Sunday, May 17, 2009

Welcome diversity, and Planned Parenthood
Misinformation and lack of information often lead to anger and frustration, and serve to drive a wedge between otherwise peaceful people. A case in point is the current furor over the newly established Planned Parenthood facility.

Juneau should be welcoming its guests
Recent complaints about tourism received a lot of attention in the Anchorage Daily News, giving more fodder to those wanting to move the capital from Juneau. There were almost 200 comments and most were not in Juneau's defense.

WiFi towers aren't as safe as described
Your May 15 article on WiFi towers states that "federal communication codes put the emanations well within the threshold of safe exposure." The only federal requirement for these towers is that the microwaves they emit not be strong enough to cook a person's flesh. That does not mean they are safe.

Juneau tour bus complaints reframed as anti-Palin rally
Since a handful of "STOP LOCAL TOURS" signs have gone up in two Juneau neighborhoods downtown, two high-contrast takes on the meaning behind them have been circulating.

New Capitol annex to be named after late Judge Stewart
Gov. Sarah Palin will sign a bill Monday naming the new Capitol annex after Judge Thomas Stewart, announced Juneau legislators Rep. Beth Kertulla and Sen. Dennis Egan.

Man discovers unwanted treasure in his backyard
Brian Weed got an unwanted and frustrating responsibility on Friday morning when he found a flammable hazardous material.

Kensington mine battle marked with flurry of new briefs
This week marked another flurry of legal briefs in the U.S. Supreme Court battle over the Kensington gold mine.

Photos: Opening act
Lauri Bono, Michael Nappi, on drums, and Kal David perform as the Juneau Jazz and Classics' opening act Friday night at Centennial Hall. During the next few days, world-renowned musical talents will converge in Juneau for concerts and workshops. The event will run through Sunday, May 24.

Photo: Rollover on Egan
Juneau Police Dept. Sergeant Steve Hernandez, far right, investigates a two-car accident Saturday near Merchants Wharf after a Toyota pickup collided with a two-door convertible on Egan drive. There is no official word on possible injuries as of deadline. Capital City Fire & Rescue responded and was treating one of the drivers. Police redirected traffic through Calhoun Avenue.

Around Town
Today, May 17

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

Tender, Loving Connection
Graduation season has arrived - and not just for traditional institutions. On Friday, 103 Southeast residents, 66 from Juneau, earned their GEDs from The Learning Connection and 14 graduated from the Alaska Vocational Institute.

Capital City Celebrations says thank you, sells memorabilia
Capital City Celebrations' "Thank You" banner is on display at the Capital City Weekly offices after spending the winter at Centennial Hall.

Building balance on a bike
Our daughter sat hunched on the tiny purple seat, leaning heavily on the right training wheel. With every push of the pedals, she grimaced and groaned, clutching the handlebars until her hands were as white as tiny marshmallows. She cranked the pedals slowly, flinching, and sometimes screaming, each time the bike wobbled off the training wheel.

Photo: Anniversary float creation
Capital City Celebration volunteers enjoy a recent Float Building 101 session in order to help recreate the "1959 Queen & Princess" float for the 2009 Fourth of July parade. Surrounding 1959 princess Kris Kennedy Gray, center, are, from left, Ruth Blackwell, Patti Lonergan, Chris Hanson Cook (1959 Little Miss Alaska), Nikki Morris and Arlene Crumrine. Capital CityCelebrations is seeking volunteers to meet at 7 p.m. May 20 at the Mendenhall valley library to help plan and participate in Juneau's many Fourth of July weekend events commemorating 50 years as Alaska's State Capital and 50 Years of Statehood.

Around the world in 18 years
Life presents us with unwanted and unexpected life changing realities. I had one such experience 18 years ago.

Senior menu for the week of May 18-22
Monday, May 18

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 17th annual Pillars of America Speaker Series. This year's series featured speakers Ron Clark and David and Nic Sheff; who inspired and motivated the audience with their personal experiences and challenges.

Thanks from Gastineau Channel Little League
On May 2, Gastineau Channel Little League celebrated opening day for its baseball and softball season.

Thanks for supporting AWARE's April 11 race
Aiding Women in Abuse and Rape Emergencies would like to extend gratitude and appreciation for outstanding support from the Juneau community in making the Waterfront AWAREness Race on April 11 a big success! More than 85 runners and 20 volunteers participated in this year's race in recognition of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, a recognition that sexual assault is a community problem with a community solution. Thanks to those of you who came out as part of the solution!

Emergency trauma technician course offered for first time to high schoolers
For the first time ever, Capital City Fire & Rescue and the Juneau School District partnered to offer an Emergency Trauma Technician course to high school students.

Thanks for sponsoring Senior Edge skiing
I wish to thank the following businesses for sponsoring the Senior Edge ski program at Eaglecrest Ski Area this past season: Alaskan Brewing Co., Chatham Electric, Nugget Alaskan Outfitters and Alaska Promotions.

Thanks for making our salsa dance fundraiser a success
The Alaska Women's Lobby would like to express its most sincere gratitude to the people and businesses that made our salsa dance and silent auction fundraiser such a successful event.

Thanks for installing a Dimond Park gate
The Juneau Sports Association would like to send a big thank you to Scott Gilmour, Aaron Mar, Patty Dunne and city Parks and Recreation Supervisor Jonathan Mollick. These volunteers installed a gate at the back of Dimond Park on a rainy Thursday, May 7, to help curb the costly vandalism that has occurred on the softball fields. The effort was assisted by the donation of heavy equipment from Don Abel Building Supply Rental Shop.

World Affairs Council sponsors Joe Montville
JUNEAU - The Juneau World Affairs Council is sponsoring Joe Montville to speak at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Juneau Arts & Culture Center.

Popular 2008 baby names for Alaska available online
ALASKA - The Social Security Administration announced Tuesday the most popular baby names in Alaska for 2008. Alaska's top five boys names for 2008 were: James, Jacob, Michael, Ethan and Tyler. Alaska's top five girls names were: Emma, Ava, Abigail, Sophia and Emily.

Arts council hosts Community Day
JUNEAU - Nonprofit organizations are invited to participate in Community Day on Campus from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at the University of Alaska Southeast to share information with people about their summer programs for children, opportunities to get involved, or just to let people know what their group does in the community.

Thanks for sponsoring the Dipsticks car show
Juneau Dipsticks, for support in our fundraising endeavor, the ninth annual Classic, Custom & Antique Auto & Cycle Show, would like to thank our sponsors:

University hires Carol Young as new dining general manager
JUNEAU - Carol Young, who has catered to former Presidents Carter and Clinton, Clint Eastwood and Joe Montana, recently started as the new general manager for University of Alaska Southeast campus dining, operated by NMS. Guests may sample Young's culinary skills at the UAS Community Day on Saturday or anytime at the Mourant Café at UAS.

Sealaska accepts youth camp applications
JUNEAU - The Sealaska Heritage Institute is accepting applicants for its annual Latseen Leadership Camp, which runs July 12 to 24 at the University of Alaska Southeast in Juneau. Deadline to apply is May 22.

Local pest management technician hired
JUNEAU - Every summer the University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service hires an integrated pest management technician as a resource for Juneau's local gardeners and community members. The IPM technician is available throughout the summer months to answer questions specifically involving ecologically sound control methods for insects, plant disease, and weeds.

Sitka university to host food preservation program Thursday
SITKA - Dr. Sonja Koukel, of the University of Alaska Southeast Cooperative Extension Service Juneau District, will lead a free food preservation program Thursday at the UAS Sitka campus, 1332 Seward Ave., Room 110.

JDHS Class of 1969 to hold 40th reunion
JUNEAU - Juneau-Douglas High School Class of 1969 is holding its 40th reunion over the Fourth of July weekend.

SADD sponsors Safe and Sober Prom Pledge
From May 4 to 7, 125 students at Juneau-Douglas High School signed a pledge to stay "Safe and Sober" before, during and after prom. The high school group Students Against Destructive Decisions sponsored the youth-focused campaign. Their goal was to raise awareness on campus about the legal consequences and real-life dangers of underage drinking, as well as driving under the influence.

Thanks for helping clean up Thane
Sometimes the gold threads in the often silvery-gray backdrop of Juneau really shine out, and remind us that there is no end to what we as a community can accomplish if we work together toward a common purpose.

Thanks for volunteering at ZGYC's egg hunt
The Zach Gordon Youth Center's 25th annual Easter Egg Hunt on April 11 was yet another immensely enjoyable occasion that saw almost 450 Juneau youngsters collect their share of more than 6,000 candy-filled eggs and go home with a special bag of toy prizes (marvelously put together by ZGYC employees Donny Burras and Tabitha Dunham) as an extra treat for each of them.

Bell, DesRosiers to wed
Haley Bell, of Muddy River, and Adam DesRosiers, of Excursion Inlet, are engaged to be married on Sept. 13, 2009, at the Bell family home in Muddy River.

McKenry, Lloyd-Knickerbocker to wed
Sadie Rose Elizabeth Lloyd-Knickerbocker and Charles M. McKenry Jr., of Juneau, will be married at 3 p.m. May 23, 2009, at Skater's Cabin in Juneau, with a potlatch barbecue to follow. A reception will be at 6 p.m. at the Hangar Ballroom.

Losing yourself in Provence
There's a reason the average French lifespan is 80 years, while ours in the states is 78. Thirty-seven - that's the average number of vacation days in France, compared to our country's measly 13.

FYI
Births

Juneau Federal Employee Association honors five at annual awards luncheon
The Juneau Federal Employee Association held their annual awards luncheon on May 6. The awards luncheon recognized Juneau area federal employees for outstanding work in volunteer service, administrative support, team project and top federal employee of the year for accomplishments in 2008.

Pet of the week
Uno is the sweetest bunny at the Gastineau Humane Society. This 2-year-old bunny is one of a kind, and it's not only because he has one eye. This little lover is potty trained and always wants to be snuggled with.

My turn: Over-taxing to blame for cruise ships leaving Alaska
It is very disconcerting to see the sponsors of the cruise ship tax still defending this unnecessary legislation. They successfully convinced most of the citizens of Alaska who are not directly impacted by the cruise industry that these companies were giant, international corporate entities who were taking advantage of us by polluting our air, discharging dirty water into our oceans and not paying taxes anywhere. We sent them a message that they weren't really welcome here unless they paid dearly.

My turn: Drug testing students won't solve Juneau's drug problem
When people ask what I would do about the present drug epidemic, my first response would be to try not to make it worse. About drug testing in particular, I suggest Richard C. Cowan's article "How the Narcs Created Crack: A War Against Ourselves" (National Review, Dec. 5, 1986).

Outside editorial: Pelosi's information matters in broader debate over torture
The question that matters about House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and waterboarding is not just what the California Democrat knew and when she knew it - but also why this matters in the broader debate over torture.

Toe toon

Swarm of earthquakes hit Kodiak region
ANCHORAGE - Alaska's Kodiak Island is being slammed by a swarm of earthquakes, one with a magnitude of 5.9.

AEL&P drops electric rates in anticipation of surplus sales
JUNEAU - Here's something that Juneauites might find unexpected when reviewing their energy bills: a refund.

Anchorage police union OKs wage concessions
ANCHORAGE - Members of the Anchorage police union have accepted wage concessions that would save the city millions in a contract approved in December.

Crews progress against wildfire
ANCHORAGE - Crews are still making progress against the wildfire near Homer, thanks to continued misting and humidity.

Body of man found in Anchorage creek
ANCHORAGE - Another man's body has been found outdoors in Anchorage, bringing the number to four in 10 days.

Passport to be required to cross Canada
ANCHORAGE - U.S. Sen. Mark Begich's office is reminding Alaskans that they'll need a passport or other approved documentation to cross the international border to Canada, starting June 1.

Chrysler plan may not affect Alaska dealerships
JUNEAU - Automaker Chrysler has told a quarter of its dealers that it won't renew their contracts, but dealerships in Alaska may not be affected by the bankruptcy plan.

Ice jams threaten more Yukon River villages
ANCHORAGE - Ice jams are threatening more Yukon River villages.

Juneau sex offender arrested for violating conditions of probation
JUNEAU - Joshua Key, 21, was arrested by Alaska State Troopers Friday in Juneau on two outstanding warrants.

JDHS athletes sweep Region V 4A
Clear, sunny weather defied the rainy forecast Saturday at Adair-Kennedy Memorial Park, but the Juneau-Douglas High School track and field teams stuck to the script as they easily topped their lone Region V 4A opponents from Ketchikan for the regional team titles.

4 up, 4 down for JDHS at Fairbanks
Juneau-Douglas showed North Pole on Saturday that it isn't a one-dimensional high school softball team.

JDHS hammers out road split
The Juneau-Douglas High School baseball team suffered their first two Southeast Conference losses over the weekend, but salvaged a split in doubleheaders against both Ketchikan and hosting Sitka to enter next week's Senior Night games atop the division's six-team pileup.

Kickers go 2-1 in Fairbanks
The Juneau-Douglas High School girls soccer team bounced back Saturday afternoon to run past Lathrop 3-1 after a 3-1 morning loss to Mid-Alaska Conference-leading West Valley. The split, along with Friday's 4-0 blanking of North Pole, gave JDHS a 2-1 record on their three-game, 24-hour roadtrip around Fairbanks.

Sports in Juneau
UPCOMING EVENTS

2009 Region V 4A Track Meet Results
Boys scoring

Abbott pleads guilty to 2008 Sitka murders
SITKA - A 19-year-old Sitka man has pleaded "guilty, but mentally ill" in the knifing deaths last year of his grandparents, aunt and her companion.

Men strut fancy whiskers in world championships
ANCHORAGE - The world's fanciest whiskers are coming to Alaska so their owners can strut their manly stuff in the land that has long appreciated furry faces.

Senators push escort bill for Valdez tankers
ANCHORAGE - Alaska's U.S. senators have filed a bill that would maintain a requirement for every oil tanker leaving the Valdez marine terminal to be escorted out of Prince William Sound by two response tugboats.

Searchers find missing Ketchikan hiker
KETCHIKAN - The woman who was rescued a day after taking a bad fall in the woods was doing well at Ketchikan General Hospital on Friday.

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