Let's put our money where our mouth is
I've heard these phrases thrown around when hearing news about health care reform: how it will not save money, and covering others will inevitably cost more than it's worth.
Cruise panel should reinstate Cohen
How can one have an advisory panel without including representatives from opposing views? It's rather like having an election with only one candidate. By removing Dr. Gershon Cohen from the cruise ship advisory panel, the state of Alaska is making a clear statement that the concerns of corporations are more important than those of the public, the same public that voted for the Cruise Ship Initiative.
Fill the hole and turn on the lights
The recent robbery in downtown Juneau, the third at the same establishment, has increased thoughts about what Juneau can do to improve the heart of our city. Two ideas come quickly to mind.
It's beyond Kookesh to threaten council
I read that Sen. Albert Kookesh, D-Angoon, may be under an ethics complaint for allegedly threatening the Craig City Council, because that local government entity may not support Sealaska Corp. on its proposed land legislation in Congress.
Juneau hovers above national housing bubble
If the real estate bubble burst in some U.S. markets like an overfilled balloon, then in Juneau it leaked a little air and pinched shut.
Today, Feb. 7
Photo: Arts for Kids
TigerLilly McMeen sits for a character study by local artist Arnie Weimer in the Thunder Mountain High School commons Saturday during Arts For Kids, a nonprofit fundraiser for the Juneau School District's elementary art programs.
School district lays out $79M budget
"For the first time there's a positive feeling we can tell where the money is being spent, and begin to decide where allocations make sense," said Juneau School Board President Mark Choate. "That's a huge difference."
First matchup for cross-town rivals
Juneau-Douglas High School's Colin Gozelski pulls in a rebound against Thunder Mountain High School's Keith Ainsworth during Friday's game. JDHS won 60-45. For the story, see Page B1. View an audio slideshow of the matchup at juneauempire.com.
Juneau may vie for Arctic Games
The 2014 Arctic Winter Games aren't yet officially being held in Alaska, but that isn't stopping more than one Alaska city from organizing a bid.
Police & Fire
Juneau police and fire officials and state police reported:
El Niño drives dry weather
Precipitation fell below normal this winter in Juneau as the effects of El Niño increased through the season.
Marine Exchange earns public service award
For its support of U.S. Coast Guard maritime domain awareness and industry stewardship, the Marine Exchange of Alaska, based in Juneau, received one of the highest civilian awards offered by the Coast Guard - the Meritorious Public Service Award.
Photos: Hot Salsa Cool Ballroom
Photos from the dance floor Saturday during Hot Salsa Cool Ballroom at Centennial Hall. The night included dinner, a silent auction, a dessert auction, live dance performances, dance lessons and live music by Salsa Borealis and Thunder Mountain Big Band.
Suzanne Nierra writes down the spelling of a word while another competitor agonizes over a missed spelling Saturday during the Juneau School District Spelling Bee at Glacier Valley Elementary School. Juneau Montessori School's Demaris Oxman, left, Glacier Valley Elementary's Speier McCormick and Suzanne Nierra, and Dzantik'i Heeni Middle School's Brayden Wrightson wait for the championship round.
Police & Fire
Juneau police and fire officials reported:
Today, Feb. 8
Tapping in, finding a center
After falling in love with Southeast Alaska in 2005, east coast girl Malia McInerney returned three years later to fuse her love of the outdoors with her love of yoga — in Juneau.
Capital City Fire Rescue Volunteer Firefighter of the Month: Kathleen Miller
Credentials: Firefighter I, EMT 2.
Thunder Mountain High School January Falcon of the Month Award: Al Tingley
Occupation: TMHS Woodshop teacher.
Groups provide support to Alaska Youth Choir
JUNEAU - The Juneau Community Foundation is pleased announce the 2009 donations made to the Alaska Youth Choir from the Akiyama Family Fund, the JSL Group Fund and the Juneau Community Fund.
Cub Scout Packs hold Pinewood Derbies
JUNEAU - Pinewood Derbies have been held at all the Cub Scout Packs in Juneau over the last two weeks. The citywide derby for all Cub Scouts was held Saturday at the Moose Lodge.
Sara Sayre, a nursing major from Juneau, was named to the 2009 fall semester dean's list at West Virginia Wesleyan College in Buckhannon, W.V. The dean's list includes students who have achieved a grade-point average of 3.5 or above, while completing a load of at least 12 semester hours with no incomplete grades.
Senior menu for the week of Feb. 8-12
Monday, Feb. 8
Pets of the week: Love birds, charming cats seek good homes
If you are looking for a calm yet charming kitty, Tipsy, top left, may be the cat for you. He is a wonderful boy who needs to find a wonderful home.
Emo shares Brownie Bottom Pie
Ask Auntie Emo is looking for your recipes, your requests and your participation. This recipe column needs you and belongs to you!
Southeast Conference mourns loss of Conley
John "JC" Conley, aka "Mr. Southeast Conference," first vice president and past board president for Southeast Conference, died on Jan. 31 while in Juneau undergoing treatment for cancer.
Legislators announce first meeting of UA Boosters Caucus
JUNEAU - The Co-Chairs of the University Boosters Caucus Rep. Nancy Dahlstrom, Rep. Anna Fairclough, Sen. Johnny Ellis, and Sen. Joe Thomas announced the first meeting of the University of Alaska Boosters Caucus.
Thanks for attending K3's Juneau Stand with Haiti fundraiser
Thanks for making K3's Juneau Stand with Haiti fundraiser in support of the work Partners in Health is doing in Haiti such a great success! Thank you to the staff and board of K3 for pulling together the on-air fundraiser on short notice. Thanks to Gov. Sean Parnell, Beth Kurtulla and our legislative delegation for showing up and helping out with the effort. And, most of all thanks to the amazing people of Juneau and Southeast Alaska who gave so generously.
Thanks for providing helicopter tours of the Christmas lights
On Dec. 18, Coastal Helicopters, their employees and pilots, Coastal Fuel, Petro Marine Services and the Mendenhall Flying Lions Club again provided helicopter tours of the Christmas lights of the Mendenhall Valley. In the three-hour project, we were able to take more than 180 people up for a fantastic view of the lights.
Thanks for teaching our Girl Scouts yoga
A big thank you to Malia and Taproot Yoga for teaching our Daisy Girl Scout Troop on Jan. 31. Nine little Daisies earned their "courageous and strong" learning petal by taking part in a special YogaPlay session. For one hour, our Daisies enjoyed breathing, stretching and moving their bodies. They even got to sing along to some wonderful banjo playing by Malia. Thank you again.
Thanks for the meet, Glacier Swim Club
The Haines Dolphin Swim Team would like to thank the Glacier Swim Club for joining us in Haines for the Winter Games swim meet. Your coach, Scott Griffith, and his staff, Lisa Jones and Nicole O'Brien, did a great job keeping all their swimmers organized and racing their best.
The unsung heroes of travel
I stretch out with a big yawn before turning on my personal television. After a few flips through a couple channels, I debate between the newest "Fast and the Furious" film, or Eddie Murphy's "Imagine That." I settle on the latter, snuggling down into my comfy seat with my warm blanket pulled up tight. After a few minutes, I'm gently awoken with an inviting question:
Swim club begins annual fundraiser
JUNEAU - The Glacier Swim Club kicked off its annual fundraising event, Aqualaps, on Saturday. Swimmers will be seeking pledge donations from their family, friends and neighbors for the next few weeks. Then, on May 2 each swimmer will swim as many as 200 laps to meet their pledge responsibilities (lap goals are set by coaches, and vary between 50 and 200 laps, depending on each swimmers ability).
Department of Labor to hold safety poster and video contest
JUNEAU - The Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development will award two winners of its Safety Poster and Video Contest a one-semester scholarship for up to 15 credits at any University of Alaska campus.
Juneau Mountain Rescue elects board
JUNEAU - Juneau Mountain Rescue, a search and rescue (SAR) organization specializing in technical, high angle, avalanche and backcountry operations covering most of northern Southeast Alaska, recently held elections and welcomed new members to its Board of Directors, as well as a newly elected Board President.
Widowed persons to hold monthly brunch
JUNEAU - The Widowed Persons Program will hold its monthly brunch at noon today, Feb. 7, at the Baranof Hotel.
University announces Practicum in Public Health Scholarship
JUNEAU - The University of Alaska Foundation announces the availability of the Practicum in Public Health Scholarship available to graduate students enrolled in the Master of Public Health. The minimum award is $3,600 for the 2010-2011 academic year.
Juneau World Affairs Council to present World Quest fundraiser
JUNEAU - The Juneau World Affairs Council will present its annual World Quest fundraiser at 6 p.m. Feb. 19 at Centennial Hall. The event features JWAC's international trivia team contest, an international buffet full dinner catered by the Baranof (with no-host bar), a silent auction of exotic goods and experiences, and a silent auction of fabulous desserts.
Thunder Mountain seeks dance/drill coach for next year
JUNEAU - Thunder Mountain High School's Parent Teacher Organization is seeking a dance/drill coach for the 2010-2011 school year.
Photo: Winning for losing pounds
Curves owner Charlene Schrader, left, and Juneau resident Genevieve McLaughlin, right, pose with Sharon Peters, the January winner of Curves' Stronger Together Juneau Dress Challenge, on Thursday at Curves. In challenging the community to get fit, the women's fitness center is giving out monthly prizes for the highest percentage of weight lost, with a grand prize worth $1,000 to be given out this summer. Peters lost 8 pounds. Women can still apply throughFebruary. For more information, call 789-4437 or visit Curves in the Airport Shopping Mall.
Photo: Little bit of lunch
From left, Big Sister Marit Carlson-Van Dort, Little Sister Amber and Sen. Dennis Egan pose at the Big Brothers Big Sisters'"Legislative Lunch," hosted by Egan, on Jan. 29 in the Butrovitch Room of at the Capitol.
Photo: Earning her CDA
Blair Marcotte, a Juneau resident who was recently awarded a Child Development Associate credential by the Council of Professional Recognition in Washington, D.C., is seen with some of her RALLY friends who helped her earn her CDA. The process includes earning classroom credits, a formal six-hour observation by an early childhood professional and both a written and oral exam administered by a national representative. Marcotte has demonstrated her ability to work with families and to develop children's physical, social and intellectual capabilities in a safe, healthy learning environment. For more information about the CDA process, call AEYC at 789-1235.
Faris, Thomas to wed
Lou Taylor Faris and David Thomas are engaged to be married in an autumn wedding at the home of the groom's family.
Roop, Brian wed
Larissa "Lacey" Roop and Brad Brian, both of Juneau, were married in a small ceremony on Jan. 20, 2010, with close friends and family and the couple's two children Jaiden and Logan. The ceremony was performed by the bride's Aunt Toni Rae Petrie on Sandy Beach. A reception was held on Jan. 23 at the Eagles Lodge.
Williams' celebrate 50 years
Juneau residents Norman and Leona Williams celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on Feb. 6, 2010. They were married on Feb. 6, 1960, in Hoonah. Two of their sons, August and Willie, with them happy anniversary and "many more."
Patricia A. Collier
Juneau resident Patricia A. Collier died Jan. 31, 2010, at home. Funeral services will be announced at a later date.
Fred Zhong Chu
Longtime Juneau resident Dr. Fred Zhong Chu died peacefully on Jan. 30, 2010, at Bartlett Regional Hospital. He was 56.
Jackie Lorensen, 63, lost her battle with breast cancer Saturday, Feb. 6, 2010, in Rochester, N.Y., surrounded by family.
Where was missionaries' common sense?
First, to save my soul - and to save my e-mail in-box from an overload of screeds from God-fearing folks - I offer this preface to today's column:
Reading economic tea leaves swirled around by activists
On the weekend when the first National Tea Party Convention was held in Nashville, plenty of political tea leaves were being read by economists around the country, with mixed interpretations.
'Tea Party' an example of democracy at work
First, the independent Ross Perot contingent. Then, the liberal "netroots" mobilization. Now, the conservative "tea party" coalition.
The state should respond to political speech ruling
Last month, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down limitations on corporate and union expenditures affecting political campaigns. Handing down its Jan. 21 decision in Citizens United versus Federal Elections Commission, the nation's highest court overruled two prior cases which upheld federal laws which outright banned the expenditure of funds by corporations or labor organizations on "electioneering communications."
Soldiers trapped into dishonor
Let's consider how the American military is used and what they must really sacrifice. Military science fiction writer Lois McMaster Bujold elegantly distinguishes reputation as how others respect you, and honor as how you respect yourself.
Black men fight for ideals that exclude them
It is the enduring paradox of our centuries here. It is the paradox that stood its ground at Bunker Hill, paradox that made a doomed charge on Fort Wagner, paradox that stormed San Juan Hill, advanced through the Meuse-Argonne, landed on Iwo Jima, liberated Seoul and was taken prisoner in Hanoi.
Cartoon by local artist Toe.
Restaurant reopens 11 months after fire
FAIRBANKS - A popular Fairbanks eatery closed by fire last year has reopened.
One man killed in Sitka house fire
SITKA - One person was killed in a house fire in Sitka.
Alaska dentist fixes eagle's broken beak
ANCHORAGE - An Alaska dentist has given a bald eagle a unique beak - using a temporary crown, sticky poster putty and yellow highlighter.
Helicopter rescues Alaska snowmachiner
SEWARD - A snowmachiner who was injured when he rode off a cliff near Seward has been rescued after spending a night outdoors in blizzard-like conditions.
ConocoPhillips denied NPRA permit
ANCHORAGE - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has denied ConocoPhillips a permit that would have given the company access to the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska.
New flights to Alaska may lower fares
ANCHORAGE - Travel industry officials say more airline flights to Alaska this summer may boost competition and result in lower fares to some Lower 48 cities.
First Lady to honor Alaska volunteers
Juneau - First Lady Sandy Parnell is asking state residents to recognize their fellow citizens who have performed extraordinary volunteer service by nominating them for the First Lady's Volunteer of the Year Awards.
Stimulus funds speed up water projects
Juneau - Close teamwork between the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation's Municipal Grants and Loans program and local communities has pumped around $40 million of federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds into Alaska's economy.
Man convicted of tax evasion
FAIRBANKS - A jury has convicted a Fairbanks businessman of tax evasion following a five-day federal trial.
UA gives ship builder $123 million contract
MARINETTE, Wis. - Ship builder Marinette Marine has signed a $123 million contract to build a research ship for the University of Alaska.
Military to conduct simulated quake drill
ANCHORAGE - The military is getting ready to simulate how it would respond to a big earthquake in Alaska.
Soldier surprised by football honor
FAIRBANKS - A Fort Wainwright Army captain was surprised to find out he'd been named one of the best college football players of the past decade from teams not affiliated with conferences.
Man who killed cab driver was drunk
ANCHORAGE - Police say a man was drunk last weekend when he ran a red light and caused a crash that killed a cabbie in Anchorage.
Yellow Ribbon program headed to Wrangell
Camp Denali - The Alaska National Guard Yellow Ribbon Program will be visiting Wrangell Feb. 16 to provide information and assistance to veterans regarding their benefits and entitlements earned while in service.
Mushers begin Yukon Quest sled dog race
FAIRBANKS - The 27th Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race is under way.
Parnell, Premier Fentie meet in Whitehorse
Gov. Sean Parnell, Fish and Game Commissioner Denby Lloyd and members of the governor's staff met with Yukon Premier Dennis Fentie and members of his Cabinet in Whitehorse on Friday. The governor and premier agreed to continue to work together on issues of common interest and prepare for future growth for both regions.
Bears take first two
Juneau-Douglas exploded for 28 second-quarter points en route to a 72-60 Southeast Conference victory over Thunder Mountain at TMHS in the second of a two-day, two-game double dip between Juneau's old and new high schools.
In the first-ever matchup between the Thunder Mountain boys' basketball team and Juneau-Douglas, the atmosphere at JDHS was spirited - to say the least.
First games in shiny new crosstown rivalry don't disappoint
Now that's what prep sports should be about.
Crimson Bears win Dimond tournament
The Juneau-Douglas girls' basketball team defeated the Dimond Lynx 44-38 Saturday night to win the Dimond tournament inAnchorage.
JDHS falls in Fairbanks
The Crimson Bears' hockey season came to an end Friday night in Fairbanks as they lost to the West Valley Wolfpack 8-0 on the University of Alaska-Fairbanks campus.
Sports in Juneau
Beginning Jan. 1, Sports In Juneau information must be submitted online at http://calendar.juneauempire.com. Submissions via e-mail, phone, fax or other will no longer be accepted. For more information e-mail email@example.com
Former stripper wins appeal in murder case
ANCHORAGE - An Alaska appellate court on Friday awarded a new trial to a former stripper-turned-soccer-mom who was convicted of plotting to kill her former fiance for money.
Jason Abbott, left, pauses Friday while reading an apology during his sentencing hearing in the Sitka Superior Courthouse in Sitka. Sitka Superior Court Judge David George sentenced Abbott, 20, to serve 140 years in prison for the March 2008 stabbings that left four people dead. He pleaded "guilty, but mentally ill" last year to two consolidated counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of his grandparents Alice and John Abbott, his aunt, Elizabeth Abbott, and her friend, Charles Tate.
State considers cell phone ban
Lawmakers in the nation's most inaccessible state capital are considering the most aggressive statewide ban in the United States on the use of cell phones while driving.
Fairbanks detective pursues new clues in 1983 cold case
FAIRBANKS - In the 26 years since two former Missouri residents were stabbed to death at an east Fairbanks apartment, no one has been charged for the crime. Fairbanks Police Detective Peyton Merideth hopes to change that.
Ketchikan man sentenced in elderly man's stabbing
KETCHIKAN - A Ketchikan judge rejected an initial plea agreement, then sentenced a man to nearly four years in prison for stabbing an 86-year-old World War II veteran during a theft.
Palin: It's revolution time
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Sarah Palin declared "America is ready for another revolution" and repeatedly assailed President Barack Obama on Saturday before adoring "tea party" activists. They make up a seemingly natural constituency should she run for president.
Palin e-mails shed new light on husband's role
E-mails shed new light on Todd Palin's role while his wife was Alaska's governor, showing that the one-time oil field worker's advice was sought on board appointments and suggesting he was close to matters related to state government, his wife's image and politics.
Parnell says state will see $2.2 billion budget surplus
Gov. Sean Parnell had a pleasant surprise for legislators in Juneau Feb. 2: A $2.2 billion state budget surplus.
Wasilla truck driver revs things up in the kitchen
WASILLA - Given the obsession with television cooking shows, it's only natural an episode of "Ice Road Truckers" would spawn a series of culinary classes focused on gourmet wild game.
Three men convicted in Point Hope caribou slaughter case
POINT HOPE - Three Point Hope men have been convicted of wasting meat from two animals that were slaughtered and left behind on the tundra in 2008 - an act the hunters' elders say follows a tradition of leaving sick animals in order to protect the community.
Internal e-mails reveal early ethics efforts, push back
Internal e-mails released from the Sarah Palin administration show that the former governor demanded tougher ethical standards for Alaska behind the scenes, and that she was highly critical of lawmakers who questioned her.
USDA urges state to scrap erosion project
FAIRBANKS - The U.S. Department of Agriculture says an erosion control project designed to improve spawning salmon habitat near Delta Junction has failed so badly that it should be undone - at a cost of up to $10 million.
Democrats dispute oil tax harming investment
The gloves are coming off in a looming legislative fight over changes to Alaska's oil and gas production taxes.
Plane service returns to isolated island
DIOMEDE - Regular plane service has returned to a tiny Bering Strait village.
Biologists try to ward off feeding of moose
HOMER - Despite what people may think when they enjoy the sights of Homer's city-dwelling moose population, hay is for horses - not moose.
Photo: Honoring scholarship foundation
Gov. Sean Parnell, center, and First Lady Sandy Parnell, front left, hosted a luncheon for representatives of the Taylor Foundation on Feb. 2 at the Governor's Mansion. Attending the luncheon were Rep. Wes Keller, Rep. Peggy Wilson, Sen. Joe Thomas, Rep. Paul Seaton, Rep. Beth Kerttula, Rep. Cathy Muñoz and Sen. John Coghill, as well as several commissioners and senior staff. The Taylor Foundation promotes merit scholarships across the United States.
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