Thursday, September 25, 2003

Needing more than 'nice' for mayor
Both mayoral candidates are "nice guys." In fact, it could be argued that either candidate for the Juneau mayor's race this October could qualify for the Juneau Chamber of Commerce's "Outstanding Community Citizen Award." But before we judge our candidates solely on their curb appeal, it is worth examining what is really at stake in this election.

Thanks to Stevens
I'd like to publicly thank Senator Stevens for his vote for the Harkin amendment protecting overtime pay for the working class of America and Alaska. I'm sure the senator took into account the thousands of people who called and wrote to him regarding this very important subject. I, for one, know that I submitted comments and phone calls long before the vote was to take place. After all, we have a government that does not function in a vacuum.

The damage of environmentalists
I thought Tuesday's My Turn article ("Whose Forest Interests are Narrow?") by Steve Wolf sounded familiar. It was published in the Empire Aug. 30. I am just wondering why there was a repeat? However, it does give me an opportunity to counter, once again, that Mr. Tonsgard did a five-site cleanup of canneries, not logging sites, and to also add that the good old Forest Service paid for the cleanup.

Accepting responsibility
Hear, hear, Ms. Loni VanKirk - your letter was such a joy to read. You are SO right that individuals need to accept responsibility for their actions. I raised my daughters with this concept but feel they are the minority in today's society.

Republic, not democracy
Michael Catsi is not the only person that has recently shown an understanding of governmental systems in the United States. The Constitution of the United States, as well as the Constitution of the State of Alaska, establishes a republican form of government; that is, a form of government where the populace is governed by reresentatives. We chose to refer to it as a democratic republic as the populace elects our representatives. This republican form of government was chosen by our Founding Fathers for a number of reasons, at least one of which is still valid. In the decision-making process for much of our governmental operations, the public is not privy to ALL of the information. In addition, decision-makers must take into account the long-term consequences for all of the people.

Thanks to friends for helping during fire
I would like to thank my good friends and neighbors, Jim and Dor-e Demers, for their excellent response during a recent fire.

'03 dividend totals $1,107
The Alaska Permanent Fund dividend is $1,107.56, several hundred dollars less than last year, Gov. Frank Murkowski said Wednesday night. Eligible Alaskans will receive $443.20 less than they did from last year's dividend of $1,540.76.

Juneau homecoming
Like many teenagers, Spc. Michael Moniak couldn't wait to bust out of his hometown after graduating from high school. Juneau was small and stifling, and he wanted to see the world. He saw it: The U.S. Army took him across two continents, from Alaska to Kentucky, and from South Korea to Afghanistan to Iraq. Through it all, Moniak has kept the thought of home close to his heart. "I left this place, and I've regretted it ever since. I was young and stupid. When you're that young, you think you know everything, and you come to realize you really had no clue," he said.

Tourist business grew late in season
Tour operators and retail stores that cater to cruise ship passengers in Juneau don't know how much money they made this summer. But one thing is certain, according to one manager in the industry: "They all made money," said Frank Rich, a manager with Mendenhall Glacier Transport, which operates shuttles and tours between downtown and the Mendenhall Glacier. "Whether or not they made as much as they did last year, I don't know. We'll know that at the end of the year. But everybody makes a living."

Court recommends amending Wildflower Court's lease
With no discussion Tuesday night, the Juneau Planning Commission recommended to the Assembly that the Lands Department amend its lease to Wildflower Court, a long-term care facility next to Bartlett Regional Hospital. The center, at 2000 Salmon Creek Lane, is seeking an 1,800-square-foot addition to the eastern corner of the building to house six additional long-term care beds. The current no-cost 35-year lease, the maximum allowed by city code, dates back to 1999. The Lands Department originally leased the 2.52-acre site to St. Ann's Care Center Inc., as it was then known, for a 55-bed, long-term care facility.

Osama in Alaska? Tabloid says bin Laden's here; troopers say they're 'on it'
The Weekly World News claims to have found the world's most-wanted terrorist. Osama bin Laden - perhaps embarrassed by his habitual bed-wetting, or seeking a scenic backdrop for his new reality show - is occupying a love nest in Alaska. Bin Laden "is living with Eskimos somewhere in Alaska and has taken an Eskimo bride to help conceal his identity," according to the nationwide newspaper, generally considered the most outrageous of the nation's supermarket checkout-stand tabloids.

Kadinger says schools need upgraded computers
Lee Kadinger says he will be committed to the Juneau School Board if he is elected. He's one of 12 candidates competing for five open seats on the seven-person board. Kadinger cited these tasks: "Doing what it takes to get the funding we need for schools, new technology upgrades for every school in Juneau, better (pay) packages for teachers and getting the new (high) school built so it doesn't have to come to a vote in another two years with another $30 million tacked on."

Candidates in Oct. 7 election face JDHS students' questions
Juneau-Douglas High School students want to know whether teachers will get raises, why a second high school will be built and why the city supports a third lane on the Douglas Bridge, among other issues. On Wednesday morning, students from history and government classes questioned candidates for the Juneau Assembly and Juneau School Board in the school commons. They rotated among the candidates, who came and went as their schedules allowed.

Police and Fire
Police cited a 49-year-old man on a charge of failing to maintain safe distance after an accident at 4:33 p.m. Monday at Glacier Highway and Alaway Avenue. The man, driving a 1993 Ford Explorer, struck a 2001 Dodge truck from behind. No damage estimates were available.

Agents bust five, seize cocaine
Two search warrants served Tuesday at a Franklin Street apartment complex turned up cocaine, suspected drug money, a handgun and forged documents. The Southeast Alaska Narcotics Enforcement Team arrested five men on felony charges and lodged them at the Lemon Creek Correctional Center. It was SEANET's second felony bust involving cocaine in Juneau in about five weeks.

Thanks
The Juneau-Douglas City Museum thanks the many generous people, businesses and organizations that donated money and time to safely relocate and conserve the Auk Tribe totem pole in the newly remodeled Juneau High School atrium. The City Museum also thanks the Juneau School District for offering this beautiful location and for sponsoring the dedication ceremony.

Guthrie says board needs to listen more to families
Sam Guthrie says he offers the Juneau School Board his ability to unite people. "I think there is a gap that stands between the School Board and the teachers, for example," said Guthrie, one of 12 candidates competing for five open seats on the seven-person board in the Oct. 7 city election. "I don't have any burning issues why I'm running. I think we have a good school system, and we can improve it." Guthrie, who has two children in the Juneau public schools, said he has high expectations for them. "I'd like to believe that I have every child's view at heart," he said.

Judge rejects request to move Kmart theft trial
Despite the publicity the case has received in Juneau, Superior Court Judge Patricia Collins will look to seat a Juneau jury when a former Kmart employee stands trial for the theft of nearly $100,000 in cash, checks and receipts from the local store in 2002. Collins denied a motion to move Frank Brian Rowcroft's trial, now scheduled to begin Nov. 3. Rowcroft's attorney, Louis Menendez, sought to change the site, arguing that Juneau residents would be prejudiced by a front-page article in the Aug. 26 Juneau Empire, which he said was not totally accurate.

Peters says he can offer the school board leadership
William Peters, a credit union executive and former Juneau Chamber of Commerce president, says he would bring strong leadership to the Juneau School Board. He's one of 12 candidates for five open seats on the board.

Around Town
Around Town is a listing of local nonprofit events. To be included, notices should be dropped off at 3100 Channel Drive. They can also be faxed to 586-3028 or e-mailed to the newsroom clerk at nrclerk@juneauempire.com. Deadline is noon two days prior to the event.

Raid leads to roundup of suspected illegal aliens
A downtown drug bust Tuesday that turned up 20 grams of cocaine led federal authorities to 19 allegedly illegal aliens in the Juneau area. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesman Mike Milne told the Empire from his Seattle office Wednesday the bust also led agents to one Mexican citizen who appears to be in the country legally.

Assembly looks at more money for Valley school
The Juneau Assembly on Oct. 13 will consider adding at least $1.628 million to the budget for the planned high school at Dimond Park in the Mendenhall Valley, Assembly members said Wednesday. Seven of the nine Assembly members met as a Committee of the Whole on Wednesday afternoon. Dale Anderson and Jim Powell were absent, and Stan Ridgeway was present by telephone for part of the meeting.<

Photo: Historical swimmers
This 1910 photograph shows 11 male swimmers from Treadwell dressed in early 20th-century swimming attire. The Treadwell Mine complex included a variety of recreation options for miners and their families, including a natatorium for indoor swimming.

This day in History
• In 1794, eight monks from the Russian Orthodox Church reached Kodiak, founding their faith in North America. • In 1917, the Katmai National Monument, in Southwestern Alaska, was established with a proclamation by President Woodrow Wilson. • In 1924, a fire destroyed a large part of the business district of Tanana.

Photo: Tearing it up
City Parks and Recreation Division employee Tim Scott tills the flower beds in the median of Egan Drive on Tuesday. A sign of fall is when the 24 flower beds are tilled in preparation for winter.

Cohen cites his experience and promises continuity
Juneau School Board President Chuck Cohen, one of two incumbents running for re-election this year, says he brings sound judgment and a broad range of life experiences to the board. "Now I've served for four years, what I bring to it is a continuity of knowledge as an incumbent," he said. With five of seven School Board seats open this election, and 12 candidates seeking those seats, Cohen said he's running partly to maintain the school district's program through continuity of management and policy-making. "It just takes too long to learn to do this job well for the public," he said.

Corrections
Due to a reporter's error, election coverage in Tuesday's Empire incorrectly reported Juneau School Board candidate Rhonda Befort holds a Ph.D. She has completed all the work for a Ph.D. except the dissertation.

Glory Hole cuts afternoon hours
For the last year and a half, John Covington, a homeless man living in Juneau, has frequented the downtown soup kitchen the Glory Hole during the day for a hot meal and some camaraderie. But beginning next month, he and the others who rely on the facility will have to find a new place for shelter and meals during the day. Earlier this week, the Glory Hole announced that due to a budget shortfall it will close its doors in the late morning and afternoon.

Mayron says problem solving is one of her strengths
Megan Mayron says she fixes problems for a living and would like to apply that expertise to the Juneau schools. Mayron is one of 12 candidates competing for five open seats on the Juneau School Board.

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

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

Morris says she's concerned about student outcomes
Julie Morris, a certified teacher who has been an activity therapist in the local schools, says she's running for the Juneau School Board because she wants to serve. Morris is one of 12 candidates for five open positions on the board. She ran last year and placed third in the race for two open seats.

La Rue, White to be married
Vanessa La Rue and Ryan White of Juneau will be married at 2 p.m. Friday, Sept. 26, at the United Pentecostal Church of Juneau. A reception will follow at Frontier Suites.

Foursome represents rural SE Girl Scouts at national summit
As you read this, four Girl Scouts from Southeast Alaska are representing the interests of local youth as they participate in the Rural Youth Advisory Committee summit being held just outside Washington, D.C. The four are Valerie Jensen of Yakutat; Kimberly Moore of Kake; and Cassie Lutz and Megan Tack of Juneau. They flew out of Juneau Airport early on Friday, Sept. 19, and will return Sept. 25.

Southeast sagas: Chief Johnson remembered
One of the lesser-known Tlingit leaders who resided in Juneau during its early years was George Johnson. This leader is also known as Skookum Johnson, Chief Johnson, and Gut Wain or Geet Wain. Johnson had links to Tongass, Metlakatla and Ketchikan as well as Juneau.

Giraud, Tromble to marry
Tanya Tromble of Juneau and Sylvain Giraud of Roquevaire, France, will be married at 4 p.m. on April 23, 2004, in Roquevaire. A reception will follow the wedding at Mas de Ventarelle, Mimet, France.

Taylor, Tromble wed in Idaho
Nicole Josephine Taylor of Wuerzburg, Germany, and Roy Wesley Tromble of Juneau were married on Saturday, Aug. 9, 2003, at Trinity United Methodist Church in Idaho Falls, Idaho.

Thanks
.. for supporting the City Museum ...for helping with tire during rainstorm

Sue E. Shields
Former Juneau resident Sue E. Shields, 97, died Sept. 12, 2003, in Anchorage at the Providence Horizon House.

Vivian M. Kahklen
Lifelong Alaskan and former Juneau resident Vivian M. Demmert Kahklen, 85, died Sept. 18, 2003, in Eagle River. Her Tlingit name was Kasteech.

William Keene Wilson
Former Juneau resident William Keene Wilson, 61, died Sept. 19, 2003, at IHS Hospital in Fort Yates, N.D. He was born March 2, 1942, in Hoonah, to John and Olga (Keene) Wilson. He was raised and educated in Juneau and graduated from Juneau-Douglas High School in 1962. He attended the Cleveland Engineering Institute and Cleveland State University and received his degree in civil engineering. He was a civil engineer for 38 years. On March 27, 1965, he married Rosa Ramsey at St. James Episcopal Church, Cannon Ball, N.D.

My Turn: The wheels are about to come off the school bus
I happened to see the teachers picketing the school board the other night. They were out in force to make their point and to right what they perceive is an injustice. More power to them. I believe that Juneau is fortunate to have a lot of caring teachers and, incidentally, administrators and support staff, who work hard to give our kids a quality education. But there is a problem coming that teachers' desire for more money seems to be at odds with.

Learning about the whole, wide world
L et's encourage the citizens of Juneau to be aware of global issues and conditions. It is important that our students understand world events, recognize the impact of international issues, and acknowledge the relationships among cultures. Our young people benefit from being taught to show respect for others while being curious and friendly.

My Turn: Government and religion partners for social change
By any objective measure, the social welfare system of the past 40 years has fallen short of its original purpose. During this time, the United States spent more than $7 trillion on human service programs, yet saw a rise in illegitimate births of 500 percent; an increase in violent crime rates of 300 percent; and a tripling of the number of children on welfare rolls.

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 swimmers, spikers hit the road this weekend
The Juneau-Douglas High School swim and volleyball teams will hit the road this weekend, but in different directions. The swim team will be heading north to Fairbanks as the Crimson Bears head outside Region V for the first time this season. Juneau will swim at North Pole on Friday and against West Valley in a dual meet at Lathrop on Saturday.

REGION V CROSS-COUNTRY ALL-ACADEMIC AWARDS
Twenty-nine Southeast senior cross-country runners received All-Academic Awards at the ceremony following Saturday's Region V Championships, hosted by Juneau. The awards went to seniors who have maintained grade point averages of 3.0 or higher. This year's recipients were, by school:

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. Both games at Adair-Kennedy Memorial Park football field.

Alaska swimming top 16 prep times
Alaska's top 16 times for the 2003 high school swimming season.

Alaska Digest
Nonprofit says DEC is charging exorbitant fees ANCHORAGE - The head of a water-quality watchdog organization says the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation is charging exorbitant copying fees to deter the group from gaining public records. Bob Shavelson, executive director of Cook Inlet Keeper, said the agency's goal is to keep his group from showing the state isn't doing its job under the Clean Water Act. "I received a response that said this is going to be thousands and thousands of pages and it'll cost you between $5,000 and $12,000," Shavelson said. "This is an incredibly high hurdle to jump to gain access to public documents."

Firm gains gas rights to 230,000 acres
ANCHORAGE - Evergreen Resources Inc., has obtained subsurface lease rights to 230,000 acres in the Matanuska Susitna Borough area, the company said. The Denver-based company is exploring for shallow natural gas in the Mat-Su and already had 75,000 acres under lease. With its latest announcement, the company said it now has a production-size block that could generate commercial quantities of methane. "To make a coal bed methane play work, you need, in our opinion, a couple hundred thousand acres, and it needs to be contiguous," said Evergreen spokesman John Kelso.

Bridging Midddle East Tensions
Katib Muhamad, an Arab Israeli who is Muslim, left, hugs his Team Israel teammate, Yizhak Cohen, who is Jewish, after they finished the senior men'

Human skull found along Matanuska R.
A human skull found along the Matanuska River has been identified as the remains of a Knik woman reported missing five years ago, Alaska State Troopers said Wednesday. The state medical examiner identified the skull Tuesday as that of Susan Beth Crawford, who was 46 years old when she was last seen Aug. 9, 1998, around Mile 89 of the Glenn Highway. Her abandoned car was found one day later near Mile 91.

Dividend amount to be announced
ANCHORAGE - Gov. Frank Murkowski will announce the 2003 permanent fund dividend tonight at the Alaska Permanent Fund Corp.'s annual meeting in Anchorage. Until that time the exact size of the check won't be known. What is known, however, is that the 2003 amount will be substantially lower than recent years. In July, the permanent fund corporation transferred $691 million to the state Department of Revenue to pay for the dividend program, according to fund spokeswoman Laura Achee.

UAF announces new journalism endowment
The University of Alaska Fairbanks has established the C.W. Snedden Chair in Journalism, an endowment that is expected to bring a nationally recognized print journalist to the Interior. The endowment is funded by a donation from Helen Snedden, the widow of C.W. Snedden, former publisher and owner of the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner.

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

Did whaling cause decline in sea otters?
A cascading decline in seal, sea lion and sea otter populations in the North Pacific may have been triggered by industrial whaling after World War II that forced packs of killer whales to look for new sources of food, a group of scientists suggest. "If our hypothesis is correct, either wholly or in significant part, commercial whaling in the North Pacific Ocean set off one of the largest and most complex ecological chain reactions ever described," the scientists wrote in an article appearing this week on the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Web site.

Oil, gas employment hits low
ANCHORAGE - Employment in Alaska's oil and gas industry is at its lowest point in more than a decade, according to a report by the state labor department. Employment in those industries have fallen from a 1991 peak of 10,700 workers to 8,800 in 2002, according to a report by state Department of Labor and Workforce Development economists Neal Fried and Brigitta Windisch-Cole. These jobs include oil and gas extraction, drilling, and support activities for operators. It does not include support jobs such as catering and security.

Alaska Digest
News from around the state

If it thinks like a duck, what does that mean?
A nimal thought intrigues University of Alaska Southeast philosophy professor Kevin Krein.

The opportunities are limitless - until the interview
I was in the corner office, seated in the interview chair. I had folded my arms across my chest early, and now they were pinned there like I was wearing an anxiety straitjacket. My interviewer, a gruff, unimpressed editor, paged hastily through my resume. "Oh, Smith College, huh," he said, glancing over the education portion. "That looks like a useless degree."

Deering, Down: A 20-year art project
One night in 1983 at a recording studio in Tulsa, Okla., Skagway musician Rev. Neil Down made an acquaintance that changed his life - musically and otherwise. He was working on a speculation session, never released, for Capital Records. In an adjoining studio were Dick Sims, a keyboard player for Eric Clapton, and Henry McCullough, a former guitarist for Paul McCartney's Wings and Joe Cocker's Grease Band. McCullough also was the lone Irishman to play at Woodstock.

Movies: Where & When
Movies showing at local theaters.

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