Thursday, April 22, 2004

Keep sex offender out
I do not know why the Lions Club would let a convicted sex offender work the doors at the Gold Medal tournament this year and have contact with all the children who walked through the doors. Maybe they just didn't know about him.

Work together to end racism at all levels
My name is Theresa Rodriguez and I am a student at Juneau-Douglas High School. I am Kaagwaantaan from the Eagle Wolf House. I am 25 percent Tlingit and 75 percent Filipino. I find it hard to understand why most students in our school behave in a negative way and make racial remarks toward other kids of different nationalities or cultures.

Gen. Apathy and the Confederacy of Dunces
Your front page article on Alaska Republican Party chairman/government appointee Randy Ruedrich reads like something out of the "Confederacy of Dunces." In addition to Mr. Ruedrich's alleged blunderings, I find it disconcerting; might I say, even embarrassing, to read that the chief of staff of the governor of Alaska "does not know how to use a computer and does not send his own e-mail."

Ad shows newspaper's bias
While reading Monday's paper, I saw an ad by the Juneau Clean Air Alliance stating that 71 percent of bar patrons prefer smoke-free establishments and 77 percent of Juneau residents don't smoke. This ad would lead one to believe that a survey was taken of local bar patrons to establish the veracity of this ad. I personally called all the bar owners that I know, and talked to as many people as I could, to ask if they knew of such a survey. Gee, what a surprise: Absolutely no one had heard of such a survey.

Fetal alcohol disorders affect all populations
I am excited about the free workshop being provided in Juneau on Wednesday, April 28 by Robin LaDue, Ph.D. at the Baranof. Dr. LaDue is a nationally known expert in fetal alcohol spectrum disorders.

Raising state's tobacco tax is unfair
Thank you, Mr. Shockley. Your letter on the tobacco tax hit some great points. Gov. Murkowski's choosing to tax one specific item is unfair and unjust. Going that route, one could choose any number of things to tax. For instance, high-fat or sugar foods, because obesity and diabetes are major problems in this state and nationwide. And we could go on from there.

Drivers should learn the rules of the road
Most residents south of Douglas Bridge (SD) are courteous drivers.They stop and allow North Douglas (ND) drivers to merge in the morning commute to town (the zipper effect), while other Juneau Borough (JB) drivers commuting to Douglas do not yeild. Does this courtesy extend to the evening traffic? That's hard to say, as you will see ...

Be fair to dogs
A number of leash-requirement areas are being proposed by the Dog Task Force, including Gastineau Peak above the tram and areas within the Mendenhall State Game Refuge. The area above the tram was proposed by the Wildlife Subcommittee as a wildlife viewing area.

Pact lets GCI offer Juneau phone service
Competitive local telephone service is in Juneau to stay. The city's two local phone companies, Alaska Communications Systems and General Communication Inc., agreed late Sunday night to end the litigation that drained both companies' resources for almost eight years.

Around Town
Blood Bank of Alaska blood drive, 7:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m., Juneau-Douglas High School, Marie Drake Room 241. Details and appointment: 523-1626.

A stuck Tar Baby
U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officers Michael Aurella, left, and Kevin Smith check out the fishing vessel Tar Baby after the boat grounded Tuesday off Battleship Island, near Auke Bay. The boat's skipper escaped the vessel uninjured.

Board directs alternative school to remain in its rented quarters
The alternative high school will stay in its rented quarters, the Juneau School Board decided Tuesday.

High school planners preserve classrooms
Contractors building the proposed Dimond Park high school may have to skip the playing field, kitchen and paved parking, school planners said Tuesday.

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

Unions sue, want board appointee out
Alaska labor unions have gone to court seeking the removal of one of Gov. Frank Murkowski's recent additions to the state's labor relations board.

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

Tlingit-Haida resolutions address economics, racism, ferries
Tlingit-Haida Central Council President Ed Thomas said last week's general meeting was a success, but he would like to get his message out to a broader forum.

School Board approves policy that allows funds for advocacy
The Juneau School Board says it doesn't plan to spend public funds to influence elections, but on Tuesday it appropriated $750 just in case what it intends as impartial information is perceived as advocacy.

Showing solidarity against child abuse
Participants at the Child Abuse prevention rally at the Dimond Courthouse courtyard on Tuesday release balloons meant to symbolize hope for Alaska's children, said Marc Wheeler, executive director of Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Musicians gather at JDHS for music fest
The song was "Anything Goes," the goal anything but. Fine-tuning footwork, coordinating cutoffs, members of the Juneau-Douglas High School Jazz Choir sometimes treaded a thin line between polish and spontaneity as they prepared Wednesday for one of their biggest performances of the year.

Being great
A great blue heron perches on a piling Tuesday near the Douglas boat harbor.

Palmer files APOC complaint against the School Board
Former City Manager Dave Palmer said the Juneau School Board broke state law Tuesday by appropriating funds to influence elections.

Alleged drunken driver damages Savikko ball fields
Two Savikko Park fields were off-limits to practicing softball teams Tuesday as city staffers cleaned up the mess left by someone seen driving through a fence and "spinning doughnuts" on the fields.

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

Highlighting Filipino culture
It starts with two crabs from the Philippines delivering pizza in Juneau and ends with a much-berated stepdaughter marrying a prince and manufacturing specialty jams for movie stars. And no one mumbles! You know it's not the usual school play.

Corrections
Corrections to local stories.

REACH reaches 25 years
Thanks to REACH, Lee Sandor and her husband John leave for a vacation today. Though a five-day getaway to British Columbia would be pretty routine for most Juneau families, the Sandors, who have a daughter with a developmental disability, require the help of REACH service providers.

Pets of the Week
Awww-inspiring Raiff does Snoopy thing, Captain's no schlemiel, in fact he's perfect

Neighbors Digest
The Alaska Native Sisterhood Grand Camp will hold the Southeast Alaska Native Women's Conference from Thursday through Saturday, April 29-May 1, in Juneau.

By the People Juneau Calendar of events
Thursday, April 22: Film/discussion: "Scenes from an Endless War"

A croissant is only a croissant - or maybe not
I would define my French as dreadful, except that defining something implies that it exists. As the parameter for my trip grew from weeks to months, I determined to learn something of the language and enrolled in French 101 at UAS last fall. Around Halloween I fell behind and dropped out, something a parent should never do. I can hear it now: "But, Mom, remember when you dropped out of that French class?"

Preserving the Tlingit 'fringe about the body'
Jennie Thlunaut may be not a household name, but if she had lived in Japan she would probably have been declared a national treasure.

Sharon Martin
Juneau resident Sharon Martin, 61, died April 14, 2004, at Bartlett Regional Hospital.

Vernice Kirchhofer
Longtime Juneau resident Vernice Eleanora Kirchhofer died April 18, 2004, in Juneau.

Michael Fenster
Longtime Juneau resident Michael Joseph Fenster, 57, died April 15, 2004, in Juneau.

Vernice Eleanora Kirchhofer
Longtime Juneau resident Vernice Eleanora Kirchhofer, 81, died April 18, 2004 in Juneau.

Sunday service set for Mike Fenster
The community will have an opportunity to remember Mike Fenster Sunday. The city will hold a memorial service at 3 p.m. Sunday at Centennial Hall. A reception will follow at the Wings of Alaska hangar. The longtime firefighter and co-founder of Wings of Alaska died Thursday night at Bartlett Regional Hospital.

Bonita McEwen
Longtime Juneau resident Bonita "Bonnie" Gail McEwen, 61, died April 19, 2004, in Juneau.

My Turn: Approve fiscal plan now or watch state suffer
Does the Legislature really need to act on a fiscal plan this year? The Alaska Conference of Mayors and Alaska Municipal League firmly believe the answer is, yes for effective public safety and well maintained transportation systems, yes for strong communities with reasonable local taxes, yes for good schools and university, and yes for a stable investment climate to keep jobs and attract new ones.

Sports Briefs
Local sports news in brief

First City sweep
The undefeated Juneau-Douglas High School soccer program is well on its way to earning another pair of trips to the state tournament.

Speedo/Alaska Junior Olympics
Results from the 2004 Speedo/Alaska Swimming Junior Olympics held Friday through Sunday at Anchorage's Bartlett High School swimming pool.

O'Brien wins top swimmer honors
Kyle O'Brien of Juneau's Glacier Swim Club needed an extra bag to pack all his awards home from the 2004 Speedo/Alaska Swimming Junior Olympics, held Friday through Sunday at Anchorage's Bartlett High School swimming pool.

Sports in Juneau
New Calendar Items: Juneau Freewheelers bicycle time trial - The Juneau Freewheelers cycling group is holding a time trial race on Friday.

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.

FEC fines PAC linked to governor
A political action committee tied to Gov. Frank Murkowski and run by Alaska Attorney General Gregg Renkes has been fined for accepting $19,000 in illegal corporate contributions several years ago, when Murkowski was a U.S. senator and Renkes a Washington, D.C., lobbyist.

Grieving
Diane Lee holds a photo of her late husband, James Lee Jr., at Victims For Justice's 18th annual Tree Ceremony at the start Monday of National Crime Victims' Rights Week in Anchorage. James Lee Jr. was Anchorage's first homicide victim of 2004.

This Day in History
In Alaska: In 1925, Morris W. Griffith, U.S. Marshall at Nome, died suddenly.

Senate takes Murkowski's budget over House version
State Senate Republicans have allied with Gov. Frank Murkowski in his fiscal 2005 spending plan, dismissing millions in proposed changes by House GOP lawmakers.

Panel rates Alaska fishery tops
ANCHORAGE - The nation's largest fishery off the coast of Alaska is being managed better than others in the United States with none of its stocks being overfished, according to a presidential commission.

Alaska Digest
News in brief from around the state.

Deal in works on changing permafund
House Democrats and Republicans are trying to negotiate a deal on a constitutional amendment that could lead to Alaska Permanent Fund earnings being spent on government.

Money, protection urged for oceans
WASHINGTON - The government should set up a trust fund with $4 billion annually from oil and gas royalties to protect and improve the health of the nation's oceans, Great Lakes and coastal areas, a presidential commission reported Tuesday.

Alaska Digest
Staff and Wire reports

Do you know what happened in the world today?
A stay-at-home mother believes George Bush is conspiring with Osama Bin Laden for political gains. An oil petroleum distributor hopes the United States can finance the reconstruction of Iraq solely with oil revenue. A Filipino postal worker cares more about the price of gasoline for his delivery truck than the price of war in the Middle East. How do they get their news? Do they know what happened in the world today? And what do they think the world thinks about the United States?

Briefly
Local arts and entertainment news in brief.

Cartoon: In the Swamp
Cartoon by local artist Toe.

As sharp as Homeric tradition
Growing up, Canadian poet, historian and typographer Robert Bringhurst's education was the same as most North American youth.

What's happening
Upcoming local arts and entertainment events.

Learning about the transitory nature of coolness
So, we were all sitting there at the end of yoga class in the lotus position with our hands in prayer when our instructor, this girl with a 2-foot long braid I'll call "yoga-babe," said, "I'd like to share a song with you."

Concert to celebrate the values, origins and beliefs of three faiths
Last November, longtime Juneau resident Dixie Belcher visited Islamic and Christian leaders in Lebanon and Syria. "Syria might be the friendliest country I'd ever been in," Belcher said. "People would stop us on the street and ask where we were from. If you weren't careful, you'd end up in their house for coffee."

Movies: Where & when
Local movie showings and times.

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