Wednesday, December 18, 2002

Tell me your story
I am a fifth-grade student, and my class is studying America and American history. We have been asked to write reports on one of our favorite states in America. I have chosen to report on Alaska. The reports will cover topics such as history, culture, geography, jobs, and places of interest.

Letter had it right
Hurray to Gary Hayden. We need more letters and articles like the one featured in the Dec. 10 issue of the Empire. Not too many people make reference to the Constitution anymore nor talk about the principles upon which this country was founded.

Guns part of Alaska's heritage
At Juneau High School in the 1950s there was a wonderful after-school activity called Rifle Club. Not just anybody could get in to this exclusive club! You had to be at least a junior and you had to shoot your way in with a good score. Too many kids wanted to join, but the groups were limited, so only the best scores got in.

Consider other towns in the EIS
Today the environmental impact statement for the road out of Juneau was ordered to be completed. One of the comments I heard was Skagway and Haines don't want the road and why should they, they already have one. I as a resident of Skagway would like to speak for myself.

Used to be less acrimonious
Recently, a Juneau friend called and before our conversation ended he referred to what Juneauites call environmentalists: CAVE people (Citizens Against Virtually Everything). Isn't that also applicable to Haines?

Family sits in empty house waiting for their belongings
When Paul Hawkins was accepted for a job at Bartlett Regional Hospital as an ultrasound technician in early October it was a dream come true for him and his family. Hawkins, 33, and his wife Pascale, 34, were living in Sumter, S.C., and had less than a month to make it to Juneau with their four children and possessions. With a $10,000 signing bonus from the hospital to move to Juneau, Pascale Hawkins checked the Internet for an affordable moving company to ship their possessions. They decided to use Century Express Van Lines out of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.

Correction
Due to incorrect information supplied to the Empire, an article in Monday's paper gave the wrong age for Lawrence "Smokey" Howell.

Behind bars - for a cause
On Tuesday morning Paul Curry dialed his parents from the lock-up and asked them to pay part of his $1,000 bail. "I called my parents and I hit them up. I said, 'I'm in jail,' and I got this long pause," Curry said. Curry's parents were relieved to hear their son had committed no crime. His jail had crepe-paper bars, and while he talked to his parents he was enjoying a free pastry.

Gov. restarts Juneau access study
Gov. Frank Murkowski has told the state Department of Transportation to resume study of the environmental impacts of a road or other improved transportation link out of Juneau. What's been called the Juneau Access Project has been on hold for about three years since former Gov. Tony Knowles decided fast ferries were a better way to connect Juneau with the mainland road system.

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

Montana Creek park designation draws debate
A move to designate land around Montana Creek as a "natural park area" drew debate, but no agreement, from Juneau Assembly members on Monday. Assembly members have spent months discussing the possibility of amending the city's comprehensive plan to turn the Montana Creek corridor in the Mendenhall Valley into a natural park. Members voted down a change at two earlier meetings and forwarded the issue to the Assembly's Lands Committee on Monday for more discussion.

Princess Kathleen 50 years ago
Alaska Natives sell moccasins on the steamship dock downtown in front of the Princess Kathleen sometime in the late 1940s or early 1950s.

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

Study: More see tourism's positive side
Juneau's opinion of tourism has improved in the past four years, but many people think the city should be doing more to manage the industry, according to a new survey released last week. The city hired the McDowell Group, a Juneau-based research firm, to conduct the random telephone survey of 514 local households in mid-October.

This Day in History
In 1955, the "huge, 70-room" Traveller's Inn opened in Anchorage.

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

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

1890s church in Juneau
The original cabin was built in 1881 and was torn down in 1914 after it was used as a carpentry shop, Juneau's first public school, a Presbyterian church and the City Brewery-Log Cabin Soda Works office, according to the Juneau-Douglas City Museum.

City looks over plans for new cruise ship docks downtown
Pedestrians and traffic topped the list of concerns for Juneau Planning Commissioners who got their first look Tuesday at proposals for two cruise ship docks south of downtown. The city's Community Development Department is reviewing a permit application for a new dock at the Thane Road rock dump that would accommodate 950-foot cruise ships. The Jacobsen Trust and Southeast Stevedoring are partners in the proposal, which would to allow cruise ships that anchor in Gastineau Channel to tie up in town instead, they said. The project would include a bus staging area, 380-foot floating dock and dolphin piles connected by a catwalk for mooring.

College Connection gives high schoolers a head start
By her senior year, Christa Fagnant had sailed through all the math classes Juneau-Douglas High School had to offer. Rather than wait until college to take more math, Fagnant enrolled in a calculus class at the University of Alaska Southeast, and the Juneau School District paid her tuition. "I finished all the high school offered," said Fagnant, who recently completed the class. The college class "was a lot of fun. We had four people in our class and that was really nice. I got a lot of personal attention."

This Day in History
In 1922, the Ready Bullion Mine on Douglas Island near Juneau was permanently shut down.

Plenty of gardening work needs to be done
Thunder Mountain glows under moonlight. Ribbons of bright snowy silver flow down dark slopes threading into the valley below. The crisp air of the night invigorates senses and all about are the glow of the lights. Spreading along the eaves, spilling over the shrubbery and out into the forested areas between the houses, Christmas lights change the whole landscape, at least during the dark hours.

Neighbors Briefs
Oldaker reappointed; Kyle named editor

Knutson, Dixon marry
Cecilia Ann Knutson of Juneau and Richard Dale Dixon II of Juneau were married in a ceremony at 2 p.m. on Oct. 22, 2002, at Baranof Hotel Treadwell Room, in Juneau. A reception followed at The Baranof.

DeSloover, Mearig to wed
Breea Leanne DeSloover of Juneau and Timothy Kent Mearig of Juneau will be married in a ceremony planned for Saturday, Dec. 28, 2002, at 3 p.m., at Glacier Valley Baptist Church.

Pets of the week
Juneau is just about the sweetest dog you'll ever meet. He isn't as big as you'd expect for a full-grown, neutered male husky mix. Patience is a very personable young lady with a soft, fluffy coat that is a delight to touch. She is gray and white, and has been spayed.

Thank you
...for your help; ...for your contributions; ...for your efforts.

Michael Lee Anderson
Local services for Michael Lee Anderson, 23, who died Nov. 24, 2002, in Van Alstyne, Texas, will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 19, at Resurrection Lutheran Church in Juneau.

Mary Ann Barrett
Former Juneau resident Mary Ann (Farhenkopf) Barrett died Nov. 2, 2002. She was 78.

My Turn: John MacKinnon deserves a fair shot at the city manager's job
This community is blessed with talented public servants and I believe we have an especially dedicated cadre of people who work for the City and Borough of Juneau. There is also no question that our mayor and Assembly members have - through the years - been an exceptionally talented of municipal officials.

Word of Mouth
Word of Mouth gives readers a forum to express opinions on a variety of issues by telephone. Calls must be limited to one minute. We reserve the right to edit calls for clarity, length and libel.

Word of Mouth
Word of Mouth gives readers a forum to express opinions on a variety of issues by telephone. Calls must be limited to one minute. We reserve the right to edit calls for clarity, length and libel. Callers must leave their name and a number at

Bennett wins state rifle championship
Lynn Bennett won the Alaska State 300-yard Prone Championship for rifle shooting in a match held Nov. 17 by the Juneau Rifle and Pistol Club. Rifle shooters braved rain, fog and a cold wind to compete in the state match and a second event on Nov. 24, a hi-power conventional and sporting rifle contest.

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

Payton moves up as Sonics dominate Cavs
CLEVELAND - Gary Payton reached another career milestone and hardly batted an eye. His teammates and opponents took notice, though. Payton moved into ninth-place on the career assists list, adding nine more to his total Monday night as the Seattle SuperSonics defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers 111-98.

Quest attracts just 29 mushers
FAIRBANKS - The number of entrants in the 2003 Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race stands at 29, including one Juneau musher. The deadline for mushers to register was midnight Sunday. The number may go up slightly in the next few days if last-minute entries are received by mail. A total of 41 teams started the 2002 race.

Knight and day
Twenty years ago, Lesslie Knight was a key part of a Juneau-Douglas High School girls basketball squad that brought home a state championship. This season, she's guiding the team as they look to improve on last year's seventh-place finish at state.

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

Sports Correction
In a story about the Fast Break-Rebounders clubs middle school basketball tournament on Friday.

'Farmed and Dangerous' urges boycott of farmed salmon
YAKIMA, Wash. - It's not uncommon for out-of-town visitors to stop at Greg Higgins' cozy bistro in Portland, Ore., hoping to order the nightly salmon special. But if it's out of season, chances are they're out of luck. "We serve only hook-and-line caught fish - and most of the fisherman I know personally," Higgins said.

State Briefs
Search for missing plane continues; Assembly OKs enforcement changes; Assembly approves Alaska Club rezone; Troopers need help with dumped deer; Berkowitz, Kerttula among Dem leaders

Murkowski narrows his list of Senate candidates to six
ANCHORAGE - Gov. Frank Murkowski has whittled the list of candidates for his old U.S. Senate seat to six, but says it may take him until Christmas to make his selection. "It's a very serious decision," he said Monday in Washington, D.C.

Stevens says opening ANWR is No. 1 priority
ANCHORAGE - U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens says opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil exploration will be his top priority when Congress reconvenes next month. "That's our job this year - to see if we can get that done," Stevens told the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce on Monday.

Court hears arguments in gay benefits case
ANCHORAGE - The Alaska Supreme Court heard arguments Monday on whether the state and the municipality of Anchorage must extend benefits to the partners of gay and lesbian employees. In a case that goes back to 1999, lawyers for the American Civil Liberties Union, the municipality and the state, took about an hour to present their positions. The court did not say when it would rule.

Governor winnows list of choices to replace him in the U.S. Senate
Gov. Frank Murkowski has told several Republicans they are no longer in the running to fill out his vacant U.S. Senate seat, sources told The Associated Press. Murkowski's daughter, state Rep. Lisa Murkowski, is increasingly being mentioned by Republicans as a top choice.

Wards Cove hires firm to sell nine seafood processing plants in Alaska
KETCHIKAN - Wards Cove Packing Co. has hired an investment-banking firm to sell the nine seafood processing plants it owns in Alaska, including two in Ketchikan. The company's announcement last week that it is leaving the salmon business after more than 70 years has shaken the fishing industry, raising questions about the future of the commercial salmon fisheries across Alaska.

State Briefs
Search continues for missing pilot; Douglas wolf measures start Sunday; Selawik man charged with attempted murder; Greene to step down from Superior Court

Doctors opting out of Medicare after funding cutbacks
ANCHORAGE - Health care providers affiliated with Medicare will take an estimated 4.4 percent reimbursement cut under a rule expected to go into effect in February. The cut is the second of four projected decreases in compensation, and physicians are opting out of the program, said Dr. Bruce Kiessling, a partner with Primary Care Associates in Anchorage.

Aftershocks continue in Interior
FAIRBANKS - Alaska has been averaging more than 100 earthquakes a day along the Denali Fault since a magnitude 7.9 earthquake rocked the Interior on Nov. 3.

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