Wednesday, December 4, 2002

High-tide phenomena
This week Juneau enjoys one of nature's most transforming phenomena: extreme high tides. On Wednesday at 12:33 p.m. we will have a 20.3-foot high tide. Familiar landmarks vanish as the rising water inundates grassy expanses and converts the normal boundaries of ponds and streams into one massive waterbody.

Respect bicycles
I also lived in a Midwestern town and rode my bike regularly across the Mississippi River bridges. I was constantly amazed at the obvious irritation of drivers that thought I belonged on the sidewalk!

At a safe distance
The headline for a front-page story in Sunday's Empire was: "Conservatives dispute Bush's rosy take on Muslim religion." The story was a report on the unhappiness of many conservatives, including some in the Bush White House, over the president's characterization of Islam as "based on peace, love and compassion."

Drugs aren't the answer
In response to the rebellious attitudes of many who are determined to preach their wicked, selfish ways to so many innocent souls out there, I am compelled to confront this justification that has arisen lately in our community. Are we so gullible and naive to accept this preaching that drugs are so good for the better of society?

From personal experience
I used to drink alcohol and smoke marijuana on a regular basis. I've since stopped drinking and partying because I've got kids to raise and just got tired of hangovers and the money being blown by drinking. In all the years I smoked marijuana, I never knew of anyone committing any crimes that involved marijuana intoxication.

Winter games would close some local schools temporarily
The Juneau School Board decided Tuesday night to send a letter to the city supporting Juneau's bid for the Arctic Winter Games, despite questions about how the district would handle required school closures. "Conceptually, it is a good idea," said School Board member Alan Schorr. "Practically, I am wondering what the implications will be for thousands of students."

This Day in History
In 1912, the 100-stamp mill at the Perseverance Mine in the Silver Bow Basin was destroyed by fire.

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

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

Released inmate accused of attempted sexual assault
A man with more than 40 criminal convictions in Alaska since 1987 pleaded innocent in Juneau Superior Court on Tuesday to beating and attempting to sexually assault a woman who had given him a place to stay. Larry Rieger, 45, faces felony charges of first-degree attempted sexual assault and third-degree assault. A grand jury had indicted him for sexual assault, but prosecutors amended the charge to attempted sexual assault.

Where's winter?
Ullr, the Norwegian god of snow and a popular deity among local skiers and snowboarders, has not been benevolent to Juneau residents this winter. No snow has fallen here this season, breaking the previous record for late snowfall set in 1980, when snow fell on Nov. 20. Only one other November has been snow-free since 1943, and average snowfall in November is 12.3 inches.

Correction
Due to a reporter's error, Monday's Empire article on the ferry system's online reservations system misstated what a percentage of projected ticket sales referred to.

This Day in History
In 1906, Frank H. Waskey was seated as the first delegate in the U.S House of Representatives from Alaska. He had, however, no voting power in Congress.

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

'Test first, fish next': New geoduck rules may help divers
Southeast Alaska's commercial divers should find more opportunities to put lucrative, live geoduck clams on the market this winter under a new health-testing plan. An agreement this fall between the state Department of Environmental Conservation and the Southeast Regional Dive Fisheries Association is changing the way the state tests the giant clams for paralytic shellfish poisoning.

Corrections
Due to a reporting error, Tuesday's Empire article on a partial state hiring freeze inaccurately stated that an ordered two-month freeze on personal service contracts could extend to professional service contracts.

Photo: Finally - a frost
Frost coats cow parsnip in the Mendenhall Wetland State Game Refuge on Tuesday near Sunny Point. Winter weather is arriving later than usual this year, but frost finally appeared in most parts of Juneau in the last several days.

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

Thank you
...for your efforts; ...for your cooperation; ...for your hard work.

Christmas Bazaar, bake sale set for Dec. 7
Holy Trinity Episcopal Church craft-makers started getting ready for the church's annual Christmas Bazaar in September. "We began getting together in the fall doing projects, group and individual projects, with the Christmas Bazaar in mind every Saturday morning," said Terry Hoskinson, one of the event's organizers. "We've made fabric items, knitted items, beading projects, soap, bath salts, candy wreaths and other items."

Gastineau Channel Little League announces its officers for 2003
The Gastineau Channel Little League board of directors met recently to organize for the coming 2003 season. J. Allan MacKinnon was re-elected president. He has been on the board for nine of the past 10 years, serving as president for six of those years. He is a longtime volunteer and held various positions in the organization while his boys played baseball.

Photo: Student of the month
Veronica Johnson, a senior at Juneau-Douglas High School, has been selected for recognition as Glacier Valley Rotary Club's Student of the Month for November 2002.

Pets of the week
Reggie was just a skinny little stray cat, but look at him now. He is a gentleman with a fluffy, pumpkin-colored coat and an elegant plume of a tail. Mister is a beautiful, tri-colored Australian cattle dog. Alert and very bright, he responds quickly to commands.

Neighbors Briefs
Ann Chandonnet to write for 'Encyclopedia of American Food'; St. Vincent de Paul offering assistance to local families; JDHS swim team selling Christmas trees; Sharing Tree on display

Henry Allen Collais
Juneau resident Henry Allen Collais died Nov. 29, 2002, at Bartlett Regional Hospital in Juneau.

Sports in Juneau
Information on upcoming sports and outdoors events in Juneau.

Knicks 125, Cavaliers 93
In New York, Allan Houston scored 29 points and Kurt Thomas had a career-high six blocks to go with 22 points as New York dealt Cleveland its 15th straight loss.

Casey's body found on Connecticut beach
JUNEAU - The body of Thomas Casey - a Juneau summer resident and avid runner who failed to return from a kayak trip on Long Island Sound last month - was found Monday along the Connecticut shore.

Sports in Juneau
Information on upcoming sports and outdoors events in Juneau.

New liver, lots of heart
The pager, her electronic lifeline, was tucked safely inside her gym bag inside the locker room at Anchorage's Sullivan Arena. As she waited for the telephone call that could save her life, Brittney Kroon was playing the most important basketball game of her life. The pager was supposed to be with her at all times, but what was she supposed to do? Clip it to her basketball shorts? Kroon had a championship game to play, and surely for those two hours the call wouldn't come. A liver wouldn't suddenly become available. What were the odds?

Research center on building in cold climates wins funding
ANCHORAGE - The federal government will provide $175,000 for design of a center that will do research on home construction in cold climates. The $2 million center is being developed by a nonprofit corporation formed by the Alaska State Home Builders Association. It will be at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. The center is expected to be completed by spring 2004.

Anchorage landmark store closes after 87 years of operation
ANCHORAGE - Kimball's Dry Goods Store, a landmark among Anchorage businesses, closed last month after 87 years of operation in downtown Anchorage and a century in Alaska.

Governor picks acting heads
Gov. Frank Murkowski has appointed 10 temporary commissioners to fill positions vacated by those appointed by former Gov. Tony Knowles. Commissioners under the Knowles administration ended their terms of employment on Monday, when Murkowski was sworn in as governor. Because of heightened concerns for homeland security, Commissioner of Public Safety Del Smith and Commissioner of Military and Veteran Affairs Adj. Gen. Phillip Oates will continue to serve until replacements are found, the Murkowski transition team said.

State to cut salmon catch from Canadian Yukon R.
WASHINGTON - Alaska will harvest fewer salmon from the Canadian portion of the Yukon River, under a new management plan signed Wednesday by the United States and Canada.

Man sentenced to 25 years for crash
PALMER - A man convicted of second-degree murder in the drunken-driving crash that killed a little boy last year has been sentenced to 25 years in prison. John M. Knauss was drunk when he slammed into another vehicle on the Parks Highway near Wasilla, killing 5-year-old Floyd Mack Jr. on Nov. 27, 2001, and seriously injuring Linda Mack and her daughter Jeanette Seybert.

Governor lauds Republican unity in state government
Gov. Frank Murkowski vowed Monday afternoon at his inauguration at Centennial Hall to live up to the state motto, "North to the Future."

Permanent fund board blasts Deutsche Bank
ANCHORAGE - The Alaska Permanent Fund Corp. has blasted a major New York financial services company for concealing what the fund's board says was a serious conflict of interest.

Murkowski freezes some state hires
Just hours after being sworn into office, Gov. Frank Murkowski issued administrative orders freezing hiring for some state jobs and out-of-state travel by state workers. He also called for performance audits for all state departments. Murkowski also issued an order appointing Attorney General Gregg Renkes to succeed Loren Leman as lieutenant governor if that office becomes vacant, putting Renkes in the governor's seat if anything happens to Murkowski and Leman.

State Briefs
Church burgled, damaged, little taken; How to get a North Pole postmark; State to recount ballots in House race; Charge reduced in flight disruption; Fairbanks school board member unhappy with recruiting policy; Judge refuses to reduce bail

State looks at opening more land for farming
WASILLA - State officials are looking at two new projects to spur farming in Alaska, one near Kenny Lake just south of Glennallen and another near Big Lake. The two areas would open up thousands of acres. Both projects are backed enthusiastically by farmers, who say potential farmland is scarce.

State Briefs
State employee pleads innocent; Fog lifts, flights resume; Grounded vessel nearly cleaned up; City Assembly funds sewer study; City schedules mini-bond sale;

BP Exploration compiles list of prospects for sale
ANCHORAGE - BP Exploration (Alaska) Inc. has spent the last year marketing its exploration acreage on the North Slope of Alaska. As announced earlier, the company is investing its exploration capital elsewhere in the world, including the Gulf of Mexico.

Seward plans to add hundreds of new boat slips
KENAI - A plan calls for adding hundreds of boat slips to the Seward Small Boat Harbor as well as improving services for boaters, city officials say. City officials hope the plan will reduce a long waiting list for slips and improve services to residents and visitors seeking access to Resurrection Bay, Prince William Sound and Kenai Fjords National Park.

Forests decimated by beetles slated for harvest
KENAI - Hundreds of acres of forest killed by the spruce bark beetle near Ninilchik and Homer will be up for bid in mid-March. The timber sales are part of a continuing effort by the state Division of Forestry to remove hazardous trees from populated areas.

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