Monday, March 29, 2004

Where does advocacy money come from?
Am I reading the paper correctly? The Juneau School Board wants to spend money to influence elections on future school issues.

Dump Murkowski
Not unlike some governors before him, Frank Murkowski maintains Alaska's net profit oil revenues of 57 percent (24 percent Federal and 33 percent Alaska); substantially below what other countries receive (many currently at 83 percent net profit retention by the host country). But now he's endorsed a tax cut for these same corporations that will range from $70 million-$120 million annually, claiming it will stimulate exploration and development.

Falling dropout rate requires new school
In my view, there are good reasons to support construction of a valley high school, regardless of whether enrollments have flattened and no matter if it costs taxpayers more than expected.

Bill sets reasonable ship standards
The House and Senate will shortly take up House Bill 522. This piece of legislation is designed to craft a plan by which small ships can continue to comply with Alaska's high wastewater standards beyond the immediate future.

Answer to racism in Bible
I agree with Rob Schreckhise's letter, "Knowledge alone is no cure to racism." If someone doesn't have love they can't give love, which makes sense.

Support alternative
With all the problems faced by the Tongass timber industry today, it is wonderful to see a Southeast community propose a home-grown, truly economical solutions to provide local residents with timber they can use. The Gustavus Citizens' Alternative for the Couverden timber sale is one of these solutions, and it has SEACC's support.

Incident should cause us to reflect on alcohol
I agree with Faleene Sele that legislators need to reflect on domestic violence, which is a problem. Something else bothers me here. These two individuals admitted to the police that there was alcohol involved in this incident. I think perhaps this issue should be reflected on as well.

Support citizens' plan
When the Forest Service began planning a new round of timber sales for the Couverden area, Gustavus residents took notice. Gustavus residents are all too familiar with the last Couverden sale. During 1984-85, the Forest Service put in almost 30 miles of road and eight bridges at Couverden, spending 5.5 million of taxpayers' dollars.

Juneau needs to complain
When I first came to Juneau about 27 years ago, there was Ray Paddock serving on the city-borough Assembly along with Rosalie Walker.

Favor eco-tourism over extraction
Berners Bay is located just 40 miles north of Juneau, offering easy and pristine recreational access by watercraft for thousands of residents and visitors annually. It is truly a gem ecosystem, comparing favorably to world-class Admiralty Island National Monument close by.

Fast ferry sails into home port
Juneau residents by the hundreds toured the new state ferry Fairweather on Saturday. The ship is the Alaska Marine Highway's first fast vehicle and passenger ferry, and at 32 knots it's expected to halve the traveling time between Juneau and Haines, Skagway and Sitka.

Gastineau power
Julia Ruthford takes advantage of Sunday's strong, steady winds to windsurf in Gastineau Channel off Sandy Beach.

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

Dice and a Purple Heart
Spc. Josel Carrillo was on a routine peacekeeping patrol the night he earned his Purple Heart. He sat in the back of a Humvee with three other soldiers, and they rumbled through the streets of Kirkuk in northern Iraq, just as they did every night.

City wants to study fluoride
The Juneau Assembly will appoint a task force to study the effects of water fluoridation as the community debate intensifies over whether to fluoridate the city's drinking water.

Former CIA analyst to speak on Iraq war intelligence
On Tuesday, the first day of 9/11 Commission hearings in Washington, D.C., former Central Intelligence Agency analyst Ray McGovern was scheduled to give a few presentations in Los Angeles. His plans changed that morning at a friends' home, when he broke a fall with his left wrist, shattering the bone.

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

Around Town
Today: Low Impact Exercise, 10 a.m., Juneau Senior Center and Valley Senior Center. Details: 463-6175.

The export of 44 jobs - is it capital creep?
The state's decision to move 44 marine highway jobs out of Juneau raises the specter of shipping out another 284 jobs to Ketchikan.

Arrest warrant issued for re-indicted man
A man once again charged with multiple sex crimes against two preteen girls is scheduled to stand trial in May, although he couldn't be found for his court date Thursday.

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

Changes for commercial trail users recommended
A Juneau trails group wants to return commercial tours to Outer Point Trail on Douglas Island and restrict such use on other trails.

New ferry HQ has history of toxic substances
About 100 leaks in the roof, asbestos-tiled flooring beneath dank carpets and possible toxic mold are among the fixes that must take place before some 44 state ferry system administrators are relocated this summer to the Ketchikan Pulp Co. administration building at Ward Cove.

Photo: Listen up!
Laura Stamm demonstrates backward crossovers during a men's hockey skating clinic at Treadwell Arena on Sunday.

Southeast needs new Capitol
Juneau has support throughout Southeast Alaska despite reasons for Ketchikan and Sitka residents to turn on their neighbor. What Juneau needs is improved infrastructure. That means a road out of Juneau to Skagway and improved ferry service until the road is completed.

Empire Editorial: School Board should drop advocacy proposal
While the city is caught up in heated debate over whether to build a second high school, citizens should not overlook a proposal the Juneau School Board introduced recently.

MyTurn: Tourism practices work to avoid conflicts
Juneau's tourism operators and employees are first and foremost Juneau residents - your family members, friends and neighbors. We are committed to Tourism Best Management Practices because we sincerely want to protect the very qualities that make Juneau a great place to live and a great place to visit.

Murkowski won't change his mind
Perhaps weighing heaviest on the minds of Alaska Marine Highway System employees this week is whether Gov. Frank Murkowski will revisit his decision to move their offices from Juneau to Ketchikan this summer.

Toe cartoon
Editorial cartoon by local artist Toe.

More than a shuffle
Nordic skiing has a reputation for being a gentle, low-impact activity - more recreational exercise and entertainment than sport. But for the handful of Juneau skiers who ski competitively, cross-country skiing can make for a long, tough winter, one that gets them into both mental and physical shape.

Wildlife Notebook: On the alert for invasive, potentially destructive snails
As dusk falls on a popular trout stream, an angler in thigh-deep current takes one final cast before wading to the bank. He'd stay until dark, but he has an out-of-state fishing trip planned for the next day and needs to pack his gear. He doesn't know it, but he'll be taking more than his fishing tackle on the trip.

Homer considers eagle regulations
The Homer City Council is considering playing a role in prohibiting non-traditional eagle feeding in this Kachemak Bay town.

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

Web exclusive! Sounds Wild
An MP3 audio collection of 90-second science sound programs about Alaska's wildlife, ranging from whales to "Alaska's Exploding Chickens," from the latest collection of "Sounds Wild," hosted by Alaska Department of Fish and Game officials Riley Woodford and Jane Roodenburg.

Out & About
Upcoming local outdoor events.

Snow report
Conditions at Eaglecrest and on local trails.

Gold Medal Boxscores/awards
Boxscores for Saturday's Gold Medal games and tournament awards.

Hydaburg boys fall in title game
The Hydaburg boys basketball team made it back to the Class 2A state title game Saturday, but was unable to defend its crown.

Remarkable Relays
They call themselves "The Four Horsemen" - four Auburn University swimmers with very different backgrounds teaming up to pursue the same goal.

Kake earns a reason to celebrate
The village of Kake has suffered several big losses this year - including a boating accident that claimed the lives of a prominent teacher, his son and the son of another prominent teaching couple, and the ongoing cancer battle of another community leader. On Saturday, the Kake Tlingit Heat finally gave the village something to celebrate.

Angoon dances by Kake for first title
They won't be dancing in the streets of Angoon - at least not yet. Angoon Kwaan defeated Kake KWBA 75-56 in a tooth-and-nail title game Saturday evening, winning its first Women's Bracket championship in the Gold Medal Basketball Tournament.

Southeast Shootout results and awards

Photo: Southeast Shootout
Red Storm's Brent Beckner, left, looks to make a pass against the defense of Sitka 1's Caleb McGraw during the second half of Saturday's Southeast Shootout boys' A Bracket final. The Red Storm won 48-29.

Sports in Juneau
Saturday, April 3 • Southeast Road Runners Club - Glacier 10K and 1-mile runs - Registration takes place at 9:30 a.m. at the Mendenhall Glacier Visitors Center parking lot and races start at 10 a.m.

Trade opens door for Bentz to make Expos
There was just one healthy lefty remaining in the Montreal Expos' spring training bullpen this weekend, and it was Juneau's Chad Bentz.

Arctic Lights repeat as champions of A Bracket
Juneau's Marlintini's Arctic Lights were the shining stars of the 58th Annual Gold Medal Basketball Tournament's A Bracket, claiming their second championship in three years with a 104-82 victory over Sitka ANB/ANS on Saturday.

Red Storm squad unites for a title
When HoopTime's Southeast Shootout basketball tournament opened last week at the Marie Drake gym, the members of the Red Storm team needed some of those "Hello, My Name Is ..." stickers.

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.

Huna eyes C dynasty after another crown
In the end, it wasn't even close as the Huna Totem Old-Timers won their fourth Gold Medal C Bracket title in six years on Saturday night with a 102-68 shellacking of the Juneau Green Team.

Photo: Not just three squares a day
Executive Officer Willy Wolter, foreground, is served a meal by the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Acushnet's award-winning galley crew of - from left, in white shirts - Thomas Eli, galley chief Michael Risinger, Doug Wright and Chuck Johnson. The group were aboard the ship docked in Ketchikan earlier this month. The vessel recently won the 2003 Coast Guard Excellence in Food Service award for the third year in a row.

Four bodies, voice recorder recovered from crashed copter
The bodies of four people aboard a helicopter that went down in the Gulf of Mexico were recovered from the sea floor Saturday along with the aircraft's cockpit voice recorder.

Hockey antagonists strike Zamboni deal
Although their high school hockey teams may be fierce rivals on the ice, the cities of Kenai and Soldotna struck a nifty deal allowing Soldotna to unload its used Zamboni ice resurfacing machine to Kenai.

Push to close state's budget gap remains fragmented, floundering
Two weeks into an informal special session aimed at closing the state's chronic budget deficits, the Legislature remains fragmented over a solution.

American Dental Association looks at rural dentistry program
An Alaska tribal program to train rural residents to perform tasks usually done by dentists is under scrutiny by the American Dental Association. "A dental degree in North America is basically an eight-year education. ... There are concerns," said Ty Ivey, a dentist on an ADA task force visiting Alaska to dental health care in the Bush.

Belgian, Alaska adventurers want to cross Bering Strait - both ways
SAVOONGA - A Belgian and an Alaskan are scouting the ice conditions on the treacherous Bering Strait for an expedition across it next year.

Legislative roundup
A summary of the week's events at the Capitol.

Alaska Digest
staff and Wire reports

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

House panel approves $100 tax on Alaska workers
Alaska workers would be taxed $100 annually, under a proposal approved by the House Finance Committee. The tax - estimated to generate about $43 million a year - is the first major revenue proposal to clear a finance committee in either the House or the Senate this year.

Alaska Digest
News in brief from around the state.

Fairbanks opposes parts of Patriot Act
The Fairbanks North Star Borough Assembly has adopted a resolution in opposition to parts of the federal Patriot Act and other anti-terrorism laws that could threaten civil rights.

This Day in History
In Alaska • In 1902, the residents of Douglas voted 158-70 to incorporate as a "first-class city."

MidAmerican's president blasts governor's comments
The president of MidAmerican Energy Holdings Co. said Friday there's no chance his company would return to the table to negotiate a natural gas pipeline with Gov. Frank Murkowski.

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