Ask for paper ballots
The cover story in The New York Times Magazine on Sunday, Jan. 6, made plain the threat: The winner of the 2008 presidential election could be decided by flawed, insecure, and hackable electronic voting machines.

Angry over polar bear reaction
I am a registered Republican and former Alaska visitor who is very unhappy with the actions of Republican Gov. Sarah Palin, who proposed suing our federal government because it has listed the polar bear as a threatened species.

Will Sealaska get black gold feast?
I am a Tlingit from Yakutat, and I have been working at the Prudhoe Bay Oil field for 29 years. In all of my years of working in the oil field business, I have noticed Native corporations working the oil fields in support services.

Climate security act: an opportunity
Alaska is "ground zero" for climate change impacts in the United States.

Over-medication stems from fear
Here is my contribution to the community discussion on abuse of prescription drugs:

Youth light up cultural festival
The hundreds of proud, young faces at Celebration 2008 became the highlight of the Native Alaska festival for many elders, who said the event is doing its job of passing the culture on to the next generation.

Fish 'til You Die: Fishermen plan for future in unpredictable industry
A commercial fisherman's boat is his retirement package.

Native women whip up soapberries, fond memories
The buzz of electric mixers drew a small crowd Friday morning in the hallway of the Juneau Arts & Culture Center as five women whipped what looked like pink meringue in separate bowls.

Congress considers helping fishermen with health insurance
A bill introduced to Congress earlier this year aims to help fishermen tackle the increasingly pricey problem of getting health insurance.

Photo: Baby kings set free
Youths and adults watch some of the 10,000 juvenile king salmon released into Twin Lakes on Friday by DIPAC employees. The Juneau-Gastineau Rotary Club's annual Family Day at the lakes is Saturday. Fishing poles and bait will be provided free to anglers. Staff from the Department of Fish and Game, and Juneau Department of Parks and Recreation will be available to provide instruction, assistance and guidance to anglers and parents.

Photos: Bear viewing
People look at a black bear as it eats grass and horsetail plants Sunday near the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center. U.S. Forest Service naturalists said this bear is probably about 3 or 4 years old and is used to being around people. Visitors are warned to use caution and avoid contact withbears in the area.

Photo: Probably tastes like freezer burn
U.S. Forest Service Naturalist Doug Jones explains to a group of tourists on Sunday at the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center how the Mendenhall Glacier was formed and how chunks from the glacier, such as the one in front of him, are more dense than ice from their freezers. Jones said this chunk of ice is about 200-250 years old.

Around Town

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

Around Town

A Friday story incorrectly reported that Department of Transportation and Public Facilities spokesman Roger Wetherell said fabrication "flaws" in the ferry Aurora's engines were responsible for problems that have idled the vessel. Actually, Wetherell said fabrication "defects" were responsible for the problems.

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

John Callahan
Juneau resident John Callahan died peacefully at his home on the morning of June, 6, 2008, surrounded by family members. He was 86.

Shirley A. Jones
Juneau resident Shirley A. Jones died May 22, 2008, in her home. She was 72.

Christine Louise Yates
Longtime Juneau resident Christine Louise Yates died on May 31, 2008, due to complications from surgery. She was 58.

My turn: An independent audit of the road, ferry project would benefit Alaskans
G ov. Sarah Palin has demonstrated fiscal responsibility by canceling the prohibitively costly Gravina Bridge Project and by expressing caution regarding the Juneau Access Project. She should continue exercising fiscal responsibility by seeking an independent audit of the Department of Transportation's cost estimate for the Juneau Access Project.

Outside editorial: Yearning for protection
Texas law enforcement officials raided the Yearning for Zion Ranch in April after getting a tip that a 16-year-old girl was being sexually and physically abused there. The West Texas ranch is home to members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (FLDS), who practice polygamy through "spiritual" marriages. Girls are eligible for such marriages as soon as they experience their first menstruation; "Uncle Merrill," the ranch's leader, would decide when and to whom a girl would be given away. Officers found records indicating that at least a half dozen girls, ages 13 to 16, living on the ranch were either pregnant or had recently given birth. Officials ultimately removed some 468 boys and girls from the ranch and placed them temporarily in the custody of the state.

Empire editorial: It's been a couple of good weeks
The past two weeks proved worthy of celebration in so many ways.

Outside editorial: NASA hurt the program when it withheld material on warming
W hen critics accused NASA of manipulating its science on global warming a couple of years ago, they were onto something. The space agency's in-house watchdog concluded in a report released recently that political appointees had played down global-warming findings or barred access to scientists between 2004 and 2006.

Toe Toon
Cartoon by local artist Toe.

What do Rachael Ray, al-Qaeda and Bugs Bunny have in common?
Y ou've seen this gag in a hundred old cartoons:Cat turns to flee angry dog, steps on a rake instead, knocks himself silly. It's not sophisticated humor, but it is a visceral illustration of an abiding truth: Panic can make you hurt yourself.

Save the Earth, sacrifice American workers?
It may be time to put American workers on the endangered-species list.

A memorable day on the Mighty Mendenhall
The tumbling water off the right bank of the Mendenhall River looked slightly uneasy, so as captain of the 15-foot plastic canoe, I barked to my colleague Alan Suderman that we should veer left where the water appeared to be smooth and docile.

Canoe review
Mendenhall River

Juneau Web site provides road map for fly-fishermen
KENAI - Fishing Alaska's streams is a dream come true for many anglers. The same can be said for a lot of fly-fishermen. But with so many places to fish in the Last Frontier, and a myriad of species to go after, figuring out what gear to use, where to go and when can be a daunting task.

Outdoors woman how-to program comes to Southeast
Michelle Elfers loves the outdoors. But like many women - even Alaska women - she was frustrated in her efforts to learn new outdoor skills.

Plant sex: Size matters
When spring comes, the birds gear up for the nesting season.

Out & About
Today: Public trap shoot, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Juneau Gun Club.

No food allowed at glacier visitor center
JUNEAU - Planning a trip to the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center? Here's something you should know: Leave your food and beverages behind.

Russia gas monopoly eyes Alaska project
ST. PETERSBURG, Russia - Russian natural gas monopoly OAO Gazprom is angling for a role in a proposed Alaska gas pipeline, the company's chief said Saturday.

Flatcar length was factor in derailment
ANCHORAGE - The length of flatcars was a contributing factor in a train derailment along a sharply curved section of track Thursday near downtown Anchorage, officials said.

Neighborhood bears draw concern in Kenai
KENAI - The city of Kenai may designate two of its subdivisions as problem bear areas.

Fire causes $3,500 in damage to home
JUNEAU - A fire Friday morning damaged an interior room and attic space in a home on Lemon Creek Road.

Troopers seize pot plants near Wasilla
WASILLA - Alaska State Troopers in Wasilla say an early morning domestic dispute turned into a marijuana seizure.

Man convicted in wife's stabbing death
ANCHORAGE - An Anchorage jury convicted a man of first-degree murder in the stabbing death of his wife.

Military rocket found in yard in North Pole
NORTH POLE - A military-grade rocket was removed after it was discovered in the yard of a North Pole area home.

Grand jury indicts Kasilof man in assault
KENAI - A 45-year-old Kasilof man has been indicted on one count of attempted murder and four counts of assault.

Gustavus launches tourist Web site
ANCHORAGE - Tourists wanting to check out Gustavus can go to a new Web site catering to them.

Federal building in Ketchikan stays pink
KETCHIKAN - The federal building in Ketchikan will keep its distinct color.

People hurt when ship bumps iceberg
ANCHORAGE - As many as 10 people were injured when a cruise ship hit an iceberg on Portage Lake.

Spectacular six for JDHS
ANCHORAGE - Smiling and laughing all the way, the Juneau-Douglas High School softball team punctuated one of its greatest seasons with a big, fat exclamation mark Saturday.

Crimson Bears win state championship
FAIRBANKS - Juneau-Douglas head coach Jaime Kissner asked Joe Kohan if he wanted the ball for Saturday's championship game of the Alaska School Activities Association State High School Baseball Tournament at Growden Memorial Park.

Crimson Bears beat Colony Friday
While the entire Juneau-Douglas bench bit their lips, pitcher Sean Bavard broke the silence about his perfect game in progress.

Kodiak claims first small-schools championship
ANCHORAGE - The first two times Kodiak and Ketchikan met at this year's state softball tournament, each won by identical 1-0 scores.

Photos: Spring Tide Scramble
Approximately 84 runners participated in the Southeast Roadrunners' annual Spring Tide Scramble on Saturday at Fish Creek Bridge. Sixty-one ran the 4-mile race, and 23 ran in the 7-mile.


TransCanada winning over lawmakers
The Legislature has scheduled from 30 to 60 days to consider a TransCanada Corp. plan to build a $28 billion gas pipeline.

In-state gas line stays on front burner
As state lawmakers continue their review of a plan to build a multibillion dollar natural gas pipeline from the North Slope to a hub in Alberta, Canada, one issue appears never far from their minds.

Educators launch balloon research program
ANCHORAGE - Hey kids! Need a nifty science fair project?

Palin vetoes survive ire from Legislature
Strong support among legislators for overriding Gov. Sarah Palin's vetoes was not enough to produce an actual override.

Lawmakers leave Tuesday for hearings on natural gas pipeline
It's almost time for lawmakers to pack their bags. On Tuesday, they will close up shop in Juneau and head out of town.

Top man on Sitka totem pole could receive his clothes back
SITKA - For nearly seven decades, a sad-eyed wooden lump of a man has been gazing out over Sitka Sound beset by the pelting rains and biting winds that whip in from the Pacific Ocean.

Black bear captured in downtown Anchorage
ANCHORAGE - The black bear should be awake by now, far from the downtown Anchorage neighborhood where it was captured.

Pilot in crash was viewing whale skeleton when engine stalled
ANCHORAGE - A California man died when the small plane he was flying crashed near a western Alaska village after the engine stalled as he was looking at a whale skeleton, the pilot of a companion airplane said.

'Deadliest Catch' boat captain cited for too-small tanner crabs
ANCHORAGE - The owner and captain of a fishing vessel featured on the Discovery Channel's popular reality show "Deadliest Catch" has pleaded no contest to a single count of illegally possessing undersized crab, according to Alaska State Troopers.

One dead in small plane crash near Western Alaska village
ANCHORAGE - A 33-year-old California man died after the small plane he was flying crashed near a Western Alaska village, and authorities are looking for the pilot of another plane traveling with him.

University study sheds light on soaring oil prices in rural Alaska
FAIRBANKS - A study by the University of Alaska Anchorage helps explain why rural Alaska villages are paying exorbitant prices for home heating oil.

Van visits neighborhoods to sterilize cats
ANCHORAGE - With help from the municipality of Anchorage, a program to spay and neuter cats has gone on the road.

This Day in History In the nation
• In 1954, during the Senate-Army Hearings, Army special counsel Joseph Welch berated Sen. Joseph McCarthy, asking: "Have you no sense of decency, sir?"

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