Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Spring uncovers inconsiderate trash
Spring has arrived, and with it the evidence of inconsiderate neighbors. I would like to draw attention to three areas that seem to be confusing some people.

Parental notification bill a 'tricky way' to criminalize abortion
Editor's note: Lawmakers failed to pass House Bill 35 requiring parental notification for abortions during the 2009 Legislative session.

Left-lane cruising may be psychological
With regard to Thursday's letter about Juneau drivers' love of left-lane cruising, the problem may be one of psychology. The signs say "slower traffic keep right."

Alaska prepares for pig flu
Though swine flu hasn't been reported in Alaska yet, local officials have mobilized a distribution system for antiviral medications to combat the new strain of virus.

Photos: Alaskan fashion
United Way of Southeast Alaska held its "what to Wear in Juneau alaska" fashion show fundraiser Saturday at Marlintini's Lounge.

Photo: Getting ready for supper
Shannon Bluett arranges ceramic and wooden bowls Sunday before the sixth annual Empty Bowls fundraiser for The Glory Hole. About 450 locally made bowls were on hand for the event.

School district given maximum funding
The Juneau Assembly approved the Juneau School District's $87.9 million operating budget Monday for the 2009-2010 school year but withheld judgment on a smaller pot earmarked for reducing the cost of participating in school athletics and activities.

Empress of the North owner fined for grounding
A Juneau District Court judge on Friday fined American West Steamboat Co. $50,000 under a state pollution statute for grounding the Empress of the North near Glacier Bay in May 2007.

Photo: Ship-shape
Joel Osburn carries plastic sheeting and PVC pipe on Sunday to his truck after uncovering his boat at DeHart's Marina.

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

Experts say more sexual violence awareness needed
Sexual assault is a topic that should not be ignored, according to experts working in the field. And with April being Sexual Assault Awareness Month, it's a good time to educate the public on those issues, they say.

Around Town
Monday, April 27

Photos: Cockles & Chilkats
Vista: Numerous families hunt and dig for cockles and other clams near Shaman Island Monday. In the background, the Chilkat Mountains can be seen. Tuesday morning's low tide is minus 2.7-feet at 10:09 a.m.

Photo: Flocking together
A flock of black turnstones fly in to feed on Shaman Island at the north end of Douglas Island on Monday.

Photo: Word of honor
Rep. Beth Kerttula, D-Juneau, administers the Oath of Service to 31 new AmeriCorps members on the Capitol steps on Monday. The young adults will serve as team leaders and field educators for SAGA's Corps programs throughout the state and will participate in community service projects such as trail work, road safety improvements and invasive species removal.

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

Around Town
Today, April 28

Susan Hosford
Longtime Alaska resident Susan Karen Hosford died Dec. 18, 2008, in Seattle with her husband by her side. She was 57.

Outside editorial: Don't panic yet over swine flu outbreak
Don't panic. The declaration of a national emergency by Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano in response to the growing number of swine flu cases was a legalistic maneuver that allows local authorities access to federal aid. But Americans would do well to keep themselves informed and take common-sense precautions to limit their potential exposure to this new infectious strain.

Outside editorial: Expiring tax cuts offer opportunity
The looming expiration of the Bush tax cuts offers an opportunity that the Obama administration and the Democratic Congress seem determined to squander. No one is proposing allowing all the tax cuts to expire as scheduled, on Dec. 31, 2010, nor should they. But a rational discussion of tax policy would include thoughtfully weighing which tax cuts to keep in place, which ones to pay for and perhaps even which taxes to increase. It may not surprise you to learn that this is not happening. Instead, Congress is busy figuring out how to best break its own rules - the ones that supposedly require tax cuts to be paid for rather than simply tacked on to the already bulging bill for the next generation. Meanwhile, President Obama has appointed a tax reform panel - a good idea - but counterproductively constrained its mission.

My Turn: Exasperating airport visit leaves skepticism, worry
Recently I spent an exasperating eight hours in and out of my local airport waiting for my flight to depart, which it never did. After booking a different flight on a jet that had two maintenance issues that day, and after sitting on a hot, disabled jet for 30 minutes only to have the pilot tell us that our flight would be delayed due to another maintenance issue, I came to the realization that "somebody" didn't want me to fly that day.

CIA will pay the price
We knew that, like almost everything else in Washington, the program would eventually be leaked and our Agency and its people would be inaccurately portrayed in the worst possible light.”

My Turn: Every 45 minutes, another Alaska child falls victim
Every 45.8 minutes, someone in Alaska reports child abuse or neglect. In 2008, more than 46 percent of those alleged victims were children age 6 and under. Those numbers should concern all Alaskans.

Equal Pay Day a time for women to push for change
Today is Equal Pay Day, and this year women have a chance to win meaningful change.

Loose lips or loose pix: same result
"On Aug. 17, 1942, a nationally syndicated columnist wrote that she had received 'a very stern letter' after commenting about the weather, ... and so from now on I shall not tell you whether it rains or whether the sun shines where I happen to be.'

Correction
The results of the Juneau Empire's online poll published in the Sunday issue were reported inaccurately. About 57 percent of respondents said the Juneau School District should not move start times back an hour and a half, with the other 43 percent in disagreement. The results printed reflected the opposite.

Ted Stevens receives award from United Fishermen
KODIAK - Former U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens has received a lifetime achievement award from the United Fishermen of Alaska.

Jackpot $283,723 for Nenana Ice Classic
ANCHORAGE - An official with the Nenana Ice Classic has announced the jackpot for this year's winner or winners correctly guessing when the ice will go out on the Tanana River at Nenana.

Healy traffic stop leads to arrests
ANCHORAGE - A traffic stop near Healy turned into a drug and contraband arrest.

Remembrance held for Tanana Chiefs leader Buddy Brown
FAIRBANKS - St. Matthew's Episcopal Church in Fairbanks was overflowing with community leaders and friends paying their last respects to former Tanana Chiefs Conference leader Harold "Buddy" Brown.

200 gallons of diesel fuel released in Seward harbor
ANCHORAGE - About 200 gallons of diesel fuel spilled in the Seward small boat harbor on Monday. The U.S. Coast Guard placed 1,000 feet of containment boom in the area and then applied sorbents to the diesel.

Temperature hits 61 in Fairbanks, 70 possible by Thursday
FAIRBANKS - Alaskans looking for a heat wave can forget Mexico.

Crash seriously injures Wasilla man
PALMER - Two Wasilla men were hurt after their car overturned on the Old Glenn Highway.

Labs seizures down, but meth still a problem
FAIRBANKS - A member of an Alaska task force on methamphetamine said the number of illegal manufacturing lab seizures has fallen in three years but the drug remains a problem.

Two overdue snowmobilers located near Bethel
ANCHORAGE - Two people reported missing on a snowmobile trip have been found safe near Bethel.

Troopers investigate death of infant girl
ANCHORAGE - Alaska State Troopers are investigating the death of an infant girl in Unalakleet.

School bus drivers in Fairbanks vote for union representation
FAIRBANKS - School bus drivers in Fairbanks have voted for representation in contract talks by the Teamsters Union.

Seahawks end NFL draft by taking safety, defensive end
RENTON, Wash. - The Seahawks have completed their NFL draft by selecting All-Big East Conference safety Courtney Green of Rutgers, defensive end Nick Reed of Oregon and underclassman tight end Cameron Morrah from California in the seventh round.

First 30 miles of Denali Park road opened to motorists
FAIRBANKS - The first 30 miles of the road into Denali National Park and Preserve has opened to motorists to mile 30.

Fort Rich training area closed after wolf attacks dog
ANCHORAGE - Officials have closed off a part of Fort Richardson to recreational use after a wolf attacked a dog.

Alaska pays nearly $850,000 for Aleutian Island ship wreck
ANCHORAGE - The state of Alaska and the owners and operators of the Selendang Ayu have reached a settlement of nearly $850,000 over the 2004 ship wreck in the Aleutian Islands.

Lawmakers await possible Palin vetoes
A week after the Alaska Legislature adjourned, lawmakers are waiting to find out if Gov. Sarah Palin will break out her veto pen.

Cruise company to move ship out of Alaska waters
ANCHORAGE - A second cruise ship line has said it will shift a vessel destined for Alaska waters in 2010 to another location.

Palin hit again with new ethics complaint
ANCHORAGE - An ethics complaint was filed Monday against Gov. Sarah Palin, claiming the legal defense fund established for her last week to challenge such claims is an ethics violation itself.

US declares swine flu emergency
The world's governments raced to avoid both a pandemic and global hysteria Sunday as more possible swine flu cases surfaced from Canada to New Zealand and the United States declared a public health emergency. "It's not a time to panic," the White House said.

Twitter: An outlet for irate drivers
ANCHORAGE - Forget about waving fists and wagging middle fingers. A few Alaska motorists are venting road rage with something more high-tech: Twitter.

Tips for containing spread of swine flu
A swine flu outbreak appears to have killed dozens in Mexico and more cases are showing up in the United States and around the world.

Is swine flu 'the big one' or a just another flu that fizzles?
ATLANTA - As reports of a unique form of swine flu erupt around the world, the inevitable question arises: Is this the big one?

Utility prepares for geothermal exploration well
Naknek Electric Association, banking on a decade of geothermal research and planning, is preparing to drill an exploration well near King Salmon in a multimillion dollar project with potential to provide power to 28 villages in Southwest Alaska.

Seasonal jobs are expected to boost employment
That unemployment rate, up six-tenths of a percent since February, has been on a continuous upward trend since bottoming out at 6 percent in 2007, labor officials said.

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