Business Profile: Kara Altman
Title and company: Kara Altman is sole proprietor of Kara's Cruise and Travel. "I love working at home," Altman said. "It's so much more relaxing than in an office." Kara's Cruise and Travel was founded a year ago, but she has been a travel agent since 1988.

What to look at when you're looking at a boat
Mileage, age and plans for use are all factors to consider when buying a boat, according to local sales and repair businesses.This is a good time of year to think about purchase options, as "for sale" signs are appearing on boats around town and Nugget Mall's used boat sale is set for April 20 and 21. "The number one thing to be sure about (when purchasing a boat) is safety," said Darin Sepel, the son in Sepel & Son Marine Surveying Inc. "That always comes first."

Business Briefs
Alaskan Brewing releases Summer Ale; Gov. seeks nominations for exporter awards; Boat show May 20-21 at mall; Free yoga classes available; Food, merchandise permits; Put a photo on your cake; Beginning drawing scheduled; Salon offers permanent makeup; Celebrating American Home Week; McDonald's boating safety program honored; Alaska Visitor Industry plans charity walk; Ratcheting up kids' cruises

Business needs time to steep
Erika Merklin's business, Alaska SuperNatural Teas, doesn't quite exist yet - except in her head. But she's still full steam ahead. Merklin has been working hard for nearly two years to bring her dreams to fruition in Haines. For example, she has put together a roster of personal success coaches, one of whom is fellow Haines resident Bill Finlay of SeaOtter Woodworks. She regularly sits down with Finlay to discuss marketing plans.

A cause to support
Recently I read this page and came to the conclusion that I'm a little exhausted with the controversies and volleys of opinion that make up this battlefield in print. With that being said, I found in the April 7 edition a cause that all of Juneau should possibly get behind. That would be the St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church restoration.

Bon voyage
Mayor Smith should travel to Vancouver with her "fact-finding" appointees and stay there, hence the necessity of such frivolity to proceed at the expence of taxpayers could conceivably bear some merit.

Stamp ceremony
April 4 was a special treat for stamp collectors. Juneau was one of 50 state capitals chosen for the first day sale of the "Greetings from America" stamps. A special program with a postmarked copy of the "Greetings from Alaska" stamp was given to those people in attendance at Centennial Hall. Similar ceremonies were held in the other 49 capitals and in New York City in conjunction with a stamp show.

No room for hate
In regards to the National Alliance and their fellow hate groups, please go away! Maybe you could use all your energy to do a little good in the world. Help some kids, pick up some trash, something positive. Alaskans have enough on their plates making a living and feeding a family.

Trust in yourselves
We as a community must stand against groups such as the National Alliance that we find among us and elsewhere. You are not wanted here to preach your hate and violence.

Finish the task
Can you believe it? After spending $250,000 of the public's money to challenge the work of the Alaska Redistricting Board, the Republican-dominated Legislature now refuses to give the constitutionally mandated redistricting board the money necessary to finish its work.

Corrosion of evil
Last Sunday most of us were disturbed to read of the wide distribution of hate literature here in Juneau. But why are we so surprised?A banner displayed at the high school held Christians to ridicule and contempt. Now the banner's creator has become a cause celebre for the ACLU.

Since 1975
I want to thank the Juneau Empire for featuring me in a recent Business Spotlight. (My out-of-town relatives are flocking to the Empire's Web site as I write!)

Support tolerance, truth
Kudos to the Juneau Empire and Melanie Plenda for the informative article in the April 7 paper about the recent distribution of hate mail in Juneau and other Alaska communities by the National Alliance. I also appreciate the swift reaction by Juneau residents to make it clear that this community will not tolerate this kind of ugly, hateful, racist, neo-Nazi, anti-Semitic propaganda. It is sickening to think of hate groups like this targeting Alaska for recruitment of new members.

Buddhist eco-activist to give workshop
Eco-philosopher and Buddhist scholar Joanna Macy will lead a weekend workshop in Juneau and a free public presentation titled "Taking Heart in Tough Times."The talk will focus on applying fundamental Buddhist practices and deep ecology to guide people in their work for the world, said Linda Buckley, who is involved in bringing Macy to Juneau. Based in Berkeley, Calif., Macy is a peace and environmental activist.

Commission OKs new tourist mall in slide zone
The Juneau Planning Commission said Tuesday night that plans to build a new tourist mall in a severe landslide hazard zone on South Franklin Street are safe enough to give developers the go-ahead. But some nearby residents argued safe enough isn't good enough and said they will try to halt construction. In a 6-1 vote, the Planning Commission approved a request for a hillside endorsement and an allowable-use permit from developers Steve Landvik and Trucano Construction, also known as Trucano/Landvik.

Juneau's Penske Auto Center shuts down
CHICAGO - Kmart reached an agreement with business partner Penske Tuesday on how best to shut down the company's auto service centers at more than 550 Kmart locations. Penske closed its auto centers over the weekend despite efforts by Kmart, including a temporary restraining order issued Saturday by U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Susan Pierson Sonderby that attorneys said came too late.

Deputy city manager latest high municipal official to resign
Deputy City Manager Donna Pierce said today she plans to resign from the city, effective July 1.City Manager Dave Palmer has said previously that he will resign at the end of the city's fiscal year. The moves will leave a gap in the city's upper-level management.

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

Accused murderer pleads down
A Haines man said in Juneau Superior Court today that he was responsible for delivering a beating that unintentionally killed his uncle last September.Robert Skulka, 36, of Haines, originally was charged with second-degree murder stemming from the incident on Sept. 17, when he was accused of kicking his uncle to death. He pleaded guilty today to a lesser charge of criminally negligent homicide as part of a plea agreement with the state.

Boats at 'Boneyard beach' burned
Juneau Harbor Department workers did some spring cleaning at the "boneyard beach" below the Thane Road campground on Monday, torching a pile of abandoned boats that littered the area for decades."Why now? Well, it's been an eyesore," said Harbormaster Chuck Wescott, who supervised the burn. "I've lived here since '78 and some boats have been there that long."

Photo: Taking a stand for children
Naomia Moritz, above left, and Dakota Hawley of the Juneau Montessori School watch the

Photo: Young talent
Emily Waste, left, and Haley Nelson of Juneau accompany Nelson's mother, Teri Tibbett, not shown, during their set at the Alaska Folk Festival on Wednesday at Centennial Hall. The 28th annual festival continues through Sunday.

JDHS students promote tolerance with march, silence
Dozens of Juneau-Douglas High School students spoke up for tolerance on Wednesday by staying silent in school.Organizers of the "Day of Silence" at JDHS said more than 140 students took a vow of silence to echo what they said was the silence gays and lesbians must practice to escape discrimination in their school and community.

Photo: Trail brush-up
Deanna MacPhail of the Juneau Audubon Society clears brush from the airport dike trail Tuesday. Trail Mix and volunteers are assisting the Juneau Airport with the work, which is intended to provide room for emergency vehicles that use the road, according to airport manager Allan Heese.

Local Briefs
School board reschedules meeting; UAS Sitka director resigning

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

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

Juneau man killed in airport crash
A Juneau man with a long Alaska aviation career died Wednesday afternoon when his plane crashed near Juneau Airport. Charles Thomas "Tom" Madsen Sr., 52, was the sole occupant of the twin-engine 1959 Beechcraft 18, which crashed in the Mendenhall Wetlands at about 4:20 p.m. Wednesday.

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

U.S. social workers captured by Taliban to speak in Pillars series
An astronaut, an Olympic gold medal winner, imprisoned relief workers and one of the youngest top gun pilots in American history will share their experiences with Juneau residents this spring.The Juneau Glacier Valley Rotary Club's annual Pillars of American Freedom speaker series starts April 17 with Capt. Eugene Cernan, commander of the final Apollo mission. He spoke in Juneau in 1992, the first year of the lecture series, according to Lorene Kappler, who helped organize this year's event.

Man gets 2 years for 2 sex crimes
A Juneau man who last year sexually assaulted an unconscious woman and sexually abused a 15-year-old girl will spend slightly more than two years in prison for his crimes.

Military News
Walsh completes naval training program; Hall graduates from air traffic controller school; Reynolds graduates from Army basic training

Master Gardeners schedule conference
The Southeast Alaska Master Gardeners Association is gearing up for its statewide gardening conference, May 2 to 4."We hold this conference once every two years, with cooperation from the Alaska Cooperative Extension Service," said Elizabeth Cuadra, vice president of the Southeast Alaska Master Gardeners. "Our experience has been that people come from all over Alaska, nearby parts of Canada and some from the Pacific Northwest.

Playing with the plants provides hours of fun and wonder
Warm days, retreating snow levels, and returning birds have us all buzzing with excitement. There are crocus blooming in protected areas, and many people say they have tulips up in their beds already. This fever to get going has us raking, cleaning, and trimming up winter damaged branches. I have even seen some ambitious soul rototilling up his snowbanks in an effort to make them go away faster.

Thank You
...for all the help; ..for the support

Pet Of the Week
Meet Booboo. She is spayed and declawed. Booboo is a beautiful short hair black cat who has a distinctive kinky tail. She likes to play with adults rather than children.

Pre-planning flights essential to safety
Is it spring yet? I feel sure that most pilots are champing at the bit to begin flying. The only place that experiences good flying weather in winter is the southwestern portion of the United States. But then again the summer months there can be a bit warm for comfort, especially in a small airplane.

Randy Eichholtz
Juneau resident Randy Eichholtz, 53, died March 28, 2002, at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

Austin T. Smathers
Austin Taylor Smathers, 3 days old, died April 4, 2002, at Swedish Medical Center in Seattle.

Palestinians brutalized by Israel, U.S. media
For the past several weeks I've been appalled by both the brutal treatment of the Palestinians and the media's biased reporting in favor of Israel. Because the news media is so much in support of Israel, few people in this country are fully aware of the extent of Palestinian oppression and humiliation by the Israelis.

What's a folk festival without different strokes?
Welcome to the I May Be a Writer But Words Fail Me edition of Thinking Out Loud. I struggle to do justice to the talent on stage last night at the Alaska Folk Festival. You hear "folk music" and you think, what - Peter, Paul and Mary? Down home tranquility with a toe-tappin' but not quite rockin' beat? Simple, honest music? Elusive, huh?

My Turn: Man of many hats likes Marine Park expansion
Expand Marine Park. Tough decision? Not really. Let's examine this from the personal perspective of a fella who wears a bunch of hats. Lest anyone be offended, please bear in mind that I'm just expressing my personal opinion and not the opinion of any of these fine organizations I belong to.

Word Of Mouth
Word of Mouth appears when justified by the number of calls received. Call 586-4636 and press 8255 to leave a message.

My Turn: VPSO program is complicated
As a longtime resident of Tenakee Springs and a city council member, I am disappointed and puzzled by the Empire's recent articles regarding Tenakee Springs and the Village Public Safety Officer program. How could the "Voice of Alaska's Capital City" show so much interest in the administration of a town with 104 people without addressing the one aspect of the issue with statewide implications?

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

Monagle, Cumlat named second-team all-state
Two Juneau-Douglas High School boys basketball players were named to the all-state basketball second team released today, while two more boys and two girls players earned honorable mention.Senior forward Ryan Mongale and senior point guard Julius "Junior" Cumlat earned large school (Class 3A-4A) second-team honors after helping lead the Crimson Bears to second place in the Class 4A state basketball tournament March 21-23 in Anchorage.

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

Fairchild heading to Eastern Oregon
When most football players earn their state's top high school awards, they start to dream of playing for one of the large football factory colleges.But Juneau-Douglas High School senior quarterback Brett Fairchild, who earned Alaska's offensive player of the year award last fall, has chosen a different route.

Labor chief blasts proposed fish processor deduction
JUNEAU - A measure that would allow fish processors to deduct $15 a day from employee paychecks to pay for food and housing in remote areas of Alaska stalled today in a House committee. The deduction would wipe out the entire proposed minimum wage increase from $5.65 to $7.15 per hour, assuming workers put in an eight-hour day. At many remote processing plants workers put in up to 12 hours every day during the season.

Bill halts PFDs for ex-cons
Criminals would temporarily and in some cases permanently lose their eligibility for permanent fund dividend checks under a bill approved by the Senate on Tuesday. The measure now goes to the House.PFD checks would instead be used to compensate victims of violent crime.

Fairbanks defense attorney accused of carrying metal knuckles
FAIRBANKS - A prominent Fairbanks defense attorney has been arrested for producing what authorities called metal fighting knuckles at the beginning of an evidentiary hearing.

Measure expanding civil immunity to legislative staffers bogs down
A bill aimed at ensuring civil immunity for legislative staff got sidetracked Wednesday when Democrats in the House questioned whether it might go too far in protecting lawmakers and employees from the consequences of their actions.House Speaker Brian Porter held off on taking a vote on the floor to see whether differences could be resolved.

Bill expands power to punish crimes on ferries
The alleged sexual assault of a 16-year-old girl on a state ferry last year that was thrown out of court on a technicality has led to swift action by lawmakers in the Capitol.The attack allegedly occurred on the Alaska Marine Highway ferry Matanuska traveling from Bellingham, Wash., to Ketchikan, while the vessel was in Canadian waters.

Senators look hard at bonds
The heads of the state transportation departments in New Mexico and Colorado assured Alaska senators this morning that so-called GARVEE bonds are a prudent way to accelerate major transportation projects.GARVEEs, or "grant anticipation revenue vehicles," are debt that is repaid with a state's annual stream of federal highway funds.

Legislators consider staffer immunity
A bill aimed at ensuring civil immunity for legislative staff got sidetracked today when Democrats in the House questioned whether it might go too far in protecting both lawmakers and employees from the consequences of their actions.

Legislative briefs
House panel OKs tourism funds; Senate looks at new prisons; Snowmachine license bill passes in House

State briefs
National team to investigate Anchorage hotel fire; 'Fiscal realities' reduce penalties in DWI bill; Senate fast-track bill gives Redistricting Board $50,000

Attic art show recycles artwork
Sue Deems wants to rescue and recycle Juneau art. The organizer of the PEO Attic Art and Upscale Collectibles Sale, Deems hopes to find new homes for art that is languishing in closets and attics.

Movies where & when
"Kandahar," (R) Iranian film with English subtitles, 7 and 9:15 p.m. Friday, April 12; 4, 7 and 9:15 p.m. Saturday; 4 and 7 p.m. Sunday and 7 and 9:15 nightly through Thursday, April 1218 at the Gold Town Nickelodeon.

Ford James produces 'Sunlight' for spring
Smooth saxophone lines interwoven with piano open "Sunlight," a new CD by Juneau jazz musician Ford James. "Sunlight" is a collection of progressive jazz-fusion instrumentals composed by James, a guitarist and bassist, and recorded in Juneau with local musicians. The recording is a swan song for James, who is leaving Southeast Alaska next week after living in Juneau for seven years, and five in Gustavus before that.

Best Bets: Folk fest offers spectating, participating
Smoke-free, all-ages dances and concerts, free music lessons and performances by a first-rate Irish fiddler are in store in the next few days. The Alaska Folk Festival has been going strong all week but really gets busy on the weekend. Juneau is flooded with out-of-town musicians and music-lovers, and the town is reeling with jam sessions and live music.

What's Up Wth that
Q: My 6-year-old son wants to know what's up with the creepy wooden door built into the hillside between the Goldbelt Hotel and the State Office Building archives office on Willoughby Avenue.

Puccini meets Kabuki
Silk, heartbreak, Japanese theater and Italian opera share the stage for a Juneau production of "Madama Butterfly." Joyce Parry Moore sings the lead role and directs Giacomo Puccini's "Madama Butterfly." It opens at 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 12, for a three-weekend run at Northern Light United Church. Parry Moore said the production, sung in English, blends Japanese style Kabuki and Noh theater elements with Italian opera.

What's happening
Entertainment and events around Juneau.

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