Health care reform will help Medicare
This is in response to Tracy Spartz Campbell's letter titled "Health care failed dad."

Law may curb problem of chronic inebriates
Chronic inebriates are big problem in Alaska, however, no one is offering any concrete ways to solve the problem. I believe the best way to stem the tide of chronic inebriates is to restrict the flow of alcohol to those who should not be drinking.

Halfway home
Ri Dong "Gino" Kuang is only a few weeks into his one-year prison sentence, but he's already made it halfway home.

Alaska hires new top doctor
Dr. Ward Hurlburt was appointed Thursday to be Alaska's new chief medical officer and Public Health director. He returns to public service in Alaska where he earlier spent a long career with the Indian Health Service.

State Archives building to re-open Tuesday
The Alaska State Archives building will re-open Tuesday.

Photo: A meeting of mine workers
Randy Wanamaker, executive director of the Berners Bay Consortium Human Resources Development Corp., shakes hands with Clifford Adams, Richard Austin and Michael Milligan Saturday as they prepare to board a Coastal Helicopters flight to the Kensington gold mine. The AIC/Kake Tribal joint venture employees are members of the first work crew to go to the mine and start work on construction of the tailings facility at the mine.

Photo: Harborview ribbon-cutting
Harborview students cut the ribbon during the grand re-opening of the refurbished Harborview elementary school Friday. From left, Sierra Ezrre, 5th grade, Elin Antaya, kindergarten, Marcell Cohen, 1st grade, Clare Boily, 4th grade, Tristan Weissmuller, 3rd grade, and Toby Minick 2nd grade. The downtown school was renovated for $16.5 million this past year.

Around Town
Today, Sept. 6

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

A month for Recovery
September is Recovery Month - National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month, that is. And to celebrate people in recovery, as well as those who provide them services, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration will host an assortment of activities.

Western Washington University student Heather Harris, daughter of Richard Harris and Pat Tynan, of Juneau, received a $500 Mount Baker Plywood Furniture Scholarship for the 2009-2010 academic year. The Mount Baker Plywood Furniture Scholarship is awarded to winners of the Mount Baker Products Plywood Furniture Design Competition. Harris earned a grade-point average of 2.87 and is majoring in industrial design.

Senior menu for the week of Sept. 7-11
Monday, Sept. 7

Widowed persons to hold monthly brunch
JUNEAU - The monthly brunch for the Widowed Persons Program will be held at noon Sunday, Sept. 6, in the Franklin Room at the Baranof Hotel.

Photo: Table of the Day
Fabian Grutter, left, and Evening Star Grutter, right, of Eve's Farm, receive the Table of the Day Award from Linda Wilson during the fourth Sitka Farmers Market of the season on Aug. 29 at Alaska Native Brotherhood Hall in Sitka. The Sitka Local Foods Network selected the table - which featured a variety of fresh produce and homemade jams and jellies - to receive the $25 cash prize, an Alaska Farmers Market Association tote bag and a certificate of appreciation. A similar prize package is awarded to a deserving vendor at each of the five Sitka Farmers Markets this summer. The fifth and final market of the season takes place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the ANB Hall. For more information, visit A slideshow of photos from the Aug. 29 market also can be found on the site.

09-09-09: International Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Awareness Day
The human face is diverse, complicated, wonderful and engaging. In one another's faces we see the emotions of life. As we near Sept. 9, 2009, we invite people of all ages to reflect on the value of each God-given life. Our valued cycle of life includes nine months of development in the womb. If we are not cared for in the womb, our cycle of life can be forever changed.

United Way holds annual Campaign KickOff
Chocolate - great American chocolate cake, fresh chocolate chip cookies, brownies and hand-dipped chocolates - will be the highlight of the United Way of Southeast Alaska's Campaign KickOff this Thursday.

Pets of the week
Overindulgent and oh so cuddly, this orange cat is named Garfield, left. Although the resemblance is similar, this Garfield has no Odis or master named John. This cat's heart is just as big as his stomach and he is looking for someone to share it with - just don't ask him to share his dinner.

Local pastor to begin 'Discovering Your Creative Self' classes
JUNEAU - "Discovering Your Creative Self," an adult class connecting art and spirituality, beginning Sept. 15, will explore Julia Cameron's book, "Walking in this World: The Practical Art of Creativity."

Fil-Am Association to hold scholarship fundraising dinner
JUNEAU - The Filipino-American Association of Juneau will have its 2009 scholarship fundraising dinner and dessert auction from 5 to 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 3, at the Tlingit and Haida Community Center, 3235 Hospital Drive.

AWARE announces Child and Adult Care Food Program participation
JUNEAU - Aiding Women in Abuse and Rape Emergencies Inc. announces its participation in the U.S. Department of Agriculture Child and Adult Care Food Program administered by the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development.

UAF, JEDC launch new Arctic Innovation Competition for cash
JUNEAU - The University of Alaska Fairbanks, with support from the Juneau Economic Development Council and its SpringBoard program, has launched a new Arctic Innovation Competition in which participants could win cash for their new, useful, feasible and potentially profitable ideas.

Rider, Schick wed
Shawna Rider and Jonathan Schick were married on July 11, 2009, at their home on Little Rabbit Creek in Anchorage. John Walsh, the bride's step-father, officiated.

Thanks for donating mattresses to Love INC
Princess Cruises recently donated and delivered a number of mattresses from the cruise ship Coral Princess to Love In the Name Christ (INC). Love INC is a network of churches that coordinates and leverages resources to serve our Juneau neighbors. Quality beds and bedding is often a critical (and expensive) need for many of our clients recovering from fire or water damage or seeking to make a new start after a crisis.

Thanks for hospitality during our reunion
The Juneaus of Alberta, Canada, would like to thank the wonderful people of Juneau, Alaska, for their marvelous hospitality during our Juneau International Family Reunion held there in July 2009. Everyone was so kind to us at every step of the way that we still look back on our visit as being absolutely magical. What a beautiful place! You are all to be congratulated on having tourism down to a fine art.

Thank you to those involved in our rescue
My husband and I were involved in the rafting accident on the Mendenhall River on Aug. 17. This excursion was advertised as a river float trip. We had never been on this kind of excursion and trusted the tour company to be truthful in their advertising and competent in their staff's ability to conduct this trip. We should never have been taken onto the river that day. We had arrived on a cruise ship and had no idea that there were warnings of flooding on the Mendenhall River.

Thanks for helping feed our eagles
Thanks to Taku Fisheries, the Juneau Raptor Center has again stored a supply of pink salmon to feed our education and rehabilitating eagles for the coming year. We could not care for all the eagles that come to the center without their generous donation. This is the third year Taku Fisheries has made this donation and we are very grateful to them.

Ketchikan university announces new humanities faculty member
KETCHIKAN - Teague Whalen, UAS Ketchikan's new Assistant Professor of English and Communication, recently moved here from Marquette, Michigan, where he was a teaching fellow and received his Masters of Fine Art (M.F.A.) in creative writing. In the past, he has taught English at North Central Michigan College and in the University of Michigan's New England Literature Program. Currently, he is teaching three sections of COMM 111, Fundamentals of Oral Communication, online this fall and is also a writing tutor in the campus Learning Center. In upcoming semesters, he will be teaching composition, creative writing, and literature as well. Teague is also a performing singer/songwriter/guitar player; writes fiction, non-fiction and poetry; and he is an avid outdoorsman.

Consortium, Cooperative Extension hosts free garden workshop
SITKA - The SEARHC Diabetes and Health Promotion programs have teamed up with master gardener Bob Gorman of the Sitka office of the University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service to offer a series of four free garden workshops this summer. The last workshop of the series takes place from 1:30 to 3 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 9.

Consortium honors FASD Awareness Day on Sept. 9
SITKA - International Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Awareness Day will be observed in Sitka this year on Wednesday, Sept. 9. For more than 10 years, FASD Awareness Day has been observed starting at 9:09 a.m. around the world, through each of the time zones, from New Zealand to Alaska.

Doane, Sabo wed
Dawn Doane, of Sitka, and Thomas Sabo, of Titusville, Fla., were married Aug. 15, 2009, with Elvis in Las Vegas. A reception was already held at Skaters Cabin.

Sturrock, Venechuk wed
Kelsey Sturrock, of Juneau, and Alec Venechuk, of Healy, were married Aug. 8, 2009, at St. Paul's Catholic Church in Juneau. A reception followed at the Juneau Yacht Club.

Neal, McDonald wed
Janice Neal and Thomas McDonald, both of Juneau, were married July 25, 2009, in Las Vegas. A reception was held Aug. 1 at the Arctic Bar.

UAS hires new student services director
When Dr. Jessie Grant was applying for jobs, he never imagined the one in Alaska would call him back.

From staying 'a year' to becoming a 'settled pastor'
People in Juneau frequently laughed when I tell them I moved here to be interim pastor for one year. I was shocked how many people said they too moved here for one year, 20 years ago, 15 years ago, 10 years ago ...

Pahlke earns Eagle Scout award by building gazebo
Jake Pahlke, a senior at Juneau-Douglas High School, celebrated the achievement of his Eagle Scout award with friends and family on Aug. 21 at Auke Village Recreation Area.


Viola Christison
Former Juneau resident Viola Smith Christison died of natural causes on Sept. 2, 2009, at a Montana health care facility. She was 102.

School drug testing: The punishment should fit the crime
The debate over whether high schools in Juneau should test student athletes for drugs has subsided, but now the Juneau School Board must decide what to do with its offenders.

Empire searching for citizen editorial board member
Empire editorials

Wake up: US education system is in a state of crisis
A new school year is under way, but we already can grade the condition of American education. Let's just say no "honor student" bumper stickers will be necessary.

Give US veterans a fair chance
Labor Day is more than the last three-day weekend signaling the end of summer, it's how we acknowledge a very special group of people - American workers.

Toe toon

Governor appoints local woman to council
JUNEAU - Gov. Sean Parnell has appointed Velja Elstad of Juneau to the Governor's Council on Disabilities and Special Education.

Parnell vows fiscal responsibility
ANCHORAGE - Gov. Sean Parnell says the state must operate within its means and he has directed budget work to focus on serving Alaskans with government money spent wisely.

Missing Fairbanks girl's bike found
FAIRBANKS - A missing 14-year-old Fairbanks girl has been found.

Hunters offer reward to catch swan shooter
ANCHORAGE - Four bowhunting groups are offering rewards for information leading to the arrest of the person who shot a trumpeter swan on Tern Lake last week.

Army investigates death of soldier
ANCHORAGE - The Army said the death of a Fort Wainwright, Alaska-based soldier from Blaine, Wash., is under investigation.

81 bears snared in moose survival program
PALMER - An experimental program to increase the survival of moose calves on the west side of Cook Inlet by capturing bears with foot snares has concluded with the removal of 81 black bears.

Former Kenai teacher charged with student sex
KENAI - Prosecutors have charged a former Kenai Central High School teacher of having sex with one of her underaged former students.

Chugiak motorcyclist dead after crash
ANCHORAGE - A 49-year-old Chugiak man has died after his motorcycle crashed on Glenn Highway heading into Anchorage.

Seward man found guilty of illegally selling firewood
ANCHORAGE - A federal judge found a Seward man guilty of illegally collecting and selling firewood.

Coast Guard urges safe holiday boating
JUNEAU - For the last big holiday weekend for recreational boating, the Coast Guard is encouraging responsible and safe recreation on the water.

Minor earthquake felt in Fairbanks
FAIRBANKS - A small earthquake shook Fairbanks on Saturday.

Falcons flatten Sitka
Thunder Mountain set off a few offensive fireworks in the first half Friday against Sitka, and then put forth a stout defensive effort in the second half to hold off the Southeast Conference rival Wolves 26-8 in the first-ever football game at Juneau's new high school.

Sports in Juneau

Juneau karate students earn black belt rankings
Two local karate students earned black belt rankings this summer.

Men's Prostate Cancer Run results
Saturday, Aug. 30

Bears dust Devils
Juneau-Douglas scored 29 second-quarter points en route to a 42-0 whitewashing of East Valley (Wash.) on Friday at Adair-Kennedy Memorial Park.

Big ups to TMHS on an exciting sports week
Congratulations are in order for the coaches, players and parents of Thunder Mountain athletics.

Photo: Falcons falter
Thunder Mountain outside hitter Janie White bumps a pass during volleyball action Friday night against Ketchikan at TMHS. The Kings swept the Falcons 3-0 (25-5, 25-18, 25-6) , and swept the second match on Saturday 3-0 (25-12, 25-22, 25-13). "Overall we did OK," White commented. "Our first game was just to get focused, and then we started to play together as a team. I think we will do fine this season."

Eaglecrest to offer new pass options
The Eaglecrest Board of Directors have announced the season pass and lift ticket pricing for the 2009-2010 winter season. Prices are usually announced at the June board meeting, but due to the uncertainty of the economy and the amount of the Permanent Fund Dividend, the decision was made to delay the pricing decision until the September board meeting. Youth, child and preschool season passes, multi-visit cards and day tickets did not increase in price this season.

Skagway Hill Climb - Part deux
For many, a ride up the road out of Skagway to the White Pass summit is a challenge that you need to (watch for the string of clichés) get pumped up for, gird your loins, get psyched, turn off your brain, ride through the pain, is a once-of- a-lifetime experience ... and on and on.

More on bumblebees
The alpine meadows were lively with bumblebees zooming from flower to flower. It was the only decent day in an autumnal week of gray and gloom and downpour, and the bees were taking full advantage.

Photo: Juneau Rifle and Pistol Club
Shown above are the 2009 Hi-Power Championship Participants. Left to right: John Petrush, Mal Menzies, Dave Zuniga, Michael Petrush, Steve Bennett, Larry Walters, Rick Boyle, Weston Moore, and Mike Knapp.

Arctic Winter Games, Team Alaska looking for interested athletes
Arctic Winter Games Team Alaska is looking for athletes interested in being part of the Alaska Team to the 2010 Games, March 6-13 in Grande Prairie, Alberta, Canda. The selection process has begun in many sports.

Anchorage schools offering 'opt out' for Obama's speech
ANCHORAGE - Anchorage School Superintendent Carol Comeau has told teachers they can show President Barack Obama's televised speech Tuesday to students, but parents can decide to have their children opt out.

Ethics waiver lets AG probe lawyers in Stevens case
WASHINGTON - Attorney General Eric Holder has received an ethics waiver to investigate government lawyers who prosecuted former Sen. Ted Stevens, the White House disclosed Friday.

Palin resignation costs Alaska at least $40,000
ANCHORAGE - Early estimates put the cost of Sarah Palin's midterm resignation as Alaska governor at a minimum of $40,000, not including a special legislative session partly linked to her departure.

Disbanding drug unit claims inequality
ANCHORAGE - Several members of the Metro Drug Unit have filed a complaint against the Anchorage Police Department alleging the unit is disbanding partly because of racial discrimination.

Black bear killed after raiding freezer
FAIRBANKS - A homeowner and a retiree combined forces to fatally shoot a male black bear that raided a freezer in Ester this week.

Woman completes chilly swim
SITKA - A 45-year-old San Diego woman performed a rare feat recently, swimming from Kruzof Island to Sitka. Claudia Rose, who runs an engineering firm in San Diego, is believed to have completed the first-ever recorded swim of Sitka Sound.

Dry dock lifts Seward economy
SEWARD - Rain clouds hovered over Resurrection Bay on a mid-August morning as veteran welder John Ryan stood on a steel surface 70 feet up in the air, welding on the underside of the 800-ton Crowley Marine Service's tugboat Vigilant.

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