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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Juneau can do more to help homeless
A few weeks ago, the Juneau homeless coalition held a candlelight vigil at Marine Park to remember the homeless of Juneau. There were only about 20 people there. It was cold that night but nothing unusual. There should have been more in attendance.

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.

Lawmakers relax into session
The Alaska Legislature gaveled into session Tuesday, the second year of the 26th Legislature, with Rep. Beth Kerttula, D-Juneau, in Rochester, N.Y., and missing the first-day pomp and circumstance.

Around Town
Today, Jan. 19

Mentor Appreciation Month: Big Sister Megan and Little Sister Kiera
MEGAN, BIG SISTER

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: Lift work

Around Town
Today, Jan. 20

Police & Fire
Juneau police and fire officials reported:

Whitehorse-Juneau flights gain momentum
Interest in the possibility of flying directly to Juneau is growing in Whitehorse and though February's proposed flights are not yet certain, officials in both cities say they're likely to happen.

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.

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."

3 charged with felony robbery in stun gun assault
Three Juneau men have been arrested on felony robbery charges for allegedly assaulting a 40-year-old man with a stun gun, threatening him with a knife and taking his money Monday night.

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.

Alaska Pacific Bank restates its results
A new examination by bank regulators has forced Alaska Pacific Bank to restate its results from last quarter, further widening its loss as the bank recognized more problem loans in its portfolio.

Harbor dredging plan raises concerns
A proposal to dredge Douglas Harbor and dump the spoils into Gastineau Channel is creating some concern for federal and state agencies, prompting them to ask for an extended comment period.

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.

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.

Leroy E. Clements
Juneau resident Leroy E. Clements, known as "Uncle Roy," died Jan. 3, 2010, at Wildflower Court. He was 90.

Judith Ann Minifie
Former longtime Juneau resident Judith Ann Minifie died Jan. 11, 2010, in Anchorage. She was 65.

Haiti quake brings a dose of reality
I don't know about you, but images of the tragedy in Haiti made me feel pretty silly about having paid so much attention recently to Tiger Woods' sex life, Harry Reid's gaffes or Conan O'Brien's future. There's nothing like real pain and suffering to make us realize that the stuff we tend to obsess about can be pretty meaningless.

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

Meditations on shoveling snow
To call the activity I engage in from mid-November through mid-April "shoveling snow" is a vast understatement, like calling whatever handheld electronic device you're always futzing around with a "phone." Or the stuff that collects at the bottom of a porto-john "honey." Or Sarah Palin "opportunistic." By the way, that's a real "honey" of a memoir she wrote, huh?

(Absence of) conscience in at least a few conservatives
As babies were being pulled, crushed and broken, from the rubble.

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.

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.

Man sitting in road struck, killed in Nulato
FAIRBANKS - Investigators said a 58-year-old man was sitting in the middle of a road when he was struck and killed by a pickup truck in Nulato, about 300 miles west of Fairbanks.

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.

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.

Anchorage plans free swine flu shots
ANCHORAGE - Anchorage's Health and Human Services Department will offer a free clinic Tuesday for people who want a swine flu shot.

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.

Ptarmigan chairlift shut down after electrical system fails
JUNEAU - Eaglecrest's Ptarmigan chairlift shut down for about 45 minutes Monday morning after a braking system necessary for electric power "destroyed itself," Eaglecrest General Manager Kirk Duncan said. The lift went back online via diesel around 9:45 p.m. "We are able to operate with all of the other braking systems totally functional," Duncan said.

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.

2 arrested in robbery at Wasilla home
WASILLA - Alaska State Troopers arrested two people accused of robbing a 74-year-old man at a home north of Wasilla.

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

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.

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.

Yukon Quest works to raise last 10 percent of race expenses
FAIRBANKS - The Yukon Quest is working on a final drive to increase revenues for this year's race. The advertised purse of $150,000 will not change, but race expenses are being carefully reviewed.

Kenai police use shoe clue to make arrest
KENAI - An unusual footprint helped Kenai police solve a series of burglaries and attempted burglaries.

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.

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.

Alaskans headline ski team
The American cross country team is focusing on the few athletes who are going to the Vancouver Games while imploring the also-rans to keep their heads up - along with their training - in case they're added to the Olympic roster next week.

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.

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.

UAF police driving battery-powered ATV
FAIRBANKS - The University Police Department is about to acquire a new high-tech gadget that's more notable for what it won't do than what it will.

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.

Alaska lawmakers focus on spending and oil incentives
A new budget report says Alaska has more cash reserves than ever, nearly $10 billion. But given the state's near-total reliance on oil revenue and forecasts of slumping production, legislative leaders returning to work Tuesday said their mantra for this new session would be "conserve."

Eagle River school program teaches civil 'society'
EAGLE RIVER - It's a busy day at Eagle River Elementary School, and principal Nicole Sommerville is going nonstop. Parents are coming in to listen to a band concert, so the front office is bustling with activity. It is snowing buckets outside, so the parking lot is buried in so much white stuff that the plow truck can't keep up.

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.

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