Thursday, July 24, 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.

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.

Save the forest
As a resident of Tenakee Springs, I am very disappointed with the U.S. Forest Service's plan to exclude the Tongass National Forest from the national roadless rule. The roadless rule protected huge swathes of intact wildlands in Tenakee Inlet that are used and valued by hunters, commercial fishermen, guides, bikers and campers.

Retail leakage
I am a wholehearted supporter of shopping locally, supporting a real human being (who may be my neighbor), and doing my part to prevent "retail leakage." However, I am discovering that shopping locally is a hard endeavor for me, primarily because I can't find what I am looking for in Juneau.

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.

Save the skateboarders
I like watching the skateboarders at Marine Park; I walk down to the docks on a sunny day, looking forward to seeing them. I like people-watching as well, but I have noticed that it takes a lot more practice and skill to ride a skateboard. I think the skateboarders should consider putting out tip jars.

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

Man celebrates Hussein deaths with free coffee
To celebrate the death of Saddam Hussein's two sons, a Juneau resident treated patrons of Jordan Creek Coffee to drinks Wednesday. "He just came in here with the sign and said 'I'd like to buy them an Americano or a cup of coffee,' " said Misti Hogberg, owner of the coffee shop in the Jordan Creek Center. The sign featured black-and-white photos of the sons and encouraged customers to ask about the "R.I.P. Special."

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

City signs contracts with 2 percent raise
The city and the union representing about half its employees have reached a contract agreement covering the next two and a half years. City Manager Rod Swope said the new contracts increase employees' pay by 1.25 percent the first year and by 0.75 percent the second year. The value of the increases total 2.08 percent over the life of the contract, according to a statement released by the city. The new contracts take effect July 1. Swope said the city's price tag for the new contracts works out to about $250,000 for the first year and about $300,000 for the second year.

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

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

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.

Montessori middle school in the works
A group of Juneau parents intends to start a Montessori program for seventh- and eighth-graders this fall. The Juneau Planning Commission on Tuesday approved a conditional-use permit to put the school in a room in the Articorp building on Harris Street downtown, the same building that houses Juneau Community Charter School. The class would start with 15 students, said the organizers, the nonprofit Southeast Alaska Friends of Montessori.

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.

One local soldier home, many more still in Gulf
Juneau resident Bill Williams can breathe easy now that his daughter, Spc. 1st Class Vanessa Williams, is back on American soil after seven months in the Persian Gulf. Other Juneau families pass the days less happily, as guerilla attacks claim soldiers' lives daily and it's still anyone's guess when they are coming home. Williams was at Hunter Airfield in Savannah, Ga., when his daughter, 22, arrived there last week from Iraq.

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.

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

This Day in History
In 1969, Atlantic Richfield, BP Oil Corp. and Humble Pipeline Co. announced plans to investigate constructing a 2,600-mile pipeline to carry Alaskan oil from Puget Sound to the eastern seaboard.

40 years as a glacial gathering place
The Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center provides extensive information about the natural history of Juneau's most accessible glacier and the surrounding Tongass National Forest. But when it was built in the early 1960s, the center met some more basic needs. "It was a place where people could get warm, dry and go to the bathroom," said Pamela Finney, public affairs director for the U.S. Forest Service in Alaska.

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

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

Loretta B. Schaefer
Juneau resident Loretta Barbara Schaefer, 89, died July 21, 2003, at the Juneau Pioneers' Home.

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

Julie Reel
Juneau resident Julie Reel, 43, died July 19, 2003, at Alaska Regional Hospital in Anchorage.

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

My Turn: Middle class wouldn't call it 'voluntary'
The venerable Jay Hammond has spoken. Better to accept additional user fees, or, as a last resort, state sales and income tax (or any combination thereof) rather than have our Alaska Permanent Fund dividend checks garnished for purposes of supporting government expenditures.

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.

Ketchikan Juniors claim state title
The Ketchikan All-Stars think they perform better when their backs are against the wall. Ketchikan rallied back from the losers' bracket to claim the Alaska State Junior Division (Age 13-14) Little League Baseball Tournament crown, beating Knik 6-2 in Wednesday's if-necessary game to win the double-elimination tournament. The victory was just another in a series of close calls that had Ketchikan's Chris Loughman saying the team had "battle scars" earlier in the tournament.

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.

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

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.

Seavey first Alaskan to win USA Wrestling title
FARGO, N.D. - The state that is home to Mount McKinley, the highest peak in North America, has finally reached the summit of USA Wrestling. Dallas Seavey of Sterling became Alaska's first cadet or junior national champion in any division Monday night. He defeated Garrett Scott from a traditional state power - Pennsylvania - in the 125-pound cadet Greco-Roman championship match at the Fargodome.

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.

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.

Man charged with killing wife claims self-defense
ANCHORAGE - A man accused of killing his wife by stabbing her 43 times took the witness stand Tuesday and said it was self-defense. Isaiah Wallner said his wife, Brenda, also had a knife the morning of May 22, 2002, when harsh words in the couple's apartment kitchen escalated to fatal violence.

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.

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.

Fairbanks' Whitaker opts out of 2004 House race
Fairbanks Republican Rep. Jim Whitaker, who is running for mayor of the Fairbanks North Star Borough, says he will not seek another term in the House of Representatives even if he loses the mayoral election. The next election for representatives is in 2004.

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

State Briefs
Police seek witnesses to fatal accident; Rosalee Walker leaves Johns Hopkins hospital; North Slope mayor charged with DUI; Troopers nab suspect in Seward slaying;

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.

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