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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Extension of 90 day session not needed
I read in the news media lately about extending the legislative session. I would disagree with the need for longer sessions. Remember this is a public mandate. So is ANGDA (Alaska Natural Gas Development Authority). These are two laws the people wanted and are authorized to do so by our Constitution.

Critiquing L'attitude
If I may, I’d like to make a brief critique of the Juneau Empire’s monthly insert — L’attitude:

$1B buys a lot of infrastructure
In an effort to create jobs, Gov. Sean Parnell has proposed a tax break for oil companies worth an estimated $1 billion annually at today’s oil prices. Noble as the idea of job creation may be, Alaskans may want to consider what they are giving up. Both the oil companies and Alaskans derive a direct benefit from the infrastructure, education, public safety and development of renewable energy (just to name a few) which a billion dollars could support. Furthermore, money spent on these essential services would benefit all businesses, helping to diversify our economy. Of course, we could just put those oil revenues in the Alaska Permanent Fund, an amount (not including interest) totaling $7,793 per resident over a five year period.

AG's office says electric rate increase isn't justified
Alaska Electric Light & Power’s proposed 22.1 percent increase to power bills is wildly overstated, and Juneau residents should not be asked for more than a 3 percent bump, according to the Alaska Attorney General’s Office.

Alaska Sens. introduce 'Frankenfish' ban
U.S. Senators Mark Begich (D-Alaska) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) formally reintroduced legislation to the 112th Congress to ban genetically engineered salmon.

Public: Don't cut art, literacy, extended learning
About 100 teachers, students and parents showed up in force at the Juneau School District budget committee meeting with a common message: don’t cut Extended Learning, literacy leaders, class sizes and arts.

IPHC proposes slashing quotas in Area 2C
The International Pacific Halibut Commission has proposed lowering the overall U.S. and Canadian commercial halibut quotas. These cuts would be the most severe in Area 2C where the majority of Southeast Alaska fishermen bring in their stocks.

Six suspected oxy dealers indicted by federal grand jury
Six people were indicted by an Anchorage federal grand jury Tuesday on charges related to illegal possession and distribution of the prescription pain reliever oxycodone.

Juneau brothers named to Business Hall of Fame
Once upon a time — 1994 to be precise — three brothers from Juneau took over their father’s office company. Now they have been inducted into the Alaska Business Hall of Fame.

Photo: Out for a family power walk
Out for a mom’s power walk along North Douglas Highway, Tiny Carranza pushes her daughters, Julianna, 2, and Monica, 4, and carries Jasmine Tapp, 2, as friend Angel Tapp carries her other twin daughter, Izabelle. Carranza explained they really had five children with them because she is expecting.

Photo: All things Scottish at the Celtic Music Festival
Highland Dancers perform at Friday’s Celtic Music Festival in the Juneau Arts & Cultural Center. The City of Juneau Pipe Band also played at the event.

Brower named new District Attorney
The Juneau District Attorney’s office has found a replacement for former District Attorney Doug Gardner.

Photo: Setting up the pens
Fish culturist Chris Holmes and Mike Enders slowly push a structure to hold eight fish pens down Gastineau Channel on Monday. The pen will be anchored near Sheep Creek and stocked with chum salmon fry from the Douglas Island Pink & Chum fish hatchery in two to three weeks. Sheep Creek is one of five sites DIPAC raises young fish until their release into the wild in early summer.

Photos: Second Annual Alaska Women's Expo
Centennial Hall hosted the Second Annual Alaska Women’s Expo on Saturday. Models were organized, outfitted and made up by Boheme, Choco Boutique, Shoefly and Rejuvenation.

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.

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.

Entrepreneurship expo plants seeds for future small businesses in Southeast
The Juneau Economic Development Council opened the doors of Centennial Hall Tuesday to locals interested in starting or growing their businesses. This was the second year for the Entrepreneur Resource Expo, and those behind it feel it’s an important thing for a place like Juneau.

Ernestine J. Bacon
Ernestine J. Bacon died Jan. 22, 2011, at Bartlett Regional Hospital after many years of battling cancer.

Leslie D. Williams
United States Air Force Tech. Sgt. Leslie “Les” D. Williams, 36, passed away Jan. 25, 2011, while serving in Bagram, Afghanistan.

Wilma Louise Bennett
Wilma Louise Bennett, 68, passed away peacefully at her home in Douglas on Jan. 29, 2011 surrounded by her loving family and friends after a long battle with cancer.

A proud moment in Egypt's history
I’d been looking forward to greeting my Egyptian students Sunday, the first day of the spring semester at American University in Cairo. Instead, classes have been canceled and Egypt burns.

Outside editorial: Crisis avoidable
The following editorial first appeared in the Miami Herald:

My Turn: Roots of harm to our children: acceptance of poverty
A little known English pediatrician, Dr. D. W. Winnicott, has informed those of us who toil daily in the challenging work of nurturing children.

Outside editorial: A British double-dip
The following editorial first appeared in the Los Angeles Times:

Hints of past presidents
Barack Obama’s re-election recipe combines a heap of Clinton centrism with a dash of Reagan optimism.

Anchorage Judge Joannides retires after 16 years
ANCHORAGE — Monday was the last day on the bench in Anchorage for Superior Court Judge Stephanie Joannides, but she’ll continue working a few days a week to close out her cases.

Former business dean picked as next UAA chancellor
ANCHORAGE — University of Alaska President Pat Gamble has picked the president and chief operating officer of the Alaska Aerospace Corp. to be the next chancellor of UA Anchorage.

Lawyers want SD murder resentencing moved
DEADWOOD, S.D. — Lawyers for an Alaska man set to be sentenced a second time for murdering a South Dakota man about 11 years ago want the trial moved.

State chamber gets new chief
ANCHORAGE — A former Alaska official is taking over as the president and chief executive officer of the Alaska State Chamber of Commerce.

Murkowski took in nearly $74K in last part of 2010
JUNEAU — A campaign aide says U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski raised nearly $61,000 for her legal defense fund in the final five weeks of last year.

Coast Guard airlifts injured teen in Alaska
KODIAK — The Coast Guard says one of its helicopter crews is airlifting a 16-year-old boy from Klawock in southeast Alaska to Sitka after a logging accident.

North Slope Borough holds election Tuesday
BARROW — The North Slope Borough will ask voters Tuesday to approve $35 million in general obligation bonds to finance capital projects, specifically to re-drill the Barrow gas fields.

Occupational Safety and Health board sets Feb. 10 hearing
The Alaska Occupational Safety and Health Review Board has scheduled a hearing Feb. 10 in Juneau to consider challenges filed by an employer contesting citations issued by the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

Alaska woman charged with birthday party shooting
FAIRBANKS — An Alaska woman has been charged with shooting at her sister and endangering three children at a birthday party.

Officials to kill wolves on military base
JUNEAU — Encounters with aggressive wolves on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson near Anchorage have prompted the Alaska Department of Fish and Game to issue orders to eliminate the animals on the base.

Decision coming soon on federal listing for walrus
ANCHORAGE — A spokesman for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says the agency is waiting for a publication date from the Federal Register before announcing whether it will recommend listing the Pacific walrus as a threatened or endangered species because of global warming.

Man killed in snowmachine crash at Deering
DEERING — Alaska State Troopers say alcohol and speed were factors when a man crashed a stolen snowmachine into a trailer in the village of Deering, 57 miles southwest of Kotzebue.

Assembly to hold special meeting Monday
The City and Borough of Juneau will hold a special meeting at 5:15 p.m. Monday in the Assembly Chambers. The meeting will provide an update to the state Library, Archive and Museum Project.

Earthquake shakes Alaska Peninsula; no damages
SAND POINT — A magnitude 5.9 earthquake shook several communities on the Alaska Peninsula, but there have been no immediate reports of damage.

Lawmaker fears loss of at least 1 rural district
JUNEAU — House Majority Leader Alan Austerman expects one or two rural house districts to be lost this year when political lines are redrawn based on new population data.

Man charged with indecent exposure in Juneau
A Juneau man who had previously been convicted of a sex offense was arrested Sunday afternoon on one count of second-degree indecent exposure, according to records from the Juneau Police Department.

Aide: Miller not raising money any more
JUNEAU — An aide to Joe Miller says a solicitation for donations at the bottom of a Sunday news release was inadvertent and that the former U.S. Senate candidate is no longer raising funds.

Alaskans to celebrate Marmot Day
JUNEAU — Alaska will celebrate its second annual Marmot Day on February 2.

Juneau felon indicted on weapons, ammo charge
ANCHORAGE — A federal grand jury has indicted a 40-year-old Juneau man on one count of being a felon in possession of firearms and ammunition.

Mont. theater sorry for critical Palin reference
MISSOULA, Mont. — A Montana theater group has apologized for updating Gilbert and Sullivan’s comedic opera, “The Mikado,” by having the character of Ko-Ko, the Lord High Executioner, list former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin among people who would not be missed.

Measuring stick
Juneau-Douglas begins play today in the 13th Annual Dimond Lady Lynx Prep Shootout Tournament, which boasts the strongest teams in all of Alaska and serves as a state tourney measuring stick with less than one month to go in the prep hoops regular season.

Photo: Adult Ordway Basketball
McGraw Construction’s Brett Garvey (20) gets a shot off through the defense of The Heat’s Paul Bennett (4) and Bubba Larson in Tuesday’s Men’s 3 Adult League championship game. The Heat won 75-57. Check page B2 for the tournament glance.

JDHS girls No. 3 in WPI
The defending 4A state champion Juneau-Douglas girls’ basketball team debuted at No. 3 in the season’s first Winning Percentage Index, released Tuesday.

Thibodeau calls it a career after 35 years
Guy Thibodeau sat in his office at Juneau-Douglas High School on Monday surrounded by memories of the past.

Photo: Leftwich perfect
Feeling the dregs of New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day football bowl partying, Chris Leftwich did not want to bowl in the Sunday Mixed Bowling League. However, being the stout Coast Guardsman he is, he acknowledged his call to duty and his teammates and showed up. By the end of the first game, he was glad he did as he bowled the league’s second perfect game. Leftwich’s 300 puts him with Jeff Jones as the only bowlers to roll perfect 300s this season. The perfect game was Leftwich’s third of his bowling career, which has spanned over a decade.

Schools facing a 'no' in money quest
In the rarefied atmosphere of the staid Senate Finance Committee room, high school senior Brandon Boyer dropped an “F-bomb.”

House acts quickly to extend Senior Benefits
The House of Representatives Monday passed its first bill of the year, giving unanimous endorsement to an extension of the state’s popular Senior Benefits Program for another four years.

Probe of missing Miller e-mails ends
JUNEAU — Former U.S. Senate candidate Joe Miller has turned about 30,000 e-mails over to Fairbanks North Star Borough, effectively ending his former employer’s investigation into e-mails that were gone from his inbox when he resigned in 2009.

Ex implicates Waterman in murder plot
ANCHORAGE — Jurors heard a recorded interview Monday in which a Craig police officer described Rachelle Waterman as “an up and coming black widow” who played two men to do her bidding and murder her mother.

Rare western gray whale tracked off Canada
ANCHORAGE — A highly endangered whale that spends summers off Russia has moved into water off British Columbia after crossing the Bering Sea and passing the Aleutian Islands.

North Slope-to-Fairbanks natural gas line promoted
ANCHORAGE — So, you don’t believe TransCanada will ever get enough customers to build a gas line to the Lower 48 or Valdez? And you think it even more likely that Conoco Phillips and BP’s Denali gas project is doomed, since it has neither the state license nor the half-billion-dollar subsidy that TransCanada has?

Legislative school allies scale back hopes
Some school advocates in the Legislature are scaling back their hopes for more funding, and are advocating smaller steps, such as keeping up with inflation or restoring slashed vocational education programs.

Waterman admitted she knew of plans to kill mother
ANCHORAGE — When pressured by investigators, Rachelle Waterman said she knew there was a plan in the works to kill her mother months before Lauri Waterman was abducted from their home in Craig and killed in November 2004.

Murkowski retains key position on Senate energy committee
Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who retained her U.S. Senate seat after challenging the Republican Party’s official candidate in an improbable write-in victory, has retained her seat as ranking Republican on the Senate’s Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

Police looking for Alaska man accused in Florida
ANCHORAGE — Detectives with the Sarasota County, Fla., sheriff’s office have been in touch with police in Alaska, trying to learn whether there may be more possible child sex victims of Bill Weimar, who is accused of sexual battery with a 6-year-old girl in Florida, the Anchorage Daily News reported Tuesday.

Alaska soldiers deploy for Afghanistan
FAIRBANKS — The first wave of soldiers from Fort Wainwright scheduled to deploy this week has left for Afghanistan, where Maj. Shane Mendenhall says the men and women will be based mainly in the mountains of the country’s southern region.

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