A new life for McPhetres Hall
When Theatre in the Rough opens the doors on its preview production of “Our Town” tonight at the new McPhetres Hall, they will be ushering in much more than the hall’s inaugural audience. Tonight’s performance marks the end of the vagabond life for the theater company, who will call the new space home, and celebrates the regeneration of a major community gathering place five years after the original hall was destroyed by fire. It also offers a tangible example of the generosity of community members, whose donations to the theater’s fund-raising campaign made the beautiful new space possible.

Adjusting the master plan
I blame the aliens. I blame the city of Hell-A. They share the blame, really. “Battle: Los Angeles” opened last weekend and I just couldn’t do it. I couldn’t get amped to invest the time or the money and I definitely couldn’t get excited about eventually conjuring up the 600 words to review Aaron Eckhart’s flick about aliens attacking Los Angeles.

UAS' Art of Place series continues with silver carver Ed Kunz
Art of Place, a lecture series designed to give community members a chance to connect with renowned Alaska Native artists in an informal setting, continues at the University of Alaska Southeast this week with a presentation by Ed Kunz. Kunz will speak about silver carving beginning at 10 a.m. today, in the Glacier View Room of the Egan Building at UAS.

Voices of the Wilderness artist residency program accepting applications
The summer of 2011 will mark the second year of the Voices of the Wilderness artist residency program. This program, based in Tracy Arm-Fords Terror Wilderness Area, is modeled after residencies in the national parks, but with a twist. Participating artists are paired with a wilderness ranger and actively engage in stewardship projects, including research, monitoring, and education projects.

Author Schooler to read from 'Walking Home' Friday
Local author Lynn Schooler will read from his memoir, “Walking Home” at 7 p.m. Friday at the downtown library.


Barndance held Saturday at St. Ann's
The March barndance will be held this Saturday, March 19, beginning at 7:30 p.m. at St. Ann’s Parish Hall. Live music will be provided by the Grateful Celtics and contra and square dance calling by Tom Paul. All dances are taught and there are no fancy steps to learn; no experience or partners are necessary.

March Coffee & Collections highlights early days of Juneau Ski Club, Dan Moller Cabin
Wilderness cabins and skiing will be the focus of this month’s Coffee & Collections presentation at the Juneau-Douglas City Museum. Longtime Juneau Ski Club member Dean Williams and USFS archaeologist Myra Gilliam will lead a discussion about the significance of the cabin and its connection to the Juneau Ski Club during their presenation, “Dan Moller Cabin and the Beginnings of the Juneau Ski Club,” at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at the City Museum.

Fireside Lecture to feature “Bats in the Backyard”
This Friday’s Fireside Lecture at the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center will feature “Bats in the Backyard: Flyers in the Forest.” Presentations begin at 6:30 and 8 p.m.

State library to host talk on history of the cooperative extension Service in Alaska
The Alaska State Library Historical Collections will host a presentation by Fred Schlutt, University of Alaska Fairbanks vice provost for extension and outreach and director of the Cooperative Extension Service.

Film treasures from the State Library on view Friday
As part of the University of Alaska Southeast’s spring arts and humanities series, “Sound + Motion,” the Alaska State Library Historical Collections will present its second annual “Film Treasures from the State Library” on Friday, March 18.

Schedule begins Friday

Deadline nears for scholarships for Native Libraries, Archives and Museums Summit
The Alaska Native Libraries, Archives, and Museums Summit will be held April 27-30 in Anchorage. The summit’s title is Northern Light: Keeping Our Stories Alive.

Ocean Film Festival begins Saturday
The 2011 Alaska Ocean Film Festival will be held Saturday, March 19, at the Gold Town Nickelodeon Theater. Show times are at 4 and 7 p.m.

St Baldrick's Child Cancer Benefit held Friday
TK Maguire’s will host a St Baldrick’s Child Cancer Benefit on Friday March 18. Come and cheer on some good spirited people who will be getting their heads shaved for cancer awareness.

Barrow Eskimo Dancers to perform Saturday
The Barrow Eskimo Dancers will perform at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 19, at the Juneau-Douglas High School auditorium. The Barrow Dancers is an all-ages group with more than 60 members, all 0f whom are Inupiaq Eskimo. Some begin dance training while still toddlers, and others joined when in their 60s.

Anchorage jazz pianist to perform Friday
Anchorage-based pianist Dan McElrath will perform a solo concert at 7 p.m. tomorrow in Room 113 of the Hendrickson Building, at the University of Alaska Southeast. The performance will feature many of McElrath’s original compositions from his most recent album, “Ajazzka,” recorded with by McElrath and the Dan Mac Quintet.

Applications for Latseen Leadership Academy accepted through June 10
Sealaska Heritage Institute is accepting applications to attend its annual Latseen Leadership Academy in Juneau.

Blum to be keynote speaker at North Words Symposium
Nonfiction writer Howard Blum will be the keynote speaker of the second annual North Words Writers Symposium in Skagway, Alaska, scheduled for June 1-4, 2011.

Rookery to host Bristol Bay celebration tonight
Kodiak-based Chef Joel Chenet, owner of Kodiak’s Mill Bay Coffee and Pastries, is in town this week with a group of Bristol Bay residents, fishermen, and others who are in town to reiterate a request of the state legislature to take action to better ensure longterm protection for fisheries, subsistence culture, and public health in the Bristol Bay Watershed. Chenet decided to make the trip after traveling to Bristol Bay last summer, where he experienced Bristol Bay’s commercial, sport, and subsistence fisheries first-hand.

Call for art for Art Bank
The Alaska State Council on the Arts has announced a call for art for the State of Alaska Contemporary Art Bank, a collection of artworks loaned to state offices and public spaces.

Weekly Fitness Tip
From the Alaska Club

Dr. Pavitt’s Weekly Tip for Permanent Fat Loss
Hunger is an important and powerful urge. When we are hungry, it’s time to eat. In order for any fat loss program to be successful, we have to respect this sensation and respond appropriately to it. If the diet you are attempting leads you to be chronically hungry then you are not likely to stick to it.

Week 7 Results!
Weekly weight loss results.

Can Pharmaceuticals Make Us Fat? Part 2
Part 2 in a two-part series

EFT: Help for Weight Loss
The Emotional Freedom Technique, (EFT), is a simple approach for balancing the energy field by gently tapping meridian points. Because it affects the entire energy system – mind and body –it can be used to release anxiety, addictions, pain, and other physical symptoms, or to achieve life goals. It is easy to learn and is a convenient self-help tool for weight loss and the addictive pre-occupation with food that keeps life on hold.

Something isn't right
I’ve been hearing a lot about Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s draft Sealaska Lands Bill, and the language in the draft bill itself doesn’t jibe with Murkowski’s spin on the legislation. It seems to be nothing but another big giveaway of public lands and assets.

Overzealous prosecution
Bruce Weyhrauch, a wonderful person and great asset to the community of Juneau remains the poster boy of overzealous and out of control prosecution.

JSD board sends final budget to Assembly
The Juneau School District board sent a $90 million budget to the City and Borough of Juneau Assembly with a 4-3 vote Tuesday night after reinstating Extended Learning positions in the elementary schools and trimming three Extended Learning classes at the high school level. The budget also means slightly higher class sizes in third- to fifth-grade classes.

JSD board sends final budget to Borough Assembly
The Juneau School District board sent a $90 million budget to the Borough Assembly with a 4-3 vote Tuesday night after reinstating Extended Learning positions in the elementary schools and trimming three Extended Learning classes at the high school level. The budget also means slightly higher class sizes in third-to fifth-grade classes.

Police & Fire
This report contains information provided to the Empire from law enforcement agencies. This report includes arrest and citation information, not conviction information. Anyone listed in this report is presumed innocent.

Photo: Weight is a worry
Harbor Officer Doug Liermann shovels snow off the dock Wednesday at Douglas Harbor. Much of the 5-inch-thick ice was from saltwater spray thrown up during last months heavy winds. Liermann said he was worried about the weight on the dock.

Photo: On for a snowy run
Scott Watts gets in a run around noon down Riverside Drive through fresh snow Wednesday.

Photo: Decommissioned cutter
The 67-year-old United States Coast Guard cutter Acushnet is shown while visiting Juneau in February. The Acushnet was decommissioned during a ceremony Friday in Ketchikan. The Acushnet was originally commissioned as a diver class fleet rescue and salvage vessel, USS Shackle for the U.S. Navy on Feb. 5, 1944. The Acushnet has been designated as a tug, an oceanographic vessel and a medium endurance cutter during her service. As a medium endurance cutter, the Acushnet served in the Pacific Ocean, Gulf of Alaska, Bering Sea and Arctic Ocean. Primary missions included search and rescue, homeland security, maritime law enforcement and environmental protection. The Acushnet was crowned “Queen of the Fleet” after the decommissioning ceremony of the Coast Guard cutter Storis on Feb. 8, 2007. That moniker will now pass to the Cutter Smilax, a 100-foot inland construction tender commissioned in 1944 and based in Ft. Macon, N.C. During the course of the cutter’s service, Acushnet crews have received the following awards for exemplary service: World War II Victory Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, American Campaign Medal, two Coast Guard Unit Commendations, five Coast Guard Meritorious Unit Commendations, seven Coast Guard “E” Ribbons, Navy Occupation Service Medal, three National Defense Service Medals, two Humanitarian Service Medals and two Coast Guard Special Operation Ribbons. As of this month no cutter has been named to replace the Acushnet in Ketchikan and none was expected due to economical impacts. The crew of the Acushnet will be ‘cross-planked’ to other vessels and assignments. The loss of 80-plus crew and family to Ketchikan will be felt. The Kodiak-based cutter Munro will continue missions in the Gulf and Bering seas. Sen. Lisa Murkowski stated “the Achushnet’s absence would make it exceptionally difficult for the Coast Guard to meet an already challenging mission it faces in Alaska.”

Students on exchange from Middle East give glimpse of lives back home
What students from Egypt and Palestine experience back home is in stark contrast to what goes on in the U.S., as two students explained what their home countries are like to students in Juneau last week.

Sealaska Heritage Institute opens applications for academy
Sealaska Heritage Institute is accepting applications to attend its annual Latseen Leadership Academy in Juneau.

Hair shaving to take place Friday at Prospector Hotel
The hair will be flying Friday in the name of cancer treatment, as the St. Baldrick’s Foundation will be shaving heads at the Prospector Hotel in downtown to raise money for cancer research for children.

State education board to meet Thursday and Friday
The State Board of Education & Early Development will meet at 8 a.m. Thursday and at 9:20 a.m. Friday. The meeting will be held in the state board room on the ground floor of 801 W. 10th Street in Juneau. The public is invited to attend.

Police & Fire
This report contains information provided to the Empire from law enforcement agencies. This report includes arrest and citation information, not conviction information. Anyone listed in this report is presumed innocent.

Auke Bay going screen-free April 18-24
Auke Bay Elementary School will join thousands of schools, libraries, and community groups nationwide in a coordinated effort to encourage millions of Americans to turn off televisions, computers and video games for seven days and turn on the world around them. Screen-Free Week is a chance for children to read, play, think, create, be more physically active, and to spend more time with friends and family.

Stimulus provided jobs in education, but those slots in jeopardy as states struggle
The economic-stimulus package Congress passed two years ago preserved hundreds of thousands of jobs in the nation’s public schools but, with the economy still sputtering, the future of many of those positions remains in jeopardy.

UAS to be first school in nation for new mining simulator
The University of Alaska Southeast secured funds which will allow it to become the first school in the United States to operate a state-of-the-art mining simulator, Rep. Cathy Muñoz announced Wednesday at a mining trade show in Juneau.

My Turn: Take a look at the wild side
Sealaska Timber Corporation says again and again that they are good stewards of their lands and protectors of the environment. And they have produced a poll that says a majority of Southeast Alaska citizens support their land exchange bill. I do not know the specifics of the poll but a good poll would ask first, “have you seen their and other native corporations’ past logging practices?” If not, it would have been best, before you gave an answer, to take a look at what the native corporations have done to their lands. Also for comparison, take a look at the lands untouched by logging. To note a old cliché, but a true one, seeing is believing. So take a look at the wild side and then compare it with the dark side.

My Turn: Muñoz speaks out on oil issues
Last week the Empire reported on a presentation I made to a recent Native Issues Forum that I believe mischaracterized the work of the House Resources Committee, my vote to move oil tax legislation out of that committee, and the fiscal realities now facing Alaska.

Outside editorial: Immigration, state by state
The following editorial first appeared in the Los Angeles Times:

My Turn: Proper use of public funds?
A recent proposal by the City and Borough of Juneau Manager to give two private businesses over a million dollars in public revenue captured my attention and caused me to wonder, why?

Personal responsibility as a matter of honor
Brandon Davies’ suspension from Brigham Young University’s basketball team resulted in shock ... and respectful awe. Davies, a sophomore, had been starting center for the BYU Cougars, who were in the midst of one of their best seasons in decades and hoping for a big finale come NCAA tournament time. Davies’ violation of the school’s honor code not only cost him the rest of the season, it could cost the Cougars dearly in postseason play.

Empire editorial: Being tops in the state nothing new to JDS students
Today, the Juneau-Douglas High School Crimson Bears begin the final step in their pursuits of state basketball titles, with the second-seeded girls tipping off at 8 a.m. against South Anchorage and the No. 4 boys facing North Pole at 11:30 a.m. in Anchorage. We’ve no doubt these teams will make a great showing at state and, win or lose, will continue to make their city and alma mater proud to claim them as their own.

Riverbend candidate pool expanded
An additional candidate for principal at Riverbend Elementary was added and interviewed on Monday.


U of Alaska researcher faces sex charge in Utah
FAIRBANKS — A University of Alaska Fairbanks researcher is facing a sex abuse charge in Utah involving a teenage boy.

Moose attacks 6-year-old boy in Anchorage
ANCHORAGE — A moose attacked a 6-year-old boy after he got off a school bus in Anchorage.

Copters rescue 3 injured hikers in Chugach Park
ANCHORAGE — Helicopters rescued three hikers injured in separate accidents Sunday in Chugach State Park.

Fairbanks is host to Tanana Chiefs conference
FAIRBANKS — Hundreds of delegates to the annual Tanana Chiefs conference are arriving in Fairbanks to elect officers, discuss key issues and hear from Alaska political leaders.

Yearly Denali road clearance to begin
DENALI NATIONAL PARK — A National Park Service crew is scheduled to begin plowing Denali Park Road on Wednesday to get it ready for visitors in the coming tourist season.

ADF&G announces rockfish limits
The Alaska Department of Fish and Game has announced the non-pelagic rockfish bag, possession and mandatory retention for the 2011 sport fishery in the Southeast inside and outside waters.

Wasilla man accused of using fake bomb as threat
ANCHORAGE — A man accused of leaving a fake bomb in the driveway of an acquaintance in Wasilla is facing a felony charge of making terror threat.

Alaska teen pleads not guilty in father's death
FAIRBANKS — A 19-year-old Alaska man has pleaded not guilty to a murder charge in the death of his father.

GCI offers free calls to Japan
General Communication, Inc. has announced that residential customers with land lines or cell phones can call Japan for free in order to contact loved ones who may have been affected by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.

ACS offers free calls to Japan following quake
Following last week’s earthquake and tsunami, Alaska Communications is offering international calling and texting support for Alaska residential wireless and wireline consumers trying to connect with loved ones in Japan through March 31.

Anchorage doctor injured in skiing accident
ANCHORAGE — An Anchorage doctor was critically injured in a skiing accident at the Alyeska Resort.

Joe Miller signs with speakers' bureau
JUNEAU — Joe Miller has announced his first major step since losing last fall’s U.S. Senate race: joining with a speakers’ bureau.

Teen charged in Ketchikan stabbing homicide
KETCHIKAN — A Ketchikan teenager has been charged with second-degree murder in the stabbing death of a man outside the man’s home.

Newspaper ads sagged to a 25-year low in 2010
SAN FRANCISCO — Newspaper advertising has sunk to a 25-year low as marketers shift their spending from print to the Internet.

Committee considers flame-retardant ban
JUNEAU — Lawmakers have begun considering a ban on flame-retardant chemicals that have been linked to degenerative diseases.

Bill to expand mandatory attendance age advances
JUNEAU — A bill that would require students to attend school from age 6 to 18 has cleared another legislative hurdle.

Fate of Ice Alaska site may be up to Legislature
FAIRBANKS — The fate of the Ice Alaska site in Fairbanks may be determined in the last few weeks of the legislative session.

Fairbanks to host agriculture conference
FAIRBANKS — The University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service is gearing up to host a farming conference next week in Fairbanks

Murkowski presses EPA administrator on Pebble Mine, oil and gas exploration
U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, has questioned Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson on a series of development projects in Alaska, including efforts concerning the proposed Pebble Mine and oil and gas exploration in the Beaufort Sea and the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska.

Hurtte takes leadership role
The roles of individual players on a basketball team are ever-evolving entities, especially when you consider how fleeting a student-athlete’s varsity career can be.

HoopTime preps for 12th annual Mike Jackson Memorial Shootout
HoopTime AAU Basketball will hold the 12th annual Mike Jackson Memorial Shootout Tournament March 23-26 at Thunder Mountain High School, Floyd Dryden Middle School and Glacier Valley School.

JDHS faces tough task in Round 1
The Juneau-Douglas boys’ basketball team tips off in its sixth straight state tournament appearance Thursday, but the Crimson Bears haven’t exactly had the best of luck in recent years.

Stretch run rings final bell for 8 seniors
It may seem as such for this season’s edition of Crimson Bears girls’ basketball, but no matter how dominant a team is, winning is never certain.

Defending the crown
It couldn’t have come out any better for the Juneau-Douglas girls’ basketball team if the Crimson Bears had drawn the bracket up themselves.

Redistricting data paints dismal picture for Southeast
Redistricting experts throughout Alaska began reviewing new 2010 Census data Wednesday, and in Southeast that was mostly a grim task for elected officials.

Weyhrauch gets suspended sentence
JUNEAU — A former Alaska lawmaker was given a suspended three-month jail sentence and fined $1,000 Tuesday as part of a plea agreement that will spare him from a federal corruption case.

Mat-Su borough fastest-growing region in Alaska
JUNEAU — The Matanuska-Susitna Borough was the fastest-growing region of Alaska over the past decade, growing by 50 percent, according to the 2010 Census data released Wednesday.

Baker wins in record time
NOME — John Baker’s win in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race was more than just one man finally achieving his lifelong dream. It was also a victory for Alaska Natives.

Education gets an early boost in Senate
Alaska education advocates are hoping the state Senate may be their savior, and that senators may do even more than restore the cuts made in the House of Representatives.

Feds deploy more radiation monitors in western US
SAN FRANCISCO — More radiation monitors are being deployed in the western United States and Pacific territories, as officials seek to mollify public concern over exposure from damaged nuclear plants in Japan, federal environmental regulators said.

Jury clears Anchorage officer in nonfatal shooting
ANCHORAGE — A jury decided an Anchorage police officer was justified in the nonfatal shooting of a teen he saw holding a gun outside a restaurant.

4-time champ Mackey finishes in 16th place
NOME — Lance Mackey finished the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race well back in the pack Wednesday but don’t expect the four-time defending champion to lick his wounds for long. He said he’ll be back next year — “no doubt about it.”

Survey: Native and American Indian firms increase
ANCHORAGE — Businesses owned by Alaska Natives and American Indians have shown some growth, but the increase has failed to equal more jobs, according to the latest findings in a survey conducted every five years by the U.S. Census Bureau.

UAF to offer bike rental program in April
FAIRBANKS — The University of Alaska Fairbanks is hoping to add a hint of green to its campus this spring with a new bicycle rental program.

State addresses nonresident worker issues
The state has responded to letter from Sen. Albert Kookesh addressing employment issues for rural areas and Alaska residents. The Department of Labor and Workforce Development states the issues raised by the senator are already among the top priorities.

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