Monday, February 2, 2009

Transportation officials promise outside review of Lynn Canal highway
An outside review of the cost of the Juneau Access Project, the controversial road up Lynn Canal, will be done this year, state transportation officials say.

Kids can find books about Twain, anatomy and underwear
We're putting lots of new nonfiction for kids out on the shelves at the Juneau Public Libraries, including books about people, animals, customs, things to make and how things work. Here are just a few.

Glacier Highway Access Road needs new name
Like many capital city residents, I've enjoyed the new changes in Egan Drive near Sunny Point. But one thing distresses me greatly.

City spending should benefit majority
Why does it always seem like the assembly spends extra funds on items enjoyed by a minority of residents? I believe we can make better choices for the majority or for the people who are less fortunate. I'm sure basic services like sewers for all of Juneau or even timely sidewalk snow removal, senior services or food tax reductions would better serve the majority.

Liquidating PFD is a 'great idea'
I am writing in response to the letter, "PFD problems: remedies, suggestions," dated Jan. 30. In my opinion, this is a great idea to have the Permanent Fund Dividend liquidated to individual mutual funds for every resident of Alaska who has been here more than two years. The permanent fund division should also include a clause when liquidating the funds, and the clause would be: The residents must stay and live in Alaska for ten more years if they are going to cash out the PFD mutual funds. This way, we will be assured a steady economy for the state and also help with the federal and state taxes on it. Also, this will boost the economy nationwide at the same time.

Coast Guard trainees forage for seaweed, shiver in cold
Cold-weather survival training conducted by U.S. Coast Guard members stationed in Alaska is legendary, and also somewhat feared by rookies.

Crews repair lines, restore hydro power
Repairs to the Snettisham transmission line were completed Sunday evening, returning hydroelectric power to all of Juneau.

Archives Rescue Corps works to preserve hidden history
Part of Alaska's history may be tucked away in your basement. You may have inherited interesting archives and not even know it. Worse, those old papers of your grandmother's you just threw out may have been worth saving - but nobody told you.

Woman, 31, dies in collision on Glacier Highway
A 31-year-old Juneau resident died Saturday afternoon after losing control of her vehicle near 15.5 mile of Glacier Highway and crashing into an oncoming sports utility vehicle, according to police.

A Mount Redoubt eruption not likely to affect Southeast
As of Saturday afternoon, the National Weather Service has not issued any notices for Southeast concerning possible effects from the volcanic eruption of Mount Redoubt, which experts say is imminent.

Photos: Super Sunday
Super cheer: Abby O'Brien cheers for the Pittsburgh Steelers during the second half of the Super Bowl at the Rendezvous. Santonio Holmes made a brilliant 6-yard catch deep in the right corner of the end zone with 35 seconds remaining Sunday night, lifting the Steelers to a record-setting sixth Super Bowl win in a 27-23 victory over the Arizona Cardinals.

Photo: Chasing a rainbow
Matthew Seymour, 13, walks with his dog, Bear, on Sunday while out with his family on the Brotherhood Bridge trail. Today's forecast calls for more rain showers and highs around 36.

Palin, legislators make new effort against genocide
Last fall's contentious presidential campaign may give a boost to a bill that failed last legislative session despite bipartisan support.

Photo: First taste of snow
Chulo ("Cute" in Spanish) enjoys a mouthful of snow Saturday as he romps next to his owner's house on Highland Drive. Until recently, Chulo was living in the streets of Zihuatanejo, Mexico, where he befriended John and Barbara Lager of Juneau. After taking the dog to get his rabies shot and health checkup, the Lagers brought him to Juneau, where they say he is wary of snow and rain but otherwise is a very grateful dog.

Police & Fire
Assist:

Around Town
Today

Photos: Hot salsa, cool ballroom
Lydia Kline, left, dances with Henry Melville to the music of Salsa Borealis during the eighth annual Hot Salsa Cool Ballroom event Saturday at Centennial Hall. The event was a fundraiser for Montessori schools.

Around Town
Today

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

Correction
An article in Friday's Empire incorrectly identified the high school basketball team defeated by the JDHS boys on Thursday in Fairbanks.

An English teacher in Africa
"Alekum Salem. Nabaad?"

Thanks for 12 years of memories
As many of you may already know, Friday was my last day serving as office manager at Dr. Raster's office.

Thanks to DIPAC's fall season volunteers
DIPAC would like to thank the special volunteers who helped make its fall education program a great success. Our annual fall field trip salmon education program was held Oct. 6 - Nov. 6 in conjunction with the Juneau School District. More than 1,360 students and adults visited the Macaulay Salmon Hatchery Visitor Center to participate in these classes. DIPAC sincerely thanks the following people for helping make our 2008 fall program so successful: George Bonnett, Dick Callahan, Darcy Ervin, Nancy and Elle Hakari, Mark and Betty Johnson, Julie Nielsen, Lauren Oakes, Jodi Pirtle and Rhys Smoker.

Thanks to all who contributed to Community Needs Drive
On Tuesday, Jan. 20, SAGA celebrated the end of a very successful Community Needs Drive in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service. We would like to thank all of those who helped make the day a success. The Needs Drive was a very successful event that we look forward to making a major community event in the future.

Senior menu Menu for Feb. 2-6
Monday, Feb. 2

FYI Births
Recent births at Bartlett Regional Hospital:

Exploring the canals of Venice - in England
T his travel story definitely needs an introduction. In January 2008, Don began trying to buy tickets with our Alaska Airlines miles to travel to New Zealand. It was obvious that Alaska Airlines and Qantas did not want us to use our miles. Frustrated, we finally decided to travel to Great Britain.

Photo: Award-winning construction team
The Juneau-Douglas High School Student Chapter of the Southeast Alaska Building Industry Association recently earned first place in the 2009 Residential Construction Competion held Jan. 20 in Las Vegas. Students completed a thorough collection of working drawings, a detailed materials and labor cost list and a construction schedule to build a 3,100 square foot house in San Antonio, Texas. They completed this preliminary work prior to traveling to the competition, where they gave a presentation defending their solution to a panel of judges. Their first-place finish earned $1,200 for their chapter, as well as noise-cancelling headphones, plaques and construction calculators valued at $100 for each student. The students and their teacher and coach, Craig Mapes, thank the Southeast Alaska Building Industry Association for their financial support, as well as Robin Gilcrist, with the University of Alaska Southeast; Chris Gilberto, with North Pacific Erectors; and Kelly Flynn, with Juneau Truss, for all their help. Shown in the foreground pictured from left, are: Mapes, Joseph Funk, Willliam Strehler, Linzie Norman and Katie Busch. Not pictured is member Joseph Croteau.

Trevor Larsen earns Eagle Scout award
Together with friends and family, Trevor Larsen celebrated the achievement of his Eagle Scout award on Nov. 30 at Resurrection Lutheran Church, the sponsor of Boy Scout Troop 11.

'Breakfast with the President' a success due to participation
I would like to thank the Juneau World Affairs Council for sponsoring the wildly successful "Breakfast with the President" on Jan. 20. The historic inauguration of President Barack Obama was witnessed by 1,200 people who attended the early morning event.

Aldersgate church to host weekend of peace and justice with Interplay performance
International InterPlay leader and storyteller Masankho K. Banda will visit Juneau for two events. The first is an afternoon workshop titled "Cultures of Peace with InterPlay" from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 7, at Aldersgate United Methodist Church. The second is to preach and lead music on the themes of peace and justice at Aldersgate's 11 a.m. worship service.

Widowed Persons Program holds first potluck of 2009
The Widowed Persons Program will hold its monthly brunch at noon today in the Nugget Room at the Baranof Hotel as well as a potluck at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 12, in the dining room at Fireweed Place. Please bring a dish to share.

Wear Red Day reminds women of heart disease risk
SITKA - Heart disease is the No. 1 killer for women in Alaska and the United States. To help women take better care of their hearts, the SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium's WISEWOMAN program is joining millions of Americans in the celebration of National Wear Red Day on Feb. 6.

National Black AIDS Awareness Day on Feb. 7
Because AIDS is a leading killer of black men and women and the impact of HIV and AIDS is global, Feb. 7 was reserved as National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day to highlight the effect of HIV/AIDS on the African American community.

Outside Editorial: Stimulus bill needs Obama's intervention
Mounting the bully pulpit last week, President Obama gave Wall Street a lecture about the $18.4 billion in bonuses that the securities industry awarded itself in 2008. This was "outrageous," Mr. Obama said. In these tough times, he declared, financiers must "show some restraint and show some discipline and show some sense of responsibility." Well said. Now the president should make the same demand on those in Congress, including leaders of his own party, who are cluttering his fiscal stimulus plan with extraneous and counterproductive provisions.

Palin's budget takes the advisable path
Gov. Sarah Palin has taken the responsible approach to the state's budget for the fiscal year beginning in July. She has proposed neither massive cuts nor the continuation of unsustainable budgetary growth.

My Turn: Endangered Species Act a 'weapon of choice'
Congress passed the Endangered Species Act in 1973 to be used as a safeguard to protect species from extinction. No one questions that reasonable and prudent measures should be taken to avoid extinction, especially when the threat is posed by human activity.

The Permanent Fund shouldn't be used to boost in-state energy
The Alaska Permanent Fund is supposed to be a place for the state to invest its money prudently - not a development fund for questionable projects. That's why a proposal to allow the fund board to invest up to $1 billion in in-state energy projects is a bad idea.

Coeur has, will continue to do it right
T he Kensington Gold Mine has been in the environmental baseline, planning, design and YES, construction phase, since 1988 when I first came to Juneau to work on the project. Its developer, Coeur Alaska, Inc., has advanced the project carefully and diligently. Coeur d'Alene Mines as a company has received more than two dozen national and international environmental and reclamation awards in the last 20 years and has applied the same high environmental standards to this 1.4 million-ounce reserve gold project located north of Juneau.

Raising the gas tax a revenue-neutral way to treat oil addiction
Reality is stark: Nearly every major foreign policy challenge we face is aggravated by our continued addiction to oil. Recent developments in Europe, the Middle East and Africa only underscore this fact. But a new president and changed economic conditions offer the chance to take a bold step toward freeing our nation from the grip of foreign petroleum.

Despite huge challenges, opportunities remain
As representative from District 4, in the first days of the 26th Alaska Legislature I have been active, working on legislative priorities for our community and region.

Letter from editor: Practice common courtesy on the blogosphere
The Juneau Empire has been monitoring its blogs more closely in recent weeks after repeated violations of our online policies resulted in several users being banned from posting comments to stories.

Toe Toon
This week's Toe Toon

Palin's church holds first service after fire
WASILLA - Hundreds of worshippers flocked to the reopening Sunday of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's home church, which was badly damaged in an arson fire in December.

Ketchikan gusts knock down trees
KETCHIKAN - Strong winds that blew a state ferry off its mooring in Metlakatla also knocked down trees and a power lines in nearby Ketchikan.

Investigation leads to seizure of 4 horses
ANCHOR POINT - Four horses on the Kenai Peninsula have been placed into protective care.

Kalskag school fire resembles 1995 blaze
ANCHORAGE - The superintendent of the Kuspuk School District says the fire that destroyed the high school at Kalskag is at least a $5 million loss.

Circle woman arrested in stabbing case
ANCHORAGE - A 28-year-old Circle woman is under arrest, accused of stabbing a man during an argument.

Morris hires financial advisor, legal counsel
AUGUSTA, Ga. - Morris Publishing Group announced Friday that it hired Lazard Freres & Co. as its financial advisor and the firm of Neal, Gerber & Eisenberg as legal counsel.

105-year-old elder dies in Nenana
FAIRBANKS - A Nenana man who celebrated his 105th birthday on Jan. 14 has died.

Nenana Ice Classic tickets go on sale
FAIRBANKS - Tickets for Alaska's oldest betting game, the Nenana Ice Classic, are now on sale across the state.

Dems decry delay in obtaining Palin e-mails
JUNEAU - The Alaska Democratic Party says a six-month or more delay in obtaining official e-mails from Gov. Sarah Palin's office is inexcusable.

Drunk driver may receive new sentence
FAIRBANKS - The state Court of Appeals has ordered another sentencing hearing for a 65-year-old Fairbanks man serving 20 years for vehicular homicide.

Lawmaker promotes food drive for village
FAIRBANKS - A Fairbanks state legislator is assisting a food drive for a western Alaska community.

Ketchikan hires new economic manager
KETCHIKAN - The Ketchikan Gateway Borough's new economic development manager is on the job and she says there are tremendous opportunities for the community.

Two soldiers charged with armed robbery
WASILLA - Alaska State Troopers in Anchorage say two Fort Richardson soldiers have been charged with robbery, burglary and extortion.

Et tu?: Girls join boys at 0-2 in SEC
A pack of quick, little Kings scorers scurried around the Crimson Bears to take a two-game lead in the Southeast Conference regular season standings. Sound familiar?

Bears win two more up north
There's still a big donut to fill at the front of the Crimson Bears' Southeast Conference record from a week ago, but Saturday's 60-45 shellacking of Service and Friday's 71-54 beating of Bartlett gave coach Steve Potter and company a delicious 4-0 record through the first four days of their whirlwind road trip up north.

JDHS playoff-bound
The good news is the Crimson Bears are headed to the Mid-Alaska Conference hockey championships in their first elligible season next weekend in North Pole. The bad news is that they will be playing top-ranked Lathrop - undefeated MAC record and all.

JDHS sports schedule Hockey
Feb. 6-7 Tournament, North Pole 7pm

Sports in Juneau
UPCOMING EVENTS

State ferry breaks loose, grounds near Metlakatla
METLAKATLA - High winds blew a state ferry off its mooring and onto a small island Friday but the vessel was refloated with only a minor spill.

Wobbly market may crimp gas line
The global recession has created new uncertainties for a $30 billion-plus Alaska natural gas pipeline, according to the companies involved in the project and to independent analyst Wood MacKenzie.

Study gives state D-plus in teacher retention
ANCHORAGE - Alaska needs to do more to keep good teachers and weed out the bad ones, according to a national study reviewing teacher retention.

BP completes transit pipeline replacement
With no ceremony, no public announcement, and little further comment, BP PLC has quietly closed the books on one of the company's most costly moments as operator to the nation's largest oil field, Alaska's Prudhoe Bay.

Smyth bests Mackey in Tustumena 200 race
KENAI - Competitors and fans alike couldn't have asked for a better day for the 25th running of the Tustumena 200 Sled Dog Race - a race which almost didn't happened due to warm temperatures and no snow just a few weeks back.

State ferry breaks loose, grounds near Metlakatla
METLAKATLA - High winds blew a state ferry off its mooring and onto a small island Friday but the vessel was refloated with only a minor spill.

Some state lawmakers question Palin's focus
JUNEAU - Driving home at night from her office at the Capitol, the leader of Alaska's House Democrats, Rep. Beth Kerttula, often passes the governor's white-columned mansion and wonders why there aren't more lights on.

Palin joins Washington elite to officially welcome Obama
WASHINGTON - Mere months ago, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin was introduced to the world as a hockey mom who hunts and fishes, remains grounded in small-town values, and is married to her blue-collar, snow-machine-loving high school sweetheart.

Gold discovery could be among world's largest
FAIRBANKS - A gold discovery north of Fairbanks is among the largest worldwide in 10 years, said a mining exploration company.

Federal taxes take big cut of PFD
ANCHORAGE - Alaskans were thrilled to receive a supersized $3,269 Permanent Fund dividend last year.

Geologists report rumblings but no big energy bursts at Mount Redoubt
ANCHORAGE - Mount Redoubt continued to rumble and emit steam Sunday but showed no dramatic burst of energy from the previous day, geologists monitoring the volcano said.

This Day in History
In 1653, New Amsterdam - now New York City - was incorporated.

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