Wednesday, October 8, 2003

Guard cartoon misguided
If Doonesbury is to become the house organ of a national political party we can console ourselves that it is often funny, if increasingly shrill. Last Wednesday's slap at the National Guard, though, was somewhere between incoherent, and inconsiderate.

Land swap not a fair trade
There's been lots of talk lately about Senator Murkowski's bill #1354, commonly called the Cape Fox/Berners Bay land trade (or to be more accurate I would say land giveaway).

The sign, not the beer, is objectionable
To my fellow Comrades Loni VanKirk and Bruce Hale: Obviously you did not comprehend what you read in my letter. The message of my letter was plain and simple; I asked the companies involved to CONSIDER the message of ONE particular sign. In no way did I state that advertising for alcohol products is bad. Furthermore, I wanted to make the boating community aware of the dangers of combining boating and alcohol.

Kadashan misses the mark
Kadashan ought to be ashamed of himself. His Oct. 5 editorial unapologetically insinuates that atheists are somehow incapable of good. This is an absurd claim that can only come from a person too ignorant of the facts to realize that atheists can be every bit as decent and moral as anybody else. In fact, given the string of clergy members who are now going to prison for abusing children, I'd say a strong argument could be made that atheists have the upper hand when it comes to "decency" and goodness.

Right ideas for Iraq
Brilliant article by M.S. Belknap regarding Iraq reconstruction. As a veteran of Vietnam I saw first-hand the corruption that this kind of war brings in to play. The people of Iraq do not need $20 billion dollars as much as they need to have the reconstruction process turned over to the Iraqi people.

I support the teachers, but...
I read with interest the letter "My Turn: Invest in teachers, not buildings" by Sara Hannan and though I do agree with smaller classrooms, year-round school, and more teachers, I must say I do not support the typical "teacher" attitude of "giveeverything to us." The idea that a $5,000 budget item for a new furnace should be redirected into teacher raises or benefits, the idea that the school exists for the teachers is misdirected.

Hey - I said don't call
With all of the media hype about the national "do not call" list and talk of a similar state list, imagine my surprise when I got a phone call soliciting subscriptions from the Juneau Empire last night. The person on the other end of the line must have been getting bad reactions from people, because he was very apologetic for calling right off the bat.

'The Mommy Dance': a personal perspective
I read Christine Schmid's review of the play, "The Mommy Dance," and felt the need to reply on a personal level. I have had the opportunity to observe Jill Bess (the actress and writer of this play) and my twin brother, Joe, raise their children. They are both loving parents that are devoted to their children, and yes, at times, life is chaotic in their home, but that is just a small glimpse into their world and into the world of majority of parents.

Why do people destroy?
Senseless killings, random acts of violence, religious murders, invasions and waste of resources are daily fare these days. Ever wonder why? I know each situation has its own unique reasons where both sides have very logical sounding arguments.

Land swap a raw deal
In his Sept. 29 My Turn column, Jerry Reinwand admits to being perplexed by those who oppose the Berners Bay land swap. I would like to explain to him why so many Alaskans are against this exchange.

Egan not a race track
To the fine gentleman in the silver Toyota pickup who felt it his divine right to swerve in and out of traffic on Egan Drive, offering the "California Howdy" signs to those impeding his race to be the first to the coffee maker this morning: This is Juneau, not California.

Correction
An Oct. 6 Empire editorial incorrectly stated the amount of bonds to be voted on under Proposition No. 2 in today's city election. The correct amount for those bonds, to be used on Floyd Dryden Middle School and Harborview Elementary school repairs, is $6,945,000.

Police and Fire
• Police cited a 46-year-old man at 5:46 p.m. Sunday near Glacier Highway on a theft-of-services charge after he allegedly failed to pay his $25 cab fare:• Police cited a 15-year-old girl on a shoplifting charge at 6:51 p.m. Sunday at a Glacier Highway business. Police released the girl to her mother.

Voters head to the polls
Voters get to choose a new mayor, select Assembly members and pick from a dozen Juneau School Board candidates in today's general election. Voters also will decide whether to approve $6.9 million in bonds for school repairs and doubling the city's tobacco tax.

Photo: Perseverance mine
This early 20th century photograph shows the Perseverance Mine in the Silver Bow Basin, above downtown Juneau. After being sent back to the area for a second time by Sitka engineer George Pilz, Richard Harris and Joseph Juneau climbed Snow Slide Gulch at the head of Gold Creek in 1880 and looked down into Quartz Gulch and Silver Bow Basin. They found an area rich with gold.

This Day in History
• In 1870, Fort Tongass, near Alaska's southernmost boundary, was abandoned by the Army. • In 1925, the box factory of the Ketchikan Spruce Mills was destroyed by fire. • In 1971, the Juneau Municipal Airport put a DME (Distance Measuring Equipment) Navigation Aid into operation. It would let pilots know their exact distance from the runway, improving safety in poor weather.

Election Results
Precient results for the Oct. 7, 2003, municipal election

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

Around Town
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.

Naturalists search for area's disappearing toads
Bob Armstrong remembers the days when toads were common at the Dredge Lake area, between Back Loop Road and Mendenhall Lake.

Red Dog mine case to be argued before U.S. Supreme Court
The U.S. Supreme Court is hearing the Red Dog mine case today in a proceeding Alaska state officials say is an important states' rights issue. The state is appealing a U.S. District Court ruling that forced the Red Dog mine to use expensive anti-pollution technology in its power generation. The state filed a lawsuit more than two years ago when it was unable to reach an agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on clean-air rules associated with the addition of a new diesel generator at the mine. It lost an appeal in the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

City ponders noise limits
People who want something done about noise in Juneau have a chance to be heard. Assembly member and Lands Committee Chairman Randy Wanamaker said he doesn't know whether there is a noise problem. But two Juneau residents who believe there is a problem have complained to the Lands Committee - one in person and one in writing.

Four of five School Board seats settled
Voters on Tuesday filled four of the five open seats on the Juneau School Board, but the fifth seat was too close to call. The clear winners on Tuesday were Andrea "Andi" Story with 4,882 votes, Phyllis Carlson with 4,054 votes, Julie Morris with 2,928 votes and Rhonda Befort with 2,926 votes. But William Peters, in fifth place with 2,536 votes, barely led Alan Schorr, who had 2,532 votes.

Fisherman catches salmon that likely escaped from B.C. fish farm
A commercial gillnetter near Petersburg found a 10-pound Atlantic salmon state officials say probably escaped from a British Columbia salmon farm.

Voters approve school renovation bonds
Juneau voters approved by a nearly 2-to-1 margin on Tuesday $6.945 million in bonds to finish the renovation of Floyd Dryden Middle School and replace rusty water pipes at Harborview Elementary School. Of the votes counted Tuesday night, 5,249 voters said yes to the bonds, and 3,002 said no. The count included absentee ballots cast through Sunday.

Botelho wins mayor's race
Bruce Botelho is back. He defeated opponent Dick Knapp for Juneau mayor with an unofficial vote tally of 4,436 to 3,821 in Tuesday's city election.

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

Police: It's difficult to catch noise violators
Local police aren't insensitive to people bothered by loud car stereos, a department spokesman said. But finding violators zooming down Egan Drive is difficult "unless we are just lucky," Juneau Police Capt. Tom Porter said. The city Lands Committee is looking into the city's noise ordinance after taking complaints from two residents. Both focused their complaints on car stereos that boom from the vehicles. One referred to them as "boom cars."

College student defeats Anderson
Dan Peterson, a 21-year-old college student, took the District 2 Assembly seat from incumbent Dale Anderson in Tuesday's general election. The tally was 4,308 for Peterson and 3,419 for Anderson, according to unofficial voting results.

Voters pass tobacco tax by nearly 2-to-1 margin
Tobacco tax proponents exhaled a sigh of relief Tuesday night as voters overwhelmingly approved an ordinance that could raise up to $300,000 annually for the city. The ordinance, passed by an almost 2-to-1 margin, will implement a flat 30-cent tax on cigarettes. Now smokers pay a 6 percent excise tax on cigarettes, about 15 cents per pack. It also doubles the excise tax on all other tobacco products from 6 percent to 12 percent. The ordinance takes effect Jan. 1.

... for supporting the arts at Auke Bay School
On Sept. 10, Auke Bay School held it's first ever Pies and Pottery Silent Auction to raise money for the arts. The outpouring of enthusiasm and participation from our community for this fund raiser was overwhelming. Beautiful platters and vases were donated by local artists. Close to 100 desserts were created and donated by our school community.

... for community help
After each JDHS cross-country meet, the team and coaches make it a point to sit in a circle and share what we call "appreciations." That is, we take the time to tell one another why we care about each other. The student's comments are varied and might be, "I appreciate Wesley for supporting me when I race," or "I appreciate Jordan for helping me with my homework on the ferry trip home."

Southeast Sagas: Buying the 'icebox' got Seward little credit
Probably every eighth-grader in the state knows who William Henry Seward is and how this former presidential candidate is involved with Alaska's history. However, in his own time, the 1867 purchase of Alaska from the Russians for which he was responsible was often discounted as an achievement. Many, in fact, considered the new territory an embarrassment. This fact can be seen in contemporaneous sources, including the substantial biographical article written by Henry Cabot Lodge and published in Harper's Weekly in May 1884. (The article is now part of the "Cornell Making of America" collection at the Cornell University Library.)

Neighbors Digest
Upcoming community events.

...from the health fair
On Saturday, Sept. 20, faculty members from the University Alaska Southeast Dr. Seon Chun and Jennifer Brown, along with Dawn Miller and Lisa Peters from United Way, assisted Alaska Health Fair Inc. during the "Day Of Caring." This annual event, sponsored by United Way Southeast is yet another reminder of how fortunate we are to live in a community surrounded by so many people who care about the well being of their neighbors.

Beauty queen loves the physical contact
Skye is friendly and easygoing. Her medium-length, black coat is so soft that it's hard to resist petting her again - and again. Fortunately, this gentle, spayed female enjoys the attention. She's a beauty queen who wins the "Miss Congeniality" award from both people and cats.

Photo: Post-season
A view of the downtown library and Mount Roberts Tram last week from the seasonably roomy waters off the Steamship Wharf.

... from the Glory Hole
The Glory Hole wishes to publicly thank University of Alaska Southeast instructor Honey Smith and three of her students - Ian, Brandon and Adam - for all their hard work on our behalf during the United Way's annua

Delay of Senate petition on succession is unacceptable
A number of events would occur if Congressman Don Young vacated his seat tomorrow. Gov. Murkowski would have 90 days in which to take action, but his time would not be spent making short lists and courting Alaska's best and brightest Republicans. Gov. Murkowski would be bound by law to hold a special election to fill the vacated Congressional seat. He would have to trust the people.

My Turn: Campaign finance reform - again
Political campaigns in Alaska have become alarmingly expensive. In 2002, two primary opponents in a race for a state house seat spent over $110,000 each. A close state senate race saw the opponents spend nearly $190,000 each. Sen. Ben Stevens raised $131,000 - even though he had no opposition. The 2002 governor's race cost each major party candidate nearly $2 million. The 2004 U.S. Senate race frontrunners are seeking to raise $3-4 million each.

East Glacier Trail Tangle
Results from the Southeast Road Runners Club's East Glacier Trail Tangle 10-kilometer race held Saturday on the East Glacier Trail. This was the last Empire Cup race of the year.

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.

Swimmers at the Sitka Invitational

Can the Devils repeat?
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Scott Gomez was smiling last week as he untied his skates, pulled off his shin pads and talked about what might have been his best road trip with the New Jersey Devils. With sweat dripping off his brow, Gomez talked about visiting the White House, standing in the Rose Garden and getting a tour of the Oval Office from President Bush.

Juneau Parks and Rec volleyball standings
Standings through Oct. 6.

Alaska state football playoffs
The brackets for the 2003 Alaska State Football Playoffs, which opened on Friday, Oct. 3.

Upcoming UAA-UAF hockey games will be broadcast in Southeast
Hockey fans in Southeast will be able to watch Alaska's only in-state collegiate hockey rivalry on television Oct. 10-11. The University of Alaska Fairbanks Nanooks will host the University of Alaska Anchorage Seawolves in the first two games of the Governor's Cup, the four-game series pitting Alaska's two college hockey teams against each other. The games are at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the Carlson Center in Fairbanks.

Alaska karate camp attracts more than 130
The Juneau Shotokan Karate Club celebrated its 20th birthday by hosting this year's Alaska Shotokan Karate Camp in late September. The week-long camp attracted more than 130 athletes, with about half coming from the Juneau area. Most of the other campers came from clubs in Anchorage, Eagle River and Fairbanks, but there were other karate enthusiasts attending from California, Missouri, Australia and Juneau's sister city of Whitehorse, Yukon Territory.

Sports in Juneau
Juneau Youth Football League - Junior Division Playoffs, consolation game: No. 3 seed vs. No. 4 seed, 7 p.m. at Adair-Kennedy Memorial Park football field (Note: This game has been rescheduled from Oct. 7 due to the state high school football playoffs).

Alaska Digest
News from around the state.

Photo:No dogs allowed
A cat sits on the Thomas Basin promenade in Ketchikan on a foggy morning last week behind a sign prohibiting dogs.

Report: Women in Alaska earning far less than men
ANCHORAGE - Men still earn far more than women working in Alaska, according to a new state study. The study looks at total earnings for all workers in the state, ranging in age from 16 to older than 75. This study found that on average, women earn 66.4 percent of what men do. State labor economist Alexander Kotlarov took earnings from unemployment insurance forms filed by all employers in the state, and age and gender from Permanent Fund dividend applications. The study comes more than a decade after state labor economists first examined the difference.

Biologists studying orca attacks on gray whales
ANCHORAGE - Biologists don't know whether attacks by killer whales on gray whales are becoming more frequent because of changes in the Bering Sea ecosystem.

Elmendorf pilots try out innovative flight system
ELMENDORF AFB, Alaska - Members of the 12th and 19th fighter squadrons at Elmendorf Air Force base have been learning how to use a revolutionary new helmet-mounted navigation and targeting system.

Coyotes killing pets in Anchorage neighborhoods
ANCHORAGE - Roaming coyotes apparently are targeting people's pets in an Anchorage neighborhood. Two coyotes killed a puppy running in the woods near its owners on a trail in the federal Campbell Tract within Far North Bicentennial Park. Just to the south, as many as a dozen cats and dogs have disappeared from the Zodiac Manor neighborhood. "My guess is a fair number of those are probably due to coyotes," said state biologist Rick Sinnott, who examined the remains of the puppy. "They're certainly active over there and have shown themselves willing and capable of killing a dog, at least a 20-pound dog."

State troopers seize booze, drugs bound for Bush communities
ANCHORAGE - Alaska State Troopers seized dozens of bottles of alcohol and thousands of grams of marijuana in September that were bound for western Alaska.

Alaska Briefs
City ponders taking over three harbors; Some Anchorage schools ridding halls of hats; High school could become bigger charter school; Two teenage boys arrested at hotel; Dinosaur replica has big opening day

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

Two people killed in bear attack in Katmai
Every summer for the last 13 years, Timothy Treadwell fled Malibu, Calif., for the wilds of Alaska, where he lived among dozens of grizzly bears. He photographed the bears, slept near them and crawled into their dens when they were off fishing for salmon. In the words of one friend, "he became feral." On Monday, Treadwell, 46, and his girlfriend, Amie Huguenard, 37, both of Malibu, were found dead in the remote Katmai National Park and Preserve in Alaska, the victims of a bear mauling, according to the National Park Service and Alaska State Troopers.

Photo: Day for dividends
Sheryl John checks out a vehicle being offered during a Alaska Permanent Fund dividend sale Friday at a car dealership in Anchorage. Alaskans who signed up for direct deposit will receive this year's dividend of $1,107.56 today.

Judge: Parties may offer joint primary ballot
Political parties may join together on a common primary ballot, according to a ruling by an Anchorage Superior Court judge. Judge Mark Rindner ruled in favor of the Green Party and the Republican Moderate Party, which sued to negate a state law approved in 2001 that kept them from appearing on the same primary ballot with other parties.

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