Celebrating independence
The biggest celebration of the year is only four days away and Juneau's buzzing with preparations. This year's events take on a special importance due to Alaska's 50th anniversary.

Statehood quilt winner announced July 4
The winner of the Statehood Quilt raffle will be announced at the flag-raising ceremony at the Juneau-Douglas Museum on July 4.

June 30 marks a historic day, vote in Alaska's history
In all the excitement of the 4th of July, the importance of the 30th of June in Alaska's state history is often overlooked.

Debute of new 'Old Glory'
As the new 49-star flag was raised in ceremonies on Juneau's Capital Hill, at 3p.m. on Independence Day, Gov. William A. Egan said:

Flag-raising ceremony to recall historic day
At 9 a.m. on July 4th, the people of Juneau are invited to gather on the grounds of the Juneau-Douglas City Museum for the raising of the nation's 49-star flag.

Grand Marshals for 2009 both historic Juneau figures
The Juneau and Douglas Grand Marshalls are important figures from the statehood period.

Photos: Then & Now
Skylar Hickok, 5, concentrates intently as she races down St. Ann's Avenue in Douglas during the 2006 Soapbox Challenge.

Thanks Juneau, we'll never forget your kindness and help
My husband fell ill while on a cruise in May and we had to fly him from Skagway to Juneau for treatment. Although we had not planned to spend four days of our vacation there, we are so grateful we did. The people of Juneau I encountered at Bartlett Regional Hospital, on the buses, as well as in the streets were so kind to me. Thanks to the people of Juneau. We will never forgot you! You made two survivors of Hurricane Katrina remember all the goodness in America!

Kensington ruling upheld Bush-era manipulation
Your Coeur/Kensington editorial in Sunday's paper misses the environmentalist viewpoint entirely, since it lacks any fundamental understanding of what has really happened in the Coeur Alaska and Kensington Gold Mine decision.

Voice your health care concerns July 2
The local Organizing for America (OFA) grassroots citizens' group met on June 27, the day that President Obama declared as National Health Care Public Service Day. We talked about what we can do as individuals to support inclusion of a public health insurance option in the health care reform legislation currently under consideration in Washington D.C.

Slate Lake already full of mutant fish
I just wanted to post some info about Slate Lake, which is the location of the proposed tailings site for the Kensington Gold Mine.

U.S. Supreme Court to hear Weyhrauch's appeal
The U.S. Supreme Court agreed Monday to decide a key part of the corruption charges against former Rep. Bruce Weyhrauch, R-Juneau.

Happy as a clam digger
It is a pity that the clams are more likely to be poisonous to humans in the summer, because - as anyone who has spent much time with toddlers knows - digging for treasure in the ground is a deep and primal joy.

Graham re-indicted on drug charge
A grand jury Friday re-indicted a 27-year-old Juneau man on a charge related to an undercover drug deal in March - a deal from which two felony charges against him have already been dismissed.

More land in public's hands
A valuable piece of private property on Douglas Island considered for development is one step closer to becoming a city park.

Commercial salmon fishery could be looking up
KETCHIKAN - While the fate of the commercial salmon fishery in Southeast remains undecided this season, there are some promising signs.

Photo: Gently down the channel
David Crosby rows past the finish line during the Juneau Rowing Clubs' seventhannual regatta Saturday. Crosby finished second among five total competitors in the 1000-meter race in Gastineau Channel.

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

Photos: Fools' footrace
Participants at the starting line head off into the night for either a 5k run or a one-mile walk beginning and ending at Centennial Hall.

Around Town
Today, June 30

Photo: Log dance
Ralph "Animal" Austin, right, hangs on longer than Chris Mills during the log rolling competition held Sunday as part of Gold Rush Days at Savikko Park.

Photo: World travelers
Holger Gockel (left) and Anja Metzger of Mudersbach, Germany, drive away from Fred Meyer in Juneau Friday after stocking up on supplies for their long journey. The two started a round-the-world trip for fun on their BMW GS650 Dakar motorcycles on July 8, 2007, and have been to ten cities in Alaska so far, and dozens of others overseas and inCanada. According to Gockel they will keep going until the money runs out - which they expect will be sometime between 2010-2011. They say one of the most noticeable differences in the United States is the huge food portion sizes at restaurants.

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

Around Town
Today, June 29

A story in Sunday's Juneau Empire on page 3 about Sealaska election results incorrectly identified board member Joe Nelson, of Juneau.

Joseph A. Kendler
Former Juneau resident Joeseph A. Kendler passed away Jan. 16, 2009 in Arizona. He was 83.

Mark Steven Stoinich
A Juneau resident for 39 years, Mark Steven Stoinich died June 23, 2009. He was 51.

Alaska editorial: Lawmakers are feeling Exxon angst
There's an old proverb that says even a fool seems wise when he keeps his mouth shut.

Outside editorial: Big tobacco: Down but never out
The federal government finally will regulate cigarette manufacturing and marketing. That's long overdue, as anyone familiar with the tobacco industry's shameful history can attest.

The stakes are too high for rushed healthcare reform
Americans are looking to Congress and the White House to see whether lawmakers and the president will deliver on their promises to reform our health care system.

My Turn: Economy needs more than just Kensington
The Supreme Court decision allowing the original mining tailings disposal plan to Lower Slate Lake - and thus green lighting the start-up of the Kensington mine - is cause for celebration. For the first time in years, Juneau will enjoy real economic development that adds new jobs.

Iranians foresaw their moment of protest
Once again, the world is amazed. As with the seemingly sudden appearance of the Solidarity movement in Poland in the 1980s, or the gaudy, grand-scale collapse of the Soviet empire at the end of that decade, the massive revolt of Iranian citizens has elicited the unmitigated surprise of the free world's army of experts, pundits and commentators. Who would have known? Who could have predicted this eruption of protest in a system so highly repressed, where a generally quiescent populace lives under such a deeply entrenched revolutionary regime?

My Turn: Nation's medical care is the best, if you're in Congress
Empathy is one of the most important qualities a person can have. Every religion has some version of the "Golden Rule." The ability to put yourself in another person's shoes and feel what they feel is critically important in a just and civilized society.

Mayor names June 30 for Cowan
JUNEAU - Mayor Bruce Botelho declared today Peggy Cowan Appreciation Day after the outgoing Juneau School District superintendent. Today is Cowan's last official day with the district, though her last day at work was Friday. She had held the post since 2003.

Coast Guard member dies in fishing accident
JUNEAU - A member of the Coast Guard in Ketchikan has died.

Wasilla waste handler ordered to halt business
ANCHORAGE - A Wasilla waste treatment business has been ordered to stop burning or handling hospital and infectious waste.

Seven cited for fishing in Ship Creek
ANCHORAGE - Alaska State Troopers handed out citations to seven fishermen for illegally going after salmon in the Ship Creek area of Anchorage.

Anchorage man gets 21 years in stabbing
ANCHORAGE - A 49-year-old Anchorage man will serve 21 years in prison for stabbing a fellow tenant at an Anchorage rooming house.

Man gets 102 years for beating death
WASILLA - A 47-year-old man convicted of first-degree murder in his girlfriend's beating death has drawn a 102-year sentence.

'Worst offender' felon gets 5 years
ANCHORAGE - A man has been sentenced to slightly more than five years in prison after being found to be a "worst offender."

Appeals court sets hearing for Hayes
FAIRBANKS - A federal appeals court has scheduled a hearing for jailed former Fairbanks Mayor Jim Hayes.

Alaska leads US in cargo plane crashes
FAIRBANKS - Alaska led the nation in fatal cargo plane crashes over the past decade.

Anchorage police rule out foul play in men's deaths
ANCHORAGE - Police say there was no foul play in the deaths of five men whose bodies were found in outdoor locations in Anchorage this spring.

UA negotiating with museum director candidate
FAIRBANKS - A spokeswoman for the University of Alaska Museum of the North in Fairbanks says a decision on a new director should be made in a few weeks.

Troopers charge driver with evidence tampering
BIG LAKE - A 19-year-old Big Lake man was charged with assault, evidence tampering and failure to report a traffic accident after a crash.

Man who eluded police to be sentenced
FAIRBANKS - A man who made a habit of eluding law enforcement is expected to be sentenced Monday.

Gov. Palin selects new spokesman
The turnover continues in Gov. Sarah Palin's public relations staff, with her top spokesman, Bill McAllister, forced out after less than a year in the position.

Young to seek 20th term in Congress
ANCHORAGE - U.S. Rep. Don Young and his anti-Big Government message will seek a 20th term in the office.

Exxon says it will pay interest on spill damages
ANCHORAGE - Oil giant Exxon Mobil Corp. has decided not to appeal hundreds of millions of dollars in interest on punitive damages resulting from the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill.

Bill could move missile silo field forward
ANCHORAGE - A bill approved last week by the Senate Armed Services Committee could push forward construction of a third silo field at Fort Greely.

Dipnetters' president is rarely a dipnetter
FAIRBANKS - Byron Haley is president-for-life of the Chitina Dipnetters Association, though the 82-year-old has only been to Chitina a few times in his 63 years in Alaska. Most of the time, he relies on friends to bring him back a few Copper River red salmon.

58 mushers sign up for 2010 Iditarod race
WASILLA - Three-time defending champion Lance Mackey and past winners Jeff King and Martin Buser have signed up in person for the 2010 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.

Woman begins trash odyssey in Alaska
FAIRBANKS - At age 40, Karen Hawes felt it was time to launch a trashy new lifestyle. And what better place to start, she figured, than her birth state of Alaska.

Fort Wainwright soldier earns medal for rescue
FAIRBANKS - A Virginia soldier stationed at Fort Wainwright has been awarded the Soldier's Medal for rescuing a comrade trapped in a Stryker vehicle that rolled into an Iraqi canal.

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