Thursday, July 30, 2009

Fair days are here again in Haines
Gear up and ship out this weekend for the Southeast Alaska State Fair in Haines. This year the theme is a "May the Fair be with you!", so you might want to pack a lightsaber as well.

'Half-blood Prince' doesn't take a Potter fan to appreciate
Before we get to the 17th "Harry Potter" movie (alright, alright, 6th), I thought I'd share with you what some dude felt compelled to share with everyone sitting near him at Glacier Cinemas the other night: his immediate reaction to each preview before "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" began.

Canvas hosts weaving and pies
The first weekend of August is set to hold lots of art and fun at the Canvas Community Art Center.

'Snowflake Rebellion' weaves web of local Alaska
Anchorage author Tom Brennan will be in Juneau Saturday to sign copies of his new book, "Snowflake Rebellion."

JDHS grad publishes children's series
Chris Eboch is getting spooked. The 1987 graduate of Juneau-Douglas High School has become a successful novelist for young people.

Summer Theatre Arts Rendezvous to show three plays
Perseverance Theatre's Summer Theatre Arts Rendezvous will show the talents of aspiring young actors in various productions: in the musical "Annie," "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe," and a new play, "Kóoshdaa kaa: Stories of the Land Otter Men." Performances begin Aug. 7 and run through Aug. 15 at the Noyes Pavilion on the University of Alaska Southeast campus.

Alaska's $250,000 lottery tickets on sale
Get your tickets! Get your tickets! Spend $5 and have a chance to take home $250,000 through a state authorized lottery in conjunction with the Vietnam Veterans of America. This non-profit aimes to promte and support a full range of issues important to veterans of the Vietnam War and to change public perception of the veterans themselves. Ten percent of what is leftover after the pay-out will go to this non-profit and it's efforts.

Essay contest takes aim at local ties to Tongass forest
TONGASS N.F. - Does the recent sunshine remind you of even more reasons you love the Tongass? Does seeing a doe and fawn or humpback and calf inspire you to write? Do you love this great forest we call home even more when you taste wild berries, smell fresh cooking salmon, feel the satisfaction of crafting a home from locally-milled lumber or gaze out over a wild vista?

Weber Dance Co. comes for local performance
Juneau Dance Unlimited will bring the Weber Dance Company to Juneau, August 10-21, for a two-week dance intensive and dance performance.

ARTS & CULTURE CALENDAR
ART, EVENTS & PERFORMANCE

Grant workshop can pay off for nonprofits
I want Juneau residents who work for nonprofit organizations and government agencies to know about a wonderful opportunity for themselves and their respective groups.

State offices need a recycling program
As many know, offices go through a lot of paper. The state possibly uses more paper than most, since we need, at any given point in time, at least seventeen color-coded copies of every document in a dozen different locations (I exaggerate, but only slightly).

New governor tries to mend relations with capital city
Gov. Sean Parnell held the first cabinet meeting of his new administration Wednesday, and afterwards praised Juneau and took other steps to mend relations between the state's chief executive and its capital city.

Juneau passed over by federal funds for police
Despite having several vacant positions, the Juneau Police Department did not qualify for any of the $5 million in federal stimulus money announced Tuesday to go to Alaska for police staffing.

Local man pleads guilty to cocaine, meth charges
A 26-year-old Juneau man pleaded guilty in federal court Tuesday to conspiring to distribute cocaine and methamphetamine in the capital.

Mariners help whales out of tangles
Capt. Greg Brown of the Weather Permitting went to NOAA's whale disentanglement training last year, but this 30-foot humpback calf swathed in line was the first real tangled whale he'd tried to help.

Empire, Capital City Weekly host Labor Day essay contest
JUNEAU - Southeast Alaska workers can win up to $500 this summer through a contest sponsored by the Juneau Empire and Capital City Weekly.

Governor doesn't support head tax repeal
Gov. Sean Parnell would be reluctant to support a repeal or reduction of the state's $50 head tax on cruise passengers, he told reporters at a Wednesday meeting in Juneau.

Photo: Foggy morning float
A float plane cruises down Gastineau Channel and under the Douglas Bridge early Tuesday morning due to a thick layer of fog. Despite cooler temperatures early in the week, the forecast for the next five days calls for sunny skies and temperatures in the low 80s.

Photo: Power washer
City of Juneau port officer Ron Hilbert power washes Sunday morning along Marine Parkbefore tourists and locals flock to the streets. In April, the waterfront from Merchant's Wharf to the Intermediate Vessel Float was cleaned and the city crew tries to keep on top of debris buildup every month. After six years on the beat Hilbert is feeling right at home. 'It's a great job... I like the tourists and the towns folk, and I get to be outside every day,' he said.

Photo: Garden variety
A bumble bee native to Alaska pollinates a sedum at the Jensen-Olson Arboretum at Mile 23 on the Glacier Highway. More than 200 plant species and 10 vegetable varieties grow at the arboretum, providing a changing color scheme through the summer and an educationalfacility of gardening for the public to enjoy.

Photo: Bicycle for two
Kent Cochell gives Hailey Noel a lift on his bicycle Tuesday along the North Douglas Highway.

Around Town
Today, July 29

Photo: Sidewalk art
Sally Paul, 13, works Wednesday on her tea pot outside of the The Canvas on Seward Street. Paul is taking a wheel-throwing and hand-building clay class at the gallery.

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

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

Around Town
Thursday, July 30

Outside editorial: Exxon goes green
Exxon's often sharp-tongued skepticism about alternative fuel technologies would seem to make it an unlikely candidate to bankroll research designed to turn algae into fuel.

Alaska editorial: Alaska should help uninsured children
Alaska needs to get with it. Other states are showing us up with their commitment to paying for health insurance for children in working families, even as the recession hurts state budgets. Earlier this year, Congress and President Obama significantly increased funding for the State Children's Health Insurance Program. States contribute funding to the program, though the federal government pays for most of it. The program covers children and pregnant women whose families earn too much for them to qualify for Medicaid but not enough to afford their own insurance.

Outside editorial: Sins of the dictator
To what degree is the elected government of Iraq obligated to pay for the sins committed by the late dictator Saddam Hussein? Should neighboring Kuwait forgive Iraq's new leadership $24 billion in outstanding debt for the destruction wrought by the 1990 invasion, a seven-month occupation, looting and the violent retreat of Iraqi forces? And is it relevant that Iraq may need the money more than Kuwait does? These are some of the questions the United Nations Security Council must consider when it addresses Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's request to release his country from the remaining sanctions imposed after the 1991 Gulf War, including a requirement that the country use its oil revenues to pay reparations.

Outside editorial: Palin's siren song
Sarah Palin's valedictory address as governor of Alaska will (we hope) be little noted nor long remembered. But its denunciation of Hollywood and Washington insiders reflects a perennial obsession by some conservatives that mainstream politicians are too eager to indulge. As Republicans regroup after the disaster of 2008, they would be wise to resist this shrill siren song.

Play-or-pay provision means more lost jobs
I've heard of whistling while you work, but I think Max Baucus takes it too far. Baucus, the Montana Democrat who heads the Senate Finance Committee and will have a lot to say about the final shape of any health-care reform, says the new taxes Democrats are contemplating to pay for it are "interesting, they're creative, some are kind of fun."

My Turn: There is nothing 'new' about Kensington ordeal
Juneau residents breathed a sigh of relief June 22 when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Kensington Mine.

Real health care reform starts in the lunchroom
When you get a flat tire, you patch it up and keep moving. But if you keep running over nails, your tire eventually gives out, no matter how many patches you apply.

Understanding fear as it is seen through black eyes
I'll tell you why President Barack Obama said what he did.

Amazon incidents remind that big brother still looms
Last week, in a stunning display of public irony, Amazon.com remotely deleted digital copies of the George Orwell novels "1984" and "Animal Farm" from customers' Kindle devices after learning that the electronic publisher of these works, MobileReference, did not have the rights to them. For a couple days, observers in print and on the Web outdid themselves, noting that in "1984," government censors rewrite history by consigning offending news items to an incinerator chute known as the memory hole.

US, Canada Arctic mapping expedition to start Aug. 9
EDMONTON, Alberta - A joint U.S.-Canada expedition sailing next month to the icy waters off the northern coastline both countries share will help map the farthest reaches of the North American continent, but it won't deal with a long-running dispute over a resource-rich part of the Beaufort Sea.

Fairweather reports engine trouble
JUNEAU - Late in the afternoon Wednesday, the Alaska Marine Highway System ferry Fairweather reported two of its four main diesel engines are down, according to Roger Wetherell, chief commission officer for the Department of Transportation and Public Facilities.

Seattle breaks record for hottest temp
SEATTLE - Northwesterners more accustomed to rain and cooler climate sought refuge from a heat wave on Wednesday, as Seattle recorded the hottest temperature in its history and Portland edged closer to its own record-breaker.

Police charge man with felony eluding
ANCHORAGE - Anchorage police have arrested a man suspected of being the rogue motorcyclist who had eluded officers by driving at more than 100 mph.

Stryker brigade to return from Iraq
FORT WAINWRIGHT - The Army said about 150 soldiers from the 1st Stryker brigade will return today to Fort Wainwright from Iraq.

Fairbanks voters may choose wintertime pollution regulator
FAIRBANKS - Fairbanks voters may decide whether they want the borough or the state to run a program to fight wintertime air pollution.

Weather no help against Interior state wildfires
FAIRBANKS - The National Weather Service said hot, dry weather in the Interior is likely to keep forest fires burning in the Interior for the foreseeable future.

Oregon man kills bear in his house
GRANTS PASS, Ore. - Everett Skinner and his family have started keeping their windows closed at night after a bear broke into their southwest Oregon home and he fatally shot it.

Anchor Point man sent to federal prison
ANCHORAGE - A man arrested by Homer police has been sentenced to five years in federal prison for being a felon in possession of firearms and ammunition.

Advocates promote Fairbanks sales tax, within 100 signatures
FAIRBANKS - Organizers of an effort to substitute a property tax with a sales tax in Fairbanks say they are within 100 signatures of getting the issue on the October ballot.

Flooding possible on the Kenai River
ANCHORAGE - The National Weather Service says water releasing from the Skilak glacial dam could cause minor flooding on the Kenai River at Ridgeway, Soldotna and Sterling.

Girdwood fire chief sick of Seward highway fatalities
GIRDWOOD - Girdwood Fire Chief William Chadwick has called an Aug. 7 forum at the city's community center to discuss fatal accidents and driver behavior on the Seward Highway.

Anchorage man gets 5 years on drug charges
ANCHORAGE - An Anchorage man convicted of distributing crack cocaine has been sentenced to five years in federal prison.

Wrangell trailer fire kills one, injures one
WRANGELL - A fire in a Wrangell mobile home killed one person and seriously injured another.

McDonald retained as Kodiak superintendent
KODIAK - Superintendent Stewart McDonald had his contract renewed by the Kodiak Island Borough School District.

Fire damages furniture store in Ketchikan
KETCHIKAN - Fire damaged a Ketchikan furniture store, but there were no injuries.

Moser to Hershey's
JUNEAU - Riley loves to run, and now he's being rewarded for it.

Sitka eliminates Juneau West
KETCHIKAN - Sitka pulled off an improbable come-from-behind win in the finals of Major League District 2 Baseball Tournament, rallying from a five-run deficit in the final two innings to top Juneau West 7-6 to earn a berth in the state tournament.

Juneau baseball Minors, softball Majors ousted
Juneau 10, Sitka 4

Photo: Juneau's District 2 Junior champs host state tourney
The Juneau Junior All-Stars, the Alaska District 2 champions, are hosting the Dimond West Juniors, representing Alaska District 1, at 6 p.m. this Thursday at Adair-Kennedy Field in a best-of-three series with a berth in the Western Regional Tournament in Alisa Viejo, Calif., on the line. Juneau finished the tournament with a 4-0 record, defeating Ketchikan 10-0 in the championship game.

Sports in juneau
UPCOMING EVENTS

Two Palin allies stepping down
Two close allies of former Gov. Sarah Palin are leaving state employment. The aides, Frank Bailey, director of the Office of Boards and Commissions, and Kris Perry, director of the governor's Anchorage office, are on their way out, said Sharon Leighow, spokeswoman for Gov. Sean Parnell.

Flooding closes one runway at Seward airport
ANCHORAGE - A spokesman for the state Department of Transportation says high water closed a runway at the Seward airport, but all roads on the Kenai Peninsula remain open.

Lawsuit: Pebble permits violate state law
ANCHORAGE - A lawsuit filed Wednesday in Anchorage Superior Court seeks to stop development at the Pebble Mine in southwest Alaska, saying the state's Department of Natural Resources violated the Alaska Constitution by granting permits allowing exploration.

Parnell to focus on economy, families
ANCHORAGE - Gov. Sean Parnell said Tuesday he's not worried about defining his legacy as he fills in for his high-profile predecessor, Sarah Palin.

Group pushes for protection of Alaska salmon
On a recent Saturday at a popular farmers' market in South Anchorage, shoppers lined up a dozen deep at the Arctic Choice fresh seafood booth. Next door, two chefs from Sacks Cafe grilled up samples of wild Alaska salmon behind Trout Unlimited's WhyWild campaign booth to promote wild Bristol Bay salmon.

Official: Construction activity slows down statewide
ANCHORAGE - Overall construction in Alaska is down an estimated 10 percent statewide this summer from the same time last year, an industry official said Tuesday.

Miss WEIO 2009 prepares to represent Alaska
FAIRBANKS - In just a few short weeks, life has taken an unexpected but not unwelcome turn for Alanna Gibson.

Interior honey season buzzing, producers say
FAIRBANKS - There's a buzz over this summer's Interior honey crop.

Pilots, divers recover old plane from lake
ANCHORAGE - There was nothing particularly historic or valuable about the two-seat float plane that had been sitting in muck at the bottom of an isolated Alaska lake since September 1993.

Ex-Sen. Stevens case attorney can force testimony
ANCHORAGE - A special prosecutor in Washington was granted authority Tuesday to compel testimony from the Justice Department team that took Sen. Ted Stevens to trial. He was also authorized to subpoena the former lead FBI agent in the Alaska corruption investigation and key witness Bill Allen and his attorney.

Aleutian areas to get siren system
KING COVE - Five rural communities on the Aleutians are set to receive new all-hazard warning siren systems within the next year.

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