Monday, December 21, 2009

Bristol Bay Fishermen applaud resolution
Alaska Independent Fishermen's Marketing Association is Bristol Bay's oldest and largest commercial fishermen's organization. AIFMA works tirelessly on its mission: to protect the renewable salmon resource and promote economic sustainability for commercial salmon permit holders in Bristol Bay.

$9.5 million for Johnson Youth Center renovation in Parnell's budget request
The much-needed renovations of the Johnson Youth Center became clearly evident last month after two juveniles escaped from the juvenile detention facility by scaling a security fence and subsequently hiding out in the community.

Housing puzzle
Higher wages, stagnant housing prices and record low interest rates have combined to make housing in Alaska the most affordable it's been in 10 years, according to a recent report from the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

Police & Fire
Juneau police and fire officials reported:

Around Town
Today, Dec. 21

Congregation returns to Holy Trinity church after fire
The congregation of the Holy Trinity Episcopal Church held services in its own new church for the first time Sunday, three and a half years after an intentionally set blaze burned its beloved historic church to the ground.

North Douglas rezoning efforts questioned by area neighbors
Part of the city's plan for increasing affordable housing is increasing density in some of the areas served by its water, sewer and road systems. But neighbors of a 90-acre area recently rezoned in North Douglas are concerned about potential risks: a possible decrease in their property value and increases in traffic, pollution and water runoff, as well as adverse effects on wildlife and area atmosphere.

Claims by Palin in memoir raise local questions
Former Gov. Sarah Palin, who has had a rocky relationship with the state's capital city, says in her book there were some ugly threats made against her daughters while they were attending Juneau schools.

Armed robber allegedly strikes Valley gas station
Police responded to a report of an armed robbery early Sunday morning in the Mendenhall Valley.

Photo: Tasty abode
Recent Juneau-Douglas High School graduate Andrea Axmann carries a gingerbread house through the school Friday afternoon. Her sister, Melissa, had made the house in gourmet class at JDHS and it had to be taken home by the holiday break.

Clarification
Though Mendenhall River Community School teacher Jane Canaday's kindergarten class became the first to use inflatable ball seats when she incorporated them into the classroom last February, Janalynn Ferguson's second grade class at Glacier Valley Elementary has been using the balls since October.

Photo: Something for everyone
Shannon Smith, 3, and Ivy Smith, 6, check out the options displayed Sunday by the "Book Man" greeter at Rainy Retreat Books.

Police & Fire
Juneau police and fire officials reported:

Photo: Window shoppers
The Nylen family peers into a colorful holiday-decorated window Sunday on Seward Street.

Around Town
Today, Dec. 20

Hopefully I'll be home for the holidays
Sgt. First Class Arturo Bautista, of the Alaska Army National Guard, is hoping to return home to Juneau in the next two weeks, but there are no guarantees when your living in Iraq.

Mount Edgecumbe Hospital dietitian earns CDE credential
SITKA - Jennifer Skoog, a patient services dietitian at the SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital in Sitka, has earned a Certified Diabetes Educator credential from the National Certification Board for Diabetes Educators.

Senior menu for the week of Dec. 21-25
Monday, Dec. 21

Searching for the way up this Christmas
Fans of contemporary jazz music will instantly recognize the memorable title of Pat Metheny's 2006 Grammy Award winning album "The Way Up."

Photo: 'Tis the season
Floyd Dryden Middle School student Rebecca Erickson plays violin Tuesday evening during the "Music of the Season" concert presented by the FDMS string orchestra and choir.

Recognitions
The National Student Exchange will announce at its annual Placement Conference in March that Keith Underkoffler, on exchange during the 2008-2009 academic year from Iowa State University to the University of Alaska Southeast, is one of two winners of the Bette Worley NSE Student Achievement Award.

Seeking simplicity for the holidays
We are not big holiday shoppers. With a few exceptions, I like handmade gifts (upcycled are even better). I had hoped that handmade would also inspire simplicity in gift-giving, but every year I seem to set the bar higher and higher for myself, making a longer and longer list of necessary handmade gifts.

Government seeks access to naughty or nice database
We're at DefCon 4. It's time for Santa to cough up what he knows about who's naughty or nice. It's a matter of national security.

Government seeks access to naughty or nice database
We're at DefCon 4. It's time for Santa to cough up what he knows about who's naughty or nice. It's a matter of national security.

Dzantik'i Heeni wins first annual United Way Challenge
In another partnership between the Juneau School District and United Way in the 2009 Live United Campaign, staff at Dzantik'i Heeni Middle School won the first annual United Way Challenge for having the greatest number of donors.

Dzantik'i Heeni wins first annual United Way Challenge
In another partnership between the Juneau School District and United Way in the 2009 Live United Campaign, staff at Dzantik'i Heeni Middle School won the first annual United Way Challenge for having the greatest number of donors.

The true meaning of giving
On Wednesday, Juneau-Douglas High School students came together to spread holiday cheer to the less fortunate. Members of the Mental Illness Teen Health Club (MITH Club), sponsored by National Alliance on Mental Illness-Juneau, went down to Polaris House and handed out holiday gift bags.

Thanks for donating to Juneau Adventist Christian School
The students and board of Juneau Adventist Christian School would like to thank the following businesses and individuals for their generous donations and loving support for our annual fundraising auction. Because of your kindness, we were able to raise more than $3,600 for our new boiler and spring trip. Thank you so very much to:

17th annual Polar Bear Dip to take place on New Year's Day
JUNEAU - The 17th annual Polar Bear Dip will take place at 1 p.m. on New Year's Day at Auke Bay Recreation Area, main shelter.

Thanks, Costco, for helping our Fun Run
The Gastineau Marathon Club would like to thank Costco for helping make our Fun Run on Nov. 13 successful. Knowing that there were ample food and sports drinks available at the end inspired more than 30 runners to brave the snowy trails and run from one to three miles. We appreciate the support.

Thanks to Skinner service customers
To our service customers, some of whom have remained loyal for more than 30 years, thank you for your support. Your faith in us and dedication to us did not go unnoticed or unappreciated.

Humanities council announces three new board members
JUNEAU - The Juneau Arts and Humanities Council is pleased to announce three new board members now serving as Trustees on the Council.

Douglas Indian Association declares five seats open
JUNEAU - Five Douglas Indian Association Council seats are up for election. Enrolled Douglas Indian Association tribal members ages 21 years and older are eligible to vote.

Thanks for making our annual raffle a success
Alaska Youth Choir would like to extend our thanks to the Juneau community for helping to make our annual raffle fundraiser a great success.

Strike it rich and Hit the JACC Putt
There is no Tiger, no Phil and no Annika (Woods, Mickelson and Sorenstam to those not up to the greens) at this golfing layout. But there is a Wii, just not Michelle Wie, and it is at the JACC, not Jack Nicklaus, but the Juneau Arts and Cultural Center.

H1N1 flu vaccine available for all SEARHC patients
SITKA - When supplies are in stock, the SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium now is making H1N1 (swine) flu vaccine available for all of its patients.

SEARHC EMS offers ETT and EMT 1 recert class in Angoon
ANGOON - The SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium Emergency Medical Services department will offer an Emergency Trauma Technician course that also includes a recertification Emergency Medical Technician 1 curriculum this February in Angoon.

Meals on Wheels gift wrap fundraiser held through Christmas Eve
JUNEAU - The annual gift wrap fundraiser sponsored by the Gastineau Channel Senior Centers' Advisory Board is being held through Christmas Eve at the Nugget Mall.

Local charity seeks turkeys for holidays
A local charity is in dire need of donations for its annual Christmas baskets and Adopt-A-Family program.

Get your glitter fix without the mess
I love glitter - tiny sparkly specs of sunshine that light up the wintertime and make the holidays twinkle. And crafters worldwide agree, as they break out their tubes of the glitzy stuff starting each December.

Smith, Bruce wedding
Megan Smith, of Orangeville, Ontario, Canada, and Jarel Bruce, of Orofino, Idaho, were married Nov. 15, 2009, at Skater's Cabin in Juneau.

Bressette, Peterson wed
Kristen Bressette, of Juneau, and Darwin Peterson, of Anchorage, were married Oct. 22, 2009, on the Grand Lawn at the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort in Poipu, Hawaii. A reception followed in the Resolution Gardens at the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort.

Lake, Thibodeau wed
Melody Lake, of Evergreen, Colo., and Kyle Thibodeau, of Juneau, were married Sept. 5, 2009, in Evergreen. A get-together to welcome the bride and groom will be held at 7 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 29, at Chapel by the Lake. All friends and family are welcome.

FYI
Births

Brewery donates tips to food bank
Juneau's own brewery recently donated more than $10,000 - in tips - to the Southeast Alaska Food Bank.

Stanley P. Harris
Former Juneau resident Stanley P. Harris died Dec. 6, 2009, in El Centro, Calif. He was 84.

Charlotte T. Pape
Longtime Juneau resident Charlotte T. Pape died Dec. 15, 2009, at Bartlett Regional Hospital. She was 70.

Rose Marie Ragone
Juneau resident Rose Marie Ragone died peacefully in her sleep on Dec. 19, 2009. She was 79.

James Edward Douglas Jr.
Juneau resident James E. Douglas died suddenly on Dec. 14, 2009, at home. He was 66.

Alaska editorial: Keeping a cool head on cruise ship tax
The following editorial first appeared in the Anchorage Daily News:

Outside editorial: Taxes and death
The old saw about the only certainties in life being death and taxes isn't quite right: We'll also always be arguing about the taxation of death. Because of squabbling in the Senate over the estate tax - one of the nation's most controversial levies - taxes will rise for thousands of middle-class heirs while falling for a small number of the very wealthy.

Guantanamo north?
The Obama administration is right to continue its steady march to close the detention facilities at the U.S. naval base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. But it will undermine the benefits of a closure if it merely moves detainees from one place to another without changing the policies that led to international condemnation of the prison.

News about the news
This era is like no other in American journalism: People are consuming more news than ever, but they're also far more critical of its purveyors than they've ever been. We remain generally agreed that a free press is democracy's cornerstone, but there's less consensus than ever on what the news media ought to be - or, for that matter, what rapid technological, economic and demographic change will allow it to be.

Debunking the climate conspiracy that isn't
I cannot condone some things that colleagues of mine wrote or requested in the e-mails recently stolen from a climate research unit at a British university. But the messages do not undermine the scientific case that human-caused climate change is real.

The coming disaster in college football
The college football bowl season began Saturday, with 34 games scheduled from Dec. 19 to Jan. 7. We expect to hear renewed calls from journalists, fans and politicians for a big-time college football playoff. A panel of the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee recently moved forward with legislation that is designed to change the current football postseason structure and force a playoff, leaving some with the impression that a playoff is the most important issue facing the 120 college presidents who control major college football. It is not.

Americans seem stuck in the spend cycle
During the next week, millions of Americans will shop in a mad dash to beat the holiday finish line. The seasonal chaos will ring up billions on credit cards, as our stockings are once more stuffed to bursting. It's the most wonderful time of the year, to be sure.

Toe Toon
This week's toe toon.

Attorneys say jail opened Wade's mail
ANCHORAGE - Attorneys for an Anchorage man accused of murder say jail officials have violated their client's rights by repeatedly opening privileged mail.

Glory Hole to host candlelight vigil
JUNEAU - The Glory Hole and Front Street Clinic will be holding their annual "Day of Remembrance" candlelight vigil this evening.

Drunk driver gets same prison term
FAIRBANKS - Despite winning an appeal earlier this year for a new sentence, a convicted drunk driver has been sentenced to the exact same prison term.

Two charged with federal hate crime
ANCHORAGE - A federal grand jury has indicted two Anchorage residents on federal hate crime charges after they allegedly attacked an Alaska Native man and posted video of it on the Internet.

Moderate quake strikes Aleutians
ANCHORAGE - A moderate earthquake has struck the western tip of Alaska's Aleutian Islands.

Piles of dead deer turning up near Sitka
SITKA - Investigators are trying to figure out who's been killing deer near Sitka, then leaving them to waste with much edible meat left on the carcasses.

Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center sets holiday schedule
JUNEAU - The Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center will be closed for the holidays Dec. 24-25, and Jan. 1, the U.S. Forest Service announced.

Feds bust Alaska sex trafficking operation
ANCHORAGE - Three Anchorage residents have been arrested and a fourth is wanted following a federal investigation into a sex trafficking scheme that involved 17 women and three girls.

Benson jumps into Alaska lieutenant governor race
ANCHORAGE - Diane Benson is the first Democrat to enter the race for lieutenant governor.

Palin to hold public signing in Wasilla
WASILLA - Former Gov. Sarah Palin will finally hold a public book signing in her home state.

Alaska to show its support for drilling
JUNEAU - Gov. Sean Parnell said the state intends to show its support of a federal decision allowing Shell to proceed with offshore oil exploration.

Smokejumpers convicted of falsifying hunting docs
ANCHORAGE - Seven out-of-state members of a federal smokejumpers crew have been convicted of falsifying fishing and hunting documents.

JDHS trounces Tok
After crushing the Tok Wolverines the first night by a score of 11-0 on Friday, it took Juneau-Douglas about three minutes to go up 2-0 Saturday, and the Bears rolled to a 10-0 win at Treadwell Arena.

Bears aim to reload
After the graduation or transfer of several key players from the 2008-09 state qualifier boys' basketball team, Juneau-Douglas will have a decidedly different look this season.

Senior guard plays for love of the game
For Thunder Mountain senior guard Reese Saviers, basketball is a way of life here in Alaska's capital city.

Bears blanket Falcons
The scoring came early and often at Juneau-Douglas High School last night. But unfortunately for Thunder Mountain, it was one-sided in the Crimson Bears' 85-21 girls' basketballvictory.

Falcons come in second at Soldotna tournament
The Thunder Mountain boys' basketball team returned from their trip to Soldotna, where they finished second in the tournament after a Saturday night loss to the Soldotna Stars in the championship game.

JDHS rolls in first-ever matchup
Juneau-Douglas rolled to an 82-16 win over the outmatched, outsized and undermanned Thunder Mountain Falcons on Friday in the first-ever girls' basketball meeting between the new cross-town rivals.

Photo: Hoops for Charity
Donny Nowlin accepts the Masters Division Basketball Championship trophy from Gov. Sean Parnell on behalf of the Juneau Older Timers. The JOT beat On Our Own 83-62 Sunday at Thunder Mountain High School in the third Annual Hoops For Charity invitational basketball tournament masters division championship. Steve Olmstead led JOT with 24 points, Ray Kitka 13, Pete Easaw and Mark Pusich 11 a piece, Mike Kelly 9, Nowlin and Gary Davis 6 each. Ken Willard and Frank Cornell topped On Our Own with 17 apiece, Fred Wigg 12, Ray Cornell 8, John Folchemer 5, and Donald Gregory 4. Steve Olmstead was MVP.

Sports in Juneau
• Beginning Jan. 1, Sports In Juneau information must be submitted online at http://calendar.juneauempire.com. Submissions via e-mail, phone, fax or other will no longer be accepted. For more information e-mail webteam@juneauempire.com

Ketchikan mill operator trying to switch gears
KETCHIKAN - A local mill operator that's been shut down for a year has a new idea to restart his business, and he's asking the federal government to help out.

Unemployment rate in Alaska remains steady
Alaska's unemployment rate remained steady in November at 8.7 percent, the same as the revised unemployment rate for October. The state's unemployment remains significantly below the national average of 10 percent, according to Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development preliminary figures released last week.

Pollock harvest lowest in 32 years
ANCHORAGE - Federal fisheries managers have set the allowable catch for pollock at 813,000 metric tons for 2010, the lowest in 32 years for the multi-million dollar fishery.

Humans not blamed for demise of mammoth
FAIRBANKS - The case has been cold for thousands of years, but science might have finally cleared humans as a prime suspect in the demise of the woolly mammoth.

Christmas trees showing up with live 'ornaments'
ANCHORAGE - Forget the plastic icicles, brightly colored balls and tinsel.

Cargo ship adrift in ocean off Aleutians
ANCHORAGE - A 740-foot cargo ship is disabled and floating adrift in the ocean 544 nautical miles southwest of Adak on Sunday afternoon. It is encountering 30-foot seas and winds higher than 60 mph, the U.S. Coast Guard reports.

Beetle in Alaska equipped with natural antifreeze
FAIRBANKS - When Kent Walters decided to study an obscure Alaska beetle for his doctoral research project, even he admits the idea didn't sound especially sexy or groundbreaking.

Wasilla felon accused of possessing large arsenal of firearms
WASILLA - Authorities say a 53-year-old Wasilla man amassed a huge arsenal of firearms despite being a felon.

Rural Alaska villages to get high-speed Internet
ANCHORAGE - A partnership between an Alaska contracting company and a firm from the Lower 48 has won the contract to help bring high-speed Internet to areas of Southwest Alaska.

2nd highest three-day snowfall in history hits Valdez
ANCHORAGE - Depending on whether they like snow, residents in Valdez either enjoyed or endured the town's second highest three-day snowfall on record.

Army cuts housing allowance for soldiers
FAIRBANKS - Most incoming soldiers assigned to Fort Wainwright next year will see reductions in their housing allowance, the Department of Defense has announced.

Coast Guard captain says affairs were not criminal
ANCHORAGE - Capt. Herbert "Mark" Hamilton committed no crime while having extramarital relationships with multiple women, his lawyers said at the end of a three-day military investigative hearing.

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