Royal welcome for 'The Beauty Queen of Leenane'
This Thursday the Thunder Mountain Theatre Project will open their spring play, "The Beauty Queen of Leenane." Written by Martin McDonagh, the play is set in the small Irish town of Leenane, Connemara, a remote community that is somewhat comparable to Juneau.

Southeast Alaska literary journal launches latest issue
Southeast Alaska writers and artists will give birth to a brand new edition of the literary and art journal "Tidal Echoes" this Saturday, April 19, at the University of Alaska Southeast.

Earth Day to be held at Mendenhall Glacier on April 19
Earth Day will be celebrated at the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, April 19, with activities and entertainment for all ages.

Nuclear Awareness Conference held April 18 through 20
The University of Alaska Southeast will host a three-day Nuclear Awareness Conference beginning Friday, April 18, at the Auke Bay campus.

What's Happening

A smokin' good time
If you enjoy experimenting with bold flavors, but don't own a stovetop smoker, you should find yourself one before the summer season swings into gear.

Tallying tantalizing taste tests
I've been talking a lot about the great selections our distributors have been bringing into town of late. Now the problem is, how do you taste them without spending a fortune, as I do, trying all the selections in the beer aisle?

'Battlefield: Bad Company' has a mercenary flair
With a lousy base salary, poor health benefits and a working environment that rewards its employees with post-traumatic stress disorder more often than it does medals, the life of a soldier isn't always as glorious as Rambo makes it out to be. So, if you happen to find an abandoned enemy outpost with a few crates of gold, why shouldn't you and your comrades grab a few bars for your next R&R? With a defense budget larger than the next nine countries combined, does Uncle Sam really need the extra scratch? Your squad mates in "B Company" don't think so.

Getting control?
This week I encountered two exchanges regarding parental control of Internet activity. The first was a presentation from the Juneau Police Department at Floyd-Dryden Middle School, where they encouraged parents to find out what their children are doing on the Internet and recommended some Web sites where parents could purchase monitoring software.

No confidence on genetics and fish stocks
Since every effort by man to "manage" wildlife has had unforeseen and always negative consequences, I would propose that if the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, and the politicians they work for, truly have confidence in their plan to use genetics (testosterone) to alter fish stocks, then they should go on record as willing to accept responsibility, both criminal and civil, for any and all negative consequences. Since the potential consequences will certainly be long-term, that liability should be assigned to their heirs in perpetuity.

Middle school needs a slower speed zone
As I drove my kids to school Monday, my heart absolutely stopped as I came near the Timber Apartments, across from Mint Way, to see a small little guy, maybe a first-grader, standing there looking back and forth as cars sped by at 45 mph. I looked in my rear-view mirror to see him make a mad dash across the icy street and almost slip and fall.

State abortion bill merited more support
On behalf of our members and supporters, I thank those in the House of Representatives who voted in support of House Bill 301, a bill relating to partial birth abortion.

Juneauites probably deficient in vitamin D
Many thanks to Dave Haas, Mary Ellen Arvold and Ron King for sharing their gut-wrenching experiences with teen suicide and to the Juneau Empire for running the story (March 31-April 2). Hopefully, this will make it easier for others to talk about this problem.

City faces building bottleneck
City construction projects worth $60 million are heading into a bottleneck that some expect will clog by or before July 2009, when 17 city building and renovation projects are expected to be going on simultaneously.

Avalanche knocks out hydro power
Juneau homeowners' and some renters' electricity rates will likely quintuple next month. The city's electric utility will resort to running on diesel as the result of an avalanche Wednesday morning that cut hydroelectric power to the area.

Commission sees garage as anchor of Capitol complex
Planning commissioners see the planned downtown transit center and parking garage as the first phase of a Capitol complex.

School District wants city to boost activities funding
Officials from the Juneau School District will be making their case in front of the Juneau Assembly today to put much more public money into high school sports and activities.

Juneau School Board names No. 2
The Juneau School Board approved picking the principal of the alternative high school to be the School District's new number-two Tuesday.

Judge denies request to visit dying mother
Accused drug kingpin Aaron Washington asked the court Wednesday to lower his bail by $75,000 and allow him to travel to Staten Island, N.Y., to see his dying mother.

Photo: Images from another time: Lassie visits Juneau, 1968
Canine superstar Lassie and her entourage arrive in Juneau in June 1968. The famous movie and TV star visited Juneau to film a television episode. Several hundred Juneau residents greeted Lassie at the Juneau airport.

83-year-old woman loses $1,000 at grocery store
For someone in town, last Thursday was a lucky day, but it wasn't Evelyn Reeves'.

Photo: Spring snow
Clint Talley walks along the bike path Wednesday next to Twin Lakes. "This is great. I'd rather have snow than rain," Talley said. The National Weather Service predicted 1 to 3 inches of snow would accumulate Wednesday night. The forecast called for light snow showers mixing with rain by this afternoon.

Around Town

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

Photos: Lively assembly
First, William Martin, president of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska, far right, leads delegates during the grand entrance dance to start the 73rd annual General Assembly at the Alaska Native Brotherhood Hall. Second, Bradley Fluetsch dances during the event. The assembly's theme is "Our Youth Today, Our Leaders Tomorrow." It will run through Saturday.

Around Town

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

'Forgetting Sarah Marshall' a comedy to remember
So perhaps the rumors of Judd Apatow's demise were greatly exaggerated.

'Run Fatboy Run' predictably perfect
It's hard to pout meaningfully when your editor is in a different state, your girlfriend is in the Big Apple, and the only ones around to hear your whining are a recently shaved Samoyed puppy and a snooty cat.

Juneau's Cinema guide

'Juno' brings a bundle of joy to DVD

Juneau's got hair-band mania
Bust out the Aqua Net and spandex because the ultimate tribute to '80s hair bands is coming to Juneau.

Stock up on gjetost, it's nearly time for Little Norway
H ere's guessing nobody in Juneau feels neutral about folk music this week.

Salem to perform April 18 and 19 at the Alaskan Hotel & Bar
The band Salem is scheduled to perform its socially conscious style of music at the Alaskan Hotel & Bar on Friday and Saturday, April 18 and 19.

Thrush Hill Music recital scheduled for April 18 and 19
Thrush Hill Music presents a "Trios and Soliloquies" recital at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, April 18, and Saturday, April 19, at Resurrection Lutheran Church.

Sound Bites
Leona Lewis, 'Spirit' ★

Sound Bites
Van Morrison "Keep It Simple" ★★★

Energy expert to speak on national policy
The Juneau World Affairs Council will host a presentation, "What U.S. Energy Policy Should Be," by Robert Ebel, head of the Energy and National Security Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C., at 5:30 p.m. today at the Juneau Arts & Culture Center.

University regents host community reception
KETCHIKAN - The University of Alaska Board of Regents will host a community reception from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday at the University of Alaska Southeast Robertson/Hamilton Technology Building, 600 Stedman St., in Ketchikan.

Career-seeking youth can visit JobX for help
JUNEAU - JobX, a program of The Learning Connection funded by a Youth First Initiative and the Department of Labor and Workforce Development Division of Business Partnerships, is seeking individuals 16-24 years old who are looking for a career.

Governor's Prayer Lunch to be held Sunday
JUNEAU - The Juneau Governor's Prayer Breakfast will host the Governor's Prayer Lunch at 1 p.m. Sunday, April 20, at Centennial Hall. The theme will be "Alaska: A Land of Great Destiny."

Thanks for making our fundraiser possible
On behalf of St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church parishioners and the Rev. Michael Spainhoward, we wish to express our gratitude to all of the following for their generous donations and to all who helped make this fundraising event on March 20 at the Alaska Native Brotherhood Hall possible.

Thanks for donating to Perseverance's raffle
Perseverance Theatre recently completed its 24th annual fundraising raffle. The drawing was held March 16, after the final performance of its production of "Much Ado About Nothing."

Dzantik'i Heeni Middle School is proud to announce its third-quarter honor roll.

Setting our children's agendas
A guy, a guitar and an agenda. It's not too surprising that an event like the folk festival attracts people of certain common beliefs. After the song about gun control, most people were cheering, but a few, particularly older people, were clapping sedately, lips pursed, looking overall pinched and uncomfortable.

Please remember to leave the lights on
I don't chastise my children for leaving lights on in our house. They're much too young to understand energy use and conservation, and probably won't come to appreciate these points for several years. But there's another reason why I allow the lights to stay on. They heat the house.

Dowell, Wells wed
Rynee Lynn Dowell, of Lexington, Ohio, and Capt. Travis Neal Wells, of Juneau, were married on Jan. 19, 2008, at Northern Lights United Church. A reception followed at the Baranof Hotel.

Auntie Emo posts several new recipe challenges
Calling all cooks. This is where you ask for and share recipes.

Consortium hosts run, walk Saturday
JUNEAU - The SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium Health Promotion Department in Juneau, Lifestyle Balance Program and the Tlingít and Haida Regional Housing Authority will host a three-mile fun run/walk during the 63rd Annual General Assembly of the Central Council of the Tlingít and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska.

Coast Guard to offer free boat safety checks
JUNEAU - The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary District 17 will offer free boat safety checks with a drive-through from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at Western Auto Marine.

Locals help explore international Klondike Gold Rush trail
JUNEAU - In 1897 and 1898, the Klondike Gold Rush brought thousands of intrepid souls to Alaska and the Yukon. For decades, modern travelers have been following in their footsteps, visiting parks, monuments and historic sites relating to the most famous of northward rushes. Until now, there hasn't been a formally designated route that travelers can follow, but that may change.

Women's organization elects board members
JUNEAU - At its April meeting, the Juneau chapter of the National Organization for Women elected Nadine Lefebvre to succeed Barbara Belknap as board president. Lori Grassgreen and Kari Anderson were re-elected as vice president and treasurer, and Joan Cahill was elected secretary.

Florence J. Sachs
Juneau resident Florence J. Sachs died at home on April 7, 2008. She was 91.

Archbishop Gregory Afonsky
Archbishop Gregory Afonsky, who presided over the Russian Orthodox Church in Alaska from 1973 to 1995, died Tuesday, April 15, 2008. He was 82.

Alice D. Diller
Former Juneau resident Alice D. Diller died at 10:15 p.m. on April 14, 2008, at Hilty Memorial Home in Pandora, Ohio. She was 76.

My turn: SEACC: Enough is enough
It started in Hood Bay. Goldbelt Inc. could not select its entire land entitlement in the Juneau area and was mandated to select lands elsewhere. Goldbelt chose lands in Hood Bay just south of Angoon. Southeast Alaska Conservation Council opposed the selection, threatened a lawsuit and enlisted local Native opposition, demanding that lands elsewhere be selected.

My turn: It's time for a national health care plan
One sign of spring is the arrival of the annual increase in health insurance premiums in the mailbox. Self -employed people and others not fortunate enough to get coverage through other means must now refigure what they can afford.

My turn: Rethink plastics - envisioning a healthier Alaska
I am a member of Alaska Youth for Environmental Action (AYEA), which has seven chapters and 1,200 members throughout the state. AYEA is a high school environmental education and leadership program of the National Wildlife Federation. Our mission is to inspire, educate, and take action on environmental issues facing our communities.

My turn: Alaskans should consider the job of a transportation professional
A few evenings ago, I was at a function and overheard the discussion of two Alaskans. Though much of their conversation was wrapped around the intricacies of their daily lives, the conversation did dive into politics and in those few moments the "disgrace" that was the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities came up, and its frequent "mistakes" were made light of for both of these gentlemen to agree upon.

Outside editorial: Rogue democrat: South Africa's Mbeki sides with Mugabe
For those who argue that democracies are natural allies in international affairs, South Africa poses a vexing challenge. Since that country began serving a term on the U.N. Security Council last year, the government of President Thabo Mbeki has consistently allied itself with the world's rogue states and against the Western democracies. It has defended Iran's nuclear program and resisted sanctions against it; shielded Sudan and Burma from the sort of pressure the United Nations once directed at the apartheid regime; and enthusiastically supported one-sided condemnations of Israel by the U.N. Human Rights Council.

Outside editorial: Borrowing time
It has come to this: President Bush and his would-be Republican successor, Arizona Sen. John McCain, both called last week for the government to guarantee loans for troubled subprime borrowers. Neither one went as far as the Democratic presidential hopefuls or key Democratic lawmakers, yet there is now a bipartisan chorus in favor of helping lenders write-down loans and cut borrowers' interest rates.

Outside editorial: Benedict the diplomat
The conventional wisdom about Pope Benedict XVI's first journey to the United States is that the pontiff is on two distinct missions: a pastoral visit to American Catholics and a diplomatic mission to the Bush administration, the international community and non-Christian religions. Actually, both aspects of the pope's visit will test his diplomatic skills.

Watchdog agency hires new director
JUNEAU - The watchdog agency overseeing campaign disclosure in Alaska has a new executive director.

Juneau man arrested on charge of assault
JUNEAU - A Juneau man received a minor injury during a knife fight Wednesday, police said.

Anchorage drug dealer gets nine years
ANCHORAGE - An Anchorage drug dealer has received nine years in federal prison for distributing crack cocaine.

Coast Guard plans to boost charter scrutiny
KETCHIKAN - The Coast Guard plans to boost scrutiny of charter boats this year.

Iditarod champion King pleads not guilty
ANCHORAGE - Four-time Iditarod champion Jeff King has pleaded not guilty to a federal charge he illegally killed a moose inside Denali National Park and Preserve.

Miller Construction in line for sewer bid
JUNEAU - Miller Construction of Juneau is the apparent low bidder for the contract to build phase three of the North Douglas sewer extension.

Online registration available for climbs
DENALI NATIONAL PARK AND PRESERVE - Online registration is now available for mountaineers attempting climbs of Mount McKinley or Mount Foraker.

Teachers, staff clean up school vandalism
WILLOW - The cleanup has begun at the Willow Elementary School after two youths vandalized the school over the weekend.

UA regents hold meetings in Ketchikan
KETCHIKAN - The University of Alaska Board of Regents are meeting in Ketchikan.

State releases plans for timber sales
KETCHIKAN - The state Division of Forestry has released a preliminary use plan decision for Indian Creek timber sales.

Fort Yukon city councilman charged
FAIRBANKS - A city councilman in Fort Yukon has been charged with helping his brother evade authorities.

Scotty Gomez hockey rink to be rebuilt
ANCHORAGE - Two foundations have formed a partnership to rebuild the Scotty Gomez Hockey Rink in east Anchorage.

Agency moves closer to rat eradication
ANCHORAGE - A federal agency is moving forward with a plan to rid Rat Island of Norway rats.

Teen charged with attempted murder
JUNEAU - A Noorvik teenager has been charged with attempting to murder a police officer.

Strong earthquake detected near Adak
FAIRBANKS - A strong earthquake was felt in Adak on Tuesday, but there were no immediate reports of damage.

Follow-up on Randall finds new blood clot
ANCHORAGE - Olympian Kikkan Randall returned to an Anchorage hospital after a new blood clot was found in her left leg.

I can't read your mind! Or can I?
There are few things more irritating in a relationship than having your mate pout, "You should have known!" First they don't care where you eat, then when their chimichanga arrives, you should have known they wanted chow mein.

Brunette leads Glacier Swim Club's impressive showing at Junior Olympics
The Glacier Swim Club's Cody Brunette was named Alaska Male Swimmer of the Year following a dominating performance at the Alaska Junior Olympics in Anchorage on April 10-13.


Console Rock 'n' Roll
Like many red-blooded Americans, Mike Helms grew up with aspirations of one day becoming a rock star.

Legislators maneuver to revive pay raise bill
A measure that could give legislators a politically touchy pay raise suddenly passed in the last days of the just-completed legislative session.

Anchorage radio hosts suspended over racial slur
ANCHORAGE - A radio station suspended two disc jockeys Tuesday over a derogatory remark about Alaska Native women made on their show, a comment that has Alaskans comparing the shock-jock duo to Don Imus.

Senate wants an inquiry into Young earmark
WASHINGTON - If federal investigators haven't already gotten the message, the Senate made it clear Wednesday: It wants an inquiry into Rep. Don Young's 2005 earmark for the now-infamous Coconut Road interchange in southwest Florida.

Candidates report fundraising tallies
Candidates vying to represent Alaska in two Congressional races are busy raising cash in what could be the most competitive contests in years for both the House and the Senate.

Young's legal fees top $1 million
ANCHORAGE - Alaska Congressman Don Young's legal fees have topped $1 million.

Details emerging in drinking and gunplay death in Anchorage
ANCHORAGE - Charging documents in the case of a man who was shot and killed on a popular biking trail contains details about what may have occurred last Saturday.

Agency reopens comments on Yukon Flats plan
FAIRBANKS - A federal agency is reopening the comment period on the proposed Yukon Flats land swap.

From Eek to Chicken, Alaska names echo colorful history
ANCHORAGE - Who lost it on Lost Temper Creek? What horror befell the village of Eek? Does it have anything to do with another town being Chicken?

Photo: Spring activities take flight
With a winter glove for an improvised tail, Katrina Johnson launches a fighter jet kite for her husband, Steve (not pictured), on Saturday on the Cook Inlet beach in Kenai. The couple and their two children took advantage of a steady breeze to keep several kites in the air.

Four killed in chopper crash; teen found alive
ANCHORAGE - A 14-year-old boy survived a frigid night in the wreckage of a helicopter crash that killed four other people and was recuperating at a hospital Wednesday, state troopers said.

This Day in History
In Alaska, in the Nation and the World

This Day in History
In Alaska, in the Nation and the World

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