Thursday, February 7, 2008

Acclaimed songwriter Michael Smith to perform in Juneau
Michael Smith isn't surprised or concerned that most people don't recognize his music.

Downtown 'gentlemen's club' goes philanthropic
Sitting on sofas with drinks in hand or standing at the bar conversing in small groups, the men and women of the downtown Blazer Club are reinventing the idea of the philanthropic social club in Juneau.

Young Company to train youth to develop an original play
Perseverance Theatre seeks students ages 10 to 16 to participate in Young Company. A talented group of young actors will train with a local theater artist to develop an original play.

Author of 'Ordinary Wolves' to give reading of upcoming book
Award-winning author Seth Kantner will host a slide show and reading from his upcoming book at 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 15, at the downtown public library.

Alaska Airlines reports an increase in traffic
JUNEAU - This week, the Alaska Air Group reported 9.9 percent more traffic this January than last for Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air combined.

Center offers class on starting business
JUNEAU - The Juneau Small Business Development Center is teaching a class, "Starting Your Own Business," from 6 to 9 p.m. Feb. 13 and Feb. 20.

Coeur d'Alene mulls options for Nev. mine
JUNEAU - Idaho-based Coeur d'Alene Mines Corp. said last week it is figuring out what to do next with its Rochester gold and silver mine in Nevada.

What's Happening
Events calender the week of Thursday, Feb. 7 through Wednesday, Feb. 13.

Expand your culinary horizons in celebration of the lunar New Year
With the lunar New Year's arrival on Thursday, Feb. 7, Korean, Chinese and Vietnamese families are abuzz. They're headed to Asian shops and restaurants for dishes and ingredients needed during New Year celebrations.

Whip up a sweet for your Valentine's Day sweetie
Valentine's Day is right around the corner, so here is a little bit of sweet heaven to cook for your loved one.

White, red or pink? What kind of wine drinker are you?
If you know any wine snobs they will tell you that the occasion and accompanying food will dictate what to drink and when. But I say it is a new millennium and new rules apply.

'Burnout' offers phenomenal fun
"Burnout" games have always been close to perfection. From the time I played one of the car-wreck scenarios in the first "Burnout," in which the object is to rack up as much dollar damage as possible, I knew the series was headed toward greatness.

Gadget tidbits
Pharos Drive GPS 250

Lara Croft delves into the underworld
"We're not rewriting history. We're not going into the past. 'Legend' happened. 'Anniversary' happened. 'Underworld' is going to be after those events and the fans will not be disappointed. But it was also very important to us to make an adventure that would resonate to people who were new to 'Tomb Raider' and Lara Croft."

Caught in the Web
iPhone car integration guide

DVD players: Is the 'D' for disposable?
Am I the only one to observe that DVD players seem to stop working within a year?

Margo Waring was not in legal sessions
As president of the Juneau School Board, I appreciate the opportunity to provide clarification on some points that recently appeared in the Juneau Empire.

Halibut resource stewardship crucial
After attending the annual International Pacific Halibut Commission meeting in Portland, I feel compelled to point out some of the stark differences I heard in approaches toward halibut management.

Cottage housing not so quaint
Coming to a residential neighborhood near you - cottage homes. The very term "cottage home" brings to mind bucolic little houses in a beautifully landscaped wooded setting. Unfortunately, the reality for Juneau reads more like high-priced density tract housing. The cottage housing ordinance allows for up to 12 homes per development, but due to a flaw in the ordinance as written, developers have found a way around this limit by phasing and grouping multiple developments together as one.

Academic test scores don't define prospects
Thank you for the recent story about the Juneau School District's Tlingit language program and the attention it has begun to receive. In reading the comments on the story, however, I came across a well-worn lie that I just can't let stand: It is the all too widespread belief that performance on academic tests equals achievement and that those with higher scores stay in school, graduate and get the best jobs.

Don't cave in to ConocoPhillips
As longtime Alaskans, we are very appreciative of all the great things Gov. Sarah Palin has accomplished in such a short time.

Subverting science and robbing Alaska
I have written previous letters to the editor in the Juneau Empire as well as articles for my nature photography Web site, the Denali Citizens Council and the Alaska Wildlife Alliance.

Juneau boosts Obama, Romney
An overwhelming turnout of Juneau Democrats gave Sen. Barack Obama an overwhelming win in party caucuses Tuesday evening.

Institute posts Soboleff documents online
More than 1,000 papers documenting Alaska Native history by Tlingit elder Walter Soboleff have been posted on the Internet by Sealaska Heritage Institute in what officials are calling a unique and priceless collection.

Romney takes 55 percent, Huckabee a distant second in Republican primary
Ken Kreitzer found a new fix this year.

Juneau Assembly nixes retail space in new parking garage
The Juneau Assembly decided Wednesday to not include retail space in the concept and design of the new downtown parking garage during a joint work session with the Juneau Planning Commission.

Man with alleged ties to burglaries arrested on drug charge
The alleged ringleader behind a string of citywide burglaries, fraudulent checks and forgeries was arraigned Tuesday in Juneau Superior Court on a charge of possessing cocaine.

Photo: Powder blast
An avalanche slides down Mount Roberts on Wednesday above Thane Road. The state Department of Transportation and Public Facilities fired several avalanche-control shots with a 105-millimeter howitzer at the sites above the road.

Photo: Clearing the way
A tug boat breaks up and pushes ice Monday in Gastineau Channel near Channel Drive. The crew of the tug cleared the ice for the Northland Services barge service. More cold weather is on the way, with highs in the teens forecasted for today and Thursday.

Around Town
Today

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

Photo: Preparing for crab season
Juneau fisherman Norval Nelson, owner and skipper of the Star of the Sea, de-ices his crab pots and deck Tuesday aboard his fishing boat. Nelson was at the Taku Smokeries dock to pick up crab bait in preparation for the tanner and brown king crab opening, slated for Feb. 12.

Around Town

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

'Savages' faces tough topic with empathy, humor
Bringing a tough, astringent wit to a subject too often wrapped in the cozy blanket of sentimentality or cute humor, Tamara Jenkins takes a frank look at the indignities of aging in "The Savages," a black comedy that invites viewers to laugh or at least to smile ruefully at the dying of the light. One of those genre-defying hybrids that are sometimes called dramedies, "The Savages" tiptoes along a particularly fraught emotional tightrope, balancing observant humor and deep sadness with uncommon grace.

Thin 'rom-com' fails to please
Let me try to sum up the plot of "27 Dresses" in 27 words or less:

Juneau's Cinema guide
NOTE: Movie schedule valid through Wednesday, Feb. 13. Multiple films will open on Valentine's Day.

Beatles honored in creative musical
Director Julie Taymor deserves credit for creativity in "Across the Universe," a not-entirely-successful attempt to employ songs by the Beatles to tell the story of the 1960s anti-war movement and counter-culture. The songs are sung by the cast, including stars Evan Rachel Wood and Jim Sturgess, and danced in big production numbers. The DVD's extensive special features include a commentary by Taymor and composer Elliot Goldenthal (Taymor's husband), a deleted scene, eight extended musical performances and five short documentaries on the making of the movie, its cast and the music. $28.98, PG-13.

Brown Haven: Keeping it fresh for close to a decade
Nearly a decade ago, the members of Brown Haven first got together and started playing music in a cold storage unit in the Mendenhall Valley.

You don't have to pay a fortune to experience Polarjazz
For those involved with a jazz festival that's as close to the North Pole as mere mortals can get, the best time to do it is obviously in the middle of winter.

MASHUP of the week
Mashups are a global art form, fueled in part by easy access to multiple tracks through online downloading.

Stitt to perform solo show on Feb. 8
Local musician Rory Stitt is scheduled to perform in concert at 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 8, at Northern Light United Church.

Annual String Workshop registration ends Feb. 22
Juneau Jazz & Classics will hold its Annual String Workshop on March 8 and 9.

Sound Bites
K.D. Lang 'Watershed' ★★★

Southeast residents win prizes for referring 'Bigs'
JUNEAU - Four lucky Southeast Alaskans were prize winners in the recent "Refer-a-BIG Contest" sponsored by Big Brothers Big Sisters. They became eligible for prize drawings in their communities by referring one or more people who qualified to be Big Brothers or Big Sisters by the deadline of Dec. 15.

Ask Auntie Emo: Emo calls for 'Sweetheart' recipes
Calling all cooks! Do you have a favorite "Sweetheart" recipe you would like to share with our readers?

Juneau Employee Wellness Coalition honors university
JUNEAU - The Juneau Employee Wellness Coalition has honored the University of Alaska Southeast-Juneau Campus with its Well Workplace of the Month Award for January. The monthly award recognizes the efforts of Juneau organizations that promote employee wellness within their worksites.

Lent isn't just for Catholics and fasting is a matter of heart
The great Baptist preacher, Charles Haddon Spurgeon wrote, "Hold a true Lent in your souls, while you sorrow over your hardness of heart. Do not stop at sorrow! Remember where you first received salvation. Go at once to the cross...this will bring back to us our first love; this willrestore the simplicity of our faith, and the tenderness of our heart."

Traveler tells of posh Valentine's party in England
In early January 2006, I was surprised to see an ad in the Juneau Empire announcing "Europe From $498" plus $225 for fuel costs. Tickets had to be purchased by Jan. 31, and travel had to be completed by Feb. 28, 2006. I called my friend in England and asked Alison if she had a mid-term school holiday. She had a break in February.

Michael R. Allen
Juneau resident Michael R. Allen died peacefully Feb. 2, 2008, at home in Juneau, with family at his side. He was 62.

John Anthony Clark
Petersburg resident John Anthony Clark died Feb. 3, 2008, in Juneau. He was 74.

Elizabeth C. Israelson
Sitka resident Elizabeth "Betty" Israelson died Jan. 28, 2008, at Sitka Community Hospital after a long struggle with ovarian cancer. She was 86.

Outside editorial: McCain, Obama are clear about torture
Military leaders testifying before Congress have been crystal clear in saying that waterboarding - controlled drowning - is torture, inhumane, illegal and against U.S. values. Why can't the attorney general say the same thing?

My turn: Budget stretched despite state jobs
I'm tired of pretending that we're OK. We desperately need a good contract.

Outside editorial: Finally, voting counts again
This editorial first appeared in the Los Angeles Times:

My Turn: Election security is our democracy's cornerstone
A faded black-and-white photograph taken 60 years ago in South Texas shows some good ol' boys posed around the front end of a car and a ballot box marked with the words, "Precinct 13." Precinct 13 changed the course of history, according to author Robert Caro, who says that those in the picture were up to no good.

My Turn: Juneau should seize Redfern opportunity
Juneau needs a shot in its economic arm. We need new creative ideas. Mining is a part of Juneau's history, and we have an opportunity for an economic boost from the reopening of Redfern Resources' Tulsequah Chief Mine in British Columbia, 40 miles northeast of Juneau.

Outside editorial: Nader's candidacy rightfully mocked
The following editorial first appeared in the Minneapolis Star Tribune:

Doogan, Harris get temporary seats
The state House has temporarily assigned Speaker John Harris and Rep. Mike Doogan to a pair of new committees.

Wasilla man held on arson charges
A 28-year-old Wasilla man has been charged with setting a fire that burned down his family's house, Alaska State Troopers said.

Groups plan protest at Chukchi lease sale
Conservation and Native Alaska groups said they will protest the Chukchi Sea lease sale planned for Wednesday morning in Anchorage.

Trial of ex-Fairbanks mayor goes to jury
A Fairbanks jury is deliberating the case of former city Mayor Jim Hayes, who is standing trial for allegedly funneling federal grant money into his own pocket and to the church where he served as pastor.

University regents meeting in Juneau
The University of Alaska Board of Regents is meeting this week in Juneau.

Breast Cancer Focus seeks grant proposals
Breast Cancer Focus, an Alaska fundraising organization, is soliciting grant proposals from Alaska organizations and individuals seeking funding for projects, services and events that support the mission of the organization.

Bad weather hampers search for balloonist
The search for a missing hot air balloonist trying to fly from Japan to Oregon is being hampered by high seas and 60-knot winds in the North Pacific.

Avalanche control slated for Thane Road
With heavy snow over the last few days and high winds expected, the state will conduct avalanche control today on the road that runs south out of downtown Juneau.

Governor names Juneau appointments
Gov. Sarah Palin Tuesday announced the appointment of several Juneau residents to state boards and commissions, in time to meet the deadline for legislative confirmation in the current session.

Mat-Su OKs next step of new prison project
The Matanuska-Susitna Borough Assembly has approved the next step of a new prison project.

Fabe: Programs slow prison revolving doors
Alaska Supreme Court Chief Justice Dana Fabe says new efforts to keep ex-offenders out of jail are showing promise.

Jury finds man guilty of sex, drug trafficking
A man has been convicted of numerous counts of sex and drug trafficking crimes.

Lease sale brings $2.6 billion in bids
More than $2.6 billion in high bids was offered for petroleum leases in the Arctic Ocean off Alaska's northwest shore.

The subtle art of arranging 'man time'
Over the years, I have noticed a remarkable difference in the way men and women approach their relationships.

Healing the mind to mend the body
FORT WAYNE, Ind. - Neurosurgeon Dr. Rudy Kachmann understands how the brain works, how billions of nerve cells send signals to the body, coordinating movement, sensation and speech. He has removed tumors from the brain, probed deeply into structures where electrical misfiring occurs and uncovered hidden anomalies that can burst and cause sudden death.

JDHS looks to rebound against Sitka
Sometimes the most important attribute for a basketball team isn't shooting, rebounding or any other aspect of the game determined by physical attributes.

Photo: Golden flash
Svensson's Boatworks player John Kajdan pushes past a Kensington Goldminers defender during their Juneau Adult Hockey Association Tier A game on Sunday at Treadwell Arena. Turn to Page B3 for a full rundown of last week's JAHA action.

Yakutat Eagles fly past Kake Thunderbirds

Goldminers dig out a victory
James Feldman's goal with 2:15 left broke a 3-3 tie and gave Kensington Goldminers a 4-3 victory over Svensson's Boatworks on Sunday at Treadwell Arena in a Juneau Adult Hockey Association Tier A game.

SPORTS IN JUNEAU
UPCOMING EVENTS

A new tournament 'rocks' Thursday nights
The crowd at Rendezvous was electric late last week, and you could feel the excitement in the air as the fierce competition came down to one final throw.

TransCanada makes pitch to Legislature
TransCanada Corp. assured the Alaska Legislature on Wednesday it could build a gas pipeline to bring the state's abundant North Slope gas reserves to market, despite the doubts of some lawmakers and competing companies.

Obama wins Alaska Democratic caucus as Mitt Romney takes Republican vote
ANCHORAGE - Barack Obama and Mitt Romney easily won Alaska's caucuses on Tuesday in a state where voting was marked by subzero temperatures and overflowing crowds.

State Habitat Division changes houses again
Gov. Sarah Palin announced Tuesday she will move the state Division of Habitat back into the Department of Fish and Game.

Critics fault Palin for not picking Native for board
Gov. Sarah Palin's three recent appointments to the Alaska Board of Game are coming under fire from critics who say the board will have no Native representative for the first time since 1976.

Many Alaska villages have no police officers
In the four hours it took Alaska State Troopers to arrive at the Eskimo village of Nunam Iqua, a man choked and raped his 13-year-old stepdaughter in front of three younger children. He had already beaten his wife with a shotgun and pistol-whipped a friend after an evening drinking home brew.

Alaska Native soldiers to be honored with cultural tribute
ANCHORAGE - Military veterans are working with Alaska Natives to welcome dozens of Eskimo soldiers back from Iraq and other war zones with a huge celebration incorporating their Yupik culture.

State gives Super response
ANCHORAGE - Shena and Raymond Marcil arrived at the Democratic caucus held at an Anchorage middle school with about five minutes to spare. Each grabbed blank voter forms, and within two minutes they were registered Democrats.

Lawmaker urges tax credits to promote filmmaking in state
Alaska should be getting a bigger piece of Hollywood's money pie, according to a state lawmaker.

Jim Hayes denies fraud charges in testimony
FAIRBANKS - Former Fairbanks Mayor Jim Hayes denied diverting funds from federal grants to his church and his bank account.

Frigid fire evacuation sends Eagle River High School students to the school nurse
ANCHORAGE - Nine Eagle River High School students sought out the school nurse after a fire alarm sent underdressed students into bitterly cold temperatures.

Mud keeps Maggie from joining herd in California
ANCHORAGE - The only thing keeping Alaska's former elephant from joining the crowd at a northern California sanctuary is mud.

Lawmakers aim to cut ties with Sudan's government
Alaska's public money should not be funding genocide on the other side of the planet, according to some state lawmakers.

Judge rejects Anchorage rezone for Wal-Mart
ANCHORAGE - A Superior Court judge had rejected rezoning approved for a proposed Wal-Mart Supercenter and Sam's Club in east Anchorage.

Alaska education funding increase ready for floor fight
The House Finance Committee on Wednesday passed a three-year education funding plan that was hammered out by a task force this summer.

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

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

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