Tuesday, September 29, 2009

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.

Americans have a right to be angry
Many in Congress have a problem understanding why their constituents have been so upset at town hall meetings. Could it be because:

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.

Eating healthy on a limited budget
The recent story, "Lawmakers live on food stamps for one week" (Sept. 21), presented an important reminder about the challenges faced by many individuals and families who find themselves living on limited resources.

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.

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.

$34.5 billion gold discovery made in Yakutat
An out-of-state investment company is causing controversy in Yakutat after it staked hundreds of mining claims on sacred Native sites and around river systems that have driven the community's economy for generations.

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

Photo: Working the line
Alaska Electric Light & Power Co. apprentice lineman John Pugh, left, prepares to attach a bird guard above an electrical transformer box Monday while journeyman lineman Paul Davies supervises.

Photo: Taste of home
Mr. Tyson licks his lips Monday in the arms of Supervisor Linda Miller at the Gastineau Humane Society. The humane society currently has 25 cats, two birds, a guinea pig, a rabbit, a gerbil, a ferret, and Mr. Tyson - a pug - ready for adoption.

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.

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: Quiet retirement
Mark Kissel and his dog, Comet, walk Monday along Brotherhood Bridge. Comet, a 13-year-old Siberian Husky, is a former sled dog who "enjoyed a good pull more than a walk when he was younger," Kissel said. "He's mellowed now."

Around Town
Today, Sept. 28

Photo: Tourists leave, aliens invade
High school foreign exchange students dressed as aliens march Saturday in the annual Running of the Boots parade in Sitka. The event is part of the Season's End Celebration, which marks the end of the tourist season and beginning of the rainy season.

Police & Fire
Assault:

Around Town
Today, Sept. 29

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

William 'Bill' Thomas Satko
Former Juneau resident William "Bill" Thomas Satko died Sept. 18, 2009, at his home in Richland, Wash. He was 76.

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

Free speech and rights of animals
An increasing sensitivity to the suffering of animals has been reflected both in public attitudes and in the law. Michael Vick's involvement in an illegal dogfighting ring provoked appropriate public outrage and resulted in a 19-month prison stay for the football star. Movie credits assure the audience that "no animals were harmed in the making of this film."

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."

Breaking the stigmas about mental illness
Mental Illness Awareness Week, recognized Oct. 4-11, is an annual national public education campaign designed to help open the eyes of Americans to the reality of mental illness. Congress established the event in 1990 in recognition of efforts by the National Alliance on Mental Illness to increase public awareness of mental illness and its widespread effects.

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.

Behind anger is a call for change
I listen to America - in focus groups, telephone interviews, town halls and polls in all 50 states - for a living. It used to be fun. Now it's become painful.

Man gets 10 years for dealing drugs
ANCHORAGE - An Anchorage man has received 10 years in federal prison for dealing drugs.

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.

Canada's 'Prince of Pot' in custody
VANCOUVER, British Columbia - Canada's so-called Prince of Pot is now in jail awaiting extradition to the United States for selling marijuana seeds.

Fairbanks voters to decide school bond
FAIRBANKS - Fairbanks voters will see a school bond issue on the October municipal ballot.

Lawmaker worried about intersection
ANCHORAGE - State Rep. Max Gruenberg of Anchorage says an accident is waiting to happen at an intersection he considers the most dangerous in his district.

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.

No license for gun shop linked to snipers
SEATTLE - A Tacoma gun shop linked to the D.C. sniper case isn't getting its firearms license back.

Leaky Seattle dam causes flood worries
KENT, Wash. - For nearly 25 years, Kathy Gladden has lived about 100 feet from the Green River, a normally placid stream that meanders past the many homes, offices, warehouses and shopping malls that blanket the area.

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.

Stove starts fire at Anchorage restaurant
ANCHORAGE - Anchorage firefighters said a stove left on overnight caused a fire at a Midtown restaurant.

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.

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.

Former lawmaker Specking dies at 90
ANCHORAGE - The Alaska governor's office said former state Rep. Keith Specking has died at age 90.

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.

Parnell plans Chamber of Commerce speech
FAIRBANKS - Gov. Sean Parnell will be traveling to Fairbanks to attend the Greater Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce annual meeting today, where he will give the keynote speech.

Courthouse odor blamed on ventilation
PALMER - Officials at the new courthouse in Palmer have figured out why the smell of sewage was spreading through the building.

Anchorage to get vaccine in November
ANCHORAGE - Anchorage officials expect the swine flu vaccine to arrive in the city by early November.

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.

Help! My putt is afraid of the dark!
Sorry, Coach Thibodeau, I dropped the ball - or in this case, the running spikes. In sports slang, I 'pooched the pigskin' (missed a kick). My putt was afraid of the dark (won't go in the hole). I air-mailed the dance floor (went over the green). My Sunday cross-country photo identified Zachary Bursell as Sage Thibodeau. That was my mistake: Wrong cutline on the wrong photo.

Sports in Juneau
CALENDAR OF EVENTS

Lawmakers question Permanent Fund investment strategy
Alaska legislators are continuing to question the Alaska Permanent Fund's new "leading edge" asset allocation strategy, with leading legislators saying they should have been consulted on such a change.

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.

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.

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.

Palin finishes memoir, 'Going Rogue'
NEW YORK - That was fast.

Republican Bill Walker joins race for governor
ANCHORAGE - Anchorage attorney Bill Walker jumped into the race for governor Monday and declared that construction of a natural gas pipeline from the North Slope to Valdez will be the focus of his campaign.

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.

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

Medical personnel participate in Arctic goodwill deployment
An army of medical personnel - both for people and pets - trooped out to Alaska's North Slope and Northwest Arctic for about 20 days last month as part of the Coast Guard's Arctic Crossroads 2009.

Whalers land four bowheads on first day of fall hunt in Barrow
BARROW - Barrow whalers landed four bowheads on the first day of the fall hunt.

Anchorage plans effort to help homeless
ANCHORAGE - Anchorage's Department of Health and Human Services plans to give Mayor Dan Sullivan its recommendations this week on how to better serve the homeless.

Feds must decide on listing ice seals as threatened
ANCHORAGE - A federal agency must decide within three weeks whether spotted seals, which depend on sea ice off Alaska's coast, should be listed as a threatened or endangered species.

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