Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Sealaska says it agrees
On Feb. 25, a letter to the editor by David Lubin, a small business owner from Sitka explained his opposition to the Sealaska land bill. After I read his letter I concluded that he is in principle supporting the legislation because it accomplishes Lubin’s stated goals, the protection of important watersheds, creating employment diversification, providing sustainable jobs, and protecting important fish producing systems in Southeast Alaska.

Tax cut proposal reckless
You would think that any politician who wanted to turn Alaska’s near-balanced budget into a $2 billion deficit at the stroke of a pen would be run out of town on a rail. Yet this is exactly what Gov. Sean Parnell proposes to do with his oil company tax cuts. Cutting $2 billion from our oil income would immediately put our state in a budget emergency, drain our savings in five years and leave us in the same pathetic financial condition as states like Wisconsin and California. Our choices then will be to institute an income tax, break into the permanent fund or cut $2 billion worth of jobs from construction, infrastructure and all manner of other state services.

Kokotovich changes plea in beating of 2-year-old
A Juneau man accused of beating his girlfriend’s 2-year daughter so badly she almost died pleaded guilty to assaulting the girl Monday, the day his trial was scheduled to begin in Juneau Superior Court.

Students challenged to change behaviors
Students at Juneau-Douglas High School are beginning to look at one another differently, and with more respect.

Conservation groups weigh in on 'Roadless' outcome
Conservation groups are weighing in on a federal ruling last week to end the Tongass National Forest’s exemption from the Roadless Rule. The rule protects such areas from logging and building.

Photo: Perfect wind for snowkiting
Marc Scholten skies with a snowkite at Twin Lakes on Monday afternoon. Scholten said the winds were perfect Monday, unlike the last few weeks.

UAA economist gives take on oil influence
Oil will continue to be the lifeblood of the state’s economy, said a University of Alaska Anchorage economist who flew to Juneau to explain those views and how to keep that oil flowing.

Chambers named in Alaska Journal of Commerce top 40 list
Sara Chambers of Chambers Management has been selected as part of the Alaska Journal of Commerce’s Top 40 Under 40 Awards.

Linde picked for Barron's list
Randall Linde, a private wealth advisor with Ameriprise Financial servicing Juneau, has been named to the top 1,000 advisors list in Barron’s Magazine, a publication covering business and finance.

Ethel Lund Medical Center hires new family physician
The SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium Ethel Lund Medical Center recently hired Dr. John K. “Kennon” Kirk as a family physician.

New managers join Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo has announced some new managers. Casey Campbell is the new business relationship manager for Wells Fargo customers in Juneau, Skagway and Cordova. His office is located at 123 Seward St. in downtown Juneau. Campbell comes with a wide range of experience as a loan officer for agricultural credit services, an economic research analyst and an economic development advisor for the state of Alaska. He has a bachelor’s degree in economics from Central Washington University.

SEARHC focuses on Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month
March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month.

Photo: Above freezing … on Monday
Tara Torgerson skis past shrinking snowmen Monday on Twin Lakes. Temperatures on Monday broke the freezing mark but temperatures are forecast to stay under 30 degrees for the rest of the week.

Photo: One-sixteenth 'Blues'
Ben Jacobson, left, Andrew Bulbrook, Eric Byers and Jonathan Moerschel of The Calder Quartet visit and play the “Open String Blues” with students in kindergarten teachers Kaye Peters’ and Carly Hickmann’s classes Tuesday at Glacier Valley Elementary School. In town for a Juneau Arts & Humanities Council concert, the musicians played along with the students’ one-sixteenth sized violins.

Police & Fire
This report contains information provided to the Empire from law enforcement agencies. This report includes arrest and citation information, not conviction information. Anyone listed in this report is presumed innocent.

Correction
In a story that appeared on page A1 of Monday’s Empire, the winning team of the Start-Up Cup was misidentified. The correct team name is the Juneau Beer Drinkers Association.

Police & Fire
This report contains information provided to the Empire from law enforcement agencies. This report includes arrest and citation information, not conviction information. Anyone listed in this report is presumed innocent.

Raymond Paddock Sr.
Raymond Paddock Sr. was born on March 12, 1911, in Hoonah to William H. Paddock, an Irish man and Anna Tagcook Paddock, Ghajínt’, Lukaaxh.ádi Xhaak’w Hít from Yandeist’akhyé. He passed away March 3, 2011, just nine days prior to his 100th birthday. He was surrounded by his loving family at his home in Sitka where he witnessed a spectacular sunset over Mt. Edgecumbe the last evening of his life.

Bad bill no cure for constitutional apathy
Fortunately for Alaska’s history teachers and students, the American Constitutionalism History Literacy Act is not likely to become law. It may not even reach the House floor for a vote. However, Rep. Wes Keller, R-Wasilla, the sole sponsor of House Bill 5, isn’t mistaken by drawing attention to the continuing decline of civic sensibility is our society. The problem is his solution ignores the contradictory forces luring people away from participation in community affairs.

A futile message to Pyongyang
South Korea’s air force has been dropping balloons with leaflets into North Korea describing the struggle to oust Moammar Gadhafi in Libya and calling on the North Koreans to rise up against their oppressors.

Outside editorial: Budget theatrics
The following editorial first appeared in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

Republicans looking for the anti-Romney
President Barack Obama launched a vicious, underhanded attack on one of the leading contenders for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination last month: He praised former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney for launching a state-administered health care plan.

America can't be timid
Until now, Washington has reacted timidly to the extraordinary events convulsing the Middle East. The United States has behaved as a nervous bystander, afraid to make the wrong move, not as a self-assured country with much at stake — morally, strategically and economically — in the outcome of the pro-democracy uprisings.

Outside editorial: As food prices increase, American security is at stake
The following editorial first appeared in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

Public Works announces snow removal plan
Starting today the Public Works Street Division will post streets for snow removal until completion. Streets will be posted with yellow “No Parking” signs. Any vehicles left along the posted street during posted times will be ticketed and towed to the Yacht Club parking lot. The snow removal schedule can be viewed on the City & Borough of Juneau website at www.juneau.org.

Juneau proposal would allow low speed vehicles
JUNEAU — A proposed change in Juneau’s traffic code would allow low speed vehicles on some local roads.

Bill would let doctors conscientiously object
JUNEAU — Medical providers would be allowed to refuse treatment on conscientious grounds under a bill proposed in the Alaska Senate.

Panel to consider health care exchange
JUNEAU — An Alaska senator says a legislative effort to establish a health insurance exchange is more important than ever following a judge’s decision last week.

Anchorage hospital opens Medicare clinic
ANCHORAGE — Providence Alaska Medical Center has opened a clinic in Anchorage that serves Medicare patients.

Raven who knocked out Anchorage power 'nevermore'
ANCHORAGE — A raven is to blame for an hour-long power outage Sunday afternoon in much of downtown Anchorage.

Rondy snowball fight winner advances to world's
ANCHORAGE — A team called the Rum Runners beat the Big Test Icicles in the snowball fighting event Sunday at the Anchorage Fur Rendezvous.

Woman trying to pet moose in Alaska park gets kick
ANCHORAGE — Don’t mess with the moose.

Speaker: No talk of letting exiled lawmakers in
JUNEAU — With the legislative session half over, there’s been no talk of letting two exiled House Republican lawmakers back into the majority caucus.

Felon voting rights bill advances
JUNEAU — The Alaska Senate State Affairs Committee on Tuesday advanced a bill allowing felons the right to vote, despite concerns from one lawmaker.

New info on NJ soldier killed in Russian roulette
ANCHORAGE — The Army says an Alaska soldier who killed himself in a drunken game of Russian roulette had completed two tours of duty in Iraq.

Alaska teen recovering after crash kills father
FAIRBANKS — A 14-year-old Alaska boy is recovering from injuries suffered in a traffic accident that killed his father.

Alaskan wins 'Young Guns' Award
KIRKWOOD, California — Girdwood’s 21-year-old Callan Chythlook-Sifsof will have some explaining to do when she catches today’s flight home to Alaska.

'The Mushing Mortician' in the Iditarod
ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Scott Janssen — “The Mushing Mortician” — is foregoing ice cream and cake this year to celebrate his 50th birthday on the Iditarod Trail, but some of his best friends are still going to sing him a birthday song.

Tarver's status up in the air for state
An MRI on Monday revealed Juneau-Douglas senior forward Sarah Tarver suffered two torn ligaments when she severely sprained her ankle just after tip-off in Friday’s Southeast Conference championship game win over Ketchikan.

Senators contest session length limits
Senate President Gary Stevens, R-Kodiak, said legislators who in 2006 backed shorter legislative sessions may have been doing so because the were “selfish” or “self-serving,” and it seemed as if they were putting their own interests ahead of that of the state or the Legislature.

Police: Drinking preceded Russian roulette death
ANCHORAGE — An Alaska-based soldier told police a fellow soldier asked for a bullet to put in a gun’s empty cylinder before he fatally shot himself during a drunken game of Russian roulette, according to court documents filed Monday.

Alaska pipe project to miss deadline
JUNEAU — Another major natural gas pipeline project in Alaska is expected to miss a self-imposed deadline for securing agreements with shippers.

2011 Pioneers of Alaska regents both history fans
FAIRBANKS — The 2011 Pioneers of Alaska King and Queen Regents Jim Moody and Sharon Boko have been members of the Pioneers of Alaska for decades and both share a love of Alaska and Fairbanks history.

Committee fails to restore tourism, pre-K money
The House Finance Committee passed a budget Tuesday evening, but controversial issues remain to be debated on the House Floor or later in the Senate.

Charter representatives urge Parnell to address halibut limits
The Southeast Alaska Guides Organization (SEAGO) and Alaska Charter Association (ACA) are pleading for the state to get more involved with the new 37-inch halibut limit set by the International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC).

Mackey: Another win doesn't look likely
ANCHORAGE — Defending champion Lance Mackey pulled into the checkpoint at Nikolai on Tuesday just two days into the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race and said a fifth victory does not look promising.

Survey: Most districts can offer scholarship path
JUNEAU — A new survey found that most Alaska school districts can provide the courses needed for students to earn merit scholarships, but challenges remained in implementing one of the governor’s top legislative priorities.

Communities, state clash over coastal development
Coastal communities are asking the Legislature for more authority to decide what happens in their communities, but Gov. Sean Parnell and pro-development legislators say they’re afraid communities may try to stop projects the state needs.

Legislators, educators praise, resist scholarship plan
Legislators and educators are praising the goals of merit scholarship promoted by Gov. Sean Parnell, and endorsed by the Legislature last year.

Exxon Mobil wins ruling in 1989 oil spill case
ANCHORAGE — Exxon Mobil Corp. has won a round in a dispute with environmentalists who want more money to clean up oil left on the shoreline of Prince William Sound from the 1989 Exxon Valdez tanker spill.

State court says tribes share custody power
FAIRBANKS — The Alaska Supreme Court has ruled that tribes share jurisdiction with the state in most child custody issues.

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