Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Americans reponsible for their health care
Our nation is in the grip of a raging debate over reforming a grossly misnamed "health care" system that threatens to bankrupt our economy. In 2008, U.S. medical costs reached $2.4 trillion, or 17 percent of our gross domestic product, growing at an astronomic annual rate of nearly 7 percent.

Fund should cover Alaska's cost of living
I am writing in response to the Aug. 5 Juneau Empire article, "PFD ends year of depletion turmoil." In my opinion, Alaska is suffering less than many other states from the current recession.

Transfer of public land disruptive
Living in harmony with nature is not compatible with clearcut logging. I learned this from Alaska Native elders from Klukwan and Hydaburg, with whim I had the honor of serving on the old Southeast Regional Council. They came to the council for help, because the logging practices of Sealaska Corp. were destroying local customary and traditional subsistence uses. Sealaska refused to listen, or to modify their methods.

Southeast legislators fail to save vetoed projects
ANCHORAGE - A surprise attempt to override former Gov. Sarah Palin's vetoes, with the exception of the much-debated federal stimulus money, failed in Monday's special session in Anchorage, possibly because of the lack of time for debate.

Southeast clout diminishing
Southeast Alaska's decline in population is likely to cost the region at least one seat in the Alaska Legislature after redistricting as a result of the 2010 census, reapportionment experts say.

Boozer confronts Juneau drug problem
Carlos Boozer returned to his hometown last week to share his love of basketball with local youths, but he ended up spending just as much time spreading the word that Juneau's increasing problem with OxyContin use must come to an end.

King crab fishery opens for locals
A crab fishery that's been closed for two years opened recently with limited fishing grounds and reduced catch limits.

Man arrested for sexual assault
A 31-year-old Juneau man was arrested for an alleged sexual assault of a female acquaintance who had passed out at a party early Sunday morning.

Group aims to bring historic cutter home
The local nonprofit corporation Storis Museum is working to bring a historic Coast Guard cutter back to Juneau to be used as a maritime museum - the first in Alaska - by next year.

Photo: Dog days of summer
Two living chum salmon, bottom, swim past carcasses of other spawned-out chums Monday in Cowee Creek on Douglas Island.

Two teens arrested on Oxy dealing charges
Two teenagers - one a recent Juneau-Douglas High School graduate and athlete - were indicted and arrested Friday for allegedly selling OxyContin.

LeConte to go out of service for two months
Ferry service to several northern Southeast communities this fall will be provided by Allen Marine Tours, a unique use of a private contractor to serve public transportation needs.

Photo: Icing it up
Treadwell Arena manager Greg Smith drives their Olympia ice resurfacer Monday as he works to build up the ice thickness to an inch and a quarter for their season-opening day today. Smith painted a Bears emblem on the center line as something new for this season. The Rocky Mountain Hockey School will be in session until 2:45 p.m. through Saturday. Stick 'N' Puck, Pond Hockey and Open Skate start after 3 p.m. through 9 p.m.

Photo: Aukeman woman
Jordan Moser rides her bicycle Sunday in the Aukeman Triathlon. Juneau's first open-water triathlon included a 750-meter swim in Auke Lake, a 19-kilometer bike ride and a 5-kilometer run down the newly refurbished Auke Lake Trail. Moser won the woman's division in the triathlon with an unofficial time of 1:25:45. Race results will be published in Wednesday's Empire.

Around Town
Today, Aug. 11

Around Town
Today, Aug. 10

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

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

Correction
A secondary headline to a page one story in Sunday's Juneau Empire about educational benchmarks misstated the number of Juneau schools that failed to meet the standard. Seven Juneau schools did not make Adequate Yearly Progress.

A grain of salt
If there's anything good about putting warning notices on packages of frankfurters, it's that the labels could say: Beware of Dog.

Caribou case
The following editorial first appeared in the Anchorage Daily News:

Restructuring health care on your terms
The debate over the issue of health care is one that's been filled with political rhetoric and a steady stream of vitriol.

Increasing food safety
The overall safety of the nation's food supply is strong. But a string of food-borne illnesses from some of the country's favorite foods understandably has shaken confidence. Passage last month of the Food Safety Enhancement Act by the House was a good first step in addressing deficiencies in anticipating, locating and removing harmful products on store shelves. Unfortunately, there is no timetable yet for consideration in the Senate.

What the US needs is an outburst of common sense
If ever there was a time for comprehensive health-care reform it is now, and yet the forces of darkness are lining up against this urgent need, buttressed by lies, mobs inflamed by those lies, and millions of dollars changing hands and changing votes in Washington.

The news Americans need
You don't have to care about media companies or reporters to care about the state of the news, because if it's in trouble - and it surely is - this country is in trouble. That's why, while speaking recently at the Aspen Institute, I called upon President Obama to form a commission to address the perilous state of America's news media.

College grads returning to the nest
As more and more new college graduates fly back to the nurtured nests of their childhoods, it seems the homes we should have outgrown have adapted to fit our adult needs in a way our parents couldn't have predicted.

Consider it: Health care reform
At least 17-18 percent (48 million) Americans are uninsured. Another 40 million are underinsured (pre-existing conditions, denial, impossible deductible issues). For Alaska, at least 18 percent are uninsured. An increasing number of underinsured people walk among us each day.

Eaglecrest to get new groomer
JUNEAU -- Funds were approved Monday for the purchase of a new snow grooming machine at Eaglecrest Ski Area.

School Board meeting location changed
JUNEAU - The Juneau School District changed the location of Tuesday's School Board meeting to accommodate public comments on a proposed high school student drug testing program.

Man rescued after fall on Douglas Island
JUNEAU - A man was rescued early Sunday morning after falling down a nearly 50-foot cliff on Douglas Island.

AIC wins Juneau airport project bid
JUNEAU - Alaska Interstate Construction won a bid Monday to complete one of the city's largest-ever earthworks projects.

Watchdog questions airport projects
WASHINGTON - The Obama administration used economic stimulus money to pay for 50 airport projects that didn't meet the grant criteria and approved projects at four airports with a history of mismanaging federal grants, a government watchdog said Monday.

Searchers find lost Coast Guardsman
JUNEAU - Searchers have rescued the commanding officer of a Coast Guard cutter who became lost on a hunting trip.

Man gets eight years for killing dog
ANCHORAGE - An Anchorage man will serve eight years in prison for killing his grandfather's dog as a punishment to his family.

Pedestrian killed in Anchorage accident
ANCHORAGE - A 31-year-old Anchorage man has been killed while he walked across the Old Seward Highway.

Hiker recovering after tumbling 200 feet off trail
SANTA CRUZ, Calif. - For 20 years, Live Oak, Calif. resident James Nee was determined to hike the entire 2,650 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail that stretches from Mexico to Canada through three western states.

Judge OKs more time for salmon plan
PORTLAND, Ore. - A federal judge has given the Obama administration another month before informing him of its plans for improving salmon restoration efforts in the Columbia Basin.

Open fires allowed in Denali back country
DENALI NATIONAL PARK - Open fires are now allowed in the back country of Denali National Park and Preserve.

Another body found outside in Anchorage
ANCHORAGE - Another body has been found outdoors in Anchorage. The body was found Sunday in a sleeping bag near DeBarr Road and Bragaw Street in East Anchorage.

Signups begin for Yukon Quest
FAIRBANKS - Defending Iditarod champion Lance Mackey has signed up to return to another long-distance sled dog race he's conquered - next year's running of the Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race.

Disoriented hikers transported by CCFR
JUNEAU - Two disoriented hikers were transported Saturday from the shore of Mendenhall Lake by Capital City Fire and Rescue's boat rescue team.

Break in weather eases Alaska fire danger
FAIRBANKS - Fire managers said the break in the weather has helped them battle the 77 wildfires burning across Alaska, and allowed them to ease an open-burning ban imposed across much of the state.

Man who fell while saving cat not expected to live
FAIRBANKS - The family of a 73-year-old Alaska man who fell from a tree after rescuing a cat last month decided to have his breathing tube removed.

Fairbanks woman reaches century mark
FAIRBANKS - An Alaska woman is celebrating her 100th birthday in grand fashion.

Lawmakers plan special session in Anchorage
ANCHORAGE - The Alaska Legislature will be in Anchorage on Monday for a quick cup of coffee, a little business and a goodbye handshake, if all goes according to plan.

Legislature overrides Palin veto of energy funds
ANCHORAGE - The Alaska Legislature narrowly voted to overturn former Gov. Sarah Palin's veto of $28.6 million in federal energy stimulus money, ensuring that Alaska will not become the only state in the nation to reject it.

Bristol Bay fishermen bring in sockeye bounty
EGEGIK - On the moonlit waters of Bristol Bay, lush with millions of wild Alaska salmon, fishermen silhouetted against the sky began pulling in their nets, laden with a harvest of thousands of shimmering sockeyes.

Campbell answers concerns, wins strong approval
The Alaska Legislature on Monday confirmed Craig Campbell as the state's new lieutenant governor by a vote of 55-4.

Mentally incapacitated man's case set for trial
ANCHORAGE - For Victor Oustigoff, the courtroom was not a bad place to be - away from the sneers and taunts in jail. His lawyer told him all he would have to do is answer questions. That was simple. He could handle that.

Fatal Alaska road crashes prompt town hall meeting
ANCHORAGE - A rash of traffic deaths this summer along a stretch of Seward Highway south of Anchorage has authorities and citizens talking about ways to make the roadway safer.

Taliban says it's awaiting US response on captured soldier
DERA ISMAIL KHAN, Pakistan - A militant commander who is holding a Fort Richardson-based soldier abducted in Afghanistan said Sunday that Taliban leader Mullah Omar's council is waiting for a response to its demands before deciding the American's fate.

Anchorage softball team advances to World Series
ANCHORAGE - Anchorage's Nunaka Valley All-Stars, a softball team of 12- and 13-year-olds, has advanced to the Little League World Series by winning the Western Region Tournament in Vancouver, Wash., over the weekend.

Man says psychic led him to body at Alaska crash site
FAIRBANKS - A state Department of Transportation worker claims a California psychic led him to a crash site and possibly the body of a woman missing since Independence Day.

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