New fiction in bloom at Juneau's libraries
Spring fiction at the Juneau Public Libraries!

Why leave more children behind?
Instead of bragging to the rest of the nation about our superior educational resource - Alyeska Central School - Gov. Murkowski is trying to abolish it. Why? It is obvious HB 174 makes no sense. Alaskans from all over the state have been testifying that closing ACS will not save any money and would be a huge mistake.

Why print letters that upset me?
I live in a country not yet involved in the war, but on reading this letter ("Supporting our troops like supporting LAPD," Empire, March 26), it upset me no end. I have friends whose husbands and sons are fighting for your country and when I read that letter it made me mad.

Following in the footsteps of Lincoln, not Rep. Lynn
It is Sunday evening, and your report of last Friday's rally in support of U.S. troops in Iraq has been on my mind all day. I did not attend the rally - at the time I was caring for the young child of a friend who did attend. The rally an opportunity for us to gather together to express our support for the men and women who put their lives at risk when ordered into battle. These men and women deserve our respect and our prayers for a safe return to their families. I feel this way even though I believe this war at this time is a colossal mistake with unimaginable and unnecessary human and political costs.

Be quiet, grateful
I understand that the Iraqi people have a right to "chose" the way they live without foreign intervention but what "choice" have they really had?

Fables can't hide facts
"Once upon a time there were three bears..." Wait. Maybe there were four. Or were they little pigs? Hmmm. Oh, well. At least they all lived happily ever after. Unfortunately, their happy existence didn't come without a fight. It took a firm action against that big bad wolf to keep him out of Grandma's house. And whether the fable's author used twenty-dollar words to assure the reader of his superior knowledge of syntax and vocabulary or the simple grammar of children's prose, there is no way he can hide the fact that a struggle had taken place and casualties ensued.

Scorned nation
Who's kidding who? Bush initiated this attack on Iraq unilaterally last year and was ready to send our men and women into harms way, right then and there, were it not for the uprising of dissent that ensued!

Hiding behind the pen
I was surfing the Web looking for something inspirational dealing with the support of our troops in Iraq to use in an employee newsletter. I cannot express to you how incredibly sad (not to mention furious) I was and am to find the letter, "Supporting our troops like supporting LAPD" (Empire, March 26).

Thinking provoked
Please continue to publish all points of view. That is what the United States and the free press is about. In fact, it is what our military are giving their lives for, the freedom to disagree and all the other freedoms our democracy gives us. We have the freedom to be wrong, the freedom to say what we think about what our government is doing and we have the freedom to not let it bother us if it says something we don't like. Until we learn to listen to what opposite opinions have to say, we will never learn and will just remain in our own little stiff worlds. Thanks for printing such thought-provoking letters with different opinions.

Responding to an inane letter
Congratulations Patrick McGonegal - you've accomplished what no other letter writer has in the last two decades or so: You peeved me enough to respond to your inane letter. In labeling Americans in uniform as "criminals" by their involvement in the current conflict in Iraq, you are "walking on the fighting side of me" to badly paraphrase a country tune. Being the peaceful-type of guy that I am, I'd gladly settle for a debate of these issues any time, any place, any stage or forum fully knowing that I'd be reducing myself, intellectually to the level of the truly clueless.

Chit chat down at the imperial garage
Brother, we sure havin' a hell of a time fixin' axles of evil lately. Them confounded mechanics, Dickie and Donnie, said no sweat. Truth is those danged axles come in metric and we usin' "Made in America" tools that just don't fit, know what I mean.

Wonderful, selfless gift
I have never been so proud of my community, or felt so completely connected to my community, as I did Friday at the rally for our troops. These are troubled times, and folks are rightly stirred to their very souls. Good people, thoughtful people have greatly different views on the war in Iraq.

Opinions come easily, try respecting others'
As a concerned veteran, I wrote KTKU, Taku 105 on March 21 rejecting its un-American stance of not playing the Dixie Chicks. The station's silence does not appease me. Millions of Americans have died and are dying today so that each of us has the right to speak freely.

Critical thinking requires courage
Richard Schmitz's recent characterization of liberal arts college faculty as "Bad Fairies" (My Turn, March 30) begs a response. As one of these so-called "Bad Fairies" myself, I might be able to shed a ray of light on one of the goals of a liberal arts education, a goal that is sometimes feared and misunderstood. That goal is critical thinking. This is not thinking that is by nature negative; it is thinking that attempts to close in on truth.

Around Town is a listing of local nonprofit events.

Services set for Kenai Superior Court judge
Superior Court Judge Jonathan H. "Jon" Link, 59, died March 25 at Central Peninsula General Hospital in Soldotna, after a short illness. A former sergeant with the U.S. Army posted at Fort Wainwright, Alaska, he was appointed to the Superior Court bench in Kenai by Gov. Steve Cowper in 1990, a position he held until his death.

Ocean Beauty to purchase fish plant
Ocean Beauty Seafoods plans to buy the Wards Cove fish-processing plant in Excursion Inlet, about 40 miles west of Juneau. The companies are in the process of finalizing the sale. If the sale is completed, the facility will operate during the 2003 season, company officials said. Tony Ross, spokesman for Ocean Beauty, would not comment further on the sale.

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

Planners of new school rethink union labor
Juneau's proposed Mendenhall Valley high school can be built on time and within budget, according to a recent professional review of its design. But reviewers said significant money might be saved if the city doesn't require all-union labor.

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

Panel to review no-dog trail plan
The new Rainforest Trail will be off-limits to dogs starting May 1, according to the city's Parks and Recreation Department. The city is implementing the change to protect wildlife and habitat, according Parks and Rec. The city trail, which is near Outer Point off of North Douglas Highway, opened in summer 2001.

United Way falls $120,000 short of goal for last year
The United Way of Southeast Alaska fell almost $120,000 short of its $600,000 fund-raising goal for 2002, leaving the nonprofit organizations it funds facing some "very hard times" in the months ahead, said Marsha Riley, outgoing executive director of the agency.

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

This Day in History
In 1916, on the 49th anniversary of the Alaska Purchase Treaty, Delegate James Wickersham introduced the first Alaska statehood bill in the U.S. Congress.

Search called off for missing Juneau woman
Alaska State Troopers on Sunday suspended their search for a 19-year-old former Juneau woman who was reported missing Friday in Tenakee Springs, about 50 miles southwest of Juneau. But residents said today they are continuing to search for the missing woman.

Land near Brotherhood Bridge slated for raptor clinic
Injured eagles, owls and ravens soon may have a new place to perch and heal near Juneau's Brotherhood Bridge. Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens secured $350,000 in federal funding last month for the city to purchase 10.5 acres of private land in the Mendenhall Valley. The property, which is near the Kaxhdighoowu Heen trail and the Mendenhall River, would be used for a bird rehabilitation clinic and nature education center. The Juneau Raptor Center, the Trust for Public Land and the city have been working with Stevens' office on the acquisition for three years.

Juneau rallies in support
The sky was gray and threatened to storm, but that didn't deter hundreds of Juneau residents from gathering outside the state Capitol Friday for a rally in support of U.S. troops in the Persian Gulf. They waved flags and wore red, white and blue. Their signs read "These colors don't run," "Support President Bush and our troops," "Give peace a chance, get rid of Saddam," "You don't have to agree with our government to support our troops."

Students at alternative school seek parity with JDHS
While Juneau-Douglas High School is the subject of a $21 million renovation, a teacher at Yaakoosge Daakahidi alternative high school tapes blankets over windows to keep the wind out, and some students wear long johns in the winter. Two classrooms don't have that problem because they don't have windows, and another room is too small, so the class meets in a commons area.

My Turn: On being an informed citizen in a democracy
Now that the attack on Iraq is underway, all the preceding debate leading up to it is revealed as the sham that it was. The outcome was certain all along: An invasion of Iraq, no matter how many are opposed to it.

My Turn: We must listen to one another
Some see the world in black and white. Using deeply held beliefs and convictions, they divide everything into two categories. Whatever the issue, policy, object, or person, it is either good or it is bad. Such moral clarity is emotionally soothing and satisfying. However, the problem with this binary mode of thinking is that it ignores the reality that there is good and bad in almost everything. Call it the law of unintended consequences or Newton's First Law (for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction).

Empire editorial: Juneau is forging ahead in time of war
A midst the disturbing news dominating our attention in these troubled times are stories of tempered optimism on a significant level here in Juneau. This past week brought news of forward momentum on several long-standing local projects.

What do you think?
New revenue sources are necessary to fund the cost of maintenance in our great state, but what we need new taxes to go for is a safe and well-maintained highway system, including the marine highway system.

My Turn: Another contemporary fable
Here's my try at a fable: In the Great Woods lived many creatures such as squirrels, bunnies and chipmunks. Each day, they would gather acorns and nuts for their families. But an Evil Bear began to demand tribute from the little creatures. Those who refused were eaten alive.

Toe Cartoon

My Turn: Moral conundrums of attacking Iraq
America's role in the world community is not that of the judge or the police force. Our law is not world law. We are one country among many. We may currently enjoy the unique position of being the most "militarily-endowed," but we are still just one country among many. Metaphorically speaking, we are the inhabitants of a single house in the world's neighborhood.

Out and About
March 30: High power rifle and sporting rifle shoot, at the Hank Harmon Rifle Range, 8:30 a.m. registration, shoot at 9:30 a.m. Details: April 1: Juneau Alpine Club monthly public meeting, 7 p.m., Douglas library. Details: Don Larsen, 789-2036.

Snow report
• Eaglecrest Ski Area, Juneau: Platter, Ptarmigan and Hooter lifts operate about 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Thursday through Monday. The tubing hill operates 10 a.m.-4 p.m. weekends and holidays.

Old turn, new trend
Telemark skiers have a phrase to explain why they choose to go down the mountain with their boot heels unattached to their skis: Free your heel, your mind will follow. "It's pretty hard to describe," said Tom Brayton, a longtime telemark skier who teaches the sport, along with traditional alpine skiing and snowboarding, at the Eaglecrest Ski and Snowboard School. "It's like when I telemark ski I'm more a part of the mountain. Does that make sense?"

Hydaburg wins title
The Hydaburg Warriors won the Class 2A boys state basketball championship on Saturday night, beating defending champion Cook Inlet Academy, 59-56, in the state title game at Anchorage's Service High School. Hydaburg's George Peratrovich sank a 3-pointer with 48 seconds left in the game to give the Warriors a 57-56 lead, and Vinny Edenshaw added two free throws with 15 seconds to go to seal the win for Hydaburg, which trailed by five points entering the fourth quarter.

Saturday: Oldtimers get past Chilkats on second try
The Huna Totem Oldtimers earned another shot at the 57th Annual Gold Medal Basketball Tournament's Legendary C Bracket title by defeating the Klukwan Chilkats 78-67 on Friday at the Juneau-Douglas High School gymnasium. The defending champion Totem Oldtimers avenged a first-round 59-58 loss to the Chilkats and move into tonight's 6 p.m. title game against the Klawock Old Totems.

Saturday: Klawock POWers to win
It wouldn't be a championship game if Klawock-Prince of Wales wasn't playing - at least not a Gold Medal women's bracket championship game. Klawock battled its way through the losers' bracket and back into its fifth straight Premiere Women's Bracket championship game by beating Sitka 74-67 Friday at the Juneau-Douglas High School main gym. The women's bracket is in its fifth year, and Klawock won the first four titles.

Haines reigns!
Haines' Big Ben overshadowed Huna's Strong man, leading the Haines Merchants to their fourth title in five years in the Mighty B Bracket of the Gold Medal Basketball Tournament. In a passionate game watched by an overflow crowd at Juneau-Douglas High School, Ben Egolf made the game-saving steal with 7.8 seconds left in double overtime to lead the Merchants to a 99-94 victory over defending champion Huna ANB on Saturday night.

Gold Medal Boxscores

Saturday: Hydaburg makes title game
The Hydaburg Warriors once were a power at the Class 1A level, winning three boys state titles and reaching the championship game six times in nine years during the mid 1980s and early 1990s. Now they're trying to win their first Class 2A state championship. Hydaburg moved a step closer to the title on Friday night, beating the Bristol Bay Angels, 73-58, to advance to tonight's 9:15 p.m. championship game at Anchorage's Service High School.

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

CLASS 2A STATE BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT: Clutch basket lifts Hydaburg to state crown
Hydaburg boys basketball coach Jim Holien wasn't thrilled with the shot selection when junior George Peratrovich heaved a 3-point attempt with 48 seconds to play in Saturday night's Class 2A boys state championship game against Cook Inlet Academy.

Saturday: HoopTime A girls, Hoonah boys win middle school titles
When the HoopTime A Team's offense wasn't clicking, the squad turned to its defense to get the offense started. Margaret Sekona turned four second-half steals into breakaway baskets as HoopTime A beat Sitka Tribe 34-18 and claimed the first title in the inaugural girls middle school bracket Friday afternoon at the 57th Annual Gold Medal Basketball Tournament at Juneau-Douglas High School.

Local Scores
The past winners of the state high school basketball championships. Before 1973, the all-Alaska basketball championships featured a best-two-games-of-three series between the Southeast and Western Alaska champions. From 1973 on, the tournament was sponsored by the Alaska School Activities Association and featured bracketed play with teams from four different regions.

Saturday: Gold Medal Boxscores

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.

NW wins A bracket by beating the Lights
It took four tries, but Northwest Strategies of Anchorage finally beat Juneau's Marlintini's Arctic Lights when it mattered most - in the championship game of the Gold Medal Tournament's Classic A Bracket. In a rematch of the 2002 A bracket finale, won by Marlintini's, Northwest Strategies rode a balanced attack on both ends of the floor and a standout individual performance from Greg Freeman to post a 95-80 win over the defending champions Saturday afternoon in the Juneau-Douglas High School gym.

Klawock defeats Huna for C crown
It was a classic battle of two opposing styles. The Klawock Old Totems had the size and the Huna Totem Oldtimers had the speed. In the end, size mattered more and Klawock claimed its second Gold Medal tourney Legendary C Bracket title in three years with a 95-82 win over Huna on Saturday at Juneau-Douglas High School.

Lynden women crack P.O.W.'s four-year grasp
With 13 seconds left in the game, the women's Gold Medal championship was on the line - literally - as Kacy Lockhart stepped to the free-throw line for Lynden Transport of Juneau as they trailed Klawock-Prince of Wales by one point. Lockhart went on to hit four free throws in the closing seconds - going seven for seven from the line in the game - to lead Lynden to a 60-59 victory over Klawock Saturday in the Premiere Women's bracket championship game.

Saturday: Anchorage reaches final
Even a highlight-reel night from Tacoma's Devin Jones wasn't enough. The speedy and athletic guard lit up the scoreboard - and the defense of Anchorage's Northwest Strategies - for 40 points on Friday night to claim top individual honors, but top team honors and a title shot went to Anchorage.

Saturday: Haines' D secures W
The Haines Merchants weren't shooting very well at the start of their losers' bracket final game Friday night against Juneau's Reliable Transfer, so they turned on their defense. The Merchants made three steals and forced four other turnovers to key a 12-point run that gave them a lead they never relinquished, as Haines went on to claim a 79-68 victory and a spot in tonight's 8 p.m. Mighty B Bracket championship game against defending champion Huna ANB.

NW wins A bracket by beating the Lights
It took four tries, but Northwest Strategies of Anchorage finally beat Juneau's Marlintini's Arctic Lights when it mattered most - in the championship game of the Gold Medal Tournament's Classic A Bracket. In a rematch of the 2002 A bracket finale, won by Marlintini's, Northwest Strategies rode a balanced attack on both ends of the floor and a standout individual performance from Greg Freeman to post a 95-80 win over the defending champions Saturday afternoon in the Juneau-Douglas High School gym.

Kodiak fisherman dies near Sitka
A Kodiak fisherman on a solo herring run apparently drowned near Sitka. Scott Maechtle, 46, was last seen leaving the Sitka harbor in his skiff at 11:30 p.m. Friday, Sitka police said. He was returning to the 115-foot fishing vessel Alicia Jean moored offshore.

State Briefs
Seward's Day schedules; Fuel spills outside private home; Boat in Harris Harbor catches fire; Creditors line up for shot at dividends; National company buys Aero Services; Board working to pick education commissioner; Three indicted in Palmer man's death; Police arrest teens suspected in shooting

Legislative roundup
Bills introduced last week:

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

Photo: Learning to save lives
Basic Airport Rescue and Fire Fighting Instructor Kelly Leamer starts a simulated jet-engine fire during a training class Sunday in Ketchikan. Leamer and two other instructors taught a class to students from the Ketchikan Fire Department, the South Tongass Volunteer Fire Department and Ketchikan International Airport Rescue and Fire personnel as part of a mutual aid agreement between the city and the borough of Ketchikan.

Soldotna gets 8 acres from state
Soldotna just gained 8.11 acres of prime riverfront property. The city council voted last week to exercise an option to take over title of the former Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities maintenance site in the heart of town. The site is adjacent to the city's existing Soldotna Creek Park, which sits on a high bank above the Kenai River.

Sea-lion lawsuit settlement expected soon
ANCHORAGE - A resolution may be in sight for a long-running federal lawsuit filed by environmental activists seeking tougher commercial fishing restrictions off Alaska to protect endangered Steller sea lions.

Public Safety mulls agency merger
The Alaska Department of Public Safety might merge its two largest agencies. Commissioner Bill Tandeske said putting the Division of Fish and Wildlife Protection under the same command as the Alaska State Troopers would eliminate some costs and improve communication between the agencies.

House passes women's cancer bill
A plan to continue coverage of breast and cervical cancer treatments for low-income women unanimously passed out of the state House of Representatives on Friday. The bill removes a sunset on the federal program, which started in 2001, and which provides for 70 percent funding from the federal government and 30 percent from the state. The program was set to expire in June because of a sunset clause placed by the Legislature.

North Pole refinery to undergo inspection and maintenance
The Williams Alaska North Pole refinery will undergo a two-week shut down in May for a regular inspection and maintenance that could mean up to $2 million for Alaska contractors.

University's new supercomputer lets users walk into virtual world
The Discovery Lab at the Arctic Region Supercomputing Center is opening up new ways of experiencing reality. The supercomputing center recently finished installing the lab, a Mechdyne MD Flex system, in the University of Alaska Fairbanks Rasmuson Library. The project was funded with a Next Generation Internet grant.

Man arrested for homicide in Anchorage
A 30-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the beating death of a man inside an east side Anchorage trailer over the weekend. Justin Beavers was charged with second-degree murder and was being held on $100,000 bail, Anchorage police said.

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