Sunday, September 8, 2002

In the Stacks
New kids' books for the new school year!

Please stay alert
I want to thank all the people who were involved in obtaining protected status for the local white bear. According to newspapers, many people were involved through their e-mails to government officials and letters to the newspapers. Thank you all!

Silence speaks volumes
I would like to express a few thoughts on the thought of Fran Ulmer being the next governor of Alaska.

War of self-defense or act of aggression?
In the next few weeks, Congress will make a decision which in terms of possible consequences may be one of the most important of this century: whether to go to war with Iraq. I get very alarmed when I read that President Bush's lawyers are advising him that he does not need to seek the approval of Congress to wage war on Iraq.

Crossing to Fran
As a lifelong Republican with a strong commitment to supporting party candidates, I have come to the conclusion there is sufficient reason to cross over and support the Democratic candidate in the race for governor of Alaska. My reasons are simple and obvious.

New ways to store trash
One model is industrial-strength steel with a locking cover. Another is heavy-duty plastic with a screw-top lid. The city's trash task force, which is made up of city staff members and representatives from the Juneau Police Department and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, has been working on low-cost trash-control options this summer. A bear-resistant 55-gallon steel drum with a locking lid will be available to the public at the end of the month, according to Maria Gladziszewski, a special projects coordinator with the city.

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

Bear effort bears fruit
Since the Orca Point Apartments on Crow Hill Drive switched its plastic Dumpster lid to heavy-duty metal this year, visiting bears have been scarce."You don't see 'em up here," said Scot Wilson, who lives in the complex. "That trash can made a world of difference. They can't get it so they don't come back."

'Extreme volunteers'
Out of dense fog and driving rain on desolate Klondike Highway 2, twinkling strands of Christmas lights emerged like an oasis in the night early Saturday.A bastion of hospitality in an inhospitable environment, more than two dozen volunteers waited patiently as solitary runners from stage two of the Klondike "Trail of '98" International Road Relay trickled in over several hours, tagging their teammates to continue on the third leg.

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

Hearing on tourism panel set for Monday
JUNEAU - A Juneau Assembly committee is accepting public comment Monday about a new panel that will oversee tourism planning in Juneau.

Whom do I call?
Bears in Juneau are a common sight this time of year, but not every sighting warrants a call to authorities. The Juneau Police Department has noticed more people improperly calling 911 to report bear sightings this month, and offers these suggestions:

Transplanted trees will protect Steep Creek's sockeyes from silt
Where tourists tramped, trees will grow, and nearby salmon eggs will breathe easier.Boy Scouts, the U.S. Forest Service and adult volunteers planted spruce trees Saturday along eroded banks of Steep Creek near Mendenhall Lake to keep the salmon stream from silting up.

Photo: Sign of times to come
This fireweed, gone to seed along Glacier Highway in Juneau, is a harbinger of the end of summer. The plant's snowy seeds first appear at the bottom of its pink-petalled stalk in high summer and, as Alaska's days grow shorter, begin their journey of proliferation upward until the stalk is covered and causes flowery writing to crop up everywhere.

My Turn: Explaining the numbers could be improved
We have a different interpretation of the rating action taken by Moody's Investors Service on the Alaska general obligation credit than what we have seen in your newspaper. Moreover, news reports and especially the Anchorage Daily News editorial (reprinted in the Juneau Empire) missed the very points we think are important.

Empire editorial: ANWR is not dead
If oil exploration in a small sliver of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) had not been killed by the Clinton administration in 1995, Alaska would be a very different place today. If ANWR had been opened seven years ago, by now the state would have gained $1.5 billion in oil lease bonus revenues, secured another $750 million for the Alaska Permanent Fund, and amassed $750 million in unrestricted funds for government to use at its discretion.

Toe Cartoon

I'm not there yet
Because this is the Sunday before the first anniversary, our attention involuntarily refocuses.Because nothing like this ever had happened to most of us, I don't have to specify the event. We know.

Gambling with a rod and reel
What's the point of gambling when you can fish? In many ways fishing is a vice more demanding than gambling and has a payoff equally as rewarding.I've found little reason to make a pilgrimage to the gambling meccas of America when I can venture out to Juneau's natural fishing casinos and find just as much joy. Gamblers in our own right, each angler has his or her own favorite spot or spots that we prowl in hopes of netting the big winner.

Trail Mix celebrates 10th year with Mount Roberts fund-raiser
An important time in the development of Juneau's trail system will be celebrated Saturday.Trail Mix, which coordinates local trail repair and construction efforts, celebrates its 10th anniversary as a nonprofit organization with a dinner and auction at the Mount Roberts Tramway's Timberline Restaurant.

Big Fish Photos

Out and About
In season: King and dungeness crab, halibut and rockfish (peaks June-Sept.), sockeye, pink and chum salmon (runs June to Sept., peaks in July), coho salmon (June-Nov.), freshwater brook trout (peaks Aug.-Sept.), bear viewing at Pack Creek (June-Sept., peaks July and Aug.), deer (Aug.-Dec., depending on area), mountain goat (Aug.-Dec., depending on area), wolf (Aug.-April), grouse (Aug.-May), ptarmigan (Aug.-May), ducks, geese, brants, swans, snipe, crane (Sept.-Dec.), moose, (Sept.-Oct.), coyote (Sept.-April), hare (Sept.-April), brown bear (Sept.-Dec.), black bear (Sept.-mid-October), and crow (Sept.-mid-Nov.)

Fish Report
King salmon are getting difficult to find in the Juneau area but coho are common. The coho salmon run continues to be strong. In the most recent survey, it took anglers four hours to land a silver salmon, the same as last year. The five-year average catch rate for coho salmon is five hours. While coho are just about everywhere, hot spots for continue to be Handtroller's Cove and Outer Point.

A cabin with a view
Hunters, fishermen and kayakers exploring St. James Bay State Marine Park, across Lynn Canal from Bridget Cove, will soon have a place to seek shelter.

Darwin's Tribe leads locals in Klondike
As the 20th annual Klondike "Trail of '98" International Road Relay evolved Saturday morning, Team Darwin's Tribe eliminated two Appendages to become the top Juneau finishers and top mixed team.Darwin's Tribe, captained by Don Eagle, finished second in the overall standings in a time of 11 hours, 54 minutes, 4 seconds, behind top team Sporthill-TNP of Anchorage, an all-men's squad that crossed the finish line in 10:37:21.

Spikers sweep Ketchikan to open season
The Juneau-Douglas High School Crimson Bears opened their season with an impressive sweep of the Ketchikan Kings in two nights of explosive Region V-Class 4A volleyball action Friday and Saturday night at Juneau-Douglas High School main gymnasium.The varsity experience of seniors Amy Neussl, Callan Janowiec, Kelly Baxter, and junior Julie Heard paired with the aggressive play of some key varsity newcomers to give the Crimson Bears a strong 2-0 start to their 2002 season.

Crimson Bears fall to Eagles, 24-14
So this is how the other half lives. One year after winning its first Cook Inlet Football Conference title, the Juneau-Douglas High School football team found itself at the bottom of the CIFC standings, looking up at the rest of the pack after losing its fourth straight game Friday night at Adair-Kennedy Memorial Park. The Crimson Bears took sole possession of last place in the CIFC standings with a 24-14 defeat to the previously winless West Anchorage Eagles.

Juneau girls 4th, boys 5th at Palmer Invitational
With a large group of freshmen playing key roles on the Juneau-Douglas High School varsity cross-country running team, the Crimson Bears were looking for some seasoning this weekend as they took part in Saturday's Palmer Invitational.More than 1,100 runners took part in the day's 11 races, and the young Crimson Bears held their own as they competed in the two Class 4A 100-runner varsity races.

Crimson Bears sweep titles in Petersburg Invitational
The Juneau-Douglas High School swimming and diving teams opened their season on a winning note as they swept to the titles in the Petersburg Invitational swim meets at Petersburg High School.The Crimson Bear girls won Friday's meet with 106 points, followed by Petersburg with 79, Ketchikan with 58, Sitka with 46 and Craig with 17 points. The Juneau boys also won Friday, posting 126 points to 72 for Petersburg, 45 for Ketchikan and 27 points for Sitka.

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

A niche for fish
Entrepreneur Al Thompson smiled broadly at the Montana tourist who scrutinized the sockeye salmon on display at Anchorage's downtown Saturday Market this summer and asked, "Are they fresh?" "They were swimming yesterday," replied Thompson of Icy Bay Seafoods, a small family-owned business that has been selling out every week at the popular open-air market.

Biologists want more bear awareness
Fish and Game biologists hope an increased bear awareness campaign keeps anglers safe and a pair of Chilkoot River yearling brown bears from being destroyed or relocated.The pair, which have been feeding regularly among salmon anglers at the popular fishing spot for about a month, were targeted after they broke into a cooler left by a fisherman on the side of the road.

Big fire season brings cash, better habitat
ANCHORAGE - Alaska's biggest wildfire season in more than a decade is winding down, leaving ash and cash as the forests cool.More than 2.2 million acres burned this summer, the highest acreage since 1990. It was the fifth most destructive fire season since record keeping began in 1955, according to the Alaska Interagency Coordination Center in Fairbanks.

Murkowski: Give some ferry control to Southeast Conference
Proponents of reorganizing the state's ferry system got a boost earlier this month from Republican gubernatorial candidate Frank Murkowski, who suggested giving some decision-making authority to the Southeast Conference.The Southeast Conference - an organization that includes Southeast Native and civic organizations, businesses and all major municipalities in Southeast - advocates for economic development in the region, including its transportation systems.

State Briefs
Fortymile caribou herd extends range; Anchorage goose-controls succeeding

Phillips is miffed at Republicans over complaint
Brad Phillips says he was ambushed by the Republican Party.Phillips owns Phillips Cruises, a tour boat company that operates in Prince William Sound, and was the subject of a complaint filed by the GOP with the Alaska Public Offices Commission.

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