Thursday, August 2, 2007

Clean Elections Act is critical for saving our democracy
The "Clean Elections Act" is the movement - the only movement - that may save our faltering democracy from dissolution. All the political haggling that went into recent ethics reform amounts to nothing but a Band-Aid on our splintering body politic.

Fluoridating water is well-intentioned, but there's a better way
Fluoridation of public water supply is as "scientific" as chemotherapy, radiation, surgery and pharmaceutical prescriptions. It is another attempt to chemically fix unhealthy eating habits.

Fluoride is aluminum industry's poisonous by-product
Fluoride in our water supply is pure and simply poison. Why? Fluoride is the by-product of Alcoa's process of manufacturing aluminum.

For the public good, please don't let ATVs have North Douglas
Does anyone believe that an ATV park located within 300 feet of the homes located in one the most remote forest areas of North Douglas will not make that area drastically worse?

State workers being offered a 'negative pay raise'
State negotiators who offered employees in contract negotiations a 4-3-3 pay increase (4 percent the first year, 3 percent the second and third years) is a negative pay raise after projected rates of inflation are factored in.

Current corruption linked to Alaska's current election laws
I guess someone has to fight for the right of big money donors to buy influence.

Medicating water is unnatural and impacts weak immune systems
We must ask questions and seek the facts to make an informed decision to fluoridate water or not.

Around Town

Photo: Perfecting petunias
Betty Marriott tends to her hanging basket of petunias Tuesday in front of her Douglas home. Despite the rainy summer, Marriott, a retired teacher and avid gardener, has succeed in raising her usual colorful garden.

Sharing a taste of Alaska
Retirement has given Laraine Derr the chance to work at what she really loves - combining teaching with the culinary splendors of Southeast Alaska.

Capital advocates target new voters
Hoping to solidify Juneau's hold on the capital, the Alaska Committee is sending mailings to new voters throughout the state.

Around Town
Today

Police & Fire
Reports from police, fire officials and state troopers

Walker takes wearable art to world stage
Douglas craftsman David Walker has proven his crowd-pleasing mastery of wood design with six consecutive top-three finishes in the annual Wearable Arts Extravaganzas.

Former Juneau cop trains Iraqi police in Red Zone
While former Juneau cop John Lichtenberger spent 14 months in Baghdad's deadly Red Zone, two of his colleagues were blown up and his 35-year-old interpreter was executed by insurgents.

Photo: Narrow escape
A seal climbs out of a fisherman's net Tuesday in Gastineau Channel.

Photo: Sibling rivalry
Sage Thibodeau dives to block a shot made by his sister, Elisha Thibodeau, on Wednesday at the Juneau-Douglas High School practice field.

Corrections
A My Turn entitled "How safe is the Twin Lakes playground?" published in Tuesday's Juneau Empire, misidentified someone mentioned in the piece. The sentence should have read "My husband was busy being tackled by our oldest and by our daughter."

Business Digest
New manager named for food program, meeting focuses on drug abuse training, KeyBank raises funds to give iPods to troops

Salmon derby follows record year
A record number of fish caught in the 2006 Golden North Salmon Derby spawned a record number of scholarships awarded this spring by the Territorial Sportsmen, derby Co-chairwoman Heather Marlow said.

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

Photo: The official opening ceremony
Deputy Mayor Merrill Sanford raises up the ceremonious pruning shears after snipping the proverbial ribbon at the Jensen-Olson Arboretum dedication on Saturday.

Neighbors helping neighbors
Neighbors Helping Neighbors is a weekly feature on the Neighbors page and is in collaboration with the United Way of Southeast Alaska.

Neighbors Digest
Juneau Dance Unlimited seeking happy feet for fall classes, SEARHC offers Lifestyle Balance classes in Sitka, Juneau,

Rare books can transport readers
Collecting rare books allows a person to walk back through history. A few years ago I bought the first Alaska Coast Pilot printed by the US Government Printing Office in 1869.

Neighbors mailbox

Errante, Douthett to marry
Lynda V. Douthett and Jack Errante, of Salisbury, N.C., will marry at 3:30 p.m. on Aug. 16, 2007, at the Mendenhall Glacier. They will give Buddhist vows.

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Douglas Jay Hart
Former Juneau resident Douglas Jay Hart was killed in a one-vehicle collision on Sunday, July 29, in Port Angeles, Wash. He was 44.

Marilyn Sue Davis
Former Sitka resident Marilyn Sue Hathaway Davis died July 29, 2007, at Hospice House. She was 73.

William Bright
William Earl Bright died July 30, 2007, at home. He was 72.

My turn: Raising tomorrow's leaders
There is a real connection between the "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" case and the world view that led us into the Iraq war. They both spring from the mindset that says that authority must never admit error.

Alaska editorial: Cloud over delegates a 'sad day' for Alaskans
It's a sad day for Alaska when a leader as influential and respected as Ted Stevens, 30-year veteran of the U.S. Senate, has his house searched by FBI and IRS agents.

Outside editorial: New VA secretary will need to be 'hands-on'
Veterans Affairs Secretary James Nicholson is leaving his job, and his successor will face a breathtaking array of problems. The department has a backlog of 400,000 pending disability claims.

See the mine for yourself
Two weeks ago I had the opportunity to visit the Kensington Mine just north of Juneau as a guest of Coeur Alaska. I wish more Juneau residents could see this operation firsthand, because I think it would encourage those with undecided minds to support the mine.

My Turn: Enforcing laws 'out the road' is hard
"Out the road" law enforcement has always been a problem for the limited number and distance of state troopers and city police officers. The problems with all-terrain vehicle users reported at Echo Cove highlight this issue.

My turn: A Juneau road will close often
Incoming Gov. Sarah Palin's Dec. 19, 2006, transition team report stated that both Department of Transportation employees and the public "expressed grave concern" that DOT priorities - particularly the Juneau/Katzehin road and the Gravina Bridge - had been influenced more by politics than data and need.

Outside editorial: Balancing privacy with security
Millions of Americans are caught on cameras every day, mostly in retail stores and government buildings. Still, we are not photographed nearly as much as the residents of London.

Outside editorial: Airport screening is about to get tougher
Think this summer's endless lines at domestic airports are spirit-sapping? Just wait: It's bound to get a good deal worse.

Runners ready for annual marathon
For the 16th year, local athletes will join runners from across the United States in Douglas for Juneau's most anticipated running event.

SPORTS IN JUNEAU
Sports in Juneau is a service provided by the Juneau Empire to provide information on upcoming sports and outdoors events in Juneau. I

Man guilty of killing Fairbanks store clerk
A man was found guilty on Monday in the killing of a young convenience store clerk 12 years ago.

Alaska Digest
Mystery fumes force Nikiski evacuation, Man survives frigid waters for three days,

Man stopped with body in vehicle has a murderous past
A man who was stopped by police after a car chase and had the body of a woman in his back seat has a murderous past, according to The Anchorage Daily News.

Corruption allegations casting pall over state
One former state representative is guilty of bribery. Three more await trial on similar charges. The state's lone congressman is under federal investigation for corruption. A U.S. senator just had his home searched by the FBI.

This Day in History
In Alaska and in the Nation

This Day in History
In Alaska and in the Nation

Northwest Digest
Clogged pump leads to radioactive leak, oil spill fund used for timberland purchase, U.S. briefs Russiaon missile defense

Two Outside mining companies partner on Pebble project
The Canadian company that owns the Pebble Mine prospect has partnered with a London-based company to develop the mine in Southwest Alaska.

Regulators seek documents from BP related to oil spills
Alaska regulators have asked BP PLC to turn over a broad range of documents related to oil spills at the company's pipelines and processing facilities in 2006 that forced the London-based oil company to shut part of Prudhoe Bay, the most productive U.S. oil field.

Ancient Unangam mask found on Amaknak Island
Archaeologists excavating on Amaknak Island have discovered what may be the oldest Unangam whalebone mask.

FBI widens investigation into Stevens
The Justice Department is looking closely in two places as it investigates U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens: the Senate and his house.

Dates raise questions about former legislator
While descriptions in indictments in the VECO Corp. corruption case point to former Senate President Ben Stevens as the unidentified "Senator B" discussed in federal allegations, a little-noticed part of one indictment raises questions about why Stevens would be offered bribes when he wasn't even in office yet.

Feds look at funds Stevens steered to wildlife center
ustice Department officials investigating Sen. Ted Stevens are examining whether federal funds he steered to an Alaska wildlife research center may have enriched a former aide, say officials familiar with the probe.

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