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Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Collective bargaining levels playing field
In the real world, individuals try to survive and earn enough to support themselves and their families. But what chance does a single individual have in bargaining with a large organization or business as "one-on-one," with equal power and rights? The answer is, almost none.

Board approves schedule change
High schools will begin at 9:15 a.m. in the fall following the Juneau School Board's 5-2 vote Tuesday to approve an administration proposal to change school schedules.

High school laptop program gets late start
When school officials rolled out laptops to lend to every high school freshman in the district in February, students, parents and educators were abuzz about the possibilities.

Study: Juneau cost of living high, growing
It costs more to live in Juneau, about 11 percent more, than it does in Anchorage, and the difference is increasing.

Sunny Point construction work nears completion
The Sunny Point interchange, a $27 million reworking of the connection between Egan Drive and Glacier Highway, will be completed in about 10 days, according to state highway officials.

Photo: Combat fishing
Dozens of anglers stretch out along the rocks of False Outer Point on Douglas Island with others fishing from passing nearby boats on Sunday hoping to catch the big one for the Spring King Salmon Derby, which continues until March 31.

Biologist tells of disasters Alaska averted
In 1958, the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission had a bunch of spare nuclear devices. Next came the bright idea to use them to carve out a harbor near Kotzebue, with an underground blast 20 times the size of Hiroshima's.

Cold Case Unit seeks help to unravel murder
Thirteen years ago this week, 17-year-old Sitka resident Jessica Baggen was murdered a few hours after leaving her birthday party. The killer was neither identified nor caught.

Photo: What nice teeth you have
Beth Mathews, assistant professor of biology at University of Alaska Southeast, stands in front of a picture of a harbor porpoise and talks about the differences between porpoise and dolphin teeth during a presentation on Monday at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Auke Bay Lab. NOAA offered a marine naturalist training seminar to commercial whale watching groups so that correct information goes out to tourists throughout the summer. Topics included whales, harbor seals, bears, seabirds, steller sealions, salmon and shore zone intertidal.

Photo: Fifth graders head to college
Kyle Schramm, a fifth-grader at Auke Bay Elementary School, celebrates receiving a certificate for completing a day-longprogram Tuesday at the University of Alaska Southeast, to help students think about attending college. About 320 Juneau school district fifth-graders attended the program either Monday or Tuesday. In its sixth year, the program is funded by theAlaska College Savings Plan and the Northwest Education Loan Association and organized and staffed by UAS employees andstudent volunteers. Event organizer Barbara Burnett, left, is UAS's director of financial aid; Joe Nelson, center, is UAS'sdirector of admissions, and Julie Staveland is UAS's outreach coordinator.

Photo: Long arm of the wall
Joshua Youll reaches for a notch in the climbing wall at Floyd Dryden Middle School while playing in the sun with some of his friends after school Monday.

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, May 6

Around Town
Today, May 5

Dustin Riley Bowen
Hoonah resident Dustin Riley Bowen died April 30, 2009, in Hoonah. He was 23.

Elizabeth Sylvia Frank
Lifelong Angoon resident Elizabeth Sylvia Frank died May 1, 2009, at Bartlett Regional Hospital in Juneau, with her spouse, Wally Frank Sr., at her side.

Floyd Joseph "Bud" Coozennoy
Longtime Juneau resident Floyd Joseph "Bud" Coozennoy died May 3, 2009, at Divine Mercy Assisted Living in Juneau. He was 81.

Roy D. Bergquist
Juneau resident Roy D. Bergquist died April 23, 2009, at the Juneau Pioneers' Home. He was 85.

Outside editorial: Corporate tax reform: Obama's plan a place to start a discussion
Expect President Obama's international tax proposal to set off a firestorm in Congress and the business community. The proposal, which will be released in more detail when the president's full budget comes out in the next few days, would alter tax rules so that companies are less able to shift profits to avoid U.S. taxation while also cracking down on tax havens for companies and individuals. In a speech this week, the president billed the plan as a revenue raiser, which it would be, and a plan to create jobs, a more contentious assertion.

Outside editorial: A tale of two scares
The recent salmonella outbreaks in peanuts and pistachios revealed a lot about the inability of the Food and Drug Administration to nip such problems in the bud. The FDA is responsible for "protecting the public health by assuring the safety, efficacy, and security of ... our nation's food supply," yet it doesn't have the authority to order product testing, require that test results be shared with the agency or issue a mandatory recall when a facility moves too slowly - if at all - in getting tainted products off the shelves. Legislation to augment its authority is flowing through Congress like peanut butter. The concern is such that private companies and nonprofit groups alike have been pressing for action on food safety legislation in recent meetings with congressional leaders.

My turn: Corporate 'people' are the problem in America
I have a confession to make: I voted for Barack Obama, and I did it for the worst of reasons.

It's Pakistan's critical hour
LAHORE, Pakistan - Pakistan is on the brink of chaos, and Congress is in a critical position: U.S. lawmakers can hasten that fateful process, halt it or even help turn things around. The speed and conditions with which Congress provides emergency aid to Islamabad will affect the Pakistani government and army's ability and will to resist the Taliban onslaught. It will also affect America's image in Pakistan and the region. Pakistanis are looking for evidence of the long-term U.S. commitment about which President Obama has spoken.

Bad news, good news for GOP
Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele suggested that Arlen Specter did the party a service by leaving. Steele may be right, but not in the way he intended when he derided Specter on ideological grounds.

Three credit rating agencies hold too much of the power
Sweeping and significant change in the financial world - closing down the Wall Street old boys club - remains a dim and distant prospect.

Investigate the origins and the use of torture
Certainly, the authors never expected it to become public, because the infamous Bybee torture memo is a blatant exercise in getting to "Yes." It is a creepy, lethal, sycophantic classic.

Begich recommends Fabe be considered for high court
ANCHORAGE - U.S. Sen. Mark Begich has recommended the chief justice of the Alaska Supreme Court be considered to succeed Justice David Souter on the nation's highest court.

Football camp registration begins
The program, for boys and girls ages 7 to 12, will be held June 11-16, excluding Sunday, June 14. The camp runs daily from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Ice jam causes worst flooding in Eagle's history
ANCHORAGE - Ice chunks, some the size of homes, pushed out of the Yukon River by jams have damaged several main street businesses in the community of Eagle.

Fairbanks airport opens new building
FAIRBANKS - A new terminal building is ready for business at Fairbanks International Airport.

Fairbanks chooses police chief
Pending city council approval, Zager will start June 1.

ConocoPhillips and Anadarko announce NPRA discoveries
ANCHORAGE - Oil companies ConocoPhillips and Anadarko have the results back from tests performed on two wells in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska.

Two wounded in home invasion
ANCHORAGE - Two people were shot Monday during an Anchorage home invasion and police said one of the robbery suspects may also have been wounded.

Missing teen found dead under Gustavus pier following search
Authorities had been searching for Phillip Austin Kesterson since his empty car was found in the waters of Icy Passage north of Icy Strait on Sunday. Authorities say he was last seen driving the vehicle at about 1:30 a.m. Sunday after leaving a bonfire near the pier.

Ice jam causes floods in Eagle
Cabins in the old village section of Eagle were bobbling like apples in the current, residents told the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner.

Scientists: Redoubt explosion likely
ANCHORAGE - Mount Redoubt hasn't had a major eruptive event in more than a month but scientists say that could soon change.

Flooding hits 2 western villages
ANCHORAGE - Two western Alaska villages are awash in Kuskokwim River water and others are bracing for flooding.

ATV crash injures Wasilla teen
WASILLA - A 13-year-old Wasilla boy on an all-terrain vehicle was struck and injured by a sport utility vehicle as he crossed a road.

Police nab naked man seen walking on Fairbanks bike path
FAIRBANKS - A Fairbanks man faces an indecent exposure charge after celebrating his 21st birthday in only his birthday suit.

Woman injured in motorcycle crash
Thirty-three-year-old Danielle Griffin of Anchorage on Sunday was ejected from the motorcycle near Mile 11 into a trailer being towed by semi driver David McDonald.

Feds grant TransCanada Alaska pre-filing status for gas pipeline
ANCHORAGE - The federal government has told TransCanada Alaska Co. it can start work on the Alaska natural gas pipeline project.

Rock blasted to clear the only road to Whittier
WHITTIER - State transportation crews have blasted unstable rock along the Portage Glacier Highway in an effort to clear the only road to Whittier.

Dive teams assess sunken supply vessel Monarch
NIKISKI - Dive teams are assessing the condition and recovery options for a supply vessel that sank when making a delivery to the Granite Point platform last January about 15 miles from Nikiski.

GSC swimmers rack up 48 titles
The Glacier Swim Club hosted its 2009 May Athlete Invitational over the weekend, attracting nine teams from around the state, 114 total swimmers and even a pair of professional athletes to the Augustus Brown Swimming Pool.

Photo: Grizzled gold medal
A team of 10 Juneau residents won the third annual Whitehorse 35-and-over Men's Indoor Soccer Tournament over the weekend. The Juneau club went undefeated over the eight-team tournament and won Sunday's title game 5-0 against a Whitehorse-based team. The Juneau squad made the tournament's final two years ago, but finally won their first championship. Organizers pointed to the strong goalie play of Phil Subeldia as one of the team's strengths. Subeldia's teammates on the winning team were Troy Martin, Pete Schneider, Brady Deal, Guy Bell, Doug Badilla, Antonio Diaz, Darren Snyder, Bob Funk and Phao Ngyuen.

Sports in Juneau
UPCOMING EVENTS

Effort begins for parental consent initiative
Initiative sponsors including former Lt. Gov. Loren Leman applied last week to start gathering signatures. The measure would prohibit doctors from performing abortions for girls under 18 without "notice or consent" from at least one parent.

Former preacher turns to police work in Anchorage
ANCHORAGE - He enjoys fine red wines, telling jokes and putting rapists in prison.

Gottschalks' demise leaves voids in West Coast towns
FRESNO - Gottschalks, a regional retailer with 58 stores anchoring main streets in far-flung towns across the West, has been turned over to a team of liquidators after 105 years in business.

Supreme Court wants more details in Kensington case
ANCHORAGE - The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday asked for supplemental briefs in the Kensington Mine case.

Bristol Palin works to prevent teen pregnancy
ANCHORAGE - Bristol Palin, an 18-year-old unwed mother, is helping raise awareness for teen pregnancy prevention.

Alaska looks for deal in prisoner contract
Commissioner Joe Schmidt said he's looking for "what the market might offer us right now."

Report: Heroin, prescription drug seizures on the rise
Prescription drug and heroin seizures by the Alaska Bureau of Alcohol and Drug Enforcement rose significantly in 2008, according to an annual report by the Alaska State Troopers.

Palin urged to accept federal energy money
Sens. Bill Wielechowski, D-Anchorage, and Lesil McGuire, R-Anchorage, who head the Senate Resources Committee, on Monday urged Palin to accept money to address needs in a state with some of the highest energy costs in the nation.

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