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:

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?

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.

Auke Bay business destroyed by fire
FishermanÍs Bend burned nearly completely to the ground early this morning. The cause of the fire was unknown, and there were no reported injuries or fatalities, according to Capital City Fire Rescue Chief Eric Mohrmann.

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.

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

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

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.

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


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.

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.

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.

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."

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

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

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.

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

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.

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.

Friday-Saturday, Feb. 8-9

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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