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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Don't swallow agency-speak
In the article titled "Sealaska criticizes planned timber sale" on Jan. 23, the reader is left with the following closing line:

One Democrat declares for Obama
Barack Obama's campaign has resonated across party lines nationally, and in Alaska where leaders from Tony Knowles to Wally Hickel have endorsed him. Barack Obama is the Democrat's best chance to attract the needed support, from Democratic, Independent and Republican voters to win the November general election.

Nonsmoker says smoking stinks
I see Robert Dorian, in his letter on Jan. 18, finds it "quite mundane" that people who may or may not have lived in California have the nerve to shoulder against his "ideals" by not liking smokers blowing their stink at us.

Spend transportation funds wisely
Remember Chicken Little? Well, some mysterious object must have struck the Department of Transportation, because it's claiming the sky is falling. Suddenly, sufficient funds to fix what's broken, do routine maintenance, and build what's desired havedisappeared.

Say no to cutbacks, update ferry system
Do not cut back the Alaska Marine Highway System services to and from Bellingham, Wash.!

Botelho's comments were hypocritical
The Juneau Empire on Jan. 22 reported on a ceremony to honor Martin Luther King and all the meaning behind "all being equal." I found Mayor Bruce Botelho's comments to be some of the most hypocritical I have ever seen. He was quoted as saying that "Alaska Natives were not allowed to make a claim on land or gold, and education was separate but equal. Thank God it is our past, we cannot forget these things."

Human life begins at conception
This is regarding the letter "In support of Planned Parenthood" by Dr. Emily A. Kane, on Jan. 20.

Alaska fishermen push for Farm Bill benefits
Just this once, wild-harvest fishermen in Alaska and nationwide want to be lumped in with fish farmers.

Coeur, state appeal plan to high court
The state and Coeur d'Alene Mines Corp. have appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court asking to have permits for a previous Kensington gold mine tailings plan reinstated.

Museum totem pole to be restored, raised during Celebration 2008
The "Four Story" totem pole in front of the downtown city museum will be restored and raised for Celebration 2008 in June.

Winds knock over 11,000-pound shipping containers in Juneau
Wind and frigid temperatures wreaked havoc on the Alaska Marine Highway System this weekend and toppled more than two dozen shipping containers at Alaska Marine Lines near downtown.

Ordinance would limit time frame for tax exemption
The Juneau Assembly introduced an ordinance Monday that would impose a one-year time limit on property tax exemptions for senior citizens and veterans.

Juneau supporters try to fend off push for state capital move
Rep. Kevin Meyer, R-Anchorage, triggered plenty of dispute on Tuesday when he told a legislative committee that moving the Alaska Legislature to Anchorage wouldn't hurt business in Juneau.

Summer ferry schedule late but available
The Alaska Marine Highway System released its summer schedule Tuesday, about two months late but in time for the important Milepost publication deadline.

Photo: Early morning avalanche
An avalanche comes down Mount Roberts toward Thane Road at about 8:20 a.m. Monday. The avalanche, reportedly caused by high winds, did not block the road.

Photo: Youth center receives safety award
Dennis Weston, superintendent of the Johnson Youth Center, left, and Steve McComb, state director of juvenile justice, hold a banner recognizing the youth center's Safety Health Achievement Recognition Program award on Tuesday at the center. The Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development presents the SHARP award to employers who demonstrate that their employee safety and health management programs reduce worksite accident rates for their industry.

Photo: World of ice
A cross-country skier accompanied by a dog glides across frozen Mendenhall Lake on Monday in front of the Mendenhall Glacier. Clear but cold weather will continue today with a high of 14.

Around Town

Around Town

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

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

Correction
In Sunday's edition of the Juneau Empire, Leimomi Matunding's name was misspelled in a story.

Arts for Kids to hold fourth arts celebration
Arts for Kids, a local nonprofit group dedicated to supporting and sustaining art education in the Juneau School District, will host the fourth annual Community Arts Celebration from 1-4 p.m. on Saturday in the Dzantik'i Heeni Middle School commons. This family event is free and open to people of all ages.

University holds informational night
The University of Alaska Southeast School of Education will host an informational night to answer questions and help potential students interested in applying to the Master's of Art in Teaching elementary and secondary programs at 5:30 p.m. today at the UAS Egan Building, Room 108.

Students learn about oil, gas, construction
Funded by a Denali Training Fund Youth Initiative program, the All-Alaska Academy is holding an Oil, Gas, Construction, and Mining Industry Career Awareness session for 11th- and 12th-graders from Ketchikan, Klawock, Pelican, Southeast Island and Wrangell School Districts this week, until Friday in Juneau. The session, aligned with Alaska Content Standards, will include visits to the Kensington Mine and other work sites.

Widowed Persons Program holds brunch
The Widowed Persons Program is pleased to announce the monthly brunch at noon on Sunday at Capital Café, in the Baranof Hotel.

Thank you from the family of Betty Speed
We, the family of Betty Speed, would like to thank everyone in our time of loss.

Thank you from the CHOICE program
The CHOICE program, Choosing Healthy Options In Cooperative Education, at Juneau-Douglas High School has had a successful first semester due in part to the community volunteers who took time out of their busy lives to mentor and support our students.

Recognitions
Patrick Hoke, of Juneau, was named to the fall dean's list at Hamilton College in Clinton, N.Y. A student must achieve a grade-point average of 90 or higher during the term to be eligible. The son of Deborah Holbrook and Alexander Hoke, of Juneau, Hoke is a junior majoring in computer science.

Hannah Wheaton
Hannah Marie Wheaton, originally of Juneau, died on Jan. 23, 2008, in Portland, Ore. She was 38. A full obituary will follow.

Sally Jo Bridge
Former Juneau resident Sally Jo Bridge died Jan. 16, 2008, at Providence Extended Care Center in Anchorage. She was 58.

Michael Emery
Juneau resident Michael Robert Emery died Jan. 28, 2008, in Juneau. He was 58.

Outside editorial: Trust buster
Two themes ran through President Bush's final State of the Union address Monday night, as he made the case for his continued relevance: Trust the American people, he said - again and again - and empower them to run their own lives. Trust the people with their money, and the economy will come around. Trust them to demand better schools, and schools will improve. Trust scientists to think big about global warming, and they will hit on solutions. All of that is fine, and yet for all of Bush's trust in the American people, he also made clear that he lacks essential confidence in their government - his government.

My Turn: Danger with zinc-based inhalers
I recently purchased a zinc-based inhaler with sinus relief medication from one of our local merchants. It was located on the shelf in between the Food and Drug Administration approved over-the-counter medications. However, I learned the hard way that it is not.

Outside editorial: Europe's proposal
The European Union announced a new plan last week to combat global warming that would set firm caps on emissions by 27 countries. The initiative might be seen as widening the gap on climate change between Europe and the United States, given the Bush administration's refusal to consider such binding measures. But that's premature: In fact, the proposal in many ways mirrors initiatives under discussion in Congress and could be the beginning of a harmonization of climate change policy between Brussels and Washington.

Outside column: Congress pressured to forego Alberta's oil sands
WASHINGTON - Few Americans are aware of it, but Canada is the biggest foreign supplier of energy to the United States.

My Turn: Clear cutting at odds with stabilizing deer habitat
A recent Juneau Empire article and an Alaska Public Radio Network story on the sharp decline in deer on northeast Chichagof Island described local hardship but missed a central point while focusing on snow and nonlocal hunters. Deer in northern Southeast are at the bottom of a cycle. The extreme decline in particular areas was caused by an imbalance of two factors: the number of deer at the beginning of winter and the total amount and quality of forage they could reach as the winter progressed.

Outside editorial: Speak English or be fired?
Virginia Sen. Ken Cuccinelli Jr., R-Fairfax, has introduced a piece of immigrant-bashing legislation that is meant to ease the way for bosses to fire workers who don't speak English. But the bill is so closed-minded and foul-tempered that it is too much for Cuccinelli himself. It would victimize employees who fail "to speak only English at the workplace," a formulation even the senator now allows is a bit harsh; who knows, maybe his own ancestors were known to utter a phrase or two in their native Italian on the job. So he has decided to remove the word "only" from his bill. Nice, but it doesn't help.

Senators want delay in ID requirements
WASHINGTON - Nineteen senators, including five from Washington state, Idaho and Alaska, asked the Department of Homeland Security on Monday to delay new border-crossing rules that will mean longer lines and stiffer demands for identification for people entering the United States from Canada.

Weather delays cleanup at fuel spill
SELAWIK - Weather is delaying cleanup efforts of a fuel spill at the tank farm in the village of Selawik.

Road rage puts one man in hospital
ANCHORAGE - A road rage incident on the Glenn Highway landed one man in an Anchorage hospital and another behind bars.

Man sentenced to 100 years in murder
ANCHORAGE - An Anchorage man convicted of kidnapping and murder nearly three years ago was sentenced to 100 years in prison.

Man faces 40 years on firearms charges
ANCHORAGE - A 40-year-old Point Hope man faces up to 40 years in a federal prison when he's sentenced on firearms charges.

Anchorage lawmaker treated for chest pain
JUNEAU - State Rep. Bob Lynn is recovering from heart surgery at a hospital in Anchorage, according to his staff.

Compassionate gift bill on fast track
JUNEAU - A legislative staffer who wants to donate a kidney to an ailing lawmaker will not run afoul of new ethics rules under a bill being fast-tracked through the state Legislature.

State files friend of the court brief
JUNEAU - The state of Alaska has filed a friend of the court brief in the Exxon Valdez oil spill case.

Alaska Airlines makes emergency landing
KETCHIKAN - For the second time in a week, an Alaska Airlines jet had to make an emergency landing at Ketchikan International Airport.

City to consider airport improvements
JUNEAU - The Assembly voted Monday to introduce an ordinance at its next regular meeting appropriating $8.1 million for improvements at Juneau International Airport.

South Franklin Street upgrades approved
JUNEAU - The Assembly voted during its regular meeting Monday to transfer $183,000 into the South Franklin Street Capital Improvement Project.

Police investigate parking lot shooting
ANCHORAGE - Anchorage police said a man was shot and wounded in the parking lot of a bar Sunday morning.

Weather delays efforts to clean up fuel spill
SELAWIK - Weather is delaying clean up efforts of a fuel spill at the tank farm in the village of Selawik.

Climbers, fans come out for competition
A free bouldering and speed-climbing competition officially christened the new Balance Climbing store on Friday at the Rock Dump Indoor Climbing Gym.

Juneau's ice masters
One of Juneau's winter draws for skaters is playing on the frozen lakes and ponds.

Photo: Pushing the action
D.K. Mining Co.'s Ian Fisk battles for the puck with the Orange's Justine Emerson during their Juneau Adult Hockey Association Tier B game on Sunday. Turn to Page B8 for results and standings from JAHA.

Sports in Juneau

Juneau boys, girls JV teams sweep Colony at home
The Juneau-Douglas High School boys basketball junior varsity team had four people score in double figures in a 56-54 win over Colony on Sunday.

Johnson's goal propels D.K. Mining Co. to win
Arne Johnson broke a 3-3 tie with 5:21 left in the game to lift D.K. Mining Co. past the Orange 4-3 in a Juneau Adult Hockey Association Tier A game on Sunday at Treadwell Arena.

Sports Digest

Groups sue for info in petroleum lease sale
Conservation groups on Monday sued the federal agency responsible for the upcoming offshore petroleum lease sale in the Chukchi Sea off Alaska's northwest coast, claiming the federal government has not disclosed documents that could show harmful effects to polar bears and other marine mammals.

Mining activity soars in Alaska
Mine companies are scrambling to extract while mineral prices are still high - and Alaskans are collecting ever rising taxes.

Murkowski returns to the pipeline scene
Former Gov. Frank Murkowski wants to be a player again in the high-stakes game of building a pipeline to tap North Slope's natural gas.

State keeps quiet about victory in settlement
The Alaska Department of Revenue won a big settlement for state workers and retirees, but agreed to keep quiet about its victory.

Federal coordinator says Alaska's gas line plan must keep momentum
Federal gas pipeline coordinator Drue Pearce said Monday she believes Gov. Sarah Palin's gas line plan is working - so far.

Lawmaker warns against altering education funding
The head of a legislative task force charged with fixing the state's school funding warned lawmakers Tuesday that tinkering with any proposed changes could cause a "long-fought, well-discussed compromise" to collapse.

Judge rules in favor of Stevens in ethics case
Former state Senate president Ben Stevens, who has been embroiled in political scandal over the past year, has won a small victory in a dispute with the state's legislative watchdog over financial disclosure laws.

Troopers release findings of Alaska sexual abuse study
ANCHORAGE - Alaska has long led in the nation in sexual assaults, but it's the state's rural areas where children are being molested at the most alarming rates, according to a report released Tuesday.

Board delays decision about wolf pup killing
ANCHORAGE - The Alaska Board of Game deferred a decision on whether to allow residents along the Kuskokwim River to kill wolf pups in their dens.

Fort Wainwright sculpture honors combat medics
Artist James Grant Sr. hopes his latest sculpture will buoy the spirits of wounded soldiers at Fort Wainwright.

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

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

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