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Tuesday, February 3, 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.

We must physically build, maintain our nation's infrastructure
I don't know how anyone can remain oblivious to the essence of our current economic turmoil: lack of liquidity. We've allowed our GNP to be determined by cash flow in the credit markets, ignoring its base source and value, labor - the fount of liquidity!

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.

Coeur tailings, Nome road wrought from same mental metal
Rich Richins' defense of Coeur in the Sunday, Feb 1 edition of the Juneau Empire, and Palin's proposed $2 billion dollar road to Nome, are seemingly wrought from basically the same mental metal.

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.

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.

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

Taku deemed 'important habitat'
The Taku River teems with fish and is worth millions each year to local fishermen, but state biologists had to jump through legal hoops to deem it an "important habitat."

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.

Data in hand to protect power lines
Alaska Electric Light & Power Co. has a better idea now of what measures are feasible to minimize risk and damage to the avalanche-prone transmission lines that bring in 85 percent of Juneau's inexpensive hydroelectricity.

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: Window to the world
Sara Neal reads to her daughter, Mikayla, 3, on Monday at the downtown Juneau Public Library.

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.

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

Police & Fire
Assist:

Around Town
Today

Around Town
Today

Outside Editorial: Whistleblower provision should be removed from stimulus package
This is not the way it is supposed to work. The $800 billion stimulus package making its way through Congress is supposed to include measures to jump-start the economy - extension of unemployment benefits and food stamps, infrastructure programs to create jobs. But whistleblower protections?

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.

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.

My Turn: Alaska deserves an accurate Juneau road project cost estimate
We've all been there before. Your stomach drops when you realize the bill is not what you expected. It's a sinking feeling, especially once you've committed to the purchase, and even more so if you realize you probably wouldn't have committed had you known the true costs.

Just old enough to know better
It's a lovely irony: Gertrude Baines, 114, the world's oldest person, lives in Los Angeles, the world's most youth-obsessed city. It's like finding a vintage Ferrari in a parking lot full of Yugos.

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.

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.

Juneau gets record snowfall for January
JUNEAU - While most of the state will remember January for extreme cold temperatures, Juneau can look back on the month for record snowfall.

Wood pellet plant planned for Fairbanks
FAIRBANKS - The state's first large-scale wood pellet manufacturing plant is planned for Fairbanks.

Recent earthquakes felt in Anchorage
FAIRBANKS - A pair of recent earthquakes in Alaska's Cook Inlet region were felt in the Anchorage area.

Two moose killed near the same spot
ANCHORAGE - Alaska State Troopers said two moose were killed in separate accidents at the same spot.

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.

Ex-Fla. congressman gets state board slot
ANCHORAGE - Gov. Sarah Palin has appointed former Florida congressman David Weldon to serve on the Alaska Aerospace Development Corp.'s board.

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

Memorial set for Alaska-based soldier
FORT WAINWRIGHT - A memorial service for an Alaskan-based Tennessee soldier is set for Thursday afternoon.

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

Horses placed in protective care
ANCHORAGE - The owners of four horses found neglected in Anchor Point have been charged with cruelty to animals.

Insurance company gives safety awards
JUNEAU - The Alaska Timber Insurance Exchange, a Ketchikan-based workers' compensation insurance company owned by its policyholders, is pleased to announce the winners of its 2008 Safety Awards. These awards honor ATIE policyholders who achieved exemplary safety records during 2008.

Energy committee to visit rural villages
JUNEAU - State lawmakers on a newly formed energy committee will get a first hand view of the challenges facing rural Alaska.

Access project slated for analysis
The controversial proposal to build a road up Lynn Canal, known as the Juneau Access Project, will get an outside financial review, state transportation officials said.

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.

Young aide implicated in lobbying scandal
WASHINGTON - A second former staffer to Alaska's congressman has been implicated in the Jack Abramoff influence-peddling investigation as the scandal sweeps up a growing number of ex-Capitol Hill aides and lobbyists.

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.

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.

State report: Refineries behind high gas prices
A state legislative investigation has failed to answer definitively why Alaskans pay such high gas prices at the pump, but the report released Monday suggests the key lies in Alaska's in-state refineries' efforts to compete in a global jet fuel market.

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.

Old-timers say they're ready for possible Redoubt eruption
ANCHORAGE - Maree Shogren knows firsthand the toxic power of a volcano, so don't blame her for being a little freaked out about the expected eruption of Alaska's Mount Redoubt.

Interior hit with ptarmigan invasion
FAIRBANKS - Nobody knows why, but Fairbanks residents are seeing an influx of ptarmigan in town this winter.

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

Military construction work provides boost
FAIRBANKS - Military construction projects in Alaska could be easing the area's painful slow down of the building industry.

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.

Clean energy projects run into opposition
ANCHORAGE - A collection of potential clean energy projects in Alaska faces an unexpected opponent: environmentalists.

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