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.

Prayer has many roles in life
Here is what I would like to think is the answer to Steve Wolf's questions on the topic of prayer in politics (Juneau Empire on Nov. 10).

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.

Police ask for help finding suspects in school break-ins
Juneau police publicized more details of last week's school break-ins in hopes of soliciting the community's help in finding the suspects.

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.

Photo: Refloating derelict boat
Harbor employees Pete Frank, left, and Doug Liermann work Tuesday to refloat a derelict fishing boat after it sank in Aurora Harbor earlier this fall. The boat was towed to a beach near the Yacht Club at high tide so it could be drained and refloated on a future tide.

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: Pie time
Shannon Smith, 2, sneaks a peek at a berry pie Tuesday as her parents sell homemade pies as a fundraiser for the Juneau Co-op Preschool at the Alaskan & Proud grocery store. The group will continue the pie sale through 4 p.m. today at the store.

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.

Police & Fire
Reports from police, fire officials and state troopers:

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

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

Around Town

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.

Bartlett brags on nurse nominees
Bartlett Regional Hospital has plenty of nurses to be thankful for this holiday season, and many of them were highlighted at the March of Dimes' fifth annual Alaska Nurses of the Year Awards gala on Nov. 14 in Anchorage.

Juneau resident shares beet salad for holidays
Would you like to share a recipe? Check your recipe boxes and send us a family favorite.

University professor wins award for work in educational technology
A group that champions the use of technology in higher education has presented University of Alaska Southeast professor of educational technology Jason Ohler with the Western Cooperative for Educational Telecommunications Outstanding Work Award, an international award that recognizes the innovative uses of educational technologies in higher education.

Recipes sought for 50th Statehood Contest
The Statehood Recipe Contest Committee is seeking those who have a unique, original or just plain "yummy" recipe they want to share for the Alaska Statehood 50th Anniversary Recipe Contest, sponsored by Capital City Celebrations. In conjunction with the Dec. 5 Gallery Walk, this event will be held at the Heritage Coffee Café on Franklin Street, where the final recipe judging and awarding of prizes will take place.

Adventist teacher shares a Thanksgiving miracle
Every one-room teacher knows the challenges of fundraising, budgets and stretching pennies. And you know the dreams you have for your school - a paved parking lot, a paint job, etc. My dreams included desperately needed new front doors and new playground equipment.

Photo: In the works
Workers use a crane to lift new forms into position on Nov. 13 at the future NEA Building site, on Main and Second streets, across from SPAM Can.

BRETT HAFFNER: Multi-media artist
Grade: Fifth.

Cooperative churches to hold Interfaith Thanksgiving service
JUNEAU - Juneau's Cooperative Church Council will host an Interfaith Community Thanksgiving service at 12:15 p.m. today at the Goldtown Nickelodeon theater, 177 Shattuck Way. The service will include participation by Baha'i, Buddhist, Christian, Jewish, Quaker and Unitarian-Universalist faiths.

Organization uses film to teach about violence prevention
JUNEAU - The Juneau Chapter of the National Organization for Women recently reached out to theater audiences in Juneau, Ketchikan and Sitka to spread a message of violence prevention. For one month, from Oct. 24 to Nov. 21, movie goers saw two rotating ads from the Center for Disease Control's Choose Respect Program on all 11 movie screens in Southeast Alaska.

Thanks for supporting, volunteering with JCVB this year
The Juneau Convention & Visitors Bureau wishes to thank the volunteers who have completed another busy visitor season. This year 140 Juneau residents represented our town with warm hospitality and well-received information. Juneau's visitors are fortunate to encounter any one of the kind-hearted individuals willing to give a piece of their busy lives in such a generous way.

Ella R. Floresca, a Juneau-Douglas High School alumni, passed the July 2008 California State Bar Exam. The daughter of Artemio and Estrella Floresca, of Juneau, she works for Dias Law Firm in Hanford, Calif.

Geneva Helmers
Former Juneau resident Geneva Maxine Helmers died from Alzheimer's disease on Nov. 20, 2008, at the Palmer Veteran's and Pioneer's Home, where she had resided for the last 6½ years. She was 88.

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.

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: Forest restoration good for Chichagof
On Oct. 1, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game implemented the first early closure of the doe hunting season in the history of Northeast Chichagof Island. It was an unsettling announcement for those of us living in Hoonah and Tenakee, two communities which rely heavily upon subsistence hunting. More unsettling is the drop in the deer population which prompted the early closure.

Outside editorial: Checklist for the economy
Less than a day after the federal government rode to another bank's rescue, President-elect Barack Obama confirmed his intent to raise the ante on the Bush administration's intervention in the economy. Obama held a short news conference Monday to introduce his top economic advisers, including New York Federal Reserve chief Timothy F. Geithner (Obama's pick for Treasury secretary) and former Treasury Secretary Lawrence H. Summers (his choice for director of the National Economic Council).

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.

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.

Outside editorial: Talking to pirates
An Indian warship destroyed a suspected pirate vessel Tuesday off the Horn of Africa. It was the second time in a week that India has used force to fight piracy off the eastern coast of Africa.

Using the Internet to restore citizenship
Last month, the Wall Street Journal reported an important effect of the 2008 presidential campaign: For the first time, traffic at left-leaning political Web sites overtook traffic at right-leaning competitors. The Drudge Report and Free Republic had the largest number of unique visitors in September 2007, but in September 2008, that honor went to the Huffington Post.

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.

Lindh scholarship deadline set
JUNEAU - Eaglecrest Ski Area announced a Dec. 3 deadline for applications for its annual season pass scholarship program.

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.

Grizzly bear shot, killed in Old Harbor
OLD HARBOR - A 7-foot sow brown bear was shot and killed in Old Harbor, on the southeast coast of Kodiak Island.

UAF battalion chief to be remembered
FAIRBANKS - Friends and colleagues will celebrate the life of Phillip Emerson Rounds, a University of Alaska-Fairbanks battalion chief who died Friday of cancer.

Report: Bethel judge breached ethical duty
FAIRBANKS - The Alaska Commission on Judicial Conduct is calling for a Bethel judge to be suspended or removed from the bench.

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.

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.

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

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'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.

UAA men's hockey earns Top 20 ranking
ANCHORAGE - Alaska has found another way to get in the national spotlight - and it has nothing to do with politics.

Palin to meet with Obama and Biden
ANCHORAGE - Gov. Sarah Palin will be traveling to Philadelphia next week where she will join her fellow governors at a meeting with President-elect Barack Obama and Vice President-elect Joe Biden.

Maroon trips up Yellow in JAHA
Tier C Maroon needed an assist and a game-winning goal from Jake Jacoby in the third period Sunday to slip past Yellow in Juneau Adult Hockey League action at Treadwell Arena.

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.

New votes leave Kelly still up by one
Final absentee ballot counting Tuesday left the difference in the race between incumbent Rep. Mike Kelly, R-Fairbanks, and challenger Karl Kassel unchanged, with a one-vote lead for Kelly.

Judge schedules hearing in Stevens case
WASHINGTON - A federal judge has scheduled "a brief hearing" for Monday into a witness's allegations that he received extensive help from prosecutors and lied on the witness stand about an immunity agreement in the corruption trial of Sen. Ted Stevens last month.

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.

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.

Gov. Palin to stump for Georgia senator
ATLANTA - Georgia Sen. Saxby Chambliss is calling in a closer: Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin will join him for four rallies across the state on the eve of his hotly contested Dec. 2 runoff.

12 charged with running drug trafficking ring
ANCHORAGE - A federal grand jury indicted 12 people for running what prosecutors describe as a large drug ring that trafficked in cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine and used violence, including machine-guns, to maintain control over the operation.

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.

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

Group wants follow-up on Troopergate
ANCHORAGE - A new political action committee wants the Legislature to censure Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and bring contempt charges against her husband over the so-called Troopergate investigation.

Fairbanks natural gas facility plans on hold
FAIRBANKS - Plans for a natural gas liquefaction plant on the North Slope have been put on hold.

Photo: North Pole prepares for Christmas
Sam Vose created the ice sculpture "Trimming the Tree," shown in a recent photo at the Christmas in Ice Festival in North Pole. This year's event kicks off Thursday with the illumination of a frozen turkey sculpture that is 8 feet tall and weighs 18,500 pounds. There also will be an ice park opening Dec. 4, the start of a two-day ice-carving competition.

Photo: Stryker memorial
Sgt. First Class Maynard Hinkle of the 6-17 Cavalry Regiment is interviewed Tuesday after a memorial ceremony for Chief Warrant Officers Donald Clark of Memphis, Tenn., and Christian Humphreys of Fallon, Nev., in the Northern Lights Chapel on Fort Wainwright. The two pilots of the 6th Squadron, 17th Cavalry Regiment, Task Force 49 died when their helicopter came in contact with wires and experienced a hard landing in Mosul, Iraq.

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

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