Friday, February 20, 2009

New young adult titles await at libraries
Yellow labels on the spines of books on the adult fiction shelves show they're meant for teen readers, with more intricate and mature plots than chapter books. Scan for them on the shelves, look them up in our computer catalogue or use these titles as a starting point.

Unauthorized book draws fire from Palin camp
ANCHORAGE, Alaska - A new unauthorized biography of Gov. Sarah Palin written by a People magazine editor hit bookstores Tuesday, drawing quick criticism from a Palin spokeswoman who said it can't be trusted and that Palin wants to write a book of her own.

'Renegades' offers stylish crime novel
"The Renegades" by T. Jefferson Parker.

Pacific Northwest Bestsellers
HARDCOVER FICTION

ARTS & CULTURE CALENDAR

We'll proceed
Individuals intrigued by man's never-ending search for meaning and the spiritual journey he undertakes in the process should stop by Perseverance Theatre's Second Stage to see "Underneath the Lintel," which opened Thursday and closes March 1. Written by Glen Berger, this one-man play is directed by Anni Stokes and performed by Ben Brown.

Here comes the bridal show
E ven Juneau brides who are envisioning a simple, do-it-yourself wedding in the woods where they can proudly sport their xtratufs under their gowns will want to check out this weekend's bridal fair.

Neeson the only reason 'Taken' works at all
Let me start by saying I do not condone human trafficking. If, however, you decide to get involved in that seedy underworld in the near future - the economy does stink right now, after all - I offer you this advice: If you kidnap a young lady, and speak to her oddly calm father on the phone moments after you have "Taken" her ... and if he tells you over the phone that he's had a "long career" that has honed certain "skills" that make him a nightmare for people like you, that he "will find you," and that he "will kill you," take him at his word.

City museum event to focus on Douglas Island gun
The Juneau-Douglas City Museum's Coffee & Collections series for this month will feature local researcher Mark Whitman presentation of "The Douglas Island Gun: Alaskan History Hiding in Plain Sight." The event will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 28, at the museum.

Juneau libraries to host craft afternoon, author presentation by O'Neill
JUNEAU - The Juneau libraries have announced two upcoming events.

Chapel by the Lake's Renewal Weekend scheduled for Friday through Sunday
JUNEAU - Chapel by the Lake's annual Renewal Weekend will take place this weekend, Friday through Sunday, with events including music, refreshments and nightly lectures by Dr. Kenneth Bailey at 6:30 p.m. All weekend events, including a Saturday evening barbeque dinner, are free, and childcare is provided.

Free Nordic skiing class Saturday
The Juneau Nordic Ski Club is holding free classes in Nordic skiing technique from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Saturday at the Mendenhall Campground. The clinic is open to the public, and no sign-up is required.

Red Cross to host Hawaiian luau Saturday at Centennial Hall
JUNEAU - The Red Cross will host their third annual Hawaiian Luau Saturday beginning at 6:30 p.m. at Centennial Hall.

Some Oscar presenters back out
LOS ANGELES - Anonymity has its perks - especially for celebrity Oscar presenters who might need to wriggle out of the gig.

'Sweet Melodies' ballroom dance tonight
JUNEAU - The Juneau International Folkdancers' monthly ballroom dance will be held at 7 p.m. tonight at the Juneau Arts & Culture Center. This month's event, "Sweet Melodies," will feature DJ music suitable for popular ballroom and Latin dances.

Night at the Oscars to be held at the Moose Lodge
JUNEAU - The American Cancer Society's Relay For Life is hosting "A Night At The Oscars" semi-formal event featuring a red-carpet walk and screening of the Academy Awards at 7:30 p.m. Sunday at the Moose Lodge.

Oscar-nominated Rahman brings music of India to world's ears
MUMBAI, India - Before A.R. Rahman received three Academy Award nominations for his contributions to "Slumdog Millionaire's" Indian-infused techno soundtrack, he was known across India as "the Mozart of Madras." He's long been Bollywood's best-known composer, a household name for his love ballads, offbeat world rhythms and patriotic pop hits that have sold more than 100 million albums, making him one of the world's top-selling artists.

Whale Project benefit to be held Feb. 26 at UAS
JUNEAU - The Whale Project will hold a benefit at 7 p.m. Thursday in the University of Alaska Southeast Egan Lecture Hall. There is no charge, but donations will go to the Whale Project sculpture and fountain by R.T. "Skip" Wallen for Juneau's waterfront.

Raz Sadeghi
Age: 10

Taxpayers should demand a fair deal
I'm concerned about the billions that are being spent by our government to rescue the financial system. As a former economics major, I understand that the financial system is vital to the functioning of our economy. Yet it is clearly the banking industry itself that created this problem, with the assistance of complete trust in "free markets" by our government.

Sealaska shareholders want to see change
There have been many Sealaska shareholders that want change, but their strive for change is eventually defeated.

Whose interests are Coeur really serving?
In talking about design changes the Kensington mine has undergone during the past 15 years, it's interesting that Rick Richins (My Turn, Feb. 1) gave Coeur credit for eliminating a proposed on-site cyanide recovery process. This positive change was a direct result of the environmental community successfully advocating for clean water and a healthy fishery.

Sealaska candidate speech is limited
In regards to the letter "Native leaders step up speak out" My question is how?

Department of Law supports dividend payment
Alaska's Permanent Fund dividend checks might amount to about $1,500 this year, despite the recent, unprecedented decline in the Permanent Fund.

Juneau's aging water, sewer utilities in need of upgrade
Patches welded to the outer surface of the city's sewage incinerator keep 1,350-degree flames in check at the Juneau-Douglas Treatment Plant and offer one indication of the unit's impending retirement.

Clarification
The Juneau Empire would like to clarify Gov. Sarah Palin's position on the Darfur Divestment, as reported in its Feb. 15 edition. Palin's former deputy commissioner of the Department of Revenue opposed the divestment bill during the 2008 legislative session when it was before the House State Affairs Committee. Palin herself did not vocally oppose the bill at that time. She began openly supporting divestment last Spring after the bill had died. The Empire reported Sunday that Palin had changed her position on the issue. Palin spokesman Bill McAllister said the governor had no opinion on the issue when it was before lawmakers last year, although one of Palin's top officials, who appeared to be acting on the governor's behalf, did oppose the legislation.

Students try hands at urban planning
For the last five weeks, 50 third graders at Riverbend Elementary School have been using part of their Thursday morning to role-play as urban planners for a city of their own design.

No easy fixes available for cruise ship wastewater stream
Cruise lines sailing in Alaska have to meet the strictest wastewater discharge standards in the world by 2010, and they told state regulators this year they can't do it.

Sen. Murkowski suggests directional drilling in ANWR
Environmental groups said they would fight any legislation that would allow oil companies to drill sideways from outside the boundaries of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge into its oil reserves, predicting it would be "dead in the water" under the Obama Administration.

Photo: Youth of the year
Megan Gunyah, 17, a senior at Metlakatla High School in Metlakatla, smiles after giving a speech Wednesday at the Capitol. Gunyah was chosen as The Alaska Youth of the Year by the Boys and Girls Clubs of Alaska. Seven finalists from around the state attended the ceremony. Gunyah maintains a 4.0 GPA and is an accomplished athlete. She plans to attend the University of Alaska Anchorage this fall.

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

Photo: Fired up
Participants in the All Unions Rally sponsored by the Alaska State Employees Association gather in front of the Capitol Thursday to listen to several different legislators and union officials speak. The purpose of the rally was to show support for reinstating a defined benefit retirement system for public employees and the Employee Free Choice Act. Several lawmakers, including the Juneau delegation, spoke in favor of a defined benefit retirement system and the Employee Free Choice Act. An estimated 350 people attended the rally.

Around Town

Photos: Crustacean STATION
Edgar Cedillo of Alaska Glacier Seafoods unloads tons of tanner crab off the vessel Phoenix Thursday afternoon before being weighed and processed. Brown king crab was also unloaded and weighed, then loaded onto a tender to be held live for later processing.

Photo: Offering hope
U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, speaks in front of a group Thursday before presenting a $1.5 million national youth suicide prevention grant at the Juneau-Douglas High Schoollibrary. Alaska's suicide rate is three-times the national average. The three-year grant will provide $500,000 in funding each year during that span. Seated, from right, is Ron King, whose son committed suicide, Dr. Eric Broderick, acting administrator of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, and Bill Hogan, commissioner of Alaska Department of Health and Social Services. "Youth suicides are even more challenging in rural and isolated areas where youth have limited access to behavioral health services," Murkowski said.

Corrections
Because of an editing error, an op-ed piece in Sunday's edition of the Juneau Empire incorrectly carried a byline from Juneau Empire Editor and Publisher Robert Hale. In fact, the piece was written by James C. Currow, executive vice president of the Morris Publishing Group within Morris Communications Co., parent company of the Juneau Empire and the Capital City Weekly. Morris Communications is based in Augusta, Ga. The Empire deeply regrets the error and are happy to set the record straight.

Photo: Dog gone it
Tom Donek and Stephanie Walden walk their five dogs, Tombie, Pybus, Jaylie, Taku and Scout, for a walk in the sun Wednesday near Auke Village Recreation Area. The two said they enjoyed walking the dogs in the area because there is less snow to walk through.

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

Around Town

Hailey Shea Greenbank
Juneau resident Hailey Shea Greenbank died Feb. 14, 2009, as a result of a tragic automobile accident in Juneau on Feb. 3, 2009. She was 5.

Walt Sheridan
Longtime Alaskan Walter Albert "Walt" Sheridan died Feb. 6, 2009, among friends and family in Florida. He was 63.

Betty L. Boddy
Juneau resident Betty L. Boddy died Feb. 17, 2009, in Juneau. She was 85.

Alaska Editorial: State can do more to nurture, keep excellent teachers
Alaska's state government should be doing a lot more to make sure new teachers are effective and keep good teachers on the job, according to a report from the National Council on Teacher Quality. Couple that report with the conclusions of billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates, who has invested in education reform experiments such as creating smaller schools.

Alaska editorial: Law report explains Alaska's gasoline fix
The Department of Law's report on gasoline prices in Alaska is the most enlightening explanation yet of the unfortunate situation victimizing Alaskans' pocketbooks.

Obama's first big battle
Both sides seem pleased with their performances in the first big battle of the Obama presidency.

Clinton needs strategies, not slogans
Hillary Rodham Clinton prefaced her first trip abroad as secretary of State with a speech Friday sketching out various Obama administration views regarding her Asia itinerary. Her approach on the crucial issue of North Korea's nuclear weapons program embodies an overwhelming - and unfortunate - continuity with the Bush administration. This is not at all surprising, given the president's campaign rhetoric.

Unintentional public service
Only a few weeks in the Senate, Roland Burris of Illinois has already performed a public service. He has shown why Senate vacancies should be filled in special elections, not appointed by state governors.

SEARHC hosts dental clinic in Angoon
ANGOON - The SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium Jessie Norma Jim Health Center in Angoon plans to host a special Denali KidCare pediatric dental clinic on Feb. 23-27.

Mount Roberts Tram to replace haul rope
JUNEAU - Goldbelt Incorporated, owner of the Mount Roberts Tramway, will replace the main tramway cable later this month. The original cable has been in service for 12 years and has hauled more than 2.3 million passengers to the mountaintop and back.

Murkowski indicates run for re-election
JUNEAU - U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski implied but hasn't outright said she's running for re-election next year.

Kleedehn arrives first in Dawson City
FAIRBANKS - Musher William Kleedehn was first to arrive in Dawson City in the Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race, but Jon Little was only two minutes behind.

Police investigate double homicide
ANCHORAGE - Anchorage police are investigating the shooting death of two men found inside a four-door Honda pick-up truck.

State posthumously honors veterans
JUNEAU - The state's Joint Armed Services Committee has selected a day when more than 170 fallen Alaskan soldiers will be honored in an invitation only ceremony.

Oil spill reported on North Slope
ANCHORAGE - Environmental regulators are investigating a small spill at Alaska's Prudhoe Bay.

Sen. McGuire launches new 'Twitter' feeds
JUNEAU - Sen. Lesil McGuire, R-Anchorage, has initiated an online "Twitter" feed to provide quick text updates about Capitol activities and actions in her committees.

Alaska awarded $3 million in HUD grants
ANCHORAGE - More than $3.4 million in federal grants will help Alaska organizations help house and support the homeless.

Gatt scratches from Yukon Quest race
FAIRBANKS - Three-time Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race champion Hans Gatt has scratched in the middle of this year's race.

Delta Junction man being held in Canada
FAIRBANKS - A Delta Junction man charged with attempted murder has been detained by Canadian authorities after trying to cross the border.

Students to attend engineering event
HELENA - Carroll College and Montana State University will co-host engineering students and faculty advisers from Alaska and four other states at a regional conference next month.

Men likely died of hypothermia
KOTZEBUE - Alaska State Troopers say two men lost for days in freezing weather likely died of hypothermia.

Begich says stimulus was bipartisan effort
FAIRBANKS - Alaska's freshman U.S. senator said despite last-minute disagreements, the $787 billion stimulus package was a bipartisan effort.

Plane damaged when it misses runway
SOLDOTNA - A small airplane suffered extensive damage when it crashed at the Soldotna Municipal Airport.

Winter festival to hold fur auction
ANCHORAGE - The Fur Rendezvous winter festival will hold the fur auction this year.

Kings strut into Bears' cave
It's fitting that the Crimson Bears will skip the usual Senior Night shenanigans when they end their regular season by hosting Southeast Conference rival Ketchikan tonight and Saturday. After all, the sweet smell of those parent-bound roses would only get lost in the stench of vengeance.

Photos: JSC whiz kids make Alpine Team
The JSC qualified three junior racers on the Alaska Alpine Team after the Alyeska Cup and Juneau Junior Olympic Qualifying races over the past two weekends. Those three racers - Ali Eason, Peel and Brian Vandor - will compete in either the J3-J4 Western Region Junior Olympics on March 19-22 at Brundage Mountain in McCall, Idaho or the J1-J2 Western Region championship on March 5-10 at Schweitzer Mountain in Sandpoint, Idaho.

University Regents decry recent NCAA development
The University of Alaska's Board of Regents unanimously backed a resolution criticizing a change to the NCAA's Division II playoff format.

Sports in Juneau
UPCOMING EVENTS

Cook Inlet natural gas exploration due to slow
Exploration and development drilling for natural gas in Cook Inlet is likely to slow in 2009 and this could worsen problems in the deliverability of gas to consumers in Southcentral Alaska during winter cold snaps, the director of the state Division of Oil and Gas says.

Legislators begin pay hike debate
Alaska Legislators hoping for a pay raise may have to stand up and say so with a vote.

Palin slashes spending by $445 million
Gov. Sarah Palin on Wednesday announced spending cuts of $445 million in next year's proposed budget to cope with reduced revenues from continued low oil prices.

Independent Alaska Air can't rule out merger
ATLANTA - Alaska Air Group Inc., operator of Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air and a partner of Delta Air Lines Inc., would consider a combination with another carrier if the right deal was proposed, but for now is committed to its independence and isn't thinking about a merger, executives said Wednesday.

Escape shelter designed for Newtok residents
Architects trying to cut moving costs for an imperiled Southwest Alaska village have designed an evacuation shelter with wood-heated steam baths, a gravity-fed sewer system and a permafrost-chilled cellar.

Alaska says Palin owes back taxes on per diem expenses
Gov. Sarah Palin will have to pay back taxes on nearly $18,000 in expenses she charged the state for living in her home instead of the state capital, officials said Wednesday.

Ketchikan sailmaker Louis Bartos keeps 'old ways' alive
KETCHIKAN - When asked how he got started as a sailmaker, Louis Bartos cites two major influences: his love of sailing and the valuable advice and guidance he received from an old Swedish sailor.

Security breach forces Alaska banks to replace thousands of credit cards
ANCHORAGE - A malicious security breach has forced several banks to issue thousands of new credit and debit cards throughout Alaska after data was stolen from a New Jersey company.

Investment advisor changes hands
Alaska's top investment consultant, which helps manage the Permanent Fund and more than $15 billion in retirement savings, has been bought out by one of its top competitors.

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