Monday, October 20, 2008

Do more than vote
I'm getting ready to vote.

Alaska's Obama supporters reach out to swing states
Gov. Sarah Palin has cemented Republican presidential candidate John McCain's chances of picking up Alaska's three electoral votes, state polls show, backing up the conventional wisdom that vice-presidential candidates typically carry their home states for their campaigns.

After 50 years of toxic seep, mine cleanup to begin soon
Forty miles northeast of Juneau, just past the Canada border, a bright-orange stream trails from an old mine shaft 100 feet down a bare hillside and into an orange pool. The metals in the orange water have been leaking into the Tulsequah River and on into the Taku for a half-century. After 50 years, the Tulsequah Chief mine is scheduled to reopen. But before they start chasing the gold, silver and other metals, the new miners must clean up after their predecessors. Their operating permit requires it.

Photo: Discussing women's health
Keynote speaker Justine Emerson uses a humorous slide of two cats wearing bikinis to illustrate the point about sun exposure and Vitamin D on Saturday at the 2008 Women's Health Forum. Emerson's topic was "Vitamin D: What's in it for your health." The forum featured health education displays, and a question and answer period with a health panel.

Photo: Swan layover
A large flock of trumpeter swans is lifted off a sandbar by the rising tide Sunday in the Mendenhall Wetlands State Wildlife Refuge. Sixty-two migrating adults and juveniles were counted in the flock, a number not often seen in Juneau.

Photo: Peace from Ireland
Renowned Northern Ireland singer-songwriter Tommy Sands, center, sings Thursday night with his daughter, Moya, left, and son, Fionon, during a concert sponsored by the Alaska Folk Festival at Centennial Hall. The packed house listened to old and new Irish music and stories that dealt with with peace and hope.

Photo: Snap to attention
William Torgerson, 7, leans in for a better view of an alligator snapping turtle handled by naturalist Scott Shupe during a program Sunday at the Douglas Library and Fire Department titled "The World of Reptiles."

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

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

Around Town
Today

Around Town
Today

Paul Roman Willis Sr.
Longtime Sitka resident Paul Roman Willis Sr. died Oct. 11, 2008, at Mount Edgecumbe Hospital following a long illness. He was 76.

My turn: Not all of the Troopergate questions were answered
Many questions still surround "Troopergate." For instance, does the Branchflower report vindicate Gov. Sarah Palin, as she claims? Why do we care? What I mean is, why do we care what Stephen E. Branchflower thinks? He's only one guy - picked by former co-worker, Sen. Hollis French, and paid a lot of money to report on the governor.

Outside editorial: Banking bailout: Time to hang on
The federal government's infusion of $250 billion for major banks, with very few strings attached, should help restore confidence in the financial industry.

The American way, truth and justice: Rest in peace
Mean while, back at the War on Terror ... You remember the War on Terror, don't you? It was in all the papers. Back before presidential politics sucked the air from the room and your 401(k) shrank till it was worth maybe dinner and a movie, it was considered quite the important news story. Abu Ghraib? Extraordinary renditions? Fight 'em over there so we don't have to fight 'em over here? Surely you recall.

Alaska editorial: Prosecution's shabby conduct undermines public confidence
Alaskans wanted, and they deserved, a fair and impartial airing of the criminal charges against Sen. Ted Stevens. If the federal government proved, beyond a reasonable doubt, the serious allegations against Alaska's senior senator, even his most ardent political supporters would have had to accept the conclusions from our system of justice.

Divides aside, Va. GOP agrees McCain fumbled
Some Republicans say John McCain is in danger of becoming their party's first presidential candidate since 1964 to lose Virginia because he hasn't put enough stress on issues such as illegal immigration, gay marriage and abortion.

Survival tips for depression
If I must live through an economic depression, I want to make it the greatest, "Walton"-iest, "Annie"-est depression ever. Admittedly, I learned American history in a nontraditional way.

Toe Toon
Cartoon by local artist Toe.

Where are the Alaska bats right now?
Eileen Weatherby of Fairbanks wrote in mid-September that her cat carried in a surprise one morning. Instead of the usual vole, her cat had captured a bat.

Biologists angling to catch Starr Hill bears
Y our correspondent woke up early Aug. 29, heard the radio scoop, and poked her head into her kitchen to squeal that McCain had chosen Sarah Palin to run for veep.

When the weather turns cold, hardy anglers search for steelhead
ANCHORAGE - When snow coats riverbanks, ice forms on the fishing rod eyelets and water turns slushy in the shallows, casual anglers are long gone.

First ski of the season comes sooner for some than others
FAIRBANKS - When Mark Ross told me the trails were rolled and the skate skiing at Birch Hill Recreation Area was "great" on Monday, I didn't believe him.

Photo: Last color
The colors of autumn and winter collide during a snowstorm Tuesday alongside a highway in Kenai.

Out & About
Today: Juneau Gold Miners' Posse Cowboy Action Shoot, 9 a.m. registration, Hank Harmon Rifle Range.

Video helps police ID two arson suspects
JUNEAU - A security video camera helped Juneau police identify two suspects in an Oct. 12 attempted arson at a department store.

State unemployment rate drops slightly
JUNEAU - The state's unemployment rate saw a slight drop last month.

Body found near Anchorage business
ANCHORAGE - Police are investigating the death of a person whose body was found near an Anchorage storage building.

No bargains for public records in Alaska
ANCHORAGE - Alaska is flush with cash, but there are no bargains for reporters and citizens asking for records of the taxpayers' money at work.

Native group plans veterans march
ANCHORAGE - Organizers of the Alaska Federation of Natives' annual convention are calling on Native veterans and current military members to take part in a veterans march kicking off this year's event.

Fairbanks teachers reach labor agreement
FAIRBANKS - Fairbanks teachers reached a labor agreement Friday with the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District.

Man sentenced in federal drug case
ANCHORAGE - A 28-year-old Wasilla man was sentenced to almost five years in prison Thursday in a federal drug case.

Missing man shows up on Sand Point street
SAND POINT - A man who walked off a job in Sand Point and was missing for three days has been found alive and well.

Todd Palin gets look at racing on wheels
MARTINSVILLE, Va. - The husband of Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin is known for winning the world's longest snowmobile race four times. On Sunday, he got a taste of speed on asphalt instead of ice.

Man charged in Fairbanks crime spree
FAIRBANKS - A 29-year-old North Pole man arrested after a four-hour standoff with police at a Fairbanks home faces five additional charges.

State investigates gas pipeline rupture
ANCHORAGE - The state has asked federal regulators to step in and help investigate the rupture of a natural gas pipeline at Prudhoe Bay.

Fishing vessel loses power in high seas
ANCHORAGE - A Coast Guard cutter was heading toward a disabled fishing vessel Sunday that was drifting in the Gulf of Alaska.

Professor named grant director
ANCHORAGE - A University of Alaska Fairbanks professor recently was named director of the Alaska Space Grant Program.

Service dinks, dunks Bears out of title
Juneau-Douglas High School seemed to have the Large School Football State Championship in hand at half-time Saturday, but the mitts of Service's senior receivers wrote the final chapter in the Cougars' 22-14 victory at Anchorage Football Stadium.

JDHS spikers swept
The Juneau-Douglas High School volleyball team finally found some offensive success by shuffling their lineup at Mount Edgecumbe Saturday night, but fell short after pushing the Braves to four games.

High school swimming
Petersburg InvitationalResults

Crimson Bears top Petersburg Invite
The Juneau-Douglas High School swim teams fought through fatigue, motivated competition and, worst of all, a two-hour layover to come away with convincing victories at both Petersburg-hosted meets over the weekend.

Photo: JYFL champs
Wildcats quarterback Shane Mielke tries to pass under pressure from the Cowboys' Ben Strickler during the CubDivision Championship on Saturday. The Wildcats upset the previously undefeated Cowboys in a 14-8 thriller at Adair-Kennedy Field. Both teams won an opening-round playoff game last weekend to advance to the title game.

Sports in Juneau
UPCOMING EVENTS

Stevens spars with prosecutor during trial
WASHINGTON - Sen. Ted Stevens will get one final chance next week to explain the expensive gifts and thousands of dollars in free work on his Alaska chalet, as the Republican lawmaker's corruption trial comes to a close just days before he faces re-election.

Stevens faces two juries as voters decide
WASHINGTON - When U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens first took the witness stand, it was with his familiar vigor and spunk.

Researchers find artifacts in ancient Alaska village
FAIRBANKS - Researchers and an excavation team from Barrow were working on the site of a 1,000-year-old village called Nuvuk when they found Ipiutak artifacts.

State money managers stay the course
The Alaska Permanent Fund, which recently topped out at more than $40 billion, is now less than $30 billion.

Palin draws big ratings for SNL
NEW YORK - The entertainment summit of the season - Sarah Palin and her impersonator, Tina Fey - earned "Saturday Night Live" its best ratings in 14 years. But if you blinked, you might have missed it.

Government declares beluga whale endangered
ANCHORAGE - The beluga whales of Alaska's Cook Inlet are endangered and require additional protection to survive, the government declared Friday, contradicting Gov. Sarah Palin, who has questioned whether the distinctive white whales are actually declining.

Alaska's minorities say they feel ignored by Palin
ANCHORAGE - Alaska's black leaders say they're not surprised to see Gov. Sarah Palin at the center of the controversy over injecting the race issue into the presidential campaign.

Weather thwarts village fuel run
ANCHORAGE - The village of Kwethluk faces a winter crisis after early freeze-up on the Kuskokwim River left the community without diesel fuel because fuel barges couldn't get through.

State looks into gas pipeline rupture
ANCHORAGE - The state has asked federal regulators to step in and help investigate the rupture of a high-pressure natural gas pipeline at Prudhoe Bay.

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

Homeowner kills bears that return to property
FAIRBANKS - A Salcha man said he killed three grizzly bears Thursday night after they returned to his home and one of the animals charged him.

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