It's not who you are, but where
During the holidays, most peoples' thoughts turn to yuletide logs, mistletoe and other props from a Disney movie. Not me. My mind turns to gadgets, the shinier the better. Even people who claim to hate gadgets love to get them for Christmas. And there's no better gadget to give than a location device.

Time to stop the slaughter of wolves
Once again our great state is on the way to becoming the laughingstock of the rest of the country and the world. This is due to our governor, the Board of Game and our elected officials once again allowing the needless slaughter of one of our natural resources: the wolves. People from all over the world come to our state in the form of tourism to view these magnificent animals.

Needs guidance about taking Bible literally
The recent letter by Ione Ackerman discussing homosexuality as an abomination reminded me of an e-mail that was sent around several years ago when Dr. Laura Schlessinger was making similar comments. Here is a version of that e-mail:

Man, not wolves, to blame for problems
The control of predators for the financial gain of commercialized hunting is lame. It is time for federal intervention to halt the wolf kill.

Asbestos, tobacco smoke, personal freedom
Consider this: "The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health recommends that asbestos be controlled and handled as a potential human carcinogen in the workplace and that exposure be minimized to the lowest feasible limit. ... The American Conference of Government Industrial Hygienists has designated asbestos as an A1 substance (suspected human carcinogen...)"

Clarifying the business tax increase
While I agree with the spirit of Lisa Weimer's and Diane Powell's distress at the recent hike in business license rates, they are pointing their fingers in the wrong direction. The increase was not the product of the City and Borough of Juneau. This was a special gift to us from the same guy who took away the Senior Longevity Bonus. This was reported by the Juneau Empire on March 6, 2003.

Wolf policy makes headlines far away
A heads-up to the Alaskan tourism industry from considerably south of the border: Glancing at the Buenos Aires Herald newspaper this morning, we spied one piece of news from Alaska.

What is the true threat?
After reading Ione Ackerman's letter "Yes, gay marriage is a threat" on Dec. 7, 2003, I am still left wondering what exactly it is that is being threatened. Is marriage being threatened? Yes. Marriage is based on love and when that right is taken away from someone because of something as insignificant as their sexual orientation then marriage is being hugely threatened.

Smoking ordinance a necessary protection
I am writing in response to Friday's Juneau Chamber of Commerce panel discussion regarding an initiative to strengthen Juneau's clean indoor air ordinance. I support this initiative because the current ordinance with its numerous exemptions fails to protect the citizens of Juneau from the harmful effects of indoor second-hand cigarette smoke.

Investigate claims in smoking debate
I was privileged to attend the Chamber of Commerce's panel discussion on expanding the CBJ smoking ordinance. The documented data and personal experience testimony of both sides was very compelling and honest.

Road is a poor solution
There are few places on Earth better suited to marine transportation than Southeast Alaska. In this chain of island communities wedged between mountain and sea, where winter weather buries the roads and blinds the airways, it's no wonder that our Alaska Marine Highway System has become an integral part of our community and economy.

Say no to smoking ban
Although I do not smoke, don't allow it in my home and had my mother die of lung cancer due to smoking, I still feel the smoking ban should not be increased.

Around Town
Today Day of Quilting, Sewing and Good Fellowship, 10 a.m. every Wednesday, Resurrection Lutheran Church. Quilts donated to Lutheran World Relief. Details: 586-2380.

Assembly split over smoking ban
The Juneau Assembly is divided over anti-smoking advocates' lobbying efforts to make all bars and restaurant bars smoke-free in Juneau, members said Monday.

Holiday glow
Lahna Deering walks by a streetlight decorated with Christmas lights Monday on Marine Way. Downtown lampposts have been decked out in holiday lights.

Photo: Crunch time for students
Student Sierra Doherty studies Tuesday for a final exam at the Egan Library at the University of Alaska Southeast. About 700 full-time and 2,000 part-time university students are taking final exams this week. The semester ends this week and the spring semester will start Jan. 12.

This Day in History
In Alaska • In 1948, the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Storis arrived in Juneau to take up permanent station. • In 1964, 1 million acres of North Slope land were leased for oil and gas development for $5.6 million. Gov. William Egan expressed his disappointment over the amount paid for the leases. Anchorage police began rounding up loose dogs. This unprecedented action followed a flurry of dog bite incidents and reports of dogs roaming the city in packs.

State to hold town meeting on fiscal gap
New taxes, legalized gambling and restructuring the Alaska Permanent Fund dividend program will be among the topics discussed Thursday night at a special meeting on Alaska's fiscal dilemma.

Assembly delays decision on funding new arts center
The Assembly tabled a decision Monday to allocate $25,000 toward a new performing arts center until it decides on the source of the funding.

This Day in History
In Alaska: • In 1910, the steamship Olympia was permanently stranded on Bligh Reef near Valdez.

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

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

Sledding in Treadwell, 1912
From left to right, Irving Anderson, George Benson, Frank Anderson, Eleanor Murphy, Mark Smith and Charlotte Price take a break from sledding in Treadwell in 1912.

Photo:Digging out
Nita Coronell, with the city's water department, clears snow from a fire hydrant Tuesday on Glacier Avenue. Coronell is responsible for keeping about 300 hydrants clear of snow downtown and in Auke Bay. "We've got to keep safe for everybody," Coronell said.

City considers halt to waterfront construction
The Juneau Assembly proposed Monday night to allow no waterfront construction until the city's development plan is finalized.

A gift of learning: Donated computer helps JDHS student
Ashley Tomlinson's favorite class is choir. That's the only course in which the 17-year-old alto doesn't have to take notes, an activity her eye condition, aniridia, renders painful.

Around Town
Today:Valley Toastmasters meeting, 6:10 a.m. every Tuesday, Henry's. Details: Jim, 789-3074. Sewing Circle, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Valley Senior Center. Details: Betty, 789-7236. Life Ring, a support group for women, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. every Tuesday and Thursday, Cathedral of the Nativity basement, Fifth and Gold streets. Lunch is provided, all are welcome. Details: Cathedral of the Nativity, 586-1513.

Flu strikes 90 people in Southeast, state says
About 90 cases of influenza have been reported in Southeast Alaska during the last month, marking an early start to what staff at the Centers for Disease Conrol say may be one of the worst flu seasons since the 1970s.

House, Senate reorganize committees
The Republican Majority in the state House of Representatives made new committee assignments and talked strategy last week in Anchorage in preparation for the upcoming legislative session, which begins Jan. 12.

Neighbors say proposed condos pose threat to safety
A narrow, hilly, icy Douglas Island road is no place to put condominiums, Lawson Creek neighbors told the Juneau Planning Commission on Tuesday night.

Juneau students attend all-state music festival
Juneau-Douglas High School musicians Anja Akstin and Alex Goese-Goble won first-chair awards for the honor band at the 2003 All-State Music Festival held Nov. 20-22 in Fairbanks.

Thank you
... for making our Thanksgiving wonderful... for helping with lights on a cold afternoon

Teens against tobacco
Members of Teens Against Tobacco Use tout clean air Tuesday at a press conference in the Goldbelt Hotel. TATU member Clay Wertheimer, center rear, explained his group's concern that teens entering the job market often do so as waiters and waitresses and are thereby exposed to second-hand smoke. Left to right are Katie Damian, Megan Tack, Wertheimer (holding the sign) and Dona Williams.

Point of freezing
Diminutive flora and fauna become encased in a square foot of North Douglas pond last week as crystals grow and converge to form a pane of ice.

Care and feeding of your Christmas tree
Here's what the Cooperative Extension Service advises about the care of your Christmas Tree:

Juneau Honors
Pfc. Walter Hill named Soldier of the Year Pfc. Walter V.C. Hill of Juneau has been named Soldier of the Year for Headquarters Company, 3rd Battalion (Scout), 297th Infantry, Alaska Army National Guard.

Pets of the week
Pettable Chilkat Kitty is elegant, ridiculous; Mysterious admixture looks good, is big!

Coping with loss during the holiday season
Most of us experience the holidays as times of joy, but also as times of stress. We are pressured to create the perfect Thanksgiving or the most meaningful Hanukkah. We never succeed, but that doesn't stop us from trying year after year.

4H Club trains kids to cross-country ski
Young people who participate in the Juneau 4H Cross Country Ski Club learn more than just how to shuffle through tracks in the snow with long boards strapped to their feet.

Neighbors Digest
Boys & Girls recycling The Boys & Girls Club of Juneau announces the launch of a community wide mobile-device recycling campaign.

Edna A. Caldwell
Juneau resident Edna A. Caldwell, 76, died Dec. 1, 2003, in Anchorage.

Looking back and ahead at Perseverance Theatre
By now most of you are aware that I recently accepted a position as associate producer at the Public Theater in New York. I am writing this My Turn to say "thank you." Thank you to all of the artists who have made this such a rich journey for me, and who have taken Perseverance Theatre to new and exciting places. Thank you to the audiences who have supported the work by coming and letting me know what you think. Thank you to our volunteers who make the work possible. And thank you to those of you who go the extra mile and give to us financially.

Democrats using Longevity Bonus to score political points
In 1970, while debating creation of the Longevity Bonus, opponents charged the new program was financially dangerous because no one knew its future costs. Supporters pointed to the windfalls headed Alaska's way due to the discovery of Prudhoe Bay and stated that limiting the bonus recipients to true pioneers who lived in Alaska prior to statehood would control the expense.

Balanced Raptors too much for Cavs
CLEVELAND - Vince Carter is still the main attraction, but the revamped Toronto Raptors are anything but a one-man show.

Juneau wrestlers go 1-2 at Bartlett team tourney
The Juneau-Douglas High School Crimson Bears posted a 1-2 record during the Jerry Palmer Invitational team tournament Friday and Saturday at Anchorage's Bartlett High School.

Sports in Juneau
NEW CALENDAR ITEMS • 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. The JDIA program is for hockey players ages 5-18.

Sports in Juneau
NEW CALENDAR ITEMS • Juneau Department of Parks and Recreation Wednesday ski/snowshoe - This week's jaunt will be to Cropley Lake. Meet at the Eaglecrest Ski Area parking lot at 9:30 a.m. and bring cross-country skis and/or snowshoes.

Petersburg claims region wrestling title
Seven Petersburg Vikings won their weight class titles, leading Petersburg to the championship of the Region V small schools wrestling tournament Friday and Saturday in Wrangell.

JDHS runners compete in regional
Three sophomore members of the state champion Juneau-Douglas High School boys cross-country running team competed Saturday in different races at the 25th Annual Foot Locker West Regional Cross Country Championships in Walnut, Calif.

Due to an editor's error, a photo caption in Monday's sports section incorrectly listed the winner of a boxing match.

Leaders consider curbs on pull-tabs
ANCHORAGE - A legislative subcommittee is looking at whether to limit pull-tabs to traditional charities, like those set up to help people directly.

Governor eyes $230 million in cuts, new funds
The Murkowski administration is considering about $230 million in cuts and new revenues in next year's budget to extend the life of the state budget reserve, Republicans said.

Fees rise next year in state's 121 parks, recreation areas
ANCHORAGE - Beginning next year, fees to use Alaska's state parks and recreation areas will be going up again.

Supplies of flu vaccine dwindling in Alaska
ANCHORAGE - The state Department of Health & Social Services on Tuesday recommended that health-care providers target their remaining supplies of influenza vaccine to people at the greatest risk for severe complications from the flu.

Alaska Digest
staff and Wire reports

Alaska Digest
staff and Wire reports

Commissioner says no cuts for elderly
KETCHIKAN - State Health and Social Services Commissioner Joel Gilbertson reassured Ketchikan residents that the Murkowski administration is not planning budget cuts for the elderly.

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