Sunday, May 24, 2009

Former football star turned Oxy addict speaks out
Former Juneau-Douglas High School football captain and all-state linebacker Ryan West never imagined when he graduated in 2004 that he would later become a drug addict and a felon."I didn't see me doing drugs," he said in an interview Thursday at the Juneau district attorney's office.

KTOO lays off three workers
Juneau's public radio and television stations are laying off three workers and making other cuts to handle a budget deficit.

City's unemployment rate stays among lowest in the state
Both Alaska's and Juneau's unemployment rates fell in April, and the economy in Alaska remains stronger than the nation at large, based on new figures the Alaska Department of Labor released Thursday.

School Board picks four superintendent finalists
The Juneau School Board announced Friday the names and bios of four new superintendent finalists, plus one held over from its first search.

Photos: Safety Expo

Photo: Bear it and grin
Mendenhall Visitors Center Director Ron Marvin watches a brown colored black bear walk across a pathway at the Mendenhall Glacier on Wednesday. Bears have been wondering around looking for food recently according the U.S. Forest Service.

Around Town
Today, May 24

Police & Fire
The Juneau Police Department incident report was not made available by press time on Saturday.

Correction
An A1 story on the Mendenhall Mall in Friday's Juneau Empire incorrectly stated that J.C. Penney, a past tenant, went bankrupt. The retail store closed along with 75 others nationwide in 1998, though the national chain persists and continues to maintain a catalog store in Juneau.

Girls on the GO!
By way of the national nonprofit Girls on the Run, the local women's shelter is empowering preteen girls to develop self-respect and healthy lifestyles through running.

Gastineau runners take on diabetes challenge
The Gastineau Marathon Club racked up 126 miles in less than an hour on May 15 at Twin Lakes as part of the American Diabetes Association Walk to Fight Diabetes. And over the past month, the school club has raised more than $2,000 in donations for the cause.

Photo: Beta Sigma Phi blanket drive
Beta Sigma Phi Preceptor Chapter held a drive on April 21 to help out the AWARE shelter in honor of April's Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Members collected new and gently used blankets, towels, sheets and pillows and made up more than 100 bags containing bathroom essentials. Chapter members in back row, from left, are Clare Saint Gabrial, Wendy Larsen, Kristin Wright, Francis Field, Katherine Andrews, Maritt Miller, Susan Krogstad and Sharon Pusich-Gill. Front row, from left, are Janice Stevenson, Melissa Sirevog, Heidi Reichl, Ginger Blaisdell, and Wendy Hogins who is holding Clare's baby son. Not pictured: Sherry Drake, Linda Murphy, Julia O'Neil-King, Diana Pleasants and Lisa Pusich.

Longhouse National Native Grant Program 2009
ALASKA - The Evergreen State College Longhouse Education and Cultural Center, with funding support from the Ford Foundation, announces its third round of national funding for Native Artists (American Indians, Alaska Natives and Native Hawaiians) in the U.S. There are two grant programs available through the Longhouse.

Camping season is about to begin at Echo Ranch
We stand on the edge of another summer at Echo Ranch, and I can't help but feel the excitement. Of course, along with the excitement come many questions about the unknown. Will this sunny weather hold out? How will the new counselor group work together? Are we ready for any challenges that are over the horizon? How many kids will come to camp?

Consortium's fliers target youth access to tobacco, alcohol
SITKA - Most parents want to protect their children from tobacco and alcohol, but it may surprise them to know where most youth who use tobacco and/or alcohol get their supplies. Research shows that 65 percent of youth get their tobacco products from a friend or family member, and 80 percent of youth report their last drink of alcohol occurred at a friend's house or in their own home.

Consortium's Anna Frisby wins health aide of year award
HYDABURG - Community Health Practititioner Anna Frisby, who works for the SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium Hydaburg Health Center, recently received the 2009 Health Aide of the Year award from the directors of the Alaska Community Health Aide Program.

SEARHC offers special pediatric clinics on POW
KLAWOCK - Pediatric nurse practitioner Nancy Cavanaugh will be on Prince of Wales Island during June to see patients ages 0 to 21 in four communities served by the SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium.

FYI
Births

Mobile mammogram van in Yakutat on May 27-June 1
YAKUTAT - The mobile mammogram van will visit Yakutat starting at 1 p.m. Wednesday with appointments running through the afternoon of June 1 (no weekend appointments). This year the van has been updated with digital imaging on board, instead of film.

Parents for a Safe Graduation sponsor events
Juneau's high school seniors will go "Back to the Future" at this year's graduation party sponsored by Parents for a Safe Graduation. The party begins at 9:30 p.m. June 2 at Centennial Hall, following the Juneau-Douglas High School graduation ceremony. All 2009 graduates of JDHS, Yaakoosge Daakahidi Alternative High School and HomeBRIDGE homeschool are invited to attend.

Donations sought for Buddhist lending library
JUNEAU - A Buddhist lending library has been established in memory of Michael O'Leary, who was killed while forecasting avalanche conditions on Mount Eyak in Cordova on March 8, 2008.

Consortium brings stress management expert to Sitka
SITKA - Stress comes naturally in tough economic times like these. Nationally recognized stress management expert Dr. Brian Luke Seaward will be in Sitka on June 4-6 for a series of presentations about stress and also for the premiere of a movie he produced and photographed.

Thanks for participating in Juneau clean-up day
The Juneau Watershed Partnership would like to thank the community for participating in the 2009 Juneau clean-up day on May 2. Preliminary reports say that hundreds of volunteers collected more than 30,000 pounds of trash and recyclables. Thanks, Juneau, for working hard to keep our community clean and litter free.

Thanks for supporting Art is Elementary
On behalf of the entire Glacier Valley community, thank you Juneau for supporting our Art is Elementary program, which provides weekly arts-integrated experiences to all of our students. Also thank you to the Juneau School District for funding elementary instrumental music this year and for next! Highlights this year included drama, digital storytelling, drumming, visual arts, ballroom dancing and movement.

Entry forms for Fourth of July parade available
JUNEAU - Entry forms for the Juneau Fourth of July parade are now available at the Mendenhall Valley library and the Juneau Visitor's Center in Centennial Hall.

Thanks for volunteering for Global Youth Service
On April 22, SAGA celebrated a successful Global Youth Service Day. More than 250 volunteers around Juneau joined forces for two hours that day to make a total of just more than 500 volunteer hours.

JDHS Class of 1989 to hold 20-year reunion
JUNEAU - The Juneau-Douglas High School Class of 1989 will hold its 20-year reunion from July 2 to 5.

Senior menu for the week of May 25-29
Monday, May 25

High school seniors look to the future, think about economy
Other than spring fever, end of May usually means senioritis is in full swing. That itchiness to get out of class early - or even failure to show up - can afflict even the most studious of high school seniors. But what happens next?

Local elementary teacher to attend academy at Liberty Science Center
Gastineau Elementary School teacher Elissa Borges was one of 100 teachers selected nationally to attend the 2009 Mickelson ExxonMobil Teachers Academy.

Cameron, Birt wed
JoAnn Cameron and Timothy Dean Birt, both of Juneau, were married on April 23, 2009, at Churchill Manor in Napa, Calif.

Owens, Felix wed
Wendy Owens and Brian Felix were married on May 9, 2009, in Cone Chapel at Willamette University in Salem, Ore. Their honeymoon was a cruise through the Florida Keys and Belize.

Consortium, Sitka Local Foods Network to host Ciscoe Morris
SITKA - The SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium and the Sitka Local Foods Network will host Northwest garden guru and radio/TV personality Ciscoe Morris for his presentation on "Working With Nature For An Oh-la-la Garden."

Juneau resident shares recipe for pineapple sour cream pie
It's that time of year - grilling time. What's a barbecue without a good side dish? Send in your favorite recipes and story's so we can share them with our readers.

Construction projects, big and little
Like many Alaskans, my family is taking advantage of the home energy rebate program being offered by the state of Alaska. Under this program, homeowners who are willing to jump through the proper hoops stand to get at least a part of the expenses associated with weatherization and efficiency improvements returned, and as far as I know all our hoops are lined up, so we're in the process of jumping.

John Ricks Stevens
Longtime Juneau Resident John Ricks Stevens died May 18, 2009, at home in Palmer. He was 63.

Nancy E.M. Shanley
Lifetime Juneau resident Nancy E.M. (Niemi) Shanley died peacefully April 27, 2009, in her home. She was 77.

Kim Elton exhilarated, exasperated in D.C. job
Every day, he's so excited to get to work," says Marylou Elton, describing her husband, Kim, the top Alaskan on the Obama team at the Department of the Interior.

Outside column: Before pursuing Bush & Co., let's acknowledge our own guilt
If incompetence was a crime, you might have a case. Heck, if arrogance was a felony, you could put them on death row.

Empire editorial: Student drug testing a deterrent, not end-all solution
The Juneau School District has been feeling pressure from parents, advocacy groups, and even some of its own staff to begin drug testing students involved in athletics and extra-curricular activities.

Toe Toon

Halibut charters sue feds - again
JUNEAU - For the second year in a row, a group of Southeast charter fishing captains and lodge owners are suing the federal government over a one-halibut bag limit.

Forever 21 wants to take over Gottschalks
FRESNO, Calif. - Women's clothing retailer Forever 21 has submitted a bid to take over 16 shuttered Gottschalks Inc. stores.

PETA asks Juneau to set vegetarian day
JUNEAU - People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals sent letters to Juneau Mayor Bruce Botelho and 943 other mayors around the country asking them to declare one day a week Vegetarian Day for municipal employees.

Investment firm buys historic Anchorage theater
ANCHORAGE - A downtown Anchorage landmark has been sold to an investment firm that owns nearby property.

Govs. Palin, Sanford bet on hockey series
COLUMBIA, S.C. - Gov. Sarah Palin and South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford are already squaring off - and the presidential election is still three years away.

Man gets 107 years in torture death
ANCHORAGE - A judge sentenced a man to 107 years in prison for torturing and killing another man before dumping his body in the pit of an outhouse.

Man arrested after screaming threats in park
ANCHORAGE - A 46-year-old man is accused of screaming threats at a Denali National Park and Preserve visitor center.

Quake felt in Fairbanks
FAIRBANKS - A minor earthquake has struck near Fairbanks, jolting residents.

Double dose for Senior Night
The Crimson Bears had already clinched the top seed for next weekend's Southeast Conference Tournament at Ketchikan by the time Saturday's Senior Night doubleheader rolled around, but every game against rivals Sitka and KayHi seems to play out like each teams' seasons are on the line.

JDHS has earth-moving state meet
The earth shook, the sky cracked and the Juneau-Douglas High School girls track and field team exceeded all ambitious expectations to take second place this weekend for the second year in a row at the 2009 4A State Track and Field Championships at Lathrop High School.

JDHS finally falls
A short-handed Juneau-Douglas High School softball team finally felt the sting of defeat Friday night, as a squad consisting of mostly junior varsity replacements dropped a tight nonconference contest at Ketchikan 8-7.

KayHi ties up JDHS kickers
Saturday night's soccer game between the Juneau-Douglas High School and Ketchikan boys was not a pivotal game. Juneau had already clinched a state berth the night before by drubbing Ketchikan 4-0 and beating them twice at home earlier in the season.

Photo: JDHS girls clinch state trip

Perseverance Trail in mid-May
The day was shaping up into a lovely one, mostly blue skies with scattered, fluffy clouds and a cool breeze. The cottonwood trees in Last Chance Basin were well leafed-out in golden-green, robins were nest building and singing, and my favorite yellow violets graced the trailside.

Sports in Juneau
UPCOMING EVENTS

Ketchikan woman sues Juneau diocese for 80s sexual abuse
KETCHIKAN - A woman is suing the Catholic Diocese of Juneau, alleging sexual misconduct by a priest when she was a young student attending Holy Name Catholic School in Ketchikan in the mid-1980s.

Mom of Bristol Palin's 'ex' plans guilty drug plea
Sherry Johnston will plead guilty July 31 in Palmer Superior Court to a count of possession with intent to deliver, her attorney, Rex Butler, said Friday.

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