Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Use Rainy Day Fund in energy crisis
In the 1990s the Juneau Assembly established a special fund called the Rainy Day Fund. The purpose at the time was to build up a reserve that could be used to cover unexpected financial emergencies.

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.

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.

Liberal media hides progress in Iraq
No one has anything good to say about President Bush. They say that he's a horrible president, but you ask them why, and they can't tell you without doing a search on Google or just blindly saying "Iraq."

AEL&P a good community citizen
The ongoing energy crisis in Juneau brings a variety of negative emotions to the surface that have crept into the blogs. Before the anger grows to silly proportions, I'd like to offer a layman's point of view to ponder.

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:

Children with syndrome can live full lives
In the Empire on April 25, there was a statement that implied that children with Down syndrome are automatically mentally retarded.

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.

Power rates to skyrocket on schedule
The Juneau Assembly shelved a plan to defer a huge electricity rate hike that would have left people and businesses paying more in the long term.

Correction
In a Q&A about Juneau's energy crisis in Tuesday's Juneau Empire, Kake's energy supplier was incorrectly identified. The Inside Passage Electric Cooperative provides electricity for Kake.

Elementary students turn off TVs
Third-grader Cody Weldon said it wasn't hard finding things to do last week that didn't involve watching television.

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?

In some quarters of state, sympathy for Juneau lacking
While Juneau struggles with high power prices, not everyone in Alaska is sympathetic.

After news of global shortage, residents empty rice shelves
Tuesday morning at Costco, what is ordinarily a week's supply of long-grain rice sold out in the first 10 minutes the store was open.

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: 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."

More energy conservation tips
• Lower the temperature of the hot-water tank. Turning it off when you're not using it also will save electricity, even though the water has to heat up again, because the average water temperature (and energy used getting it there) will be lower.

Photo: Setting the stage
Juneau-Douglas High School students rehearse the musical, "Alexander and The Terrible, Horrible, No Good Very Bad Day" on Tuesday at the JDHS auditorium. The comedy is based on the popular children's book of the same name. It shows at 7 p.m. May 9 and 16, and 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. May 17. It is directed by JDHS theater coach Michaela Moore. Tickets are on sale at Hearthside Books & Toys or at the JDHS activity office.

Around Town
Today

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

Photo: Power walk
Professor Alan Meier, an energy conservation expert from the University of California at Davis Energy Efficiency Center, tours the Juneau Empire building on Tuesday. Meier came to Juneau on an invitation from Mayor Bruce Botelho to give advice about conserving energy.

Around Town
Today

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

Self-determination is a primary goal
"What we're dealing with is quality of life and relationships," said social worker Sandy Harris when I interviewed her a few weeks ago. "We want clients to have a feeling of self-determination and control over decision-making."

World affairs council holds annual forum next weekend
JUNEAU - The Juneau World Affairs Council's annual forum will be held Friday and Saturday, May 9 and 10, at the Baranof Hotel. The five out-of-town speakers and panel participants will be as follows:

Sealaska awards $530,000 in scholarships
JUNEAU - Sealaska Heritage Institute has awarded approximately $530,000 in scholarships to Sealaska shareholders and descendants and given the first leadership award from an endowment founded two years ago.

Pets of the week
If you have been waiting for the perrrfect cat to come into your life, now is the time to head on down to the Gastineau Humane Society, which has almost 30 cats, top right. Whether you are looking for a friend who is big, small, mature, young, fluffy, sleek, mellow or sassy, you're sure to fall in love with someone.

Widowed persons hold monthly brunch
JUNEAU - The Widowed Persons Program will hold its monthly brunch at noon Sunday at Capital Café in the Baranof Hotel.

Thanks for volunteering on youth service day
Aiding Women in Abuse and Rape Emergencies gives a warm thank you to all the young people who volunteered their time and efforts to beautify and spring clean the AWARE's safe shelter as a part of the 20th annual National Youth Service Day on April 25.

Bicycle club hosts celebrations during National Bike Month
JUNEAU - In celebration of National Bike Month, the Juneau Freewheelers Bicycle Club will promote a celebration of cycling in Juneau during Bike Week, May 10-16, and Bike to Work and School Day on May 16.

Photo: National Youth Service Day
From left, Juneau-Douglas High School teacher Kristin Garot; student volunteers and team leaders Natasha Fenumiai, Ruthie Yadao, Ashley J. Peters, Adrian Nowland, Duffie Taylor and Laura Graham pose on April 25 in front of a newly cleaned Aiding Women in Abuse and Rape Emergencies van. The group volunteered at AWARE as part of the 20th annual National Youth Service Day.

Friends of the Flowers seeks sponsors
JUNEAU - Friends of the Flowers, along with the city Parks and Recreation Landscape Division, are asking for support to continue the Friends of the Flowers program through its community beautification program.

High schoolers hold silent art auction, book sale fundraiser
JUNEAU - World history students studying African issues at Yaakoosge Daakahidi Alternative High School are sponsoring a silent art auction and silent book sale from 3-6 p.m. Friday at 1208 Glacier Ave.

Burden to be guest speaker at Sitka Health Summit
SITKA - The guest speaker for the second annual Sitka Health Summit, "Working Together for a Healthier Sitka," will be Dan Burden, a nationally known expert on building healthier communities. Burden is the executive director of Walkable Communities Inc., a founder of Bikecentennial Inc. (now called the Adventure Cycling Association), a former national advisory board member of the Active Living By Design program and a former National Geographic photographer who led a cycling expedition from Alaska to the Andes in the 1970s.

Carmel Children's Hope holds South Indian dinner, auction
JUNEAU - Carmel Children's Hope Inc. will hold a South Indian dinner and auction fundraiser at 5:30 p.m. Saturday at the Mountainview Senior Center. Tickets are $30, available at Hearthside Books or Curves For Women.

High school welding students do community service projects
KETCHIKAN - Ketchikan High School and Revilla High School welding students often practice their skills by doing various community service projects.

Georgian Ruth Heins
Juneau resident Georgian Ruth Heins died peacefully April 29, 2008, at her home at Wildflower Court. She was 91.

My turn: Lessons learned from the avalanche
There are many lessons in the recent avalanche and our dependence on expensive oil for electricity - the most important being the community can still pull together.

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.

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."

Alaska editorial: Speculation now laid to rest with gas line
April 8 was truly a momentous and potentially historic day in the history of Alaska. As this related to the economy it may be second only to the announcement of the discovery of oil on the North Slope.

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.

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.

College outreach effort expands
JUNEAU - The University of Alaska College Savings Plan and the Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education are expanding the "I Know I Can" outreach effort to first- and second-graders in 32 classrooms across the state this year.

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.

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

Kenai man pleads not guilty to sex charges
KENAI - A church youth leader facing various sex charges involving minors has entered pleas of not guilty.

Vandals banned from graduation ceremony
ANCHORAGE - A group of students who vandalized Service High School in Anchorage will be banned from graduation.

House, Senate won't pay travel expenses
JUNEAU - If lawmakers want to participate in Gov. Sarah Palin's natural gas pipeline informational presentations next month in Anchorage, they will have to foot the bill.

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.

Toddler killed by dog in Fort Yukon
FORT YUKON - A toddler in Fort Yukon was attacked and killed by a dog after the boy wandered into a neighbor's back yard.

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.

Medical examiner to retire after 11 years
ANCHORAGE - Dr. Franc Fallico is retiring Wednesday after serving as the state medical examiner for the past 11 years.

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.

Unidentified body found on Kodiak road
KODIAK - The body of an unidentified white male was found on Pillar Mountain Road early this morning, Kodiak police said.

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.

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.

Costs of groceries soar in Anchorage
ANCHORAGE - Grocery shoppers in Anchorage are suffering from sticker shock.

SPORTS IN JUNEAU
UPCOMING EVENTS

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.

Biologists say dozens of grizzlies reside in Anchorage
ANCHORAGE - A study by state biologists found that one of the busiest avenues for grizzly bears runs right through a popular summer destination along Campbell Creek in Anchorage.

Anchorage shock-jocks, suspended for derogatory statement, to return to work
ANCHORAGE - Two Anchorage shock-jocks suspended over a derogatory remark about Alaska Native women will return to the airwaves today, a radio manager said.

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.

Federal judge orders decision about polar bears by May 15
ANCHORAGE - It's been more than three years since a California conservation group asked the federal government to protect polar bear habitat threatened by global warming.

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.

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

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.

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.

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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