Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Stop harsh treatment of President Obama
Society needs to stop judging and harassing President Obama.

My vote is for Choate, Story for School Board
I am voting for Mark Choate and Andi Story for School Board on Tuesday.

'Skin of Our Teeth' a fascinating play
Thornton Wilder's "Skin of Our Teeth" at Perseverance Theatre was a fascinating and hilarious play.

Korean Thanksgiving
Having the first name Kim in a room full of Koreans is a joke waiting to happen - something I found out Sunday during the Juneau Korean Church's celebration of Chuseok, or Korean Thanksgiving.

Municipal elections today
Polls open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m. today in a municipal election to determine who will hold three seats on the Juneau Assembly, three seats on the Juneau School Board, and two ballot propositions asking voters to hike up tobacco taxes and to authorize borrowing for renovations at Gastineau Elementary School.

Recession thins college recruiters
Several hundred students from Juneau's high schools got a little guidance toward life after graduation at an annual college and career fair held at Thunder Mountain High School Monday.

Juneau carpenter takes grand prize in international art show
Juneau resident David Walker never imagined his carpentry skills would be the catalyst for his grand prize in an international art show.

Driver injured when object thrown at bus
A Juneau bus driver was injured when someone threw an object, shattering the front window of the bus.

School Board approves policy for drug testing
The Juneau School District Board of Education unanimously approved a final mandatory drug- testing policy for high school student athletes at a special meeting Monday evening.

Photo: Mobilizing service
From left, Day of Caring campaign co-chairman Lance Stevens, co-chairwoman Mary Becker, United Way office manager Becky Hildebrand and United Way president Brenda Hewitt gather Saturday for the volunteer event. United Way of Southeast Alaska matched approximately 90 volunteers from 14 Juneau workplaces with 16 projects at Juneau-area nonprofit organizations, where the volunteers donated time, skills and labor to complete service projects.

Photo: Celebrating Yup'ik traditions
Guest artist Ossie Kairaiuak of Chefornak leads a Yup'ik song and dance, "Seal Hunt," on Saturday during the Yup'ik Traditions Family Festival at the Alaska State Museum. In conjunction with the Yup'ik science exhibit, the festival included interactive centers showing kayak hunting, bentwood hats, snow goggles and others. The exhibit will run through Oct. 17.

Photo: Up and over
Sierra Baker, 11, leads her dog Princess, over an obstacle ramp Sunday at Melvin park during a training. Baker, who turns 12 Wednesday, is the youngest member of the Capital Kennel Club of Juneau. She is training for an agility trial next summer.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Today's featured survivor
Tish Griffin Satre

Photo: First tracks
Fog obscures downtown Juneau below a fresh coating of snow Friday atop Mount Jumbo.

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

Around Town
Today, Oct. 5

Around Town
Today, Oct. 6

Police & Fire
Due to an electronic file error, Juneau Police reports were not available Saturday or Sunday. Reports will be printed in a later edition of the Juneau Empire.

Christian Klassen
Christian David Klassen, 27, passed away on Sept. 4, 2009.

State could be hurt by student loan bill
The U.S. House recently approved a big money-saving move in the federal student loan program. The federal government will stop guaranteeing loans financed by private lenders and replace them with less costly student loans financed directly with Treasury funds. By cutting out the middleman, the federal government expects to save somewhere around $80 billion over 10 years. The savings come from what private lenders would have collected as profits on the loans, which carry virtually no risk thanks to the government guarantee. Making those low-risk, government-backed student loans proved highly profitable, and it mushroomed into a multibillion-dollar business.

A 'local' plan for the nation's newspapers
The Minneapolis Star Tribune emerged from bankruptcy reorganization on Monday. It has a future. So do America's other metropolitan newspapers.

An overused 'privilege'
The George W. Bush administration undermined the rule of law in many ways, but one particularly egregious example was its overuse of the "state secrets privilege."

A better shield law needed
President Obama has long said that he supports a law protecting the relationship between journalists and their sources. But his administration's latest proposal hardly reflects that. The language it has given the Senate Judiciary Committee belies the president's stated support for having judges balance the public interest in news gathering against the need to compel disclosure of a journalist's sources.

Why do I mistrust Fox? Let me count the ways
Perhaps you are familiar with an old saying: even a broken clock is right twice a day. I've found that maxim valuable as I wade through the recent hand-wringing and recrimination among journalists and their critics over the fact that most mainstream media were slow to pick up on the story of corruption at ACORN.

Sending children to prison for life
This term, the U.S. Supreme Court will hold oral arguments in two cases, Sullivan v. Florida and Graham v. Florida, that will decide whether it's cruel and unusual punishment to sentence a 13-year-old or a 17-year-old to life in prison without the possibility of parole. The court should follow its prior reasoning in Roper v. Simmons, a 2005 ruling that held the juvenile death penalty unconstitutional, and similarly draw a bright line at 18 years of age for imposing life sentences without parole.

Letterman's 'creepy' behavior
In olden days when "a glimpse of stocking was looked on as something shocking" there was a morals clause written into an actor's film contract. The purpose was to restrain an actor from engaging in public behavior that might offend the audience and harm ticket sales.

A US general's public pressure
The president, the Constitution tells us, is the commander in chief. But is it true?

Trouble ahead for Oregon wineries?
PORTLAND, Ore. - Unsold inventory and a public reluctance to continue purchasing premium wines could lead to problems for Oregon vintners.

Earthquake rattles Cook Inlet area
ANCHORAGE - A minor earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 4.1 has struck the Cook Inlet area in southern Alaska.

Pedestrian killed on Glenn Highway
ANCHORAGE - Police were looking into a report of a man in dark clothing walking on the Glenn Highway when he was hit and killed.

Stryker redeployment ceremony to be held
FAIRBANKS - Soldiers completing a year-long mission northeast of Baghdad will be welcomed back next week at a redeployment ceremony in Fairbanks.

Shell Simmons Drive reopens near airport
JUNEAU - Shell Simmons Drive has reopened, airport officials announced Monday.

Mat-Su Borough sales tax on today's ballot
WASILLA - Voters in Matanuska-Susitna Borough will decide today whether to adopt a sales tax of 3 percent.

Recall effort against Portland mayor fails
PORTLAND, Ore. - A group trying to recall Portland's mayor over a sex scandal failed to gather enough signatures by Monday's deadline, but said they would try again.

Pilot hurt in plane crash near St. Helens
ST. HELENS, Ore. - The Columbia County sheriff's office said a pilot was injured when his single-seat plane crashed northwest of St. Helens on Monday.

Bethel voters to decide on alcohol possession
BETHEL - Voters in Bethel will decide whether to loosen alcohol restrictions.

Cleveland Volcano on Aleutians spews ash
ANCHORAGE - Geologists are on alert after the Cleveland Volcano spewed an ash plume up to 20,000 feet.

Judge grants delay of Kookesh trial
SITKA - The trial of state Sen. Albert Kookesh, cited in July for a subsistence fishing violation, has been delayed until Jan. 4.

Fort Richardson soldiers return
ANCHORAGE- A unit of Fort Richardson soldiers has returned from Iraq.

Man set on fire in Eugene, Ore., assault
EUGENE, Ore. - Police in Eugene are asking for assistance in finding out who set a homeless man on fire.

Photo: JDHS tennis heads to state
Laurel Messerschmidt, a senior at Juneau-Douglas High School, returns a serve Sunday at the JRC. Messerschmidt won the girls' singles tournament. Messerschmidt, along with seven teammates, will represent JDHS at state in Anchorage. A state review will appear in Tuesday's Empire.

Of moose and men
During the drive to the 2009 Alaska State High School Cross Country Running Championships in Palmer, a large metal sign along the Glenn Highway told me to "Give Moose a Brake." I snickered at the cute word change, but then I realized it was the perfect sports story opening - after all, the Palmer High School mascot is a moose.

Sports in Juneau
Calendar Of Events

Bears headed back to state
After an exciting week of championship Region V tennis at the JRC/Alaska Club, JDHS is headed to Anchorage for the state tournament.

Sports in Juneau
CALENDAR OF EVENTS

Mighty caribou herds dwindle, warming blamed
ON THE PORCUPINE RIVER TUNDRA, Yukon Territory - Here on the endlessly rolling and tussocky terrain of northwest Canada, where man has hunted caribou since the Stone Age, the vast antlered herds are fast growing thin. And it's not just here.

Veterans gather at Eagle River missile site
ANCHORAGE - A group of mysterious buildings stand silhouetted on top of Mount Gordon Lyon above Eagle River. They are what remain of a Cold War-era Army Air Defense Command Nike missile site known as Site Summit.

Ticketed protester says he does not regret his actions
CORDOVA - When wildlife investigators came to Marshall in July, Jason Isaac didn't deny fishing illegally to protest subsistence fishing restrictions on the Yukon River.

Audit finds errors in retirement accounts
Some government employees in Alaska may not have as much in their state retirement accounts as they think.

Free land offer too good to be true for majority
ANCHORAGE - Reality trumped the dream for most winners of a land giveaway in Alaska's rugged interior.

Hundreds attend Sullivan funeral
ANCHORAGE - Hundreds of people have bid a final farewell to Anchorage's longest serving mayor.

Alaska Samoans aid victims of tsunami
ANCHORAGE - The South Pacific tsunami that killed nearly 200 people last week led to many anxious and agonizing phone calls in Alaska's largest city.

Study finds prefab houses beyond repair in villages
ANCHORAGE - As many as one-third of homes in one Western Alaska village are rotting, moldy and potentially unsafe to live in, a new report says.

Susitna dam study due next spring
FAIRBANKS - State Sen. Joe Thomas says the analysis should be ready next spring on the proposal to dam the Susitna River to generate electricity.

First doses of swine flu vaccine arrive in Alaska
ANCHORAGE - Insulated cardboard boxes designed for shipping fish are carrying Alaska's first doses of swine flu vaccine to cities and villages.

Photo: Alaska soldier fights Taliban
During a firefight with Taliban militants, U.S. Marine Cpl. Bobby Orr of Fairbanks, with 3rd Platoon, Bravo Company, 1st Battalion 5th Marines, returns fire Sunday in Nawa district, Helmand province, southern Afghanistan. Taliban militants opened up on the Marine patrol using assault rifles, medium machine guns and snipers.

Alaska meat plant is humming along
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.

After layoffs, new health center is born
DILLINGHAM - Dillingham resident Joan Junge has delivered about 250 babies during her career as a nurse practitioner and midwife. Birthing is where the miracles are, she says.

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