Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Public sector unions exploit workers
How amazing is it that a member of the union representing General Government Unit workers of the State of Alaska should have to publicly declare her rights to free speech and democracy in interactions with that union?

Let's organize for beaver problem
While I agree with the letter Sherrie and Nick Jans wrote (Juneau Empire, Nov. 18) about a volunteer effort to mitigate the beaver-related flooding at Dredge Lake, I suggest a more direct route.

Craig works toward solid waste solution
Richard Stokes' Nov. 19 My Turn comments regarding municipal solid waste dismisses efforts at addressing solid waste on a regional basis as having "too many political obstacles for it to be our salvation," but cites no examples.

U.S. defense system mandated by law
Having read Albert Petracia's comments on the U.S. ballistic missile defense system, in his My turn "Assembly the right place for action" on Nov. 20, I would like to remind readers that in July 1999, President Clinton signed into law the National Missile Defense Act of 1999.

What does Beaver meat taste like?
Robert W. Haight gives a thoughtful and incisive possible solution to the beaver problem in the Dredge Lake area but I have to wonder - just how palatable is beaver meat? I know I love beaver fur but would like a sample of beaver meat before foisting it onto the poor and needy in Juneau.

State vs. Planned Parenthood
Justice Carpeneti's dissent in State v. Planned Parenthood really got me thinking. I vividly remember the embarrassment of having to bring my mother to the theater in order to get permission to see an R-rated movie.

Mat-Su ferry is a foolish proposal
Mat-Su Borough residents will soon learn that operating a ferry is incredibly expensive.

Past leaders shouldn't shoulder all the blame
We Americans have pitied the German, Japanese and Italian people for suffering the leadership of Hitler, Tojo and Mussolini. These leaders are blamed for bringing on World War II.

Thanks for a good job, Wendy Byrnes
What a thoughtful opinion piece 10th-grader Wendy Byrnes wrote in last Friday's Neighbors section regarding the theme-based academies planned for our high school students.

Around Town

State, union work toward contract
The last major state union without a contract entered binding arbitration Tuesday for some of its members, after negotiations deadlocked months ago.

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

Around Town

Planners say city garage blasting will be disruptive
The Juneau Planning Commission heard on Tuesday night from planners working on the design of a city parking garage on Main and Egan streets that blasting from the project will likely be disruptive to nearby businesses and residents.

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

Foundation footing poured for new Holy Trinity church
A masonry company began work on the foundation of the new Holy Trinity Episcopal Church on Tuesday.

Correction
The end of a story in Tuesday's edition about family testimony in a case against a man who called himself "Papa Pilgrim" was accidentally cut off. Here is the rest of the story:

Chamber asks for fuel tax relief
The Juneau Chamber of Commerce asked the Juneau Assembly at Monday night's meeting to consider bringing back a temporary sales tax exemption for fuel oil sold during a 90-day window.

Flu shots are still available in Alaska
It's not too late to get a flu shot, state health officials reminded Alaskans this week.

City hears truck scale appeal
Concerned citizen Dixie Hood said the city set a bad precedent when it allowed a truck scale to continue operating that was built without the proper permits and within the required 50-foot setback of a fish-rearing stream.

City cuts off snow-dumping site
Snow removal contractor Jerry Godkin was stunned last week when he got a phone call from the city saying he could no longer dump snow into Gastineau Channel near the Juneau Yacht Club.

Alaska Supreme Court affirms ruling in Olivit suit
The Alaska Supreme Court has affirmed an earlier Juneau Superior Court decision dismissing all claims brought by Juneau resident Jake Olivit against the city and the Juneau Empire for defamation, invasion of privacy and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

Photo: Building coming down
Ron Tharldson of Coldfoot Environmental operates a CAT 320 excavator Tuesday as he demolishes the subport building in Juneau. The building dates back to the 1940s.

Overcoming grief during the holidays
Plan ahead. Decide which tasks you'll take on or let go this year. What traditions will you maintain or let go for now? Give yourself the freedom to change your plans as you go.

Merry Chris-... uh, happy holidays
When I was a student at San Francisco Theological Seminary in San Anselmo, California, I regularly visited a place called "Marin Coffee Roasters," just a couple of blocks from campus.

Sharon Olsen honored for 15-year service with Director's Award
Central Council Tlingit & Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska announced that its Director of Employment and Training Sharon Olsen was recently honored during the National Public Law 102-477 Employment, Training and Related Services Conference held in Sparks, Nev.

Grief can enrich, not overwhelm, the holidays
It's that time of year. Chores and social activities proliferate, friends and family are in our thoughts, and lights, colors, and joyful music add a level of intensity to even everyday activities.

Annual Public Market
The 25th annual public market, held Nov. 23-25 at Centennial Hall, featured more than 200 vendors from New Mexico to the Arctic.

Swanson and Preecs
Jessica Swanson, of Davie, Fla., and Noel Preecs, of Juneau, will marry on Sept. 27, 2008, at Arrowhead Country Club in Davie.

Photo: Taking action
Juneau-Douglas High School students and Students Take Action Now Darfur members Leon Andree, right, and Lia Domke man a booth Friday, Nov. 23, at the Alaskan and Proud market.

Hill and Hawkins
Grace C. Hill and John H. Hawkins Jr., both of Juneau, were married on Oct. 27, 2007, in a private garden wedding accompanied by friends and family held in Las Vegas.

Recognitions
The Juneau Public Libraries celebrated National Children's Book Week in November with the annual Bookmark Contest, sponsored by the Friends of the Juneau Public Libraries.

Tagaban and Clark
Tanya Evonne Little Tagaban, of Juneau, and Ezra Adam Clark, of Thorne Bay, will marry at 3 p.m. on Dec. 15, 2007, at the Juneau Christian Center. A reception will follow at Macaulay Salmon Hatchery (DIPAC). Friends and family are invited to attend.

Berg and Miller
Rebecca R. Berg, of Camano Island, Wash., and Jeffrey L. Miller, of Edmonds, Wash., were married on July 28, 2007, at the University Christian Church in Seattle, Wash. A reception followed at the Seattle Golf Club.

Juneau's complementary transit systems
Juneau's Capital Transit "fixed route" bus system is well-used and efficiently run. For those who need a more personalized form of public transit, Juneau offers two transportation options.

Sorority will raffle 'Rainbow' with heart
Do you believe in the magic of rainbows? Juneau certified nursing assistant Molly Kay does. She spent nearly two years crocheting a king-size "Rainbow" bedspread, and she's donated it to the Sigma Chi Chapter of Epsilon Sigma Alpha (ESA), a women's community service organization in Juneau.

Swavely and Boster
Dee Swavely and Everett Boster, both of Juneau, will marry at 1 p.m. on Dec. 1, 2007, at the University of Alaska Southeast Noyes Pavilion. A reception will follow at 4 p.m. at the Moose Lodge. Friends and relatives of the couple are invited to the wedding and reception.

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Vernon Knuthson
Longtime Juneau resident Vernon Eugene Knuthson died Nov. 24, 2007, at Sitka Community Hospital after a short illness. He was 87.

Maggie James
Former Juneau resident Maggie M. James died Nov. 8, 2007, in Anchorage. She was 46.

Outside editorial: Set some rules for Blackwater, other contractors
Can a jury of workaday people cut through the conflicting details about the role of Blackwater Worldwide in war zones?

My turn: Awarding incentives to finish school sets a bad precedent
Just what part of the bid process does the city of Juneau not understand? The Empire article on the Thunder Mountain High School (Nov. 21) states the city of Juneau is going to award Coogan Construction up to $700,000 more to finish the project on time.

Outside editorial: Head Start renewal: Program works for vulnerable children
There's not much that Congress and President Bush agree on these days. So the unanimity surrounding the reauthorization of Head Start says much about the worth of the preschool program.

My turn: Why try? It may be hopeless
This is not something that you would read for pleasure. In fact, you might find it unsettling; however, we feel it's worthwhile and invite you to continue reading and even contribute to the conversation.

My turn: Alaskans deserve truth about Stevens
Alaskans deserve truth about Sen. Ted Stevens, and they surely won't find it in the sham Web site the Alaska Democratic Party put together.

Sports in Juneau

Photo: Group cheer
Juneau-Douglas High School girls basketball head coach Lesslie Knight, top, center, leads the JV and Varsity players in a cheer Monday at the Juneau-Douglas High School gym.

Juneau team takes second at Turkey Shoot
Twelve hockey players from Juneau, Kenny Lake and Glennallen came together to place second out of 12 Alaska tier 3 Bantam teams over Thanksgiving weekend in Anchorage.

'Papa Pilgrim' sentenced to 14 years for sexually assaulting his daughter
Robert Hale, a self-styled mountain man who took his family far away from modern civilization to raise them by his interpretation of the Bible in the tiny community of McCarthy, was sentenced Tuesday to 14 years in prison for sexually assaulting a daughter.

Photo: Driving away flu
Wendy Walters, left, a public health nurse in Anchorage, administers a flu shot to Alaska Department of Health and Social Services Commissioner Karleen Jackson on Monday while Santa Claus looks on.

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

Ex-lobbyist gets 5 months for conspiracy
A prominent former Alaska lobbyist will spend five months in prison, followed by five months of home confinement for a federal bribery conviction in a political corruption case.

Native corporations to see cash infusion from Alaska zinc mine
Profits from the Red Dog Mine are expected to provide an infusion of $200 million to Native corporations around the state in the coming year.

McGuire accused of tampering in husband's bribery case
State Sen. Lesil McGuire has been accused of threatening the wife of a former lobbyist, whose testimony helped convict McGuire's husband on federal bribery charges.

'Papa Pilgrim' to be sentenced
The wife and children of the man who called himself "Papa Pilgrim" told him Monday he should repent for the sexual, mental and physical abuse he inflicted on their family.

State quarter program to wrap up after release of Alaska coin
A grizzly bear clutching a salmon, the Grand Canyon at sunrise and a scissortail flycatcher in flight. Those striking images will be on the final batch of state quarters as the most successful coin program in history draws to a close.

Alaska Digest
Commission to review city parking garage; Group to protest lack of worker contract; Ordinance a boost for tech education; Doll touts Salvation Army at Wal-Mart; Coast Guard rescues 4-man crew Monday; Yukon Quest will switch race marshals

Alaska Digest
Ski pass scholarship deadline is Friday; Processor sentenced for letting salmon rot; Wolf pack blamed for killing, eating dogs

Gas line objectives make room for smaller players
The deadline for applications to build a natural gas pipeline in Alaska is Friday and so far two commitments seem certain - but they aren't from North Slope leaseholders Exxon Mobil Corp., BP PLC and ConocoPhillips.

Conoco Phillips cancels refinery upgrade in Kuparuk oil field
Alaska's top oil producer canceled plans to upgrade a North Slope refinery, citing changes made under the state's new oil tax.

Forecast: Pink salmon numbers are likely to plummet next year
The number of pink salmon in 2008 is expected to drop dramatically, according to a state forecast.

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

Governor to release health-care proposal
A state commission that has spent months looking into how to provide Alaskans better health care is set to release a preliminary plan next week, in time for consideration during next year's legislative session.

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