Thursday, March 12, 2009

Palin right to request more candidates
The citizens of Alaska elected Gov. Sarah Palin to perform and make exactly these types of decisions. It's time to remind our fellow Juneau Democrats of who the citizens of Alaska voted in as governor, and in so doing have vested in her the constitutional authority to select whomever she sees fit to represent the vacant Senate seat.

Determining what time it is in Alaska
House Bill 19 seeks to repeal Daylight Savings Time.

Stimulus bill should spread the wealth
I have not done the math on this (there aren't enough zeroes on my calculator), but I have heard that if $800 billion in stimulus money were to be paid out to the general public, we would all be in line for about $200,000.

Palin must pick best qualified candidate
The Alaska Constitution provides that a "vacancy in the Legislature shall be filled for the unexpired term as provided by law." The law provides that "the governor, within 30 days, shall appoint a qualified person to fill the vacancy." It doesn't get much clearer than that.

Most people in Alaska support Sarah Palin
I just read Phil Smith's letter to the editor in the March 9 Empire, raving about Sen. Kim Elton and criticizing Gov. Sarah Palin. I think Smith might be surprised to know that most Alaskans have quite different opinions about Elton and Palin.

Shut down commercial sac roe fishery
The herring have not been managed for sustainability. Just look at the Lynn Canal and Kah Sheets herring. They certainly haven't been managed for subsistence. We have not gotten our "amount necessary for subsistence" of herring eggs for three out of the last four years.

Palin deserves more than one choice
The vacant Senate seat is neither Sen. Kim Elton's to give away, nor Rep. Beth Kerttula's to inherit.

Maybe Palin is right about Senate seat
I think we should acknowledge (if not applaud) the appropriateness of Gov. Sarah Palin's decision to not accept the recommendation of Beth Kerttula to replace Kim Elton. The Democrats only put forward Kerttula's name, because, as Kim Metcalfe notes, Kerttula is "the one person who had the experience and knowledge to do the job."

Fired Juneau officer sues city
A Hoonah police officer who was fired from the Juneau Police Department in 2006 is suing the city for $2 million.

Top lawmaker defends death penalty
House Speaker Mike Chenault, the driving force behind an effort to bring the death penalty back to Alaska, on Wednesday met with Juneau's Native community on the issue.

City aims to double express bus service
The city's downtown-to-Auke Bay express buses may begin running their routes twice as often and later in the evening starting in July. The Juneau Assembly's Finance Committee on Wednesday backed the $270,000 expansion plan.

Charges expected in Valley stabbing
A dispute over a cell phone between two young women in the Mendenhall Valley on Monday resulted in one woman receiving treatment for stab wounds, police said.

Photo: Snowy stroll
Annette Pahl takes an afternoon walk Tuesday through Marine Park through the falling snow. More snow and rain are expected this week. Today's forecast calls for snow accumulation of 2 to 3 inches and highs around 32.

Juneau may face $7 million budget deficit in 2011
Rough projections of the city's operating budget through 2014 show a revenue trough in 2011 that could lead to a $7 million budget deficit, though the upcoming 2010 budget year appears sound.

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

Oratory contest keeps Native languages alive
The University of Alaska Southeast held its seventh annual Native Oratory Contest on March 7. UAS students from Juneau, Ketchikan and Yakutat, one student from Juneau Douglas High School, one from Thunder Mountain High School and one home-schooled student competed in the event.

Craig man sentenced in wildlife violations
A 41-year-old Craig man will serve more than three years in prison for violating the Lacey and the Marine Mammal Protection acts.

Around Town
Today

Photos: Finishing Trinity
Exactly three years ago today, the old historic Holy Trinity Episcopal Church was destroyed by fire. Convicted arsonist Robert huber was given an 80-year prison sentence for starting the blaze that destroyed the church, McPheters Hall and an adjacent home.

Photo: Ice breaker
Salty Hanes chips ice off the sidewalk Wednesday in front of her Third Street home. A winter weather advisory is in effect until 6 p.m. today. Snow and rain are expected in the morning, turning rain in the afternoon.

Around Town
Today

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

Sherry A. Wythe
Former Juneau resident Sherry A. Wythe died March 6, 2009, in Houston. She was 48.

Richard Bean Jr.
Hoonah resident Richard Bertram Bean Jr. died March 9, 2009, in Juneau. He was 61.

Outside editorial: Questions about stem cell research
President Obama did the right thing this week when he reversed President George W. Bush's limitations on federal funding for embryonic stem cell research. The potential for cures and treatments of debilitating diseases with these versatile cells is enormous. But this type of experimentation is thick with ethical and moral questions, many of which Obama put off answering.

Outside editorial: Balancing act
Much has changed since leaders of the Group of 20 nations met in Washington on Nov. 15. President Obama has replaced George W. Bush. A new economic team brimming with ideas has taken the reins in the United States. And the financial crisis that Obama inherited has, in many respects, intensified.

Outside editorial: Cholera on the move
The World Health Organization recently announced that more than 80,000 people have been infected with cholera in Zimbabwe. The 6-month-old outbreak there has claimed 3,700 lives.

Journey to destruction
"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step," said Confucius. But a journey of whatever length presumes one has a destination in mind. With President Obama's executive order authorizing expanded federal funding for research using stem cells, produced from the destruction of human embryos, the destination will be left up to scientists, as will any "speed controls." The sky, or in this case the depths, will be the limit.

Picture is bleak for artists
Most of the people I know don't have regular jobs. They're writers, actors, musicians, artists, photographers and filmmakers. They also are middle-class taxpayers who carry mortgages and send their kids to public school.

Listening to our last hour
House Speaker Mike Chenault says he doesn't expect the Legislature to reinstate the death penalty during this session. But by holding hearings on House Bill 9, he's begun a discussion about one of the most controversial issues of a civilized society. And if we're going to have this conversation, we should include examining it from the point of view of the condemned.

Abuse case is all too familiar
Dear Robyn Rihanna Fenty:

Housing First Board of Directors to meet
JUNEAU - Housing First Inc.'s board of directors will hold an annual meeting from 5:30 to 7 p.m. March 31 at the Mendenhall Valley library. The public is invited to attend.

Thane avalanche mitigation slated
JUNEAU - Department of Transportation and Public Facilities maintenance and operations crews will conduct avalanche mitigation on Thane Road this morning.

New rules enacted for fishing guides
ANCHORAGE - The Alaska Department of Fish and Game has enacted new rules for Southcentral Alaska saltwater fishing guides and crews.

Murder trial begins in Anchorage
ANCHORAGE - A 29-year-old man convicted of killing his father with a machete in Palmer is set to begin a second trial in connection with a two-day shooting rampage in Anchorage that was part of the deadly crime spree.

Gray whale wanders into San Diego Bay
SAN DIEGO - A California gray whale has wandered into San Diego Bay after migration season ended.

Soldier charged in teen's drug death
SEATTLE - Military prosecutors Tuesday filed involuntary manslaughter charges against a Fort Lewis soldier in the late-night, drug-related death of a 16-year-old girl - a case that has prompted strict new policies on civilian access to the base.

Alaska Canine Cookies recalls dog treats
ANCHORAGE - An Alaska dog treat product is being recalled because of a possible risk of salmonella.

Scientists lower alert level for volcano
ANCHORAGE - Scientists have lowered the alert level for Mount Redoubt, but warn that the volcano a hundred miles southwest of Anchorage remains restless.

Crews remove oil from trawler aground
ANCHORAGE - The Department of Environmental Conservation said responders have offloaded 10,605 gallons of diesel fuel from a 112-foot trawler aground on St. George Island.

Man convicted of beating veteran
ANCHORAGE - A 25-year-old man was convicted of robbery and assault in the beating of a disabled veteran in Anchorage last year.

Group files to back Palin for president
WATERBURY, Conn. - A Connecticut group said it is the first in the nation to register to raise money to draft Sarah Palin for president.

Interior secretary to visit Alaska
ANCHORAGE - U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar will visit Alaska next month.

Feds get another 45 days on Wade decision
ANCHORAGE - Federal prosecutors have been given an additional 45 days to decide whether to seek the death penalty in a murder case.

Soldotna council mulls smoking ban
SOLDOTNA - The Soldotna City Council will consider introducing a ban on smoking in the workplace and all public places.

DK Miners blast Bleu Chunks
DK Miners' Dawn Momblow finally found the net to break a scoreless tie midway through the second period Sunday and provided enough for her team to skate away with a 2-0 Men's Tier B win in Juneau Adult Hockey Association action at Treadwell Ice Arena.

Iditarod's leaders off to speedy pace
NIKOLAI, Alaska - Sebastian Schnuelle was the first musher to reach the Alaska Native village of Nikolai in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.

Adult league standings
JAHA STANDINGS

Threat of special session looms
With work barely begun on major issues facing the Alaska Legislature this year, some lawmakers are already mentioning the possibility of a special session.

Ex-lawmaker to plead guilty to conspiracy
Another former Alaska lawmaker will plead guilty to a corruption charge tied to oil industry legislation.

Proposed task force would help nonprofits find grants
Alaska lawmakers are considering legislation that would create a task force to help nonprofit organizations and even communities figure out if they could cash in on the federal stimulus package.

C-SPAN to air series on Alaska corruption
The national cable television network C-SPAN will devote two interview programs to Alaska's ongoing political corruption investigation.

Cowdery sentenced to six months home confinement, $25,000 fine
ANCHORAGE - Former state Sen. John Cowdery has been sentenced to six months home confinement and fined $25,000 on federal bribery charges.

Gun rights stymie wilderness bill
WASHINGTON - The House on Wednesday defeated a bill to set aside more than 2 million acres in nine states as protected wilderness - the victim of a renewed Republican push to allow concealed, loaded weapons in national parks.

Memorial held for soldiers at Fort Wainwright
FORT WAINWRIGHT - Soldiers from Indiana, New York and Utah who were killed in Iraq were remembered at a memorial service.

Senator injured in skiing accident
ANCHORAGE - U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski suffered a serious knee injury while skiing and will be confined to a wheelchair for several days, her aide said Tuesday.

Alaska Air defends its petition against rival Virgin America
ATLANTA - Alaska Air Group Inc. isn't questioning Virgin America's ownership status because of its rivalry with the privately held carrier, but because it wants fairness, an executive said Tuesday.

Four-time champion Buser takes Iditarod lead
TAKOTNA - Four-time Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race champion Martin Buser breezed through the tiny town of Takotna, spending less than a minute Wednesday before jumping on his sled runners and snatching the lead.

Game Board expands predator control program
ANCHORAGE - The Alaska Board of Game has expanded the predator control program to include new tactics to kill bears and wolves.

Craig man gets three years in prison for wildlife violations
ANCHORAGE - A 41-year-old Craig man will serve more than three years in prison for violating the Lacey and the Marine Mammal Protection acts.

Photo: Tripod teamwork
Nenana residents and visitors combine their strength Sunday afternoon to heave up the tripod for the 93rd annual Nenana Ice Classic on the Tanana River. The tripod is connected to a clock on shore, which is set to stop when the ice gives out. Whoever guesses closest to the time the clock stops will win the Classic.

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