Wednesday, July 23, 2003

Total adds Canadian drill partner
ANCHORAGE - The U.S. subsidiary of French oil giant Total has brought in a Canadian partner for its exploratory drilling plans in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska. Such partnerships are normal in the Alaska oil patch and globally, said Jack Bergeron, Alaska manager for Total E&P USA Inc. of Houston, Texas.

Federal aid results in profit for Alaska Air Group
SEATTLE - Alaska Air Group Inc. swung to a profit for the second quarter, almost entirely because of $71.4 million infusion of federal aid, the airline holding company said Tuesday. The Seattle-based parent company of Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air reported net income of $45.2 million or $1.70 a share, compared to a net loss of $2.9 million, or 11 cents a share, for the same period a year ago. Alaska Air reported quarterly revenue of $609.1 million compared to $575.7 million last year.

Sockeyes strong in Cook Inlet
KENAI - Commercial fishermen in the upper Cook Inlet are seeing a strong return of sockeye salmon, prompting the Alaska Department of Fish and Game to grant some increases in fishing time. Jeff Fox, a commercial fisheries biologist with the agency, says the season is shaping up to be a good one in terms of the numbers of fish caught by commercial fishermen.

Freedom or confusion?
We have had several "My Turn" columns addressing God and freedom and their place in our government and country. I am not going to argue history with a historian or law with a lawyer. I just want to provide a Christian perspective from a Christian in hope that it will help somebody out there sort things.

Fix downtown parking
Thank you, Marc Wheeler, for supporting the idea of buying locally, but as well as townspeople, Assembly members play a huge role in the process.

Demand accountability
The Bush administration's current push to initiate war against North Korea must be a smokescreen. The desire to raise an alarm against a potentially threatening storm on the Far East horizon seems to be a priority. No wonder. The political fallout from the untruths (lies?) about Iraq's WMD stockpile must be overcome soon.

Support local merchants
Kudos to Empire Publisher Don Smith for reminding us of the benefits of buying locally. Sometimes it's hard to control your buying habits, with the influence of catalogs and the Internet making it all too easy to shop out of town.

Bush not like Nazis
Stuart Thompson's letter of July 21 is an excellent example of the muddled thinking pervasive among many liberal Christians and left-wing ideologues.

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

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

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

Woman sues Capital Transit over 2002 incident
It may have started with a candy bar 16 months ago, but an Arab-American woman claims Capital Transit has continued to cause her emotional distress. Jamila Glauber, who was told to leave a city bus for eating a bite-size Snickers bar March 22, 2002, filed suit in Juneau on Monday against Capital Transit, the city and Tad Zurek, the bus driver. Glauber, represented by Anchorage attorney Jay W. Trumble, claims the actions of the defendants caused her severe emotional distress and were based on her race and national origin. As an Arab-American of Yemeni origin, she is protected from such actions under the Alaska Human Rights Act, the suit notes.

Corrections
Due to a reporter's error, an article in Monday's Empire incorrectly stated gardener Nelda Stewart's occupation. Stewart works for a lobbyist during the legislative session.

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

Police buckle down on alcohol sales to minors
Juneau police will continue this summer to check to see that businesses aren't selling alcohol to minors, department spokes-man Capt. Tom Porter said Monday. "We hope we will have a positive effect on reducing the availability of alcohol to young people," Porter said. One person working as a clerk was cited Saturday, and police are investigating whether to cite a second person after a round of compliance checks, he said.

This Day in History
In 1962, the first Forest Service Visitor Center in the U.S. was dedicated at the Mendenhall Glacier near Juneau.

Panel recommends Douglas Bridge changes
A Juneau Assembly committee wants the full panel to approve a controversial project aimed at easing traffic congestion on and around the Douglas Bridge. The project, proposed by the state Department of Transportation, would remove bicycle lanes on the bridge to make room for a reversible center lane for vehicles. The lane would run one way from Douglas to Juneau during the morning rush hour and in the opposite direction for the rest of the day. The project also would widen the intersection of 10th Street and Egan Drive and add a traffic circle to route vehicles on the Douglas side of the bridge.

This Day in History
In 1902, Felix Pedro discovered gold on Cleary Creek, touching off a stampede that resulted in the founding of Fairbanks.

Discoveries with docents
A visitor to the Alaska State Museum could spend days peering through the glass panes of museum displays to examine cedar root, birch bark and eel grass baskets crafted by Natives from all over the state. But under the guidance of a docent, who leads visitors through the museum with arms full of artifacts and art, visitors can gain a much better understanding of the baskets - how they smell and feel, how much they weigh and the density of their weave. "It takes a lot of finesse to make one of these," said docent Shauna McMahon, passing a birch bark box around to members of her tour Monday morning.

Juneau woman dies in car crash on Tuesday
A Juneau woman known for helping others died Tuesday afternoon from injuries sustained when her car collided with a dump truck in the Mendenhall Valley. Paulette Alden, 49, known as Paula, was pronounced dead upon arrival at Bartlett Regional Hospital, police said. Police said her 1991 Ford Escort was struck by a dump truck driven by a 38-year-old Juneau man at about 1 p.m. at the intersection of Mendenhall Loop Road and Stephen Richards Memorial Drive. The truck driver's name was not released.

Planning commission postpones action on horse boarding proposal
Questions remain before the Juneau Planning Commission can decide if a Montana Creek Road horseback riding business can expand to acreage fronting 9990 Mendenhall Loop Road, commissioners decided Tuesday night. Two neighbors of the proposed operation expressed concerns about safety and what it could do to the environment, and particularly the waste that 35 to 40 horses could generate from mid-May to mid-September. The horses are boarded in British Columbia during the winter, the owner said.

Thank you
...for help with raffle tickets; ...for help with no-alcohol margaritas; ...for helping Girl Scouts with overnight camp

Photo: Cruising Amalga Harbor
A young brown bear surveys the scene at Amalga Harbor on a late-June morning. The bear ambled around the cabin and stared down a barking dog across the water before being sent on its way by the start of an outboard motor.

Epperly and Pietan to marry
Bobbi Jean Epperly of Juneau and James J. Pietan of Fairbanks will be married at a ceremony at 6:30 p.m. on July 25 at Glacier Gardens in Juneau.

Pets of the week
Those who know hounds will appreciate Dakota, a cross between a Plothound and a Walker Hound. Prince Dusty is a handsome Himalayan, the kind of cat that looks like a long-haired Siamese.

Fighting ships bore SE names
During World War II, 24 U.S. aircraft carriers were given Southeast Alaska place names. Our large aircraft carriers (CVs) were named for famous old ships of the U.S. Navy, or for famous battles.

Neighbors Briefs
Visitor Center's 40th birthday; Contra-dancing gala Friday; Children win in weekly drawing

Darrell Larsen
Longtime Juneau resident Darrell Larsen, 41, died July 15, 2003, at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, Wash.

Marion Josephine Ezrre
Juneau resident Marion Josephine Ezrre, 77, died July 21, 2003, at Wildflower Court in Juneau.

Victor Mitchell Johnson
Hoonah resident Victor Mitchell Johnson, 50, died July 20, 2003, in Hoonah.

Ethel Murphy Berge
Longtime Juneau resident Ethel Murphy Berge, 92, died July 12, 2003, in Santa Ana, Calif., from congestive heart failure.

Alaska Editorial: It's time to look for oil in Bristol Bay
Many years ago, when statehood was young and people were looking at ways to expand the economy, strong suggestions were made that oil and gas exploration should be conducted in Bristol Bay. Heavens no, said the salmon fishing industry - with solid nods of approval from the environmental lobbies.

My Turn: Declining teacher pay hurts student achievement
A recent article in the Juneau Empire gives Alaska's educators reason for concern. Recently we learned that the American Federation of Teachers annual study of teacher average salaries shows that Alaska has dropped another notch, to 10th place (actually 32nd place when salaries are adjusted to the cost of living.)

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

Juneau Junior softball squad beats A-O-R for state crown
Juneau's Madison Massey, Andi Doerflinger and Sasha Frye teamed up on the mound and shut down Abbott-O-Rabbit in Anchorage on Tuesday as the Gastineau Channel Little League All-Stars successfully defended the Alaska State Junior Division (Age 13-14) Little League softball title with a 10-3 win.

Governor's Cup kids' races
Results of the 2003 Governor's Cup kids' races, held Saturday on one-half-mile and one-mile courses that started and ended near the American Red Cross offices at Salmon Creek. The races were held in conjunction with the 26th annual Governor's Cup five-kilometer run.

Ketchikan shuts out Knik, forces an if-necessary game
Ketchikan had its back against the wall after losing the opening game of the Alaska State Junior Division (Age 13-14) Little League Baseball Tournament, so the Ketchikan players were looking forward to their rematch with undefeated Knik in what was supposed to be the tournament's championship game Tuesday night at Adair-Kennedy Memorial Park. Staked to an early lead because of some Knik errors, Ketchikan rode pitcher Trevor Norton's shutout to a 6-0 victory, forcing an if-necessary game between the two teams at 6 p.m. tonight to decide the title. The winner of tonight's game heads to the Western Division tournament that opens Friday in Vancouver, Wash.

Juneau Majors reach finals of district tourney
For one inning Monday, it looked like Juneau and Wrangell were headed to another double-barreled slugfest in the District 2 Major Division (Age 11-12) Little League Baseball Tournament in Ketchikan. But from the second inning on, Juneau kept firing as Wrangell's bats fell silent, and the Gastineau Channel Little League All-Stars ran away with a 13-2 win in four innings to reach today's championship game.

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

Practice equals district title for Juneau Majors
Earlier in this year's District 2 Major Division (Age 11-12) Little League Baseball Tournament in Ketchikan, Juneau manager Chris Monagle watched the hometown team throw curveball after curveball and throw off his batters. So prior to Tuesday's tourney title game between Ketchikan and Juneau, Monagle spent two hours of batting practice bombarding his players with curveballs - and it paid off. The Gastineau Channel Little League All-Stars hit everything the opposing pitchers sent their way, romping to a 12-0 victory in a game called after four innings on the 10-run mercy rule.

Ketchikan edges North Pole to advance to the state Junior title game
With the way both teams kept scoring every inning, it was a good thing Ketchikan won the pre-game coin flip and won the home team's last at-bats against North Pole in Monday's losers' bracket game in the Alaska State Junior Division (Age 13-14) Little League Baseball Tournament at Adair-Kennedy Memorial Park. Ryan Simpson singled home John Thompson from third base with the game-winning run with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning, giving Ketchikan a 9-8 victory in an elimination game.

Juneau Seniors repeat as state softball champs
Hannah Barril admitted to being nervous at the start of Monday's second game of the best-of-three championship series in the Alaska State Senior Division (Age 15-16) Little League Softball Tournament at Melvin Park. Even though she'd pitched in big games before - helping Juneau's Gastineau Channel Little League All-Stars claim last year's state Junior Division (Age 13-14) title and as a freshman with the state runner-up Juneau-Douglas High School team - Barril said she had the jitters.

émigré greets governor years after receiving help
FAIRBANKS - A young woman at the Governor's Picnic reminded Frank Murkowski of what he called the highlight of his 22-year U.S. Senate career. In 1986, Murkowski, then a U.S. senator, led a congressional delegation to Hanoi, calling on the Vietnamese to resolve cases of American soldiers missing in action. He also had a second goal - to answer the request of a Fairbanks woman who fled Vietnam years earlier, to bring her children to join her in the United States.

Challenger Learning Center struggles to find operating money
KENAI - The Challenger Learning Center has been highly successful at finding grants to build its facilities dedicated to space education. But finding the money to keep the doors open is proving to be more difficult. The learning center opened three years ago and organizers won applause for leveraging federal grants and corporate donations into a facility at no cost to local taxpayers. The $7 million facility has just finished doubling in size, adding new multipurpose classroom space and dormitories for out-of-town students. Finding money for keeping the doors open has been harder.

Attorney general visits Anchorage
ANCHORAGE - U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft defended the USA Patriot Act during a visit to Anchorage Monday, while dozens of demonstrators outside waved signs criticizing the anti-terrorism law and Ashcroft. The Patriot Act has been "misconstrued," said Ashcroft, a former Republican senator and governor from Missouri who became attorney general in 2001. The act consolidates other laws long on the books that deal with drug dealers and other suspects of serious crimes, he said. The law, passed by Congress shortly after the 2001 terrorist attacks, broadens government powers of surveillance and investigative methods.

Murkowski against automatic wage increases
A Juneau business owner who is cutting one of two full-time employees at her store says Gov. Frank Murkowski's decision to end annual minimum wage increases would help small businesses like hers. But an employee making near-minimum wage who works a few shops down at the Nugget Mall says low-wage workers have to pay their bills just like everyone else. The reaction comes in response to Murkowski's approval of a bill that reverses a measure passed by the Legislature in 2002 to annually increase the state's minimum wage to keep up with inflation.

Protection axed for Northern Goshawk
SAN FRANCISCO - Thwarting environmentalists, a federal appeals court here Monday upheld a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service decision that the Northern Goshawk doesn't need federal protection throughout the West. The 3-0 decision by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel came after 13 years of litigation, in which environmentalists wanted the government to list the large raptor, usually found in the western United States, as endangered or threatened. The Queen Charlotte Goshawk, a subspecies found in Southeast Alaska, has been the subject of a separate petition to declare it endangered.

Innocence group to aid Alaska convict
ANCHORAGE - A New York group whose intervention helped free more than 130 wrongly imprisoned people across the country has filed its first case in Alaska. The Innocence Project seeks DNA testing of evidence used to convict William Osborne of raping and beating a Spenard prostitute. Osborne, now 29, is in the 10th year of a 26-year prison sentence. He has always denied involvement in the 1993 assault. At the time of his arrest he was a 19-year-old soldier with no record. He says semen found at the scene of the attack is not his and testing it with techniques not available 10 years ago will prove he is innocent.

State Briefs
Man indicted on sex abuse charges; Murkowski signs minimum wage bill; Buffer zone likely won't affect Alaska; Federal government seeks airport screeners; Park service looking for seed collectors

State Briefs
Pilot gave no indication of fuel problems; Mayor gives support to sales tax for Fairbanks; Night-fishing closure continues after mauling

Peace Hat comes home
After years in exile, the Peace Hat given to the Kiksadi Tlingits of Sitka by the Russians during peace negotiations almost 200 years ago is home. The repatriated artifact, which has been in the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, was returned during a Saturday ceremony at Sitka's Centennial Hall. The brass hat was made by the order of Alexander Baranof, the manager of the Russian America Company, and carries the stamp of the Russian factory. It was presented to head chief Mikail Koox'aan, also known as Shk'aawul Yeil, in ratification of a treaty of peace between the Russians and the Kiksadi following the Tlingit-Russian battles of 1802 and 1804, according to museum records.

Slaying suspect evades troopers
ANCHORAGE - A Seward man has been the subject of a manhunt since Saturday night but so far has eluded Alaska State Troopers and other law enforcement officers. Bill Conger, 31, is suspected of killing friend and co-worker John Tulin, 43. Tulin was found late Saturday shot dead in his driveway, Alaska State Troopers said.

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