Friday, May 9, 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

New local picture books include 'The Luck of the Loch Ness Monster'
Here are just a few of the new picture books for young listeners and readers on the shelves at the Juneau Public Libraries.

Local student earns children's book award
PULLMAN, Wash. - Brittany Sarkesian, of Juneau, earned a medal in the Washington State University 2008 Inga Kromann Book Awards for her book, "Firefly Messages." Students receive medals based on their performance for writing and designing a children's book.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

Act like a community while in a crisis
We are all in this energy crisis together.

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.

A good day for a show
Seventeen-year-old Deejay Derego said everyone can relate to the title character in the latest Juneau-Douglas High School theater production, "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day."

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.

Businesses brace for higher bills
Dimming the lights eases the pain of huge electric bill rates, but it won't take them away.

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.

Prom economics: business as usual
The table selling prom tickets at Juneau-Douglas High School was doing brisk business Thursday, as students lined up a dozen deep to buy tickets to Saturday's big night.

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.

Business pays employees' electric bills
Soon after he heard electric bills would nearly quintuple, the manager of Willie's Marine called up a board member for the out-of-state parent company and asked for help.

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.

Around Town
Today, May 9

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

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.

'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.

Student group promotes safe and healthy prom
About 5,000 people under the age of 21 die from alcohol-related injuries involving underage drinking each year, according to the U.S. surgeon general. And nearly one-third of those crashes occur during the prom and graduation season of April, May and June, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Photo: Capital City Celebrations
Wells Fargo representative Amanda Coate, right, presents Capital City Celebrations chairwoman Cathy Hildre, left, with a $10,000 donation on Monday at the Juneau Chamber of Commerce. The donation will go toward the 50thAnniversary of Statehood celebration.

Gene Tagaban to perform Tuesday
JUNEAU - The SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium WISEWOMAN and Lifestyle Balance programs will host several Southeast performances of the show "One Crazy Raven" by noted Tlingít storyteller and actor Gene Tagaban.

Delay expected during pharmacy equipment upgrade
JUNEAU - The pharmacy at the SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium Ethel Lund Medical Center will be undergoing an equipment upgrade from May 14-21, and patients may experience delays getting prescriptions filled during that week.

Police department to sponsor first National Night Out on Aug. 5
JUNEAU - On Aug. 5, the Juneau Police Department will sponsor the first National Night Out in Juneau, program bringing neighbors together for an evening of fun and social interaction with an emphasis on crime prevention and personal security.

Helping Hands to host spaghetti feed, silent auction fundraiser
JUNEAU - Helping Hands is hosting a spaghetti feed and silent auction at 5 p.m. Saturday at the Juneau Moose Lodge, 8335 Old Dairy Road.

Volunteers needed for American Cancer Society's Relay For Life
JUNEAU - The American Cancer Society needs walkers, cancer survivors (anyone who has ever been diagnosed with cancer), community leaders, team captains and hard workers to make the annual Relay For Life, on July 19-20 at Dimond Park, a reality. Many people have already stepped up to make this year's Relay a huge success, but more are still needed.

Volunteers help with Gastineau's mural project
At least 30 volunteers have helped in constructing, designing and painting Gastineau Elementary School's mural, which was started in November and will become a permanent part of the school's gym on completion.

FYI
Births

Local girl to be recognized in 'New Moon' magazine
DULUTH, Minn. - Natalia Spengler, 10, of Juneau, will be recognized for her inner beauty in a May/June 2008 special issue of "New Moon: The Magazine for Girls and Their Dreams."

Student Artists in the Spotlight
The following students are seniors in Craig Mapes' Creative Woods II class at Juneau-Douglas High School.

Hurley chosen to be Fourth of July grand marshal
Katie Hurley was chosen to be grand marshal for the 2008 Juneau Fourth of July Parade. Born and raised in Juneau, Hurley worked for the Territorial Gov. Ernest Gruening for 12 years in the 1940s and became chief clerk to the Alaska Constitutional Convention in 1955.

Eversons celebrate 46 years
The children of Mike and Selina Everson invite family and friends to witness the renewal of their parents' wedding vows on their 46th wedding anniversary at 7 p.m. Monday, May 12, at Northern Light United Church, 400 W. 12th St. A light reception will follow in the Fellowship Hall. No gifts please.

Stevens, Becker to wed
Lily Irene Stevens and Preston Hamilton Becker will marry in late August.

Rohweder, Brock wed
Chelsea Lee Rohweder, of Juneau, and Mathew Anton Brock, of Boulder, Colo., were married in a civil ceremony on March 18, 2008, on the beach of Tulum, Mexico. A reception followed at Cabanas Copal.

Callender, Blankenship to wed
Cecilia Blankenship, formerly of Juneau, and John Callender, of Columbia, Miss., will marry on May 24, 2008, at St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church in Federal Way, Wash. A reception will follow at Copperfalls Restaurant in Auburn, Wash.

Lessons we learn from our mothers
There are few things more satisfying in life than being able to do something well, and being able to do it.

The beginning of Echo Ranch
The events of the past are building blocks for the present and an indicator of what might be possible for the future. The path that we walk on now has been worn down by those who have gone before us. If we only focus on the now or what is ahead, then the memory of precious lives will be lost and the value of our journey will be cheapened. There are lessons to be learned and wisdom to be gained if we would only take a moment to examine our history.

Troublemaker 2: orange hawkweed
Yes, yes, I know. It is such a gorgeous color - that bright red-orange against the dark hairy stem - and a rare hue in our environs. But, think carefully before considering the introduction of orange hawkweed (Hieracium aurantiacum) into your garden or elsewhere. You have probably noticed them along Egan Drive north of downtown and sprinkled out in the undisturbed wetland near the airport.

Recognitions
KUAC/AlaskaOne received entries from around the state for the 14th annual Reading Rainbow Young Writers & Illustrators Contest. Former state legislator and current Fairbanks North Star Borough Mayor Jim Whitaker presented awards to first-, second- and third-place Alaska winners on May 6 in Fairbanks. Students, their families and their teachers will participate via video teleconference from Anchorage, Juneau and Sitka.

Carol Thilenius
Juneau resident Carol Thilenius died May 6, 2008, in her sleep at home. She was 73.

Empire editorial: Loss of Lew Williams to be felt by all Alaskans
Alaska suffered a loss Saturday when Lew Williams Jr. died of cancer at age 83. During a journalism career that spanned nearly six decades, he earned a reputation as a dogged defender of his state, the Panhandle and his hometown of Ketchikan.

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.

My turn: Truth and consequences about Project Labor Agreements
We here at the Juneau and Vicinity Building and Construction Trades Council, composed of more than 900 of your local friends and neighbors in the skilled crafts, would like the Juneau public to know the truth about project labor agreements. It seems there has been a lot of misinformation being disseminated by those that oppose them, particularly with the lawsuit filed against the city of Juneau.

Alaska editorial: Juneau road project should be stopped
When Gov. Sarah Palin took office, Alaskans were lulled into a sense of security about the highly questionable and extremely expensive Juneau road project.

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.

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: Alaska Bar Association convention shines light
Last week I attended the Alaska Bar Association annual convention in Anchorage. I've enjoyed this legal-education opportunity several times since becoming an attorney, but this convention was the most edifying for me thus far.

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.

Commissioner of Health and Social Services resigns
JUNEAU - The head of the state's Department of Health and Social Services has resigned.

One Wing the eagle dies of heart tumor
ANCHORAGE - A bald eagle known as One Wing, which survived the Exxon Valdez oil spill, died.

Police affidavit reveals chilling details about baby boy's death
PALMER - A police affidavit revealed chilling details about the death of a newborn baby in Colorado.

Anchorage port workers start national security enrollment
ANCHORAGE - Maritime workers at the Port of Anchorage have started signing up for an ID program geared toward tightening up security there, according to the Homeland Security department.

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.

Man accused in killing seeks release
FAIRBANKS - A man who is accused of slitting the throat of a mental health worker in Fairbanks wants release from a psychiatric facility in Anchorage.

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

Man sentenced for sexual abuse of toddler
ANCHORAGE - A Shungnak man has been sentenced to 10 years in prison and 15 years probation for sexually abusing a toddler, Alaska State Troopers said.

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.

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.

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

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.

Ketchikan responds to shutdown of Web site forum about KPU
KETCHIKAN - The city of Ketchikan has responded to the shutting down of a Web site discussion forum.

City postpones Harborview bid pending court action
JUNEAU - The city has postponed accepting bids for renovating Harborview Elementary School until next week, pending a judge's decision whether to allow the bidding process to proceed.

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

Crimson Bears top Wolves
Buzz Ward's power hitting sparked the offense as the Juneau-Douglas High School baseball team defeated the Sitka Wolves 5-2 Thursday at Adair-Kennedy Memorial Park.

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.

Palin support for Juneau access road fading
Gov. Sarah Palin, who supported the Juneau access road in her campaign for governor in 2006, is now backing away from that support.

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.

Judge sentences Vic Kohring to 3½ years in prison
ANCHORAGE - Facing a prison sentence of 3½ years, a former Alaska lawmaker said he's broke and has lost respect for the U.S. government, but that his conscience is clear.

Allegations spark Department of Corrections audit proposal
Two Anchorage lawmakers say the Legislature needs to audit the state's Department of Corrections.

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.

Photo: Cruise ship season starts in Sitka
First-graders and their chaperones on a field trip Wednesday look at tide pools at Sitka National Historical Park in the shadow of Sitka's first large cruise ship of the season, the Oosterdam.

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

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

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