Rosemarie Alexander, KTOO - Juneau

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Rosemarie Alexander is a reporter at KTOO in Juneau.

Former Alaska Governor Bill Sheffield says it’s time for Alaska to build its own gas pipeline. Sheffield has been stumping the state on his own dime to promote the Alaska Stand Alone Pipeline – or ASAP. The acronym is appropriate, he says, because Alaska is on the threshold of an energy crisis and needs the gas As Soon As Possible. Sheffield says some communities are already over the edge.

Dirt has been turned for the new State Libraries, Archives and Museum in the capital city. The project to hold Alaska’s treasures in one building is already underway, as contractor PLC Construction prepares the ground behind the current Alaska State Museum.

The 28th session of the Alaska State Legislature is underway. Lieutenant Governor Mead Treadwell gaveled in the House of Representatives a few minutes after 1 p.m., and the Senate about 2 p.m.

When legislators enter Alaska’s capitol building soon for the session, they won’t have to be concerned about falling debris. Gray lumber hugs the marble columns at the entrance to the Alaska State Capitol – to support temporary scaffolding meant to catch anything that might break off the 80-year-old building’s façade.

Bells across Alaska rang at 9:30 Friday morning in memory of the 26 victims who were shot to death one week ago at an elementary school in Connecticut.

Alaska joined with the rest of the nation on Monday to cast its Electoral College ballots for U.S. President and Vice President. The state has three electoral votes.

Alaska’s westernmost point is actually in the Eastern Hemisphere. Attu Island is the last in the Aleutian Chain, and closer to Russia than Alaska’s mainland. The fog enshrouded island doesn’t get many visitors, but earlier this month, the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Sherman and some of her crew called, each with their own unique tie to Attu.

British Columbia environmental officials have approved a new route to the Tulsequah Chief Mine that avoids several traditional Native use areas and eliminates the need for Taku River barging. A Canadian company hopes to re-open the old mine by 2015.

You may recall stories recently about two Alaska walrus pups going to new homes in big city zoos. The pudgy cute faces of Patak and Mitik were seen nationwide as the youngsters made their way to Indianapolis and New York City zoos. National reports indicated they were rescued from the ocean off Alaska. But that’s a pretty big place. KTOO’s Rosemarie Alexander narrowed it down with the help of a former Juneau resident who lives in Barrow and visited with one of the walrus pups.

The Holland America Oosterdam pulled out of Juneau at 6 p.m. Wednesday, ending the cruise ship season for the year. About 925,000 passengers visited Alaska’s capital city this summer, according to Juneau Convention and Visitors Bureau President Lorene Palmer.

Need a bridge? It’s not the usual thing to see in the classifieds, but the state of Alaska wants to unload the 47-year-old Brotherhood Bridge, which spans Juneau’s Mendenhall River.
The Tulsequah mine sits above the Tulsequah River which flows into the Taku River.

Juneau Mayor Bruce Botelho is asking Canadian environmental officials to come up with a plan to treat Acid Rock Drainage from the Tulsequah Chief Mine at the headwaters of the Taku River.

The state of Alaska next month will ask the federal government to approve new education standards to replace the so-called No Child Left Behind program. The state has requested a waiver from the federal law, which has vexed educators for a decade. State education officials are now in the process of adopting new assessments to replace Adequate Yearly Progress.

Three Arkansas teenagers charged with the death of Kevin Thornton of Juneau will be tried individually. Hot Spring County Circuit Court Judge Ed Koon has ordered the case be severed. Kevin Thornton was visiting the Malvern area in July 2011, when he was allegedly assaulted by the boys, then ages 16 and 17. He died of his injuries a week later.

NOAA scientists are combing Alaska beaches again in their search for marine debris from the 2011 tsunami that hit Japan.

A water treatment plant at the Tulsequah Chief Mine project in British Columbia has been shut down. Mine owners Chieftain Metals shut off the plant on June 22. The company says it cannot continue spending money on water treatment without any mine income.

Marine debris is nothing new, and a NOAA crew found little of note in last week’s survey of outside Panhandle beaches.

Alaska Supreme Court Chief Justice Walter "Bud" Carpeneti of Juneau has announced his retirement, effective January 31, 2013. Carpeneti was appointed to the state superior court in Juneau in 1981 by Governor Jay Hammond. Voters retained him in that position three times - in 1986, 1992, and 1998. Governor Tony Knowles appointed him to the Supreme Court in 1998. He was retained by voters in 2002.

The Alaska Supreme Court says the candidate filing deadline for the August primary will remain June first. The court this afternoon denied a Democratic Party petition to delay the candidate filing deadline for two weeks. In a petition filed Tuesday, ADP director Kay Brown said multiple redistricting plans have created uncertainty over new district lines. The Alaska Supreme Court last week threw out the Redistricting Board’s latest plan and adopted the April 5 version. The ruling came just ten days before the June 1st candidate filing deadline.

Juneau and the Southeast region fared well by the 27th Alaska State Legislature. Before the regular session ended, lawmakers appropriated $2.9 billion for construction and maintenance projects statewide, and $450 million in general obligation bonds to be approved by voters next November.