Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Alaska Women's Lobby supports SB 13
Two years ago, Sen. Bettye Davis introduced a bill to raise the eligibility level for Denali KidCare from 175 percent to 200 percent of the federal poverty line (Senate Bill 13 - Medical Assistance Eligibility).

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.

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.

Test-week Olympics at Thunder Mountain
At Thunder Mountain High School, the week of the High School Graduation Qualifying Exam and Standards Based Assessments mean something else, too - time for cookie-decorating, pingpong and basketball competitions.

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.

Security company 'alarming' residents
A security company new to Juneau has alarmed residents this week, just not in the way it had hoped.

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.

Alaska only state without seafood violations
JUNEAU - The National Conference on Weights and Measures announced March 29 the findings of a voluntary multi-state investigation, revealing significant overcharges due to incorrect package weights on some frozen seafood products. Of the seventeen states that participated in the investigation, only Alaska was found to have zero violations.

Should we abolish Daylight Saving Time?
A move in the Legislature to do away with Daylight Saving Time in Alaska is getting push-back from the business community because it would place them further out of sync with the country's center of commerce on the East Coast.

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.

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.

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

Alaska Pacific Bank reports second year of losses
Alaska Pacific Bank has ended its second year in a row with a loss.

Photo: Snow sweeping
Blake Stephens uses a gasoline-powered sweeper Tuesday to clear the rock and fresh snow off the grass at Costco. Blake works for his uncle's business called Stephens Passage.

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.

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.

Photos: Thunder Mountain's Test-week Olympics

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).

Police & Fire
Juneau police and fire officials reported:

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.

Patricia Wolpert
Former Juneau resident Patricia Wolpert died peacefully on April 1, 2010, in Marysville, Wash. She was 79.

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.

Outside editorial: Congress should update electronic privacy laws
The following editorial first appeared in the San Jose Mercury News:

Balance is in the eye of the beholder and ultimately Congress
Balance, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. When I behold President Obama's recent offshore oil announcement, as a former resident of Dillingham and fishing representative, I am ecstatic.

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:

My Turn: 43-year-old King Jr. speech enlightens on peace
I was listening to a speech recently, "Beyond Vietnam" by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., in which he expressed his opposition to the Vietnam War over 40 years ago.

My Turn: Creating a safe place for God's children
During the days when I was discerning a priestly vocation, I struggled between the decision to live a chaste-celibate life or to get married and have children.

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.

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.

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.

Reconsideration of ethics bill delayed
JUNEAU - Rep. Bob Lynn is delaying reconsideration of his ethics bill that's intended to address possible conflicts of interest in arbitrating executive branch ethics complaints.

Mat-Su assemblyman to run for lt. gov.
ANCHORAGE - A Matanuska-Susitna Borough assemblyman says he will seek the Republican nomination for lieutenant governor.

BOG appointee draws criticism
JUNEAU - A controversial appointment to the Alaska Board of Game is filling legislators' e-mail inboxes.

Pearson's Pond awarded 'Best Outdoor Setting'
JUNEAU - Pearson's Pond Luxury Resort and Adventure Spa of Juneau received the "Best for Outdoor Venue" award from Lanier Bed & Breakfast. This award is based on results of votes cast by guests of more than 8,500 bed and breakfast Inns worldwide.

Alaska Shield emergency drill set for April 26-May 1
ANCHORAGE - Alaska Shield 2010 will test local, state and federal agencies' response to natural disasters in a drill set for April 26-May 1.

Grant will expand UAF health research
FAIRBANKS - Nutrition research at two Alaska sites will get a boost with a $7.5 million federal grant.

UAF hosts free science events
FAIRBANKS - The public can scratch its science itch this week when the University of Alaska Fairbanks hosts two days of free events.

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

City now accepting vending permit applications
JUNEAU - The Juneau Parks & Recreation Department is currently accepting applications for commercial and non-profit vendor permits for food and merchandise sales in designated park locations for the 2010 season.

Kenai celebrating its 50th birthday
KENAI - The city of Kenai is celebrating its 50th birthday.

British plane passenger jailed in Anchorage
ANCHORAGE - A combative British passenger who forced a flight to divert to Anchorage has been charged with interfering with a flight crew.

Juneau Travel Fair to be held Saturday
JUNEAU - The Juneau Convention & Visitors Bureau's 8th Annual Juneau Travel Fair, a free community event, will take place at the Nugget Mall on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

House passes bill raising corporate fines
JUNEAU - The Alaska House has passed a bill to raise the maximum criminal fines against corporations.

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.

Alaska Railroad earns nearly $14 million
ANCHORAGE - The Alaska Railroad Corp. says it earned $13.9 million on total revenues of $169.4 million in 2009.

No appeal planned for Enstar billing error
ANCHORAGE - Enstar says it won't be appealing the Regulatory Commission of Alaska's decision to deny its request to recoup a $5.7 million billing error.

Early voting down in Anchorage election
ANCHORAGE - Polls are open for municipal voting in Anchorage, but without a mayor's race, turnout may be down.

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.

Boozer headlines ASAA Hall of Fame inductees
Three of the state's top athletes, a beloved activity sponsor and a major contributor will take their rightful places in the Alaska High School Hall of Fame as the Class of 2010.

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.

Parnell's head tax rollback faces skepticism
Gov. Sean Parnell's administration and the Alaska Cruise Association are seeking a rollback of 2006's head tax initiative that imposed a $46 per passenger tax, telling legislators the industry blames the tax for fewer cruise ship passengers coming to Alaska this summer.

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.

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.

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.

Pick.Click.Give. sees growth in second year
ANCHORAGE - Good news for Alaska's nonprofits: The Pick.Click.Give. program saw a 65 percent increase in the number of pledged donations, and over $815,000 was pledged to support qualifying nonprofit organizations, community foundations or campuses of the University of Alaska participating in the program.

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.

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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