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Monday, April 12, 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.

Business Digest
Darlene's House of Gifts to carry new inventory

Alaska unsafe
I was planning on visiting Juneau and Tenekee Springs with my granddaughter, a long way from our home in Oklahoma. With the murder of my cousin, Maggie Wigen, as yet unsolved, we surely do not feel safe.

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.

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?

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.

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.

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."

Dog owners can take responsibility
This e-mail is written in response to Mr. Bob Armstrong's "My Turn: Dogs need leashes at wetlands to protect migratory bird

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.

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.

Break the cycle of war
What a surprise. Now that we've captured Saddam Hussein, we're fighting against Muqtada al-Sadr, a Shiite priest, and instead of fighting only Saddam's Sunni hold-outs, we've opened a second front, fighting members of Iraq's Shiite majority.

Around Town
Today: Low Impact Exercise, 10 a.m., Juneau Senior Center and Valley Senior Center. Details: 463-6175.

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.

Slush cup marks end of season
Eaglecrest Ski Area had a sunny end to a sometimes-stormy season Sunday, and dozens of skiers went out with a splash.

Last-minute tax filers need to be on lookout for mistakes
Shopping for a tax preparer isn't like shopping for Christmas presents.

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

Sign of spring
Jan Waatti, a volunteer worker at the Thane Public Campground, paints the campground sign Thursday. The campground opens April 15. People attending the Alaska Folk Festival can stay at the site at no cost until then, according to Jason Layton, the campground caretaker.

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

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

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

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.

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.

Photography cruise to feature local expert
Longtime Juneau resident and professional photographer Mark Kelley has been on a cruise once in his life. But that cruise was enough to convince him that locals make the best guides on cruise ships.

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.

Tax help is still available online
IRS spokeswoman Judy Monahan in Seattle said online help will be available at www.irs.gov. as long as people need it.

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.

Toe cartoon
Editorial cartoon by local artist Toe.

Charter schools are a cost-effective alternative
Charter schools in Alaska offer a bright opportunity for parents who are looking for the best for their children. Alaska's charter school law, enacted in 1995, allows parents, teachers and community members to organize independent schools that provide innovative educational opportunities for Alaska's youth.

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.

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.

Babies don't need fluoride, and we get plenty
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, uoride is not recommended at all for infants under six months old.

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.

Out & About
Upcoming local outdoor events.

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.

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

Sports in Juneau
UPCOMING EVENTS: Juneau-Douglas High School boys and girls soccer - Spring Fever event: The Crimson Bear boys and girls host teams from Chugiak, Palmer and Pagosa Springs (Colo.) at Adair-Kennedy Memorial Park.

Mets' Valent makes the most of opportunity
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico - Cliff Floyd's injury gave Eric Valent an opportunity. Valent hit his first major league home run, a go-ahead, two-run drive that backed Tom Glavine and led the New York Mets over the Montreal Expos 4-1 Sunday.

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.

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.

Local Briefs
Juneau Jumpers head to U.S. World Team qualifier

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.

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

Former judge makes ukulele CD in support of library
HOMER - Little did Pat Boone, an actor and singer who made female hearts flutter in the 1950s, know that his smooth singing style and artful strumming of a baritone ukulele would one day inspire a fund-raising effort for Homer's new public library.

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

UAF attempting to build robot vehicle
ANCHORAGE - Slow and steady wins the race. And the Arctic Tortoise has a chance at victory - next time. That's the philosophy of Rick Ruhkick, team leader of a project at the University of Alaska's Geophysical Institute in Fairbanks which is preparing for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency "Grand Challenge."

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.

Northwest Digest
Kenai processor plans major dock expansion: KENAI - A Kenai fish processor said he plans to expand his Kenai River dock in such a way to enable his company to catch a new wave in the commercial fishing industry.

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.

This Day in History
In Alaska: In 1901, the city of Nome was incorporated as a first-class municipality.

Alaska Digest
News in brief from around the state.

Herring eggs mark spring's arrival in SE
KETCHIKAN - Crocuses and chocolate bunnies might mark the end of winter in some parts of the nation, but herring eggs announce spring's arrival in Southeast Alaska.

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.

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