Wednesday, August 6, 2003

CIRI settles fight with critics
ANCHORAGE - Cook Inlet Region Inc. has settled a bitter legal fight with two of its loudest critics. Attorneys for Anchorage-based CIRI and independent directors Robert Rude and Harold Rudolph inked a settlement last week that dissolves all allegations on both sides.

Tribes look to develop tourism before others do
CHANDLER, Ariz. - American Indian tribes should develop their own tourism businesses or they risk nonnative businesses encroaching on tribal land, said participants at an Indian tourism conference Tuesday. Rory Majenty, director of tourism for Arizona's Hualapai Tribe, said tourists will visit tribal lands whether or not tribal businesses are prepared.

Define 'Gastineau bowl'
Sunday's publisher-torial on floatplane noise prompts a geography question. What is "the Gastineau bowl?"

Applauds law-abiders
On May 7 the chief of police sent every alcohol-license holder in Juneau a warning letter telling him or her about upcoming compliance checks. Everyone had fair warning, but when they then do the checks the first thing they do is complain that everyone is in compliance; that all the stores cheated - not one word of congratulations you passed, but you cheated.

On swimming safety
As a concerned parent I am writing this letter in hopes that the Augustus Brown swimming pool will take action in providing safety for our children while at the pool. After speaking with other parents I have found this to be a recurring issue and I would hope that it is resolved before a child drowns. My daughter has been in the preschool class and been caught twice near drowning.

Pond is annoying
Football season is upon us again with the first Crimson Bears game this Friday, Aug. 8. My husband and I went out to watch the guys practice last week, and we were reminded about the stagnant pond next to the bleachers at the Adair-Kennedy field because we were fiercely attacked by no-see-um's, just like every year.

Get rid of junkers
I didn't know Poindexter was in town. The idea that law-abiding members of the community should pay for the abuses of those who dump their junk cars along the Juneau road system and in the Kmart parking lot is absurd.

Caution on Egan
It was encouraging to see a couple sane letters mentioning Egan Drive not being a freeway, people needing to get into the "fast" lane to turn left, and needing more traffic lights so we're not turning left across two lanes of rush-hour bumper-to-bumper 55 mph (those cars that go too SLOW) traffic.

Altruistic on somebody else's time and dime
Alaska's legislative majority will certainly love Rory Schneeberger's comments (July 28) urging our educators to ignore declining pay standards in favor of teacher altruism.

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

Correction
Captions with photos of unusual fish in Sunday's Empire Outdoors section contained identification errors. The photo on page C-1 was of a decorated warbonnet. The photo on page C-3 was of a spiny lumpsucker.

Tenakee residents unhappy about timber sale
A recently approved U.S. Forest Service timber sale involving 936 acres of the Tongass National Forest near Tenakee Springs has some residents concerned about the fate of subsistence food-gathering in the area. "Our hackles are up a little bit," Tenakee resident John Wisenbaugh said Tuesday. "One part of the sale road goes into an unroaded area that's very important to the community for subsistence hunting and fishing."

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

Kennel cough outbreak slowing down, but still not vanquished
Veterinarians in town report fewer cases of infectious tracheobronchitis, also known as kennel cough or canine cough, in recent weeks. But they said the disease still hasn't run its course here. "We were seeing five or six a day, and we're certainly not seeing that much now," said Lisa Kramer, a veterinarian with the Southeast Alaskan Veterinary Clinic. "... But it still hasn't dropped down like we thought it would."

Airport Expansion: Environmental impact statement not ready for public comment
The Juneau Airport will likely expand into surrounding wetlands to meet Federal Aviation Administration standards for runway safety zones, according to city officials. "We recognize we are going to be impacting wetlands and we anticipate finding a mitigating solution that takes those impacts into account," said Allan Heese, Juneau's airport manager. The Federal Aviation Administration has prepared a draft environmental impact statement for the expansion of runway safety zones at the airport into surrounding wetlands, but agency officials do not know when it will be available to the public for comment.

This Day in History
In 1923, the Northbird, Alaska's first commercial airplane, crashed near Ketchikan.

Juneau soldier receives Bronze Star for communications network in Iraq
Sgt. Joseph Mulready is matter-of-fact and modest when talking about the Bronze Star the U.S. Army recently awarded him for meritorious achievement during the last Gulf War."I didn't go storm an enemy bunker or anything like that. It's not for valor, but for meritorious achievement," Mulready, 30, said Monday from his home in Fort Bragg, N.C. He returned to the United States on Thursday. The Bronze Star was introduced during World War II by Gen. George C. Marshall, who argued that ground combat troops needed a medal, like the Air Medal introduced two years earlier to improve morale among airmen. The Bronze Star is awarded for valor or merit during combat or in other action against an enemy.

State peddles ferry on ebay
What do you do when you need to get rid of a 1,500-ton state ferry? Sell it on eBay, of course. The state Department of Transportation is retiring the 34-year-old ferry Bartlett in September and using the online auction site eBay to sell it. The auction began late last week with a beginning bid price of $100,000. By 10:15 Monday night, there were three bids on the item, pushing the price up to $100,300.

Photo: SS Northwestern, 1916
This photograph turned postcard shows an ice-covered SS Northwestern in 1916. The Northwest Steamship Company vessel was built in 1889 in Chester, Pa., and was originally named the Orizaba.

School board seeks answers about Alyeska
The Juneau School Board said Tuesday it wants some questions answered before it considers incorporating the state correspondence program Alyeska Central School as a charter school. Alyeska, the only state-run correspondence school, was given one year beginning in July to arrange for the program to be taken over by a school district or shut down. Last school year, the Juneau-based program had an enrollment of about 1,100 students.

Added school funds spare summer program
The extra money the Juneau schools received from the city in July will save four teachers' jobs. It also will allow students who aren't meeting state standards in English and math to take free summer courses in those subjects. The Juneau School Board officially approved a revised operating budget of about $40.77 million Tuesday. It incorporates the $305,900 the Juneau Assembly granted in late July to fund the schools up to the new state-set maximum of local contributions.

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

Assembly considers doubling city tobacco tax
The Juneau Assembly directed city staff Monday night to draft an ordinance that would double the municipal tax on tobacco.With cuts at the state level and rising costs for city employees' health care and the public employee retirement system, officials have been brainstorming ways to generate revenue, including higher fees and taxes.

This Day in History
In 1969, the city of Nome announced its intention of suing the state of Alaska for unpaid property taxes

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

Baxter, Simones marry
Catherina L. Baxter, daughter of Fred J. Baxter and stepmother Janet Burleson Baxter, was married to Tyler Simones of Plymouth, N.H., on June 20 in Waitsfield, Vt.

Pets of the week
Annie full of energy, love; Reformed vagabond is good to hang out with

Local car enthusiast invited to show 1939 classic at Pebble Beach
Juneau designer and classic car enthusiast Bill Spear has been invited to show his 1939 American Bantam Roadster at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance this year. The California event, widely considered the worlds' most prestigious classic-car meet, is set for August 17. Invitees regularly include internationally known collectors such as Ralph Lauren and Jay Leno, both of whom have won best-of-show trophies in recent years.

Neighbors Briefs
Rotary exchange program; Vocational fall session; Senior assistance; Seniors invited to lunch; Suicide prevention;

Thank you
... for the care; ... for help with cruise

Johnson, Mesdag will wed
Julia Johnson and Mark Mesdag of Juneau will be married in a ceremony at 2 p.m. on August 9 at Chapel by the Lake. A reception will follow at 4 p.m. at Eaglecrest. Friends and relatives of the couple are invited to the wedding and reception.

Jones, Danberg to marry
Maureen Lameesa Jones and David Michael Danberg of Juneau will be married in a ceremony at 2 p.m. on Aug. 16 at the Church of the Nazarene. A reception will follow at 6 p.m. at the Travelodge Hotel. Family and friends are invited to attend the ceremony and reception.

MacFarlane, Bryson to marry
Christine Suzanne MacFarlane of Juneau and Wade Nathan Bryson of Nashville, Tenn., will be married at a ceremony at 7 p.m. on Aug. 9 at Glacier Gardens. A reception will follow at the Hangar Ballroom.

Ruth W. Schmitz
Juneau resident Ruth W. Schmitz, 83, died July 8, 2003, at Bartlett Regional Hospital.

My Turn: Republican legislators are making a grab for rural funds
The state of Alaska has for years recognized the unique challenges faced by citizens who live in areas with low population. It was generally understood that schools, roads and public safety are still important to areas without economies of scale. The arrangement is even more compelling when one looks at a map showing Alaska's resource wealth - virtually all of our state resource revenues come from rural Alaska.

Alaska editorial: Votes on special session request should be public
Senate President Gene Therriault and House Speaker Pete Kott need to be reminded that the public has great interest in knowing the positions of its individual legislators. The two leaders have chosen to keep secret the votes of Senate and House members on a request by Democrats to hold a special session to consider overriding the governor's veto of the Longevity Bonus Program.

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

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

Juneau soccer teams tie for third place in Zane Cup
Two Juneau Soccer Club teams tied for third place in their respective divisions at the Zane Cup Soccer Tournament in Anchorage this past weekend. The tournament, which took place Friday through Sunday at the South Anchorage Sports Complex, featured 35 teams from around the state competing in the U11 and U12 age groups. The Zane Cup serves as the state championship for the younger age divisions, while the older youth age groups open play in the Alaska State Youth Soccer Association's State Cup tournament Wednesday in Palmer.

Senior girls one win from World Series
One more win, and the Juneau Senior girls softball squad will have the chance to become Louisville sluggers. The Gastineau Channel Little League Senior All-Stars advanced to the finals of the Western Regional Senior (age 15-16) Little League Softball Tournament in Butte, Mont., on Tuesday with a 3-1 win over Snow Canyon Little League of St. George, Utah. Juneau will play San Marino, Calif., at 11 a.m. ADT today, with the winner earning a berth in next week's Senior Softball World Series in Jeffersontown, Ky., a suburb of Louisville.

Local Sports Briefs
Juneau-Douglas High School tennis team holding tryouts; Four aces recorded at Mendenhall Golf Course; Peacock wins Sitka's Alpine Adventure Run; Former Ketchikan woman leads California baseball team to title

Larson leads Juneau Seniors over San Marino
Ashley Larson threw a complete game and homered in the seventh inning to lead Juneau's Gastineau Channel Little League Senior All-Stars to a 4-2 victory over San Marino, Calif., during round-robin play Monday at the Western Regional Senior (age 15-16) Little League Softball Tournament in Butte, Mont. Larson pitched her second complete game of the tournament, allowing seven singles and no walks while striking out three batters. In the top of the seventh inning she hit a solo home run to deep center field to give Juneau an insurance run.

Kansas firm negotiating with Williams
FAIRBANKS - The state is negotiating with a potential buyer of state royalty oil for use at the Williams refinery in North Pole, Gov. Frank Murkowski said. Flint Hills Resources of Wichita, Kan., is negotiating with Williams to purchase its refinery and other assets in Alaska, Murkowski announced this week.

Taylor ponders leaving Senate for Murkowski job
Republican Sen. Robin Taylor of Wrangell has not yet made a decision whether he will stay in the state Senate for the remainder of his term or take a job with the administration of Gov. Frank Murkowski. Taylor said Monday he is discussing such a job change with his wife, Kaye, but would not reveal what position the administration has offered him.

Congress has two months to jostle for position on energy policy bill
WASHINGTON - With Congress out of town for August and then likely focused on spending bills through September, a two-month game of positioning on a final national energy policy bill has begun. Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, said last week that he has no doubt that a joint House-Senate conference committee will produce a final version. Republicans have the majority in the committee and they want a bill, Stevens said, so there will be no repeat of protracted, unsuccessful conference efforts last year.

State selects $244 million option for Ketchikan bridges
KETCHIKAN - The state has selected a $244 million option with two high bridges as its preferred alternative for access to its island-bound airport. That's a change from the state's previous preference for linking Ketchikan, on Revillagigedo Island, to the airport on Gravina Island.

State Briefs
Beluga count low this summer in Cook Inlet; VA plans Alaska tour; Air Force bases, park get environmental kudos; Palmer balks at request for hospital land; BP, Doyon enter new drilling contract

Forest Service cuts programs to fund privatization studies
WASHINGTON - The Forest Service is cutting some programs in order to divert the operating money to pay for unexpectedly expensive studies on what agency functions might be shifted to private companies. Forest Service spokesman Joe Walsh said it's not yet clear what will be cut, or how the cuts will affect Alaska.

State Briefs
Ketchikan advances cruise ship head tax; Murkowski again says no to Russian vessels; Bear incidents cause camping closure; Airmen unharmed in crash near Alaska Range

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