In the Stacks: Library's film collection offers cinema classics to recent hits
School is nearly back in session. Have you just remembered your English assignment? The Juneau Public Libraries carry many movies based on classics you may be studying. Newly purchased DVD classics for desperate high school students include "The Cherry Orchard," "Lord of the Flies," "The Scarlet Letter," "Fahrenheit 451" and "1984." The early bird gets the worm.

Ex-smoker wants ban
Normally, I try really hard to support a person's livelihood. However, since we are all voicing opinions about the proposed smoking ban in all restaurants and bars in Juneau, I thought I would put my "two cents" in.

A nasty holiday surprise
If 100 million old-growth trees fall in the Alaskan forest and no one is there to see them, did they really fall? Like most Americans, I have never seen the Tongass National Forest in person. But I know it is real, I know it is beautiful and I know it gives me a deep feeling of peace knowing there are some wild places that yet go untouched by the hand of mankind.

Energy bill is bad legislation
We are concerned about the implied intent of SB 1854 authored by Sen. Lisa Murkowski. We understand that it has been sent to the Energy Committee for possible inclusion as a rider attached to the Energy Bill.

Don't believe wild claims
Wolves are indeed successful predators in Alaska, but I feel that Mr. Adkins has listened to one too many Grimm's fairy tales as a child. His wild claims of wolves eating up the caribou calves, household pets and even people are more the stuff of fantasies, urban myths and outright misinformation rather than anything based upon science or historical facts.

Protesting the Pledge
Every weekday morning, at the beginning of the school day, my fellow classmates and I are supposed to recite the Pledge of Allegiance. To most kids it's pretty much ingrained into them, but each time I stand and face the flag I don't say the pledge. I haven't for a long time and I doubt I ever will again; making children recite the pledge is a violation of our freedoms.

Did anyone see accident?
Regarding Wendall Bishop's letter, thank you. It's nice to know some people still think of Skyler and remember him. Personally, I don't want anyone to forget him, which is why I put up the bear and basket to hold flowers. Some people even thought of installing a bench there, but the idea was shot down.

We deserve a say on bill
Sen. Lisa Murkowski has introduced S. 1466, a complicated bill that is supposed to accelerate land transfers to Native corporations, the state, the University of Alaska and others. In general, finalizing land ownership is a good idea; however, this bill tries to do too much too fast.

A holiday greeting
It's two days before Christmas and the holidays are in full swing. Everyone is out spending money and hopefully having a really good time. This year I am incarcerated and won't be spending Christmas with my daughter.

60 moorage stalls slated for Douglas Harbor
The city is having 60 new moorage stalls - the largest city harbor project in years - installed at Douglas Harbor that will improve commercial fishing conditions and attract more out-of-town boaters, Port Director John Stone said.

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

Bountiful holiday for charities
Joe Oliver and Sebastian Lilienthal, aid administrators at the St. Vincent de Paul Society, were given a very specific job on Christmas Eve.

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

Photo: Out to launch
Steve Hemenway launches a battery-powered remote controlled plane as his son, Matt, stands ready at the controls. The plane was lent to them by a neighbor and they spent Sunday afternoon on Mendenhall Lake putting it through its paces.

Juneau Color: To some, local history can be personal as well as a passion
Willette Janes has an energy and fight in her that you might not expect in someone 75 years old. And when she starts talking about local history, the fight comes out.

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

Around Town is a listing of local nonprofit events.

Photo: Skiers' moon
Riders on the Eaglecrest Ski Area Ptarmigan chairlift are treated to a view of the rising quarter-moon on Saturday afternoon. Perfect weather made for a busy weekend at the ski area.

Developer appeals hotel-permit decision
A local developer is appealing a conditional-use permit to construct a 12-unit hotel near downtown. Don Madsen, owner of Juneau Hotel Properties, is appealing three of seven conditions in the permit, which the Juneau Planning Commission issued Nov. 19.

Kim Marie Gibson
Former Juneau resident Kim Marie Gibson, 47, died from multiple sclerosis Dec. 14, 2003, in her home in Battle Ground, Wash.

Toe cartoon
Cartoon by local artist Toe

My Turn: With timber in decline, now's the time to diversify Southeast Alaska's economy
As a lifelong Southeast Alaskan, I have become increasingly concerned about a gap between the Southeast Conference's goals for our economy and the true needs of our region. The group recently announced that it is looking to hire a chief for its new Timber Industry Economic Revitalization Program.

Commerce clause means tribes must be treated as sovereign states
I have always wondered about that "commerce clause" in the U.S. Constitution. It finally became clear to me when tribes in Alaska were troubled about Sen. Ted Stevens' rider in next year's appropriations bill.

My Turn: Change needed to stabilize Permanent Fund, dividends
Citizens of this state owe Rep. Mike Hawker, an Anchorage Republican, a debt of gratitude for his tireless efforts this year, directing the House Special Ways and Means Committee. Taking on the task of crafting our way out of the state's financial impasse is a thankless job; few have the skill, fortitude and tolerance for presenting to a skeptical public the frank information it needs to become informed, but is often unwilling to accept. Unfortunately, options for dealing with the state's fiscal gap have narrowed appreciably, and no universally popular one exists. Everything in the public forum has a bad taste for some element of our statewide community.

Out & About
Upcoming local outdoor events.

Snow report
Conditions at Eaglecrest and other local ski trails.

'King of Fish:' A new look at fish that have been around millions of years
Fossils reveal Pacific salmon have been around about 6 million years, surviving volcanoes and ice ages. But in the past 150 years they have disappeared from a third of their range in California and the Pacific Northwest and continue to be sold down the river, David R. Montgomery writes in "King of Fish: The Thousand Year Run of Salmon."

Trappers donate furs to beaver-trapping scouts
Kenai trappers are donating some pelts to Girl Scout Troop 34, whose beaver-trapping project angered animal rights activists last month. The Kenai Peninsula Trapper's Association said it wanted to show support for the Fairbanks troop following criticism from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. PETA was upset after learning that about 10 members of the troop and their families helped catch two beavers using snare and lethal traps last spring.

Riding in a winter wonderland
Dennis Travis could spend his winter nights riding a stationary bike in his garage or at a local fitness center. He'd stay fit and ready for the summer racing season, and he probably wouldn't suffer as many scrapes and bruises as he does out on the trail. But if he stayed indoors, he'd miss out on a "whole new world" of trails that appears when the snow and ice cover Juneau's footpaths.

Fish facts from a new book on salmon
A few salmonoid factoids from "King of Fish: The Thousand Year Run of Salmon," by David R. Montgomery:

Juneau girls open season with big victory
In the 2002-03 season, the Juneau-Douglas High School girls basketball team had an standing goal of scoring 50 points a game. The Crimson Bears opened the 2003-04 season Saturday with a 60-point showing - and left the game feeling they could have scored even more.

Lewin manages a big win
The team manager strikes again. On Sunday, for the second time in four years, a Juneau-Douglas High School boys basketball manager showed up the field at the Princess Cruises-Capital City Classic free-throw shooting competition.

Captial City Classic past champions
The past champions of the annual Princess Cruises-Capital City Classic basketball tournament hosted by Juneau-Douglas High School.

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.

James blazes trail for Cavs victory
LeBron James took complete command at precisely the right time. Cleveland's rookie scored 32 points, including 12 in a 14-2 spurt that closed the Cavaliers' 86-74 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Sunday night.

Bears freeze North Pole to open Classic
After struggling to an uncharacteristic 1-3 record on its season-opening Anchorage road trip, the Juneau-Douglas High School basketball team needed to open the Princess Cruises-Capital City Classic on a strong note.

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

Photo: Call of the riled
Priscilla Feral, president of the animal rights group Friends of Animals, leads a protest of Alaska's state-sponsored aerial wolf-shooting program Saturday at the entrance to New York's Rockefeller Plaza. Alaska's predator control program allows pilots and hunters to shoot wolves from airplanes.

Sen. Stevens' sled dogs getting an education from Iditarod champion
U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens has sent his pair of 6-month-old husky pups to Alaska from their Washington, D.C., home for a little education. The pups - named Taz and Keely - are learning about sled dog racing from four-time Iditarod winner Susan Butcher and her husband, Dave Monson, a Yukon Quest champion.

New statute ties in fund dividend to draft registry
To qualify for a Permanent Fund dividend check, Alaska men between 18 and 25 will have to sign up with the federal draft registry, under a new state law effective Jan. 1.

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

Natural gas, oil exploration top administration agenda
Creating a friendly environment for oil exploration by independent companies, continuing the push for a natural gas pipeline to the Lower 48 and speeding up exploration on the Alaska Peninsula are among Gov. Frank Murkowski's plans for making good on his campaign promises in 2004.

Whales go by Oregon on their way south from Alaska waters
Thousands of gray whales are passing by Oregon on their annual migration from their Alaska feeding grounds to Baja, Calif., and about 200 trained volunteers will be stationed along the coast to help people spot them.

Mad cow's meat in state
Meat from a Holstein sick with mad cow disease has now reached retail markets in eight states - including Alaska - and one territory, but still poses no health risk, Agriculture Department officials said Sunday.

Photo: A little off the top
Matt Tyrrell shovels snow from the roof of his family's home on Christmas Eve in Kenai. Ashley Thornton watches from the comfort of the living room below. The rooftop accumulation was part of several inches of snowfall Kenai received last week.

Governor's first year tops news statewide
Wolves, salmon and bears competed for Alaska headlines but the state's top 10 stories in 2003, as determined by The Associated Press, start with a politician named Murkowski.

Officer shot to death
A Kenai man was charged Friday with first-degree murder and first-degree assault in the shooting of a police officer here, Alaska State Troopers said. Officer John Watson, 43, was shot in the head with his own gun Thursday night while responding to a request from troopers for assistance in finding a sport utility vehicle driven by David Forster, a 33-year-old Kenai fishing guide.

Sleetmute? Yakutat? Eek? Ask this Alaska database
Want to know the latitude of Eek? The history of Sleetmute? The economy of Yakutat? How to pronounce Atmautluak?

Alaska Digest
News in brief from around the state.

Alaska Digest
Headlines from around the state.

Meat from infected cow reached Alaska
Investigators disclosed today that they have found meat cut from a Holstein sick with mad cow disease was sent to four more states - including Alaska - and one territory.

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