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Thursday, December 18, 2003

Put marriage, scripture in proper context
If the Bible says homosexuality is an abomination, why is there no mention of lesbians? Are lesbians "the chosen few" or is the "abomination" verse addressing a specific activity unrelated to homosexuality as we understand it today?

Logging threatens future generations
I am a 14-year-old student at Juneau-Douglas High School. I am writing to express my concerns about the current Tongass National Forest Management Plan.

Giving 'help' where none is requested
I don't disagree secondhand smoke can be harmful, but I'm wondering exactly why folks insist bars are the cause. Ms. Cahill (Juneau Clean Air Coalition) claims smoking in bars hurts her and others. So what's JCAC's actual goal? To protect smokers and non-smokers who decided to patronize or work at bars? Did these people ask you to save them Ms. Cahill? Notice I mentioned "made the decision."

There's a wolf-like problem Down Under
We have this so-called big, bad wolf problem - or should I say a man-made problem of dingos? Fraser Island is a world Heritage area in Queensland. Like your black bears, people feed the wild dingo and the wild dingos become problem dingos.

Digital voting machines a bad idea
A quiet revolution is occurring in our voting system and it should alarm all citizens. Nationally, states are buying digital voting machines, mainly from Diebold, to meet the requirements of the Help America Vote Act (HAVA). Alaska has just purchased 55 of these machines and plans to purchase more before the November 2004 elections.

The time is way past due for a road
"Build the road Juneau to Skagway" bumper stickers are showing up on more and more vehicles in Skagway, Juneau, Sitka and even in Whitehorse, Yukon. People are speaking out on the subject of the East Lynn Canal Road and Juneau Access, and are not afraid to show their support for the road.

Road will be good for business in Skagway
I endorse the Juneau Access Road. I have come to this decision because I have gone beyond the rhetoric and the fallacies I was told and once believed. I reviewed the facts and am basing my decision on what I have learned.

Say no to smoking ban
Have you asked bar patrons and employees how they feel about a smoking ban?

Smoking - or not - is a legal choice
People seem to forget that tobacco is not an illegal substance. Until it is, people have the right to use it or not as they choose. And private property owners should have the right to allow it or disallow it as they choose. The public can choose whether to patronize those establishments or not.

Commission reviews plans for new school
The Juneau Planning Commission had few questions for people presenting plans for the new Valley high school Tuesday night.

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

Photo: Alaska's poet laureate, circa 1950
Gov. and Mrs. Ernest Gruening (second from right) present a scroll to Alaska's former poet laureate, Carol Beery Davis. Poet laureates were named in Alaska first by the Poetry Society of Alaska, which initiated the honor in 1963, and then by the Alaska State Council on the Arts after 1987.

Around Town
Around Town is a listing of local nonprofit events

SEADOGS track down lost Skagway hunter
Two Juneau search and rescue members found a cold and wet overdue hunter early Tuesday.

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

Murkowski eyes cuts to 115 state jobs
Gov. Frank Murkowski's budget plan released on Monday will cut 402 state positions next year, but state Budget Director Cheryl Frasca said the positions identified for cuts could change before the fiscal year 2005 budget kicks in.

Cruise ship industry wants to sink tax
The cruise ship industry is raising legal questions about a proposal by Gov. Frank Murkowski to impose a $5 tax on cruise ship passengers.

Photo: Holiday ring
Rotarian Bob Merritt rings a bell during the Salvation Army kettle drive as Noah Williams, 4, drops in a donation. Juneau Rotary Club members will be ringing bells until Christmas in front of the First National Bank of Anchorage on Front Street.

Murkowski proposes relief for drug costs
Seniors waiting for new prescription drug benefits passed by Congress earlier this month might get some help from the state before the new federal program starts in 2006.

Southeast educator honored nationally
After serving Sitka and Juneau for 20 years in local community schools programs, Joyce Kitka has a national endorsement confirming what some of her colleagues knew all along.

A hockey league for learning
One month ago, Randi Jo Kubik, 12, stepped onto the ice at the Treadwell Arena for the first time in her life. After fumbling with the skates, pads and helmet provided to her by the organizers of the Dzantik'i Heeni Middle School Culture Club's ice hockey program, she spent an hour maneuvering her legs over the glossy surface.

Fans line up for 'Rings' final episode
Just after 11 a.m. Tuesday morning, 18-year-old movie buff Keith Shepro arrived at 20th Century Theater on Front Street. It was less than 32 hours until the Juneau premiere of "The Lord of The Rings: The Return of the King" at 7 p.m. today, and he was first in line.

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

Consultants suggest creating tour area at Juneau Airport
Creating an area to arrange tours and redesigning the intersection off Shell Simmons Drive are part of a proposal to renovate the Juneau Airport, consultants told the Airport Board Wednesday.

... for helping Operation Christmas Child
... for support for Take Back the Night march

Student honors
Recognition given to local students.

A partial chronology of Juneau slides
A look at local landslides.

Bun-rab is litter-box trained, hops
Snowflake is a cuddly "house rabbit," used to hopping around the house instead of living in a cage. (Yes, she knows what a litter box is for.)

... to anonymous donor
We, the students of Ms. Skiman Jones' class at Auke Bay School, would like to thank the anonymous donor that gave $100 to our class. In your letter, you stated that we were a nice class and you liked how nicely we treated one another.

Li'l Man is tailless breed, friendly but not cloying
Li'l Man is a Manx, the breed of cat that has no tail. His short, shiny coat is all black except for a little fringe of white bib.

Southeast's academic decathlon students vie for honors in marathon
On Dec. 5 and 6, academic decathlon students from Southeast Alaska pitted their mental prowess against each other in a grueling two-day testing marathon.

Photo: Restored, donated
This painting of the Mendenhall Glacier was done in 1932 in Juneau by George Beymer, a self-styled "tramp artist" who came to Alaska in 1904.

Southeast Sagas: Slide
Rock and dirt slides and snow avalanches are nothing new to Juneau. All of the city's recorded history tells of disasters of this sort, some of which took lives in addition to damaging nerves and property. Slides are to be expected in territory where there are steep hillsides and mountain slopes that feel the annual impact of hundreds of inches of precipitation, both liquid and solid.

... for support for Take Back the Night march
On Oct. 24, 2003, AWARE Inc. held its Take Back the Night march, chili feed and dance as a finale to Domestic Violence Awareness month.

Neighbors Digest
Community news in brief.

Gary E. Nulph
Douglas resident Gary E. Nulph, 63, died from a longtime illness Dec. 12, 2003.

Lyn Dunbar
Haines resident Lyn Dunbar, 41, died Dec. 6, 2003, in British Columbia.

Richard A. Voss
Former Juneau resident Richard A. Voss, 40, died of natural causes Dec. 8, 2003, at his family home in Ellensburg, Wash.

My Turn: Democrats proud to support and fight for Longevity Bonus
"A promise made is a debt unpaid." Robert Service wrote it and honorable Alaskans respect the pledge of a handshake, the commitment of giving one's word. That's why abandoning the 1993 promise to recipients of the Longevity Bonus runs counter to values that we teach our children to hold dear.

My Turn: Marriage, biblical teachings not threatened by domestic partners
I t's a Biblical disagreement, not a threat. Everyone who credits the success of their marriage to the denial of same-sex marriages, please raise your hands.

Cyclists selected for national cyclocross team camp in Belgium
Two young cyclists who got their start in Juneau are heading to Belgium this weekend to attend the inaugural U.S. European Cyclocross Racing Camp. Tucker Thomas and David Fleischhauer, who both now live in Olympia, Wash., will depart Seattle on Friday for the camp and they will compete in their first race on Sunday. Both cyclists compete for the Rad Racing Northwest Junior Developmental Team of Washington.

Rockets blast off on Cavs
Steve Francis was already sick and tired. He didn't even want to think abut how he would have felt if the Houston Rockets had lost again. Francis and Cuttino Mobley scored 18 points apiece and each made big 3-pointers down the stretch as Houston rallied for an 89-85 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday night.

Golden Bears run away from Crimson Bears
The Juneau-Douglas High School boys basketball team would like the license plate number of that Mack truck. The Crimson Bears were run over by the two-time defending Class 4A state champion Bartlett Golden Bears 89-41 in their season-opener Wednesday at Bartlett High School in a game that was only close in the first minute or two.

A trial by fire
The Juneau-Douglas High School boys basketball team will have its youngest roster in several years this season. But the young Crimson Bears weren't given any breaks with their schedule, and they won't be able to ease into the season.

Thirty-five mushers registered for the 2004 Yukon Quest
Thirty-five mushers have signed up for the 1,000-mile Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race and one-third of them are rookies.

Tompkins 7th among monoskiers at the Hartford Ski Spectacular
Joe Tompkins of Juneau finished seventh among monoskiers and 37th overall during the men's giant slalom race at the Hartford Ski Spectacular on Friday at Breckenridge Ski Resort in Colorado.

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
Sports in Juneau is a service provided by the Juneau Empire to provide information on upcoming sports and outdoors events in Juneau.

Stevens: Federal funds for Alaska projects in doubt
WASHINGTON - Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens said he doesn't have the votes to pass the $820 billion government spending bill and Congress is likely to scrap the legislation if the Senate doesn't approve it soon after it reconvenes Jan. 20.

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

This Day in History
In Alaska; in the nation.

Photo: Snow fallen on cedar
A light layer of snow highlights the cedar Kadjuk bird on top of the 55-foot tall Chief Johnson totem pole near the Centennial Building parking lot in Ketchikan. The pole was carved by Tlingit carver Israel Shotridge in 1989.

Alaska Digest
News in brief from around the state.

Officials to crack down on dividend cheaters
The state is getting tougher on people who cheat to get an Alaska Permanent Fund dividend check. The Alaska Department of Revenue, among other things, is starting to enforce an old penalty: Cheat on your PFD and lose the next five annual checks.

Excavator stuck in soup of snow, mud at Soldotna lake
It started with an Alaska State Trooper pickup truck, driven to a Soldotna lake to check the licenses of a couple of ice fishermen. That truck got stuck in a bog leading to the lake. So did another truck that attempted to pull it out. So did a bulldozer, then a 22-ton excavator. All have been rescued, except the excavator, which remains in limbo beneath a soup of snow, mud and ice.

Conoco Phillips to increase spending in Alaska in 2004
Conoco Phillips plans to spend $600 million for oil and gas exploration and other capital projects in Alaska next year, an increase of 11 percent over this year.

Alaska Digest
News in brief from around the state.

Miner finds gold nugget as large as a Palm Pilot
Nome miner Jan Kralik was getting a strong signal. Strong, as in lots of gold lying nearby. It was fall 2002 and Kralik was dowsing on a placer claim he holds along Gold Run Creek, some 50 miles northwest of Nome. He held a brass rod in each hand and walked around like a human metal detector until the rods moved sharply.

Logging camp turns into halfway house
Alaska Native groups are converting a Southeast logging camp into a minimum-security justice center based on Tlingit traditions.

Grumpsicle has a brand new bag
Kayla Parker, 20, remembers one of the first times she acted in "The Grumpsicle" - way back when she was 4. "I could see the Grumpsicle from the side of the stage," Parker said. "The whole dance I was peeking at him. We were supposed to run off on the side of the stage where he was, and I ran off on the opposite side because he scared me so much."

Grass-roots movement helps 'Uncovered' reveal Bush's Iraq policy
Call it living room democracy. When filmmaker Robert Greenwald made "Uncovered: The Whole Truth About the Iraq War," an "anti-administration documentary" as dubbed by the Los Angeles Times, he knew he'd have trouble getting it distributed through mainstream channels.

Toe cartoon
Cartoon by local artist Toe.

Movies: Where & when
Local movie shows and times.

What's Happening
Upcoming local events.

Middle Earth Smackdown: Point-Counterpoint 1
He's immortal, he's a crack shot with a bow and arrow, and he's beautiful. I could end my argument in favor of Legolas Greenleaf right there and have this thing all wrapped up in pretty Santa Claus paper, but I am sworn to fill 15 inches of newsprint, and, like Legolas, I do not take my responsibilities lightly.

Middle Earth Smackdown: Point-Counterpoint 2
Let's face it, people: we love them both. Legolas and Aragorn both are handsome, strong, clever and perceptive. They stand by their friends, they have a sense of doing things for the greater good and they're buddies with Gandalf. Who doesn't want to be buddies with Gandalf?

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