Pipeline incentives clear first legislative hurdle
The federal energy bill passed this week in the U.S. House includes incentives toward the construction of a proposed $20 billion natural gas pipeline. Gov. Frank Murkowski and one of the gas companies involved are optimistic the project will proceed to the next engineering phase.

New policy too costly
It is already apparent that people are going to make an issue of the new verbiage in the city's health care policy including domestic partners, based on their opinions and moral beliefs. However, I feel that this may cloud another very important issue as to why domestic partnerships should not be included in the new CBJ insurance policy.

Follow the money
As a visitor to Juneau from Duluth, Minn., I took notice of Timothy Inklebarger's piece "New Group Pushes For Better Ferries" and its allusion to the controversy over funding the Alaska Marine Highway.

Glad teachers are negotiating again
I want to let you know how pleased I was when I read the article in this morning's paper that our teacher's union, JEA, is going back to the table with the district. We were all hopeful when so many new members were elected to the board that you would take this matter to heart and want a fair contract for the teachers. You have renewed my faith, for the time being.

Lack of road means a safer community
Denis Rehfeld is basing his conclusions upon an Empire poll. He needs to know that the voters voted down the road and I believe a vote is a more reliable basis for his conclusions than an online poll.

Ferry offers richer experience than road
I've taken the ferry from Haines to Bellingham twice, sans a "room," just camping out and have enjoyed it greatly. I can't afford a cruise ship and enjoy camping out on the deck. I met people from all over the world, saw places up close and enjoyed all the ferries have to offer a tourist.

Focus on your own state
I got a good laugh with Tena Scruggs from California suggesting if Alaskans want to keep informed on the wolf issue they should go to defenders.com, ("Recall Murkowski over wolf hunting," Nov. 18).

Partner choice a private matter
This is a reply to "Domestic partners policy is immoral" by Trevor League: Every person in the United States has a right to life insurance and health insurance through their work - it doesn't matter who your partner in life is.

'Balanced' management?
As a member of the Unit 19(D) East (McGrath) Adaptive Management Team, I've learned what balanced management means to radical hunters and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

Show respect for all people
You know, I was not going to write any more letters, as they never do any good anyway, but oh my God! I cannot let the letter from Trevor League (Nov. 18) go. I mean if this is not homophobic, what is? And sanctity of marriage? Please. Some of the worst people I have ever met in my life were heterosexuals (married).

Simple appeal
Paul Ginnetty's discussion of the popularity of Rush Limbaugh and similar entertainers to some Americans was enjoyable, although 1,500 or so words of explanation seemed unnecessary.

People should be able to choose senator
Unless things have changed radically, the business of the people is the business of the Senate.

Joining other cities that cover domestic partners
Congratulations to the City and Borough of Juneau for providing health insurance for domestic partners! We have joined the ranks of cities like Baltimore, Atlanta and Kalamazoo, Mich. (161 cities across the U.S. provide domestic partner health insurance).

Road not the best use
Methinks Matt Koepple doth protest too much. He urges people in his letter to editor (Nov. 18) not to listen to their neighbors', co-workers' and friends' opinions about a road north out of Juneau. Perhaps he should follow his own advice about getting all the facts before "opining."

Photo: Fast Ferry
Alaskas first fast ferry, Fairweather, was launched Sunday in Bridgeport, Conn. The 235-foot vessel will travel at speeds of up to 32 knots, or 40 mph.

Photo: Time for holiday lights
Trevor Gong of the city's park maintenance division hangs strings of lights on a lamppost Tuesday on Front Street. About 80 of the posts in the downtown area are adorned with lights for the holiday season.

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

Douglas school regains its cupola
A former Tlingit school in Douglas has a cupola once again, thanks to the city and construction students, many of whom are Native, at the University of Alaska Southeast. On Nov. 8, Silverbow Construction attached the top of the cupola, or bell tower, to its base on the roof of the city-owned Mayflower School building, now leased to a Montessori school. The base was put in place three weeks before.

This Day in History
In Alaska: • In 1941, work was started on the railroad tunnel to connect Portage and Whittier. • In 1959, authorization for night takeoffs and landings at Juneau International Airport was given by the FAA.

Artistic director DuBois to leave Perseverance
Perseverance Theatre artistic director Peter DuBois has announced his departure from the theater to assume the job of associate producer at New York's Public Theatre, according to a Perseverance press release Wednesday night.

Mayor to name panel to create a new capitol
In a move to ward off threats to relocate the capital, Mayor Bruce Botelho plans to form a committee that would review building a new capitol.

City looks at how to widen S. Franklin St.
Business owners are concerned about getting fair market value for their property under a city proposal to widen South Franklin Street to alleviate congestion.

Around Town
Today:Gift of Life Blood Drive, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., University of Alaska Southeast. Details and appointment scheduling: 465-6528. Day of Quilting, Sewing and Good Fellowship, 10 a.m. every Wednesday, Resurrection Lutheran Church. Quilts donated to Lutheran World Relief. Details: 586-2380.

Juneau planning commissioners OK waterfront hotel near bridge
Before the Juneau Planning Commission approved a conditional-use permit allowing another 12-suite hotel near the Juneau side of the Douglas Bridge, it decided the finished product would be called a hotel.

Commissioners approve zoning in Lemon Creek
Juneau needs housing, one city planning commissioner pointed out Tuesday night to Lemon Creek residents who objected to a proposed multi-family housing project in their neighborhood.

Photo: Out for blood
Student Ben Gilles gives Blood Bank of Alaska medical assistant Marti Thrower a thumbs-up after she asked him how he was feeling during Wednesday's blood drive on the University of Alaska Southeast campus.

High prices hold up through end of 2003 halibut season
The halibut season ended this weekend with high prices thanks to the long opening and booming fresh market.

Officials eye covered walkways for downtown
The city Community Development Department is working on a project to build canopies downtown to protect pedestrians from rain and snow and to improve aesthetics.

Falcon chosen as school's mascot
Crimson Bear, meet the Falcon. The falcon will be the mascot for the planned high school at Dimond Park, and the school colors will be blue and silver, the Juneau School Board decided Tuesday.

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

Juneau schools face bleak budgets
The Juneau School District revealed Tuesday it will have about $925,000 more than it projected this school year. But officials also presented bleak preliminary budgets for the next two school years that contemplate fewer school buses, fewer teachers and other cuts.

Photo: Wharf's early days
Alaska aviation pioneer Shell Simmons operated Alaska Air Transport out of the building now known as Merchants Wharf in the mid-1930s.

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

Doyle to step down as fire chief
Capital City Fire and Rescue Chief Mike Doyle resigned Wednesday, saying in his letter of resignation he was "tired" and admitting that recent department organizational changes "have not been universally popular."

Photo: Trimming the governor's tree
Above, Lisa Norheim, left, Kimberly Ling, center, and Carol Munro of the state's garden and grounds crew lift a lodgepole pi

... for helping with the Interact Club; The Interact Club at the Juneau-Douglas High School has had a successful year thus far, and we would like to pause to recognize the members of this community who have supported us and helped us along the way.

Pets of the Week
Pets of the week: TORI Active lab shakes, 'speaks,' can seem kangaroo-like, MR. PIBBS, Graham-cracker colored; gives raven impressions

Dawson, Pearson marry in Reno

Giving gustatory thanks in the early days
Celebrations of the Thanksgiving holiday in early Alaska and the Yukon Territory had much to do with available edibles.

Messings to celebrate 50th Saturday, Blackwells celebrate 50th anniversary

Gertrude 'Sally' Karrin Polley
Longtime Juneau resident Gertrude "Sally" Karrin Polley, 94, died Nov. 16, 2003, at the Juneau Pioneers Home.

My Turn: Commissioner promotes myths about public lands
Ernesta Ballard, commissioner of the state Department of Environmental Conservation, presented three so-called myths about public lands in a speech Nov. 6.

My Turn: Why I support Kucinich for president
I 'm working on the Dennis Kucinich for President campaign because he is the only candidate who has a broad and generous enough vision to bring the United States back on track. Under both Republican and Democratic administrations we have become a nation bent on dominating the world militarily and economically, with diminishing regard for the health, education and prosperity of our own citizens.

Depleted energy
Tucked away in the 1,000-plus pages of the energy bill that a House-Senate conference produced Monday are subsidies, loan guarantees and other spending measures worth about $100 billion. Where is all that money to go?

Cavaliers' road losing streak reaches 28 games
Same old story, different town. The Cavaliers' road woes continued to smart on Wednesday night, as even a career-best performance from LeBron James couldn't break their extended slump away from home. Loose defense in the early going put them in a hole and without workhorse Carlos Boozer, they didn't have the strength to overcome it.

Ketchikan Bill Weiss Great Alaska Challenge
Results from the Bill Weiss Great Alaska Challenge high school wrestling tournament, held Friday and Saturday at Ketchikan High School's Clarke Cochrane Gym.

Cavaliers beat Clippers at their own run-and-gun game
CLEVELAND - See the Cavaliers run. See the Cavaliers jump out to gigantic lead. See them almost blow the whole thing. See them rally to win in time for everyone to head home for chalupas.

Juneau wrestlers hang tough with Kayhi
The Juneau-Douglas High School wrestling team won its first four matches and two of the last three, but it wasn't enough to keep the Crimson Bears from dropping a dual-meet decision, 43-30, to the host Ketchikan Kings on Saturday at the Bill Weiss Great Alaska Challenge. The Crimson Bears took the early lead in the dual meet. Dante Santos won a 4-1 decision at 103 pounds, and then Chad Carson (112), Jordan Saceda (119) and Dennis Hall (125) all won by pins.

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.

Class 1A-2A-3A state wrestling rankings
Alaska Class 1A-2A-3A state wrestling rankings released Nov. 18.

Nanooks hope to defend their Top of the World Classic title
ANCHORAGE - The University of Alaska Fairbanks proved to be rude hosts last year at the BP Top of the World Classic, the nation's northernmost college basketball tournament.

Hoonah wins fourth straight Region V-2A volleyball title
SKAGWAY - Hoonah volleyball coach Julie Jackson greeted her senior star, Amy Wright, with a big hug after her team knocked off Klawock in three straight games for the Region V-Class 2A title Tuesday at Skagway High School.

Sports in Juneau
NEW CALENDAR ITEM: • Holiday Cup 2003 indoor soccer tournament - The annual indoor soccer tournament takes place Dec. 20-31, with five coed divisions - Elementary (grades 4-5), Middle School (grades 6-8), Junior (high school, ages 16-younger), Senior (high school-college, ages 17-21) and Masters (ages 22-222).

Region V-Class 2A volleyball all-academic team
Seniors selected for the All-Academic Team Awards on Tuesday at the Region V-Class 2A volleyball tournament in Skagway.

Democrat Mike Layne enters race for U.S. Senate
A new Democratic contender for the U.S. Senate has entered the race, and he says that although he doesn't have millions in campaign contributions, he can win through grassroots campaigning. Mike Layne, 34, of Barrow, said he wants to shorten the work week to 32 hours, increase the national minimum wage to $10 and provide free health insurance to all Americans.

Sun sets on Barrow until Jan. 23
BARROW - The sun is setting on America's northernmost city and won't be seen again for two months. The sun rose at 12:33 p.m. Tuesday and set just one hour and 18 minutes later at 1:51 p.m., according to the National Weather Service in Barrow. The sun will not be rise again until Jan. 23.

Pilots apply to participate in aerial wolf hunt
FAIRBANKS - Bob Magnuson considers it his "civic duty" to kill a wolf every now and then. That's why he's planning to apply for a permit to shoot wolves from his airplane this winter after the Alaska Board of Game approved the state's first aerial wolf-hunting program in more than 15 years.

Anchorage fish plant sells off its equipment
Millions of dollars' worth of fish-processing equipment - including machines to cut, mince, shape, fry and freeze fish - is for sale at the defunct Alaska Seafood International plant. The gear is being sold to help pay back money owed to two ASI investors, Bank SinoPac of Taiwan and a state agency, the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority.

Judge denies Pilgrim family access
ANCHORAGE - A federal judge on Tuesday rejected a backwoods family's request to use an old mining road so they can haul winter supplies to their remote cabin in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve.

This Day in History
In Alaska; in the nation; in the world.

Alaska Digest
News in brief from around the state.

Alaska Digest
Two pounds of pot found in car on ferry KETCHIKAN - A Metlakatla man was arrested and his vehicle seized in Ketchikan after U.S. Customs officers reportedly found two pounds of marijuana in his car aboard the state ferry Taku.

Student Sinfonia selections
For the Juneau Student Symphonies performance.

Plett on Film: Visual Feast
Director Alexander Soku-rov's "Russian Ark" is a technical triumph: a visual fantasia that takes viewers on a whirlwind tour through three centuries of Russian history and culture.

Movies: Where and when
Show times at local theaters.

Student Symphony takes new look at Vivaldi
Juneau Student Symphonies conductor Rick Trostel likes to say Antonio Vivaldi would have written his violin concerto in G Minor differently for a full orchestra. As it was, Vivaldi (1678-1741), a Baroque-era Italian trained on the violin and raised for the priesthood, composed the piece for strings and organ late in life.

Student Symphony program selections
The program for Juneau Student Symphonies.

One man, three mini-disc players and an undeniable country flavor
Country singer Kenny Knapp traveled through the western United States from 1974 to 1990 - in vans and motor homes - playing in a different club in a different state every few weeks. He was the lead guitarist and singer for a four- or five-piece band. They spent days on the road, evenings at nightclubs, late nights at faceless hotels. There was little trouble finding a gig.

What's Happening
Upcoming arts and entertainment events in Juneau.

Knapp is his own one-man band
When Kenny Knapp first went solo in 1991, all he had for accompaniment was his guitar. It wasn't enough sound for dance-hall-type venues.

The Swamp
Cartoon by local artist Toe.

Fun facts
Tidbits related to the making of the movie "Russian Ark."

Review: 'King Stag' remains magical until very end
It wasn't until the beginning of the second act of Perseverance Theatre's production of "King Stag" that I realized where the magic lies in this production. A beautiful, melancholy love song drifts over the stage from the rafters above the set, where a guitarist and two performers stand in full view of the audience. The play's heroine slumps sadly on one of two thrones, creating a scene that reeks of lost love.

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