Thursday, August 20, 2009

Music festivals, Alaska style
I 've always known that Alaskans throw the best music festivals, and I've been to quite a few. But this summer took me to a couple of newer festivals that I hadn't attended, and they stepped right up to the plate.

Interweaving rhythms
The seven newest members of Juneau's musical community arrived at the Canvas Community Art Studio and Gallery this week, sparking a week-long celebration at the Seward Street facility.

An abundance of new fiction has arrived at the library
Whether you prefer romance, adventure, mystery or fantasy, there are plenty of new fiction books for you to choose from at the Juneau Public Libraries.

ARTS & CULTURE CALENDAR
THURSDAY

Flip Nicklin to give presentation at Hearthside Books
Photographer Flip Nicklin will present a whale talk and slideshow Thursday Aug. 27 at 7 p.m. at Hearthside Books in the Nugget Mall.

Statehood celebration continues Sunday
Capital City Celebrations and the Juneau-Douglas City Museum will host an open house in honor of Alaska's 50th Anniversary of Statehood this Sunday, Aug. 23, from 1:30-3:30 p.m. Official statehood memorabilia will be for sale, including T-shirts, bronze state seal medallions, pins and posters. Purchase a Rie Munoz limited edition print of Star Princess (1990) and receive a statehood medallion for free. A limited number of 50th anniversary banners will also be available. Cake and punch will be served by the Capital City Celebrations committee.

Jewel's welcome in Alaska decidedly unwarm
ANCHORAGE, Alaska - Jewel would like to set the record straight: She did not bail on Alaskans when two shows were canceled many years ago. And, yes, she'll certainly show up at concerts scheduled this week.

Art conservation clinic held at the city museum Saturday
The Juneau-Douglas City Museum will be hosting a free conservation clinic on Saturday, Aug. 22, from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m., as part of the Western Association for Art Conservation's annual meeting, held in Juneau from Aug. 19-21. The clinic, held at the city museum, is co-sponsored by the Alaska State Museum.

Vocal performances set for Friday at UAS
Current students of John d'Armand will present a free recital of songs, arias and duets at 7 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 21 at the Egan Lecture Hall, Room 112, at the University of Alaska Southeast.

Sprout: An evening of dance
The Weber Dance Company and Juneau Dance Unlimited will present Sprout, an evening of dances at the Juneau Arts & Culture Center on Friday, Aug. 21.

'District 9' full of surprises
The first trailer I saw for "District 9" threw me for a loop. For the first 45 seconds it appears to be some sort of documentary about unwelcome United States presence in Africa. Except that at the 45-second mark, it is revealed the "they" is not Americans - it's aliens.

City museum solo artist applications due Aug. 31
The Juneau-Douglas City Museum is currently accepting applications for solo artist exhibitions for the fall 2010/winter 2011 season. The museum schedules individual artists, groups and organizations to exhibit in the temporary gallery October through April. The deadline for applications is Aug. 31.

Master Gardeners annual tour to be held this weekend
This weekend, the annual Master Gardener Association Garden Tour will provide an opportunity to see the results of this summer's great weather. Saturday will focus on gardens on the Back Loop and Auke Bay, and Sunday will showcase gardens in the Mendenhall Valley. Tour hours are 1 to 4 p.m. both days. The self-guided tour follows maps showing the gardens open each day.

Boochever fellowships available for emerging Alaska artists
The application deadline for Connie Boochever Artist Fellowships for emerging literary and performing artists is Sept. 1, 2009. A select number of $2,500 fellowships will be awarded.

Comedy show and open mic contest to be held at Jaded
Comedy Palooza will open at 8 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 21 at the Jaded restaurant at the Goldbelt Hotel.

Coeur wins out
Let's be clear about jobs for Juneau and the Kensington mine. It doesn't take too many workers to take mine waste and just dump it in a lake. It saves money that would have been paid to workers to build and manage mine tailings piles.

Cabin vandalism at Taku Point
We have a cabin at Taku Point, across from Taku Glacier. Sometime between late May and late July, someone broke into the cabin. They kicked in the door jamb, drank the alcohol, littered the area with Pall Mall cigarette butts and apparently spent the night. They left the place open, and left the propane heater on until it consumed the fuel supply.

Health care plan must address abortion
Like many Americans, I am concerned about the health insurance industry's practices, which too often put profits before people. I understand the sentiment for the administration's health insurance reform proposals, and believe they deserve reasoned debate in Congress. There is a more important issue at stake, however: the right to life.

Clearing up errors in Cope Park article
I would like to make note of some inaccuracies in the story about Evergreen Bowl and Cope Park in the Neighbors section of Sunday's Empire. The money donated to the city for the purchase of Evergreen Bowl was from the Juneau Volunteer Fire Department, not Bill Cope.

Police surround downtown apartment during standoff
A 49-year-old man barricaded himself and his wife inside a downtown apartment Wednesday afternoon, causing a long standoff with the Juneau Police Department.

Local elementary schools ready for first day of class
Teachers and staff at two elementary schools begin moving into new classrooms this week as remodeling projects near completion.

Drug 'crisis' pushes board to OK testing
The Juneau School Board received a standing ovation and extended applause Tuesday after voting unanimously to approve drug testing in Juneau's high schools.

Around Town
Thursday, Aug. 20

No beds for flu patients
When Ignacio Ramos caught the flu, he got the same advice doctors give other influenza sufferers: Bed rest and lots of fluids. But for Ramos and at least six other homeless patients in Juneau, bed rest isn't an option.

Local man arrested for smuggling crack from Seattle
The Juneau Police Department arrested a 46-year-old man Saturday for flying into town with nearly an ounce of crack cocaine to sell.

Scroggins pleads guilty to selling OxyContin
Selling two OxyContin pills to a confidential informant on two separate occasions has resulted in two felony convictions for 27-year-old Amber Scroggins.

Troubled bank sees slim quarterly profit
Juneau's troubled Alaska Pacific Bank has squeaked out a slim profit in the quarter that ended June 30, despite falling loan revenue and some other difficulties.

Photo: New office party
U.S. Sen. Mark Begich, center, gives Sen. Dennis Egan, D-Juneau, right, a hug Wednesday while talking with Jesse Kiehl, left, of Egan's office and Melissa Griffiths at his new Juneau office in the Sealaska Building. Begich was traveling by ferry as he moves his family to Washington, D.C.

New state e-mail policy adopted
The state of Alaska has announced it will begin requiring state employees to use only state e-mail systems to conduct state business, just days after its attorneys went to court to defend former Gov. Sarah Palin's use of a Yahoo e-mail account to avoid public scrutiny of her actions as governor.

Photo: Trail beginnings
Trail Mix foreman Ted Valle Jr., right, motions to Cedar Malick on Wednesday as they build a rock track on the lower loop cross country ski trail at Eaglecrest. The work will make it easier on the snow grooming machine. Next summer, the rock trail will be extended to the Treadwell Ditch Trail.

Photo: Puddle power
Vicki Torrella bikes through the remaining water covering Montana Creek Road near the West Glacier Trailhead on Tuesday. Heavy storm rains sent Mendenhall Lake over it's banks.

Photo: New stripes
Lloyd Coogan, right, and Trenton English, both of Coogan Construction, paint crosswalk lines on Main Street. The existing crosswalk will be out of service for several weeks.

Photo: Specializing in conservation
Carmen Bria, Jr., left, and Camilla Van Vooren, both of the Western Center for the Conservation of Fine Art in Denver, work to remove candle wax buildup from brass work Tuesday during the Angel Project at the St. Nicholas Orthodox Church. Conservators specializing in textiles, paper, brass and photography are in town this week for the Western Association for Art Conservation Annual Meeting & Conference.

Around Town
Today

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

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

Empire editorial: Juneau School Board made the right move
The Juneau School Board should be commended for taking a stand against teenage drug abuse. The board voted unanimously Tuesday to adopt a random student drug testing policy that will go into effect this fall.

My turn: Cultural values are the foundation of Sealaska
The Juneau Empire recently published a troubling Aug. 11 letter to the editor by Gretchen Goldstein that misinterprets and distorts Alaska Native core cultural values. Goldstein attempts to discredit Sealaska Corp. and land legislation that will allow for the finalization of Sealaska's land entitlements under ANCSA, by misrepresenting Alaska Native values and our elders' wisdom.

The other 'N' word roars back
I hope this column makes you sick. See, we'll be talking about Nazis, something many of us are doing lately. Indeed, just this week a fellow named Joseph e-mailed me about a caller he heard on a radio show. The man, vexed over health-care reform, likened President Obama to Adolf Hitler. Asked why, he said, "Hitler took over the car companies, then health care and then he killed the Jews."

Alaska editorial: Avoiding property crimes
The editorial first appeared in the Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman:

My Turn: Addressing Juneau's bed shortage
I grew up being told when I was sick I should "suck it up." In my culture (Russian), when people were sick or injured, they had to deal with it silently, and use their sleeve as a bandage. We did not have soft tissues or Tylenol PM. When I get really sick now, I grunt at work and at home, and I watch bad movies while thinking about making chicken soup. I fall asleep under my soft comforter and often don't wake up for 12 hours. I thank God that I have a bed, a DVD player and a roof over my head.

Outside editorial: Cap and rage
The rancorous debate over health reform has given voice to considerable uneasiness among Americans. Many are worried about how a new system will be paid for in an economy that has unraveled, and they are anxious about a kudzu-like expansion of an already unwieldy bureaucracy.

Arctic holds both promise and challenges
Today, I will convene a U.S. Senate field hearing in Anchorage on an issue of great importance to Alaska, our nation and the world at large - the opportunities and challenges that we face as melting sea ice opens up the Arctic for energy and mineral production, shipping, tourism and other commercial activities.

Knik Arm bridge lawsuit settled
ANCHORAGE - The planning committee that oversees major transportation projects for Anchorage has agreed to rescind its decision to postpone the Knik Arm bridge project until 2018.

Upgrades set for Kenai Peninsula parks
KENAI - Repair and construction work is expected to start Friday at a pair of Kenai Peninsula parks - one in Kasilof, the other in Nikiski.

Fire crew returns home to vandalized cars
WASILLA - State fire officials said an elite crew that had been called out to a blaze near Fairbanks has returned to find their property vandalized.

Civil Air Patrol graduates 30 youth
JUNEAU - A class of 30 youth cadets in the Civil Air Patrol in wrapped up its week-long 2009 Alaska Wing Summer Encampment with a graduation ceremony Tuesday at the Mendenhall Mall.

Firm sues to keep housing untaxed
FAIRBANKS - A firm that manages housing at Fort Wainwright has asked a judge to declare the housing exempt from property taxes.

Mallahan ekes out lead in Seattle mayor's race
SEATTLE - Elections officials have released further results from Tuesday's primary, and things aren't looking any better for Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels.

Homeless woman sexually assaulted in Anchorage
ANCHORAGE - Police checked out a report of a woman having sex with two men between two buildings in Anchorage.

Woman sentenced in North Pole holdup
FAIRBANKS - A woman who held two bank employees at gunpoint this spring pleaded guilty to assault and was sentenced to six months in jail.

Maintenance set at Marine Parking Garage
JUNEAU - Sprinkler maintenance will be conducted in the Marine Parking Garage from Friday through Sunday. Some parking spaces will be unavailable as the contractor works.

State revives money for homeless programs
FAIRBANKS - Housing programs for the homeless received a $650,000 boost after it was discovered the money had been incorrectly deleted from former Gov. Sarah Palin's budget proposal.

Seattle votes down fee on plastic, paper bags
SEATTLE - Seattle voters' rejection of a 20-cent fee on plastic and paper bags represents a sound defeat for other efforts in U.S. cities to limit the use of the throwaway bags, plastics industry officials said Wednesday.

Palin discloses gifts in amended report
ANCHORAGE - A personalized gun case, a Bible bound in goat skin and a hand-painted plate featuring Sarah Palin's likeness were among gifts the former governor received this year.

Police ID Anchorage officer in fatal accident
ANCHORAGE - Police have identified the Anchorage officer driving the patrol car that killed a pedestrian.

Stray BB hits school bus in Anchorage
ANCHORAGE - A woman school bus attendant was treated for a minor injury after a BB pellet broke a bus window in Anchorage.

Fairbanks students excluded from class for vaccinations
FAIRBANKS - Sixty-seven students were excluded from their classrooms at Fairbanks schools Monday because they did not have proper vaccination requirements or a waiver.

Ore. bar owners: Don't trim video gaming revenue
SALEM, Ore. - Tavern and bar owners have told Oregon state lottery officials that the recession and a statewide smoking ban already have hurt them, and any move to reduce their video gambling commissions will create more hardship.

Fairbanks bishop requests fiscal help
FAIRBANKS - Fairbanks Bishop Donald Kettler sent a bulk mailing to 55,000 diocesan supporters around the world, seeking money to help the missionary diocese overcome its financial woes.

Water utility to flush distribution system
JUNEAU - Starting Monday until about Oct. 19, the city water utility will flush the water distribution system. The work will start in downtown and Douglas and continue to the Mendenhall Valley and other areas. It's expected to take eight weeks.

Huna Totem hires new CEO, Gaffaney
JUNEAU - A former investment banker has been hired as the chief executive officer for Huna Totem Corp.

Homeless man found dead inside vehicle
ANCHORAGE - Friends of a man found dead in the back seat of a car in downtown Anchorage say he was a transient named Bart they knew from the Brother Francis Shelter.

Bartlett accredited in MRI, mammography
JUNEAU - The American College of Radiology has accredited Bartlett Regional Hospital in magnetic resonance imaging and reaccredited two mammography programs as a result of recent surveys the professional organization conducted.

Murkowski holding health care town halls
ANCHORAGE - Sen. Lisa Murkowski will hold a town hall meeting on health care Thursday evening in Anchorage at Dimond High School.

Sitka commemorates its first roundabout
JUNEAU - Department of Transportation and Public Facilities Commissioner Leo von Scheben will join other state and local community leaders Thursday afternoon during a ribbon cutting ceremony in Sitka to officially commemorate the opening of the city's first intersection roundabout.

Possible discovery sparks new Klondike gold rush
EDMONTON, Alberta - Somewhere, the ghost of Robert W. Service is smiling.

New federal study shows mercury in fish widespread
WASHINGTON - No fish can escape mercury pollution.

Top federal NJ prosecutor faces ethical investigation
WASHINGTON - The top federal prosecutor in New Jersey is facing an internal ethics investigation over public comments that may have helped his ex-boss' campaign for governor, law enforcement officials told The Associated Press on Tuesday.

Cub's death highlights Sitka's bear problem
SITKA - Sitka police and wildlife officials say the recent death of a cub shows why residents must do a better job of dealing with trash.

Reports: Coal project will cause 'irreversible' damage to streams
ANCHORAGE - Salmon-producing streams near a proposed coal mine will never fully recover if the mine is developed, according to three reports commissioned by a public interest law firm.

5.0 quake rattles Anchorage buildings
ANCHORAGE - A magnitude-5.0 earthquake rattled buildings Wednesday in Anchorage and other communities in Alaska.

Former Alaska state Sen. Tim Kelly, 65, dies in sleep
ANCHORAGE - Former state Sen. Tim Kelly died Monday at his home in Anchorage, just two days after turning 65.

Fairbanks police focus on chronic street drunks
FAIRBANKS - Police have formed a task force to enact a zero tolerance policy for crime in downtown Fairbanks.

Mother of Bristol Palin's former fiance pleads guilty
PALMER - The mother of the man former Gov. Sarah Palin's daughter Bristol had planned on marrying has reached a plea deal in her drug case.

Alaska students recount out-of-this-world experience
KENAI - Indescribable. Unlike anything else. Too unique for words.

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