Oil companies have enough incentive for gas pipeline
Major oil companies have all the federal incentive needed to construct a North Slope natural gas pipeline should Congress pass the energy bill, Sen. Lisa Murkowski said Wednesday. The bill doesn't contain tax credits guaranteeing a minimum price for the volatile commodity, but an $18 billion federal loan guarantee and other incentives make it a generous offer, she said.

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.

Stay away if you don't like smoke
This is my first letter to the editor. The smoking issue that the city Assembly is trying to force on the bars in Juneau is the reason I have taken the time to voice my opinion.

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.

Gay marriage a threat only to the nosy
In reference to Ione Ackerman's letter on Dec. 7, "Yes, gay marriage is a threat," I must say I could not find anything in that letter that showed how it was a threat.

Pay attention to development plan
Don't be caught sleeping Juneau! A moratorium on development for the waterfront is one matter, but what about the problems looming when interpretation of the Assembly's proposed moratorium ordinance is applied by Assembly members on any development project that a majority of them choose not to support?

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.

Allow smokers freedom to choose
This a letter in response to the letter from Bob Cita re: "Smoking ordinance a necessary protection." Yet another "citizen" trying to force their personal beliefs down everyone's throat and control society to fit in their little box.

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.

Douglas Highway a dangerous road
just want to make a comment on the pedestrian that was hit by a car on Douglas Highway. I drove back and forth on Douglas Highway for one year and during those trips I was surprised I didn't hit anyone.

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...)"

Wolf control a step in right direction
Congratulations to the state Board of Game for their recent action on wolf control. It's about time we had a board that rules in favor of Alaska residents without bending to the undue influence from the uninitiated and uninformed.

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.

Planning commissioners question Assembly action on appointees
Questions arose at Tuesday's Juneau Planning Commission meeting about why the Assembly did not endorse three of the commission's nine members this week.

Comments taken on Gustavus hydro plant
About two dozen people attended a public hearing on a proposed hydroelectric power facility and land exchange in Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve Wednesday evening at Centennial Hall. Four people spoke at the hearing, mostly arguing against the project on the grounds that there are viable alternatives that won't disturb the national park.

Flu vaccine supplies close to running out in Juneau
Flu vaccines are almost completely depleted in Juneau, causing medical experts to recommend other preventative measures during what is shaping up to be a severe flu season.

New system allows KTOO to expand legislative coverage
KTOO-TV may offer 24-hour coverage during some of the 2004 legislative session with a new computer-based system, Bill Legere, the station's president and general manager, said Wednesday.

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

Photo: Mice and ice
Ed Carrillo adjusts Christmas lights Wednesday on his house at 7520 Glacier Highway.

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

Photo: Building on the water
Brian Deraimer works on his 16-by-16-foot float house Wednesday at Auke Bay harbor.

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.

Photo: Repairing Thane Road
Repairs to Thane Road progress Wednesday after a landslide washed out the hillside last week. The Alaska Department of Transportation hired Channel Construction of Juneau to repair the hill on the water's side of the road. The $90,000 job is expected to be completed by the end of the week.

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

Only 1 shows up for new school debate
The lone person who showed up to comment Wednesday night about plans for a new high school in his Mendenhall Valley neighborhood had plenty to say to city staff and people working on the project.

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.

Suit claims USFS overestimated timber demand
Conservation groups filed suit against the U.S. Forest Service on Wednesday, claiming the agency grossly overprojected market demand for Southeast Alaska timber in its 1997 management plan for the Tongass National Forest.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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

My Turn: Question for Democrats is how to stay relevant
I think the Democrats have either topped out politically, or are on their way to a higher leadership. Howard Dean is close to a secure Democratic nomination. The liberal authors and satirists such as Molly Ivins and Al Franken are finally matching the right-wingers on the bestseller lists. Criticism of President Bush is becoming more pointed and hitting home, although the improving economy is bringing back Bush's characteristic hubris.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Juneau's Glacier Swim Club finishes third overall in state age group meet
Juneau's Glacier Swim Club finished third overall in the Speedo-Alaska Age Group Swimming Championships held last weekend in Homer. The Juneau swimmers scored 373 total points, which put them behind just Alaska Pacific Swim Club of Anchorage (703.5 points) and Northern Lights Swim Club of Anchorage (543) in the final overall team standings.

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 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.

Murkowski: State won't back off wolf program
Gov. Frank Murkowski said Wednesday the state won't back away from its aerial wolf control program in McGrath, even if an animal rights group follows through on its promise to target the state with a tourism boycott.

Alaska Digest
News in brief from around the state.

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.

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

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.

Photo: The baking must go on
Working from a wheelchair, chef Joel Chenet squeezes dough from a pastry bag Wednesday, three days after breaking his ankle during a deer hunt on Kodiak Island. Chenet, an avid outdoorsman and professional French chef, is co-owner of Mill Bay Coffee and Pastries in Kodiak.

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.

Percy Martin
Character she plays: Cecelia Kunz, her mother-in-law.

New orchestra debuts at JLO's holiday show
Opera conductor William Todd Hunt wanted to lead orchestral pieces that were too small for the Juneau Symphony Orchestra, yet too large for a smaller chamber ensemble. So he founded the 30-piece Amalga Chamber Orchestra - a scaled-down collective, 70 percent of whom play in the symphony.

Movies: Where & when
Local movie times and showings.

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

Pat Denny
Character she plays: Mamie Jensen.

A golden silver anniversary
Twenty-five years ago, Molly Smith and her then-husband, Bill Ray Jr., returned to Juneau from Annapolis, Md., where Ray had just completed a stint in the U.S. Navy. Smith had a theater degree and wanted to direct, but didn't know what to do for her first play. She decided to interview 35 Juneau old-timers to get a sense of what the area was like before 1935. Susi Gregg Fowler wove those interviews into a script, and the result was "Pure Gold" - the first play at Perseverance Theatre.

Tom Stewart
Character he plays: Bill Biggs.

Kay Smith
Character she plays: Bertha Goetz.

A waltz of the flowers
When Whitney Ric-kards was growing up in Utah, she would go to Ballet West's performance of "The Nutcracker" every year. "A lot of the younger girls would try out to be party girls, or if you were a certain height, you would try out to be a soldier," said Rickards, a senior at Juneau-Douglas High School. "It's been part of my life for a long time."

Alaska Youth Choir to perform with Juneau Tuba Ensemble
The Alaska Youth Choir - a 30-member treble choir and a 35-singer concert choir - will hold its annual holiday show with the Juneau Tuba Ensemble at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 12, at Northern Light United Church and 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 13, at Chapel by the Lake.

Toe cartoon
Cartoon by local artist Toe.

George Rogers
Character he plays: Les Parker.

Kai Augustine
Character he plays: Mike Zamora

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