The real meaning of 'Bong Hits 4 Jesus'
I have followed with interest the Battle of the Banner ("Bong Hits 4 Jesus") and the freedom of speech issue. But I'm somewhat confused by the message.

Cleaning up turns into a snowball fight
I would like to thank all of those who participated recently in removing the snow from the soccer field in preparation for the upcoming soccer season.

State negotiating team is insulting state workers
The Alaska Department of Administration just announced it had received the nominations for the Denali Peak Performance Awards. Nominees were selected by peers for their performance and contribution to the work force and the state.

Keep Eaglecrest snowmobile free
I urge the Eaglecrest Board and the city of Juneau to prohibit snowmobiles in the Eaglecrest region during any season of the year.

Jet emergency lands after power outage
An electrical malfunction brought an Alaskan Airlines jet into Juneau International Airport for an emergency landing shortly after 7:23 p.m. Friday night, though no injuries were reported.

Police: suspect package no bomb
Hours after destroying a suspicious backpack with a water cannon, Juneau Police determined that its contents were not a bomb.

Photo: Ending the ski season in style
Ed Shanley adds a little flare to his run through a 92-foot pond Sunday during the Slush Cup at Eaglecrest Ski Area.

Around Town
Around Town is a listing of local nonprofit events. To be included, notices should be dropped off at 3100 Channel Drive.

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

Long-serving senator
Alaska's U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens has become longest-serving Republican senator in U.S. history. On Friday, Stevens logged 13,990 days seniority, passing South Carolina's Strom Thurmond, whose credentials come with an asterisk. Thurmond switched from Democrat to Republican earlier in his career.

Oil companies try to sway gas line plan
Oil companies holding leases on North Slope natural gas are asking the Alaska Legislature to keep them in the lead in the quest to build a gas pipeline.

Timeline of Ted Stevens' Senate career

Juneau man to set sail on world voyage
Longtime KINY radio personality Chris Burns has put down the microphone to undertake a new adventure: sailing around the world with his family.

Photo: Juneau addresses climate change
Juneau residents listen to Mayor Bruce Botelho speak Saturday during the "Step it Up" rally at Marine Park. The event was part of a nationwide campaign to rally around the need for substantial and rapid action on the issue of global warming.

Photo: Memorial for Eaglecrest pioneer
Bob Janes sprinkles the ashes of his wife, Willette Janes, from an antique whiskey bottle with his grandson, Robie Janes, 10, on Sunday at the Treadwell Ditch Dam along Williwaw Trail at Eaglecrest Ski Area.

Photo: From ballet to Broadway
Ballet dancers from a Juneau Dance Unlimited class perform to Mozart's "Lux Aeterna" during their recent event, Ballet to Broadway.

Around Town

Auditors account for tax shortfall
State Department of Revenue officials say they have accounted for some of the shortfall in the first year of the state's new petroleum profits tax, but more questions and some troubling concerns remain.

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

Selene Wolthausen
Juneau resident Selene Marhya Wolthausen died March 26, 2007, in Juneau. She was 27.

Ederlina Abella Abad
Juneau resident Ederlina Abella Abad died April 6, 2007, in Juneau. She was 54.

Robert Milton Sr.
Longtime Douglas resident Robert Milton Sr. died April 11, 2007, surrounded by family and friends. He was 77.

Thomas Phelan
Juneau resident Thomas Bernard Patrick Phelan, "Tom" or "Uncle Tom" to many, died early April 4, 2007, in the home of his son, Martin Phelan, in Juneau. He was 82.

Edith Zink
Former Juneau resident Edith Zink died March 31, 2007, with her family members at her bedside following a brief illness. She was 91.

Alvhild Lowell
A memorial service for longtime Juneau resident Alvhild "Hildie" Lowell, who died Nov. 16, 2006, at St. Peters Memorial Hospital in Olympia, Wash., will be held at 2 p.m. April 22 at the Juneau Yacht Club. A reception will follow.

Empire editorial: Uphold voters' intent on cruise ship initiative
Why is it so hard for some politicians to understand what democracy means? Ground Control to Capitol: Mind your electorate. Check Measure 2. Change course accordingly.

Alaska editorial: Advisory vote only pointed out divisions
This was not the convincing message that supporters had hoped for.

My turn: Coeur has done it right
In an April 2 My Turn column, Russell Heath, the executive director of the Southeast Alaska Conservation Council, said Coeur Alaska has attempted to break the law, specifically the Clean Water Act...

My turn: Health care affects us all
The numbers are telling. According to statistics from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Alliance for Health Care, of 285 million Americans, 48 million (16.8 percent) have no health insurance.

Toe Toon

My turn: Changing state-oil power relationship
The North Slope oil producers that control most of the slope's natural gas were unfailingly polite, but the message they delivered to legislators was clear...

My turn: Ketchikan should drop bridge
On April 2, Don Young, the representative for all Alaska, came to Ketchikan as the guest of honor at a barbecued pork dinner. How funny is that?

Photo: Taking the plunge
Steller sea lions plunge into the water on Wednesday from Leisnoi Island near Wrangell. More than 150 of the mammals frequent the island year round.

Running through bear country
Your heart races and you gasp for air. Is it because you just ran a couple of miles on a soggy, uneven trail or because you just spooked a brown bear?

Pepper spray: Use the right kind, practice
Bear pepper spray approved by the Environmental Protection Agency is not the same as Mace or personal pepper spray products. Personal protection sprays often release a second-long burst that carries only a couple of feet.

Boone and Crockett moose goes on display
For many hunters, the only thing greater than the excitement of stalking and eventually bagging a big bull moose is mounting their prize so the hunt can be relived in their mind each and every time their eyes fall upon it.

Out & About
Out & About is a listing of recreational activities. To have your group included, notices should be dropped off at 3100 Channel Drive.

Practice makes the perfect cast
A tiny fly is drifting down the Mendenhall River, bobbing bravely toward Fritz Cove and the Gastineau Channel.

Outsiders: Scott May
Outsiders is a weekly profile in the Juneau Empire's Outdoors section.

Back on center stage
Just six years ago, doctors told Juneau bodybuilder Norm Knowles that his crushed leg should be amputated.

Crimson Bears battle pair of state champions on same day
The Juneau-Douglas High School boys soccer team took on two state champions in one day Saturday at the Spring Fever Invitational, beating one and tying the other.

Crimson Bears smack 10 HRs against Wrangell
The Juneau-Douglas High School baseball team smacked 10 home runs in three games on Friday and Saturday against host Wrangell High School.

Juneau's Dean Williams keeps on swinging
Wanted: Competitive tennis players to participate in United States Tennis Association national ranking tournament. Must be in good shape. Must be at least 90 years old.

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' boys and girls teams successfully open season
The Juneau-Douglas High School boys and girls track and field teams emphatically kicked off the season in Ketchikan last weekend.

Season opener
Juneau-Douglas High School's Leah Francis wins the 3,200-meter run Friday at the Ketchikan Invitational. Look in Monday's editor for results from the season-opening meet.

Suffocating defense lifts JDHS girls
The Juneau-Douglas High School girls soccer team extended its shutout streak to four games this weekend at the Spring Fever Invitational.

JDHS softball sweeps Sitka
Despite not having one outdoor practice and fielding just four full-time varsity players, the Juneau-Douglas High School softball team impressively swept a three-game series from host Sitka High School on Friday and Saturday.

Alaska Digest
Three Alaska-based paratroopers killed, Group shifts focus to renewable energy

Legislative roundup

Sewer bubbles rain from sky
Clusters of foamy bubbles, some reportedly as large as a car and others the size of a bathtub, spewed from the city sewer lagoon.

This Day in History
In Alaska, the nation and the world

Man accused of kidnapping, sexually torturing two women
An Anchorage man is in custody on charges he held two women captive for days at a local crack house, and tortured and sexually assaulted them.

Alaska Digest
Pipe breaks, floods Federal Building, Death toll rises for Alaska-based troops & Wineries say state law hindering growth

Former hospital worker sentenced to 8 years
A former hospital caregiver convicted of sexually assaulting a man who was in his care was sentenced to eight years in prison.

Tuberculosis plagues Anchorage homeless
Tuberculosis, a highly contagious disease, has been spreading fast among homeless people in Anchorage for more than a year with no signs of stopping, according to city health officials.

This Day in History
n Alaska, In the Nation, and In the World

Boy hero arrested in shooting incident
Six years ago, Kevin Bruno was awarded by the city fire department for thwarting a knife attack at his elementary school that left four students seriously injured.

Introduced bill would allow governor to remove regent
A bill was introduced into the Legislature that would empower the governor to remove a University of Alaska regent.

Irwin returns to finish job
It's a Tuesday afternoon, and Gov. Sarah Palin's gas pipeline bill - a plan she believes will one day help feed the nation's domestic natural gas supply - is about to get its first public debate.

Alaska ranks near top in volunteers
People in this country have been volunteering at record levels in the years following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, but that voluntary service dipped slightly in 2006, a study found.

State operating budget ready for Senate vote
The Senate Finance Committee added money back to the operating budget for wastewater discharge permits, tourism and independent living grants in a final session before sending the document to the full body for a vote.

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