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Thursday, August 6, 2009

Learning in 360 degrees
Picture for a minute, what it might be like to study global weather patterns from the moon's point of view. Imagine watching the weather systems roll across the Pacific Ocean, or swirl in the Gulf of Mexico. What if you could watch and speed up the expansion and recession of the polar ice caps in order to study the past and potential effects of global climate change? Complicated explanations would be nonexistent. Visuals would show the facts simply and clearly.

LaPerouse Expedition talk to be held at Downtown Library
A talk on "Cartography of the LaPerouse Expedition in Alaska in 1786" will be presented by the LaPerouse Alaska Association on Aug. 8 at the Downtown Library at 3 p.m.

Princess Farhana a Pleasant surprise
Internationally known dancer Princess Farhana will make her first trip to Juneau to perform and teach workshops in belly dance and burlesque this weekend. Some of the moves she'll share have never been taught in Juneau before, such as her abdominal and fan dance techniques.

Just the details: Aug. First Friday
UAS Bookstore by the Bay

'Funny People' not all it's knocked up to be
It is a mistake if you walk into "Funny People" thinking the latest Judd Apatow comedy will be just like "Knocked Up" and "The 40 Year Old Virgin." Of course, it would be an understandable miscalculation since part of the marketing campaign for "Funny People" included labeling it as "the new comedy from Judd Apatow."

ARTS & CULTURE CALENDAR
ART, EVENTS & PERFORMANCE

This week's focus: travel and food
"Ask Arthur Frommer," by Arthur Frommer. This compendium of budget-saving information from one of travel's enduring gurus could save you a bundle on your next vacation (and give you a better time, too). If you're a regular Frommer blog reader, you'll recognize much of this info, and if not, you're in for a treat. Frommer is a big fan of travel as a means of broadening one's internal landscape and has no qualms about injecting his own opinions about the topic at hand (including how to think about cheap destinations and the idea of personal boycotts on destinations). Look here for tips on saving money on cruises, help in choosing places to eat and stay, best ways to get from place to place depending on your particular situation, and specialty vacation ideas from volunteer vacations to educational tours around the world.

Gino Kuang pleads down to misdemeanor drug charge
Despite audio and video evidence from a drug sting of Ri Dong "Gino" Kuang haggling with a police informant for hundreds of OxyContin pills worth tens of thousands of dollars, the state's attorney and Kuang agreed last week to a misdemeanor plea deal that will put him in prison for no more than a year.

Attorney general proposes ethics changes
Attorney General Dan Sullivan is carrying on with former Gov. Sarah Palin's campaign against Alaska's government ethics laws, criticizing what he called abuse of the system and issuing a report Wednesday identifying changes he said could "enhance the integrity of the process."

Capturing the big picture
If modern photography is like the New York Marathon, with professional shooters gripping their $50,000 digital Nikons and blasting toward a finish line, then Juneau photographer Ron Klein is not only dead last in the race - he's not even looking ahead.

A potato revival
A potato that Native Alaskan communities grew hundreds of years ago is making a reappearance in Juneau.

Permanent fund ends year of depletion, turmoil
The Alaska Permanent Fund ended the 2009 fiscal year with its biggest decline in value ever. It's the first time in the Fund's history that it has had a loss in statutory net income, the accounting measure by which dividends are calculated.

'Clunkers' program boosts local car sales
The federal government's stimulus money and bailout programs has hit a nerve for the auto industry in Juneau.

Cruise line calls missing passenger death a suicide
ANCHORAGE - Alaska authorities conducted interviews and reviewed security camera footage Tuesday aboard a cruise ship after the body of a passenger turned up in the icy waters off an island near the capital.

Photo: Beach babes
Stephanie and George Hodges warm up their sons, Trenton, 2, right, and Wyatt, 5, after a quick dip Wednesday at the AukeVillage Recreation Area.

Photo: Peppy rally
Thunder Mountain High School Cheerleaders Nicole Nicholson, left, and Brittany Donahue perform during a send-off rally for the football team's first ever game to be played Friday in Sitka.

Senators send letters in support of Kensington
U.S. Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Mark Begich on Monday sent two letters to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers urging the agency to quickly complete permitting of the Kensington gold mine in Southeast Alaska.

Two more OxyContin indictments handed down
A Juneau grand jury has indicted two more suspected OxyContin dealers in the continued war against illegal use of the powerful prescription painkiller in Southeast Alaska.

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

Around Town
Thursday, Aug. 6

Photo: Day on the beach
Sam Stewart, 5, hesitates before joining his sisters, Linnea, 8, and Soren 11, into the deeper water Tuesday at Sandy Beach. The family is visiting their grandmother from Wisconsin.

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

Around Town
Today

Donald Kane
Former Juneau resident Donald Kane, of Penn Valley, Calif., died July 26, 2009, in Grass Valley, Calif. He was 79.

Patrick Barrett
Longtime Juneau resident Patrick Thomas Barrett died Aug. 3, 2009, at Bartlett Regional Hospital. He was 84.

Lorraine Bayer
Juneau resident Lorraine Bayer died July 31, 2009, surrounded by her family and friends at the Juneau Pioneer Home. She was 88.

Michael McClellen Sr.
Yakutat resident Michael R. McClellen Sr. died in July 2009 in Yakutat. He was 42.

Frankie Howard
Francelia May "Frankie" Howard died July 19, 2009, in Juneau at the age of 92.

Gordon Brunton
Former Juneau resident Gordon Brunton died July 22, 2009, in Portland, Ore. He was 70.

Outside editorial: Clinton's N. Korea visit more than a mercy mission
As soon as the images of former President Clinton alongside North Korean leader Kim Jong Il appeared, it seemed certain that freedom was at hand for two American journalists captured in March and sentenced to 12 years of hard labor on charges of hostile acts and entering the country illegally.

Outside editorial: A darker shadow descends over Iran
The Iranian government has displayed brutality and disdain for its own people in numerous ways since the disputed June 12 election that prompted mass demonstrations. The latest was a show trial this past weekend of at least 100 prominent reformist politicians, journalists and foot soldiers, with some high-profile "confessions" that family members and Iran-observers say were coerced. This is dangerous political theater meant to counter claims of vote fraud during the re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and to present the Iranian public with an alternative view that blames the West for the country's unrest.

My Turn: Ancient diet key to health
On July 30, the Juneau Empire published an article written by Susan Levin for Mcclatchy Newspapers entitled "Real Health Care Reform Starts in the Lunchroom."

Outside editorial: Getting reform right
Sometimes it's a good sign when key stakeholders and opposing political factions are grumbling about a sweeping reform moving through Congress.

Democracy not meant to be a party
In the Gilbert and Sullivan operetta "HMS Pinafore," Sir Joseph, a former member of the British Parliament who has been appointed lord admiral of the queen's navy, recalls how he achieved such great success: "I always voted at my party's call," he sings, "and I never thought of thinking for myself at all."

Chamber speakers show compassion
I attended the Juneau Chamber of Commerce luncheon Thursday at the Moose Lodge, which I always try to do when my schedule permits. We'd known for a week that former Alaska Rep. Ralph Samuels, now a government relations executive with Holland America, was speaking. Having known Ralph since he served in the state House, I've always found him to be a great guy and a great public speaker.

Cracking down on Internet parasites
Remember the little Red Hen? She's the one in the folk tale who asks the other barnyard animals if they will help her cut the wheat, grind it into flour and bake the bread. They refuse. But when the warm bread emerges from the oven, they are eager to help the hen eat it.

Fish stocks continue on the road to recovery
In this time of uncertainty in both the commercial and recreational fishing communities, a recent study published in the journal Science brings good news about our efforts to rebuild depleted fish stocks.

Treadwell Mine trail upkeep underway
JUNEAU - SAGA and Juneau Parks and Recreation will be cleaning the historic mining structures on the Treadwell Mine Historical Trail and clearing the area around them through Aug. 14.

Biology students to present research
JUNEAU - Nine students from around the nation will present their findings today after a 10-week long research project on various issues of marine biology and coastal ecology of Southeast Alaska.

Board of Realtors to hold education classes
JUNEAU - The Southeast Alaska Board of Realtors is sponsoring 13 hours of continuing education classes taught by Claudia Wicks on Thursday and Friday at the Nugget Mall, across from Hearthside Books.

Wasilla woman now missing for a month
FAIRBANKS - Carolyn Tyrrell told a friend on Independence Day that she was headed to Fairbanks. The 68-year-old Wasilla woman hasn't been spotted since.

Accused rapist deemed competent to stand trial
ANCHORAGE - A 24-year-old Palmer man has been deemed competent to stand trial on accusations of sexual assault.

Free workplace health assessments offered
JUNEAU - Alaska Workplace Solutions is inviting businesses to participate in a worksite wellness research project. The organization is offering a free workplace wellness assessment, wellness solution options and technical support through project staff consultation.

Juneau's open burn ban extended to Friday
JUNEAU - Juneau's fire marshal has extended the open burn ban until Friday, when conditions will be reviewed again.

Memorial planned for congressman's wife
ANCHORAGE - A memorial has been planned in Virginia for the wife of Alaska's lone congressman, Don Young.

Murkowski opposes Sotomayor bid
ANCHORAGE - U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski will not support Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor despite the judge's near certain Senate confirmation this week as the first Hispanic justice

Fire danger prompts wood cutting ban
FAIRBANKS - Officials have suspended wood cutting in the Fairbanks area because of the high fire danger.

Anchorage launches 'money-saving' site
ANCHORAGE - Have an idea how the municipality of Anchorage can save some money, but didn't know where to pitch it?

Fire danger prompts wood-cutting suspension
FAIRBANKS - Officials have suspended wood cutting in the Fairbanks area because of the high fire danger.

Help wanted
JUNEAU - The Juneau-Douglas High School tennis team has enjoyed continued growth under coach Amy Skilbred over the years, and now the program is looking for more kids from the community and Thunder Mountain High School to join the fun.

Court blocks road construction in national forests
WASHINGTON - A federal appeals court Wednesday blocked road construction in at least 40 million acres of pristine national forests, not including Southeast Alaska's Tongass National Forest.

Palin's use of private e-mail subject of hearing
ANCHORAGE - A plaintiff in a lawsuit against former Gov. Sarah Palin wants a judge to order the governor's office to use only government e-mail accounts to conduct state business - not private e-mails as the Palin administration sometimes did.

Fire destroys three structures
ANCHORAGE - A wildfire 20 miles northwest of Fairbanks grew to more than 1,000 acres Wednesday and consumed three cabins built near the Chatanika River.

Loaner life jacket program debuts on Kenai River
KENAI - The state is stocking popular boat ramps on the Kenai River with adult life jackets to try to save the lives of men who typically eschew the safety measure.

Mine company optimistic about Livengood prospect
FAIRBANKS - Test results from a gold mining prospect near Livengood continue to be promising, according to the head of the company exploring the site.

Borough aiding hunters accused of wasting meat
ANCHORAGE - Local government is helping pay the legal bill for eight men accused of wasting the meat of caribou shot near the village of Point Hope, it was reported Wednesday.

Monster Kenai king caught for Kodak moment
ANCHORAGE - Swimming fish can't be weighed. But they can create a buzz, which is exactly what happened on the Kenai River recently when Kansas angler Joel Atchison, fishing with veteran guide John Whitlatch, landed a buck king salmon estimated between 85 and 92 pounds.

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