Monday, January 31, 2011

'Awesome to be back'
The seas that faced United States Coast Guard Cmdr. James Robertson in a year’s deployment with Operation Iraqi Freedom were not typical oceans. They were storms of sand, waves of heat, and floods of bottled water, all things atypical for a District 17 Station Juneau member.

Photo: A cold checkmate
Ari Gross, Rhys Coffee and Dylan Williams play chess Sunday in the Bishop Michael H. Kenny Memorial Peace Park at Third and Seward Streets.

Accused OxyContin dealers make initial appearances in Federal Court
The four adults arrested by a joint drug task force operation between the Juneau Police Department, Southeast Alaska Cities Against Drugs and the FBI appeared in Juneau Federal Court on Friday.

New police department substation up and running
The Juneau Police Department opened a new substation located in the Downtown Transit Center Building on Wednesday and, according to JPD chief Greg Browning, the new station is an improvement over the old one that was located in the city office building across from Marine Park.

Police & Fire
This report contains information provided to the Empire from law enforcement agencies. This report includes arrest and citation information, not conviction information. Anyone listed in this report is presumed innocent.

Hot Salsa dances into 10th year
It’s time to put on your dancing shoes and salsa the night away with Juneau Montessori School.

Airport Shopping Center gets a facelift
The Mendenhall Valley’s Airport Shopping Center has a history of staying in the family, a signature facet for many Juneau establishments. The owners strive to keep that locality in both the buildings and their stores, even in the midst of updates.

Police & Fire
This report contains information provided to the Empire from law enforcement agencies. This report includes arrest and citation information, not conviction information. Anyone listed in this report is presumed innocent.

Photo: Shadow dancing
Shadows of instruments and musicians are cast on a back drop at the Juneau Arts & Cultural Center during Friday’s Celtic Festival.

EITC benefits often go unclaimed, IRS says
Officers of the Internal Revenue Service held a teleconference on Friday in commemoration of the fifth Earned Income Tax Credit Awareness (EITC) Day.

Photo: Enjoying the show
Matt Esmay and his daughters Elizabeth and Saphire applaud during Friday evening’s Celtic Festival at the Juneau Arts & Cultural Center. The Esmays moved to Juneau from South Dakota in the middle of this winter and have found the environment enjoyable so far.

Fallen airman was a leader in his hometown
A former Juneau resident who died last week while supporting Operation Enduring Freedom was a much-loved and admired coach.

DeHart's replacement takes step forward
Replacement of DeHart’s Marina’s floats took a step forward at Thursday’s Docks and Harbors board meeting.

Lunch at Juneau Montessori School
The first person I met last week during a visit to the Juneau Montessori School was a 19-month-old boy wearing a miniature hooded sweatshirt and little tightie-whities. The boy (I’ve omitted his name to protect the innocent) came toddling down the stairs, beaming ear to ear.

Swim club begins annual fundraiser
On Feb. 5, the Glacier Swim Club will kick off its annual fundraising event, Aqualaps. Swimmers will be seeking pledge donations from their family, friends and neighbors for the next few weeks. Then, on May 7, each swimmer will swim as many as 200 laps to meet their pledge responsibilities (lap goals are set by coaches, and vary between 50 and 200 laps depending or each swimmers ability).

Recognitions
Erika O’Sullivan of Haines was recently listed on the 2010 fall semester dean’s list at the University of Portland. O’Sullivan is studying political science. Students need at least a 3.5 grade point average to be eligible for the dean’s list.

Focus on faculty: Published works, new hires
Humanities faculty news

FYI
• On Jan. 19, 2011, a son, Dalin Kyle Brady, weighing 10 lbs. 3 oz., to Janlaine Lin and Kyle Matthew Brady.

Letting one's life unfold
I was born years before the Civil Rights Movement. But the day I was born is historic, because a courageous Alaska Native woman appeared before the Alaska Legislature to speak for equality among all peoples. On Feb. 8, 1945, Elizabeth Peratrovich eloquently advocated for Alaska Native civil rights. On Feb. 8, 2010, I attended my 7-year-old granddaughter’s Harborview Tlingit Language and Culture Program presentation. The fourth and fifth grade classes reenacted that special day in Alaska history. We celebrated the life of a woman who stood up for the rights of her people with the goal of bringing equality to all. I was surrounded by diversity and loved every minute of it.

Photo: WorldQuest victors
The Juneau World Affairs Council’s annual world affairs contest WorldQuest took place on Jan. 21at Centennial Hall. There were approximately 150 attendees at the event, which was won by the team Un-Mensables after one of the closest finishes in WorldQuest history. The event is the primary fundraiser for JWAC.

Photo: Learning to ski together
On Jan. 22, Big Brothers Big Sisters went up for a winter fun day at Eaglecrest Ski Area. Nine matches came including many first-timers. Eaglecrest provided lessons for those who wanted extra instruction. After skiing for her very first time, one little sister exclaimed that she had never had a sport before, and now she has one.

Neighbors Mailbox: Jan. 30, 2011
Free legal help was a Success

Photo: A generous donation
REACH, Inc. would like to thank the Alaska Communication Systems Children’s Fund for their generous donation to the agency. The ACS Children’s Fund was an employee-run charity designed to assist Alaskan organizations that provide services to children with physical, emotional and/or developmental disabilities. As the Fund was being closed out this year, a final distribution was provided to six agencies statewide. REACH received a final distribution in the amount of $1,685.66. The ACS Juneau General Manager, Bob Varness, came to REACH to provide the check in person to the REACH Executive Director, Richard Fagundes, pictured at left. REACH is honored to receive this donation, and thanks the ACS Children’s Fund for their support of our goals.

Pets of the week
TOFFEE

Volunteer Opportunity of the Week
Organization: Meals on Wheels

Phyllis J. Nauska
Phyllis J. Nauska, age 71 of Wrangell, died Jan. 27, 2011 in Juneau, at home surrounded by family and friends.

Norman C. Edwards Jr.
Norman C. Edwards Jr. died peacefully in his home in Amagansett, N.Y., surrounded by his wife, children and grandchildren Jan. 19, 2011, after a two-year fight with stage-four brain cancer (gioblastoma). He is son to the late Capt. Norman C. Edwards Sr. and Elsie Johnson Edwards of Amagansett, N.Y. He is great-grandson to

Earl A. McHardy
Earl A. McHardy passed away in Logan, Utah on Jan. 14, 2011. He was 78 years old.

My Turn: A promise that must be kept
Sealaska is seeking congressional help in obtaining that last 85,000 acres promised to it in the 1971 Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA).

TOE cartoon

Outside editorial: Not so fast, nosy government
The following editorial first appeared in the Los Angeles Times:

Juneau UWantSome
Juneau wants for something — but what is it? What is it that Juneau wants? If we were to ask all the organizations and programs in this city we would get at least a hundred different answers to this question. One group, not waiting to be asked is the Juneau Rollergirls. With their recent meet-and-greet, they are here to tell us that what Juneau wants is some roller derby action!

An old order finally ending
For years, many Middle Easterners have operated on the premise that things could continue as in the past. Arab autocrats assumed they could rule forever, and many Israelis thought they could occupy forever.

Alaskan Legislators: Women, men of service
On Jan. 18, I had the privilege of opening with prayer this year’s legislative session of the state Senate. I was grateful for the opportunity and impressed that the men and women who serve as our representatives begin their work together by asking for God’s blessing, guidance, and wisdom.

Better weapons for Medicare-fraud battle
The following editorial first appeared in the Miami Herald:

Former airman sentenced for fraud
ANCHORAGE — A 40-year-old former airman who defrauded the Air Force and the state Labor Department has been sentenced to five years probation and 250 hours of community service.

Anchorage officials to race for charity
ANCHORAGE — Five Anchorage officials, including Mayor Dan Sullivan, are going to hop on their dog sleds behind three-dog teams and compete for charity.

Earthquake felt in Anchorage
ANCHORAGE — A light earthquake has been felt in Anchorage.

Alaska court guard fired for pre-shift drinking
FAIRBANKS — A retired Alaska State Trooper from Fairbanks with a history of alcohol violations was fired from his job as a guard at a federal courthouse after an anonymous tipster warned police he had visited a bar before his shift began.

Man charged with domestic violence after causing traffic accident
A Juneau man grabbed the steering wheel of his girlfriend’s car Saturday night, causing a crash on Egan Drive, according to a release from the Juneau Police Department.

Alaska man convicted of conspiracy sought on Fla. charge
ANCHORAGE — An Alaska man convicted of conspiracy in Alaska’s political corruption scandal is being sought by Florida authorities on a charge of child sexual battery.

Fire damages home in Kodzoff Acres II
Capital City Fire and Rescue fought a residential fire Saturday night at 2895 Mendenhall Loop Road, according to a release from CCFR.

Chopper crew rescues 4 skiers caught in avalanche
ANCHORAGE — A National Guard helicopter crew rescued four skiers who were trapped in an avalanche south of Anchorage that left three of them injured.

Search does not find missing Oregon boy
PORTLAND, Ore. — A search has ended for a missing Oregon boy who disappeared from his Portland school seven months ago.

Photo: Parks & rec postseason
The Juneau Parks & Rec Adult Ordway Basketball Tournament began Jan. 20 and culminates with championship games on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday (if necessary) this week at the Dzantik’I Heeni gym and, if necessary, the UAS recreation center.

Wolves rally for 9-point win over TMHS
The Thunder Mountain boys’ basketball team had a chance at a winning trip up North on Friday night against Eagle River, but a double-digit halftime lead wasn’t enough as the Wolves exploded for 51 second-half points to drop the Falcons 70-61 in the finale of a three-game road swing for Thunder Mountain.

Swim season never ends for JDHS's Clark
Even with the high school swim and dive season over since November, Juneau-Douglas junior swimmer Auri Clark continues to train and work hard in the pool.

Photo: Falcon frenzy
Leo Buzard, sporting homemade wings, makes a dash across the basketball court at halftime at Friday’s game featuring the Thunder Mountain High School girls’ basketball team against Ketchikan. Buzard, a senior, said “none of the Southeast teams have a mascot, I want Thunder Mountain to be the first.”

SERR hands out Empire Cup awards
Like they’ve done since the early 1990s, the Southeast Road Runners have once again been burning up the trails around Juneau in hopes of ending the year atop the 2010 Empire Cup Standings.

Kings rally, hold off Falcons
Thunder Mountain went scoreless over the first five and a half minutes of the third quarter as Ketchikan rallied for a 45-41 Southeast Conference girls’ basketball win Saturday at TMHS.

Lawmakers to review tax credits
JUNEAU — Alaska provided $1.3 billion in tax credits to oil and gas companies over two-and-a-half years, and is poised to pay out hundreds of millions more — not counting the expanded credits Gov. Sean Parnell is now proposing.

Railroad CEO expects economic upturn
ANCHORAGE — Alaska Railroad Corp. CEO Christopher Aadnesen says he’s expecting the railroad’s economic recovery that began during fiscal 2009 to continue through the current fiscal year.

Fairbanks' pollution could hinder federal money
FAIRBANKS — The head of the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation says the state could be more active in enforcing pollution laws after Fairbanks rejected stricter standards in a fall 2010 ballot measure.

Commission faults agency, industry in Gulf spill
ANCHORAGE — President Barack Obama in June tapped University of Alaska Anchorage Chancellor Fran Ulmer for the presidential commission investigating the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig explosion, and as crude oil continued to spew from the Macondo well 40 miles from shore in the Gulf of Mexico, Alaska’s former lieutenant governor found herself in a helicopter sizing up the spill.

Legislators hurry to re-up Senior Benefits Program
Crucial cash help for the state’s neediest seniors is slated to end by June, but some key legislators are rushing to get the Senior Benefits Program reauthorized as quickly as possible.

Sessions' cost, honesty of estimates, debated in Capitol
Advocates of longer legislative sessions are facing bipartisan criticism of their claim that extending legislators’ time in Juneau by 30 days would not have any budgetary impact.

Eagle River racing team having a snow-ball with vintage sleds
EAGLE RIVER — Starting a racing team isn’t usually cheap. At the highest levels, team owners like Richard Childress or Roger Penske spend millions of dollars on parts and labor just to get their multi-million dollar automobiles to the track.

Don Young: Last of a breed on Capitol Hill
WASHINGTON — There he was, sitting in the House of Representatives, grinning ear to ear, attending his first State of the Union speech since 1974.

Jonrowe pushes through to claim Tustumena 200 title
KASILOF — Shortly before 3 p.m., veteran musher Deedee Jonrowe arrived at Mile 112 of the Sterling Highway to an anxiously awaiting crowd.

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