Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Encouraged by bipartisanship
In the spirit of working together, it is good to see that the state Senate has again created a Senate bipartisan coalition. By reaching across the aisle and solving differences, much more can be accomplished for Alaska.

Don't experiment on the Taku River
On Dec. 10, I attended the Redfern hovercraft meeting at Centennial Hall. As most of us know, this issue revolves around using large hovercraft barges to transport goods on the Taku River to and from the mine. As we all also know, the Taku watershed is one of the most beautiful and productive fisheries in Southeast Alaska, and is used by many Alaskans and tourists for recreation, commercial fishing and ecotourism.

'New' hoverbarge is 'lipstick on a pig'
We have all heard the saying lately, so I won't repeat it again. However, Redfern's newest hoverbarge proposal is still experimental, unproven and unworthy of the Taku River.

Cluster bombs
I am traveling in Asia, and I just saw an article on the BBC that children in Laos are still being killed and injured by ordinance that we dropped there in the Vietnam War.

Assembly considers circulator shuttle
A few smaller buses running exclusively in downtown Juneau could come at intervals as frequent as every 10 minutes and free up the city's larger buses for expanding service elsewhere, a public transportation consultant told a Juneau Assembly committee Monday.

Water, sewer rates poised to increase
Water and sewer utility rates are poised to increase following a Juneau Assembly committee recommendation.

Suspect in rape was diagnosed as bipolar
The man charged with kidnapping and raping a 15-year-old Juneau girl was in court-ordered therapy for mental illness earlier this year, according to court documents.

Photos: Winter Wonderland
Dan Arnold sits in a precarious position to have his picture taken by friends Tuesday in front of the Mendenhall Glacier. Arnold is in the U.S. Air Force and is in town training with the Air National Guard. Danny Babcock helps his son, Cade, 5, learn how to skate Tuesday on a pond in front of the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center. Many Juneau residents took advantage of the clear, cold weather to explore the ice and snow. Today's forecast calls for continuing sun, breezy conditions and highs around 21.

Photo: Whooping cough vaccinations
Megan Dallas, 8, leans over to look at her father, Brian, as he receives a Tdap vaccine Tuesday at Floyd Dryden Middle School. The clinic will move to Dzantik'i Heeni Middle School from 2 to 8 p.m. today. There have been a growing number of Pertussis (whooping cough) cases reported in Juneau this year.

Alaska's three electors vote for McCain-Palin
Alaska's three Electoral College voters cast their ballots Monday for U.S. Sen. John McCain and Gov. Sarah Palin, marking the first time an Alaska electorate voted for a governor from this state.

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

Photo: Ice road truckers
A truck hauls gravel Tuesday around Mendenhall Lake to the new Nugget Falls trail.

Around Town
Today

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

Around Town

Allen Herrick
Former Juneau resident Allen Douglas Herrick died recently at his home in Benicia, Calif. He was 48.

Aidan Neary
Juneau resident Aidan Taylor Francis Neary died Dec. 10, 2008. He was 14.

Lloyd William Grant
Former Juneau resident Lloyd William (Nunny) Grant died Dec. 7, 2008, in Seattle, Wash. He was 48.

Outside editorial: U.S. should plug Blackwater hole
Five Blackwater security guards indicted in the shooting deaths last year of 17 Iraqi civilians are innocent until proved guilty, and even if convicted might be freed because of ambiguities in U.S. law. But the Justice Department is right to seek to put before a jury its allegation that the guards recklessly caused a bloodbath on Sept. 16, 2007.

My turn: Research an important draw for university
One of the University of Alaska Southeast's great strengths is its faculty. Not only is the university still small enough to have great student-teacher ratios across the board, but the teachers themselves consistently seem invested in working with their students to enrich the students' experiences and enhance their level of understanding.

My turn: Mining pays its way
On Dec. 9, Dave Atcheson's My Turn enumerated the "inequity" between the mining and oil and gas industries in that mining doesn't pay as much tax. Therein, Atcheson mentioned his kindly neighbor, who allowed his "spouting off" regarding the "insane" Pebble copper mine project. In contrast, oil and gas appears to be the White Knight. And indeed it is. What other industry could afford to pay 90 percent of state government expenses? Answer - none.

Alaska editorial: Praise for Palin's plans to back state health initiatives
Gov. Sarah Palin has proposed some excellent health care initiatives that will make a big difference to affected families in the coming year.

My turn: In defense of Yaakoosge Daakahidi and its students
There was an article recently about Yaakoosge Daakahidi Alternative High School students sanding blocks that would be used both as Christmas gifts for children of some of the students and as donations to local charities.

The recession's silver lining
Call it the gospel of hard times. With all this bad economic news, we're starting to hear a chorus of voices preaching the cultural benefits of financial crises.

Gravel to be delivered near Mendenhall Lake
JUNEAU - The U.S. Forest Service is having gravel delivered to the Nugget Falls trail construction site across the frozen Mendenhall Lake shoreline, the agency said Monday. The trail will connect the visitor center to the waterfall.

Coogan pleads guilty to drug charge
JUNEAU - The week before his trial was scheduled to start, 25-year-old David Coogan pleaded guilty on a lesser charge for trying to smuggle oxycodone, a prescription painkiller, into Juneau.

Air emergency issued in Valley
JUNEAU - City officials announced Monday afternoon an air emergency in effect for the Mendenhall Valley, banning woodstove burning until further notice.

Four reappointed as presiding judges
ANCHORAGE - Presiding judges in Alaska's four judicial districts will have familiar faces.

Kassel says he won't pursue further counts
FAIRBANKS - Karl Kassel says his fight to unseat Mike Kelly for a place in the Alaska House is over.

Sitka company pays fine to EPA
JUNEAU - Allen Marine Inc. has settled with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to pay a $15,300 penalty for filling Sitka tidelands without a federal permit, the agency said Tuesday.

AMHS adds Angoon stop for shoppers
JUNEAU - The Alaska Marine Highway System ferry LeConte will depart Hoonah early Dec. 22 with a stop planned in Angoon to accommodate holiday shoppers this year.

Stadium shooting trial near deliberations
ANCHORAGE - A prosecutor gave his closing argument in the trial of two men accused of firing shots across the Anchorage Football Stadium.

Fairbanks grants $10,000 to Quest
FAIRBANKS - The Fairbanks City Council will give $10,000 to the Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race.

Lawmakers question numbers in budget
ANCHORAGE - State lawmakers are expressing skepticism over Gov. Sarah Palin's claim that her proposed budget will not produce a deficit.

Whooping cough vaccines available
JUNEAU - State health and Juneau school officials are offering whooping cough vaccines today and Wednesday at two area middle schools.

City looks to expand library mail program
FAIRBANKS - The Fairbanks North Star Borough is hoping to expand its Library By Mail program.

Two Rivers woman wins sled-dog race
ANCHORAGE - Jessica Hendricks of Two Rivers has won the first distance sled-dog race of the season, taking the honors at the Sheep Mountain 150.

GSC finishes age group event
Juneau's Glacier Swim Club got an impressive look at its present and future a week ago at the Alaska Age Group Championships in Ketchikan, and an even brighter look at its present in Austin, Texas, this past weekend.

JRC wraps up singles tourney
The Juneau Racket Club successfully hosted the area's first juniors-only singles tournament last weekend - even if it was three weeks late.

JDHS JV team tops Canadian tourney
It's third time's the charm for the Juneau-Douglas High School Crimson Bears junior varsity boys' basketball team.

JDHS grad gets RMAC weekly award
Juneau-Douglas High School graduate Mary Rehfeld was named the NAIA Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference's co-Player of the Week after leading Colorado Sate-Pueblo to a pair of home wins last week.

2008 Alaska Age Groups Swimming Championships

Parks & Rec. Adult Ordway Basketball League Standings

Sports in Juneau

Palin offers 'prudent' budget
Gov. Sarah Palin rolled out her proposed budget for next year in Juneau on Monday.

Commission urges raises for lawmakers
Gov. Sarah Palin, state legislators and other top government leaders are being recommended for pay increases of 20 percent or more under a plan set in motion by the Alaska Legislature earlier this year, before the precipitous fall in the price of oil and the recession hitting hard.

Democrats defect to Republican majority
Three Democrats from rural Western Alaska districts have left the House's Democratic Caucus to join Nikiski Republican Rep. Mike Chenault's Majority Caucus, Chenault announced Monday.

Two trillion tons of ice have vanished since '03
WASHINGTON - More than 2 trillion tons of land ice in Greenland, Antarctica and Alaska have melted since 2003, according to new NASA satellite data that show the latest signs of what scientists say is global warming.

Agency says accelerant poured around Palin's church before fire
ANCHORAGE - An accelerant was poured around the exterior of Gov. Sarah Palin's church before fire heavily damaged the building, federal investigators said Monday.

Legislative salary recommendations came from knowledgeable group
Legislative pay increases have long been a politically touchy issue, especially for legislators who might find themselves facing tough re-election battles.

Federal regulators recommend cutting Alaska pollock catch
ANCHORAGE - Federal regulators have advised cutting the pollock catch.

Prosecutors say witness lied to protect Jerry Ward
ANCHORAGE - Former state Sen. Jerry Ward persuaded a witness in the trial of U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens to invent a story about an immunity deal and then lie about it to protect Ward from prosecution, according to federal authorities.

Habitat protection proposed for sea otters in Aleutians
ANCHORAGE - A federal agency is proposing habitat protection for Alaska sea otters in the Aleutian Islands, where numbers have dwindled by more than half in 20 years.

Anchorage Assembly to consider 'bear cop'
ANCHORAGE - The Anchorage Assembly will consider a proposal to hire a specialist to track bears in the city.

Photo: Gingerbread quest
A sled dog team is depicted in part of the scene of a gingerbread house contest entry on display Dec. 9 at the Fairbanks Pioneers' Home in Fairbanks. Merrilyn Sanders, a resident of the home, and her creative team worked for nearly a month on their Yukon Quest checkpoint gingerbread village, which earned a second-place ribbon in the Group All Ages category of the 25th annual News-Miner Gingerbread House Contest, held Saturday.

Companions rescue skier buried in avalanche at Turnagain Pass
ANCHORAGE - A skier at Turnagain Pass was buried by an avalanche but rescued by companions.

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

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

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