Tuesday, December 10, 2002

Commissioner background
I think the Empire owes it to readers who did not vote for Mr. Murkowski to do a little more reporting on the new governor's cabinet choices. I had to read the Anchorage paper to learn our new Department of Environmental Conservation leader spent much of her recent career as a timber industry lobbyist.

Responsible development
I was interested in Mr. Richard Schmitz's comments (Empire, Dec. 5). I can't speak to the film he viewed, not having seen it. But his comments regarding resource development are of interest.

Vaccination history
I must comment on Dec. 9's report of the state's smallpox vaccination planning under the federal Patriot Act. I am extremely happy to hear that public smallpox vaccination will be voluntary. Based on the information provided to the Juneau Empire about the plan (limited due to "security considerations" - ha! ha! ha!), I worry that the public education phase will be full of pseudo-science.

Unwelcome herbicide
In reference to an article in the Anchorage Daily News on Nov. 29, Trees vs. Food, I find it inconceivable that the Department of Environmental Conservation is entertaining the idea of mass spraying of herbicide as a "forestry management tool."

Greeney fan
I don't know who Phil Greeney is or where he came from, but I'd like to read more of his excellent writing in the Empire. The My Turn in Sunday's paper was first-class.

A Saturday market
The deck-over at Marine Park is progressing along at a good clip so I figured it's time to start thinking about its summertime use. It was sold to us as a multi-use facility, sometimes a bus parking lot, sometimes a place for people. Most of the time it will be for bus use, there's no getting around that.

Conflict of values
The president and the Congress are accountable to the people of America. We the people don't have to ask them to be accountable. They were elected by us. They represent Americans. Accountable equates with responsibilities, and those responsibilities include defending the principles and values up on which this country is founded. It is in the Constitution.

Haines borough manager dies, 58
Haines Borough Manager Marco Pignalberi died of a massive heart attack early today, city officials said. Pignalberi, 58, was taken to the SEARHC Clinic in Haines late Monday night after suffering a mild heart attack, said Haines Borough Mayor Mike Case. Pignalberi suffered a second, more serious heart attack around 9 a.m. today that killed him, said Case.

Correction
Due to an error in information supplied to the Empire, an article in Friday's paper misidentified the name of the shooting range where Floyd Dryden students participated in a outdoor skills program. The program took place at the Juneau Gun Club.

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

Assembly fills Planning Commission slots
The Juneau Assembly filled five slots on the Juneau Planning Commission on Monday, including a vacancy created by the resignation of Commissioner Jody Vick. Vick resigned Monday, citing "prior commitments" in a letter to the Assembly. He could not be reached for comment by the Empire's midday deadline.

Taku Smokeries/Fisheries changes ownership
Sandro Lane has sold his stake in Taku Smokeries and Taku Fisheries, the Juneau companies he started at his home in 1983. The Gallizio family, which has owned 50 percent of the shares of the parent company since 1992, will take over the operation of the business at the end of this month.

Photo: The Douglas Bridge opening in 1935
The original Douglas Bridge opened on Oct. 13, 1935, ending the dependency on ferries for transporting people and goods between Douglas and Juneau. After decades of lobbying for a bridge to connect the two communities, on Dec. 28, 1933, the Alaska Road Commission received $250,000 from the Public Works Administration to begin construction.

Tree hugger
Juneau-Douglas High School swim team member Natalie Hale carries a Christmas tree for customer Chet Durand, right, Sunday. The JDHS swimming and diving teams are holding their annual Christmas tree sale fund-raiser at the Fred Meyer parking lot. The trees will be on sale 5 to 8 p.m. Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.

2-hour truck chase ends in $24,000 crash
In a little more than two hours early Sunday, a 16-year-old boy allegedly stole two vehicles, led police on a high-speed chase and crashed into a concrete wall, injuring himself and a friend, police said.

Images from another time: Jualin mine
Looking northwest, the long-closed Jualin gold mine, about 44 miles northwest of dowtown Juneau, is shown with Lion's Head Mountain in the background. The Jualin was discovered by Frank Cook in 1895 and was first operated by the Jualin Mining Co. of Boonville, Ind.

Treadwell ice rink to open by February
If you get ice skates for Christmas, you'll have to wait about a month before you can use them at the Treadwell Arena. The grand opening for Juneau's first indoor ice rink has been delayed. In September, plans called for a December opening. The city now hopes to have the arena open by February, Parks and Recreation Director Kim Kiefer said.

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

District to present Valley HS plans
The Juneau Assembly Public Works and Facilities Committee on Wednesday will hear the school district's plan for a Mendenhall Valley High School. The plan, which was approved by the Juneau School Board last month, must be approved by the Public Works and Facilities Committee and the full Assembly before the school can be built.

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

This Day in History
In 1826, John H. Kinkead, the first governor of the Alaska territory, was born in Pennsylvania.

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

Richard Manly Wellman
Juneau resident Richard Manly Wellman died Dec. 4, 2002, in Juneau.

My Turn: Soccer is not ice hockey
Disappointed, outraged, inexperienced, old boy/girl network, sham, hidden agenda! These are all words I could incorporate into my diatribe. No, I'm not talking about the local Assembly elections! I'm talking about the recent rink manager appointment! What happened to the requisite experience requirements that were indicated in the job description for the rink manager? The person that was hired has absolutely zero experience with rinks or rink management, what she has is connections in Parks and Rec. In fact, she is employed there!

Glacier Swim Club finishes second overall in state age-group meet
Juneau's Glacier Swim Club couldn't put in a last-day rally to win the Alaska Swimming Age-Group Championships, instead falling short of victory as Alaska Pacific Swim Club of Anchorage won the title Sunday in the three-day meet held at Ketchikan's Mike Smithers Pool.

Alaska State Volleyball Champions
The Alaska state high school girls volleyball champions since 1976-77. The high school season has been in the fall and the mid-winter at various times over the years, so school years are listed. There was only one size classification until 1984-85, with multiple size classifications introduced the next year and Class 4A being the largest school classification.

Braves claim title in Region V-2A volleyball
Hoonah continued its dominance of Southeast small-schools volleyball last weekend by winning the title at the Region V-Class 2A championship in Kake. The Braves beat the Klawock Chieftains 17-15, 15-5, 15-0 to win the region title for the third straight year. They did not lose a match in the entire tournament.

Cavs rally from 21 down, but Bucks win in 2nd OT
CLEVELAND - Sam Cassell scored 39 points to lead the Milwaukee Bucks to a double-overtime victory - but was not pleased. "We just escaped," Cassell said after a wild 140-133 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday night. "We're up by 20 and let up. We can't have these games."

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.

Vikings dominates region wrestling
Buoyed by strong performances from upperclassmen and by freshman who stepped up in the spotlight, Petersburg won the Region V-Class 2A-3A wrestling meet last Friday and Saturday in Craig. The Vikings qualified 14 wrestlers for this weekend's Class 1A-2A-3A state tournament and finished with 235.5 points, well ahead of second-place Mount Edgecumbe (151.5 points) and third-place Klawock (115 points).

Perseverance pays off for Kake wrestler
Kake senior wrestler Aaron Billy earned a trip to state by finishing third at last weekend's Region V-Class 2A-3A meet. But in Billy's case, the story is not just in the accomplishment. It's also in the journey he took to get there.

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

Regulators call on phone competitors to cooperate
ANCHORAGE - State regulators are calling on the two top phone companies in Juneau, Anchorage and Fairbanks to stop their feuding. The Regulatory Commission of Alaska on Monday ordered General Communication Inc. and Alaska Communications Systems to cooperate better, saying consumers have been victims in a dispute between the two companies.

Logging violations expand against Afognak corporation
Logging violations performed by workers for the Afognak Native Corp. are worse than anticipated, state officials say. The area on Afognak Island where the infractions occurred is more than twice as big as originally reported. The timber company involved also removed the logs despite being told to leave them on the ground.

Murkowski names 5 new commissioners
Gov. Frank Murkowski today appointed commissioners to the state departments of revenue, environmental conservation, health and social services, corrections, and labor and workforce development. Juneau resident Bill Corbus will head the Department of Revenue and Greg O'Claray, also of Juneau, will head the Department of Labor.

Alaska Natives say education system fails them
ANCHORAGE - Educators, parents and former students who gathered at an Alaska Native education conference say the western education system has largely failed them. But some also pointed out that efforts to restructure schools' culture and course work have begun.

AlaskaDigest
Police say burglar beat sleeping man; Assembly considers appointments; Doyon declares $3.45 per share dividend; Attacks helped break airport's growth streak

Study: Risk of contracting cancer in Amchitka low
A risk analysis by a U.S. Department of Energy contractor finds that the odds of a person contracting cancer caused by a nuclear leak at Amchitka Island are "infinitely low." The study, however, hasn't convinced a number of scientists, state officials and Aleutian residents who worry about residue from three underground atomic tests on Amchitka more than 30 years ago.

Repatriation conference helps clans learn about bringing their past home
Thousands of objects made by Tlingit and Haida people - artwork, tools and sacred religious items - were taken from Southeast Alaska during the past 200 years. Some of these artifacts will remain in private collections and public museums. Others may be returning to Alaska, thanks to a federal law that allows Native Americans to reclaim cultural objects and even human remains. Last week, Sealaska Heritage Institute sponsored a three-day conference in Juneau to help Southeast clans from Ketchikan to Yakutat learn about repatriating cultural objects.

Mum's the word for new commissioners
Gov. Frank Murkowski named five commissioners to various departments in state government on Monday, but appointees are mum - at least for now - on speaking with the press, at the request of the administration. John Manly, a Murkowski spokesman, said the administration would prefer that all media questions be run through the administration.

Man's death ruled negligent homicide
Hoonah resident Sarah Lampe often listens to reports of fires, false alarms and accidents on her police scanner. What she heard Sunday sent her to the scene of a serious motor-vehicle accident less than a block from her home where her nephew was lying on the ground, unconscious and dying.

State Briefs
Ellis, Elton to lead Senate Dems; Man charged with manslaughter, DWI; Man seeks permit to house up to 60 dogs; Douglas Bridge update; Construction company appeals order; Alaska Airlines: print boarding passes at home; Homer plans for jump in cruise ship visits

This day in History
In 1948, the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Storis arrived in Juneau to take up permanent station.

BP drops Alaska-residency requirement
FAIRBANKS - BP has changed its hiring policy for Alaska workers. The British company used to require hires to live in Alaska if they worked in Alaska, but no longer. The company changed that policy Nov. 20, and now allows employees to live Outside while collecting a paycheck for work in Alaska fields.

Union contracts on the table
Contracts with the following unions will expire next year:

Several airlines vie for Adak-Anchorage subsidy
ANCHORAGE - A decision on jet service between Anchorage and Adak is expected by year's end, and Alaska Airlines is leading the competition in endorsements.

State to launch smallpox action plan
The state of Alaska was finishing work today on a plan to deliver the first round of smallpox vaccinations here, according to Karen Pearson, director of the state Division of Public Health. Smallpox is caused by the variola virus and results in a high fever and rash. It is contagious and sometimes fatal. While the disease was eradicated worldwide in 1980, the federal government has been focusing on smallpox response plans in the event of a possible terrorist attack.

Unions get set for negotiations
The incoming administration of Gov. Frank Murkowski faces negotiations with all 12 state employee unions on labor contracts that expire in 2003. Contracts for 10 of the state's 12 collective bargaining units expire June 30. Contracts for the other two - the Inlandboatmen's Union and the bargaining unit representing state troopers - expire within the first three months of next year.

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