Thursday, January 8, 2009

Use caution while enjoying the snow
The recent weather has set up conditions that are very conducive to avalanches. Heavy snow events followed by wind forms layers of snow and cornices (overhangs) which can easily break loose.

When is gallon of gas not a gallon?
When it comes to fuel dispensed from trucks, there are two kinds of gallons.

Lottery had licensing lapse
The days leading up to a lottery organizer's visit to Juneau to sell tickets may be the subject of a state gaming investigation, though it shouldn't affect ticket holders or the $500,000 drawing scheduled for Friday.

StoryCorps captures voices of Juneau history
It's difficult to condense decades of stories and memories into 40 minutes, but Juneau resident Alan Munro said it's worth a try.

Panel seeks more funds for school sports
As school officials begin budgeting for the 2009-2010 school year, they will have a request to consider from the high school sports community seeking an additional $300,000 for high school activities as the district transitions from a combined sports program for two high schools to separate programs for each.

Woman to lead city's volunteer firefighters
Moments after Beth Weldon got a new shield pinned on and a white helmet signifying her promotion to division chief of volunteer firefighters Monday night, radios sounded an electronic bloop because a call had just come in.

SEACC hires new executive director
Being an activist in Vermont was too easy, said Lindsay Ketchel. Everyone was progressive.

Alaska officials defend military voting process
A national study that included Alaska on a list of states that need to make it easier for military personnel overseas to vote failed to recognize that changes have already been made, said Gail Fenumiai, state elections director.

Photo: Reflecting the sun
A late afternoon swath of sunlight highlights the snow-covered trees Sunday along the Mendenhall River. After several days of snow, bitter cold weather is forecasted to return today, with highs around 6 and a 30 mph east wind, creating wind chills to 25 below zero.

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

Juneau firefighters battle two fires in subzero weather
Two fires in two days in below zero winter weather have Capital City Fire and Rescue officials cautioning homeowners, and asking for some help as well.

Around Town
Today

Photo: Winter moon
The moon rises Wednesday behind Mount Bullard as cross country skiers glide over Mendenhall Lake. A month of cold and snowy weather has provided ample opportunity for outdoor winter recreation in Juneau.

Photo: Finishing details
Wayne Price uses an adz Wednesday to add texture to the new totem pole that he carved for Thunder Mountain High School. The name of the totem is "Our Auntie's Totem" and depicts an aunt, students climbing the river of life and a falcon on top.

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

Around Town

Edna M. Barger
Former Juneau resident Edna M. Barger, of Issaquah, Wash., died Jan. 3, 2009, in Kirkland, Wash. She was 76.

Curtis Howard
Juneau resident Curtis Torres Howard died Dec. 16, 2008. He was 28.

Alaska Editorial: State, Exxon should resolve the dispute over Point Thomson
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: A mammoth tale
A few weeks ago came news that scientists may one day try to resurrect a woolly mammoth, a long-extinct relative of today's elephants. But that's just the beginning, according to some scientists. Advances in genetic engineering are raising hopes that researchers may someday be able to recreate animals from shards of DNA extracted from the hair, horns, hooves, fur or feathers of extinct species.

Financial meltdown: So what else is new?
To listen to the pundits, one would think that today's banking crisis and financial meltdown is something rare and exotic. But people who stayed awake in history class know that financial panic is a familiar "plot device" in the drama of modern capitalism. Speculation has been followed by collapse at least as far back as the South Sea bubble of 1720. The American experience with such wholesale crises began in 1819.

Time to reduce the landfill stench
While driving from downtown Juneau to the Mendenhall Valley recently, I went slower than usual in deference to the road conditions, and I couldn't help but notice how strikingly beautiful Gastineau Channel looks covered in ice and snow. The frosty white trees and the wisps of clouds were an amazingly beautiful sight. Unfortunately, as I neared Lemon Creek Valley, I was beleaguered by something I am sure many Juneau residents have encountered with alarming regularity over the past few months: the menacing stench of the landfill.

Obama, Congress must repeal Medicaid rule change
President-elect Barack Obama and the new Democratic Congress must repeal a terrible rule change that the Bush administration imposed while packing up.

The law is on Blagojevich's side
Like it or not, Illinois Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich has the legal authority to appoint Roland Burris to the U.S. Senate, and Burris, the state's former attorney general, should be allowed to take the seat vacated by President-elect Barack Obama. Senate Democrats are on weak constitutional ground in denying a seat to a properly selected individual. Their claim to the power to exclude a lawfully chosen senator could create a dangerous precedent.

Sensitivity and 'Gran Torino'
Clint Eastwood has had it up to here with sensitivity. "A lot of people are bored of all the political correctness," he recently told the New York Times. "... The country has come a long way in race relations, but the pendulum swings so far back. Everyone wants to be so" ... and here, he gave a make-my-day grimace ... "sensitive."

SAGA holds donation drive through Jan. 19
JUNEAU - SAGA, a Juneau-based nonprofit that works with youth service projects, is running a donation drive through Jan. 19 in recognition of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Waste Management to address landfill gas
JUNEAU - Waste Management, which operates Juneau's only landfill at 5600 Tonsgard Court, announced it will hold a public workshop on Tuesday to discuss plans for a new landfill gas management system. The workshop is scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m. in the Hickel Room of Centennial Hall.

Search suspended for lost boat crewman
JUNEAU - The Coast Guard has suspended the search for a missing crew member of a fishing boat.

Juneau man named to advisory council
JUNEAU - Gov. Sarah Palin has appointed Juneau's Robert S. Peterson to the Alaska Safety Advisory Council.

McKay named head of BP's U.S. division
HOUSTON - BP PLC on Tuesday named Lamar McKay as chairman and president of its U.S. arm, replacing Bob Malone, who's retiring after guiding BP's American operations through two and a half turbulent years.

Bill Weimar begins six-month sentence
ANCHORAGE - A man who pleaded guilty to funneling money to a political candidate has begun serving his six-month sentence in federal prison.

Threat against fuel facility not credible
JUNEAU - Local, state and federal law enforcement agencies have determined a threat against the Petro Marine fuel facility in Ketchikan to be non-credible.

Bearded man robs Anchorage bank
ANCHORAGE - Anchorage police say a bearded man robbed a bank and escaped in a sport utility vehicle.

Coast Guard answers vessel's distress call
JUNEAU - The U.S. Coast Guard was looking for a crew member reported to be overboard from a crab vessel Tuesday in the Bering Sea.

Cold weather cancels third day of races
ANCHORAGE - Subzero temperatures Tuesday canceled another day of competition at the U.S. Cross Country Ski Championships.

Man allegedly urinates on bouncer
FAIRBANKS - A Fairbanks man has been arrested for allegedly urinating on a bouncer at a bar.

Juneau embarks on road trip
The Juneau-Douglas High School varsity boys basketball team will be tested this week as they embark on a four-game road trip in Anchorage.

Lady Bears head for Lady T-Birds Classic tourney
The Juneau Douglas-High School varsity girls basketball team will travel to Anchorage this week to shake up the Lady T-Birds Classic Basketball Tournament with its Southeast-style of play.

Sports in Juneau
UPCOMING EVENTS

Extreme cold slams state
Ted Johnson planned on using a set of logs to a build a cabin in Alaska's Interior. Instead he'll burn some of them to stay warm.

Troopers union backs off political allegations
ANCHORAGE - The union representing state troopers has backed off allegations that a drug investigation of Sherry Johnston was slowed down last fall to shield the national candidacy of Gov. Sarah Palin.

Proponent touts coal-to-liquids plant
FAIRBANKS - The multibillion-dollar price tag on a coal-to-liquids plant might seem expensive but a project proponent says the benefits could outweigh the cost.

Sen. Begich secures spot on commerce, military committees
WASHINGTON - Democratic Sen. Mark Begich said Tuesday he has secured positions on two Senate committees important to Alaska - Commerce and Armed Services.

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

Climber carved his prodigious reputation in Alaska mountains
ANCHORAGE - Conquering forbidding Alaska summits helped Fred Beckey establish his reputation, and the name still reverberates powerfully among climbers here today.

Traffic deaths decline in 2008
FAIRBANKS - The number of people killed on Alaska's roads last year declined to its lowest level in more than a decade, in part officials say because of the high price of gasoline.

Alaska publisher dies of pancreatic cancer
ANCHORAGE - A longtime Alaska publisher has died after a lengthy battle with pancreatic cancer. Vern McCorkle was 73.

Permanent Fund sells interest in Ketchikan mall
The Alaska Permanent Fund Corp. has sold its interest in the Plaza Port West shopping mall in Ketchikan, its only real estate investment property in the state.

Photo: Frosted over
A frost-covered totem pole is seen Tuesday outside of the Alaska Railroad depot in Anchorage, during the third longest cold snap in Alaska's history. Temperatures in Anchorage have been in the minus double digits and temperatures in the interior have dipped to 65 below zero in some areas, including the O'Brien Creek area along the Taylor Highway.

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

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