Wednesday, October 15, 2003

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.

What's happening with Kmart building?
Am I the only one that is still looking at the abandoned Kmart building and wondering what are we going to do about it? I see the vast parking lot with a junker car here and there, vandalism on the side of the building, no parking lot lights and boarded-up windows, still - almost a year after its closure.

Family getting bullied
Your story about the plight of the Pilgrim family at the heavy hands of the National Park Service made me sad. The Pilgrims are Americans, living simply and close to the land. They did not make trouble for their neighbors. They brought joy and helping hands. The NPS seems determined to tell lies and make America think that the Pilgrims are the bad ones.

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.

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?

Some unasked questions in survey
A survey gives us percentages, numbers. The interpretation gives us a "spin." Jack Cadigans' letter in Sunday's Empire pointed this out. According to the survey 52 percent of Juneauites want a road north, 36 percent by a road on the east side and 16 percent by a road on the west side. Thirty-six percent chose improved ferry service. How do we interpret these numbers? Does the survey accurately reflect the opinions of the citizens of Juneau, Skagway and Haines?

Road will benefit tourists, not residents
Last summer I traveled from Skagway to Juneau. My airplane was delayed because of weather and I overnighted in Skagway, hoping to get out the next morning. Next morning there was a lady from Skagway on board who was flying to Juneau to catch a flight on to Anchorage. When the airplane landed in Haines, we picked up a man from Haines who also was flying on from Juneau to Anchorage. Once in Anchorage they would both need to come home again, most likely by air. They had chosen to fly knowing they wouldn't have a car to drive while in Anchorage.

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.

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.

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.

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."

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, Ball Room 3. Details: Margaret, 586-3396 or 209-4590. Day of Quilting, Sewing and Good Fellowship, 10 a.m. every Wednesday, Resurrection Lutheran Church. Quilts donated to Lutheran World Relief. Details: 586-2380. Low Impact Exercise, 10 a.m., Juneau Senior Center and Valley Senior Center. Details: 463-6175.

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.

Two teenage offenders escape while on work detail in the Valley
Two teens assigned to a Johnson Youth Center work detail walked away from their work site Sunday. Alaska State Troopers are seeking Juneau residents' help locating the pair.

Commission OKs youth services expansion
Juneau planning commissioners unanimously approved a conditional-use permit that will allow Juneau Youth Services to house 12 more residents at its Montana Creek campus.

This Day in History
In Alaska • In 1943, the city of Pelican, on Chichagof Island in Southeast Alaska, was incorporated. • In 1946, the first mass air movement of Army families to Alaska, the Pan American "Nursery Special," took off from Seattle, carrying nine Army wives and 11 children to join their families in Fairbanks. • In 1968, the state began its Open To Entry program, allowing the staking of up to five acres of land. • In 1969, a fire of undetermined origin destroyed a major portion of the White Pass & Yukon Route's railroad repair facilities in Skagway.

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.

Initiative backers seek support - fast
Advocates working to change state laws by initiative have less than 90 days to collect the 23,285 signatures needed to make it onto the 2004 ballot.

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.

Police & Fire
Juneau police, fire officials and state troopers reported: Vehicle accidents: • Police reported minor damage from an accident involving a Honda Civic and a Plymouth Neon at 5:17 p.m. Monday at Egan Drive and Mendenhall Loop Road. The Honda reportedly struck the Plymouth. • Police cited a 23-year-old woman alleging she failed to yield at 6:28 p.m. Monday on the Douglas side of the Douglas Bridge. The woman was driving a 1996 Ford pickup truck, which sustained an estimated $5,000 in damage. The other vehicle involved in the accident, a 1997 Ford pickup truck, sustained $3,000 in damage.

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.

Alan Schorr re-elected by one vote
Incumbent Alan Schorr has defeated William Peters by one vote for the last open seat on the Juneau School Board.

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.

UA union sends out strike ballots
Strike ballots have been sent to the approximately 300 members of the Alaska Community College Federation of Teachers, the union representing some faculty members at the University of Alaska, including the Southeast campuses.

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.

Autumn morning
Kurt Mallett strolls around Rotary Park last week as the morning fog rises from a pond.

Pets of the week
SMITTY: Big sweetheart growing from crazy puppyhood PRINCE: Himalayan is noble and, yet, democratic

It's that (flu shot) time of year again
The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, Division of Public Health, Juneau nursing staff is gearing up for another flu season. The kickoff is October and we would like to INFLUENCE you to get a flu shot this year.

Thank you
... from NAMI During this past Mental Illness Awareness Week many individuals, community organizations, churches and agencies worked together to end stigmatizing beliefs surrounding mental illness by raising public awareness. I would like to especially thank Connie Munro of the Unitarians, Mike Christianson of JAMHI, Pat Dobbins of NAMI Juneau, Chris Garrison of Creative Source, the many members of Polaris House, Sharron Lobaugh and all of the participants in the community-wide candlelight vigils. Remember all those who still suffer with mental illness and have hope for their recovery.

Neighbors Digest
Gastineau School promotes reading in the home Local authors and illustrators will be reading and displaying their work tonight during a Family Literacy Night being put on by Gastineau School's teaching staff for the school's children and their families. The goal, said Literacy Leader Barb Campbell, is to make sure that every child who attends takes home a free book and a lifelong love of reading. The theme of the event, titled "Read and Shine Under the Northern Lights," is Alaska children's literature.

George A. Jefferson Jr.
Juneau resident George A. Jefferson Jr., 72, died Oct. 1, 2003, at his home. He was born July 17, 1931, in Red Bluff, Calif. to George A. and Irene (Caha) Jefferson. He graduated from high school in Corvallis, Ore., in 1949. He graduated from Oregon State University in 1957 with a degree in agriculture sciences.

Michilina (Michi) Stephenson
Michilina (Michi) Stephenson died on Oct. 8, 2003, at Virginia Mason hospital in Seattle, Wash.. Her sister, Coni Eickler, can be reached at 14535 C Street South No. 33, Tacoma, WA 98444.

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: Bashing of males on domestic violence ignores facts
I just read Morissa Lou Williams "My Turn" piece about domestic violence and found it to be nothing more than pure militant, femi-Nazi blather. While I understand that domestic violence is a huge issue and that October is Domestic Violence Month (I thought it was Major League Baseball playoff month), what I don't understand is why Ms. Williams' focus is entirely on men.

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.

My Turn:Time to thank productive youths
They're everywhere! They're everywhere! High school students, that is. All summer they were working in tourism and other Juneau businesses. They worked at McDonald's, the Fiddlehead, coffee shops and tour boats. They bagged groceries, checked you out and wished you a nice day. Students babysat and took siblings to parks, the swimming pool and beaches. Many were in summer school or taking classes part of the summer to catch up or get ahead in academics. They were seen on the tennis and basketball courts, riding bikes or walking dogs. Now they have completed the first weeks of school and many are participating in team sports, after-school activities and various part-time jobs after school and on the weekend. They are learning to be responsible and productive citizens in Juneau.

Crimson Bears will get live TV coverage
Local football fans who can't afford to fly to Anchorage for this weekend's state high school championship game will be treated to the next best thing. The Juneau Youth Football League is paying to have Saturday's title game between Juneau-Douglas and East Anchorage shown live, via satellite, on KATH. In Juneau, KATH is broadcast channel 5 and cable channel 15.

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."

Sports in Juneau
NEW CALENDAR ITEMS: • 2003 Fall Skateboard & Rollerblade Competition - Juneau Parks & Recreation/Pipeline Skate Park will hold a competition on Saturday, Oct. 18, at noon, with warm ups beforehand. Helmet use is required. To sign up, pick up a waiver at Poseidon Boardsports Boarderline Snowboards. Late registration will be available on-site on the day of the event starting at 11 a.m. Info: Zach Gordon Youth Center, 586-0456.

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.

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.

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
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.

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.

Court ruling supports use of medicinal pot
SAN FRANCISCO - The U.S. Supreme Court handed a major victory Tuesday to the nine states that allow the medical use of marijuana, refusing to let the federal government punish doctors for recommending pot to their ill patients. The justices declined without comment to review a lower-court ruling that said doctors should be able to speak frankly with their patients.

Alaska Digest
Governor appoints Elkins to Senate JUNEAU - Gov. Frank Murkowski on Tuesday appointed long-time Ketchikan resident James "Jim" Elkins to Senate Seat A, from which Sen. Robin Taylor resigned last month. Elkins is the second generation of a three-generation family of Ketchikan businessmen who have owned and operated a number of Ketchikan businesses over the past 40 years, including a historic bar, restaurant, small hotel, rental properties and an electronics retail outlet.

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.

Labor department: Farmed fish are sinking Alaska fishermen
KENAI - The number of commercial salmon fishermen plying Alaska waters has plummeted 37 percent in the last decade as cheaper farm-raised salmon flooded the market, the state labor department said.

Showing off sharks
Alaska artist Ray Troll holds the jaws of a Great White Shark at the Tongass Historical Museum in his hometown of Ketchikan, as he prepares for the Oct. 17 opening of his "Sharkabet: A Sea of Sharks from A to Z" art show.

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