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Monday, August 31, 2009

Parnell should make Taku River a priority
Thanks for the Juneau Empire article last week discussing the Taku River and its contribution to Juneau's sport fishing. Taku River salmon account for about 90 percent of our spring king catch, 25 percent of sport-caught kings during the rest of the season and one third of the local coho harvest. The Taku is the most productive river in Southeast. Its wild salmon support hundreds of jobs and provide millions of dollars in revenue to Southeast Alaska.

Legislators can work to show they care
A growing number of members of the Alaska Legislature are unhappy with shortened 90-day sessions, as reported in a recent Juneau Empire article (Legislators document their unhappiness with 90-day sessions). This showcases a good first step in listening to internal and constituent concerns and developing a plan to potentially reverse that decision.

Government health care system works
While there are a lot of Congress members complaining about the proposed health care system coming up for a vote, no one is complaining about the government health care system they have. That's because the government health care system for lawmakers is a really good one, while the one being proposed in Congress has many flaws.

Are we all equal in health care debate?
In the debate over health care, Medicare and retirement benefits, there seems to be a simple solution that few, especially elected representatives, seem unready to accept.

Not all Juneau hotels take in homeless

We are losing our way because of politics
As a parent who has a child in the Juneau School District, I'm disappointed in what I'm seeing. All other school districts started class earlier than ours.

Farmers Market and Local Food Festival promotes eating locally
Scott McPherson held a fresh sockeye down on a cutting table Saturday at the Juneau Farmers Market and Local Food Festival in front of nearly a dozen people as he began to demonstrate how to properly fillet a salmon.

Summer of chum
It was a good summer for Douglas Island Pink and Chum, and also for Southeast fisherman. More than 1.6 million chum salmon were caught by sports and commercial fishermen and DIPAC, a hatchery official said.

Moratorium lifted on state Medicaid waiver programs
The federal government has lifted a moratorium it slapped on several home- and community-care programs operated by the state two months ago.

UAS enrollment up 30 percent from last fall
Enrollment at the University of Alaska Southeast for the fall semester is up from last year, particularly with new undergraduate students.

Empire bringing back daily Sports section
The Juneau Empire will bring back its Sports section to six days a week starting Sept. 7, Managing Editor Charles Westmoreland announced this week. The paper also will bring back its weekly Outdoors section.

Photo: Fresh start to the school year
Nick Ashton of McGraw Construction power-washes a walkway Sunday next to Harborview Elementary School in preparation for the first day of school today. The school has undergone a $16.5 million renovation.

Man gets 2 years for attempted sex assault
A 39-year-old Skagway man was sentenced Friday to two years in prison for attempted sexual assault after originally facing up to 30 years in prison for rape.

Photo: Racing to beat the odds
Runners take off Saturday at the start of the Beat the Odds 5K run and 2-mile walk at Riverbend Elementary School. More than 400 women participated in the annual fundraiser for breast cancer awareness sponsored by Cancer Connection. Kathleen Maynard, 22, won the race in 20 minutes, 11 seconds. Jennifer Watson, 36, took second in 22:37. Hillary Easter took third in 22:49. Kim Rivera, 49, took fourth in 23:02. Tyra Smith, 37, took fifth in 23:23. Erika Bengson, 40, took sixth in 24:19. Deb Rudis, 55, took seventh in 24:19. Clancey Cheeley, 16, took eighth in 24:43. Mali Tamone took ninth in 25:05. Mary Schlosser, 28, took tenth in 25:16.

Photo: Young percussionist
Bethany Bibb, 10, the youngest member of the Juneau Student Symphony, plays a typewriter during their concert at the State Office Building on Friday. The concert featured the music of Leroy Anderson. Percussion coach Lee Hacker is in the background.

Around Town
Today, Aug. 31

Around Town
Today, Aug. 30

Police & Fire
Attempt to serve:

Police & Fire
Disturbance:

Priests in Training
"In many cases, young men feel called to married life, but for some, they may be called to a radical way of discipleship, sacrificing much in order to follow the Lord. This radical discipleship, as Pope John Paul II called it, is the priesthood."

FYI
Births

Senior menu for the week of Aug. 31-Sept. 4
Monday, Aug. 31

Thanks for supporting Camp Feather Winds
Thanks to all of the donors, volunteers and business that helped make the summer of 2009 a great summer for Girl Scouts in Southeast Alaska at Camp Feather Winds and the community day camp programs.

Letters from an Alaskan exile
Lately I feel like a displaced person, like a refugee forced to flee his war torn homeland to live in some strange new environment. It all started about a year ago when I boarded the ferry boat Columbia in Juneau bound for Bellingham. After being an Alaska resident, born and raised for over thirty years, it was a somber affair, but I swallowed hard and tried to enjoy the scenery as the land I knew and loved scrolled by outside the rain drizzled windows of the ship.

Shrine to host Blessing of Marriages Liturgy
JUNEAU - A Blessing of Marriages Liturgy will be held at 7 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 30, at the Shrine of St. Therese chapel. Bishop Edward Burns will be celebrant for the liturgy during which there will be a special blessing ceremony for any married couples - newly married and those who have been together for decades, Catholic and non-Catholic.

Thanks for helping the Early Learning Fair
The Juneau Partnership for Families and Children wishes to thank the following individuals and organizations whose support helped make the first annual Early Learning Fair such a resounding success. We had 150 children and their families attend the Fair.

Thanks for supporting Camp Feather Winds
Thanks to all of the donors, volunteers and business that helped make the summer of 2009 a great summer for Girl Scouts in Southeast Alaska at Camp Feather Winds and the community day camp programs.

Thanks for promoting the Mount Roberts run
The Mount Roberts Tramway run always depends on the support of people, the tram and a little bit of help from the weather. This year's race on July 25 was no exception. Race directors Paul Dick and Dirk Miller are indebted to the Mount Roberts Tramway for their generous donations of tram passes, equipment and food. We would also like to thank Gastineau Guiding Co. for donating prizes to award participants. The people who donated their Saturday morning also deserve our appreciation.

Thanks for supporting Falcon football
The coaches, players and parents of the Thunder Mountain High School Falcon football team would like to extend a sincere thank you to the many local merchants, artists, family members and people of Juneau who graciously donated to help support the team. Your kindness and valued community support has helped to build our team. We couldn't have done it without you.

Thanks from a small town called Hoonah
From day one, since my family moved to Hoonah, the community has made us feel welcome. We never felt like strangers.

Geoff Roes: Running man, eating machine
Saying that Geoff Roes likes to run is an understatement. When I first met Roes, a fellow cook in the Rainbow Foods kitchen, he said he was going for a run - up Mount Juneau, then up Mount Roberts and then up Mount Jumbo.

Aeroponics: Gardening without soil
Some Juneau residents are enjoying the harvest of their outdoor gardens, but Andrew Hohenthaner is an indoor gardener who enjoys the science of aeroponics.

Burnett, Hay to wed
Anna Louise Burnett and Jesse Alexander Hay, both of Juneau, will marry at 7 p.m. Sept. 12, 2009, at the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center pavilion. A reception will follow at 7:30 p.m. at Henry's Food and Spirits.

Gelotte celebrates 90th birthday
Former longtime Juneau resident Ray Gelotte will celebrate his 90th birthday with a reception, hosted by his children, at 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 12, at the First Presbyterian Church in Port Angeles, Wash. All friends of Ray Gelotte are invited to join his family in celebrating his 90th birthday.

Recognitions
Elizabeth Ashley Brown, of Puddle Jumpers in Juneau, was awarded a Child Development Associated credential in recognition of outstanding work with young children. The credential was awarded by the Council for Professional Recognition in Washington, D.C., which represents the early childhood education profession.

Duckies in Demand
Past Juneau Glacier Valley Rotary Club president Eric Forst, center, announces on the radio the winners of the annual Duck Derby on Saturday at Rotary Park.

Partnerships make a difference
For over a decade, Senior Center manager Roberta Foss dreamed of a new, larger senior center facility to serve elders in the Craig and Klawock area with a variety of services and activities.

Photo: Love for the Gov
Big Brothers Big Sisters gives a warm welcome to Gov. Sean Parnell and First Lady SandyParnell, center, at the Governor's Picnic on Aug. 21.

Betty Jean (Smith) Williams
Former Juneau resident Betty Jean (Smith) Williams died June 5, 2009. She was 82.

Lenore I. Douglas
Former Juneau resident Lenore I. Douglas, of Milford, Conn., died Aug. 22, 2009, in Milford Hospital. She was 77.

Diane Simonson
Former Juneau resident Diane Simonson, of Mesa, Ariz., died with her loved ones by her side on Aug. 27, 2009, after a long battle with cancer. She was 54.

Empire editorial: Farmers Market offers tips for self-sufficiency
"Living sustainably." It's a concept that is easy to embrace but harder to embody, especially in a city where even "Alaska Grown" sweatshirts arrive on barges. In Juneau, it is easy to feel disconnected from the rest of the world, even though the rest of the world provides us with nearly everything we use, right down to cases of "Washington-grown" blueberries and sprigs of parsley.

My Turn: Congress should seek more balance in Alaska land bills
Sen. Lisa Murkowski recently visited Prince of Wales Island and Ketchikan and discussed Senate Bill 881 and House Resolution 2099, legislation that she, Sen. Mark Begich, and Rep. Don Young introduced in April.

Households and government caused crisis, not businesses
Four and a half years ago, I wrote in this space about the coming economic crisis. I said it could be worse than the Great Depression of the 1930s.

Confirmation game: Nasty and brutish
With last week's reappointment of Ben S. Bernanke as chairman of the Federal Reserve, one of President Obama's biggest staffing headaches is all but over. Now on to the hundreds more that still require attention.

Book helps teachers reach students
How do you respond to a student who blurts out that she's pregnant and afraid to tell her mother?

Outside editorial: Filling a void in Senate
In 2004, fearing that Republican Gov. Mitt Romney would appoint a fellow Republican to replace Sen. John Kerry should he become president, the Democratic-controlled Massachusetts Legislature changed the law, mandating a special election. Now, fearing that the push for health-care reform could be weakened by the absence of a 60th Democratic senator, that same legislature wants to change the law again, allowing the governor - now a Democrat - to make a quick appointment. With all due respect to the wishes of Sen. Edward Kennedy, this isn't how lawmaking is supposed to work. It smacks of political expediency and can only breed cynicism.

Luster is off Obama's high ground
Back in April, the U.S. government snatched Raymond Azar out of Afghanistan.

Toe Toon

Juneau Police find pot-growing operation
JUNEAU - Police found a marijuana growing operation after responding to a domestic disturbance Saturday in the Fritz Cove area.

School administrators watching Juneau's drug testing program
JUNEAU - Fairbanks North Star Borough high school athletic directors are interested to see the effects of Juneau School District's decision to begin randomly drug-testing athletes this fall, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported last week.

Swine flu hits Fairbanks schools
FAIRBANKS - The Fairbanks North Star Borough School District said more than 200 students have been absent with flu-like symptoms and there are at least 35 confirmed cases of swine flu.

Judge to decide trials for ex-lawmakers
ANCHORAGE - Federal prosecutors have decided against dismissing charges against two former Alaska lawmakers who claim their corruption convictions in a bribery case resulted from prosecutorial misconduct.

Anchorage woman arrested after ad leads to trailer
ANCHORAGE - An arrest has been made in the theft of a trailer taken in June.

Fairbanks man dies in motorcycle crash
FOX - A motorcyclist is dead after losing control and crashing into a guard rail on a bend on State Route 2, the Elliott Highway.

Campaign launches for parental consent
ANCHORAGE - Anti-abortion advocates kicked off their campaign in Anchorage for an initiative that would require parental consent for minors to have an abortion.

Judge charged with drunk driving
ANCHORAGE - Anchorage Superior Court Judge Patrick McKay has been charged with drunk driving.

Michigan boy visits doctor in Alaska
KENAI - Kevin Hertz took a long trip to see his favorite doctor.

Judge to decide trials for ex-lawmakers
ANCHORAGE - Federal prosecutors have decided against dismissing charges against two former Alaska lawmakers who claim their corruption convictions in a bribery case resulted from prosecutorial misconduct.

Anchorage judge charged with drunk driving
ANCHORAGE - Anchorage Superior Court Judge Patrick McKay has been charged with drunk driving.

Public library system begins new hours
JUNEAU - Juneau Public Libraries will begin new hours next week.

Earthquake rattles Cantwell
ANCHORAGE - An earthquake has rattled residents of Cantwell about 100 miles south of Fairbanks.

Michigan boy visits doctor in Alaska
KENAI - Kevin Hertz took a long trip to see his favorite doctor.

Ketchikan man convicted of drug trafficking
ANCHORAGE - A federal jury deliberated for almost four hours before convicting a 53-year-old Ketchikan man of drug trafficking.

Woman pleads not guilty in crash deaths
ANCHORAGE - A woman blamed for a head-on collision that killed two people on the Seward Highway pleaded not guilty to manslaughter and reckless driving charges.

Woman arrested after theft of trailer
ANCHORAGE - An arrest has been made in the theft of a trailer taken in June.

Woman pleads not guilty in Seward Highway fatals
ANCHORAGE - A woman blamed for a head-on collision that killed two people on the Seward Highway pleaded not guilty to manslaughter and reckless driving charges.

Gold exploration to resume on POW
KETCHIKAN - The CBR Gold Corp. said gold exploration will resume early next month at the Niblack project on Prince of Wales Island.

Maka runs wild on Moose
Junior Matthew Maka put the Crimson Bears on his back and carried short-handed Juneau-Douglas to a 36-7 win over Railbelt Conference rival Palmer on Saturday at Adair-Kennedy Memorial Park.

Passion on ice
Kim Muir says her life has been like a Walt Disney fairy tale, though it certainly didn't start that way.

Muir helping hockey Bears perfect skating techniques
A chance encounter five years ago in Detroit with Juneau-Douglas assistant hockey coach Tom Rutecki and Kim Muir led to the Detroit Red Wings skate instructor's yearly trips to Juneau to work with the Crimson Bears hockey team.

Thunder Mountain picks up first-ever win, 30-14, at Ketchikan
KETCHIKAN - Thunder Mountain running backs Ben Hotch and Gary Speck combined for 171 yards rushing and three touchdowns, and the Falcons scored on their first three possessions to beat Ketchikan 30-14 in Ketchikan on Saturday night.

Nifty Fifty 50k race report
Thirty-four runners participated in the Nifty Fifty 50k Relay, a three-leg race held Aug. 22 in Juneau that covered 31 miles, with The Nameless and the Restless coming out on top in three hours and 25 minutes.

Tour of Juneau
The Tour of Juneau signaled the end of the race season in the Southeast during the weekend of Aug. 14-16, with rain and clouds present each day, slowing the riders and winnowing out those without the proper rain gear and resolve.

Ptarmigan and marmots
We were strolling up the ridge, enjoying the last of the alpine flowers. Many species had already gone to seed, but a few species that are more characteristic of spring, such as moss campion, still sported a few blooms.

Juneau Rifle and Pistol Club
The Juneau Rifle and Pistol Club held the State Hi-Power Sporter Rifle Championships on Aug. 23, with Linda Flynn earning the crown of Alaskan Champion with a score of 301.5x out of a possible 320 in a rain that varied from light to heavy.

Costly Chichagof tree-thinning project gets stimulus money
ANCHORAGE - A very expensive tree-thinning project in the Tongass National Forest is receiving more than a half-million dollars in federal stimulus money.

State creates new rural education job
The state is hiring a new rural education director, hoping to boost performance at some of the state's struggling rural schools.

Problems found with SarahPAC contributions
ANCHORAGE - The Federal Elections Commission has found that former Gov. Sarah Palin's political action committee gave excessive contributions to two well-known Republicans.

Cooperative grocery planned in Fairbanks
FAIRBANKS - Despite humble beginnings, a locally owned and operated cooperative grocery is becoming a reality in Fairbanks.

Alaska Air tests fuel-saving landing procedure
SEATAC, Wash. - Long after dark one night last week when few planes were in the air, an Alaska Airlines Boeing 737 descended toward Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, its engines at idle power. Aboard were Alaska pilots and technicians and officials from the Federal Aviation Administration's Washington, D.C., headquarters.

Bernie Karl: Geothermal expert, king of renewables
ANCHORAGE - When Alaskans think of junk, recycling and renewable energy, many think of Bernie Karl.

Climate trouble may be bubbling up in far north
MACKENZIE RIVER DELTA, Northwest Territories - Only a squawk from a sandhill crane broke the Arctic silence - and a low gurgle of bubbles, a watery whisper of trouble repeated in countless spots around the polar world.

Caribou hunters smash fall quota in three days
ANCHORAGE - It took just a few days for caribou hunters along the Steese and Taylor highways to smash the fall quota for the Fortymile herd hunt.

Photo: Catching wind and a wave
A windsurfer makes their way back to shore after riding in winds clocked at 49 mph Thursday in Sitka. The high winds caused the cruise ship Westerdam to cancel its scheduled port stop in Sitka.

Alaska high court reverses Fairbanks DUI case
FAIRBANKS - The Alaska Supreme Court has reversed the drunken driving conviction of a Fairbanks man, saying a state law prohibiting his particular defense is unconstitutional.

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