Thursday, February 5, 2009

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.

Turn administration officials' tax liability into credit
So far, three Obama administration officials have had tax issues. The tax problems of these three administration officials may be the key to truly stimulating the economy.

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.

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.

Shame on Palin for twisting the truth, diverting funds
In Gov. Sarah Palin's most recent attempt to have her cake and devour Alaskan's too, the only thing "reprehensible" as she states in regard to the group Defenders of Wildlife is her self absorbed agenda. There are no distorted facts in the Defenders of Wildlife campaign, merely the omitted fact that pups were killed while still in dens.

Online energy survey worth your time
On April 16, 2008, avalanches severed Juneau from its inexpensive and clean source of hydroelectric power; the connection was restored on June 1, 2008. On Jan. 12, 2009 avalanches once again severed the connection. Although the first energy crisis caused hardship as the price of electricity more than tripled, it also engendered a lively community dialog and dramatic energy conservation efforts.

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.

University faces hostile legislators
The University of Alaska is facing pressure from some Alaska legislators complaining about the political views of its faculty and students.

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.

Residents: Reusing paper, cardboard an alternative to dump
Outside a cynic's imagination, horse manure and sensitive state documents actually do belong together.

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.

Workshop aims to boost Native languages
Sealaska Heritage Institute is looking to reinvent the wheel of how the indigenous languages of Southeast Alaska are taught.

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.

Child remains in critical condition after accident
A 5-year-old girl remains in critical condition at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle after a two-vehicle accident Tuesday night on North Douglas Highway.

Photo: Juggling can be a winter sport, too
Simon Wong, left, shows off his snow juggling skills to his sister, Lian, on Wednesday near Marine Park. They are visiting from Auckland, New Zealand.

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: State surplus goods for sale
Brothers Terry, left, and Kenneth Ryals look over the shelved goods in a sealed bid lot sale Wednesday at the state surplus warehouse behind Western Auto Marine. Inspection of the items will be held today from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Friday from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. All bids must be deposited at the warehouse by 1:30 p.m. Friday. Items for sale include computers, furniture, cameras, power tools and a CPR training mannequin, among others.

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:

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

Around Town
Today

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.

Correction
The "Contact your lawmakers" box on the opinion page of Wednesday's Empire incorrectly listed former U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens instead of U.S. Sen. Mark Begich. Begich can be contacted at 825 C Hart Senate Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20510, e-mail senator@begich.senate.gov, or call 1-202-224-3004.

Donald Garland Ashe
Longtime Douglas resident Donald Garland Ashe died Jan. 31, 2009, at Bartlett Regional Hospital. He was 56.

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: Postal Service needs to adapt to digital age
The U.S. Postal Service has been on a cost-cutting mission since 2002, but it still ends up each fiscal year with a budget deficit. In 2008, the deficit was $2.8 billion. That may grow to $6 billion or more this year, since the federal Postal Service is no more immune to the current economic meltdown than businesses in the private sector.

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."

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.

Bailout won't help newspapers; an antitrust exemption could
In this winter of our discontent, it probably was inevitable that talk of some sort of government bailout for newspapers would begin to find an audience. These days, after all, newspaper companies seem to vie with automakers for the dubious distinction of being the American economy's most pitiable basket cases.

My turn: Mine a private, not a public, interest
Let me say up front that I support the Kensington mine. I also support Alaska Brewing Co., Capital Copy, Dominos Pizza, Mendenhall Auto, Donna's, Alaska Electric Light & Power Co., Hearthside Books etc. (Excuse and forgive me if I don't list every business in Juneau.) Because I support all Juneau's business. We need them. We need more of them. They are the backbone of our city.

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.

New harbormaster starts March 2
JUNEAU - Juneau Docks and Harbors announced Tuesday that Haines Harbormaster Phil Benner will become Juneau's new harbormaster on March 2.

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.

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.

UAS financial aid deadline is Feb. 16
JUNEAU - The University of Alaska Southeast reminds students to start applying for financial aid for the fall 2009 semester. To be considered for need-based scholarships, the 2009-2010 Free Application for Federal Student Aid must be completed by Feb. 16.

Report: Treatment reduces cost of crime
JUNEAU - A research branch of the University of Alaska has concluded that prisoner education and substance-abuse treatment would result in long term savings to the state.

Troopers fatally shoot armed woman
WASILLA - Alaska State Troopers fatally shot a woman whom they said was wielding a handgun.

Geologists: Redoubt activity in decline
ANCHORAGE - Geologists monitoring Alaska's Mount Redoubt for a possible eruption say the volcano's activity is in a "slight decline."

Palin promises national presence
JUNEAU - Gov. Sarah Palin said she will continue to have a national presence in politics.

Juneau man arrested on sex abuse charges
JUNEAU - A 48-year-old Juneau man was arrested Wednesday afternoon on two felony counts of sexual abuse of a minor.

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

Yup'ik speaking voters still troubled at the polls
ANCHORAGE - Concerns about Alaska's Yup'ik voters ability to translate ballots continues to play out in U.S. District Court.

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.

Movie star's group slams wolf control and Palin
ANCHORAGE - Defenders of Wildlife has put Gov. Sarah Palin in the crosshairs of a new national campaign focusing on Alaska's predator control program as an example of the governor's "wider anti-conservation agenda."

Former North Pole basketball standout has number retired
FAIRBANKS - Brad Oleson went from being a "little skinny freshman" at North Pole High School to becoming a professional basketball player who returned home Tuesday and saw his number retired, something no Patriot before him had ever experienced.

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.

Defending Iron Dog champions go separate ways in this year's race
ANCHORAGE - Marc McKenna and Eric Quam begin their Tesoro Iron Dog title defense Sunday, just not as teammates.

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.

2,000 gallons of diesel unaccounted for after ferry Lituya's grounding
JUNEAU - An ongoing investigation into the grounding of the Alaska Marine Highway System ferry Lituya found approximately 2,000 gallons of diesel fuel unaccounted for following the vessel's Jan. 30 grounding on Scrub Island.

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?

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