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Saturday, October 10, 2009

Oxy addicts need recovery options
As a recovering OxyContin addict, I understand the anxiety and suffering users and their families are experiencing. Initially, I felt that the idea of drug testing high school students was just a good way to alienate and push them away, but with more thought I've come to the conclusion that detection of users may be a good first step.

Crimson Bears need a working scoreboard, among other things
It is embarrassing to the city of Juneau that our scoreboard at Adair-Kennedy Memorial Park (where JDHS plays its football games) does not work.

Local 9-year-old featured on 'Ellen'
A local 9-year-old got some international attention for her creative talents Thursday.

Governor's Mansion slated for energy funds
Republican Gov. Sean Parnell backed former Gov. Sarah Palin's veto of $28.6 million in energy stimulus funding, but is willing to accept the money after the Legislature overrode the veto in an August special session.

Juneau cleared from EPA air quality watch list
For the first time since the Environmental Protection Agency toughened standards for airborne fine particulate matter in 2006, Juneau is off of the agency's air quality watch list - but just barely.

USPS intercepts Juneau-bound Oxy in the mail
A 30-year-old man was arrested on a felony drug charge Wednesday in connection with OxyContin being sent through the mail to Juneau. Police are searching for a male accomplice.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Today's featured survivor: Jane Lindsey
Age: 50.

Photo: Look into my eyes
Heather Haugland walks by a house decorated for Halloween at the corner of Tenth Street and Glacier Avenue on Thursday.

Around Town
Today, Oct. 9

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

Empire editorial: Parnell's push for higher learning
Gov. Sean Parnell took a big step Tuesday toward making college more affordable by proposing the state devote $400 million in savings toward a merit-based scholarship program for Alaska high school students. The plan would encourage Alaska's high schoolers to attend college in-state, with an estimated 2,900 students eligible for money.

Sympathy for the general
I feel sorry for Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal. The top commander of U.S. troops in Afghanistan is in hot water. Last week, he rejected the idea of scaling down U.S. troop levels and fighting al-Qaeda there with drones and missiles. Such a strategy shift - which some in the administration are advancing - would be "shortsighted," he said.

A new Pooh? Oh bother
A s one who can see a cloud in any silver lining, I have a soft spot for Winnie-the-Pooh's melancholy friend, Eeyore. So I wasn't surprised to find myself agreeing with the donkey's gloomy prediction in the introduction to author David Benedictus' new book of Pooh stories, "Return to the Hundred Acre Wood," which was released this week. "He'll get it wrong," Eeyore says of the writer. "See if he doesn't."

What's in those woods?
Discovery Southeast kicks off its Discovery Days at Eaglecrest Ski Area Oct. 15 and 16, as part of its fall and winter curriculum for Juneau students.

Commercial geoduck clam fishery opens
The Alaska Fish and Game announced information concerning the 2009-10 commercial geoduck clam season in Southeast Alaska.

Snowmobile trail grants awarded to state for 2010
The Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation has announced the recipients of the 2010 Snowmobile Trail Grant and Grooming Pool awards.

The necessities: Food, water and a bit of fresh air
"We can now assume that just as children need good nutrition and adequate sleep, they may very well need contact with nature." Richard Louv, in "Last Child in the Woods: Saving our Children from Nature Deficit-Disorder."

Take a wild, colorful ride on Juneau's Thunder Mountain
"Thunder Mountain - you mean like that ride at Disneyland?" my sister asked when I told her about the latest hike I was scheming. "You know, the one with the mountain goat and the collapsing mine?"

Crisp October days beckon a colorful hello
An early October day of high overcast, with filtered sunshine and temperatures in the low forties was a perfect day for a walk. I ambled out to the beach at the mouth of Eagle River.

Receiver tracks chum and coho in the Susitna River
SUSITNA RIVER, Alaska - A new study by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game promises to give biologists a better understanding of chum and coho salmon spawning patterns and distribution in the Susitna River drainage.

Photo: Chihuahua backpack
A Chihuahua pokes its head out of a hiker's backpack on the Perseverance Trail in September.

On the hook
David Oliver holds a 52-inch halibut reeled up by his son Derek, 15, in mid-July on the back side of Douglas Island. Margot Oliver, 5, stands next to the pair.

Out & About
Today, Oct. 9

Subsistence salmon fishing to remain open through Sunday
Subsistence salmon fishing in the Chilkat River, scheduled to close Sept. 30, will remain open through Sunday to allow additional subsistence harvest opportunity on late-run sockeye salmon returning to the Chilkat River, according to a release from the Alaska Department of Fish & Game.

8 families displaced after Fort Wainwright fire
FAIRBANKS - A fire at a Fort Wainwright housing unit has damaged four apartments and displaced eight families.

Fairbanks assembly reviewing plastic bag tax
FAIRBANKS - The Fairbanks Borough Assembly is taking a second look at the 5-cent plastic bag tax set to take effect next year.

Permanent Fund dividends deposited Thursday
DILLINGHAM - Alaskans are feeling a little richer - at least those with direct deposit.

Palin attends 1st Striker brigade ceremony
FAIRBANKS - Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has made a rare public appearance since leaving office.

JDHS football coach calling it a career
Citing health reasons, Juneau-Douglas head football coach Bill Chalmers has decided to retire after more than four years roaming the Crimson Bears' sideline.

Bears football players clean up with All-Conference honors
The Railbelt Conference Champion Juneau-Douglas Crimson Bears were well-represented on the All-Conference First and Second teams, with interim head coach Rich Sjoroos winning Coach of the Year, and linebacker Jack Perkins earning Defensive Player of the Year honors.

Photo: Crimson Bears volleyball hosting Jive Tournament
Juneau-Douglas High School volleyball player Maria Weyhrauch spikes a kill during a drill in practice Wednesday night. The Crimson Bears are hosting the Juneau Invitational Volleyball Extravaganza - a yearly tournament held since 1998 - today and Saturday at JDHS. The tournament will feature 11 other high schools and several JV teams, and begins at 4:30 p.m. today. The JDHS varsity's first match isn't until 7 p.m. against Haines in the main gym, while Thunder Mountain plays Ketchikan at 4:30 p.m. in the auxiliary gym.

Sports in Juneau
CALENDAR OF EVENTS

Parnell picks Coghill to replace Therriault
ANCHORAGE - Gov. Sean Parnell on Thursday picked state Rep. John Coghill to replace Gene Therriault as state senator from District F, which stretches from North Pole to Valdez.

Hunter cited for shooting bear near Sterling Highway
STERLING - A Kenai National Wildlife Refuge enforcement officer has cited one of two hunters who opened fire on a bear in front of people who had been taking pictures as it fished in the Kenai River, next to the Sterling Highway bridge.

Village's drinking water system shut down
ANCHORAGE - The drinking water system in a town on an island in the Bering Sea a few dozen miles from Siberia remained shut down Thursday over fears it is contaminated with gasoline.

10 arrested in Selawik burglary
ANCHORAGE - State Troopers arrested 10 people following a break-in at the village store in Selawik.

Photo: Whale party
Boaters and fishermen near Ketchikan watch Saturday as a group of up to six humpback whales gorged on herring, repeatedly breaking the surface together, showing flukes and backs, blowing and sometimes making loud shrieking and groaning noises before diving, only to surface again minutes later. Seagulls feeding on herring driven to the surface by the whales let boaters know where the whales would surface next.

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