Tuesday, February 5, 2008

House Bill 256 threatens wildlife
Imagine Alaska's wildlife regulations being based on a hunch rather than biological findings. Now imagine those same regulations being exempt from legal challenge. House Bill 256, now being considered by state legislators, would "accomplish" these things.

Deep-six the Juneau access road project
A state Department of Transportation and Public Facilities' Web page describes our transportation situation like this:

Fix ferry system, not break it further
The Alaska Marine Highway System really presents some challenges. For those of us who have followed and worked for the system since 1963, the present situation is very disappointing. The presence and answers of staff before the Alaska Legislature were ill-prepared, inadequate and embarrassing for all.

Helped elect first woman president
The New York Times on Jan. 25 endorsed the candidacy of Hillary Clinton for president. The Times editorial stated that "We know that she is capable of uniting and leading. We saw her going town by town through New York in 2000, including places where Clinton-bashing was a popular sport (in her Senate race). She won over skeptical voters and then delivered on her promises and handily won re-election in 2006."

Don't be scared away from Clinton
In a political campaign season, we hear lots of silly ideas. When we have two people in the Democratic primary, each with strong credentials to be the nominee, things can get sillier than usual. So it is with the Clinton-Obama contest.

Use 'Bong Hits' money for teachers
I find it interesting that the Juneau School Board is so intent on continuing the "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" case, when they lost money from special education for mismanagement of funds.

Address global poverty during the election
I am a voter and I do not subscribe to the "one person can't do anything" approach to politics that allows us to sit back and do nothing. So I am a member of a 2.4-million-member group called ONE, working to make the fight against extreme poverty and global disease in the 2008 presidential election.

Tlingit classes draw outside interest
It's Friday morning at Harborview Elementary and the kids in Ms. Eddy's class are sitting together on the floor learning a song.

Scores weigh in on plan for hoverbarges
State permitters and Tulsequah Chief Mine developers submitted to a barrage of public questions Monday night on the mine company's plan to use a hoverbarge on the Taku River.

Photo: Attaining balance
Takeshi Toma, of Arlington, Va., teaches a Yang style Tai-Chi class attended by about a dozen people Sunday at Centennial Hall. Toma, a master Tai-Chi instructor in Arlington's wellness program, held the one-day workshop to gauge interest in Juneau for the possibility of future classes.

Citizens complain about snow berms
Riverside Drive residents Larry Buzzell and Kurt Dzinich Sr. are fed up with the city plows pushing snow berms across their driveways.

Around Town

Woman is arrested for alleged involvement in stolen check case
Juneau resident Roberta Jean White, 32, was arrested for her alleged involvement with a ring of people who stole checks and other property, police announced Monday.

Photo: Buried in snow
Kevin Nye clears snow Monday under the watchful eye of a bonze brown bear sculpture in front of the Macaulay Salmon Hatchery. Juneau received about 7 inches of snow in 24 hours, and a heavy snow warning was issued for Monday night.

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

Photo: Protesting guerrilla violence in Colombia
A group of demonstrators rally against Colombia's largest rebel group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, on Monday in Marine Park. The event, sponsored by the Juneau Hispanic Organization, was held in unison with similar events worldwide to protest the FARC and its violent methods. For a story about events around the world, see Page A5.

Around Town

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

Correction
An Around Town item in the Monday Juneau Empire incorrectly stated the time for the "Optimizing Wellness for Business and Personal Success" class. The class is from noon to 1 p.m. at the Juneau Empire building, in the third-floor conference room.

Dorothy Sturrock
Lifelong Juneau resident Dorothy Sturrock died Jan. 29, 2008, with family by her side. She was 87.

Outside editorial: What's the beef?
This editorial first appeared in the Washington Post:

My Turn: Let's not forget our aging vets
One only has to pick up a newspaper, tune into a television station for a few seconds, or listen to the news on the radio for a minute or two before we hear about the work today's veterans are valiantly doing, at home and abroad. They deserve all of our prayers, respect and wishes for their well being.

Outside editorial" Pre-Olympic games
This editorial first appeared in the Washington Post:

My Turn: We're having a party
"Vote for the man, not the party." "I don't want to be told what to do by a party."

Outside editorial: Safety can't wait
Politicians long ago moved from talking about downsizing the federal government to doing something about it. We're starting to see the awful consequences.

My turn: Obituary of a language
On Jan. 23, the Juneau Empire reported the death of Chief Marie Smith Jones, the last fluent speaker of Eyak. Since my first linguistics class six years ago, I have often heard that half of the world's nearly 7,000 languages will die within the next century, but until last week, I had never read an obituary of a language.

My turn: Pro-choice, pro-woman
I am writing to comment on the recent "pro-life" demonstrations and proposed developments in regards to women's human rights here in Alaska. As a woman I am very concerned that the focus regarding a woman's "right to choose" has been taken off of the health, safety and reproductive rights of the woman and has been shifted to religious opinions, biases and a focus on the fetus' "rights."

Demand from China buoying copper theft
Folks calling the Oregon Caves National Monument will have to be content with leaving a message for a while.

Federal judge rejects federal pension appeal
A federal judge has rejected an appeal by federal workers in Hawaii and Alaska to increase their pension benefits.

Bill calls for ban on legal hallucinogen
State Sen. Gene Therriault wants to impose a ban on a naturally growing hallucinogen that's sold legally.

Susan Butcher Day passes in the Senate
The first day of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race will honor a four-time race champion under a bill approved by the Alaska Legislature.

Mice blamed for equipment damage
Chewed wires and rodent droppings found by an equipment repairman could only mean one thing: the Anchorage Assembly's copy machine was the victim of mice.

Judge sentences man in crack cocaine case
A federal court judge has sentenced an Anchorage man to five years in prison for manufacturing or distributing crack cocaine.

Mayor of Houston extends his leave
The mayor of the Mat-Su town of Houston said he is extending a personal leave.

Man robs bank just outside Fairbanks
The FBI has taken over an investigation of the robbery of a bank just west of the Fairbanks city limits.

Villages task force releases findings
A task force set up to look at Alaska's Village Public Safety Officer program submitted its findings and recommendations to the state Senate.

Lindner mushes to victory in Quest race
A young musher with a famous name has captured the Junior Yukon Quest sled dog race.

Dairy sells cheese for delivery in spring
A dairy under construction near Wasilla is trying to sell cheese for delivery in the spring.

Man accused in death appears in court
A 38-year-old Anchorage man accused of fatally shooting his brother has appeared in court on murder charges.

Murkowski endorses Romney for president
U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski is endorsing Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney.

Chiniak Gully now available to trawlers
Federal fisheries researchers say the Chiniak Gully research area off Kodiak Island will be available to trawl fishermen this year.

Juneau Pee Wees pick up valuable experience in Whitehorse, Yukon
The Juneau Douglas Ice Association Pee Wee Tier III team went winless but gained valuable experience at the Whitehorse Warriors Invitational Tournament on Jan. 17-21 in Whitehorse, Yukon.

Sports in Juneau
UPCOMING EVENTS

Sports Digest

Sports in Juneau
UPCOMING EVENTS

Gas line divide crosses party, regional lines
Lines are being drawn in the battle over the state's gas pipeline, but they're not following typical party or regional divisions.

Alaskans ready for Super Tuesday
Politically inclined Alaskans are able to have their say in the presidential primary process today, as Juneau Democrats gather at Centennial Hall for a caucus, and Repubilcans vote in a preference poll at the Hangar on the Wharf.

Allen sex crime probe reopened
Anchorage police have reopened a case over alleged sex crimes by Bill Allen, the former head of the oil services company VECO and the federal government's key witness in an ongoing political corruption probe.

Prosecutors urge five-year sentence for Vic Kohring
Federal prosecutors are recommending former state Rep. Vic Kohring, R-Wasilla, be sentenced to five years in federal prison, after his recent conviction on corruption charges.

Alaskans seek counseling for foreclosure problems
Alaskans have not been spared the financial problems spurred by risky home loans, according to a group that provides counseling to people delinquent on their mortgages.

Two Alaskans carving into top U.S. snowboarding ranks
With his legs attached to the snowboard, 15-year-old Ryan Stassel took a penguin-like running start, launching himself toward the first ramp in the terrain park. A light-blue cap covered his curly black hair and he squatted low in baggy brown board pants to gain speed for the jump.

Oregon neurosurgeon prepares for Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race
From his comfortable chair by the fire, Cliff Roberson recalled another night. He spent it with his sled dogs, huddled against a blizzard above the tree line on an Alaska mountainside.

Search for missing balloonist could go on for several weeks
A Japanese balloonist who vanished above the North Pacific Ocean last week has a pod-like life raft and enough food to keep him alive for at least three weeks, meaning the search could continue for at least that long, authorities said.

Federal agency proposes keeping state bowhead whale hunt at current levels
Villages along Alaska's western coastline where residents hunt bowhead whales would see no reduction in their subsistence hunt quota under a plan preferred by a federal agency.

Guardsman wants to become first Tennessean to finish the Iditarod
Tennessee National Guardsman Master Sgt. Rodney Whaley's choice of transportation looks out of place among the manicured green lawns and brick homes in his suburban neighborhood.

This Day in History
In Alaska, in the Nation and the World

This Day in History
In Alaska, in the Nation and the World

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