Pray for peace
How fortunate we are to live in a country that is abundant in resources, beauty and most of all freedom. We take for granted our right to move about the nation exercising our freedoms and enjoying life.

Involvement required
Alaska, rich in beauty, resources and human talent. So why do we have the same kind of social problems as the rest of the world? Other states look at our vast oil production and can't understand why we have a budget mess. Our Alaska dividend seems beyond belief for the rest of the nation, sometimes the media characterizes the dividend as "... the government pays people to live there." Strange misunderstandings of simple truths.

Glacier view fee
Mr. Williams stated (Empire, Nov. 17) that Juneau, Haines and Yakutat pay a small shore-based head tax. Even though Yakutat has a head tax ordinance, the cruise industry has refused to honor it because the ships do not come into Yakutat's docks.

Limited support
The Nov. 12 headline, "Cordova-area oil project gets support," is misleading. The proposal to drill at Katalla, on the east edge of the Copper River Delta, may have the support of some corporations and their political friends over in Kenai, but it most certainly has not won support here in Cordova.

Re roads: You get what you pave for
Recent letters and My Turns indicate that the general public does not understand that there is a difference between capital costs for road improvements and maintenance costs for maintaining those roads. Virtually all of the new road construction and/or reconstruction by the state in Alaska is with federal motor fuel tax funds allocated through the FHWA.

To the victors go the spoils
Lew Williams Jr., newspaper publisher and former UA regent, informs us in Sunday's paper how incredibly powerful the Republican Party is. Especially so, after the total bath Democrats took in the mid-term elections. To the victor go the spoils and of course, the gloat. That's a politico's nature and is right on par for the most circuitous of industrial greens.

Best practices success
On behalf of our visitor industry's Best Management Practices Committee, I would like to thank each of the 50 local cruise/tour operators and their 877 employees who signed onto and participated in the Best Management Practices program in 2002. The program, put in place by the tour operators and the CBJ in 1997, enjoyed its most successful summer to date.

Artistic objection
This is to object to the sexual stereotyping in one of the editorial cartoons you ran in Sunday's paper.

Killing thousands of people doesn't accomplish good
"George Bush: Terrorist! Tony Blair: Terrorist! Sharon: Terrorist!" This was the indictment chanted by a British delegation of Globalize Resistance at the European Social Forum last. For the past two months I've been traveling in Europe and though it's not always as vehement, the anti-war sentiments expressed by the people I've met remain consistent.

Origins of 'born again'
We certainly do encounter a variety of usages for the term "born again" do we not? The term has been popularized and redefined to the extent that it has, for many, lost its original meaning.

Footwear charity steps up donations
For the Juneau-based Footwear for Families project, it's been another bumper year for donated boots and shoes, helping the charity project expand throughout the state. "These last two years are exponentially larger than earlier years," said Max Mertz, president of Glacier Valley Rotary, one of the project's sponsors. "It has grown from nothing in 1997 to 700 (boots and shoes given away in Southeast) today."

Police shoot sickly Lemon Creek bear
Police officers shot and killed a black bear in the Lemon Creek area Saturday night after trying to coax the sickly animal away from homes for more than an hour. Police first responded to calls about a bear lying in an alley near the Northwood Condos at 5:42 p.m. They decided to leave the animal alone, hoping it would go away, but continued to get calls. The bear wasn't acting normally and appeared to be sick, Police Capt. Tom Porter said.

Accused arsonist enters guilty plea
A man accused of setting fire to a Juneau storage facility in June, causing more than $1 million in damage and destroying the property of nearly 200 people, pleaded guilty to lesser charges today in Juneau Superior Court. Although the culprit will pay for his crimes with jail time, the victims of the fire may never see a penny in restitution.

Neighbors plead for Decoy Boulevard fix
Ask an adult where Decoy Boulevard is and you might draw a blank stare. But ask a teenager and you'll probably get directions and an account of the Mendenhall Valley street's bumps and turns, according to resident Ginger Blaisdell. "You'd be very surprised how many teenage kids drive excessively fast down Decoy," she told the Juneau Assembly on Monday. "It's a joy ride and it's dangerous."

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

Move threat fades, home sales rise
Following a temporary hiatus to await the outcome of the legislative move vote, homebuyers in Juneau are beginning to resurface, according to some people in the real estate business. Others, however, say business has been on the upswing for several months.

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

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

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

TSA meets federal screening deadline in Southeast Alaska
The Transportation Security Administration has hired and trained more than 100 federal passenger screeners for Southeast Alaska's airports, meeting today's federal deadline, the agency's regional security director said Monday. The agency also will meet a Dec. 31 deadline to screen checked bags for explosives in Southeast Alaska, federal waiver or not, said David Mitchell, TSA's top regional official.

Vandals get six months for spree
Two young men will serve six months in jail for their part in a summer vandalism and theft spree that caused nearly $20,000 in damage at a Juneau middle school. Michael Johnson, 19, pleaded guilty Monday in Juneau Superior Court to a felony charge of second-degree burglary and a misdemeanor charge of first-degree criminal trespass stemming from a string of summer burglaries at Dzantik'i Heeni Middle School.

Emitt LeRoy Soldin
Former Juneau resident Emitt LeRoy Soldin, 78, died Nov. 11, 2002, at the Providence Extended Care Facility in Anchorage.

The 'move' fails
To the surprise of absolutely nobody who follows the breezes that blow through Alaska's political tree, a proposal to move legislative sessions out of Juneau failed at the polls Nov. 5.

My Turn: Jurors are more valuable than their pay
Nov. 18 to 22 is juror appreciation week in Alaska. Jurors are appreciated in this country because they make decisions that are made in other countries by bureaucrats or people in black robes or blue uniforms. In this country, disputes between individuals or disputes between individuals and the government are most often decided by jurors from a cross section of the community.

Spurs stick it to Cavs
SAN ANTONIO - Struggling to find wins, the San Antonio Spurs have temporarily found a solution - play the Cleveland Cavaliers. Tim Duncan scored 25 points to lead San Antonio over Cleveland 104-78 Monday night, the Cavaliers' seventh straight loss.

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
Information on upcoming sports and outdoors events in Juneau.

Men arrested at Fairbanks airport
Two Anchorage men have been arrested in Fairbanks on drug charges, FBI officials said. Edgar Contreras, 29, and Ricardo Cruzagosto, 33, were taken into custody early Saturday at the Fairbanks International Airport.

Murkowski spends last day in D.C.
FAIRBANKS - Sen. Frank Murkowski was wrapping up business in Washington, D.C., today before he returns to Alaska to take the helm as governor. Murkowski told the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner he feels his 22 years in the Senate have been productive. "I'm certainly going out of here very comfortable and satisfied with my contribution," he said.

Sealaska wants to work Yakutat gravel deposit
ANCHORAGE - Sealaska Corp. wants to develop a high-grade sand and gravel deposit near Yakutat and is looking for a partner to help it pursue the venture. Sealaska officials say the Broken Ore Cove deposit just outside Yakutat could supply all aggregate needed for major Southeast construction projects in the future.

Trial of accused pipeline shooter begins in Fairbanks
FAIRBANKS - A lawyer for Daniel Lewis, the man charged with shooting the trans-Alaska oil pipeline last year, plans to present evidence discrediting the main witness in the case, Lewis' brother Randy.

Municipal League drops call for tax
The Alaska Municipal League has dropped its call for the state to consider an income tax as a way to solve its fiscal problems. Instead, the group is calling for development of additional sources of revenue. "It's the beginning of a new administration," said Kevin Ritchie, the league's executive director. "Let's let them set the tone for a discussion."

Companies feud over Cook Inlet gas reserves
Two companies are in a tug of war over Cook Inlet's natural gas reserves because of cutbacks in gas supplies. The battle is between Agrium, which runs a big Nikiski chemical plant, and Unocal, the dominant oil and gas producer in the region.

GOP victories chalked up to cash, party leadership
It was 7 p.m. on election night. The polls wouldn't close for another hour. But in a littered back-room office at Frank Murkowski's campaign headquarters, state Republican Party Chairman Randy Ruedrich could smell victory. In the hall outside, upbeat Murkowski supporters were eating shrimp and uncorking red wine. But Ruedrich was focused on the legislative races, where victory would mean continued Republican dominance of the Legislature.

Fort Wainwright soldiers introduced to Native culture
Even though the building was warm, Morgan Solomon donned his heavy-duty ceremonial parka before addressing the audience. The black velvet coat trimmed with wolverine fur denotes Solomon is head of his household, a good provider for his family and that he is worthy of respect.

Another earthquake aftershock reported
Another aftershock was reported early Sunday from the big earthquake that shook Alaska earlier this month. The Alaska Earthquake Information Center said the temblor, with a magnitude of 4.2, occurred at 12:22 a.m. It was centered 20 miles northeast of Paxson.

Smaller ferries set for Haines
The state ferry Malaspina will be replaced by mostly smaller ships next summer as the day boat running between Juneau, Haines and Skagway, according to Capt. George Capacci, general manager of the Alaska Marine Highway System.

Katz resigns as head of Alaska's Washington, D.C., office
ANCHORAGE - The man who has headed up the Alaska governor's office in Washington, D.C., for the past two decades is stepping down. John Katz said Monday he will quit once Gov.-elect Frank Murkowski is sworn in.

Cleanup of grounded boat tops $250,000
The cost of cleaning up the wreck of the 150-foot Genei Maru is at $250,000 and rising. A Japanese company owns the vessel that suddenly appeared on the rocks at Afognak Island earlier this month after catching fire in May and disappearing in the North Pacific for months. But the cleanup money right now is coming out of the National Pollution Funds Center, part of the federal Superfund agency, said Marsha Delaney, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Coast Guard in Kodiak.

State worker accused of embezzling
State officials allege a former Department of Education staffer took almost a quarter million dollars in government funds and used some of the money to buy illegal drugs. Gary Martin, 43, former administrative manager for the state library system, already faces drug and weapons charges. At a bail hearing Monday, a department finance officer alleged Martin embezzled $246,184 from the agency. Law enforcement officials said they are investigating the case and may seek felony first-degree theft charges.

Judge says Wal-Mart violated worker's rights
A National Labor Relations Board judge has ruled an employee fired from the Wasilla Wal-Mart store should be reinstated and given back pay, saying the company had "eviscerated" the worker's rights.

State Briefs
Assembly appoints JEDC board members; State unemployment rate flat in October; Emergency signal causes four-day search; New state regulations on cruise ship waste begin; Woman arrested in Barrow stabbing; Aftershocks continue to rattle the Interior; Barrow bids farewell to the sun

Murkowski transition team gets down to work
ANCHORAGE - Gov.-elect Frank Murkowski's transition team includes former state legislators, appointees from the administration of former Gov. Wally Hickel, industry representatives and even a cabinet member who once served under Gov. Tony Knowles. Since Murkowski was elected two weeks ago, his staff has declined to say who is working with the outgoing administration. Murkowski will hold a news conference Wednesday to discuss the transition, said spokesman John Manly.

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