Don't criminalize marijuana
Should marijuana users really be given the same punishments as a rapist or pedophiles? If you are going to try and criminalize marijuana again, don't lack the research on the medicinal herb.

City taxes out of line
Is there anybody out there who feels that their property taxes are clearly out of hand?

Disingenuous to oppose governor's jet
Frequent news reports containing names of elected officials scoffing at the idea of the state of Alaska owning jet-powered aircraft for use for official travel could be valuable to those wishing to seek elected office in the future.

Poker, pot, profit
In response to Sen. Cowdery in the April 20 Empire article regarding legalizing poker rooms: Just a thought, but since so many people these days are also gathering "underground" to smoke marijuana and manufacture methamphetamines, maybe the state of Alaska can figure out a way to profit from these operations as well. It would appear that there is big money to be had. Just a thought.

Empire should feature Sen. Stevens' service
I was very surprised to read the Empire's April 7 edition and see the published letter from a person in Madison, Wis., in response to a Fairbanks Daily News-Miner editorial, who writes a very disparaging, blatantly false and personal attack against U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens.

Agency sells sex
At the Health Fair on April 9 at Centennial Hall, I watched as a young 16-year-old girl approached the Planned Parenthood table. Later that day I contacted this young teenager to ask what kind of reception she received from PP. This is an example of what you can expect from PP.

Legislature invents emergency
Once a year the Legislature wrestles over a large list of bills that in many cases are just "make work." Instead of working on real serious problems facing the people of this state, they make up emergencies and squander days and weeks with political infighting in order to get their name in the news. A recent example was the bills concerning the State Employees Retirement System.

Around Town is a listing of local nonprofit events.

Vodka blamed for shooting incident
A fight over a bottle of vodka led to a shot being fired Thursday night in the Marineview Apartments downtown, one witness told police.

Juneau Raptor Center frees eagles
Spectators watch the release of Popsicle, an adult bald eagle, by the Juneau Raptor Center on Thursday at the Brotherhood Bridge parking lot.

A standing testament to Juneau aviation history
Perhaps nobody knows the story of Merchants Wharf better than Juneau aviation historian Jim Ruotsala.

City seeks Merchants Wharf deal
It could be just a matter of time until Juneau's oldest waterfront landmark sinks into history itself.

'Empty bowls' raises funds
The line of people waiting for soup Saturday snaked out of the Centennial Hall dining room and through much of the building. But people didn't complain.

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

Witness testifies Maggie Wigen was raped before she was killed
Maggie Wigen was sexually assaulted before she was killed two years ago, jurors heard Friday, a day after a witness alleged the man standing trial in her death had previously tried to rape her.

Assembly makes right call on school, capitol plans
Thumbs up to the Juneau Assembly, which last week funded the city school district to the state's cap with its approval of a $20 million budget for fiscal year 2006.

Empire editorial: Give businesses a break, but do it with caution
While many other Alaska cities are announcing they're on the brink of financial disaster, Juneau is in the enviable position of expecting a $6 million surplus next fiscal year.

Worldwide PIPS scam hits Alaska
The state of Texas has issued a cease and desist order. The attorney general of the state of Hawaii is investigating, as are Alaska officials. And the Australian Securities and Investment Commission gives it the 2005 "Pie in the Sky" award.

Out & About is a listing of recreational activities.

Outdoors Digest
Outdoors in brief

In Search of Goats
Juneau outdoorsman Joel Bennett described mountain goats as "gymnasts of the rocks." He said he saw a dozen or so recently while walking along Mendenhall Lake. "To watch how they negotiate those steep cliffs - they're such agile creatures."

25 years later, conservation act drives boom
Twenty-five years ago, Alaska stood on the verge of the biggest land lockup in the history of the world. Prodded by the administration of then-President Jimmy Carter, the U.S. Congress was considering the creation of more than 100 million acres of new national parks, refuges and other protected areas in the 49th state.

Sports Briefs

JDHS boys second, girls third at Skyview
The Juneau-Douglas High School boys and girls track teams performed exceptionally well Friday and Saturday in what Crimson Bears coach Scott May labeled as the premier invitational in Alaska.

Photos: On the move for a good cause
Photos of the Spring MS Run/Walk

This Day in History
In Alaska, the nation and world

Lawmakers' ethics bills aim at state employees
Two more bills aimed at ethics regulations for state employees surfaced Friday, hinting that the Alaska Legislature may set guidelines before the session runs out in May.

Alaska Digest
Headlines from around the state

Bill would allow cities to compete for capitol
The 74-year-old capitol in Juneau is inadequate, unfriendly and unsafe, according to a state lawmaker who has sponsored a bill to allow communities to compete to build a new one.

Resolution opposes United Nations 'Beringia' designation
State Rep. Jim Elkins, R-Ketchikan, says the United Nations has gone too far in considering designating the Bering Sea and other parts of Alaska a World Heritage site.

Legislative roundup
Bills introduced and voted on last week

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