Questioning ethics in 'Bong Hits' case
If I'm not mistaken, Doug Mertz's wife, Margo Waring, is on the Juneau School Board. I know they are both professional, but I don't think it is ethical for her to sit in on any School Board meeting that pertains to the "Bong Hits" issue.

Team members feel gratitude toward Hoonah community
I wanted to add to the recent letter from Jean Bland and explain the second part of the story, which did not include the happy ending of the incident in Hoonah.

Support the fight against poverty
As a voter and a member of a local chapter of the poverty fighting group, ONE, I have been working with the more than 2.4 million ONE members nationally to make the fight against extreme poverty and global disease an issue in the 2008 presidential election.

Resident thankful for city bus service
Recently I've read several letters about Capital Transit that don't match my experience. I have ridden Capital Transit for 10 years now, and I've been pleased with the service for the entire time.

Coeur submits Kensington proposal
Coeur Alaska, the company working to open the Kensington gold mine, has submitted an updated plan of operations to the U.S. Forest Service.

Presentation to pay tribute to Juneau pioneer
It might seem like Mark Whitman is trying to bury a ghost.

Photo: Fiesta de Colores
Ryan Moritz, 10, dances Friday with other Juneau Community Charter School students during their Fiesta de Colores celebration. The annual event showcases Hispanic food, crafts, dancing and singing.

Photo: Ice piling up
Ice and snow coat the high-tide line on pilings Sunday at the Treadwell Mine ventilator shaft building at Sandy Beach. A wind advisory remains in effect through 2 p.m. today, with a high temperature of about 10.

Forest Service sets land plan for Tongass
The U.S. Forest Service released a new 10-year land use management plan for the Tongass National Forest on Friday morning.

Photo: Windy ski
Emily Ferry, left, Demian Schane and John Parent ski through a tree-protected section of the Steep Creek Trail on Sunday at the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center as high winds blow snow off Mount Bullard in the background.

Polynesians form tight-knit community
Juneau residents dreaming of island paradises during mid-winter's miserable weather had three Pacific Island-themed events to entertain them on Saturday.

Around Town

Around Town

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

Police & Fire
Disorderly conduct:

Empire editorial: Palin, lawmakers: Don't let Conoco derail pipeline plan
ConocoPhillips is like a kid on the playground who doesn't like the rules of the kickball game and is trying to woo kids away to create another competition it knows it can win.

Outside editorial: The enemy within
Last week, Israel closed border crossings into Gaza and blockaded some supplies of fuel and food, a response to rocket fire into Israel from the Palestinian territory. Electricity was reported to be in short supply in some places. Hospitals were warning of tragic consequences if power lapsed or medical supplies ran low. The Red Cross and United Nations issued warnings of a potential humanitarian crisis.

Arguing themselves to death
Democrats are so well positioned to take the White House and even win additional seats in Congress this year that it raises an intriguing question: How will they manage to blow it this time?

Column: Oncoming recession to challenge state
My wife, Judy, hates it when I write my annual mid-winter column analyzing the economic outlook.

Column: Put the soup on: A guide to recession retrenchment
How, precisely, to dress for a recession? Modestly, resourcefully, with an eye toward vintage. Moth-eaten sweaters will stage a comeback. Holes are huge.

Toe Toon
Cartoon by local artist Toe.

My turn: A better way to fix Alaska
In a political environment where "reformer's zeal" seems to know no partisan or ideological bounds, the good news is that some form of long-overdue ethics reform is finally moving from hope to reality here in Alaska.

Rain or shine, hikers explore trails
A number of devoted Juneau hikers keep up with their pastime through Parks and Recreation Department-sponsored hikes on some of the 100 trails around town.

Trapping in Alaska
The cold, dark heart of winter in Alaska is the trappers' time. Their observations and experiences provide remarkable insight into wildlife in Alaska.

Learning to snowshoe is simple and inexpensive
ANCHORAGE - When more than three dozen people turn out for a weekend snowshoe up Girdwood's Glacier Creek, it becomes suddenly clear that snowshoeing isn't just for Shawn Lyons anymore.

Roots: A wide world under our very feet
When I think of the roots of plants in an off-hand way, three things come to mind immediately: 1) those treacherous, wet, slimy tree roots that separate mudholes on certain poorly maintained trails around here; 2) root wads of up-ended trees, which host a bevy of colonizing young trees and shrubs, and when washed out onto the tideflats-provide convenient perches for eagles; and 3) human food crops such as carrots, beets, and (ugh) parsnips.

Basic Hunter Education Course to start Feb. 8
JUNEAU - The Alaska Department of Fish and Game is sponsoring a Basic Hunter Education Course from 6 to 9:30 p.m. on Feb. 8 and from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Feb. 9 at the Juneau Hunter Education Facility, 5670 Montana Creek Road.

Mendenhall Auto Center sponsors 27th annual Learn to Ski Weekend
JUNEAU - The 27th annual Learn to Ski Weekend, sponsored by Mendenhall Auto Center Subaru, is Feb. 2 and 3 at Eaglecrest Ski Area. This free weekend is for first-time skiers in grades 3-5.

SEARHC to offer boating instructor course starting in Feb
SITKA - The SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium Injury Prevention Department is partnering with the Alaska Marine Safety Education Association to host a recreational boating instructor course Feb. 27 to March 3 in Sitka.

Strong wind advisory in effect today
JUNEAU - The National Weather Service issued a strong wind advisory effective until 6 p.m.

Lawmaker urges Susan Butcher Day
FAIRBANKS - State Representative David Guttenberg said he's optimistic his bill honoring champion sled dog musher Susan Butcher will pass this session.

Anchorage firefighters find body in rubble
ANCHORAGE - Anchorage firefighters said they found the body of an unidentified person in the rubble of a fire this weekend.

Meeting set for teen suicide prevention
JUNEAU - The Juneau Teen Health Center will host a meeting Tuesday about teen suicide prevention.

ConocoPhillips seeks gas pipeline meeting
ANCHORAGE - ConocoPhillips is challenging Gov. Sarah Palin to set up a meeting with her administration and lawmakers over the company's rejected gas pipeline bid.

Snowmobiles allowed at Hatcher Pass
ANCHORAGE - State parks officials have opened up the east side of Hatcher Pass to snowmobiles.

Samaritans chase down robbery suspect
ANCHORAGE - An Anchorage robbery suspect is under arrest after a group of citizens chased him and held him until officers arrived.

Lawmakers consider education help
FAIRBANKS - State lawmakers are considering a measure that would help pay education costs for workers in hard-to-fill jobs.

Eagle residents decry dust control project
FAIRBANKS - A $1.3 million dust control project in the town of Eagle has been approved by the city council, but many residents say they don't want it.

Body found near Mile 88 Parks Highway
PALMER - Alaska State Troopers say a Talkeetna man was found shot to death Thursday in the driveway of a home near Mile 88 Parks Highway.

Palin calls for aviation technology loans
JUNEAU - Governor Sarah Palin says she wants Alaska's pilots to have the best aviation safety equipment possible.

Check signatures debated in Hayes trial
FAIRBANKS - The daughter of former Fairbanks Mayor Jim Hayes said she never knowingly approved improperly using federal funds intended to serve disadvantage children for a cash-strapped church project.

Mayors to meet in Anchorage next year
ANCHORAGE - An international group of northern mayors will meeting in Anchorage next year to discuss global warming.

Delegation supports Exxon case plaintiffs
JUNEAU - Alaska's congressional delegation said it has filed a court brief supporting Exxon Valdez plaintiffs in a cases to be heard next month by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Colony holds off Juneau charge
Revenge will have to wait at least another day for the Juneau-Douglas High School boys basketball team.

JDHS tops Colony in 2 OTs
Nicole Fenumiai's free throws with 4.4 seconds left seals win for Bears.

Colony boys knock off Juneau-Douglas
The Juneau-Douglas High School boys basketball team wanted to expunge some of the memories of last year's playoff loss to Colony with a solid showing this weekend. Instead, the Crimson Bears experienced a painful instant replay Sunday.

First-half defense propels Colony past JDHS girls
Colony's girls basketball team used a strong first half to solidify its standing as one of Alaska's top teams on Saturday.


As gold prices climb, prospectors head for Alaska
New snow, knee-high, conceals the tumbled boulders lining the banks of Crow Creek. The water temperature hovers near freezing and the air is several degrees colder. For the men crouching up to their chests in the glacier-fed stream, it is an ideal day to search for gold.

Alaska's ocean ranger operations still in flux
Alaska's innovative ocean ranger program remains unsettled and in flux, even after its first year of operation.

Photo: First sunrise
The sun rises at 1:12 p.m. Wednesday over the frozen tundra in Alaska's northernmost city, Barrow. This was the first time the sun rose over the town since Nov. 19, 2007.

State transportation official says Gravina Access project not dead
KETCHIKAN - An Alaska transportation official says the Gravina Access project in Ketchikan is still very much alive.

Alaska 'bear man' ready for his international close-up
Alaska could have a new international celebrity: a nearly 70-year-old retired school teacher who has spent the past two decades hiding from the public eye in an effort to conceal his intimate love affair with a large gang of black and grizzly bears.

Palin's health care bill faces challenges in Legislature
House and Senate committees have started hearings on Gov. Sarah Palin's Health Care Transparency Act, with some aspects of the bill looking increasingly contentious.

Majority leader urges Anchorage mayor to file for Senate campaign
ANCHORAGE - Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich has not made up his mind about running for higher office, but pressure is mounting from within his own party.

Nelson says she won't seek re-election
BETHEL - The Alaska Legislature will lose another veteran legislator next year.

Mushers' supplies becoming more compact in Yukon Quest sled dog race
A single moving van awaited hundreds of woven plastic bags Saturday that contain mushers' supplies for the 25th Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race.

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

Trooper, snowmobiler spend chilly night in cabin
FAIRBANKS - An Alaska State Trooper and a stranded snowmobiler he was rescuing were forced to spend a frigid night in a backcountry cabin at the foot of the Brooks Range.

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

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