Wednesday, May 13, 2009

'Stop everything that I don't like!'
A friend of mine recently told me that he participated in protests during the Vietnam War. When the war ended, he and his peers were milling around their college campus asking each other, "What are we going to do now?" They eventually settled on an issue and found something else to protest.

Walk in my shoes, ride on my seat
May 11-15 is bike to work week, a perfect week to appreciate Juneau's gifts of incredible scenery and friendly community members. As a daily commuter by car, bus or bicycle, I want to remind all drivers to imagine yourself riding to work each day with no protection from fast moving vehicles. Please have compassion and patience as you drive this week and all year long.

Cruise re-routings due to economic downturn, not tax
Why does cruise reporting so often miss the boat? I was disappointed to see yet another article in the Empire (Monday, May 11 edition) citing cruise lobbyist insinuations (without refutation) regarding the impact of the Alaska head tax on visitor numbers. There is no verifiable data to support this claim. The only independent assessment of this question was conducted by the McDowell Group after the 2007 season, which found the number of ships, the number of passengers, and the spending per passenger did not decline as a result of the initiative.

Accommodate tourists and locals with tours
Local residents of Calhoun, 12th Street and Basin Road in Juneau have asked summer tour operators to stop driving through their neighborhoods. For years, these requests for drive-through bus and trolley relief have been ignored.

Timber bill would pay to help retool Southeast industry
Ketchikan sawmill owner Steve Seley has no more faith in old-growth timber.

Swine flu case quietly slips in - and out - of Juneau
Last Friday, the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services assured Alaska residents there was "no probable or confirmed cases" of the H1N1 swine flu virus in the state in its daily public update of the virus's spread.

Senators, Juneau mayor urge Palin on energy funds
Two Anchorage lawmakers this week sent Gov. Sarah Palin a letter urging her to accept millions in stimulus money for home weatherization and energy efficiency.

Juneau recognizes Bike to Work week
In a region where the rains seem to reign supreme, biking enthusiasts may seem few and far between. But this week the Juneau Freewheelers, a local cycling group, is making an effort through the annual "Bike to Work Week" and "Bike to Work and School Day" to raise awareness and enthusiasm for alternative means of transportation.

Bid for downtown garage below estimate
As city officials read aloud the four bids it received for construction of the Downtown Transportation Center on Tuesday at City Hall, the handful of contractors and subcontractors there chattered with surprise about how close the bids were, though they were expecting tough competition.

City needs rights to trash before it can incinerate
City officials shouldn't be making decisions about expanded recycling programs, Juneau's privately owned landfill or major investments in incinerators and waste-to-energy plants until the city lawfully controls the trash stream, the city's public works director said Monday.

Juneau police to honor fallen officers
The Juneau Police Department will honor four officers killed in the line of duty over the course of the department's history during a ceremony today.

Photos: Police officers remembered
Officer Page Decker salutes after a wreath was laid by the daughter of Officer Karl William Reishus during the National Peace Officers' Memorial Observances outside the Alaska State Museum Tuesday. Officer Reishus was killed in a training accident May 3, 1992, while on duty.

Photo: Hazards of spring
Alaska Wildlife Trooper Nicholas Massey collects a dead female deer Monday along the North Douglas Highway after a driver called in to report hitting the animal. Trooper Massey said new grass along roadways is attracting animals. The deer was donated to Gastineau Human Services.

Photo: Training for tourists
ATA raft guide Mike Himan, front, shows, from right, rookie rafting guidesJeremy Johnson, Patrick Markquis and Dudley Commander thedirection to go through a section of the Mendenhall River Saturday. The group, along with others, are going through training for the busy summer tourist season.

Photo: Remembering Kesterson
A memorial to Phillip Austin Kesterson Jr. made of driftwood, shells, flowers and balloons sits next to the city dock in Gustavus on Tuesday. Kesterson, 16, died May 3. His body was found under the dock in the water.

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

Around Town
Today, May 12

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

Around Town
Wednesday, May 13

Correction
A May 4 story in the Empire gave incorrect totals for the number of University of Alaska Southeast degrees conferred this year.

William B. Lampe
Graveside burial services for longtime Juneau resident William B. Lampe, who died Dec. 18. 2008, in Juneau, will be held at 2 p.m. Thursday, May 14, at the Alaskan Memorial Park and Mortuary on Riverside Drive.

Sandra Lynn Sutherland
Juneau resident Sandra Lynn Sutherland died May 6, 2009, at home. She was 41.

Outside editorial: Ethics bid should slow revolving door
Railing against the Republicans' "culture of corruption," Democrats took control of Congress in the 2006 elections. In their first year in charge, they made some overdue improvements to congressional-ethics rules. But in the House, members balked at extending the time they must wait after leaving their seats to lobby their ex-colleagues.

Outside editorial: Newspapers are too essential to fail
During last week's Senate hearing on the "Future of Journalism," Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., observed that the newspaper industry appears to be an "endangered species."

Time for beauty in a busy world
Ahead of me, the snow-covered shoulder of Mount Juneau leans out toward the pale blue morning sky. Off to my right, hints of spring greenery rise along the sloughs that gracefully cut ribbons through the wetlands. The short drive from the valley to downtown is one of the most beautiful commutes on the planet. But I can't really pay attention because I'm racing along Egan Highway at 60 miles per hour.

The Republic is crumbling
"They have sown the wind; they shall reap the whirlwind..." -Hosea 8:7

Private pain, public fascination
It's a hell of a thing when you can't even die in peace. For what it's worth, I hesitate to say that. One should be slow to foreclose hope, always leave room for miracles. Still ...

Sudanese president defies indictment
THE HAGUE, Netherlands - From his travel schedule, you'd never know that an arrest warrant has been issued for Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir by the International Criminal Court for war crimes and crimes against humanity. Even as the violence in Darfur continues, he continues to be welcome in nations across Africa and the Middle East.

Fast ferry to be out of service longer than expected
JUNEAU - The Alaska Marine Highway System says it will take longer than expected for the fast ferry Fairweather to be put back in service.

Alaska officials: swine flu case confirmed
ANCHORAGE - Alaska health officials say tests have confirmed that swine flu sickened a cruise ship crew member.

Grand jury indicts 5 on television smash and grab
FAIRBANKS - A Fairbanks grand jury has indicted five people suspected of ramming a high-end electronics store and stealing two 40-inch televisions.

Gravel mining makes way for industrial park
BIRCHWOOD - Eklutna Inc., the Anchorage Native corporation, is laying the groundwork for a 162-acre industrial park in Birchwood.

Man pleads not guilty to 13 sex abuse charges
JUNEAU - A 24-year-old man pleaded not guilty at the Dimond Courthouse in Juneau on Tuesday to 13 felony sexual abuse counts.

Ketchikan library fire extinguisher malfunctions
KETCHIKAN - A malfunctioning fire extinguisher has created a huge mess at the Ketchikan Public Library.

2 ethics complaints against Palin dismissed
ANCHORAGE - Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin says she has been cleared in two ethics cases.

Flooding recedes after evacuation at Tanana
FAIRBANKS - About a fourth of the 250 residents of Tanana were evacuated after the city was inundated Tuesday by flood waters.

Coast Guard aids fishing vessel
JUNEAU - The Coast Guard has delivered two dewatering pumps to a fishing vessel taking on water.

Coast Guard rescues eight boaters
JUNEAU - U.S. Coast Guard rescue crews contributed to the rescue of eight people in Alaska on Tuesday.

Kite boarder rescued by friend in float plane
ANCHORAGE - A kite boarder in distress in Turnagain Arm was rescued by a friend in a float plane.

DOT deals with flooding at rural airports in Interior
JUNEAU - Department of Transportation and Public Facilities crews are dealing with flooding at some of Alaska's rural airports in the Interior.

Frontier begins seasonal flights to Anchorage
ANCHORAGE - Frontier Airlines says it has started its seasonal flights between Anchorage and Denver.

Japan Airlines resumes seasonal flights to Alaska
ANCHORAGE - Japan Airlines has scheduled 17 charter flights to Alaska this summer.

Anchorage Coast Guard commander removed
JUNEAU - Capt. Mark Hamilton, the Coast Guard's commander for the Anchorage sector, has been temporarily relieved of his duties.

Fairbanks man dies in motorcycle crash
FAIRBANKS - Fairbanks police say a 28-year-old motorcyclist has died after crashing during an apparent high-speed race.

Showtime at Southeast Showdown
Bailey Johnson, Shaun Guthrie and Tongan Toni Talamai all grabbed respective title belts at the 2009 Roughhouse Boxing Southeast Showdown Friday at Marlintini's Lounge.

JDHS sweeps 4 at Ketchikan
The Juneau-Douglas High School baseball team wrapped up a four-game weekend sweep of Sitka and Ketchikan on Saturday with an 11-9 squeaker over the hosting KayHi Kings.

ADF&G Juneau sport fishing report for week of May 4-10
King salmon have moved into local waters and are being caught at the traditional fishing spots. According to the second week of our creel survey, the Picnic Cove/Outer Point area was the most productive, followed by the Breadline and Auke Bay.

Photo: One-pitch wonders
Members of Massage This, TLC Massage, champions of the Juneau Softball Association's Coed F North Division at the recent one-pitch tournament, pose after winning their title.

Sports in Juneau
UPCOMING EVENTS

New bill would resolve Sealaska land issue
It's widely acknowledged that Sealaska Corp. is owed some land. "It's time that we resolve the entitlement issue to Sealaska," said Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who introduced the Senate version of a new bill that settles its four-decade-long land entitlement.

Advocates: right time for mining law reform
WASHINGTON - When Congress approved the rules governing the nation's mining operations, Ulysses S. Grant was in the White House, George Armstrong Custer was fighting Native Americans and Congress was looking for ways to encourage greater settlement of the nation's vast frontier.

Palin signs book deal, memoir due out next year
NEW YORK - You knew it was coming: Sarah Palin is ready to tell her side, agreeing to publish a memoir with HarperCollins. The book comes out in Spring 2010 - the year she is up for re-election.

State sending supplies to flooded communities
ANCHORAGE - Ice jams from spring breakup continue to slowly move down the Yukon River, inundating small villages along the way.

6 to test course for Alaska extreme water race
ANCHORAGE - A handful of adventurers will make a test run next week that could lead to another long-distance race for Alaska.

Urban bear policy too lax?
ANCHORAGE - Spring is here and bears are emerging from their dens for the short stroll to Alaska's largest city. Some residents are putting out the NO VACANCY sign.

Yukon quest plans earlier start date for 2010
ANCHORAGE - Organizers of the Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race have moved their 2010 start time up a week, a change that could tempt more mushers to try both the Quest and the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.

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