Stevens shows courage in budget proposal
Kudos to Sen. Ben Stevens for having some courage in solving Alaska's fiscal problems. As for the Democrats' response, they have suggested oil taxes, yet are they working in earnest (or believe their proposals are even possible?) or trying to score political points?

We can do better protecting students
Recent letters to the editor asserting that the state provides accommodations for students with disabilities taking the exit exam miss the point. The academic accomplishments of a student with disabilities should not be measured solely based on a standardized test, with or without accommodations or modifications (the use of a calculator and/or other educational tools) if that student is unable to pass the test based solely on his or her disability. That is the system that we have now, which will deny deserving students a diploma this spring unless the Legislature or the courts intervene.

Education isn't one size fits all
I firmly believe that our children are Alaska's greatest natural resource and the best investment in our future. But unless we cultivate and care for them now, their prosperous and secure future will not be realized. Giving them the tools to succeed is our charge and our responsibility.

Motorcyclists not using "brains"
This is an open letter to a couple of motorcyclists seen recently crouched low on their sleek rocket-like machines: Please do: Continue to race on Egan drive.

Real input, not false gestures
Last year, many cities in the state as well as the state Legislature passed amendments asking the federal government not to pass the Patriots Act II. Those actions signified Alaskans' strong sense of fair play and devotion to true freedom.

Trust professionals on fluoride issue
Naively I believed the water fluoridation debate had been resolved in the 1950s and 1960s, when opponents viewed fluoridation as a Communist plot (for the theatrical version, see Dr. Strangelove) against America. Apparently, the conspiracy theorists, assisted by pseudo-health care practitioners, are attacking fluoridation as dangerous. I guess scientific evidence to the contrary be damned.

Not everyone opposes resource industries
It really disturbs me when someone I don't know speaks for me and says that we oppose this or that. I'm pro-resource and an employee of the mining industry and proud of it. To those that don't know me, please refrain from saying "we" when you share your opinion.

Council supports students' efforts
The Juneau Tlingit & Haida Community Council, representing more than 5,000 members, has paid close attention to the racism issue plaguing schools. We discussed how prejudice and discrimination affected our own educational experiences and grappled with its longstanding and deep-rooted existence in our community and schools. We asked ourselves, as surely as many others have asked, where then do we begin?

Spring Gala set for April 9 at ANB
The Juneau Community Charter School will hold its biggest fund-raiser of the year on April 9 at ANB Hall. The Spring for the Arts Gala will be a cabaret and dance. Doors will open and homemade food will be sold starting at 5:30 p.m. There will be a silent auction of donated art work as well.

Charter school seeks more students
The nearly 60 children in the Juneau Community Charter School piled into a classroom Wednesday, sat on the carpeted floor and sang of dreams of harmony. They will be among the performers at the school's annual fund-raising arts gala on Friday, April 9.

Alumni calling all classes for reunion
Paula (Cook) Critchfield of Friday Harbor, Wash., is looking forward to seeing old friends and the town she grew up in. She's one of the 124 Juneau-Douglas High School alumni who have registered so far for the all-class reunion set for July 2-3.

Photo: Stocking up
seanna o'sullivan / juneau

On the Rails
A year ago this month I began planning a three-month European backpacking odyssey that required a great deal of focus and preparation to become the pseudo-transient transcontinental train traveler that I aspired to be.

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

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

Residents to test bear-resistant cans this summer
Some two-dozen Juneau residents got free garbage cans for the summer on Thursday at the start of a test for bear-proofing. About half of the 50 bear-resistant cans, or carts, were delivered to the Switzer Creek neighborhood as part of the Reinforced Tipper Cart Pilot Program.

Drop in bed-tax revenue stings visitors bureau
seanna O'sullivan / juneau empire Depending on hotel revenue: Lorene Palmer of the Juneau Convention and Visitors Bureau looks out at downtown Juneau from her office in the Sealaska Building on Wednesday.

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

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

Corrections to local stories.

U.S.-Chile fisheries talks to be held in capital city
Representatives of the Chilean government will be in Juneau at the end of July for fishing talks with U.S. officials.

Births, judgments and other local legal matters.

Ravel's opera casts a magical transformation
As if she didn't have enough to think about with her sophomore course load at Juneau-Douglas High School, 16-year-old Giselle Stone began rehearsing nightly for the lead role of the boy in "L'enfant et les Sortileges" one week after she finished starring as Dorothy in the JDHS spring musical "The Wizard of Oz."

Photo: Juneau Hotel demolished, 1947
Paul Sincic / Juneau-Douglas City Museum 89.21.023 Bystanders watch as the historic Juneau Hotel, once located on the corner of Third and Main, is gutted during demolition in 1947.

Volunteer's Web site unites classmates
Tim Randall of Battle Ground, Wash., doesn't know Jason Soza. But it's thanks to Soza that Randall may renew a friendship with a classmate from Juneau-Douglas High School now living in Seattle.

Due to incorrect information supplied to the Empire, an article stated the wrong measurements for a bronze bear sculpture featured at Discovery Southeast's auction Friday. The sculpture is 21 inches long, 13 inches wide and 17 inches tall.

Wendel graduates from Nuclear Power School
Honors and awards presented to local students.

... for 'scooping the poop'
We would like to thank the following citizens for their time and efforts in keeping Juneau's trails clean by "scooping the poop."

... for your donations
We would like to thank the Breeze Inn, Costco, and Heritage Coffee for their donations during the Southeast Alaska Swim Meet in February.

Gunstrom and Toll to marry
Brooke Toll of Logan, Kan., and Jonathan Gunstrom of Juneau will be married in a ceremony planned for 3 p.m., May 22, 2004, in Logan, Kan. A reception will follow at the Logan City Building.

Teacher Talk: Looking for grace on the Mississippi
Through Huck Finn's eyes, my class of juniors and I have just witnessed the senseless violence of the Grangerford-Sheperdson feud, and now we are following Huck back to the raft, to Jim, to the Mississippi River.

... for supporting Dr. Seuss 100th birthday celebration
On March 2, Juneau teachers handed out 600 books to children as part of the 100th birthday celebration for Dr. Seuss. The Read Across America Celebration, put on by the Juneau Education Association, couldn't have happened, though, without the support of many fine organizations and people.

Photo: Generous donation
Courtesy of Marc Wheeler Cruise Industry Charitable Foundation representative Kirby Day, right, presents a gift of $25,000 to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southeast Alask

... for making convention
The Alaska Christian Ministries Association would like to thank the following that helped make our March 12-13 convention such a huge success.

Neighbors Digest
Community related news in brief.

Jack Austin III
Former Juneau resident Jack Austin III, 46, died March 29, 2004, at his home in Ninilchik.

Yvonne 'Bonnie' Paul
Former Juneau resident Yvonne "Bonnie" C. Paul, 63, died March 6, 2004, in Salem, Ore.

Daylight saving's wasted here, but change your clocks anyway
It's time again to miss church, wake up groggy, garden until midnight or whatever it is that you do with the petty inconvenience of daylight-saving time.

My Turn: Reinstating state income tax is essential to long-range plan
Bengt called again from Minnesota. He left Alaska just before the permanent fund dividend (PFD) program started. He said, "The idea of spending earnings from the permanent fund is not new. Indeed, the original intent of the fund was to set aside some income from nonrenewable resources to create a sustainable income for the future." I told him this has been so successful that earnings from the permanent fund now are the largest single source of income for Alaska. Yet the earnings are not counted as income. And we have essentially no taxes.

Moving to a new level
Sarah Felix and Kimiko "Koko" Urata got started in synchronized swimming for different reasons, but more than five years later the Dzantik'i Heeni Middle School eighth-graders are ready to start the process that could eventually land them on the national team.

Juneau Parks and Rec coed volleyball standings
Standings, through matches of March 28, of the 2004 Juneau Department of Parks and Recreation's coed volleyball leagues.

Local sports briefs
Local Sports Briefs

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.

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.

Governor's plan to drill off ANWR coast draws Native fire
Alaska Native whalers are angry about Gov. Frank Murkowski's plan to hold oil and gas leases in state waters of the Beaufort Sea now reserved for aboriginal bowhead whale hunts. More than 266,000 acres of whaling waters off the coast of the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska and Arctic National Wildlife Refuge would be open for exploration under Murkowski's proposal.

This Day in History
In Alaska; in the nation.

Permanent Fund Corp. backs off ad campaign
The Alaska Permanent Fund Corp. has scrapped plans for a $1.4 million media campaign to muster voter support to change the way dividends are calculated. Fund managers will instead wait for the Legislature to finally decide whether to put the ballot question before voters in November, said executive director Bob Storer.

Murkowski invites drilling near ANWR
Gov. Frank Murkowski said Wednesday he will open lease sales in state waters offshore of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska.

Pioneer Home rates may jump 5 percent
Residents of Alaska's Pioneer Homes could see a 5 percent rate increase if the state Health and Social Services commissioner approves proposed regulations. The program's director says the increase is necessary to bring the rates closer to the actual cost of care.

Suit claims AOL cost Alaska millions
Communications giant AOL Time Warner cost the state of Alaska more than $70 million through manipulations of its publicly traded securities, Alaska Attorney General Gregg Renkes alleged Thursday.

Alaska Digest
News in brief from around the state.

This Day in History
In Alaska.

Alaska Digest
News in brief from around the state.

Cuts could lead to cabin closures
State parks, cabins and historic sites face possible closure or reduced maintenance with proposed budget cuts in the Legislature. State Parks Director Gary Morrison said the Parks Division still is trying to figure out how to deal with proposed cuts of about $519,000. But cuts could bring the closure of the popular Cowee Meadow and Blue Mussel cabins at Point Bridget State Park north of Juneau next year.

Gas line draws another player
A Canadian energy transportation company said Thursday it will seek a role in developing a natural gas pipeline in Alaska. The announcement from Calgary-based Enbridge Inc. comes a week after Des Moines, Iowa-based MidAmerican Energy Holdings Co. walked away from a much-anticipated deal when the state refused to give it exclusive development rights.

Growing up with 'L'enfant'
If you grow up in France, you will likely see "L'enfant et les Sortileges" when you are very young. "It's sort of a childhood play," said Philippe Damerval, a Juneau resident and a native of France, from Normandy and the French West Indies. "They usually show it in your town when you're in primary school."

Local arts and entertainment news in brief.

Symphony celebrates French color
Juneau Symphony conductor Kyle Wiley Pickett says he neglects French music. By that, he means that in the five years he's worked with the symphony, his programs have been dominated with American, Russian and German works. His forays into French have been mostly through Impressionist composer Claude Debussy.

Cartoon: In the Swamp
Cartoon by local artist Toe.

'L'enfant' Triumphant
Who among us has not spoken to the animals and inanimate objects in our homes? And who among us would not be terrifed if these same objects broke into song one day and took us to task for our frailties and weaknesses - the things that make us human and inhumane?

April showers, First Friday flowers
Eight or 10 years ago, Juneau artist David Woodie stopped by the Alaska State Museum to see a touring narrative art exhibition. Anchorage Museum of History and Art curator Dave Nichols organized the show, which included works by Troy Dalton, Michael Ehle and Galen Hanson.

Movies: Where & when
Movie times and locations.

Be the frog, know the frog
For the exhilarating frog ballet scene in "L'enfant," opera choreographer Janice Hurley turned to a literal source of inspiration. She drove to the Wee Fishie Shoppe near Nugget Mall and sat in front of a tank of fire-bellied toads for 45 minutes.

Tengs leads Pre-Folk Festival jam at City Museum
Juneau musician/ice cream maker Tony Tengs and his friends will lead the Bob-Dylan-based acoustic Pre-Folk Festival Public Jam Session from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, April 3, at the Juneau-Douglas City Museum at Fourth and Main streets.

JDHS dance to host Showtime 2004
The Juneau-Douglas High School Dance Team will hold its annual community show, Showtime 2004, at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 8, in the high school gym.

Country singer Knapp returns to the Sandbar
Country singer Kenny Knapp has returned to the Sandbar, 2525 Industrial Boulevard, and will play from 9 p.m. to close Wednesdays through Sundays through May 30.

What's Happening
Schedule of upcoming local arts and entertainment events.

Friends of Kozlowski to hold benefit
Friends of Bill Kozlowski and his widow, Sierra Kaden, will host a benefit auction and concert at 7 p.m. Saturday, April 3, in the Hangar Ballroom.

A rare case of the blues
Juneau fingerpicking Texas blues guitarist Pat Henry doesn't record and rarely plays outside the Alaska Folk Festival and his wife's famous Starr Hill kitchen.

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