Monday, October 21, 2002

In the Stacks: New non-fiction
The topic of the week is non-fiction!

Fully responsible
I absolutely agree with Mr. Prussing when he writes (Empire, Oct. 16) about a lawsuit-happy society. My family has personally been the target of lawsuit-happy neighbors. But how does Mr. Prussing make the jump from Ms. Johnnie, "doing nothing criminally wrong" to, as he put it "not being at fault." In the state of Alaska, and in Washington state as well, when you get a driver's license, and you drive on public roads, you assume some responsibility for your actions. If you happen to run down a pedestrian in a crosswalk you are at fault. And you better pray you have insurance!

Fran communicates
The next governor has to be a really professional communicator to handle many urgent issues. Fran Ulmer stands out in this endeavor. In contrast, her opponent, Frank Murkowski, has proven to be weak in this respect.

Zero votes at election central
It's Election Day and the candidates waited uneasily at Election Central for the results from the first district to ring in. Tensions were high, but were soon broken by the bizarre, almost taboo numbers that spilled out across the board; zero Murkowski, zero Kerttula.

Ultimately responsible
I am forced to reply to an unfounded statement made by Mr. Prussing in his Oct. 16 letter wherein he asserts that the accident victim's family, if not suing for wrongdoing, must be trying "to profit from a tragic event."

Standing with us
I must voice support for my Sen. Kim Elton. He and I have much in common. We graduated from JDHS in 1966, friends then and now; we are both Vietnam veterans; we both play golf (what else is left for aging athletes?); I'm an actor, he's a politician - both on stage, but his the far more difficult job. I get to bow and go home. He has to be available to us all day every day and is.

Independent thinker
I recently attended a chamber luncheon featuring a debate of the House candidates running for office in Juneau. Many have described Tim Grussendorf as a moderate Democrat or "Egan Democrat," a staffer representing the working-class or fishermen of the state. I see Grussendorf as highly experienced having worked in the Legislature for 10 years and gained insight and knowledge of the legislative process. Granted many know Tim because of his father, Ben Grussendorf.

Extreme partisans
Candidates for elected office often claim they are non-partisan. Cathy Muñoz has clearly adopted this strategy while quietly implicating Sen. Kim Elton as a divisive, partisan legislator. Both tactics are misleading.

Ruling with an iron fist
Imagine America where no one voted. Corrupt politicians would rule Congress, make underhanded deals in an effort to run the country. Oh wait! That's America today! Imagine the world where no one voted, the entire world would be ruled not by a corrupt Congress, but a corrupt dictator, who would run the world with an iron fist.

Muñoz most-qualified
I support Cathy Muñoz because she is the most qualified person to represent our community. She brings fresh ideas and a sense of accomplishment that Juneau desperately needs. Cathy cares greatly about Juneau and its future as the state capital and as an economic hub in our region. She is an established and successful business owner who was born and raised in Juneau.

Reasons for trust
There are many reasons for supporting Frank Murkowski for governor of our great state in November. With the proven leadership experience, proven track record of putting Alaska and Alaskans first, and home-grown family roots in Alaska, there can really only be one choice: Frank Murkowski.

Character, integrity
I wish to take this opportunity to voice my strong support for Cathy Muñoz. I have known Cathy for many years and have always found her to be a lady of high moral character and integrity with Juneau's welfare and interests at heart.

Skills and stature
During my nearly three decades in Fairbanks, I have watched gubernatorial races with considerable interest. I have always looked closely at the candidates and supported the one who had the qualifications to lead our state at that particular time.

Blocked then blamed
Republicans who are dinging Juneau Sen. Kim Elton for not taking a seat on the Senate Finance Committee seem to forget that it was the Republican Senate leadership who, contrary to their own rules, denied him a minority finance seat, bestowing it instead on an inexperienced freshman.

Vision for Alaska
Frank Murkowski has a vision for Alaska. He understands that for Alaska's economy to improve we need to develop the infrastructure that will allow it to happen. Gold prices are higher now than they have been in many years.

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

Pro-movers turn to court for support
Without big newspaper endorsements or backing from a broad coalition of politicians or the business community, Alaskans for Efficient Government, the group pushing the legislative-move initiative, has turned to the courts for an edge in the battle for where to house the Legislature. Even if voters decide in November to reject Ballot Measure 2, the group will continue to pursue the move initiative in court, said Alaskans for Efficient Government member Karen Bretz.

Douglas dredging bill doubles
In spring 2001, the city accepted a Bellingham, Wash., company's low bid of $2.39 million to dredge 66,500 cubic yards of material from Douglas Harbor and build a two-lane launch ramp for boaters.

Skiers be warned: Winter may be wet one
Early climate predictions for the upcoming winter season indicate Juneau and the rest of Southeast Alaska may be in for weather that is warmer and wetter than normal, with below-average snowfall a possibility.

Photo: Training as a team
Students, left to right, Brandon Johnson of Yakutat and Danielle Williams and Barbara Williams of Kake work on a team project while attending the Tlingit-Haida Regional Housing Authority Youth Training Program 2002 on Friday. The event, held at the housing authority offices, was sponsored by Unity, a Native leadership training effort based in Oklahoma City.

Elton, Muñoz face off
Incumbent Democratic state Sen. Kim Elton and Republican challenger Cathy Muñoz sparred over taxes, development projects and building a Southeast caucus Friday at a candidate forum held by the Juneau Chamber of Commerce. Muñoz said she would work toward balancing the budget, improving education funding, returning state jobs to the capital city, and keeping Juneau as the state's capital.

Game Board agenda: White bear to wolves
Many different kinds of people answer the call of the wild. The state Board of Game, when it convenes in Juneau next month, will decide among the conflicting interests of people who shoot or trap wildlife and those who just want to look at animals.

Capital grab then and now
For the sixth time since statehood, voters will go to the polls in November to decide whether Juneau should remain the seat of state government.Although this manifestation of the move effort would send only legislative sessions away from Juneau, opponents of the measure say the rest of state government soon would follow.

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

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

Hunters' urban haven
In the middle of Juneau lies something rarely found in a city - 4,000 acres of prime hunting grounds. The Mendenhall Wetlands State Game Refuge is just minutes away from thousands of homes. The waterfowl season makes for a sight that would turn heads in other urban areas - dozens of people wearing camouflage garb and toting shotguns near the local airport.

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

My Turn: State fiscal planning should be realistic
A superficial review of Frank Murkowski's plan to balance the state budget by "jettisoning ineffective state programs and avoiding imposing a tax on hardworking Alaskans" seems reasonable enough, but only if we fail to look at the true meaning and subsequent consequences.

Toe Cartoon

My Turn: Celebrating clean water
This week marks the 30th anniversary of the Clean Water Act. Significant progress has been made, but much more needs to be done.

Is it time for a long winter's nap?
A lot of people are remarking this month about how dark it's getting. We passed the autumnal equinox weeks ago and now, losing minutes each day, are on a slow and steady spiral down, down onto to the dark sofa of winter. It's not just us, Nature's eyelids are getting heavy and she is curling up in a bed of fallen leaves, reaching for a cozy blanket of snow. We all feel like we need a nap.

Empire editorial: Vote yes for Proposition C
Proposition C, the $236 million general obligation education funding bond goes before voters on Nov. 5. The bond package applies $170 million toward the $650 million in backlogged rural school projects throughout Alaska. Proposition C also provides $61 million for University of Alaska classroom and facility projects throughout the state and $5 million for the Anchorage Museum.

Out and About
In season: Black bear (Sept. 1-June 30), brown bear (Sept. 15-Dec. 31, March 15-May 31), deer (Sept. 15-Dec. 31), mountain goat (Sept. 1 or Oct. 1, depending on area,-Nov. 31), wolf (Aug. 1-April 30), wolverine (Nov. 10-Feb. 15), ducks, geese, brants, snipe, crane (Sept. 1-Dec. 15), red and blue king crab (Oct. 1-March 31), coho salmon (June-Nov.).

Building family memories
For Hal Geiger, taking his son Will out hooter hunting is not necessarily about getting the grouse. Will's now in seventh grade and the two hunt deer together. But Hal Geiger started taking him out when he was about 5, not with the intent of Will actually bagging a bird.

Moose in Southeast Alaska - A case of ups and downs
One of the animals most often associated with Alaska is the moose. Yet here in Southeast we have relatively small populations of moose, and they are grouped in only a few scattered areas. Why is that? To find out I interviewed Neil Barten, area wildlife management biologist at the state Department of Fish and Game, Division of Wildlife Conservation, in Douglas.

Outdoors Web links
Web sites of interest to local outdoors enthusiasts include:

Bears win Service-Dimond tourney
If they weren't before, the Juneau-Douglas High School Crimson Bears this weekend firmly established themselves as the favorites to win this year's Class 4A state volleyball tournament by winning the Service-Dimond Invitational Volleyball Tournament, the largest regular-season event of the year.

Cavaliers finally win an exhibition game
CLEVELAND - Zydrunas Ilgauskas scored 30 points - 20 after halftime - and Darius Miles had 15 points in his home debut for Cleveland, leading the Cavaliers to a 95-91 win Friday night over the Utah Jazz.Karl Malone, who hinted earlier this week that his 18th season with the Jazz could be his last, scored seven before sitting out the fourth quarter.

Ketchikan Invitational
Results of the Ketchikan Invitational swimming and diving meets held Friday and Saturday at the Mike Smithers Pool in Ketchikan. Abbreviations used in individual results are Juneau-Douglas (JDHS), Ketchikan (KayHi), Sitka (SHS), Petersburg (PHS) and Craig (CHS).

Swimmers sweep on Saturday
When it should have been in Ketchikan's Mike Smithers Swim Pool Friday, the Juneau-Douglas High School swim team was stuck in a Juneau fog. But the Crimson Bears finally got on a flight out of town early Saturday morning and rebounded to sweep the titles at the Saturday meet of the two-day Ketchikan Invitational.

Glacier Swim Club sends coach off on winning note
Juneau's Glacier Swim Club opened its 30th season of competition by posting its top best-times mark during head coach Gary Crowe's tenure, helping to send him off in style.

State Football
All-State Football Team, Champions, and Playoffs.

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
Information on upcoming sports and outdoors events in Juneau.

State sends out wrong voter pamphlets to some districts
Regionalized election pamphlets began arriving in voters' mailboxes last week, but about 40 percent of the households initially will receive the wrong version because of an error by the state Division of Elections. The candidates for House and Senate races are incorrect in the mismailed pamphlets. The error occurred when workers neglected to change a computer table to reflect the new election district numbers after redistricting.

180-foot fishing boat explodes, burns in Bering Sea
A 180-foot fishing vessel from Seattle exploded and caught fire in the Bering Sea Sunday, leaving at least one crew member dead, two people missing and five with serious injuries, a Coast Guard spokesman said today.

Export permit difficulties endanger Yukon Game Farm
After operating the Yukon Game Farm for more than 30 years, owners Danny and Uli Nowlan don't know how they will make it through the winter.

New wildlife plan includes viewing
A new strategic plan for the state Department of Fish and Game calls for increased emphasis on wildlife viewing, education and management of animals not sought as game.

Skagway: Investigation fails to reveal cause of crash that killed local pilot
The cause of the fatal air crash that took the life of Skagway Air pilot Joel Matthis has not been determined, says National Transportation Safety Board investigator Chris Erickson.

Board delays action on trout
The Alaska Board of Fisheries has decided to delay until next year consideration of a new policy aimed at conserving wild trout populations throughout the state.

Delegation pushes for ANWR, pipeline, Coast Guard funds
The Alaska congressional delegation is pressing hard for the state's interests in appropriations bills being debated in Washington, D.C., according to U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens. But some items on the state's wish list are looking less likely than others, he said. Congress has passed bills for defense appropriations and military construction, but the energy bill that decides the fate of state projects such as opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and construction of a gas pipeline still is in negotiations.

Tribal status at top of AFN agenda as annual convention begins
The future of tribal status is likely to be a main focus this week as about 5,000 Alaskans gather at the Egan Center in downtown Anchorage for the annual convention of the Alaska Federation of Natives.

Eviction of church group nixed
A Superior Court judge has stopped the eviction of one church group by another, saying just who owns a Fairbanks church and parsonage is still in dispute.

Nome hospital gets trauma designation
Norton Sound Regional Hospital in Nome has become Alaska's first Level IV trauma center, according to the state health department. The department set the criteria for Level IV centers.

Absentee voting starts today
Absentee and early voting for the Nov. 5 state's general election started today. In Juneau, people can vote absentee at the state Division of Elections office on the sixth floor of the Court Plaza Building downtown and at the Nugget Mall.

Juneau resident named to IRS panel
Bruce Twomley, chairman of the Alaska Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission, has been chosen as one of Alaska's two representatives to the new Taxpayer Advocacy Panel of the Internal Revenue Service.

400 women listen to Ulmer address women's issues at Juneau rally
About 400 women crowded into the Alaska Native Brotherhood Hall in Juneau on Saturday afternoon to show their support for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Fran Ulmer.Lt. Gov. Ulmer would be the first woman elected governor in Alaska if she wins the Nov. 5 general election.

Manokotak woman found dead
Alaska State Troopers were investigating the death of a Manokotak woman.

Ketchikan: City Council vote bans drag racing within city limits
The Ketchikan City Council on Thursday voted unanimously to ban motor-vehicle racing within city limits.

Steller sea lion numbers on the rise?
A new survey suggests the Steller sea lion population in Alaska is increasing for the first time in decades.

State Briefs
Officers aboard cruise ship are issued subpoenas; Sanford, Etheridge tops in campaign spending; Boys say they were shot with BB guns; More Alaskans hanging onto PFDs; USFS seeks permit for log transfer facility

Man drowns in Chilkoot River
A man from Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, was found dead over the weekend in the Chilkoot River near Haines.

Correction
A headline on the front page of Sunday's Empire mistakenly referred to incorrect ballots having been sent to some voters around the state. As the text of the article explained, the Division of Elections' mailing error involved election information pamphlets.

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