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Thursday, May 17, 2007

Alaskan Budget

Bush's 'blather' is hurting America
George W. Bush hasn't grown noticeably into the presidency, except for his stupefying delusion that he knows best. In his stubborn rigidity, he's almost irreparably endangered much more than his omniscient self.

Time to revisit oil production tax, ethics
The unfolding VECO scandal deeply troubles me. Although I have always tried to live by the biblical injunction to "judge not" and by our constitutional right of the presumption of innocence, the more I read, the more troubled I become.

Homosexuals should be allowed to marry
I truly enjoyed Tracey Moore's May 14 letter and couldn't agree with her more (or is that Moore?).

Whatever happened to customer service?
On a recent Friday, I realized we needed electrical wiring work done at our home. After consulting the Yellow Pages, I called four businesses.

Legislators should follow will of people
An election was held on April 3 to find out how Alaskans felt about putting an amendment to our constitution up before the voters in 2008. The result was 53 percent in favor and 47 percent against.

Why should we be surprised in scandal?
No matter where one lives, it should never amaze us. Politicians seem to be under the impression they are better, faster and just more intelligent than the rest of us. Why?

Motorists, cyclists, be careful out there
The Juneau Freewheelers Bicycle Club would like to remind riders and motorists alike that we would like to have a safe, responsible, friendly and fun cycling year.

Keep U.S. laws free of religious control
This is a response to a My Turn by the Rev. Tom Matthews on April 19.

Around Town

Meeting launches hearings on city's comprehensive plan
Juneau residents touched on topics ranging from affordable housing to the Juneau access road and preservation of Montana Creek during the first public hearing Tuesday on the city's new comprehensive plan.

Education plan offers a break with tradition
Completing a six-month project, an advisory committee has offered the Juneau School Board a new high school education plan that would turn the traditional education model on its head.

'Major' probe begins on ship grounding
The 360-foot cruise ship that ran aground near Icy Strait on Monday was equipped with an electronic chart and a voyage data recorder that will reveal her location, speed, course, and conversations of the crew at the time of the accident, federal officials said Tuesday.

Police & Fire
Reports from police, fire officials and state troopers:

Around Town

New crew miscalculated in Icy Strait, officials say
When the crew navigating the Empress of the North turned west out of Lynn Canal on a heading for Swenson Harbor, they miscalculated the 90-degree turn, according to authorities.

Schools unlikely to see long-term plan
Work on a school funding plan continued behind closed doors Tuesday at the Capitol, with just one day to go before the end of the regular session today.

Navy warship makes Juneau port call
That battleship-gray warship will be docked downtown until Saturday, but there's no mistaking it for a battleship. Instead of big guns, the superstructure sports lots of big gray globes.

Coday found guilty, attacks his attorney
Jason Coday, convicted of first-degree murder Tuesday in the shooting of Anchorage contractor Simone Kim, attacked his own attorney after the verdict was read.

New ferry study in the works
Gov. Sarah Palin's new transportation commissioner is studying what needs to be done to improve the state ferry system, but legislators want their own study.

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

Juneau Digest
Miners Mercantile issued temporary permit to stay open, Lawmakers inching toward adjournment & Palin announces new transportation board

Correction
A story in Wednesday's Empire incorrectly attributed a quote about Senate Bill 80. It was Sen. Tom Wagoner, R-Kenai, who said "I think you should ask Mike Chenault that question," about why the bill was delayed in committee.

Photo: Project Playground under way
Corinne Conlon uses a router Tuesday to build steps for the Twin Lakes playground. The volunteer project to build a community playground began this week.

Oil companies likely to get tax deductions for pipeline corrosion
Alaska's powerful oil companies hoped to kill a bill denying them the right to tax deductions for the costs of repairing negligently maintained infrastructure on the North Slope.

Photo: High stepping
The Stroller White Pipes, Drums and Highland Dancers perform Sunday at a grand opening event at Fred Meyer.

Business Digest
Nominees sought for salmon Hall of Fame, Last KIN pub night of the season slated, Vendor permits now accepting applications, Bike to Work Day planned for Friday & Financial Management workshop offered

Corrosion, senior care bills die in Legislature
House Democrats made a final attempt to revive a bill preventing oil companies from deducting the costs of improper maintenance from their state taxes, but they were rebuffed on the House floor.

Neighbors mailbox
Thanks for helping our caregiver conference

Recognitions
In observance of national Hospital Week, May 6-12, Bartlett Regional Hospital recognized 48 employees for terms of service ranging from 5 to 25 years.

Neighbors Digest
Juneau celebrates WalkAmerica Saturday, Tlingit singspirational held at Northern Light & State Farm hosts Child Safety Day

The gifts, challenges of children later in life
I am a very lucky man, lucky because of the tremendous opportunity of staying at home with my young children.

Photos: Dipsticks car show
The Juneau Dipsticks' seventh annual Classic, Custom and Antique Auto and Cycle Show, held May 11-13 at Centennial Hall, featured a plethora of cars and motorcycles, from a 1963 Porsche 1600 and 1930 Ford Model 'A', to a 2002 Subaru WRX and 2006 Chevy Kodiak.

Bartolaba and Smith to wed
Danielle Nicole Bartolaba, of Haines, and Jeffry Glenn Smith, of Wrangell, will marry at 5 p.m. on May 19, 2007, at Northern Lights United Church. A reception will follow at the Juneau Yacht Club.

Pets of the week
Kenai & Cool Cat

Title

Thomas Smalley Jr.
A graveside service for lifelong Juneau resident Thomas Elbert Smalley Jr., who died Feb. 4, 2007, will be held at 10 a.m. Friday at the Alaskan Memorial Park.

Outside editorial: It's time to stabilize Somalia
Since the collapse of its government 16 years ago, Somalia has been sliding into an abyss.

My turn: Some lawmakers still stump for VECO
Even though the indictments of dirty politicians and those who bribe them has begun (just the tip of the iceberg)...

Alaska editorial: Let's think through the benefits of tax breaks
There's nothing sweeter to an elected official than lowering property taxes. So it's no surprise that the House voted 33-4 earlier this month to exempt private colleges and universities from municipal property taxes.

My Turn: Favors and payoffs are the norm in politics
The spate of indictments against current and former lawmakers is no doubt saddening to most Alaskans.

Alaska editorial: Citizen involvement can cure corruption
This week's news about Alaska legislators allegedly taking oil bribes generally produced one response.

Protecting us to death
I honestly can't figure out which is worse: the massacre of 32 innocent people at Virginia Tech by a lunatic or the shrill keening of the anti-gun mob to create even more "gun free zones."

Outside editorial: Rudy challenges GOP
Nine of the 10 Republican presidential hopefuls oppose abortion rights, meaning the wind of conservatism is at their backs. The exception is Rudy Giuliani.

Crimson Bears clinch spot in state tourney
After mustering just three goals in its last four games, the Juneau-Douglas High School girls soccer team got a boost of confidence Wednesday.

SPRING KING SALMON DERBY STANDINGS

Photo: Say cheese
he Juneau-Douglas High School softball team jokes around during a pre-game ceremony honoring its seniors before playing Sitka in the regular-season finale Wednesday at Melvin Park.

King salmon become more plentiful as fishing season heats up around local waters
The king salmon have arrived, according to the latest Alaska Department of Fish and Game's Sport Fishing report.

Sports in Juneau
Sports in Juneau is a service provided by the Juneau Empire to provide information on upcoming sports and outdoors events in Juneau.

Gastineau Channel Little League
GASTINEAU CHANNEL LITTLE LEAGUE STANDINGS

JDHS senior O'Brien to swim for Northwestern
Juneau-Douglas High School senior Kyle O'Brien recently has signed a letter of intent and accepted a scholarship offer to attend Northwestern University.

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

Lobbyist charged in bribery scandal
A prominent lobbyist has been charged with conspiracy related to a scheme to bribe former state Rep. Tom Anderson.

Lawsuit says ATVs are chewing up trails in national park
All-terrain vehicle riders in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park have created huge, rutted mud holes stretching several miles along some of the most scenic land in the United States, according to conservation groups.

Lobbyist pleads guilty to conspiracy
A prominent lobbyist admitted in federal court on Wednesday that he conspired to bribe state Rep. Tom Anderson.

Development planning ends in part of petroleum reserve
The Bureau of Land Management has halted planning efforts for oil and gas development in one section of the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska.

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

Photo: Freshly caught
Marcus Donner / The Associated Press

Alaska Digest
DNA crime bill awaits governor's signature & Court bars former judge from bench

Legislature leaves major issues
Senate leaders said late Wednesday that negotiations had stalled with the House of Representatives on funding the state's public schools.

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