Neighbors Digest

Posted: Friday, September 07, 2007

UAS offers entrylevel mine training beginning Oct. 15

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JUNEAU - The University of Alaska Southeast will offer entry level mine training beginning Oct. 15. The Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development has provided funding to the University of Alaska Mining and Petroleum Training Services program, which is based at UA Anchorage's Kenai Peninsula College. The MAPTS program is branching out through UAS to make the training available in the Southeast region.

A ribbon cutting ceremony for the UAS MAPTS Mine Training Center was Aug. 28 at the UAS Technical Education Center, across Egan Drive from Juneau-Douglas High School.

This offering is the first of its kind in Alaska and is in direct response to the mining industry's request for better trained entry level employees. Completion of this MAPTS program will also benefit the entry level employees. The skills obtained in this training will help workers succeed on the job and make them better candidates to move up the career ladder. The program includes entry level mine labor training, mine safety and health administration, and entry level underground miner (Nipper) class.

Those who are interested in the training should contact the Department of Labor and Workforce Development at 465-5953 or UAS MAPTS Mine Training Center at 796-6160.

Glacier Valley Rotary hosts first Juneau Duck Derby Saturday

JUNEAU - Glacier Valley Rotary will host the first annual Juneau Duck Derby from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at Riverside Rotary Park. This fundraiser was established as a means for the club to raise funds for improvements to the park, to support our high school scholarship program, and to fund other worthwhile club projects.

Some of your readers may remember last fall a series of letters regarding the Juneau Duck Derby and the "odds of winning the $1 million dollars." Due to FCC regulations, Glacier Valley Rotary is limited in the ways this event can be promoted. There are certain gaming regulations that forbid the club from advertising the Juneau Duck Derby via radio and television.

As a result of the confusion surrounding the odds, the club has elected to guarantee a $10,000 cash prize this year. The only odds associated with this prize are the number of ducks the club sells. Also, the club will not be selling more than 10,000 ducks; therefore, your odds of winning are no more than 1 in 10,000. If less than 10,000 ducks are sold, then the odds of winning improve.

It appears that legislation is currently in the works to change regulations for a nonprofit's ability to advertise a fundraising event. We are hopeful that you will support the recommendations that come out of the next legislative session (keep an eye out for HB 116). Regardless of the odds, Glacier Valley Rotary will be giving away $10,000 on September 8th. We hope this letter clarifies the communities understanding of the odds for winning the $10,000 cash prize.

Sitka hosts League of American Bicyclists trainer Preston Tyree

SITKA - Sitka's Bicycle Friendly Community project will host League of American Bicyclists trainer Preston Tyree for two different trainings from Sept. 14 to 19.

The first class is called "Road I" and is designed for cyclists of all abilities age 14 and older. This course takes place in two sessions, from 5-8:30 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 14, and from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 15, in the first floor conference room at the SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium Community Health Services building in Sitka. Cyclists will learn how to perform basic bike maintenance and will learn safe riding skills so they can avoid accidents with cars, other cyclists and pedestrians while riding in traffic. A $10 registration fee includes dinner on Friday night and a student manual. Students should bring their bikes and helmets to the course.

The second class will train Sitka residents to earn their league cycling instructor certification, allowing them to teach bicycle safety classes to adults and children. The 20-hour class takes place in three sessions, at 5-9 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 16, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 17, and from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 18, at a location to be announced. This class is free as part of the project's grant from the SEARHC Steps to a Healthier Southeast Alaska program, but the Road I class is a prerequisite for the LCI certification course.

For more information, contact Matthew Turner of Sitka Advancing Our Community at (907) 747-3665 or SEARHC Health Educator Doug Osborne at 966-8734. Also, information about Sitka's Bicycle Friendly Community project can be found online at Click on the bike logo for info, and click on the online forum logo to access the online forum where residents can participate in the project. For more information about the League of American Bicyclists training programs, go to

Grateful Dogs celebrate Responsible Dog Ownership Day

JUNEAU - The Grateful Dogs of Juneau announced that it will celebrate the American Kennel Club's Responsible Dog Ownership Day with an educational event from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Nugget Mall. The goal of RDO Day is to educate dog owners about the responsibilities of dog ownership and to enhance dog owners' relationship with their pets.

At this event, local organizations and businesses will hold free events and provide free information filled with fun, engaging, and informative activities for every dog owner. Capital Kennel Club of Juneau will provide live demonstrations of canine performance sports such as agility and obedience. The Gastineau Humane Society, American Red Cross and Bridge Veterinary Services will provide brief informative presentations on numerous topics including: skijoring, nail trimming, preparing your dog for a trip to visit the veterinarian, how to use a training collar and much more. A number of vendors, as well as Nugget Mall merchants, will be offering dog related supplies for sale.

Local listings of all events and activities being held on RDO Day can be viewed online at

'Next Generation Staff Planning' meetings to start Monday

JUNEAU - Staff at Juneau-Douglas High School will meet for three hours every Monday afternoon throughout the first semester for what the Juneau School District is calling "Next Generation Staff Planning."

Starting Monday, high school students will be released from school one hour early - at 1 p.m. - every Monday only to allow for staff planning.

"One of the most exciting changes for the Juneau School District this year will be the culmination of the construction of the new Thunder Mountain High School and the planning process for a new learning model for high school students," said Juneau School District Superintendent Peggy Cowan. "I am asking for parent, student and community cooperation and support to enable teachers to take the next important step in that process."

Juneau-Douglas High School Principal Bernie Sorensen, along with Thunder Mountain High School's new principal, Patti Bippus, will lead staff through the planning and transition process, Cowan said. To make sure that no classroom learning time is lost on Mondays, the high school will be holding classes through the lunch hour and will allow students to eat lunches they bring in class. The school is also planning to make healthy snacks available.

"We are also asking parents to mark their calendars for 7 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 11, for a 'Next Generation' parent update, to be held at the JDHS commons." Cowan said. "At that time, the District will provide parents and community members more information that results from staff planning about the new school and new high school program model."

For more information call Cowan at 523-1701 or call Susan Christianson at 523-1707.

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