Saturday, April 17, 2010

Taku's riches are its fishery, not another mining venture
News that an unidentified buyer wants to reopen the Tulsequah Chief Mine should be of grave concern to Alaska's citizens and the current administration. In 1957, Canadian mining company Cominco (now known as Teck) abandoned the Tulsequah Chief operation without a proper cleanup. Cominco left behind vast amounts of tailings and waste rock that continue to cause acid mine drainage to flow into the Tulsequah River and thence down the Taku River into Alaska. Canadian government documents indicate that acid mine drainage from the abandoned mine is acutely toxic to fish.

Ask your Senator to vote for HB14 on the floor
Trivial legislation isn't controversial. People don't care about trivial things. Some people have said that HB14 (Alaskan Malamute as Official State Dog) is trivial legislation and that the Senate is too busy with important work to deal with that bill now.

Marred landscape changes unique visual beauty we enjoy here
This weekend I took a drive out the road to hike Boy Scout beach and was almost brought to tears to see my favorite view of Eagle Glacier and the ice field destroyed by a huge gash in the rock face across from Eagle Beach.

Photo: Spring cleaning
Mark Kiesel of the Department of Transportation pressure washes the sidewalk andrailing on the Brotherhood Bridge as part of spring cleaning Thursday.

Hospital awaiting lab results of suspicious substance
A small portion of Bartlett Regional Hospital's administrative offices remained closed Thursday pending the toxicology report from the State of Alaska Epidemiology Lab in Anchorage concerning an unknown substance found in a shipment from an established vendor.

Employees decry 'culture of fear' at Bartlett
Many Bartlett Regional Hospital employees live in fear of being demoted, reassigned or fired for speaking out or disagreeing with hospital leaders.

Police & Fire
Juneau police and fire officials reported:

Jennifer Louise Fawcett
Former Juneau resident Jennifer Louise Fawcett died April 8, 2010, in Anchorage. She was 62.

Irene "Hessee" Thayer
Former Juneau resident Irene "Hessee" Thayer died Feb. 16, 2010, in Sitka. She was 83.

The inconvenience of the truth
Let's talk tea party - and the press.

Land ethic needed for Tongass
The 1971 Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act passed by Congress gives Sealaska Corp the right to select some 85,000 acres of Tongass National Forest land in clearly defined areas in Southeast Alaska. However, Senate Bill 881 would change the areas from which Sealaska could make its selections to include more economically valuable land such as old-growth forest.

Leave the cruise ship head tax alone
Gov. Sean Parnell's proposal to reduce the $50 cruise ship head tax is a bad deal for Alaska and potentially self-serving for him and our elected legislators. If legislators approve Governor Parnell's proposal, they too should be held accountable by the people of Alaska for overriding a "citizens' initiative" and for giving up tens of millions of dollars of tax revenue, important to the tourism infrastructure of many of Alaska's coastal communities.

Meet the Migration
The Mendenhall Wetlands are like a truck stop for migrating birds. They exit off their airborne interstate to take advantage of the snacks, of both the vertebrate and invertebrate variety, the lodgings and the opportunity to just refuel.

Lectures abound at visitor center to celebrate Earth Day
JUNEAU - A pair of lectures on photography will happen this weekend at the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center.

5K run downtown to honor child abuse survivors
JUNEAU - Residents are invited to participate in a 5 kilometer run aimed to honor survivors of child abuse and sexual assault along the downtown waterfront at 10 a.m. Saturday.

Southeast Outdoor Safety Exposition happening Sunday
JUNEAU - The 2nd annual Southeast Outdoor Safety Expo, presented by the Juneau Rotary, will be free and open to the public at 10 a.m. Sunday at Centennial Hall.

Rhubarb dig up at Community Garden
JUNEAU - Join local gardeners at 9 a.m. Saturday, April 17 at the Juneau Community Garden to dig up rhubarb test plots to make way for a future test project.

Yukon River Quest deadline extended
WHITEHORSE, Yukon - The registration deadline for the 12th annual Yukon River Quest has been extended from April 15 to May 1.

Living history presentation at Floyd Dryden
JUNEAU - Ronald Schramm will be presenting a living history exposition on mountain men today at 10 a.m. at Floyd Dryden Middle School.

Safety Stand Down event happening Saturday at airport
JUNEAU - The 2010 FAASTeam's National Safety Stand Down event will happen at noon in the Aurora Room at the Juneau International Airport.

State land sale offers remote cabin sites
ANCHORAGE - The Department of Natural Resources has announced that Alaska residents may apply for the 2010 Remote Recreational Cabin Sites land sale lottery beginning today.

Nature's way not always appealing
The small saga of the mallard pair on my pond came to a sudden end one April evening.

Featured trail: Dan Moller
The sun was such a tease this weekend. It came and went, ducking in and out of cloud cover.

Celebrate Earth Day at the glacier
In a place like Juneau where scenic beauty is commonplace, it can sometimes be easy, for residents take their surroundings for granted.

Shooting results
For the Juneau Empire

Wild shots
Submit your wild shots

Tides
Today, April 16

Juneau trail projects awarded nearly $1M
JUNEAU - Several popular Juneau trails will receive nearly $1 million in funding this summer according to Trail Mix, Inc., a local nonprofit organization that builds and maintains many local trails.

Boating Safety class for women scheduled
JUNEAU - A two-day boating safety course provided in a supportive, women-only classroom, is being offered in Juneau by Alaska Marine Safety Education Association May 7-8.

Officials remind Juneau residents to be bear aware
JUNEAU - Alaska Department of Fish and Game officials are reminding residents that bears will soon be emerging from hibernation and will be looking to restore lost energy reserves.

Invasive species talk to highlight meeting
JUNEAU - Tammy Davis of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game will talk on invasive species at the upcoming Raincountry Fly Fishers meeting beginning at 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 21 in the Floyd Dryden Middle School library.

Liberalized regulations in effect for king salmon sport fishing
JUNEAU - The Alaska Department of Fish and Game announced this week that sport fishing regulations for king salmon will be liberalized in the marine waters of District 11 near Juneau.

Submissions sought for photo contest
JUNEAU - Photo submissions will be accepted through April 30 for Juneau's first Ammeter Photo Contest. Judging will be done by Nick Jans, Mark Kelley and Joel Bennett. All photos will be placed on display at the Nugget Mall from May 4 to 15. There is a $10 per entry fee, and all fees go to support a non-profit cancer awareness foundation, Love Hope Strength. More information and applications are available at www.juneauphotocontest.com.

Senate passes resolution for education task force
JUNEAU - The Alaska Senate has approved a resolution creating an interim task force to study and recommend ways to move ahead on post-secondary financial aid.

5-foot Virgin Mary statue stolen from Palmer church
PALMER - Police are hoping whoever took a 5-foot-tall statue of the Virgin Mary from St. Michael's Catholic Church in Palmer brings it back.

Studded tire use extended to May 1
JUNEAU - The Department of Transportation announced an extension for studded tire use until May 1.

Tea Party protesters rally in Anchorage
ANCHORAGE - Several hundred Tea Party protesters showed up at a busy downtown intersection Thursday for a tax-day rally decrying a federal government they say is out of control.

Gov gets bill expanding gun rights for some felons
JUNEAU - The state Senate has passed legislation restoring gun rights for some nonviolent felons. The bill now goes to the governor.

Army wants artillery restrictions lifted at Flats
ANCHORAGE - The U.S. Army wants to remove restrictions on live-fire artillery training at Eagle River Flats on Fort Richardson.

Post-mortem permanent fund payout OK'ed
JUNEAU - The House has passed a bill letting some dead applicants claim one last Alaska Permanent Fund payout.

TMHS arts students compete in contest
JUNEAU - Art students at Thunder Mountain High School learned Thursday they are finalists for a design competition involving shoes.

5-year sentence for sex assault at Fairbanks home
FAIRBANKS - A man convicted of sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl at a Fairbanks home was sentenced to five years in prison.

'We don't have any holes'
Juneau-Douglas came up short in its bid for back-to-back state softball championships last year after winning it all in 2008, but the Crimson Bears are back with an experienced team and state title dreams for 2010.

Bears blank Wolfpack
The Juneau-Douglas Crimson Bears cruised past the West Valley Wolfpack 3-0 behind two goals from Junior striker Rhett Bennett on Thursday night at Adair-Kennedy Field.

Capital Cup
The Capital Cup, a friendly tennis competition between Juneau and Whitehorse, was held April 9-11 at the JRC/Alaska Club. At stake was the possession of the perpetual trophy, which has existed since 1983 between the sister cities.

Alaska House panel weighing gas tax bill
JUNEAU - The House Finance Committee is considering an oil and gas production tax bill that's similar to one passed by the Senate.

Southeast students protest tuition hikes
College students were quick to protest proposed tuition hikes Thursday, after University of Alaska President Mark Hamilton called for increases far exceeding the rate of inflation, citing the economic outlook and tight state budgets.

Conservationists, Sealaska meeting on lands bill
ANCHORAGE- An invitation-only meeting is planned between conservation groups and an Alaska Native corporation to discuss a lands bill seeking to privatize tens of thousands of acres of public land in the Tongass National Forest.

Scholarships compromise likely - after session
Gov. Sean Parnell and state Senate President Gary Stevens say they expect differences over major scholarship legislation will be worked out without calling a special session - but not necessarily before adjournment Sunday.

Coastal battle flares in Legislature's final days
Gov. Sean Parnell and Alaska's coastal communities are battling over who controls the state's coasts.

The bill graveyard
They're calling it the "Burt Locker," and dozens of legislative dreams are expected to die in it in the next few days.

Will cruise lines walk through Alaska's 'open door'?
Senators voting for a cruise industry tax cut Wednesday who said they expect to see more passengers could be disappointed, since cruise lines harbor multiple concerns about the cost of doing business in Alaska.

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