Beds, breakfasts and more
Jeffrey Watts knows his breakfasts, and he knows the hospitality industry. As owner of Alaska Fireweed House Bed and Breakfast, he's using his knowledge to set his business apart from other B-and-Bs in town - and his work is paying off. In a town with more than 40 bed-and-breakfasts, distinguishing one from the others can be a challenge for guests and proprietors. Juneau innkeepers such as Watts have shown innovation in attracting independent travelers.

Business profile: Jo Anne Bell-Graves
Title and company: Owner, Cuts Online Salon and Spa

How big is 'huge?'
Aurah Landau's letter regarding Silver Bay Logging's Chapter 11 filing is typical SEACC rhetoric. Silver Bay Logging does have U.S. Forest Service timber sales under contract. Having timber sales under contract does not make them economical to harvest.

More than parking
I don't support keeping old buildings up because they are old. I do, however, object to the mindset that wants parking lots everywhere. One of Juneau's charms has always been that we had not surrendered our downtown to cars, like so many cities where every other block is reserved for cars.

Choosing for three
Andrea Danner of Juneau (Empire, Jan. 31) wrote to me ("anti-abortion protesters out there..."), asking three questions:

Respect for others
I am in the eighth grade. I think we should respect other cultures because in a town next to us there are a lot of people from other cultures. I respect them, but other people do not.

Mainstream' voice
It's time for the U.S. and our allies to disarm and remove Saddam Hussein. He is a war criminal, terrorist and the most prolific mass murderer alive, with the body count increasing daily. He must go as soon as possible, for the good of the Iraqi people, the Middle East, and the world.

Liberal hypocrisy
Greg Capito states in his letter to the editor last week that Bush has failed to "produce convincing evidence" against Iraq. What more convincing evidence do we need than the discovery of those 11 undeclared canisters? Those containers, had they not been found by the CIA, would have been holding something other than weed killers; more like people killers.

Anticipate progress
Interesting story (Empire, Feb. 5) on the attempts, past and present, to use waste from fish processing for the production of fertilizers and compost. Your reporter and readers might be interested to know, as well, that the Sitka Tribe of Alaska attempted development of a fish waste composting operation a few years ago.

Three messages plus
Ah, three asymmetrical My Turns in one Sunday's editorial pages. Amazing, I really can't resist saying something about them. There is the My Turn by all those ex-state fish and game commissioners and one by a hereditarily and newly anointed U.S. senator and one from a descendant representative of the very first North Americans.

Does anyone care?
This is a final plea to save the old Customs Office turned International Order of Odd Fellows Lodge and now known as the JAMHI Building.

Republicans not out to hurt Native students
Curtis Sommer of Tanana recently wrote (Empire, Jan. 24) that rural Natives would not have attended the governor's inaugural ball or "hobnob and have a good time with Republicans" as Juneau Democrats have because, he alleged, Republicans are out to "rob, cheat and steal" Alaska Native students' education.

Protect fishery resources
Anybody who has lived in Washington, Oregon or California knows that economic development occurred there at the expense of salmon streams and the saltwater estuaries that are nurseries for many saltwater species. Up and down the coast, many fisheries have crashed as a result.

No longer safe
On Jan. 29, my assistant, Blue Riley, found that her car had been broken into while she attended a class at the Birthing Center. Her purse was taken and in it she had, besides her personal items and money, two deposits for over $6,000, from our school, one of them that includes $600 in cash. The person that took her purse is affecting not only Blue's personal life, but also the lives of many families and young children we provide services to at the Juneau Montessori School.

Historic building
I would like to cast my vote to keep the I.O.O.F. building intact for the following reasons:

Treadwell Arena opens
The Treadwell Arena opened to the sounds of a hockey buzzer and cheers this morning as a enthusiastic crowd of skaters quickly filled the ice. The first skate at Juneau's new ice rink was set aside for those age 50 and up. Douglas resident Pat Spencer was among those who gave it a try.

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

Page 1 of Wednesday's Empire directed readers to an article about the Columbia investigation, but listed the incorrect topic. The article published on page A5 focused on collection of debris and looting, not a NASA report about tile problems.

This Day in History
In 1898, The steamer Clara Nevada blew up near Eldred Rock in Lynn Canal. All aboard were lost.

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

Photo: Arena to open
The Treadwell Arena in Douglas, pictured here Jan. 19, opens to the public for the first time Thursday. The day starts with an open skate for people age 50 and up at 10:30 a.m.

This Day in History
In 1988, an earthquake measuring 5.8 on the Richter scale struck the Kenai Peninsula, with its epicenter 70 miles northwest of Homer.

Carcasses to Cash
Most people would be hard-pressed to say anything positive about the smell of decomposing fish carcasses. But some fishermen and processors in Southeast Alaska are learning to smell opportunity in them. Salmon carcasses are what's left of the fish after processors turn the flesh into fillets or steaks. Kake Foods, a wholly owned subsidiary of Kake Tribal Corp., used waste from the fish it processed in 2002 to produce an organic fertilizer.

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

Scores rise as tests get easier
Students statewide and in Juneau did much better on the new, easier version of the high school exit exam, sparking hopes here that few students will be denied a diploma. Students must pass the reading, writing and mathematics tests of the Alaska High School Qualifying Examination to get a diploma. The Class of 2004, this year's juniors, are the first students who must pass the exam.

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

How hard should an exit exam be?
Some people are concerned Alaska's new high school exit exam isn't hard enough to spur students to improve academically. But others say it doesn't have to. The new test doesn't necessarily force the school system to make structural improvements, said Juneau School Board President Chuck Cohen.

Alaska Airlines to close Nugget ticket office
Alaska Airlines will close its Nugget Mall city ticket office May 1, airline officials announced Wednesday. The closure is part of an effort to reduce operating costs for the Seattle-based airline, which has suffered in the current economic downtown, along with the rest of the airline industry, officials said.

17-year-old boy to be tried as an adult in rape case
A 17-year-old Juneau boy accused of raping a 6-year-old girl in his family will be tried as an adult, in accordance with Alaska law. The teen could spend up to 60 years in a state prison if convicted. Scott Ellis has been charged with two counts of first-degree sexual abuse of a minor, an unclassified felony, stemming from alleged events of May and December 2002.

Neighbors Briefs
Boy Scouts to hold charity auction; Sons of Norway to host first Nordic Fest; Coast Guard Women's Association taking grant applications

Days that try many Southeast Alaska gardener's souls
These are days that try gardener's souls. Snow and ice is fading away. Good dark earth is appearing and looking so ready for a little cultivation. Many of us want to just take a poke or two, just to peek at the tips of primroses, or to check out and see if early daffodils are popping up. What can it hurt? Even if it does, it would be worth a couple of lost blossoms amidst the plethora of color in May to have a treat today.

Preschool earns high marks
Gold Creek Child Development Center in Juneau now proudly displays the National Association for the Education of Young Children torch, signifying that it meets national standards of excellence. Gold Creek is the first child care facility in Southeast to receive the recognition of national accreditation, NAEYC in Southeast said.

Pets of the week
When Kiara's owner moved, she left behind this quiet, shy and loving cat. Kiara has a fluffy, orange coat and has been spayed. Daisy is nicknamed "the Velcro dog" because she sticks close to people she likes.

Thank you
would like to thank local high students Cassie Gamez, Crystal Coogan, Krystal Robinson and Malia Fournier for their gracious act of kindness. Our family thanks you for the stuffed animal you brought our son while he was ill at Bartlett Regional Hospital.

My Turn: Transportation for Southeast
When Sen. Frank Murkowski was running for governor, he pledged to build roads in Alaska to promote economic development. That was one reason he swamped the opposition at the ballot box. Shortly after he was sworn in on Dec. 2, he ordered the Department of Transportation to reactivate the project to access the state capital with a road to Skagway.

Alaska State Basketball Polls
Here are the Alaska Sportswriters High School Basketball Polls, as voted on by statewide sports reporters and compiled by the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner.

Alaska State Tournament Outstanding Wrestlers
The Alaska state tournament outstanding wrestlers since the 1974-75 school year. There was one wrestler picked for the 1974-75 through 1984-85 school years (with multiple winners in 1980-81).

2003 Cabin Fever Doubles Tennis Tournament
Results from the 2003 Cabin Fever Doubles Tennis Tournament held Jan. 24-26 at the Valley location of JRC/The Alaska Club.

Cavs keep close, but fall to Wizards
WASHINGTON - The All-Star break comes at the right time for Michael Jordan, who is piling on the minutes and the points with Jerry Stackhouse out of the lineup. Jordan, two weeks shy of his 40th birthday, scored 27 points in 43 minutes Tuesday night as the Washington Wizards beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 93-84.

Clutch steal, free throws give Cavs win
CLEVELAND - Milt Palacio, inserted in the starting lineup just before game time, put the Cleveland Cavaliers in the win column. Palacio made a key steal to preserve a one-point lead with 12.2 seconds left, then made two pressure-packed free throws to give Cleveland a 105-102 victory over the Houston Rockets on Wednesday.

Sitka boys sweep Prince Rupert series
The Sitka High School boys basketball team continued its hot streak as the Wolves swept a two-game series against the Prince Rupert Secondary School Rainmakers of British Columbia early this week at Sitka High School. Karel Uddipa led the Wolves in scoring each night as Sitka beat the Rainmakers 58-42 on Monday and 68-46 on Tuesday. The games were originally scheduled for Friday and Saturday, but were postponed due to ferry connections.

Region V Standings
The Region V basketball standings through games of Feb. 2. Standings are for all three Region V classifications and were reported to the Juneau Empire by school officials and basketball coaches.

Juneau Gun Club Trap League Standings
Standings after the third week of shooting in the 12-week Juneau Gun Club Trap League.

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

After loss in Ketchikan, Juneau boys look to regroup in pair of Sitka games
The Juneau-Douglas High School boys basketball team did some heavy soul-searching after an upset loss in Ketchikan last weekend, and the Crimson Bears hope they bring a new look and attitude into the second half of the season. The Juneau boys will put that new attitude on display this weekend, as they host the red-hot Sitka Wolves in Juneau's annual homecoming games at the JDHS main gym. The varsity games start at 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and both Region V-Class 4A games will be broadcast locally on KINY radio, 800-AM.

Juneau wrestlers heading to state tourney at Kayhi
It's been a long time since Southeast Alaska hosted a high school state tournament - in any sport. But this weekend that state-less streak will end as Ketchikan hosts the Class 4A state wrestling tournament on Friday and Saturday at Ketchikan High School's Clark Cochrane Gymnasium. The first round starts at 9 a.m. on Friday, with championship semifinals scheduled for 7:30 p.m. The meet continues on Saturday with consolation bracket matches starting at 9 a.m. The championship finals take place at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday.

Iron Dog still canceled, despite racers' efforts
ANCHORAGE - Snowmachiners who had hoped to race in the Iron Dog 2000 this year tried without success Tuesday night to get the race's board to reverse its decision to cancel the race.

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

Kayhi faces state tourney backlash
KETCHIKAN - Last October, Rick Collins got the gift he had desired most of all in seven years as head wrestling coach at Ketchikan High School - hosting the state championship. Then he reluctantly took the role of Alaska wrestling's little kid on the block, watching as the state's big boys desperately tried to take it away.

Juneau girls eager for return to region play; will face Ketchikan this weekend
It's a true homecoming this weekend for the Juneau-Douglas High School girls basketball team. After six weeks of playing teams from across the state and the country, the Crimson Bears return to competing against familiar Southeast rivals as they face the Ketchikan Kings in a pair of homecoming games this weekend.

State Briefs
Murkowski to seek funds for pipeline authority; Citizens group says Alaskans shut out by Legislature; Wards Cove tells fishermen to pack up and pay up; Processors vs. fishermen in price-fixing case; Nonresident hire in Alaska up slightly

Blame it on the 'Pineapple Express' - Alaska getting unusually warm weather
ANCHORAGE - Typically by February, Alaskans are hoping for a reprieve from winter's cold and snow. But this year, they're seeing a heat wave. Unseasonably warm weather has blanketed the state all week, marking a spike in a winter of above-average temperatures. Patches of brown grass poke through thinning snowdrifts and trees are bare of snow.

Legislators want Natives to be part of state's seal
FAIRBANKS - For almost 100 years, a gold-and-black design mixing images of natural beauty and resource development has represented Alaska on signs and official documents. A group of state representatives says it's time to change the state seal to better reflect the Alaska's cultures and recognize the contributions of Natives.

Sen. Murkowski offers her first bills
ANCHORAGE - U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski introduced her first three bills this week. All are initiatives her father pursued when he was senator. The first measure would vastly expand the budget of the Denali Commission by allowing it to fund up to $450 million a year in transportation projects.

State Briefs
Bill would ban soft drink sales in schools; Murkowski lauds new tourism venture; FBI seeks fourth man in counterfeiting scam; Grand jury indicts man accused of murder; Judges refuses venue change in Mateu trial; Avalanche closes Seward Highway; Mother charged with helping man rape girl

Only in Alaska: Thieves steal roadkill intended for charities
FAIRBANKS - Hundreds of moose are killed by cars and trucks each year on roads in Alaska's Interior. Most end up in the freezers of hungry families, thanks to local charities on call 24 hours a day. The charities send out volunteers any time of day or night to butcher the road-killed moose.

Photo: Seven roses for seven lost
Nancy Anderson and Audrey Russell walk past seven roses tied to the Challenger Learning Center of Alaska's flagpole in Kenai on Tuesday in honor of the seven astronauts who perished in last weekend's Columbia disaster.

Measures would take PFDs for DWIs
Drivers could have their Alaska Permanent Fund dividend checks taken away for driving under the influence of alcohol, refusing to take a chemical breath test or driving without automobile insurance under bills introduced on Wednesday. "It occurred to me that of all the problems we've had with drunk driving, the penalties haven't got to them the way they should do, and it seemed to me that one of the obvious ones on top of all the penalties that exist out there now is that they lose their dividend, ..." said Anchorage Sen. John Cowdery, author of the two measures.

State says Ketchikan airport needs changes
KETCHIKAN - A recent inspection of the Ketchikan Airport revealed deficiencies that threaten its operation, according to a letter from the state to borough officials. The letter lists problems with maintenance, training, documentation, staffing, organization and safety.

Layoffs expected as habitat permitting shifts
The transfer of permitting responsibilities for development projects from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game to the Department of Natural Resources will result in layoffs, though it is not yet clear how many, acting Fish and Game Commissioner Kevin Duffy said Wednesday. The Habitat Division currently issues permits for any activities that affect anadromous fish streams or that have the potential to obstruct fish passage. Those responsibilities will be switched to DNR. Other permits issued by the division - those dealing with state game refuges, game sanctuaries and critical habitat areas - will remain under the division's control.

Flag song's second verse passes House
The state House of Representatives passed a bill Wednesday adding a second verse to the state song to acknowledge Alaska Native culture. Juneau Republican Rep. Bruce Weyhrauch, who authored House Bill 45, said the new verse would be a symbol for all Alaskans.

Anchorage airport receives federal funds for runway upgrades
ANCHORAGE - Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport will receive $51.3 million in federal funds over the next six years to help pay for taxiway and runway improvements. The funding, announced Monday by government and airport officials, will come from a pool of funds administered by the Federal Aviation Administration and earmarked for projects that add capacity to the nation's commercial air system.

Reading for international 'Lysistrata' project
JUNEAU - A reading of "Lysistrata," an ancient Greek play, will be March 3 as part of The Lysistrata Project, an international theater artists' protest against possible war with Iraq.

What's up with that?
Q: I seem to recall that our current license plates were to be issued in celebration of the Gold Rush for a limited time. After six years, I'm wondering how "temporary" they're going to be.

Buddy Tabor
Be it a fiery plane crash, loss of limb or the simple agony of lonesomeness, there's not much Buddy Tabor can't lay out in the poetry, put to the lilting rhythm of guitar and anoint with mandolin, harmonica and fiddle. "Most people cover up the world. In my music I like to take it and look right at it," he said. "Happy songs depress me."

Best Bets: Eros and art, news coverage and choice
What did you do last weekend? I saw "Chicago," went to the symphony and danced to the Panhandle Crabgrass Revival Band. I had fun, but I admit I also felt guilty. I mean, really, how can you do anything but stay glued to your set, when the news stations suspend all programming to bring us minute-by-minute, Sept. 11-style coverage of the Columbia explosion for an entire day?

Movies where & when
"How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days," (PG-13) starts Friday, Feb. 7, and plays at 7:10 nightly at Glacier Cinemas, with second shows at 9:20 Friday and Saturday nights, and matinees at 2:10 and 4:30 Saturday and Sunday afternoons.

This Week briefs
Rock the Casbah at the Silverbow; Mask class offered at the city museum; Museum looking for children's items; Opera looking for props

Art in a sensual world
Sure, Michelangelo's nude sculpture "David" is art, but what about a phallic money clip or a penis-shaped pull toy? Art can be sensual, but what about titillating? Where is the line between Venus and the Victoria's Secret catalog?

What's happening
"Working," a musical, at Perseverance Theatre at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 6 p.m. Sunday through Feb. 16. Final Sunday show at 2 p.m. Tickets, $17-$22, at the door, Hearthside Books and

An inside view of life on Walrus Islands
Polly Hessing remembers the night a sleepless visitor to Round Island mistook a singing walrus for an acoustic guitarist. "Walrus vocalizations are very beautiful and unique," she said. "They sound like harps. We actually had a camper come by one night who said, 'Somebody is playing guitar and I can't find out where they are,' It was a walrus."

Hungarian dance workshop set for weekend
Juneau International Folkdancers is sponsoring a Hungarian folk-dancing work-shop with instructors Istan Szabo and Deanne Hendricks from Friday, Feb. 7, to Sunday, Feb. 9.

Downtown arts walk growing each month
This First Friday Art Walk could be the biggest yet, according to organizer Leah Sturgis. "It's so great to see people supporting our arts community and having fun with this," Sturgis said. "Every month more and more people tell me, 'Oh, this is my first time doing this.' "

Folk festival sign-up, backdrop, volunteers needed
JUNEAU - The Alaska Folk Festival is accepting applications for performers who want to play 15-minute sets at this year's festival. The festival, an annual music celebration, is scheduled for April 7 to 13 at Centennial Hall.

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