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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Not enough value-for-value in Sealaska land transfer
The Sealaska land transfer sponsored by U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski is far from a value-for-value deal. Sealaska simply wants to make new, lucrative timber selections outside of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act's set-aside areas.

Public education needs funds, not fixes
Most people I know in Alaska believe in opportunity and enterprise, however many worry that an educational system damaged by negligence will put these core Alaskan values in jeopardy. We need to refocus on the true foundation of our Alaskan prosperity: a uniquely diverse, creative and hardworking population.

Photo: A beautiful morning on Mt. Jumbo
Mt. Juneau and Mt. Roberts are a backdrop for the city of Juneau shown through a field of Lupine wildflowers on Mt. Jumbo Sunday morning.

The science behind the scenery
Melody Adezas wanted something "less touristy" in a tour, so the San Antonio resident on a seven-day cruise with her husband, Dennis, picked Gastineau Guiding's "citizen science adventure" after doing her research. The Adezas's were joined by others Monday also interested in getting a little something extra out of their scenic experience. Lily Garfield said she chose the tour, which incorporates a glacier visit with whale watching, hoping her two children, Terry, 12 and Schuyler, 10, would learn something new while having fun.

Tourism, fishing hires drop jobless rate
Juneau's unemployment rate fell in May as tourism hiring picked up, but not as much as Skagway, which had the lowest unemployment rate in Southeast, as well as the state, for the month.

Photo: Riding in style
Layla Hughes pulls Elias Schane, 2, and Luke Gnadt, 4, in a Radio Flyer along a Juneau side street Sunday. Hughes was watching the two as a Father's Day gift for their dads, who spent the day rock climbing. "We went for icecream," Hughes said.

Photo: New best friend
Chelsie Harris carries ChouChou, a Havanese puppy, for a sight seeing trip along the Marine Park docks on Sunday. Havanese are a breed of dog of the Bichon type and orginated in the Western Mediterranean. They are playful and great with children and other animals. They are known to "hop" when running.

AMHS receives Coast Guard awards
JUNEAU - The Alaska Marine Highway System was honored recently during an award ceremony in the nation's capital for its 2009 participation in the U.S. Coast Guard's Automated Mutual-Assistance Vessel Rescue System.

Photos: A long and winding road
This year's Kluane Chilkat International Bike Relay took place Saturday. Covering nearly 150 miles, the ride extends from Haines Junction, Yukon, to Haines, taking teams of bikers though Kluane National Park and the Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve. All proceeds from the race go to charity.

VA pledges to improve care for rural veterans
JUNEAU - The Veterans Administration made a verbal commitment during a hearing with the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee last week to improve care for rural veterans. The pledge came during a meeting chaired by Sen. Mark Begich, D-Alaska, in which the VA said it will work with Indian Health Services over the next several months.

Photo: Berryland
Kathy Adair hunts for ripe salmonberries with her grandson, Jacob Katasse, 3, near her Riverside Drive home on Monday.

Police & Fire
Juneau police and fire officials reported:

Police & Fire
Juneau police and fire officials reported:

Photo: Maintenance keep-up
Brady O'Keefe and Donovan Bell wash a Wings Airways DeHavilland Otter float plane at the waterfront Sunday before tourists load for a flight to the Taku Glacier Lodge.

Dorothea "Dottie" Louise Lindoff
Juneau resident Dorothea "Dottie" Louise Lindoff died June 17, 2010 at Bartlett Regional Hospital. She was 57.

Oil companies must be held responsible legally, financially
The tragic Gulf of Mexico oil spill should serve as a wake-up call for stronger oversight to prevent another such massive spill and a comprehensive national energy policy that must include more domestic oil and gas production. That's the message I'm delivering to the Obama administration and my fellow senators, and trying to implement legislation aimed at making sure new oil and gas development is done right.

Baby steps
The following editorial first appeared in the Chicago Tribune:

The NRA and transparency in advertising
The following editorial first appeared in the Los Angeles Times:

ANCSA remains another unfulfilled promise
I remember hearing the following phrase repeated by my father, Mark Jacobs Jr., numerous times: "When a white man fights for his land he is called a patriot. When an Indian fights for his land he is called a savage."

Attack of the killer pumpkins
In the interest of teaching our children the pointlessness of hobbies, my wife and I recently decided to start our very own vegetable garden.

Autocrats' latest weapon: Indirect censorship
Here is why we should be more worried than usual about press freedoms in the Americas: several democratically elected authoritarian presidents are seeing their popularity rates plummet, and are clamping down on independent media ahead of upcoming elections.

Staying competitive in the clean energy race
All too many issues these days seem to be framed solely in a narrow partisan lens, where one person's gain is inevitably another's loss. The debate over the future of U.S. energy policy has been much the same.

Alaska earthquake widely felt
ANCHORAGE - Seismologists say an earthquake in Alaska's Prince William Sound was felt over a wide area.

Pilot killed in helicopter crash
ANCHORAGE - The Coast Guard says a 48-year-old helicopter pilot was killed in a crash on Alaska's Unalaska Island.

Nebraska town votes on immigration measure
FREMONT, Neb. - Angered by a recent influx of Hispanic workers attracted by jobs at local meatpacking plants, voters in the eastern Nebraska city of Fremont will decide Monday whether to ban hiring or renting property to illegal immigrants.

NY vacuum salesmen charged with misdemeanor
SYRACUSE, N.Y. - Two vacuum salesmen didn't exactly close the deal at a recent home demonstration in central New York. State police charged the Syracuse men with a misdemeanor after a $1,300 Sealy latex foam mattress was damaged. Trooper Andy Davis said the damage occurred during a demonstration Monday at a home in Richfield Springs. Davis wouldn't elaborate on what was done to the mattress.

Second wildfire forces more evacuations in Ariz.
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. - Fire officials say a second wildfire is forcing evacuations in neighborhoods north of Flagstaff, Ariz.

SeaLife Center sea lion, pup die
ANCHORAGE - A pregnant sea lion and her unborn pup have died at the Alaska SeaLife Center in Seward.

Burglars target Houston cabins
ANCHORAGE - Police in Houston are hoping a $1,000 reward will help them nab burglars who have targeted 14 cabins in the past two months.

Nominations due for Extension Service Advisory Council
JUNEAU - The University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service is looking for volunteers to serve on its state advisory council.

Community invited to workshop about joint museum, library, archive building
JUNEAU - The design team of ECI/Hyer and the Alaska Division of Libraries, Archives & Museums will host an open-forum workshop June 24 for the upcoming state Libraries Archives and Museums Project.

EPA offers awards for indoor air quality practices
JUNEAU - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Indoor Air Quality Tools for Schools Awards Program recognizes schools and school districts that are strongly committed to improving children's health by promoting healthy indoor air quality practices.

State designates new scenic byway on POW
JUNEAU - The Prince of Wales Island Road System has been designated a state scenic byway, the Department of Transportation and Public Facilities announced last week.

Michels withdraws from Lt. Gov.'s race
JUNEAU - Nome Mayor Denise Michels is withdrawing from the race for Alaska's lieutenant governor.

State Arts Council disburses $500,000 in grants
JUNEAU - The Alaska State Council on the Arts awarded $405,960 in operating support grants, $48,575 for Artists in Schools grants, and $60,965 in grants for special projects to Alaska artists and arts organizations at its recent annual meeting. For a complete list of the projects or grants by community, call 907-269-6610 or 1-888-278-7424. Grants are posted at www.eed.state.ak.us/aksca.

Parnell signs bills addressing problem drinking
ANCHORAGE - Alaska's governor has signed a suite of bills aimed at cracking down on problem drinking.

Alaska pipeline restarts after maintenance
JUNEAU - The 800-mile trans-Alaska pipeline has restarted following a planned shutdown for maintenance.

State reports another case of PSP
ANCHORAGE - State health officials have reported another case of sickness because of paralytic shellfish poisoning, or PSP.

Alaska gas prices rise over week, year
JUNEAU - Average retail gasoline prices in Alaska have risen 1.6 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $3.42 per gallon Sunday, according to the gasoline price website AlaskaGasPrices.com.

Hydaburg man sentenced in child porn case
ANCHORAGE - An 81-year-old man has been handed a two-year sentence in prison in a federal child pornography case.

Alaska bond package going to voters
FAIRBANKS - Alaska voters will be asked to decide a nearly $400 million bond issue for school-related construction.

Eagle River teen wins Anchorage king salmon derby
ANCHORAGE - Sixteen-year-old Chaunti Hall of Eagle River won the 2010 Slam'n Salm'n King Salmon Derby with a 43-pound fish caught on opening day of the 10-day derby at Ship Creek in Anchorage. Her dad, Carey Hall, told The Anchorage Daily News the winning fish was on the menu for Father's Day dinner.

Parnell signs education donation bill
Gov. Sean Parnell signed into law Monday a bill designed to increase industry contributions to higher education and job training institutions by giving them expanded tax breaks.

Lawmakers push for gas pipeline support
FAIRBANKS - Alaska lawmakers who support an in-state natural gas bullet pipeline say they will push for community backing that could help the state defend the proposed project during a federal review.

Shell vows to keep office, Alaska staff
ANCHORAGE - Beset by another delay in its planned exploration, Shell officials say the company intends to keep its Alaska offices open and its staff of about 70 intact and working toward a 2011 drilling program.

Fire damages Elfin Cove lodge
PETERSBURG - A fire has heavily damaged a lodge and restaurant in the Southeast Alaska community of Elfin Cove. Alaska State Troopers say the blaze, reported early Saturday morning, caused estimated damages in the $1.5 million range.

Former Fairbanks party house a haven for recovering addicts
FAIRBANKS - The rustic cedar house near downtown Fairbanks with a picket fence, garden and delicate hand-carved doors wasn't always endearing. For years, it was a party house with filthy floors and mattresses, a putrefied toilet and late-night gatherings with a dozen cars stopping by each night.

Sen. Begich introduces oil spill legislation
JUNEAU - U.S. Sen. Mark Begich doesn't expect a chilling effect on drilling from his legislation requiring that companies responsible for certain oil spills set up escrow accounts to deal with damage and claims.

Susitna builder looking to bid on ferry
Alaska Ship and Drydock, the shipyard that is constructing the experimental M/V Susitna ferry for the Matanuska-Susitna Borough, also is interested in bidding on the construction of the new Alaska-class ferry design, supposing the design is considered economically feasible by the state.

Collars aid in study of Kodiak's bear population
KODIAK - Kodiak bears recently received some fancy collars.

Gulf spill may take cleanup gear from Alaska
ANCHORAGE - The Prince William Sound Regional Citizen's Advisory Council is warning the Coast Guard against pulling too many resources out of Alaska to fight the Gulf oil spill.

Ketchikan woman tracks down father
KETCHIKAN - Shauna Lee stresses that her dad, Gus Peterson, is a phenomenal father, and he's been there for her since she was 16 years old, when he and her mother, Candy Peterson, married.

Companies make case for more time to ship LNG
ANCHORAGE - The owners of the liquefied natural gas facility in Nikiski have formally asked the U.S. Department of Energy for more time to ship Alaska LNG to markets overseas.

Kenai cabin could earn spot in National Registry
KENAI - The Oskolkoff Cabin has been nestled between the St. Nicholas Memorial and residential buildings for nearly a century. Today, Kenai knows it as Veronica's Cafe. Doug Darien, who lived in the cabin during the '40s, said that structurally it has barely changed.

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