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Wednesday, October 7, 2009

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

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.

Juneau voters boost incumbents Botelho wins mayoral race in landslide
Juneau voters gave Mayor Bruce Botelho a birthday present Tuesday by re-electing him for another three-year term.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Today's featured survivor
Dr. Carolyn Brown

Around Town
Today, Oct. 7

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.

Danner edges Madsen for Assembly District 2 seat
Ruth Danner's middle-of-the-road stance and promise to listen apparently resonated with Juneau voters, who handed her the open Assembly District 2 seat by a margin of about 400 votes in elections on Tuesday.

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.

Stone turns back challenge, wins third term on Assembly
David Stone won re-election to a third term on the Juneau Assembly, turning back a challenge by Karen Lawfer 64 percent to 36 percent.

Story, Choate and Carlson likely to retain School Board seats
After polls closed Tuesday, it appeared each incumbent on the Juneau School Board would be re-elected for another term. However, about 1,500 absentee and questioned votes will be counted Friday.

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.

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

Voters overwhelmingly approve renovations for Gastineau Elementary
Voters' approval of Proposition 1 in Tuesday's municipal elections means Gastineau Elementary School should be brought up to code and completely renovated by the end of summer 2012.

Around Town
Today, Oct. 6

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

Voters say yes to raising tobacco taxes
Beginning Jan. 1, the tax on cigarettes will increase to $1 a pack from 30 cents. Other tobacco products will see an increase to 45 percent from 12 percent, following voters' overwhelming passage of Proposition 2 in Tuesday's municipal elections.

Photos: Orcas grace Gastineau Channel
Orcas from a small pod surfaced Tuesday in Gastineau Channel, spending more than an hour swimming in the water near the Douglas Island Pink and Chum hatchery.

Photo: Street art
Artist Apayo Moore adds finishing touches Tuesday to a mural on a cement wall at the corner of Gastineau Avenue and Second Street. Moore, who just graduated from college with a bachelor's degree in art business, is visiting from Dillingham. She was asked by resident Matt Davidson, who lives on Gastineau Avenue, to paint the mural with help from neighborhood residents. Davidson organized permission from the city and lot owner Alaska Electric Light & Power Co., and paid for the materials. Davidson is raising donations for the project, and hopes to pay Moore for the four days she spent painting the mural.

Photo: Hammering out a sidewalk
Feleti Maka, left, and Francisco Valadez of JMS Friendly Islands Concrete & Masonry lay out bricks Tuesday for the sidewalk in front of the Thomas B. Stewart Legislative Office Building.

Fred Gaffney
Juneau resident Fred Gaffney died in his home on Oct. 3, 2009, after a struggle with cancer. He was 63.

Brandon Edward Edge
Brandon Edward Edge died Oct. 3, 2009, in Juneau.

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

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.

Matter of trust
Government ownership of banks, car factories and insurance companies has little or no precedent in U.S. history - and a poor track record in countries that have tried it. When governments own companies, they succumb to the temptation to manage them according to political rather than economic criteria. Losses mount, and government bleeds the rest of the economy to cover them.

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."

Timing, tactics matter in terrorism cases
Last month, officials in the U.S. Department of Justice announced that its agents had foiled no less than three separate alleged terrorist plots in the country.

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.

Exchange we can believe in
IRBIL, Iraq - Speaking at Cairo University in June, President Obama pledged to "expand exchange programs and increase scholarships, like the one that brought my father to America." Nowhere is that change more urgently needed than in providing educational opportunities in Iraq.

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.

E-mail thread keeps family talking
Two years ago, after my father's death, my mother found herself living alone for the first time in six decades. The situation, to her children and grandkids, was fraught with peril. Yes, my 86-year-old mother was a miracle of health and vigor. But her house in Connecticut, which she and my father had built in 1952, was designed around staircases, inclines and passages too narrow for emergency management. Its dramatic architecture made it possible to entertain hundreds - but not to house a live-in aide. And my mother's suburban enclave offered such pristine seclusion that the closest neighbor could not possibly hear a cry for help.

Anchorage man dies in jump from bridge
TALKEETNA - An Anchorage man died on the way to Mat-Su Regional Medical Center after initially surviving a 300-foot fall from the Hurricane Gulch bridge.

City Council won't censure member
NORTH POLE - The North Pole City Council decided not to admonish Councilman Doug Wilson for secretly recording a meeting that was closed to the public.

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.

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

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.

Parnell appoints Juneau's Enoch to disabilities committee
JUNEAU - Gov. Sean Parnell announced Tuesday the appointment of Don Enoch Jr. of Juneau to the Governor's Committee on Employment and Rehabilitation of People with Disabilities.

Fairbanks woman sentenced for meth
FAIRBANKS - A Fairbanks woman has been sentenced to one year in jail for her role in a mail theft ring.

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

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.

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.

Car strikes, kills man in wheelchair
ANCHORAGE - A man in a wheelchair died early Tuesday after he was struck by a car at an Anchorage intersection.

DOT marks 'Walk or Bike to School Day'
JUNEAU - Students from two Juneau schools will have the opportunity this morning to participate in "Walk or Bike to School Day" events organized by the Department of Transportation and Public Facilities.

Police officer put under house arrest
ANCHORAGE - An Anchorage police officer accused of sexually assaulting women while on duty has been released on $100,000 bail.

Senators approve Alaska militia pay
ANCHORAGE - The U.S. Senate has approved a provision in its defense appropriations bill to resume retirement pay for World War II veterans who patrolled Alaska when it was a territory.

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.

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.

Rowing draws Alaskans of all ages
ANCHORAGE - In Alaska rowing, the legendary six degrees of separation may be a bit much. Two or three degrees should cover it.

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

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

Parnell wants $400 million from state reserve to fund scholarships
Gov. Sean Parnell on Tuesday proposed devoting $400 million in state savings to a new scholarship program for Alaska high school students. Scholarship money would vary depending on a student's grades.

Fewer putting fund money in college plan
FAIRBANKS - The number of state residents directing Alaska Permanent Fund dividend money toward college savings increased each year between 1998 and 2008. Then came 2009.

Meds might be forced on arson suspect
PALMER - Prosecutors say a Wasilla man who admitted burning his father's house down should be forced to take anti-psychotic medications.

Endangered US beluga whale group declining, study shows
ANCHORAGE - A government study found that a group of endangered beluga whales in Alaska is declining, raising concern that bolstered protection for the animals is not coming quickly enough.

Parnell backs income tax credits for cruise industry
The tourism industry got a boost Tuesday after Gov. Sean Parnell announced his support of creating corporate income tax credits for cruise lines that contribute to the Alaska Travel Industry Association's marketing campaign.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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