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Thursday, February 12, 2009

Snow removal can help pedestrians, too
Snow removal is a time-consuming job, great exercise for the young and strong. As I walk around downtown, I have made some observations.

Building Southeast intertie would create more jobs
Building out the Southeast electrical intertie (a power transmission line) would create jobs immediately in Southeast Alaska and across the United States and Canada. It would also make a huge stride toward achieving Gov. Sarah Palin's recently announced goal of 50 percent renewable energy by 2025.

Innovative schools improve education
Your articles on community involvement in local charter schools give a good sense of the excitement these innovative schools can bring to education ("Basic info on TLC and the charter school" and "Fiesta de Colores," Feb. 8). Collaboration with an organization such as The Learning Connection greatly increases the chances of meaningful family involvement.

Fund's managers need to be replaced
This is a open letter to all. As a retired federal employee, I find my services are needed again. My last service was as a civilian (military) technician (helicopter mechanic) for the Alaska Army National Guard. This time, the Permanent Fund Dividend needs my help. Why do I say this? Look at what the fund's managers have done to it.

Artist spawns new mural at UAS
With the exception of finger painting he made as a child, University of Alaska Southeast business management student Sterling Snyder said he has essentially no experience as a painter. But he was quick to pick up a brush when given the opportunity to help celebrated Ketchikan-based artist Ray Troll paint a new mural in the Egan Building at the Auke Bay campus this week.

Experts worried about depleted herring stocks
Kake elder Clarence Jackson says that when he was young, the seas near Sitka boiled with herring.

Mental health trust proposes $45M building
State office workers could have some new downtown digs by 2012 under a plan to build a $45 million office building near Coast Guard Station Juneau and the old subport building site.

Waste-to-energy plasma technology meets skepticism
There's been a buzz for months about bringing a bleeding edge waste-to-energy plasma gasification plant to Juneau. But the prevailing attitude among policy makers and entrenched business interests appears to be one of skepticism and inaction - not only in Juneau, but across the country.

New road projects stir concerns in Southeast Alaska
Two road projects, one new and one old, have been highlighted by Gov. Sarah Palin in a speech to the Legislature. Both may be ahead of the Juneau Access Project, the controversial road up Lynn Canal for which Palin's support has been waning.

Legislators look to parent-teachers
With falling oil prices leading to dwindling state revenues, plans for boosting student achievement by improving early education are being scaled back.

House committee to consider early education bill today
The state House Education Committee will hold a hearing today on a bill intended to encourage parents to act as pre-school teachers to their children with help from state-funded resources and house calls from an expert.

Photo: Images from another time Fire engulfs historic building, 1987
The Juneau Cold Storage burns on the Juneau waterfront in May 1987. The building, built in 1913, was completely destroyed in the fire. It was later demolished.

Photos: Outdoor Classroom
Jim Fowler, a Juneau artist, teaches Harborview second-grade student Eli Whartohl how to draw a marmot Tuesday at the visitor center.

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

Around Town
Today

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

Around Town
Today

Carol Jane Young
Former Juneau resident Carol Jane Young died peacefully Feb. 10, 2009, in her home in Boise, Idaho. She was 74.

Irene Inez Lenz
Irene Inez Lenz died Feb. 9, 2009, in the presence of family.

George Sundborg
Former longtime Juneau resident George Sundborg died on Feb. 7, 2009, in Seattle. He was 95.

Curtis Michael Fleischhauer
Juneau resident Curtis Michael Fleischhauer died in the early morning of Feb. 9, 2009, after a 20-year battle with multiple sclerosis. He was at home with his family and friends by his side. He was 38.

Alaska editorial: Alaska needs better explanation for high gas prices in state
Rep. Jay Ramras tried to have it both ways last week in his report on Alaska gasoline prices. While the House Judiciary Committee report acknowledges a growing gap in Alaska and Lower 48 prices in the last year, Rep. Ramras advises against any "heavy-handed" government intervention to lower those prices.

Alaska Editorial: Utility wars or community coordination?
In her State of the State speech, Gov. Palin floated an idea that would improve the energy situation in the Railbelt. She'd like to see all Railbelt electric utilities join together in a single organization for planning new generators and transmission lines. It would supply power at a uniform wholesale rate throughout the region. Most energy experts agree Gov. Palin is right: Having six different utilities makes a fragmented and inefficient system. In the Lower 48, an area like the Railbelt would typically have a single, medium-size electric utility.

'Dying City's' call to reality
Letters from a war zone can offer unique glimpses into the dynamics of a soldier's perception of the world. In the play "Dying City," which is being performed this month in Juneau by the Thunder Mountain Theatre Project, one such e-mail unravels much of the story's mystery about personal relationships in wartime. But if we probe deeper, we find the play offers a disturbing analogy about our country's military posture among the weaker nations of the world.

My turn: House Judiciary report based solely on Ramras' intuition
Last year, then-House Speaker John Harris, tasked the House Judiciary Committee with investigating the retail prices of gasoline in Alaska. He specifically requested information about why reductions in Alaska prices at the pumps significantly trailed reductions in gasoline prices nationwide. And he asked for solid recommendations for legislative action this year.

Despite struggles, education is still the pathway to freedom
In recognition of Black History Month, the Bureau of Labor Statistics has presented a flattering economic sketch of black people in the United States. In this drawing by the numbers, we are seen as a relatively young and hearty workforce - 17 million black people strong - poised to weather the difficult economic times ahead.

Bankrupt Iceland is getting steamed
In December, reports surfaced that then-Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson was nervous. Without a Wall Street bailout package, he reportedly warned members of Congress, civil unrest might become so widespread that martial law would have to be imposed.

Police arrest man on felony drug charges
FAIRBANKS - Fairbanks police arrested a man who allegedly had about $2,400 worth of cocaine.

31 apply for open School Board seat
ANCHORAGE - One vacant job in Anchorage is attracting a lot of applications.

Lawmakers debate minimum wage hike
FAIRBANKS - Alaska lawmakers are considering a bill that would raise the minimum wage to $8.75 an hour.

Murkowski to deliver GOP radio address
ANCHORAGE - U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski will deliver her party's radio response to President Obama's weekly address.

Board votes against alcohol on Pub Line
FAIRBANKS - The Fairbanks City Council voted this week to oppose the liquor license application of a bus service that provides transportation to bars.

ExxonMobil pledges $1.2 million to Iditarod
WASILLA - The Iditarod Trail Committee today announced that ExxonMobil is expanding its support with a $1.25 million, multi-year contribution to sponsor the Iditarod Education Program.

Five candidates vie for Kodiak city post
KODIAK - The next city manager in Kodiak will either be an Alaskan or an Oklahoman.

Alaska Air attendants agree on contract
SEATTLE - Alaska Airlines and the Association of Flight Attendants have reached an agreement on a proposed two-year contract extension.

Kohring says he asked for pardon
ANCHORAGE - A convicted Alaska lawmaker sought but didn't receive either a pardon or reduction in his federal prison sentence from former President Bush.

Native consortium gets federal grant
ANCHORAGE - The Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium will use a $1 million grant to study Hepatitis B.

Man found dead in Fairbanks lot
FAIRBANKS - A man was found dead in a wooded lot in Fairbanks.

Pearson's Pond spa earns top AAA rating
JUNEAU -Pearson's Pond Luxury Inn and Adventure Spa was recently awarded the AAA Four Diamond Award for 2009. The award was presented Thursday at the Juneau Chamber of Commerce.

Green doubles up Subway
Rissa Florendo shattered a tense period-long tie with 8:47 remaining in the game, and Green snagged a narrow 2-1 victory over Subway Sunday night in Juneau Adult Hockey Association Women's Tier action at Treadwell Arena.

Palin defends Colberg decision
Gov. Sarah Palin said it was former Attorney General Talis Colberg's decision to resign this week, but she refused to say whether the two of them had talked about it beforehand.

Alaska's attorney general resigns
Attorney General Talis Colberg's resignation has brought out in the open what's been simmering since Gov. Sarah Palin returned from the presidential campaign trail - the lingering hard feelings in the Capitol.

Move under way to change name of Mount McKinley
FAIRBANKS - A move is under way to change the name of North America's tallest mountain from Mount McKinley to Denali.

Palin, cabinet outline priorities
Gov. Sarah Palin, assisted by her cabinet members, fielded numerous questions ranging from the federal stimulus package to an in-state gas line at her first news conference in the capital city since the legislative session began 23 days ago.

PETA targets Fort Wainwright
FAIRBANKS - An animal rights organization is protesting the use of live pigs in a medical course at Fort Wainwright.

Denali group awarded gas treatment plant contract
The Denali pipeline group on Feb. 10 announced the award of an engineering contract for a $2 billion gas treatment plant in Prudhoe Bay.

Alaska Air questions whether Virgin America has U.S. status
ATLANTA - Alaska Airlines is questioning Virgin America's ownership status, asking the government to determine whether the fledgling airline continues to meet the qualifications for being a U.S. air carrier.

25 Sitka illnesses are linked to oysters
SITKA - Alaska health officials said four people in Sitka have tested positive for norovirus infections, and at least 21 more are ill with gastrointestinal illnesses.

Postal service plans new bypass mail hubs in rural Alaska
Postal officials, concerned about the high costs of providing bypass mail service to rural Alaska, have announced plans to go ahead with a measure to create hubs at remote locations.

Yukon Quest mushers put strategy into food, staples
FAIRBANKS - Of the countless things Wayne Hall packed for the upcoming Yukon Quest, the musher from Eagle made sure not to short himself of one crucial item.

Photos: Rock slide blocks road in Ketchikan
Front-end loader operators work to clear debris Tuesday after a rock slide blocked the road near mile five of North Tongass Highway in Ketchikan. According to Alaska State Troopers, the slide occurred at about 8 a.m. By 1 p.m., crews had opened one lane of traffic.The North Tongass Highway is the only connectionbetween downtown Ketchikan and the north end of the city, which includes an elementary school, the Alaska Marine Highway System, and several homes and small businesses. No injuries were reported.

Alaska chief justice warns of challenges courts face
JUNEAU - Alaska Supreme Court Chief Justice Dana Fabe warned lawmakers that troubled financial times can lead to greater demands on the state's judicial system.

Tax cap proposal gains support in Anchorage
ANCHORAGE - City Hall in Anchorage is being swamped with support for a tax cap.

Photo: Calling for peace
Mount Edgecumbe High School student Candice Schack, left, along with other high school students and members of the public, hold a candlelight vigil Monday on the Crescent Harbor dock in Sitka. The vigil was organized by Amnesty International student groups to promote peace, urge an end to violence and call for reconstruction in Gaza, on the eve of the parliamentary elections in Israel.

Bridge across Knik Arm may cost $686 million
ANCHORAGE - The state Department of Transportation said a two-lane bridge across the Knik Arm and roads connecting to it would cost $686 million.

Photos: Iron Dog races through Nome
Snowmobile racers Nick Olstad and Todd Minnick arrive in Nome on Tuesday during the Iron Dog. The race across Alaska runs from Big Lake to Nome and then to the finish in Fairbanks on Saturday.

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