Thursday, September 3, 2009

Learn by day,
I f you've recently been contemplating dance classes, now is the time.Why now? For one thing, social dancing, according to an article published in April in the Los Angeles Times, is a proven remedy for getting through tough times. During the Great Depression, a dance craze swept the country, and is believed to have helped people move past the pain of economic stagnation. A similar article in the New York Times in March observed that today's social dancers, like '30s Lindy hoppers, use dancing to connect with their community.

ARTS & CULTURE CALENDAR
THURSDAY

Dance by night
Knowing how to dance is certainly not a prerequisite for attending Saturday night's Makina Loca concert, lead band member and singer Ricardo Lemvo said. But that doesn't mean you won't start dancing just the same.

CrossSound continues with two world premieres
The world premieres of two musical compositions will be featured this weekend. Both pieces break new ground in bringing together two string ensembles - one a plucked-zither ensemble, and the other a bowed-string quartet.

Stop squinting: New large print books now in stock at the Juneau libraries
We're adding more new large print books this week. Look for your favorite authors and bestsellers such as Sophie Kinsella's "Twenties Girl," and Jo Nesbo's "Nemesis," in addition to the titles below.

'Humpday' at the Nickelodeon - a memorable experience
It's not often anymore that I can go to the movies never having heard of the film I am going to see. I have seen, for instance, the trailer for Sandra Bullock's "All About Steve" at least seven times now without even trying. That's the nature of the beast when there are 15-20 minutes of previews before anything you go see on The BIG Screen.

State-authorized lottery ends Sunday
Tickets are now on sale for Alaska's $250,000 lottery, and can be purchased at Marlintini's, GW Teal's, Henry's, Triangle Bar and The Viking. Tickets cost $5.

City museum hosts lecture, reception on conservation
The Juneau-Douglas City Museum and the City and Borough of Juneau's Historic Resources Advisory Committee will host a public reception for National Trust for Historic Preservation representative Brian Turner from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 9.

Theater returns to winter schedule
Gross Alaska Theaters - the 20th Century Twin and Glacier Cinemas - will be returning to winter hours beginning Tuesday, Sept. 8.

Salem to play two shows at the Alaskan this Saturday, Sunday
The Washington-based band Salem will be back in town to play two shows this weekend at the Alaskan Hotel & Bar, Sept. 5 and 6. Saturday's show begins at 9 p.m. and Sunday's at 10 p.m.

Poetry Out Loud competition announced, deadline Oct. 22
Alaska high school students are invited to compete in a national poetry recitation contest, Poetry Out Loud.

Artists' market extends season for one more weekend
Due to popular demand, the Juneau Artist Market will stay open for one extra weekend before closing down for the season.

Fourth annual Mountain Music Fest held this weekend
The fourth annual Mountain Music Fest will be held from 6-10 p.m. Friday, Sept. 4, at the Chilkat Theatre on top of Mt. Roberts.

Health care failed dad
Recently, my father passed away after a lifetime of heart disease. In his final months, he endured the ravages of a massive stroke. He was unable to speak, walk, or talk to his family.

Unsportsmanlike conduct
On Saturday, Aug. 29, the city of Sitka was witness to a grotesque and shocking display of poor sportsmanship. The Juneau Youth Football League had sent the Huskies and the Hurricane to play their respective opponents in Sitka - the Storm and the Spartans. I attended as a volunteer physician to assist with on field emergencies, a service I have provided for a number of years. I do not have any children playing in these leagues or on these teams.

State plans for ferry, highway improvements
The state's new transportation plan for the next several years includes a broad selection of Juneau projects, but some statewide projects are also attracting local attention.

Board at odds over drug punishments
Members of the Juneau School Board argued Tuesday over the severity of punishments that should be dolled out under a new drug testing program to start this fall.

$10M project begins out the road
Glacier Highway is getting a nearly $10 million facelift from Amalga Harbor Road to Kayak Launch from federal economic stimulus funds.

Man pleads not guilty to assault over orange peel
A dispute over a discarded orange peel led to what one witness called a "sucker punch" that hospitalized one man, 65, and has another, 26, facing 10 years in prison.

Connecting with children
Jim Kuhlmann strolled through the Juneau-Douglas High School commons Wednesday carrying his lunch bag and biting into an apple. The new principal said he leaves his office to eat lunch with students because it's a chance to connect with them.

Photo: Summer send-off
Chuck and Tina Gordon stretch their legs Tuesday on the airport dike trail. This week's fine weather has caused the fireweed to go to seed. Forecasters call for mostly sunny skies and highs around 65 degrees through Thursday, with an increasing chance of showers by the end of Saturday.

Online news sites vie for niche in Alaska market
Alaska's news consumers are getting a boost from new Web sites that are in some cases going beyond commenting on stories produced by established news media, and are hiring reporters to produce their own news.

Nurse pleads guilty to felony drug charge
A 58-year-old former registered nurse pleaded guilty Tuesday to a felony drug charge after being caught stealing pain medicine from Bartlett Regional Hospital.

Around Town
Today, Sept. 3

Photo: Lounging on a ledge
A mountain goat catches a few rays Tuesday on the north side of Mount Juneau.

Photo: Iceberg orientation
A group of new University of Alaska Southeast students participate in an alternative orientation session Tuesday amid the icebergs of Mendenhall Lake. Classes start Thursday.

Police & Fire
Due to a technical issue, Juneau Police officials did not release a report before the deadline for Thursday's Empire. Police and fire reports will be printed in a later edition.

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

Around Town
Today, Sept. 2

Alaska editorial: Judicial selection process shouldn't be settled in the courts
Does Alaska's system of selecting judges violate the U.S. Constitution? A handful of conservative activists argues that it does. They've filed suit asking a federal judge to throw out part of the Alaska Constitution. The suit attacks the state constitutional provision giving the Alaska Bar Association a role in recommending judicial nominees to Alaska's governor, who makes the final decision.

Alaska editorial: State's future will rely on oil leases
Courts continue to validate the offshore oil and gas leases sold by the federal government in recent years, which is good and extremely important news for Alaska's economy.

NASA's vision needs some hard questions
The following editorial appeared in the Washington Post:

Landless Natives want historical homelands
The Landless Natives of Ketchikan, Alaska Inc., was formed under the state of Alaska as a nonprofit entity to represent the Ketchikan Native community's 1,862 original at-large members of the Regional Sealaska Corp., that were left out of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971.

The 'Cash for Clunkers' program was a good deal
The following editorial first appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer:

No charity for predators
And what should we do with our monsters? That we have no answer to that question, that we lack consensus on what to do with sexual predators, is evident from the range of our responses to their crimes. From the Catholic church shielding pederastic priests to the profusion of databases that let you check if your neighbor is a sex offender, to the pseudo celebrity enjoyed by Mary Kay Letourneau when she married her former student Vili Fualaau, whom she raped when he was 12 and she was 34, our responses scream irresolution.

Go for gigabit broadband speeds
As federal officials begin reviewing 2,200 detailed proposals requesting more than seven times the $4 billion in broadband investment in this round of stimulus funding, it's a good time to revisit the big-picture and ask what outcomes are we looking for and what should drive funding decisions. With the government investing ambitiously in economic recovery, Americans should be equally bold in expecting a return on our nation's investment.

Try texting, not talking
Your pride and joy has gone off to college and won't return your phone calls. How should you handle it?

Correct, ignore the lies
The problem of how to cover claims that are both sensational and false is a perennial problem that journalists face. It has resurfaced with the much-repeated, and much-debunked, allegation that Democratic healthcare reforms contain a proposal that would empower government bureaucrats to cut off treatment for people who are dying.

Wolf hunt is on in Idaho - for now
BOISE, Idaho - Gray wolves were back in the cross hairs of hunters on Tuesday, just months after they were removed from the federal endangered species list and eight decades since being hunted to extinction across the Northern Rockies.

BP plans to close gas-to-liquids project
ANCHORAGE - BP said it will close its gas-to-liquids demonstration project in Nikiski by the end of the year.

Guardsmen to deploy to Afghanistan
ANCHORAGE - About 200 members of the Alaska Air National Guard will deploy this week to Afghanistan.

Power outage related to new hydro plant
JUNEAU - A brief power outage hit several parts of Juneau Wednesday in conjunction with tying in Alaska Electric Light & Power's new Lake Dorothy Hydroelectric Project to the city system, said Gayle Wood, company spokesperson.

1 dead, 1 injured in Ketchikan shooting
KETCHIKAN - One young man is dead and another injured following a double shooting in Ketchikan.

Motorcycle rider survives wreck
FAIRBANKS - A motorcycle rider who rear-ended a pickup truck parked along the Richardson Highway near North Pole was thrown into the roadway where he was hit by a car.

3 accused of raping passed-out woman
ANCHORAGE - Three men accused of having sex with a woman while she was passed out drunk in Anchorage are facing sexual assault charges.

Wrangell woman dies at campground
KETCHIKAN - An autopsy will be performed on the body of a Wrangell woman found dead at the Signal Creek campground at Ward Lake.

Coast Guard helps distressed jet boat
ANCHORAGE - The U.S. Coast Guard helped a 20-foot jet boat with two people aboard safely reach Valdez harbor after a charter vessel reported that the smaller boat was taking on water after experiencing engine problems.

Wainwright soldiers returning from Iraq
FORT WAINWRIGHT - More soldiers are returning to Fort Wainwright from Iraq this week.

Troopergate figure to run for governor
ANCHORAGE - State Sen. Hollis French, a major figure in last fall's Troopergate investigation, officially filed paperwork Wednesday to run for governor.

Woman accused of trying to run down cop
ANCHORAGE - An Anchorage police officer had contacted two men at an intersection when an SUV parked across the street flashed its lights and then sped toward the officer.

Small diesel spill found in state building
JUNEAU - A boiler malfunction is blamed for a spill of about 11 gallons of diesel fuel at the state-owned Court Plaza Building in Juneau.

Vegetable contest draws big produce
FAIRBANKS - The monstrous early August vegetables on display at the Tanana Valley State Fair often come with a question: Just how much bigger could this stuff get?

Bear corpse could be mom of 3 dead cubs
KENAI - The corpse of a brown bear has been found in Sterling, and state Department of Fish and Game managers believe it's the mother of three cubs euthanized late last week.

Supervisor reaffirms Logjam sale decision
KETCHIKAN - Tongass National Forest Supervisor Forrest Cole has reaffirmed his June decision to authorize cutting 73 million board feet of timber on Prince of Wales Island.

Man sentenced for cocaine trafficking
ANCHORAGE - An Anchorage man convicted of trafficking cocaine has been sentenced to 15 years in federal prison.

Parnell to address Alaska energy future
ANCHORAGE - Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell will discuss the future of energy in Alaska during two appearances on Thursday.

Jury deliberating in Nenana murder trial
FAIRBANKS - Jurors in Fairbanks resume their deliberations Wednesday in the trial of a man accused of killing 19-year-old Billy Moreland in a bar fight near Nenana in March 2006.

4 teens charged with attacks on trail
ANCHORAGE - Four teens are facing robbery charges for a series of attacks along Chester Creek trail in Anchorage.

Bears roll to easy wins in first meet
The Juneau-Douglas Crimson Bears cross country team opened the season with a dominant performance in Sitka over the weekend, sweeping both the boys and girls meets by wide margins.

Photo: JDHS opens season
Juneau's Krista Barril returns the ball as Sitka's Katie Hagan goes up for the block in the Volleyball jamboree in Ketchikan Friday at KayHi. JDHS's first match is at Cordova on Sept. 9.

Anchorage man gets 300 days in jail for beating rottweiler
ANCHORAGE - A judge on Tuesday sentenced Robert M. McGowan, 50, to serve 300 days in prison after McGowan pleaded no contest to beating and stabbing his dog with a muzzle-loading rifle in February.

Levi: Palin wanted to adopt her grandchild
ANCHORAGE - Levi Johnston, the father of Sarah Palin's grandchild, said the former Republican vice presidential candidate wanted to adopt his child so that people wouldn't know her 17-year-old daughter was pregnant.

Thriller about alien abductions set in Nome
NOME - Universal Pictures has said it will release an alien abduction film this fall that plays off of decades of unexplained disappearances and deaths in this old Gold Rush town along the Bering Sea.

Trumpeter swan shot by arrow rescued on Tern Lake
TERN LAKE - A trumpeter swan that had been shot with an arrow is back on Tern Lake, about 50 miles south of Anchorage within the Chugach National Forest.

Anchorage mayor giving new attention to homeless alcoholics
ANCHORAGE - Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan is making homeless alcoholics a top priority for his new administration.

State encourages instruction during school closures
Alaska Education Commissioner Larry LeDoux signed an emergency regulation Tuesday that provides an incentive for school districts to offer instruction during emergency closures.

Photo: Monster vegetables
Stephen Davila, the store manager at Alaska Feed Co. in Fairbanks, arranges pumpkins on a table Saturday during the store's Giant Vegetable Contest. A 34-pound pumpkin claimed the top prize.

Woman's coupon collection pays off
CHUGIAK - With a family of seven Jessica Salyers used to spend more than $1,000 per month on groceries. Now she can put meals on the table for as little as $150 per month.

UAF prepares for swine flu
FAIRBANKS - Regardless of their major, all students at the University of Alaska Fairbanks will learn about one subject this fall - swine flu.

Safety changes ahead for Seward Highway
ANCHORAGE - The state Transportation Department will be installing rumble strips in the center and shoulder of the Seward Highway to help keep drivers in their lanes.

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