Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Crowd divided on lands bill
About 100 people turned out to hear a Sealaska presentation and to participate in open discussion Monday on the regional Native corporation's controversial lands bill in Congress.

Eight groups honored by Coast Guard
The need to know how to survive in Juneau's wondrous surroundings beyond a rain jacket and pair of XtraTufs was endorsed by numerous visitors and volunteers attending Sunday's 2nd Annual Southeast Outdoor Safety Expo at the Centennial Hall.

Alaska's payphones to disappear soon
Sometimes the sound of progress is silence.

Photo: Candy making
Civil Air Patrol volunteer Kirstin Eyre makes a supply of cotton candy during the SoutheastAlaska Outdoor Safety Expo at Centennial Hall on Sunday.

Photos: 4-H takes over Swampy Acres
Captions: Amber Dawn Cunningham leads Midnight Moonshine, a miniature horse, past 4-H club members learning to judge horses.

Photo: Legislative delivery
Legislative affairs aide Roland Mueca brings ready-to-make boxes into the capital building Thursday afternoon as the legislative session begins to come to a close and legislative representatives and staff start the packing process. The 2010 session ended Sunday.

Photo: Harborview orientation
Darlene Jacobsen, left, along with Principal Dave Stoltenburg, right, lead an orientation for parents of incoming kindergartenstudents at Harborview Elementary School Monday. Registration continues until June 3. The first day of kindergarten is August 30.

Photo: Fresh coat on the awning
Kim Van Pool, left, John Erben and Tim Wright scrape loose paint off the awning along Seward Street between 2nd and 3rd Streets Monday. Their company is called Van Pool Painting.

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

Correction
An A1 story on coastal zone management in Friday's Empire gave an incorrect first name for the senator sponsoring a bill on the topic. Sen. Donny Olson, R-Nome, sponsored the legislation.

Florence Marjorie Bennett
Hoonah and former Juneau resident Florence Marjorie Bennett died peacefully on April 9, 2010, after a brief illness in Juneau. She was 89.

Leona Hettie "Nonie" Cramer
Former Juneau resident Leona Hettie (Jarvis) "Nonie" Cramer died April 11, 2010, in Rochester, Minn. She was 81.

Carol C. (Kito) Shold
Former Juneau resident Carol Catherine (Kito) Shold died April 11, 2010, in Houston, Texas, with family by her side. She was 64.

Nuclear progress
The following editorial first appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer:

Outside editorial: China's currency adjustment will help US companies
China recently announced it will strengthen its currency and allow it to move more freely against the American dollar, something the United States has been pressuring it to do for years to decrease trade imbalances. While it might be hard on consumers at first, a currency change could offer American companies the opportunity to gain a competitive edge.

To John McCain's integrity: Rest In Peace
We are gathered here today to pay our final respects to John McCain's integrity.

When Armageddon lives next door
I take it personally: Iran's president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, wants to murder me, my family and my people. Day in, day out, he announces the imminent demise of the "Zionist regime," by which he means Israel. And day in, day out, his scientists and technicians are advancing toward the atomic weaponry that will enable him to bring this about.

My turn: Speak out against wildlife management policies
You have probably noticed that Alaska's wildlife management policies are in the forefront of the media these days. You have likely noticed the surge of letters to the editor, the increased coverage on the radio, the recent event and rally in Juneau to oppose current wildlife management policies, and the recent predator control online poll at the Alaska Magazine website. Some of you may be wondering what all the fuss is about. Read on.

Deficit reduction through tax reform
On April 15, every Washington policy wonk's fancy turns to thoughts of streamlining the tax code.

My Turn: Reduced head tax offers 'tourist-friendly' image
The "State Head Tax" initiative was narrowly approved by 52 percent of voters in the 2006 primary election. Many voters erroneously thought communities could spend this as "free money" however they wished.

Nebraska company wins Fort Wainwright barracks bid
FAIRBANKS - An Omaha, Neb., company has been awarded a $38 million contract to design and build a 276-person barracks on Fort Wainwright.

Voters to decide whether to add 6 lawmakers
JUNEAU - Alaska voters will be asked in November to add six seats to the state Legislature.

Take your child to work day
Juneau School District students will have a day off from school Thursday for an all-staff inservice day/take your child to work day.

Bring an original Alaska Constitution into your classroom
JUNEAU - Planning course work on statehood, Alaska history, or American politics? The University of Alaska Fairbanks Rasmuson Library will bring Katherine Nordale's original, signed Alaska Constitution to your classroom. Students will have a hands-on experience with one of Alaska's most important historical artifacts.

Pebble opponents to visit London
ANCHORAGE - Officials with the Anglo American mining company can expect a visit next week in London from opponents of the Pebble Mine.

Dolly Parton Library celebration
JUNEAU - The Juneau Early Literacy Council and Best Beginnings are sponsoring a celebration of the Dolly Parton Imagination Library from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Thursday at DIPAC. All local sponsors of the Imagination Library and enrolled children that are 5 or will be 5 before this September are invited to attend with their family.

Big cleanup needed after Arctic Man
FAIRBANKS - Cleaning up for thousands of fans of the Arctic Man snowmachine race is a big job.

Charter School open house today
The Juneau Community Charter School will host a kindergarten open house today from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

State Chamber hosts business week for high schoolers
JUNEAU - The Alaska State Chamber of Commerce will host Alaska Business Week, an intensive summer camp for high school students from August 8-14 at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Pick. Click. Give. edges toward permanence
ANCHORAGE - An innovative program designed to make philanthropic giving easier for Alaskans is one step closer to permanence.

High School choice deadline extended
The Juneau School District has extended the deadline for current eighth-grade students to choose which high school they will attend next year. The deadline has been extended for one week until Friday, April 23. Students should contact their current high school of choice if they want to make a change. Please call JDHS at 523-1500 or TMHS at 780-1900 for information.

Minor earthquake occurs in Cook Inlet
ANCHORAGE - A minor earthquake occurred in the Cook Inlet area.

JESS contributes to school breakfast program
JUNEAU - For the last six years, the Juneau Education Support Staff (JESS) has contributed between $1,800 and $2,000 to the school district's breakfast programs in area schools.

Capitol evacuated 3rd time in busy final weeks
JUNEAU - The Alaska Capitol was evacuated for the third time in two weeks, briefly putting lawmakers on hold Friday morning during the busy final days of this year's session.

Church concerned about homelessness in Anchorage
ANCHORAGE - The pastor of an Anchorage church says to end outdoor deaths in the city, people need to understand what leads to homelessness.

Fairbanks fugitive arrested in Anchorage
ANCHORAGE - A Fairbanks man wanted on a warrant for first-degree murder has been arrested in Anchorage.

Fairbanks man charged with sex abuse
FAIRBANKS - Police arrested a Fairbanks man accused of sexually abusing two minors.

Man killed in standoff had air pistol
ANCHORAGE - Anchorage police say the man killed in a standoff earlier this week had an air pistol.

Temperatures top 60 in Fairbanks
FAIRBANKS - Fairbanks was the warmest place in Alaska this weekend.

Anchorage woman, 54, found dead in vehicle
ANCHORAGE - Anchorage police are investigating the death of a woman who was found dead in a parked vehicle.

Seafood processor agrees to $570K EPA settlement
ANCHORAGE - A Seattle-based seafood company has agreed to pay a civil penalty of more than a half-million dollars to settle allegations of clean air and community right-to-know violations at an Alaska processing plant.

Bill resetting minimum cigarette prices passes
JUNEAU - Cigarette prices in Alaska - particularly at large retailers and wholesale discounters - are likely to rise in a few months.

Photo: King Salmon Cup
Northern Lights defeated defending champion Whitehorse 3-2 to drink from the trophy cup for the first time since the inception of the tournament in 2007.

Kings soccer sweeps in Falcons' first-ever series
Soccer balls move quicker on Fawn Mountain's new turf field than the dirt field that was recently replaced.

Photo: Sweet tag in Bears' sweep
Juneau-Douglas shortstop Kalea Chapman tags out Ketchikan's Mylayla Martin as she tries to get back to third in the bottom of the fifth inning Saturday at Ketchikan's Dudley field. JDHS third baseman Gabbie Saldivar looks on behind Chapman. The Crimson Bears swept the season-opening series with the Kings, winning both games 5-3. A story appeared in Sunday's Juneau Empire sports section.

Wilson ready to make state run in soccer
With the Juneau-Douglas boys' basketball season ending sooner than he'd hoped, senior forward Victor Wilson couldn't have been more ready for soccer season to start.

JDHS places third in Sitka
Just three weeks into the season, the Juneau-Douglas track team finds itself improving with each meet.

Girls gain experience on the road in California
The Juneau-Douglas girls' soccer team returned Sunday from a difficult California road trip eager to get back on track.

Cruisehead tax cut passes
The House of Representatives voted to overturn most of the cruise ship head tax on the last day of the Legislative session, largely mirroring an earlier action by the Senate and paving the way for the tax rollback sought by the industry.

Bi-partisan animal cruelty bill passes
JUNEAU - The Alaska Legislature passed legislation Saturday that strengthens the penalties for animal cruelty by making the act of bestiality punishable by law.

Legislature exceeds 90-day session limit
The Alaska Legislature slipped past the voter-mandated 90-day cap on the legislative session Sunday, continuing to pass bills and take action until the early morning hours of Monday.

Commercial shrimpers join Prince William sound fishery
ANCHORAGE - For the first time in 19 years, commercial boats have joined the Prince William Sound shrimp fishery.

House resurrects oil, gas tax bill
JUNEAU - The House shook up what had appeared to be a low-key trudge toward adjournment Sunday, eventually approving a bill - after first defeating it - to change Alaska's system of taxing oil and gas production together.

Parnell readies for vetoes in budget
JUNEAU - Gov. Sean Parnell says legislators expect him to cut the roughly $3.1 billion capital budget they have sent him - and that he's willing to comply.

Sourcing Pebble gold could be difficult
KENAI - The nation's second largest jeweler recently announced it will boycott gold from the proposed Pebble Mine in southwest Alaska, but that could be a hard pledge to keep.

Analysis: No shortage of session winners, losers
JUNEAU - Gov. Sean Parnell was all smiles as he faced reporters hours after the Legislature's early-morning adjournment Monday. He had reason to be happy.

Juneau unemployment rate inches down
Juneau's unemployment rate is inching down, declining from 7.3 percent in February to 7.1 percent last month.

Gambell whalers take first bowhead of spring
ANCHORAGE - A Gambell crew apparently took the first bowhead whale of the spring season.

Mayor's reward program met with skepticism
SOLDOTNA - Mayor Peter Micciche's effort to reward exemplary city workers has been greeted with skepticism by some Soldotna residents.

Sen. Begich co-sponsors bill opposing airline carry-on fees
JUNEAU - Sen. Mark Begich, D-Alaska, co-sponsored a bill that could put an end to costly baggage fees.

Legislature promotes assistance for crime victims
JUNEAU - The Alaska Senate on Friday unanimously approved House Joint Resolution 48, encouraging the United States Congress to expand funding for crime victim services.

House passes omnibus capital bill
JUNEAU - The state House has approved an omnibus spending bill, adding to it on the way to the vote.

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