Saturday, September 19, 2009

Cruise Association will challenge AK head tax
Cruise ship companies unhappy with Alaska's $50 cruise ship passenger head tax are expected to challenge the tax in federal court on constitutional grounds, possibly as soon as today.

Scholes pleads guilty to kidnapping, rape
A 40-year-old man with a history of mental illness pleaded guilty Thursday to three felonies for kidnapping and raping a teenage girl last year.

Two-term School Board incumbent seeks third go
In the span of about 15 minutes, several dozen parents at an Auke Bay Elementary School open house Wednesday asked Andi Story about her re-election plans and appeared excited about the possibility of her serving on the Juneau School Board for three more years.

Danner's assembly campaign about finding middle ground
Ruth Danner wants to sit on the Juneau Assembly to help find middle ground among the city's sometimes polarized views, she said.

Madsen says she would ask hard questions about spending funds
Stephanie Madsen is running for the Juneau Assembly District 2 seat to retain a fiscally conservative voice on the nine-member board.

Photo: Triple tread
Don Koch rides his new trike Thursday next to Montana Creek Road. Koch bought his German-made 18-speed trike in California recently, and has been riding it every day for at least 10 miles, he said. The trike has a generator built in to the front hub that powers its lights. "I've been enjoying the hell out of it," Koch said.

Around Town
Today, Sept. 18

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

Stuart Boyles
Former Juneau resident Stuart Boyles died Sept. 11, 2009, in Fairbanks. He was 46.

Francis J. "Mac" Mackin
Former Sitka and Hoonah resident Francis J. "Mac" Mackin died Sept. 14, 2009, in Spokane, Wash. He was 87.

My turn: Health care debate picks up pace, shows progress
Over the past few weeks, the conversation about fundamentally changing our nation's health-care delivery system has continued, indeed it has picked up pace. After a summer of intense debate, with raised voices at town hall meetings and competing claims about what reform might mean exploding from the media, Congress returned to Washington to take up this extremely important issue. The eyes and ears of America were on President Obama as he addressed Congress last week. While I don't think there's a solution right around the corner, I think progress is being made and I commend our elected leaders for their efforts.

My turn: Left out in the rain
Like everyone, mom and dad had their imperfections. But, they taught me by example that everyone has a right to a life of dignity, free from want. I can't remember a time when we didn't have a needy relative, neighbor or even a stranger sharing our comfortable middle class suburban house.

Alaska editorial: Gov't health care will fall short of the mark
President Barack Obama's speech to the Congress and the public on health care reform last week certainly laid out in definitive terms the challenge facing this country. And yet, the debate rages on between supporters and opponents. Disagreement remains on various details of any final plan: who benefits and who doesn't, who pays and how. And the misinformation, as insidious and wrong-headed as it is, refuses to die completely.

Journalism has a tough public-relations problem
When non-journalist acquaintances learned the subject of the college textbook I've been working on the last two years, a lot of them reached for the same arcane word to express their reaction.

Runner's belief in heroes revitalized by road relay
Somewhere, in the tumultuous hills of adolescence and into the straight stretches of a middle-age adult, I lost my belief in heroes and all they represent. And then, in one 14-hour period along a highway in Canada, they came to life again.

Jumbo-vision: Standing on the top of Douglas Island
Do you hear that pitter-patter on your roof, the slow drip on the sidewalk? That's the sound of autumn, and it's here.

Early fall hikes bring sunshine
Fall seemed to come down like a heavy gray curtain, sometime in August. So it was a very pleasant surprise when two Parks and Recreation hikes in an early September week found us in broad sunlight.

SEARHC EMS offers Wilderness First Responder course
SITKA - The SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium Emergency Medical Services department is offering a Wilderness First Responder course that involves some preliminary online computer work before class sessions begin on Oct. 12-16 at the Southeast Region Emergency Medical Services Council, Inc., (SEREMS) classroom in Sitka, 100 Clothilde Bahovec Way, out near the ferry terminal.

Be on the lookout for non-local fish
JUNEAU - With the fishing season winding down, officials are reminding outdoors enthusiasts to be on the lookout for invasive species.

Davis tops PITA shotgun match results
JUNEAU - The Juneau Gun Club held its Pacific International Trapshooting Association monthly competition Sept. 12. The field was limited, with good weather starting the three-event match. It ended with heavy rain. Jay Davis, an "A" shooter, was the high gun overall with wins in each event.

Out & About

Fishing report
Creel surveys conducted by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game have finished for the 2009 season. The published report states that throughout Southeast Alaska, halibut and coho fishing remains good for the month of September, however king salmon fishing has tapered, as is typical in the fall and winter months. Similarly, fishing for pink and chum salmon is basically over for the season.

Tides

Anchorage unions question shorter work week
ANCHORAGE - Members of the largest city employee union in Anchorage want to know if they'll still face layoffs if their hours are cut.

Fairbanks hot line set up to answer swine flu questions
FAIRBANKS - Agencies have opened a hotline at the Fairbanks North Star Borough offices to answer questions about swine flu.

Alaska Railroad Corp. layoffs expected next week
ANCHORAGE - The Alaska Railroad Corp. says it will contact employees personally next week to tell them about layoffs.

Visit by 'ex-gay' evangelist sparks debate at UAF
FAIRBANKS - A series of speeches by evangelist Edward Delgado has stirred controversy at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Anchorage schools to offer free flu shots
ANCHORAGE - The Anchorage School District will offer students swine flu vaccine when it becomes available.

No injuries during emergency landing in Bethel
BETHEL - Officials say no one was injured when a small plane made an emergency landing at the Bethel airport.

Kenai woman with 2 IDs accused of fraud
ANCHORAGE - A 59-year-old Kenai woman has been indicted on charges of mail fraud and bankruptcy fraud.

Downtown restroom facilities to close
JUNEAU - The city will close the public restrooms Monday located on the ground floor of the downtown parking garage and Juneau Public Library.

Bears win home opener
Juneau-Douglas cruised to a 3-1 win over Mt. Edgecumbe in the Crimson Bears' volleyball home opener Thursday at Juneau-Douglas High School.

Two holes in one at Mendenhall
Bob Young, of Juneau, made a hole in one at Mendenhall Golf Course on Sept. 6 on the eighth hole with a 5 wood, witnesssed by his wife, Orlinda Kittredge.

Sports in Juneau
CALENDAR OF EVENTS

Bears JV football tops North Pole
The JV football Bears improved to 3-2, 3-1 after a 19-6 win over North Pole on Saturday.

Carcasses of dead walruses spotted on Alaska coast
ANCHORAGE - Up to 200 dead walruses have been spotted on the shore of Chukchi Sea on Alaska's northwest coast.

Salazar says he may wait on offshore drilling plan
WASHINGTON - Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said Thursday he's in no hurry to make a decision on whether to allow offshore drilling in federal waters off Alaska and other states, a remark that disappointed advocates of offshore drilling for oil and gas.

Alaska Native leaders offer advice about partnerships
ANCHORAGE - Alaska Native corporations have formed hundreds of partnerships with non-Native firms in many lines of business, from tourism to mining to government contracting, and have shared some of their experience in making those relationships work.

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