Friday, February 8, 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.

Juneau Public Libraries highlight this year's childrens' book awards
Here are a few of my favorite books from this year's childrens' awards, including the Newbery (for the year's most distinguished contribution), Caldecott (for illustrations), the Printz (for Young Adult literature) and the Boston Globe Hornbook (for high quality and creative excellence). To see the complete lists, click on "booklists" under the Kids Books tab on our Web site.

'Don't Throw it Out' book includes many ways to extend the life of household items
Instead of talking incessantly about the sport, golf fans have the option of letting their home decor do some of the talking.

How to survive dating: Getting serious
Dating? Here's some advice on getting serious from the book "How to Survive Dating" (Hundreds of Heads Books, www.hundredsofheads.com, $12.95), straight from people who've done it:

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.

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.

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?

Transportation Dept. has forgotten service
Why did the Alaska Marine Highway System bother to hold the public hearings on the proposed ferry schedule if it had no intention of changing it anyway?

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.

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.

Contractor says smoking ban being violated
A plumber working at the Thunder Mountain High School construction site recently reported to the city that workers were smoking inside and he wanted it to stop.

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.

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.

University to host a night of sonatas
Pianist Alexander Tutunov has played in concerts across the globe, including Juneau, which has earned a special place in his heart with its enclave of richly talented musicians, he said.

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.

Man found dead on Basin Road last weekend
A snowshoer found 67-year-old James Demmert dead Sunday afternoon along Basin Road.

Around Town
Today, Feb. 8

Around Town
Today

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

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' ★★★

Local schools go skiing
Eaglecrest Ski Area hosted ski days for Auke Bay Co-op Preschool and Faith Community School on Feb. 4.

SEARHC hosts comedian in benefit shows
JUNEAU - Did you know humor is beneficial to your health? Studies have shown that laughter improves blood flow, reduces pain, strengthens immune function and decreases stress.

Photo: 'Souper Bowl of Caring'
From left, Faith Community School students Tyler Cole, 10, Jessica Dull, 15, Abby Locks, 6, and teacher Janet Conniff, man Faith Community School's "Souper Bowl of Caring" canned soup fundraiser for Helping Hands on Saturday, Feb. 2, at Safeway.

Alaska Commission On Aging to meet Tuesday in Juneau
Senior citizens, family caregivers, senior service providers and other people interested in senior issues are encouraged to attend the Alaska Commission on Aging meeting Tuesday, Feb. 12, at the Alaska Permanent Fund Corp. (Goldbelt) Building, Suite 302.

Employee Wellness Coalition in Sitka honors Alaska Air
SITKA - The Sitka Employee Wellness Coalition has honored Alaska Airlines with its Well Workplace of the Month award for February. The monthly award recognizes the efforts of Sitka organizations that promote employee wellness within their worksites.

Learning from Valentine's Day
We each received an allocation of supplies: one white paper bag and two sheets of construction paper (red and pink), safety scissors and a daub of Elmer's glue doled out on a scrap of paper. The glue quickly crusted over, like hot chocolate left too long.

Photo: Coast Guard students
Twelve of the 18 students working toward an Associate of Science through the Coast Guard Community College await instructions on Feb. 1 at the buoy deck downtown.

The Canvas to hold classes in February
JUNEAU - The Canvas community art studio is holding a variety of classes this month.

Dahl-Kenny Lenten lunches to continue
JUNEAU - The Juneau Cooperative Church Council is sponsoring the annual Dahl-Kenny Lenten Lunch Series, which began at noon Thursday at Northern Light United Church.

Public invited to Battle of the Books
JUNEAU - The Juneau chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma, a women's education association, and the Juneau School District invite the public to the Battle of the Books competition on Saturday at Riverbend Elementary School.

Swim Club begins annual fundraiser
JUNEAU - The Glacier Swim Club will kick off its annual Aqualaps fundraiser on Sunday, Feb. 10. Swimmers will be collecting pledges through April 27, when each swimmer will have two hours to swim between 25 and 200 laps, according to their ability.

Student artist in the spotlight: Colton Welch

Thank you for taking good care of our puppy
On Friday, during the big snow storm, Alaska Airlines received a small live package from Spokane, Wash. It was our Cairn terrier.

Thank you for the Learn to Ski Weekend
This past Saturday and Sunday was the 27th annual Learn to Ski Weekend at Eaglecrest Ski Area. I would like to thank both Eaglecrest and Mendenhall Auto Center for sponsoring this fantastic program.

Recognitions
Dzantik'i Heeni Middle School recently announced its second-quarter honor roll students.

FYI
Births

Pets of the week
Bear and bunny look for someone to connect with

Sakewitz, Sanford wed
Suzanne Sakewitz and Robert Sanford, both of Juneau, were married Jan. 11, 2008, at Anini Beach in Kauai, Hawaii. A reception was held Jan. 26 at The Sandpiper Cafe in Juneau.

Rhyner, Tibbitts wed
Nicole Joy Rhyner, formerly of Juneau, and Jose Sebastian Tibbitts were married on Dec. 9, 2007, in the sunkan garden of the Santa Barbara, Calif., courthouse among family and friends. A reception followed at the Ronald Reagan Room at Fess Parker's Doubletree Resort. Executive Chef Kirk DeLong presented a lovely sit down meal for the guests.

Walker, Petrie wed
Andrea Rae Walker and Edward Franklin Petrie, both of Juneau, were married on Jan. 9, 2008, in the Grand Cayman. A summer reception is planned in Juneau

Brackens celebrate 65 years
E.O. "Brack" and Laura Mae "Larrie" Bracken will celebrate their 65th wedding anniversary on Feb. 12, 2008. The Brackens were married on Feb. 12, 1943, in Portland, Ore., while Brack was serving with the U.S. Army. They have lived in Juneau for 42 years. A family celebration will take place later this month.

Lentils are healthy for the heart, easy to cook
Last time I talked about beans and how good they are for your heart. Since February is Heart Health Month, I thought it would be apt to discuss another member of the legume family that is "heart healthy" and has the added benefit of being much quicker to prepare than beans. I'm talking about lentils.

Photo: Academic Decathalon
Juneau-Douglas High School's Academic Decathlon Team poses at the Juneau Airport on Jan. 20 after returning from a regional meet in Craig.

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

Empire editorial: Lawmakers should fix their approach to conflicts of interest
One of the more outrageous comments made by a legislator so far this session concerned conflict of interest legislation.

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

Flowers, candy and shot shells
You know, it really bugs me when, in the course of a heated conversation (some people would call these arguments), my wife gives me that look.

Outside columnist: Short on words, deep in meaning
Everyone has a story. That's the tag on the masthead of SMITH, our online magazine. Yet until we asked the world to send us six-word memoirs, even we had no idea how true it was.

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

Cartoon: Mendenhall Valley and Cottage Housing

Outside columnist: Super Bowl ad a sign of national mood swing
"We can end a war. ... We can save the planet. ... We can change the world."

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

Cope Park water main ruptures
JUNEAU - A 12-inch cast iron water main in Cope Park ruptured some time after 9 a.m. Thursday.

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.

School board to lose only Native member
ANCHORAGE - The Anchorage School Board is losing its only Alaska Native member.

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

Jury convicts man found with heroin
ANCHORAGE - An Anchorage jury has convicted a man of drug and theft charges stemming from incidents in February 2004 at Anchorage's largest airport.

Private recycling plan surprises city officials
ANCHORAGE - Municipal officials in Anchorage said a curbside recycling plan put together by a private company, Alaska Waste, took them by surprise.

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.

Flags lowered for former lawmaker
JUNEAU - State flags were lowered Thursday for a former Alaska lawmaker who died in Arizona.

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.

Bill would revise coastal management
JUNEAU - The sponsor of a bill revising the state's coastal management program said the Palin administration is not working fast enough to iron out the problems.

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.

Man gets 119 years in prison for slaying
FAIRBANKS - A Fairbanks man has been sentenced to 119 years in prison for the 1995 killing of a 19-year-old convenience store employee.

Lawmakers eye cost of fish hatcheries
FAIRBANKS - A state representative from Anchorage and a state senator from Sitka are asking Gov. Sarah Palin to stop state spending on a fish hatchery under development in Fairbanks.

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.

SPORTS IN JUNEAU
Friday-Saturday, Feb. 8-9

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.

Yakutat Eagles fly past Kake Thunderbirds

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.

Chukchi Sea sale draws record bids, protesters
ANCHORAGE - Shell Oil led a handful of petroleum companies in robust bidding Wednesday for outer continental shelf leases in the Chukchi Sea off Alaska's northwest shore.

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.

Report shows more study needed on security of Alaska elections
A preliminary University of Alaska Anchorage study of election security has found some troubling weaknesses in the state, and a more in-depth study has begun.

Ex-missionary files complaint against Russian Orthodox officials
ANCHORAGE - A former Russian Orthodox missionary has filed a sexual harassment complaint against the faith's second-highest ranking church official in Alaska, an attorney said Thursday.

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 Public Office Commission investigator's job has high profile
ANCHORAGE - Jeff Berliner has a job he idealistically wishes never existed: that of an investigator who must scrutinize lawmakers financial disclosure filings.

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.

Federal judge denies Kohring's request
ANCHORAGE - A federal judge has refused former House Rep. Vic Kohring's request to have the judge overseeing his case step down.

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.

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.

Interior experiences near-record temperatures
FAIRBANKS - Even for Alaska's Interior, this was cold.

Alaska Game Board appointee withdraws name over controversy
ANCHORAGE - Now that an appointee has withdrawn her name to sit on the state Board of Game, a longtime Native legislator said Thursday that Gov. Sarah Palin has the opportunity to undo a wrong done to Alaska Natives.

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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