Monday, October 7, 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.

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.

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).

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Favors Ulmer for health care
The history of financing American health care can inform Alaskans as they make choices for our next state leaders. While we have become comfortably accustomed to various forms of health care insurance, our grandparents and parents scrambled to stay healthy as best they could afford.

Farmed fish a threat
The Ketchikan Daily News editorial condemning British Columbia for lifting its moratorium on fish farms that you reprinted on Sept. 23 was right on. Farmed fish are a significant threat to wild salmon stocks and a serious economic threat to Alaska fishermen and fishing businesses.

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.

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

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.

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

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

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

Teen faces felony charges for fiery crash
Juneau prosecutors said excessive speed caused an August vehicle accident - which left a trail of fire along Glacier Highway and sent five people to the hospital - and are holding a local teen-ager responsible.Allan Hughes, 19, is awaiting arraignment on one count of second-degree assault and three counts of third-degree assault, all felonies, stemming from an Aug. 19 vehicle accident.

Alcohol tax pushes prices up
Juneau residents who buy merlot by the bottle or Rainier by the can are seeing the effects of new state alcohol taxes at the cash register.In many cases, price increases are higher than the new taxes. In some instances, the price is the same.

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

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

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.

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.

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.

Milton Robert Nickerson
Juneau resident Milton Robert Nickerson died Sept. 23, 2002, in Juneau.

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.

Moving the Legislature won't make state government better
When Alaskans return to the polls Nov. 5, not only will they be selecting a new governor and lieutenant governor and filling almost all 60 seats in the Legislature, they also will have before them a variety of ballot measures.Among them is Ballot Measure No. 2, which would move all legislative sessions to the Matanuska-Susitna Borough. If adequate places for the sessions are not available, the Legislature would meet in Anchorage until facilities were available in the Mat-Su. The measure also repeals the requirements that before the state can spend money to move the Legislature, voters must be informed of the costs, as determined by a neutral commission, and approve all bondable costs of the move.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Juneau Invitational Swimming and Diving Meet Results
Results from the Juneau Invitational swimming and diving meets held Friday and Saturday at Juneau's Augustus Brown Swimming Pool. Abbreviations used in individual results are Juneau-Douglas (JDHS), Ketchikan (KayHi), Sitka (SHS), Petersburg (PHS), Craig (CHS) and Haines (HHS).

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.

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

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.

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."

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.

President moves toward halting lockout
WASHINGTON - President Bush moved Monday toward forcibly reopening West Coast ports, creating a special board of inquiry to determine the impact of a labor dispute that has brought shipping trade to a virtual halt and is costing the economy an estimated $1 billion a day. The move came hours after contract negotiations between workers and management collapsed.

Alaska's most well-known artist, Machetanz, dies at 94
ANCHORAGE - Alaska's most identifiable and honored artist, Frederick Machetanz, died Sunday at Valley Hospital in Palmer. He was 94.In an art career spanning nearly seven decades, Machetanz built a reputation first as an illustrator, then as the last of Alaska's "old masters." He developed an international clientele that paid six figures for his paintings and an even larger fan base that could not afford the originals but eagerly acquired reproductions.

Looming budget crunch gets another review
ANCHORAGE - Three panels made up mostly of former politicians agreed Saturday the state does face a real fiscal crisis, and cutting government spending isn't going to cure it. Trouble is, they agreed again, the public isn't convinced. "Until a much higher percentage of the state's residents understand the problem, neither a tax or using permanent fund money is feasible," said Rep. Brian Porter, an Anchorage Republican and the retiring House speaker.

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
Drive attracts new voters; Kenai bids for Arctic games; FEMA creates citizens council; March for peace in Anchorage; One dead, one missing after ATV flips; Whooping cough cases reported in Homer

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.

Illegal black-bear gall bladders, legs found with three Anchorage men on boat
ANCHORAGE - Federal and state wildlife officials are investigating whether three men found in Prince William Sound with black bear gall bladders and legs violated laws prohibiting the shipment of illegally taken game.At least 10 black bears in Prince William Sound were found choked to death in cable snares over the summer. Wildlife protection officers believe they were killed illegally so their gall bladders and paws could be sold as medicine in Asia.

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;

Anchorage bear deaths decline in 2002 season
ANCHORAGE - Just five black bears and one brown bear were killed in Anchorage this year, the lowest number since the early 1990s. With only a few weeks left until bears start digging winter dens, the number of bear complaints also has decreased.

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.

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