Wednesday, July 24, 2002

Acknowledging improvements
Over a decade ago, I was concerned about the lack of parking at Sandy Beach, Savikko Park and the Douglas Boat Harbor. Congestion was prevalent in the area when boaters, softball players, picnic goers and beach walkers vied for parking and access.

Blue diesel haze
If it's the slightest bit overcast outside, do you realize that for the entire day, each day, downtown is covered in blue diesel smog from cruise ships? I'm tired of looking at it every day from across the channel on Douglas Island. It's gross and it's nasty. I don't even want to go downtown when the cruise ships are in because I personally don't want to breathe it.

Gustavus vibrant, not distressed
An article in Sunday's Empire about how local communities plan to spend compensation moneys from the commercial fishing phaseout in Glacier Bay National Park implies profound demographic changes for Gustavus as a result of the congressionally mandated phaseout. Foremost, the article cites school enrollment - down from a high of 82 students to half that number now - as an indicator of the impacts of the phaseout on local families.

Fish farms, foreign markets
The commercial salmon fishing industry is society's only food staple that remains wild. This year, salmon farms have flooded the market and severely undercut prices. Many independent fishers are now working not for profit but in hopes of making their boat payments.

Difference in tone
Recently I have been looking at Fran Ulmer's Web site and Frank Murkowski's Web site.

Not wondering why
Randy Ruedrich, chairman of the Republican Party of Alaska, in his letter to the Juneau Empire, stated that the new primary system deprives no one of freedom of choice. He failed to address the issue of the many of us who are registered as nonpartisan, and who indeed have been deprived of our freedom of choice in the primary elections: The freedom to vote, regardless of party, for the individuals we feel best suited to each office.

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

Police: Drinking may have led to crash
Police say alcohol may have been a factor in a weekend crash that sent five teen-agers and young adults to the hospital. A parent of one of the teens said they had left a drinking party.Police said a 30-year-old man was driving a 1987 Dodge van, carrying six to nine passengers ages 16 to 20, that left the road and crashed into a tree around 2:44 a.m. Sunday near mile 36.5 Glacier Highway.

Landslide leads to Dyea flood
A landslide triggered a flood in the tiny gold rush community of Dyea, north of Skagway, early this morning, officials said.No injuries were reported and about 25 people in Dyea were evacuated to Skagway, about 10 miles away. The road from Skagway to Dyea is closed and tours into the area have been canceled until further notice, Skagway City Manager Bob Ward said.

Dangling eagles rescued after tumbling into tree
Here's another example of why bald eagles are known for their beauty and not their brains.A pair of the national birds spent time last week hanging upside down in a tree after tangling talons and falling from the sky. Despite human efforts to get them to let go, they remained stuck for at least half a day.

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

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

Local Briefs
Assembly forwards tour plan policies; Police pinch toy-gun-toting teens;

Dyea Road re-opens after flooding subsides
Residents and visitors were allowed back into Dyea on Tuesday afternoon after an early morning flood prompted officials to evacuate the community north of Skagway.The Dyea Road was reopened at 3 p.m. Tuesday and residents were allowed back into their homes, Skagway City Manager Bob Ward said. The West Creek Road and West Creek bridge on the far end of the West Creek valley remained closed this morning.

Glacier blocks Russell Fiord
The Hubbard Glacier near Yakutat has blocked the entrance to Russell Fiord with gravel, rock and other material, officials said Tuesday.The advancing glacier gradually has been constricting the flow of water between Disenchantment Bay and Russell Fiord this summer, turning the 39-mile-long fjord into a lake. What was a gap of water between the glacier's edge and Gilbert Point, the nearest point of solid land, is now filled by the glacier's rocky moraine, U.S. Forest Service spokeswoman Faith Duncan said.

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

A different way to Douglas: DOT pitches bridge plan
The Alaska Department of Transportation is seeking public comment on a new plan to ease congestion on and near the Douglas Bridge.Work to widen the intersection at 10th Street and Egan Drive, reconfigure the bridge surface to add a third lane, and construct a circular roadway on the Douglas side could begin as early as next summer if approved by the city.

Young Juneau poet wins place in literary anthology
Mercedes Metcalf the daughter of Rob and Marianne Metcalf, submitted a poem to a contest that was held for young poets earlier this year. Her poem was selected from thousands of entries as one of the top 10 in her grade division.

Thank you
... for your support; ... for your help;

Shutt, Sparks wed
Elizabeth Shutt of Juneau and Ryan Sparks of Kansas City, Kan., were married on May 18, 2002, in Juneau at the Chapel by the Lake log cabin. A reception was held afterward at Glacier Gardens.

Noble honored for outstanding work with National Guard
For enduring a most rigorous inspection of his company supply area, Sgt. Robert Noble of the Alaska National Guard was awarded the Army Achievement Medal by Brig. Gen. Stephen Korenek during a recent ceremony at the subport in Juneau.

Great Tlingit Canoe Race
J uneau teams took home three out of of four trophies from the Kake Dog Salmon Festival on Saturday.One People women's team of Juneau won first place in the Great Tlingit Canoe Race with a time of 11 minutes, 6 seconds. The team's time for the 3-mile course in the ocean was only 1 minute behind the winning men's team. The captain was Crystal Fields.

Pets of the week
Portabella is a portly tuxedo cat in need of a home. She is a 3-year-old spayed shorthair, who exudes an aura of peace. Rival is a neutered male shorthair, who is declawed.

Juneau Youth Court offers glimpse of alternative legal system for teens
An example of youth justice at work will happen Saturday when members of the Juneau Youth Court sponsor a presentation from 10 to 11 a.m. at the Dimond Court House.

Academic Honors
Juneau-Douglas High School graduate Noora Parish, daughter of David Parish of Juneau and Deborah Sogge-Kermani of Hardin, Mont., received a bachelor of arts degree in history from Whitman College during a May 19, 2002, commencement ceremony.

Ada Mangsol Winther
Longtime Juneau resident Ada Mangsol Winther, 80, died July 20, 2002, at Swedish Hospital in Seattle, Wash.

Louise Patricia 'Pete' McCue
Former Juneau resident Louise Patricia "Pete" McCue died July 20, 2002, in Charleston, S.C.

Donald J. Hitchcock
Former Juneau resident Donald J. Hitchcock died May 13, 2002, in Federal Way, Wash.

My Turn: Promote public input in managing tourism
What will it take for the public in Juneau to pay attention to what is happening in our community and to insist on being heard - and, beyond that, to be responded to?

Juneau Empire working to improve delivery service
The Juneau Empire always has worked to provide reliable, timely delivery service to subscribers. Since we traditionally depended upon a legion of youth carriers to deliver your daily paper on contract, delivery service has been only as good as the carrier covering your neighborhood at any given time.

My Turn: Avoid bridge changes that disenfranchise bicyclists
The following comments relate to the proposed project to eliminate the bike lanes on the Douglas Bridge and to construct a roundabout at the Douglas-North Douglas intersection.

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

Frye sizzles as Juneau tops Washington
Juneau's Gastineau Channel Little League Major (age 11-12) All-Stars advanced in Northwest Division softball tournament play on Tuesday with a heartstopping 4-3 victory over the Washington state champions in Eagle Point-White City, Ore., near Medford.

GCLL All-Stars romp to title
Juneau's Gastineau Channel Little League All-Stars trounced Kenai 15-2 in a game called five innings due to the 10-run mercy rule on Tuesday to win the state Senior Division (age 15-16) Little League baseball tournament in Petersburg.

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

Capital City Soccer League Standings
Through July 22

Seniors hold on vs. Kenai
Juneau's Gastineau Channel Little League Senior Division (age 15-16) All-Stars are one win away from advancing to the Northwest Division tournament after beating Kenai 17-11 Monday at the state tourney in Petersburg.

Juneau flushes away bad inning
It was one of those innings that can decimate a team.Juneau's Gastineau Channel Little League All-Stars had just given up five unearned runs on four errors in the third inning, falling behind by four runs during Monday's second game of their best-of-three series with Knik in the state Junior Division (age 13-14) Little League softball tournament.

State Briefs
Jonrowe diagnosed with breast cancer; Teen-ager killed in Anchorage collision; Coast Guard rescues four from life raft;

State Briefs
Boy sues to claim contest prize; Teen reels in 87-pound salmon; Flags lowered for Wes Coyner;

Fran Ulmer highlights her stand against gun control
Running for governor in a state where gun control more often refers to marksmanship than new laws, Fran Ulmer would like to downsize a bit.The Democrat gubernatorial candidate took time while campaigning in Galena last week to shop for a new, smaller handgun.

Voter registration deadline on Sunday
Alaska residents have until Sunday to register to vote or change their party affiliation for the upcoming primary and general elections.Voter registration forms can be picked up at the Juneau and Douglas public libraries, the state Division of Motor Vehicles, and the Division of Elections regional office.

WorldCom Inc. scandal hurts GCI
ANCHORAGE - General Communication Inc. expects to write off $10 million to $20 million as bad debt because of WorldCom Inc.'s bankruptcy filing.WorldCom, the country's second-largest telephone and data services company, owns a 10 percent stake in GCI and provides 17 percent of the Anchorage company's revenue.

Ulmer goes off road for support in the Bush
MANLEY HOT SPRINGS - Democrat Fran Ulmer has taken her campaign off the road in an effort to shore up essential votes in Bush Alaska.A boat trip down the Tanana and Yukon rivers last week took the lieutenant governor to this small mining town where no gubernatorial candidate has set foot in 20 years.

Retiring Coast Guard commander to head ASMI
ANCHORAGE - A search committee for the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute has chosen a retiring Coast Guard commander to be the institute's new executive director.

Knowles asks committee for gas line help
FAIRBANKS - Gov. Tony Knowles has pleaded Alaska's case for helping a natural gas pipeline to the U.S. House and Senate members serving on a conference committee deciding the fate of a national energy bill.

Ross urges Murkowski to debate in Alaska
ANCHORAGE - U.S. Sen. Frank Murkowski's leading Republican opponent in the Aug. 27 primary election says Murkowski should return to Alaska, debate his opponents and take stands on major issues facing the state."If you really want to run for governor of Alaska, Frank, then I respectfully suggest that it is time for you to 'come home' and be a candidate for governor," candidate Wayne Anthony Ross said in a letter sent to Murkowski last weekend.

Knowles names 5 to Board of Game
Gov. Tony Knowles named five people, including a Juneau man, to the state Board of Game on Tuesday, filing spots left vacant when the Legislature rejected a slew of earlier appointments.

More PFD lawyers to be hired in wake of WorldCom losses
ANCHORAGE - The board of trustees for the Alaska Permanent Fund is planning to hire more lawyers because of the WorldCom scandal.

Judge rules calculating move costs can wait
An Anchorage Superior Court judge ruled Tuesday that certification of a ballot initiative to move the legislative session from Juneau to the Mat-Su Borough does not require the appointment of a commission to study the costs prior to the Nov. 5 election.Alaskans for Efficient Government, the group pushing the initiative to move the session and which brought the lawsuit against the state, argued that a commission to determine the move's costs should have been appointed by Gov. Tony Knowles to avoid two elections - one to approve a session move and another to approve the costs.

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