Monday, July 21, 2008

State, timber industry need Sealaska Corp.
Southeast Alaska's timber industry is struggling to survive.

Begich a good choice for veterans
I am writing my fellow Empire readers to encourage them to vote for Mark Begich for Senate. We need a senator who will work to end the occupation of Iraq while supporting service members and their families. Mark Begich will do both.

Trust in Redcorp tilts after tug accident
Redcorp Ventures' attempts to downplay an accident during conventional barging operations on the Taku River in early July demonstrates that this company cannot be trusted to operate safely on Southeast Alaska's most important salmon river.

Ballot initiative needed for Juneau power purchase
"Shall the City and Borough of Juneau investigate the feasibility and desirability of transferring control (over) all or part of Juneau's infrastructure to a public utility and include financial impacts, electrical reliability, and report the findings to the people of Juneau?" Yes or no?

Foreclosure counselors dig for hope
The nonprofit Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Alaska closed its Juneau office because its clients kept missing their appointments. Counselors assumed people were embarrassed to be seen walking in, and now they stick to phone appointments with the Anchorage office.

Despite tax increase, oil profits rise
Alaska oil companies have seen their profits rise since Alaska imposed a big, and controversial, tax increase last year.

City seeks input on energy crisis
A city commission formed to analyze local government response to the energy crisis caused by avalanches in April at the Snettisham project seeks public input.

Photo: Wet 'n' wild
Rocky Holmes, left, grimaces as he pulls closer to Ron Flint on Sunday during the 1,300-meter Gastineau Challenge, sponsored by the Juneau Rowing Club. Holmes won the event in a time of 14:09:11. Flint took second, and Wayne Carnes was third.

Photo: Caught in the storm
Isabel Matte hangs on to her umbrella to keep her daughter, Colomba, 3, from sailing away Friday along Seward Street. They were visiting from Santiago, Chile. According to the National Weather Service, 2.12 inches of rain fell on Juneau between Friday and Saturday morning. Today's forecast is calling for more showers and highs around 56.

Photo: Buffet line
Two immature bald eagles watch the approach of an adult eagle Saturday on a tree along Channel Drive. Many bald eagles are feeding in the area as chum salmon return to the Douglas Island Pink and Chum hatchery.

Photo: Walking to fight cancer
Zack, left, and Mary Ziegenfuss, right, walk with their children, Ezra, 11, second from right, and Ezekiel, 4, and their puppy, Gunner, during the final laps of the American Cancer Society's Relay For Life fundraiser Sunday at Dimond Park. Organizers said 225 people competing on 22 teams brought in $40,395 during the event.

Around Town
Today

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

Around Town
Today

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

Marjorie J. Todd
Former Juneau resident Marjorie J. Todd (nee Snell) died on June 28, 2008, at the home of her daughter, Sandra L. Menzies, in Elyria, Ohio. She was 85.

Gerald Shelley
Juneau resident Gerald Shelley died July 12, 2008, in his home. He was 68.

Alaska editorial: No sense in cutting fed weatherization program right now
How silly is this? Fuel prices are rising stratospherically and have been doing so for a long time now. Yet Congress is considering an Energy Department spending bill that would cut back - that's right, reduce - a federal program that helps low-income families make their homes energy efficient.

Alaska editorial: Alaska shouldn't be bullied into opening ANWR
A recent report issued by the Alaska Oil and Gas Industry indicates that the state of Alaska likely earned more than $10 billion this fiscal year from oil and gas operations. The state made $5.1 billion from oil revenue in FY 2007.

Cracking wise about Obama
I believe comedic change is possible. Since The New Yorker dropped a bum joke on its most recent cover, comedians have appeared on every news outlet to whine about how hard it is to make fun of Barack Obama. Really? They have an arsenal of jokes to use against a 71-year-old ex-POW cancer survivor and Obama is too touchy a subject?

Alaska editorial: Exxon should pay now what it owes
"Unfortunate" is the kindest description we can muster for the U.S. Supreme Court's June ruling slashing the damages Exxon must pay for the nation's largest oil spill. A $5 billion punitive-damages judgment to plaintiffs - a number arrived at nearly 20 years ago - was worth a lot more money when it was first calculated than it would be now.

Uphill battle on offshore drilling
With only six months left in office, President Bush has finally repealed presidential restrictions on oil drilling in American waters.

We know what works, so let's do it
This will be the last What Works column. I reserve the right to report occasionally on any program I run across that shows results in saving the lives and futures of African-American kids. But this is the last in the series I started 19 months ago to spotlight such programs.

Toe Toon
Cartoon by local artist Toe.

Trail Trash
A lone Dr Pepper can in a patch of colorful forget-me-nots and buttercups at the start of Blueberry Trail, off Engineers Cutoff Road, cannot begin to prepare one for what lies ahead.

Alaskan's new book touts bear safety, awareness
KENAI - Hiking one of the numerous trails in the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, fishing the Russian River, or even walking out back to feed livestock - any and all of these activities could bring a person nose to nose with a Kenai Peninsula brown or black bear. It's part and parcel with life in Alaska.

Winter wrens sing by Windfall Lake
Windfall Lake was a popular destination on the Fourth of July weekend.

Biologists set bear-hair snares in Berner Bay
Visitors to Berners Bay this summer may encounter bear hair snares, and possibly bears as well, at some popular camping and picnicking spots.

Chillin' on the Chulitna
FAIRBANKS - We - me, my wife, Kristan, and our 9-year-old son, Logan - just returned from a three-day, two-night raft trip down the Chulitna River in the Alaska Range and I've got to tell you, I'm not thrilled about writing a story about it.

Juneau Fire Station to begin repair project
JUNEAU - The Juneau Fire Station's front apron concrete repair project will begin at 8 a.m. Monday.

Alaska continues to add new jobs
JUNEAU - Alaska's unemployment rate experienced a slight drop in June, down a tenth of a percent from the previous month.

Program gives blind people access to Web
SEATTLE - The computer technology gap between those who see and those who can't just got a little smaller.

South Franklin Street to undergo repairs
JUNEAU - The Parking Garage stairway facing South Franklin Street downtown will be closed beginning Wednesday for essential repairs and painting work. It will remain closed until completion of work in September.

Nikiski toddler drowns in lake
NIKISKI - Alaska State Troopers say a 1-year-old girl was found drowned in a Kenai Peninsula Lake.

Cannon pulled from Cook Inlet shipwreck
ANCHORAGE - Alaska's State Historic Preservation Office reported that divers recovered a bronze cannon from a ship that sank in Cook Inlet 140 years ago.

Perseverance Trail work party postponed
JUNEAU - Trail Mix Inc. announced Friday that the volunteer work party on the Perseverance Trail scheduled for this weekend has been postponed until Aug. 2.

NTSB considers grounding report
JUNEAU - The National Transportation Safety Board says it will meet next week to consider a report on the grounding last year of a cruise ship near Juneau.

Two charged with thefts from vehicles
FAIRBANKS - A Fairbanks grand jury has indicted a man and woman suspected of breaking into dozens of parked vehicles.

Okmok Volcano gets grumpy again
ANCHORAGE - The Okmok Volcano in the Aleutian Islands quieted some on Sunday, one day after a red-alert was issued and the volcano spit water, debris and gas 25,000 feet into the air.

Editor of Fairbanks newspaper resigns
FAIRBANKS - The managing editor of the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner is leaving Alaska for Oklahoma.

Red salmon number surge on Kenai River
ANCHORAGE - The reds are in.

Southeast towns given help with planning
JUNEAU - The Central Council Tlingit & Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska's Business and Economic Development Department has been awarded a $50,000 grant to continue its Strategic Planning for Communities workshops for 2008-09.

Anchorage beats Juneau 8-3
The Gastineau Channel Little League All-Stars lost 8-3 to Anchorage in game one of the Girls Little League State Softball Championship (for girls ages 11-12). The winner of this week's best-of-three series in Juneau will travel to Vancouver, Wash., on July 25 to represent Alaska in the western regional championships. The Juneau girls face a huge challenge from a powerful Anchorage all-star squad that went undefeated in the District 1 championship tournament in Anchorage.

Juneau East triumphs in comeback
For the first six innings, it looked like Petersburg would cruise to a dominating win over Juneau East in Little League action on Saturday at Miller Field. But in an exiting turnaround, Juneau prevailed to win 9-8.

Prince of Wales prevails 8-7 over Petersburg
Prince of Wales' Lincoln Isaacs went 3-for-3 and Paul Fredrickson went 4-for-5 in their 8-7 victory over Petersburg on Sunday in the Major Baseball tournament in Juneau.

Mini basketball camp to take place Wednesday, Thursday
JUNEAU - There will be a mini basketball camp from 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Wednesday and from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Thursday at Juneau-Douglas High School.

Petrie near perfect in 8-0 win over Sitka
As the flag in centerfield blew taut in the driving wind and rain, Juneau West pitcher Tanner Petrie struck out 15 Sitka batters and took a no-hitter into the fifth inning.

Jambaars seated first for Nike Crossfire Challenge tournament
The Juneau Jambaars Soccer Club U-16 boys team recently finished a round-robin tournament at the Nike Crossfire Challenge in Redmond, Wash., and are seated first place for today finals.

McDowell Group Governor's Cup
5K, July 19

Photos: Governor's Cup
Runners start off in the McDowell Group Governor's Cup Fun Run/Walk on Saturday morning along Calhoun Avenue.

SPORTS IN JUNEAU
UPCOMING EVENTS

Monegan says he felt pressure to fire cop
ANCHORAGE - Former Department of Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan acknowledged that he felt pressure from administration officials and family members of Gov. Sarah Palin to fire a Palmer Alaska State Trooper involved in a bitter child custody battle with Palin's sister.

Officials in Ketchikan want longer cruise visits
KETCHIKAN - City officials are hoping to convince the various cruise lines to stay a bit longer in their Southeast Alaska community.

Native villagers can't kick soda habit
ANCHORAGE - Years ago Alaska Native health officials declared war on sugary soda pop in rural towns and villages.

Rescued FROM Time
KETCHIKAN - The lofty poles at Totem Bight State Park retain an aura of grandeur, although rain, insects and time have taken a toll.

Wildlife expert criticizes location of proposed trail
ANCHORAGE - A proposed trail linking Eagle River High School with Chugach State Park would run through a corridor used by grizzly bears and a state game biologist fears a repeat of last month's mauling if it's built.

Palin unveils new public safety plan
ANCHORAGE - Gov. Sarah Palin on Saturday identified her "new direction" for the Department of Public Safety.

Despite costly gas, ANWR remains politically off-limits
WASHINGTON - For weeks, nearly every time President Bush has spoken about energy he has re-emphasized his support for drilling in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Getting a lease for oil drilling just the start
HOUSTON - The national debate over opening more offshore areas to oil and gas exploration has begged the question: Just what are the companies doing with the tens of millions of acres they're already leasing from the federal government?

Guide has court date over monster king
KENAI - A fishing guide has admitted he lied about where his client caught a monster king.

Risks grow with ship traffic in Aleutians
ANCHORAGE - Ship traffic through the Aleutian Islands is growing, along with the risk of accidents, according to a scientific report published Thursday.

This Day in History
In Alaska, in the Nation and the World

Biologists kill wolf pups to boost caribou herd
FAIRBANKS - State wildlife biologists killed 14 wolf pups on the Alaska Peninsula as part of a predator control program to help a struggling caribou herd.

Denali bus drivers take strike vote
ANCHORAGE - Bus drivers who take thousands of tourists over the road threading Denali National Park are voting on a possible strike, according to officials from the Teamsters Union.

Photo: Showing future fightfighters the ropes
Capital City Fire and Rescue firefighter Shawna Libby, right, shows Logan Ginter, 7, the controls and radios in a fire truck Saturday during the Douglas Volunteer Fire Department's Community Fire Safety Day. Along with activities and safety lessons for children, the station is actively recruiting volunteer firefighters.

This Day in History
In Alaska, in the Nation and the World

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