Saturday, February 12, 2011

Lifeguards voice wave of complaints to advisory board
A state health inspector said records indicate that the Augustus Brown Swimming Pool was not tested for the dangerous coliform bacteria for more than a year. That health official is working with pool managers to bring the pool back into a regular testing cycle. The city’s parks and recreation superintendent said some testing may have been done, and the matter is being taken very seriously.

New cuts proposed
The Juneau School District administration took a bigger hit, along with custodial services, in order to restore other areas in the latest work session on budget cuts.

Trial dates set in Federal Court for 2 alleged Oxy dealers
U.S. Magistrate Judge Leslie Longenbaugh set trial dates in Juneau Federal Court Thursday for three defendants accused of illegal possession and distribution of oxycodone.

AFN officials bring concerns to lawmakers
The legislative season has given the Alaska Federation of Natives an opportunity to address lawmakers, as well as the public, on topics that make a difference in Alaska’s Native communities.

Photo: Taking a close look
Deputy Attorney General Richard Svobodny, head of the Criminal Division of the Alaska Department of Law, peruses a law book in the state legislature on Wednesday during a hearing on HB 80.

Street preacher arrested in Haines
An Oregon street preacher who is accused of posting threatening online messages regarding his local county officials and his ex-wife and her family was arrested Tuesday in Haines and will eventually wind up in a Juneau jail awaiting extradition.

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.

Joan B. Hughes
Joan B. Hughes died on Jan. 18, 2011, in Everett, Wash., near her son and daughter-in-law. She was a lifetime member of the Pioneers of Alaska, born Nov. 10, 1930 to Deming Loren O’Connor and Florence Franconi O’Connor. Joan was later adopted to the loving family of Marion and Bessie Bucey.

Steven Sinclair Wells
Steven Sinclair Wells died Feb. 2, 2011 at his home in Juneau. He was 58.

Hezbollah's seizure of power in Lebanon dooms peace talks
Prospects for peace between Israel and the Palestinian Authority have not been rising. The central issues of Jerusalem, Israeli settlements and Palestinian refugees seem no closer to resolution, and turmoil in Egypt, Jordan, Yemen and elsewhere in the region further complicates efforts to reach long-term solutions to vexing challenges.

Must there be an app for everything?
The following editorial first appeared in the Dallas Morning News:

Not if the U.S. prods Israel to begin negotiating fairly with Palestine
The ascendance of Hezbollah in Lebanon should not doom the Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations. Those negotiations, to be sure, are already on life support. A cynic might say there is nothing that could reduce further the prospects of a successful Israel-Palestine peace.

Halibut, Herring, Ooglian and Salmon
I have been reading the opinions in Sitnews with great interest. The day is going to come when there won’t be any kind of fisheries in Southeast Alaska because of greed. I have to agree that the State of Alaska and Federal Government can’t manage all Alaska’s nature resources.

Ride the rails into Alaska's outback
Tucked tight against the Coast Mountains outside of Skagway, accessible only by foot or train, sit two Forest Service public use cabins which are enveloped by surroundings which visitors say are nothing short of jaw-dropping.

January junkets find pink clams, fresh tracks
The Fish Creek trail, going upstream from the Douglas Highway bridge, was — as expected — very icy in spots, with occasional little rivers flowing in it. Biologically, things were pretty quiet. The cool story was the ice along the creek. Impressive ice jams had built up in several places, piled on rocks or backed up behind stacks of logs. The cakes of ice were about eight inches thick, and they ranged in size from great plates 10 or 20 feet across down to crumbs (relatively speaking). In some places they were layered on top of each other; in others they were stacked vertically against logs or streamside trees.

Backyard Bird Count begins next week
JUNEAU — Local bird enthusiasts and those from across the continent will be counting birds of all shapes on sizes from Friday, Feb. 18 through Monday, Feb. 21 as part of this year’s Great Backyard Bird Count.

Wildlife lecture series aims for public outreach
When you live in a place like Juneau with all it has to offer outdoors, it’s sometimes easy to take your surroundings for granted.

Vandor, Moritz take top honors
Athletes with the Juneau Ski Club took advantage of good conditions during the Don Abel Giant Slalom races held at Eaglecrest Ski Area the last weekend in January. Racers Matt Vandor and Naomi Moritz took top honors in the competition.

BOW is back
Southeast is filled with folks who aren’t afraid to delve into a heap of fresh king salmon and start cleaning. It’s here residents will carry a handgun or rifle as often as they put on a rain jacket. They know the perfect ratio of ingredients for smoked salmon and have tasted the fruits of summer. Certainly, women of the region are no exception.

Tracks and Signs to examine winter birds and habitat
JUNEAU — The upcoming Tracks and Signs walk will take place on from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday at the Airport Dike Trail adjacent to the Mendenhall Wetlands State Game Reserve.

Fireside highlights Gastineau study
JUNEAU — This week’s Fireside Lecture at the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center will highlight “Revenue Cutter Wayanda: Early Exploration of Gastineau Channel.” The lecture begins at 6:30 and again at 8 p.m. tonight.

Juneau Gun Club holding Registered Trap Shoot
JUNEAU — Members of the Juneau Gun Club will hold a trap shoot from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, at gun club’s shooting range on Montana Creek Road.

Free safety training offered for commercial fishermen
JUNEAU — The Alaska Marine Safety Education Association will offer a 10-hour fishing vessel safety and drill conductor course from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 19, at the Bill Ray Center.

Kick with winter blues with tropical fishing slide show
JUNEAU — Tony Soltys and Steve and Luke Brockman will show slides covering recent fly fishing trips to Christmas Island and Belize at the upcoming meeting of the Raincountry Flyfishers beginning at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 16, in the Thunder Mountain High School library.

Eaglecrest hosts Winter Fireworks Spectacular
JUNEAU — Eaglcrest Ski Area will hold their annual Winter Fireworks Spectacular on Saturday, Feb.19.

Discover nature in February at upcoming Discovery Day
JUNEAU — Youth between the ages of seven and 12 are invited to join Discovery Southeast for the next Discovery Days on Monday, Feb. 21, and on Tuesday, Feb. 22.

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, abby.lowell@juneauempire.com. 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.

Alaska legislators promote oil tax credits
JUNEAU — Two Alaska legislators are asking Gov. Sean Parnell to remind the oil industry of existing incentives for drilling.

Fugitive arraigned on child pornography charges
KENAI — A Soldotna fugitive has been arraigned on 10 charges of possession and distribution of child pornography.

Another listing found for Bristol Palin book
NEW YORK — The rumored Bristol Palin memoir has popped up again on the Internet.

New North Slope oil field may be last one in years
ANCHORAGE — A group that promotes Alaska’s resource development says a new oil field that came on line Wednesday on the North Slope is likely the last for at least five years.

This Valentine's Day, 54 jewelers say no
ANCHORAGE — This Valentine’s Day, 54 jewelers in the United States are saying no to gold from the proposed Pebble Mine.

Alaska river ice thinnest in 5 winters
FAIRBANKS — Organizers of an Alaska springtime tradition say the Tanana River ice in Nenana is the thinnest for this time of year since 2006.

State retirement fund looks at Outside timber investments
Southeast Alaska’s once-vibrant timber industry is now mostly gone, but state retirement officials think investing millions of dollars in pension money in the timber industry elsewhere will pay off for the state’s retirees.

Juneau man appointed to oversee ferry system
A retired U.S. Coast Guard captain from Juneau has been named deputy commissioner for the Alaska Marine Highway System.

Jury begins deliberations in Waterman trial
ANCHORAGE — Rachelle Waterman’s lawyer sent jurors off Wednesday with his own set of instructions for evaluating the evidence in the murder conspiracy trial: Question a former boyfriend’s statements to police that would connect her to her mother’s brutal murder.

FWS: Pacific walruses warranted but precluded from protection
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has added the Pacific walrus to the candidate list for the Endangered Species Act’s protection, although the animals will be precluded from an immediate formal listing.

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