Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Referendum needed on capital-move bills
I turned on Gavel to Gavel this morning and was really galled to see a legislator, who I at first thought was a real estate developer, trying to pass another back-door bill to move the capital. He says he's really not moving it, but I believe him like I would Saddam Hussein.

Make new pool cost-efficient
Our city Assembly members should require cost-of-operation estimates for all designs for the new Mendenhall Valley pool. The new pool will not be required to fund operations on gate receipts alone.

Proposed bridge needs better process
The concept of a road through Juneau's showcase wetlands wildlife refuge to connect Douglas Island with our main street - Egan Drive - appears to be driven by special interests. The primary objective seems to be encouraging urban sprawl on the private lands of North Douglas.

It's time we started getting along
You gotta hand it to Sen. Ted Stevens, he doesn't equivocate.

Drivers should delay routes for late buses
What should have been a simple half-hour bus ride turned into a large source of aggravation for me recently.

A fighter remembered
Juneau resident Troy Kahklen, whose unusual kidney transplant gained national attention, died Sunday at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore.

Search still on for two men and boat
With no results after four days of good search weather, the U.S. Coast Guard continues to look today for the two men aboard the missing pleasure boat Transition.

Downtown zoning change rejected
Planning commissioners rejected a zoning change Tuesday night for the downtown flats area that neighborhood residents said would create too much noise, traffic and parking congestion.

Assembly skirts smoking ban
A barrage of bar owners told Assembly members Monday night that the smoking ban is ruining the bar business in Juneau.

Art Rotch named new artistic director at Perseverance
Stage designer Art Rotch has been named artistic director of Perseverance Theatre.

Photo: He lights up our life
Greg Herbert, an electrician for Juneau Electric, replaces a damaged street light Tuesday on South Franklin Street. Herbert also was searching for an electrical short that caused street lights to go out.

Madsen set to run for valley House seat
A second Juneau Republican, Stephanie Madsen, has filed to run for state House District 4, promising a contested Republican primary for the seat now held by Democratic Rep. Andrea Doll, D-Juneau.

Around Town
Wednesday, Feb. 27

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

City manager pulls labor ordinance
The city manager pulled an ordinance Monday night requiring Project Labor Agreements on all city construction projects over $4 million before the Assembly considered it.

Correction
A story in Tuesday's edition about the death of Troy Kahklen incorrectly described the kidney transplant surgeries aimed at saving Kahklen's life. The technique used was unusual, but not experimental. The article also misidentified which brother donated a kidney to Troy Kahklen, and it included an incorrect name for a friend. Kahklen's brother Keith Kahklen donated the first kidney. The correct name of Kahklen's longtime friend is Sheldon Winters.

Photo: Slush sweeper
A front-end loader clears snow Tuesday from Glacier Avenue. Snow and rain are forecast for the rest of the week.

Around Town
Today, Feb. 26

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

Correction
A story on the proposed hoverbarge for the Tulsequah Chief Mine in Sunday's Juneau Empire incorrectly identified Errol Champion. He owns a cabin on the Taku River.

Clinton, Obama spar in key debate before primary
Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama clashed over trade, health care Tuesday night in a crackling debate at close quarters one week before a pivotal group of primaries.

Photo: Moon shine
The moon sets during sunrise at South Shelter, Admiralty and the Chilkats. Many believe the moon appears larger near the horizon than it does while higher up in the sky.

Black Awareness Association hosts 'Juneau Star Search'
JUNEAU - In celebration of Black History Month and for its annual scholarship fundraiser, the Black Awareness Association is hosting "Juneau Star Search" at 6:30 p.m. Friday at the Alaska Native Brotherhood Hall.

Thanks to the neighbor who helped with snow removal
This morning, Feb. 7, on Peters Lane, there was a really big berm - too big to drive over - in front of our driveway.

Thanks for stopping after our dog was hit by a vehicle
Recently, our beloved dog, Nesta, was hit by a vehicle on North Douglas Highway. In the moments that followed, there were many people who stopped to see if help was needed. There are four people in particular who went out of their way to show their kindness.

Students compete in regional math contest
A team of middle school mathletes from Dzantik'i Heeni Middle School won the Southeast Regional Mathcounts Competition held Feb. 9 at Juneau-Douglas High School. Mathcounts competitions are organized by the Alaska Society of Professional Engineers.

Volunteers for hospice can assist with special projects
I'm not sure why I've always been fascinated by "the later years" - or why I think a lot about the fragility of life and how many people suffer the loss of loved ones.

Morford, Baumgartner wed
Darla Fagerstrom Morford, of Juneau, and John Baumgartner, of Douglas, exchanged wedding vows on July 28, 2007, on top of the Mendenhall Glacier. The official ceremony was written and performed by the bride's father, Kent Fagerstrom, that evening at the Glacier Pavillion, with both families present. Dinner and wedding cake was served at El Sombrero, and a picnic was held at Sandy Beach the next day.

Gibson, Pitt to wed
Misty Lynn Pitt, of Juneau, and Steven John Gibson, of Battleground, Wash., will marry on July 25, 2009, in Battleground.

All-Alaska Academy teaches high schoolers about the Legislature
JUNEAU - This week the All-Alaska Academy brings high school students from communities across the state to Juneau to meet with legislators and observe how Alaska's government really works.

Widowed Persons Program to hold monthly brunch Sunday
JUNEAU - The Widowed Persons Program will hold its monthly brunch at noon on Sunday at Capital Café in the Baranof Hotel.

Local philanthropic organization to host women's boutique
JUNEAU - Chapter G of the Philanthropic Educational Organization will host a women's boutique and bake sale from 4-7 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday in the Parkshore Condo Recreation Room, 800 F St.

Submissions due for 12X12 Community Art Installation
JUNEAU - Applications for the fourth annual 12X12 Community Art Installation will be accepted from noon to 4 p.m. on Thursday through Saturday at the Juneau-Douglas City Museum.

Hannah Marie Wheaton
Hannah Marie Wheaton, originally of Juneau, died on Jan. 23, 2008, in Portland, Ore. She was 39.

Veronica Maybelle (Horton) Withrow
Longtime Juneau resident Veronica Maybelle (Horton) Withrow died Feb. 21, 2008, surrounded by loved ones at her son's home in Juneau after a brief battle with cancer. She was 66.

Duane Louis Price
Former Juneau resident Duane Louis Price died Feb. 23, 2008, at his home in Burlington, Wash., after battling lung cancer for several years. He was 74.

My Turn: ATV proposal needs review
I am a new resident to Juneau, and I attended the city-run public information session regarding the proposed Douglas Island all-terrain vehicle park.

My Turn: Salmon bill would close Murkowski's loophole
Not many fishermen are as lucky as I am. It is very difficult to get a permit to fish Bristol Bay - the one I have is my uncle's permit, who fished the Bay in a sailboat back in the 1940s. Those pioneering days produced men of strong stuff, able to do the work of two; they had to know how to sail as well as fish, and they pulled in amazing catches using means we consider primitive today.

My Turn: Auto shop set me on my path
This is in response to the "Auto tech classes at JDHS may end" article on Feb. 22.

My Turn: Redfern proposal would boost Southeast economy
I am writing to voice my support for Redfern Resources' proposed barging operations. There are several reasons that motivate me to back this project.

Outside editorial: Riding a Trojan Horse
This editorial appeared in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

Outside editorial: A dangerous spy caper
In recent days, authorities in Spain arrested several terror suspects, mostly Pakistanis, who allegedly planned a wave of attacks across Europe. American officials acknowledged that they had monitored some of the suspects' phone calls to Pakistan. Michael McConnell, director of national intelligence, pointed to the case as a reason that the U.S. must maintain its strong electronic surveillance capabilities.

Iditarod vet to retire from distance races
GREAT FALLS, Mont. - Four-time Iditarod champion Doug Swingley said he's retiring from long distance sled dog racing.

Authorities investigate shooting in Kotlik
KOTLIK - Alaska State Troopers are investigating a shooting death in the town of Kotlik.

Animal shelter scores a victory, of sorts
KENAI - The Kenai Animal Shelter scored a victory of sorts.

Fairbanks police say teen may have died of exposure
FAIRBANKS - Fairbanks police say a teenage boy was found dead on the city's south side.

Cheese purchase bucks up dairy industry
WASILLA - Three gold mining companies have purchased $75,000 worth of cheese from dairy farmers in the Matanuska Susitna region.

Magistrate rejects plea to reinstate mayor
KETCHIKAN - A Metlakatla Tribal Court magistrate dismissed a request from the Indian community's ousted mayor asking the court to reinstate him.

Juneau man convicted of rape and assault
JUNEAU - A jury convicted Juneau resident Alper Johnson on Friday of second-degree sexual assault and third-degree assault for the February 2007 rape of a Juneau woman at a party in the Mendenhall Valley.

Study to examine Fairbanks air pollution
FAIRBANKS - A study will be looking at air pollution in Alaska's second largest city, specifically where the mixture of dust, soot, dirt and other airborne particles comes from in Fairbanks.

Eroding Alaska village sues oil, power firms
ANCHORAGE - A tiny Alaska village eroding into the Chukchi Sea sued oil, power and coal companies Tuesday, claiming that the large amounts of greenhouse gases they emit contribute to global warming that threatens the community's existence.

Anchorage man gets seven years for cocaine conviction
ANCHORAGE - An Anchorage man has been sentenced to seven years in federal prison for manufacturing or distributing crack cocaine.

Follow that musher!
It's always been impossible to witness the entire length of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race except, of course, for the competitors. Many top contenders like it that way.

Island Pub blanks Doc Water's
In the battle of the pubs, Dave Anderson and Dan Fremgen scored two goals each as the Island Pub routed Doc Water's Pub 5-0 in a Juneau Adult Hockey Association Tier A game Sunday at Treadwell Arena.

Yakutatboys top Skagway
Clinton Ivers had 20 points to lead Yakutat past Skagway 53-46 in Class 2A boys basketball action Thursday.

Photo: Locked in
Blue goaltender Kami Bartness focuses on a faceoff in front of her during a 1-1 tie with Victorious Secret in Juneau Adult Hockey Association Women's A action Sunday at Treadwell Arena. See Page B7 for a rundown of last week's action.

Sports Digest
Rhea helps Beavers snap nine-game losing streak

Sports in Juneau
UPCOMING EVENTS

Union, state contract heads to supervisors
The Palin administration has reached a labor agreement with its largest union without a contract, the Alaska Public Employee's Association's Supervisory Unit, possibly staving off a strike.

State: Juneau access road 12 years away
State planners are now pushing to extend construction of a Juneau access road over 12 years, the Senate Transportation Committee was told Tuesday.

Fishing town braces for Exxon Valdez spill decision
For many in this coastal town, the 1989 Exxon Valdez disaster was an event so crushing that hard-bitten fishermen still get teary-eyed recalling ruined livelihoods, broken marriages and suicides.

Session move bill voted down
A legislative committee Tuesday voted down a proposal to hold future special sessions of the Alaska Legislature outside Juneau.

Anchorage hosts first reindeer run
From sausages to stews, reindeer are usually a main dish in Alaska.

Federal prosecutors contest Kohring's appeal for new trial
Former state Rep. Vic Kohring used erroneous information in his attempt for a new trial on corruption charges, according to federal prosecutors opposing the bid.

Drilling increases estimates of Pebble ore reserves
ANCHORAGE - Estimates of copper and gold reserves of a proposed southwest Alaska mine have grown again.

Parents: The gods were with skier who survived Alaska avalanche
His parents say Ian Wilson did the right things to survive an avalanche in Alaska, but he could have died anyway.

Artists sculpt ice in Fairbanks
FAIRBANKS - The 18th annual World Ice Art Championships in Fairbanks continues today as sculptors from around the world create well over 100 works of ice in the city's Ice Park.

U.S. district judge in Oregon orders Columbia dam operations extension
PORTLAND, Ore. - To avoid more legal battles until a May 5 deadline for a new salmon recovery plan for the Northwest, a federal judge has ordered that Columbia River dams be operated under last year's guidelines.

This Day in History
In Alaska, in the Nation and the World

Pioneer, ConocoPhillips agree to boost North Slope production
ConocoPhillips agreed to process and transport oil that Pioneer Natural Resources Co. expects to begin producing within four months, the companies announced Monday.

Lawmakers pass hike in education spending
JUNEAU - The Alaska House on Monday overwhelmingly approved a $230 million increase in education spending over the next three years under a plan that some describe as historic and others warn can't be sustained.

This Day in History
In Alaska, in the Nation and the World

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