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Sunday, March 14, 2004

In the Stacks: New non-fiction at the library
Lots of new books have hit the shelves this week. Here's a sampling of the non-fiction titles.

Photos document canine athletes on the trail
The most famous athletes in Alaska may be the hard-working canines of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. The fastest of these doggies race across more than 1,000 miles of difficult terrain in just over a week in March.

Get innovative with school problem
Yes, we have problems with our country's education system. Our path of travel has not led to significant change. Globally speaking, the United States continues to slip down the scaled of academic success. We need to move in the opposite direction. We need to be innovative in solving problems.

Legislators shouldn't be exempt from the law
I read with interest the article in the Sunday, March 7, edition of the Juneau Empire about two of our state legislators involved in a domestic violence dispute after drinking too much.

Write government officials; change child support law
The Bradley Amendment or 42, U.S.C. 666(a)(9)(c) reads, "that once a child-support obligation has been established, it cannot be retroactively reduced or forgiven by a judge." This is causing a grave manifest injustice for many families across the country.

Paper trail needed to safeguard voting system
I thought with our Accu-Vote optical scanner voting system Alaskans were safe from the dangers of touch-screen voting machines, but I was wrong. In order to comply with the accessibility requirements of the Help America Vote Act, every polling location is to get at least one Accu-Vote TS - the very Diebold machine found to have security vulnerabilities that could endanger the integrity of our elections.

Governor is an insensitive bully who wants his way
This move to Ketchikan by the insensitive Gov. Frank Murkowski was uncalled for. What more devastation will he bring forth to our Alaskan communities? How many people will he trodden down to get his way?

Cut the budget before introducing new taxes
No one is ever in favor of an income-tax system. I am particularly incensed that some know-it-all business tycoons would propose an income-tax system. Salaries and wages are deductible business expenses.

Open letter to Alaskans: Bring back income tax
This letter concerns all of the people of Alaska. It is time to reinstate the state income tax, despite opposition by the governor, the Republican Party, the majority in our state Legislature and others. The No. 1 reason for this is because all of the spending plans I have seen are to balance the state budget are based on using "our permanent fund." I disagree with these plans, because once they start spending our permanent fund, they won't stop until it is all gone.

Where's governor's sense of fairness?
Shame on Gov. Murkowski. Where is his sense of family values? He has made a decision to move 40 employees to another community without consulting any one of these employees about the effect on their families.

Governor will continue to ship jobs out of town
I'm one of the 44 Juneau ferry workers whose jobs Gov. Frank Murkowski is gift wrapping to send to Ketchikan. It's been a week since we wrenched this news out of an administration that shuns public scrutiny. That week has afforded me some perspective.

Kansas-based loan service company buys Kmart building
Kansas-based Midland Loan Services has bought the former Kmart building from Verizon Capital Corp., Juneau City Manager Rod Swope said. The Kmart store closed in April 2003. The building's interior was damaged this winter when frozen water lines broke.

Correction
In an article in Thursday's Empire about a military study of rape allegations at Air Force bases, The Associated Press erroneously reported the number of cases in the past three years in Alaska.

It takes time to create a good, small school
Among the advantages of having two smaller high schools are developing a sense of community and the opportunity to get more kids involved in activities, Juneau School District Superintendent Peggy Cowan has said.

Big or small? Which works?
When Jim Akins' daughter was a sophomore at Juneau-Douglas High School a few years ago, she couldn't find a teacher who knew her well enough to give a recommendation for a foreign exchange program.

City says it won't allow after-hours pile driving
There won't be any after-hours pile driving for a new cruise-ship dock, but neither work crews nor their company will face charges for the incident that woke up many in the community after midnight Thursday.

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

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

The nose knows
First, Lenka Craigova, a 10-year-old Juneau girl, crawled into the snow cave on East Bowl at Eaglecrest Ski Area. A crowd of skiers watched under calm, gray skies Saturday afternoon.

Wolves on Douglas
The seven wolves that roamed Douglas Island more than two years ago may be gone, but the impressions they made are still with us. And some of those impressions are misleading.

Breaking bread with Murkowski
Having taken Gov. Frank Murkowski to task more than once for what I thought was his mishandling of the move of the state's ferry system offices to Ketchikan, the opportunity presented itself for us to meet and break bread on Friday.

Out & About
Upcoming local outdoor events

Winter Web links
Alaska and Pacific Northwest ski area Web sites.

Marlin fishing is habit-forming
Every fisherman deserves to catch a marlin. King salmon are majestic fish and halibut will test both you and your tackle. But nothing can match a marlin screaming out line 50 miles per hour while it tail walks a hundred yards behind the boat. I'll bet there isn't a fisherman anywhere who hasn't dreamed of catching a marlin. Fortunately, it is easier to catch marlin today than ever before.

Snow report
Conditions on local ski trails.

Counting the herd
Alaska's largest caribou herd, the Western Arctic Caribou herd, has grown to at least 490,000 animals, according to a census completed this week by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

Metlakatla boys claim their first Region V-Class 3A title since 1988
After his Metlakatla boys team beat Mount Edgecumbe for the Region V-Class 3A title Friday, coach Josh Muehlenkamp had to teach the talented Braves one more skill - how to cut down the net.

Juneau claims SE crown
There was something about Mary for the Juneau girls in the first half of Saturday's 3A-4A Southeast championship game. Junior Mary Rehfeld scored 16 of the Crimson Bears' 18 first-half points, and a more balanced offense took control in the second half as Class 4A Juneau-Douglas beat Class 3A Petersburg 42-39 at Mount Edgecumbe High School.

Viking girls push back from brink
The top-ranked Petersburg girls basketball team was pushed to the brink on Friday, but showed grace under pressure and used some timely steals to win their second straight region title. The Vikings rallied to beat the Mount Edgecumbe Braves 37-34 in the Region V-Class 3A girls title game at Mount Edgecumbe High School.

Backen holds lead
Norway's Kjetil Backen kept his lead Saturday in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race but a pack of seasoned mushers were not far behind going into the last quarter of the race.

Ketchikan claims first title in 15 years
The pro-Ketchikan crowd - delirious with joy - cheered for every score by the Kayhi boys, delighted in every Juneau misstep and stormed the court at the final buzzer. But the Ketchikan boys basketball team - while excited - was relatively cool and composed after a convincing 72-52 win over Juneau-Douglas in Friday night's Region V-Class 4A boys championship game at Mount Edgecumbe High School.

Bear girls earn state trip
The Crimson Bears stuck to the tried-and-true - led by the inside game of senior Tasha McKoy - to beat the Ketchikan Kings 49-39 and earn a return trip to the state tournament. After watching the Kings play in Thursday's play-in game against Sitka, the Crimson Bears were a little surprised to find openings inside.

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.

This Day in History
In Alaska; in the nation; in the world.

AFN eyes Fairbanks for convention
The board of the Alaska Federation of Natives is voting this week on whether to move its convention to Fairbanks in 2005. A subcommittee of the 37-member board recommended the organization move the state's largest convention from Anchorage.

Alaska Digest
News in brief from around the state.

Photo: On the Iditarod
Italian musher Fabrizio Lovati drives his dog team onto the Yukon River and out of the Ruby checkpoint Saturday during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. Norwegian musher Kjetil Backen held the lead.

Legislative roundup
Action on bills during the past week at the Capitol.

Crunch time is next week for fiscal bills in Legislature
The Legislature will focus this week on legislation ranging from use of Alaska Permanent Fund earnings to an employment tax to help fix the state's long-term fiscal gap.

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