Thursday, December 19, 2002

On the Move
Holland America hires Shively as spokesman; Alaska hotel association names new directors; Northland Services changes address

Hiring for the holidays
With her 21 years of retail sales experience, Geralyn Ward has a strategy for helping frazzled customers shopping for Christmas presents at Gottschalks in the Mendenhall Center. "I assess the needs first, then go from there," she said. "I usually ask questions first - their age and the price they want to spend. When someone's wanting your help, they're usually pretty open."

Business profile: Fred Felkl
Title and company: Owner, Fred's Auto Service

CIRI makes salary cuts, lays off 13 employees
ANCHORAGE - Cook Inlet Region Inc. has laid off 13 staffers, cut executive and director pay, and eliminated some perks in an effort to slash overhead by 25 percent.

Vandals ruin season
I am handicapped. A week ago, my daughter and grandparents surprised me by putting Christmas lights on our four-plex, on almost all my bushes and trees and along our very long corner-lot fence. It was like Christmas past when I could participate and light every living thing on our property. I added large plastic candy canes and Christmas wreaths.

We need another high school
As a lifelong learner and educator I am writing to encourage support the building of a second high school in Juneau. One of the most rewarding parts of school for me were the opportunities to participate in things outside of the classroom, sports teams, clubs and other organizations. I grew so much as a person by participating in activities, not to mention the motivation they had on me to do well in school.

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.

Managing traffic
First, let me thank all the thoughtful Douglas and West Juneau drivers who daily let me merge into the downtown-bound traffic. All of you make that difficult situation work! I know there is a problem that will only get worse over time.

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.

Consider lessons from Afghanistan
"You cannot fight an enemy without becoming more like him." Tuesday's Juneau Empire stories: "Afghan women still need our help," "Afghan parents blame U.S. soldiers for deaths of children from mortar fire," "Kabul grenade attack wounds 2 GIs."

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?

Missile defense remains unproven
Presto! The test bed facility for national missile defense at Greely is transformed into an operational facility for launch of missiles. The concept of national missile defense is as yet unproven, but Lt. Gen. Ron Kadish (director of the Missile Defense Program) tells us the missiles will be placed in a fully operational launching mode at Greely while the process of test and fix, test and fix (his description) goes forward.

Tlingit-Haida Housing to buy Fireweed Place
The Alaska Housing Finance Corp. board has approved a financing plan that will allow the Tlingit-Haida Regional Housing Authority to buy Fireweed Place in downtown Juneau. The 67-unit senior apartment complex has been teetering on the brink of foreclosure and has survived this year with a $137,000 grant from the state Legislature. The building provides housing to people 55 and over.

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

Nothing says 'Buon Natale' like Italian Christmas cookies
Be it cream cheese sugar cookies or date pinwheels, nearly every family has a certain baked confection prepared during the holiday season that truly tastes, to them, like Christmas. In my mother's family, which has roots in Florence, Italy, Christmas tastes like "cenci" (pronounced chin-chee, Italian for "rags").

Family Grocer to close its doors
Family Grocer and Super Bear, grocery stores owned by Glacier Village Supermarket Inc., will merge into one store at the Mendenhall Center in mid-January. Glacier Village Supermarket, a locally owned company, announced Wednesday it would close the Family Grocer store in the Airport Shopping Center. Alaska Industrial Hardware, an Anchorage-based company with seven stores in Alaska and stores in Portland and Seattle, announced it will open a store in the vacated space.

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.

State testing some Juneau residents for Norwalk virus
The state Department of Public Health is arranging to test the stool samples of members of a Juneau dance troupe and its chaperones who may have been infected with the Norwalk or a Norwalk-like virus, officials said Wednesday. The state epidemiology section did not release the troupe's name.

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."

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

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

Correction
An article and headline about Sealaska's dividends in Friday's Empire misstated when the company has paid dividends. Sealaska paid dividends in April 2001 and 2002.

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.

'The Two Towers' draws dedicated fans
The opening of the blockbuster film "The Two Towers" had Shaan Katzeek camped at the 20th Century Twin Theater 22 hours before the movie started. Wednesday marked the debut of second of three movies based on "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien. The saga of the plucky hobbit Frodo and his intrepid cohorts drew a line that rounded the corner of the downtown block by 11 a.m. Wednesday, eight hours before the film lit up the screen.

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.

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.

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

City suggests smaller and cheaper Valley high school
City engineers say the Juneau Assembly should consider building a roughly 900-student high school in the Mendenhall Valley at a cost already approved by voters, rather than seek more funds for a larger school. In a presentation to the Assembly Public Works and Facilities Committee on Wednesday, city Engineering Director John Stone laid out evidence that supported building a smaller and less-expensive high school than the Juneau School Board has recommended.

Miner lunch break in 1935
A-J hard rock miners take a lunch break circa May 1935 a few weeks before the beginning of the A-J Gold Mine strike. The late William Wanamaker Sr. is the miner on the far left. He is the father of current Juneau residents Dorothy Wallace, Eunice Akagi and Sam Wanamaker.

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

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.

Neighbors Briefs
Oldaker reappointed; Kyle named editor

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

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.

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.

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.

Thomas Angus Casey
Thomas Angus Casey, a recent summer resident of Juneau, died Nov. 8, 2002, in a kayaking accident on Long Island Sound off the Connecticut coast. He was known locally as a runner.

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.

My Turn: Plan brings Sealaska back to profitability
The Sealaska board of directors was pleased to distribute $1.82 per share to our urban and at-large shareholders and a prorata amount directly to the village corporations last Friday.

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

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

Tompkins finishes fourth in giant slalom opener
Juneau monoskier Joe Tompkins, a 2002 member of the U.S. Paralympics Alpine Ski Team, saw his first action of the season last weekend at the Hartford Ski Spectacular in Breckenridge, Colo., placing fourth among monoskiers and 17th overall in Friday's giant slalom 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.

Mount Edgecumbe sweeps own tournament
Matt Mercier scored 23 points on Saturday night to lead the Class 3A Mount Edgecumbe boys basketball team to a 60-53 victory over the Class 4A Sitka Wolves and the title in the school's own tournament. The victory gave the Braves a perfect 3-0 record in the tournament, with Mount Edgecumbe also beating Porter Creek of Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, 90-36 on Thursday and topping Class 2A Hoonah 88-41 on Friday.

Billups fills it up
CLEVELAND - Chauncey Billups was determined to give the Detroit Pistons an overtime victory - even if he had to do it all by himself. Billups scored eight consecutive points in overtime and finished with 23 to lead Detroit to a 111-106 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday night.

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.

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

Alaska teacher who saved student one of 22 Carnegie Heroes
PITTSBURGH - An elementary school teacher from Alaska who saved a student from a knife-wielding attacker was one of 22 people recognized today by the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission. Jeffrey Carl Harriman, 52, a reading teacher from Palmer, says he still isn't used to having the "hero" label applied to him since he helped rescue Stephan Hansell, then 7, at Mountain View Elementary School in Anchorage in 2001.

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.

Community groups helping Santa respond to letters
FAIRBANKS - Community groups again this year are helping Santa respond to all those letters and cards from children.

Weyhrauch meets with constituents
Juneau Rep.-elect Bruce Weyhrauch met for the first time with constituents Wednesday night at the Mendenhall Valley Public Library. Weyhrauch was elected in November to represent House District 4, which covers most of the Mendenhall Valley, Auke Bay and all points north. He will be sworn in on the first day of the 23rd legislative session on Jan. 21.

Ben Stevens says he doesn't want U.S. Senate seat
State Sen. Ben Stevens is not interested in an appointment to the U.S. Senate, he said during a press conference in Anchorage on Wednesday. Stevens, the son of U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens, called the press conference to dispel talk that he was among a handful of Republicans being considered.

State Briefs
Mat-Su schools lay off 48 employees; Kenai awards contract to restore river; State wants more time for federal order; NMFS takes public comment on crab buyback proposal

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.

What's happening
Concerts

'The Grumpsicle meets Julius Caesar'
Fancy prancy reindeer, a stupid Cupid and an unlucky leprechaun help Santa foil the Grumpsicle this year. "The Grumpsicle Meets Julius Caesar" is this year's installment of the annual holiday pageant by the Janice Holst School of Dance. Performances will be at 1 and 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 21, at Centennial Hall.

Death, lies, braggadocio - a Christmas tale
The magazine article said: "Add a touch of personal warmth to your Christmas newsletter with a handwritten note. Ask about their trip, or their new baby." Which is exactly what I did. And what did I receive in return? Outrage and vilification - all through my wife of course, since my mother-in-law has never directly communicated with me.

The music of 'Winter'
Antonio Vivaldi heard music in Vienna's winter winds. Vivaldi's "Winter" from "The Four Seasons" will be among four concertos showcased this weekend by the Juneau Bach Society. About two dozen musicians will play in two performances, at 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 21, and 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 22, at Northern Light United Church. The four concertos are each about 15 minutes in length and feature virtuoso solos for soprano, violin and cello. Soprano Kathleen Wayne will be featured in Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's "Exultate, Jubilate" and violinist Steve Tada will be the soloist for the Vivaldi.

Movies where and when
"Two Weeks Notice," (PG-13) starts Friday, Dec. 20, at Glacier Cinemas, shows at 7:10 nightly, with second shows at 9:20 Friday and Saturday nights, and matinees at 2 and 4:10 Saturday and Sunday afternoons.

Best Bets: Rock, Vivaldi and bonfires for the solstice
On Saturday, Juneau celebrates the darkest, longest night of the year - and the return of the sun. This weekend's festivities include a concert with the rock band Cracker and two free classical concerts, courtesy of the Juneau Bach Society.

Cracker: Alternative band stops in Juneau on solstice tour
The alternative rock band Cracker has a superfan in Juneau but he doesn't have a shrine to the band. He is dedicated, though, and his enthusiasm has led to a Juneau concert for the band, known for songs such as "Low," "Eurotrash Girl," "Teen Angst (What the World Needs Now)" and "Can I Take My Gun Up to Heaven." Gene Nelson, a musician and self-described Crackerhead in Juneau, noticed last month the five-piece band was headed to Alaska. Cracker was booked to play Homer, Fairbanks and Anchorage for an "Alaska Solstice Tour." Nelson also noticed a big fat hole in the tour schedule for Friday, Dec. 20.

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