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Sunday, May 18, 2008

Questioning need for AEL&P security
Is security for Alaska Electric Light & Power Co. employees really necessary?

Price increases hurt workers
With all due respect, I think it is fantastic that Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, commends us for reducing the electricity use by 30 percent (I'm green), and how it is an example for the rest of the country; I also feel it is a slap in the face.

Losing power: Juneau's utility faces consequences of past actions
Bad luck, bad timing and its own bad bets have left Juneau's venerable Alaska Electric Light & Power Co. shaken like never before in its history.

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

Around Town
Today, May 18

Small Business Administration OKs economic injury loan
Gov. Sarah Palin announced Friday that her office had been notified by the federal Small Business Administration that its request for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan declaration had been approved for Juneau.

Correction
A story about Ultimate Frisbee in Thursday's Juneau Empire had wrong information about the playing times. The correct times include:

City will wait for electric bills before deciding spending plan
City budget proceedings took an unexpected turn Friday when the Juneau Assembly decided to hold off spending and taxing decisions until after the city has had time to digest sharply increased electric rates.

AEL&P owner says profits reinvested
Alaska Electric Light & Power Co. has made millions in profits in recent years, according to financial records filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

Photo: Riding to work
Ben Lyman, left, and Tim Lydon ride their bikes to work Friday as part of Bike to Work Day in Juneau. They attended a gathering at Centennial Hall, where cyclists set out for a group ride.

Photos: A week to honor police
Alaska State Trooper Randy Ruaro, above, reads a proclamation from Gov. Sarah Palin on Friday at City Hall in an event celebrating Law Enforcement Memorial Week.

AEL&P offers to fund energy crisis reviews
Alaska Electric Light & Power Co. offered up to $30,000 Friday for the city to conduct an independent audit of the cost of power adjustment expenses and collections related to the energy crisis.

John Clark Jones
Former Juneau resident John Clark (Jack) Jones died Feb. 26, 2008, while wintering in Palm Springs, surrounded by his family. He was 80.

Dick Meckem Chitty
Former Juneau resident Dick Meckem Chitty died May 8, 2008, in Anacortes, Wash., after a year's battle with small-cell lung cancer. He was 77.

Florence May Hansen
Longtime Juneau resident Florence May Hansen died unexpectedly on May 14, 2008, at Bartlett Regional Hospital in Juneau. She was 78.

Gerald Ray Vaught
Former longtime Juneau resident Gerald Ray Vaught died May 3, 2008, in Sitka in a bicycle accident. He was 54.

Robert 'Bob' Hurt
Juneau resident Robert "Bob" Hurt died May 13, 2008, at Alaska Regional Hospital after a sudden illness. He was 58.

Empire editorial: Juneau faces hardship despite chance for relief
Even if but at a piece at a time and in amounts far less than this summer's electric bills stand to be, Juneau residents and the rest of the state are getting some financial relief from the state government.

My turn: Palin's subsidy plans suppress conservation
G ov. Sarah Palin wants to take $1.2 billion out of the state treasury and put it on the street to help Alaskans deal with soaring energy costs. It's a significant amount of money - about $2,000 per Alaskan if it were distributed as an Alaska Permanent Fund dividend. There is no doubt that Alaska households are suffering from high energy prices, and that those same high prices are enriching the state government beyond any conceivable need for services or savings. But Palin's proposal fails common sense tests.

My turn: Save water, save energy
Juneau residents should be proud of their efforts to conserve electricity in the wake of the Snettisham avalanches that cut off our main power source. Collectively, the community has reduced its energy use from 1,006 megawatt hours April 15 to 660 megawatt hours four weeks later, on May 13. That's a 34 percent decrease.

Toe Toon
Cartoon by local artist Toe.

Perseverance Trail back on track
One of Juneau's most popular and historically significant trails reopened last weekend after more than two years of ongoing construction work.

Trail work continues this summer
Small projects on the Perseverance Trail will continue in the coming months, with a volunteer work day scheduled for July 19.

Out & About
Today: International Migratory Bird Day celebration, 8 a.m.-noon, Community Garden on Montana Creek Road. With bird-banding demonstration and other activities. Details: 586-8800 or Gwen, gbaluss@yahoo.com.

Enjoying spring on Mount Roberts
On the last day of April, the first cruise ship of the season arrived in Juneau, so the Mount Roberts Tramway was operating. Dozens of tourists crammed the up-bound cars, along with three locals carrying snowshoes. The snow at the top of the tram was still many feet deep, and a steep-walled tunnel had been carved from the main building to the nature center.

Kenai Peninsula drivers should exercise caution in caribou calving grounds
KENAI - Drivers should exercise extra caution over the next few weeks as caribou crossings are starting to become a common occurrence on several central Kenai Peninsula roadways.

Columbia's return to service delayed
JUNEAU - Shipyard personnel worked through the night Thursday and Coast Guard officials agreed to continue an inspection process through the weekend to expedite the certificate process for the ferry Columbia.

Electric company asks for levelized billing
JUNEAU - Alaska Electric Light & Power Co. filed a proposal with the Regulatory Commission of Alaska on Friday asking to broaden its levelized billing option to include all residents and small commercial customers.

Raptor center's Mr. Peepers to go free
JUNEAU - A bald eagle named Mr. Peepers is set to be released by the Juneau Raptor Center.

Minor earthquake recorded near Denali
FAIRBANKS - A minor earthquake shook a small community near Denali National Park and Preserve.

Juneau sweeps track meet
Adair-Kennedy Memorial Field was the site of the Region V Track & Field Championships this weekend.

Running: Nugget Alaskan Outfitter Lena Loop Run
May 17

SPORTS IN JUNEAU
UPCOMING EVENTS

Judge tosses Ben Stevens' fine
ANCHORAGE - A Superior Court judge says the Alaska Public Offices Commission was wrong to find that former state Senate President Ben Stevens violated state law by failing to disclose the clients of one of his consulting firms.

Settlement in works in Red Dog lawsuit
ANCHORAGE - A trial scheduled Monday in a lawsuit filed by Kivalina residents over pollution violations at the Red Dog Mine has been canceled.

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