Monday, October 26, 2009

Alaskans deserve corruption retrials
Some legislators convicted of bribery and/or corruption charges may have gotten off on technicalities for the time being, but I urge all those concerned with justice in these matters to lobby for retrial of all legislators concerned.

Cap and trade bill hurts businesses
It always amazes me when politicians talk about small businesses being the engine that drives the nation's economy and then take steps to leave small businesses sputtering. Government proposals to raise energy prices will have a significant impact on small businesses, especially here in Alaska.

Online buyer gets bum deal
Junior Davidson, 20, learned the hard way that you don't always get what you pay for.

Youth club brings kids together
One full week into a 90-day program for kids who attended the defunct Juneau Boys and Girls Club, kids say they're happy to be back with friends.

Police & Fire
Juneau police and fire officials reported:

ANB hall avoids auction for now
Foreclosure proceedings on the Alaska Native Brotherhood Camp 2's building in downtown Juneau have ended, but financial issues remain for the organization.

Coast Guard suspends search for Sitka man
A multi-agency search for a Sitka fisherman who is believed to have fallen overboard his vessel in Fish Bay yielded no results over the weekend.

Juneau takes part in global petition against climate change
How many people does it take to spell "350" with their bodies?

Empire to host 'Pink Tie' cancer benefit
The Juneau Empire will host a cancer fundraiser next month, with proceeds benefiting a Juneau nonprofit group.

Egan appointed to influential Senate committee post
State Sen. Dennis Egan, D-Juneau, has been appointed to an influential legislative committee with important oversight power for the Capitol.

Photos: Controlled burn
Juneau Fire Department Capt. Scott Fergusson supervises a trainee hose team during Sunday's controlled house burn in North Douglas. The controlled burn, set at a house that was slated to be demolished, was intended as a training exercise for Juneau firefighters.

City pledges $10K to timber survey
The Juneau Assembly has pledged $10,000 toward a survey of new timber growth in the Tongass National Forest.

Photo: Leadership award
Rick Richins, left, is presented the Leadership Award from Ted Quinn at Saturday evening's annual Juneau Chamber of Commerce dinner at Centennial Hall. "It's a beautiful night," Richins said "It's a great honor and it has been a long hard run." Among Richins accomplishments are working toward Kensington gold mine improvements through his consulting work for Coeur Alaska. Quinn was presenting as a past president of the chamber.

Photos: Just say 'Boo'
Children dress up for Red Ribbon Rally.

Chamber installs new president
JUNEAU - The Juneau Chamber of Commerce ratified Bob Martin as its new president at an annual meeting Thursday.

Around Town
Today, Oct. 25

Photo: Citizen of the year
Richard Knapp holds the Citizen Of The Year award with wife, Pamela, after his selection for the honor during Saturday's annual Chamber of Commerce dinner at Centennial Hall. "I'm overwhelmed," Knapp said. "And my wife and I are celebrating our 50th anniversary in April. She deserves this just as much as I do, she has been my shipmate all these years."

Police & Fire
Attempt to serve

Breast Cancer Awareness Month Today's featured survivor
Joan Harvey

Around Town
Today, Oct. 25

Breast Cancer Awareness Month; today's featured survivor: Sue Schoenmann
Age: 50.

Playing, singing a new tune
Hard work and diligence has paid off for more than 60 high school musicians this year, as they were adjudicated and dubbed Southeast Honor and All State champions.

Standing on the Side of Love
If you've driven by the historic church at Fifth and Main streets this week, you may have noticed the big banner stating "Standing on the Side of Love" and wondered what that means. Read on and you'll find out.

In the beginning
When I was growing up, and while I was in school, which was kind of a long time ago, we used to spend some time kidding each other about descending from monkeys and having lots of fishy ancestors. But I never gave it much serious thought.

Photo: Giving to the youth
From left, Brenda Hewitt, president of United Way of Southeast Alaska, accepts $4,500 from Mike Notar, of the Juneau and Vicinity Building Trades, and $500 from Pete Ford, of the Central Labor Council, on behalf of the new Juneau Youth Services Valley Youth Club. The new youth club was created to provide a quality safe after-school program for 7- to 15-year-olds who were formerly members of the Boys and Girls Club of Juneau, which closed suddenly last month. The $5,000 goestoward matching the $15,000 challenge grant from the Juneau Community Foundation.

Photo: Divine dancers
Models for the Divine Dance last Saturday pose so guests can view the sustainable clothing donated by Sweet Gale EcoBoutique. Attendees were encouraged to come dressed as a goddess or god and express inner divinity with a costume and dance. Proceeds from the evening went to support bringing Kundalini-Dance, a self-healing movement of energy aligned with love, to Juneau by reducing the cost of training. From left are Ayah Hart-Frayley, Jin Oak Ottoson-McKeen, Cachet Garrett, Susan Hart, Amah Curry, Traci Amlie, Corte LaForce and Nettle Hart-Frayley.

Photo: Special Olympics
Volunteer Katie Botz, left, helps special olympics athleteSabrina Richmond select her grip on a bowling ball during the local Juneau Special Olympics bowling tournament Saturday. The JSO is allowed five teams to compete at the state games in Anchorage in November but finances limit the Juneau squad to just two teams (eight people). "It's amazing what this program does for these kids and adults," coordinator Chris Ullrich said. "It really builds their confidence. Just ask Carl, he's been in the program a long time." Ullrich helped start Juneau's special olympics program in 1996 with John McConnochie and Mary Gore. "I got a 105!" yelled bowler Carl Behnert. "This is a lot better than skiing; you don't have to haul your luggage everywhere. Here, the only thing you do is walking and arm movements."

Recognitions
Olga Mendoza-Schrock, a 1994 Juneau-Douglas High School graduate, won the 2009 Meritorious Service Award presented by the Department of Defense and The National Organization for Mexican American Rights. This prestigious award is given to only five civilians and five military employees from the U.S Department of Defense, from all military organizations.

Senior menu for the week of Oct. 26-30
Monday, Oct. 26

Time spent at Echo Ranch brings a new perspective on life
As a child, playing in the snow was one of my favorite activities. My family lived in a cul-de-sac and when the snow plows came through they would leave an icy coliseum in the middle. Like the ancient days of Rome, snowball fights and other battles would take place in the center and extend up the sides. In one such episode I climbed to the top of a wall only to turn around and receive an ice chunk to the face. I blacked out and landed on the concrete below. It was worth it. Dad came out to dust me off and I was back in combat in no time. But not all winter mishaps were as easy to recover from.

Udland family earns Coast Guard Family of the Year
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - The National Military Family Association recently announced its seven 2009 Military Families of the Year. One of these outstanding Uniformed Service families will be named the National Military Family Association's 2009 Military Family of the Year at our 40th Anniversary Celebration on Oct. 28.

Thanks to Kunibe for her presentation
On Friday afternoon, the Sitka Local Foods Network hosted anthropology student Elizabeth Kunibe of Juneau for a presentation, "Growing in Sitka and Southeast Alaska: Food of Today, Tomorrow and 200 Years Ago." This presentation took place at the Kettleson Memorial Library and we had a standing-room-only crowd of 50-plus, despite being arranged less than a week before the event and competing with several Alaska Day happenings.

Southeast honors music
HONOR BAND

CHARR to offer Safe Ride Home program on Halloween
JUNEAU - Juneau CHARR would like to invite the community to enjoy a night out and get a free cab ride home this Halloween, Oct. 31. Last New Year's Eve, CHARR's Safe Ride Home program got 500 people home free and safely.

State museum to host kids activities Saturday
JUNEAU - Kids and families will have the opportunity to explore the world of paint under the guidance of several local artists during a free art workshop from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday at the Alaska State Museum.

Humpback whale scientist Sharpe to present Thursday
JUNEAU - Humpback whale scientist Dr. Fred Sharpe will present "Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Herring," at 7 p.m. Thursday at the University of Alaska Southeast Egan Lecture Hall, as a benefit for the Whale Project, which will place a Skip Wallen life-scale breeching humpback whale and fountain on Juneau's waterfront.

Starting up the conversation
A group of local parents, educators and family care resource providers have been meeting once a month just to chat. But snacks and parent-talk aside, the group's goal is simple - to strengthen Juneau families.

Juneau Partnerships for Families and Children to conduct survey
Juneau Partnerships for Families and Children recently received a grant from Best Beginnings to conduct a survey on Juneau as a place to raise young children. A report of findings will be presented in a community town hall meeting in January. Participants will be asked to set priorities for Juneau based on the data collected.

FYI
Births

Northern, Gleaton wed
Layna M. Northern, of Juneau, and Shelton H. Gleaton, of Juneau, well be married November 15, 2009 at the Juneau Yacht Club in Juneau, with reception that will follow at the Juneau Yacht Club also.

Sistermans celebrate 25 years
Joe and Tracy Sisterman, of Juneau, celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary on Aug. 11, 2009, with family and friends in Kauai, Hawaii.

Dungeness: The other white meat
I've been feeling crabby lately. In my most recent Local Flavor column, featuring a recipe for King crab mac and cheese, I claim that there are 2 kinds of people in Alaska: King crab people, and Dungeness people. In the spirit of fairness, I felt a journalistic responsibility to provide the Dungeness faction with an equally luxe and decadent preparation for their favored crustacean.

Community theater: Something worth singing about
"That's Daddy's song!" has become a familiar refrain from my children over the last month. I've been singing a lot around the house lately. It's opera season and rehearsals are in full swing for Gilbert and Sullivan's "The Mikado."

Lois K. Nakamura
Juneau resident Lois Nakamura died Oct. 20, 2009, in Los Altos, Calif., where she spent the past four years receiving treatment for a brain tumor. She was 72.

Frustration with swine flu vaccine
The following editorial first appeared in the Washington Post:

Empire editorial: School Board's marathon meetings are too inefficient
Editor's note: An unedited version of the following editorial with editor's notes included mistakenly ran in Friday's Juneau Empire. Below is the version intended to run.

My turn: Without climate change bill, nation's poor will suffer first
Recently Mike Race submitted a letter that appeared in the Juneau Empire in which he conveyed concern about the effect climate change legislation might have on low-income families. He also called for the legislation to be defeated. Race specifically took issue with the "cap and trade" proposals floating around Congress that would limit carbon proliferation.

Fame: The achievable dream, but at what cost?
For hours, the fear was the boy would be found smashed to jelly somewhere, so my first emotion upon learning 6-year-old Falcon Heene was actually safe in his family's Fort Collins, Colo., attic, was relief.

A sentence too cruel for kids
Rather than serving in the U.S. Senate for almost 20 years, or having so many other wonderful life experiences, I could have served a longer sentence in prison for some of the stupid, reckless things I did as a teenager. I am grateful to have gotten a second chance - and I believe our society should make a sustained investment in offering second chances to our youth.

10 months after the election, hope gives way to 'No We Can't'
You may remember all those Obama campaign cheerleaders for change chanting, "Yes we can!" during last year's campaign events.

Toe Toon

Rely on facts in climate change
Some people eagerly respond to impassioned statements about climate change, such as British Prime Minister Gordon Brown's warning we cannot compromise with Earth. Others appreciate stunts, for example, a recent Maldive Islands cabinet meeting that convened under water to signal worries about climate change. To me, though, nothing resonates more than the evidence, the simple, straightforward facts.

HUD awards grant for rural housing repairs
ANCHORAGE - Structural damage to 55 homes in the western Alaska village of Quinhagak will be repaired in time for winter, thanks to a special $450,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Coast Guard searches for Sitka man
SITKA - The Coast Guard is looking for an Alaska man after a fishing vessel found his 32-foot boat grounded with the engines still running about 20 miles north of Sitka.

Wasilla releases ATV survey results
WASILLA - Wasilla officials have released the results of an online survey regarding all-terrain vehicle use within city limits.

Alaska gets more swine flu vaccine
ANCHORAGE - State health officials say they have received more swine flu vaccine from the federal government.

Social worker held on child porn charges
ANCHORAGE - A licensed social worker who specializes in treating children has been arrested for possessing child pornography.

Highways receive National Scenic Byways designation
JUNEAU - Two Alaska highways received national recognition after being named National Scenic Byways this month.

Natural gas test cuts use 3 percent
ANCHORAGE - A two-hour test of natural gas conservation by utilities in Anchorage and Southcentral Alaska reduced consumption by about 3 percent.

Police fingerprint examiner indicted
ANCHORAGE - The Anchorage Police Department has suspended a fingerprint examiner without pay after he was indicted on charges of perjury for allegedly padding his credentials.

Fire chief reprimanded for engine errand
ANCHORAGE - The fire chief of Anchorage says he has been reprimanded for requesting that a fire truck be dispatched to pick up his daughter from school.

Roughhousing
Roughhouse Boxing at Marlintini's Lounge had tap-outs, knockouts and even an unprecedented draw decision in a women's bout.

TMHS plays host
Thunder Mountain High school was the center of Southeast volleyball universe this weekend as 10 schools met in Juneau for the All Comers Tournament. The event included teams from Juneau, Klawock, Petersburg, Sitka, Haines, Skagway, Thorne Bay and Mount Edgecumbe.

Sports in Juneau
CALENDAR OF EVENTS

Native contracting rules to change
ANCHORAGE - Alaska Native corporations will find out next week how the federal government plans to change contracting procedures.

Feds to review subsistence
ANCHORAGE - Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced Friday the federal government will review subsistence management in Alaska.

Pipeline plan clogged with uncertainties
ANCHORAGE - Sarah Palin hit the vice presidential campaign trail last year and touted what Alaska could provide for the rest of America - a natural gas pipeline to help lead the country to energy independence.

Soldiers adjust to life after Iraq
FAIRBANKS - It's a cool Wednesday morning in September in Fairbanks, the type of fall morning on which you might see soldiers at nearby Fort Wainwright out for a run.

Bering crab season off to smooth start
Calm seas and unseasonably warm weather greeted Bering Sea crab fishermen as they embarked on the 2009-10 red king crab season in search of a harvest quota of 16.9 million pounds of king crab.

Documents link Young to Alaska corruption
ANCHORAGE - Documents filed in federal court directly link U.S. Rep. Don Young to a wide-ranging investigation of corruption in Alaska for the first time.

Groups run ad urging stop to timber sales in Tongass
ANCHORAGE - Nearly a dozen conservation groups are appealing to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to put a stop to two timber sales in the Tongass National Forest.

Professor to resign after UA rejected grievance
ANCHORAGE - A University of Alaska professor who was stripped of his federal grant after he criticized the oil industry said he's resigning.

Nation's airlines in two camps: profit vs. loss
ATLANTA - The recession has put the major U.S. airlines into two camps - the profitable ones that have low costs and a domestic focus, and the money-losing ones with higher expenses and big networks that are under global pressure.

House passes bill to help improve cruise ship safety
An effort to boost federal oversight of the $40.2 billion cruise industry moved closer to becoming law Friday when the U.S. House of Representatives approved a bill requiring cruise lines to improve their crime reporting and safety procedures.

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