Monday, January 12, 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.

Court to hear arguments on mine tailings
U.S. Supreme Court justices will hear arguments today before determining how tailings from the proposed Kensington gold mine will be regulated.

Juneau Empire names new managing editor
Charles Westmoreland, a resident of Juneau for the past year, has been named managing editor of the Juneau Empire, Publisher Robert Hale announced on Friday.

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: Going deep
Kevin Coughlin throws a Frisbee from waist-deep snow Sunday while playing with a small group of friends at Adair-Kennedy Park. The group had hopes of playing Ultimate Frisbee, but the deep snow made for a more mellow game of catch instead. After several days of snow, heavy rain is expected to move through Juneau today. A flood warning is in effect unil 3 p.m.

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: Ski school
Eaglecrest Ski Instructor Barbara Lind, left, watches Dr. Emily Kane work on her double-poling during a classic nordic skiing lesson Sunday along the lower loop trails at Eaglecrest Ski Area. The class continues through January with a beginners class starting in February.

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.

Photo: Roof with a view
Hunter Miller, 12, hangs out on a snow-covered rooftop Sunday at his Bonnie Brae home.

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

Around Town
Today

Around Town
Today

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

Obama: Plan may add 4.1 million jobs
WASHINGTON - President-elect Barack Obama countered critics with an analysis Saturday by his economic team showing that a program of tax cuts and spending like he's proposed would create up to 4.1 million jobs, far more than the 3 million he has insisted are needed to lift the country from recession.

How bailout money is spent should be clear, Obama says
WASHINGTON - Barack Obama wants to make it easier to monitor how the second $350 billion installment of the financial bailout is spent and says homeowners and small businesses should get some help.

Some Obama aides had qualms about proposals
WASHINGTON - Several proposals in Barack Obama's mammoth economic recovery plan will result in only modest or even uncertain benefits if they become law.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

Alaska Editorial: Suspension of Citgo largesse should provide cue to state
Plunging oil prices have Citgo Petroleum, the Venezuelan-owned company, thinking twice about its generous provision of free heating oil to Alaska villages. The program is on hold for now, with fuel prices in the Bush still sky high and bitter cold making fuel even more precious. Villagers who have counted on the program for the past two years don't know if they'll have it this winter.

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.

Playing the race card in the Obama age
Here's what hasn't changed in America. In the past week or so, we've seen a threatened Senate stand-off, hyperbolic historical references, an alleged case of stonewalling by the Illinois secretary of state, lawsuits and rumors of lawsuits, a wild-card nominee for the Senate first turned away from that body and then perhaps accepted by it, and that same nominee called upon to testify in the impeachment hearings of the man who nominated him - all tied together by the complicating factor of race.

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.

Peace in the Gaza Strip no longer in sight
At the end of the 10th day of Israel's operation in the Gaza Strip, I was zapping between Israeli, Arab and international TV channels. The pictures grew more gruesome from moment to moment. Then a friend called to tell me that Mezzo, a French concert channel, had just started playing "Christ on the Mount of Olives," a rather obscure oratorio by Beethoven.

Toe Toon
Cartoon by local artist Toe.

Foundation welcomes new board members
JUNEAU - Rasmuson Foundation welcomed Roberta "Bobbi" Quintavell, of Barrow, and Anthony Mallott, of Juneau, to its board of directors. The Foundation Board is comprised of 12 directors, seven of whom are members of the Rasmuson family. Quintavell and Mallott bring both regional and professional breadth to the foundation's capital and strategic work in social services, arts and culture, health and capacity building.

Troopers identify boy injured in Wasilla fire
WASILLA - Alaska State Troopers have released the name of a 12-year-old boy seriously injured in a trailer fire in Wasilla.

Two Alaska inmates injured in prison brawl
ANCHORAGE - Two Alaska inmates serving time at an Arizona prison were seriously injured in a brawl.

GCI drops plan to charge inmates' calls
ANCHORAGE - An Alaska phone company has dropped its plan to charge a $2 fee for calls made by inmates of state prisons, jails and halfway houses.

Anchorage school board mulls upgrades
ANCHORAGE - The Anchorage School Board is considering whether to ask voters to fund one phase of a multimillion-dollar program to modernize every public school in the city.

Small fire breaks out in Juneau hospital
JUNEAU - Juneau fire officials said an electrical short at Bartlett Regional Hospital caused some damage to the facility's power equipment.

Man dies in house fire outside Fairbanks
FAIRBANKS - A 58-year-old man died in a house fire west of Fairbanks, the fourth Alaska fire death just 10 days into 2009.

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.

Senate moves closer to passing massive wilderness lands bill
WASHINGTON - In a rare Sunday session, the U.S. Senate moved closer to passing a massive lands package that designates new wilderness areas throughout the West.

Fairbanks murders remain unsolved
FAIRBANKS - Fresh tracks cut through the snow at Birch Hill Cemetery to Quincy Hutchens' grave, and as the December sun hung low, casting a glow over the city below, Deborah Hutchens followed the trail to a white bench.

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.

Mackey says he will pull out of 2009 Yukon Quest
ANCHORAGE - Reigning champion Lance Mackey will sit out the Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race this year in favor of a deal that will help his pocketbook.

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.

Fearing abductions, Mat-Su hospital halts birth notices
ANCHORAGE - In a blow to newspaper tradition, and perhaps a signal of the death of small-town innocence, an Alaska hospital has stopped the longtime practice of announcing births out of fear it could lead to the abduction of an infant.

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.

Weyhrauch loses round in court
An appeals court rejected a request from former state Rep. Bruce Weyhrauch to overturn a previous ruling in his attempt to prevent certain evidence from being introduced at trial.

Ex-game board members promote diversity
FAIRBANKS - Former members of the state Board of Game members want to see more diversity on the seven-person panel that regulates wildlife management in the state.

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.

Ex-mine worker pleads guilty to copper theft
FAIRBANKS - A former truck driver has pleaded guilty to stealing more than $50,000 in copper wire from the Pogo Mine.

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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