Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Don't just assume homeless didn't try
I'm writing this letter to voice my thoughts about the homeless situation. One thing people need to remember is that we don't know what led to most people being homeless.

City should do more to entice tourism
Because independent travelers stay overnight, rent cars, eat, shop and spend time in Juneau, their contribution to our city's treasury is significant. But did you know that 30 percent of independent travelers to Alaska were first exposed to our state on a cruise ship?

Uprooting without roots
Homeless Vietnam veteran Keith Fuller just wants to be left the hell alone.

Parnell pushes for road extension
Gov. Sean Parnell moved to build a small section of a controversial road out of Juneau by announcing Monday a 2.9-mile, $5 million extension of Glacier Highway from Echo Cove to Cascade Point.

Around Town
Today, Dec. 8

Clarification
A Friday story in the Juneau Empire reported that a 25-year-old man sentenced Dec. 2 for sexually assaulting two teenage girls in Angoon was also from the same city. Richard J. Hunt Jr. lived in Angoon for a short period of time when the assaults happened but is from Juneau.

Police & Fire
Juneau police and fire officials reported:

Students traverse the continent on traveling map
Students from five different Juneau schools traveled all over North America last week. Some went to Maine. Some went to Canada. Some went to Mexico.

JDHS grad goes to Hell and back
Acclaimed travel writer Chuck Thompson wanted to find the biggest hellholes in the world for his latest book so he chose four places - the Congo, India, Mexico City and Disney World.

Holiday Hospitality
Does Gov. Sean Parnell believe in Santa Claus?

Photo: Torch cutting
A worker cuts through steel rebar with an oxyacetylene torch Monday morning at the downtown transportation center located at the corner of Egan Drive and Main Street.

Around Town
Today, Dec. 7

Photo: Mirroring the snow
Frost-covered branches sparkle through the window of the Juneau Dance Unlimited studio Sunday as dancer Misha Culver stretches in her snow costume during a dress rehearsal for "The Nutcracker Ballet." The performance, which features two guest dancers from the California Ballet Co., will be held December 11 through 13 at the Juneau-Douglas High School auditorium. A preview story on the performance will appear in Tuesday's Empire.

Police & Fire
Juneau police and fire officials reported:

Photo: Building skills
Jack Lovejoy, 3, holds a hammer while her father, Mike, holds pieces of a wagon they were constructing over the weekend at the Home Depot Kids Workshop.

Clifton James Towle
Former Juneau resident Clif Towle died Dec. 2, 2009, at Providence Hospital in Everett, Wash., due to complications from a stroke. He was 77.

My Turn: Moments of truth while shopping in Juneau
Customer service experts have coined a term called "moments of truth," where the interaction between customer and the shopping experience determines whether the customer sees the experience as helpful or a hassle. We've all interacted with the surly cashier that acts as if he or she is doing us a favor by taking our money. These decisive moments of truth are where the customer walks away satisfied or walks away and doesn't come back.

Outside editorial: The climate of suspicion
The following editorial appeared in the Chicago Tribune on Thursday, Dec. 3:

Alaska Editorial: Regents focus budget request on a new life sciences facility
The University of Alaska Board of Regents couldn't have been more clear Nov. 30 - its top priority for construction funding in the coming year is the new life sciences building at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

My turn: Scholarships offer incentives for students to try harder
A laska's high school graduation rate jumped nearly five percentage points last school year, to 67.5 percent. We graduated more than 8,000 students, up by 700 students five years ago, despite declining enrollments over that period.

Alaska Editorial: Pipeline decline requires special attention, too
We've previously urged the Alaska Legislature to create a special committee to report to the state's residents on the status of the proposed North Slope natural gas pipeline.

From Tiger to Octomom, it's all about the fame
December is not even halfway over, but I already know the big story of the last 12 months: This year will be remembered as the year we sold our souls for fame.

Obama supporters receive a dose of reality
Some parishioners in the Church of Obama discovered last week that their spiritual leader is a false prophet.

Our job crisis needs drastic action
Without jobs, people lose hope. Without hope, there is no future.

Wood smoke ban declared Sunday
JUNEAU - The City and Borough of Juneau declared an air emergency in the Mendenhall Valley at noon Sunday, placing a ban on wood stove burning.

Man arrested on weapons charge
JUNEAU - A Juneau man was arrested Friday after firing a gun in the 9000 block of Glacier Highway, police said.

Girl stabbed at high school in Anchorage
ANCHORAGE - A 17-year-old girl was stabbed Monday at an Anchorage high school and a 16-year-old suspect was taken into custody.

Funeral held for Mitch Demientieff
NENANA - A funeral has been held for Mitch Demientieff, the former Tanana Chiefs Conference leader who died at age 57.

Army captain pleads guilty to stealing
PORTLAND, Ore. - An Army captain from Oregon pleaded guilty Monday to charges that he stole nearly $700,000 from the U.S. government while serving in Iraq.

Lawyers seek 3-month delay in Wade trial
ANCHORAGE - Lawyers for a man accused of murdering a nurse who lived next door are asking for a delay in his trial.

School Board will mull calendar today
JUNEAU - The Juneau School District will have its first reading of the proposed 2010-2011 calendar at the school board meeting Tuesday night. The new calendar proposes students get out of school between 45 and 60 minutes early two Mondays a month so that teachers can collaborate, specifically focusing on using new, specific test data to improve student performance.

Hold placed on 7th person accused in police massacre
TACOMA, Wash. - Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist is asking a judge to keep a woman in jail three more days for investigation of aiding Lakewood police killer Maurice Clemmons.

Board seeks more regulatory protection for Bristol Bay salmon
ANCHORAGE - The Alaska Board of Fisheries is planning to ask legislators to consider more protection for Bristol Bay salmon.

Slim-Fast products recalled in Alaska
JUNEAU - The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has informed the public of a voluntary recall of Slim-Fast ready-to-drink products in cans because of a possible contamination with Bacillus cereus.

Baby ejected from SUV crash unharmed
ANCHORAGE - Police don't know how a baby escaped serious injury when it was ejected from an SUV in a collision at an Anchorage intersection.

Iowa stop spurs talk of presidential run
SIOUX CITY, Iowa - Former Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin greeted hundreds of admirers in Sioux City on Sunday, fueling speculation about a possible presidential run in 2012.

Editor Rowe leaving Oregonian; Bhatia to take over role
PORTLAND, Ore. - Sandra Mims Rowe, who has been editor of The Oregonian since 1993, says she's leaving the newspaper at the end of the year.

Court hears former stripper's appeal
ANCHORAGE - Lawyers for a former stripper convicted of a murder conspiracy asked the Alaska Court of Appeals to overturn her conviction because a jury was allowed to read a victim's "letter from the grave."

Fronimos follows in father's footsteps
Thunder Mountain's Cameron Fronimos is excelling in something he has been around most of his life: wrestling.

Four Falcons state-bound
The first year of Thunder Mountain wrestling could not be going much better for coach Chad Requa and his Falcon squad as they prepare to send four grapplers to the state meet inAnchorage.

Sports in Juneau
CALENDAR OF EVENTS

Sports in Juneau
CALENDAR OF EVENTS

Oil pipeline decline spurs tax debate
Flow through the 800-mile trans-Alaska pipeline has diminished as the huge Prudhoe Bay oil field ages.

Alaskans look to stimulus funds to spread broadband
FAIRBANKS - Alaskans are looking to the federal stimulus program to get broadband Internet access to remote villages.

Salazar OKs Shell plans for drilling in Chukchi
ANCHORAGE - The Minerals Management Service on Monday conditionally approved plans by Shell Oil Co. to drill three exploratory wells next year in the Chukchi Sea off Alaska's northwest coast.

New Web site will serve rural Alaska teens with STDs
ANCHORAGE - Alaska village teens who might be too embarrassed to talk about sexual diseases at a local clinic will be able to go online to order condoms or home-testing kits for chlamydia and gonorrhea.

Drug testing planned for Iditarod mushers
FAIRBANKS - The Iditarod plans to test mushers for drugs and alcohol in March, a change that many mushers don't have a problem with unless one asks three-time champion Lance Mackey.

Count reveals good news, bad news for Alaska sea lion numbers
ANCHORAGE - A count of Alaska's Steller sea lion pups indicates the state's two populations are headed in different directions for recovery.

Attorney general changing Alaska ethics rules
ANCHORAGE - Alaska Attorney General Dan Sullivan plans to change the state's ethics rules to fix problems brought to light by complaints against former Gov. Sarah Palin.

Report favors smaller of two hydro projects
ANCHORAGE - A state-funded study finds that a multi-billion-dollar Susitna River dam makes less sense for Alaska than a smaller hydro project at Chakachamna Lake across Cook Inlet from Anchorage.

Fairbanks hatchery cut back to curb cost
FAIRBANKS - A $45 million state fish hatchery now under construction won't have onsite housing for employees or laboratories for University of Alaska, Fairbanks researchers when it opens next summer.

Ralph Samuels announces plans to run for governor
ANCHORAGE - Former Alaska state Rep. Ralph Samuels announced Tuesday he will run for governor, presenting a formidable challenge to incumbent Sean Parnell in the 2010 Republican primary.

Veterans volunteer perseveres despite terminal cancer diagnosis
WASILLA - Maurice Bailey lives each day like it could be his last - because it might be.

UAF ends Susan Butcher Institute
FAIRBANKS - The University of Alaska Fairbanks has halted work at the Susan Butcher Institute, named for the four-time Iditarod champion musher who died of leukemia in 2006 at age 51.

Iditarod reports $1M loss in funding
ANCHORAGE - The world's most famous sled dog race is feeling squeezed by the poor economy.

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