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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Road supporters should do the math
A simple question: Why is a Juneau-to-Katzehin road still on the table?

Activists should stand up for all life
I've noticed recently that there has been picketing of Planned Parenthood. I believe that everyone is entitled to his or her opinion, but I feel that I must put in my 2 cents at this time.

Bad behavior forced comment shutdown
I find it disturbing that the Juneau Empire had to stop the comment section on the Web site. The newspaper instituted this section last year, and for a while it proved to be a good source of commenting and a way for the people of Juneau to voice their opinions.

Why bring up a death penalty bill?
Why is the Legislature looking at the death penalty bill once again?

Bill will restore parents' rights
Gov. Sarah Palin has 100 percent of my support on House Bill 35.

Some children are in need of protection
In reading the statement in a letter in Monday's Empire, "I love my daughter and cannot imagine being deprived of helping her through such a critical moment in her life," I couldn't help but think that if a parent is that involved in the well-being of a child, surely the child would on her own initiative come to the parent for advice. In such a case, the ruling would not be needed.

Grussendorf jockeys for support in Senate
State Democratic leaders on Monday called on Gov. Sarah Palin to respect Juneau Democrats' wishes with the appointment of a senator to replace former Sen. Kim Elton, D-Juneau, who resigned March 1.

Palin picks Grussendorf for Senate seat
Gov. Sarah Palin on Sunday named Tim Grussendorf as her designee to replace former Sen. Kim Elton in the Alaska Senate. The appointment of Grussendorf enables Palin to appoint someone more closely alighted with her conservative politics and still meet the statutory requirement of appointing a registered Democrat to the seat.

Brewer leads way in 'greening' of beer
Green beer usually conjures images of St. Patrick's Day, but it has an entirely different meaning at the Alaskan Brewing Co.

Tim Grussendorf on the issues
Tim Grussendorf is known among longtime Juneau residents for his unsuccessful campaign for the state House of Representatives in 2002 and as the son of former Rep. Ben Grussendorf, D-Sitka, a former House speaker.

Cruise industry blames head tax for Alaska cuts
Holland America Line and Princess Cruises plan to cut Alaska sailings in 2010 by 10 percent, saying they blame the state's head tax and they're willing to sue to get rid of it.

Photo: Name change for Juneau street
City employee Chris Anderson installs a new street sign Friday at the intersection of Willoughby Avenue and Warrior Street. Whittier Street, where the Southeast Alaska Native Veterans Memorial is located, was recently renamed Warrior Street.

Cruise news may prompt more budget revisions
The latest news of cruise line cutbacks in Alaska may create ripple effects in city finances.

Photo: Sailing on ice
James Hardisty skis across Twin Lakes with his kite on Sunday. Hardisty was out withfellow kite club members. More about the group can be found at www.kitejuneau.com.

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

Juneau Empire wins Press Club awards
The Juneau Empire garnered 13 awards from the Alaska Press Club in a wide range of categories including reporting, photography, design, cartoons, online reporting and video. The awards were presented Saturday at a banquet in Anchorage.

Around Town
Monday

Photo: Boat chat
Tucker Campbell and Nicola Trainor brave the blustery weather Monday to sit and chat on the deck of his boat at the DonStatter Boat Harbor in Auke Bay.

Photo: Bird feed
Common redpolls compete for bird seed on a North Douglas banister Sunday.

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

Around Town
Today

Delores Johanna (Albert) Jack
Angoon and Juneau resident Delores Johanna (Albert) Jack died March 27, 2009, in Juneau, soon after being diagnosed with cancer. She was surrounded by her family.

Effiemae Seagrave
Effiemae Seagrave died March 23, 2009, in Spokane, Wash. She lived in Davenport, Wash., at the time of her death.

Laura Mae Bracken
Laura Mae Bracken died Feb. 28, 2009, at Providence Hospital in Anchorage. A memorial service will be held at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday at Glacier Valley Baptist Church.

Outside editorial: How much bite for new watchdog?
"Happy families are all alike," Tolstoy wrote. "Every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way." And so it is with financial booms and busts. The prosperity we enjoyed until last year looked like previous upswings: easy credit, rapid financial innovation, appreciating asset prices and - finally and fatally - a certain blindness to risk.

Outside editorial: Russia's reset
With a first presidential meeting set for this week between Barack Obama and Russia's Dmitry Medvedev, it appears that the two sides may have different ideas of what to expect from the "reset" in relations that the Obama administration has promised.

My turn: Art program enriches elementary education
I read the recent Empire article, "Elementary Art Show Wraps up fourth year," and felt gratitude for the coverage, because as a member of Arts for Kids, the nonprofit that advocates for high-quality art education in the Juneau School District, we work to bring news of art education to the public.

Outside editorial: Bias in religious hiring
On the campaign trail, candidate Barack Obama pledged to keep government funds from faith-based groups that hire only those who share the same beliefs. President Obama has now set up the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, a continuation of President George W. Bush's initiative, and has kept in place Bush-era provisions that allow faith-based groups to discriminate in hiring. The White House has said that hiring decisions will be reviewed case by case; in the meantime, Obama has created a commission to study and report back on how the faith-based initiative should be structured over the long term.

Is crisis a revenge of the nerds?
Recently, we read a lot about those guys at AIG who were paid $165 million in bonuses largely because (we were told) that, having screwed up the company, they were the only guys who could unscrew it.

Stimulus funds: Shovel ready or digging a hole?
Some question my decision to accept job-ready stimulus funds while leaving on the table for discussion other funds that grow government. Washington dollars are tempting, but we must consider whether they create sustainability, help develop our resources, reduce dependency on Washington, and all without mortgaging our children's futures.

Is this Obama's war, or ours?
One frequently reads and hears that Afghanistan has become "Obama's war." The implication by many who use that phrase is that if things go badly in Afghanistan, President Obama will be blamed and it will cause him political damage. But if things go well, who will get the credit? It won't be George W. Bush, of that you can be sure.

Police seek suspect in armed robbery
JUNEAU - At about 5:15 p.m. Saturday, Juneau police received a report that a man pointed a handgun at a 22-year-old man in the parking lot on Willoughby Avenue and ordered him to drive to another area. Later, the suspect stole money from the victim and fled the car.

Sealaska announces spring distribution
JUNEAU - Sealaska will distribute a dividend to tribal member shareholders April 10.

Snowmobiler feared dead after avalanche
ANCHORAGE - A 35-year-old snowmobiler is missing and presumed dead after he was buried in an avalanche in the Kenai Peninsula's Johnson Pass.

Man arrested after snowmachine chase
FAIRBANKS - A 30-year-old Fairbanks man has been accused of stealing a snowmachine and leading police on a high-speed chase.

Today is the deadline for PFD application
JUNEAU - The deadline is quickly approaching to apply for this year's Permanent Fund dividend.

Soldier sentenced for deployment refusal
FAIRBANKS - A 36-year-old soldier from Fort Wainwright has been sentenced to nearly six months in a military prison for his refusal to go to Iraq.

Doyon company receives big contract
FAIRBANKS - A Doyon company has been awarded an Army contract worth more than $10 million to construct a facility to wash Fort Wainwright's Stryker vehicles.

Stolen food bank coal replaced
FAIRBANKS - The Fairbanks Community Food Bank lost 1,000 pounds of coal to a thief, but has more than made up for it, thanks to local donations.

Moderate quake shakes waters off Kodiak
OLD HARBOR - A moderate earthquake struck in the waters of southern Alaska's Kodiak Island region, but there were no immediate reports of any damage or injuries.

Ferry undergoes repairs in Kodiak
JUNEAU - The state ferry Kennicott is scheduled to resume service Monday after repairs in Kodiak.

Alaska Air CEO earns $1.6 million in 2008
ATLANTA - The chairman and chief executive officer of Alaska Air Group Inc., William S. Ayer, received total compensation valued at $1.6 million in 2008, according to a regulatory filing Monday.

Robbery, kidnap suspect is arrested
ANCHORAGE - A man suspected of robbing several Anchorage businesses has been arrested.

Rejecting stimulus a shrewd move, some analysts say
With a record 12.5 million Americans in the unemployment line and state budgets bleeding billions of dollars, it might seem politically suicidal that a group of Republican governors would want to walk away from their states' full share of the federal stimulus package.

Bill aims to counteract Wash. fuel tax
A bill imposing a nearly $16-a-barrel surcharge on North Slope crude destined for Washington state was introduced in the Alaska House on Monday.

Alaska 'Loser' contestant still fighting weight gain
ANCHORAGE - Kai Zwierstra's house smells like brownies, and she's on edge.

Mount Redoubt quiets down after making ashy mess
ANCHORAGE - Mount Redoubt simmered down Sunday after spreading a layer of gritty volcanic ash over scores of communities that include the state's largest city.

Steller's eider rules may limit Inupiat subsistence hunting
ANCHORAGE - A diminutive sea duck with a white head and a blue wing could bring restrictions to one of the last virtually unregulated hunts in America.

Obama signs wilderness bill
WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama signed legislation Monday setting aside more than 2 million acres as protected wilderness.

More than garments, traditional Yup'ik parkas tell stories of past
FAIRBANKS - Every culture has a story of its history, a tale of how that culture was created, thrived, survived challenges or overcame hardships. Many cultures, over time, have preserved such tales through documentation, writing down such occurrences so future generations can understand what happened and how. For cultures that embrace oral history, different approaches are taken.

Photo: Unrest continues
U.S. Coast Guard spokeswoman PA1 Sara Francis points to an image Monday of the Drift River Terminal site at a news conference concerning Mount Redoubt in Anchorage. Redoubt sent up a cloud with a small amount of ash 27,000 feet Monday morning as the volcano shifted into a different pattern, emitting a more steady ash plume rather than the violent explosions of the past week, scientists said. Meanwhile, the Coast Guard, the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation and private company Cook Inlet Pipeline Co., established unified command over concerns with the oil terminal, 23 miles from the volcano.

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