Thursday, September 23, 2010

Focusing on the Now & Here
Modern society moves with the speed of a two-ton avalanche, threatening to overwhelm us with schedules, future plans, and the new and exciting. In the midst of this push, the present is seen merely as a nuisance standing in the way of future accomplishments.

The bliss of pop culture ignorance
I was recently chided for my lack of familiarity with Casey Kasem, a radio personality and voice actor who apparently influenced much of America during his nearly 60-year career. For those who also don't know, Kasem is most popular for his role as Shaggy in the "Scooby-Doo" cartoon and as host of the "American Top 40" radio countdown show - he told America what to listen to.

Celebrating creativity and community at the Canvas
We hear the words community and creativity so often in Juneau and read them so often on these pages that they tend to lose their meaning - similar to how the word "the" becomes a useless sound when said over and over.

The viewing room: 'Get Low'
Robert Duvall is the master of marching deliberately toward the grave. Bill Murray is the quintessential deadpan smart alec. Putting these two guys together sets the bar awfully high as far as characters you want to pay attention to.

Photo: A lively performance
Slide band members Daire Bracken, Dave Curley, and Mike Broderick show a bit of Irish enthusiasm during their performance at the Juneau High School Auditorium Tuesday night, the first act of the JAHC's 2010-11 season.

Concert for the C.O.D.E. scheduled for Friday at Marlintini's Lounge
In conjunction with the observance of International Coastal Cleanup Day this Saturday, a Concert for the C.O.D.E. will be featured Friday night at Marlintini's Lounge. Live bands Woodrow (Anchorage), Sasquatch Prom Date (Whitehorse) and Thickfreakness (Alaskan Brew Crew) will perform beginning at 8:30 p.m. This is a 21-and-over event.

Evening at Egan features curator of oral history William Schneider
This week's Evening at Egan presentation will feature William Schneider, curator of oral history at the University of Fairbanks' Rasmuson Library, as he shares some of the stories he has recorded over the past 29 years. His presentation, "The Way We Remember It: Stories from Alaskans about their History," will begin at 7 p.m. Friday in the Egan Lecture Hall at UAS.

Poetry in the Parks event coincides with Day of Play
The second Poetry in the Parks event will be held this weekend in conjunction with Juneau's Day of Play celebration. Poetry in the Parks, which kicked off this summer at Project Playground, provides an outdoor venue for sharing original or published poetry in an open-mic format.

Barn Dance season kicks off Saturday at St. Ann's
The 21st annual Barn Dance season kicks off this Saturday, Sept. 25, with a special event featuring two bands and two callers. The dance will be held at St. Ann's Parish Hall, 5th and Gold streets downtown.

Soberfest to be held Friday at the JACC
SoberFest, an annual party highlighting fun in an alcohol-free environment, will be held Friday at the Juneau Arts & Culture Center. The event will feature dancing, food, door prizes, soda and live music by Curly J and The Wristrockets.

New documentary, "Hand Held," premieres Friday as part of Romanian Rhapsody
A new documentary film, "Hand Held," will premiere in Juneau Friday as part of a two-day Juneau fundraiser for Romanian Children's Relief. The movie begins at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Juneau-Douglas High School Auditorium.

In the stacks: What's new at the Juneau libraries
Take a look on the New Juvenile Book shelves at each branch of the Juneau Public Libraries for new chapter books for elementary and middle school readers.

Time to step up on to the plate on second crossing
I support this project because it is time for us to step up to the plate and accomplish a transportation project that will save lives by providing a direct route for emergency vehicles and afford efficient access to recreation opportunities on Douglas Island.

NFIB right to challenge health care law
Unfortunately the Juneau Empire got it wrong in running an editorial from the Concord Monitor ("Health care mandate should clear constitutional hurdles" in the July 25 Empire) which extolled the constitutionality of the new health care law, specifically the individual mandate provision which forces all Americans to purchase health insurance whether they want to or not.

Vote No on 2 group is not an 'always say no crowd'
Rick Shattuck made several questionable statements in his "My Turn" editorial on Sunday. I would like to correct one of the most egregious ones here. Readers should be aware that the group that opposes the proposition to have the City build a causeway from Sunny Point to Douglas Island is not an "always say no crowd."

Hoonah tragedy reinforces need for CIT plan, funding
Thank you for your article about the good in Hoonah. The tidal wave of shock and pain spread far and wide as it touched everyone with ties to our beloved Hoonah. Every one of us are related one way or another. We can all trace our lineage of who we are and where we come from - Glacier Bay. When we were driven out of Glacier Bay by the ice, it was as devastating as 9/11.

Gas pipeline experts say a big pipe is needed
Those trying to develop Alaska's vast natural gas reserves, both for local consumption and export, told the state's business leaders Tuesday that the state is on track, or multiple tracks, to get a natural gas pipeline.

New health care provisions will have an effect on businesses
A panel of health care administrators saw this year's Alaska State Chamber of Commerce's convention as an opportunity to relate what the recent health care reform means to businesses.

Panel: Education needs to prepare students for global workforce
Education leaders addressed the topic: "Is our education system failing our rural youth" Wednesday at the Alaska State Chamber of Commerce's convention.

City tightens no-smoking ordinance
The City Assembly tightened language to explicitly include commercial vehicles in its anti-smoking ordinances on Monday.

UAS Students protest tuition hikes
University of Alaska Southeast students, hoping to fend off continued steep tuition increases, say they'll bring their message to the University of Alaska Board of Regents today.

Glory Hole kitchen shut down by health department
The Glory Hole's kitchen faced a temporary setback this week.

Photo: Downtown practical joke
A cigarette receptacle became the source of a practical joke on the corner of 3rd and Seward Streets on Tuesday afternoon. The fire inside eventually went out.

Police & Fire
This report contains information provided to the Empire from law enforcement agencies. This report includes arrest and citation information, not conviction information. Anyone listed in this report is presumed innocent.

Police & Fire
This report contains information provided to the Empire from law enforcement agencies. This report includes arrest and citation information, not conviction information. Anyone listed in this report is presumed innocent.

Photo: 414-feet of fun
The super yacht Octopus rests on anchor Tuesday in Gastineau Channel near the Juneau harbor. The Octopus, owned by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, is one of the largest (414-feet) privately owned super yachts in the world.

Vote No group: Crossing through refuge will have significant impact
A former biologist and research supervisor for the Alaska Department of Fish & Game discussed the damage he believes a crossing to Douglas will cause to the Mendenhall Wildlife Refuge Wednesday at a gathering of people opposed to Ballot Proposition 2.

Juneau teacher a finalist for state teacher of the year
The Alaska Department of Education & Early Development has named the three finalists for Alaska Teacher of the Year for 2011, one of whom is a teacher in Juneau Public Schools.

Marvin "Buck" Dale Busby, Jr.
Former Juneau resident Marvin "Buck" Busby, Jr., 39, died Sept. 6, 2010 in his birthplace of Dinuba, Calif.

Gilbert "Chip" Mixson Jr.
Juneau resident Gilbert "Chip" Mixson Jr. died unexpectedly Sept. 11, 2010. He was born January 17, 1954, in Charleston, S.C. and moved with his family to Juneau when he was 14 years old.

Empire editorial: Murkowski's write-in bid gives more choice to Alaskans
Sen. Lisa Murkowski's decision last week to run as a write-in candidate gives Alaska's voters another option in the upcoming U.S. Senate election. We fail to see how this can be anything but a good thing.

Outside editorial: Changes in Cuba's Communist economy offer US openings
The following editorial appeared in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

Miller rides the tail of Reaganomics
For Joe Miller, the Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate, targeting wasteful federal spending is his highest priority. He's signed the "Contract From America," which would end all earmarks until Congress balances the federal budget. On the stump, he's promised to end congressional pork even for Alaska. What does this mean for a state economy that's heavily dependent on federal spending? Very little, because earmarks only amount to a penny for every federal dollar arriving on our doorstep.

Food that kills doesn't have to be on your plate
Maybe the egg-borne outbreak of salmonella last month didn't rattle you, nor the death-inducing peanut butter last year or the spinach-linked E. coli sickness in 2006.

A victim of the need to see someone punished
It was once a staple plot of TV westerns:

Anchorage man sentenced to 66 years
ANCHORAGE - An Anchorage man convicted of murder and assault has been sentenced to 66 years in prison.

SEARHC brings on new director of planning and development
The SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium, or SEARHC, hired Debra O'Gara to be its director of planning and development.

Senators plan hearing on spill preparedness
ANCHORAGE- State senators will conduct a hearing Tuesday to take testimony on Alaska's response capability to a petroleum spill.

Sitka hunter accused of wasting deer meat
SITKA - Alaska State Troopers have accused a Sitka man of wasting deer meat at West Chichagof.

GOP congressional hopeful: Palin an 'entertainer'
NEWTON, Mass. - The Republican running for the only open congressional seat in Massachusetts says former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin is "an entertainer" and he would decline any offer from her to campaign on his behalf.

Man rescued from boat sinking near Sitka
JUNEAU - A man was rescued just before his boat sank near Sitka.

Sitka to host health summit
The Sitka Health Summit "Working Together for a Healthier Sitka," is scheduled for Oct. 4-5, at Harrigan Centennial Hall.

Police say woman's stabbing death was suicide
ANCHORAGE - Anchorage police say a woman found stabbed in a park in July apparently killed herself.

Fairbanks borough pays to swap old wood stoves
FAIRBANKS - About a dozen people in the Fairbanks North Star Borough have taken advantage of a program to trade in wood stoves and outdoor wood boilers for upgraded versions.

Construction will delay elective surgeries at Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital
The S'áxt' Hít Mount Edgecumbe Hospital operating room will experience delays in elective surgery for about three weeks because of the hospital's siding, window and roofing renovation project.

Oct 3 is deadline to register to vote
JUNEAU - Alaskans have until Oct. 3 to register to vote for this fall's general election.

Body found in south Anchorage
ANCHORAGE - A man's body has been found in a wooded area frequented by homeless people in south Anchorage.

Airport Dike Road to close temporarily next week
The Emergency Vehicle Access Road, or EVAR, commonly referred to as the Airport Dike Road, will be closed to vehicle and pedestrian traffic starting 7 a.m. Monday. It's anticipated to re-open at 5 p.m. Oct. 1.

Ex-cop faces assault charges in Ketchikan
KETCHIKAN - A recently retired Ketchikan police sergeant is accused of spanking and bruising a toddler.

Alaska delays permits for Healy clean coal project
FAIRBANKS - Alaska regulators have delayed a request for federal government permits for the Healy Clean Coal project.

Coast Guard crew returns from spill support
ANCHORAGE - A Coast Guard cutter has returned to Alaska following oil-spill response duty in the Gulf of Mexico.

Nikiski fishermen mauled by bear at Swanson River
SOLDOTNA - A fisherman from Nikiski who was mauled by an adult brown bear near the Swanson River is expected to survive.

Ketchikan police seize marijuana, mushrooms
KETCHIKAN - Ketchikan police acting on a tip from the U.S. Postal Service inspector's office in Anchorage seized 20 pounds of marijuana and three pounds of suspected hallucinogenic mushrooms from an apartment.

Pike found in another Kenai Peninsula lake
KENAI - Gillnets have revealed an unwelcome intruder at a Kenai Peninsula lake - northern pike.

Firefighters' union endorses Murkowski
The Alaska Professional Fire Fighters announced its endorsement of Lisa Murkowski in Alaska's upcoming U.S. Senate race, its president said Wednesday.

Senate GOP keeps Murkowski in Energy post
WASHINGTON - In an abrupt reversal, Senate Republicans decided Wednesday to keep Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski in her post as top minority member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

2010 PFD: $1,281
This year's Alaska Permanent Fund dividend will be down just $24 dollars from last year's amount, Gov. Sean Parnell announced in Juneau Tuesday.

Berkowitz challenges Parnell on oil and gas policies
Republican Gov. Sean Parnell and Democratic challenger Ethan Berkowitz tangled before the Alaska State Chamber of Commerce's convention Wednesday.

Senate GOP moves to strip Murkowski from post
WASHINGTON - Senate Republicans on Tuesday moved to strip Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski of her post as top Republican on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, further punishing her as she mounts a write-in bid to try to hold onto her seat.

Parnell: Alaska prospers despite national economic woes
The Alaska State Chamber of Commerce's fall conference and trade show got into full bloom Tuesday morning when Gov. Sean Parnell delivered the welcoming address. The governor saw the conference's theme of "Alaska + Business = Economy, Back to the Basics" as a parallel to what he said his administration is working toward.

Lawmakers warned about Alaska oil spill readiness
ANCHORAGE - Alaska needs to spend more to prevent and clean up oil spills, two citizen watchdog groups told state lawmakers.

Tea party returning to help Miller
JUNEAU - The tea party group helping to upset the status quo in several races this election year is coming back to Alaska to fulfill a vow to do whatever it takes to beat U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski.

Alaska's recovery strong, state positioned for growth
Wells Fargo director and senior economist, Scott Anderson, was the keynote speaker at the Alaska State Chamber of Commerce's convention. After a summary of national economic and banking tendencies, he made note of some particular points close to home.

Berkowitz wants to shrink corporate taxes
ANCHORAGE - Alaska's business environment would hugely benefit by decreasing corporate income taxes and eliminating the tax altogether for ventures making less than $90,000 in annual profits, the state's Democratic nominee for governor said Tuesday.

Walker still mulling write-in run for governor
JUNEAU - Alaskans will need to wait a few more days to learn whether Bill Walker will re-enter the race for governor as a write-in candidate.

Miller acknowledges getting farm subsidies
JUNEAU - Alaska Republican U.S. Senate candidate Joe Miller, who believes the federal government is on the brink of bankruptcy and has called for an end to the "welfare state," received federal farm subsidies for land that the fiscal conservative owned in Kansas in the 1990s.

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