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Friday, February 12, 2010

Having fun with 'Alice'
A year of firsts at Thunder Mountain High School will now shine the Falcon spotlight onto the theatrical stage with the musical "Alice In Concert."

Wearable Art show celebrates 10 years with 'Cirque de Pluie'
Juneau's most fashionable art event of the year is celebrating its 10th anniversary this Valentines Day weekend.

Special Elizabeth Peratrovich Day showing at Gold Town theater
In honor of Elizabeth Peratrovich Day, Gold Town Nickelodeon Theatre will present a free showing of "For the Rights of All: Ending Jim Crow In Alaska" a one-hour film, beginning at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 16. A group discussion may follow.

Poetry Out Loud finals to be held Feb. 23 at the JACC
The Juneau Arts & Humanities Council and Alaska Arts Education Consortium have announced the participants in state finals for the Poetry Out Loud competition. Eight students from across the state have been selected: Jessica Wilder from Anchorage, Susan Way from Fairbanks, Sami Martinez from Juneau, April Hostetter from Igiugig, Berett Wilber from Sitka, Kristen Luchsinger from Wasilla, Elizabeth Porter from Delta Junction, and Kira Wilkinson from Kwigillingok.

Four good reasons to see 'An Education'
T here are four very good reasons you should make time for "An Education." Reasons one through three are related. One, Casey Mulligan is up for best Actress in a Leading Role. Two, Nick Hornby is nominated for best Adapted Screenplay (based on the memoir by Lynn Barber). Three, "An Education" is up for Best Picture. Never mind that the wise Academy has expanded Best Picture to include half of the movies made last year.

'Shop Class': An argument for the trades
D o you feel insulted by automatic faucets, throw-away electronics and high-end automobiles that have USB ports but no dipsticks? In Matthew B. Crawford's unique book "Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry Into the Value of Work," careful attention is given to the anatomy of frustration many of us share as we encounter technological advancements that claim to save our time by removing independent thought and the physical manipulation of things from our daily experience.

Mixtape for Buddy Tabor
I first spoke with Juneau songwriter Buddy Tabor in 2008. As a fellow musician, I found the interview inspiring, an insight into the words and melodies of a songwriter who has captured the attention of fans in Alaska and beyond.

Hide, squeeze, skin: Reviews from First Friday Art Walk
H anging among the plush broad leaves and thin tendrils of living things at the Plant People on Seward Street is Rachael Juzeler's new series of mixed media sculpture titled "Hidden Work." Rusted, dying, charred, and frayed - the art emerges amidst the foliage just as ancient ruins of a previous civilization lay scattered throughout a remote, overgrown jungle.

Library's large-print nonfiction includes Gilbert's 'Committed'
The library's large print is generally fiction: look for bestsellers like J.A. Jance's "Trial by Fire," T. Jefferson Parker's "Iron River," and Anita Diamant's "Day after Night." But there is a small collection of large print nonfiction: look for Greg Mortenson's "Stones into Schools," and Elizabeth Gilbert's "Committed."

Artist in Schools residency program applications available
Applications for inclusion on the Alaskan Teaching Artist Roster for the Artist in Schools (AIS) residency program are now being accepted.

Police to auction abandoned vehicles
People looking to buy a car in this cash-strapped economy will have the opportunity to get one at rock-bottom prices Saturday during the Juneau Police Department vehicle auction.

Consultant helps clear up crossing impasse
A consultant hired by the city has issued a memorandum that helps clear up questions that had the proposed North Douglas Crossing at an impasse.

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

Proposed Whitehorse flights nixed due to lack of interest
None of the three proposed winter flights between Whitehorse and Juneau backed by the Juneau Assembly will happen because of lack of sufficient interest and backing in Whitehorse.

SEARHC Behavioral Health launches toll-free help line
SITKA - The SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium Behavioral Health Division recently contracted with a St. Louis-based crisis call center to establish a toll-free help line

Lawmakers tackle domestic violence 'epidemic'
During a Joint Legislative Health Caucus discussion on sexual assault and domestic violence Wednesday, Rep. Sharon Cissna, D-Anchorage, said the issue hits close to home.

Ketchikan hospital pioneers new telepathology technology
KETCHIKAN - A new telepathology service offered in Ketchikan will allow surgeons in the operating room at Ketchikan General Hospital real time consultation with Northwest Pathology in Bellingham, Wash.

Photo: Dog runner
Guy Thibodeau runs this week with his dogs in Juneau.

Oil industry's ad campaign centers on new hires
The oil industry's "Faces of ACES" advertising campaign is seeking to win oil tax reductions with assertions the law forced widespread layoffs, but the stories behind those faces say differently.

Photo: Advocating for breakfast
Bettsie Wild, of Eagle River, wipes away a tear Tuesday after voicing her support for school breakfast programs during a breakfast meeting of the Alaska Food Coalition and Food Bank of Alaska at the Capitol. Wild is flanked by Sen. Bill Wielechowski, D-Anchorage, right, Rep. Bob Buch, D-Anchorage, center, and Sen. Hollis French, D-Anchorage. Wild works with the Dare to Care school lunch program that feeds 1,300 students from Anchorage to Palmer.

Photo: Early sign of spring
Charlie Wilber stands behind a blossoming cherry tree in his yard Tuesday in Sitka. The unusually warm weather in Sitka this winter has gardens around town blooming.

Photo: Seating arrangement
Political staffers move chairs from the House of Representatives to another venue Wednesday at the Capitol.

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

Correction
A photo package on A4 in Tuesday's Empire referred to the Art for Kids Celebration as a fundraiser. Money from the event goes toward visual art scholarships for Juneau high school seniors, but the event itself is not a fundraiser. The scholarships can be applied for in March, and application forms are available at the high schools.

We are what we eat - why be artificial?
We refer to our spouses, children, mothers and friends as "sweetie," "honey" and "sugar" for a reason: sugar makes us feel good, and when used in moderation it offers the body a nice boost of energy. It can, however, have debilitating effects on the body when consumed in excess or by persons with sugar sensitivities.

Correction
An A1 story in Wednesday's Empire about Alaskan Brewing Co. incorrectly identified the building in which the company will open a new retail store. The store will open in the Cheney Building, which was owned by Belle Simpson and her husband, Robert. The Simpson building, which was built by Belle Simpson, is located on Second and Seward streets.

Captain of 'Deadliest Catch' dies
ANCHORAGE - Phil Harris, the fishing boat captain whose adventures off the Alaska coast were captured on the television show "Deadliest Catch", has died, the Discovery Channel said Tuesday night. He was 53.

Who's afraid of pundit Palin?
Conservative Sarah Palin fans ask me why "the liberal media" are "so afraid" of the former Alaska governor. I, for one, am unafraid. Quite the opposite. As an unrepentant pundit, I am delighted that the former Republican vice presidential candidate refuses to rule out running for the presidency. I am also relieved that, so far, she does not appear to have a ghost's chance of actually winning.

Pro: Legislature must seek real science on issue of global warming
The Climate Gate scandal is a textbook case of professional malfeasance that should give Congress reason to pause before agreeing to a binding international agreement that would hamstring the world economy in order to prevent the climate from changing.

Con: Establishing carbon caps is the first job for U.S. lawmakers
Congress should refrain from linking the results of the Massachusetts Senate election and the fiasco of the Copenhagen climate summit to the real issue: the steady destruction of the environment from the unceasing spewing of environmentally destructive carbon-dioxide gases into the atmosphere.

Asian trade essential for Alaska's economy
For much of statehood, Alaska products have been exported to Asia. Japan has historically been the strongest Asian trade partner and our ties remain strong today.

Outside editorial: Creating jobs
Last week the government reported that the national unemployment rate declined in January. Good news? Not good enough to dispel the pall of gloom that has accompanied economic reports for too long.

High-growing American exports, growing 2 million American jobs
From the moment he took the oath of office, President Obama has made one thing clear: his administration would be dedicated to putting Americans back to work across the country. In his first State of the Union address on Jan. 27, the president reaffirmed that commitment - and pointed to the potential of trade to support millions of jobs for American workers. Specifically, the president set a goal: to support 2 million American jobs by doubling American exports over the next five years.

... and killing jobs
So, things are getting better on the job front, but slowly. What's a politician to do about that?

You've got to give ... a little
At first it seemed like a great idea. President Obama, fresh from good reviews for his appearance at the House Republican retreat two weeks ago, invited Republican leaders to Blair House in Washington for negotiations on a health insurance reform bill. But the essence of negotiation is in its definition - "to deal or bargain with another or others." Or, to quote an old song lyric: "You've got to give a little, take a little, and let your poor heart break a little." We know what the president is willing to take, but what is he prepared to give?

Climb time: Women's climbing class offers instruction for the body, soul
At 4-foot-11, Jess Brown finds that she rock climbs differently than most.

Youth Center to be closed for staff training
JUNEAU - The Zach Gordon Youth Center will be closed Thursday and Friday, Feb. 18-19 for staff training.

Cave man of Tenakee shares secrets of karst
The guy in the neighboring cabin was skeptical:

Eaglecrest celebrates the 2010 Winter Olympics
JUNEAU - Eaglecrest Ski Area is hosting a Winter Fireworks Spectacular Saturday in honor of this year's Winter Olympics being held in Vancouver.

An appeal to the marmot for more snow
Dear Mr. Marmot,

Forests sit silent as residents prep for spring arrival
What a strange winter! There is almost no snow at low elevations, but it's not warm enough to melt the sheet of ice that purports to be my driveway. And there's not what I'd call a lot of snow at Eaglecrest, either, although there is enough to ski. In fact, there seems to be so little snow up there, that I worry about having enough spring snowmelt to keep the streams running adequately for fish and dippers.

Registration now open for 2010 Buckwheat Ski classic
SKAGWAY - Registration is now open for the annual Buckwheat Ski Classic race scheduled for Saturday, March 27.

Tides
Today, Feb. 12

Territorial Sportsmen elects new board
JUNEAU - The Territorial Sportsman of Juneau has elected new Board of Directors and Officers.

Fly fishers meeting to cover resident fish populations
JUNEAU - The local fly fishing group, the Raincountry Flyfishers, will meet Feb. 17 in the Floyd Dryden Middle School library at 7 p.m. to hear a presentation from Kevin Dugan on resident fish populations.

Valentine's Day ski, snowshoe race at Eaglecrest
JUNEAU - A skate, classic and snowshoe race is being held at noon, Sunday, Feb. 14 on the Meadow Loop trail for participants of all ages.

Armstrong to present 'Photographing Nature'
JUNEAU - Bob Armstrong will present "Photographing Nature in Alaska" at the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center tonight as part of this week's Fireside Lectures.

'Discovery Days' back for President's Day holiday
JUNEAU - Discovery Southeast will hold another Eaglecrest Adventure "Discovery Day" Monday, Feb. 15.

Soldiers return to Fort Wainwright
FORT WAINWRIGHT - A group of soldiers is returning to Fort Wainwright after a yearlong deployment in Iraq.

SEARHC hosts healing circle
SITKA - The SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Behavioral Health Division will host a community healing circle in Sitka this Saturday in the first-floor conference room of the SEARHC Community Health Services building.

Homeless man lured into vehicle, beaten
ANCHORAGE - Anchorage police said a homeless man was lured into a car, beaten and robbed of his jacket and shoes.

Police respond to assault in Sleetmute
ANCHORAGE - Alaska state troopers said a man attacked another man with a knife or hatchet in Sleetmute, which is about 150 miles northeast of Bethel.

Man convicted of Anchorage murder
ANCHORAGE - An Anchorage man who shot his sister's boyfriend has been convicted of second-degree murder.

Man gets 6 years in Soldotna drug death
KENAI - A 24-year-old man who supplied the heroin that killed another man in Soldotna will serve six years in prison.

Airport Dike Trail to close until March 27
JUNEAU - The Airport Dike Trail will be closed to all vehicle and pedestrian traffic beginning Tuesday. It will remain closed through March 27. This closure includes the area currently utilized for parking near the trail head, according to an airport press release.

Dems propose fund for Medicare clinics
JUNEAU - House Democrats are pushing a plan they hope will keep Medicare patients from falling through the cracks.

Pilgrim Hot Springs to be auctioned off
ANCHORAGE - The historic Pilgrim Hot Springs is going to be auctioned off in federal bankruptcy court next month.

Duty station bill moves on in Senate
JUNEAU - A Senate committee has advanced a measure that would make clear the governor's place is in Juneau.

No recording allowed at Palin speech
LITTLE ROCK - Want to record Sarah Palin's speech when the former Republican vice presidential nominee comes to Arkansas next week? Thanks, but no thanks, organizers say.

Sitka foods network seeks lead gardener
SITKA - The Sitka Local Foods Network is looking for a lead gardener for the St. Peter's Fellowship Farm community garden this spring and summer.

SEARHC hosts Denali KidCare pediatric dental clinic in Kake
KAKE - The SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium Kake Health Center will host a special Denali KidCare pediatric dental clinic on March 8-12.

UAF students pay $20 'green' fee
FAIRBANKS - Students at the University of Alaska Fairbanks are paying a new fee of $20 a semester to promote sustainability on campus.

UAF professor Gerald Mohatt dies
FAIRBANKS - Friends and family are remembering Gerald Mohatt as a great teacher who was passionate about his family and work as director of the Center for Alaska Native Health Research.

Recall started against Houston mayor
HOUSTON - An application for a petition to recall Houston Mayor Roger Purcell was dropped off Tuesday at the city clerk's office.

Alaska squadron trains in Puerto Rico
ANCHORAGE - Alaska Air National Guard members are in Puerto Rico for a two-week training deployment.

Lawmaker revisits prison privatization
JUNEAU - A corrections official said the state might save $6.5 million a year letting a private company run the Goose Creek Correctional Center in Wasilla.

Lawmaker proposes transportation fund
JUNEAU - An Alaska lawmaker wants to set aside $1 billion in a fund that would fuel state transportation projects.

Alaskan dies in fall while smoking
FAIRBANKS - A woman found dead in her yard at Fairbanks apparently went outside for a smoke and fell in the snow.

Crimson Bear girls hitting their stride
Fresh off winning the top regular season tournament in Alaska this year, the 2010 Lady Lynx Prep Shootout, the Juneau-Douglas girls' basketball team is returning to action tonight at home against a young - but talented - Colony squad.

Falcons eager for emotional rebound
After two of the most emotionally draining games a team can play against a brand-new crosstown rival, the Thunder Mountain boys' basketball team doesn't have much time to regroup for this weekend's Southeast Conference battles at Ketchikan.

More than just a softball player
Former Juneau-Douglas and current University of Oregon softball player Hannah Barril is embarking on her final season for a Ducks team looking to get back to its winning ways after missing the NCAA tournament last year.

Judge again declines new trial for Kott
ANCHORAGE - A federal judge has declined to review his decision to deny a new trial for former state Rep. Pete Kott on corruption charges.

Legislators denounce DOT as defiant
Top Alaska legislators have reached a broad, bipartisan agreement that the state's Department of Transportation and Public Facilities is unaccountable and does not do what the Legislature tells it to.

Experts say political landscape in Alaska tilting to favor industry
In the wake of a U.S. Supreme Court decision on corporate campaigning, observers say Alaska's political landscape will become even more malleable to industries' designs, while state lawmakers are trying to update, and possibly shore up, campaign laws before elections later this year.

Chief justice: Cooperation key to curbing crime in Alaska
Alaska Supreme Court Chief Justice Walter Carpeneti says cooperation among all branches of government is key to curbing crime, recidivism and inefficiencies in the criminal justice system.

Begich says state needs funding for education
Alaska should compete for a cut of federal education dollars aimed at helping reform-minded schools, U.S. Sen. Mark Begich said.

Recent improvements boost productivity at Red Dog mine
ANCHORAGE - The Red Dog zinc and lead mine near Kotzebue reports that improved operations last year allowed it to produce record amounts of metals and increase profits by $34 million.

Advocacy group says doctors over-prescribe psychiatric medication
ANCHORAGE - More than two dozen Alaska child psychiatrists, agencies and companies have been sued by a mental health advocacy group that contends doctors over-prescribed medication for children and committed Medicaid fraud.

State to send out notices over lost employee data
A lawyer for the state said letters should begin going out this week to the more than 77,000 current and former public employees whose personal information was lost by an accounting firm.

Parnell: Ads paint 'incomplete picture'
Advertisements run by an energy industry trade group give an "incomplete picture" of the effect of Alaska's oil and gas production tax, Gov. Sean Parnell said Tuesday.

Alaska agency wants Medicaid budget change
FAIRBANKS - The Department of Health and Social Services is asking the Legislature to approve a bookkeeping change to try to resolve budgeting problems with a Medicaid reimbursement program.

Some North Pole wells exceed toxin standards
FAIRBANKS - Some North Pole private wells have sulfolane levels higher than new standards recommended by the federal government, but state officials say the guidelines were set low as a precaution.

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