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.

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?

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.

Former Tulsequah mine CEO wants it back
The state of Alaska wants any new owner of the Tulsequah Chief mine to show it can afford to clean up acid mine drainage leaking into the Taku River watershed, as well as have a viable plan with a timetable to do the clean-up.

Photos: Enjoying the starting of springtime
Sights of spring in Juneau.

Fishermen receive support for study on Taku fishery
Commercial fishermen won a quick victory at the end of the Legislative session to fund a study on the effects of acid mine drainage from the Tulsequah Chief mine. The mine is located on the Taku River watershed and its salmon fishery.

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.

Photos: Dzantik'i Heeni visits Harborview

Photo: Annual pond maintenance
City crews clean out the pond in Gold Creek at Cope Park on Tuesday during annual maintenance. Rocks traveling downriver fill up the pond above the cement channel that leads to Gastineau Channel.

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

Georgina Dapcevich
The celebration of life for Sitka resident Georgie Dapcevich, who died the morning of April 22, 2010, in Sitka, will be held at 11:30 a.m. today at Centennial Hall in Sitka, not Juneau. A potluck will be held there immediately afterward.

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.

FCC and the Internet
The following editorial first appeared in the Chicago Tribune:

Mosaic plans entice media
What a difference two years makes. The last time I was here for the Logan Investigative Reporting Symposium, organized by former "60 Minutes" star producer Lowell Bergman, you could smell the fear. It was 2008, media revenues had plunged, newsrooms were slashing payrolls and canning their most seasoned reporters, the industry was in a spinning free fall, its parachute tangled around its legs.

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.

Dire job market offers graduates hidden chances to find life's true calling
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - This spring 16 million college graduates will face a job market with nearly 10 percent unemployment and more than 7 million people out of work. Finding a job, any job, will be challenging. Yet, paradoxically, this challenge offers a hidden opportunity to pursue a meaningful life, not merely a livelihood.

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.

Rumors of talks with Taliban are premature
PESHAWAR, Pakistan - After two weeks in Afghanistan and Pakistan, I'm struck by how much hot air is expended on rumors of talks with the Taliban.

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.

Coeur to commence Kensington operations in July
COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho - Coeur d'Alene Mines Corp., owner of the Kensington gold mine northwest of Juneau, announced plans to commence mining operations in July at the Kensington gold mine.

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.

Rural energy experts attend conference
FAIRBANKS - More than 95 communities are participating this week in a rural energy conference in Fairbanks.

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

Teachers union agrees on labor deal
ANCHORAGE - Teachers in Anchorage have reached a tentative contract agreement with the Anchorage School District.

Foraker Group benefit plan briefing slated for today
JUNEAU - The Foraker Group and the Alaska State Chamber of Commerce, in cooperation with Premera Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alaska, announced their collaboration to expand the Foraker Group Benefit Plan to ASCC members.

Wolf population down in Denali, Yukon-Charley
ANCHORAGE - Federal biologists have seen a sharp decline in the number of wolves at Denali National Park and the Yukon-Charley National Preserve.

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.

Sealaska institute awards scholarships
JUNEAU - The Sealaska Heritage Institute has awarded about $356,000 in scholarships to Sealaska shareholders and descendants.

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.

Body recovered on Mount Roberts
JUNEAU - The Juneau police department responded to a call at 6:30 a.m. Sunday concerning a body found on Mount Roberts. The man was identified by a relative as 45-year-old John Samuel Collins.

Ice Classic jackpot down slightly from last year
ANCHORAGE - The Nenana Ice Classic jackpot is down slightly from last year.

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.

Europe's largest cargo airline returns to Alaska
JUNEAU - Cargolux Airlines, the largest of all the cargo airlines in Europe and ninth-largest worldwide, recently completed its first scheduled stopover in Alaska after a five-year absence.

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.

Czech mate
As a 16-year-old living in Juneau, Lenka Craigová could already look back on her hockey career and call it a success. But that's not her personality, nor has she accomplished her ultimate goal.

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.

Soldier back from war suspected of killing family
ANCHORAGE - A 21-year-old military police officer who returned from Afghanistan two months ago likely shot his wife and 8-month-old baby to death, police said Tuesday.

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.

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.

Retirement debts grow
Alaska's under-funded pension plans for public employees and teachers fell another $2 billion in the last year, according to the latest estimates made available to the Alaska Retirement Management Board.

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

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.

Smokejumpers prepare for Alaska fire season
FORT WAINWRIGHT - Bob Schober hears the same question a lot.

Facebook's expansion triggers political backlash
Facebook's plan to spread its online social network to other websites could be detoured by regulators looking into privacy concerns that have raised the ire of federal lawmakers.

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

Alaska tells Tyonek to drop Chuitna River claims
ANCHORAGE - The Alaska Department of Natural Resources has told Tyonek Native Corp. to stop claiming exclusive fishing rights to the Chuitna River, about 45 miles west of Anchorage.

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.

Jurors deliberate 6 hours in Palin e-mail case
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - A federal jury has deliberated six hours without reaching a verdict in the case against a former University of Tennessee student charged with hacking into Sarah Palin's e-mail.

SBA lending in Alaska triples, employment benefit murky
Government-backed lending to Alaska small businesses has nearly tripled in the first two quarters of fiscal year 2010 compared to 2009, but quantifying the effect on the job market isn't as clear.

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