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.

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.

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.

Wolfe samples Miami's complexity
So this time the guy with the white suits and dazzling spats is wading through the cultural intersections of Miami. Already, Tom Wolfe has visited several times as tourist, sponge, anthropologist and journalist. Always journalist.

Spencer Reece goes from the mall to Episcopal priesthood
Spencer Reece, the so-called "Brooks Brothers" poet who found fame in 2004 with the publication of his first collection, "The Clerk's Tale," is leaving the store where he works in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., to become an Episcopal priest.

'A view of the Ocean' chronicles a mother's demise
"A View of the Ocean" by Jan de Hartog; Pantheon ($17.95)

Climbing gear and yoga store opens
JUNEAU - Balance Climbing, a new climbing gear and yoga store, has opened at 1308 Eastaugh Way, near the Rock Dump climbing gym in Thane.

KeyBank operator reports lower earnings
JUNEAU - Cleveland-based KeyCorp, which operates KeyBank branches in Southeast Alaska, reported lower earnings for last year.

Business tax class to be offered at center
JUNEAU - The Juneau Small Business Center will offer classes at the Juneau Empire building on changes in 2007 and 2008 tax law, and how to maximize deductions. The class costs $25, and takes place from 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesday.

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.

Oppose 'homegrown terrorism prevention'
Here's an alert for those who believe intellectual liberty is being rationally defended by uncensored information on the Internet.

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.

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.

Critics want in on overbarge meeting
As Alaskans, we rely on the state to help ensure that our resources and economic interests are managed in a way that benefits us.

A journey into the mine
Dawn over Berners Bay; it is a fine day. The Chilkat Mountains are pink beyond the great white crag of Lion's Head. Mountains and water so dominate the landscape it would be easy to overlook the Kensington Mine. It seems a pity to abandon such a rare fine day, but I'm heading into the portal of the mine.

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.

Private developer building subdivision on Glacier Highway
A recent clearing has appeared along Glacier Highway and led people to call up the city and ask, "What are you doing to all those trees?"

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."

'Fiesta de Colores' highlights Hispanic cultures
When young kids have contact with different languages and cultures, they can enrich their lives forever, said Leo Novoa, a former Spanish teacher for Juneau Community Charter School.

Photo: Happy trails
Tim, Cedar and Lisa Miles and their dog, Molly, enjoy a family walk in the sun Thursday at Kaxdigoowu Heen trail near the Brotherhood Bridge. "This weather is awesome," Tim Miles said.

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.

Photo: Chilkat moonset
The moon hangs above the Chilkat Mountains at sunrise on Thursday.

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

Around Town

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

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.

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

'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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

Cub Scouts hold Pinewood Derby
Cub Scouts Pack 6 hosted its annual Pinewood Derby on Jan. 19 at Chapel by the Lake.

Thanks for assisting in another toy drive for foster children
The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, Office of Children's Services, wishes to thank the following businesses and organizations for their assistance in another successful toy drive for foster children in the Juneau area.

Thank you from a grateful veteran
Far too often those of us that have been or are labeled as marginalized have fallen prey to our own mindset of victimhood, ignoring or refusing to accept the real assistance that is and has been available for years. This was true in my case.

American Cancer Society announces Daffodil Days
JUNEAU - Pre-sales for the annual Daffodil Days, a fundraising event for the American Cancer Society, will be open from Monday, Jan. 28, to Friday, Feb. 15.


Source of hope is in our spiritual equilibrium
What do you hope for? And do you know what hope is? Dante defined hope as "a certain expectation of future glory, the product of divine grace and precedent merit."

Proper soaking makes beans more digestible
"Beans, beans, they're good for your heart." So starts the poem many of us learned as children. And as it turns out, beans really are good for your heart.

Montessori principles might be more helpful than report cards
I am seventeen. I attend Juneau-Douglas High School. I live in downtown Juneau.

Student artist in the spotlight: Ella Rohweder
Student Artist in the Spotlight is a weekly feature on the Neighbors page and is in collaboration with the Juneau School District Elementary Art Program.

Photo: Gist wins puck shoot
Quin Gist, 8, smiles with his check for $500 after winning the McDonald's Puck Shoot on Jan. 5 at Treadwell Arena during the Juneau-Douglas High School hockey game against the Kenny Lake Hawks. Gist has played hockey for four years.

Norway and Sweden Part VII: Fredrikstad and Sigtuna
Before my husband, Don, and I left Juneau, we knew we wanted to visit the small old towns of Fredrikstad, Norway and Sigtuna, Sweden. Fredrikstad is an hour away from Oslo by train. The ferry crossing takes only five minutes to Fredrikstad Gamblebyen (the Old Town). It was raining.

Kisses and codfish: My first week in Portugal
Portugal is a country of traditions, food and an absurd amount of kisses. It is also a country I knew nothing about until about a week ago when I landed in the bustling metropolitan oasis of Lisbon.

Thank you for helping our Floyd Dryden technology program
Since 2001, the Floyd Dryden Technology Program has been working on gathering equipment to create a television studio for the students. After a seven-year journey, the pieces have finally fallen together, and Floyd Dryden students have been enjoying a high quality student run morning news program. Many people helped make this dream a reality and we'd like to give a big thank to everyone who helped create FDTV News.

Don Collinsworth
Juneau resident Don W. Collinsworth died Jan. 23, 2008, at his home, surrounded by his family. His illness was brief, and death came a short two weeks after being diagnosed with a prion disease. He was 66.

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.

Empire editorial: Enough already; drop the bong hits issue
The Juneau School District's decision to go after former student Joseph Frederick to pay its court fees demonstrates how the "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" saga has degenerated.

Outside editorial: Hardball tactics do no favors to Bill Clinton's reputation
What about Bill? That is, what to make of the large and bumptious role former President Clinton is playing in the Democratic presidential primary contest?

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 column: Clinton twofer's high price
Whether you loved them or hated them, Bill and Hillary Clinton were always a twofer. On the campaign trail in 1992, Bill used to joke about it. Vote for me and get "two for the price of one," he chuckled. Plenty of Americans thought this wasn't such a bad idea. A bumper sticker popular at the time proclaimed: "I'm voting for Hillary's husband."

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: 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 column: Turned off by the 'War on Fat'
Considering the cultural fondness for appropriating certain months of the year to focus on diseases, I'm astonished that January has not been designated as National Obesity Awareness Month. Or perhaps simply You Are a Corpulent Pig Month. But given the alarming spate of TV commercials for diet programs, capitalizing on new year's resolutions, I suppose the message has been delivered.

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

Veteran state senator says he will not run for re-election
FAIRBANKS - A veteran Alaska state senator said he won't run for re-election this fall.

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

Jury convicts woman in operation of Anchorage meth lab
ANCHORAGE - A jury has found an Anchorage woman guilty of charges connected with running a methamphetamine lab.

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

Between 5,000 to 10,000 gallons of fuel spill in Selawik
SELAWIK - A fuel spill has occurred at the tank farm in the village of Selawik.

Young says postponing Chukchi leases would harm economy
ANCHORAGE - U.S. Representative Don Young said postponing the sale of petroleum leases in the Chukchi Sea to consider polar bear habitat could harm Alaska's economy.

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

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.

Troopers arrest two more in Bethel on cocaine charges
BETHEL - Two more people in Bethel have been arrested on charges connected to the sale of cocaine, Alaska State Troopers 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.

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.

'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.

Streaking Bears to face tough Knights
After winning six of its last seven games, the Juneau-Douglas HIgh School girls basketball team faces its toughest test to date this weekend.

Revenge on the minds of JDHS boys
If the Juneau-Douglas High School boys basketball team can't get motivated for this weekend, it may not be able to get motivated for anything.

JDHS hockey splits up north
The Juneau-Douglas High School hockey team split the first two games of a a four-day road trip in northern Alaska on Wednesday and Thursday.

Photo: Going for the pin
Floyd Dryden Middle School's Thomas Riley reaches back as he pins Dzantik'i Heeni Middle School's William Lott during their 110-pound wrestling match Thursday at Floyd Dryden. For more pictures go to


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.

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.

Economic forecast looks hazy
The state may be near the end of its 19-year economic growth streak because of a slowdown in residential construction that will likely offset gains from rocketing oil prices, a leading economist said Thursday.

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.

Legislative budget battles heat up
Fights over saving and spending this year's state surplus may become as contentious as past years' fights over too little money.

Anchorage port brings in cargo of federal cash, assistance
ANCHORAGE - Congress may have pulled hundreds of millions in federal earmarks from two highly criticized Alaska bridge projects, but a major overhaul of the state's largest shipping hub is netting hefty resources from Washington enjoyed by no other port in the country.

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.

Agency proposes fines for trans-Alaska oil pipeline company
ANCHORAGE - Alyeska Pipeline Service Company could face hefty fines for safety violations last year along the trans-Alaska oil pipeline.

Alaska Air posts profit on special gains
SEATTLE - Alaska Air Group Inc. said Thursday it swung to a fourth-quarter profit due to special gains, though adjusted results reflected a wider loss than Wall Street had expected, as fares failed to keep up with higher fuel costs.

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

Frontier, Hageland merge operations, move headquarters
FAIRBANKS - Representatives of the two biggest airlines that service rural Alaska say they will merge to form the largest air carrier based in the state.

This Day in History
In Alaska and in the Nation

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