Wyatt named new director of Chamber
For Chris Wyatt, the strength of businesses in Juneau is a reflection of the overall strength of the town. "When you have a healthy business community, you have a healthy community in which to live," said Wyatt, who will begin serving as executive director of the Juneau Chamber of Commerce on Sunday.

Who really should be drug tested
It seems to me that if it is all right to require a 15-year-old that had red eyes in school to pee in a cup to prove his innocence and it's all right to pee test a store clerk at Alaska Industrial Hardware just to apply for a job, then it must be all right to require that the judge and owner of this store also submit to the degrading act of peeing in a cup, in front of an audience, to prove they are also not users of alcohol or other drugs.

Republicans vs. Republican Moderates
Ray Metcalfe selected stale voter registration data to spin his Jan. 25 tale in the Juneau Empire. Alaskan voter registration had exploded by 156,000 registrations due to federal restrictions on voter file purges. The first 2001 purge removed approximately 20,000 voters. Metcalfe's conclusions should be purged as well and his facts revisited.

If lock-step required, what's the point?
I'm shocked that an elected representative is punished for taking a position on an issue that means something to him and many constituents. It never occurred to me that when you join the ranks of the Legislature you cater to the wishes of the powerbrokers instead of the electorate.

An improv pitch
The art of improvisational comedy lives on in Juneau! A select group of friends and family was able to catch a "test flight" of the Morally Improv-erished comedy troupe earlier this month.

Let businesses decide their own rules
Again, my latest discussion about rights has been degraded by others complaining about their right to smoke-free air everywhere they go. This is simply unreasonable when referring to privately owned establishments.

A disturbing DEC effort
The U.S. Supreme Court usually comes down on the side of "states' rights" and when it doesn't it raises a few eyebrows. Recently, the court rejected the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation's efforts to weaken standards designed to protect Alaska's air quality.

Unbalanced Super Bowl ads
The sports pages tell us that the Super Bowl is approaching. What a lot of us do not know is that huge companies like CBS that control access to the publicly owned airwaves have a constitutional obligation to air opposing points of view during this widely viewed event. CBS refuses to air an ad that highlights the current administration's $1 trillion deficit, claiming it is too controversial.

A pitch for slower speeds
I, too, was almost run down by two teenage boys who didn't even stop to see if I was OK. I waited for the light to turn green and the white hand to give me the "OK to cross the street" signal.

A word of praise
Thank you, Sarah J.H. Brooks (whoever you are), for your clever "My Turn" on education. If our educational system can still produce someone with your talent and humor, we must be doing something right. I would be pleased for my children to have you for a teacher.

Smoking ban will only inconvenience
I'm a nonsmoker that does not support the drive to ban smoking in the bars of Juneau. These businesses and their patrons should have the freedom to decide whether they want smoking instead of being forced to stop by some crusade.

Ask who profits
I am writing because I feel that Alaskans are not getting a true picture when privatization of state jobs is proposed. The current Request For Proposal (RFP) titled "Procurement Services, Supply Chain Management and Electronic Commerce Tools" that is posted on the state Web site brings up many questions.

Commission approves AK Glacier Seafoods dock
An Auke Nu Cove seafood processing dock gained approval from planning commissioners Tuesday night, with several saying the dock should have been part of plans for the operation they approved in 2002.

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

Wind power
Tim Gray skates with a small trainer kite Tuesday during a work break at Twin Lakes.

Due to an editor's error, a story on a bill instituting a graduated driver's license inaccurately stated that teens would have to drive with a learner's permit for six months under the proposed law. Teenagers can get a driver's permit at the age of 14.

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

Anonymous hiker finds one lucky dog
Thane residents Chris and Benthe Mertl were hosting a house-warming party Saturday when they got a call from the animal shelter. "We were having too much fun," Chris Mertl said. "They called around 9, and we didn't get the message until close to midnight." But the news was good. Tsuga, the Mertls' 2-year-old Canadian husky, had been found after being missing for five days.

Mine options out for review
The clock is running on the public comment period for the Kensington Mine's draft supplemental environmental impact statement, with public meetings scheduled in late February in Juneau and Haines.

City will thaw outside water lines for a fee
The city's Water Utility Division is once again offering thawing service for outside water lines. Its equipment had broken down before the latest cold snap.

Residents call for ballot initiative to block new Valley high school
Citizens have begun the political process to ask the Juneau Assembly or voters to stop construction of a second high school.

House committee shows little support for $100 cruise ship tax
A proposed $100 cruise ship head tax hit a storm of opposition in its first hearing Tuesday.

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

Winter icing
The captain and crew of the fishing boat Cobra gather Monday on the deck at New Thomsen Harbor in Sitka after returning from a trip.

Bill to limit teen drivers' licenses stalls
For Chelsea Walker, 16, getting a driver's license is a "really big thing."

Around Town
Today:Harbor Board Audit Committee meeting, 8:30 a.m., Assembly Chambers. Details: 586-5240.

Mayors chastise lawmakers for shifting fiscal burden
Alaska's mayors have given an unprecedented "no confidence" vote in the Republican-controlled Legislature.

Man gets 15 years in prison for attack
Katherine Tanner told a judge Wednesday that she kept her eyes open during a near-fatal attack by her husband because she was afraid she might never open them again.

Thank you
... for stopping, viewing, purchasing GHS art

Pets of the week
Bear is a real find, a wonderfully well-trained hunting dog who's also a loving family pet, 'Lady Gray' (the) sweet, spayed tabby steals hearts with her quiet and ladylike ways.

The Sea Otter Wars of Southeast
In July 1776, the same month that a congress of American rebels issued its Declaration of Independence, Capt. James Cook of Great Britain sailed north in an effort to locate the Northwest Passage for George III.

Harriette McCluggage
Former Juneau resident Harriette McCluggage, 97, died Jan. 21, 2004, in Missoula, Mont.

Dorothy Irene Cary
Juneau resident Dorothy Irene Cary, 78, died Jan. 19, 2004, in Juneau.

My Turn: With timber in decline, now's the time to diversify Southeast Alaska's economy
As a lifelong Southeast Alaskan, I have become increasingly concerned about a gap between the Southeast Conference's goals for our economy and the true needs of our region. The group recently announced that it is looking to hire a chief for its new Timber Industry Economic Revitalization Program.

Undecided: New kid on the block
Almost three months after moving to Juneau from balmy Georgia, I'm feeling a bit remiss that I've not gotten as ensconced in the community as I'd like to be at this point.

My Turn: Life in Afghanistan more hopeful than the headlines
I returned to Alaska from Afghanistan in June 2003 after completing the construction of two girls schools in the Northern Afghanistan province of Jawzjan. I had been back for a couple of weeks and began to get e-mails from friends about girls schools burned down by extremists.

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.

Skagway girls maintain perfect season record
Junior Savannah Ames averaged 23 points a game as the undefeated Skagway girls posted a 4-0 record on a Prince of Wales Island road trip last week.

Sports in Juneau
NEW CALENDAR ITEMS • 4-H shotgun shooting program - The 4-H shooting sports program will be offering a nine-week shotgun shooting program for youths on Tuesdays starting Feb.

Crimson Bear gridders secure top Outside opponent
The Juneau-Douglas High School football team will host a squad from Washington State in September - a high-caliber team that has drawn attention for its skills on the field and for its staff on the sidelines.

Juneau JV, C boys sweep in Petersburg
Ryan Fagerstrom scored seven of his 11 points in the fourth quarter to help the Juneau-Douglas High School boys junior varsity basketball team hold off a late rally by the Petersburg JV on Saturday, as the Crimson Bears claimed a 56-54 victory and a sweep of their two-game series in Petersburg.

Juneau girls on '3' spree
There's nothing like a 3. A blocked shot is great. A breakaway bucket? Sweet. But for value in points and emotion, for sealing a win or starting a rally, there is nothing like draining a 3-point basket - and the Juneau-Douglas High School girls basketball team has been doing a lot of that this season.

Boozer sits out game for funeral
Cavaliers forward Carlos Boozer missed Wednesday night's game against the Miami Heat so he could be with his family following his grandmother's funeral.

Alaska Sportswriters' prep basketball poll
The Alaska Sportswriters High School Basketball Polls, as voted on by statewide sports reporters and compiled by the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner.

Citizens' group forms to protect permanent fund
ANCHORAGE - A group of activists is fighting the latest efforts to use the earnings from the Alaska Permanent Fund to fund state government.

Alaska Digest
News in brief from around the state.

Report says cruise ship pollution down
Cruise ships visiting Alaska are dumping less wastewater into the Inside Passage due to a state law passed in 2001, according to the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

Group to recall governor collects signatures
A group of Alaskans in Anchorage began gathering signatures Wednesday in an effort to recall Gov. Frank Murkowski and Lt. Gov. Loren Leman. The group cited incompetence, neglect of duties and lack of fitness for office as reasons for the recall.

This Day in History
In Alaska: • In 1925, the city of Juneau purchased its first combination grader and snowplow, costing $1,600.

Judge orders Exxon Mobil to pay up
A federal judge in Anchorage on Wednesday ordered Exxon Mobil Corp. to pay nearly $7 billion in punitive damages and interest to thousands of fishermen and others affected by the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill.

Alaska Digest
staff and Wire reports

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

Fish and Game predicts strong salmon run
This year's salmon run looks strong, according to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game's 2004 forecast released Wednesday. The agency is predicting a statewide run of 196 million fish and a run of about 67.5 million fish in Southeast. Last year's statewide prediction was 150 million and the forecast for Southeast was 63 million.

Toe cartoon: In the Swamp
Cartoon by local artist Toe.

O'Malley At Large: Everything I know, I learned from my little brother
It was a Wednesday, the middle of the day, and I was sitting at the kitchen table, drinking cold coffee and quietly having a crisis. I had no temp work, and no freelance story ideas to try to sell. I was broke, my imagination felt tapped out, and among other bills, rent would soon be due. My breathing went shallow and my eyes started to burn.

What's happening
Upcoming local arts and entertainment events.

Love strikes the luckless
Local review of "The Cooler."

Star-crossed Symphony
The bard, it seems, is here to stay. Just six days after Perseverance Theatre's all-Tlingit "Macbeth" closed, William Shakespeare is back at the Juneau-Douglas High School auditorium at 8 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 31, in the Juneau Symphony Orchestra's evening of concertos and Sergei Prokofiev's "Romeo and Juliet Suite No. 2."

Street dancers FLY into ensemble
In 1993, at a street festival in Houston, dance choreographer Kathy Wood met a group of Hispanic and black teenage boys who knew how to dance to hiphop, but knew little self-discipline.

Paulick plays 'tone poem' for friend
French horn player Bill Paulick has had a special affinity for Richard Strauss' "Concerto for Horn" since he was a high school student in Whittier, Calif., in the mid-1960s. Three years after he first picked up the horn, it was the first piece he chose for a solo.

'An Evening with FLY'
What's included during Friday's show "An Evening with FLY."

Fit for a wooden ball
If you attended one of the last two Wearable Art shows, then you remember David Walker's creations. A carpenter at University of Alaska Southeast, an artist in his free time and an inventor (in his Bonnie Brae garage) by necessity, his medium is wood. But his imagination is far from wooden.

Movies where & when
Local movie times and locations.

Local arts and entertainment news in brief.

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