Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Americans' rights taken for granted
Once upon a time in a land not too far away, there was an undisputed wise man who replied to a question about our nation and whether it should be a monarchy or a republic. His famous words were, "A Republic, if you can keep it."

Palin doesn't deserve front page coverage
Former Gov. Sarah Palin does not deserve to continue to occupy the Juneau Empire's front page headlines. She is no friend to Southeast Alaska and certainly not the capital city.

Alaskans' votes the only ones that matter
This letter is to those legislators who disregard the vote of the people.

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.

Is health care lawsuit about defending sovereignty?
Gov. Sean Parnell and Attorney General Dan Sullivan sound pretty confident that the lawsuit they are joining with other states against the new federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will succeed. That being the case, is it fair to assume that the administration will prepare to solve the problems that the new federal legislation attempts to address? Or are we just defending our sovereignty against the feds so we can surrender it to the corporations?

'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.

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.

Mission of hope
Hope can sometimes be in short supply for troops serving in war zones, but that's where Air Force Maj. Patrick J. Travers comes in. Providing hope is his specialty, particularly during the bleakest of times.

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

Work continues on sunken ship
Underwater divers moving around the sunken Princess Kathleen, in preparing to remove thousands of gallons of oil from the ship, are periodically stirring up silt and water near the vessel off Lena Point, causing oil to escape the ship's compartments.

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: Dzantik'i Heeni visits Harborview

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.

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.

Georgina Dapcevich
Sitka resident Georgie Dapcevich died the morning of April 22, 2010, in Sitka. She was 54.

The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind
There are many good reasons not to like the idea of opening vast seascapes off America's coasts to oil and gas drilling, from the risk of devastating accidents like the recent Gulf of Mexico blowout to the folly of further endangering our climate for just a few months' worth of fossil fuels. But here's one reason you probably haven't heard: The rush to pump will undermine our efforts to build cleaner ocean wind farms - and push the United States further behind in the race to lead the fast-growing market for offshore wind technologies.

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

Protecting our most productive fishery
President Barack Obama recently announced a halt to offshore oil and gas leasing in Alaska's ecologically rich Bristol Bay, a decision that should be applauded for temporarily eliminating a serious threat to these lucrative fishing grounds. But those who have been fighting for more than 25 years to protect these waters from drilling know that this is not enough. It is time to permanently protect the nation's most productive fishery.

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.

My turn: Act to balance Alaska's wildlife management
What can you do to modify extremism in Alaska's wildlife management? During the last two months, you have been reading about questionable wildlife management. Now you have an opportunity to act by providing Gov. Sean Parnell with alternate choices from the partisan groups now represented on the Board of Game i.e., the Alaska Outdoors Council, Safari Club International, and those whose primary interests involve big game hunting and trapping.

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

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.

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

State board adopts facilities, assessment regulations
JUNEAU - The State Board of Education and Early Development recently revised regulations related to school facilities and assessments.

School District holds special board meeting
JUNEAU - The Juneau School board is holding a special meeting at 6:15 p.m. today to request a waiver from the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development for early release for 15 calendar days in the 2010-2011 school year.

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.

Marine highway receives Coast Guard search, rescue award
JUNEAU - The Alaska Marine Highway System received a U.S. Coast Guard Partner in Search and Rescue award during a ceremony in Juneau on April 18.

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.

Marine highway system resumes Fairweather sailings
JUNEAU - The Alaska Marine Highway System announced Monday the early resumption of service for the fast vehicle ferry Fairweather.

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.

Elfin Cove charter fined for fishing violations
SITKA - Elfin Cove Eagle Charters Alaska, LLC, an Elfin Cove fishing charter corporation, was sentenced in Sitka last week in connection with numerous sport fishing violations from a 2009 undercover investigation.

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.

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.

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.

Capital City Fire and Rescue accepts applications scholarship program
JUNEAU - Capital City Fire and Rescue is taking applications for an opening and for an eligibility list for its scholarship program. The Capital City Fire and Rescue scholarship program is open to Alaska residents planning to attend University of Alaska Southeast. Preference will be given to Southeast Alaska residents.

Meeting for high school auditorium users to be held Thursday
JUNEAU - There will be a meeting for all users of the Juneau-Douglas High School and Thunder Mountain High School auditoriums at 4 p.m. Thursday at Thunder Mountain High School.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

Bear attack
In the first-ever matchup between the two teams, Juneau-Douglas defeated Thunder Mountain 13-0 as the Crimson Bears' depth and experience proved too much for the young Falcons on Monday night at Thunder Mountain High School.

Emily Sharp talks record, Russian and unicycles
There is now a new name in the Juneau-Douglas record books after junior trackster Emily Sharp set a school record in the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 15.45 at the Skyview Invite in Soldotna over the weekend.

Photo: Battle for the ball

Junior Aumavae headed to the Dallas Cowboys
PALMER, Alaska - A former Palmer football standout has agreed to a three-year deal with the Dallas Cowboys.

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.

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.

Mental Health Trust Authority defends status
The Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority's executive director said he's surprised that an influential state senator doesn't consider the trust to be part of the state.

Cost for student loans in Alaska on the rise
While most changes to the nation's health insurance system won't take effect for several years, students and parents borrowing to pay for college in Alaska and across the country will see their options - and interest rates - change starting in the fall semester.

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.

Parnell signs in-state pipeline bill
JUNEAU - Gov. Sean Parnell has signed legislation intended to bring a pipeline and affordable natural gas to Alaskans.

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.

2 found dead in Anchorage home
ANCHORAGE - A woman and small child were found dead Monday morning inside a south Anchorage home along with a severely injured man, Anchorage police said.

Senator may hold seat unconstitutionally
JUNEAU - A state senator may be unconstitutionally holding a seat on a state advisory panel.

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.

Alaska Native Youth games celebrate 40th year
ANCHORAGE - The year was 1971. Soft contacts were introduced, Federal Express and Greenpeace were just getting started and gas cost 40 cents a gallon.

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