Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Sealaska should focus on the long-term
I think that Sealaska and other Native corporations, including the landless, should receive the land that is rightfully theirs. After all, the land in Southeast Alaska has been Tlingit and Haida land for eons and it is important that at least a portion of it be returned to its rightful owners.

Sealaska shouldn't desert its friends
I am writing about the Sealaska land transfer bill, which is legislation to transfer public Tongass National Forest lands, currently managed for multiple use, to the Sealaska Corp. The bill would allow Sealaska to take the lands into private management. These lands are currently subsistence and personal use areas, contain internationally recognized karst and cave features, and are used by local small businesses in the ecotourism and sport fishing industries.

Photos: Students return to big changes
Juneau School District began the school year Monday by opening classes with new start times for all grades and welcoming kids at two elementary schools that were completely remodeled.

Board at odds over drug punishments
Members of the Juneau School Board argued Tuesday over the severity of punishments that should be dolled out under a new drug testing program to start this fall.

Police & Fire
Theft:

Correction
A page 9 letter to the editor in Sunday's Juneau Empire about sick and homeless patients began with an incomplete sentence due to an editing error.

Man pleads not guilty to assault over orange peel
A dispute over a discarded orange peel led to what one witness called a "sucker punch" that hospitalized one man, 65, and has another, 26, facing 10 years in prison.

Juneau enrollment shifts to new school
This school year, all four grades will be represented for the first time at Thunder Mountain High School. A full sports program also is offered for the first time at the school, which opened with only three grades and intramural sports last fall.

Parr pleads guilty to selling OxyContin, faces 5½ years
A 31-year-old man pleaded guilty to a felony drug charge Monday for selling three OxyContin tablets and will likely spend 5½ years in prison. He initially faced up to 40 years.

Photo: Summer send-off
Chuck and Tina Gordon stretch their legs Tuesday on the airport dike trail. This week's fine weather has caused the fireweed to go to seed. Forecasters call for mostly sunny skies and highs around 65 degrees through Thursday, with an increasing chance of showers by the end of Saturday.

Online news sites vie for niche in Alaska market
Alaska's news consumers are getting a boost from new Web sites that are in some cases going beyond commenting on stories produced by established news media, and are hiring reporters to produce their own news.

District introduces new start times
The Juneau School District's new start times continue to receive mixed reviews from students.

Hundreds still missing vaccines
The Juneau School District expected to collect immunization paperwork on the first day from hundreds of students who had not provided it to the schools as of Friday.

Photo: Lounging on a ledge
A mountain goat catches a few rays Tuesday on the north side of Mount Juneau.

Lock-up facilities bracing for flu outbreak
A resident of the Gastineau Human Services halfway house has a confirmed case of swine flu, officials said Monday.

Photo: Iceberg orientation
A group of new University of Alaska Southeast students participate in an alternative orientation session Tuesday amid the icebergs of Mendenhall Lake. Classes start Thursday.

Photo: Good day for gliding
A paraglider taking advantage of Monday's clear weather flies down Mount Roberts and by the Mt. Roberts Tramway's upper station.

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

Around Town
Today, Sept. 2

Photo: Moving in
Chelsey Welch, 18, moves her things into Banfield Hall at the University of Alaska Southeast on Monday, the first day students can move in to the residential units. The university starts classes Thursday.

Around Town
Tuesday, Sept. 1

Obama's toughest patient: Partial reform isn't easy
The Obama administration and other advocates of comprehensive health reform knew that August was going to be a perilous month. It's turned out to be disastrous. As lawmakers return to work and President Obama ends his vacation, the health reform enterprise is in rough shape. So what is the proper course of treatment?

NASA's vision needs some hard questions
The following editorial appeared in the Washington Post:

The 'Cash for Clunkers' program was a good deal
The following editorial first appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer:

How did girl's kidnapper receive a second chance?
What shocked you most about Jaycee Lee Dugard's story? Was it the fact that she was abducted in plain sight, walking to a bus stop when she was 11 years old? Or the fact that she was still alive when discovered last week, 18 years later?

No charity for predators
And what should we do with our monsters? That we have no answer to that question, that we lack consensus on what to do with sexual predators, is evident from the range of our responses to their crimes. From the Catholic church shielding pederastic priests to the profusion of databases that let you check if your neighbor is a sex offender, to the pseudo celebrity enjoyed by Mary Kay Letourneau when she married her former student Vili Fualaau, whom she raped when he was 12 and she was 34, our responses scream irresolution.

How to lose in Afghanistan
The United States cannot win the war in Afghanistan in the next three months - any form of even limited victory will take years of further effort. It can, however, easily lose the war. I did not see any simple paths to victory while serving on the assessment group that advised the new U.S. commander, Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, on strategy, but I did see all too clearly why the war is being lost.

Go for gigabit broadband speeds
As federal officials begin reviewing 2,200 detailed proposals requesting more than seven times the $4 billion in broadband investment in this round of stimulus funding, it's a good time to revisit the big-picture and ask what outcomes are we looking for and what should drive funding decisions. With the government investing ambitiously in economic recovery, Americans should be equally bold in expecting a return on our nation's investment.

Correct, ignore the lies
The problem of how to cover claims that are both sensational and false is a perennial problem that journalists face. It has resurfaced with the much-repeated, and much-debunked, allegation that Democratic healthcare reforms contain a proposal that would empower government bureaucrats to cut off treatment for people who are dying.

Wolf hunt is on in Idaho - for now
BOISE, Idaho - Gray wolves were back in the cross hairs of hunters on Tuesday, just months after they were removed from the federal endangered species list and eight decades since being hunted to extinction across the Northern Rockies.

Truck hits a street sweeper, killing driver
ANCHORAGE - The driver of a pickup truck that rear-ended a street sweeper was killed in the collision on the Glenn Highway.

3 accused of raping passed-out woman
ANCHORAGE - Three men accused of having sex with a woman while she was passed out drunk in Anchorage are facing sexual assault charges.

Guardsmen to deploy to Afghanistan
ANCHORAGE - About 200 members of the Alaska Air National Guard will deploy this week to Afghanistan.

N.Y. Times spotlights 36 hours in Juneau
JUNEAU - If you had only 36 hours to spend in Juneau, what would you do?

Guardsmen return from Mongolia
ANCHORAGE - About 40 Alaska National Guardsmen have returned home after participating in a multinational training exercise in Mongolia.

Fuel pumped from boat that sank in Cook Inlet
NIKISKI - The U.S. Coast Guard said divers have finished removing all recoverable fuel from an offshore supply vessel that sank last winter after colliding with the Granite Point oil platform in Cook Inlet.

Motorcycle rider survives wreck
FAIRBANKS - A motorcycle rider who rear-ended a pickup truck parked along the Richardson Highway near North Pole was thrown into the roadway where he was hit by a car.

Wolf hunts to open, judge eyes injunction
MISSOULA, Mont. - Gray wolf hunting was set to begin in the Northern Rockies, even as a federal judge eyed a request to stop the killing of the predators just four months after they were removed from the endangered species list.

Wainwright soldiers returning from Iraq
FORT WAINWRIGHT - More soldiers are returning to Fort Wainwright from Iraq this week.

Coast Guard helps distressed jet boat
ANCHORAGE - The U.S. Coast Guard helped a 20-foot jet boat with two people aboard safely reach Valdez harbor after a charter vessel reported that the smaller boat was taking on water after experiencing engine problems.

4 teens charged with attacks on trail
ANCHORAGE - Four teens are facing robbery charges for a series of attacks along Chester Creek trail in Anchorage.

Man sentenced for cocaine trafficking
ANCHORAGE - An Anchorage man convicted of trafficking cocaine has been sentenced to 15 years in federal prison.

Woman accused of trying to run down cop
ANCHORAGE - An Anchorage police officer had contacted two men at an intersection when an SUV parked across the street flashed its lights and then sped toward the officer.

1 dead, 1 injured in Ketchikan shooting
KETCHIKAN - One young man is dead and another injured following a double shooting in Ketchikan.

Appliance refunds likely months away
ANCHORAGE - Alaskans will be able to get a rebate on the purchase of energy efficient appliances, but the program won't be available for several months.

200 rally against climate, energy bill
ANCHORAGE - About 200 people rallied in opposition to climate and energy legislation passed by the U.S. House.

Fairbanks detox center to reopen
FAIRBANKS - The Fairbanks Native Association hopes to reopen its detox center by Oct. 1.

Bears roll to easy wins in first meet
The Juneau-Douglas Crimson Bears cross country team opened the season with a dominant performance in Sitka over the weekend, sweeping both the boys and girls meets by wide margins.

Photo: JDHS opens season
Juneau's Krista Barril returns the ball as Sitka's Katie Hagan goes up for the block in the Volleyball jamboree in Ketchikan Friday at KayHi. JDHS's first match is at Cordova on Sept. 9.

Anchorage man gets 300 days in jail for beating rottweiler
ANCHORAGE - A judge on Tuesday sentenced Robert M. McGowan, 50, to serve 300 days in prison after McGowan pleaded no contest to beating and stabbing his dog with a muzzle-loading rifle in February.

Governor calls for continued gas tax suspension
ANCHORAGE - Gov. Sean Parnell pumped $65.23 worth of gas into his Ford-150 truck on Monday while calling for an extension in the suspension of an 8-cent-per gallon tax increase.

Where salmon run, people wade
KENAI - There are those who think of fishing as a contemplative sport. A chance to plant hip waders in a sparkling stream, stash a cold drink in the belt pocket and dream of man's mystic connections to the water and the dark shapes lurking below.

Anchorage mayor giving new attention to homeless alcoholics
ANCHORAGE - Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan is making homeless alcoholics a top priority for his new administration.

Solar water heating in place at Denali Education Center
MCKINLEY VILLAGE - The sun is helping heat the water at the Denali Education Center.

UAF prepares for swine flu
FAIRBANKS - Regardless of their major, all students at the University of Alaska Fairbanks will learn about one subject this fall - swine flu.

Palin's father says daughter busy writing book
CALDWELL, Idaho - The father of Sarah Palin, the former governor of Alaska and vice presidential nominee, says his daughter has been steering clear of the media spotlight in recent weeks to focus on writing her memoirs.

Group says Alaskans charged too much for TV
ANCHORAGE - An Anchorage-based consumer group contends Alaskans are paying too much for basic cable.

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