Five local schools meet testing benchmarks
Of Juneau's 12 public schools, five met all the requirements for student achievement under the federal No Child Left Behind Act last school year, according to state data released Friday.

Native student achievement gap closing
The latest educational numbers may indicate progress among Alaska Native students in Juneau. Ten of the 12 schools in the Juneau School District met academic benchmarking requirements among the Alaska Native population in the 2008-2009 school year.

Former House candidate vies for Assembly spot
Local election officials certified two candidates for Juneau Assembly races on the first day of the election filing period Friday.

Photo: Mansion meetings
Gov. Sean Parnell meets with Mayor Bruce Botelho and other assembly members at the Governor's Mansion on Friday. Parnell met with Juneau's business community earlier in the day.

Vehicle crashes into Valley gas station
JUNEAU - A vehicle crashed into the side of a gas station in Juneau's Mendenhall Valley Saturday evening, going through a wall with the car eventually catching fire.

Vessel grounds near Juneau
JUNEAU - The U.S. Coast Guard reported that five crew members were rescued after their fishing vessel took on water near Juneau. The Coast Guard says it got a mayday call from a crew member aboard the 59-foot fishing vessel Patty J early Saturday about 26 miles southwest of Juneau in Square Cove. A Good Samaritan on a nearby fishing vessel responded to the call and rescued the crew members. No injuries were reported. The vessel was carrying 400 to 500 gallons of diesel fuel, and a helicopter crew reported a sheen in the waters. Oil spill response workers were heading to the area. The Coast Guard is investigating the cause of the grounding. The fishing vessel is homeported in Anacortes, Wash. and was traveling from Auke Bay to Excursion Inlet.

Around Town
Today, Aug. 9

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

Growing good Neighbors
From cabbages and chard to strawberries and squash, crops at the at the Juneau Community Garden are in bounty after recovering from last year's heavy rain.

Senior menu for the week of Aug. 10-14
Monday, Aug. 10

Thanks for rescuing my great dane off Thunder Mountain
I would like to thank the good Samaritans of this city who rescued my great dane off of Thunder Mountain last Sunday. I would like to thank them and let our fine community know of the fine people we have here. It was quite an ordeal down Heintzlman Trail with a 165-pound dog in a handmade litter. It took four men and a female helper six hours to reach the bottom. Two were hikers on the trail who volunteered their help, and the danger of personal injury from such a precarious trail was great.

Thanks, Juneau, for supporting the fight against breast cancer
Genevieve McLaughlin and Lisa Davis, of the Alaska Betty's, and Brenda Bartlett and Shawna Patten, of the Alaska Halibut Bellies, would like to thank the following Juneau Community members for their amazing and continuous support in the fight against breast cancer. Together we will make a difference in aiding men and women in getting access to care as well as finding a cure.

Thank you for helping with JDHS class of 1979 30-year reunion
The Juneau-Douglas High School Class of 1979 would like to express, with heartfelt thanks, its sincere appreciation for all of the help that the associated classmates, people, and businesses put forth to make our 30 year reunion such a truly memorable occasion.

Harborview student artwork to be displayed at The Canvas
After months of waiting, Harborview Elementary School students will finally have a chance to view their completed artwork. It will hang at The Canvas community art studio and gallery this week as the final piece in a collaborative arts and education project through Whale Trust.

Growing up without the tube
"You got chocolate in my peanut butter." "Well you got peanut butter on my chocolate." Recognize those lines? How about this one: "Sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don't." I don't know if those commercials are still running these days, but I'm guessing that anyone of a certain age would immediately think of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, Almond Joy and Mounds candy bars - not my kids though.

Photo: Sunny side up
An humpback whale breaches off South Shelter Island on July 30.

Photo: Sitka Farmers Market
Pete Karras, of Pete's Sourdough Bread, left, and Mimi Goodwin, of Just Arts, right, receive the "Table of the Day Award" from Sitka Farmers Market volunteer Maybelle Filler after the season's second market on Aug. 1. The Sitka Local Foods Network selected the shared table - which featured Pete's freshly baked sourdough bread and Mimi's beaded artwork - to receive the $25 cash prize, an Alaska Farmers Market Association tote bag, a bouquet of flowers and a certificate of appreciation. An identical prize package will be awarded to a deserving vendor at each of the three remaining Sitka Farmers Markets. The third market of the season takes place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at Alaska Native Brotherhood Hall in Sitka. For more information, visit

Photo: Blessing of the Animals
The Rev. Judy Shook, with her dog Kilohoku, meet a new friend in Skagway. Shook will lead an interfaith Blessing of the Animals, with Aldersgate United Methodist Church, Saint Brendan's Epsicopal Church and Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran, at 10 a.m. Saturday at Skater's Cabin. Come to have your pet blessed and give thanks for their lives. The service is in the spirit of St. Francis of Assisi, who is often pictured holding and surrounded by animals. Please bring dogs on leashes. For more information, contact Shook at 789-4050.

Consortium VP Mark Gorman to depart after 22 years
SITKA - SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium Vice President of Community Health Services Mark Gorman has announced he is departing SEARHC after 22 years with the tribal health organization.

The bane of a berry
This year's unusual abundance of a poisonous berry is worrying naturalist Laurie Craig.

Division of Sport Fish to hold photo contest, entries due Nov. 16
JUNEAU - The Division of Sport Fish is conducting a youth photo contest. The winning photo will appear on the cover of the regional 2010 Southeast Alaska Sport Fishing Regulations Summary.

Consortium to host pediatric dental clinic in Sitka
SITKA - The SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital Dental Clinic in Sitka will host a special pediatric dental clinic the week of Aug. 31 to Sept. 4.

WISEWOMAN hosts 'Rally for the Cure' scramble golf outing
HAINES - The SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium WISEWOMAN Women's Health Program is teaming up with Valley of the Eagles Golf Links and Driving Range in Haines to host the "Rally for the Cure" Summer Scramble Golf Outing in August.

Community Health Fair seeks medical, nonmedical volunteers
JUNEAU - The next Juneau Community Health Fair is scheduled to take place from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 3 at the Nugget Mall. The community health fairs are organized by the Alaska Health Fair Inc., a nonprofit agency that organizes health fairs with a community. The Juneau health fair is only one of 120 health fairs held annually across the state.

New varicella (chicken pox) immunizations required for K-6
JUNEAU - Starting July 1, children attending kindergarten through sixth grade need two doses of valid varicella (chicken pox) immunization to attend school. Children may have a medical exemption, religious exemption or medically verified history of chicken pox disease to meet this new requirement. Unvaccinated children without an exemption will be excluded from attending school and school activities.

Consortium to honor 20 years of Raven's Way on Aug. 20
SITKA - The SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium Yéil Jeeyáx Raven's Way youth residential substance abuse treatment program will celebrate 20 years of service with a full day of festivities on Aug. 20.

Tenakee Springs holds Ferry Appreciation Day on Wednesday
TENAKEE - In honor of the service of the Alaska Marine Highway System, the city of Tenakee Springs invites the public to its Ferry Appreciation Day from noon to 3 p.m. Wednesday in Tenakee.

Consortium hosts pediatric dental clinic in Hoonah
HOONAH - The SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium will host a special Denali KidCare pediatric dental clinic from Aug. 24 to 28 at the Hoonah Medical Clinic.

Child car seat safety training to be held Aug. 26-29 in Sitka
SITKA - The SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium Injury Prevention Program and the Alaska Highway Safety Office are hosting a child passenger seat safety training Aug. 26 to 29 in Sitka.

Farmer's Market returns for its second year
The Juneau Farmer's Market and Local Food Festival will return on Saturday, Aug. 29.

Walker, Medenica to wed
Miriam "Mimi" Walker, of Juneau, and Ljubomir "LJ" Medenica, of Belgrade, Serbia, will marry in September 2009 in Juneau.

Maki, Morgan to wed
Natalie Marie Maki, of Juneau, and Anthony Wade Morgan, of Wenatchee, Wash., will marry at 5:30 p.m. Aug. 23, 2009, at Ohme Gardens in Wenatchee. A reception will immediately follow at the Wenatchee Masonic Center.

Germeau, Kushnick to wed
Stephanie Irene Germeau, of Anchorage, and William Patrick Charles Kushnick, of Ketchikan, will marry at 7 p.m. Aug. 14, 2009, at the Juneau Arts and Culture Center. A reception will follow from 7 to 10 p.m.

Marriage licenses

Photos: Smokey turns 65
Today is Smokey the Bear's 65th birthday, and the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center helped celebrate it by inviting Smokey to its weekly Forest Explorer Program on Saturday at Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center pavilion.

Elgee Rehfeld Mertz, Juneau accounting firm, has announced several prestigious employee promotions.

Empire editorial: Schools' drug problem needs attention now
The Juneau School Board next week will began contemplating perhaps the biggest decision it's ever faced: If, and how, to implement drug testing in the district's high schools. We'll soon see if board members make the right decision or the easy one, which would be to do nothing at all.

Slam the brakes on driving while texting
The amazing thing about the debate over the need for laws to ban texting while driving is that there is a debate over the need for laws to ban texting while driving.

Outside editorial: Mexicans hope when Obama visits he will tread firmly, and carry a big stick
When President Barack Obama goes to Guadalajara, Mexico, this weekend for the North American Leaders Summit, he will surely praise Mexican President Felipe Calderon for the courage he has displayed fighting the war on drugs. The applause is well deserved. Calderon has turned the crackdown on drug traffickers into the centerpiece of his administration and has pursued organized crime with undeniable zeal. But before Obama becomes too effusive and pats Calderon on the back for a job well done, it's important that the U.S. president remember the cost and the consequences of his counterpart's crusade.

Toe toon
This week's toe toon.

Burn ban extended to Monday, Aug. 10
JUNEAU - The open burn ban in effect in Juneau since Aug. 3 has been extended through Monday, when conditions will be reviewed again. Wildfire smoke from Canada and Interior wildfires triggered the ban.

Lu Young memorial set for Aug. 18
ANCHORAGE - A memorial service for Lu Young will be held on Aug. 18 at the Anchorage Baptist Temple.

Soldotna hospital workers to hold election on union
ANCHORAGE - Laborers Local 341 says employees of Central Peninsula Hospital in Soldotna have voted to hold an election to determine whether they will join a union.

Citizens bombard Anchorage with cost-cutting ideas
ANCHORAGE - Stop watering the grass when it's raining. Bring back the photo radar. Get rid of some hanging flower baskets downtown. Legalize pot and then tax it.

Anchorage man arrested for raping two women
ANCHORAGE - Anchorage police have arrested an 18-year-old man accused of raping two women on Anchorage streets over the past two weeks.

Woman's body found in Anchorage park
ANCHORAGE - Anchorage police are investigating the death of a woman whose body was found in a park.

Parnell seeks fishery relief for Yukon River residents
JUNEAU - Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell is seeking fishery disaster relief for Yukon River residents.

Alaska corruption figure wins sentencing delay
ANCHORAGE - A U.S. District Court judge has set an October 2010 sentencing date for Jim Clark, former Gov. Frank Murkowski's chief of staff.

Crimson Bears wallop West Valley
JUNEAU - Juneau-Douglas High School put on a display worthy of the school's athletic hall of famers in attendance celebrating the Crimson Bears' 20th season of football, rolling over Railbelt Conference rival West Valley 41-0 on Saturday at Adair-Kennedy Park.

Juneau makes list of best cities to raise outdoor kid
Juneau was recently named the fifth-best city to raise an outdoor kid by the outdoors magazine "Backpacker."

Juneau's famous first son
JUNEAU - Basketball first led Carlos Boozer away from Juneau, but now it's brought him home.

Sitka tops Falcons in season opener
SITKA - Jessee Conrad scored the first touchdown in Thunder Mountain High School history as the Falcons took a 6-0 lead on Sitka, but the Wolves scored 20 unanswered points on Saturday to pick up a 20-6 win in the teams' season opener.

Photo: Commodore's Cup
Sail boats and their crews participate in the Juneau Youth Sailing 12th annual Commodore's Cup Saturday in Gastineau Channel at Norway Point (near the Yacht Club). The sail boat racers are youth and adult graduates of the program, competing in teams of two in Vanguard 420s.

A visit to Gold Ridge
Lunch was a relaxed affair as we sprawled on the rocky outcrop on top of Gold Ridge. It was the first cool, gray day after what passes for a heat wave in Juneau, and we reveled in it.

Photo: Moser medals
Floyd Dryden rising seventh-grader Riley Moser competed in last week's Hershey's Track and Field Games in Hershey, Pa., earning a seventh-place medal in the boys' 11-12 800-meter run. Moser set a personal record in the event with a time of 2:30.45.

Race Results: Juneau Bone and Joint Time Trial
July 31

Juneau tops Wash. 8-6
Ryan Kelly and Jackson Lenhart both pitched in the Gastineau Channel Little League's 8-6 win over Washington. The duo gave up seven base hits while striking out four and walking two batters.

Treadwell trail upkeep underway
SAGA and Juneau Parks and Recreation will be cleaning the historic mining structures on the Treadwell Mine Historical Trail and clearing the surrounding area through Aug. 14.

Alaska's Medicaid suspension gets lifted
ANCHORAGE - The federal government has lifted a ban on admissions to a state-run Medicaid program that helps elderly and disabled people with bathing, cleaning and meals in their homes.

State to work in villages to improve scores
ANCHORAGE - The Alaska Department of Education says it will ramp up its efforts to help failing schools, particularly in rural parts of the state.

Rain clears the air up north
ANCHORAGE - A second day of rain Friday partially cleared Fairbanks of forest fire smoke, allowing a full slate of commercial flights into Fairbanks International Airport.

Alaska considering action on Fairbanks air pollution
FAIRBANKS - The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation said it will take action to reduce air pollution in Fairbanks if local officials don't.

Scientists: Three Alaska, Washington glaciers shrinking
PORTLAND, Ore. - The U.S. Geological Survey says three glaciers in Alaska and Washington continue to shrink, a development that signals lower stream flows in summer months.

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