Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Advocacy group 'not worthy' of support
I read with interest the article in the May 15 Empire about the nonprofit group formed to dispel regional development myths - until I got the report that the group was formed because of environmental propaganda paid for by non-Alaskans and distortions by outside groups.

A suggestion for decreasing tour traffic
I began working for the Juneau Convention and Visitors Bureau in 1988, and in the six years that I was with the bureau, tourism "grew." Tourists became more and more of a nuisance to the locals. And especially in the downtown neighborhoods. Given the fact that the governor's house is in the neighborhood and the streets are totally unsuitable for the large motor coaches, Chip's point is valid. However, Alaska has not ever had in its 50 years of statehood a more compelling, smart and attractive governor. With that comes the lookie lous. And possibly history!

Community cleanup a big success
Thanks to all who participated in the community-wide clean up at the beginning of May. Seeing the bags of collected trash and recyclables is a bittersweet sign of success. We have willing citizens who lend a hand, but every year there's stuff to clean up.

Bergam's 34-pound king leads derby
Juneau resident and long-time angler Tina Bergam is the new leader midway through the 35th annual Spring King Salmon Derby with a 34.75-pound prize catch. No thanks, that is, to her fishing partner Al Savickko.

Assembly approves $309 million 2010 budget
The Juneau Assembly approved its $309.3 million operating budget for fiscal year 2010 in an 8-1 vote Monday night.

Man charged with 13 counts of sexual abuse
A 24-year-old man had his bail set at $40,000 on Monday at Dimond Courthouse in Juneau on 13 felony sexual abuse counts.

Alaska Pacific Bank reports 1Q profit
Alaska Pacific Bank has reported a profit for the first quarter of 2009, after a series of losses in 2008.

Palin dedicates legislative building
Alaska's top political and judicial leaders met in front of the Alaska Capitol and Dimond Courthouse Monday to name a new legislative office building after Judge Thomas Stewart, who died Dec. 12, 2007.

Photos: Banding the Birds
Gwen Baluss, of the Juneau Ranger District of the U.S. Forest Service, holds a Wilson's warbler as she checks its health during a bird-banding demonstration Sunday at the Juneau Community Gardens. Though regular banding of birds no longer takes place in Juneau, the event coincided with International Migratory Bird Day.

Photo: Running with a fire
Juneau Police Department officer Lee Phelps holds the torch as he leads the Alaska Law Enforcement Special Olympics Torch Run as part of a fundraiser for the Juneau athletes Saturday at Twin Lakes. About 75 special needs recipients benefit from this and other fundraisers, which send them to games outside of Juneau throughout the year.

Photos: Underwater robotics
Thunder Mountain High School freshman Nathalie Aguirre, 15, center, receives a hug from her friend Teresa Rose, 15, as her teammate Trevor Ham, 15, pulls their remotely controlled vehicle out of the water at the Augustus Brown Pool on Sunday. Sea Perch is sponsored by the Office of Naval Research as part of the National Naval Responsibility for Naval Engineering in order to encourage students to pursue careers in science and engineering in general, and naval architecture, marine engineering, naval engineering and advanced marine design. The program is funded locally through the Juneau Economic Development Council.

Photo: Firefighter recognition
Capital City Fire and Rescue Chief Eric Mohrmann hands Firefighter/Paramedic Sandi Kelly her Emergency Medical Service Instructor of the Year Award for the Southeast Region at the beginning of the Juneau Assembly meeting on Monday. Also receiving recognition was Captain Scott Fergusson, left, as the new volunteer captain of the Auke Bay District, Captain John Krebsbach, center, who coordinated and taught Firefighter I classes, and Lieutenant Sean Huntly, right, who is retiring after 12 years of service as a volunteer firefighter.

Photo: A little bit of Norway
The Leikarring Dancers perform to Norwegian dance music Saturday during the Little Norway Festival in Petersburg. The festival pageant is part of the town's celebration on May 17, called Syttende Mai, which marks the Norwegian Constitution Day. The weekend's festivities include a parade, pagaent dance, herring toss and Scandinavian-style show. The festival ended Sunday.

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

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

Around Town
Today, May 19

Around Town
Monday, May 18

Outside editorial: Obama has a trade opening in South Korea
If the White House is committed to free trade, it needs to step up and complete several agreements left over from the Bush administration.

Look to Brady decision for fair trial standards
When dismissing the charges against former Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens recently, the trial judge noted that the prosecutorial failures to turn over exculpatory evidence in that case were symptomatic of a larger problem within the Justice Department. Indeed, such failures are happening across our criminal justice system.

Repeating a 1930s mistake?
Those who are ignorant of history will be condemned to repeat it, as a teacher no doubt told you long ago. But the urgent question today is actually the opposite one: Can a team that is positively steeped in history - particularly the history of the 1930s - avoid the mistakes of that era and engineer a quick recovery from a Depression-size shock?

Alaska needs to consider all its energy options
Ensuring that Alaskans have affordable energy for decades to come is one of the most important jobs on my desk right now. To succeed, the state needs to look at every possible option and make sure Alaskans have all the information to make the right decisions.

Outside editorial: Let Congress address issue of climate change
I nterior Secretary Ken Salazar ruffled more than a few feathers this month when he let stand a Bush administration decision to prohibit the use of the Endangered Species Act to regulate greenhouse gas emissions. It was the right call when it was made in 2008, and it is the right call now. Tackling climate change - and all the implications that has for the economy - should be dealt with by the people's representatives in Congress, not through a 36-year-old law not designed for such a complex task. Just how complex will be on full display Monday when the House begins its scheduled debate on the American Clean Energy and Security Act.

Ombudsmen the next threatened newsroom species
Washington Post Publisher Katharine Weymouth was on a panel at the Newseum last week, talking to an endangered species.

Pelosi silence in '02 tortures her plea for truth commission now
Somebody call me when Nancy Pelosi gets her story straight.

Seat belt campaign kicks off in Alaska
JUNEAU - The state Department of Transportation and other agencies are kicking off a seat belt enforcement campaign.

BOW archery class offered June 1
JUNEAU - An introduction to archery class will be offered June 1 through the Becoming an Outdoors Woman program. The class will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Juneau indoor shooting range on Montana Creek Road.

Man dies in one-car Anchorage crash
ANCHORAGE - A driver in his late 20s died and another man was critically injured in a one-car crash on Anchorage's east side.

McGowan faces more charges in cruelty case
ANCHORAGE - A man facing animal cruelty charges for severely beating a dog now faces counts of trying to cover it up.

Fairbanks group celebrates Arbor Day
FAIRBANKS - An Arbor Day committee in Fairbanks planned to celebrate the event by planting 50 trees in honor of 50 years of Alaska Statehood.

Soldotna Police Dept. gets top honor
SOLDOTNA - The Soldotna Police Department is being recognized for being innovative.

Man arrested for OxyContin - again
JUNEAU - A 32-year-old Juneau man was arrested on Monday afternoon for selling OxyContin to an undercover informant.

Salmon opener yields ample reds, fewer kings
FAIRBANKS - The opening of the Copper River salmon season has exceeded expectations for red salmon, but fewer kings than anticipated were caught by commercial fishermen.

Flood threat subsides along Yukon River
FAIRBANKS - National Weather Service officials say threats of flooding have fallen along most of the Yukon River.

Man loses murder sentencing appeal
FAIRBANKS - A Fairbanks man has lost an appeal of his 82-year prison term for killing and dismembering an acquaintance while under the influence of methamphetamine.

3 apply to replace Ketchikan mayor
KETCHIKAN - Three people have applied to complete the term of Ketchikan Mayor Bob Weinstein, who resigned to take a job with U.S. Sen. Mark Begich.

Small plane crashes into Lake Lucille
ANCHORAGE - A small plane crashed into Lake Lucille near Wasilla and sank.

Trial under way for man accused of murdering 2
ANCHORAGE - A trial is under way for a man accused of murdering two people in Anchorage.

DNA credited for robbery arrest
FAIRBANKS - Alaska State Troopers say DNA evidence helped them catch a 26-year-old suspect in the robbery of a Fairbanks area credit union.

Palin defends Miss California Prejean
ANCHORAGE - Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is defending Miss California Carrie Prejean.

Body of 22-year-old found on Parks Highway
WASILLA - Alaska State Troopers have launched an investigation into the death of a 22-year-old Wasilla man whose body was found on the Parks Highway.

Alaska's medical centers go online to diagnose strokes
Physicians racing to rescue patients exhibiting signs of stroke from long-term disabilities or death now have a new telemedicine weapon in their arsenal to stop the fourth leading cause of death in Alaska.

'Landless' Natives try for redress
In 1971, Congress settled the aboriginal claims of all Alaska Natives: It gave them 44 million acres, $1 billion and mandated the creation of 13 regional and more than 200 Alaska Native corporations. But for unknown reasons, it left out Natives from five Southeast communities.

Reintroduction of wood bison hits a snag
FAIRBANKS - What do California condors in Arizona, whooping cranes in Florida, black-footed ferrets in South Dakota, gray wolves in Montana and wood bison in Alaska have in common?

Blue whales return to Alaska
Blue whales are returning to Alaska in search of food and could be re-establishing an old migration route several decades after they were nearly wiped out by commercial whalers, scientists say.

Manufacturing in Alaska is adding on a new category: art
Alaskan manufacturing is taking on a new definition as small cottage industry artisans get support from several programs set to bolster the economy.

Tlingit weaver wins NEA fellowship
ANCHORAGE - A Sitka artist renowned for her Tlingit weaving and basketry is among the 11 Americans honored with a National Heritage Fellowship, which comes with a $25,000 prize.

Fairbanks coal-to-diesel plant faces problems
FAIRBANKS - Fairbanks officials are hoping to build a coal-to-diesel plant near Eielson Air Force Base.

Iditarod rookie, back-of-packers criticize race officials
ANCHORAGE - Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race officials are being criticized by some back-of-packers, including a rookie musher who was removed from the race because he wasn't traveling fast enough.

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