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Tuesday, January 8, 2002

Take a hike across a clear-cut forest
Oops! Don Smith has been talking with someone again! His editorial in Sunday's paper tells me so. Where do these one-dimensional thoughts on the Tongass forest originate? What is he possibly reading these nights anyway?

Selective truths?
As far as he went, perhaps Don Smith told the truth in his Sunday editorial "Tongass, the healthiest forest in North America."But perhaps he didn't tell all the truth. Perhaps he chose to go a la carte with the truth. Just pick those items off the truth menu that are palatable to you and support the opinion you're expressing.

Not in good taste
The theme of Julia Gorin's distinctively mean-spirited column in Sunday's paper was that the Clintons' dog Buddy was "little more than a pawn in [his] owners' continuing attempts to impersonate human beings."

Editorial on target
Your Jan. 6 editorial, "Tongass, the healthiest forest in North America," accurately explains the resource situation on the Tongass National Forest and the urgency of restoring science-based management and rebuilding Southeast Alaska's failing economy. Your editorial also applies to many other national forests.

Still in denial
In Bill McAllister's article on Alaska's fiscal divide, Gov. Knowles was quoted questioning the planet referring to persons opposed to the Hudson et. al. plan. Very poor words for a man who has been governor for seven years and has never made any serious effort to get Alaska's fiscal house in order.

Local briefs
Minimum-wage initiative certified for ballot; Heritage Center commissions totem pole

Local inventor banks on growth of golf
Thomas Knightlinger put his money where his ideas are, packed the finished product into a big crate, and took off for Georgia and Florida today to see what reactions he gets.

Pulltab store tests city smoking ban
A pulltab store's designation of itself as a private club poses a challenge to Juneau's new smoking ban. A new city law that prohibits smoking in stores, offices, most restaurants and other public places in Juneau took effect Jan. 1. The law allows smoking in private clubs, but not in pulltab parlors.

Juneau Dance Unlimited members try to oust board
The membership of Juneau Dance Unlimited has elected a new board of directors despite the fact the organization has an existing board of directors.

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

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

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

Assembly hears heliport questions
The possible cost of new satellite heliports and how they might affect noise were among the questions raised during testimony before Juneau Assembly members Monday.

Abandoned Juneau horse looks for home
A neglected, one-eyed horse no one wanted to care for is rallying to health and looking for a new home this week following a District Court decision against its former owner. The horse was taken away from Juneau resident Diane Fairbanks on the grounds she abandoned the 25-year-old mare named Cinnamon. Animal control officers found the horse at a Back Loop Road stable Dec. 14, according to court documents.

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

3 Alaska experts to star on bird cruise
World Explorer Cruises has put together a bird-themed cruise of Alaska for the line's 14-night Route of the Pioneers tour in June.

Thomas N. Harris
Juneau resident Thomas N. Harris, 84, died Jan. 2, 2002, in Eugene, Ore., where he moved last year after suffering a stroke.

Homer Dean Lummis
Homer Dean Lummis died Jan. 6, 2002, in Juneau. Services will be held at Northern Light United Church, 400 11th Street, Juneau, at 3 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 10. A full obituary will run at a later date.

Knowles must decide
Tony Knowles opens the new year, his last as governor, in an awkward place on the ship of state. He's the skipper of a ship that's going aground if it doesn't make a sharp turn, and soon. The owners and passengers aren't watching; they want to just stay the course. They'll challenge his command if he rocks the boat too hard by changing course too fast. But he knows they'll head for the lifeboats later if he doesn't.

Squabbling gridlock returns
The blame game has returned full-blown to Capitol Hill, and it's dispiriting to see. Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle kicked things off Friday, declaring that President Bush's tax cut was responsible for the current recession. Bush, he said, has created the "most dramatic fiscal deterioration in our nation's history."

My Turn: Time to leave fiscal no-man's land
Several years ago there was a refrain from a popular song that went something like this: "They're all out there in no-man's land, 'cause it's the safest place to be." I think that accurately sums up where we Alaskans have been when it comes to tackling the state's increasing budget deficit.

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

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

Florida State upsets No. 1 Duke
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Florida State capped the weekend of beating the unbeatens with a shocker. The Seminoles defeated top-ranked Duke 77-76 Sunday night to snap the defending national champion's 22-game winning streak -- the longest in the nation -- and leave Division I without an unbeaten team.

Joe Tompkins' golden dream lives
After a weekend of Huntsman Cup races he said were full of "skier error," Juneau mono-skier Joe Tompkins said on Sunday he was hopeful but he wasn't sure about his chances of making the U.S. team for the 2002 Winter Paralympics March 7-16 in Salt Lake City, Utah.

State lawmakers consider growing budget for FY 2003
Long-range fiscal issues have loomed so large that, going into the 2002 legislative session, they are overshadowing the next state budget. But even while Gov. Tony Knowles and legislators ponder the big picture, they also have to come up with specific revenues and appropriations for the fiscal year that begins July 1.

Rocket launching aimed at gaining insight into auroras
FAIRBANKS - Poker Flat Research Range scientists will launch four rockets later this month in hopes of shedding some light on the mysteries of the aurora borealis. The rockets will measure wind and turbulence and their effect on the chemical composition of the upper atmosphere.

BP cutting 20 percent of Anchorage work force
ANCHORAGE - BP Exploration (Alaska) Inc. is cutting about 120 of its employees, or 20 percent of the work force at its headquarters here. Employees were told Monday of the company's decision to change "the size and shape of the organization," BP spokesman Ronnie Chappell said. Most workers will know whether they'll be let go by the middle of February, and the cuts will be made within about three months.

Court: Gun permits can go to the mentally ill
ANCHORAGE - Judge Natalie Finn didn't hesitate to take away Timothy Wagner's permit to carry a concealed handgun after hearing he believes there's a computer chip implanted in his head and he's been injected with deadly chemicals. But a state appeals court ruled recently that Judge Finn erred. The court declared that under Alaska law, mental illness by itself cannot be considered in deciding fitness to carry a concealed weapon. And state officials say they are trying to figure out how they could turn Wagner down if he asks for his permit to be returned.

Election district reapportionment trial begins
ANCHORAGE - A court battle began Monday over whether Alaska's new redistricting plan violates the state constitution. The plan, based on new 2000 decennial Census figures, has been attacked by Republicans as blatantly partisan and by local governments that contend it ignores the realities of their residents.

Fishing co-op plan could change salmon industry
ANCHORAGE - Some fishermen in Alaska's embattled commercial salmon industry believe a proposal coming before the Alaska Board of Fisheries this week has potential to save livelihoods and salmon-dependent towns. But the idea is stirring a storm of controversy.

State Briefs
Oregon race promotes mushing; Juneau ambassadors needed for Olympic torchbearers; Kmart denies rumors of failure; UAS holds technology meetings

Claims dropped for ferry repairs
The state of Alaska and a Ketchikan shipyard have resolved their differences over delays in repairs to the ferry Columbia, with each side dropping its claims. The deal, months in the making, was announced this morning in Ketchikan at the Alaska Ship and Drydock facility.

Cell phones, state song on Capitol radar
Hand-held cellular phones would be illegal for drivers, the sales tax would go up and the state song would get a new verse under bills filed at the Capitol. The measures are among roughly 40 bills submitted by lawmakers last week in anticipation of the legislative session, set to convene Jan. 14.

State Briefs
Scant snow frustrates mushers; Snowmachiner dies in river; Slope rabies quarantine extended; Denali still closed to snowmobiles; New clinic opens in Soldotna; Borough debates zoning proposal

Former state worker gets up to 6 months in jail for welfare theft
FAIRBANKS A former welfare worker accused of stealing public-assistance funds by using other people's welfare debit cards will serve up to six months in jail and pay restitution for her theft.

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