Monday, November 19, 2001

Revisit the road
I do not know what the statistical probability of an aircraft-bird strike causing an accident at the Juneau Airport is but I support Steven Schlaffman's (even though I do not know him) idea for ROAD (Reduce Our Airport Dependency).

Reduce road risks
On a recent Saturday morning, a drunk driver on Juneau's Egan Drive almost hit one of our Mothers Against Drunk Driving members, who called 911 to report the incident. With no police officers in the vicinity, it seemed something more needed doing. A visit to the police station and the on-duty sergeant yielded a rich lode of information.

Insults and assumptions
This letter is regarding Jackie Forster's My Turn on the School of the Americas and the responses to the article by Richard Schmitz and Chris Joy.

Just a realist
In regard to the response in Tuesday's Empire regarding "deportation," I would be obliged to comment further and answer your questions.

Terms of the deal
In reference to your Nov. 14 article concerning jet boat tours in the Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve, we applauded DNR Commissioner Pourchot's decision to ban eagle baiting and to recognize that commercial use is not a traditional use in the preserve. The preserve was never intended to be a zoo.

Reduce probabilities
Don Smith, in his Sunday editorial, is right on the mark in identifying this new terrorist threat from birds. Someone needed to say it. Now, I know that anyone with some rationality knows that it is not all birds that need to be quelled.

Help ROAD
If statistical probability of an aircraft-bird strike causing an accident at the Juneau Airport is to be a determining factor in the decision to remove the trees around the airport, as suggested by Mr. Gray, then perhaps there should be an additional proposal for consideration. It's what I call ROAD (Reduce Our Airport Dependency). If there were an alternative way in and out of Juneau, perhaps the removal of the trees might be less of an issue.

On the contrary
Chris Joy's letter titled "Cheers for the left" is absolutely laughable! What cave do you live in, Ms. Joy? Are you not aware of what's been going on? Maybe you have set yourself apart from the attacks we suffered on Sept. 11 because you didn't lose any loved ones. Or, maybe you don't care about the abuse of women in Afghanistan since you don't live there. It wasn't us that started the war in Afghanistan ... even though we intend to finish it.

Cruise initiative brought about federal, state laws
Imagine this: A government agency, faced with a complex and unprecedented problem, engages the private sector and the public in a cooperative program to define and resolve the issues.

Costello resigns from mayor's bear committee
Urban bear advocate and photographer Pat Costello has resigned from the mayor's Ad Hoc Urban Bear Committee, citing inaction by city government.

Assembly scuttles boat tax
Juneau Assembly members put a new boat tax on hold Friday, opting to turn over the issue to a work group for more discussion.

Around Town
Juneau events

When Harry met Juneau
A 3yearold girl in pearls sang "Harry Harry Harry" as the sold-out crowd lined up for "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" on Saturday afternoon at Glacier Cinemas.

Forum looks at bettering school climate
Success for all students, tolerance, parent involvement and valuing teachers would make for an ideal school, say local parents and teachers.

Teen involved in police car chase gets 30 days
A teen-ager eluded police during a high-speed police chase last August because "he didn't want to get a speeding ticket," his lawyer told Juneau Superior Court Judge Larry Weeks on Friday.

BLM plans cleanup on Mayflower Island
The U.S. Bureau of Land Management is planning to conduct an environmental cleanup project and facility upgrade at its Juneau Mineral Information Center.

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

Red Cross devotes Liberty Fund to victims of terrorists
The American Red Cross announced last week it will use its Liberty Fund solely for people affected by the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Poll backs managing tourism
Seventy-eight percent of the people responding to Juneau's latest tourism Web poll think it is appropriate for the city to manage the benefits and impacts of tourism.

Local Briefs
Arrest made in assault case; Fanshaw timber sale meeting tonight; Marie Drake meeting Tuesday; BLM plans cleanup on Mayflower Island

Correction
Due to an editing error, community events scheduled for today were listed as Sunday events in Sunday's Empire Around Town listings.

One wrong makes many rights
A mistake in Skagway made it possible for Juneau's AWARE shelter to provide 120 winter boots to victims of domestic violence.Tim Bourcy, mayor of Skagway and owner of Packer Expeditions, accidentally purchased 120 pairs of boots for his company that he could not use. When he tried to return them, he found the manufacturer had gone out of business. Not knowing what to do, Bourcy talked to his accountant. "It would take quite a while for me to sell 120 pairs of boots in Skagway," he said. His accountant mentioned Juneau's Footwear for Families program, founded by Ray Vidic.

My Turn: Don't discount the economic value of tourism
In the Nov. 14 edition of the Empire, Kim Metcalfe criticizes Empire publisher Don Smith's editorial comments regarding the tough economic conditions in Hawaii caused by recent downturn in travel. Don urges us to pay attention because, like Hawaii, we are heavily dependent on tourism for our economic health.

My Turn: Alaska needs tourists; don't chase them away
Some local residents insist that Alaska's visitor industry is insulated from the events of Sept. 11.

My Turn: Garbage problem poses risk to people, bears
Last November the mayor formed the Ad Hoc Bear Committee. Following a summer of non-stop garbage and bear problems, a thousand bear-related calls to Juneau Police, and too many bears shot and killed for their indiscre

Empire editorials: Bears, dogs and politics; Airport controversy needs a dose of common sense
Topics: Bears, dogs and politics; Airport controversy needs a dose of common sense

Mental illness matters when the issue is concealed weapons
In the fall of 1998, a clerk in an Anchorage store noticed a man who was completely soaked, with water dripping off him. The clerk asked if he needed help. Timothy Wagner replied that he needed to soak out the chemicals that had been injected into him, or else the chemicals were going to kill him. He also said a computer chip had been implanted in his head. What he didn't say was that he was carrying a concealed weapon in his briefcase.

Sports in Juneau
Sports events

Better the second time around
When Juneau's Hannah Slotnick arrived at Mary Washington College last year, Slotnick was a typical freshman -- a little bit unsure of herself as she made the adjustment from high school to college.

Butler beats Washington for Top of the World Classic title
Darnell Archey hit a 3-point shot with 57 seconds left to give Butler its first lead of the second half and the Bulldogs defeated Washington 67-64 Sunday night to win the Top of the World Classic.

Sports In Juneau
Sunday, Nov. 25

Company will sell wireless licenses
WASHINGTON -- The government settled its long airwaves battle with NextWave Telecom Inc. on Friday with a $16 billion deal that could improve service for mobile-phone customers in dozens of U.S. cities.

Judge's abortion finding rejected
ANCHORAGE -- The Alaska Supreme Court has rejected a Superior Court judge's ruling that the state should not require minors to get permission before having an abortion.

Around the state
Groups seek Thanksgiving help; Lobbyist indicted on fraud charges; Get those trout now; Poll shows support for smoking ban; Cattle roundup planned near Kodiak

Herring behavior could show link to Exxon Valdez spill
New imaging technology shows that Pacific herring rise to the surface of Prince William Sound at night to gulp down air. Scientists say the discovery could be the missing link between the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill and the population crash of the once-plentiful fish. Herring are caught by commercial fishermen and eaten by larger fish and marine mammals.

Abortion ruling win for parents, supporters say
Supporters of a law requiring minors to get permission from a parent or judge to get an abortion are claiming a small win after an Alaska Supreme Court ruling last week.

Court decision could mean more rural trials
A decision by the Alaska Court of Appeals could result in more criminal trials being held in small towns around the Alaska Bush instead of Fairbanks or Bethel, the only places in the sprawling Fourth Judicial District that have sitting Superior Court judges. The same reasoning would apply to other regions of the state.

Barrow residents see sun for last time this year
The sun set on Barrow on Sunday for the last time this year. The sun won't rise again until Jan. 23, according to the National Weather Service Office in Barrow. Donovan Price, manager of the Barrow office, said the sun rose Sunday at 12:43 p.m. and set 58 minutes later.

Judge: State doesn't have to offer benefits to gay partners
An Anchorage judge has ruled the state of Alaska and the city of Anchorage do not have to extend benefits to gay or lesbian partners of employees and retirees.

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