Tuesday, May 13, 2008

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:

A class act
Last Thursday, May 8, my former boss, Karleen Jackson, resigned as commissioner of the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services. I believe it is the state of Alaska's loss.

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?

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.

Assembly opposes public vote on citizen-based clean water act
The Juneau Assembly on Monday passed a resolution 7 to 2 opposing a statewide ballot initiative seeking to protect Alaska waters from the effects of new large-scale metallic mines.

Correction
A front-page story on the Snettisham transmission line in Sunday's Empire referred to Eric Erikson with an incorrect title. He is the vice president for transmission and distribution at Alaska Electric Light & Power Co.

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 works to 'levelize' billing for its customers
Juneau's electric utility is working on a way to ease the pain of the next several monthly bills for many of its customers.

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.

DA: Williams running drug ring from prison
Accused high-volume drug dealer Vonnie Williams lost a chance Monday to be released into the hands of a third-party custodian when the judge suggested the custodian's fiancé was on drugs in court and the custodial candidate had too much "contact" with Juneau's drug community.

Drug helps stop alcohol cravings, research shows
A study conducted in Juneau and other parts of Southeast Alaska found that participants taking the drug naltrexone were three times more successful in maintaining abstinence from drinking than those who weren't taking the medication.

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: Holding back the rain
Cruise ship passengers and other pedestrians hoist a canopy of umbrellas as they walk Monday on South Franklin Street.

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

Photo: The daily commute
Bicycle commuter Reid Tippets rides Monday on Glacier Highway on his way to work.

Photo: Healy makes a brief visit to Juneau
The U.S. Coast Guard cutter Healy is tied up Monday at the Coast Guard dock.

Around Town
Today

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

Eve R. Collais
Longtime Juneau resident Eve R. Collais died April 18, 2008, in Anchorage. She was 79.

Walter G. Austin
Former longtime Juneau resident Walter G. Austin died May 9, 2008, in Anchorage. He was 89.

Barbara Marler Turley
Juneau Resident Barbara Marler Turley died May 6, 2008, in Spokane, Wash. She was 60.

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.

My turn: New opportunity for the Forest Service
This past winter, the Forest Service did a commendable thing. Following the lead of Gustavus residents, the Forest Service scrapped its plan for another massive clear-cut in the Couverden area and offered a 90,000 board-foot sale to a small Gustavus operator.

My turn: Do project labor agreements lead to a competitive bid process?
As Juneau taxpayers who pay sales and property taxes used to fund city bid jobs, we all have a stake in the current union-only project labor agreements being placed on them. It is important to know how a union-only PLA adversely impacts the bidding process by reducing the number of potential bidders.

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

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

Outside editorial: Drug wars and cynicism
This editorial appeared in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

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.

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.

Perseverance Trail reopens after work
JUNEAU - Major work is complete on the two-year project to rebuild the historic Perseverance Trail, and the route is once again open to area hikers.

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.

Ice Classic winner results delayed
NENANA - A computer glitch has prevented officials with the Nenana Ice Classic from immediately seeing if there's more than one winner for this year's $303,895 jackpot.

Police charge man with assault at UAF
FAIRBANKS - Police at the University of Alaska Fairbanks say they have arrested a man who threatened a couple in a campus parking lot.

Flint Hills considering options for refinery
FAIRBANKS - Flint Hills Resources says it is considering three options for its refinery in North Pole.

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.

Tickets for Elton John concert go fast
ANCHORAGE - Alaskans just can't get enough of Elton John.

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

Earthquake strikes in Gulf of Alaska
KODIAK CITY - A moderate earthquake struck Monday in the Gulf of Alaska, 90 miles southwest of Kodiak City.

Coast Guard honors sunken ship rescuers
KODIAK - Coast Guard crew members involved in the rescue of the Alaska Ranger crew will be honored this week in Kodiak.

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.

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.

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 distance runners star in Kodiak
The Juneau-Douglas High School boys and girls track and field teams finished the regular season Saturday by facing two of the state's toughest teams.

Juneau JV softball wins four games
Strong pitching and defense led to victories in four of five games last weekend in Sitka for the Juneau-Douglas High School junior varsity softball team.

King salmon fishing to improve in Juneau
King salmon fishing to improve in Juneau

Spring King Salmon Derby Standings

SPORTS IN JUNEAU

Palin to offer plans for state energy relief
Gov. Sarah Palin will announce plans for statewide energy relief on Thursday, and legislators are weighing in on what should be in those plans.

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.

State pledges millions of dollars to help ward off coastal erosion
The state is committing millions of dollars to erosion control projects to help protect some of Alaska's coastal villages.

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.

Exxon wants state to pay $800 million in damages
Exxon Mobil Corp. wants Alaska to pay $800 million in damages, claiming Monday the state breached a deal when it revoked gas and oil leases on a North Slope oil field.

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.

UAF confers 1,185 degrees during graduation ceremony
FAIRBANKS - The University of Alaska Fairbanks held its 86th commencement ceremony, conferring 1,185 degrees on 1,125 students.

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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