There is no 'right' to smoke in public
Smoking is not an unconditional "right." Smoking is only a "right" as long as it is an activity that is not harmful to others.

Constitution should protect freedoms, not restrict them
A response to Mr. Baxter's letter to the editor on Feb. 19th (Constitution Shouldn't Exclude Anyone):

Pick safest alternative for Kensington mine
If the Kensington Mine is such a great idea for the people of Juneau, why has the Forest Service refused to allow a public meeting in Juneau allowing all our questions to be answered?

Tolerance begins at home - with parents
I just read the letter about the racial tauntings. As a mother of a middle school student, I am responding.

Feed students right
Regarding Marilyn Linsell's pragmatic letter about the schools getting rid of soft drinks, I'd just like to say a "hear, hear!" Across the county, corporations like Coke and Pepsi are bribing themselves into poorly funded schools as sponsors. I dare say we will see a "Coca Cola High School Class of 2010" or maybe even before.

Comments were lost at mine meeting
On Jan. 28, Steve Hohensee of the U.S. Forest Service told the Juneau Empire that the preferred option for the Kensington Mine had not yet been selected. "We're leaving it open until we hear comments from the public."

Listen to students about hours, new school
The whole idea of changing the time school starts should stop now. I have been around when kids vote whether or not the school board should or should not change the starting time for JDHS. Only one kid both times voted yes, change the times. Is that really what everyone wants, though?

Speak up about payout
Have you heard of the $20,000 dollar payout plan, HJR 31? If you love it or you hate it, whether you like it or do not, I just want Alaskans to be in on this conversation. Maybe you have another idea? Let's hear it. That is exactly the purpose of public comment and the committee process. Please take the time to speak on the issue.

TSA's vendetta
As an American I stand in outrage at yet the latest policy of passenger harassment by the TSA. This agency should be investigated by Congress for its criminally deceptive policies that lead to the entrapment of innocent law abiding air travelers.

Racists need to take off blinders
I hear about the racism issue at JDHS and all I can say is I feel sorry for the ignorant children. Part of it is they don't understand.

Kmart lot turned training course
Miller Ross, a bus driver for Princess Tours, practices backing his bus up at a course set up in the parking lot of the vacant Kmart building

Leap year baby
Suzanne Baker holds her and husband Mark's new daughter, Kyrin Elizabeth Baker, who was born at 11:46 am at Bartlett Regional Hospital on Leap Year day.

Pelican seafood plant lays off workers
Pelican Seafoods has laid off employees and will be operating this season on a "downsized scale," according to Duff Mitchell, chief operating officer of Kake Tribal Corp., which owns the processor.

Board plans to change school starting times to cut buses
The Juneau School Board on Tuesday approved a new policy to govern when bus service will be offered.

Due to a reporter's error, a comment was attributed to the wrong person in a story Monday about Tenakee Springs residents' frustration over the lack of progress in the investigation of Maggie Wigen's murder.

Around Town
Today: Day of Quilting, Sewing and Good Fellowship, 10 a.m. every Wednesday, Resurrection Lutheran Church.

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

Taking a stand
Jane Hartle, 12, tries to nudge her dog, Tofu, out of the middle of C Street as her 9-year-old brother, Harry, catches up with them Sunday afternoon.

Around Town
Today: Valley Toastmasters meeting, 6:10 a.m. every Tuesday, Henry's Restaurant. Public invited. Details: Jim, 789-3074.

Brand new in 1941
Sisters Merele Jack-Ross, now deceased, and Beverly Jack-Brisco, now living in Wichita Falls, Texas, model new dresses their mother, Dorothy Wallace, ordered from Montgomery Ward.

Kmart, ex-employees sued by second man
A second man has filed suit against Kmart and three former employees, saying he suffered injuries after their negligence led to an altercation two years ago in front of the now-closed Juneau store.

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

On his way up
Thirteen-year-old Travis Lies, an eighth-grader at Floyd Dryden Middle School, scales rock-climbing equipment after school let out Monday.

Term limits trigger divide
Juneau Assembly members who don't want an ordinance limiting terms on boards and commissions offered compromises Monday but couldn't break a deadlock over the issue.

Ordinance tightens up trash standards
All trash bins in Juneau would need metal lids, and residents would have to secure lids on outdoor trash cans under a proposed city ordinance to thwart bears and ravens.

Alternative high school to move to Harborview
To save money, the Juneau School District will move Yaakoosge Daakahidi, the alternative high school, to the basement of Harborview Elementary School, officials said at Tuesday's School Board meeting.

How to entice the independent travelers?
Cruise ship passengers flood Juneau's streets by summer, but it isn't helping Rick Kasnick fill beds at his Driftwood Lodge.

Dr. Seuss' birthday bash
Volunteer Kim Rivera reads the children's book "Horton Hatches The Egg" to brothers Zachary Hebert and Nikolaos Hebert during the Seussentennial celebration, marking Dr. Seuss' 100th birthday on Tuesday at Gastineau Elementary School.

Pets of the week
Abby is dear tabby, full of love, cuddles; People puppy is at her best just hanging out

Cry with me for our beloved soldiers
I'm back and still in the band of the living. I borrow this expression from a letter written on Jan. 1, 1876, by J.H. Wait, who was the brother of my great great-grandfather. He lived in West Potsdam, New York, and was writing to his relatives in Detroit.

Thank you
... for help with 'Meeting the Challenge'

It's never too late to grieve
Hospice and Home Care social worker Jamie McLean was 19 years old and in college when her mother was dying from breast cancer. Jamie made weekly trips to the hospital and was upset by the changes she saw in her mother's condition.

Neighbors Digest
staff reports

Auke Bay celebrates its students
Parents lining the walls Friday morning at Auke Bay Elementary's gym could hear the children before they could see them.

Everette Noel Davis
Former Juneau resident Everette Noel Davis, 59, died Jan. 22, 2004, at the Beebe Medical Center in Lewes, Del.

Leonard Peter Lowell
Juneau resident Leonard Peter Lowell, 83, died Jan. 31, 2004, at his home.

Lawmakers ought to write a tax code that's fair to workers
Regarding the proposal of a state income tax vs. permanent fund earnings to fund state government: The issues are more complex than we are led to believe, and I think most Alaskans realize that, judging from what seems to be a groundswell of opinion in support of an income tax.

Governor should trim office's budget request
I f Gov. Frank Murkowski really is considering a budget increase for his office while the Legislature is eyeing 10-percent cuts in many - if not most - state agencies, he's sending the wrong message during these lean economic times.

Alaska editorial: Board of Game bill smells like politics
This editorial appeared in Friday's Fairbanks Daily News-Miner.

My Turn: Proposed expansions for convenience stores are bad for the neighborhoods
Most people are probably not aware that some of Juneau's liquor store owners are asking the Assembly to amend our convenience store regulations. By allowing stores to expand and stock more liquor at cheaper prices, these proposals will have negative social and economical effects upon the neighborhoods in which these stores have been allowed to operate.

Making his mark
VIERA, Fla. - He fields a grounder smoothly, transfers the ball to his throwing hand and makes the throw without visible effort.

Sports in Juneau
Juneau-Douglas High School boys and girls junior varsity basketball - The Crimson Bears girls and boys JV teams take on the Hoonah varsity teams. Game times are 5:30 p.m. girls and 7 p.m. boys each night at the JDHS main gym.

Sports in Juneau
• Juneau Billiard Association - Capital City Classic pool tournament: Sign up now for the 2004 tournament, the JBA's largest pool tournament of the year in Juneau.

Garvey strikes late to lead Juneau JV girls over Hoonah
Lexi Garvey hit a go-ahead 3-pointer with 2:36 to play as the Class 4A Juneau junior varsity girls overcame a fourth-quarter deficit to defeat Class 2A Hoonah 40-33 on Tuesday at Juneau-Douglas High School.

Hinrich bests James, Bulls defeat Cavs
CHICAGO - The rookie threw down an authoritative dunk, drawing cheers from Chicago Bulls and Cleveland Cavaliers fans alike. No, not THAT rookie. The other one.

Bush strikes gold at Arctic Winter Games
Megan Bush became the first Southeast Alaska individual athlete to win a gold ulu in the 2004 Arctic Winter Games when she won the 5-kilometer cross-country snowshoe race Tuesday at Birchwood Trails in Fort McMurray, Alberta.

Alaska spikers are perfect in opening contests at AWG
Big hitters from Juneau spiked the Alaska men's volleyball squad to a 2-0 start Monday on its first day of play at the 2004 Arctic Winter Games in Fort McMurray, Alberta.

Juneau JV boys topple Hoonah
Hoonah brought the most fans, but the Juneau junior varsity boys won the battle on the floor as the Class 4A Crimson Bears swept the Class 2A Braves Monday and Tuesday in a non-conference series at Juneau-Douglas High School.

Focused on scoring
Janelle Quimpo of the Juneau junior varsity, left, drives to the basket against Hoonah's Sharlee Fanning during the fourth quarter of Monday's game at Juneau-Douglas High School.

Juneau Gun Club Trap Shooting League; Juneau Parks and Rec. Volleyball Team

Legislation would hike spending for K-12 students
The Senate Health, Education and Social Services Committee approved three bills on Monday to increase per-student spending in Alaska K-12 schools.

Correspondence schools scolded for reimbursements
ANCHORAGE - Education Commissioner Roger Sampson is cracking down on Alaska correspondence schools that reimburse families for questionable activities, including trips to a water park, ski lessons and horseback riding instruction.

This Day in History
In Alaska: In 1906, Wilford B. Hoggatt took office as governor of the territory of Alaska, appointed by President Teddy Roosevelt.

Charges of threatening dismissed in Kmart case
The state has dismissed charges of witness-threatening against the man convicted in the 2002 Kmart theft.

Foreign processors angle for AK pinks
A Seattle-based company is asking permission to bring in foreign processing vessels like those the governor rejected from last year's pink salmon fishery, though a survey of this year's pink runs predicts U.S. processors again can handle most of the catch.

This Day in History
In Alaska: n 1891, the Trade & Manufacturing Act was extended to Alaska.

Northwest Digest
staff and Wire reports

Ketchikan approves proposal to move ferry system out of Juneau
The Ketchikan Gateway Borough approved a proposal to the state on Monday to move the administrative offices of the Alaska Marine Highway System and about 40 jobs out of Juneau to Ketchikan.

Governor out of town 232 days in 2003
ANCHORAGE - Gov. Frank Murkowski spent 232 days outside of Juneau on state business last year, at more than double the cost in state-paid travel compared with his predecessor the previous year, according to a state travel report.

Man arrested for breaking into Southeast cabins, stealing skiffs
PETERSBURG - A man suspected of traveling in a stolen government skiff and burglarizing Southeast cabins has been arrested.

Spruce bark beetle infestation makes Kenai Peninsula forests vulnerable to fire
HOMER - If it's vegetable matter, it can ignite, and in that regard, fire has always threatened the Kenai Peninsula spruce forest and the communities built in and around it.

Alaska Digest
staff and Wire reports

Bill makes priority of fish, game taken for eating
State Sen. Ralph Seekins wants to give Alaskans who harvest fish and game for the dinner table first shot when there's a conflict over how to allocate resources.

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