Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Kookesh's good deeds often go unnoticed
In politics, you get defined by what makes the news, not by the work you do. That's why I'm writing this letter. Senator Albert Kookesh has spent his career working for better schools, and so opportunity goes to all, not just those who already have it. He's stood up for the right of Alaskans to maintain their culture, and historical traditions like subsistence, while also working to protect the health and vitality of our fisheries and economy.

Etheridge to take over as Fire Chief
Juneau will soon have a new Fire Chief.

State, cruise industry seek deal to end lawsuit
JUNEAU - The state and cruise ship industry could sign by week's end an agreement ending a federal lawsuit over Alaska's head tax on cruise passengers.

Juneau's subport hopes face crunch time
A new state office building on Juneau's subport property has been stalled in the Senate Finance committee for more than a year with no visible action.

Alaska Folk Festival: A labor of love
Amidst the toe-tapping, jamming and dancing during this week's annual Alaska Folk Festival held at Centennial Hall, it's easy to overlook the behind-the-scene work that makes it all possible.

Juneau to hold forest planning roundtable
Juneau is the site of one of nine roundtables to be held across the nation as part of an effort to rewrite the U.S. Forest Service's planning rule.

Sealaska reviewing comments about lands bill
KETCHIKAN - Sealaska is reviewing comments received from community meetings held to discuss its lands bill, which would allow the corporation to choose lands outside the boundaries of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act.

Counterfeiters pass the buck at local business
Evidently even lawbreakers can feel the crunch of an economic crisis, as counterfeiters passed fake $1 bills to a downtown business last week.

Work starts on Juneau VA clinic
ANCHORAGE - In an effort to better serve military veterans in Southeast Alaska, construction recently began on the Juneau Veterans Affairs Outreach Clinic, said a spokeswoman with the state VA Healthcare System.

Photos: Music livens up Centennial Hall
36th Annual Alaska Folk Festival

Photo: Rock face hiking
Richard Redford hikes over a rock slide on the Perseverance Trail Friday. Numerous small rock slides have come down to the trail over the winter.

Photo: Smooth sailing
Dr. Alan McPherson sails under the Douglas Bridge on his 37-foot steel boat, Amica II, during fine spring weather on Friday.

Photographer Ross to lecture at Alaska State Museum
JUNEAU - Richard Ross, the juror for the "Alaska Positive" statewide photographic competition and exhibition organized every two years by the Alaska State Museum in Juneau, will discuss his own work and photographic experiences in a lecture at the museum on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. The starting time for the lecture has been moved up from 7 p.m. to accommodate those wishing to attend the Alaska Folk Festival.

Photo: Perched on a totem pole
A bald eagle perches atop a totem pole at Centennial Hall Sunday. The totem pole wasoriginally carved in 1980-81 and restored in 2000 by master carver Nathan Jackson.

Plastic to metal: JDHS students lead silverware revolution
JUNEAU - Juneau-Douglas High School switched from using disposable plastic utensils to metal silverware this week, after a yearlong campaign by students involved in Alaska Youth for Environmental Action (AYEA).

Key museum collections highlighted in talk
JUNEAU - "A Century in the Making: The Alaska State Library and Museum," is the subject of a brown-bag lecture at noon Wednesday at the Alaska State Museum.

Photo: 'Master of the impossible'
Tomás Kubínek, right, a self-described "certified lunatic and master of the impossible," performs at the Johnson Youth Center on Monday. Kubinek will perform during a family comedy show today at the Juneau-Douglas High School auditorium at 7 p.m. Tickets are available at the Juneau Arts and Culture Center, Hearthside Books, Rainy Retreat and online at www.jahc.org.

Photo: Visit from Sen. Begich
Sen. Mark Begich, D-Alaska, reads "Frog Girl," by Paul Owen Lewis, to Renee Walker's primary class at Gastineau Elementary School last week. During the school visit, Begich also met with fourth- and fifth-grade students in Cinda Stanek's classroom, toured the school and looked at blueprints for the school's upcoming renovation with Principal Angie Lunda.

Bruce Robert Freitag
Longtime Juneau resident Bruce Robert Freitag died March 9, 2010, in Portland, Ore., after a short illness. He was 67.

Ensuring quality health care for Alaska Native people
No reform of America's health care system would be complete without addressing the health needs of the nation's First People. That's why I insisted that the final health care reform bill include long-overdue reauthorization of the main health law for Alaska Natives and American Indians.

Rush Limbaugh, health care and idle threats
As the battle over "Obamacare" was reaching fever pitch, Rush Limbaugh threatened to leave the United States if the health care bill passed. Well, the bill did pass, and he's still here.

Outside editorial: College loans, no middleman
The following editorial first appeared in the Los Angeles Times:

Sealaska Lands Bill meeting to be held in Juneau
JUNEAU - Territorial Sportsmen, an interest group with 1,800 members in Juneau, will host a public meeting on the Sealaska Lands Bill on April 13 at 7 p.m. in Centennial Hall.

Spokeswoman: Gov. got letter demanding he step down
JUNEAU - Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell is among the governors who have received letters demanding they leave office or be removed.

Man charged with grabbing airplane controls
ANCHORAGE - A 20-year-old Bethel man accused of grabbing the controls of a commuter plane landing at Emmonak has been arrested.

Man jailed after police chase
WASILLA - An Anchorage man was jailed after authorities say he attempted to run over a police officer during a chase.

DUI charge for Anchorage driver in carriage crash
ANCHORAGE - The driver accused of hitting a car and a horse-and-carriage in Anchorage is facing drunken driving, assault and criminal mischief charges.

Dept. of Law criticizes bill on electronic records
JUNEAU - An assistant attorney general is blasting a bill intended to clarify and expand public records preservation requirements for electronic formats.

5 charged with prostitution in Fairbanks
FAIRBANKS - Fairbanks Police say five people have been arrested on prostitution charges at three massage parlors.

Seats available for Whitehorse charter flight
JUNEAU - For anyone planning a trip to the Yukon in the near future, the Juneau Soccer Club may have the best deal during the upcoming weekend.

Extradition hearing set for AK fugitive
GRAND FORKS, N.D. - An extradition hearing is scheduled May 7 for a fugitive from Alaska who was arrested by federal officers on a ranch in eastern North Dakota.

Union contracts covering 12,000 workers announced
JUNEAU - Alaska is announcing tentative contracts that increase pay and benefits for the next three years to two unions representing about 12,000 state employees.

Trivette reappointed to Retirement Management board
JUNEAU - Juneau's Sam Trivette has been reappointed to the Alaska Retirement Management Board, Gov. Sean Parnell announced.

Horse-drawn buggy and truck collide
ANCHORAGE - A horse-drawn buggy and a truck collided in downtown Anchorage.

Anchorage municipal election set for Tuesday
ANCHORAGE - Anchorage voters go to the polls Tuesday to choose assembly and school board members and to decide on city bond projects.

Photo: JDIA Hockey
The Juneau-Douglas Ice Association midget team won the Tier III State Tournament in Fairbanks last weekend. They won the championship game against the Anchorage Boys and Girls Club 6-0 to complete their run to the championship.

Photo: H.S. Track
Ketchikan's Dylan Benning, left, and Thunder Mountain's Hugh Watts, right, race to the finish down the stretch in the boys' 1600-meter run at the Ketchikan Invitational Saturday at Fawn Mountain Field. Benning edged out Watts at the finish to take third while Watts took fourth. Saturday's final results are on page B2.

Ketchikan Invitational track and field final results
2010 Ketchikan Invitational

Runner-up Bears
The Juneau-Douglas Ice Association Peewee Black Bears, ages 12 and under, fell to the home team Fairbanks Phantoms 2-1 in overtime of the championship game March 22 at the University of Alaska Fairbanks Ice Arena.

Disctrict helps Alaska kids get construction jobs
ANCHORAGE - Gary Abernathy has his work cut out for him.

Legislative expansion moves forward
A bill to expand the size of the Alaska Legislature formally passed the state Senate Thursday, after Sen. John Coghill decided against changing his vote.

Military still has a mission in Alaska, says Air Force
FAIRBANKS - The military still has an important mission in Alaska, even if Eielson Air Force Base is not among the first to receive the new F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, the chief of staff for the Air Force said.

Convention center too small for Sportsman Show
ANCHORAGE - Anchorage's new convention center can't handle a show as big as the upcoming Great Alaska Sportsman Show.

Groups appealing ruling on abortion
JUNEAU - Two groups want to keep a proposed abortion initiative off the ballot because the language used in petition signature booklets wasn't fully accurate.

Film crew takes to Alaska's untouched ski terrain
PETERSBURG - A crew of professional skiers, photographers, and cinematographers seeking world-class ski terrain will be in Petersburg for the next month as they shoot a segment for their film, "Light the Wick."

Swarm of small quakes occuring at Alaska volcano
ANCHORAGE - A swarm of small earthquakes began Monday at a volcano near Anchorage in what scientists said was a warning that Mount Redoubt could be waking from its slumber.

Ethics panel bill fails; House may revisit
JUNEAU - The Alaska House has defeated a bill which would have limited the governor's selection of members on an ethics panel responsible for arbitrating executive branch ethics complaints.

Judge in Palin hacking case upholds warrants
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. - A federal magistrate dealt the man charged with hacking Sarah Palin's e-mail another pre-trial setback Friday by refusing to dismiss search warrants for Internet provider records.

Kodiak woman flexes pecs at bodybuilding contests
Valene Wilde, 46, poses at the Kodiak Athletic Club in Kodiak, Alaska. Wilde competed in her first bodybuilding show on March 27 in Anchorage.

Tanana chiefs endorse building road to Nome
FAIRBANKS - Alaskans who want to build a road to Nome will face one less obstacle if they can ever come up with money for the massive project.

Piling up wood threatens Alaska rivers, wildlife
BETHEL - So many people are hacking down swaths of live trees to reduce costly heating bills that landowners along rivers near Bethel are starting to fear the practice could endanger fish and wildlife habitat.

Feds collect dead eagles to help Native traditions
ANCHORAGE - The bald eagle may be America's emblem, but the birds are susceptible to the same dangers as the average crow. Each year, thousands of bald eagles are hit by cars, electrocuted or accidentally poisoned.

Funding pends for new state crime lab in Anchorage
ANCHORAGE - One decision remaining for lawmakers in Juneau is how to fund $76 million for a new state crime lab in Anchorage.

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