Time to truly melt as a state and nation
There have been many things written about our nation as a "melting pot." But perhaps things don't always "melt" evenly. Maybe we should truly melt as a state and a nation.

Opportunity for Juneau Democrats
The people of Juneau have an extraordinary opportunity before them. If Kim Elton moves on to a job in Washington, D.C., with the Obama administration, that will leave his Senate seat empty, and it's safe to say that Rep. Beth Kertulla would likely accept an appointment by the governor to serve as our senator. Her vacant House seat would then present an unparalleled opportunity for Juneau Democrats to recommend the appointment of someone from among Juneau's largest minority populations, the Alaska Natives and the Filipino Community.

Road is Juneau's worst alternative
Forget the road. It's the worst alternative. The road would be a maintenance Black Hole and a danger to life and limb, so much of it teetering on the edge of a plunging landscape and crossing scores of avalanche chutes.

Chickens of the north
Karen Waldrip knew something was wrong when she entered the coop and found all the chickens roosting on the top shelf.

Governor backs off renewable energy support
Gov. Sarah Palin has trimmed back her support for renewable energy in the face of declining oil revenues, but the Legislature is still pushing forward with last year's proposed projects.

City manager search down to three, again
The three finalists to head up city operations after City Manager Rod Swope steps down in April will be in town this week for evaluation exercises and additional interviews with the Juneau Assembly.

Photos: Spring preview
Pictured: Candace Kluberton models a bridal gown from the Wedding Shoppe & Boutique during the Bridal Show held Saturday at the Juneau Arts & Culture Center. The show was presented by Creativation Events and featured booths from more than 20 vendors. Mother and daughter: Jenny Thomas and her 6-month-old daughter Neela model dresses from FormalsExpress. In purple: Kelly Fernandez models a dress from the Wedding Shoppe &Boutique.

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

Around Town

Frozen Memories, 50 years of Statehood
Kris Wilson looks at a block of ice in the same way a painter would gaze at an empty canvas. For the 42-year-old Juneau photographer and seaman, ice is art.

Our communities of faith need to giggle more
I used to watch South Park. For those who are unaware, South Park is an adult cartoon that may be terribly offensive to some, actually many. The show revolves around a group of children dealing with sexuality, immigration, gambling, faith, school and every other controversial issue the writers can think of. I will admit that there were times that things went too far for me and I turned it off, but most of the time I laughed hard and walked away thinking a little more honestly and deeply about life.

Modifying your home for a lifetime
Whether you are 45 or 85, it is never too soon to begin making your home more safe and accessible to last a lifetime. Although remodeling is an option, there are some low-cost, easy changes to make to your home now that can greatly increase its comfort and safety.

Southeast Scout leaders receive Silver Beaver Award
ANCHORAGE - The Boy Scouts of America's Great Alaska Council held its annual banquet on Feb. 7 at the Sheraton Hotel in Anchorage. At the banquet, volunteer scout leaders Dennis Olsen and John Inman, of Ketchikan, and Duane Gates and Stu Robards, of Juneau, received the Silver Beaver Award for their contributions to scouting in Southeast Alaska.

High hopes I hold for my children
I never cared much for Valentines Day, or perhaps I should say never until four years ago, when it became my son's birthday.

Rex counsels on dog bites
Dear Rex,

Ketchikan resident shares Habanera Gold Pepper Jelly
We're looking for easy entrees and pizza recipes and would love to hear about your favorites, so send them in.

District announces Battle of the Books winners
Approximately 70 Juneau School District students from third grade through high school participated in the district-level Battle of the Books competitions held at the end of January. Many more students participated at each school site.

Tracks and twisted trees
The lower cross-country ski loop at Eaglecrest can be a great, gentle ski. There seem to be some new routes through the meadows this year, and I must get a map so I can navigate properly up there.

Photo: Valentine thanks
Girl Scout Troop 13 recently put together 35 valentine boxes for kids at St. Vincent de Paul's and the Salvation Army. Troop 13 sends a sincere thanks to Shoefly and Payless, who donated the boxes; Dr. Schultz, who donated toothbrushes and toothpaste; and Rainbow Foods, which donated personal care products. Pictured from left are Anouk Otsea, Danelle Kasnick, Helen Thurston, Katherine Kane, Lexi Gross, Morgan Rivest, Nora Lynch, Olivia Fletcher and Ruth Roys. Troop 13 girls not pictured are Keely Ewing, Madeline Handley and Natalie Johansen.

Senior menu for the week of Feb. 23-27
Monday, Feb. 23

'A Night at the Oscars'
Those itching to get gussied up this weekend are invited to the American Cancer Society Relay for Life's second annual Academy Awards fundraiser, "A Night at the Oscars," to start at 7:30 tonight at the Moose Lodge.


Tony Soltys to lead flyfishing classes Tuesday and Thursday
JUNEAU - Instructor Tony Soltys will lead flyfishing classes, "Flyfishing 101," at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday at the Floyd Dryden Middle School library and gym.

Youth organize drive for silverware spoons for JDHS lunchroom
JUNEAU - The Juneau Alaska Youth for Environmental Action is organizing a community-wide drive to collect silverware spoons and forks for the Juneau-Douglas High School lunchroom, which currently provides only plastic utensils for student use. Silverware contributions will be accepted Feb. 23-28 at several locations in the Juneau area, including Fred Meyer, Super Bear, Wal-Mart, Alaskan & Proud and the JDHS commons.

Rotary clubs, Rotaract to sponsor food drive
JUNEAU - Rotary clubs of Juneau and the Juneau Rotaract Club will sponsor a "Pre-Spring Cleaning" food drive for the Southeast Alaska Food Bank on Saturday, Feb. 28, at the following locations: Carrs/Safeway, 10:30 a.m.-5 p.m.; Super Bear, 10:30 a.m.-4 p.m.; Alaskan & Proud market, 10:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.; and Fred Meyer, 10:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Consortium to host dental health fair for young children
JUNEAU - In honor of National Children's Dental Health Month, the SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium Juneau Dental Clinic will host a children's dental health fair from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Tuesday at the SEARHC Juneau Dental Clinic, 3245 Hospital Drive.

Applications for UAS biology program due Wednesday
JUNEAU - Applications for the University of Alaska Southeast's biology program, which offers research experience to undergraduate students interested in the physiology, ecology, genetics and behavior of organisms in Alaska's marine and coastal environments, are due Wednesday. The 10-week program begins on June 1 and ends Aug. 7.

Sealaska Heritage Institute scholarship applications due
JUNEAU - Sealaska Heritage Institute is accepting applications for the 2009-2010 school year. Scholarship awards will be made to Sealaska shareholders and descendants enrolled in accredited college, university and voc-tech schools.

Surgeon to present on LAP-BAND system
JUNEAU - Dr. Pamela Gruchacz, a surgeon with the Bartlett Regional Hospital Surgery and Specialty Clinic, will hold a free seminar to explain about weight-loss options, including the LAP-BAND AP system. The seminar will be held from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, Feb. 28, in the Robert F. Valliant Center Classroom 204A on the Bartlett Regional Hospital campus.

David Brog to speak at Christian center's 'A Night To Honor Israel'
JUNEAU - The Juneau Christian Center will host "A Night to Honor Israel," a tribute to the nation of Israel and the Jewish people of the world, at 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 3. The event's purpose is to promote esteem and understanding between Christians and Jews and emphasize the things each hold in common as believers in God. David Brog, an author from Washington, D.C., will be the featured speaker.

Enrollment for Master Gardener course now open, starts Monday
JUNEAU - The University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension, Juneau District is now enrolling for its 2009 Master Gardener course. This 40-hour course, to be held Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays from this Monday to March 16 at the Bill Ray Center, 1108 F St., will teach gardeners specific skills to design, plant and maintain successful gardens in Southeast Alaska.

Adventures in Mongolia
Buut, a Mongolian girl with great English who often translates for foreigners, recently asked what shocked me when I first arrived in Mongolia. I remembered two things: the thick coal smoke choking the city in winter and the way people dress.

Campbell, Wigton wed
Megan L. Campbell, of Juneau, and Matthew C. Wigton, of Worthington, Ohio, were married Oct. 17, 2008, at Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary in South Hamilton, Mass. A reception followed at the Hellenic Center in Ipswich, Mass.,

Thanks for Eaglecrest's Learn to Ski weekend
Thank you, Eaglecrest, for your 28th annual Learn to Ski weekend. My daughter was a lucky participant of this yearly event, and she had nothing but fun things to say about the whole weekend, from the cool bus drivers to the instructors who taught her how to ski.

Thanks for donating to help Andy Votion
The Votion family would like to thank Marlintini's Lounge, Bob Haag and the attendees at Roughouse Friday Boxing who graciously donated money to help with medical and transportation expenses.

Thanks for attending Trail Mix's gala
Trail Mix Inc., the nonprofit stewards of Juneau's trails, would like to thank everyone who attended our gala auction to benefit our work on the Treadwell Ditch Trail. More than 220 people attended the event, which raised more than $17,000 thanks to the generosity of Juneau's trail community.

Nelson, Hewitt to wed
Brenda Lee Hewitt and Dr. Thomas W. Nelson, both of Juneau, are engaged to be married on April 25, 2009, at the Beacon Hill Park's Stone Bridge in Victoria, British Columbia. Receptions will be held in Juneau, Anchorage and Fairbanks in late-April and early-May.

Doyle, Rohm to wed
Breanne Emma Rohm and James Brandon Doyle will wed May 23, 2009, in Little Rock, Ark.

Block, Kimlinger wed
Linda Sue Block, of Anchorage, and Bill Kimlinger, of Juneau, were married Jan. 1, 2009, in Golden, Colo. They are planning a wedding party for May 2 in Anchorage.

Schmitzs celebrate 25 years
Steve and Gina Schmitz were married on March 3, 1984, at the Greenwood Church of Christ in South Carolina. Their two sons and extended family will help them celebrate their 25th anniversary with a private dinner before the couple leaves for a road trip through parts of California and Arizona, with a stop at the Grand Canyon.

Echo Ranch goes beyond the borders of camp
Go beyond the borders of Echo Ranch Bible Camp, and you'll find the rest of the world. It is a place growing increasing hostile toward youth and their development as human beings. If they don't learn to adapt and to survive, they will be consumed by it.

We don't know when to say 'no'
Having thrown his support behind a $2.5-trillion rescue for the banking industry, a $787-billion economic stimulus package and a $75-billion foreclosure prevention initiative, President Obama will convene a "fiscal responsibility summit" Monday to help craft a strategy for addressing the burgeoning national debt.

My turn: Juneau high schools should keep all language programs
Recently, the Juneau School Board made a decision to change some of the language classes offered in the high schools during the next school year. They plan to cancel Russian at Juneau-Douglas High School and close down the Japanese program at Thunder Mountain. The method that they used to decide which school got which language was as simple as a headcount. It's true that there are more Russian students at TMHS than Japanese students, and more Japanese students at JDHS than Russian, but just because a school's student body has a preference or certain favoritism towards one language doesn't mean that they should cancel the other.

Toe Toon
This week's Toe toon.

Wildlife troopers seize airplane in Washington
ANCHORAGE - Alaska Wildlife Troopers said they have located an airplane suspected of being used in an illegal big game guiding operation.

Eagle causes Juneau power outage
JUNEAU - A brief 20-minute power outage Saturday morning in the Mendenhall Valley was reportedly caused by an eagle, according to an eyewitness.

Airman charged with attempted murder
FAIRBANKS - A 32-year-old Eielson Air Force Base airman is on trial for attempted murder in Fairbanks.

Anchorage cuts fire protection to save cash
ANCHORAGE - Anchorage's budget woes are affecting the municipal fire department.

State troopers arrest murder suspect
NOORVIK - Alaska State Troopers arrested a man suspected of crashing his snowmobile into a dog sled near Kotzebue, killing a 53-year-old musher and injuring a passenger.

Admiralty road use under scrutiny
JUNEAU - The U.S. Forest Service wants public input on how roads should be used on Admiralty National Monument in the Juneau Ranger District.

Juneau woman dragged by truck
JUNEAU - A 19-year-old Juneau woman was seriously injured Friday when she was dragged by truck.

Bears clamp down on Lady Kings
Juneau-Douglas High School used a stifling first-half defense to beat Ketchikan on Saturday and earn a 2-0 sweep at home. JDHS defeated Ketchikan by a final score of 60-50.

Photos: Olympic Development Program mini soccer camp
Players from all over the state who advanced past the initial tryouts stage attended an Olympic Development Program mini soccer camp Saturday at the Dimond Park Field House, where they tried out for positions on the state team.

Juneau Parks & Recreation 2009 Co-ed Volleyball League standings

Tok boys basketball player scores 74
FAIRBANKS - A Tok boy's basketball player had a night for the high school record books.

Kleedehn keeps lead, Dalton scratches Quest
FAIRBANKS - Musher William Kleedehn of Carcross, Yukon, kept his lead Friday in the 1,000-mile Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race.

Sports in Juneau

Unemployed in Alaska to receive debit cards
JUNEAU - People laid off from jobs in Alaska will have the option of accessing unemployment benefits through debit cards under a program expected to be launched in May.

U.S. governors welcome stimulus amid state woes
WASHINGTON - The nation's governors on Saturday welcomed money heading their way from President Obama's economic stimulus plan, but said it was only a down payment on improving dire fiscal conditions in their states.

Palin to unveil Railbelt power plan
ANCHORAGE - Gov. Sarah Palin has high hopes for a multibillion dollar natural gas pipeline. One of her other legacies could be shaping the systems that let most Alaskans flip on a light switch.

All 6 aboard Piper plane survive crash near Nome
ANCHORAGE - The engines purred, pulling the commuter airplane through a blowing storm as it flew a holding pattern Thursday evening, waiting to touch down in Nome.

Fairbanks gun rights group supports open carry days
FAIRBANKS - A Second Amendment rights group in Fairbanks is encouraging members to bring their guns out into the open.

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