Wednesday, May 3, 2006

Things don't change
After almost 20 years in Oregon, my wife and I returned to Juneau. Some things have changed since our 15 years in Southeast Alaska during the 1970s and 80s; it is remarkable how many things have not.

Reader's opinion doesn't matter
Mike Koy's letter in the April 13 Empire gets some things turned around. He, like Priscilla Feral, seems to want to pretend geographic borders don't mean anything because they are arbitrary.

For the record books
We are doomed, according to the oil companies and others, if the legislators decide to tax them at 25 percent instead of the governor's 20 percent.

It's nothing personal
It has been amazing to me to watch the debate over the oil tax. It seems to me that no one is seeing the real issue.

Facts about the mine
In response to Tim Arnold's letter to the Empire, April 9, 2006, I present actual facts in response to Mr. Arnold's "Top Ten." However, I can't address all 10 in the 400 words the Empire allows.

No longer able to afford to buy home
Imagine our surprise to learn that, according to the assessor's office, my husband and I could no longer afford to buy the home we have owned for the past five years.

Free up land for housing
In the April 19 copy of the Empire, there was an article about the homeless problem.

How about offering guaranteed gas prices?
The big oil companies would like Alaska to commit to a tax rate for the next 30 years. In this way, they could better predict their long-range expenses, making it much easier for them to plan accordingly.

Suggestions for Bush
In response to a recent letter writer's suggestion that "Bush bashers" come up with some positive suggestions for a change, here are a few which I would suggest to the Bush and any other administration:

Education funding should be priority
As a Juneau parent with two elementary kids in public school, I have been watching the debate in the Legislature concerning adequate education funding.

City leaders need to tighten their belts
What's going on at City Hall? Last year the real property tax assessments went up 16 percent and the Assembly reduced the mill rate from 12 mills to 11.17 mills, a decrease of about 7 percent.

Put the second high school to a vote, again
Just as Bush told us that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, our city leaders told us that "X" amount of dollars was needed to build a new high school.

ACLU defends all speech
The way Jeremy Gunn sees it, the American Civil Liberties Union stands for the things in which most Americans believe.

Loud watercraft hurt Auke Lake, neighbors say
Personal watercraft users have become a menace on Auke Lake, according to a group that wants to ban them.

Around Town
Around town is a listing of nonprofit local events

Images from another time: Best face forward
Dr. Maynard Miller points to the Mendenhall Glacier's east face on Aug. 30, 1985.

Around Town
Around town is a listing of nonprofit local events

School bus routes may change
Some elementary school students may have an easier time getting to school next year.

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

Photos: A lot to see
Above, Eliza Walker, left, a 10-year-old student in Elissa Borges' fourth-grade class at Gastineau Elementary School, shows University of Alaska biology student Ryia Waldern specimens she netted Tuesday in the freshwater pond next to the airport dike trail as part of annual Seaweek activities.

Photo: First cast of the season
Participants in the 10th annual Spring King Salmon Derby cast and troll for king salmon at False Outer Point Monday on the first day of the monthlong event.

Latte competition brewing
Next winter Juneau shoppers can add a Starbucks Frappuccino to what's on their list to get at Fred Meyer, when the retailer ads a coffee outlet to its expanded superstore.

Coming into the Country
Standing up for reform: Rev. Thomas Weise, Rector of the Cathedral of the Nativity speaks Monday a rally supporting reforming immigration laws, in front of the state Capitol. About 40 immigrants and supporters came to the rally. Brian Wallace / Juneau Empire

'Bong Hits' to Supreme Court?
The Juneau School Board is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn a court ruling that supported a former student's right to display a banner that read "Bong Hits 4 Jesus."

Sports star final Pillar speaker
This spring's Pillars of America Freedom Series will conclude Wednesday with a man who didn't let losing an arm keep him off his high school basketball team.

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

Channel dredging dropped
The state's public works budget has grown to $2.37 billion, but a multimillion-dollar project proposed by the governor to dredge Gastineau Channel has been cut out.

Sports arena in funding bill
A Juneau nonprofit organization could get $4 million from the state to build an indoor sports field.

Savage and Miller to wed
LaStar Savage and Dan Miller of Juneau will be married June 3 in Juneau. Friends and family will be invited to a reception following the ceremony.

This I Believe: The healing power of music and one shared experience
I believe in the healing power of music. I'm a singer.

Student recognition
Recognizing Juneau's outstanding youth

Local doctor gives big to youth
Longtime Juneau resident and physician Henry Akiyama donated $100,000 to the Juneau Community Foundation to establish the Akiyama Family Fund.

Neighbors mailbox
You've got mail, neighbor

Willette Janes
Longtime Douglas resident Willette Patricia Janes, 77, died in her home in the early morning on April 29, 2006, with family at her side.

My Turn: Consumer protections were misrepresented in editorial
After some consideration, and against my better judgment, I am compelled to respond to a recent Anchorage Daily News editorial reprinted in the Juneau Empire (Alaska editorial, April 16).

My Turn: Solve two problems with Gastineau Channel access
I read with interest Ed Fairbanks' March 24, 2006, column on his experiences while dredging Gastineau Channel. His observations in 1958 were telling.

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.

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.

Runners' Corner: Sturdy shoes key for runners
Spring is here, and it's time to dust off those running shoes and hit the roads and trails again. But wait a minute.

Court to hear gas deal request
A Juneau Superior Court judge on Monday agreed to hear arguments from a state senator requesting that Gov. Frank Murkowski make public details of a deal the state has with oil producers to build a $25 billion natural gas pipeline.

Bolivia takes back gas fields
President Evo Morales ordered soldiers to occupy Bolivia's natural gas fields Monday and threatened to evict foreign companies unless they give Bolivia control over the entire chain of production.

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

ACLU defends all speech
The way Jeremy Gunn sees it, the American Civil Liberties Union stands for the things in which most Americans believe.

Tax bill may not be done by session's end
Time may be running out on the Alaska Legislature to pass a priority oil-and-gas tax bill by next week's end to the regular session.

Man to go on trial in wife's cliffside death
A man who prosecutors said pushed his wife off a scenic sea cliff nine years ago will face first-degree murder charges on Monday.

State surplus mostly spent
This year's $1.4 billion revenue surplus will have dwindled to $52 million once legislators have finished spending and shuffling around the oil-wealth money, according to the Legislative Finance Division.

Outlook good for rescued baby seal
A baby elephant seal is the newest resident at the Alaska SeaLife Center in Seward.

LeConte route limited to days
The state plans to turn the LeConte ferry into a day boat this summer and pull it from three communities that require more than a 12-hour round trip from Juneau - Sitka, Kake and Pelican.

Alaska Digest
Staff reports from around the state

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