Wednesday, September 30, 2009

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:

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.

$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.

City mulls leash law revisions
Some local dog owners are worried proposed changes to Juneau's animal control ordinance could result in more restrictions and more fines for dog owners.

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.

First frost bites two weeks early
Clear skies Monday night sent temperatures below freezing, Juneau's first frost of the season.

Legislators order audit of natural gas agency
A legislative committee Monday ordered an audit of the Alaska Natural Gas Development Authority.

Photo: Candidate conversation
From left, District 1 Assembly candidates Ruth Danner and Stephanie Madsen address a question from homeless National Guard veteran Ric Willard, of Angoon, during a lunch forum at the Glory Hole. Homeless since February, Willard has lived on the streets in Bellingham, Wash., Sitka and Juneau. "I help every homeless person I meet," Willard said. "I tell them I will do all I can todeligate for them, to get them help and bring them T-shirts and socks and tell them where to go for food and where to sleep."

Photo: Mattress King
Ted Sadtler gives his famous finger-pointing dance pose on Tuesday as he sets up his firstMattress Ranch location in Southeast Alaska in the Nugget Mall. "Price-wise I got them," Sadtler said. "Come on out and say 'hi' and dance with me. Well, I don't really call this dancing; I kind of fidget. ... I've been here three hours. I love it! How about this weather?" The grand opening is Oct. 5.

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."

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
Juneau police and fire officials and state police reported:

Around Town
Today, Sept. 29

Around Town
Wednesday, Sept. 30

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

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."

American beauties
"One learns that the world, though made, is yet being made. That this is still the morning of creation. ... Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where Nature may heal and cheer and give strength to body and soul alike." - John Muir

Nutty response from ACORN
Isn't it obvious? If you believe you're the object of a witch hunt, the first thing you do is stop hanging around with witches. You'd think that'd be common sense, but then, the paradox of common sense is, it's not all that common.

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.

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.

Truth is in the ear of the listener
Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean that someone's not after you. Over the past few months, a lot of writers have dusted off Richard Hofstadter's classic 1964 essay on the paranoid style in American politics just so they can explain away the loony rumors and conspiracy theories coming from the far right. But no amount of intellectual condescension is going to make those powerful untruths go away.

Happy fiscal new year
It's a new year and we have a problem. Oct. 1 marks the beginning of the new fiscal year, and while there are achievements to celebrate, we have a serious failing to fix. Indeed, we may require a new fiscal year resolution.

Pilot aborts takeoff in Fairbanks
FAIRBANKS - A plane was taking off from Fairbanks when the pilot slammed on the brakes and aborted the liftoff because of concern an incoming plane was too close.

Tsunami advisory for West Coast issued
LOS ANGELES - Federal experts issued a tsunami advisory for possible dangerous currents in coastal areas of California and Oregon following a magnitude-8 earthquake in the Pacific Ocean near Samoa.

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

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

Child porn suspect arrested in Anchorage
ANCHORAGE - Police arrested an Anchorage man accused of possessing child pornography.

Two girls die after falling into lagoon
ANCHORAGE - Two 4-year-old girls died after falling through thin ice into a lagoon in the small city of Barrow in northern Alaska.

Grand jury indicts Chignik Lake man
ANCHORAGE - A 24-year-old Chignik Lake man has been indicted by an Anchorage grand jury on charges of second-degree murder and two counts of assault.

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.

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.

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

NTSB releasing report on Alaska Ranger sinking
WASHINGTON - The National Transportation Safety Board said it will announce the probable cause of the sinking of the Alaska Ranger at a meeting Wednesday in Washington, D.C.

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.

Utility agrees to terms removing Klamath dams
MEDFORD, Ore. - The utility that owns four hydroelectric dams on the Klamath River has agreed to terms for their removal, a key milestone in efforts to restore what was once the third biggest salmon run on the West Coast and end decades of battles over scarce water.

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.

Woman dies in rollover at Chenega Bay Airstrip
CHENEGA BAY - Alaska State Troopers said a woman died at the scene after she lost control of a sport utility vehicle at the Chenega Bay Airstrip.

Families urge expansion of Denali KidCare
ANCHORAGE - A dozen families crowded into an Anchorage church Monday night to press state lawmakers and the commissioner of Alaska Health and Social Services to expand Denali KidCare.

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.

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

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

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.

CPA admits stealing from Native corporation
SEATTLE - A 45-year-old Seattle-area accountant has admitted that he embezzled $288,000 from a subsidiary of an Alaska Native corporation.

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.

Native corps defend federal contracts
ANCHORAGE - Five Alaska Native corporations have launched a public relations campaign to fight congressional attacks on government contracting.

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.

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

Sitka hunter fends off grizzly attack
ANCHORAGE - Karl Wolfe had a half day to hunt for blacktail deer, but the outing ended just 15 minutes after he left his truck.

Mount Redoubt volcano alert downgraded
ANCHORAGE - Mount Redoubt volcano appears to have finally settled down, months after its last major eruptive event.

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.

Former News-Miner publisher Massey dies at 75
FAIRBANKS - Paul Massey, the former publisher of the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, has died while vacationing in Germany. He was 75.

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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