Tuesday, December 24, 2002

Leave it to beaver
So, the U.S. Forest Service is going to kill some beaver that are threatening a small piece of our recreation. I like seeing what the beaver have been up to. How many tourists or even locals have seen a beaver lodge?

Tell city about beavers
So now it's the beavers. Shame on the U.S. Forest Service. I say that as a Forest Service brat, raised by a grandfather who worked with the USFS most of his life and taught his family respect for wild creatures. He must be spinning over this nonsense.

Appointment smacks of monarchy
A funny thing happened while I was at work today. Suddenly we changed from the being the state of Alaska to the monarchy led nation of Franktonia. Leave your integrity at the border. A place where positions of power are inherited by the children of the new royalty.

Ketchikan's allegations are telling
Gateway Forest Products, the Ketchikan veneer plant, would have helped bring prosperity to Ketchikan, if it hadn't been for the environmentalists, those "enemies of the state."

Upcoming session important to Alaska
The state of Alaska has many serious problems looming over it. In 10 years Southcentral Alaska is expected to run out of natural gas used to heat homes, generate electricity, and support businesses. We have a serious fiscal problem that will become a disastrous fiscal debacle within a few years if we don't start dealing with it now.

Need different approach to development
Recent anthologies in the paper rekindle hopes and various persuasions. The old threadbare pitch for "a Juneau road," especially during the Murkowski road trip, shows a sincere but insensitive view of a promising 21st century. There does exist a more enlightened ecological approach to development schemes aimed at our dwindling natural habitats.

Appreciates article on teachers
I feel like such a sap, lump in my throat and tears running down my face. I just finished reading page C10 of Sunday's paper, the article "Teachers aver some gifts from students are simply priceless," and want to thank you for printing it.

Students want second teen center
We are students at Dzantik'i Heeni Middle School. We are promoting a new teen "hangout" to be created in the Mendenhall Valley. We feel that if a second hangout were created, then it would not only provide a safe place for teens, but would reduce drug use. The second hangout could be a drug use-free area.

Fond memories of grocery
For many years I lived across the street from Family Grocery, and I remember many of the names mentioned in your recent article on its closing.

Supports MacKinnon
I, too, must voice my displeasure with the failure of the Juneau Assembly to select John MacKinnon as city manager. They cite city statutes as their justification for ignoring him. Hmmm.

Lisa's the one
Congratulations to both Gov. Frank Murkowski and Sen. Lisa Murkowski! Already the CAVE (citizens against virtually everything) people are grumbling about this appointment.

This Day in History
In Alaska

Land swap on Douglas wins OK
The U.S. Forest Service has agreed to swap federal land on Douglas Island for private land in south Hood Bay on Admiralty Island.

Police look for murder victim
Police have their man, his motive and the way he dispatched the victim - all they need now is a crime.

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

Sunday fire
Firefighters put out a small blaze midday Sunday at Alaska Litho.

Murkowski: mercy for the beavers
The U.S. Forest Service, after hearing from Gov. Frank Murkowski, decided not to lethally trap a troublesome colony of beavers in the Dredge Lakes area this winter. Betty Seguin, who lives near Dredge Lakes, said the news about the beavers was "wonderful." "When I take my walk today I'll let them know they're safe for another year," she said.

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

This Day in History
In 1914, the first ore train in the Juneau area operated from the Perseverance Mine to the mill at Thane, south of Juneau.

A car crash and a miracle
The wheels on Elmer and Ramona Ignell's brand-new 2002 Toyota Corolla wouldn't straighten out. They were locked. There was no avoiding it, the couple was headed straight for a ditch and right into a "miracle."

Photo: Hope for a white Christmas?
Scott Neal, 12, shovels sidewalks for a fee Monday on Front and Franklin streets. There may be a white Christmas: The National Weather Service is calling for a 60 percent chance of snow on Christmas Day.

AroundTown
Listing of local nonprofit events.

Psst - Here's what's under Christmas trees
At Gourmet Alaska, it is the Homer Simpson talking beer-can opener. At Annie Kaill's, it's "art, lots of art." And at Hearthside Books it's a magnetic building toy called Geomag. Most stores in Juneau report fairly normal sales this Christmas season. The most popular products, though, are sometimes surprising.

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

Correction
Due to incorrect information supplied to the Empire, the name of a newborn baby was misspelled in the FYI section in Friday's edition. The baby is Dakota Rey Lynn Stacy.

Photo: Christmas spirit
U.S. Forest Service employee Beth Pendleton stacks donated gifts for delivery to the Juneau AWARE shelter. Specific gifts were donated by employees at the Forest Service's Alaska Regional Office to match wish lists submitted by a mother and her seven children.

Fish plan includes Auke Bay change
The state's fish stocking plan, which calls for releasing 7.2 million fish into Alaska waters next year, includes a change for Auke Bay in Juneau. The 2003 draft sport fish stocking plan, recently released by the state Department of Fish and Game, makes few changes over the 2002 plan. It covers the release of king salmon, silver salmon, Arctic char, grayling and rainbow trout.

Police investigate laundry burglary
Police are investigating a burglary Sunday at Alaska Laundry in which money was taken from a safe.

Correction
An obituary for Edward Kenneth Haffner that ran in Friday's Empire didn't mention that donations can be made in his name to Hospice and Home Care of Juneau.

Edward Lee Smith
Juneau resident Edward Lee Smith died Sunday, Dec. 15, 2002, in Juneau.

George Jim 'Ka'hook' Brouillette
Juneau resident George Jim "Ka'hook" Brouillette died Nov. 5, 2002.

My Turn: Holiday vandals steal dreams, hard work
I am replying to my mom's letter about the vandals who thought it would be fun to steal people's Christmas dreams and hard work.

Alsakan editorial: Bush should revise roadless rule
Ketchikan and other resource-development-dependent communities need President Bush. The Bush administration should revise the roadless rule established by its predecessor. The rule severely harms Alaska's timber industry, which was nearly politicized out of existence in the Clinton era. It also creates a potentially devastating danger to the forests and impedes road construction for other purposes, such as recreation and tourism.

Moving on up
The Juneau-Douglas High School boys basketball team came oh so close to winning its 12th state championship last year, only to finish the season as the state runner-up. As the Crimson Bears prepare to open their 2002-03 season this weekend, they're looking to move up a spot at the Class 4A state tournament. Even though Juneau lost six players to graduation, the Crimson Bears still have a strong core group of returners that should have Juneau battling with preseason state favorites Wasilla and defending champion Bartlett.

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

Cavaliers finally win after close calls
CLEVELAND - After a week of near-misses, close calls and blown chances, the Cleveland Cavaliers remembered how to win. "We closed the game out like we're supposed to," Cavs guard Ricky Davis said. Rookie Smush Parker's three-point play keyed an 11-2 game-ending spurt and Davis scored 33 points Monday night, as Cleveland snapped a four-game losing streak with a 74-72 win over the Miami Heat.

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

New federal rules prevent snowmobiles in Moose Pass
New federal rules for the Chugach National Forest for the first time have silenced the sound of snowmachines in the Moose Pass area.

Villagers warm up to roads in Bush
A decade ago, Yukon River villagers would have been riled up at the idea of extending the Elliott Highway from Manley Hot Springs downriver to Ruby, Kaltag or Nome. But times, and attitudes, have changed.

State Briefs
Sled dogs find new homes for holidays; Most charges dismissed against youth; Trooper director retires; Three die in crash; FNA director steps down; Man whoe gave alcohol to teens in jail again

Minimum wage goes up
Minimum wage in Alaska will increase from $5.65 to $7.15 an hour beginning Jan. 1.

North Slope worker killed on the job
A North Slope worker was killed when he was struck by a plug that blew out of the 28-inch pipe he was working on, a BP Exploration (Alaska) Inc. spokesman said Saturday.

Photo: A hedgehog of her own
Sarah Markle kisses her new hedgehog, Babe, during the Alaska Hedgehog Club's open house and holiday party Sunday at Animal Control in Anchorage.

Appeals court upholds Sitka asbestos case convictions
ANCHORAGE - A federal appeals court on Monday upheld the convictions of the owner of an asbestos removal company who flushed chemicals, asbestos and antifreeze down drains that emptied into Silver Bay in Sitka. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld Rick Rushing's convictions for violating the federal Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act during the cleanup of a pulp mill, as well as various other sentences imposed.

Feds: State owns submerged land
The federal government conceded recently that Alaska owns much of the lands under saltwater in the Tongass National Forest. But the state and feds are still arguing about who owns the lands under Glacier Bay and certain other Southeast waters. "You have the federal government saying they're willing to do a settlement with the state that acknowledges the state has title to a very large proportion of submerged land lying under the marine waters in Southeast Alaska," said Dave Bedford, director of the Southeast Alaska Seiners Association, of the Tongass concession.

Republicans working to fill Lisa Murkowski's House seat
Republicans in Anchorage are working quickly to fill the state House seat vacated by Lisa Murkowski, who was recently appointed to the U.S. Senate. Murkowski was appointed to the position by her father, Gov. Frank Murkowski, on Friday, leaving open her House seat representing District 18.

Lion's share of sea-lion funds goes to Washington
ANCHORAGE - The Southwest Alaska Municipal Conference has released a report on how it distributed $30 million in federal funds among more than 15,000 individuals, businesses and communities. The money is intended to offset revenue lost when commercial fishing was restricted to protect endangered Steller sea lions.

Postal Service brings gifts to town after fire
ANCHORAGE - The U.S. Postal Service organized a drive to bring Christmas presents to the Norton Sound village of St. Michael, where a post office fire 10 days ago destroyed gifts for dozens of families. "A lot of people had their Christmas presents and COD (packages) destroyed, including our postmaster, who lost presents for her kids," Postal Service spokeswoman Kathy Phillips said in Anchorage.

Santa's helpers in Fairbanks get busy
Santa's Clearing House in Fairbanks, an annual Christmas charity run by the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, is doing a bustling business.

Alaskans donate gifts to Russians
Ten-thousand shoe boxes stuffed with everything from small toys to toothbrushes are being sent to orphans in the Russia Far East.

Tribes sue state, saying kids are separated from their culture
Two Alaska Native tribes have filed a lawsuit, accusing the state of violating state and federal laws regarding the care of Native children in state custody.

Alaska's unemployment rate outpaces nation's
Alaska's unemployment rate for November was 6.7 percent, up four-tenths of a percentage point from the previous month, according to state labor officials.

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