Wednesday, March 17, 2004

Bristol Bay oil, gas leasing measure clears Legislature
Bills smoothing the way for the state to sell oil and gas leases in Bristol Bay next year have passed the Legislature.

Government has no duty to offer checks
I would like to express my gratitude to Governor Murkowski and his administration for trying to create some fiscal sanity in a very difficult and hostile environment, especially in Juneau.

Logging is coming to Juneau
When it comes to timber sales, Juneau has been lucky among Southeast Alaskan communities. Unlike other Southeast communities, we aren't imminently threatened by clearcuts within sight of downtown and we haven't had to deal with the effects (positive and negative) of logging over the last 50 years.

Teach compassion, not contempt
I strongly feel that racism, in most cases, is taught and nurtured in our homes from birth. Many adults don't realize, or at times don't care, that the things they say or don't say (such as judgmental, unnecessary comments that put down others) have a profound impact on the children they are raising.

Support mine alternative, fair taxes
I am in full support of Alternative B, as I'm sure any man who works for a living is. I have been a heavy equipment mechanic for about 40 years or so from Dahl Island to the Arctic circle, and I know that a job is a necessary thing to have.

Ketchikan shares blame
I was struck by the mayor's concern that he not offend Ketchikan by placing any blame on them for their part in the non-public discussion that led to the move.

Expose racism in schools
I am disappointed to learn that the degree of racism that I experienced when I attended school here twenty years ago has changed little.

Drop pants for drug test
While I'm away at school I like to keep up with the events going on in Juneau by reading the paper online, specifically the letters to the editor. I have been a little annoyed with Linda Orr's tirade on drug testing.

Nothing has changed since last school vote
I've been called stupid many times in my 70-some years, but this is the first time I've been asked to pay for the insult. I'm referring, of course, to the high school bond issue. I'm really not stupid.

Compromise for parking
In her March 8 letter to the editor, Lorali Carter demonstrates that she understands that Juneau does not need a fancy new building with a dome for legislative offices.

Ways to remain a quaint little town
This letter is in response to Cal C. Giordano's "Juneau is a sinking ship" letter on March 11. Is Juneau really a "sinking ship" or is Juneau rather more like a "submarine that doesn't work?

Fitness with the family
David Tracy, left, watches as his son, Ryan, sees how many push-ups he can do in 30 seconds Tuesday at the Gastineau Elementary School gym.

Around Town
Today: Day of Quilting, Sewing and Good Fellowship, 10 a.m. every Wednesday, Resurrection Lutheran Church. Quilts donated to Lutheran World Relief. Details: 586-2380.

Trial for Angoon murder postponed
A Juneau judge reluctantly delayed the trial of the woman accused of killing Richard "Buddy" George Jr. last summer in Angoon.

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

Board reduces bus routes, changes school-start times
The Juneau School Board on Tuesday approved a plan to reduce the number of school buses it uses so it won't have to spend instructional funds on transportation.

Engineer proposes purchase of marina
With DeHart's Marina up for sale, the city has a chance to tie the Auke Bay harbor to a planned commercial fishing loading facility to improve recreational boating, tourism and local business, port engineer Mike Krieber told city planning commissioners Tuesday night.

Proposal gives board members one more term
Members of city boards and commissions would be allowed to serve one more term before being ousted by term limits, according to a new Juneau Assembly proposal.

Harry Potter retains his magic with younger set
For the third year in a row, Harry Potter and J. K. Rowling were the favorite book series and author among young readers in Juneau and Alaska, according to a survey across the state.

Convenience store proposal moves ahead
The Juneau Assembly has advanced an ordinance that would increase the size of convenience stores in residential neighborhoods, despite opposition by some residents who fear it will lead to increased alcohol sales.

Around Town
Today: Valley Toastmasters meeting, 6:10 a.m. every Tuesday, Henry's Restaurant. Public invited. Details: Jim, 789-3074.

Correction
Due to incorrect information supplied to the Juneau Empire, a story in Tuesday's newspaper listed the wrong date for a hearing of a proposed Juneau Assembly ordinance regarding term limits. The correct date is March 22.

Home for the fast ferry
Work progresses on the berth that will accommodate the Fairweather, a new, 235-foot fast ferry.

District passes budgets, but holds its breath for more funds
The Juneau School Board on Tuesday approved the district operating budgets for the next two school years. But members hope to amend them upward with more state funds.

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

Harbormaster resigns amid labor complaints
Juneau Harbormaster Chuck Wescott resigned Monday amid unfair labor practice complaints by Docks and Harbors Department employees, Port Director John Stone said Tuesday.

Weir, George marry in Juneau
Heather M. Weir and Russell C. George of Juneau were married in a ceremony on Jan. 10, 2004, at Northern Light United Church. A reception followed at the Moose Lodge.

A grand display
Juneau's quilting guild, Capital City Quilters, put on its annual show last weekend at Centennial Hall.

Neighbors Digest
staff and Wire reports

Noah, Bitz to wed
Brian and Judy Bitz of Hoonah announce the engagement of their son, Chris, to Sonya Noah of Mt. Airy, N.C. They will be married in a ceremony on March 20 in Mt. Airy.

Pekovich, DeMuth to marry
Andrea Pekovich and John DeMuth of Juneau will be married in a private ceremony planned for 1 p.m. March 20 at Chapel by the Lake. Friends of the couple are invited to the following reception at 2:30 p.m. at DIPAC.

Alaska welcome
Army Sgt. Lucas Goddard returns to Sitka on Saturday, March 13, after an 11-month deployment in Iraq. Goddard is the son of Nick and Kathi Goddard of Juneau. He was awarded the Bronze Star for heroic action while serving with the Army's 101 Airborne in Iraq.

Thank you
... for the volunteer help....Juneau Parks and Recreation utilizes many volunteers to coach the youth athletic programs. In recognition of this we thank all the volunteers who helped out with the 2004 youth indoor soccer program.

Joe Graham
A memorial service for longtime Juneau resident Joe Graham will be held at noon on Wednesday, March 17, 2004, at the Fisherman's Memorial.

Ketchikan welcomes move of ferry HQ
This editorial appeared in the March 10 Ketchikan Daily News:

My Turn: Choose quality education over architecture
Sometimes it is difficult to know what is right. Before the special election in May, voters will read plenty of emotional, pleading letters in hope of finding the information required for making a serious decision. From a reasoned perspective, the issues are complex and shouldn't be oversimplified. Voters need good information.

My Turn: A JDHS senior's perspective on mass hysteria, racism and newspaper bias
Recently, there has been a lot of discussion about racism - in the newspaper, in class, on the announcements and on the Juneau-Douglas High School walls even.

My Turn: Build school, fund education
I am the mother of three students currently enrolled in the Juneau School District and I volunteer at least three times per week at Mendenhall River Community School and Floyd Dryden Middle School.

Bring back fluoride in city water taps
The debate over fluoridated water in America long has brought emotional responses from those who don't like the government messing with them, or who don't trust the doctors and dentists who support the practice. It's the sort of mindset that, in its extreme, can make people hysterical.

Region V Tournament Scores
Region V tournament scores

Cavs win seventh straight
CLEVELAND - LeBron James turned, fired and banked in a 3-pointer from 25 feet away that probably had no business going in the basket.

Depleted Haines hoops team perseveres
The Haines girls basketball team finished with an 0-2 record at last weekend's Region V Tournament and wound up 4-16 for the season.

Skagway girls shoot for region title
The Skagway girls basketball team was handed a postseason lemon last year. This year, the Panthers are hoping for a much sweeter season finish.

Sports in Juneau
UPCOMING EVENTS: Eaglecrest Ski Area - UAS Winter Games: This event is open to the general public with pre-registration.

A childhood dream come true
NOME - Mitch Seavey's childhood dream came true when he won the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Tuesday, finishing the 1,112-mile route across Alaska in 9 days, 12 hours, 20 minutes and 22 seconds.

Seavey, Backen battle at front of Iditarod pack
KOYUK - Norway's Kjetil Backen tried to snatch the lead Monday from Mitch Seavey in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race with both racers leaving the Koyuk checkpoint seconds apart.

Region V Standings
The Region V basketball standings through games of March 13. Standings are for all three Region V classifications and were reported to the Juneau Empire by school officials and basketball coaches.

Sports in Juneau
UPCOMING EVENTS: Eaglecrest Ski Area - UAS Winter Games: This event is open to the general public with pre-registration.

Hoonah boys end season on high-powered note
Devin Moritz poured in 32 points - including six 3-pointers - as the Hoonah boys powered past visiting Thorne Bay 93-77 on Thursday in the first game of a Region V-Class 2A series.

Region V Tournament awards
Tournament awards

This Day in History
In Alaska: In 1901, the town of Treadwell was incorporated. It was later disincorporated in 1912.

Japanese champion ice carver tackles Fairbanks competition
FAIRBANKS - In the summer, Junichi Nakamura works as a farmer growing potatoes, sugar beets and wheat on the large northern Japanese island of Hokkaido.

Ketchikan OKs funds for new marine highway headquarters
KETCHIKAN - The Ketchikan Gateway Borough Assembly voted unanimously Monday night to approve a $500,000 supplemental appropriation to renovate the Ketchikan Pulp Co. administration building at Ward Cove.

U.S. Senate hopefuls propose changes to fisheries program
ANCHORAGE - U.S. Senate candidates looking for votes from Alaska's commercial seafood community are pushing proposals to strengthen a federal fishing program that's already proved a multimillion-dollar boon to Western Alaska villages.

This Day in History
In Alaska: In 1894, the old Russian governor's house, known as Baranof Castle, burned at Sitka.

State's new fast ferry stops in Acapulco for repairs
If you're going to break down, you might as well do it in one of the top vacation hot spots in Latin America.

Senate debates permanent fund changes
The Senate Finance Committee heard testimony from officials of the Alaska Permanent Fund Corp. Monday on a plan that would change the way the fund is managed.

Disabled students sue over exit exam
ANCHORAGE - A California law firm specializing in disability cases filed a proposed class action lawsuit in federal court in Anchorage on Tuesday charging that Alaska's new graduation qualifying test puts disabled students at a disadvantage.

Too close to call
Norwegian musher Kjetil Backen, left, drives his dog team Monday across the ice near the Koyuk checkpoint of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, snatching the lead from Seward musher Mitch Seavey.

Arctic Eagles descend
With one helicopter on the ground, three other Alaska Army National Guard Blackhawk helicopters approach for a landing Saturday in Snowhawk Valley near Anchorage.

Alaska Digest
staff and Wire reports

Leaders clash over AMHS move
State transportation officials defended the Alaska Marine Highway System's move to Ketchikan in a testy hearing with Juneau's state and local representatives Tuesday.

Alaska Digest
staff and Wire reports

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