Leader or handmaiden?
I recently received a letter from Sen. Murkowski detailing his reasons for supporting the opening of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for drilling.

No longer sure
Back in 1987, a history teacher informed me that the Soviet Union would become more like America, while America would become more like the then Soviet Union.

Tax alcohol
Mr. McGonegal must be unable to read because if he was able to, he would understand that alcohol abuse impacts the lives of many each year; donuts and milk do not cost the state millions of dollars that is put into treatment programs because of alcohol use and abuse.

Rectify discrimination
I just read Gov. Knowles' press release regarding tolerance and discrimination. While it offers a framework for resolving future claims of discrimination, it does nothing to address acts of discrimination that have already occurred.

More fairness
If Mr. Pallenberg is in no position to comment on the specifics of the child-abuse case, he shouldn't be writing to the editor.

Don't wait to say 'thanks'
I didn't know Greg very well. In fact, I didn't know him at all. Well, that's not quite true. I did know him by his first name and I knew if I got to his window at the post office, I would be helped and on my way. Looking back now, I remember my wife saying how kind this man was at the post office.

No reason to be baffled
I read Don Adams' letter (Empire, Feb. 24) with utter amazement. Here's someone who lives in Auke Bay, who believes we live in a "city-oriented society," and who sees no reason for anyone to own a gun. And he justifies his position on the basis of "common sense"! Gee, I must live in a different Auke Bay. I seem to be missing the city part.

'Bong hits for ....'
Since the Olympic torch relay in Juneau, there has been a great deal of controversy about the JDHS students who waved the now infamous "Bong Hits for Jesus" banner I am a JDHS student and I have my own opinions about their actions.

For strengthening U.S.-Russia relations
The Lend-Lease Program was a turning point during World War II. From 1941-45, about $12.5 billion in war materials and other supplies were shipped to the Soviet Union over four major routes.

Sneaky prejudice
I read the short, but precise, article by Michael Balonek (Empire, Feb. 28) on the Web. Someone has to speak out for the many young people who are being destroyed by these futile tests.

U.S.-Soviet meld
You have got to be kidding! But then if you think the Soviet Union is the place to be, go for it!

Lawyer: Father denies causing harm to baby
Your front page story about the parents charged with injuring their baby violated the most fundamental rule of journalism - get both sides of the story.

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

Photo: Asking the king to dinner
Ginger Byrom of DeHart's Auke Bay store pulls a king crab out of a tank for customer Georgia Liedtke on Wednesday afternoon. DeHart's buys live crab from the fishing boat Sunrise and sells it from a tank outside the store.

Tenakee researchers looking for history, fish tales
For the better part of a half-century, the fortunes of the Superior Packing Co. and the settlement of Tenakee Springs were closely intertwined. Now, nearly 50 years since the cannery was shuttered and with most of the buildings long gone, local researchers are hoping to piece together its history through the stories and photographs of people who were there.

Kristi West's wild world of sports
From indoor soccer in Greenland to preparations for this year's Easter egg hunt in Juneau, Kristi West's interests will take her to opposite sides of the globe this month. But she won't leave behind her focus on kids. West, manager of the Zach Gordon Youth Center, is headed to Greenland in one week as a volunteer staff member with the Arctic Winter Games Team Alaska. Both jobs capitalize on a passion for sports and concern for young people.

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

Thane heliport OK with Era
Officials at Era Helicopters think a Thane-area heliport might be a good way to consolidate operations and reduce flightseeing noise in Juneau. But the company won't move without community support, officials said Thursday.

Local briefs
District grants more for insurance premiums; Lifejacket rule for children starts soon


Kmart shutdowns bypass Juneau
DETROIT - Kmart Corp. will close 284 stores in 40 states and Puerto Rico, cutting about 22,000 jobs, as part of its restructuring under Chapter 11 bankruptcy, the company announced today. The stores to be closed include 271 Kmart discount stores and 12 Kmart Supercenters in cities across the country, including Atlanta, Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas, Los Angeles, Miami, Oklahoma City, Nashville and Phoenix. One store is in Puerto Rico. Juneau's Supercenter and other Alaska Kmarts were not listed among the "underperforming" stores to be closed.

Blocking bears: Juneau looks at lid options
The trash containers in a garage at Juneau's landfill exemplify the town's ongoing struggle with hungry bears. The lids tell much of the story: some are plastic with wire tie-downs, another is heavy-duty steel. Off to one side is a prototype aluminum model.

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

Banner student suspended again
The student suspended from Juneau-Douglas High School for a banner he displayed during the Olympic Torch Relay was suspended again Thursday for carrying a Leatherman tool. Joseph Frederick said he was suspended by Assistant Principal Dale Staley for 30 school days for violating the school district's weapons policy. His family faxed a copy of the suspension notice to the Empire.

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

Hearing-aid fraud gets home arrest
The former owner of a local hearing aid outlet has begun serving six months of house arrest and five years of probation in compliance with a sentence handed down last week in federal court in Juneau.

Neighbors Briefs
Alaska Conservation Foundation seeks interested students; SAIL/ORCA wins grant; Knowles proclaims March Red Cross Month in Alaska; AARP Executive Council meets in Juneau; Youth art and activity classes for spring break; AMSEA pays $50 for fishing vessel safety tips; JDHS prom organizers seek volunteers

Girl Scouts honored
The Coastal America Partnership Award Ceremony recognized the Girl Scout Rehabilitation Station Program Team on Feb. 5, 2002, in a ceremony at the Egan Convention Center in Anchorage. William T. Hogarth, Assistant Administrator for Fisheries at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, was the awarding official.

Academic Honors
Dzantik'i Heeni Middle School staff is proud to celebrate the students on the honor roll. We encourage each family to celebrate this event and the accomplishments of your child. These students are developing the habits for success!

Senior Menu
The following meals will be served next week. These meals and Care-a-Van transportation are available to all senior citizens (age 60 and over).

Being a homeless person is hard work
"Local homeless population doesn't fit the stereotypes" was the large print subhead of an article in the Empire last December about Juneau's homeless. The article went on to personalize homelessness and some of the realities that cause it.

Rotary service project draws to a close
Since early October, the Juneau Rotary Club has been investing sweat equity and hard cash in an ambitious remodeling project for one-half of the 1,000-square-foot Big Brothers Big Sisters office above McDonald's. This was one of Rotary's major service projects for 2001-2002, and had much more involved than the usual project, said Rotary Service Co-Chairman Cliff Stone.

Thank You
...for the support; .. for the hospitality; .. for support of a memorial to New York City firefighters who died on Sept. 11; .. for the comfort;

Miller, Kelly to marry
Anna Mariah Frances Miller of Hudson, Wisc., and Beau Joseph Kelly of Kalispell, Mont., will be married July 6, 2002, in a ceremony at St. Patrick's Church in Hudson, Wisc. A reception will follow at 3 p.m. at Hudson House.

Photo: Hoonah jump rope
Kindergarten student Bobby Barros is one of the Hoonah Elementary School students who raised money for the Heart Association by collecting donations for the Jump Rope for Heart. Courtsey of Phyllis Bach Courtsey of Phyllis Bach

Olin Alexander Oliver
Olin Alexander Oliver, 5 weeks old, died March 1, 2002.

Fred A. Sorri Jr.
Former Juneau resident Fred A. Sorri Jr., 77, died Feb. 21, 2002, at Live Oak Manor in Live Oak, Calif.

My Turn: Budget proposal will have you eating at your own risk
There may be no such thing as a free lunch, but in the most advanced county in the world, we have come to take for granted that at least lunch will be free from food poisoning. Not so under a legislative proposal that would shut down the state's retail food safety and sanitation program.

My Turn: Budget cuts must precede new taxes
The continuing fiscal gap between state spending and income gets a lot of attention these days, and nowhere more so than in the Alaska Legislature. As the body responsible for passing a balanced budget, our days and nights have been consumed with the gap, and the corresponding need for a long-range budget plan.

Word Of Mouth
Word of Mouth gives readers a forum to express opinions on a variety of issues by telephone. Calls must be limited to one minute. We reserve the right to edit calls for clarity, length and libel.

My Turn: Gov. Knowles and left-wing 'hacks' cannot be trusted
Our national leaders have recommended that we get back to living normal lives so that the major evil which arose Sept. 11 in New York City would not get the best of us. I agree with this recommendation. Part of my living normally is to point out where local mischief lies and figure out how to excise it.

My Turn: Rep. Kohring needs help keeping score
In his attack on the "Tony Knowles-dominated Reapportionment Board," Rep. Vic Kohring raises a mathematical question which high school students, facing the exit exam, might want to ponder. It has to do with scoring.

My Turn: Legitimate reasons to own and use guns
This responds to Don Adams' letter of Feb. 24, contending there is no reason to own a gun because we are a "city-oriented" rather than an agricultural society and for other reasons. Adams' is a narrow view; he mixes several "gun issues" irrelevantly, and displays considerable ignorance and gross misunderstanding.

My Turn: Legislators should accept responsibilities
The Feb. 24 issue of the Empire contained two very timely pieces. One was front page news entitled, "Panel eyes permafund earnings." The other was located in the editorial section and was entitled, "Quoth the Senate: Nevermore," which is a fine bit of poetic satire put forth by writer Bill McAllister. To Bill's piece I say bravo and well-done. It would be even more humorous if it were not so true and to-the-point.

My Turn: U.S.-flagged cruise ships at a disadvantage
On behalf of the entire Cruise West staff, I am writing to express our concern about Sen. Ted Stevens' recent comments supporting changes to the Passenger Vessel Services Act.

Out and About
In season: Wolf (Aug.-April), grouse (Aug.-May), ptarmigan (Aug.-May), coyote (Sept.-April) and hare (Sept.-April).

Snow Report
The status of Alaska ski areas.

New snowboarders gain from pain
David McMaster knows how hard it can be to start snowboarding. "After my first lesson I spent about an hour and a half in the tub and slept about 12 hours," said the Eaglecrest Ski and Snowboard School instructor. "That first week can be a little painful." But there's a quick gain after the pain, said McMaster and fellow snowboard instructor Dave Harju.

Eaglecrest's ski school teaches all abilities
For someone who has never strapped a board or two on their feet, the idea of shushing down a mountain with the wind in their face may seem daunting. But with a little help from Eaglecrest's ski school, that idea can become a reality with just a few lessons.

Redpoll invasion in Juneau
A tight swirl of 75 small birds nervously flew up from the alder thicket near the Loop Road bridge over the Mendenhall River, but then quickly settled into the next grove of alders only a few yards away with constant "chett-chett-chett" calls.

Master of powerlifting
Under the right conditions, Ira Rosen could probably bench press you. This is impressive enough, but the idea takes on new dimensions when you consider that Rosen himself weights only 123 pounds. Oh, and he's 52 years old.

Buser wins nuggets
OPHIR, Alaska -- Veteran Martin Buser reached the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race checkpoint at Cripple early Wednesday night, claiming gold nuggets and a trophy for being the first to the race halfway point.

Alaska State Basketball Polls
Here are the Alaska Sportswriters High School Basketball Polls, as voted on by statewide sports reporters and compiled by the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner.

Buser hoping meal was breakfast for a champion
RUBY -- It's not your typical breakfast of champions. It was 5 a.m. this morning when a sleepy eyed Martin Buser sat down to a gourmet meal that included smoked chicken pecan salad, chilled roast pork tenderloin, large prawns stuffed with lobster, fruit tart flambe and champagne.

Ceremony kicks off 2002 Winter Paralympics
SALT LAKE CITY -- Storm clouds draped the snowy Wasatch Mountains as 450 physically challenged athletes from 36 countries officially opened the Paralympic Winter Games on Thursday night. Erik Weihenmayer carried the Olympic flame through the stadium on the final leg of its Journey of Fire and handed the torch to American Paralympic skiers Muffy Davis and Chris Waddell, who lighted the same cauldron that burned through the Winter Olympics.

Tompkins soaking up Paralympics experience
For the last few years, Joe Tompkins' dream has been to compete in the Winter Paralympic Games. That dream will become reality this weekend, as the Juneau monoskier competes in the downhill race on Saturday and the Super G on Sunday.

Hughes posts national times at sectionals
Juneau's Paul Hughes posted two national reportable times during the Western Zone NW Sectionals swim meet held Feb. 28 to March 3 at the King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way, Wash.

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

Craig boys split with Ketchikan
The official records won't show it, but the Class 3A Craig High School boys basketball team won its season series with the Class 4A Ketchikan Kings by splitting a two-game non-conference set in Ketchikan over the weekend.

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

Study shows Alaska children living in poverty rose in '90s
ANCHORAGE - The problem of children living in poverty worsened in Alaska more than in any other state during the 1990s, a time when the national economy flourished, a new study says. The study, based on U.S. Census data, was co-published by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, a Baltimore-based nonprofit organization that focuses on disadvantaged families, and the Population Reference Bureau, a nonprofit that analyzes trends.

State briefs
Police question man about hangar fire; House OKs bill for prison in Whittier; Group seeks recall of Assembly, mayor; Bill would end some coastal zone appeals;

Chignik has a home for a loyal dog
ANCHORAGE - A new home awaits Buddy, the black Labrador retriever that stayed by his dead owner's side for 12 days after a tree-cutting accident on a remote Prince William Sound island. The dog is headed for the Alaska Peninsula village of Chignik. There, he'll take up residence with Chignik Mayor Jim Brewer and his wife, Polly Aleck. The couple was selected out of 1,000 people who wanted to adopt Buddy after the dog's story drew national attention last week.

US Senate sets southern route for gas pipeline
FAIRBANKS - The U.S. Senate has approved an amendment to the energy bill that would route a natural gas pipeline from Prudhoe Bay through Interior Alaska, instead of across the state's northern coast and Canada.

Black cod farming poses new threat to Alaskans
PETERSBURG - There soon may be additional players in the growing farmed black cod industry. Successful sales of the first pen-reared black cod have salmon farms in Washington state and British Columbia eyeing what they see as an opportunity to diversify their product line and make more money.

State briefs
Hurley released from hospital; No injuries in plane crash; Boy accused of molesting sister; Lawmakers scatter for break; Collision cause of whale death?; Chugach district accepts award; Judge closer to federal post; Campaign schedules annual fly-in

3 percent sales tax set for committee OK
A state sales tax of 3 percent appears headed for approval by a House panel next week. The tax, which would raise an estimated $250-300 million annually, was discussed this morning by the House State Affairs Committee and seems to have the necessary votes to pass, although it is a bitter pill to swallow for Chairman John Coghill and House Majority Leader Jeannette James, both North Pole Republicans.

Activists call for cut in fisheries bycatch
ANCHORAGE - A new environmental group has asked federal regulators to decrease the amount of catch wasted by the U.S. commercial fishing industry. Oceana, a nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C., said last week it might sue if its demands are not met.

Senate bill changes 1st-graders' attendance requirements
A bill that makes some 6-year-olds comply with the same compulsory attendance requirements as older students passed the Senate on Wednesday. The bill would require parents who enroll their children a year earlier than is now required by law to make sure the students attend school regularly.

Haida Nation files claim over offshore oil and gas reserves
NORTH VANCOUVER, British Columbia - The Haida Nation is going to court to lay an unprecedented claim to the land and surrounding waters of the Queen Charlotte Islands, an area that includes billions of dollars in oil and gas reserves. Louise Mandell, the band's lawyer, said she believes it's the first time an aboriginal band has laid title to surrounding waters and offshore resources.

Social agency accused of theft
ANCHORAGE - State advocacy officials have accused a private nonprofit agency of stealing money from Alaskans put under its care by the court system. A Jan. 15 letter written by three state officials who oversee the welfare of elderly and vulnerable Alaskans states that Fairbanks-based Community Advocacy Project of Alaska, or CAPA, has failed to account for the money of clients and should not be assigned more cases until its operations are drastically reformed. The letter was addressed to the state's four presiding judges.

Explorations in fiber and color
Ellen Anderson recreated a sun-dappled lake bottom and the curling bark of a madrone tree in layers of handdyed silk, beads, gold thread and painted flannel. "Rocks Underwater" and "Bark Bag" are among seven pieces Anderson contributed to a group show opening Friday at the Juneau Arts and Humanities Council Gallery. "Fabulous Fibers ... and Beads" also features beadwork and basketry by Nancy Karacand and hand-dyed silk by Susan Sloss. The show opens with a reception from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Friday.

A fairy tale of love that won't rest
Perseverance Theatre is taking audiences to Brood, a tiny, tedious town located south of reason, north of heartbroken and smack in the middle of memory with its latest play, "The Wooden Breeks." Playwright Glen Berger and visiting Director Wier Harman flesh out this farcical fairy tale depicting what happens to those who get stuck obsessing over the past.

What's happening

More than 125 quilts in weekend showcase
There's more than quilts at Quilt 2002. "We'll have traditional styles, holiday-themed quilts, contemporary, miniature quilts," said Joanne Wilder, one of the show's organizers. "We'll also display nonjudged items like wearable art and tote bags, table runners, things that aren't quilts or wall hangings, but that people want to show."

Best Bets: Visual feast, musical banquet this weekend
Juneau will be rich with color this weekend. Two art shows will provide a visual feast, and a concert featuring three bands should satisfy a yearning for music. Perseverance Theatre opens a new play this weekend, but I'm trying to ignore it.

Music scholarship available
JUNEAU - The Anchorage Festival of Music announces the third Young Alaskan Artist Scholarship Award. This award gives young performers an opportunity to display their talent at a recital in Anchorage and provides scholarship money for further music study.

Movies where & when
"It Happened One Night," (Not rated) shows at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Back Room Cinema at the Silverbow Inn.

'Save the Land Jam' features 3 bands
Acid jazz, gypsy music and bluegrass provide the jam at the "Save the Land Jam" Friday night. The Fiery Gypsies, the Panhandle Crabgrass Revival Band and Kudzu will take turns on stage at the ANB Hall for a dance and concert to benefit the Gustavus Land Legacy. The music is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. with the Fiery Gypsies

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