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Monday, March 14, 2011

Oil tax cut has too many impacts
I believe that Gov. Sean Parnell’s proposal to decrease the income Alaskans receive from Alaskan oil producers by an estimated $2 billion every year through a petroleum tax reduction is misguided. Recent business decisions by three major producers help us to understand how things stand.

Response to Tongass My Turn
I was disappointed to read the Wilderness Society’s My Turn editorial advocating a Tongass transition to a future economy based on thinning immature stands of timber and performing taxpayer-funded “restoration projects”.

Photo: Prepping the field
Employees with the city’s parks and recreation department clear snow off of the softball field Friday at Melvin Park.

New halibut limits start Monday
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Fisheries Service announced Friday it will be implementing the new halibut regulatory recommendations by the International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC) starting Monday. NOAA states this decision is due to concerns over declining halibut stocks.

Citizens become naturalized
With reasons as different as the countries they came from, and some reasons that were the same, 13 Alaskans became United States citizens on Friday in a naturalization ceremony administered by United States Magistrate Judge Leslie Longenbaugh in U.S. District Court at the Juneau Federal Courthouse.

New class of Village Public Safety Officers graduates
The largest class of Village Public Safety Officers in recent history graduated from the Public Safety Academy in Sitka on Friday in a ceremony at the Sheet’Ka Kwaan Na’Kaa Hidi Building.

Adventurous author visits elementary schools
Adventurer and children’s author Shelley Gill told wild stories to students in the district this week in an effort to promote literacy.

Dzantik'i Heeni principal candidates interviewed
Four candidates for principal of Dzantik’i Heeni Middle School were interviewed Friday, with a community meet-and-greet Thursday.

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.

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.

Photo: Growing pile of snow
With one pile of snow, the Mendenhall Glacier, retreating in the background, a city employee grows another pile at the snow dump near the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center on Friday.

New agreement between local tribes, Washington for federal child support
The Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes has entered an agreement with the state of Washington to provide federal tax offset services for child support orders by Tlingit and Haida Central Council’s tribal court. This Indian Nation Program Agreement for the Tribal Child Support Unit (TCSU) program is the first time the program has entered an agreement with a state to receive such federal offsets.

Writings of Juneau past
The towns of Juneau and Douglas contain a treasure of interesting history.

Senior menu
Barbecue chicken

Ethos and pathos
I have been living, growing and working in Douglas since July — a cheechako. My work has me living and growing with the Douglas Community United Methodist Church. This community has, as all communities have, a pathos (deep feeling of how to treat each other) and an ethos (how our behavior reflects the spiritual beings that we have become in our experience of the world). It is the foundation of a faith community.

FYI
• On March 5, 2011, a son, Haydn Bugg Hunter, weighing 7 lbs., to Heather Smith and Matt Hunter of Haines.

Volunteer Opportunity of the Week
Organization: Big Brothers Big Sisters

Chili fundraiser to be held by Rotaract
Rotaract’s second annual Chili Cook-off will be held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday at the Red Dog Saloon. Chilis will be judged by a panel of Juneau celebrity judges, including Mayor Bruce Botelho.

Wildlife Wednesday lecture to feature Emily Wall
The Alaska Wildlife Alliance-Southeast Chapter (AWA-SE) will present its March Wildlife Wednesday lecture 7 p.m. Wednesday at the University of Alaska Southeast Glacier View Room.

Planetarium to host free yoga class
A free “Yoga Under the Stars” class lead by Cynthia Pring-Ham will be held at 7 p.m. on Tuesday at the Marie Drake Planetarium.

Adventures in babysitting
I got a chance to babysit this weekend, after a long time. It felt funny to carry the baby around on my hip — almost like toting a sack of flour. Wait, it really was a sack of flour! My sixth-grader had asked me to babysit her flour baby while she was in dance class. It brought back memories...

Neighbors Mailbox: March 13, 2011
Thanks for the tour

Warner, Godinez to wed
Sara Mae Warner of Waterford, Mich., and Alex Godinez of Port Hueneme, Calif., will marry at 11 a.m. on June 10, 2011. The ceremony will take place at The Little Chapel in Hell in Hell, Mich., followed by a reception at the Portage Yacht Club in Pickney, Mich.

BrickHouse Band heads to Juneau to heat up Shriners Ball
The Juneau-Douglas Shrine Club invites all Southeast Alaskans to show off their best dance moves and disco attire Saturday, all while raising money to help children facing serious medical issues.

Blowin' in the Taku Winds
Most Juneau residents spent the last weekend in February trying to avoid the hurricane-force winds blowing through town. Ryan Cortes Perez figured it would be a good time to put up his new art installation on Sandy Beach.

Sally Ann Lipson
Sally Ann Lipson died March 7, 2011, in Juneau.

Bridget Marie Petaja
Bridget Marie Petaja died March 7, 2011 at Bartlett Regional Hospital after a long fight with cancer. She was 49 years old.

Howard William Scaman
Howard William Scaman died March 7, 2011 at his home in Juneau.

Empire editorial: JSD board shouldn't kick the can of cuts down the road
The Juneau School Board will review a proposed budget Tuesday for fiscal year 2012 which takes a $4.1 million ax to the numbers in an attempt to bring expenditure projections in line with revenue expectations.

Defending marriage
Last week I was in Anchorage for a meeting and a friend of mine was the keynote speaker. He is from Baltimore and we worked together in Washington, D.C. During the course of our catching up on the details of life, we turned to the current state of affairs within our work and environment. He informed me that the Maryland State Senate had voted in favor of legalizing same-sex marriage and that the legislation was going before the House.

What justifies $2B a year in tax breaks?
Gov. Sean Parnell likes to cast himself as a fiscal conservative noting, “controlling spending, living within our means, and saving for the future continue to be key components of our fiscal policy”. If this is what he really believes then why is he intent on walking away from potentially $2 BILLON A YEAR in state revenues? Is it because cutting taxes is now part of the popular lexicon of fiscal conservatism? To answer this question, we must explore the reasons being touted as to why the oil companies should receive such a generous tax break.

The Pentagon's Achilles' heel
The Pentagon currently spends more than $50 billion — about 10 percent of its base budget — on health care, an almost 300 percent increase over the last decade. These costs are projected to jump to $65 billion by fiscal year 2015. To put this in perspective, the department will spend more on health care this fiscal year than on the war in Iraq and will probably spend more on health care in 2015 than on the conflict in Afghanistan.

Escape from Libya
The last time we heard from my father was early in the morning of March 1, when he phoned my brother to tell him, “I’m about to be arrested.” My father, who called from my family’s house in Tripoli, urged my brother, who lives in Manchester, England, to look after the family and to continue fighting the Libyan regime, no matter what happened to him.

Outside editorial: Using oil reserve now could hurt US later
The following editorial first appeared in the Kansas City Star:

Dimond Park aquatic board cancels meeting
The Dimond Park Aquatic Advisory Board Grand Opening Subcommittee meeting scheduled for Tuesday has been canceled. For more information, call Dora Joven at 586-0415.

Juneau aging commission to hold work session
The Juneau Commission on Aging will host a work session at 2:30 p.m. Thursday at Fireweed Place, 215 Willoughby Ave. The meeting will focus on recommendations from a survey. For more information, call Lorilyn Swanson at 586-5000.

Man injured after jump from moving truck
A jump from a pickup truck Saturday morning injured a Juneau man, according to a release from the Juneau Police Department.

ADF&G announces brown bear hunt in GMU4
The Alaska Department of Fish and Game announced brown bear hunting season opens March 15 in Game Management Unit 4 (GMU4) with two registration hunts, RB088 and RB089. GMU 4 includes Sitka, Pelican, Elfin Cove, Hoonah, Tenakee Springs and Admiralty Island.

Tongass, Chugach forests announce IYF events
The Tongass and Chugach National Forests have announced the start of a year’s worth of events and the release of a collectible poster series to commemorate the International Year of Forests (IYF), a United Nations designation.

Governor signs first bill of legislative session
JUNEAU — Gov. Sean Parnell has signed the first bill of the legislative session. It allows members of the armed forces to choose which family members will act as next of kin should they die in the line of duty.

Forest Service to host forums on national management plans
The U.S. Forest Service is holding two separate public forums in Juneau to explain the details and intent of the recently proposed Planning Rule that will serve as a national blueprint for how all individual forest and grassland plans will chart national forest management in the coming years.

No harmful levels of radioactivity expected in US
WASHINGTON — The Nuclear Regulatory Commission says harmful levels of radioactivity are not expected in the United States due to damaged nuclear reactors in Japan.

Alaska cracks down on wood boilers near school
FAIRBANKS — Alaska state officials have cited the owner of two outdoor wood boilers installed in 2008 across the street from a Fairbanks elementary school.

Stickup nets robbers PlayStation, pistol, money
FAIRBANKS — Alaska State Troopers say two armed robbers held up a Fairbanks resident, taking a PlayStation 3, a .45-caliber pistol and money from a Fairbanks resident.

Pilots lock down cockpit over praying passengers
LOS ANGELES — Pilots on an Alaska Airlines flight locked down the cockpit and alerted authorities after three passengers conducted an elaborate orthodox Jewish prayer ritual during their Los Angeles-bound flight.

Limited information required on tax credits
JUNEAU — Since 2006, Alaska has spent more than $3 billion on tax credits for oil companies. Yet lawmakers have very little idea how that money was applied — whether it went toward drilling and exploring for new oil, as lawmakers desired, or to basic upkeep of the fields, an important function but not quite what the Legislature had in mind.

Juneau's employment picture brightens
Juneau’s unemployment rate remained one of the lowest in the state in January, while Alaska’s rate continued its more than two year stay below the national average, according to the Alaska Department of Labor.

Parnell, legislators point fingers on spending
Gov. Sean Parnell is predicting lawmakers will expand the budget he sent them, while House leaders who passed a $5.7 billion general fund budget last week are claiming they “tamped down” the governor’s spending plans.

Baker maintains near 2-hour lead
ANCHORAGE — Veteran John Baker seized the lead in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on the Yukon River and extended it Saturday on the 70-mile stretch from Eagle Island to Kaltag.

Baker maintains lead
ANCHORAGE — Veteran musher John Baker was holding on to his lead Sunday in the 1,150-mile Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, at least three hours ahead of his closest rivals.

More pedestrians passing coastal shooting range
ANCHORAGE — More walkers and skiers have been on the coastal flats behind the Rabbit Creek Shooting Park’s high-powered rifle range in Anchorage.

Brown bears added to Alaska bait-snare program
ANCHORAGE — The Alaska Board of Game has added brown bears to a controversial snaring program designed to boost the moose population on the other side of Cook Inlet from Anchorage.

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