Murkowski's DADT vote disappointing
I am very disappointed Sen. Lisa Murkowski has voted against important defense legislation and denied equal treatment to our military personnel. Today she voted against legislation that would appropriate money to the Departments of Defense and Energy as well as repeal a policy that discriminates against select military personnel.

Broken water main hits Archives
A broken water main at the State Archives Building doused several boxes of records Thursday morning, but Archivist Dean Dawson said the items were able to be dried without suffering permanent damage.

High school mourns beloved math teacher
This equation isn't adding up.

Photo: Skinning the slope
Ed Shanley, right, Kevin Krein, center, and Sean Janes ski the ridge above the East Bowl at Eaglecrest Ski Area on Thursday. The ski area is waiting on more snow to officially open.

A story appearing on page A1 of Thursday's Empire titled "Designated floodplain areas to change in new FEMA maps" contained an incorrect Web link. The correct link is

Photo: A light workday
Chatham Electric wiremen Daniel Leder, top, and Richard Hayes wrap a lamp post in glowing blue holiday lights across from the Juneau Court House on Thursday. The company is called by the state Legislature to light up the Governor's Mansion and the capitol as well as some local churches.

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.

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.

My turn: Write-in campaign reaffirms a core Native value
On Nov. 2, we witnessed remarkable citizen activism, and a mobilization within the Alaska community with more than 258,000 citizens exercising their right to vote - of those voting, more than 100,000 exercised a right they had never exercised before by casting a write-in vote for U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski. This is a new page in Alaska's history.

Outside editorial: Tax compromise is a start; now Congress must fix code
On balance, we're glad to see congressional Republicans and the White House come together around a package to keep the Bush-era tax cuts for two years, include numerous tax cuts favored by President Barack Obama and extend benefits for unemployed workers.

It's not rational to spend tax dollars on NPR when other outlets provide similar programming
According to a Poll Position survey conducted in late October, 45 percent of Americans said "No" when asked whether the U.S. government should stop helping to fund NPR; 39 percent said "Yes." Only those respondents identifying themselves as Republicans favored, by a 54 percent to 28 percent margin, ending taxpayer support for NPR.

Public broadcasting's flaws are far outweighed by the enlightenment it spreads
Vivian Schiller may be a blithering something or other, but whatever she says or does should not be reason enough to defund America's public broadcasting system.

Wintering in
One outdoor fixture will be spending the winter indoors, as it dries in preparation for refurbishing next year.

Siskins, redpolls flock to Juneau when it's coldest
I was asked often in November about the flocks of little brown birds that were seen swooping in unison from tree to tree. Sometimes a whole flock would whirl up and take off for some other location. These flocks were often quite large, numbering 300 or more birds, and just how hundreds of birds can fly so close together without bumping into each other is a wonderment.

Multi-Agency avalanche training on Turnigan Pass
TURNAGAIN PASS - The Alaska Mountain Rescue Group, along with multiple search and rescue organizations, will conduct a large-scale interagency avalanche training exercise Saturday and Sunday in the Turnagain Pass area.

Birdwatchers across the country scan the skies for Arctic birds
ANCHORAGE - This month marks the 50th anniversary of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center closed this weekend
JUNEAU - The Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center will be closed temporarily this weekend.

Sign up for gear, learn to Nordic ski with 4H club
JUNEAU - The Juneau 4H Nordic Ski Club will hold its yearly registration and equipment rental from 1 to 3 p.m. on Sunday at the Bill Ray Center.

Travel to Ushuaia, Argentina and the Arntarctic Peninsula with latest Travelogue
JUNEAU - Loren and LaRae Jones will present a Travelogue on "Ushuaia, Argentina and the Antarctic Peninsula" at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 14 at the Goldtown Nickelodeon.

SAIL/ORCA hosts annual Lu'au
JUNEAU - Southeast Independent Living and Outdoor Recreation & Community Access (ORCA) are holding their annual Lu'au from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Saturday at the Augustus Brown Swimming Pool.

Former local vies for Paradise host position
A former Juneau resident has been selected as a semi-finalist in a worldwide host search for a new travel television series, "Paradise Hunter."

Run for fun with Girls on the Run
JUNEAU - Girls on the Run of Southeast Alaska is hosting a fun run to celebrate the end of the season beginning at 10 a.m. on Saturday at the Dimond Park Field House. Presented by AWARE, the run is a 5K and girls in grades three through five from Harborview, Gastineau, and Riverbend Elementary schools will end their season with this celebratory event.

Wild shots
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Today, Dec. 10

Snow & Grooming report
As of Dec. 9 the following trails have been groomed and/or tracked:

Jury deliberates on firearms case in U.S. District Court
The case of a man charged with illegally possessing a firearm is in the hands of a Juneau jury after attorneys delivered closing arguments Thursday in U.S. District Court.

Today's Fairweather sailing canceled
The Alaska Marine Highway System canceled the sailing scheduled for 8 a.m. today of the ferry Fairweather, according to a press release from the Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities.

Anchorage Assembly approves holiday fireworks
ANCHORAGE - Anchorage residents will be able to set off fireworks this New Year's without worrying about the law.

Mayes picked to head senior, disabilities agency
ANCHORAGE - Gov. Sean Parnell has picked a new director for the Division of Senior & Disabilities Services.

Eaglecrest to decide on opening today
The staff at Eaglecrest Ski Area will make a decision today regarding opening this weekend. General manager Kirk Duncan said as of Thursday, around one foot of additional snow was needed. He said there will be a meeting at 4 p.m. to make a final decision regarding the weekend.

Repairs planned for Southeast weather buoy
JUNEAU - The Coast Guard says plans are under way to repair a faulty weather buoy in Southeast Alaska.

Murder conviction in Anchorage freezer body case
ANCHORAGE - A man who killed his friend with a skillet, cut up the body and stored it in a freezer was convicted in Anchorage of second-degree murder and tampering with evidence.

Tax dispute near end with Alaska contractor
FAIRBANKS - A dispute over property taxes that has dragged on for two years may be settled soon between a Fort Wainwright housing contractor and the city of Fairbanks.

Bears, Falcons hope to impress in Wasilla
This is it for Juneau's prep wrestlers.

Falcons with a whole new look
The name on the front of the jersey stayed the same, but the Thunder Mountain boys' basketball team is full of new faces.

Bears begin conference play tonight on home ice
Now is when it all starts to count for the Crimson Bears hockey team.

Parnell approves new education commissioner
Anchorage elementary school principal Michael Hanley has been named commissioner of the Department of Education and Early Development, replacing Larry LeDoux, who was ousted by Gov. Sean Parnell.

Murkowski, Begich split on defense vote
JUNEAU - Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski has joined with Republican colleagues to block legislation that would have allowed gay troops to serve openly.

Pebble mine opponents object to 'legal terrorism' tag
ANCHORAGE - A group of Alaskans fighting the state over permits for the Pebble Mine wants an apology because they say the person representing mining companies accused them of "legal terrorism."

Group developing efficient homes for rural Alaska
FAIRBANKS - With high fuel prices and harsh winter climes, constructing energy-efficient housing in rural Alaska communities can be a difficult task that is compounded by the prohibitively high costs.

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