Wednesday, November 17, 2010

All working people should contribute to Social Security
As the United States' fiscal deficit increases, Social Security is assailed again. Lawmakers, fiscal conservatives, economists, etc. are taking about cutting Social Security and extending the retirement age because, we're told, there is not enough of a base to support the people that are going to retire.

Murkowski takes lead in Senate race
Sen. Lisa Murkowski's write-in vote total pulled ahead of Republican nominee Joe Miller's for the first time Monday afternoon, as the nearly week-long counting process draws to a close.

Frightful drivers need to be delightful in bad weather
The first heavy frost of the year hit Juneau on Tuesday morning and drivers should be wary and patient when taking on the changing climate, according to the Juneau Police Department.

Photo: Trail turmoil
Mountain biker John McConnochie carries his ride over a major rock and tree slide Monday on Perseverance Trail. The slide is approximately 200 yards above the Ben Blackgoat Memorial Bench just before Ebner Falls. The trail is in good condition on either side of the slide, but caution should be observed when hiking, biking or running in the area.

Police & Fire
This report contains information provided to the Empire from law enforcement agencies. This report includes arrest and citation information, not conviction information. Anyone listed in this report is presumed innocent.

Photo: Keeping up with the youth of Alaska
Hoonah Mayor Windy Skaflestad talks about reaching out and making friends with the community's youth during Tuesday's Mayors Conference at the Juneau Arts & Cultural Center. The Alaska Municipal League's 60th Annual Local Government Conference started Sunday and continues through Friday.

Senate battle draws interest from national, international media
Alaska's write-in ballot count for the U.S. Senate has attracted numerous national media, and now has attracted Al-Jazeera Network's English language channel to Juneau to watch the race between incumbent Sen. Lisa Murkowski and Republican nominee and tea-party favorite Joe Miller be decided in a painstakingly detailed count process.

A new look at an old battle
"It was called the "Kake War" of 1869 but few people today know of it, said Zachary Jones, archivist with the Sealaska Heritage Institute.

Police & Fire
This report contains information provided to the Empire from law enforcement agencies. This report includes arrest and citation information, not conviction information. Anyone listed in this report is presumed innocent.

AML set to begin conference Wednesday
City and borough officials from one end of the state to another are gathering in Juneau this week for the Alaska Municipal League's 60th Annual Local Government Conference at Centennial Hall.

Fish & Game release 2009 halibut estimates and 2010 projections
The Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Division of Sport Fish has released its final estimates of Pacific halibut harvest by sport anglers in 2009.

Boone takes over helm of Valley Tesoro
He worked behind the register there in his younger years and has now taken over as the new leader.

Couer d'Alene's Wheeler wins award from miners association
Coeur d'Alene Mines Corp. CEO Dennis E. Wheeler has been awarded the Distinguished Service Award by the Alaska Miners Association for his work in bringing the Kensington Gold Mine into production. The award was presented at the AMA Annual Convention in Anchorage.

Outside editoral: The Twinkie diet
The following editorial appeared in the Chicago Tribune:

Troubling signs in Afghanistan
The following editorial first appeared in the Kansas City Star:

Will Obama face a primary challenge in 2012?
Republicans may think that their midterm triumph bodes ill for President Obama's re-election hopes, but such beliefs are not borne out by history. The incumbent president's party typically does poorly in a midterm election. This time, however, there was an ominous hint of a potential problem for Obama. In his concession speech, the media thought that Wisconsin Sen. Russell Feingold may have been referring to a presidential bid when he said, "It's on to 2012!" Although Feingold's spokesman rejected that interpretation, a primary challenger would be the absolute worst sign for Obama for 2012.

Winter Shorts Guy
I thought I noticed a slow evolution, but now, several weeks into November, it seems the transformation is complete: I've become Winter Shorts Guy. Yup, Winter Shorts Guy, that variety of North American male who dresses like it's always summer all the time.

Murkowski will return to Senate with independence, will she use it?
The election hasn't been certified yet, but it's a good bet Sen. Lisa Murkowski will rejoin the Republican minority in the U.S. Senate next year. Even though the GOP leadership backed Joe Miller, they'll be happy to have her on their side. But as Murkowski told Candy Crowley on CNN in mid September, she didn't run "to make the Republican Party happy." It was about Alaskans.

Tax cuts come with more than meets the eye
You might have noticed that politicians like to brag about cutting taxes. Some do it more frequently than others, but it's rare to find a politician who's never once boasted of his tax-cutting credentials.

My turn: Hunting more economically efficient than stores, fast-food
I had a hard time understanding just what point Alexander Simon was trying to make in his recent My Turn ("Recent trial highlights differences between American, European views on wolves" in the Nov. 10 Empire) on the illegal killing of the black wolf. He stated there is no "natural" way for humans to interact with wolves, and then went on to say how the wolf befriended dogs and watched skiers go by. Is that "natural"? Does a wolf have friends?

Murkowski: Palin lacks leadership to be president
JUNEAU - U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski says she doesn't think Sarah Palin has the leadership qualities to be president, nor the "intellectual curiosity" needed to make good policy.

Troopers charge man in 'road rage' incident
WASILLA - A 19-year-old driver has been arrested in what Alaska State Troopers are calling a "road rage" incident on the Parks Highway.

NORAD planes to train in Alaska
JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON - The North American Aerospace Defense Command is planning training exercises this week in southwest Alaska.

6-year-old boy killed in Glenn Highway accident
ANCHORAGE - A 6-year-old boy was killed in an accident on the Glenn Highway north of Anchorage.

Alaska officer frees tangled moose on bike path
ANCHORAGE - An Alaska moose is back on the loose with the assistance of an Anchorage police officer.

2 Alaska cab drivers threatened by riders
FAIRBANKS - An Alaska man is facing a misdemeanor reckless endangerment charge after he was accused of covering a cab driver's eyes in Fairbanks while the taxi was traveling at 50 mph.

Alaska senator's legacy topic of panel discussion
FAIRBANKS - A panel of Alaska historians, journalists and state leaders are planning to discuss the legacy of former Sen. Ted Stevens this week at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Former pipeline regulator takes Alyeska job
ANCHORAGE - A top former federal pipeline regulator has been named the new president of Alyeska Pipeline Service Co. in Alaska.

Troopers investigate suspected arson
WASILLA - Alaska State Troopers are investigating a fire they believe was intentionally set at a Matanuska-Susitna Borough grocery store.

Salazar orders conservation of public land in West
WASHINGTON - Interior Secretary Ken Salazar is ordering federal land managers to consider conservation as the primary focus of some 27 million acres of public lands in the West.

Nielsen: 5 million watched Palin's TLC show
NEW YORK - Sarah Palin made TLC history.

College Watch
• Former area preps playing college basketball

NBA pain in Pacific Northwest
Any talk of the NBA in the Pacific Northwest can be a sensitive topic of conversation, especially if you're a Seattle sports fan as many Juneauites are.

Unchallenged write-ins pass Miller's total
Sen. Lisa Murkowski took a commanding 10,000-vote lead in her improbable write-in bid to retain her seat in the U.S. Senate as the final big count of votes was done Tuesday in Juneau.

AFN seeks to intervene in Senate voting lawsuit
ANCHORAGE - Alaska's largest Native organization on Monday sought to intervene in a lawsuit filed against election officials by GOP Senate candidate Joe Miller, claiming he seeks to disenfranchise Alaska Natives by invalidating their votes if they do not spell another candidate's name perfectly.

After 'Whales,' Alaska searching for next movie
ANCHORAGE - With the motion picture "Everybody Loves Whales" completing its work in Alaska, state economic officials are wondering what the next big Alaska movie project will be.

Alaska is not Florida
Alaska's spelling bee queen is state Elections Director Gail Fenumiai, who is personally judging whether thousands of Alaskans correctly spelled "Lisa Murkowski," or if they didn't, and many did not, whether what they did write was close enough.

Alaska elections director thrust into spotlight
JUNEAU - She presses a ballot close to her red glasses, pauses to scrutinize the botched spelling and declares in a singsong voice: "Murkowski."

AP source: Findings against 3 in Stevens case
WASHINGTON - A draft Justice Department report has found that two federal prosecutors and an FBI agent engaged in misconduct in the corruption trial of Sen. Ted Stevens, a lawyer familiar with the matter said Tuesday.

Dem. to file native contracting bill
ANCHORAGE - U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill plans to introduce legislation this week that would eliminate the advantage tapped by Alaska Native corporations in obtaining federal contracts worth billions of dollars.

Challenges abound for new Alaska rail bridge
FAIRBANKS - A proposed $160 million railroad bridge across the Tanana River that will be the largest in Alaska is already posing challenges in the planning stage.

Jury hears closing arguments in repeat DUI case
ANCHORAGE - A jury must decide whether a woman who may have had as many as 18 drinks before getting behind the wheel of her sport utility vehicle and plowing into a small car is guilty of second-degree murder.

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