Sunday, January 17, 2010

Criticism of Begich vote misses mark
Tony Yorba's Empire column against the health reform bill and Sen. Mark Begich deserves a response. As a longtime Juneau resident and the senator's lead staffer on the issue, allow me.

Union rejects offer; city to lay off workers
Members of the city's largest employee union voted to reject a one-year deferral of a contractually scheduled 3 percent raise, meaning the city will lay off between eight and 10 employees this week, City Manager Rod Swope said Saturday morning.

Around Town
Today, Jan. 17

Capitol complex upsizes in time for session
The Alaska Legislature's spiffy new office building is nearly ready for the Legislative session opening Tuesday, with the Juneau and the Alaska public among its big beneficiaries.

School district saves energy usage, money
The Juneau School District has saved $1.2 million by reducing its energy consumption and expenditure by 30 percent during the past 30 months.

TMHS evacuation just a false alarm
Thunder Mountain High School students and staff got an impromptu test of their emergency plan on Friday, after they smelled what they thought could be gas in the hallways and evacuated the school shortly after 2 p.m.

Board seeks creative ideas for skate park
The Skate Park Advisory Board met Wednesday evening at the Pipeline park to discuss progress since its November meeting and seek ways to increase participation from the community, organizations and skateboarders.

Local attorneys to offer free legal services Monday
Many people will get the day off Monday in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. but a group of local lawyers will use the day to give back to the community by providing free legal services.

Photo: Scenic walk
Dee Longenbaugh and granddaughter Jane Longenbaugh-Sherwood walk with dogs Sadie and Sneaker along Basin Road. Dee walks here every day and Jane joins when home from school. "Its lovely scenery," Dee said. "And a nice big straight path."

Police & Fire
Juneau police and fire officials reported:

A name known to many
"Do you want to know about the historian, who has lived in Juneau all his life and seen many changes? Do you want to see a man of a large family, raising a large family in Juneau? Or do you want to see the man who had a grocery store in Douglas? Work with me."

Questions for an Alaskan Crafter
I want to make some quick, easy wool socks to tuck into my Xtratufs for the winter and I can't knit! Any suggestions?

Plea for a pet
I do not want a pet. When I think pets, I think dogs. And when I think dogs, I think of owners shouting "He's friendly! Really!" while their dogs barrel at us down a trail while under "voice control."

Recognition
Juneau residents Rachelle Eriksen, Kyle Kahklen and Jake Ritter, and Sitka resident Alisa Smith were nominated to the fall 2009 dean's list at Eastern Washington University.

Photo: Data center donation
Alaska Communications Systems recently donated a backup data center worth $6.8 million to the University of Alaska for critical university functions related to all student records, finance and accounting at UA campuses throughout the state. From left are Fred Smits, executive director of UA's infrastructure technology services; Liane Pelletier, ACS president and chief executive officer; Mark Hamilton, UA president; Mary Rutherford, UA Foundation president; and Cynthia Henry, chair of the UA Board of Regents.

Sisterhood, Hazy Island Books donate to Eagle Totem project
Alaska Native Sisterhood Camp 2 and Hazy Island Books, publishers of "In Sisterhood: The History of Camp 2 of the Alaska Native Sisterhood," recently donated $500 from holiday sales of the book to the University of Alaska Southeast's Wooch.een Student Club for its Eagle Totem Fundraising Campaign.

Ebona re-elected president of RurAL CAP
ANCHORAGE - Rural Alaska Community Action Program Inc. (RurAL CAP) announced that in a unanimous vote of the Board, Juneau resident Andrew Ebona was recently re-elected president of the Board of Directors for the fourth consecutive year.

Pets of the week: Talkative, unique cats seek homes
Tom is a handsome boy. He is very independent but loves a good face scratching. Tom has been looking for the right home for some time now but is sure it's out there somewhere.

Business update
The Juneau CPA firm, Elgee Rehfeld Mertz, recently welcomed two new staff members.

Thanks for supporting the Beierly family
We, the Beierly family, would like to extend our heartfelt thank you with much love to all and everyone for their comforting support, prayers and many donations after the passing of our beloved Robert "Bob" P. Beierly Jr. II on Oct. 2, 2009.

Thanks for donating to Helping Hands
The Helping Hands board members and volunteers would like this oppurnity to give a big heartfelt thank you to the employees of Waste Management.

TLC announces hours and locations
JUNEAU - The Learning Connection provides free tutoring including GED preparation at several locations throughout Juneau.

AYEA to collect silverware for JDHS through Feb. 19
JUNEAU - AYEA is hosting a silverware drive to replace the plastic silverware currently used at Juneau-Douglas High School.

Curves to hold Juneau Dress Challenge
JUNEAU - Local women can sign up for Curves' Stronger Together Juneau Dress Challenge through January.

Regional FASD Conference to be held Feb. 18-20
JUNEAU - The 2010 Southeast Alaska Regional Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorder Conference, "Embrace the Reality, Celebrate the Passion, and Create the Hope," will be held Feb. 18-20 at Centennial Hall.

In need of a kidney transplant
For 22-year-old Adara Buell Kollander, having a rare kidney disease is kind of annoying, but overall she feels pretty normal.

Humanities council to hold community calendar meeting
JUNEAU - Juneau Arts & Humanities Council will hold its annual community calendar meeting at 3 p.m. Monday, Jan. 18, at the Juneau Arts & Culture Center.

KTOO hosts slideshow series highlighting travels of locals
JUNEAU - Those who would like to travel this winter but can't fit it into their budget can take a virtual trip. At noon on selected Wednesdays, K3 studios will host a series of virtual vacations, or slideshows, highlighting the adventures of local residents. The schedule is as follows:

Fourth of July Parade Committee announces 2010 theme, catalogs
JUNEAU - Santa has come and gone. The show must go on. Are you ready? Are you ready to plan and build your float for the Fourth of July parade? If not, the Juneau Fourth of July Parade Committee has a limited supply of free catalogs available.

McDowell Group Hires Robinson as senior economist
JUNEAU - McDowell Group recently hired former State Labor Economist Dan Robinson as senior economist in its Juneau office.

Martin Luther King Day celebration to be held at St. Paul's
JUNEAU - Black Awareness Association will host a Martin Luther King Day celebration at 2 p.m. Monday at St. Paul's Catholic Church.

Thanks for donating 20 gallons of paint
Charlie Williams, of Valley Paint, once again has come through as a charitable business owner who believes in helping his community. Thank you for your recent donation of 20 gallons of paint to United Way to paint the office space for SAIL and ORCA.

Senior menu for the week of Jan. 18-22
Monday, Jan. 18

Ketchikan resident e-mails chicken cashew recipe
What's in your recipe box? Auntie Emo is looking for recipes, requests and participation. Join in the fun, share a recipe with our neighbors.

So do you like it spicy?
Being single and alone in a Mexican restaurant is like plain old cheese nachos instead of a mucho-gusto, triple-pepper variety of red sweet, pepperoncini and jalapeno.

Get your Om on
Imagine you're on a boat gliding through a jungle on a quest for lost treasure ... then a frog hops by ...

Bloom, Delay wedding
Lindsey Bloom and Brian Delay, both of Juneau, were married in a small family ceremony by their brothers, Scott Bloom and Dennis Delay, on Nov. 27, 2009, on Strawberry Island at Tenakee Inlet. A reception was held on Memorial Day weekend at Adlersheim in Juneau.

Paul, Narvaez engaged
Jennifer Marie Paul of Marathon, Wis., and Marcus Alan Narvaez, of Juneau, are engaged to be married in May 2010 in Marathon.

Bixby, DuBois engagement
Sarah W. Bixby and Chad DuBois, both of Juneau, were engaged on New Year's eve to be married.

Bell, Lowenstein wed
Kayla Bell and Conrad Lowenstein, both of Juneau, were married Oct. 18, 2009, at Centennial Hall, where a reception followed. For more information about the wedding, visit www.conradandkayla.com.

FYI
Births

Richard "Dick" Bradley
Former Juneau resident Richard C. "Dick" Bradley died Dec. 22, 2009, in an automobile accident near his retirement home in Moab, Utah. He was 74.

Howard "Howie" Knudson
Hoonah resident Howard "Howie" Knudson died Jan. 6, 2010, in Hoonah. He was 52.

Janice M. Hill
A celebration of life will be held for former Juneau resident Janice M. Hill, who died from pulmonary fibrosis on Nov. 28, 2009, from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 23, at Northern Light United Church.

Outside editorial: Out of adversity comes opportunity
Televangelist Pat Robertson says the earthquake that hit Haiti was part of a curse by God because Haitians made a pact with the devil 200 years ago to escape French domination.

Outside editorial: Help for Haiti
It's been less than a year and a half since Haiti was ravaged by four devastating storms - Fay, Gustav, Hanna and Ike, back to back to back to back. The images beamed from the scene were searing. Bodies piled on trucks to be carried to the morgue. Emaciated children and anguished adults, crowded into bare concrete shelters. Rubble, rubble everywhere.

Energy issues likely to dominate 2010 session
The 2010 legislative session kicks off Jan. 19 in Juneau, and assuming lawmakers stick to the 90-day session limit set out in state law, adjournment will come April 18.

My turn: Begich's health care vote was payback
I want to thank Sen. Mark Begich for his letter explaining his vote for health care reform. A few weeks ago, I contacted his office expressing concerns that the House plan did not include any regulations for tort reform. Shortly thereafter, Begich appeared on national television and stated that "tort reform was tried and had failed in Alaska, and doctors had actually left the state because of tort reform."

Toe Toon
This week's toe toon.

Rights group submits abortion petition
ANCHORAGE - Supporters of requiring parental notice or consent before a minor can have an abortion say they have enough signatures to put the issue to a vote.

Application period set by NOAA for charter permits
ANCHORAGE - The application period has been announced for getting a permit to run halibut charters in Southeast Alaska and the Gulf of Alaska.

More changes to ethics process proposed by bill
JUNEAU - The state could be asked to pay the cost of private attorneys hired by a governor accused of breaking ethics laws, under a bill proposed by an Anchorage Democrat.

Bears sweep Bartlett, West Valley wins
Juneau-Douglas and West Valley squared off at Treadwell Arena on Saturday night in front of a packed house of hockey fans.

Kayhi takes command
One night after a taking one on the chin from Southeast Conference archrival Ketchikan, Juneau-Douglas bounced back but still came short, falling 59-55 to the Kings at Clarke Cochrane Gymnasium.

Kings roll Bears in series opener
The Kayhi boys' basketball team wanted to send a message against Southeast Conference rival Juneau-Douglas Friday night.

Nothing decided yet
After losing in disappointing fashion Friday night, it was evident the Crimson Bears girls' basketball team was determined not to let it happen again.

Bears struggle to score in opener
The Crimson Bears took a big early lead Friday before Ketchikan rallied from the free throw line in Southeast Conference girls' basketball, sinking Juneau-Douglas 46-43 at JDHS in the first of four big-time matchups between two of the state's top girls' basketball teams.

Bears win seventh in a row Friday
The Crimson Bears hockey team continued to roll after their 6-2 victory Friday night over the Bartlett Golden Bears at Treadwell Arena.

Sports in Juneau
• Beginning Jan. 1, Sports In Juneau information must be submitted online at http://calendar.juneauempire.com. Submissions via e-mail, phone, fax or other will no longer be accepted. For more information e-mail webteam@juneauempire.com

Concerns grow over Navy sonar training in Gulf of Alaska
Environmentalists and Alaska residents are up in arms over U.S. Navy plans to train with controversial mid-frequency active sonar in the Gulf of Alaska beginning in the summer of 2011.

Feds make disaster declaration for Yukon River salmon
ANCHORAGE - A federal official declared a fishery disaster Friday because of low Chinook salmon returns the past two years along Alaska's Yukon River.

Road trip to Juneau is all part of the political experience
Most state lawmakers will be making a short flight to the capital this weekend to gavel in the legislative session on Tuesday. Most will be flying from Anchorage or elsewhere in the state, but many staffers - and journalists - got on the road earlier this week for a trip unlike any other.

Fairbanks mayor promises air quality plan
FAIRBANKS - The Fairbanks North Star Borough assembly approved an agreement with the state that designates the borough as the lead agency in the effort to clear the polluted winter sky.

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