In the stacks: Large-print books circulate at library
The focus this week is on large-print books, and, in addition to the great books listed below, look for new large print titles by these best-selling authors: Robert Parker, Fern Michaels, Dorothy Garlock, Catherine Coulter, Tom Clancy, Anne Perry and Jack Higgins, to name a few. To see a list of large print titles that have been added to the Juneau Public Library shelves in the past year, check out the "NEW!" tab at the top of the blue banner on our online catalog.

Yes, gay marriage is a threat
In reference to Ellie Sica's letter Dec. 5, 2003, "Is gay marriage a threat," Ellie mentions that it goes against "some" of his religious beliefs. If you read the Bible, God says in His word that it's an abomination to God. Webster's definition of abomination is: that which is abominable; anything hateful, wicked, or shamefully vile; an object or state that excites disgust and hatred; a hateful or shameful vice; pollution.

Seeking better Lynn Canal ferry service
I'm writing in response to a letter by John Conley of Ketchikan on Nov. 25. The letter "Better ferries or new roads" had comments about Haines and Skagway that I believe were incorrect.

Alert for diabetes
I received a phone call yesterday from my sister who lives in Juneau. She read to me what was in the newspaper on "Diabetes likely to rise among Alaska youths."

Private property rights are important
On behalf of anyone who owns a home in Alaska and cares about private property rights, I urge the governor to buy back the coal bed methane leases the state of Alaska has sold under/near Alaskans' private homes and start the CBM development process anew, after letting Alaska's homeowners know what can happen to them when the leases are sold.

No to road; how about light rail?
Juneau is special. Juneau is not like other towns. Juneau has many of the advantages of a city with few of a city's disadvantages. Here one can find a wide variety of cultural and arts events. And one can also find a parking place convenient to the venue.

Upset at business license fee increase
I think the increase in business license fee is outrageous. Because of the increase in fees, I'm making my real estate license inactive. The city gets no license fees from an inactive license. I wouldn't be surprised to hear that a lot of people who have purchased business licenses at $50 for a small second job or a home-based craft business decide not to get a license at all.

Bottom of the hill or bust
Darion Carlson, 8, makes his way down the sledding hill behind Floyd Dryden Middle School after Wesley Hill, 8, bailed out behind him Sunday morning.

Incumbents serving on planning panel, hospital board likely to be appointed again
The Juneau Assembly will vote Monday on its own recommendations to re-appoint the incumbents serving on the city's Planning Commission and Bartlett Regional Hospital Board of Directors.

Photo: Santa clothes
Steve Earl, wishing only to be known as Santa Claus, waves and smiles to passersby while strolling the streets of downtown Juneau on Saturday.

Thane Road contractor looking to repair hill by end of the week
Thane Road traffic could be back to normal in another week. The state Department of Transportation hired a Juneau contractor Friday to rebuild a hill that fell away from the Gastineau Channel side of the road Monday.

Flying boats homing in on the Panhandle
Southeast Alaskans looking out onto Lynn Canal this summer might wonder what is hovering over the water.

Around Town
Today: Low Impact Exercise, 10 a.m., Juneau Senior Center and Valley Senior Center. Details: 463-6175. Toddler Time, 10 a.m., downtown library. Toddler Time at the Mendenhall Valley library starts at 11 a.m. Details: 586-5303. Toddler Play Group, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., REACH, 3272 Hospital Dr. A playtime for toddlers and class/support group for parents.

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

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

Plan touts hydropower project for Glacier Bay
Southeast residents will consider a proposed hydroelectric power facility and land exchange in Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve.

State Chamber picks Juneau Access as a top priority
The Alaska State Chamber of Commerce has picked completion of the Juneau Access project as one of its top five lobbying priorities for the upcoming legislative session.

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

This Day in History
In Alaska:• In 1741, Vitus Bering, early Russian explorer, died on Bering Island after his ship was cast ashore following his second voyage to Alaska. • In 1900, the steamer City of Topeka was wrecked on Sullivan Island near Haines but was later salvaged.

Bar owners, anti-smoking advocates debate ordinance
The Juneau Clean Air Coalition is lobbying to ban smoking in all bars and bar/restaurants in Juneau, but the food and beverage industry is fighting back.

Palestinian journalist: Making one state will solve Middle East crisis
Ramzy Baroud never contemplated throwing a stone at anyone before that day in 1987. He was 14 years old, an age when most American kids are worried about acne and pop quizzes. But Baroud was worried about the safety of young girls in the dusty Gaza Strip refugee camp where he grew up.

Holiday baskets - fruit of a rich spirit
When Racheal MacLeod was growing up in Victoria, British Columbia, her family was poor, but rich in spirit.

Photo: Slippery driving
A 19-year-old Juneau woman was taken to Bartlett Regional Hospital for minor injuries Sunday night after rolling her black Chevrolet Blazer at approximately 6:15 p.m. in a one-car accident on outbound Egan Drive, about one-third of a mile northwest of the Glacier Avenue turnoff.

City seeks wetlands permit for school site
The city has applied to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for a permit to fill some wetlands at the site of the planned high school at Dimond Park next to the Mendenhall River.

When law goes out on a limb
Kay Leibrand, a 61-year old grandmother, breast-cancer survivor and former software engineer, was arrested and nearly went to jail in Palo Alto, Calif., because her hedge of xylosma bushes was more than 2 feet tall.

My Turn: 'Responsible' youth drinking can cause permanent damage
Parent, rethink your good intentions. As we have all heard at one time or another, they can pave the way to Hell.

Another century, another crusade
For 14 centuries, Christians and Muslims have waged a series of conquests and crusades. And while we know who started the fighting, we don't know who will end it. The one safe bet is that America's current crusade in the Middle East will not be the last.

Put the blame on Cheney for U.S. mess in Iraq
This isn't how Papa Bush and the handlers thought it would work out. Not when they put solid Dick Cheney in charge of the kid's government.

Toe cartoon

Outdoor Web sites
Web sites of interest to local outdoors enthusiasts.

Ski club gives members trails access
Membership in the Juneau Nordic Ski Club gives skiers access to trails near the Mendenhall Glacier and at the Eaglecrest Ski Area. Dues go toward expanding and grooming trails and furthering educational opportunities.

Southeast Wild: Annual bird count - A social event with a scientific purpose
This year marks the 104th anniversary of the Christmas Bird Count. On Christmas Day 1900, 27 conservationists in 25 localities, led by ornithologist Frank Chapman, changed the course of history.

Yukon eel season finds international market
It's eel season on the Yukon River. Hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, of the squiggly, squirmy creatures are swimming up from the Bering Sea, a seething mass wriggling beneath the river ice to spawn and die.

Out & About
Upcoming outdoor events in Juneau.

Making Tracks
November's cold weather and heavy snowfall left Nordic skiers in Juneau ready for what promises to be a busy season. "It can only get better from last year," said Mike Sigler, who works at the federal fisheries lab at Auke Bay and was skiing with co-worker Michele Masuda during the lunch hour Thursday.

Snow report
Snow report from Eaglecrest Ski Area.

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
NEW CALENDAR ITEM • Juneau-Douglas Ice Association youth hockey registration - Sign-up for the JDIA's second season takes place from noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 13, at the Nugget Mall.

Hoonah takes third place at state tourney
For the first time in four years, the Hoonah Braves didn't finish second in the Class 1A-2A-3A (West) state volleyball tournament. But the Braves didn't win the tournament held this weekend at Anchorage's Dimond High School.

Sharing a lot of glove
Super heavyweights Justin Rose, left, and Tevita Talamai swap blows during their Fight Night Boxing bout Saturday night at Centennial Hall. Talamai won a split decision in the battle between former Juneau-Douglas High School football players.

Blind musher decides not to enter Iditarod this year
ANCHORAGE - A 19-year-old legally blind musher from Oregon will not compete in next year's Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.

Cavaliers go to their reserves to end eight-game losing streak
Jason Kapono, the Cavaliers' less-hyped rookie, scored 16 points and Darius Miles added 15 as Cleveland snapped an eight-game losing streak with a 95-85 win over the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday night. Former Juneau-Douglas High School star Carlos Boozer added a double-double for the Cavaliers, finishing with 12 points and 10 rebounds despite being in foul trouble much of the game.

Garage inventor builds amphibious vehicle that works
KETCHIKAN - Stan Hewitt might be the new king of garage inventors. His amphibious vehicle - imagine a cross between a work skiff and a 1950s sci-fi movie Mars rover - looks cool and actually works.

Judge OKs lethal wolf control
An Alaska judge on Friday rejected an attempt by an animal-rights group to stop a state-sponsored program allowing hunters to shoot wolves from airplanes in Alaska.

Alaska Digest
staff and Wire reports

Photo: Arctic treat
Young Yoon of the Oriental Shopping Center in Anchorage shows off Alaska eels last month in Anchorage.

Last similar change in flu strain killed nearly 65,000 nationwide
The last time there was a flu strain mutation similar to the one sickening thousands of Americans this year, nearly 65,000 died.

Report: Flu this year could be big killer
The flu may have killed a 17-year-old girl in Kotlik last week, according to the state's preliminary autopsy report.

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

Photo: A position of truss
Colorfully dressed construction worker Shayne Brown uses a nail gun to attach a brace to a roof joist on a new building in Ketchikan Wednesday. The relatively balmy weather made raingear unnecessary.

Alaska Digest
News in brief from around the state.

Science Emporium gives teens look at what college offers
FAIRBANKS - A pair of forks with wires extending from their ends was the centerpiece of the "electrifying glowing pickle" display at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Putnam execs apologize to trustees for 'ethical lapses'
ANCHORAGE - Putnam Investments' top executives traveled to Alaska to apologize to Alaska Permanent Fund trustees for what they called "ethical lapses" that have embroiled the firm in a trading scandal now sweeping the nation's mutual-fund industry.

Agrium threatens plant closure if sufficient gas can't be found
KENAI - Agrium's fertilizer manufacturing complex at Nikiski may close at the end of 2005 unless a sufficient supply of natural gas can be secured, according to corporate officials.

Skiers rescue downed pilot
ANCHORAGE - A massive search for the pilot of a small plane that crashed at Eklutna Lake ended when the man stumbled upon a group of cross-country skiers as he was attempting to walk to help.

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