Thursday, January 8, 2004

Smoking ban has hurt elsewhere
I have been following the debate about the proposed smoking ban in bars with great interest. I am the doorman at the Alaskan Hotel and Bar and I am a smoker. I am fervently against the smoking ban. I believe it will hurt business for the local bars. I have seen it elsewhere.

Not seeking ban, just a solution
I am responding to Mr. Pete Schneider's response to my letter in the Juneau Empire. I guess I didn't clarify myself in the letter I sent and he obviously misunderstood my letter. Let me reiterate what the letter was intended to state.

Here are more thoughts on the Pledge
There have been many responses to Logan Spencer's letter regarding the Pledge of Allegiance. Some agree with him, most do not. Some of the more interesting are somewhere in-between.

Look for realistic trail solutions
In response to the Juneau Audubon Society's column "Southeast Wild" in the Jan. 5 Empire: I, like Dave Fremming, love dogs. Our family includes four canines. Two are sporting breeds, and require considerable exercise. Keeping them on leash at all times is simply not an option for their continued health and happiness - or ours!

Youths also need to be responsible
The letter to the editor by Wendall Bishop titled "Avoid Another Tragedy" on Dec. 26 really struck a nerve with me. I am an assistant pre-K teacher, and I feel that drivers need to be more attentive and slow down!

Preserve the daisies
I think it is best if the trawlers could keep off the daisies. I have always worried about our stewardship. Look what happened to New England's great banks.

The only sensible choice for dog owners
In response to Richard Stephens letter in Friday's paper. I believe 90 percent of dog owners in Juneau would agree with you. The poll's only viable option was the last one that stated "no restrictions" as the other options were not acceptable to dog owners.

Topic is really not a subject for argument
For over a week now in this section of the paper, there has been a raging debate over the rights of homosexuals and/or wrongs of homosexuality.

A Pledge substitute
Here's a sincere substitute for Logan Spencer.

Courtesy appreciated
I am writing in response to Cheryl Van Dyke's letter "Thanks to nice snowmachiners." I want to thank you for writing the letter. There are a lot of people out there who think that all snowmachiners just race up the trail and are rude but, as you were able to see for yourself, that is not true.

'Rings' represents virtue, 'Potter' black magic
In response to Stuart Ashton's letter in which he asks why parents would allow their children to view The Lord of the Rings trilogy and yet not see the Harry Potter movies, I was almost offended that he would compare the pop-culture Rowling with the timeless epic of Tolkien. His arguments for their similarities were very shallow and show a lack of careful reading of Tolkien, because he seems to have missed the central ideas of the book. As Tolkien himself said, "The Lord of the Rings is a fundamentally religious and Catholic work."

Why can't opinions be respected?
It is funny how many people comment on the Pledge of Allegiance or gays/lesbians or even religion in general. But truthfully, who doesn't comment on those kind of things? Why can't we accept what people think? Why do we always have to fight back? Don't we have a right of free speech?

Correction
Due to a reporting error, a story in Wednesday's Empire misstated the estimated cost of a new transit center downtown. It should have read $200,000.

Photo: Nature's handiwork
Mother Nature shows off her unmatched ability to create abstract scupture by encasing a twig in ice, framed by flowing water and pebbles, next to a beaver dam at the Mendenhall Glacier on Monday.

Planners advise union labor on new high school
Planners of the Mendenhall Valley high school have recommended that the Juneau Assembly require an agreement with contractors to hire through local union halls when possible.

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

Plan could alter how dividends are calculated
Alaska Permanent Fund trustees will be back again this legislative session pushing a plan that would change the way dividends are tallied.

Break-in thief to serve 3 years
Convicted thief Sheridan Scott Stringer will serve three years in prison for stealing from more than 20 victims' vehicles.

Photo: Getting ready for session
Legislative Affairs Agency supply clerks, left to right, Neil Erickson and Mitch Brooks move furniture out of the Alaska Capitol on Tuesday. Workers have been busy moving supplies and furniture in preparation for the upcoming legislative session, which begins Monday.

Photo: Patron saint of aviation, 1935
Actor, humorist and aviation promoter Will Rogers stands on the wing of a plane in 1935. Rogers took every chance he could to fly, even hopping rides on mail planes. Rogers took his first airplane flight in 1915. Soon after, he began promoting aviation on stage and in the newspaper.

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

Photo: Once upon a midday dreary
A raven leaves its perch Wednesday afternoon near the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center. Recent blue skies turned cloudy Wednesday as a storm left a fresh blanket of snow by nightfall.

Photo: The two towers
A couple walks Tuesday on Mendenhall Lake in front of the Mendenhall Towers. Hikers are cautioned to avoid walking close to the face of the Mendenhall Glacier as calving can happen at anytime.

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

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

Airport to upgrade security at the airfield
The Juneau Airport may require access cards to the airfield as part of efforts to improve security.

Transit center slated for Main
About 30 Capital Transit bus drivers will be able to take daily breaks at a new downtown transit center, under a proposal by the city.

Recent skiing mishap underscores need for ice safety on local lakes
Deborah Rudis used to be an outdoor adventure guide and she's lived in Juneau for 15 years. So she should have known better.

Orthodox Christmas
Dean George spins the star as the parishioners of St. Nicholas Orthodox Church sing carols during Christmas services Wednesday at the church. Orthodox Christmas was on Jan. 7, according to the Julian calendar.

This week's temps below normal, but not unusual
Bob Thompson said he can tell when it's cold in Juneau. The operations manager for the Glory Hole, the downtown homeless shelter, said it has been full, or close to full, during the recent cold snap. Normally, about half the shelter's 38 beds are used.

... for participating in annual holiday gift wrap
AARP, Mt. Juneau Chapter, wishes to thank the following for participation in the annual December gift wrap.

Pets of the week
Pets available for adoption.

Photo: Thank you
Eaglecrest Ski Area would like to thank all who made a really brilliant event successful.

Photo: The gulls of New Year's Eve
Eagle Beach gulls slog along performing their gull chores in the dim midday light of New Year's Eve in the shadow of the Chilkats.

... for donation in aid of craft and card party
The Juneau Public Libraries would like to thank Printing Trade Company and Alaska Litho for their generous donation of supplies for the kids' holiday craft and card-making party at the Douglas library on Dec. 6.

Neighbors Digest
Community news in brief.

Richard 'Rick' David Mills
Kake resident Richard "Rick" David Mills, 43, died in a boating accident.

Richard David Kay Mills
Kake resident Richard David Kay Mills, 14, died in a boating accident, along with his father, Rick, and a close family friend.

My Turn: Medication breakthroughs for mental patients
The article recently reprinted from the Los Angeles Times, "Schizophrenia meds differ mostly in price," by Rosie Mestel, has serious, even fatal flaws. Fatal because even the suggestion that there is little difference between medications can precipitate suicide if someone stops taking their medications.

New-look Knicks come up short against the Cavs
Stephon Marbury couldn't get over the sight of himself wearing the jersey of his hometown New York Knicks. He would have looked better in it if the result had been different. LeBron James' 10 assists and Zydrunas Ilgauskas' 24 points led the Cleveland Cavaliers over the new-look Knicks 107-96 Tuesday night.

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.

Juneau Parks and Rec Ordway basketball Standings
Standings through Jan. 4 for the Juneau Parks and Recreation Department's Adult Ordway Basketball League.

Bear wrestlers return to region competition
A well-rested Juneau-Douglas High School wrestling squad travels to Ketchikan on Friday as the Region V-Class 4A season continues after the holiday break. Eighteen Juneau wrestlers will make the trip for two days of triple-dual meets with the host Kings and the Sitka Wolves.

ASBN state prep basketball poll
The Alaska Sports Broadcasting Network high school basketball poll for the week ending Jan. 5.

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.

Kake grieves as search continues
With school suspended in Kake for the rest of the week, volunteers continued searching Tuesday in below-freezing temperatures and strong winds for one of its students.

AK Airlines trims mileage benefits
Alaska Airlines started the new year by cutting back its mileage plan benefits, saying it couldn't afford not to. The biggest impact to Alaskans will come from a change to the "AS50 Award," said spokesman Lou Cancelmi.

Alaska Digest
News in brief from around the state.

Silver Bay pulls out of bankruptcy
Silver Bay Logging will begin repaying its more than 100 creditors this year, but the 30-year-old company will operate on a much smaller scale as it regains viability, a company official said.

Athabascan matriarch dies in Nenana at age 97
Mary C. Demientieff, the matriarch of a large Interior Athabascan family who provided decades of health care in Nenana, died Sunday evening at her home. She was 97.

Six people in Ketchikan indicted in drug case on conspiracy charges
Six of 26 people indicted on charges of operating a drug distribution network that stretched from California to Alaska appeared at a hearing Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Ketchikan.

Study: Alaska faces youth brain drain
An Alaska Department of Labor study says nearly two of every five Alaskans who were 15 to 19 years old in 1994 have left the state for life and employment Outside.

This Day in History
In Alaska; in the nation.

Anchorage fails to meet abuse mandate
The Archdiocese of Anchorage is out of compliance with a new mandatory charter adopted by Roman Catholic bishops to prevent sex abuse by priests, according to a national audit released Tuesday.

Alaska Digest
News in brief from around the state.

This Day in History
Historic events in Alaska.

Briefly
Entertainment news in brief

Cartoon: In the Swamp
Cartoon by local artist Toe.

A look at the players
The cast for the local production of "Dinner With Friends"

Movies: Where & when
Local movie locations and showtimes.

What's happening
Arts and entertainment events in Juneau.

Learning your past, and getting it right
So you're researching your family history, and you don't know where to begin. How do you start the interview? What do you ask? Where can you verify your information?

Love, sex and the ticking of time
Donald Margulies' "Dinner With Friends," the 2000 Pulitzer Prize winner for drama, takes place in the suburbs of Connecticut and Manhattan. But it could just as easily be set in downtown Juneau, said local actor Ed Christian, who first found the story at the library and eventually brought it to town.

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