Thursday, November 6, 2003

Plan being developed to market Interior timber
Foresters are joining forces with economic development officials to develop a plan to market Interior timber. The four-member committee hopes to have a detailed description of harvestable timber on both state and private lands prepared by December, said Northern Regional Forester Chris Maisch.

Mutual fund scandals haven't affected Permanent Fund
A scandal-wracked mutual fund company, Putnam Investments, is managing more than $500 million in stocks for the Alaska Permanent Fund Corp., but managers are confident the state's money is safe. The Putnam scandal did not affect the state's $26 billion oil wealth savings account and couldn't have, said Bob Storer, permanent fund executive director.

Everyone has the right to voice an opinion
This is in response to Ms. Hoffman's comments about the Empire printing Mr. Cruz's "inflammatory drivel" not once, but twice. While we don't agree with Mr. Cruz's comments regarding the accident, we must remember that even someone as clueless or heartless as he appears to be by his words has a right to voice his opinion. The Empire is being fair by printing both sides, so let's not shoot the messenger.

Sitka needs fast ferry more than Juneau
How can Juneau yet again cheat another neighboring town? First it was Ketchikan with not moving this ferry office to the old pulp mill, especially with them having the dry docks in their town. Now it's Sitka, the oldest town in Southeast. Those people don't have a chance of ever getting a road to get cheaper mercantile.

School zone not enough to ensure safety
I am writing in response to the city trying to find a way to make the Stephen Richards and Loop Road intersection safer. The city is talking about putting up a school zone (blinking yellow light - 20 mph zone) there, which is good idea, but it doesn't work in-between the school hours. There was another fatal accident in that same area over the summer that wasn't during school hours and a few others that were fender benders. My wife, kids and I live near the area and go through that intersection all the time. I have seen a few of those accidents this year and most of them seem to be people confused about turning because they are not using their turn signal and, even when they do, they don't understand the people who are not using the signal go straight first because they have the right of way.

Road would hurt Juneau's neighbors
Some of the recent letters regarding a road to Juneau seem to be gSome of the recent letters regarding a road to Juneau seem to be getting hung up on points that are not really important. Instead of arguing about whether the problem here is newcomers who want to make Juneau like any other town in the Lower 48 or old-timers who are resistant to change, we need to step back and think about what is really good for all the people in Southeast, new arrivals and lifelong residents alike.etting hung up on points that are not really important. Instead of arguing about whether the problem here is newcomers who want to make Juneau like any other town in the Lower 48 or old-timers who are resistant to change, we need to step back and think about what is really good for all the people in Southeast, new arrivals and lifelong residents alike.

Ban on Ephedra?
I recently read an article stating that the FDA is planning a possible ban on Ephedra due to some negative effects such as heart attacks. I have even heard that some states have already instituted a ban on the sale of Ephedra products.

Unhappy with wolf policy
I am so upset about the plan to slaughter wolves in Alaska. The American people are so hell-bent on making money and at no cost to humanity itself. We continue to rape the land for more housing and more commercial and industry to what - make more money. Then people wonder why the coyotes, wolves, bears and deer are wandering through their beautifully manicured yards killing their cats and dogs, or eating their precious gardens or landscaping.

Stevens acting in interest of true Alaskans
I would have to say that I am immeasurably pleased with Senator Stevens for once again representing the interests of Alaskans over outside influences.

Rural school decisions
Sen. Con Bunde, in a Nov. 3 rebuttal to my letter about Alaska's rural schools, argues that the legislators merely want what is best for Alaska's kids. When you view the school situation through his unique perspective, all the responsibility for school decisions lies everywhere other than the Alaska Legislature.

Logging damages caves, fossils
As Sunday's article on the worldwide interest of paleontologists in Prince of Wales Island points out, the geological resources of the island make it an internationally valuable resource. Southeast Alaska's unique, outstanding karst - and their accompanying fossils, caves and archaeological remains - have great cultural, paleontological and biological significance. Areas rich in these minerals are becoming increasingly important to our understanding of such critical questions as climate change, as well as human and animal migration into North America. They also have the potential to become the foundation of a healthy geological tourism industry in Southeast.

Paintball at Kmart?
Couldn't you imagine it - a city-owned paintball park in the old Kmart? Turn all the lights off and wear night vision goggles. Pump up the heavy metal and have black lights. Create a maze of caverns back in the electronics and hardware area. Paintballs, the guns and all the accessories are top dollar these days.

Caught off-guard by higher business license fee
Please take time to remind all folks the new cost of business licenses has jumped from $50 to $200 for two years. Isn't that wonderful news? Now I do understand this is rather old news to a lot of you out there, that this is last year's legislation. But I do not think the news of this has reached everyone at every level.

Start with slower speed limits
There was a public discussion on the problem of Loop Rood and Stephen Richards at Glacier Valley School, and during the meeting lots of issues with the intersection came about.

Glad to see brown bears are back
Two years have passed since writing to you about the Mendenhall Glacier bears. I now hear that a sow with cub has returned. Good! You may remember I wrote a letter to you back on November 2001 about removing the brown bear sow and cub. After writing that letter, my better half of 18 years was attacked and mauled by a sow with cub while out deer hunting on Admiralty Island on Dec. 4, 2001.

Fatal Valley intersection to become a school zone
The state said late Wednesday it will install a school zone by spring at the intersection of Mendenhall Loop Road, Stephen Richards Memorial Drive and Haloff Way. The intersection, one block from Glacier Valley Elementary School, has been the site of two fatal traffic accidents since this summer.

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

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

Williams Express to close
The Williams Express gas station off of Egan Drive at 6585 Glacier Highway will close on Nov. 21. The owners cited competition from local outlets of national grocery store chains that recently opened gas stations.

Former Kmart director concluded theft was 'inside job'
Last year's $100,000 theft from Juneau's Kmart store was an "inside job" that could have been completed in 10 or 15 minutes, a former director of the store testified Wednesday. As Frank Brian Rowcroft, the former security director for the store, stands trial on a first-degree theft charge, another co-worker from the now-closed store testified that she saw him at the store three times in the early hours of March 31, 2002, the morning the money disappeared.

Around Town
Today: Day of Quilting, Sewing and Good Fellowship, 10 a.m. every Wednesday, Resurrection Lutheran Church. Quilts donated to Lutheran World Relief. Details: 586-2380. Low Impact Exercise, 10 a.m., Juneau Senior Center and Valley Senior Center. Details: 463-6175.

Tlingits bring totem pole back to Angoon
After 95 years, Angoon's lost bear is home. Tlingits reclaimed their bear totem pole from the University of Northern Colorado in October and held a welcoming ceremony Saturday in Angoon. "When we brought it back, we had to welcome it home," Daniel Brown of Juneau said. "It was a happy time to have it back home."

Pushing through the snow
This 1925 photograph shows a group of local thoroughbred Siberian sled dogs pulling their driver. Dog sleds have a distinct history in Alaska. A 674-mile relay race from Nenana to Nome in 1925 took 20 drivers 127 1/2 hours to deliver 300,000 units of antitoxin serum to battle a diphtheria outbreak in Nome.

City may charge registration tax to pay for junk vehicle program
The city may charge vehicle owners a motor vehicle registration tax (MVRT) of $22 every two years to pay for getting rid of junk and abandoned vehicles, the Assembly decided Wednesday.

Native firm to contract with Interior
A Native technology company in Juneau could earn up to $50 million doing information technology work for the U.S. Department of the Interior.

Residents weigh in on second crossing
Some Juneau and Douglas residents feel a second bridge to Douglas Island is necessary to improve access to emergency services, while others are concerned with the effects of another crossing on the environment and the quality of life on North Douglas. Representatives from the city and the state Department of Transportation documented those thoughts and others Wednesday during two public scoping sessions on the second-crossing project.

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

School district will bid for Alyeska
The Juneau School Board, on a 6-0 vote Tuesday, directed the school district to bid to take over the state correspondence school.

Cities pitch projects at funding summit
Representatives from 17 panhandle cities and villages converged on Juneau Tuesday in search of grants and other funding sources for community infrastructure projects.

Photo: 'Matrix' fanatics
Sandra Galeana, left, and Jana MacInnis stake out their spot Wednesday morning in front of the 20th Century Theatre downtown. The two say being first in line for big movies has become a hobby for them. A local radio host has given them the nickname of the "Clone Queens." They arrived at 6 a.m. for the 7 p.m. showing of "Matrix Revolutions."

Wind quintet tries to stretch classical limits
Imani Winds, an African-American and Latin wind quintet that combines European and African musical traditions, formed in 1996 knowing there was a narrow repertoire for wind quintet.

Prosecutor promises jury intricate story behind Kmart theft
The prosecutor trying the man accused of stealing nearly $100,000 last year from Juneau's Kmart opened his case Tuesday by comparing the crime to the movie "Ocean's 11."

Neighbors Digest
Dr. Soboleff's birthday The Soboleff and Burke families are hosting a community party to celebrate Dr. Walter Soboleff's 95th birthday, from 4-7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 7, 2003, in the lobby of Sealaska Plaza. Dr. Soboleff turns 95 on Nov. 14. All friends are cordially invited to attend the celebration and to remember Memorial Presbyterian Church. Birthday cake and refreshments will be served. For more information contact Janet Burke at 463-3871 or Ross Soboleff at 209-7181.

A long fraternity: Southeast's Red Men
In an area that has been Tlingit country for ten thousand years, it seems presumptuous that the Improved Order of Red Men would set up its tents. But indeed they did.

Thank You
Thank you ... for help in sinking Juneau scuba divers sank a boat in the waters off Auke Rec. on Oct. 26, 2003. The boat, named Rikki Tikki, is Alaska's first artificial reef. Volunteers spent hundreds of hours in the past 14 months preparing the boat and going through a lengthy permitting process that involved...

Pets of the week
Karl and Jessica!

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

Ev Schoeppe
Ev Schoeppe, 85, died Nov. 4, 2003, at her daughter's home in Juneau.

Realities of keeping salmon fresh and ready for market
I found the article "Fisheries group researches impoundment" from the Juneau Empire to be most intriguing. Since 1995, we have been keeping our net-caught wild salmon alive. Since we were making short-duration sets to ensure all fish came aboard alive in the event we caught a fish we had to release, keeping salmon alive seemed like a pretty "cool" concept.

My Turn: Looking for solutions to traffic problems in Valley
Since 1985 I have been a resident of Juneau, living in the Valley off of Loop Road all of that time. Like many other Valley residents I travel Loop Road every day. Other than Egan Drive, Loop Road has got to be the busiest road in town. So much, we even have three traffic signals on the road with the outlook for another darn one at Valley Boulevard and Loop Road. But this letter is not about traffic signals, but about improving the safety of Loop Road.

Sports in Juneau
NEW CALENDAR ITEM: • Juneau Department of Parks and Recreation youth indoor soccer registration - Sign-up begins on Saturday, Nov. 8, with a special registration period at the Nugget Mall from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Registration continues at the Parks and Rec main office at City Hall or the Zach Gordon Youth Center from Monday, Nov. 10, through Monday, Nov. 24. Space is limited, so early registration is encouraged. Forms are available online at http://www.juneau.org/parkrec/youth/youthsports.php, or they can be picked up at the Parks and Rec office or Zach Gordon. Volunteer coaches and paid referees are needed. Info: Myiia Whistler, 586-5226, or by e-mail at Myiia_Whistler@ci.juneau.ak.us.

Crimson Bear wrestlers open season in Hoonah
It was only a low-key meet, but it was enough to help indoctrinate a handful of young Juneau-Douglas Crimson Bears to the world of high school wrestling. No team scores were kept for the weekend of wrestling at Hoonah High School, which featured athletes from Juneau, Hoonah, Skagway and Mount Edgecumbe. Since there were several weight classes with one or two competitors, the coaches mixed and matched the wrestlers to try and find the best matchups. There were three rounds of matches on Friday, followed by five rounds on Saturday.

Juneau Parks and Recreation volleyball standings
Through Nov. 3.

Mite beats hype
The kid from the local high school stole the show - and all LeBron James could do was watch. Tiny Earl Boykins, who grew up in Cleveland, scored all 18 of his points in the second half as the Denver Nuggets ruined James' hyped home debut Wednesday night, 93-89 over the winless Cavaliers.

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.

Stevens alters use of anti-alcohol funds
ANCHORAGE - Sen. Ted Stevens inserted $17 million to combat Alaska's alcohol problems in a funding measure approved by the U.S. Senate, but made some changes in how the money will be administered.

Alaska Digest
Mutual fund scandals haven't affected PFD ANCHORAGE - A scandal-wracked mutual fund company, Putnam Investments, is managing more than $500 million in stocks for the Alaska Permanent Fund Corp., but managers are confident the state's money is safe.

This Day in History
In Alaska; in the nation; in the world.

UA union says it's close to striking
Leaders of a University of Alaska faculty union said Wednesday that contract negotiations were on the verge of collapse although UA president Mark Hamilton offered to enter into arbitration. "We're very close to a strike," said Barbara Harville, chief negotiator for the Alaska Community Colleges' Federation of Teachers, which represents about 315 faculty at rural campuses and community campuses.

Board of Game approves aerial shooting of wolves
The Alaska Board of Game on Tuesday approved the state's first program in more than 15 years to shoot wolves from aircraft. Opponents said the plan was inhumane. "This is not something new. The board has been working on this for the last several years," said board chairman Mike Fleagle, who lives in McGrath, near one of the areas targeted because of declining moose populations blamed on wolf predation.

Alaska Digest
News in brief from around the state.

Fund-raiser raises eyebrows
Questions about a conflict of interest are being asked again about Randy Ruedrich, the Republican Party of Alaska leader who sits on a commission that regulates oil and gas development in the state.

Cartoon: The Swamp
Local cartoon by Toe.

Walk this way
Ice breakup, the way that different surfaces work together and collide, is a metaphor for personal development and change. So argues Anchorage art professor Kat Tomka in her new room-sized installation, "breakup III," opening as part of First Friday from 4:30-6:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 7, at the Alaska State Museum and running through Jan. 10.

Briefly
Local entertainment news in brief.

Always tell your mother
As "Dusty," the protagonist in the Northern Light Junior Theatre's new production of the "The Night The Forest Cried," 12-year-old Aaron Cohen portrays a sixth-grader who died on Mount Juneau in 1977. The play is a fictionalized account of a real incident, and what makes the role difficult is that Cohen, like many of his castmates and, in fact, Dusty himself, attended Harborview Elementary.

What's Happening
A weekly calendar of arts and entertainment events in Juneau.

Love conquers all in 'King Stag'
When Italian playwright Carlos Gozzi finished writing the "The King Stag" sometime in the 1760s, he purposely left the script bare and open-ended - allowing his cast of great "commedia dell'arte" actors to improvise the dialogue and action. Almost 250 years later, New York writer/actor/director/filmmaker/teacher Richard Toth has completed his own adaptation for an ensemble cast of 14 at Perseverance Theatre.

Movies where & when
Local movie times and locations.

First Friday
Events taking place as part of First Friday.

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