Educators in action
This week, Nov. 17-23, is the 81st annual observance of American Education Week - a time for saluting our public schools and the relationships between teachers, students and parents. I want to invite parents and family members to visit Juneau classrooms and see our children engaged in learning.

Protect Berners Bay
With Murkowski as governor and with the Republicans controlling almost everything governmental, we are bound to keep hearing the refrain: "The environmentalists are trying to lock up Alaska."

Helmar: Craftsman, father, husband, neighbor, friend
Paul Helmar and I met in Fairbanks during the early 1970s when he was doing a photo documentary of the trans-Alaska pipeline project. I have always liked Paul's funky view of the world, have admired his care and craftsmanship with a camera, and have benefited from his sharing of his detailed knowledge about the mechanics of great photography.

Stop for school buses
I am a school bus driver and I am writing because I am appalled by the number of drivers that have run straight through the red flashing lights of school buses while drivers were loading and unloading children. It is an almost daily occurrence. Is a few moments of inconvenience worth the risk of injury to our children?

Able to relate
Thursday night, I went to see the wonderful presentation by Gene Tagaban and his "fellow presenters." His performance covered tobacco addiction, but also reached out to a broader perspective of a healthy lifestyle.

On behalf of wolves
I heartily commend the Alaska Board of Game for its recent decisions on behalf of current and future wolf populations on Douglas Island and a similar recent decision in regard to the wolves of the Denali Park area.


Land-swap, UA bills die in U.S. House
A land-exchange measure involving property near the Kensington gold mine and Berners Bay died today as Congress adjourned for the year. The exchange, involving the Juneau-based Native corporation Sealaska, passed the U.S. Senate earlier this week. A separate measure that passed the Senate but not the House would have given the University of Alaska a land grant of up to 750,000 acres.

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

Student writes for Teen People
Last year in a last-minute decision, Summer Dorr, then a 20-year-old University of Alaska Southeast student, sent a magazine correspondent application to Teen People magazine in New York City. "It was due like the next day," Dorr said. "I actually turned it in late."

Abuse accusations against priest referred to police
The Juneau Catholic diocese has received a written accusation of sexual abuse of a boy by a priest between 1979 and 1982 and will ask law enforcement authorities to investigate, Bishop Michael Warfel said today. The accused priest, the Rev. Michael Nash of the Cathedral of the Nativity, denied the accusations in a written statement to the Empire. "They are not true," he said.

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

Hagen, Carlton marry
Stephen Paul Carlton and Heather Marie Hagen were wed on Oct. 10, 2002, in Kauai, Hawaii. The couple held a reception for friends and family after returning from their honeymoon.

Juneau commemorates National Tree Trust record
Only dedicated Alaskans would plant a tree in the northern rainforest in the middle of November, but Juneau Mayor Sally Smith and John See of the Alaska Department of Natural Resources did just that. "We're taking part in a coast to coast commemoration of The National Tree Trust's astounding milestone - 10 million trees planted across the United States since 1990," said See, urban and community forestry coordinator for Alaska's Department of Natural Resources.

4-H set up pets club
The 4-H program will start a new 4-H pets 7 p.m. on Dec. 3 at Floyd Dryden Middle School. The club will be led by Becky Hinmanof the Gastineau Humane Society.

Photo: MADD program
MADD's Youth in Action Jaclynne Logan, JPD Asst. Chief Greg Browning and Sergeant Troy Wilson "tie one on" with MADD's red ribbon.

Dzantik'i Heeni Middle School students take field trip to Admiralty
More than 120 seventh- and eighth-graders from Dzantik'i Heeni Middle School's Spruce House classrooms took a field trip to Admiralty Island on Nov. 1. Greens Creek sponsored the trip aboard the Four Seasons Marine boat the Admiralty Wind. Spruce House teachers used to outing to teach natural history, place names and local geography. Students looked at a beaver dam, a beach and other areas on the east side of the island by Young Bay.

Thank you
...for the generosity; ...for the help; ...for your efforts.

Humans are on the trail of a pure consciousness
"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God." In this famous line from the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus asks his listeners to maintain a pure consciousness. If we can assume that "see" means being somehow directly aware of God, what is the "purity" needed for this?

Paul Joseph Helmar
Juneau resident Paul Joseph Helmar, 61, died Nov. 19, 2002, at Virginia Mason Hospital in Seattle from complications following heart surgery.

Juneau's Gibb to swim against world's best
Former Petersburg High School swimmer Derek Gibb, a Juneau resident who now swims for Auburn University, will be competing against the top swimmers in the world this weekend during the FINA (International Swimming Federation) World Cup races at the Nassau County Aquatic Center in East Meadow, N.Y.

Falling down at the Top
Nebraska's Nate Johnson (4) tries to pass the ball as he falls to the floor in front of Centenary's Rickey Evans (5) during the first half of their Top of the World Classic tournament game Thursday in Fairbanks.

Alaska State High School All-Time Top 12 Swim Times
The top 12 all-time Alaska high school swim times through the 2002 state meet held Nov. 8-9 at Anchorage's Bartlett High School. This list was started by former Juneau-Douglas High School swim coach Mike Miller, with the most recent updates compiled by current Juneau coach John Wray.

State Wrestling Rankings
Here are the state's top-five wrestlers in each weight class for the Class 4A and the Class 1A-2A-3A seasons as ranked by the Web site,, which is run by Palmer's Eric Wade.

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

Photo: Making waves at the Capitol
Gov. Tony Knowles met with the state champion Juneau-Douglas High School boys swimming and diving team at the Capitol Building on Thursday. The Crimson Bears tied with Soldotna for first place at the state meet, held in Anchorage on Nov. 8-9.

Bill allows non-Natives to aid whalers
FAIRBANKS - Native hunters from Alaska's coastal villages could ask non-Native boat operators to help haul whales to shore in emergencies, under legislation that passed in the final hours of the U.S. Senate session and now goes to the president.

Drunken driving deaths up last year
WASHINGTON - The number of drunken driving deaths in the United States rose last year after holding steady during most of the 1990s, Mothers Against Drunk Driving said Thursday. Alaska was among the states that received the lowest grades. There were 17,448 drunken driving deaths nationwide in 2001, up from 16,572 in 1999, the last time MADD conducted it's "Rating the States" survey.

Botelho closes gasoline probe
Attorney General Bruce Botelho closed a three-year investigation of Alaska's petroleum industry after finding "insufficient evidence" of price fixing. A two-page report into gasoline price spikes between 1995 and 1998, sent to the governor's office on Thursday, announced the investigation would end. The report recommended the state Department of Law should continue to monitor gasoline prices in Alaska.

Denali Dreams: Making it in the soap business
ANCHORAGE - Two Anchorage women who started a soap-making business part-time at home are now awash in success.

State Briefs
Murkowski town meetings next week in Juneau; Salcha flooding recedes; 6-year-old boy dies when dresser falls;

Plane diverted to Anchorage after passenger threats
ANCHORAGE - A Boeing 747 en route from Minneapolis to Tokyo was diverted to Anchorage on Thursday and searched by bomb-sniffing dogs after an unruly passenger claimed to be a terrorist, according to the FBI.

Legislative leaders praise Murkowski
ANCHORAGE - The new speaker of the House and the new Senate president said Thursday that having Frank Murkowski as Alaska's next governor will be good for resource development. Under the Murkowski administration, a new message will be sent - one that hasn't been realized in the past eight years under Democrat Gov. Tony Knowles, said Rep. Pete Kott, an Eagle River Republican chosen to be House speaker.

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