We mustn't take freedom for granted
Regarding "Protesting the Pledge" by Logan Spencer: Reading this young man's letter, I could only wonder, and feel shame and sympathy, to someone that is ignorant in how this country was formed and what our flag stands for.

The future of logging really looks bleak
With the addition of 300,000 acres back into the timber base for the Tongass, I question how it can equate to more logging. Look around - the infrastructure for logging has disappeared.

Stop judging others
I am so tired of hearing people talk about what God says. Like "God says this, God says that." This is the basic fact of it, people: God does not come in a religious form.

We shouldn't mix religion and law
I suppose I got what I had coming. I should have known from the title of Patrick Brayton's My Turn article (Dec. 27) what was in store for me ("God's rules don't change when society does"). Alas, my mind is open almost to a fault and I went ahead and read it. Wow, does the arrogance of the Bible beaters in this state know no bounds?

Religious influences beyond the Pledge
Logan Spencer's letter to the editor condemns the Pledge of Allegience for being offensive and religiously intolerent. He claims that whenever anyone thinks of God in America, it must be the Christian God. It's refreshing to know that someone in Juneau is capable of reading minds.

It's best to compare apples to apples
I keep hearing the Alaska Marine Highway System ferry service compared to other ferry services around the country. One comparison was that other ferry systems operate at a 30 percent subsidy rate while the AMHS operates at a 50 percent subsidy. This does sound like the AMHS is doing something wrong. If other operations can operate at such a lower rate maybe we should emulate their systems.

Juneau man may be retried for murder
The man sentenced to 85 years in prison for the 2000 Juneau beating death of Kenneth Ike Thomas could get a second trial much like the one that led jurors to find him guilty three years ago, according to a state prosecutor.

2003 brings war, a new mayor
Who would have foreseen on Sept. 11, 2001, that terrorist attacks on the United States would result two years later in Juneau residents helping fight an American and British war with Iraq, local marches for peace and the Juneau Assembly passing a resolution urging caution in the federal investigation of possible terrorists?

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

Photo: A stitch in time
Betty Cole works on a Christmas tablecloth quilt she started 13 years ago. She plans to have it completed in time for the Capital City Quilters annual show next spring.

Photo: Sledding to celebrate
Asia Goodwin celebrates her 10th birthday Tuesday, sledding at Savikko Park. The weather is expected to become a lot cooler in the next few days, with temperatures falling into the teens.

Corrections to local stories.

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

Pet: Norwegian or downeaster, Rufus rules
Rufus looks like he could be a Norwegian forest cat, a longer-haired breed with an all-weather coat like a Maine coon cat. This big, neutered male is a wonderful cat, friendly and very responsive to human attention. He knows the difference between furniture and his scratching post.

Senior News: Home health rehabilitation services assist the community
Donna, at 85 years and physically active, made the difficult decision to have her hip replaced. After her surgery, hospitalization and prior to release from the rehab unit, the hospital social worker arranged for Hospice and Home Care of Juneau, a local nonprofit home health agency, to bring in a therapist and home health aide during the recovery period.

Southeast Sagas: The Treadwell
Juneau is the buckle on a "gold belt" of mineral-bearing ore boasting the remains of dozens of hard-rock gold mines. One of the most famous is the Treadwell on Douglas Island. Although most of the area is today obscured by overgrowth, its story is an important chapter in mining history.

Doogan, Kair to marry
Charlotte E. Doogan of Juneau and Michael N. Kair of Aurora, Colo., will be married in a ceremony at 1 p.m. Jan. 3 at the Cathedral of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. A reception will follow at 2 p.m. in the Cathedral parish hall.

Pet: Huge-hearted Rottweiler is smart
Shadow is a purebred Rottweiler, a sociable, older spayed female who loves children and other dogs. Her best friend, a boy, grew up (as boys do), and now she needs a new family to fill the empty space in her huge heart. She is smart, housebroken and walks well on a leash.

Ponchene, Laramie wed
Stephanie Ponchene of Ellensburg, Wash., and Gabe Laramie of Juneau were married in a ceremony on Nov. 22 at the First Lutheran Church in Ellensburg.

Coronell, James marry
Dorothy Coronell of Juneau and Gilbert James, originally of Kake, were married on Dec. 26, 2003, at the Alaska Native Brotherhood Hall in Juneau.

Neighbors Digest
Community news in brief.

Dorothy Garolis
Juneau resident Dorothy "Dottie" A. Garolis, 79, died Dec. 25, 2003, at Providence Alaska Medical Center in Anchorage.

My Turn: Religion has no place in debate about civil rights
In a recent editorial, a minister supported his views condemning marriage rights for gays by citing selected biblical passages. The column contained what can only be described as a virulent bigotry, and I was offended by this and by the premise of the editorial. I do not believe that the quoting of religious passages has any place in the public debate concerning the entitlement of the marriage contract in this nation.

Tongass roads lead to nowhere
U .S. taxpayers can howl as loudly as environmentalists over Bush administration plans to expand logging in Alaska's Tongass National Forest.

Pacers crash James' party
Ron Artest got in LeBron James' face and inside his jersey. Happy birthday, rookie. Artest pushed around Cleveland's star guard in the second half and Jermaine O'Neal scored 21 points as the Indiana Pacers wrecked James' 19th birthday Tuesday night with a 92-89 win over the Cavaliers.

Juneau boys win 11th consecutive CCC title
To have seen how the Juneau-Douglas High School boys basketball team struggled during its road trip to Anchorage a week ago, the thought of returning home and winning an 11th straight title in the Princess Cruises-Capital City Classic was unimaginable.

Sports in Juneau
Sports in Juneau is a service provided by the Juneau Empire to provide information on upcoming sports and outdoors events in Juneau.

Cap City Classic champions
A listing of past tournament winners.

Bears sweep Cap City titles
The best things come to those who wait. After a back-and-forth first quarter Tuesday, the Juneau-Douglas High School girls basketball team hit on all cylinders the rest of the way to rout Newport Beach 58-29 and win its first Princess Cruises-Capital City Classic title since 1999.

Classic images
Scenes from the 2003 Capital City Classic

Alaska Digest
News in brief from around the state.

Salmon task force gears up for '04 session
Changes to the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute's funding and board of directors are among the issues the Joint Legislative Salmon Industry Task Force is considering as it prepares for the upcoming session.

State offers new aquatic farm sites
Dozens of undeveloped sites along Alaska's southcentral and southeast coast are available for lease from the state to private entrepreneurs for aquatic farms. The 158 sites are on a new list of coves, bights and beaches that could be used for raising such salable species as oysters and littleneck clams.

This Day in History
In Alaska; in the nation; in the world.

War spurs Stevens, Byrd spat
Between them, Democrat Robert Byrd of West Virginia and Republican Ted Stevens of Alaska have spent 80 years in the Senate, long ago forging a deferential bond that survived the Vietnam War, Watergate, an impeachment and record budget deficits.

Movies: Where & when
Local movies and showtimes.

Entertainment news in brief

Toast end of 2003 with plenty of nightlife
Schedule of local New Year's events.

Cartoon: In the Swamp
Cartoon by local artist Toe.

What's happening
Upcoming local arts and entertainment events.

First Friday
Growing up in Kenai, Juneau oil painter Charity Green quickly developed an admiration for commercial fishermen, from afar. "They're a lot tougher than I am," Green said. "I'm not a tough person, and I respect people that do things that I can't do."

Compaz Andino scores Juneau layover
Musicians Luis Fernando Davila and Diego Coy will begin their journey back to their homes in Colombia on Jan. 9. But because of a Juneau couple's last-minute hustling, the pair will perform in Haines on Wednesday, Jan. 7, and here on Thursday, Jan. 8.

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