Wednesday, November 19, 2003

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.

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.

'Balanced' management?
As a member of the Unit 19(D) East (McGrath) Adaptive Management Team, I've learned what balanced management means to radical hunters and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

Focus on your own state
I got a good laugh with Tena Scruggs from California suggesting if Alaskans want to keep informed on the wolf issue they should go to defenders.com, ("Recall Murkowski over wolf hunting," Nov. 18).

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.

Road not the best use
Methinks Matt Koepple doth protest too much. He urges people in his letter to editor (Nov. 18) not to listen to their neighbors', co-workers' and friends' opinions about a road north out of Juneau. Perhaps he should follow his own advice about getting all the facts before "opining."

Simple appeal
Paul Ginnetty's discussion of the popularity of Rush Limbaugh and similar entertainers to some Americans was enjoyable, although 1,500 or so words of explanation seemed unnecessary.

Lack of road means a safer community
Denis Rehfeld is basing his conclusions upon an Empire poll. He needs to know that the voters voted down the road and I believe a vote is a more reliable basis for his conclusions than an online poll.

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."

Glad teachers are negotiating again
I want to let you know how pleased I was when I read the article in this morning's paper that our teacher's union, JEA, is going back to the table with the district. We were all hopeful when so many new members were elected to the board that you would take this matter to heart and want a fair contract for the teachers. You have renewed my faith, for the time being.

Follow the money
As a visitor to Juneau from Duluth, Minn., I took notice of Timothy Inklebarger's piece "New Group Pushes For Better Ferries" and its allusion to the controversy over funding the Alaska Marine Highway.

Ferry offers richer experience than road
I've taken the ferry from Haines to Bellingham twice, sans a "room," just camping out and have enjoyed it greatly. I can't afford a cruise ship and enjoy camping out on the deck. I met people from all over the world, saw places up close and enjoyed all the ferries have to offer a tourist.

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.

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?

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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

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.

This Day in History
In Alaska: • In 1941, work was started on the railroad tunnel to connect Portage and Whittier. • In 1959, authorization for night takeoffs and landings at Juneau International Airport was given by the FAA.

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.

High prices hold up through end of 2003 halibut season
The halibut season ended this weekend with high prices thanks to the long opening and booming fresh market.

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

Photo: Fast Ferry
Alaskas first fast ferry, Fairweather, was launched Sunday in Bridgeport, Conn. The 235-foot vessel will travel at speeds of up to 32 knots, or 40 mph.

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

Falcon chosen as school's mascot
Crimson Bear, meet the Falcon. The falcon will be the mascot for the planned high school at Dimond Park, and the school colors will be blue and silver, the Juneau School Board decided Tuesday.

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.

Mayor to name panel to create a new capitol
In a move to ward off threats to relocate the capital, Mayor Bruce Botelho plans to form a committee that would review building a new capitol.

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.

Juneau schools face bleak budgets
The Juneau School District revealed Tuesday it will have about $925,000 more than it projected this school year. But officials also presented bleak preliminary budgets for the next two school years that contemplate fewer school buses, fewer teachers and other cuts.

Commissioners approve zoning in Lemon Creek
Juneau needs housing, one city planning commissioner pointed out Tuesday night to Lemon Creek residents who objected to a proposed multi-family housing project in their neighborhood.

Around Town
Today:Gift of Life Blood Drive, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., University of Alaska Southeast. Details and appointment scheduling: 465-6528. Day of Quilting, Sewing and Good Fellowship, 10 a.m. every Wednesday, Resurrection Lutheran Church. Quilts donated to Lutheran World Relief. Details: 586-2380.

Photo: Time for holiday lights
Trevor Gong of the city's park maintenance division hangs strings of lights on a lamppost Tuesday on Front Street. About 80 of the posts in the downtown area are adorned with lights for the holiday season.

Photo: Wharf's early days
Alaska aviation pioneer Shell Simmons operated Alaska Air Transport out of the building now known as Merchants Wharf in the mid-1930s.

Anniversary's
Messings to celebrate 50th Saturday, Blackwells celebrate 50th anniversary

Pets of the Week
Pets of the week: TORI Active lab shakes, 'speaks,' can seem kangaroo-like, MR. PIBBS, Graham-cracker colored; gives raven impressions

Wedding
Dawson, Pearson marry in Reno

Thanks
... for helping with the Interact Club; The Interact Club at the Juneau-Douglas High School has had a successful year thus far, and we would like to pause to recognize the members of this community who have supported us and helped us along the way.

Giving gustatory thanks in the early days
Celebrations of the Thanksgiving holiday in early Alaska and the Yukon Territory had much to do with available edibles.

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

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.

My Turn: Why I support Kucinich for president
I 'm working on the Dennis Kucinich for President campaign because he is the only candidate who has a broad and generous enough vision to bring the United States back on track. Under both Republican and Democratic administrations we have become a nation bent on dominating the world militarily and economically, with diminishing regard for the health, education and prosperity of our own citizens.

Fixing fiscal problems
Statewide opinions

Depleted energy
Tucked away in the 1,000-plus pages of the energy bill that a House-Senate conference produced Monday are subsidies, loan guarantees and other spending measures worth about $100 billion. Where is all that money to go?

Cavaliers beat Clippers at their own run-and-gun game
CLEVELAND - See the Cavaliers run. See the Cavaliers jump out to gigantic lead. See them almost blow the whole thing. See them rally to win in time for everyone to head home for chalupas.

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.

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.

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).

Hoonah wins fourth straight Region V-2A volleyball title
SKAGWAY - Hoonah volleyball coach Julie Jackson greeted her senior star, Amy Wright, with a big hug after her team knocked off Klawock in three straight games for the Region V-Class 2A title Tuesday at Skagway High School.

Nanooks hope to defend their Top of the World Classic title
ANCHORAGE - The University of Alaska Fairbanks proved to be rude hosts last year at the BP Top of the World Classic, the nation's northernmost college basketball tournament.

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.

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.

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.

Sun sets on Barrow until Jan. 23
BARROW - The sun is setting on America's northernmost city and won't be seen again for two months. The sun rose at 12:33 p.m. Tuesday and set just one hour and 18 minutes later at 1:51 p.m., according to the National Weather Service in Barrow. The sun will not be rise again until Jan. 23.

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.

Judge denies Pilgrim family access
ANCHORAGE - A federal judge on Tuesday rejected a backwoods family's request to use an old mining road so they can haul winter supplies to their remote cabin in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve.

Pilots apply to participate in aerial wolf hunt
FAIRBANKS - Bob Magnuson considers it his "civic duty" to kill a wolf every now and then. That's why he's planning to apply for a permit to shoot wolves from his airplane this winter after the Alaska Board of Game approved the state's first aerial wolf-hunting program in more than 15 years.

Alaska Digest
Two pounds of pot found in car on ferry KETCHIKAN - A Metlakatla man was arrested and his vehicle seized in Ketchikan after U.S. Customs officers reportedly found two pounds of marijuana in his car aboard the state ferry Taku.

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