Saturday, November 21, 2009

Obama snub was partisan politics
Recently the Juneau Empire praised Gov. Sean Parnell for skipping President Obama's first Alaska visit so he could attend the Associated General Contractors (AGC) meeting in Anchorage. The Empire stated that the governor kept his commitment to AGC and Alaskans should all be proud of this.

Penor: Juneau could be a model for waste disposal
When you meet Jim Penor, he might hand you what he calls "a conversation rock."

Woman charged with smuggling 75 grams of cocaine into Juneau
A 28-year-old woman on felony probation was caught allegedly smuggling more than 2 ½ ounces of cocaine inside her most private of places into Juneau last month.

State predator program subject of wildlife talk
Politics are constraining the state's predator control program, which is sorely missing some sound science, according to wildlife biologist Vic Van Ballenberghe.

Native American Heritage Month Barbara (Young) Fujimoto
Age: "Not saying!"

Photo: Decking the boughs
Matt Stedman of Chatham Electric, left, and Chris Quinto of the State of Alaska's General Services department, hang Christmas lights off a mountain ash tree at the Governor's Mansion on Thursday. It takes about two weeks to decorate the house inside and out for the holiday.

Around Town
Today, Nov. 20

Police & Fire
Juneau police and fire officials reported:

Charlotte M. Duncan
Current Anchorage and former Juneau resident Charlotte M. Duncan died Nov. 17, 2009, at Providence Hospital in Anchorage. She was 61.

Empire editorial: Help feed the hungry
This week, Juneau residents will crowd grocery stores, cramming shopping carts with turkeys, potatoes, pie fixings in preparation for their Thanksgiving feasts.

Afghans want Obama to pressure Karzai
On Afghanistan's independence day in August, my friends in Kandahar were puzzled. Why was the government bothering to celebrate the holiday? With 100,000 or so foreign troops occupying our country, how could we consider ourselves independent?

Mammogram debate and a false economy
Obviously, I am not more knowledgeable about breast cancer than a government-led panel of experts. Yet I know enough to look askance at advice that only women 50 and older get mammograms every two years and those in their 40s skip the test altogether.

Obama muted in China
President Obama's China trip may have proved to be a mere lesson in rhetoric.

Trail tales & trekking
Somewhere off the beaten path, tucked behind a large boulder or a fallen tree is an unknown trail, one that few know of or remember and that is often passed without recognition or a second thought.

Communication site proposals available for public comment
JUNEAU - The U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Park Service are seeking input on proposals to permit, construct, operate and maintain search and rescue communications facilities in Middle Cape area of the Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge and within Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve.

Local flyfishing club to show 'Drift'
JUNEAU - The Raincountry Flyfishers will be showing the 2008 flyfishing movie "Drift," a Confluence Films Production, at their upcoming club meeting at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 2 in the Floyd Dryden Middle School library.

Shooting match highlights the holidays with a twist
While there may be very few, if any, wild turkeys in the state of Alaska, that doesn't mean the Juneau Gun Club can't hold its annual Turkey Shoot the Saturday before Thanksgiving.

Successful animal viewing may depend on laundry soap
During hunting season, many people focus on wardrobe. Spying on wildlife, however, is a year-round pursuit that also requires some consideration of your apparel. Knowing how your different wildlife suspects see the world can guide your choices.

Volunteer grooming begins at Eaglecrest, the glacier
The Juneau Nordic Ski Club will now be periodically grooming both the Lower Loop trails at the Eaglecrest Ski Area and at the Mendenhall Lake Campground.

Late October hikes, kinglets and critters
The nice little city trail to Lena Point wanders through the woods, finally emerging on an open point, where there's a bench and a great view of Favorite Channel. The first part of the official trail is boardwalk, very slippery if wet, especially when covered with soggy leaves. Much of this can be avoided by walking in along the chainlink fence (to the left of the marked trail), then veering right on an old road until it intersects the foottrail. At this junction, I noticed a large patch of an invasive geranium called Herb Robert, with its dainty purplish flowers still showing in late October. Much of the middle section of the trail is muddy and rooty.

Eaglecrest may open one week early
Early season snowfall allowed managers of Eaglecrest Ski Area to move the projected opening date to Saturday, Nov. 28, up from Dec. 5.

On the hook
Show us your big fish

Mayors weigh in on statewide energy policy
ANCHORAGE - Mayors from various parts of Alaska testified at a meeting this week with the House Special Committee on Energy on how a statewide energy plan can help make energy more affordable, reliable and efficient in their communities.

Skiers needed to participate in 'Ski for Light' week
Skiers are needed to participate as sighted ski guides in the annual Ski for Light week in Provo, Utah, held in February.

Eaglecrest may open one week early
JUNEAU - Early season snowfall allowed managers of Eaglecrest Ski Area to move the projected opening date to Saturday, Nov. 28, up from Dec. 5.

BP donates $1M to catalog Stevens papers
ANCHORAGE - Oil giant BP PLC has donated $1 million to the University of Alaska Fairbanks toward cataloging and processes papers from the congressional career of former U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens.

Report: Former mayor did not report shortfall
ANCHORAGE - A report by the Anchorage city attorney finds that former mayor Mark Begich did not report a known budget shortfall to the Anchorage Assembly.

Alaska's gas line coordinator resigns
ANCHORAGE - Alaska's in-state gas line coordinator has resigned.

State unemployment rate up to 8.9 percent
ANCHORAGE - Alaska's unemployment rate jumped to 8.9 percent last month.

Woman arrested for firing gun downtown
JUNEAU - A 48-year-old intoxicated Juneau woman was arrested Thursday morning for allegedly shooting a pistol at a 50-year-old man at a downtown trailer. The man was not harmed.

Bears celebrate season
Juneau-Douglas held it's annual football awards banquet Tuesday, along with a Hall of Fame induction ceremony where former coach Bill Chalmers and seniors Jack Perkins and Silver Maake were enshrined.

Photo: Wolverines win
Dzantik'i Heeni's Sineva Maka gets called for a foul on Floyd Dryden's Alexis Gann during the first period of a game Thursday. The Woverines won 22-19.

JDHS's Jackson competes at Nike Cross Nationals Northwest Regional
Twenty-eight of the top Alaska high school cross country running athletes and their teams competed in the Nike Cross Nationals Northwest Regional Running Championships this past weekend in Boise, Idaho. They qualified for this race at the Oct. 3 State High School Championships in Palmer and trained for the last six weeks under coach Doug Herron. The best high school runners from the Northwest region also competed. The Northwest region includes Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming and Hawaii.

Sports in Juneau
CALENDAR OF EVENTS

Fact checking the fact check
A purported fact check of Sarah Palin's "Going Rogue" memoir by The Associated Press could have used some fact checking of its own on its Alaska claims.

Waterman seeks to reschedule second trial
KETCHIKAN - A young woman accused of conspiring to kill her mother five years ago is seeking to delay the start of her second trial.

North Pole group strives to save Santa letter service
ANCHORAGE - A group of volunteer Santa Claus "elves" in Alaska's frigid interior is determined to save a popular holiday letter service featuring the North Pole's most beloved icon.

Obama delays Alaska drilling decision
WASHINGTON - The Obama administration has delayed a decision on a request by Shell Oil Co. to drill for oil and gas in Alaska's rugged Chukchi Sea. The delay came after the oil company asked for time to respond to criticism of its plan to drill in the icy sea, a prime habitat for threatened polar bears.

Oil companies to scale back Alaska projects
ANCHORGE - Two oil and gas companies plan to cut back their investment in Alaska next year, but another is expanding.

High court hears predator control case
ANCHORAGE - Opponents of Alaska's predator control program argued Thursday before the Alaska Supreme Court that the program violates the state constitution.

Photo: Icy glow
The setting sun casts a glow over a sheet of ice Tuesday in Rabbit Creek near Cook Inlet outside Anchorage.

Alaska boy burned in 'redneck flamethrower' incident
ANCHORAGE - Two Anchorage men who told investigators they were horsing around with a "redneck flamethrower" set a 5-year-old boy's head on fire and have been charged with felony assault and reckless endangerment, according to police and court records.

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