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Monday, March 10, 2008

A simple test
The greatness of our country stems from our respect of our laws and from our respect of the wisdom that the forefathers of our great nation set forth in our Constitution. Indeed, the Alaska Congressional Delegation all took an oath to defend the Constitution of the United States of America, not the president, any other individual or any partisan agenda.

Don't disguise spending with supplemental bills
Last year I worked to help have a project included in the state capital budget. I still appreciate the work done by legislators and staffers to accomplish that. The project was vetoed, and at first I was disappointed. However, I quickly realized that for the first time, Alaska has a governor who will actually examine and even reduce spending increases in a time of revenue surplus, and that is by far the greater need.

Dredge Lake beavers given a reprieve
Bob Armstrong and Mary Willson scrambled down the rotten-snow-covered bank of Steep Creek on Friday afternoon to remove a newly made beaver dam.

Taking the National Stage
Dozens of Juneau fourth- and fifth-graders will stage a send-off performance of the "Tides and the Tempest" on Monday night before bringing the play to the nation's capital.

Photo: Ice fishing on dry land
Kyle Charles, 6, and Luis Highley ice fish for juvenile king salmon from the safety of the dock Sunday at Twin Lakes. Warmer temperatures and rain are quickly rotting out the ice on area lakes.

Russian Orthodox Church places top bishop on leave
When he speaks to his congregation at St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church this morning, the Rev. Michael Spainhoward said he will be asking the members of the church to pray for its future.

Redfern permitted to clean up mine site
The British Columbia provincial government will allow Redfern Resources Ltd. to start cleaning up the old contaminated Tulsequah Chief mine before it digs anew for ore.

Photo: Award-winning quilt
Rhoda Walker looks at the three ribbons she won for her work, "Robin's Quilt" at the Quilt Show sponsored by the Capital City Quilters at Centennial Hall on Sunday. Walker won Best of Show, People's Choice and First Place in the Traditional category. Walker spent two years working on just the hand quilting part of the project.

Around Town
Today

Juneau woman, found unconscious, dies after vehicle crashes
A Juneau woman is dead after being involved in a one-vehicle crash at about 5 a.m. Saturday morning, police said. The driver of the car told police the accident occurred while he was rushing the woman to the hospital because she had passed out.

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

Photo: Turning green
Cristian Batac, 7, right, Ryan Galaktionoff, 9, Aidan Hopson, 6, and Morgan Blackgoat, 7, watch Wes Roggenkamp of the Southeast Panhandlers Motorcycle Club cook green eggs for the school breakfast program Friday at Riverbend Elementary School. In honor of Dr. Seuss's birthday, the school served green eggs and ham and gave away a book to each student.

Around Town
Today

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

Corrections
An Around Town item in Friday's Empire incorrectly listed the date of the lecture and book signing by journalist Dahr Jamail. The event will take place at 7 p.m. Monday at the University of Alaska Southeast Egan Lecture Hall.

Lorraine Kincaid
Former longtime Juneau resident Lorraine Kincaid died March 6, 2008, in Portland, Ore. She was 49.

My turn: Sustain the Juneau lifestyle
Sustainability. Sometimes it's hard to take such a broad concept and sum it up in a single word. In the customary sense, sustainability is meeting our present needs on this planet without compromising the needs of future generations. But what does that mean for you and me here in Juneau?

My turn: If the state of Alaska leads, energy companies will follow
T he Alaska Gasline Port Authority believes that the state of Alaska is uniquely positioned to finally cause a gas pipeline to be built. After nearly 10 years of hard work to bring North Slope gas to market, here is what we have learned.

Rules for dissent in the military
W hen is it legitimate for a general, whether retired or on active duty, to criticize a war?

My turn: Anti-roaders need to define improved ferry service
I see where Sen. Kim Elton has another Lynn Canal Highway rant going on his Web page. This one stems from the Senate Transportation Committee meeting produced and orchestrated by Southeast Alaska Conservation Council last week with the anti's calling for "improving ferry service" instead of building a road. The highway project started in 1993. With the constant, 15-year threat of a destructive road going through an ancient forest and destroying Haines and Skagway forever, a logical question has to be: Why hasn't ferry service been improved over that time?

Empire editorial: The wrong way to fill the halls of Thunder Mountain
Imagine if, during the fierce debate over whether to build a second high school, supporters had billed it as the campus where Juneau sends students who are poor or Native.

Outside editorial: Political entrenchment
The following editorial first appeared in the Washington Post:

Standing up for public television
I t is that time of year again, when attacks on PBS remind those of us who labor in its besieged vineyards how much we must be prepared to defend our unique but vulnerable institution. With wearying frequency, we are forced to justify our existence to grandstanding politicians who believe that public television must be de-funded (despite the relatively little federal funding - $1 per person per year - it requires) because it operates outside of their vaunted "marketplace," and then to those misguided cultural critics who mistake our mission and demand of us something we are not.

The recession and Juneau's economic prospects
In a January column I explained how America is headed for a recession, and how Alaskans won't be spared the belt-tightening (see "Oncoming recession to challenge state," Jan. 24). Later I surveyed Juneau's response to recessions and depressions in the past, finding hopeful lessons in that history (see "Juneau weathered well during Great Depression," Feb. 10). Today I explore Juneau's economic assets as the community contemplates American's unfolding economic retrenchment. I find more reasons for hope, and one glaring problem.

Toe Toon
Cartoon by local artist Toe.

Underwater wonders
From Annette Smith's window at the top of the State Office Building, the gray, flat, opaque water sitting between downtown Juneau and Douglas Island appears impenetrable. But for Smith, a diver, it's merely covering the vast and varied landscape whose topography and creatures she has come to know well.

Predator control program OK'd for southern Alaska Peninsula
FAIRBANKS - The Alaska Board of Game has approved a predator control program on the southern Alaska Peninsula to help a declining caribou herd.

Ensuring safety on the slopes of Eaglecrest
In the very special mountain community we call Eaglecrest Ski Area, everyone's most important responsibility is safety. Skiing and boarding have inherent risks, but there are some things we can do to reduce those risks. Most important is to know and abide by the Alpine Responsibility Code. This code has seven basic, common sense tenants. They are:

Passive plants not so defenseless
Much of the world is green-covered with verdant vegetation, so one might think there's plenty of food out there for all the millions of herbivorous animals that eat greenery. All those deer and rabbits and caterpillars, to mention a few, generally do not seem to gobble up the vegetation and eat it down to nubbins. But why not?

Out & About
Today: Public trap shoot, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Juneau Gun Club.

Dog on team of rookie musher dies
ANCHORAGE - A dog on the team of rookie Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race musher John Stetson died early Saturday morning.

Sculptors scramble to preserve creations
FAIRBANKS - Ice sculptors at the World Ice Art Championships in Fairbanks were feeling the heat as temperatures climbed to a record 45 degrees.

Trial called off for former police officer
ANCHORAGE - A trial for a former Anchorage police officer accused of sexually abusing a minor and possessing child pornography has been called off.

Board renews Delta Junction moose hunt
FAIRBANKS - The Alaska Board of Game has approved another large-scale cow moose hunt near Delta Junction.

States aim to help veterinarian shortage
CONNELL, Wash. - Bill Bennett has spent 45 years feeding and herding the 2,500 cattle that roam his rolling eastern Washington ranch. Unable to find a veterinarian to come to his rural place, Bennett's job has come to include doctor as well.

Troopers ask for help in fuel thefts
JUNEAU - Alaska State Troopers are requesting help with information about home heating fuel thefts that have occurred over the past several months in Southeast.

Body of Palmer man found in Anchorage
ANCHORAGE - The body of a Palmer man was found in an alley at the foot of the J.C. Penney parking garage in downtown Anchorage.

Bison slaughter nears all-time high
BILLINGS, Mont. - The number of Yellowstone National Park bison killed through disease management and hunting is on track to hit an all-time high this winter, after another 87 animals were captured Friday.

Palin pregnancy news stammers Web traffic
JUNEAU - Her moves as governor have created headline news ranging in subject from calling out political corruption to posing for Vogue, but her pregnancy nearly shut down the Juneau Empire's Web site Thursday for several hours.

Fisherman fined for undersized crabs
JUNEAU - A Petersburg man pleaded no contest and was sentenced to pay a $5,000 fine Thursday on charges that he took undersized crabs.

Woman found dead in hotel hot tub
JUNEAU - A Juneau woman was found dead in a hotel hot tub early Saturday morning by local authorities.

Tompkins back on top
In the disabled ski season's grand finale, Juneau mono-skier Joe Tompkins pulled out all the stops to topple the nation's top-ranked Downhill skier at the 2008 U.S. Disabled Alpine National Championships at Soldier Mountain in Fairfield, Idaho. The event was held March 3 through Saturday.

JDHS girls steal a conference title
To win the physical game against Ketchikan, the Juneau-Douglas High School girls basketball game needed to win the mental game first.

SPORTS IN JUNEAU
MEETINGS / CLINICS / ANNOUNCEMENTS

JDHS boys, girls to meet familiar foes at state tournament
The Juneau-Douglas High School boys and girls basketball team discovered their first-round opponents Sunday at the Alaska School Activities Association State Basketball Championships.

Physical Bears earn trip to state
For four quarters Friday, the Juneau-Douglas High School boys basketball bumped bodies, dove for balls, collided with Kings and took shots under pressure.

Mackey slips past King at Unalakleet
Defending champion Lance Mackey beat four-time champion Jeff King out of this checkpoint Sunday evening, launching the last leg of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.

Vikings raid Juneau in crossover title win
Though the game didn't count toward any rankings or standings, and the prize is little more than a plaque and a pennant on a gym wall, Juneau-Douglas and Petersburg's boys basketball teams showed why the Class 3A/4A crossover game is so much more than an exhibition.

Angoon boys, Yakutat girls capture Class 2A regional championships
The top-seeded Angoon High School boys basketball team won two straight games to take the Class 2A Southeast Conference Tournament title on Friday at Ketchikan High School.

Seven up for Juneau-Douglas girls
The Crimson Bears routed Class 3A region champs Mount Edgecumbe 71-34. JDHS hasn't lost a Class 4A title or a crossover game since 2001, when the Braves took the title.

Arctic Winter Games kick off in Yellowknife
In 1970, the first Arctic Winter Games brought together 500 participants from Alaska, the Northwest Territories and the Yukon for a celebration of sport and culture.

Final 3A/4A Southeast Conference Basketball Tournament Brackets

CLASS 3A/4A Southeast Conference awards
CLASS 3A GIRLS BASKETBALL ALL CONFERENCE

Photos: Kicks and splits
Superior: Juneau-Douglas Dance Team members perform their tournament routine Saturday during the team's adjudication. Back row, from left, are Nicole Roldan, Amanda Endicott, Skylar Engle, Gloria Lumba and Sofia Tenney. Front row, from left, are Amanda Leamer, Tarah Desatoff, Carrie Laliberte, Serena Drazkowski and Nicole Solanoy.

Defending champion first out of Nulato
NULATO, Alaska - Defending champion Lance Mackey was the first musher out of this Yukon River checkpoint Saturday in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, leaving with a team he said was not running at full-throttle.

UAF skier wins 20K at NCAA championships
FAIRBANKS - University of Alaska Fairbanks senior Marius Korthauer marked his birthday with a big win.

Chugach wolverine season catches six dogs
A new measure allowing the trapping of wolverines in Chugach State Park has ended for the season. The score is: Wolverines 2, dogs 6.

GOP chairman Ruedrich faces possible coup
Alaska Republican Party Chairman Randy Ruedrich, who has sparred with Republican Gov. Sarah Palin, faces a possible coup if he does not resign at the state convention next weekend.

Permanent Fund gives State Street the boot
Attorneys for the state in December won a remarkable settlement with State Street Global Advisors after the huge investment company lost some state retirement money last summer, but the company's involvement with Alaska wasn't over.

Yukon salmon fishery faces tough times
Bragging doesn't come naturally to Marvin Okitkun, but the Yup'ik Eskimo fisherman doesn't miss a beat when talking up king salmon, the valuable fish that makes life possible for villagers on the cash-poor Yukon River delta.

Man accused of 23 counts of rape in prison case
ANCHORAGE - A 22-year-old Anchorage man awaiting trial for dismembering and freezing a body has been accused of 23 counts of rape involving another inmate.

Olympic wrestler returns home to pass on the torch
In the four years following her Olympic wrestling debut in Athens, Greece, Homer native Tela O'Donnell learned quite a few things about life - and herself.

Federal official looks into delays in polar bear listing
WASHINGTON - The Interior Department's inspector general has begun a preliminary investigation into why the department has delayed for nearly two months a decision on listing the polar bear as threatened because of the loss of Arctic sea ice.

Former manager of Kodiak Launch Complex arrested
KODIAK - Security is being increased at the Kodiak Launch Complex after its former manager was arrested for allegedly making a threat, theft and other crimes.

This Day in History
In Alaska, in the Nation and the World

FDA official testifies in schizophrenia drug case
ANCHORAGE - A retired medical officer with the federal Food and Drug Administration testified that drug maker Eli Lilly & Co. downplayed the health risks of its schizophrenia drug Zyprexa to make more money.

This Day in History
In Alaska, in the Nation and the World

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