Saturday, November 22, 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.

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?

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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.

FYI
Births, judgments and other legal matters.

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.

... 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.

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 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.

This Day in History
In Alaska.

Alaska Digest
News in brief from around the state.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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