Easy-to-care-for pets never track mud on the carpet
A tropical fish tank is like a tiny private universe full of active stars. Consider neon tetras in particular, which zoom about like water-borne comets, apparently totally aimless in their journeys. In a fast-paced world, it's easy to fall in love with the languid flutter of fins and the slow bubble of a filter.

On The Move
Jamie Parsons, executive director of the Juneau Chamber of Commerce, has announced the hiring of Christine Wyatt as executive assistant to replace Janet Rusanowski, who moved on to the investment firm of Edward Jones.

They're catering to Juneau
Whether wedding bells are ringing or a community leader is being honored, the food served at an important event is crucial. An appetizing menu helps to make an event memorable, said Jill Ramiel, co-owner of Silverbow Catering.

Business Profile: Melissa McCormick
Firm and Title: Melissa McCormick is the sole proprietor of Creativation, an event-planning firm. "I started out doing window painting seven years ago when I moved to Juneau from Arizona, but went into event planning in 2001," McCormick said.

Business briefs
Alaska seafood draws hoop coaches; Construction Machinery sold; RV group honors Alaskan; Alaska Airlines offers lower fares to warmer climes; B & B conference scheduled; Human resource seminar scheduled; Wedding boutique wins national award; Tourism association elects board; New seafood labeling in Europe

For the record
Judges learn early in their career to listen to people who know the facts.

Juneau's Care-A-Van system is a benefit
I'd like to reflect on an unheralded aspect of our infrastructure: Care-A-Van services. As you go about your daily business, you've noticed the fleet of white-lettered vans criss-crossing the community. Until my mother, now 90, moved from Phoenix to Juneau six years ago, I had little insight into the role those vans play in the lives of so many citizens.

Energy efficiency beats oil wells, pipelines, wars
Suppose we drove small, efficient, nonpolluting cars to and from the nearest source of public transit. And suppose our government subsidized trains and bus service rather than the twisted maze of freeways that foul our cities.

Legislators need input from citizens
I was pleased that the House Finance Committee held hearings to solicit input and guidance from the citizens of Alaska. It was equally satisfying to witness the huge public response. The committee members are to be commended for their patience and stamina for persisting through the many hours required to conduct the hearings.

Save state parks
During the 25 years I lived in Alaska, I enjoyed and appreciated many programs created by giants - men and women whose vision and labor left grand legacies for us today and, with proper care, will also benefit those who follow us. These giants crafted a system of dreams, dreams that became reality, reality that includes schools, universities, roads, airports, museums, bike trails and more.

Sealaska needs an audit
Shareholders of Sealaska have 122 million reasons for demanding an external independent audit of Sealaska Corp. The $122 million loss in FY 2000 justifies an external audit. The financial report for 2001 will show the same declining pattern of financial losses. The history of Sealaska's financial failures include SEACAL, Triquest Puget Plastics, Ocean Beauty, Fairbanks Sand & Gravel, just to name a few.

Cheers for citizen activists
The recent flurry of angry letters demonstrates the tension caused by the stress of unrestrained industrial tourism. Invective unleashed and resentment boiling over don't help when reasoned argument is the goal, but in this case it has at least served to clearly define the battle lines, should there have been any doubt.

Bus flap was foolish
Clearly what happened on that bus was a continuation of a pre-existing feud between the driver and the passenger. What angers me, however, is that taxpayer funds were completely wasted on this childish exercise.

Painful observations
Recently, I was in Juneau visiting family. Among those I visited was my niece, who is a resident at Wildflower Court. On my first visit I was impressed with the very beautiful building. We had an enjoyable and fun visit.

Bus rider due apology
I am totally appalled by the whole incident that occurred on the bus with Jamila Glauber. I could not believe that the bus driver would kick her off for something so petty as eating a "bite-sized" Snickers. I don't doubt for a second that race was an issue here. I have known Jamila for over 20 years. She is a very nice, friendly person. I consider her as family.

Will of the people: Raise alcohol tax
I think it is absolutely hideous that our elected officials are held from doing the will of the people in respect to this alcohol tax.

Good advice then and now
From the Juneau Empire editorial of Oct. 7, 2001: "The topic of the community divide was discussed at this week's Citizens Editorial Advisory Board meeting. The discussion arrived at the consensus that the Empire should encourage letter writers to elevate the quality of the exchange in the newspaper."

Milking ... ourselves?
So we finally drove off all the cruise ships and the tourists. As we walk around downtown, the only businesses left open are maybe eight bars. The rest of the businesses closed down because they couldn't afford to operate on what the local people spent in them. Look's like we got our "old" downtown back.

Alcohol tax boost
When I observed the House Finance Committee hearings, I saw the alcohol excise tax tabled. For every $1 our state gets from alcohol tax, we spend $21 on alcohol-related crashes. This tax is clearly needed, for our state and for our communities.

Juneau needs airline competition
I am not totally against additional taxation or even relinquishing part of my PFD to bail out the states fiscal mess. However, any additional taxation must be spread across Alaska equitably, not just on the sin items. All who use our resources should bear the cost.

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

High school design funding continues
The project team guiding the development of a new high school in the Mendenhall Valley voted Wednesday to continue funding design of the project, despite concerns from some members regarding the status of state funding and rising costs. On a 7-5 vote, the team - composed of school district and city representatives - also chose to pursue planning for a design that is slightly scaled-down from initial plans.

Local Briefs
Local fisherman dies; City wraps up tourism planning

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

Harry Potter tops list of favorites in book survey
Harry Potter continues to cast a spell over Alaska readers, according to the results of a recent online survey of the state's literary preferences. Over the course of its "Alaska Reads" Web poll conducted during February, the Alaska State Literacy Association collected 935 responses, mostly from young readers, of what books they were reading.

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

New charges for convicted arsonist
A convicted arsonist arrested in connection with a fire in a general aviation hangar at the Juneau Airport earlier this month pleaded innocent Wednesday in Juneau Superior Court to charges of felony arson, burglary and theft.

Photo: Gold Medal fans
Taylor Larson, 9, yells out a cheer and Chatham Miller, 7, holds a sign as they root for the Lynden Transport of Juneau women's team during a game with Ketchikan Indian Community on Tuesday night at the Gold Medal Basketball Tournament.

The Easter services listings in Wednesday's Empire should have listed under Holy Trinity Church a Maundy Thursday service at 7 p.m.

Woman accused of having sex with girls
A Juneau woman, 19, has been charged with having sex with three underage girls and giving two of them alcohol. Jennifer Dunlap recently was indicted by a Juneau grand jury on six counts of felony second-degree sexual abuse of a minor and three counts of misdemeanor furnishing alcohol to a minor, stemming from incidents that allegedly occurred between December 2000 and February 2001.

Cards encourage Gold Medal fans to cheer in Tlingit style
Basketball fans attending Gold Medal Tournament games this week can urge their favorite teams to Gashat w kooch'it'aa get the rebound and play tough Yan yeen defense with the help of a pocket-sized listing of Tlingit yells.

City ponders dropping cruise ship port dues
Juneau's port dues could be replaced with project-based funding agreements with the cruise industry in an approach favored by some Juneau Assembly members. Cruise ships paid 23 cents a ton to dock in Juneau last year. Those port dues - sometimes called tonnage taxes - have been used to pay for dock and wharf improvements downtown for more than a decade. The fee generated $1.7 million in revenue last year, but expired Jan. 1, city Port Director Joe Graham said.

Waterfront planning panel may be formed
Waterfront planning in downtown Juneau would be the responsibility of a new committee if a proposal under review at City Hall is approved. Under a draft memorandum of understanding, a new seven-member Port Development Committee would oversee downtown waterfront projects and planning. The mayor, three Assembly members and three members nominated by the Docks and Harbors Board would serve on the panel.

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

Fine crop of buds emerge from winter weather
Going out into the yard is like opening a closet shut last fall. The pile of projects almost finished or barely begun gives little jerks to my memory. It is amazing how just a few months can make an everyday companion into something almost forgotten.

Infant day care difficult to find
A shortage of child care slots for the offspring of working mothers has the National Association for the Education of Young Children Southeast Alaska concerned.

Easter Services
The following are some of the Easter weekend services offered by local congregations:

Thank you
... for the support; ... for all the help.;.. for the lessons; ... for the help; ...for the opportunities; ..for the support; .. for United Way support.; Thank you to members of the Filipino Community

Neighbors briefs
Easter celebration at Eaglecrest; Memorial seeks names; No bologna about it; Easter brunch benefit set; Four guinea pigs available; Suiting up Shakespeare

Pet Of the Week
Meet Kevin. He is a black, short-haired domestic who is very affectionate and gets along well with cats, dogs, children and adults. Kevin is unique, good-natured and friendly to most people. He has been an indoor-only cat, and is litter-box-trained. He likes to see what is going on around the building.

Photo: Check donation
David Stone, left, and George Davidson give a $22,000 check on Thursday to Laraine Derr for the Unversity of Alaska Foundation. Derr is chair of the College of Fellows.

Donald Robert Strang
Former Juneau resident Donald Robert Strang, 69, died March 14, 2002, of lung cancer.

Helen Elizabeth Gibson
Former Juneau resident Helen Elizabeth Gibson, 82, died March 9, 2002, in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho.

My Turn: Where not to get money to bridge deficit gap
I have been reading Alaska's newspapers with great interest and amusement. Everyone has an opinion on how to solve our state's budget problem, including yours truly. Most people don't know exactly where to get the money to make up for the budget deficit, but everyone has an opinion about where not to get the money.

My Turn: Tenakee Springs mayor responds to VPSO article
The Juneau Empire's March 18, front-page article about the Village Public Safety Officer (VPSO) program in Tenakee Springs implied an amazing consensus in the community, in printing that 90 out of 104 favored keeping the program in the community. These numbers are very misleading and give a false impression of the feelings of the town. The number 90 actually refers to a list of names (never officially presented to the city) of a mix of voters and property owners. Not all property owners are voters in the city.

Word of Mouth
Word of Mouth gives readers a forum to express opinions on a variety of issues by telephone. Call 586-4636 and press 8255 to leave a message. Be sure to leave your name and telephone number.

My Turn: Reasons to question U.S. foreign policy
Letters and commentaries on the events of Sept. 11 and their aftermath have understandably fallen off the past couple of months. We want to return to normal. But the bombing and the buildup continues, in Afghanistan and elsewhere, and we still haven't captured Osama bin Laden. Maybe it's time to start asking where we're heading.

My Turn: What we have to offer in Juneau belongs to everyone
The intangibles were far more stunning than the scenery! And the scenery was truly breathtaking. Staggering even. The flight was a simple orientation hop for new pilots to learn the major landmarks of the Juneau Icefield, but even for someone fairly well versed in things Alaskan the experience was incredibly moving. Cheechako or sourdough, pioneer or newly arrived, for someone who's never seen the icefield, words will never suffice. You just have to see it for yourself.

My Turn: Did the Marquesas survive 'Survivor'?
How would you feel if you sailed into Taku Harbor to find bulldozers on the beach removing all the old cabins and cannery ruins? Men in white suits, boots, and masks with tanks on their backs and nozzles in their hands spraying insecticide on the beach to suppress the no-see-ums?

United conquers A champ Tenakee
United of Anchorage held off defending Gold Medal A Bracket champion Tenakee Tribe, 90-86, Wednesday night in a game that was up for grabs until the final seconds.

HoopTime, Dzantik'i Heeni win to stay alive
Faifo Levale and Tres Saldivar each scored five points in the fourth quarter as HoopTime of Juneau rallied from seven points behind to eliminate Hoonah from the Gold Medal Basketball Tournament's middle school bracket with a 28-25 victory Wednesday at Juneau-Douglas High School.

Kake's balance helps overcome 49 points from Yakutat's Jensen
It was a case of many against one as the Kake Tlingit Heat used a balanced scoring attack to overcome the 49-point performance of Yakutat ANB's Jimmy Jensen to claim a 117-93 victory in Wednesday's only Gold Medal B Bracket game at Juneau-Douglas High School.

Hydaburg boys, Yakutat girls claim Region V-Class 2A titles
Darren Edenshaw scored 23 points and Vinny Edenshaw added 20 as the Hydaburg High School boys basketball team claimed the Region V-Class 2A championship with a 75-57 victory over Klawock on Saturday at Ketchikan High School's Clarke Cochrane Gym.

Sports in Juneau
Information on upcoming sports and outdoors events in Juneau.

Yakutat stays alive, despite foul problems
The Yakutat ANB players felt they were better conditioned than their opponents from Angoon ANB in Tuesday night's B Bracket losers' bracket game, but the big question was whether or not the Yakutat players would still be in the game long enough to use the conditioning advantage. Plagued by foul trouble for most of the game, Yakutat managed to keep enough players from fouling out to earn a 99-89 victory, eliminating Angoon from the Gold Medal basketball tournament at Juneau-Douglas High School.

Huna Totem heads to title game
The trio of Louie White, Greg Garcia and John Martin Jr. combined for 70 points to lead the Huna Totem Oldtimers to a 94-87 win over the Klukwan Chilkats in the C Bracket winners' bracket semifinals Wednesday.

Tompkins takes fifth in monoski at U.S. nationals
Joe Tompkins of Juneau took fifth place among monoskiers and 10th overall in Tuesday's downhill race at the U.S. Disabled Alpine Ski Championships at Big Sky Resort in Montana. Skiing in his first race since the 2002 Winter Paralympics earlier this month in Salt Lake City, Utah, Tompkins said he was happy with his performance Tuesday.

Gold Medal Boxscores
Wednesdays winners and losers

Kake, Metlakatla move on to semifinals
Kake Middle School and Metlakatla Middle School advanced to Thursday's winners' bracket semifinal of the inaugural middle school Gold Medal basketball tournament bracket with victories Tuesday afternoon at the Juneau-Douglas High School gym.

Call takes fourth in Verbier Extreme
Ashley Call of Juneau finished fourth in the Red Bull Extreme Snowboarding Championships in Verbier, Switzerland, on Monday. Call, who tied for the victory two years ago, was in third place after Monday's preliminaries but dropped a spot in the finals. The top-five finishers in Monday's prelims advanced to the finals. Call finished 12th last year.

Gold Medal Boxscores
Winners and losers from Tueday's games.

Ketchikan runs out of steam against Kake
For the first 10 minutes of Wednesday's only Gold Medal women's bracket game, Kake LAB Air and Ketchikan Indian Community seemed evenly matched. Then Kake found a way to squeeze Ketchikan out -- setting up an impenetrable defensive fortress around the key and forcing Ketchikan to shoot from the outside. When Ketchikan couldn't get its long shots to fall, Kake was able to pull away to a 90-58 win.

Martin Jr. sparks Huna
John Martin Jr. wasn't about to watch his Huna Totem Oldtimers get knocked out of the C Bracket early in this year's 56th Gold Medal Tournament. After playing in the A Bracket last year for Tenakee Tribe, Martin returned to the Huna with the Totem Oldtimers and led them to a 78-71 win over Sitka ANB on Tuesday. The Oldtimers will face the Klukwan Chilkats, who defeated Sitka ANB 78-62 Tuesday, in tonight's 6 p.m. winners' bracket semifinal game.

Lynden Transport muscles Ketchikan
Juneau's Lynden Transport used its fierce defense to win a decisive 64-34 victory over the Ketchikan Indian Community in the women's bracket of the Gold Medal Tournament Tuesday night at Juneau-Douglas High School. From the start, Lynden aggressively defended against an unsure Ketchikan offense, making it difficult for them to sink any shots. In addition, Lynden was able to penetrate Ketchikan's shaky defense and dominate the scoring.

Sports In Juneau
Information on upcoming sports and outdoors events in Juneau.

Nabors Alaska Drilling threatens to strike
ANCHORAGE - Union workers at Nabors Alaska Drilling Inc. are threatening to strike over wages and benefits. Union workers say a strike could come as early as this weekend because the company is resisting negotiating with employees. The tension between the company and workers has been brewing for months, but has increased over the past two weeks with the circulation of a strike petition among Nabors Alaska's approximately 550 workers.

State briefs
Athabaskan elder dead at age 99; Teachers bill passes House on Tuesday; Fairbanks man gets 19 years for rape; Ogan's condition improving

House rejects income tax
A rare atmosphere of uncertainty faced members of the House of Representatives this morning as they prepared for floor votes on three potentially groundbreaking revenue measures. "I'm part of the Mushroom Caucus," joked Rep. Con Bunde, an Anchorage Republican, as the House took a break for party caucuses. "They keep me in the dark and feed me B.S."

State may give tourism marketing $2 million
Alaska's tourism industry could receive some emergency funding from the Legislature after all. The Senate Finance Committee today approved $2 million for the Alaska Travel Industry Association to pay for an ad campaign to attract vacationers to the state.

Anchorage businessman enters race for lt. governor
ANCHORAGE - Ernie Hall, an Anchorage businessman and activist who led a campaign against a statewide property tax cap, announced Wednesday that he is running for the Democratic nomination for lieutenant governor. "It's a perfect job for an Ernie Hall," he said at a news conference about his first bid for statewide office. "I have the ability to bring people together and build consensus."

Tax debate opens on House floor
A rare atmosphere of uncertainty faced members of the House of Representatives this morning as they prepared for floor votes on three potentially groundbreaking revenue measures. "I'm part of the Mushroom Caucus," joked Rep. Con Bunde, an Anchorage Republican, as the House took a break for party caucuses. "They keep me in the dark and feed me B.S."

House cans income tax
The House of Representatives on Wednesday rejected a proposed personal income tax, derailing a long-range fiscal plan. After nearly five hours of off-and-on debate, the Republican-led chamber voted 22-17 against the income tax, which would be 2.6 percent on federal taxable income. It had been offered as a substitute for a 3 percent sales tax.

Bill aims to let processors subtract housing from wages
Seafood processors in remote areas of Alaska want to be able to deduct the cost of room and board from the minimum wage they're required to pay workers. The House Labor and Commerce Committee is considering a bill this week that would allow the change.

State Briefs
Steamship Wharf hearing scheduled; Chena River ice road closed; Armed man robs Fairbanks bank; First gray whales spotted near Seward

3 dead in suicide, homicides in Chefornak
ANCHORAGE - Three people were found dead in an apparent double murder and suicide Tuesday morning in the Western Alaska village of Chefornak, Alaska State Troopers said.

Ferries get half of fast-track request
The Senate Finance Committee on Wednesday voted to give the Alaska Marine Highway System Fund $1,438,500 - about half of the $2.8 million it sought - to compensate for increases in fuel costs. It was part of a package of fast-track appropriations the committee approved for state agencies and other projects, but a party-line vote axed an amendment to provide quick money for the Redistricting Board. The package now will go to other committees for review.

Salsa from Seattle
A serendipitous encounter in Cuba led the Alaska Folk Festival to the salsa band Cambalache. The Seattle-based dance band Cambalache will perform and teach at the upcoming Alaska Folk Festival, scheduled for April 8 through 14. For the first time, the festival is featuring a guest band for the weekend dances as well as a guest artist for main-stage performances.

Gleaning best of 20 years for CD
Paul and Melissa Zahasky have captured 20 years of musical collaboration with a new CD called "Master's Design." The Zahaskys will be joined by a group of musicians for a twohour concert Thursday, April 4, at Chapel by the Lake to highlight music from the new CD.

Hypnotist entertains with power of the mind
Entertainer Christopher Carter, a hypnotist and mentalist, returns to Juneau for a performance at 8 p.m. Saturday, March 30, at the University of Alaska Student Activities Center.

Best Bets: Music, natural history and the supernatural
N atural history, the supernatural, a blues rock duo and Buddy Tabor offer entertainment and enlightenment this weekend. Buddy Tabor takes the stage at the Back Room at the Silverbow Inn for a concert at 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 29. He'll be featuring his original music, with a few of his favorites by other writers. Tabor is easily one of Juneau's best songwriters, with four CDs to his credit and another in the works. He'll be joined by bassist Albert McDonnell and mandolinist John Hartle.

Movies Where & When
"The French Connection," (R) 8 p.m. Saturday, March 30, at the Back Room Cinema at the Silverbow Inn.

2002-03 history grant applications available
Students, teachers, organizations and others are encouraged to apply for up to $1,000 to help them complete a project that will document, preserve or improve access to the history of the Juneau area.

Perseverance opens auditions for 2002-03
Perseverance Theatre will hold auditions for its 2002-03 season on Saturday, April 6, and Sunday, April 7, at the Juneau-Douglas High School Dance Studio. Roles are available for men and women age 17 through 80. Actors should prepare a monologue or story no longer than three minutes. To audition for the musical, singers should prepare a short song and provide sheet music for the accompanist.

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