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Tuesday, April 27, 2004

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.

Year-round operations off at Homer hatchery
KENAI - Year-round operations at a hatchery south of Homer are being suspended because of low prices for pink salmon.

Don't waste money on lobbyists
On April 15 the city of Juneau sent a "preliminary list" of capital improvement projects to our legislative delegation for possible state funding.

Church, state are linked
I would like to comment on the issue of keeping church and state separate. First, the church is made up of people and the state is made up of people. The church is primarily an institution to address the spiritual and emotional needs of people.

Juneau needed school years ago
Many of the residents of Juneau's neighboring communities have been watching with great interest the struggles you are going through to build a new Valley high school.

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.

Don't equate Islam with terror
It was with great sadness I read the article in Sunday's paper regarding the new Fort Wainwright Combat Center. I understand the need for our military to receive terrorism training. What I don't understand, and find very distressing, is that my federal tax dollars are being spent on terrorist training that includes Islamic prayers being broadcast over the sound system at the combat center.

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.

Editorial overanalyzes
Your Sunday "Thumbs Down" editorial regarding the two e-mails that went from me to Randy Ruedrich suffers from underreporting and overanalyzing.

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.

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.

Simpson works to keep Juneau capital
There must be a new theory that says if you shoot all of your friends your enemies will leave you alone. Why else would your reporter try to make a story out of Paulette Simpson's e-mail?

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.

Around Town
Today: Valley Toastmasters meeting, 6:10 a.m. every Tuesday, Henry's Restaurant. Public invited. Details: Jim, 789-3074.

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.

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

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.

Mickey fans, 1931
The 1931 Capitol Theatre Mickey Mouse Club poses for a photo in front of the Palace Theatre on North Franklin Street, across from the Baranof Hotel.

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

Corrections
Due to a reporter's error, an April 20 article in the Empire misstated the cost of having voters decide on a ballot question on whether to ban smoking in all public places in Juneau.

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.

Charter school seeks funds to prevent closure
Juneau Community Charter School officials are requesting $50,000 from the city to prevent a possible closure in the 2005-2006 school year.

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

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.

Empire provided forum for Democratic critics
The cold call from the Empire reporter caught me completely off guard. I was in my kitchen washing breakfast dishes.

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.

Alaska editorial: Hammond's income tax plan still won't work
This editorial appeared in Wednesday's Voice of the Times:

Sports in Juneau
Juneau Golf Club annual meeting and banquet - Meet at 6 p.m. on Thursday, April 29, at the Elks Lodge downtown for this event.

Eyes on a bigger prize
ANCHORAGE - Adolph Paul of Kipnuk had won the past two years, and he knew the competition would be gunning for him. So the 17-year-old junior from the Lower Kuskokwim School District trained intensely for about two weeks for the Native Youth Olympics. His event was the kneel jump, where kneeling athletes leap as far as they can to a standing position.

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.

Padres rally in the 9th
SAN DIEGO - Back when they faced each other back home in Mexico, Miguel Ojeda was always left frustrated by Luis Ayala.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Fairbanks school aims to cut Native dropout rate
FAIRBANKS - Officials alarmed at high Alaska Native student dropout rates are proposing a charter school aimed at keeping students in school.

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.

District, Palmer present arguments on district policy to fund advocacy
Alaska Public Offices Commissioners asked staff members Monday to take a closer look at the advice they gave the Juneau School Board before it appropriated $750 to disseminate information about the May 25 special election on the planned Dimond Park high school.

Secretary of Interior touts state's energy potential during Juneau visit
U.S. Secretary of the Interior Gale Norton told a crowd of 130 Alaskans at the Baranof Hotel on Monday how the Bush administration is trying to work with the state to develop its natural resources.

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.

Legislation targets lobbyists who bully
A state lawmaker has caused a stir among lobbyists by proposing a bill to sanction lobbyists who bully or intimidate legislators.

House OKs endowment plan
Voters would get to decide whether to adopt a new method of managing the Alaska Permanent Fund in the November election under a proposal that passed the state House of Representatives on Monday.

Boy fends off brown bear with his fists
ANCHORAGE - A 15-year-old boy on a Southeast Alaska wilderness expedition for emotionally troubled youths woke up to find a 400-pound brown bear with a bad attitude sitting at his feet.

This Day in History
In Alaska: In 1949, Anchorage set a winter snowfall record of 104.3 inches.

Northwest Digest
Staff and Wire reports

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