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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Consider the Unknowns
What do we know about Proposition 2? Why do we want it? How much will it cost? Who will pay for it? What will it do to the wetlands?

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."

Let's Keep It Clean
I was disappointed by the radio spot with Ron Somerville saying the campaign of those supporting the North Douglas Causeway was "crafty."

Lisa's poor example
Having been raised on an Appalachian dairy farm, I was taught from an early age that one's word was his or her bond. Neighbors needed to know that they could count on each other. A sudden thunder shower could ruin dry hay in the field if a neighbor couldn't be counted on to help. If a baler or tractor broke down, a neighbor was there to help without expectation of pay or indebtedness.

SAFE and Vote NO square off in debate on Proposition 2
Proponents of the proposition on extending a temporary sales tax for a second crossing to Douglas squared off with Vote NO members at a debate Thursday night.

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.

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.

Glory Hole kitchen up and running again
Through diligence and extra effort, the Glory Hole's kitchen was back open and running less than 24 hours after being closed by the Department of Environmental Conservation.

Regents hear student and parent complaints about tuition increases
University of Alaska students argued against a tuition increase being considered by the university's Board of Regents on Thursday, following up on protests Wednesday at the University of Alaska Southeast and other campuses around the state Wednesday.

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.

Assembly candidates weigh in on issues
Three people running for a District 2 City Assembly seat participated in a forum at the Juneau Chamber of Commerce luncheon Thursday, weighing in on questions about the upcoming propositions.

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

JPD officer arraigned on alleged sex abuse of minor
A Juneau Police Department officer was arraigned on two felony counts of sexual abuse of a minor in Juneau District Court Thursday afternoon.

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: Teddy-bear dog
Douglas resident Ron Turner stands with his Pomeranian 'Hogan' Thursday in downtown Juneau. "He's the same age as me," Turner said. "I'm 11 and he's 77." According to Turner, Hogan sports a teddy-bear haircut, which keeps him 'popular with the ladies in Reno in the Winter."

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.

School board candidates: more community involvement needed
School board candidates voiced their opinions on how successful Juneau grads are and what needs to be done to improve at a forum held at the Juneau Chamber of Commerce luncheon Thursday.

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.

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.

Split the 9th Circuit: Overburdened court hampers delivery of justice
The following editorial first appeared in the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner:

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.

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

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.

ObamaCare's mandates mean ever-rising costs for U.S. consumers
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - A battle is breaking out between health insurers and the Obama administration over who is to blame for rising health insurance costs.

Decision to shun progressives, make cause with Big Insurers and Big Pharma dooms ObamaCare
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In cobbling together the broad-based coalition that rammed health reform though Congress earlier this year, President Obama and his advisers ignored the sage of advice of an old Indian proverb.

Play for free this Saturday
The trails, tidelines and local Parks & Recreation facilities, such as Treadwell Ice Arena, will be bursting at the seams Saturday with free activities, food, presentations and prizes for the public.

Timing the migration
While out for a hike, I thought I heard a snippet of sound on the wind. I stopped, and there it was again, a distant honking. Scanning the sky, I finally spotted a wavering "V" of geese flying so high they looked like faint pencil scribbles.

Burying beetles dig the dead
On a recent junket to watch bears catch salmon, we encountered a beast with a different story to tell. This was a beetle about an inch long, and its entire body, top and bottom, was covered with layers of tiny, squirming mites. Together, the beetle and the mites represent a remarkable and fascinating two-part story.

Winter hours begin at Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center
JUNEAU - Winter hours at the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center will begin Thursday.

Two-day Wilderness First Aid class offered
JUNEAU - The Red Cross of Alaska, together with the Boy Scouts of America, is offering a two-day class on wilderness first aid beginning at 9 a.m. today.

Celebrate the Hydrological New Year with the JWP
JUNEAU - Members of the Juneau Watershed Partnership are inviting the public to celebrate the Hydrological New Year and find out more about the group from 4-6 p.m. Oct. 1 at Alaska Fly Fishing Goods.

ADF&G youth cover photo contest deadline approaching
JUNEAU - The Division of Sport Fish wants to remind Southeast anglers that the youth cover photo contest deadline is Oct. 15.

On the hook
Tammy Lee Beam smiles next to a large halibut and an array of salmon caught this summer in the waters around Juneau. "We caught all the salmon and halibut in three hours fishing on my boat the Tupelo Honey in early August," Brian Wallace said. "Tammy also caught a 41-pound king salmon later in the year. She is quite a fisherwoman!"

Wild shots
Submit your wild shots

Today, Sept. 24

5.6 magnitude quake hits Rat Islands
ANCHORAGE - The U.S. Geological Survey says a magnitude 5.6 earthquake hit the remote Rat Islands on Wednesday night but there were no reports that it was felt or caused any damage.

Begich among speakers at Dems' fundraiser
JUNEAU - U.S. Sen. Mark Begich is among the headliners at a fundraiser this week for Alaska Democrats.

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.

Union cancels authorization vote
FAIRBANKS - A union seeking to represent about 2,500 University of Alaska employees has canceled a scheduled authorization vote, saying it needs more time to battle opposition from school administrators.

Names of AIDS patients stolen in Anchorage
ANCHORAGE - Anchorage police say a woman suspected of more than a dozen vehicle break-ins over the Labor Day weekend probably took a data storage device containing the names of 2,000 HIV and AIDS patients.

Judge approves trial for mentally ill man
FAIRBANKS - A judge has ruled that a mentally ill Alaska man can stand trial on murder and assault charges in a fatal stabbing.

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.

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.

Begich meets with VA official
ANCHORAGE - The office of U.S. Sen. Mark Begich says Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki plans to visit Alaska to see firsthand the needs of veterans living in rural parts of the state.

Southcentral residents try holding down the heat
ANCHORAGE - Southcentral Alaska utilities and local governments are asking residents to prepare for a possible natural gas shortage this winter.

Project would help power Kantishna
ANCHORAGE - Alaska's two senators have introduced legislation to construct a micro hydro project inside Denali National Park.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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

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.

Falcons seniors leave lasting legacy
The unexpected quest for perfection comes to a head tonight with the spotlight squarely on the Thunder Mountain football seniors.

Crimson Bears keyed up for lone home meet
Juneau-Douglas hosts this weekend's swim and dive meet at Augustus Brown Swimming Pool, with several Crimson Bears competitors holding places in this week's 2010 Alaska High School Season Top 16 rankings with plenty of room for improvement before the region and state meets.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Pebble mine likely to begin permit process in late 2011
With its 2010 drilling season set to wrap up in October, the Pebble Limited Partnership is now tentatively eyeing late 2011 to initiate the permit process for the copper and gold mine near Iliamna.

Nikiski man recalls details of bear mauling
ANCHORAGE - Doctors spent hours stitching the torn scalp of a Nikiski fisherman who was mauled and dragged by a brown bear Tuesday night near the Swanson River, the man told his family.

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.

Photo: Moonrise
The moon rises into view over the Chugach Mountains in this view from the Anchorage Coastal Wildlife Refuge on Wednesday, in Anchorage. The full moon and the autumnal equinox happened on the same day this year, a coincidence that hasn't occurred in 19 years.

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