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Sunday, September 22, 2002

In the Stacks
Here are just a few of the new books on tape we're putting out on the shelves this week at the public library! Next week, I'll have the new books on CD for you.

Looking good
The Alaska State Museum looks beautiful! The exterior cleanup job was long overdue. Next time let's do it at the beginning of tourist season.

Seek peace, not war
I am alarmed at the pace of the Bush Administration's rush to all-out war against Iraq. The notion that anything short of outright attack is "doing nothing" is absurd. The government of Iraq does not pose an imminent threat to the United States. There are alternative actions to be taken that could avert a military confrontation.

Election-season caricatures
In Mr. William's Op-ed piece on Sept. 16, he takes environmentalists to task for raising money from outside Alaska to fund environmental protection and conservation in Alaska. I am glad he pointed out that much of the money is distributed by the Alaska Conservation Foundation (ACF). People must be reading our annual report!

Don has guts
It takes guts to make decisions, particularly difficult decisions in a public capacity, especially in a community as educated to issues, opinionated, and sometimes divergent as ours. A person with guts, serving the public interest is what is needed in elected office to make difficult decisions.

Photo: Freebies
A glacier bear cub, an adult black bear and an adult glacier bear have been spotted in the Mendenhall Valley for the past several months, according to Neil Barten, a local biologist with the State Department of Fish and Game.

School Board: Trinidad would be voice for Filipinos, Natives
For Bonn Trinidad, who emigrated in 1980 to the United States from Manila, Philippines, being on the Juneau School Board is about giving parents in minority communities someone to talk to who understands them."Why I need to run as a minority is that though the Juneau community supports diversity, minority people, Filipinos and Alaska Natives need someone to talk to," he said.

The view from above
For less than the price of a pair of Xtra Tuffs boots, it's possible to cover 150 miles of Juneau's high country and still get home for dinner.Late summer and early fall are a great time for hiking the snow-free high country around Juneau, but this year there were precious few days when the ridges and alpine valleys were not shrouded in clouds. After what seemed like a month of rain, the sun came out and the skies cleared briefly in early September.

School Board: Van Slyke advocates a measured approach
After a few years of retirement, long-time educator and school administrator Bob Van Slyke, 72, has had his fill of golf. After some consultation with his wife, he's returned from the sunny, relaxing days spent in warmer climates, and decided to run for the Juneau School Board. "I have had a long-standing interest in the district, I got some encouragement, and decided to do it," Van Slyke said.

2 churches: Back off 'Day of Silence'
Members of two Christian churches in Juneau object to a high school event intended to promote tolerance of gays, saying the Day of Silence advocates what they call an unacceptable homosexual agenda.The churches, Chapel By the Lake and Auke Bay Bible Church, sent letters to school district administrators asking that the day's theme be broadened to a Day of Respect that would take the focus off gay students.

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

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

What to do when your computer works
Suppose one day everything in your high tech office actually worked the way it was supposed to. Wouldn't you be just a little bit suspicious?Fortunately for our great country, a small group of office workers on the East Coast were. And it's because of their suspicion that they managed to expose a plot by electronic terrorists to sabotage our nation' s fragile emotional stability in a truly ingenious way: by making all of the technology we depend on work as advertised. The terrorists' thinking was that if we couldn't blame computers for the misery in our lives, we would turn on each other. It's hard to fault their logic.

Empire editorial: Southeast Conference going strong at 45
The Southeast Conference was formed 45 years by a group of business and government leaders throughout Southeast Alaska to address the need for a state ferry system. The annual meeting this past week in Craig drew an all time record attendance of 225. Juneau was well-represented at the meeting by city officials, local political candidates, the Juneau Chamber of Commerce, the Alaska Committee, and a variety of other governmental interests and private sector organizations.

My Turn: Southeast communities interdependent
Over 250 delegates from Southeast Alaska recently met in Craig for the annual Southeast Conference. The conference is an opportunity for the region's business and government leaders to gather to discuss trans

My Turn: Williams, Murkowski misrepresent facts
Lew Williams Jr. and Sen. Frank Murkowski have launched personal attacks on me and allege that a lawsuit filed by my employer, Oceana, seeks to shut down Alaska salmon fisheries. This simply isn't true.

For those among you who know the value of pie
We've known for a long time that, for some species, there is far more to food than fuel. Take pie, for example. Many of us have wonderful memories wrapped around a cold or steamy slice of rich and creamy or sweet and fruity pie. Why? Pie is portable, not limited to any time of the day, keeps well, is usually easy to chew, goes well with coffee or milk, cheese or ice cream.

Fly Fishing fantasies
The next time you're gazing listlessly out of the gray box that's your office onto a gray sky, or maybe serving up a pot of oatmeal to the ungrateful roommates known as your children, think about what Brad Elfer's doing right now.He's getting ready to go to Mexico. Sure, that's nothing unusual. A lot of Alaskans take refuge in frou-frou beach cocktails when the summer light begins to fade. But Elfer, owner of Juneau Flyfishing Goods, is going to Ziahuatanejo for work. Yup, he's going fly fishing in the deep, blue Pacific off the coast of Mexico and it's all tax-deductible!

Fish Report
Coho salmon fishing in the Juneau area continues to be better than average. In the most recent survey, it took anglers an average of four hours to land a coho. Last year it took an average of six hours to land a silver. The five-year average is also five hours. The hotspots for coho were the drag from Cordwood to Point Retreat, Outer Point and North Pass.

Out and About
In season: Black bear (Sept. 1-June 30), brown bear (Sept. 15-Dec. 31, March 15-May 31), deer (Sept. 15-Dec. 31), mountain goat (Sept. 1 or Oct. 1, depending on area,-Nov. 31), moose (Sept. 15-Oct. 15), wolf (Aug. 1-April 30), wolverine (Nov. 10-Feb. 15), ducks, geese, brants, snipe, crane (Sept. 1-Dec. 15), red and blue king crab (Oct. 1-March 31), coho salmon (June-Nov.). (Seasons and limits are more complex than can be detailed here. Always check regulations before heading out.)

Fall colors replace green of summer
There's a tang in the air, and for many of us it's time to watch "termination dust" making its way down the mountainsides. But before winter comes we can look forward to one of nature's most colorful art shows.On the mountainsides, along the river, and often in our own back yards the leaves of certain trees and smaller plants are turning brilliant yellow, red, orange, and even purple. How leaves do this is a fascinating process, one that is keyed to both falling temperatures and declining hours of daylight.

Big Fish Photos

Gearing down for winter
The leaves are beginning to turn color, another Golden North Salmon Derby has come and gone and the rainy season has begun. For fishermen, these signs mean one thing - the fishing season is almost over.With the exception of the hearty winter fishermen, it's time to put away that gear, cover up the boat and wait out another long, dark off-season.

Upset bid falls short for Bears
ANCHORAGE - In a pinch, the pass-happy East Anchorage High School offense passed on passing the football in its first two series of the second half on Saturday afternoon.That was perfect thinking, really, because now the Thunderbirds can plan on playing in the postseason.

Photos: They want to be football heros
Above: Darian Bliss of the Juneau Youth Football League's Steelers team runs for a touchdown during the Steelers' 24-0 Junior Division (ages 10-11, some smaller age 12s) victory over the Vikings on Saturday at Adair-Kennedy Memorial Park.

Juneau boys claim Sitka swimming title
With many swimmers participating in their first meet of the season, the Juneau-Douglas High School boys swimming squad won the team titles at Friday's and Saturday's Sitka Invitational.The Crimson Bear girls posted fourth-place finishes each day.

Juneau spikers remain unbeaten
The Juneau-Douglas High School volleyball team made some history with its road trip to Anchorage and Wasilla this weekend.The Crimson Bears have taken at least two similar road trips a year, but this was the first time Juneau came back undefeated. The Crimson Bears are 8-0 overall this season after winning all four of their matches on the road.

Juneau runners sweep region titles
The entire Juneau-Douglas High School boys and girls cross-country running teams finished in the top 10 of their respective races at the Region V-Class 4A meet Saturday in Ketchikan, as the Crimson Bears swept the team titles and qualified for next weekend's state meet in Palmer.Juneau's Molly Krehlik and Sitka's Amadeo Linke were the individual Region V-Class 4A girls and boys champions, respectively, and the Sitka boys and Ketchikan girls teams finished second to earn the region's remaining Class 4A state team berths.

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

Unlocking Alaska's dinosaur secrets
Dallas Museum of Natural History curator Tony Fiorillo returned to Alaska's North Slope in July, intent on extracting the skull of a pachyrhinosaur spotted last summer north of America's northernmost mountains. The plant-eating dinosaur was a cousin to triceratops. It grew up to 7 feet high and 18 feet long. Its head had a bony nasal protuberance that may have supported a horn, and a prominent frill at the back with two distinct horns.

Haines: State lifts moratorium on commercial tours in eagle preserve
The state Division of Parks has lifted the moratorium on new commercial tours in the Alaska Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve. The move to accept new permit applications comes with completion of revisions to the bald eagle preserve management plan.

State Briefs
Landslide forces AEL&P to use diesel generators; Anchorage murderer sentenced to 61 years;

Skagway: Sightings prompt cougar alert
Two sightings of a cougar in the Skagway area over a month-long period this summer prompted the state Department of Fish and Game to post an alert on Aug. 30.

Haines: Borough to resume control of arts center
The Haines Borough will resume management and maintenance of the Chilkat Center for the Arts.Mayor Jan Hill said she's begun the process of taking over the management of the center from the Foundation for the Chilkat Center for the Arts, the nonprofit that's operated the building since 1996.

More than 5,000 to be denied permanent fund dividends
ANCHORAGE - The number of residents ineligible for Alaska Permanent Fund dividends because of criminal records will jump by 35 percent this year, according to Department of Revenue estimates. The Permanent Fund Dividend Division estimates that 5,267 Alaskans lost their eligibility for checks. That's 1,436 more than were ineligible because of criminal convictions for 2000, about 0.84 percent of Alaska's population of 626,932 in the 2000 census.

State gets dismal review of child protection service
ANCHORAGE - A comprehensive federal review of Alaska's system of protecting children from abuse or neglect has found widespread deficiencies.The federal assessment began more than a year ago and was released Friday at a joint meeting of the Governor's Commission on Child Protection and the Court Improvement Project.

Petersburg: Ground broken for assisted-living project
Gov. Tony Knowles, his wife, Susan, and state Rep. Peggy Wilson were on hand along with a substantial crowd Sept. 13 for the groundbreaking of the Mountain View expansion in Petersburg. The project will roughly double the size of the existing assisted-living facility.

Ulmer advocates finishing access study, improving ferry service
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Fran Ulmer, in a move that contrasts a transportation proposal by her Republican opponent Frank Murkowski, presented new initiatives for Southeast transportation and economic development Friday at the Juneau Chamber of Commerce luncheon. Describing the projects as "achievable dreams," Ulmer, Alaska's lieutenant governor, set out goals, including a second bridge connecting Juneau and Douglas, full funding for road maintenance and snow plowing, continued funding of fast ferry service in Southeast and completion of an environmental impact statement for Juneau access.

Haines consolidation draws candidates
The city of Haines is undergoing sweeping changes with the consolidation of its city and borough governments and an upcoming Oct. 1 election of a mayor, borough assembly and school board.Haines residents in July voted 658 to 524 in favor of merging the city and borough governments, creating a home-rule borough with areawide planning and zoning authority. The new consolidated government also will create a new school board, relieving the borough assembly of school board duties.

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