Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Alaskans should pay attention to attacks on health care reform
It is difficult for me to understand how Gov. Sean Parnell and nearly every other Republican in America can be sincerely opposed to health care reform. I have to ask myself: What is it about eliminating preexisting condition clauses and benefit limits that is so bad? Why would we not want millions of Americans and tens of thousands of Alaskans to be added to health care coverage?

Conference for teens will help promote positive change
I am here to tell the teens of Juneau about an opportunity to better their leadership skills. Lead On is gathering teens from all over Alaska to come together and learn about relationships in high school, ending violence, drugs and alcohol and how they affect teens, and supporting social change.

Students will suffer from music program cuts
I am a concerned parent of a 10-year-old who will be attending Dzantik'i Heeni next school year. My son has been active in sports: Wrestling for two years and judo for the past four years. On top of his very busy athletic schedule, he attends band every Tuesday and Thursday morning before school starts. This is not a required class but an extracurricular class. He loves it.

JDHS house nearing completion
The house being built largely by students in Juneau-Douglas High School's Architecture, Auto, Construction and Engineering Program is moving toward completion - and it's on the market.

'Be a Morph'
University of Alaska President Mark Hamilton, who has led the university system for 12 years, following 31 years in the military, told this year's graduating students in Juneau what he wants them to do with their lives.

University recognizes overachievers
Laura Achee

Biomass conversions fire ahead
Economics are forcing two new biomass ventures in Southeast Alaska to supply their wood-fired projects with imported wood.

Scholarship compromise becomes law
Gov. Sean Parnell on Monday signed into law a scholarship bill, but it was far different from the one he proposed last year.

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

Photo: Marking a path
Doug Hall and Trout Lakeman of Alaska Striping and Painting apply white cross-walk markings Saturday morning on Franklin Street. The company works streets from downtown to the valley and has been in operation for over 25 years.

Photo: Raining charity donations
Theatre in the Rough co-artist director Aaron Elmore, right, and Holy Trinity Episcopal Church rector the Rev. George Silidesgather with Building Committee members on a rainy Monday to celebrate the church earning $100,000 from the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust. Murdock has pledged another $100,000 in matching money, meaning every dollar of new money raised or pledged will be matched by Murdock up to $100,000. Also, when the campaign earns $300,000 of the total $800,000 needed, theRasmuson Foundation will award the campaign a "top off" grant of $500,000. "We hope it keeps raining charitabledonations," one member said.

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

Photo: First Place
Juneau-Douglas High School senior Vince Vogt, 18, and junior Sean Kelly, 17, pose Thursday at the school's auto shop. In their first time ever competing, the pair took first place in the statewide Student Auto Skills Competition held May 1 at the University of Alaska Anchorage.

Donald Guy Shira
Juneau resident Donald Guy Shira died May 5, 2010, at home with his loved ones. He was 71.

Elmer Sorensen
Former Juneau resident Capt. Elmer Sorensen died May 5, 2010, at his home in The Villages, Fla., after suffering a long-term illness. He was 69.

Wade Matthew Winger
Juneau and former Sitka resident Wade Matthew Winger died April 9, 2010, at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, Wash. He was 32.

Times Square case reveals changed terror landscape
The following editorial first appeared in the Dallas Morning News:

The business of broadband
The following editorial appeared in the Los Angeles Times on Friday:

Another battle of Okinawa
The United States is on the verge of permanently damaging its alliance with Japan in a dispute over a military base in Okinawa. This island prefecture hosts three-quarters of all U.S. military facilities in Japan. Washington wants to build one more base there, in an ecologically sensitive area. The Okinawans vehemently oppose it, and tens of thousands gathered last month to protest the base. Tokyo is caught in the middle, and it looks as if Japan's prime minister has just caved in to the U.S. demands.

Time travel? Maybe
Imagine that you're a science-fiction writer on a tight schedule. You'd like to play in the vast expanses of the universe, but you have too much scientific integrity to conjure up a warp drive or a DeLorean out of thin air. You're also concerned that your audience would get bored in the thousands of years that it would take for a spaceship to realistically travel the distances between stars. What you really need is a wormhole - a shortcut through time and space. Best of all, unlike most science-fiction tropes, wormholes might very well be real.

Alaska poised for Greater Energy Independence
Alaskans want to live and work where energy is reliable and affordable. That is why we crafted the Alaska Sustainable Energy Act, which passed unanimously on the last day of the legislative session. This bipartisan legislation will pave the way for lower energy costs, greater energy efficiency and increased use of renewable energy in Alaska. It will help Alaskan families, businesses, schools and communities to cut their costs and find more sustainable ways of meeting their energy needs.

My turn: Don't judge a library by its cover
After two years of being involved with Gastineau Elementary School as a parent, I observe that it is a remarkable institution - successful in spite of its run-down physical condition.

Obama's border security plan a bust
The Obama administration is pushing an immigration amnesty bill that it claims will make us safer. Officials are on Capitol Hill making his case. Controlling borders is a national security problem, but hijacking national security as an excuse for bad immigration and border polices is just plain wrong.

Independence candidate seeks Chenault's seat
JUNEAU - An Alaskan Independence Party candidate says he'll seek the seat currently held by Republican House Speaker Mike Chenault.

ACLU going forward with homeless camp lawsuit
ANCHORAGE - The American Civil Liberties Union of Alaska is proceeding with a lawsuit to prevent further raids of homeless camps in the Anchorage municipality.

Parnell: Budget review continuing
JUNEAU - Gov. Sean Parnell says he's continuing his review of the state's capital budget.

Alaska Gasline Port Authority loses member
FAIRBANKS - The Alaska Gasline Port Authority has lost one of its three original members.

Letter made incorrect reference to pipeline supply
JUNEAU - A letter that two U.S. congressmen sent the president of BP Exploration Alaska in January contained an incorrect reference to the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System.

Coeur Alaska, Holland America sponsor GED graduation May 14
JUNEAU - The Learning Connection's GED and Alaska Vocational Institute graduation ceremony will take place at 7 p.m. on Friday at the Alaska Native Brotherhood Hall.

Substitute teacher arrested on child porn charge
ANCHORAGE - A substitute teacher at an Anchorage elementary school has been charged with possession of child pornography.

Alaska schools in line for federal stimulus money
ANCHORAGE - Alaska public schools will receive a $31 million boost from federal stimulus money.

National peace officers' memorial today in Juneau
JUNEAU - There are at least 97 reasons to attend the Juneau Police Department's annual National Peace Officers' Memorial Observances on the lawn of the Alaska State Museum today at 11:45 am. Four are JPD officers killed in the line of duty, and 93 are current police force members.

New VA clinic opens in Anchorage
ANCHORAGE - A new Veterans Affairs clinic opens Monday in Anchorage near Elmendorf Air Force Base.

Alaska Democrats choose leaders
SITKA - Alaska Democrats wrapping up their convention in Sitka are already thinking to 2012, and beyond.

Polluted water spilled at Fort Knox Gold Mine
ANCHORAGE - A 2-acre area at the Fort Knox Gold Mine near Fairbanks is being dug up to remove pollution from a spill of water contaminated with a low concentration of cyanide.

Pickup crashes into support pillar
ANCHORAGE - A truck crashed into a support pillar in front of the Performing Arts Center in downtown Anchorage.

Parnell to sign education bill
ANCHORAGE - Gov. Sean Parnell plans to sign legislation that creates a framework for his merit scholarship program.

Republican drops out of lieutenant governor's race
JUNEAU - Matanuska-Susitna Borough Assemblyman Mark Ewing has dropped out of the lieutenant governor's race.

Duckworths take two title belts
The Roughhouse Boxing 2010 Southeast Showdown at Marlintini's Lounge featured two out of three Ketchikan Duckworth's taking the lightweight and middleweight belts home. Anchorage's Bryc Palmer defeated Gabe Duckworth to win the heavyweight belt.

Water Works
Almost a full decade ago, she was in their shoes - or swim caps.

Koko Urata back in Juneau, talks school and swimming
Back in her Juneau-Douglas days, Koko Urata was a part of the Crimson Bear swim team that won three consecutive state titles. Now, once again, she's winning in the pool as a sophomore at Stanford University.

Analysis: Alaska Democrats leave convention upbeat
SITKA - Alaska Democrats left their party convention last weekend upbeat, confident they can make gains this year and win back the governor's office.

Bad winter for wolves on Anchorage's Glenn Highway
ANCHORAGE - Rick Sinnott doesn't mince words when he describes what happened to wolves who prowled along Glenn Highway this fall and winter.

Governor taps lawmaker for military affairs post
JUNEAU - State Rep. Nancy Dahlstrom is leaving her seat in the Alaska House to join Gov. Sean Parnell's administration as a senior military affairs adviser.

Democrat wants party to unite behind a candidate
SITKA - One of the three Democrats running for governor said Saturday that the party needs to unite behind a favored candidate in the coming weeks for a real shot at winning back the governor's office.

Arctic expert files for lieutenant governor's race
JUNEAU - The chairman of the U.S. Arctic Research Commission filed candidacy papers Friday to run for Alaska lieutenant governor.

Polar bear patrols vital as Arctic ice recedes
ANCHORAGE - For $16 an hour, Morgan VanHatten patrolled the streets of Kaktovik in a Ford pickup last fall armed with a 12-gauge shotgun and an iPhone full of Lil Wayne. Her mission: Shoo away the many polar bears that creep into town at the brink of whaling season.

Spike in disability claims clogs overloaded system
WASHINGTON - Nearly 2 million people are waiting to find out if they qualify for Social Security disability benefits. It will be a long wait for most, even if they eventually win their cases.

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