Ice rink safety
I would advise anybody who is considering using the new ice skating rink to think twice about it during the open skate. Saturday evening there was not a single ice rink employee out patrolling the ice, children were playing tag, purposely knocking people down, and the rink was so full you did not have three feet in front of you to maneuver.

Mr. Schmitz presumes too much
In Richard Schmitz's My Turn of Feb. 24, he painted all those who marched against the rush to war with Iraq as supporters (consciously or unconsciously) of Saddam Hussein.

Parental responsibility
I find it interesting that in an article quite obviously geared toward a problem with our kids, no where in Ms. Miller's article can one find the words "parent," "parental responsibility," or "parental accountability." I should be amazed but I'm not.

Powering the drug lobby with taxpayer dollars
Perhaps one of the reasons Sen. Kim Elton courageously cast the one dissenting Senate vote against funding efforts to promote drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) is that much of these public funds are so foolishly and shamelessly wasted.

Nothing has changed
Apparently Phyllis Lewis didn't see my "peace march" sign: "War by presidential discretion is exactly unconstitutional and fully un-American."

Who's threatened by Saddam?
Seems that Mr. Bush, and all the kings men, are dying to go to war.

Red herring season
Richard Schmitz ("{Questions and answers about war and peace," Empire, Feb. 24) certainly knows how to paint the town red. The author suffers bad eyesight, though, and perhaps failed math in high school.

Whatever happened to common sense?
Dawn Miller's idea to require everyone to show ID to buy alcoholic beverages is silly.

Church and state
Recently, Lt. Gov. Leman announced that our president and governor have made the "faith community" a partner in "meeting the needs of people." Usually one for the quaint notion of separation of church and state, I find this idea quite compelling.

Health horoscopes next?
I am very disappointed to find this "Healing touch" silliness has crept into vogue in Juneau. This practice has been thoroughly discredited through any number of studies, yet still seems to persist among gullible patients and self-deluded "practitioners."

Give governor a chance
United Fishermen of Alaska and Cordova District Fishermen United do not support gutting protections for salmon habitat.

Liberals on watch
Stuart Thompson spews more liberal propaganda in his letter to the editor, commenting that attacking Iraq would be a war "by presidential discretion." The truth is that Congress passed the resolution last year giving its support to all of Bush's military action.

Do the math
My understanding is that most agree Alaska lacks quality teachers, ones who are willing to stay in Alaska. To them I say, "help!" I am a senior at the University of Alaska Anchorage where I am studying history and math. My dream, the only occupational goal I have ever had, is to become a teacher.

Mind whose business?
I do not agree with teens drinking alcohol or doing drugs. Instead of looking at what everyone else is doing wrong, maybe everyone should look at themselves. Calling the police, why don't people mind there own business?

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

Snow not likely to last
Juneau can expect to see today's snow turn to Tuesday's rain.

7 of 9 Assembly seats to be up for election
Seven of nine Juneau Assembly seats will be up for election this fall or next because of reapportionment, City Attorney John Corso said Monday. The populations of the city's two election districts are out of balance, based on new information from the state Division of Elections, City Clerk Laurie Sica told the Juneau Assembly on Monday. While state and federal standards allow a 10 percent difference between the district populations, Juneau's disparity is 12.1 percent, she said.

Wrangell mourns victims of shooting
Wrangell residents are in shock and mourning after police released the names of four people found shot to death in a downtown Wrangell home early Monday. Police said they are investigating the shootings - the deadliest in Southeast in 20 years - as a murder-suicide case. The bodies of William Paul Gablehouse, 48, Sheryl Roberta Nelson, 43, Shandelle Marie Nelson, 18, and Adrienne Shalon Nore, 23, were discovered around 3:55 a.m. at Sheryl Nelson's home at 407 Reid St. in downtown Wrangell. The town of 2,400 people is about 155 miles south of Juneau and 89 miles northwest of Ketchikan.

Nonviolence forum, training this week
A local peace group plans a forum and workshop on nonviolence this week.

Photo: Nice while it lasted
John Sisk moves over to ski on newly groomed snow as Nordic Ski Club member Don Thomas sets the track at the Mendenhall Glacier Campground on Monday afternoon.

Fish Creek Park meeting Wednesday
The city is sponsoring a meeting Wednesday about possible improvements to the Fish Creek Natural Area Park.

Listings of local nonprofit events.

Prospective teachers get taste of Bush life
Students in the University of Alaska Southeast master's degree program in teaching learned it can take 90 minutes to drive a rough 40-mile road in the Bush - and that's a luxury.

Donna Pierce named acting city manager
The Juneau Assembly on Monday named longtime city staffer Donna Pierce to be acting city manager. Pierce, who is deputy city manager, will replace Interim City Manager John MacKinnon. Pierce was Juneau's deputy city manager for 11 years before resigning last summer. She returned to the job in January.

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

Twin Lakes skaters falling through thin ice
Paul Dzwonowski, 42, stepped onto the ice at Twin Lakes where his friends were playing their daily lunchtime game of hockey. As he did, jagged lines splintered beneath his feet in a million directions, leaving him nowhere to go but down. Dzwonowski, who fell into Twin Lakes around noon Monday, was one of two people in as many days to go through the ice. "I should have gone skiing instead," said Dzwonowski after the incident. "I knew the ice didn't look right. But I went out anyway 'cause I saw my buddies out there so I figured it was safe.

This Day in History
In 1969, Arctic explorer Bernt Balchin predicted that the Arctic Ice Pack was thinning and may become open sea by the end of the century.

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

John A. Moore
Longtime Alaska resident John A. Moore, 74, died Feb. 19, 2003, in Seattle.

My Turn: Teen drinking remains a complicated problem
A recent article in the Empire indicated more than half of Juneau's liquor stores were willing to sell alcohol to a young looking patron without checking for age.

Empire editorial: Catching up on the mail
The lively activity on our opinion page this past week is testament that our constitutional right to free speech is being vigorously exercised, at least here in Juneau. Many of the letters to the editor were submitted in response to two thought-provoking commentaries that took strong positions.

My Turn: The view from the teaching trenches
A random thought or theme has been rolling around in my head lately. Being a math teacher, this is not uncommon. I like to think these random thoughts are seeds of inspiration.

My Turn: Questions and answers about war and peace
On Feb. 15, some dozen Juneau activists marched against war. Last week, many of these same activists pressed for an Assembly resolution opposing the federal Patriot Act. I'm not with either group.

My Turn: ANWR is not just a refuge
There are a few things I would like to bring to the attention of Ms. Renshaw, who in her letter (Empire, Feb. 20) claimed that ANWR was set up solely as a refuge. In 1960 when Eisenhower created the refuge this may have been his intent. However, in 1980, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge was changed in two significant ways.

Volunteers flock to Iditarod, despite change for restart
Brian Houston was so excited to hear that the restart of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race was taking place in Fairbanks that he wanted to volunteer for it.

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

Denton leads way
Heidi Denton won her third race of the week on Saturday, leading 14 Juneau Ski Club members who qualified for the Junior Olympics Western Regionals based on a week-long ski meet at Alyeska Ski Resort in Girdwood. Denton, who competes in the J-1 age group (born in 1984-85), was the top female skier in Saturday's second Super G race. The Juneau-Douglas High School senior posted a single-run time of 1 minute, 3.36 seconds to beat a pair of J-3 (born 1988-89) skiers from Alyeska Ski Club, Erica Durtschi in 1:04.08 and Brittany Mumma in 1:04.58.

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

Schoenbar edges Dryden for Southeast wrestling championship
Floyd Dryden Middle School of Juneau had more individual champions, but it wasn't enough to counter the depth of Ketchikan's Schoenbar Middle School as Schoenbar edged Dryden to win the Southeast Middle School Wrestling Championships held Friday and Saturday in Ketchikan.

Top-ranked UConn wins its 65th straight game
Beaten badly on the boards in the first half, No. 1 Connecticut made the right moves in the second half to keep its NCAA-record winning streak alive.

Lee takes 13th in Snow Thrill
One stumble at the end of his second run was enough to keep him from making the finals, but Juneau's Elijah Lee still ranked as the top American at the Red Bull Snow Thrill of Chamonix held last weekend in Chamonix, France. Lee, who lists Eaglecrest, Alaska, as his hometown on his International Free Skiing Association biography sheet, was tied for ninth place with 28.60 points after the first run on Thursday. But he dropped to 13th after Friday's second run with 51.00 points for the two runs combined. His score of 22.40 ranked 16th for the second run.

76ers win again, while Cavs lose once more
The Philadelphia 76ers are piling up wins against the teams they should beat.

Four people found shot in Wrangell
Four people were found shot to death in a downtown Wrangell home early today, police said.

Court favors university in salary dispute
The Alaska Supreme Court has ruled that the University of Alaska is not obligated to give members of a teachers union the same pay raise nonunion members received in 1996.

Salmon temps soar in transit
A Kodiak-based fisherman-turned-scientist has discovered fish shipped fresh from Alaska doesn't always reach its destination that way.

U.S. Supreme Court to hear appeal on Red Dog Mine lawsuit
The U.S. Supreme Court today agreed to hear an appeal from the state of Alaska that forces the Red Dog mine to use expensive anti-pollution technology for its power generation.

Skating sitting down
Nina Paris gives her sister Nicole a ride on a chair across the ice Saturday at Westchester Lagoon in Anchorage.

Medical device firm seeks investors
Ten years ago, Kendell Simm invented Guardzit, a medical needle disposal device she believes could save the medical industry millions of dollars a year.

Statewide salmon harvest looks stronger than last year
Last year's statewide salmon harvest was in Alaska's top 15, but it also was the lowest-value catch since 1976, according to the state Department of Fish and Game.

Jury selection begins in Big Lake fire lawsuit
Jury selection began today in Palmer in a lawsuit that charges the state could have prevented the disastrous Big Lake wildfire of 1996.

Rocket launches to study aurora winds
Four rockets will be launched during the next two weeks at the Poker Flat Research Range near Fairbanks for a study of the aurora winds.

Teacher housing bill passes committee
The Senate Health, Education and Social Services Committee on Monday passed a measure that would make it easier for teachers to get housing loans through the Alaska Housing Finance Corp.

33,000 overboard Nike shoes drift toward Alaska shores
Enough soggy Nike basketball shoes to outfit every high school team in the state are drifting through the Pacific Ocean toward Alaska after spilling from a container ship off Northern California.

Lawmakers criticize education cost study
Lawmakers from urban and rural Alaska alike have their doubts about a cost study designed to give the Legislature guidance about how it distributes education dollars. "I think there are too many questions for us to be looking at it as something we can use right now," said Wrangell Republican Rep. Peggy Wilson, who leads the Health and Education and Social Services Committee in the House.

House bill targets hazards of illegal drug labs
A bill in the Legislature creating guidelines for cleanup of illegal drug labs passed its first committee Friday.

Education endowment would use fund earnings
Legislators and the Murkowski administration are looking at proposals to fund education using permanent fund earnings, House Speaker Pete Kott said Monday. Kott, a Republican from Eagle River, said such a proposal is being examined by several members of the Republican-controlled House, but he would not identify them.

This Day in History

Homer foundation puts $50,000 toward library
HOMER - Local residents in this Kenai Peninsula town have turned to their own resources to help pay for a new library and other projects with a unique institution, the decade-old Homer Foundation.

State Briefs
City schedules school bond election; Man charged with threatening phone company; Power outage hits Douglas; California man accused of sex abuse of Fairbanks girl; Northern Edge military exercises begin next week; Kenai teachers press for contract

Murkowski asks USDA to purchase surplus fish
More than 6 million cases of canned Alaska pink salmon are in processors' warehouses around the state. Some will be sold on the market, and others will remain in the warehouses, gathering dust. The governor has asked the U.S. Department of Agriculture to buy $30 million worth of the fish, but whether the deal will go through remains to be seen. "The Alaska salmon industry has been brought to its knees by the large quantities of foreign farmed salmon that are glutting the U.S. markets as well as the downturn in the Japanese economy," Gov. Frank Murkowski wrote last week in a letter to the federal agency.

Permafund initiative backers sue state, lieutenant governor
Sponsors of a proposed ballot initiative to limit the Legislature's ability to use the Alaska Permanent Fund to pay for government are suing the state and Lt. Gov. Loren Leman for not certifying their petition. The lawsuit was filed last week in Anchorage Superior Court.

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