Friday, December 7, 2007

Read in heavenly peace: Share a holiday book with your family
For families, Christmas and Hanukkah are great times to begin a tradition of choosing a book to read together every year - preferably while enjoying hot chocolate and freshly baked cookies. Here are a few of our favorite new titles, plus a well-loved classics, to put on your December reading list.

Libraries get new graphic novels for adults
Here are a few of our new graphic novels for adult readers - but track down a complete list of titles by going to the library catalog and using the advanced search option to select "graphic novel" in the format field.

Ideas for waste management
I for one am against the idea of mandatory inclusion in a city-run recycling center. I already recycle everything possible. I have reduced our household landfill from three trash cans a week to one every other week.

The feds needs to look at electric company
As I pull up to a parts store I see an Alaska Electric Light & Power full-size pickup sitting out front running, lights on, nobody inside. As I go to the front counter to do business, there is a person leaning against the counter talking to people coming and going.

Correcting information about a photograph
In the Friday, Nov. 9, edition of the Juneau Empire there was a picture captioned "Frog Coming Out."

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.

Ketchikan cares about Prince Rupert
Amanda Fehd's story on Nov. 23 about the Prince Rupert Container port continues to give a false impression that people in Southeast are not interested in the development.

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.

No Christmas lights because of price hike
I too was shocked to receive my October bill. Only my bill wasn't $40 more, it was $130 more. We used no more power then we used in August or September except maybe a light or two more.

Beaver meat is quite delicious
In response to Rayda Renshaw's letter on Nov. 28, beaver meat is actually quite delicious, and with little effort, you can find more than a few traditional recipes as well as some modern ones. I recall some tasty recipes printed in Fur, Fish and Game magazine within the last few years. Muskrat meat will also work as a ready substitute.

Around Town

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.

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.

Around Town

Pride Chorus celebrates 10th anniversary
The Juneau Pride Chorus has a serious message, but for the last decade it has used humorous music to extol the virtues of tolerance, members said.

Photo: Dividend delivery
Shannon Dybdahl, an accounts payable technician for Sealaska Corp., pulls a cart full of dividend checks Thursday through the corporation's headquarters on her way to the post office to mail the checks.

'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.

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

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

Photo: On the level
Asha Falcon hangs paintings by Juneau artist Rob Roys on Thursday at Annie Kaill's on Front Street in preparation for Gallery Walk. Galleries will be open in the downtown area for the annual event starting at 4:30 p.m. today and lasting to about 10.

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.

Roundup nets eight fugitives
A fugitive roundup led by the U.S. Marshals Service culminated with the arrest of eight people this week in a series of raids throughout Juneau.

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.

Planning commissioners, board members appointed
The Juneau Assembly, convening as the Human Resources Committee, appointed three members of the Planning Commission and four members of the Bartlett Regional Hospital board of directors on Thursday night.

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.

Recognitions

Neighbors helping neighbors
Neighbors Helping Neighbors is a weekly feature on the Neighbors page and is in collaboration with the United Way of Southeast Alaska.

Norway, Sweden part V: Stockholm
From Bergen, my husband, Don, and I took the train back to Oslo, Norway. We planned to spend the night in Oslo. Nevertheless, when we talked to the Scan-Rail information clerk, we learned that many trains were cancelled because of Easter week.

Alaska Public Health Association honors Wilbur Brown Jr.
SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium Tobacco Policy Coordinator Wilbur Brown Jr. will be honored with the Alaska Health Achievement Award during the Alaska Public Health Association's Award Luncheon on Dec. 5 at the Alaska Health Summit in Anchorage.

Neighbors mailbox

Photo: Iced ship
Sunset gives a frosty shine to the Sharon Sue midships Tuesday afternoon at Auke Bay's Don Statter Boat Harbor.

United Way of Southeast tallies preliminary campaign reports
United Way of Southeast Alaska is optimistic as campaign numbers begin to roll in. Currently the tally shows the organization received a little more than $51,000 in one-time gifts and payroll deduction pledges from employees of area workplace campaigns, and more than $40,000 in donations from corporations and individuals.

FYI

Photo: Annual holly, wreath sale
The Mendenhall Flying Lions Club is having its annual holly wreaths and holly sale fundraiser the first three weekends in December at the Nugget Mall.

Student artist in the spotlight: Ellie Hakari
Student Artist in the Spotlight is a weekly feature on the Neighbors page and is in collaboration with the Juneau School District Elementary Art Program.

Aldersgate United Methodists receive early Christmas present
There's a familiar Christmas song called, "Do You Hear What I Hear?" For many, the answer to that song would be, "No." Be assured that stories of the hearing-challenged are quite widespread.

Photo: Tai chi at the glacier
Jo Boehme's "Tai Chi for Health" class is bundled up during a session Sunday at the Mendenhall Glacier. Boehme's classes are available at Pavitt Health and Fitness beginning Jan. 7.

Does your food have an identity?
How well do you know the food that is on your plate? Do you know anything about the farm it was grown on? Where it was located? What the climate was like? Was it a large or small farm? And what about how it was processed after it left the farm?

Neighbors Digest
Spaghetti fundraiser to be held for Cropley; The Rev. Tom Bunnett to preach in December; Pediatric dental clinic to be held in Hoonah; Foster child sharing tree now on display; Kennel club sponsors pet photos with Santa

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

Frances 'Anne' Mortell
Longtime Juneau resident Frances "Anne" Mortell died peacefully in her sleep on Nov. 27, 2007, at Providence Alaska Medical Center in Anchorage, after a long battle with diabetes and kidney failure. She was 73.

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.

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.

Empire editorial: City should enforce its own regulations
Why would a construction company bother to follow Juneau's land use code?

My turn: Legislators with conflicts shouldn't vote
"No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other." Matthew 6:24, New American Standard Bible.

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: 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.

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.

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.

JDHS expects no upsets in Sitka Regional this weekend
The Crimson Bears wrestling team heads to Sitka today with high hopes for success at this weekend's Southeast Conference Championships. As a wind-sprint season winds down, the squad is primed to move on toward bigger goals.

Gold Medal to expand B, and Master's brackets
Gold Medal Basketball Tournament organizers announced Thursday they will expand the popular B bracket and extend the new master's bracket, while eliminating the women's bracket and intermediate bracket.

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

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.

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

Alaska Digest
Sparse snow cover on lower runs delays Eaglecrest opening; Perseverance Trail to remain closed through December; Ketchikan considers bid to upgrade dock pilings for cruise ships; State's largest electric utility fires top executive; Fire destroys home of Alaska Native artist Riba DeWilde

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.

State sues for $1.8 billion over benefits
The state of Alaska has filed a $1.8 billion lawsuit against the company it says is one of those responsible for an $8.4 billion shortfall in funds to pay employee retirement benefits.

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

Governor's priorities: transportation, education
With a regular session of the Alaska Legislature looming a little more than a month away, Republican Gov. Sarah Palin's office is working to solidify budget proposals and legislative priorities.

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.

Wolf pack kills again, this time in Two Rivers
A wolf pack is being blamed for the death of another dog, this time in Two Rivers.

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.

Alaskans wonder if former lawmaker will be charged
The FBI over the last year slapped handcuffs on four former Alaska lawmakers with ties to a major oil field service company, VECO Corp. Three were convicted in federal court of corruption charges and a fourth awaits trial.

This Day in History
In Alaska and in the Nation

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.

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