Saturday, March 1, 2003

Who supports whom?
Bush trumpets news: 92 million Americans will receive an average tax cut of $1,083 under his new Republican plan. Sounds pretty good? It is good, if you are in the top 1 percent of tax filers.

Different natural resources
It may be true that the political appeal of the right is its all-consuming intensity, which disregards any spurious matters of inconsequence to the agenda it brings forth, but is that tunnel-focus on the matter of the moment the one that matters most to voters?

Apocalypse soon
This Texas Ranger we are saddled with clearly thinks he is sheriff of the world. What does he care what the people of the world think?

Great or gangrene?
Recently there have been several letters regarding a mandatory identification check on anyone purchasing alcohol. Government mandates are often ridiculous or difficult to implement. Case in point, the No Child Left Behind legislation that is not viable or particularly useful in Alaska's Bush communities.

Big brother moves in
The Empire has taken the misguided editorial position that the USA Patriot Act should not be a community-wide concern in Juneau. The paper quoted with approval the sentiment that giving the government the power to violate civil liberties is OK because the government, in its benevolence, won't really use those powers.

MADD about MacKinnon
MADD's Juneau Board will miss Juneau's departing manager, John MacKinnon. Mr. MacKinnon worked with us on several projects, which could not have been possible without his support. The public bus DUI warning signs? We have John to thank for them.

Juneau woman lands ride in Iditarod
For most Alaskans at this time of year, a $1,300 trip might be a week in Puerto Vallerta. For Juneau resident Nancy Woizeschke, it means snow flying in her face, bouncing over trail ruts and a jostled view of Anchorage over the tails of 16 sled dogs Saturday as she participates in the Idita-Rider program.

FYI
Births

Church hostage-taker back in court
A man who held hostage members of the Juneau Pentecostal Church nearly two years ago was back in court on new charges Thursday. James Onstott, 63, appeared in Juneau Superior Court on a petition to revoke his probation from a prior conviction. He also was arraigned on a misdemeanor harassment charge.

This Day in History
In 1979, The strongest earthquake in seven years, measuring 6.9 on the Richter scale, struck 120 miles northeast of Yakutat.

New charges for man in lighter-fluid case
New charges have been added in the case of a man who allegedly doused his girlfriend with lighter fluid and threatened to set her on fire earlier this month. Police said the alleged attack may have been drug-induced. Timothy Nelson, 23, was arraigned on a felony charge of third-degree assault and misdemeanor charges of fourth-degree assault, reckless endangerment and resisting arrest.

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

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

Workshop explores spiritual dimension of health and healing
Thursday, March 6, Juneau residents will have an opportunity to participate in a workshop exploring spirituality and healing. Growing numbers of medical practitioners and people of all faiths are taking a fresh look at the relationship of spirituality and prayer to health, well-being and healing.

On the salmon hot seat
Let's talk numbers, of fish counts and forecasts. I recently met with Herman Savikko, of the Department of Fish and Game. He is a member of a third-generation Douglas family. He's 49 and has worked for the Department for 23 years, starting in Bristol Bay as a fish counter.

Neighbors Briefs
Airport daily parking rates to increase; Safari Club International offers scholarship; Cancer group approves grant for screenings;

Thank you
...for your kindness; ...for the work.

Academic honor
Jessica Fern Miksell was inducted into the Beta Gamma Psi Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa at Brigham Young University-Idaho last week.

Local churches celebrate Lent
JUNEAU - The Juneau Cooperative Church Council will hold weekly Lenten lunches from 12-1 each Thursday beginning March 6 to April 10 at McPheters Hall in downtown Juneau. This is the 36th annual Lenten lunch.

AMHS, UAS announce recruiting partnership
Students considering attending the University of Alaska Southeast who want to check out one of the campuses can travel for less if they take the Alaska Marine Highway System. The CamPass, a partnership announced this month between UAS and the AMHS, will give prospective students for any of the university's three campuses a 50 percent discount on passenger ferry tickets.

Photo: Scrabble match
In the foreground Lucas Arnold, left, and David Abad play the championship match in Floyd Dryden's 21st Century Grant Scrabble Challenge.

My Turn: 2003 - Year of the Alaska child
For a long time Alaska has been all talk and no action. We talk about children first, about making them our priority and yet when we look at the real picture, our children are not coming first. We speak of civil liberties and constitutional rights; all the while we are robbing our children, our very future, of the most basic and fundamental right. The right to be safe.

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

Iditarod Start List
ANCHORAGE - Sixty-four mushers are entered to run in the 2003 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, which has its ceremonial on Saturday in Anchorage and its official restart on Monday in Fairbanks.

Queens of the hill
When Sarah Fischer and Hilary Turner were growing up they were the best of friends. They shared a love of skiing, spending long hours racing for the Juneau Ski Club. But between her sophomore and junior years in high school, Fischer left Juneau-Douglas High School to transfer to Rowland Hall-St. Marks, a private school in Salt Lake City. Turner, who is two years younger, stayed at JDHS, and the two friends drifted apart as they only saw each other when Fischer came home to Juneau for the holidays and the summer.

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

Iditarod set to start in different, snowier city
ANCHORAGE - Snow is a rarity in Anchorage these days except for occasional dirty piles scattered about. Yet organizers of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race say they'll be ready for Saturday's ceremonial start downtown. The real competition begins Monday in Fairbanks, one day late and more than 200 miles north of the traditional restart site in Wasilla just north of Anchorage. Because of an extremely warm winter, organizers revised the route, which will be 70 miles longer than the traditional 1,100-mile Iditarod.

Tongass wilderness Q&A
Q: What is wilderness? A: In general, people have different opinions about what wilderness is. The federal Wilderness Act of 1964 defines wilderness as "an area where the Earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain." Wilderness has outstanding opportunities for solitude and low-impact recreation and may contain "ecological, geological, or other features of scientific educational, scenic or historical value," according to the act.

State Briefs
City attorney to step down; Police nab alleged vehicle burglar; Driving into the drink; Bill would give state a share of damage awards; Lawmaker proposes measure legalizing roadside memorials; Concert benefits Afghan women; Fish Board makes no changes in Chignik salmon co-op

USFS: No new wilderness in the Tongass
The U.S. Forest Service is recommending no new wilderness areas be created in the Tongass National Forest after two years of work on a court-ordered wilderness study. Alaska Regional Forester Denny Bschor said the decision released today will keep wilderness at current levels in the Tongass.

Lawyers may determine permanent fund dividends' fate
ANCHORAGE - The principal of the Alaska Permanent Fund can't be touched, even to pay dividends, under the Alaska Constitution. But just how you define "principal" could determine whether this year's dividends will be slashed, or maybe not paid at all. As a result, the audit committee of the Alaska Permanent Fund Corp. wants an opinion from the state attorney general on the issue.

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