Tuesday, November 18, 2003

Recall Murkowski over wolf hunting?
Governor Murkowski has thumbed his nose at the majority of Alaskans who have twice voted to stop the aerial hunting of wolves, and the practice of chasing them to the point of exhaustion and then landing to kill them on the ground.

Opinions from out of town do matter
I would like to address Denis Rehfeld's comment about the road out of Juneau that states: "I fail to appreciate how the opinions of people who do not live in Juneau become a factor in a poll that says 'Juneau' - not 'Juneau including Haines and Skagway' (or Sparks, Nev., for that matter). Truly, the issue is about what Juneau residents want."

Landowners angry
Last night my husband and I attended a meeting for the home owners vs. coalbed methane coming to Homer. We were petrified at what we heard. In my 30-some years in Alaska, I have never been pushed and shoved around so much by the "legal and governmental caretakers of our country," as I have been in Homer these last few years.

Domestic partners policy is immoral
The closing statement by Donna Pierce (regarding the city's new domestic policy) was an act of cowardice. The papers were signed on city time with no deliberation or announcement; the workers should have the same right to fight it on city time.

Did public have a voice?
Was the public offered any chance to comment on this major policy shift (providing health coverage for domestic partners) by the city manager?

Questioning both Stevenses on fishery bill
Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Ted Stevens has stuck some pork into a key spending bill concerning Alaskan fisheries. Considering that the senator's son, Alaska state Sen. Ben Stevens, has a financial interest in two of them takes the pork to the level of what appears to me to be corruption and conspiracy to commit fraud.

Surprised at Stevens
Last month I visited our nation's capital. While there I sat in the gallery of the United States Senate. The only senator on the floor was the senior senator from the fine state of Alaska - Ted Stevens.

How about a regional tunnel system?
Has anyone entertained the idea of studying the feasibility of an inter-island tunnel system? San Franciso has had a three-and-a-half mile long tunnel running trains under the bay for over 30 years. Several European nations with limited land mass construct short roads under the bays instead of using up valuable land for traditional roadways.

Get facts before opining on access
This is in response to the comments from individuals in opposition of the road that are baseless in fact and go off on tangents, instead of looking at all the proposed options.

Senate business more important than petition
Democrats are at it again, trying to confuse the issues of what really matter, like jobs and education, with issues that most Alaskans don't care about, such as this silly ballot initiative on filling a Senate vacancy.

New insurance policy wastes tax dollars
It never ceases to amaze me how my tax dollars are being spent by our city leaders. One example is how the city leaders gave $50,000 to Perseverance Theater this summer and now they are going to give benefits to individuals who aren't married.

Everyone deserves health insurance
I would like Mr. Love to explain what he finds "immoral" about health insurance coverage for domestic partners. I don't get it, Mr. Love. Why would you not want everyone to have health insurance? Is it the term "domestic partner" that disturbs you? Maybe you are assuming that domestic partner means "same-sex partner"? It doesn't necessarily mean that. There are hetrosexual couples who live together that are not married who are also domestic partners.

Raptor release
Dave Olerud, a founder of the Haines-based American Bald Eagle Foundation, released one of three eagles Saturday afternoon before an audience of more than 100 during the Haines Bald Eagle Festival. The

This Day in History
In Alaska: • In 1896, the post office of Tyoonok was established on Cook Inlet. In 1905, the name was changed to Tyonek. • In 1916, a 40-man detachment of U.S. infantry arrived at its Anchorage post.

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

Wheeler seeks review of Dimond library costs
The city should know the actual cost of a new library before trying to sell it to the voters as part of the Dimond Community Center, Assembly member Marc Wheeler told the Public Works Committee on Monday.

Contractor builds homes and public's knowledge
Contractor Alan Wilson is so active in the Home Builders Association of Juneau that many of his fellow contractors wonder how he finds time to run his business.

Man agrees to plead guilty in string of vehicle break-ins
A man accused of taking thousands of dollars of property from parked vehicles could spend at least three years in prison.

Weather radio to narrow broadcast focus
New forecast zones will mean changes for weather radio broadcasts in Southeast Alaska. The increase in land and marine forecast zones will create more weather information for the region. To prevent an information overload on the air, the National Weather Service will focus weather radio broadcasts based on geography and immediacy.

Around Town
Today: Valley Toastmasters meeting, 6:10 a.m. every Tuesday, Henry's. Details: Jim, 789-3074. Sewing Circle, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Valley Senior Center. Details: Betty, 789-7236.

Tibetan monk tells his story
During his 33 years as a prisoner of conscience in Chinese labors camps and prisons in Tibet, Tibetan lama Palden Gyatso was dangled over fire as if he was a human steak. He was routinely kicked and whipped while pulling a plow for more than nine hours a day. He had an electrical cattle prod shoved down his mouth, shocking and destroying all the roots of his teeth.

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

Around Town
Today: Low Impact Exercise, 10 a.m., Juneau Senior Center and Valley Senior Center. Details: 463-6175. Toddler Time, 10 a.m., downtown library. Toddler Time at the Mendenhall Valley library starts at 11 a.m. Details: 586-5303.

Lawmakers spend the day in the classroom
Science teacher Clay Good starts his workday at Juneau-Douglas High School at 6 a.m. and sometimes stays as late as 4 or 5 p.m. to finish up paperwork and lesson plans.

Birding brings bucks to Alaska
Brenda Wright has been birding for 30 years, slogging through the Mendenhall Wetlands, strolling down Eagle Beach or hiking up the Perseverance Trail in search of some of the hundreds of species of birds that call Juneau home. But her most exciting discovery was a barred owl, spotted last month in her own backyard.

Nat'l Weather Service setting up new, more specific zones
In a climate region where a few miles can mean a world of difference, the National Weather Service this week is implementing new forecast zones to provide more accurate weather predictions.

Weather radio to narrow broadcast focus
JUNEAU EMPIRE

This Day in History
In Alaska: • In 1923, U.S. Senator Ted Stevens was born in Indianapolis, Ind. • In 1959, the first pulp was produced by the Alaska Lumber & Pulp Co. in Sitka.

Murkowski pushes Alaska hire initiative
Gov. Frank Murkowski is pushing for companies to increase the percentage of Alaskans on their payrolls.

JDHS wrestling team's travel delays make national publication
Members of Juneau's Musarra family have been able to board commercial airplanes with relative ease since last spring. But the troubles they had in 2001 and 2002 are still finding their way into the national media.

Angela Alice Elizabeth Evenson
Former Juneau resident Angela Alice Elizabeth Evenson, 30, died of heart failure on Sept. 26, 2003, at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

Muriel Anastasia Metcalf
Former Juneau resident Muriel Anastasia Metcalf, 80, died Nov. 8, 2003, at her home in Vancouver, Wash.

Fixing fiscal problems
Statewide opinions

Sports in Juneau
NEW CALENDAR ITEMS • Juneau-Douglas High School wrestling - The Crimson Bears host their first home meet of the season on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 21-22. Times and teams TBA.

Hitting a bull's-eye
It was a bull's-eye for Juneau's first American Dart Organization-sanctioned tournament, held this weekend at Squires Rest in Auke Bay.

Hoonah Braves aim for fourth straight Class 2A region title
The Hoonah Braves will be seeking their fourth straight Region V-Class 2A volleyball title as the region tourney begins today in Skagway.

Sports in Juneau
NEW CALENDAR ITEM • Holiday Cup 2003 indoor soccer tournament - The annual indoor soccer tournament takes place Dec. 20-31, with five coed divisions - Elementary (grades 4-5), Middle School (grades 6-8), Junior (high school, ages 16-younger), Senior (high school-college, ages 17-21) and Masters (ages 22-222). Coaches and team managers interested in entering or sponsoring a team must submit a roster by Dec. 1.

Hoonah opens Region V-Class 2A volleyball title defense with sweep
SKAGWAY - The Hoonah girls swept Kake in three straight games to open up the Region V-Class 2A volleyball tourney here on Monday.

Governor considers buyback of coal-bed methane leases
ANCHORAGE - Gov. Frank Murkowski has suggested he is open to the possibility of the state buying back coal-bed methane leases before companies start exploring in earnest.

Snow training
A team of 16 Alaska huskies, trained by Ed Stielstra and his wife, Tasha, get a taste of snow Sunday on a trail in Anchorage.

AK municipal league: Tap permanent fund
FAIRBANKS - Municipal leaders from 65 Alaska communities say management of the $26 billion Alaska Permanent Fund should be modified and money used for public services.

Alaska Digest
Coast Guard seeks donations for families: JUNEAU - Throughout November, the crew aboard the Coast Guard cutter Liberty will conduct a food, winter clothing, blanket and toy drive to benefit Southeast families.

Teen is top cyber fan of presidential candidate
Cyber supporter: Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins,14, works at home last week in a closet his family turned into a computer room in Sitka. The teenager has made national news recently for being the top "DeanLinker" for presidential hopeful Howard Dean.

Energy bill offers breaks to industry
WASHINGTON - Two-thirds of the $23 billion in tax breaks in the Republican-drafted energy bill would go to the oil, gas and coal industries.

Williams sells refinery, stores for $265 million
TULSA, Okla. - Williams Cos. has agreed to sell an Alaska refinery, an interest in the trans-Alaska pipeline and 26 convenience stores in Alaska for $265 million cash, the company announced Monday.

Alaska Digest
AARP to host seminar on reverse mortgages: JUNEAU - Elderly Alaskans considering a reverse mortgage to replace the loss of monthly Longevity Bonus checks can find out more information at noon Wednesday at Centennial Hall.

Judge hears arguments in Pilgrim family's case against Park Service
ANCHORAGE - The federal government wrongly denied a family of 17 living within the boundaries of a national park access to their property by preventing their use of an old mining road to haul winter supplies, a lawyer contended Monday.

FAA stats show falling rate of plane crashes in Alaska
ANCHORAGE - Air travel in Alaska is getting safer, according to the latest statistics released by the Federal Aviation Administration.

Choice Tchotchkes
Annie Hurlbut, left, an Alaska artist who specializes in handmade dolls and beachgrass baskets, shows one of her dolls to Neala Pierce during a craft fair Sunday at the Nugget Mall.

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