Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Placing responsibility where it belongs
Every day I see advertisements or promotions that say, "Obama wants you to ..." or "Obama says ..." when in fact it is Congress or the U.S. Supreme Court that makes such decisions. On a local level, people write that the "governor says ..." when, in fact, it is, again, others such as legislators who say and make those decisions.

No need for ad; we already know SEACC
Those Southeast Alaska Conservation Council "get to know us" advertisements in the Juneau Empire are making me ill. News Flash: SEACC, we know you.

Halibut charter fleet limited
Management agencies took another step to control halibut fishing in parts of Alaska by limiting the number of charter boats in the fleet.

Visitor center opens doors for locals
Staff at the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center host several hundred thousand tourists every summer, but come winter, things slow down and turn inward, Interpreter Laurie Craig said.

Around Town
Today, Jan. 5

Police & Fire
Juneau police and fire officials reported:

Kookesh attorney says state outside its jurisdiction
State Sen. Albert Kookesh and the three codefendants charged with illegal subsistence fishing near Angoon in July filed a court motion last week to have the case dismissed on grounds that the State of Alaska acted outside its jurisdiction.

Up, up and not away?
For high school seniors, January means more than the beginning of a new year - it means a push for college applications.

City offers Christmas tree recycling
Out with the old, in with the renewed.

Hard times, small town discourage anchor stores
Tough economic times are making it difficult to fill the anchor space at the Mendenhall Mall, but the downturn is only part of the problem, mall Property Manager Larry Bauer said.

Photo: New Year baby
The birth of the first baby born in 2010, Charles Patrick Begenyi, a boy, was born to Eileen and Barry Begenyi at 3:30 a.m. Jan. 4 at Bartlett Regional Hospital's Bartlett Beginnings Family Birth Center. He weighed in at 8 pounds, 5 ounces and was 22 inches in length.

Photo: Elevated view
The new elevated walkway between the Capitol and the Thomas B. Stewart Legislative Office Building offers a view of Seward Street on Monday.

Police & Fire
Juneau police and fire officials reported:

Around Town
Today, Jan. 6

Photo: New blades
Gretchen Pence has the Rotary Park pond to herself as she skates for the first time in about 20 years. Pence said she received a new set of skates from her husband for Christmas.

Wrangell trailer fire displaces three
A woman and two young children were able to escape a trailer fire in Wrangell on Monday, but the home was declared a total loss and a pet dog perished in the blaze.

Photo: Tasty treats
Andrea Mogil places a delicacy under glass at Pie In The Sky on Tuesday morning.

Herman McDonnell Meiners Sr.
Longtime Juneau resident Herman McDonnell Meiners Sr. died Dec. 9, 2009, at his home after battling liver cancer. He was 83.

New Year's resolutions
Customarily, early January is a time of self-reflection, of rejuvenating one's commitment to self-improvement. According to some statistics, about 50 percent of America makes some type of New Year's resolution; of these, half believe they will be successful.

Outside editorial: Mean kids online
The following editorial appeared in the Los Angeles Times:

Outside editorial: Drowning in red ink
For most of the past decade, the United States has been living beyond its means, borrowing money frantically to compensate for tax cuts and pay for unfunded wars, new entitlements, bank bailouts, you name it. The breakdown in fiscal discipline is evident in the numbers.

Looking to the future innovators of Juneau
There are people around the nation helping the U.S. economy to dig itself out of a deep hole. This column will not focus on those dedicated business leaders, economists, regulators and elected officials working on today's troubles. A lot has already been written about them.

We must ask questions, but not these
On Christmas Day, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, a student from Nigeria, allegedly tried to blow up a jetliner bound for Detroit. He failed due to some defect in his explosives and the quick reflexes of passengers who subdued him. As you might expect, this close call has some of us asking hard, but necessary questions:

Body scan isn't only way to find a bomb
Sixteen days before an al-Qaida trained Nigerian with explosives in his underwear boarded a Detroit-bound plane, the director of terrorist screening crowed about the "true information success" of U.S. watch- listing.

A war by any other name
Suppose Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab, the Christmas Day underwear bomber, had succeeded and blown up Northwest Airlines flight 253, killing nearly 300 people on board and perhaps others on the ground? Would the response of the Obama administration have been different?

Joshua Wade murder trial postponed
ANCHORAGE - A ruling by a federal judge has postponed the capital murder trial against Joshua Wade until summer.

Ex-Army Ranger pleads guilty to crimes
SEATTLE - A former Army Ranger convicted of leading a takeover-style bank holdup in 2006 in Washington state has pleaded guilty to trying to hire a hit man to kill a federal prosecutor.

Fairbanks Assembly candidates reduced to eight people
FAIRBANKS - The Fairbanks North Star Borough clerk announced that eight of the 15 people seeking to fill an assembly vacancy have advanced to the interview stage.

Coast Guard rescues Juneau family after boat sinks in Auke Bay
JUNEAU - A Coast Guard crew responding by helicopter rescued a Juneau man and his two sons Monday after their boat sank about 4 p.m. off of Goghlan Island near Auke Bay

Wash. apartments evacuated as bomb squad works
SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. - Law enforcement officers in Spokane Valley, Wash., evacuated nearby apartments Monday night as they worked to remove about a half pound of homemade explosive material from the apartment of a man reportedly upset about his divorce case.

Young man sentenced in sexual assault
ANCHORAGE - An Anchorage man convicted of raping his mother's elderly friend has been sentenced to 32 years in prison.

BLM issues sage grouse guidelines
CHEYENNE, Wyo. - The U.S. Bureau of Land Management is directing its Wyoming offices to consider certain restrictions for oil and gas drilling, new wind turbines and other types of development in sage grouse habitat.

NOAA proposes habitat protection for turtles
GRANTS PASS, Ore. - Federal biologists have proposed the first open ocean habitat protections for the endangered leatherback sea turtle along the West Coast, an action that could affect future development of offshore renewable energy, aquaculture and desalination plants.

Owner of disabled tug releases spill estimate
ANCHORAGE - A tugboat operator says as much as 6,410 gallons of diesel fuel spilled in Alaska's Prince William Sound when a tugboat ran aground on the same reef as the Exxon Valdez 20 years ago.

Fed judges: Wash. felony inmates should get to vote
OLYMPIA - Incarcerated felons should be allowed to vote in Washington to ensure that racial minorities are protected under the Voting Rights Act, a federal appeals court ruled Tuesday.

Bill would test welfare recipients for drugs
WASILLA - A Wasilla legislator is proposing legislation that would allow the Department of Health and Social Services to test recipients of public assistance for drug use.

DNA links inmate to child's death
SALT LAKE CITY - Salt Lake County prosecutors filed a capital murder charge Monday against an Idaho prison inmate, saying DNA evidence has linked him to the 1998 stabbing death of a 10-year-old Utah girl.

From Oregon, a new nephew for first couple
CORVALLIS, Ore. - Oregon State University said President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama have a new nephew.

Iditarod musher donates to race
WASILLA - Four-time champion Jeff King has made a large donation to increase the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race purse.

Lucky Lotto drawing date postponed
ANCHORAGE - The Lucky Lotto drawing has been postponed because of slow ticket sales.

Man who set co-worker ablaze gets probation
POCATELLO, Idaho - A man who set his co-worker on fire in July has been sentenced to five years of probation after the victim forgave him.

Airman found dead in Fairbanks, Sgt. says
FAIRBANKS - Authorities said an airman assigned to Elmendorf Air Force Base has been found dead in Fairbanks.

Year-long delay in sex trafficking trial
ANCHORAGE - The trial of four people accused of running a prostitution ring in Anchorage has been delayed more than a year.

Fairbanks air remains polluted, unhealthy
FAIRBANKS - The Fairbanks North Star Borough is asking residents to heat with oil instead of wood or coal - if they can.

Rustlers ride wide-open range of Great Basin
FRENCHGLEN, Ore. - Cruising down a two-lane blacktop where the Catlow Rim drops down into a broad valley of sagebrush and bunchgrass, ranch manager Stacy Davies pulls his pickup over to let pass a herd of young bulls being trailed along the road by a couple of his buckaroos, as ranch hands are called here.

Randall wins women's 10K freestyle in Anchorage
ANCHORAGE - Kikkan Randall won the 10-kilometer freestyle race Monday, her second title at the 2010 U.S. Cross Country Ski Championships

Bob Swenson prefers the 'eye of the storm'
FAIRBANKS - Bob Swenson can see the storm coming, and he's getting ready to ride it out.

Alaska State Parks chief ranger has hunger for outdoors
FAIRBANKS - It was 10:30 a.m. and Matt McClurg already had lunch on his mind, a thought he expressed to Doug Avara, who was riding shotgun in the Alaska State Parks pickup McClurg was steering down the Richardson Highway to Quartz Lake.

More Alaska students defaulting on loans
FAIRBANKS - The rate of Alaskans defaulting on student loans rose to 8.3 percent in fiscal year 2007, 12th-highest in the nation, according to a U.S. Department of Education report.

State having trouble with sex offender law
ANCHORAGE - Like all but one other state, Alaska has not yet complied with a 3-year-old federal sex offender registration law. The extended deadline is July.

Glitch hurts charity donations from PFDs
ANCHORAGE - A computer problem that prevented some people from donating a portion of their Permanent Fund Dividend to charity has been fixed, state officials said.

Elementary school receives state's first LEED certification
A new $13 million elementary school in Wasilla, named for renown Alaska painter Fred Machetanz and his wife, Sara, has become the first school in the state to be LEED certified.

Anchorage motel may house chronic alcoholics
ANCHORAGE - A motel could become a home for about 50 chronic street alcoholics.

Tainted well water spurs property owner to action
FAIRBANKS - A North Pole property owner hopes to create a "citizen action committee" in response to the discovery of tainted water in city wells.

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