Wednesday, January 27, 2010

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."

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.

Keep the federal government out of predator control
Recently, President Obama's U.S. Interior Secretary sent his main man in Alaska, Pat Pourchot, around the state to gather ideas from Native groups about improving the federal subsistence program. The administration wanted to know what the federal government could do specifically to better serve the rural residents and subsistence users.

Dear letter writers, thanks for complaints
I am expressing my appreciation for the wonderful letters from Paulette Simpson and Bradley Fluetsch that noted many of the bad things the Southeast Alaska Conservation Council has done. I do wish they had noted that the Sierra Club and other environmental groups also involved in doing those bad things. They should share the blame and the effects of the letters.

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.

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

Johnson Youth Center duo wins book battle
A classic rematch of a defending champion versus last year's runner-up was in the works at Tuesday's Juneau School District Battle of the Books in the Thunder Mountain High School library.

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.

Cruise ship panel boots Haines scientist
A group of legislators rushed to the defense Tuesday of Haines scientist Gershon Cohen, whose invitation to join a cruise ship advisory panel was rescinded after an industry lobbyist complained about his appointment.

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.

Troxel's in liquor license limbo
In hopes of resolving neighbors' complaints of loud noise and uncouth behavior around the Breakwater Inn, the Juneau Assembly has decided to ask the state Alcohol, Beverage and Control board for a three-month extension of the liquor license renewal process for Q Enterprise Inc., doing business as Breakwater Inn Restaurant & Lounge and also known as Troxel's Steak and Seafood.

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.

Alaska population growth stagnant outside Southcentral
New state population estimates show Juneau added 256 residents in the past year, but that still leaves the state's capital and third-largest city down slightly from the last census in 2000.

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.

Police & Fire
Juneau police and fire officials reported:

Photo: On her feet
Rep. Beth Kertulla works Tuesday at her new raised desk in her Capitol office. Kertulla is suffering from a pinched nerve in her hip and recently returned from a trip to the East coast for treatment. Kertulla mentioned that a few other legislators are working at raised desks because of back issues.

Around Town
Today, Jan. 26

Police & Fire
Juneau police and fire officials reported:

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."

Around Town
Wednesday, Jan. 27

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

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.

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.

Outside editorial: Give Bernanke another term
No Federal Reserve chairman seeking reappointment would be a shoo-in after the cataclysmic events of the past three years. The economy suffered a major shock: Credit markets seized up, unemployment rose - and remains high - and billions were shoveled into financial institutions to save the system.

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."

How corporations defined themselves as 'persons'
Riddle me this: When is a corporation like a freed slave? Answer: When it is trying to win human rights in a case before the Supreme Court.

Obama needs to move to the center
It will take a while for the Democrats to sort out what happened to them last week.

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.

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.

Coast Guard to present public service award to Sitka Mountain Rescue
KODIAK - Rear Adm. Christopher Colvin, commander of District 17 will present a Meritorious Public Service Award to Sitka Mountain Rescue at 3 p.m. today at Air Station Sitka, for saving the life of an injured hunter on Oct. 15.

Fort Rich soldiers to return from Afghanistan
FORT RICHARDSON - About 250 paratroopers from Fort Richardson will soon be home from Afghanistan.

Alaska picked for wind education program
FAIRBANKS - The U.S. Department of Energy is adding Alaska to its Winds for Schools program.

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.

Larry Hartig moves toward lieutenant governor successor
JUNEAU - Gov. Sean Parnell's pick for the lieutenant governor successor has cleared his first hurdle toward confirmation.

Houston man accused of shooting at woman
ANCHORAGE - Alaska state troopers said a man who shot at a woman with a large-caliber rifle during a domestic dispute missed her but hit her vehicle.

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.

Land swap needed for new clinic in Fairbanks
FAIRBANKS - The Tanana Chiefs Council said it needs the city of Fairbanks to approve a land swap so it can build a $75 million clinic.

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

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.

Yukon Quest director to resign following race
ANCHORAGE - The director of the Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race says she will resign at the end of this year's event.

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.

Alaska geologist headed to Haiti
FAIRBANKS - An Alaska geologist is headed to Haiti to join a team of scientists to evaluate the earthquake fault system in that country.

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.

Homer man killed in welding accident
KENAI - A 29-year-old Homer man has died in a welding accident after a 3,000-pound piece of equipment rolled on him.

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.

Bomb donated to Kodiak museum was a dud, after all
KODIAK - It now turns out that a World War II relic detonated earlier this month in Kodiak was a dud, after all.

Plan looks at guided use in national forest
KETCHIKAN - U.S. Forest Service staff are working on a plan that would establish allowable levels of guided recreation on 3.2 million of acres of national forest land.

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.

Evolution on ice
In 2003, the city and borough of Juneau built Treadwell Arena with the hope of promoting ice sports for all ages. Today, that hope has turned to reality.

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.

Alaska Native makes Olympic team
Gutsy young snowboarder Callan Chythlook-Sifsof of Girdwood made history on Monday when she capped a remarkable comeback season by becoming what is believed to be the first Native Alaskan to earn a berth on an Olympic team.

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.

Photo: Second for Sjoroos
Juneau Southeast Gymnastics Association's Jessica Sjoroos jumps above the balance beam Saturday during the Winter Meet with the Ketchikan Gymnastics Club in Ketchikan. Sjoroos finished second with a score of 27.60. Ketchikan's Kara Meredith was first with a 33.50.

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.

AG urges state to up its fight against listings
Attorney General Dan Sullivan wants to spend $1 million fighting Endangered Species Act listings, and is spotlighting Alaska's involvement in the Kensington mine as an example of how the state can help.

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

Young: Gas tax suspension may undercut federal aid
A proposal by Gov. Sean Parnell to suspend Alaska's motor fuels tax may undermine federal transportation funding, U.S. Rep. Don Young said Tuesday.

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

Campaign calls for tweaks to Alaska energy tax
An energy industry trade group is using a new ad campaign to call for changes to Alaska's controversial oil and gas production tax.

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.

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.

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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