Monday, September 1, 2003

City libraries offer a picture-book paradise
The Juneau Public Library has a host of picture books to check out. Here's a few school stories, some sibling stories and some I just couldn't resist touting.

Conflicted ruling
I thought Gov. Murkowski was a banker, not a lawyer, but apparently I was wrong, seeing as he just proclaimed the roadless rule illegal. It's curious that the courts don't agree. The 9th Circuit Court overturned a lower court ruling that tried to outlaw the overwhelmingly popular rule.

Ignorant of the facts
Lew Williams, in a recent opinion piece about Greenpeace being "absolutely wrong" about the logging threats to the Tongass, makes this remarkable statement: "Also wrong is the statement that Tongass logging was subsidized."

Plundered forests
Wayne Alex hit the nail on the head. I worked on a commercial fishing boat from the early 1970s until now. I have seen the before-and-after not only in places like Basket Bay, Freshwater Bay and countless other salmon streams.

Put kids first
Regarding the article of Aug. 20, "Report: Alaska fails to meet standards for child protection," this information comes as no surprise. My son-in-law is Alaskan Native. While living in Alaska, he and his wife attempted to start the process to become foster parents with the goal to adopt relatives, who were in the foster care system. The social worker in the area did not proceed with this process despite many requests.

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

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

Seals and whirlpools: Dawes Glacier and Ford's Terror
The scenery was ethereal. The clouds, steel gray, blue and white, had slung themselves low over the tops of the mountains, settled comfortably but immovably, as though hiding a grand celestial secret. The water, a deep blue on this stretch of Stephens Passage, was dotted with icebergs that bounced in the Adventure Bound's wake. The 56-foot boat and its captain, Steve Weber, were taking a group of friends, mostly Juneau bed-and-breakfast owners but including a couple of tourists, to Dawes Glacier and Ford's Terror on Wednesday. The trip was a thank-you gesture for the owners, who send business Weber's way throughout the summer. Weber, 50, runs daily summer tourist excursions to Tracy Arm, a glacier-studded inlet about 50 miles south of Juneau, off Stephens Passage.

Photo: Checking the stocks
Alaska Deptartment Of Fish Game fisheries biologist Richard Bloomquist, from left, and fisheries technician Shane Fender take sockeye from a pond near the Mendenhall Glacier as fisheries biologist Mark Olsen gathers scale samples Friday.

Land for new houses grows rare
The number of people wanting to build homes in Juneau far exceeds the available building lots, representatives of the city and local real estate agents and home builders told members of the Juneau Chamber of Commerce on Friday. Unless the community takes steps to remedy the shortage of residential lots, the outlook could be bleak for Juneau's economy, they said. "I think it's pretty clear we have a problem," said Alan Wilson, president of the Home Builders Association of Juneau and owner of Alaska Renovators. "It's a serious, critical problem."

Running, surviving and returning to health
Shawn Miller and Deb Groves finished first in the prostate cancer run and the breast cancer run, respectively, on Saturday. But the real winners will be the cancer patients and their families who benefit from the fund-raising events. The 12th Annual "Beat the Odds" All-Women's Race Against Breast Cancer attracted 576 registrants, said race director George Elgee of the organizing Glacier Valley Rotary Club. The Eighth Annual Prostate Cancer Run/Walk, organized by the Southeast Road Runners Club, had 71 participants. Both events featured 5-kilometer (3.1-mile) runs and 2-mile walks that started and finished at Mendenhall River Community School.

This Day in History
In 1947, Juneau's first salmon derby was postponed because of bad weather.

Lorraine T. Gliniecki
Lorraine Theresa Gliniecki died Aug. 28, 2003, in Juneau.

My Turn: Narrow forest interests?
I enjoyed reading William Tonsgard Jr.'s recent My Turn of Aug. 26, "The nature of the forest." The historical perspective of the various Southeast Alaska bays that Mr. Tonsgard recalls makes for very interesting and enjoyable reading.

My Turn: Choose a better future
Buffalo hunting employed a lot of people a while back. Times have changed and we don't do that any more. Times are always changing, and we need to frequently reconsider whether there are smarter, more appropriate ways of employing people. Certainly we all agree that a high rate of employment in quality jobs is a good thing.

Toe Cartoon

Empire editorial: Lynn Canal communities discuss regional issues
Representatives from Haines, Skagway and Juneau gathered Friday in Skagway to discuss topics of common interest. The meeting was moderated by Skagway's economic development director, Michael Catsi.

What do you think?
Tons of community service opportunities are not being met because of too few officers to go around. It would be helpful to the community if there were enough officers on duty to be able to be proactive instead of reactive to situations. How could anyone say no to this?

Fish report
Anglers took an average of 52 hours to land a keeper king salmon in the Juneau area during the most recent creel survey, considerably less than five-year average of 121 hours. Last year it took 103 hours to land a keeper. The king salmon being caught are mostly coming from the back side of Douglas Island, South Shelter Island and North Pass. Last week, the number of king salmon entered in the Juneau derby was the highest since 1996.

Collecting lures for fun and fishing
I didn't realize it at the time, but I started collected fishing tackle when I was 7 years old, a year after I got my first fishing reel as a birthday present. I spent most of the next year in the front yard practice casting. In those days, Dad took me fishing every chance he got. Fishing was among the most important experiences of my childhood, but the time I spent with my father when we got home was just as important. After we had cleaned the fish, we'd take our reels into the den, Dad would mix a drink, and we'd take apart our reels to clean and oil them.

Changing Courses
Juneau golfers who fling plastic discs through the brush-filled woods will have a new course sooner than those who hit a little white ball across a fairway of well-trimmed grass. Local disc golf enthusiasts and city officials are planning a new, 18-"hole" course at Aant'iyeik Park, a city-owned area near the Auke Village Recreation Area. In the meantime, disc-golf players will continue to use a temporary nine-"hole" course built in 2002 at Dimond Park, where the new Mendenhall Valley high school is slated to be built.

Big Fish Photos

Out and About
Aug. 31: Highpower rifle and sporting rifle shooting at the Hank Harmon Rifle Range, 8:30 a.m. registration. Details: 789-9844. Sept. 1: Duck-hunting season opening day on the Mendenhall Wetlands State Game Refuge. Permit required, available at Western Auto, Rayco Sales, the Department of Fish and Game in Douglas. Details: 465-4265.

Bears, hairs, snares mean detective work
When brown bear researchers Steve Lewis and LaVern Beier checked the 200 bear traps they set on Northeast Chichagof Island this summer, they discovered they had 97 successful captures. But they didn't wrangle a single bruin. The bears escaped - as planned, without even noticing they'd been snared - but they left woolly brown hair in the traps. Like a burglar leaving a driver's license at the scene of a crime, that hair tells biologists exactly who was there. Alaska Department of Fish and Game researchers hope genetic material - DNA - extracted from the hair samples will help them identify every brown bear in the area, and learn how and when the bears use the area's salmon streams.

Point (not) taken
It was decision time for the Juneau-Douglas High School football team's coaching staff. The No. 2 Crimson Bears had just scored a touchdown with 1 minute, 58 seconds left in Friday night's game against the unranked Dimond Lynx, pulling to within one point. Should they go for two points and the win, or kick the extra point for the tie and hope the Crimson Bears can win the game in overtime?

Sitka Invitational High School Cross Country
Results of the Sitka Invitational high school cross-country running meet, held Friday on a 5-kilometer course (3.1 miles) at Sitka National Historic Park. Ten schools sent runners to the meet - Juneau-Douglas (JD), Sitka (Sit), Ketchikan (Ktn), Wrangell (Wrg), Mount Edgecumbe (MtE), Metlakatla (Met), Craig (Crg), Haines (Hns), Skagway (Skg) and Klawock (Kla).

'Beat The Odds' Breast Cancer Run and Prostate Cancer Run/Walk
Results from the "Beat the Odds" race, a women's run against breast cancer held Saturday at Mendenhall River Community School. The event featured a 5-kilometer run (3.1 miles) and a 2-mile walk. Results are available for the run only.

Juneau jams at Jamboree
With a new rally scoring rule and several new players this season, this weekend's Jamboree was all about adjustments for the Juneau-Douglas High School volleyball team. The Juneau 1 team, which featured two-thirds of the Crimson Bear varsity squad, posted an undefeated record in the low-key mini-tournament held Friday and Saturday at the JDHS main and auxiliary gyms.

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

Gibb finishes 12th in 50 freestyle race
Derek Gibb, a 1999 Petersburg High School graduate, finished 12th overall and fourth in the B Final in the 50-meter freestyle race Saturday at the World University Games in Daegu, South Korea. The World University Games, also known as the Universiade, had its closing ceremonies today (Korea time). The Universiade takes place every two years with summer and winter versions, and is for athletes ages 17-28 who are current university students or within a year of their graduation.

Juneau boys post perfect score at Sitka Invite X-C meet
Friday was a perfect day for the Juneau-Douglas High School boys' cross-country running squad. The Crimson Bears finished 1-2-3-4-5 for a perfect team score of 15 at the Sitka Invitational. Junior co-captain Tristan Knutson-Lombardo led the way with a time of 16 minutes, 32 seconds on the 5-kilometer course (3.1 miles) at the Sitka National Historic Park.

Alaska State Briefs
Vessel restrictions in Glacier Bay to continue; Duck hunting season opens Monday; Extra patrols for holiday

Court: Some marijuana in home is legal
A state appellate court has affirmed the right of Alaskans to possess a small amount of marijuana in their home in a ruling handed down Friday. The state Court of Appeals, in a unanimous ruling, reversed a 2001 conviction of a North Pole man found with marijuana in his home, and ordered a new trial. The state will petition the Alaska Supreme Court for review, Attorney General Gregg Renkes said in a statement Friday.

Dozens of belugas stranded by extreme Turnagain Arm tides
ANCHORAGE - Four beluga whales have been found dead in Turnagain Arm. Their deaths presumably were caused by Thursday's stranding of 46 whales in extreme low tides near Girdwood, federal biologists said. Two dead beluga whales washed ashore Friday. Federal officials in airplanes spotted the other dead whales in the water.

Fairbanks library commission says yes to porn filters with adult choice
FAIRBANKS - The Fairbanks North Star Borough library advisory commission says pornography filters should be installed on borough library computers, but adults should have the option of shutting them off. The final decision falls to the Borough Assembly, which will discuss the issue in September. Borough Mayor Rhonda Boyles has called for the filters to keep children from looking at inappropriate Web sites.

Supreme Court clears Huna Totem directors of fiscal wrongdoing
ANCHORAGE - Alaska's highest court issued a ruling Friday clearing Huna Totem Corp.'s board of directors of wrongdoing in the setting up and control of a $35 million trust. Some of the Native village corporation's shareholders filed a class action lawsuit alleging that Huna Totem misled them in the information it provided in creating the trust. Specifically, shareholders accused the board of failing to disclose that once the trust was established it could not be ended or changed unless two-thirds of trustees agreed.

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