Thursday, May 13, 2010

Local band Salsa Borealis keeps dancers on their toes
In a small community like Juneau, the creative contributions of individuals can be dramatic, in many cases altering the artistic or musical culture of the town in lasting ways.

Celebration volunteer meeting tonight
Sealaska Heritage Institute will hold a meeting to recruit volunteers for Celebration 2010, from 5 to 7 p.m., tonight, May 13, at Centennial Hall in the Egan Room.

All Things Eagle and Raven opens May 15 at the city museum
The Juneau-Douglas City Museum will open its summer exhibit, All Things Eagle & Raven, on Juneau Museum Day, Saturday, May 15, with a free public reception from noon to 5 p.m. The exhibit is a celebration of these two birds and their connection to our lives.

Public is invited to the JAHC scholarship auditions
On May 15, the annual auditions for the Juneau Arts & Humanities Council's Fine Arts Scholarships and the Advanced Artist Achievement Award will take place at the UAS Auke Bay Campus.

Longtime JDHS band director retires
"When I wake up in the morning, I'm excited about the day. I can't wait to get to hear my students play and just do all I can to make it be a little better. My goal everyday is just to improve the players and improve their attitudes about life and music. That's what drives me and what gets me up every morning."

'Iron Man' hasn't lost his shine in part 2
A couple years ago, when I first began browbeating Juneauiites with my movie reviews via the Juneau Empire, I had started to worry after several months of writing that I was too hard to please. My initial worry when I started writing about the big screen was that I would praise everything and lose credibility. Instead, to my own surprise, I found myself panning films seemingly every week.

Hansel & Gretel too grim to enchant
Perseverance Theater ends its 2009/2010 season with a folk musical rendition of "Hansel and Gretel." I went to the theater in excited anticipation built from all the hype surrounding this production and left sorely disappointed. Though the play affords a feast of visual delights for the eye and showcases stellar acting talent, it suffers from a stale storyline, dull pacing and a flat musical score.

The story and the tellers
Three-year-old Wilder Dillingham interrupts his father's phone conversation to ask him a pressing question.

Alaska Crafter's 'I'll Ask-A-Crafter'
What are pinking shears? -Perturbed in Pink

Former folk fest guest artists to play Saturday
Ginny Hawker and Tracy Schwarz, guest artists from the 1995 Alaska Folk Festival, will perform one show Saturday at Centennial Hall. The pair, from Tanner, West Virginia, have been playing together for 16 years, and share a love of music of the rural south, though they've approached the genre from different angles.

Music 'Raises the Roof' at the Juneau Arts & Culture Center
The Juneau Concert Band, Thunder Mountain Big Band, and The Spinnin' Pig will join forces with the Juneau Arts & Humanities Council and others to "raise the roof" at the Juneau Arts & Culture Center and celebrate National Barbeque Month on Sunday, May 16.

Library's new fiction is in
Here's a taste of the new fiction for adult readers on the shelves.

Commissioner, you are right about Race to the Top
I laud Education Commissioner Larry LeDoux for opting out of competing for the Race to the Top grant. To quote one educator, Race to the Top is a "carrot that feels like a stick." It is a bad idea to turn educational reform into a competition, and is bound to be a grand failure like its expensive predecessor, No Child Left Behind.

'We are at the least very concerned'
Two full columns in the May 6 Empire took on AEL&P's proposed 22 percent rate hike. One was Tim McLeod of AEL&P, while the other was Bill Burk, founder of Juneau Peoples' Power Project - the result of a 2008 avalanche wipeout of a row of power lines. When read side-by-side, these two pieces make for delicious journalistic electricity.

Improvements to Statter Harbor?
Paving over an additional 3.9 acres of intertidal area from Bay Creek to Statter Harbor was not what many expected when they voted for improvements to Statter Harbor. Apparently the general public was unaware a parking lot with over 200 spaces would be the main improvement, while the De Hart's floats, judged in 2008 to be at the end of their useable life, remain.

Law enforcement honored by faces of those served
The community gathered Tuesday on the lawn of the State Museum to honor law enforcers, and to pay special tribute to those who sacrificed the most.

Local nursing home wins national awards
The staff and management at Wildflower Court were recognized recently with two national awards.

AEL&P seeks rate increase for cruise ships
Alaska Electric Light & Power has filed with the Regulatory Commission of Alaska to increase the rate for a major cruise line that uses excess power produced by the company's hydroelectric projects.

Climate camp discusses local effects of warming
A two-day conference on the potential effects of climate change in Southeast Alaska continues today as about two dozen scientists and community leaders meet in Juneau.

Empire earns 21 press awards
The Juneau Empire received 21 Alaska Press Club awards during a ceremony Saturday in Anchorage, its most in a decade.

Census ground campaign begins
The U.S. Census Bureau wants Alaskans to know that it is in their interest to be counted in this year's ongoing tally of everybody in the country.

Sealaska board elects new CFO
Sealaska's board of directors unanimously elected Doug Morris as vice president and chief financial officer.

Police seize possible explosive
The Juneau Police Department responded to a report of a suspicious object near the west end of the Mendenhall Mall on Monday evening.

Science behind the Spring King Derby
The bottom line - if you'll pardon the pun - of king salmon fishing isn't the way you bait the hook, it's knowing when and where to go.

Kensington to add to Coeur's burgeoning gold production
The owner of the Kensington gold mine will fill final job positions this month in preparation for the mine's July opening, a company executive reported in a first-quarter earnings report this week.

Photo: A higher education
Chris Washko, Manager of Residence, Life and Wellness, gives a lesson to students from Gastineau and Glacier Valley Elementary Schools on building a social safety net as part of the "I'm Going to College" event Monday at the University of Alaska Southeast. All areafifth-grades are taking a day-long field trip Monday and today to learn about the advantages of higher education. Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education, the Alaska College Saving Plan and the Northwest Education Loan Association are sponsoring the event.

New radio studio
Staff and volunteers gather for the ribbon-cutting at the new KRNN radio studio on May 5. Seventy-five localvolunteer DJs will use the new studio to air local music programs. KTOO-FM and KXLL also will move to new studios in the next few months. The new radio studio features all digital equipment. From left are Marc Wheeler, Rosemarie Alexander, Bill Legere, Jamie Waste, Pablo Montoya, Lise Paradis, Cheryl Levitt and Will Judy.

Photo: Survival suit training
U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officers Luke Nisbet, top left, and Jordan Roy, top center, instruct sixth-graders from Floyd Dryden Middle School in teamwork and swimming with survival suits on in Juneau's harbor on Tuesday. The program is coordinated with the Alaska Marine Safety Education Association and the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary.

Family Friendly Business Awards announced
The Partnerships for Families and Children, Best Beginnings, Association for the Education of Young People, United Way of Southeast Alaska and the Juneau Chamber of Commerce announced the winners of the fifth annual Family Friendly Business Awards during the weekly Chamber luncheon at the Moose Lodge.

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

Photos: Frozen fishes

Photo: Dzantik'i Heeni dedication
Members of the Haa Daaxa Nooxu Jeiys Dance Group perform last week at the Grand Opening ceremony of Dzantik'i Heeni Middle School's covered play area.

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

Southeast suicide prevention task force holds first meeting
SITKA - A new Southeast Alaska Suicide Prevention Task Force met for the first time on April 29 and 30 at the Sheet'ká Kwáan Naa Kahídi in Sitka. The task force will develop a regional suicide prevention plan that can be taken back to each of the communities for implementation.

What is protein?
So far in this series on nutrition we've talked about, among other things, the importance of making permanent changes to our diet, basing our food choices on whole, unprocessed foods, and the fact that neither carbohydrates nor fats are inherently good or bad.

Photo: Lunchtime running near Mendenhall River
A lunchtime running group follows the new airport dike trail next to the Mendenhall River on Monday. The area to the left will be filled starting in about two weeks from material dredged from the float plane pond. Construction continues on the Juneau International Airport's safety area improvements on both ends of the runway.

Charles Paddock
Juneau Resident Charles Ralph Paddock died May 7, 2010, at his son's home. He was 73.

Daniel Chmielowski
Lifelong Juneau resident Daniel Chmielowski died May 3, 2010 at home. He was age 34.

Michael S. Reid
Former Juneau resident Michael S. Reid died April 9, 2010, in Beaumont, Texas, following a brief battle with cancer. He was 49.

Outside editorial: Take that, Supreme Court
When the Supreme Court irresponsibly overturned a 60-year-old ban on spending by unions and corporations in political campaigns, Congress was faced with a choice. It could pass legislation purporting to overturn the decision, inviting another invalidation. Or it could work within the confines of the ruling to limit its negative consequences. In general, legislation proposed by Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., and Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., follows the second course, but it would still strike a blow against special-interest influence in elections.

My Turn: University of Alaska gun policy reasonable
The University of Alaska Board of Regents has a gun policy for our campuses that doesn't violate the Second Amendment and doesn't break state law.

Physician, heal thyself
He purported to cure homosexual urges. But if that were possible, you'd think he'd have started with himself.

Moving our nation beyond petroleum
A golden opportunity is bubbling up beneath that undersea volcano of oil spewing thousands of gallons per day into the Gulf of Mexico. We have a chance to truly move our country, as BP says in its ad campaigns, "beyond petroleum." Despite the spill's devastation, President Barack Obama continues to claim we must push forward with more offshore drilling - albeit with stronger safeguards - if we want to increase our energy security.

Outside editorial: It won't save the whales
The following editorial first appeared in the Los Angeles Times:

My turn: Beckett and Me
Last year, my wife and kids talked me into going with them to the movies to see "Marley and Me," which I expected to be just more silly, sentimental sweepings and swill from Hollywood - not my kind of film at all. But it was even worse than that. At the end the dog dies.

Civilian trial for 9/11 suspects should be off the table
In a recent hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. said that a civilian trial in New York City for Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and four other accused 9/11 plotters was still "not off the table." This is unfortunate, and not only because such a trial would inevitably compromise classified information, impose massive security and logistical costs on New York, and provide the defendants with a superb propaganda platform. Another major problem with a civilian trial has been largely overlooked: the impact on the 12 private citizens unlucky enough to be chosen as jurors.

Alaska closes another king salmon fishery
ANCHORAGE - The Alaska Department of Fish and Game shut down commercial king salmon fishing in part of the upper Cook Inlet between the Chuitna and Susitna rivers.

Parnell signs Cook Inlet drilling incentives bill
KENAI - Gov. Sean Parnell has signed a bill designed to give Cook Inlet petroleum exploration a boost.

Alaska man gets 20 years for sex abuse
FAIRBANKS - A Fairbanks man who pleaded guilty to sexual abuse has been sentenced to 20 years in prison.

Visitors bureau to stock taxis with information
ANCHORAGE - The Anchorage Convention & Visitors Bureau says it plans to transform city taxis into rolling visitor information centers.

Bartlett earns CAP accreditation
JUNEAU - Bartlett Regional Hospital has been awarded accreditation by the Accreditation Committee of the College of American Pathologists (CAP), based on the results of a recent onsite inspection.

Gov appoints new game board member
ANCHORAGE - Gov. Sean Parnell has appointed a Nenana man who has made a living by trapping, hunting, fishing and guiding to the Alaska Board of Game.

Woman upset with Troopers' response to gun
FAIRBANKS - A Fairbanks woman is demanding a face-to-face apology from two Alaska State Troopers who detained her for 20 minutes after they spotted her walking down a road with a gun in her hand.

Library dean at University of Alaska Fairbanks on leave
FAIRBANKS - The library dean at the University of Alaska Fairbanks has gone on leave.

TransCanada says gas prices key in pipeline effort
ANCHORAGE - TransCanada vice president Tony Palmer says low gas prices could hurt its quest to build a natural gas pipeline out of Alaska.

Alicia Roberts Medical Center wins rural health award
KLAWOCK - The SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium Alicia Roberts Medical Center in Klawock was honored with the Outstanding Rural Health Organization Award during a luncheon April 28 in Anchorage.

Agency holds workshop for outdoor women
JUNEAU - The Department of Fish and Game is offering up its three-day workshop to teach women outdoor skills.

Water rises on Yukon River near Ruby
FAIRBANKS - Rising water on the Yukon River was threatening several cabins and fish camps between Ruby and Galena.

Activist appeals ruling in Palin case
ANCHORAGE - An Anchorage activist is asking the Alaska Supreme Court review a judge's ruling that state law doesn't forbid the use of private e-mails to conduct state business.

Murkowski launches YouTube segment
JUNEAU - U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski is reaching out to constituents via YouTube.

Hiker rescued at Passage Canal
ANCHORAGE - The Coast Guard says one of its helicopter crews rescued a hiker at Passage Canal near Whittier after he became stranded trying to avoid two bears.

Matthew Maka nominated for Army game
Juneau-Douglas senior-to-be Matthew Maka has already gotten a jump start in motivation for the 2010 Crimson Bears football season.

It's time to play ball
The sun was out shining on the snow fields, hot dogs and hamburgers were cooking, and dogs and children were everywhere, waiting for a ball to be thrown their way.

Baseball Bears happy for homestand
There's no place like home - as long as the weather holds up, that is.

Falcons vex Vikings
On a soggy afternoon at Adair-Kennedy Memorial Park, the Thunder Mountain baseball team won in front of its home crowd as they rolled over the Petersburg Vikings 10-4 on Wednesday.

JDHS sweeps soccer matches
Coming off the May 7 14-0 girls' soccer rout at the hands of Juneau-Douglas, Thunder Mountain narrowed the deficit by more than half but still fell to the Crimson Bears 6-0 on a rainy Wednesday night at TMHS.

Photo: Hooptime boys finish 11-9
The Hooptime eighth-grade boys finished their year 11-9, highlighted by competing in four tournaments. The team went 1-4 in the Wasilla/Palmer tournament, 3-0 in the Haines tournament, 4-2 in the Michael Jackson Memorial Tournament in Juneau, and 3-3 in the Saint George/Las Vegas tournament.

Whale carcass spotted on Glacier Bay beach
ANCHORAGE - A marine mammal observer aboard the first cruise ship of the year spotted a dead humpback whale washed up on a beach in Glacier Bay National Park, a park spokeswoman said Wednesday.

Fight over Arctic wildlife refuge heats up
ANCHORAGE - The fight over oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge heated up Tuesday over the possibility that a new management plan could put the refuge and its billions of barrels of crude off-limits for good.

Alaska Natives still unrecognized in state song
JUNEAU - Some Alaska Native leaders said they are disillusioned with their lawmakers after a third attempt failed to add a verse to the state song mentioning indigenous people - even as the Legislature turned Groundhog Day into Marmot Day and the governor signed a bill Wednesday making the Alaskan malamute the state dog.

Alaska sending oil spill gear to Louisiana
ANCHORAGE - Cargo planes from Elmendorf Air Force Base are flying equipment to New Orleans to help clean up crude oil in the Gulf of Mexico.

Hard times for Lucky Times
ANCHORAGE - The operator of the Lucky Times pull tab lottery in Alaska says the already delayed drawing may not take place as scheduled May 31.

Federal money could help pay for big wind farm
FAIRBANKS - A federal clean energy program could help build a big wind farm near Healy.

Calif. university scrambled to limit Palin fallout
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Newly released documents shed light on a California state university's efforts to limit public scrutiny of its decision to book Sarah Palin for a June speaking engagement but do not disclose how much the former vice presidential candidate was to be paid.

Belugas blamed for Anchorage port expansion delays
ANCHORAGE - Protections for beluga whales in Cook Inlet have added to cost overruns and delays in the Port of Anchorage expansion.

New Palin book, 'America By Heart' to be out Nov. 23
NEW YORK - Sarah Palin's new book has a title, "America By Heart: Reflections on Family, Faith and Flag," and a release date, Nov. 23, publisher HarperCollins announced Tuesday.

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