Artists' spaces: Down in the basement
Basement Studios, a glass business opened six years ago by married artists Tasha Walen and Lincoln Farabee, began in the corner of their cellar with only a torch and an open window. Now it's taken over the whole floor.

Journalist's death sparks community forum
If you're reading this, you've either picked up a newspaper or visited a newspaper's website. Chances are, you have at least a passing interest in the way news is gathered, disseminated and accessed by the public, as well as an opinion on the huge changes currently rocking the industry.

Photos: Pearls of musical wisdom
Above: Michael Gray of Pearl Django, right, leads (from front) Lis Saya, Kristin Price and Margaret Vrolyk in a violin workshop at the Juneau Arts and Culture Center Tuesday.

Jolie's 'Salt' suffers from bad timing
F resh off of giving out four-out-of-four stars for the first time this year ("Inception"), I headed to see Angelina Jolie as CIA agent Evelyn Salt in "Salt." Screenwriter Kurt Wimmer fills a fast-moving 100 minutes with double-cross after double-cross, explosion after explosion, and the pace never falls below semi-urgent. Jolie is more than up to shouldering the load of an action movie and director Phillip Noyce captures the stunts on-screen in a very satisfying, in-your-face fashion.

'The Sparrow' a cross-genre literary star
Mary Doria Russell's debut novel, "The Sparrow," is entirely deserving of the critical acclaim it has garnered since it was published in 1996.

New nonfiction is on library shelves
Here's just a taste of the new nonfiction flooding into the public libraries.

Juneau Explorers Program runs Aug. 9-13
Kids ages 8-11 are invited to join the City Museum and the Canvas Art Studio August 9-13 for the Juneau Explorer's program, a week of exploring Juneau's history, art, environment and culture. Participants may select individual days or the entire week.

'Deadliest Catch' captain seeks new deckhand
Moved by the tragedy of the events and affects of the Gulf Coast BP oil spill, "Deadliest Catch" Captain Wild Bill Wichrowski of the F/V Kodiak has announced he is seeking to hire a Gulf Coast resident affected by the oil spill qualified to join his crew to fish the 2010 king crab season.

Opera singers wanted
Juneau Lyric Opera is looking for singers for their spring 2011 production of Giacomo Puccini's "La Bohème," to be directed by Roald Simonson. The first round of auditions will be held this Saturday, July 31. TO sign up for an audition time, visit

Application deadline for 2nd Annual Local Foods Festival is Aug. 6
Attentionackyard gardeners, farmers and businesses and organizations concerned with local food production: The deadline for applications for the 2nd Annual Juneau Local Foods Festival is August 6. The Saturday,ug. 28, event will feature a large Farmers Markets well as workshops in organic gardening, growing fruits and vegetables in Southeast Alaska, and many other topics.

Miller parrots talking points to earn endorsements
Joe Miller, fast-talking slick lawyer, memorized the conservative talking points that popular talk show host Mark Levin promotes every night. Miller rattled them off to Levin and convinced Levin to endorse him for the U.S. Senate.

Juneau knows better
Editor's note: this letter is in response to an article titled "US Chamber official warns of overreaction to BP's Gulf spill" that appeared in the Empire on July 21.

Coast Guard recognition
As the August 4, Coast Guard Day, approaches, I wanted to take a moment and recognize the service of the members of the Coast Guard who live here in our community.

Police & Fire
Juneau police and fire reported:

Hospital unit renamed for influential doctor
At a crowded ceremony Thursday evening, Bartlett Regional Hospital's critical care unit was formally titled the Grace T. and Henry I. Akiyama, M.D. Critical Care Unit, after the doctor who helped pioneer many of the advances that formed it.

Photo: Bear crossing
A sow with three cubs of the year cross the Glacier Spur Road at the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center Thursday. Sockeye salmon have returned to Steep Creek and numerous bears have shown up in the past week.

Sapphire Princess disrupted by whale
The docking of the Sapphire Princess in Juneau was delayed Wednesday when a deceased whale was discovered on the cruise ship's bulbous bow.

White sentenced in Yak-Tat Kwaan theft
Yakutat resident Karen White, 45, was sentenced Wednesday in Juneau Superior Court to 2 1/2 years incarceration for second-degree theft from and falsifying the business records of her employer Yak-tat Kwaan in 2008.

Photo: In full bloom
Katie Chapman takes a walk with her dog, Kanga, along the Kaxdigoowu Heen Trail near Brotherhood Bridge. The fireweed beds in the park are in full bloom.

Stress Management: Gentle stretching reduces tension
Editor's note: This article is the third in a series of four articles about stress management. Part 1 of this series was published June 10th.

SEARHC launches ALERT health record program
The SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium took a significant step forward July 14 in its four-year systems transformation project when SEARHC became the first health organization in the United States to launch the ALERT Clinic software program at its Ethel Lund Medical Center in Juneau.

Photo: Blvd Park rocks Steamship Dock
Members of Blvd Park of Sacramento, California, perform on the Alaska Steamship Dock Wednesday afternoon. The band will be playing Saturday at the Southeast Alaska State Fair in Haines and at the Alaskan Hotel & Bar on Wednesday, Aug. 4. The members are from right, Tekla Waterfield-Austin, Elise Suttie, Jarrett Mason, Timmy Conroy and Brian Ballentine.

SEARHC hosts Denali KidCare pediatric dental clinic in Angoon
ANGOON - The SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium's Jessie Norma Jim Health Center in Angoon will host a special Denali KidCare pediatric dental clinic on Aug. 23-27.

William Henry Elkinton Jr.
Former Juneau resident William Henry Elkinton Jr. died peacefully March 31, 2010 at his home in Maryville, Tenn. He was 78.

Margaret Alma Elkinton
Margaret Alma (Tremaine) Elkinton, 76, former Juneau resident, died July 26, 2010 in Juneau.

Anita Michalovskis
Anita Michalovskis, 50, a former Juneau resident, passed away June 19, 2010 in Cameron Park, Calif. after a three-month battle with a rare condition. Her memorial service was held on June 29 in Tacoma, Wash. It was conducted in Latvian, the native language of her family.

The Navy should name a new warship after Rep. John Murtha - Pro: Murtha deserves the honor
WASHINGTON - The usual cabal of neo-conservatives and "swift-boating" attack hyenas are canting their usual claptrap in chiding the Navy for naming its 10th San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship the USS John P. Murtha.

The Navy should name a new warship after Rep. John Murtha - Con: Naming a ship after Murtha denigrates the Navy
WASHINGTON - Here's a tip: to get ahead in today's America, denigrate it.

Senate receives bipartisan blame for botching energy bill
The following editorial first appeared in the Dallas Morning News:

Outside editorial: Charlie Rangel's war
The following editorial first appeared in the Chicago Tribune:

Benjamin Franklin on wealth
On July 26, 1784 - 226 years ago - Benjamin Franklin considered whether society was in need of a "remedy for luxury" in a letter to his trusted adviser, Benjamin Vaughn. In it, Franklin methodically argued against such a need.

Washington's intelligence bubble needs a pin prick
Though George Washington warned, "Over-grown military establishments are under any form of government inauspicious to liberty," vows to curtail military excess almost always go unheeded in the city of his namesake.

My turn: Let's count our economic blessings
Quick, somebody turn the telescope around for politicians and bankers looking at Alaska's economy. They cite CNBC's survey ranking Alaska's economy 41st out of 50 states. But, the Rockefeller Institute just reported that Alaska leads the nation with the highest job growth of any state. Alaska is one of only two states nationally who had positive annual job growth.

Blacktails on the rebound
Spring was good to local deer, which may mean good things for hunters this season.

On the hook
Linda Augustine smiles next to a 224-pound halibut she caught on June 8 in the area of Hand Trollers Cove.

Wild shots
Submit your wild shots

Get off the 'rock'
As I sat on a cracked, plastic bar stool inside the Sourdough Bar in Ketchikan, I couldn't help but feel uncomfortable.

Local barn swallow broods
I like to go up around the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center for lots of natural history reasons, and one of them is to watch the barn swallows that nest in the pavilion, the bus shelter, on the sides of the center itself, and sometimes on the kiosk. The insect-catching adults swoop high and low, sometimes playing 'chicken' with the numerous cars and buses, which typically exceed the posted speed limits. Most of the thousands of tourists are oblivious to these birds, but a few do pay attention.

Weekly Whale Feature: 'Frosty'
Frosty is named for her light-colored tail, which is white like winter frost.

Taking it to the wall
Locals and summer residents took to the hand holds at the Rock Dump last Saturday to compete in the gym's annual Summer Climbing Competition. The scene was decidedly laid back as climbers tried various routes to test their skill. Onlookers cheered and offered support.

Photo: Petite puffball
A small bird is pictured near Auke Bay in June. Do you know the species of this bird?

Sport Fish report
Harvest/Effort Statistics for the Juneau area, July 26

Fly Fishing report
Report for July 27

Peterson Lake Trail under repair
JUNEAU - Significant repairs to the first 1/4 mile of the Peterson Lake Trail will impact Juneau-area hikers starting July 19.

Mountain goat season to open in Unit 4
JUNEAU - The registration hunt for mountain goats on Baranof Island in Game Management Unit 4 will open Sunday, Aug. 1 with changes to the harvest guideline.

Sitka Conservation Society hosts snorkle trip, beach cleanup
SITKA - All are invited to explore Sitka's surrounding seas during two events organized by the Sitka Conservation Society.

Deer season to open in Unit 4, Unit 1
JUNEAU - Deer season will open in Unit 4 for bucks only on Sunday, Aug. 1.

Sitka Seafood Festival celebrates ocean's wild foods
SITKA - Whether you're out fishing yourself, have friends who generously share their catches or try to buy as much local fish and shellfish as you can, it's hard not to appreciate the bounty of wild seafood at our doorstep.

Forest explorers taking a look-'C' this weekend
JUNEAU - Can you see the "C?"

Magnitude 5.5 earthquake hits Alaska's Fox Islands
ANCHORAGE - The Alaska Earthquake Information Center is reporting a magnitude 5.5 earthquake early Wednesday at a depth of about seven miles in the Fox Islands region.

EPA chief visits rural Alaska communities
ANCHORAGE - The head of the Environmental Protection Agency is in the state listening to concerns expressed by southwest Alaska communities.

Revised ethics regs going to public for comment
JUNEAU - Alaskans will get another chance to comment on proposed changes to ethics rules for executive branch officials.

Rainfall breaks records in interior Alaska
FAIRBANKS - July in eastern interior Alaska will be remembered for being soggy.

Chignik Lake man sentenced to 35 years
ANCHORAGE - A 25-year-old Chignik Lake man who pleaded guilty to beating a friend to death has been sentenced to 35 years in prison.

Newlywed charged with assaulting her husband
FAIRBANKS - A 23-year-old Fairbanks woman has been charged with threatening her new husband with a knife and slashing tires on his car.

Whale discovered on cruise ship is adult, not juvenile humpback
JUNEAU - Tests conducted Thursday on a whale found Wednesday on the bow of a Juneau-bound cruise ship confirm the whale was a humpback, but was an adult instead of a juvenile, according to a release from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Teen bicyclist fatally struck by truck
FAIRBANKS - A 14-year-old girl has died and another juvenile was injured after they were struck by a pickup truck while riding their bicycles in Fairbanks.

Palin takes shot at Obama for 'View' appearance
JUNEAU - Sarah Palin's criticizing President Barack Obama for appearing on "The View."

NRA PAC endorses Murkowski
JUNEAU - U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski has gotten the endorsement of the National Rifle Association's political action committee.

Troopers arrest suspect in high-speed chase
FAIRBANKS - Alaska State Troopers say they have arrested a 41-year-old Fairbanks man suspected of evading officers earlier this year in a chase that reached speeds of 100 mph.

Juneau GCLL back in the Little League title hunt
Facing a 2-0 deficit in the best-of-5 championship series versus Nunaka Valley, Juneau started quickly en route to an 11-4 win Thursday in Game 3 of the 2010 Alaska Little League Softball Championship at Melvin Park.

Crimson Bears meet former Wyoming coach
The Juneau-Douglas football team got a special treat Wednesday with three-time college national champion and distinguished gridiron gentleman Joe Glenn giving the Crimson Bears a mid-practice pep talk.

Nunaka Valley goes up 2-0 in state championship series
The Glacier Channel Little League 13-14-year-old Juniors All-Star softball team was blanked 4-0 by Nunaka Valley on Wednesday Night at Melvin Park.

DNA leads to charges in rape cases
ANCHORAGE - An Anchorage man who was acquitted in a sexual assault case last year has been indicted on new charges, according to police.

TransCanada's open season nears close
This Friday, no news may be good news for Alaska's decade-long hopes for getting the state a way to finally get its huge natural gas reserves to markets where it can be sold.

Gas pipeline dispute continues at debate
Three top contenders for the Republican governor's nomination competed for support among members of the Juneau Chamber of Commerce Thursday, agreeing on several core Republican issues, but disagreeing strongly on natural gas pipeline plans.

Bill Allen won't testify in Weyhrauch trial
ANCHORAGE - Bill Allen, the former head of Veco Corp., will not be a government witness in the corruption trial against former state Rep. Bruce Weyhrauch, according to court papers.

Energy adviser to Gov. Parnell resigning
JUNEAU - A second top adviser to Gov. Sean Parnell has resigned amid questions about the legality of their hires.

Air show to go on despite deadly crash
ANCHORAGE - A popular air show will be held this weekend, days after four people were killed when a military cargo plane crashed at an Anchorage base during a training demonstration for the event, military officials said Thursday.

Police: ATV road rage led to Fort Yukon beating
FAIRBANKS - A man may lose sight in one eye and another man is facing felony assault charges after police say an ATV road rage incident led to a violent beating in an Interior Alaska village.

Cargo plane crashes at Elmendorf
ELMENDORF AIR FORCE BASE - A military cargo plane crashed Wednesday at an Air Force base near downtown Anchorage with four people on board, the Air Force said.

House reps sign letter against Sealaska lands bill
ANCHORAGE - Dozens of U.S. House members signed a letter opposing a bill that would allow a private Alaska Native corporation to select choice lands in the nation's largest national forest for its own use.

Lack of awareness factor in shutdown
JUNEAU - The operator of the 800-mile trans-Alaska pipeline system said Wednesday that an internal company review found that power failure and lack of "situational awareness" contributed to a contained oil spill in May.

Sen. Begich may support GOP energy bill
JUNEAU - Alaska's Democratic senator said Wednesday that he may sign on in support of a Republican energy bill because he's not satisfied with the proposal Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid put forth.

Project helps Alaskans spice up soil
PALMER - While Alaska has abundant natural resources, soil that's good for gardening isn't among them.

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