Monday, August 4, 2003

Plenty of non-fiction titles available at library
This week. the Juneau Public Library offers a batch of mid-summer non-fiction for fact aficionados.

Use bonds for vet homes
Seventy-thousand Alaska veterans, scattered over an area 1/5 the size of the nation, deserve to have new facilities in at least three locations at distances equal to three other states' locations - say Oregon, Washington and Idaho.

Seasonal speed limits
Speed limits are typically established by surveying a particular portion of a roadway and determining the speed at which 85 percent of drivers travel on that roadway. Factors such as curves and pedestrian traffic can be used to decrease the 85th percentile speed.

Hood-winked
Lisle Hebert's analysis of G.W. Bush's continuing popularity was right on - with one exception.

Don't meddle with sanctity of love
Mr. Bush must ultimately comprehend that neither he, nor anyone in the government, holds the right to insinuate himself into the matrimonial bonds of two consenting adults. I do not know why the president believes that attempting to curtail the rights of gay citizens will win him the votes of heterosexual citizens.

More about roads
What good will a freeway do us? We're talking more pollution, road rage and more traffic to get home or to the store. I agree that new traffic lights should be built at every intersection. That problem was solved years ago and recently.

An added hardship
The schools are placing an ad on the local educational channel stating this year all kindergartners will be bused to school, but after-school transportation no longer will be provided and will be the responsibility of the parent.

Burgers, pie, views
Thanks for the article on the visitor's center at Mendenhall Glacier. When I first moved to Juneau in 1969 my parents (Ruth and Roger Allington) took us kids to the visitor's center, and we discovered the small restaurant there.

The road out
It seems the Department of Transportation is conducting research to find out if the citizens of Juneau prefer a west road, an east road, or increased ferry service. ("Increased" ferry service means we get more, at the expense of places like Ketchikan. Sounds like a good formula for annoying your neighbors.)

Ideology vs. facts
I enjoyed the July 8 edition. The lead editorial ("The Voice of the Times") indicated the salmon industry was in great shape. On the other hand, a lead story on the front page of the same edition reported state aid to "struggling fishing communities."

This Day in History
In 1908, the first automobile in Fairbanks arrived, a Pope-Toledo, for a Mr. David Laite.

Tall ship sails into Juneau
The sailing ship Concordia, used as a floating classroom by a Canadian school, sailed into Gastineau Channel near downtown at about 8 p.m. Saturday. The ship was scheduled to depart on Monday. Because it will not be able to tie up at a dock, there will be no public tours, a representative said. The Concordia, built in 1992, is a barkentine. The 188-foot-long steel vessel has three masts 115 feet tall. Its 15 sails cover 10,000 square feet, but it also is powered by a 570 horsepower diesel engine. It is crewed by 12 professional sailors.

Custody case preceded charges of kidnap, assault
A local man faces charges of sexually assaulting the mother of his child. Harold L. Wheaton Jr., 36, was being held Friday at the Lemon Creek Correctional Center in lieu of $50,000 bail on one count of kidnapping and one count of sexual assault.

Photo: Spouting off at North Pass
A gam numbering about five individuals frolics near Lincoln Island in North Pass on Sunday.

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

Rural hospitals look to reduce mistakes in dispensing medication
Robert Albertson, the chief pharmacist for Alaska Pioneers' Homes, tells the story of a doctor who told a 90-year-old woman suffering from dementia to stop taking a certain drug she had been prescribed. The woman never mentioned it to the assisted-living home's staff and she continued to take the drug, which thins the blood. The staff noticed something was wrong only when she was bleeding. Lesson: Doctors should write down medication instructions and give a copy to the pharmacist.

Paragliders soar with the eagles
"This is what we call para-waiting," said Jack Kreinheder, clad in a black flight suit. Rainbow-colored Kevlar strings trailed, connecting him to a bright yellow wing made of ripstop nylon. He wore a backpack, attached to a harness, which held a foam pad to cushion him from any rough landings. Kreinheder faced Mount Juneau and stood up the trail from the cross near the top of the Mount Roberts tramway. He shifted glances between the alders 50 feet below him on the bowl-side of the ridge, and the wind sock on the Gastineau Channel-side of the ridge, 50 feet to his left.

This Day in History
In 1921, the road to the Mendenhall Glacier was completed, making it the most accessible glacier in Alaska.

Photo: A brace of yachts
The 354-foot luxury yacht Le Grand Bleu lies at anchor next to the tall ship Concordia on Sunday in Gastineau Channel. Though the crew were mum about the yacht's origins and ownership, the online publication Power and Motoryacht listed the vessel as owned until recently by Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft.

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.

Carl W. Lanz
Former Juneau resident Carl W. Lanz, 81, died July 30, 2003, of cancer at Elemendorf Air Force Base Hospital in Anchorage.

My Turn: Discrimination hurts gay families
Horace Greeley once said a man with too many axes to grind will always have a dull blade. I am going to try and keep his wise words in mind as I write this. The continuing movement to deny homosexuals the basic right to marry is no doubt based on religious doctrine, as marriage is a religious institution. The state and federal government should not even be involved.

Empire editorial: Good progress on noise abatement
Since the use of floatplanes emerged as a major transportation mode in Southeast Alaska more than seven decades ago, the sound of their engines has echoed off the mountainsides of the canyon-like Gastineau Channel.

My Turn: Desperate gasps from a dying ideology
Mercy me. Sometimes I have to scratch my head and wonder about these ultra-liberal folks. In a way they're easy to understand, in a way not so easy. They sure can dish it out to beat the band, but the eensy-teensiest little reality check kinda throws 'em for a loop. They squeal like a bunch'a stuck hogs!

What do you think?
I believe there is a place in the Valley for skate boarders already. Do you see pedestrians there?

Toe Cartoon

My Turn: Roads construction benefits whole state
Now, why would the state be building roads out in the middle of nowhere?" is the way one individual phrased his question to me the other day. He was referring to my announcement of a few weeks earlier that the state is looking to provide road access on the Alaska Peninsula that would over time connect communities between King Salmon and Chignik, spanning a distance of more than 250 miles.

My Turn: Lew Williams Jr. is right, almost ...
Lew Williams Jr., in his recent Empire commentary, is absolutely right; "There is economic hope for Southeast." But Lew is dead wrong when he basis that hope on the rebirth of the timber industry based on a vast net work of roads leading to new timber sales and roads to every community.

Big Fish Photos

Fishing for the perfect painting subject
I try to get out fishing with my friend Detlef Buettner at least a couple times a year. We have a good time and always seem to catch fish. But we had a special reason for our most recent trip. Detlef is an artist who specializes in life-size fish paintings, and he wanted to catch a halibut to paint. And not just any halibut: It had to be between 30 and 40 pounds so it would fit on the paper he planned to use.

Out and About
Aug. 3: Public trap shooting at the Juneau Gun Club on Montana Creek Road, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Details: 789-9844. Aug. 5: Juneau Alpine Club monthly public meeting, 7 p.m., downtown library meeting room. Details: Don Larsen, 789-2036.

Weird fish in Southeast waters
Fish are alien creatures to most of us. But if we knew more about their lives, many kinds of fish might seem even weirder than we thought. Take, for example, the common Dolly Varden. Some members of that familiar species engage in a practice known as "streaking." It's an attempt by small, precocious males to outsmart larger spawning adults in producing the next generation. At the precise moment that large males and females are busy spawning - mouths agape, bodies quivering, sperm and eggs being extruded - the young males "streak" through, release their own sperm, and dart off.

Fish report
Juneau area marine boat anglers are enjoying a better-than-average year for halibut. In the most recent survey period, the average angler fished for six hours before landing a halibut. The five-year average is 10 hours, while last year it took nine hours to land a halibut. Locally, halibut fishing was most productive around Poundstone Rock, North Pass and Point Retreat.

High-altitude climb behind downtown Juneau
There isn't an ocean too deep, a mountain so high it can keep, keep me away." It's not the best hiking music, but Little Peggy March's hit from 1963 had somehow found its way into my mental juke box and I resigned myself to walking with March's gushing love song running through my head. As I scrambled over the rocks lining a drainage bed that funnels water to Granite Creek Basin, aiming for the ridge that would eventually lead to Clark Peak, the song continued.

Seniors scythe Wheatland at region tourney
Juneau's Gastineau Channel Little League Senior All-Stars are riding an "any team, anywhere" attitude to continue their successful softball season. Brimming with confidence, the All-Stars thrashed Wheatland, Calif., 6-1, on Saturday in the opener of the Senior Division (Age 15-16) Little League Softball Western Regional tourney in Butte, Mont. Though road-weary and facing an opponent from California - a traditional softball powerhouse - the Juneau players didn't crack under the pressure.

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

A costly loss of control
The pitchers took a walk on the wild side Sunday and the loss of control proved costly for Juneau's Gastineau Channel Little League Senior All-Stars. The uncharacteristic walkfest helped Juneau lose for the first time in the Western Regional Senior (age 15-16) Little League Softball Tournament, as the GCLL All-Stars outhit the tournament host Butte All-Stars but still lost 8-5 on Sunday in Butte, Mont. Both teams have 1-1 records in the round-robin portion of the five-team tournament.

Frank Maier Marthon and Douglas Island Half-Marathon
The results from the Frank Maier Memorial Marathon and the Douglas Island Half-Marathon races held Saturday. Both races started at Sandy Beach in Douglas and featured out-and-back courses along the Douglas and North Douglas highways.

Juneau Thunderstrikers undefeated at Zane Cup
The Juneau Soccer Club Thunderstrikers U-12 boys team allowed just one goal in three games as it went undefeated over the first two days of the Zane Cup youth soccer tournament in Anchorage.

Photo: Marathon man
Jose Nebrida, 61, of Chicago, Ill., finishes the Frank Maier Memorial Marathon - his 128th marathon - on Saturday. Nebrida, a school administrator, has run in marathons in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Ketchikan ousted at divisionals
The Ketchikan Junior Division (Age 13-14) Little League baseball team went two-and-out at the Northwest Division tourney last week in Vancouver, Wash.

Juneau's Miller breaks Maier marathon mark by more than 3 minutes in deluge
Shawn Miller wasn't intending to break his course record when he started the Frank Maier Memorial Marathon on Saturday morning. Miller's only intent was to have a long training run as he prepares for the Seattle Marathon on Nov. 30. Once he saw how hard it was raining, Miller, 23, didn't think a record was possible.

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

State Briefs
Waterfront survey to hit mailboxes; Firefighters change unions; Anchorage federal credit union robbed; Koniag buys into aerospace company; Heads up at Anchorage stadium;

Marine highway schedule hangs on fast-ferry decision
Next year's summer state ferry schedule will be released late this year to give the Department of Transportation time to figure out whether to put a new fast ferry in Juneau or Sitka. The schedule should have been out in August, but will not be released until late September, according to DOT Deputy Commissioner Tom Briggs. Briggs said the decision on where to put the ferry will be made after DOT's Marine Transportation Advisory Board meets in Haines on Sept. 15 at the annual Southeast Conference meeting.

Greenpeace visit will document clearcuts
Representatives from Greenpeace will stop in Juneau later this month during a six-week Inside Passage media cruise on an overhauled Russian firefighting ship. "It's part of the global forest work that we do," said Greenpeace spokeswoman Nancy Hwa. "The Tongass is considered one of the 'Magnificent Seven,' our seven forest ecosystems which are just culturally and environmentally valuable and which are also threatened from different causes."

State Briefs
Recovery team digging up World War II site; Leftover cash could fund Alaska depository; Fuel cell powers UAF energy research; Rippie tax helps village utilities project; Man dies in skiff capsize

Cook Inlet Region shareholders to receive checks
ANCHORAGE - Shareholders of Cook Inlet Region Inc. will again receive hefty checks. Most of the Anchorage-based Native corporation's 15-member board voted Thursday to give the typical shareholder $5,000 each on Aug. 22. The special dividend will cost the company about $31 million, chief executive Carl Marrs said. The board also approved a regular quarterly dividend to be paid on Sept. 30. Average shareholders with 100 shares will receive $700 each, the company said.

Senate energy bill provides for gas-pipeline incentives
WASHINGTON - The Senate abruptly gave up work Thursday on the energy bill it had been crafting and instead passed the same bill it approved last year, which carries incentives for building a natural gas line in Alaska. Last year's bill and newer versions debated in the Senate up through this week contain substantial financial boosts for the gas line proposal, with a few differences in how the incentives would be delivered.

Duo celebrate 40th anniversary of woman's polar flight
ANCHORAGE - Forty years ago today, Ingrid Pedersen left Fairbanks on a flight that would forever etch her name into aviation history books. Landing a red and white Cessna 21 hours later at Nord Station, Greenland, Pedersen became the first woman to pilot a small airplane over the North Pole. She was joined by her husband, Einar, who navigated the flight and snapped photos from the plane window for his research on ice conditions.

Photo: Aground with a purpose
Hans Hansen, skipper of the 105-foot power scow Deer Harbor II out of Juneau, walks around the boat Friday at a beach near the Sitka National Historical Park in Sitka. Hansen said he purposely let the boat go aground in order to change its zincs.

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