Thursday, May 8, 2008

Of monks and men: Coffin combines boxing and Buddhism
Jaed Coffin is as complex as his dichotomous life. Not only was the 28-year-old a Southeast Alaska middleweight boxing champion in 2004, he's also an ordained Buddhist monk.

Sealaska seeks volunteers for Celebration
Sealaska Heritage Institute will hold its second meeting to recruit volunteers for Celebration 2008 on Thursday, May 15. The meeting will be held from 4:45 to 6:45 p.m. in the Hammond Room at Centennial Hall.

Juneau Douglas Little Theatre annual meeting set for May 18
Juneau Douglas Little Theatre will hold its annual meeting at 7 p.m. on Sunday, May 18, at the Juneau Arts & Culture Center.

Juneau Symphony art auction slated for May 10
The Juneau Symphony is holding an art auction at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 10, at the Juneau Arts & Culture Center to benefit its 2007-08 season.

Tagaban to perform in Southeast this month
Noted Tlingít storyteller and actor Gene Tagaban is scheduled to perform his "One Crazy Raven" show throughout Southeast Alaska beginning Tuesday, May 13, in Juneau.

Arts council auditions to be held May 10
The public is invited to attend the Juneau Arts & Humanities Council Scholarship Audition between 9:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 10.

Juneau loan officer picked for SBA award
JUNEAU - Heather Mitchell, assistant vice president and commercial loan officer for Alaska Pacific Bank in Juneau, was selected as the 2008 Small Business Administration Alaska Financial Services Champion of the Year.

State issues warning on MCI calling cards
JUNEAU - Telecommunications company MCI filed another request to the Federal Communications Commission to discontinue services for "conference calling cards," some of which were sold in Alaska.

Local brewery earns international awards
JUNEAU - Juneau's own Alaskan Brewing Co. brought home four international medals for quality from the World Beer Cup in San Diego, Calif., last month.

What's Happening
Hooligan Calendar

Rites of spring include Great Alaska Beer Festival
Spring is trying to spring, but the surest sign of spring is my favorite beer festival. The 16th annual Great Alaska Craft Beer and Home Brew Festival will be happening in Haines on Memorial Day weekend, May 23 and 24.

In hard times, Argentina's Bodega Norton wines excel
After years of drinking more wine, and more expensive wine every year, Americans are reacting to the economic downturn by drinking at least as much, but cheaper wine, shop owners say.

Simlish - do you speak it?
Since the release of "The Sims 2" in 2004, we've guided the fate of multiple familial generations, made thousands of simoleons, and built countless human cages in our sims' backyards. Those were good times, but it's time to look beyond the steady stream of "Sims 2" expansions and toward the next true installment in the series.

Living on tech time
I knew something was a bit off when I awoke to a different sound. Instead of hearing the usual transitional music that proceeds the national news, I was hearing the local radio report. The clock said 6:00 AM. Hmm.

In protest of recent electric rate hikes
It is interesting that the corporate heads of Alaska Electric Light & Power Co. continue to get their high salaries and we the consumer have to pay them for their mismanagement of our power.

Without competition, funny things happen
The consumer is inclined to purchase from whomever delivers a commodity at the lowest price.

To spur change, fight the power provider
As the front-page article in Sunday's Empire told us, Alaska Electric Light & Power Co. leaders will change nothing as a result of its negligence in the Snettisham crisis.

Don't rush to judge power company
The ease with which several recent letter writers vilify Juneau's utility company in their need to assign blame for the current electric crisis troubles me. In such times, those who desire positive change should work together for the common good rather than attack the easiest target.

Build road, put Alaskans to work
This is in response to Bill Holton's letter, "Don't repeat history's road mistakes," on April 23.

Leaders should connect with children
As a member of the Juneau Buddhist Community, it gave me joy to see the picture of Gene Tagaban's Raven Dancing in Seattle for the Dalai Lama.

Fire staff shortage may hit homeowners
The cost of home insurance could more than double for residents in areas north of Auke Bay if the fire department can't attract enough volunteers to staff the Lynn Canal station within the next year.

AEL&P rate hike not retroactive
Juneau electric consumers got a reprieve Wednesday when Alaska Electric Light & Power Co. received permission to delay charging residential customers 447 percent more for electricity until May 16.

Mine operator puts Amphitrac proposal on hold
With construction of the Amphitrac delayed, the Tulsequah Mine operator is looking at replacing the amphibious tow vessel it proposed to use on the Taku River.

Delegation asks Palin to revisit disaster issue
Juneau's legislative delegation is asking Gov. Sarah Palin to reconsider her decision to deny a disaster declaration for Juneau, after avalanches took away its hydroelectric supply and left it reliant on expensive diesel backup generators.

United Way, KeyBank join forces to raise funds for low-income residents
United Way of Southeast Alaska, in partnership with KeyBank, has announced an emergency relief fund to help low-income Juneau residents cope with the sudden spike in energy costs.

City junk car program nearly full
Bill Nelson drove his 1992 Ford Econoline van into the Channel Construction parking lot Tuesday morning, left the key in the ignition and walked away.

School district's conservation efforts paying off after rate hike
The Juneau School District is estimating that efforts it took to conserve energy before last month's avalanches caused electric rates to rise sharply could save between $60,000 to $100,000 during the city's energy crisis.

Photo: Fresh pavement on Franklin Street
Bicknell Inc. employee Paul DeMiero operates an asphalt roller Wednesday on Franklin Street. The company plans to finish paving Franklin Street to the top of Fifth Street today.

Photo: Finishing touches
Brian Cassalery takes advantage of dry weather Wednesday to touch up the name on the fish tender Christian at Aurora Harbor.

Photos: Cockle digging at Eagle Beach
First, cockle diggers carry buckets with their harvest Tuesday at Eagle Beach. The low tides and partly cloudy weather made for optimum clam- and cockle- digging weather.

Photo: Laying a trail
Trail Mix workers Ted Vale, left, and John Grass unload gravel from a tracked carrier Monday onto the new Auke Lake Trail. Work on the 1.1-mile-long wheelchair-accessible trail is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

Around Town
Today

Around Town
Today

Police & Fire
The Juneau Police Department did not post its crime bulletin Wednesday in time for publication. For the list of incidents, see Friday's Empire.

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

'Speed Racer' a noisy blur
The Wachowski brothers have tumbled into a matrix of their own with "Speed Racer," one which has rendered them completely out of touch with the outside world.

'Iron Man' steels my heart
A $100 million opening weekend does not lie. "Iron Man" is scrumtrulescent. Don't take out your dictionary. That word is courtesy of Will Ferrell's James Lipton; he created it to describe something indescribably wonderful, and that is precisely what "Iron Man" is: scrumtrulescent.

'P.S. I Love You' RSVPs on DVD
'P.S. I Love You'

Juneau's Cinema guide
OPENING

Make way for the Philippines' prince of pop
Erik Santos says he's a lifelong pessimist, but a concert tour with tickets upwards of $100 each indicates the Filipino singer is learning to get in touch with his optimistic side.

Spring is here, time for Bhangra dancing
How do you describe sound? I was recently working on a choreographed bhangra dance, and was thinking about how to describe the music to someone who's not familiar with it when I heard a short piece on National Public Radio where listeners contribute descriptions of sounds using visual images or ideas that invoke feelings. It's a challenging exercise, trying to describe a sound without saying, "it sounds like..." Some of the entries were pretty entertaining, and they all left me with the impression that sound, like art, is a very personal experience.

Irrationals take second in international competition
Dzantik'i Heeni Middle School's For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST) Lego League team, the Irrationals, took second place in Innovative Robot Design in the International FIRST Lego League Competition in Minneapolis, Minn., last weekend.

Donators to the Irrationals
• Alaska Industrial Hardware

Recognitions
Former Juneau resident Matt Taintor graduated from the University of Minnesota School of Medicine on May 2 and has matched with the University of Utah residency program. Taintor and his wife, Shireen, will relocate to Utah for the next few years before hopefully returning to Alaska.

Getting grounded, coming home to earth
As we stand on this seam where the beauty of winter unfolds into the blossom of spring, we regain hope. Resilience sparks our vitality. It is that time of year and we feel it, just like the salmon feel it as they start heading home for their next cycle. What is it like when you come home to your piece of earth, your body, at this time of year? Is there familiarity there or do you find a stranger?

It's legal to carry a firearm in Arizona
I knew I was in the West, the land of Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday, when I met a man dressed in black carrying a big gun on his hip.

Juneau resident shares snow pudding recipe
Ask Auntie Emo is where our readers ask for and share recipes.

Local mail carriers collect for food drive
JUNEAU - Local mail carriers will conduct their annual mail food drive for the Southeast Alaska Food Bank and Helping Hands on Saturday, May 10, in Juneau. Non-perishable food donations should be in or hung on mailboxes prior to mail delivery that day. Please do not leave glass items.

World affairs council to hold annual forum
JUNEAU - The Juneau World Affairs Council Forum, on the subject of South Asia, will take place at 9 a.m. on Friday and Saturday at the Juneau Arts & Culture Center.

Louise Richardson
Longtime Juneau resident Louise "Evelyn" Richardson died peacefully on March 5, 2008, at the Juneau Pioneers' Home. She was 70.

My turn: A bright idea: We need more protection
I have lots of time to think when, after dinner, I climb into bed for warmth and try to consume less electricity by not using light bulbs and the television.

Outside editorial: Feed the children, starve a terrorist
A couple of weeks ago, Dick Durbin got a breakfast invitation from Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

Outside editorial: Moving toward equal pay for equal work
U.S. workers were the losers when the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act recently died in the Senate.

My turn: Feeling batty and conserving power
With everyone cutting back on wattage, aren't you feeling a little batty? Seems everywhere I go, businesses and people are doing what they can to help out - and wouldn't you know, just when my eyesight seems to be failing, little by little.

My turn: Juneau needs state's help during crisis
The recent decision by the Gov. Sarah Palin's Disaster Policy Cabinet should not be the final word regarding the state of Alaska providing assistance to the community of Juneau and all Juneau residents to help offset the increase in electrical costs brought about by the need to switch from hydroelectric to diesel power generation of electricity.

Outside editorial: Consumer struggles spur interest in credit
The Federal Reserve Board has a bead on credit-card industry practices that blindside consumers already strapped by job losses, high medical bills and mortgage troubles.

Opinion: Bush should sign genetic discrimination measure
On May 1, Congress did something admirable. It passed the first civil rights law of the 21st century: the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act.

Perseverance Trail temporarily closed
JUNEAU - Hikers and backcountry skiers be warned: Blasting crews are scheduled to work today through Sunday on the Perseverance Trail.

Juneau School Board OKs literacy program
JUNEAU - The Juneau School Board approved Tuesday continuing a literacy program at one of the school district's elementary schools, despite concerns from some parents about how the program affects the school's hours.

Helicopter landings to be discussed
JUNEAU - The U.S. Forest Service will present a draft report Thursday on helicopter landings on the Juneau Icefield.

State lowest in fatal falls among elderly
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - A report from the National Safety Council said Alaska has the lowest death rate from accidental falls among people over age 65.

Police make arrest in baby's death
ANCHORAGE - A 22-year-old woman in Alaska was arrested and charged with murder in the death of a newborn found hidden away in a home in Colorado.

Energy monitors available for rental
JUNEAU - The Juneau Economic Development Council is providing Kill A Watt monitors for residents to rent.

Miller construction offers lowest bid
JUNEAU - Miller Construction Co. came up with the lowest bid to build a track and field at the new high school in the Mendenhall Valley, according to a city official.

Delays expected at Juneau pharmacy
JUNEAU - The pharmacy at the SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium Ethel Lund Medical Center will be undergoing an equipment upgrade from May 14 to 21. Patients will experience some delays getting prescriptions refilled during that week.

Kenai may pass health insurance savings
KENAI - The city of Kenai may pay its workers an extra $500 from savings on health insurance.

Suspect found guilty in OxyContin killing
ANCHORAGE - A second person was found guilty in the killing of a man during a robbery for prescription painkillers.

Student uses Legos to recreate building
FAIRBANKS - A graduate student at the University of Alaska Fairbanks spent more than a year completing a massive Lego replica of a campus building.

Wasilla man pleads to gun, drug charges
ANCHORAGE - A 27-year-old Wasilla man pleaded guilty in federal court to illegal gun possession and drug charges.

Anchorage defendants say no to plea deal
ANCHORAGE - Three men charged in a shooting that occurred during a football game two years ago said no to a plea deal.

Ice jam causes flood on Tanana River
FAIRBANKS - An ice jam on the Tanana River caused water to back up, pushing the river over its banks again in Salcha.

Cohabitation: Uncharted territory
Commitment. Cohabitation. Two really big words, really big deals.

Tee Harbor Short Course Road Race Results
Tee Harbor Short Course Road Race

SPORTS IN JUNEAU
UPCOMING EVENTS

Monday Night Raw throws down for the last time
Soon after they turned 21, a small group of hip-hop musicians playing in living rooms and at parties moved their show to the Alaskan Hotel & Bar and called it Monday Night Raw. Now, three years later, the group is throwing down for the last time in Juneau and moving out of town.

State lawmakers seek new polar bear study
ANCHORAGE - The state Legislature is looking to hire a few good polar bear scientists. The conclusions have already been agreed upon - researchers just have to fill in the science part.

Study: Alaska worst in U.S. at producing college graduates
Juneau's fifth-graders got a peek of college life earlier this week when they took a tour and some classes at the University of Alaska Southeast.

Jake Metcalfe drops out of U.S. House race
ANCHORAGE - Former Alaska Democratic Party Chairman Jake Metcalfe on Wednesday abruptly dropped out of the race for U.S. House, citing a distraction caused by fake Web sites that sought to trash a party rival.

Dust devil causes damage in Kenai
KENAI - It may have looked like a tornado, but weather officials say it was likely a dust devil that created a few nervous seconds and slight damage in Kenai.

Small plane crashes soon after takeoff
KENAI - An Anchorage pilot was injured after being involved in a plane crash in Soldotna.

With billions of dollars at stake, TransCanada pitches pipeline
Gov. Sarah Palin's attempt to wrest control of development of Alaska's vast natural gas reserves away from the world's big petroleum companies may hinge on a medium-sized Canadian pipeline company.

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

Palin paves way for pay boost
Long-awaited pay raises may be on the way for state legislators, after Gov. Palin quietly signed the bill last week that would make them possible.

Photo: The $303,895 tip
The Nenana Ice Classic tripod sits April 15 on the Tanana River in Nenana. According to Ice Classic officials, the tripod tipped at 10:53 p.m. Tuesday. Contestants in the Nenana Ice Classic pay $2.50 a ticket to guess the exact date and time the ice on the Tanana River will break up. This year's jackpot is $303,895. Ice Classic Manager Cherrie Forness said contest officials are still trying to determine how many winners there are. Once that is known, Forness said those people will be contacted with the good news.

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

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