Saturday, March 9, 2002

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

'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.

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!

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.

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.

FYI
Births

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.

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

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

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

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).

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

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

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.

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.

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!

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;

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.

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

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: 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.

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: 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.

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.

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.

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 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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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