Most people like to think for themselves
I just read Edwin Johnson's letter glorifying the attributes of Gov. Sarah Palin as well as his disdain for former Sen. Kim Elton's recent promotion to Washington, D.C., in the Obama administration. It might surprise Johnson that "most" Alaskans probably do not believe that Palin has conducted herself with honor and dignity.

Spring a great time to kick meat habit
The past two months have brought us depressing news about the collapsing global economy, the deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan, and the devastating effects of climate change.

Thanks for supporting Juneau's Girl Scouts
Girl Scouts wishes to thank everyone who has come forward at this time to support Troop 32 and the Girl Scout Council. The Girl Scout mission, to build girls of courage, confidence and character who make the world a better place, is needed more than ever.

Bush was anything but conservative
I resented Ross McKenzie's March 13 column in the Empire. I realize it was reverse psychology, but calling former President Bush and his cohorts conservative is beyond ridiculous.

Bong Hits' Frederick returns for free speech forum
Seven years after Joe Frederick unfurled his banner, "Bong Hits 4 Jesus," he is returning to Juneau-Douglas High School for a forum on student free speech. The event will be moderated by Stewart Jay, a University of Washington law professor. Panelists will be the Juneau School District's lawyer, Ann Gifford and Douglas Mertz, Joe Frederick's attorney in the "Bong Hits" litigation.

Bagpipers bring passion to Saint Paddy's Day
A bagpiper sometimes must rise to the defense of her instrument, which is not for everyone.

Congress axes Tongass Timber Fund from bill
Tongass National Forest managers won't have as much money to prepare timber sales this year, now that an earmark long sponsored by former U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens is gone.

Tongass vies for stimulus money
The Tongass will get a piece of the federal stimulus package pie.

Acquisition means company state is suing becomes new investment advisor
A top investment advisor for the state is raising doubts among some lawmakers.

Photo: A spring in every step
Topaz Shryock, left, Adriane Rodriguez, center, and Jody Johns enjoy the spring-like weather as they jog Sunday near Twin Lakes. Today's forecast calls for mostly cloudy skies with a chance of rain and snow in the afternoon.

Local Democrats seek Kerttula replacement
While Juneau Democrats are awaiting Gov. Sarah Palin's appointment of replacement for former Sen. Kim Elton, D-Juneau, they're preparing to replace Rep. Beth Kerttula, D-Juneau, if she wins the appointment from Palin.

Photo: Breaking in the wind
North winds on Lynn Canal create breaking waves Sunday along False Outer Point on North Douglas Island.

Four dogs attack doe on wetlands
A young doe was taken down and badly injured by four dogs Sunday on the Mendenhall Valley wetlands off Sunny Point, animal control officials said Monday.

Photo: Icy obstruction
Melissa and Michael Goldstein team up to knock down the high snow berm blocking the view from their North Douglas driveway on Sunday.

Assembly changes subport zoning for development plans
The Juneau Assembly unanimously approved an ordinance at its regular meeting Monday night to change the zoning classification of the lot where the former subport building was located on the Juneau waterfront.

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

Around Town

Around Town

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

Barbara Hedden Bird
Former Sitka resident Barbara "Bobby" Hedden Bird, of Dallas, died March 15, 2009. She was 82.

Vivian McGonegal
Former Juneau resident Vivian Doris Malcolm McGonegal died Feb. 21, 2009, in Portland, Ore. She was 95.

Karyn Boggan Price
Lifelong Juneau resident and educator Karyn Boggan Price died March 3, 2009, in Seattle. She was 69.

Alaska editorial: State shouldn't complicate gas supply issue
The following editorial first appeared in the Anchorage Daily News:

My turn: Juneau Access supporters should consider a railroad
When describing the Alaska railroad system to Juneau's Chamber of Commerce, an official explained that a railway costs about a tenth as much to build as a road. I asked if a railroad had ever been considered as an option for Juneau. Apparently not.

My turn: Regional waste disposal deserves some thought
The landfill smells bad. It becomes more visible every day and is along the main route visitors pass to view our glacier. It's an attraction for birds, who pick up its contents and then drop them on nearby neighbors. The birds are, in turn, a threat to airport traffic (think of a 737 landing in Gastineau Channel). And it may be leaching toxic substances into nearby water.

We can break the chains of government control
"Live Free or Die"

Column: When science is a siren song
When a group of British academic researchers reported last spring that women fond of eating breakfast cereal were more likely to give birth to boys, the story was lapped up by journalists the world over. "Skip breakfast for a daughter, eat up your cereals for a son," advised the Economist, just one of many publications to seize on the report.

Outside editorial: Shut out at the polls
The following editorial first appeared in the Washington Post:

Outside editorial: EPA on a mission
Two years ago, Congress told the Environmental Protection Agency to require major U.S. industries to measure the amount of carbon dioxide they emit each year as a step in the process of creating legislation to reduce gases that cause climate change.

Woman gets 48 years in torture case
ANCHORAGE - An Anchorage woman convicted with two friends of torturing another woman was sentenced to 48 years in prison.

Fairbanks man pleads guilty to cleaver attack
FAIRBANKS - A 61-year-old Fairbanks cook has pleaded guilty to attacking a fellow chef with a meat cleaver.

UA teams advance, fall in tournaments
ANCHORAGE - The University of Alaska Anchorage women's basketball team is hoping it can pull off one more victory for a shot at the national championship.

Suspect faces more charges in Scout theft
JUNEAU - The 17-year-old suspect arrested for allegedly robbing nearly $800 from Girl Scouts at Fred Meyer earlier this month has been charged with two additional felonies.

Grant extends Tlingit language project
JUNEAU - The University of Alaska Southeast is in line for a second National Science Foundation grant to help preserve Alaska Native Languages. The $450,000 grant continues a five-year project that began with a $360,000 grant in 2007. The NSF "Documenting Endangered Languages" initiative includes the recording and documentation of spontaneous Tlingit conversation, bilingual annotation of the recordings and the archiving of hundreds of audio tapes of Tlingit oratory, narratives, and celebrations.

Electricity back to pre-avalanche rates
JUNEAU - All Juneau electric users are now back on cheaper electricity.

Fire destroys Fairbanks cafe
FAIRBANKS - A prominent eatery on the west side of Fairbanks burned but a dozen customers and five employees escaped without injury.

Two charged in prison meth bust
FAIRBANKS - An incarcerated man and his wife were charged with smuggling methamphetamine into Fairbanks Correctional Center.

Man stabbed in downtown Anchorage
ANCHORAGE - Anchorage police say a man was stabbed in the stomach near the corner of Sixth Avenue and Gambell Street.

3 hit by shots fired at Anchorage party
ANCHORAGE - Anchorage police say three people were shot, including one who was critically injured, at a party with juveniles where alcohol was served.

Alaska VPSO program graduates 10 officers
ANCHORAGE - Ten new officers have graduated from Alaska's Village Public Safety Officer program.

Willow man detained in reported road rage
WILLOW - A Willow man has been charged with high-speed tailgating and brandishing a handgun at another driver.

Barrow man sentenced to 10 years in prison
ANCHORAGE - A Barrow man faces 10 years in prison for the sexual assault of a woman incapacitated by alcohol.

Salazar defends higher oil royalties
WASHINGTON - Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said Monday he would consider tapping oil from Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge if it can be done from outside the refuge's boundaries, leaving animals and other wildlife undisturbed.

Ski accident won't slow Murkowski
WASHINGTON - Despite a serious fall in a skiing accident, Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski is a woman on the rise.

Hearst hopes Web-only Seattle P-I will turn profit
SEATTLE - When the Seattle Post-Intelligencer transforms into an Internet-only operation Wednesday, it will try to do something it failed to accomplish for years as a traditional newspaper: make money.

Southeast seafood group tries again for regional assessment
Backers of a regional seafood development association for Southeast Alaska are again pitching their ideas to the drift gillnet fleet, hoping this time fishermen will approve an assessment of their harvest to help increase the value of seafood products from their region.

Resort fines injured skier for rescue costs
ANCHORAGE - Operators of Alaska's largest ski resort are taking the rare step of billing a skier for the cost of a rescue after he was badly hurt striking a tree in an off-limits area.

Mount Redoubt rumbles again
ANCHORAGE - Alaska's Mount Redoubt rumbled again Sunday and geologists at the Alaska Volcano Observatory increased the official alert level to orange, the stage just before eruption.

Mackey reaches coast first in Iditarod
UNALAKLEET - Lance Mackey was first to arrive Sunday in the coastal town of Unalakleet but a pack of mushers, including two former champions, were trying to catch him as strategy and mind games came into play in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.

Senate moves forward on wilderness bill again
WASHINGTON - The Senate is again moving forward on a stalled bill to set aside more than 2 million acres in nine states as protected wilderness.

North Pole refinery shuts down one of three processing units
FAIRBANKS - Flint Hills Resources has shut down one of its three processing units at its refinery in North Pole because of lower demand, a move that will affect freight volume on the state-owned Alaska Railroad.

Mackey keeps Iditarod lead
KOYUK - Lance Mackey remained in the driver's seat Monday in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, arriving first in the village of Koyuk while teams behind him headed their dog teams across the frozen sea ice and into brutally cold winds.

Children explore world once roamed by Arctic dinosaurs
FAIRBANKS - The Arnold Espe Auditorium at the University of Alaska Museum of the North was filled to capacity Tuesday night with people hoping to learn about dinosaurs that roamed across Alaska 70 million years ago.

Bill would boost loans for vessel upgrades
Legislation to broaden the use of the Commercial Fishing Loan Act to include energy efficiency upgrades is garnering growing support from conservationists and groups representing residents of Alaska's fishing communities.

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