The death penalty is a moral issue
I'm writing in regard to the AP article printed in the March 7 Empire, "In hard times, executions become question of cost," by Deborah Hastings.
Data used to sustain herring fishery
After attending the recent Alaska Board of Fish meeting in Sitka, we hope that the residents of Southeast Alaska communities and other interested parties will realize the importance of board decisions.
Kim Elton the right person for the job
Congratulations and kudos to Sen. Kim Elton on his new position. He has served us with integrity, intelligence and maturity in the Legislature, and I am confident that those same qualities will instruct his service to the entire state in the Interior Department.
Community programs need equal reviews
I am writing this letter in support of Senate Bill 32. After experiencing a rate freeze for the past five years, community programs are no longer able to recruit and retain adequate staff. We desperately need to establish regular rate reviews in order to provide adequate support to many Alaskans who experience disabilities.
Marriage should be a right for everyone
Bravo to Madeleina Ellingson-Van Sickle for her essay, "Pro-love," in the March 8 Juneau Empire. Madeleina makes several strong, nicely argued points in support of gay marriage.
Lawmakers find ways to increase pay
Some top Alaska legislators, including House Speaker Mike Chenault, R-Nikiski, have found ways to boost the $24,012 annual salaries that most think are too low.
Photos: Starting the Day with a Song
Gastineau Elementary School music teacher Patrick Murphy leads a sing-a-long with his guitar class Friday before students head to their classrooms. The weekly sing-a-long has become a routine at the school, and teachers say it puts students in a good mood for the day.
A story about the snagging ban implemented at Wayside Park on Channel Drive omitted a few key details. Anglers can fish from the Wayside Park dock as usual, but all snagging must be done at least 150 feet from the dock. Also, the Feb. 17-26 Board of Fish meeting where a regulation was adopted prohibiting all sport harvesting in streams on the Juneau road system, only allowing catch and release in those areas, applies to the sport harvest of steelhead only.
Friday's Arts & Culture calendar incorrectly listed a pay-as-you-can performance of Theatre in the Rough's "Taming of the Shrew" this Wednesday. The performance is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. this Thursday.
Controversy followed police chief to Hoonah
Police Chief Jefferson Hankla has been through the grinder in Hoonah. But it's not his first time.
Photo: Downhill fun
David Fuchs sleds down a man-made hill of snow Sunday with his daughter, Isabel, and son, Eddie, at the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center bus parking lot.
Police & Fire
Juneau police and fire officials and state police reported:
Both city of Hoonah and police chief face lawsuit
Two dispatchers and a former police officer on Friday sued the city of Hoonah and its police chief. The suit came about a week after the city council voted to keep the chief despite evidence of incompetence and insubordination.
Legislative pay already on the rise
Average legislator pay last year increased by about $1,460, according to Empire calculations of Legislative Affairs Agency data, to $61,660.
A photo caption on A1 on Sunday's Empire misidentified a man cited in an undercover investigation by the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board. Robert Celedon was cited for purchasing alcohol for an underage agent.
Sting nets adults purchasing alcohol for minors
After being cited for furnishing alcohol to a minor during an undercover sting on Saturday, 54-year-old Arnold Jongsma expressed remorse and admitted that he should have known better than to buy beer for a teenager.
Photo: Women of Distinction
Honorees for AWARE's 2009 Women of Distinction awards pose for a photo at Centennial Hall. From left, Angie Lunda, Ann Boochever, Marla Berg and Marsha Buck. The women were chosen for their dedication and service to peace, justice and the empowerment of women. The ceremony was held on the eve of International Women's Day.
Photos: 'Yes, you can!'
White shirt: Corbin Mitchell, a fifth-grader at Auke Bay Elementary, won the Alaskan High Kick competition with a kick of 52 inches Friday at Thunder Mountain High School during the Native Youth Olympics. Jeremia Stephens, a student at Riverbend Elementary and the second-place finisher, watches. Mitchell and Stephens dueled for supremacy in an epic battle while the large crowd of Juneau grade school students cheered and yelled the now-famous President Obama slogan "Yes you can!"
Police & Fire
Juneau police and fire officials and state police reported:
For the third year in a row, Juneau high school students swept Alaska's regional National Ocean Sciences Bowl, the Tsunami Bowl, held Feb. 6-8 in Seward.
Photo: Giving to the Food Bank
From left, Millie and Craig Duncan, from the downtown Rotary Club of Juneau, accept adonation of canned goods from Gov. Sarah Palin and her children, Piper and Trig, on Feb. 28 at Alaskan & Proud market. The three Rotary clubs of Juneau and Rotaract, a group of young Rotarians age 18 to 30, collected more than 13,000 pounds of nonperishable items at A&P, Super Bear, Fred Meyer and Safeway to restock the shelves at the Southeast Alaska Food Bank. Last year, the food bank distributed more than 85 tons of food.
Sitka house-building program accepting applications for 2009
SITKA - Young Alaskans Building Affordable Housing program in Sitka is accepting applications for the 2009 season as well as looking for YABAH Americorps members to build a house in Sitka from March until December.
Photo: A day for reading
In celebration of Dr. Seuss' birthday, kindergardeners through eighth-graders participate in Faith Community School's readathon on Feb. 2. The event was organized by teacher Ann Marshall.
Alicia Roberts Medical Center adds Hill to medical staff
KLAWOCK - The SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium Alicia Roberts Medical Center in Klawock is pleased to announce the addition of Diane Hill to its medical staff. In addition to providing physician assistant services at ARMC, Hill will have regular office hours at the SEARHC Thorne Bay Health Center.
Senior menu for the week of March 9-13
Monday, March 9
Hannah Wolf, 2005 Juneau-Douglas High School graduate taking her final year of undergraduate school at Western Washington University in Bellingham, recently won the Region VII scene directing competition at the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival. Region VII includes Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana and Wyoming. In her area of the competition, there were 10 entrants from different universities and six finalists. As a result of winning, Wolf will attend the National Festival at the Kennedy Center, all expenses paid.
Foundation awards hospice $5,000
JUNEAU - Juneau's Foundation for End of Life Care, which supports hospice care, bereavement services and community education about end-of-life issues, recently awarded a $5,000 grant to Hospice and Home Care of Juneau for continued education of hospice employees and professional staff.
Masters of Mathcounts
The 2009 Mathcounts team from Dzantik'i Heeni Middle School poses at the Southeast Alaska Chapter Mathcounts competition held Feb. 21 at Juneau-Douglas High School. At the competition, 16 students from sixth to eighth grade, swept the competition by winning first place in the team competition as well as the top individual scores.
SAGA to hold Winter Jamboree March 21
JUNEAU - The Southeast Alaska Guidance Association will host its first annual Winter Jamboree from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. March 21 at the Eagle Valley Center. This is a free day filled with activities for the whole family. Registration is required, so e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 789-7035 for more information.
Consortium offers WISE At Every Size classes in Juneau
JUNEAU - The SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium WISEWOMAN program is sponsoring WISE At Every Size classes for women in Juneau.
Cancer Society to deliver daffodils
JUNEAU - The American Cancer Society, with the assistance of volunteers, will deliver daffodils from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Wednesday. To assist the deliverers, for those who have pre-ordered, recipients should have money ready to be picked up when the daffodils are delivered.
University to host archaeologist John Terrell on Thursday
JUNEAU - The University of Alaska Southeast will host archaeologist John Terrell, of the Field Museum of Natural History, who will speak at 7 p.m. Thursday at the UAS Egan Library, Room 112. Terrell will present "Survivor Melanesia: Archaeology and the Secrets to Human Survival in the South Pacific."
Regional high school Science Fair to take place this weekend
JUNEAU - The Southeast Alaska Regional Science Fair will take place this Friday and Saturday the Marie Drake gym. Students from Juneau-Douglas High School, Thunder Mountain High School and Mount Edgecombe High School will be some of the participants.
Alicia Roberts Medical Center adds toll-free phone number
KLAWOCK - The SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium Alicia Roberts Medical Center in Klawock now has a toll-free phone number.
Consortium, Extension Service to host free garden workshops
SITKA - The SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium's Diabetes and Health Promotion programs are teaming up with master gardener Bob Gorman, of the Sitka office of the University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service, to offer a series of four garden workshops this spring and summer. The workshops are free and take place from 1:30 to 3 p.m. Wednesday and on May 6, July 8 and Sept. 9.
Thanks for supporting Hot Salsa Cool Ballroom
Thank you, Juneau, for celebrating young children and supporting Montessori's eighth annual Hot Salsa Cool Ballroom event.
Thank you, Juneau, for remembering Curtis
Our son and brother passed away on Feb. 9. We celebrated his 39th birthday on Feb. 15. We would like to thank Hangar on the Wharf for the use of the Hangar Ballroom and for catering the gathering.
Thanks for supporting the 'Bacchanalia' fundraiser on Nov. 22
Thanks to all who participated in the Opera to Go! "Bacchanalia" fundraiser on Nov. 22. It was more successful than anticipated. The music and entertainment were simply the "best in town" that evening, and participants were treated to some amazing local talent. Musically, it gave Juneau audiences insight into the level of musical talent showcased by Opera to Go!
Recounting bicentennial of Madison's inauguration
Two hundred years ago, on March 4, James Madison was inaugurated as the fourth president of the United States.
Auntie Emo searches for scrumptious breakfast recipes
Our new challenge is - breakfast. We're looking for scrumptious, eye-opening dishes that start the day right. Or, breakfast for dinner anyone? Why not?
TATU to sponsor Memorial Wall again
In recognition of national Kick Butts Day on March 25, the Juneau chapter of Teens Against Tobacco Use is sponsoring its Memorial Wall for the second year in a row, to be on display at the Nugget Mall the weekend of March 21-22.
'Pro-love' elected 'best essay' at Floyd Dryden
Editor's note: The following essay ran in the Capital City Weekly on Feb. 25, and among all the student pieces ran in the CCW, it was was selected by the school's Student Editorial Board as 'best essay' for publication in the Juneau Empire.
Encouraging a child's relationship with God
A common question asked by parents is, "How do I motivate my child to be more excited about God?" I suppose this question could be added to the larger concern of, "How do I get my child to be motivated to do anything?"
Photo: Perfect attendance
Nearly 150 Dzantik'i Heeni Middle School students gather on Feb. 19 in the commons to be recognized for their perfect attendance during the month of January. Fifteen names were drawn from the box to receive "incentive" prizes such aspencil boxes, day planners, movie passes, museum passes, sweatshirts and stuffed animals. The recognition ceremony will be held each month. The school thanks all the parents for supporting Juneau's future leaders.
Giving up fear for Lent
It would be a peculiar religion, in my view, if its followers never encountered something akin to 'sin' and 'sacrifice' on the path toward the light. Obviously, not all religions share the same vocabulary, and the faiths that do talk about 'sin' and 'sacrifice' like to interpret these terms in various ways.
Pets of the week
Cheery guineau pig, masculine hampster seek loving homes
Photo: Fundraiser auction
This artwork, "Raven Releasing Sun" by Charles High, will be an auction item in the fundraiser for JR Lavale at 5 tonight at Thunder Mountain High School. Lavale was medivaced to Seattle and will have to remain there for three months of rehab. The cost for the fundraiser is a $10 donation at the door. Donations may also be made at the downtown Key Bank. For more information, call Jen Wilwert at 723-1579 or Michelle Umbs at 463-7221.
Laura Mae Bracken
Former Juneau resident Laura Mae "Larrie" Bracken died Feb. 28, 2009, at Providence Hospital in Anchorage. She was 88.
Karyn Boggan Price
Lifelong Juneau resident and educator Karyn Boggan Price died March 3, 2009, in Seattle.
Former Juneau resident Joe Heersink died Jan. 29, 2009, at the University of Washington Hospital with his wife, DeEtte Heersink, by his side. He was 71.
John Albert Hinchman Sr.
A memorial service for former Hoonah resident John Albert Hinchman Sr., who died Feb. 25, 2009, will be held at 5 p.m. March 14 at the Alaska Native Brotherhood Hall.
Outside editorial: Justice for Darfur
Sudanese President Omar Hassan Ahmed Bashir has responded to the International Criminal Court's warrant for his arrest on charges of war crimes by retaliating against the civilians of Darfur. He ordered the expulsion of 13 international agencies that provide food, water and medical care to more than 4 million Darfuris, offering yet another reason to bring him to justice.
Alaska Editorial: State should focus on helping teens avoid pregnancy
Gov. Sarah Palin is backing legislation that would require parental consent for a minor to have an abortion in Alaska.
Outside editorial: A reckoning at Bagram
Last month, the Obama administration informed a Washington D.C. federal court that it opposes judicial review of the detentions of those held at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan. That means it is implicitly arguing that it can continue to hold people, some of whom were seized outside of Afghanistan, year after year, without charge or access to lawyers. This is unacceptable.
Attention Republicans: Love means saying you're sorry
He once described feminism as something invented to allow ugly women access to mainstream culture.
Let's learn what caused this crisis
More than $9 trillion - in taxpayer dollars - has been pledged, committed, lent or spent by the federal government in response to the economic crisis. Some say that if the economy continues to deteriorate, trillions more might be necessary to prevent another Great Depression.
Outside column: Now it's time to panic
On Monday, the Dow Jones industrial average nose-dived another 300 points. So, what advice did the perky money manager quoted in my local newspaper the next morning have to offer? "I think we're going to look back and see that this was the best buying opportunity we've seen in years," the man said. "When General Electric is selling for less than the cost of a light bulb, that's an opportunity."
My turn: Time change in the state's best interests
I would like to register my objection to House Bill 19, which would keep Alaska on Alaska Standard Time year-round. I understand the inconvenience of having to change time twice a year and the impact this has on school-age children, but if H.B. 19 is passed, it would make doing business between Alaska and the lower 48 states more difficult eight months out of the year. It also would reduce after-hour recreational activities, and would affect travel to and from Alaska. Here are some examples of the potential problems that would occur:
This week's Toe Toon.
Police seek suspect in severe beating
JUNEAU - A man was found severely beaten in the parking lot of a Juneau bar, and police say the assailant likely used a tree branch in the assault.
Candy snatchers get prison time in court
ANCHORAGE - Two young women who pleaded guilty to robbing trick-or-treaters in Talkeetna at gunpoint have been sentenced to stiff prison terms.
Man uses guitar to stop burglar
ANCHORAGE - A Wasilla homeowner used a guitar to chase off a burglary suspect found stacking the man's possessions at his home.
Woman charged with shooting fiance
FAIRBANKS - A 47-year-old Fairbanks woman has been charged with shooting her fiance in the neck.
The Crimson Bears swept Ketchikan for the 4A Southeast Conference title and a trip to state on Thursday night, but head coach Steve Potter and company had one big reason to stick around for Saturday night's 3A/4A crossover game - sweet, sweet revenge.
JDHS girls Kinged to end season
Mark Woodward's first act as Lady Kings girls basketball coach last summer was pointing to the team's most recent Southeast Conference championship banner from 2001 and asking his players when, exactly, was the last time they beat the Crimson Bears.
Sports in Juneau
67 sled dog teams head for Nome
Lance Mackey, the two-time defending champion of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, isn't afraid of making last-minute decisions.
Alaska's unemployment rate up 1.5 percent
JUNEAU - The most recent Alaska labor statistics are sending a mixed message, with a hike in both the number of unemployed and the number of employed Alaskans, according to figures released Thursday.
Palin submits utilities plan
ANCHORAGE - The six utilities that serve most Alaskans would buy wholesale power through a new state corporation under a bill sent to the Legislature on Friday by Gov. Sarah Palin.
Palin supports bullet pipeline to North Slope
Gov. Sarah Palin has thrown her support behind a 24-inch "bullet" pipeline to bring natural gas from the North Slope to Southcentral Alaska.
Palin pick to be 2nd female on Alaska court
JUNEAU - Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has appointed a state judge who once served on the board of Planned Parenthood to the state Supreme Court, against the urgings of a conservative group who claimed the pick would put "another activist" on the court.
Alaska Air rolls out trial in-flight Internet service
Alaska Airlines launched a trial version of its new satellite-based in-flight wireless Internet service on Feb. 26.
Rescuers find biker lost in endurance race
ANCHORAGE - A 53-year-old Australian cyclist competing in a winter endurance race got soaked in a stream and lost his way, but survived by hunkering down in his sleeping bag and building snow caves to block chilling wind.
Former Rhodes scholar indicted on 10 counts of fraud
ANCHORAGE - A former Rhodes scholar has been indicted by a federal grand jury on 10 counts of fraud.
Man agrees to plea in accidental death
KENAI - A 24-year-old Kenai man who fired a handgun he thought was a toy, killing a teenager, will spend six months in jail as part of a plea agreement.
Race appeal denied in case
FAIRBANKS - The state Court of Appeals has affirmed the conviction of a man who claimed that an apparent absence of Alaska Natives from his jury pool violated his constitutional right to a fair trial.
Federal court vacates drilling decision
ANCHORAGE - A federal appeals court has vacated an opinion issued last year that halted Shell Oil Co. drilling plans for the Beaufort Sea off Alaska's northern coast, leaving both sides in the case wondering what the action means.
Photos: Ready to serve
Sailors and soldiers carry medical supplies from the gymnasium of the Alaska Army National GuardArmory in Bethel in preparation todeploy in support of the 15th annual Operation Arctic Care. The operation is a joint military medical readiness exercise that brings no-cost health care to underserved Alaskan residents. This year's Navy-led mission has teams in 11 villages in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta region.
This Day in History
In the nation