Thinned forests won't produce more deer
The Wilderness Society's Karen Hardigg claimed in a Sept. 10 letter to the editor that paying a timber company $670,000 in stimulus tax dollars to thin a second-growth forest will "yield long-term dividends in the form of increased subsistence opportunities, improved wildlife habitat, and economic opportunities for local contractors." Problem is there is no market for the thinned trees.

Vegan diet is only way to eat guilt-free
Theologians have long debated whether there is life after death, but for animals raised for food, there is no life before death.

Vote Mark Choate for Juneau School Board
There are a number of good candidates, including incumbents, who are running for positions on the Juneau School Board this fall. I am writing to endorse Mark Choate.

Gastineau school benefits community
On Oct. 6, Juneau voters will have the opportunity to approve a bond proposition that will provide for the renovation of Gastineau Elementary School. If you live outside of the Gastineau boundaries, you may wonder why you should vote for this proposition.

UA Regents approve tuition hike
The University of Alaska Board of Regents Friday approved a 7 percent tuition hike beginning in 2011, despite objections by student leaders and some regents.

Sixth-grade students delve into mining opportunities
Sixty sixth-grade students gathered beneath the cold, dripping walls of the Maggie Kathleen mine Friday morning as 37-year mining veteran Jerry Harmon gave them a firsthand introduction to underground hard-rock mining.

Empire hires city, education reporter
Mary Catharine Martin has joined the Juneau Empire staff to cover the city and education beats.

Attack on a tax
Cruise lines are blaming Alaska's $50 per person "head tax" for falling revenues in their profitable Alaska business.

Nonprofits, Empire to host candidate forums
Two local nonprofit groups have teamed with the Juneau Empire to host candidate forums this week.

Photo: Cruise-ship season ends
Julia Taylor carries signs away from the Juneau Tours kiosk on the waterfront Sunday at the end of her last shift. Holland America's Zaandam left Sunday, the last scheduled departure for 2009. Juneau Convention and Visitors Bureau President Lorene Palmer said the season was better than expected after gloomy news from the national economy. Projections in December and January indicated cruise-ship travel in Juneau would be down by about 30 percent. Palmer said the industry heavily discounted cruises to Alaska and it's estimated Juneau will pass the 1-million-passenger mark. About 980,000 were expected when the season started.

Photo: Taking aim
Three-year-old Wilder Clay Dillingham aims a stick at imaginary beasts in the trees Sunday along Basin Road during a walk with his father, Brett Dillingham, and younger brother, Landry.

Tynan joins Empire newsroom
Native Texan Matthew Tynan has joined the Juneau Empire as a reporter and copy editor.

Around Town
Today, Sept. 28

Photo: Smoking up some sockeye
Diane McKinley examines red salmon strips she is smoking at Master Tlingit Artists Mick and Rick Beasley's smoke house on their North Douglasproperty. McKinley issmoking about 50 sockeye salmon she got from the Kenai River. She learned how to smoke fish from the Kookesh family inAngoon.

Police & Fire

Photo: Did you say peanuts?
A squirrel greets visitors at the AJ Mine/Gastineau Mill office on Friday morning.

A runner was misidentified in a Sunday sports photo caption. The runner in the main photo was third-place runner Zachary Bursell.

Around Town
Today, Sept. 27

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

A story in Friday's Juneau Empire on the Boys and Girls Club of Juneau stated expected expenditures for the club in 2009 were $7,782,000. That figure is the annual budget for all the Boys and Girls Clubs in Alaska.

Councils coming together
As part of a national realignment strategy, the two Girl Scouts councils in Alaska will merge to form a statewide council - the Girl Scouts of Alaska Council.

Senior menu for the week of Sept. 28-30
Monday, Sept. 28

Museum receives donation from Juneau Volunteer Firefighters Association
The Juneau Volunteer Firefighters Association recently donated a collection of historical records, which cover the Fire Department's history from 1898 to 2001, to the Juneau-Douglas City Museum.

Thanks for promoting the annual Jail & Bail
The Women of the Moose recently hosted the annual March of Dimes' Jail & Bail. The accused were presented before Judge Sonie Blackwell by Sheriff Jim Reid and each one was found guilty of trying to give newborn babies and their families a better start on life.

Thanks for attending the Recovery Slam
I wish to express my appreciation to the local coordinators and sponsors of the fourth annual Recovery Slam at the University of Alaska Southeast this past weekend: Juneau Voices for Recovery, state of Alaska DHSS-DBH, Rainforest Recovery Center, NCADD-Juneau, Juneau Youth Services, Juneau Alliance for Mental Health Inc., the Governor's Advisory Board on Alcoholism & Drug Abuse, and Gastineau Human Services.

Thanks for volunteering at our dinner, auction
On behalf of Helping Hands, I would like to give a big huge thank you to all the volunteers who helped out with this year's annual dinner and auction. Without you, this wouldn't have been possible. A big thank you to Shirley McCoy, who was our auctioneer this year. Shirley, you did wonderful.

Thanks for supporting our Spiritual Gathering
The Alaska Intertribal Deaf Council works to educate Native, non-Native and/or deaf people about the needs of indigenous deaf people throughout Alaska. We work in concert with the national Intertribal Deaf Council to promote a greater awareness and understanding of both the cultural and accessibility issues of Deaf Native Alaskans.

Thanks for making the Farmers Market possible
As Autumn descends upon us, the Juneau Commission on Sustainability would like to take a moment to extend a hearty thank you to the many community supporters who made the 2009 Farmers Market possible.

Thanks for volunteering for the Forest Service
The U.S. Forest Service's Juneau Ranger District would like to thank community volunteers and the following organizations for their donated time and labor this summer. Crews worked to improve the Dredge Lakes trail system in the Mendenhall Glacier Recreation Area, a location enjoyed by many local outdoor enthusiasts.

Thanks to my son's coaches, managers
Our family wanted to thank the following people for all their hard work and dedication to my son's baseball this summer. He couldn't have come as far as he did without you all. A big thank you to Joe Tompkins, Andy Macauley, Andy Markovich and Rorie Watt who coached, managed and travelled with the Juneau East All Star Team and also Midnight Suns Team. They put in many hours conditioning the team with both physical and supportive team work. They also travelled to Ketchikan and Lacey, Wash., and kept our boys in line! Good job to all of you.

Health fair provides screenings to those who may not have access
A local annual health fair is seeking medical and nonmedical community volunteers to help out, as always.

Tongass trumpets: Finding the delectable wild chanterelle
Anyone who has braved the rain-soaked outdoors of late has seen the bounty and variety of wild mushrooms around. Fan-shaped shelf fungi bedecking trees, clusters of shaggy mane standing at the roadside, rotund little puff balls, thin fingers of strap coral - there are hundreds of species found in Southeast Alaska, many of them edible.

Frisby, Kookesh to wed
Tyler Michael Frisby is pleased to announce the most recent engagement of his parents, Melissa May Kookesh, of Angoon, and Charlie Patterson Frisby, of Hydaburg. The couple, who live in Juneau, are planning a 2010 fall destination wedding in Hawaii with friends and family.

Lang, Koplin wed
David Lang, of Juneau, and Rachael Koplin, of Olympia, Wash., were married Sept. 19, 2009, at the abandoned Treadwell hospital in Douglas. A dinner was held at the Baranof Hotel followed by a show at The Hangar Ballroom played by "The Revengencers."

Wilson, McHenry wed
Miranda Wilson and Derek McHenry, both of Juneau, were married Aug. 1, 2009, on a private beach at Fritz Cove. A reception followed after.


Wildflower Court receives Quality Health Care Award
Wildflower Court has been recognized as the 2008-2009 recipient of Mountain-Pacific Quality Health's Excellence in Care Award, presented by Sharon Stiassny, director of Mountain-Pacific's Alaska office during the Alaska State Hospital and Nursing Home Association conference held Sept. 10 and 11 in Soldotna.

The accounting firm of Elgee Rehfeld Mertz announced that Mark Mesdag, a certified public accountant, has accepted a position after spending eight years in Washington.

Jeremiah Alexander Martin
Juneau baby Jeremiah Alexander Martin died Sept. 22, 2009, in Juneau. He was 3 months old.

Steven Kermit Meier
Former Juneau resident and commercial fisherman Steven Kermit Meier died Sept. 20, 2009, in Seattle, Wash.

Linda Marks Dugaqua
Former Juneau resident Linda Marks Dugaqua died Sept. 20, 2009, in Anchorage, after a week-long coma following an aneurysm and heart attack. Her children and brother, Paul, were with her at the time of death. She was 63.

The business of 'too big to fail'
The following editorial first appeared in the Anchorage Daily News:

Promises vs. reality
President Obama made three prominent promises during his campaign: (1) If you like your health plan, you can keep it; (2) your health plan would cost about $2,500 less; and (3) if you make less than $250,000 per year, your taxes won't go up.

Health reform collides with organized labor's Cadillac
The health-care debate is supposed to be more civil now. But I guess Gerald McEntee didn't get the memo. During the recent AFL-CIO convention in Pittsburgh, the labor leader blasted the draft bill put forth by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., : "It's all bull manure," McEntee roared. "It's bull manure." Except he didn't say "manure."

Tom DeLay, OK; Elaine and Leonard, oh, the horror
"Do you love me, now that I can dance?" - The Contours, 1962

GOP return to power could be swift
The D.C. pundits think they have it nailed. Sure President Obama and the Democrats have slipped from their mighty post-election high approval ratings. But the Republicans have no message and no candidates, and are a party that has allowed itself to become marginalized because of an over-reliance on the support of Southern whites.

Outside editorial: Another nuclear plant in Iran
The revelation that Iran has been illegally hiding another nuclear plant represented an intelligence coup for the United States and its allies, and it was delivered at an important moment - just days before the first meeting in a year between Iran and the international coalition that has been pressing for a suspension of its nuclear program. The uranium enrichment facility, hidden in tunnels under a mountain near the city of Qom, looks like the sort of clandestine plant that U.S. intelligence agencies predicted Iran would use to produce a weapon; officials say that when it is operational, it could deliver the material for a bomb in a year. If that was its purpose, then its discovery has dealt Iran's program a setback.

Toe Toon

Two delayed bison reach Popof Island
ANCHORAGE - Transportation problems delayed two female bison meant to diversify the gene pool of the Popof Island herd, but Abigail and Kelly have arrived.

Chugiak apartment fire displaces 27 families
ANCHORAGE - The American Red Cross of Alaska said 27 families have been displaced by a fire at a Chugiak apartment complex.

Senators criticize Obama over militia
ANCHORAGE - Alaska's two U.S. senators say they are disappointed over the Obama administration's objection to federal retirement pay for World War II veterans.

Glenn Beck gets key to hometown city
MOUNT VERNON, Wash. - As planned, the mayor of Glenn Beck's hometown in Washington state presented the Fox News personality with a ceremonial key to the city Saturday evening, an event preceded by weeks of protests and petitions calling for the cancellation of the visit.

Fishing boat grounded on rocks near Kodiak
KODIAK - Three people have been picked up by a Good Samaritan vessel after their ship went aground.

University of Alaska regents OK tuition hike
FAIRBANKS - Regents at the University of Alaska have voted to hike tuition and to approve four new academic programs.

Nonprofit, Empire candidate forums slated to start today
JUNEAU - The Glory Hole's "Lunch and Learn" series begins today at noon, with incumbent Mayor Bruce Botelho and challenger Mark Farmer.

2 dead after trailer fire in North Pole
NORTH POLE - Two people are dead after a travel trailer caught fire near North Pole.

Seattle-area CPA accused of cheating Native corporation
SEATTLE - A Seattle-area accountant has been accused of cheating an Alaska Native corporate subsidiary out of $188,000.

State flags to be lowered to honor former Mayor Sullivan
ANCHORAGE - Gov. Sean Parnell has ordered that state flags be flown at half-staff on Oct. 3 in honor of former Anchorage Mayor George Sullivan.

Second freight train derails within 24 hours
GILLETTE, Wyo. - A Burlington Northern Santa Fe train hauling coal in Wyoming has derailed, marking the second time within 24 hours that trains belonging to the railway company went off the tracks.

Bears rule Region V
In a rain-soaked Region V Cross Country Championship at Treadwell Mines Trail, not even the elements, nor the inconspicuous absence of the state's best girls' runner, Leah Francis, could keep the Juneau-Douglas Crimson Bears from reaching next weekend's state championship meet in Palmer.

Fenumiai earns prestigious Gatorade award
For the third time in Juneau-Douglas history, the softball program has added an Alaska Gatorade Player of the Year to its record books.

Sports in Juneau

JDHS blanks Colony
During a senior-night matchup with pre-game hype worthy of a championship game and conference bragging rights, the battle for the Railbelt title lived up to the billing as the Crimson Bears shut down the Colony Knights' bid for a perfect season.

Rivalries good for schools, Juneau
Friday and Saturday were big milestones for Juneau high school sports, as Juneau-Douglas and Thunder Mountain met for the very first time on the volleyball court.

Juneau-Douglas aces first matches with TMHS
It was all smiles for Juneau-Douglas on Friday in the first-ever meeting with Thunder Mountain on the volleyball court as the Crimson Bears cruised to a 3-0 victory over their new cross-town rival.

Sheakleys shake things up
One out of three Sheakleys won their bouts when family members from Angoon took Roughhouse boxing at Marlintini's by sheer numbers.

Sports in Juneau

Athletes sue school district in Mat-Su
WASILLA - Two Colony High School softball players and their parents have sued the Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District, claiming the district is not providing equal sports opportunities to girls.

Alaska dividend applicants increase
ANCHORAGE - Alaska Permanent Fund dividend applications rose this year and may again be outpacing the state's population growth.

Former lawmaker seeks bribery case dismissal
ANCHORAGE - Former state Rep. Pete Kott is seeking dismissal of his federal bribery case on grounds of prosecutorial misconduct.

Restoration effort helps heal Tongass
ANCHORAGE - Loggers who for decades clear-cut large swaths of old trees from the nation's largest national forest left behind a legacy of destruction.

Alaska's ferries offer essential state service
ABOARD THE M/V COLUMBIA, Alaska - Capt. John McMahon was tired mid-morning on the second day of the voyage. He had been dragged out of bed after the fog rolled in. Visibility was down to two-tenths of a mile.

Barras sentenced for the assault of homeless man
ANCHORAGE - A 21-year-old Anchorage man was sentenced to seven years in prison for assaulting a homeless man and setting him on fire.

Young sons welcome parents home from Iraq
FAIRBANKS - A return home by an Alaska-based Army brigade was doubly sweet for one family.

Old contaminated mine proposed for Superfund list
ANCHORAGE - An old mine near where clams and mussels are contaminated with arsenic and heavy metals is being proposed for priority cleanup as a federal Superfund site.

Trail improvements will continue with stimulus
KETCHIKAN - A good hike can be stimulating, so it's appropriate that federal stimulus funds will go toward improving several area hiking trails, including the popular Perseverance Trail in Ketchikan.

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