Alaska Digest

Posted: Friday, July 22, 2005

Girl treated, cited after Egan accident

JUNEAU - A 16-year-old girl was treated for cuts Thursday at Bartlett Regional Hospital and cited by police after the Honda she was driving flipped onto its roof on Egan Drive near downtown.

Officers did not identify the girl but said Capital City Fire and Rescue took her to the Bartlett emergency room to be treated, primarily from cuts sustained from glass breaking in the 1995 Honda Passport she was driving. They also cited her on a charge of careless driving and impounded the sport-utility vehicle.

The accident was reported at 10:27 a.m. in the 1700 block of Egan Drive. The Honda was resting on its roof, which sustained substantial damage, along with the hood. The girl was sitting on a nearby guardrail.

According to police reports, the girl said she was driving outbound in the right lane of Egan Drive, approaching Highland Drive, when she lost tire traction. She attempted to correct and hit a raised median to her left. The Honda continued, sliding sideways across the median to the inbound lanes of Egan Drive.

It flipped onto its roof before sliding to a rest and blocking both inbound lanes of Egan Drive, police said.

BRAC won't seek a second opinion

FAIRBANKS - The military base review commission considering the fate of dozens of military facilities nationwide will not seek a second opinion about its recusal rules for members.

The decision comes after Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, asked the commission's chairman last week to get a second opinion on whether the commission's rules are too strict.

Anthony Principi, the commission's chairman, said the group needs to stick with the rules it has adopted, which call for commissioners to recuse themselves when voting on issues that affect their home states.

"At this stage in the process and where we are, I don't think it would be appropriate to revise our rules and regulations, and we're just going to stay on this course," Principi said Tuesday after a commission meeting in Washington, D.C.

Four commissioners have announced that they would not participate in votes that would affect their home states or states for which they had worked on military basing issues in the past.

One of those commissioners is former U.S. Rep. Jim Bilbray, D-Nev., who has made skeptical comments about the Pentagon's proposal to move F-16 jets from Eielson Air Force Base near Fairbanks to Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada.

The commission on its Web site states that the recusals were made "to avoid any appearance of a lack of impartiality and to enhance the public's confidence in the integrity of the BRAC process."

Medical marijuana program to continue

Alaska Attorney General David Marquez said Thursday the state will keep registering medical marijuana users.

Marquez's office said in June that Alaska may suspend medical marijuana registration program after a U.S. Supreme Court decision, Gonzales v. Raich, gave the federal government the authority to override state medical marijuana laws.

Alaska is one of 10 states where marijuana can be used for medicinal purposes with a doctor's prescription. About 200 people are registered medical marijuana users in Alaska.

"The Raich decision addressed the narrow constitutional question of whether the federal government has authority to regulate certain types of intrastate activity under the Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution," Marquez said in a statement. "Absent a clear statement in Raich that federal law pre-empts a state's ability to regulate the possession and use of marijuana for medical purposes, Alaska's registration scheme should continue to remain in effect."

The Marijuana Policy Project, a marijuana legalization advocacy group, had threatened to sue if the registration program was discontinued.

Marijuana Policy Project spokesman Bruce Mirken said the group hopes the announcement sends a message to other states considering legalizing medical marijuana that federal law prohibiting it is no reason to not establish their own state laws.

Anchorage historian John Bagoy dies

ANCHORAGE - John P. Bagoy, an Anchorage historian who spent years identifying and marking unknown graves, died this week at 83.

Bagoy began his mission to pull the downtown Anchorage Memorial Park Cemetery back from neglect after his mother, Marie, was buried there in 1982.

Bagoy, who died Wednesday of a lung disease, probed records and memories to discover who was buried where. Between him and cemetery director Dan Warden, they had inventoried about 3,000 unmarked graves by 2002.

Bagoy led annual cemetery tours on the summer solstice, telling stories about pioneer families and Alaska Natives. In recent years, each tour was advertised as his last because of the difficulty his lung ailment posed.

But every year, he came back, even if he couldn't conduct the whole tour. This year he made a cameo appearance, according to Warden.

"John had one of the sharpest minds of anybody I've known," he said Warden. "His memory of events that happened 70 years ago was phenomenal."

Bagoy was born in Anchorage in 1922. He graduated from Anchorage High School and from the University of Oregon, and served in the Army in World War II, finishing as a first sergeant. He started an electrical supply business in Anchorage and later acquired an electronics store, Yukon Radio and Electric Supply, said his son, John Bagoy Jr. of Coos Bay, Ore.

But it's what he did after retirement that made a name for the elder Bagoy.

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