Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Act on health care
This health care debate is getting ludicrous. We must all be sick of being lambasted with irrational fear-mongering advertisements. Congress makes law, and if something needs to be adjusted in the future, they can fix it. Everyone except the insurance companies agree: Something needs to be done now.

Big corporations not an even playing field
Recently, Dr. Riki Ott gave a presentation at the University of Alaska Southeast, and I missed it. I am sorry I did so, because she brought up an idea, a U.S. Supreme Court decision, that I had never studied nor questioned. As an academic and historian, I should have done that.

Cap-and-trade bill needs to be cut
If current legislation calling for a cap-and-trade scheme to cut carbon emissions becomes law, the poorest among us will bear the burden of higher prices. America's richest citizens, as well as Europeans, will be the beneficiaries of this wealth transfer, according to two new studies.

Governor candidate wants to clarify quote
With regard to the story about my candidacy published Oct. 15, I appreciate your coverage of my efforts to create jobs and improve our state's economy. One thing I was quoted as saying in that article didn't quite come out as I intended. Here's what I was trying to say:

Whitehorse flights a waste of money
Let me get this straight -city and borough has so much money that they are willing to pay Canadian Airlines $26,400 for three flights to "see" if they can promote business between Whitehorse and Juneau?

Carnival won't back up decline in passengers
Alaska's biggest cruise line says visits to Alaska were down this summer, but the company's own financial filings raise questions about that statement.

Stoplight installed near school
The crosswalks on Mendenhall Loop Road near Floyd Dryden Middle School have seen several crashes, fatalities and injuries in the past few years, including to children crossing.

Drug testing to begin next week
Mandatory random drug testing for student athletes should begin next week, Superintendent Glenn Gelbrich said at the Tuesday evening Juneau School Board meeting.

Former JPD officer featured in TV series
Growing up, Juneau-Douglas High School graduate Anne Sears never planned to become an Alaska State Trooper, let alone to be featured in that role in a new documentary-style reality television show.

Photo: Timber!
A work crew for Alaska Instate Construction takes down trees Monday next to the parking area for the airport dike trail. Once the trees are down, the area will be opened to the public. Work will continue over the next two years on the project to reroute Duck Creek, add safety zones to the ends of the Juneau International Airport and rework the dike trail and parking area. Sporadic closure of the trail is expected during the work.

Swipe and read
The Juneau Empire's circulation department has rolled out five new credit card- and debit card-friendly newspaper vending machines and has plans to replace the entire inventory within the next year.

Photo: Just for kicks

Breast Cancer Awareness Month Today's featured survivor: Susan Evans
Age: 53.

Photo: Fog begins to lift
Traffic crosses the Douglas Bridge amid morning fog Tuesday over Gastineau Channel.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month Today's featured survivor: Barbara Taug
Age: 56.

Police & Fire
Juneau police and fire reports were not available by press time Tuesday.

Around Town
Today, Oct. 20

Around Town
Today, Oct. 21

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

James Lyle Scoles
Longtime Juneau resident James Lyle Scoles died Oct. 12, 2009, in Juneau. He was 65.

Diane Snider-Olson
Former longtime Juneau resident Diane "Lena" Snider-Olson died at 2:19 am. Oct. 13, 2009, at Downey Regional Medical Center in Downey, Calif. She was 58.

Gerald L. Wilkerson
Juneau resident Gerald "Jerry" Wilkerson died Oct. 16, 2009 at his home. He was 67.

Politics threaten to undermine census
Article 1, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution requires an "enumeration" of the population every 10 years. Since 1790, the federal government has duly conducted its decennial census.

Reining in runaway costs of health care
The following editorial appeared in the Kansas City Star:

Alaska must hold the line
In May 2007, the Alaska Legislature created a commercial vehicle called the Alaska Gasline Inducement Act to bring North Slope natural gas to market. Since then, Alaskans have witnessed progress never before seen on a North Slope gas pipeline. Following a competitive and transparent bidding process, the Legislature awarded the state's license to TransCanada Alaska, who began immediate field, engineering and planning work in preparation for an open season scheduled to begin April of next year.

Falcon and the showman
How's this for a reality show concept? Call it "Schemers": A man and woman fall in love - with fame, that is. They waste scads of taxpayer dollars and scare the daylights out of the public by telling police that their propitiously named son, Falcon, is soaring off in a wayward balloon. Except he was never in the balloon at all. What a laugh riot!

Many business owners support controlling health care costs
It's become clear to me, as a small business owner, that the debate about healthcare reform has reached a critical moment. A profusion of half-truths and exaggerations has muddied the waters of reform. Small business owners must sift through the flurry of falsehoods and misstatements to discern the truth - which is that we are sinking under the weight of health care costs, and reform is needed to buoy bottom lines and ensure that our businesses can succeed.

Meditations on splitting wood
In Juneau, there are two things you can never have enough of: non-cotton clothing and dry firewood. Okay, maybe bungie cords. And snow shovels. Oh, and ranch dressing - that stuff goes with everything.

A reason to rally around Rush
We are gathered here today in sympathy with our brother, Rush Limbaugh.

Anchorage homeless camps cleared out
ANCHORAGE - Police returned four days after they red-tagged homeless camps in the Mountain View area of Anchorage and told illegal campers they had to go.

Small profit secures future for Tanana fair
FAIRBANKS - The Tanana Valley State Fair appears to have earned a small profit for the first time in five years, easing fears for the future of the event.

Anchorage Assembly looks at bar hours
ANCHORAGE - The Anchorage Assembly is looking at the issue of how to increase safety for bar patrons.

Doyon announces shareholder dividend
FAIRBANKS - The Doyon Ltd. board of directors approved a $3.68 per share dividend at its quarterly meeting in Fairbanks this weekend.

Large turnout for Fairbanks gun show
FAIRBANKS - Record crowds turned out for this year's Tanana Valley Sportsmen's Association Fall Gun Show.

Officials mum on animal hoarder case
ANCHORAGE - Anchorage officials have yet to say what they are going to do with dozens of animals found last week at the home of a woman accused of animal cruelty.

Pilot in Denali crash recovering in Seattle
SEATTLE - Alaska pilot Daniel McGregor is reported in satisfactory condition Monday at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle where he is recovering from burns to his hands and face.

Enstar rates to fall 16% in January
ANCHORAGE - Customers of Southcentral Alaska's largest natural gas utility will see their monthly bills go down starting in January.

Trial begins in suit against Zometa maker
MISSOULA, Mont. - A trial is under way in a Missoula woman's lawsuit against the Swiss drug maker Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp., and attorneys say the verdict could have national significance.

Palin to speak in Milwaukee area
MILWAUKEE - Former Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin will speak in a Milwaukee suburb next month as part of a program presented by Wisconsin Right to Life.

Airport Dike Trail reopens Tuesday
JUNEAU - After a brief closure to cut down trees for a runway safety area expansion at Juneau International Airport, the Airport Dike Trail reopened Tuesday.

Federation of Natives meeting in Anchorage
ANCHORAGE - Alaska's largest gathering of indigenous people, the Alaska Federation of Natives, begins its three-day convention Thursday in Anchorage.

Anchorage OKs 1st school health clinic
ANCHORAGE - The Anchorage School Board has approved the district's first school-based health clinic.

Kodiak communities receive siren grants
KODIAK - Three communities on Kodiak Island will receive federal money for emergency sirens.

Man gets month in jail for firing shots
FAIRBANKS - A Fairbanks man who fired a gun to scare off other drivers as his girlfriend passed them will serve a month in jail.

Teacher faces drug, forgery charges
ANCHORAGE - Authorities arrested an Anchorage elementary school teacher accused of forging prescriptions and illegally obtaining Adderall.

Ramras running for lieutenant governor
ANCHORAGE - State Rep. Jay Ramras announced Tuesday he's running for the job of lieutenant governor. The three-term Republican from Fairbanks says Alaska must reshape policies for sound growth using the resource based economy.

Bears hit the road, again
While on a two-weekend road trip, the Crimson Bears look to finish at Service and the Dimond tournament the same way they started. Juneau-Douglas took down the Kings on both nights last weekend in Ketchikan.

Sports in Juneau
Calendar of Events

Sports in Juneau
CALENDAR OF EVENTS

Senators work to formalize energy goal
Two state senators are proposing an energy policy that would formalize former Gov. Sarah Palin's goal of Alaska getting half of its electricity from renewables by 2025.

Panel: Sex assault reporting inadequate
ANCHORAGE - A state Senate committee is urging the Department of Public Safety to do a better job tracking sexual assaults and helping rape victims.

Allen seeks delay in corruption sentencing
ANCHORAGE - The key witness in the federal government's corruption cases against several Alaska politicians is seeking a delay in his sentencing, court filings showed Tuesday.

Feds give conditional approval for drilling in Beaufort
ANCHORAGE - A federal agency announced approval Monday of a plan by Shell Offshore, Inc. to drill exploratory wells next year on two leases in the Beaufort Sea off Alaska's north coast - a decision that environmental groups contend ignores threats to the arctic environment and its wildlife.

Photo: Celebrating Alaska Day
Gov. Sean Parnell spoke Sunday at the Alaska Day ceremonies. Children participated in the reenactment of the 1867 transfer ceremony of the state from Russia to the United States and the U.S. Army Ninth Infantry color guard leads a parade in celebration.

Palin steps back into national spotlight
ANCHORAGE - Former Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin is about to re-emerge on the national scene.

Census Bureau considers hiring locals for count
ANCHORAGE - The U.S. Census Bureau is considering hiring locals to do the 2010 count in Alaska Native villages.

UA professor loses federal funding
ANCHORAGE - The University of Alaska has rejected a faculty union grievance filed on behalf of a professor who had federal funding pulled for being an outspoken critic of the oil industry.

Alaska-based troops making progress in Afghanistan war
ANCHORAGE - The 4th Brigade Combat Team from Fort Richardson is seven months into a one-year deployment in Afghanistan.

Investigator has yet to speak with injured pilot
ANCHORAGE - A National Transportation Safety Board investigator said he plans to speak with the pilot who survived the plane crash that killed wolf biologist Gordon Haber.

Fairbanks schools to accept $10 million in stimulus money
FAIRBANKS - The Fairbanks North Star Borough School Board plans to formally accept $10 million in federal stimulus money Tuesday, a move that will add more than a dozen new jobs while helping the district start programs aimed at helping students prepare for college and careers.

Blind radio broadcaster preaches to rural villages
FAIRBANKS - He had only been here once before, but six years ago, Brian Blair felt a calling to move north.

Nonprofit group provides place for traditional hunting in Northwest
ANCHORAGE - Snow is already beating against the doors of many village homes, and for people across the state it comes with anxious thoughts of the season ahead. Will this winter force families to choose between fuel and food? Who will watch out for the elderly and the needy when high costs become too much to bear?

Dubuque mulls partnership with Sheldon Jackson
SITKA - Sitka officials visited the Midwest last week to continue talks about a partnership between Sheldon Jackson College and Dubuque University, an Iowa-based Presbyterian university.

Women's formal wear donations sought in Fairbanks
FAIRBANKS - Now that the troops are back home, some formal ceremonies are in order, including a round of Battalion Balls beginning in early November.

Alaska lighthouses featured in exhibit
KETCHIKAN - With more than 40,000 miles of rugged coastline to navigate, much of it challenging even in clear, calm weather, Alaska mariners of yore relied on lighthouses to provide a beacon, guiding them to safe harbor.

Aleutians volcano remains quiet after brief spurt
ANCHORAGE - Geologists have returned an Alaska volcano to unmonitored status because it has remained quiet following a brief eruption earlier this month.

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