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Saturday, October 3, 2009

Palin's book has a fitting title
Ex-governor Sarah Palin is to be commended for finally coming clean to the people of Alaska with her forthcoming book "Going Rogue." Seldom has a title been more succinct or on the mark. Here's what the American Heritage Dictionary has to say on the matter:

Vote 'Yes' on tobacco tax
I will vote in favor of the whopping increase in borough taxes on cigarettes and other tobacco products for two reasons: The city can use the money and America's most elite addicts don't deserve a break.

Rewards stronger than punishments
My name is David Moriarty. I am a Juneau-Douglas High School graduate now attending the University of Alaska Southeast. I read the Juneau Empire article about Principal Bernie Sorenson's "Freshmen First" program and had a few thoughts.

City gets some protection for its power lines
Alaska Electric Light & Power is building an avalanche "diverter" at a cost of as much as $2 million to protect its most vulnerable transmission tower.

Juneau teacher wins fellowship to study abroad
A circle of second graders holding sticks count time as they do African dance to an Australian aboriginal beat. As the music quiets, they squat down, waiting.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month Today's featured cancer survivor: Cathy Jeans

Photo: Think or swim
Glacier Swim Club member Winslow Conneen debates whether or not to take his turn in laps during practice at Juneau's Augustus Brown Swimming Pool on Thursday.

Around Town
Today, Oct. 2

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

Empire editorial: Bruce Botelho the right person to steer Juneau
J uneau is facing the possibility of rough waters ahead, and needs someone at the helm who can steer the city in the right direction. While both mayoral candidates show passion for community service, Mayor Bruce Botelho is still the right person for the job.

Researchers: PFD distribution raises number of Alaska deaths
D id you know that the arrival of the Alaska Permanent Fund dividend (PFD) increases the death rate? That's right, the PFD could be implicated in your premature death later this month. The odds that your personal PFD dice-roll will come up snake-eyes are less than one in 10,000, but new research leaves little doubt that in the month following the direct deposit of Alaskans' PFDs, the number of city-dwelling Alaskans dying will increase by about 13 percent. Applied to the entire state, that's roughly 27 extra deaths. There is little doubt that the PFD is the cause.

Lawmakers should leave the Medal of Honor alone
O n Sept. 17 President Obama presented the Medal of Honor to the parents of Army Staff Sgt. Jared Monti for "conspicuous gallantry." Monti, 30, was serving with the 10th Mountain Division when he was killed June 21, 2006, in a battle at Gowardesh, Afghanistan.

Capturing wild-eyed Alaska
It was at age 12 that Daniel Buckscott fell in love with Southeast Alaska. Perhaps it was the familiar ebb and flow of the tides that reminded him of his childhood home near Chesapeake Bay. Perhaps it was the miles of unseen wilderness that piqued his curiosity, his sense of adventure and granted him reprieve from bustling East Coast cities. Or maybe it was a bit of both, and then some.

Treading through time
October is the cruelest month.

From Juneau to Kotzebue, a caribou hunting adventure
Hunting deer in Juneau means climbing over, under and around trees, over mossy covered hills, and soggy bogs of muskeg. In contrast, the tundra areas north of Kotzebue, climbing is minimal and there are little or no trees to navigate. Hills, although small, are just deep enough to hide caribou, the game we're hunting this trip, and the willows that line the creeks provide a travel path with all the necessary elements of habitat: food, water, space, shelter and arrangement.

Orchids in Alaska
There are perhaps 18,000 species (or 23,000, some reports differ!) of orchids in the world, occurring almost everywhere except the High Arctic, the most extreme deserts, the crests of the coldest mountains, and the sea. Their economic value lies in a vast and lucrative floriculture industry and in the production of natural vanilla flavoring. They are cultivated for the spectacular array of complex, often gaudy, sometimes bizarre, and sometimes elegant flowers and are often hybridized by aficionados to create yet more diverse floral exhibits.

Photo: Beautiful but deadly
Amanita muscaria is characterized by its brightly colored cap with white spots or patches. It also has a white stem and grows in woodland areas.

On the hook
Tony Soltys holds a silver salmon caught in September at an undisclosed location. Soltys said fly fishing for silvers is quite an exciting pastime.

Out & About
Today, Oct. 2

BLM Appoints Deputy Director, Operations
Mike Pool, a former BLM California State Director has accepted the position of Deputy of Director for Operations with the the Bureau of Land Management. Pool will formally begin work on January 1, 2010. His duties will include supervising the BLM's senior executive team and providing management continuity between State Offices for all BLM programs.

Senators urge Obama to reconsider militia stance
ANCHORAGE - Alaska's U.S. senators are calling on the Obama administration to reconsider its objection to federal retirement pay for World War II veterans who patrolled Alaska when it was a territory.

Rasmuson awards $500K through United Way
ANCHORAGE - In anticipation of the upcoming winter and difficult economic circumstances, the Rasmuson Foundation recently awarded a $500,000 Safety Net Assistance Grant to provide immediate support to those most in need of help staying fed, warm and housed.

$25,000 collected on Fairbanks tax issue
FAIRBANKS - If fundraising is any indication, a proposed citywide sales tax in Fairbanks could be a cliffhanger on election night.

Fairbanks drug dealer accepts plea deal, will be out by Christmas
FAIRBANKS - A Fairbanks man who pleaded guilty to drug charges has been sentenced to a decade in prison, but nine of those years are suspended.

Fairbanks state rep proposes insurance amendment
FAIRBANKS - A Fairbanks state representative wants to amend the Alaska constitution to prohibit laws that require a person to participate in a particular health care system.

Man cited in Marshall subsistence protest
ANCHORAGE - A city police officer in Marshall has been ticketed for illegal fishing in a summer protest of subsistence fishing restrictions.

State accounts for 23 percent of Juneau jobs
JUNEAU - The Juneau Economic Development Council says the rate of state job loss is slowing and the economy is diversifying with more private-sector jobs in the city.

Icebreaker Healy returns to Seattle from Arctic
SEATTLE - The Coast Guard says the icebreaker Healy is returning to its home port in Seattle.

End of the line
After taking first place in the Region V Cross Country Championships in Juneau on Sept. 27, the Juneau-Douglas Crimson Bears boys' and girls' teams are looking to capitalize at the Class 4A state championship meet in Palmer on Saturday.

Bears versus Mustangs: No love lost in old rivalry
The last two times Chugiak traveled to Juneau to face the Crimson Bears, it didn't end well for theMustangs.

JDHS boys right on target
Things are moving right along for the defending state champion Juneau-Douglas boys' swim team, as the Crimson Bears have yet to lose a meet this year that they were able to attend.

Sports in Juneau
CALENDAR OF EVENTS

Palin's book already on bestseller list
NEW YORK - Move over, Dan Brown. Sarah Palin is on top of the charts.

Both sides of mining measure face penalties
ANCHORAGE - State election regulators are concluding their cases against both sides of a mining ballot initiative rejected by Alaska voters last year.

Trampling blamed for Alaska walrus deaths
ANCHORAGE - Trampling likely killed 131 mostly young walruses forced onto the northwest coast of Alaska by a loss of sea ice, according to a preliminary report released Thursday.

Anchorage residents asked to conserve natural gas
ANCHORAGE - Anchorage and utility officials have announced a campaign to conserve natural gas during peak demand periods.

It's hunting season and the meat plant is humming
DELTA - It started with 15 head of Galloway cattle he brought up from North Dakota. At the time, Doug McCollum was owner and operator of Delta Concrete. But his heart was in ranching, and he was testing the waters to see if a market existed for locally raised and processed meat.

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