Avoid swine flu by going vegetarian
The World Health Organization has just ratcheted up the threat alert for the swine flu epidemic to Phase 5 (out of 6). Along with the avian flu of a decade ago, the Hong Kong flu of 1968 and the Asian flu of 1957, swine flu has been traced to animal waste in a factory farm. Its strain is nearly identical to that of the Spanish flu, which killed more than 50 million people in 1918 to 1919.

My son wants to know: Why doesn't Sarah Palin like us?
My 16-year-old son made a statement to me recently that made me realize just how much this governor of ours has divided our state. My son asked me: Why doesn't Gov. Sarah Palin like us?

Dedication to fisheries
The University of Alaska dedicated its Lena Point Fisheries Building in Juneau Tuesday, following a long, difficult process of getting money and approval for the building.

Road to Recovery
Recovering from drug and alcohol addiction isn't just about staying sober; sometimes victory can be found in screwing up less often and badly than the time before.

Alaska students want more sex ed
News flash: Alaska high schoolers are interested in sex - or at least learning more about it.

Forum: Juneau's OxyContin problem 'epidemic'
More than 75 people attended a community forum on OxyContin on Wednesday night at Thunder Mountain High School to discuss ways to combat the "epidemic" in Juneau created by the highly addictive narcotic.

Harbors board to consider special summer moorage rates
The Docks and Harbors Board is considering special or promotional moorage rates to help generate more funds during the difficult economic times, Port Director John Stone said.

Coast Guard leads mass rescue exercise
KETCHIKAN - Screw up the head count, and the rescue fails. In 2006, a British Columbia ferry sank, and two people were not accounted for; they died on the ship. Counting people is the hardest part of the rescue - but also the most important.

Stalled subport building gets planning review
A new state office building on downtown's waterfront subport property was reviewed by the Juneau Planning Commission Tuesday, despite the state Legislature failing to pass a bill enabling it to be built immediately.

Juneau awaits budget items
After months of battling over the state's capital budget, Juneau is awaiting word on its $28 million share of the $2.2 billion package.

Assembly OKs budgets for hospital, docks and ski area
The Juneau Assembly's Finance Committee recommended approval Wednesday of the 2010 operating budgets of Bartlett Regional Hospital, Juneau Docks and Harbors and Eaglecrest Ski Area, but withheld judgment on a $271,000 piece of funding for the Juneau International Airport that could keep it from running a deficit in 2010.

Photo: Spring wonderland
Marybeth Gagnon jogs along the North Douglas Highway Monday against a backdrop of Mt. McGinnis and Mt. Stroller White.

Photo: Baby magnet
Six-month-old Sylas McRae draws a crowd of attention along Front Street on Wednesday including his mother, Naomi, far left, Christian Aycock, standing, and friends.

Photo: Swan lake
Trumpeter swans get a little frisky on what's left of the ice at Auke Lake on Tuesday.

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

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

Around Town
Today, April 29

Around Town
Today, April 30

A story in Tuesday's Juneau Empire in one instance referred to the antiviral medication Alaska is distributing, in light of the recent swine flu outbreak, as a vaccine. Antiviral medications treat established diseases. Vaccines are used to prevent disease. There currently is no vaccine to prevent swine flu.

Stella Soboleff
Former Juneau resident Stella Alice Buxton Atkinson Soboleff died April 15, 2009, at the Sitka Pioneers Home. She was 86.

David Michael Woodruff
Former Juneau resident and longtime Kodiak resident David Michael Woodruff died peacefully April 6, 2009, surrounded by his family. He was 67.

Artifacts disappear with march of time
Our subject today: the end of the physical world.

Alaska editorial: Consider your own Alaska vacation
Alaskans don't view themselves as tourists in a tourist land, but we are. In fact, we're among the most enthusiastic and reliable of tourists. Other folks might visit this state once in a lifetime. We're here every year, all year, and the statistics show we travel a lot.

My Turn: Juneau school board should rethink shifting start times
The school district recently announced it was considering shifting high school start times later to 9:15 a.m. I fully support a later start time for high school students. However, I cannot support it at the expense of the rest of Juneau's students, particularly the youngest ones, who need the most sleep of all.

Sen. Specter jumps ship
The decision of Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania to leave the Republican Party after 28 years in the U.S. Senate is obviously part political expediency. Polls have shown that he could well lose his seat next year in a Republican primary against former Rep. Pat Toomey.

Swine flu not a world-ending catastrophe
The recent swine flu outbreak has caused worldwide anxiety. But there's one thing we don't need to be anxious about: We are not facing a pandemic. As flu virologists always have defined them, pandemics involve totally new viruses to which no one has any immunity, allowing them to spread rapidly and destructively.

Outside editorial: Stress tests: Tell it like it is
While the general methods used to evaluate the nation's largest banks were released last Friday, the "stress test" results will not be announced until May 4, and even then it is still not clear what information will be shared. The policy should be: as much as possible.

General Motors' Volt mistake
General Motors has announced a plan to stave off bankruptcy that includes cutting 21,000 jobs, reducing its dealer network and eliminating its Pontiac division. "I'm a believer in dealing with reality," GM chief executive Fritz Henderson said.

Studded tires must be removed by Friday
ANCHORAGE - State transportation officials said studded tires must be off vehicles by Friday.

Palin encourages Alaskans to win fitness challenge
JUNEAU - Gov. Sarah Palin is encouraging Alaskans to sign up again this year for a six-week physical activity competition, and win it again.

Park to close trail where bear mauled biker
ANCHORAGE - Parks officials in Anchorage this summer will close a trail where a grizzly bear mauled a young woman on a bicycle.

Tanker arrives to remove Cook Inlet oil
ANCHORAGE - A tanker has arrived at the Drift River Terminal near Alaska's erupting Mount Redoubt volcano to remove the remaining oil from a storage facility.

Palin signs bill for stopgap Guard benefits
ANCHORAGE - Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has signed a bill providing temporary state funding for World War II veterans whose federal retirement pay was being reduced.

'Flushable' wipes cause woes for Sitka crews
SITKA - Sitka officials are asking residents not to flush the so-called flushable wipes down the toilet.

Plane loses power, hits fence on landing
ANCHORAGE - The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the crash of a single-engine aircraft at Anchorage's Birchwood Airport.

Man dies when SUV plunges off cliff
ANCHORAGE - A 35-year-old man died when his sport utility vehicle crashed through a concrete barricade and plunged down a 386-foot embankment.

Palin welcomes TV chopper group
ANCHORAGE - Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin recently hung out with one of the stars of the "American Chopper" reality TV series - and their time together will air Thursday on the popular Learning Channel staple.

UA budget won't cover operating costs
FAIRBANKS - The University of Alaska received a 4 percent increase in state funding in the budget approved by the legislature but school officials say they will have to manage a shortfall.

Nome toddler dies after stepping in front of taxi
ANCHORAGE - Nome police say a toddler has died after being hit by a taxicab as the vehicle pulled away from his home.

Eagle River man wins second bowling title
ANCHORAGE - An Eagle River man has won consecutive titles on the Professional Bowlers Association Senior Tour.

Wasilla man sentenced to 26 years for abuse
WASILLA - A Wasilla man was sentenced to more than 26 years in prison for sexually abusing a 12-year-old girl.

The 'Bears of summer' return
The Crimson Bears lost more than four of their top starting pitchers with the graduation of five seniors from last season's state championship team. They lost their leadership.

Bears triple-sweep Sitka
Krista Barrill plated Rachel Peyton for the game-sealing run and the Crimson Bears broke open a tied game with a two-run fifth inning Tuesday to top Sitka 3-1 and secure a perfect 3-0 record on their season-opening roadtrip.

Northern roadtrips will test teams
The Juneau-Douglas High School boys and girls soccer teams head out on their annual whirlwind roadtrip to the Anchorage area today, stepping off the plane to immediately face West Anchorage in the first of four games in four days for both.

Francis lifts JDHS at Skyview Invite
Crimson Bears junior Leah Francis defended her three state titles by sweeping the 800-, 1600- and 3200-meter girls events to provide the Juneau-Douglas High School track and field team's only titles during a strong showing at the 18-team Skyview Invitational over the weekend.

Skyview Invitational Results
Team results

Palin directs agencies to seek stimulus funds
Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has directed state agencies to begin applying for federal stimulus funds after indicating she wouldn't veto legislative approval of more than $900 million available to the state.

Palin to accept most stimulus funds, aide says
ANCHORAGE - Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin will accept most of the federal stimulus funds available to the state, her spokeswoman said Tuesday.

Flu causes some travelers to replan
NEW YORK - Some travelers are sticking with planned trips to Mexico despite the swine flu scare, but others are postponing vacations or switching to the Caribbean or sunny beaches elsewhere.

Alaska, Washington lawmakers urge more spending on ferries
WASHINGTON - Lawmakers from Washington state and Alaska are teaming up to push for a dramatic increase in federal spending on ferry systems nationwide.

Yukon River catch to be limited due to low king numbers
FAIRBANKS - State and federal fish managers anticipate another poor run of king salmon in the Yukon River and will limit catch opportunities this summer for commercial and subsistence fishermen.

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