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Tuesday, October 14, 2003

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.

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.

Stevens' remarks unfair
I can only imagine what my great grandparents felt in the early 1900s when newcomers flooded to their homes, the lands they had been sovereign on since the beginning of my Athabascan Ancestors' time. Newcomers acted like indigenous peoples didn't have any laws of their own. Sen. Ted Stevens said tribes are a threat to the rest of the state because they are exerting their sovereignty.

Cost of tourism to the infrastructure
Thank God for Linda Snow. In her letter to the Assembly members, published Sept. 28, she finally asked the questions that all property owners and real estate tax owners should ask: How much of the needed raise in water and sewer fees are caused by use of CBJ infrastructure by tourism? Ms. Snow had the drive to research the water use during peak tourism times and found it 25 percent above that during normal times. Further, she checked use of the "Marine Passenger Fee" and found none of it goes towards capital or operating costs of CBJ water/sewer systems.

Trying to solve a mystery
While I know that I have probably waited too late, I write to stir the memories of folks who lived in Juneau in the late '30s. My father's first cousin, Wesley Wyatt, disappeared on the trail from Echo Cove to Eagle River in mid-November of 1938. I have in my possession correspondence from many who played a part in trying to explain the circumstances to Wesley's relatives here in Tennessee. These include U.S. Deputy Marshall Walter Hellan and Commissioner Felix Gray, as well as people Wesley had personal contact with, such as Milo Clouse, who was a member of the hunting party Wesley had been with aboard the boat Fearless, which was captained by Fred Patrick. The boat, having become disabled and anchored in Echo Cove, provided the circumstances for Wesley to set out over the newly built government trail which connected with the highway at Eagle River. No trace was ever found.

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.

Bears on the Web?
The Juneau-Douglas High School Crimson Bears have had a great season. It's nice to see a Juneau football team have the opportunity to garner its first state championship. But where are the webcasts?

Halibut
Fisherman Ian Fisk baits halibut gear Monday aboard the fishing vessel Steadfast at Auke Bay harbor. Fisk and other members of the crew will be going halibut fishing for the next week in Icy Strait. It has been the best year ever for halibut fishing, pricewise, Fisk said. Fishermen have been getting more than $3 per pound for halibut.

AroundTown
Valley Toastmasters meeting, 6:10 a.m. every Tuesday, Henry's. Details: Jim, 789-3074. White Horse Christian Training Center Bible training, 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. classes, 7 p.m. evening session, Centennial Hall, Ball Room 3. Details: Margaret, 586-3396 or 209-4590. Sewing Circle, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Valley Senior Center. Details: Betty, 789-7236. Life Ring, a support group for women, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. every Tuesday and Thursday, Cathedral of the Nativity basement, Fifth and Gold streets. Lunch is provided, all are welcome. Details: Cathedral of the Nativity, 586-1513. Quilting Circle, noon-4 p.m. every Tuesday, Valley Senior Center. Sponsored by the Quilting Resource Center. Details: Betty, 789-7236.

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.

Raising awareness of disabled employees
People with disabilities in Juneau will head to their "dream jobs" Wednesday, thanks to a disability mentoring day organized by Southeast Alaska Independent Living. "Many people with disabilities do work, but often it's janitorial-type work, sorting paper or something like that," said Sierra Kaden, director of Outdoor Recreation and Community Access, a branch of SAIL. "But they have dreams and goals the same as everybody else, and there's many jobs they're interested in."

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

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."

Assembly approves hike in water, sewer rates
The city Assembly raised sewer rates 39 percent and water rates by 19 percent after members debated alternatives to cushion the blow to consumers. The flat residential and commercial sewer rates will go up from $39.50 to $54.91 per month. The flat residential and commercial water rates will increase from $19 to $22.61 per month. Those rates take effect Dec. 1 and will continue through July 1, 2007, when the city starts its new fiscal year, Public Works Director Joe Buck said. After July 1, 2007, the city will reevaluate the water and sewer rates, he said.

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.

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.

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.

Robert Hale named new Empire publisher
Robert Hale, a Georgia publisher with experience reporting, editing and working in advertising sales, has been named the new publisher of the Juneau Empire, Morris Communications Co. announced Monday. Morris owns the Empire, 25 other daily newspapers, 10 nondailies and 23 free community papers.

This Day in History
In Alaska• In 1964, the Anchorage City Council appointed a 28-person committee to put together a bid for the 1972 Winter Olympics. In the nation • In 1865, Sydney Laurence, Alaska's most famous artist, was born in Brooklyn, NY. He lived until 1940. • In 1890, Dwight D. Eisenhower, 34th president of the United States, was born in Denison, Texas. • In 1912, Theodore Roosevelt, campaigning for the presidency, was shot in the chest in Milwaukee. Despite the wound, he went ahead with a scheduled speech.

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...

Lemon Creek officer fired following sexual allegations
A Lemon Creek Correctional Center officer was dismissed Monday amid allegations that he had engaged in sexual activity with a female inmate. Lemon Creek Superintendent Daniel Carothers said that after an investigation into the matter, "the ultimate administrative action" was taken against the officer. He referred the matter to Alaska State Troopers, who will investigate the case for possible sexual assault charges. Trooper Sgt. David Tracy in Juneau said Monday the matter remains under investigation.

Police & Fire
Juneau police, fire officials and state troopers reported: • Police arrested a 48-year-old man on a charge alleging theft at 7 p.m. Sunday near South Franklin Street. The man was lodged at the Lemon Creek Correctional Center. • Police arrested a 31-year-old man on a charge alleging theft at 8:22 p.m. Sunday near South Franklin Street. The man was lodged at the Lemon Creek Correctional Center. • A man reported the theft of his gray Nokia cellular telephone at 10:14 a.m. near Mendenhall Mall Road.

Whale Tail
The fluke and dried out skin are all that remain of the gray whale that was found dead and floating in Stephens Passage this summer. It beached near Point Hilda on the west side of Douglas Island. All of the bones have been scavenged or have washed away.

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.

Compromise on Juneau access
I 've been a long-time supporter of building a road from Juneau to Skagway. However, after reading Thursday's newspaper article titled "Survey says Juneau Split on Road Debate" it became clear to me the importance of finding a compromise plan that the residents of Juneau, Haines and Skagway can all come together on. This plan would then be presented to the Department of Transportation (DOT) as the preferred alternative for the region. The alternative plan I am suggesting is as follows:

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!"

Permanent fund payout change will bring stability
There have been a number of recent articles and opinion columns regarding the Permanent Fund Board of Trustees' percent of market value (POMV) payout proposal, often referred to as the "5 percent solution." I would like to reinforce the board's perspective on this issue and clarify some misconceptions that have been placed in front of the public.

Sports in Juneau
NEW CALENDAR ITEM: • American Red Cross Wilderness First Aid Basics Course - The American Red Cross will be holding a 16-hour course on first-aid basics for those who live, work or play in remote areas. The class will combine lectures, skills practice and role-play learning to teach the response steps and treatment for injuries and illnesses in delayed-help situations. The class costs $125, and sessions will be held on Wednesday and Thursday, Oct. 22 and 23, from 6 to 10 p.m. and on Saturday, Oct. 25, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Red Cross' Southeast Alaska District office, 3200 Hospital Drive, Suite 203. Deadline for registration and payment is Oct. 17. The class has a minimum of eight students and a maximum of 12. Info: American Red Cross, 463-5713.

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

Crimson Bears finish undefeated at Small Schools Tournament
A group of Juneau-Douglas High School's younger varsity volleyball players went undefeated at last weekend's 2003 Small Schools Tournament in Sitka. Juneau 1 went 10-0 in pool play at the tournament, earning a bye in the first round of Saturday's single-elimination championship bracket. In the semifinals, Juneau 1 beat Juneau 2 - a group of junior varsity players - 25-23, 25-15 - to earn a spot against undefeated Hoonah in the final. In the best two-of-three match, the Crimson Bears beat the Braves, 25-14, 19-25, 15-8.

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.

LeBron James makes home debut with Cavs
CLEVELAND - Sitting in a locker room recliner, LeBron James peeked over his shoulder at the white No. 23 Cavaliers jersey he'll wear in the NBA. "It's like a dream come true," he said. James has another vision. "One day," he said eyeing his new jersey, "I hope it hangs from the rafters, too."

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.

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."

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.

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.

Wildlife haven pits governor against the rest
PERENOSA BAY, Alaska - If sea mammals, birds of prey and giant bears went to a shared heaven, it might look like Perenosa Bay. This place is a storm-sheltered, plankton-rich, fish-packed playpen for whales, harbor seals, sea lions and sea otters. On shore, scores of bald eagles perch like Christmas ornaments in forests of 400-year-old Sitka spruce. Eagles are fat this time of year, after a long season of gorging on spawning salmon. So are the kodiak bears that have left thousands of calling cards on riverbanks: gnawed salmon, the bears being too full to eat all they can easily catch.

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.

Collisions kill 6 bears in Anchorage, pushing up brown bear mortality
Anchorage - Four brown bears and two black bears have died in traffic collisions in Anchorage this season, resulting in a record brown bear mortality since hunting was banned from most of the city three decades ago. Collisions also killed and maimed black bears in Juneau over the weekend. A black bear died Saturday night after it was struck by a car as it crossed a road. Two hours later a black bear was hit by a car on another road. Juneau police say the animal limped into the woods.

Alaska Digest
Overdue hikers located by helicopter Monday JUNEAU - Two University of Alaska Southeast students overdue from a hike were found in good health by a Temsco helicopter crew Monday morning. Charles Lindley, 23, and Andy Kittleson, 22, were dropped off at about 4 a.m. Sunday on West Glacier Trail, Alaska State Troopers reported. The students were expected to hike up West Glacier to Mount Stroller-White. They were due to return by 10 p.m. Sunday or no later than 8 a.m. Monday, troopers reported.

State scales back plan to privatize contracts
The state's plan to privatize contracts for supplies, services and construction in some agencies may get scaled down, following complaints from unions and the discovery that it would result in a loss of millions in federal transportation dollars. The privatization plan was established by the Alaska Legislature this year under House Bill 313 by Anchorage Republican Rep. Lesil McGuire.

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.

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.

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