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Monday, August 25, 2003

Library features commitment-free literature
The Juneau Public Library offers commitment-free fiction and non-fiction this week: short stories, poems and essays you can read for as long as you've got and still come away satisfied.

New 'Alaska Mystery'
Fans of sled-dog "musher" and sometime sleuth Jessie Arnold won't be disappointed by "Death Trap," Sue Henry's latest "Alaska Mystery."

Techies are from Mars, teachies are from Venus
You've probably heard of John Gray's Mars-Venus theory: Men have no feelings and wouldn't know what to do with them if they did, while women have too many feelings and don't know what to do with the ones they have. Or something like that. Anyway, the result is both try to change each other (impossible) while trying to communicate (often hilarious, especially in sitcoms), while trying to live happily ever after (a Disney movie that rarely plays out in real life). Together, men and women form an interplanetary melting pot whose citizens are lucky if they can execute simple exchanges like "Please pass the salt, too." (Did you say, "Please pass SALT II?")

Appeals court says Exxon should pay only $25 million
A federal appeals court has again ordered a court in Alaska to reconsider a multibillion dollar punitive damages award against Exxon Mobil Corp. for the Exxon Valdez oil spill. Exxon Mobil, the world's largest publicly traded oil company, said Friday it should pay no more than $25 million in damages - a fraction of the original $5 billion award.

Ideological paranoids
On a good weekend I'll club three or four baby seals; but I still think they should have let Greenpeace tie up their boat. The ideological paranoids down in Ketchikan evidently have a few brethren here in town. This is good because it makes my paper more interesting.

Draw a line
It seems like the library community should have better things to do than argue over the location and contents of a display case. These silly disputes detract from the purposes of having public libraries.

Indigestion
The restaurants in Juneau are a big disappointment. If one orders shrimp, one usually gets previously frozen farmed shrimp. Anyone can get a better meal for half the price in the Lower 48. I'm tired of being ripped off at restaurants here. It is insulting to tourists and locals alike!

Conflict of interest?
Many people have wondered how we came from a waterfront planning process that showed wide support for the goals of improving waterfront access; providing for a balance of uses and activities; alleviating downtown congestion; and making the waterfront more interesting year-round (Harbor Board press release, "What Have We Found") to the recent survey, laden with large dock alternatives.

Timber scare tactics
Many outright mistruths have been flying directly from the Forest Service and our public officials. What doesn't make it into the public eye is the real truth of what is going on to our forests in Southeast Alaska.

Lifetime of problems
Before attacking people that are obese, and making jokes about taxing food to stop obesity, you need to remember that not everyone who is obese is that way because they over-eat. There are many health reasons why people are, or become obese. Keep in mind people who are obese do not pollute the air you breathe.

A reasonable settlement
In regards to Sunday's article on how Juneau's city attorney dismissed a lawsuit claiming the city and its bus system discriminated against an Arab-American woman eating a candy bar ion the bus, I must say I reacted in disgust and shock.

Photo: Derby haul
Kyle Moselle, left, hands off two scholarship fish to derby cleaner Dawn McInturff on Friday at Auke Bay's official weigh station. Moselle turned in an 11.4 pound Coho in addition to the scholarship fish that afternoon. The top 100 fish caught Friday weighed 1,999 pounds, more than the 1,739 pounds caught on the derby's first day last year.

Greenpeace gets ready to protest
Greenpeace representatives who opened their ship the Esperanza to visitors and the media Saturday in Juneau said they are preparing for nonviolent protests in Southeast over logging in the Tongass National Forest. Instead of building new roads for logging, the federal government should create jobs by cleaning up clearcut areas, said members of Greenpeace and the National Forest Protection Alliance. The ship arrived on Friday, and through Sunday members of the environmental activist group will make their case for keeping the Tongass and Chugach national forests closed to major logging projects.

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

School Board may decide on charter application Sept. 2
The Juneau School Board may decide Sept. 2 whether to invest further district staff time on a charter school application by Alyeska Central School, the state-run correspondence school. The Legislature has said this is the last school year the state will operate Alyeska, which is based in Juneau and employs 26 people.

35.2-pound king rules after 2 days
Vickie Perry didn't know she had caught a big fish until she saw the flasher on her gear surface, and then the fight began. She ended up with sore arms and the early lead in the 57th Golden North Salmon Derby. The 35.2-pound king salmon fought her for 30 minutes Friday afternoon until her husband, John Perry, was able to net it somewhere near South Shelter Island. They turned it in at the Auke Bay weigh station within an hour. "That one was definitely worth the gas that we burned and had to refuel," Vickie Perry said.

Police & Fire
Reports by Juneau police, fire officials and state troopers.

Correction
Due to a change in the project, an article on the Floyd Dryden Middle School renovation in Thursday's Empire was incorrect when it stated Phase Two would include skylights in the commons.

AroundTown
Around Town is a listing of local nonprofit events.

Perry wins it with a 35.2-pounder
Juneau's Vickie Perry spent two days listening to the radio until finally, at 6 p.m. Sunday, it was time for high fives and a group hug with her husband, John, and their friend William Bloodworth. The 35.2-pound king salmon she caught Friday evening in 90 feet of water next to Favorite Reef near South Shelter Island held up more than two days and unofficially won the 57th Golden North Salmon Derby by two pounds Sunday night.

This Day in History
In 1959, a California realtor announced plans for a $6 million tourist resort to be built on 47 acres at Salmon Creek, three miles north of Juneau.

Photo: End of the derby
Part of the Golden North Salmon Derby fleet ghosts along in silhouette as it enters Auke Bay Harbor Sunday at the end of the Derby. Fishermen report the weather and water were near perfect for most of the derby this year. And the fishing was good.

Photo: A fair community harvest
Abigail Taylor-Roth, 6, examines some of the winning crops Saturday in Division 'A,' Class 'A' Vegetables during the Community Harvest Fair for the Juneau Community Garden at Montana Creek. Abigail's class planted its own plot at the community garden last spring. Local gardeners can till plots at the community garden for an annual fee of $20 and 5 hours of community service.

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

Martha Christine Lokke Perkins
Juneau resident Martha Christine Lokke Perkins, 87, died on Aug. 21, 2003, at the Juneau Pioneers' Home.

Toe Cartoon

My Turn: Using common sense
The 1979 Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA) designated vast regions of the Tongass National Forest as roadless, national monuments and wilderness. These millions of acres, including the largest timber stands (Admiralty Island) and the most spectacular scenery (Misty Fiords), were selected because of their unique values.

What do you think?
Haven't we already hit smokers pretty hard? How about adding a $1 per drink tax to all the drinkers of alcohol or $1 per can of soda pop - or let's tax the governor on each of the campaign promises he broke.

What did Greenpeace expect?
When a Greenpeace contingent arrived in Ketchikan on their 237-foot yacht, complete with helicopter and speedboats, their reception was cool except among a few local environmentalists. Greenpeace's representative in Alaska, Melanie Duchin of Anchorage, said: "As an Alaskan and an American, I'm shocked at the way Ketchikan has reacted to our visit. The city's attempts to silence us are not typical of Alaskans, and they will not prevent us from continuing on with this tour or our efforts to protect the nation's endangered forests."

My Turn: Narrow the bridge lanes?
I just replaced a deck on my house. The new deck is a substantial improvement as the existing structure did not meet current code and was obviously a hazard. If I had built the new structure 25 percent below code, it would have cost much less, yet I would be placing my family under extreme risk.

Photo: On the hook
Hefty catch: Erik Frenette, 3 1/2, caught this 12-pound coho Aug. 17 at East Shelter Island. He reeled it in by himself, his family said.

From Reel to Creel
With his bag of sampling instruments strapped to his shoulder and clipboard in hand, state technician Levon Alexander was greeted with a calm evening breeze as he tramped down the Amalga Harbor dock to interview an incoming boat for the state's creel survey. "It's a pretty important job - figuring out where the fish are, when, and in what numbers," Alexander said. Alexander has been a professional observer for 24 years, doing photography, research and extensive observation of wildlife, including whales, bears, birds and fish. He was trained to do creel surveys for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game five years ago in Ketchikan. This is his second year as a creel survey technician in Juneau.

Fish report
North Pass and the back side of Douglas Island continue to be the hot spots for coho salmon, according to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game's latest report.

Out and About
Aug. 24: High-power rifle and sporting rifle shoot at the Hank Harmon Rifle Range, 8:30 a.m. registration, shoot at 9:30 a.m. Aug. 24: Nifty Fifty Relay, three-leg, two- or three-person 50K race, 9 a.m., starts at 36.4-mile, Veterans Memorial (Glacier) Highway. Potluck picnic follows race. Details: George Johnson, 463-2265 or jorgejohnson@hotmail.com or www.juneau.com/serr/.

Bagging nine peaks in nine states - from Jersey to Wisconsin
With daylight fading and a line of thunderstorms forming to the west, my daughter Caroline and I hurriedly established base camp for an assault on Ohio's highest peak - 1,550-foot Campbell Hill. To include some physical exercise on a recent Boston-to-Juneau road trip, I had set a goal of conquering the highest peak of 10 states in 10 days. Sadly, due to a last-second failure of courage on my part, the Rhode Island high point - which, like Mt. McKinley, was the subject of warnings from the Highpointers Club (www.highpointers.org) - was not on our list of successful climbs, although we stood within a few dozen yards of the summit.

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

Sports in Juneau
Sports in Juneau is a service provided by the Juneau Empire to provide information on upcoming sports and outdoors events in Juneau.

Juneau X-C runners dominate Kayhi Invite
Tyler Dinnan led a Juneau-Douglas High School sweep of the top five spots at Saturday's Ketchikan Invitational cross-country running meet on the Ward Lake Trails. Dinnan won the boys' race in 17 minutes, 16 seconds for the 5-kilometer course (3.1 miles), followed in order by teammates Wesley Dinnan, Tim Davin, Ray Huebschen and Greg Frank. The Dinnan twins, both sophomores, ran together for most of the race, Juneau coach Guy Thibodeau said. With about a mile to go Tyler pulled away from Wesley, who was still nursing an ankle injury from this summer. Tyler beat Wesley by 18 seconds, with Davin cruising in nearly 30 seconds later to take third place.

Bears are 3-0, on a roll
The Juneau-Douglas High School football team won with big plays on offense last week. This week, the No. 2 Crimson Bears turned to their defense. Juneau's defense held Palmer's feared rushing attack to just over half of its normal yardage as the undefeated Crimson Bears blanked the Moose 17-0 in a nonconference game Friday night at Adair-Kennedy Memorial Park. "The team came together, but we have to work harder in practice," Juneau senior fullback-linebacker Nick West said. "The second half we were playing Juneau football."

Group seeks salvage rights to shipwrecked steamer
A group of Alaska divers filed papers in federal court seeking salvage rights to the SS Aleutian, a steamer shipwrecked off Kodiak in 1929. The Aleutian was owned by the Alaska Steamship Co. and sank in seven minutes on May 26, 1929, after hitting a submerged rock in Uyak Bay near the town of Larsen Bay on Kodiak Island. Papers seeking salvage rights were filed Friday.

Appeals panel sends Exxon Valdez case back to Alaska court
DALLAS - A federal appeals court has again ordered a court in Alaska to reconsider a multibillion dollar punitive damages award against ExxonMobil Corp. for the Exxon Valdez oil spill. ExxonMobil, the world's largest publicly traded oil company, said Friday it should pay no more than $25 million in damages - a fraction of the original $5 billion award. A jury in Alaska approved a $5 billion award to punish the company for spilling 11 million gallons of crude oil into Prince William Sound in 1989.

Mat-Su voters to decide on $10 million dock extension bond
PALMER - Voters will be asked to decide whether $10 million in bonds should be issued for a dock extension at the port at Point MacKenzie. Members of the Matanuska-Susitna Borough Assembly voted unanimously Thursday to put the bond on the Oct. 7 ballot. "This is a very important vote in the future of the borough," said Assemblyman Bruce Bush.

AlaskaDigest
Stories from around the state.

Councilwoman sues over sales tax
FAIRBANKS - A Fairbanks city councilwoman has filed a lawsuit alleging that a petition to put a proposed sales tax before voters is illegal. In the lawsuit filed Thursday, Donna Gilbert said the proposed ballot measure should be thrown out. She also said city staffers are giving the tax proposal unfair breaks to get it to a vote, although that contention isn't stated in the lawsuit.

Funds restored for drug, alcohol program
KENAI - The state has restored funding for a Kenai Peninsula program that monitored court-ordered drug and alcohol treatment after reports that many offenders were skipping required counseling. The state will restart the Alcohol Safety Action Program with an $80,000 grant, enough to keep it running for the next 10 months, said Bill Hogan, director of the state Division of Behavioral Health.

Alaska Briefs
Witnesses help nab McDonald's suspects; Alaska gets $51 million in transportation funds;

This Day in History
In Alaska; In the nation; In the world.

Legal review could keep campaign limits off ballot
Backers of an initiative to tighten Alaska's limits on campaign contributions and lobbyists say a lengthy legal review could keep the question off next year's ballot. Rep. Les Gara, an attorney and Anchorage Democrat who is pushing the initiative, sent a letter to the attorney general asking that the petition be approved immediately so signatures can be gathered at the Alaska State Fair.

Search continues for overdue Ketchikan fliers
KETCHIKAN - Searchers continue to scour the Canadian coastline for a missing blue-and-red striped Ercoupe plane with two Ketchikan residents on board. Lt. Sonia Connock, a public affairs officer with the Canadian Air Force, said searchers were concentrating on islands and coastline near Prince Rupert, British Columbia in hopes of spotting the airplane carrying Bob and Shirley Straight. "We'll continue the search until we exhaust every possible means of finding these people," she told the Ketchikan Daily News.

Gov. Murkowski says progress being made on Ketchikan veneer mill
State officials have identified adequate timber supply and sufficient funding to encourage an Oregon lumber company to operate the defunct veneer mill in Ketchikan, Gov. Frank Murkowski said Friday. Timber Products Corp., a Springfield, Ore.-based lumber company, has agreed to resume negotiations with the state over operating the mill, Murkowski said.

Stevens says Iraq administrator needs more money, sooner
The U.S. administrator for Iraq needs more money before the end of the year to finance rebuilding efforts there, Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens said Saturday.

After a dismal assessment, Lower Yukon school district makes changes
Every school district in the United States had its shortcomings aired this summer under the new No Child Left Behind Act, but few fared as poorly as the Lower Yukon's in Western Alaska. All 11 of its schools failed to make "adequate yearly progress."

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