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

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.

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.

State rejects anti-abortion ballot measure
Alaska Attorney General John Burns, and his predecessor, Attorney General Dan Sullivan, have each rejected anti-abortion ballot measures submitted by Anchorage's Clinton Desjarlais. Now, the anti-abortion activist says he intends to go to court to get a measure on the ballot to ban abortion and stop the government-sanctioned taking of human life.

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.

NOAA extends comment period for groundfish stocks
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Marine Fisheries Service is extending the comment period for an interim final rule that would restrict fishing for groundfish stocks in the Aleutian Islands.

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.

JAHC bringing in consultant
The Juneau Arts & Humanities Council is bringing in a nationally recognized expert to lend a hand with the council’s business plans, as well as to address local business factions.

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.

Alaska Native Sisterhood Camp 70 displeased with JSD
The Alaska Native Sisterhood Camp 70 still has concerns about how the Juneau School District used Transition II funds, among other funds designated to help Alaska Native students, to pay for a program that did not focus on serving those students.

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

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: 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.

Photo: Beginning to a sun-filled week

Photo: Advantageous drivers
Cars are seen on the top level of the Downtown Transit Center parking garage. Many drivers are taking advantage of free parking in the garage, which will continue through Jan. 31.

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.

Man serving domestic violence sentence gets added time
A Juneau Superior Court judge Monday tacked two years back onto the sentence of a man convicted of violent sexual assault and battery against his wife seven years ago after he refused to participate in a treatment program at Lemon Creek Correctional Center.

Photo: Honoring the Arizona shooting victims
Flags fly at half-staff in the Dimond Courthouse courtyard during Monday's sunset. Gov. Sean Parnell has ordered state flags lowered to half-staff in honor of the victims of a shooting in Arizona that killed six people and left U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords critically wounded. U.S. and state flags will remain at half-staff through sundown Friday.

Photo: Beginning the day on the ice
University of Alaska Southeast student Christopher Whitwell of Fairbanks adjusts his skates for morning laps Tuesday on Twin Lakes as morning commuters begin their travel to work. "I try to skate every morning when it is cold enough," Whitwell said. "It is really beautiful and open here, and not as cold as Fairbanks."

Mark A. Hessee Jr.
Former Juneau resident Mark A. Hessee Jr. died on Dec. 21, 2010, in West Haven, Conn., with his daughters by his side.

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.

Outside editorial: Behind the smoke screen
The following editorial first appeared in the Los Angeles Times:

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.

Requiring health insurance supports the private market
The individual mandate provision of the 2010 health-care reform law is winding its way through the courts, and will probably be decided by the Supreme Court. It’s the place of judges to decide the constitutional issues. However, as a physician and a public health researcher, respectively, we believe that striking down the mandate would threaten the future of private health insurance coverage.

My Turn: As much as it feels like, this is not a Christian nation
I was born an atheist. Unlike most atheists, I never had a relationship with any supernatural being; I never believed in a god. From the time I can remember, my relationships were with other living organisms and the natural world that surrounded me. I tried occasionally to start a relationship with “God” but I could essentially never find “him.”

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Chamber searching for successor
The president of the Alaska State Chamber of Commerce has left, prompting a search for his successor.

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.

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.

Holland America receives honors
The Seattle-based Holland America Line, which also boasts a Juneau office, recently received several honors for efforts to curb its environmental impact.

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.

Alaska officials removing more than 130 dogs
ANCHORAGE — Matanuska-Susitna Borough animal care workers say they’re removing more than 130 dogs from the home of a breeder in the Montana Creek area.

Railroad plans project open houses
ANCHORAGE — The public will have an opportunity to review projects proposed by the Alaska Railroad and comment on them.

Pollock, Alaska's second congressman, dies at 90
ANCHORAGE — Alaska’s second congressman has died in California at age 90.

Cessna that crashed in Anchorage heavily loaded
ANCHORAGE — A National Transportation Safety Board report on the June 1 crash of a single-engine Cessna in Anchorage says the plane was heavily loaded with building supplies, including lumber and ceramic tile.

Alakanuk man sentenced to 105 years in prison
ALAKANUK — Alaska State Troopers say a 36-year-old Alakanuk man convicted of sexually abusing two minors in the western Alaska village has been sentenced to a 105 years in prison.

Burglars hit Anchorage homes while owners vacation
ANCHORAGE — A woman who was wearing stolen clothes and riding in a stolen SUV is one of the latest people accused of breaking into homes in Anchorage while the owners are away on vacation.

Alaska man gets 10 years for threat, 6 suspended
FAIRBANKS — A Fort Wainwright man who threatened to kill his wife has been sentenced to 10 years in prison with six years suspended in a plea agreement.

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.

Spill report highlights risks of Arctic drilling
ANCHORAGE — A presidential panel investigating the BP well blowout in the Gulf of Mexico urged “utmost care” for future drilling in remote waters off Alaska’s northern coasts.

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 pipeline being restarted
ANCHORAGE — The operator of the trans-Alaska pipeline received approval Tuesday to restart the 800-mile line, three days after a leak was found near a pump station at Prudhoe Bay.

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.

High-pressure system may affect airplanes
FAIRBANKS — A severe high-pressure system in the Alaska Interior and Arctic this week is expected to cause a strong temperature inversion and may affect some airplane instrument systems.

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.

Top trooper says prisoner escape was mishandled
ANCHORAGE — The name and photograph of an inmate who escaped from jail should have been released to the public much sooner, the head of Alaska State Troopers said in acknowledging the case was mishandled.

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