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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Ballot Measure 4: Inform yourself
There has been a multitude of propaganda over the past several months aimed at demonizing Ballot Measure 4, the Clean Water Initiative.

Greed is the true threat to subsistence hunting
Vote yes on Ballot Measure 2. Controlling a thing by flying over it and killing it is inhumane and outright wrong. The proponents of this inhumane practice are all saying that people who live in the cities should go out into the Bush and practice subsistence living. In all the measures that the people of Alaska have voted on has there ever been anything that says subsistence living needs to be stopped?

Vote for true public servants
I see that a presidential candidate is suggesting that taxes be lowered for the "middle class," that is, people who earn less than $250,000 a year. Let's see, that means people who earn up to $685 every day of the year are "middle class."

House seat seekers agree on cash payout
Rep. Beth Kerttula, D-Juneau, reluctantly voted for a $1,200 addition to this year's estimated $2,000 Alaska Permanent Fund dividend. She had hoped instead for a plan to target help to those with greater needs, as well as spending more money on developing renewable sources for a longer term solution.

Friends, co-workers join in the search for missing Juneau men
A search for two Juneau men whose floatplane disappeared Aug. 9 expanded over the weekend as friends of the Andrews family volunteered with Juneau Mountain Rescue doing ground searches on Douglas Island.

Valley challengers offer little criticism of incumbent on energy
Several of the candidates running for House District 4, usually called the "Valley" seat in Juneau politics, are glad the Legislature took action to address energy issues in the recent special session. But they would have liked to see them do more, and at less cost.

Photo: Images from another time Southeast Track meet, 1983
Heather Burford, center, is mobbed by her Juneau-Douglas High School teammates afterwinning the 400-meter relay. Burford ran the anchor leg in a driving rain storm in the 1983 Southeast Track meet at Adair-Kennedy Memorial Park. She now lives in Gainesville, Texas.

Around Town
Today

Photo: Softball wrap-up
Michelle Stuart-Morgan, one of the founders of the Annual Coed Softball Benefit Tournament, congratulates the winners and participants of the two-day event during Sunday's conclusion at the Dimond Park baseball field. The benefit, in its 12th year, raises money for charities and people in need. This year's funds will go to the kids of the late Minda Chamberlain to help pay for college and school supplies.

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

Photos: Bears in abundance
A black bear cub, top, climbs up a cottonwood tree Friday on the advice of its mother after she senses another bear walking into the area near the Mendenhall Glacier. A brown-colored black bear, right, walks along a path near the Mendenhall Glacier. The U.S. Forest Service closed parts of the Moraine Ecology Trail to visitors on Aug. 4 due to increased bear activity in and around Steep Creek.

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

Around Town
Today

Alaska editorial: Energy relief a bad idea that could've been a lot worse
The Legislature finished the final, chaotic week of the special session by spending $946 million on cash handouts and other energy relief measures. It was a lot of money spent on energy Band-Aids and not much on long-term cures - but it could have been a lot worse.

My turn: Predator population control is a valuable wildlife management tool
N early all Alaskans are proud that we have abundant wolf populations and want to ensure that wolf populations remain healthy and secure. Wolves are an important part of Alaska's culture. Yet, wolf management is extremely controversial because people have strongly held values about wolf management. Some want no wolves to ever be killed, while others prefer wolves to be managed like other wildlife species and for populations to be reduced if they become too large. Fortunately in Alaska we have enough land to accommodate everyone's values.

Outside editorial: Melting pot America is still bubbling
T he announcement on Thursday that minorities collectively will make up a majority of people in America by 2042 comes at a contentious moment in U.S. history. A bitter and largely negative debate about immigration roils the country. Stoked by angry politicians, the shouting rarely goes beyond variations on the theme of how to send 12 million illegal immigrants back home. Hardly anybody acknowledges that 38 million legal immigrants and their 31 million children already call America home. These people, along with other minorities, will be a powerful force in shaping America's future.

Outside editorial: Russian aggression requires a strong Western response
The Bush administration's initial reaction to the crisis in Georgia was sluggish, but since then the White House has made up for lost time.

Clarification: Muñoz explains some of her positions on energy
The Empire's article in Monday's newspaper on energy and the position of the valley House candidates reported I had received unanswered calls from reporter Pat Forgey. In fact, Mr. Forgey left two messages and both calls were promptly returned. Mr. Forgey never got back to me.

Sending another son off to war
For three years, I knew this day would come. I thought I would be prepared. Coming from a family whose proud military heritage dates to this country's founding, and having served in the Marines for a quarter-century and lost a brother to war-related causes, I felt ready for any challenge military life might bring.

Searching for an America that never really existed
A few words about the search for America. Meaning not the piece of land bounded by Atlantic and Pacific but, rather, the one that exists as a fixed point in the communal psyche, the one that registers true north on our shared moral compass. It is the America where Beaver Cleaver lived, the America of manicured lawns and neat three-bedroom homes bordered by fences made of white pickets. It is the monochromatic America where dad worked and mom kept house and the family went to church together every Sunday, the America of once upon a time and never was. Some of us have been trying to get there (get back there?) for a very long time.

Three to vie for two School Board positions
Eight people turned in paperwork to the city clerk's office by a 4:30 p.m. deadline Monday to run for Juneau School Board and Assembly seats to be filled this fall.

State unemployment rate rose in July
JUNEAU - Alaska's unemployment rose last month, increasing from 6.7 percent in June to 6.9 percent in July.

Police investigate how girls died while crossing busy highway
ANCHORAGE - Anchorage police are investigating how an underage girl was furnished with alcohol before she was killed crossing a busy highway.

Man from Dillingham convicted on 2 felony drug charges
ANCHORAGE - A Dillingham man found with more than 2 pounds of marijuana in his home has been convicted of two felony drug charges.

Mexico to open full consulate office in Anchorage this fall
ANCHORAGE - Mexico will open a full consulate office in Anchorage to provide services and promote trade.

Iditarod champion's hunting trial begins
FAIRBANKS - Former Iditarod champion Jeff King is preparing to face charges that he illegally killed a moose in Denali National Park.

SUV smashes row of shopping carts
ANCHORAGE - A woman accused of driving a sport utility vehicle into a row of shopping carts faces felony charges of criminal mischief and assault plus misdemeanor reckless driving.

Methane tanker rolls on highway
ANCHORAGE - A semi pulling a tanker trailer containing liquefied methane rolled on the Parks Highway, closing the main road link between Anchorage and Fairbanks.

Landing craft capsizes on Prince of Wales
JUNEAU - The Coast Guard is investigating after a 52-foot landing craft with a fuel truck aboard capsized.

PFD checks to be distributed early
Not only will Alaska Permanent Fund dividend checks be more valuable than ever, they'll also go out earlier than they ever have, the governor's office said Monday.

Party mixed on Young's notoriety
ANCHORAGE - When Congress voted to investigate how a national highway spending bill on the watch of U.S. Rep. Don Young came to include a Florida project that lawmakers had not voted on, critics predicted trouble at the ballot box for the 35-year Alaska congressman.

Primary rules may influence election results
Political parties structure their primary elections to get what they think is the best possible candidate, but the Republican Party's closed primary may wind up putting a crucial seat in the U.S. House of Representatives at risk.

Canadian firm looks to mine for uranium
KETCHIKAN - A company is spending $4 million this year on an exploration program at Bokan Mountain, the Prince of Wales Island site where Alaska's only producing uranium mine was in operation from 1957 to 1971.

State: Access to cruise ships improves
The state says its environmental monitors' access to cruise ships has improved in the last month.

Parnell leads fundraising in latest reporting period
ANCHORAGE - Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell raised more money than U.S. Rep. Don Young in the latest federal campaign finance reporting period but the incumbent in the congressional race still has far more cash in the bank.

Fierce Palin critic's blog creates waves
ANCHORAGE - It's Wednesday afternoon and Andrew Halcro is on the phone at his family car rental business near the airport. He's talking shop:

Relatives of lost WWII sub's crew to meet in Ohio
MIDLAND, Mich. - Don Reid was a boy when his older cousin joined the Navy, then disappeared when his submarine sank off the Alaska coast in 1942 with a crew of 70. Searchers found the wreckage of the USS Grunion last year.

Anchorage girl dies two days after pit bull mauling
ANCHORAGE - A 6-year-old Anchorage girl has died from injuries suffered after being attacked by a pit bull, police said Monday. It was the second dog attack on a child within a week.

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