SEACC is educated and informed
A questionable letter by Bradley J. Fluetsch appeared in the Juneau Empire on Tuesday.

Former Skinner employees will open service center next month
Two former employees of Skinner Sales and Service plan to open a service shop to fill a void left when the Ford Lincoln Mercury dealership in Juneau abruptly closed more than a month ago.

A memorial service for Erna Frieda Morgan, who died Jan. 4, will be at 2 p.m. Monday, Jan. 11, at Chapel by the Lake.

From Juneau to Hollywood
Juneau-Douglas High School graduate Matt Conway grew up wanting to be a Saturday morning cartoon animator, but his path instead led him to Hollywood where he works as a visual artist on blockbuster films like the highly acclaimed "Avatar."

Parnell's budget proposal contains millions for city
The state's top budget officer presented Gov. Sean Parnell's budget proposal to the Juneau Chamber of Commerce Tuesday.

Givers brighten Little Jack's birthday
What's in that box? Wal-Mart employees Nerio Bernaldo, left, and Alex Ditcharo, right, give a birthday cake and presents to Jack Adams III for his birthday Thursday at the Glory Hole as Jack's father, Jack Adams Jr.. looks on.

Mentor Appreciation Month: Big Brother Paul Spangler and Little Brother Sean, matched since Feb. 28, 2009

Around Town
Today, Jan. 8

Police & Fire
Juneau police and fire officials reported:

A headline on A1 in Thursday's Empire incorrectly said that the Alaska Permanent Fund may be made part of the state's constitution. The Fund is already part of the constitution; the proposal is to make the Permanent Fund Dividend part of the constitution.

Alaska editorial: Alaska's gas prices the highest, but we have no idea why
As long as Alaskans pay so much more at the pump than their Lower 48 neighbors, they're not going to be satisfied with explanations like, "It's complicated." But that's essentially what Alaska's two main refiners, Tesoro in Nikiski and Flint Hills in North Pole, are saying.

Preventing damage in a very cold place
Wedged between Alaska and Siberia, the Chukchi Sea is one of the most productive ocean ecosystems in the world. Its vast shallow sea floor and ice cover provide rich habitat for many species, including walrus, whales, polar bears and millions of seabirds. In winter, the Chukchi is a foreboding place, dominated by moving packs of sea ice, extreme storms, sub-zero temperatures and darkness. Even the short Arctic summer brings temperatures in the 40s, gale-force winds, weeklong storms and heavy blankets of fog nearly one-third of the time.

What's the US doing in Afghanistan?
Al-Qaeda in Yemen has grown so strong and adept that the United States, Britain, France, Germany and Japan were forced to close their embassies in Sanaa, Yemen, this week - so seriously are they taking al-Qaeda's "live and active threat," as John Brennan, the White House counter-terrorism adviser, put it. "They've grown in strength."

Standards for heroes
The recent headlines were chilling: NBA players allegedly brandishing guns in the Verizon Center locker room. Gang and youth violence plagues U.S. cities, and people constantly ask: What are young Americans thinking? Well, when we look at today's athletic and entertainment stars, we begin to see the answer.

No anvils or cacti for these coyotes
The coyotes erupted with an outburst of yips and howls that echoed through the darkness of Last Chance Basin. I've heard these songs before, but never on Basin Road, in the "backyard" of downtown Juneau.

Grooming report
As of Jan. 8 the following Nordic trails are groomed and tracked for both skate andclassic skiing:

Friday, Jan. 8

Backyard visitors just 'looking for company'
When Juneau resident Freddy Cummins looked out her windows on the morning of Dec. 30, she wasn't sure what she saw.

Bad Larry crew keeps it clean in 'Brown Snow'
The latest ski and snowboard film from the Bad Larry Productions crew is a fast-paced, rail-riding, pillow-hopping compilation of shots captured locally, all over the Pacific Northwest and Montana.

Coyotes are recent arrivals to Alaska
Coyotes are newcomers to Alaska, arriving about 100 years ago. They likely came into Southeast Alaska via the Taku and Stikine river valleys, access routes from British Columbia. They moved into the upper Tanana Valley, and from east-central Alaska they spread throughout most of the state south of the Yukon River.

In winter, local trails offer daily surprises
Juneau's trails in the winter are like "Forrest Gump" fan tributes on YouTube - you never know what you're going to get.

Cold, flu season a reason to go running
My head hurts. My body aches. My stomach is queasy. So I am going running.

Travel: Goodbye to Chiloé isle
After an overnight flight to Santiago, the capital of Chile, and another couple of hours flying to Puerto Montt, one can drive or take a bus to Chiloé Island. Chiloé is a Spanish version of an aboriginal name for the island: Chilhue, meaning place of the gulls. It's a big island, roughly the size of Admiralty here in Southeast. Over the past five or six decades, agriculture has expanded, and the forest in the northern part of the island is now fragmented. Salmon farms clog most of the bays but most of them are now inactive, thanks to a virus that infected the dense aggregations of fish in the pens.

On the hook
Show us your big fish

Out & About
Today, Jan. 8

Hatcher Pass ski area plans advance, Nordic trails first step
PALMER - The Mat-Su Borough is moving ahead with plans to create a ski area at Hatcher Pass.

Coast Guard to close Loran navigation system
KETCHIKAN - Starting next month, the U.S. Coast Guard will begin shutting down the Loran navigation system that has been used by those at sea.

Shell oil company clears another offshore drilling hurdle
ANCHORAGE - Shell oil company has cleared another hurdle in its quest to explore for oil off Alaska's northwest coast.

Fairbanks man accused of asking teenage son for drugs
FAIRBANKS - A Fairbanks man accused of trying to persuade his 14-year-old son to give him prescription painkillers has been charged with a felony drug charge.

Houston mayor drives home with fire truck
HOUSTON - After a 14-day, 5,000-mile trip, a fire rescue truck has arrived at Houston.

Tis the season for frigid pipes
JUNEAU -The City and Borough of Juneau advises the following steps to prevent water pipes from freezing:

Coast Guard ends voyage of three fishing vessels
JUNEAU - The Coast Guard Cutter Naushon terminated the voyages of two 50-foot and one 45-foot commercial fishing vessels Wednesday near Craig for safety violations.

Crimson Bears primed for 'physical' play
After a 20-day layoff from game action, the Juneau-Douglas hockey team is ready to put their three-game win streak on the line as Homer travels to Douglas Island in Juneau to take on the Bears tonight at TreadwellArena.

Falcons face Kings in SE showdown
Thunder Mountain hosts Ketchikan tonight in the Falcons' first-ever boys' basketball Southeast Conference showdown at the Thunderdome.

Sports in Juneau
• Beginning Jan. 1, Sports In Juneau information must be submitted online at Submissions via e-mail, phone, fax or other will no longer be accepted. For more information e-mail

Feds OK extension of Alaska Railroad
FAIRBANKS - Federal regulators have approved a plan to extend the Alaska Railroad 80 miles to provide year-around freight access to military training grounds

Fed judge dismisses Juneteenth lawsuit against Palin
ANCHORAGE - A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit against former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin that alleged she violated the plaintiffs' constitutional rights by failing to issue a proclamation in 2007 for a celebration commemorating the freeing of U.S. slaves.

Kenai Borough: No to climate compact
KENAI - After signing onto a global climate change compact in September, the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly rescinded its signature Tuesday night.

Time Bandit getting 'green' retrofit
As Captains Johnathan and Andy Hillstrand of the Homer-based F/V Time Bandit finish up the king crab season, they embark on a new adventure - and not just for opilio crab as the season opens.

After 70 years, Anchorage couple is still happy together
ANCHORAGE - He's 95. She's 90.

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