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Thursday, January 15, 2009

What can Fish and Game be thinking?
On Nov. 6, the Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration published a request for public comments in the Federal Registry regarding listing Southeast Alaska pacific herring stocks as threatened or endangered. Shortly thereafter, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game announced plans for yet another record herring harvest in Sitka Sound. Out of the seven largest stocks, this herring biomass just happens to be the last remaining major herring stock left in Southeast Alaska. At least five were over-exploited under ADF&G management.

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.

Unhappy with Empire's statehood story omission
Recently, Jerry Wade, the son of Alaska's first lieutenant governor, Hugh Wade, submitted a recollection of the statehood movement to both the Juneau Empire and the Anchorage Daily News.

'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.

AEL&P: Repair work could start soon
Repair work could begin this week on the downed Snettisham transmission tower, but Juneau's electric utility doesn't know how long it will take to restore cheaper hydroelectric power.

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

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

Around Town

Around Town
Today

Correction
In a story on page A3 in Wednesday's Empire about funding for the Jensen-Olson Arboretum, Merrill Jensen's position was incorrectly given. He is the arboretum manager.

Children bring Dr. King's dream alive on stage
Music teacher Ann Boochever said there is no better place to keep the dream of Martin Luther King Jr. and civil rights alive than in the hearts and minds of children.

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.

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.

Tax break on food unlikely in 2009
The Juneau Assembly's Finance Committee shied away Wednesday from a proposal to exempt food from sales tax in light of a new estimate putting the annual cost at $5 million.

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.

Alaska Pacific Bank under regulatory scrutiny
Federal bank regulators are stepping up oversight of Juneau's Alaska Pacific Bank, hit hard financially by bad loans.

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.

Residents use less energy on Day 2 of diesel power
The effects of Juneau residents' energy conservation may already be showing.

Local woman fights advanced-stage cancer
Cancer is not a new concept for lifelong Juneau resident Brenda Krauss. Her mother, Kate, died from brain cancer in 2006, and her father, Ernie, is struggling with stomach cancer. The 43-year-old single mother of two is, herself, undergoing extensive treatment for Stage 3 breast cancer.

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.

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.

Empire names digital sales director
Jason Troupin has been named digital media sales director for the Juneau Empire, announced Todd Vodnansky, the newspaper's advertising manager.

Photo: Rain, repairs stop skiing
Eaglecrest Ski Area employees Nat Abbott, upper left, Marcus Zimmerman, below, and Outback Construction consultant Danny Jonsson work Wednesday to install a cable on the Ptarmigan chairlift.

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.

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.

Photo: Mailbox casualty
Robert Warfield, 86, repairs his North Douglas Highway mailbox Wednesday for the second time this year. Snowplows throwing heavy, wet snow took out his mailbox recently. Warfield said he has to repair his mailbox at least once a year.

My Turn: The better way
The Gaza Strip has a population of 1.5 million primarily Palestinians, of which more than two out of three are refuges or descendants of refugees of the 1948 and 1967 wars. In those wars, their land was seized by Israel and they were displaced. Palestinians are native Arabic-speaking people who have lived in Palestine for more than 1,000 years. Their small farms stayed in the same families for succeeding generations.

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.

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.

Alaska Editorial: Use caution in defense of ANWR
Sen. Mark Begich came out swinging last week with a news release blasting Sen. Joe Lieberman's perennial proposal to prohibit oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. The criticism directed at Lieberman seems surprising until one remembers that the Connecticut senator is persona non grata in the Democratic Party due to his support of Republican Sen. John McCain's presidential bid.

Bush letter disproves a myth
It has been basically a known fact among the media that George W. Bush does not care for reading newspapers or the barrage of opinion columns that now seem omnipresent in this age of the Internet media. I really can't blame him.

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.

The Canvas hosts Third Thursday concert tonight
JUNEAU - The Third Thursday concert series performance at The Canvas will take place from 7-9 p.m. tonight at the studio, located at 223 Seward Street in downtown Juneau.

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.

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

Water, sewer rate increases may be averted by residents
JUNEAU - The Juneau Assembly's Public Works and Facilities Committee backed modest increases to water and sewer utility rates in December, though City Manager Rob Swope offered an alternate plan Wednesday that will keep the rates flat.

Jean Keene, Alaska's 'Eagle Lady,' dies
HOMER - A woman known in Alaska for feeding hundreds of eagles at her home in Homer has died. Jean Keene was 85.

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.

Inmates settle lawsuit for $1.4 million
ANCHORAGE - Two inmates who were sexually assaulted in a correctional center in Bethel have settled their lawsuit with 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.

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.

Police seek help finding 'person of interest'
JUNEAU - The Juneau Police Department is seeking the public's help in locating a 37-year-old man they believe has information regarding recent thefts at the State Office Building.

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.

Gottschalks joins ranks of bankrupt retailers
JUNEAU - Add Fresno, Calif.-based retailer Gottschalks Inc. to the growing list of retailers that have had to file for bankruptcy protection.

Acting mayor says Anchorage faces budget shortfall
ANCHORAGE - Acting Anchorage Mayor Matt Claman says the city faces a $17 million budget shortfall this year.

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.

Alaska to sue over beluga whales
ANCHORAGE - The state of Alaska announced Wednesday it will sue over increased protections for Cook Inlet beluga whales, the white whales that swim the silty waters off Alaska's largest city.

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.

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.

Alaska Natives sue Jesuit order for abuse
SEATTLE - The Jesuit order has been sued by 43 Alaska Natives who say they were sexually abused as children, and mounting evidence shows that known pedophile priests were sent to the Fairbanks, Alaska, Diocese for decades, a lawyer said Wednesday.

'Road to Nowhere' angers Alaska environmentalists
WASHINGTON - First there was the "Bridge to Nowhere." Now Congress appears set to approve another remote Alaska project that critics call the "road to nowhere."

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