Monday, August 11, 2003

Books about Greek kings, circus folk arrive at library
Here are the latest fiction releases available at the Juneau Public Library.

Unlikeable left
Jody Liliedahl hit a home run on his assessment of the left. It is indeed a dying ideology, for which I am grateful.

There is none
I read Linda Orr's comment on gay discrimination. I agree. It seems to me most strange that a man and a woman can meet in Reno, get married almost immediately, and soon afterward, often have access to much of the accumulated benefits of their partner.

Front Street zone signed inadequately
On Aug. 4, while attending to a matter at City Hall, I found myself to have been ticketed $100 in one of the new loading-parking zones.

AARP safety program educates senior drivers
Recent national coverage of collisions and deaths caused by senior drivers has raised questions about the adequacy of the licensing of senior drivers, and the voluntary or involuntary surrender of the licenses of senior drivers whose physical or mental limitations make them unsafe on any road or street.

Don't pick on smokers, appreciate them
Once again, Juneau smokers find themselves singled out to bear the burden of yet more new taxes. If only the Assembly would just once pick on some other group - maybe lefthanders or adulterers - we could spread the tax burden around a bit more fairly.

A penny for your ...
The Juneau Assembly wants to double the tax on cigarettes to raise money for the shrinking budget. This is taxing the minority of the residents in the borough for the common good of the community.

Berners Bay adds to our quality of life
I would like to take a moment to thank a couple guys who towed four kayaks in from Sawmill Creek a few weeks ago. As the weather turned bad, their skiff and generosity were heaven sent!

Parking blues
Imagine yourself on your way to work Monday morning and stopping downtown for a latte to go and seeing the parking spaces on the whole left side of the street unoccupied. Awestruck at such a dream-like scenario, you pull over and start into Heritage to grab a cup of joe. A good Samaritan informs you that they are handing out "full-flavored tickets" for parking in this parking space.

Local priests ask support for national decision to elect gay bishop
Priests at the two Episcopal churches in Juneau are asking their congregations to support the Episcopal Church U.S.A.'s decision to elect the Rev. Gene Robinson, who is openly gay, bishop of the Diocese of New Hampshire. "We need each other, and if people decide to separate themselves, all they're going to hurt ultimately ... they're going to hurt themselves," said the Rev. Ralph F. Wagner, interim priest at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in downtown Juneau.

Smith not certain about election plans
Mayor Sally Smith says she has not decided whether to seek re-election, even though she filed paperwork with the Alaska Public Offices Commission indicating her intent to do so. "I filed the paperwork as a contingency," she said on Friday. "I am meeting with Bruce Botelho."

Accused Juneau man faces additional assault charges
A Juneau man accused of kidnapping and sexually assaulting a former girlfriend on July 15 faces additional charges of sexually assaulting her almost a week earlier. A grand jury on Friday returned a nine-count indictment against Harold L. Wheaton Jr., alleging crimes against the same alleged victim on July 9, as well as the allegations that led to his July 30 arrest.

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

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

Ferrying the cruise ships' crews
Cruise ship crew members come to Juneau from all parts of the world. So do the owners of the shuttle vans that ferry the crew between downtown and retail centers around town. "Most of the owners, we come from different countries," said Pedro Romero, whose wife, Ligia Romero, has owned Crew Shuttle Express since the summer of 2001.

Bringing math and Tlingit art together
"Spruce roots to split!" says Native weaver Teri Rofkar as she hands out what look like packages of string cheese to students in the Math in Tlingit Art course Thursday at the University of Alaska Southeast. Actually, they are packages of string cheese. The students, who are classroom teachers, will practice splitting the firm tubes of cheese lengthwise, learning that the rounded outer portions match the part of the roots that would go on the outside of a basket, the "weft," and the straight-edged inner slices would serve as the upright "warp."

Photo: Summer denizen on the prowl
A dragonfly skims the surface of Auke Lake on Thursday in search of a mosquito to snack on. Dragonflies are voracious consumers of mosquitoes and, therefore, are to be treated with a certain deference.

Tlingit classrooms - a good report card
Students in Tlingit-oriented classrooms at Harborview Elementary generally perform as well as other students in the school district, and do better than Native students on average, a recent study shows. "This whole emphasis on literacy is paying off," Annie Calkins, a former school district administrator who has studied the program, told the Juneau School Board last week.

This Day in History
In 1979, Anchorage police raided a Mountain View home, seizing 200 marijuana plants.

City begins environment review for 2nd crossing
Construction of a much-talked-about second crossing from Juneau to Douglas is at least seven years away, but residents will have an opportunity this fall to weigh in on exactly where the bridge should be located. The city and state Department of Transportation are preparing the environmental impact statement for the bridge, the construction of which is estimated to cost roughly $60 million, said Sam Kito, transportation development manager for the city.

Photo: Summer sojourn
Kayakers enjoy the warm weather and placid water of Fritz Cove on Sunday.

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

Registration of children for kindergarten on Aug. 15
Parents who haven't registered their children in kindergarten in the Juneau public schools may do so Friday, Aug. 15. Registration will be held from 1 to 7 p.m. at the elementary schools. To enter kindergarten, a child must be age 5 by Aug. 15. Parents should bring a record of immunization shots and the child's birth certificate to the school the child will be entering.

This Day in History
In 1959, 40 high-schoolers from Cordova to Bethel began the first summer science seminar ever held in Alaska. The three-week seminar was designed to increase interest in science by contact between high school students and working scientists.

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

Photo: Wheel patrol
Juneau police officer Dominic Branson trains on a Segway Human Transporter on Friday near Juneau Police Department headquarters. Officers will hit the streets with the new vehicles next Friday.

School Board incumbent Schorr says he'll run again
It's still premature for candidates for the Juneau School Board to file applications with the city, but one incumbent has said he will run for re-election. Alan Schorr, a member since 1991, said in an interview he will run again. School Board President Chuck Cohen, on the board since 1999, couldn't be reached immediately for comment on whether he'll run.

Man gets more than 10 years in prison a year after knife incident
A man accused of slashing a man, injuring a police officer and smashing a police car window on South Franklin Street in August 2002 has been sentenced to serve more than 10 years in jail. Adrian Paige, 31, was found guilty earlier this year of third-degree criminal mischief, fourth-degree criminal assault, resisting arrest and fifth-degree misconduct involving weapons. In a separate jury trial, he also was found guilty of second-degree robbery and second-degree theft committed about five weeks after his August 2002 arrest.

Running, for this 65-year-old pediatrician, is a way of life
Juneau pediatrician Dr. George W. Brown tells his young patients that people were meant to move around. And he speaks from experience. "We are not meant to sit," he said, between seeing patients on what he called a good day to run. Brown watched runners in Juneau's recent Frank Maier Memorial Marathon run past his Douglas home. It wasn't the rain that kept him off the 26.2-mile course. He said that at age 65, he doesn't run more than one marathon a year. And since 1976, he hasn't missed a start in the Honolulu Marathon.

Grace Weinberg
Juneau resident Grace Weinberg, 92, died on Aug. 5, 2003, in Juneau.

My Turn: Great change in Southeast
KJ Metcalf couldn't be more wrong in his Aug. 4 My Turn. The forest products industry is a vital component of Southeast's economy, along with fishing, mining, tourism and if you live in Juneau, government.

My Turn: Sounds like old hype
I received my "Long Range Waterfront Plan Community Polling Effort" flyer in the mail urging me to take part in "planning my waterfront." Over the years I've taken part in hearings and workshops for all sorts of projects, hoping that my input and that of my neighbors would carry some weight when measured against the interests of big business. The results haven't been too heartening, so I have pretty much given up.

What do you think?
The federal government should stay out of this issue.

My Turn: Why Democrats fight for the Longevity Bonus
Eighteen-thousand Alaskans over the age of 71 receive the Longevity Bonus, a way Alaska honors and repays contributions seniors made building today's state, and one that traces its origins to 1915. This summer, citing budgetary need, Gov. Murkowski vetoed funding for the program.

Toe Cartoon

Empire editorial: Roadless rule unravels
In 1999, the Clinton administration released a plan to review all roadless areas of more than 5,000 acres on federal lands for possible permanent protection. At that time Sen. Ted Stevens received a call from the White House assuring him that the Tongass would be excluded from the roadless areas review.

The myth of suicidal lemmings
Lemmings do not commit mass suicide. It's a myth, but it's remarkable how many people believe it. Ask a few. "It's a complete urban legend," said state wildlife biologist Thomas McDonough. "I think it blew out of proportion based on a Disney documentary in the '50s, and that brought it to the mainstream."

Day-tripping in a kayak
Although Juneau has a limited highway system, it has almost limitless kayaking opportunities that begin on the road. Drive south to Sheep Creek, west to North Douglas, north to Mendenhall Lake or out Glacier Highway, and wherever the road leads to beach access, there's another kayaking opportunity. "Juneau is a place where you can kayak and within a few minutes feel like you're in the wilderness," said Barb Kelly, sales manager for Alaska Discovery. "There aren't too many places in the world that can offer that."

Big Fish Photos

Out and About
Aug. 10: Juneau Freewheelers Bicycle Club Tour of Juneau, Stage 3, Auke Rec Long Course Road Race. 9 a.m. assembly at Auke Rec. parking lot, 10 a.m. race start. Details: Lou Edwards, 789-3345.

Fish report
Juneau-area marine boat anglers enjoyed another good week of halibut fishing. In the most recent survey, it took the average angler six hours to land a halibut. The five-year average is nine hours and last year it took eight hours to land the flatfish. The hot spots for halibut were around Vanderbilt Reef, Poundstone Rock, Lynn Sisters and Hawk Inlet. Halibut will continue to be abundant in the area until the latter part of August.

Watching the salmon life cycle at Switzer
T he circle of life is always an interesting topic and few species' circle is better documented than the salmon. Juneau is blessed with an abundance of natural habitat for spawning salmon and one of the best areas to view this is Switzer Creek. Near Lemon Creek, the diminutive Switzer Creek only flows about 1 mile before it empties into Gastineau Channel. It was named after Charley Switzer, who ran a dairy in the area in the 1920s and 1930s.

Bald eagle population grows in Lower 48
BOISE, Idaho - Bald eagle populations surged in the northeastern United States and remained steady in other areas during the past 15 years, according to an analysis released by the U.S. Geological Survey. Across most of the lower 48 states, bald eagles increased nearly 2 percent annually from 1986-2000. The analysis was based on more than 10,000 eagle sightings during mid-winter surveys in 42 states.

McCann takes lead into the final stage
Mike McCann, a 50-something rider from Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, takes a 1-minute lead into today's third and final stage of the Tour of Juneau cycling stage race. McCann, one of two Whitehorse riders in this year's Tour, finished sixth in Friday night's opening 5-mile Eaglecrest Hill Climb stage. But he made up for it in Saturday's 25-mile North Douglas Time Trial, winning the stage by 1 minute, 18 seconds (including a 20-second time bonus).

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

Treadwell Twosome Traverse
Results of the Southeast Road Runners' Treadwell Twosome Traverse race, held Saturday on a 5-kilometer (3.1-mile) course on the Treadwell Mine trails in Douglas. The race paired runners into two-person teams, with each team member running the course in the opposite direction.

Juneau soccer teams win three State Cup titles
The Juneau Soccer Club had a threefer and a three-peat in Sunday's championship games at the State Cup tourney in Palmer. All three JSC teams in the finals - the Reign U-13 boys, Xtratuffs U-14 girls and Jaguars U-15 boys - won close, hard-fought games to earn berths at next June's Far West Regional Championships in Spokane, Wash. For the Jaguars, Sunday's 1-0 victory over the Kenai Peninsula Raptors gave them their third straight State Cup title.

Three Juneau teams reach finals at State Cup soccer tourney
Three Juneau Soccer Club teams will play in their age group's championship games today at the State Cup tourney in Palmer. The Juneau Reign U-13 boys, the Juneau Xtratuffs U-14 girls and the Juneau Jaguars U-15 boys all qualified for the finals with semifinal wins on Saturday. It's the first finals appearance for the Reign, while the Xtratuffs are looking for their second straight title and the Jaguars are aiming for their third in a row.

Tour of Juneau Final Times
The final overall standings and the results of Sunday's third stage of the Juneau Freewheelers Bicycle Club's Tour of Juneau cycling stage race. Some of the overall times include time bonuses from various stages.

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

The grand tour
Things came together perfectly for John McConnochie in Sunday's final stage of the three-day Tour of Juneau cycling race as he became the first Juneau rider in three years to win the overall title. McConnochie trailed Mike McCann of Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, by one minute in the overall standings entering the stage. But McConnochie caught the slipstream of an inadvertent breakaway just past the turnaround of Sunday's 52.5-mile Auke Rec Long Course Road Race - and at the same time, McCann had some mechanical difficulty.

Battle of unequals
The Juneau-Douglas High School football team made the best of Plan B for its season-opener, as the Crimson Bears claimed a 64-0 victory over the undermanned Ketchikan Kings Friday night at Adair-Kennedy Memorial Park. Juneau originally was scheduled to open against the Wasilla Warriors on Friday, but the Cook Inlet Football Conference rewrote the schedule so East Anchorage could try - unsuccessfully - to bring a team from Hawaii to Alaska for a game.

Alaska Briefs
Athabascan leader Peter John dies; Ship's passengers, crew suffer stomach illness; Unalaska seafood landings top record; Rescuers find overdue hiker near Homer

3 die in Skagway small-plane crash
SKAGWAY - Three people died Friday after a small plane crashed off Mile 9 Dyea Road. Skagway police alerted Alaska State Troopers to the crash at 5:14 p.m. They said a single-engine aircraft had crashed and burned in a wooded area. The fire was confined to the airplane.

Groups wants pulp mill relics turned into bear refuge
ANCHORAGE - A Sitka group has an unusual idea for a couple of former wastewater treatment tanks at the former Sitka pulp mill: turn them into a tourist attraction featuring problem bears. Les Kinnear, heading the Kootznahoo, Fortress of the Bear Project, envisions the tanks as a refuge for wild Southeast Alaska bears that have become used to humans and their garbage. The group aims to charge tourists to take a look.

Tax group jumps gun on Palin candidacy
WASILLA - Former Wasilla mayor Sarah Palin said she hasn't decided to run for U.S. Senate, despite a national tax reform group's description of her as a candidate. "My to-do list for the day didn't include filing for U.S. Senate," Palin told the Anchorage Daily News. "It was out of the blue and I was real surprised. I am continuing to think about (running) but that's where I am."

State Sen. Taylor to take transportation post
State Sen. Robin Taylor will leave the Legislature in September after 19 years to take a post with the Murkowski administration. Taylor, 60, a Republican from Wrangell, will become a special assistant within the state Department of Transportation and Public Facilities.

Friends and family remember Athabascan leader John
FAIRBANKS - He never made it past elementary school, but he was described as a brilliant man and eloquent speaker. He held a job for wages only once in his life, but he worked harder than most people will ever know. In 102 years, he never stepped foot out of Alaska, yet he had a view of the world that few could ever appreciate.

Mat-Su contemplates resort
ANCHORAGE - Matanuska-Susitna Borough officials say the time is finally right for a four-season Hatcher Pass resort, and they're taking their message nationwide. A prime recreation area 55 miles north of Anchorage in the Talkeetna Mountains, Hatcher already draws borough and Anchorage residents to ski, hike and snowmachine under craggy peaks.

Alaska Briefs
Girls hospitalized after car rolls over; Californians on board plane that crashed; Alaska ferry sold online to highest bidder; Nikiski woman lands $50,000 silver salmon; Liquor industry group sues over ballot question; State basks in more sizzling temperatures

CONTACT US

  • Switchboard: 907-586-3740
  • Circulation and Delivery: 907-586-3740
  • Newsroom Fax: 907-586-3028
  • Business Fax: 907-586-9097
  • Accounts Receivable: 907-523-2230
  • View the Staff Directory
  • or Send feedback

ADVERTISING

SUBSCRIBER SERVICES

SOCIAL NETWORKING