Thursday, August 12, 2010

Playing on a grand stage
During the 1940s, Maxim Schapiro, a famous Russian pianist, loved to come to Juneau.

Photo: Sculpting history
Local Juneau artist Dan DeRoux attaches the base of his mutli-mural artwork to the side of the downtown transportation center's parking garage. Each square will be backlit with fiber optic lighting and will hold a mural depicting Juneau's history, from Tlingit influences to gold miners, wildlife, and important people and places. The finished piece will be entitled "Precipitation."

Ferrell keeps laughs coming in latest movie
There is no avoiding the fact that last week I went on record in this same space and guaranteed "The Other Guys" (not to be confused with the FOX television show starring Colin Hanks and Bradley Whitford called, "The Good Guys") would be worth your cash. And mine.

Ghost, Alaska politics collide in new novel
Start with an old ghost story, add a dose of politics, subtract almost all semblance of ethics and what do you get? The answer lies in the plot of "The Ghost of Fannie Guthry-Baehm, a Murder Mystery," by Jonathan Faulkner of Homer.

Photo: Fresh coat of paint
Silverbow Construction employees Ray Dennis and Justin Falter add new paint to the side of a building on Franklin Street between 3rd and 4th streets Tuesday afternoon.

Large print titles hit library shelves
Each of the Juneau public libraries has its own collection of large print titles and there is very little overlap between them. Use Advanced Search and set the format to "largeprint material" to pull up a list of items at all libraries, add a branch location to narrow your search down, or include an author to find your favorites in large print format.

Alaska on the page
"Purely Alaska: Authentic Voices of the Far North," by John Creed and Susan Andrews

Juneau Dance Unlimited to hold clothes sale
Phillip Broadbent, from Empire Dance Shop in Spokane, Wash., will visit Juneau and have dance wear available for sale on Tuesday, Aug. 17, from 2-7 p.m. at the Juneau Dance Unlimited Dance Studio at 8420 Airport Blvd., Ste. 202. All types and sizes of dance wear including shoes, leotards, tights, bags and much more will be offered, and a fitting room will be available for trying on items. The public is invited to this event, which is sponsored by Juneau Dance Unlimited, a non-profit organization providing the Juneau community with dance instruction and performance opportunities throughout the year. JDU celebrates its 35th anniversary this year. For further information, please call the JDU office at 463-5327 or visit www.juneaudance.com.

Rasmuson Grant awarded to arts council
The Juneau Arts & Humanities Council received word Monday that it has been awarded a Rasmuson Foundation Effective Organization Grant. The award will assist the organization as it expands its activities to include management and operation of the Juneau Arts & Culture Center.

Ballot Measure 1 bad for Alaskans' access to legislators
The League of Women Voters of Juneau encourages all registered voters in Alaska to go to the polls on Aug. 24 and vote NO on Ballot Measure 1. Contrary to the basic rights of an American citizen, Ballot Measure 1 would interfere with Alaskans' ability to communicate with their legislators or to get involved with a political campaign.

Sealaska is a great steward of land in its care
In Southeast Alaska, there has been prolonged discussion and occasional rancor over legislation specifying where and how Sealaska Corp. can select remaining land entitlements, and I find myself a member of organizations that are on every side of the issue.

Increase in AEL&P rates will benefit Juneau in the future
I favor the concept of the rate increase being proposed by Alaska electric Light & Power and I trust the regulators reviewing the increase to validate the reasoning behind the request.

Exit Exams need to make their own exit
I was recently "educated" about the now mandatory exit exam for high school students and have decided that if our politicians decided the old system was broken and they "fixed" it with No Child Left Behind legislation, they didn't. Children ARE getting left behind even more.

Juneau girl approached in possible sex scam
The Juneau Police Department is investigating a report of a man who approached a 14-year-old girl and offered her $100 to pose for "risqué" photographs, according to a JPD press release.

Federal judge rejects Kohring appeal
A federal judge rejected requests to overturn a verdict and get a new trial in the case of an Alaska legislator convicted of taking bribes.

Juneau leaders remember Stevens, his legacy
Juneau leaders are lamenting the passing of an era with the death of Sen. Ted Stevens, who served more than 40 years in the U.S. Senate, and before that in the Alaska Legislature and the U.S. Department of Interior. "An era went away today," said State Sen. Dennis Egan, D-Juneau. The Juneau legislative delegation all come from long-time political families, and have known Stevens for years.

French campaign solicits Juneau's Democrats
Democrat Hollis French said he hopes two issues will carry him to a win in the Aug. 24 Democratic primary and on to the Governor's mansion.

Police & Fire
Juneau police and fire reported:

South Franklin tract to be divided, sold
The owners of the mostly unimproved waterfront tract located on South Franklin just south of the library parking garage have announced the tract will be subdivided to suit and sold to interested buyers. At over 73,000 square feet, the land is the largest undeveloped waterfront parcel in the downtown commercial district.

Photo: Cold water reaction
Hannah Brockmann, 13, left, and Monika Rivera, 13, react to the cold waters of Auke Lake while swimming Wednesday. Forecast is for little rain the rest of the week and temperatures into the 70s over the weekend.

A longtime champion of fisheries conservation
From the Eastern seaboard to Pacific Northwest, former Sen. Ted Stevens' impact on fisheries has been and will continue to be immense.

Assembly agrees to accept state grant for new dock construction
At its regular meeting Monday, the Juneau Assembly moved forward in its long-standing effort to revitalize the downtown cruise ship docks.

Empire editor to start work for municipal league
Juneau Empire Managing Editor Charles L. Westmoreland will transition this week from leading the newspaper's newsroom to overseeing communications for one of the state's most far-reaching nonprofit organizations.

Photo: Setting up for the season opener
Mike Brna paints the center circle on the new ice Tuesday at the Treadwell Arena in Douglas. Putting the ice in for the season is a week long project according to Treadwell Arena manager Greg Smith. The arena opens next week with the Rocky Mountain Hockey School.

Police & Fire
Juneau police and fire reported:

Brian Jerry Byers
Bryan Jerry Byers died July 18, 2010 in Osburn, Idaho.

William "Bill" Razpotnik
William "Bill" Razpotnik passed away at his home in Juneau the afternoon of August 5, 2010, after a battle with cancer. A full obituary will follow with information regarding a celebration of life and scattering of ashes.

Alma Fassel
Grandmother, wife, mother, mother-in-law, aunt, cousin, sister, daughter and long-time Juneau resident Alma Fassel, passed away in Anchorage unexpectedly of natural causes on Aug. 7, 2010, after 74 years of life.

Outside editorial: US sends China a firm message
The following editorial first appeared in the Kansas City Star:

Outside editorial: Taking credit
The following editorial first appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer:

Downsizing defense
As Republicans take their case to the voters in November about the Obama administration's massive overspending and record debt, they should seriously consider what could be a rare bipartisan objective: cutting defense spending.

My turn: Second bridge to Douglas? A bad idea
The proponents, namely, the Safe, Affordable, Future, Efficient group, with support from CBJ's West Douglas Development Working Group and the Juneau Chamber of Commerce, are in favor of extending by 10 years the 1 percent temporary sales tax in hopes of funding construction of a bridge from a point on Egan Drive near Vanderbilt Hill Road to a point on north Douglas Island.

My turn: Doctors sign on for health care reform
Many physicians in Alaska are for the Health Reform Bill that was recently signed into law. We are sorry our governor is refusing our state's participation. His leadership on this issue does not reflect the needs of Alaskans or even the majority of physicians. In fact, a good number of Alaskan physicians prefer a public option be added to the current reform as well.

Leaky Fairbanks library needs fixing
FAIRBANKS - The roof leaks so much at the Noel Wien Public Library in Fairbanks that plastic sheets are used to cover some of the bookcases.

Airport construction to temporarily close Airport Dike Trail
The Emergency Vehicle Access Road, commonly referred to as the Airport Dike Trail, will be closed to vehicle and pedestrian traffic from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursday and Friday.

Teenager accidentally shot at cabin
ANCHORAGE - A teenager was shot in the buttock in what Alaska State Troopers say was an accidental shooting on Kodiak Island.

Valdez man lands 363-pound halibut
FAIRBANKS - Valdez man George Levasseur caught a 363.9-pound halibut Friday in the Valdez Halibut Derby.

NH Democrat blasted for anti-Palin remark
CONCORD, N.H. - The leaders of both the Republican and Democratic parties in New Hampshire are criticizing a Democratic candidate for state representative who reportedly posted a death wish for Sarah Palin on Facebook.

Parnell appoints Washington to Anchorage court
JUNEAU - Gov. Sean Parnell has appointed a domestic violence prosecutor to be a district court judge in Anchorage.

Man sentenced to prison for assaulting wife
FAIRBANKS - A 27-year-old man has been ordered to spend four years in prison for threatening to kill his wife last year.

Anchorage man, 25, sentenced for robbing bank
ANCHORAGE - An Anchorage man has received 2 1/2 years in prison for robbing a credit union.

Anchorage commission approves alcoholics' housing
ANCHORAGE - The Anchorage Planning and Zoning Commission has approved a plan to convert a former motel into housing for chronic inebriates.

Information sought in sea lion shooting death
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration wants information in the shooting-related death of a 1-year-old male Steller sea lion last week.

Officials hope to reopen part of Taylor Highway
ANCHORAGE - Alaska Transportation Department officials say they hope to open 18 more miles of the Taylor Highway this week.

GCLL Majors drop fourth game
The Gastineau Channel Little League Majors All-Star team suffered its fourth loss of Northwest Region pool play, 16-1 to undefeated Washington.

First responders detail rescue effort
DILLINGHAM - One of the pilots who saw the wreckage of the amphibious plane carrying former Sen. Ted Stevens, his fishing companions and their families strewn across a mountainside remembers thinking: No one could've survived.

Pulses quicken as fighters track 'hijacked' plane
ELMENDORF AIR FORCE BASE - A Gulfstream passenger jet at the center of a U.S.-Russian military exercise was about to cross the International Dateline for the second time in three days, and some of the seven passengers seemed dulled by the dash across the Pacific and back.

JEDC brings hybrid tech for study at UAF
The Juneau Economic Development Council has helped bring a new college study aid into Alaska.

Ex-NASA chief among survivors
JUNEAU - A single-engine plane carrying former Sen. Ted Stevens crashed into a remote Alaska mountainside, killing the state's most beloved political figure and four others and stranding the survivors on brush-and-rock-covered slopes overnight until rescuers could reach them.

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