Opposing Empire's stance on bear issue
It was a good discussion about polar bears, but that is what it is - a discussion. The only evidence I have seen shows there really is no evidence.

Reaction to Stevens and bears
It's funny thinking the "honorable" Ted Stevens would oppose listing Alaska's polar bears as a threatened species. If anyone is a threatened Alaska species, it is definitely Stevens!

State employees association is a Mickey Mouse club
Michael Lavering, in his Juneau Empire letter, "State workers should take back the union," on Jan. 13, has once again pointed out the obvious to General Government Workers. Unfortunately, without also clearing the decks of current staff nothing will change.

Renters balance life on the edge
Dianne Slater is hopeful she'll get an apartment next month. If a subsidized rental opens, as she suspects, she is most excited about laying her head on a pillow and feeling safe. Until then, when not working, she will continue to live in her van or stay at the Glory Hole.

Third tier of hospital renovations begin
A third phase of hospital renovations begins this week as architects arrive to plan the Orthopedic Center of Excellence announced by Chief Executive Officer Shawn Morrow in December.

Around Town
Today, Jan. 20

Chilkat reflection

Struggle over cab fare sends suspect, officer to hospital
Two Juneau residents were arrested Friday after an altercation with a police officer sent one suspect and the officer to Bartlett Regional Hospital.

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

Meeting Bobby Fischer
Alexander Dolitsky once turned down Bobby Fischer's request to play chess.

Photo: Ice cycle
Jim Taggart, right, pulls Beth Mathews and their son, Glen, 9, on his bicycle Sunday over Mendenhall Lake. "I wouldn't try this without studded tires," Taggart said.

The headline on a Living and Growing column in Friday's Neighbors section incorrectly characterized the pastor in the column. The headline should have stated that Larry Rorem is a "retired pastor."

Around Town
Today, Jan. 21

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

My turn: Taku River too important to risk with hoverbarge
I have reviewed Redfern Resources' operational plan for the Tulsequah Chief Mine, and it leaves me with apprehension about the risks it poses for the Taku River.

My turn: Fire sprinkler system prevents tragedy
W hile it is good to see a nice story about the quick actions of a former Juneau volunteer firefighter on page three of the Empire, the real story here was missed. The real story, which should have run on the front page, would have read "Fire sprinkler system prevents tragedy." Fire sprinkler systems are not sexy, and I doubt they have ever garnished front page news, unless, that is, someone is trying to make them mandatory.

A nation aching for change
M any moons ago when this place was awash with staff, someone put a manager in charge of the future.

Outside editorial: Iraqi Mirages
Political reconciliation in Iraq has a way of perpetually receding from the legal and political frameworks that are built for it. The pattern was set more than two years ago, when Iraqi leaders announced agreement on a new constitution but buried in its text fundamental differences over federalism, the distribution of oil revenue, the role of Islam in the state and other matters. Since then, often under pressure from the Bush administration, breakthroughs on oil sharing or regional powers have been proclaimed; on close inspection, they reveal the same unresolved differences among Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds.

Outside editorial: Cue the Writers
Outside editorial

Winter critters and their eye-catching tracks
When there is snow at sea level, it's a good time to go exploring for animal tracks and signs, and the area between the Back Loop and the Mendenhall Glacier is a fine place to do it. Recent forays into this area by ski or hiking boot discovered evidence of animal activity, even though we didn't usually see the critters themselves.

Eaglecrest Ski Patrol: Clearing the way
Ski Patroller Jason Kohlhase walked into work Thursday morning with a question. "Any sign of naturals?" A two-day storm left 19 inches of snow covering the runs at Eaglecrest Ski Area, creating the possibility of unstable snow conditions on ski runs. From the base of the ski area, there was no sign or word of avalanche activity inbounds.

Exciting projects on the way at ski area
Welcome to the first edition of Slopeside, a regular column providing news and information about Eaglecrest Ski Area. With this column we hope to inform skiers, borders and others about all that's happening on the mountain. It's an exciting time at Eaglecrest, with some big projects underway. We also have some interesting ski area management and operations issues to talk about in future editions of Slopeside.

When it comes to keeping the ocean healthy, we can be part of the solution
Most of us are unaware that the health of the ocean underlies all life - even a cactus can't live without the ocean. And almost everyone is unaware that this basis of life on earth is dying. Many marine biologists now call their work "documenting the decline."

Out & About
Out & About


Tough as Steele: MMA debuts in Juneau
Web links

Bears enjoy breakthrough
The Juneau-Douglas High School hockey team took a giant leap forward in its development on Friday and Saturday at Treadwell Arena.

JDHS girls rout Sitka to open Southeast play
The Juneau-Douglas High School girls basketball team opened Southeast Conference play in impressive fashion in Sitka.

No smoke, but lots of fire at Roughhouse
Roughhouse Friday at Marlintini's Lounge saw a few big changes last week as the event was held under a new city-wide no-smoking ban and spectators witnessed the first-ever mixed martial arts fight in Juneau.

Sports 'Celebration' teaches students about Alaska culture
In the spirit of the Alaska's rich cultural heritage, Riverbend Elementary School gymnasium filled to capacity Friday for the 2008 Native Youth Olympic Celebration.

Rhea sets school record for 3-pointers in Oregon State win
Oregon State freshman and 2007 Juneau-Douglas High School graduate Talisa Rhea set a school record with eight 3-pointers in the Beavers' 60-35 win over Washington State on Saturday.

Editor's note: Southeast Basketball Roundup will appear in Tuesday's edition
The Southeast Basketball Roundup of Class 2A and 3A Southeast Conference basektball action will run in Tuesday's edition instead of Today's edition.

Sen. Elton seeks increase in Alaska's minimum wage
Alaska's workers at the lowest end of the pay scale will be getting a raise next year. The question is: How much?

Sentenced in old murder
John Carlin III sits Friday in an Anchorage courtroom during his sentencing for the 1996 slaying of Kent Leppink. Carlin was sentenced to 99 years in prison for being the trigger man in a plot with former stripper Mechele Linehan to kill Leppink for a $1 million life insurance policy.

Alaska Digest Boy accused of pulling knife on school bus
JUNEAU - A 13-year-old boy was arrested and accused of holding a knife to a younger boy's throat on a school bus.

Advocates tout independent ferry authority
Some ferry advocates in the Alaska Legislature say they'd like to create an Alaska Marine Highway authority to run the troubled state ferry system.

Lawmaker reignites oil tax debate
An influential state senator introduced a bill Friday that would undo key parts of the multi-billion dollar tax increases for oil producers enacted by the Legislature during a recent special session.

Commission cuts halibut catch limits 28 percent
The International Pacific Halibut Commission announced Friday that Southeast Alaska's commercial halibut catch limits would drop for the second year in a row.

This Day in History
In Alaska, in the Nation and the World

Prominent Democrat steps in to fill Senate leadership post
Sen. Johnny Ellis, an Anchorage Democrat, is the new majority leader of the Alaska Senate and the first member of his party to hold that position in a decade or more.

Supports: Bridge project's progress slow but steady
ANCHORAGE - Supporters of the much-maligned Knik Arm Bridge say the project is still moving forward.

Kuskokwim group asks state for permission to kill wolf pups in dens
ANCHORAGE - Residents along the Kuskokwim River want state game managers to allow them to kill wolf pups in their dens.

Palmer man arrested after stack of child pornography is found in his bedroom
ANCHORAGE - A Palmer man is in jail after Alaska State Troopers found a stack of photographs of young girls engaged in various sexual acts, as well as dozens of pictures he allegedly took of female children in his neighborhood as they played or walked to school.

Northwest Digest

This Day in History
In Alaska, in the Nation and the World

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