Monday, May 3, 2010

More oil isn't worth the risk
President Obama continuing the moratorium on off-shore oil drilling in response to the huge Gulf of Mexico spill is a good first step. The fact is that no human endeavor is without risk, particularly when dealing with the forces such as those in the earth 5,000 feet or more below the surface. A cause for this disaster will be found, and perhaps even be remedied. The mistake we usually make occurs when we convince ourselves there will not be another unforeseen accident, whether it be in six weeks or six years.

Health care reform deserves a chance
For years, I have always wondered what happens when I am out of college or working a job that doesn't even offer the option to purchase health care. It would be incredibly easy to end up in the hospital with an invoice saying they need to take my home for payment. This is a completely unacceptable reality that many people have faced in the U.S.

Mall retail options dwindle
Cheap Cholly's, one of a handful of retail options remaining at the Mendenhall Mall, closed last month.

Thane Campground caretaker’s contract not renewed
The city has decided not to renew the contract of the Thane campground caretaker, choosing instead to have a city employee oversee day-to-day duties and fee collection. A city official said other changes will include heightened security at the campsite.

‘Report card’ judges Juneau’s well-being
The United Way of Southeast Alaska has completed a report intended to help measure and start discussion about the health, education and income stability of Juneau’s residents.

Tourism sector cautiously approaches summer season
The tourism industry is approaching the summer season with a hefty measure of caution, hiring fewer staff and preparing for slow days because of an anticipated 15-percent drop in cruise passenger visitation.

Photos: A lot to catch at King Salmon Derby
Shore casters and boat trollers fish at False Outer Point Saturday morning during the Spring King Salmon Derby which closes May 31.

'Aggressive bear activity' closes Dike Trail
Juneau airport officials closed the Dike Trail Friday to all pedestrian traffic until further notice due to "aggressive bear activity."

Awards presented at 2010 Governor’s Safety and Health Conference
More than 300 Alaskans attended the 2010 Governor’s Safety and Health Conference, participating in training tracks in employer resources, ARC flash safety, youth safety, safety education, oil industry, transportation and hospitality, OSHA 10-hour construction course, OSHA 10-hour General Industry course. As transportation incidents are responsible for the majority of work-related deaths in Alaska, the keynote address was aimed at reducing transportation accidents.

Work continues on oil removal from 1952 shipwreck
Dive crews have removed more than 10,000 gallons of oil from a 1952 shipwreck near Juneau, and the work is continuing.

Photo: Duck Creek construction
Contractors Alaska Interstate Construction work on a portion of repositioning Duck Creek as part of the Juneau International Runway Safety Area Improvements project (RSA) Friday morning. Sub-contractors Little Diggers also work in the area.

Cruise line CEO looks favorably at Alaska market
SEATTLE - Holland America Line is going to look far more favorably at bringing more vacationers to Alaska now that the state's passenger head tax has been reduced, company President and CEO Stein Kruse told the Associated Press.

Photos: Juneau Dance Unlimited’s 2010 concert
Juneau Dance Unlimited dancers perform “Pachelbel’s Canon” during their Spring Concert 2010 at the Juneau Arts & Culture Center on Saturday night.

Photos: 'Blessing Of The Fleet' ceremony
Senator Dennis Egan reads remarks during the Blessing Of The Fleet And Dedication Of Names ceremony at the Alaska Commercial Fishermen's Memorial in Juneau Saturday morning.

Photos: Students hold 'Thank You Veterans' celebration
Vietnam veteran Charles Bennett talks with Dzantik'i Heeni students Trevor Rich, Josh Druley,Armando DeAsis and Abram Leigh from the Shooting Star house on Friday about their projects concerning how war shaped the United States and the world.The projects were part of DZ's "Thank You Veterans" celebration and open house.

Photo: Keeping the streets clean
Alaska Shirt Company employees Ramiro Lamos and Ty Yamaoka move an important item, a trash can, to the store’s sidewalk area Saturday morning. With the first cruise ship, the Norwegian Pearl, scheduled to dock Tuesday morning, efforts to keep the streets clean and the shelves stocked will be ongoing.

Police & Fire
Juneau police and fire officials reported:

Math in action: Speeders beware
"Do people speed in front of Harborview Elementary School?" 10-year-old Devin Flake asked.

Photo: Big adventures
Little Brother Angus does the ropes course on April 24 during a Big Brother Big Sisters visit at SAGA.

Photo: Big band boosters
Four Juneau-Douglas High School band members, in front from left, Elizabeth Ringle, 17, Fiona Brown, 15, Nick Banaszak, 18, and Miguel Reina, 18, were each awarded Maas Big Band Scholarships to attend Sitka Fine Arts Camp. In back are JDHS music teacher Ken Guiher and scholarship founders Kathy and Ron Maas.

DELTA holds successful workshops on 'real' beauty
Every day we are bombarded with digitally altered, airbrushed images of "beauty" offering girls and women an unrealistic and unattainable standard of appearance.

Recognitions
UAS team takes top honors at Alaska Native Storytelling Conference

Friends of the Flowers announces Adopt-A-Flower Program
JUNEAU - Friends of the Flowers is pleased to be involved in the Adopt-A-Flower program.

Fourth of July Parade Committee offers free catalogs
JUNEAU - For those not yet ready to plan and build their float for the Fourth of July Parade, a limited supply of free catalogs are available on behalf of the Juneau Fourth of July Parade Committee.

Thanks for the loving care given to Dorothy Osborne
The family of Dorothy A. Osborne would like to offer our sincere thanks and appreciation to the nurses, CNAs and staff at the Juneau Pioneers' Home for all the loving care given to her during her residency there.

Thanks for helping us through this time of sorrow
We want to express our heartfelt appreciation and gratitude to Dr. A's "A Team" office staff, Dr. Joe Riederer, Dr. Bill Palmer, Dr. Bob Urata, Rosemary Gruening and the staff of Hospice and Home Care of Juneau, Martha Moore, Kathy Fanning, Venus Zink, Wendy Glidmann, Kim Poole, Alaska Airlines, Legislative Affairs Agency Staff, physicians, nurses and staff at Virginia Mason Medical Center and Airlift Northwest, as well as our many friends who made our father's last days at home peaceful with their time, reading him cards and e-mails, playing music and bringing flowers and meals.

SERRC sponsors free citizenship classes through June 7
JUNEAU - SERRC-Alaska's Educational Resource Center will hold free citizenship classes for adults, ages 18 and older, for five Mondays from May 3 to June 7 at Gruening Park.

Local mail carriers collect for food drive
JUNEAU - Local mail carriers will conduct their annual mail food drive for the Southeast Alaska Food Bank and Helping Hands on Saturday, May 8, in Juneau. Non-perishable food donations should be in or hung on mailboxes prior to mail delivery that day. Please do not leave glass items.

Maritime Festival seeks contestants, volunteers and sponsors
JUNEAU - The Juneau Economic Development Council is seeking contestants, volunteers and sponsors for its inaugural Juneau Maritime Festival, to be held from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 22, National Maritime Day, in Marine Park and the adjacent plaza.

Forest Service presents staffs to Central Council
At the annual General Assembly of the Central Council of Tlingit & Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska in 2008, Alaska Regional Forester Dennis Bschor and Tongass National Forest Supervisor Forest Cole acknowledged the removal of Alaska Native fish camps, smokehouses and cabins by the Forest Service in the mid-1900s.

City Museum begins summer hours
JUNEAU - Beginning May 1, the Juneau-Douglas City Museum's hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends.

Widowed Persons Program holds monthly brunch
JUNEAU - The Widowed Persons Program will hold its monthly Brunch at noon today at the Baranof Hotel. All widows and widowers are invited to attend this social event.

Senior menu for May 3-7
Monday, May 3

Andersen, DePriest to wed
Kayla Andersen, of Juneau, and Derrick DePriest, of Perrysburg, Ohio, will marry at 5 p.m. June 19, 2010, in Vancouver, Wash.

Rose, Atkinson wed
Cari Rose and Neil Atkinson, both of Juneau, exchanged wedding vows March 17, 2010, at the bride's parent's winter home in San Felipe, Baja, Calif., Mexico.

Wilcoxes celebrate 50 years
Juneau residents Jim and Sheila Wilcox Sr. celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on April 23, 2010.

FYI
Births

More than 350 participate in Global Youth Service Day
On April 23, more than 350 volunteers joined efforts in the tradition of the world's largest youth-oriented service event.

We can't be in the driver's seat all the time
I was approaching a curve in the road in Juneau many years ago, when one of those unforgettable moments occurred.

Capital City Fire and Rescue Volunteer Firefighter of the Month: Panah Mehrabad
Credentials: Firefighter 1, EMT 1.

My turn: General Obligation bonds should be vetoed
If you, as a property owner, had $1,250,000 in the bank, would you borrow $4,000 to construct a building? That times 1,000 is what the Alaska Legislature is asking us to do this fall.

Shame on Arizona
If we really wanted immigration reform, we'd have had it years ago.

Outside editorial: Apple vs. Gizmodo
The tech blog Gizmodo paid a source $5,000 earlier this month for a prototype of a new Apple iPhone that had been left behind in a beer garden. It was a small investment, considering the huge audience for its posts about the device. But Apple is now pushing for criminal charges and Gizmodo is crying foul, saying investigators overreached when they seized the scoop-writer’s computers.

Beam me up, Dr. Hawking
Since the dawn of man, human beings have looked upward to the stars and wondered, "how long do I have to hold my head like this until this stupid nosebleed stops?" That tradition continues to this day, as pollen season has reduced the nostrils of at least one local humor columnist to an arid desert of plant-based love-dust and pain.

Spill, baby, spill
Last month, President Barack Obama announced plans to expand offshore oil drilling in previously protected waters off the Southeastern and Alaskan coasts.

My turn: State’s ‘secret deal’ a disservice to Alaskans
In February, tens of thousands of hard-working public employees received letters informing them that the State of Alaska and its contractors had lost personal information, thereby putting them at risk of becoming victims of identity theft.

Main Street needs Senate’s financial reform legislation
The U.S. Senate now has a historic opportunity to pass financial reform and fix the broken system that helped produce the financial crisis.

Toe Toon
Cartoon by local artist Toe.

Missing man found but died before medical help
Alaska State Troopers say a Big Lake man who disappeared Thursday was found alive and unconscious but died before he could be flown to help.

Nonprofit organizes first Juneau Maritime Festival
JUNEAU - Alaska's capital city will host its first Juneau Maritime Festival on May 22.

6.0 quake under Bering Sea; no tsunami risk
PALMER - A 6.0-magnitude earthquake occurred Friday afternoon under the Bering Sea, but officials say it posed no tsunami risk and was too far away to be felt on land.

Troopers find body after dog brings home skull
HOUSTON - A dog apparently dragged a skull into the yard of a Houston home and that led police on a search that ended with the discovery of human remains.

Seal hunters rescued near Kotlik
KODIAK - A U.S. Coast Guard helicopter crew rescued five seal hunters 29 miles north of the native village of Kotlik.

100-plus antlers to decorate AK community center
FAIRBANKS - More than 100 antlers from moose and caribou will soon be stacked and screwed together to decorate an entry-way at a Fairbanks community center.

Former union head agrees to guilty plea
ANCHORAGE - Court documents show the former leader of an Alaska nurses union has agreed to plead guilty in a federal embezzlement case.

Former bank employee sentenced for embezzlement
A former employee of Alaska Pacific Bank has been sentenced for embezzlement.

Black bears found wandering in Interior Alaska
FAIRBANKS - The alarm clock has sounded for Interior black bears.

Motorcycle rider dies in crash on Glenn Highway
A 69-year-old motorcycle rider is dead following a crash on Glenn Highway. Anchorage Police spokeswoman Anita Shell identified the victim as William Green.

Rally held on statewide ballot initiative
A statewide ballot initiative is getting some attention from Fairbanks politicians and union leaders who are opposed to it.

JDHS sweeps West Valley on Friday, Sitka wins tournament
Juneau-Douglas swept West Valley in a two-game series Friday night at Melvin Park to open Railbelt Conference play, taking Game 1 by the score of 8-1 before hitting the mercy rule in the fifth inning of Game 2, 12-1.

Bears bite Wolves
In the finale of a four-game series in Sitka, the Juneau-Douglas boys’ baseball team had another dominating performance from one of its starting pitchers as the Crimson Bears went on to an 8-0 victory Saturday.

Bears run away with Invitational
This weekend's Juneau Invitational at Thunder Mountain High School was full of personal records, but in the end it was the Crimson Bears who ran away from the competition.

A difficult road
The Juneau-Douglas boys’ soccer team returned from a rough road trip up North this weekend after going 1-1-2 in four games in the Anchorage area.

Kings take double dip from Falcons
Among all the new sports programs at Thunder Mountain High School, the girls soccer team's progress may be the most impressive.

Sitka goes undefeated in JDHS Invitational
The Sitka Wolves softball team went undefeated in the inaugural Juneau-Douglas High School Invitational, while West Valley went 2-1, JDHS 1-2 and Thunder Mountain 0-3 Saturday at Melvin Park.

State changes position on subport building
Parnell administration officials are backing away from their support for a new state office building on Juneau's subport property, claiming they never supported it in the first place.

No charges likely in YouTube fight
No charges are likely over an incident in which a teenager challenged an inebriated homeless man to fight at a place known as “The Moon.”

Little movement on Anchorage ferry landing
Workers constructing the long-awaited Susitna, the ferry that will eventually taxi passengers and cars across Cook Inlet, passed a milestone recently, when the boat floated on water for the first time.

Suicide, obesity rates increase in Alaska
ANCHORAGE - The rates for suicide, obesity and infant deaths in Alaska have increased over the past decade.

Alaska river dispute leads to website changes
ANCHORAGE - An Alaska Native corporation that claims exclusive fishing rights to a Cook Inlet river has agreed to change a brochure and Web site after a warning from the state.

Lawmakers approve money for Nikiski wind farm
The winds blew favorably for Homer Electric Association as the legislative session came to a close last week, but the company will have to hope for more of the same if it is to be granted the $7 million that state lawmakers allotted it for construction of a wind farm in Nikiski.

Guard error led to Alaska uprising at Colo. prison
ANCHORAGE - The company that operates a Colorado prison for Alaska inmates said an error by a guard led to an uprising at the Hudson Correctional Facility.

'Open season' tests market for Alaska natural gas
ANCHORAGE - A 90-day 'open season' has begun for potential North Slope natural gas shippers to bid how much they'd pay to use a proposed pipeline.

Study: Denali wolves have salmon-rich diets
FAIRBANKS - Moose and caribou are the preferred menu item for wolves in Interior Alaska, but new research shows salmon play a larger-than-expected role in their diet.

Permanent fund having a good year; full dividend payout is secure
The Alaska Permanent Fund Corp. is having a good year so far, experiencing a nice rebound from the meltdown in financial markets in 2008 and early 2009.

Photo: Ceremonial first pitch
Gov. Sean Parnell throws out a ceremonial pitch at the Grand Re-Opening of Mulcahy Stadium in Anchorage on Saturday. Parnell also signed House Bill 377 at the ballpark, which will establish a tax exemption status for volunteer amateur sports officials from the Alaska Employment Security Act.

Jury convicts on 2 charges in Palin e-mail hacking case
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - The son of a Democratic Tennessee lawmaker was convicted Friday on two charges in the hacking of Sarah Palin's e-mail account while she campaigned on the Republican presidential ticket in 2008.

Governor signs property tax exemption for law enforcers
Gov. Sean Parnell signed legislation last week that would allow municipalities the option of providing limited property tax exemptions for law enforcement officers to live in areas of high crime and for spouses of disabled veterans.

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