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.

Lisa Murkowski a good choice
Why are people bickering about Frank's choice for U.S. senator? Is it because Lisa Murkowski isn't a big enough conservative for many of you folks? Is it because you think Frank chose Lisa because she is his daughter? It doesn't matter if she is his daughter, it matters how she will be effective for Alaska.

This Day in History
In Alaska; In the Nation; In the World...

Around Town is a listing of local nonprofit events.

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.

At last - lower ski runs open
Eaglecrest Ski Area opened Sunday, much to the delight of area boarders and skiers who turned out in the hundreds for a shakedown cruise." By the count from the ticket office, it looks like 400," said Eaglecrest Business Manager Gary Mendivil, counting first-day skiers. "There were a lot of people who just came up as a dry run, you know, you have to find your socks, find your boots, find your gloves."

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

Life Saving Guards, 1931
The Juneau Salvation Army Life Saving Guards poses for a photo in 1931. The group includes Juneau residents Dorothy Wallace, first row, first person on the left, and her sister Eunice Akagi, back row third from left. Mildred Lesher, center front row, was a Salvation Army officer.

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

Missing hunter returns after night on N. Douglas
A pair of gloves meant to keep deer hunter Glenn Powell Jr. warm instead helped lead to a long, cold night in the snow of Douglas Island. Powell, 30, headed out for a day hunt at 7:30 a.m. Friday at the end of North Douglas near Peterson Creek. He spent the night curled up in a porcupine hole while rescue workers scoured hills and scanned beaches. He made it back to safety Saturday morning.

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

New to snow
Shi Grissom, front, slides down a hill on a sled made of plastic bags as Cindy Lampa waits for her turn Sunday near the Mendenhall Glacier.

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.

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.

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.






Betty "Ruth" Saviers
Juneau resident Ruth Saviers, 68, died December 29, 2002, in Portland, Oregon. A full obituary, including information regarding a service, will follow.

Mason B. Bruce
Former Juneau resident Mason B. Bruce, 93, died Oct. 18, 2002, in Puyallup, Wash., following an extended illness.

Toe Cartoon

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

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

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.

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.

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.

Capital City Classic
The Juneau-Douglas High School boys basketball team dominated Alameda in their Princess Cruises/Alaska Airlines Capital City Classic game Saturday night, winning 94-59.

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
Sports in Juneau is a service provided by the Juneau Empire to provide 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.<

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

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.

Princess Cruises-Alaska Airlines Capital City Classic Boxscores

Holiday Cup moves into playoff rounds
The Holiday Cup indoor soccer tournament wrapped up round-robin play on Sunday and has moved into single-elimination games. Championship matches will be held on Tuesday.

Service jobs skyrocket in last decade
Jobs in Alaska's service sector exploded during the past decade while the number of jobs in industries that produce goods, such as oil and gas, timber, fishing and mining, declined. The growth in service industry jobs includes everything from hospitals and schools to grocery stores and auto body shops, according to the Alaska Labor Department.

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.

Biologists get a glimpse of the secret lives of moose
Through frolic and mishap, these were very particular moose. One cow took a grand tour around Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport, then marched seven miles to the mountains in a one-day trek through Midtown traffic.

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.

Comparison of photos from '40s, today show warming trend on North Slope
Photos of North Slope tundra taken in the 1940s are dramatically different from photos of the same areas taken more than 50 years later. Scientists say that's evidence of a greening Arctic landscape, possibly because of a warming climate.

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

Scientists track unusual voyage of fishing boat that ran aground
An abandoned fishing vessel that ran aground on Afognak Island near Kodiak in early November took an unusual five-month journey across the Pacific Ocean, traveling much faster and farther north than expected, say two scientists who study marine currents.

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.

Two Alaskans killed in Missouri crash; Grizzly killed; Anchorage police identify body

Murkowski names Campbell military chief
Gov. Frank Murkowski today named Col. Craig Campbell as the new commissioner of the state Department of Military and Veterans Affairs. The department oversees homeland security, state emergency services and military divisions such as the Army National Guard, Air National Guard and Naval Militia. The department employs about 4,000 people, including part-time reservists.

State launches hunt for new family, youth services director
The Murkowski administration has launched a nationwide search for someone to fill what some call the hardest job in state government: director of the Division of Family and Youth Services.

Fault could cause major earthquake
The Castle Mountain fault, a little-known fault that runs through the Matanuska and Susitna valleys, could produce a strong earthquake, according to a scientific study published this fall. The Castle Mountain fault is smaller than the Denali fault, which ruptured in early November, causing $20 million in damage to Alaska's Interior. But it is similar.

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