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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Complainants should be held accountable
I read with interest and concern last week's Empire article regarding the number of ethics complaints filed against Gov. Sarah Palin. These are some of the most irresponsible utterances I have heard in recent years. They are either politically motivated, which seems obvious because of their timing, or some kind of game for people who don't have anything else of interest in their lives.

Congress must keep a watchful eye on bank executives
I recently heard that some of the banks that received a bailout were returning the money to avoid salary regulations of those running the banks. It was touted that this was a bad idea since it might lead to flight of the "best" people in management. Of course, we must remind these pundits that it was those "best" people who caused the huge economic downturn that we are in, and they continue to be rewarded while throwing thousands, and tens of thousands, of their fellow Americans out of work and out of their homes.

Unemployment is up, but there's plenty of work to be found
I read with interest the article about rising unemployment numbers in Juneau and throughout Alaska, especially when I still see help-wanted ads throughout Juneau from McDonald's and Wal-Mart to Home Depot.

Thanks for AGIA
I want to commend Gov. Sarah Palin and her fellow Alaskans for passing the Alaska Gasline Inducement Act, which set the stage for TransCanada and Exxon-Mobil to enter into an agreement for the construction of a natural gas pipeline.

Police capture suspect in multiple burglaries
Police arrested a 20-year-old burglary suspect on an outstanding warrant Tuesday morning at the home of his parents, who said he was an opiate addict.

Coeur Alaska wins Supreme Court case
The U.S. Supreme Court sided with Coeur Alaska and the state of Alaska on Monday, meaning tailings mine waste from the Kensington gold mine can be dumped into Lower Slate Lake.

300 jobs, and none too soon
About 50 Coeur Alaska Inc. supporters gathered at the Capitol steps with signs and banners celebrating the Supreme Court decision in favor of the mine Monday, crying, "Jobs-Jobs-Jobs!"

Miners en route, and they'll need places to live
Local real-estate experts predict an influx of well-paid Kensington gold mine workers will be a boon to Juneau's housing market.

Hydro power camp wraps up with Snettisham tour
About 45 kids, their parents and various hangers-on got to see the remote mountainside hydropower plant that supplies 80 percent of Juneau's electricity as part of a hydropower-themed science camp on Saturday.

School bus complaint logs show uneventful final months
School bus contractor First Student fielded 15 complaints since it resumed logging and documenting them for the Juneau School District.

Photo: Franklin fiddler
Noah Machakos, 11, performs with his violin Monday on South Franklin Street. His mom, Julie, says he is making a little summer spending money as well as learning to play inpublic. "He is already playing much louder now," she says.

Photo: Colorful tribute
Carol Ackerson trims the yellow and blue pansies in the garden that circles the Archie Van Winkle Memorial on South Franklin Street on Monday. "We were trying to make this special for the state's 50th anniversary," said Ackerson, who works for the city's landscape division.

Photo: Flags for the Fourth
Sarah Stucky, owner of the Alaska General Store on Front Street, decorates the store front Tuesday for the upcoming 4th of July celebration.

Photo: Well-earned rest
Ricky Yates sits on a wall outside the Marine View Center Monday. Yates says he has been working three jobs and washappy to just sit back and enjoy a day off.

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

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

Around Town
Today, June 24

Around Town
Today, June 23

Rosalind Elizabeth Howard
Longtime Juneau resident Rosalind Elizabeth Howard died June 18, 2009, in Juneau. She was 75.

Harold C. Felton
Former Juneau resident Harold C. Felton, of Cannon Falls, Minn., died the evening of June 21, 2009, at the Cannon Falls Medical Center following a lengthy illness. He was 84.

Outside editorial: Congress' 'cash for clunkers' a lemon of an idea
"Cash for clunkers" is a bad idea whose time seems to have come. Congress has added trade-in incentives for old gas guzzlers to a $106 billion supplemental appropriations bill whose primary purpose is to fund military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. President Obama is likely to sign the measure this week. Still, it could have been worse: Instead of a very large and wasteful cash-for-clunkers program, lawmakers approved only a middle-size wasteful program.

Change that we increasingly cannot believe in
It's finally starting to happen. For months, I've irritated many conservatives by telling them that, like it or not, Barack Obama had high approval ratings and that most Americans were so enamored with the president that there was no use in attacking him yet.

It's time for Social Security choice
I've hated Social Security since 1964, when I made $547 that summer as a rookie stock boy in the warehouse of a Pittsburgh restaurant chain.

My Turn: Juneau's waterfront plan left high and dry
Stop, look and listen up. It's not too late. There's a proposal, legislation even, to construct a huge state government office building on the downtown waterfront. Its purpose is politically pure but oversimplifies complex, multifaceted issues. And its location is offensive.

My Turn: Permanent Fund takes new approach to asset allocation
The Board of Trustees of the Alaska Permanent Fund Corp. recently changed how we describe and categorize investments. They now use an allocation that groups assets based on risk characteristics, rather than by the type of investment. The underlying investments and their proportions haven't changed significantly, and are very similar to allocations from recent years, with a similar risk profile.

Presumption and assumption: More money doesn't always lead to a better education
Some people have certain presumptions - for example, that government is better suited to handling problems than individuals or private entities. And then there are the accompanying assumptions that government, for those who have faith in its supposedly superior capabilities, will always produce the desired outcome.

Outside editorial: Too big to mail?
T he post office may be the next too-big thing. If it continues on its present course, the U.S. Postal Service stands to post $6 billion to $12 billion in losses by the end of the fiscal year. By the end of the second quarter of fiscal 2009, it had racked up an operating loss of more than $2 billion, almost equal to its total losses last year. So far, the Postal Service has depended on loans from the Federal Financing Bank, a federal borrowing agency, to help make up the difference, but it is fast approaching its $15 billion credit limit. Something has to give.

Search continues for missing airplane
ANCHORAGE - Searchers in Alaska and Canada have found no signs of a small airplane that disappeared Saturday.

Cruise line to show independence declaration copy
JUNEAU - A rare, original copy of the U.S. Declaration of Independence of 1776 will be displayed on Princess Cruises ships docking in Juneau early next month.

Car flips, passes under trailer truck on Egan
JUNEAU - A 46-year-old man was hospitalized after his car passed beneath an Alaska Marine Lines' trailer truck on Egan Drive.

Personal income in Alaska drops 3.2 percent
ANCHORAGE - Alaska had the steepest recent fall of personal income of any state, according to a federal agency.

Railroad awarded $25.8 million grant
ANCHORAGE - The state's congressional delegation says the Alaska Railroad is getting a $25.8 million grant of federal stimulus money.

Suspected crack house closed in Fairbanks
FAIRBANKS - Authorities in Fairbanks have closed a suspected crack house.

Earthquake rattles Willow again
WILLOW - The ground keeps rattling around Willow.

Government will pay Kott's legal bills
ANCHORAGE - The legal bills of former state Rep. Pete Kott will be paid by the federal government for the next several months.

Whale leaves marina near Los Angeles after 3 weeks
LOS ANGELES - A stray gray whale has left a shallow marina near Los Angeles after spending more than three weeks there.

Coast Guard rescues 2 off Aleutian Islands
ANCHORAGE - A boat captain and his crewman spent 52 hours adrift in an open 15-foot skiff off the Aleutian Islands before a Coast Guard helicopter lifted them to safety Sunday night.

State closes Bird Creek fishery
ANCHORAGE - Another popular southcentral Alaska fishery has been closed.

3 charged with burglarizing stores
ANCHORAGE - Anchorage police have arrested three men accused of stealing pickups, smashing into stereo stores and stealing sound equipment.

Subcommittee approves money for Alaska projects
ANCHORAGE - Several large Alaska projects have received federal funding approval at the subcommittee level.

Anchorage man pleads guilty to April 2008 murder
ANCHORAGE - An Anchorage man has pleaded guilty to a fatal shooting in April 2008 on a popular bike trail.

Truck burns inside DOT building
ANCHORAGE - A truck caught fire inside a state Department of Transportation garage.

USDA certifies Fairbanks slaughterhouse
FAIRBANKS - The U.S. Department of Agriculture has certified a Fairbanks slaughterhouse to process beef and pork.

Supreme Court declines wetlands permafrost case
FAIRBANKS - The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to consider a Fairbanks case focused on whether land with permafrost is subject to federal wetlands review.

A few more days until Rainball tourney
The 34th Annual Rainball Tournament starts Friday afternoon, so come on out to Dimond Park and Sandy Beach for the best in Men's and Women's Division softball! Watch the Home Run Derby competition light it up 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Dimond Park.

Sports in Juneau
ANNOUNCEMENTS

Palin pays state for family travel
ANCHORAGE - Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin reimbursed the state for more than $8,100 in costs associated with trips taken by her children.

Permanent fund's new investment strategy raises concerns
The Alaska Permanent Fund will step into the recession-battered market to buy bonds issued by troubled companies, hoping to turn a profit when business improves.

4-year-old discovers prehistoric arrow point
FAIRBANKS - Archaeologists are crediting a small child with finding a prehistoric arrow point at Denali National Park and Preserve.

Strong earthquake jolts Anchorage
ANCHORAGE - A strong earthquake jolted Anchorage on Monday, sending people diving under desks and huddling in doorways but apparently causing no damage.

Ordinance would ban booze for 'chronic inebriates'
FAIRBANKS - The Fairbanks City Council will consider a ban on the sale of alcohol to "chronic inebriates."

Hero dog who survived machete attack succumbs to cancer at 10
WASILLA - He survived a machete attack and even saved one woman's life, but Bear, the 160-pound mastiff-mix, cited as a hero by a national organization, couldn't beat cancer.

Swine flu continues spread in Alaska
State public health officials reported 13 new cases of swine flu Monday, including one new case in Juneau among Southeast Alaska's five new ones.

Salmon may be affected by ocean shifts
ANCHORAGE - A second straight year of weak king salmon returns around the rim of the Gulf of Alaska has state fisheries biologists wondering if they might be staring into the face of a bleak future.

Judge tosses suit against Humana
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - A federal judge on dismissed a class-action securities fraud lawsuit against Humana Tuesday, saying the health care giant properly cautioned investors about the possibility of a drop in stock prices.

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