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Monday, June 30, 2008

Bothered by noise? Look to helicopters
It should be clear from the well-publicized off-road vehicle debate that persistent noise in residential areas is detrimental to neighborhoods.

Distribute energy relief rebate fairly
I keep reading that Gov. Sarah Palin is proposing a $1,200 energy relief rebate for people that have been living in Alaska for at least 180 days.

Knowledge should guide wildlife policy
There has been much discussion in Alaska about the need for sound science in managing wildlife.

Meat vs. PETA: science vs. pseudo-science
Earlier this week there was an article in the opinion section of the Empire that presented an argument for Americans to eat less meat. It was an interesting article, but the writer made a number of unsupported claims and didn't present the view of the other side of the coin.

Photo: Walk softly and ...
Wayne "Fu" Smallwood shaves the bark off a dimond willow branch next to his collection of shaved devil's club walking sticks Sunday at Marine Park. Smallwood strips the bark off, sands, coats the sticks with polyurethane and adds a rubber cap to the bottom to make the walking sticks. He collects the devil's club locally and makes use of the roots, stocks and bark. A friend brings him the dimond willow from Canada. The walking sticks sell for $25 to $75 with larger, unique pieces going for as high as $300.

Kensington case heads to Supreme Court
The U.S. Supreme Court announced Friday it will take on the Kensington Mine's tailings plan in next year's term.

Illness catches cruise ship
A cruise ship that sparked rumors of a norovirus outbreak in Juneau and ports across Alaska prompted inquiries from reporters in Juneau, Sitka and Seward.

Photo: Preparing to celebrate
Bob Chatfield, right, tosses a stapler to John Gerrish as they hang a sign Sunday at the Douglas Community United Methodist Church to advertise their fundraiser during the Fourth of July.

Around Town
Today

City not warned of virus
As the Veendam passed through Juneau on June 17 with a growing outbreak of norovirus onboard, the city manager's office didn't get the courtesy call he expects in that situation.

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

State receives new Tulsequah barge plans
Tulsequah Chief mine operators submitted a new plan of operations Thursday to the state of Alaska.

Photos: Making a mess for charity
First, Lauryn Guthrie, front, and Jade Lott come up for air after chomping pudding pie during a pie-eating contest Saturday at the Nugget Mall. Kylynn Hurlbut, second, smiles after winning the contest at the Festival of Fun, a fundraiser for 11 nonprofit groups.

Photo: Crab takes the cake
Emma Deats loads up a bag with Dungeness crab for a customer Saturday in the parking lot of the Nugget Mall. Deats and her family have been offering fresh crab directly to customers for 17 years on most Saturdays in the summer.

Around Town
Today, June 29

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

Wendi Hanson
Juneau resident Wendi Hanson died unexpectedly on June 25, 2008, in Juneau. She was 41.

Gisela Sperber
Longtime Douglas resident Gisela Sperber died June 27, 2008, at home with family at her side. She was 64.

Donna Louise Ashton
Hoonah and Kake resident Donna Louise Ashton died June 26, 2008. She was 66.

Alaska editorial: Gas tax break is easy to accept
Grasping the best plan to help Alaskans as energy costs continue to soar is a little like grabbing a salmon by the tail. It looks good, we're hungry for it, but getting a grip on it requires quickness and firmness that is difficult to achieve.

My turn: Cottage housing fits a niche
The "big" misnomer about the cottage housing ordinance is: "the purpose is to create affordable housing."

Outside editorial: Punishing an enormity
It is not every day that we greet with conflicting feelings the release of a Supreme Court decision with which we agree. But such is the case with Kennedy v. Louisiana.

Outisde editorial: Guns, yes and no
P resented with two historically plausible arguments about whether the Second Amendment secures an individual right to keep and bear arms, the Supreme Court on Thursday opted for the interpretation less suited to a 21st century America bedeviled by gun crime. That's the disappointing part of the court's long-awaited ruling striking down the District of Columbia's strict gun-control ordinance. Fortunately, even though the decision endorses the individual-right explanation, it may have limited influence.

What goes around, or karma in action
Come on, admit it. You love watching people wallow in misery of their own making.

Juneau property values drop, but collapse unlikely
This time next year, when the Juneau assessor certifies her Jan. 1, 2009, valuation of area property, the number is likely - for the first time in 20 years - to reflect a decline.

Toe Toon
Cartoon by local artist Toe.

A (big) fish tale
While clubbing a man-sized halibut in the head, I worried the giant muscle of a sea-monster might spring to life and break my legs.

Entangled: Saving sea lions snared in trash
About 40 sea lions lounged on the rocks at the Benjamin Island haulout north of Juneau, and one was injured. A thin, white plastic packing band circled his neck and cut deep into his skin.

Visitor lays tracks up Mount McGinnis
Earlier this month, my long-awaited weather window had arrived, and I set off on the West Glacier Trail on my way to the top of Mount McGinnis in Juneau.

Submerged gillnets snag fish, wildlife
KENAI - When Funny River resident David Haeg went fishing last month he hoped to land a lunker, and while he didn't pull in what he wanted, he did pull up something huge that should ensure others will catch more fish.

Dragonfly research takes off in refuge north of Fairbanks
FAIRBANKS - Flying into Kanuti National Wildlife Refuge last summer to hunt for dragonflies, John Hudson, the foremost authority on dragonflies in Alaska, was impressed.

Brothers from Michigan filming outdoors travel show for January 2009
HERMANSVILLE, Mich. - The Whitens brothers of Hermansville are out to revolutionize outdoors television.

City, Red Cross hold water safety course
JUNEAU - The Parks and Recreation Department and American Red Cross are sponsoring a Water Safety Instructor Aide Course from 8-11:30 a.m. July 21-25 at the Augustus Brown Swimming Pool.

Out&About
Today: Highpower rifle and sporting rifle, 8:30 a.m. registration, Hank Harmon Rifle Range.

U.S. Senate toasts Alaska statehood
ANCHORAGE - The U.S. Senate noted the coming 50th anniversary of Alaska's statehood with a little cake.

Boat tips on Kenai River, one man presumed drowned
ANCHORAGE - A boat carrying five people flipped on the Kenai River and a man was missing and presumed drowned over the weekend, according to Alaska State Troopers.

Borough revises its animal adoption rules
FAIRBANKS - The public animal shelter in Fairbanks will now be able to put unhealthy or underage animals up for adoption.

Lack of catch closes Karluk River to fish
ANCHORAGE - The king salmon sportfishery on the Karluk River will close at 12:01 a.m. Monday amid dismal returns.

Kohring plans highway overpass farewell
ANCHORAGE - Former state Rep. Vic Kohring said he plans to spend a few hours waving to Glenn Highway commuters before he begins serving a federal prison sentence.

Man accused of apartment arson
ANCHORAGE - A 23-year-old man was accused of setting a six-unit apartment on fire Wednesday to get back at his former roommates.

Iditarod sign-ups held in Wasilla
ANCHORAGE - It's sign-up time for mushers wanting to participate in the 2009 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.

Wildfire officials cancel prescribed burn due to weather
FAIRBANKS - Federal, state and Native Alaska authorities canceled a prescribed burn 30 miles west of Fairbanks because of rainy weather.

Soldiers to train with grenades
ANCHORAGE - Fort Wainwright soldiers will be training with hand grenades next month.

Talkeetna man dies in ATV accident
ANCHORAGE - A 56-year-old Talkeetna man is dead after his all-terrain vehicle rolled over him.

Fools race brings out costumes, fun
Once again, the Only Fools Run at Midnight race did not disappoint those looking for a good time. Six hundred runners, mostly in some type of costume, turned out for the event Saturday.

JDHS grad boosts Glacier Pilots in ABL action
Nano Jacobsen of Juneau cracked two RBI doubles Friday as the Anchorage Glacier Pilots avenged an embarrassing loss the previous evening to the Mat-Su Miners.

JDHS activities director Wagner makes a hole-in-one
JUNEAU - Juneau-Douglas High School activities director Sandi Wagner recorded the third hole-in-one of the golf season at Mendenhall Golf Course on Thursday.

Spring Fling Horse Show
The Fairweather Equestrian Center sponsored the Spring Fling Schooling Horse Show on June 7 in Juneau.

Midnight Suns 12U, 14U teams play at tourney in Oregon
JUNEAU - The Juneau Midnight Suns youth softball organization is currently playing in the Midnight Suns Invitational Tournament in Oregon.

SPORTS IN JUNEAU
UPCOMING EVENTS

June 30 marks historical day in Alaska statehood
When the U.S. Senate voted 64 to 20 in favor of Alaska statehood on June 30, 1958, Delegate to Congress E.L. "Bob" Bartlett called it the greatest day in Alaska history.

Summer may see ice-free North Pole
WASHINGTON - There's a 50-50 chance that the North Pole will be ice-free this summer, which would be a first in recorded history, a leading ice scientist says.

'Into the Wild' pilgrimages increase
HEALY - Ron Alexander has long been intrigued with the true story of a fierce idealist who met his death in Alaska's unyielding wilderness.

State brings back bison
FAIRBANKS - The state Department of Fish and Game has trucked 53 wood bison into Alaska from a national park in Canada as part of a bid to revive the species for hunting purposes after it died out in the state.

Southeast ferry runs scaled back
KETCHIKAN - The Inter-Island Ferry Authority is canceling some scheduled trips, citing burgeoning fuel costs and less funding than expected.

Bear attacks girl on bike
ANCHORAGE - A 14-year-old girl riding in a mountain bike race was severely injured when she was mauled by a bear.

Boat owners settle in Prince William case
ANCHORAGE - Owners of a commercial fishing boat that ran aground last summer in Prince William Sound will pay $27,500 in penalties.

Governor praises high court decision
ANCHORAGE - Gov. Sarah Palin is praising the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to step into an environmental dispute over the Kensington Mine near Juneau.

Trio convicted of kidnapping
ANCHORAGE - An Anchorage jury has convicted a man and two women accused of holding a woman captive for three days at a local crack house last year.

Nikiski residents protest closure
KENAI - Residents of Nikiski turned out to protest closure of a beach that many have used for decades.

Weakened dollar draws foreign tourists
FAIRBANKS - Tourism officials monitoring business in Fairbanks see a bright side to high gasoline and grocery prices.

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