A christening - or not?
In the Sunday Empire, Publisher Don Smith gave me and another individual a "thumbs down" for "christening" the new Treadwell Arena. Publisher Smith may have a point, although it is difficult to ascertain precisely what is driving him in regards to his political commentary.

P.O.P. clarification
I want to take a moment to thank Melanie Plenda and the Juneau Empire for the article about P.O.P. While as a whole we like and appreciate the article, there were a couple of points that we feel the need to clear up.

Thumbs better up
I'm left scratching my head over Don Smith's Thumbs Down to Marc Wheeler and Joe Geldhof in his Sunday Empire editorial. Smith claimed Geldhof and Wheeler "tarnished" the opening of the Treadwell ice arena for lacing up and taking a couple of turns on Christmas Eve.

Delivery issues
Do you find wet newspapers in your driveway? How about you or your family driving over it? Or do you wait for the newspaper and it never arrives? These things have happened to me ever since the policy of delivering papers has changed. I think the newspaper distribution system should change back to kids delivering instead of adults driving around and flinging them out their windows.

More road, more trash
I read the Jan. 6, 2003, article about the Forest Service's struggle with trash with great interest.

Trading places
In regards to the front page article printed Jan. 14 about Laura Stidolph, I want to say I have grown up with Laura and consider myself one of her closest friends. The woman I know is one of the nicest and most thoughtful people, a person who truly cares about others and would extend herself under any circumstance.

Biological and social reality
I found Mr. Heidersdorf's accusation (Empire, Jan. 12) that pro-choice groups and individuals are "living in a world of euphemisms and slogans" incongruous. In fact, it is the "right-to-life" groups that base their movement on a distortion of biological and social reality, and promote their cause by the most flagrant and incendiary sloganeering.

Knight vision
I have known Ms. Knight for many years, both as an opposing player and as a teammate. She has a knowledge for the game that cannot be taught. She has a calming effect on our sometimes panicked game play in league.

No additional taxes needed
Last Thursday, the Juneau Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors went on record unanimously supporting the Juneau-Douglas School District's schematic plans for the new Valley high school.

Thumbs down to all
I read in Sundays paper the "Thumbs Down" to Joe Geldhof and Marc Wheeler for skating on the rink ahead of everyone else. If you are going to give them a thumbs down, how about giving everyone who's skated on the rink a thumbs down instead of singling out a lawyer and an assemblyman who had permission to skate on it and had informed the city manager.

Why report on Hamey?
I'm curious to know the rationale behind the front page story (with color photo) exposing coach Hamey's crime. Or any coverage at all.

Just build it
Kudos to the Juneau Chamber of Commerce for supporting Juneau's youth and the School Board's desire to provide them with the new high school that Juneau's voters approved.

Unintended consequences
I share "Pissed Off Parents" founder Theresa Williams' sympathy for the victims of sex offenders (Empire, Jan. 13). I also believe that POP-proposed legislation to eliminate prisoners' time off for good behavior would provide grave repercussions unforeseen by POP.

Used-car dealer pleads guilty to fraud
A former consignment car dealer and his top sales manager pleaded guilty Monday in U.S. District Court in Juneau to charges they defrauded their customers, possibly of up to $200,000.

Juneau delegation gears up for session
Juneau's state lawmakers Tuesday speculated on the attention they expect the fiscal gap, subsistence, education and a Southeast caucus to receive in the legislative session that begins on Jan. 21. Rep.-elect Bruce Weyhrauch, a Republican representing Lemon Creek, the Mendenhall Valley and points north, and Sen. Kim Elton, a Democrat representing all of Juneau, shared their predictions at the luncheon meeting of the Downtown Rotary Club.

Commission: Duran needs permit for noisy construction site
If a local construction company wants to drop boulders from 70 feet in the air, early in the morning, for days at a time, it will have to apply for a conditional-use permit, the Juneau Planning Commission ruled Tuesday night. The Planning Commission, after hearing an appeal, upheld a compliance order issued to Duran Construction Co. last summer.

On thin ice? Christmas Eve skate draws debate
Juneau Assembly member Marc Wheeler and local attorney Joe Geldhof, who have been criticized for briefly skating at the soon-to-be-opened Treadwell Arena, said they were invited to do so by the project's superintendent. The skate on Christmas Eve drew an editorial "thumbs down" from Juneau Empire Publisher Don Smith, liability questions and a volley of political charges.

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

Cruise-ship industry activist, author to speak in Juneau
Author Ross Klein said he is visiting Alaska this week to help residents who want to take control of the cruise ship industry's presence here. He also wanted to experience Juneau and Haines in the off-season, when their downtowns aren't crowded with thousands of cruise ship passengers.

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

Photo: Making music in 1946
From left: Eddie Williams, James Austin, Harry Watson Jr., Archie Cavanaugh, Roger Williams and Richard Stitt play in the Short Circuit Band in Wrangell. The image comes from William Paul Jr.'s photo collection, which is available on the Sealaska Heritage Institute Web site.

Etheridge appointed to Docks & Harbors
The Juneau Assembly has appointed former Assembly member Don Etheridge to the city's Docks and Harbors Board. The Assembly voted Monday to appoint Etheridge to the nine-member panel by an 8-1 vote, with Marc Wheeler voting no. Etheridge, who lost an election to Stan Ridgeway this fall, had been the Assembly's liaison to the Docks and Harbors Board.

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

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

Alleged drunken driver enters innocent plea
A woman has pleaded innocent to charges she left the scene of an alleged December drunken-driving accident that injured three people. Authorities said Laura Stidolph, 21, got out of her vehicle and ran into oncoming traffic to avoid arrest. Stidolph pleaded innocent to all charges Monday in Juneau Superior Court. She is charged with three counts of third-degree assault and failing to render assistance following an accident, both felonies. She also was charged with misdemeanor counts of drunken driving, refusal to submit to a breath test, and disorderly conduct.

City asks for 'better approach' to runway safety zones
The Juneau Assembly, worried that some large planes might not land here if runway space is cut, wants the Federal Aviation Administration to be flexible as it considers new safety zones at Juneau Airport. The Assembly unanimously approved a resolution Monday that asks the FAA "to consider a better approach" to runway safety areas in Juneau. A safety area, essentially the surface surrounding the runway, lessens the chance of passenger injuries if a plane undershoots or overshoots the runway.

Kmart workers eye options
Jimmy Gunn has been working at the sporting goods department of Kmart since the store opened in Juneau in 1993. He saw it switch to a "Big K" in 1999, and helped transform it to a Super Kmart in 2001. Kmart's decision to close its five stores in Alaska means Gunn, along with 133 other full- and part-time employees at the store, will be out of work by March 14.

This Day in History
In 1959, applications opened for new state license plates.

This Day in History
In 1930, an underwater landslide at the Standard Oil installation on the Thane Road in Juneau caused $60,000 damage.

Pet of the week
This pretty little calico cat is blind. Her name is K.C. short for Kitty Cat. Quiet and affectionate, she loves to snuggle on a loving lap. She likes other cats, though some pick on her. She has been spayed.

Harris, Sharclane wed
Mr. and Mrs. Harry Sharclane of Hoonah announce the marriage of their son, Robert Eison Sharclane to Ofelia Dee Harris, daughter of Beverly E. Sheakley of Craig.

Academic honors
Amy Little of Juneau graduated magna cum laude from George Fox University in Newburg, Ore., on Dec. 21, 2002. She received a bachelor of science

Neighbors Briefs
Government accountants to meet; Coast Guard women's group seeks donations for 16th annual auction; AWARE shelter announces Women of Distinction winners; Sealaska Heritage Institute accepting scholarship applications

Thank you
...for the support; ...for the help; ...for the hard work.

Plants, trees have distinct personalities
Loading up trees, rounding up rhododendrons, stacking up shrubs and picking up perennials, it's moving time again. Our nursery has been a transient business since it's first days, and the latest incarnation is once again sent on a quest for another home.

Judith Poulard
Juneau resident Judith Poulard (formerly Levshakoff) died Jan. 8, 2003, at Bartlett Regional Hospital.

Mike Melvin Batcheller
Former Juneau resident Mike Melvin Batcheller, 55, of Okanogan, Wash., died Dec. 28, 2002, in Brewster, Wash.

Thelma L. Brown
Former longtime Juneau resident Thelma L. Brown, 90, died Jan. 8, 2003, in Bellingham, Wash.

My Turn: A founding charter commissioner's view
My name is certainly not a household one in Juneau's civic history, but I was active in Juneau municipal elective offices in the late '60s and early '70s when some key changes in Juneau's governmental structure were made, notably, institution of the council-manager form of government by popular vote, followed by the election of a charter commission to unify the city and former Greater Juneau Borough into the single city-borough it has been for the past three decades.

My Turn: Here is the other side of Alaway
After many friends, colleagues, family members and acquaintances urged me to respond to the distorted facts reported in the Empire article, My Turn and Letters to the Editor submitted by Chris Erickson (Eagle's Edge resident) and Shawn Willie (self-appointed Eagle's Edge HOA President) in December, I have decided to set to record straight.

Blazers blitz Cavaliers
PORTLAND, Ore. - Ruben Patterson knows he's not going to get chances like this too often. Subbing for injured starter Bonzi Wells, Patterson took advantage of his playing time and scored 20 points as the Portland Trail Blazers defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers 118-94 Monday night.

Steer wins Copper Basin 300
GLENNALLEN - Zack Steer of Palmer won the Copper Basin 300 Sled Dog Race on Monday. Steer and nine dogs crossed the finish line in Glennallen at 3:01 p.m., followed 11 minutes later by Lance Mackey of Kasilof and his nine dogs. William Kleedehn of Carcross, Yukon Territory, was third, coming in at 3:46 p.m. with 10 dogs.

Juneau wrestlers sixth at West Valley Invite
Juneau-Douglas High School senior Robert Vicario studied hard before his big test at last weekend's West Valley Invitational wrestling tournament in Fairbanks, and he almost aced it. Vicario, wrestling at 189 pounds, ran into Wasilla's Jed Wade in Saturday's championship match. Wade, a high school All-American, is undefeated in the state this season and recently finished third at the prestigious Reno Tournament of Champions competition in Nevada.

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

Hulegaard ranked No. 1 in Minnesota
Former Juneau-Douglas High School wrestler Jestin Hulegaard is continuing his success on the mats in Minnesota.

Bicknell finishes 21st in Copper Basin 300
Juneau musher Deborah Bicknell finished the Copper Basin 300 sled dog race in 21st place on Tuesday morning, crossing the Glennallen finish line of the 300-mile race at 9:15 a.m. with eight dogs in harness.

Region V Standings
The Region V basketball standings through games of Jan. 11. Standings are for all three Region V classifications and were reported to the Juneau Empire by school officials and basketball coaches.

Skagway boys, Kake girls undefeated at Don Hather
The hometown Skagway High School boys basketball team posted a 3-0 record, as did the Kake girls, to finish atop the standings in the 2003 Don Hather Basketball Tournament held Thursday through Sunday at Skagway High School. The Panthers were the only undefeated boys squad in the six-team field, with Hydaburg and Kake both going 2-1. The Juneau-Douglas junior varsity boys and Haines varsity teams both posted 1-2 records, while Vanier Christian School of Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, was winless in its three games.

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

Murkowski orders military department reorganization
Gov. Frank Murkowski ordered a reorganization within the state Department of Military and Veterans Affairs to merge new anti-terrorism duties with the state's disaster response efforts. The executive order was signed on Friday but made public on Monday. Under the plan, Alaska's anti-terrorism duties will be overseen by an assistant commissioner also responsible for the state's response to natural disasters.

One acquitted, one sentenced in child porn cases
KETCHIKAN - A Superior Court jury on Friday acquitted a Ketchikan man of child pornography charges. In a separate case, another Ketchikan man was sentenced to six months in prison and fined $1,000 for possession of child pornography. A jury of seven men and five women acquitted Patrick J. Durkin, 43, after deliberating for about three hours. Durkin was charged in February with possessing child pornography. His trial began Jan. 7.

State Briefs
Assembly OKs Steamship Wharf bonds; Assembly approves raise for MacKinnon; Homeless man's tent burns; Courthouse adopts security measures; Assembly accepts Douglas Bridge appeal; Park shelter bookings available soon; Two killed in vehicle accident in Petersburg; Illness closes Ketchikan school

Hemp initiative snuffed
Lt. Gov. Loren Leman stopped an initiative drive seeking to decriminalize marijuana, ruling Tuesday that hundreds of signatures collected were not valid. Anchorage resident Tim Hinterberger, one of three primary sponsors of the initiative, said today he has not seen the ruling, but added he expects to appeal the decision.

Photo: Moving in
Cory Simpson, right, lifts a completed chair out of the way as Mike Whiting, center, and John Randolph put together new office chairs at the Capitol on Monday. The three men work for Legislative Affairs. Michael Penn / Juneau Empire

State Briefs
Park shelter bookings available soon; Masek wants to be majority leader; Ketchikan school reopens; Panel: Press secretary violated ethics code; Woman found dead after house fire; Man gets five years in sex abuse case

Kmart closing all of its Alaska stores
The Super Kmart in Juneau will close this winter, ending about 160 jobs, as part of a further reorganization of the bankrupt company. Kmart Corp. announced today it will close 326 stores and will shed 30,000 to 35,000 jobs. The closures include all of the company's Alaska stores, with an estimated combined 900 employees, including two Super Kmarts in Anchorage, one each in Fairbanks and Juneau, and a Big Kmart in Kenai.

Conservation group: Salmon farms need more study
VANCOUVER, British Columbia - Sea lice from farmed salmon pose a risk for the health of wild salmon, says a report released Monday by a British Columbia conservation group. But despite years of questions and accusations from those on both sides of the aquaculture debate, there is a lack of solid scientific research about the effects of salmon farms on wild stocks, said the report by the Pacific Fisheries Resource Conservation Council.

Subsistence board allows rural residents to trade fish
ANCHORAGE - The Federal Subsistence Board adopted a regulation Tuesday that allows rural residents to trade or sell subsistence-caught fish among themselves or to nonrural residents. Following hours of testimony and debate, the board voted unanimously in favor of the customary trade measure. The rule bans sales to licensed commercial fishery businesses such as processors.

Scientists: No quick answer to salmon crash
ANCHORAGE - As king salmon swarmed into Oregon's Columbia River last year, Alaska salmon harvests dropped to their lowest levels in more than a decade. The two regions are connected through a complex, seesaw relationship, oceanographer Hal Batchelder told a gathering Monday during the first day of a marine science conference in Anchorage.

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