Alaska exports grow by almost nine percent
Alaska exports increased last year by almost 9 percent to $2.7 billion, according to Gov. Frank Murkowski.

Don't let effort on 2nd school go to waste
I urge Juneau residents to reject the current proposal to derail the Valley High School.

Racism should not be a part of childhood
I am no longer a resident of Juneau, but for a good portion of my life I was. I attended Glacier Valley Elementary, Floyd Dryden Middle School and graduated from Juneau-Douglas High School. From the time I was a fourth-grader till my senior year in high school I was made fun of because of my race.

Smoke-free air is what's healthy
In his diatribe, "Be Responsible: Don't let clear air advocates speak for you," smoker William Tuss makes it clear that he either doesn't understand and/or doesn't care about protecting everyone's right to smoke-free air.

Mine poses no threat to commercial fishery
I write in support of Coeur Alaska's latest plan to develop Kensington Mine, near Pt. Sherman.

Let's make our bars emit clean air
It has been more than 17 years since the surgeon general's landmark report on secondhand smoke. Still tobacco smoke is one of the most common indoor air pollutants.

The Permanent Fund Dividend vs. income tax
Over the past 22 years I have received $23,009.38 in Permanent Fund dividends. My immediate family of four has received $92,037.52 since this program began. This has been free, unearned cash we have enjoyed just for being Alaska residents. Have we spent this money wisely? I think we have.

Protecting the goose that lays the golden egg
An Alaskan Fairy Tale: There is a goose that lays a golden egg. We call the goose the Alaska Permanent Fund and the egg is the earnings.

Sugary drinks can cause tooth decay, too
I was glad to see the article in Sunday's paper titled "Soft drink debate." The increase in soft drink consumption in the U.S. not only leads to obesity and earlier-onset diabetes, but an increase in dental decay in children, teens and adults.

Short season, sweet meat
The first shellfish fishery of the year started Sunday, when boats headed out to harvest tanner crab in areas around Juneau. "It's a short fishery, but it's an important start for the fisherman and for our facility as well," said Eric Norman, general manager of Taku Fisheries. "Hopefully everybody makes some money and gets the year rolling."

Photo: Building the Douglas Bridge, 1980
Work progresses on the Douglas Bridge in this photo taken in May 1980. Construction of the bridge was completed in 1981, and the old bridge, which opened on Oct. 13, 1935, was removed. Some of the old bridge was recycled and used in new home construction in Juneau.

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

Births, judgments and other local legal matters.

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

Panel puts smoking ban on the table
In a blow to bar owners, a city committee decided Thursday to offer the option for discussion that all public facilities and businesses be smoke-free in Juneau.

Agencies gear up for simulated terrorist threat in Juneau
In case terrorists ever target Juneau, local police, state troopers and the Coast Guard are responding to a simulated threat. For a week starting today there will be about 100 additional military personnel in the area, and Juneau residents could see more people in uniform.

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

Jury finds Juneau man guilty of drug conspiracy
A Juneau man was found guilty of a federal drug conspiracy charge Thursday in a case resulting from the seizure of more than a pound of cocaine from a car driven off a ferry in August.

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

Businessman imports beef, exports salmon
Selling fish in Alaska is like selling sand in Arizona, according to Juneau businessman Bill White. It's high-quality beef that makes Juneau residents reach for their wallets.

Photo: Smile and say squeegee
Andrew Engstrom, owner of Capital City Windows, cleans the windows of the Court Plaza Building on Main Street, which is known locally as the "spam can" building. The photo, taken by George Bryson, won Engstrom first place in a photography competition on Feb. 14 at the International Window Cleaners Association in Dallas.

Photo: Ram watch
ukon sheep often descend Sheep Mountain, along the Alaska Highway west of Haines Junction, during winter. This ram was on an outcropping not 25 feet from the road.

Neighbor's Digest
Community news in brief.

Student recognitions
Local student achivements.

... for 'Dinner with Friends'
The Montessori Adolescent Program families would like to thank the following individuals and businesses that played an instrumental role in this year's primary fund-raiser, the play "Dinner with Friends."

... for caring so much
The Alaska Native Brotherhood and Alaska Native Sisterhood were founded on Christian principle. Since the beginning of time, Tlingits have cared for each other and worked to uplift and encourage people.

My Turn: Democrats seek fair share for Alaska oil
Alaska is at a crossroads. We can decide to thrive. Or, instead, we can decide to plead poverty, pretend we need to cut education funding, and pretend the state cannot afford to help keep our communities safe.

Photo: New black belt
Juneau Shotokan Karate Club member Ira Rosen recently earned the rank of Sho Dan, first-degree black belt in Shotokan Karate.

Nave, Isett claim titles in Timberwolf giant slalom
Julia Nave and Richard Isett Jr. won their divisions Sunday during the Juneau Ski Club's Timberwolf Gifts giant slalom races at Eaglecrest Ski Area.

Steer still leads, Gatt closing gap
Zack Steer of Sheep Mountain held on to a narrowing lead Wednesday in the Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race as racers headed toward the Canadian border and the next checkpoint at Dawson City.

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.

Alaska masters swimiming short-course yards championships
Results of the 2004 Alaska Masters Swimming State Short-Course Yards Championships held Friday through Sunday at Anchorage's Bartlett High School Swimming Pool.

Bears host confident Kayhi boys
Juneau-Douglas High School boys basketball coach George Houston took a trip to Ketchikan last weekend to scout a couple of games, and he saw a team that nearly played to perfection.

Local and state sports news in brief.

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.

Waldman advances to Junior Olympics
Alpine skier Isabel Waldman of Juneau has qualified to participate in the USSA Rocky Mountain/Central Division J3 Junior Olympics, to be held March 7-14 in Winter Park, Colo.

Mavs shoot down Cavs
The Dallas Mavericks made their long shots, their short ones and just about everything in between. Once they heat up, there isn't much a defense can do but watch - and wish.

Juneau girls on road for season's first Kayhi games
The Juneau-Douglas High School girls basketball team will open a new chapter in a long rivalry this weekend, as the Crimson Bears travel to Ketchikan for a two-game Region V-Class 4A series.

Musher helps competitor's distracted team
First Eric Nicolier tried switching leaders after his team began to falter on the trail of the Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race.

Gatt snares Quest lead into Dawson
Two-time defending champion Hans Gatt took the lead Thursday in the Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race, arriving first at the Dawson City checkpoint.

Alaska sportwriters' 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.

Sonner leads local swimmers at Alaska Masters state championships
Former Florida State University swimmer Ritchie Sonner won all six of her individual events to win her age group last weekend at the Alaska Masters Swimming State Short-Course Yards Championships in Anchorage.

Commercials a tough sell in Legislature
Radio and television ads promoting a new method of managing the Alaska Permanent Fund could have a tough time getting funding from the Legislature, according to some lawmakers on the House Finance Committee.

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

Photo: Sightseeing moose
Plodding, ambling solitary moose tracks are visible along many parts of Alaskan and Yukon Highways. This moose was nibbling willows along the shoulder of the Haines Highway near Million Dollar Falls.

State legislation would tighten limits on telemarketers
Pesky telemarketers banned from making unsolicited phone calls under a new federal law would face additional restrictions in Alaska under a proposal in the Legislature.

Transportation plan draws some critics
Critics have taken aim at the Murkowski administration's latest update of the Southeast Alaska Transportation Plan.

Seven indicted on black bear poaching charges
Five Anchorage men have been indicted by a federal ground jury on felony charges of poaching black bears and conspiring to sell gall bladders and other body parts.

Alaska village wants panel to approve whale hunt
A village on Alaska's Arctic Coast wants a share of the whaling harvest. Point Lay, a community of 260 at the edge of the Chukchi Sea, has asked the Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission for permission to take one bowhead whale every spring. It would be the first time villagers landed a whale in nearly 70 years, according to local elders.

Subcommittee suggests $89 million in Medicaid cuts
Proposed cuts in the Department of Health and Social Services budget could mean the state no longer pays for eyeglasses, hearing aides, speech therapy and emergency dental care for low-income adults, a department official said Thursday.

Legislation would expand naturopathic medical practice
If a patient comes to see Fairbanks doctor Scott Luper with a small laceration, he can't stitch it up. Though Luper has a medical degree from an accredited school, Alaska law doesn't allow him to perform minor surgery or prescribe drugs because he is a naturopathic physician.

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

Yakutat man's assault charge dismissed
A first-degree sexual assault charge against a Yakutat man has been dismissed due to lack of prosecution. Alaska State Troopers arrested John Pavlik, 54, at his Yakutat home after they were notified Feb. 2 by Yakutat Clinic staff of a woman who had sustained injuries from an apparent sexual assault.

Lawmakers eye 10% cuts in agencies
State agencies may be subject to significant cuts in the next fiscal year as the Legislature tries to trim $80 million to $100 million from Gov. Frank Murkowski's budget proposal.

Alaska Digest
News in brief from around the region.

Strength of yellow cedar leads to creation of new species designation
Alaska yellow cedar has proved so strong the American Lumber Standards Committee has created a new species designation for the rot-resistant wood.

Alaska Digest
News in brief from around the state.

Ketchikan looks again at annexation plan
In another reversal, the Ketchikan Gateway Borough Assembly has resurrected plans to annex more than 3,000 square miles of surrounding land. The Assembly revived the proposal Tuesday, voting against an ordinance that would have repealed the expansion plan officially.

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

A brief discourse on three separate East Asian long zithers.

What's happening
Upcoming local arts and entertainment events.

Goese-Goble to play at Sitka Jazz Festival
Baritone saxophonist Alex Goese-Goble will be the lone representative from Juneau-Douglas High School in the 2004 Sitka Jazz Festival's All-Alaska Honor Jazz Festival, Thursday-Saturday, Feb. 19-21. But even if his demo CD wasn't chosen, as it was from entries around the state, he'd still attend.

CD review: Tabor sings on the 'Edge of Despair'
Listening to "Motel Lonely," the third song off Buddy Tabor's new compact disc, "Edge of Despair Children's Album," I'm reminded of a similar night I spent 2 1/2 years ago at a run-down motel near a dirt field in Umatilla, Ore.

Movies: Where & when
Local movie times and showings.

Arts and entertainment news in brief.

Juneau gets a taste of outlaw country
It was a combination of resources, fate and luck in the form of an open tour date that Juneau resident Gene Nelson noticed on the Internet that brought Cracker to Marlintini's during a four-stop Alaska Solstice Tour in Dec. 2002.

Zither group to embark on world tour
Shortly after moving to Seoul, South Korea, in 1992 to study the kayagum, a zither known for its abstract and very un-Western repertoire, Juneau native Jocelyn Clark had a brainstorm.

Graceful like a Swan
At Gustavus School, time has suspended, avian-human disputes have been set aside. And a swan and fairy princess have magically joined forces to make a fancy medieval dress, complete with bustle, for the Fourth Annual Wearable Art Extravaganza, 6:30 and 9:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 20, at the ANB Hall.

Why they're in the play
About the cast in "The Vagina Monologues."

Talking Taboos
Last February, University of Alaska Southeast freshman Dani Byers attended Perseverance Theatre's production of Eve Ensler's play "The Vagina Monologues" by herself. She couldn't convince any of her friends, mostly guys, she said, to attend.

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