Student volunteers have a lot to offer
Volunteering is defined as giving up one's time to do something for others without expecting compensation.

Health insurance companies won
To all of you who opposed health care reform or who did nothing to support it, can't you see that we're being played for fools? The insurance companies used our premium payments to influence our legislators to oppose reform - just ask Sen. Lisa Murkowski how much she received! Then they funded TV ads to convince us that changing the system is risky. I guess it worked.

Allow DIPAC to release kings at Sheep Creek
It has come to my attention that the Alaska Department of Fish and Game has directed Douglas Island Pink and Chum to not release any king salmon at Sheep Creek. In fact, no kings have been released at Sheep Creek in more than three years.

Alaska students need a better plan
Alaska is the only state in the nation with a public university that doesn't already have a needs-based scholarship program. The University of Alaska's tuition has increased the past seven years in a row, and many Alaskans who would otherwise seek post-secondary education to develop job skills and to enrich their potential employment opportunities are electing to stay out of school.

Salt is a corrosive road deicing method
I noticed the Empire article about the Alaska Department of Transportation, so I thought I'd submit a little data from my experience with that agency.

New snowmobile trail gains support
A snowmobile access trail in Lemon Creek cleared a hurdle last week with a city committee on land use.

Robot builders shoot for high scores
Three "hot shot" groups from Thunder Mountain and Juneau-Douglas high schools are among more than 30 teams participating in the 2010 FIRST® Tech Challenge, a robotics tournament for high school students taking place this Friday and Saturday at University of Alaska's William R. Wood Campus Center. They're all competing for a chance to represent Alaska at the FIRST World Festival and FTC World Championship at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta in April.

Legislature weighs dividends for the dead
Alaskans who look forward to their Permanent Fund Dividends may soon be able to qualify even after they're dead.

Around Town
Tuesday, Feb. 16

Photo: Mathletes

Budget committee to meet Wednesday
JUNEAU - The Juneau School District budget committee will meet to discuss the district's $79 million budget for the 2010-11 school year from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at the Juneau-Douglas High School library.

Tour vendors dispute booth prices
Tourism booths along the waterfront have become premium pieces of real estate for the vendors who hawk their Alaskan tours and transportation during the summer cruise season.

Applications sought for Teaching Artist Roster
JUNEAU - Applications for inclusion on the Alaskan Teaching Artist Roster for the Artist in Schools residency program are being accepted.

Police seek suspect in pepper spray burglary
An unknown man entered an unlocked residence at a Mendenhall Valley trailer park Sunday night and pepper sprayed a 25-year-old woman, according to police.

State mulls wastewater limits
Cruise lines should be able to comply with new, temporary rules for wastewater discharge limits, since the state dropped them to mirror results produced by cruise ships currently operating in the state.

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

Report: Alaskans lag on AP test performance
JUNEAU - The College Board has released its Advanced Placement Report to the Nation, which includes state reports.

Photo: White-knuckle event
Riley Aichner, 5, braces for a haircut by barber Rhonda Adams on Friday at Capital Barbershop on Seward Street.

Fishermen on marks for crab opening
A good salmon, halibut or cod captain is considered "fishy" by peers when knowing where to bring in the big catch. The attitude on the docks this past week indicates that Juneau's shellfish crews will be calling the captains in their wheelhouses "crabby" as the first pots begin to launch overboard today.

State files opposition against Kookesh motion
The state is opposing a motion to dismiss charges against Sen. Albert Kookesh and three codefendants accused of illegal subsistence fishing near Angoon in July.

City faces mercury battle on Douglas Harbor project
Environmental agencies are lining up to oppose a plan to dredge Douglas Harbor and dump the spoils into Gastineau Channel.

Photos: Art in Motion
Photos from the runway of the 2010 Wearable Art Extravaganza, Cirque de Pluie, held Saturday at Centennial Hall.

Photo: Warm light on a winter's night
A warm bonfire and hot fireworks cheer Juneau residents Saturday at Eaglecrest Ski Area.

Police & Fire
Juneau police and fire officials reported:

Empower women: Teach abstinence
A group that thinks a Super Bowl ad celebrating Tim Tebow's life is bad news for women might be a little out of touch with what women really want.

My turn: 'Snailpapers' is a term of endearment for our daily newspapers
I want to introduce you today to the word "snailpapers." What's a snailpaper, you ask? These are the newspapers we read every day with news that is often 12 hours old by the time it reaches us. Inside, the news is even older.

Eliminate oil taxes, stimulate production
Debate about Alaska's oil and gas revenues has been too much about short-term gain and not enough about long-term interests. The result is a system that fails to optimize outcomes for either the state or industry.

Alaska editorials: Take care of veterans
Understaffing, lack of training and eight months without an on-site manager added to a poor performance by the Anchorage Veterans Administration Regional Office - a performance that left some vets without benefits they should have received or waiting far too long to receive them. Anchorage office supervisors did not dispute the findings of federal inspectors that the VA office failed to meet requirements in 13 of 14 areas covered in an inspection last year.

State and university will benefit from new stadiums
In 2008, Hickel Investments, Hickel Construction and Engineering Inc. and the Crawford Family Trust proposed building two new stadiums for the University of Alaska Anchorage Seawolves. We committed to design, build and operate the two new stadiums. The Seawolves deserve nationally ranked facilities to match our nationally ranked teams.

Stop Sealaska's land bill
Senate Bill 881, the Sealaska landbill, should die in committee. Sealaska's selections should only occur within the area specified by ANCSA in 1971.

Compromise reached on proposed Anchorage audit
ANCHORAGE - A compromise has been reached between two Anchorage Assembly members on a proposal to spend $50,000 for an independent audit of the last months of former Mayor Mark Begich's administration.

Randall skips 10K ski race at Olympics
ANCHORAGE - Alaska Olympic cross-country skier Kikkan Randall said she skipped Monday's 10-kilometer race to focus on the sprints.

Fairbanks residents plunge into icy Chena
FAIRBANKS - Two Fairbanks residents took surprise dips Sunday in the icy Chena River. Both escaped without serious injury.

Lance Mackey misses court appearance
ANCHORAGE - Iditarod champion Lance Mackey was due in court Friday on a minor marijuana possession charge, according to an online court records database, but was instead racing in the 1,000-mile Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race.

Climber's body recovered in St. Helens crater
SEATTLE - The body of a veteran climber who fell 1,500 feet into the crater atop Mount St. Helens was recovered Tuesday after he spent more than a day in the snow, authorities said.

Alaska lawmaker to propose personnel board changes
JUNEAU - An Alaska lawmaker plans to file legislation that would change how members of the state personnel board are chosen.

Fairbanks man dies in snowmobile crash
FAIRBANKS - A 40-year-old Fairbanks man died Sunday after driving his snowmobile off a 60-foot gravel pile.

Man charged in nurse torture death to change plea
ANCHORAGE - A man accused of torturing and murdering a psychiatric nurse who lived next door to him will change his plea in the federal capital murder case, according to court documents filed Friday.

Candidates release campaign finance reports Tuesday
JUNEAU - Anchorage attorney Bill Walker is helping bankroll his run for governor.

Hummingbird hangs around Ketchikan
KETCHIKAN - An unexpected visitor has been hanging around a Ketchikan home.

Palin lashes out at 'Family Guy'
JUNEAU - Sarah Palin is lashing out at the portrayal of a character with Down syndrome on the Fox animated comedy "Family Guy."

Dick Cheney mum on supporting Palin in next election
WASHINGTON - Former Vice President Dick Cheney says he has not decided on a candidate to support for president in the next election, sidestepping a question on whether he would support Sarah Palin for the office.

Troopers release name of Eagle River avalanche victim
ANCHORAGE - Alaska State Troopers have released the name of a skier killed Saturday by an avalanche near Eagle River on Anchorage's north side.

Begich to host veterans hearings
ANCHORAGE - Sen. Mark Begich will chair two hearings this week to address issues facing Alaska military veterans.

Hans Gatt wins 4th Yukon Quest
WHITEHORSE, Yukon - Hans Gatt has won the Yukon Quest sled dog race for the fourth time, crossing the finish line in his hometown of Whitehorse in a record time of nine days, one hour and 35 minutes.

New wing commander takes over at Eielson
FAIRBANKS - Brig. Gen. Mark Graper handed command of the 354th Fighter Wing to Col. James N. Post III during a ceremony at the base.

Eric Sele shines on the football field and in the gym
Faleene Sele knew sports would be a big part of her son Eric's life, especially once she heard him utter his first word - ball.

Photos: Fierce competition
On Friday, 76 contestants took part in six different events at the 2010 Native Youth Olympics. The results are as follows:

Juneauite to represent country
Local hockey player Lenka Craigova was named Sunday to the Czech Ice Hockey Association's national team roster to compete in the upcoming International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) U18 Women's World Championship starting March 26 in Chicago.

Sports in Juneau
• Beginning Jan. 1, Sports In Juneau information must be submitted online at Submissions via e-mail, phone, fax or other will no longer be accepted. For more information e-mail

Falcons drop two in Ketchikan
In a season full of fantastic individual performances, Kayhi's Jeff Whicker might have saved his best for senior night.

State lawmakers, governor debate how to spend $1 billion
State legislators are in negotiations with Gov. Sean Parnell as to how $1 billion in surplus state revenues will be spent.

Begich questions Coast Guard nominee on cutter retirement
KETCHIKAN - U.S. Sen. Mark Begich is pressing the Coast Guard to account for a gap in marine safety that could be created between the decommissioning of the Cutter Acushnet and the arrival of a new "fast response" cutter.

Lawmaker proposes tax holiday on new oil
The state would give companies a 10-year tax break on new oil under the latest proposal aimed at encouraging development in Alaska.

Humpbacks targeted in herring loss research
ANCHORAGE - Something is holding down the herring population of Alaska's Prince William Sound, and marine scientists are tailing some rather large suspects: humpback whales.

Weather disrupts search for avalanche victim
ANCHORAGE - Rain, low clouds and predicted high winds Sunday grounded searchers seeking the body of a ConocoPhillips Alaska employee missing and presumed dead in an avalanche that killed the head of the company.

Anchorage to consider ordinance for housing alcoholics
ANCHORAGE - The Anchorage Assembly will consider an ordinance Tuesday to regulate housing for severe alcoholics.

Hummingbird in winter?
An Anna's hummingbird that has lived outside Lawrence Carson's home in Ketchikan this winter approaches a feeder. A red light bulb keeps the sugar-water from freezing.

China seen as potential Alaska gas customer
Alaska officials are looking to China and what some believe will be that country's strong demand for natural gas to help the state advance its long-held pipeline dreams.

Talking burglary suspect arrested in home
ANCHORAGE - A burglary suspect who stopped to chat with people inside homes has been charged, along with an accomplice, with four felonies.

Avalanche danger disrupts search for snowmobiler
ANCHORAGE - Bad weather and backcountry danger prevented for a second day the resumption of a search for a snowmobile driver missing and presumed dead in a Kenai Peninsula avalanche.

Census: 'Everybody counts'
When it comes to money and voting districts, everyone counts.

Bestiality may be outlawed in Alaska
A high-profile bestiality case and other recent instances of extreme dog abuse have prompted two bills before Alaska lawmakers to protect animals.

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