Gerrymandering: What is this all about?
A working definition of [ger-ry-man-der]: to divide an area into election districts in order to concentrate the voting strength of the opposition in as few districts as possible and to give special advantage to one group in an election process.

New AG has life-long love for Alaska
Alaska’s new Attorney General John Burns rode up the Alcan Highway as an infant, shot his first walrus at age nine, raised a bear cub in grade school, did high school homework under the northern lights in Fairbanks and still likes to stand up to his waist in a deck load of Sockeye Salmon in Bristol Bay.

Tongass Futures Roundtable concludes first meeting; more decisions to make
The Tongass Future Roundtable concluded its first meeting of the year on Thursday with more decisions made, namely, what the Roundtable’s future will entail.

Personal use red and blue king crab closure announced
The Alaska Department of Fish & Game announced the winter personal use red and blue king crab season in Section 11-A that opened on Jan. 1 will close at 11:59 p.m. Feb. 6.

Photo: Showing off the transit center
Director of Capital Transit John Kern, right, gives a tour of the newly completed Downtown Transit Center on Thursday to members of the Governor’s Coordinated Transportation Task Force. The task force, which oversees transportation services for persons with special needs or special circumstances, is in town for two days of meetings.

Petro selected new Alaska State Chamber president/CEO
The Alaska State Chamber of Commerce has a new chief executive, and she plans to hit the ground running with an ambitious agenda to boost businesses across the state. Rachael Petro has just begun her work as its new President and Chief Executive Officer.

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.

Neil Tyler Brown
Neil Tyler Brown, 52, passed away in Anchorage Jan. 21, 2011, after a short-term illness.

Conchita Garcia Capada
Conchita Garcia Capada passed away on Feb. 2, 2011, in the Philippines. She was 73. Her final days were spent surrounded by family and friends that Conchita had touched in some small way throughout her life.

My Turn: A 'pyramid scheme' with serious consequences
The January 2011 issues of the “National Geographic” has an article entitled “Population 7 Billion: How your world will change.”’

Outside editorial: Roll over, Rover
The following editorial first appeared in the Los Angeles Times:

Left: What are the best ways to put America's economy back on track?
As President Obama begins the second half of his term with a campaign for “jobs and competitiveness,” we would do well to consider how he might achieve these worthy goals.

Right: What are the best ways to put America's economy back on track?
The next two years will feature divided government, with Democrats controlling the White House and Senate and Republicans controlling the House of Representatives.

Fade to white
As I glided along on cross-country skis, I thought I was quietly scanning for animals. A flash of movement in my peripheral vision, however, told me some creature had turned the tables. A blur of indistinct white moved against the snow. It stopped. After several minutes, I finally spotted the black eye of a snowshoe hare against the frozen backdrop. The hare sat absolutely still.

4H Nordic striding into 2011 season
The Juneau 4H Nordic Ski Club’s season is back in full swing and has once again been a success so far in the new year.

Studying the 'wings' of backyard tree seeds
Typical Juneau weather! We get a nice snowfall, for good skiing and snowshoeing, then it thaws and rains and makes the snow soggy. Then we get a hard freeze, so the footprints and postholes created by walkers during the thaw are frozen solid. After that happens, walking in those areas is a misery of lurches and ankle-turnings. The popular Dredge Lake trails are a good example. Then the cycle starts over again — lovely snow, then rain …

Tips on Tracks: This week short-tailed weasel, ermine
Name of animal: Short-tailed weasel, ermine (Mustela erminea)

Among the porters of Mount Kilimanjaro
Maganga is not twenty years old.

Juneau Douglas Advisory Committee to hold meeting
JUNEAU — The Alaska Department of Fish and Game will hold a committee meeting from 7 to 10 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 8, in the Egan Library Building, rooms 222 and 223, at University of Alaska Southeast.

Banff Mountain Film Festival final showings tonight
JUNEAU — The touring arm of the Banff Mountain Film Festival comes to Juneau this week, with the final showings at 7 p.m. tonight at Centennial Hall.

Tonight's Friday Fireside lecture on recovering the Princess Kathleen
JUNEAU — The public is invited to a talk tonight beginning at 6:30 p.m., and again at 8 p.m., titled “Princess Kathleen On the Rocks: Wreck and Recovery” as part of the Friday Fireside Chats at the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center.

Relay for Life holds kick-off party in Juneau
JUNEAU — The American Society Relay for Life Juneau Kick-off Party will be held from 4:30 to 7 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 11, at Jaded in the Goldbelt Hotel.

Photo: Leader of the pack
Morgan Burd, 2nd grader at Faith Community School, leads the pack down “Sneaky” during a feild trip to Eaglecrest Ski Area on Thursday, Jan. 27. The school enjoyed two days, on Thursday and Friday, of fun up on the mountain. Eaglecrest’s held its 30th annual Learn to Ski Weekend last weekend.

SEACC hosts informational session and potluck
JUNEAU — Southeast Alaska Conservation Council is inviting the public to an informational potluck from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 5, at St. Ann’s Parish Hall.

Community Schools offering winter courses in astronomy
JUNEAU — Learn more about our solar system with online courses offered through Juneau’s Community Schools.

Wild shots
The Empire Outdoors page is looking for superb images of Alaska’s wildlife, scenery or plant life. Send your photos via e-mail to: Abby Lowell, Outdoors editor, For all photos include the name of the photographer, a description of what is shown in the picture, when it was taken and any other pertinent information. Images will run as space allows.

Juneau area grooming and trail conditions as of Feb. 3

Rotary and Rotaract Clubs sponsor food drive
When need calls, Rotarians respond with enthusiasm. The Rotary and Rotaract Clubs of Juneau are sponsoring a food drive for the Southeast Alaska Food Bank on Saturday Feb. 12 at the following locations: Super Bear, 10:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.; Safeway, 10 a.m. -4 p.m.; Costco, 10:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.; Alaskan & Proud Market, 10a.m.-3 p.m.

JSD to host graduation requirement meeting Feb. 9
The Juneau School District will hold a public information and feedback meeting on a proposal from the Graduation Task Force to raise graduation requirements at the high school level. This meeting will be held at the Vocational Resources Training Center on Wednesday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. VTRC is located at 3239 Hospital Drive. For more information contact the Assistant Superintendent’s office at 523-1704, or see the proposal online at

On-the-job training benefits job seekers and employers
On-the-job training gives workers an opportunity to learn and prove they can do a job and provides partial wage reimbursement for employers, according to the state’s labor commissioner.

JSD Budget Committee meetings planned
The Juneau School District’s Budget Committee will have two public meetings on two campuses. The first is Thursday, Feb. 10, at 6 p.m. in the Thunder Mountain High School Commons.

Warriors deny Falcons
Thunder Mountain never recovered from a four-minute scoring drought to start the second quarter Thursday and Wasilla pulled away late for a 70-48 boys’ basketball win for the Warriors at TMHS.

JDHS girls primed for rematch
The defending girls’ basketball 4A state champion Juneau-Douglas Crimson Bears face Wasilla today in the second round of the Gold Tournament at the 13th Annual Dimond Lady Lynx Prep Shootout.

Parnell rules out earmark requests
Alaska will fully wean itself from federal earmarks, Gov. Sean Parnell said Thursday.

Legislators lament lack of education commissioner
President Ed Thomas of the Central Council of the Tlingit and Haida Indians of Alaska represents 27,000 Alaska Natives, mostly in Southeast Alaska, among other things providing education and employment training programs.

Stevens aide presents case for longer sessions
More legislators are reaching out to Juneau for support in expanding the legislative session. Legislative Aide Tim Lamkin from Sen. Gary Stevens’ office asked for support from the Juneau Chamber of Commerce on Thursday in pursuing Senate Bill 18 to expand the session from 90 days to 120.

Parnell: Enacting health care may violate oath
JUNEAU — Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell said Thursday he has asked his attorney general to advise him on whether implementing and enforcing the federal health care overhaul would put Parnell in violation of his oath of office.

Shell: No Beaufort Sea drilling in Arctic for 2011
ANCHORAGE — Shell Alaska has dropped plans to drill in the Arctic waters of the Beaufort Sea this year and will concentrate on obtaining permits for the 2012 season, company Vice President Pete Slaiby said Thursday.

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