Wednesday, July 16, 2003

At the bridge?
At article in the June 13 Empire indicates that $22 million has been allocated for studies for a Ketchikan bridge and a further $230 million will be appropriated to build it. A total of $250 million.

Let's get organized!
After reading the article in the Juneau Empire about Whittier being "reopened" to cruise ships once they had rescinded their head tax, I once again realized the drastic need for change in Alaska. All the communities in Alaska that are part of the cruise ship itinerary need to unite.

Whose best interests?
In January, Sen. Stevens attached a Tongass rider to the federal spending bill which transcends environmental concerns. The rider states the Tongass wilderness plan "shall not be reviewed under any Forest Service administrative appeal process, and its adequacy shall not be subject to judicial review by any court of the United States."

Hunting and a predator control program
Please allow me to dispel confusion and continued misunderstanding on the effects of Senate Bill 155, an act relating to predator control programs recently signed into law by Gov. Murkowski.

Out-of-step senators
Sen. Stevens' recent backdoor congressional action to impose time limits on filing appeals and court decisions on Tongass timber sales is just one more attempt to limit the options concerned citizens have in challenging timber companies and the Forest Service when they move to log the remaining wildlands of the Tongass. This is - at the very least - undemocratic, and it should be criminal.

Touched to tears
What a beautiful story (Children's Home Remembered, Empire, July 15). I was so touched by the generosity of these two people it brought tears to my eyes.

Working together
Today I read Jack Cadigan's My Turn and agree with him in a lot of aspects. After having spoken with a good friend of mine that owns a local art supply store, she laid out some heavy facts.

Do-re-mi dough
Interviewed on the KTOO television program "Currents," on Nov. 30, 1994, Marshall Lind, then chancellor of the University of Alaska Southeast, spoke of a fiscal shortfall which might necessitate reduction in the university's music faculty.

Children's Home Remembered
It sounds like a Louisa May Alcott novel: A devout Christian husband and wife open their home and their hearts to take in a few abandoned children. Money is tight, but no one is ever turned away, even if it means some of the boys have to sleep in a tent in the back yard. The story isn't set in Civil War-era Massachusetts, but in Juneau, with a 70-year time span.

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

New director takes charge of chamber
The new executive director for the Juneau Chamber of Commerce, who helped establish a bottled water company in Sitka, has spent most of the last year and a half in Southern California marketing products in movies such as Jackie Chan's "The Tuxedo" and MTV's "The Real World." Todd Saunders, 41, began his first day of work with the chamber on Monday, replacing Jamie Parsons. Parsons resigned from the position earlier this year to move to Cairo, Egypt, with his wife Mary Beth, who accepted a two-year teaching position there.

Crash survivors airlifted to Juneau
Two survivors of a weekend plane crash near Gustavus that left four people missing are out of the hospital after being treated for minor injuries. Khyl Shummway, 22, was treated for minor bruises and exposure at Bartlett Regional Hospital, said Marijo Toner, a spokeswoman for the hospital. Benjamin Gunn, 25, suffered from hypothermia, a gash to his right leg and a bruise above his eye. Both victims were released at about 3:15 p.m. Monday The plane's pilot, Gary Ostler, and his son, Christopher Ostler, 18, both of Salt Lake City, and the pilot's brothers-in-law, Gordon and Adam Moses, of Lindon, Utah, are missing. Shummway and Gunn are Gary Ostler's sons-in-law.

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

Photo: Goldstein's Emporium, 1935
Triangle Corner, shown here in 1935, featured the department store Goldstein's Emporium. The builder, Charles Goldstein, first came to Juneau from San Francisco in May 1885. He opened the emporium's doors on Oct. 12, 1914.

Assembly postpones decision on skateboard ban
The Juneau Assembly voted Monday night to table a proposed change to a city ordinance that would have banned skateboarding in Marine Park, the last legal skateboarding spot in downtown Juneau. "We need to bring the skateboarders back to the drawing board and really take a look at what we need to do to bring the user groups together with others," said Assembly member Jim Powell. "I actually think it's a great opportunity for this community to make the downtown more of a residential area."

Trading resources for tourism
HOONAH - About 15 years ago, Hoonah's seine fleet was the largest in Alaska. The fishing was plentiful and the prices were high. Business also was good for the loggers who came to town in the 1970s. These days, the town of 900 has only two seiners. The flagging timber market has caused the local logging company to reduce its staff to 80 people, down from about 200 in the 1990s. Hoonah Mayor Alf "Windy" Skaflestad predicts logging will all but stop within five years, a casualty of market conditions and environmental protections on the Tongass National Forest. He says he'd like to be optimistic about a resurgence in the fishing and timber industries, but feels he has to be practical.

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

This Day in History
In 1959, a California aircraft engineer proposed building a hole in Mt. McKinley to make a "gun barrel for launching space vehicles."

Identification sought on skeletal remains
Juneau police are hoping an autopsy Tuesday leads to the identification of human skeletal remains that were found Sunday in a ravine about 100 yards south of the Crest Condominiums on Vista Drive. The bones were found by a jogger cutting through the woods at the end of a nearby trail, according to Sgt. John Boltjes. He said there were no obvious signs of foul play. Although the body may have been there for only a few months, many of the bones were scattered by animals, he said. The remains have been sent to the Office of the Medical Examiner in Anchorage.

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

This Day in History
In 1969, Anchorage area residents watched live television coverage of the launch of Apollo 11, through a mobile satellite ground station installed for the occasion by the Department of Defense.

Missing pilot didn't know plane was low on fuel
The pilot of a plane that crashed in Icy Strait near Gustavus last weekend didn't know he was out of fuel when the plane went down, his wife said Tuesday from Salt Lake City. Gary Ostler, 49, remains missing along with his son, Christopher Ostler, also of Salt Lake City, and his two brothers-in-law, Gordon Moses, 24, and Adam Moses, 18, of Lindon, Utah. The family in Utah fears the worst for the Moses brothers, Christa Ostler, their older sister and the pilot's wife, said Tuesday. She said she holds out more hope for the other two missing men, although she is aware the Coast Guard suspended its search for all four Monday evening.

Martin, Tokuoka to marry
Haley Emma Martin of Hoonah and Matthew Dean Tokuoka of Kalae, Molokai, Hawaii, will be married in a ceremony at 5 p.m. on Aug. 2, 2003 at Glacier Gardens. A reception will immediately follow.

Children win in weekly drawing
Every week the Friends of the Juneau Public Libraries sponsor a drawing for kids who come into the library to borrow items. Local businesses have generously donated prizes.

Neighbors Briefs
Final meeting today before Survivors Walk; Kraft Foods, Fred Meyer support Juneau youth; Program manager will relocate to Bethel; Helping Hands will hold benefit dinner next month

Cummins celebrate 50th
Juneau residents Jim and Natalie (Rucker) Cummins will be celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary on July 26 at the Church of the Nazarene, 3220 Mendenhall Loop Road. Following a reception from 1-3 p.m., there will be inspirational singing and reflection of their life together from 3-5 p.m.

Kinky Character
Without collectors like Lloyd "Kinky" Bayers, the history of Juneau would be sadly lacking. Bayers' outstanding information file and photograph collection, now entrusted to the Alaska State Library, was years in the developing. He also collected books, which were donated by his mother to local libraries after his death.

Susan Wilhite Fair
Former Juneau resident, Susan Wilhite Fair, 54, died June 1, 2003, at her home in Tucson, Ariz.

Jason M. Skan
Juneau resident Jason M. Skan, 26, died on July 12, 2003, at Bartlett Memorial Hospital.

My Turn: Dividend is not a handout
It is clear the Alaska Permanent fund dividend is under attack. The Voice of the Times - even the Anchorage Daily News - is perpetuating the big lie that the dividend is a government handout. Alaskans stand accused of laziness and greed, of living only for the next dividend, and of robbing the state of millions of dollars. The Times went so far as to call the dividend "senseless, nutty, madness and insanity" and "one of the worst decisions ever made."

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

Champions crowned in state amateur golf tournament
ANCHORAGE - James Conley shot a final round 80 Sunday to win his seventh state amateur golf title. Dustin Fox, 21, a junior at the University of Nevada, posted the lowest 72-hole score in the Alaska State Amateur golf tournament with a 304. But Conley, 40, an Anchorage police officer, was declared State Am titlist because he shot the lowest four-round total by an Alaskan. He said his title should come with an asterisk because his 306 wasn't the lowest 72-hole total.

Juneau advances to finals
It took Juneau's Gastineau Channel Little League All-Stars a little bit longer to get started than the past two games. But when Monday's round-robin pool-play game was over Juneau was where it had ended its first two games, with 15 runs scored and a victory as the GCLL All-Stars knocked off Sitka 15-3 in the District 2 Junior Division (Age 13-14) Little League Baseball Tournament at Adair-Kennedy Memorial Park.

Thanks for helping with our golf tournament
The American Red Cross would like to express its appreciation to Shattuck and Grummett Insurance, the sponsors of our recent golf tournament.

Empire Cup Standing
The Empire Cup standings through races of July 8 (the Midsummer Night 10-Kilometer and One-Mile Runs). The Empire Cup is a season point series cosponsored by the Southeast Road Runners Club and the Juneau Empire.

Photo: Stanley, I Presume
New Jersey Devils center Scott Gomez, who grew up in Anchorage, hoists the Stanley Cup during a parade in Anchorage on Tuesday. Each player on the Stanley Cup champion team is allowed a day with the trophy, so Gomez brought it home to Anchorage.

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

Juneau claims top seed in Junior tourney
Juneau's Gastineau Channel All-Stars beat Ketchikan 11-3 on Tuesday night to claim the top seed in the best-two-of-three-game championship series for the District 2 Junior Division (Age 13-14) Baseball Tournament at Adair-Kennedy Memorial Park. Juneau finished the round-robin portion of the tournament with a perfect 4-0 record, while Ketchikan took the second seed with a 3-1 mark.

James scores 25 in Cavaliers' Boston summer league opener
BOSTON - Two dunks, two airballs, two 3-pointers and two blocks were among highly touted rookie LeBron James' stats. Now, he's taking two days off to attend an awards show. James scored 25 points with nine rebounds and five assists Monday night as the Cleveland Cavaliers played their first game of the Boston summer league, losing to the Celtics 87-84.

State Briefs
Greenpeace's newest ship heads to Southeast; Fairbanks cab driver stabbed to death; Mystery substance forces evacuation of Ketchikan businesses; DA drops charges against Stepovich

Stevens calls for 30-day limit on timber suits
KETCHIKAN - U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens has added wording to an appropriations bill that would limit the time groups have to take a timber sale to court in Alaska. Stevens, an Alaska Republican, last week added wording in the fiscal year 2004 federal appropriations bill for the Interior Department that would give groups 30 days to take a timber sale to court after exhausting the administrative appeal process in Alaska. The bill is making its way through Congress. It next will go to the Senate floor.

Borough reaches agreement over veneer plant
KETCHIKAN - An out-of-court settlement agreement was reached in a lawsuit the Ketchikan Gateway Borough filed against Gateway Forest Products and the Ketchikan Pulp Company. The Borough Assembly approved the settlement 6-0 Monday night. Under the agreement, the borough will take control of the pulp company's Connell Lake dam and pipeline to Ward Cove. The annual maintenance cost of the dam and pipeline is estimated at between $50,000 and $100,000, said Assistant Borough Manager Steve Corporon.

ConocoPhillips says stance on LNG remains the same
ANCHORAGE - A ConocoPhillips Alaska Inc. executive told board members of the new state gas pipeline authority that its view of shipping liquefied natural gas from Alaska remains the same. Joe Marushack, ConocoPhillips' manager for North Slope gas commercialization, said it doesn't look any better now than it did in 2001, when the company led an industry consortium that spent $14 million researching an LNG project, according to the Alaska Journal of Commerce.

Tree-eating bugs munch their way across Interior
FAIRBANKS - The mild winter and a population boom has resulted in a smorgasbord for insects that are munching their way across Alaska's Interior. Call it the attack of the five-millimeter larvae. The birch leaf miner, birch leaf roller, aspen leaf miner and spruce budworm munched through Interior tree canopies from May through early June.

Former oil company president to head natural gas authority
ANCHORAGE - A former oil company president and head of the state's natural resources department has been appointed to head the Alaska Natural Gas Development Authority. Harold Heinze, 60, the former president of Arco Alaska, was named chief executive officer of the authority at a meeting of the board of directors in Anchorage on Monday.

Rare storm, winds up to 100 mph threaten Mt. McKinley climbers
FAIRBANKS - A rare summer storm was expected to hit the Alaska Range's highest peaks by this morning with winds up to 100 mph, perhaps creating the most severe conditions in more than a decade, the National Weather Service said Monday.

Military releases missile defense impact report for Valdez, Kodiak
FAIRBANKS - The scenic impact of a 25-story radar dome and platform stored in Valdez would be minimal because of the existing trans-Alaska oil pipeline terminal, the military has concluded. Valdez is under consideration for storing the radar equipment between missile defense tests. That assessment of the proposed "sea-based X-band radar" is contained in a final environmental impact statement on a portion of the missile defense testing system. The Pentagon's Missile Defense Agency released the document last week.

State Briefs
Construction worker in critical condition; Assembly increases parking fines; Two assistant principals appointed; Attorney says man who stabbed wife 24 times wasn't trying to kill her

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