Posted: Thursday, October 19, 2000

Tax cap topic of forums

JUNEAU - Two public forums have been scheduled on the property-tax cap initiative that will appear as Ballot Measure No. 4 in the Nov. 7 state election.

The Juneau Chamber of Commerce weekly luncheon Friday will focus on the topic, with tax cap opponents Kevin Ritchie of the Alaska Municipal League and Bill Corbus of Alaska Electric Light & Power Co. The luncheon begins at noon in the Hangar on the Wharf banquet room.

Next Tuesday, the Juneau Education Association and the Alaska State Employees Association will hold a panel discussion at 7 p.m. at Centennial Hall.

Panelists, all against the tax cap, include Juneau's legislative delegation, Corbus, former Mayor Dennis Egan and Rich Kronberg, president of the Alaska chapter of the National Education Association. Mayor Sally Smith will moderate the session, which will include questions from the audience.

The tax cap would limit local property taxes statewide to 10 mills, or 1 percent of value.

Early absentee voting offered

JUNEAU - Absentee voting opportunities just moved up more than a week.

The change was made because the ballots for the Nov. 7 general election arrived eight days ahead of schedule, the Division of Elections announced.

"We're delighted this happened because it will allow us to accommodate voters who otherwise might not be able to vote in the election," said Lt. Gov. Fran Ulmer, who supervises the elections division.

The normal start date for absentee in-person voting is Oct. 23. The early arrival of ballots allowed in-person absentee voting to begin Monday. Juneau's absentee voting station is on the first floor of the Court Plaza Building, 240 Main St. For more information, call 465-4611.

The ballot will include candidates for president and vice president, state and U.S. House, judicial retentions and a variety of ballot propositions.

Southeast Boy Scouts help children see

JUNEAU - The Boy Scouts of America, Southeast Alaska Area Council, has partnered with Vision Service Plan to provide free eye exams and glasses to youths.

The program is called Sight for Students. The Scouts will help identify children in need of eye-care services and refer them to a doctor with VSP, the nation's largest provider of eye-care wellness benefits. VSP pledged $7 million to the national program.

Parents must meet certain criteria such as having a family income of no more than 200 percent of federal poverty guidelines. For example, a family of four can have an income of $42,640.

Currently, Southeast Scouts have 44 certificates that can be used by children for a free vision checkup. There are 13 participating VSP eye doctors in Haines, Juneau, Ketchikan, Petersburg, Sitka, Skagway and Wrangell.

For details or an application, call 789-8440.

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