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Sunday, October 6, 2002

In the Stacks: New DVDs available at Juneau's libraries
New DVDs are on the shelves at the Juneau Public Libraries! There are so many that this week is the adult list and next week will be for kids.

Don't leave garbage out
During the past three months I have been out patrolling neighborhoods, reading police blotters on animal sightings and talking with Pat Costello concerning Juneau's urban bear problem.

Fisher ma'am for Fran
Alaska's coastal communities live and die year to year with the vagaries of the fishing season. My hometown has been struggling on the vine now for several years with the downturn in market prices, lack of processing support, and rising costs. The leading Republican candidate for governor says he will fix our problems by running off the environmentalists (how, he does not say), streamline the bureaucracy (how, he does not say), and make government more responsive to our needs (how, he does not say).

Coming attractions
George Bush wants war with Iraq? We've seen this lousy movie. Before you get your popcorn kernels buttered, why not join me in the lobby for a sanity snack? Don't worry, America, they'll save your hot seat. You're producer.

Murkowski for schools
We would like to express our support for Frank Murkowski as governor. As parents of two elementary-age boys, we want to make sure they receive the best education the public school system can provide. We believe he will do more for our kids and to ensure all children receive the education they need to be prepared to achieve their goals.

To my supporters!
I want to express my sincere gratefulness for your support during this campaign. I am humbled by the many votes during the election. I want to thank my husband for all the effort that he, many times alone, put into this campaign. His love and concern for me, this family and for this community shines bright above any loss.

Talk about move
While I was recently in Anchorage at a conference, when I was buying something in a store, I would ask the clerk what he or she thought about moving the Legislature out of Juneau.

Gays face discrimination
There is a definite need for stronger communication, diplomacy, and understanding between Christians, advocates of the Day of Silence, teachers and generally people who write letters to the Empire.

Tongass forest should be protected
The poorly advertised and poorly organized public hearing on the Tongass National Forest this summer by the U.S. Forest Service still received 86 percent of the Alaskan comments from our state supporting wilderness protection. There were over 90 percent of the 170,000 comments made by U.S. citizens supporting wilderness protection of areas in the Tongass National Forest.

Day of Silence is important
I am currently a senior at JDHS and last year I actively participated and supported the Day of Silence in any way possible, and I plan to do it again this year. I think it is one of the finest things I have ever seen at our school: far more meaningful than any pep assembly, homecoming competition, or basketball game.

Supports Muñoz
I've lived in Juneau since 1975, the same year I opened my business in downtown Juneau where I spent the better part of the past 27 years.

Local briefs
Voter registration closes at midnight; Candidates forum set for Monday;

Early St. Ann's building torn down for entrance
A remnant of early Juneau fell to the wrecking ball Friday, as a portion of downtown's St. Ann's Center was razed to improve access to the rest of the facility.The three-story, flat-roofed wooden wing of the St. Ann's complex, located on Harris Street between Fifth and Sixth streets, dated to the first few years of the 20th century. James Donaghey, business manager for the Diocese of Juneau - which owns the complex - said there was some sadness over losing the building, but the foundation had deteriorated so much that repairs would have cost too much.

Juneau voters pass harbor, utility bond
A $15 million bond proposition that would fund harbor and utility upgrades in Juneau passed after a count of absentee and questioned ballots Friday.The bond proposition was failing by 31 votes after Tuesday's ballots were counted. But the measure passed by 118 votes after election officials counted 1,048 absentee and questioned ballots Friday evening. The updated count shows 4,191 people voting yes, and 4,073 people voting no.

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

Goldbelt plans tourism development at Hobart Bay
Juneau's urban Native corporation plans to build a cruise ship destination at Hobart Bay, 70 miles south of Juneau.Goldbelt officials say developing its old logging camp into a tourist attraction recognizes the need to cater to independent and cruise line visitors to Southeast Alaska.

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

Photo: Looking for a handout
A crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos) looks for a handout as it flies from car to car in a downtown parking lot. When no food was offered, it flew away. brian wallace / the juneau empire

Photo: Garbage pick-up
Shadoe Haffner picks up garbage Saturday next to South Franklin Street. Haffner and other members from the Native dance group All Nations Children were picking up trash for a fund-raising effort.

My Turn: Stop the smear campaigns against conservationists
The recent spate of radio and television ads as well as orchestrated editorial letters attacking Deborah Williams and other Alaskans with conservation leanings is proof that the little subcontinent we call home has become politically dysfunctional.

Techwit: Are computers helping our kids learn?
How should we evaluate the efficacy and pedagogical effectiveness of digitally enhanced educational environments?Sorry about all those big words. After you get a Ph.D. you start using them even when you know it's wrong. It's not my fault. The devil of obdurate obfuscation made me do it. There I go again! Anyway...

Toe Cartoon

Empire editorial: Gubernatorial candidates can't fix the fiscal crisis
All candidates vying for the state's top job have grappled with the $64,000 question: "How will you solve the state's fiscal crisis?"The question must be asked; however, it is naive to expect a detailed or short answer to such an enormous question. At least one major media outlet up north has gotten downright indignant in criticizing the two most prominent candidates, Fran Ulmer and Frank Murkowski, for not providing specifics.

Summer fishing
California fishin': Adam and Michelle Zenger show off some of their catch from a five-day tuna fishing trip out of San Diego in early September. The weather was warm, the water calm and the fishing was stellar, they said.

Out and About
In season: Black bear (Sept. 1-June 30), brown bear (Sept. 15-Dec. 31, March 15-May 31), deer (Sept. 15-Dec. 31), mountain goat (Sept. 1 or Oct. 1, depending on area,-Nov. 31), moose (Sept. 15-Oct. 15), wolf (Aug. 1-April 30), wolverine (Nov. 10-Feb. 15), ducks, geese, brants, snipe, crane (Sept. 1-Dec. 15), red and blue king crab (Oct. 1-March 31), coho salmon (June-Nov.). (Seasons and limits are more complex than can be detailed here. Always check regulations before heading out.)

El Niño phenomenon and climate prediction
Predicting climate can be a bit confounding to say the least. Historical weather records can tell you part of the story, but there is so much more to consider in our Earth and atmospheric system.

Hiking Montana Creek Trail
If you're having trouble finding a sunny weekend to hike a ridge to enjoy the fall colors you might want to give the Montana Creek Trail a try. Alder, cotton wood and muskegs along the way are making their change from summer green to winter gray and brown, so check it out before it's to late.

Fish Report
Coho salmon fishing in the Juneau area remained better than average in the most recent creel survey. It took an average of six hours to land a silver. The five-year average catch rate is 10 hours. The majority of the silvers were being harvested from Point Retreat, Outer Point and North Pass.

Two Juneau hunters travel north for Dall sheep
In the world of big game, bagging Dall sheep is considered a highlight of the hunting experience. Juneau hunters Mark Kasberg, 41, and Mark Petz, 50, recently found this to be true.Over the summer Kasberg and Petz traveled north to start their sheep-hunting adventure. It was Kasberg's second Dall sheep hunt and Petz' first. The trip was a winner and Kasberg dropped a 34-inch ram while Petz shot a 38-inch ram. In the realm of rams, measurement is marked by horn length.

Juneau's in the swim
Things went so well for the Juneau-Douglas High School swim team at the Juneau Invitational this weekend that the Crimson Bear divers garnered wild cheers - for their performances in the 200-yard freestyle relay.Bolstered by a number of finishes that rank among the top 10 times in the state this year - along with a pair of fourth-place finishes by the swimming divers - the Juneau boys and girls squads swept the titles of their only home meets this season Friday and Saturday at the Augustus G. Brown Swimming Pool.

Sports in Juneau
Information on upcoming sports and outdoors events in Juneau.

Juneau grad honored by USA Weekend
Jake Stoops, a 1992 Juneau-Douglas High School graduate, was one of three people selected as national runners-up in the 10th Annual Most Caring Athlete/Most Caring Coach contest run by USA Weekend. Stoops is the girls basketball coach at Kotzebue High School in Northwest Alaska. USA Weekend, which is the national Sunday newspaper supplement that can be found in today's Juneau Empire, honored three people as most caring coach and three more as runners-up.

Competition has 'em climbing the walls
For some people, rock climbing is a zen-like experience, a slow-moving puzzle where the climber is totally focused on finding the best handhold to move up the mountain.It was a different story during Saturday morning's speed climbing competition at The Rock Dump Indoor Climbing Gym.

Petersburg: Power poles zap eagles
Large raptors in search of prey in the skies and harbors of Petersburg have to be wary they don't become fast-food fare themselves when landing on Little Norway's power poles. Over a dozen eagles alone in the last two years have been electrocuted as they stopped to stretch a wing while perching atop one of PMP&L's bird-unfriendly Douglas firs.

Skagway: Firefighters glad for grant
He was taken by surprise. The announcement by Sen. Ted Stevens' office went out to the media before grant recipients were notified.

Farm products languish on docks and ships
FRESNO, Calif. - A weeklong shutdown of the West Coast's major ports has left stacks of market-bound farm produce to rot on the docks and in the holds of ships that can't reach shore.As contract talks continued between the dockworkers union and shipping lines Saturday, about 1.3 billion apples were awaiting shipment to Asia, nearly 8,000 tons of frozen meat from Australia sat in untouched shipping containers, and hundreds of tons of other fruit and food products remained far from intended markets.

Haines: Game Board to look at bear baiting
The Alaska Board of Game will consider new restrictions on local bear hunts at its meeting next month in Juneau.One proposal calls for the elimination of bear baiting by hunters, saying the valley is too populated for the practice to be safe. Another, suggested by the Department of Fish and Game, caps the number of nonresident brown bear hunts at 12 per year.

State prods Alyeska on response to 2001 pipeline shooting
FAIRBANKS - Alyeska Pipeline Service Co. hasn't moved fast enough in correcting problems brought to light by last year's pipeline shooting and the resulting oil spill, state officials said.

State Briefs
Kids Voting to train young journalists; North Pole couple indicted on meth charges; Saxman voters turn down tax to pay bond; Fairbanks bars sued in DWI death;

Fishermen sense end of the line
NOYO, Calif. - Fishing off the fogbound coast of Northern California, the skipper of the Verna Jean has seen some cruel things: killing storms and drowning friends, steel boats tossed about by waves so fearsome that men came home and never went to sea again. But this is hard. "I almost cry just talking about it," said Vincent Doyle, sitting in the wheelhouse of his 60-foot trawler. "I always thought that I'd be the one to last. But I am beginning to wonder how strong I am."

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