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Sunday, September 13, 2009

Will Alaska continue as an energy leader?
With Congress now back in session, clean energy and climate legislation will be picking back up. I say it's time to put partisan politics aside.

Life after tragedy
Chase Schneider didn't know he'd been shot until he was lying on the floor, unable to move. His whole body felt like it was asleep and his blood was on the wall near the kitchen counter where he'd been drinking juice. The shooter was Kevin Michaud, 15 at the time.

Alaska leaders divided on health care reform
Health reform issues that are dividing leaders in Washington, D.C., also are dividing leaders in Alaska.

Disney cruise ship to make stop in Juneau
Mickey Mouse is coming to the capital city.

Man pleads guilty to sexual abuse
The far-reaching effects of sexual abuse were evident in court Friday as 24-year-old Richard Hunt Jr.'s mother, brother and infant daughter sat in the gallery and listened as he admitted to abusing two 15-year-old girls last summer.

Photos: Remembering Sept. 11
GATHERING: At a Sept. 11 memorial service, Carl Ferlauto speaks at the start of the gathering at Rotary Park. In the background a rainbow can be seen over the Mendenhall Valley.

Photo: Octoberfest
Jacque Farnsworth and Russel Strandtmann dance Saturday to a polka played by the Dale Wygant Oompah Band at the Rainforest Restaurant located at the top of the Mount Roberts Tramway. The Mount Roberts Tramway and Alaskan Brewing Company hosted the 12th annual Octoberfest Friday and Saturday at the restaurant.

Around Town
Today, Sept. 13

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

Making a BIG difference
Big Brothers Big Sisters is looking for big expansions - in little ways. For those who didn't know, the organization holds community lunch-and-learn events, called Little Moments Luncheons, every month at various locations.

Photo: Lucky ducks
Winners of the Juneau Glacier Valley Rotary Club's annual Duck Derby on Aug. 29 pose with Rotary President Jamie Letterman, far right, and Duck Derby chairman Adam Furlong, second from right. From left are Pauline Baker, third place, $1,000; Beth Weldon, first place, $5,000; and Ken Crocker,second place, $2,500.

The Spectator, Juneau: How the past compares to what we are
"We all of us complain of the shortness of Time and yet have much more than we know what to do with. Our Lives are spent either in doing nothing at all or in doing nothing to the purpose, or in doing nothing that we ought to do; we are always complaining our Days are few, and Acting as though there would be no End of them ... If we divide Life of most men into 20 parts, we shall find at least 19 of them are mere Gaps and Chasms, which are neither filled with Pleasure nor Business ... "

Senior menu for the week of Sept. 14-18
Monday, Sept. 14

Cannery Days reminiscence
Salmon canneries represent a colorful chapter in Southeast Alaska's history. Like the Klondike Gold Rush, many non-Native people came to Alaska expecting to make it rich harvesting salmon.

Wake up, Juneau! School's calling
Ah, the first days of school. Summer is over - time to get back to the business of learning. It's always hard to give up the freedom of summer and trade it for the routines of the school year. At least here in Juneau, there's no doubt that summer is over. The fireweed has gone to seed, the temperature dips into the 40s, and the kids start wishing for snow, of all things. Summer is already a distant memory.

Thanks for volunteering to pick up trash
Friends of Admiralty Island, a Juneau nonprofit conservation organization, thanks the 14 volunteers who dedicated their Labor Day weekend to removing an estimated 5,000 pounds of trash from the one mile of Admiralty Island shoreline that lies north of Symonds Point on the Mansfield Peninsula.

United Way chooses Kaplor as Volunteer of the Year
The United Way of Southeast Alaska kick-off Thursday was highlighted by the announcement of Betty Kaplor as the Volunteer of the Year. Nominated Helping Hands, Kaplor was recognized for her quarter-of-a-century worth of contributions to fighting hunger in Juneau and earning a $1,000 check from Shattuck and Grummett Insurance for her agency.

Pets of the week
Gracie (multi-colored cat)

Salmon Marmitako: Stew for a Spanish fisherman
Fall comes early to these parts. I saw the first signs in mid-August while biking out the road. Movement caught my eye at the edge of the forest; a flicker of silver and green, as one falling leaf rocked its way to the ground, and then another.

Locals to receive tram deal Sept. 27
JUNEAU - Only Juneau residents will have the opportunity to participate in a special $2 Mount Roberts Tramway day ticket per person on Sunday, Sept. 27.

NAMI to hold Family to Family class
JUNEAU - NAMI Juneau, the Juneau affiliate of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, announces its free Family to Family class will begin Monday.

Red Cross to train disaster volunteers
JUNEAU - The American Red Cross will conduct training for disaster volunteers beginning Sept. 23 at the Red Cross Office, 3200 Hospital Drive in Juneau.

Northern Light to welcome new minister
JUNEAU - Northern Light United Church officially welcomes Rev. Kim Poole as its minister at 10 a.m. today. The community is invited to attend.

Tribute, celebration wake held for Eckles
JUNEAU - Tyler Dean "Tag" Eckles died the morning of July 26, 2009, after a valiant fight against cancer, with his wife, Hildegard, and friends at his side. His friends are invited to a celebration wake, with music and stories, at 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 19, at the Alaskan Bar & Hotel. Around 5 p.m., guests will continue to the Red Dog Saloon for the placement of his ashes.

Eagle Valley Center to host fall workshops
JUNEAU - SAGA's Eagle Valley Center will host several fall workshops starting in September. All programs are open to the public and held at SAGA's Eagle Valley Center, 24600 Amalga Harbor Road.

Stevens chairs 2009 United Way campaign
JUNEAU - "United we stand and divided we fall," said 2009 United Way of Southeast Alaska Campaign Chair Lance Stevens. "I'm convinced that by supporting United Way of Southeast Alaska and its mission, we are doing the right thing for families, friends and neighbors."

Al-Anon recovery group starts Alateen group
JUNEAU - Al-Anon, a 12-step recovery group for friends and family of people who drink or use drugs, is starting an Alateen meeting in Juneau, beginning Thursday, Sept. 17, and taking place the first and third Thursday of every month. Meetings will take place from 7 to 8 p.m. at St. Paul's Catholic Church, 9055 Atlin Drive, Parish Hall, Classroom 4.

Thanks for supporting the Juneau Jumpers
The Juneau Jumpers would like to offer an enthusiastic and heartfelt thank you to the coaches, many community sponsors and parents who helped make their 22nd season such a success. The Juneau Jumpers program is a supportive, safe, healthy, and fun environment for those third grade through high school who are willing to put forth the effort and the dedication to practice, to learn, teach, and perfect jump rope and gymnastic skills; it promotes a healthy lifestyle, teamwork, as well as personal development. Try-outs for the 23rd season team start at the end of this month (for details visit http://juneaujumpers.org) and all interested persons welcome! This past season culminated with a Spring Show in May and, new this year, a Mother's Day Cruise fund raiser. At the show, the team displayed their awesome jumping talents, including the light show routine and the human jump rope along with other incredible jump rope skills and routines. During the show, the 7 lucky winners of the 22st annual Juneau Jumpers raffle were drawn and there was a silent auction featuring some fantastic homemade desserts and creative baskets, created and donated by team families. Thanks to all the parents and volunteers helping to put the show on and the community for showing your appreciation for the Juneau Jumper program by attending the show. The Mother's Day cruise was a huge success. The weather was amazing, the food was delicious, the whale show was out of this world, and the tickets were remarkably reasonable for this priceless event. The Juneau Jumper team wishes to offer a HUGE thank you to Allen Marine Tours for their incredibly generous donation of the catamaran, friendly and helpful crew, and energy which made this cruise possible.

Wheeler, Mansell wed
Sarah Mansell and David Wheeler, both of Juneau, were married Aug. 30, 2009, in Boise, Idaho. The bride's uncle, the Rev. Mike Rose, of Juneau Christian Center, presided. A reception followed.

Thanks for attending Beat the Odds race
In spite of the cold, wet and windy weather, nearly 400 folks gathered together for the Beat the Odds race and walk event held Aug. 29 at Riverbend Elementary School. It was a great turnout and we thank all the walkers and runners who participated.

Thanks for assisting when our raft flipped
My wife and I were on the raft that flipped on the Mendenhall River on Aug. 17.

Thanks for turning out at the garden tours
The Southeast Alaska Master Gardeners would like to thank everyone who turned out for the annual Master Gardeners garden tours. We would also like to thank the following people who allowed us to tour their gardens: Kristine Trott, Cheryl Novak, Justine Emerson, Ken Christiansen, Leanne and Jeff Pilcher, Barbie McClung, Janice Taylor, Cindy Hartman-Moore, Nancy Norton and Cathy and Dwan Hall.

Thanks for making our kickoff a success
United Way of Southeast Alaska would like to thank the following individuals and businesses that helped to make our 24th annual campaign kickoff in Juneau so successful.

Fears, Loob to wed
Deanna Renee Fears, of Fresno, Calif., and Gregory Alan Loob, of Juneau, will marry at noon Friday, Sept. 18, 2009, at Shelter Island in Juneau. A reception will be held at 9 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 19, at the Sandbar, with live music featuring Moses Kane.

Smith, Hutson wed
Tara Smith and John Hutson, both of Juneau, were married in a private ceremony on Aug. 30, 2009, in Juneau. Friends and relatives will be notified about the reception at a later date.

Varnis celebrate 61 years
Longtime Juneau residents Alvina "Pat" and Roy Varni celebrated their 61st anniversary on Friday.

National Public Lands Day
Last year, for National Public Lands Day, 120,000 volunteers worked at more than 1,800 different locations in every state. This year, Juneau's efforts will include work on the Dredge Lake Trail from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 19.

FYI
Births

The Carlos Boozer Bible
Echo Ranch Bible Camp has been around since 1964, and it's amazing to think how many kids have visited us since then. The staff is reminded of this every time we drive a camp vehicle with the logo on the side or wear an Echo Ranch hooded sweatshirt into the grocery store.

Billy Paul Jones
Juneau resident Billy Paul Jones died July 21, 2009, in Bothell, Wash. He was 83.

Tyler Dean Eckles
Tyler Dean "Tag" Eckles died peacefully on the morning of July 26, 2009, after a valiant fight against cancer, with his wife, Hildegard, and friends at his side. He was 59.

Parnell takes a stand on gas line
Gov. Sean Parnell is playing the state's cards just right with the North Slope gas holders. Before they'll invest billions in a North Slope gas pipeline, they say they need more "fiscal certainty" over future taxes than the state is currently offering.

Restarting plastic recycling
Good news on the recycling front: The Anchorage Recycling Center is once again taking plastic bags and plastic wrap at its main location. The recycling center had stopped taking those soft plastics because the Outside market for the low-grade plastic material had dried up. Typically those recycled plastics would be used to make plastic lumber, and demand for that product evaporated during last year's economic meltdown.

Bigotry in Buffalo with a lighter shade of blues
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." - Martin Luther King, Jr.

When in doubt, blame the illegals
God bless Joe Wilson, the Republican congressman from South Carolina. He was acting the clown the other night when he heckled President Obama, but out of his foolishness perhaps a lesson might be learned.

Toe Toon
This week's Toe Toon.

Contractor convicted of bank fraud
ANCHORAGE - A 57-year-old Anchorage contractor has been convicted of bank fraud.

Alaska Railroad plans to lay off 20 percent of workers
ANCHORAGE - The Alaska Railroad Corp.'s chief executive said in a memo that the railroad is preparing to lay off about 20 percent of its work force in the face of dwindling revenues.

Anchorage, Mat-Su foreclosure rates jump
ANCHORAGE - A company that collects housing data reported the July foreclosure rates in Anchorage and the Mat-Su jumped from a year ago, but they're still below national averages.

Contracts granted for new Nome hospital
NOME - The Indian Health Service has awarded a $91 million contract for construction of the new Norton Sound Regional Hospital in Nome.

Anchorage man pleads guilty in 2004 shooting
ANCHORAGE - After two deadlocked juries, Jeron Batts has pleaded guilty to manslaughter for the 2004 shooting of Jerimiah Honeyblue.

Juneau judge to oversee Anchorage judge's DUI case
ANCHORAGE - A Juneau judge has been assigned to preside over the criminal case against an Anchorage judge accused of drunk driving.

Bitter pill for Bears to swallow
Four turnovers. That's never a good formula for winning football games. Especially important games with playoff implications.

Crimson Bears fall flat
NORTH POLE - When Jared Isaacson snagged the ball with his fingertips, he could hardly believe it.

Interceptions cost Thunder Mountain
Turnovers and penalties killed Thunder Mountain on Friday night against Hoopa Valley, and the Warriors scored 20 second-quarter points to pick up a 44-34 win over the Falcons at Thunder Mountain High School.

Photo: Two for TMHS
Hugh Watts and James Steves compete Friday in a cross country race in Skagway.

Bitter pill for Bears to swallow
Four turnovers. That's never a good formula for winning football games. Especially important games with playoff implications.

Sports in Juneau
CALENDAR OF EVENTS

Rocket attack kills three soldiers from Fort Richardson
ANCHORAGE - Three Fort Richardson-based soldiers died in Iraq this week when a rocket struck their vehicle.

Couple arrested after suspicious buys link to meth making
FAIRBANKS - Authorities arrested a North Pole couple after the two bought large amounts of items used to make methamphetamine.

Parnell meets with China's top legislator
ANCHORAGE - Gov. Sean Parnell said he had a wide-ranging meeting with China's top legislator.

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