Tuesday, October 7, 2008

'Tropic Thunder' arrives in Ketchikan
The film "Tropic Thunder" has left Juneau and just arrived in Ketchikan, six weeks after its national premiere, and just in time for October as Disability Employment and Awareness Month. When the movie premiered in August, many disability advocates and parents of children with disabilities immediately organized protests and boycotts of the film and theaters due to the repeated use of the word "retard" as an insult. Gov. Sarah Palin reportedly participated in an Anchorage protest.

Why did Coeur pull out of tailings plan?
Kate Golden's Sept. 24 story in the Empire about Coeur Alaska's decision to back out of the negotiated plan with conservation groups to store dehydrated tailings on the ground, rather than in Lower Slate Lake, poses a mystery.

The financial bailout ... will it work?
Not from where I stand. I don't know how they even got that number, or why that was the only option offered. Ben Bernanke and Henry Paulson remind me of the guy whose only skill was the use of a hammer. He viewed the world in terms of nails.

Photo: New place to play
Sasha Pico, 7, watches her friend, Ethan Jaenicke, 5, go down the slide Sunday on new playground equipment at Savikko Park. The ADA accessible playground was recently installed and work on the project is nearly complete. The project is part of the master plan for Savikko Park, Sandy Beach and the Treadwell Mine Historic Trail Complex. The plan also includes a formal park entry, a music pavilion, a Gold Rush Pioneer Plaza, athletic fields, viewing platform, a second sheet of ice and improved walks with seating and other amenities.

Palin receives kudos, questions about her stand on Darfur
Gov. Sarah Palin is being praised for her support of divestment from Sudan, but also being blamed for the failure of a divestment bill in the Alaska Legislature's last session. That's a bill she later switched to support and bragged about in her much-watched debate with Democratic rival, Sen. Joe Biden, last week.

Photo: Discussing Darfur
Rabbi Lee Bycel will serve as a guest speaker for the Juneau World Affairs Council on the subject of Darfur and Chad at 7 p.m. today at the synagogue of Congregation Sukkat Shalom in West Juneau. Rabbi Bycel is the executive director of the Western Region of American Jewish World Service, an organization dedicated to alleviating world poverty, hunger and disease. He has been a frequent visitor to Chad and Darfur and lectures regularly about the situation in that region.

Audit concludes AEL&P didn't overcharge Juneau ratepayers
Alaska Electric Light & Power Co. didn't profit from high rates in the electricity-cost crisis earlier this year, according to an independent auditor.

Municipal election to be held today
Polls will open this morning at 7 for the city's municipal election.

Photo: Out of season
Lupine, which usually blooms during the spring, makes a rare autumn appearance Sunday near the Juneau Family Health and Birth Center.

Rabbi speaks out on African genocide
Rabbi Lee Bycel wasn't born during the Holocaust, when the world stood by until it was too late. When the Rwandan genocide happened in 1994, he took no action.

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

Around Town
Today

Photo: Sunny reflection
Kathy Nava takes a moment to soak in some sun Monday at the State Office Building in downtown Juneau.

Photo: A contrast of seasons
With fresh snow on the peaks in the background, Chris Thomas runs Monday along the Airport Dike Trail. Thomas said she runs often on the trail. "It's beautiful," she said. "You watch the season change."

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

Correction
A brief on page A3 in Sunday's edition about a lawsuit claiming the U.S. Forest Service illegally retaliated against a whistleblower incorrectly stated that former Forest Service employee Glen Ith was fired. He was placed on administrative leave, and his position was eliminated.

Around Town
Today

Mary Jo Hobbs
Longtime Juneau resident Mary Jo Hobbs died peacefully Oct. 1, 2008, in her home. She was 90.

Marcia K. Converse
Longtime Juneau resident Marcia K. (Davis) Converse died Sept. 26, 2008, She was 79.

My turn: Time for Palin to fill in the blanks
It's hard to imagine there is anything missing from the national news coverage of Gov. Sarah Palin's vice presidential candidacy on the Republican ticket. We've heard about dead moose, mooseburgers, moose hunting tickets, snowmachines, Iron Dogs, hairstyles, stylish shoes and stylish eyeglasses, speaking style, management style, personnel mismanagement, personal religious beliefs and personal choices.

Outside Editorial: A choice for Latin America
With U.S. attention fixed elsewhere, a significant part of Latin America continues to march away from the "Washington consensus" of democracy and free-market capitalism that has governed the region for a generation. The latest step came last week in Ecuador, where voters approved a new constitution that concentrates power in the hands of President Rafael Correa.

Who gets to define a 'real' American?
As Sarah Palin "aw-shucks-ed" her way through Thursday's debate, she repeatedly played the one card that has become her stock in trade: She is a real American. Her rural roots, her lack of sophistication and worldliness, her bare bones education, her plain-spokenness, her moose hunting - all of these seemed to brand her as a typical American, one of us. She has even taken to calling herself Jane Sixpack.

Outside editorial: The White House roadblock crew
Buried in a lengthy report about the firing of nine U.S. attorneys is the disturbing explanation of how the White House blocked Justice Department investigators from obtaining pertinent documents.

Everything you might not know about the bailout
Everybody seems to have a boatload of questions about the past week's dizzying series of events surrounding the proposed "bailout" of American financial institutions. To cut through the muddle, let's check off on a short list of vital questions I asked myself, and the answers I discovered, about the Big Mess.

Neither candidate has grasp on economics
The first three weeks of the financial crisis were no time for recriminations - so important was it to focus on passing a bailout plan to keep the credit markets from seizing up.

Noorvik man faces 20 years for abuse
KOTZEBUE - A 35-year-old Noorvik man has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for sexual abuse of a minor.

Houston fire chief admits flier handout
HOUSTON - Houston Fire Chief Tom Hood admits distributing a flier in the Meadow Lakes area against a proposition to combine the Big Lake and Meadow Lakes fire service areas.

Comments sought on Ketchikan tram plan
KETCHIKAN - The U.S. Forest Service is collecting public comment on a proposed aerial tram in Ketchikan.

Kenai Peninsula mulls seasonal groceries tax
KENAI - Kenai Peninsula Borough voters will go to the polls to decide whether a borough sales tax on non-prepared food should be dropped when most tourists go home.

Anchorage police ID pilot in fatal crash
ANCHORAGE - Police have released the name of the pilot of an experimental airplane who died in a crash.

Harvest for sea cucumbers begins
KETCHIKAN - Divers are getting ready for the beginning of the commercial sea cucumber season in Southeast Alaska with the lowest quota in several years.

Blue Lake water rights acquired
SITKA - S2C Global Systems of Las Vegas says it has acquired rights to Sitka's Blue Lake water for bulk sales.

Missing Gambell man tried to swim to boat
SAVOONGA - The search has been suspended for a man who attempted to swim to his boat as it was drifting away from shore about 25 miles south of Savoonga.

USGS reports Alaska glaciers shrinking
ANCHORAGE - A book published by the U.S. Geological Survey reports that 99 percent of glaciers in Alaska are thinning or in retreat, especially at lower elevations.

Coenraad, Graves win singles titles
Merijke Coenraad and Nathan Graves came away with individual singles titles Sunday after a weekend of tough matches and friendly rivalries in the Juneau High School Tennis Championships at the Juneau Racket Club.

Coenraad, Graves win JHSTC
Merijke Coenraad and Nathan Graves came away with individual singles titles Sunday after a weekend of tough matches and friendly rivalries in the Juneau High School Tennis Championships at the Juneau Racket Club.

On tape, Stevens professes innocence
WASHINGTON - In secretly recorded telephone conversations played in court Monday, an occasionally profane Sen. Ted Stevens denied wrongdoing and cursed at the federal agents who were raiding homes and offices in Alaska as part of a sweeping corruption probe.

Palin sued over private e-mails
Gov. Sarah Palin, who rose to political prominence with a mantra of "open and transparent government," is being accused of obstructing state public records laws, and her administration is charging the public up to $960 to search a single state e-mail account.

Regulators approve halibut catch split
ANCHORAGE - Federal regulators have approved a plan to apportion available halibut in Southeast Alaska among commercial and charter fleets.

Study to look at oil, gas infrastructure
ANCHORAGE - A study of risks posed by Alaska's aging oil and gas infrastructure will begin this fall.

Seven Palin aides to testify in probe
ANCHORAGE - Seven aides to Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin have reversed course and agreed to testify in an investigation into whether the Republican vice presidential nominee abused her powers by firing a commissioner who refused to dismiss her former brother-in-law.

Students say sex ed should be mandatory
ANCHORAGE - Amber Sawyer remembers her classmates, young and giggly and still riding a euphoric teenage high, cutting class and sneaking off with boyfriends to the nearby running trails. In the winter, when the Alaska cold was too much to bear, the same couples, passing on algebra class, would rendezvous at a local theater.

Photo: Ahead by a nose
The Hoochies, driven by fourth grader Stewart Conn, and Starfish, with third grader Zachary Christensen at the helm, check each other's position as they glide down a hill Sunday in the Humpy 500 Go-Cart Race in Petersburg. The race marks the end of the salmon canning season.

Palin defends terrorist comment against Obama
BURLINGAME, Calif. - Gov. Sarah Palin defended her claim that Barack Obama "pals around with terrorists," saying the Democratic presidential nominee's association with a 1960s radical is an issue that is "fair to talk about."

Anchorage police use 'bait car' to find thieves
ANCHORAGE - Somewhere on an Anchorage street, a vehicle is waiting for a thief to jack it.

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