Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Juneau avalanche program in good hands
The city has made a good hire in Tom Mattice to head up its avalanche program. I've had a chance to sit down with him and found him to have a good solid background of experience, technical knowledge and judgment, including time working with coastal snowpacks. He will do well in the job and he has my support and local knowledge to draw on.

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!

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

Non-skiers split on Eaglecrest subsidy
Eaglecrest Ski Area released results Friday of an online survey showing a split among non-skiers over the city's financial role in the operation, but high satisfaction levels from its users.

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.

Energy alternatives seek state funding
In the last year, rising energy prices have placed finding alternative energy sources for struggling Alaska communities at the top of the state's agenda.

Eaglecrest Ski Area season pass sales up estimated 10 percent
Early bird season pass sales to Eaglecrest Ski Area were up an estimated 10 percent over last year, general manager Kirk Duncan said Monday.

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."

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

Photo: Salvation Army construction moving along
Kolt Garvey of Alcan Electrical & Engineering installs electrical lines to an arctic entry Monday inside the new Salvation Army Family Store on Willoughby Avenue. The building, which is being built by North Pacific Erectors of Juneau, will soon be turned over to Salvation Army. The new store will have almost three times the space as the old store next door. Four new employees will be added for a total of six by the time the store opens in early February.

Photo: Changing the face of Telephone Hill
Southeast Earthmovers started work during the weekend for the Downtown Parking Garage and Transit Center. Removal of trees and topsoil will be followed by blasting to remove about 22,000 cubic yards of material from Telephone Hill at the corner of Egan Drive and Main Street. The four-story parking garage will have several hundred spaces, a new staging area for buses and a small structure with a public waiting room, restrooms, police substation and driver facilities.

Around Town
Today

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

Around Town
Today

Corrections
In a Monday story about oil prices, The Associated Press misstated Rep. Mike Hawker's forecast of oil prices used to plan the state budget. Hawker said he's expecting the administration to craft a budget with oil prices at $60 to $65 a barrel, not $35 a barrel.

Dorothy Thornton
Longtime Douglas resident Dorothy Elisabeth Thornton died Nov. 23, 2008, in Juneau. She was 82.

Malcolm Libby
Juneau resident Malcolm Gary Libby died Nov. 20, 2008, in Juneau. He was 67.

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.

My turn: Juneau must go beyond the road
After reading Assembly member Merrill Sanford's recent My Turn arguing that Juneau might best rescue itself from imminent economic peril by building the road to the Katzehin River and getting the Kensington Mine going, I started to think about these projects within the context of Juneau's broader economic future.

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.

Alaska editorial: Alaska needs plan to improve public schools
Alaska has handicapped its young children by being one of only 12 states with no state-funded education system for pre-kindergarten students.

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.

Using drug war resources
A recent report by the Government Accountability Office, commissioned by Sen. Joe Biden, has come to an unsurprising conclusion: After more than $6 billion spent, the controversial drug control operation known as Plan Colombia has failed by large margins to meet its targets.

Team Obama rides in
Not a moment too soon, Barack Obama's economic team is taking shape. After a horrendous week on Wall Street, the leaked news of Tim Geithner's nomination as Treasury secretary sparked a wild rally on Friday; the weekend brought word that Larry Summers would take the top economic job at the White House, while Obama devoted his Saturday radio address to the promise of a large stimulus.

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.

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.

Juneau mayor to join in climate change petition today
Juneau Mayor Bruce Botelho will join leaders from Shishmaref and San Francisco today in asking the federal government to regulate greenhouse gases.

Angoon airport will bear Soboleff's name
JUNEAU - Angoon will honor native son the Rev. Walter Soboleff by naming its airport after him, said Sen. Albert Kookesh, D-Angoon.

Palin wants more time to find records
JUNEAU - Gov. Sarah Palin's office asked state Attorney General Talis Colberg for another extension to find public records that include e-mails between the governor, her staff and her husband.

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

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.

Man pleads guilty to stealing checks
JUNEAU - A 24-year-old man pleaded guilty Monday to stealing and cashing checks from the landlord of a man who had given him a place to stay.

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.

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

Palin's national profile could be travel boost
ANCHORAGE - Alaska has long been a natural attraction to tourists, but the state may have a new wild card: Gov. Sarah Palin.

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

Three Wasilla men indicted in gun thefts
ANCHORAGE - A federal grand jury has indicted three Wasilla men for possessions of stolen firearms.

Judge OKs first Exxon payments
ANCHORAGE - Thousands of Alaska fishermen and other plaintiffs should receive their portion of punitive damages in the Exxon Valdez oil spill lawsuit before the end of November, a federal judge said Monday.

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.

Alaska bug rancher runs business out of her home
ANCHORAGE - In a tiny house the color of salmon roe, sit racks of trays and 30-gallon barrels crawling with crickets, mealworms and mice.

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.

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

NovaGold suspends operations at Rock Creek mine
VANCOUVER, British Columbia - NovaGold Resources Inc. shares fell to their lowest level in years Monday after the junior miner said it has been unable to raise new money while falling short of state regulatory requirements at the Rock Creek gold mine in Alaska.

Kelly clings to one-vote lead
FAIRBANKS - If Mike Kelly and Karl Kassel are nervous about the undecided outcome of their state House race, they aren't showing it.

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.

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

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.

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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