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Monday, July 7, 2008

Change Sealaska business practices
One of Alaska Native Brotherhood's original founders, Frank Price, is remembered for his charge to delegates: "When you are going to hold up the strongest weapon in your hand, it is a ballot. Cast it!"

Healthy diet helps fight rise in diabetes
The alarming news that nearly 24 million people in the U.S., particularly Native Americans and Alaska Natives, now have diabetes - an increase of more than 3 million people in two years - and that 57 million others have pre-diabetes, should prompt everyone to eat a healthy vegetarian diet.

Photos: Juneau celebrates Independence Day with fun festivities
Holiday best: Jayden Strigken, 6, and his sister, Kyliana, 5, ride the Alaska Native Veterans float during the Juneau Fourth of July parade.

Construction jobs are still in demand in city
While construction jobs have hit the skids nationwide, Juneau may be bucking the trend.

Photos: Celebrating Independence
Show of patriotism: Members of People for Peace and Justice pass a large American flag on the side of the Senate Building on Franklin Street during the Juneau Fourth of July Parade. Young girls start off in the potato sack race at Savikko Park; The Juneau Pugs Club earn first place in the animal division in the Juneau Fourth of July parade; Allyssa Kaufmann practices for the Echo Ranch entry in the Juneau parade; Jamie Johns, center, of the Glacier Fire Station gets the best of Greg Cazemier, left, of the Juneau Downtown Fire Station during the Make and Break contest in Douglas.

City delays decision on towers
The city on Thursday announced it would delay a Juneau Planning Commission action to issue permits for two 180-foot AT&T communications towers proposed for the Mendenhall Valley.

Photo: A hint of Great Britain in North Douglas
Simon Ridgeway poses Saturday with his customized mailbox and British-style phonebooth. Ridgeway, a British citizen and mechanic for ERA Helicopters, wanted something eye-catching to keep him from driving by his property on North Douglas Highway. He built the telephone booth from pictures. He keeps a chair inside the booth to use his cell phone, where he says he gets better reception than in his home. Ridgeway says his friends are expecting him to build a pint-sized Big Ben to add to his collection.

Photo: Images from another time 50 years ago on the Fourth of July
Beverly Brisco, left, and and an unidentified woman ride the Juneau Lions Club float in the Juneau Fourth of July Parade in 1958.

Photo: Valley home burns to the ground
Firefighters arrive at the scene of a house fire early Friday morning in the 2300 block of Meadow Lane in the Mendenhall Valley. They home was completely destroyed by the fire, according to Capital City Fire and Rescue. "It was a total loss," Capt. Chad Cameron said. Everyone inside escaped quickly without injury, but one dog required rescue, authorities said. Cameron estimated the loss to be about $255,000. The cause of the fire is under investigation, he said.

Photo: Late bloomer
Lee Walling prepares his and his wife's garden plot Sunday at the Juneau Community Gardens. The Wallings acknowledged they were getting a bit of a late start in the growing season, but Lee Walling said he was looking forward to learning from the area's gardeners.

Around Town
Today

Around Town
Today

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

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

Clarification
Alaska Permanent Fund Corp. officials in the process of hiring a new chief investment officer say they expect to pay between $200,000 and $300,000, not more than that, as was reported in Friday's Empire.

Alaska editorial: Support Palin's energy relief plan
The following editorial first appeared in the Peninsula Clarion:

Alaska editorial: Full methadone program should be reinstated
Heroin use is on the rise in Alaska. But the state this past year cut back the most successful treatment program for most addicts - use of methadone. The state reduced grants for the sole methadone treatment program in Anchorage by $20,000.

Separation can be a positive thing
Success breeds separation. That's the thing no one tells you, the thing sometimes you don't realize, the thing that might make a child turn from his own potential. Success is like a pyramid, broad at the bottom, but narrow at the summit; the higher you go, the fewer people go with you.

Outside editorial: Justice for homosexuals
This editorial appeared in the Washington Post:

Obama's trade pledge may hurt the U.S.
When I asked Mexican President Felipe Calderon about Democratic presumptive presidential candidate Barack Obama's pledge to renegotiate the U.S. free trade agreement with Mexico, I expected him to say that such a move would be catastrophic for Mexico.

My turn: Big ideas for Alaska's future
Paul Jenkins, editor of The Anchorage Times, recently wrote about the need for Alaska to find new vision and direction. He discussed the necessity for good, big ideas that would set goals for our state during the next 50 years.

Vindication for Uribe in Columbia
CARTAGENA, Colombia - More politically breathtaking than the dramatic rescue of Ingrid Betancourt last week is the unexpected message that the former presidential candidate delivered after six years of captivity in Colombian jungles.

Toe Toon
Cartoon by local artist Toe.

Low king salmon runs puzzle biologists
ANCHORAGE - Even before this fishing season began, Alaska fishery biologists expected they could be in for a funky year.

Flowers, wildlife abound at Point Bridget meadows
When I woke up that morning, it was pouring: raindrops in such a hurry to reach the ground, they ran into each other. The wind lashed the tree branches in a way that seldom happens at my house. What a day for a hike!

British 'twitchers' pay big bucks to view Alaska birds
ST. PAUL ISLAND - British birder Annie Andreae bristles at being called a "twitcher" - friendly slang in England for someone who will drop everything at the drop of a hat to go great distances to get a glimpse at a must-see bird.

Out & About
Today: Public trap shoot, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Juneau Gun Club.

Pellet fuel could become reality
FAIRBANKS - A state forestry official said he's fielded several inquiries from companies interested in producing wood pellets to be used for heat.

Investigation of false flares costs $50,000
ANCHORAGE - The Coast Guard wants to know if you decide to teach your children how to set off emergency flares.

Income not factor in hunt permits this year
ANCHORAGE - The Alaska Board of Game has decided incomes won't be considered in determining who gets a subsistence permit for hunting Nelchina moose and caribou - this year anyway.

Judge says church homes tax exempt
ANCHORAGE - Homes owned by a prominent Anchorage church for teachers at its private school will remain exempt from local taxes under a decision by a Superior Court judge.

Holiday barbecue ends with riot charges
ANCHORAGE - Anchorage police said six people are facing rioting charges after a Fourth of July family barbecue turned into a brawl.

Watchers look for entangled humpback
SEKIU, Wash. - Whale-watchers are keeping a vigil over the Strait of Juan de Fuca in northwest Washington state for a young humpback whale entangled in crab lines.

Hometowns of crash victims released
ANCHORAGE - Authorities have identified the hometowns of three California men who died and two Michigan men who were critically hurt after a vehicle rollover on Alaska's Parks Highway.

Salmon ban hurts Kodiak retailers
KODIAK - Kodiak retailers are feeling the financial fallout from a recent ban on some recreational salmon fishing in the Karluk, Ayakulik and Buskin rivers.

Man dives into water, drowns in Selawik
ANCHORAGE - Authorities are investigating a drowning in Selawik.

Downtown Anchorage splits into districts
ANCHORAGE - The city of Anchorage has split its downtown area into four distinct districts.

Body found in Fort Yukon house fire
FAIRBANKS - A man's body was found in a house that burned in Fort Yukon.

Gas pipeline debate goes on to Ketchikan
KETCHIKAN - Alaska lawmakers are gearing up to head to Ketchikan for the final leg of their monthlong trek around the state for hearings on Gov. Sarah Palin's gas pipeline proposal.

Eagle River man dies in highway crash
ANCHORAGE - A 61-year-old Eagle River man died in a three-vehicle crash on the Seward Highway near Cooper Landing.

Jumpers star at nationals
The Juneau Jumpers' 2008 season climaxed on June 27-29 with the USA National Jump Rope Championships in Orlando, Fla.

Empire's sports section set to change
I've decide to hang up my pen and paper after about three and a half years here at the Juneau Empire.

Photo: Down the stretch
Kevin Maier, center, out sprints Casey Colton, right, to the finish of the Nick Frangos Memorial Bicycle Race on Saturday on North Douglas Highway. John Bilderbeck, third from left, Jim Calvin and Robert Sowers, left, follow. For results, turn to Page B2.

Nick Frangos Memorial Race
Nick Frangos Memorial Race

Sports in Juneau
UPCOMING EVENTS

Report explores oil's role in Alaska
ANCHORAGE - The state of Alaska most likely earned more than $10 billion this fiscal year from oil and gas operations, according to a new look at the role of the industry in the state economy.

Palin seeks electric rate help for state
Gov. Sarah Palin has backed away from a plan she proposed last month to subsidize Alaska electric rates, but the concept is still alive.

Habitat division back with Fish and Game
After a five-year, Frank Murkowski-sponsored stretch in the Department of Natural Resources, the Division of Habitat officially moved back to the Department of Fish and Game last week.

Rural villages chase cheaper sources of fuel
A group of Dillingham fishermen hoping to reduce gas costs for the Bristol Bay fleet are sketching plans to turn salmon waste into fuel.

Fairbanks thrift stores see increase in business
FAIRBANKS - Joelle DeMunno has a new way of predicting customer spending at Value Village.

Sealaska seeks resolution of land claims
An Alaska Native corporation will receive tens of thousands of acres of federally owned land - including prime timberlands and sacred tribal sites - under legislation being advanced by U.S. Rep. Don Young.

Research calculates survival rates of sea lions
Researchers aboard the Norseman departed Dutch Harbor on June 24 on a voyage to monitor Steller's sea lion populations.

Long-horn beetles swarm Fairbanks
FAIRBANKS - With their long antennae, stout mandibles and dark, black bodies, they resemble Darth Vader, and this summer they seem to be invading Alaska's second-largest city.

Fairbanks accuses state of favoring Anchorage in sale
FAIRBANKS - The Fairbanks North Star Borough could pursue legal action against the state for failing to solicit the best possible price for Cook Inlet royalty gas - a situation that borough Mayor Jim Whitaker claims favors Anchorage-area residents and could even be unconstitutional.

Alaska salmon processors overwhelmed by bounty
ANCHORAGE - There's such a huge run of sockeye salmon in Bristol Bay that processing companies can't keep up with the bounty.

Cruise line says it broke state law
ANCHORAGE - Royal Caribbean Cruises said it mistakenly broke state law in discharging about 20,000 gallons of wastewater into Chatham Strait in Southeast Alaska.

Researchers shoot aggressive bear
ANCHORAGE - A remote section of Denali National Park was closed to the public after researchers shot an aggressive bear that then disappeared in dense brush.

Three men dead, two hurt in Parks Highway crash
ANCHORAGE - Three California men died and two Michigan men were critically hurt in a vehicle rollover on Alaska's Parks Highway, state troopers said Saturday.

Alaska-based airlines face a pilot shortage
ANCHORAGE - Alaska-based airlines say they are facing a pilot shortage, with high turnover and open positions. But some in the industry think the nation's airline struggles may steer job-seeking flyers to the northern-most state.

Photo: Signs of a healthy crab season
Ladd Norheim, right, captain of the crab tender Frigidland, and his son, Taylor, sort dungeness crab on June 29 over fishing grounds in Southeast Alaska. The Alaska Department of Fish & Game's projection from landings and efforts during the first weeks of the dungeness fishery indicate the harvest will exceed the required 2.25 million pounds for a normal season length. For the 2007-08 season, the initial prediction was 3.5 million pounds and the eventual total season harvest was 5.4 million pounds.

This Day in History
In Alaska

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