Time to go dig it all
Except for a few forward thinking legislators (most notably, those supporting Resolution 32), almost no one in the Alaskan government is using the word "digital." The upside is that we are free to use it however we want.

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.

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.

Frustrated with move
I am writing to express my frustration with the proposed Alaska Marine Highway System move to Ward Cove and the lack of open discussion surrounding the proposal. The direct and indirect impacts on the employees, their families and the community they live in are much more far-reaching than simply moving the 43 jobs.

Don't exploit 9-11 losses
Our country lost thousands of innocent people in the 9-11 attacks. After these tragic attacks, President Bush reassured us that he had no ambition whatsoever to use (the war on terror or 9/11) as a political issue. However, recently the president's re-election campaign unveiled offensive TV campaign advertisements which in part use the events of 9/11.

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.

Drugs tests not fair, necessary
As is my habit, to improve my station in life, I was perusing the Juneau Empire help wanted adds. I noticed that Tlingit & Haida had a position open for a janitor. They required drug testing. I discounted applying for the job because, as previously and publicly stated, though I am entirely illegal-drug free, I refuse to pull my pants down for employment.

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.

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.

Don't issue cow moose permits
I would like to question the decision of the Fish & Game to allow 100 cow moose permits in the Gustavus area. This will mean a certain end to a very viable moose population. My guess is that the Park Service has influenced our Fish & Game to come up with this excessive number of permits because the Park Service does not want to have to deal with hunters.

Author of sailing book to return to Juneau to speak
Former Juneau resident Migael Scherer will visit Juneau and Sitka this week and reconnect with the land and the sailboat race that are the subject of her most recent book, "Back Under Sail: Recovering the Spirit of Adventure."

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

Photo: Willoughby Avenue, circa 1940
Workmen can be seen dumping mine tailings in the center right of this view of the Indian village from Calhoun Avenue, circa 1940.

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

Workers cited for midnight pounding
The "boom, boom, boom" that woke many Juneau residents and earned workers a disturbing-the-peace ticket early Thursday was "a screw-up," said the head of the company contracting the work.

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.

Education to be part of plan to fight racism
The Juneau School Board wants education to be part of the discipline when students racially harass other students. The board, meeting Thursday in a work session at Dzantik'i Heeni Middle School, began reviewing the district's plan to combat racism in the schools.

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

Due to a reporting error, the dates for "Heidi" were incorrect in Thursday's edition of This Week. The performance will play at 7 p.m. Friday-Saturday, March 12-13, at Northern Light United Church. Tickets are $5.

Births, judgments and other legal matters.

Forest Service, SEACC to hold Couverden info sessions
Unhappy with the U.S. Forest Service's decision to hold an informational meeting instead of a public hearing on the Couverden timber sale next week, local environmentalists are holding their own meeting at the same time.

... for helping William C. Thomas, Stella Soboleff
Ed and I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who rallied to support the medical fund-raiser for William C. Thomas and Stella Soboleff that was held on Feb. 28 at the Tlingit & Haida Community Center in Juneau.

Doggy Do's: Advocacy group: A controlled, well-behaved dog is a good dog
First, whether you own dogs or not, we'd like to introduce you to The Grateful Dogs of Juneau, an advocacy group for dog owners and walkers who use Juneau's public trails and parks in a responsible manner.

Students reap awards at science fair
The 2004 Southeast Alaska Regional Science Fair was held Friday and Saturday, March 5-6, at the Marie Drake gym. The fair's major sponsors were: Alaska Airlines, British Petroleum, Coeur Alaska Inc., Conoco Philips, Juneau School District, Leighty Foundation, Murray & Associates PC, and Wells Fargo Foundation.

One nasty word is one too many
May I offer a different perspective. Let me begin by saying that I detest racial bigotry in the school system or any place else. One nasty word is one too many.

Neighbors Digest
Community news in brief.

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.

Late-night pile driving is noisy, rude, dumb
O.K. Now I can say I live here, I'm partly of here, I commiserate with the old-timers and I know what is sacrificed in the name of tourism. I survived the naval bombardment of Juneau.

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.

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.

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.

Scenes from the Region V tournament
Photos from this week's games.

Iditarod all in the family for mushing brothers
Dick Mackey has a challenge for any man bold enough to try to break his Iditarod record. "If anybody wants to beat it, some young buck is going to have to breed up five sons," says Mackey, an Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race winner who snatched victory from five-time winner Rick Swenson by one second in 1978.

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.

JRC-The Alaska Club Wells Fargo Spring Racquetball and Tennis Tournament
Results from the Wells Fargo Spring Racquetball and Tennis Tournament held March 3-7 at the Mendenhall Valley location of JRC-The Alaska Club.

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.

Metlakatla makes it in
The heralded Metlakatla boys started their region tourney with a slam. Chris Bryant scored 22 points - including a breakaway dunk to key a run in the second quarter - to lead the Chiefs over the Petersburg Vikings 63-50 on Thursday in the semifinals of the Region V-Class 3A boys tourney at Mount Edgecumbe's B.J. McGillis Gymnasium.

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.

Mount Edgecumbe girls give coach present
Mount Edgecumbe junior Ellie Jackson played in the shadow of star post Ella Morris on last year's girls basketball squad, which reached the Class 3A state tourney. With Morris gone to graduation, Jackson stepped up this season and led the Braves to another state berth by scoring 22 points in Thursday's 49-33 win over Metlakatla in the Region V-Class 3A semifinals at Mount Edgecumbe's B.J. McGillis Gymnasium.

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."

Ketchikan boys use better half to beat Wolves
The Sitka and Ketchikan boys basketball squads played a half-and-half game on Thursday. After the Wolves slowed the game down in the first half, the Kings' offensive came out on fire in the second to give Ketchikan a 49-31 win on Thursday in the Region V-Class 4A boys semifinal at B.J. McGillis Gymnasium, on the campus of Mount Edgecumbe High School.

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.

Ketchikan girls hold off pesky Sitka
When things looked bleak Thursday, several Ketchikan junior girls basketball players provided some senior-style leadership. Tori Edwardson and Katie Geldaker played key roles as the Kings rallied from a seven-point halftime deficit to beat the Sitka Wolves 51-44 in a rough-and-tumble Region V-Class 4A semifinal at Mount Edgecumbe High School.

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.

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.

King presses on while other leaders rest
Martin Buser ate beef stew over rice Thursday, while giving his dog team a long rest and entertaining friends with a story of a strange occurrence on the Iditarod trail.

Juneau Ski Club Don Abel Slalom
Results from the Juneau Ski Club's Don Abel Slalom event held Sunday at Eaglecrest Ski Area.

Juneau Gun Club Trap Shooting League
Standings after the eighth week of the Juneau Gun Club's Trap Shooting League.

Northwest Digest
News in brief from around the region.

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.

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; in the world.

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.

Alaska Digest
News in brief from around the state.

Murkowski explains plan to move jobs
Gov. Frank Murkowski told Juneau Chamber of Commerce members Thursday that he has always supported Juneau and he'll continue to do so, despite his decision to move the Alaska Marine Highway System headquarters to Ketchikan.

Sea lion grabs Alaska fisherman off boat in King Cove
A 19-year-old fisherman is recovering from an encounter with a sea lion that leaped out of the water, grabbed him as he worked on his grandfather's docked boat and pulled him into the harbor at King Cove.

This Day in History
In Alaska; in the nation.

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."

Movies: Where & when
Local times and showings.

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.

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