Monday, November 9, 2009

Alaskans should curb effects of tourism
I have debated writing this letter for the past two years, but feel something desperately needs to be done. I lived in Southeast Alaska from 1978 to 1991. Currently I live in Oregon, but I visit Southeast Alaska every year.

State should support renewable energy
Alaska's largest statewide Native organization passed a resolution recently endorsing federal legislation that would require large-scale utilities to obtain at least a quarter of their electricity from renewable sources by 2025. Village residents and delegates of the Alaska Federation of Native rightly see renewable energy as a way to lower exorbitant energy costs.

Expecting Juneau's homeless to vanish is not an option
Alaska Electric Light & Power Co.'s eviction of homeless people from their camp above Franklin Street graphically illustrates the imbalance we have allowed to develop between public and private ownership.

Homeless camp to be razed Thursday
After the tent city Michael Talton has called home for the past year and a half is razed on Thursday, the 58-year-old has no idea where he will bed down.

A night without shelter
They made shelters out of cardboard boxes and duct tape. They warmed themselves around a fire. Earlier that night, they'd held signs reading "Everyone should have a home" and "Honk for the Homeless." And at night, they curled up in their sleeping bags and slept until 6 a.m. Sunday morning, when the lights at the covered basketball court at Riverbend Elementary School switched on. They took down the shelters and went home.

Correction
An A1 story in Friday's Juneau Empire about the cruise ship head tax lawsuit misstated the Legislature's action on former Gov. Sarah Palin's vetoes of several head tax appropriations. The vetoes were sustained during an August special session in Anchorage.

Waffles a winning recipe for student entrepreneur
As a student, Julie Thatcher was pretty sure her business would be popular with the college set when she opened a restaurant in 2004 less than a mile from the university campus.

Urban, rural cost divide widens
It will cost Alaska about $35 million to implement a new cost-differential study for various Alaska communities, the Parnell administration told the Legislature last week.

Swine flu vaccination underway in schools
Juneau schoolkids have begun receiving swine flu vaccinations.

Egan, Kerttula plan to run for new terms in state Legislature
Sen. Dennis Egan, D-Juneau, said Friday he will run for a full four-year term in the Alaska Senate, following his appointment by former Gov. Sarah Palin on the last day of this year's legislative session in April.

Photos: Think Pink
The Juneau Empire hosted the "Pink Tie" benefit fundraiser for Cancer Connection at the Juneau Arts & Culture Center in recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month - which ended in October - and raised money to fight all forms of cancer.

Photo: Afternoon snack
A bald eagle eats a herring Sunday on a Gastineau Channel beach near the Douglas Island Pink and Chum Hatchery.

Photos: Gear grab
Skis: Kevin Miller looks for a new pair of skis Saturday to replace his old pair he's had since the 1980s at the annual Ski Sale at Centennial Hall. More than 1,500 people came to the event within 30 minutes after the doors were opened.

Photo: Native greeting
John Smith of the Juneau Tlingit Dancers, foreground, was one of several dance group members to greet the Lakota Sioux Dance Theatre as they arrived Sunday at Juneau International Airport. The Lakota Sioux Dance Theatre will perform at 7 p.m. tomorrow at the Juneau-Douglas High School auditorium. The event is presented by the Juneau Arts and Humanities Council.

Around Town
Today, Nov. 9

Native American Heritage Month: Robert Martin Jr.
Name: Robert Martin Jr.

Native American Heritage Month Randy Wanamaker
Randy Wanamaker

Police & Fire
Juneau police and fire officials reported:

Photo: Tis the season
Walmart Employee Mariam Mendoza donates blankets at the U.S. Coast Guard Blanket, Coat and New Toy Drive bin Friday at Walmart Supercenter. The Coast Guard Cutter Liberty started its 12th annual Southeast Alaska Blanket, Coat and New Toy Drive on Friday.

Around Town
Today, Nov. 8

Police & Fire
Juneau police and fire officials reported:

Dreaming BIG
In its biggest fundraiser of the year, Big Brothers Big Sisters invited more than 200 people to Centennial Hall for lunch Wednesday.

Photo: Preschool Family Night
More than 60 preschoolers explored a backhoe, learned about construction tools, "read"blueprints for the new swimming pool and built their own cardboard creations during the monthly Preschool Family Night on Nov. 3 at the downtown library. Preschool Family Nights are offered the first Tuesday of every month at the downtown library. They are co-sponsored by Friends of the Juneau Public Libraries, AEYC and Best Beginnings. Next month the theme will be "Wild Alaskan Baby Animals," with special guest Riley Woodford, of Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

Senior menu for the week of Nov. 9-13
Monday, Nov. 9

Juneau sorority to accept donations for wounded soldiers
JUNEAU - As part of the Hope for Heroes program, which runs Nov. 7 to 14, the Juneau Chapter of Alpha Theta of Epsilon Sigma Alpha is collecting donations for our wounded military soldiers at Madigan Army Hospital at Fort Lewis, Wash. Boxes will be at various locations including the Mendenhall Mall, Nugget Mall and the Federal Building.

Central Council sponsors essay contest for month of November
JUNEAU - Central Council Tlingit & Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska's Community Services & Self-Governance Division is sponsoring an essay contest this month in celebration of American Indian Heritage Month. The deadline is Nov. 30.

Great American Smokeout to take place Nov. 19
SITKA - Every third Thursday in November, millions of smokers pledge to be smoke-free for 24 hours as a part of the Great American Smokeout. To promote this event in Sitka, SEARHC health educators from the Tobacco Quit Program and the Sitka School District "Kick It" program coordinator will host information booths from 11:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 19, at AC-Lakeside Grocery.

Widowed Persons group to host 'Grief and the Holidays'
JUNEAU - The Widowed Persons Program is pleased to announce a special public program, "Grief and the Holidays," to be held at 5:15 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 10, in the Mendenhall Valley library conference room.

Local business helps St. Vincent de Paul with canned food drive
JUNEAU - Sunkissed Tanning, is helping with St. Vincent de Paul's food drive with a promotion called "Tans for Cans."

Montessori students to host drive for children in Philippines
JUNEAU - Two Montessori School students, Olivia Van Kirk and Tori Talley, are sending clothes, stuffed animals and school supplies to children in the Philippines who have just gone through the flood.

Local actor Roblin Gray Davis to teach theater workshop
JUNEAU - Local actor Roblin Gray Davis will showcase his theater techniques for building literacy and science experiences in a free workshop for teachers from 4 to 6 p.m. Tuesday at the Juneau Arts and Culture Center.

Sometimes in a great fog ...
Sometimes great things can come out of the fog.

Local church to host 'Arise! Cry Out!' prayer event Saturday
JUNEAU - Moms In Touch International, a nonprofit ministry, is celebrating 25 years of encouraging moms to pray for children and schools with an "Arise! Cry Out!" prayer event to be held locally from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at Valley Chapel on Back Loop Road. Registration is from 8:30 to 9 a.m.

Consortium lists H1N1, seasonal flu vaccine priority groups
SITKA - Supplies of vaccine for the H1N1 (swine) and seasonal flu have been very limited or not available in facilities managed by the SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium. SEARHC is using priorities established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for offering vaccinations to patients during a time of limited vaccine availability. If the supply situation improves and the vaccines become widely available, other SEARHC patients will be notified through the local media and tribal groups that they can be immunized. SEARHC is in regular contact with state and federal health officials to stay updated on the current situation, including vaccine supplies.

Tickets to Alaska's $250,000 lottery on sale in Juneau
JUNEAU - Tickets to Alaska's $250,000 lottery are on sale in Juneau at Marlintini's, Henry's, GW Teal's and the Viking. Tickets cost $5.

Thanks for helping with the Octoberfest for Breasts fundraiser
Capital City rotaract would like to thank the following businesses for helping make our first annual "Octoberfest for Breasts" a great success, with your help we are able to donate over $8,000 towards breast cancer research:

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder: I count alone
There is stillness in a classroom; third period is the worst. To her the classroom isn't right and makes her nervous. There is too much time for her to get lost in her thoughts that soon turned into fear.

FYI
Births

University to host Eagle Pole fundraising banquet
The University of Alaska Southeast Eagle Totem Fundraising Campaign is celebrating Native Heritage Month with an Eagle Pole fundraising banquet from 5 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 14, at the Mourant Cafeteria at the University of Alaska Southeast.

Honoring Guardians, our veteran friends
Veteran's Day is an opportunity to recognize those who have served or are serving their nation in military uniform. We typically think of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and National Guard.

Celebrating the holiday season
We're in the midst of the holiday season. For my family, the holiday season begins with Halloween, progresses through three birthdays and Thanksgiving in November, on to Christmas, New Year's, Valentine's Dayb, another birthday and Easter, with St. Patrick's Day thrown in for good measure. A solid five to six months of celebrating. It's one way of making it through the dark, cold days of winter.

Spiritual fitness and goal setting
The fall weather and shorter days provide a wonderful opportunity to slow down after a busy summer and take time for spiritual reflection. One way to approach this review is to assess our level of "spiritual fitness."

Journaling on entanglement
Sitting on the Florida porch patiently waiting the storm, I watch the bamboo wind chime cords tangle in each other, looping over and over in the brisk movement of the air, the same movement that will bring us our thundershower across the lake.

Recognitions
Each year at the Alaska Community Transportation and Transit Conference, an individual is selected for his or her outstanding contribution to transit and to those who benefit from public transportation. That individual is given the Max Lyon Award, in memory of Max Lyon, the former director of MAC Transit, whose energy and vision lead to the expanded development of public transportation in Fairbanks and around the state.

Johanna "Jo" Marie (Peck) Brensdal
Juneau resident Johanna "Jo" Marie (Peck) Brensdal died peacefully Nov. 3, 2009, at Cordova Medical Center. She was 74.

Making small steps on climate change
For two years, the Danish capital of Copenhagen has been a beacon for environmentalists seeking a breakthrough international treaty on climate change.

Advice for America's college-bound: Wait
Parents of high school seniors across the country have hired me as an admissions consultant. They want assurances that their children will be attending top colleges a year from now.

In Iraq, shooting attack at Fort Hood hits home
I've been deployed to Iraq for the past four months, and I've figured out ways to cope with the stress that comes from being thousands of miles away from my family.

OCD: For those who count alone
Editor's Note: An incomplete version of this article appeared in the Neighbors section of Sunday's Empire.

Toe Toon

AEL&P to test Salmon Creek Dam sirens
JUNEAU - Alaska Electric Light & Power Co. will test its Salmon Creek Dam emergency evacuation sirens at 9 a.m. Thursday.

Fairbanks plans free swine flu clinics
FAIRBANKS - The Fairbanks North Star Borough School District is planning to provide free swine flu vaccines for any school-age children in the borough at a series of clinics scheduled to begin Nov. 19.

Obama to stop in Alaska Wednesday on way to Asia
WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama will visit Alaska next week, as he begins a longer trip to Japan, China, South Korea and Singapore.

Annual blanket, coat, toy drive underway
JUNEAU - The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Liberty will collect blankets, coats and new toys through Dec. 7 in an effort to donate needed items to villages throughout Southeast Alaska.

Former Fairbanks borough mayor dies
FAIRBANKS - The former mayor of the Fairbanks borough has died.

Assembly to hear port expansion proposal
JUNEAU - The Juneau Assembly will hear a proposal from a private developer tonight to expand cruise ship docks in the Port of Juneau.

DUI suspected in Seward Highway fatal
ANCHORAGE - Anchorage police were looking for a reported drunken driver when her SUV crossed the center line on the Seward Highway and struck a car head-on.

Judge orders new defender for former Rep. Kohring
ANCHORAGE - A federal judge in Anchorage has ordered a new public defender for former Wasilla Rep. Vic Kohring.

No fine for Yukon illegal fishing citation
ANCHORAGE - Federal prosecutors said an illegal fishing citation against a police officer for the village of Marshall will be dismissed without any fine.

Alaska Trooper shoots man during traffic stop
FAIRBANKS - A traffic stop in South Fairbanks has led to an Alaska State Trooper shooting and wounding a man.

Kodiak to get state relief for storm damage
ANCHORAGE - Gov. Sean Parnell has declared a state disaster for storm damage last month on Kodiak Island.

Coast Guard trys to rescue Sitka man
ANCHORAGE - The Coast Guard attempted to rescue and resuscitate the 72-year-old owner of the 40-foot fishing vessel Illahee after he reportedly collapsed at about 11:30 a.m. Saturday while aboard the vessel's skiff 15 miles south of Sitka in the Dorothy Narrows.

Chamber supports road extension to mine
JUNEAU - The state Chamber of Commerce is supporting a 13-mile extension of the road to the Kensington Mine.

Rescuers struggle to aid stricken sailor
JUNEAU - The Coast Guard said a rescue helicopter rushed to help a stricken sailor off Sitka, but a flight surgeon who had been lowered into his boat was unable to revive him.

Small quake recorded near Ketchikan
JUNEAU - A magnitude 4.0 earthquake was recorded near Ketchikan at 11:55 a.m. Sunday.

Two Alaskans die in 3-car crash on I-80
GRAND ISLAND, Neb. - Two people from Alaska have died in a three-vehicle accident on Interstate 80 in central Nebraska.

Two to face trial in caribou wasting case
KOTZEBUE - Two Point Hope men are facing trial on caribou wasting charges after a judge in Kotzebue rejected a defense motion to dismiss their case.

Snake-bit Bears
So it can't get much worse than this, in this snake-bitten start to the Juneau-Douglas High School athletic year.

JDHS falls in bid for back-to-back
ANCHORAGE - Cody Brunette sat with his feet dangling in the Bartlett High pool Saturday, his face blank as he stared across the shallow warm-up pool intonothingness.

Bears to face Colony in first round of state volleyball tournament
Southeast No. 1 seed Juneau-Douglas will face Northern Lights No. 2 seed Colony at 2 p.m. in the first round of the 2009 4A State Volleyball Tournament on Thursday at West Anchorage High School.

Bears rebound to bite Kings, advance to state
If Ketchikan learned one thing this weekend in Sitka, it's not to poke a sleeping bear.

CALENDAR OF EVENTS
CALENDAR OF EVENTS

Scientists: Surface permafrost may vanish in Alaska
FAIRBANKS - Alaska probably will see most of its surface permafrost vanish by the end of this century, but researchers believe vast areas of frozen soil will remain deeper underground even as air temperatures increase.

Sarah Palin rallies abortion opponents at Wisconsin event
WEST ALLIS, Wis. - Less than two weeks before the release of her memoir "Going Rogue," former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin was on message during a Friday night speech to anti-abortion activists at State Fair Park.

Lone Dall sheep puzzles biologists
FAIRBANKS - A lone Dall sheep that has been hanging around the Fort Knox gold mine north of Fairbanks has wildlife biologists puzzled.

Pharmacists find unique ways to stay in business
ANCHORAGE - In a small family-owned pharmacy in Ketchikan, pharmacist Barry Christianson carefully grinds up capsules for an adult medication for influenza, adding a suspension and cherry flavoring to concoct a pediatric counterpart for a client.

Swine flu a 'maybe' in remote village
ANCHORAGE - Suspected swine flu is sweeping a traditional Eskimo whaling village on a remote Alaska island - prompting an urgent medical mission to deliver help.

As oceans fall ill, storm brews over solutions
WASHINGTON - Off the coast of Washington state, mysterious algae mixed with sea foam have killed more than 8,000 seabirds, puzzling scientists. A thousand miles off California, researchers have discovered the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a swirling vortex roughly twice the size of Texas filled with tiny bits of plastic and other debris.

Derelict vehicles cause problem for fishermen
KODIAK - Derelict vehicles are causing a problem for commercial fishermen in Kodiak.

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