Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Under ANCSA, Natives had title to all Alaska lands
I was fortunate enough to work for Sealaska Corp. in the early days of implementation of ANCSA. During that time, I became aware of several issue that must be kept in the forefront of all discussions concerning Alaska Native corporations with respect to their land entitlements.

Use common sense regulation for ship wastewater permits
The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation is accepting public comment on the 2010 Large Commercial Passenger Vessel Wastewater Discharge General Permit until today. At a recent public hearing, I advocated for "common sense regulation" in consideration of this permit. In my opinion, common sense regulation should:

Thanks but no thanks, Glenn Beck
I certainly haven't appreciated the misanthropic ravings of Glenn Beck, even though I consider myself to be a regular person.

Alaskans reach out to Haitians in need
The world is watching as Haiti rebuilds the country following January's devastating earthquake. We are seeing selflessness, camaraderie and tender acts of humanity everyday.

Fishery managers concerned about soft-shell crab catch
The 2010 brown king crab and tanner crab seasons are moving slowly but steadily forward with one area's guideline harvest level reached and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game keeping a close watch on the other six.

Legislature: Kookesh violated ethics rules
A legislative review has found Sen. Albert Kookesh to be in violation of state ethics policies following allegations that he used political influence to keep a city council from opposing a lands bill pushed by the Native corporation he's employed by.

Juneau music teacher blogs from Venezuela
JUNEAU - Juneau music teacher and librarian Lorrie Heagy is one of ten musicians nationwide to hold an Abreu Fellowship at the New England Conservatory in Boston. The program provides tuition-free instruction and a living stipend for postgraduate musicians.

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

Alec Venechuk joins R&M Engineering
JUNEAU - Alec Venechuk joined R&M Engineering, Inc. in October 2009. Venechuk was born in Petersburg and grew up in Healy, Alaska and obtained his B.S. degree in geological engineering from University of Alaska Fairbanks in May 2009. His past experience includes working for Usibeli Coal Mine in Healy, where he was responsible for writing and reviewing drilling contracts; managing an exploration program and drill crew; performing borehole logging; monitoring and sampling piezometric wells; compiling geotechnical drilling data and designing and staking of exploration roads. Venechuk has also worked as a geology intern for Kensington Gold Mine in Juneau. He married Kelsey Sturrock, a JDHS graduate, in August 2009. Venechuk's role at R&M has included working as a surveyor and doing materials testing at the Kensington Gold Mine. He is projected to work on geotechnical and civil engineering design projects for the State of Alaska, the City and Borough of Juneau and private sector projects in Southeast Alaska.

AEL&P wins award for emergency recovery
WASHINGTON - The Edison Electric Institute recognized Alaska Electric Light and Power this week as a winner of the "Emergency Recovery Award" for its excellence in restoring its transmission infrastructure following two separate avalanches that struck within seven months of one another in 2008 and 2009.

John Stone named Engineer of the Year
JUNEAU - John Stone was honored as the Alaska Capital Engineers' 2010 Engineer of the Year. The award was presented to Stone during the 2010 Engineers Banquet and Awards Ceremony held Feb. 20 at Centennial Hall.

Photo: Reading together
Krista Thomson, 15, reads to members of Daisy Troop 4016 on Monday during the Read Across America event at the Juneau Arts and Culture Center. The event celebrates Dr. Suess' birthday and is sponsored locally by the Juneau Education Association.

Assembly to reconsider trash future
After hearing from Juneau residents against mandatory universal trash pickup and discussing the city's waste management goals for the coming years, the Juneau Assembly postponed a decision on universal pickup at a work session Monday evening.

Merriner joins State Board of Education
JUNEAU - Gov. Sean Parnell reappointed Esther Cox and appointed Jim Merriner to the State Board of Education and Early Development. Their five-year terms began Monday. Both hold at-large seats.

Blue or Red?
Decision time.

Alaska SBDC hosts workshop March 9
JUNEAU - The Alaska Small Business Development Center is hosting a workshop March 9 titled, "Communication Essentials and Effective Team Building."

New old-fashioned housing the subject of museum talk
JUNEAU - Bob Banghart, chief curator at the Alaska State Museums, will discuss "Sustainable Shelter" during a brown-bag lecture set for Wednesday at noon at the Alaska State Museum. The illustrated talk will show how traditional and indigenous architectural concepts are influencing contemporary housing design. The one-hour talk is free to the public.

Rasmuson Foundation welcomes new board committee members
ANCHORAGE - Rasmuson Foundation recently welcomed three new board committee members: Bill Corbus, Linda Leary and Aaron Schutt.

Free energy efficiency courses offered
JUNEAU - Alaska Craftsman Home Program is offering free courses in energy efficiency for consumers interested in the Alaska Home Energy Rebate Program. Students will learn how to do their own energy efficient improvements for Alaska Housing Finance Corp. rebates.

R&M Engineering makes staff changes
JUNEAU - R&M Engineering Inc. announced last week that Alec Venechuk joined in October 2009 and Kevin Puustinen passed the Professional Engineering Exam.

Toughen corporate campaigning rules, lawmakers say
The laws being written for corporate disclosure and disclaimers in political campaigning need teeth to be effective, House lawmakers said Tuesday.

Senator sets up Sealaska lands bill meetings
Meetings on Sealaska Corp.'s lands legislation are set to begin in the region next week.

Alaska Airlines to offer in-flight Internet
SEATTLE - Alaska Airlines passengers will soon be able to browse the Web, send e-mail and connect to virtual networks while flying with a new service announced last week.

Around Town
Today, March 2

University president search comes to Juneau
Candidates for the presidency of the University of Alaska will meet with students and residents at the university's Juneau campus today.

Prebula to lead United Way in Southeast
JUNEAU - Michelle Prebula was recently elected chair of the United Way of Southeast Alaska. Prebula, who serves as cash manager for the State of Alaska Department of Revenue, has served on the board since 2007.

Prince of Wales mine site added to Superfund list
An old mine on Prince of Wales Island has been added to the federal government's Superfund sites list, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced Tuesday.

Magazine lists Juneau man among top financial advisors
For the second year in a row, Barron's Magazine named long-time Juneau resident Peter Jurasz one of the top 1,000 financial advisors in the United States, and one of the top five in Alaska.

Police & Fire
Juneau police and fire officials reported:

Photo: Storm clouds
Sunlight shines through as clouds pass over downtown Juneau Tuesday morning.

Gillam: Pebble will 'destroy' salmon run, Bristol Bay
The Pebble Mine is "a Trojan horse that should not be allowed through the gates of Bristol Bay." Pollution is "virtually certain." Wind, weather and seismic activity ensure there is "zero probability" a dam filled with billions of tons of tailings will remain safely contained in perpetuity.

Energy discussion opened to the public
A Senate committee will hold a special meeting Wednesday to hear from the public about low-cost ways to save energy and money.

Charlotte "Ann" Mann
Charlotte "Ann" Mann died Feb. 28, 2010, after a period of declining health. She was 81.

David W. Green
Former Juneau resident David W. Green died peacefully Feb. 28, 2010, with his wife by his side at their home in Kuttawa, Ky. He was 62.

Alaska deserves full disclosure from corporations
The following editorial appeared in theAnchorage Daily News:

Are we less safe?
The following editorial appeared in the Chicago Tribune:

Reflections on turning 34
Last week, I turned 34. As birthdays go, it wasn't much of a milestone. I didn't become a man, for instance. It was not "sweet," nor was it my Quincean-anything. I could not procure previously unobtainable age-dependent items, e.g. pornography, rental cars or AARP membership. I reached legal drinking age when Will Smith was still the Fresh Prince. I've been voting since that infamous blue dress stain was just a gleam in Bill Clinton's eye.

Dominant culture doesn't trump Alaska Native rights
In regard to Sealaska Corp.'s land entitlement under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act:

Alaska editorial: Transformational leadership needed at University of Alaska
With the finalists for the University of Alaska president coming to Juneau on Wednesday, perhaps the most important question we can ask them is: What's your leadership style? And two words to listen for are "transformational leadership."

Art of war not easily understood
All of us know the story of Osama bin Laden and the 2001 attack on the World Trade Center. At the time, I found it very interesting that so much was made of it.

Calling out the crazy, incoherent among us
"At some point, you have to use the word 'crazy."'

Anchorage officers kill armed man
ANCHORAGE - Anchorage police officers killed an armed man after he approached them with a shotgun and refused orders to put it down.

Alaska Women's Hall of Fame announces its new inductees
ANCHORAGE - The Alaska Women's Hall of Fame honored its second class of inductees on Friday at the BP Energy Center in Anchorage. The ceremony honored 16 women who have made or are making significant contributions to shaping Alaska.

School Board OKs first reading of draft budget
JUNEAU - The Juneau School Board unanimously approved the first reading of its draft budget for the 2011 fiscal year at its meeting Tuesday night.

Mackey looks to other mushing circuits in 2011
ANCHORAGE - Defending Iditarod champion Lance Mackey, who also has won the Yukon Quest four times, plans to bypass both long-distance sled dog races next year and focus on the Lower 48 mushing circuit.

Alaska lawmakers reduce goals for polar bear conference
ANCHORAGE - The Alaska Legislature's proposal for a conference and a public relations campaign on the listing of polar bears as a threatened species has been dialed back.

Regulatory commission denies Enstar rate hike
ANCHORAGE - The Regulatory Commission of Alaska has denied a request by Enstar Natural Gas to recoup a $5.7 million billing error.

Alaska teen among four snowboarders lost at Maine resort
CARRABASSETT VALLEY, Maine - Four teenage snowboarders who got lost at the Sugarloaf Mountain ski resort survived a cold night in dense woods and deep snow - despite their failure to start a fire by lighting a dollar bill - by continually moving around to stay warm.

Coast Guard, state plan open house on shipwreck
JUNEAU - Coast Guard and state officials are holding an open house to discuss plans for assessing a shipwreck believed to the source of oil sheens in the Juneau area.

2,000 run with reindeer at Rondy
ANCHORAGE - About 2,000 runners took park in the third annual Running of the Reindeer at the Anchorage Fur Rendezvous.

Committee to examine Fairbanks fluoride
FAIRBANKS - A committee in Fairbanks will meet to review whether fluoride in local drinking water is a good idea.

Big Alaska state construction bonds may need vote
FAIRBANKS - State House Speaker Mike Chenault says some lawmakers in Juneau are pushing for a public vote this fall on major state construction plans, including a new sciences center at the University of Alaska Fairbanks and an Anchorage crime lab.

House speaker: Pressure needed on in-state gas pipeline
JUNEAU - Alaska lawmakers need to put pressure on Gov. Sean Parnell to advance an in-state natural gas pipeline. That's according to House Speaker Mike Chenault, who has proposed creating a new team within the governor's office to jump-start the line - and move toward construction beginning in July 2011.

Northwest at risk of megaquake like one in Chile
LOS ANGELES - Just 50 miles off the Pacific Northwest coast is an earthquake hotspot that threatens to unleash on Seattle, Portland and Vancouver the kind of damage that has shattered Chile.

Man arrested for felony domestic violence assault
HOONAH - A 21-year-old man was arrested for felony domestic violence early Tuesday morning in the Whitestone Community on Chichagof Island near Hoonah.

Suspect charged in 1972 Seattle slaying
SEATTLE - Prosecutors have charged a 71-year-old suspect in a slaying that took place in 1972 - one of the oldest cold cases in Seattle.

Parnell slates 'town hall' meeting tonight
JUNEAU - Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell plans to hold a telephone "town hall" tonight.

Man who allegedly drove gunman to area of slayings is charged
SEATTLE - Darcus Allen, the man who allegedly drove the killer of four Lakewood, Wash., police officers to the area where the Nov. 29 slayings occurred, was charged Tuesday with four counts of first-degree aggravated murder.

Apparent drowning claims life of Juneau man in Hawaii
HANALEI, Hawaii - Officials on Kauai reported a 70-year-old man visiting from Juneau, died of an apparent drowning.

Manufacturer recalls granola bars
ANCHORAGE - A granola bar distributed in Alaska has been recalled.

Former House candidate charged with assault
ANCHORAGE - A Fairbanks man who unsuccessfully ran for the state House two years ago has been charged with felony assault after Alaska State Troopers said he choked a woman during a drive to Anchorage.

Tompkins gets gold - again
Juneau monoskier Joe Tompkins earned another spot at the top of the podium Tuesday, winning the IPC Alpine Skiing World Cup Finals gold medal in the Downhill event for the fourth overall World Cup gold of his career.

Photos: Rainforest Tournament

Southeast Showdown
Though the faces and teams are all the same, the reward for winning is much different.

Bears edge Falcons in OT
The Juneau-Douglas boys' basketball team pulled out a 78-73 overtime victory over Thunder Mountain in the opening round of the Southeast Conference basketball tournament Tuesday at Mt. Edgecumbe High School.

Camp Carlos' comeback
Juneau-Douglas High School alum Carlos Boozer is in the midst of another stellar season with the Utah Jazz, but he's already gearing up for the next edition of his summertime youth basketball camp, held in Juneau the first week of August.

Ballin' brotherhood
For the Grussendorf brothers, basketball is life, especially since they've spent the majority of their lives playing the game for which they both share a passion.

Lawmakers join Parnell's domestic violence focus
A couple of prominent Republicans are looking decidedly liberal, urging more money to be spent on social services such as domestic violence prevention.

Fairbanks festival-goers hop on ice train
FAIRBANKS - It's "all aboard" on the Winter Wonderland train, the latest addition to Ice Alaska's winter festival and the 2010 BP World Ice Art Championships.

Senator wants to include nontraditional students in scholarships
Senate President Gary Stevens on Monday proposed allowing nontraditional students to be eligible for the governor's proposed merit scholarship program, a change that state education officials said would drive up costs unpredictably.

Morris Publishing Group emerges from bankruptcy
Morris Publishing Group announced Wednesday it has completed the necessary steps to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The company submitted a plan on Jan. 19 to restructure its debts that was approved by most of its bondholders before the filing.

Alaska legislators rush to finish budget work
Legislators in Juneau are scrambling to finish subcommittee work on the state operating budget, with a goal of having a proposed spending plan for state agencies ready for public hearings the first week of March, House Finance Committee Co-chair Mike Hawker, R-Anchorage, said Feb. 22.

Park service proposes expanding Denali wolf no-trapping zone
FAIRBANKS - The National Park Service is proposing to increase a no-trapping zone for wolves on the northeast boundary of Denali National Park and Preserve.

Meetings announced for proposed refuge road
ANCHORAGE - A federal agency will begin an environmental review of a proposed road through an Alaska wildlife refuge that provides sanctuary to thousands of migratory birds.

Pebble to spend $73 million for permit, drilling studies
The Pebble Limited Partnership, the company wishing to develop the proposed Pebble Mine, says it plans to spend $73 million this year in studies for permitting and continued exploratory drilling.

Group to fight wood-heating regulations
FAIRBANKS - A group led by a North Pole legislator is putting together a ballot measure that would block Fairbanks from regulating wood or coal heating systems.

Nome becomes rural trash disposal hub
For many of the villages surrounding Nome, properly disposing of toxic waste is a difficult task, said Kari Van Delden, service district faculty member with the University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension.

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