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Friday, October 17, 2003

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:

Remembering one fine Southeast restaurant
I wish my parents a wonderful "retirement" now that they have sold one of the finest restaurants that Southeast Alaskahas has ever seen. My parents are Rudy and Mary Pusich, two of the most hard-working and honest parents and business owners around.The "joint," as they would fondly call it, had its best times many years ago we can attest - but they were great times!

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.

Teachers have heard enough excuses
I am a professional teacher. I have 90-plus units over a BA and 20-plus boxes in my garage filled with school materials that I either bought with my own money or gathered on my own time. I have taught for 15 years, as both a classroom teacher and a specialist. I love teaching children and being a contributing member of my community. I do my best to learn as much as I can about both the subject matter I teach and the art of teaching so that I can meet the diverse needs of the many students I work with. I am 10 years from retirement.

Disabled workers' programs are succeeding
Thanks for reporting on the disabled workers event. Disabled people face many hurdles in finding employment in Alaska and America.

Who's going to want Kmart building?
Does anyone not remember the story in last week's edition of the Juneau Empire? The story was about the concern over the five windows that were broken again at Juneau-Douglas High School and as taxpayers why we should keep paying for such destruction of private property.

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.

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.

Soup kitchen becomes sign of the times
The Glory Hole, downtown Juneau's homeless shelter, has many reasons why it will be closed from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. for the rest of the year. But to the shelter's clients, the ones who now spend their days looking for a place to warm up and get a bite to eat, the reasons don't matter. What matters is that one of the main warm places for homeless people in town is unavailable.

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.

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

FYI
Births, judgments and other legal proceedings.

Around Town
Around Town is a list of upcoming nonprofit events in Juneau.

Director named for Juneau libraries
Barbara Berg, an 18-year employee of the Juneau Public Library, was named director of the City and Borough of Juneau library system Thursday. "I'm really happy to do this because I have a really good staff here," the North Douglas resident said. "I'm going to rely on them."

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

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.

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.

Second crossing scoping session slated for November
Local analysts are assessing the results of a telephone survey about a possible second bridge from Juneau to Douglas Island, with public scoping meetings on the project scheduled for early November. Meetings will be Nov. 5 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Baranof Hotel and 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Mendenhall Mall, said Alex Cousins with Oregon-based Jeanne Lawson Associates Inc., an Oregon-based consulting firm working on the project.

Juneau theater shows its first open-captioned film
Diagnosed as deaf when she was 2, Pam Mueller-Guy knows what it's like to watch a movie, not hear any words and ask someone else to explain the action. "I remember doing that to my brothers and sisters when I was growing up, and they didn't want to miss part of the movie," said Mueller-Guy, the deaf services coordinator at SAIL. "So I would go someplace else instead of going to the movies." That's a common problem for the deaf and hard of hearing, and it's why many wait months for a film to come out on DVD, with subtitles, instead of attending a first-run release at the theater.

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

Corrections
Corrections to articles from Wednesday's Empire.

Photo: Blowing in the wind
James Skrzynski corrals a large tarp buffeted by the wind Thursday. Skrzynski is remodeling his home on Second Avenue in Douglas, and high winds ripped the covering off his work area.

Neighbors Digest
Community-related news in brief.

...for dinner and auction help
Trail Mix Inc. thanks the following companies and individuals for generous donations to the annual fundraising dinner and auction on Sept. 13:

Teacher Talk: Sharing the joy of nature with children
I just returned from our annual class field trip to the Methodist Camp for the day. My teaching partner and I take both our kindergartenfirst-grade classes every September. I am spent and exhausted, yet exhilarated. There were 50 (yes 50) kindergartners and first graders along with about 20 incredible adult family members, teachers and assistants. We were fortunate enough to have postponed our trip during the dismal September weather we were having, to a day that was sunny and near 60 degrees. Camp doesn't get much better than this.

Beck and Marshall to wed
Amber Marshall of Juneau and Jacob Beck of Whangaeri, New Zealand, will be married at 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 1, 2003, at Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church in Juneau. A reception will follow at 2:30 p.m. at the Juneau Yacht Club. Friends and family are invited.

Posters: Kids speak against Violence
More than 100 fifth-graders in the Juneau area designed posters for October Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The theme this year was "Home: A Violence Free Zone," and the contest was sponsored by AWARE, a nonprofit organization which runs Juneau's women and children's shelter.

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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: Domestic violence programs useful to those who want help
Clearly the whole issue of domestic violence is emotionally charged. Emotions are charged when violence occurs, when family members witness it, or hear about it happening to someone they love. Emotions are charged when victims seek help, when perpetrators are ordered to treatment programs or to jail, or both. Emotions are charged when funds and services are cut. Emotions are charged when any perceived inequity or injustice is discussed regardless of what sides of the issue are present for the discussion.

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 plays in its first state title game
When the Juneau-Douglas High School football team opened the season, the team's slogan was "Play in October." The Crimson Bears pasted stickers with the slogan on their helmets after every victory, as Juneau went on to win a share of the Cook Inlet Football Conference title and a spot in the state playoffs. After Juneau beat Lathrop 33-18 in last Friday's semifinal playoff game, the Crimson Bears modified the slogan. With a yell of "Win in October!" followed by a chorus of the song "You've Lost That Loving Feeling," the Crimson Bears celebrated their first trip to the state championship game.

Juneau Parks and Recreation volleyball standings
Standings through Oct. 13

Bear spikers dispatch T-Birds in five games
Another day, another five-game match for the Juneau-Douglas High School volleyball team. The Crimson Bears were taken to a decisive fifth game for the second straight day, but this time Juneau won as it knocked off the East Anchorage Thunderbirds 17-25, 25-17, 25-18, 22-25, 15-12 Thursday night at East Anchorage High School.

Channel changes for Bear broadcast
Saturday's state championship football game between Juneau-Douglas and East Anchorage is still going to be shown live on television in Juneau. But for the sake of Notre Dame and USC fans, the channel has been changed from what was originally announced. The state title game, which begins at 1 p.m., will be shown live on cable channel 6 - also known as the Juneau School District channel.

Turning a corner
There isn't much in-between with Ryan West. The Juneau-Douglas High School senior has put everything he's got into forging a stellar season for the Crimson Bear football team - an effort rewarded with all-conference honors and a berth in Saturday's state title game. But to reach the ultimate pinnacle, West had to recommit himself to his family, friends, coaches and team after putting all he had into going the wrong direction last year. Following the death of his father in 2001, he got into trouble with alcohol, drugs and the law, and was suspended from football for most of last season.

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.

Swimmers off to Petersburg
The Juneau-Douglas High School swim team will get its final regular-season tune-up this weekend, as the Crimson Bears travel to a Region V meet in Petersburg. Juneau coach John Wray said 22 swimmers and four divers will head to the Friday-Saturday meet.

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
Sports in Juneau is a service provided by the Juneau Empire to provide information on upcoming sports and outdoors events in Juneau.

Alaska state playoff results
Brackets for the 2003 Alaska State Football Playoffs, which open on Friday, Oct. 3, plus local and state results from previous playoffs.

Photo: Lofting over a Laker
Cleveland Cavaliers forward and Juneau-Douglas High School alumnus Carlos Boozer, right, shoots over Los Angeles Lakers defender Stanislav Medvedenko during the second quarter of Thursday's preseason game in Los Angeles. Boozer had seven points and 16 rebounds in the game, but the Lakers won 86-78.

This Day in History
This day in the nation.

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.

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."

Student newspaper sues over access to police records
The student newspaper of the University of Alaska Fairbanks is suing the university to obtain campus police records of Fairbanks North Star Borough Assemblyman Rick Solie's drunken driving arrest in August. The Sun Star filed its lawsuit after the university denied requests made by the college newspaper, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner and KTVF-TV to release the material.

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.

Court sides with state on fishing fees
The U.S. Supreme Court for the second time has refused to hear arguments in a 19-year fight over the higher fees Alaska charges nonresident commercial fishermen. "This is a positive step that will allow the Alaska courts to continue on their way toward resolving this long-standing dispute," said Attorney General Gregg Renkes. At stake is about $50 million in back fees and interest the state may have to pay if the class action lawsuit ultimately tilts against Alaska.

Alaska Digest
News in brief from around the state.

Friends recall bear attack victim's passion
Family and friends of a California woman who was killed by a bear last week remembered her Wednesday as someone who was happiest while living in the Alaska wilderness. Dozens of people spoke at First United Methodist Church, recalling with tears the stories Amie Huguenard had told about her travels with her boyfriend, Timothy Treadwell. Huguenard and Treadwell were found dead Oct. 6 after a bear attack on the Alaska Peninsula.

Alaska Digest
News in brief from around the state

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."

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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