Monday, April 26, 2010

Beaten up by the bullies
The cruise ship bullies have prevailed, though it's bad for those of us who are still on the playground wondering where our lunch money went, and how do we go home and explain what happened.

There're more important things to do than fuel federal party divide
The recent introduction of Rep. Carl Gatto's bill against health care legislation signals another herd of mindless sheep following any shepherd that feeds their hate. The private sector already provides the tax base for all government, BIA, Medicaid, and Medicare health insurance coverage, and pays for those who use the health care system but cannot pay because they have no insurance.

'Marriage of Figaro' the highlight of trip to Juneau
I'm an early tourist from Alexandria, Va. My wife and I came to Juneau to take in the usual tourist experiences, but a serendipitous notion led us to attend a performance of the Juneau Lyric Opera's presentation of Mozart's "The Marriage of Figaro" on Friday night. It was more impressive than the helicopter tour to the glacier, which was mind-blowing by itself.

Thanks, Begich, for health care stance
Thanks to Sen. Begich for his brave stand in support of decent health insurance reform. He'll catch hell for it but it was the right thing to do. The fear mongering, misinformation and political posturing of the party of "No" was and still is formidable. I hope that the good people who associate themselves with that party will take a quiet moment and honestly consider who it is that this bill is helping. I will stand up for Sen. Begich because he has taken a stand for me, my family, and the good of the people of America.

Jazz & Classics creates education, endowment funds
The Juneau Jazz & Classics Festival (our 24th) starts in one month, and we want to share the news that we have created a Jane and Tom Stewart Education Fund to strengthen our outreach to youth.

Photo: Out of hibernation
This young black bear was observed on the side hill of Mt. Juneau Sunday morning.

Eagle totem brings 'balance' to UAS campus
Native legends say that forever ago, long before their ancestors walked, the Raven and the Eagle shared the skies, forests and streams of Alaska, bringing a balance to the world as they would jest, joust and shout above the winds and sun.

Water quality specialist to challenge new wastewater rules
The cruise industry is pleased with the state's new wastewater discharge rules but a leading environmentalist has already promised a lawsuit.

Third cruise line to bring new ships in 2011
Oceania Cruises will be the third cruise line to bring new ships to Alaska in 2011.

Tribal Assembly elects new president
Edward K. Thomas Sr. was elected Friday and sworn in Saturday as president of the Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska.

Photos: Seaweek at Macaulay Salmon Hatchery
Students from both Harborview and Gastineau Elementary schools watch as Aquarium Manager/Education Coordinator Rich Mattson shows a chiton as part of Seaweek at the Macaulay Salmon Hatchery on Thursday.

Photo: Air Force touch-and-go
A U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster III transport from Elmendorf Air Force Base in Anchorage flies into the Juneau International Airport as it practices touch-and-go landings Thursday.

Photos: Jazz festival at JDHS

Photo: Walking the catwalk for the Salvation Army
Sandy Fortier sports $5 worth of clothing worthy of a summer picnic during the Strawberry Luncheon and Fashion Show at the Salvation Army Church on Friday. The annual event is sponsored by the Salvation Army Auxiliary and the Juneau Rotary Club.

'Dance The Night Away On Ice'
The Juneau Skating Club skated their season-ending performance Saturday night at Treadwell Arena. Entitled "Dance The Night Away On Ice," the program featured guest skater Keegan Messing, the 2009 U.S. Figure Skating Championships Junior silver medalist, and local soloists Laurie Balstad, Kayla Bishop, Katie Buchanan, Amanda Gassan, Karla Geissler, Andrew Gianotti, Darian Gray, Rosie Jones, Toni Kelly, Julia Noreen, Demaris Oxman, Alex Sargent, Keishla Natasha Soto-Sanchez and Galen Wright, as well as the JSC basic skills skaters, adult skaters and the adult synchronized skating team.

Police & Fire
Juneau police and fire officials reported:

Once a teacher, always a teacher
"I believe that freeing from the bondage of poverty strengthens and enriches the human spirit. I also believe that education is the level playing field for people of all races no matter what the status of their lives are."

Photo: Children at work
Alex Wehe, son of Department of Transportation and Public Facilities transportation planner Paul Wehe, climbs aboard one of the department's frontend loaders during the annual Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work day event on Thursday at its Channel Drive headquarters. DOT&PF planner Irene Gallion, left, ensures Alex is safe. About 30 DOT&PF dependants joined their parents and guardians Thursday at the department's headquarters where they participated in an early morning health walk, climbed aboard some highway equipment used for road maintenance and construction and also boarded a city of Juneau Capital Transit bus.

Photo: Business donates to Porcupine chairlift
Ron Plantz, Human Resources and Community Relations manager for Hecla Greens Creek Mining Co., presents a $5,000 check for the Eaglecrest Porcupine Chairlift to Jim Calvin, chairman of the Eaglecrest Foundation, and Bill Corbus, chairman of the Porcupine Campaign.

Forest Service cleans state highway in honor of Earth Day
By cleaning up what local Forest Service employees affectionately call "The Green Mile" they kicked off their ninth year of participating in the state of Alaska's Adopt-A-Highway program and celebrated Earth Day a little early, Friday.

Coast Guard honors Juneau Forest Service employee
JUNEAU - The U.S. Coast Guard office in Juneau publically recognized the contributions of U.S. Forest Service Forest Management Specialist Gene Miller for his assistance in "greatly furthering the aims and functions of the Coast Guard."

Iditarod musher Martin Buser to speak at Pillars speaker series
JUNEAU - The second presentation in the Glacier Valley Rotary Club's 18th annual Pillars of America Speaker Series will be Iditarod musher Martin Buser at noon Wednesday at Centennial Hall.

Thanks for participating in Career Expo Day
The Juneau School District would like to thank all the 160 professionals representing more than 77 businesses and agencies, who shared their career and work experiences with high school students and staff at our Career Expo Day held April 14 at Juneau-Douglas High School.

STEP grant application available online, with 'no deadline' process
JUNEAU - Under a new state fiscal year funding schedule, applications for the State Training and Employment Program will be accepted year-round.

Thanks for sponsoring, attending our Heart of Hospice run/walk
Hospice and Home Care of Juneau's Heart of Hospice run/walk held April 10 at Twin Lakes enjoyed another successful and fun day.

Thanks for volunteering at our Easter Egg Hunt
The Zach Gordon Youth Center's 26th annual Easter Egg Hunt on April 3 was yet another immensely enjoyable occasion that saw more than 400 Juneau youngsters collect their share of more than 6,000 candy-filled eggs and go home with of a special bag of toy prizes (marvelously put together by ZGYC employee Donny Burras) as an extra treat for each of them.

ABATE club offering basic rider courses
JUNEAU - Alaska Bikers Advocating Training and Education (ABATE) is now offering its basic rider courses.

Longtime Alaskan, book store owner receives legislative honor
Last month, a longtime Alaska resident and local bookstore owner was recognized by the Legislature for her "lifetime of outstanding citizenship and her contributions to Alaska history."

Thanks for welcoming us at Folk Festival
On behalf of Guy Davis and myself, I'd like to thank the good folks of Alaska's state capital for making two travelers feel so welcome in your beautiful city as guests at the Alaska Folk Festival. The warmth you extended to us both, personally and professionally, made each day feel like a gorgeous spring-time breeze. Is every day like that in Juneau?

Applications due for teen social justice mini-summit
JUNEAU - Lead On! For Peace and Equality in Alaska, a two-and-a-half-day mini-summit for 13- to 18-year-old inspired leaders, will take place Oct. 9 to 11 in Anchorage.

Thanks for support, love after the death of Patty Gehring
Our sister Patty's keychain has four beaded words that hang from it: Lacie, Rayna, Bridget, Cora. These are the names of her children (ages 3-10). As some of you know, Patty Gehring (Stafford) died suddenly last December from heart failure, leaving behind her girls and her husband, Lonnie. She was a smart, compassionate, funny woman; she loved to laugh. She was also a beautifully patient, adoring mother. We are devastated by her death. Shocked by what our lives will now be without her.

Thank you again for purchasing uniforms
Once more, we appreciate your purchase of the uniforms we were able to wear in the Amateur Athletic Union Tournament we participated in down in Redding, Calif., this past weekend. We're proud to report that we won four out of five games, losing only in our initial game to the eventual tournament champions.

Thanks for your support of the daffodil sales
On March 10, sunshine was brought to many individuals and businesses. Daffodils were delivered throughout the communities of Juneau, Douglas, Skagway, Gustavus and Kake.

Feng Shui for life
Do you think it's possible to arrange our physical stuff to bring wealth into our lives? I do.

Plunkett, Jackson to wed
Mischa Plunkett and Joshua Jackson are engaged to be married at the end of May in Juneau.

Malsack, Reando wed
Thomas J. Malsack, 54, and Karen C. Reando, 29, were married on April 19, 2009, in Albuera, Leyte, Philippines.

Eagle, Peters wed
Leslie Eagle, of Juneau and Honolulu, and Allan Peters, of Juneau, were married April 17, 2010, at Little White Wedding Chapel, Tunnel of Love, in Las Vegas, Nevada. A Juneau reception will be announced at a future date.

Brandners celebrate 25 years
Juneau residents Stephen and Monica Brandner celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary Feb. 23, 2010. They renewed their vows with family and friends at Victory Faith Fellowship in Spokane, Wash., as their two daughters, Kristen and Kayla, stood with them. Afterwards, they embarked on a 12-day cruise to the southern Caribbean.

FYI
Births

Senior menu for April 26-30
Monday, April 26

Judith Frances Libby
Former Juneau resident Judith Frances Libby died suddenly on April 12, 2010, in Desert Hot Springs, Calif., where she had resided for the past three years. She was 69.

Harryet Rappier
Funeral services for lifelong Juneau resident Harryet Rappier, who died April 9, 2010, at the Mountain View Retirement Home in Juneau, will be held at 1 p.m. today, April 26, at the Church of God located at 8497 Thunder Mountain Road.

Alexander Edward Hazelton III
Juneau resident Alexander Edward Hazelton III died March 19, 2010, at home due to prostate cancer. He was 76.

N.C. right to challenge Amazon.com on sales tax
The following editorial first appeared in the Seattle Times on April 22:

Session will be remembered for its 'energy'
The Alaska Legislature passed two bills critical to securing Alaska's energy future, and neither had anything to do with the natural gas pipeline. I believe that 10 years from now, the 2010 Legislative Session will be remembered not for the $3 billion capital budget or the rollback on cruise ship tax but for the year they passed the Alaska Sustainable Energy Act (SB 220) and the State Energy Policy (HB 306). These two measures will have far-reaching consequences for all of Alaska's communities, while at the same time establishing Alaska as a leader in the global market for clean energy.

My Turn: Bering Sea crab catch shares a keeper
Everyone involved in the fishing industry is talking about the government's push toward catch-shares for fishery management. Thirteen fisheries in the U.S. operate under catch share plans. The big three are Alaska halibut and sablefish, which began in 1995, and Bering Sea crab in 2005.

Legislature's 'fast and furious' final days
The second session of the 26th Alaska Legislature ended last weekend with a mixed bag of results for Alaska's capital city. With the regular legislative session still operating on the voter-imposed 90-day schedule (compared to 120 days), things move fast and furiously at the end.

Two reminders that change is not inevitable
Call it the myth ofinevitability.

NASA reboot
Last week Neil Armstrong, the first man on the moon, released an open letter to President Barack Obama, the first Trekkie in the White House.

Airport baggage screening begins renovation today
JUNEAU - Baggage screening at the Juneau International Airport will be undergoing renovation beginning Monday. During renovation screening for checked baggage will occur manually. Travelers who are checking bags are advised to arrive two hours prior to their flight to allow for additional time on all Alaska Airlines flights.

DOT&PF takes children, big rigs to work
JUNEAU - The Department of Transportation and Public Facilities participated in the nation's annual "Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work day program.

Dog to help out at Kenai airport
KENAI - A trained border collie is going to help chase away seagulls, sandhill cranes, geese and other birds that congregate on the runways of Kenai Municipal Airport.

Fairbanks home destroyed in fire
FAIRBANKS - A Fairbanks home was destroyed by a fire that was apparently sparked by a smoldering outdoor barbecue grill.

Smith named to Alaska Board of Fisheries
FAIRBANKS - Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell has appointed Tanana Chiefs Conference subsistence resources director Mike Smith of Fairbanks to the state Board of Fisheries.

State gets millions for airport improvements
ANCHORAGE - Airports around Alaska are in line for improvement projects, thanks to nearly $91 million from the federal government.

Man sentenced for PFD fraud
ANCHORAGE - A 35-year-old Anchorage man has been sentenced to 135 days in jail for falsely claiming Alaska Permanent Fund dividends.

Fairbanks man pleads guilty to attempted murder
FAIRBANKS - A Fairbanks man pleaded guilty to assault and attempted murder charges for a shooting during a drug deal that wounded a man in the head.

About 6,000 turn out for Heart Run
ANCHORAGE - About 6,000 people turned out for the Heart Run to benefit the American Heart Association.

Teen arrested in series of school break-ins
ANCHORAGE - A 17-year-old boy has been arrested in connection with a string of nighttime break-ins at Anchorage schools.

Begich wants to freeze congressional pay for 2011
JUNEAU - U.S. Sen. Mark Begich wants to freeze pay for members of Congress.

Kodiak's heritage noted with road name change
KODIAK - A street in Kodiak is getting a name change that will take note of the island city's Native Alaska heritage.

Emily Sharp sets new Juneau-Douglas record
It was a record-breaking day at the Skyview Invite for Juneau-Douglas junior trackster Emily Sharp, who set a school record in the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 15.45. The previous mark was 15.50 set in 1983.

Aurora science station inventory being sold online
FAIRBANKS - Hundreds of items from an aurora science station outside Fairbanks are being auctioned off online.

Subsistence hunters protest duck stamps
ANCHORAGE - As waterfowl wing their way to northern nesting grounds by the thousands, key Alaska Native groups are fighting a new federal requirement that subsistence hunters must buy duck stamps.

Dog honored for leading troopers to house fire
ANCHORAGE - Buddy the German shepherd was hailed Friday as a hero for guiding Alaska State Troopers through winding back roads to a fire at his owners' workshop.

Sculpture being installed at Anchorage Museum
ANCHORAGE - A sculpture standing 24 feet tall and weighing 37,000 pounds is being prepared for installation at the Anchorage Museum.

State agency reinstates Pebble mine permits
ANCHORAGE - Permits have been reinstated allowing Pebble Limited Partnership to continue exploring copper and gold deposits in southwest Alaska, the state Department of Natural Resources said Friday.

Rural Alaska in a fight for its voice
Rep. Peggy Wilson, an unassuming retired nurse from Wrangell, convinced more than two thirds of her fellow lawmakers to do something almost unprecedented - to each give up a little bit of their power.

2 test homes to be built in remote Alaska villages
ANCHORAGE - Two prototype homes will be built this summer in remote Alaska villages to test construction methods and energy savings as researchers look for low-cost housing.

Court: Mainland jury gave St. Paul man fair trial
ANCHORAGE - An Alaska appeals court has ruled that a St. Paul man got a fair trial in a case that raised questions about jury selection in small, remote villages.

Website helps catalog Southeast Alaska whales
SITKA - A comprehensive catalog of the humpback whale population of Southeast Alaska is now just a quick click away.

Wood bison are on the comeback in Alaska
ANCHORAGE - Big plays well in Alaska. We're the biggest state, with the most coastline. We've got the continent's tallest mountain and longest sled-dog race. We catch the world's heftiest salmon and halibut, and shoot the biggest moose and grizzly bears.

Reindeer breeding technology successful
FAIRBANKS - Lightning the reindeer and University of Alaska Fairbanks herdsman Rob Aikman both made history Thursday.

Palin testifies in hacking trial
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - Sarah Palin testified Friday about the disruption and hurt caused when her e-mail account was hacked during the 2008 presidential campaign and said outside court that there should be consequences for what happened.

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