Sunday, March 9, 2003

Non-fiction videos: Edification and enjoyment in one little package
'Life Breath & CPR and CPR Review for Infants and Children'

Unanswered questions
It seems President Bush is determined to turn a deaf ear toward the growing chorus of doubt on Iraq.

To be continued ...
We thank Lowell S. Barrick for his kind letter and classic demonstration of that great liberal open-minded tolerance we keep hearing about.

Who's playing games?
On Thursday, the Empire published a seven-paragraph letter by Axel Thibodeau. The letter criticized "peaceniks" and anti-war slogans.

This is conservatism?
I have prepared my own report card for the Bush Administration.

President Bush is crippling democracy
Like many Alaskans and citizens worldwide, I am deeply concerned with the heavy-handed policies and blatant disregard for diplomacy that our current administration endorses. Our "elected" commander-in-chief is systematically crippling the foundation of democracy, the voice of the people.

Pen is still mightier than the sword
I am honored to have Jane Roodenburg quote from my poem, "Shoot-Out at the Bergman Hotel," especially since, to the best of my knowledge, she only heard it once at an open mike over five years ago.

Bait and switch on education funding
No one understands better than school administrators - superintendents, business officials and principals - how difficult it is to balance a budget, and we admire Gov. Murkowski for his courage to propose drastic reductions in state spending.

Sensible seniors' plan
After all the empty talk in Washington about fixing important entitlements programs, something refreshing happened this week: The President delivered a remarkably sensible blueprint for fixing Medicare and dramatically improving the quality of health care for all seniors.

Longtime local teacher named Gastineau Elementary principal
Juneau teacher Angie Lunda has been named principal of Gastineau Elementary School, and California teacher Patricia Newman has been selected principal of Mendenhall River Community School. Their names will be forwarded to the Juneau School Board for final approval. They would start next school year.

Assembly may ease mine permit reviews
Randy Wanamaker's vision of Juneau's future is one of economic diversity, with mining as a key player. It's part of the reason why he's pushing to streamline the city's mining permit process. "Our economy really needs diversification, we have state budget cuts, we probably have state employee reductions coming and Juneau needs to have other opportunities," the Juneau Assembly member said. "These mining projects provide us with those opportunities. We can have the economic diversification without sacrificing any environmental quality."

Program targets attitudes about pregnancy, drinking
Alaska is on the forefront of states trying to create a systematic way of diagnosing and treating FAS, said Diane Casto, program manager for the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services' Office of FAS. The state began its concentrated effort at addressing FAS in 1997. "We knew we had a huge problem, we knew that anecdotally we had one of the highest rates of FAS in the nation, and we knew that our state was not doing enough to truly address this 100 percent preventable disability," Casto said.

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

Proposed mining-ordinance changes
What's in place now: The city's existing mining ordinance outlines permit procedures for small and large mines in Juneau. It requires the city to review whether local mining projects meet air and water quality standards; properly contain and dispose of sewage, solid waste, hazardous and toxic materials; minimize safety hazards; and protect historic sites.

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

Atlin retreat
Atlin, British Columbia, is situated on the shore of Atlin Lake and is about 100 miles north of Juneau, across the Juneau Icefield. The town can be reached by plane from Juneau, or by taking the state ferry to Skagway and driving 160 miles. The town was founded in 1898 when gold was discovered nearby; its name is from the Tlingit "Ã Tlén," meaning big water and referring to the long, narrow lake. Its year-round population today stands at about 450 residents.

Focusing on the hidden disability
When Margaret and Lester Hunt's five adopted adolescent boys moved into their home in 2001, four of them chose to take new names to symbolize their new lives. One no longer wanted to share an identity with his biological father, so he changed his name to Jake. Another wanted to assume the name of his adoptive father and grandfather and became Lester Allen III. "They wanted to leave their past behind," said Margaret Hunt.

This Day in History
In 1959, The Air Force launched an investigation into reports of the Explorer satellite exploding over Alaska. (It was either that or a UFO.)

Empire editorial: Thumbs, some up, others down
Thumbs up to Juneau-Douglas High School's student-scientists. Experiments presented at the Southeast Alaska Regional Science Fair in Juneau earned the top awards and trips for four students to Cleveland, Ohio, to compete in the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair.

My Turn: Expanding DNA databases will save lives
Alaska has the highest percentage of reported rapes per capita in the United States and has held this ranking for 19 of the last 26 years. Anchorage currently ranks fifth out of 274 metropolitan areas of reported rapes, half of which are reported by Alaska Natives.

My Turn: For Alaska, the rainy day has arrived
This letter is in response to a belief apparently held by the majority of Alaska voters and most recently expressed in a Letter to the Editor that threatened a recall vote should the Legislature consider using our Permanent Fund to help pay education expenses in Alaska.

What do you think?
No, from the Brotherhood Bridge to Eagle Beach is the area that needs improvement.

My Turn: Avoid temptations of 'divide and conquer'
I have some obsessive traits - nothing psychotic but I tend to focus strongly on things that catch my attention. Mostly this is shunted into work, greatly assisting my employment and physical survival over the years.

Toe Cartoon

My Turn: What do you need from the Tongass?
There are some who can live without wild things, and some who cannot." When Aldo Leopold penned those words, the future looked a little bleak for wild things and wild lands. It seemed as if the 20th century would end with no place that hadn't been paved, roaded, tamed.

My Turn: One down and one to go
T he U.S. Forest Service just released its decision recommending that no more wilderness be added to the Tongass National Forest. I believe it was the correct decision. Here's why.

Out and About
March 9: Smallbore rifle silhouette shoot at the Hank Harmon Rifle Range, 8:30 a.m. registration, shoot at 9:30 a.m. Details: www.go.to/jrpc/. March 9: 4-H Nordic Ski Club meeting, 1:30-3 p.m. For location and activity, call the 4-H office, 465-8749.

Helping kids discover Southeast
On a recent Thursday, two Discovery Southeast naturalists led students from a fourth-grade class on a two-hour outdoor winter field trip to study adaptation as part of the Nature Studies program. Led by Steve Merli and Darren Snyder, half of Greg Beck's Mendenhall River Community School class bundled up in sleeping bags under a tarp, writing and imagining they were hibernating. The other group hiked off through a labyrinth of trees, over snow-covered logs, off the trail and into the forest to learn how the animals of Southeast adapt to winter.

Hunting education course offered by Department of Fish and Game
A hunting education program required for anyone younger than 16 who wants to hunt waterfowl unaccompanied on the Mendenhall Wetlands State Game Refuge is planned for 8 a.m. Saturday, March 15, starting at the Education and early Development Department board room in the Goldbelt Building downtown.

Touring the solar system on foot
Taking a tour of the solar system is as easy as taking a walk. At Twin Lakes, the one-mile paved walking trail has been painted with the sun and the nine planets, incorporating their relative size and relative distance apart.

Snow report
• Eaglecrest Ski Area, Juneau: Platter, Ptarmigan and Hooter lifts operate about 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Thursday through Monday. The tubing hill and terrain park are closed.

Eaglecrest schedules skiing, boarding, telemark clinics
Eaglecrest plans clinics for telemarkers, downhill skiers and snowboarders who want to improve their skills. The "Get Off Your Heels" adult telemark series of classes runs from 1 to 4 p.m. today and the next two Sundays, March 16 and 23. Cost is $30 a session.

Juneau boys silence Sitka's victory bell
The Juneau-Douglas High School boys basketball team closed out its regular season with a sweep of the Sitka Wolves this weekend, silencing Sitka's victory bell and spoiling the Wolves' senior night party. The Crimson Bears won 53-41 on Friday and 52-46 on Saturday, as Juneau got early double-digit leads but had problems sustaining the margins in both games.

Right on cue
A smoky haze drifted near the ceiling of the Viking Lounge's upstairs pool room as the sound of pool balls colliding resonated throughout the bar. Even with the lights dimmed, all eyes were focused on the action at the bar's seven tables as dozens of Southeast Alaska's top pool players competed this weekend at the Capital City Classic, Juneau's premiere pool tournament.

Utah claims NCAA ski title
LYME, N.H. - Utah's Lina Johansson won the women's slalom Saturday as the Utes took their first NCAA ski title since 1997.

Juneau girls wrap up perfect record in Region V play
It wasn't pretty, but the Juneau-Douglas High School girls basketball team swept its two-game road weekend series against Sitka this weekend to post a perfect regular-season record in Region V-Class 4A play. The Crimson Bears beat the Wolves in a pair of low-scoring games, winning 35-26 on Friday and 41-30 on Saturday. Juneau (15-5 overall, 8-0 region) now has won eight games in a row as the team heads into next weekend's Region V-Class 4A tournament at Ketchikan.

Juneau Gun Club Trap League Standings
Standings after the eighth week of shooting in the 12-week Juneau Gun Club Trap League.

King, Sørlie battling for lead
ANVIK, Alaska - Halfway into the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, yet another route change has occurred because of poor trail conditions, race organizers said Saturday. Race officials decided to drop the last leg of the route between Anvik and Shageluk late Friday night after trail breaking crews encountered impassable conditions, said Iditarod executive director Stan Hooley.

Grizzlies 115, Cavaliers 89
At Cleveland, Pau Gasol scored 27 points, Mike Miller added 21 and the Memphis Grizzlies rolled to their most lopsided win this season.

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

Guv fends off budget critics
Gov. Frank Murkowski is defending himself against claims by Democratic lawmakers that he broke campaign promises by proposing taxes and user fees and didn't address resource development during last week's budget address. While Democrats have called the governor's 11 proposed revenue increases "a litany of taxes," Murkowski said only one of his revenue proposals could be classified as an involuntary, across-the-board tax.

Proposal to ax APOC sparks criticism
Critics are howling over Gov. Frank Murkowski's proposal to abolish the state agency that oversees campaign finance and lobbying activities in the state. Murkowski wants to abolish the Alaska Public Offices Commission and move its record-keeping duties to the state Division of Elections and its enforcement powers to the Department of Law.

Company agrees to buy Wards Cove plant
ANCHORAGE - A Seattle-based company has agreed to buy the Wards Cove Packing Co. cannery in Naknek.

State Briefs
Man charged with attempted murder after Lemon Creek shooting; Holiday noise on Assembly agenda; Man gets 25 years for raping student; Avalanche danger in Hatcher Pass area deemed 'significant'; Young introduces bill to provide land for Native veterans

State House passes $69 million supplemental budget
A $69 million supplemental spending bill to cover the costs of firefighting, natural disasters and other unanticipated expenses that sprang up this year was approved by the state House on Friday. If approved by the Senate, the House bill would drive up state general fund spending for the current fiscal year's budget to $2.4 billion. The fiscal year budget ends on June 30 and isn't related to the fiscal 2004 budget introduced this week by Gov. Frank Murkowski.

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