Sunday, March 16, 2008

City on the Edge
A year after a record snowfall and weeks of high-danger forecasts in Juneau's urban avalanche zones, neighborhoods have returned to the way they were before the city's avalanche warning system existed: No forecaster is watching for slides that could hit 62 homes and one hotel.

Photo: Volunteer honored
Dixie Belcher, right, hugs Rep. Beth Kerttula, D-Juneau, at the Juneau-Douglas City Museum after receiving an official proclamation in recognition of her volunteer efforts in Juneau and around the state. The proclamation said Belcher was honored "for her belief in the power of music to dissolve barriers, sideline anger and help people to envision and build a better life."

U.S. fisheries agents search Doc Water's
A downtown pub and restaurant was searched by federal fisheries agents this week.

Photo: Moving poetry
Richard Stokes reads his poem, "Currents," on Friday as part of the Poetry on Wheels event while touring downtown on a city bus. The event is part of the Cabin Fever Arts Festival sponsored by the Juneau Arts and Humanities. Thirty-two new poems have been selected for display on 16 Capital Transit buses during the next year.

Around Town
Today

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

Darian Lee Richards
Juneau resident Darian Lee Richards died Jan. 26, 2008, at Children's Hospital in Seattle, Wash., after a long fight with acute myeloid leukemia. He was 2½ years old.

Arthur E. Crostick
Former Juneau resident Arthur E. Crostick died suddenly on March 4, 2008, at his winter home in Oro Valley, Ariz. He was 58.

My turn: Reduce fossil fuel dependence
Oil just passed $109 per barrel and is trending higher. While our state coffers balloon with money, Alaska families struggle with high heating fuel and gas prices. Our Southeast Alaska economic growth has stagnated. Worse, our energy costs have created a migration of energy refugees from Kake, Angoon and Hoonah.

Empire editorial: Don't take away from majority of students just to benefit a few
You wouldn't think that a school program aimed at nurturing children could raise so many hackles.

Big risks present in CBR makeover
A constitutional amendment that would radically transform the state's finances has been quietly moving through the state House of Representatives. The measure is the bipartisan brainchild of Republican Ralph Samuels and Democrat Mike Doogan, both from Anchorage. It could come to a vote in the House as soon as Monday. If approved, it would abolish the constitutional budget reserve in all but name, and replace it with an endowment. The sole purpose of new endowment would be to provide long-term support for state spending.

Toe Toon
Cartoon by local artist Toe.

Cycling on the ghost trail to McGrath
When I felt the shutdown coming, I knew I was worse than lost.

Filmmaker captures excitement of sea kayaking
BELLINGHAM, Wash. - "Pacific Horizons" isn't the kind of sea kayaking film where kayakers make like Superman and perform superhuman feats on water, and that's all they do. It is the kind of adventure film where Everyman - and Everywoman - paddle through stunning Pacific Northwest scenery, talk about their love of kayaking and do things that will make your jaw drop.

Late winter walks reveal snowy owls
One gloriously sunny day in late February, a group of hikers set out for Spaulding Meadow. Although the lower part of the trail had some patches of flare ice, the rest of the trail, all the way up to Third Meadow, was hard-packed snow and easy walking. The forest was quiet, except for a couple of flocks of talkative chickadees, a jay calling, and a woodpecker tap-tapping.

Spring means restless, hungry bears
KENAI - As the daylight hours grow longer and the snow melts, bears begin to emerge from their dens. Some are content to sit outside their den and soak up the sun, others have cubs in tow, but generally all bears are in search of one thing: easy food.

Out & About
Today: Snowmobile Club and Juneau Nordic Ski Club 10K, 5K or 2.5K classic loop, 8 a.m., Spaulding Meadows. Call to reserve a ride up or down. Details: Ray, 321-6800 or imel@gci.net.

Ketchikan company has lowest school bid
JUNEAU - A Ketchikan company presented the lowest bid to renovate Glacier Valley Elementary School, according to city Engineering Director Roger Healy.

Woman, 3 children killed in house fire
KENAI - A mother and her three children were killed Saturday in a fire that engulfed their trailer home in flames, according to the Peninsula Clarion newspaper.

Alaska's revenue continues to climb
JUNEAU - The state's preliminary spring revenue forecast is out, and it's very rosy.

Coast Guard conducts Sitka dockside exams
JUNEAU - The Coast Guard will offer courtesy dockside examinations of commercial fishing vessels in Sitka starting today.

Former vice principal fined for poker parlor
ANCHORAGE - A former high school administrator avoided jail time but was fined for operating a poker parlor.

Blind musher bows out from Iditarod
ANCHORAGE - Rachael Scdoris, the legally blind musher who was running the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, scratched over concerns for the health of her dog team.

Shootout linked to $100,000 burglary
ANCHORAGE - Anchorage police said a shootout between two cars was linked to a $100,000 burglary.

TransCanada lobbies in Washington
ANCHORAGE - Canadian company TransCanada is doing some lobbying in Washington, D.C.

Team Alaska wins gold medal in hockey
Team Alaska knocked off Team Yukon 3-2 on Friday in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, to win the gold medal in midget hockey.

Sunday's schedule for Juneau Lions Club Gold Medal Tournament
Mighty B Bracket games:

Parnell's challenge adds spice to GOP rift
The best political fight in Alaska right now isn't between the Democrats and Republicans.

Delegation wants notice before jobs move away
Juneau should have a heads up before any state job leaves town, according to members of the city's legislative delegation.

Judge: Aerial wolf control invalid in some areas
ANCHORAGE - A judge on Friday invalidated the aerial killing of wolves in several small areas of Alaska while issuing a ruling upholding the state predator control program.

State to take responsibility for retirement shortfall
The House and Senate are wrapping up a much-vaunted three-pronged effort to funnel state revenues back to Alaska schools and communities.

Begich scopes possible challenge in senate race
FAIRBANKS - Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich made a stop in Fairbanks as part of a trip to scope out a possible run against U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens.

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