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Monday, March 15, 2010

Predator control is sanctioned abuse
Predator control is just animal abuse given an official title and proclaimed to be necessary. Why is the stewardship of our wild animals in the hands of politicians instead of biologists?

Campbell served in more ways than one
I was so excited when I read about Juneau's own Ellen Campbell being awarded the Congressional Gold Medal. As a matter of fact, when I saw the picture taken of Ellen back in the day, I recognized her smile immediately. She is still as beautiful as ever and truly one of the most kind and loving women I have had the pleasure to meet.

Idling in a vehicle gets you nowhere
Take it from the Union of Concerned Scientists: Idling wastes money and fuel, contributes to air pollution, and generates carbon dioxide emissions that cause global warming.

Legislators limit others' trips
The House of Representatives wants to rein in state spending by cracking down on travel, but it may be a case of "do as I say, not as I do."

On the Bench
During the past three full school semesters, 16.1 percent of Juneau School District Students failed a physical education class.

A snow-side chat with skier Hilary Lindh
She felt like a little girl again, racing down the Eaglecrest Ski Area slopes. She still remembered oversized snow pants, tiny hands gripped tightly on ski poles, ski goggles as large as her helmet, and a smile as wide and white as the powdery runs she embraced.

Photos: Music and movement
The Juneau Student Symphony plays music from "Carmen Ballet Suite" while Juneau Dance Unlimited perform Saturday evening at the Juneau Arts & Culture Center. It was the first collaboration of the two groups, which will perform again at 7 p.m. tonight Harborview Elementary

Photos: Winter in the wetlands
Two mallard ducks take to flight as others swim in the Mendenhall Wetlands on Saturday during a break in the weather.

Police & Fire
Juneau police and fire officials reported:

Photo: The path less traveled
A pedestrian walks down Craig Street from the Mountainside Subdivision during Friday's snowstorm. Today's weather forecast calls for mostly cloudy skies with scattered rain showers.

Photo: Just right to deice
An Alaska Airlines passenger jet gets deiced during Friday's snow storm. Most flights were cancelled for the day.

Police & Fire
Juneau police and fire officials reported:

Fostering ocean literacy: the Ted Stevens Marine Research Institute
Perched atop a rocky outcrop at the tip of Pt. Lena, framed by Favorite Channel on one side and snow-encrusted mountains on the other, the ultra-modern Ted Stevens Marine Research Institute seems as out of place as it does foreboding. Its concrete and steel gated entrance, replete with surveillance cameras and strongly worded warnings, does little to soften the austerity.

In Gaza, but thinking of Juneau
We drove down a rutted path north of Gaza City to a make-shift camp, a shanty town really, occupied by 40 victims of the 2009 war. I was nervous. We had just left a Hamas checkpoint. I knew we were now near the Israel/Gaza border and getting close to the 500-meter free-fire zone set up by the Israelis to protect against militant rocket fire. I could see an Israeli drone overhead, no doubt tracking our vehicle. My wife, Dona, was, characteristically, focused on the people we were to visit, and was oblivious of my nervousness.

Cortes-Garcia and Knudson wed
Ana Milena Cortes-Garcia, of Medellin, Colombia, and Ralph Knudson III, of Hoonah, were married at the Downtown Denver Aquarium in Denver, Colo., at 5:30 p.m., Dec. 27, 2009. A reception was held in the Aquarium Ballroom.

Travis, Hardin wed
Lacey Travis and Dave Hardin, formerly of Juneau, were married on March 25, 2010, in Las Vegas, Nev. The bride is the daughter of Shelley and Dan Travis. The groom is the son of Paul Hardin (and his wife Beth) and Bunny Wolverton (and her husband JIm Thorton).

Cooks celebrate 40 years
Juneau residents Richard and Ellen Cook will celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary on March 21, 2010. They were married on March 21, 1970, in Altadena, Calif., after meeting in an elevator at Weyburn Hall at UCLA. Ellen, describing the story to her children over the years, said, "He was like the Cheshire Cat, backed into the corner of the elevator with the biggest sheepish grin I ever saw."

Matheson and Oliphant to wed
Jamie Leigh Matheson and Brant Altman Oliphant and their families happily announce the couple's plan to be married in Juneau in late April.

Harvey and Hall to wed
Jordan R. Harvey and Andrew A. Hall are engaged to be married May 29, 2010, in Fort Walton Beach, Florida.

Pets of the week
TomSFM seeking LHC

Thanks for help with FASD conference
The 2010 Southeast Alaska Regional Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) Conference Coalition wishes to thank the many individuals, organizations, and presenters that helped to make the FASD Conference such a success. A conference this large can only be organized and offered by many and we apologize in advance if your name was overlooked.

Thank you for your prayers since husband's passing
This letter is in humble appreciation from the Perkins and Chappell family of Gary Allen Perkins. To our family and friends, we thank you for your prayers and presence throughout this difficult time since the passing of my husband, a father, a grandfather, a brother, an uncle and nephew. Your love and kindness shall remain in our hearts and prayers forever.

Thanks from Southeast Conference for warm welcome
Southeast Conference held our Mid-Session Summit last week and we would like to send a special thank you to Juneau for the warm welcome our members received while visiting the Capital City. Economic success in our region depends on all of us. Thanks for the hospitality and the support.

Thanks for the support of Northern Lights Theatre
Northern Lights Junior Theatre performed "Number the Stars" last weekend at the Juneau Arts & Culture Center. We want to thank all who attended our performance and contributed to our theater. Our volunteers, students and families worked very hard for eight weeks, resulting in a top-notch performance. We are grateful for all the support we receive from the community.

Thanks to Play it Again for supporting flag football
The 2010 flag football season is off and running. The entire flag football community would like to say thank you to Play it Again Sports for the support of our league.

Thanks for passing of HB274
I want to thank Rep. Nancy Dahlstrom and the other cosponsors of House Bill 274 for their efforts in championing legislation establishing Purple Heart Day. As a former member of the military, recognition of those who have been wounded in a war zone or have given their lives in the service of their country is extremely important, not only to them, but to the loved ones. Purple Heart Day will be a reminder to us to be thankful and appreciative of those who put their lives in danger every day for our freedom.

Thank you Poetry Out Loud volunteers
The Juneau Arts & Humanities Council, Alaska State Council on the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Poetry Foundation would like to thank the many volunteers who contributed to the 2010 Poetry Out Loud Alaska State Championships held Feb. 23 at the Juneau Arts and Culture Center.

Foster care advocates speak out about transition program
Foster care alumni and advocates made their voices heard last week during a state budget meeting in support of a foster care transition program to provide ongoing services to kids graduating out of foster care.

Thank you, food bank supporters
The November Sharing is Caring food drive for the Southeast Food Bank was a great success, thanks to so many. The goal for the day was to collect 6,000 pounds of food. When all was said and done, 17,704 pounds of food was collected.

Snap out of it
Whether you live in a big city or small town, assault crimes happen. But Alaska has the distinction of being 2.6 times the national average.

Macaron cookies: Worth the effort
There's only four ingredients in a basic recipe for macaron cookies. But those four pack a fantastic punch.

FYI
FYI

Be aware of the risks of diabetes
D iabetes has become the greatest public health crisis of the next quarter century. To address the burden of this disease, the American Diabetes Association is asking the American public, "What will you do to stop diabetes? Know your risk."

Photo: Community partners
Karen West, business banking manager for Wells Fargo, presents Brenda Hewitt, president of United Way of Southeast Alaska a check for $7,177. The money represents Wells Fargo's corporate match for the 2009 campaign. Employees of Wells Fargo also donated $7,177 to 39 partner agencies under the United Way umbrella throughout Southeast Alaska.

Wellness for Caregivers training workshop this week
"Legal Rights and Traditional Native Healing Methods" is the theme of the Wellness for Caregivers workshop to take place Friday, March 19, at the Alaska Native Brotherhood Hall in Juneau. The target audience is unpaid tribal caregivers providing care of elders.

The winter that never was
T his winter, Washington, D.C. has gotten clobbered with over three feet of snow, while Juneau languishes under rain and bare yards. Maybe there's only so much snow to go around for the whole planet, and this year is not our turn. Forget global warming - we'll just call this the winter that never was.

Robert L. Garrison
Robert L Garrison, 89, passed away on March 8, 2010, surrounded by his family.

Fred S. Honsinger
Longtime Juneau veterinarian Fred S. Honsinger died March 5, 2010, at his home. He was 89.

Alaska editorial: Federal government needs to justify habitat designation
Alaska's political leadership has condemned the National Marine Fisheries Service's proposed designation of the "critical habitat" needed for Cook Inlet's beluga whale population to recover. The federal agency needs to take these concerns seriously and modify its proposal.

Alaska editorial: Savings on fuel tax suspension add up to common sense
On average, Alaskans pay a lot more for the same goods and services others get. According to a 2008 study, a family of four in Alaska would need at least 9.7 percent more income to keep the same standard of living as the average U.S. community, says workforce support company Runzheimer International. 2008, coincidentally, was the last year Alaska's motor fuel tax was suspended.

'Pick-Click-Give' a great way to spur philanthropy
I have always found Alaskans to be generous, good at supporting worthy causes and taking care of each other. I know many instances where someone without health insurance needed help, and the floodgates of support opened wide.

'Jihad Jane' shatters terrorist stereotype
Evil is not a color. It has no particular religion nor creed, nor style of dress, nor gender nor geographic home. Evil is an equal opportunity employer.

Crist-Rubio battle the bellwether for direction of GOP in 2010
I knew that I must have been off pretty badly when I casually wrote in this national column that Florida Gov. Charlie Crist would be a good example of a Republican that voters in critical swing states could accept in the upcoming elections for Senate and the U.S. House.

My turn: Health care hindered by red tape
First off, I wanted to thank Sen. Lisa Murkowski for standing firm in her choice to not vote for this health reform. She was right in stating that the bill goes against the will of the people.

Moody's, S&P: Job creators without a stimulus
In these poor economic times, there is one endeavor that offers unlimited opportunities for employment: defending the debt-rating companies in court.

Toe Toon
This week's toe toon.

State checks signatures for abortion initiative
JUNEAU - Enough signatures have been gathered to put to voters an initiative that would require parental notice or consent before a minor can have an abortion.

Chugach utility tries energy monitors to lower power costs
ANCHORAGE - Chugach Electric Association is looking to high-tech options to help customers lower costs.

Storm knocks down Ketchikan building
KETCHIKAN - A contractor was reviewing damage after a storm partially collapsed a warehouse under construction in Ketchikan.

Man arrested on burglary charge
JUNEAU - Police arrested a 20-year-old man on burglary charges after a Lemon Creek resident reported two men attempting to break into her home.

Cops cite 10 minors in house party bust-up
JUNEAU - Juneau police cited six juveniles under 18 and four minors for underage drinking after busting up a Douglas house party Friday night.

Anchorage seeks to be Googified
ANCHORAGE - Anchorage has joined the list of cities seeking to become a test site for Google's ultra-fast broadband network.

Houston City Council fires police sergeant
HOUSTON - Houston Police Sgt. Charlie Seidl was fired after the City Council voted to accept an evaluation calling for his termination.

Officer in Fairbanks shooting identified
FAIRBANKS - Fairbanks police have identified the officer involved in a fatal shooting this week as 15-year veteran Alex Wells.

House committee OKs Parnell scholarship measure
JUNEAU - The House Education Committee has passed a bill to create a merit-based scholarship program.

Man who fell through ice presumed dead
ANCHORAGE - State troopers said a man is feared dead after falling through ice on the Susitna River on his snowmachine.

Lost snowmobiler sets machine on fire to stay warm
FAIRBANKS - A Fairbanks man became separated from his companions on a wilderness trip and lit his snowmobile on fire to stay warm.

Wilderness league protests Izembek Regufe road
ANCHORAGE - Conservation groups call it a "road to nowhere," but King Cove residents say a road through the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge would be a lifeline to medical care during an emergency.

Coast Guard searches for 2 men overboard
JUNEAU - The U.S. Coast Guard is searching for two men reported overboard from a Liberian-flagged container ship in the north Pacific.

Murder charge added in Jan. fatal crash
ANCHORAGE - A murder charge has been added to manslaughter and drunken driving charges in a fatal crash in January that killed an Anchorage cab driver.

Crimson quicksilver
Defense is about sacrifice. It's about wanting it more. It's about not giving an inch, figuratively speaking, of course.

Super sophs
Oftentimes, regardless of sport, a team's season can be defined a few special moments.

Photo: Last lessons
Juneau-Douglas girls' basketball coach Lesslie Knight instructs the Crimson Bears in the JDHS gym Saturday during their last practice before flying to the state basketball championships in Anchorage. Check back throughout the week for more on the JDHS girls' and boys' quest for a state championship. Empire sports editor Shaun T. Cox will be updating our Web site at www.juneauempire.com frequently from Anchorage, and there are more feature stories coming on the kids over the next few days tournament.

Gozelksi does it all for Bears
In the sport of basketball, coaches know in order to be successful as a team, they must possess versatility at both ends of the floor.

Team Alaska wins Hodgson trophy
Grande Prairie, Alberta, Canada - Team Alaska was awarded the prestigious Hodgson Sportsmanship Trophy at Saturday's Closing Ceremonies of the 21st biannual Arctic Winter Games in Grande Prairie.

Team Alaska dominates medal count at Arctic Winter Games
For the first time in history, Team Alaska has won back-to-back midget hockey gold medals in the Arctic Winter Games after a 16-year drought.

Tompkins talk
Juneau monoskier Joe Tompkins' thoughts from the Vancouver Paralypmic Games, sent Saturday evening. Check back for periodic updates from Joe during his quest for Paralympic gold.

'Mean Machine' goes down swinging in possible retirement bout split decision
At 50 years old, heavyweight Al "The Mean Machine" Valentine fought and narrowly lost his retirement bout against a friend, Gabe Steele Duckworth, 27, at Marlintinis' Lounge Roughhouse Boxing on Friday.

Gas tax becoming pivotal issue in session
An effort to make a structural change in the state's oil and gas production tax law is gathering momentum in the state Senate and could become a pivotal issue as the 2010 legislative session enters its final weeks.

Addiction, poor diet loom in Alaska deaths
ANCHORAGE - We know what Alaskans are dying from - mostly diseases such as cancer, heart disease, strokes and respiratory disease, plus injuries and suicide. But why are we dying in those ways?

Hunters prowl for wolves that killed teacher
SEATTLE - Hunters were combing the snowy brush around Chignik Lake this weekend in an attempt to hunt down up to four wolves that killed a 32-year-old special education teacher in the first known fatal wolf attack in the United States in modern times.

Sitka Ranger boat to be taken out of service
SITKA - The historic Sitka Ranger may no longer be a common sight docked in the Sitka Channel, the Assembly was told.

Mackey, King prepare to cross sound in Iditarod
ANCHORAGE - Reigning three-time champion Lance Mackey and four-time champion Jeff King are turning the 2010 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race into their own two-man contest.

Soldiers train with biathlon
FAIRBANKS - It's 7 a.m. Friday morning, and while most people in Fairbanks are in bed or in toasty warm cars on their way to work this cold March morning, about 60 Fort Wainwright soldiers are beginning their day with a 20-kilometer rucksack march in temperatures just above zero.

Rossi to head wildlife division
ANCHORAGE - A relative newcomer to a state agency who several wildlife advocates said is overly sympathetic to hunters at the expense of other groups has been selected to head the state Division of Wildlife Conservation at the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

Alaska delegation meets with NOAA chief on endangered status for whales
WASHINGTON - If there's one thing Alaska's congressional delegation can agree on, it's a distrust of the Endangered Species Act and a belief it could ruin the state's economy.

Some park officials concerned about new gun law
ANCHORAGE - Alaska is expecting more than 2 million visitors to its national parks this summer with the stampede beginning in May. Some visitors will be packing more than lunch.

Governor: Alaska exports total $3.3 billion, down 8.1%
Alaska exports totaled $3.3 billion in 2009, marking the fifth best year for trade in state history, said a press release from Gov. Sean Parnell's office.

Love for sport, not money, drives Alaska mushers
WASILLA - No matter how famous the last name, the economics of dog sledding is never in the musher's favor.

Lance Mackey snatches Iditarod lead
ANCHORAGE - The race is on between Lance Mackey and Jeff King.

McKinley climbers return after 12 days in snow cave
ANCHORAGE - A pair of climbers trying to put the first woman at the summit of the tallest peak in North America in winter have abandoned their ascent after spending 12 days in a snow cave.

Operator reports shortage in spill response boats
ANCHORAGE - The operator of the trans-Alaska pipeline and Valdez tanker port says there is a shortage of fishing boats ready to assist if there is an oil spill in Prince William Sound.

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