Thursday, February 26, 2009

Kudos to our state's Permanent Fund
I applaud the Permanent Fund Corporation Board of Trustees for drawing a line through genocide.

Palin's per diem a question of ethics
Bill McAllister should be ashamed for spouting drivel such as he did on Monday in the story "Palin staff defends per diem payments."

Reclaim Juneau by dealing with city's 'repugnant hole'
Are you as disappointed as I am in the total inaction by our city's leaders regarding the repugnant hole in the center of our capital city? This eyesore has been there for five years. There is no acceptable reason for this. I think we should not take it any longer.

Budget change slashes Marine Exchange funds
The cruise ship Empress of the North struck a rock west of Juneau in 2007, sending public and private vessels racing to help. But few ships could carry its 281 passengers and crew.

Glacier visitors could be treading on thin ice
Winter visitors to Mendenhall Lake often can't resist approaching the stunning, blue ice of the glacier's face. But two recent incidents involving people falling through the lake's surface ice highlight the high risk of taking winter walks near the glacier and Nugget Falls.

Job fair draws Lower 48 crowd
Jon Zeman was born and raised in Juneau, then headed south to pursue employment in the spa industry in the San Francisco area. But in an economy where luxuries are replaced with basic needs, Zeman found himself out of work. Two days ago he moved back to Southeast. His goal: find a job in Juneau.

District proposes cutting 18 teachers
Juneau School District administrators presented a list of proposed cuts Tuesday that included 18 classroom jobs to help make up for a $2 million operating budget deficit anticipated in the 2009-2010 budget year.

Photos: Highwire act
A team effort: Joe Puliafico, maintenance and operations manager for the Mt. Roberts Tramway, below, gathers a small cable Tuesday from George Roberts, left, and Franz Spichtig, both of Leitner-POMA of America, as they prepare for the installation of a new haul rope. The haul rope, 8,000 feet long and weighing 28,000 pounds, is the main cable that pulls the two tramway cars up and down the mountain. A traffic control plan is in effect in front of the tramway during the remaining two weeks of work.

Cigarette butt clean up offered
Before local anti-litter and anti-smoking groups start new efforts to cut down on cigarette litter, city officials want to have all the parties, including the Downtown Business Association, sit down.

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

Filmmaker probes 'right' foods to eat in Alaska
JUNEAU - What is the ethical way to eat in Alaska - or anywhere, for that matter? How can you break away from the industrial food system? Where is your comfort level in taking an animal's life for food? Is it better to shoot a deer than to buy tofu that has been shipped thousands of miles? Can a former vegetarian even shoot a deer?

Photo: Staying in the shade
Sue Oliphant walks with her three-year-old grandson, Wade Gifford, along the West Glacier Trail on Wednesday. Oliphant explained they were walking along the shady trail because Wade found walking out in the sun on Mendenhall Lake too bright.

Around Town
Wednesday, Feb. 25

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

Correction
A story in Tuesday's Empire incorrectly identified the company considering a tidal project due to an editing error that appeared in the story's subhead. Natural Currents Energy Group is the company considering a tidal project near Juneau.

Around Town
Thursday, Feb. 26

Richard J. Sarkis
Longtime Juneau resident Richard J. Sarkis died Feb. 21, 2009, at Wildflower Court in Juneau. He was 69.

Vivian Corrinne Stoddard Laurie
Former Juneau resident Vivian Stoddard Laurie died Feb. 14, 2009, at Providence Hospital in Anchorage. She was 93.

Evelyn Jean Jim
Angoon resident Evelyn Jean Jim died Feb. 20, 2009, at SEARHC Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital. She was 44.

Caitlin Elizabeth Newman
Juneau's Caitlin Elizabeth Newman died Feb. 17, 2009, in Anchorage. She died immediately before her birth due to complications of an occipital encephalocele, a rare birth defect in which the skull doesn't fully fuse, allowing a portion of the brain to protrude.

Alaska Editorial: State should let workers choose between defined benefit or 401(k) plan
It's time to let Alaska teachers and state employees choose their retirement plans - defined benefit or defined contribution. It's time to rectify the panic of 2005.

Outside Editorial: A different kind of secretary of state for a different time
In her first official trip overseas, Hillary Rodham Clinton showed herself to be a different kind of secretary of state for a different time. She broke with almost half a century of tradition in choosing Asia rather than Europe or the Middle East for her initial voyage, going to countries not only where American prestige is largely intact, but whose help with the global economic crisis is, as she put it, "indispensable." Throughout her tour of Japan, Indonesia, South Korea and China, it might be said that Clinton aggressively projected a nonconfrontational foreign policy - and rightly so.

Where is the outrage for Indian mission school abuse?
The most anxious reactions by the Indian victims of sexual abuse at Bureau of Indian Affairs and Indian mission boarding schools are: "Where is the outrage?"

Loving chimps to death
Last week in Stamford, Conn., a chimpanzee named Travis was shot and killed after he mauled a friend of his owner. The chimpanzee lived with a widow, eating lobster and ice cream at the table, wearing human clothes and entertaining himself with a computer and television.

My Turn: What's missing with Alaska Fish & Game's abundance-based game management?
An article titled "Abundance-based fish, game management can benefit all" by Corey Rossi of the Alaska Department of Fish & Game provides an articulate explanation of ADF&G's current approach to conservation, and the emphasis of abundant big game harvests. But if conservation means looking at both sides of the equation (utilization vs. preservation), then some factors may be missing with respect to wildlife.

Did the U.S. learn anything from Japan's financial crisis?
The growing debate among U.S. policy-makers about nationalizing major American banks, once a taboo topic, has an eerie familiarity in Japanese financial circles. The only question in Japan is why it's being debated at all, because most Japanese observers believe that for all practical purposes, the Treasury Department nationalized U.S. banks when it bailed them out last October.

Sen. Begich bristles at statement about 'volcano monitoring'
ANCHORAGE - Alaska U.S. Sen. Mark Begich is objecting to statements made by Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal about volcano monitoring.

14 veterans comprise Legislative group
JUNEAU - Lawmakers with military backgrounds have formed a nonpartisan group and are calling it the Joint Alaska State Legislature Veterans' Caucus.

Three Alaska-based soldiers killed in Iraq
FORT WAINWRIGHT - The Department of Defense says three Alaska-based soldiers from New York, Utah and Indiana have died in Iraq.

Anchorage woman considered for post in Obama administration
JUNEAU - An Anchorage woman is being considered for the Native American Affairs senior position with the Obama administration.

Tongass roundtable invites public to evening meeting
JUNEAU - The Tongass Futures Roundtable isn't usually open to the public, but tonight it will be.

Anchorage man gets 69 years for rape and kidnapping
ANCHORAGE - An Anchorage man received a 69-year jail sentence for his kidnapping and rape conviction last summer.

Artist, geologist Marvin Mangus dies
ANCHORAGE - A prominent Alaska artist and geologist has died.

Three hurt as van crashes into bus
FAIRBANKS - A 64-year-old North Pole woman was flown to Seattle with "critical" burns suffered when a van crashed into a small school bus, which caught on fire.

Washington man faces charges in child sex case
ANCHORAGE - A 19-year-old Washington state man faces felony charges related to an alleged sexual relationship with a 13-year-old Anchorage girl.

Canoe capsizes, man drowns off Kake
KAKE - A 23-year-old man died Monday off the southeast Alaska community of Kake when his canoe capsized near Point White.

58-foot fishing boat runs aground on Akutan Island
ANCHORAGE - The Coast Guard says a 58-foot fishing boat has run aground in the Aleutian Islands and is in danger of breaking up.

Schnuelle's Quest complete
It was a dramatic conclusion to a race that Schnuelle approached as a camping trip until three mushers with a seemingly insurmountable lead faltered on Eagle Summit early Monday morning.

Alaskan Special Olympics athlete wins medals
The celebration in her honor was going on out front. But Pearl needed to punch the clock for her shift. She hates being late.

Randall claims silver medal at Nordic worlds
LIBEREC, Czech Republic - Kikkan Randall sprinted frenetically through the snowfall, stretching her ski across the finish line and breaking new ground for U.S. skiing.

Sports in Juneau

State seeks $461 million from stimulus
Gov. Sarah Palin submitted a spending bill to lawmakers on Tuesday asking that they authorize $461 million from the federal stimulus package for infrastructure projects in Alaska.

Alaska officials seek additional stimulus money
Some Alaska Legislators are saying they'll likely accept federal stimulus money, even if Gov. Sarah Palin won't.

Palin to pay state for family travel
JUNEAU - Gov. Sarah Palin will reimburse the state nearly $7,000 for costs associated with nine trips taken by her children, her attorney said Tuesday.

Legislators optimistic about child health care
Some Alaska legislators say their goal of expanding eligibility for Denali KidCare medical coverage is likely to happen this year.

New Palmer simulator aims to reduce aviation accidents
Pilots wishing to practice flying from the Palmer airport now have a new three-screen flight simulator to use at no cost to local aviators.

Big game transporter fined for helping hunters
ANCHORAGE - A Ketchikan big game transporter who helped two hunters leave carcasses of black bears to rot on a beach a day before it was legal to do so has been fined $10,000.

Soldotna prepares to debate smoking ban law Wednesday
Soldotna already has seen some back-and-forth discussions about banning cigarette smoking in all public places, but on Wednesday, people will get a first look at the actual proposed law.

Murder trial starts in Palmer for man found with body in car
PALMER - A Palmer jury heard opening arguments in the murder trial of a man found with the body of his girlfriend in the back of his car.

Photo: Fresh ice
Hockey players test out the ice on the first day of public access to the Chena River Ice Skating Park on Feb. 21 in downtown Fairbanks by the Cushman Street bridge.

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