Monday, March 21, 2011

A clarification
In response to Bishop Edward J. Burns’ column “Defending Marriage” in the March 13 Empire, I would like to clarify that the joint letter referred to was signed by representatives of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod and the North American Lutheran Church, who do not represent nor speak for all expressions of the Lutheran tradition, including the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

A ridiculous column
There’s nothing wrong with presenting a socially conservative viewpoint, but Wednesday’s paper concerning the BYU basketball player, Brandon Davies, who turned himself in for having consensual sex, or as the author put it delicately, “failing to uphold the standard that sex belongs in marriage” was ridiculous.

Legislators join together to lose hair, support kids
Alaska legislators and staff turned out Friday in an effort that crossed both party and gender lines to have their heads shaved.

JDHS drive-up becomes idle-free zone
Environmentally conscious students at Juneau-Douglas High School have successfully implemented a project to urge drivers to stop idling their cars at the school.

'It felt like hours, even though it was just a few minutes'
Heather Sincic had been in Tokyo about a week and was using a rare moment of downtime to send an email back home to her teenage daughter in Juneau when she felt the tremor. She typed out, “I think there’s an earthquake right now. Have to go,” made sure the message sent and evacuated the hotel with everyone else.

Gastineau bond issuance, project funds up for Assembly
The City and Borough of Juneau will look at issuing $5.7 million in bonds for Gastineau Elementary School at tonight’s meeting.

JSD selects principal for Riverbend
Shannon Avenson has been selected by the Juneau School District as the new principal for Riverbend Elementary School. Avenson is currently a kindergarten through 12th-grade principal at the Northome (Minn.) School, where she has been for six years.

Photos: Barrow Eskimo Dancers wow crowd at JAHC event
Barrow Eskimo Dancers performed Saturday at the Juneau-Douglas High School auditorium. The performance was a Juneau Arts & Humanities Council event.

Photo: Clearing the field for practice
Juneau-Douglas High School soccer team members Max Smith, left, Max Lyons and Riley Paul shovel snow off the artificial turf Sunday at JDHS. Soccer Coach Gary Lehnhart said he was hoping to practice outside later this week.

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: Reinstalling dock floats
Greg Craig, Bob Clauder, Doug Unruh and Dennis Holloway of the Juneau Harbor Master’s office install two floats Friday at the North Douglas Boat Launch. The floats are meant to help boaters using the ramp. The remaining floats at the site will be installed in about two weeks. The floats are taken out each winter to protect them from the season’s strong northern waves.

Dance 'till you can dance no more
March 9, 2010 was a day like any other for Janice Holst, owner of the Janice D. Holst School of Dance and Juneau’s premier dance teacher of classical ballet, tap, jazz and hip hop. Holst recalls returning home that evening after teaching classes.

Pros and cons of protaxination
I’ll admit it: I’m a tax dodger.

Related at the core
Living in Juneau, on our virtual island, we may not always feel our connections to the “outside.” Then earth-shattering news breaks in like Japan’s disasters and we are shocked at the oneness.

Photo: Valued opinions
A panel of judges tastes chili at Tuesday’s second annual Chili Cook-off, held by Rotaract at the Red Dog Saloon. Proceeds from the event were to be donated to ShelterBox, an international disaster relief charity.

FYI
• On March 10, 2011, a son, Landon Kyler Reeves, weighing 8 lbs. 9 oz., to Helena Dymock and Dale Reeves and sisters Kasity, Tara and Mierra.

Senior menu
Meatballs

Neighbors Mailbox: March 20, 2011
Thank you letters from around the community

'Stuntology' program offered at library
Sam Bartlett will perform his “Stuntology” program at 7 p.m. on March 29 at the Mendenhall Valley Library. Bartlett describes “Stuntology” as the art of avoiding boredom and exploring mysteries of the physical world by playing with everyday objects. It includes the study of absurd pranks and pointless techniques to amuse oneself, amaze friends and annoy everyone else. A good stunt is something that can be learned in 10 seconds and perfected over 10 years, Bartlett said.

Coeur Alaska sustains scholarship fund
Coeur Alaska CEO Chairman, President and CEO Dennis Wheeler presented a check for $20,000 to University of Alaska Southeast Provost Rick Caulfield and Development Director Lynne Johnson at a luncheon at the Alaska Miner’s Association Conference on March 16. The donation will help sustain up to $2,000 in scholarships annually to UAS Environmental Science and Marine Biology students.

Volunteer opportunity of the week
Organization: The Juneau Symphony

Recognitions
Laurie J. Sica of the City and Borough of Juneau has earned the designation of Master Municipal Clerk (MMC), which is awarded by the International Institute of Municipal Clerks (IIMC), Inc.

Volunteer firefighter of the month
Name: Amanda Carlson

Stella Mae Fullam
Stella Mae Fullam, long a well-loved and active member of the Juneau community, died March 8, 2011, at her home by Auke Lake. She was 69.

Sydney Jane Brannin Dodge
Longtime Alaskan Sydney Jane Brannin Dodge, 88, died Friday, March 11, 2011 from natural causes at the Colony Manor Assisted Living Home in Wasilla.

TOE cartoon
This week's toe toon.

Outside editorial: NCAA athletes must win in classroom, too
The following editorial first appeared in the Charlotte Observer:

My Turn: Defending marriage?
I was very disappointed by the Bishop Edward J. Burns column on March 13 titled “Defending marriage.” There was almost nothing in the article that I agreed with. I thought we were way past this type of thinking.

My Turn: Time to end an injustice
This responds to Florian Sever’s letter (“Something isn’t right”) in Wednesday’s Empire. After 50 years of the practice of law and having seen injustice, regrettably I conclude that the treatment afforded to the Tlingits over many years regarding their land claims has been very unfair. Mr. Sever’s letter seeks to perpetuate the injustice. Aside from taking a gratuitous swipe at Sen. Lisa Murkowski for her efforts to resolve the land claims matter and voicing picayune complaints about how Sealaska might select and use its property, the letter is only a continuation of the anti-land claims sentiment harbored by a vocal few in Southeast Alaska. The parade of horrors that the letter suggests is absurd, and does not deserve serious treatment.

Outside editorial: Japan's crucible
The following editorial first appeared in the Chicago Tribune:

Japan's disaster serves as a reminder to the West Coast to be prepared
The images of destruction coming from Japan have caused those who dwell on America’s West Coast to wonder: Could a devastating tsunami hit here? The answer is a resounding yes. Our coast is under threat from two types of tsunamis.

Public employee unions vs. the public
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker created a firestorm recently by proposing legislation that weakens the collective bargaining power of public employee unions. Some of the news coverage made the governor’s actions seem arbitrary, even capricious. But they were anything but.

Small earthquake felt in Valdez
VALDEZ — A small earthquake shook the Prince William Sound region of Alaska.

Federal grand jury indicts 2 on firearms charges
ANCHORAGE — Two rural Alaska men have been indicted by a federal grand jury on firearms counts, including a man facing first-degree murder charges in state court.

Snowmobile crash kills 2
ANCHORAGE — Alaska State Troopers say two Wasilla residents have died in a snowmobile crash in Trapper Creek.

Truck crashes into historic Anchorage building
ANCHORAGE — Anchorage police say a man has been arrested after his pickup truck slammed into one of the city’s oldest buildings.

Juneau woman charged with domestic violence assault
Juneau police arrested a 19-year-old Juneau woman for domestic violence assault Saturday morning, after she allegedly stabbed a man in the back.

Houston police captain accuses mayor of felonies
HOUSTON — The captain of the Houston Police Department says he has collected evidence that the city’s mayor and treasurer have committed felony crimes, and sent the evidence to the FBI.

Eielson gets radiation-detecting jet
FAIRBANKS — Military officials say an Air Force jet used to track radiation has been temporarily assigned to Eielson Air Force Base in response to the nuclear crisis in Japan.

State: Monitors show normal radiation levels
ANCHORAGE — Alaska officials say radiation monitors show no cause for alarm from the damaged Japanese nuclear reactors.

Last Iditarod musher reaches finish line
NOME — The last musher in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race has crossed the finish line in Nome on Alaska’s western coast.

Skier's body found after avalanche at Hatcher Pass
WASILLA — Alaska State Troopers say searchers have recovered the body of a skier who went missing after an avalanche at Hatcher Pass.

The Gold Standard
It might be a new year for the 65th Annual Juneau Lions Club Gold Medal Tournament, but there’s nothing new about the outcome when Kake hits the floor.

Bears' back-to-back bid blocked
ANCHORAGE — All signs pointed to a much sweeter result.

Fighting under a supermoon
Roughhouse boxing at Marlintini’s Lounge Friday night occurred while the supermoon was rising, possibly influencing the large number of TKO’s.

Juneau-Douglas rebounds against Kodiak
ANCHORAGE — It wasn’t easy or pretty, but the Juneau-Douglas boys’ basketball team kept its season alive Friday.

Crimson Bears one step closer to repeat
ANCHORAGE — The Juneau-Douglas girls’ basketball team wasted little time eliminating the doubt over a return to the Class 4A state title game.

Warriors end Bears' season
ANCHORAGE — With his team trailing by three points in the dying seconds, Jazz King tipped the ball toward the basket.

Falcon's Dunn ready for start of season
April 21 marks the first game of the season for the Thunder Mountain baseball team as it travels to Petersburg to take on the Vikings in its second season as a program. Senior Xavier Dunn, who expects to split time between first base and center field while also logging some innings on the mound, said he’s excited for the season to get underway and impressed with the improved turnout this year.

Palin visits Israel
JERUSALEM — Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin visited a Jewish holy site in Jerusalem soon after arriving in Israel Sunday on a trip that has raised speculation she is honing her foreign policy credentials before a run for the U.S. presidency next year.

Kenai borough mayor advocates donations to Japan
KENAI — In the midst of the crisis in Japan and a natural disaster not foreign to Alaska, Kenai Peninsula Borough officials are collecting donations to send to emergency responders in its sister city of Akita.

Parnell's Fish & Game pick gets industry, legislator support
Cora Campbell, who once appeared to be Gov. Sean Parnell’s most controversial commissioner appointment, now appears to be headed for easy confirmation.

Judge: Soldier can show he reported Afghan plot
SEATTLE — A military judge has ruled that a U.S. soldier charged in a conspiracy to murder Afghan civilians for sport can present evidence at his court martial that he tried to blow the whistle on the plot.

Retailers fear lost profits from cannabinoid ban
JUNEAU — In a state where possession of a small amount of marijuana is decriminalized, Steve Stuber conducts a brisk business selling synthetic pot, mostly to oil workers who prefer the substance since it does not show up on drug tests.

Prison finances bedevil Alaska lawmakers
JUNEAU — Alaska’s new medium-security Goose Creek Correctional Center, initially billed as a way to save the state money compared to shipping prisoners out of state, is in danger of being mothballed more than a year before it is scheduled to open.

Unions, municipalities compromise on wages
JUNEAU — Unions and municipalities have come to a compromise on a bill to raise the limit for prevailing wages in public contracts.

Palin warns of China's rise in visit to India
NEW DELHI — U.S. politician Sarah Palin stressed the importance of America’s ties with India, saying they were based on the shared values of freedom and free-market capitalism, while sounding a warning note on China’s rise during a speech Saturday in New Delhi.

Documents show militia's plan to kill judge
FAIRBANKS — Schaeffer Cox and a Peacemakers Militia associate allegedly stored a cache of weapons in the Fairbanks Ice Park parking lot and bought inert grenades they thought were live, according to two federal indictments made available Friday.

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