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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Murkowski bill seems not entirely clean
I am disturbed that one of our two senators, Lisa Murkowski, has introduced a bill that would dilute the Clean Air Act.

Take neighborhoods off heating oil
According to the city's Commission on Sustainability report, approximately 31 percent of Juneau's greenhouse gas emissions are from buildings. If the city is committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and to slowing the rate of global warming, we must start thinking out of the box and brainstorming and implementing new ideas now.

No reason to stop conserving energy
For a few months in 2008, Juneau was known as the city that cut down its electricity use by nearly one-third. Everyone had stories to tell about turning down the thermometer and unplugging alarm clocks that weren't in use. It was a proud moment for our community, and there is no reason for us to stop conserving energy. Even though prices are not as high now, we can all save money by conserving.

New building sends message to state
As a longtime Juneauite who spent many hours in the Scottish Rite Temple attending Eastern Star and Rainbow Girl functions I say, "Bravo Juneau."

Taku River users push for protections
A bankruptcy filing by a mine company proposing to run a hoverbarge on the Taku River laid the controversial request to rest for the time being, but fishermen and environmentalists who fought the proposal are not sitting on their heels.

Organizers: Homeless outreach successful
Iraq war veteran Phillip Patch has a lot more empathy for homeless people now that he's one of them.

New map outlines motor vehicle routes in Tongass
Off-roaders and all-terrain vehicle fans can pick up a copy of a new map outlining roads, trails and areas open to motor vehicle use by the U.S. Forest Service.

Juneau's jobless rate sees small rise in December
Juneau's unemployment rate climbed to 6.6 percent in December, with 100 more jobless people in town compared to last year at this time, according to Department of Labor and Workforce Development numbers released Friday.

Photos: Helping Hands
Students paint free-style as they interpret live music Saturday during a fundraiser for the Haitian School Art Creation Foundation for Children at Thunder Mountain High School.

Alaska Pacific chairman to step down
Alaska Pacific Bankshares' Chairman Roger Grummett is stepping down when his term as director of the Juneau-based bank holding company ends in May, he said Friday.

Photo: Coast Guard joins in relief efforts
Petty Officer 3rd Class Laura Herr, a member of the Coast Guard Enlisted Association, writes a check for $200 on Friday to be presented to the Red Cross to help with the relief efforts in Haiti.

Photo: Street music
Malcolm Tullis, 27, tries to make ends meet "busking" with guitar tunes Wednesday on Franklin Street. Born and raised in Juneau, Tullis shovels snow in the winter and relies on tourists' tips in the summer. "I like rock and punk rock," Tullis said. "I have no songs about the Legislature though."

Photo: Juneau Police host open house
Nini Toetuu tries out an armored vest Monday evening with help from Juneau Police Officer and S.W.A.T. member Brian Dallas during the open house of the Juneau Police station.

Photo: Mining stroll
Juneau resident John Carl walks up Snowslide Creek on Sunday after trying his luck at gold panning. "It's a lot cheaper than fly fishing," Carl said of his mining hobby. "I've never found lots of gold; I just like doing it. I like natural history and metals history."

Police & Fire
Juneau police and fire officials reported:

Around Town
Today, Jan. 25

Police & Fire
Juneau police and fire officials reported:

Around Town
Today, Jan. 26

Correction
An A1 story in Monday's Empire misspelled state Division of Habitat Director Kerry Howard's name. Also, the areas discussed for additional protections on the Taku River are "Special Areas," not "Special Use Areas."

Gary Allen Perkins
Former Juneau resident Gary Allen Perkins died Jan. 24, 2010. He was 54.

My Turn: Until more locals live downtown, there won't be a deeper community
I hope that Art Sutch's store break-ins and his recent letter to the editor spark a meaningful discussion and some action regarding the future of downtown. And I hope he will be part of the discussion and action.

My turn: State denies sport fisherman, subsistence users equal access
Equal access to Fishery Resources is being denied to Alaska's Sport Fisherman and Subsistence users.

My Turn: Juneau could save money by cutting Planning Commission
Let me take a page from Jonathan Swift and make a Modest Proposal for the city of Juneau's budget. How about we do away with our Planning Commission and Community Development Department? It would save lots of money, and we might even have a better town as a result.

Outside editorial: Saving Haitains
Maralon Dorelas sees his son's lifeless leg through the rubble of tons of concrete, wood and aluminum piled on top of him. All he can do is keep watch, waiting for help to recover the body more than a week after Haiti's earthquake.

Alaska, like Hawaii, is too dependent on one industry
Hawaii and Alaska are often considered siblings since they were the last two states to join the Union. If we're twins, we're certainly of the fraternal and not identical variety. But despite our vast differences, the Last Frontier and the Aloha State share many similarities: isolation from the rest of the nation; strong, vibrant indigenous populations, both historically and in the modern era; and dependence on the U.S. military as a crucial part of our economic infrastructure.

Despite common perceptions, doomsday clock keeps ticking
"The unleashed power of the atom has changed everything, save our modes of thinking, and thus we drift toward unparalleled catastrophe."

Taking aim at biblical verses on weapons
Have you heard about the Jesus rifles? ABC News broke the story last week. It seems there was this fellow named Glyn Bindon, who used weapons of war to speak for his faith.

Parnell education plan drawing debate
JUNEAU - Alaska lawmakers begin their first full week of work Monday, with several of Gov. Sean Parnell's proposals already drawing debate or getting attention.

Police investigate incendiary device near Mendenhall Glacier
JUNEAU - The Juneau Police Department Explosive Ordinance Disposal Team investigated an incendiary device Monday morning at the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center.

GCI awarded $88M in broadband stimulus
ANCHORAGE - GCI received notice today that the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Utilities Service had approved United Utilities, Inc's application for an $88 million loan/grant combination to extend terrestrial broadband service for the first time to Bristol Bay and the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta. United Utilities, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of GCI.

Harris decides not to run in governor's race
JUNEAU - State Rep. John Harris says he won't run for governor.

UAF chancellor not seeking top job
FAIRBANKS - University of Alaska Fairbanks Chancellor Brian Rogers says he has no plans to pursue the top job in the university system, despite an endorsement from retiring President Mark Hamilton.

Woman sentenced for computer fraud
ANCHORAGE - A 26-year-old Anchor Point woman has been sentenced to three months in prison for 16 counts of computer fraud that netted her more than $85,000 from a Homer store.

Jeff King wins Tustumena 200
KENAI - Denali Park musher Jeff King never stopped looking over his shoulder during this year's Tustumena 200 Sled Dog Race, though his nearest competitors were nowhere in sight.

Voluntary furlough saves UAF thousands
FAIRBANKS - A voluntary furlough saved the University of Alaska Fairbanks tens of thousands of dollars.

Tax the rich? Oregon voters mull increases
PORTLAND, Ore. - If any Americans are willing to fork over more to state governments in 2010, it might just be those of Oregon, where voters are deciding the fate of two proposed tax increases that target the wealthy and corporations.

Family: Lewis always wanted to be a pilot
SAND POINT - The family of a young woman missing in a plane crash say Emily Lewis had recently moved to Alaska to become a pilot.

Girdwood man sentenced for arson
ANCHORAGE - A man convicted of burning down his Girdwood home in September 2007 was sentenced Friday to seven and a half years in prison.

Finish changed for snowmachine race
FAIRBANKS - The ceremonial finish of the Tesoro Iron Dog Snowmachine Race is being moved from downtown Fairbanks out of safety concerns.

Divers find bodies of pilots in plane crash
SAND POINT - The bodies of two pilots whose plane crashed Friday near Sand Point have been found.

Fish board to look at Yukon kings problem
FAIRBANKS - Problems with Yukon River king salmon will be the big issue this week when the Alaska Board of Fisheries meets in Fairbanks.

Alaska man lying in highway killed by car
ANCHORAGE - A man was killed when struck by a car on the Parks Highway.

Denali Borough mayor to run for House seat
FAIRBANKS - The mayor of the Denali Borough says he intends to run for the House seat held by Fairbanks legislator David Guttenberg.

Man sentenced for illegal Denali hunt
ANCHORAGE - A 56-year-old Anchorage man convicted of illegally hunting bull moose in Denali National Park has been sentenced to a year of probation.

Earthquake rattles near several towns
ANCHORAGE - A small earthquake has hit near several Alaskan towns but there have been no reports of damage.

New Anchorage police chief takes over
ANCHORAGE - Mark Mew pinned on the badge Monday as the 29th police chief for the Anchorage Police Department.

McLeod to ask judge to reconsider ruling
JUNEAU - An attorney for activist Andree McLeod said he'll ask an Alaska judge to reconsider a ruling last week that state law doesn't forbid the use of private e-mail accounts to conduct state business. If the judge refuses, attorney Don Mitchell says McLeod could appeal to the Alaska Supreme Court.

Tupou's mission on the court and in life
Two years ago, Juneau-Douglas forward Paul Tupou decided he wanted to play football for the Crimson Bears so much that he moved back to Juneau just to be on the team.

Crimson to Cardinal
Three-time Alaska state girls' cross country champion Leah Francis will be trading her Juneau-Douglas crimson for Stanford cardinal red next year.

JDHS JV hockey plays in outdoor rink
The Juneau-Douglas JV hockey team travelled to Talkeetna to play the Susitna Valley High School varsity hockey team on Friday and Saturday in an unusual set of circumstances.

Down for the count
The first ever womens' main event at Roughouse Fridays at Marlintini's Lounge was declared a 'no decision' when Sitka's Selina Slack, 26, accidentally elbowed her opponent in the eye.

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

Sports in Juneau
• 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.

Doyon to explore oil, gas reserves
FAIRBANKS - Doyon Ltd. will spend the next two months exploring a 200,000-acre swath of land on the Yukon Flats for oil and gas reserves, the regional Native corporation announced.

State predicts long life for oil pipeline
A top state official is saying that the trans-Alaska oil pipeline will continue to carry oil at capacities far below what proponents of oil tax cuts have been claiming.

State Supreme Court rejects secession vote
ANCHORAGE - The state Supreme Court has ruled against a man's effort to change the Alaska constitution so that he could call for secession from the United States.

Alaska veteran first to be tallied in census
NOORVIK - One down, more than 309 million to go.

Alaska fending off national housing crisis so far
FAIRBANKS - A state analysis says the practice of using a mix of low-risk mortgages has helped Alaska fend off the housing troubles plaguing the rest of the nation.

Measure proposes tapping fund for gas line
Two top state Republican leaders, including House Speaker Mike Chenault, are suggesting that Alaska Permanent Fund earnings might be used to subsidize an in-state natural gas pipeline

Superior Court judge sides with state, Palin in e-mail lawsuit
An Alaska judge has sided with former Gov. Sarah Palin in a lawsuit over e-mail, finding that state law doesn't forbid the use of private e-mail accounts to conduct state business.

Two men, two sewing machines work toward 'howling' success
WASILLA - Two local men and a couple of sewing machines keep people recreating while showing the best of the American entrepreneurial sprit.

Alaska Supreme Court intervenes in DUI case
ANCHORAGE - The Alaska Supreme Court has ruled that a police officer signaling a driver to back up constitutes a "seizure" and that officers must have a legitimate reason for doing so before making an arrest.

USDA gives $310 million for rural broadband projects
WASHINGTON - The Agriculture Department is handing out nearly $310 million in stimulus money to bring high-speed Internet connections to 14 rural communities around the country.

Lawmaker questions Parnell's crime bills
A state lawmaker is questioning whether the Parnell administration's proposals for cracking down on domestic violence and sexual assault are far-reaching and tough enough to adequately address the problem.

State court rejects religious appeal in Craig drug case
ANCHORAGE - The Alaska Court of Appeals rejected a religion defense in the drug case of a Craig couple who anointed themselves with a mixture of marijuana juice and olive oil.

Statoil ups Alaska holdings
OSLO, Norway - Norwegian oil company Statoil ASA said Monday that its U.S. subsidiary has acquired a 25 percent share in 50 ConocoPhillips oil leases in the Chukchi Sea off northwestern Alaska in exchange for an undisclosed sum and shares in Statoil's Gulf of Mexico operations.

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