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.
AEL&P should use its own savings
Alaska Electric Light & Power Co. is unique among Alaska utilities in that it is a privately owned, for-profit business.
AEL&P workers are our neighbors
Does the community really benefit from the toxic complaints about Alaska Electric Light & Power Co. that have been published recently in the Empire?
Palin changes her mind on campaign issues
Gov. Sarah Palin mentioned during her campaign that she would keep the "star" on the map in Juneau. However, she has split hairs and said during the last legislative session that she would not veto a bill that would move sessions to another community.
Do we really need the street lights on?
So, I look at my neighborhood at 9 p.m. It's almost dark out. Not a light showing from any of my neighbors as far as my eyes can see. What must they be doing in such a dark existense? Then I look at the city's street lights. They are shining brightly!
Winter ferry schedule needs improvement
I'd like to offer my comments about the proposed winter ferry schedule, which overall represents a fair attempt to provide decent service to the people of Southeast, but also may need some improvement.
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.
Center addresses prescription drug abuse
High school senior Katie Doyle said she knows about 20 classmates who have gone to rehab for prescription drug abuse in the past few years.
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.
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.
Small-business energy loans on the way
A city-funded loan program to cover part of businesses' electric bills may be in place by the end of this week - though businesses will have to be denied a conventional bank loan before they are eligible.
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.
Barge ramp approved for Cascade Point
Juneau planning commissioners unanimously approved a permit Tuesday for a barge ramp at Cascade Point that will be used to export sand and gravel from the area.
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: Mendenhall Lake breaks up
Visitors stand Tuesday in front of icebergs on Mendenhall Lake. The lake ice broke up during the past few days, releasing hundreds of icebergs that have floated closer to shore.
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.
Police & Fire
Juneau police and fire officials and state police reported:
Decoding business electric bill increases
It's easy to calculate how residential rates will increase with the new cost of power adjustment. The COPA is 43 cents per kilowatt-hour, so the total rate will be 56 cents - five times the base rate.
Pets of the week
Sweet cats, playful dog seek loving homes
The re-cycle of life
The eagle flew past us, just above eye level, grasping in its talons a sizable clump of long grasses it had gathered from the marshes near Vanderbilt Road. The grasses, browned and toughened by winter, streamed out behind the eagle like a banner of hope - hope for a nest that was durable, yet forgiving enough to serve as a summer nursery.
Language Interpreter Center to hold information sessions
JUNEAU - The Anchorage-based Language Interpreter Center, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing quality interpreters to government, business and social service agencies, will host information sessions from 10 to 11 a.m. or 2 to 3 p.m. May 22 in the Jury Assembly Room on the third floor of the Dimond Courthouse.
Consortium to offer public health strategy class in Sitka
SITKA - The SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium will host a basic health strategy class on May 28-30 at the SEARHC Community Health Services building in Sitka.
Thanks for supporting Pillars of America
The Glacier Valley Rotary Club would like to thank the community of Juneau for its overwhelming support of the 16th annual Pillars of America Speaker Series. This year's series featured speakers Jason Ryan Dorsey and Coach Ken Carter; who shared their personal experiences and challenges that demonstrated their high standards of integrity and courage.
What should I feed my cat?
The most perfectly balanced meal you can feed your cat is a mouse. That's a whole mouse, complete with bones and innards.
Interacting with those affected by dementia
Caring for an elder with Alzheimer's disease or related disorders may be challenging. Communication is impaired and most older adults with dementia experience and demonstrate unusual behaviors. The way in which the caregiver acts or reacts to their behavior can make the difference between the elder being calm or agitated.
Salmon swim in a world without borders
My son, Allan, was surprised to find a one-pound package of wild caught salmon at Wal-Mart on a recent visit to Troy, Ala. It was a boneless fillet with the skin removed. He surmised it was pink or chum. The price was $3.98.
Photo: Spring cleanup kickoff
The Forest Service Alaska Regional Office volunteers picked the mile between Sunny Point and the Fred Meyer intersection, known as "The Green Mile," to be cleaned on May 8 in preparation for Juneau's spring cleanup effort. The session was one of the group's three mandatory cleanups as part of the Department of Transportation's Adopt-A-Highway program. The regional office adopted the mile six years ago. Volunteers, from left, are Paul Brewster, Richard Stahl, Wini Kessler, Mari Meiners, Ken Post, Dan Logan, Don Martin, Ray Massey and Gene Miller. Not pictured were Marc Ramonda, Eric Niewoehner and Master Niewoehner.
Photo: Family Friendly Employer of the Year
From left, Kristin Mahle, campaign director for the United Way of Southeast Alaska, and Heather Swanson, University of Alaska Southeast staff council president (who nominated the university) present the Family Friendly Employer of the Year award to UAS Chancellor John Pugh at the Juneau Chamber of Commerce luncheon on May 1. Other award winners were Jensen Yorba Lott and the Alaska state Legislature. The third annual Family Friendly Business Awards were sponsored by the United Way of Southeast Alaska, Juneau Chamber of Commerce and Partnerships for Families and Children. Nominations for the awards come from employees of Juneau businesses who have exemplified workplace policies that promote a work or life balance for their employees.
Moms can be so embarrassing
Thanks, Mom, for embarrassing me when I was a kid.
Photo: Take Back the Light
Aiding Women in Abuse & Rape Emergencies Inc. held its annual "Take Back the Light"celebration in honor of Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Awareness Month on April 19. The gathering recognized friends, neighbors and family members who have survived sexualassault and child abuse with a one-mile march or 5K run along the waterfront and rally at the Juneau Arts and Culture Center. From left are Barbara Belknap, Michele Masuda, Robin Gilchrist, Mary Capabianco and Kim Metcalfe.
Longtime Juneau resident John Thilenius died May 9, 2008, in Juneau. He was 77.
Walter G. Austin
Former longtime Juneau resident Walter G. Austin died May 9, 2008, in Anchorage. He was 89.
Gerald Ray Vaught
Former longtime Juneau resident Gerald Ray Vaught died May 3, 2008, in Sitka in a bicycle accident. He was 54.
Eve R. Collais
Longtime Juneau resident Eve R. Collais died April 18, 2008, in Anchorage. She was 79.
Barbara Marler Turley
Juneau Resident Barbara Marler Turley died May 6, 2008, in Spokane, Wash. She was 60.
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: Give help to the Marshall Islands' survivors
A few weeks ago, while Juneau residents enjoyed the first rare glimpses of sunshine and warmth, a few speakers from the Marshall Islands and throughout the United States came to share survivor stories of the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and nuclear testing in the Marshall Islands. They also detailed technical accounts of nuclear testing in the Marshall Islands and gave presentations that spoke to the human elements entailed in war and conflict.
State editorial: Stimulus checks should make us think harder about conserving
The following editorial first appeared in the Peninsula Clarion:
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.
Outside editorial: Drug wars and cynicism
This editorial appeared in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
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.
Tickets for Elton John concert go fast
ANCHORAGE - Alaskans just can't get enough of Elton John.
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.
No major changes for helicopter landings
JUNEAU - A contractor for the U.S Forest Service has not recommended any major updates to the agency's 2002 decision regarding helicopter landings on the Juneau Icefield.
Assembly accepts bid to build track
JUNEAU - If no protest is filed, Miller Construction Inc. of Juneau will win the bidding to construct Thunder Mountain High School's track and athletic field.
City to sell bonds to work on schools
JUNEAU - The Juneau Assembly on Monday approved the sale of $39.5 million in bonds to finish the auditorium of Thunder Mountain High School and conduct renovations at Glacier Valley and Harborview Elementary schools.
Earthquake strikes in Gulf of Alaska
KODIAK CITY - A moderate earthquake struck Monday in the Gulf of Alaska, 90 miles southwest of Kodiak City.
Smoke prompts senior center evacuation
JUNEAU - The Mountain View Apartments and Juneau Senior Center on 12th Street downtown were evacuated Tuesday night by emergency personnel due to smoke.
Flint Hills considering options for refinery
FAIRBANKS - Flint Hills Resources says it is considering three options for its refinery in North Pole.
Petersburg teen dies in hunting accident
ANCHORAGE - A Petersburg teenager died Sunday in an accidental shooting while hunting grouse, the Alaska State Troopers said.
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.
Resident loses home to smoke damage
JUNEAU - Smoke caused by a fire in a mobile home caused extensive damage Sunday in the Glacier View Trailer Court.
Kodiak district names new superintendent
KODIAK - Stewart McDonald was selected as the new superintendent of the Kodiak Island Borough School District.
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.
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.
JDHS sweeps tripleheader
The Juneau-Douglas High School softball team continued its undefeated season Tuesday by winning three games against Sitka in a rare tripleheader.
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
Juneau's Flynn wins Gatorade state award
Colin Flynn became the fourth Juneau-Douglas High School athlete to be named Gatorade Alaska Boys Soccer Player of the Year on Tuesday.
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.
Power rates outside Juneau expected to rise
Juneau won't be the only place where power rates will be going up.
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.
Insanity defense anticipated in Sitka slayings
If Jason Abbott's jailhouse comment to a friend is accurate, the 18-year-old Sitka man will use insanity as a defense against allegations he stabbed four people to death and tried to kill a fifth at his grandparents' home on March 25.
Location of new special session still uncertain
Gov. Sarah Palin is not yet committing to where a special session to address energy rates should be held, raising concerns she might suggest it be held outside Juneau.
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.
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.
Deadline looms for polar bear listing decision
Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne hasn't added a U.S. creature to the endangered species list since he took office two years ago. The former Idaho governor has until Thursday to decide on one that could prove troublesome to promising petroleum drilling off Alaska's northern coast and force federal agencies in other states to react to new greenhouse gas emissions.
This Day in History
In Alaska, in the Nation and the World
Magistrate backs soldier for conscientious objector status
A federal magistrate has ruled that the Army should be ordered to grant conscientious objector status to a Fort Richardson-based paratrooper.
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