Friday, November 21, 2003

Gold prices rebound, topping $400 an ounce
Gold is rebounding for the first time in more than seven years with the price topping $400 an ounce this week. Local industry leaders predict the higher prices will lead to increased exploration in the state.

Pipeline incentives clear first legislative hurdle
The federal energy bill passed this week in the U.S. House includes incentives toward the construction of a proposed $20 billion natural gas pipeline. Gov. Frank Murkowski and one of the gas companies involved are optimistic the project will proceed to the next engineering phase.

People should be able to choose senator
Unless things have changed radically, the business of the people is the business of the Senate.

New policy too costly
It is already apparent that people are going to make an issue of the new verbiage in the city's health care policy including domestic partners, based on their opinions and moral beliefs. However, I feel that this may cloud another very important issue as to why domestic partnerships should not be included in the new CBJ insurance policy.

Show respect for all people
You know, I was not going to write any more letters, as they never do any good anyway, but oh my God! I cannot let the letter from Trevor League (Nov. 18) go. I mean if this is not homophobic, what is? And sanctity of marriage? Please. Some of the worst people I have ever met in my life were heterosexuals (married).

Partner choice a private matter
This is a reply to "Domestic partners policy is immoral" by Trevor League: Every person in the United States has a right to life insurance and health insurance through their work - it doesn't matter who your partner in life is.

Convinced road into Juneau is a good thing
I fail to see how comparing Juneau crime to Anchorage or Sacramento could even be close to the same (Renshaw's letter of Nov. 19). For one, the population of both of those cities mentioned exceeds 10 times that of Juneau, thus more crime by nature.

Keep government hands off our dividend money
First it was the POMV plan which gives the Legislature our Permanent Fund and eliminates dividends to the people. Now it appears municipal leaders from 65 communities around Alaska have come out in support of local government getting our PFD. They are saying give the PFD to them - not the people, not local business, not your grandchildren's college fund, not any of the other uses of our Permanent Fund.

Taxpayers should have been consulted on policy
I find it disturbing that the elected officials of Juneau feel that Juneau has to keep up with Vermont and California. I agree that everyone deserves health insurance, but I also believe that the taxpayers deserve to weigh in on a policy that requires the public to front the money for. Was the policy put up for public hearing? Did the Assembly have it on a meeting agenda? And was it put out to the public so they could weigh in on the new policy?

Joining other cities that cover domestic partners
Congratulations to the City and Borough of Juneau for providing health insurance for domestic partners! We have joined the ranks of cities like Baltimore, Atlanta and Kalamazoo, Mich. (161 cities across the U.S. provide domestic partner health insurance).

CBJ not alone in providing benefits
I, for one, applaud the CBJ for providing benefits to domestic partners. Those that oppose the decision should know that the state governments of California, Connecticut, Iowa, Maine, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington already provide such benefits. Also, more than 160 municipal governments from virtually every state in the union currently offer domestic partner benefits.

Photo: Out for blood
Student Ben Gilles gives Blood Bank of Alaska medical assistant Marti Thrower a thumbs-up after she asked him how he was feeling during Wednesday's blood drive on the University of Alaska Southeast campus.

Artistic director DuBois to leave Perseverance
Perseverance Theatre artistic director Peter DuBois has announced his departure from the theater to assume the job of associate producer at New York's Public Theatre, according to a Perseverance press release Wednesday night.

Juneau planning commissioners OK waterfront hotel near bridge
Before the Juneau Planning Commission approved a conditional-use permit allowing another 12-suite hotel near the Juneau side of the Douglas Bridge, it decided the finished product would be called a hotel.

Correction
Due to an editing error, the name of the author of the My Turn in Wednesday's Empire was incorrect. Her name is Mary Willson, not Mary Wilson.

Douglas school regains its cupola
A former Tlingit school in Douglas has a cupola once again, thanks to the city and construction students, many of whom are Native, at the University of Alaska Southeast. On Nov. 8, Silverbow Construction attached the top of the cupola, or bell tower, to its base on the roof of the city-owned Mayflower School building, now leased to a Montessori school. The base was put in place three weeks before.

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

Photo: Trimming the governor's tree
Above, Lisa Norheim, left, Kimberly Ling, center, and Carol Munro of the state's garden and grounds crew lift a lodgepole pi

Panel recommends privatizing parts of ferry system
Big changes in Alaska's ferry system, including turning over some duties to the private sector, may be in store if the state Department of Transportation follows an advisory board's recommendation to run it more like a business.

City looks at how to widen S. Franklin St.
Business owners are concerned about getting fair market value for their property under a city proposal to widen South Franklin Street to alleviate congestion.

FYI
Births, judgments and other legal matters.

Doyle to step down as fire chief
Capital City Fire and Rescue Chief Mike Doyle resigned Wednesday, saying in his letter of resignation he was "tired" and admitting that recent department organizational changes "have not been universally popular."

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

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

Eaglecrest doesn't wait for Mother Nature
Eaglecrest Ski Area, buoyed by last week's snowfall, has been using the clear, cold days since Wednesday to make snow before the next storm.

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

Officials eye covered walkways for downtown
The city Community Development Department is working on a project to build canopies downtown to protect pedestrians from rain and snow and to improve aesthetics.

Doyle's departure won't halt changes
Juneau City Manager Rod Swope still believes in the reorganization proposed for Capital City Fire and Rescue, no matter who serves as its chief. "The reorganization is needed, with or without Mike Doyle," he told the Empire on Thursday.

Bank mailings target seniors
When Mary Lou Knickerbocker, 83, of Juneau, lost her monthly $250 Longevity Bonus payments in August, she, like many older Alaskans, began looking for a way to supplement her income.

Germain and Becker to marry
Kristy Becker and Greg Germain of Juneau will be married Saturday, Nov. 22, 2003, at Northern Light United Church.

Patriotic Essay Contest
Winners of the essay contest entitled, "What a Veteran Means to Me," sponsored by Southeast Alaska Disabled American Veteran (DAV) Chapter 4 and Bullwinkle's Pizza.

Wanstall and Mecklem wed last month
Carrie Linnea Mecklem of Portland, Ore., and Aaron Foster Wanstall of Juneau, were married Oct. 5, 2003, at the Cornelius Pass Roadhouse in Portland, Ore.

Neighbors Digest
Upcoming community events.

... for finding missing kids
Hello, my name is Yanakeen. I am Christopher See's mom. My son is one of the five children who were lost at Eagle River when they took a wrong turn and were caught in the dark.

Invitation to sing in symphony makes great learning experience
Diesen Kuss der ganzen Welt!" Kisses to the Whole World...and especially to Kyle Wiley Pickett and Todd Hunt! Here, "above the starry firmament." I am so happy that I live in Juneau and that Kyle and the Juneau Symphony found each other! As a 28-year resident and supporter of our symphony orchestra, I am just thrilled to pieces with the growth and musicianship over the past several years under his direction.

Gertrude 'Sally' Karrin Polley
Longtime Juneau resident Gertrude "Sally" Karrin Polley, 94, died Nov. 16, 2003, at the Juneau Pioneers Home.

Barbara Isabel Fallon
Longtime Juneau resident Barbara Isabel Fallon, 83, died Nov. 16, 2003, at the Juneau Pioneers' Home.

My Turn: Commissioner promotes myths about public lands
Ernesta Ballard, commissioner of the state Department of Environmental Conservation, presented three so-called myths about public lands in a speech Nov. 6.

My Turn: Gov. Murkowski is wrong to eliminate military rights
Last session Governor Murkowski sponsored a bill that, among other things, eliminated certain rights of U.S. military members. Recently Democratic House Leader Ethan Berkowitz and I, who both voted against the bill, called on the governor to help us reinstate those rights. In response the governor's press secretary made a few mistaken arguments regarding the bill and our votes, and posted them on the state's Web site.

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.

Cavaliers' road losing streak reaches 28 games
Same old story, different town. The Cavaliers' road woes continued to smart on Wednesday night, as even a career-best performance from LeBron James couldn't break their extended slump away from home. Loose defense in the early going put them in a hole and without workhorse Carlos Boozer, they didn't have the strength to overcome it.

Ketchikan Bill Weiss Great Alaska Challenge
Results from the Bill Weiss Great Alaska Challenge high school wrestling tournament, held Friday and Saturday at Ketchikan High School's Clarke Cochrane Gym.

Southeast wrestlers converge for Pilot Invite
After weekends spent at tournaments in Hoonah, Sitka and Ketchikan, the Juneau-Douglas High School wrestling team gets the special treat this weekend of their first home meet of the season.

Class 1A-2A-3A state wrestling rankings
Alaska Class 1A-2A-3A state wrestling rankings released Nov. 18.

Photo: Top of the World opener
Alaska Fairbanks' Brad Oleson, right, drives past Texas-San Antonio's Raphael Posey on Thursday during a Top of the World Classic basketball tournament game in Fairbanks. Oleson scored 24 points as UAF, the tourney's defending champion, beat Texas-San Antonio 66-48. Washington State beat Virginia Military Institute 66-46 in Thursday's other first-round game.

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.

Juneau wrestlers hang tough with Kayhi
The Juneau-Douglas High School wrestling team won its first four matches and two of the last three, but it wasn't enough to keep the Crimson Bears from dropping a dual-meet decision, 43-30, to the host Ketchikan Kings on Saturday at the Bill Weiss Great Alaska Challenge. The Crimson Bears took the early lead in the dual meet. Dante Santos won a 4-1 decision at 103 pounds, and then Chad Carson (112), Jordan Saceda (119) and Dennis Hall (125) all won by pins.

Boozer likely out for three games
A week ago, the Cleveland Cavaliers were feeling pretty good about their depth in the frontcourt. Not any more. Carlos Boozer didn't travel with the team to Washington after spraining his right ankle in Tuesday's win over the Clippers. Cavaliers coach Paul Silas said Boozer likely will miss at least three games and won't play until next Wednesday in New Orleans at the earliest.

Region V-Class 2A volleyball all-academic team
Seniors selected for the All-Academic Team Awards on Tuesday at the Region V-Class 2A volleyball tournament in Skagway.

Juneau will stay in CIFC
As the Juneau-Douglas High School football team geared up for last month's state playoffs, the Crimson Bears faced the distraction of not knowing what conference they'd be in for the 2004 season - if any.

Anchorage fish plant sells off its equipment
Millions of dollars' worth of fish-processing equipment - including machines to cut, mince, shape, fry and freeze fish - is for sale at the defunct Alaska Seafood International plant. The gear is being sold to help pay back money owed to two ASI investors, Bank SinoPac of Taiwan and a state agency, the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority.

Alaska Digest
News in brief from around the state.

Photo: Tree taming
Gary Upson of Danger Tree Removal cuts a large hemlock in half on the Westcoast Cape Fox Lodge hillside last week in Ketchikan. Upson felled two large hemlocks for Cape Fox that posed a hazard to buildings below.

Bush: 8.8 million acres to open for oil drilling
The Bush administration intends to open 8.8 million acres of Alaska's North Slope to oil and gas development, including areas considered environmentally sensitive.

Democrat Mike Layne enters race for U.S. Senate
A new Democratic contender for the U.S. Senate has entered the race, and he says that although he doesn't have millions in campaign contributions, he can win through grassroots campaigning. Mike Layne, 34, of Barrow, said he wants to shorten the work week to 32 hours, increase the national minimum wage to $10 and provide free health insurance to all Americans.

This Day in History
In Alaska.

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

World War II soldiers' remains buried at Arlington
The remains of seven servicemen whose plane crashed in Russia after taking off from Alaska during World War II were buried Thursday in Arlington National Cemetery. The group burial was conducted with full military honors, the Department of Defense said in a news release.

Judge upholds Perryville tribal court's right to banish resident for violence
A Superior Court judge has upheld the right of a tribal village to banish a resident with a long history of alcohol-fueled violence against other villagers. Judge Peter Michalski refused to dissolve an injunction he issued in 2001 at the request of the Native Village of Perryville, a small Alutiiq community about 200 miles southwest of King Salmon on the Pacific coast of the Alaska Peninsula.

Alaska Digest
News in brief from around the state.

Student Sinfonia selections
For the Juneau Student Symphonies performance.

Plett on Film: Visual Feast
Director Alexander Soku-rov's "Russian Ark" is a technical triumph: a visual fantasia that takes viewers on a whirlwind tour through three centuries of Russian history and culture.

What's Happening
Upcoming arts and entertainment events in Juneau.

Fun facts
Tidbits related to the making of the movie "Russian Ark."

Student Symphony program selections
The program for Juneau Student Symphonies.

One man, three mini-disc players and an undeniable country flavor
Country singer Kenny Knapp traveled through the western United States from 1974 to 1990 - in vans and motor homes - playing in a different club in a different state every few weeks. He was the lead guitarist and singer for a four- or five-piece band. They spent days on the road, evenings at nightclubs, late nights at faceless hotels. There was little trouble finding a gig.

Student Symphony takes new look at Vivaldi
Juneau Student Symphonies conductor Rick Trostel likes to say Antonio Vivaldi would have written his violin concerto in G Minor differently for a full orchestra. As it was, Vivaldi (1678-1741), a Baroque-era Italian trained on the violin and raised for the priesthood, composed the piece for strings and organ late in life.

Knapp is his own one-man band
When Kenny Knapp first went solo in 1991, all he had for accompaniment was his guitar. It wasn't enough sound for dance-hall-type venues.

The Swamp
Cartoon by local artist Toe.

Movies: Where and when
Show times at local theaters.

Review: 'King Stag' remains magical until very end
It wasn't until the beginning of the second act of Perseverance Theatre's production of "King Stag" that I realized where the magic lies in this production. A beautiful, melancholy love song drifts over the stage from the rafters above the set, where a guitarist and two performers stand in full view of the audience. The play's heroine slumps sadly on one of two thrones, creating a scene that reeks of lost love.

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