Thursday, February 25, 2010

Perseverance gets big-bang-pow laughs with naughty 'Boom'
I am blushing, but it is a nice blush. It is an R-rated, just over PG-13 kind of blush shaded by witticisms, blotted with F-words and pencil-thin highlights of humor, that can only be applied by the talent brought to Perseverance Theatre's rendering of San Francisco writer Peter Sinn Nachtrieb's end-of-the-world, beginning-of-life comedy, "Boom."

Perseverance holds youth auditions
Perseverance Theatre is holding auditions for a youth chorus for their upcoming musical production of "Hansel and Gretel." Auditions will be held from 3 to 5:30 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 28, on the mainstage at Perseverance Theatre.

Arts grant deadlines March 1
The following Alaska State Council on the Arts grants are due March 1: Career Opportunity, Workshop, Community Arts Development, Master Artist, FY11 Operating Support & Operating Biennial, Artist in Schools and Teaching Artist Roster

Authors Stan Jones, William Hensley in town this week
Inupiat culture and the landscape of Kotzebue are prominently featured in the writing of two well-known Alaska authors appearing in Juneau within the next week, though each writer approaches the subjects in very different ways.

Wild and Scenic film festival debuts
The Wild and Scenic Film Festival will take place at 7 p.m. tonight in the Egan Ballroom at Centennial Hall, showcasing 13 short films.

Pippa White to perform at library
To kick off Women's History Month, Pippa White of One's Company Productions will perform "Angels and Troublemakers," a one-woman show about women reformers who endured threats, harassment and ridicule to end child labor, improve conditions for the poor and oppressed, and further women's rights. The show begins at 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 26, at the downtown library.

Symphony Showcase presented in two shows this weekend
The Juneau Symphony will present their annual Symphony Showcase concerts on Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 27 and 28. The concerts are a chance for Symphony musicians to present chamber music of their choice in an intimate setting. This year's performances will feature 17 musicians playing solo and ensemble pieces ranging from Brahms' "Piano Trio No. 1" to "Dizzy Fingers" by Zez Confrey.

Capturing today through a lens from the past
Professional photographer Ron Klein doesn't take typical portraits.

'Evita' exceeds high expectations
It would be an understatement to say "Evita" is my favorite musical. I saw it for the first time in London in the summer of 1978. I lucked into tickets for the show about a month after its world premier at the Prince Edward Theatre with Elaine Paige starring as Eva Peron, the wife of Argentinean president Juan Peron. I saw the show two more times on Broadway in New York City in early 1982. And I have seen touring productions in Seattle and San Francisco.

Are Yankees allowed to sing with twang?
A friend of mine in San Francisco made an observation about Alaskan Americana musicians the other day that kind of hit home. He said, "All the Alaskan Bluegrassers end up talking like they're from Kentucky or somewhere." Aside from the fact that a lot of Alaskan musicians have lived in or are from southern states, he's pretty much right on.

A string of winners
Backbefore Facebook completely took over and MySpace was still relevant, I had a MySpace page. In fact, for a few months there it was pretty bad; my work productivity, my general energy level, and interest in things outside of the MySpace universe were all dramatically down. I eventually quit cold turkey and never looked back (Facebook is a much healthier activity for me so far).

Modern use of traditional architecture explored
In some cases, the best way to move forward is to look back.

New library selections for young adult readers
Young adult fiction is for readers in high school and older who like more involved plots and more mature themes than those found in chapter books. They are easy to spot: look for yellow-green stickers on the spines of books shelved in the adult fiction area. Look for the conclusion to the Sea of Trolls trilogy "The Islands of the Blessed," by Nancy Farmer, as well as the titles below.

Don't let oil industry buy its way out of tax
Thank goodness for Ray Metcalf. His My Turn column, "Faces of ACES or Fleecing of Alaska," finally says it all. Many of us have seen the oil company ads and wished we knew how the oil companies do business elsewhere. Now we know.

SEACC provides counterweight
Thank you to Ray Metcalfe for his recent My Turn analysis of just how spectacularly profitable the oil industry is in Alaska under the Alaska Clear and Equitable Share.

Job loss has nothing to do with ACES
On the front page of Sunday's Juneau Empire I read the bold headline: "Oil industry: Cut taxes, boost jobs." In short, the article suggests that ACES is causing a loss of oil industry jobs in Alaska. They would say that, wouldn't they?

Public should be heard on Sealaska bill
In October 2009, I had the opportunity to testify in front of the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Public Lands and Forests about Senate Bill 881, the Sealaska land transfer bill. Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Mark Begich were there, as were other members of the committee.

This Southeast 'local' supports SEACC
In Monday's article on Southeast Alaska Conservation Council's community outreach program, Sara Chambers is quoted as saying, "So are they local, are their friends? People should find that out."

Article doesn't show true face of Beck
The Sunday Empire included an article in USA Weekend magazine that paints Glenn Beck as a family man who is fun to hang out with. It acknowledges that Beck compares our president to Hitler. Yet, in its full three pages, it fails to state the obvious. Beck is making millions a year with talk such as calling Obama a racist who hates white people.

Health insurers need more competition
Health care reform that doesn't stop the abuses of the present system is not reform at all.

SEACC ad story not worthy of front page
While I recognize that Monday might be a slow day, the Empire's Feb. 22 story about Southeast Alaska Conservation Council's ad campaign hardly seems like front-page fodder.

Lawmakers should pick up own checks
Why are certain legislators trying to raise the meal limit reporting amount? Why are they afraid to have their name attached to a meeting with a lobbyist? It's not as though they can't still get free food and drink; it's just that it will be reported when it exceeds $15.

SEACC tax return paints different story
Monday's Juneau Empire featured an article questioning whether Southeast Alaska Conservation Council's recent ad campaign will help the organization overcome the "SEACC in the headlines in the paper."

Alaska Permanent Fund simplifies its investments
The Alaska Permanent Fund will contain fewer individual investment portfolios and more index funds, after its stock portfolio was restructured Tuesday to begin implementing a cutting-edge new investment strategy that was first adopted last summer.

Permanent fund looks back on profitable year
The Alaska Permanent Fund had a stellar 2009, earning 18.76 percent for the year, its managers were told Wednesday.

Wellness becomes a simple way of life
While growing up, I was always aware that good health was important, something to be protected and cherished. My parents were immigrants, so starting out in a new country meant that money was limited at first. As with any family or individual on a budget, a trip to the doctor meant financial hardship to be avoided if at all possible. Staying healthy was priority No. 1.

High school students learn about health careers through SEARHC program
SITKA - Few people get to see real emergency room doctors in action, be with operating room staff during surgery or even watch a dentist performing a root canal. Alaska Native high school students from Southeast Alaska can experience these and other opportunities when they participate in the Ethel Lund Village Health Occupations Program.

Beutel joins staff at Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital
SITKA - The SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium Mount Edgecumbe Hospital in Sitka recently added Dr. William D. Beutel to its medical staff.

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

Alaska Airlines launches paperless boarding passes
SEATTLE - Tech-savvy travelers on Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air flights will have one less thing to carry: a printed boarding pass. The two airlines on Monday introduced electronic boarding passes in seven cities and also launched mobile.alaskaair.com.

Hatchery moves fry by the millions
Like eaglets being pushed from the nest, salmon fry born at the local hatchery get their first taste of freedom this week.

Children meet Mr. Gross Teeth
It isn't every day that a Dalmatian and a snake-charmer examine teeth and give patients rides in dental chairs, but the circus - also known as the Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium Children's Dental Health Fair - came to town Tuesday to take the terror out of a dentist trip.

Girl, 12, found safe after five-hour search
Twelve-year-old Emily Hawkins learned a valuable lesson Tuesday after getting lost for five hours in the woods above Dzantik'I Heeni Middle School.

Two people arrested in Mendenhall Valley melee
A 30-year-old man and a 23-year-old woman were arrested on assault charges Monday after police responded to a brawl in the Mendenhall Valley involving sticks, bats and ice scrapers.

Alaska Chamber joins nonprofit health plan
Private business employers have another option to offer health care benefits to employees under a new agreement announced Tuesday.

Photo: Flipping out
A Juneau-Douglas High School cheerleader does a back flip before the start of Saturday's basketball game against Ketchikan.

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

Photo: Intramural win
Juneau-Douglas High School teachers Dale Bontrager, left, and Julie Heard celebrate with teammates Sandi Wagner and Kari Monagle in a win Wednesday over the top lunchtime intramural volleyball team of Aaron Cohen, George Skan, Phillip Murray and Victor Wilson.

Wings of Alaska promotes McKinney
JUNEAU - John Beardsley, CEO Wings of Alaska, announced the appointment of Rob McKinney to the title of President of Wings of Alaska.

Prebula to lead United Way in Southeast
JUNEAU - Michelle Prebula was elected chair of the United Way of Southeast Alaska. Prebula, who serves as cash manager for the State of Alaska Department of Revenue, has served on the board since 2007.

Pipeline Skate Park to re-open Saturday
The Pipeline Skate Park will have a grand re-opening this Saturday, following a closure last month to address concerns about safety and inappropriate behavior.

Health is in the water
We know nearly 70 percent of the Earth's surface is water, and about the same percentage in the human body.

Beverly Shepherd
Former Juneau resident Beverly Ann Shepherd died Feb. 7, 2010, in Phoenix. She was 73.

Distractions muddle climate change debate
The trouble with the climate change debate is that we get distracted. Weather is one example. Some argue this winter in Juneau is evidence of global warming while others would counter with the cold and wet summer of 2008. Climate is the tendency of weather to follow certain patterns; weather is the variation around the pattern. We can all describe our climate, but predicting weather is trickier. In Alaska, we depend on the climate for our livelihoods and the food we eat. This is why the debate about climate is so important.

Alaska editorial: Take time with ACES
The following editorial appeared in the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner:

From Tiger to Toyota: Rebuilding broken brands
Tiger Woods' strained - actually, rather bizarre - appearance before the television cameras Friday and next week's appearance by Toyota Motor Corp. President Akio Toyoda have more in common than it might appear.

Bonus anger will shift to government workers
Move over, investment bankers. The next victims of populist backlash are going to be state- and local-government workers.

Turning hatred into health through cooperative effort
Depth psychology has for years taught us that hatred is unhealthy. Uncontrolled actions sparked by rage can be immediately lethal. Smoldering resentments and jealousies leave lasting harm over generations.

Juvenile charged in Anchorage shooting
ANCHORAGE - A juvenile and a man out of jail for one day have been charged with an east Anchorage shooting.

Fleeing suspect dips snowmachine in Chena River
FAIRBANKS - Alaska State Troopers say a man who fled a Fairbanks robbery didn't get far.

Man pleads guilty to sexual assaults
FAIRBANKS - A Fairbanks man who admitted seven years of sexual abuse pleaded guilty to sexual abuse of a minor and sexual assault.

Lawmaker eyes rumble strips to reduce accidents
JUNEAU - An Anchorage Democrat says putting rumble strips on the center line of high-traffic roads could reduce driving accidents and fatalities.

Alaska's tax collections fall dramatically
HELENA, Mont. - A new report indicated that states again saw big drops in tax collections in the last quarter of 2009 - the fifth straight quarterly decline.

Kodiak police investigate vandalism at two schools
KODIAK - School officials in Kodiak said vandals caused an estimated $75,000 in damage to two schools over the weekend.

Fairbanks man accused in 'horrific' assault
FAIRBANKS - A Fairbanks man is accused of severely beating his wife after she stabbed him in what she says was self-defense.

Bristol Palin to make acting debut on ABC Family TV show
NEW YORK - Bristol Palin, whose unplanned pregnancy became a national news story that engulfed her mother's vice presidential campaign in 2008, is bringing her experience as a teen mom to bear on the small screen. ABC Family announced Tuesday that Bristol, the oldest daughter of former Gov. Sarah Palin, will play herself on an episode of "The Secret Life of the American Teenager," a drama about a teenager who becomes pregnant.

Crew to film Christmas movie in Seward
ANCHORAGE - A Hollywood production crew is set to film a movie in Seward called "Christmas with a Capital C" and starring Daniel Baldwin.

Protective order bill heads to governor
JUNEAU - A bill adding sexual assault to the cases in which judges can issue protective orders in Alaska is on its way to Gov. Sean Parnell.

Light earthquake reported off Adak
ADAK - A magnitude 4.3 earthquake has been reported along the Aleutian chain.

Alaska court to hear challenge to parent notification initiative
ANCHORAGE - The Anchorage Superior Court is hearing a challenge to a ballot initiative to require a parent to be notified if a girl younger than 18 seeks an abortion.

Airport project to cost $75 million planned for Akutan
KENAI - The state Transportation Department is planning a new airport for the city of Akutan by the fall of 2012.

State House: Expired concealed handgun permits are OK
JUNEAU - Alaska's concealed handgun permit holders won't have to surrender their permits after they expire under a bill the House passed unanimously Wednesday.

Elemendorf plans spill response practice
ELMENDORF AIR FORCE BASE - Elemendorf Air Force Base is hosting a spill response practice taking place most of this week.

Constitutional push for more lawmakers gains momentum
JUNEAU - The measure calling for a ballot question and constitutional amendment to add 12 seats to Alaska's 60-seat Legislature appears to be making headway.

Dike Trail to remain closed through March
JUNEAU - The Airport Dike Trail, also known as the Emergency Vehicle Access Road, is closed to all vehicle and pedestrian traffic all days except Sunday until March 27.

Judge denies motion in lawsuit against former Gov. Palin
ANCHORAGE - A federal judge has denied a motion to reconsider his dismissal of a lawsuit alleging that former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin violated the plaintiffs' constitutional rights by failing to issue a proclamation in 2007 for a celebration commemorating the freeing of U.S. slaves.

Round 2
The Falcons are looking for their first-ever win tonight against Juneau-Douglas at the Thunderdome, but more importantly, both teams are looking to get back on track after enduring tough stretches prior to Round 2 of Juneau's new crosstown high school hoops rivalry.

Tompkins earns spot on 2010 Paralympic team
Juneau mono-skier Joe Tompkins is currently third in the overall World Cup points standings, earning him a spot on the U.S. team for next month's Paralympic games in Vancouver.

Photos: Big success for Basic Skills Competition
RESULTS: Preliminary Freestyle: 1. Laurie Balstad; 2. Rebekah Badilla. Pre-Preliminary Freestyle: 1. Galen Wright. No test Freestyle: 1. Demaris Oxman; 2. Keishla Soto. Free Skate 4: 1. Andrew Gianotti. Free Skate 3: 1. Julia Noreen. Free Skate 1: 1. Amanda Gassan. Basic Skills Level 8: 1. Darian Gray. Basic Skills Level 7: 1. Kamy Hamrick; 2. Taylor Flannagan; 3. Sabrina Jones. Basic Skills Level 6: 1. Evan Oien; 2. Emily Bowman.

Investors bid on 48,000 acres in Beaufort Sea lease sale
ANCHORAGE - Alaska received oil and gas lease bids for 48,000 acres in near shore waters of the Beaufort Sea on Wednesday in a sale that was criticized for offering drilling rights in sensitive marine waters.

Ethics bill targets executive travel and legal fees
The Alaska Legislature should write the ethics rules that apply to the executive branch, not someone within the branch, an Anchorage lawmaker said Tuesday.

Assistant DA charged in DUI cases
FAIRBANKS - A Fairbanks assistant district attorney has pleaded not guilty to charges of driving under the influence of drugs after being arrested twice within a week.

Panel analyzes role of oil, gas tax
A Senate committee is hearing conflicting accounts about how well Alaska's oil and gas production tax is working, with no promise that anything will be done about a nearly 2-year-old tax that has helped swell state coffers but drawn complaints from oil companies.

Airline passenger revenue up in January
WASHINGTON - Passenger revenue among a sampling of U.S. carriers rose 1.4 percent in January compared to the same month a year earlier, despite a slightly lower number of passengers flying, a trade group for the airlines said Tuesday.

State to participate in cruise trade show
ANCHORAGE - The state Office of Economic Development is partnering with businesses to promote Alaska as a top cruise destination at an industry trade show next month.

Coeur finishes sale of senior unsecured notes
COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho -Coeur d'Alene Mines, owner of the Kensington mine northwest of Juneau, completed the sale of $100 million of senior unsecured notes and sold shares of its common stock valued at $3.75 million.

Photo: Skimming the water

Lawmakers plan to attend national Energy Council meeting
The halls of the state Capitol will be a little quieter next week, with 19 Alaska lawmakers expected to be in Washington for an annual meeting of the Energy Council.

ACS officer to present award in Florida
ANCHORAGE - Alaska Communications Systems Group Inc. today announced that David Wilson, chief financial officer, will be presenting at the Raymond James 31st annual Institutional Investors Conference on Wednesday, March 10, 2010, at 7:30 a.m. Eastern Time. The conference takes place at the JW Marriot Grande Lakes in Orlando, Fla.

Small business center opens in Ketchikan
KETCHIKAN - The Alaska Small Business Development Center announced the opening of its center in Ketchikan. Michele Zerbetz Scott, business advisor, will be providing counseling services.

Rondy poker tournament called off
ANCHORAGE - The annual Alaska Hold'em Poker Tournament has been canceled by Fur Rendezvous organizers over concerns it could amount to illegal gambling.

Anchorage plans to cut back rescue teams, services
ANCHORAGE - Alaska State Troopers will take over some of the Anchorage Fire Department's rescue duties as the department cuts back its services because of the city's budget problems.

Lawmakers may raise meal reporting limit
ANCHORAGE - Alaska legislators say it's almost impossible to get a decent meal in Juneau for under $15, so they are considering rolling back a requirement that lobbyists report when they buy lawmakers food or drink over that amount.

Longtime aide, adviser to Sarah Palin to resign
Meghan Stapleton, an aide and adviser to former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, said Wednesday she is resigning at the end of the month to spend more time with her young daughter.

Open water on Chena may change Iron Dog finish line
FAIRBANKS - The director of the Iron Dog snowmachine race is looking at finish line options if open water on the Chena River prevents the use of Pike's Landing at Fairbanks.

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