Armchair adventures for winter reading
This week's column offers armchair adventures for the winter!

Most of us never disgrace, kill others
Please, enough. Enough of the letters spouting understanding, sympathy and support for former coach Hamey, and now for Laura Stidolph. And yes, I do group them into the same category.

Keep things balanced
Sen. Stevens attached a deeply buried Tongass rider to the federal spending bill which transcends environmental concerns. The rider states that the Forest Service's upcoming wilderness decision "shall not be reviewed under any Forest Service administrative appeal process, and its adequacy shall not be subject to judicial review by any court of the United States."

Consider the source
Ketchikan assemblyman Dick Coose bitterly attacked me personally in his "My Turn" column on Jan. 13. I dared to have a public opinion on the Roadless Rule on the Tongass, and of the irresponsibility of Ketchikan's leaders in throwing the taxpayers' money down a rat hole. That obviously struck a raw nerve.

Disappointment in Juneau
The attendance at the presentation by Professor Ross Klein on cruise ship tourism in the Assembly Chambers on Thursday, Jan. 16 was a genuine disappointment to me.

Watt lite
Destruction of 20 million acres of remaining American wetlands could follow Secretary Norton's new Interior policy-interpretation of a Supreme Court decision. One might expect such a policy from an apprentice of James Watt.

This Day in History
In 1979, a Fairbanks woman who was injured when her waterbed rolled, pinning her to the floor for 11 hours, received $150,000 from the manufacturer.

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

Stay tuned for games-panel visit
Fog on Saturday afternoon prevented the landing of a committee that is evaluating Juneau, Fairbanks and the Kenai Peninsula as sites for the 2006 Arctic Winter Games. But the members of the games' International Committee could arrive at 6:45 a.m. today after staying overnight in Sitka, local bid organizers said.

Close to home
They watched him grow - in skills and in height - from a middle school phenom to a high school star to a college force. And last Sunday, a large contingent of Juneau fans made the trip to Seattle to watch Carlos Boozer Jr. start for the NBA's Cleveland Cavaliers.

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

Norman Richard Bucy
Former Juneau resident Norman Richard Bucy died Jan. 15, 2003, at Providence Hospital in Anchorage from complications related to cancer.

Flying pigs need their rest
We get helpful little pamphlets and handouts at work sometimes to help us with our wellness. I really appreciate getting them because I forget to think about my well being. I forget to stop for lunch and forget to go home at quitting time, too, but that's a specific paying-attention problem, not the whole wellness picture. Today's handout - actually, could have been a few days ago, I forget to check my mailbox - is about how to deal with stress.

Toe Cartoon

My Turn: School Board version best for Valley high
A s a parent of three children in school, I have been going to the public meetings on the proposed Valley high school. Here is why I am for building the Valley high school as proposed by the Juneau School Board.

What do you think?

Empire editorial: This is the place
Welcome to the ideal site for the 2006 Arctic Winter Games! On Saturday, Mother Nature threw a monkey wrench into a well-planned welcome for the Arctic Winter Games International Committee. Six members of the 11-member committee were scheduled to land in Juneau on Saturday afternoon to assess Juneau's qualifications to host the 2006 games.

Out and About
Jan. 19: 4-H Nordic Ski Club meeting. For location and activity, call the 4-H office, 465-8749. Jan. 21: Juneau Yacht Club meeting, 6:30 p.m., at the club near Aurora Basin.

Winter Web links
Alaska and Pacific Northwest ski area Web sites.

Bicyclist-author to talk about travels
Adventure travel author Erika Warmbrunn will bring photos and stories from her 5,000-mile bicycle tour through Asia to Juneau next weekend. The New York City stagehand and translator wrote "Where The Pavement Ends: One Woman's Bicycle Trip Through Mongolia, China, and Vietnam," published last year by The Mountaineers Books. She will tell tales of her travels, show slides and sign copies of her book at 7 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 25, at the downtown library.

The West Nile virus and Alaska
At a quarter-inch to a half-inch long, and weighing about one-third of a milligram, one of the earth's tiniest animals poses a threat to some of the largest.

Leaving their mark
Bears do more than poop in the woods. They carve up the forest with their claws. In an area off Glacier Highway between a muskeg meadow and a salmon stream stands one of the biggest concentrations of bear-marked trees in Juneau. And it's getting bigger. "That wasn't here four years ago," said wildlife artist Ed Mills, pointing to inch-wide, 2-foot-long claw marks up the trunk of a tall alder tree. "That could be a brownie or a huge black bear."

Bears claw Lynx
A tough road at last month's Capital City Classic left the Juneau-Douglas High School girls basketball team with a lot to work on over the past few weeks, and the Crimson Bears learned their lessons well. Juneau defeated the Dimond Lynx 67-54 on Friday and 51-40 on Saturday at the JDHS gym to improve its record to 5-3 on the season - and 5-1 against in-state opponents.

Jazz leave road-weary Cavs singing the blues
SALT LAKE CITY - The Utah Jazz seem to like the third quarter. For the second game in a row, the Jazz recovered from a slow first half with an explosive third quarter, beating the Cleveland Cavaliers 95-78 Saturday night. "We pressured the ball in the third quarter and just played harder. More than anything else, the effort was the key," said Utah's Matt Harpring, who scored 22 points and sparked a key third-quarter run.

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

Learning from the best
Visions of Olympic gold danced in the heads of Juneau's fledgling synchronized swimmers Friday evening. But it was no figment of the imagination - they were able to hold one of the prized medals in the palms of their hands.

Photo: Anchorage festivities for the governor
Murkowski-Leman inaugural ball co-organizer Michelle Toohey, left, stands next to Gov. Frank Murkow-ski as the Anchorage Firefighters Honor Guard marches past Friday during the inaugural ball in Anchorage.

State Briefs
Martin Luther King Jr. Day closures; High court upholds Wagoner victory; Juveniles charged with firing blanks at students; Sampson to head Alaska AFL-CIO; Alaska jobless rate up in December; Russians turned back from McKinley

Cost of rural education not as high as once thought
ANCHORAGE - A new study for the Legislature says the cost of education in many rural school districts is not as high as previously thought. If adopted by the Legislature, a new formula would reduce state funding to many rural districts while increasing funding for other regions.

Blatchford appointed DCED commissioner
Gov. Frank Murkowski on Saturday announced appointments to the Department of Community and Economic Development, the Regulatory Commission of Alaska and the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority. Edgar Blatchford, a journalism professor at the University of Alaska Anchorage, will serve as DCED commissioner. Blatchford, 52, served in Gov. Walter Hickel's administration from 1990 to 1994 as commissioner of Community and Regional Affairs.

Large freshman class joins Legislature
Freshman orientation in the Alaska Legislature - a biennial event aimed at quickly educating new lawmakers - was a little crowded this year. Seventeen of 60 legislators - or close to 30 percent - are new. That doesn't count former Rep. Max Gruenberg, an Anchorage Democrat, who returns after last serving in 1993, or three House members who moved to the Senate.

Gov. ponders wolf control
In appointing six new members to the state Board of Game on Friday, Gov. Frank Murkowski said he will take a second look at predator control programs that have spared Alaska's wolves. The governor said the state needs to responsibly manage predators in Alaska based on scientific findings and not politics.

Large-animal vet finds home in AK
KENAI - With his red Alaska Farmers and Stock Growers hat, a worn-in rugby shirt and faded blue jeans, work boots and his coarse calloused hands, Jerry Nybakken may look to most people like more of rancher than a doctor of veterinary medicine.

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