Friday, October 31, 2003

Accidents happen
In response to Reggie Cruz's Oct. 29 letter regarding slowing down at intersections, I'd like to remind those who believe that "pedestrians are the targets of fast drivers" that accidents happen. Sometimes there is no rhyme, reason or fault.

Unfair to point fingers
Responding to the letter in the paper (Wednesday) by Reggie Cruz: After I read that article I was nothing but angry. How could someone write something like that?

In agreement
Let's have some more articles by Ken Dunker. It is rare to find a person that realizes how out of date the laws in our country are.

Stevens' rider shows disrespect
Senator Stevens is again demonstrating his disrespect for public and democratic processes by attempting to push through a rider that would cripple the ability of federal courts to rule on timber sales within the Tongass National Forest.

Road expands possibilities
In regard to Erik Lie-Nielsen's Tuesday letter: I support a road to and from Juneau. I'm not one of those people who "comes to Juneau and right away starts hollering to change things to make it just like where they came from." I was born and raised in Southeast Alaska and, as much as I love Juneau and this part of the world, I would like to be able to drive out once in a while to visit other parts of Alaska and Canada. I'll probably even take trips south when I retire.

District classified workers deserve break
I have recently read in the paper that the teachers are attempting to receive a 2 percent raise from the Juneau School District. While I think it is okay that they want an increase in their pay, I am left wondering why the backbone of the district, the classified employees, aren't receiving any breaks.

From a 'not highly qualified' teacher
I rarely get my feathers ruffled, but I was dismayed by the Empire article stating that only 16 percent of Alaska's teachers are "highly qualified" and that we fall below the national averages. I am writing this letter to caution readers to please evaluate the criteria used for this rating.

A rebuttal on road arguments
I just wanted to clarify the record to Erik Lie-Nielsen's rebuttal to my comments about the road to Skagway. Yes I do work for DOT, but my capacity is that of a computer network technician, so there is no conflict of interest.

Kmart location would make a great school
Am I the only person in Juneau that thinks that purchasing the Kmart property by Dzantik'i Heeni Middle School and turning it into a high school would be a great idea? Not only would it assist in easing the budget that it would take to create a new high school by offering up a developed property, but it's a great location, offers ample parking, room for a courtyard or track, and is already in a school zoned area. Just a thought.

Safer crossing needed
As a parent that has a child that crosses that intersection to and from Glacier Valley, I would like for DOT to explain: How can a intersection be designed with no regard for those kids going to school?

Ferry is not an affordable option for all
I have just one question for Mr. Lie Nielsen and all other opponents of a road north. How do you respond to people who would like to drive to Skagway or Whitehorse for the weekend, but cannot afford the cost of a round trip to Skagway with their car on the ferry? There are probably more people than you would guess that live in Juneau that the Marine Highway is cost-prohibitive for.

Love teaching, but demands increasing
I am an elementary teacher who loves her job! It is the most rewarding, exciting and unpredictable work anyone could ask for. I have 26 (yes, 26) second graders whom I love and care for during the day. We work hard together learning, laughing and trying to get along with each other, as we are all so different. Part of this classroom community is the wonderful, supportive parents who work hard helping me with cutting, pasting, copying and working with individual students on computer projects etc. (I don't know what I'd do without them)!

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

Fisheries group researches impoundment
Alaska fishermen may be able to make more money off their catches if they hold the fish live for a while before selling. The practice is known as impoundment and the Alaska Fisheries Development Foundation is researching it with help from a federal grant.

Photo: United Way fund-raiser
United Way of Southeast Alaska board members Gayle Wood, far left, and Tim McLeod, right, and Judy Baxter, marketing manager for Costco, install the United Way thermometer in the main entrance of Costco. The thermometer indicates how much money is being raised for the United Way fund-raising campaign. This year's goal is $625,000.

Alaska Department of Fish and Game anticipates short crab opening
Commercial crab fishermen in Juneau may get just a few days of fishing before the season closes, according to officials at the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, which is anticipating a three- to four-day red king commercial opening around town. Red king crab season opens Saturday at noon. The state has set a commercial harvest limit of 225,000 pounds of crab for Southeast. The limit for waters around Juneau is 47,000 pounds, said Gretchen Bishop, Southeast shellfish project leader for ADF&G's Commercial Fisheries Division.

Alleged cross-dressing burglar nabbed
Juneau police arrested a man wearing a woman's jeans allegedly taken from her Industrial Avenue-area residence Tuesday night. Brian Abbott, 34, appeared in Juneau District Court on Wednesday on a felony first-degree burglary charge that could carry a prison sentence of up to 10 years, Magistrate John W. Sivertsen told him.

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

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

University of Alaska union votes for strike if talks fail
Most University of Alaska faculty members who teach lower-division and vocational courses have authorized their union to call a strike. But teachers and university administrators, who return to the bargaining table today in Anchorage, said they are hopeful a strike will be averted. About two-thirds of the 313 members of the Alaska Community Colleges' Federation of Teachers have voted to give union leadership the authority to call a strike, the union said Wednesday.

Company could bring natural gas to the area
Alaska Intrastate Gas Co. is conducting a marketing and feasibility study for bringing natural gas service to Juneau and 16 other communities in Southeast and Central Alaska. The study aims to establish the potential volume of gas required for the area and the number of customers likely to request service, said Douglas Lee, a project manager with Montana-Dakota Utilities Co., which is conducting the study.

Photo: Repair work
Doug Unruh saws a beam Wednesday on the Auke Bay Floating Breakwater. Unruh, of the city Harbor Department, was replacing the "whalers" on the breakwater. Whalers are the wooden trim which act as buffers around the concrete dock.

Photo: Sorting through debris in 1939
This photograph, taken in 1939, shows a group of Filipino "Pickers" removing debris from an ore-sorting conveyer belt at the Alaska-Juneau Mill.

Lecture to cover messengers of environmental justice
University of Alaska Southeast literature professor Susan Lucas will explore the grass-roots movement of environmental justice in "Bad Girls and Bad News: The Female Messengers of Environmental Justice," a 7 p.m. lecture tonight at the Egan Lecture Hall on the UAS campus. Admission is free. The presentation is the eighth in the Evening at Egan fall lecture series.

Correction
A thank you letter published in the Neighbor's section in Wednesday's Empire misspelled the name of Dale Wygant and his band. Also, a listing in last Friday's This Day in History column, provided by The Associated Press, referred to an Alaska Airlines event in 1929. The company did not exist at that time.

Assembly reorganizes, Powell deputy mayor
In an unusual move, Mayor Bruce Botelho made no nomination before the Juneau Assembly elected Jim Powell deputy mayor on Wednesday. The Assembly also restructured some committees as it reorganizes under a new administration. Traditionally the mayor nominates a person and the Assembly is pressured to go along with that pick, Botelho said after the meeting.

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

Man pleads to reduced sex charges involving minor
A 21-year-old Juneau man has agreed to plead guilty to a misdemeanor after facing a felony indictment alleging he had sex with a girl younger than 16. Evan Whitman pleaded guilty to third-degree sexual abuse of a minor at least 16 years old. The September grand jury indictment alleged the girl was about two months short of her 16th birthday when Whitman had sexual relations with her during the summer.

Photo: Totem retrofit
Ellen Carrlee, left, curator of collections for the Juneau-Douglas City Museum, and Alysia McLain, a museum intern, clean lichen, moss and dirt from a totem pole called "Harnessing the Atom" on Thursday. The pole, carved by Juneau resident Amos Wallace in the 1960s, was taken down Wednesday after it started to lean because of rot. The pole will be refitted with a new base before being put back up.

Dialysis center will keep kidney patients in Juneau
When Renal Care Group Alaska opens a kidney dialysis center in Juneau early next spring, the company will be taking a large financial risk. But considering it may keep hundreds of patients in Southeast Alaska with kidney problems from heading south or to Anchorage for treatment, the risk is worth it, said Charlotte Richards, executive director of the Bartlett Regional Hospital Foundation.

Area offers plenty of Halloween alternatives
As Juneau youngsters prepare to be scared out of their wits this Friday, some area churches are planning alternatives to Halloween activities so their parishioners can have fun without celebrating the holiday. Many Christian faiths discourage Halloween celebrations on the premise the holiday is rooted in ancient paganism and has evil connotations.

Photo: School Supply Donation
Juneau School Board members Mary Decker, left, and Andi Story look at school supplies that were donated by Cellular One to the Juneau School District on Wednesday. Approximately 2,500 school supplies were collected by Cellular One during its "Activate Your School" promotion. Customers who brought in new school supplies for the program were given discounts from the company.

FYI
Births, judgments and other legal proceedings.

Court orders Leman to certify initiative
Voters might get a chance next year to decide whether to call a special election to fill U.S. Senate vacancies, rather than filling the position through gubernatorial appointment. On Oct. 21, Lt. Gov. Loren Leman, based on a recommendation from state Attorney General Gregg Renkes, rejected a proposed ballot initiative to require special elections to fill Senate vacancies.

Teacher Talk: Using origami instructions to increase literacy
When you were a kid, do you remember folding a paper cup or paper football for lunchtime finger-flicking fun, or perhaps a little game that tells you your fortune? Well, you were essentially doing origami. I have been curious about this ancient art form, and this summer I purchased a basic text in order to try it out and explore its academic value.

Howard graduates from MCRD
Aaron Howard graduated from MCRD in San Diego on Oct. 17, 2003, on his sister Rebekah's 18th birthday.

Glaciers displayed in all their glory
The Juneau-Douglas City Museum will open its new exhibit, "The Glory of Glaciers," on Nov. 7, 2003, with a public reception from 4:30-7 p.m. Massive ice is captured through the eyes of artists in this exhibit about local glaciers. From Myron Clark's sublime 1921 painting of Taku Inlet to Jeff Brown's comical 1992 photo, "Cleaning the Mendenhall Glacier," Juneau artists have documented our ongoing fascination with these moving rivers of ice for more than 100 years.

Photo: Aurora borealis
The northern lights illuminate the sky above downtown Juneau on Wednesday night. A massive solar flare, which erupted earlier in the week, was responsible for the aurora borealis.

Neighbors Digest
Community news in brief.

Wesley D. Hansen
Former Juneau resident Wesley D. Hansen, 84, died Oct. 22, 2003, at his home in Warden, Wash.

Esther Bailey Clark
Juneau resident Esther Bailey Clark, 78, died Oct. 29, 2003, in Juneau.

My Turn: It's not too late for realistic transportation improvements
Rich Poor, a former transportation official and self-described road advocate, recently authored a thoughtful and conciliatory letter to the editor discussing a compromise regarding access in Lynn Canal. Unfortunately, the maniacal approach the Department of Transportation has adopted with respect to improving access in Lynn Canal appears to preclude a reasoned approach like Poor's to solving long-standing access problems.

My Turn: Claims of inequity are untrue
Buck Lindekugel's op-ed on the Cape Fox-Sealaska Berners Bay land exchange was right on when he said Cape Fox's claims of inequity were, at best, overblown and at worst were untrue. The Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, ANCSA for short, did not envision that every Native corporation would receive lands of exactly equal value as every other Native corporation.

Juneau Parks and Rec Basketball
Standings through Oct. 27.

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.

LeBron lives up to hype, but Cavs fall
LeBrilliant - except for the result. LeBron James more than lived up to his hype in the first regular-season game of his NBA career, playing like no other 18-year-old ever had in his professional debut as the Cleveland Cavaliers lost 106-92 Wednesday night to the Sacramento Kings. James had 25 points, nine assists, six rebounds and four steals, mesmerizing one of the league's loudest crowds with skills no teenager had ever displayed at this level.

Divers thrive
Cathy Tide looks younger than her early-30s, and she enjoys shocking people when she tells them she has "a dozen high school kids." Tide's "kids" are the members of the Juneau-Douglas High School diving team she coaches, and they could play a major role in the Region V swimming and diving championships this weekend and an even bigger role in the state meet Nov. 7-8 in Anchorage.

Juneau swimmers, divers ready for Region V meet
As the Juneau-Douglas High School swim team filed out of practice Wedenesday night, there was a different spirit about the Crimson Bears than there usually is during the regular season.

Alaska swimming top 16 prep times
Here are Alaska's top 16 times for the 2003 high school swimming season. This list is compiled by Juneau-Douglas High School swim coach John Wray and is through meets of Oct. 25. First names are not available for all athletes.

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.

Looking to grow
Clipboard in hand, Kris Mercer stood at the edge of the mats and smiled as about two dozen Juneau-Douglas High School wrestlers went through their paces Tuesday afternoon. Mercer is the new head coach for the Crimson Bears, and one of his biggest goals is getting more wrestlers out for the team - a team that ended last year with only a dozen healthy bodies but still finished eighth in the Class 4A state meet. Mercer, the long-time coach at Dzantik'i Heeni Middle School, takes over from Bob Mahon, who moved back to Oregon.

Juneau Parks and Recreation volleyball standings
Local volleyball league standings as of Oct. 27.

Suns beat Cavs in battle of young NBA stars
Amare and LeBron. First names should suffice for these two young NBA sensations for many years to come. Amare Stoudemire, at 20 two years older than LeBron James, scored 25 points, including a pair of three-point plays in a fourth-quarter run, as the Phoenix Suns beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 95-86 on Thursday night.

This day in history
In Alaska; in the nation; in the world.

Cash-flow problems force Hydaburg layoffs
This Prince of Wales Island city has laid off its entire staff of four because of a shortage of money. Mayor Steven Dilts Sr. said he met with the clerk, janitor, foreman and water plant operator last week, told them they were being laid off and asked them to volunteer their time. So far, only the water plant operator has agreed, he said.

Alaska Digest
News in brief from around the state.

Photo: Spectacular light show
The aurora borealis fills the southwest sky Wednesday morning above Soldotna. Astronomers from the University of Alaska Fairbanks were predicting that Wednesday night's aurora would be visible across the entire United States in the aftermath of one of the largest solar flare eruptions in years.

Alaska Digest
News in brief from around the state.

Movies where & when
Local movie times in Juneau.

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

The Ninth: Movement by movement with Juneau Symphony conductor Kyle Wiley Pickett
1st: "The very beginning of the first movement is a representation of chaos. It's like the universe before it formed. It takes a couple minutes before you sort of launch into form. It's all murky and mushy and then it's like the heavens catch on fire. It's the storm of creation."

Briefly
Local entertainment news in brief.

Halloween at the bars: beats, ghouls, bluegrass and funk
Juneau drummer and composer Andy Engstrom has seen enough audiences in town to believe he knows what makes people dance. "Unless you play something old and recognizable, most people don't dance," Engstrom said. "And being a team player in a band, you can't keep the flow of music going. There are people looking down at their set lists and stopping and saying, 'What's the next song?' It's a dance-floor killer. I've always noticed that the dance floor DJs, the people slipping some fat loops, always have the success for getting people out," he said.

Cartoon: The Buck Stops Where
Local cartoon by Toe.

An ode to creative forces
Last winter, when Juneau Symphony music director Kyle Wiley Pickett began formulating the idea of conducting Beethoven's Symphony No. 9, he saw two obvious challenges. First, the symphony would have to assemble a string section large enough to handle the punishing task of the lush, layered arrangements. Second, and perhaps more daunting, the orchestra would have to create its own group chorus to sing, in German, Beethoven's transcendent, 15-minute interpretation of Friedrich Von Schiller's "Ode To Joy" in the fourth movement.

Back-story: Beethoven's revolutionary Ninth Symphony
Beethoven was born to a family of court musicians in Bonn, Germany, on Dec. 17, 1770. A virtuoso pianist, a violinist and a composer, he moved to Vienna, Austria, at the age of 20 with the support of a local prince. Vienna was the musical and cultural center of Europe, and Beethoven sought to become the star of court society.

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