Tuesday, January 13, 2009

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.

Opinion: 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 In the past week or so, we've seen a threatened Senate stand-off, hyperbolic historical references, an alleged case of stonewalling by the Illinois secretary of state, lawsuits and rumors of lawsuits, a wild-card nominee for the Senate first turned away from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.

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.

Washington authorities brace for Inauguration Day traffic
WASHINGTON - On a typical weekday, hundreds of thousands of people commute to the nation's capital, snarling roads and packing subway trains and buses during peak hours.

Support Juneau's humane society
Some of you may have noticed from the classifieds that Juneau is "seeking proposals from qualified firms to provide animal control and enforcement and operate an animal control shelter and care facility."

Tourism predictions could be wrong
Predictions of tourism doom and gloom are not accurate.

Avalanche downs Snettisham line, again
An avalanche took down the Snettisham transmission line Monday afternoon that supplies Juneau with electricity, presenting the possibility of another energy crisis.

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.

City faces likely increase in power cost after second snow slide in year
Cost estimates were not yet available Monday for the damage done by an avalanche that tore down a Snettisham Hydroelectric Project transmission tower, but a snowslide last year destroyed towers that cost Alaska Electric Light and Power $3.27 million to rebuild.

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.

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.

Flood warning lifted, but problems likely to persist
The city's streets department is "treading water" just to keep up with the slush inundating the local roads after a recent warm spell and a higher-than-average snowfall resulted in a local flood warning.

Supreme Court grills Coeur on tailings
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday grilled attorneys about an interpretation of the Clean Water Act that would allow Coeur Alaska to deposit mine tailings in Lower Slate Lake.

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.

Assembly preps seed money for Dimond Park pool
The Juneau Assembly introduced ordinances Monday that would seed a city sustainability fund with $2 million and immediately make it available as a no-interest loan for an energy saving ground-source heat pump system at the future Dimond Park Aquatic Center.

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:

Photo: Draining work
Ed Heeckt works Monday to find a street drain on Ferry Way in front of the Southeast Regional Resource Center.

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

Around Town
Today

Around Town
Today

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.

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.

Outside editorial: House democrats balked on promise to treat minority fairly
"Bills should generally come to the floor under a procedure that allows open, full and fair debate consisting of a full amendment process that grants the minority the right to offer its alternatives, including a substitute." So promised Nancy Pelosi, now House speaker, before her party regained control of Congress two years ago. That fairness, it turned out, was easier to preach than practice.

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.

The cost of nuclear security is troubling
Seven years after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, at a time when government officials and outside experts are expressing growing concern about the prospect of a nuclear 9/11, few members of Congress know how much the United States spends on nuclear security or where the money goes.

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.

The failure of the 401(k)
As President-elect Barack Obama and lawmakers attempt to reach agreement on what sort of stimulus package has the best chance of arresting America's economic free fall, the enormity of the immediate crisis naturally pushes any issue that can be deferred to the margin.

Suit filed over fumes on Alaska Air plane
SEATTLE - An Alaska Airlines passenger is suing the airline over injuries she says she suffered when deicer fumes entered an aircraft at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport on Christmas Eve.

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.

Man sentenced to 30 years in prison
FAIRBANKS - A Fairbanks man has been sentenced to 30 years in federal prison for drug and firearms crimes.

Wal-Mart donates $2,500 to hospital
JUNEAU - Juneau's Wal-Mart donated $2,500 to the Bartlett Regional Hospital Foundation last week.

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

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.

Tunnel will replace Seattle viaduct
OLYMPIA, Wash. - Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels says the Alaska Way Viaduct in Seattle will be replaced with a tunnel.

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.

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.

Alaska's cruise lines are slashing prices
ANCHORAGE - Alaska's tourism industry is taking a hit because of the downturn in the U.S. economy, as well as the slowdown in the economy globally.

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.

Alaska emerges from long cold snap
JUNEAU - Mother Nature has loosened her frigid grip on most of the state.

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.

Man's body found on stairway landing
ANCHORAGE - Anchorage Police say the frozen body of a 61-year-old man was found on a stairway landing outside the apartment complex where he lived.

Bill seeks to rename annex after late judge
JUNEAU - A bill has been pre-filed to rename the Capitol Annex in Juneau in honor of a deceased judge and former lawmaker.

Woman pleads guilty in death of newborn
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. - An Alaska woman accused in the death of her newborn has pleaded guilty to a reduced charge and is awaiting sentencing in the case.

Dell will settle with states over claims that it misled PC buyers
SEATTLE - Dell Inc. said Monday it has agreed to a legal settlement with states that claimed the computer company made misleading financing and service offers to PC buyers.

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.

Photo: Deluge spreads across Southeast
City crews work to fix a clogged culvert Monday in Sitka. Snow and ice plugged several storm drains around town, causing rain water to flood streets. More than 2 inches of rain fell on Sitka, according to the Sitka flight service station.

This Day in History
In Alaska, in the Nation and the World

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.

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.

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.

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.

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