Wednesday, May 12, 2010

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.

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.

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?

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.

Law enforcement honored by faces of those served
The community gathered Tuesday on the lawn of the State Museum to honor law enforcers, and to pay special tribute to those who sacrificed the most.

Local nursing home wins national awards
The staff and management at Wildflower Court were recognized recently with two national awards.

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.

Empire earns 21 press awards
The Juneau Empire received 21 Alaska Press Club awards during a ceremony Saturday in Anchorage, its most in a decade.

Census ground campaign begins
The U.S. Census Bureau wants Alaskans to know that it is in their interest to be counted in this year's ongoing tally of everybody in the country.

Sealaska board elects new CFO
Sealaska's board of directors unanimously elected Doug Morris as vice president and chief financial officer.

Kensington to add to Coeur's burgeoning gold production
The owner of the Kensington gold mine will fill final job positions this month in preparation for the mine's July opening, a company executive reported in a first-quarter earnings report this week.

Police seize possible explosive
The Juneau Police Department responded to a report of a suspicious object near the west end of the Mendenhall Mall on Monday evening.

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.

Photo: A higher education
Chris Washko, Manager of Residence, Life and Wellness, gives a lesson to students from Gastineau and Glacier Valley Elementary Schools on building a social safety net as part of the "I'm Going to College" event Monday at the University of Alaska Southeast. All areafifth-grades are taking a day-long field trip Monday and today to learn about the advantages of higher education. Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education, the Alaska College Saving Plan and the Northwest Education Loan Association are sponsoring the event.

New radio studio
Staff and volunteers gather for the ribbon-cutting at the new KRNN radio studio on May 5. Seventy-five localvolunteer DJs will use the new studio to air local music programs. KTOO-FM and KXLL also will move to new studios in the next few months. The new radio studio features all digital equipment. From left are Marc Wheeler, Rosemarie Alexander, Bill Legere, Jamie Waste, Pablo Montoya, Lise Paradis, Cheryl Levitt and Will Judy.

Family Friendly Business Awards announced
The Partnerships for Families and Children, Best Beginnings, Association for the Education of Young People, United Way of Southeast Alaska and the Juneau Chamber of Commerce announced the winners of the fifth annual Family Friendly Business Awards during the weekly Chamber luncheon at the Moose Lodge.

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

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.

Photo: Dzantik'i Heeni dedication
Members of the Haa Daaxa Nooxu Jeiys Dance Group perform last week at the Grand Opening ceremony of Dzantik'i Heeni Middle School's covered play area.

Photos: Frozen fishes

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.

Charles Paddock
Juneau Resident Charles Ralph Paddock died May 7, 2010, at his son's home. He was 73.

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

Michael S. Reid
Former Juneau resident Michael S. Reid died April 9, 2010, in Beaumont, Texas, following a brief battle with cancer. He was 49.

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

My Turn: University of Alaska gun policy reasonable
The University of Alaska Board of Regents has a gun policy for our campuses that doesn't violate the Second Amendment and doesn't break state law.

Physician, heal thyself
He purported to cure homosexual urges. But if that were possible, you'd think he'd have started with himself.

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.

Outside editorial: It won't save the whales
The following editorial first appeared in the Los Angeles Times:

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.

Civilian trial for 9/11 suspects should be off the table
In a recent hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. said that a civilian trial in New York City for Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and four other accused 9/11 plotters was still "not off the table." This is unfortunate, and not only because such a trial would inevitably compromise classified information, impose massive security and logistical costs on New York, and provide the defendants with a superb propaganda platform. Another major problem with a civilian trial has been largely overlooked: the impact on the 12 private citizens unlucky enough to be chosen as jurors.

Gov appoints new game board member
ANCHORAGE - Gov. Sean Parnell has appointed a Nenana man who has made a living by trapping, hunting, fishing and guiding to the Alaska Board of Game.

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

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

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.

TransCanada says gas prices key in pipeline effort
ANCHORAGE - TransCanada vice president Tony Palmer says low gas prices could hurt its quest to build a natural gas pipeline out of Alaska.

Hiker rescued at Passage Canal
ANCHORAGE - The Coast Guard says one of its helicopter crews rescued a hiker at Passage Canal near Whittier after he became stranded trying to avoid two bears.

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

Agency holds workshop for outdoor women
JUNEAU - The Department of Fish and Game is offering up its three-day workshop to teach women outdoor skills.

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.

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.

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

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.

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

Parnell signs Cook Inlet drilling incentives bill
KENAI - Gov. Sean Parnell has signed a bill designed to give Cook Inlet petroleum exploration a boost.

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

Library dean at University of Alaska Fairbanks on leave
FAIRBANKS - The library dean at the University of Alaska Fairbanks has gone on leave.

Activist appeals ruling in Palin case
ANCHORAGE - An Anchorage activist is asking the Alaska Supreme Court review a judge's ruling that state law doesn't forbid the use of private e-mails to conduct state business.

Visitors bureau to stock taxis with information
ANCHORAGE - The Anchorage Convention & Visitors Bureau says it plans to transform city taxis into rolling visitor information centers.

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.

It's time to play ball
The sun was out shining on the snow fields, hot dogs and hamburgers were cooking, and dogs and children were everywhere, waiting for a ball to be thrown their way.

Fight over Arctic wildlife refuge heats up
ANCHORAGE - The fight over oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge heated up Tuesday over the possibility that a new management plan could put the refuge and its billions of barrels of crude off-limits for good.

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.

Hard times for Lucky Times
ANCHORAGE - The operator of the Lucky Times pull tab lottery in Alaska says the already delayed drawing may not take place as scheduled May 31.

Federal money could help pay for big wind farm
FAIRBANKS - A federal clean energy program could help build a big wind farm near Healy.

Calif. university scrambled to limit Palin fallout
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Newly released documents shed light on a California state university's efforts to limit public scrutiny of its decision to book Sarah Palin for a June speaking engagement but do not disclose how much the former vice presidential candidate was to be paid.

Belugas blamed for Anchorage port expansion delays
ANCHORAGE - Protections for beluga whales in Cook Inlet have added to cost overruns and delays in the Port of Anchorage expansion.

New Palin book, 'America By Heart' to be out Nov. 23
NEW YORK - Sarah Palin's new book has a title, "America By Heart: Reflections on Family, Faith and Flag," and a release date, Nov. 23, publisher HarperCollins announced Tuesday.

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