Sunday, April 11, 2004

'Q is for Quarry': latest in alphabet series is strained
Way back when, author Sue Grafton had a bright idea: Write a series of mysteries starring a female detective, Kinsey Millhone, and create 26 of them, one for each letter of the alphabet.

Is fluoridation getting old yet?
Perhaps I am flogging a dead horse by this date, but I find the fluoridation issue very nearly amusing. It's a fact that there are minerals/chemicals that our bodies need. You'll see them on the back of cereal boxes. Iron, magnesium, zinc, calcium. Use zinc as an example. Most people know that zinc is toxic, and that it's a good idea to wash your hands after handling it, but it doesn't bother anybody to see zinc in Kellogg's cornflakes.

Don't change bus schedule
Changing the bus schedule would really hurt me. The bus is my only form of transportation. I don't own a car. I have clients at the university and in their homes throughout this city and the Valley. I work in the client's home, so it's hard enough to arrange tutoring around the client schedule and the buses.

Use fund for schools
Here is something I've been pondering and haven't heard a thing on with the whole permanent fund dividend issue. We as citizens of the state should take the pay out of the PFDs but should also have it protected by law to only fund schools and schools only. People say people would leave the state after that, but that's fine.

People, not dogs, disrupt birds
In response to Bob Armstrong's letter of April 8, 2004: I have grown up in Juneau. I have a lifetime of experience observing the birds and dogs out at the wetlands/dike trail.

Let's have smoking and nonsmoking
I think that businesses should be able to decide for themselves whether or not they will be a smoke-free facility. Why does it have to be all or nothing? Some people like to smoke and some people don't. So why not have both smoking and nonsmoking businesses to accommodate everyone?

Beliefs fuel misunderstanding
I am writing in response to a letter titled "Share Burden Equally" that was just published on April 9, 2004. The author argues that "violence against humans is sad and unjust," but "providing extra services (for Alaska Natives) only encourages racism and increases the burden on the taxpayers ... and is, therefore, the dividing line between peoples."

Tax fairly, not just smokers
What group of people in Alaska pay the most takes? The answer: smokers. Currently, a one-pack-a-day smoker pays at least $365 a year in cigarette taxes. At two packs a day, a smoker pays $730 in cigarette taxes each year.

Governor removes Juneau's name from sides of most Alaska Marine Highway ships
Juneau's identification with the state ferry system is floating away.

Photo: In my Easter bonnet ...
Dale Wygant plays accordion accompaniment to, from left, singers Maxine McCoy, volunteer Erin Jackson, Eunice Akagi and Harriet H. Roberts during Friday's Easter Bonnet Parade at the Mountain View Senior Center. The center's Easter bonnet contest was started 10 years ago by Anges Wolfe.

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

Ordinance would rein in skaters
Skateboarders will have to leave Juneau's Marine Park Plaza to the tourists in summer when vans or buses are present, if a proposed city ordinance passes.

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

New school's cost may swell by $1.8 million
It may cost $1.8 million more than previously expected to build the Dimond Park high school, according to professional cost estimators. The school's planners may have to reduce the number of classrooms to balance the construction budget, city officials say.

Oratory has appeal for Native students
For Chris Smith, a University of Alaska Southeast student of Natchitoches Caddo heritage, a Native oratory contest at the college Saturday was the chance to talk about his research into anonymous 20th century carvers.

State fines Capital Disposal for smoke
Capital Disposal, the company that handles all of Juneau's solid waste, was recently fined $180,000 by the state for violating smoke emission regulations with its incinerator.

Empire Editorial: New federal cruise ship bill goes to extremes
Alaska has led the nation in getting the cruise ship industry to clean up its act. And we've done it without going to extremes, as a new federal proposal does.

Toe cartoon
Editorial cartoon by local artist Toe.

It's been reported
Well, all I know is what I read in the papers. So wrote Will Rogers 12 years before he was killed in an Alaska plane crash.

Out & About
Upcoming local outdoor events.

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

Wildlife Notebook: Meet Alaska's efficient little carnivores
Wolves are Alaska's most famous carnivores, but Alaska has plenty of meat eaters that hunt on the microcosmic level. Close to the ground, amid the litter of the forest floor and at the edges of ponds and streams, mouse-like predators hunt and scavenge. They're shrews.

Snow report
Easter Sunday is the last day for Eaglecrest Ski Area this season.

Outside with a purpose: Bird Watching
Juneau Audubon Society President Brenda Wright doesn't need a special occasion to be birding. Whether headed for a walk or to work, she is ready for a bird-spotting every time she walks out her door.

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.

From the Sidelines: Juneau's Bentz and Boozer are good athletes and good citizens
For the past two years, local sports fans have been able to watch Juneau-Douglas High School graduate Carlos Boozer play basketball with the best in the world as a power forward for the NBA's Cleveland Cavaliers. On Wednesday, another JDHS graduate reached the pinnacle of his sport when left-handed relief pitcher Chad Bentz made his major league debut for the Montreal Expos.

Cavs snap losing streak, but too late to make playoffs
With two games remaining, the Cleveland Cavaliers still have their eyes on the playoffs - next season's.

Crimson Bears finish unbeaten on Spokane trip
Juneau-Douglas High School boys soccer players didn't meet expectations in the season's first games. They blew them away.

Hockey haven
The weather may be turning warm and sunny outside, but the ice and cold of winter lives on inside Treadwell Arena. Youth hockey teams faced off on the Treadwell rink Saturday afternoon. The hockey season will wind down later this month.

Pollution fears plague Inuit mothers in Arctic areas
he dark season had ended, and a fierce Arctic wind was howling across the icy sea as Lucy Qavavauq finished a supper of caribou soup. After dishes were put away at her friend's home, she sat down to nurse her firstborn child. As the baby fed, the mother wondered whether her 9-month-old boy was drinking poison - contaminants found in tests of Inuit who eat caribou and other Arctic animals.

Alaska Digest
News in brief from around the state.

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

State Division of Elections gives Ogan recall group OK to proceed to next step
A citizens group can go ahead with its attempt to recall Sen. Scott Ogan, R-Palmer, the state Division of Elections has decided.

New chinook harvest quota highest since 1985
Good ocean survival conditions have made for a Southeast chinook harvest quota that is the highest since the signing of the original Pacific Salmon Treaty Agreement in 1985.

Legislative roundup
Action on bills at the Capitol during the past week.

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