Monday, January 14, 2008

Ferry schedule raises several questions
As a Juneau resident, I am concerned that the proposed Alaska Marine Highway System ferry schedule for the summer of 2008 actually reduces service to communities south of Juneau. The proposed winter 2008-09 schedule is also of concern.

Murkowski's move has hurt Haines salmon habitat
In his Dec. 30 letter, Department of Natural Resources Deputy Commissioner Dick LeFebvre defended the department's record of protecting fish habitat since former Gov. Frank Murkowski moved both the Habitat Division and the Coastal Management Program to his agency.

State workers should take back the union
Did my fellow General Government Unit members read the administration's latest offer to its supervisors? The offer is basically the same offer that our union, Alaska State Employees Association, accepted, except for two very significant points.

Businesses right to promote recycling
I applaud both the businesses around town that have been selling the reusable shopping bags and the increasing numbers of customers I see using them.

'Business as usual' will not solve Arctic, energy concerns
An article in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer about Gov. Sarah Palin's reluctance to see the polar bear listed on the endangered species list misses some very important points.

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

Around Town
Around Town is a listing of local nonprofit events.

Check scam may cost city $48,000
During his 15 years as Juneau finance director, Craig Duncan had never seen a counterfeit scheme like it: a city check manufactured and cashed in Mumbai, India, that was drawn on the Juneau School District account.

Photo: Frigid rescue
Capital City Fire and Rescue firefighters Kim Mahar, left, and Roy Johnston demonstrate an ice rescue Saturday at the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center.

Photo: Frequent flyer
Shane Young flies his remote control Piper Cub model airplane Sunday at Mendenhall Lake.

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

Coffee warehouse sustains light damage in Friday fire
A former firefighter who recognized signs of a problem at a downtown business Friday night called police and then alerted an employee inside the building to get out because of a fire.

Photo: Skating through a winter storm
Dan Lesh, left, skate skis with Laura and Brien Daugherty on Sunday at the Mendenhall Lake Campground.

Repercussions from new 90-day legislative session may ripple through Juneau
In 2006, Alaska voters decided it would be a good idea to limit the Legislature to a 90-day regular session, down from the 120 days previously called for.

Web-based class to offer Haida instruction
The area's first Web-based Native language course is scheduled to start later this month. The Sealaska Heritage Institute will offer an elementary Haida class to interested participants solely on the Internet.

Around Town

Senator: Data shows state jobs are leaving Juneau
Juneau's state senator said he has the numbers to prove what many in town already suspect: State jobs are drifting away from the capital city at a pretty fast clip.

Title

Helen Magill Smith
Lifelong Alaskan Helen Magill Smith died Jan. 4, 2008, at Bartlett Regional Hospital, with family by her side. She was 91.

Consider families-first fiscal plan
T he burning issue for legislators in 2008 seems to be what they should do with the billions in excess money sluicing into the state treasury due to high oil prices and newly beefed up oil taxes.

Chavez gets far better treatment in U.S. media than he accords his opponents
H ugo Chavez got where he is by identifying with the plight and grievances of Venezuela's poorest citizens. To stay there, he regularly uses self-pity to play upon the sympathy of his supporters. He demonizes "Uncle Sam," "the gringos," and George W. Bush and tells his audiences they are all out to topple him, with the American news media as willing tools.

Outside editorial: Get real, governor: It's time to talk about California tax system
Big new bonds to plunge the state further into debt, killer cuts to schools that already struggle mightily to meet high demands, and new fees that don't help the budget overall are clearly not the way to close California's budget shortfall.

Toe Toon
Cartoon by local artist Toe.

My turn: In support of Montessori
Perhaps it is the rare human being who emerges from the formative influences of their childhood still flexible, able to be influenced and changed by their adult lives. We adapt to events or the needs of the moment, of course, but at our core, we remain the same.

Empire editorial: Fearing both sides of housing market
We can almost always find a good subject for mass hysteria.

Bloomberg (& company?) in the wings
If you thought Sen. Barack Obama's victory in the Iowa caucuses was historic and Sen. Hillary Clinton's outta-nowhere win in the New Hampshire primary extraordinary, then be prepared to gasp once again if New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg announces a bid for the White House.

Juneau gun club aims for diversity
Last Thursday night at the Juneau Gun Club, Lindsay Birk walked up to the clubhouse carrying a large rectangular case. Seen on the street, the high school senior might have passed as a band student lugging around an instrument - such as a trombone her music teacher insisted she take home to practice.

Out & About
Out & About is a listing of recreational activities.

Turn the tides in your house
In April 2002, Martin Cullen, then Ireland's Minister for the Environment, saw a need to curb litter. A tax on plastic bags in the Republic of Ireland has since cut their use by more than 90 percent and raised millions of euros in revenue for large environmental clean-up projects.

Birders score some rare finds during Fairbanks' Bird Count
We were idling down a back road above Farmer's Loop on Saturday when I noticed a small bird light in a small chokecherry tree in the yard of one of the many affluent homes that lined the road.

Animal collection available for viewing
A warthog wades into a watering hole off Fritz Cove Road. It's a scene from Tanzania, recreated in Juneau by hunter Fred Koken and taxidermist Bob Scherf.

SPORTS IN JUNEAU
UPCOMING EVENTS

JDHS takes third at Lady T-Bird Classic
The Juneau-Douglas High School team rebounded from a Friday loss to beat host East Anchorage 57-44 on Saturday in the third-place game of the Lady T-Bird Classic in Anchorage.

Juneau-Douglas closes road trip with a win over East
The Juneau-Douglas High School boys basketball team ended a difficult trip in Anchorage on a positive note Saturday.

Sports in Juneau
Sports in Juneau is a service provided by the Juneau Empire to provide information on upcoming sports and outdoors events in Juneau.

JDHS sweeps Su Valley
The Juneau-Douglas High School hockey team had three goals heading into Saturday's game against Susitna Valley - high intensity, good forecheck, play the body.

Southeast Basketball Roundup: Yakutat girls top Hoonah
The Yakutat High School girls basketball team swept Hoonah on Jan. 7-8 in Class 2A Southeast Conference play.

Alaska Digest
SEARHC programoffers health grants; State seeks comments on transportation plan; Anchorage murder trial ends in hung jury; Most-wanted man arrested in Girdwood

This Day in History
In Alaska and in the Nation

Port Authority looks to revive its bid for gas pipeline contract
The Alaska Gasline Port Authority wants to resurrect its natural gas pipeline proposal, which was rejected by Gov. Sarah Palin's administration.

Young to campaign more aggressively
Alaska's lone Congressman, Don Young, says he knows the race for Congress this year won't be easy.

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

At least 19 bald eagles die in Kodiak fish waste mishap
At least 19 eagles died Friday afternoon when 50 of the birds gorged themselves in a truck full of fish waste outside of the Ocean Beauty Seafoods processing plant in Kodiak.

Reduced calendar could become a race against the clock in Legislature
It took lawmakers nearly every minute the state constitution affords them to get their work done last year - and that took 121 days.

Mouthwash sold behind the counter in attempt to reduce alcohol abuse
A few supermarkets in Anchorage are selling mouthwash from behind the counter to keep people from stealing it to get drunk.

Lawsuit seeks millions for two children abused in foster care
The two boys were born into families messed up by drinking and drug abuse, by violence and neglect.

Eagles recovering after disastrous dive into fish truck
Most of the 30 eagles who survived a disastrous dive into a truck full of fish guts are close to recovery, said officials at the Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge.

Iditarod auction lets fans ride with mushers in race
The reaction is always the same when Army Capt. Darrick Gutting asks his war-wounded veterans if they would like to ride in the ceremonial start of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race as part of a spiritual retreat to Alaska.

Both sides prepare for legal battle in trial of Jim Hayes
A defense attorney for former Fairbanks Mayor Jim Hayes filed court papers challenging federal prosecutors to prove his client's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt in a case accusing Hayes and his wife of misusing federal grants.

Energy rebate among new legislative bills
Alaskans could get a break on their heating bills under a proposal included in more than a dozen pieces of legislation filed in the run up to the legislative session.

Alaska Digest
Communities observe AMBER Alert day; Seiner in Seward after engine failure; UAF teams up with Finland school; Alaska Air National Guard members return; Kott seeks delay in reporting to prison; Police seek burglars who bludgeoned dog

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