Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Tourist shops carry big part of tax load
I have followed with interest all the letters about the tourist stores in downtown Juneau and have yet to see anyone realize that these stores pay big property taxes for very little use of the city services that taxes cover.

Oil tax terms are all in the cards
I've been thinking lately about the governor's new plan to clear up, once and for all, the messy problem of taxing the oil companies for doing business in the great land.

Don't shortchange state with oil tax
Alaskans own the oil and are selling it to the oil companies, regardless of what we call the fees we get. We charge a price for our oil, just like a business. So why are we calling our price a "tax?"

Lemon Creek perfect home for Capital creeps
With the recent FBI indictments, trials, and convictions of our lawmakers, the phrase "capital creep" is starting to take on multiple meanings.

Kudos to animal abuse whistle blower
I am responding to the letter to the editor in the Empire on Oct. 22 written by Marit Carlson Van Dort regarding the incident of dog abuse witnessed at the Eagle Beach Boy Scout Trailhead last weekend.

Big oil and the financial future of Alaska
I am smart enough to know who butter's my bread in Alaska. This state's education, transportation, tourism and countless other services would be just a shadow of current conditions without the money big oil pumps into Alaska.

Production of 'Yeast' rises to the occasion
We went to see "Yeast Nation" at Perseverance Theatre last Friday. Word about town had it an offbeat, strange, but highly entertaining play. We found it to be this and more, much more.

It's time to get over water fluoridation vote
Carolyn Brown's Oct. 24th letter to the editor on fluoridation contained a threat that fluoridation advocates will rise again and try to force the issue with the voters yet again. What do I think about that? "Icky."

Passage of lands bill would be a disaster
It is surprising how a newsworthy item sometimes slips by with little or no notice.

Photo: Hair-raising fun
Kolby Hoover, a second-grader in Allie Smith's class, shows off his spiky hair Monday at Auke Bay Elementary School.

City seeks comments on public transit plan
The city is looking for community input on future public transportation use in Alaska's capital.

Photo: Harbor lurker
A harbor seal swims Monday near Don Statter Harbor on Monday in Auke Bay as it chases a school of herring.

Police & Fire
Reports from police, fire officials and state troopers

Around Town

Around Town

DOT: Access road will cost $374 million
The Juneau access road is projected to cost a total of $374 million, up from $273 million in 2005, according to a report released Monday by the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities.

Police & Fire
Reports from police, fire officials and state troopers

Photo: Fresh catch
Capt. Jim Dybdahl fillets two small halibut for a customer aboard his boat, the Coronation, on Monday in the Don Statter Harbor in Auke Bay. Dybdahl regularly sells his catch from his boat in the harbor.

Court denies Kensington appeals
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has denied requests to rehear a case involving disposal of tailings at the Kensington gold mine.

Assembly approves North Douglas sewer Local Improvement District
The Juneau Assembly approved an ordinance at its regular meeting Monday night creating a Local Improvement District to help fund the expansion of the city sewer to North Douglas.

Suspect jailed in stabbing incident
An 18-year-old suspect was arrested Monday following a stabbing in downtown Juneau, police reported.

Photos: Set for a night of spooks
About 25 children attended the party, which was sponsored by The Learning Connection and Juneau Arts and Humanities.

Hospice welcomes new leadership
Kim Poole, Hospice and Home Care of Juneau chaplain since 2005, was named the new program director for HHCJ.

Recognitions

Halloween at the glacier
Ghouls and goblins alike gathered for the annual Halloween celebration on Saturday at the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center.

Pets of the week
Kittens, cats and bunnies seek homes. Come visit these adorable animals from 3 to 6 p.m. Monday-Friday or 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday at the Gastineau Humane Society.

Special Olympics sponsors raffle
Special Olympics Juneau Chapter is sponsoring a fundraising raffle for a hand-crafted quilt, donated by the Juneau Quilters Guild. The quilt is displayed at Heritage Coffee on South Frankline Street downtown. The quilt was previously displayed by Changing Tides.

Neighbors Digest
Gastineau Elementary students trick-or-treat for Unicef tonight; Eaglecrest Snowsports School shows Warren Miller's "Playgroud'; Lifeguard training classes offered in November, December; The Learning Connection annouces November school schedule; Ladies of Light host ladies-only party,'It's Gettin' Dark' ...

Neighbors mailbox

Title

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Robert E. Simons
Former Juneau resident Robert E. Simons died Oct. 25, 2007, in Cottage Grove, Ore. He was 86.

RoseMarie McLean
Longtime Douglas resident RoseMarie McLean died Oct. 23, 2007, in her home. She was 83.

My Turn: Winter disaster in store along highway
Concerning the mile of construction along Sunny Point: Now that we've read Southeast Department of Transportation Director Malcolm Menzies Oct. 14 My Turn and the Oct. 25 front-page report in the Empire, does anyone feel safer about the coming winter commute?

Outside editorial: Who's really to blame for nominee Mukasey's evasions on torture?
It's a sad day in America when the nominee for attorney general cannot flatly declare that waterboarding is unconstitutional.

Outside editorial: Soaring costs are putting college beyond reach of many
High tuition costs are forcing college students to work full-time jobs while taking classes, mortgage their futures with excessive loans, and defer their educations.

My Turn: What to do with dying villages?
Years ago, Mary Balcom published a small booklet entitled, "Ghost Towns of Alaska." Most of the places were gold-rush towns that died out. The fact is, there are many "ghost towns," or former settlements in Alaska.

Outside editorial: Find a fairer way to hold primaries
The presidential primary saga, now a full-fledged political soap opera, continued last week as the Republican National Committee recommended that Michigan and four other states lose half their convention delegates because their early primaries violate party rules.

SPORTS IN JUNEAU
Sports in Juneau is a service provided by the Juneau Empire to provide information on upcoming sports and outdoors events in Juneau.

Watts' four goals propels Blue past Air Excursions
Kit Watts scored four goals and assisted on Molly Yerkes' score to lead the Blue past Air Excursions 7-1 on Sunday in a Juneau Adult Hockey Association Tier C game at Treadwell Arena.

JDHS ready for 3rd season
For the Juneau-Douglas High School hockey team, preparation for their third season didn't start on ice, but on a softball diamond.

Juneau Parks and Recreation Men's and Women's Volleyball Standings

SPORTS IN JUNEAU
Sports in Juneau is a service provided by the Juneau Empire to provide information on upcoming sports and outdoors events in Juneau.

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

Photo: Walking on water
A puddle reflects a crow Saturday in Kenai. Several of the birds took turns bathing in the standing water.

State should cover retirement losses, Sen. Elton says
Alaska state employees lost nearly $6 million from their retirement accounts last summer in a fund that was supposedly invested in conservative bonds.

Federal prosecutors defend Kott verdict
Federal prosecutors are urging the judge who presided over the trial in which former state House Speaker Pete Kott was convicted on bribery charges to reject Kott's request for a new trial.

Ex-VECO executive says he believed he was blackmailed
The former head of a major Alaska oil field services company testified Monday that he thought he was being blackmailed by a family member over remodeling services he provided to U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens.

Exxon case sparks concerns about oil tax
A top state attorney is acknowledging that a net tax on oil company profits may be more likely to lead to litigation with oil producers than a simpler gross tax, but said it is unlikely to lead to some of the decades-long oil industry litigation of the past.

Northwest Digest
New health centerto open in Fort Yukon; Analysts recommend ripping out dams; Most comments against wolf plan; Lawmakers ask park to cut snowmobiles; Hunter wants limits on camping extended

Seven Alaska schools reach dubious mark
Seven of the state's 40 high schools - or more than 17 percent - have the dubious distinction of being a "dropout factory," according to an analysis of U.S. Department of Education data.

Astronaut visits Alaska schools
Fairbanks students got to talk space with an actual astronaut Monday.

High court to hear Exxon Valdez case
Eighteen years after the worst oil spill in U.S. history, its victims suddenly face the prospect of having a $2.5 billion judgment wrested away from them by the Supreme Court.

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

Northwest Digest
Dems want Begich in race against Stevens; Voters head to polls in Fairbanks election; Drifter killed by train north of Baker City

FBI investigating Ted Stevens' fishing bills
Federal authorities investigating U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens are trolling the Alaska fishing industry for evidence of whether the powerful Republican pushed seafood legislation that benefited his lobbyist son.

Kohring declines to testify in defense
Former state Rep. Vic Kohring chose not to take the stand in his own defense Tuesday as testimony ended in his corruption trial.

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