Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Alaska's long-term active military deserve PFDs
My name is Tiko Crofoot. My parents, my sister, and I have been Alaska residents for many years now. I am active duty military, currently stationed in Virginia, and am getting ready for my fifth deployment to CENTCOM as a U.S. Navy SEAL. For the past two years, I was denied my Permanent Fund Dividend because of a clause stating that an absence from the state of 10 years, even if due to military requirements and even if you have maintained residency the entire time, negates eligibility. I have gone back to Alaska every year since being in the military, and have spent the requisite amount of time there to qualify for the PFD and to retain my residency. I have an Alaska driver’s license, vote in all Alaska elections, have it listed as my home of record for the military and plan to retire there once my military service is complete.

A valentine couple since the fifth grade
Ted Merrell said the first time he saw Doreen Gillett walk into a room he knew she was the one for him.

Lawmakers fighting to keep EAS alive
Alaska’s delegation in both the U.S. House and the Senate say Essential Air Service (EAS) is needed here and is making strides toward keeping it in light of Sen. John McCain’s recent proposal to eliminate the program nationwide.

Marvin gets fall trial in Hoonah murder case
A judge Monday cleared room for a three-week trial for the man accused of shooting two Hoonah police officers to death last August.

Photo: Fresh powder brings twice as much fun
Karen Pallenberg has her hands full as she prepares to sled at Twin Lakes on Monday with her 20-month-old twins, Sam, left, and Ben. Just over nine inches of snow fell between Sunday and Monday. The forecast for today and Wednesday calls for clear and colder weather with winds gusting to 55 mph downtown.

Photos: Wearable Art rocks Centennial Hall
The Juneau Arts & Humanities Council’s 2011 Wearable Arts extravaganza “Illuminate” featured more than 80 artists’ creations. The fashion show was held at Centennial Hall on Saturday and Sunday in front of a sold-out audience. The annual event is a fundraiser for the JAHC and helps support art and artists in Juneau.

AG Burns speaks before Judiciary committees
Attorney General-designee John Burns spoke to the 27th Alaska Legislature on Monday, addressing the Senate and House Judiciary committees in a two-hour joint hearing concerning the mission of the Alaska Department of Law and past, present, and impending issues.

Assembly COW clarifies, approves 2011 goals
The Borough Assembly’s 2010-2011 goals are almost solidified, and some are already nearing completion.

SEARHC clinics to recognize Elizabeth Peratrovich Day
The SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium will close Wednesday in honor of Elizabeth Peratrovich Day.

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.

Correction
A story on page A3 of Sunday’s Empire incorrectly attributed a statement. Deputy Commissioner of Revenue Jerry Burnett told the board he’d presented legislators with comparative information about investment returns of the board and the Alaska Permanent Fund.

Photo: A snowy perch
Mature bald eagles roost on freshly snow-lined limbs Monday in the Lemon Creek area.

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.

Empire editorial: A giving spirit
This past Saturday, members from Juneau’s three Rotary clubs, joined by the young adult leaders participating in Juneau’s Rotaract Club, converged in front of local grocers to collect food to help fill the shelves at the Southeast Alaska Food Bank.

Time is now to unleash Alaska's economy
The Legislature has begun examining my proposal to spur investment in our state and create jobs for Alaskans by adjusting our oil tax rates.

Empire editorial: Time to clear the water, and the air
One of the first lessons learned at any public pool is this: When the lifeguard blows his or her whistle, it’s time to stop what you’re doing, pay attention and follow instructions.

My Turn: Elizabeth Peratrovich One powerful woman
It took a long time. That journey was hard and is not over. In 1867, The United States purchased the Alaska Territory from Russia. Ushering into the new frontier were the hopes of expansion and the promise of the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights for Americans in this new territory. That Constitution and that Bill of Rights did not apply to Alaska Natives.

Outside editorial: House GOP veers off track on abortion
The following editorial first appeared in the Sacramento Bee:

Free Pollard? Never
In January, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sent a letter to President Barack Obama asking for the early release of Jonathan Jay Pollard, who was convicted of spying for Israel and sentenced to life in prison in 1987. The United States has steadfastly refused requests for Pollard’s release; it has every reason to continue that policy.

Dodd-Frank: A costly way to 'help'
“I’m from the government, and I’m here to help.” Ronald Reagan called those “the nine most terrifying words in the English language” — and with good reason.

Jury continues to deliberate in Waterman trial
ANCHORAGE — The jury is deliberating a fourth day in the trial of a young woman accused of conspiring to murder her mother when she was a teenager.

Alaska Senate passes bill on write-in votes
JUNEAU — The Alaska Senate has unanimously passed a bill clarifying the procedure for counting write-in votes following the hotly contested race in which Sen. Lisa Murkowski ran as a write-in candidate.

State lawyer charged with theft
ANCHORAGE — Authorities in Anchorage say a 31-year-old state labor attorney is charged with theft in connection with shoes stolen from a Fred Meyer store.

NOAA public comment period for seal listings expanded
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is expanding its public comment period for a proposal to list four subspecies of ringed seals and two distinct population segments of bearded seals as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. The comments period will continue until March 25.

F'real foods recalling fruit smoothies
F’real foods is recalling a specific group of its strawberry banana smoothies because they may contain peanuts, an undeclared allergen. The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation confirmed the recalled product has been distributed in Alaska.

Police: Woman nearly severs intruder's hand
FAIRBANKS — Fairbanks police say a woman nearly cut off the hand of a man who was trying to break into her bedroom.

Woman dies after getting hit by car in Kodiak
KODIAK — A 64-year-old pedestrian has died after she was struck by a car in Kodiak.

Ice Alaska artists prepare for 2011 contest
FAIRBANKS — It’s still a week until the opening of the 2011 World Ice Art Championships in Fairbanks, but there’s plenty of activity at Ice Alaska.

Crooked Creek teen charged with taking hostages
CROOKED CREEK — A 16-year-old Crooked Creek boy is accused of holding hostages at gunpoint in the Kuskokwim River village.

Bill would expand age for school attendance
JUNEAU — Alaska children would have to attend school between the ages of 6 and 18 under a proposal being considered by the Senate Education Committee.

Researchers fail to detect signal from rare whale
ANCHORAGE — Marine researchers in Oregon say they may have received the last transmission from a satellite tag on a rare whale that spends summers in Russia.

House GOP lays out legislative principles
JUNEAU — Alaska’s Republican House majority outlined its guiding principles for this Legislature, including working toward greater fiscal responsibility.

Anchorage to vote on liquor store ID checks
ANCHORAGE — Anchorage voters will have their say in April on whether liquor stores must check the identification of all buyers, regardless of age.

Certain trapping seasons end today
The Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Division of Wildlife Conservation, reminds trappers the season for marten, mink and river otter in Game Management Unit 4 closes today. Beaver season remains open until May 15. Pelts of marten, river otter, and beaver must be sealed by a department representative within 30 days after the close of the season.

Trial date set for alleged Western Auto burglar
The man who was arrested for allegedly attempting to burglarize GCI and Western Auto — the latter incident requiring the Juneau Swat Team’s activation — pleaded not guilty to charges of second-degree burglary and second-degree theft through public defender Kevin Higgins on Monday in Juneau Superior Court.

Accused fire truck arsonist arraigned
The man accused of attempting to set one of the Capital City Fire and Rescue trucks on fire was arraigned before Judge Patricia Collins on Monday.

Sass loses wheel dog in Alaska Yukon Quest
FAIRBANKS — Yukon Quest musher Brent Sass says he plans to finish the race despite losing one of his dogs.

Dog dies in Yukon Quest
FAIRBANKS — A dog has died in the 1,000-mile Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race.

UA president says policy should protect gays
FAIRBANKS — University of Alaska president Pat Gamble is recommending adding sexual orientation as a protected status under the system’s non-discrimination policies.

Pair arrested after spray-painting spree
Two people face criminal mischief charges after being accused of spray painting buildings and a retaining wall Saturday night near the intersection of Sitka Street and Nowell Avenue in Douglas, according to a release from the department.

Photos: Senior night send-off
The Crimson Bears boys’ basketball team celebrated senior night with a 56-46 win over rival Ketchikan on Saturday. Juneau-Douglas plays Thunder Mountain at 6:30 p.m. today at JDHS.

Falcon's Tingley likes to get teammates involved
Thunder Mountain sophomore guard, Eyerus Tingley is a pass-first point guard.

Juneau to take part in nationwide hockey event
Juneau Douglas Ice Association is giving local kids a chance to participate in a nation-wide event aimed at promoting hockey in cities and towns across the country.

Federal pipeline coordinator slams in-state gasline
The federal natural gas pipeline coordinator said Monday only a large pipeline to ship Alaskan natural gas out of state will serve the state’s needs, not the in-state line some have been advocating.

Sexting, stalking and online enticement bill heard
House Bill 127, one of Gov. Sean Parnell’s proposals he says are aimed at protecting the most vulnerable Alaskans — children, the elderly, the disabled — was heard in the House Judiciary Committee last week.

Photos: Moose on the loose
A moose ate plants and berries in the back yard of an Anchorage office Friday. The moose browsed and then lay down in the yard for more than an hour.

State looks for recidivism solutions
JUNEAU — For Kevin Enloe, relapse and re-incarceration go hand in hand.

Retirement board action boosts pension liability number
Alaska’s future retirement liabilities suddenly increased by nearly $1 billion when the Alaska Retirement Management Board adopted what it thinks is a more realistic — and lower — estimate of what it expects to make on its investments.

Gov: Businesses can play role in fighting violence
JUNEAU — Employers need to start thinking of domestic violence and sexual assault as a personnel matter, not merely as a personal problem, Gov. Sean Parnell said Monday in calling on Alaska businesses to join his fight to end the scourge over the next decade.

Fairbanks school gets experimental ventilation upgrade
FAIRBANKS — The Fairbanks North Star Borough School District is installing a new type of ventilation system at one of the district’s elementary schools.

$3B road to Nome debated at public hearings
ANCHORAGE — A proposed 500-mile road to Nome would keep the cost of food and services in villages from rising higher, supporters say, but opponents say there are better ways to spend $2.7 billion.

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