Monday, July 28, 2003

A plethora of audio books available at public library
T he Juneau Public Libraries has new books on CD hitting the shelves this week.

Don't trade forests
I am very sorry to hear that Sen. Lisa Murkowski has reopened the scheme to trade virgin forest north of Berners Bay for clearcut land down by Ketchikan (Senate Bill 1354). A great deal for the Native corporations but a sorry mistake for Alaska citizens, the wildlife and the environment.

Pleased with Capitol tour
I am a frequent visitor to Juneau as I serve as a lecturer on many cruise ships. Whenever I visit the capital city, I am always impressed with the friendliness of everyone in your community.

Irrational jingoism about war in Iraq must stop
I find it utterly disgusting that someone would celebrate death and that Jordan Creek Coffee would participate in celebrating death in this manner. When will this irrational jingoism about the war in Iraq finally stop?

Less is more
I salute the selfless, generous administrators and educators who put their students ahead of their paychecks. Having the pleasure to work with some in the past 33 years, I take issue with Mr. Rich Kronberg's attitude displayed in his My Turn titled "Declining teacher pay hurts student achievement."

Divide and conquer
A powerful letter by Mr. Howard (on elders/pigeons) painting a very sad picture. But the segue was missing; there should have been a bit more to the story.

No income tax
The recent announcements by the Alaska Municipal League and the Alaska Conference of Mayors of their "overwhelming support for a state income tax" come as no surprise to many of us. These are the same bureaucrats and elected officials who refuse to make the tough and challenging decisions to cut the cost of government.

Exorbitant airfares
Picture yourself as a low- or medium-income person in Southeast Alaska wanting to visit grandparents and other relatives in the Lower 48 but for the last five-plus years cannot afford the Alaska Airlines tickets. Or you are a grandparent with a fixed income and cannot visit your grandchildren in Southeast Alaska because of the exorbitant fares charged by that airline.

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

Human-caused or natural?
According to the National Climatic Data Center, a division of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, global surface temperatures have increased by about 0.6 degrees Celsius, or about 1 degree Fahrenheit, since the late 19th century. This claim is little disputed among scientists. Scientists also do not dispute the fact that the concentration of carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, has increased in Earth's atmosphere in the last century.

Photo: Raising money for medical help
Participants in the Raymond E. Paddock Jr. Major Medical and Elder's Emergency Assistance fund-raiser walk along the bike trail Saturday next to Twin Lakes.

No man an island in contra dancing
When a contra dance is going just right, the dance flows, each movement seeming inevitable and each person seamlessly flowing through the pattern. Another giveaway is the spontaneous yips. The 67 participants at Camp Damp, held Friday through Sunday at the Methodist camp near Eagle River, had plenty of chances to yip.

Glaciers divulge the history of climate
The Mendenhall Glacier is retreating so quickly that a recently revealed rock outcropping on its east side is expected to become a large wall that will separate the river of ice from Mendenhall Lake within the next 20 to 30 years. About 20 miles to the east, the Taku Glacier is charging forward - bulldozing trees and pushing sediment into a barrier between the moving ice and Taku Inlet.

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

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

Relocated bears may be equipped with tracking collars
Some problem bears in the Juneau area could provide an education for wildlife officials. Neil Barten, area wildlife biologist for the state Department of Fish and Game, said his agency plans to put collars on a couple of local bears to broadcast their movements after they are moved away from town. Barten said the GPS collars would show where the bears are going, where they sleep and where they spend most of their time.

This Day in History
In 1977, at 11:02 p.m., the first oil from the Prudhoe Bay oil fields reached Valdez, after traveling the 798 miles of the trans-Alaska pipeline.

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

Local sets up outlet for used outdoor gear
In a back room in the Emporium Mall downtown, tucked about halfway between Heritage Coffee on the Franklin Street end of the mall and the Kodiak Coat Co. on the other end, Nick Foster has set up shop. Late last week, two tents were set up on the floor of the room. Two bikes were hung from the ceiling, and another was on the floor. Polypropylene, Goretex and hemp outdoor wear draped off of hangers attached to a wood platform in the middle of the room. The latest copies of a new outdoor magazine sat next to the cash box, where Foster had set up a chair to wait for customers.

On the Lindy, a breakdown is more a pleasant interlude
When the engine on Bill Shattenberg's 75-foot, wooden, ketch-rigged motor sailer exploded earlier this summer, he, his wife and their seven-person crew were 400 miles off the Mexican coast with calm, sunny weather, a three-month supply of food and plenty of cheap Panamanian beer. "We did not have a problem, except for the fact that the wind was not going to blow us to Acapulco anytime in the near future," Shattenberg, 47, said last week in the kitchen of the Lindy, docked at the Juneau Yacht Club.

Angoon man stabbed, dies
An Angoon man was stabbed to death at his home Saturday night, relatives said.Richard (Buddy) George Jr., 27, died shortly before 7 p.m. at Angoon Health Clinic, said his grandmother, Judy George of Douglas. His body was flown to Juneau Sunday afternoon for autopsy.

Joseph Henry Paddock
Joseph Henry Paddock, Tleineek' of the LukaaX.adi Clan, 99, died on July 22, 2003, in the Pioneers' Home in Sitka.

Donovan McGee
Former Juneau resident Donovan "Don" McGee, 95, died June 26, 2003, in Sitka.

Paulette Alden
Juneau resident Paulette Alden, 49, died on July 22, 2003. Services will be held at noon on Tuesday, July 29, at the Alaska Mortuary and Alaskan Memorial Park on Riverside Drive. All family and friends are invited to attend.

My Turn: Pregnant women can be victims of domestic violence
Turn to any cable news channel these days and chances are you'll see something related to the Laci Peterson murder case. Many question how the father, who seemingly had a happy, loving marriage and eagerly awaited the birth of his son, could allegedly commit murder. Unfortunately, it is a sad fact that violence against pregnant women is not that uncommon. More unfortunate is that it took such a case to draw attention to the subject.

What do you think?
If a person is capable of driving well, let him/her pass a test. There should be no ifs, ands or buts either. It should be mandatory for all.

Toe Cartoon

My Turn: There is economic hope for Southeast
Our "fairweather friends" are back. Greenpeace is bringing its 236-foot cruise ship, Esperanza, to Southeast, after a winter in warmer climes. It is skipping British Columbia this summer. Greenpeace's penchant for protest suffered a setback in May when the British Columbia Supreme Court ruled that Greenpeace, and its individual protesters, owed wages to loggers blockaded from working.

Out and About
July 27: Public trap shooting at the Juneau Gun Club on Montana Creek Road, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Details: 789-9844. July 30: Parks and Rec Wednesday hike. For age 18 and older. No dogs or firearms. Details: 586-0428.

Big Fish Pictures

The familiar marmot descends from ice-age colonists
The shrill whistle of the hoary marmot is a familiar sound to Alaskans, especially to hikers with dogs. But on the hot, calm afternoons that can grace Alaska in the summer, the green alpine slopes can be pretty quiet. The alarm call of the marmot colony is silent.

Fishing the Breadline
he Juneau area has an abundance of places to fish, but few are as consistently bountiful as the Breadline. Often, the question asked is: "Why is the Breadline so productive?" The Breadline begins just outside of Tee Harbor and stretches several miles along the eastern shore of Lynn Canal, past the Shrine of St. Therese. It features a shelf that drops off 400 to 500 feet, and salmon congregate along this shelf.

Fish report
King salmon fishing for Juneau area marine boat anglers continues its seasonal decline. During the most recent survey, it took 48 hours to land a king salmon, up from 42 hours the previous week. The five-year average is 64 hours per king salmon. Last year it took 71 hours to land a king.

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

Taking the scenic route
Before rain and low clouds socked in Juneau on Saturday, 29 runners ascended Mount Roberts the old-fashioned way for the annual Mount Roberts Tram Race.Dave Pusich thwarted John Bursell's drive for a fifth straight victory in the three-mile race, which features a climb in excess of 1,800 feet from sea level to the wooden cross above the upper tram station. Pusich finished the course in 32 minutes, 30 seconds - 12 seconds ahead of Bursell. The duo finished more than two minutes ahead of third-place runner Jason Pinger (34:54).

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

Juneau Seniors cruise past Washington champs
Juneau's Senior Division (Age 15-16) Little League softball players cleaned up their defense, then cleaned up at the plate Sunday to advance to the finals of the Northwest Division tournament in Vancouver, Wash. The Gastineau Channel Little League All-Stars racked up 18 hits and only two errors as they rolled past Washington 13-6. Just down the road in Clackamas, Ore., the Juneau Junior Division (age 13-14) softball team had a tougher road as several late errors contributed to a 6-5 loss to Sequim, Wash.

Junior, Senior softball squads claim divisional wins
Juneau's Junior (age 13-14) and Senior (age 15-16) Division Little League softball teams got off to a winning start in their respective Northwest Division tournaments Saturday. In Clackamas, Ore., the Juneau Juniors' bats came alive and they routed Idaho 13-0 in a game called after five innings on the 10-run mercy rule. Across the Columbia River in Vancouver, Wash., the Juneau Seniors emerged from an error-filled game with an 11-7 win over Oregon.

Capital City Soccer League Standings
Through July 21

Democrats want to know who opposes session
Legislative Democrats say the public should know who voted against a special session on preserving the state's senior citizen Longevity Bonus Program. House Speaker Pete Kott, an Eagle River Republican, announced last week that there were not enough votes to call a special session to override a Gov. Frank Murkowski veto of the program, which is slated to end in August.

Schools offer high-tech skill - for a price
ANCHORAGE - The job market in Alaska is hungry for workers with high-tech skills, and business is brisk at vocational training centers and other educational institutions. "We are all looking at shortages projected, serious shortages in the work force," said Sally Suddock, executive director of the Alaska High-Tech Business Council. Suddock helps organize a group called the Industry Skills Coalition, which brings together members from the manufacturing, tourism, construction, petroleum and health-care sectors of the economy.

State Briefs
Police suggest car doors be locked; Clerk pleads no contest to alcohol charge; Cruise passenger charged with 3 counts of sexual assault; Man gets nine years in child porn case; Court: state not liable in freezing death

Scientists have discovered Russian shipwreck said to be oldest in Alaska
KODIAK - Scientists say they have found what they believe to be the wreckage of the Russian sailing vessel Kadiak, which sank in 1860 in shallow waters near Spruce Island. If the scientists are correct that their discovery is the remains of the Kadiak, then that makes it the first shipwreck found from the Russian American colonial period, which also makes it the oldest shipwreck found in Alaska.

Ulmer heads to Harvard
After spending nearly 30 years in Alaska politics, former Lt. Gov. Fran Ulmer is going back to school - as a professor as well as a student. This fall, Ulmer sets out to Harvard University's Institute of Politics to teach one semester of public policy as a resident fellow. "The whole fellowship idea is to bring practical, real-world experiences into the classroom, so that it's not just political science as a theoretical thing or economics as a theoretical thing," Ulmer said. "They want specific examples from the real world, and I've got 30 years of examples about Juneau and about Alaska

Clinton's 'Roadless' rule hits a difficult stretch
WASHINGTON - The roadless rule may be at a dead end. The Clinton-era policy, which blocks development on nearly a third of national forests, was struck down this month by a federal judge, who said officials had improperly designated wilderness areas. The decision in a Wyoming case - which is subject to appeal - prevents the rule from being applied in any of the 38 states that have designated roadless areas. The rule had blocked road-building and other development in 58.5 million acres of remote forests, mostly in the West.

Farmed fish ruinous for Northwest salmon fishermen
Pacific Northwest salmon have been choked off by dams, poisoned by pollution and heavily fished by sportsmen to commercial fishermen to Indian tribes. But it is salmon farming that threatens to do the industry in. Two decades ago more than 5,000 salmon boats fished off the coasts of Oregon and Washington. About 500 do today. Cheap farmed fish make up 80 percent of the salmon sold in the United States.

State employees' pension fund almost $2.5 billion short
FAIRBANKS - The fund in which the state holds its employees' pension money, as well as communities and groups that subscribe to its pension plan, is almost $2.5 billion short, according to recent figures.The shortfall is being blamed on skyrocketing health-care costs combined with a lackluster market in the last few years. The state's teacher retirement fund is also about $1.7 billion short of the money it needs to fund retirement benefits.

Bond services give Alaska good marks
Three national bond rating services gave Alaska generally good marks for chipping away at its structural budget deficit. One rating service continues to take a guarded view of the state's fiscal future but did not downgrade Alaska's bond rating. But overall, they are the highest lease debt ratings the state has received, said Tom Boutin, deputy commissioner for the Department of Revenue.

State Briefs
Hoonah man says Agent Orange buried in Tok; Wainwright soldiers charged with assault; Campers missing for days found safe; Ships may have to be equipped with anti-collision device; High school drug policy spurs lawsuit

Spill council offers head job to longtime GOP pol Gail Phillips
ANCHORAGE - The agency in charge of spending what's left of $900 million in Exxon Valdez oil spill restoration funds has offered its top job to longtime Republican politician Gail Phillips. The former speaker of the House and candidate for lieutenant governor did not return calls to the Anchorage Daily News, but was expected to accept the job offered Thursday by the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Trustee Council. She would replace longtime executive director Molly McCammon, who resigned July 2.

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