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.

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.

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.

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.

City revisits trash incineration
A single new incinerator facility for all of Juneau's trash and sewage sludge could offer an economical answer to landfilling.

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.

Palin challenges local Democrats' choice for Senate
Juneau will go without representation in the Alaska Senate for at least another week, in what appears to be a battle of wills between Republican Gov. Sarah Palin and Juneau Democrats.

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

Masked man nabs $800 from Girl Scouts
Two 10-year-old girls were left in hysterics after a masked man brazenly stole nearly $800 in cookie sale proceeds from a local Girl Scout troop at Fred Meyer on Sunday night.

Around Town

Photo: Mailbox greeting
A decoration on a North Douglas mailbox greets mail carriers with a smile.

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.

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

Around Town

A photo caption on page A1 of Monday's Juneau Empire failed to identify two students participating in a sing-along at Gastineau Elementary School. The students are Helena Reed, 8, and Nacy Barnes, 10.

Ruth Ann Ramsey
Longtime Juneau resident Ruth Ramsey died Feb. 22, 2009, at Providence Hospital in Anchorage, following a prolonged illness. She was 62.

Joseph Sonneman
Longtime Juneau political activist Dr. Joseph Sonneman died early March 8, 2009, at Providence Regional Medical Center in Everett, Wash., after a three-year struggle with ALS, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease. He was 64.

Alaska editorial: Gun control should be a state decision
Too often we see one-size-fits-all legislation and the latest effort to reign in guns - H.R. 45 (Blair Holt's Firearm Licensing and Record of Sale Act of 2009) is an example.

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.

Attention Republicans: Love means saying you're sorry
He once described feminism as something invented to allow ugly women access to mainstream culture.

Outside editorial: Tough times for grads
As the stock market continues to tumble and layoffs persist, college students are facing bleak prospects.

Scene: a newsroom, just before the lights go out
The last two journalists in America sat at a card table in the middle of their empty newsroom. They faced each other, about to flip a coin.

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.

Hard lessons in helping homeowners
For many months, because of federal inaction, the states acted alone to combat the rising tide of foreclosures across our nation. The plan recently announced by President Obama is a welcome effort that will help keep families in their homes. As critical details are worked out, it would be useful for federal leaders to look to the experience of states in crafting solutions.

Barbie, it's not our little secret anymore
Barbie. Happy 50th. You haven't had it easy, serving as both the template for idealized female beauty and a lightning rod for controversy. So, congrats on weathering the storm. And since we're talking: I need to tell you something.

French fined nearly $1,400 by APOC
JUNEAU - State Sen. Hollis French has been fined nearly $1,400 by the Alaska Public Offices Commission for not reporting donations.

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.

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.

Bomb-sniffing dog prompts road closure
ANCHORAGE - A bomb-sniffing dog at Eielson Air Force Base prompted the temporary closure of the Richardson Highway.

Borough targets tardy taxpayers
FAIRBANKS - The Fairbanks North Star Borough is eyeing the liquor licenses of several bars and restaurants for late payment of property taxes.

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 gets nearly 11 years on drug charge
ANCHORAGE - A 27-year-old Anchorage man will serve nearly 11 years in a federal prison on a felony drug charge.

Alaska-based soldier dies in Afghanistan
FORT RICHARDSON - The father of an Alaska-based soldier from Auburn, N.Y., who's been killed in Afghanistan said his son loved adventure.

Committee to hear parental consent bill
An Alaska House committee on Monday renewed debate on a bill requiring girls under 17 years of age to obtain parental consent to have an abortion after a similar bill last year passed the House but stalled in the state Senate.

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.

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.

Soy fuel tested in Fairbanks
FAIRBANKS - Discarded restaurant frying oil, put through a process no more difficult than a high school chemistry experiment, can be used to heat buildings and fuel pickup trucks.

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.

Mackey, Schnuelle in early jostle
ANCHORAGE - Two-time defending champion Lance Mackey and Canadian musher Sebastian Schnuelle were exchanging the lead Monday in the early going of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.

More charges filed in Palin e-mail account hacking case
KNOXVILLE - A University of Tennessee student charged with hacking into the personal e-mail account of Sarah Palin, the Alaska governor and former Republican vice presidential nominee, pleaded not guilty Monday to three more charges in the case.

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.

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.

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