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Thursday, October 2, 2003

Tax alcohol, not tobacco
I am sick to DEATH of hearing about how taxing smokers is a good thing. I don't understand this - it is a fact that people who drink and drive kill a lot more people every year than a smoker does, but you don't see them jacking up the tax on achohol do you?

Story for School Board
Please join me, Juneau, in electing Andi Story for the Juneau School Board. I have known Andi as a professional, colleague, parent, school, community volunteer and friend for most of my 19 years in Juneau. She is an exceptional candidate! While Andi has been an advocate for her own three children at all grade levels in the district, I know first-hand that she is an advocate for all students and their families.

Backing Botelho
I'll be voting for proven leadership in the upcoming mayoral election and that's why I'll cast my ballot for Bruce Botelho. I had the pleasure of working closely with Bruce for many years. I've seen him carefully listen to all sides of issues, find common ground when it was available and stand up for principles when it really mattered.

Natives get shorted
Why am I not surprised of the outcome of this event? Especially when it comes from Mrs. Murkowski's own people, who thought it was wise to use this "timing" method towards the original inhabitants of this community/country.

Highlighting differences
The easiest letter I could write to the editor would be to highlight the differences between Dan Peterson and Dale Anderson. Instead, I want to go on recordhighlighting the strengths of a candidate for city assemblylike Dan.

Knapp best choice for tough times
Juneau faces a difficult choice ahead in the race for mayor. We are fortunate to have two strong, attractive and highly qualified candidates seeking this office. Daunting times lie ahead as our city faces certain growth in the face of declining revenues from state and federal sources. All city programs and activities should expand only in direct relationship to growth in the tax base.

Service makes a difference in election
I appreciate the service you provide to the community by publishing the Juneau Empire/League of Women Voters voters' guide supplement. I found the Sunday voters' guide insert instructive - especially when it came to the responses by the two candidates for mayor.

Pride in athletes
In reading the Sunday Empire sports section I could not help but feel my heart swell with pride for our high school athletes. In a world gone mad it is so exciting to see our athletes excel beyond their wildest dream.

Knapp is the right choice
I have known and worked with Dick Knapp throughout his career in Alaska. He is an outstanding leader, who combines intelligence, humor and basic fairness to get results. Dick Knapp's resume includes a broad range of experience in both the public and private sectors.

More hiking advice
Scott Foster's "Hiking in the rain" article gave a perspective that I believe is known to most of the regular hikers that endure the rainy weather here in Juneau. The observations are more pronounced if one is alone without the competing noises of fellow hikers. Although I don't promote hiking alone, one can be separated sufficiently from other hikers to cue in on these experiences.

Playing fair with pot
I'm having zero tolerance for cannabis (marijuana) prohibitionists and their terrorizing ignorance, so I was pleased to read "Pot Prop May Go On '04 Ballot" (Sept. 26, 2003). Anchorage Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered Lt. Gov. Loren Leman to accept almost 200 initiative signature booklets previously rejected.

Bev will be missed
I just want to say how true it is that Bev Dorsher will be truly missed. Everytime I would run into her, wherever it was, she always had a smile and we would catch up on all the news of Juneau, and how busy she had been helping here and there.

AroundTown
Today Day of Quilting, Sewing and Good Fellowship, 10 a.m. every Wednesday, Resurrection Lutheran Church. Quilts donated to Lutheran World Relief. Details: 586-2380. Low-impact exercise, 10 a.m., Juneau Senior Center and Valley Senior Center. Details: 463-6175. Storytime, 11 a.m., downtown library. Details: 586-5303.

Alaska, Canada to create energy association
The state of Alaska and three northwest Canadian provinces are in the early stages of forming a trade association dealing with energy, Gov. Frank Murkowski said Wednesday. Murkowski spoke to the Far North Oil and Gas Forum in Calgary, Alberta, earlier this week and met with the premiers of the Northwest Territories and the Yukon Territory to discuss energy issues and the proposed Alaska gas pipeline.

Autumn Leaves
Wendy Larsen rakes colorful fall maple leaves from the yard of her Glacier Avenue home Tuesday. The recent warm weather has made outdoor chores more pleasant in the Juneau area.

$14.5 million in federal funds to boost Native school programs across the state
The office of Sen. Ted Stevens announced this week that $14.5 million in federal funds will go to Native education programs in Alaska. In Juneau, the money will help expand a Tlingit-oriented elementary school program, continue a popular science summer camp that has a Native focus and provide home educational and social services to preschoolers.

This Day in History
In Alaska • In 1932, the Wrangell Institute, a boarding school for Alaska Natives, opened its doors. • In 1939, Fairbanks radio station KFAR-AM went on the air for the first time as America's northernmost commercial radio station. • In 1950, the Alaska Womens' Pioneer Home opened at Sitka.

Corrections
Corrections from earlier issues

DOT gets Alaska art for new fast ferry
Bear and eagle masks, woodcut prints, and oil, acrylic and watercolor paintings are among the 19 pieces of artwork that will decorate the Fairweather, the state's new fast ferry. "We have a pretty good cross-section of different mediums," said Gary Smith, a naval architect for the Alaska Marine Highway System who helped select the pieces.

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

Correction
The Outdoors page in Sunday's Empire incorrectly listed the date of the next meeting of the Juneau Alpine Club. It is at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 8, at the Juneau Public Library downtown.

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

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

Photo: Headed for Kosovo
Alaska National Army Guardsmen Master Sgt. Kelly Kohnen, left, and Blackhawk helicopter crew chief Art Honen say farewell as Honen prepares to board a flight Wednesday at the Juneau Airport.

Last try to resolve contract founders
A last-ditch offer by the Juneau School District on Wednesday morning was rejected by the teachers union as a step backward and the parties entered into nonbinding arbitration for the rest of the day, union officials said in the late afternoon. Teachers who demonstrated Wednesday said they are serious about a strike. Dozens of teachers waved signs along Egan Drive near the Douglas Bridge and at the district's central office on Glacier Avenue.

Photo: Harnessing the wind
Craig Ahrens, left, watches his son, Dirk, 25, maneuver a parafoil Tuesday in the Mendenhall Wetlands. Although temperatures have been unseasonally mild, Dirk Ahrens still has his mind set on snowfall when he plans to use a larger parafoil for downhill snowboarding. Parafoils are large sails that can pull people across fields and even lift them off the ground if enough wind power is available.

Pets of the week
DARBY Gentleman is a joy, seeking a loving home SAGE Good-looking guy is easy to have around

Neighbors Digest
Shambhala to present series on mindfulness We are a culture driven by finding pleasure in life and trying to avoid painful circumstances. Yet, what makes people lastingly happy is as elusive as ever. The Juneau Shambhala Center is presenting four evening classes and a Saturday workshop investigating the practice of mindfulness. The classes will cover the classic Buddhist teachings on the "Four Foundations of Mindfulness," beginning on Oct.16, at 6:30 p.m. with a talk on the first foundation: "Mindfulness of Body."

Thank you
... for help with volunteers, ... for helping raise Reeltime, ... for guiding efforts, ... for help, United Way, .. for community help and more.

SE Girl Scout program aims to help mothers in jail, on probation
Girl Scouting isn't just horse badges, campfires and s'mores any more. The Tongass Alaska Girl Scout Council is dealing with a serious subject - women who are incarcerated or have recently been in prison. An offshoot of a national outreach called Women Behind Bars, the Step Ahead Program is counseling mothers serving probation and helping to facilitate reconnection with their daughters.

Beverly M. Dorsher
Beverly M. Dorsher Douglas resident Beverly M. Dorsher, 71, died Sept. 28, 2003, at her home in Douglas. Services are pending.

My Turn: Need for land swap to fulfill ANSCA promises
Jerry Reinwand's My Turn with respect to the proposed Cape Fox, Sealaska land swap with the US Forest Service struck a responsive chord with me.I was land and engineering officer with Sealaska, and in that capacity assisted the Southeast village corporations in making land selections as authorized by the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA).A number of villages were faced with serious problems in making land selections, including Klukwan, Kake and Haidaburg, as well as Saxman, which is the village associated with Cape Fox.

My Turn: Tough issues face the district
We would like to thank the 10 new candidates running for school board seats in Tuesday's election. We appreciate their willingness to support teachers, create a positive atmosphere for students, target populations who are disenfranchised and find creative ways to increase funding.

Bridge numbers don't exactly add up
Curious about the controversy over the proposed addition of a lane to the Douglas Bridge, I decided to do some measuring. The results might interest Empire readers. I first measured the distance between the railings on the bridge. At the Juneau end it is 36 feet, the width the city and state propose to put three lanes.

My Turn: Question bill for rebuilding Iraq
Democrats see Iraq funding bill as defining issue of session." That's the headline on a story in the Sept. 28 Juneau Empire on the $87 billion President Bush is requesting for Iraq and Afghanistan. A similar article in the Sept. 26 Washington Post has the headline, "In GOP, Concern Over Iraq Price Tag." It's reassuring to see some bipartisan support for stepping back and asking if the administration might just be going too far this time.

Empire editorial: Voters to decide five of seven school board seats
Voters will have a field of 12 candidates to consider for the five open seats on the seven-member Juneau School Board.

Rookie LeBron James begins anew with Cavs
CLEVELAND - On his first official day as an NBA player, LeBron James did all he could to blend in with the Cleveland Cavaliers' other rookies. Impossible. Cleveland opened training camp Tuesday at Gund Arena, and as expected, all eyes were on James, the 18-year-old local kid who has already made the Cavaliers one of the league's hottest tickets before playing his first game.

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.

Juneau Disc Golf Association
Juneau Disc Golf Association, Fourth of First Tournament

Five Bear players honored by ASBN
Five Juneau-Douglas High School football players were named to the 2003 Alaska Sports Broadcasting Network's All-Cook Inlet Football Conference Team, which was released Tuesday. The all-star team honors the top players in the Cook Inlet Football Conference, as selected by the staff members and game announcers for ASBN. The network broadcast 20 CIFC games on KINY AM-800 radio in Juneau and on KTZN AM-550 radio in Anchorage this season.

Juneau Parks and Rec. Volleyball Standings
Juneau Parks and Rec. Volleyball Standings

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.

ASI closes plant, lays off 43 workers
Alaska Seafood International abruptly closed its doors and put 43 employees out of work on Tuesday after the company announced its owners no longer wanted to operate the struggling plant. Alaska Seafood International, which operated since 1999 but never fulfilled the promise of providing hundreds of jobs and a value-added market for Alaska salmon, hopes to liquidate its assets and avoid bankruptcy.

Mendenhall makes it to North Carolina
Just because no glaciers exist in the rolling hills of North Carolina doesnt mean that high school students there shouldnt be able to study the science of glacial ice. At least thats what Tom Savage, a science teacher at Chase High School in Forest City, N.C., thinks. Getting the kids interested in science is one of the schools goals and certainly one of my goals, he said. I want to capture their imagination with a career in science.

Judge asked to toss out abuse lawsuit against diocese
Anchorage-Attorneys are asking a Bethel judge to dismiss a lawsuit against the Fairbanks Diocese and the Society of Jesus by six former altar boys who say they were sexually abused by a Jesuit priest. The Catholic Church is protected by the statute of limitations against a lawsuit seeking justice for events going back to the 1970's and, for one of the alatar boys, to the 1950's, say attorneys Robert Groseclose and James Gorski.

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

GCI scratches KING-TV from cable lineup
Seattle NBC affiliate KING-TV is being removed form the GCI cable lineup effective today, but customers can still catch their favorite NBC shows on Juneau's local NBC affiliate, KATH-TV. Previously, GCI offered both channels; KING on channel 15 and KATH on channel 17. But when cable companies offer miuliple affiliates of the same network, the local broadcaster has precedence and can request that the distant affiliate be dropped, said GCI spokesman Terry Dunlap.

New Hampshire picked as Libertarian mecca
A group of libertarians planning to bring 20,000 liberty-minded Americans to a "free state" has selected New Hampshire for its revolution, a supporter said Wednesday. New Hampshire, whose motto is "Live Free or Die," beat out nine other finalists as the battleground for what members of the Free State Project call the biggest experiment in democracy since the Revolutionary War. Alaska was among the other states considered.

Anchorage is no longer rat free
Anchorage can no longer claim to be the largest port city in the Northern Hemisphere without known rat infestations. State biologist Rick Sinnott caught and kille dtwo Norway rats found living at a pond near a South Anchorage school. Professional exterminatiors hired by the city placed more traps at the scene Monday afternoon.

State, feds ponder pursuit of more claims for oil spill
No decision has been made about pursuing additional claims against Exxon Mobil for damage in Prince William Sound from the Exxon Valdez oil spill, state and federal legal officials said Wednesday. A consent decree in damage lawsuits filed after the 1989 spill contains a reopener clause that allows the state and federal government to pursue other claims - up to $100 million - for injuries unknown when the settlement was reached in 1991.

Alaska pollock fishery looks good
ANCHORAGE - A panel determined that the $750 million Alaska pollock fishery is well-managed and sustainable - a finding that could bestow an eco-label on America's largest fishery. The industry group At-sea Processors Association is seeking the label from the Marine Stewardship Council in an effort to increase the market for Alaska pollock, particularly in the United States and Europe, where consumers increasingly are looking for the green stamp of approval, APA spokesman Jim Gilmore said Tuesday.

Alaska pipeline, taxes stall energy legislation
A disagreement over tax incentives for building a proposed $20 billion natural gas pipeline in Alaska stalled energy legislation Wednesday. At the same time, Democrats complained they have been given virtually no say in writing the bill. Sen. Pete Domenici, R-N.M., chairman of the energy talks, said a big difference remained between House and Senate Republicans over energy taxes. One disagreement involves how much the public should pay for building the Alaska pipeline.

Ogan resigns as consultant due to conflict of interest
State Sen. Scott Ogan, a Palmer Republican, has resigned as a public relations consultant to Evergreen Resources Inc., which is planning a controversial natural gas exploration project in the Matanuska-Susitna area. Critics accused Ogan of having a serious conflict of interest when he accepted the $40,000-a-year job with the Denver-based company after sponsoring a bill creating a shallow-gas leasing program.

Alaska calls for Do-Not-Call list
Alaska is joining other states in urging a federal appeals court to allow the national Do-Not-Call registry to go forward.

Former Fairbanks banker sentenced
Anchorage-A former Fairbanks businessman was sentenced Tuesday to five months in jail-the time he has already served-for bank fraud. Thomas Miklautsch, who turns 78 on Thursday, was sentenced to 30 moths in prison with all but 25 months suspended. Miklautsch had faced a maximum of five years in prison a a $250,000 fine. The former pharmacist, city council member and University of Alaska regent was arrested by customs agents April 30 at Los Angeles International Airport as he returned from Switzerland. He testified Tuesday that he had spent the last 10 years in Christian missionary work in third-world Asian countries and Europe.

Alaska Digest
News from around the state.

Alaska Digest
DOT unveils Glacier Highway plans JUNEAU - The state Department of Transportation will hold a public meeting Thursday to present its preferred alternative for upgrades to Glacier Highway between Fritz Cove Road and the Auke Bay Ferry Terminal. The meeting will be in Smith Hall at Chapel by the Lake at 11024 Auke Lake Way from 6 to 9 p.m.

State, ACS agree on $3.5 million settlement
State officials have reached a $3.5 million settlement with Alaska Communications Systems Group to end a failed telecommunications contract, they said Wednesday. Under the agreement, ACS will reimburse the state for $4.3 million in pre-billed charges along with another $1.1 million. The state will purchase $1.9 million in equipment already installed under the agreement.

GOP pushes Bush's $87 billion Iraq bill
WASHINGTON - Republicans muscled President Bush's $87 billion plan for Iraq and Afghanistan through a Senate committee Tuesday but signaled that they may ultimately defy the White House and structure some of the aid as a loan.

What's Happening
Arts and entertainment events in Juneau this week.

Movie review: 'Sept. 11' connects, but flails in middle
It takes 133 12 minutes until Japanese director Shohei Imamura makes the finest point of the 134-minute movie "September 11." "There is no such thing as a holy war," he says, through the guise of a golden python.

Other First Friday art exhibits and events around town
Highlights of the monthly First Friday event in Juneau.

Of cell phones and immortal words
When William Shatner invented the cell phone, I said to myself, "At last! A portable and non-intrusive instrument that will make possible the efficient transmission of important thoughts and feelings that might otherwise have gone unsaid." Which is not to say that Mr. Shatner did that, i.e., transmit important thoughts and feelings. No. In fact he used the instrument primarily to call a cab or, as he put it, to have himself "beamed up."

Classic tale with a SE twist
Ketchikan illustrator Evon Zerbetz had a moral quandary as she was working on her linocut artwork for Juneau author Neal Gilbertsen's children's book "Little Red Snapperhood." She didn't want to put a hat on a fish. "I had no problem putting an apron on the mom, but I didn't want to cover (Little Red's) dorsal fins," Zerbetz said. "Once the hat had a live element to it, I decided to make the tassel into a green squid, and then it became a character in itself. The squid could open doors and get into a little trouble, and that was the most fun part of the book." The squid-hat is one of many small details in Zerbetz and Gilbertsen's book, released earlier this year through WestWinds Press, a company in Portland, Ore.

Theater Review: A one-woman play and a tale of two moms
Perseverance Theatre's advertisements for "The Mommy Dance" claim the play is for moms, people who know moms and people who have moms. But the promotion didn't have any sort of warning for one age group that could be critically affected by viewing Jill Bess' performance: 20-something young women who might someday become mothers. I happen to fall into that category and, after watching Bess for two hours talk about the crying, the messes, the loss of independence and the worry that accompanies motherhood, I came close to changing my mind about this whole baby thing.

First Friday: Mountains, snowboarding, nudes and pinwheels
For 10 years, Juneau artist and museum curator Ken DeRoux has kept a tattered original copy of John Ruskin's 1857 book "Modern Painters of Modern Beauty" lying in his studio. The book, a gift to DeRoux from a friend, is as much about painting as it is about art, science, geology and mountaineering. He hasn't read it, but he has turned to it for inspiration. "From time to time I'd leaf through it, and little bits of it have made it into paintings in the past," said DeRoux, a Juneau native and third-generation Alaskan known in town for his landscapes. His new exhibit, "The Ruskin Series," reflects parts of the book.

Movies: Where & when
Movies showing in Juneau this week.

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