School hosts free speech forum
A free speech forum was held on Friday at the Juneau-Douglas High School auditorium as part of a settlement agreement in the "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" saga.

Empire nixes Web comments on stories
The Juneau Empire on Friday put the kibosh on Internet readers' comment forums.

Restaurant proprietor charged in drug bust
Law enforcement officials made four felony arrests Thursday in Juneau's continued battle against ill-gotten prescription drugs.

Photo: Fishing for deals
Joshua Quinto battles a virtual salmon as his brother, Matthew, and father, Ed, watch Saturday at the Virtual Fishing Game booth at the 30th annual Glacier Valley Rotary Boat and Sports Show. The show continues from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. today at Centennial Hall. For more boat show photos, see page A4.

S.C. shrimpers hope to learn Alaska's secrets
In Jeff Toomer's version of Southeast, he enjoys warm breezes, tidal marshes and Spanish moss hanging from palmetto trees. Since flying 3,000 miles to Alaska's Southeast on Wednesday, he's been surrounded by freezing temperatures, mountains and snow - all pretty much unheard of in his region of South Carolina known as the lowcountry.

Photo: Shooting lesson
Dzantik'i Heeni Middle School students Monica McFadden, left, and Lilliam Marvin shoot .22-caliber rifles Wednesday at the Alaska Department of Fish and Game Hunter Education and Indoor Shooting Range. The sixth-graders were taught firearm safety and how to shoot during the class.

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

Around Town

Contrary to popular belief
Juneau ex-convict Joe Contreras, 60, can talk endlessly about spending almost 28 years in prison and his nine attempted escapes, but his loquaciousness is no longer for bragging purposes. Today, it seems to reveal his desire for transparency and honesty with others about his transformation.

Regional Science Fair announces results
The organizers of the 2009 Southeast Alaska Regional Science Fair, held March 13 and 14 in the Marie Drake gymnasium, would like to thank the following for their commitment and support in this year's fair: 100 mentors and mentoring institutions and companies, 110 official fair judges who donated their time and energy, 55 organizing committee members for many volunteer hours, 50-plus special award judges and 20 award presenters, numerous other parent and student volunteers, all 126 participating students for their hard work and efforts, and the parents of the students for their patience and support.

Klawock medical center hires Tomkinson
KLAWOCK - The SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium Alicia Roberts Medical Center in Klawock is pleased to announce the hiring of Sean Tomkinson as the ARMC behavioral health clinic supervisor.

Gillnetters association to host informational meeting Wednesday
JUNEAU - Southeast Alaska's Regional Seafood Development Association and United Southeast Alaska Gillnetters Association will co-host an open informational meeting for all Juneau gillnetters who want to learn more about current opportunities and issues related to Southeast Alaska's gillnet fishery, including the upcoming self-assessment vote in June. The meeting will be from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at DIPAC, 2697 Channel Drive.

The Rev. Louie Vitale to speak in Juneau
JUNEAU - Juneau People for Peace and Justice will host a community potluck at 5:15 p.m. today at Northern Light United Church.

Thanks for helping Girl Scout Daisy Troop 7
I just wanted to thank Juneau for helping out the Girl Scout Daisy Troop 7 on March 14 at Fred Meyer. I was one of the moms helping the girls sell cookies. I admit, I was a little nervous at the beginning of the sale, but after I saw the amount of support that was offered to us, I was able to relax and have fun.

Head Start earns Child Development Associate credential
JUNEAU - The Tlingit & Haida Head Start program recently announced that the following staff were awarded a Child Development Associate credential in recognition of their outstanding studies and work with young children. The credential was awarded by the Council for Early Childhood Professional Recognition in Washington, D.C., which represents the early childhood profession.

Thanks for contributing to Juneau Co-op Preschool's annual fundraiser
Juneau Co-op Preschool wishes to thank those who contributed in so many ways - through gifts, support, and talents - to our annual fundraiser, the Zipadeedoodah Family Concert. Thanks to Admiralty Construction, The Alaskan Fudge Company, Alaska Nepal, The Bear's Lair, Blockbuster Video, Heidi Brocious, Judy Campbell, Julie Costello, Eaglecrest Ski Area, Foggy Mountain Shop, Melissa Fritz, Rhonda Gardinier, Stuart Gerger, Gross Alaska Theaters, Tory Haight, Hearthside Books & Toys, The Imagination Station, The Island Pub, Heidi Johnson, Juneau Dance Unlimited, Lisa Davidson's Boutique, Debbie Lowenthal, Sherri McDonald, Mommy-N-Me Wear, Judy Morley, Mount Roberts Tramway, Northstar Trekking, Joan Pardes, Perseverance Theatre, Rainbow Foods, Kristin Cox at Rainforest Naturopathic Medicine, Rejuvenation Salon & Spa, Rock Dump Indoor Climbing Gym, Doug Sturm, Brook and Ted Schwarting, Shoefly & Hudsons, Swampy Acres, Taproot Yoga, Treadwell Ice Arena, WS Trucking, Vicky's Joke Shop, Wings of Alaska and Taku Glacier Lodge, Heritage Coffee, Xandi's Treasure Chest, Wee Fishee Shoppe, Nugget Alaska Outfitter, Family Practice Physicians, Baranof Hotel, El Sombrero, Hangar on the Wharf, Office Plus, Western Auto, Full Circle Farms, The Alaska Club, City Chiropractic, Speedy Glass, TS Welding, Les Schwab, Lisa Davidson's Boutique, Era Helicopters, Starbucks Coffee, The Goldbelt Hotel, Wayne Smith and Juneau Dance Unlimited. Thanks once again to Jeff Brown for acting as our Master of Ceremonies. Thanks to our princess and prince, Annie Bartholomew and Jonas "the Prince", for educating Juneau's kids in the arts of royal etiquette. Thanks also to the many parents of Co-op preschoolers who set up, cleaned up, baked desserts, publicized and organized, served dinner, performed, handed out tickets, collected money, and generally helped make the event a success. In particular, our gratitude to Amber King for the homemade dinner; and Courtney Nelson, this year's Zipadeedoodah Coordinator Extraordinaire.

Thanks for bringing in Girl Scout cookies
The Tongass Alaska Girl Scout Council would like to thank all the volunteers who helped with the pallet breakdown and cookie-sorting event when the cookies first came into Juneau.

Thanks for your help and good wishes
The generous outpouring of support from people and businesses in Juneau has been a great blessing. The relief of having one less financial worry, at this time, is a tremendous boon you've granted with your support. The many messages I've received, from neighbors, friends and acquaintances have been spirit strengthening. Thank you all for your help and good wishes.

Thanks for contributing to Donna Carroll-Noel's fundraiser
As co-coordinators of the Jambalaya and Jazz fundraiser on March 7 for cancer patient Donna Carroll-Noel, we would like to thank the following businesses, organizations and individuals who helped make the fundraiser a great success.

Career Connections to teach high schoolers about employment
JUNEAU - Career Connections, a program of SERRC - Alaska's Educational Resource Center, will bring high school students to Juneau this week to learn about employment opportunities.

Consortium to select students for health occupations program
SITKA - Alaska Native high school students from Southeast Alaska will be able to witness real emergency room doctors in action and other opportunities when they participate in the Ethel Lund Village Health Occupations Program.

Chronology of attempted jail escapes
Ex-convict Joe Contreras spent his first nine years in solitary confinement for his nine escapes, which are described as follows:

Consortium to offer WISE At Every Size classes in Wrangell
WRANGELL - Are you tired of weight-loss diets that don't work? Are you a woman who wants to learn about a fun, effective way to improve your health and wellness, without being a slave to the scale? Then the WISE At Every Size program may be for you.


Senior menu for the week of March 23-27
Monday, March 23

Thanks to my chemo, infusion therapist
Juneau was my home for most of my life and is still dear to my heart. I have friends and family living there, including my daughter and her family. Consequently, I do make a couple of trips a year to visit.

Juneau high schools finish first Russian Olympiad
Three top Juneau-Douglas High School students prevailed among 75 total competitors in the American Council of Teachers of Russian's annual statewide Olympiad of Spoken Russian competition held March 19 at the University of Alaska Southeast.

A wee Wii experiment
Like many other families, we got a Wii last Christmas. In a radical departure from previous years, it was almost the only thing my wife and I bought. We enjoyed a very sane and modest Christmas.

The Ku Klux Klan in Juneau
Editor's note: The following is the first of a two-part series. Part 2 will appear in Neighbors on March 29.

Juneau resident shares Hold-Over Bran Muffins
Do you like sharing recipes? Do you like trying new recipes? Well, look no further, because Ask Auntie Emo is where we match sought-out and share recipes.

Pets of the week: Senior, snuggly dog needs loving home
Hunter, right, is a 7-year-old lab who loves to snuggle under the covers with people who feed him. He gets very playful and at times a little gassy, but we all do from time to time. If he doesn't get what he feels he needs, he often gives the biggest puppy dog eyes imaginable. Hunter needs a family who will love him and give him the playtime he deserves.

Keith M. Bell, of Juneau, was listed on the Idaho State University 2008 fall semester dean's list for the College of Arts and Sciences.

Spending winter at Echo Ranch
It won't be long now, and summer will be here. Let us hope that's sooner than later.

Photo: Plaque for generosity
On March 18, Betty Kaplor, far right, director of Helping Hands, presents a plaque from all the employees at Bartlett Memorial Regional Hospital to the employees of CaseManagement for their generosity during the holidays. The employees collected 1,600 pounds of canned food goods and $1,100 in gift certificates for Helping Hands. The organization would like to thank the employees of Bartlett Memorial Regional Hospital. From left are Linda Harding, Mo Lodovici, Linda Wallace, Betty Stidolph, Tammy Murphy and Betty Kaplor.

Lydia Mary (James) George
Longtime Angoon resident Lydia Mary (James) George died March 19, 2009, surrounded by her children and grandchildren. She was 86.

Alaska editorial: Cruise compromise would allow time to meet standards
Backers of current cruise ship pollution standards have a compromise in the works that's fair, reasonable and should satisfy both the industry and its critics.

Readers react to Web comment removal
The comments associated with your articles are a regular part of my morning routine. I hope you bring them back. Criticisms about them being dominated by a few obnoxious voices are largely true (no doubt some would lump me in that group), but they do provide a valuable means of interaction for the community. And I visit your site far more frequently as a result.

Toe toon
This week's Toe toon.

Alaska Airlines suspends Petersburg service for a month
ANCHORAGE - Alaska Airlines will not operate in or out of Petersburg from March 23 to April 21 due to the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities closure of the Petersburg runway to jet aircraft operations. The closure is necessary to replace several culverts that span the runway, officials said.

Cowan speaks about possible new post in Petersburg
JUNEAU - Outgoing Juneau School District Superintendent Peggy Cowan shared thoughts Friday about her status as a finalist to be a schools superintendent in Petersburg.

State unemployment rate rises to 8 percent
JUNEAU - State labor officials said Alaska's unemployment rate is rising, standing at 8 percent for February.

School Board member explains vote against district's budget
JUNEAU - Juneau School Board member JoAnne Bell-Graves cast the only dissenting vote against the school district's proposed $70.8 million budget at a board meeting Tuesday and explained her position Thursday.

Photos: Boys 4A state championships
No. 3: Juneau-Douglas' Reese Saviers, left, drives past a West High School defender on Saturday afternoon in the 4th/6th place game of the 4A boys state basketball championships at University of Alaska Anchorage gym. West won 90-50. Next: Juneau-Douglas' Eric Gross, center, scores over West High School's Mike Russell Jr., left, and Tyler Rus in Saturday's game. For more, please see Wednesday's Sports.

Kelsey Potdevin earns All-American honor for 100 backstroke
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - Colby College senior Kelsey Potdevin, a 2005 Juneau-Douglas High School graduate, broke her own school record in a preliminary race earlier in the day and then earned All-America honors by placing eighth in the championship final in the 100-yard backstroke at the NCAA Division III Swimming and Diving Championships at University of Minnesota on Friday night.

Bears beat Knights 65-52 Friday
Nerves might have rattled them Thursday, but nothing was able to shake the confidence of the Crimson Bears Friday - even while they played a Colony team that hammered them earlier in the year.

Hank Harmon Rifle Range to receive $10,000 NRA grant
JUNEAU - Hank Harmon Rifle Range Inc. received verbal notification in early March that the range was the recipients of a $10,000 grant from Friends of the National Rifle Association - Alaska. The grant will be used for "grading and drainage" improvements on its short, 100 yard range. That range is normally referred to as "the pistol range" but can be used by both rifle and pistols. It is separated from the 400-yard long range by a safety wall.

Juneau Douglas Ice Association undefeated in Pee Wee state tourney
Juneau Douglas Ice Association Youth Hockey ventures into today's playoffs undefeated while hosting the 2009 Pee Wee Tier 3 Alaska State Tournament this weekend at Treadwell Ice Arena.

Photos: Clinic fever
More than 150 dancers attended the Juneau-Douglas High School Dance Team's annual clinic Saturday at JDHS, and the team will hold its end-of-year show, "Showtime," at 7 p.m.April 2 and 3 at the JDHS gym.

Discovering our wintry excursions
I have a gentlemanly friend who isn't able to hike with the Parks and Recreation hikers anymore. But when he sees me upon occasion these days, he always tells me that he follows the hikes in his imagination and memory when he reads these trail columns. What a kind thing to say. So this one's for you, T.

Sports in Juneau

Palin's legal fees exceed $500,000
ANCHORAGE - Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin may create a legal fund to pay off more than $500,000 in legal fees she has run up defending herself against ethics complaints.

Critics pile on Palin over stimulus money
ANCHORAGE - Gov. Sarah Palin reinforced her conservative credentials when she announced she would not accept nearly one-third of the federal stimulus money offered to the state, but a day later was fending off critics who said it will hurt Alaskans.

Stranded Sitka man burns clothing for warmth
SITKA - An injured 27-year-old Sitka man survived a night of freezing temperatures and high winds in part by lighting an identification card on fire and stoking the blaze with some of his clothes.

Lawmakers consider outlawing bestiality
State lawmaker Bob Lynn said he was compelled to introduce a bill outlawing sex with an animal after he read a news story last April about a 26-year-old Klawock man.

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