Sunday, January 11, 2009

Time to reduce the landfill stench
Thanks to Ben Brown for the observations and questions he raised in his opinion piece, "Time to Reduce the Landfill Stench." The piece correctly points out that the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation regulates the Juneau landfill.

City may see discounts on construction
A few years ago, city officials were pushing to get construction projects done as quickly as possible in a race against rocketing costs driven by high oil prices and building booms overseas.

Eaglecrest opens part of mountain to hikers
Hike-to terrain at Eaglecrest Ski Area might be open this weekend, depending on the stability of the snow, ski area officials announced Friday.

Photo: Digging out
Paul Barnes digs his car out of the snow Sunday on Second Street street in Douglas. Barnes said he was removing snow before rain makes it heavy. After a month-long spell of temperatures below freezing, a warming trend is expected to bring rain today.

Photo: Street skiing
Jodie Pessolano cross-country skis Saturday on Front Street in Douglas. With avalanche danger in Juneau listed as "considerable" as of Saturday evening, people should take precaution when recreating in the mountains. Avalanche danger ratings, maps and other information are available at juneau.org/avalanche.

Photo: Remembering Sigurd Olson
Robert Olson, son of the late longtime Douglas resident Sigurd T. Olson, reads a poem in honor of his father Saturday during a celebration of the life of his father at the Douglas Community United Methodist Church. Sigurd Olson, a renowned Alaska wildlife biologist, died Dec. 21 at the age of 85. More than 100 people attended the tribute to his life.

Around Town
Today

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

Libraries' new fiction includes 'The Desert Contract'
This week, I perused the library's new fiction on behalf of all our adult readers of mysteries, historical fiction, contemporary issues and more.

FYI
Births

Karma Krew kicks off
After opening Taproot Yoga Center last September, Malia McInerney also was inspiried to establish a local Karma Krew, which, as part of its mantra to "Do Good Things," recently volunteered its time at Aiding Women in Abuse and Rape Emergencies.

Shooting for the stars
Students in Alan Degener's sixth-grade technology class at Floyd Dryden Middle School braved single-digit temperatures on Jan. 6 to launch their model rockets.

World Affairs Council announces schedule
JUNEAU - The Juneau World Affairs Council recently released its spring schedule of presentations.

Sitka Health Summit meeting held Tuesday
SITKA - Sitka residents are invited to attend an informational brown-bag lunch meeting to learn about plans for the 2009 Sitka Health Summit. The hour-long steering committee meeting takes place at noon on Tuesday at Harrigan Centennial Hall.

Capital City Fire Rescue seeks volunteers
JUNEAU - For those wanting to be part of one of the "hottest" professions, Capital City Fire and Rescue is seeking volunteers to join its team.

Wells Fargo donates to birth center
Wells Fargo representatives present a check for $5,000 to the Juneau Family Health & Birth Center in December. The center received the contribution in addition to the $10,000 received in 2005 toward building the new facility and creating a birth center, health center and family center in one location. The recent donation was made to help the center meet a challenge from the Kresge Foundation to raise additional funds toward completing the building project goal. From left are Lorna Mazoff, CDM; Becca Van De Water, CNM' Rob Haight, MD; Kaye Kanne, CDM and executive director; Karen West, business banking manager; and Jamie Kissner, business relationship manager.

Troublemaker 3: Butter-and-eggs
Imagine my surprise and dismay at coming upon a large patch of butter-and-eggs on the beach berm just north of the Endicott River. This member of the snapdragon family goes by several names besides butter-and-eggs: yellow toadflax, wild snapdragon, ramsted, flaxweed, Jacob's ladder and Linaria vulgaris.

Thanks to Thunder Mountain Big Band for beautiful ballroom music
On behalf of students, families and friends at Auke Bay Elementary School, we would like to extend our gratitude to Ron Maas and the Thunder Mountain Big Band for volunteering for the third year in a row to play beautiful music at our Ballroom Dance Extravaganza on Dec. 16.

Seniors get help with setting up DTV boxes
JUNEAU - Seniors in need of assistance in setting up their new DTV converter box for the digital television transfer can contact Catholic Community Services at 463-6177. The service is provided free of charge.

Senior menu for the week of Jan. 12-16
Monday, Jan. 12

Alaska-Siberia Research Center director reviews Dauenhauer book
"Russians in Tlingit America: The Battles of Sitka, 1802 and 1804," edited by Nora Marks Dauenhauer, Richard Dauenhauer and Lydia T. Black.

In favor of going to church
It has been said that politics and religion shouldn't be discussed at the office. These topics are very volatile and have a tendency to result in heated debates that divide people.

The case of the tubby tabby
The family cat of my youth was called Brunswick because he looked like a bowling ball in a fur coat. Round is not the best shape for a cat. Obesity will shorten his life and make those years less interesting and less comfortable than they could have been.

Pets of the week
Older dog and sweet cat seek good homes

Lewis, Adams wed
Rachel Lewis and Gus Adams, both of Douglas, were married in a private ceremony on Nov. 10, 2008, at Niagara Falls in Ontario, Canada.

Spiritual practices surrouding the New Year
Hau oli Makahiki ho! That's Hawaiian for "Happy New Year!" Yes, you people who told me that the weather would be different here from my former home of the Big Island were right.

Salveson, Patino wed
Meghan Jean Salveson and Anthony J.P. Patino were married on Aug. 30, 2008, at St. Ignatius Chapel at Seattle University.

Frances Blair Awbrey
Gustavus resident Frances Blair Awbrey died peacefully on Dec. 21, 2008, in Gustavus, where she was cared for by devoted friends. She was 50.

Nellie May Pusich
Nellie May Pusich died Jan. 7, 2009, due to cancer. She was 70.

Mimi Gregg
Haines resident Mimi Gregg, of Port Chilkoot, died Dec. 16, 2008, at the Ketchikan Pioneer's Home. She was 92.

Alaska editorial: Something's wrong with gas prices
Alaskans face a "duopoly" of gasoline suppliers in the state. Two refineries - the Flint Hills operation in North Pole and Tesoro's Nikiski facility - provide most of the state's gasoline. So let's see ... Most of our gasoline is made here, yet as of December we were paying about 80 cents a gallon more than the national average.

My turn: Minimize impact of presidential security
I've been reading the various news articles on the upcoming Inauguration, and the lock down of Washington, D.C., that is planned to ensure security during President-elect Barack Obama's inauguration. Washington is going to be a virtual prison with tightly controlled entry and exits, and in some areas simply no movement at all.

Here's to the heroes who helped pave Obama's way
I was in downtown Washington when Barack Obama was declared president-elect. Jubilant crowds of all races fell into the streets, celebrating with raucous joy. Inexplicably, I was numb, reserved. When I got home, I turned on the television and saw Jesse Jackson break down in tears. That's when I also broke down.

Toe Toon
Cartoon by local artist Toe.

JDHS girls bring home GOLD
The Juneau-Douglas High School girls basketball team is bringing home the gold despite finishing a recent tournament in a three-way tie for first place.

JDHS beats Homer on Friday
First, JDHS player, Chris Klawonn battles for possession of the puck in Friday's game. For results from Saturday's game, see Wednesday's Sports section.

Boozer out at least a month after surgery
SALT LAKE CITY - Utah Jazz forward Carlos Boozer is expected to miss at least four weeks while recovering from knee surgery.

Juneau Cheer Club to offer snow removal
JUNEAU - The Juneau Cheer Club will offer snow removal anywhere in Juneau for as long as there is snow.

Sports in Juneau
UPCOMING EVENTS

Commission nixes Palin pay increase
A state salary commission has backed off of an earlier recommendation for a pay raise for Gov. Sarah Palin, but is continuing with a recommended $15,000 average raise for legislators.

Chenault introduces death penalty bill
ANCHORAGE - The state House will consider a bill to reinstate the death penalty when the Alaska Legislature gathers in 10 days.

Palin questions media's light handling of Caroline Kennedy
ALBANY, N.Y. - She messed up her first interviews, didn't show much of a grasp of the issues and, dontcha know, had a speech pattern that was widely mimicked.

Man reaches plea deal in weapons case
FAIRBANKS - A North Pole man who eluded police for two months and was finally arrested after a four-hour standoff in Fairbanks has agreed to a plea deal that calls for a six-year prison sentence.

Alaska senators back delay of switch to digital television
FAIRBANKS - Alaska Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Mark Begich support President-elect Barack Obama's request to push back February's nationwide switch to digital television.

Sex offender wins raffle for charity
ANCHORAGE - A convicted sex offender won a $500,000 Alaska raffle that was a fundraiser for a nonprofit organization that helps victims of sexual abuse.

Urban avalanche advisory available
JUNEAU - The city of Juneau posted its urban avalanche advisory Friday.

Fairbanks band lands success in hard work
FAIRBANKS - When Marc Brown was a teenager, he did some time as a musher, running dogs near his home in Huslia. It was enough to convince him to instead become a professional musician.

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