Singer finds her voice in Juneau
Ericka Lee never thought of herself as a singer. Though she grew up singing in church and studied musical theatre in college, she still didn't think she could sing.

More local auteurs JUMP into filmmaking
Chip Peyton never shot a movie, doesn't have any friends who do and hasn't seen any of the ongoing festivals by local filmmakers. But he has a nine-year-old camcorder, a computer and a desire to bond with his son "instead of being 47 years old, sitting around, drinking beer and smoking cigarettes, like I saw adults doing when I was a teenager."

New Hawaiian dance class begins Jan. 26
A Hawaiian dance group, the Juneau Hula Halau, is forming in Juneau under the direction of Kalani Kanahelean, an instructor with 22 years of experience with the Polynesian Cultural Center.

Hypnotist show scheduled for Jan. 25 and 26
Marlintini's Lounge is bringing back "The Rich Guzzi Pyscho Hypnosis Show" for two nights. The show is scheduled to begin at 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Jan. 25 and 26. Tickets are $12 in advance or $15 at the door.

Monday salsa classes begin Jan. 28
As of Monday, Jan. 28, beginning salsa classes with Keri Edwards and Jeremy Carrillo will be held on Monday nights. The classes are scheduled from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the Buoy Deck in the downtown Coast Guard building, across Egan Drive from Centennial Hall.

Theater group to hold auditions Jan. 26 and 27
The Juneau-Douglas Little Theatre will hold auditions for the two winning one-act plays from its recent playwright competition.

What's Happening
The week of Thursday, Jan. 24th through Wednesday, Jan. 30th.

Fried foods are fattening, but diabolically delicious
Once long ago, three bored chefs were sitting around their kitchen on a lazy, winter afternoon.

The sweet and sour of sugar substitutes
It's a common problem faced by folks with a sweet tooth: You want to eat healthier without giving up the taste of sugary desserts and drinks.

Splurging part 1: beer and food
Sometimes I feel the need to splurge, and I was tempted by the Seven Deadly Sins - the ultimate in brewed temptations.

'Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law' and other unlikely heros
So you're looking for a job in video games - not making them, but actually starring in them. You don't have many choices. Unless you want to be an athlete, a warrior, a police officer or a criminal, there aren't many career options in virtual space.

Gadget tidbits
Coby TF-7307

Caught in the Web
Stop by the site for a new tip each day that can help you get the most out of the Net, software, computers, gadgets and more. Site creators claim their tips are written in plain language to suit all user levels and take no longer than five minutes to read and implement. Recent tips include "Looking for an iTunes Alternative? Try MediaMonkey," "Five Quick Windows Tips," Free Firewall for Windows PCs" and "Rip Music from Movies And DVDs."

Intruding into MySpace
Megan Meier, 13, fell in love. His name was Josh Evans, a handsome, kindly 16-year old. His address? MySpace.

Protect Taku River salmon, fishermen
The Taku River is the single largest salmon producing river in Southeast Alaska, with up to two million salmon returning annually. All five species of Pacific salmon return to the Taku River, and it supports the region's largest chinook and coho runs.

Make a gas refinery just for Alaskans
All the talk to export Alaska's natural gas to the Lower 48 via Canada is open for debate.

Smoking in public is inconsiderate
This letter is in response to a letter by Robert Dorian concerning the "childishness" of nonsmokers who attempt to influence the actions of smokers.

Share the bounty with all Alaskans
There is always the good news and the bad news. The good news is that skyrocketing fuel prices are driving up the price per barrel of oil.

Anti-abortion rally protests Roe v. Wade
Abortion foes held a rally on the steps of the state Capitol on Tuesday, the 35th anniversary of Roe v. Wade.

School Board tries to recover 'Bong Hits' court fees
A lawyer representing the former local high school student whose "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" banner unfurled a lengthy free speech debate is accusing the attorney for the Juneau School Board of harassing his client over a $5,000 legal bill.

Eaglecrest Ski Area has best financial year ever
A great financial start to the ski season has Eaglecrest Ski Area officials stoked to pay down debt accrued during past low-snow years.

Sealaska criticizes planned timber sale
The state and Sealaska Corp. raised environmental and economic concerns in initial comments on a draft for a proposed timber sale on Etolin Island, about 22 miles southwest of Wrangell.

Snow tracks lead Juneau police to school vandalism suspects
The story of an alleged burglary and vandalism reported at Dzantik'i Heeni Middle School on Wednesday morning sounds like an episode of the television show "America's Dumbest Criminals" - but it might not make it to the hit crime drama "Crime Scene Investigation."

Photo: Car upended, driver injured in crash
Juneau Police Department Sgt. Dave Wrightson examines a 1984 Volkswagen on Tuesday near DeHart's Auke Bay Store. The driver, a 24-year-old woman, was transported to Bartlett Regional Hospital with unspecified injures. She was issued a citation on a charge of careless driving after losing control of her vehicle. The vehicle sustained approximately $3,000 in damage.

Photo: Ready for Colony High School
Juneau-Douglas High School player Kayla Harrison practices her ball-handling skills in front of an Incredible Hulk cutout during a team workout Wednesday in the school's commons. The Hulk decoration is part of the school's homecoming week celebration. Both the boys and girls basketball teams will be playing Colony High School from Palmer on Friday and Saturday, with the girls' game starting at 6 p.m. and the boys' game starting at 8 p.m.

Around Town

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

Watson's family nears settlement
The estate of victim Jody Watson asked the court Wednesday to excuse Stephanie Smathers from paying criminal restitution as part of a six-figure wrongful death settlement.

Photo: Staples of homecoming
J.D. Wilcox, a freshman at Juneau-Douglas High School, uses a pair of pliers to pluck staples from the walls of the gymnasium as he prepares to replace the Rebounder's Club banner. It is part of the effort to clean up and prepare the school for this weekend's homecoming games and festivities.

Around Town

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

A Wednesday article on Sealaska Corp.'s response to a proposed Navy timber sale should have stated that Sealaska said that no harvest would result if, as it appeared, none of the U.S. Forest Service's proposed options were economically viable. Sealaska would prefer a harvest plan that would be viable and therefore contribute jobs to the local economy.

'Cloverfield' is 'Blair Witch' without the stupid parts
At long last, the mysterious teaser from several months ago has an actual movie to go with it.

Period drama a novel success
Time and memory, love and war, imagination and deception, grief and loss knot into brutal snares in "Atonement," a period romance that edges scene by scene into devastating darkness.

Juneau's Cinema guide

Family fun and torture come to DVD
Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson goes the family guy route - breaking that old Hollywood rule against working with kids and dogs and delivering a hit. Johnson stars as a prima-donna football quarterback on his way to the big championship game (for all of Johnson's stardom, the filmmakers didn't work out the rights to call it the Super Bowl) when his life is turned upside down by the arrival of an 8-year-old daughter (Madison Pettis). DVD, $29.99; Blu-ray, $34.99.

From busking to big time
In both voice and music, Eilen Jewell is regularly compared to Lucinda Williams and Gillian Welch. When such resemblances are noted, the 27-year-old singer-songwriter, one of Americana's rising stars, says she is flattered - for the time being, anyway.

Talib Kweli: on top of his game
2007 was a big year for Brooklyn-bred MC Talib Kweli.

Montessori fundraiser dance slated for Feb. 2
Live music, dancing and auctions will highlight "Hot Salsa! Cool Ballroom," a fundraiser to benefit Montessori education.

Juneau Symphony to perform 'Carmen' on Feb. 2 and 3
The Juneau Symphony, under the musical direction of Kyle Wiley Pickett, will perform Georges Bizet's "Carmen" on Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 2 and 3.

Gold Town Music concert to be held Feb. 2
Gold Street Music's monthly folk concert is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 2, at Resurrection Lutheran Church at 740 W. 10th St. The concert will begin at 7:30 p.m.

Sound Bites
Listening to "Jukebox" is like sitting in a bar, late at night, after most folks have gone home and the band is on stage winding down by playing its favorites.

Cub Scouts watch whales
Cub Scout Pack 6, from Auke Bay, poses for a photo during a complementary whale watching tour by Allen Marine on Sept. 8.

Pair to start local Haida dance group
JUNEAU - As children of the Haida people, Osce Robertson and Joy Rusch are seeking to form a Haida dance group in Juneau.

Mathcounts to hold regional competition
JUNEAU - This fall, middle school students in Juneau and Southeast had the opportunity to participate in Mathcounts, a nationwide math enrichment, coaching and competition program.

Thank you from the family of Irene Erickson
The family of Irene Erickson cannot begin to acknowledge and show enough appreciation for all of her friends and caregivers in her final days with us. The following deserve not only our heartfelt thanks, but recognition for their genuine assistance.

Thanks for supporting our finance class
The Juneau-Douglas High School finance and investing class extends a sincere thank you to members of the Juneau business community for their time and contributions to the fall semester class.

For recipes, ask Auntie Emo
Hey, Neighbors! Do you have a recipe to share? Dust off those old cookbooks and family recipe boxes, and get your search engines ready. Let's "Ask Auntie Emo." This feature in Neighbors includes sought-out and shared recipes from Southeast.

Andrew Ebona re-elected president of RurAL CAP
ANCHORAGE - The Rural Alaska Community Action Program Inc. (RurAL CAP) announces that Andrew Ebona of Juneau was recently elected president of the board of directors.

Pets of the week
You can visit these pets during visiting hours from 3 to 6 p.m. Monday-Friday or 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday at the Gastineau Humane Society.

Tudtud, Fullerton wed
Jeane Luague Tudtud and Jon Leslie Fullerton were married on Dec. 1, 2007, at the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Cathedral in Juneau.

White, Gilchrest wed
Sharon K. Gilchrest and Richard E. White, of Juneau, were married in a civil ceremony on Jan. 11, 2008, in Honolulu.

Photo: Gamez is puck shoot winner
James Gamez celebrates with his $500 check for winning the McDonald's Puck Shoot on Jan. 12 at the Treadwell Arena, during the Juneau-Douglas High School hockey games against Su Valley. Gamez was captain of the Bears hockey team last season and is taking his check to Flagstaff, Ariz., where he is a freshmen at Northern Arizona University.

Employee Wellness Coalition to meet
JUNEAU - The Juneau Employee Wellness Coalition will host its monthly brown-bag lunch meeting from noon to 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 6, at Conference Room A of the SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium Ethel Lund Medical Center in Juneau, 3245 Hospital Drive. Conference Room A is downstairs in the main clinic building.

Wisewomen celebrate National Heart Month
SITKA - The No. 1 killer for women in Alaska and the United States is heart disease. But heart disease also is one of the easiest diseases to prevent. To help inspire women this year to take better care of their hearts, the SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium's Wisewoman program is participating in the celebration of National Heart Month in February and National Wear Red Day on Feb. 1.

Virginia Atkins
Juneau resident Virginia M. Atkins died Jan. 19, 2008, at home after a brief illness. She was 80.

Cecilia Ann Wagoner
Juneau resident Cecilia Ann Wagoner died Dec. 30, 2007, following several months of ill health. She was 58.

My Turn: Capital Transit needs more than lip service
What is wrong with Capital Transit? It is public transportation, you know. The service has regressed to a joke. The public doesn't complain because it gets no response from the city or Capital Transit. Not even a feeble attempt.

Empire's Web site has fresh new look
If you've not already signed on to the Empire's Web site this morning, you're going to experience a very different site when you do.

Outside column: Next stop on campaign trail: Bizarro World
At least one clear winner has emerged in the presidential campaign so far: irony.

My Turn: Hoonah proud of tradition, hospitality
The community of Hoonah is proud of its culture and tradition. The community has always tried to respond to unfortunate events, crises and to issues in a culturally responsible manner. We, the community of Hoonah, have never tried to purposefully dishonor our guests, but an unfortunate event happened while the Hydaburg teams were visiting, which did dishonor Hoonah.

Outside editorial: A market sell-off adds to challenges
As international stock markets tumbled Monday, the "R" word, recession, seemed to be giving way to the "P" word: Panic set in across the world as investors feared a U.S.-led global slowdown.

Outside editorial: A check in the mail?
Whether we need it or not, the federal government seems ready to give us a stimulus package - an ultra-expensive shot of economic adrenaline designed to get the drowsy economy up and moving again.

Outside editorial: Impunity in Sudan
It's a bleak day for humanity when one of the architects of the genocide in Darfur gets a promotion. In a gesture of supreme defiance of decency and international law, the Sudanese government announced Monday that it had appointed Musa Hilal, a militia leader who recruited and mobilized the janjaweed militias responsible for the carnage in Darfur, to be a special adviser to the president on ethnic affairs.

Outside editorial: MLK's words are more relevant than ever this election year
Over the past couple of weeks, the words of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. have proved to be as powerful as they have ever been. One passage from his "I Have a Dream" speech from the Lincoln Memorial in 1963 seems particularly resonant.

Solo climber halts attempt up McKinley
A Russian climber gave up for now on his attempt at a solo winter ascent of Mount McKinley.

Planning Commission approves three items
The Juneau Planning Commission approved the following three items at Tuesday's meeting:

Lawmaker treated for mild stroke
State Rep. Richard Foster, D-Nome, is receiving medical treatment in Seattle after suffering a mild stroke.

EPA orders man to restore beach
The Environmental Protection Agency says it has ordered a man living near Ninilchik to restore his beach.

Woman shot; police charge husband
A Fairbanks man has been charged with wounding his wife and firing shots that almost hit two others.

Soldier accused of assaulting wife
A 22-year-old Fairbanks soldier has been charged with assaulting his wife and a commanding officer.

Lawmaker vows to quit fundraising
State Rep. Gabrielle LeDoux, R-Kodiak, will suspend fundraising for her congressional campaign.

Opening statements presented at trial
Federal prosecutors claim former Fairbanks Mayor Jim Hayes had a hand in knowingly stealing government grant funds to benefit his family and church.

Parks office accepts shelter reservations
The city Parks and Recreation Department will begin taking reservations for Savikko Park, Cope Park, Riverside Rotary and Twin Lakes shelters beginning Monday.

Youth coach charged with sexual assault
A youth basketball coach in Fort Yukon has been charged with having sex with a 13-year-old player, state prosecutors said.

Solo climber halts attempt up McKinley
A Russian climber gave up for now on his attempt at a solo winter ascent of Mount McKinley.

Last fluent speaker of Eyak language dies
Chief Marie Smith Jones, the last full-blooded Eyak and the last person fluent in her Native language, has died.

Lawmakers push for energy rebate checks
Leading Alaska lawmakers are continuing discussions of using a state budget surplus to send Alaskans checks for $500 to $1,000.

Man faces 40 years in drug conviction
A 32-year-old Anchorage man faces up to 40 years in a federal prison following his guilty plea to a drug charge.

'Down the rabbit hole'
If you're interested in being in a relationship but haven't had any luck, maybe it's time to take a trip down the rabbit hole. Maybe it's time to forget everything you think you know about love and relationships, and free-fall into the unknown like Alice in Wonderland.

The skull makes fashion headway
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Alas, poor Yorick.

Southeast roundup: Klawock beats Juneau C team by two points
Klawock received 26 points from Ryan Armour and 24 points from Rick Carle to knock off the Juneau-Douglas High School C team 74-72 on Thursday.

Talisa Rhea earns Pac-10 Player of the Week honor
Talisa Rhea, a 2007 Juneau-Douglas High School graduate, was named the Pac-10 women's basketball player of the week on Monday.

Photo: Duel on the ice
The Orange team's Kevin Ellsworth and the Fighting Sloth's Jason Bluhm battle for the puck during a Juneau Adult Hockey Association Tier B game Sunday at Treadwell Arena. Turn to Page B3 for a full recap.

Balanced scoring leads Doc Water's Pub
Six players scored goals in Doc Water's Pub's 6-3 win over Team 5 on Sunday in a Juneau Adult Hockey Association Tier A game at Treadwell Arena.

Juneau Parks and Recreation Adult Ordway Basketball League Standings
Juneau Parks and Recreation Adult Ordway Basketball League Standings

Sports in Juneau

Not just clowning around
For some, clowns can invoke a deep-seeded phobia dubbed coulrophobia, and apparently they even frightened Communist leaders of the now defunct Soviet Union. Circus acts flourished in Russia during the Cold War due to their nonthreatening nature, but clowns were frowned upon by some Soviet leaders due to anti-communist messages that could be slipped into their routines, said Sasha Vosk, artistic director and producer of the Moscow Circus.

Ferry supporters lambaste managers
State ferry officials said they produced a schedule with limited service on some key routes to save money, angering a bipartisan panel of lawmakers Tuesday.

Palin promotes health care bill
Gov. Sarah Palin campaigned for office promising more transparency and openness in state government. Now she's pitching transparency, openness and competition as a solution for rising health care costs as in Alaska.

ConocoPhillips pitches case to the Senate
Brushing aside a rejection from the governor, the state's largest oil producer took its case for an alternative proposal for a natural gas pipeline to Alaska's Legislature on Wednesday.

Alaska cities ask for more state funding
The Alaska Municipal League wants state legislators to give 6 percent of all natural resource revenues to cities and boroughs, with no limit on the totals.

Jets, oil fields push up Alaska's emissions
ANCHORAGE - Jets and energy consumption in the North Slope oil fields help make Alaska one of the top per capita greenhouse gas emitting states, according to a new inventory.

Victim of 2003 Kenai bear mauling moves on with life
Dr. James Kallman woke the instant his pager went off that summer night in 2003, and soon had an emergency room doctor on the line.

House passes legislation to relax ethics rules for state Board of Fisheries
A bill the Alaska House passed 33-2 on Wednesday would loosen ethics rules for the state Board of Fisheries.

Alaska Marine Highway System schedules slated to arrive this month
The Alaska Marine Highway System promises to have a ferry schedule completed by the end of January, in time to meet some crucial publishing deadlines, but some legislators remain angry at system managers.

Anchorage police start charging for repeat visits
ANCHORAGE - Anchorage police have begun sending bills to people if officers have to make more than eight trips per year to their homes.

Ads seek protection for wolves in Alaska
ANCHORAGE - Patrons of a Washington, D.C., subway station are getting a heavy dose of Alaska wildlife politics.

This Day in History
In Alaska, in the Nation and the World

Alaska school funding bill cruises through first step
A bill containing the funding increases for schools that a legislative task force recommended last summer got off to a smooth start Tuesday.

ConocoPhillips takes 50% ownership stake in proposed Canada oil pipeline
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - Oil company ConocoPhillips Co. has taken a 50-percent ownership stake in a proposed oil pipeline that would deliver Canadian crude to U.S. refineries.

This Day in History
In Alaska and in the Nation

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