Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Regarding Statter Harbor, we have options
Have you had your fill of our community filling marine estuaries, fresh water streams, and important fish, marine mammal, and bird habitats? If you have, it is time to speak up.

Unfair law
A recent law enacted by Congress unfairly discriminates against retirement benefits for some current and all retired federal employees in Alaska. Federal employees throughout the nation are making an equal contribution to the health, well-being and security of our nation. All employees deserve equal treatment and should not be penalized in retirement for choosing to serve outside the Lower 48. The National Active and Retired Federal Employees association (NARFE) has begun a campaign to have this law amended to include everyone. I, for one, cannot understand why this imbalance has been allowed to continue.

Biodiversity? Doesn't look like it
The United Nations has declared 2010 the International Year of Biodiversity. But Gov. Sean Parnell still can't get it right. His appointments to the Board of Game looks as though it is his personal "Year of No Diversity."

Authorities ask public for help as search continues for missing Juneau man
It has been almost two days since 41-year-old Scott Walkenford last contacted family members and authorities are asking for anyone who saw him on Saturday afternoon to share where he was seen and what he was wearing.

'It's all for fun' Floyd Dryden band panhandles at Marine Park
They're not your typical buskers, but the Floyd Dryden 7th-grade band still knows how to draw a crowd.

Photo: Hanging up decorations around town
Carrie Cummings, of the city's landscape division, hangs flowering pots at Franklin and Front Streets on Monday. The city puts out almost 200 of the pots each summer.

Photo: Law enforcement run for Special Olympics
Alaska State Troopers, Juneau Police Department, the United States Coast Guard and various community participants run from Twin Lakes as part of Saturday's 2010 Alaska Law Enforcement Torch Run and Pledge Drive for Special Olympics. The event was held simultaneously in 13 communities across the state. It was believed to be the largest simultaneousmulti-community running event held in Alaska this year, with a goal to raise over $150,000 for Special Olympics in Alaska communities.

Photo: JDHS teacher recognized

Photo: Fishing for salmon at False Outer Point
Low tide gives shore fishermen looking for king salmon an elevated view off the rocks at False Outer Point on Sunday.

Barto awarded appointment to US Naval Academy
JUNEAU - Juneau-Douglas High School senior Alexander Barto has been awarded an appointment to the United States Naval Academy. Barto will travel to Annapolis, Maryland for his induction ceremony July 1, 2010. He plans on majoring in engineering.

The sticky truth about petrol
The following editorial firstappeared in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram:

Star wars Obama's space plan
The following editorial firstappeared in the Orlando Sentinel:

The Red Pen Challenge
On the last day of the legislative session, the Alaska Legislature passed the capital budget. Its largess rivaled any other capital budget in the history of the State of Alaska. Some said lawmakers were being good stewards. Others likened the passage of the bill to irresponsible spending. What is clear is that in Alaska, where the Permanent Fund Dividend is sacred and a proposal to tax the people to pay for public services might be cause for a revolt, members of the Legislature are not rewarded for exercising fiscal restraint, especially in an election year. Did the system fail or did it produce the results it was designed to produce?

My turn: Moving Alaska's gas
Ralph Samuels says the last couple of years of trying to get a gasline to Valdez or Alberta has been a waste of time and money. He supports a smaller bullet gasline to Fairbanks, Southcentral and the Kenai. Industry has not seen that route as warranting expenditures to engineer it. Buyers have expressed no interest in buying. His bullet line is in direct opposition to TransCanada-Exxon and Denali's Conoco Phillips and BP, with applications to the Federal Energy Commission, FERC.

Gulf oil spill: same old arguments
Last month's oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has reignited the on-again, off-again public angst about our nation's energy policy - or lack thereof. Environmentalists are using the accident as a political club against expanded drilling on public lands. Republicans are using it as yet another reason we need to do more to subsidize energy production. It is a dispiriting debate that illustrates the profound intellectual poverty animating our public conversation about energy policy.

Oil spill calls out for a national shift
As someone who worked for more than 20 years in Louisiana's oil fields and petrochemical industry, I am sad to say I was not surprised by the catastrophic oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Eliminating Saturday deliveries only one move USPS needs to make
Many Americans are upset by the U.S. Postal Service's request to discontinue Saturday deliveries. But unless we want taxpayers to finance its growing operating deficit, discontinuing Saturday delivery and other changes are necessary for the Postal Service to continue to meet its mandate to provide mail service.

Coast Guard copter from Kodiak flies to Shemya
KODIAK - Coast Guard crews from Kodiak flew to Shemya in the western Aleutians to medevac a crewman who fell ill on a bulk carrier.

2 dead in 3-car crash near Fairbanks
FAIRBANKS - Two people are dead and another person was injured in a three-car collision on Parks Highway.

4 percent of Anchorage students are homeless
ANCHORAGE - About 2,100 of the 48,000 students in Anchorage schools are homeless.

EPA will limit pesticides near salmon streams
GRANTS PASS, Ore. - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said Monday it will impose restrictions on spraying three agricultural pesticides to keep them out of salmon streams after manufacturers refused to adopt the limits voluntarily.

Illnesses reported after Rotary luncheon
ANCHORAGE - At least 20 people reported suffering stomach illnesses after the Anchorage Downtown Rotary Club luncheon.

Man seriously injured when lift touches power line
ANCHORAGE - Anchorage police say a 39-year-old man was seriously injured when the machinery he was operating touched a power line.

Dead man found hanging in I-5 rest area
COTTAGE GROVE, Ore. - Oregon State Police say a man was found hanging from a low tree branch Monday in the northbound Interstate 5 rest area north of Cottage Grove.

Pot clinic objects to business restrictions
GRANTS PASS, Ore. - A medical marijuana clinic in the Southern Oregon city of Rogue River is complaining restrictions imposed by the city are making them invisible to the public.

Man, 47, dies after police arrest; autopsy pending
ANCHORAGE - The 47-year-old man who led Anchorage police on a car chase Tuesday has died.

Alaska court says 2 men can sue in bidding dispute
FAIRBANKS - The Alaska Supreme Court has ruled that two Fairbanks businessmen can sue state employees over their role in the bidding process on a $60 million state contract.

Police: Man filmed co-workers in bathroom
ANCHORAGE - A law clerk at the federal courthouse in Anchorage has been charged after allegedly filming co-workers undressing and using the bathroom.

3 brush fires hit Fairbanks area
FAIRBANKS - Three brush fires made worse by high wind and dry conditions kept Fairbanks area firefighters busy Saturday.

Officials push Arbor Day celebration
JUNEAU - Seedling sales and giveaways, tree plantings and children's projects are planned today across the state during Alaska's observance of Arbor Day.

Parnell signs 3 bills aimed at violence crackdown
ANCHORAGE - Gov. Sean Parnell has signed three bills aimed at cracking down on domestic violence and sexual assault in the state.

UAF president granted emeritus standing
FAIRBANKS - University of Alaska president Mark Hamilton has been given emeritus status by the UA Board of Regents.

Ice arena being built at Big Lake
WASILLA - An ice arena is being built at Big Lake.

$5 million in aid for Yukon chinook fishermen
ANCHORAGE - Sen. Lisa Murkowski says the Appropriations Committee agreed to spend $5 million to help fishermen and communities affected by the failure of the Yukon River chinook salmon fishery.

Healy wildfire sparked by backfiring snowmachine
FAIRBANKS - A backfiring snowmachine ignited a 261-acre wildfire next to the Parks Highway north of Healy.

2 men, sled dogs rescued after helicopter crash
ANCHORAGE - The Coast Guard says it has rescued two men and seven sled dogs after a helicopter crashed in the mountains near Seward.

Juneau police search home in suspected abuse case
JUNEAU - Juneau police have searched a home as part of an investigation into injuries suffered by a 2-year-old girl.

Begich appointed to National Scholarship Board
JUNEAU - U.S. Sen. Mark Begich has been appointed to the Board of Trustees for the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation. He joins a 15-member Board of Trustees chaired by former Secretary of State Madeline Albright. Two seats on the board are reserved for senators, who are selected by their colleagues to serve on the board.

School District fills key positions
JUNEAU - The Juneau School District has filled two key positions, completing a realignment of the central office that began last month. The changes are intended to intensify the focus on world-class instruction and are revenue neutral.

Juneau Therapeutic Court to hold commencement ceremony
JUNEAU - In recognition of National Drug and Alcohol Court Month, the Juneau Therapeutic Court will hold a ceremonial commencement and open house at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday in Courtroom A of the Dimond Courthouse.

Photo: Region V Track & Field

Softball dog days
There may have been some sore muscles following the One-Pitch Softball Tournament last weekend, but that didn't stop anybody from getting back out on the diamond.

Clock ticking as Parnell reviews capital budget
JUNEAU - The clock began ticking Monday on Gov. Sean Parnell's review of a nearly $3.1 billion capital spending bill.

Ex-Assembly members mostly back gas-trucking plan
FAIRBANKS - The Alaska Gasline Port Authority's plan to truck natural gas to Fairbanks is supported by most of the Fairbanks North Star Borough assembly members who helped form the entity 11 years ago.

Quaker envoy seeks arms reduction support
Hearings on a nuclear arms treaty ratification will begin in the United States Senate today, and an advocate of the New START treaty has already been in Alaska seeking support for it.

UAF sees increase in number of Native graduates
FAIRBANKS - The number of Alaska Native students graduating from the University of Alaska Fairbanks has reached an all-time high.

Senators propose Native American Economic Advisory Council
JUNEAU - Alaska Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Mark Begich and Hawaii Sen. Daniel K. Inouye introduced last week a bill that would create the first-ever Native American Economic Advisory Council.

Tax breaks revive interest in Cook Inlet drilling
ANCHORAGE - New tax breaks are reviving interest in drilling in Cook Inlet for natural gas.

Drilling critics warn of spill in Arctic Ocean
ANCHORAGE - Inupiat Eskimo whale hunter George Kingik follows news accounts of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. He cringes when he imagines crude fouling his backyard, Alaska's Chukchi Sea.

Funeral Mass held for former Alaska Gov. Walter Hickel
ANCHORAGE - Mourners paid tribute Monday to former Alaska governor and Nixon Cabinet member Walter J. Hickel nine days after he died of natural causes at age 90.

Photo: Unwanted visitors shot by police

French climber, 51, dies from fall on Mt. McKinley
JUNEAU - A 51-year-old French climber has died after falling more than 1,000 feet down Alaska's Mount McKinley into a crevasse, park officials said Monday.

Suspect arrested in 1996 attempted homicide
ANCHORAGE - An Alaska fugitive sought in a 1996 attempted murder case has been arrested in Pennsylvania.

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