Monday, January 18, 2010

Begich should help seek justice in case against Ted Stevens
I just read Sunday's response by Bruce Scandling to Tony Yorba's editorial in the Juneau Empire. Bruce Scandling is a legislative assistant to Sen. Mark Begich.

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.

Egan looks forward to session
Juneau Sen. Dennis Egan starts his first full session Tuesday, having served a day and 15 minutes since his appointment to the Legislature.

Around Town
Today, Jan. 17

Mother whose son was killed in Sitka happy about arrest
SITKA - The arrest this week of a 45-year-old woman in Illinois was welcome news to a mother whose son disappeared from Sitka more than 20 years ago.

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.

Photos: Dedicating Black Bear
Although the Black Bear Chair dedication was put on hold due to bad weather Saturday, some Eaglecrest Ski Area officials christened the new lift anyway. From left, General Manager Kirk Duncan prepares to break a bottle at the lift's base while Lift Operations Supervisor Marcus Zimmerman, Director of Mountain Operations Jeff Brown, Mountain Maintenance Manager Nate Abbott and volunteer Bill Corbus look on. RIGHT: Doug and Nancy Peel leave the canceled dedication.

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.

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.

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.

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: Avalanche danger in Perseverance
A small avalanche covers ski tracks on the Perseverance Trail. Even smaller snow slides can bring down rocks, trees, ice and hard chunks of snow, and city officials encourage winter enthusiasts to use caution when venturing into the canyon.

Around Town
Today, Jan. 18

Police & Fire
Juneau police and fire officials reported:

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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.

My turn: Everyone shares part of blame for economic decline
More than a year ago, former Juneau Assembly member Ken Koelsch wrote a My Turn saying that major construction projects were winding down and no new ones were in Juneau's pipeline. Forecasting a possible economic avalanche, he warned that social needs rise exponentially during economic downturns.

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.

Dr. King at 81
The last time Martin Luther King Jr. and I met was in March 1963. A student civil-rights group had invited him to come to the University of Virginia to speak. He came and, before an audience of almost 900 people, gave one of his typically vibrant and uniquely inspiring addresses.

A change we can celebrate
One year later. One year after that icy Washington day when Aretha Franklin sang and John Roberts muffed his lines and Barack Obama raised his hand and swore the oath that made him president of the United States, it turns out something fundamental has changed.

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.

New Black Bear lift breaks down again
JUNEAU - Eaglecrest Ski Area closed its new chairlift Sunday for the second time since it opened to the public last month.

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.

Police call man's death a homicide
ANCHORAGE - Police are calling the death of a man in his home as the city's first homicide of 2010.

Man pleads guilty in Soldotna drug death
KENAI - A 24-year-old man who supplied the heroin that killed another man has pleaded guilty to criminally negligent homicide.

Bethel health center closed for repairs
ANCHORAGE - State officials said the Bethel Public Health Center will be closed to the public while a septic tank that collapsed is repaired.

Cause of Chena Ridge explosion a mystery
FAIRBANKS - The Department of Public Safety continues to offer few details about what caused Sunday's explosion at a home on Chena Ridge - other than to say it did not involve a meth lab.

Subsistence board looks into fishing, climate change links
ANCHORAGE - The Federal Subsistence Board has approved research to look for possible links between climate change and fishing patterns in three regions of Alaska.

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.

Alaska subsistence regulations reviewed
ANCHORAGE - The Interior Department said it's taking longer than expected to review management of subsistence hunting and fishing in Alaska.

Marine science symposium to start
ANCHORAGE - Marine scientists, fisheries experts and oceanographers from around the world will gather today in Anchorage.

UAF picks name for research vessel
FAIRBANKS - The University of Alaska Fairbanks has picked a name for its new 254-foot research vessel.

Salcha man charged with killing landlord
FAIRBANKS - A Salcha man has been charged with first-degree murder in the death of his landlord.

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.

Wolfpack bites Bears
It was another difficult day on the ice for the Juneau-Douglas Crimson Bears hockey team as they were defeated again by the West Valley Wolfpack Sunday afternoon at TreadwellArena.

Photos: JDHS hockey senior night
TOP - Seniors, from left, Zane Chapman, Nick Mow, Robin Woodby and John Kenyon leave the ice Saturday with their families after Senior Night ceremonies at Treadwell Arena. Bottom left - Chris Budbill, center, and his parents stand during Senior Night ceremonies. Bottom right - Nick Rutecki skates on Senior Night followed by Mary Norcross and Tom Rutecki.

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.

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

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

Gravel beaches trapping spilled oil
ANCHORAGE - An engineering professor has figured out why oil remains trapped along miles of gravel beaches more than 20 years after the Exxon Valdez tanker disaster in Prince William Sound.

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.

Election year likely to affect legislation
With billions of dollars in reserve, Alaska lawmakers returning to work this week will have more of a financial cushion than many of their colleagues in cash-strapped states.

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.

Denali gas line group sets open season
The Denali gas pipeline group led by BP and ConocoPhillips will begin its open season process to solicit gas shipper commitments in April, with the actual open season to begin in July and end in October.

Legislators join others in new coastal state caucus
Alaska lawmakers are joining in a new caucus of coastal state legislators, formed during a recent meeting of the Conference of State Legislatures in San Diego.

Villages appeal Red Dog permit
ANCHORAGE - Two Alaska Native villages near the world's largest zinc mine are challenging the mine's water discharge permit, saying it is a "license to pollute."

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.

Trapped birds fuel speculation
KENAI - Two additional birds of prey have been caught in traps over the past week, bringing the total numbers of birds to be accidentally caught this season to three.

Accused killer's hair found in nurse's house
ANCHORAGE - New court documents filed in the Mindy Schloss murder investigation in Anchorage say a witness heard a woman's screams and the hair of accused killer Joshua Wade was found at her home.

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