Friday, October 18, 2002

Features proliferate, costs slump
The two providers of local residential phone service in Juneau are relying on their accessories to lure customers to their companies.The cost of basic local phone service may be pretty much the same now that General Communication Inc. is competing with Alaska Communications Systems to provide residential phone service to Juneau residents. GCI began offering local service last spring.

Business briefs
Business center to host seminar on record keeping; Awards given for service to disabled; AFN convention boosts Anchorage

On the Move
ACS Wireless has hired Diana Spann to be its statewide customer service manager.

In the Tank
A look at gas prices around town

Business Profile: Linda Deyette
Title and Company: Assistant general manager, Glacier Restaurant

Phone firms lock horns
Juneau residents have had a choice in local phone service since spring. But officials from General Communication Inc., the new provider on the block, believe competition has been hindered because its customers are having difficulty getting phone service installed through Alaska Communications Systems. GCI leases part of ACS's local network as a result of the federal Telecommunications Act of 1996, which was passed by Congress to increase competition in the telecommunications industry and secure lower prices and better service for consumers.

Reconciler, healer
In my life I have known few people who had the gift of standing firmly and passionately for what they believe while at the same time able to listen attentively and compassionately to those who hold entirely opposite points of view.

Negative campaign?
I've known Annette Kreitzer for two years and have never known her to be dishonest, but her le

A supporter of the fishing industry
Alaska's independent fisherman are fortunate to have a gubernatorial candidate who considers commercial fishing one of Alaska's most important industries. Fran Ulmer has worked tirelessly during her time as lieutenant governor to promote, champion and learn from Alaska's commercial fisherman. As governor, she will bring a wealth of expertise, experience, and keen insight to bear on the challenges currently facing Alaska's fisheries.

Honor public service
Nov. 5 is just a few weeks away and before the present administration leaves office commendations ought be made for a fantastic, almost surreal, dedication public service departmental employees - guided by gubernatorial appointees, the lieutenant governor and the governor himself - have made over the last eight years.

A rare opportunity
On Nov. 5 many of us have the privilege of being able to vote. I am writing to encourage all of you who are qualified to do that and for a gifted candidate. As an educator I have spent time each election year teaching children the importance of that voting privilege and why they too should vote some day. As for now the rest of us have to show them why it is important.

Concern and understanding
I am a 72-year-old senior citizen employed full-time and still actively involved in observing the political arena and legislation that affects our city and state. I wholeheartedly support Cathy Muñoz for Juneau's Senate seat.

Gossip, not murder
I would like to respond to Wednesday's letter from Stephanie Viche. When I was in high school, kids didn't talk about killing other kids, they gossiped about other kids. There were occasional fights between the guys, but they always were friends again. The drugs in our school never consisted of chemicals and those who used drugs were "stoners" and considered outcasts or misfits.

Honor public service
Nov. 5 is just a few weeks away and before the present administration leaves office commendations ought be made for a fantastic, almost surreal, dedication public service departmental employees - guided by gubernatorial appointees, the lieutenant governor and the governor himself - have made over the last eight years.

Consensus-builder
When the 23rd Alaska Legislature begins its work this January it will be much changed from the body which preceded it. Juneau has a wonderful opportunity to elect a senator with the vision, drive and personality to be an important part of this new body - a body that will have a big voice in the direction Alaska takes as it faces some serious challenges.

Vote on subsistence
Frank Murkowski's position on subsistence is as murky as his economic plan. Murkowski wants rural voters to think he supports subsistence rights and white urban Republicans to think he does not. In truth, of course, it is the GOP-controlled Legislature, working behind closed doors, that has blocked a public vote on subsistence for the past eight years. Gov. Knowles and the Democratic minority have fought hard to let the people decide the issue in a fair and open election. An overwhelming majority of Alaskans want a public vote on subsistence.

Give Cathy a chance
While I am a registered Democrat and usually vote that way, I'm convinced the best choice for this year's local senate race is Cathy Muñoz. I believe Cathy deserves a chance to be our Senator given her performance on the Assembly.

Leadership and courage
Alaska needs Fran Ulmer's leadership to navigate our path to fiscal solvency. As an ardent champion of responsible development Fran supports opening ANWR and will continue to push for other responsible resource development projects. That's why people whose work depends on development - the carpenters, ironworkers, electrical workers, plumbers and pipefitters unions - are all supporting Fran Ulmer.

Recycled promises
No one should be surprised that Frank Murkowski would believe he can build his super projects without concerns about funding. He is a banker. He will simply borrow the money from your Permanent Fund divided.

We need Bruce
As a commercial fisherman, public employee and life long Alaskan, I am joining other Juneauites committed to continuing the leadership and legislative integrity by sending Bruce Weyhrauch to the Legislature on Nov. 5.

Mystery bird
Don't laugh. Here in Sitka, when my husband and I were doing our volunteer stint cleaning up the local Halibut Point Recreation Site, we sighted two birds that this article (Empire, Oct. 15) describes.

Zoned out
I was not going to write in and voice my opinion or make any comments on who I thought would make the best choice for our next governor. However, after Tuesday's debate and Wednesday's Empire article I feel compelled to make comment. For Lt. Gov. Fran Ulmer to make a completely rude and demeaning comment about another candidate in the manner she did is unforgivable. How dare she say, "Twilight Zone" when referring to another candidate's challenge (Libertarian Party candidate Billy Toien) of her knowledge of her job? She quite obviously did not know the answer and like a juvenile delinquent struck out verbally in a manner not worthy of any adult, much less a candidate for governor.

The best choice
It is my pleasure to write this letter on behalf of Cathy Muñoz, candidate for Juneau's seat in the Alaska Senate. Cathy is a long-term Juneau resident, with deep roots in this community and is a member of a notable family with a long history of public service. She is well established here as a successful downtown business owner, and she is also a nurturing and supportive wife and mother.

Demonstrated leadership
I first met Fran Ulmer when she served in the 17th Legislature as a member of the House Finance Committee during one of her terms as a state representative for Juneau. I was an aide to the vice chairman of the House Finance Committee and saw first hand her strong leadership abilities. She was always well informed about the issues and she worked tirelessly to get fiscally responsible bills passed that were a benefit to the entire state, not just for the Juneau area. She was a team player and had the respect of other more senior legislators, in addition to her ability to work well with members of the opposing party.

Mine boat to the rescue
On Oct. 8, the F/V Avalon hit a rock and sank in the mouth of Hawk Inlet. The skipper got a mayday off and vessels from near and far came to the rescue as they always do in this area of sea travel. But one crew went above and beyond the usual call of duty and that was the workers at the Greens Creek Mine.

The reading tragedy
Forty-five percent of the primary grade children in the Juneau school district cannot read or do not read to grade level. A child who enters the fourth grade as a struggling or nonreader will fail.

Still amazed
I wholeheartedly agree with what Kim of F/V Lea wrote about the crew from Greens Creek mine. They made a tireless effort in getting the crew off of the F/V Avalon and gathering lost articles

Filling Hudson's shoes
Juneau has been an excellent hostess to the seasonal migration of the Legislature. And Juneau has been well represented in that body by Bill Hudson. From my perspective, and I have been employed in just about every segment of the workforce; private sector, city, state, local and federal - including more than 12 legislative sessions - Rep. Bill Hudson has served us with incredible distinction.

FYI
Births, Marriage License, Divorce, Court

Photo: Youth center totem
Master Tlingit carver Michael L. Beasley installs a new 7-foot-tall house post depicting the "Tlingit Uncle" on Wednesday at the Johnson Youth Center. Beasley spent about 14 weeks carving the cedar totem for the facility.

Idaho puts albino moose off-limits to hunters
A group of eastern Idahoans smitten by a white moose have persuaded the state to make the animal off-limits to hunters.

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

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

EPA says planning commissioner broke law
Juneau Planning Commissioner Jody Vick violated the federal Clean Water Act by placing fill in tidelands near his Douglas home this summer without federal permits, officials said.Vick also failed to get a required city grading permit, according to city officials. But Vick said he just was trying to stabilize a run-down bank of dirt and rock on Gastineau Channel and beautify an area along First Street for public use. He said he didn't realize he needed permits for the work.

Foster: Outdoor enthusiast searches for next adventure
Scott Foster has ascended Mount McKinley twice, kayaked through treacherous weather all around Southeast Alaska, and is about to take the biggest risk of his life - quitting his day job to search for his next great adventure.

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

Photo: Buoy removal
U.S. Coast Guard member Mike Lombardo, left, detaches buoys from chains as crew mates Raymond Attaway, David Quigley and Scott Self bring in the last of the Mendenhall Bar buoys for the winter season on Wednesday.

86-year-old pedestrian fatally injured
An 86-year-old man died from injuries sustained after being struck by a car Wednesday night as he tried to cross Mendenhall Loop Road near Tongass Boulevard. Lloyd Dedrick, who worked as a paper carrier for the Empire, was pronounced dead at Bartlett Regional Hospital. No charges are pending against the 45-year-old woman who drove the car, said police Sgt. Ben Coronell. Police did cite her for failure to show proof of insurance.

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

Onset of winter means adapting to, marveling at nature
There it is. Up on the mountain-top. That white stuff - "termination dust" - here one day, gone awhile, then back again. One of these days, it will start creeping lower - and lower - and lower. My office window looks out upon Mount Roberts and gives me a great vantage point from which to observe winter's first tentative touch. How advantageous it is, I think to myself, to be able to see winter coming. It gives me time to prepare, to dig the studded tires out of the back of the garage, to make the appointment to have them mounted and the car winterized, to turn off the hose bibs, disconnect the hose, coil it and store it in the garage (where the tires were, of course).

4-H participants win awards
At the recent Centennial 4-H Party and awards program, 4-Hers from Juneau were awarded District Medals and winners of the statewide 4-H Demonstration contest were noted. Two Juneau youth, were awarded the Walt McPherson, 4-Her of the year plaque.

Everyone sets an example
What's the point of having a dream if you are only going to dream about it? And what's the point of having a goal if you're not willing to sacrifice everything to achieve that goal?

Challenger center seeks board members
The Challenger Learning Center of Alaska is recruiting people to serve on the board of directors. Seats are open for one-, two- and three-year terms.

Thank You
...for your support On behalf of the JDHS girls' volleyball team, I would like to extend our thanks and appreciation to Carrs-Safeway, Costco, Fred Meyer, Super Bear Supermarket and the many parent volunteers for their donations of time and goods to host the Juneau Invitational Volleyball Extravaganza (JIVE) team luncheon on Oct. 12. There were many teams from out of town participating and the luncheon was greatly appreciated by all.

Freeman, Morgan marry
Heidi E. Freeman of Juneau and Aaron D. Morgan of Juneau were married in a ceremony on Aug. 15, 2002, at Walt Disney Worlds Wedding Pavilion in Orlando, Fla. A reception followed at the Grand Floridian Resort.

AWARE to show film at Silverbow tonight
AWARE will screen "What's Love Got to Do With It?" at 8 p.m. tonight at The Backroom at the Silverbow. This is an event to raise awareness about domestic violence. Domestic violence is the largest cause of injuries to women, exceeding rape, robbery and auto accidents combined.

Baldwin, Cassell wed
Robin Denise Baldwin and Wesley Kenneth Cassell were married in a ceremony on Oct. 4, 2002 in Las Vegas, Nev.

Senegal pastor to perform services
Pastor Adama Diouf, one of Senegal's foremost Christian leaders, will be performing services and talking at Chapel by the Lake this weekend.

Evans C. Willard
Evans C. Willard died Oct. 16, 2002, at his home in Haines. He died four days shy of his 71st birthday with family members at his side.

Who should be Alaska's next governor?
It's not often in politics that important questions have simple answers. But with the choices available to voters this year, the question of who should be Alaska's next governor has a clear answer: Frank Murkowski.

My Turn: Tongass land swap is a boondoggle
With all due respect for the junior senator from Alaska's ardent and longstanding efforts to bring business to Alaska and to create new and high-paying jobs for Alaskans, I sincerely believe the junior senator has a well-documented blind spot when it comes to protecting the environment. The junior senator from Alaska seems not to recognize that clearcutting Alaska's forests on the one hand, and fostering increased Alaska tourism on the other, are mutually exclusive goals. Also, when Tongass National Forest in Southeast Alaska is involved, the junior senator seems particularly insensitive to preserving what remains of pristine acreage in the Tongass.

A prelude to the big swim meets
One more chance to fine-tune technique, one final occasion to fiddle with lineups, one last opportunity to get experience under the pressure of competition.

Crimson Bears stay undefeated
The Juneau-Douglas High School volleyball team remained undefeated on the season after sweeping the East Anchorage Thunderbirds, 15-1, 15-11, 15-6, during a non-conference match Thursday night at East Anchorage High School.

No rest for weary Juneau volleyball team
The Juneau-Douglas High School volleyball team didn't get much of a chance to savor its victory in last weekend's Juneau Invitational Volleyball Extravaganza (JIVE Tournament).The undefeated Crimson Bears headed north early this morning for a match against East Anchorage High School tonight. Juneau then goes across town to play in the Service-Dimond Tournament on Friday and Saturday, a tournament so large it has matches scattered at three different schools for the varsity level, and seven schools with the junior varsity and C team brackets.

Sports in Juneau
Information on upcoming sports and outdoors events in Juneau.

Local Scores
Scores from local sports 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.

Judge to reconsider banishing sexual offender from town
The wife of a convicted child abuser believes her husband should come home to Kivalina. This week the Alaska Court of Appeals gave her reason to hope. The court has ordered a judge to reconsider his sentence that banished 44-year-old James Rodney Booth for three years from the northwest coastal village, as punishment for sexually abusing a 14-year-old girl from the village.

Poll shows Ulmer and Murkowski nearly even
ANCHORAGE - Democratic gubernatorial candidate Fran Ulmer has closed the gap between her and Republican rival Frank Murkowski, according to a poll released late Wednesday.Lt. Gov. Ulmer, who trailed Murkowski by 20 percent in polls last spring, is now about even with the Republican contender, according to a poll commissioned by KTUU-TV Channel 2 in Anchorage.

Gubernatorial candidates face off over budget
ANCHORAGE - Gubernatorial candidates Republican Frank Murkowski and Democrat Fran Ulmer sparred over the state budget, subsistence and oil development in a debate via phone link Wednesday. Lt. Gov. Ulmer sat on the podium at the Hotel Captain Cook, where Commonwealth North held the debate. The Republican U.S. senator joined the debate by teleconference from Washington. A place for Murkowski, who returned to Washington, D.C. on Tuesday to meet with congressional Republicans about an energy bill, was occupied by a large color photograph propped up before a microphone and speaker.

Student loan rates at all-time low
Alaska student loan interest rates are the lowest they have ever been thanks to a new state program, said Diane Barrans, executive director of the state Commission on Postsecondary Education. "I do believe at this time the federal loans that we are offering are the lowest in the country," Barrans said.

State Briefs
Bush signs law to transfer Adak base to Aleuts; Director named for science and technology foundation; Saxman council candidate gives up after tie; Alaska motorist killed in Yukon accident; Seldovia officials grapple with budget crunch; Anchorage Assembly wants ex-candidate to pay legal fees;

Dispatcher error delays response to shooting
ANCHORAGE - An Anchorage police dispatcher's mistake on a 911 call resulted in an hourlong delay in the response to a fatal shooting last week, police and city officials said Wednesday.

Phone users stung by feud
Telephone customers say they've been caught in the middle of bickering by phone companies and are getting bad service as a result. The Regulatory Commission of Alaska ordered a hearing that began Thursday to investigate a recent surge of customer complaints about delays in getting new phone service. The commission told Alaska Communications Systems and General Communication Inc. to provide answers on the issue.

State could lose millions in Medicare payments
ANCHORAGE - Alaska stands to lose $10 million in Medicare payments to physicians by 2005 unless Congress intervenes, according to the American Medical Association.Jim Jordan, executive director for the Alaska State Medical Association, said Tuesday such a loss would threaten access to health care for the elderly.

Subsistence fish sales scrutinized
The Federal Subsistence Board is taking public comment on the sale of salmon taken by subsistence fishermen. Since the federal government took over management of subsistence fishing throughout much of rural Alaska, rural residents are allowed to sell small amounts of salmon for cash.

Jobless rate rises in September
Alaska's unemployment rate rose to 6.3 percent in September, up more than a percent from the figure a year ago, the state Department of Labor and Workforce Development reported Thursday.

At least 143 caribou killed by avalanche last winter
ANCHORAGE - At least 143 caribou were killed in a devastating avalanche in the Kenai Mountains last winter, according to a biologist who helped count the skulls."It's the only incident I've ever heard of where so many animals from such a small herd were taken out," said Rick Ernst, a biologist and pilot for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Bristol Bay king crab fishery brings second-highest price
The Bristol Bay red king crab fishery opened this week in the Bering Sea with the second-highest price ever paid to fishermen. The Alaska Marketing Association, which negotiates prices for fishermen, accepted a price of $6.12 a pound from Unisea Inc. on Oct. 10. The following day, Trident Seafoods posted $6.15 a pound and several other processors matched that price, according to Erling Jacobsen of AMA.

Moose gazing
Vincent Brown, 3, watches a young moose Thursday as the animal eats grass in front of Ridgeway Preschool in Soldotna.

Knowles seeks release of information on biological tests
Gov. Tony Knowles has asked U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld to declassify and release all information on nerve and biological testing in Alaska.

Fish prices spark state emergency
Gov. Tony Knowles declared a statewide economic emergency Thursday for a salmon industry suffering from poor prices.

State checks out storm damage to coast
Officials with the state Division of Emergency Services have traveled to Northwest Alaska to inspect damage from a fierce storm that ate away the shoreline of coastal communities last week.

What's happening
Concerts

Bellamy Brothers
Twenty six years after the Bellamy Brothers hit the charts with their first top 40 hit, "Let your Love Flow," the duo is still going strong. The brothers roll into Juneau this weekend with a five-piece band for a concert at 7 p.m. Sunday at Centennial Hall. Country singer and songwriter Wayne Carson will open the show. This summer the band released a new CD, "Redneck Girls Forever," which featured the single, "Over the Line." The album's title is reminiscent of the brother's No. 1 song from the early 1990s, "Redneck Girl."

Opera To Go receives $5,000 grant
JUNEAU - The Juneau nonprofit group Opera to Go has received a $5,000 grant to help produce "The Turn of The Screw." The opera will be performed in Juneau in February and is based on Henry James' classic Victorian ghost story.

Belly dancing workshop with guest artist
JUNEAU - Dance instructor Amaya from New Mexico will teach a weekend belly dancing workshop Oct. 17 through Oct. 20 at the American Legion Hall in Auke Bay. The workshop is sponsored by the Juneau Middle Eastern Dance group Daughters of the New Moon.

Show creates new season for flowers
Flowers have long ago disappeared from Juneau's gardens and forests, but four artists are doing their part to keep some color alive this fall. An art exhibit called "Flowers Before the Frost" opens Friday at Gallery Art and Framing, featuring the work of Tony Pope, Marion Simpson, Alice Tersteeg and Carole Baker.

Best Bets: Celebrating the venerable, reshaping a classic
Juneau is enjoying the full onslaught of the fall arts and entertainment season. The Juneau Arts and Humanities Council is offering its biggest event of the year next week, and films, art exhibits and musical opportunities abound.

Movies where & when
"Tuxedo," (PG-13) ends Thursday, Oct. 17, last show at 6:30 p.m. at Glacier Cinemas.

Jay Thomas performs in Juneau
JUNEAU - Musician Jay Thomas, who plays trumpet, fluegelhorn, saxophone and flute is joining Juneau's Thunder Mountain Big Band and Rainlight Jazz Quartet for performances Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 19 and 20.

What's up with that?
Q: Why aren't there any topless and/or bottomless dancing bars in Juneau? In fact, why aren't there any in Southeast (now that the one in Ketchikan has been closed for three ye

Musicians play tribute to doyenne of the arts
Jane Stewart put singers, actors, dancers and musicians on Juneau's stages for more than 40 years. "She was involved in practically everything musical in this town," said Mary Watson, a lifelong Juneau musician and a piano teacher who took her first lessons from Stewart in the late 1950s.

New twist on Dance Classic
The Juneau Arts and Humanities Council's biggest event of the season, the Australian Dance Theatre, almost fell apart last week. "Talk about a community that has stepped up to the plate at the last minute," said arts council director Sybil Davis. Despite a few snags, the dance company will perform as scheduled Wednesday, Oct. 23, thanks to a cadre of volunteers and local businesses that have offered to donate materials and labor to build a dance floor on the stage at Centennial Hall.

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