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Monday, May 12, 2008

Use the best science for state policy
Gov. Sarah Palin could save the state a lot of embarrassment and money at the same time by vetoing the $2 million for a conference on "contrarian" polar bear and global climate change research.

Ownership leads to accountability
In regard to the Juneau Empire's new online format and how it allows comments on letters to the editor to be submitted almost anonymously: Is this sort of venue at all helpful in creating an open and honest discussion within the community and abroad?

We must unite as a community
I've seen and heard a lot of anti-Alaska Electric Light & Power Co. comments over the last couple of weeks, and I'm a little disappointed with the string-'em-high attitude coming out of some of the people in this town.

Make Juneau safer for bicyclists
I am a frequent bicycle commuter between downtown and the Mendenhall Valley. I have safety issues for bicyclists that I am concerned with:

Juneau sends message in crisis
Alaskans are no strangers to crises.

Charities begin Juneau electric grant program
The United Way of Southeast Alaska and Catholic Community Services have rolled out their residential grant program, which they call Juneau Unplugged.

Governor urges economic injury disaster status
Gov. Sarah Palin on Friday signed a letter requesting the federal Small Business Administration declare an "Economic Injury Disaster" for Juneau due to increased electricity costs caused by April 16 avalanches.

Protesters call for boycott of rate hike
The mood on the Capitol steps Friday was rowdy as a handful of protesters screamed for financial help from the governor's office and encouraged the 200 citizens gathered to boycott a 41-cent hike in electric rates.

Change sprouts under city's arboretum manager
Merrill Jensen was delighted Saturday to discover a splash of yellow - tulips from central Asia he planted last fall - sprouting at the city-owned arboretum.

AEL&P employee says he was punched in the back
An Alaska Electric Light & Power Co. employee was punched in the back Wednesday in downtown Juneau, according to a company spokesman.

Cruise ship diverted to Auke Bay after mechanical troubles
A cruise ship bound for Sitka was escorted to Auke Bay Sunday by the U.S. Coast Guard after mechanical problems caused the crew to change course.

Snettisham site readied for work on new towers
Alaska Electric Light & Power Co. contractors were on schedule this week as they cleared the Snettisham avalanche path for new power line and transmission towers to go in, according to the electric utility.

Photo: Stamping out hunger
Volunteer Elder Moesi prepares to catch a can of food Saturday during sorting at the U.S. Postal Service office in the Mendenhall Valley during the Stamp Out Hunger food drive.

Around Town
Today

Photo: Working for a litter-free city
Peggy Orren, left, Caroline Hassler, center, and Hannah Orren, 11, carry a waterlogged chair cushion that they pulled out of Duck Creek along Mendenhall Loop Road on Saturday as part of the community-wide Litter Free Cleanup event. The group belongs to the Junior Girl Scouts No. 32 and included Rebecca Hassler, 9, Lauren Rabago, 11, both in the background, and Brianna Bennett, 10, right.

Photo: Planting season
Debby Perkins, right, and Sharon Barton line up to pay for their plants at the North Star Nursery booth Saturday during the annual Super Plant Sale in the Safeway parking lot.

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

Judge allows Harborview project to go ahead with labor agreement
A Juneau Superior Court judge sided Friday with the city over contractors upset about the use of project labor agreements on public projects.

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

AroundTown
Today

Empire editorial: City faces partially declared disaster
As we ponder the future of Juneau's economy, it's useful to think of the avalanches as a metaphor.

My turn: Why AEL&P is rebuilding above ground
On Wednesday, April 16, avalanches destroyed three structures and damaged two others on the Snettisham transmission line, severing the connection to Juneau's main power supply. After assessing the damage, Alaska Electric Light & Power Co. began making plans for restoring service from Snettisham.

Alaska editorial: No sympathy for hardship in Juneau
The following editorial first appeared in the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner:

My turn: Clothespins from an angel
G iven the recent situation of the "power crisis" in Juneau I thought I would share a positive story.

Alaska editorial: State's rural dental care program can be model for the nation
The following editorial first appeared in the Anchorage Daily News:

My turn: Don't pave our blue paradise
O n a clear day, I think of Berners Bay.

Column: Government in secret
The Bush administration recently announced it will allow select members of Congress to read Justice Department legal opinions about the CIA's controversial detainee interrogation program that have been hidden from Congress until now. But as the administration allows a glimpse of this secret law - and it is law - we are left wondering what other laws it is still keeping under lock and key.

Toe Toon
Cartoon by local artist Toe.

Little fish Big impact
It's time for the spring pig-out in Berners Bay: The hooligan are here.

Kayaker fulfills long-distance dream in Alaska
ANCHORAGE - Dennis Eagan spends most of his time in the foothills of California's Sierra Mountains these days, but there was a time when he called Alaska home. Back then, sitting in a kayak paddling along a wild coastline was the epitome of his ultimate day.

Photo: Immature totem
A young bald eagle perches atop a piling near Auk Nu Slough in Auke Bay.

Parks and Rec to hold annual hike meeting
JUNEAU - The Parks and Recreation hike program will hold an annual hike meeting during lunch on the regularly scheduled hike on Wednesday, May 21.

Older radio beacons need to be changed
JUNEAU - Starting Feb. 1, 2009, boaters with older model Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons (EPIRBs) that transmit a distress alert on 121.5 MHz or 243 MHz, will no longer be monitored by satellite and are likely to go completely undetected in an emergency. Only distress alerts from 406 MHz beacons will continue to be detected and processed by search and rescue satellites worldwide.

Minn. boy's death while hunting highlights need for safety
MANKATO, Minn. - Being a sportsman himself, Tom Conroy understands the excitement and pounding pulse hunters feel when they finally find the prey they're pursuing within the sights of their guns.

Wis. game warden gets top honors
BURLINGTON, Wis. - Dale Hochhausen is living proof that there is much more to being a conservation warden than checking hunting and fishing licenses.

Man arrested on felony assault charge
JUNEAU - Police arrested a Juneau man Saturday and charged him with felony assault after he allegedly tried to strangle a 30-year-old woman during an argument.

Wet April keeps fire danger low in Interior
FAIRBANKS - A wetter-than-usual April is keeping the fire danger in the Interior down.

Child hit by truck, not seriously injured
JUNEAU - A 5-year-old girl was not seriously injured after being struck by a pickup truck Saturday in the 400 block of West Ninth Street.

Coast Guard cutter arrives in Juneau
JUNEAU - The Coast Guard cutter Healy is making a quick stop in Juneau after a two-month mission in the Bering Sea.

Corrections head says he welcomes audit
JUNEAU - Alaska Commissioner of Corrections Joe Schmidt said he looks forward to an audit proposed for his department by two Anchorage state senators.

Police seek to nab liquor sales to minors
ANCHORAGE - Sting operations are under way to nab liquor store patrons who buy alcohol for minors.

Trial set on child pornography charges
JUNEAU - Michael Murray, 49, a Juneau resident, pleaded not guilty Friday during his arraignment on five counts of possession of child pornography.

Anchorage man dies in snowmobile accident
ANCHORAGE - A 28-year-old snowmobiler is dead after falling with his machine down a crevasse south of Portage.

Authorities dispose Big Lake explosives
BIG LAKE, Alaska - Alaska State Troopers say two homes in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough were damaged when explosive material found in a storage unit was removed and detonated.

Aging Ketchikan cabin to be replaced
KETCHIKAN - A Ketchikan area cabin that's sheltered scores of hikers for 46 years is set to be replaced this summer.

Key Kensington permit issue decided
JUNEAU - The U.S. Forest Service will prepare an environmental assessment before granting a major permit for the Kensington gold mine.

VA outreach clinic to open this fall
JUNEAU - The Alaska Veterans Affairs Healthcare System will open a clinic in Juneau this fall.

Man gets seven years in dragging death
FAIRBANKS - A 26-year-old North Pole man was sentenced to just over seven years in prison for the dragging death of a deaf woman.

Borough shrinks property tax rates
FAIRBANKS - The Fairbanks North Star Borough base property tax is expected to dip this year to its lowest rate in two decades.

State extends moose permit deadline
ANCHORAGE - The state has extended the sign-up period for two interior moose hunts for nonresidents after receiving few permit applications.

Valentine reigns supreme
Al "Mean Machine" Valentine, 48, took the heavyweight title belt in the Roughhouse boxing Southeast Showdown at Marlintini's Lounge on Friday after defeating 17-year-old "Crown" Royal Hudson.

JDHS fights back to stay perfect
The Juneau-Douglas High School baseball team showed it can fight from behind over the weekend as it continued its undefeated season.

SPORTS IN JUNEAU
UPCOMING EVENTS

Fairbanks declares energy emergency
FAIRBANKS - The Fairbanks North Star Borough Assembly declared skyrocketing energy costs a public emergency.

Ketchikan mayor says bias shown in road plan
Ketchikan's mayor, angry about the loss of the city's infamous "Bridge to Nowhere," is accusing the Juneau-based Department of Transportation and Public Facilities staff of bias against his project and being in favor of the Juneau Access Project.

National Park Service spent nearly $4,000 to rescue Denali Park wolf
FAIRBANKS - The National Park Service spent almost $4,000 chasing down a wolf in Denali National Park to remove a cable snare from its neck.

Inupiat fight to keep oil industry from hurting hunts
As mayor of Alaska's wealthy North Slope Borough, Edward Itta is keenly attuned to the importance of oil. The government structure he oversees would virtually collapse without the annual infusion of royalties from the giant fields of crude in his region.

Currency bypasses businesses in some Bush Alaska towns
At the general store in Noorvik, an Inupiaq village on the banks of the Kobuk River, Pauline Morris and her customers are on a constant quest for dollars and coins.

Musher pleads not guilty to killing moose in park
FAIRBANKS - Former Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race champion Jeff King formally pleaded not guilty to killing a moose within Denali National Park. He has asked for a jury trial.

Power goes out at Prudhoe Bay plants
ANCHORAGE - Oil production at Prudhoe Bay, the nation's most prolific oil field, halted on Friday when a vehicle clearing snowdrifts damaged the power supply to processing centers.

Army rescues six people stranded by flooding along Interior rivers
FAIRBANKS - Ice jams caused flooding along two Interior Alaska rivers and an Army helicopter participated in two rescues.

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

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

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