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Sunday, September 15, 2002

In the Stacks: New large-type books in Juneau libraries
Books designated "large type" have a larger font size, making them easier to read. The Juneau Public Libraries have many large type books, and we can borrow titles we don't own from libraries outside of Juneau - just ask us!

You can run but...
I got a great laugh from Assemblyman Ken Koelsch's rationale to push the EIS for the Road to Nowhere. Speaking of 9/11 and a road north, Koelsch said at the Monday night Assembly meeting, "How would I get my kids and family out of this town in case there was something headed toward me"?

Just vote 'no'
For 40 years, Alaskans involved in the capital-move debate have demonstrated how selfish and individualistic our nation can be. What is most striking about this debate is the misunderstanding of statistical data and of central role of the state and federal governments in Alaska.

Attention Juneau drivers
I have been in the Juneau community since 1980 and have seen my share of road, sign and signal revisions around town. I have strived to be a conscientious and courteous driver (35 years accident- and ticket-free, knock on wood), and have taken in stride all changes that have occurred.

Fact-based reality
In a Sept. 8 letter to the editor, John Mielke of Skagway stated that in the eight years of the Knowles-Ulmer administration the "migration of state departments from Juneau has accelerated." The facts do not support that statement.

Now is not the time
I commend Mayor Smith and Juneau Assembly members Pillifant, Wheeler and Powell for their votes on Sept. 9 against the motivation calling for a road into Juneau. The Assembly could have avoided public disagreement over the issue had the motion been limited to completing the access study. Instead, the motion was introduced and passed at the end of the Assembly meeting, with no opportunity for prior debate or public comment.

One clear choice
We have lived in Southeast Alaska for almost 30 years. Like so many other Alaskans, we believe that in this state "No one gets left behind." That's the way it used to be, however, in the last decade, many of us are being left behind, especially in Southeast Alaska. The foundations of our communities are collapsing because of the economic instability of this region.

Photo: Putting on a show
A humpback whale breaches out of Stephens Passage near Colt Island on Saturday. The whale put on an athletic show for a passing wedding party on its way to Colt Island via catamaran.

Competition grows for nursing home beds
Peter McDowell, who has suffered seizures and strokes, undergone several open-heart surgeries, and has a disease that weakens the tissue in his body, takes 26 medications a day. When he couldn't get a nursing bed in Juneau, he stayed in an assisted-living home here and in a nursing wing in a Petersburg hospital. The assisted-living home was inadequate, and the Petersburg hospital wouldn't have been able to treat some life-threatening situations he's prone to, said Peter's brother Eric McDowell.

Wheeler pushes for cooperation, new projects
As a Juneau Assembly member who often falls on the losing side of 5-4 decisions, Marc Wheeler admits that "sometimes things don't always go the way you want them to." But he has pushed for collaboration and compromise during his first term and will continue to do so if re-elected, he said."In this community, we may have 30 percent on one side and 30 percent on the other and 40 in the middle. How do you bring the middle more in the picture?" he asked the audience at a Juneau Chamber of Commerce lunch on Friday. "We're trying to do that on tourism. ... Maybe it's possible on the road (out of Juneau)."

Collins sees need for making hard decisions
Juneau Assembly candidate Chuck Collins is clear about his goals. He'd like to see a road out of town, more action by the Assembly to block a legislative session move and better relations with Juneau's neighbors.BR>Collins, owner of Copy Express, Copy Works and Sign Pro in Juneau, is running for the areawide Assembly seat. The current Assembly hasn't done a good job making tough decisions, he said.

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

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

Smoking, gaming task force comes up with cloudy recommendation
A city task force assigned to determine the economic impacts of Juneau's new smoking ordinance on pulltab parlors and bingo halls reached little common ground Saturday in its task of making a recommendation to the Juneau Assembly.The ordinance that went into effect in January banned smoking in most public places, but exempted bars, tobacco stores and some restaurants that sell alcohol.

Joseph Charlie Bennett Sr.
Juneau resident Joseph Charlie Bennett Sr. died on Sept. 9, 2002, at his home in Juneau.

Ruth Blake
Longtime Juneau resident Ruth Blake, 96, died Sept. 10, 2002, of natural causes at the Juneau Pioneers' Home.

My Turn: Let's do the right thing, the right way
Late last Monday, at the very end of our Assembly meeting, a resolution supporting road access into Juneau was introduced and passed. A resolution is a formal policy statement by the Assembly on behalf of the City and Borough of Juneau. During my seven years on the Assembly, I can never remember an important policy resolution being introduced or passed without proper notice and public involvement. This issue however, was not on the agenda and neither the public nor other members of the Assembly knew it was going to be brought up.

My Turn: Good job, Juneau
I have long believed the future of the capital city depended upon making access to Juneau as easy as possible for all Alaskans. Unlike Fran Ulmer, I have made up my mind and several weeks ago again made clear my support for building a road to Juneau.

My Turn: Squandering money, circumventing process
The road issue is important to Juneau, and reasonably people can disagree about it. But Deputy Mayor Ken Koelsch's recent actions are reprehensible.

Toe Cartoon

My Turn: Alaskans want access to their capital
My vote in support of Ken Koelsch's motion to support completion of the Juneau Access EIS was consistent with my well-known position supporting road access to Juneau and my fiscally conservative views about spending the public's money - whether it is Juneau money or state money.

You may already be on a watch list
Here's a snapshot of Juneau's Larry Musarra: Career military and therefore a patriot. Retired officer and therefore a leader. So thoroughly a fed that he's supplementing his Coast Guard benefits with a Forest Service job at the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center. While serving as a helicopter pilot on countless search-and-rescue missions, Musarra was a hero by job description and by deed. He risked his life to pluck civilian boaters and commercial fishermen from disabled and sinking watercraft in Alaska's storm-swept seas.

My Turn: Road issue deserves scientific analysis
The Juneau Assembly's vote concerning the road has apparently stirred up the hornet's nest if letters to the editor are any indication.

Empire editorial: Collins and Wheeler face the issues at Chamber roundtable
The two candidates for the areawide Juneau Assembly seat shared their views on a variety of topics at Friday's Juneau Chamber of Commerce roundtable luncheon.

Appreciating aesthetics of fishing through catch and release
Fishing is a popular pastime in the Juneau area. A good example of this can be seen at the Macauley Hatchery, inundated with anxious anglers eager to fill their freezers. Occasionally, I stop along the road and just watch the excitement and enthusiasm generated by these fishermen. We are fortunate to have such easy access to what is often excellent fishing right in the heart of Juneau!

Big Fish Photos

Fish for the winter
A different kind of market has been operating this month in Wayside Park near DIPAC's Macaulay Hatchery on Channel Drive. Coho salmon, most of them weighing around 8 pounds, are being pulled out of the "grocery store" of Gastineau Channel at a surprisingly fast rate. "I got these two in 10 minutes," said one fisherman, standing at the top of the city-run dock in the park.

Windfall Lake Trail gets a facelift from local trail organizations
If you are like most Juneau hikers, you've probably taken advantage of the Forest Service public use cabin that is situated on the shores of Windfall Lake.The cabin was built in 1997-98 through a partnership between the Taku Conservation Society and the Forest Service's Juneau Ranger District. This now-popular cabin attracts campers, wildlife viewers and visitors from far and near.

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.),

Fish Report
Anglers seeking coho salmon in the most recent survey experienced an average catch rate of three hours per fish. Last year it took an average of four hours to land a silver. The five-year average is also four hours. The hot spots for coho were Outer Point and Lena Point.

Gomez re-signs with N.J. Devils
ANCHORAGE - Scott Gomez, Alaska's most accomplished hockey player, has agreed to a two-year contract with the New Jersey Devils and will end his brief holdout.Sources told the Anchorage Daily News that the deal will pay Gomez $2.4 million.

Bears go down kicking
The Juneau-Douglas High School football team suffered its fifth straight loss Friday night at Adair-Kennedy Memorial Park.But the Crimson Bears, who were missing five starters to injuries, left the field following their 17-12 loss to the state's No. 2-ranked Chugiak Mustangs with enough positives that it almost felt like Juneau won the game - or at least turned the corner on its losing streak.

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

Crimson Bears sweep Wolves
Fog kept the Juneau-Douglas High School volleyball team from flying to Sitka on Friday, so the Crimson Bears had to work twice as hard on Saturday to pull out a pair of three-game sweeps over the Sitka Wolves this weekend.Juneau's varsity team swept Sitka 15-5, 15-5, 15-3 in a match at 11:30 a.m. Saturday at Sitka High School, then came back eight hours later to sweep the Wolves again 15-2, 15-2, 15-4.

Local Football Statistics
Friday's game from Adair-Kennedy Memorial Park

Juneau runners post strong finish in region meet tune-up
The Juneau-Douglas High School boys and girls cross-country running squads easily won their respective titles at the Petersburg Invitational on Saturday - the final tune-up event before next week's Region V meet in Ketchikan.The Crimson Bear boys finished with 23 points, led by Gabe Hayden's first-place finish in a time of 17 minutes, 44 seconds. Teammate Timothy Davin took second in 18:24, Philip Dierking finished fourth in 18:26 and Quincy Judson took fifth in 18:31.

No endorsement for gubernatorial candidate
NEA-Alaska, an 11,500-member union of teachers and support staff, decided Saturday not to endorse either major gubernatorial candidate, although a committee that interviewed the candidates seemed to prefer Fran Ulmer.On Saturday in Anchorage, about 40 members of the union's political action committee interviewed Democratic nominee Ulmer and Republican nominee Frank Murkowski.

Moving a village
Stripped to his shirt sleeves on a desolate subpolar beach, the Inupiat Eskimo hunter gazes over his Arctic world. The midnight sun glitters on navy waves surrounding his island village. The town of Shishmaref sits amid the ruins of dugouts his ancestors chipped from the permafrost when Pharaohs were erecting pyramids in the hot sands of Egypt. His children and their cousins play tag on a hummock where his wife's parents and their parents are buried.

Ketchikan: Delay on contract decision questioned
An apparent decision made during an executive session to delay voting on a proposed teacher contract was discussed briefly during Wednesday's Ketchikan School Board meeting.

Hospitals give funds to university nursing school
ANCHORAGE - Five Alaska hospitals and health care agencies have committed to contribute nearly $2 million over the next three years to the University of Alaska's School of Nursing.The hospitals say the money is intended to address the worsening shortage of nurses in Alaska.

Haines: Fine dispute settled
A disagreement over whether a downtown retailer should have to pay a fine for a zoning violation has led to job probation for a city staffer.

Young's Native lands bill clears committee
ANCHORAGE - The U.S. House Resources Committee has passed a bill that would give Alaska Native Vietnam veterans 160-acre allotments of federal land in Alaska."I just think this is the right thing to do," said Rep. Don Young, an Alaska Republican, who sponsored the bill.

Haines: Tour tax may reach ballot in the fall
The fate of the borough's 4 percent tour tax may be put before voters this fall. A group of 10 sponsors Tuesday filed an application for a petition to ask voters to repeal the tax.

Ketchikan: Charter school submits application
Organizers of a proposed new charter school presented a full application to the Ketchikan School Board this week.

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