Smokers will still go out
While home for Christmas, I have been reading letters to the Empire concerning making all bars and restaurants smoke-free. Some owners and employees of bars have been opposing this proposal.

Quoted out of context?
Patrick Brayton claims he takes no pleasure in angering people with his point of view. So why does he misquote the Bible? He quotes from 1 Corinthians a list of those who will not "inherit the kingdom of God" and includes "homosexuals." The problem with that is every single translation I have ever seen of the Bible uses no such word nor reference.

Bonus program had a big impact
Perhaps most of you don't realize what happened to our economy when the governor vetoed the Senior Citizen Longevity Bonus. When looking at the total economic impact, one must conservatively consider the reverberation or recycling of money spent in this state.

Nature maintains wolf population
I must have missed something regarding the governor's decision to permit the killing of 40-45 wolves in the McGrath area and another 100 in the Nelchina Basin. On a talk show a couple weeks ago I thought I heard someone who works for the state say that for each of the past 10 years approximately 40 percent of permitted moose hunters, at least in the McGrath area, had taken moose. He seemed to think that was a reasonable success rate due to the difficulty of the hunt.

A voice of truth
Thanks to Patrick Brayton claimsPatrick Brayton for being obedient to God. He truly has expressed the Father's heart on this issue. Good job!

Consider needs of everyone on trails
In the Sunday paper of Dec. 28 I took notice of the section on "Last week's question: What restrictions on dogs on trails would you support?" Half of the respondents were for no restrictions. On this issue, as well as others, the majority often lacks sensibility for minorities.

More than 100 brave chilly waters for dip
On a cold Thursday afternoon best suited for a hot shower, or perhaps a warm nap, retired orthopedist Len Ceder and his 15-year-old daughter, Eva, dressed in swimsuits and lined up along the shore near the north end of the Auke Village Recreation Area, as they have for the past nine New Year's Days.

An article on the Treadwell mine in Wednesday's Empire listed an incorrect Web site address for historic photos. The correct address is

Photo: Derby winner, 1947
Soapbox Derby winner Frank "Streak" Maier waves while wearing the parka that was one of his prizes for winning the derby in Juneau.

Diocese compliant according to audit
The Catholic Diocese of Juneau is observing the spirit and letter of the church's efforts to protect young people from sexual abuse by clergy, according to an independent audit.

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

Another floor at JDHS ready for students
Workers are substantially completing the renovation of the first floor of Juneau-Douglas High School this week, and teachers are expected to move into their spruced-up classrooms this month.

Photo: Big kiss for the first dance
Lindsay Campbell and her husband, Kerry Crocker, kiss each other during their first dance Wednesday, as the Thunder Mountain Big Band played during their wedding reception at the Baranof Hotel. The couple celebrated New Year's Eve in style by getting married. More than 125 guests attended the wedding and reception.

Births, judgments and other legal proceedings.

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

Amalga Harbor dredging to allow launching any time
Boaters will be able to launch their vessels at Amalga Harbor next spring without first having to check a tide table, thanks to improvements at the harbor.

Photo: Surf's up in Tee Harbor
Noah Jenkins surfs in the 3- to 4-foot swells last week in Tee Harbor. Northerly winds brought waves high enough for Jenkins to go surfing for the first time in Alaska. He has surfed in Mexico, Washington and Oregon and is looking for other surfers with whom to ride the waves in Lynn Canal.

Neighbors Digest
Commmunity news in brief.

Dancing Light
The Juneau-Douglas High School Dance Team performs its popular Light March during The Capital City Classic basketball tournament Tuesday.

... for hard work on MADD membership packets
The MADD Juneau Chapter wishes to thank those Johnson Youth Center teenagers who, with the assistance of Katie Sullivan, Kris Weixelman, Mandy Cota and Stacey Oshima, prepared MADD membership packets.

Student recognition
Leslie M. Ahlgren, John R. Kubota, Heather L. McNicholas, Matthew P. Montez and Greg R. Smith of Juneau were among 2,399 students to make the Oregon State University Scholastic Honor Roll for the 2003 fall term, earning a 3.5 GPA or higher.

... for help with the model train rally
I want to thank the people who contributed train items or their time to make the Holiday Model Train Rally at the Juneau-Douglas City Museum on Saturday a success.

... for basketball tournament help
Princess Cruises wishes to congratulate and thank Sandi Wagner at Juneau-Douglas High School and all the volunteers and staff for their part in producing another successful holiday basketball tournament.

... for making lighthouse quilt raffle a success
The Juneau Lighthouse Association would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who assisted in the success of the 2003 Quilt Raffle that benefited Five Finger Lighthouse.

Richard L. Shew
Former Juneau resident Richard L. Shew, 75, died Dec. 28, 2003, in Aurora, Ore.

My Turn: The back door to the Alaska Permanent Fund dividend
It's time for Alaskans to closely examine how the Legislature plans to raise funds as it again prepares to spend more than it takes in. Governor Murkowski wants $400 million from the Constitutional Budget Reserve and a head tax on tourists. But the tourist tax could be given away to oil companies through royalty and tax breaks also proposed by the governor.

James shines as Cavaliers struggle
Everything has come so easy for LeBron James - except for the victories. After just two months in the NBA, Cleveland's sensational rookie has been better than advertised, posting impressive statistics and assuming leadership of his team.

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.

A Holiday Cup tradition
This time, the Holiday Cup was for grownups, too. The 11th version of the annual indoor soccer tournament featured a masters division for the first time this year, and the Half-Steppers claimed the division's inaugural title on Wednesday with a 4-3 victory over Team Black at Dzantik'i Heeni Middle School.

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

Alaska struggles with highest suicide rate in the United States
When Robert Tokeinna was a teenager and got depressed, his mind turned to thoughts of suicide. It is not an unfamiliar notion in Brevig Mission, an isolated Inupiat Eskimo village of around 300 people on the Bering Strait, about 75 miles from the Russian border. Several of Tokeinna's relatives committed suicide. The most recent was his uncle, who shot himself last year.

Alaska Digest
Bartlett still waiting for first baby of 2004

Alyeska resumes loading oil at Valdez; no reasons given for temporary shutdown
Alyeska Pipeline Service Co. resumed loading oil tankers Thursday after consultation with the U.S. Coast Guard. Alyeska spokesman Mike Heatwole confirmed that his company began loading crude oil from the 800-mile trans-Alaska pipeline onto tankers on Thursday afternoon after Alyeska received the go-ahead from the Coast Guard.

Court: Child molester can't be kept from village
A rural judge was wrong to banish a convicted child molester from the village of Kivalina, where the victim lives, the state Court of Appeals ruled in overturning the lower court's order.

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