Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Recycling shouldn't cost citizens money
The city is planning a new recycling plan, and although it is a good idea, there are a few unanswered questions that need some explaining. One thing is for sure, I don't think the city should be mandating anything like this.

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.

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.

Cruise industry uses model procedures
In the interest of full disclosure, I have been involved in the visitor industry for 31 years. I am a former employee of a major cruise line and an airline operating in Alaska and am an unashamed enthusiastic supporter of travel to Alaska.

Conservation efforts stop at tap
During the recent energy crisis, Juneau turned off the lights but kept the water running.

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.

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.

Foes find common ground in stream restoration plan
The restoration of Hoonah's forests has environmentalists and timber groups working together despite their adversarial history.

Ferry union rejects tentative agreement
The largest union on the Alaska Marine Highway System has rejected the Palin administration's latest contract offer, with 92 percent of its members rejecting the contract.

Around Town
Today

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

State reduces charges against Falcone
A $100 discrepancy affected the outcome of John Falcone's trial Monday more than the strongly argued legal defense his attorney mustered against charges he was drunk and disorderly in February.

Photos: Preparing for a parade
Capital City Fire and Rescue firefighter Scott Reid makes sure the Juneau Fire Deptartment's historic engine No. 2 is running Monday in front of the Douglas station in preparation for the Fourth of July parades. The Seagrave fire engine entered service with the Juneau Fire Department in 1940. Though its fire-fighting days are over, it continues to make the rounds in ceremonies and parades.

Photos: Something new is in the air
First, a Qantas Airlines Boeing 737 jet takes off Monday as it performs touch-and-go exercises at Juneau International Airport. The new jet was in Juneau for testing.

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

Around Town
Today

Correction
A story in Thursday's Juneau Empire gave the wrong first name for John Falcone, who is on trial for "criminal mischief" charges.

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

Henry McCullough
Former Juneau resident Henry David "Hank" McCullough died on June 12, 2008, at the Alaska Native Medical Center in Anchorage. He was 77.

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

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

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

My turn: Turn city's landfill waste into energy
Every time we drive Egan expressway through the Lemon Creek valley, we have to endure the sight and smell of the landfill. It is bad enough to experience it twice a day on the way to and from town. I cannot imagine how it is to live with it like the residents of Lemon Creek have to. Juneau must be the only capital city in the United States with a landfill in the middle of town.

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: HIV-AIDS continues to ensnare young gays
A survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of HIV-AIDS data from 33 states between 2001 and 2006 revealed a distressing trend: HIV infection in young gay men rose 12 percent a year. For African Americans in that group of 13 to 24 year olds, the annual increase was 15 percent. The safe-sex lessons that took hold after the loss of a generation of gay men during this epidemic's two-decade advance appear to be lost on the young. The stunning success of retroviral drugs for those with AIDS and HIV, the virus that causes the disease, has diminished people's fear of the disease, though it still has no cure.

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.

Outside editorial: Guns: The next step
In appealing to the Supreme Court to save the D.C. handgun ban, local officials rightly thought of what was best for the people of Washington, D.C. A lower court had already invalidated the ban, and there was a chance - albeit limited - of prevailing. Instead, the high court agreed that the ban is unconstitutional. Officials again must think of those citizens in fashioning the strongest legal protections against gun violence.

Junk boat is floating on a sea of trash
On the first of June, two men and a rabbit set sail from the port of Long Beach, Calif., bound for Hawaii, on a raft made of junk. Their cabin is the cockpit of a Cessna 310, white with a blue racing stripe, salvaged from the desert. It floats on a system of handmade pontoons - 15,000 plastic bottles held together with recycled nets - propelled by currents and wind. If it sounds dangerous and makeshift, that's the point. The pilots of Junk, as the vessel is called, want to get your attention.

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.

Man charged in early morning burglary
JUNEAU - A 28-year-old Juneau man was arrested early Monday morning after police found him in a ditch near a convenience store in Auke Bay that had been burglarized.

Ketchikan prosecutor set to retire soon
KETCHIKAN - City of Ketchikan Attorney Steve Schweppe is retiring after 18 years as a prosecutor.

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.

Researchers attend permafrost meetings
FAIRBANKS - Hundreds of researchers are in Fairbanks this week to talk permafrost.

Sculpture honors civil rights activists
ANCHORAGE - A new sculpture in downtown Anchorage honors civil rights activists Elizabeth and Roy Peratrovich.

Libraries close book drops for weekend
JUNEAU - The downtown and Douglas libraries will close at 5 p.m. on Thursday. The Mendenhall Valley library will stay open until 9 p.m. as usual.

Youth scholarship applications accepted
JUNEAU - Juneau Parks and Recreation is accepting youth scholarship applications for children that may need assistance covering registration for summer programs. This includes registration fees for all community youth programs and city programs such as the Treadwell Summer Day Camp and Youth Outdoor Soccer program.

Man dies after wind blows plane into trees
PALMER - A Palmer man died Sunday after his plane was blown into some trees.

Adventure on the Yukon
SKAGWAY - Men in their 40s and 50s don't normally pull all-nighters - let alone three in a row. But racing 460 miles in a red Voyageur canoe doesn't leave much time for sleeping.

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.

Photo: Champions
Stefan Jones and Kaleb Tompkins take a victory lap after their team, the Cardinals, won the Gastineau Channel Little League Major Baseball tournament title on Saturday at Miller Field. Also on Saturday, the Diamondbacks won the Junior Baseballtitle while the Reds took the Minors AAA championship. TheDistrict tournaments will start on July 12 with the Minor Baseball division in Wrangell.

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.

Anchorage girl recovering from bear mauling
ANCHORAGE - A 14-year-old girl mauled by a bear as she rode in a 24-hour mountain bike race was on a city trail known to be regularly patrolled by grizzlies.

'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.

Fuel prices hurt Anchorage police and fire departments
ANCHORAGE - Anchorage police and firefighters have asked for hundreds of thousands of dollars more from the city this year because of high fuel costs.

Statewide dragnet nabs 69 fugitives
ANCHORAGE - Nearly 70 Alaskans have been arrested in a statewide effort to capture fugitives.

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.

Conservation groups sue to force decision on belugas
ANCHORAGE - Five conservation groups have sued the federal government for delaying a listing of Cook Inlet beluga whales under the federal Endangered Species Act.

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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