Friday, September 12, 2003

Regulators propose changes to state's food safety program
JUNEAU - State regulators who say their food safety program doesn't work as it was intended are considering a plan to require restaurant managers to inspect their own businesses. "Our goal is to develop a program that we can deliver and that protects, and we clearly needed to take a different tack," said Ernesta Ballard, commissioner of the Department of Environmental Conservation. "We were not performing," Ballard said.

Bush administration restates its opposition to natural gas tax credit
The Bush administration has restated its opposition to tax credits for North Slope natural gas but said it would accept other financial measures to encourage a proposed pipeline to the Lower 48. Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham, in a letter Wednesday to Sen. Pete Domenici, R-N.M., also said the administration believes the pipeline's route should be selected by market forces rather than legislation.

Cost of business licenses quadruple
One cost of doing business in Alaska quadrupled this month as the price of a two-year business license rose from $50 to $200. The jump marks the first time the cost of the license has changed since 1949, said Rick Urion, state director of occupational licensing. "We've had a surprising few complaints," Urion said.

American voters must stop Republican agenda
It has become disparagingly obvious to me, and I would hope, also, to the multitude of corned victims still reeling from blackouts, lost pensions, election subterfuge, war mongering, welfare for the wealthy, environmental destruction, executive branch deceit and cronyism, that this Republican agenda intends to take humanity back to a state of feudalism!

Surprised to hear about Erickson's new plans
In the Sept. 6, 2003, Empire article on Erickson's Alaska Glacier processing plant planned for AukeNu Cove, I was surprised to read of Mr. Erickson's new plans. I have reviewed the minutes of the CBJ Wetlands Review Board and am aware of Mr. Erickson's original description of the AukeNu project.

Inappropriate to take away Longevity Bonus
When you give someone a reward, it is inappropriate to take it away. Many "old timers" were proud of the reward given for their pioneer spirit. In the early days of Alaska, there were many hardships to endure.

Police, firefighters mark 9/11 attacks
JUNEAU - An observance marking the second anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks is being hosted today by Capital City Fire and Rescue volunteers. A procession with two police vehicles and two fire engines is scheduled to leave the Mendenhall Mall parking lot at 7 a.m., running lights, but no sirens, said Sam Dalin, the fire department's chaplain.

Juneau teen waiting for bone marrow transplant in Seattle
Most local ninth-graders are busy navigating the halls and figuring out the tricks of life at Juneau-Douglas High School. But Andrew Gibb, who would have been a freshman at the school this fall, is overcoming his own kind of challenge. Gibb, 14, has been in the intensive care unit at Children's Hospital in Seattle since late June, when his Juneau doctor found his white blood cell count to be dangerously low, said his mother, Cheryle Rice.

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

This Day in History
In 2001, in the worst single act of terrorism committed on U.S. soil, two hijacked jetliners crashed into New York's World Trade Center, causing the twin towers to fall and killing more than 2,800 people; a commandeered jetliner smashed into the Pentagon, claiming 189 lives; and a fourth plane with 44 people aboard crashed in western Pennsylvania as the passengers apparently fought with the hijackers.

Six candidates vie for Taylor's Senate seat1
Senate hopefuls are lining up to fill the seat to be vacated next week by veteran Southeast Alaska lawmaker Robin Taylor. Taylor, a Wrangell Republican, announced in August his plans to leave the Legislature for a new job as a special assistant to Department of Transportation Southeast Region Director Gary Paxton.

White-paper recycling now free for businesses, agencies
Less than a month after it began accepting white paper for recycling, Capitol Disposal has decided to provide the service free of charge to businesses and government agencies. "Businesses still have to pay for aluminum, steel cans, newspaper and cardboard, but white paper recycling is free to them," said Janet Grange, an administrative officer for the city Public Works Department. Waste Management - the parent company for Capitol Disposal - began recycling white paper Oct. 20, about four months after Gastineau Human Services, a nonprofit group, ended its recycling program.

FYI
LIfe events in Juneau.

Slated visitor center to offer more space
A new visitors' center planned for downtown Juneau will provide more space for the Juneau Convention and Visitors Bureau, as well as office space for the city port director and U.S. Customs. Juneau Port Director John Stone said a conceptual design for the center should be completed within two months. The city recently received a federal grant of $150,000 that Stone said would go toward the detailed design of the building. Plans call for the demolition of the current visitors' center, a metal building by the Mount Roberts Tram terminal, and the construction of a deck to fill the gap between the bus parking lot and the cruise ship dock. The new center could then be set back further from the street, Stone said.

Juneau honors Sept. 11 victims
Under an early morning mist Thursday, more than 60 people gathered around a year-old monument at Riverside Rotary Park to mark the second anniversary of a national tragedy. People who were starting their day on Sept. 11, 2001, didn't know the horror it would bring, Capital City Fire and Rescue Chaplain Sam Dalin told the crowd. The ceremonies were organized by volunteer firefighters. The audience was dominated by people in police and firefighting uniforms.

Rotary Remembrance
Capital City Fire and Rescue Firefighters Noah Jenkins, left to right, Kelly Leamer, Capt. Jerry Godkin, Deputy Fire Chief Mike Fenster, Fire Chief Mike Doyle, Capt. Paul Smith and Capt. Lynn Ridle pause for a moment of silence at the memorial honoring fallen police officers and firefighters at Rotary Park Friday morning.

Photo: New truck to fight fires
Capt. Jerry Godkin of Capital City Fire and Rescue explains Wednesday how a new state-of-the-art truck at Juneau Airport works. The new truck, built by Oshkosh, cost $682,000 and is designed to fight airplane fires. Federal funds helped purchase the truck.

AroundTown
Around Town is a listing of local nonprofit events.

Photo: Raised boat
Workers aboard the Poundstone barge tie lines onto the Reel Time charter boat Wednesday at the Auke Bay harbor. The boat smashed into a concrete floating breakwater at the entrance of the harbor Friday night and sank next to the dock in about 120 feet of water.

Two stories, two years later
David Hawes knew something was wrong, but he didn't know what, though he was only a few miles from the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001. Thousands of miles away in Juneau, police officer Paul Comolli watched the planes careen into the towers on television and felt helpless. Exactly two years after terrorists toppled the towers and shook the nation, two Juneau residents remember what it was like.

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

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

Critics abandon bridge lawsuit
Juneau's cycling organization has decided it won't go to court to try to keep the state from removing bike lanes from the Douglas Bridge. The Juneau Freewheelers Bicycle Club threatened earlier this week to appeal city approval of the state's plan to reconfigure the bridge's lanes and approaches. The Juneau Assembly passed a resolution Monday supporting the plan, which the Freewheelers said they would oppose in Juneau Superior Court.

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.

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

City, airport sued over an alleged 2001 assault
A Wasilla man who claims he was assaulted and handcuffed by security staff at the Juneau Airport two years ago is seeking "in excess of $80,000" in a lawsuit filed in Juneau Superior Court this week. John Priestly names the city of Juneau, the airport and Knightwatch Security in the suit, claiming all contributed to the "pain, suffering, embarrassment, humiliation and loss of liberty" he experienced Sept. 9, 2001. Juneau City Manager Rod Swope and Airport Manager Allan Heese said they could not comment because they had not seen the suit. Both also said they were unaware of the incident the suit alleges.

Southeast Sagas: A Tale of Two Tunnels
Much of Juneau's history is hiding in the underbrush - literally. That is, history often takes the form of feats of engineering. And, when these feats are no longer in use, grass, shrubs and, ultimately, trees reclaim the ground. This is a tale of two tunnels which were important in their heyday but are no longer active: The Gold Creek Tunnel behind downtown Juneau and the Nugget Creek Tunnel near Mendenhall Glacier.

Thank you
... for helping me celebrate

The fun and challenge of first grade
Shortly before school started, our building faced a class configuration crisis and I was moved from my comfortable nest in fourth grade to a brand new first grade class to alleviate overcrowding of "primary" classes. Even with this new class, we still have 26 first graders in each class.

NeighborsDigest
Headlines about your neighbors.

Cantillons celebrate 60th
Steve and Kerry would like to wish George and Betty Cantillon a happy 60th wedding anniversary. They were married Sept. 10, 1943.

Student recognitions
Awards, appointments and an enrollment.

Hues and Brown marry
Elyce Renee Hues of Mt. Angel, Ore., and Jarhid Allen Brown of Juneau were married in a ceremony officiated by Steve Brown, the groom's uncle, on June 21 at Auke Village Recreation Area. A wedding dinner followed at Di Sopa Restaurant. The reception was held on July 5 at Silver Falls, Ore.

Juneau's hustle and bustle part of its charm
I like living in Juneau. I like to be able to walk to a coffee shop, a bakery or the bank and to buy newspapers from Anchorage, Seattle or New York that are available each day. I even prefer Juneau to more remote places like Elfin Cove, Angoon, Pelican or Tenakee. If I lived in England, I suppose I would prefer London, or if I was a Roman two millennia ago, I would like to be in Rome itself rather than to sit out under an olive tree in the countryside.

Charles F. Herbert
Former Juneau resident Charles F. Herbert, 93, died Sept. 3, 2003, in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.

Sarah G. Kack-Swanke
Juneau resident Sarah Grace Kack-Swanke, 95, died June 10, 2003.

Seniors suit up at home for one last time
As the Juneau-Douglas High School football team practiced on Thursday, a few Crimson Bear players couldn't help but feel a little apprehensive about tonight's game with the defending state champion Bartlett Golden Bears. This is Juneau's last home game of the regular season, and the seniors were starting to realize this might be the last time they'd get to play in front of the Crimson Bear faithful at Adair-Kennedy Memorial Park. Varsity game time is 8 p.m., with the junior varsity teams playing at 5 p.m.

Local Scores
Scores and standings

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 spikers take on Kayhi
The Juneau-Douglas High School volleyball team just can't get a break this season. The Crimson Bears are playing great, coming off a sweep of Sitka last weekend. But the new rally scoring system and other rule changes keep the players on the move at all times. Points on every serve, the decision to allow "let serves" - serves that hit the net but carry over - to remain in play and fewer umpire calls have increased the pace of matches in Alaska this season.

Klondike night runners tread a 'surreal' course
The sky is dark, the air crisp. All you can see is what the starlight reveals - if there are any stars visible through the clouds in the mountains above Skagway. All you can hear is your shoes hitting pavement, your run-quickened respiration, the wind through the scrub trees and water tumbling down rocky brooks. Then a pair of headlights approaches, getting closer and closer until the car tops a rise and blinds you with a blast of halogen rays. But you don't mind, because the stillness, loneliness and tedium are broken by the encouraging cheers of your teammates that emanate from the passing vehicle.

Natural Gas Authority head urges investment
The head of the state's new natural gas authority made an impassioned pitch to state lawmakers for $2.5 million to help bring North Slope natural gas to market through liquefied natural gas sales. Harold Heinze's request got a chilly reception from a top state revenue official, who called the money proposal premature.

Groups challenge new law aimed at curbing public-interest lawsuits
JUNEAU - An Alaska Native village joined with environmentalists and organizers of the Republican Moderate Party to dispute a new law aimed at curbing some public interest litigant lawsuits. They filed a lawsuit in Juneau Superior Court on Wednesday alleging future disputes over major public policy issues will be affected. The lawsuit was filed one day before House Bill 145, passed by the GOP-controlled Legislature and signed by Gov. Frank Murkowski, is to take effect.

Council: More courts for Southeast?
The Tlingit-Haida Central Council is considering how to develop more tribal courts in Southeast even as Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens seeks to move federal funds for such courts to state venues. Tribal courts typically hear cases ranging from child protection and custody to alcohol offenses and domestic violence. They have the authority to enforce written and unwritten laws over tribal members and, arguably in some instances, nontribal members. Ed Thomas, president of the Central Council, which has a government-to-government relationship with the United States, said Stevens' action was "hard to swallow."

Five Ketchikan residents seek appointment
Candidates seeking to replace state Sen. Robin Taylor.

Stevens tries to kill tribal courts
ANCHORAGE - U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens, with a few sentences tucked into a spending bill, is moving to end federal funding for Alaska tribal courts and tribal police officers. Instead, several million dollars in Department of Justice grants would be diverted to the state to pay for state court magistrates and Alaska's Village Public Safety Officer program. Stevens, chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, explained the shift as a matter of efficiency. There is not enough money for each of Alaska's 227 federally recognized tribes to have its own court system and police force, says a committee report explaining the provision in the spending bill the panel passed last week.

A visit to Ground Zero as New York City tries to heal
I cannot remember the South Tower falling. I remember standing in a small alley with cobbles instead of pavement and blank windows on either side, sweating in the sun and watching the World Trade Center burn. I remember a woman's voice on the radio saying, "Oh my God" over and over again, and another voice in the background, screaming. I even remember the trail of black smoke as the very top of the tower fell in upon itself. But I cannot remember the tower falling.

AlaskaDigest
Headlines from around the state.

Alaska Briefs
Three charged in Anchorage murder; Road improvement OK'd; Juneau cancer patients can call, click for support; BP agrees to pay Valdez tanker tax; School boards say state should decide on waivers

The Alaska celebrates 90th birthday
The Alaskan Hotel and Bar is celebrating its 90th birthday Friday, Sept. 12, with a bottle of Dom Perignon. But instead of popping the cork and sharing the expensive champagne with the clientele, the downtown bar is going to auction off the bottle and give the proceeds to the Make-A-Wish foundation. The celebration and fund-raiser is the brainchild of the hotel's doorman, Richard Van Trump II, who goes by the nickname "Tiny."

Dancing the Mommy Dance
Halfway through "The Mommy Dance," a one-woman musical comedy about motherhood, writer and star Jill Bess finally has to pause. "I woke up one day and realized that a piece of me was missing," Bess says in a soliloquy while sitting on an oversized couch. "I woke up one day and there was too little of me left." Her breakdown - a desperate grab at clarity and rest - is one of the rare moments of calm in Bess' 85-minute production, the opening show for Perseverance Theatre's 2003-04 season opener. "The Mommy Dance" premieres Friday, Sept. 12, and closes Sunday, Oct. 5.

Who needs Xanax when there's Target?
So far, my days as one of Portland's unemployed roll out like a German waltz from the speakers of an old record player. Mostly, I keep finding myself floating through the aisles of my neighborhood Target, dreamily filling my cart with home improvement items. It's not because I particularly need them, but because buying them with the intent to screw them into my wall gives me a sense of purpose.

This Week briefly
ANB escapes to Pacific Islands; Valentine's hosts 'Middle Eastern Cafe Night'; JAHC accepting grant applicants

Movies where & when
"The Order," (R) plays at 7:15 p.m. at 20th Century Twin, with evening shows at 9:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and matinees at 2 and 4:15 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

What's happening
Middle Eastern Cafe Night, 7-10 p.m. Friday, Sept. 12, at Valentine's Coffee House & Bakery. Call 463-5144 for more information.

The twin tones of the Harp
Diana Stork plays harp with her nails, and Cheryl Ann Fulton strums with fingerpads. When they play together, you can hear the difference. "It's subtle," Stork said. "The harp isn't like one of those brazen instruments. It has a nice, quiet tone." Stork and Fulton, best friends, have been playing together as Twin Harps since 1988.

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