Thursday, May 22, 2008

A peek inside the seething tumult of 'Yellowman'
A play about black-against-black discrimination may seem an unusual choice for an Alaska town with a black population of less than 1 percent. However, cast member Jordan Barbour points out that Juneau's whiteness is a compelling reason to stage "Yellowman" here.

Serious fun with the Gallus Brothers
Few bands incorporate luggage and juggling into their acts, but the Bellingham, Wash.-based Gallus Brothers is not your typical band.

Arts Roundtable meeting slated for May 28
The Juneau Arts & Humanities Council will hold its monthly Arts Roundtable meeting at 5:15 p.m. on Wednesday, May 28, at the Juneau Arts & Culture Center.

Nominations sought for Governor's arts awards
The Alaska State Council on the Arts is seeking nominations for the 2008 Governor's Awards for the Arts. The deadline for submitting the nominations via e-mail is May 30.

Quick Draw set for May 24
The Juneau Arts & Humanities Council will sponsor the fourth annual Quick Draw on Saturday, May 24, as part of Community Day on the University of Alaska Southeast Auke Bay campus. This fast-paced event allows the general public to see the creative process at work.

What's Happening
Hooligan Calendar

Gelato, a very cool treat
It had been a long day, and was far from over. The weather was not helping. I ducked into a local spot and was enjoying the quiet of its afternoon lull when I found the unexpected: a freezer full of memories.

What's in a wine label?
Before we get started, I have to mention the passing of Robert Mondavi. He did more for fine wines in the United States than anyone else. His story is quite fascinating and well worth reading up on with a glass of wine. I have always thought that is important to remember those before us who have contributed to what we enjoy today, no matter what it is.

'Wii Fit' workout game gets beyond thumbs
If you're worried about how you're going to look in a bathing suit this summer, perhaps video games deserve some of the blame. You know, too much "Grand Theft Auto IV," not enough cardiovascular exercise.

The case of Megan Meier, part two
Last January I posted an article describing the suicide of Megan Meier. She was only 13, a quiet, lonely girl who found a "boyfriend" on the Internet through MySpace. That boy, after several weeks of being her best cyber-friend, suddenly jilted her, saying that the world would be better if she was not in it. What was peculiar about this tragedy was that the boyfriend, named Josh Evans, was purely fictional, constructed through the wily imagination of a young girl who lived down the street. Allegedly, her mother, Lori Drew, not only knew about it but actually took part in this cruel ruse.

Perseverance Trail is not fixed
Perseverance Trail fixed? Not really.

Thank a veteran on Memorial Day
As a young girl living in Germany under the domination of Hitler during World War II, I have seen firsthand the graciousness of the young American soldiers.

The past reveals folly of access road
I write in light of the recent news about the progress of the Juneau access road. As a Juneau resident of Tlingit ancestry, I strongly urge you to take into consideration the following when making your decision.

AEL&P should show more care for city
Here is yet another letter regarding Juneau's favorite subject - Alaska Electric Light & Power Co.

Palin's rate cut plan likely worth less in Juneau
Gov. Sarah Palin's promise of a 60 percent cut in electric bills will likely amount to far less than was originally promised for many Alaskans. For residents of rural Alaska, Fairbanks and especially Juneau, the promised savings may be barely half of what was promised.

Panel finds no ethics conflict for lawmaker
The Legislature's ethics committee Tuesday cleared the way for Rep. Kevin Meyer, R-Anchorage, a top oil industry ally, to fully participate in deliberations about natural gas pipeline proposals.

Proposed school renovation budget criticized
A Juneau School Board member is criticizing a plan to pay for renovation costs of two elementary schools by using a maintenance account set aside for a different school building as fiscally irresponsible.

Electric bills with new rates sent to customers
The first series of electric bills with sharply increased rates started showing up in Juneau's mailboxes this week.

Sitkans doubt Abbott can get fair trial at home
Presiding Judge David George was the first to offer official speculation about Jason Abbott's chances of an impartial jury in Sitka during his upcoming trial on charges that he killed grandparents, one aunt and her boyfriend, and tried to kill a second aunt with a five-inch knife.

Juneau tech works to avert world's shipping disasters
In a nondescript walk-up office on Harbor Way, near the end of a bridge in this Southeast Alaska city, Capt. Ed Page watches a loaded tanker 2,000 miles south in real time, maneuvering toward the dock in Long Beach harbor.

Assembly committee approves $42 million capital project list
The Juneau Assembly Public Works and Facilities Committee on Monday approved $42 million in capital improvement projects to be carried out.

RCA approves AEL&P's levelized payment plans
The Regulatory Commission of Alaska, the state agency that oversees utilities, approved an optional levelized payment plan Wednesday, allowing Juneau customers faced with enormous electric payments to spread them out over a year.

Juneau citizens awarded for wilderness safety readiness
Juneau Mountain Rescue and the Alaska Peace Officers Association are recognizing six individuals for meritorious conduct in life threatening situations over the past year.

Photo: Make way for the big boat
A fishing vessel is dwarfed by the cruise ship Star Princess on Wednesday as it leaves Juneau Harbor.

Photo: Defiant young buck
A Sitka blacktail deer sticks out its tongue as it stands by the side of Glacier Highway near mile 16. Many deer have been eating newly emerging greens by roadsides in the Juneau area.

Photo: A little lunch music
Soprano Lauren Skuce, right, and violinist Mark Steinberg perform Tuesday during the Juneau Jazz & Classics Brown Bag Concert at the State Office Building. The free concerts will be held each day at noon for the rest of the week.

Photo: Derby heats up
Fishermen dot the rocks Tuesday at False Outer Point. Many of them are participating in the Annual Spring King Salmon Derby. Jonathan Lyman is now in first place in the derby, weighing in a 32.95 pound king salmon on Sunday.

Around Town
Today

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

Around Town
Today

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

Harrison Ford returns to his signature role
When Harrison Ford attended Wisconsin's Ripon College, he drifted over to the theater department from the philosophy department and stuffed a pillow under his shirt to play Mr. Antrobus in Thornton Wilder's "The Skin of Our Teeth," a wartime fantasy about struggle and survival. He also sang and danced a bit in "The Fantasticks" and played Mack the Knife in "The Threepenny Opera." His summer stock credits included "The Night of the Iguana" and "Damn Yankees."

New 'Narnia' bogs down quickly
These three things I know are true:1) Rarely do I sit through a 147-minute film and say, "That went by fast!"

Juneau's Cinema guide
OPENING

'National Treasure 2' golden on DVD
'National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets'

Phineas Poon at the Red dog
An elderly couple walks through the door of the Red Dog Saloon in downtown Juneau and the first thing they do is look up. They look up at the stuffed black bear climbing the pole in the middle of the room and the stuffed butt of the man trying to get away. Or they look up at the mountain goat perched above the door or the 7-foot painting of a sprawling naked lady hanging on the wall.

The man behind the character
Tag Eckles grew up dreaming about being a honky-tonk piano player from the time he was seven, but became sidetracked studying classical music and performing in rock 'n' roll bands in his youth.

Treasonous fun at Little Norway Festival
Call it treason, but I had a transcendent moment last weekend while listening to another country's national anthem.

Sound Bites
SCARLETT JOHANSSON "Anywhere I Lay My Head" ★★

One Aisle Over performs May 31 at the Island Pub
The Juneau-based band One Aisle Over will be performing on Saturday, May 31, at the Island Pub in Douglas.

Summer concert series seeks performers
Performers, emcees and volunteers are still needed for Juneau Arts & Humanities Council's annual Concerts in the Park and Concerts on Campus series.

Car Show has great turnout
The Juneau Dipsticks enjoyed a great turnout, with more than 1,300 paid attendees, for the eighth annual Classic, Custom and Antique Auto & Cycle Show May 16-18 at Centennial Hall.

Sherman Indian High School to hold information session
JUNEAU - Sherman Indian High School, a Bureau of Indian Education school in Riverside, Calif., will present a parent training and student orientation for Alaska Native students, parents and other interested tribal members from 3 to 4 p.m. Thursday and Friday at the Vocational Training and Resource Center, 3239 Hospital Drive.

Small-business energy loans available
A city-funded loan program will help cover part of businesses' electric bills - though businesses will have to be denied a conventional bank loan before they are eligible.

Juneau under attack
Juneau is under attack, and the city government isn't doing anything about it. The employment of two or three men on a steady schedule would go a long way to eradicate the threat.

It's all about spring cooking
It's time to begin thinking about spring cooking. Around this time of year, after I have had my fill of soups and casseroles, I yearn to make something a little less heavy. Do have a favorite for the upcoming season? Are you craving a few new recipes? Let us know about some of your favorite spring recipes. You never know what yummy recipe is just waiting to be tried.

Readers' response and questions
Blog questions:

Reducing energy use is a quality of life issue
There was no small measure of irony in the timing of my last column (Please remember to leave the lights on). As my mini-manifesto on the economy of electric heat versus oil was rolling off the presses, snow was rolling off of the cliffs above Juneau's hydroelectric power lines, heralding a dramatic change in the way all Juneau residents view our usage of electricity.

Charities offer relief to low income residents
The United Way of Southeast Alaska and Catholic Community Services have rolled out their residential grant program, which they call Juneau Unplugged.

Photo: French students place in regions
Juneau-Douglas High School French students pose on May 15 with the awards they earned from placing in the top 20 in the Pacific Northwest Region on the National French test, and placing first, second or third in the Southeast Regional World Language competition. Front row, from left, are Tyler Houseweart, Kimberly Watt, Hanna Stauffer, Alice Ottoson-McKeen amd Kayla Bishop. Second row, from left, are Michelle Kirkham, Leigh Miller, Tracy Ralston, Cassandra Miller, Kyelisa Graham, Shelby Jeffries and Yvette Storey. Back row, from left, are Sarah Thrower, Rachel Peyton, Isabel Bush, Dana Shannon, Shawna Else, Jake Monagle, Margaret Rehfeld and Joe Funk. Not pictured are David Abad and Peter Jorgensen.

James 'Vince' O'Reilly
Former Juneau resident James "Vince" O'Reilly died peacefully in the company of his children on May 18, 2008, at Heritage Place in Soldotna. He was 81.

Susan A. Brandt
Juneau Resident Susan A. Brandt died the morning of May 10, 2008, after a short duration of bone and liver cancer.

Gary Allen Sturrock
Former Juneau resident Gary Allen Sturrock died May 16, 2008, at his home in Woodinville, Wash., following a short battle with cancer. His family was by his side. He was 53.

Norman Jackson
Kake resident Norman L. Jackson died May 18, 2008, in Anchorage Native Medical Center. He was 66.

My turn: Why is the power cost adjustment rate where it currently is?
In the first hours after the April 16 avalanches severed Juneau's connection to the Snettisham hydroelectric project, Alaska Electric Light & Power Co. estimated we would need to burn up to 100,000 gallons of diesel each day to meet the community's electrical demand. We estimated electrical rates would be five to six times the normal rate for the first month of the outage to pay for all that diesel.

My turn: OxyContin abuse a problem in Juneau and the nation
The recent Empire article on prescription drug abuse was well-written but did not tell the whole story.

Alaska editorial: Juneau's current electricity crisis merits state help
No matter what Gov. Palin and her bureaucrats call it, Juneau is facing an economic disaster.

My turn: Juneau needs to laugh at times like these
We knew it was going to be an interesting summer when the people of Juneau rushed the first cruise ship of the season, bringing a very long extension cord to divert electricity from the ship's generator into the city's power grid. That was the first night in weeks that the city turned on its streetlights.

Alaska editorial: Threatened status for the polar bear is a positive thing
The following editorial first appeared in the Anchorage Daily News:

Opinion: What ever happened to thoughtful conservatives?
Don't read this column yet. First, I want you to do something. Google "Chris Matthews + Kevin James." This will bring up video of the latter, a conservative L.A. radio pundit, being questioned by the former last week on MSNBC's "Hardball." You "must" see this video.

National editorial: On exams, Lesbos, boys, oil, Al Gore and so much more
Brief comments, direct or implied, about items large and small in the news. ...

Opinion: Get to know your friend, the kitchen
f Americans are feeling frustrated about food, who can blame us? It's not just the bugs in the burger or the hormones in Chinese seafood - or even the skyrocketing prices. It's that most of us feel powerless to fix things. We may be a nation of do-it-yourselfers when it comes to deck repair or tax returns, but even as our industrial food system grows less reliable, our reliance on that system has never been higher.

Alaska editorial: Make more money available for students to attend college
Not everything in the state's bloated capital budget ranks as pork. As an example of smart money, the $2.5 million in grants so Alaska's poorest students can afford college is hard to beat.

Alaska editorial: Unrepentant Vic Kohring an embarrassment to all
Vic Kohring doesn't get it. Never did. Never will. He doesn't get that a state legislator can't collect cash handouts from the state's most powerful lobbyist.

School Board OKs new lunch program
JUNEAU - The Juneau School Board approved a new food service contract Tuesday evening that school officials said will lead to better lunches for the city's students.

Staff to assist in locating grave sites
JUNEAU - The city Parks and Recreation department will have staff available at Evergreen Cemetery to assist in locating grave sites from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Memorial Day.

Mat-Maid items will be auctioned this week
PALMER - Thousands of Matanuska Maid Dairy items at the Anchorage and Palmer facilities will be auctioned this week.

Alaska Airlines flight diverted to Ketchikan
KETCHIKAN - Mechanical problems forced an Alaska Airlines flight en route from Anchorage to Chicago to land in Ketchikan.

Design competition for prison narrowed
PALMER - The Matanuska-Susitna Borough and the Alaska Department of Corrections selected three companies to compete for a design-build contract for the new state prison.

School Board finishes evaluating Cowan
JUNEAU - The Juneau School Board announced Tuesday it had completed its evaluation of Superintendent Peggy Cowan.

6.0 quake strikes off Aleutian Island chain
ATTU - A strong undersea earthquake struck in the North Pacific Ocean near the western end of the Aleutian Islands.

Couple finds cache of old newspapers
KETCHIKAN - Ketchikan homeowners Debi and Hunter Davis recently uncovered a cache of 1925 newspapers when renovating their home.

Open burning ban instituted on Kenai
KENAI - The state closed permitted burning for the western Kenai Peninsula until further notice.

Book details Tlingit, Russian battles
JUNEAU - A new book matches oral histories and historic accounts to documented battles between the Russians and Tlingits in the early 19th century.

Police say dancer died from exposure
ANCHORAGE - A woman whose body was found on the deck of a home two months ago died from exposure, police said.

City council rejects labor contract
FAIRBANKS - The Fairbanks City Council turned down a proposed three-year contract for city firefighters.

Accident sends people to hospital
JUNEAU - A 19-year-old woman driving out of a parking lot Monday turned in front of an oncoming truck and caused an accident that sent the truck's driver and passengers to Bartlett Regional Hospital, according to police.

Extradition begins for mom accused in death
ANCHORAGE - Extradition proceedings have begun to return Morgan Hite to Colorado to stand trial for the death of her infant son.

Fractured fairytales foreshadow failure
"Georgie Porgie, puddin' and pie, kissed the girls and made them cry." -Mother Goose

Ketchikan surprises Crimson Bears with sweep
In a battle of state champions on Saturday, Ketchikan showed it can more than hang with Alaska's elite softball teams.

JDHS softball pounds Wasilla in doubleheader
The Juneau-Douglas High School softball team got back on the winning track in a big way Wednesday in Wasilla.

Spring King Salmon Derby Standings
As of 4:02 p.m., Wednesday, May 21

Spring King Salmon Derby Standings
As of 8:57 a.m., Tuesday, May 20

SPORTS IN JUNEAU
UPCOMING EVENTS

SPORTS IN JUNEAU
UPCOMING EVENTS

Juneau Jazz & Classics gets legendary
The Juneau Jazz & Classics music festival may need to add "legends" to its name after this year's lineup.

Groups seek curb on greenhouse gases
ANCHORAGE - Conservation groups announced Tuesday they are challenging Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne's attempt to limit collateral economic damage from listing polar bears as a threatened species.

Alaska to challenge listing of polar bears
ANCHORAGE - The state of Alaska will sue to challenge the listing of polar bears as a threatened species, Gov. Sarah Palin announced Wednesday.

Takers for dead moose found online
ANCHORAGE - When a 300-pound yearling moose stumbled into Calvin Hay's Hillside yard and died this month, he called the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, expecting the carcass would get hauled away.

Alaska aviation historian Randy Acord dies at 89
FAIRBANKS - Interior aviation historian Randy Acord has died at the age of 89.

Photo: Happy, shiny ferry
The Alaska Marine Highway System ferry Columbia sports a fresh coat of paint during a recent overhaul project at a Portland, Ore., shipyard. Columbia and its crew are scheduled to arrive in Ketchikan today and begin service within the AMHS fleet.

Judge orders agency to prepare for possibly dangerous patient's release
ANCHORAGE - A judge has ordered Alaska Psychiatric Institute to prepare for the supervised release of a patient considered potentially dangerous by psychiatrists.

Fire still growing on Kenai Peninsula
ANCHORAGE - A wildfire near the community of Anchor Point continues to grow.

Aerial hunting program kills 124 wolves
ANCHORAGE - State wildlife officials believe they have saved more than 1,400 moose or nearly 3,000 caribou - or some combination thereof - with a winter program to kill wolves from aircraft, although the wolf kill remains far below what the state wanted.

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