Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Keep working for an avalanche center
A winter snowstorm on Jan. 2 prompted me to write this letter.

City, EPA burn ban a stab in the back
With $2.87 and up for fuel oil and Alaska Electric Light and Power's high winter rates, the city's announcement that it's going to re-instate the burn ban is just one more stab in the back for people trying to make ends meet.

Race not an important candidates' issue
Here is my question. Sen. Barack Obama had a white mother and a black father, which, in my way of thinking, means he is 50 percent white and 50 percent black.

Montessori parents aren't an elite group
My son is in first grade in the Juneau Montessori program, which makes us new Montessori parents. I have to say, I'm bewildered by all the upset over the Montessori program in Juneau.

Painted lane markers should be maintained
The deterioration of white and yellow painted lane markers on Juneau's paved roads has become a significant contributor to accidents and the slowing of traffic flow, especially during conditions of reduced visibility.

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

Grant to fund city stream cleanup efforts
Grant funding will help a nonprofit make a bigger difference in the health of Juneau's streams and lakes.

Photo: Siding installation begins
Catherine Wilkins, the city's construction manager for Thunder Mountain High School, looks Monday at a classroom wing of the school, where crews recently started to install siding. The new school is scheduled to be completed in time for the 2008-09 school year.

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

Around Town

Construction academy aims to curb worker shortage
Juneau will soon offer more free classes for students and adults interested in construction jobs as part of a statewide effort to increase the number of in-state skilled workers.

Photo: Celebrating Orthodox Christmas
The Rev. Michael Spainhoward, rector of St. Nicholas Orthodox Church, blesses the congregation Monday during Christmas services. Christmas falls on Jan. 7 for Russian Orthodox Christians and other Orthodox churches that use the old Julian calendar instead of the Gregorian calendar.

Delays in summer ferry schedule raise concerns
A week into the new year, the Alaska Marine Highway System has still not published a ferry schedule for the summer tourist season.

Assembly adopts port fees extension
Local cruise industry representatives spoke out Monday against a resolution extending the Port Development Fee without a specific plan detailing the use of the tax.

Photo: Quiet reflections
Two people walk Tuesday along the dock at Don Statter Boat Harbor in Auke Bay.

Schools face space issues
A recommendation by Juneau School District staff to move several Montessori classrooms and potentially redistrict four Mendenhall Valley elementary schools brought 70 parents to a public meeting Monday night.

Around Town

Coogan, Juneau set to discuss auditorium final costs
The city and Coogan Construction will soon negotiate the final costs to complete Thunder Mountain High School's auditorium, which voters approved in a special election last June.

Recognition
The United States Department of Defense Southern Command recently promoted Sue Horner, of Juneau, to the rank of colonel. Few military members are selected to this higher level of senior leadership.

Wishing for the keys to freedom and independence
Even though he has not driven in two years, my father-in-law carries car keys in his pocket every day.

Horton, Highley wed
April Mae Highley, of Juneau, and Ron E. Horton, of Cordova, were married Dec. 24, 2007, on Shipwreak Beach in Kauai, Hawaii. A reception followed at the Smith Laua in Kaui.

Reality is seeing and hearing what's there
The first time I remember the phenomenon, I listened to a lecture by a Baptist pastor named Al Robertson, one of my heroes.

Denver Museum repatriates tunic and Raven headdress
The Denver Museum of Nature and Science has repatriated two important pieces of at.óow to the L kaax.ádi of Haines.

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Irene Erickson
Longtime Alaska resident Irene Erickson died Jan. 6, 2008, in Juneau with her children by her side. She was 81.

Outside editorial: A step forward for open government, new media
The first significant reform in more than a decade of the federal Freedom of Information Act, signed into law last week by President Bush, is an important step forward for open government and the ability of citizens to hold their government representatives accountable for their actions.

Outside editorial: It's ... those other people
We intended to compose this editorial a while back. Really, we did. But workday after jam-packed workday gave us not one spare moment to formally evaluate the diligence of our fellow Americans.

Outside editorial: Triple digit oil: Oh, my!
Just a few years ago, some economists said the prospect of oil prices at $50 a barrel would send tremors through the economy. $50? What a bargain that looks like now. Then $60 oil was thought to be the breaking point. But it wasn't.

My Turn: Legislature should stay in Juneau
Rep. Kevin Meyer, R-Anchorage, and co-chairman of the House Finance Committee, has pre-filed a bill in the House to move the Alaska Legislature out of Juneau.

Considering knowledge's limits for tomorrow's sake
On Alaska's Shishmaref Island in the Chukchi Sea, global warming is not about the ability of scientists to predict the future. The retreating sea ice has robbed the community of its natural barrier against storm surges.

My Turn: Proposed halibut limits don't hit mark
It's discouraging to learn that several fishing organizations will not oppose the proposed reductions for Area 2C halibut allocations that cite low catch rates and the need to rebuild halibut stocks.

My Turn: Oppose any shift toward totalitarianism
Ibelieve that the Constitution and the rights of Americans are being slowly nibbled away in a manner similar to those that have led to totalitarian states throughout history.

Juneau's boys JV team strikes gold in Skagway
The Juneau-Douglas High School boys junior varsity basketball team took home a gold medal from Skagway last week after downing three Canadian teams in the Don Hather Tournament.

Tough tests await JDHS boys
The Juneau-Douglas High School boys basketball team's relentlessly arduous schedule takes the squad to Anchorage for four difficult games starting today.

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.

Young JDHS girls team off to Anchorage
For a team primarily consisting of freshmen and sophomores, the Juneau-Douglas High School girls basketball squad is coming together quite nicely.

Alaska Old Believers spend holiday planning funerals
Alaska's Old Believers are accustomed to struggle. But even for them, these are the most trying of times.

Men recall narrow escape from Chugach avalanche
For a moment, there was only suffocating pressure, darkness and cold. Rory Stark struggled to get free, but couldn't move underneath the mountain of snow.

Open luggage door cited in 2 previous crashes in Alaska
As investigators review whether a luggage panel figured into a fatal Kodiak plane crash, federal reports indicate similar panels caused two previous Alaska crashes.

Ferry officials to listen to telephone comments
The Alaska Marine Highway System will hold a public teleconference Thursday to hear comments on the proposed Southeast ferry schedules for summer and the system's operating plan for the year.

Northwest Digest
City OKs $300,000 for gravel quarry; World Affairs Council to host journalist; Replacement named for fishery council; Kenai man pleads guilty to wire fraud; Joshua Wade trial moved to Fairbanks; Fire marshal stops Kenai management; Alaska Old Believers prepare for funerals; Disease kills bighorn lambs in Oregon

Fort Richardson brigade leads re-enlistment stats
A higher percentage of 4th Airborne Brigade Combat Team members from Fort Richardson re-enlisted than did soldiers in any brigade in the U.S. Army.

Federal officials delay 'challenging' decision on polar bear listing
Federal officials said Monday that they will need a few more weeks to decide whether polar bears need protection under the Endangered Species Act because of global warming.

Man receives Silver Star after nearly 40-year wait
A Fairbanks man will be awarded a Silver Star for his wartime service.

Firm to replace losses in state retirement fund
An investment management firm who state officials say mismanaged some retirement accounts is reimbursing a total of almost $6 million to those who lost money, said Brian Andrews, deputy commissioner of the Alaska Department of Revenue.

This Day in History
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Alaska Digest
Wanamaker named Juneau deputy mayor; Juneau Assembly denies Hood's appeal; Many Alaskans file early for dividends; Ketchikan mulls sale of phone division; Rifle range looks to reduce lead dust; Attorney enters plea on child porn charge; Smoke detector saves mother, child

This Day in History
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