Israeli response to terrorists' attacks is justified
In his letter, "Why is Juneau silent about Israeli violence?" published in the Juneau Empire on Jan. 18, Albert Petrarca raised many questions about the Israeli-Gaza conflict and the lack of Juneau's "moral outrage" to the "Israeli slaughter of Palestinians."

Palin hiring freeze raises questions
A plan by Gov. Sarah Palin to save money by imposing a state employee hiring freeze is raising questions, but lawmakers are doing little to stop it.

High School totem pole honors youth
Dressed in traditional regalia and holding an adze in each hand, Tlingit master carver Wayne Price danced before dozens of elders and hundreds of students in a ceremony Friday afternoon to handover a new totem pole to the students of Thunder Mountain High School.

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

Risky Business
Avalanche forecasters, bombing snow from helicopters: not the crazy cowboys you might think.

Photos: Slick moves
Barbara Bechtold and John Tomaro are well dressed for cold weather as they walk back from the face of the Mendenhall Glacier. The smooth ice conditions on Juneau's frozen lakes may end today. The weather forecast calls for 5 to 9 inches of snow.

Making Progress AEL&P crews work to bring Snettisham back on line
Line crewmen worked through bitter cold this week for Alaska Electric Light & Power Co., repairing the Snettisham transmission line that an avalanche took out Jan. 12.

Photos: Inaugural celebration
Bob Thibodeau, a lifelong Democrat and 87-year Juneau resident, dances with his wife, Aurelia, on Saturday during the Obama Inaugural Ball at the Juneau Arts & Culture Center. "It was a great experience," Thibodeau said. "It brought back lots of memories of the inaugural ball for Bill Egan (Alaska's first governor). It was held in the same building."

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

Economist stands by prediction of government growth in 2009
News consumers may have noticed apparently conflicting announcements of a hiring freeze in state government from Gov. Sarah Palin's State of the State speech Thursday and economists' prediction that government would be Alaska's only growing economic sector in 2009.

Snettisham complaints down since last crisis
Unlike the last time the Snettisham line went down, Juneau residents haven't been complaining to state regulators about their electric utility.

Around Town

Impact of freeze order difficult to ascertain
The Palin Administration explained Friday which jobs would be covered by an employee hiring freeze announced this week.

Photos: Celtic celebration
Photo captions: Highland Dancers from left, Megan Sincic, Fiona Brown, Alora Pilgrim, Jessica Jones and Mari New perform a Broad Sword Dance to the music of the Stroller White Pipes & Drums on Friday during the Celtic Music Festival at the Juneau Arts & Culture Center.

Around Town
Monday, Jan. 26

A photo of Jean Keene that ran in Friday's Empire with the story "Homer eagles to be fed another 60 days" was credited to the wrong newspaper. The photo was shot by Michael Armstrong of the Homer News.

Frozen Visions
With Juneau's below-freezing temperatures this winter, many locals can understand the basic concepts of ice - mainly how it freezes our car doors shut and makes our roads slick. But for NASA astrophysicist Dr. Peter Wasilewski, ice is much more than the crystals we deal with in our everyday lives.

Homeless Count 2009 to take place Jan. 27
JUNEAU - To combat homelessness in Juneau, the Juneau Homeless Coalition is spearheading the 2009 Homeless Count to take place on Jan. 27.

Women's shelter to offer Wellbriety sessions
JUNEAU - Aiding Women in Abuse and Rape Emergencies will offer Wellbriety sessions for women from 6 to 8 p.m. two Thursdays a month.

Senior menu for the week of Jan. 26-30
Monday, Jan. 26

Dance studio to offer new eight-week session of ballroom dancing
JUNEAU - Juneau Dance Unlimited will begin a new eight-week session of ballroom dance instruction from 7 to 8:30 pm. Friday, Jan. 30, at the JDU dance studio, 8420 Airport Blvd., Suite 202.


Aidan Neary and Echo Ranch
How do you respond to the death of a person you hardly knew? Sure, you may have crossed paths once or twice or maybe exchanged a few words in passing, but you never really got know the individual.

Photos: Bishop-elect Edward Burns
Photo captions: Bishop-elect Edward Burns holds a monstrance Tuesday during a special service, called Exposition and Benediction, held for President Obama at the Cathedral of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The monstrance holds the Blessed Sacrament (the consecrated host which Catholics believe is the Body of Christ). He uses a cloth over his hands as a sign of reverence and respect.

Brutus Mom seeks help with crazy dog
Dear Rex,

Skiing the lake
As we got out of our cars, the car thermometers read minus 19 degrees Fahrenheit. But the Parks and Recreation hiking group always goes on the appointed day. So we put on our skis or snowshoes and set forth. But we didn't last very long: First around the campground (well, some of us did) and then across the lake (well, just partway). The track-groomers had been at work, bless 'em, and the trails were nicely set.

Messages to remember
What a memorable several days we have just experienced. As I sit and try to express my thoughts, the words of Martin Luther King Jr., Barrack Obama and many other inspiring and articulate speakers are still echoing in my ears. I feel a bit like the vaudevillian who asked from the wings: I'm supposed to follow those acts?

Matunding, Martin wed
Leimomi Matunding and Robert Martin, both of Juneau, were married in a private ceremony on Jan. 15, 2009, in Juneau.

Cortes, Wagoner wed
Miriam Cortes and Chip Wagoner announce their civil marriage held on Jan. 17, 2009, at the Baranof Hotel, Gastineau Suite. Reps. Beth Kerttula, of Juneau, and Bob Buch, of Anchorage, served as witnesses. Family and friends are invited to the couple's sacramental marriage to be held at a later date at a Catholic church.

Joling, Linder to wed
Crystal "Crys" Kay Joling, of Salem, Ore., and Allen Paul Linder, of Juneau, will marry in an outdoor wedding on June 27, 2009, at Giant Springs State Park in Great Falls, Mont. They became engaged in September 2008.

Walter James Wilcox Sr.
Former Juneau resident Walter James Wilcox Sr., of Galena, died Jan. 21, 2009, at Providence Alaska Medical Center, surrounded by family members. He was 59.

Clyde Henry Andrews
Juneau resident Clyde Henry Andrews died Jan. 20, 2009. He was 50.

Laura Lucille Van Kirk
Longtime Juneau resident Laura Lucille Van Kirk died Jan. 22, 2009, in Juneau. She was 87.

Marlon Uddipa Batac
Juneau resident Marlon Uddipa Batac died at home in his sleep on Jan. 16, 2009. He was 43.

Kim Marie Paris-Hegar
Juneau and Petersburg resident Kim Marie Paris-Hegar died Jan. 11, 2009, in Zihuatanejo, Mexico. She was 37.

Snettisham improvements are currently being planned
The Snettisham transmission line has again been damaged by an avalanche. Some folks have asked why nothing has been done since last June to mitigate the avalanche danger to the line.

My Turn: Human Rights Commission should be disbanded
Recently, the Juneau Human Rights Commission wrote a letter to the editor purporting to be an apology to those of us who associate as "The Men's Crisis Center" through our voluntary obligation to clean up a one-mile stretch of North Douglas Highway.

Alaska editorial: State's frustration with high gas costs doesn't justify controlling prices
Frustration with high gasoline prices doesn't justify a state law that would control those prices. That's not a business the state wants to enter, and doing so could have dangerous consequences for Alaska.

The stimulus plan's effort doesn't quite match description
There is much that makes sense in the $825 billion economic stimulus plan that the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives is developing, in close cooperation with President Obama's advisers. Several core features - increased food stamps and unemployment benefits; Medicaid money for state governments; increased infrastructure spending; a tax rebate to low- and moderate-income families - are either temporary measures that are well calculated to enable quick spending by families and businesses or that could be amended to become so.

China could learn from OPEC
At his confirmation hearings last week, Tim Geithner branded China a currency manipulator. This is a designation that the Bush Treasury Department never formally affixed to the Chinese. It may signal a nerve-racking shift in how the United States manages its most pivotal relationship.

Outside editorial: A new approach to the Middle East
T he Obama administration appointed former senator George Mitchell as its special envoy to the Middle East this week in a positive step toward resolving the decades-long Israeli-Palestinian conflict. While a fragile cease-fire has brought a temporary halt to the recent bloodshed in Gaza, the outburst of violence at the end of the Bush administration was the culmination of eight more years of failed U.S. policy. The new administration will need to break with that policy if it is to make progress toward ending the conflict.

Toe Toon
This week's toe toon.

Scientific journal honors professor
WHITEWATER, Wis. - The scientific journal Nature says a biology professor who studied fish in Alaska has put forward some of the decade's best ideas on evolution.

Begich places Juneau resident on staff
JUNEAU -Sen. Mark Begich has hired Juneau resident Bob King as a member of his staff for fisheries, Coast Guard, Arctic policy and other issues under the jurisdiction of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee.

Man pleads guilty to burglary spree
ANCHORAGE - A 25-year-old man has pleaded guilty to four counts of burglary in Anchorage.

Nome airline offers flights to Russia mines
NOME - A Nome-based airline has struck gold by offering passenger s working for mining companies service to the Russian Far East.

State employee charged in fuel theft
ANCHORAGE - A Palmer man has been indicted on charges of stealing at least 10,500 gallons of diesel fuel over seven years from state tanks.

CIRI plans wind farm near Anchorage
ANCHORAGE - Cook Inlet Region Inc. plans to develop the state's first major wind farm on land it owns on Fire Island near the western tip of Anchorage.

Cordova man arrested on drug charges
ANCHORAGE - A 43-year-old Cordova man is under arrest, accused of operating a methamphetamine lab in his home.

Mat-Su officials seek more office space
WASILLA - Matanuska-Susitna Borough officials say they've outgrown their headquarters and they're taking steps to find expanded office space.

No reports of damage from earthquake
ANCHORAGE - A moderate earthquake rattled Alaska's Cook Inlet but there have been no reports of damage.

Moving squad car strikes, stops suspect
ANCHORAGE - A man fleeing Anchorage police was apprehended when he stepped in front of a moving squad car and was struck.

Photos: Crimson Bears boys and girls
Photos of the JDHS boys and girls basketball teams.

Sports in Juneau

State official suggests fuel vouchers
ANCHORAGE - A state official says she would support free fuel vouchers as a way to bring immediate relief to villagers saddled with high fuel costs and food shortages in the lower Yukon River.

Market dims hope for gas pipeline
Energy market analysts addressed an Anchorage audience hoping for a multibillion dollar Alaska natural gas pipeline and the news was not good.

Officials request Fairbanks bar close
Neighbors of a Fairbanks bar have banded together to force the shutdown of the bar that they say is a magnet for trouble.

Palin supports in-state gas line
Gov. Sarah Palin told state legislators in her annual State of the State speech Jan. 22 that she will introduce legislation to encourage construction of an in-state natural gas pipeline from the North Slope to Southcentral Alaska, but stopped short of endorsing one of two proposals now on the table for in-state pipelines.

ConocoPhillips plans cuts in charitable donations
FAIRBANKS - ConocoPhillips plans to cut its corporate giving in 2009.

Anchorage woman charged with theft
An Anchorage businesswoman has been arrested and charged with stealing money and checks from a former boyfriend and emptying out his bank account.

Wrangell Seafoods files for bankruptcy
ANCHORAGE - A southeast Alaska seafood processor has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

Children share vision for playground in Soldotna
SOLDOTNA - One suggested it should have a hot tub. Another said a jacuzzi.

Bill seeks to name state dog
ANCHORAGE - It's time to stop dissing the dog.

Salvage crews size up Monarch
COOK INLET - Salvage crews may be unable to recover the MV Monarch, the vessel that sank next to the Granite Point Platform in Cook Inlet last week, until later this year.

TransCanada signs on as sponsor for Yukon Quest
FAIRBANKS - TransCanada Corp. has signed on as a major sponsor of the Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race.

Bad year expected for Yukon kings
FAIRBANKS - State biologists are expecting another grim year for Yukon River king salmon.

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