Alaska Digest

Posted: Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Israeli peace activist at World Affairs Council

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JUNEAU - Amir Terkel, as guest of the Juneau World Affairs Council, will present "The View From Both Sides of the Green Line: Israel-Palestine Relations" at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday at the University of Alaska Southeast Student Recreation Center.

Terkel, who grew up in Israel and graduated from Tel Aviv University, served in the Israeli military for three years as a conscript and eight years in the army reserves.

In 2002, he joined "Courage to Refuse," an organization of Israeli reserve officers and soldiers who refuse to serve in the Occupied Territories.

Terkel lives in the San Francisco bay area with his wife and son. A filmmaker, he has participated in several documentaries about Israelis and Palestinians, including "Other Voices from Israel and Palestine," "Holy Land Common Ground" and "Occupied Minds."

He continues to be involved in the Israeli peace movement as well as the Jewish peace movement in the U.S. and stays current with developments in Israel and Palestine.

For more information, contact Bob Schoeder at 586 5843.

Ethics reform to go to full committee

JUNEAU - A comprehensive ethics reform package is expected before the House State Affairs Committee on Thursday.

The introduction will be later this week than anticipated as a three-member panel of the committee will put the final touches on the 27-page proposal Tuesday.

The group plans to present a committee substitute of Gov. Sarah Palin's ethics bill along with a list of proposed changes to the measure.

Subcommittee head Rep. John Coghill, R-North Pole, said most of the hot button issues will be left to the full committee for public testimony and debate.

The subcommittee met on Monday but did not finish its work.

"After compiling all of our work on the four titles considered in the 13 separate pieces of related legislation, we felt it would benefit the full committee to vet our substitute before forwarding the nearly 27-page bill back up to the full committee," Coghill said.

Ethics reform sprang to the forefront of the legislative agenda after a turbulent year in 2006 that included FBI raids on half a dozen lawmakers' offices and federal bribery charges against former Rep. Tom Anderson, R-Anchorage.

Russian partners to study strategies

JUNEAU - The city this week is hosting economic development staff from Bikin and Luchegorsk in the Russian Far East to help them develop business and tourism strategies.

The partnership is part of the CityLinks economic development program. Experts in Juneau will help Luchegorsk create a support system for small and medium businesses and the enhancement of tourism potential.

In Bikin, Juneau and the Juneau Economic Development Council have been instrumental in creating a business plan for a brick factory.

The program was inaugurated in March 2006, with Juneau participating as a partner to Bikin. Luchegorsk joined the program in December 2006, and the upcoming trip is its delegation's first to Alaska.

A press conference was scheduled today.

Soldotna ice damage tallied at $1.6 million

SOLDOTNA - City officials say damage to city infrastructure from an ice jam this winter will tally $1.6 million.

Parks and Recreation Director Andrew Carmichael told the Soldotna City Council that huge chunks of ice destroyed a large portion of the city's river access stairways and fishing walkways this winter.

"One hundred percent of the river access stairs have been damaged," Carmichael said.

"The Rotary Park fishwalk is gone," he said.

The extent of damage to the old walkway at Soldotna Creek Park is still unknown because it remains under the ice, he said.

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