Thursday, March 27, 2008

You can't keep a good 'Grumpsicle' down
It's as unthinkable as Wile E. Coyote catching the Road Runner: After nearly 30 years of scheming, the Grumpsicle finally ruined Christmas.

A weekend of comedy cracks up Southeast
Susan Rice's observational comedy may be PG-rated, but that doesn't mean she won't poke a little fun at Juneau while visiting Southeast Alaska.

Filmmaker to host film screening, discussion on March 29
Swedish-born filmmaker Stefan Quinth will host a film screening and discussion at 7 p.m. on Saturday, March 29, at the downtown library.

Arts council application deadlines looming
The Juneau Arts & Humanities Council is accepting applications for artists interested in being considered for a solo exhibit at the arts council gallery during the 2008-2009 season. The deadline for applications is 5 p.m., April 30. Applications are available to download from the nonprofit organization's Web site, at www.jahc.org.

Alaska History program slated for March 28
John H. Venables of Haines is scheduled to host a history program at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, March 28 in the Egan Room at Centennial Hall in celebration of the 141st anniversary of the purchase of Alaska from Russia and the 2008 Journey to Statehood.

Pie maker opens Harvest Moon Cafe
JUNEAU - A new pie shop and restaurant, the Harvest Moon Cafe, had a grand opening Wednesday in the Jordan Creek Center.

Free marketing seminars offered
JUNEAU - "Marketing Successfully in Big Box Town" is the topic for the Juneau Small Business Development Center's Brown Bag Marketing Series presentation noon to 1 p.m. Friday at the downtown library.

Consulting company office leaves Juneau
JUNEAU - The Alaska Funding Exchange has moved its main office from Juneau to Fairbanks, though the Juneau office will stay open.

Redfern fourth-quarter earnings down in '07
JUNEAU - Vancouver-based Redcorp Ventures Ltd. and its subsidiaries on Tuesday reported a fourth-quarter 2007 net loss of $19 million, or almost 5 cents per share. The company lost $4.50 million in the fourth quarter of 2006.

Public speaking training slated
JUNEAU - "Speaking With The Butterflies in Formation," a seminar on public speaking, will be presented at the next Women's Network for Entrepreneurial Training monthly meeting.

What's Happening
Calendar of events happening the week of Thursday, March 27 through Wednesday, April 2.

Carry the right equipment and bake on the go
Add five letters to the word baking and you get - backpacking. Of course!

Ever run across a bitter herbal liqueur? That's amaro
I'm one of those irritating Italophiles who long ago acquired the nearly unacquirable taste for amari. Over the years, I've found that nothing flummoxes the American drinker more than these bitter herbal liqueurs that Italians sip after dinner.

What works in Vegas, stays in Vegas
Gamers love to decry publishers pushing out franchise installments on a yearly basis, and there are good precedents for that view. With a product as good as "Rainbow Six Vegas," though, it's hard to muster up the kind of righteous wrath that can only be expressed in pithy comments and animated GIFs on a message board. Without a doubt, this sequel is more of the same; a few additions to the gameplay and front end do not a new experience make. However, Ubisoft managed not to screw anything up from the amazing original, which pretty much makes this the best tactical shooter out there by default.

The power of a good headline can move even Google
The headline at Fox News read: "Journalist Who Exposes U.N. Corruption Disappears From Google."

Thank you to store for being green
I want to thank David Ottoson, owner of Rainbow Foods, for helping make a difference in Juneau and to our planet.

Stop the mines
I am writing in response to the article, "Dirty Old Mines," published on March 23. I feel that we should not open any more mines. Pebble Mine, Kensington Mine and others should all be closed.

Keep the FRANK Initiative alive
The FRANK Initiative was voted in by the people of Alaska, it should not be repealed. As an Alaskan, I resent that each time we vote on something - the Frank Initiative, the road out of Juneau - political officials can change that vote.

Some leaders are spiritually blind
In light of recent revelations concerning the sexual misconduct of high-ranking government officials, it is only fitting that New York now have a blind governor. Gov. David Paterson's physical inability to see symbolizes the moral blindness that has infected and corrupted our political leaders.

Reps should back up accusations
Reps. Mike Hawker, R-Anchorage, and Bill Stoltze, R-Chugiak, have been quoted several times recently accusing officials at the Legislative Information Office of inflating the estimate they provided for the cost of conducting legislative business outside Juneau.

Agency to review chopper regulations on Juneau Icefield
The U.S. Forest Service sought public comment Wednesday as it re-evaluates how it regulates helicopter landings on the Juneau Icefield.

Juneau School Board approves $68.4 million budget for 2009
The Juneau School Board approved a $68.4 million budget Tuesday to run the city's public schools next year and agreed to devote about $1 million to new funding requests, including an increase for high school sports and activities, and literacy teachers for elementary students.

City, residents hash over plan for downtown parking garage
Anyone building a garage in Juneau has to start by looking at the Marine Park parking garage, according to Engineering Department Deputy Director Rorie Watt. There, he says, is a design to avoid.

Around Town
Today

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

Songwriters Gorka, Werner to perform
Acclaimed songwriters John Gorka and Susan Werner are scheduled to perform at 7 p.m. tonight at the Juneau Arts and Culture Center.

Around Town
Today

Corrections
An Associated Press story about the state budget Tuesday gave an incorrect amount for the appropriation for state shooting ranges. The amount approved by the Senate on Monday was for $676,000.

Police & Fire
Traffic accidents:

Animated film weaves rich story from simple elements
As an animated feature, "Persepolis" is a low-tech production when compared to the digitally enhanced pyrotechnics that draw the "oohs" and "ahs" in today's movie marketplace. But though it's fashioned mostly of black-and-white cels, this tense, absorbing and deeply touching coming-of-age story shows that there are frontiers in this medium that remain to be discovered with the simplest of elements. And those frontiers have far more to do with heart, soul and intelligence than with green screens and CGI.

'Shutter' will scare only the very young or very nervous
It occurs to me I should be terrified for my mother. After all, if I'm to believe what Hollywood is telling me, Japan is overflowing with angry spirits that seem to be particularly angry with Americans. If you used to be a teen drama TV star - Sarah Michelle Gellar, Joshua Jackson - then you are just asking for trouble. My mother, to the best of my knowledge, was never a TV star, but she is American and in Japan.

Juneau's Cinema guide
OPENING

'The Mist' creeps onto DVD
'The Mist'

Music magic going down at Studio A
Albert McDonnell never thought he'd have a career as a sound engineer. When he came to Juneau in 1985 he was a musician and then became a fisherman. He played bass guitar early on with the Port du Nord Playboys, and later with Salsa Borealis and The Bobb Family Band.

Always pace yourself at folk fest - yeah, right!
Here it comes, like a surreal spin-off of a "Star Trek" convention; like wind blowing through the trees and dropping snow on your head; and like a guaranteed good mood for a week. The buzz about the impending Alaska Folk Festival has been palpable around town for a couple of weeks, and I'll admit I'm looking forward to it myself.

Turkish singer to perform April 6 at Culture Center
Turkish singer and musician Latif Bolat is scheduled to perform in concert at 7 p.m. on Sunday, April 6, at the Juneau Arts & Culture Center. A pre-concert lecture is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m.

Jazz band Fleet Street to play Rent Party on April 4
Local jazz band Fleet Street is scheduled to perform from 7 to 8:30 p.m. on Friday, April 4, for the Juneau Arts & Humanities Council's April Rent Party. The pay-as-you-can evening at the Juneau Arts & Culture Center includes a no-host bar.

Sound Bites
Gnarls Barkley "The Odd Couple" ★★★½

Sound Bites
Flo Rida "Mail on Sunday" ★★

Boys & Girls clubs name Edwards Youth of the Year
JUNEAU - Monica Edwards and seven other finalists competed on March 12 in Juneau for three University of Alaska College Savings Plan college scholarships and an opportunity to attend Boys & Girls Clubs of America's Youth of the Year competition.

Gold Medal performance
Damon High performs with All Nation's Children dance group at the Lion's Club Gold Medal Tournament on March 20. For more photos from community events, visit spotted.juneauempire.com/.

Medicare for those turning 65
The Social Security Administration advises people to apply for Medicare benefits three months before the age of 65 to ensure that Medicare coverage starts as soon as one is eligible.

Chance encounter reminds volunteer of hospice care value
For the past three years I have served as a volunteer chaplain at Bartlett Regional Hospital. Last December I was asked to fill in for another chaplain several days before my schedule was to begin.

Have faith: This, too, shall pass
OK, I'll admit it. I know I'm not supposed to. I shouldn't even mention it, but I've been worrying lately.

Beth Ann O'Donnell
Former Juneau resident Beth Ann O'Donnell, of Cliff, N.M., died on March 15, 2008, after battling leukemia for 1½ years. She was 53.

Steven F. Gebert
Juneau resident Steven F. Gebert died March 24, 2008, at Bartlett Regional Hospital, from cancer. He was 56.

David John Sperling
Former Juneau resident David John Sperling, of Pensacola, Fla., died March 17, 2008, in Pensacola. He was 78.

Lillian Cameron
Former Douglas and Juneau resident Lillian Stevens Cameron died March 23, 2008, in Seattle. She was 72.

My turn: Take the harbors back
Harbor rates are set to go up again. Here are the annual rates for permanent moorage for a 40-foot boat in area harbors: Juneau $1,687; Petersburg, $1,280; Ketchikan, $1,040; Sitka, $960; Hoonah, $720; Haines, $640; Wrangell, $600; Skagway $480; and Pelican, $410.

My turn: Time for systemic change in education
The decision by the University of Alaska Southeast that the Juneau School District offer its automotive elective courses outside of the UAS facilities is the result of an ongoing effort to align the use of the UAS Technical Education Center with national standards for professional accountability and workforce preparation. The Juneau School District did not achieve mutually agreed-upon goals and standards necessary for UAS to continue to share Technical Education Center laboratories and equipment with Juneau-Douglas High School.

My turn: Alaskans don't want Frankenfish
The Alaska Department of Fish and Game is making and stocking genetically altered fish in Interior Alaska lakes. It is also using the hormone testosterone to change female fish into males. The department justifies this program because it makes the fish sterile.

My turn: School district can enrich lives
It's understandable that our community, which has had essentially one high school for 50 years, is experiencing uncertainty and stress as we prepare to open Thunder Mountain High School and to do high school in a different way. I am hopeful that some perspective can help ease concerns and help our community move forward - together.

My turn: The future of energy in Alaska
Over the years, we Alaskans have benefited from the oil industry in a number of ways. Nevertheless, oil alone is not a sound long-term strategy for Alaska or any other place. Practical and efficient alternative energy technologies exist today and are being used throughout the world.

Outside editorial: Don't panic over economy
The following editorial first appeared in The Dallas Morning News:

Outside editorial: Housing and Urban Development secretary giving silent treatment
The following editorial first appeared in the Washington Post:

Alaska editorial: New disclosure law for politicians has gone too far
The following editorial first appeared in the Peninsula Clarion

Bail set at $25,000 for alleged smuggler
JUNEAU - Bail for one of the alleged leaders of a drug-smuggling ring was set Tuesday in Juneau Superior Court at $25,000.

Snowmachiner rescued on glacier
FAIRBANKS - A 48-year-old Fairbanks snowmachiner was rescued off Gulkana Glacier after driving off a cliff.

Democrat Gravel switches parties
WASHINGTON - Long-shot presidential candidate Mike Gravel told supporters Wednesday he is leaving the Democratic Party to join the Libertarian Party.

Five Alaska schools receive computers
FAIRBANKS - Some surplus computers from the U.S. Senate will find new homes in Alaska.

Kohring: Judge should have recused himself
ANCHORAGE - The bickering continues between government prosecutors and lawyers for former state Rep. Vic Kohring, who has been convicted but not yet sentenced on corruption charges.

Public meeting held in vessel sinking
ANCHORAGE - Investigators are holding a public meeting on Friday in Dutch Harbor as part of a probe into the sinking of a fishing boat in the Bering Sea.

Two arrested in 1978 killing of Tacoma man
TACOMA, Wash. - A brother and sister are being held in the disappearance and death of a man 30 years ago in the Tacoma area.

Guides not allowed to fish with clients
KENAI - Salt water sport fishing charter guides will soon have to sit back and watch their clients fish.

Commerce secretary to visit Fairbanks
FAIRBANKS - U.S. Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez will visit Fairbanks with U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens.

City will hear public on parking garage
JUNEAU - A public meeting on the planned downtown parking garage and transit center is scheduled for tonight.

Planning Commission mulls land use maps
JUNEAU - The Juneau Planning Commission discussed proposed land use maps for Lemon Creek, Salmon Creek and downtown Tuesday night as part of work on the city comprehensive plan update.

Sled dog race owes back taxes to Bethel
ANCHORAGE - Race and state officials are investigating bookkeeping errors and practices by the former race manager for the Kuskokwim 300 Sled Dog Race.

Celebrate spring with a fresh attitude
"Isn't it great to be alive?!" That's what my priest exclaimed on Easter Sunday. We all just looked at him at first, but after he repeated himself a few times, I realized, it truly is great to be alive! Yes, yes, of course I always knew it. We all do, but we don't always feel that way, do we? It's good sometimes to acknowledge things - positive things - things we may sometimes forget.

Moritz and Moritz sweep youth ski race
Brother and sister Ryan and Naomi Moritz both took home first place honors in the Juneau Ski Club's third Youth Ski League race of the season Saturday.

Browning to become Class A PGA professional
Former Juneau golfer Donovan Browning recently completed the Professional Golf Course Management degree program at Arizona State University.

Sports in Juneau
UPCOMING EVENTS

The art of rock 'n' Troll
A uniquely Alaskan sound has spawned from the mind's eye of artist Ray Troll after incubating in the depths of Ketchikan's musical ecosystem for the last couple of years.

Abbott charged with four counts of murder
Jason Abbott was arraigned Tuesday in Sitka Court on four counts of murder and one count of attempted murder, the day after police say the 18-year-old Sitka man stabbed four people to death, including his grandparents, and injured his aunt.

4 killed, 1 injured in stabbings
Four people died Tuesday after being attacked by a knife-wielding assailant at a home in downtown Sitka, police said.

State sets new limits on cruise ship waste
Cruise ships have until 2010 to comply with strict new state limits on the wastewater they discharge, according to the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

Eli Lilly to pay $15 million to settle Alaska lawsuit over drug Zyprexa
Eli Lilly and Co. and Alaska announced a $15 million settlement Wednesday in the state's lawsuit over the use of the drug Zyprexa in its Medicaid program.

Ice seals to be studied for possible ESA listing
A federal agency announced Wednesday it would consider Endangered Species Act protections for ribbon seals in the Bering Sea, plus three other seal species that rely on sea ice for survival.

School bond plan looks to stay alive
The Alaska Legislature is getting ready to do something it's done every two years since 1976: renew the state's school bond reimbursement program.

Photo: Seeking support
Diane Benson, a Democratic candidate for U.S. Congress, speaks during a fundraiser Wednesday at a Juneau home. Benson is trying to earn her party's nomination to face longtime incumbent Republican Rep. Don Young in the general election this fall.

Critics: TransCanada seeks too-high profits
Critics of TransCanada Corp.'s natural gas pipeline proposal are lodging two big complaints against the company.

House OKs changes to predator control laws
The state House on Wednesday approved Gov. Sarah Palin's bill to streamline state game laws.

Sides hold firm on partial-birth abortion bill
Critics of a bill banning partial-birth abortion say the real intent is to ban abortion altogether. It's a claim sponsors of the measure deny.

Coast Guard calls off search for crew member of sunken vessel
The Coast Guard said Tuesday that it suspended the search for the lone crew member still missing after a fishing vessel sank in frigid waters off Alaska's Aleutian Islands.

Legal shortfalls fixed in predator program
FAIRBANKS - The legal shortfalls identified recently by a judge in the state's aerial wolf control program have been fixed, an official said.

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