Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Capital Transit should expand early morning service
I am writing in regards to the public bus system not providing a 7:50 a.m. bus from the Mendenhall Valley to downtown Juneau in the mornings. I use the Wal-Mart bus stop in the morning and I go to school downtown. If I catch the 7:20 a.m. bus, I'm an hour early to school. The next bus is 8:20 a.m., an hour later. If I catch that bus, I'm a half-hour late to school.

An open letter to UAS Board of Regents
I read this morning of the appointment of Pat Gamble as the new president of the University of Alaska system. As I perused the article, it seemed like his credentials were certainly impressive.

Obama plan will bring needed change
A lot of people are against President Obama's health care reform plan, mostly because they think it costs too much. They've got a very good point, but that's really all they talk about - how much President Obama's plan will cost. Ask them about their plan and you find out that they don't have one.

Kudos to McGee for thoughtful My Turn
Many thanks to Jack McGee for his thoughtful and well-written My Turn ("Privileged or hard-working?") about how we decide what to offer in schools to our young people.

Larsen should be commended for his work at ADF&G
Doug Larsen deserves appreciation for a job well done as director of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game's Wildlife Conservation Division. I've dealt with Larsen in both his role as Southeast regional supervisor for the division and his capacity as division director. HE has impressed me with his friendliness, professionalism, conscientiousness and willingness to listen.

Troxel's closing is a loss to community
It was a sad day last week when we gathered in Troxel's for the last time and wished the establishment well in whatever future it has. This, however, has deeper meaning for the people of Juneau and too many of us don't realize what exactly is happening here.

Delegation wants answers on wildlife director job move
Members of the Juneau delegation are seeking answers from the Parnell administration about why the position of director of the Division of Wildlife Conservation was moved from Juneau to Anchorage.

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

Bye-bye books?
Yaakoosge Daakahidi sophomore Staci Taylor took a trip to the Capitol last Tuesday. The reason? To help advocate for the Association of Alaska School Board's request for an additional $10 million for its Consortium for Digital Learning, a one-to-one laptop program in which Yaakoosge has been participating since 2006.

Alsup named JDHS principal
The Juneau School District has chosen Ryan Alsup of Castle Rock, Colorado as the next Juneau-Douglas High School principal.

ATIA marketing bill in trouble
Republican lawmakers who support the governor's move to cut cruise industry taxes said Monday the idea is attached to the wrong piece of legislation.

Photos: WATER works
McGraw Construction crews use cranes Saturday to lower a 105-foot,10,000-pound steel truss into place at the site ofthe Dimond Park Aquatic Center. The piece was shipped from Spokane, Wash., in two pieces and were then welded togetherat the construction site.The Aquatic Center isscheduled to be openearly next year.

Photo: Sixth man
Archie Lee, far right, rallies up the Hoonah faithful Sunday during the opening game of the 64th Annual Gold Medal Basketball Tournament between Hoonah and Sitka in the Masters bracket, held at the the Juneau-Douglas High School gymnasium. For game coverage, see page B1.

Photo: Husky headwear
Robert Frick and his purebred Siberian Husky, Paper, walk along Twin Lakes bike path Saturday afternoon. Frick celebrates his birthday every year by attending the start of the Iditarod Sled Dog Race, which is where he purchased the Husky hat he is wearing.

JDHS honored at Academic Decathlon
The GCI Alaska Academic Decathlon was held recently in Anchorage, and the Juneau-Douglas High School state team brought home numerous awards.

State encourages schools to publicize US census
The State of Alaska is encouraging all Alaskans to participate in the 2010 U.S. census. Schools can help publicize the census with "All Alaskans Count" posters available from Ingrid Zaruba at the Department of Labor and Workforce Development. She may be reached at 465-2439 or Ingrid.zaruba@alaska.gov.

Board of Education to hold work session March 25-26
The State Board of Education & Early Development will meet on March 24, 25 and 26 in Juneau. On March 24, the board will meet with legislators and participate in ethics training. The board's work session and business meetings on March 25 and 26 will begin each day at 8 a.m. The meeting will be held in the state board room on the first floor of the Goldbelt Building at 801 West 10th St. The public is invited to attend.

Juneau Douglas Drama, Debate & Forensics team wins state title
On March 4, the Juneau-Douglas High School Drama, Debate & Forensics team took East High School in Anchorage by storm. The team participated in a statewide DDF competition, organized by the Alaska School Activities Association, vying for placement in a variety of theatrical and oratory contests. On March 6, they took home the state drama trophy.

Police & Fire
Juneau police and fire officials reported:

Gardinier appointed curator of Alaska State Museum
The Alaska State Museum in Juneau has announced that Paul Gardinier, long-time exhibits specialist at the museum, has been named curator of exhibitions. In his new position, Gardinier is responsible for the museum's temporary exhibition schedule as well as maintaining and upgrading the permanent installations of the museum's collection. He replaces Bob Banghart, who recently moved into the position of chief curator.

Photo: Hazardous waste round up
Ben Stovall and Louie Thomas of PSC Environmental out of Anchorage stack and separate batteries as part of a hazardous waste disposal effort on Monday. Over 500 public vehicles brought waste for free disposal on Sunday and about 45 commercial companies Monday. The waste will be barged to Seattle and then trucked to Kent, Wash. "It is better than putting it in a land fill," said PSC Environmental foreman Gene Jansen.

Christina Nicole Gibson
Juneau resident Christina Nicole Gibson died March 18, 2010, while visiting Tuscan, Ariz. She was 23.

Esther Lindoff Kaze
Sitka resident Esther Lindoff Kaze died March 9, 2010, in Sitka. She was 77.

Lucky lie put me in glasses
In college, I didn't have time for sit-ins and demonstrations. I rebelled on a one-on-one basis, such as the semester I argued with my literature professor over the merits of writers such as Hemingway and Melville.

Investing in ourselves: Securing energy for Alaska
In a speech on March 12, former U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens offered his assessment on the prospects for the Alaska Gasline Inducement Act, or AGIA. His verdict: AGIA will fail to produce a large natural gas pipeline to the Lower 48 because a market for Alaska gas no longer exists. At the same time, Sen. Stevens advanced a course of action that mirrors a key platform in my campaign for governor: build a natural gas bullet line from the North Slope to Fairbanks and Southcentral to deliver affordable, reliable natural gas to Alaskans.

Under one roof? It's getting crowded
First, there were hammers banging. Then paint brushes. Then carpet. Soon, we had a new room above the garage.

Tweeting trivializes some serious issues
This is not an easy story to tell. Last month, a 27-year-old Tampa woman, Angie Jackson, found out she was four weeks pregnant. Her IUD had failed.

New program offers tax breaks for parents, college students
First hope, now opportunity. As in the American Opportunity Tax Credit.

Anchorage police charge 4 in pizza robbery
ANCHORAGE - Two men and two juvenile girls have been charged with robbing and assaulting an Anchorage pizza delivery man.

Coast Guard locates overdue fishermen in Hoonah
ANCHORAGE - The Coast Guard coordinated the rescue of two overdue fishermen Saturday in Port Frederick near Hoonah, with assistance from the Hoonah Volunteer Fire Department.

Barrow boy charged with attempted murder
BARROW - A 16-year-old Barrow boy has been charged with attempted murder and assault in the stabbing of his girlfriend.

Iditarod ends; Davis takes red lantern
ANCHORAGE - The final musher in the 2010 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race has reached Nome.

Hundreds mourn Makah leader's death in Neah Bay
NEAH BAY, Wash. - Nearly 1,000 people mourned the death of Edward Eugene Claplanhoo, a leader of the Makah Indian Nation who left his mark on the tribe.

Mat-Su Borough puts 2 buildings up for sale
WASILLA - The Matanuska-Susitna Borough is looking for buyers for a pair of Palmer buildings that have seen better days.

Sitka fishermen prep for herring opening
SITKA - Herring fishermen in Sitka are on notice that their annual fishery could be opened by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game with only two hours warning.

House Finance holds scholarship hearing
JUNEAU - A committee with significant say over a crucial part of Gov. Sean Parnell's merit scholarship bill - the money - is taking its first shot at the proposal.

Chenault pushing in-state gas measure
JUNEAU - House Speaker Mike Chenault says involving the Alaska Railroad Corp. in an in-state natural gas pipeline is a good idea.

Kake loses by double digits
Sitka stormed to a 21-5 lead in the early going before holding off a late Kake rally to win their Monday evening C Bracket matchup 88-78 in first-round action.

Hoonah holds off Sitka
The Hoonah Old-timers, led by Greg Garcia's team-high 19 points, held off the Sitka Moose Nuggets 85-70 in Sunday morning's M bracket opener.

Angoon runs wild
In the afternoon's most anticipated matchup, Angoon displayed precise shooting and unmatched team speed on their way to a 111-102 victory over Hydaburg in B bracket action Monday.

Hydaburg heats up B bracket
Metlakatla and Hydaburg squared off in early B bracket action during the 64th Annual Gold Medal Tournament with a matchup against Angoon as a reward for the winner.

Tension high in Monday's first game
The first game of the day between Yakutat and Hoonah in the M bracket set the stage for a full day of basketball as Hoonah escaped with a win in the final seconds in what was a competitive, spirited affair between the two sides.

Photo: C bracket
Kake's Rudy Bean tries to steal the ball from Sitka's ball handling wiz Rich Krupa during C bracket action Monday night in the 64th Gold Medal Basketball Tournament at JDHS gym.

Photo: B bracket
Angoon's Curtis Lane, 20, buries a jump shot over the defense of Hydaburg's Vinny Edenshaw during Monday B bracket action in the 64th Annual Gold Medal Basketball Tournament.

Tsunami Warning System test scheduled for Wednesday
NOAA and its emergency management partners will conduct a statewide test of the tsunami warning communications system on Wednesday at 9:45 a.m.

Legislators endorse cruise tax settlement
There's been little courtroom action as part of the cruise ship industry's legal challenge to Alaska's cruse passenger "head tax," but the lawsuit has got the attention of legislative leaders and Gov. Sean Parnell.

Fisheries Board OKs ban on felt-soled boots
Alaska's Board of Fisheries decided Friday that a statewide ban on felt-soled wading boots amounts to a "prudent and responsible" approach to the threat of invasive species in the state's freshwater streams.

Iditarod concludes with zero dog fatalities
ANCHORAGE - The Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race wrapped up with a surprise - no dog deaths.

State worker charged with $724,000 theft
ANCHORAGE - A 35-year-old state public assistance worker from Anchorage and Kodiak has been charged with stealing $724,000 over five years.

Alaska musher, Coast Guard team up for kids program
EAGLE RIVER - Timothy Ohlinger is pretty sure he wants to be a musher one day. The 5-year-old in Bill Douthit's Fire Lake Elementary School kindergarten class already knows a lot about dogs.

Errant $230,000 deposit leads to theft charge
ANCHORAGE - A commercial fisherman found $230,000 deposited into his checking account and drained it to buy a new car, clothes and a computer, but the transfer was a mistake and the fisherman has been charged with felony theft, Alaska State Troopers said.

King fishing closed at 2 Kodiak rivers
ANCHORAGE - Poor returns of adult king salmon will mean no fishing on two Kodiak Island rivers in 2010.

Suspect in parking lot homicide turns himself in
FAIRBANKS - A Fairbanks man sought in a fatal shooting has surrendered to Alaska State Troopers and been charged with first-degree murder.

Former wildlife employees seek to oust agency head
ANCHORAGE - Dozens of former state employees are seeking to oust Alaska's new wildlife director, saying in a letter sent Monday to the governor that the man who listed Sarah Palin's parents as references lacks the education and scientific training for the job.

State AG reviewing health care legislation
Gov. Sean Parnell calls newly passed federal health care legislation unconstitutional and "public policy at its worst." His attorney general is reviewing the measure to determine if the state may join others in suing over the issue, though a Department of Law spokesman cautioned against a rush to judgment.

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