Wednesday, February 17, 2010

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.

Recalling heroism of Elizabeth Peratrovich
Tuesday was Elizabeth Peratrovich Day in Alaska. Peratrovich's life and work speaks to the true heroism and courage of speaking for equality among all peoples.

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.

Support Special Olympics locally
I am writing regarding the current fundraising efforts of Special Olympics Alaska. Juneau residents may receive a phone call or letter in the mail seeking donations for Special Olympics Alaska. This is one of their main fundraisers of the year and it is a statewide effort.

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.

Respecting Ancestors
Tlingit storyteller Bob Sam estimates that over the last 26 years, he has restored more than 100,000 graves and repatriated more than 800 bodies.

Around Town
Tuesday, Feb. 16

Photo: Mathletes

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.

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.

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.

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

Cemeteries: residential or commercial?
How should a cemetery be zoned?

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

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.

Legislators balk at merit scholarships
A new College Board report on who's taking advanced placement classes in Alaska is raising questions about where most of the financial benefit for Gov. Sean Parnell's new scholarship plan would land.

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

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.

Job opportunities on display at Juneau fair
For workers just starting out in a career, as well as those re-entering the workforce or looking for different employment, the Spring 2010 Juneau Job Fair offers a chance to meet with nearly 40 employers.

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.

Alaska to be represented at cruise industry trade show
The newly formed Alaska Alliance for Cruise Travel has raised $25,000 among its members for a booth at the cruise industry's largest trade show in Miami next month.

Photo: Staying dry
Evan Smith does his best to keep Jamie Vonda dry Tuesday as they walk from Juneau-Douglas High School.

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

Photo: Hunkered down
Gulls line a couple empty boat stalls Tuesday in Aurora Harbor as they hunker out of the weather.

Hazel Hope
Juneau resident Hazel Hope died peacefully on Feb. 12, 2010, at her home in Juneau. She was 68.

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.

Meditations on the Vancouver Olympic Games
This past weekend, the world took a break from war, natural disaster and that whole Conan-Leno thing, and shifted its gaze toward Vancouver. There, in snow that looks even worse than our own, the world's elite winter athletes have gathered to see which country's chemists can concoct the least-detectable performance-enhancing drugs.

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.

Commercial Dungeness crab fishery hurts stocks
The village of Kasaan was successful in getting an out-of-cycle agenda change to the Alaska Board of Fisheries. This agenda change will address the impact and additional concerns inflicted by the 2009 summer commercial Dungeness crab fishery.

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.

Romeo and Juliet's notion of love has led us astray
What if Shakespeare had it wrong about love in "Romeo and Juliet"? In fact, what if all of us have it wrong and our ideals of love and romance are hopelessly awry? Although we were supposed to celebrate our love for that special someone on Valentine's Day, perhaps the time has come to reconsider the concept of romantic love, at least as it has been conceived in Western societies.

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."

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

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.

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."

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

GSC continues dominance of SE meet
The Glacier Swim Club continued its dominance of the region, winning its 14th straight Southeastern championship during the weekend's 2010 Mike Smithers Southeast Championships in Ketchikan.

Title
• Beginning Jan. 1, Sports In Juneau information must be submitted online at http://calendar.juneauempire.com. Submissions via e-mail, phone, fax or other will no longer be accepted. For more information e-mail webteam@juneauempire.com

Sports in Juneau
• Beginning Jan. 1, Sports In Juneau information must be submitted online at http://calendar.juneauempire.com. Submissions via e-mail, phone, fax or other will no longer be accepted. For more information e-mail webteam@juneauempire.com

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.

State must tell development story, Murkowski says
Former Alaska Gov. Frank Murkowski says he holds no grudges against Sarah Palin for pushing him out of public office.

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.

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.

Study sought for air carrier support for AVO
FAIRBANKS - An Alaska legislator has asked state transportation officials to look into whether air carriers and freight companies can help support the Alaska Volcano Observatory.

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.

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.

Diver breaks barriers in cold waters of Alaska
ANCHORAGE - Most people would have said, "Heck with this." But for Jennifer Sullivan, that first dive in the freezing-cold waters in Whittier on that Thanksgiving weekend sealed the deal.

Air carrier convention to feature training sessions, trade show
ANCHORAGE - The Alaska Air Carrier Association is hoping to make safety and maintenance training more convenient for air carrier employees who might otherwise have to pay upward of $2,000 to travel to the Lower 48 for such training, said Joy Journeay, the group's executive director.

Alaska still trails in mortgage delinquencies
CHICAGO - TransUnion's quarterly analysis of trends in the mortgage industry found that mortgage loan delinquency (the ratio of borrowers 60 or more days past due) increased for the 12th straight quarter, hitting an all-time national average high of 6.89 percent for the fourth quarter of 2009. This quarter marks the first time the mortgage delinquency rate increase did not decelerate after doing so for three consecutive periods.

Census specialist Davenport to speak at Chamber luncheon
JUNEAU - Juneau Chamber of Commerce will hold its Alaska Business Roundtable Luncheon on Thursday at the Hangar Ballroom.

Corps denies Conoco permit for NPR-A access
ANCHORAGE - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has denied a key permit for ConocoPhillips' CD-5 project on the North Slope, throwing a wrench into the company's plans for developing small oil deposits near the producing Alpine oil field and producing the first oil from the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska.

Acquitted man acknowledges killing two
ANCHORAGE - An Anchorage man acquitted of murdering a woman now acknowledges that he killed her by smashing her head with a rock and seven years later broke into his neighbor's house and shot her to death, according to court papers filed Tuesday.

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.

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