Wednesday, September 10, 2003

Allstate again writes policies in AK
ANCHORAGE - Insurance giant Allstate has started writing new Alaska homeowner policies again, a month after the company stopped. The company is seeking to cap the amount it could be asked to pay for mold damage. It halted sales after a year and a half of paper shuttling with the state's Insurance Division had not produced an agreement

Alaska export values jump
ANCHORAGE - The value of Alaska's exports rose roughly 13 percent during the first half of this year, signaling a sharp turnaround from the same period in 2002, according to the state Division of Trade and Development. From January to June, the state's major industries exported roughly $1.15 billion worth of seafood, timber, fertilizer and other natural resources, the division reported. That compares with about $1.02 billion during the first half of 2002, when the value of exports showed a moderate decrease, the division said.

Make a difference
It was with great satisfaction that I read in the Juneau Empire of Sam Guthrie's decision to run for a position on our local school board.

Words used negatively
The first two paragraphs of your article (Sunday's Empire) about the Lake Dorothy Hydro project make it appear the hydro company made a payment to the state in a last desperate attempt to get the project permitted.

Critiquing Bush
I wish to start what I hope will be calm dialog about the speech the president gave Sunday night. I will state my questions without name-calling and I hope those who respond will do the same. Let us all assume everyone writing in is a person of good will who loves America.

Greenpeace
On behalf of Greenpeace and particularly the crew of the M.V. Esperanza, I want to thank the people of Juneau for the warm reception we received during our time there. Close to 800 people came to see our ship and throughout our stay. We met Alaskans who made us feel welcome, even if they didn't always agree with us.

If it ain't broke, fix it anyway
Here we go again. Is it not evident, to any reasonable person, that the bulk of the proposed changes to the Douglas Bridge is little more than a half-baked plan by state DOT bureaucrats trying to justify their existence by fixing something that is so obviously not broken?

For better or worse?
Webster's Dictionary defines "crisis" as "the turning point, for better or worse." The Capitol City Fire and Rescue is indeed at a turning point. The question is, "is it for better or worse?"

Emergency drill
Do you know what to do when you are driving down Egan Drive and notice an emergency vehicle with lights flashing coming up behind you? You are supposed to slow down, move to the right shoulder pull-off lane, and STOP!

Knapp is a leader
Bruce Scandling belittles the mayoral election by calling it a "no-brainer." He suggests that people vote for his candidate without giving any thought to the consequences. Juneau cannot afford another election decided by brainless party loyalty.

Bikers take rush out of traffic
Bicyclists hit the road Tuesday and expected to head to court today to protest city support for a controversial state plan to reconfigure the Douglas Bridge. About 30 bicycling enthusiasts and members of the Juneau Freewheelers Bicycle Club road crossed the bridge during Tuesday afternoon's rush hour to demonstrate what could happen if the state goes ahead with plans to remove the roadway's bike lanes.

Gas authority asks for money
JUNEAU - The head of the Alaska Natural Gas Development Authority will ask lawmakers for $3 million to push ahead with work on a state-owned gas pipeline and liquefied natural gas facility.

New tourism group aims to promote compromise
A new group has invited 200 people to join an effort to find some common ground on tourism issues in Juneau. Collaboration Juneau, a private nonprofit group with a board of directors including tourism supporters and critics, is forming a panel of stakeholders to study and discuss tourism issues and make recommendations to the city. "The hope is to get as many people from diverse segments of the community to be part of the stakeholder process," said Juneau Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Todd Saunders, who is co-chairing the group with Paula Terrel, a bed-and-breakfast owner and Thane Neighborhood Association activist.

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

Heavy rains clog culverts
Nearly three inches of rain fell on downtown Juneau between Sunday morning and Monday morning, causing a shoulder on Gastineau Avenue to wash out and a gravel slide on Thane Road.

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

Douglas Bridge proposal wins city approval
Reworking lanes on the Douglas Bridge could begin as soon as next year, following city approval Monday night of state plans to reconfigure the roadway. After hearing objections from bicyclists and commuters as well as explanations from a state official, the Juneau Assembly voted 5-4 to approve the state Department of Transportation plan, which would add a third, reversible lane for vehicles and eliminate existing bike lanes. After the vote, opponents met and decided to hold a protest bicycle ride across the bridge at 4:30 p.m. today.

Photo: Basketball star returns
Former Juneau-Douglas High School basketball star Carlos Boozer, now with the Cleveland Cavaliers, hands 1-year-old Ryan Lent Jr. an autographed basketball in a tent outside the Subway sandwich shop in Ketchikan.

No attorney shows for murder defendant
The last attorney to stand beside Denni R. Starr in court said he was "disappointed" she appeared in court Friday without legal representation on second-degree murder charges. "If I had been in town, I would have come up anyway," Philip Pallenberg told the Empire Monday. He explained he had been told by the statewide Office of Public Advocacy that it would handle the case and he was out as Starr's court-appointed attorney. He said he had informed Juneau Superior Court Judge Larry Weeks in August after Weeks denied a request to reduce Starr's bail. As it turned out, no defense counsel showed up for Starr's scheduled hearing Friday. Weeks ordered the Office of Public Advocacy to show cause why it shouldn't be held in contempt.

Chief Doyle explains reorganization to firefighters
One volunteer firefighter said Tuesday night the wear and holes in his aging, faded Capital City Fire and Rescue shirt remind him of his status with the department. "It kind of sums up what's happening to our volunteers," Steve Byers, a volunteer firefighter and emergency medical technician from the Juneau Station said during a meeting at the Glacier Station about departmental reorganization plans. Some in the crowd of about 40 laughed when Chief Mike Doyle told Byers he would be on the uniform committee. But Doyle said Byers' point about volunteer retention was valid.

Fast-ferry dock slated for Auke Bay
The state is planning construction of a dock in Auke Bay to accommodate the new fast ferry Fairweather, but construction plans do not provide the facilities necessary to homeport the vessel in Juneau. The state Department of Transportation originally planned to homeport the ferry in Sitka and make daily runs to Juneau beginning in May 2004. But those plans were uprooted in July, when DOT announced it might homeport the vessel in Juneau and make runs to Lynn Canal five days a week and to Sitka two days a week.

Ancient fish trap discovered
HAINES - While walking along the lower Chilkoot River just over a year ago, a Lutak resident noticed a pattern in some wooden stakes embedded on the bank. Some two dozen partially eroded posts of similar width and height were spaced almost strategically. The resident contacted local archaeologist Tom Prang, now working on contract for the Chilkoot River Corridor Working Group, who determined the stakes were likely left over from a Native village that once thrived at the Chilkoot.

Retro Bill brings anti-drug message to Juneau students
With his black hair combed up into a pompadour at least four inches high, and a pink shirt collar turned over his black, checkered jacket, Bill Russ may have turned heads in the decade that inspired his look. As television personality Retro Bill, appearing at Glacier View Elementary School Monday while on his Alaska tour, he was certainly different. He was also cool. "I am not Elvis," he said in answer to a shout from about 170 third-, fourth- and fifth-graders as he bounced out in front of a Drug Abuse Resistance Education program assembly.

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

Photo: Flipping out over early Greeks
Nathaniel Buck, 12, left, and Mircea Brown, 12, race each other in the flipper race Tuesday at Dzantik'i Heeni Middle School. Social studies classes at the school's Alder House started the academic year by studying ancient Greece.

Program providing peer support for cancer patients
Dealing with cancer is tough enough without having to deal with cancer while alone. Ruth Johnson of the Southeast Alaska Cancer and Wellness Foundation said her organization is working to provide support with people to talk to, reliable information and even some money to offset a part of the cost of out-of-town treatment. The foundation "tries to be a safety net for people diagnosed with cancer," she said.

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

This Day in History
In 1949, the director of the Boston Museum proposed installing a cosmic ray laboratory at 18,000-foot Denali Pass on Mount McKinley

Filipino scholarships
For the 2002-03 school year, 63 students qualified for the Filipino Community, Inc., Scholarship Program. The students accepted their awards during the Awards and Family Night potluck dinner on Sept. 5 at the Filipino Hall.

Thank you
... for helping KTOO

Cassiar snafu
A double-wide manufactured home being transported by McLeese Lake Acres Mobile Home Sales of McLeese Lake, British Columbia, Canada, holds up Cassiar Highway traffic last week at the Todagin Creek bridge south of Iskut, British Columbia.

Hospice and Home Care bereavement support group to get started in October
As I left my apartment one morning last week, I was greeted at the door by the unmistakable smell of fall. I took a good look around and saw the drooping stalks of foxgloves and my car covered with cottonwood leaves.

Cantillors celebrate 60th
Steve and Kerry would like to wish George and Betty Cantillor a happy 60th wedding anniversary. They were married in 1943.

Pets of the Week
Bart is a lovable neutered male, a Lab And German shepherd mix. Although just a year old, he is not hyperactive like so many pups that age. Shamoo used to sleep with a 5-year-old boy who named her for a trained orca called Shamu.

Neighbors Briefs
English as second language; Wilderness first-aid course; Hope of the World conference; Juneau Public Library party; Community Schools court rentals; Annual salmon bake dinner, auction; Lifeguard training courses

Brendan Peter Monroe
Brendan Peter Monroe died Sept. 3, 2003, in Seattle following heart surgery. He was born in Juneau on Aug. 21, 2003.

Margaret Vincent Pickett
Juneau resident Margaret Vincent Pickett, 98, died Sept. 7, 2003, at Wildflower Court in Juneau.

My Turn: Bush's unwelcome facts
I am writing in response to Jamie McDermott's letter in Sunday's Empire. I am a veteran of the U.S. Army, and I have nothing but the most respect and honor for those of our fighting forces overseas; their bravery in the face of determined daily lethal opposition is an inspiration to us all.

My Turn: An offer for North Slope gas
Alaska is now presented with a one-time opportunity to market its natural gas as liquefied natural gas (LNG) to the West Coast market, resulting in financial benefits to the state ranging from $500 million to $1 billion per year over the life of the project. This one-time opportunity will go away if the state does not act quickly.

Demand for gas pipeline is growing
Congress must pass a comprehensive energy bill this fall. It is imperative to include in the legislation support for the natural gas pipeline from Alaska. The natural gas line is important to market gas from Alaska's North Slope. Natural gas is in short supply and the price is going up. That is not because we are running out of gas. It is because development of new sources lags increasing use.

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

Sports Happenings
Friday, Sept. 12 • Juneau-Douglas High School football - The Crimson Bears host the defending state champion Bartlett Golden Bears for their final home game of the regular season. Varsity teams play at 8 p.m. and JV squads go at 5 p.m. at Adair-Kennedy Memorial Park.

Juneau Youth Football League
Last weekend's scores from the Juneau Youth Football League. Games took place Friday and Saturday at Adair-Kennedy Memorial Park, unless noted.

Skagway Invitational
Results from the Skagway Invitational high school cross-country running meet held Saturday in Skagway. The course was 5 kilometers (3.1 miles). All teams are varsity, except the Juneau-Douglas junior varsity.

Bears rebound to No. 2
The Juneau-Douglas High School football team moved back up the state's rankings when the Anchorage Daily News/Alaska Coaches Football Poll was released on Monday.

Juneau escapes with win
ANCHORAGE - Another weekend, another episode of Cook Inlet Football Conference theatre.

Home Stretch
Sue McCarthy of San Diego, Calif., running for the Juneau-based Lady GUDivas team, heads down Miles Canyon Road in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, on the final leg of the Klondike Trail of '98 International Road Relay last weekend.

Sports In Juneau
Friday, Sept. 12 • Juneau-Douglas High School football - The Crimson Bears host the defending state champion Bartlett Golden Bears for their final home game of the regular season. Varsity teams play at 8 p.m. and JV squads go at 5 p.m. at Adair-Kennedy Memorial Park.

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

Heard's attack powers Juneau
Senior Julie Heard produced a sparkling .690 attack efficiency for the weekend to lead the Juneau-Douglas High School volleyball team in a pair of three-game sweeps over the Sitka Wolves, as the Crimson Bears opened up the defense of their Class 4A state title.

Palmer Invitational
Results from the varsity races at the Palmer Invitational high school cross-country running meet held Saturday at the Michael Ja

Alaska State Football Polls
ALASKA STATE

Juneau boys top field at Palmer Invite
The Palmer Invitational cross-country running meet is generally considered the season's best preview of the state championships.

Photo: Flood in Fairbanks
Cameron Granger plays in the mud this weekend in front of his previously flooded home outside of Fairbanks. Granger, his mother and three other siblings were displaced from their home by floodwaters from the Chena River.

Lobbyists earn $8 million last session for efforts to influence state legislators
ANCHORAGE - More than 200 lobbyists were paid a total of more than $8 million to influence state lawmakers last legislative session, according to new state reports.

Alaska Digest
HAINES - A 6-year-old boy suffered two broken bones in his leg after being trampled by a moose near his home.

State projects in Senate spending bill
WASHINGTON - U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens and his band of appropriators completed the final three federal money bills of the season last week, again proposing to send multimillions to Alaska. Stevens on Monday released summaries of the Alaska projects that found favor with the Senate Appropriations Committee as it prepared bills for a vote on the Senate floor. Stevens is the committee's chairman through the end of next year

An offer for North Slope gas
A laska is now presented with a one-time opportunity to market its natural gas as

Armed men break into home, menace children
ANCHORAGE - Two young men apparently looking for a marijuana grow broke into a Wasilla-area home and held three children at gunpoint before being chased off by the children's father, Alaska State Troopers said. The family, which is renting the home, was shaken up but unharmed during the Saturday morning break-in, said Trooper Dave Herrell. The home contained no marijuana plants, but the father, Johnnie Wallace, said the landlord told him a previous tenant was kicked out for growing dope.

State Briefs
Business center to host business plan seminar; Wilson vying for state Senate seat; Fairbanks Council asks for recount of tax measure; Girl hit by car on Douglas Highway

BP to allow Argentines through to Slope
ANCHORAGE - After a 40,000-mile drive from Argentina to Alaska, a couple's dream to reach the Arctic Ocean in their antique car stalled Tuesday at a pay phone just north of the Arctic Circle. But it appears Herman Zapp and his wife, Candelaria, will be allowed to continue the 230 miles to Prudhoe Bay after getting the OK from the BP oil company. The Zapps left Buenos Aires on Jan. 25, 2000, in a dark blue 1928 Graham-Paige automobile with "Driving from Argentina to Alaska" painted on its side.

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