Freedom is going up in smoke
Just for the record, my husband Todd and I do not smoke. We are not drug users nor do we drink. I believe the government does not need to dictate how we should live. Isn't that what our forefathers fought so hard against, isn't that why they fought the British? Why the American Revolution happened? They fought for our "freedom." Freedom is a precious thing that the government is slowly taking away from us, bit by bit.

Fishermen need more than statements
I have fished the Taku River for more than 40 years. After going to the initial Tulsequah Chief Mine meeting at Centennial Hall and talking with several other Taku River commercial fishermen, I feel I need to weigh in on the proposed hoverbarge issue.

Would Palin move U.S. Capitol to Wasilla?
Concerning the talk of our fashionable governor as a possible U.S. vice president candidate, it makes me wonder if she is planning on moving the vice president's office to Wasilla. Sound familiar?

Capital move should not be a priority
Are these our priorities? Cut funding for the Head Start program and sign a blank check for relocating the legislative session?

People voted to keep sessions in Juneau
The Juneau Empire story, "Legislative hall bill advances," on Feb. 29, is pretty interesting.

Bus riders give their opinions on Capital Transit service
After hearing from consultants that the Juneau bus system could be more reliable, the city turned to residents this week for discussion and more input.

Students and parents meet with TMHS staff
The Juneau School District served pizza and ice cream to about 60 parents, students and educators Monday night at Riverbend Elementary School while they discussed the high school that will open this fall in the Mendenhall Valley.

City bus system discussed this week
Capital Transit buses were on time 47.7 percent of the time last year, and often they're early, not late, according to city-hired consultants.

Board gives early approval to school district's budget
The Juneau School Board gave preliminary approval Tuesday to the school district's proposed $67.8 million operating budget for next year, an early step in what could be a lengthy budget process.

Around Town

Photo: Marching toward a showdown
Some of the 500 Southeast high school students from six schools disembark from the state ferry Matanuska on Tuesday at Auke Bay. The fans, basketball teams, cheer squads and dance teams all have come to Juneau to attend the SoutheastConference Basketball Tournament held at Juneau-Douglas High School starting 3 p.m. today and concluding Saturday.

Around Town

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

A letter to the editor in Monday's Juneau Empire incorrectly stated the percentage of Sealaska Corp. shareholders that live in Southeast Alaska. Of 19,000 shareholders, a little more than half live in Alaska. The author also wrote about board member bonuses in the letter, but the organization's board members do not receive bonuses, according to Sealaska officials.

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

Ohio, Texas must-wins for Clinton
COLUMBUS, Ohio - The Democratic presidential campaign hits a turning point today, when voters in Ohio and Texas either will put Hillary Clinton back into the race after a dismal month or drive her out.

Clinton bounces back with wins in Ohio, Texas
COLUMBUS, Ohio - Sen. Hillary Clinton celebrated her victories in Tuesday's Texas, Ohio and Rhode Island presidential primaries as she jetted back to Washington.

Alaska Youth Choir
The Alaska Youth Choir's spring concert, "March Hare, Welsh Rarebit & St. Paddy's," on March 1 at Northern Light United Church, featured the Alaska Youth Choir's preparatory, intermediate and concert choirs.

Thank you for helping in the search for Vern McGee and Mike Dunne
At this time of profound loss for our families, I want to extend our deepest and most sincere gratitude to each and every person involved in the search over the past several days for my brother, Vern McGee, and for Mike Dunne.

Juneau Construction Academy
Students in the Juneau Construction Academy's adult carpentry class, "Basic Construction Techniques," each made wood frame buildings as part of their class at the Juneau Construction Academy. In addition to college credit, the students recieved certificates of completion of the course on March 1.

Crock-pot recipes come in
Calling all cooks! Look no further, this is where readers ask for and share recipes. Are you looking for a lost, forgotten or wish-you-had recipe? Ask Auntie Emo and let our readers help.

Photo: Doggie Daycare does one year
Emily Hudyma, Gastineau Humane Society Doggie Daycare Coordinator, stands with Doggie Daycare Program dogs Maddy, Kyna, Missy, Sula, Charlie, Finn, Ama and Rusty on Feb. 29 at Eagle Beach. Gastineau Humane Society's Doggie Daycare Program celebrates its one-year anniversary in March. The program also has logged more than 3,000 miles of dog-walking. "All I can say is that lot of balls were fetched, a ton of tails were wagged and well, we aren't going to talk about how many poos were picked up, but that number is extraordinary as well," Hudyma said.

University of Alaska Southeast announces Lifelong Learning Series
The University of Alaska Southeast is taking registrations for a March series of lectures and computer courses for learners age 50 and over. The cost of the Lifelong Learning Series is nominal.

Auke Bay Co-op Preschool holds Spring Bazaar on Saturday
Auke Bay Co-op Preschool is sponsoring its Spring Bazaar from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at Chapel by the Lake, in Smith Hall.

The Learning Connection extends hours for free adult education
The Learning Connection, which offers free GED and adult education, has extended hours at its downtown location at 210 Ferry Way.

Steps to a Healthier Southeast Alaska awards school grants
The SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium Steps to a Healthier Southeast Alaska program recently awarded six mini-grants of between $4,520 and $18,717 to five school districts in Southeast Alaska. This is the third round of school grants awarded by the Steps to a Healthier Southeast Alaska program.

Diabetes support group hosts cooking demonstration
The Living Healthy With Diabetes support group in Juneau will host a cooking demonstration from 7-9 p.m. on Tuesday, March 11, featuring Christy Wallace, a Community and Diabetes Dietitian for the SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium.

Michael Ray Edenshaw
Longtime Juneau resident Michael Ray Edenshaw died Feb. 29, 2008, at home in Juneau. He was 45.

James Thomas Peacock
Longtime Juneau resident James Thomas Peacock died Feb. 29, 2008, in Seattle. He was 58.

My turn: Mrs. Clinton could be one of the finest presidents
The problem I have with Barack Obama's candidacy is the lack of evidence that he is qualified to be president. He was not a particularly distinguished member of the Illinois state Senate (where he voted "present" an inordinate number of times). His three years of service in the U. S. Senate have been entirely pedestrian. It mystifies me that so many bright, admirable people support him for the Democratic nomination.

Column: Clark's plea raises questions
Two years ago, talk of corruption and public officials on the take was an inside joke at the Alaska Capitol as many made light of the Corrupt Bastards Club and those who might qualify for membership.

Outside editorial: Schools undermine what kids learn in church and at home
LOS ANGELES - As one group attempts to use California public schools as laboratories to assist children in "coming out" with their nontraditional sexual orientation, another is urging parents to come out from these schools and educate their children with their values at home or in private schools.

My Turn: New school will herald a new era
At some point on the morning of Sept. 3, a set of doors will be unlocked and a new era of education will begin in Juneau. Thunder Mountain High School, the controversial and often misunderstood high school, will open.

Outside editorial: Stagflation: the sequel
Along with disco music, bushy sideburns, angry ayatollahs and other things we'd just as soon forget, the 1970s brought us a new word: stagflation.

Alaska editorial: Wooing Hollywood
When you see a film whose story line is purportedly set in Boston, you'll notice folks in their sculls along the Charles River, perchance; or shoppers running through the market at Faneuil Hall. Maybe the Old North Church will be in the background.

Alaska editorial: EPA report no cause for alarm
Alaska regularly gets top billing when the Environmental Protection Agency releases results of its national Toxic Release Inventory Report.

Hearing begins on Exxon Mobil's Point Thomson leases
ANCHORAGE - The state has begun a hearing that could result in the termination of Exxon Mobil leases at Point Thomson, a remote section of land east of Prudhoe Bay.

Fur Rondy makes comeback in 2008
ANCHORAGE - Organizers of Anchorage's Fur Rendezvous said the late winter festival has made a strong comeback.

United Way officially launches Alaska 211
JUNEAU - The United Way of Southeast Alaska joined with other United Way agencies across Alaska to create Alaska 211, a health and social services help line that enables Alaskans statewide to get help easily and reliably.

Millions of dollars for Fairbanks fish hatchery back in budget
FAIRBANKS - Millions of dollars are back in the state budget for a fish hatchery for Fairbanks to go along with one planned for Anchorage.

World Trade Center Alaska director to give presentation
JUNEAU - Greg Wolf, executive director of World Trade Center Alaska, will present "Alaska's International Trade Economy" at 5:30 p.m. March 12 at the Assembly Chambers downtown.

Fairbanks Catholic diocese files petition for Chapter 11
FAIRBANKS - The Catholic Diocese of Fairbanks has filed a petition for Chapter 11 reorganization.

Costco frozen chicken entrees subject of contamination recall
JUNEAU - The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation is warning Alaskans not to eat frozen chicken entrees being recalled by Costco because of concerns about potential listeria contamination.

Police make 7th arrest in check scam case
JUNEAU - A seventh person has been arrested in connection with a string of citywide burglaries, fraudulent checks and forgeries that police say could have been part of an organized crime ring supporting drug activity in Juneau.

Education funding passes Senate
JUNEAU - The state Senate passed an education funding bill Monday that will funnel more than $250 million dollars into K-12 education over the next five years.

Nonresident to pay $10,000 fine for lying on licenses
JUNEAU - An Arizona man pleaded guilty in Juneau District Court on Tuesday on charges that he falsely claimed to be an Alaska resident on fishing and hunting license applications.

Game Board weighs pros, cons of air boats
FAIRBANKS - The pros and cons of air boats are being debated at the state Board of Game in Fairbanks.

Palmer police charge man with attempted murder for bus fight
ANCHORAGE - A fight on a busy city street escalated into a stabbing and an attempted murder arrest, Palmer police said.

Crew prepares to open Denali Park road
ANCHORAGE - The National Park Service said a road crew will clear and prepare the Denali National Park Road beyond park headquarters at Mile 3 for vehicle access by park visitors.

Mackey takes Iditarod lead at Nikolai
Defending champion Lance Mackey was the first musher to leave the Nikolai checkpoint Tuesday and take the lead in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.

Oregon doctor chases dream
Cliff Roberson straggled into this tent checkpoint early Monday afternoon, exhausted and running 70th in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.

Goldminers maintain Tier A lead
The Kensington Goldminers maintained their Tier A lead after routing the Ice Pirates 6-2 in Juneau Adult Hockey Association action on Sunday at Treadwell Arena.

Photo: Ready for action
The Ketchikan High School cheerleaders pose for photos Tuesday after arriving to attend the Southeast Conference Basketball tournament this week at Juneau-Douglas High School. The state ferry Matanuska brought 500 students from six schools to Juneau. The tournament features competitions for boys and girls basketball, cheerleading, dance teams and pep band.

Clark's plea may move ethics bill
Jim Clark nearly committed the perfect crime, and if not for the feds, he might have gotten away with it.

Clark pleads guilty to conspiracy
Jim Clark, a former top aide to former Gov. Frank Murkowski, has pleaded guilty to a felony conspiracy charge in the widening federal corruption investigation in Alaska.

Senate mulls head tax change
Alaska senators are considering a bill that would alter a cruise ship head tax citizens approved in 2006.

Once powerful and polished, Clark admits he made mistakes
Jim Clark - considered the most powerful non-elected person in Alaska's state Capitol when he was former Gov. Frank Murkowski's chief of staff - quietly told a federal judge Tuesday that he was guilty of fraud.

Supplemental budget contains savings plan for surplus
The first comprehensive savings plan for the state's multibillion-dollar glut of oil money rolled out of the Senate Finance Committee on Monday as part of a proposed $4.3 billion supplemental budget.

Spending hike approved in operating budget
Republican leaders in the House urged members to "hold the line on spending" as they passed a state operating budget on Monday that is almost 11 percent higher than last year.

Money managers resist bill to dump stock in Sudan
A bill before the Legislature would force managers of the Alaska Permanent Fund to dump stocks of companies doing business in Sudan, whose government has been blamed for genocidal killings in Darfur.

Senators resurrect vetoed capital projects
FAIRBANKS - Gov. Sarah Palin vetoed more than 175 capital projects last year but may have them to consider again.

Cowdery returns to Capitol
Embattled Republican state Sen. John Cowdery was back in the Capitol on Monday after missing the first half of the Legislative session.

Photo: Frozen figure
Steve Brice of the Outhouse Gang Ice Carving Team works on their entry, "Jonah and the Whale," during the 2008 World Ice Art Championships on Monday in Fairbanks.

This Day in History
In Alaska, in the Nation and the World

Alaska health officials express concern over lead levels
ANCHORAGE - Blood tests of more than 2,700 Alaska workers tested for lead showed amounts that federal health officials consider unhealthy.

Photo: Paw-per-view
One of Tim Osmar's sled dogs looks out of its pen Sunday before the start of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race in Willow. A record field of 96 mushers are running the 1,100-mile sled dog race to Nome.

This Day in History
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