Citizens United decision gave democracy to dollars
In an ideal democracy, sensible theory would posit the absurdity of the body politic's intangible "symbol of value" (money) being sanctioned suffrage to pursue a state of consciousness - as in the pursuit of happiness. Earning a return on capital is the implicit mission of any corporation, yet corporate money is often compared to a union of people dedicating their dues when arguing the absurdity of the Citizens United Supreme Court decision.

Halibut commission recommends further Area 2C quota cuts
The International Pacific Halibut Commission has made preliminary staff recommendations of again lowering halibut quotas in 2011, but local fishing representatives see this as a dangerous move.

Daisy Bell set to help with avalanche safety
Avalanches around the Snettisham line have always been a problem for Alaska Electric Light & Power. Yet, a new technology in the U.S. may help ease the cost and hazards of controlling these snowy slides.

Whale statue project prepares for last phase
The bronze Whale Project is moving forward and is gearing up for its final phase.

Photo: Admiring sculptures
Bop Isbell, with his life mask in the foreground, attended an unveiling of a sculpture Saturday in Mountain View in Anchorage. Artists Erin Pollock and Steph Kese revealed their backlit mask sculpture, which features life masks of 52 Mountain View residents. The subjects were in attendance at the unveiling and a party afterwards at the Mountain View Boys and Girls Club.

Judge sets status hearing for alleged Hoonah officers' killer
A status and trial hearing for the man alleged to have killed two Hoonah police officers was set for 2 p.m. Jan. 21 by Judge David George Tuesday in Juneau Superior Court.

Police & Fire
This report contains information provided to the Empire from law enforcement agencies. This report includes arrest and citation information, not conviction information. Anyone listed in this report is presumed innocent.

Some Native donations may not be so Native
Sealaska Heritage Institute received a collection of 18 Native cultural objects and tourist items from an anonymous donor last month. However, studies on these objects have led SHI researchers to believe three of them may not be Native made.

Police & Fire
This report contains information provided to the Empire from law enforcement agencies. This report includes arrest and citation information, not conviction information. Anyone listed in this report is presumed innocent.

Mesa Grill continues serving hot food in cold weather
Across the street from Sealaska Plaza downtown there is a small, thin-walled kiosk. It's the sort of place that's a common sight in the summer months but not so much in mid-December. Yet, this one's owner stands as proof the winter's cold weather and absence of tourists doesn't drive away all such street-side vendors.

Native leader explains Tlingit education's relevance for all societies
Tlingit educational values have kept its clans alive since before European contact in Alaska, and Tlingit leaders recognize how the pillars of that education are important to Native and non-Native students alike, a speaker discussing Native education said Monday.

Photo: Christmas at the Governor's Mansion
First Lady Sandy Parnell and 10th Governor of the State of Alaska Sean Parnell move a ginger bread house, one of 13 to be displayed, onto the center table in anticipation of today's Governor's Annual Christmas and Holiday Open House at the Governor's Mansion from 3 to 6 p.m. The gingerbread house, in the design of Russia's St. Basil Cathederal, was made by the Dzantik'i Heeni Middle School Life Skills class with included Instructor Jodie Buck and students Bruce Jones, Manon Paul, Chloe Varner, Victoria Ross and Tessa Smith. More than 24,000 cookies have been prepared, over 100 pounds of fudge and chocolate candies will be served in side while members of the governor's staff will serve hot apple cider and holiday treats to guests waiting in line outside. Entertainers from local community and school groups will perform both inside and out and the Governor and First Lady will welcome each and every guest. "This is one of our highlights of the year," Parnell said. "We look forward to Christmas, and we encourage all Alaskans to help those less fortunate or in need. Merry Christmas."

James Edmund Bennett
James Edmund Bennett died Dec. 5, 2010 in Seattle. He was born July 8, 1952 in Charlottesville, Va., to Dr. Truett Vann Bennett, and Patricia Henritzy Bennett, both graduates of the University of North Carolina. His father was an accomplished musician and surgeon. His family moved from Atlanta to Hawaii in 1962. He was a dedicated and highly appreciated high school mathematics teacher who taught at schools in Fairbanks, Las Vegas, Point Hope, St. Mary's and most recently Juneau.

Marjorie Ann (Mallum) Bukovich
Marjorie Ann (Mallum) Bukovich died Dec. 1, 2010. She was born in Aberdeen, Wash., Feb. 13, 1927, to Dorothy (Colburn) and George Mallum. During her high school years she met the love of her life and future husband, Rudy Bukovich, while picking daffodil bulbs in the Puyallup Valley. After they graduated high school in 1945, they married after Rudy returned from service in the Pacific. They were married March 20, 1948, and settled in Washington state. The Bukovich family moved to Ketchikan in the 1960s and purchased the Gateway Club and started RB Construction, a gravel and excavation business. Rudy passed away in 1994.

Charles Milton Bishop
Charles Milton Bishop, 59, died Dec. 2, 2010, at Providence Alaska Medical Center in Anchorage, where he had been a patient since a stroke three weeks earlier.

Outside editorial: Another misstep in energy policy
The following editorial appeared in the Dallas Morning News:

Outside editorial: It's too soon for a 'Do Not Track' law
The following editorial appeared in the San Jose Mercury News:

The judge shortage
A vacancy crisis threatens our federal judiciary. With 108 open trial and appellate court positions across the country - nearly twice the number that existed when President Barack Obama took office - our federal courts are suffering from a near-record 12 percent vacancy rate.

Ranking heroism
Much has been made, and rightfully so, of President Obama's Medal of Honor presentation last month to Army Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta, the first living recipient of the nation's highest military decoration since the Vietnam War. But the award also raises questions. One is why so few Medals of Honor have been awarded to those who have fought in Afghanistan and Iraq, compared with the numbers issued during previous conflicts. Another is how it is decided whether a warrior's risk and sacrifice in battle merit such decorations.

Young Americans: In the crosshairs of debt
President Obama's debt commission has earned mixed reviews for its recommendations for reducing the federal government's ballooning deficits. But at least it got the right conversation started.

Democrats are creating some fertile turf for Sarah Palin
I have my doubts about Sarah Palin as a potential presidential candidate, but you have to hand it to her. Her instincts are wonderfully diabolical. She's trapped our friends on the left in a no-win debate on American exceptionalism.

Scholarships ready but state must define courses
FAIRBANKS - A scholarship program is getting ready for Alaska high school graduates who took extra math and science but the courses that will count still have to be defined.

EPA levied $4.9M in penalties in Northwest
SEATTLE - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says it assessed $4.9 million in penalties in the Northwest and Alaska in 2010.

Overdue man's snowmobile found
GRAYLING - Alaska State Troopers say searchers are looking for the body of a missing 33-year-old Grayling man whose snowmobile was found in open water on the Yukon River.

2 new fire stations opening in Wasilla
WASILLA - With the weekend opening of Fire Station 63 in Wasilla, the Central Mat-Su Fire Department now has nine stations.

Mayor has big plans for Anchorage park
ANCHORAGE - Mayor Dan Sullivan has big plans for the Anchorage Sports Park.

Assembly makes appointments to hospital board, planning commission
The City and Borough of Juneau Assembly made appointments to both the Bartlett Regional Hospital board and the Planning Commission on Monday.

Law officers arrest 74 in SW Alaska crime sweep
ANCHORAGE - A sweep by Alaska State Troopers, the U.S. Marshals Service and state drug and alcohol enforcement officers resulted in 74 arrests in more than a dozen southwest Alaska villages.

Crippled ship due today at Dutch Harbor
ANCHORAGE - A disabled cargo ship being towed in Alaska waters is close to Dutch Harbor, expected to arrive for repairs at midday Tuesday.

New ethics rules to take effect Dec. 22
JUNEAU - New rules governing executive branch ethics, stemming from Sarah Palin's tenure as governor, take effect this month.

Disabled cargo ship reaches Dutch Harbor
ANCHORAGE - A cargo ship disabled in the Bering Sea has reached Alaska's Dutch Harbor.

Anchorage International Film Festival in 10th year
ANCHORAGE - The Anchorage International Film Festival is celebrating its 10th year.

Domestic violence in Brevig Mission stabbing death
ANCHORAGE - The woman charged with manslaughter in the stabbing death of her boyfriend in Brevig Mission said she was tired of him beating her and their kids.

State seeks comments on museum project
The Alaska State Museum may be a museum piece itself.

SuperPAC spends $1.6M to help Murkowski
JUNEAU - A political group formed by Alaska Native corporations spent $1.6 million to defeat Joe Miller in last month's U.S. Senate race.

Pay commission hears testimony on Parnell's salary
ANCHORAGE - Only three people showed up Tuesday to testify on a proposed $50,000 salary increase for Gov. Sean Parnell.

Leadership Juneau seeks applications
Leadership Juneau 2011 is about to begin and the United Way of Southeast Alaska is recruiting. The program offers local citizens the chance to become more effective community leaders.

Hoonah teacher wins prestigious national award
Benjamin McLuckie, a teacher at Hoonah High School, has been named one of seven national winners of the 2011 American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Foundation Educator Achievement Awards.

Columbus awards seek middle school applicants
The Christopher Columbus Fellowship Foundation, a federal agency, is calling for entries for the 2010-2011 Christopher Columbus Awards program. The awards challenge teams of sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade students to explore opportunities for positive change in their communities.

Juneau sends six wrestlers to state
The Juneau-Douglas and Thunder Mountain wrestling teams returned from Craig with six state qualifiers for this weekend's tournament in Wasilla.

From Hoonah to Juneau, and now to state
Apparently, Juneau-Douglas wrestling coach John Smith isn't the only Hoonah transplant in the Crimson Bears' program.

Warming may help Southeast produce power
Climate change may be causing problems elsewhere, but it may provide some big benefits to Southeast Alaska, according to a new study looking at the region's hydroelectric potential.

Parnell, Treadwell sworn in
The new administration of Gov. Sean Parnell and Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell pledged to move forward with an agenda of strengthening the state's families and economy as it was sworn in Monday at an inauguration ceremony at Juneau's Centennial Hall.

Assemblymember Stone to take new job with Treadwell
Juneau Assemblymember David Stone will serve as chief of staff to new Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell, he said Monday after Treadwell and Gov. Sean Parnell were sworn in at Centennial Hall.

TransCanada still negotiating on pipeline
JUNEAU - TransCanada Corp. says it may not meet its target of securing binding agreements by year's end for a major natural gas pipeline in Alaska, but the company remains optimistic about the prospects for its project.

Miller faces deadline to respond to borough
JUNEAU - A former employer of Republican Joe Miller is threatening to take its concerns about missing e-mails to investigators or the state bar association if Miller doesn't respond to questions surrounding the matter.

Attorney disputes Miller claims on e-mails
JUNEAU - An attorney for the Fairbanks North Star Borough alleges that Alaska Senate candidate Joe Miller violated borough e-mail policy and his ethical responsibilities while working as a government lawyer.

Begich to Miller: Drop Senate challenge
JUNEAU - U.S. Sen. Mark Begich says Republican Joe Miller is putting personal ambition ahead of Alaska's interests and should drop his legal challenge to last month's election.

Aggressive wolves spark fear in Port Heiden
ANCHORAGE - Mayor Scott Anderson doesn't travel around his small town of Port Heiden unarmed. Neither do his neighbors.

Tok school burns biomass in boiler in order to cut costs
FAIRBANKS - A new wood energy project in Tok has turned surrounding forests from a fire hazard into renewable fuel. The Tok School lit a new wood chip-fired boiler for the first time several weeks ago.

Pebble Mine trial over permits begins
ANCHORAGE - A lawyer for companies seeking to mine in southwest Alaska used a core sample, large maps and photos to show Monday that exploration of the area had been carefully conducted with high regard for the environment.

Ex-ADF&G spokeswoman to spend 3 days in prison for reckless driving
Former Alaska Department of Fish & Game spokeswoman Jennifer Yuhas will spend three days in prison after she pleaded guilty Monday to reckless driving, a misdemeanor, for a March 28, 2009 Juneau incident in which Yuhas operated a vehicle without her headlights on and failed to stop at several stop lights.

Scholarships ready but Alaska must define courses
FAIRBANKS - A scholarship program is getting ready for Alaska high school graduates who took extra math and science but the courses that will count still have to be defined.

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