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Tuesday, February 26, 2002

Reexamine relationships
For those dues-paying members of the Alaska State Employees Association who were unable to find the Our Gang executive board meeting held last week in Juneau, don't feel disappointed.

Two pounds of iron can even things out
In response to Mr. Adams's letter "No reason to own a gun," I laughed when I read the comment on our "excellent police force" keeping him safe. If being kept safe to Mr. Adams equates with how fast they are on the scene after a crime is committed, then they are indeed "excellent." This is not meant to insult the local police. Just stating the obvious.

Nothing to rebut
I absolutely agreed with the editorial against which Mr. McDougal now rails. It appears that the right buttons were pushed. Not surprisingly (and all too typical of SEACC and its supporters), this response offers nothing factual in its rebuttal of Mr. Smith's analysis.

Report the substance, not the anecdotes
Was I at the same North Douglas Neighborhood Association meeting on Feb. 19? I didn't think so after reading reporter Melanie Plenda's article, "Douglas residents question golf course's effect on fish."

Reflections past and future
I e-mailed Bert Adams Sr., telling him how I enjoyed his article, "Memories of the house on Ninth Street" (Empire, Feb. 17). I said how wonderful it is to have beautiful memories, to be able to write about them and share them with others and how things have changed.

Standing corrected; still behind report
We stand corrected. We apologize for mistakenly stating you had not printed an article about Dr. Tom Power's "Role of Metal Mining in

Don't build a bridge
This letter is to oppose the building on any kind of bridge from Ketchikan-Pennock Island-Gravina Island. Pennock Island was and still is tribal burial grounds for the Tanda Kwaan (Tongass Tribe) and Saanya Kwaan (Cape Fox people). Not only are tribal people buried there, but also white people that could not afford to be buried in the Ketchikan Cemetery.

Fiscal plan preferred to 'freezing, faking'
Two weeks ago, right before Valentine's Day, the Empire reported on the budget bills that were filed Feb. 11 in both the House and the Senate. The bills pretend to approve full funding of the state employee contracts, but then whack the departmental budgets by the amount needed to pay for them. Talk about bait and switch ... but that's not all!

Getting along fine without cowards
I hold in my hands my tiny, newborn baby son. What a joy it is to look upon him. I think of Daniel Pearl being denied this privilege; it disgusts me.

Toast to Poe, Mac
If Bill McAllister decides to audition for The Washington Post he should include a tearsheet of his superb Sunday Capitol Notebook piece, "Quoth the Senate: 'Nevermore'."

Pipeline better in Alaska than in foreign country
The All Alaska Gas Pipeline, proposed by Scott Heyworth, candidate for lieutenant governor, and endorsed by 42,000 Alaska voters, is the only proposed route that makes sense for Alaska. Sen. Frank Murkowski, Tony Knowles and Fran Ulmer would have us believe an 800-mile natural gas pipeline within Alaska, costing $8 billion, is not economically feasible, while a 3,500-mile, $18 billion pipeline through a foreign country (Canada) is.

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

Bridal Fair walks down the aisle at Nugget Mall
Looking for the latest in tuxedoes for ring bearers? Or need 150 pink net bags of Jordan almonds? Searching for a photographer who will cover the wedding party getting up do's at the hair salon as well as the ceremony?

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

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

Fate of Auke Bay P.O. up in the air
The future of the Auke Bay Post Office remains uncertain while the U.S. Postal Service continues to accept late bids from private contractors looking to run the branch.

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

City candidates' spending checks out
Year-end campaign spending numbers for the 2001 city election generally were on target with earlier reports, according to data from the Alaska Public Offices Commission.

To our readers
To our readers who were offended by the photograph featured on the front page of Sunday's Empire, we extend our sincere apology.

Local Briefs
Truck takes out pole; Rock-climber rescued

Don't tread on me: The hobo spider protects its turf in Juneau
Hobo spiders can be even-tempered, friendly and even useful in many a household - just don't tick them off. Recently a Juneau man was hospitalized because of a bite from an elusive spider, said Fred Boehme, owner of Pied Piper Pest Control, who was called to rid the man's home of the arachnid.

Juneau students compete in Battle of the Books
Three Dzantik'i Heeni Middle School students took second place after a sudden-death tie-breaking round in the statewide Battle of the Books competition last week.

UA students lobby, learn at the Capitol
An afternoon of lobbying by university students at the state Capitol on Monday was a lot like participating in a contortionist's act. The students wedged themselves into cramped offices and squeezed their ideals amid the closely held beliefs of legislators or staffers with a dozen other appointments and many other concerns.

Put a lid on it
The Juneau Assembly voted Monday to fund a city-wide bear education campaign as it polishes a new law that would ban plastic lids from many of the town's Dumpsters.

Photo: Ice enthusiasts
Hockey players gather at Twin Lakes on Saturday to enjoy clear skies and cold weather. Brilliant blue skies over the weekend turned snowy this morning. Snow is expected to continue through tonight and Tuesday.

Assembly approves some park names, waits on one
The Juneau Assembly approved names for two new parks and an ice rink Monday. But the panel referred the name "Lynn Cox Auke View Park" to the Human Resources Committee for more discussion. It would apply to a new park on the bypass road near Lena Point.

Photo: Egan Drive cross country
Mark Zeiger cross-country skis beside the Egan Drive during his lunch break on Monday. Zeiger skied from downtown to the Yacht Club and back. More than 4 inches of snow fell on Monday.

Polaris House creates a sense of belonging
A daytime gathering place for people with mental illness is scheduled to open soon in Juneau. Polaris House, to be run by its users, will be provided as an arm of the Juneau affiliate of the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill. It will be a drop-in center, probably open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., for people suffering from mental illness.

Lucinda Burley
Longtime Juneau resident Lucinda Burley, 72, died Feb. 24, 2002, at Bartlett Regional Hospital in Juneau following a long illness.

Eugene Thomas Specht
Longtime Juneau resident Eugene Thomas Specht, 84, died peacefully Feb. 22, 2002, at his residence.

James Fredrick Voltz
Former Juneau resident James Fredrick Voltz, 57, died Feb. 23, 2002, at his residence in Fox Point, Wis.

My Turn: Are tourists drawn by Alaska golf courses?
I am writing to applaud the city and state officials who have been given the thankless task of reviewing the golf course proposal at Peterson Creek. When 200 acres of public land is being examined with the idea of committing it to a private enterprise, there should be extensive public scrutiny.

Deceptive capital move
This week, the State Division of Elections certified signatures on a petition to move the Legislature to the Matanuska-Susitna Borough. The question will be put to voters in November. There are many problems with this ballot proposition, beginning with the attempt to deprive Alaskans of knowing how much such a move would cost.

All things foreseen
It's been really amazing to watch Miss Cleo, hasn't it? The Caribbean clairvoyant's late-night TV ad popped up amid pitches for incredible stain removers, precise vegetable dicers, easily cleaned rotating ovens and impressive breast enhancement creams that, according to the animation, work in seconds. For only $4.99 a minute, the Psychic Hotline's Miss Cleo could see things invisible to mere mortals.

Paralympics hope to feed off Olympics
SALT LAKE CITY -- The Paralympics begin March 7 and organizers hope the spirit of the Winter Games carry over to the 10-day event for the physically challenged.

Duke rips Red Storm, 97-55
DURHAM, N.C. -- St. John's coach Mike Jarvis agreed to schedule Duke so he could measure his team's progress and compete against a friend, Blue Devils coach Mike Krzyzewski.

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

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

Symphony of Seafood plays in Chicago
The Alaska Symphony of Seafood took its show to Chicago in February. The group has promoted dining on fish since 1993 by hosting a New Products Contest and Gala in Anchorage. The presentation has grown to become the largest event of its kind in the United States.

Despite slower mail, Postal Service still makes the grade
FAIRBANKS - The way Alaska's mail comes and goes, within the state and to the Outside, changed dramatically following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. But the Postal Service in Alaska still gets A-minus and B-plus grades in official tests.

State, company resolve Boy Scout trail dispute
Public access will be maintained on the Boy Scout Camp Road and the Herbert River Truck Road near Eagle Beach, under the terms of a recent legal settlement between the state and Channel Construction.

State Briefs
Biologists ponder two-headed moose fetus near air station; Fairbanks snowmachiner dies in accident; Talkeetna votes on city status; Alyeska terminal closed to visitors; Amchitka vets may get benefits; New state trooper commits suicide; Ketchikan nurses reach labor agreement

North Pole woman jailed for beating kids
FAIRBANKS - A Fairbanks judge has sentenced a 52-year-old North Pole woman to 2 1/2 years in prison for repeatedly beating three children in her care. In announcing the sentence Monday, Superior Court Judge Mary Greene noted the severity of abuse the children received from Lottie Beasley.

Poll: 'Yes' to solving fiscal gap
Anchorage-area residents overwhelmingly want a solution to the state's fiscal gap this year, which they believe must include a constitutional cap on spending, according to a new poll released this morning.

Senate to debate bill on ANWR
WASHINGTON - The Senate is ready to take up broad energy legislation that could lead to exploratory drilling for oil and gas in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and changes in gas-mileage rules.

Volunteer pilots keep Iditarod trail supplied
ANCHORAGE - The small waiting room at Spernak's Airways was crowded with more than a dozen pilots drinking coffee, eating donuts and watching fat snowflakes swirl down from a milky white sky onto the runway at Anchorage's Merrill Field.

State Briefs
House bill would more severely punish rapists; Troopers investigate death of 23-year-old man in Port Heiden; Pipeline suspect begins his federal trial in Fairbanks; Another snowmachiner died over the weekend; Education officials gather in Juneau

Legislative move headed to ballot
Alaskans apparently will vote this fall on whether to move legislative sessions to the Matanuska-Susitna Borough, the first ballot initiative challenging Juneau's status as the capital city since 1994. Alaskans for Efficient Government, an Anchorage group that says more Alaskans need access to legislators, has met the threshold of 28,783 signatures necessary to put the issue on the general election ballot in November, according to the state Division of Elections.

Measure sets buffer zones for loggers
Loggers in Interior Alaska would have to spare more trees close to lakes and streams under legislation that passed the House on Monday. The bill is a compromise supported by the timber industry, fishermen and environmentalists, said Rep. Drew Scalzi, a Homer Republican.

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