Company hopes to reopen Valdez gold mine
A Canadian company is hoping to return large-scale gold mining to Valdez. Western Warrior Resources of Calgary plans exploratory drilling of Cliff Mine seven miles along the coast west of Valdez this fall. The firm is investing $350,000 in the effort to reopen the former gold mine.
ACS pursues rate changes for Juneau and Fairbanks
ANCHORAGE - In an attempt to lure back business customers, Alaska Communications Systems is planning to overhaul local phone rates in Juneau and Fairbanks. The rate changes are part of a plan to win back customers from rival General Communication Inc. ACS plans to lower rates for most businesses in both areas. At the same time, it is proposing rate hikes for residential customers in Juneau and at Fort Wainwright and Eielson Air Force Base. The proposed rate changes are part of an increasingly fierce battle between the two Anchorage-based telecom companies.
Blaming signs misguided
In Sunday's letter to the editor, Richard Reichenbach suggested that beer signs are wrong to display, singling out Coors and DeHarts in Auke Bay. As DeHarts has continually used this form of advertising over the history of their establishment, I wonder why it is only now noticed by Mr. Reichenbach? And why is it only DeHarts that is targeted in Mr. Reichenbach's message - are there no other liquor stores in town with a sign suggesting the purchase of alcoholic drinks? Mr. Reichenbach's socialist message proposed that store owners and beer distributors are responsible for boating accidents. Are all of Mr. Reichenbach's acquaintances unable to enjoy a beer without drinking to excess? There seems no need to wait for America's justice system, any evidence or court convictions, Mr. Reichenbach seems to have established the cause of the recent boating accident.
Re-start the bonus
Now that our governor has axed the $92-100 million contract with Alaska Communications Systems Group, by extension the Senior Citizens' Longevity Bonus should be retroactively reinstated to the date of termination. The $92-100 million contract with ACS was started during Tony Knowles' tenure as governor. This cost was in his as well as the present governor's budget. By comparison the seniors' bonus is a mere fraction of the terminated ACS contract. Cell phones for state employees by the nature of the technology are a potential for a cesspool of abuse protracting the costs. Anyone that has a cell phone knows how they can be abused with long distance, wireless, data and video conferencing capabilities, not to mention the typical free weekend minutes for strictly state employee personal business.
A welcome step
This weekend, delegates from Juneau's sister city of Whitehorse will visit our capital city. While here, they plan to visit the new ice arena, the new high school and many other wonderful amenities we have to share.
Teachers earn 'perks'
Theresea Ullmeyer's letter (Sept. 19, 2003) is addressed to the teachers of Juneau and contains a list of "perks" that parents who home-school "already have": year-round school, a.m. and p.m. class schedules, private lessons available throughout the day in various non-curricular subjects, "privatization of many teaching positions," cafeterias with "real" hot lunches. Clearly, she would like these "perks" to be part of a newly negotiated teaching contract. The union, she declares, is negotiating for its workers, not for the children of Juneau.
Opposed to land swap
I am representing Juneau Audubon Society in opposition to the Cape Fox Land Entitlement Adjustment Act of 2003, which would give approximately 12,000 acres of Tongass National Forest lands in Berners Bay to Native corporations in exchange for 3,000 acres of mostly clearcut private lands near Ketchikan. This land swap may affect one of nature's most incredible displays that is available for people to experience. This area has a unique value to wildlife and people. The incredible congregation of sea mammals and birds in the spring is unmatched in Southeast Alaska. Juneau Audubon has utilized this amazing wildlife extravaganza by offering cruises to the public to observe the sea lions, whales, seals and birds that come here each spring to feast on the eulachon run into the rivers. For many years we have provided a family-oriented trip to expose our local residents to this amazing wildlife display. As a member of Juneau Audubon, I am very concerned about any development that may inhibit use of wildlife in this unique ecosystem.
Botelho: Proven leader
Let me tell you just a few, among many, reasons I believe Bruce Botelho will be terrific mayor for Juneau (again.)
Today Valley Toastmasters meeting, 6:10 a.m. every Tuesday, Henry's. Details: Jim, 789-3074. TOPS (Take Off Pounds Sensibly), 8 a.m., Juneau Senior Center, 895 W. 12th Street. TOPS is a nonprofit weight-loss support group. Details: Betty, 364-2937. Sewing Circle, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Valley Senior Center. Details: Betty, 789-7236. Life Ring, a support group for women, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. every Tuesday and Thursday, Cathedral of the Nativity basement, Fifth and Gold streets. Lunch is provided, all are welcome. Details: Cathedral of the Nativity, 586-1513.
Voters to decide on bonds for Juneau School District
Local voters will decide Oct. 7 whether to spruce up the eighth-grade wing and the exterior of Floyd Dryden Middle School and clean up some discolored water at Harborview Elementary School. The city and Juneau School Dist-rict are asking voters to approve $6.945 million in bonds for the school projects. They expect the state will reimburse 70 percent of the total costs - the principal and interest - of the bonds, leaving locals with nearly $2.7 million to pay off. Property taxpayers would pay about $10 per $100,000 of assessed value for 10 years, the city estimates.
Juneau School Board: Befort brings teaching, special needs experience
Rhonda Befort says she would bring to the Juneau School Board experience as a teacher and as a professional who has worked with special-needs children. Befort has taught in private schools and directed preschools and child-care centers in Kansas. She has coordinated care for special-needs children, and assesses people with developmental disabilities to see if they're qualified to receive certain Medicaid services. "I'm able to take a population that's not very often heard from and provide a voice for them,"
Juneau School Board: Burk concerned about financial waste, school overcrowding
Bill Burk, who has worked as a substitute teacher and special education aide in the Juneau public schools, says he would bring a knowledge of the inner workings of the district to the Juneau School Board. "The school district wastes a lot of money," Burk said. "Juneau has some very talented educators in the system and they are not allowing those educators to keep their expertise in the system. With salaries and benefits, they are losing a lot of very talented people. This goes for teachers as well as paraeducators." Paraeducators refers to instructional and special-education aides. "I feel that the money they put into renovating the high school could have been better put into building another high school in the (Mendenhall) Valley," he said.
Police & Fire
Reports by Juneau police, fire officials and state troopers.
Juneau School Board: Carlson's strengths come from parenting, school service
Phyllis Carlson, who administers a federal Native education program that places staff in the public schools and who has participated on several school district panels, says her highest credential for the Juneau School Board is her experience as a parent. "I'm committed to education. It's a family value," she said. Carlson has served on school site councils, booster clubs and school district committees that set strategies for the school year. She's a member of the Juneau Effective Prevention Program - an anti-alcohol, -tobacco and -drug program - in the schools and the community.
One of Juneau's oldest dining establishments closed Thursday
Members of the Pusich family and friends and employees of Mike's Place in Douglas packed up more than 60 years of history this weekend after the restaurant closed for good Thursday night. "Definitely it was time," said Mary Kay Pusich, who took over operations of the restaurant from her parents, Rudy and Mary Pusich, in 1976. "All of the family talked, and the consensus was it's time to close this chapter." The Kasnick family, which owns the Driftwood and several apartments in town, plans to buy Mike's Place in a sale that will close this week, Rick Kasnick said.
Photo: Douglas Dock, Early 1900's
This early 20th century photograph shows Juneau and Thane in the background behind a Douglas Island dock on a winter day.
Glacier Valley part of nat'l study
Glacier Valley Elementary School is one of 20 schools nationwide where parents and students will be surveyed about walking and biking to school. Researchers at the University of North Carolina are conducting the study for the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About 15 percent of children in the United States are overweight, and American kids are less active than they used to be, said Lisa Sutherland, a UNC researcher who is visiting Glacier Valley this week as part of the study.
Ferry's home may be Juneau
The state's new fast ferry will be home-ported in Juneau and make regular trips to Sitka, Haines and Skagway if the state Department of Transportation agrees with a recommendation from a DOT advisory board. The ferry Fairweather, set to begin running in May, originally was to be based in Sitka and make daily runs to and from Juneau. But in July, DOT Deputy Commissioner Tom Briggs told Sitkans that to save money the state would discontinue mainline and village ferry service to Sitka if the fast ferry was home-ported there. The summer ferry schedule recommended by the Marine Transportation Advisory Board sends the Fairweather from Juneau to Sitka on Wednesdays and Sundays.
Photo: Bikers bearing gifts
Members of the Southeast Panhandlers Motorcycle Club collect toys at their annual Sandy Beach barbecue Sunday.
This Day in History
In Alaska In 1969, Dr. Richard Warner, a Canadian professor of Environmental Biology, warned that an oil spill in the Arctic could produce disastrous pollution which could persist for decades, perhaps centuries. In the nation In 1642, Harvard College in Cambridge, Mass., held its first commencement. In 1780, British spy John Andre was captured along with papers revealing Benedict Arnold's plot to surrender West Point to the British. In 1806, the Lewis and Clark expedition returned to St. Louis from the Pacific Northwest.
Photo: Learning about nutrition
First-graders Megan Wright, left, David Caldwell, center, and Davon Lee hold bags of flour, whole-wheat and white bread during a nutrition assembly at Glacier Valley Elementary School on Friday. Kathleen Wayne of the Department of Education's Children's Nutritional Services was teaching the students about the value of eating whole foods versus processed foods.
Larry Musarra, director of the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center, hauls a chunk of ice from Mendenhall Lake on Sunday. Musarra sent the ice from Mendenhall Glacier by FedEx to Chase High School in Forest City, N.C., for a science project. Shipping was donated by the Alaska Natural History Association.
Around Town is a listing of local nonprofit events.
Mature Alaskans offers new skills
August "Chuck" Johnnie earned his living as a car mechanic for many years in Juneau. When he retired from that profession, he worked at Kmart and then Costco, where he enjoyed working with customers and being part of a retail sales team. But after two surgeries in the past two years, Johnnie's doctor told him the standing required for his Costco job was no longer an option. So Johnnie had to get a new job, one that would require a minimum amount of physical exertion.
Dzantik'i Heeni's hands-on science teacher named finalist for state honor
As Paula Savikko leads her science students along a wooded path near Dzantik'i Heeni Middle School on a search for highbush cranberry, she stops at two stick-like trees. "Isn't that interesting how in both of those trees there's nothing happening except at the top?" she asked her charges on the Wednesday outing.
Police & Fire
Capital City Fire and Rescue reported it took three people to Bartlett Regional Hospital after an accident at 7:39 p.m. Sunday at outbound Egan and Hospital drives. Police cited an 18-year-old man on a charge of reckless driving. They reported the 1991 Mazda he was driving struck a 1999 Mazda in the rear. Both vehicles were towed from the scene, with damage estimated at $5,000. No condition was available on the people taken to the hospital
Accused rapist settles case with plea bargin
A 28-year-old man from Mexico has been allowed to plead no contest to a misdemeanor to resolve a case in which he originally faced three felony counts of first-degree sexual assault. Guillermo Orozco, of Merida, Mexico, had been scheduled to stand trial Monday on charges that he forced sexual relations on a woman July 16 in his cruise ship stateroom. Both Orozco and the woman were passengers on Royal Caribbean's Vision of the Seas as it sailed through Icy Strait. Juneau District Attorney Patrick Gullufsen told Superior Court Judge Larry Weeks the driving force behind the charge reduction was the trauma it would have caused the victim to travel to Juneau.
City consultants present waterfront plan
A consulting firm that has been studying waterfront development issues since February is recommending that Juneau adopt a waterfront master plan now and talk about development of cruise ship docks later. About 50 people attended a meeting Monday night at Centennial Hall for a presentation by the Florida-based consulting firm Bermello, Ajamil and Partners. Scott Lagueux of Bermello, Ajamil and Partners recommended that the city postpone city dock expansion for six months to a year to better analyze some of the impacts of cruise ship expansion.
Ina Vaye Williamson
Former longtime Juneau resident Ina Vaye Williamson, 68, died Sept. 6, 2003, at her home in Kihei, Hawaii, surrounded by family and friends. She was born Feb. 15, 1935, in Beaverton, Ore., to Arta and Stephen Herrington. The Herrington family lived on a small farm near Beaverton where Williamson's brother, Kevin, continues to reside with his family.
Catherine "Cathy" M. Lloyd
Catherine "Cathy" M. Lloyd Longtime Alaska and Juneau resident Catherine "Cathy" M. Lloyd, 76, died Sept. 18, 2003, at Bartlett Regional Hospital. She was born in Pennsylvania in 1927. She graduated summa cum laude from Ursinus College with degrees in history and political science. She then obtained her doctorate in law from Dickinson Law School. For several years she served as a schoolteacher and hearing examiner for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. She came to Alaska in the 1960s and held several senior positions in state government, including Deputy Commissioner of Health and Social Services under multiple administrations. She was commended by the Legislature upon her retirement from state service. She moved to Arizona, later returning to Juneau in 1998 to live with her family.
My Turn: Whose forest interests are narrow?
I enjoyed reading William Tonsgard Jr.'s recent My Turn of Aug. 26, "The nature of the forest." The historical perspective of the various Southeast Alaska bays that Mr. Tonsgard recalls makes for very interesting and enjoyable reading. His point appears to be that despite the logging, or perhaps because of it, areas that were logged many years ago are still thriving with wildlife; fish, deer, bears, berries and second-growth forests. I appreciate that long-term perspective. His observations seem to dispute the concerns of Greenpeace about the effects of logging in Southeast.
My Turn: DOT officials need to listen to the residents of Southeast
Anyone who has an opinion about the Juneau Access Project should be deeply disturbed by the lack of integrity of the process. This letter does not address which alternative is the best but addresses the overt bias shown by the DOT during the entire process. This has become evident during the past two DOT visits to Skagway.
ALASKA STATE FOOTBALL POLLS
Here are the Anchorage Daily News/Alaska State Coaches Football Polls, as voted on by high school coaches and compiled by the Anchorage Daily News. The poll lists each team with first-place votes in parentheses, records through games of Sept. 20, total poll points and previous rank in the poll. Points are awarded on a 5-4-3-2-1 basis. Large schools coaches vote only in the large schools poll, while small schools coaches vote for small schools.
Juneau Invitational Swimming and Diving Meet
Results from the Juneau Invitational swimming and diving meets held Friday and Saturday at Augustus G. Brown Swimming Pool in Juneau.
Sports in Juneau
Friday, Sept. 26 Juneau Youth Football League - Pee-Wee Division: Titans vs. Cowboys, 6 p.m. Junior Division: Chiefs vs. Broncos, 8 p.m. Both games at Adair-Kennedy Memorial Park football field. Saturday, Sept. 27 Juneau Youth Football League - Pee-Wee Division: Rams vs. Seahawks, 11 a.m. Junior Division: Steelers vs. Vikings, 1 p.m. Senior Division: 49ers vs. Ketchikan, 4:30 p.m. All games at Adair-Kennedy Memorial Park football field, except 49ers-Ketchikan game which is at Norman Walker Field in Ketchikan
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 Bears slip to 5th spot
The Juneau-Douglas High School football team could be concerned about its slide to fifth in this week's Anchorage Daily News/Alaska State Coaches Football Polls. The Crimson Bears have something more important on their minds - like trying to secure a spot in the state playoffs. As the football season winds down to its final weekend, Juneau has one simple task. Win and the Crimson Bears are in the playoffs. Lose and they'll need a lot of help to not spend the winter wondering what happened.
Young Crimson Bears start to gel on road trip
The Juneau-Douglas High School volleyball team could have been depressed about its weekend road trip to Anchorage and Homer, a journey that saw the Crimson Bears lose their first matches since the 2001 season. Instead, the Crimson Bears were looking at the positives from their first trip north of the season.
Italian, Kiwi win World Mountain Running
Marco De Gasperi won the senior men's race and led Italy to the men's team title in the 19th Annual World Mountain Running Trophy races held Saturday and Sunday at Girdwood's Mount Alyeska Resort. The meet brought together more than 400 runners from more than 30 countries. It was the first time the event has taken place in the United States and only the second time it's been held outside of Europe; the 1999 race was held in Malaysia. An early snow on Saturday made this year the first time the race has ever been held with snow covering most of the course.
Stevens sets conditions for enforcement money
FAIRBANKS - Sen. Ted Stevens wants the state to maintain current funding levels for village law enforcement.
Cruise line industry says goodbye to Valdez
The departure of the Celebrity cruise ship Summit with her 1,950 passengers ended more than the 2003 tourist season here - it ended all major cruise ship visits to this port for the foreseeable future. "It's pretty much going to wipe us out," said Dave Johnson, owner of Valdez Tours, which provided sightseeing buses for cruise ship passengers.
Murkowski announces grant awards
The state will distribute about $9.5 million to 36 recipients through its 2003 Fisheries Economic Development Program, Gov. Frank Murkowski said Friday. The grants, which include 14 Southeast recipients, are part of a $50 million salmon fishery revitalization plan Murkowski announced last month. They consist of one-time match-grant funding for new fisheries-related infrastructure projects or for the expansion or improvement of existing projects.
Coalition to study salmon declines
ANCHORAGE - A $15 million research project will seek to solve some of the mysteries surrounding salmon declines from the Kuskokwim River to the Arctic. The study, which begins this week, will involve a coalition of state, federal and tribal agencies hoping to make future runs predictable. The rivers of the Arctic, Yukon and Kuskokwim region, known collectively as the AYK, have been among the least studied in Alaska, said Gene Sandone of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. Though the rivers are big, the salmon runs pale in comparison with the returns of Southeast Alaska, Prince William Sound and Bristol Bay.
News from around the state.
Assembly to decide utility rates Oct. 6 JUNEAU - The Juneau Assembly set a public hearing for Oct. 6 to raise sewer and water rates for residential and business customers. The combined impact of rate increases would be 32.5 to 34 percent for residential customers and a 32.5 to 36.9 percent increase to commercial customers. If approved, the new rates would take effect Dec. 1. Assembly member Dale Anderson suggested a study be done that explains the effect of a rate increase on customers. Anderson suggested a rate increase phase-in over a two- or three-year period.
Thieves benefit from vehicle registration laws
ANCHORAGE - Some thieves in Anchorage have found that Alaska's vehicle registration laws make it fairly easy to fraudulently title cars and trucks, which can then be sold to unsuspecting buyers. "At least that's what the criminals have told us," said Anchorage police Detective Steve Lyons. In one case, retired truck driver George Dismukes spotted a 2001 Mitsubishi Montero at a park-and-sell lot. The selling price was much lower than the SUV was worth, Dismukes said, so he contacted the owner, Gregory P. Ruiz.
Stevens sets conditions for enforcement money
Sen. Ted Stevens wants the state to maintain current funding levels for village law enforcement.
This Day in History
In Alaska; in the nation; in the world
Celebrity cruise ship gives donation to Discovery Southeast
The cruise ship Infinity has won Celebrity Cruises' environmental ship of the year award, said Don Habeger, director of industry relations for Royal Caribbean Cruises, the parent company of Celebrity Cruises. This year was the first that Celebrity Cruises awarded the recognition for environmental responsibility. One of the company's nine ships, the Infinity, won because of its crew's adherence to the company's environmental compliance plan, company officials said.