Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Sunny Point project hurries to beat winter
Highway crews are battling weather and racing to beat the onset of winter to get the new Sunny Point interchange completed.

Parents struggle to pay child care bills
Juneau parents say child care is expensive and hard to find. The state's public assistance program helps many parents with costs, but some who need help don't qualify.

New surgery center to compete with Bartlett Regional
A Juneau physician is building an ambulatory surgery center outside Bartlett Regional Hospital, with opening scheduled for early next year.

Trail Mix to clean up Mount Juneau
The top of Mount Juneau is a world away from the town it overlooks.

Final city election results show dismal turnout
Juneau had its lowest turnout in years for last week's municipal election, with barely a quarter of voters showing up to cast ballots.

Photo: High wire act
Kevin Walker, a carpenter for Southeast Remodel, Inc., adjusts his safety line while installing insullation to the roof of the Holy Trinity Episcopal Church on Monday. The project is to be completed by next spring.

Photo: Watchful eye
A barred owl sits Monday on a branch along the road near Sunshine Cove.

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

Around Town
Today

Around Town
Today

Benefiting the WHALE
Local marine mammologists Beth Mathews and Suzie Teerlink will be the featured speakers Sunday in a fundraiser dinner for the Whale Project of the Juneau Arts & Humanities Council, the group that is commissioning sculptor R.T. "Skip" Wallen in recognition of the 50th anniversary of Alaska Statehood.

Foraker Group to hold three classes regarding nonprofit organizations
JUNEAU - The Foraker Group, a nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing the leadership and management skills of professionals and volunteers working in Alaska's nonprofit and tribal organizations, will hold three classes, one on Oct. 21 and the others on Oct. 28. These classes are geared toward anyone working with, volunteering for, on the board of or interested in working with nonprofit organizations in the state.

Giving it away is better
My son's preschool held its annual garage sale last weekend. We donated clothes and toys and several odds and ends for the event, and I helped clean up afterward. I didn't go to the sale.

Vocational institute to begin office, computer skills training class
JUNEAU - The Alaska Vocational Institute will start a 20-week office and computer skills training class beginning Nov. 10.

Sitka invites Southeast residents to come celebrate Alaska Day
SITKA - The Greater Sitka Chamber of Commerce invites Southeast Alaska residents to come to Sitka this weekend to enjoy the Alaska Day festivities.

Valerie Edwards joins Edgecumbe Hospital staff
SITKA - The SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) is pleased to announce that Dr. Valerie S. Edwards has joined the medical staff at the SEARHC Edgecumbe Hospital in Sitka.

Kraft returns to Mount Edgecumbe Hospital
SITKA - The SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium is pleased to announce that Dr. Richard L. Kraft has returned to Alaska to join the medical staff at the SEARHC Mount Edgecumbe Hospital in Sitka.

Ketchikan local shares hearty basil beer bread
Crockpot recipes are our October challenge. Do you have a favorite to share with our readers?

Thanks for donating a luncheon on board the Coral Princess
The Maritime District of the Great Alaska Council, Boy Scouts of America would like to thank Princess Cruise Lines and Kirby Day for their support of scouting through the generous donation of a luncheon on board the Coral Princess.

Thanks for helping at Dzantik'i Heeni's voter registration drive
Thank you, Juneau! The week of Sept. 29 through Oct. 5, Dzantik'i Heeni Middle School students, parents and relatives ran a voter registration drive.

Congratulations to the Crimson Bears football team, fans
To the Juneau-Douglas High School Crimson Bears football fans, congratulations!

Thanks to family and others who attended my mother's funeral
I thank you, Juneau Empire, for being so nice last month as to run my mother's obit twice because I forgot my mom's brother - that was so very nice of you to do that. I wish I could remember who was so nice to have helped me.

Stevens, Morris-Parrs hold joint reception
Family and friends are invited to attend the joint wedding reception of Kari (Parr) Stevens and Scott Stevens, and Suzanne and Martin Morris-Parr at 6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 18, at the Hangar Ballroom.

Richard Siverly Sr.
Former Juneau resident Richard Allen Siverly Sr. died Oct. 12, 2008, at Mount Edgecumbe Hospital in Sitka. He was 74.

Robert Williams
Longtime Juneau resident Robert "Double O" or "Somebody" Williams died Sept. 13, 2008, at the Alaska Native Medical Center. He was 65.

Yvonne Kay Howard
Juneau resident Yvonne Kay Howard died Oct. 10, 2008, in Anchorage. She was 50.

My turn: Cruise ships can do more to help protect Tracy Arm
Recently, 20 small tour companies and four cruise lines signed an agreement called the Wilderness Best Management Practices. It is meant to preserve the wilderness in Tracy and Endicott Arms, 50 miles south of Juneau, by addressing overcrowding, cruise ship haze and other concerns about growing tourism. By preserving the area, it also protects our small businesses, which offer wilderness-dependent tours and contribute to the local economy.

My turn: City's marina lease process unfair
More than one year ago, we, at the Fisherman's Bend and Andrew's Marina, began talks with the Juneau Docks and Harbors Board about the renewal of the lease we held on ATS 1324. This is a parcel of submerged lands in Auke Bay, which does not adjoin the uplands, but does abut our other tidelands. We leased this from the state when we expanded our moorage facility in 1986.

Outside Editorial: Alaska's family feud
In the scheme of things - that is to say, in the larger context of a financial meltdown - the special counsel's report concluding that Sarah Palin engaged in an unethical abuse of power in trying to have her former brother-in-law fired as an Alaska state trooper is a relatively minor event. But the report nonetheless offers a revealing and relevant portrait of the governor. It shows her and her husband pursuing a personal vendetta against the trooper, Mike Wooten, despite repeated warnings that they were impermissibly intruding into internal - and already concluded - disciplinary issues. Likewise, Ms. Palin's decision to repudiate her earlier pledge to cooperate fully with the inquiry does not offer assurance about how she would conduct herself as vice president. The McCain-Palin campaign's response to the inquiry has been internally contradictory - simultaneously assailing the investigation as a partisan witch hunt and mischaracterizing as vindication the report's finding that Ms. Palin was within her rights as governor to remove the commissioner who had refused to act against her former brother-in-law.

Outside editorial: Can we talk? No!
Have you ever called someone at work after hours, knowing that you'd slip stealthily into their voice mail, that there'd be no chance of a direct human-to-human conversation? Have you ever dialed the phone with pounding heart, hoping that you'd be lucky enough to get the voice mail, because the person on the other end of the line doesn't know the meaning of a brief, to-the-point conversation? Or because you had some bad news to deliver and you really hoped to avoid a potentially nasty confrontation?

Down 'n' dirty beats dignity in debates
When Bob Schieffer begins the final presidential debate Wednesday, he will surely - like moderators Jim Lehrer, Gwen Ifill and Tom Brokaw - explain that the audience has promised to remain silent: "no cheers, no applause, no noise of any kind," as Lehrer put it. This kind of respectful listening is standard fare today, but it is a far cry from the debates of the 19th century, when audiences were expected to offer raucous rejoinders and irreverent commentary.

Voters: Undecided and unimportant
Last week's debate might have starred Barack Obama and John McCain, but it wasn't really about them. Rather, it was about an odd and extremely powerful creature in American electoral politics: the Undecided Voter. It was the Undecided Voter whom Gallup asked to submit the questions. It was the Undecided Voter who filled the audience. It was the Undecided Voter who turned the dials controlling CBS' squiggly reaction lines and recorded his (or her) responses for CBS' postelection survey.

How to stop creating extremists
Protect the Iraqi people. That was the new focus when Gen. David Petraeus was given command of coalition forces in 2007.

Palin's rural adviser quits amid criticism
JUNEAU - Gov. Sarah Palin's rural adviser is resigning amid criticism of the governor's record on hiring Alaska Natives.

Board expands Palin investigation
JUNEAU - The state Personnel Board recently expanded its investigation into Gov. Sarah Palin's dismissal of former Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan.

Police search for motive in killings
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. - Police Monday remained baffled as to why a man who grew up in Alaska and was staying with a relative in suburban Denver apparently drove 240 miles to kill a dentist and the wife of a former Mesa State College president.

Palin appoints new subsistence director
JUNEAU - A former director of the Council of Athabascan Tribal Governments and a state game board member will head up a state agency on subsistence hunting and fishing.

Fairbanks Marine dies in Afghanistan
FAIRBANKS - A 20-year-old U.S. Marine from Fairbanks has died in Afghanistan.

Two arrested on assault charges
JUNEAU - Police said they arrested a couple accused of injuring a man Tuesday over a disagreement about a check.

Wasilla man charged with dragging trooper
WASILLA - A Wasilla man almost ran over one officer and dragged another at an accident scene, Alaska State Troopers said.

Man charged with attempted murder
FAIRBANKS - A North Pole man fired a handgun through his car's sun roof, striking a woman in the hand, according to prosecutors.

Voice of the Times will vanish from Web
ANCHORAGE - The Voice of the Times, an online conservative journal that represented the last vestige of the Anchorage Times, is going out of business.

Eielson under consideration for F-35s
FAIRBANKS - The Air Force said recently Eielson Air Force Base is one of six bases under consideration for its newest aircraft, the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

We B Bad sweeps in Sunday bowling
We B Bad continued their domination of the Sunday Mixed Bowling League behind Kim Custer's 246/237/200/683 and Jack Bodine's 215/582 as they swept four games from the second-place Lucky Strikes. Over the past two weeks We B Bad has rose to the occasion, taking seven of eight games as they bowled head-to-head against second-place teams. Vanda (209/210/562) and Loren (258) Randolph tried for Lucky Strikes, but couldn't match We B Bad as they continued to dominate the league.

Sports in Juneau
Today

Feds focus on Stevens' wife in trial
WASHINGTON - Catherine Stevens has become the linchpin in the corruption trial of her husband, Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens - to both the prosecutors and his defense team.

Stevens corruption case could go to jury Monday
WASHINGTON - A jury could begin deliberations Monday in Sen. Ted Stevens' corruption case, leading to the possibility of a verdict less than two weeks before the veteran Republican stands for re-election in Alaska.

Monegan says Palin image is damaged
WASHINGTON - Former Alaska Public Safety Commissioner Walter Monegan said Monday he feels "relieved" by a legislative report concluding that Gov. Sarah Palin abused her authority by trying to have her former brother-in-law fired as a state trooper.

Records reveal governor's checkered history on ethics
ANCHORAGE - Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, whose reformer image took a hit in a report concluding she abused her powers to settle a family score, has skirted state ethics rules before for personal benefit and used her office to help friends and supporters, according to an Associated Press review of records.

Commissioner pans report on returning guardsmen
FAIRBANKS - Alaska's commissioner of Military and Veterans Affairs says Gov. Sarah Palin is being politically smeared by a veterans advocacy group.

Johnston speaks on Bristol Palin, Obama and baby
WASILLA - Levi Johnston, who's having a baby with Gov. Sarah Palin's daughter, can't believe all the things he's hearing.

This Day in History
In Alaska, in the Nation and the World

Man pleads guilty in 4-year-old prison death
KENAI - A 36-year-old man accused of strangling his prison cellmate to death has pleaded guilty in a deal with prosecutors.

Newspapers miss debt obligations
NEW YORK - Newspaper companies have been skipping loan payments, missing financial targets in debt agreements and accepting higher interest rates in exchange for more flexibility - and they're not even directly feeling the impact of the credit crisis yet.

This Day in History
In Alaska

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