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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Ways to truly support our troops
I see that those "support our troops" stickers aren't working. First we have an Army sniper convicted of murder and sentenced to 10 years for shooting the Iraqis who compromised his "hide" (Sgt. Evan Vela, May 11, 2007, convicted Feb. 10, 2008). Now we have the FBI called in to investigate soldiers who may have patronized a Fairbanks massage parlor (in the Juneau Empire on April 25, from The Associate Press wire). This in contrast to the civilian Blackwater and DynCorp security contractors who operate with impunity and live free of the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

Snettisham powerline should be submarine
One aspect of the Snettisham powerline debacle which has not been publicly addressed is the obvious permanent solution: replacement of overland transmission lines with a submarine cable.

AEL&P needs to be transparent
Gregg Erickson wrote an excellent column regarding possible "overcompensation" to AEL&P (Sunday's Juneau Empire). I appreciate the effort he took to provide those of us who are not economists with a "heads up" regarding the compensation that might go to the power company.

Use ferries, not a new road
I've lived in all three Lynn Canal communities, Juneau, Skagway and Haines for the last 38 years.

Kudos to Hooligan for latest issue
Kudos to Eric Morrison, David Sheakley and the creative minds of Hooligan for coming up with a way to add sparkle to our capital city. I laughed out loud with possible plans for the big hole downtown. Thanks.

Media is a tool of the government
Thomas Jefferson observed that "Information is the currency of democracy." The power of this idea isn't effectively being applied in our country. Consider this evidence:

Support troops, bring them home
Since the recent letter of Jack Sherwood on April 23 so misrepresented the concept of "Support our troops, bring them home," it is necessary to correct some of his blunders.

Single 'no' vote derails AEL&P loan
A single "no" vote derailed a city attempt Monday to loan $3 million in emergency funds to the local electric utility.

City Assembly mulls $3 million loan to AEL&P
A series of questions are expected to lead the Juneau Assembly's vote authorizing a $3 million city loan to Alaska Electric Light & Power Co. at noon today.

Chatham School District hires new superintendent
The Chatham School Board replaced its superintendent earlier this month.

State regulators approve emergency electricity rate increase
Though the Regulatory Commission of Alaska's Consumer Protection Section received at least 100 informal comments or questions related to a recent spike in the electricity rate, the regulators are not investigating any of them.

Answers to common questions about Juneau's energy crisis
Q. What exactly started all this power rate consternation?

Photos: Snettisham repairs move forward
First, two Alaska Electric Light & Power Co. employees dig out snow on a helicopter landing pad on Saturday near one of the toppled transmission towers. The workers are digging out the natural accumulation of snow, not snow left by April 16 avalanches that occurred about three miles from the Snettisham Power House. AEL&P has hired Juneau avalanche expert Bill Glude to assess conditions at the site. The area receives about three times more precipitation than Juneau, officials said.

Photo: Last skate
Treadwell Arena employee Amy Sherwin takes a picture of the last group of skaters Sunday on the ice. Since opening, the staff has made it a tradition to take a group picture of the last skaters before the refrigeration is turned off. The ice rink is shutting down early this year due to the increased cost of electricity.

Photo: Polished and ready
Bill Albert, an employee of Juneau Marine Services, polishes the hull of the vessel Vitus on Monday at the Juneau Marine Services boat yard. Boaters throughout the city have been preparing their boats for the upcoming fishing season.

Photo: Waiting to be filled
George Briggs, executive director of The Glory Hole, sets out handmade bowls for the fundraising dinner "Empty Bowls," which was held Sunday night at Centennial Hall. Briggs is holding several wooden bowls make by Neil Slotnick. About 400 bowls made by 16 local potters and University of Alaska Southeast ceramics students were available for the event. Twenty restaurants donated soup in a volunteer effort to raise funds for the Juneau shelter and soup kitchen. This is the fifth year of the dinner.

Photo: Scarves for summer
Juneau businessman and author Stuart Cohen works on a silk scarf display Monday at his store, Invisible World, on South Franklin Street. Downtown businesses are preparing for the arrival of the first cruise ship of the season on Wednesday. Cohen, who has been in business since 1985, said "I suspect at the end of the season I won't be going broke, I won't be bankrupt and I won't be retiring."

Around Town
Today

Around Town
Today

Police & Fire
Reports from police, fire officials and state troopers:

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

My turn: Think of the children, support Denali KidCare
A s the dust settles from the 25th Alaska state legislative session, most people would agree that a significant level of funding was provided within the state's operating and capital budgets.

My turn: Does the governor care about her grandmother-in-law's rights?
Gov. Sarah Palin's grandmother-in-law's subsistence rights are being eroded by state interests infiltrating the Federal Subsistence Board and infecting laws Natives have worked so hard to instill.

Alaska editorial: Alaskans will have a real choice for U.S. Senate come November
The race is on: Democrat Mark Begich will take on Republican Ted Stevens for the U.S. Senate.

My turn: Our forest home
It is with great reluctance that I am writing in response to Joe Kahklen's April 17 My Turn, "SEACC: Enough is Enough."

Outside editorial: Some real questions for the candidates
After the Democratic slugfest also known as the Pennsylvania primary, many voters can no longer bear to listen to the candidates. Even some who became political junkies during this historic race have now tuned out the sniping over guns, bitterness, race, religion, geriatric radicals and other trivia. We pray the next president will not waste a millisecond thinking about many of the headline topics of the last month. All three candidates should challenge reporters who dwell on gossipy or tangential subjects to ask instead about issues voters care about - or should. Herewith are 10 questions the American people deserve to hear answered.

Man stops car, hits woman inside vehicle
JUNEAU - A 47-year-old female Juneau resident was punched in the face while in her car Monday on Egan Drive, according to the police.

Stolen truck hits Juneau police vehicle
JUNEAU - A stolen truck struck a Juneau police cruiser Monday morning on Egan Drive after officers attempted to stop the vehicle, according to the police.

Meetings on energy costs scheduled
ANCHORAGE - In the next six weeks the Alaska Energy Authority will hold public meetings in 25 communities to explore ways to reduce the high cost of energy.

Man jailed on child pornography charges
JUNEAU - Alaska State Troopers arrested Michael Murray, 49, Monday on charges of possessing child pornography.

UA picks Rogers as interim chancellor
FAIRBANKS - Another former Alaska legislator will head a major University of Alaska campus.

Boat participating in spill drill sinks
ANCHORAGE - A fishing boat participating in an Alyeska Pipeline Service Company training drill sank in Port Valdez.

BP offers $10,000 emergency grant
JUNEAU - BP Alaska has offered a $10,000 grant to the United Way of Southeast Alaska to help nonprofit agencies meet the impending financial crisis caused by quintupling electric prices.

Calif. energy expert to speak in Juneau
JUNEAU - At the mayor's request and using U.S. Department of Energy funding, a California energy expert is in Juneau to help locals find ways to save energy.

Government says no to forest snacks
ANCHORAGE - The federal government won't be giving out snacks in the Chugach National Forest.

Old Fort Wainwright hospital demolished
FAIRBANKS - The old hospital at Fort Wainwright is being demolished.

Crack cocaine dealer gets 6 years in prison
ANCHORAGE - A 23-year-old Anchorage man will serve more than six years in a federal prison following his conviction of distributing crack cocaine.

Indian Affairs head to quit next month
WASHINGTON - Carl J. Artman is leaving his post as assistant secretary for Indian Affairs next month, the Interior Department says.

Chamber takes on Stryker deployment
FAIRBANKS - The Greater Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce is taking a proactive approach to dealing with the upcoming deployment of the Stryker Brigade.

Rape conviction leads to 50-year sentence
ANCHORAGE - An Anchorage man convicted of six counts of sexual assault has been sentenced to 50 years in prison.

Sitka's junior varsity softball team gets the best of Juneau-Douglas
Sitka High School's junior varsity softball team got the best of Juneau-Douglas over the weekend in Sitka.

SPORTS IN JUNEAU
UPCOMING EVENTS

Berkowitz denounces deceptive Web sites
Congressional candidate Ethan Berkowitz on Monday denounced several Web pages that purport to be his official sites, which link users to pages associated with gay culture in San Francisco and attempt to portray him as a privileged, California liberal.

Officials monitor 3 bears
KENAI - State wildlife officials are monitoring three bears that might have been the trio involved in the near-fatal mauling of a jogger in Kenai last week.

Candidates battle mistaken identity
ANCHORAGE - Candidate Jake Metcalfe hears it almost every day as he campaigns for Congress.

Federal judge throws out resort owner's lawsuit
FAIRBANKS - A federal judge has dismissed a $1 million lawsuit filed against the federal government by a resort owner.

High school prank leads to suspensions of 16 students
ANCHORAGE - Sixteen high school students accused of trying to block access to Service High as part of a senior prank have been suspended and may face felony criminal mischief charges.

Radio station in Wasilla makes plans to go green
WASILLA - Radio station owner John Klapperich, an avid promoter of growth and development in the Matanuska-Susitna Valley, has seen the future, and it is green.

TV series spotlights tough jobs and workers in Alaska
KENAI - Deadly cold and miles from nowhere is an apt description of many of Alaska's blue-collar occupations, and it is often said surviving and prospering where the climate gives no quarter demands toughness.

Plane nose breaks through lake ice near Wasilla
WASILLA - Two men in a small plane have survived chilly plunges in a Wasilla area lake after the nose of the aircraft broke through the ice while taxiing for an attempted takeoff.

Charges added to participants in Glenn Highway chase
ANCHORAGE - Two men who led police on a car chase along the Glenn Highway have been charged with kidnapping, robbery and other charges.

Prosecutors recommend at least 6½ years for former Fairbanks mayor Jim Hayes
ANCHORAGE - Federal prosecutors are recommending more than 6½ years in prison for a former mayor of Fairbanks, who was convicted of misusing more than $450,000 in government grants sent to a social services agency.

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

Girdwood looking to tame wild Forest Fair
ANCHORAGE - Girdwood is hoping to tame the Forest Fair.

Anchorage gets tough on delinquent drivers
ANCHORAGE - Anchorage is putting scofflaws on notice.

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

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