Tuesday, September 30, 2003

Tax hike in best interest
I have worked in the addiction field for 18 years, primarily with children and adolescents. Working in this field has been both rewarding and heartbreaking at times. I have watched countless people struggle with addiction, many winning, some losing, some coming back to win another day. All addictions rob your health and pocketbook.

Better water is needed at school
I am a third grader at Harborview School. The water at my school tastes bad. The water leaves the faucet and it is not clear. I don't like drinking the water. My dad tells me that the pipes are rusty and so a lot of iron comes out with the water. Can you help change the pipes so that the water tastes better? Please vote for the school bond that will pay for new water pipes at my school.

Story has been involved with our schools
Thanks to the Empire for their coverage of local candidates for school board and the assembly. I have found the Empire's articles and interviews by Eric Fry objective and helpful as I determine who should represent me in these important leadership positions. As a long-term Juneau resident I would encourage my fellow voters to consider Andi Story as one candidate that will bring a balanced and informed perspective to the Juneau School Board. While all the candidates possess admirable traits that will be helpful and all profess to good intentions, Andi has already demonstrated through action her willingness to commit the time and energy to our local schools. She is a strong supporter of parent involvement in our schools, having spent seven years on Juneau school site councils including past chair of the JDHS Site Council. She has been an active parent in the Auke Bay Elementary, DZ Middle School and JDHS parent groups.

Funds for administrators, but not teachers?
As a teacher, I would like to thank Max Mertz for his support of the teachers. However, his "My Turn" column left me with a few questions and more than a few comments. Mr. Mertz's position with the district is a valuable one, as are teachers. I don't discount what Mr. Mertz is saying about the state of finances, but I do question the way the finances are allocated. As the auditor for the School District, how much does Mr. Mertz make? What percentage of the money that goes to funding the employees of the school district is used for the administrators' salaries and Mr. Mertz's salary?

Web site a hit
I was born and raised in Juneau and am currently a student at the University of Nevada, Reno. I am writing this letter to personally thank Pat Costello for his wonderful Web site juneauphotos.com. It gives me the opportunity to show people down here just how beautiful Juneau really is, and what a great place it is to visit.

Hoping Murkowski listens
It's good to see that Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski is beginning to recognize that she needs to pay closer attention to people in Juneau as she pushes her plan to give away vast amounts of public land in our community. Last Saturday Murkowski held a town meeting at the ANB Hall to "explain" to people in Juneau her bill, S. 1354, which would give more than 12,000 acres of the Berners Bay area to Sealaska and Cape Fox Corporations. Her proposal was not well received. Of the 400 or so people who packed the hall, the vast majority came in support of maintaining public ownership of those lands.

Matter of priority
There is a lot of tension in our schools these days as negotiations between the school district and teachers are in full debate. I agree with the school district that money is tight and choices need to be made. However, during tight times, the administration needs to get more creative rather than simply telling teachers there will be no cost of living increases and possible teacher layoffs. The district and school administrators need to remember their jobs are to support the teachers and the students. The children's education needs to be the top priority, not administration jobs. Perhaps administrative salaries should be reduced or positions eliminated, or non-essential training could be suspended. Maybe parents will need to volunteer for jobs that can be reduced or eliminated such as janitorial and fundraising.

Programs deserve support
Loren Leman wrote a good letter about government and faith-based inititatives. I agreed with his assessment that social welfare programs have been largely unsuccessful, and that faith initiatives often show quality success. It's been my experience that people with problems with alcohol, sex abuse, violence and who've been in the prison system often turn to some form of spiritual guidance. Whether it's Christianity, Islamic, Budhistic or Native American spiritual values, they come out a stronger, healthier person. It's often the only thing that makes a change.

Warm days break Southeast records
Temperature records were broken around Southeast Alaska on Sunday and Monday as the mercury rose above 60 degrees in many areas, the National Weather Service reported Monday. What's causing this abnormally good weather is this large high pressure system that's built up over the area," said Brian Tassia, a hydrotechnician with the National Weather Service in Juneau.

Photo: How to keep her safe
Juneau Police Officer Chris Burke explains the finer points of fitting a child with a car seat to Angie Murphy on Saturday as her daughter, Ashley, 2, waits in the back of their vehicle. The Car Seat Check Up Event, held at Capital Chevrolet, also offered low-cost car seats and free booster seats for income-eligible families.

Stone tackles city's issues
David Stone is running uncontested for the District 1 Assembly seat, but he doesn't take that for granted. "You need to run like you have an opponent," he said in an interview Monday. "People need to know where you stand on the issues." Despite the lack of a competing campaign, Stone said he has been doing his homework. He's met with the heads of the airport, hospital, city and Docks & Harbors Board. He's been to several Assembly meetings and even testified before city leaders recently. He's thought out major city issues and has plans for tackling them.

Correction
Due to a reporter's error, an article in Sunday's newspaper about the Juneau mayoral race misquoted candidate Dick Knapp about the amount of state funding for cities that may be cut next year. The correct figure is $250 million.

Grant helps Sealaska Heritage go digital with photo archive
Sealaska Heritage Institute, a nonprofit organization that promotes Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian culture, is set to digitize and post thousands of historical photos on the Internet. The Institute of Museum and Library Services, a federal agency that invests in libraries and museums, awarded Sealaska Heritage a $147,639 grant to post photos owned by Sealaska Heritage and the regional Native organization Sealaska Corp.

Remembering Bev Dorsher
Bev Dorsher, a longtime resident known for her volunteer spirit, skill in the kitchen and role as co-chairwoman of the Juneau Fourth of July Parade committee, died of cancer this weekend at her Douglas home. She was 71. "She was loved by everybody in the community, that was for sure," said her husband, Gerald Dorsher. Dorsher expressed gratitude for the community support he has received since his wife died Sunday evening.

Around Town
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. Quilting Circle, noon-4 p.m. every Tuesday, Valley Senior Center. Sponsored by the Quilting Resource Center. Details: Betty, 789-7236.

Governor backs fund-protection plan
A plan to protect the Alaska Permanent Fund from stock market volatility has won Gov. Frank Murkowski's approval, but he won't say how much, if any, of the fund's earnings should be used on state government. Murkowski has endorsed a plan by the Permanent Fund Corp. - the organization that manages the $25 billion fund - to cap the amount of investment earnings that can be used at 5 percent of the total market value of the fund.

Panel aims for consensus on Juneau tourism
Juneau residents from all segments of the population are expected to gather Wednesday night to discuss the problems that exist between the tourism industry and private individuals. The specific issues have yet to be determined. "First we have to define the problem," said Paula Terrel, co-chairperson of the board of directors of Collaboration Juneau, the newly formed nonprofit group that is organizing the meeting.

Afternoon Fog
The Chilkat Mountains are visible in the distance as a fog bank envelops the Mendenhall Wetlands on Monday afternoon. Despite the fog, Alaska Airlines reported no flight delays.

Juneau Color: Conductor Hunt helps keep opera alive in Juneau
William Todd Hunt arrived in Juneau in February of 1999 for a temporary gig conducting the Juneau Lyric Opera's production of Stephen Sondheim's "A Little Night Music." Four-and-a-half years later, he's still here.

Icy voyager, 1916
Taken January 22, 1916, this photograph shows the Northwestern docked in Juneau and heavily weighed down by ice. The accumulation of ice on ship decks has been a major hazard in Alaska's maritime history, capsizing numerous ships and taking many lives.

Anderson, Peterson vie for seat
The biggest difference between Assembly candidates Dale Anderson and Daniel Peterson is age and experience. They hold similar positions on the local economy, city deficit, a new capitol building, a road connecting Juneau to other areas, tourism and funding Eaglecrest Ski Area. They both even moved to Juneau as young children.

Police & Fire
Juneau police, fire officials and state troopers reported: Drunken driving: • Police arrested Anthony Eugene Vrell, 36, on a charge alleging drunken driving at 3:01 p.m. Sunday at Main Street and Egan Drive. Police lodged him at the Lemon Creek Correctional Center and called a tow truck to impound the vehicle he was driving. • Police arrested Jimmy Dalton Best, 62, on charges alleging drunken driving and reckless endangerment at 8:34 p.m. Sunday at Glacier Highway and Industrial Boulevard. Police lodged him at the Lemon Creek Correctional Center and impounded the vehicle he was driving.

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

Juneau police ask to keep scooters
Juneau police officers who tried out Segway Human Transporters late this summer said they "never" want to return them. A nationwide recall of the two-wheeled, powered scooters was announced Friday. The same day, Juneau Assistant Police Chief Greg Browning was returning from a St. Louis conference, where he presented findings of their successful trial late this summer in Alaska's capital. "The feedback was mostly positive," he said. "We've asked if we could keep them through November." The Anchorage-based Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center-Northwest supplied police with the Segways for a trial. It also provided training for 10 officers.

Juneau soldier on the mend
Three days after the U.S. Army casualty center told Remy Carrillo her son was seriously injured in Iraq, an e-mail from Spc. Josel Carrillo put her mind at ease. "He e-mailed me and told me he is OK and he will recover soon," Carrillo said Monday. Staff at the casualty center called Carrillo on Friday morning to tell her Josel had been seriously injured while on patrol in Tikrit, Iraq. But Josel's e-mail said he was injured while on duty with the 173rd Airborne Brigade in Kirkuk, Iraq. The Associated Press reported Friday that one soldier in the 173rd was killed and two other injured in Kirkuk on Thursday when someone fired a rocket-propelled grenade at the soldiers' vehicle.

This Day in History
In Alaska • In 1949, the U.S. Air Force confirmed that Eielson Air Force Base would be used for training operations for B-36 bombers. In the nation • In 1777, the Congress of the United States - forced to flee in the face of advancing British forces - moved to York, Pa. • In 1846, dentist William Morton used ether as an anesthetic for the first time on a patient in his Boston office. • In 1927, Babe Ruth hit his 60th homer of the season to break his own major-league record. • In 1954, the first atomic-powered vessel, the submarine "Nautilus," was commissioned by the Navy.

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

Evelyn Henkins
Juneau resident Evelyn Henkins, 85, died Sept. 26, 2003, in Juneau. She was born April 3, 1918, to Lloyd Saville and Vernice Ruth Snare. She moved to Juneau in 1938 and became a homemaker.

Frances See
Juneau resident Frances See, 84, died Sept. 27, 2003, in Juneau. She was born March 7, 1919, in Hoonah, a Shungu Keidee of the Xeilt Hit. As a child, she lived in Port Althorp, eventually moving back to Hoonah to live in the "Snail House," in which her grandfather was a leader. Early in her life she worked at the Alaska Native Hospital at Mt. Edgecumbe, then at various canneries in Juneau and Hoonah. She moved with her family to Tenakee Springs in 1952, where, although blind, she worked in the crab cannery until it closed. She was a member of ANS Camp 76 of Tenakee.

MyTurn:DOT&PF aims to improve alternatives, preferred or not
Michael Catsi's Sept. 22 "My Turn" column discussed the April scoping process for the Juneau Access Improvements project and a recent meeting held in Skagway. The state DOT&PF was invited to Skagway by the city's mayor to give residents there an update on the project. I would like to address some of Mr. Catsi's concerns and provide some additional information on the project. As most readers know, DOT&PF is currently developing a supplement to update the Draft Environmental Impact (DEIS). The DEIS was completed in 1997, but only limited additional study followed and no final document was prepared. The first step in updating the DEIS was scoping. Scoping is the process used to identify issues to be addressed in an environmental document. The objective of this particular scoping effort was to identify: (1) the range of reasonable alternatives to be evaluated; (2) the substantive environmental issues; and (3) the studies required to address these issues in the supplemental DEIS.

My Turn: Opponents of land swap forget Southeast history
I must admit, the flap over the proposed land exchange embodied in U.S. Senate legislation involving the U.S. Forest Service, Cape Fox Native Corp. and Sealaska has me somewhat perplexed. If the issue were simply exchanging logged-over land for high-value recreational and wildlife lands, I'd probably line up with those opposed to the legislation.

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.

Sports in Juneau
Friday, Oct. 3 • Juneau Youth Football League - Pee-Wee Division: Rams vs. Cowboys, 6 p.m. Junior Division: 49ers vs. Sitka, 8 p.m. Both games at Adair-Kennedy Memorial Park football field. Friday-Saturday, Oct. 3-4 • Juneau-Douglas High School volleyball - Juneau Invitational Volleyball Extravaganza: The Crimson Bears host several teams TBA in this annual tournament. Teams slated to play include Cordova, Glennallen, Palmer, Colony, Sitka, Ketchikan, Haines, Mount Edgecumbe, Petersburg, Wrangell and Metlakatla. Times and matchups are TBA Friday and Saturday at the JDHS main and auxiliary gyms.

Juneau ascends to No. 1
In this topsy-turvy year, the Juneau-Douglas High School football team's coaches wanted to avoid being ranked No. 1 when the Anchorage Daily News/Alaska State Football Coaches Polls was released each Monday during the regular season. The Crimson Bears were able to avert a top ranking as they watched other teams take the honor, then fail to hold onto it for more than a week or two. But when the final regular-season poll was released Monday, Juneau found itself ranked No. 1 in the state for the first time since the 2001 season. Juneau is the fifth team this season to hold the top spot, but with the state playoffs opening this weekend, the Crimson Bears aren't worried about the polls. At this time of the year, high school football teams better win on Friday or Saturday or else they're turning in their gear on Monday and calling the season done.<

Juneau-Douglas High School Swimming
Results from a pair of weekend dual meets in Fairbanks featuring the Juneau-Douglas High School swimming and diving team. On Friday, Juneau-Douglas competed against North Pole at North Pole High School. On Saturday, the Crimson Bears competed against West Valley at Lathrop High School. Several Lathrop divers competed as exhibition divers in Saturday's meet, but their scores were not available.

Running Away With The Title
Clockwise from right: Juneau senior Greta Thibodeau (235) , who finished ninth in the girls race, leads a pack of runners through the woods at the Michael Janecek Trails around Palmer High School; Juneau sophomore Lexy Garvey (231) tries to catch Kenai's Elana Bird (244) in a sprint for the finish line; Juneau junior Tristan Knutson-Lombardo (241), who finished in fifth place to lead the Crimson Bear boys, passes Homer's Monte Garroutte (225) during the final lap of the race; the Juneau-Douglas High School boys cross-country running team and coaches show off their state championship trophy; and Juneau senior Isaac Milligan (242) leads senior teammate Tim Davin toward the finish line on Machetanz Football Field. The Juneau boys claimed their first state championship with their victory on Saturday, while the Crimson Bear girls team finished in third place. A story and results from the meet ran in Sunday's Juneau Empire sports section.

State champions
The Juneau-Douglas High School boys cross-country running team runs together at the start of the Class 4A boys race at the state championships on the Michael Janecek Trails around Palmer High School. From left, the state champion Crimson Bears are Wesley Dinnan (238), Tyler Dinnan (237), Nils Domke (239), Ray Huebschen (240), Tristan Knutson-Lombardo (241), Issac Milligan (242) and Tim Davin (236). Also in the picture are Sitka runners Daniel McArthur (377) and Tyler Eggen (374). More photos are on Page B4.

Musher is able to turn winter sport into summer attraction for tourists
Dog days payoff: Iditarod champion Jeff King holds one of his summer puppies while flanked by his daughter, Tessa, as he conducts a tour of his kennels earlier this month at h

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

Alaska Digest
News from around the state.

East Coast shoppers get a look at Alaska Native art
MCLEAN, Va. - At the elegant Neiman Marcus department store here, the Steuben and Waterford crystal were relegated to the sidelines last week while the works of Inupiaq, Yup'ik, Aleut and Tlinglit artists commanded the central display cases in home decor, lower level.

Alaska Digest
Motorcyclist injured on Glacier Highway, China Airlines pilot barred from flight, State investigates antitrust rumors, Wasilla man arrested on shooting charge, State to study game for wasting disease

More bears preying on musk oxen in refuge
ANCHORAGE - Musk ox kills by brown bears in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge have dramatically increased over the past decade, according to studies by federal and state biologists. A number of individual Arctic grizzlies have learned how to stalk and take down the shaggy animals, said ANWR ecologist Patricia Reynolds, with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. "I think the reason that bears are efficient predators is because they are adaptable, and they have the ability to switch to whatever is out there," Reynolds said.

Potential for opals, emeralds draws attention in Yukon, British Columbia
VANCOUVER, British Columbia - Deposits of opal, emerald, sapphire and rare blue beryl glow like rainbows across northern British Columbia and the Yukon and, slowly, people are starting to notice. "Until recently no one really looked for gemstones in B.C.," said Brian Grant, a geologist with the British Columbia Geological Survey. "People assumed they were only found in tropical places." Bob Yorke-Hardy, president of Okanagan Opal Inc., was looking for gold when he cracked open a rock and was nearly blinded by an eyeful of opal.

Congress approves surplus for Fort Greely interceptors
FAIRBANKS - Congress has approved $160 million more than President Bush requested for new missile defense interceptors at Fort Greely, said U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens, an Alaska Republican. The House and Senate approved the final Defense Department spending bill for fiscal year 2004 last week.

Eagle River-Chugiak leaders eye seceding from Anchorage
ANCHORAGE - There's a new call among some Eagle River-Chugiak leaders for the area to become an independent city, separate from Anchorage. This time it comes from a perceived threat to the Chugiak Volunteer Fire Department. Anchorage Assemblyman Dan Kendall, who represents Eagle River and Chugiak, is among the people promoting independence. He issued his secession call in a mid-September speech to the Chugiak-Eagle River Chamber of Commerce. Kendall was angered by a suggestion contained in reports prepared this summer for new Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich. The mayor's transition team said fire and emergency services could be improved through integration of the paid Anchorage Fire Department with the volunteer forces in Chugiak and Girdwood.

CONTACT US

  • Switchboard: 907-586-3740
  • Circulation and Delivery: 907-586-3740
  • Newsroom Fax: 907-586-3028
  • Business Fax: 907-586-9097
  • Accounts Receivable: 907-523-2230
  • View the Staff Directory
  • or Send feedback

ADVERTISING

SUBSCRIBER SERVICES

SOCIAL NETWORKING