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Monday, June 8, 2009

New bear baiting law seems odd
I am puzzled by the "new Fish and Game rules" that are the apparent basis for the prosecution of Charlie Vandergraw. I agree that feeding wild animals is very bad practice because it is potentially dangerous both for humans and for animals, but isn't there a proportionality issue here?

Editorial in headline inappropriate
I'm keeping the Empire's June 4 headline "Begich makes pipeline gaffe in speech," for the next time I'm a guest speaker in a journalism class as an example of one of the worst breaches of journalistic ethics I've seen in nearly 20 years in this business.

High-speed crash kills new graduate
An after-graduation party ended in tragedy early Friday morning when a suspected alcohol-related car crash killed an 18-year-old man - days after he received his high school diploma.

Pipeline agencies defend progress on Alaska line
Two competing ventures racing to spend tens of billions of dollars to build a pipeline for shipping Alaska natural gas to the Midwest are wondering why U.S. Sen. Mark Begich, D-Alaska, said he is frustrated with its lack of progress.

Correction
In Thursday's Juneau Empire, a story about renovations to the "plywood palace" office building on Egan Drive identified the new siding material incorrectly. The new siding is steel.

A somber last day of school in Juneau
It was no ordinary, lighthearted last day of school at Juneau-Douglas High School. The death of a senior Friday morning was a harsh end to a hard school year.

Ocean Watch sailboat to visit Juneau in first Alaska stop
A steel cutter-rigged sailboat on a one-of-kind mission to raise ocean awareness and spread environmental activism across two continents is coming to Juneau for its first stop Tuesday.

Looking back on TMHS's first year
Without seniors or a graduation ceremony to celebrate the end of the school year, students and staff at Thunder Mountain High School found different ways to mark the end of school this week.

Photo: Mendenhall beach
Rose Lawhorne, far left, Jenni Porkka, center, and Lilly Boron bask in the hot sun on the sandy glacial silt near the Mendenhall Glacier Sunday. There was a large number of locals swimming in the glacier-formed kettle ponds and sitting in the sand as if it was a tropical beach.

Photo: Coast Guard graduation
Donald Kaufmann, dean of continuing studies at Vincennes University in Indiana, gives his remarks and congratulations to 16 Coast Guard members who graduated Sunday from the university with science degrees during a ceremony at the Coast Guard station in Juneau. Vincennes University has a military program that allows members to take college classes while still remaining active in the military.

Egan wins seat on finance committee
State Sen. Dennis Egan, D-Juneau, was named Friday to a seat on the powerful Senate Finance Committee, replacing former Sen. Kim Elton, also a Juneau Democrat, who resigned earlier this year.

Fourth case of swine flu confirmed in Alaska
Alaska tallied its fourth official swine flu case Thursday, but it may have actually been the state's first case.

Photo: Bear it and grin
Rose Rivera, from Puerto Rico, stands next to a stuffed brown bear as her husband, Frankie Lopez, takes her picture Sunday on South Franklin Street in downtown Juneau. The couple is on a honeymoon cruise and said they wanted to come to Alaska to get away from the heat back home.

Photo: Grad of 2009
William Kinser gets congratulated and receives recognition from Yaakoosge' Daakahidi Alternative High School Technology Support teacher Daria Horne during a commencement ceremony at Centennial Hall on Saturday.

Around Town
Today

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

Photo: Coast Guard awards
Sector Juneau Commander Captain Michael Inman, right, poses with Chief Petty Officer Ryan O'Meara, center, and Petty Officer Robert Canepa after they were awarded a Commendation Medal on Friday for saving the life of a man on April 21, who suffered a heart attack while driving his car on Mendenhall Loop Road. The two officers provided CPR until emergency medical technicians with Capital City Fire and Rescue arrived.

Around Town
Today, June 7

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

A pilot's service
"Service is the rent we pay for being. It is the very purpose of life, and not something you do in your spare time."

Local students named state winners of water science competition
Juneau-Douglas High School students Madison Nolan and Hannah Wilson were named state winners of the 2009 Stockholm Junior Water Prize competition - the most prestigious youth award for a water-related science project.

United Way receives $18,500 in Rasmuson Technology Grant
JUNEAU - United Way of Southeast Alaska is proud to announce the receipt of an $18,500 technology grant from the Rasmuson Foundation.

Weed pull event to be held Saturday at Juneau Community Gardens
The Juneau Community Gardens and the University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service will sponsor an orange hawkweed pull at 12:15 p.m. Saturday, June 13, at Juneau Community Gardens.

Pets of the week
Friendly, devoted felines seek loving homes

Rana aurora: Red-legged intruder
It all started as an innocent class science project: order frog eggs from the biological supply catalog; keep the eggs in an aquarium in the classroom; observe as they metamorphose into tadpoles and then into frogs; release the juvenile red-legged frogs into a small pond near Kennel Creek, on Freshwater Bay, northeast Chichagof Island.

The way you pray is OK
Gee, we make a big fuss about prayer, don't we? When I became a pastor, everyone suddenly deferred to me when it was time to pray. I guess they figured now I was some kind of expert. Honestly, I'm not very good at prayer.

Photo: Match-making in May
For Big Brothers Big Sisters' May Match activity, Bigs and Littles participated in SAGA's High Ropes Course and Team Challenge Course at the Eagle Valley Center. The participants found the experience inspiring, and matches very much enjoyed working together on these challenging activities. Big Brothers Big Sisters thanks SAGA for providing a 2-for-1 discount for this activity. From left are Big Sister Amy and Big Brother Bob and their little brother, Malcolm.

Pleading with anyone who found a small white digital camera
I was a recent traveler in your city on May 31 from the cruise Rhapsody of the Seas. My husband and I walked into town, purchased a tour to the glacier from Juneau Tours, visited the glacier, shopped around.

Applications for Juneau History Grant due June 15
JUNEAU - Juneau-Douglas City Museum's Juneau History Grant encourages historical researchers and enthusiasts to dig a little deeper into Juneau's dynamic history to make it even richer, more personal and ultimately more meaningful to our community at large.

Recognitions
Brad A. Massey, a 1998 graduate of Juneau-Douglas High School, graduated from Drake University Law School May 15. Massey received his Juris Doctor with honors. He served as the managing editor of the university's Agriculture Law Review for the past year and will be published in the review this spring. Massey will live and practice law in Columbus, Ohio, where his fiancé, Sarah Stockton, is undertaking her residency in obstetrics and gynecology. Massey earned his Bachelor of Arts in political science from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, and is the son of Juneau residents Mary and Ray Massey.

Flag Day contest to be held next Sunday for Douglas residents
JUNEAU - The Douglas Fourth of July Committee asks Douglas residents, organizations and businesses to be flying our country's flag on Flag Day, Sunday, June 14. The committee, which has held the contest since 1998, asks residents to go further in decorating their buildings with flags and patriotic colored decorations and leave them up through July 4, to help make a super holiday in Douglas.

Rotary Club, Fish and Game host another Day at the Lake
On Saturday, the Juneau-Gastineau Rotary Club and Alaska Department of Fish and Game will host their annual Family Fishing Day at the Lake at Twin Lakes.

Coast Guard to hold Change of Command Ceremony on Monday
JUNEAU - The Coast Guard will hold a Change of Command Ceremony at 10 a.m. Monday at Centennial Hall. Capt. Melissa Bert will relieve Capt. Michael Inman as Sector Juneau Commander.

Widowed Persons Program to hold monthly brunch today
JUNEAU - The Widowed Persons Program has a monthly brunch at noon today in the Nugget Room at the Baranof Hotel. The annual picnic will be at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Lena Beach Picnic area with a tour of the Jensen-Olson arboretum beginning at noon.

TLC calls for mature Alaskans seeking employment, education
JUNEAU - Mature Alaskans Seeking Skills Training, an adult education and employment program at The Learning Connection, is seeking individuals 55 or older who are looking for work.

Thanks for helping at Harborview Elementary's annual Fun Run
On May 22, Harborview Elementary School held its 17th annual school-wide Fun Run. A 1.6-mile section of Glacier Highway is blocked off for the entire school to run, walk, jog and socialize together. Most students stroll with teachers and a small number competitively run.

Thanks for attending our annual Spring into Summer fundraiser
We would like to extend a sincere thank you for the show of support we received during our 'Spring into Summer' annual fundraising event. The event was great fun, with fabulous music, delicious food, a wonderful collection of silent auction items, and plenty of delicous desserts to bid on. Together with your support we raised more than $7,000, which will go to supporting our Strength In Families program of doula support, birthing and parenting classes, support groups, and our community library.

Thanks for helping with our Foster Parent Appreciation Dinner
The Office of Children's Services and the Juneau Foster Parent Licensing team would like to thank the following people and agencies for their help with the ninth annual Foster Parent Appreciation Dinner:

Thanks for contributing to our 'Senior Prom'
The Juneau Pioneers' Home recently hosted its annual "Senior Prom." Residents and staff were dressed to the nines and enjoyed an evening of music, dance, camaraderie and elegance.

Thanks for helping make Juneau safer for motorcyclists
Juneau ABATE thanks the following people and businesses for their help in making our Motorcycles And You (MAY) event a success: Bea and the Nugget Mall management, Chrome Forest; Tom Matthews, Douglas Island Baptist Church; Coast Guard Chief Petty Officers Association; Howell's Trucking; Tongass Chapter of the Harley Owner's Group; Juneau Empire and Capital City Weekly; KINY and KSUP; Davies-Barry Insurance; Members of Juneau ABATE; and the great people of Juneau and Southeast Alaska.

Beach cleanup yeilds 3,000 pounds of trash
Turning the Tides organized a beach cleanup of 14 islands in the Channel Islands Marine Park on May 2.

United Way leadership program to host 'No Trash Bash'
The 2009 Leadership Juneau graduates are out to change the city, starting with the way we do potlucks.

Thanks for supporting Alaska Bar Association's annual Convention
On behalf of the Juneau Bar Association, I am writing to publicly thank the many people and businesses that helped make the recently concluded Alaska Bar Association annual Convention here in Juneau such an incredible success. More than 300 people attended the Convention, and had the opportunity to get to know their colleagues better and learn more about the legal profession.

Thanks for attending Juneau Therapeutic Court commencement
On May 15, the Juneau Therapeutic Court celebrated their annual ceremonial commencement and open house at the Dimond Courthouse. More than 80 community members, judges, lawyers, recovery advocates, press, graduates and current participants attended.

Thanks for waiting to mow the median, DOT
It's spring in Juneau. Nature tells us so in delightful ways. First we catch glimpses of the ubiquitous yellow skunk cabbage, in moist gullies and shaded woodlands. Then, the spectacular golden display of dandelions, blooming along roadways and paths throughout the city. All this untended glory brightens our days whether rain or shine. It is so welcome.

Thanks for attending JLA's wine tasting
The Juneau Lighthouse Association hosted a wine tasting and silent auction at the Hanger Ballroom on April 24. Thank you to all who helped make the evening a successful fundraiser for the renovations to Five Finger Lighthouse.

Thanks for supporting Lions Club projects
The Mendenhall Flying Lions Club wants to say thank you to members of the community for making two Lions Club projects on May 23 a great success.

Thanks for supporting JDHS woods classes
Special thanks to Al Tingley and The Tongass Turners who presented Juneau-Douglas High School teachers and woods classes with specialty tools purchased through a grant with the American Association of Woodturners.

Moseng, Drummond to wed
Reneé Moseng, of Salt Lake City, Utah, and Charles Drummond, of Juneau, will marry on June 13, 2009, at Silver Fork Lodge in Utah.

Deans celebrate 40 years
Ken and Terry Dean, of Juneau, will celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary on June 13, 2009. They were married June 14, 1969, at the Presbyterian Church in Ketchikan. They have one child, Aaron Lynn Dean, of Fairbanks.

Photo: Helping out
Seven members of a 20-member team from Mississippi help put new shingles on Glacier Valley Baptist Church on June 5. From left are Charlie Brown, Kirk Blaine, Randall Livingston, Drew Cherry, Bobby Faulkner, Bobby Winstead and Bill Moss. Some of the members of this group have come to Alaska every year for several years. The team was organized by Olyn Roberts, 81, who was pastor of Glacier Valley Baptist Church from 1969 to 1971.

Thanks for participating in March for Babies
On behalf of the March of Dimes, we would like to thank our March for Babies walk committee who slaved away to make our walk the success it was this year: Gina White, Kristy Tibbles, Diana Pleasants, Tina Pleasants, Susan Oldacres , Chris Urata and Tracey Cunningham.

Aiding with lemonade
Over the past week, 9-year-old Ezra Geselle and his neighborhood friends have given their time and effort to raise money for a family in need.

Scotland: Visiting Eilean Donan and Blair castles
On our fifth day in Scotland with our English friends, Alison and Laurence, my husband, Don, and I visited Eilean Donan Castle, the Caledonian Canal and Blair Castle.

Juneau resident shares 'Best of the Best' recipe
Happiness is sharing recipes. Send in a favorite with a short story to share with our readers.

George "Pat" Spartz
George Patrick "Pat" Spartz died June 1, 2009, of natural causes at Wildflower Court in Juneau. He was 80.

Outside editorial: Pressuring N Korea's Kim
Just days after its latest nuclear test, North Korea is rolling another long-range missile to the launch pad for another show of force in defiance of the U.N. Security Council.

Outside editorial: Short timeline for profitability could hurt GM long term
Given the state of the economy, President Barack Obama had no choice but to have the United States. take over as majority owner of its largest car company. The alternative, a loss of more than 2 million additional jobs, would have been devastating. But now the president has to further clarify what he wants from Government Motors. Er, General Motors.

Outside column: Pick your poison, er, publisher
In myth and often in reality, newspapers used to be owned by grandees: wealthy and civic-minded individuals or families. Some, like the New York Times and The Post, still are. But many grandee families (their hands forced by rogue cousins who missed the lessons on noblesse oblige) have sold out to chains like Gannett.

Outside column: Lacking facts, Gingrich tries confusion on judge
So Newt Gingrich now says Sonia Sotomayor is not a "racist" after all. She must be trembling with relief.

Outside column: Obama's challenge to the Muslim world
The historic significance of President Obama's speech to the Muslim world in Cairo cannot be overstated.

Outside column: A share in children's success
With the economic downturn squeezing budgets, college tuition and child care are becoming unaffordable for an increasing number of families. For many, the American dream is seeming more like, well, just a dream. But while you're dreaming, imagine a kid from rural Montana who, after scoring high on the SAT, has investors clamoring to finance his college education. Imagine General Motors investing in Detroit public schools as a long-term survival strategy. Imagine America's largest corporations and investors, after generations of putting fiduciary responsibility before social responsibility, suddenly finding the two to be inextricably intertwined. Imagine that we realize it is insufficient to be a stakeholder society; that we must also be a shareholder society. It seems far-fetched, but we could make this vision a reality by creating an equity market for human capital.

Toe toon

Palin loses wager with Sanford on hockey series
ANCHORAGE - There will be no shrimp and grits for Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. She owes South Carolina's Mark Sanford some king salmon from her home state.

Soldier charged with child pornography
FAIRBANKS - A 25-year-old soldier assigned to Fort Wainwright is under arrest, accused of trading child pornography online.

Alaska's top doctor takes job with CDC
ANCHORAGE - Alaska's top doctor is taking a job with the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Missing hiker found
FAIRBANKS - A 28-year-old Fairbanks woman who became lost after she started a hike Wednesday has been found.

USCG to hold change of command ceremony
JUNEAU - The Coast Guard in Juneau will hold a change of command ceremony today.

Chenega goes to Cordova for repairs
JUNEAU - The state ferry Chenega has been docked in Cordova for inspection and repairs.

Anchorage woman dies in hit-and-run
ANCHORAGE - An Anchorage woman died in a hit-and-run accident.

Moderate earthquake felt in Juneau
JUNEAU - An earthquake was felt Sunday afternoon in the city of Juneau.

Quake, aftershock shake up Alaska
ANCHORAGE - A moderate earthquake followed by an aftershock shook up the Alaska Peninsula region.

Man gets 10 days in jail in death of dog
ANCHORAGE - An Anchorage man will serve 10 days in jail for setting a trap that killed his neighbor's dog.

Alaska-based soldier dies in Afghanistan
FORT RICHARDSON - A 20-year-old soldier assigned to Fort Richardson has died in a noncombat incident in Afghanistan.

Fisherman suspected of boating drunk
JUNEAU - The Coast Guard assisted the Ketchikan Police Department in arresting a fisherman who authorities suspect was drunk while driving a fishing vessel.

Report slams foes of Pebble mine prospect
The staff report of the Alaska Public Offices Commission details multiple violations of state campaign law.

Palin accused of lifting from Gingrich article
ANCHORAGE - Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is being accused of paraphrasing at length from an article co-written by Newt Gingrich when she gave a speech.

Judge won't stop 1-halibut charter limit in Southeast
JUNEAU - A federal judge has ruled that anglers taking trips in Southeast will be limited to one halibut per day - at least for now.

Carpeneti chosen as new chief justice
ANCHORAGE - Walter L. Carpeneti has been elected as the new chief justice of the Alaska Supreme Court.

Defending champ Juneau eliminated
Juneau-Douglas - the defending state softball champion - came into Friday's state tournament quarterfinal play with one loss and left with two more to have its season abruptly ended.

Photo: Final push
Steve White sprints to the finish line of the 4.5-mile course, muscling through a 1,000-foot uphill climb, during the El Sombrero Eaglecrest Time Trial on Saturday morning. White finished the course in 27:28. He was among more than a dozen other competitors.

Photos: Swinging for the fence
Nathan Hickok, of the team Mixed Nuts, swings and hits a ball as Valley Liquor Crown Royal catcher Kathy Clough kneels at the ready Saturday. Watching is umpire Jack Stickle.

Alaska Wild fires coach
ANCHORAGE - The Alaska Wild has fired its coach.

Sports in Juneau
UPCOMING EVENTS

UA President Hamilton announces retirement
FAIRBANKS - University of Alaska President Mark Hamilton will retire after leading the 16-campus system for 11 years.

Gov. Palin addresses special needs in New York
NEW YORK - Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has called for measures to make life better for people with developmental disabilities during a speech in New York.

City gay-rights proposal redone
ANCHORAGE - A proposed Anchorage law banning discrimination against gays, lesbians and bisexuals has been rewritten to specify it wouldn't apply to small, home-operated businesses or to owner-occupied four-plexes or duplexes.

Lawmakers claim enough votes to override Palin
"I would be surprised if we didn't override her," North Pole Republican Rep. John Coghill said.

Justice Department admits new mistakes
WASHINGTON - Attorney General Eric Holder on Thursday asked a court to release two imprisoned former Alaska state lawmakers after the Justice Department found prosecutors improperly handled evidence in their trials on corruption charges.

Tanana Valley annual timber sale to be held
FAIRBANKS - The sour economy could hurt the state's annual timber sale in the Tanana Valley State Forest.

Deadline looms for Palin to pay for family travel costs
ANCHORAGE - Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has until June 23 to reimburse the state for an estimated $10,000 in costs associated with trips taken by her children, under a deadline imposed in a settlement agreement resolving an ethics complaint against her.

Remains of missing Japanese climbers found on McKinley
ANCHORAGE - Searchers have found the frozen bodies of two Japanese climbers who disappeared last year on Alaska's Mount McKinley, thanks to high-resolution images captured during a recent search for another missing climber, National Park officials said Friday.

Alaskans concerned about North Korea
ANCHORAGE - Alaskans are concerned over the prospect that North Korea is getting ready to test a long-range missile that could reach strategic targets in their home state.

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