Monday, April 26, 2004

Review: Lots happens in this Southeast Alaska tale - and it's not pretty
A page preceding the text of "Rogue's Yarn" gives a definition for this nautical jargon: "A brightly colored strand woven contrary to the braid of a rope to show the strength or purpose of the rope."

In the Stacks: Explore the world of yodeling, learn origami, or get organized - all at the Juneau library
New non-fiction books are waiting for you at the Juneau Public Libraries!

Photos: Going to the ball in Xtratufs
Seattle publisher Sasquatch Books has produced two children's titles with an Alaska flavor.

New bank in Valley
JUNEAU - The True North Federal Credit Union opened its new building in the Mendenhall Valley Friday, providing a new outlet for its 4,000 members to do their banking.

Hypocritical to outlaw pot and not booze
A little over 10 years ago marijuana was criminalized after being legal for 15 years. In 1975 it was legal to possess a small amount of marijuana. Fifteen years later, in 1990, an act was passed to criminalize possession in Alaska. However, in 1998, medical marijuana use was approved. Alaska is one of the 10 states with medical marijuana rights.

Tell legislators to fund education
It seems like just a few days ago that school districts across the state were in a crisis mode, facing serious teacher cuts, increased class sizes and elimination of many programs that are valuable to K-12 education.

Nonsmokers shouldn't rule over businesses
So much controversy over this ban on smoking in public buildings. I can understand why nonsmokers would like to avoid smoke in the places they visit. What I don't understand is why these people want to force some bar owners and their patrons to submit to a government regulation that they are bitterly opposed to.

Keep church and state separate
Separation of church and state - a gift of God if ever there was one. Nowhere in the Constitution, the document that prescribes how we are governed, is there any reference to "God," "creator," "divine providence," or any other reference to the supernatural.

Existing dog rules aren't enforced
Gee, I wonder why people dislike dogs that are not on a leash. On April 21, I was bitten by an unleashed dog.

Don't confuse legal rights and religion
I thought the editorial on gay "marriages" or civil unions was one of the best, open and balanced articles I have seen on the issue. I happen to not be "gay." I am "straight." But if we start confusing legal rights and religious-denominational-beliefs-values with the government's obligation to guarantee justice and equality, we are in deep trouble.

Consider transit benefits
I am writing to express my concern with the Assembly's decision to cut back on the bus service in Juneau. I started riding the bus because of a mechanical issue with my vehicle and have continued now for five months primarily due to the convenience of the bus schedule.

Photo: Educators rally
Richard Kronberg, president of the National Education Association-Alaska, based in Anchorage, addresses Juneau teachers from the steps of the Capitol on Saturday during a rally to support education funding.

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

Cat in the hat on the ice
Darryl Tseu, outfitted as the Cat in the Hat, performs with his students during the First Annual Spring Recital by the Juneau Skating Club on Sunday at Treadwell Arena.

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

Plumbers, pipefitters offer Juneau training
Sonny Cannon of Ketchikan said he wouldn't be getting plumbing and pipefitting union apprenticeship training this week if it weren't for new classes being offered in Juneau.

Photo: Open house for REACH
Rachelle Flansaas, right, shares a laugh with Executive Director Richard Fagundes, center, and Family Resource Director Kate Wolfe during a Community Open House at the new REACH offices Friday in downtown Juneau. Flansaas is a student in the Juneau School District's Transition Program and a client of REACH, a nonprofit with a staff of 245.

Walker named outstanding early-childhood educator
When the 23 children in Mimi Walker's joint kindergarten and first-grade class left for lunch Friday, their tables were blanketed with painted paper and some paintings were scattered on the floor.

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

Southeast music fest strikes the right note
Before their duet began, Elena Ruddy and Shannon Dore stood enclosed in the dark space between two curtains at the Juneau-Douglas High School auditorium. The Juneau girls were two of the 600 student singers and instrumentalists at the Southeast Alaska Music Festival held here Thursday through Saturday.

SERRC's adult ed, computer classes may end
Juneau residents may not be able to take adult education and computer classes through the Southeast Regional Resource Center anymore if the Juneau Assembly passes the latest block grant funding recommendations, an agency official said.

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

Rajesh Kumar Rawal Shrestha
Former Juneau resident Rajesh Kumar Rawal Shrestha, 50, died of a heart attack April 10, 2004, in Sanepa, Kathmandu, Nepal.

Mary Jean McManamin
Former Juneau resident Mary Jean McManamin, 83, died April 16, 2004, at her home in Anchorage.

Empire Editorial: Thumbs up thumbs down
Thumbs up to Gov. Frank Murkowski for not shrugging off the ethics complaints against Alaska Republican Party Chairman Randy Ruedrich.

Alaska students need history
State Rep. Mary Kapsner, D-Bethel, is disappointed. Her bill to require that high school students take one semester of state history before graduating has been amended to the point of being ineffective.

Let officers enforce seat belts
Ninety-four Alaskans lost their lives in vehicle crashes in 2003. Twnety-four of these deaths were individuals who were not buckled.

My Turn: Speak up for education
It began as a growing sense of concern, three and one half years ago, when my son entered kindergarten in the Juneau public school system. All seemed fine at first as my wife and I shared both excitement and pride for our young son's start down America's educational pathway. It was not long before our idealism was tempered by reality as realizations dawned that numerous problems lurked the school hallways.

Splitting sports teams diminishes the experience
F or a young athlete, a state title is the ultimate victory. For an actor, a sold-out show is the ultimate compliment. For a debater, winning is the payment for months of hard work. After-school programs are almost as important to the success of a high school as are classes.

Wildlife Notebook: Conference discusses issues facing amphibians
Some 50 scientists met in Juneau to discuss the disappearance of toads and frogs, among other issues regarding the state's amphibians. They gathered March 30 to April 1 to share their knowledge of the state's frogs, salamanders and toads at the First Statewide Conference on Alaska's Amphibians.

Trolling for a cause
Juneau resident Don Vanderheyden has changed the oil, checked the belts and is gearing up his 34-foot boat, The Roter Koter, for the month-long 8th Annual Spring King Salmon Derby.

Diehards milk the last snow of the season
They are the Nordic farmers of Fairbanks, trying to milk every ounce out of winter and spring that they can before surrendering to that wretched, Godforsaken, snow-less season known as summer.

Web links
Web sites of interest to local outdoors enthusiasts.

Out & About
Upcoming local outdoor events.

After false starts, spring season is on
Remember the snow on April Fools' Day? Was that nature's little joke? Perhaps announcing that 2004's summer had just been canceled and it was winter again?

Photo: Little League opener
Glen Tagert, 5, waves to his family while standing with teammates London Dumas, 6, left, and Taylor Dallas, 6, right, during the Gastineau Channel Little League opening ceremonies Saturday at Adair-Kennedy Park.

Sports in Juneau
Friday, April 30 • Juneau Freewheelers bicycle club - Tee Harbor Short Course Road Race: Meet at 6 p.m. at the Tee Harbor Fire Station for a 6:30 p.m. race start. The course is 22 miles. Info: Dave Ringle, 790-7249.

Pressure-packed win
Hemmed in by trees and the looming hulk of Thunder Mountain, Adair-Kennedy Memorial Park was a pressure cooker Friday night with the steam of soccer players' collective breath lingering in the cool, damp air.

Wolf blanks Expos
The Montreal Expos sure could use Randy Wolf in their batting order. Wolf homered, hit an RBI double and pitched a four-hitter for his seventh career shutout, leading the Philadelphia Phillies over the punchless Expos 7-0 Saturday.

Midnight Suns earn write-up in national magazine
The Midnight Suns U14 baseball team earned a national magazine write-up for their spring break trip to Arizona last month.

Going for distance
The Juneau-Douglas High School track and field team nearly wasn't represented at this weekend's Skyview Invitational, one of the state's largest regular-season meets.

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.

Simpson e-mail ignites capital move squabble
Paulette Simpson, vice chairwoman of the state Republican Party and a board member of the Juneau group that has fought attempted capital moves, is under fire for what critics say is an attempt to instigate a capital-move debate.

Fort Wainwright unveils new urban combat center
The Army's new urban warfare training facility at Fort Wainwright is the closest thing to battle and the rigors of survival, as far as Cpl. Jared Goertzen is concerned.

Defense wants Angoon murder trial moved
Angoon, a town filled with family and friends of Richard "Buddy" George Jr., is no place to try the mother of his children for his murder, according to the accused woman's defense attorney.

A raven and a bear for Pelican
n Pelican, there's not much for the community's five high school students to do except to cruise the boardwalk or play on computers, several of the students said.

Report: Tourism important to Alaska
The travel and tourism industry contributed $851 million to Alaska's economy in 2002, making it the seventh largest private industry in the state that year, according to a study completed by the Alaska Department of Community and Economic Development this month.

Interior Secretary visits
U.S. Secretary of Interior Gale Norton, second from left, is given a tour of Sitka National Historical Park's Russian Bishop's House on Sunday in Sitka as about 50 protesters wave signs in the background.

Vote put off on use of permafund
The state House is delaying until Monday a vote that could lead to tapping the Alaska Permanent Fund to pay for state government in future years.

Ice moves, clock stops in 88th Nenana Ice Classic
ANCHORAGE - The ice moved on the Tanana River Saturday afternoon, stopping the clock for the 88th Nenana Ice Classic.

Governor's appointee to labor board silenced
A man Gov. Frank Murkowski appointed to the state's labor relations board won't be able to participate at least until a Juneau judge considers union claims that he isn't qualified.

This Day in History
In Alaska: n 1965, a Bureau of Commercial Fisheries vessel began a 2-month voyage to explore potential bottom-fishing grounds along the Continental Shelf.

Alaska Digest
News in brief from around the state.

Alaska Digest
JIM CREEK - Parties where people gather around bonfires to drink and shoot up vehicles along Jim Creek may end if officials have to create a special use designation to stop the mayhem.

Abortion-rights demonstrators sweep capital
WASHINGTON - Abortion-rights supporters marched in the hundreds of thousands Sunday, galvanized by what they see as an erosion of reproductive freedoms under President Bush and foreign policies that hurt women worldwide.

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