Study finds plenty of natural gas in Cook Inlet
There likely is plenty more natural gas in Cook Inlet to heat homes, generate electricity and provide fuel for industry around Southcentral than originally believed, according to a consultant conducting a study for the U.S. Department of Energy.

Speak out for justice
It has been a year since I last saw Maggie Wigen. She worked with me in the Rainbow Foods kitchen last March for one day. If only I had known it would be the last time I would work with her. I would have let her choose the music. I would have let her plan the menu and only make the things she wanted to cook. I would have washed all her dishes, and done all her cleaning. She could have spent the day doing only her favorite tasks. Baking bread, cutting vegetables, preparing salad dressings, making pizza. No matter how much I want to, I can't go back to that day, and I can't bring Maggie back.

Leave Berners Bay alone
The renewal of the assault on Berners Bay, Juneau's backyard wilderness and wildlife-and-fisheries refuge, fans coals of resentment throughout northern Southeast Alaska. Senator Murkowski's reintroduction of a bill that would transfer this rich sanctuary to the state for development purposes is part and parcel of aggregating abominations.

Don't target sport halibut charters
The saga continues with the infamous North Pacific Fishery Management Council (NPFMC) in Anchorage, the U.S. Government agency that manages the North Pacific halibut, among other species.

Mine alternative is not acceptable
In 1997, Coeur Alaska gained all necessary permits to construct and operate the Kensington Mine. This plan designated a dry tailing storage facility, onsite employee housing and Lynn Canal as the transportation corridor for the mining activities, with helicopter transport of personnel. This previously approved plan did not have any impact on the body of Berners Bay and is referred to as "Alternative A" in the current draft SEIS.

It's no wonder that people don't vote
The Murkowski administration seems determined to convince us that the best government is bad government. The latest example is the governor and his commissioner of transportation telling us different stories about whether a decision has been made to move the ferry headquarters from Juneau to Ketchikan.

Gay marriage is not a moral issue
Gay marriage is one of the silliest excuses for pushing a conservative agenda I've ever heard. Exactly what harm is done by this? If the reason is to preserve the sanctity of marriage, then we must outlaw all divorce as well or risk being labeled hypocritical.

Policy Center promotes responsible mining
I would like to respond to a recent letter by Coeur Alaska which wrongfully describes the Mineral Policy Center as an "anti-mining" organization because of our stated concerns over Coeur's plan to cut costs at the proposed Kensington mine by discharging toxic mine waste directly into freshwater Slate Lake.

Juneau is a sinking ship
The reason why all the "Big Box" stores are leaving Juneau like rats leaving a sinking ship is because Juneau "is" a sinking ship. Juneau failed the stores. You can't have a big box store in a little box tourist town that's only future is tourism and seasonal jobs.

Quit gouging tourists
I just finished reading your article. I have been to Juneau once and will return again this summer. I will be on a cruise and I have another angle that I don't think you covered. Our ship will be in port for a total of five hours. I don't know if this is a caused by Juneau or NCL, but it's not very much time for anyone on board that ship to experience (or spend money in) one of the great cities in the world - at least in my opinion.

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

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

Court reviews Huna Totem election
The Huna Totem Corporation's dominant directors effectively "placed their hands over the ballot box" to keep from being recalled in 1999, an attorney for dissident shareholders told the Alaska Supreme Court in Juneau Tuesday.

Photo: Supporting same-sex marriage
Nina Chordas, left, Bethany Hartmann, Todd Rushing, wearing last year's Halloween costume, and Chris Beanes stand on the steps of the Capitol on Wednesday with a small handful of members of the University of Alaska Southeast Gay/Straight Alliance to voice their support of same-sex marriage. Same-sex marriage is not recognized in the state of Alaska.

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

Committee asks for review of wolf regulations
The Juneau Douglas Fish and Game Advisory Committee agreed Wednesday to ask the state Board of Game to review a regulation that restricts hunting and trapping wolves on Douglas Island.

Court hears appeal of talk-show host's trial
Tom Leykis' radio show hasn't been heard in Juneau since 1998, but the Los Angeles-based syndicated talk host's court case is back again. Leykis' free-speech rights were at the center of Tuesday's Alaska Supreme Court hearing of his network's appeal of damages awarded to a Juneau woman who claimed his on-air ridicule caused personal injury.

Tourism management program gets attention
Juneau's Tourism Best Management Practices program has been recognized by the Georgia Institute of Technology's Economic Development Institute as a model management program for sustainable tourism.

A story in Wednesday's Empire listing numerous recommended dog restrictions should have noted that some of the areas covered by the proposals would have partial or time restrictions.

Photo: Sloshing through wind and rain
Krista Sissner, left, walks Taku while Darcy Richards leads her dogs, Kiska and Kalli (behind Kiska), on Wednesday in the Mendenhall Valley.

Murkowski to amend Berners Bay bill
Sen. Lisa Murkowski wants to amend a controversial Berners Bay land-swap bill to limit the visual effects of any disturbance to the land, she announced Wednesday. The proposal came the same day as a hearing on the bill in Washington D.C. and a rally against the legislation on the steps of the Alaska State Capitol building in Juneau.

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

Juneau should build new capitol, retain existing building
Juneau should build a new capitol on Telephone Hill and use the existing facility for legislative office space to reduce costs, an expert on state capitols told the Capitol Planning Committee Wednesday.

Panel proposes changes in leash law
The Dog Task Force recommended banning five areas to dogs, but increasing to 10 the number of areas where owners can allow their dogs to run off-leash. The recommendations came after a nearly four-hour special meeting Tuesday, in which task force members debated the rights of dog owners and those interested in the preservation of wildlife.

An Empire story on Tuesday incorrectly characterized the nature of an ordinance approved by the Juneau Assembly on Monday night. The story should have stated that the harbors department continues to be in charge of hiring and firing decisions but is required by the new ordinance to obtain assistance from the Personnel Department when making these decisions.

... for supporting our fund-raiser
On behalf of the Alaska Youth Choir, I would like to thank all of the Juneau businesses and residents who supported our children in the 2003-2004 AYC fund-raising raffle.

... for help with Yan Waat Latin i caregiver workshop
Central Council of Tlingit & Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska's Elderly Services program of the Tribal Family & Youth Services Department would like to thank the local organizations and community members who contributed to the "Yan Waat Latin i" (Elders Watch) Caregiver Training workshop held on Feb. 26 at the ANB Hall.

French Lessons: French school dress, other mild shocks
If schools are a window into a community, Heather's experience at the Lycée (high school) Sainte-Agnes is a virtual sliding glass door into French culture, teen and otherwise. By the time Shane and I arrived in Angers, my husband had met with the director to determine Heather's course schedule and she had been attending classes for three weeks. Through necessity, she adapted to a degree of independence that quickly became a preference. Upon my arrival, eager to catch up, I quizzed her about her school life. She didn't disappoint.

Neighbors Digest
Community news in brief.

Southeast Sagas: Alaska goes to St. Louis - 1904
The Louisiana Purchase Exposition of 1904 was organized to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Thomas Jefferson's Louisiana Purchase. By all contemporary accounts, it was the most beautiful, educational and thrilling of all the international exhibitions presented to that date. The world was at peace and developments in technology promised an easier future for mankind. Sixty-two nations and 43 states and territories displayed their treasures and cultures to demonstrate humanity's advancements since the Louisiana Purchase.

Pets of the week
Pets available for local adoption.

... from The Glory Hole
On behalf of the patrons at The Glory Hole, I would like thank several groups and businesses for their recent contributions to Juneau's emergency shelter and soup kitchen.

Ethel Rose Naish
Carol Lee Morris Former Juneau resident Ethel Rose (Bayers) Naish, 90, died Feb. 26, 2004, at Riverside Healthcare in Missoula, Mont.

Carol Lee Morris
Juneau resident Carol Lee Morris, 49, died March 7, 2004, of a heart attack.

Thomas Everett Gardner
Former Juneau resident Thomas Everett Gardner, 43, died March 27, 2003, after leaving for a walk on a Friday evening in the woods behind his home. His body was discovered by a jogger about one month later.

My Turn: Understanding cultures reduces racism
Juneau is an open community, friendly and on the surface is tolerant of diverse ideas and views. I read with interest about a plan or lack thereof to mitigate racism in our schools. It is easier to discuss a problem than it is to solve one, especially one that is sticky like racism. However, if we agree that a root cause of racism is a lack of cultural understanding, sensitivity and education, then I have a suggestion.

Secret move deserved some public scrutiny
If you were surprised by Tuesday's headlines announcing Gov. Frank Murkowski's decision to move the Alaska Marine Highway System from Juneau to Ketchikan, you weren't alone. Monday afternoon's announcement more than caught the ferry system's employees - and Juneau residents - off guard.

Sports in Juneau
Sports in Juneau is a service provided by the Juneau Empire to provide information on upcoming sports and outdoors events in Juneau.

Leaders play hopscotch
Norwegian Kjetil Backen took the lead Tuesday in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, but said that was not his intention. Good thing, too. He held it for less than three hours before Mitch Seavey of Seward stole it away, although later on Tuesday Backen had retaken the lead leaving McGrath, 48 miles up the trail.

Region V-Class 3A tourney opens today in Sitka
The Metlakatla boys and Petersburg girls are the teams to beat heading into this year's Region V-Class 3A basketball tournament, which starts today at Mount Edgecumbe High School in Sitka.

Swingley quits Iditarod with frozen corneas
Four-time winner Doug Swingley, blinded in one eye, dropped out of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Wednesday. "I got to go see an eye doctor," he said, as he walked toward a plane to take him to Anchorage, leading one of his dogs on leash and carrying his sled snow hook in the other hand. "He doesn't want me to continue."

Photo: Here's the pitch
Montreal Expos left-handed relief pitcher Chad Bentz of Juneau throws a pitch during the fourth inning of Montreal's 7-5 victory over the Cleveland Indians in a spring training game Wednesday in Viera, Fla.

Mount Edgecumbe girls eke by Wrangell
The Mount Edgecumbe High School girls basketball squad gave coach Rich Calkins a good case of deja vu for his birthday. For the second straight year, the Braves opened the Region V-Class 3A tournament with a hard-fought, gritty victory over the Wrangell Wolves. Tourney host Mount Edgecumbe defeated Wrangell 40-30 on Wednesday at Edgecumbe's B.J. McGillis Gymnasium.

Ames leads Skagway girls over Angoon
A summary of high school basketball from around the region.

Sports in Juneau
Sports in Juneau is a service provided by the Juneau Empire to provide information on upcoming sports and outdoors events in Juneau.

Photo: Team Alaska snowshoers
The Juneau representatives of the Team Alaska snowshoe squad for the Arctic Winter Games pose before their flight to Fort McMurray, Alberta on Feb. 27.

Monagle leads regrouping Juneau boys
There were no fans in the stands, but the Juneau-Douglas High School boys basketball team practiced free throws Monday with a deafening roar filling the gym.

Region V standings
Region V basketball standings through games of March 6.

Alaska sportswriters' prep basketball polls
The Alaska Sportswriters High School Basketball Polls, as voted on by statewide sports reporters and compiled by the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner.

Cavaliers win fifth straight game
LeBron James didn't think he'd able to turn around the Cleveland Cavaliers this quickly. Zydrunas Ilgauskas scored 30 points and James added 14 as the Cavaliers beat the Toronto Raptors 106-92 Wednesday night for their fifth straight victory - their longest winning streak in four years.

Bears all hail Cesar
"When she says something, you know its important." That comment from a teammate says a lot about Kendri Cesar, a senior guard on the Juneau-Douglas High School girls basketball squad who has been an intense, yet poised presence for the Crimson Bear varsity for four years.

District could garner millions from bills
An education-funding package passed by the House on Monday and supported by Gov. Frank Murkowski would provide the Juneau School District with about $3.23 million more next school year.

Alaska Digest
News in brief from around the state.

Photo: Award-winning bulldog
Alaska State Trooper Bryan Barlow and Chewy, a French bulldog, are shown at the Anchor Point Winter Rondi's dog show. Chewy wore a mini trooper uniform created by Barlow's wife, Ophelia, and trotted home with two awards, Best Costume and Judges' Choice.

Game board continues wolf protection zone near Denali
A controversial wolf protection area on state land near Denali National Park and Preserve will be retained, the Alaska Board of Game has ruled.

Labor negotiations heat up at state capitol
About 100 state employees representing Alaska unions rallied in front of the Capitol Tuesday for better pay and health benefits. Union leaders are in negotiations with the state and have a tentative contract deadline Friday. That's the legislative session's 60th day.

Study finds rape accusations high at Alaska Air Force bases
Air Force bases in Alaska reported 20 rape accusations over the past three years, third only to U.S. bases in South Korea, according to a new military study of the problem throughout the Pacific Air Forces.

This Day in History
In Alaska; in the nation.

Northwest Digest
News in brief from around the region.

Possible UAF mining school changes rile industry group
Possible plans to reorganize the School of Mineral Engineering at the University of Alaska Fairbanks is causing heartburn among people in the state mining industry.

This Day in History
In Alaska; in the nation.

Legislation encourages retired physicians to volunteer services
A bill aiding physicians and other health care providers who want to remain in Alaska and volunteer their services is awaiting action in a Senate committee.

Board backs bear control
The Alaska Board of Game has adopted a statewide policy allowing everything from trapping and sterilization to baiting and land-and-shoot hunting of black and brown bears in areas deemed necessary.

Local entertainment news in brief.

Toe cartoon: In the Swamp
Cartoon by local artist Toe.

What's happening
Upcoming arts and entertainment events.

The buttoned down, pleated-front stuff of life
I've been writing for newspapers on and off for nine years. In that time I've found some hate mail in the inbox, believe you me.

Top Picks
A long the rural backroads of the South, Juneau filmmaker Joel Bennett met Mr. Darby. Bennett describes his encounter as a "completely random, serendipitous" experience. He and his wife were driving through the Carolinas on their way to Georgia when, on a whim, they decided to stop and buy some vegetables. They met an older man with a gift for telling stories.

Best of JUMP
An eight-member selection committee selected the following short films to be shown at the Best of the JUMP Society Film Festival on Friday, March 12 at the Juneau-Do.glas High School Auditorium:

UP! the road: A diary of a traveling theater play
At 8 a.m. on an unseasonably mild Tuesday morning, Feb. 24, in the alley behind Perseverance Theatre, electrician Calvin Anderson and carpenters Sergei Morosan, Eric Chadwell and Matt Krell loaded gear into two vehicles - the theater's large truck and Morosan's small white pickup. By 10:30 a.m., they were on a state ferry, steaming toward Haines and a two-day drive to Fairbanks. The cast planned to fly and meet them on Feb. 28. The tour had officially begun.

Meeting new friends, in front of the lights
It was 6:45 p.m. on a Tuesday night in the lounge at the Juneau Senior Center, and Cyndee Sugar was nested at the right angle between two long couches. She was playing with her glasses, either anxious or trying to get in character, maybe both. In a few minutes, she would get up in front of 12 women, grab a microphone, give a cue to jazz pianist Barney McClure and launch into her interpretation of "Cry Me A River," an old jazz standard which she had made decidedly more "sassy."

Heidi: The girl who was able to move a mountain
The great Swiss author Madame Johanna Spyri released her first book about a girl named Heimathlos, or Heidi, in 1880. Orphaned in the Alps, but unflappable in spirit, 5-year-old Heidi quickly became a role model for children and won the hearts of adults.

Movies: Where & when
Local times and showings.

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