Varni strikes out in a new direction
Roy Varni was 79 when he published his first book, but his output has still surpassed what some writers produce in a lifetime. The local author, now 84, recently published his second book and is knee-deep into a third.

'Journey on the Wild Coast' film debuts in Juneau Friday
Juneau audiences will get their first chance to see “Journey on the Wild Coast” this Friday, when the movie makes its local debut at the Juneau Douglas High School auditorium. It will be shown at 7 p.m.

Arts at Egan opens Friday
Arts at Egan opens spring series with lecture on Perseverance production of “The Blue Bear”


Top audiobooks of 2010
My favorite audiobooks I’ve listened to this year:

JAHC to host “One Night Stands” on Tuesdays
Throughout the month of January, the Juneau Arts & Humanities Council will host a series of Tuesday evening art shows highlighting the work of artists who have recently received individual artists grants from the arts council. The series, called “One Night Stands,” will kick off with a group show by Juneau Douglas High School student artists, led by grant recipient and JDHS art teacher Heather Ridgway. The students will show pieces in wood and ceramics, as well as digital artwork. The show runs from 5-7 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 11, in the JAHC gallery space.

Mid-Winter Vocal Festival performance held Saturday
Juneau Lyric Opera will present its annual Mid-Winter Vocal Festival performance at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 8 at Chapel by the Lake.

More First Friday openings and exhibits
The Rookery Cafe

Fireside Lecture at the glacier to feature Hyde book on Romeo
The Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center will host its first Fireside Lecture of the season on Friday, Jan. 7. Local photographer John Hyde will talk about his new book, “Romeo: The Story of an Alaskan Wolf,” and show photos of Juneau’s famous black wolf against the backdrop of the animal’s home territory of Mendenhall Glacier and lake.

Schedule begins Friday

Juneau Student Symphony holds first winter rehearsal
The Juneau Student Symphony will hold its first rehearsal of the season from 6-8 p.m. Monday, Jan. 10, in the JDHS band room. At the rehearsal, which is free and open to all, the student symphony will review their winter repertoire, which includes Brahms’ “Academic Festival Overture,” as well as “The Life of the Child,” a piece written for the student orchestra with parts for very young violinists and recorder players. The rehearsal will conclude with a “stumble-through” of the recently orchestrated violin concerto by Seitz, which will feature Youth Concerto Competition winner, Solomon Unziker, on the violin solo.

Gold Street music concert includes Unzicker, Kuhar
Gold Street Music will present its monthly folk music concert at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 8, at Resurrection Lutheran Church, located at the corner of 10th Street and Glacier Avenue. Featured performers are Guy Unzicker, George Kuhar, Steve Nelson, Schoenfeld & the Empty Oil Barrel Band, and John Lager & Friends.

JDU registration under way for winter and spring classes
Juneau Dance Unlimited is currently registering students for the Winter/Spring 2011 semester classes. The class schedule and registration forms are available at

Alaska Litho joins First Friday art walk
The newest stop on the First Friday circuit isn’t a gallery, a cafe or a museum. It’s a business involved in the nuts and bolts of the art world: Alaska Litho, via their Seward Street satellite, Copy Express.

All that Alaska Jazz: Archie Cavanaugh
When Archie Cavanaugh says, “Listen to this,” you listen. Ever since he was a teenager in Kake in the ’60s, he’s been writing and playing music for Alaskans to dance to.

What to look for in 2011
L ess than a week into the New Year, and about half of us have already fallen off the resolution wagon. Right? I happen to know my little sister’s New Year’s Eve declaration (“I won’t eat any cheese!”) lasted less than 48 hours. Me, I didn’t even bother going through the motions of making half-hearted promises to myself. Instead of getting too carried away with life examinations, why not take a look at something we will all be doing at some point in 2011?

Happy music year
N ew Year’s Day is such a better holiday than Christmas. The only traditional purchase to make is alcohol, which for many isn’t different from any other weekend. The only guilt surrounding the holiday is self-imposed on the subject of resolutions, rather than in relation to gift-getting. There are no rules about how the holiday is to be celebrated — anything goes.

'The Blue Bear:' A peek at the rehearsal process
Perseverance Theatre’s production of “The Blue Bear,” which opens Jan. 15, is based on a memoir written by Juneau wilderness guide and local author Lynn Schooler. Adapted for the stage by the author’s sister, Luan Schooler, the story focuses on the friendship between Schooler and Japanese photographer Michio Hoshino, and the two men’s intersections with water, wind and the wild of Southeast Alaska as they search for a rare “glacier” bear whose fur appears blue.

New young adult titles
New books for young adult readers are shelved with adult fiction but distinguished by their yellow-green stickers. I am Number Four, by Pittacus Lore.

Cool reception to cartoon
First of all, let me say how much I appreciate having the Juneau Empire as part of my morning routine. There are days when I find less to read than others but, on the whole I appreciate the mix of local, state and national news, and can spend a pleasant hour with it. I am not a “sports fan” but two recent photos of Carlos Boozer have made me proud of him as a “Juneau boy.” They showed him in the midst of tough competition with a huge smile on his face. We should all be so happy in our work.

Medal of Honor recipients visit Juneau
Looking out at a sea of young United States Coast Guardsmen, 67-year-old retired U.S. Army Maj. Drew Dix, a Medal of Honor recipient said, “The faces don’t change, the uniforms do.”

All four Eaglecrest lifts up and running
The chair lifts at Eaglecrest Ski Area are back up after some setbacks last weekend. General Manager Kirk Duncan said all lifts are now functioning properly, and all will be in full use this weekend.

Temporary ice rink option examined
Juneau’s Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee on Tuesday evening examined an option for a temporary ice rink at Marine Park Plaza.

IRS changes deadlines for coming filing season
New Year’s Day has passed, which means tax season is coming up fast. In preparation, the Internal Revenue Service has announced some changes to look out for.

Police & Fire
This report contains information provided to the Empire from law enforcement agencies. This report includes arrest and citation information, not conviction information. Anyone listed in this report is presumed innocent.

Perseverance Theatre wins $600K in grants
Perseverance Theatre won a pair of multi-year grants totalling $600,000 to support existing and new initiatives, according to a press release issued last week by the theater.

Police and fire
This report contains information provided to the Empire from law enforcement agencies. This report includes arrest and citation information, not conviction information. Anyone listed in this report is presumed innocent.

'President Madison' visits Auke Bay
Students at Auke Bay Elementary were treated to a presidential visit Tuesday when the fourth United States president spoke at several classes.

Second 'Romeo' assailant sentenced for game violations
Jeffrey Peacock of Lebanon, Pa, the hunter who was guided by Juneau resident Park Myers during a series of big game hunting violations that included the shooting of a black wolf widely believed to be one called “Romeo,” was sentenced at a change of plea hearing in Juneau District Court on Tuesday.

Photo: Heading to the chipper
Nick Waldo tosses the family Christmas tree onto the pile to be recycled at the Capitol Disposal Waste Management’s Lemon Creek Landfill on Wednesday. This Saturday, Jan. 8, is the last day to drop off trees. The trees will be chipped by the city’s street department weather permitting. The chips will be free to the public in the same location at the landfill.

Residents: Don’t move the ‘Zac’ center
Residents seem to be supportive of the long-range Willoughby District Land Use plan except for one thing: Don’t touch the Zac Gordon Youth Center.

JPD arrests two for heroin distribution
The Juneau Police Department arrested two people for selling heroin this week, according to press releases from the department.

Katherine E. Shaw
Katherine E. Shaw died Dec. 19, 2010, in Juneau. She was 101.

My Turn: It's not about the wolf
It’s hard to miss the discomfort in what Judge Levy is quoted as having said at Jeffrey Peacock’s sentencing hearing (Juneau Empire, Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2011). On the one hand, the court felt constrained to impose a sentence as if it was a “typical fish or game violation”, but on the other hand, the court acknowledged, a lot of people are upset and angry over the killing of the black wolf known as Romeo. Why the disconnect? Why are so many of us left feeling intensely dissatisfied with the way our representatives in the judicial system have handled the cases of Park Myers and Jeffrey Peacock? This is Alaska, after all; why should the killing of one wolf have so many of us so riled up?

A blow to a liberal Pakistan
The assassination of Salman Taseer, the governor of Punjab, Pakistan’s largest province, has illustrated the increasingly chaotic environment in that country, which only promises to get worse in the new year. Weeks before his death, Taseer had the courage to say what his fellow politicians were unwilling to: that Pakistan’s blasphemy law must be repealed in order for Pakistan to enter the community of modern nations.

Outside editorial: The pragmatic president
The following editorial first appeared in the Los Angeles Times:

Outside Editorial: Coming soon to a pump near you: Gas at $5 a gallon
The following editorial first appeared in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

Down the nuclear rabbit hole
Seven years after the U.S. government proclaimed victory over the rogue Pakistani scientist A.Q. Khan, the seeds of catastrophe he sowed are still sprouting worldwide. Iran’s march toward an atomic bomb? We have Khan’s nuclear trafficking network to thank. North Korea’s continuing development of nuclear weapons? Again, Khan’s doing.

My Turn: Insights on a developing China
A few weeks ago I completed a business trip to China, a journey I’ve made nearly 20 times since 1991. I offer my observations for the new political season.

Wash. company initiates clover recall
Sprouters Northwest of Kent, Wash. is recalling its clover and clover mix products because they have the potential to be contaminated with salmonella. The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation has confirmed the recalled products have been distributed in Alaska.

Free downtown parking extended
Free parking in the downtown garages has been extended through Jan. 31. Parking in the new Downtown Transit Center garage is free. Parking at Marine Park Plaza also will continue this month. The Marine Park Garage will still offer four hours of hourly parking for free, and there is still a charge for permitted parking.

Mat-Su hires firm to help find new city manager
ANCHORAGE — The Mat-Su Borough is hiring an outside firm to find more candidates for city manager.

Young files bill to delist polar bears
ANCHORAGE — Alaska’s only U.S. representative has introduced legislation to delist polar bears as a threatened species.

Elderly bald eagle dies at National Zoo in DC
WASHINGTON — An elderly bald eagle has been euthanized at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo after falling ill.

Anchorage police search for missing woman
ANCHORAGE — Anchorage Police are searching for a woman who disappeared in April.

Savoonga seeks disaster help
ANCHORAGE — Savoonga is seeking disaster help from the state.

PFD charity drive raises $224,475 so far
Organizers say early 2011 Pick. Click. Give. participation figures indicate almost $225,000 has been pledged by Alaskans to qualified non-profit organizations. As of yesterday morning, 81,805 Permanent Fund Dividend applications have been filed online with 2,975 individuals making 4,414 pledges for a total of $224,475, according to the Rasmuson Foundation.

Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center's Fireside lectures begin Jan. 7
The free Fireside Chat lecture series hosted by the U.S. Forest Service at the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center begins Friday. Twelve programs will feature a variety of speakers on topics related to natural and human history. Presentations occur each Friday at 6:30 p.m. and repeat at 8 p.m. during January, February and March. The series kicks off this Friday with photographer John Hyde remembering Romeo, the Mendenhall black wolf.

Alaska man accused of stealing copper wire, tubing
FAIRBANKS — An Alaska man has been accused of stealing $4,000 worth of copper wire and tubing from a Fairbanks pipe company.

Alaska oil production falls
ANCHORAGE — Oil production on the Alaska North Slope has fallen 7 percent in 2010.

Christmas tree recycling continues through Saturday
Christmas trees can be recycled for free through Saturday. All tinsel and ornaments need to be removed before trees are brought to the Lemon Creek landfill, 5600 Tongass Court at the city recycling center. Landfill hours are 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday; 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Saturday. Fresh wood chips also are available. Call 780-6009 for more information.

Resentencing trial set for SD murder suspect
RAPID CITY, S.D. — A resentencing trial has been scheduled to begin July 5 for an Alaska man who pleaded guilty to murdering a South Dakota man about 11 years ago.

Judge: Homeless camp raids unconstitutional
ANCHORAGE — An Alaska judge has ruled that the municipality of Anchorage’s policy of raiding homeless camps is unconstitutional.

Moose rescued after falling into river
FAIRBANKS — A moose that fell through the ice into a river was rescued by a group of people who hauled it out of the water using a rope tied around the animal’s neck.

NTSB urges inspections of emergency transmitters
WASHINGTON — Federal safety officials investigating the Alaska plane crash that killed former Sen. Ted Stevens called for the inspection of emergency locator transmitters on planes to ensure they are properly mounted and will function after a crash.

Authorities capture escaped felon
An inmate considered dangerous escaped from a Palmer prison on Wednesday, prompting a roughly six-hour search that ended in the man’s capture.

BP closes site over loss in Slope rent dispute
ANCHORAGE — BP PLC has closed a small portion of the Prudhoe Bay oil field following a judge’s ruling that federal regulators didn’t get approval from the land owners.

New Anchorage fireworks law may be modified
ANCHORAGE — Some Anchorage Assembly members say they want to repeal or modify a new law that allowed fireworks on private property over New Year’s Eve.

Music teacher charged with sex abuse
ANCHORAGE — An Alaska high school music teacher who is facing sex abuse charges told police he was in a “very dark place” when he crossed the line with the first choral student.

Cancer claims Crawford
ANCHORAGE — Larry Crawford, who held top posts for an Alaska governor and four Anchorage mayors, has died at age 73.

Palin's retweet on 'don't ask' raises questions
ANCHORAGE — Online pundits are trying to interpret Sarah Palin’s stance on “don’t ask, don’t tell” after she echoed an Internet post by a conservative lesbian commentator who slammed the opposition to the policy’s repeal.

EPA board stops Shell's Arctic clean air permits
ANCHORAGE — Alaska Native and conservation groups have succeeded in challenging clean air permits granted to Shell Oil to drill exploration wells in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas.

Sen. Murkowski sworn in after long legal battle
WASHINGTON — After losing her Republican primary, winning an unprecedented write-in campaign and then surviving weeks of legal challenges, Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska on Wednesday was sworn in to her second full term in the U.S. Senate.

Natural gas plan ready for financing
FAIRBANKS — The Alaska Gasline Port Authority and its partners say a plan to expand natural gas supplies should be ready for financing this spring and could be delivering gas before 2013.

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