Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Time for Alaska Native leaders to step up, speak out
An Alaska Native leader knows the rules and protocols of the people. An example is the whaling captain who knows how to work with his team, how to divide the whale according to what each person's share is. A leader's character is subtle and benevolent, not boastful.

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.

Grant to cover 12 firefighter scholarships
Up to 12 University of Alaska Southeast students will be eligible in the near future for four years of tuition reimbursement through a Capital City Fire and Rescue program being planned to recruit volunteer firefighters.

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.

AEL&P: Just three work days left
Alaska Electric Light & Power Co. General Manager Tim McLeod told the Juneau Assembly on Monday that its crews needed only three more days - weather permitting - to finish repairs to the Snettisham transmission lines downed by an avalanche Jan. 12.

Home Depot job cuts won't include Alaska
Home Depot announced Monday that it was cutting 7,000 jobs, but Alaska employees and stores won't be cut at all, according to a company spokeswoman.

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:

Photo: Icy launch
Mike Tobin and his wife, Jenny Pursell, walk Monday along a boat launch ramp surrounded by ice at the Don Statter Boat Harbor in Auke Bay. Today's forecast calls for 1 to 2 inches of snow and highs around 32.

Photo: Snow run
Nancy Davis takes a lunch-time run Monday along Glacier Highway as snow falls on Juneau.

Around Town
Today

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

Around Town
Today

Sheila Nordale
Former Juneau resident Sheila Maureen "Berry" Nordale died suddenly on Jan. 23, 2009, in Seattle. She was 74.

Harold Frank Sr.
Juneau and former Angoon and Sitka resident Harold Frank Sr. died due to health complications on Jan. 13, 2009, at Helping Hands Assisted Living Facility in Anchorage. He was 74.

Outside editorial: Facing real estate reality
As lawmakers look for a way out of the recession, it's worth remembering how we got into this mess in the first place. The collapse of the housing market sucked trillions of dollars worth of real estate wealth out of the economy, starting a vicious cycle of cutbacks by consumers, lenders and businesses. But the collapse wasn't a one-time event. It's an ongoing process that could take a larger human and economic toll this year than it did in 2008, when the number of troubled homeowners nearly doubled from the year before. According to RealtyTrac, lenders made foreclosure filings on 2.3 million properties last year (more than half a million in California alone), including nearly 2 percent of all housing units. New laws here and in several other states reduced the pace of foreclosure filings, but they haven't helped homeowners pay their bills. As a consequence, the FDIC projects another near-doubling of housing misery, with 4.4 million mortgages falling 60 to 90 days past due by the end of 2009.

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: DOT's Lynn Canal road estimates on the money
The recent opinion piece about cost estimates for the Lynn Canal Highway suggested a clandestine plot by Department of Transportation & Public Facilities engineers to lowball the costs of the road. Its publication was undoubtedly timed for the arrival of Gov. Sarah Palin and the Alaska Legislature to raise objections to the project that best improves our marine highway system. More drivel from SEACC and its clone, "Alaska Transportation Priorities Project," will undoubtedly be presented to the Empire as the legislative session progresses.

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.

Back then, I was allergic to a teacher, not peanuts
The latest food recalls involve peanuts products that are contaminated with salmonella bacteria. Most food scares don't bother me, but this one caught my attention.

Man with local ties included with city manager finalists
JUNEAU - Larry Persily is now one of four finalists the Juneau Assembly will consider for the city manager position Rod Swope is leaving at the end of April, Assemblyman and search committee member Jeff Bush said.

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.

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.

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.

Complaints filed against Palin aides
ANCHORAGE - An outspoken critic of Gov. Sarah Palin has filed ethics complaints against two of the governor's top aides, saying they misused their official positions for Palin's personal and political gain.

Mountain named after former state top cop
KODIAK - The Afognak Native Corporation says a mountain on Afognak Island will bear the name of the first Alaska Native to serve as Commissioner of Department of Public Safety.

Trauma response receives review
ANCHORAGE - The state is posting a report from the American College of Surgeons who recommended 70 ways for Alaska to improve its trauma response.

Man arrested for rifling through car
JUNEAU - A Juneau Police Department officer arrested a 41-year-old man after observing him rifling through a vehicle in the Lemon Creek area early Monday morning.

Earthquake felt in Aleutian Islands
FAIRBANKS - An earthquake with a 5.6 magnitude was felt in the middle of Alaska's Aleutian Islands chain.

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.

Legislators still wary of state hiring freeze
Legislators continue to question Gov. Sarah Palin's call for a state employee hiring freeze this week, doubting the usefulness and need for the freeze.

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.

Governor hires ex-oil lobbyist as new director
Gov. Sarah Palin has hired a new legislative director, her fourth in three years.

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.

Lawmakers differ on Alaska's 90-day session
FAIRBANKS - A more efficient government, or reduced legislative power?

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

Mushing season starts after month of weather delays
FAIRBANKS - First it was too cold. Then it was too warm. Well, now the weather is just right for dog mushers to begin racing in Fairbanks.

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

Geologists wary of possible eruption at Mount Redoubt
ANCHORAGE - It's been nearly 20 years since Alaska's Mount Redoubt erupted, but that time of tranquility might end.

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.

Company: Alaska pipeline advancing despite economy
Lawmakers worried about sinking prices for natural gas were told to take the long view when considering the economics of a pipeline tapping North Slope gas reserves.

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

Photo: Basking in the sun
A Steller sea lion rears Sunday up on a haulout in St. Herman Harbor in Kodiak. Kodiak enjoyed sun and mild temperatures all weekend.

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In Alaska, in the Nation and the World

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

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