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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Wolves a vital part of a healthy Alaska
As the final credits of Ken Burns' "National Parks" rolled by, I thought how fitting it was the final episode dealt so much with Alaska and wolves. Both are the quintessential symbols of wilderness throughout the nation and world.

Equal voting rights versus subsistence
This letter is a response to the "Kookesh: Restore Native Rights" article published Sunday in the Juneau Empire.

Juneau has best fans
I am the head coach of the Juneau-Douglas Crimson Bears junior varsity football team, and assistant coach of the varsity team. I would like to thank Juneau for being the best darn fans in the entire state. I have had the privilege to coach and play at every 4A large-school stadium in Alaska. I wish I could put into words how much of a factor fans have all played in the success of Juneau during the past 20 years.

Featuring domestic violence survivors
The breast cancer survival stories featured in the Empire this month are heartwarming and inspirational. My thoughts are with these women and others currently fighting this dreadful disease. I am thinking, too, of women who struggled but passed away, and of their loved ones.

Nobel premature
I agree with a recent article in Time magazine that stated the Nobel Peace Prize was probably the last thing that President Obama needs at this time. I believe that the Nobel committee actions have probably polarized America's citizens all the more.

Prospective miners build skills
Mining built Juneau, and with the Kensington mine's imminent opening, mining will play a bigger role in the future as well.

WIC adds more food options
Starting this month, participants in the federally funded WIC food assistance program can receive fruits, vegetables, whole grain breads and some other previously excluded products through the program.

New guidelines set for Juneau historic district
Those developing or renovating buildings in Juneau's historic district now have a little more room for flexibility, as the Assembly adopted new guidelines and standards for Juneau's Downtown Historic District.

Activist builds on lessons of oil spill
In the 20 years since the Exxon Valdez oil spill, Cordova resident Riki Ott has devoted herself to raising awareness about Prince William Sound's ongoing environmental, social and financial problems.

Police to host online crime forum tonight
The Juneau Police Department will host its first-ever virtual community forum on the Internet from 6 to 7 p.m. tonight, focusing on crime prevention.

Southeast groups wrestle with Tongass forest uses
Four years into an effort to bring closure to Southeast Alaska's timber wars and strengthen community stability, participants in the Tongass Futures Roundtable say there's some light in the forest; that communications are starting to show results.

Man pleads guilty to sex assault of minor
A 49-year-old Juneau man pleaded guilty Monday to two felony counts involving sexual abuse of a minor.

Photo: Making faces
Instructor Jackie Manning demonstrates a finishing touch during her Abstract Portrait Drawing class Saturday at The Canvas community art studio and gallery.

Photo: Crowded bus
Juneau youths enter a bus Friday on West Willoughby Avenue.

Photo: Wild ride
Ryan Roomsburg drives his boat, Antares, into the Douglas Boat Harbor on Tuesday morning after crossing the Juneau waterfront in 30 mph winds. A truck and trailer was waiting for Roomsburg to take his boat out of the water for the season. A wind advisory has been issued through 6 a.m. Wednesday. The forecast calls for sunny skies and east wind from 15 to 25 mph with gusts to about 55 mph.

Photo: Family hike
Chip, Adelie, and Missy McMillan watch their footing as they begin a family hike Sunday on the Perseverance Trail. "It is one of our favorite trails," Chip McMillan said. "The Juneau trail systems are one of our favorite things ... about living in Juneau."

Breast Cancer Awareness Month Today's featured survivor
Brenda O'Donnell

Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Today's featured survivor: Peggy Mattson

Around Town
Today, Oct. 12

Around Town
Today, Oct. 13

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

Re-stimulating
At 9.8 percent, the unemployment rate is higher than it has been since it hit 10.1 percent in June 1983. Since the recession began 21 months ago, the economy has shed nearly 7 million jobs. Whole industries - cars, housing, finance - have been devastated and may never recover fully.

Children who have been left behind
This editorial first appeared in the Los Angeles Times:

Sorry, teens, for boring you - Juneau did its best
In Sunday's Juneau Empire, I read statements from a Juneau-Douglas High School senior who said "kids take drugs because they are bored," and, "urine testing is not the solution ... but more activities for teens and more resources for law enforcement were more appropriate ways to decrease the drug problem."

Swine flu pandemic tests patchwork health system
When the federal government began shipping pandemic flu vaccines last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said vulnerable groups such as children and pregnant women, who are most likely to die from the virus, should be given priority in being inoculated.

No Gourmet in fast food nation
The news that, after 68 years, America's premier food magazine would be shelved rocked the food world. It shouldn't have been a surprise, of course. For months, we had all heard the rumors about Gourmet. But no one, including Editor in Chief Ruth Reichl - who was notified Monday, the day of the announcement - believed it could happen.

Health care has rationing in abundance
Late last month, as the Senate Finance Committee labored to produce its version of a health care bill, the Republican whip, Sen. Jon Kyl of Arizona, renewed an old warning. If the federal government intervenes to hold health care costs down, Kyl said, the result would be something nobody wants: rationing.

Anchorage man dies in mobile home fire
ANCHORAGE - A man has been killed in a fire at a mobile home.

Black bear killed at Juneau trailer home
JUNEAU - Department of Fish and Game officials killed a black bear at a trailer home in Juneau.

Wolf quota eyed after nine shot near park
BILLINGS, Mont. - Wildlife officials in Montana will consider changes to the state's inaugural wolf hunt after nine of the predators were shot in just three weeks along the border of Yellowstone National Park.

Alaska-based soldier receives Purple Heart
FORT RICHARDSON - A Fort Richardson-based soldier is scheduled to receive the Purple Heart for combat injuries suffered in Iraq in 2004.

New judge appointed to man's re-sentencing
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - A Sturgis judge, Jerome Eckrich, has been appointed to handle the re-sentencing trial of an Alaska man for a 2000 torture murder of an acquaintance.

US Coast Guard rescues Juneau man from Sitka Sound
KODIAK - A Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Air Station Sitka hoisted a 68-year-old Juneau man from Sitka Sound after his 36-foot fishing vessel reportedly sank at about 9 p.m. Saturday.

Dividend checks boost retail sales
ANCHORAGE - Anchorage stores reported a busy weekend.

Porcupines create prickly start to dog-sled season
NINILCHIK - Alaska dog mushers are experiencing a prickly start to their training season. Training at lower elevations has been punctuated by porcupine encounters.

Prescribed burns to tame future fires
FAIRBANKS - The Alaska Division of Forestry is working on four prescribed burns to keep a handle on next year's forest fires.

Anchorage firm flies aid to disaster zones
ANCHORAGE - An Anchorage-based carrier is delivering emergency supplies to Samoa and Indonesia to support relief efforts following earthquakes and a tsunami.

Alaska man denies shooting girl at party
ANCHORAGE - A man Anchorage police believe may have been involved in a gang-related gunfight that left a 17-year-old girl dead in the crossfire has turned himself in to face unrelated charges.

Robbery suspect's trial set to begin
FAIRBANKS - The trial of a Fairbanks man accused of planning and executing a robbery this summer is expected to start this week.

Man faces 20 years for meth conviction
ANCHORAGE - A Seattle man is facing 20 years behind bars after being convicted of conspiring to bring methamphetamine to Ketchikan.

Prescribed burns reduce fire danger
FAIRBANKS - Fire crews are working on four prescribed burns in the Fairbanks area to reduce the threat of wildfire.

Ex-co-op managers offered settlements
PALMER - The Matanuska Electric Association has voted to offer $50,000 to each of two high-level employees fired this spring.

Sports in Juneau
CALENDAR OF EVENTS

Doubles dominate
The Juneau-Douglas tennis team is back from state after posting impressive results in Anchorage, earning state runner-up and state championship honors.

H.S. Swim results
Juneau Douglas High School Invitational

Boy, 9, may be youngest to harpoon, kill a whale
ANCHORAGE - Native Alaskans say a fourth-grader may have become the youngest person to kill a whale, delivering the fatal blow to a 32-foot bowhead during a hands-on hunting lesson from his uncles.

Cruise ship visit marks opening of the Far North
NOME - Most days in Nome, you're not likely to run into anybody you didn't see at the Breakers Bar on Friday night. Rugged tundra and frigid Bering Sea waters have a way of discouraging visitors.

Final arguments on pipeline in Mackenzie set in April
ANCHORAGE - Canada's National Energy Board says it expects to hear final arguments on the proposed Mackenzie natural gas pipeline in April.

Palin a 'formidable force,' McCain says
WASHINGTON - Last year's Republican nominee for president predicted that Sarah Palin will remain a "formidable force" in the GOP, despite criticisms that the former vice presidential candidate lacked the substance and policy knowledge needed for national office.

Prosecutor wants Alaska child porn law expanded
ANCHORAGE - A prosecutor and some state legislators support expanding Alaska's child pornography law to include sexually explicit images of children who are not real.

Homeless defend Anchorage camps
ANCHORAGE - On a chilly, drizzly fall day, the city's new homeless coordinator trudged through mud down a steep trail into the heart of one of Anchorage's biggest - and most established - homeless villages.

Aniak's terminally ill fire chief holds a goodbye bash
ANCHORAGE - The fire chief of Aniak isn't one to wait around for his own funeral. When he found out he didn't have long to live, he held a goodbye bash.

Fairbanks air fails to meet EPA standards
FAIRBANKS - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says parts of the Fairbanks North Star Borough are not in compliance with federal air quality standards.

Campbell to run for lieutenant governor
ANCHORAGE - Lt. Gov. Craig Campbell on Monday filed paperwork to keep the job he was appointed to in July.

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