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Sunday, March 1, 2009

Insist on clean water
I was jogging the morning of Feb. 15 and witnessed a most spectacular sight along Egan Drive by DIPAC; a huge pod of killer whales. I estimated 25 or more cruising up Gastineau Channel towards the flats. They wheeled around on cue and headed back out the channel. I'm a lifelong commercial fisherman and I can only recall a couple of orca encounters that rivaled this one.

Attend Thursday's COPA meeting
The Alaska Regulatory Commission will meet in Juneau at 6 p.m. Thursday at Centennial Hall. Public comment will start at 6:30. This will be the time for all of us to express how we feel about the recent Energy Cost of Power Adjustment (COPA) and the way Alaska Electric Light & Power Co.'s tariff is written allowing them to gouge us, the consumer, for fuel that they use due to their own mismanagement. I urge all interested people of Juneau to attend this meeting and express their concerns.

Protect the unborn
I find it ironic that the state is debating the death penalty with understandable passion, while an abortion clinic recently opened in Juneau with little debate or controversy.

City manager search begins anew
Juneau's search for a new city manager has been underway since November and was supposed to culminate with a selection Monday. It won't.

Hoonah keeps controversial police chief
Bucking the recommendation of the mayor, a warning from the city attorney and the findings of a police auditor, the Hoonah City Council voted this week to keep its controversial police chief.

Palin pushes energy help for Southcentral
Gov. Sarah Palin has sent to the Legislature the first two bills in a series of legislation aimed at bringing new supplies of natural gas to Southcentral Alaska.

Photos: Salvation dedication
Dancers: Members of the Juneau Tlingit Dancers perform Satuday during a dedication

Photo: Polar plunge
Participants in the annual Polar Dip sponsored by UAS jump into Auke Bay in Statter Harbor Saturday. About 50 people jumped into the frigid water 10 at a time. The polar dip was for students as well as anyone else who wanted to participate from the community. Volunteers from Capital City Fire and Rescue stood by on the ramp and in survival suits in the water as a safety precaution.

Photo: Home show comfort
George Cardenas tests out a recliner Saturday at the Southeast Furniture Warehouse display at the annual Home Show at Centennial Hall. Cardenas told friend Miriam Burke, left, that he did not want to get up from the chair. The show concludes today and is open from 10 a.m to 4 p.m.

Around Town
Today

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

Childhood friends to lead Gonzaga Law Review
For former Juneau residents Ben Muse and Tim Nault, being elected as editors of the Gonzaga Law Review is both an accomplishment and an unexpected turn of events.

Juneau resident describes London trip
On our second day in London, I woke up at 8:30 a.m. and spent time working on my travel journal. Our teacher friend, Alison, left for school at 7 a.m. My husband, Don, slept until noon.

Photo: Obama applaud
Davin Savikko's first-graders at Riverbend Elementary School pose in front of a wall covered with pages from the Juneau Empire's special edition of President Barack Obama's inauguration. The class wrote letters to Obama telling him how they are responsible.

Photo: Thunder Mountain robotics
The Thunder Mountain High School Robotics team pose at the For Inspiration and Recognition in Science and Technology (FIRST) Tech Challenge State Robotics Championships held Feb. 21 in Fairbanks. From left are coach May, John Germain, Courtney Johnson, Jennifer Nelson, Karen Leder, Ben Tamone, Maggie Meiners and Grady Wright. Members not pictured are John Bishop, Slade Womack and Tyler Campbell. The rookie team left with third place out of the 15 teams. They moved from preliminaries to semi-finals to finals, where they were finally eliminated. They also received the THINK award, one of five special trophies given at the event. This award was based on their presentation and documentation of the engineering process.

Pets of the week
Special cat, Star Wars gerbils seek homes

Catholic Community Services offers Our Time Support Group
JUNEAU - Catholic Community Services, a social service agency, is offering an Our Time Support Group for parents with children who have individualized education plans (IEPs). The group provides resources and weekly meetings at the Family Resource Center to support and empower parents.

FYI
Births

Glacier Valley wins hospital's KidSafe participation contest
JUNEAU - Bartlett Regional Hospital recently awarded a check in the amount of $2,000 to Glacier Valley Elementary School for the highest percentage of students attending the KidSafe Saturday event held Feb. 7 at Centennial Hall.

Widowed Persons Program to hold monthly brunch today
JUNEAU - The Widowed Persons Program's monthly brunch will be at noon today in the Nugget Room of the Baranof Hotel.

Consortium hosts pediatric dental clinics
HAINES, YAKUTAT - The SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium Haines Health Center will host special Denali KidCare pediatric dental clinics in Haines from March 2 to 6 and in Yakutat from March 9 to 13.

Sitka High School to host 20-year reunion
SITKA - Dates for the Sitka High School Class of '89 20-year reunion have been set for the weekend of July 2-5.

Jambalaya Jazz fundraiser to aid cancer patient
Juneau resident Donna Carroll Noel has struggled with cancer for about 10 years. To aid in the cost of bills, Noel's family and friends will hold a Jambalaya Jazz fundraiser Saturday in her honor.

Senior menu for the week of March 2-6
Monday, March 2

WISEFAMILIES opens office in Wrangell
WRANGELL - The SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium recently opened an office in Wrangell, and Tammi Meissner was hired to manage the new WISEFAMILIES Through Customary and Traditional Living program in the community.

Watching hungry goats
On one of those beautiful days in February, with lots of sun, comfortable winter temperatures and little wind, I wandered around up near the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center. The good weather had brought out hordes of skiers, snowshoers and strollers, along with a good sampling of Juneau's varied canines (and their unsightly deposits).

Juneau resident shares taco soup recipe
Ask Auntie Emo is looking for your quick and easy entrees and your zesty pizza recipes.

George, Cloudy to marry
Susan George, of Juneau, and David Cloudy, of Ketchikan, will be married at 7 p.m. March 6, 2009, at the Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church, 10300 Glacier Highway, in Juneau. Family and friends are invited to join the couple. A dessert reception will follow immediately after at the same location. No gifts please.

Cashens celebrate 50 years
Lifelong Alaskans Heather and Tom Cashen will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary in March. A reception is planned in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, with a family cruise to follow later in the month.

Recognitions
The following individuals are serving as Senate pages for the 26th Alaska Legislature's first Senate session, from Jan. 20 to April 19:

Norma Perkins named consortium's director of professional services
SITKA - The SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium recently named Norma Perkins as its director of professional services at Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital.

Alaska editorial: Governor should put politicking aside and use stimulus funding
Gov. Sarah Palin appears to be focusing on the negative in the just-passed federal stimulus law, and that could hurt Alaskans suffering from the effects of the national recession. Rather than embrace the economic benefits that the $787 billion package is expected to bring, Palin embraced wholesale the congressional Republicans' criticism of the law.

My Turn: We need to use our resources wisely
Spend any time on the water at all, and you quickly realize that herring truly are the lifeblood of the entire ocean ecosystem. Not only do they exist in nearly incalculable numbers at times, they also show up around Alaska's shores at the perfect moment of spring to mean the difference between life and death for many different creatures that have starved their way through the long hard winters.

My Turn: Teachers deserve a living wage
Fifty years ago this spring, I made a commitment. I made it, I thought, with my eyes at least as wide open as a college senior could prop them. I committed my life to a career as an educator, confident that while teachers in 1959 were staring up at a financial ceiling above which my classmates - the doctors, the lawyers, the plumbers, the garbage truck drivers - would spend the rest of their comfortable lives.

Photo: Toe toon
This week's toe toon.

Number of active oil rigs drops by 57
HOUSTON - The number of rigs actively exploring for oil and natural gas in the United States dropped by 57 this week to 1,243.

Charges filed in Two Rivers horse shooting
FAIRBANKS - Prosecutors in Fairbanks have filed a formal charge against a Two Rivers woman accused of shooting and killing her neighbor's horse.

Anchorage municipal bus strikes woman
ANCHORAGE - A woman was struck and injured by a municipal bus in northeast Anchorage.

Bills designating state dog heads to House floor
JUNEAU - A bill naming the Alaskan Malamute as the Alaska State Dog is on its way to the House floor.

Employee sues Matanuska Electric Association
Donte Kelly, a 19-year employee, claims in the lawsuit that co-workers routinely called him "nappy" and "boy" and white employees with less experience were promoted ahead of him.

Ketchikan man dies in truck rollover
KETCHIKAN - A 54-year-old Ketchikan man died when his pickup left a roadway and rolled.

Palin to push for in-state gas plan
JUNEAU - Gov. Sarah Palin is proposing legislation aimed at jump starting construction of an in-state natural gas pipeline.

Interim U.S. attorney to leave Alaska
ANCHORAGE - The interim U.S. Attorney in Alaska is departing.

Senior Night sets it right
Give Alex Fagerstrom the ball and stand back ... or just dump it in to Eric Gross whenever you can.

JDHS defeats KayHi 75-49 Friday
A wild student section of painted chests and red mohawks gave the Bears a visible boost to start the year's final home series Friday at Juneau-Douglas High School. Four seniors combined for 41 points in JDHS' 75-49 win, and they matched the 11 three-pointers hung on them by their rivals in an earlier loss in Ketchikan.

High court looks at prisoners' right to DNA test
Osborne's attorneys will argue before the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday that DNA testing is not something states can choose to allow when they have doubts about a conviction, but a constitutional right.

Alaska lawmakers unite against new aviation regs
The state's congressional delegation, the state Legislature and the Palin Administration have joined pilots and air carriers across the state in protesting the proposed regulations during the public comment period that ended Friday.

Legislative salmon report still incomplete
State legislators responded last year to complaints by sport anglers that commercial fisherman were intercepting too many salmon and too few fish were making it to the Susitna River drainage and other popular fishing streams in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough.

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