Not me, thank you
My name is Nikki R. Richert, and I would like to take this opportunity to clarify that I am not the same Nicole D. Richert who was recently arrested and accused of involvement in the check fraud scam printed in the Juneau Empire on Jan. 31.

Obama expanded health insurance
I was dismayed to see the article in the Feb. 2 Juneau Empire about the Clinton campaign's repeated attacks against Sen. Barack Obama and his commitment to universal health care coverage.

Thanks to Palin for Habitat move
I'd like to thank Gov. Sarah Palin for her wise decision to move the Habitat Division back to the Department of Fish and Game. With the move, Fish and Game will once again be able to fully carry out its constitutional mandate of protecting our fish and wildlife resources, provided that the state can both retain and also reacquire qualified professionals whose jobs were eliminated in 2003.

Taku transcends corporate wealth
I read Drew Green's My Turn in the Juneau Empire (Feb. 6) with keen interest and a considerable amount of concern.

Remember your snow etiquette
Recently I moved into a nice home in a nice part of town that I'm very fond of. Everything has been great until recently when we started getting a lot of snow.

A different Tongass National Forest view
Regarding the latest Forest Service attempt at managing the Tongass, we read the joint statement issued by Gov. Sarah Palin and Forestry Chief Gail Kimbell on their "Shared Vision for the Tongass National Forest."

Bus should offer complete service
This winter has been noticeable in the lack of service from our city transit system.

'We stand to fall together' on energy
As a concerned citizen, I'm writing about the welfare of the state of Alaska and its present and future energy needs. I attended a meeting of SEAK Solutions on Jan. 30. The group concerns included renewable energy in Alaska, especially villages, and making biodiesel fuel in Juneau.

Students bring news broadcast to city
The city's newest TV news program is scheduled to start airing this week on Juneau's television sets.

First permits for cottage housing trigger concern
Home and landowners in the All Seasons subdivision say the city's first cottage housing development threatens their property values and doesn't fit in with the Back Loop Road neighborhood people paid up to $500,000 to live in.

Crabbers set for slush, cold, low prices
As the sun set on a slushy gray Monday, the last crabbers still in town were scrambling to leave for this week's tanner crab opener in Southeast Alaska.

Despite storms, Juneau snowfall is still average
February's nonstop storms might make it seem like Juneau is headed for another record snow year, but snowfall is close to average so far this winter.

Photos: Mechanical Marvels
Color and creativity once again entertained a crowd at the Juneau Arts and Humanities Council annual fashion event that this year invited local artists to design wearable art under the theme "Mechanical Marvels."

Two crab species are very different
Southeast tanner crab and golden king crab will both be harvested starting Thursday. But these two species live very different lifestyles.

City seeks to close loopholes with new smoking ordinance
The Juneau Assembly introduced an ordinance Monday closing gaps in the smoking ban that officials claim keep the city from fully enforcing the law.

Photos: Harbor snowed in
Boats are surrounded by ice and snow as a worker plows snow Sunday at the Harris Harbor dock.

Around Town

Army Corps may not join mine appeal
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has not decided whether to join Coeur d'Alene Mines Corp. and the state of Alaska in a U.S. Supreme Court appeal of a decision affecting the Kensington Mine's permits.

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

Photo: Chipping away
Erik Auger, a crewman aboard the fishing vessel Carlynn, uses a sledgehammer to break ice off the wheel house Monday at Aurora Basin boat harbor. Ice nearly two feet thick built up on the vessel as it fished for gray cod in Frederick Sound after a cold snap hit Southeast Alaska. Today's weather forecast calls for rain and a high temperature near 40.

Around Town

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

Obama narrowly leads McCain in election matchup
WASHINGTON - If Democrats want their best shot at defeating John McCain this fall, a new poll suggests Barack Obama may be a better bet than Hillary Rodham Clinton.

John A. Clark
Juneau resident John Anthony Clark died Feb. 3, 2008, in Juneau after a brief illness. He was 74.

My turn: Reinstate Gold Medal tourney's women, intermediate divisions
I, and many others in this community, read with some dismay that the Gold Medal Tournament Committee has decided to take actions which would eliminate the women's and intermediate divisions in this year's tournament. The committee will also add teams to the C, B and masters divisions. I think the direction of the committee is a mistake.

My Turn: Health care shouldn't be a consumer good
While I applaud Gov. Sarah Palin's efforts to provide tools to Alaskans to access information on the quality and cost of health care, I take issue with one of her assumptions.

Outside editorial: A president who tortured
"We do not torture."

Outside editorial: Getting a grip on the obesity debate
So are too many Americans too fat - or not? According to contrarian views of the obesity/overweight issue, the concern is overblown. A Johns Hopkins professor recently coauthored a book that challenges the link between health problems and obesity. Some naysayers suggest the antifat campaign is a concoction of the multibillion-dollar weight loss industry, designed to scare people into signing up. Or that it has become a moral crusade designed to marginalize groups (including the poor) that have higher rates of being overweight.

Let American ingenuity solve the power crunch
Maryland's Allegheny Energy recently mailed two compact fluorescent light bulbs to each of its customers. Imagine the indignation when those customers noticed a $12 charge for the unsolicited mailing.

State schedules 16 meetings on AGIA
JUNEAU - State officials scheduled a series of 16 town hall meetings across Alaska to update residents on the efforts to get a natural gas pipeline under the Alaska Gasline Inducement Act.

Fairbanks respiratory ills blamed on cold
FAIRBANKS - The severe cold in Fairbanks is behind a hike in respiratory viruses.

Metlakatla mayor vows to fight ouster
KETCHIKAN - Metlakatla's mayor plans to fight a vote by village leaders to remove him from office.

Grant applications due to city by Friday
JUNEAU - Social Services Advisory Board grant applications for fiscal year 2009-10 are due at 4:30 p.m. Friday.

Balsiger named acting director for NMFS
ANCHORAGE - James Balsiger has been named the acting director of the National Marine Fisheries Service.

Five teens arrested on marijuana charges
FAIRBANKS - Five students from schools in Fairbanks have been arrested on marijuana charges.

Rep. Gruenberg reports to Juneau
JUNEAU - Rep. Max Gruenberg, an Anchorage Democrat, was back in Juneau Monday after spending nearly two months battling complications from surgery.

Five rescued eagles released in Kodiak
KODIAK - Five of the 30 surviving eagles that were slimed in fish guts last month will be released back to the wild.

Three mushers scratch from Yukon Quest
FAIRBANKS - Three Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race mushers scratched Monday at Eagle Summit.

City reinstates human rights commission
JUNEAU - The Juneau Assembly reestablished the Juneau Human Rights Commission by resolution Monday.

Juneau-Douglas JV upends Sitka girls twice over weekend
The Juneau-Douglas High School girls junior varsity basketball team received two balanced scoring efforts to defeat visiting Sitka on Friday and Saturday.


Juneau Parks and Recreation Ordway Basketball Tournament Results


Former Stevens aide benefits from earmark
Newly uncovered documents show a generous earmark in 2005 by Sen. Ted Stevens was manipulated to lead to the purchase of property owned by his former aide, Trevor McCabe, now an Anchorage fisheries lobbyist.

Alaska opens checkbook to public
Alaskans who want to make sure their state government is spending their money wisely can now rummage through the state's checkbook, and see what they can find.

Sniper convicted of killing Iraqi
A military jury on Sunday convicted an Army sniper of murder and sentenced him to 10 years in prison for killing an Iraqi civilian who wandered into the hiding place where six soldiers were sleeping.

State lawmakers lift hurdle to kidney donation
When Alaska state Rep. Richard Foster was diagnosed with a genetic kidney disease, his friends at the state Capitol wanted to give more than flowers.

Craig plans to use Tongass waste wood to heat buildings
The small community of Craig is proud of its big swimming pool.

Palin signs safe surrender bill
A controversial bill allowing a parent to safely surrender a newborn infant instead of possibly abandoning the child was signed into law Monday.

Rural residents wary of rickety bridges in Alaska
TRAPPER CREEK - Buried under a few feet of snow, the one-lane bridge over Cottonwood Creek on Oilwell Road looks safe, but for the signs warning of a three-ton weight limit.

New mapping data bolsters U.S. claims to Arctic region
ANCHORAGE - New mapping data would bolster any claims the U.S. might make in the Arctic as nations in the region compete for potentially rich reserves of oil, gas and minerals buried beneath the sea floor, federal scientists said Monday.

Victim in Kodiak boating accident identified as part of Russian community
ANCHORAGE - Authorities on Sunday said a man who died in a capsized fishing boat off the island of Kodiak was a member of a Russian religious community that was still mourning the loss of five members in a fatal plane crash five weeks ago.

Palin meets with ConocoPhillips
Gov. Sarah Palin met with executives from ConocoPhillips to discuss a prospective natural gas pipeline - one month after turning down the company's proposal.

Ex-Fairbanks mayor convicted of fraud
FAIRBANKS - Former Fairbanks Mayor Jim Hayes has been found guilty of 16 counts involving the misuse of more than $450,000 in government grants sent to a social services agency.

Quotation posted by students draws ire
ANCHORAGE - A quotation posted by black students at an Anchorage high school has stirred debate and outrage.

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

Fire consumes home of man who lost sons in crash
ANCHORAGE - A man whose two sons died in a plane crash off Kodiak has suffered another loss.

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

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