Unhappy Marine Highway customer speaks
What exactly is the purpose of the Alaska Marine Highway?

Parnells invite Juneau to dance the night away
Juneau, can you waltz? And in XtraTufs? Gov. Sean Parnell, First Lady Sandy Parnell, Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell, and their families invite you to prove it and join them in dancing the night away at the 2011 Juneau Inaugural Gala, Tuxes to XtraTufs, Jan. 22 at Centennial Hall and the Juneau Arts & Cultural Center.

School district looks at priorities, implementation
Is everything in the strategic plan still relevant, and what in it is a priority? Those questions and others were examined by the Juneau School District Board of Education on Saturday during a retreat meeting.

CBJ readying to outlaw synthetic cannabis
The City and Borough of Juneau may soon preempt the state in making synthetic marijuana illegal. A draft ordinance could be ready by the next Borough Assembly meeting.

DEC offers grants for clean water projects
The Department of Environmental Conservation has announced the availability of more than $400,000 for clean water projects through the Alaska Clean Water Actions grants. DEC partners with ACWA and the Department of Fish and Game every year to solicit proposals for such clean water projects and award grants to local communities and citizens groups.

JSD to take a look at 2012 enrollment
The Juneau School District is set to review preliminary 2012 enrollment figures at tonight's meeting.

Police & Fire
This report contains information provided to the Empire from law enforcement agencies. This report includes arrest and citation information, not conviction information. Anyone listed in this report is presumed innocent.

RCA takes more time in reviewing AEL&P's electric car rate
The Regulatory Commission of Alaska has extended by two weeks the deadline for review of Alaska Electric Light & Power’s proposal for an special experimental rate for electric vehicles.

Police & Fire
This report contains information provided to the Empire from law enforcement agencies. This report includes arrest and citation information, not conviction information. Anyone listed in this report is presumed innocent.

O'Connor announced as new Tongass supervisor
The U.S. Forest Service announced Tricia O’Connor will serve as the new Tongass National Forest deputy supervisor. O'Connor has been serving as acting deputy since July. She officially steps into the role on Feb. 13.

ADF&G leader wins over some ex-critics
Alaska Department of Fish and Game Commissioner Cora Campbell met with Native leaders last week to discuss her position on various issues, and to attempt to ease concerns about her age and experience which were raised when she was appointed last month.

Skiing Eaglecrest: Learning from experts on the mountain
“What took you so long? If you had learned earlier you would have poles by now.”

Photo: Keeping the Capitol clean

Practice makes perfect
The Juneau Student Symphony held a preliminary rehearsal for its upcoming Winter Concert on Monday at the Juneau-Douglas High School band room. The group will rehearse twice a week until it performs in March at the Juneau Arts & Culture Center. In April, members of the symphony will travel to perform in Angoon and Hoonah. Led by Rick Trostel, the Student Symphony is open to qualified musicians of all ages. For more information, visit www.juneausymphony.org/studentsymphony.

Felon remanded into custody prior to trial
A convicted felon previously released to a third-party custodian was remanded into state custody Monday morning in Juneau Superior Court, moments before his trial was scheduled to begin.

Photo: Beginning to a sun-filled week

Photo: Pizza to slow
Kayla Whitmore points to where she wants to go on the Eaglecrest slopes while Eaglecrest Ski School instructor Lindsay Hallvik shows Whitmore the “pizza” ski form that will be required to tackle the mountain Friday at Eaglecrest Ski Area.

Photo: Waiting to board
Gavin Mosteller attempts to lift onto his snowboard while waiting for a class to begin Friday at Eaglecrest Ski Area.

Clifford Dale Lobaugh
Longtime Juneau resident Dr. Clifford Dale Lobaugh passed away Jan. 5, 2011. He was 74 years old.

Caroline “Babe” J. Paddock-Odell
Caroline “Babe” J. Paddock-Odell, a longtime resident of Pelican, lost her battle to breast cancer Nov. 20, 2010. Babe was born in Juneau on Aug. 25, 1949, to Joseph and Elizabeth Paddock. Babe is the daughter of the Sockeye Clan Tlukaax.adi, her Tlingit name is Waash Tlaa and she is Sheetka Kaagwaantaan from the Big Box House of Sitka.

Southern Sudan's shaky future
At a roundabout in Juba, southern Sudan’s capital, stands a digital clock. It has four faces, each titled “Countdown to Southern Sudan Referendum — Period Remaining.” The referendum on Jan. 9 is part of the peace agreement signed in 2005 ending the civil war between northern and southern Sudan, and its outcome will determine if Sudan remains one country or becomes two. Each side of the clock has a drawing of a pair of hands wearing broken handcuffs, chain still dangling — a not-so-subtle comment about what the southern Sudanese think of being ruled by Khartoum. Below the hands are boxes to designate the remaining days, hours and minutes.

Outside editorial: Lessons from the BP Fiasco
Ever since the April 20 Gulf of Mexico Macondo oil well blowout and Deepwater Horizon rig explosion, which killed 11 men, the three mega corporations involved have stood in a triangle pointing fingers at each other.

My Turn: Time to just buck up
Last week I attended a talk where AEL&P Manager Tim McLeod explained the increased electric rates. Before the talk, a friend leaned over and whispered sarcastically, “This is really going to be enlightening.” Well, it was — sort of. Tim explained that AEL&P was good and efficient and that the rates are set by a formula and are completely justified. He didn’t get into the numbers or anything — just showed some graphs. I guess you don’t need numbers. They are what they are and you just plug them into the Regulatory Commission formula to get the rate.

Empire editorial: A little more disclosure, please
Some rules aren’t meant to be broken, and people who run for public office know this. That’s why the Alaska Public Offices Commission (APOC) maintains a strict set of reporting rules for candidates and their campaign staffs to follow.

A modest speaker not to be underestimated
The new speaker of the House, Rep. John A. Boehner of Ohio, isn’t the most brilliant statesman ever to hold the job (Newt Gingrich beats him on that count), the most groundbreaking (that was Nancy Pelosi) or the most charismatic (speakers rarely score high on that scale).

A gift of wilderness
When most Americans hear the words “public lands” they think of our national parks or national forests or perhaps even our national wildlife refuges. Yet, what might surprise them is that the largest category of our publicly owned land is administered by a little-known agency, the Bureau of Land Management, with a big mandate - taking care of 400,000 square miles, an area nearly four times the size of Colorado, on behalf of all Americans.

Heart group: Require students to get CPR training
DALLAS — The American Heart Association wants all students to know how to do CPR and use a defibrillator by the time they graduate from high school.

Alaska prepares for world ice art championship
FAIRBANKS — Opening day is drawing closer for the 2011 BP World Ice Art Championships in Fairbanks, and work is under way to make sure everything is ready.

Alaska Communications adds local investor to board
ANCHORAGE — Telephone and Internet service provider Alaska Communications Systems Group Inc. said Monday that it has named local venture capitalist John Niles Wanamaker to its board of directors and its nominating and corporate governance committee.

Palin's TLC show ends planned 8-episode run
ANCHORAGE — The Palin clan is off the air, at least on TLC, at least for now.

Fort Wainwright soldier held in wife's death
FAIRBANKS — An Army spokesman says a soldier stationed at Fort Wainwright in Fairbanks is in military custody in connection with the death of his wife.

SEARHC hosts Gene Tagaban 'Art of Storytelling' workshops
SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium will host Tlingít performer and artist Gene Tagaban for workshops and performances in the “Art of Storytelling” in late-January in Hydaburg, Craig and Klawock.

Police launch new tip service
KODIAK — The Kodiak Police Department is hoping to get a few good tips.

Downtown Transportation Center reserves slots for legislators
Beginning today, the third floor of the new Downtown Transportation Center will be reserved for use by legislators. All unauthorized vehicles on that floor will be subject to citations.

Little-known musher beats Mackey
ANCHORAGE — A little-known musher beat Lance Mackey in the Copper Basin 300 — considered a tune up for the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race in March.

Vice principal charged with child abuse
ANCHORAGE — An Anchorage high school vice principal has been accused of child abuse.

Alaska volunteer skates on thin ice, drowns
KODIAK — The vice president of an Alaska search and rescue unit in Kodiak has drowned after breaking through thin ice while skating near his house.

King a force on the court and mentor off it
At 6 feet 4 inches and 240 pounds, Juneau-Douglas senior power forward De’Andre “Jazz” King provides a big body down low for the Crimson Bears.

Isett Jr. finishes on top of his game
You might hear people in the sports world say a coach is only as good as the players that surround him or her, but for Juneau-Douglas graduate Richard Isett Jr. it’s been the coaches who have played a major role in what he has become today.

Oil pipeline operator works on bypass
ANCHORAGE — The company that operates the trans-Alaska pipeline was working Monday on building a bypass line so the flow of North Slope oil can be restarted despite a leak.

Alaska Innocence Project faces challenges
FAIRBANKS — Have authorities in Alaska put an innocent person behind bars? The Alaska Innocence Project is screening about 60 cases.

1 female judge left on Anchorage Superior Court
ANCHORAGE — The retirement of Judge Stephanie Joannides at the end of this month will leave a single female among the 15 judges of the Anchorage Superior Court — the lowest number in the city since 1984, according to the Alaska Judicial Council.

Troopers ask for help to pick up moose roadkill
FAIRBANKS — Alaska Wildlife Troopers in Fairbanks are taking applications from people willing to collect moose killed on area roads.

Ice storm could have lasting effects
FAIRBANKS — The freak ice storm that blanketed much of Alaska in November is long gone. But a University of Alaska Fairbanks forestry professor said the effects could last for years as wounded trees die and insect populations explode.

Trans-Alaska oil pipeline remains shut down
ANCHORAGE — The trans-Alaska pipeline remained shut down Sunday more than 24 hours after a leak was discovered at a North Slope pump station.

UAA helps fill job market voids
ANCHORAGE — The University of Alaska Anchorage is providing new workers to fill voids in several labor markets identified by the state Department of Labor and Workforce Development as areas experiencing high demand, said the university’s provost at a Jan. 3 Anchorage Chamber of Commerce luncheon at the Dena’ina Civic and Convention Center.

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