Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Keep Tongass National Forest beautiful, wild, public
Why do I think that it's so important to keep our Tongass National Forest wild, beautiful and in the public domain? One reason is that my family's livelihood, just like that of many other families who live throughout Southeast Alaska, absolutely depends on it being just that way. The beauty and wildness of Southeast Alaska and our Tongass National Forest keeps my marine wildlife tour business afloat. And, of course, I'm not the only person here who makes their living off the beauty and bounty of the land and water.

Worth a Pulitzer Prize?
It's unfortunate that the Empire chose to run a truncated Associated Press version of an article originated by the Anchorage Daily News in its Sunday edition (BP helped state in cheating probe, June 28, 2010).

Goldbelt ready to develop Cascade Point
A plan to develop Cascade Point into a transport facility for mine workers is ready to go ahead, if it doesn't get tangled up in the Juneau Access Project.

Parnell signs bills to aid youth court, traumatized jurors
Gov. Sean Parnell signed a pair of bills Monday, one of which set up a youth court funding mechanism through court fines while the other established a counseling program for jurors in emotionally traumatic trials.

Treadwell promises aggressive oil, gas support
Mead Treadwell entered the race for lieutenant governor later than the other two Republican candidates, but he has a long history, going back to working for Alaska statesman Wally Hickel starting in the 1970s, and serving in Hickel’s gubernatorial administration in the 1990s.

Not all face a 'culture of fear' at Bartlett
An independent evaluation of Bartlett Regional Hospital's employment atmosphere revealed those who feel there is a "culture of fear" are a minority in the hospital.

Shareholders elect board members at annual meeting
Sealaska shareholders gathered over the weekend for the regional Native corporation's 37th annual meeting to elect four directors and vote on one resolution.

Photos: Change of command ceremony
Capt. David A. Walker is saluted by Cmdr. Doug Cameron formally relieving him of commanding officer duties at Coast Guard Air Station on Monday in Sitka. Capt. Walker will report to Coast Guard District Eleven resource management division in Alameda, Calif.

Photo: Kite boarding through the channel
A kite boarder enjoys the wind and waters of Gastineau Channel near the cruise ship docks Sunday afternoon.

Police & Fire
Juneau police and fire officials reported:

Photo: Foundation for Auke Bay bridge
Jake Ritter of Trucano Construction works on forms for a concrete foundation for a bridge over the outlet of Auke Lake on Monday. The bridge is to be installed in early August and will give access from the University of Alaska Southeast, to the new Auke Lake Trail on the southeast side of the lake.

Photo: Window art performance
Canvas Fine Arts Camp instructor M K MacNaughton frolics in a window at 3rd Street and Seward with students Ronan Lynch, Tim McKenna, and Graham Sutch on Monday in a performance art piece about air.

Police & Fire
Juneau police and fire officials reported:

I.A. "Bud" Lowell
Former Juneau resident Irving Arthur "Bud" Lowell died June 23, 2010 in Denver, Colo. He was 87 years old.

Linda Gale Goldsmith Landingham
Former Juneau resident Linda Gale Goldsmith Landingham died on June 21, 2010 at her home in Wasilla. She was 45.

Lily Joy Stemple
Juneau resident Lily Joy Stemple died June 23, 2010. She was 82 years old.

Deporting the wrong man
What should be done with a man who infiltrated the terrorist group Hamas, spied for Israeli intelligence and broke up terror attacks, saving countless Israeli, as well as Palestinian, lives? Most people would say he should be honored. Not the U.S. government, it's trying to deport him.

2nd Amendment Gun rights and Chicago's ban
The following editorial appeared in the Los Angeles Times:

On Independence Day: America's future in good hands
Amid the July Fourth fireworks, cookouts, fairs and parades, the history behind Independence Day, the sacrifices made by our Founding Fathers, and our responsibilities as modern American citizens often get lost in the shuffle.

Overachievers are making us seem lethargic
Living in your own skin is tough enough without having to deal with other people's idiosyncrasies.

Abundance of accusations from Arizona
We all know that President Obama was secretly born in Kenya.

Combat low literacy rates with early identification
It is summer and the good weather breaks enough to respond to the June 14th Juneau Empire article "Audit Grades Schools' Literacy Programs."

Drug tests for the unemployed? What lunacy
The following editorial appeared in the San Jose Mercury News:

State expects pinch after stimulus extension fails
JUNEAU - Alaska may have to come up with another $60 million to cover Medicaid costs after Congress failed to pass a hoped-for extension of benefits.

Mitchell tapped for Energy Fund Committee board
Juneau - Gov. Sean Parnell has re-appointed Jodi Mitchell of Juneau to the Renewable Energy Fund Advisory Committee.

Anchorage murder case goes to jury
ANCHORAGE - An Anchorage jury is deciding the fate of a man charged with murdering his stepfather seven years ago.

Alaskan seafood processor fined $135,000
JUNEAU - Highland Light Seafoods, LLC, an Alaskan seafood processor with headquarters in Seattle, has agreed to pay a $135,000 penalty to settle federal Clean Water Act violations, according to an EPA order.

Fees reduced for college savings plan
ANCHORAGE - The University of Alaska College Savings Plan is reducing its fees to help Alaska families save for college.

Woman sentenced for creating disturbance on plane
ANCHORAGE - A Fairbanks woman who created a disturbance aboard a plane has received probation.

Bill creates new forest in Alaska
KLAWOCK - Alaska has a new state forest.

Guatemalan sentenced in illegal re-entry case
ANCHORAGE - A 40-year-old Guatemala man has been sentenced to two years in prison following his conviction on illegally re-entering the United States after his 2005 deportation.

Parnell not attending governors conference
JUNEAU - Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell isn't attending the Western Governors Association meeting this week in Montana.

Man gets 10 years on drug conviction
ANCHORAGE - An Anchorage man has been sentenced to 10 years in prison on a methamphetamine drug charge.

ACLU sues over medical records
JUNEAU - The ACLU of Alaska is suing the state, seeking the return of medical records seized as part of a raid on a Ketchikan women's clinic earlier this year.

Airman shot in left foot at gun range
FAIRBANKS - An airman from Eielson Air Force Base suffered a gunshot wound to his left foot at a Fairbanks shooting range.

Union endorses Walker in GOP gubernatorial primary
JUNEAU - Alaska's largest labor union endorsed Bill Walker in the Republican primary for governor.

Regulations open to public comment
The Department of Education and Early Development announced that several regulations are now open for public comment through Aug. 13 at 4 p.m. They are: 4 AAC 40, which would change the process for review and appeal of department actions regarding payments of state money to school districts and other applicants; 4 AAC 52.700, which would clarify the measures for determining a student's need for intensive services; 4 AAC 04.200, which would set standards for beginning teachers for purposes of completion of a teacher preparation program and also set professional content and performance standards for teachers; and 4 AAC 43, which would add a new section to the Alaska performance scholarship program, setting requirements for school districts, standardized testing, curriculum for high school class of 2011, and home-based education procedures.

Updates on Parent Engagement Opportunities
The steering committee of the Parent Engagement Working Group, sponsored by the Alaska Department of Education & Early Development, is seeking more participants.

Hickel's Institute of the North names new board members
The Institute of the North has named three new members to its Board of Directors.

Media literacy lessons are available online
Teachers can access 10 interactive lessons to help teach their students about media literacy and create their own commercial, radio or print ad about underage drinking. In addition, they can join the online discussions or share the media their students are creating in an online community on either the site itself, Facebook or Ning.

Goldbelt board appoints new member
JUNEAU - Katherine Eldemar has been appointed by Goldbelt, Inc. to fulfill the remaining two years of former board member Derek Duncan's term.

Loan repayment grants build health care workforce
JUNEAU - Alaska awarded its first grants through its student loan repayment program, SHARP (Supporting Health care Access through loan Re-Payment).

Washington seafood distributor to pay fine
JUNEAU - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has reached a settlement with Pacific Seafood Group for its alleged failure to report the release of ammonia from the company's warehouse and distribution center in Mukilteo, Wash., in a timely manner.

Jambaars step up for Alaska
The momentum gained by the Juneau-Douglas boys' soccer team during its 2010 4A state championship run carried over to the capital city's U17 club-level Jambaars, who just returned from the Region IV tournament with a second-place finish.

Juneau, Ketchikan duos complete Ford Ironman race in Idaho
Juneau physician John Bursell and Juneau-Douglas physcial education teacher Tracy Rivera, along with nearby Ketchikan's Susan Doherty and real estate broker Bill Elberson, all completed Sunday's Ford Ironman competition in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho.

Begich defends BP project in Alaska
JUNEAU — Sen. Mark Begich is defending a BP oil project off Alaska’s coast as a state-of-the-art model that should not be halted because of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

Echo Hawk will look at shareholder issues
FAIRBANKS - Alaska Native tribal leaders hope they've found a sympathetic ear with new leadership at the U.S. Department of the Interior.

Photo: Crane collapse in Fairbanks
A crane being used on a new bridge project in downtown Fairbanks fell over Tuesday. The crane now spans the Chena River.

Move over fruit, meat-flavored vodkas moving in
WASILLA - Prepare your palate for carnivorous cocktails.

New Palin defense fund uses fighting words
ANCHORAGE - The administrators of a new legal defense fund set up for Sarah Palin have sent out e-mails to supporters and others that downplay the outcome of ethics complaints against the former Alaska governor and accuse her political enemies of waging a "vicious campaign" to ruin her.

Missing girl found, mother arrested in Mo.
ST. LOUIS - An Alaska woman suspected of kidnapping her daughter two years ago was arrested in Missouri during a routine traffic stop after police noticed she and her young passenger appeared far too nervous for only missing a license plate, authorities said Tuesday.

Union: Air Force wrong to privatize food jobs
ANCHORAGE - Dozens of picketers at Elmendorf Air Force Base on Monday protested a move by the military to privatize food service jobs.

Backers of housing for alcoholics make changes
ANCHORAGE - Backers of a proposed apartment complex for homeless alcoholics say they've made significant changes to the project to meet neighborhood objections, including not allowing sexual offenders or violent criminals to live there.

Native Eyak language may have a follower
ANCHORAGE - It's an unlikely collaboration: A 21-year-old aspiring artist in Europe is working with a 75-year-old Fairbanks linguist to carry on a dying native Alaskan language.

Winds spread fire north of Fairbanks
FAIRBANKS - The Pat Creek Fire near Stevens Village grew rapidly during the weekend as dry, windy conditions thwarted an aggressive response by fire crews.

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