Books detail adventures along the Iditarod trail
The 30th Iditarod Sled Dog Race headed for the hills Saturday. Two new books explain the history of the race and the challenges it offers to those who compete in it.

In the Stacks
This week, the Juneau Public Library has new books on tape for you!

Native place Names
The city of Juneau is fortunate to have retained some of its Tlingit place names, and, in certain cases, to have revived others. Newcomers soon master the pronunciation of "Dzantik'i Heeni" or "Kowee" and come to relish each syllable as proof they're not just passing through, but settling in.

Tax milk, not booze
I would like to respond to Brianna Gunderson's letter posted on Feb. 28. She is supporting an additional tax on alcohol with the justification that "alcohol is a luxury."

Paramedics save lives
I support the idea of hiring paramedics or firefighters medic I personnel that are working for Capital City Fire & Rescue as paramedics. I think the chief needs to get his figures right.

Not Sheep Creek
Sheep Creek is not an appropriate place for a heliport. I've noticed that Sheep Creek is being "tagged on" to the approved Dupont location as a possible site. It is not appropriate because Thane Road is a residential area. There are also homes across the Channel at Lucky Me, Zella and north toward Douglas that will be made less livable because of the noise.

Violent photo
This morning I found myself reeling at the picture on the front page depicting a man with a gun to another's head.

How to spend passenger fees?
An annual puzzle that involves open space, harbors, trails, flightseeing, rest rooms and crossing guards is before city officials. When completed, it will show how more than $3 million in cruise ship passenger fee revenues will be spent this year.

Photo: Eagle outpost
A bald eagle pauses to look at the camera while grooming itself Sunday in a tree near Thane Road. An eagle has as many as 7,000 feathers to groom. The bald eagle's scientific name is Hallaeetus leucocephalus, which means "sea eagle with a white head."

Kappler elected JCVB president
Lorene Kappler has been named president and chief executive officer of the Juneau Convention and Visitors Bureau. Kappler brings 18 years of visitor industry operations and marketing experience to her new position.

Photo: Tanner season
Haida Chief deckhand Amanda Painter, left, and owner Kurtis Klose hose off the deck of the 86-foot wooden tender after unloading their Tanner crab catch and hauling out crab pots earlier in February at Auke Bay.

Fisheries service looks for builder
Construction on a long-planned federal fisheries research center at Lena Point should start within months. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration officials met with contractors from Alaska and the Pacific Northwest last week about the fisheries center. Engineering director Ken Bircher said technical proposals are due March 14.

Photo: Read all about it
Rep. Jeannette James, R-North Pole, left, Rep. Peggy Wilson, R-Wrangell, center, and Rep. Lesil McGuire, R-Anchorage, listen to Eve Dillingham read Dr. Seuss' "Horton Hatches the Egg" on Friday Night at Mendenhall River Elementary School. The legislators were there to read to children during the Read Across America event - held nationwide on Dr. Seuss' birthday anniversary to encourage children to read.

Man pleads guilty to harassment
A man accused last fall of exposing and fondling himself in the front window of his home pleaded guilty Friday to a misdemeanor harassment charge.

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

Curious students compete in science fair
About 114 students competed in the privately sponsored fair at the Marie Drake gym. Nearly all of them were Juneau-Douglas High School freshmen and sophomores enrolled in advanced physical science or biology classes taught by Jonathan Smith.

Around Town
Listings of local nonprofit events.

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

Photo: All hands on deck
Chris Herrick, 6, enjoys the view Saturday from the bow of one of the many boats on display at this year's boat show at Centennial Hall. The show continues today.

University finds CAPP that fits: automated student info system
After three years as registrar at the University of Alaska Southeast, Lori Exferd is moving to a new campus position where she'll work to make her successor's job easier. Exferd is developing a new program called CAPP - Curriculum Advising and Program Planning - that will create automated access to students' program information, including how close they are to completing their degree and what required courses they still need to take.

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

4-H Nordic Ski Club gets families on the trail
When Cathy Botelho's daughter Auri started cross-country skiing, she had to hold her mother's hand while traveling the fairly level Mendenhall Campground Trail. But like other members of Juneau's 4-H Nordic Ski Club, she's built confidence and now skis independently on harder trails, such as Eaglecrest's Lower Loop.

Dorothy Louise Messerschmidt
Former Juneau resident, Dorothy Louise Messerschmidt, 66, died Feb. 1, 2002, in Forks, Wash.

Richard Leslie Edenso
Juneau resident Richard Leslie Edenso, 51, died suddenly Feb. 23, 2002 at his home.

My Turn: Weigh your words carefully
An incident occurred very recently that reflects the persistence, strength, beauty and complexity of Tlingit culture. It was a happy time heightened by our young children singing the songs of our ancestors. However, in the enthusiasm and joy of the moment, a cultural protocol was violated.

Empire reporter deserving of recognition
The members of the Juneau Education Association want to take this opportunity to thank Juneau Empire staff writer Eric Fry for his excellent journalism while covering the education beat.

Word of Mouth
A forum for readers to express opinions on a variety of issues by telephone.

Cartoon by TOE

Free-range jungle chickens demonstrate pluck
One thing an alert vacationer will notice in Belize, Central America, is that there are no alarm clocks. In the large cities, all one of them, people are up and active at dawn to get the children ready for school and get to the bus stops to go to work. Farmers have already rattled into town in bad trucks with the day's produce. Sleeping in is difficult.

My Turn: State income tax offers tax fairness
I've followed with amused interest the attempts of the Legislature to put forward some new old ideas to cure our fiscal woes. It's good to see some talk about the situation. I hope unlike the last four years that this year we'll see some action.

Hidden costs of closing fiscal gap
The monumental challenge of balancing Alaska's checkbook without dipping into the state's savings account is moving forward or being stalled depending upon who you talk to.

My Turn: A bridge to Ketchikan's economic future
Oct. 13, 1935, was a bright, fall weekend day in Juneau. This writer and his father, Lew Sr., sat atop Mount Juneau and watched a crowd assemble on the Juneau end of the new Juneau-Douglas Bridge. They gathered for the bridge dedication.

Fiscal gap is the issue of the era
"What kind of a state do we want to live in?"

64 teams leave Anchorage for Iditarod's ceremonial start
The mushers were relaxed. The dogs were raring to go. So began the 30th Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.

Local skiers qualify for Junior Olympics
After another successful showing at the final week of the Alyeska Cup, 14 racers from the Juneau Ski Club qualified for the Junior Olympic Western Regionals and seven qualified for the Arctic Winter Games.

Juneau girls breeze on Friday, struggle Saturday
The Juneau-Douglas High School girls basketball team only made six field goals on Saturday night, but still managed to come from behind to beat the Sitka Wolves 32-27 at Sitka High School.

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

Gruening breaks records in WCC women's tournament
Santa Clara University senior guard Caroline Gruening of Juneau broke two West Coast Conference tournament records and tied two others Friday night to lead the Broncos to an 87-84 victory over St. Mary's in the WCC semifinals in San Diego.

And they're off! Iditarod teams set off for Nome
WASILLA -- Sixty-four mushers and more than a thousand dogs headed out under a cloudless blue sky Sunday for the 30th running of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. Last year's runner-up, Linwood Fiedler of Willow, took the early lead, coming into the Yentna checkpoint at 5:01 p.m. Sunday and leaving five minutes later. Fiedler runs summer dog tours on Norris Glacier near Juneau.

Top-ranked JDHS boys finish schedule perfect at home
Defense ruled on senior night at the Juneau-Douglas High School gymnasium.

Kenton Gaines on his boxing competition
Juneau's Keaton Gaines predicted a first-round knockout in his main event bout at Roughhouse Fridays at the Alaska Native Brotherhood Hall.

Gruening sets more records, but Broncos lose title game
Santa Clara University senior guard Caroline Gruening of Juneau set two more West Coast Conference tournament records, but it wasn't enough to lead the Broncos to the tourney title Sunday in San Diego.

Dedicated Duke parents do what it takes to watch their sons play
There's a kid eating nachos with the Cameron Crazies, an Urkel-looking kid with big glasses and a small body. Out on the court, Duke sophomore guard Chris Duhon hits a three-pointer against Wake Forest, and the Crazies start chanting: "Du-du-du, Du-HON!"

No. 3 Duke dunks North Carolina
DURHAM, N.C. -- Jason Williams and Juneau's Carlos Boozer lost their first two games as collegians -- and not many more since.

Fiedler's Juneau advantage
As the sled dog teams line up in Wasilla for today's restart of the Iditirod Trail Sled Dog Race, the more than 1,000 dogs hitched up to the teams will each have thousands of miles of training just from this winter alone.

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

Sitka parents get wish: Baby born at home
Erik Baldwin and Theresa Stoddard had pretty much given up hope of having their second baby at home.

Daschle: Plan to drill ANWR all but dead
WASHINGTON - President Bush's plan to drill for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska is all but dead for now, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle said Sunday. Debate on the administration's energy plan is expected to begin in the Senate this week. The bill to be debated does not include ANWR development. Under a 1980 federal law, the coastal plain can neither be explored for oil nor declared permanently off-limits without an act of Congress.

Petersburg needs new hearse
"It's an embarrassment," said City Council member Paul Anderson of the city's hearse. Motor pool personnel have had to respond at several funerals to get the hearse running, he added.

University gets less funds than hoped for
FAIRBANKS - The state spending plan for the next budget year proposed by House Republicans includes a smaller increase for the University of Alaska than administrators requested. The newly released House Finance Committee targets, to be used as a starting point for budget discussions, call for a $4.6 million UA operations spending increase.

Wrangell School Board examines superintendent options
What will the administration of the Wrangell Public School District look like when school opens next fall?

Funding fears lead to cuts in pipeline security
FAIRBANKS - State public safety officials have ceased 24-hour operation of the Dalton Highway security checkpoint, citing uncertainty over whether the Legislature will pay the bill.

Southeast Alaska State Fair to take over beer fest
The Southeast Alaska State Fair is taking over the Great Alaska Craft Beer and Home Brew Festival.

Kivalina residents sound off on school closure
Some 200 parents, elders and students packed the McQueen School gym in Kivalina for a community meeting Friday, two days after the Northwest Arctic Borough School District abruptly shut down classes, citing "threatening and assaultive behavior" against teachers.

State Briefs
N.Y.C. police on hand for K-9 dedication; Canadian accused of pot smuggling; Accused pipeline shooter to appeal; Senate OKs law on concealed handguns; Knowles appoints state's first space and missile defense officer; Gas plant on target for April start

Ketchikan woman's body found near Thomas Basin
The body of a 48-year-old Ketchikan woman was found floating near Thomas Basin on the morning of Feb. 23. No foul play is suspected.

Alaska investing seminar scheduled for March 12
A two-hour seminar titled "Angel Investing: A Realistic Model for Alaska," will be presented next week by Chris Huston, president of Jenrod & Associates of Seattle, Wash.

Karluk's two teachers resign
Karluk School's two teachers are being allowed to resign after months of discussion failed to resolve problems at the Kodiak Island school.

New Forest Service leaders push collaboration
As the new head of the U.S. Forest Service in Alaska, Dennis Bschor has an eye on recreation, communities and what he calls the state's "world-class resources."

Haines girl trashes stop signs
Haines police said a juvenile has admitted to knocking down seven downtown stop signs with her pickup truck early Feb. 11.

Dillingham school fire was arson
A fire at the Dillingham school last week was arson, Alaska State Troopers said Friday.

Legislature hires lawyer to defend parental consent
The Legislative Council voted to spend $300,000 on an attorney to defend an abortion bill that has been ruled unconstitutional by an Anchorage Superior Court judge.

Jury convicts pipeline shooting suspect
A federal jury on Friday convicted the man accused of shooting the trans-Alaska pipeline of being a felon in possession of a firearm.

House OKs minimum-wage hike
A bill to raise Alaska's minimum wage to $7.15 an hour next year passed the state House on Friday.

Web site offers updates on gas line project proposals
ANCHORAGE - Dave Harbour is a self-appointed news service, when it comes to the idea of an Alaska natural gas pipeline to the Lower 48. Harbour, 59, man spends up to eight hours a day reading, writing and posting information about the subject on his Web site. Working out of his Anchorage home, he supplies a bounty of information about the many proposals to tap the massive natural reserves of Alaska's North Slope and Canada's Mackenzie Delta.

Budget to precede fiscal plan in House
Top House Republicans insisted this morning that they remain serious about moving forward on a revenue-raising package to help fill the state budget gap.

Nenana Ice Classic officially kicks off
FAIRBANKS - The 86th annual Nenana Ice Classic is officially under way, now that a familiar structure is in place on the frozen Nenana River. On Sunday, dozens of people helped erect a 26-foot-high tripod that will determine the winners when it shifts 100 feet downriver, tripping a clock on shore.

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