Monday, October 13, 2003

In the stacks: DVDs to cozy up to on fall nights
The windy, rainy nights of autumn are almost upon us. Cozy up with a new DVD or video from the library.

AEL&P named small business of the year
Alaska Electric Light &Power has been providing energy to Juneau since the company opened in 1893. This month the Alaska State Chamber of Commerce named AEL&P the Alaska Small Business of the Year. "They have been such leaders within their field and they have been so innovative," said Paulyn Swanson, executive director of the Alaska State Chamber of Commerce.

Putting spin on survey
The Thursday Juneau Empire headline stated "Survey says Juneau split on road debate: Haines and Skagway overwhelmingly back enhanced ferry service in Lynn Canal." Digging through the body of the article, 52 percent of Juneauites want a road to the north, while 36 percent want improved ferry service. That's the margin of our "split" in opinion.

How to really limit forest litigation
Senator Stevens, the Alaska Forestry Association, Congressman Young and the Murkowski Administration like to blame Alaskan conservation groups for the low cutting levels on the Tongass National Forest over the last few years. They claim we have litigated the timber industry to near death. Not only is this wrong, as low market demand has been the main limiting factor on Southeast Alaskan logging, but Senator Steven's approach to limiting litigation is misdirected. This approach, one of using riders on appropriation bills to limit the rights of conservation groups to hold the Forest Service accountable for its decisions, will be ineffective.

Tobacco tax hike unfair
Well, it looks like Juneau has once again decided to make the price of something else higher in this town than it is in most other places. I am appalled at the willful robbery of the people's money for different goods and services in this town, but Iam even more upset by the passing of the tobacco tax Tuesday.

More Southeast coverage
One of the big selling points for KTOO now days is local reporters giving us Southeast and Juneau news. With the loss of KING 5 news out of Seattle to KATH, we now have all of our local TV news beamed down from Anchorage telling us the goings on in the Southcentral Alaska area.

Seek different land swap
I applaud Sen. Lisa Murkowski for convening the Sept. 20 hearing on her legislation (S. 1354) to trade away Berners Bay lands to Sealaska and Saxman's Cape Fox Corporations. Following testimony by dozens opposing the trade, the senator made a statement to reporters that Juneauites have benefited from their proximity to Berners Bay, but unfortunately the area is now required to resolve an injustice to Native corporations. Her message suggests that prime Forest Service and other public lands are in a state of limbo, available to the public only until they are traded away. I believe the senator's efforts to fulfil the requirements of ANCSA are largely meritorious. I think the senator wants to do the right thing, but her priorities have short-circuited other fundamental public trust issues. If resolving an "injustice" results in removing prime recreation lands from public ownership, threatening critical fish and wildlife habitats, and bilking taxpayers, there's no resolution at all.

Facts off on salmon story
I am writing to advise you of some errors contained in the article entitled "Fisherman catches salmon that likely escaped from B.C. fish farm," dated Oct. 7. I would like to take this opportunity to correct those errors.

Agree with Kadashan
I agreed with so much of what Kadashan had to say that I forwarded that letter (via e-mail) all over the world. John Collin is the one who missed the mark.

Don't make us a joke
People are actually trying to make this state a joke, arent they? A recall for Governor Murkowski. Well, it is confimed again that this state is full of bickering little children. Come on people. If someone is elected you can criticize them and say what you want, but if you try and recall all you're doing is making it harder for people to do their intended work.

Glad drill coaches are back
Agree with Kadashan

Presidents in perspective
Those who would criticize President Bush might first reflect upon our previous president Bill Clinton. Clinton was almost impeached for lying about his sexual affair with Monica Lewinsky. President Bush's starting a war with Iraq in order to destroy weapons of mass destruction which have yet to be found, thereby killing thousands of Iraqis and many American and British soldiers while spending billions of our tax dollars to do so, is a mere trifle compared to Clinton's treasonous attempt to conceal his sex life from us.

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

Correction
Due to a reporter's error, a story in Friday's Empire misstated the number of comments received by the U.S. Forest Service on a proposal to exempt the Tongass National Forest from the roadless rule. The Forest Service has received 125,000 comments.

Court orders deadline for initiative decision
Anchorage Superior Court Judge Mark Rindner ruled Friday that Lt. Gov. Loren Leman has until Oct. 25 to certify or reject a ballot initiative that would change the way vacancies in the U.S. Senate are filled. The initiative sponsors - Democratic state Reps. Harry Crawford and Eric Croft of Anchorage and David Guttenberg of Fairbanks - took the matter to court after waiting more than a month for Attorney General Gregg Renkes and Lt. Gov. Loren Leman, a Republican, to respond.

No batteries necessary
Gabriella Hebert, 5, cruises her scooter along the path at Twin Lakes on Saturday during a day out with Dr. Emily Kane and her daughter, Katherine, 5, in the background.

Around Town
Today White Horse Christian Training Center Bible training, 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. classes, 7 p.m. evening session, Centennial Hall, Ballroom 3. Details: Margaret, 586-3396 or 209-4590. Low Impact Exercise, 10 a.m., Juneau Senior Center and Valley Senior Center. Details: 463-6175. Toddler Time, 10 a.m., downtown library. Toddler Time at the Mendenhall Valley library starts at 11 a.m. Details: 586-5303. and more...

Tlingit-Haida vocational center offers new truck-driving courses
Michael Jensen of Yakutat, who has worked in the declining logging and fishing industries in Southeast, is looking for a new skill and may find one in the cab of a truck. Jensen, 47, has enrolled in a new commercial driving class at the Tlingit-Haida Central Council's Vocational Training and Resource Center in Juneau. The class prepares students to be truck drivers. "I've been trying to go through some vocational (training) because I was a logger and I'm a fisherman now, and I've been trying to figure out some other sources of income," Jensen said. "I can't go back to logging, and fishing isn't what it could be or should be."

Photo: The Mosquito Fleet
This early 1930s photograph shows the so-called "Mosquito Fleet," Juneau's fishing armada, rafted together at a local dock.

Another day in paradise
Jai Crapella, left, and Tom Lee take advantage of Sunday's clear and calm weather to kayak along the west side of Douglas Island.

Schorr ahead by one vote
Longtime Juneau School Board member Alan Schorr leads William Peters by one vote for the final open seat on the board, according to results from Friday afternoon's tally of absentee and questioned ballots. However, the city will accept ballots postmarked by Oct. 7 until 1 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 14, when the canvassing board meets to certify the election, City Clerk Laurie Sica said. The city mailed out 305 ballots and had received 218 by Friday, she said.

Motivated Montessori teacher was motivated learner to begin with
Children are very good at learning, says Lupita Alvarez. The executive director of the Juneau Montessori School said she watches children learn. She laughed at the idea that people need standardized tests to prove it. Children at her school in Douglas call her Pita. For many, her full first name can be a mouthful, she said. The school encourages independent thinking and questions. One 5-year-old girl recently asked what air is made of. With her teacher, she went to the Internet in search of answers. They learned about air and its components, which are measured in microns.

Empire publisher moves on
Juneau Empire publisher Donald S. Smith will leave the newspaper for a job as publisher of The Grand Island Independent in Nebraska, Morris Communications Co. announced Friday. Morris owns the Empire and 25 other daily newspapers as well as 10 nondailies and 23 free community papers. Smith has served as publisher of the Empire since January 2001. His departure is effective Nov. 10, the company said.

Connecting with Carnegie Hall
Schoolchildren in Juneau and New York City guided Ron the trumpet player and Skippy the squirrel from the Alaska capital to the Big Apple, past sleeping rattlesnakes and rope-skipping girls, in a novel interactive music game Friday. The event - which used sophisticated phone lines in a videoconference between a new concert hall at Carnegie Hall and a studio at KTOO downtown - inaugurated a connection this school year with Carnegie Hall's educational staff.

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

This Day in History
• In 1935, the first bridge to Douglas Island from Juneau, built at a cost of $225,000, was dedicated. • In 1920, Josephine Scott of Hydaburg was the first nurse to graduate from a training course in Alaska by completing a three-year course at the Juneau Native Hospital. • In 1960, Alaska Methodist University, near Anchorage, was formally dedicated, with more than 150 students enrolled. • In 1954, despite the late season, a uranium rush was on as more than 100 Anchorage prospectors rushed to the Shirley Lake area (100 miles northwest of Anchorage) following a strike reported on Oct. 11.

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

Beverly M. Dorsher
Beverly Mae Dorsher, 71, died Sept. 28, 2003, at her home in Douglas. She was born May 28, 1932, in Minneapolis, Minn., to George A. and Isabelle N. Peck. She was a graduate of South High in Minneapolis, Class of 1950. She arrived in Douglas in 1978 and married Gerald J. Dorsher, also a 1950 graduate of South High, in 1980.

Empire Editorial: California dreamin'
Recall fever seems to be spreading in the wake of California's historic recall of Gov. Gray Davis. Now it appears that it is the ambition of a dozen people here in Alaska to mimic what happened in California by suggesting the recall of Alaska's governor. To most people across the land, California's recall was a gut-wrenchingly painful process to witness.

My Turn: Thanking Terry Gardner for helping shape the PFD
As you peer into your bank account to see if your $1,107.56 dividend has arrived, say thanks to former Ketchikan legislator Terry Gardner. Hugh Malone was clearly the founder of Alaska's Permanent Fund and Governor Hammond appropriately earned the nickname "Father of the Dividend." But had former Ketchikan Rep. Terry Gardner not done what he did when he did it, it is unlikely that Alaska's dividend program would exist.

My Turn:Longevity bonus revisited
Speaking to the Pioneers recently, I wondered what remarks might be most appropriate. Coming up with none, I chose the least appropriate. Crusty old cowboy artist Charlie Russell was introduced at a Chamber of Commerce as "one of Montana's foremost pioneers." His response was: "I ain't no pioneer. A pioneer's a feller who comes into the country, traps off all the fur, kills off all the game, cuts down all the trees, plows up all the ground, strings a million miles of bob wire and calls it civilization. I ain't no pioneer and I much preferred this country before all you Pioneers came out here and wish you'd all go back where ya come from." I suspect old Charlie was not accorded a standing ovation.

My Turn: Confronting domestic violence
"What will daddy be like when he comes home today?Will he yell at mama and me again?Will he break anything?Why does he call mama mean names? Why is daddy nice to everyone but us?Could daddy really take me away like he said if mama doesn't do everything he says? How come daddy shoves mama?Maybe daddy would love me more if I shoved her too?But I love my mama!"

Outdoors Digest
Brief outdoor news items from around the state.

Web links
Web sites of interest to local outdoors enthusiasts.

Money for Kenai trail sent south
The dream of the Alaska Mountain and Wilderness Huts Association for 30 miles of new backcountry trail connecting four shelters on the Kenai Peninsula appears to have gone up in the smoke of Western forest fires this summer. Alaska officials with the U.S. Forest Service say the entire $500,000 that U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens, an Alaska Republican, earmarked for construction of new trail and the huts in the Paradise Valley area of the Chugach National Forest near Seward went south to help pay for firefighting.

Out & About
Outdoor recreational events happening in Juneau.

Bowhead whale population rebounds
Bowhead whales, once hunted to the brink of extinction by commercial whalers, are on the rebound in Alaska. The population in Alaska waters - representing about 90 percent of the world's population of bowhead whales - is now estimated to be at about 10,000 animals and growing. The Alaska population, known as the Bering-Chukchi-Beaufort Sea stock, is one of the world's five stocks of bowhead whales. The other stocks swim the frigid waters of Canada and Greenland, Hudson Bay and the Sea of Okhotsk north of Japan.

Record outings
Records are made to be broken. Sure, anyone following sports has heard the phrase uttered when some sports star has eclipsed another star's stats. New records are interesting, but they always seem so distant. So unrelated. What are the chances of any of us breaking the home run record, rushing for the most yards or even getting in Guinness? But wait. Even if most of us don't set records, being part of one can be a perky picker-upper that makes an otherwise routine day memorable. At least that's the way I felt upon learning that Juneau recently set two distinctly different weather records just two days apart.

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.

Where no Bears have gone before
The Juneau-Douglas High School football team will be exploring uncharted territory next weekend when the Crimson Bears play in their first state championship game in team history. The Crimson Bears knocked off the Lathrop Malemutes 33-18 in Friday night's state championship semifinals, and they will play the East Anchorage Thunderbirds for the state title at 1 p.m. Saturday at Anchorage Football Stadium.

East ready for rematch with Juneau
Any coach hates to lose, but a loss may have been the best thing for East Anchorage High School when the Thunderbirds came to Juneau and fell 42-18 to the Juneau-Douglas Crimson Bears in the second week of the season. All season long, the Crimson Bear players felt as if they hadn't played the real East team, and they've said they think Thunderbirds looked past them in that game.

The all-Cook Inlet Football Conference team, as selected by CIFC coaches on Thursday night.
SPECIAL AWARDS Offensive player of the year - Casey Flair, East Anchorage, wide receiver. Defensive player of the year - Joe Lyman, East Anchorage, linebacker. Lineman of the year - Stephan Martinez, Chugiak, offensive guard/defensive tackle. Utility player of the year - Luke Ayer, Dimond, fullback/linebacker/kicker. Head coach of the year - Bob Garman, West Anchorage. Assistant coach of the year - Paul Kongaika, West Anchorage.

Sports in Juneau
NEW CALENDAR ITEM: • Juneau Alpine Club potluck/slideshow - Potluck will be held on Sunday, Oct. 19 at 5:30 p.m. Bring food, and enjoy photos and slides of Mt. Rainier and of a pilgrimage to Mt. Kailash. Info: Tom and Eva Bornstein, 790-4050.

Seven Bears earn first-team honors on all-CIFC team
The Juneau-Douglas High School football team placed seven players in 10 spots on the all-Cook Inlet Football Conference first team, but the Crimson Bears' opponent in Saturday's championship game, the East Anchorage Thunderbirds, claimed two of the player of the year awards.2003

Fight Night Friday gets rolling
Sixteen boxers - including several first-time pugilists - took to the ring at Centennial Hall on Friday for the first-ever Fight Night Friday event. Tim "Rocky" Garcia of Juneau and San Jose, Calif., scored a knockout in the first match of the evening. He defeated Frank Shorty of Juneau in a middleweight (146-174 pounds) bout. In the evening's other middleweight matchup, Wayne "Fu" Smallwood of Juneau beat Shawn Beaird of Juneau and Sitka by unanimous decision.

Alaska Geographic magazine ends 30-year run
After three decades of publication, Alaska Geographic is calling it quits. A dwindling subscriber base has forced the Anchorage nonprofit outfit that publishes the quarterly publication to halt production. The glossy publications have been available on a subscription basis for society members. Individual issues are sold in bookstores and specialty shops as well.

Alaska Digest
News in brief from around the state.

Stevens: Energy bill may have to wait until next yeat
Just a few months ago, Sen. Ted Stevens predicted that a House-Senate committee would produce a national energy bill this fall. But his thinking has changed. "It's entirely possible this bill won't go to the floor until next year," he said.

Murkowski mum about Stevens' rider ending tribal grants
ANCHORAGE - Sen. Lisa Murkowski said she plans to meet with Alaska's senior senator about legislation to end federal grants for tribal police and tribal courts in the state. Murkowski, an Alaska Republican, met this week with Native leaders in Dillingham and Bethel and heard plenty about Stevens' legislative rider that would end the grants. She said she plans to meet with Stevens, also an Alaska Republican, and a group of Alaska Federation of Native members who are coming to Washington, D.C., to discuss the issue.

Nome voters elect first Alaska Native woman mayor
Denise Michels, who was elected mayor of Nome by voters last week, is the first Alaska Native woman to hold the post in the town's 100-year history. A 37-year-old Inupiaq, Michels hopes to establish better communication between Native organizations and the largely non-Native city council.

Opening of Behm Canal herring sac roe fishery will be first in 25 years
KETCHIKAN - The first commercial herring sac roe fishery in more than 25 years will open in West Behm Canal next year, the state Department of Fish and Game said. The Kah Shakes area, south of Ketchikan, however, will remain closed because of low herring stocks.

Longtime Alaskan is ferry's new owner
The Bartlett was transferred Friday to its new owner, a longtime Alaskan and Seattle businessman who bought the 34-year-old state ferry in the last 10 minutes of bidding on eBay. The buyer, who went by the username of Salmon Man 1953 during the online auction that ended Aug. 10, is Lloyd Cannon, the 73-year-old CEO and president of All Alaskan Seafoods, a company he founded in 1975.

Alaska Digest
Two bears hit by cars JUNEAU - Two bears were struck by cars Saturday night in Juneau. In the first incident, at 8:33 p.m., a car hit an adult black bear that was attempting to cross inbound Glacier Highway near Otter Way. The bear was fatally injured, but managed to leave the road and walk into a nearby green belt before dying. Alaska State Troopers removed the bear from the area. The car sustained minor damage. In the second incident, at 10:44 p.m., a car hit a black bear on inbound Mendenhall Loop Road near Cinema Drive. The bear escaped into the woods and appeared to be limbing, police said. The car sustained $4,000 in damage.

A bulldozer runs through it
Psalms sat on Papa Pilgrim's right knee and Lamb perched on his left. Thirteen more of his children - all with names from the Bible, several packing pistols - crowded around. So did his exhausted-looking wife, Country Rose. It was a late summer's evening in Hillbilly Heaven, a 410-acre ranch in eastern Alaska. Outside, the temperature dipped below freezing and the encircling mountains had a fresh dusting of snow. Inside the family cabin, potato soup was steaming on the stove and apple pies bubbled in a wood-burning oven. Supper, though, was on hold.

Pot laws stirring Alaska politics - again
Wev Shea has been fighting Alaska's marijuana laws for more than two decades. And what a long strained trip it's been. As a U.S. attorney in Alaska a decade ago, Shea took a tough stand against illegal drugs and was often criticized for it. In 1990, he backed the initiative that criminalized pot in the state. In 1998, he unsuccessfully fought a voter initiative for medical marijuana. And in 2000, he helped defeat what he called a "bizarre" attempt to legalize marijuana and consider reparations for some drug convicts. "There's a lot of people that still think smoking dope is just as fine as having a glass of wine or a beer," said Shea, 59, of Anchorage. "The general consensus is it really doesn't affect us, and we are free thinkers."

Report: PFD boosts Alaska births
Look around. The person standing next to you could be one of thousands of Alaskans who owe their lives to the Alaska Permanent Fund. In a new study, assistant economics professor Ashley Ahrens of the University of Alaska Southeast in Juneau finds that the annual permanent fund dividend checks have increased the birth rate in Alaska. "I'm pretty confident there has been some effect," he said.

Two men charged in Fairbanks kidnapping and beating
FAIRBANKS - Two Delta Junction men who allegedly donned white sheets, forced an acquaintance into a car and beat him have been charged with kidnapping and assault. Alfred J. Davis, 19, and Roger Terry Jr., 27, were charged Thursday with the attack on Antonio Littleton. Terry also is charged with fourth-degree theft for stealing the 18-year-old's shoes, according to criminal complaints and trooper accounts.

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