Local Briefs

Posted: Thursday, October 04, 2001

Local election counts continue

JUNEAU - City election workers have 300 absentee and 540 questioned ballots left to count from Tuesday's election, according to City Clerk Laurie Sica.

A city board meets at 5 p.m. Friday in Juneau Assembly chambers for final counting. The results will be certified at 1 p.m. Tuesday in Assembly chambers.

State Division of Elections spokeswoman Virginia Breeze said absentee ballots tend to follow the general trend of an election.

"History would probably show that absentees won't make that much difference, but you never know," she said.

At nearly 25 percent, Tuesday's election turnout is the lowest in a decade, according to records dating to 1990. The official turnout figure will increase slightly when the final count is done, Sica said.

Jeannie Johnson, Jim Powell and Randy Wanamaker lead the races for three Juneau Assembly seats in Tuesday's election. In the closest race, Powell had a 272-vote lead over opponent Chuck Collins. School Board candidates Mary Becker and Stan Ridgeway, who were running unopposed, were re-elected.

Tourism plan meeting tonight

JUNEAU - Planners working on a long-range tourism plan for Juneau are hosting an open house tonight to answer questions and provide information.

Brief presentations about the city's tourism plan are scheduled at 5, 6, and 7 tonight at the Egan Room in Centennial Hall. The 7 p.m. presentation will be followed by short question-and-answer session.

"This is a chance for the public to shape the planning outcome. It is the first public session," city tourism director Maria Gladziseweski said. "The whole process is designed to engage as many people in the community as possible."

The city also plans Web polls to track public opinion about tourism in Juneau. Tonight's presentations will focus on tourism issues facing Juneau, the planning process, observations from work so far and changes in the tourism market resulting from recent international events, according to the city.

More information is available at juneauempire.com/tourism/ and www.cbjtourism.com.

School district to buy calculators

JUNEAU - The Juneau School Board on Tuesday authorized district officials to spend up to $4,000 to purchase 40 graphing calculators for Juneau-Douglas High School students.

The $100 calculators are required for a number of high school math classes, including calculus and pre-calculus. They would be placed in the school library for students who do not own the calculators to check out for homework assignments.

Approximately 220 students at JDHS are enrolled in calculus or pre-calculus classes.

Elfin the sea otter heading south

JUNEAU - The Seward SeaLife Center is already feeling empty nest pangs as Elfin, the sea otter pup rescued near Hoonah two months ago, prepares to graduate to the Vancouver Aquarium.

Elfin is scheduled to leave the center Oct. 11, be driven to Anchorage, and then flown directly to Vancouver. "Elfin is the first otter we have raised from newborn to this stage," said Christine DeCourtney, external affairs director for the center. "Though we know it is best for him he has never seen another otter it will be sad for staff that have cared for him so skillfully, compassionately and unendingly."

Elfin was just 6 days old and 3 pounds when rescued by fishermen July 15 near Elfin Cove, west of Hoonah. Considered high-risk because of his youth, he has been cared for around-the-clock by staff and volunteers ever since and has done well, DeCourtney said.

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