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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

An in-state natural gas solution
Drilling five holes in Cook Inlet for trucking liquefied natural gas 500 miles to Fairbanks on the roughest road in North America is not a solution to Alaska's energy crisis.

Not enough pride in our troops
I have noticed many letters to the editor that say, "support our troops, bring them home." And it's time I write about it.

All white Alaskans need sensitivity training
As a lifelong white Alaska woman, I have been thinking hard about all of the confusions that enabled my two white brothers to so speak so hurtfully about Alaska Native women during a KBFX-FM radio show.

Upset with TV service changes
It is time for GCI to provide its customers complete information about the conversion of cable TV service from analog to digital. Users need to know all the options available and how to satisfy their requirements.

Share energy-saving ideas with the Empire
I understand that Alaska Electric Light & Power recently installed underwater power lines to Hoonah and Greens Creek. Could someone please explain why Juneau has to receive electricity with above-ground power lines (that keep failing) and there seems to be no problem sending electricity beyond Juneau with underwater cables.

Don't repeat history's road mistakes
I am writing to encourage the governor to make good decisions concerning the Juneau road.

Might go camping down south
I would like to add a little reality to the suggestions that were provided to the public by the spokesperson for Alaska Electric Light & Power.

SEACC deserves respect
In his My Turn opinion appearing in Thursday's Juneau Empire, Joe Kahklen, chairman of Goldbelt Corp., set forth a seemingly unwarranted and frankly less than friendly dismissal of the Southeast Alaska Conservation Council.

Palin officials mull disaster declaration
Gov. Sarah Palin's Disaster Policy Cabinet will meet Wednesday and review Juneau's looming power crisis, her office announced Monday.

Data: Juneau's school dropout numbers falling
The Juneau School District's latest dropout data has both good news and bad news, according to district officials.

Harbors look to increase power fees at city docks
The D and E floats of Douglas Harbor may soon be humming with the drone of generators as tenants unplug from the dock rather than face stiff price increases for their electricity.

Electric usage drops 20 percent
In the face of Juneau's energy crisis, the city is experiencing a shortage of an item not usually associated with a rain forest - clothespins.

Tulsequah Chief mine operations plan delayed
The owner of the proposed Tulsequah Chief mine in British Columbia is still working on responding to the state of Alaska's February request for more information on a proposed unconventional barge system in the winter and spring melt and fall freeze-up seasons.

Sunny Point project stays on schedule
Construction crews began laying asphalt for the new Sunny Point intersection project Tuesday. By mid-May, motorists on Egan Drive will likely be driving on a new overpass, according to the project manager.

McMurren pleads not guilty, trial set for the week of July 7
Accused pedophile Joseph McMurren, 60, pleaded not guilty during his arraignment Tuesday to 15 counts of sexual abuse of a minor in Juneau Superior Court.

Natural gas company offers to fuel AEL&P generators for less money
An Alaska natural gas company offered Monday to provide fuel to Alaska Electric Light and Power generators for between 30 and 50 percent less than the cost of diesel.

Photo: Putting up the welcome banner
Juneau park maintenance employee Ericka Love hangs a banner Tuesday on a downtown light post. City crews have been hanging colorful banners depicting Alaska scenes on the downtown street lamps in preparation for the summer tourism season.

Redcorp Ventures obtains loan to help cover frozen assets
Redcorp Ventures Ltd., the company that owns the Tulsequah Chief mine in British Columbia, announced it was taking a $64 million loan out from HSBC Bank to cover assets frozen in Canada financial markets.

Photo: Drawing from experience
Juneau Parks and Recreation employee Keith Brown lays out chalk lines Monday for the soccer field at Savikko Park.

Photo: Trail danger
Mark Kelley examines an avalanche Tuesday that is blocking Perseverance Trail. Recent storms and warming temperatures have made snow conditions ripe for avalanches. Juneau officials have advised residents to be aware of the avalanche danger.

Photo: Rolling into spring
Jesse Schooler rides his unicycle Monday on the cruise ship dock near Marine Park. Just four days after a late spring blizzard, Juneau residents basked in the warm sunshine.

Around Town
Today

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

Around Town
Today

Corrections
A headline was incorrectly attributed in Tuesday's front-page story on the possibility of an increase in power fees at city docks. The headline should have read: "Port director says cost has potential to dwarf moorage fee increases."

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

April Showcase with 'Zomo the Rabbit'
Juneau Dance Unlimited's April Showcase will include modern, ballet and hip-hop dance for the enjoyment of all ages this Friday and Saturday at the Juneau-Douglas High School.

Association offers basic boating, navigation workshop for women
The Alaska Marine Safety Education Association will offer a basic boating and navigational skills workshop, "Boating Without the Boys," designed specifically for women.

Mobile mammogram van visits Haines starting May 12
HAINES - The mobile mammogram van will visit Haines starting on May 12, with appointments running through the afternoon of May 21.

Thank you from the Juneau Cooperative Extension Service
The University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension faculty search committee and Juneau District staff would like to thank all the community members who took time out of their busy schedules to attend the public presentations provided by the final candidates being considered for the 4-H Youth Development and Agriculture/Horticulture educator for the Southeast district.

Thank you for the delicious fundraising couple's dinner
The Alaska Youth Choir would like to sincerely thank Chez Alaska, owned and operated by Laraine Derr, for the delicious fundraising couple's dinner that was provided April 12.

Thanks for helping at our winetasting
The Juneau Lighthouse Association hosted a spring winetasting and silent auction at the Silverbow Inn on April 3. Thank you to all who helped make the evening a successful fundraiser for the renovations to Five Finger Lighthouse scheduled to start in May 2008.

Pets of the week
Dreamy, nice, sparkling pets seek homes

Bowhay teaches gardeners about planting in containers
Attendees of the Southeast Master Gardeners' special montly program on April 11 browsed among more than 1,000 plants in containers and hanging baskets at Glacier Gardens greenhouse.

Cooperative Extension Service offers energy saving advice
The Juneau District Cooperative Extension Service provides free energy saving information for residents facing electricity rates that will likely quintuple in the next few weeks. Factsheets by energy specialist Rich Seifert are available at the district office located in the Bill Ray Center and can be downloaded from the University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Web site at www.uaf.edu/ces/energy.

Donation to Boy Scouts shooting sports
Boy Scouts Shooting Sports Director Ernie Mueller, left, accepts a $3,068 check from Juneau Friends of the National Rifle Association Committee Chairwoman Kathy McCasland on April 15 at the Juneau Hunter Education Facility. The donation will go toward new rifles for Eagle River Scout Camp. Each year, the Friends of NRA hold a banquet to raise funds for shooting sports in Juneau. This year's banquet is at 5 p.m. on Saturday, April 26, at Centennial Hall. Advance tickets are $45 each or $75 per couple. For more information, call McCasland at 790-4957.

Dr. Lani Leary to speak for End of Life Care on Friday
JUNEAU - The Foundation for End of Life Care and Juneau Medical Society are co-sponsoring the second of free lectures, "Ten Things I Wish I Knew Before She Died," by Dr. Lani Leary, clinical psychologist and author of "Healing Hands." Leary will present at 7 p.m. Friday at Centennial Hall. The presentation is free and open to people of all ages.

McCowan to present outdoor safety and survival workshop
JUNEAU - Past judge and marshal for the annual Yukon Quest sled dog race, Mike McCowan will present an outdoor safety and survival workshop from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, April 26 and 27, at the University of Alaska Southeast Egan Building, Room 123.

Mobile mammogram van to visit Angoon next week, May 1-5
ANGOON - The mobile mammogram van will visit Angoon starting at 3 p.m. on May 1, with appointments available through the afternoon of May 5 (no weekend appointments).

SEARHC joins other Sitka groups for National Bike Month
SITKA - The SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium Health Promotion Department, Injury Prevention, Employee Wellness Team and the Steps to a Healthier Southeast Alaska program are joining with several other Sitka community groups to host a series of May events for National Bike Month.

Sitka Women's Walk and Triathlon takes place Saturday
SITKA - Want to go for a walk, bike ride or swim? Want to try a triathlon? Sitka women are invited to "build your own event" when you participate in the Sitka Women's Walk and Triathlon, sponsored by the SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium WISEWOMAN program, Planned Parenthood of Sitka and Sitka Physical Therapy.

Beverly Howe-Merrill
Former Juneau resident Beverly Ann Howe-Merrill died April 6, 2008, in Ava, Mo., at the home of her parents, Charles and Betty Howe. She was 47.

Thomas David Ward
Former Juneau resident Thomas David Ward died April 14, 2008, after five years of pain and suffering caused by a work-related injury. Family said he died unexpectedly in his sleep. He was 46.

Vernon McGee
Juneau resident Vernon D. McGee went missing at the end of February 2008 in a boat-related incident. He was 49.

Charles Wilson
Former Juneau resident Charles B. Wilson died April 21, 2008, in Keizer, Ore. He was 91.

Richard McKinley
Juneau resident Richard McKinley died on March 7, 2008, at Bartlett Regional Hospital in Juneau. He was 76.

My turn: Amid Juneau's energy crisis, displeasure with legislators
After reading Tuesday's headline article, I would like to express my profound displeasure with our legislators. It's bad enough that they showed a total disconnect with the suffering of their constituents, but the reason for not supporting the $500 supplement was even more disturbing.

My turn: Juneau access road: deciphering the reports
As part of the environmental impact survey process, the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities commissioned two studies to examine potential natural hazards that could affect the proposed Juneau access road, a 50-mile route along the east side of Lynn Canal from Echo Cove to the Katzehin Delta.

Alaska editorial: Lawmakers should keep special session limited
Keep it simple. That's what Alaska's leaders should do with the agenda of the pending special session of the Legislature.

My turn: We're all in this together
The April 16 avalanches have affected every family, business and government agency in Juneau. We are already coping with the consequences of this event - trying to conserve energy - as we prepare for the direct and indirect financial impacts to our household and working place budgets.

Outside editorial: The Pope's message
Almost three decades ago, a new pope still in his 50s captivated Americans during a triumphant tour that took him to Washington, New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago and Des Moines. Last week, America was visited by a different sort of pope - a soft-spoken octogenarian - with a less ambitious itinerary. But, like John Paul II's 1979 tour, Benedict XVI's visit to New York and Washington was a success beyond the opportunity it afforded the bishop of Rome to pray with the faithful.

Outside editorial: Sharing the cost in Iraq
After five years of war in Iraq, a movement is building in Congress to make the Iraqis pick up more of the cost, particularly for rebuilding. Good. It can be argued that if the United States broke it, the United States should fix it. But any damage caused by the U.S. invasion has been repaid by the $47.5 billion Congress has appropriated for reconstruction since 2003. A big reason for ongoing destruction is the civil war for control of Iraq that various internal factions are waging. Don't ask U.S. taxpayers to pay for that.

Outside editorial: IRS doesn't need private tax collectors
Department of Poetic Justice: On April 15 - the tax filing deadline - the House of Representatives voted to bar the Internal Revenue Service from using private debt collection agencies to gather unpaid taxes. The measure would shut down a money-wasting IRS program that hires private firms to find delinquent taxpayers and collect debts. Problem is, the program costs more than the money that is collected.

City attorney shoots down Hood initiative
JUNEAU - City attorney John Hartle on Monday said a draft citizen initiative filed by Dixie Hood and four others hoping to stop the city's parking garage and transit center project has failed review on several measures.

Four people injured in helicopter fire
FORT WAINWRIGHT - Officials at Fort Wainwright said four crew members received minor injuries when their medevac helicopter caught fire.

Crew made effort to launch life rafts
SEATTLE - A survivor of the doomed fishing vessel Alaska Ranger has told a federal inquiry board that the last minutes aboard the ship were spent in a desperate effort to launch the boat's life rafts into the Bering Sea.

Man sentenced for child porn distribution
ANCHORAGE - A 70-year-old Palmer man will spend 30 years in a federal prison following his convictions for possessing and distributing child pornography.

Man arrested after Anchorage shooting
ANCHORAGE - A man was arrested after shots were fired at a mobile home park in Anchorage.

Corrections officers decry commissioner
JUNEAU - State corrections officers overwhelmingly registered disapproval of their commissioner's leadership in a union vote on Tuesday.

Doyon hires new president and CEO
FAIRBANKS - Doyon has hired Norm Phillips as president and chief executive officer of the Native corporation located in Alaska's Interior.

Village officer program receives extra funding
ANCHORAGE - State lawmakers have approved more than $1.2 million in additional funding for raises and new positions in Alaska's Village Public Safety Officer program.

Foundation pledges $1 million to UAA
ANCHORAGE - The Atwood Foundation has pledged $1 million to the University of Alaska Anchorage's Department of Journalism and Public Communications.

Neighborhood fuming about bright lights
ANCHORAGE - High-voltage street lights installed in one Anchorage neighborhood have residents seeing red, and issuing a warning to other neighborhoods about the lights.

Man pleads not guilty in death of nurse
ANCHORAGE - An Anchorage man has pleaded not guilty to murder and other charges related to the death of his neighbor, Anchorage nurse Mindy Schloss.

Photo: Sign of spring
Juneau-Douglas High School's Carrie Laliberte pitches during softball practice Tuesday at the turf field in front of the Marie Drake building. The defending state champion Crimson Bears open the season Thursday at Sitka.

West wins big air contest
To a backdrop of bluebird skies and Canadian mountains, Juneau skier Jesse West, 17, took first place in the 13th Annual Olen Nash Memorial Big Air Contest on Sunday in British Columbia. The event took place across from Three Guardsman Peaks on the Haines Highway, about 12 miles away from the U.S.-Canada border.

SPORTS IN JUNEAU
UPCOMING EVENTS

State turns down Exxon proposal for North Slope oil field
ANCHORAGE - The state of Alaska on Tuesday rejected a development proposal by Exxon Mobil Corp. in litigation over a rich cache of oil and gas on the North Slope.

Photos: Welcoming Trig
Gov. Sarah Palin and her husband, Todd, present their fifth child, a boy named Trig Paxson Van Palin, who was born Friday. The Palins confirmed that Trig, their second son, has Down syndrome. Palin worked briefly Monday, just three days after giving birth. The governor didn't spend the entire day at work, but she did meet in Anchorage with her gas line team, which is preparing for a special legislative session. A Palin spokeswoman said the governor will be working on a limited basis for a while, and hopes to make some public appearances already on her calendar.

Decision about beluga whale listing delayed
ANCHORAGE - A federal agency is giving itself six more months to decide whether to list as endangered the beluga whales that swim in waters off Alaska's largest city.

Commissioners approve coastal management plan
Juneau planning commissioners Tuesday night unanimously approved a final version of the Juneau coastal management program. It has been in revision for several years since changes in state regulations restricted how local districts participate in state reviews of coastal developments.

Heavy snowfall gives boost to predator control program
FAIRBANKS - Above-average snowfall this month is helping participants in the state's aerial wolf control program track wolves.

Pebble Partnership to spend $140 million on mine in 2008
ANCHORAGE - Two mining companies collaborating on the Pebble Mine have set a budget of more than $140 million this year.

Anchorage mayor officially launches campaign for Stevens' Senate seat
ANCHORAGE - The mayor of Alaska's largest city told a cheering crowd Monday that he is going after the U.S. Senate seat held by Ted Stevens, the longest serving Republican in the Senate.

Anchorage homes to get bear-resistant trash cans
ANCHORAGE - Hundreds of homes will get free bear-resistant garbage cans this summer in an effort to discourage trash bears in two areas of east Anchorage.

Exhibit features vending-machine art
KETCHIKAN - A great deal offered by an e-Bay seller led to 15 large, heavy, steel, wall-mounted vending machines sitting in local artist Chris Hanson's garage.

This Day in History
In Alaska, in the Nation and the World

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