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.

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.

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.

Schedule begins Friday


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.

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

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.

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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?

'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.

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.

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.

Rebuild and expand DeHart's Marina
The Juneau Docks and Harbors Board is planning to tear out DeHart’s Marina to make room for a seasonal passenger loading dock for whale watching boats and a four acre parking lot with bus turn around. The plan does not solve the major problems in Auke Bay and will make the existing problems worse.

Fireside lectures for 2011
Friday, Jan. 7 - 6:30 p.m. & 8 p.m. Romeo: Mendenhall’s Famous Black Wolf. Juneau’s well-known black wolf is the subject of photographer John Hyde’s new book ROMEO. Join John as he illustrates his stories with superb photos of Romeo set against the dramatic backdrop of the black wolf’s home territory of Mendenhall Glacier and lake.

Fireside Lectures resume tonight
Photographer and author John Hyde will show Juneau residents an intimate portrait of its beloved wolf, Romeo, this evening as the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center kicks off its historic Fireside Lecture series tonight.

Forest Service to restore river near Sitka
A new partnership in the Tongass National Forest between government and non-government entities will attempt restoration of the Sitkoh River. The effort hopes to help return the river to its original condition, channel it back to its natural path and restore salmon growth. The work area is around 70 miles from Sitka near the confluence of Peril and Chatham Straits.

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.

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.

Hiker rescued after a long night
It was a long night for a lone, injured hiker on Mt. Ripinsky, but one that led to a happy ending the next day.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Photo: Helping Helping Hands
Betty Kaplor of the nonprofit Helping Hands, center, receives a $1,000 check from Shannon Wright, left, and Lynn Bartlett on behalf of the employees of Waste Management Thursday. Bartlett said, “Instead of a Christmas party for the employees we gave the money to Helping Hands, and we know they will put it to good use.”

Photo: Staircase shelter
Under rainy skies, a woman walks to the Downtown Library parking garage staircase Thursday evening.

Ambrosia Rose Phillips
Ambrosia Rose Phillips died on Jan. 2, 2011, in Juneau.

Oil tax structure must be competitive
I recently wrote an article describing why ACES, Alaska’s oil tax system, needs to be adjusted sufficiently to cause the Producers to again invest in Alaska’s North Slope fields and to promote an aggressive exploration program. Oil taxes now supply 90% of our state revenue – the highest ever. The rate of decline in oil flow through the Trans Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS) is increasing. Producer investment in Alaska is decreasing – and no wonder.

Korean trade pact retains many one-sided barriers against American products
WASHINGTON — President Obama’s pursuit of free trade with South Korea evidently assumes that, if at first you don’t succeed, try the same failed approach again and again.

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:

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.

Korean trade pact is a welcome shot in the arm for U.S. economy
WASHINGTON — A funny thing happened in the wake of the midterm elections: Washington entered into an era of bipartisanship, and trade is the unlikely topic of agreement.

Outside editorial: A weapon against drug cartels
Mexico has some of the strictest gun laws in the hemisphere. Citizens are permitted to buy low-caliber firearms for self-protection or hunting, but only after a background check and approval by the defense ministry; they must also purchase the guns directly from the ministry. The goal of this parsimonious approach to allotting firearms is a society free from gun violence. Unfortunately for Mexico, however, its weapons management strategy is sabotaged by an accident of location — its residence next door to the gun capital of the world.

Wintertime hide and seek
With its extreme winter climate and often treacherous terrain, Alaska’s scenic beauty has, unfortunately, also claimed the lives of many back-country enthusiasts over the years.

To the headwaters of Switzer
At the eastern reach of the Switzer Loop Trail, there is an old logging road that goes straight up the hill to end near a long-abandoned beaver pond. On a recent exploratory prowl there, I was accompanied by a two-footed friend and a four-footed friend - although it might be more accurate to say that I accompanied these two, quicker and more agile, hikers.

The stories tracks leave behind
When we speak about tracks at Discovery Southeast we say everything leaves a sign and all signs tell a story. Stories about the natural history of our dynamic temperate rainforest reveal themselves throughout Juneau. One of the best stories I ever read was at Fish Creek with a class of third graders during our mammals unit.

Tips on Tracks: Snowshoe hare
Name of animal: Snowshoe hare (Lepus americanus).

Avalanche danger raises eyebrows of local forecasters
JUNEAU - Juneau's avalanche specialists are cautioning the public about increased avalanche danger in mountainous areas.

Safety training for commercial fishermen offered in Juneau
JUNEAU - Alaska Marine Safety Education Association will offer a 10-hour fishing vessel safety and drill conductor course from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 15, at the Bill Ray Center in Juneau.

Fireside lecture on Hyde's new book about Romeo
JUNEAU - Local photographer John Hyde will share his new book ROMEO at tonight's Fireside lecture at the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center beginning at 6:30 p.m.

Wild shots
Submit your wild shots

Today, Jan. 7

Snow & Grooming report for Jan. 6
• Base: 4 inches

Alaska teens blame boredom for burglary charge
FAIRBANKS — Two Alaska teens charged with burglary say they blame boredom and TV.

JSD board will meet in retreat Saturday
The Juneau School District Board of Education will meet in retreat from 9 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. Saturday in the Gastineau Suite at the Westmark Baranof Hotel.

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

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.

DOT officials: Computer problems hamper websites
JUNEAU — Alaska transportation officials are reporting computer server problems.

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.

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.

Alaska theft suspect leaves behind wallet
FAIRBANKS — A suspect in the theft of an all-terrain vehicle trailer left Alaska State Troopers with a big clue to his identity - his wallet.

Alaska antlerless moose hunts open Monday
FAIRBANKS — The Alaska Department of Fish & Game is aiming for a cow moose harvest of about 200 during a two-month winter season for antlerless moose on the Tanana Flats and in the Alaska Range foothills.

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

Church computer seizure will bring no charges
SITKA — Sitka police say an investigation of computers seized from St. Gregory’s Catholic Church will result in no charges against a former priest.

More prize money in Iron Dog snowmachine race
ANCHORAGE — There’s a record purse this year for those willing to make the 2,000-mile trek in the grueling Iron Dog snowmachine race.

Bad day for local preps as all 4 teams fall
The Juneau-Douglas boys’ basketball team dropped its first game of the season Thursday, 47-42 to Mt. Edgecumbe on the opening day of the 44th Annual Joe Floyd/Era Aviation Winter Classic Basketball Tournament at Kodiak High School.

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.

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.

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.

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

Driver dies on Sterling Highway
ANCHORAGE — Alaska State Troopers say a driver killed Wednesday in a Sterling Highway crash was an Anchor Point woman.

New report suggests energy savings for Fairbanks
FAIRBANKS — It can be cheaper for Fairbanks to invest in energy savings than in new energy sources, according to a new report commissioned by the nonprofit Alaska Conservation Alliance.

Village residents maintain vigil for missing man
FAIRBANKS — The hardest part of the day for Grayling resident Martha Maillelle is dinner time.

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.

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