Head tax intended to create new projects, keep waters clean
Recently Allen Shattuck wrote a letter to the editor printed in the May 14 edition of the Juneau Empire, taking me to task for promoting cruise ship taxes. Specifically, Mr. Shattuck stated his belief that my personal goal was to drive cruise ships from Southeast Alaska, and this action causes lost jobs, and lost business and government revenue.

It's ridiculous to only drug test some students and not all
I am writing about the drug testing in our high schools. I am only eight years removed from high school and feel that I still know how the students would feel on this issue today. I think I have some good points here and it would be nice to get people to think about how this should be done, if it is going to happen.

Palin red-lights energy funds
Gov. Sarah Palin on Thursday vetoed portions of the state budget, including controversial federal energy funds that are part of President Barack Obama's stimulus package.

An editing error in Ben Brown's Wednesday column in the Juneau Empire referred to Juneau Sen. Dennis Egan as Bill Egan. Bill Egan is Dennis Egan's father.

Mendenhall Mall manager has big vacancy to fill
Department store Gottschalks is bankrupt and will close its doors in a week. Mendenhall Mall manager Larry Bauer is about to have a 36,400-square-foot hole to fill.

Charter school to offer bus service
One way or another, the Juneau Community Charter School will have bus service next school year, but it's still up in the air as to whether the buses will be headed to its current rented classroom space on Fourth Street downtown, or to district-owned classrooms near Juneau-Douglas High School.

Despite sun, Juneau trails still host snow, mud
Numerous sunny days have blessed Juneau as of late. But the warm weather makes it easy to forget that many of Juneau's trails aren't completely thawed yet, and they could pose a danger to unprepared hikers.

Marching for a cure for MS, raising awareness
The MS Walk, organized by the Capital City Rotaract, returns to Juneau on May 23. The group is inviting everyone to participate in the one-mile walk and five-kilometer fun run to raise money for multiple sclerosis research and to heighten awareness about the incurable disease.

Photos: Jazz & classics
Anat Cohen plays clarinet as Joe Martin plays bass with the Anat Cohen Quartet Thursday at the State Office Building during the Brown Bag Lunch concert. The next Brown Bag will be at the Nugget Mall today at noon.

Photo: Strolling through summertime
Phaedra Dowling walks passed a planter box full of colorful tulips near Egan Drive and Main Street Wednesday.

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

Around Town
Today, May 22

Bruce Allen Gleason
Juneau resident Bruce Allen Gleason died of a heart attack May 15, 2009, in Orofino, Idaho. He was 79.

Alaska editorial: Is there a double standard on the Iditarod? Of course
Some back-of-the-pack Iditarod mushers say they're not treated the same as the experienced, more competitive racers. We hope they're right.

My Turn: Bus tours and 12th street
I have seen and heard some bogus statements and undue simplifications made about tours, tourists and motor coaches using Calhoun and 12th Streets.

My Turn: Striving to be 'landless' no more
When reading Kate Golden's article "'Landless' Natives try for redress," I recognized the same old comments by the same old landless representatives. I realized how hopeless that situation is unless a major change takes place. This is, of course, in regard to the congressional bills introduced on behalf of the landless communities; the five Southeast Alaska towns left out of most of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act.

Applications being accepted for Juneau Farmer's Market
JUNEAU - Attention backyard gardeners, local farmers and bakers: Applications are now being accepted for the Second Annual Juneau Farmer's Market and Local Foods Festival to be held Aug. 29.

Colo. climber missing on Mount McKinley
ANCHORAGE - An aerial search has started for a Colorado man missing during a solo climb of Mount McKinley.

Union works urge boycott of hotel
ANCHORAGE - Union workers at the Hilton Anchorage hotel rallied in front of the establishment and called for a boycott of the business.

JPD investigates alleged sexual assault
JUNEAU - The Juneau Police Department is investigating a sexual assault that allegedly occurred in the early hours on Wednesday.

Alaska's unemployment rate drops
JUNEAU - State labor officials say Alaska's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate has fallen to 8 percent for April.

Palin picks memoir collaborator
NEW YORK - Sarah Palin has picked a collaborator for her memoir.

North Slope oil tops $60 per barrel
ANCHORAGE - Drivers might not like it, but there is some good news for Alaska's main source of government funding.

Palin to visit upstate NY community
AUBURN, N.Y. - Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin will help a central New York city celebrate 50 years of Alaskan statehood.

State labs authorized to confirm swine flu cases
ANCHORAGE - Alaska officials reported both state public health laboratories have been authorized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta to issue final confirmations of swine flu cases.

Bad gasoline delays Wet Dogs
KODIAK - There's been a crimp in the schedule of five people blazing the trail for a 2,000-mile personal watercraft race from Anchorage to Bristol Bay.

Senior saviors
For a moment, it was twice as magical.

JDHS geared for state
The Juneau-Douglas High School track and field team is toting 23 individual athletes to the 2009 4A State Championships at Lathrop High School today and Saturday. The odds for a state title are strongly against both sides this year, but the girls - who placed second at state a year ago - are still anchored by junior distance runner Leah Francis and the three state titles she is defending.

State a win away
The Juneau-Douglas High School girls soccer team began the season as a young, inexperienced group of unfamiliar names who were politely described as a "rebuilding club" with little chance at defending their state title.

Boys can make state with win
The Juneau-Douglas High School boys soccer team will host their lone Southeast Conference rivals from Ketchikan today and Saturday to end their regular season and, hopefully, clinch their ticket to state.

JDHS sluggers close year at KayHi
The Juneau-Douglas High School softball team embarks on their final roadtrip of the year to Ketchikan this morning with seven open game slots technically remaining on their regular season schedule, and an open mind towards what the weekend may bring.

Fun is the only cure for purple nurples
So long sports fun. We've had a good run. Those were some sweet times shared here in Juneau.

Sports in Juneau

Halibut charter operators mull legal challenge
KETCHIKAN - Southeast Alaska fishing charter operators may file a legal challenge to a new federal rule that would limit their clients' catch to one halibut per day.

State senators plan hearings on renewable energy solutions
FAIRBANKS - State senators on energy committees will conduct hearings next week in interior Alaska as part of a plan to create an Alaska energy policy.

Photo: Bear-y friendly
This undated photo released by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game shows Charlie Vandergaw with a brown bear at his property near Alexander Creek, Alaska. The 70-year-old retired science teacher who has been feeding bears at his property in the Susitna River valley about fifty miles northwest of Anchorage, Alaska, for 20 years was charged with 20 counts of illegally feeding game.

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