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!)

Final resting place
I recently was placed in a position to take care of the cremated remains of a Vietnam veteran, one Jack Medley. Not by choice, but by fate. Some of you may have known Jack. He apparently attempted suicide from the Douglas Bridge several times. A friend, Rick Shaw, was often contacted and helped him home.

Ugly clearcuts
As my wife and I sit drinking our morning coffee and looking out our window we are horrified. Sealaska Timber is picking up right where they left off last year, clear-cutting within our view and to the east of us. But what is even more horrifying is that they are preparing to pick up where they left off four years ago directly across and to the west of Hoonah.

Oil, politics
It is no wonder that several Jewish lobbies are supporting Sen. Murkowski's desires to drill in ANWR. He says that it doesn't require much land, just a piece here and here and here and here. This is very similar to the Israeli settlement plan in Palestine.

Misdirected tax dollars
Thank you to Patricia Judson for having the courage to speak the truth about media bias against the Palestinian cause. To support her point, I would like to add a few more comments.

Hear these small words of hope
A few days ago, I sat down at Marine Park, read a book of Rumi poetry, and tried to mourn the lost beauty of the park in the coming future. Afterward, I sat in my bare downtown apartment and meditated, contemplating ways to curb and prevent the corruption of the land. Steadily, though, I woke up, shaking off the pretense of lack of pretense.

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.

Income tax beats loss of Permafund checks
This letter is in response to Loren Gerhard's My Turn, "The PFD party's over, let's move on," of March 25. Like many, I was not a resident of Alaska during the debate and initial inception of the PFD. But quoting page five of Gov. Jay Hammond's most recent book "Chips From the Chopping Block," he states the fund's purpose was to "counter selective greed with collective greed." Collective greed means that all residents would share in its excess wealth and not just a selective few (special interests).

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.

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

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.

City holds line on tax rate
Juneau's property tax mill rate and most services will stay the same next fiscal year under a draft budget presented to the Juneau Assembly on Thursday.The mill rate and most services would be the same as in the current year, except for three new Police Department positions, City Manager Dave Palmer said. The proposed budget adds a community service officer to deal with bears and two police dispatchers to consolidate and improve emergency communications citywide, he said.

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

Local briefs
Tourism poll participation down; Eaglecrest to end season with races; Suspect pleads out in toddler's death

Speeding car damages 4 parked vehicles, wall
Charles Curtis arrived at the scene of a five-vehicle accident Thursday afternoon near Egan Drive and saw what used to be the subport fence sticking out of his mangled engine block, with his truck's antifreeze spilled onto the concrete below. Curtis went pale, doubled over twice and tried to catch his breath. "When I saw it I just couldn't believe it," said Curtis. "He rammed it perfect."

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

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

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.

Pregnant woman hurt in DWI accident
A 22-year-old pregnant woman is expected to be released from the hospital today after being treated for injuries she suffered as a passenger in a car struck in an alleged drunken-driving accident downtown Thursday night.

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.

Stewart Ely: Connecting communities with music
Singer Stewart Ely, who closed Thursday's Alaska Folk Festival concert, plays many roles living part of the year in Juneau and part in the fishing village of Pelican. But the one he plays best is that of organizer of the Pelican Boardwalk Boogie, a folk festival held each May in the small coastal town 70 miles west of Juneau on Chichagof Island.

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.

Photo: Fiddlers at the Capitol
Joel Martin, 12, center, plays with 22 fellow Fairbanks Tetra Fiddlers on Thursday in the House State Affairs Committee Room at the Capitol. The group of children, from elementary to high school, traveled to Juneau to take part in the Alaska Folk Festival and are scheduled as the opening act tonight.

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.


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.

Investigators seeking answers in plane crash
The investigation into Wednesday's fatal plane crash on the Mendenhall Wetlands near the Juneau Airport is continuing.An investigator from the National Transportation Safety Board and two inspectors from the Federal Aviation Administration were examining the aircraft this morning in a hangar at the airport, said Terry Gordon, manager of the FAA Flight Standards District office in Juneau.

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

Juneau schools get gift of Olympic proportions
The 2002 Olympic Torch Relay only visited Juneau for a day, but a gift will allow the spirit and legacy of its passage to carry on in Juneau schools.An official Olympic torch - one of those used by a relay runner in Juneau on Jan. 24 - has been donated to the Juneau School District to commemorate the participation of students in the event. Juneau Parks and Recreation Director Kim Kiefer - who served on the local torch relay organizing committee - presented the torch to the Juneau School Board at its April 2 meeting.

Senior Menu
The following meals will be served next week. These meals and Care-a-Van transportation are available to all senior citizens (age 60 and over).

Thank you
...for the photos; ... for the support; ...for all the help.

Neighbors Briefs
Transit center workshop set; Silverbow introduces folk fest granola bar; AWARE offers training

Justice and love are more powerful than hate
Sept. 11 seemed to sink a terror in our bones. Our president has declared a war on terrorism and especially Osama Bin Laden. More than six months have passed and instead of the "war" winding down, it seems to be escalating. How many have already died?Countless common people of Afghanistan who have struggled just to live under a heartless regime, some American service personnel, some of the Taliban network and others. The total number killed, although unknown to us, probably far surpasses our guesstimates. How many more will be maimed and killed? Meanwhile, at home, our freedoms are gradually being eroded.

American Cancer Society looks for relay recruits
The race is on for teams to participate in the first American Cancer Society Relay for Life in Juneau."Team recruitment kicks off Saturday and Sunday, April 13 and 14, at the Nugget Mall," said Relay for Life co-chairwoman Staci Augustus.

Charles 'Tom' Madsen Sr.
Juneau resident and veteran Alaska bush pilot Charles "Tom" Madsen Sr., 52, died Wednesday, April 10, 2002, when the Aleutian Spirit, his twin-engine E-18S, crashed after take-off from the Juneau Airport.

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

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: Industrialized downtown tourism is repugnant
I'd like to respond to Jim "The Mad Hatter" Scholz and his pitch for expansion of bus parking on the prime downtown waterfront.

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.

Yet another special session?
Like death, taxes and the annual return of swallows to San Juan Capistrano, a legislative special session is on tap again in Juneau. Once again, the focus will be on finding a solution to one of the state's most enduring and long-festering controversies - subsistence. The source of the controversy is a small minority of Republican senators who are preventing the necessary two-thirds vote to place the issue where a vast majority of both lawmakers and the voters who put them there want it - on the ballot.

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: If you listen to the opera often enough ...
The thing about opera, of course, is that it is so insidious. I can't help thinking that ever since my 5-year old daughter started rehearsing for her part in "Madama Butterfly," our life has got a bit more, well, dramatic.

My Turn: Greens are really bad for the environment and the economy
The question must be asked: "Are environmentalists good for the environment?"And the answer may be more difficult to answer than you think. Many people would reflexively say "Oh sure" and go back to hugging their bunnies.

My Turn: Sovereign Palestinian state required
Please write letters to the editor and elected officials protesting the Israeli repression of Palestinians and supporting a sovereign Palestinian state. For the past 55 years, Israel has created a military state that has bred Palestinian violence while the U.S. has turned a blind eye.

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.

Juneau soccer teams head to Ketchikan
The Juneau-Douglas High School girls soccer team had one of its youngest rosters in years last season, when it stayed even with eventual state champion East Anchorage until the final minutes before dropping a 1-0 decision in the state tournament semifinals.The Crimson Bears open their 2002 season today in Ketchikan and the Juneau players are hoping to build upon last year's success, which saw the team eventually finish fifth at state.

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

Juneau boys hope to avoid repeat of last year's controversy
After sweeping four games in Spokane, Wash., last weekend, the Juneau-Douglas High School boys soccer team was still riding the high when it returned home for practices this week.But it didn't take long for the Crimson Bears to shift their focus to this weekend's games in Ketchikan. The defending state champion Crimson Bears still remember what happened last year in Ketchikan, and they want to make sure there isn't a repeat of last year's controversy on this trip.

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.

BP to ban tourists from road
ANCHORAGE - BP Exploration (Alaska) Inc. said it is closing the road that leads through the Prudhoe Bay oil fields to the Arctic Ocean. The company said Thursday it will not allow tour companies to travel the seven-mile stretch of road this summer, due to security concerns stemming from the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

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

Effort to redraw districts begins
Nineteen potential redistricting plans were on the table late this morning as a state panel started a second round of deliberations on a new legislative map. The Alaska Supreme Court last month struck down the previous plan, which would have pitted up to 20 Republican incumbents against each other in the August primary election.

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.

Lawmakers try new combos to fix budget
The state's $1 billion fiscal gap isn't gone. Nor is it forgotten.Various meetings and exchanges, all out of public view, have gone on throughout the week in an attempt to move a revenue package out of the House. "My goal is to have something on the floor next week," Rep. Jim Whitaker, a Fairbanks Republican, said in an interview this morning.

Workers' generosity could kill moose
ANCHORAGE - Federal Express has told its employees at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport to quit feeding an orphaned moose calf hanging around the company's hub. Some workers had taken to feeding the animal and even petting it, said biologist Rick Sinnott of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. While there is some risk the young moose could starve, Sinnott said, the greater risk is in feeding the animal.

Alaska's subsistence halibut fishing goes legal
ANCHORAGE - Subsistence halibut harvests from a centuries old fishery will soon be legal. The North Pacific Fishery Management Council voted unanimously Thursday to recognize and regulate a subsistence halibut fishery that biologists estimate harvests 1.5 million pounds of fish annually in coastal Alaska waters.

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.

State briefs
2 presumed dead on Mt. St. Elias; House OKs supplemental funds; Mystery barrels at missile site

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.

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.

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.

What's happening
Entertainment and events around Juneau.

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.

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.

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.

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