Warm days, White Nights
A little over two miles of water separates the Bering Strait islands of Little Diomede and Big Diomede, making the distance between Alaska and Siberia less than the stretch between downtown Juneau and Lemon Creek.

Ballroom dance set for Saturday
This Saturday, the Juneau International Folkdancers will host "Destination Juneau," a ballroom dance, from 7-10 p.m. at Centennial Hall. DJ music will be provided suitable for popular ballroom and Latin dances.

Juneau: Really hard to get to, really hard to leave
Living in a rainforest that averages 220 rainy days per year creates a desire to escape to warm places. Mexico, Hawaii, and Orlando are popular destinations, but many residents can't afford to spend a lot of money on leisure travel. Here are some tips for airline adventure, without breaking the bank.

At last, a real comedy
I hope the Wayans family, or at least seven or eight of them, have seen "The Hangover"; it would be a useful lesson for them on how to do a comedy. And by "comedy," of course, I mean a film that is actually funny. Even if the Wayans are too busy writing an unfunny sequel to "Dance Flick" to be bothered with a trip to the multiplex to check out Todd Phillips' new movie, the box office numbers should grab their attention.

Symphony offers lighter fare with pops concert
The last show of Juneau Symphony's 2008-2009 season will feature some of the greatest composers from 20th century Broadway and jazz.

Focus on new fiction
The focus is on new fiction this week: take a look at just a few of the new books on the shelves at the Juneau Public Libraries.

Arts and humanities council seeks booking manager
Juneau Arts & Humanities Council is now accepting applications for the position of Facilities Booking Manager for the Juneau Arts & Culture Center.

Perseverance STAR program starts July 13
Rehearsals and classes for Perseverance Theatre's Summer Theatre Arts Rendezvous begin on July 13 for three shows.

Bearfoot to perform Friday at Centennial
Fresh from the release of their third CD, Bearfoot is set to perform at 7:30 Friday at Centennial Hall.

Summer dance class registration underway
Juneau Dance Unlimited is currently registering students for the JDU Summer 2009 Program. The program schedule, information, and registration forms are available at

Not blowing smoke
I've never said anything in public but I've been a smoker most my life. I've put up with all the new laws and taxes for years. I don't smoke around kids or nonsmokers (unless they say it doesn't bother them). I don't throw my butts out on the street. I roll my own tobacco and do my own thing. I follow all the rules of the "good" smoker. My lungs are clear, but if I get cancer or emphysema that's my business, and I'll pay for it. I don't plan on living past any major disease in my life nor charging the "public" for whatever kills me. It's MY choice.

Evergreen Cemetery was very well-kept
The people of Juneau are fortunate to have such a beautifully kept Evergreen Cemetery. The large crowd who attended the Memorial Day services were able to enjoy this entire area. The work that was done by the Department of Parks and Recreation and made possible by our City Assembly was excellent. Even the headstone areas were trimmed to make the engraving much more readable. Anyone standing at the top of this area on a clear sunlit evening cannot help but be greatly impressed.

Woman charged with taking $40K from Little League
A 51-year-old Juneau woman was indicted Friday for allegedly stealing more than $40,000 from Gastineau Channel Little League, an organization with which she held a board seat.

Sealaska board united against term limits
Disgruntled Sealaska Corp. shareholders want term limits for the board of directors that would force out 11 of its 13 sitting members in the next three years.

Photo: Trying their luck
From right, Norman Zura, Don Frank and Emerson Marte try their luck fishing for kings Monday in the Gastineau Channel near DIPAC. At the time, the three had no luck, but others just down the shore brought a few in. Some of the fishing rules have changed in that area.

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

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

Around Town
Today, June 11

Details of Basin Road arson under wraps
Ryan Stanley found out Tuesday morning that his Basin Road home burned down last week because someone intentionally set a fire next door.

Legislators question school standards decision
Alaska legislators are questioning Gov. Sarah Palin's decision to sit out the creation of national educational benchmarks.

School Board told to take action on drug testing
The community wants the school district to take action against drugs, and they don't want to waste time talking about it, audience members told the School Board Tuesday night.

Local GM and Chrysler dealers hanging in there
Bankrupt General Motors Corp. and Chrysler Holdings are closing dealerships all over the country - but not here.

Photos: Circling the Americas
The cutter-rigged sailboat Ocean Watch arrived Tuesday on the first leg of its 13-month, 24,000 nautical mile voyage, called Around the Americas. The ship's goal is to increase ocean awareness while circumnavigating North and South Americas. The ship also will visit Dutch Harbor, Nome and Barrow.

Palin objects as oil price increase bails out the state
U.S. oil prices topped $70 a barrel Tuesday, just months after it had plunged below $30 a barrel and sent the state into deficit.

Land trust works to conserve property near Point Hilda
A land deal in the works could get a valued piece of Douglas Island out of the hands of a private property owner and into the public's.

A cow comeback in Juneau?
At one time, Juneau had a thriving dairy business.

Farms downsize with mini cows
TEKAMAH, Neb. - Walking through their lowing herd of several hundred cattle, Ali and Kenny Petersen were like two Gullivers on a Lilliputian roundup.

Photo: Two people, one wheel
Josh Galbraith helps Lauren Brooks learn how to ride a unicycle Wednesday at Marine Park.

Skagway confirms second Southeast swine flu case
A Skagway man has been confirmed to have swine flu, one of six official cases in Alaska and the second in Southeast, Alaska public health officials said Tuesday. The man has recovered.

Photo: Bearfoot buskers
Musicians in the Bearfoot Bluegrass Camp for Kids play for money on the corner of Franklin and Front streets on Wednesday. The camp is for students ages 5 through 17, that will learn to play traditional bluegrass instruments and vocal techniques. Kids can choose to take fiddle, guitar, bass, mandolin, vocal or dance sessions. From left are Odessa Jorgensen, of Bearfoot, Jessica Cooper, Clare Boiley, Abby Olsen, Mason Gallanos, Ian Scholl and Arnie Ellefson.

Around Town
Today, June 10

Dean Alan Norman
Juneau resident Dean Alan Norman died quietly on June 6, 2009, in Juneau. He was 43.

Shirley Ann Nygard
Juneau resident Shirley Ann Nygard died June 7, 2009, at Wildflower Court. She was 79.

No protest from the pulpit?
"I have never learned to fight for my freedom. I was only good at enjoying it."

Where Democracy becomes a prison
I stood on the ground floor of a collapsed concrete building and watched the homeowner stoke the fire in a makeshift stove. His wife handed him a piece of cardboard to burn and said something I didn't understand. It wasn't just the fact she spoke in Arabic. It was impossible to understand anything I was seeing in the northern Gaza city of Beit Lahia.

Alaska editorial: Gas pipeline moving ahead
The following editorial first appeared in the Ketchikan Daily News:

Outside editorial: Kim Jong Il doesn't deserve a ransom
Laura Ling and Euna Lee are American journalists who traveled to northern China in March to tackle a tough and important story: the trafficking of North Korean women to China. Their work would have been risky at any time. But the two reporters for San Francisco-based Current TV happened to undertake their mission at a time when North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il is seeking to provoke the Obama administration. The result: Ms. Ling, 32, and Ms. Lee, 36, were taken prisoner by North Korea on March 17 in as-yet-unexplained circumstances and this week were sentenced to 12 years in a labor camp by one of Mr. Kim's courts. They are, in a very real sense, hostages - condemned to be separated from their families and confined in what may be harsh conditions until a regime that seeks political and economic concessions from Washington chooses to release them.

Alaska editorial: Village alcohol bans need cooperation and compliance
The following editorial first appeared in the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner:

Alaska: Alaska should stay the course to ensure student achievement
Some Alaskans are concerned about the Palin administration's decision to monitor, but not actively participate in, an upcoming effort to create common national standards in reading and math.

Prohibition is a losing proposition
In 1986 and 1987, I was one of the "masterminds" behind the importation and sale of about 75 tons of pot from Southeast Asia in the United States. It was the culmination of a 20-year career as a drug smuggler, a deal that netted more than $180 million wholesale.

Abnormal interest in Jon & Kate, Susan Boyle
We'll discuss Susan Boyle's mental state in a moment, but first let me show my ignorance.

2 exposed to chemicals at cargo hangar
ANCHORAGE - Two employees at an Alaska Airlines cargo hangar were exposed to formaldehyde after a forklift punctured a container.

Public comment period extended for sea otters
ANCHORAGE - The public comment period on sea otters has been extended for 30 days.

School Board reverses charter school decision
JUNEAU - The Juneau Community Charter School can add middle school, the School Board decided Tuesday.

Cruise ship passenger medevaced to Juneau
JUNEAU - A 72-year-old passenger on the cruise ship Sea Princess on Tuesday was medevaced to Juneau.

Skipper sentenced for 2008 grounding
JUNEAU - A skipper who ran his fishing boat aground after putting it on autopilot and leaving the wheelhouse was sentenced last week for driving recklessly, and the company that owns the boat was fined for polluting state waters.

9 members of drug ring plead guilty
ANCHORAGE - Nine members of a large drug ring that operated between California and Alaska have pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Anchorage.

Statue ordered down from Ketchikan business
KETCHIKAN - The Ketchikan Gateway Borough Assembly has agreed with a Planning Commission decision that a wooden sculpture atop a business must come down.

Police release names of dead homeless men
ANCHORAGE - Anchorage police have released the names of two homeless men found dead.

North Pole go-cart driver charged with DUI
FAIRBANKS - A North Pole man faces charges after driving an adult-sized go-cart into a man, breaking his leg.

Anchorage fisherman missing after canoe tips
ANCHORAGE - A fisherman whose canoe flipped on a suburban Anchorage lake is missing.

Main Street road work begins today
JUNEAU - Street crews will begin paving and patching work on Main Street early today that's expected to last two or three days, city Streets Superintendent Mike Scott said.

Alaska has 11 cases of swine flu
JUNEAU - State health officials say there are now 11 confirmed cases of swine flu in Alaska, including the first case in the state's largest city.

Anchorage murder suspect identified
ANCHORAGE - A third suspect in an Anchorage fatal shooting has been identified as a 20-year-old Arizona man.

Chenega in service, Fairweather in trials
JUNEAU - One state ferry is back in service, and another is close.

2 children die in Copper Center house fire
COPPER CENTER - Alaska State Troopers say two children have been killed in a house fire.

Light earthquake felt in Cook Inlet
FAIRBANKS - A light earthquake was felt in the Cook Inlet area.

Nikiski man accused of molesting own child
KENAI - A 53-year-old Nikiski man has been charged with sexually abusing his own child.

NPS seeks comment on Denali road work
DENALI NATIONAL PARK AND PRESERVE - Denali National Park and Preserve is looking for public comment on road improvements planned for inside the park.

Stevens scheduled at Fairbanks fundraiser
FAIRBANKS - Former U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens is scheduled to attend a Republican fundraiser in Fairbanks.

Games showcased tough defense, late-inning heroics
Only the bats were hotter than the weather! It was the week for coed softball in Juneau, and it couldn't get any better!

Mens D Division
No moisture from the sky, but the Rounders rained on the Dirty 12 in a 24-8 shellacking, and the SE Miners washed away the Northern Lights Development, 19-10. At least they got to play when it was warm and dry this week. On the night before, the SE Miners rolled the Rounders 12-7, and Pavitts muscled out a pair of wins over the Northern Lights 21-16, and those Dirty Dozen, 39-8.

Womens D Division
There was BIG excitement in this division this week. Hecla's Angels stunned Mendenhall Mall 7-6, and then the Parts Plus Ladies shopped the Mall team, 14-4. The night before, the Parts Plus Ladies slipped by the Chicks with Sticks, 9-8. In the only other games of the week, the Merchant's Wharf team thwacked the AEG Staffers 12-1, and then drilled the Angels, 13-7. This is another division where any team can win on any given night.

Mens C Division
Taku Oil stayed hot, and undefeated at 8-0, as they greased Team Imperial 12-7, and then hunted down Timberwolf, 18-12. Team Imperial stayed within sight of the leaders, though, as the barmen tooled Parts Plus 8-2. The Parts Plus men came right back and wrenched the Wolves 22-9. Taku Oil may be pulling away in this division, but the other three teams are taking it to each other every week.

Coed F South Division
The Coed tournament featured a hybrid Terminator battalion brandishing a golden victory over Reliable Oil in the F South championship game, which ended with a triple play. During the regular weekly matchups, Trusted Choice hung the Pirates 12-11, but then got bruised by the other team from Bartlett 16-11. Those same Bartlett Bruisers then got greased by Reliable Oil 13-12. In the late night clash, Off the Cuff sent the Pirates for their second deep six of the night, 17-11.

Coed F North Division
The Coed tournament threw the F North and F South teams into a round robin mix, and when the blender was turned off, Killer Bees took Brain Pain to task in the F North tournament championship game. Earlier in the regular season week, Haz Gas barbecued Foodland 10-8 at Sandy Beach, and Killer Bees stung Bartlett Too 11-6. But the Too came back and dissected the Brain team in the second half of the doubleheader. Those same Brain Painers were busy last week, as their early game was a 16-15 squeaker past the Pavitt Piranhas.

Coed E Division
The Coed tournament saw a new hybrid Nut rise from the plantation to the podium, as the Mixed Nuts overcame a first round shelling by the Hooliguns to claw back through the losers bracket with a thrilling extra-inning win over Valley Liquor Crown Royals (punctuated by a game saving laser throw from deep left field to punch out the potential winning run at the plate).

Mens F Division
The First National Caps made it four wins in a row as they parked Perseverance/Pak's, 18-15 and then shortchanged all the 10 Rightfielders, 21-20. The UAS Flukes slapped the Mudstingers 19-11 the first night, but then got hit by the Double Ugly stick, 23-21. The Mudstingers got whaled on by the Flukes 19-11, but then continued their climb to respectability with a hard fought win over Perseverance/Pak's 19-14. And in the only other game last week, the 10 Rightfielders spread out and covered all their bases with a 19-10 drubbing of the Doubly Ugly ones.

Womens C Division
This division is so tight you need a butter knife to find the seam between the teams! In a battle of the Bars, Pat's Douglas Inn started out the week with a 12-10 squeaker over Imperial, but then got rocked by Sticks n Stones 7-5. Both Alaska Litho, 13-1, and Sticks, 12-7, transported Lynden off the field. To finish things out, Alaska Litho imprinted the ladies from the Imperial 6-4. Each week, a new team is on a tear in this division.

Mens E Division
Kapplers Computers stayed undefeated at 8-0, as it was the week of squeakers in this division. Kapplers started off the night with a 16-4 whuppin' of Home Depot, but then barely tapped the Island Pubbers 7-6. Gas n' Go revved past Play It Again 13-12, and then Play it Again played it again, losing this time to their industrial neighbors, Home Depot, 12-10. At the last call, the Pub crew came back and choked off Gas n' Go, 11-9.

Coed D Division
Regular season rivals Nizich Dental and Team Miller Lite paired off in this D Division coed championship game, and when the dust had cleared Nizich Dental hoisted the trophy high into the air. During the regular season weekly play, Drunkateers remained one of only three undefeated Juneau softball teams, capping a 5-4 win on Nizich Dental, while Team Miller Lite dined on Wee Fishie Shoppe 18-7, and then had SE Waffle House for dessert, 15-4.

Coed G Division
Those Battalions of Terminators may have walked away with the Coed Trophy, but in a divisional match up of the top two G division teams Seabreeze became Sea hurricane, blowing out the Terminators, 28-18. Pity the Red Headed Kids, though, as the Terminators took out their frustration and gave them a 21-2 spanking. It wasn't an all bad night for the Red Headed Kids, though, as they put AWARE to sleep 18-9. And to finish off the evening, the Attractive Nuisance silenced the MRT Slammers 21-12.

Alaska lawmakers could be freed; review ordered
ANCHORAGE - Two former Alaska state lawmakers could be released from prison soon after a federal appeals court Wednesday ordered their corruption convictions reviewed.

Former lawmakers Kott, Kohring await release order
ANCHORAGE - The attorney for former House Speaker Pete Kott said Tuesday she has received no word on when her client may be released from a federal prison.

Alaska priest named in abuse lawsuit
FAIRBANKS - A 74-year-old priest serving the University of Alaska Fairbanks parish has been accused of sexually abusing a minor nearly two decades ago.

Senate panel blocks directional drilling in ANWR
WASHINGTON - A Senate committee on Tuesday rejected a proposal by Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski, the panel's top Republican, to allow access to oil in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge by drilling for it from outside the refuge.

Colberg wins Mat-Su mayor race
ANCHORAGE - Former Alaska attorney general and Troopergate figure Talis Colberg was elected mayor of the Matanuska-Susitna Borough on Tuesday.

'Deadliest Catch' boat opens shop in Homer
HOMER - Yo ho ho, banditas: If you've been longing for a genuine Time Bandit logo hoody, no longer do you have to wrassle someone from the crew at the Salty Dawg -- or go to the Time Bandit online store. This summer, the F/V Time Bandit, Homer's own crab fishing boat featured on the popular Discovery Channel show "The Deadliest Catch," sells its wares at a shop on the Homer Spit.

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