Tuesday, December 22, 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.

Toy, coat donations made by ton
The Coast Guard Cutter Liberty returned to port several thousand pounds lighter last Friday after spending a week and two trips delivering donated blankets, coats and toys to Pelican, Elfin Cove, Hoonah, Kake and Angoon.

Photo: Hoops for Charity
Gov. Sean Parnell presents UAS/YAAY team captain James Wilson with the Hoops For Charity invitational basketball tournament open division championship trophy Sunday night at Thunder Mountain High School. UAS/YAAY beat Canton 107-104 in the title game.

Around Town
Today, Dec. 22

Around Town
Today, Dec. 21

Correction
An A1 story in Thursday's Empire about herring reported two boats caught more than 10,000 tons. The boats in fact caught 1,000 tons each.

Police & Fire
Juneau police and fire officials reported:

Police & Fire
Juneau police and fire officials reported:

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.

Solstice brings more daylight to Juneau
Monday marked the first day of winter, but for many Juneau residents that's irrelevant.

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

Photos: Keeping vigil for those out in the cold
The Rev. Kim Poole leads a prayer Monday during a Glory Hole vigil at Marine Park, held for homeless people who have died in Juneau. Glory Hole Executive Director Mariya Lovishchuk lights a candle for each homeless person who was remembered in the vigil. About 30 people attended the event.

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.

Photo: Giving tree
Members of Juneau's Downtown Business Association pose with the winners of the annual Trees for Christmas Walk for Charity. Clockwise from top left are Bob Coghill, Larry Spencer, Betsy Fischer, Sharon Malaby, Teresa Aschenbrenner, Alicia Smith, Anna Cramer and Thomas Cramer. A tree from Foggy Mountain Shop was year's winner of the $1,000 donation, dedicated to Big Brothers & Big Sisters of Juneau.

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

Floyd McGonegal
Former Juneau resident Floyd Austin McGonegal died peacefully Oct. 27, 2009, in Portland, Ore., after having suffered a long illness. He was 92.

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 Dec. 19, 2009, peacefully in her sleep surrounded by loved ones in Juneau. She was 79.

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

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.

Outside editorial: Reconfirm Ben Bernanke
The following editorial appeared in the Seattle Times:

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.

Snow jobs in Washington
There were two snow jobs in Washington over the weekend. One came from the sky as a record December snowfall blanketed the city. The other came from Capitol Hill, where the Senate labored to cover up the real effects of its massive "health care reform" bill.

A decade that should humble everybody
A decade ago, the planet was preparing to party like it was 1999. Except that technology experts told us the world might go haywire because of an ominous computer glitch called Y2K, which might bring an end to life as we knew it at the strike of midnight that would bring the year 2000.

To fly, but not to sleep
As we cram into airplanes this holiday season, there is an aspect of air travel that we're likely to be putting out of our minds -- pilots asleep at the yoke and flight attendants so tired their mental states can be likened to a drunken stupor.

School board considers new bond package
PALMER - The Matanuska-Susitna school board may want a rematch.

NOAA observer fined for sexual harassment
KODIAK - A NOAA Fisheries groundfish observer has been fined $1,000 after admitting he created a hostile work environment for another observer.

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

Ex-officer to lead Anchorage police
ANCHORAGE - A former deputy Anchorage police chief is the new head of the department.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Palmer street plan hits speed bump
PALMER - The effort to create one-way streets in downtown Palmer has taken a U-turn.

Bethel may revisit alcohol question
BETHEL - Petition gatherers seeking to restore Bethel's damp status say they have enough signatures to put the question on the ballot.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

Crew repairs engines on freighter in N. Pacific
ANCHORAGE - The crew of a crippled freighter adrift in the stormy North Pacific for several days repaired its engines Monday morning and the vessel continued on its voyage to Portland, Ore.

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.

Seward Highway neighbors seek speed limit drop to 45 mph
ANCHORAGE - People who live off the Seward Highway are tired of observing accidents along the winding, scenic road, so they have asked the Alaska Department of Transportation to lower the speed limit from Indian to Bird to 45 mph.

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.

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.

Film highlights North Pole Santa letters program
FAIRBANKS - As a student at North Pole Middle School, Kaleb Yates answered letters to Santa Claus as have thousands of other middle school students in the Christmas-themed town since the 1980s.

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.

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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