Tuesday, January 19, 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.

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.

City postpones worker layoffs
The Juneau Assembly changed the city's direction - at least temporarily - Monday night, voting five to four to postpone employee layoffs until after meeting as the Finance Committee to discuss possible alternatives to the measure.

Around Town
Today, Jan. 19

Photo: Lift work

Photo: Snowshoe hike
Richard Carstensen leads a snowshoe hike into the Fish Creek watershed with friends and members of Discovery Southeast Monday at Eaglecrest. Carstensen used a recentlyblown-down tree to talk about a major three-day storm in February of 1883 that took its toll on West Coast forests.

Police & Fire
Juneau police and fire officials reported:

Photo: Honoring Dr. King
Girl Scout Nicole Nelson, 14, center, presents the U.S. flag as Alaska Youth Choir Director Missouri Smyth, right, leads a rendition of "The Star Spangled Banner" on Monday during the 2010 Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration at St. Paul's Catholic Church. Sherry Patterson of the Black Awareness Association is left.

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.

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.

Audit criticizes Gravina spending
A legislative audit has concluded that the state Department of Transportation should not have begun construction of a new highway on Ketchikan's Gravina Island, site of the controversial "Bridge to Nowhere."

Gavel-to-Gavel back on the air
KTOO's Gavel-to-Gavel coverage of the Alaska Legislature resumes today, as Juneau's main effort to bring coverage of Alaska's lawmaking and budget-writing process to everybody in the state.

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.

JDHS projects thrive with a little help from friends and strangers
At Juneau-Douglas High School, special education teacher Vicki Nelson's students grow, care for and sell plants. They collect recycling three times a week from classrooms marked with a "recycling" triangle. They shred confidential documents. They learn to cook for themselves.

Around Town
Today, Jan. 18

Morris files reorganization plan with bankruptcy court
AUGUSTA, Ga. - With the support of a majority of its bondholders, Morris Publishing Group on Monday filed a plan in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Georgia in Augusta to complete the restructuring of its debt.

Police & Fire
Juneau police and fire officials reported:

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.

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.

China must play by the rules
The following editorial appeared in the Dallas Morning News:

Obama health care reform doesn't represent freedom
In reading the article by the lead staffer at Sen. Mark Begich's office, I was very amused. So allow us to cut to the chase. I am tired of hearing the excuses by health reform supporters. Here is the pressing question: Is there a cap to how high premiums can be now and into the future in this bill?The answer is NO.

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.

New high school schedule causing problems
As a student at Juneau-Douglas High School and a member of the girls' basketball team, I want to point out the inconveniences we are facing because of the new high school schedule. Athletes are not the only groups of students that have to endure this inconvenience. A majority of those participating in an extra curricular activity are negatively affected by this new schedule.

Yammering Pat Robertson again blaming the victims
It's no secret that the Rev. Pat Robertson is a yammering fool, but last week he hit a new low.

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.

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.

Bands hold benefit for wounded Anchorage officer
ANCHORAGE - Local bands held a five-hour benefit concert Sunday night in Anchorage for wounded police Officer Jason Allen.

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

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.

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.

John Baker wins cold Kusko 300 sled dog race
FAIRBANKS - John Baker brushed aside wind chills of more than 60 below zero to win the Kuskokwim 300 sled dog race in Bethel.

Help sought for study of human-lynx interactions
DENVER - The U.S. Forest Service is looking for snowmobilers and others using the Vail Pass Winter Recreation Area to wear tracking devices to see if they cross paths with lynx.

Barrow had its sixth warmest year on record
BARROW - The northernmost city in the United States had a warm and snowy 2009.

Two killed in small plane crash in western Oregon
CORVALLIS, Ore. - The pilot of a small plane registered in Idaho and a passenger were killed in a crash in western Oregon.

Oregon biologists look into moose deaths
PORTLAND, Ore. - Oregon state biologists are planning to put radio collars on several moose this month in hopes of learning what caused the mysterious deaths of two moose.

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

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.

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.

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.

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

Applications sought for Alaska Community Grant Program
SEATTLE - The Community Advisory Board of American Seafoods Company announced Monday that it is accepting applications for its Alaska community grant program. To be considered for a grant, all applications must be submitted by Feb. 12.

Crimson Bears to test mettle in Colorado
After splitting a series at home with Stouheast Conference archrival Ketchikan, the Juneau-Douglas girls' basketball team has hit the road for a few days, though it's not for the usual road trip.

Karli Brakes talks mathematics and Rocky Mountain basketball
As Karli Brakes travels to Colorado this week with her Crimson Bears teammates, there is more than just basketball on the docket.

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.

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.

Saving Sparky: Lessons on dog CPR
FAIRBANKS - Carol Scott hopes she never has to perform CPR on her dog, Tarka, but after attending a first-aid course that covered dog CPR, at least she'll know how.

Parnell unveils bills to slow assault rate
ANCHORAGE - Gov. Sean Parnell on Monday unveiled four proposed bills to address Alaska's high rates of sexual and domestic assault, including a measure making it more difficult for suspects to be released.

E-waste recycler lights up path to profits
ANCHORAGE - In a year when the economy struggled to recover, business boomed for Total Reclaim, a computer and electronics recycling firm now carrying its mantra on the merits of recycling all over Alaska.

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.

Alaska's first halal grocery opens
ANCHORAGE - On an icy winter day when the sun barely rose higher than the peaks of the Chugach Mountains, one store in a sleepy strip mall near the airport was abuzz with activity. The hand-lettered cardboard sign outside told the story: Alaska's First Halal Grocery.

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.

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."

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.

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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