Urge Senate to move bill out of committee
The legislation to allow the Alaska Mental Health Trust to build a building on their land in the subport area is now in the last committee of referral, the Senate Finance Committee. It has been there since last session awaiting a hearing. This is a project of significant importance to Juneau and Southeast Alaska. Three departments of state government, a total of 500 employees, are proposed to be located at this site.

Health care reform is beneficial spending
I would like to offer a context for the economic and human impact of the health care reform legislation characterized by Gov. Sean Parnell as "forcing" people into a health care plan they don't want, and that the country can't afford ("State AG reviewing health care legislation," March 23).

Reject Board of Game appointee
Gov. Sean Parnell's recent appointee to the Board of Game, Al Barrette, has a conflict of interest that is cause for denial of his confirmation.

Think before undoing daylight savings time
House Bill 19, a bill to repeal daylight savings time in Alaska, is rapidly moving through the Senate. It quietly passed the House at the end of the last session. It may sound harmless, but think for a minute about what this really means for Juneau.

Sarah Palin does not represent everyone
Former Gov. Sarah Palin does not represent me and has not represented Alaska since she abruptly left office in 2009 - so why should she now as a highly paid personality on the Discovery Channel?

Future of Politics: Young Democrats 'Drinking Liberally' to help spark involvement
Illuminated by electric lanterns and Christmas lights, Alaska gubernatorial candidate Bob Poe stood in the back room of the Bergmann Hotel's bar last Wednesday to address a handful of people sitting on mismatched chairs. The group was Drinking Liberally - not because they were at a bar, but because they were young Democrats interested in re-starting Juneau's chapter of the Alaska Young Democrats.

State employees plead for retirement changes
Public employees who want the state to return to a traditional pension plan told concerned legislators Monday that Alaska will face a troubled future as it begins to lose its trained workforce.

An A1 story in Monday's Empire should have specified that while members of the Young Democrats are generally aged between 18 and 35, members of Drinking Liberally, groups of young progressives that gather in bars to socialize and talk politics, must be 21 or older.

Police & Fire
Juneau police and fire officials reported:

Montessori Borealis program hosts meetings
JUNEAU - For parents interested in enrolling their child in the free JSD Montessori Borealis Public program, two public information meetings will be held March 30 and April 15 at 6 p.m. in the Marie Drake building, located next to Harborview School.

2 reappointed to Postsecondary Commission
JUNEAU - Milton B. Byrd and Rebecca L. Huggins were reappointed to the Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education. The 14-member commission administers state student loan programs, and authorizes new facilities and programs for higher education in Alaska.

Future of Politics: Young Republicans hope to gain momentum during state convention
Young Republicans hope the state Republican convention, to be held in Juneau this year for the first time in almost two decades, will help the organization "put the rubber to the road," said Juneau Young Republican Nick Henderson.

State encourages schools to publicize US Census
JUNEAU - 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 907-465-2439 orIngrid.zaruba@alaska.gov.

Accredited summer camps offered at Challenger Learning Center
JUNEAU - The Challenger Learning Center of Alaska is offering residential and non-residential summer camps for kids entering 1st through 12th grades.

Governor appoints several to Libraries Council
JUNEAU - Gov. Sean Parnell has appointed Nancy L. Bertels, Mary Jo Joiner and Arthur L. Walters, and reappointed Barbara M. Kreher and Kathryn J. Martin-Albright, to the Advisory Council on Libraries. The 12-member council advises the Alaska State Library Administration on the federal Library Services and Technology Act plan for the state, and on the development and evaluation of library services throughout Alaska.

Deadline looms to support grant for Abreu Fellows
JUNEAU - The Abreu Fellows - postgraduate musicians, including Juneau teacher Lorrie Heagy - are in the running for a $250,000 grant from Pepsi. They have applied as a group and will split the money between their nine programs, leaving $25,000 to fund a 2010-2011 Abreu Fellow.

State sues over fast-ferry flaws
Alaska is suing the manufacturer of its troubled fast ferries, which have been plagued by engine troubles and other breakdowns since joining the fleet in 2004 and 2005.

Glacier retreat to slow as terminus creeps onto land
Residents who noticed dramatic changes in Juneau's backyard glacier might be pleased to know its retreat will slow a bit over the next few years.

POW residents get second chance to speak on lands bill
Residents in small communities on northern Prince of Wales Island get a second chance Wednesday to voice their opinions on the Sealaska Lands Bill.

Photos: Legislative building dedication
Unveiling: Dean Williams and Caleb Stewart unveil a plaque in front of friends and family during Monday's dedication of the Thomas B. Stewart Legislative Office Building. A new committee room was also dedicated to William Beltz in the new building.

Photo: Trikin' through the puddles
Three-year-old Hayden Soboleff rides his tricycle through water puddles along Glacier Spur Road on Sunday before his nap time. Weather for the next week will feature rain showers and mid-40s temperatures.

Sealaska announces distribution
JUNEAU - Sealaska Corp. announced a distribution to be paid to tribal member shareholders on April 9.

Police & Fire
Juneau police and fire officials reported:

First Friday art projects at Yaakoosge
Students at Yaakoosge Daakahidi Alternative High School are participating in this week's First Friday with murals, carvings, digital art, drama and more.

Photo: Seasonal diving
A pair of mallard ducks enjoy a springtime swim and feed in waters near the Mendenhall Glacier on Sunday. Mallards mate seasonally and not always with the same partner or for life.

Paying for affairs
The following editorial appeared in the Los Angeles Times:

My Turn: Google R&D in Juneau
On March 16, the Federal Communications Commission unveiled the National Broadband Plan in response to Congress' recognition that high-speed internet connectivity is critical to our nation's competitiveness and that the "... United States is behind many advanced countries in the adoption of such technology."

Alaska editorials: Public use bill needs action
Many people tend to work better under deadline, and legislators are no exception. They have a small but important task to complete by the mid-April end-of-session deadline - the renewal of the Goldstream Public Use Area.

Outside editorial: More repression in Cuba
The following editorial appeared in the Miami Herald:

Why don't Republicans speak against hatred?
I was 15 years old the day that President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas. I was 19 when Martin Luther King Jr. was murdered in Memphis, and 20 when Bobby Kennedy was shot in Los Angeles.

Stepping away from blame
Hi, boys and girls! As a public service, I've prepared the following statement for Republican leaders to use when some disgruntled opponent of health care reform injures somebody - or worse. Given recent reports of threats against Democratic lawmakers in the wake of last week's historic vote, that moment has come to feel inevitable.

Democrats should just call socialism what it is
I'm proud to hear that Sen. Max Baucus has finally come out with his admittance that the health care bill was about redistributing the wealth. Finally, it's out.

Man draws 10-year sentence
ANCHORAGE - A 53-year-old Anchorage man has been sentenced to 10 years in prison in connection with a federal weapons possession case.

Nunam Iqua woman accused of attacking mom with ulu
NUNAM IQUA - A woman has been accused of attacking her mother with an ulu knife in the village of Nunam Iqua, which is on a south fork of the Yukon River, 500 miles northwest of Anchorage.

Fairbanks woman gets 3 years for crime spree
FAIRBANKS - A Fairbanks woman pleaded guilty for her role in a crime spree she says she doesn't remember.

Anchorage assault conviction in 3-strikes case
ANCHORAGE - Police say a robbery and assault conviction in Anchorage is the first "three strikes" case in the city.

Fairbanks man accused of raping passed-out woman
FAIRBANKS - A Fairbanks man has been accused of raping a passed-out intoxicated woman on a downtown street.

Repeat eluder sentenced to 9 years
ANCHORAGE - A man whom prosecutors say bragged about his skill at eluding Anchorage police has been sentenced to nine years and four months in prison.

Man sentenced for sexually abusing foster child
SOLDOTNA - A Soldotna man has been sentenced to prison for sexually abusing a foster child.

Small earthquake felt in Anchorage
ANCHORAGE - A small earthquake rumbled the Prince William Sound area and was felt in Anchorage.

Begich amendment allows state to supplement Medicare
JUNEAU - A sleeper amendment in the federal health care bill gives states like Alaska the option of supplementing federal Medicare payments to physicians and other health care providers.

Woman's body found in Anchorage Park Strip
ANCHORAGE - Police found a full bottle of vodka with the body of a woman discovered on the Delaney Park Strip in Anchorage.

CSU campus in uproar over Palin's upcoming visit
TURLOCK, Calif. - The California State University, Stanislaus campus is in an uproar over Sarah Palin's scheduled visit to the school's 50th anniversary celebration.

Man's body found in mall trash bin
ANCHORAGE - The body of a man has been found in a trash bin at Anchorage's largest mall.

Corporate campaigning bill bound for Senate
JUNEAU - The Senate Finance Committee has passed legislation aimed at addressing corporate campaigning in Alaska.

Ice Classic ice more than 50 inches thick
FAIRBANKS - The deadline to buy and enter tickets for the Nenana Ice Classic is fast approaching.

Alaska shines in multi-state seafood investigation
JUNEAU - The National Conference on Weights and Measures announced the findings of a voluntary multi-state investigation Monday, revealing significant overcharges due to incorrect package weights on some frozen seafood products.

Soldotna woman killed on Seward Highway
ANCHORAGE - A 21-year-old Soldotna woman has been identified as the victim in a fatal crash on the Seward Highway.

Ex-soldier accepts plea in child porn case
FAIRBANKS - A former Fort Wainwright soldier accepted a plea agreement in which he will spend three years in prison for possessing child pornography.

83-year-old man dies in Anchorage trailer fire
ANCHORAGE - An 83-year-old has died in a trailer fire in South Anchorage.

Woods resigns from Board of Fisheries
ANCHORAGE - A member of the Alaska Board of Fisheries has resigned after less than a year on the board.

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.

House deems May motorcycle and motor scooter month
JUNEAU - The House passed legislation deeming May "Motorcycle and Motor Scooter Awareness Month" in Alaska.

Soldotna council mulls library funding
KENAI - The Soldotna City Council has approved an ordinance that would allow it to issue up to $2 million in general obligation bonds to help pay for an expansion of the public library.

Johansen: Energy tax overhaul doubtful
JUNEAU - House Majority Leader Kyle Johansen doubts there's enough interest to overhaul Alaska's oil and gas production tax.

The Juneau-Douglas Ice Association Black Bears took second place in the 2010 Bantam Tier III State Tournament in Anchorage during the weekend of March 19-22.

Pastor helps teens take flight
A rural Alaska pastor is on a mission to produce pilots and flight mechanics in a region where jobs are scarce and people fly everywhere.

Vandal smashes window at Democrat headquarters
ANCHORAGE - A vandal smashed a window at the headquarters of the Alaska Democratic Party, and party officials suspect the incident is tied to violence that hit other offices following the health care vote in Congress.

Rep. Austerman: 'Worst thing' state did was scrap income tax
Scrapping the individual income tax was the "worst thing" Alaska ever did, state Rep. Alan Austerman said Monday.

Alaska considers US push to boost school standards
ANCHORAGE - Should Alaska's kindergartners be expected to learn to count to 20 or 100?

Maniilaq's hospital wing waits for state
ANCHORAGE - The Northwest Arctic regional health organization Maniilaq is facing a tough decision in coming weeks about the future of its partially completed long-term care and elder nursing wing at the Maniilaq Health Center in Kotzebue.

Retiring UA president doubts gas pipeline
FAIRBANKS - University of Alaska President Mark Hamilton has little hope for a major North Slope natural gas pipeline - something many Alaskans view as an economic savior.

State pushing to prepare workers for gas line jobs
ANCHORAGE - When a North Slope natural gas pipeline is built, Alaska wants state workers on the job instead of too many nonresidents.

Ketchikan truck tips with worker in bucket
KETCHIKAN - A Ketchikan Public Utilities worker went for a wild ride as he serviced power lines.

Welding lights a spark for Palmer students
PALMER - Sparks fly when Josh Ray's around.

Soldiers' return jolts Fairbanks economy
FAIRBANKS - The return of more than 4,000 soldiers from a yearlong deployment to Iraq has provided a needed boost to the Fairbanks economy.

Woman, 60, proves not too late to graduate
KENAI - At 60 years of age, Denniece, "Miss Dee Dee," Lofgren, and her husband, William, are living the pioneers' dream in Alaska in a somewhat less-than-usual kind of way.

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