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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Say no to murder, yes to responsibility
House Bill 9, introduced in the Alaska House of Representatives at the start of this legislative session, would allow the State of Alaska to execute people convicted for specific acts of murder.

School District needs a good manager
The Juneau School District is one of Juneau's largest employers, but it has at times not been a well-managed business. Juneau now has an opportunity to hire a new district superintendent. I encourage the Juneau School Board to place a priority on good management skills.

Senate may hold pay raise hearings
Pay raises for legislators and commissioners that were set to slip quietly into place over the next year could generate some political heat under a bill introduced in the Alaska Senate.

Turbine technology generates waves
A New York state-based company says Gastineau Channel might be a good place to test out - and show off - the power of tidal energy.

Home Show returns with 'green' theme
This year's Home Show may not be bigger, but this year it's certainly "greener."

6-year-old, father save elderly man in harbor
Keen eyesight and quick thinking by a six-year-old girl helped save an 83-year-old man from drowning Sunday in icy waters near downtown Juneau.

Juneau delegation opposes Alaska death penalty bill
House Speaker Mike Chenault, R-Nikiski, wants to bring the death penalty back to Alaska, but he'll have to do it over the objections of Juneau's representatives.

Assembly agrees to hear WiMax tower appeal
The Juneau Assembly agreed Monday to hear an appeal by a group of residents aimed at stalling or stopping the construction of a 150-foot communications tower on Mendenhall Loop Road.

Photo: To the point
Megan Axmaker performs a short routine Sunday in the Free Skate Level 5 of the Juneau Skating Club's competition at the Treadwell Arena.

Photo: Mountain of Snow
A bulldozer operator pushes snow up a large pile Monday at the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center's bus parking lot. The snow pile, already a couple dozen feet high, continues to grow as city and contractor dump trucks clear snow from Mendenhall Valley neighborhoods.

Photo: Where waves meet the wind
Chris Behnke walks along the shore at Sandy Beach Sunday as strong winds whip up the channel waters. Behnke said he was walking close to the water to avoid being hit by flying sand. A high-wind warning was in effect until 6 a.m. today. Wind gusts as high as 70 mph were expected on south Douglas Island and in the Taku Inlet.

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

Photos: Preparing for fry season
Officials at Douglas Island Pink and Chum Inc. prepare for the chum fry-rearing season Monday by floating mini-barges down Gastineau Channel on Monday. DIPAC raises chum salmon in five Juneau-area sites. The barges sit next to net pens, housing fish feed and providing a place to work.

Around Town
Today

Photo: Bird Crossing
A bald eagle stops Friday on Channel Drive, unwilling to move for traffic.

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

Around Town
Today, Feb. 24

Correction
A story in Sunday's Juneau Empire about city manager candidates misstated Larry Persily's title when he worked in Alaska's office in Washington D.C. Persily was associate director of the office.

Betty L. Boddy
Longtime Juneau resident Betty L. Boddy died Feb. 17, 2009, in Juneau. She was 85.

John Philip Wacker
Longtime Juneau resident John Philip Wacker died Feb. 20, 2009, in Juneau, due to heart and lung complications. He was 79.

Outside Editorial: The right call
Gov. Pat Quinn, D-Ill. added his name Friday to the growing list of people who have joined our call for Sen. Roland Burris, D-Ill. to resign. But he went a step further. If Mr. Burris does give up the Senate seat, Mr. Quinn would fill it with a temporary appointment until the state legislature passed a special elections law. That's the right call.

Outside editorial: Obama should address deficit
President Obama says that it's time to stop kicking the can down the road when it comes to dealing with runaway entitlement spending and the grim long-term fiscal picture. This week will put those words to the test.

My turn: Coeur has done nothing right in mine development
It is simply mind-boggling that Rick Richins could possibly think Coeur has managed the Kensington gold mine project correctly. The fact is Coeur has essentially done everything wrong and nothing right in the development of the Kensington mine.

Outside Editorial: Facebook uprising
Thousands of Facebook users threatened to un-friend the entire website last week to protest what one consumer guardian called "a digital rights grab."

America: A nation that strives for mediocrity
"Always pay the bank" was my father's economic advice. In good times and in bad, whether I had low, moderate or high income, I always paid the bank. The bank now offers "me" loans.

My turn: 'Technology's wonders' coming to a doctor's office near you
In his inaugural speech, President Barack Obama pledged to "wield technology's wonders to raise health care's quality and lower its costs." The recently enacted American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 includes funding to bring these wonders from the world of rhetoric to the world of reality, right here in Alaska. The good news is most health-care providers are "shovel ready."

Pub pizza comforts a weary traveller
Even by Juneau standards, it was downright nasty. Little sleep due to multiple flyovers of Juneau and two hours sleep in Sitka on the flight down from Anchorage, and by the following evening, after trudging the sloppy streets of Juneau, created a monumental hunger as well as a desire to avoid the blaring music and crowded venues often found in downtown Juneau.

Help the rich feel good about consuming again
It's no fun being rich when everyone else is poor. Who, for example, would be willing to show up to a dinner party in a brand-new lime-green Lamborghini, in the almost certain knowledge that some of the other guests would be among the growing ranks of the recently unemployed? Sorry about the medical insurance, Katy. Terrible news on the foreclosure, Bob. Too bad on the 401(k), Fred. Hey, check out my titanium wheel nuts!

Juneau woman accused in beating
JUNEAU - A Juneau woman was accused of beating a 22-year-old woman twice.

Canoe capsizes with two people, Coast Guard responds
JUNEAU - The Coast Guard received a report Monday of a person missing from a capsized canoe less than a half mile southwest of Kake.

Redoubt restless, but no eruption
ANCHORAGE - Scientists said unrest continues at Mount Redoubt, but there's still been no eruption at the volcano a hundred miles southwest of Anchorage.

Anchorage man charged in shooting
ANCHORAGE - An Anchorage man faces assault and misconduct involving a weapon charges after accidentally shooting his wife.

Alaska maintains highest gas prices
CAMARILLO, Calif. - The Lundberg Survey of fuel prices says the average national price of gasoline increased 2.6 cents in the past two weeks.

North Pole charges hotel, alcohol taxes
FAIRBANKS - The city of North Pole will take over the taxation of hotel rooms and alcohol from the Fairbanks North Star Borough.

Man arrested on murder charges
ANCHORAGE - Police arrested a 22-year-old man in connection with the murder of two men in an East Anchorage neighborhood.

Man dies after fall from balcony
ANCHORAGE - A 58-year-old Wasilla man is dead after falling from a balcony.

Bill aims to promote energy efficiency
JUNEAU - The Alaska Senate will consider bills to promote energy efficiency in state buildings.

Scientists get closer looks at Redoubt
ANCHORAGE - As good as they were 20 years ago, scientists say they are even better prepared to alert the public about the prospects of an eruption at Mount Redoubt.

House committee to consider workforce
JUNEAU - A House committee is seeking ideas for ways to stimulate an Alaska economy driven largely by the oil industry.

Suspect of attempted robbery found
ANCHORAGE - Anchorage police say a man tried to rob a pizza delivery man.

North Korea says it's preparing launch
SEOUL, South Korea - North Korea said Tuesday it is in full-fledged preparations to shoot a satellite into orbit, its clearest reference yet to an impending launch, which neighbors and the U.S. believe will be an illicit test of a long-range missile capable of hitting Alaska.

Exxon Mobil returns Point Thomson leases
ANCHORAGE - Exxon Mobil has returned eight of its leases in the Point Thomson oil and gas field to the state.

Four die in house fire in Western village
ANCHORAGE - Four people have died in a house fire in the western Alaska village of White Mountain.

Palin cuts veteran cemetery money
FAIRBANKS - A Fairbanks lawmaker is upset after Gov. Sarah Palin cut promised funding for a veterans cemetery in the Interior.

Snowmobiler dies after apparent heart attack
ANCHORAGE - A 43-year-old snowmobiler from Anchorage died of an apparent heart attack northwest of Talkeetna.

North Pole getting its first hotel
NORTH POLE - The first hotel in North Pole is coming to this Alaska town.

FERC notes pipeline progress to Congress
ANCHORAGE - Competing plans to deliver natural gas from Alaska's North Slope to market have made further process in the last six months, according to a report to Congress.

Housing in Alaska stable amid national woes
Alaska's real estate markets are stable, although they are cooling from the go-go years from 2004 to 2007, according to the head of Alaska House Finance Corp.

House debates death penalty
Alaska lawmakers began hearings Wednesday on a proposal that would reinstate the death penalty, a practice abolished by the territory of Alaska more than half a century ago.

Harpist helps ease the pain of Anchorage hospital patients
ANCHORAGE - A highway accident six weeks ago crushed Norma Daniels' neck, ribs and pelvis. For six weeks, she's been recovering at Providence Alaska Medical Center in a small room on the fifth floor where hand-made signs taped to the wall remind her how to swallow.

Palin staff defends per diem payments
Staffers for Gov. Sarah Palin lashed out at critics Monday, defending the governor's collection of expense money from the state.

Northern lights dimming
FAIRBANKS - Ester photographer LeRoy Zimmerman made the switch to digital cameras this year to better capture the phenomenon known as the aurora borealis.

Money for Ketchikan bridge, trestle repairs to come from tax hike
KETCHIKAN - Ketchikan officials have tentatively approved a half-cent city sales tax increase to pay for bridge and trestle repairs.

Ex-Fairbanks mayor wants new trial
FAIRBANKS - Former Fairbanks Mayor Jim Hayes has asked for a new trial - again.

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