Extraordinary talent
As I bask in this new relationship we seem to have with the sun, I'm also appreciating another source of warmth and light in our town, Julia O'Malley's column (This Week section).

Finding the courage
Thank you for running the story about Desa Jacobsson. I think there are a lot more people concerned with these issues than media and law enforcement realize, and it's only through stories such as these that people will raise their voices.

No relief in sight
I am in complete accord with the recent proposal put forth by Marie Darlin of AARP.

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

Natural-birth advocate to speak in Juneau
For Suzanne Arms, believing how a person is born doesn't matter is a serious mistake. "When you're talking about the birth, you're talking about the first journey the baby must make to completion," Arms said. "Its first task is to come out of the womb and ... it has great implications for the mother and the baby."

Photo: Festival appearance
Pianist Jeffrey Siegel plays at the Northern Light United Church on Sunday. Siegel's concert, part of the 17th annual Juneau Jazz & Classics festival, was titled "Keyboard Conversations" and featured pieces by Beethoven and Chopin. The festival runs through Saturday, May 24.

This Day in History
In 1949, the first radio beam air navigation system was put into operation in Ketchikan.

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

Photo: Lights up
Juneau Electronics workers Robert Stamm, left, and Chris Harmon hoist a streetlight Friday on Seward Street. Seventy of the downtown streetlights are being taken down for refurbishing.

Torch relay for Special Olympics
Law enforcement personnel cover some ground Saturday during the 5-kilometer Special Olympics Torch Relay at Kaxdegoowu Heen Dei trail in Juneau.

An article about cruise ship passenger fees in Friday's paper misstated the amount of extra sewage generated during the tourist season.

Ida Hopkins Kadashan
A graveside service for Ida Hopkins Kadashan will be held at the Alaskan Memorial Park at noon Wednesday, May 21, 2003.

My Turn: Threats to United States come mainly from within
Recently-laid-off American Airlines employees may not feel very confident in the future of America. Twenty-three-hundred pink-slipped flight attendants take a pretty good bite out of a seniority system and includes folks who have paid their dues, especially in an industry gearing up for summer. Things ain't like they used to be.

What do you think?
A state income tax, like the one we had when Alaska became the 49th state, is the only fair way for citizens to pay for the government services we desire. So-called "flat," "sales" and "head" taxes require Alaskans living near the poverty line to pay the same amount as millionaires.

Empire editorial: Juneau's foundation built on the socio-economic benefits of mining
Back in early March, the Assembly's Lands Committee proposed changes to the CBJ Large Mine Permit (LMP) ordinance that would insert a rural mine classification in the ordinance, remove redundancies with state and federal processes and eliminate city certification of state and federal standards. The existing mining ordinance was created in the late 1980s to regulate "urban" mining, specifically in regard to the proposed re-opening of the AJ mine in downtown Juneau.

Toe Cartoon

Feds update Denali backcountry plan
FAIRBANKS - The National Park Service is putting the finishing touches on a new backcountry management plan for Denali National Park and Preserve. Park Service officials say Denali's current backcountry management plan was written in 1986 and is outdated.

Rych Clime's fish tale: The little hook that could
The one thing fishermen everywhere don't lack is fish stories. Behind every fish that is caught, got away or is imagined, there's a story to go along with it. Rych Clime, the end-of-the-week leader of the 7th Annual Spring King Salmon Derby, is no exception. His 35.6-pound gutted and gilled salmon has held the top spot since May 10, when he bumped Phillip Sellick's 30-pounder, which held the lead for a mere three days.

Fish Report
The hotspots for king salmon fishing in the most recent survey period were the Breadline and Tee Harbor. False Outer Point and Auke Bay also provided good fishing. King salmon also were caught around Point Salisbury.

Out and About
May 18: Juneau Yacht Club Spring Harbor Races, Round 3, Juneau Harbor Turning Basin, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Details: www.juneauyachtclub.org/. May 18: Public trap shooting at the Juneau Gun Club on Montana Creek Road, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Details: 789-9844.

Harlequins specialize in turbulent water
One of the most interesting sea ducks to watch in winter and early spring in Southeast is the harlequin duck. Harlequins are rough-water specialists. They seem to relish bouncing around in turbulent seas or perching on rocky points and reefs while the water crashes over their feet. You'll recognize the males because of their colorful markings. Like no other duck in Southeast Alaska, they have white spots and stripes on slate-blue bodies, and chestnut-colored flanks - a wildly variegated costume like those worn by medieval court jesters, or the stock character of Italian comedies after which harlequins are named.

Fast women, fleet feet
When Nancy Thomas meets with her group of protégés every Tuesday afternoon, the scene resembles a high school track practice. "How low should my heart rate go during the cool-downs?" one runner asks. "Do you really expect me to run that fast during a 5-kilometer race?" another inquires.

Photo: A little early
Earl Lear caught this 3112-pound king at 9 p.m. April 30, just three hours before the start of the Spring King Salmon Derby. Had he landed it at 12:01 a.m. May 1, he'd have the top fish as of Friday afternoon.

Juneau rains shots on Ketchikan girls
It wasn't water that was falling from the sky at Adair-Kennedy Memorial Park this weekend - it was a torrent of torrid shots from the Juneau-Douglas High School girls soccer team. The Crimson Bear offense was hitting on all cylinders as Juneau defeated region rival Ketchikan 11-0 on Friday and 9-0 on Saturday.

A total team transformation
The faces may be the same, but the Juneau-Douglas High School boys soccer squad is a completely different team than the one that started the season. After splitting a two-game set in Ketchikan last month to open the season, the surging Crimson Bears rolled over the Kings in a pair of games this weekend at Adair-Kennedy Memorial Park. Juneau won 6-0 on Friday and 7-0 on Saturday, and in doing so the Crimson Bears clinched a berth in the state tournament held later this week in Wasilla.

Spring King Salmon Derby Standings
Here are the standings in the Seventh Annual Spring King Salmon Derby, as reported at 4:52 p.m. on Saturday, May 17. The rankings include the angler's name, weight of the fish (in 10ths of a pound), date turned in and what station the fish was turned into. Ties are broken by the earliest fish turned in.

All-out, start to finish
The only halfway effort at this year's Region V Track and Field Championships was the track itself. Competing for the second - and likely last - time on the partially-resurfaced Adair-Kennedy Memorial Park oval Friday and Saturday, the Juneau-Douglas High School Crimson Bears rode a wave of personal records to easily take the boys and girls team titles.

Region V Track and Field Championships
The results of the Region V Track and Field Championships held Friday and Saturday at Adair-Kennedy Memorial Park in Juneau.

Sports in Juneau
Information on upcoming sports and outdoors events in Juneau.

Crimson Bears finally play at home
The Juneau-Douglas High School softball team finally got some home-cooking this weekend, sweeping Craig-Prince of Wales in Juneau's first home games at Melvin Park in 53 weeks. The defending state champion Crimson Bears didn't play their best game as they beat Craig-Prince of Wales 8-1 on Friday, but by Saturday's rematch the Bears were firing on all cylinders as they won 15-0 in a mercy-rule game called in the bottom of the third inning.

House reverses annual minimum-wage hike
A law passed by the Legislature last year to increase the minimum wage annually to adjust for inflation was reversed Friday by the state House of Representatives. House Bill 199 was passed on a 24-14 vote, with Reps. Bruce Weyhrauch of Juneau, John Harris of Valdez, Paul Seaton of Homer and Bev Masek of Willow breaking ranks with the Republican majority and voting against the measure.

Business licenses to cost more
The state House approved a boost in business license fees Friday that could raise $4.2 million, but delayed action on a car rental tax. House Bill 162 raises the fee for getting a business license from $25 a year to $100 a year. Sole proprietors age 65 or older would pay $50 a year. The increase is less than what Gov. Frank Murkowski had sought when he introduced the bill. He wanted to raise the fee to $200 a year for all businesses. That would have raised about $7.1 million more a year.

Murkowski to undergo 2nd heart procedure
Doctors in Seattle will perform another angioplasty surgery on Gov. Frank Murkowski on Monday to clear a blocked artery, his office said. Murkowski, 70, has been in Seattle since Wednesday undergoing tests at Virginia Mason Medical Center. He was sent there after doctors here found an anomaly during a physical therapy session.

Statewide sales tax hits the wall
The fate of a proposed statewide sales tax was uncertain Saturday night after an open caucus meeting between Republicans, Democrats and the Murkowski administration. The unprecedented meeting held by the administration included a short presentation by Budget Director Cheryl Frasca. The 15-minute slideshow showed an alternate plan by the administration to cut $188 million from the budget in order to reach Gov. Frank Murkowski's budget goal of drawing no more than $400 million this year from the state's Constitutional Budget Reserve.

State Briefs
UAS/National Guard center is issued permit; Assembly committee recommends mining ordinance revisions; Drunken driver slapped with $50K lawsuit; Mother moose attacks, breaks woman's wrist;

Legislative roundup
Bills voted on last week:

Murkowski rejects longevity phase-out
JUNEAU - Gov. Frank Murkowski has rejected senior citizen groups' offer of a five-year phase-out of the longevity bonus program. The administration has proposed instead a shorter phase-out that calls for seniors to receive the checks just one more year. And those checks would be only half as much as they received this year.

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