the areas to be logged are among the most valuable places to hunt, fish, and spend a weekend.

Rain fails to drive people from park opening, festivities
Despite the delay in the fireworks, the Marine Park Plaza Grand Opening and Community Celebration went on as scheduled Thursday. Intermittent rain did not stop hundreds of people from gathering for the official opening of the expanded waterfront park and bus parking area. Several local groups performed in a program that was to run from 5 p.m. until the fireworks. Instead, the fireworks were put off from Thursday night to Friday night because of rain and wind.

This Day in History
In 1949, Seattle's Elk Lodge No. 92 announced plans to adopt the territorial school at Ninilchik by providing the school with books, films, toys, games, and clothing.

Mecum named interim principal at Dzantik'i Heeni
Barb Mecum has been named interim principal at Dzantik'i Heeni Middle School following the resignation of Les Morse. Morse has taken the position of director of assessment and accountability at the state Department of Education and Early Development. He will begin this week. Mecum has served as assistant principal at Dzantik'i Heeni, a 700-student school, for the past three school years. Before that, she taught English at Juneau-Douglas High School for a year, and English and history at Floyd Dryden Middle School for three years.

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

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

Juneau shimmers with the spirit of the Fourth
Some spectators at the Juneau Fourth of July parade have their favorite floats. Friday afternoon, as a smiling John Waters stood along the parade route, he said he liked the floats of the U.S. Navy, the Canadian Mounties, and the Tlingit dancers. But a cheerful Walters appeared most eager to see the Alaska Native Veterans float, the one judged most patriotic by the Juneau Parade Committee.

Photo: Speedy delivery
Mr. McFeely, of Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood fame, signs autographs and speaks to children during the dedication ceremony of the new Marine Park parking facility Thursday.

Toe Cartoon

What do you think?
Why do we all suddenly have to follow the Cleveland Cavaliers? It's great that Carlos Boozer has been successful in his chosen career, but there are dozens of other young people from this community who have done very well in their chosen fields and they get no recognition at all.

My Turn: Taku River resources feed families
As Alaska celebrates Wild Salmon Week and reflects on our productive, sustainable runs of wild salmon and the families, businesses and communities supported by this magnificent and tasty resource, we in Juneau have something to be especially thankful for - the Taku River.

Fat Tire comradery
Tonja and Hans Moser and their friends have a different version of socializing than most Juneau residents. Along with small talk, gossip and a fair amount of friendly jibes at one another, their get-togethers involve mud, sweat and rock-hopping. "We go mountain biking instead of going to the movies," Tonja Moser said. "That's our date - going mountain biking." Mountain biking for some Juneau residents is much more than hopping on a bike with fat tires and heading down a gravel road. It can be an intense, technically difficult sport that is rewarding for bikers who practice on a regular basis, the Mosers said.

State says king regs are paying off
KENAI - New regulations aimed at protecting large, early-run Kenai River king salmon appear to be working, said a biologist with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

Fish Report
King salmon fishing in the Juneau area improved dramatically the last week of June.

Big Fish Photos

The halibut that didn't want to get away
When conditions are right - little or no wind or current - I like to fish for halibut on a ridge about an hour's run from Tee Harbor that rises up out of 800 feet to about 400 feet.

Fertile fires: Forest blazes make way for more wildlife
Tom Paragi wants to see 50,000 acres of Alaska forest burn this summer. "We've planned this fire since 1995 and we're sure hoping to have it happen," said Paragi, a wildlife biologist with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. The fire slated for the Tanana Flats near Fairbanks is a prescribed burn, a carefully planned and executed operation to enhance wildlife habitat. Moose and grouse flourish in the fertile environment of regeneration that follows a fire. Snowshoe hares, voles and other small mammals also thrive, benefiting predators such as raptors and marten.

Out and About
July 6: Public trap shooting at the Juneau Gun Club on Montana Creek Road, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Details: 789-9844. July 7-11, 14-18: Level 1 beginning dinghy sailing course for ages 12-18, Juneau Youth Sailing Foundation, 1-4:45 p.m. $230. Details: 789-3546 or www.juneauyouthsailing.org/.

Done deal: James signs with Cavs
CLEVELAND - LeBron James made another sizable deposit to his bank account. James signed his three-year, $12.96 million rookie contract Thursday with the Cleveland Cavaliers, who selected the 18-year-old Akron high school phenom No. 1 overall in the NBA draft.

Four Jumpers garner national silver medals
Four Juneau Jumpers won silver medals in double-dutch pairs freestyle competition last month at the U.S. National Jump Rope Tournament in Orlando, Fla. Amber Johnson, Lesley Kalbrener, Nicole Lim and Tera Ross took second place in the 15-17 age division with their performance. Then the quartet moved on to take third place overall in Grand National finals at the tournament, held June 20-22. The Grand National events were taped by ESPN and will be televised on cable later this summer.

Scholes honors Frangos
Chris Scholes moved to Juneau too late to know Nick Frangos, who was the dominant cyclist in the Juneau Freewheelers Bicycle Club just over a decade ago. Frangos, who was in the U.S. Coast Guard and twice won the National Armed Services cycling championship, died too young when he was killed in a 1992 boat accident while deer hunting on the back side of Douglas Island. The next year, the Juneau Freewheelers honored Frangos by creating an annual 24-mile out-and-back memorial race along the North Douglas Highway, one of the late cyclist's favorite training rides.

Douglas Fourth of July Field Events
First and second-place finishers from the Douglas Fourth of July Field Events, held Friday at Savikko Park.

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

DOT considers employing fast ferry in Lynn Canal
Plans to run a new state-operated fast ferry between Juneau and Sitka ran aground this week when the state Department of Transportation announced it might use the ship to service Lynn Canal in the summer.The state also told Sitka residents on Tuesday it may decide to home port the new fast ferry Fairweather in Juneau instead of Sitka. The Sitka Sentinel reported that DOT Deputy Commissioner Tom Briggs told Sitkans at a Tuesday meeting that the state would discontinue mainline and nearby village ferry service if the fast ferry is home-ported in Sitka.

State Briefs
Old tires burn; Brown bear sighted; Stanley Cup to visit Anchorage; BP pays fine in death; Senators do some power fishing on the Kenai

Ester parade shows independent streak
ESTER - It's not your garden variety Fourth of July parade here in this small and outspoken hamlet. Indeed, social and political commentary is easier to find than an American flag. Hundreds gathered on Friday to watch the notoriously tongue-in-cheek Independence Day parade pass through the community of 1,850 people.

Fairbanks judge throws out marijuana conviction
FAIRBANKS - A Superior Court judge dismissed a man's marijuana conviction, ruling that the Alaska Constitution guarantees the right to possess marijuana for personal use in the home. Judge Richard Savell of Fairbanks dismissed Scott A. Thomas' conviction. Thomas was charged with three counts of felony fourth-degree misconduct involving a controlled substance for allegedly growing pot plants in his home last summer.

Alaska ranks 10th nationwide in teacher salaries
FAIRBANKS - Teacher salaries in Alaska ranked 10th in the nation according to a state-by-state survey of educators pay by the American Federation of Teachers. Alaska's starting pay for teachers topped the list. Starting teachers in Alaska made on average $36,035, which is less than a percentage point drop from the previous year. "It's a real positive for Alaska because of the shortage of teachers nationwide," said Ann Shortt, superintendent of the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District. "To know that we've got an attractive salary will help in recruiting."

Five Coloradans die in plane crash near Sitka
The wreckage of a twin-engine airplane that crashed while attempting to land at the Sitka airport was found by a Coast Guard helicopter Friday. Five people aboard the plane, en route from Colorado Springs, Colo., to Anchorage for a vacation, were killed in the crash, the Coast Guard said. The victims are identified as Michael Baker, 56, and his wife, Kathleen, 52; Richard Lohman, 51, and his wife, Catherine, 46; and Richard Mohnssen, 53, all of the Colorado Springs area.

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