CBJ panel scheduled to take
public comment on potential off highway vehicle park
Public comment will be taken at Tuesday evening's
meeting of the Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee
on possible locations for an off highway vehicle park.
Parks and Recreation Director Brent Fischer was a guest
on Capital Chat Monday.
The department asked the National Off Highway
Conservation Committee for help this summer in
identifying potential areas.
He says the group identified four areas since they feel
no one area will accommodate all uses.
The areas included a parcel of land at Mile 35 that the
city has been assessing.
Another was in the Lemon Creek area near Costco which is
currently used as a gravel pit.
They also looked at two other areas that were considered
and rejected in the past, but this time with a different
One was the rock quarry on Fish Creek Road leading to
Eaglecrest that Fischer mentioned. He says the group has
come up with different ideas and alternatives to
The other is the rock quarry owned by Goldbelt at the
end of the road by Echo Cove.
The PRAC meeting convenes at 6 p.m. in Assembly Chambers
at City Hall.
Nankervis: Progress being made on housing
An important issue for Juneau Assemblymember Jerry
Nankervis is the creation of additional housing in
He shared an update he received from Community
Development Director Hal Hart this week while a guest on
Action Line this morning.
The update reveals that year to date there have been 58
new homes built and 62 multi-family dwellings added to
the housing stock. In addition, there have been 325
residential remodel applications some of which could
include what are referred to as mother-in-law
Nankervis believes the emphasis placed on the issue by
the Assembly and changes it directed made have helped.
He says that emphasis will continue in the future based
on the Assembly's recent retreat that identified top
Nankervis says they t re-emphasized the importance of
the housing issue and made it its second top priority.
Air emergency declared for
The first air emergency of the season has been declared
for the Mendenhall Valley.
It was issued at 7:20 Tuesday morning due to the temperature
inversion in the area.
All woodstove and fireplace burning is prohibited except
for pellet stoves.
The impacted area extends from the airport north to the
Mendenhall Glacier, west to Montana Creek, south along
the east shore of Auke Lake and includes the east half
of the Mendenhall Peninsula.
For an update on the status of the Air Emergency
LeConte sailings canceled again
The state ferry
LeConte sailings for Thursday, Dec. 5 have been canceled
due to ongoing repairs on the bow thruster.
The vessel is scheduled to
complete sea trials late Wednesday, Dec 4. Upon
successful testing of the bow thruster, the ferry will
transit from Ketchikan to Juneau Wednesday night and
will resume scheduled service as early as Friday, Dec.
6. Further updates will be provided as necessary.
AMHS staff is contacting
affected passengers; for more information, please call
your local terminal by dialing 1-907-465-3941 or
toll-free at 1-800-642-0066.
Parnell wants reduced spending
in next budget
BECKY BOHRER, Associated Press
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — Gov. Sean Parnell says he'd like
to see state spending well below current levels for the
upcoming fiscal year.
Parnell is expected to release his budget proposal next
He says revenues are expected to be lower because of
lower oil prices and declining production. The
Legislature earlier this year passed an oil tax cut
aimed at spurring more production.
Critics said the cut could put the state treasury at
risk, but Parnell says the revenue coming in under the
new tax will be comparable to that of the old system at
He says he wants to address one of the biggest drivers
of the budget: the nearly $12-billion unfunded pension
liability. He also wants a capital budget focused on
maintaining state infrastructure and finishing projects
Juneau's Catholic Bishop to head
Diocese of Juneau Bishop Edward Burns was selected
during last month's meeting of the U. S. Conference of
Catholic Bishops in Baltimore to chair the
organization's Committee on Child and Youth Protection.
According to Catholic Anchor Online, the newspaper of
the Archdiocese of Anchorage, Bishop Burns' three year
term will begin at the conclusion of the group's General
Assembly in the Fall of next year.
Bishop Burns, who had served as one of 16 committee
members, was selected to serve as chair of the committee in
a 118-114 vote over Bishop Robert J. Cunningham of
Syracuse, New York.
The article explains that the committee exists to advise
the bishops “on all matters related to child and youth
protection and the restoring of trust between the
bishops and the church including a sensitivity to the
impact on culturally diverse communities.”
Federal extended unemployment
Benefits end Dec. 28
JUNEAU, Alaska—In accordance with federal law, the
Emergency Unemployment Compensation program is ending.
The last payable week of EUC is Dec. 28, regardless of
any remaining balances. The program will end as
scheduled, unless extended by Congress.
The EUC end does not affect those receiving regular
state unemployment benefits of up to 26 weeks.
The Employment Security Division, which administers the
Unemployment Insurance Program, has notified about 6,500
unemployed workers in Alaska who will be affected by the
ending of the federal program.
Those affected have been notified about alternative
resources for household aid, including contacting the
Alaska Department of Health and Social Services for a
public assistance eligibility assessment and United Way
of Anchorage’s Alaska 2-1-1.
Alaskans affected by the loss of EUC benefits are urged
to contact the nearest Job Center for job search
assistance, resume building assistance and other
employment services to aid in a transition to
sustainable employment. The Alaska Job Center networks
may be contacted online at Jobs.Alaska.Gov or by calling
Begich provides updates
on Sealaska Lands Bill and budget talks
Alaska U. S. Senator Mark Begich addressed a wide
ranging number of issues during a press availability
He was asked about the status of the Sealaska Lands
Bill. Begich feels the measure has good support among
He thinks what's going on now is a survey of
congressional members to determine if there are
additional lands for other states that could be
incorporated into an omnibus lands bill.
Begich isn't sure if such a measure will be ready by the
end of the year.
It's possible the Sealaska Bill could be approved
separately through unanimous consent, but Begich doesn't
feel that will be the case.
On another subject, Begich says he's told a budget deal
between the House and Senate could come to fruition next
week, but he says he's not too optimistic about it at
Without an agreement by January 15th, Begich says they
would face another potential shutdown.. He doesn't think
that's probable, but adds, "You just don't know."
Murkowski names new
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski has a new
Kate Williams has taken over for Tara Shaw, who left to
join Wyoming Sen. Mike Enzi's office. Murkowski's
office, in a release, says the Juneau native will
oversee Murkowski's legislative efforts in Washington.
The release says Williams is a lawyer whose resume
includes work in Sen. Ted Stevens' office, working for
the Alaska Oil and Gas Association and serving as oil
and gas counsel on Murkowski's Energy Committee team.
State releases oil tax
BECKY BOHRER, Associated Press
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — The state has released regulations
to implement Alaska's oil tax law, including use of
metering to help determine what oil qualifies for
special tax breaks.
The law, aimed at spurring more production, sets a 35
percent base tax rate and provides a capped, per-barrel
credit that the Parnell administration expects will
apply to the vast majority of the legacy fields.
It also provides tax breaks for so-called "new" oil.
Lawmakers debated how best to define new oil. Metering
would relate to one type of new oil, that coming from
acreage added to existing producing reservoirs.
Separate meters wouldn't be required for each well,
addressing an industry concern. But Rep. Beth Kerttula
worries the regulations create a loophole that would
allow oil from existing pools to get a better tax rate.
Unemployment insurance tax rate
A change in the state's unemployment insurance tax will
result in a smaller bite out of paychecks.
Governor Parnell says that the change amounts to a total
savings of 89 million dollars in 2014. That's money that
would otherwise be automatically withheld. It's one of
the few state taxes most Alaskans pay.
The rate for 2014 is dropping to 2.59 percent from this
year's 3.32, still split about 70-30 between employers
The Legislature in the last session enacted Parnell's
proposal to suspend UI tax increases when the state's
insurance fund is solvent.
Ketchikan man arraigned for
alleged assault on Coast Guard officer
A Ketchikan man was arraigned in Juneau Monday on a
charge of assault on a federal officer.
The U. S. Attorney's Office for Alaska says 55 year old
Jon William Munhoven pled not guilty.
According to the information presented to the court, by
Assistant U. S. Attorney Jack S. Schmidt, Munhoven was
contacted by the U. S. Coast Guard on September 2 in
response to a disturbance on a private vessel outside of
He was removed from the vessel onto the Coast Guard
patrol vessel and placed in restraints.
The indictment alleges that Munhoven was hostile and
aggressive as the patrol boat towed the vessel to port.
He's accused of injuring a Coast Guard officer by
kicking the officer in the face.
Schmidt says the law provides for a maximum total
sentence of 20 years in prison, a fine of $250,000, or
Munhoven remains jailed pending trial, according to
Minister charged with
distributing child porn
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A 57-year-old Anchorage
minister has been charged with possession and
distribution of child pornography.
Ronald Paul Rathbun Sr. was arrested Nov. 26 at his home
in east Anchorage. Police announced the arrest Monday.
The Anchorage Daily News reports Rathbun is a pastor at
Eternal Love Ministry, which is housed in a one-story
building in Boniface Plaza.
Det. James Estes says Alaska State Troopers tracked
child porn images to Anchorage and turned the case over
to police. Rathbun was arrested after additional
investigation and a search of his home.
Police say Rathbun is a retired state employee.
Police say Rathbun had access to children and detectives
are seeking information about possible additional
victims of child sexual exploitation.
Rathbun's bail is set at $15,000.
(Anchorage Daily News)
2 men injured in fight over
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — A Fairbanks man looking for a
piece of pie the day after Thanksgiving has been charged
with felony burglary and assault.
Fairbanks police say 26-year-old Kyle David Wilcox
unsuccessfully tried to talk an east Fairbanks apartment
neighbor into sharing an apple pie, and after a fight
broke out, both received minor stab wounds.
The man with the pie told police that Wilcox appeared to
be drunk as he sought a piece of the pie and forced his
way into the apartment with another man.
The man in the apartment told police he defended himself
with a steak knife and was wounded as he struggled with
Wilcox remained jailed Tuesday with bail set at $15,000.
The state court data base did not indicate Wilcox was
represented by an attorney.
(Fairbanks Daily News-Miner)
Santa hat helps
Bellingham police catch suspect
BELLINGHAM, Wash. (AP) — Police say a car prowler
suspect in Bellingham nearly got away by boarding a bus.
The Bellingham Herald reports the 18-year-old suspect
made it easy for officers to spot him last weekend by
wearing a red and white Santa hat.
(The Bellingham Herald)
Bail set at $200K for
alleged Seattle ferry thief
SEATTLE (AP) — Bail is set at $200,000 for a 33-year-old
sex offender who is accused of stealing a Victoria
Clipper passenger ferry from a Seattle waterfront.
Authorities say Samuel Kenneth McDonough illegally
boarded the $8 million vessel and took it out into
Elliott Bay on Sunday.
He's being held in King County Jail for investigation of
burglary, reckless endangerment, malicious mischief, and
an outstanding warrant for failure to register as a sex
A King County judge set his bail Monday. Prosecutors
have until Wednesday to formally charge him.
It's unknown whether McDonough has an attorney of
UPDATE: Eaglecrest "Cinderella Story" continuing
Voting in the final four of Powder Magazine's Ski Town
Throwdown is set for today and Tuesday.
Juneau's Eaglecrest ski area representing the Great
White North bracket goes up against Mt. Bohemia,
Michigan representing the Big East.
Eaglecrest Manager Matt Lillard says you can vote once
every 24 hours. So he says if you vote at 8 Monday
morning, you have to wait until after 8 on Tuesday
Lillard says The Great White North is favored in the
competition by Powder Magazine editors. He says the
editors believe that will be the case since that region
has had the biggest voter turnout.
As of about 2 p.m.
Tuesday, Eaglecrest was leading Mt Bohemia 3,944 to
The other two finalists are Stevens Pass in Washington
State and Crested Butte in Colorado.
Go to the Eaglecrest web page for voting links.
Eaglecrest Opening Day Dec. 7
Dec. 2, 13 – A flurry of activity is taking Eaglecrest
Ski Area by storm in preparation for the limited Opening
Day on Dec. 7.
Eaglecrest announced that
Porcupine Chair will run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. to
service the Muskeg and Dolly Varden trails. A small
terrain park feature will be set up on Dolly Varden as
“The snow making system at
Eaglecrest is adding nicely to the snow Mother Nature
has already sent our way,” says Eaglecrest General
Manager, Matt Lillard. “The upper mountain needs a bit
more snow before we can safely open it.
Lift tickets for adults,
seniors, and teens will be $15; youth and children
tickets will be $10. Eaglecrest also plans to open the
Rental Shop during operating hours, as well as the
Eaglecrest Grill and Mountain Lift Coffee with select
menu items. The Snow Bus will not be in operation for
The Snowsports School will
hold beginning ski and snowboard lessons. Advanced
reservations for limited openings can be made by calling
907-790-2000, ext. 211
Eaglecrest Hilary Lindh
Scholarship competition underway
Juneau, AK - Nov. 25, 13 – Eaglecrest Ski Area is
excited to hold the Annual Hilary Lindh Scholarship
Competition again this year. The Scholarship Competition
is hosted by the Eaglecrest Board of Directors, which
will award four 2013/2014 Season Passes. Two passes will
be awarded to each division; kindergarten through
fifth-grade, and sixth through twelfth-grade.
Scholarship winners will
be chosen based on scholastic achievement, competitive
spirit, and financial need. “We are looking for students
whose competitive spirit reflects Hilary Lindh’s
commitment to ski racing,” says Julie Jackson, Community
Outreach Supervisor at Eaglecrest Ski Area. All
applicants who turn in completed application packets and
meet all judging criteria will receive an Eaglecrest
lift ticket and equipment rental.
Applications are available
at all Juneau Public Schools, Raven & IDEA Home School
offices and online at SkiJuneau.com. These should be
submitted to Eaglecrest via fax, e-mail, or mail.
Alternatively, applications may be submitted in person
at the Eaglecrest Ticket Window or any Juneau Public
School by noon, Friday, Dec. 5. The 2013 recipients will
be announced via SkiJuneau.com on Monday, Dec. 16, 2013.
The Hilary Lindh
Scholarship Competition was established in 1992 in
recognition of Lindh’s Silver Medal in the 1992 Winter
Olympics At a young age she started skiing at Eaglecrest
and began dedicating years of hard work to downhill ski
racing. Lindh was inducted into the U.S. Ski and
Snowboard Hall of Fame in April 2006 and the Alaska
Sports Hall of Fame in February 2009.
For questions regarding
the 2013 Hilary Lindh Scholarship Competition visit
SkiJuneau.com or call Eaglecrest at (907) 790 – 2000,
Pedestrian critically injured in
Anchorage by pickup
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Anchorage police say a
50-year-man was critically injured when he was struck by
a pickup as he crossed a street.
Spokeswoman Jennifer Castro tells the Anchorage Daily
News that the truck hit Nicholi McCarlo at about 9 a.m.
Monday on Boniface Parkway near Camelot Drive.
Castro says by email that McCarlo stepped into traffic
from the center of the road.
The driver of the pickup stayed at the scene.
No citations were issued.
(Anchorage Daily News)
Fairbanks firefighters in
aerial bucket catch falling woman
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — Fairbanks firefighters in the
bucket of a platform truck caught a woman as she fell
from an eighth floor downtown window.
The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports the woman had
threatened to jump Monday morning from the Northward
Building apartment window and it wasn't clear if she
fell or jumped when she was rescued.
She was taken to Fairbanks Memorial Hospital for
Fairbanks Police Lt. Matt Soden says the woman is in her
mid-30s. She doesn't live in the building.
Emergency personnel spotted the woman with her feet
dangling from the window.
Firefighters brought in the platform truck, which has a
100-foot aerial arm with a bucket on which firefighters
Firefighters say the woman dropped from the window as
the bucket approached and firefighters caught her.
(Fairbanks Daily News-Miner)
Holiday open house at
Governor's House set for Tuesday, December 10
The Governor's Annual Christmas and Holiday Open House
is scheduled for next week.
The Governor's House will be open for the event from 3
to 6 p.m. Tuesday, December 10.
A release from the Governor's Office says more than
24,000 cookies are being prepared and more than 100
pounds of fudge and chocolate candies will be served.
Members of the Governor's cabinet will serve hot apple
cider and holiday treats to guests waiting in line
outside the residence.
Entertainers from local community and school groups will
perform both inside and outside the residence.
Gingerbread houses made by Dzantik'i Heeni Middle School
students will be on display, according to the release.
Forecast calls for strong Cook
Inlet sockeye run
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Alaska state fishery managers
are predicting a strong sockeye salmon run in Upper Cook
Inlet next year.
The Alaska Journal of Commerce says the 2014 forecast by
the Alaska Department of Fish and Game expects 6.1
million sockeyes, or red salmon.
The forecast, released last month, also included a
predicted range of between 4.4 million to 7.8 million
At the 6.1 million level, Fish and Game calls for a
total harvest of 4.3 million sockeyes and an escapement
of 1.8 million fish to all rivers, mainly the Kenai
Upper Cook Inlet sockeye are caught in personal use,
sport, subsistence and commercial fisheries.
About 2.6 million sockeyes were caught in regional
commercial fisheries this year. About 3.4 million fish
was the average harvest between 2003 and 2012.
(Alaska Journal of Commerce)
Alaska Students Named to U.S.
Senate Youth Program
JUNEAU -- John
Walsworth of Homer and Shanelle Afcan of Marshall have
been named Alaska’s representatives to the U.S. Senate
Youth Program by the Alaska Department of Education &
John Walsworth is a senior
at Homer High School. Shanelle Afcan is a senior at Mt
Edgecumbe High School, the state-run boarding school in
In addition, each student
receives a $5,000 scholarship. The program, including
all expenses for Washington Week, is funded by the
Hearst Foundation. Grant Ackerman and Emily Sexton, both
of Fairbanks, were named alternates.
Two student delegates from
each state, the District of Columbia, and Department of
Defense schools will participate in an intensive
week-long educational program in Washington, D.C., in
March. Students will hear policy addresses from
senators, cabinet members, officials of the Departments
of State and Defense, and directors of federal agencies.
Students will meet a Supreme Court justice. Members of
the military serve as mentors.