CLEAN SWEEPING

Joanne and Mike Korsmo transport their Clean Sweep workers, Kayla Henricksen, Tess Korsmo and Sierra Moran back to their assigned site for more garbage pick-up. Clean Sweep, sponsored by the Skagway Chamber of Commerce, saw over 150 people turn out to make Skagway sparkle. See coverage of this and other spring events below. DL

Solicitation ordinance now on the books
Measure to protect visitors from hawking already drawing challenges from tour vendors

By DIMITRA LAVRAKAS
The Skagway City Council on May 1 passed second reading of the ordinance that prohibits street vendors and commercial solicitation and off-premise canvassing.
An ordinance restricting sales or solicitation within 10 feet of city property was struck down last year in Superior Court by Judge Larry Weeks as being “overbroad.”
Already, a tour vendor has lined up to sue the city over it. Terry Robertson of Skaguay Tour Co. had a letter all ready for councilmembers the night of the meeting as well as a letter from his attorney, Robert Spitzfaden.
“The proposed ordinance, in my view, has the same problem that caused Judge Weeks to prohibit enforcement of the old ordinance,” wrote Spitzfaden. “It is a ban on all efforts to conduct commercial transactions (speech) at any time on public sidewalks and streets in the Historic District. Indeed it prohibits person to person commercial speech anywhere in the historic District except within an enclosed structure or building constructed in accordance with specific city regulations. As a blanket ban, it is not a reasonable time, place or manner regulation of commercial speech tailored to a substantial government interest.”
At the May 1 meeting, Greg Clemm of Klondike Tours said he only had trouble with the size of the space need to conduct business, which was 200 square feet, as his building was only 150 square feet.
However, City Manager Bob Ward explained later that the 250 square feet requirement refers to the size of the outside space, as in the former “Shark Pit.” As long as a tour vendor operates out of a building and is able to conclude the sale inside, then the building’s size doesn’t matter.
On Monday, a tour vendor received six citations for conducting business on the sidewalk, Ward said, and opined the operator would likely get more. An arraignment is scheduled for Thursday, Ward said.
Violation of the ordinance carries a fine of up to $500 and evocation of any letter of authorization issued, and the city may bring suit for injunctive relief.
Other prohibited activities include: interfering with pedestrian traffic; littering; intentionally inflicting emotional distress by verbal or physical harassment; misrepresent the price or quality of the product; no touching a client without consent; no loud or profane speech; or solicitation of the occupant of a vehicle.

Comments on the war: students reflect

By LUCIE STRAUB
Now that the war with Iraq is over and the United States is rebuilding Iraq’s government, students breathe easier and look back at the events leading up to the war, and the war itself. All agreed that it was right to put Saddam out of power. However there are mixed feelings from different students on the war itself.
“I’m happy that we went to war,” sophomore Jason O’Daniel said. “We got Saddam out of power. I’m glad we finally took action on him and didn’t back out.”
Senior Jenny Andrews agrees with him to an extent: “I don’t believe in war, but Saddam had to be put out of power. He deserved what he got.”
Sophomore Kyle Mulvihill however, was neutral: “I’m kind of neutral. Saddam was becoming like another Hitler, and he had to be taken out. But war isn’t always the way to solve things.”
Some students feel differently altogether on the war. Senior Kourtney Downen said, “I’m completely against it.”
“I am completely against the war,” said French foreign exchange student Marion Huteau. “I was proud of my country for its decision of not going to war. I am not a very patriotic person, but this time I was proud to be French. I have experienced anti-French sentiment at least twice here.”
As for the U.S. rebuilding the Iraqi government, she was unsure: “Well, I don’t really know what to think about that. I don’t want to shock anybody, but I think the U.S. government is going to try to take advantage of Iraq. I mean, of their resources. Plus, the Iraqis don’t want this new government, and we can see that through the demonstrations, but I think nothing is going to stop the U.S. from doing that. So I just hope it’s going to work and that life will be better for the Iraqis without being taken advantage of by the U.S.”
Most are happy with the U.S. rebuilding Iraq, however. Andrews, O’Daniel, and Mulvihill were for it, though Mulvihill had concerns for the Iraqis when the U.S. was finished and had to leave.
“I don’t know if it will collapse after we leave or what, since we wouldn’t be there to help them if there will be another war in the country,” Mulvihill said.
Senior Brandie Schneider is currently enlisted in the U.S. Army in the Delayed Entry Program and will be active June 3. Her thoughts on the war: “Yes! I want justification for what the terrorists did on 9/11. For the war itself, I’m glad it happened. I’m not scared, I just want to serve my country. And with the U.S. rebuilding the Iraqi government, I believe it’s a good thing. Maybe with the rebuilding, Iraqis can experience more freedom, women’s rights, and education.”
The war is over, and now comes reform. The students of Skagway look to the next stage of the Iraqi issue and all hope for the best.

Dr. Dickens, the 100G man
Board approves two-year contract

By JEFF BRADY

The Skagway City School Board on May 6 awarded Superintendent Michael Dickens a two-year contract that will pay $100,000 a year, making him the first administrator in Skagway to reach that plateau.
Dr. Dickens came to Skagway at the end of last summer after being chosen interim superintendent-principal following the sudden departure of James Telles for family reasons. Dickens has been a popular adminstrator, winning support from students, parents and teachers. And he was an effective negotiator, having secured the two-year contract after a series of executive sessions at board meetings dating back to the end of February, when the board initially voted to ask him back.
“It was an interesting process and I’m glad we reached a mutual decision,” Dickens said. “I’m glad to stay in Skagway.”
Dickens was paid $80,000 under his interim contract for this school year, which was for just 235 days rather than the full 280 days because of his late hiring date last July. He has been making $340 a day, and starting July 1 will make $357 a day, a five percent increase.
Board member Julene Fairbanks said Dickens is worth it.
“We felt he’s going to be bringing more money into the district,” she said. “He’s so on top of financial things like getting grants and seeing that the grant money is spent. We feel he will save us money.”
Fairbanks added that Dickens has done an “amazing job of wearing the two hats of superintendent and principal” and relates well with the school kids. “He’s just great, as Chris Ellis said, ‘a ray of sunshine, the gray clouds have gone away.’”

White Pass courts the Yukon

‘Going back to its roots,’ says VP

By DIMITRA LAVRAKAS
and Whitehorse Star
The White Pass & Yukon Route Railroad has signed a Letter of Interest with Dennis Fentie, Yukon government premier, for future areas of cooperation, including allowing the Whitehorse waterfront trolley to travel as far as the railroad’s Utah yard in McCrae industrial park.
The letter also formalizes the Yukon’s use of White Pass’s port facilities in Skagway for Yukon industry needs.
“We’ve been talking to Fentie since the election and the MOU is the result of that,” said White Pass Executive Vice President Gary Danielson. “This is really a living document, one that works for the future, and puts in writing what we’ve always wanted to do.”
The agreement is something the company has wanted for a long time, but under the previous government had dead-ended, Danielson said.
WP&YR has also partnered with a Yukon-based tour company to staff an office in its former depot in Whitehorse.
Yukon-Alaska Tourist Tours staff will sell bus and train tickets to make up for Holland-America cutting its bus trips between Skagway, Fraser station and Whitehorse, and White Pass sells rail to bus tours.
“We have to remember we are a Canadian company, so it behooves us to have a good relationship with the government and the community,” said Danielson in his office last week.
Danielson said he’d been needing “a real office location” for when he’s in Whitehorse. The company gave its very visible Whitehorse depot located at the foot of Main Street to the Yukon government in the 1990s.
While there are no plans to run the train to Whitehorse again, because of the prohibitive cost, Danielson said the company is looking at some improvements along its line.
“Getting electrical power to the Fraser station is a priority, we’re using a diesel generator now” said Danielson.
White Pass will also be putting out a $2 million contract for eight new parlor cars, and Danielson said he would like to a Yukon company do the work.
The company will also purchase 400,000 bottles of water from Arctic Waters, a new Yukon bottling company. A White Pass train will be depicted on the labe and it will be sold to tourists and to hand out on the train.
Danielson said that Skagway may see a visit this summer from Rai Sahi, chairman of White Pass’s parent company Tri-White.

COURTLY WELCOME – New Magistrate Susan Reed greets a visitor to the Skagway Magistrate’s Office at the McCabe Building. Mary Treiber, rural Court Training Assistant for the First Judicial District, is in the background. DL

Skagway resident chosen as new magistrate
Hopes to do her best for community

Local resident Susan Reed has been named the new part-time magistrate for Skagway to fill the vacancy created by John Hutchins who accepted the Haines magistrate position last month. Reed, who moved to Skagway three years ago, married longtime local Alan Reed a little over a year ago, she said.
Presiding Judge Larry Weeks and area court administrator Neil Nesheim interviewed several people for the Skagway job. Ms. Reed was selected because of her background in education, her ties to the Skagway community, and her commitment to keep a fair and open mind when hearing cases, according to a press release from the court.
Reed said she had taken some legal classes in college, and that she looked forward to serving the community.
“I just want to do the best job for the community and the people of Skagway,” she said.
Reed started her position May 5 but will not hear any cases until she completes an intensive training program that will take place between now and mid-June. She will travel to Sitka for her judicial training and then to Hoonah for her clerical training.
Because of the tourist season, Reed will work 27.5 hours a week in the summer. Once the seasonal activity drops off, Reed will spend 17.5 hours a week in the office. –DL

OTHER STORIES

• SPRING FLING IN SKAGWAY - coverage of spring events.

• OBITUARY - Loveda Hobbs

• OPINION & COMMENTARY - Patriot Act and Juneau Road need to get slammed

• SPORTS & REC. - Awards night at school, fitting good-bye to Kaslers

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