Monday, March 24, 2008

Partnership needed for schools budget
Sometime around 10:30 p.m. on March 4 at a Juneau School Board meeting, a few parents had a chance to speak out about changing the Juneau School District's budget process. I am hoping for a larger community conversation on this subject.

Auto shop was good
After reading about the closure of the Juneau-Douglas High School auto shop program, I cannot help but think of the Juneau School District's inability to look out for the best interest of the children of Juneau.

Sad thoughts on Iraq
I spent my lunch hour standing in the sun in front of the Capitol building listening to the name of each American killed in Iraq called out in honor of their service. There are almost 4,000 of them.

Paying not to fish
In the last 10 years, the fishing quotas for commercial and sport fishing have declined significantly. We are told that this is necessary because of the decline in the amount of fish in Southeast.

Dirty Old Mines
The legacy of the Alaska-Juneau Mine, closed in 1944, included a riveted steel tank filled with heavy black petroleum sludge, across Thane Road from what is now Taku Smokeries.

Nursing overtime spurs safety concerns
Lawmakers in the Senate Finance Committee heard continued testimony Friday on a bill that would outlaw mandatory overtime for nurses except in a few cases.

Legislature debates cost of moving
A decision by the Alaska Legislature whether to move to the Anchorage area may hinge on cost.

Photos: Re-enacting an important moment in Alaska history
The one-hour documentary, "For the Rights of All," follows the civil-rights movement inAlaska. The final project willinclude re-enactments, historic footage, photographs andinterviews with Native elders. Funding for the project came from The Rasmuson Foundation and Native American Public Telecommunications.

Around Town
Today

Investigation into fatal shooting by officer released
Juneau police have released a report detailing an internal investigation into the fatal shooting of 40-year-old Randall Clevenger by police Sgt. Paul Hatch last August in the Thunder Mountain Trailer Park.

Juneau police wait six months to make Clevenger report public
A police report on an investigation into an officer fatally shooting Randall Clevenger came out seven months after a legal request was filed and six months after the report was completed.

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

Photo: Olympian teaches hockey clinic
Pam Dreyer, an Olympic bronze medalist with the U.S. Hockey Team, instructs Girl Scouts in a training exercise Saturday at the Treadwell Arena. Dreyer was the first Alaskan named to the U.S. Olympic women's hockey team. She won a bronze medal in the 2006 Winter Olympic Games in Torino, Italy. Today will be her last in the Tongass Alaska Girl Scout training clinic.

Around Town
Today

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

Elizabeth Walters
Juneau resident Elizabeth Kitka Walters died March 19, 2008, in Juneau. She was 74.

My turn: A Juneau economist ponders the 'R' word
I usually agree with columnist Gregg Erickson on economic issues, but I was truly hoping Gregg was wrong about the R word - recession.

My turn: Access road would save fuel cost
After returning to town and catching up on the local news, I was reading the letters to the editor from former Rep. Mike Miller, Sen. Kim Elton and Pat Kemp. In Elton's letter, he refers to lamp posts leaned on by pro-roaders and misleading statistics presented by transportation department officials.

Empire editorial: Legislative Hall bill would concentrate power in Anchorage
Should the seat of Alaska's government reside in Anchorage?

State needs a truth squad
With Panhandle neighbors like the Southeast Alaska Conservation Council, Capitol-movers don't need advocates like Anchorage's Voice of the Times.

Alaska Editorial: Keeping party chair leaves Alaska GOP tied to corruption
This editorial appeared in the Anchorage Daily News:

Toe Toon
Cartoon by local artist Toe.

Alaska Editorial: Focus on gas line right now and not ANWR
This editorial appeared in the Anchorage Daily News

From Auke Creek, a flow of information
I had lived in Juneau for several years before I even became aware of Auke Creek. Gradually it registered on my mental map as the place where Auke Lake drains to the sea. But that was it - what could be interesting about such a short creek in the middle of an urban area?

Price tag on hatchery threatens to sink project
ANCHORAGE - The $100 million price tag on a proposed hatchery for Anchorage is threatening to sink the project.

Preparing for the bears
In the summer of 1987, 21 black bears were shot as nuisance animals in Juneau. In the summer of 1991, 19 bears were killed.

Out & About
Today: Public trap shoot, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Juneau Gun Club.

City official eyes snow above Mount Juneau
JUNEAU - City Manager Rod Swope said Saturday that a cornice of snow has been building on Mount Juneau.

Court sets date for mine pollution lawsuit
ANCHORAGE - Kivalina residents who sued the operator of the Red Dog Mine claiming pollution problems will have their day in federal court May 19.

Man accused of trying to destroy plane
MEDFORD, Ore. - An Ashland, Ore., man appeared in federal court Wednesday to face charges of attempted destruction of an Alaska Airlines aircraft and interference with a flight crew.

Usibelli Coala Mine buys Healy preschool
HEALY - Usibelli Coal Mine will buy the Denali Pre-School and Learning Center.

Shageluk man faces assault charges
ANCHORAGE - A 55-year-old man is accused of choking and beating his girlfriend in the western Alaska village of Shageluk.

Couple takes the plunge in Nikiski
NIKISKI - Mark Confer and Joanne Wainwright took the plunge. Literally.

Drive-by shooter receives seven years
ANCHORAGE - An Anchorage man accused of firing a gun in a drive-by shooting has agreed to be sentenced to seven years in prison in exchange for a guilty plea.

Police warn of jury duty phone scam
ANCHORAGE - Anchorage police are warning residents of a phone scam in which crooks call pretending to be court system employees.

Fire destroys building in Southwest village
QUINHAGAK - Fire destroyed a building in the southwest Alaska community of Quinhagak, Alaska State Troopers said.

Dybdahl, Hoonah solve Haines
Of all the games played at the 62nd Juneau Lions Club Gold Medal Basketball Tournament, none compared to the intensity of the Mighty B Bracket title game as Hoonah held off Haines Merchants 104-93 for the victory at the Juneau-Douglas High School gym.

Photo: Juneau-Sitka shootout
From left, Devyn Kublie, Gabi Fenumai, Holly White and the crowd watch during the final seconds of overtime in the Princess Cruises/HoopTime Shootout boys final between Juneau and Sitka on Saturday at Floyd Dryden Middle School. Juneau won 45-44. More photos of the tournament can be seen at spotted.juneauempire.com.

SPORTS IN JUNEAU
UPCOMING EVENTS

Haines wins first state title
ANCHORAGE - Orion Falvey figured the Haines High School boys basketball team would do well this season because the Glacier Bears featured five seniors and arguably the state's most dangerous Class 3A player in sophomore Kyle Fossman.

Klukwan wins first Gold Medal championship in 41 years
As he watched Klukwan Chilkats teammate Joe Parnell dribble untouched for an insurance layup, teammate Larry Sweet Sr. smiled widely and thrust both arms in the air.

Three straight for Kake
Led by tournament MVP Rudy Bean, Kake captured its third-straight Legendary C Bracket title with a 91-77 win over Klukwan at the Juneau Lions Club Gold Medal Tournament on Saturday at the Juneau-Douglas High School gym.

Petersburg finishes fourth in Class 3A boys
Petersburg nipped Grace Christian 43-42 on Saturday at the Wells Fargo Center in Anchorage to finish fourth in the Alaska School Activities Association Class 3A boys basketball state tournament.

Juneau boys fall to Dimond to finish sixth
ANCHORAGE - A big disparity in free-throw shooting helped Dimond High School defeat Juneau-Douglas 71-59 in the fourth-place game of the Alaska School Activities Association Class 4A boys basketball state tournament at the Wells Fargo Sports Complex.

JDHS girls finish tournament in fourth
ANCHORAGE - The Juneau-Douglas Crimson Bears girls basketball team made the most of the opportunity Saturday, beating South Anchorage 59-55 in overtime for fourth place in the Alaska School Activities Association Class 4A state tournament.

Hoonah eliminates Angoon in B Bracket with 94-89 win on Friday
Hoonah's James Wilson split the defense for a layup with less than a minute left to put his team up for good Friday. The outcome of Friday's back-and-forth affair wasn't decided until the final seconds of play as Hoonah won 94-89 in the Juneau Lions Club Gold Medal Tournament Mighty B Bracket loser's bracket final at Juneau-Douglas High School.

Sweet joins Gold Medal Hall of Fame
Larry Sweet Sr. became the 99th inductee into the Gold Medal Hall of Fame on Saturday.

Senate prepares to pass operating budget
The state Senate is getting ready to consider a $10 billion state operating plan that's arrived on the floor about a month earlier than last year.

Four dead after boat sinks off Dutch Harbor
A fishing boat sank off Alaska's Aleutian Islands on Sunday, leaving four crew members including the captain dead and another missing, the Coast Guard said.

Energy rebate proposal gains more traction in Legislature
ANCHORAGE - An energy rebate proposal that would provide each Alaskan with a $500 check is getting consideration from lawmakers in Juneau.

Child's message in a bottle ends up in Alaska 21 years later
Merle Brandell and his black lab Slapsey were beachcombing along the Bering Sea when he spied a plastic bottle among the Japanese glass floats he often finds along the shore of his tiny Alaskan fishing village.

Barring blizzards, tax preparers help in Bush Alaska
On the island of St. Paul, winter is marked by the opening of the opilio crab fishery, the start of high school basketball and the annual arrival of the tax preparers.

University museum director announces retirement
The director of the University of Alaska Museum of the North is retiring after 15 years on the job and an era of growth for the facility.

This Day in History
In Alaska, in the Nation and the World

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