Visitor center target of stimulus funds
Jim Geraghty ages a spruce growing as thick as a man along the Trail of Time - not by counting its rings, but by reading the etching on a flat, round rock that sits beneath it.

Around Town
Today, Dec. 1

Losses continue at Alaska Pacific Bank
Alaska Pacific Bank lost enough money in the third quarter of 2009 to more than offset small profits in earlier quarters.

Group to map Internet availability
The Denali Commission will spend nearly $2 million over the next five years figuring out who in Alaska can stream YouTube videos.

Eaglecrest Ski Area opens early
A solid snowpack generated by November storms allowed Eaglecrest Ski Area to open a week early, despite warmer temperatures and rain throughout most of the city over the weekend.

Authorities look for two missing teens
Law enforcement officials are searching for two teenage boys that escaped Friday evening from the Johnson Youth Center.

Learning Lighting: 12 charter school students learn photography basics
Twelve sixth and seventh grade students from the Juneau Community Charter School's first exploratory class in photography now talk in terms of macro photography, perspective, lighting and lines.

Commemorative statehood bench unveiled at airport
The smell of freshly cut cedar wafted through Juneau International Airport on Monday night as a bench commemorating Alaska's 50th year of statehood was unveiled.

Assembly reviews priorities, goals for next year
Juneau is likely to see ongoing budgetary woes, possible transportation infrastructure improvements, waste management and recycling in 2010.

Photo: Braving the whiteout
Trever Held snowboards Sunday at Eaglecrest Ski Area. The heavy, wet snow and windy conditions did not keep away a few hundred snowboarders and skiers from the mountain. The ski area opened on a limited basis over the weekend.

Police & Fire
Juneau police and fire officials reported:

Photo: Successful hunt
Mike Heard, left, helps Nick Mow off-load a deer Monday at the Don Statter Boat Harbor after returning from a hunting trip in Barlow Cove over the weekend. Mow, one of five local hunters, got a buck and a doe.

Around Town
Today, Nov. 30

Photo: Fresh-caught
Chuck Drummond, a crew member aboard the Avery-Bay, shows off the large shrimp they were selling Monday at the Don Statter Boat Harbor. A frozen two-pound box costs $25. Drummond says they will sell out in the next week.

Police & Fire
Juneau police and fire officials reported:

Janice Hill
Former Juneau resident Janice Micnhimer Reed Hill, of Cuba City, Wis., died Nov. 28, 2009, at The Finley Hospital in Dubuque, Iowa. She was 68.

Marc Livingston
Former Port Alexander and Juneau resident Marc Livingston, of Bellingham, Wash., died Nov. 28, 2009, after a brief illness. He was 63.

The Afghan decision
President Obama is expected to announce on Tuesday a substantial escalation of the U.S. mission in Afghanistan: more training for the Afghan army, more support for Afghan governance and tens of thousands more American troops.

Scientists to blame
The following editorial appeared in the Dallas Morning News:

Use plastic with caution
The following editorial appeared in the Dallas Morning News:

AIDS still among us
As we reflect on World AIDS Day, Dec. 1, we will come to reaffirm that we have work yet to be done, whether we are people living with AIDS, clinicians, seniors, young people, politicians or anybody else. We are not through with this yet.

Biomass plan a step backwards
Recent articles and opinions in the Juneau Empire have alternately praised the promises and exposed the flawed logic of establishing a biomass industry on the Tongass National Forest. My perspective has been gained as a rural resident of the Tongass, a commercial fisherman, and subsistence deer hunter. There is a whole realm of this biomass discussion that deserves further scrutiny.

Obama's uninvited guests
I can recall a Thanksgiving when this country was mourning the loss of its youthful, handsome president. And because of the memory of those horrible days following the assassination of John F. Kennedy, I am having a hard time being either amused or nonchalant - as some seemingly are - about the Virginia couple who crashed Tuesday's state dinner at the White House.

Palin's mass appeal feeds off contempt
It's week three of Sarah Palin's "Going Rogue" book tour, and although she has been met with rapture from her fans, she has received a wave of hostility from the mainstream media. David Letterman devoted four minutes of his monologue on publication day to mocking her. New York Times columnist David Brooks called her a joke, and Newsweek referenced "The Sound of Music," asking on its cover "How Do You Solve a Problem Like Sarah?" Even domestic diva Martha Stewart weighed in, calling her "boring" and "dangerous." Palin is a media punching bag.

The right reform for the Federal Reserve
For many Americans, the financial crisis, and the recession it spawned, have been devastating - jobs, homes, savings lost. Understandably, many people are calling for change. Yet change needs to be about creating a system that works better, not just differently. As a nation, our challenge is to design a system of financial oversight that will embody the lessons of the past two years and provide a robust framework for preventing future crises and the economic damage they cause.

Two teens arrested on assault charges
JUNEAU - Two teenage boys were arrested Friday morning and charged with assault after a witness reported them shooting a BB gun from a car in the Lemon Creek area.

Parking made free at downtown garage
JUNEAU - Free parking is available in the city's Marine Parking Garage until Dec. 31.

Car lands in railroad yard in Fairbanks
FAIRBANKS - A car went through a guard rail on the Johansen Expressway and landed about 40 feet below in the railroad yard.

Anchorage hotel tax receipts way down
ANCHORAGE - The recession is being blamed for a big drop in hotel-room tax receipts in Anchorage. The city says hotel-room tax receipts in the first nine months of the year are down 20 percent from last year.

Health officials lift vaccine restrictions
ANCHORAGE - The state is lifting restrictions on who can get a swine flu shot.

Mother accidentally runs over toddler
ANCHORAGE - A young child was killed in St. Mary's when her mother accidentally ran her over with a truck.

Woman accused of intentionally hitting pedestrian
ANCHORAGE - An Anchorage woman accused of intentionally hitting a pedestrian with a stolen vehicle has been arrested and jailed.

Thieves hit forestry agency, take 3 ATVs
ANCHORAGE - Thieves have hit the Alaska state Division of Forestry's property in Palmer again, making off with three all-terrain vehicles.

Assembly opening has three applicants
FAIRBANKS - Three people have applied for a vacancy on the Fairbanks North Star Borough Assembly as the Dec. 1 deadline approaches.

Burglar strikes as victims enjoy holiday
FAIRBANKS - Alaska State Troopers are investigating a rash of burglaries in Delta Junction that occurred while residents were enjoying their Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

District seeks public comments in search for JDHS principal
JUNEAU - The Juneau School District is seeking public comment during its process of recruiting a permanent principal for Juneau-Douglas High School.

Two plead guilty in '08 caribou killing case
ANCHORAGE - Two men accused of slaughtering caribou on the tundra near Point Hope last year pleaded guilty to failing to salvage the edible meat of an animal.

2 men get beat up attempting robbery
FAIRBANKS - Police say two men who attempted to rob a Fairbanks home were instead beat up by their would-be victims.

Teen wounded after drive-by shooting
ANCHORAGE - Police say a teenage boy was wounded in the leg Thursday morning during a drive-by shooting.

University regents to vote on budget
ANCHORAGE - The University of Alaska Regents are gathering in Anchorage to discuss the budget and take a vote.

Blasco back in Falcon blue
With the high school basketball season approaching, Thunder Mountain boys' basketball head coach John Blasco will be donning some unfamiliar colors.

Touching the game Alaska style
Today marks the online release of a new documentary chronicling the storied history of the Alaska Baseball League from the first Midnight Sun Game in 1906, to the formation of the Fairbanks Goldpanners in 1960 up to the present.

Chapman seeks fun on the ice and the slopes
Juneau-Douglas hockey player Zane Chapman is making the most out of his final season in a Crimson Bears' uniform as the team prepares to host North Pole this Friday and Saturday at Treadwell Arena.

Sports in Juneau

Crews prepare to clean pipeline oil spill
ANCHORAGE - Crews and equipment were being positioned Monday to begin cleaning up a spill on Alaska's North Slope that fouled an area of snow-covered tundra estimated to be about a quarter-acre in size.

Seafood group pushes sustainable labeling
To boost Alaska seafood market prices and expand the Alaska brand in Europe, the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute is in discussions with a trade group that certifies and labels sustainable seafood.

Study: Alaska's obesity rate among worst in US
ANCHORAGE - Alaskans are losing the battle of the bulge.

Village mushers worry dogs may face starvation
FAIRBANKS - Another poor chum salmon catch this year is making it hard for mushers in Fort Yukon to feed their sled dogs.

Former stripper appeals Alaska killing conviction
ANCHORAGE - The Alaska Court of Appeals will hear arguments Thursday that Mechele Linehan was wrongly convicted of a murder conspiracy because the judge allowed evidence about her career as a stripper.

Teen arrested for having pipe bombs, improvised grenade
ANCHORAGE - Anchorage police have arrested a 16-year-old boy in connection with two pipe bombs and an improvised grenade allegedly found in his backpack at his home.

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