Monday, March 1, 2010

Parenting is a very personal choice
I am a 19-year-oldmother to a beautiful 17-month-old boy. When I became pregnant at 17, we never considered other options - the father and I were going to be parents

Lawmakers should pick up own checks
Why are legislators trying to raise the meal reporting limit? Do you remember how cheap the legislators were wiling to sell themselves and the public interest a couple years ago? Nothing has changed.

Juneau dropped the ball on a good coach
As a supporter of high school athletics and a Juneau resident, I was excited to see Jaime Kissner selected as the head baseball coach for the Crimson Bears in 2008. A former Division 1 player out of Northwestern State University in Louisiana, Kissner seemed to be an individual who had something to offer the program in the wake of the very successful Jim Ayers.

Adults delusional about drug use decline
I'm responding to the article Feb. 21 Empire article about drug use at Juneau's high schools. Although I do believe that many students have stopped using O.C. (Oxycontin), I can't help but laugh at how all these adults think they have made such a huge difference on the drug problem by putting up fliers and talking to kids in school about it.

Raising tuition will only hurt students
While reading the Juneau Empire, I ran across an article about a possible tuition hike for the University of Alaska. I was shocked to see that raising tuition was an option. The Board of Regents say they're doing this because of increases in expenses, but is this really the right thing to do?

Reject compromise in health care bill
President Obama, we voted for you to follow through with your promises and to lead the country. You only want to compromise and force a poor health care bill through the Senate. It is time for you to get out of the way. Congress needs to vote for reconciliation of the public option or single payer system.

Lawmakers indulge in state-funded junket
Several lawmakers on Tuesday defended their mid-session trip (to the Energy Council meeting in Washington D.C.) as important to their work in Juneau, given the importance of oil and gas in the state.

Thanks, Glenn Beck, for speaking out
Thank you, Glenn Beck. Thank you for putting into words what we have known in our gut all along.

Photos: Elegant and messy
Photos from the fifth annual Southeast Alaska Bridal Extravaganza and Prom Show 2010 at the Juneau Arts & Humanities Center.

Police seek two who allegedly accosted girl
Police are seeking information about two suspects who allegedly asked a juvenile girl if she needed a ride on two separate occasions.

APOC accepts $100,000 from mine opponents
Opponents of Pebble Mine settled with the Alaska Public Offices Commission on Friday, agreeing to pay the largest amount ever for alleged 2008 campaign finance disclosure violations.

Photo: Final face-off
Juneau-Douglas High School senior Brittany Fenumiai, right, jumps against Thunder Mountain's Shale Kibby on her home court for the last time Saturday during a senior night basketball game. For more coverage of senior night, see sports on page B1.

UAS Chancellor Pugh among president finalists
University of Alaska Southeast Chancellor John Pugh is among the candidates vying to serve as president of the University of Alaska.

Photo: Willow watch
A juvenile bald eagle rests on a willow branch Wednesday afternoon along Egan Drive.

Photo: Runway improvement
An Alaska Interstate Contractor excavator dumps dirt and rock into a truck while working Saturday on the Juneau International Airport Runway Safety Area improvement project.

Former coach hit with more sex assault charges
Former longtime Juneau-Douglas High School basketball coach James M. Hamey, 62, was arraigned this week on two new felony sexual assault charges.

Police & Fire
Juneau police and fire officials reported:

Photo: 'Fetching stick'
Yellow lab Holly carries a fetching stick Saturday along the Kaxdigoowu He'en Dei Trail. Owner Lisa Badger follows as they make their way to the Brotherhood Bridge parking area. "She loves the snow and chasing that stick," Badger said. "And I love my dog, so, we are out here a lot." Today's forecast calls for a 90 percent chance of rain with winds around 25 mph. High temperatures are predicted to reach around 40 degrees.

Photo: Artwork on display
Art teacher Nancy Lehnhart, right, and Arts for Kids board member Susan Oshida, staple up artwork from area elementary school students for a two-weekend exhibit at the Nugget Mall. Two pieces of artwork were selected from each class for a total of over 200 pieces of art on display.

Police & Fire
Juneau police and fire officials reported:

Spicin' things up: Chili for a cause
Local young adults spiced up the bottom floor of Resurrection Lutheran Church this week for a zesty chili cook-off fundraiser for Haiti.

Committee wraps up 50th anniversary of Statehood celebrations
JUNEAU - Early in 2008 a citizens organization formed to develop, plan, organize and coordinate 50th anniversary of statehood celebration activities in Juneau. The primary goal of Capital City Celebrations was to remember, celebrate, and nurture pride among Juneau residents for their part in Alaska's journey to statehood.

Photo: Statewide Spelling Bee
From left, seventh-grader Brayden Wrightson, from Dzantik'i Middle School in Juneau, and eighth-grader Oliver Price, of Craig, pose Friday after the State Spelling Bee held at the Performing Arts Center in Anchorage. The two were among 141 spellers from around the state to compete. After six rounds, it was down to these two spellers, who went back and forth for six more rounds. In the 12th round, Wrightson misspelled "obumbrate," ending the competition in second place. Price spelled "meniscus" correctly to win the competition. He will represent the state of Alaska at the National Bee this spring in Washington, D.C.

Senior menu for the week of March 1-5
Monday, March 1

Thanks for signing a petition for new idea for Sealaska elections
I would like to thank the Sealaska members who signed a petition validating a new election idea for directors.

Thanks for donating to the Hortons in honor of their son's passing
Thank you to the following family members and various organizations and people who donated to the Horton family in honor of the passing of our son, Robert Horton, on Jan. 9, 2010.

Thanks for helping with the Community Arts Celebration
Arts for Kids would like to express our heartfelt thanks to everyone who participated in the sixth annual Community Arts Celebration on Feb. 6 at Thunder Mountain High School. The celebration was a great success and could not have happened without the enthusiasm and expertise of so many artists and volunteers.

Thanks for teaching TMHS students tennis
Thanks to the community for helping Thunder Mountain High School students learn to play tennis. JRC The Alaska Club generously opened its doors to TMHS students first semester, thanks to Ron Dangeli and Martin Tjomsland. Also, thanks to Mona Yarnell, Beatrice Franklin, Vicki Wilcox, Dick Winchell and Jacob Dangeli for donating tennis racquets.

Thank you for a very successful food drive
The Mendenhall Flying Lions would like to thank Safeway in the Mendenhall Valley for allowing us to hold our Southeast Alaska Food Bank food donation drive on Saturday where we collected more than 1,000 pounds of food plus cash donations.

Thank you for Shrine fundraising success
A Shrine of St. Therese Endowment Evening Extravaganza was held on Feb. 6 at St. Ann's Hall at the Cathedral of the Nativity. It was an evening of delicious hors d'oevres prepared by Gretchen Pence, Lorraine Derr and their crew.

Infusion center acquires local artwork
With the help of multiple community donators - and an outstanding nurse - a new local chemo-infusion therapy unit has a wealth of artwork to warm its walls.

Thanks for assisting Sophie McKinley during recent surgeries
The family of Sophie McKinley would like to thank the communities, organizations and individuals who have assisted her in prayers and assistance through her recent surgeries and house repairs.

Tribe seeks funds for cultural, educational, tourism center
JUNEAU - In January, Central Council Tlingit & Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska President William Martin, accompanied by managers and legal counselors, met with the Alaska Delegation in Washington D.C. to promote a project aimed at creating jobs in smaller communities and preserving Native cultures.

Fourth of July Parade Committee offers free catalogs
JUNEAU - For those not yet ready to plan and build their float for the Fourth of July Parade, a limited supply of free catalogs are available on behalf of the Juneau Fourth of July Parade Committee.

Thunder Mountain seeks dance/drill coach for next year
JUNEAU - Thunder Mountain High School's Parent Teacher Organization is seeking a dance/drill coach for the 2010-2011 school year.

Bowl for Kids' Sake needs team captains
JUNEAU - Big Brothers Big Sisters' annual Bowl For Kids' Sake fundraiser is seeking team captains. Bowling will take place all day March 13 at the Juneau Bowling Center. Pre-registration is required.

Home modification seminar featured at Home Show
JUNEAU - As part of Southeast Alaska Building Industry Association's 31st annual Home Show, the seminar "Home Modifications For a Lifetime" will be held Saturday at Centennial Hall.

Miller, Hennon wed
Gwenn Michael Miller, of Douglas and Auke Bay, and Tyler Douglas Hennon, of Douglas, were married Jan. 1, 2010, at the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center. A reception followed at DIPAC.

Cunninghams celebrate 60 years
Former longtime Juneau residents, Tom and Pat Cunningham, will celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary on March 10, 2010.

Techno madness?
University of Alaska Southeast Media Communications professor Jason Ohler once taught our class how to blog but warned that when we plug into a new technology we unplug from something else.

FYI
Births

Photos: Eagle Oasis
A rock bald eagle design made by Wyoming artist Terri Stardust is seen Saturday near Douglas Breeze In. Two bald eagles perch at the water's edge in the distance. Owner of Stardust Copper Designs in Worland, Wyo., Stardust was in Juneau last week completing her Phoenix Project - a mission to create a state bird out of found objects in each 50 states. She made two bald eagles, one of rocks and one of driftwood, near the Douglas side of the Douglas Bridge. "I have completed a journey of many miles and many experiences," she writes. "I am so happy to have been able to see this project become a reality." A reception for Stardust's project will be held March 17 in Gillette, Wyo. For more information and pictures, visit the facebook event page: www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=251259662775&index=1.

Life in the front seat of a hearse
I miss the undertaker in Michigan where I was once pastor. No offense against the undertakers in Juneau, but they haven't brought me chocolates.

Thunder Mountain High School February Falcon of the Month Award: Liam Macaulay
Age: 15.

Agnes 'Diane' Haines
Juneau resident Agnes "Diane" Haines died peacefully Feb. 13, 2010, with her grandson and his wife by her side at the Juneau Pioneer Home. She was 86.

Lilia Guimmayen Martin
Juneau resident Lilia Guimmayen Martin died Feb. 23, 2010, in Juneau. She was 59.

Alaska editorial: They can't be serious
Ladies and gentlemen of the Legislature, kindly get a grip.

There's no such thing as a free lunch in Juneau
I'm a big fan of eating, especially sharing a meal with other people. That must be why I'm putting on weight.

My turn: Volume-constricted bullet line is not what Alaskans ordered
The recent flurry of bills proposing different angles for building a so-called "bullet-line" signal the Legislature's mounting concern with the AGIA process and the ill-fated Canadian gas line route.

My turn: Sealaska land bill denies years of public investment
The opening paragraph of Chris McNeil's Feb. 18 My Turn column clearly sets the tone for the attitude of Sealaska Corp. and Alaska's congressional delegation toward the rest of us who do not stand to benefit from the Sealaska land bill, S. 881: "The Tongass National Forest is a Native Place." Clearly this implies that those of us who are non-Natives do not belong here, should not have a say, and our opinions are dismissible.

Toe Toon

Huntington, Olds win Iron Dog race
FAIRBANKS - The team of Tyler Huntington and Chris Olds have won the 2,000-mile Iron Dog snowmobile race.

Parnell to hold phone town hall meeting
JUNEAU - Gov. Sean Parnell will hold a telephone town hall meeting Tuesday to field questions on a range of issues including his initiatives on domestic violence and merit-based scholarships. The telephone town hall meeting is scheduled for Tuesday from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Administration OK with need element in merit scholarships
JUNEAU - Alaska Education Commissioner Larry LeDoux says putting financial need before student performance is not an acceptable change to the governor's proposed merit scholarship program.

Man admits trying to kill roommates in fire
ANCHORAGE - An Anchorage man has admitted trying to kill his roommates by setting his apartment on fire.

Court system wants one more judge
JUNEAU - An Alaska Court System representative says Anchorage needs an additional superior court judge.

Command set up to assess oil sheens
JUNEAU - The Coast Guard and the state of Alaska have set up a unified command to further assess an historic shipwreck as a source of oil sheens in the Juneau area.

Parnell still pushing infrastructure plan
JUNEAU - Gov. Sean Parnell says he hasn't given up pressing lawmakers to pass his $100 million deferred maintenance program early.

Fort Rich boy finalist for model contest
ANCHORAGE - A Fort Rich boy is a finalist in a national modeling contest. Nine-year-old Brandon Padgett could earn as much as $100,000

Mine developer to pay $73M for studies
BRISTOL BAY - The company hoping to develop the Pebble mine expects to spend $73 million this year for studies and test drilling.

State department offers new public communication tool
JUNEAU - To bolster its communications with the public, the Department of Transportation and Public Facilities recently launched a new subscriber-based, free messaging service.

Lost Iditarod dog returned to Mackey
ANCHORAGE - Iditarod champion Lance Mackey has his "Girlfriend" back.

DOT&PF anticipates big construction year
JUNEAU - The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities expects to bid out more than $800 million for more than 100 projects this year, a 33 percent increase from 2009.

Youth academy cadets graduate
ANCHORAGE - Cadets in the Alaska Military Youth Academy graduated in Anchorage this weekend.

Organizers say Rondy poker tourney is on
ANCHORAGE - The annual Alaska Hold'em Poker Tournament hasn't folded yet.

Animal cruelty bill reaches committee
JUNEAU - A Senate bill toughening penalties for animal cruelty now has a companion bill in the House.

Houston officer back on job
WASILLA - A police officer in the small Parks Highway city of Houston is back on the job.

Pounding the competition
Friday was a night full of knockdowns during Roughhouse Boxing at Marlintini's Lounge which was postponed a week because fog prevented promoter Bob Haag from landing in Juneau.

Bear girls make quick work of TMHS
Juneau-Douglas won the overall Southeast Conference tournament No. 1 seed after pounding Thunder Mountain 75-16 Saturday for a sentimental senior night victory as every Crimson Bear broke into the scoring column.

Crimson to gold, Perkins to Mizzou
For a season that ended in such disappointment, the future looks golden for All-State senior linebacker and fullback Jack Perkins.

JDHS denies Falcons first win
Senior night at Juneau-Douglas High School always makes for a spirited affair and Saturday night was no different as the Crimson Bears boys’ basketball team fed off a raucous crowd in the second half to defeat Thunder Mountain 57-47.

Photo: Senior night send-off
The Crimson Bear seniors (left to right) Alex DeRocher, Kristen Dierick, Terrence Wheat, Annette Highley, Paul Tupou, Emily Johnson, Lawrence Fenumiai, Brittany Fenumiai, Eric Sele, Mahlet Tingley and Victor Wilson pose for a group picture prior to the start of the boys' game Saturday night at Juneau-Douglas High School.

Activist pushes for expansion of wolf sanctuary
FAIRBANKS - Priscilla Feral spent a full day flying to Fairbanks from Connecticut to speak before the Alaska Board of Game for five minutes on Saturday, even though she doesn't think it will do any good.

Legislative retirement overhaul stalls
Teachers and other public employees in Alaska will remain responsible for planning for their own retirements, as hopes for returning state employees to a traditional pension plan appears bottled up in the Legislature.

Senator proposes separation in state oil, gas taxes
Alaska's system of taxing oil and gas production together has the potential to "blow up our entire fiscal regime," costing the state perhaps billions of dollars a year in revenue once gas starts to flow through a major pipeline, a state lawmaker said Friday.

'Anticlimactic' tsunami rolls through
ANCHORAGE - A tsunami packing little punch rolled through Alaska waters Saturday, but was hardly noticeable to residents in coastal communities.

Alaska moves ahead with bison reintroduction
FAIRBANKS - The Alaska Department of Fish and Game is moving ahead with plans to reintroduce wood bison - the largest mammal native to North America - into the Interior within the next few years.

Pugh in top three finalists for UA president
ANCHORAGE - John Pugh, chancellor of the University of Alaska Southeast, is among three finalists announced Sunday to replace outgoing University of Alaska President Mark Hamilton.

More than 1,300 Toyotas repaired in Alaska
ANCHORAGE - Toyota dealerships in Anchorage and Fairbanks have repaired more than 1,300 recalled vehicles.

Unions try to organize university employees
FAIRBANKS - Two labor groups have spent the past six months trying to organize workers at the University of Alaska, and one of them said it has collected enough union-authorization cards to trigger an election.

Man fatally shot at Anchorage mall
ANCHORAGE - Police on Sunday were looking for a suspect in a shooting at an Anchorage mall who may have been wearing a wig and fake mustache when a 29-year-old man was gunned down outside a barber shop.

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