Cotton's candy for the ears
You can feel the many emotions of the blues flow through the harmonica of Grammy-winner James "Superharp" Cotton when he gets on stage, said his wife and manager Jacklyn Hairston.

Eastwood still gets better, even at 78
Clint Eastwood is 78. Think about that as you consider what the man has done of late. Since 2004, Eastwood has helmed "Million Dollar Baby," "Flags of Our Fathers," "Letters from Iwo Jima," "Changeling" and of course, "Gran Torino." When he gets bored he also stars himself. Oh, and pre-production has begun already on "The Human Factor," a movie about Nelson Mandela that will star Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon under Eastwood's direction.

'Wittenberg' combines contemporary flavor with formality of years gone by
"Wittenberg" is a college town in Germany, enjoying its intellectual heyday in the early 1500s, also the setting of this brainy, bawdy play about the education of Hamlet, future King of Denmark.

Humanities council seeks booking manager
JUNEAU - Juneau Arts & Humanities Council is now accepting applications for the position of booking manager for the Juneau Arts & Culture Center.

Fairbanks association holds annual statewide Poetry Contest
FAIRBANKS - The Fairbanks Arts Association's Literary Arts Committee is now accepting entries for the 14th annual Poetry Contest. The purpose of the contest is to encourage, publicize and reward the writing of high quality poetry. Winners of the contest will be announced March 21 at the Fairbanks Arts Association's Bear Gallery in the Alaska Centennial Center for the Arts.

Springboard invites families to 'chill'
JUNEAU - The Juneau Economic Development Council's Springboard and the Alaska State Museum invite families to a free family event, "Chill with the Family," from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 17, at the Alaska State Museum, 395 Whittier St.

Avalanche awareness seminar held Saturday
JUNEAU - The Alaska Avalanche School will present a one-day avalanche awareness and training seminar at 9 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 17, at the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center. The seminar is free and open to the public.

Community Schools offers movie night
JUNEAU - Community Schools is offering a special movie night at 7 p.m. Saturday in the Juneau-Douglas High School auditorium. This recently released movie will provide an opportunity for the audience to sing along.

Bulgarian folk dance workshop to be held Jan. 24 at Marie Drake
JUNEAU - A day-long Bulgarian folk dance workshop with Daniela Ivanova will be held next Saturday, Jan. 24, at the Marie Drake gymnasium. The workshop, sponsored by the Juneau International Folkdancers, will consist of four sessions: 10-11 a.m., 11:15 a.m.-12:30 p.m., 2-3 p.m. and 3:15-4:30 p.m. Cost is $10 per session or $35 for the entire day.

AEL&P: Repair work could start soon
Repair work could begin this week on the downed Snettisham transmission tower, but Juneau's electric utility doesn't know how long it will take to restore cheaper hydroelectric power.

What can Fish and Game be thinking?
On Nov. 6, the Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration published a request for public comments in the Federal Registry regarding listing Southeast Alaska pacific herring stocks as threatened or endangered. Shortly thereafter, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game announced plans for yet another record herring harvest in Sitka Sound. Out of the seven largest stocks, this herring biomass just happens to be the last remaining major herring stock left in Southeast Alaska. At least five were over-exploited under ADF&G management.

Unhappy with Empire's statehood story omission
Recently, Jerry Wade, the son of Alaska's first lieutenant governor, Hugh Wade, submitted a recollection of the statehood movement to both the Juneau Empire and the Anchorage Daily News.

Superintendent of schools receives positive evaluation
Controversy over the new high school, high dropout rates and several schools' failure to meet key standardized testing benchmarks didn't keep the Juneau School Board from giving Superintendent Peggy Cowan a positive job evaluation.

AEL&P: Repair work could start soon
Repair work could begin this week on the downed Snettisham transmission tower, but Juneau's electric utility doesn't know how long it will take to restore cheaper hydroelectric power.

Police & Fire
Juneau police and fire officials and state police reported:

Around Town

In a story on page A3 in Wednesday's Empire about funding for the Jensen-Olson Arboretum, Merrill Jensen's position was incorrectly given. He is the arboretum manager.

AEL&P: Electric rates to triple
Juneau's electric utility said Thursday that residential rates will triple to about 30 cents per kilowatt-hour to cover the cost of diesel, and repairs to the Snettisham power line may be done in a month.

Children bring Dr. King's dream alive on stage
Music teacher Ann Boochever said there is no better place to keep the dream of Martin Luther King Jr. and civil rights alive than in the hearts and minds of children.

Legislators grilled on capital creep
Juneau legislators wanting to discuss their initiatives in the upcoming Legislative session during a luncheon instead went on the defensive after being blamed for not stopping the loss of state government jobs known as capital creep.

Tax break on food unlikely in 2009
The Juneau Assembly's Finance Committee shied away Wednesday from a proposal to exempt food from sales tax in light of a new estimate putting the annual cost at $5 million.

Capital Records closes its doors
JUNEAU - They're dropping like flies. Small, independently-owned record stores all over the country are going out of business faster than they can be remembered. Juneau's own Capital Records will take its place in the record store graveyard at the end of January, when it plans to close its doors for good.

Alaska Pacific Bank under regulatory scrutiny
Federal bank regulators are stepping up oversight of Juneau's Alaska Pacific Bank, hit hard financially by bad loans.

Permanent Fund to raise rates for state bank lending
The Alaska Permanent Fund Corp. is changing how it sets rates on money it lends to Alaska banks, after fund managers felt those rates had fallen too low.

Residents use less energy on Day 2 of diesel power
The effects of Juneau residents' energy conservation may already be showing.

Police & Fire
Juneau police and fire officials and state police reported:

Local woman fights advanced-stage cancer
Cancer is not a new concept for lifelong Juneau resident Brenda Krauss. Her mother, Kate, died from brain cancer in 2006, and her father, Ernie, is struggling with stomach cancer. The 43-year-old single mother of two is, herself, undergoing extensive treatment for Stage 3 breast cancer.

Empire names digital sales director
Jason Troupin has been named digital media sales director for the Juneau Empire, announced Todd Vodnansky, the newspaper's advertising manager.

Around Town
Friday, Jan. 16

Photo: Rain, repairs stop skiing
Eaglecrest Ski Area employees Nat Abbott, upper left, Marcus Zimmerman, below, and Outback Construction consultant Danny Jonsson work Wednesday to install a cable on the Ptarmigan chairlift.

Photo: Mailbox casualty
Robert Warfield, 86, repairs his North Douglas Highway mailbox Wednesday for the second time this year. Snowplows throwing heavy, wet snow took out his mailbox recently. Warfield said he has to repair his mailbox at least once a year.

Tell your loved ones you love them
For starters, I would like to apologize to my regular readers for last month's missing column. I missed the deadline. In my defense, I'll have to say that I was preoccupied.

Juneau resident seeks hot corn dip recipe and another shares humpy jalapeno dip
It's that time again. We're looking for "Super Bowl-Kick Off" and "Valentine's Day" favorites. Do you have a recipe you would like to share? Auntie Emo is where we match and share recipes. Send in your requests and share a favorite recipe with our readers.

Age: 13.

The Thanksgiving of January
At New Year's we frequently take inventory of where we are and where we are going, getting our bearings.

Thank you for the smart, funny and good-hearted play
This weekend we attended a smart, funny and good-hearted play at Perseverance Theater. Wittenberg is an unlikely conversation between Hamlet, Martin Luther, John Faustus, and several characters known collectively as "The Eternal Feminine." The play is a philosophical argument about the nature of good and evil, free will and man's place in the universe - questions as relevant to our 21st century lives as to these 16th century characters.

Ricky Shane Sumdum
Former seasonal Juneau resident Ricky Shane Sumdum died Jan. 3, 2009, in Anchorage. He was 50.

Harold Frank Sr.
Juneau resident Harold Frank Sr. died due to health complications on Jan. 13, 2009, at Helping Hands Assisted Living Facility in Anchorage. He was 74.

My Turn: The better way
The Gaza Strip has a population of 1.5 million primarily Palestinians, of which more than two out of three are refuges or descendants of refugees of the 1948 and 1967 wars. In those wars, their land was seized by Israel and they were displaced. Palestinians are native Arabic-speaking people who have lived in Palestine for more than 1,000 years. Their small farms stayed in the same families for succeeding generations.

Alaska editorial: Federal managers decide to look before they leap
As ice disappears from Alaska's arctic waters, North Pacific fishing fleets may be tempted to push into the newly opening area, seeking whatever fish they might find. But nobody knows very much about the region's marine environment, how the arctic warming trend is changing it, and what damage, if any, commercial fishing might inflict.

Alaska Editorial: Use caution in defense of ANWR
Sen. Mark Begich came out swinging last week with a news release blasting Sen. Joe Lieberman's perennial proposal to prohibit oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. The criticism directed at Lieberman seems surprising until one remembers that the Connecticut senator is persona non grata in the Democratic Party due to his support of Republican Sen. John McCain's presidential bid.

My Turn: To see beyond dire headlines, look into the face of children
As the New Year rings in, fresh news of the nation's financial troubles and of the senseless violence and suffering endured by the people of the Middle East, Africa and Asia, it can be difficult to find reasons to be optimistic about the coming year. Each day, however, I am privileged to witness the future's promise as embodied by the young children of Juneau.

Facing an Obama dilemma
Even before President Bush is out the door, critical new allegations of misconduct by subordinates have surfaced in the press that cry out for investigations by the incoming Obama administration.

Bush letter disproves a myth
It has been basically a known fact among the media that George W. Bush does not care for reading newspapers or the barrage of opinion columns that now seem omnipresent in this age of the Internet media. I really can't blame him.

August fishing derby in jeopardy
JUNEAU - After 62 years, the 2009 Golden North Salmon Derby could be cancelled unless volunteers pitch in to help run it.

The Canvas hosts Third Thursday concert tonight
JUNEAU - The Third Thursday concert series performance at The Canvas will take place from 7-9 p.m. tonight at the studio, located at 223 Seward Street in downtown Juneau.

Gottschalks joins ranks of bankrupt retailers
JUNEAU - Add Fresno, Calif.-based retailer Gottschalks Inc. to the growing list of retailers that have had to file for bankruptcy protection.

Jean Keene, Alaska's 'Eagle Lady,' dies
HOMER - A woman known in Alaska for feeding hundreds of eagles at her home in Homer has died. Jean Keene was 85.

SAGA charity drive ends Monday
JUNEAU - The Southeast Alaska Guidance Association's charity drive will end Monday, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and will be followed by a casual reception at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the Glacier View Room of the University of Alaska Southeast to celebrate diversity and thank everyone involved in the effort.

Inmate believed to have committed suicide
ANCHORAGE - An inmate at the Wildwood Correctional Center in Kenai is believed to have committed suicide.

Police seek help finding 'person of interest'
JUNEAU - The Juneau Police Department is seeking the public's help in locating a 37-year-old man they believe has information regarding recent thefts at the State Office Building.

Authorities investigate mail thefts
FAIRBANKS - An investigation is under way in the Fairbanks area of several hundred reports of mail tampering and theft.

Acting mayor says Anchorage faces budget shortfall
ANCHORAGE - Acting Anchorage Mayor Matt Claman says the city faces a $17 million budget shortfall this year.

Inmates settle lawsuit for $1.4 million
ANCHORAGE - Two inmates who were sexually assaulted in a correctional center in Bethel have settled their lawsuit with the state.

Water, sewer rate increases may be averted by residents
JUNEAU - The Juneau Assembly's Public Works and Facilities Committee backed modest increases to water and sewer utility rates in December, though City Manager Rob Swope offered an alternate plan Wednesday that will keep the rates flat.

Snow plows and pom- POMS
No more can the local grumps at the coffee shop say it'd take more than a pack of cheerleaders to clear their driveway.

JDHS hosts Monroe Catholic for 'real' Senior Night games
A busted zamboni at Treadwell Arena has left the Juneau-Douglas High School hockey team and even the local recreation leagues with little to no ice time this week, but JDHS' final home games against Fairbanks' 3A Monroe Catholic Rams appeared to be ready to go by press time on Thursday.

North Pole invades on Jan. 23-24
The Juneau-Douglas High School varsity girls basketball team continued their hot play during a rare trip to Anchorage last weekend, downing 4A opponents East Anchorage and Chugiak with a narrow loss to Colony in-between.

Idle Bears prep for rival Kings
The Juneau-Douglas High School boys varsity basketball team will be taking this weekend off from competition, but don't expect head coach Steve Potter to roll out the Scrabble board and Chinese checkers.

Sports in Juneau

Parks and Recreation Adult Ordway Basketball League
Standings as of Jan. 15

Nenana man celebrates his 105th birthday
FAIRBANKS - A Nenana man celebrated his 105th birthday.

Alaska to sue over beluga whales
ANCHORAGE - The state of Alaska announced Wednesday it will sue over increased protections for Cook Inlet beluga whales, the white whales that swim the silty waters off Alaska's largest city.

7 rescued from boat moored to oil platform
KENAI - Seven people were rescued Thursday from a boat that was moored to an oil rig platform in Cook Inlet when it began taking on water.

Alaska Natives sue Jesuit order for abuse
SEATTLE - The Jesuit order has been sued by 43 Alaska Natives who say they were sexually abused as children, and mounting evidence shows that known pedophile priests were sent to the Fairbanks, Alaska, Diocese for decades, a lawyer said Wednesday.

'Road to Nowhere' angers Alaska environmentalists
WASHINGTON - First there was the "Bridge to Nowhere." Now Congress appears set to approve another remote Alaska project that critics call the "road to nowhere."

This Day in History
In Alaska

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