Monday, December 20, 2010

Ehmann responds to article
I am writing to address the allegations against me by the City and Borough of Juneau Assessor, Robin Potter, in the article "Red Dog Owner Challenges City Assessment Methods", published in the Nov. 14 edition of the Empire. Potter described me as a "problem employee" who improperly represented the city. She asserted I was accused by David Coates, co-owner of the Red Dog Saloon, of behaving inappropriately, and she said, prior to my departure from city employment, she spoke to the city manager about "reports" of me making "derogatory" statements about Juneau. The truth, however, is all of these statements are incorrect.

Repealing 'don't ask, don't tell' does not protect our military
My son serves in the military and after a lengthy discussion I am convinced our lawmakers should not repeal the "don't ask, don't tell" policy. The military does not require men and women to shower or to sleep together. The lack of sexual privacy, as well as sex between male and female soldiers, undermines unity, order, discipline and morale. That is why the sexes are segregated in their living accommodations. I would imagine most military personnel of both sexes find being stripped of privacy before the opposite sex to be offensive. In the same way, most heterosexuals dislike being exposed to homosexuals of their own sex. If we respect a woman's need for privacy from men, then we ought to respect heterosexuals' need for privacy with regard to homosexuals.

Photos: An impromptu 'Hallelujah'
Tom Melville is one of nearly 200 people who showed up at the State Office Building Friday to sing Handel's Hallelujah Chorus to the accompaniment of J Allan MacKinnon on the organ.

Photo: Sharing a song
Rico Worl, right, performs at Saturday's Native artist market and guitar jam at Centennial Hall. Betty Marvin, center, and Andy Cadiente also performed at the event, which was sponsored by Sealaska Heritage Institute.

Peer Amid Beads to move into McDonald's downtown building
The corner of Front Street and Seward Street won't be empty after McDonald's leaves that location at the end of the month. Peer Amid Beads is taking over the spot after the first of the year.

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.

Auke Bay students help out at the Glory Hole
Fifth-graders at Auke Bay took their annual canned food drive a step further this year by also volunteering at the Glory Hole.

Panel: JSD board needs more training, communication with grants
A Juneau School District complaint panel found the district needs to improve its management and oversight of grants and increase board training following a complaint filed by the Alaska Native Sisterhood Camp 70.

Photo: Fundraiser setup
Ariel Rolfe places a toy helicopter and flag on top of their Eiffel Tower on Friday as one of nine mini golf course holes are built for the Juneau Arts & Cultural Center's "Hit the JACC Putt" opening on Saturday. This year's theme is board games and Rolfe's represents the war game of "Risk". The fundraiser for the Art's and Humanities Council started Saturday and runs through Dec. 30.

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.

Assembly to consider Centennial Museum historic designation
The City and Borough of Juneau Assembly will consider supporting a state recommendation the Alaska State Centennial Museum be listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

Homemade for the holidays
Southeast Alaskans are blessed with an abundance of evergreen surroundings, yet many of us still trot off to the stores to purchase overpriced holiday greenery for our homes and offices. Here's a quick, fun holiday craft project that will only require a trip to the backyard.

Volunteer Firefighter of the Month
Capital City Fire/Rescue Jesse Hay

Thank you from the family of June Pegues
We, the family of June Pegues, would like to express our gratitude to the Alaska Native Brotherhood Camp #2, Alaska Native Sisterhood Camp#2, Glacier Valley Church of God, Central Council Tlingit & Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska and those who helped us during the loss of our mother/grandmother/sister June Pegues.

Your support keeps us swimming
The Juneau-Douglas High School Swim/Dive Team would like to thank the Juneau community for their support of this year's holiday tree sale. Many folks in the community have been buying their trees from us for years. The tree sale is the largest fundraising event for the team and provides the opportunity for coach and team travel during the competitive season. This year's sale would not have been as successful without the generous support from the Juneau Empire's Mark Bryan, Alaska Marine Lines' Roy Gould and Rob Freeman, Fred Meyer employees Mathew Grayerickson, Jaime San Miguel, Talla Jourdan and Rob Freeman, Richard and Sharon Burns, and Sharon Gaiptman of the Juneau Radio Center and all of the swim/dive parents and athletes that braved the weather selling trees.

In gratitude
To all who kept us in their hearts and prayers, visited John and family, sent flowers, cards or food, made donations or performed other acts of kindness, we thank you.

Thanks for helping with decathlon
Congratulations to the students who competed during the 2010 Southeast Regional Academic Decathlon Tournament held at Juneau-Douglas High School.

BBBS gives back
Big Brothers Big Sisters considers the U.S. Coast Guard a valued partner in providing mentoring to Juneau's kids. This holiday season, BBBS staff was happy to give back to the USCG by helping load the USCG Cutter Liberty with all the jackets, blankets and toys collected during the 13th annual USCG Blanket, Coat and Toy Drive. Despite winds and chilly temperatures, Bigs and staff had a wonderful time loading with the Liberty crew and touring their ship. BBBS hopes the crew of the Liberty have a safe journey as they delivery these donations to Southeast communities. And thanks to the Southeast Waffle Company for rewarding our hard work with complimentary cocoa.

Thanks for supporting diabetes fundraiser
The Mendenhall Flying Lions Club completed their 15th annual Diabetes Barbecue and Auction on Nov. 6. We would like to send a thank you to all of the generous people who showed up to participate in either the barbecue or the auction. The ribs were again a hit, selling out early, and the auction showed the tremendous support from both the donors and bidders.

Thanks for supporting our baby
The family and friends of Miyah Marie Bacon would like to thank everyone who donated to the fund set up for her as well as thank everyone who attended the Spaghetti feed on Dec. 4. The support from the community was overwhelming and very much appreciated. We're pleased to announce that Miyah now weighs 3 lbs. 4 oz. and is breathing completely on her own. The funds donated by the community will be used to cover Miyah's medical needs. Again, thank you for helping our very special little girl.

Thanks for bundling our kids
Juneau Community Charter School would like to thank those who reached out to help our students dress warmly for school. They made sure our kindergarten through 8th grade students will have good winter gear to enjoy the season fully.

Photo: BBBS delivers Christmas gifts with Coast Guard
From left, Caitlyn McLaughlin, Katy Jordan, United States Coast Guard Cutter Liberty commanding officer Brian Tesson and Karla Hart participate in the delivery of items collected during the 13th annual U.S. Coast Guard Blanket, Coat and Toy Drive.

Recognitions
Danielle Beaudry-Beckstrom was elected as Vice President of the Legislation for the American Massage Therapy Association - Alaska Chapter. Beaudry-Beckstrom is a nationally certified massage therapy practitioner. She took her oath of office on Oct. 8 and is currently working with a committee to establish regulations for licensing massage therapists in Alaska.

Juneau-Douglas students recognized for achievements
On Wednesday, ten students were recognized by school staff for their contributions to improving Juneau-Douglas High School, and an additional student received an local award offered annually to a student who inspires others.

Beard envy
I'm a beard guy (or, as some of us prefer to be called, a "whiskered-American") - have been ever since I could grow the spottiest-looking cheek dirt.

Dunker, Talbot wed
Marlowe Abigail Dunker and Anthony Scott Talbot were married on July 17, 2010, on Quadra Island, British Columbia. The groom's aunt, Susan Talbot, officiated the outdoor ceremony.

Photo: Sponsoring imagination
Children gather to send a thank you photo to Dolly Parton for sponsoring the Imagination Library program Dec. 5 at the downtown library. Over 100 people attended the Preschool Family Night event, which was in celebration of the fourth anniversary of the Dolly Parton Imagination Library in Juneau. Family night events are held at 5:30 p.m. on the first Tuesday of each month. To sponsor a child in the program, call AEYC at 789-1235 or contribute online at www.aeyc-sea.org.

The love and the mountains are still there
I just love the mountains in Juneau. I remember the first time I came to Juneau, they looked so lovely they took my breath away. But those first days in Juneau were also kind of lonely for me. I didn't really know many people in town and I missed my loved ones back home. During one of our phone calls, someone in my family advised, "You'll just have to make friends with the mountains." I took their advice.

National Drunk and Drugged Driving Prevention Month
This December, during National Drunk and Drugged Driving Prevention Month, consider what you can do to make injuries and deaths from impaired driving less of a threat.

Pet food drive ends today
Donations of dog and cat food are needed for the Southeast Alaska Food Bank. Look for donation drop boxes today at Alaskan & Proud, Rainbow Foods, Pet Nanny, Walmart, Canines Unlimited, Wee Fishie Shoppe, Super Bear Supermarket and Safeway.

Planetarium to hold free yoga class
In recognition of Winter Solstice, the Marie Drake Planetarium will host "Yoga Under the Stars," a free yoga class led by Cynthia Pring-Ham, at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday. All ages are welcome. Please bring a towel, blanket or yoga mat to sit on. For more information, call 500-2941.

FYI
Recent births at Bartlett Regional Hospital:

Senior menu
Monday, Dec. 20

Kurt J. Pagenkopf
Kurt J. Pagenkopf, a trained aircraft mechanic and FAA compliance auditor for Alaska Airlines, died unexpectedly in his home Dec. 12, 2010, in Kent, Wash. He was 56.

Phillip Edward Patch
Juneau resident Phillip Edward Patch died Dec. 12, 2010 at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

TOE Cartoon

Outside editorial: Where are Haiti's leaders?
The following editorial first appeared in the Miami Herald:

My Turn: Juneau's Poverty, Part II
The Social Justice Committee of Juneau's Unitarian Universalist Fellowship has chosen the issue of poverty for our focus this year. This choice reminds us of one of Yogi Berra's sayings, "You can observe a lot by just watching." And are we watching? Are we watching how many men and women sleep under the bridge on these cold winter nights? Are we watching the numbers of children who come to school hungry and often not adequately clothed? Poverty has many faces and one that bears watching is that of seniors.

The Dreams of Christmas
The Christmas story is in so many ways the story of dreams. Dreams of expectation, dreams of affirmation and warning, prophetic dreams and dreams fulfilled.

Celebrating Winter Solstice
The winter solstice occurs exactly when the Earth's tilt is the farthest away from the sun at its maximum axial tilt of 23 degrees, 26 minutes. This moment will occur at 10:38 p.m. Tuesday. Although the winter solstice lasts only an instant in time, the celebration of this moment can take days depending on where you are in the world. Contained within this moment of tilt is the notion we are moving from increasing darkness to increasing light. This is powerful imagery, regardless of your cultural orientation. However, for many cultures this moment of winter solstice signifies rebirth and involves elaborate festivals and rituals.

Independent media a rarity in Iraq
Journalists are warning that the increasingly partisan nature of the Iraqi press is suppressing fair and impartial media coverage of politics.

My Turn: A welcome new direction on the Tongass
As a custom builder in Sitka, I'd like to run my business using only local woods that come from the Tongass. Unfortunately, it's an impractical goal right now. The easiest way for me to get wood is to buy from Sitka's local lumber yard, which stocks only wood from the Lower 48 or Canada. I scratch my head and wonder why the local yard can not stock wood right from my backyard?

Outside editorial: 'Stinging' would-be terrorists
The following editorial first appeared in the Los Angeles Times:

Fairweather adds trip to Sitka today
The Alaska Marine Highway System added a sailing to Sitka from Juneau aboard the fast ferry Fairweather today to accommodate passengers following Sunday's canceled sailing, according to a release from the Department of Transportation and Public Facilities. The Fairweather is now tentatively scheduled to sail roundtrip between Juneau and Sitka with an 8 a.m. Auke Bay departure. The ship will return to Juneau at 6 p.m.

Hundreds attend rally against violence
PORTLAND, Ore. - Several hundred people showed up for a rally against violence held Sunday at the Pioneer Courthouse Square in Portland.

Man convicted in double homicide gets 101 years
ANCHORAGE - An Anchorage man has been sentenced to 101 years in prison for killing two people.

Coast Guard rescues 5 as fishing vessel sinks
SITKA - A Coast Guard helicopter crew rescued five people who called for help after their 34-foot fishing vessel began sinking in the waters of Southeast Alaska.

Passenger train traffic suspended north of Seattle
SEATTLE - Amtrak has suspended passenger train traffic north of Seattle.

Official defends absentee ballot process in Nov. election
JUNEAU - An Alaska elections official says most of the 54 people who claimed they didn't get absentee ballots were able to vote in last month's election.

Iditarod field grows
ANCHORAGE - The field in the 2011 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race is growing.

Re-sentencing denied for former Fairbanks doctor
FAIRBANKS - The Alaska Court of Appeals says it will not grant a new sentencing hearing for a former Fairbanks doctor convicted of trading prescription drugs for sexual favors.

Study questions need for gas development authority
JUNEAU - A recent audit says a group created to promote getting North Slope natural gas to Alaska communities is at risk of outliving its purpose.

Cheese recalled due to possible E. coli contamination
Sally Jackson Cheese is recalling all its varieties of cheese because of possible contamination with E. coli. The recall affects all Sally Jackson cheeses made from raw cow, goat and sheep milk.

Lodge owner found guilty of numerous violations
ANCHORAGE - A jury found a lodge owner from Wasilla guilty of numerous fishing and wildlife violations.

Summerall trial goes to jury
KODIAK - The fate of one of two men charged with second-degree murder in a 2008 slaying in Kodiak is now in the hands of a Superior Court jury.

Man dies while driving in Lemon Creek trailer park
A man suffered an acute medical condition and later died while driving Saturday morning in a Lemon Creek trailer park, neat the Glacier Highway access, according to a release from the Juneau Police Department.

State could certify US Senate race within hours
JUNEAU - State election officials could certify the disputed Alaska Senate race within hours of a judge lifting his stay.

Conviction upheld in murder of Fairbanks clerk
FAIRBANKS - The Alaska Court of Appeals has upheld the conviction of a man serving life in prison for the death of a 19-year-old convenience store clerk in Fairbanks.

Family enjoys new Habitat home
KENAI - A Kenai family is going to be celebrating the Christmas holiday inside their new Habitat for Humanity home.

Millay laces up her skates to join the boys with Bears hockey
Juneau-Douglas senior Peyton Millay doesn't mind playing with the boys. In fact, she prefers it.

Bears take two from Mariners
It was the final series of a 10-game homestand at Treadwell Arena, so Juneau-Douglas needed to pick up a couple of wins before taking on Mid-Alaska Conference powerhouses West Valley and North Pole.

Inaugural SE Holiday Hoops Classic tips today
The inaugural Southeast Holiday Hoops Classic JV basketball tournament, featuring eight boys' and girls' teams from Southeast, beginning today at 9:30 a.m. at Thunder Mountain High School.

JDHS girls roll to two big wins in Nevada, third game canceled
Alaska's reigning 4A state champion girls' basketball team got off to a hot start during a season-opening weekend trip to Nevada, which saw Juneau-Douglas finish 2-0 with two big blowouts over Douglas and Carson high schools.

TMHS girls finish second in tourney
The girls from Thunder Mountain had a banner weekend in Petersburg, picking up the first two wins in the program's varsity history and finishing 2-1 in the Little Norway Tournament, taking second place overall.

TMHS boys pick up first win
The Thunder Mountain boys' basketball team's early season struggles continued over the weekend during the 31st Annual Service Cougar Tip-Off Basketball Tournament in Anchorage, though the Falcons were able to pick up their first win Saturday.

Photo: Holiday Cup kicks off
It's been a holiday tradition in the capital city since 1992, and this season 32 teams in six different divisions will play for the right to be named champions of the 17th Annual Holiday Cup Indoor Soccer Tournament at Wells Fargo Dimond Field House.

College Watch
• Former SE Conf. preps playing college basketball

High court considers disputed Senate race
ANCHORAGE - Legal wrangling over Alaska's contested U.S. Senate race reached the state Supreme Court Friday, with justices hearing Republican Joe Miller's appeal of a lower court ruling that amounted to a victory for rival Lisa Murkowski.

AEL&P to offer experimental discounts to electric car users
There may not be any all-electric cars in Juneau yet, but the city's electric utility wants to be ready for them if they come.

Alaska's efforts on rural dental care paying off
ANCHORAGE - Alaska's efforts to deliver prompt, affordable dental care to its rural residents is gaining ground here, and providing a model for other states.

Alaska's impaired driving rates improve; still a problem
Alaska was among a dozen states that saw a significant drop in drunken driving, and one of seven with a significant drop in drugged driving, according to national survey data from 2002 to 2005 and from 2006 to 2009, according to state officials.

State sidesteps recession in '10, stocks up cash reserves
If escaping the ravages of the national recession in 2010 and bulking up our state treasury reserves with billions in oil dollars are performance measures, it's been a pretty good year for Alaska.

Hundreds show up for Palin book signing
ANCHORAGE - Hundreds turned up for former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's book signing at a south Anchorage store.

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