People may ask: Sarah who?
Doggone if God hasn't seen fit to close the door on Ted Stevens' Senate seat and so, gee whiz, our shootin' star Sarah has little choice but to tarry for two years as plain ole Governor of Alaska, borin' as that is, until something bigger pops up. Watch out, Lisa!

Palins can take a lesson from Obamas
I read with great interest the Washington Post editorial ("Obamas talk sense about the transition" in the Juneau Empire on Nov. 19). It mentions the Obamas' pledge to become true Washingtonians, to contribute to their immediate community, neighborhood and schools, as they have done in other cities where they have lived.

Harborview, Montessori staff say transition has been smooth
Last year, teachers at Harborview Elementary School felt trepidation about some upcoming changes.

Avalanche Training
About 50 volunteers from various organizations in Juneau practiced their avalanche rescue skills Saturday on top of Eaglecrest Ski Area.

Photos: Mechanized Learning
Rebecca Hassler, left, and Annie Carroll express joy and relief as their robot finishes the first round of competition Sunday at the second annual Juneau Robot Jamboree at Centennial Hall. About 100 elementary and middle school students from Juneau, Skagway and Hoonah competed in the event, which had an environmental theme. The teams were judged on technical knowledge, robot performance, research presentation and teamwork. The FIRST Lego League event was sponsored by the Juneau Economic Development Council.

Southeast road crews prepare for winter maintenance work
Rumors that the state is reducing the Southeast region's maintenance this winter are not true, said a Department of Transportation and Public Facilities official.

Photo: Gifts from the sea
Daniel Kiefer arranges earrings made of polished sea shells Sunday during an Arts and Crafts Fair at the Nugget Mall. Kiefer and his wife, Alexia, collected the shells while living in Florida for three years. They now make earrings, necklaces, barrettes, Christmas ornaments and keepsake boxes with the shells. "I'm still coming up with new stuff all the time," Kiefer said. Their business is called "Sea-2-See."

Juneau group takes action to prevent more teen suicides
A small group of parents and professionals concerned over the number of teen suicides in Juneau grew over the past year into a task force that is using volunteerism and a state grant to address the problem.

Juneau students to be taught suicide awareness
Starting next month, students in the Juneau School District will be taught a one-day unit on depression and suicide awareness that also aims to identify those who might be depressed or at risk for suicide.

Police & Fire
Juneau police and fire officials and state police reported:

Alaska Pacific Bank struggles with losses
Alaska Pacific Bank is facing big losses, mostly in troubled housing markets, and has suspended its dividend to conserve cash.

Around Town

Photo: A century worth celebrating
The Rev. Walter Soboleff smiles Saturday as he makes his entrance into the Tlingit-Haida Community Center for the start of his 100th birthday celebration. Several hundred people attended the event to honor Soboleff and his many accomplishments. Soboleff was born Nov. 14, 1908.

Police & Fire
Juneau police and fire official and state police reported:

Around Town

Outside editorial: One foot in the revolving door
President-Elect Barack Obama is executing the pirouette familiar to politicians who inveigh against Washington: First you run against its insiders, then you hire them. During the campaign, the candidate made some overly broad promises about ejecting lobbyists from the government ("When I am president, they won't find a job in my White House") and flayed John McCain for being surrounded by phalanxes of them.

Alaska's impermanent permanent fund
In late August, Gov. Sarah Palin flew off on her nine-week campaign for the nation's second-highest office. During those nine weeks, the Alaska Permanent Fund lost $8 billion, including more than $1 billion from the supposedly untouchable principal.

Alaska editorial: Killing wolf pups undermines state's reputation in world
Alaska has a long-standing rule against going into wolf dens to kill pups - and for good reason. To most people, it seems inhumane for humans to kill utterly defenseless creatures. The rest of the world does not look kindly on a state that permits such a gruesome practice.

My turn: Why Board of Game needs diverse representation
This summer the Alaska Department of Fish and Game shot 14 wolf pups at their den sites in the southern Alaska peninsula (Game Management Unit 9D) - an action that conservation groups contend was illegal.

Toe Toon
This week's Toe Toon

Poor George : We just don't appreciate all he's done to us
We should be ashamed of how poorly we have treated President Bush.

If you must farm fish, farm responsibly
Growing up, dinners in my family were more than just meals - they were a time to learn, share and bond. My parents were intrepid cooks who not only insisted on using the freshest and healthiest ingredients but that we appreciate the communion between our food and the environment in which we live. Whether it was crabbing along the Chesapeake Bay or picking vegetables in the family garden, I learned at an early age that the choices we make about our food have impacts not only on our own personal health but on our planet as well.

Group heads out the road
A big storm roared in the night before, thrashing the trees even in the protected spot where my house sits, filling the pond and floodplain, and scaring the pets.

Gliding through the wilderness
ANCHORAGE - Backcountry skaters Jim Renkert and Bob Butera were poking around the Valley two weekends ago, looking for some promising ice when they stumbled upon a jackpot.

Fairbanks bird count helps biologists track populations, winter movements
FAIRBANKS - For Nancy Gigliotti, the Fairbanks FeederCount is just another way to keep tabs on her "customers," as she calls the birds that visit her feeders each day throughout the winter. The chickadees, woodpeckers and occasional red-breasted nuthatch that show up at her feeders are like family.

Free parking will begin on Black Friday
JUNEAU - Metered spaces in Marine Parking Garage will be free to park in for up to four hours beginning Nov. 28, Black Friday, through the end of the year.

Connecting road to be closed
JUNEAU - The connecting road from Engineer's Cutoff to Fritz Cove Road will be closed for the upcoming winter season, the Department of Transportation and Public Facilities said.

Treasure trove of Gold Rush art discovered
RENO, Nev. - Charles B. Gillespie's iconic California Gold Rush artwork is no longer a family secret.

Man sentenced in baby's death
ANCHORAGE - A 23-year-old Wasilla man was sentenced to 30 years for the shaking death of his infant daughter.

Housing slump hard on N. Idaho economy
SANDPOINT, Idaho - It seemed like a no-brainer: build swanky homes around a Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course above scenic Lake Pend Oreille, all in the shadow of the Schweitzer Mountain ski area.

Canadian company buys liquor stores
ANCHORAGE - An Alaska liquor store chain is now owned by a Canadian firm.

Felon sentenced for possessing firearm
ANCHORAGE - A 20-year-old Wasilla man was sentenced to two years in prison for being a felon in possession of a weapon and for possessing a stolen firearm.

Methcathinone lab discovered in Valdez
JUNEAU - Alaska State Troopers reported that police in Valdez made an arrest Saturday in a case involving the first Methcathinone lab discovered by law enforcement in Alaska.

Officials ponder school dropout rate
ANCHORAGE - The Anchorage School Board says it is working hard to combat the dropout rate in city schools.

2009 northern ferry schedule released
KETCHIKAN - The Inter-Island Ferry Authority has released its 2009 northern route.

Palmer fire chief to retire after 39 years
WASILLA - The city of Palmer is seeking its first new fire chief after 39 years.

Orthodox priest will return to service
ANCHORAGE - An outspoken Anchorage-based priest with the Orthodox Church in America regained a teaching post and received two other top positions.

Anchorage looks for an interim mayor
ANCHORAGE - Naming an interim mayor in Anchorage when U.S. Sen.-elect Mark Begich resigns in early January is creating quite a stir among city Assembly members.

Two Bears grapplers 'Pilot' way into finals
The old home mat advantage didn't produce any champions this weekend, but a pair of Crimson Bears wrestlers treated the crowd to close title matches and three more bounced back from losses to take third at Juneau-Douglas High School's annual Pilot Invitational.

Crimson Bears sweep weekend pair from Rams
A crew of youngsters helped the Juneau Douglas High School hockey team take a pair of weekend home games from the 3A Su Valley Rams in dominant fashion, improving the team's record to 7-1 and pushing their win streak to 6 games.

Sports in Juneau

Stevens trial witness says he hid truth
WASHINGTON - One of the government's witnesses against convicted Sen. Ted Stevens says he didn't tell the truth on the stand about an immunity deal with the Justice Department in exchange for his testimony. But federal prosecutors said Friday that his current story is the false one.

Falling oil prices put squeeze on state budget
FAIRBANKS - With crude oil prices continuing to fall, state officials now are scrambling to figure out how lower prices will impact Alaska in the next year and a half.

Begich prepares for life as a U.S. senator
FAIRBANKS - Sen.-elect Mark Begich is looking ahead and hoping to land some nice committee assignments in the U.S. Senate when they are handed out in the coming weeks.

Hillside in Ketchikan gives out, strikes neighborhood
KETCHIKAN - At least one home is damaged after a landslide struck a Ketchikan neighborhood.

Economist: Recession could hurt tourism and mining in Alaska
ANCHORAGE - The downturn in the global economy is likely to touch Alaska in two sectors, mining and tourism, according to an Anchorage economist.

Pardon from Gov. Palin spares Wasilla tom turkey
WASILLA - Gov. Sarah Palin performed the first pardon of her gubernatorial career Thursday.

Drunk snowmobile driver kills musher, injures passenger on trail
ANCHORAGE - A 20-year-old man had been drinking before he set off on a frozen trail and rammed a dog sled with his snowmobile, killing the musher and severely injuring a passenger in the sled, authorities said Friday.

Letterman, Leno, Oprah: What's Palin to do next?
ANCHORAGE - Sarah Palin is juggling offers to write books, appear in films and sit on dozens of interview couches at a rate astonishing for most Hollywood stars, let alone a first-term governor.

Cap initiated for McKinley climbers
ANCHORAGE - The National Park Service has initiated its limit of climbers on Mount McKinley, the highest peak in North America.

This Day in History
In Alaska

Fairbanks mayor wants expansion delayed
FAIRBANKS - Fairbanks Mayor Terry Strle is calling for delayed action on the city's planned expansion.

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

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