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

Q&A canceled
I attended Goldbelt's annual meeting on June 6 and want to make an important correction to the their June 9 report which states, "Goldbelt Board answered all questions from shareholders."

Goldbelt's timeline doesn't match up
I recently wrote a letter to the Empire, questioning Goldbelt, Inc.'s claim that its dream of recreational development in Hobart Bay was actually stymied by the passage of the head tax. My observation was that the total clearcutting of the corporation's land in Hobart Bay left that area void of scenic values.

Blame it on the white man
Editor's note: The reader is referencing a commentary by Miami Herald columnist Leonard Pitts Jr.

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.

ExxonMobil backs Palin pipeline plan
After fighting Alaska's natural gas pipeline plans for two years, ExxonMobil Corp. joined the state-sponsored pipeline effort Thursday, handing Gov. Sarah Palin another victory in her efforts to develop the state's huge natural gas reserves.

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

Around Town
Today, June 11

Around Town
Today, June 12

Photo: 'Raven on my Mind'
Richard Siverly carves out the beginning stage of a Tlingit mask from alder wood on his porch Thursday. Siverly said he is trying to walk in the footsteps of his grandfather, David Williams, who was a master carver. He received the carving tools as a birthday present from his mother. His creation-in-the-works will be called 'Raven on my Mind'.

Photos: A long haul
Haul to the top: Danny Johnson of Outback Construction of Ashland, Ore., prepares a winch Thursday to pull the new mid-mountain chairlift's haul rope to the top. The chairlift could allow the ski area to open earlier in the season and better handle high capacity days.

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

A photo caption accompanying a page one story in Thursday's Juneau Empire about a Sealaska shareholder proposal incorrectly stated it was the first ever to make it to a vote. Shareholders have voted on several other resolutions, though none passed.

Local tourism biz feels mixed effects of recession
Dire predictions of a dramatic decrease in tourism and spending is coming true for some this summer, while others are seeing little to no change, local business owners reported.

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

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.

Local firefighter retires after 30 years of service
Capt. Dave Boddy finished his last 24-hour shift of his 30-year career Thursday with Capital City Fire and Rescue.

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.

Two more alleged Oxy dealers arrested
The final two people in a trio of alleged OxyContin dealers were arrested Wednesday afternoon a few blocks away from the Juneau Police Department’s headquarters.

Burglary investigation leads to counterfeit $20s
While investigating a string of burglaries, Juneau police searched a residence Wednesday and found a dozen counterfeit $20 bills.

Hazardous waste disposal event a waste of time?
Depending on how you look at it, the Hazardous Waste Disposal Day in Lemon Creek on May 31 was either a tremendous success or an utter failure, resident Neil Atkinson told city officials this week.

Judge denies dismissal of OxyContin case
A Juneau man failed Thursday to convince a judge to dismiss his OxyContin-related drug charge on the grounds that police had searched him illegally.

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

Fighting fire with UAS scholarships
Capital City Fire and Rescue has a new tool for fighting fires: Scholarships.

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.

Swine flu case confirmed in Sitka
Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital announced Thursday that tests had confirmed a patient at its urgent care clinic had been confirmed with swine flu, one of 14 cases so far identified in Alaska.

Photo: Extreme pizza
From right, Laura Seeley, Elizabeth Siefken, Rebecca Scharen, Marlon Pajarillo and Tyler Kotlasz call out, "Welcome to Papa Murphy's Pizza!" while making pizzas Thursday as a customer comes in for an order. The Travel Channel is coming to Juneau to film one of the store's unique delivery methods - by seaplane - for part of an "Extreme Alaska" TV special.

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

My turn: Rainforest Wild benefits all Southeast fishermen
Have you ever tasted the difference between a Cabernet Sauvignon from Sonoma County and one from Napa Valley? Each region has its own soil structure, geology and weather conditions that create a unique and celebrated wine experience. Bring that idea up to Alaska and you have seafood, which comes with an incredible story for every fisherman, boat and region that harvests from the sea.

Outside editorial: Swine flu's lessons for public health
It doesn't take a severe pandemic - or even much of a disease outbreak - to overwhelm America's public health system.

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

Outside column: Is solar power dead in the water?
Congress' rush to embrace solar power is having some unintended consequences. It will turn over a large chunk of federal land to private energy companies, and it may involve withdrawing billions of gallons of water from sensitive desert habitat.

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

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.

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

Anchorage cracks down on problem motel
ANCHORAGE - The city of Anchorage is cracking down on a motel that police say is a magnet for trouble.

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

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

KTOO ending analog TV service today
JUNEAU - KTOO-TV will shut off the station's channel 3 analog television transmitter at 11:59 a.m. today as part of the federally mandated conversion to digital television nationwide.

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.

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

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

Troopers release names of plane crash victims
ANCHORAGE - Alaska State Troopers have released the names of two people who died in a plane crash.

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

No signs of rats on Rat Island
ANCHORAGE - There are no signs of rats on Rat Island.

Fire at plant will impact electric bills
FAIRBANKS - A Golden Valley Electric Association spokeswoman says electric bills will rise this fall because of the fire last week at the power plant in downtown Fairbanks.

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.

Juvenile charged with vandalism in Kalskag village
LOWER KALSKAG - A juvenile is suspected of causing at least $10,000 in damage to two airplanes, a bus and an elementary school in Lower Kalskag.

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.

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.

Sitka's Matt Way drafted by Philadelphia
SITKA, Alaska - Sitka southpaw Matt Way was drafted in the fifth round of the Major League Baseball draft by the Philadelphia Phillies.

Sports in Juneau

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.

Investigators looking into 1982 Haines murder
JUNEAU - Investigators are looking for clues in the 1982 murder of a Haines girl.

Letterman hunts for jokes in Palin feud
NEW YORK - David Letterman joked Thursday that things are now fine between him and Sarah Palin because the Alaska governor called and offered to take him hunting.

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.

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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