Tuesday, July 8, 2003

Nelson joins law firm
The Law Office of Baxter Bruce & Sullivan is pleased to announce that Richard L. Nelson has joined the firm as an associate attorney.

Blind support baffles
The presidential campaign has begun in earnest, with the mega-millions being contributed to the Bush coffers by the rich. I'd like to lay out a few reasons why we desperately need a change.

Religious freedom comes from Christian heritage
The critical thinkers who replied to my letter both falsely described the pledge as being "forced" upon schoolchildren. Wrong! The pledge is voluntary, and should remain as is. Those who disagree should be more tolerant and respect the diversity of those who wish to include "Under God."

Filtering reality
The fine people visiting our town from all over the world have every right to expect a watered down and safe Alaska. They pay thousands of dollars to have a thoroughly censored Alaska adventure, and who are these "skaters" but a bunch of Alaskans "ollie-ing," "grinding" and "kickflipping" over that "gnarly" experience.

Photo: Making way for wheelchairs
Steve Ricci, left, and Peter Cross work Monday on the Boy Scout Camp Trail. The project to make the trail wheelchair-accessible is nearly complete. The 1.5-mile trail begins at about mile 27 Glacier Highway, near the Herbert River.

This Day in History
In 1898, Jefferson Randolph "Soapy" Smith, gambler and character of ill-repute, was shot and killed in Skagway.

Planned Parenthood opens Juneau office
Planned Parenthood of Alaska announced last week it is opening an office in Juneau to provide sexual health education to area schools, the University of Alaska Southeast, community centers and other health and educational agencies. Katherine Davey, the director of education and training for Planned Parenthood of Alaska who will head Juneau's office, said the organization eventually wants to open a clinic to provide abortion services, birth control, pregnancy testing, testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections, breast and cervical cancer screening and other services.

Along Times Trail
Visitors and locals who join the daily guided hikes on the Trail of Time at the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center wouldn't place high in a race that measured miles walked per hour. But in a race for trivia learned per mile, the walkers would be right up at the top. "We take over an hour to go about one-half a mile," U.S. Forest Service interpreter Janice Miller Moss told the four visitors to Juneau who joined her on a recent Trail of Time tour. "There's no hurry."

Photos: Trying to catch the wind
Harrison Masters, 6, peeks through his pirate's ship kite Monday at Eagle Beach. Masters and his father, Mark, and brother, Benjamin, 2, gave it their best, but light winds kept their ship grounded.

This Day in History
In 1958, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the Alaska Statehood Bill into law.

Keepers of the greens
Before there were flags, greens and fairways at Mendenhall Golf course, there was the Pederson Dairy, where, among lupine and waving grasses, Koggie File was born 68 years ago in the middle of haying season. "My grandmother was not pleased with the timing," File said, laughing from a plastic lawn chair in the course's modest players' shack. In 1987, Koggie and her husband, Tom, a retired state accountant, decided to turn the dairy land Koggie's grandparents settled in 1907 into a scenic, if rough-edged, nine-hole golf course.

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

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

Assembly must decide who gets funds: schools or nonprofits
At tonight's Finance Committee meeting, Juneau Assembly members will grapple with how to answer funding requests from the Juneau School District and area nonprofit groups. The requests total more than the city has to give. "I wish I had a solution, but I think we are just going to have to downsize," said City Manager Rod Swope, adding that tough financial conversations, like the one he anticipates tonight, will continue for the next few years. The Finance Committee meeting is scheduled for 5 p.m. today in Assembly chambers.

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

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

Fred C. Morgan Sr.
Juneau resident Fred C. Morgan Sr., 90, Neechg a Raven from the Takdeintaan Clan, died June 2, 2003, at Bartlett Regional Hospital.

Louis Orvil Nelson
Haines resident Louis Orvil Nelson, 89, died in his home on July 4, 2003, after a yearlong battle with cancer.

My Turn: State can help with natural gas
The United States is facing critical shortages in natural gas in the months and years to come - just ask Alan Greenspan and other government experts. This is due, in part, to government policies that increase demand for gas while restricting access to it by locking up some of the most gas-rich lands in America. Thankfully, Alaska can help avert this long-term crisis because decades' worth of natural gas is waiting to get to market with a nudge from Congress.

Alaska Editorial: Fishing, construction industries looking up
At least two segments of Alaska's economy are looking strong - construction contracts are holding at a record high level and the market for Bristol Bay red salmon appears promising. Bradner's Alaska Economic Report predicts that an unprecedented combination of factors could make Bristol Bay fishermen's paychecks significantly larger than they have been in recent years.

My Turn: Juneau viewed as an also-ran
There used to be a skinny guy with black hair in Juneau who could be seen pushing a very large woman around town in a wheelchair. I felt sorry for that guy, who sometimes seemed out of breath, because he had quite a job to do with all of the downtown hills and traffic dangers.

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

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

Boozer to play in summer leagues
Former Juneau-Douglas High School basketball star Carlos Boozer will get a first-hand chance to see if all the LeBron James hype is warranted when the Cleveland Cavaliers teammates play their first games together in two NBA summer leagues over the next two weeks. The Cavaliers will play in the six-team Pepsi Pro Summer League today through July 12 in Orlando, Fla. Then they travel to Boston for the 10-team Reebok Pro Summer League from July 14-20.

Healy man first to register for Yukon Quest
FAIRBANKS - The 2004 Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race picked up 11 contenders Wednesday, the first day to enter the 21st annual test of dog and man between Fairbanks and Whitehorse, Yukon Territory. The 1,026-mile race starts Feb. 14 in Fairbanks.

Special homecoming
Two local athletes received a warm welcome when they returned home last week from the 2003 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Dublin, Ireland. Michelle Boster and Nathan Walsh of Juneau arrived home on July 1 after being among 34 representatives (18 athletes) from Alaska at the week-long event that took place June 21-28. The 2003 World Summer Games featured more than 7,000 participants and 160 international teams. The event's opening ceremonies on June 21 featured performances by U2, Samantha Mamba and Riverdance, as well as "good luck" messages from Jon Bon Jovi, Arnold Schwarzenegger and actor Colin Ferrell, while former South African president Nelson Mandela gave the opening speech.

Sidelines: LeBron James Show set to open in Orlando
Nothing but raves. That's the early word on the LeBron James Show. The curtain lifts tonight when the Cleveland Cavaliers play their first summer league game in Orlando, Fla. It will be a typical over-the-top production that seems to follow James everywhere. More than 10,000 fans are expected, and as of Monday, 108 media credentials had been issued.

Ferries to land security funding
ANCHORAGE - Alaska's state ferry system is in line to receive $2.65 million in federal port security funds to buy such equipment as surveillance cameras and explosives detection devices for nine terminals, marine highway officials said Monday. The state will use the funds for enhancements at terminals in Bellingham, Wash., Whittier, Homer, Juneau, Ketchikan, Haines, Sitka, Skagway and Petersburg, said Jack Meyers, operations manager of the Alaska Marine Highway System.

New halibut subsistence fishery draws 8,500 people
About 8,500 people have obtained certificates for halibut subsistence fishing since they became available in mid-May, and federal and tribal officials say for the most part the program has run smoothly. "Most people are real excited about it, said Gordon Jackson, Tlingit-Haida Central Council business and economic development manager. "There's a lot of people applying for it. For the most part I think everybody's following all the rules and regulations pretty nicely."

Students get rare glimpse of ANWR on field trip
GALBRAITH LAKE - Willie Via used a break during his first hike into the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to watch a distant group of Dall sheep traverse a mountainside. "I was always kind of interested in seeing the area," the student from Fairbanks' Randy Smith Middle School said while perched on a plateau just inside the refuge's boundary. "It's on the national news and stuff because of the oil debate." Via and fellow students received a rare chance this month to spend several days in the region, exploring the Arctic and visiting with scientists who have studied it.

State allocates $7 million to struggling fishing communities
At one time, the boardwalk fishing community of Pelican numbered more than 250 people and received more than $200,000 per year from the state's fisheries business tax. A steady decline in the fishing industry has dropped the town's share of the tax as low as $9,000 four years ago, and its population has shrunk to 115, said Mayor Kathie Wasserman. But on Monday, Pelican received a check for $92,641 from the state. The money is part of a $7 million attempt to ease the plight of Alaska's fishing towns. The state has allocated federal salmon disaster funds to 63 communities that have lost fisheries business tax revenue. Eighteen Southeast communities are receiving checks ranging from $500 for Angoon, Coffman Cove, Kasaan, Skagway, Tenakee Springs and Thorne Bay, to about $277,000 for Petersburg.

Yukon fish run outdoes forecast
FAIRBANKS - More salmon than expected are showing up in the Yukon River. Department of Fish and Game biologists said they planned for another poor year, but with the run half completed, the return is much stronger than predicted. Area biologist Tracy Lingnau said fishermen have reported improvement in the number and quality of fish.

Homer radio operator battles against FCC to reach for his dream
HOMER - Homer radio operator Dave Becker has spent two decades building a private radio empire to span the empty spaces of Southcentral Alaska. Along the way, he's waged a long battle against the Federal Communications Commission to keep his radio business alive. Last month, Becker suffered another setback. An administrative law judge for the Federal Communications Commission ordered that licenses for two of his four commercial stations be revoked.

There's no end in sight for Ketchikan jewelry boom
KETCHIKAN - Jay Mahtani, owner of the Gold Rush jewelry store across from Ketchikan's downtown dock, courts cruise ship passengers with gold nugget jewelry, glittering diamonds and tanzanite. A veteran of the jewelry market on the Caribbean island of St. Thomas, he plans to open another shop on Ketchikan's Main Street this summer. Where cruise ships go, jewelry follows, he says.

State Briefs
Fishing spotty in Bristol Bay; Increasing respiratory illness prompts efforts to settle silt; State wipes out money for monitoring programs;

Alaska Railroad updates track in corridor between Anchorage, Wasilla
ANCHORAGE - The Alaska Railroad Corp. is replacing the bolted rail that it has previously used with continuously welded rail on the corridor between Anchorage and Wasilla. "This is big stuff," Terry Hinman, manager of welded rail for the railroad, told the Alaska Journal of Commerce. "It is a huge step forward for this railroad."

Critics of bear baiting aim at voters
Scorned by animal rights groups and reviled by some hunters, the practice of bear baiting is under the gun in Alaska from an odd mix of conservationists and professional hunters. The state Board of Game has dismissed repeated requests over the years to outlaw the practice of luring black bears with human food. So, foes this year are seeking a ballot initiative to let voters decide the issue. "The whole idea of using bait to attract bears, I don't think it's fair. Not really a civilized thing," said Lowell Thomas Jr., a former lieutenant governor and one of the backers of the initiative.

State Briefs
Explosion injures three in Juneau home; Tongass gets new forest supervisor; Woman's body pulled from Cook Inlet; Thieves target laptop computers; Trooper car smashed during traffic stop

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