Tuesday, August 4, 2009

New EPA info doesn't amount to anything
We are appalled that the Environmental Protection Agency has chosen to make a back door attempt to overrule the US Supreme Court decision affirming Slate Lake for the Kensington mine's tailings disposal, thereby undermining the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as the proper permit-issuing authority.

Eating protein won't make you fat
While I agree that our health is in our hands first and that the diet is far more important than we are led to believe, I disagree with the vegan approach discussed by Susan Levin in the article, "Real health care reform starts in the lunchroom" (Empire, July 30). So would Dr. Robert Atkins and the multitude of other educated physicians and health professionals who take exception to the "one diet fits all" path Ms. Levin pushes our way.

Forgotten Fish
Ninety-two years ago, Juneau's first hatchery manager stuck a bunch of Colorado brook trout in the newly created Salmon Creek Reservoir to see what would happen. Their descendants are still living on bugs and swimming around in Juneau's drinking water up there - a gold-tinged, pink-spotted, tasty little history lesson.

Canada wildfires send thick haze to Juneau
Lifelong Juneau resident Dean Williams, 91, can't recall a hazier time in town than Monday.

Woman's body recovered on west side of Douglas Island
A 45-year-old passenger on Holland America's Zaandam went missing Monday morning, and authorities think they located her body on the shore of the west side of Douglas Island that afternoon.

Haines tribe looks to build sea port for Yukon ore
The Chilkoot Indian Association had to go to the Pentagon to pitch its case, but it may yet get its old village site back from the U.S. Army.

Swine flu circulating in Southeast Alaska
The swine flu scare has slowed, but the disease itself certainly hasn't.

Photos: Crab catch
Top: Juneau fisherman Dick Gregg watches as Alaska Glacier Seafoods' dock crew Leo Ortega, Geronimo Garcia and Ricardo gomez sort Dungeness crab Sunday at the Auke Bay facility. The summer commercial season ends Aug. 15. According to southeast fishermen, the catch has been slow this summer and prices lower than last year. "Crab are a discretionary commodity," Gregg, owner of the F/V Sunrise and a fisherman since 1964, said. "Just like everything else we can feel the economic crunch in fishing... Maybe just like the big auto companies we could use a clunker program."

Photo: Lift off
A bald eagle takes to flight Sunday from a beach at Auke Bay. More than 20,000 bald eagles make southeast Alaska part of their home nest.

Photo: Wilting in the sun
Juneau landscapper Carrie Cummings waters flowers Saturday on the median of Egan Drive near Glacier Avenue. "They are used to the whole rain forest thing," Cummings said. "This hot weather is hard on them, and all the traffic going by can create a drying wind as well."

Photo: Salesman spirit
Zachary Boone, 6, shows a little entrepreneural spirit as he tries to sell a rock on Monday outside his grandmother's shop, Nana's Attic run by Suzanne Hudson, on Seward Street.

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

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

Around Town
Today, Aug. 3

Around Town
Today, Aug. 4

E.O. "Brack" Bracken
Longtime Juneau resident E.O. "Brack" Bracken died July 31, 2009, at his daughter's home in Auke Bay.

Outside editorial: Don't write off network television
On the surface, it doesn't matter much to those of us in flyover country that Ben Silverman, the co-chairman of NBC Universal Entertainment, left the company this week after two years of abysmal last-place ratings.

Outside editorial: Warming relations between US, China
You wouldn't know it by the intense focus on health-care reform and on race over the past two weeks, but during about that same period Washington and Beijing made strides to bridge their divide over reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Just last week, China and the United States signed a memorandum of understanding that commits them "to respond vigorously to the challenges of energy security, climate change and environmental protection through ambitious domestic action and international cooperation." That might sound like feel-good diplo-speak, especially when there's a dearth of details in the rest of the memorandum. But when you consider where relations had been before, the events of the past two weeks have been promising.

Outside editorial: New appraisal rules hurt buyers and sellers
For homeowners already battered by the foreclosure crisis, recent changes in appraisal rules are just another slap in the face.

On the birth and death of conservative movement
My daughter was born in Los Angeles County on Sept. 4, 1990. I know this because I was there. Should that not be proof enough, I also have her birth certificate.

Rallying behind school reform
Many issues have created a "politics as usual" atmosphere on Capitol Hill recently, but when it comes to educating our children, it appears President Obama and the Republican Party share some views. This commonality of interest provides the president and the GOP a rare opportunity to cooperate on a major issue.

My Turn: DEC developments show Palin did not walk her talk
"I promised that we would protect this beautiful environment while safely and ethically developing resources, and we did. We built a petroleum oversight office and a subcabinet to study climate conditions," former Gov. Sarah Palin proclaimed at her farewell address in Fairbanks July 26.

My Turn: Juneau's tourist trap monoculture
Before decrying the poor state of development on South Franklin Street, let me first say that the area looks a heckuva lot better than it did in 1981 when I moved to Juneau (due entirely to tourism-related investment). Let me also say that I'm not against tourism in general, or against cruise ship tourism in particular. I like the fact that we get more than a million visitors each year. I think it's amazing, really, and there is no doubt that the visitor industry contributes substantially to our economy. However, left entirely to its own it has produced a very uninteresting retail strip that offers little of interest to visitors - and is of virtually no use to residents.

Soldiers overseas deserve a beer
Recent reports reveal that the Army is concerned about rising rates of alcohol abuse, said to have nearly doubled in the past few years. In a June story in USA Today, Gen. Peter Chiarelli, the Army's vice chief of staff, was quoted bluntly telling senior officers, "We're seeing a lot of alcohol consumption."

Palin speaks at gun collectors' function
ANCHORAGE - Sarah Palin made a weekend public appearance after keeping a low profile since she resigned as Alaska governor July 26.

Elementary school bathroom set on fire
JUNEAU - Vandals tried to set a concrete bathroom on fire early Saturday morning at Glacier Valley Elementary School.

Senate denies bid to ax rural energy grants
WASHINGTON - The Senate broke with Barack Obama on Monday as it voted to keep alive a grant program to help people in rural areas receive reasonably priced electricity despite the president's demand to kill it.

Coast Guard moves radio operations
JUNEAU - U.S. Coast Guard Sector Anchorage moved its radio monitoring operations from Kodiak to the Sector Command Center in Anchorage to better serve the boating community.

Railroad resumes Seward service
ANCHORAGE - The Alaska Railroad is resuming passenger rail service between Anchorage and Seward.

McCain: Palin to be 'force' in GOP
WASHINGTON - Sen. John McCain says he sees Sarah Palin continuing to play a major role in the future of the Republican Party.

Anchorage police chief to retire soon
ANCHORAGE - The police chief of Alaska's largest city is retiring.

Oregon man arrested in triple slaying
ELGIN, Ore. - An Oregon house painter wanted for the murders of three acquaintances, including a woman whose severed hand was found by a child catching goldfish, has been captured in Washington state.

Anchorage district slices stimulus plans
ANCHORAGE - The Anchorage School Board had to do some trimming after learning the school system will get $34 million in federal stimulus money - not the $52 million it initially thought.

150 Strykers return to Fort Wainwright
FAIRBANKS - The first group of Strykers have returned to Fort Wainwright.

Flood-damaged Eagle needs volunteers
EAGLE - Volunteers are sought to help residents of flood-damaged Eagle rebuild before winter.

High water drops in Seward; businesses remain open
SEWARD - Business owners in Seward say they're open for business despite reports of flooding in remote areas of the community.

Environmentalists try to enter lynx suit
CHEYENNE, Wyo. - Six environmental groups announced Monday they have filed a motion to intervene in a lawsuit filed by snowmobilers challenging the federal government's designation of land in six states as critical habitat for Canada lynx.

Begich introduces package of Arctic bills
ANCHORAGE - Alaska Sen. Mark Begich used his "maiden" speech Monday to call for addressing changes in the Arctic brought on by global warming.

King salmon vanishing in Alaska
ANCHORAGE - Yukon River smokehouses should be filled this summer with oil-rich strips of king salmon - long used by Alaska Natives as a high-energy food to get through the long Alaska winters. But they're mostly empty.

Alaska struggles to meet health care demands
While vulnerable Alaskans are waiting for home health services, a variety of state and federal elected officials are pledging to solve problems that have led to a federal moratorium on new clients.

Wal-Mart Alaska's second-largest private employer
ANCHORAGE - Wal-Mart moved up two spots and is now No. 2 on the list of the 100 largest private employers in Alaska, according to the state Labor Department.

Flags to be at half-staff today for Lu Young
JUNEAU - Gov. Sean Parnell has ordered flags to be lowered to half-staff today in memory of Lu Young, the wife of Rep. Don Young.

Wife of Rep. Don Young dies in Virginia
ANCHORAGE - Lu Young, the wife of U.S. Rep. Don Young, has died. She was 67.

How Alaskans fight the bite of summer
WASILLA - Nobody likes barbecue-crashers, especially those who make nuisances of themselves and don't know when to leave.

Farmers markets blossom in Alaska communities
ANCHORAGE - Martha Stramp can't remember exactly when she began visiting Anchorage farmers markets but she remembers why.

Anchorage center to commit alcoholics for detox
ANCHORAGE - A new specialized treatment unit will open later this month in Anchorage to accept alcoholics involuntarily committed to a detoxification program.

Herring value could rise in world food aid programs
A pilot project to introduce canned herring into international food aid programs could provide critical protein to hungry people, as well as open markets to generate a much-needed boost to coastal Alaska communities, according to fisherman who developed the program.

Wildfire threatens village
ANCHORAGE - Cooler temperatures and higher humidity are helping crews fight a wildfire moving toward a small village in eastern Alaska, but the weather is expected to warm again.

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