Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Remembering former publisher
I was saddened to have to read about Jeff Wilson's retirement in the Anchorage Daily News and not the Juneau Empire. Jeff was publisher of the Empire for 20 years and a great guy to work for.

Boycott distributors to lower gas prices
In response to Friday's article about gas prices, I offer the following:

Juneau grapples with winter weather
The New Year has seen above-average snowfall in its first several days after a snowier-than-average end to 2008.

State grills Redfern on barging plan
Taku River users expressed relief this week at the state's detailed questioning of mine operator Redfern Resources Ltd. about its proposed year-round Taku River barging.

Photo: Statehood fireworks light up night
Fireworks explode Saturday night above Dimond Park as hundreds of Juneau residents braved the cold to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Alaska's statehood. The fireworks display was the first ever in the Mendenhall Valley, organizers said.

Bartlett Regional Hospital delivers first baby of 2009
Juneau's first baby of 2009 was delivered Saturday at Bartlett Regional Hospital.

Photo: Hitting the slopes
Kaipo Tseu snowboards off a jump Monday near Sandy Beach, while his friends enjoy sledding. Juneau received 17.1 inches of snow through Monday. More snow is expected today.

Photo: Guiding on gliding
Pam Green, left, a coach for the Juneau Skating Club, instructs Kayla Bishop on some "moves in the field" on Sunday at the Treadwell Ice Arena ahead of an upcoming figure skating test. This week, an official judge from the United States Figure Skating Association will fly in from Anchorage to judge 22 tests performed by the members of the Juneau Skating Club.

Photo: Leading the parade
Juneau-Douglas High School student Amy Bartholemew leads a parade of 200 delegates toward the 50th anniversary statehood cauldron lighting ceremony Saturday in Anchorage. Bartholemew is the student body president of JDHS, and represented Juneau in the statehood parade.

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

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

Around Town
Today

Around Town
Monday, Jan. 5

Correction
A story in Monday's edition on Redfern Resources Ltd.'s proposed year-round barging on the Taku River incorrectly stated that whether to designate the Lower Taku as "important habitat" would be Fish and Game Commissioner Denby Lloyd's call. The designation, which would add a layer of required scrutiny to the barging project's permitting, is up to Natural Resources Commissioner Tom Irwin.

Washington authorities brace for Inauguration Day traffic
WASHINGTON - On a typical weekday, hundreds of thousands of people commute to the nation's capital, snarling roads and packing subway trains and buses during peak hours.

Morissa Lou Williams
Former Juneau resident Morissa Lou (Jampa) Williams died Dec. 23, 2008, in West Hartford, Conn. She was 50.

Carlotta Francisco
Former Juneau resident Carlotta Marucia Francisco died Dec. 28, 2008, in Mount Vernon, Wash. She was 74.

Martin Pardes
Juneau resident Martin Pardes died peacefully on Jan. 5, 2009, at his daughter and son-in-law's home after an extended illness. He was 82.

Ruth Ilene Ross
Former Juneau resident Ruth Ilene Ross died Jan. 4, 2009, in Pocatello, Idaho. She was 89.

Roger Loren Hulse
Longtime Alaska and Juneau resident Roger Loren Hulse died of natural causes on Dec. 29, 2008. He was 49.

Jon Robert Leigh-Kendall
Former Juneau resident Jon Robert Leigh-Kendall died Jan. 1, 2009, in Seattle. He was 62.

Alaska editorial: State, Exxon should resolve Point Thomson differences
Exxon and state officials tell very different tales in defense of their positions in the dispute over the Point Thomson natural gas field. The right and wrong of it is difficult to discern in the thicket of details and counter-arguments, but it's encouraging to hear that the two entities still are talking about how to resolve the dispute in a manner that allows natural gas production sooner than later.

Outside Editorial: Terms of the trade
Many forces helped propel Barack Obama to victory in the presidential election in 2008: the financial crisis, an unpopular war in Iraq, dissatisfaction with President Bush - not to mention his own considerable merits.

Governors like pigs at the trough
Like pigs waiting in line to get their snouts in the feeding trough, come many of the nation's governors - on the heels of the mayors - asking Washington for bailout money.

My Turn: In 2009, we have a lot to reconsider
As we move into 2009, we step ahead looking for what might be, as humans have done for thousands of years. In past generations, others have tried to foresee what might happen by relying on what they knew from the past. That's not a bad idea, but it is not the only way to consider what may or may not be in store for the future.

Immunity complicates plans for Iraq withdrawal
The Iraqi Parliament recently approved an agreement with the United States that sets a much-heralded timetable for the withdrawal of U.S. troops. But another part of that so-called Status of Forces Agreement may ultimately make withdrawing those troops difficult.

The terrible responsibility of being an Israeli citizen
JERUSALEM - "I just heard on the news that Gavriel's base has been shelled," my wife, Sarah, said to me last Tuesday, referring to our 19-year-old son, a member of an Israeli army tank unit waiting on the Gaza border for the order to enter. And, she added in a deliberately calm tone, "A soldier was killed." We texted Gavriel, and within five minutes he called, safe. How, Sarah asked, did families survive war before cellphones?

Missing hiker found in Whitehorse, Canada
FAIRBANKS - A missing Japanese hiker was found in Whitehorse, Canada, after he suspended a 770-mile walk from Canada to Prudhoe Bay in Alaska.

Lottery tickets sold in Juneau today
JUNEAU - Weather permitting, a co-owner of the Anchorage business that organized a $500,000 lottery will be flying into town today with 30,000 tickets to give Juneau a chance to participate before a winner is drawn Friday.

Knight hired to lead gillnetters' group
JUNEAU - Southeast gillnetters chose fisherman-lobbyist Chris Knight as their organization's executive director last month.

Sitka teen wins plane painting competition
ANCHORAGE - A Sitka teen will have her artwork cover an Alaska Airlines Boeing 737-400.

Anchorage homicide rate down from 2007
ANCHORAGE - The state's largest city watched its homicide rate drop by more than half in 2008.

Fertilizer price spikes concern crop growers
FAIRBANKS - A team of University of Alaska Fairbanks agriculture experts are concerned about spiking fertilizer prices.

Fairbanks man facing more charges
FAIRBANKS - A North Pole man accused of pointing a gun at a police officer and evading authorities is facing more charges.

Plea deal delayed for Alaska woman
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. - Attorneys for an Alaska woman accused in the death of her newborn have one week to finalize a plea agreement with prosecutors or the case may be scheduled for trial.

StoryCorps Alaska records Juneau voices
JUNEAU - Just as the 50th anniversary celebration of Alaska statehood commences, StoryCorps, a project to create an oral history of America, arrives in Juneau. StoryCorps Alaska kicked off in October and has since been recording throughout the state.

Trooper, union say politics stalled Johnston drug case
ANCHORAGE - An Alaska drug investigator and the union representing Alaska State Troopers are alleging political meddling in the Sherry Johnston drug case, including a delay in serving the search warrant until after the November election.

Venezuela suspends heating oil aid
BOSTON - Citgo, the Venezuelan government's Texas-based oil subsidiary, has suspended shipments of heating oil for poor families in the United States, citing falling oil prices and the world economic crisis, the nonprofit organization that distributes the fuel said Monday.

U.S. skiers hit trails as bitter cold concedes
The gap between minus 10 and 2 degrees above zero may not seem like a lot, but it was enough to get skiers moving in the U.S. Cross Country Ski Championships on Monday in Anchorage.

2009 season opens for harvest of tons of Alaska groundfish
In the icy, stormy waters of the Bering Sea, Aleutian Islands and Gulf of Alaska, massive factory trawlers and other vessels are on the hunt again for millions of pounds of pollock, Pacific cod and more than a dozen other groundfish species.

Johnston pleads not guilty to drug charges
ANCHORAGE - A woman whose son is engaged to marry Gov. Sarah Palin's daughter has pleaded not guilty to felony drug charges for allegedly selling a powerful prescription painkiller.

Southcentral Alaska homeowners work on initiative to lower taxes
ANCHORAGE - A group of homeowners is working to lower the amount of taxes that can be levied on their properties.

State works to avoid shutdown at refinery
ANCHORAGE - State officials are hoping to avoid a shutdown of the Flint Hills Resources refinery in North Pole.

Mat-Su produce makes its way to Alaska restaurants' tables
ANCHORAGE - A growing number of Anchorage restaurants are making it a priority to use Alaska foods, including produce from the Mat-Su Valley.

Photo: Sculpture celebrates statehood
A caribou ice sculpture by Wade Peterson stands in front of the Town Center Square in Anchorage in honor of the 50th Anniversary of Alaska statehood.

Conference of Young Alaskans under way
GIRDWOOD - More than 50 young people are meeting in Girdwood for the Conference of Young Alaskans.

This Day in History
In Alaska

Researcher goes to Alaska sled dogs to find secret of athletic endurance
STILLWATER, Okla. - An Oklahoma State University veterinary professor is on his annual research trip to Alaska, where he studies sled dogs for physiological clues that could improve understanding of human medical conditions such as obesity and type 2 diabetes.

This Day in History
In Alaska, in the Nation and the World

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