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Monday, February 21, 2011

Stop federal moves against health care for women
Too many women and families cannot afford the health care they need and deserve. To make matters worse, U.S. House leadership and Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ind., are pushing a dangerous agenda to take health care away from women.

Against Auke Bay plans
The “plan” for Auke Bay harbor improvements sadly takes care of seasonal tourist businesses at the expense of local boaters.

Letter from 'another' Sean Parnell
Alaska Federation of Natives President Julie Kitka mistakenly claims that last year’s Citizens United decision allows “foreign countries and corporations to contribute to elections” (“AFN officials bring concerns to lawmakers,” February 11). The Supreme Court specifically addressed the ban on foreign involvement in U.S. elections, and did not strike down the ban on foreign spending. A foreign citizen, company, union, government, or other entity is still prohibited from spending money in U.S. elections.

New halibut rules are bad news
The new NMFS Charter Halibut Regulations are flawed, unreasonable, and in conflict with my rights as an Alaskan resident. They affect many other people as well.

Special education degree program could come to Alaska
Alaskans interested in a special education teaching career have a problem — no bachelor’s degree program is offered in the state.

Photo: Braving the storm together
Two ravens roost on a snow berm in the Lemon Creek area as the snow starts to fall Friday.

Evans, Williams trial dates set with other defendants
U.S. Magistrate Judge Leslie Longenbaugh finished setting the trial dates in Juneau Federal Court on Friday for two of three defendants accused of illegal possession and distribution of oxycodone.

Photos: Eaglecrest's Winter Fireworks Spectacular
Eaglecrest Ski Area held its annual Winter Fireworks Spectacular on Sunday after weather forced organizers to delay the event, originally scheduled for Saturday. The event featured live music, food, a bonfire and light show.

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.

Youth Courts converge to share ideas, learn
About 120 students from all across Alaska converged on downtown Juneau this weekend to learn more about law and politics during an annual conference of teen courts.

State Chamber preparing for legislative fly-in
The Alaska State Chamber of Commerce is gearing up for its 2011 Legislative Fly-In this week, which will include a visit by its new president and chief executive officer, Rachael Petro.

JSD: Still no consensus on budget cuts
The Juneau School District Budget Committee still hasn’t come to a consensus on what to cut and what to keep while eliminating $4.1 million from the budget. The committee isn’t scheduled to meet again before the recommendation goes to the school board on March 1.

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.

Photo: Storm brewing
Storm clouds brew over Eaglecrest as skiers travel by chairlift this weekend. Juneau received about eight inches of snow between 3 p.m. Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday.

Winter weather causes minor problems
The winter storm that dumped nearly six inches of snow at Juneau International Airport caused electricity to go out for about 11/2 hours in much of Juneau on Saturday, but the city otherwise remained relatively unscathed by the cold blast.

Neighbors Mailbox: Feb. 20, 2011
You have helped us heal

Recognitions
Army National Guard Pvt. Matthew C. Bautista has graduated from basic combat training at Fort Jackson, Columbia, S.C.

War and a woman with children
It was 1993 and Jim Daniel of Bend, Ore., was going through family papers from his deceased parents’ estate when he came across his birth certificate. The 1947 document listed his place of birth, Juneau, and his mother, Charlotte Hoepfner. Until that moment Daniel had been certain the two people he called mom and dad were his biological parents.

Juneau (disambiguation)
I’ll admit it — I don’t spend all my working hours working. To be fair, the work I do isn’t particularly taxing, physically or mentally. For example, one recent project entailed chain-watching “Armageddon,” “Deep Impact,” “The Core,” “2012” and “The Day After Tomorrow.” This past fall, another client paid me to play Farmville. I once spent a whole week vetting digital recordings of various bodily functions.

Joyful movement makes physical activity possible for all
With graceful, circular movements, the room full of participants flowed through the form of an ancient Chinese martial art called tai chi. Though the movements are slow and steady, this practice is a form of exercise that Juneau participants of all ages and sizes have been benefiting from for the past several years.

Parnell, Adams to wed
Grace Parnell and Austin Adams of Anchorage will be married in July of 2011 at the Governor’s Mansion.

Making way
Juneau Nordic Ski Club volunteers Don Thomas, right, and Dell Carnes use the club’s snowmachines to groom the Mendenhall Lake campground roads for skate and classic skiing Wednesday morning. They also set a skate track on Mendenhall Lake. The club is supported by donations by users. For more information, visit www.jnski.org.

FYI
• On Feb. 8, 2011, a daughter, Aaliyah Kristine Jones, weighing 7 lbs. 14 oz., to Kristy Lee Burke and Devin Sariano Jones.

Pinewood derby held
The Juneau Area Cub Scout Pinewood Derby was held Feb. 12 at the Nugget Mall. Many volunteers made the event possible.

Readying for a relay
The American Cancer Society Relay for Life Kick-off Event was a huge success. Teams are still forming and registration can happen online at www.relayforlifeofjuneau.org. This year’s annual event will be held June 10-11 at Dimond Park/Riverbend Elementary School. Pictured in the back row: Veronica “Vee” Tausili, Nate Vallier, Marita Leroy, Teresa Williams, Julie Lawrenson and Anna Dindinger; front row: Alby Shaquanie, Cera Kapuy and Pat Yearty; not pictured: Keith Giles, Judy Nyman, Sharon Lowe, Joyce Vick and Kim Mauseth.

Hand, Margeson wed
Becky Hand of Juneau and John Margeson of Poway, Calif., were married in a late-morning ceremony Feb. 4, 2011 at the Presbyterian Conference Center at Big Bear Lake, Calif. A dinner reception followed at the Elks Lodge after wedding guests joined the newlyweds with skis and snowboards on the slopes of Bear Mountain, where the couple first met.

Gary L. Durling Sr.
Former Juneau resident, Gary L. Durling Sr. died Feb. 17, 2011 in Corvallis, Ore. while being treated for heart problems. A full obituary will follow. No services are planned at this time. Memorial services will be planned for later in the year when he will be returned to the area he so loved.

Roger Donald Fairbanks
Roger Donald Fairbanks, age 74 of Juneau died peacefully in Eatonville, Wash., on Jan. 29, 2011, surrounded by his wife and family after a hard-fought battle against lung cancer.

TOE cartoon

Outside editorial: Political theatrics aside, the long-term deficit must be addressed
The following editorial first appeared in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

Empire editorial: Self defense law change seems unnecessary
A bill before legislators that seeks to expand an individual’s right to use deadly force against others in the defense of life sounds reasonable on the surface, but seems like a small bite at a larger problem that could create unknown consequences.

Unionizing through regulation
The labor movement is losing its customers. Private-sector union membership has fallen below 7 percent. Only one out of every 10 non-union workers tells pollsters they want to unionize.

Rights of workers important to everyone, including students
Students in my class at the University of Wisconsin-Madison voted unanimously not to have class this week. They did so to support and participate in the protests that are happening a few blocks down the street at the state Capitol.

Alaska needs more hydroelectric projects
This past week people gathered in Juneau at the invitation of the Alaska-Canada Energy Coalition to discuss hydroelectric power and its potential for Southeast Alaska and beyond. Hydroelectricity is power generated by the movement of water down from a lake, in a stream or the ocean, and is the most extensively used form of renewable energy in the world today. In the last century, hydroelectricity was not generally considered to be an environmentally responsible practice because of the havoc it wreaked on rivers and the fish who resided in them, especially in the Pacific Northwest. But the way in which hydroelectric facilities have historically been built and operated in Southeast Alaska is entirely different, drawing the power from high-up mountain lakes and thus avoiding undesirable consequences.

My Turn: Kake collaborative creating local jobs
Recently I attended a meeting in Kake with local contractors, USFS staff, and representatives from city government, tribal government and Kake Tribal Corporation.

ADF&G announces Tanner, golden king crab closings
The Alaska Department of Fish and Game has announced the season lengths for Tanner and golden king crab fisheries.

Palin attends start of husband's snowmobile race
BIG LAKE — Todd Palin is participating in the world’s longest snowmobile race, with his famous wife on hand to see him off at the start.

Fire destroys hangar at Chena Marina Air Strip
FAIRBANKS — The state fire marshal’s office is investigating a fire that destroyed a hangar and two aircraft near the Chena Marina Air Strip earlier this week.

Univ. of Alaska cross-country runner found dead
ANCHORAGE — University of Alaska Anchorage officials say one of its top cross-country runners was found dead in his apartment near campus Saturday morning.

In Maryland, felt boots blamed for invasive 'rock snot'
MONKTON, Md. — As an algae with a gross nickname invades pristine trout streams across the U.S., Maryland is about to become the first state to enforce a ban on a type of footgear the organism uses to hitchhike from stream to stream: felt-soled fishing boots.

2 dogs die in log home fire outside Anchorage
ANCHORAGE — Firefighters from Anchorage drove into the mountains Saturday to fight a fire in a log home.

Small fire contained at Thane restaurant
A small utility room fire at the Thane Ore House was caught early Friday morning, preventing a much worse outcome.

Representative to return to work after surgery
JUNEAU — Democrat Rep. Max Gruenberg of Anchorage will return to the legislature next week after successful heart surgery.

Hawaiian-language greetings begin at airport
HONOLULU — The Honolulu airport is starting to broadcast a Hawaiian-language greeting to arriving visitors.

Institute to study wait times at Canadian border
BELLINGHAM, Wash. — The Border Policy Research Institute at Western Washington University is studying wait times at the Canadian border.

State to receive nearly $34M in federal excise tax revenues
Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar has announced that more than $749 million in excise tax revenues will be distributed to state and territorial fish and wildlife agencies, with almost $34 million of that going to Alaska.

Missing boy's mother launches flier campaign
ROSEBURG, Ore. — The mother of missing Oregon boy, Kyron Horman, and others are distributing fliers urging the public to ask the boy’s stepmother where he is.

Abercrombie moves up civil unions signing
HONOLULU — Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie is planning to sign civil unions into law a day earlier than expected this week.

Lone survivor in copter crash recalls terrible day
PORT ANGELES, Wash. — Coast Guard Lt. Lance Leone rescues people for a living.

Storm forces closure of Dalton Highway
FAIRBANKS — A spokesman says employees of the Alaska Department of Transportation don’t remember the last time they had to close the Dalton Highway, as they did this week.

Photo: Triple threat hoops
Sixteen teams from Juneau, made up of 138 kids in grades five through eight, took part in the 2011 Triple Threat Basketball Tournament last weekend in Haines. The eighth-grade girls’ team won its bracket, as did the sixth-grade boys. The eighth-grade and seventh-grade boys’ teams, as well as the seventh-grade and sixth-grade girls’ teams, each finished in second place.

Try Hockey For Free a success at Treadwell Arena
Similar to a “Field of Dreams” in baseball, Treadwell Arena’s motto on Saturday was “If you Zamboni it, they will skate,” as more than 50 local kids participated in a Try Hockey For Free clinic.

Bears blast Kings
The Ketchikan girls’ basketball team got off to a dream start against No. 1 Juneau-Douglas on senior night at Clarke Cochrane Gymnasium on Saturday.

SE: TMHS can't keep pace with Ketchikan
Ketchikan capped a successful weekend as snow blanketed Juneau Saturday with a 50-40 win over homestanding Thunder Mountain in Southeast Conference boys’ basketball.

2011 Great Alaska Open
KLAS STOLPE / JUNEAU EMPIRE

Local swimmers impress at Great Alaska Open
There were swim clubs from all over Alaska competing in this weekend’s 2011 Senior Region XIV Great Alaska Open Swim Meet, but it was the locals who dominated their hometown pool.

AEL&P pushes for Anchorage rate hearing
Alaska Electric Light & Power is arguing against efforts in Juneau to get the utility’s rate increase hearing to be held in the community.

Anchorage woman charged with $7M Ponzi scheme
ANCHORAGE — An Anchorage woman is facing federal charges that she operated a Ponzi scheme that defrauded investors of $7 million, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said Friday.

Polar bear status goes to court again
A federal judge will hear arguments next week in a case that speaks to a central question regarding Arctic animals affected by climate warming: When is a species endangered?

Alaska increasing draw for TV, film productions
ANCHORAGE — The real Alaska has finally joined the A-list.

Man accused of homicide, standoff charged in Anchorage
ANCHORAGE — A 51-year-old man accused of killing his girlfriend’s son and holding the woman and another person hostage in a remote Alaska village has been charged with first-degree murder and kidnapping, authorities said.

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