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Thursday, December 6, 2007

Constitution of privacy needs change
When it comes to the welfare of our children, we parents are the ones who know them best and have to deal with them in sickness and health. We know their allergies. Planned Parenthood does not.

Employees union should have listened
The means by which your state workers are required to belong to a union (Alaska State Employees Association) that not only dismisses our opinions, but openly prosecutes those of us who stood up to speak out against their views during the only time it is allowed, open contract negotiations, is so anti-American.

Offer extracurriculars at Thunder Mountain
The number one indicator of success after high school is involvement in extracurricular activities. The movement to take away the opportunity of involvement out of fear of losing stature within the state is an embarrassment.

Reservoirs low due to hydro power
I'm writing in response to Jon Torrella's Nov. 30 letter regarding water levels in the lakes that supply Juneau's hydro plants.

Find solution for dumping snow
I read the Juneau Empire on a daily basis, and a lot bothers me. But this article, "City cuts off snow-dumping site," on Nov. 28, drove me to write.

Large crowd shows up for anti-road presentation
More than 125 people showed up at a presentation Wednesday night organized by critics of the Juneau access road and ferry project.

Around Town

Around Town

Fire destroys home in Valley
A landlord thawing frozen pipes with a butane torch under a mobile home in the Mendenhall Valley started a blaze that destroyed the single-wide home Tuesday morning, Juneau fire officials said.

Biodiesel cooperative planned for Juneau
Efforts are afoot in Juneau to form a biodiesel cooperative that would power homes, cars and businesses with oil derived from plants and animals rather than fossil fuels.

Munoz to run for Doll's House seat
Former Juneau Assembly member Cathy Munoz announced Tuesday she plans to run in the 2008 election for Rep. Andrea Doll's seat in the House of Representatives.

Photo: Singing tree
The choir in the 34th Annual Singing Christmas Tree rehearses Tuesday at the Juneau Christian Center. Honey Bee Anderson will direct the choir in four performances at 7 p.m. Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

Bartlett Regional Hospital plans orthopedic center
Bartlett Regional Hospital plans to develop an orthopedic center, announced hospital CEO Shawn Morrow on Tuesday.

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

'Star Wars' legion aids nonprofit
The frigid weather was reminiscent of planet Hoth on Wednesday night, but instead of besieging the secret base of the Rebel Alliance, Darth Vader and his minions were battling poverty at Wal-Mart on behalf of the Salvation Army's Christmas kettle campaign.

School Board rejects district food proposal
The Juneau School Board flatly rejected a food service plan for the district's middle and high schools on Tuesday because the proposal was based on a four-year-old report and lacked a reliable budget.

Photo: Hanukkah celebration
Two Juneau families light candles for their menorahs Tuesday, the first day of Hanukkah. Suzy Cohen, top left, assists her sons, Orion and Gabe Cohen. Jesse Kiehl, top right, lights a candle under the watch of his daughters, Tsitira Kiehl and Adara Allen.

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

Photo: Frozen art
An ice sculpture by an unknown artist sits on the shore of Mendenhall Lake near the Mendenhall Visitor Center.

Report: Ferry office needs upgrades
Alaska transportation officials are reconsidering whether to purchase the building occupied by the state ferry headquarters in Ketchikan after an engineer's report showed it could require a $7 million upgrade.

Council urges single sports program
The Juneau-Douglas High School Site Council recently recommended that Thunder Mountain High School, under construction in the Mendenhall Valley, not offer junior varsity sports in its first year.

Correction
A story on page A3 of Wednesday's Juneau Empire on Bartlett Regional Hospital's plans for an orthopedic center incorrectly stated why an ambulatory surgery center would not be financially viable. The reason is it would lead to a duplication of services.

Elder remains homeless after his boat sinks in Auke Bay
While the rest of us lay in our warm, dry beds dreaming of turkey and good times with friends and family in the early morning hours last Thursday, Tom Carpenter was woken up by his faithful boat cat, Princess. Her important message? "Abandon ship boss, the boat is sinking!"

Sitka Wellness Coalition Honors Mount Edgecumbe High School
The Sitka Employee Wellness Coalition has honored Mount Edgecumbe High School with its Well Workplace of the Month award for December.

Neighbors mailbox
Thanks for help with tree and Santa projects; Thank you to Steve Baseden for hosting Skate with Santa.; Thanks for providing support over the years; Thanks for help with Thanksgiving dinner; Thanks from theJuneau Soccer Club; Thanks to Fred Meyer Foundation for grant; Thanks for help with kids' concert

Optometrist Shannon Farr joins SEARHC eye clinic
The SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium announces optometrist Shannon Farr, O.D., has joined the permanent staff at the SEARHC Ethel Lund Medical Center Eye Clinic in Juneau.

Holiday craft fairs galore
Crafters showed off their stuff at a craft fair on Nov. 4 at the Nugget Mall.

Neighbors Digest
Winter Ball to be held Saturday; Dance studio to host Sugar Plum Fairy party; Annual Singing Christmas Tree concerts to be held Dec. 7 through 10; Check out University's Cooperative Extension Service for brochure on Christmas trees

Pets of the week
Come visit three fair felines from 3 to 6 p.m. Monday-Friday or 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday at the Gastineau Humane Society.

Hanukkah: A celebration and a testament
Hanukkah has always been one of my favorite times of year.

Gift ideas for the cat people on your list
Annie, my golden-haired fluffball, was doing the whirling dervish. Spinning on her hind legs, she'd give a little hop, then pounce and smack something across the laminate floor.

Photo: Alaska Native Sisterhood officers
Emcee Delores Cadiente presents Micalyne Kunz with a gavel to symbolize her authority as the re-elected Alaska Native Sisterhood Camp 2 president.

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Louise Rhodes
Former Douglas resident Louise Rhodes died Dec. 2, 2007, at Central Peninsula Hospital in Soldotna. She was 97.

Outside editorial: Absence of violence does not necessarily mean peace in Iraq
In January, when President Bush announced his strategy to pour more U.S. troops into Iraq in an effort to stabilize the country, the Dallas Morning News concluded that the policy was mistaken because sectarian savagery had gone beyond the point of no return.

My Turn: Plan should address needs for all students
Based on the current plan, Juneau will have two basically equal, theme-based high schools. As a parent of two students, I have many reservations and concerns about it.

Outside editorial: Chavez isn't finished
On election days in Caracas, fireworks and bugles awaken voters in districts known to support Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who controls all branches of government and has cowed or taken over most of the media.

My turn: Alaska: The envy of the world
Alaska has its financial house in order and our social systems intact. And I will maintain below, our prospects for the future look bright indeed.

My turn: Oppose the war, support the troops
I read with appreciation Sgt. Leo G. Librando's My Turn letter of Nov. 25, "Respect military, troops' efforts," and found it evocative, a clearly stated soldier's opinion with many valid points.

Juneau's garbage plan off to a good beginning
Last week the Juneau Assembly took an overt step toward solving the capital city's solid-waste problem. This step was the culmination of many years of study, which most recently included the hiring of consultants to evaluate where we are, where we are going, and how we may want to change direction.

Outside editorial: Ending early admissions at universities would help minorities and the poor
When Harvard University announced the elimination of its early-admissions policy, the hope was that other schools would follow suit. To their credit, Princeton University and the University of Virginia did so - but so far, unfortunately, that's been it.

Outside editorial: Piling abuse atop borrowers in trouble
It's bad enough that record numbers of people are losing homes because of mortgages they couldn't afford and should never have gotten. Mortgage companies shouldn't add insult to injury by overcharging borrowers already in foreclosure.

Men's Division I teams battle for Gold Medal spot
Forty-two competitive and noncompetitive teams constitute Juneau's Ordway Basketball League. The 18-game season got underway on Nov. 11 and runs until Feb. 7, ending with a double elimination tournament championship game.

Big third period lifts Ice Pirates
The Ice Pirates struck for three goals in the third period and survived a late rush by Island Pub to secure a 4-3 victory Sunday in Juneau Adult Hockey Association Tier A action at Treadwell Arena.

Sports Digest
Youth wrestling club registration open; Dodgeball tourney starts today

Parks and rec Ordway Basketball League standings

Sports in Juneau
Sports in Juneau is a service provided by the Juneau Empire to provide information on upcoming sports and outdoors events in Juneau.

Alaska Club announces fall tourney results
Tournament was Nov. 29-Dec. 2.

Kott cites good works, seeks short sentence
Convicted former legislator Pete Kott is asking for a shorter sentence than prosecutors want, saying the bribes he took were so small they don't merit the lengthy sentence they are suggesting.

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

Former oil executives optimistic about natural gas pipeline bids
Former oil company executives see hopeful signs in the results of bidding for a natural gas pipeline tapping Alaska's North Slope reserves.

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

Palin outlines savings, spending plans
Alaska expects to get a windfall from oil taxes in the next few years that will allow the state to set aside $7.1 billion for the future, Gov. Sarah Palin said Wednesday.

Hunters whose trucks became stuck in tundra fined $10,000
It turned out to be an expensive caribou hunting trip.

Groups ask court to block Shell's oil drilling plans
Environmental and Native Alaskan groups asked a federal appeals court Tuesday to block Royal Dutch Shell's plans for exploratory drilling near the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Wife of ex-mayor Jim Hayes pleads guilty
The wife of former Fairbanks city Mayor Jim Hayes pleaded guilty Wednesday to misusing federal grant funds sent to a nonprofit social services agency the couple helped found and operate.

Medical helicopter carrying patient, three others vanishes
Poor visibility Tuesday hampered searchers looking for a medical helicopter that vanished in blowing snow while carrying a patient and medical crew over mountainous coastal terrain.

Candidate says tapping oil from Arctic wildlife refuge will help reduce gas prices
Republican presidential candidate Fred Thompson said Wednesday that tapping oil reserves in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge would help lower gas prices.

Alaska Digest
Calendar for next school year released; Firewood gathering allowed on state land; Suspect in violent spree appears in court; Coast Guard rescues five stranded on ice; Alaska voter rolls will be updated; K9 handler, dog to receive bronze star

Rescuers search sound for missing medical helicopter
Searchers returned to Prince William Sound under clearing skies Wednesday to continue looking for a medical helicopter that vanished as it transported a patient.

State mulls civil suit against BP
BP recently agreed to pay millions in federal criminal fines over an oil spill last year in the nation's largest oil field, but legal wrangling over its past management practices at Prudhoe Bay continues, according to state officials Wednesday.

Alaska Digest
Clerk assaulted during hotel robbery attempt; Business center offers bookkeeping class; Spaghetti fundraiser for Cropley planned; Sitka man gets 10 years for child porn; Anchorage man's death investigated

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