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Friday, January 1, 2010

Bright moments of 2009: A look back
It would be hard to live in Juneau and not be affected in some way by the vibrancy and variety of our arts community. For a small city, we are blessed with abundance in all areas of the arts, and the talent we encounter in our neighbors and friends is often staggering.

Juneau Dance registration underway for Jan. 4 classes
Juneau Dance Unlimited is currently registering students for its winter and spring 2010 semester classes. Classes begin Monday, Jan. 4 and continue through May 30.

Juneau Lyric Opera Mid-Winter festival runs through Jan. 8
This year's Juneau Lyric Opera Mid-Winter Vocal Festival will celebrate the music of Broadway. Guest artists for the festival are conductor Dr. Byron McGilvray and accompanist and vocal coach Janis Capelle. Classes are offered Dec. 29 through Jan. 8 and include group voice, festival chorus, and master class.

Mickey Avalon to perform Jan. 7 at Marlintini's Lounge
Mickey Avalon, one of hip-hop's most enigmatic stars of the last several years, will perform in Juneau at 8 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 7 at Marlintini's Lounge.

Stepping out on New Year's
Here's a look at what's going on around town tonight.

Empire contributors share their arts picks for 2009
Top five reads, from Empire bookreviewer Jonas Lamb

Sherlock Holmes, the action star
Who knew Sherlock Holmes was an action star? I always pictured Holmes as a sort of snooty, but relaxed, older guy. Good thing for "Sherlock Holmes" it wasn't me behind the camera. Guy Ritchie has that title. Yeah, the director of "Snatch," "Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels," and "RocknRolla" is the guy they (whoever "they" is) chose to bring Sherlock Holmes to the big screen.

Indigo Piano Trio to perform Monday
Two accomplished young Alaska muscians and a third from Canada will perform Monday in a two-part classical program featuring works by Piazzolla, Debussy, Bach, Ysaye, Mark Summer and Dvorak.

Woodford, Wygant, Oil Barrel Band play January Gold Street concert
Juneau recording artist Riley Woodford will be among at least seven musicians taking the stage for the Jan. 2 Gold Street Music concert.

Alaska String Band to perform Friday
Fresh from a 10-week tour down South, The Alaska String Band is back on home turf, and will perform for local audiences Friday night.

New audio books include Baldwin's 'Another Country'
We're adding lots of new fiction audiobooks on cd for fans of mysteries, thrillers and classics. Look for new titles by Colleen McCullough, T.C. Boyle, and P.G. Wodehouse in addition to the titles below at our public libraries.

Arts & Culture CALENDAR
ART, EVENTS &PERFORMANCE

More stations should broadcast in HD
When I was in Anchorage, we stayed in a hotel that had satellite television broadcasting by the DISH Network. All of the local television stations that are broadcast in Southeast Alaska and in Anchorage were broadcast in high definition.

Resolve to practice tolerance in New Year
In this time of holidays and of bringing cheer to others, hate crimes seem very foreign. Thus the revelation of a young couple in Anchorage being prosecuted for perpetrating a crime of hate against an Alaska Native last summer seems completely out of season, both then and now. The couple not only harassed this man, they threw bottles and eggs at him and pushed and kicked him, all the while taunting him with racial slurs. They then put their attack on YouTube (since removed).

3G service arrives for AT&T customers
Surfing the Internet while on the go got faster for some people in Juneau this week as AT&T expanded its 3G network.

Juneau's top stories in 2009
Editor's note: Due to space constraints, not every story on our list was able to make it into print. Below are our Top 10 selections, chosen by relevance to the Juneau community.

Journey through space
About 7 p.m. Dec. 29, around 40 Juneauites took a journey through space and time - to New Zealand, on Dec. 19.

Around Town
Today, Jan. 1

Photo: Capital performance
Members of the Juneau-Douglas High School dance team perform Wednesday during the Capital City Classic.

Around Town
Today, Dec. 31

Local man arrested on assault charges
Police arrested a 20-year-old man Wednesday night on felony domestic violence assault and resisting arrest charges after allegedly attempting to strangle a 41-year-old man in a Lemon Creek apartment.

Juneau sends city employees new pay offer
After reducing its budget by $4.5 million over the next two years, the city is rescinding its request that its largest union entirely forgo a contractually scheduled pay increase.

Police seek felon allegedly involved in shooting
Police are seeking help from the public to locate a convicted felon allegedly involved in a shooting inside a Lemon Creek apartment Wednesday night. Nobody was injured.

Juneau residents express hope for new year
Peace and health; wilderness and exercise; promotions and capital-staying power.

Free cabs offered for New Year's Eve
There is never an excuse to drink and drive and this New Year's Eve there is no reason anybody should get behind the wheel drunk in the capital city. Free cab rides are being made available throughout Juneau for the holiday.

Drunk Pelican man arrested for trying to flee van
An inebriated 49-year-old Pelican man was arrested Tuesday night after trying to avoid detainment for public intoxication.

ANB supports new subsistence groups
The Alaska Native Brotherhood has raised $10,000 to form two organizations to protect Native subsistence rights.

Photo: Whale song
Holiday lights interpret whale song at the Noyes Outdoor Pavilion at the University of Alaska, Southeast on Tuesday.

Police & Fire
Juneau police and fire officials reported:

Tongass truce?
The following editorial first appeared in the Anchorage Daily News:

Empire editorial: Resolutions for Juneau in 2010
It's that time of year again - saying good-bye to the old, ushering in the new, and setting goals for the upcoming year. Here are a few resolutions that should help get Juneau off to a good start in 2010:

City facing more drastic measures to avoid crises
A month ago, I requested that Juneau's general bargaining unit forego a negotiated 3 percent pay raise scheduled to take effect on Jan. 1. I have decided to withdraw that request and instead ask that they agree to defer the pay increase to Jan. 1, 2011. I do this after a thorough re-examination of the city's financial condition, which I outline in more detail below.

Despite cracks, crystal ball sees all in new year
A year ago, we predicted Sarah Palin's resignation as Alaska's governor. Unfortunately, we missed almost everything else, including overly optimistic forecasts of Kay Bailey Hutchison's gubernatorial prospects and congressional approval ratings. Undaunted, we're back to try again in predicting 2010.

Ought Lang Syne
A turn of the calendar page and the ringing in of a new year is usually meaningless to me; my least favorite holiday. This year I'm making an exception. The decade of the "oughts" has been for naught, the most depressing in my lifetime, and it won't be over soon enough for me. I'm ready to celebrate almost anything but what we've had since 2000.

Changing demographics told story of the past decade
For many Americans, the decade we are now closing began on Sept. 11, 2001, not Jan. 1, 2000. And why not, given 9/11's magnitude?

Don't mess with success in new year
Have you made your New Year's resolutions yet? No? I haven't either, because I have come to realize that if you live long enough you pretty well become accustomed to the way you are and find it tedious to try remaking your body, behavior and mind.

Rare moon a treat for infant 2010
Juneau residents may have missed the partial eclipse of the moon Thursday morning due to an untimely sunrise and moonset, but it's unlikely they missed the brilliant fullness that graced clear skies New Year's Eve.

Local otters make recent tracking trip a family affair
Just before Christmas, I returned from a sojourn in Chile. I left on one of the longest days of their year and returned to one of Juneau's shortest days. To help myself get back into winter mode and shake off the staleness of airplanes and airports, I went animal tracking in the fresh snow.

Eaglecrest promotes 'Learn-A-Snow Sport Month' for January
Gov. Sean Parnell is urging Alaskans this winter to get off the couch and into the outdoors.

Resolving to improve fruitcake, training habits and resolutions
No fruitcake was harmed in the making of this column. At this time next year, however, there will be serious damage to fruitcakes as I am resolving this year to make a more edible fruitcake.

On the hook
Show us your big fish

Unit 4 closures announced for brown bear, mountain goat
JUNEAU - Hunters are reminded that all of Unit 4 is now closed for the hunting of brown bears (registration hunt RB077) beginning Thursday, Dec. 31. Additionally, the registration hunt (RG150) for mountain goats on Baranof Island is now also closed.

Wild shots

Anchorage hires attorney for pending beluga negotiations
ANCHORAGE - Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan has hired a former federal fisheries official to help negotiate through pending federal designation of critical habitat for Cook Inlet's beluga whales.

Troopers recover stolen hockey gear
FAIRBANKS - Troopers have recovered hockey equipment stolen in November from Delta Junction.

Bohrer named AP's Juneau correspondent
JUNEAU - Becky Bohrer, a reporter for The Associated Press in New Orleans, has been named correspondent in Juneau.

Tainted North Pole water wells under investigation
FAIRBANKS - Public health officials say they're about a month away from determining the safety of water near the Flint Hills refinery in North Pole after numerous wells have been found tainted by chemicals.

Judge says jury should hear Trooper shooting case
ANCHORAGE - A federal judge says a jury should decide whether Alaska State Trooper Jesse Osborn was acting with a legitimate police purpose when he shot and killed an unarmed man at a Kenai highway pullout near seven years ago.

Air quality worsens in Fairbanks area
FAIRBANKS - Fairbanks residents have been warned to limit prolonged exertion because of worsening air quality.

Soldier accused of shooting wall
FAIRBANKS - A Fort Wainwright soldier faces a felony weapons misconduct charge because police say he fired several shots through an apartment wall following a dispute with his wife.

Fairbanks poker game ends in gunpoint robbery
FAIRBANKS - Fairbanks police are looking for three men who robbed a group of poker players at gunpoint.

Anchorage Museum sets new 2010 rates
ANCHORAGE - The Anchorage Museum's admission rates increase Jan. 1.

Permanent Fund donation campaign begins today
ANCHORAGE - Alaskans are encouraged to start the New Year off by donating all or part of their Permanent Fund Dividend. Jan. 1 was the first day Alaskans can go online to apply for their PFD, and it's the second year they'll have the option to Pick. Click. Give. to qualifying nonprofit organizations, community foundations or campuses of the University of Alaska.

Captain, second mate of grounded tug relieved of duties
ANCHORAGE - A tugboat captain and second mate have been relieved of duty after their vessel ran aground on the same reef as the Exxon Valdez 20 years ago.

Parnell issues storm disaster declaration
JUNEAU - Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell has issued a state disaster declaration for the city of Seward and the Kenai Peninsula Borough for damage caused by a sea storm.

Skate park closing through February
JUNEAU - Pipeline Skate Park will be closed for repair and maintenance starting Monday and lasting through Feb. 27.

Recycling Christmas trees begins Monday
JUNEAU - Your Christmas tree may not be getting any greener, but it can help you be.

Interim Alaska forester appointed
JUNEAU - U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell announced Thursday the appointment of Ruth Monahan as acting regional forester in Alaska.

Black Bear chairlift back in new year
JUNEAU - Eaglecrest Ski Area's new Black Bear Chairlift will start the year off right by returning to operation today, one day earlier than expected.

13 state attorneys general threaten suit over health care deal
COLUMBIA, S.C. - Republican attorneys general in 13 states say congressional leaders must remove Nebraska's political deal from the federal health care reform bill or face legal action, according to a letter provided to The Associated Press Wednesday.

US grandparents lose international custody battle
BOISE, Idaho - The Idaho Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that two orphaned children will remain with their grandmother in Argentina, not with family members in California who also wanted custody.

Hacker attacks restaurant's network
ANCHORAGE - Police said the source of credit card information taken from hundreds of Anchorage residents was a family-owned restaurant in South Anchorage.

Husband finds body of missing wife
ANCHORAGE - Anchorage police say the body of a woman has been found, four days after her husband reported her missing.

Crimson comeback
The Crimson Bears staged a stirring fourth-quarter comeback Wednesday, scoring 26 points in the final frame to upend Palmer 56-49 in the last game of the Capital City Classic at Juneau-Douglas High School.

Defense does it
The girls' basketball season is barely five games old for Juneau-Douglas, but the last team of the past decade and the first team of the new decade already has the look of something special in the making.

Sports in Juneau
• Beginning today, 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

Girls' crowned Classic champs
Juneau-Douglas tallied its lowest offensive output of the season, but the team's defense made up the difference.

Falcon boys win holiday thriller
Thunder Mountain pulled out a 46-45 thriller against tournament host Monroe Catholic on Tuesday after what proved to be the game-winning lay-up from Reese Saviers with 21 seconds remaining.

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

Coast Guard investigates tugboat grounding
ANCHORAGE - The Coast Guard is running two parallel investigations into the tugboat grounding on Bligh Reef last week.

Minimum wage to increase today
Minimum pay for hourly work today goes to $7.75 an hour, up from $7.25.

Photo: Crystal clear
The sun sets behind Steve Dean as he works on an ice carving depicting the head of a walrus sitting atop a pair of mukluk footwear Sunday afternoon in front of the University of Alaska Museum of the North in Fairbanks. Dean said he returns to Alaska every year in the winter to create eye-catching carvings for various local businesses.

Palin led strange year in politics
ANCHORAGE - Sarah Palin stepped down as Alaska governor and became larger than life. Former U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens saw corruption charges dropped but not forgiven. And two convicted state lawmakers were freed pending reviews of their bribery cases.

Prudhoe Bay oil spill as much as 100 gallons now
ANCHORAGE - BP now estimates as much as 100 gallons of crude oil may have spilled in an area around a well house where a pipe broke in the Prudhoe Bay oil field, Alaska officials said Tuesday. BP's initial estimate was 3 gallons of oil.

Senator wants gas price regulation
ANCHORAGE - A state senator from Anchorage is calling for gas prices to be regulated, saying oil refineries have been gouging Alaskans at the pump

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