Tuesday, March 11, 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.

A joke so close to true it's not funny
This morning, March 7, the swimming pool shower discussion group got to talking about the recent push to move Alaska's capital out of Juneau. One of the wags suggested they just go ahead and move it ... long pause ... "to the Federal Penitentiary in Oregon since that seems to be where our politicians, lobbyists, and now our administration officials seem to be headed, anyway."

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.

Sexism pervasive in Clinton coverage
"Mrs. Clinton could be one of the finest presidents," read the Juneau Empire headline on the March 4 My Turn by Charles Campbell. That's what it said. Was her title chosen purposefully?

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.

Assembly OKs new smoking ordinance
The Juneau Assembly closed a loophole Monday used by private clubs to allow bar patrons to continue smoking inside after the final phase of a citywide ban on smoking in public places went into effect Jan. 2.

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.

Schimanski pleads guilty to forgery, theft and burglary
A member of a ring of alleged thieves and forgers, who are believed to have stolen checks, jewelry, art and mail from more than 30 locations throughout the city, pleaded guilty to forgery, theft and burglary Monday in Juneau Superior Court.

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.

Photo: Embarking on a new journey
Bridget Milligan rows her boat Monday in the Gastineau Channel. Milligan has rowed and sailed her boat extensively in Alaska waters, including a trip around Kodiak Island and excursions in Southeast waters. She plans to do more boating after her business, Kodiak Coat Company, closes for good at the end of the month.

Job Fair expected to draw hundreds of job seekers
Eighty local employers have registered for this spring's Job Fair on Wednesday at Centennial Hall in downtown Juneau.

Around Town
Today

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

Photo: Screamin' eagle
A bald eagle vocalizes as it soars Monday over the Auke Bay harbor parking lot. There are an estimated 30,000 bald eagles in Alaska.

Photo: Better bait than dinner
Lester Hunt, a crew member aboard the fishing boat Mr. Wind, cuts up squid to be used as bait for gray cod fishing Monday at the Don Statter Boat Harbor in Auke Bay.

Around Town
Today

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

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

Eric Eidsness
Longtime Juneau resident Eric Eidsness died March 8, 2008, in Wasilla. He was 37.

Robert Gregovich
Longtime Juneau resident Robert "Bob" P. Gregovich died peacefully March 7, 2008, surrounded by his family at the Juneau Pioneers' Home. He died from complications of multiple sclerosis. He was 74 years old.

Louise Richardson
Longtime Juneau resident Louise "Evelyn" Richardson died peacefully on March 5, 2008, at the Juneau Pioneers' Home. She was 70.

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.

My Turn: Refuge a good way to honor former Gov. Hammond
We write this open letter in the hope that readers can find a few minutes to help us move ahead with establishing the Jay Hammond State Game Refuge. There have been many heart-warming ideas for honoring Gov. Jay Hammond since his untimely passing in 2005, leaving us survivors to go on with some of his life work.

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

Outside editorial: Where terrorists hide
This editorial appeared in the Los Angeles Times:

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

Outside column: The war of words may still turn ugly
The seven-day war of words between Colombia and the Venezuela-Ecuador alliance ended in embraces, but both sides have emerged with fresh ammunition that could spark a new conflict at anytime - and probably will.

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.

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.

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

Group claims unions harm education
ANCHORAGE - The teachers union in Anchorage is one target of a nationwide campaign launched today by an advocacy group that claims the unions harm the public education system.

Malley to plead guilty in child porn case
JUNEAU - Jeffery Malley, 29, appeared in Juneau Superior Court on Monday asking to schedule a date to change his not guilty plea on six counts of possessing child pornography.

Palin urges Alaskans to be more active
JUNEAU - Gov. Sarah Palin wants you to get moving.

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.

Developer appeals to stop cottage housing
JUNEAU - All Seasons subdivision developers Kelly Corrigan and Mary Kay Pusich asked the Juneau Assembly on Monday to accept their appeal and overrule an earlier Planning Commission decision granting permits to a neighboring cottage housing development.

House leaders, Palin spar over vetoes
JUNEAU - A dispute over last year's vetoed capital projects threatens to hold up this year's budget process.

Army extends tour for aviation unit
FORT RICHARDSON - The Iraqi tour of duty for a Fort Wainwright-based aviation unit has been extended.

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.

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.

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.

Millay, Geiger earn top honors
Style, power and artistry in the air were all on display Friday night at the Shralp! slopestyle snowboard and ski competition sponsored by Hangar on the Wharf, Sequence Core Skate Shop and Traffic at Eaglecrest Ski Area.

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.

Arctic Winter Games open
In his previous five Arctic Winter Games, Garry Hull of Anchorage watched others carry their delegation's flag. Sometimes he wished he was the chosen one.

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.

Mackey, King sprint for Nome
The burled arch in this old gold rush town is up and ready for the grand finale of the 1,100-mile Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. But no one can predict who will reach it first.

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.

Juneau's Sekona, Lehnhart score for Team Alaska
Juneau's Carly Lehnhart and Margaret Sekona accounted for three goals and two assists in Team Alaska's 5-4 loss to Sami in the opening round of the Indoor Soccer Intermediate Female Tournament on Monday in Yellowknife for the Arctic Winter Games.

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.

Juneau Parks and Recreation Co-Ed Volleyball League Standings
Juneau Parks and Recreation Co-Ed Volleyball League Standings

SPORTS IN JUNEAU
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Groups sue to force polar bear decision
Three conservation groups sued the Department of the Interior on Monday for failing to meet a deadline on a decision to list polar bears as threatened because of the loss of Arctic sea ice.

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.

Palin VP mentions stoke her popularity
Gov. Sarah Palin will be the first to admit that it might be a stretch for a hockey mom from Alaska to be considered for the No. 2 spot on Sen. John McCain's presidential ticket.

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.

Clark may lose license to practice law
The Alaska Bar Association has begun a process that may lead to the disbarring of Jim Clark, former chief of staff to former Gov. Frank Murkowski and prominent Juneau attorney.

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.

Sled maker keeps eye on work in the Iditarod
WHITEFIELD, N.H. - Carl Brown is at home in Whitefield, but his heart is on the trail in Alaska, where dog teams are pulling three sleds he built for racers in the Iditarod race.

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

Avalanche forecaster killed in giant slide near Cordova
ANCHORAGE - An avalanche forecaster was killed Saturday in a giant slide, one day after warning people of the danger that existed around Cordova.

This Day in History
In Alaska and in the Nation

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