Wednesday, February 4, 2009

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!

Road maintenance poorly managed
The fatal accident on Glacier Highway northwest of the ferry terminal was a direct result of poor road maintenance on the part of the Department of Transportation. Heavy wet snow packed down to wet ice were the same conditions that sent a city plow through the guardrail just northwest of the ferry terminal that morning.

Please cut useless blog comments
Please discontinue the useless comment blogs at the end of your online local news articles. This week I was appalled by the hateful comments posted about the Martin Luther King Jr. play at Auke Bay Elementary School, and by the response to the community inaugural celebration that deteriorated into a rant about public parking problems.

Method of calculating energy rates unfair
The method Alaska Electric Light & Power Co. has come up with of charging the higher rate for diesel once the city is back on hydroelectric power is distinctly unfair. I recently found out it would be done this way.

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.

For some, high electricity rates still to come
Some Juneau electric customers may have unscrewed their light bulbs a little prematurely, now discovering they have a month of conservation left.

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."

Paper recycling may be suspended
Prices for recyclable commodities nose-dived last fall along with the economy, so recycling operators in Juneau and elsewhere started stockpiling in hopes that prices would rebound.

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.

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

New director looks to improve homeless shelter
With the ramifications of the worldwide economic crisis beginning to affect nonprofit agencies' funding in Juneau, the new executive director of the Glory Hole homeless shelter sees opportunities to expand its outreach in the community.

Empire names new circulation director and deputy editor
Brian Naplachowski has been named the Juneau Empire's new circulation director, publisher Robert Hale announced last week. The position had been vacant for months.

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

Around Town
Today

Two children, adult injured in accident in North Douglas
A multiple car accident on North Douglas Highway between mile marker 2 and 3 resulted in a 5-year-old child being flown to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. They were listed in critical condition, according to a Bartlett Hospital spokesperson.

Photo: Lunch line
Bald eagles congregate Tuesday on the Harris Harbor breakwater as they wait their turn to feed on a dead fish nearby.

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

Around Town
Today

Correction
Tuesday's Empire reported that Redfern Resources Ltd., the company wanting to reopen the Tulsequah Chief multi-metal mine, located 40 miles northeast of Juneau, incorrectly reported it was looking to use an Amphitrac to tow a hoverbarge down the Taku River. Redfern scrapped it plans to use an Amphitrac last May.

Donald P. Stoll
Juneau resident Donald P. Stoll died Dec. 14, 2008, after a long battle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. He was 77.

Don Ashe
Juneau resident Donald Garland Ashe died Jan. 31, 2009, in Juneau. He was 56.

Ernest Krauss
Longtime Juneau resident Ernest Krauss died Jan. 28, 2009, at home. He was 80.

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: Congress gets an 'F' on 3 T's test
Last year, when President Barack Obama's chief economic adviser, Larry Summers, was writing a column for the Financial Times, he argued that efforts to revive the U.S. economy through a government stimulus program would only be effective if they were "timely," "temporary" and "targeted."

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.

Imagination, creativity and innovation in Alaska
Last week, I was in Anchorage for the Alaska Arts & Culture Conference, a meeting convened by the Alaska State Council on the Arts. This is the first meeting of this kind to take place in almost a decade, and it was a huge success. The theme was, "Imagination, Creativity, Innovation," and there were plenty of all three of these qualities on hand.

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.

My turn: Conservation and development are both part of Alaska's future
I am not a member of SEACC, nor any other "conservation" group. I am just a person who has spent most of my adult life in Alaska researching the people and history of Alaska. I am a social scientist. I rely on evidence, proven or tested facts, things that are verifiable in order to arrive at an explanation. I am not a "tree hugger" but at times I do hug little Alaska children who "want a hug," from some older person, because they are our future. They don't have a voice right now in our future, so we have to look out for them.

Trail builders to hold annual meeting
JUNEAU - At its annual meeting Thursday, Trail Mix Inc. will look back at the last year in repairing and extending Juneau's trail system, while also planning for next year.

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.

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

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.

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

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

Council announces SeaPerch program
JUNEAU - The Juneau Economic Development Council, which promotes economic development through Technology Transfer and STEM education statewide through the Department of Defense funded SpringBoard program, recently announced the SeaPerch program, a hands-on underwater engineering curriculum that introduces pre-college students to underwater robotics.

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

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.

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

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.

JDHS hits Anchorage-area war path
The Crimson Bears emerged from their Southeast Conference tussle against Ketchikan last weekend with a black eye at the front of their 0-2 conference record. Now they've got a whole posse to deal with.

Island Pub boils Doc Waters
Island Pub picked up a pair of goals in the game's first half-period and held on for the 3-2 win Sunday despite a desperate comeback from Doc Waters in the third period of their Tier A Juneau Adult Hockey Association game at Treadwell Arena.

Hot Bears settled by Colony
Four out of five ain't bad. Especially considering the Crimson Bears played five different 4A teams in six days in the Fairbanks and Anchorage areas last week.

Hoops for Charity up this week
Local basketball fans can get a tasty appetizer of that Gold Medal flavor this Thursday through Saturday when 14 local and regional basketball teams meet up in local gyms for the 2nd annual Hoops for Charity Invitational Basketball Tournament.

Parks and Recreation Adult Ordway Basketball League Playoffs
MEN'S DIVISION I

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.

State lawmakers divided on stimulus plan
Gov. Sarah Palin and top lawmakers are balking at President Barack Obama's stimulus package, though some legislators are implying the rejection may just be another example of partisan politics at work.

State budget copes with falling oil prices
Persistently low oil prices are causing Gov. Sarah Palin to propose changes to the state's spending plans, and she's asking departments across state government to make unspecified cuts.

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.

Salmon dining to help buy fuel for Alaska villages
SEATTLE - Three years ago, Seattle seafood consultant Jon Rowley was drawn to the Yukon River delta by salmon - silver chinook endowed with prodigious amounts of oil that help them swim some 2,000 miles across Alaska to distant Canadian spawning grounds.

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.

Alaska senators: Leave missile systems alone
FAIRBANKS - U.S. Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Mark Begich said they are concerned about any critical look the country's missile defense system receives.

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.

Palin endorses Perry in Texas governor's race
AUSTIN, Texas - Former vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin is urging Texas Republican women to support Gov. Rick Perry over U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison in the 2010 GOP primary for governor.

The burning question: Will Redoubt erupt?
ANCHORAGE, Alaska - When is this thing going to blow?

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

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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