Wednesday, October 9, 2002

Need more debates
Mike Doogan's article in Sunday's Anchorage Daily News sets out good reasons why Murkowski is now trailing Ulmer in the omnipresent polls. And he goes still further when he correctly analyzes that the Murkowski team's wild attempt to link Ulmer to some "ugly" environmentalist agenda is just not working.

Proof needed before United States strikes
I listened carefully to a talk by Mr. Scott Ritter, Republican, ex-Marine, and former weapons inspector in Iraq for seven years. He is a wealth of information with actual hands-on experience in war and in Iraq examining factories and sites where weapons had been destroyed. He knows firsthand. President Bush does not have the actual experiences he has had. Mr. Ritter urges all Americans to ask very simple questions of the Bush administration.

Prefers Murkowski on education
Frank Murkowski is the man for the job as governor of Alaska. He is behind superior education and cares for Alaska's children by supporting the full funding of K-12 schools to meet and exceed state benchmarks, as well as holding schools and students accountable for student learning.

Teachers support Ulmer for governor
As a teacher and a parent, my No. 1 concern is for the education, health and well-being of the children of our state. For that reason, I strongly support Fran Ulmer for our next governor. She is a candidate with a plan that benefits families by supporting schools, child care and health.

Muñoz will be effective
I am going to vote for Cathy Muñoz for the state Senate, because I think she has a better chance to be an effective senator than the present incumbent. She will be in the majority, with a good opportunity to serve on important committees such as the finance committee. Cathy previously served as finance chairwoman on the Juneau Assembly. The incumbent as a member of the Senate minority failed to get confirmed to serve on the finance committee.

Schools should foster debate
Thursday's Empire quoted School Board member Chuck Cohen as expressing deep concern over what might happen if a "significant majority" of students and teachers believed in and participated in a "Day of Prayer."

Murkowski has better school plan
Fran Ulmer's campaign is doing its best to make you believe she has a detailed education plan. I've read it: she doesn't.

Ulmer a strong boss
If you don't want to put in a full work day, don't work for Fran Ulmer. I worked for her in the late 1970s and I've never had a tougher, more ethical boss.

Election winner clarifies plans
I'm writing today with the hope of clearing up confusion about my plans for the future. The issue at hand is whether or not I will leave the School Board early to attend college, forcing me to cut my term short by two years.

Planners need to listen more
This evening I attended the tail end of the Juneau Planning Commission public hearing to allow adjacent property owners to present their views on a proposed seafood processing plant to be build in Auke Nu Cove, immediately adjacent to the ferry terminal. Unfortunately, I had another meeting I had to attend earlier, so I missed much of the public input and had no opportunity to offer mine (I'm a resident within the affected area). What I did hear disturbed me a great deal.

Not closing
South East Alaska Medical Suppliers (SEAMS) and Cornerstone Home Health would like to make it clear that neither agency is closing. SEAMS has been serving our region's need for home medical equipment and supplies, including oxygen for nearly 11 years. Cornerstone has been providing home health care services for over five years.

Best choice for Alaska is Fran Ulmer
I have been part of an Alaska fishing family for over 50 years. I understand how important it is to organize our fishing operation for maximum effectiveness. I decide or help decide who will be best for each job, and sometimes that means that not everyone gets to do exactly what he or she wants (including me).

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

West Coast port lockout strands Juneau fish
Taku Fisheries, a Juneau fish processor, is waiting for 100,000 pounds of frozen black cod stranded in Seattle to be shipped to Asia. Otherwise, Juneau businesses are not feeling many effects of the 11-day-old labor dispute that has halted West Coast shipping.

Fish plant slated for Auke Bay
A Lemon Creek fish-processing plant is expanding and will move its operations to Auke Bay.The Juneau Planning Commission on Tuesday approved a conditional-use permit allowing Alaska Glacier Seafoods to build a 7,000- to 8,000-square-foot facility on its land near Auke Nu Cove near 11.5 mile Glacier Highway.

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

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

Photos: Harmonies for fall
Members of the Juneau-Douglas High School Men's Chorus sing their final note during a Fall Choral Celebration concert held Tuesday night at the Dzantik'i Heeni Middle School commons.

Bruin seeks chicken dinner
A Juneau bear took over DeHart's Auke Bay store on Glacier Highway for several minutes Monday as it perused the shelves for its dinner.Police Sgt. Ben Coronell said at about 4:15 p.m. a 150-pound, 2-year-old black bear wandered into the open door of the liquor section of DeHart's. Coronell said the bear may have been attracted to the chicken and potatoes cooking in the store.

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

Forest plan sets aside areas for large tour groups
A new U.S. Forest Service proposal would designate 47 spots in northern Southeast Alaska for large commercial tour groups to use.The agency recently released a draft environmental impact statement that would guide commercial recreation on about 5,000 miles of shoreline from South Baranof Island to Skagway. Public comments on the plan will be accepted through the first part of January, according to team leader Bill Tremblay.

Theatre in the Rough wins arts honor from governor
Juneau's Theatre in the Rough has been recognized as one of Alaska's outstanding arts organizations in the 2002 Governor's Awards for the Arts and Humanities.The annual awards acknowledge the contribution of arts scholars, artists and arts organizations to the people of Alaska. In recent years the awards have been extended to the humanities as well. Six arts awards and three humanities awards are given.

Study: Tour dollars drop this season
Tourism in Alaska was greatly affected by the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and by the unusually bad economy that has persisted throughout the 2002 tourism season, researcher Eric McDowell said today.McDowell, a partner in the Juneau-based research firm the McDowell Group, spoke at the Alaska Travel Industry Association convention and trade show at Centennial Hall. The convention continues through Thursday. The nonprofit ATIA works with the state to market tourism.

Bear wounded in Dredge Lakes area
A man whose vehicle struck and injured a glacier bear Sunday in the Dredge Lakes area said today he plans to make his third trip into the forest to put the bear out of its misery.The adult bear was struck by a Toyota 4Runner, driven by Jim Beeson, around 5:27 p.m. near Mendenhall Loop Road and Mint Way, said Neil Barten, an area biologist with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. After the bear was struck, it wandered into the woods with Beeson following.

Lee, Wheeler to wed
Tessa Lee, daughter of Roger and Patricia (deceased) Lee and Philip W. Wheeler, son of Sandra Fleek and Gordon Wheeler, will marry at 2 p.m. on Oct. 12 at Northern Lights United Church. Tammy Lee-Beam will be the matron of honor. Matt Mahoney will be best man. Travis McCain and Hayden Garrison will be ushers. Caitlyn Lee will be the flowergirl and Ryan Lee will be the ring bearer.

Jensen, Cole marry
Justina Eileen Jensen, daughter of J.R. and Cathy Jensen and Bonnie Walsh, and Corey James Cole, son of Lynn Van Kirk and Wayne Cole, were married Aug. 31, 2002.

Living in the mystery of death
I recently received an e-mail from the Zen Hospice in San Francisco. It contained a copy of an article from the San Francisco Chronicle titled, "On His Own Terms, S.F. Coach Nate Lewis Lives Out His Last Days in Peace at Zen Hospice." When this message came, I was preparing for our current volunteer training, and thinking about the question, "What do we mean we talk about someone dying a 'good death?' "

Alaska's Junior Miss competition dates announced
The 2003 Alaska Junior Miss Scholarship Program, a franchised arm of America's Junior Miss, will be held in Soldotna from Jan. 26-Feb. 1, 2003. This annual competition is part of a nationwide endeavor to reward high school senior girls for their accomplishments.

Photo: Bluegrass club
Instructor Belle Mickelson gives Bluegrass Club members tips on playing the guitar, mandolin, fiddle, banjo and bass. The Bluegrass Club is a 21st Century Grant after-school activity at Floyd Dryden Middle School.

Thank you
I would like to thank the following people and organizations for their assistance in range improvements over the past several years.

Prepare your trees and shrubs for the changing weather
Looking up at fresh snow on Thunder Mountain, every ounce of my will directed at rolling it back uphill, I realize the end of summer is at hand. Leaves are blazing with color, those that still remain on the trees anyway, and the shrubbery is turning now too. Oranges and reds, bright yellows and burgundies, and occasional purples show on the lower foliage. Leaves, mined for their nutrients before being discarded, fall, as the plant kingdom prepares for the next season.

Pets of the week
Mars is a 6-month-old flame point neutered male Siamese mix with blue eyes. He is friendly, very playful and likes everyone. Thelma is a sleek, elegant, petite short-hair, 10-month-old, spayed, black female with brilliant golden eyes.

Gene M. Hickey Jr.
Juneau resident Gene M. Hickey Jr., 68, died Sept. 4, 2002, at his home.

Alaska editorial: Rural law enforcement an issue for the Legislature, not the courts
Residents of small rural Alaska communities understandably would like to have better police protection. So would a lot of people in Anchorage, where emergency dispatch is badly short-staffed and the city is desperately trying to fill vacancies in police department ranks.

Kayhi to host state wrestling tourney
It's been a long time since the state wrestling tournament took place in Southeast Alaska - so long ago that current high school seniors hadn't even been born yet.But that streak will this season, when Ketchikan High School hosts the Class 4A state tournament on Feb. 7-8, 2003. The Alaska School Activities Association accepted Ketchikan's bid to host the tournament during ASAA's fall board meetings last week in Anchorage.

Empire Cup Standings
The final point standings for the 2002 Empire Cup running series. The Empire Cup running series is co-sponsored each year by the Southeast Road Runners Club and the Juneau Empire.

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

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

Divers rescue AK eagle off California
CHANNEL ISLANDS NATIONAL PARK, Calif. - A bald eagle trying desperately to stay afloat amid the waves of the Pacific Ocean was rescued by two divers who saw the bird about to go under.The Alaska-born eagle, set free last month as part of an effort to reintroduce the species to the Channel Islands, is recovering at the Ojai Raptor Center, said Patty Perry, who works at the nonprofit facility.

University hosts candidate forum
Statewide candidates pledged to strengthen university and public school funding at a Monday forum held at the University of Alaska Southeast.The forum was organized by the UAS student government and included candidates for governor, lieutenant governor and the state House and Senate seats representing Juneau.

Board takes up Denali wolves buffer zone
FAIRBANKS - The Alaska Board of Game meets Thursday and Friday to decide whether wolves that stray out of Denali National Park and Preserve onto state land should continue to be protected.The Game Board more than two years ago created a protective buffer zone for wolves that wander out of the park, where hunting and trapping is not allowed. The buffer prohibits wolf hunting and trapping on 72 square miles of state land bordering the northeast corner of the park.

State Briefs
Counterfeit bills in Ketchikan; Fairbanks nixes snowmobile ban; Storm pushes barge on beach

Government vs. NextWave
WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court debated Tuesday whether the government was out of line when it seized unused wireless licenses from a young company that promised to provide better, cheaper cell phone service.The Federal Communications Commission and NextWave Telecom Inc. have been battling over the airwaves slices since the New York company won them in an auction in 1996, then filed for bankruptcy protection before paying for them.

Bio-weapons tested in state
WASHINGTON - The United States secretly tested chemical and biological weapons on American soil during the 1960s, newly declassified Pentagon reports show.The tests included releasing deadly nerve agents in Alaska and spraying bacteria over Hawaii, according to the documents obtained Tuesday.

State commits more cash to ailing plant
ANCHORAGE - The state again has come to the rescue of a fish factory in South Anchorage, agreeing to pour up to $2.5 million into the venture.So far, the Great Alaskan Seafood Co., formerly known as Alaska Seafood International, has been a bust since it began in the late 1990s in a building erected with $50 million in state money.

Hammond: Focus on the fiscal gap
Alaskans would lose their permanent fund dividends for good and the state eventually would raid the fund itself without a plan to deal with the state's financial problems, according to former Gov. Jay Hammond.At a press conference Tuesday in downtown Juneau, Hammond said if nothing is done to fill the budget gap, which threatens to exhaust the Constitutional Budget Reserve in the next few years, the Legislature will be forced to dip into Alaska Permanent Fund earnings.

Sen. Murkowski counters attack advertisments
FAIRBANKS - A broadcast ad campaign launched by a soft money-powered political group says Sen. Frank Murkowski voted against federal education spending numerous times in recent years, and they have a list of specifics to back up the claim.But Alaska's junior Republican senator said he actually voted to increase education spending annually in his 22-year U.S. Senate career.

Alaskans could have no dividend next year
ANCHORAGE - Be careful spending that permanent fund dividend this month. There may not be one next October.Investments in the Alaska Permanent Fund have dropped so sharply that if they don't recover in the next nine months, the 2003 dividend will be exactly zero.

Pro-move group goes inactive at ex-Gov. Hammond's request
The group advocating moving the Legislature to the Matanuska-Susitna Borough or Anchorage has changed its Alaska Public Offices Commission campaign status to inactive for the 2002 election at the request of former Gov. Jay Hammond.

FTC takes action against fake Native artwork
ANCHORAGE - An effort to help consumers identify Alaska Native-made products and get people to report fakes has resulted in a handful of investigations by the Federal Trade Commission.Some 950,000 brochures and post cards were distributed in Alaska communities, gift shops, art galleries and on cruise ships this tourist season to help visitors tell genuine Alaska Native arts and crafts from imitations, said Chuck Harwood, FTC regional director in Seattle.

Bush asks court to reopen ports
Shipping line negotiators scuttled a last-minute Bush administration attempt to avoid invoking the Taft-Hartley law to resolve the West Coast port labor dispute, dock workers said today. Longshoremen had accepted the deal offered this morning by Labor Department solicitor Eugene Scalia, agreeing to return to work under a 30-day contract extension and continue talks with a federal mediator, union spokesman Steve Stallone said.

State Briefs
Poll shows move measure losing; Barrow digs out from brutal weekend storm; Knowles nominates Coffey to federal fish board; Nome man found dead in apparent four-wheeler accident; Renovation work begins at Ketchikan airport; Mushing with Jonrowe offered on new eBay site; Help sought in Canadian wildlife slaughter

Old Fairbanks safe holds trash, historical treasure
FAIRBANKS - An old City Hall safe opened for the first time in nearly a decade revealed limited financial treasure but a bounty of the historical kind.Last week, Fairbanks city employees gathered around a walk-in storage closet to take a first peek inside a 5-foot-high steel safe that had last been opened sometime prior to 1994, when it was moved from the clerk's office at old City Hall.

Worker safety is a matter of contention at ports
Union leaders call it "working safe" - making sure every safety rule at the ports is followed to the letter. For their part, company officials say those are just code words for dockworkers slowing down and gumming up their operations.As the International Longshore and Warehouse Union prepared to go back to work as early as tonight, following a lockout at 29 West Coast ports, the distinction between working safe and working slow still loomed as a potential source of trouble.

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