Thursday, September 18, 2003

Photo: Marking the close on Wall Street
Bob Storer, executive director of the Alaska Permanent Fund Corp., bangs the gavel Wednesday after ringing the New York Stock Exchange closing bell.

Congress may boost Slope gas with incentives
Congress may encourage North Slope natural gas owners to offer Native corporations and other Alaskans an ownership share of a proposed pipeline to the Lower 48. Language to do so was included in a draft of the national energy bill released earlier this week by a conference committee. The proposal would not require gas owners to share ownership but rather expresses the "sense of Congress" that they should.

Coastal forest companies say industry needs overhaul
A drastic overhaul of British Columbia's coastal forest industry over the next 10 years is crucial to stopping its downward spiral, say the heads of its three biggest companies. Senior executives from Weyerhaeuser, Timberwest and Interfor outlined a proposal Wednesday for redirecting the industry, including a "modern" collective agreement with labor, retooling existing mills and increasing the amount of lumber remanufactured into specialty products.

Consultants: Demand, price have to be part of gas plan
Alaska has more to consider than building a $2 billion treatment plant on the North Slope or an 800-mile pipeline to a terminal in Valdez if it wants to sell liquefied natural gas in the California market, consultants say. There are the questions about how much gas the market needs, who will supply the gas and what would happen to the price if too much new gas goes to California.

About the ACS contract
It was right before the last election for governor that then commissioner of administration Jim Duncan announced privatization of state Information Technology services would give "more bang for the buck" from ACS.

Cape Fox bill not in public's best interest
The logic behind the Cape Fox land exchange bill that Sen. Lisa Murkowski is currently pushing in Congress seems to go against the best interest of the public, both local and widespread.

School open house
In the past I have participated in many Juneau school open houses. These have never been required as they occur long after the school day is finished, but most teachers donate the extra time to meet the hard-working parents of our students. I enjoy talking to parents and filling them in about the classes I teach, as well as gaining valuable insight about their children's needs. This year however I will not be in attendance during JDHS's open house.

Bond proposition a good deal for schools
If you had a chance to remodel your house and have the state pick up 70 percent of the cost would you do it?

Dick Knapp is great
Dick Knapp will make a great mayor for Juneau. I've known Dick for about 20 years, since he was Admiral in the Coast Guard, as commander of the 17th District. Dick has continuously been active in community affairs. Currently he is serving our community on the Harbor Board.

Berners Bay is too special to trade
One of the nice things about living in a town the size of Juneau is that we meet people with different opinions whether we like it or not. With so many viewpoints on so many topics we have plenty to keep us busy during the long winters. Another nice thing about Juneau is that we live so close to Berners Bay. It's a place where we can find common ground, because it's a place that we all care about. Nearly everyone I know has had a wild adventure in Berners Bay - either hunting, fishing, camping, kayaking, or sitting in a boat watching the eulachon run. These experiences are possible because the land is publicly owned and open for multiple uses.

Offended about possible flat tax increase
Thanks for the alert about the water and sewer rate hike. The proposed total bill is actually $85.40 monthly. This exceeds my electric bill and garbage bills combined - and I heat with electricity in the summer. It is 200 percent higher than current Sitka rates.

Open house for info about teacher contract
Parents of Juneau's approximately 1,600 high school students are invited to attend the annual Juneau-Douglas High School Open House tonight to meet their children's teachers.

The salmons' struggle
Recently, Marty Caress wrote from Cantwell to comment on the compatibility of wild salmon with industry and real estate. He was commenting on Jack Piccolo's My Turn. He mentioned Ship Creek in Anchorage as an example of a stream that supports salmon even though the land around it has been heavily developed.

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

Photo: Clear skies
City Parks and Recreation Department worker Ben Patterson trims the lawn at Marine Park on Tuesday as the cruise ship Statendam pulls up to the dock. Clear blue skies put a crisp fall feeling in the air during the day and brought frost to some areas of the borough at night.

Photo: Sheep Creek Mine 1920
This postcard shows the Sheep Creek Mine buildings, part of the large Alaska-Gastineau Mining Company mill, as they looked in 1920. This "town," which is now known as Thane, was called Sheep Creek before being renamed around 1911 after Bartlett Thane, the general manager of Alaska-Gastineau Mining Company. At the apex of its mining production, the small mill town had 421 residents.

New federal timber sales approved for land near Wrangell Island, Ketchikan
The Forest Service has approved the harvest of about 44 million board feet of timber in sales near Wrangell Island and Ketchikan. The Madan timber sale would allow the harvest of 26.5 million board feet from about 2,100 acres on the mainland near Wrangell Island. The four-year sale is scheduled to be offered in fall of 2005.

Photo: Light Work
Doug Long, a journeyman electrician for Alaska Electric and Controls, digs out an old electric junction box so it can be replaced Tuesday. Long and other workers were preparing to install street lights along Egan Drive near Aurora Basin. The state Department of Transportation project started in July and is improving lighting on a mile-long stretch of the highway between the Douglas Bridge and Norway Point. The 58 new lights should be installed in about three weeks, the company said.

Police seek clues in two shootings
Juneau police continued looking for information Wednesday on shootings reported Tuesday night and early Wednesday. One shooting, near the Juneau Airport, sent a 29-year-old man to Bartlett Regional Hospital with a gunshot wound to his arm. No one was injured in the other shooting, which occurred when one driver shot at another on Egan Drive.

Teen's sexual abuse case goes to jury
Jurors were scheduled to begin deliberating a teenager's sexual assault case today after hearing the alleged victim say she didn't want to describe the "bad thing" the defendant did to her. Scott Ellis was 17 in February when he was charged with first-degree sexual abuse of a minor and ordered to be tried as an adult because of the severity of the charge.

Photo: Day of Prayer
About 85 Juneau-Douglas High School students and home-school students meet at the flag pole outside JDHS on Wednesday morning to say prayers for the schools and teachers and to sing songs.

Police to continue pot investigations
Make no arrests, but confiscate the marijuana. Those are the instructions from Attorney General Gregg Renkes to law enforcement officials after a state appellate court ruling that makes it legal for people to possess up to four ounces of pot in their homes.

Sen. Murkowski to hold town meeting
Juneau residents will have an opportunity Saturday to share their views on a land trade that would put federal land near Berners Bay into the hands of Native corporations. U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski on Tuesday said she would hold a 212-hour town meeting at the Alaska Native Brotherhood Hall downtown to hear local comments on the trade.

Juneau Access among top DOT projects
The state Department of Transportation laid out plans for dozens of new roads in Southeast Tuesday, putting the Juneau Access project among its top projects. Tom Briggs, deputy commissioner for the Department of Transportation, Gary Paxton, DOT's Southeast region director, and Capt. George Capacci, general manager of the Alaska Marine Highway System, laid out the new transportation plans at the 46th annual meeting of the Southeast Conference.

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

Teachers pump up pressure on district
Juneau's teachers, working without a contract so far this school year, are stepping up public pressure on the school district. Nonbinding arbitration is scheduled for Oct. 1 to resolve the contract dispute. The teachers' two-year contract ended June 30. Teachers make from $33,591 to $64,694 a year.

AroundTown
Around Town is a listing of local nonprofit events.

Photo: Learning to fight fires at sea
Crew members from the Petersburg-based Coast Guard cutter Anacapa battle a simulated fire Wednesday at the William Hagevig Regional Fire Training Center in Juneau. The school helps prepare crew members for fires at sea.

Jury: Teen guilty of sex crimes against child
A jury deliberated about two hours Wednesday afternoon before finding a Juneau teenager guilty of two counts of first-degree sexual abuse of a 6-year-old girl. Scott Ellis, who was 17 in February when he was ordered tried as an adult, buried his head in his hands and cried when the jury forewoman read the first of the two guilty verdicts. The crime has a presumptive sentence of eight years in prison. Alaska law sets a maximum sentence of 30 years for the offense.

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

PSA project wins Girl Scouts Silver Award
A handful of local Girl Scouts, all members of Troop 8, learned to deal with images flashing by at a speed of one-eighteenth of a second in order to win a prestigious Silver Award. Their chosen project was producing two public service announcements or PSAs - one 30 seconds in length and one just 15 seconds. Both promote scouting, suggesting that, as members, girls in their teens will have fun, travel and master skills that can shape their futures.

Recalling Kiska, the battle that never was
As 1st Lt. Tom Stewart struggled down the cargo net in full battle gear to the landing craft below, he knew to expect 75 percent casualties on the beach. Stewart's boat was part of the first wave of soldiers assaulting the last Japanese stronghold in Alaska - Kiska Island, in the Aleutian chain. Their assigned beach lay beneath a 4,000-foot volcano. The date was August 15, 1943.

Dennis, Cadiente to wed
Trisha M. Dennis and Carl D. Cadiente Jr. of Juneau will be married in a ceremony at 6:30 p.m. on Sept. 19 at Glacier Valley Church of God. A reception will follow directly at the Travelodge hotel.

Hues, 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.

NeighborsDigest
Headlines about your neighbors.

My Turn: Gov. Murkowski and the Legislature are causing harm to many Alaskans
This past session Gov. Frank Murkowski and the Legislature's majority called for "sacrifices" from children, seniors, workers, disabled Alaskans and those who seek treatment for alcoholism and drug abuse. At the same time they gave tax breaks to Alaska's largest corporations, increased the money lobbyists and wealthy donors could give to politicians, and sided with those who wanted to scale back Alaska's minimum wage. The governor and members of his party recently have written to praise the results of the 2003 legislative session. I wish I could feel so good about those results.

My Turn: Berners Bay is too precious a resource to be given away
Here's a simple math question that I'd like to ask: Does 12,000 equal 3,000? The answer is easy, of course. Why, then, is Sen. Lisa Murkowski pushing the Cape Fox Land Entitlement Adjustment Act in Congress? This bill would give as much as 12,000 acres of public land near Berners Bay to private corporations.

Crimson Bear swimmers host Juneau Invite
Juneau-Douglas High School sports teams are the ultimate road warriors as they spend most of their seasons traveling to events around the state. That's why there's always an extra energy in the practices before rare home meets.

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.

Crimson Bear spikers head north
The undefeated Juneau-Douglas High School varsity volleyball team heads north today for its first non-Southeast matches of the season. The Crimson Bears (4-0) will play two matches this evening at West Anchorage High School - one against the host Eagles, and the other against the Dimond Lynx.

Sports in Juneau
Sports in Juneau is a service provided by the Juneau Empire to provide information on upcoming sports and outdoors events.

Correction
Correction

Wrangell Invite results
The results from the Wrangell Invitational high school cross-country running meet held Saturday in Wrangell.

Alaska Digest
News from around the state

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

Photo: Early morning lights
The aurora borealis is in full swing early Tuesday morning, as University Lake in Anchorage reflects the lights.

Hammocks hang up Anchorage moose
Itchy to rub antlers and aroused for fall mating season, bull moose have been tangling with hammocks this week. The hammocks are winning.

Hawker: Spend permanent fund on state budget
Alaska needs to take a serious look at funding some state services with Alaska Permanent Fund money, according to the co-chairman of the state House Ways and Means Committee. "When the state's got $25 billion in the bank, and that (capital) has made $2 billion so far this year ... we don't have a fiscal problem. We have a problem of will," said Rep. Mike Hawker, an Anchorage Republican.

Court hears appeal of rural law enforcement suit
The chronic shortage of public safety officers in rural Alaska means the state discriminates against Alaska Natives, attorneys argued before the Supreme Court. The high court heard arguments Tuesday in a case filed four years ago by several village governments and individual Bush residents in Dillingham.

Young says TSA not meeting expectations
U.S. Representative Don Young said he regrets setting up the Transportation Safety Administration, the federal agency with the task of screening airline passengers. "If I had to do it over again, I probably would not have passed the TSA bill, because they did not do as I thought they would do," Young told the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner and other Alaska media. "All they did was put a new shirt on a bunch of people and went back to the old technology."

This Day in History
This day in Alaska; in the nation; in the world

Bethel Native organization claims immunity
A Bethel Native organization told the Alaska Supreme Court on Monday that it has the same kind of legal immunity that federal and state governments have, which means it cannot be sued if it does not want to be. The Association of Village Council Presidents said two families who claim their children were injured while participating in programs run by the association cannot file negligence claims in state court unless AVCP waives its immunity, which it has refused to do.

Study: Spawning fish drop pollutants in some lakes
A new study says some of Alaska's pristine and remote lakes are getting polluted with industrial PCBs through an unlikely source: sockeye salmon. The fish pick up the chemicals in the northern Pacific Ocean and return to the lakes to spawn. Then they die, their bodies releasing the pollutant and raising PCB concentration in the lake sediment more than sevenfold in some cases, researchers conclude in Thursday's issue of the journal Nature.

AlaskaDigest
Headlines from around the state

Scientists begin 10-year census of the seas
Brenda Konar shoots an anxious glance over her shoulder but keeps chiseling. The Pacific Ocean hasn't gone away. In fact, it's gaining on her. Wedged between slimy boulders, the marine biologist hacks at the crusty stuff clinging to the ragged shoreline of the Kenai Peninsula. Frigid seawater seeps through the duct tape patch on her rubber waders. Her knuckles bleed.

Heroic dog recognized again for saving its owner last year
Shadow, a dog that saved its owner from an attacking grizzly bear near Skwentna last year, will fly to Los Angeles this month to receive another award for canine heroism. Don Mobley was gathering firewood on a sandbar of the Nakochna River when he found himself between a grizzly sow and her cub. The sow growled and charged. Mobley, convinced he was about to be mauled, ran.

Movies: When and where
Movies: When and where

What's happening
What's happening this week in Juneau

From Russia, with strings
Whether his Moscow Chamber Orchestra is playing in Czechoslovakia or Carnegie Hall or even the Juneau-Douglas High School auditorium, music director and conductor Constantine Orbelian has one wish. "As a performer, one has only one thing on his mind, to make an impression on one's audience and to make an emotional experience out of listening to music," said Orbelian, now in his 14th year in the orchestra, in an e-mail from Prague. "I am that way myself. I want to leave a concert hall with a lasting emotional musical impression."

A range of vocals
Former Juneau resident Jeannette D'Armand likes jazz legends Billy Strayhorn and Ella Fitzgerald, but she doesn't consider herself a "typical jazz scat singer." She likes the theatrics and the fantasy of Kurt Weill too, but her own compositions tend to be more ethereal. D'Armand touches on a little bit of everything - jazz, Broadway and opera. Her mezzo soprano range is just as versatile - somewhere between a soprano and an alto.

Koot's house band comes to Juneau
Dean Richards and longtime guitarist J.Z. were fed up with the kind of music they were hearing at Chilkoot Charlie's, or Koot's, in Anchorage on off-nights. So they decided to form their own band - Custom Deluxe - with keyboard player Randy Stevens and bass player Monte Pulu.

'Maltese Falcon': One remake that showed originality
As a passionate filmgoer, I couldn't help but feel disheartened a few weeks ago when I searched for a movie to watch and all I found was "S.W.A.T." and Jackie Chan's "The Medallion." Don't get me wrong. I have nothing against Jackie. But this year's end-of-summer fare left even this dedicated optimist feeling deflated.

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