Thursday, October 16, 2003

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.

PFD overhaul remains questionable
Carl Brady's letter on proposed changes to the Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend program provides the same rhetoric we have heard from other proponents. I really need to look at the specifics of their proposal, but for now some off the cuff remarks:

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.

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.

In praise of the Bears
This coming Saturday, the Juneau-Douglas High School football team will play East Anchorage in JDHS' first-ever state football championship game. This is a thrilling end to a great season, and is a tribute to the players, coaches, parents, the Juneau Youth Football League and its board led by President Karen Lawfer.

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.

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.

Photo: S.S. Northwestern, 1933
Taken in 1933, this photograph shows the steamship Northwestern beached on the Eagle River bar north of Juneau. A small boat can be seen to the left, and a man to the right, both dwarfed by the large bow of the Northwestern.

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.

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

City to recount School Board votes next week
The city will recount the votes for the Juneau School Board next Wednesday. Incumbent Alan Schorr defeated William Peters by one vote for one of five open School Board seats, according to official results certified Tuesday. Thirteen citizens, many of whom are teachers, applied for the recount Wednesday afternoon, and within a few minutes the city approved the minimally required 10 signatures. Peters had declined to request a recount.

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

Photo: Story time
Juneau author Nora Marks Dauenhauer reads to students and parents at Gastineau Elementary School's Literacy Night on Wednesday.

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.

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.

Greens Creek environmental impact report due next month
The Forest Service hopes to issue the final environmental impact statement on a proposal by Greens Creek Mining Co. to expand its tailings disposal area by the middle of November, Juneau District Ranger Pete Griffin said Wednesday. The Admiralty Island mine's tailings site is permitted for 29 acres. The proposal expands the facility to 61.3 acres, enough for 20 to 25 years of tailings if the mine continues operating at its current pace.

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.

Sonneman suggests raising cruise-ship tax
City leaders are divided over whether to raise the cruise ship passenger tax after a local lawyer presented his own analysis at Monday night's Assembly meeting. The tax issue comes at a time when advocates are scrambling to have a statewide passenger tax initiative on the 2004 ballot. Joe Sonneman told Assembly members that altering the head tax structure could regulate the cruise ship passenger market in Juneau. Sonneman showed how he believed the city could benefit overall by raising the head tax on passengers.

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.

Hockey league open to women new to the game
It's not unusual to enter Treadwell Arena on any given night and hear the clacking of hockey sticks, the slicing of skate blades on the ice and the shouts from enthusiastic players, coaches and supporters on the sidelines. But on Sunday nights at the arena this fall, some of the faces buzzing by on the ice elicit cries not often heard in Juneau's hockey circles. "Go mommy!" shout kids, their faces pressed against the glass as their mothers skate by.

Photo: Lights over Gastineau
The aurora borealis lights the night sky above Douglas, left, and Juneau on Tuesday night. The unseasonably clear and warm weather has allowed spectacular views of the northern lights.

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.

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

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

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.

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.

Geraldine E. Bales
Juneau resident Geraldine E. Bales, 78, died Oct. 11, 2003, at home.

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.

Steven Victor Hotch
Juneau resident Steven Victor Hotch, 86, died Monday, Oct. 13, 2003, in Juneau.

Easterphine Riley
Longtime Juneau resident Easterphine Riley, 82, died Saturday, Oct. 11, 2003, in New York, N.Y.

Elizabeth Kiefer
Longtime Juneau resident Elizabeth "Betty" L. (Hanifan) Kiefer, 74, died Sept. 12, 2003, in Wenatchee, Wash., after a short battle with cancer.

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.

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.

My Turn: Redefining the Red Dog Mine debate
The Anchorage Daily News' Oct. 11 editorial asked "When federal law says a new power plant at Alaska's Red Dog Mine has to use the best available anti-pollution technology, who gets the final word on what is 'best' - the state or the federal government?" The editorial endorsed the opinion of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals indicating it "makes perfect sense" that the feds prevail. Wrong.

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.

My Turn: City needs a time out and realistic date for new school
Call it a school recess, time out, fall break. Call it whatever you want; just call it! Time out. Acknowledge that the second high school might not be opened by August of 2006 - the timeline is too ambitious and doesn't allow for the inevitable bumps and hiccups that occur when you don't live in a perfect world and when you are thousands of miles away from your suppliers.

Crimson Bear spikers fall in five games
When she looked across the court and saw the red, white and black uniforms of the Juneau-Douglas High School volleyball team, Bartlett senior Meghan Hunsaker didn't care that her Golden Bears had already played Juneau once this season. All that mattered to Hunsaker was Juneau was the defending state champion and the Crimson Bears beat her team in last year's state championship match. "All I could think about was state and how I wanted revenge," Hunsaker said after her Golden Bears claimed a 20-25, 25-22, 24-26, 25-21, 15-8 victory Wednesday night at Bartlett High School.

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.

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.

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.

Crimson Bears get national attention
The Juneau-Douglas High School football team has been getting a lot of attention around the state this season on its run to the state championship game. On Wednesday, the team got a taste of the national spotlight. The Crimson Bears got a short write-up in Wednesday's edition of USA TODAY, highlighting the fund-raising work the players must do each season to pay for equipment and travel costs.

Juneau Parks and Recreation volleyball standings
Standings through Oct. 13

Officials plan to transfer state trails board to another agency
An effort to transfer the state trails board from the Department of Transportation to another agency could largely gut the panel, according to the board's chairman. "The immediate effect will be a re-emphasis on building roads and a de-emphasis on alternate transportation like bicycles and pedestrians," said Ron Crenshaw, chair of TRAAK, the Trails and Recreational Access for Alaskans board. State officials, however, said they are just reorganizing in response to the Legislature's decision to yank money from the trail program.

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's abortion consent law rejected
A Superior Court judge has struck down as unconstitutional a state law that requires minors seeking an abortion to get consent from a parent or judge. Monday's ruling by Anchorage Superior Court Judge Sen Tan drew criticism from Alaska's lieutenant governor. Lt. Gov. Loren Leman, a Republican and former state senator who sponsored the 1997 law, said the ruling "is way out of step with mainstream judicial reasoning."

Stevens: U.S. should consider international sea treaty
The United States should consider entering into an international treaty guiding use of the oceans - but only if it would prevent foreign entities from taking fish surpluses in U.S. waters, U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens said. The Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands region have a huge annual surplus of uncaught pollock, Stevens told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Tuesday as the panel was considering the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

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.

Marine Highway considers move to Ketchikan
State transportation officials are mulling a plan to move the Alaska Marine Highway System here to be closer to its repair facilities. "We're looking at all of the benefits to be derived and trying to assess what the effect is," said Tom Briggs, deputy commissioner for the state Department of Transportation and Public Facilities. "It's a decision that's not being made lightly."

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.

Alaska Digest
News in brief from around the state.

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.

Presidential pardon
With a song about a girl named Lump and another about a tree full of Peaches, The Presidents of the United States of America were one of the biggest bands in the world in the mid-1990s. The Seattle trio sold more than 5 million albums, earned a Grammy nomination in 1996 and - in as clear a sign of omnipresence as any - hailed in 1997 as the featured band on "Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve."

What's happening
Arts and entertainment events this week in Juneau.

Briefly
Arts and entertainment news in brief.

Trio has earned international reputation
More than 40 years ago, when violinist Régis Pasquier was 13, he went on his first tour with cellist Roland Pidoux and pianist Jean-Claude Pennetier, classmates at the National Conservatory of Music in Paris. All three musicians have had successful solo careers since then, but they've managed to find time to play together.

Movies Where & When
Shows and times at local theaters.

Remembering Pasquier's first trip to Juneau
When I was a child I lived in France for four years. I loved the country, the language, the smells of the fields I played in ... everything! I then had to move to Germany for two years, then to Alaska. This was my first experience living in America.

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