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Wednesday, August 21, 2002

Proud of Gail
Over the last 30 years I have seen first hand the difference Gail Phillips has made for Alaska.

How to resist
Alaskans have an especially strong responsibility to critically engage the issues around the new Star War" programs, especially National Missile Defense (NMD). From our Juneau perspective, so far it has mostly appeared that the Bush administration's NMD developments at Fort Greeley, and related work at Shemya and Kodiak, have been welcomed for the jobs they bring.

Cheaper and easier
While I haven't watched commercial television in a decade, I have some friends who do. They inform me that the governor has made a commercial appeal imploring us to invite our friends to Alaska.

Insanity defined
My first acknowledgment of history and politics was feeling intense heat radiate out from the statehood bonfire set ablaze on the Park Strip here in Anchorage. I was 8 years old.Over the years, I've paid attention to state and local politics and have become what some refer to as a "super voter." I've voted, seen, and met many candidates and politicians.

Ethical hunting
Are any Juneauites concerned by the outrages treatment, by some, of the local wildlife? One "trapper" exterminated the wolves on Douglas Island! One "hunter" boasts of killing the last brown bear on Douglas Island and another tells of saving a shell by power boating up to a swimming deer and clubbing it to death. Other "hunters" cut the back straps out of several deer and dumped the carcasses along the north highway.

Politics and oil
The oil companies in Alaska pay a royalty, which is a fixed amount based upon how much oil is recovered at the wellhead. The oil companies have nothing to do with how the federal and Alaska state governments divide the royalty. The Prudhoe Bay oil field royalty is split 10 percent to the federal government and 90 percent to the Alaska state government. This was the royalty split agreed to at statehood.

Political parties and public funds
Political party leaders now explain that a primary is for party members and unaffiliated "political guests" to select each party's candidates for the general election. They suggest it is only fair that believers in a party platform should select their standard bearers. Thus, primaries just serve each party's private interests and should be closed.

Save the white bear
I would like to show my support for Pat Costello and his fight to save the spirit bear from becoming someone's trophy merely for its unique colored hide. I read the article (Empire, Aug. 19) where Fish and Game said they would not protect this bear because they lack the manpower.

For instant runoffs
On Aug. 27, Alaska voters will have the opportunity to empower themselves by voting for Ballot Measure 1 adopting Instant Runoff Voting (IRV).

Head's on straight
I have known Loren Leman for 44 years. We attended the same small school in Ninilchik. (He was a few years behind me!) I am well acquainted with his parents, and have watched his performance in Juneau for many years.

Back on track
During this year's gubernatorial campaign, some people have asked me why Frank Murkowski would want to switch from serving Alaska as senator to serving Alaska as governor. Even after I've given them my answer, it was obvious a few still weren't convinced I was telling them "the whole truth."

Think big
Thank you to the thoughtless person who nailed Republican campaign signs on the trees back on Basin Road and the entrance to the Perseverance Trail.

$15 million bond package proposed
Juneau voters will see a $15 million bond proposition for harbor projects and water and sewer improvements on the October ballot.The Juneau Assembly on Monday voted 6-3 to place the measure before voters Oct. 1. The bulk of the money would go to harbor projects, including $3.25 million for a commercial-vessel loading facility at Auke Bay, $3.5 million for Douglas Harbor, and $2.5 million for Aurora and Harris harbors downtown.

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

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

Morris, Van Slyke file for school board
With one full day left to file for local office, the Juneau School Board had no takers for two open seats as of this morning.School board incumbents Deana Darnall and Carolyn Spalding said last week they won't run for re-election. While no one has filed for the School Board, people have picked up applications, Deputy City Clerk Beth McEwen said.

AEL&P CEO steps down
A family dynasty ends today as Bill Corbus retires from the presidency and day-to-day management of Alaska Electric Light and Power, the company his forefathers bought in 1896.The AEL&P board of directors met this morning to make official a plan they'd agreed to 18 months ago, appointing Timothy McLeod as the new president and general manager.

Juneau canoe team proves its mettle at gathering
As the first Alaska canoe team to participate in Tribal Journeys, an annual gathering of canoe teams and people from around the Pacific Northwest, Juneau's One People felt slightly out of place.That changed when they issued an open racing challenge to the other teams and found themselves racing the Makah whalers, whose members spend a portion of every day on the water.

Adair-Kennedy track surface work begins next week
The news is sweet for Juneau's fleet feet.After some delay, installation of a new rubberized surface on the track at Adair-Kennedy Memorial Park is set to begin on Monday, according to city project engineer Mike Krieber. The work will be done by Southwest Recreational Industries, a Texas-based firm.

Vehicle accident sends 5 to hospital
Police are investigating the cause of a two-vehicle accident and subsequent fire Monday night that sent five people to the hospital.Marijo Toner, spokeswoman for Bartlett Regional Hospital, said two of the five patients remain in the hospital today in fair condition while three were sent home Monday in good condition.

Shrine: Recent burglaries not investigated by police
Police did not investigate eight recent burglaries and vandalism at the Shrine of St. Terese because the shrine's caretaker didn't know of any possible suspects, the caretaker said.Jody Liliedahl, caretaker for the religious shrine on Glacier Highway near Amalga Harbor, said today the shrine was burgled at least eight times between July 24 and Aug. 13. Each time, money was stolen and property was damaged, Liliedahl said.

No candidates for school board seats ... yet
With one full day left to file for local office, the Juneau School Board had no takers for two open seats as of this morning.School board incumbents Deana Darnall and Carolyn Spalding said last week they won't run for re-election. While no one has filed for the School Board, people have picked up applications, Deputy City Clerk Beth McEwen said.

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

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

Search continues for missing Angoon hunter
Divers from Juneau today will search the mouth of Hasselborg Sound, 12 miles east of Angoon, in an effort to find an Angoon man missing since Sunday morning.Walter Jack Jr., 21, left his camp at Salt Lake near Mitchell Bay for a hike, wearing a sweatshirt and light clothing and carrying his shotgun sometime early Sunday morning, said his father, Walter Jack Sr. The younger Jack was with four friends on a hunting trip.

City targets Franklin St. jaywalking
Giant stuffed animals on South Franklin Street could become an endangered species if the Juneau Assembly decides the critters are forcing pedestrians off crowded sidewalks and into the busy thoroughfare.The Assembly's Planning and Policy Committee is reviewing ways to limit jaywalking and improve safety in the South Franklin Street corridor. Assembly member Ken Koelsch said he's noticed more pedestrians walking in the street instead of on the sidewalk this summer.

Pets of the week
Both of these lovely short-hair spayed female felines have been waiting for their own special families for several months. They are about 2 years old, litter-box trained and former strays.

Thank you
...for your help; ...for your kindness;

Strumfeld, Morley married
Jennifer R. Strumfeld and Steven E. Morley, both of Juneau, were married in a ceremony at 3 p.m. July 20, 2002, at the Gustavus Inn in Gustavus.

A fresh tomato is easily the world's most perfect fruit
One morning last September, while on vacation in Los Angeles, I stumbled upon the weekly Farmer's Market in Hollywood. Ready for breakfast, I pondered the oranges, peaches and berries until I was stopped short by a cart piled high with tomatoes of many colors and sizes. I selected a round bright yellow specimen about the size of a baseball and ate it raw on the spot, its sweet juices dripping off my chin. It was the perfect summer snack.

Group patrols Derby
The Juneau Civil Air Patrol will be flying safety patrol over the Salmon Derby grounds during the Derby. If you need help you can contact the pilots on marine band channel 16, steer your boat to the left in tight circles, or wave brightly colored clothing in the air as CAP craft passes over.

Protecting your privacy with shrub layer, flowerbed
Oh it's great to go away, and it's so good to come home. We had the chance to go for a summer vacation, and we took it. Two weeks in the south of France, with a couple days in Paris, and a visit with the grandparents in California; sun, great food and wine, and a view into another world. We talk about tourism, and rightly so, but these folks have had people knocking at their doors for two thousand years, and their landscape shows how they deal with it.

Academic honors
Kimberly V. Race of Juneau was awarded a $1,600 Gertrude Laurance Scholarship for the 2002-03 school year at Eastern Washington University. This scholarship was established to award outstanding students majoring in elementary education.

Photo: Juneau quilt
Catherine Stevens, Sen. Ted Stevens, former Gov. Walter J. Hickel and Lily Stevens pose with the patriotic quilt crafted for Alaska's senior U.S. Senator by Juneau's Capital City Republican Women.

Middle East peace activists to speak
Israeli and Palestinian peace activists were scheduled to speak in Juneau this week, but only the Israeli made it through the heightened security.The Palestinian, Hisham Sharabati, will speak by teleconference after being turned back by Immigration and Naturalization Services in Chicago's O'Hare International Airport.

Ruth Budbill
Former Juneau resident Ruth Budbill died Aug. 12, 2002, in Washington.

My Turn: Troubling aspects of building a heliport
For the current fiscal year, the Juneau Assembly has appropriated $500,000 to conduct a feasibility study for the construction of a new heliport in the Thane area. The second Baker study, acting on instructions from the city, has identified two prime sites for a new heliport, viz. one at the end of Montana Creek Road, and one at Dupont, 1 1/2 miles beyond the end of Thane Road.

Alaska editorial: Easy to say 'no' to capital move
In Alaska politics, statewide candidates have good reason to oppose measures that would move the capital or Legislature out of Juneau. Going all the way back to the first capital-move vote in 1960, no pro-move candidate has been elected governor. Too many people outside Southcentral Alaska feel threatened by the idea.

Sonner leads four Juneau women in Seattle triathlon
Ritchie Sonner led four women from Juneau competing in Sunday's Danskin Women's Triathlon Series race in Seattle.

Marathon man
It's not every day a group of high school runners is able to probe the mind of an Olympic gold and silver medalist.On Tuesday afternoon, several members of the Juneau-Douglas High School cross-country running team had that opportunity, as they picked up some pointers from Frank Shorter, the 1972 Olympic gold medalist and 1976 silver medalist in the marathon.

Arctic Winter Games announces events lineup for 2004 games in Alberta
The Arctic Winter Games International Committee announced Tuesday the events lineup for the 2004 games in northern Alberta.

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

Swingley takes on a new Quest
FAIRBANKS - Doug Swingley may have retired from the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race last year, but not from competitive mushing.The four-time Iditarod champion is taking on a new challenge: the Yukon Quest. On Monday, Swingley became the 20th musher to enter the 2003 Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race.

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

Soldotna twins with disabilities star in documentary
SOLDOTNA - Documentary filmmakers from Oregon have spent the past five years filming a remarkable Soldotna family with quadriplegic twin girls.The result, a 53-minute program called "Normal for Us," aired nationwide recently on public television stations. Fritz and Cindy Miller, parents of the twins, seem mystified by the attention and the emotions provoked by copies of the documentary they have loaned to friends.

State and Local Briefs
Police charge 16-year-old in girl's murder in Anchorage; Slash and smash antics land Juneau man in jail; Etheridge, Collins file for Assembly seats; Square named for Manila; Women's Council to continue; Two people charged with murdering man in Nome

Battle is on for biggest Senate district
The candidates vying to represent rural Southeast residents in the state Senate have very different approaches to running Alaska's government.Democratic incumbent Georgianna Lincoln of Rampart, who has served 12 years in the state House and Senate, wants government to have a better chance of serving Alaskans. She said that's been hard due to recent reductions in funding and services.

Leaks in abandoned pipeline, crude oil sheens hamper pipeline cleanup
ANCHORAGE - An abandoned Cook Inlet pipeline sprung several leaks while it was being pressurized by cleanup crews.

State Briefs
USCG renews search for hunter; Coast Guard helps punctured boat; Some downtown streets to be closed; Accused sex offender arrested; James wants to be House speaker; Fairbanks celebrates new bishop

Ulmer education plan ups funding
ANCHORAGE - Under Fran Ulmer's education plan, school districts would be in line for more money and would have more time to figure out how to spend it.As for students, Ulmer said, they need more time in school. Lt. Gov. Ulmer, the Democratic gubernatorial front-runner in the primary next week, outlined a four-part plan for improving education in the state and acknowledged it would require spending more money.

State will add tests to meet federal school requirements
ANCHORAGE - Alaska's education officials will have to expand existing state tests or add new ones to meet federal education legislation signed by President Bush in December.The new guidelines require states to give science exams at select grade levels and a high school test that gauges students' skill levels in reading and math.

Newcomer takes on senior statesman
In his first run for elected office, Sutton resident Mike Aubrey says Alaska needs a new vision.Aubrey, 50, faces 34-year incumbent Ted Stevens, 78, in the Aug. 27 Republican primary for the U.S. Senate. Aubrey is unemployed but has worked in construction most of his life and most recently for Chickaloon Health Services as a transportation coordinator and health education instructor.

Two Republicans in District 5 primary vie to face Kookesh
Republicans from Craig and Cordova are running for the right to challenge state Rep. Albert Kookesh, an Angoon Democrat and three-term member of the state House of Representatives. Craig Mayor Dennis Watson, a fisherman, and Cordova City Council member Gary Graham, a pilot and restaurant owner, are facing off in the Aug. 27 GOP primary race for House District 5. What's called the Southeast Islands District includes coastal communities from Metlakatla to Cordova, including Skagway, Haines, Angoon, Tenakee and Hoonah.

Green standard-bearers battle it out
Green Party members have no party candidates to vote for in most races, but in the battle for U.S. Senate, they have two choices.Green candidates Thomas Higgins and Jim Sykes face off in the primary Aug. 27 for the chance to go up against the popular incumbent, Republican Ted Stevens, in November.

Officials warn against giving food to sea lions
KODIAK - Wildlife officials are warning people not to feed Kodiak's Steller sea lions in what they say is a worsening problem."Feeding most animals, whether a deer or dolphin or sea lion, teaches the animal that people are a source of food. By feeding them, we are training them to eat from us," said Brent Pristas, special agent with National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration fisheries enforcement. "They will expect food from us and could get aggressive if not fed."

Democrats allege Stevens conspiracy
Both Democrats running for the right to face Ted Stevens in November's general election say the state's senior U.S. senator is out to get them.In his campaign material, Frank Vondersaar of Homer calls himself "a political prisoner of Stevens and his criminal co-conspirators" since 1986. Theresa Nangle Obermeyer of Anchorage also calls herself a "political prisoner" and claims Stevens "jailed me for 29 days" in 1996, the first time she ran against the Republican U.S. senator.

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