Right to bear arms important
With election season rapidly approaching, I am very concerned that Alaskans will elect the same people who are sitting by and allowing our personal freedoms to slip away.

We want to help
Polaris House sincerely thanks Genevieve Gagne-Hawes, Brian Wallace and the Juneau Empire for the wonderful article on our clubhouse. It feels good to get such great community recognition.

Juneau residents want NOAA facility
This letter is in support of the construction of the new NOAA research facility at Lena Point. The Juneau business, scientific, educational, and governmental community is in need of this world-class facility, and I believe the vast MAJORITY of Juneau residents will embrace its development in its currently planned location.

Sarah Palin inspiring
I have worked as a volunteer with Mayor Sarah Palin.She has done an excellent job as our city mayor and been inspiring to me.

A golden internship
This summer I was lucky enough to become Greens Creek Mine's Human Resources Summer Intern. Before this summer the "gold" mine in Juneau's backyard was a mystery to me. Over the past two months I have joined the 270 employees who wake up at 4 in the morning to catch the 5 a.m. boat to Admiralty Island.

Bear or human - which is really the problem?
A real conversation on garbage day:"Yes," replied the man in the work gloves as he picked up garbage strewn on the street and the stairs, "the large bear already got into the garbage cans that were set out earlier today."

Porcupines are innocent victims
It saddens and angers me every time I see a porcupine that's been hit by a car on the North Douglas Highway. It saddens me because the porcupines are such innocent victims.

Local Briefs
Another suspect nabbed in school burglaries; Haines state fair starts tomorrow; Weed pull snags garlic mustard

Photo: Big water on the Mendenhall
Abe Al-Khalisi, an Alaska Travel Adventures river raft guide (with oars), navigates high water Monday on the Mendenhall River with a raft of tourists from the cruise ship Sea Princess.

2 School Board members opt out
Expressing disappointment and frustration, Juneau School Board members Carolyn Spalding and Deana Darnall say they will not seek re-election now that their three-year terms are expiring.The 10-day filing period for the Oct. 1 municipal election began Monday and will end on Thursday, Aug. 22. As of midday today, no one had filed to run for the two vacant School Board positions, according to the city clerk's office.

Bears bounced from downtown
A mother black bear and two cubs that have been munching unsecured trash in downtown Juneau all summer are in for a paid boat cruise out of town today. They were captured by the state Department of Fish and Game on Tuesday afternoon in an alley near the corner of Fourth and Gold streets."I had been kind of keeping track of them and trying to find a place where I would catch them without a bunch of tourists watching," said Neil Barten, wildlife biologist with Fish and Game. "Then I got the call from the police that there were tourists surrounding them downtown."

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

Local briefs
NOAA seaman dies in capsizing; Police arrest teens in vandalism spree; USFS hosts meetings on Couverden timber sale; Fourth suspect arrested in school break-ins; Industrial facility gets commission OK

Capture a local taste of summer with fire weed
On a recent fishing trip to Unalakleet, while in discussion with locals on preparation of egg cures to catch big kings, someone mentioned fireweed jelly. It peaked my interest, since I had never thought to make jelly from this blossom. Alaska natives have been known to use parts of the fireweed plant for curatives, including gastric ailments.

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

Steamship Wharf plan wins permit
The Juneau Planning Commission approved conditional use permits for the Steamship Wharf and Marine Park project Tuesday night despite a few objections.In a 5-1 vote, the commission allowed the installation of a deck between the existing dock and the sidewalk along Marine Way downtown.

Suspects in building arson, theft enter innocent pleas
Two men accused of setting the June fire that destroyed a self-storage building and caused more than $1 million in damage pleaded innocent today to felony arson charges in Juneau Superior Court.Cricencio "Chris" Bagoyo III, 23, and Michael Blevins, 22, were arraigned on one count each of first-degree arson, a felony.

Charting another latitude
Twenty-five years ago, Keil and Moretta Rieger purchased a small gift shop on Franklin Street. They built it up, changed its name to Latitude 58 and kept it open year-round, holding fast to their original goal of being a store for Juneau residents first. Now, as sale signs fill the windows and items from merchandise to display cases are spoken for by customers, they're preparing to retire.

Updated: Murkowski: Fish center will be built at Lena Point
The U.S. Department of Commerce will proceed with construction of a National Marine Fisheries Service laboratory at Lena Point in Juneau as soon as possible, according to Alaska Sen. Frank Murkowski's office.The Empire was not able to confirm the decision with the Department of Commerce by its midday deadline. The center at Lena Point, planned to be 69,000 square feet, was expected to provide room for about 100 NMFS employees in Juneau.

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

Strawberry fields in Southeast
I recently had the opportunity to enjoy several quarts of strawberries grown in Gustavus. Smaller and paler in color than commercially available strawberries, these beauties were soft and juicy without being at all mushy. Their flavor was wonderfully sweet with just the right touch of acidity. If candy grew on vines in the wild, surely it would look and taste like a strawberry.

Wind-felled tree injures man
A Gustavus man was seriously injured Monday when a tree, knocked over by high winds, struck him while he was walking with friends on a beach in Glacier Bay National Park.Meanwhile, gale winds in Skagway turned back two cruise ships Monday, as a short but intense storm moved over Southeast Alaska.

Learning horse sense
Next to her horse, 8-year-old Girl Scout Abigail Hemenway looks very small. But when it comes time to mount and ride, she does it with confidence - and a small boost from one of her instructors."I've been on (horses) a couple times, but with somebody leading," Abigail said as she and seven other Girl Scouts walked their horses through a wide, slow loop along a graveled trail last weekend. "This is my first time really riding a horse. It's fun."

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

Jane Stewart: A life in music and arts in Alaska
When she was a little girl in Tulsa, Okla., in the 1920s and '30s, Jane Stewart put on shows at home and at school, dancing, playing piano and directing her friends.Stewart moved to Juneau in 1945 and brought her passion for the arts and her considerable talents as an organizer. In the decades that followed she created a profound and lasting legacy in the arts in Alaska.

Wear, Howard married July 27
Kimberlee Evonne Wear of Juneau and John Candler Howard of Juneau were married in a ceremony at 7 p.m. July 27, 2002, at the Juneau Christian Center. A reception followed at 7:30 p.m. at the center.

Native rally Aug. 22
The annual "We the People: Standing Our Ground" march and rally has been scheduled for Aug. 22. The theme of the march this year is "Alaska Tribes: the Next 10,000 Years."

Pets of the week
Squeakers is a beautiful medium-hair, spayed female Tabby who is friendly, easy going and somewhat shy. Maria is a sleek medium-hair black, spayed female who is a former stray and has been at the shelter since June.

Earlier this year, Jacob Hakari, the son of Charles and Nancy Hakari, submitted a poem to a contest that was held for young poets. Hakari is in 8th grade at Thunder Mountain Academy.

Students from abroad
Thirteen American Field Service exchange students arrive in Juneau for their welcome orientation this past weekend. The students will live with host families and attend high school in Juneau, Sitka, Haines and Ketchikan.

Crabb, Jenkins to marry
Rachel May Crabb of Fairbanks and Gary L. Jenkins II of Juneau will be married Aug. 24 in Fairbanks. A reception will follow.

Howard, Wilson married July 12
Angela Michelle Howard of Juneau and Mark Will Wilson of Lancaster, Texas, were married in a ceremony at 7 p.m. July 12, 2002, at Green Oaks Chapel in Arlington, Texas. A reception followed at the chapel.

Making your home safe and accessible
How can you stay safely in your own home for as long as possible? One of the secrets is doing a "walk through," assessing it for safety and identifying potential hazards. Depending on your situation, you can do an informal review of the home by yourself or your doctor can prescribe a professional "home accessibility assessment."

Johnston, Howard married Oct. 6, 2001
Carmen Johnston of Anaheim, Calif., and Don Howard of Juneau were married Oct. 6, 2001, at the Placeutia Round-Table Woman's Club in Placential, Calif. Friends and relatives of the couple were invited to the wedding and a reception.

James Stuart Plummer
Former Juneau resident James Stuart Plummer died Aug. 9, 2002, at his home in Skagway.

Robert M. Lowe Jr.
Former Juneau resident Robert M. Lowe Jr. died Aug. 11, 2002, in Eugene, Ore.

Word Of Mouth
Word of Mouth gives readers a forum to express opinions on a variety of issues by telephone. Calls must be limited to one minute. We reserve the right to edit calls for clarity, length and libel.

My Turn: We are doing the right thing with funds
While the recent announcement by NOAA that it was rejecting the high construction bids was a setback, there are plenty of opportunities to keep the Lena Point project on track. The fact remains that Lena Point is an excellent location to serve the needs of NOAA and the University of Alaska.

O'Brien breaks 2 records at zones
Kyle O'Brien of Juneau's Glacier Swim Club broke two Alaska records last weekend while competing at the Western Zone meet at the University of Southern California's McDonalds Pool in Los Angeles.The zone meet featured the top age group swimmers from 11 western states competing on 17 state or regional teams. Besides Alaska, the other states with teams were Washington, Oregon, California (with six regional teams), Hawaii, Colorado, Utah, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Idaho, Wyoming and Montana.

Phelps breaks American record in 200 IM
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - Michael Phelps shattered the American record in the 200-meter individual medley Monday on the opening day of the U.S. National Swimming Championships.Phelps, of Baltimore, finished in 1 minute, 58.68 seconds, to break the U.S. mark of 1:59.77 set by Tom Dolan in the 2000 Sydney Olympics. Finland's Jani Sievinen set the world record of 1:58.16 in Rome in 1994.

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

Empire Cup Running Series Point Standings
Here are the standings through July 31 for the 2002 Empire Cup running series, which is co-sponsored each year by the Southeast Road Runners Club and the Juneau Empire.

A Tuesday Empire sports article on last week's Western Zone swim meet in Los Angeles left out the name of Southeast swimmer Kassie Beseau of Craig. Beseau, competing in the girls age 11-12 division, finished ninth in the 50-meter butterfly with a time of 31.79 seconds.

Coughlin breaks backstroke record
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - Natalie Coughlin became the first woman to break the one-minute barrier as she shattered the 100-meter backstroke world record Tuesday, finishing in 59.58 seconds at the U.S. National Swimming Championships.Coughlin, of Concord, Calif., trimmed more than a half-second off the previous record of 1:00.16 set by Chihong He of China in 1994.

Capital City Soccer League Standings
Standings as of 8/12/02

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

Three Juneau players help Shockers win Washington state Connie Mack tourney
Three members of last spring's state champion Juneau-Douglas High School baseball team went south this summer to help the Shockers Baseball Club of Edmonds, Wash., claim the title in Washington's Connie Mack Baseball State Championship tournament.

Knowles appoints child welfare panel
Gov. Tony Knowles pre-empted a federal audit of the state's child welfare system on Monday by creating a panel of his own to make recommendations to the next governor.The 16-member Commission on Child Protection will be expected to make recommendations by Oct. 1 on improving the state's child protection services.

Battling for the AIP
Voters who complain about lack of choice must envy the 773 Juneau residents who belong to the Alaskan Independence Party.They get to choose among six candidates - some quite outspoken - running for the AIP nomination for governor in the Aug. 27 primary election.

Other parties offer unique views of the state's future
Libertarian, Green and Republican Moderate gubernatorial candidates say they offer visions of Alaska's future the other parties don't.

Ulmer unveils 'Republicans for Ulmer' group
ANCHORAGE - Democratic Lt. Gov. Fran Ulmer is looking to the Grand Old Party to muster support for her bid as Alaska's next governor.Ulmer on Tuesday announced "Republicans for Ulmer," a group that will cross party lines to boost her candidacy. Former Lt. Gov. Lowell Thomas Jr. is chairman of "Republicans for Ulmer."

Poor chum run closes Yukon to subsistence
FAIRBANKS - Subsistence fishermen in Interior and Western Alaska are once again facing the prospect of empty fish racks after state and federal biologists announced Monday that subsistence fishing in the entire Yukon River drainage will be closed due to a poor chum salmon run.

Republican political heavyweights battle for lt. governor spot
The Republican primary battle for lieutenant governor is one of the hottest races in the Aug. 27 primary election.U.S. Sen. Frank Murkowski's decision to run for governor last October sent several GOP gubernatorial hopefuls into the lieutenant governor's race.

Knowles plans to fight Red Dog mine decision
ANCHORAGE - The state will fight a federal appeals ruling that requires the Red Dog mine to use more expensive anti-pollution technology for its power, Gov. Tony Knowles said Tuesday.

New chamber focuses on Native businesses
WASHINGTON - American Indian businessmen from 16 states have created a nationwide chamber of commerce promoting economic development among the historically disadvantaged group.

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