Wednesday, January 14, 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 In the past week or so, we've seen a threatened Senate stand-off, hyperbolic historical references, an alleged case of stonewalling by the Illinois secretary of state, lawsuits and rumors of lawsuits, a wild-card nominee for the Senate first turned away from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."

Ferries are reliable transportation
On Dec. 8, I enjoyed a very pleasant trip to Hoonah on the M/V Le Conte. The weather wasn't great and the forecast was worse, but that fine, reliable boat kept on schedule.

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

'This time, we know the drill'
As soon as news broke that Juneau was back on diesel fuel, residents switched into energy-conservation mode. And this time around, they panicked less.

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.

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

Around Town

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.

Stink control in the works for city dump
A new system to combat bad odors escaping Juneau's only landfill should be up and running in eight to 10 weeks, officials with Waste Management announced Tuesday during a public workshop the company held at Centennial Hall.

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.

Capital move bill introduced, faces hurdles
Juneau's legislative delegation expects to again have to fight capital move efforts in the new legislative session, but expects to again be able to stop those efforts.

Questions remain about repairs to transmission line
Questions still remain one day after an avalanche that knocked out a Snettisham transmission line 40 miles south of Juneau, causing the city to rely on backup diesel generators for power.

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.

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.

Juneau's Kerttula selected to lead House Minority
House Democrats have selected Juneau Rep. Beth Kerttula as minority leader for the 26th Alaska Legislature, scheduled to convene in Juneau next week.

Sealaska posts collections database online
Sealaska Heritage Institute is hoping a newly posted searchable catalog on its Web site will help spur more research on the Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian cultures.

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:

Assembly spends $171,000 to restore arboretum endowment
Taxpayers will end up supporting the Jensen-Olson Arboretum, a 14-acre park its previous owner willed to the city along with about $2 million for its upkeep, after the Juneau Assembly voted Monday to restore cost overruns that bit into the endowment's principal.

Photo: Cost of doing business
Chuck Collins, left, owner of Copy Express and president of the Juneau Chamber of Commerce, takes a phone order Tuesday next to a bank of copy machines at one of his three businesses.

Around Town
Today

Photo: Still digging out
Ben Kitterman of the Alaska T-Shirt Company shovels snow Tuesday to make a path for incoming merchandise on South Franklin Street.

Outside editorial: Economic stimulus: How much of a good thing?
President-elect Barack Obama's speech Thursday promoting a massive economic recovery plan was bracketed by two statistics that show the difficult balancing act confronting him.

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.

Alaskan Brewing an inspiring example
In December 1986, Geoff and Marcy Larson turned their love of home brewing into 253 hand-packed cases of Chinook Alaskan Amber to sell in local markets. Almost a quarter century later, the Alaskan Brewing Company employs more than 70 Juneau residents yearround. Their award-winning brew is sold as far away as Arizona and Colorado. And although the Larsons remain the company's chief executives, they know they couldn't have done it alone.

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.

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.

Skepticism of Obama's stimulus package
Barack Obama has a curious definition of "non-ideological." He's insisting on bipartisan support for a stimulus package that will cost more than anything Uncle Sam has ever bought, save perhaps for victory over the Axis powers. He says he wants "to put good ideas ahead of the old ideological battles" and doesn't care whether they come from Republicans or Democrats. But he also says that "only government" can pull us out of this crisis.

Mat-Su moves ahead on ferry landing
ANCHORAGE - The Matanuska-Susitna Borough will pay nearly $1 million to finish design and permit work for a ferry landing at Point MacKenzie.

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.

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.

Corroded pipe causes Kuparuk oily water
ANCHORAGE - A corroded pipe is being blamed for a spill of oily water at the Kuparuk oil field on the North Slope.

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

Police identify body found in Soldotna
SOLDOTNA - Soldotna police have released the identity of a woman whose body was found out in the cold last weekend.

Anchorage voters will decide on bonds
ANCHORAGE - Two school bond proposals worth $97 million will be decided in an April election in Anchorage.

Mackey wins Copper Basin 300
GLENNALLEN - A familiar name cruised to victory in the Copper Basin 300 Sled Dog Race, notable this year because of frigid cold temperatures along the trail.

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

Alaska Airlines jet grounded in Kodiak
KODIAK - An Alaska Airlines jet has been grounded to check for damage after its pilots maxed out the engines trying to get it stopped on an extremely icy runway.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Les Schwab browns Green team 4-0
The first of Marsha Squires' two goals put Les Schwab ahead of Green just a minute into Sunday's Juneau Adult Hockey Association Women's Tier game, and goalie Jess Parks did the rest with a perfect effort against just 13 shot attempts in the 4-0 shutout victory at Treadwell Arena.

Forecasters predict warm summer
ANCHORAGE - Winter in Alaska will continue to be cold, but summer - unlike last year - should be warmer than usual, according to federal forecasters.

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.

Lottery winner attacked near mall
ANCHORAGE - Anchorage police are looking for a man who attacked the winner of Alaska's largest lottery outside a downtown mall.

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.

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