Privatization is unsafe
The safety of the flying public is air traffic controllers' scared trust. That is why we are deeply concerned about the looming threat coming from the administration: Privatization of our air traffic control system.

Not surprised by beaver reprieve
I suspect some folks in Juneau were surprised by the headline on Christmas Eve that Gov. Frank Murkowski wants the Dredge Lake beaver family relocated, rather than killed. But I wasn't. This may be a small, almost unremarkable thing to do in the grand scheme of things, but it shows a side of Frank Murkowski that more people ought to know about.

Florida is a glass house
Is the well of public debate in Juneau so dry that the local paper is having to publish the political ramblings and commentary on Alaska from Miami? In his letter, Mr. Camerlengo used all the right political buzz words to sling the mud: pork barrel, tax-and-spend, evil empire. Apparently, Alaskans were gullible enough to elect someone who would send his own daughter to Washington. Oh, the scandal!!!

National forests belong to all
The Empire reprinted an editorial from the Ketchikan Daily News on Dec. 24 advocating a rollback of the "roadless rule" on America's national forests. The retrograde "leadership" in Ketchikan is still trying to roll back the clock.

An article in Thursday's Empire about the prosecution of rapes incorrectly stated which program at Gastineau Human Services an alleged rape victim and suspect participated in. It was an assisted-living facility.

Shutdown of fish plant will hit hard
The closing of Wards Cove Packing Co.'s Excursion Inlet fish processing plant, announced this month, did more than leave northern Southeast with 460 fewer seasonal jobs and hundreds of local fishermen without a buyer for next year's catch. It also left the Haines Borough, home to a fleet of more than 40 commercial salmon boats, with $160,000 less per year from fisheries business tax revenue, said Robert Venables, economic development director for the borough. The borough also will lose about $32,000 a year in property taxes from the plant, which is about 40 miles west of Juneau. That's out of a borough budget of about $6 million a year, officials said.

This Day in History
In 1964, an Alaska State Trooper helicopter lost 600 pounds of radio gear south of Anchorage. A 330 watt repeater fell 2,000 feet into deep snow.

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

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

Hot dogs aim for top spot
Two Juneau dogs are being groomed for a February showing at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, one of America's oldest continuous sporting events. Champion Brezza di Ghaicciaid da Gracia, nicknamed "Breezy," and International American Champion Allayn's Charming Legacy, known as "Legacy," will travel with their owners Sue McGregor and Barbara Bartoo to New York City to show Feb. 10 and 11. Breezy is a Spinone Italiano breed and Legacy is a Pomeranian.






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Toe Cartoon

Snow report
On Saturday morning, Eaglecrest Ski Area reported about 1.5 inches of snow fell overnight - but that was not enough to fill in the gaps, especially at mid-mountain. Snow continued to accumulate during the day Saturday.

Winter Web links
Alaska and Pacific Northwest ski area Web sites.

A Juneau Nordic ski primer
Hope, anxiety, longing, doubt. The emotions of Juneau Nordic skiers have run the gamut over the past few months as the lack of a snow cover - or, until recently, even a snowflake at sea level - has pushed back the start of the season. But as the snow starts to pile up and tracks are set on the trails, skiers are dusting off boots and bindings, dragging out skis and poles and getting ready to take advantage of Juneau's cross-country choices.

Out and About
Dec. 29: NRA high power rifle and sporting rifle shoot at the Hank Harmon Rifle Range, 8:30 a.m. registration, shoot at 9:30 a.m. Jan. 1: Southeast Road Runners New Year's Day Resolution Run, 4 miles, 10 a.m., start at parking garage under Douglas Library. Details: Andy Grossman, 586-4360 or

Rainier climbers find deep snow, amazing beauty
OLYMPIA, Wash. - The worst is whiteout conditions. It's treacherous and easy to get lost. Climbers can't see, and they have no sense of direction, no sense of movement.

Bear boys bomb foes
The Juneau-Douglas High School boys basketball team put on a shooting clinic during its second-round game of the Capital City Classic on Saturday night. The Crimson Bears hit 11 3-pointers in the first half, some from well beyond NBA range, as they cruised to a 94-59 victory over the Alameda (Calif.) Hornets at the JDHS main gym.

Fouls plague Juneau girls in losses
It's been a foul Capital City Classic to date for the Juneau-Douglas High School girls basketball team. With key players forced to the bench early, the Crimson Bears suffered two straight 12-point losses - 69-57 to Alameda, Calif., on Friday and 56-44 to Wasilla on Saturday.

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

Two Crimson Bears win Classic competitions
In the basketball skills contests held Saturday afternoon at the Juneau-Douglas High School gymnasium, Crimson Bear players swept the free-throw shooting competition. Alex Heumann won the boys' contest, while Amy Neussl won the girls event after a long back-and-forth effort against Alameda's Nicole Catania.<

Princess Cruises-Alaska Airlines Capital City Classic Boxscores

State Briefs
Free minerals classes offered for youth; One dead in Fairbanks fire; Kenai Peninsula roads patched; Man pleads innocent to sex with teens; Suspects in murder attempt plead innocent; Earthquake strikes Aleutians

Disappearing here is easy - by accident or on purpose
ANCHORAGE - Eric Miller wrestles with opposing theories about his brother's disappearance. Either he died in the Alaska wilderness or he ran away - or both. Jim Miller, 39, left his Anchorage home Sept. 22 in the midst of personal problems, including pending heart surgery. His car was found about three weeks later in the parking lot of Resurrection Pass Trail, a popular hiking route in the Chugach National Forest south of Anchorage. But intensive searches turned up no sign of the experienced outdoorsman other than unconfirmed sightings.

Program targets chronic inebriates of Fairbanks
FAIRBANKS - Charged with no crime and not in jail, a man faced a Fairbanks judge with his next 30 days hanging in the balance. A city attorney was trying to prove the man belonged in alcohol treatment even though the man didn't want to go.

Kenai Peninsula has its own homegrown celebrities
KENAI - During the summer months, rich and famous celebrities from the worlds of sports, politics and entertainment vacation on the Kenai Peninsula to take advantage of outdoor recreation and world-class fishing. But even after the weather cools and they've left, the peninsula still has plenty of homegrown celebrities.

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