Thursday, September 30, 2010

From the outside in and the inside out
In a city where most buildings could generously be described as old and boxy, a major new building project is cause for celebration. When that building project's suggested design is conceptually linked to the history and culture of Alaska, and is both elegant and intelligent in form, excitement about the new construction is entirely warranted.

First Friday sans tourists belongs to Juneau
The last cruise ships have left the harbor, and now Juneau can bask and rejoice in a First Friday that officially is sans touristas - well, aside from the few who have missed the boat, have decided to winter in the capital, are lost or are traveling by a less scheduled form of transportation.

First Friday listings
"True Story" a solo exhibit by Charity Green

New music for new seasons
Yesterday morning, I completed a task I've been avoiding for weeks - winterizing. I pulled the wispy dill, cilantro and flowers I attempted to grow out of their yogurt container pots and sent them back to nature, chucking them into the woods only so far as they would fly.

Affleck and Damon, together again
Remember "Good Will Hunting"? It has been 13 years since Matt Damon and Ben Affleck co-wrote and co-starred in the movie that made them both stars, won them both Oscars, and forever made it acceptable to say "How do you like 'dem apples?" to your friends after winning a bar bet. Their careers are forever linked because of the way they arrived together.

Raqs Bastet! to feature guest dancer Del Vecchio
The Daughters of the New Moon will present Raqs Bastet!, a night of music and dance, featuring guest dancer Suzanna Del Vecchio, on Friday, Oct. 1, at the Buoy Deck Bar in the Coast Guard Building. Del Vecchio will also lead workshops throughout the weekend.

Evening at Egan to focus on government
This week's Evening at Egan lecture addresses the question: "Juneau's Government: Should we throw it out and start over?" Beginning at 7 p.m., in the Egan Lecture Hall, UAS professor and Juneau Assembly Member Jonathan Anderson will lead a discussion on how to achieve government "of the people, by the people, and for the people."

Balloon celebration set for Wednesday
For the 11th year in a row, hundreds of balloon animal artists will share their skills during the annual Balloons Around the World event, organized by Jeff Brown. Balloons around the World is designed to highlight the activity of giving, deliver smiles and showcase the art of balloon twisting and decorating.

Chic Gamine to perform Friday at Thunder Mountain
Chic Gamine, an award-winning French Canadian vocal quintet, will perform in Juneau Friday, Oct. 1, at the Thunder Mountain High School Auditorium. The show begins at 7:30 p.m.

KXLL's organizes Zombie nighthis Friday
Join your fellow locals in a zombie take-back of downtown Juneau. KXLL Excellent Radio will invade First Friday with a walk starting at the cemetery and then progressing towards downtown, with a final stop at the Rendezvous.

In the stacks
China in the 21st Century, by Jeffrey N. Wasserstrom.

Challenged books of 2009 include the dictionary
In celebration of Banned Books Week, observed this year from Sept. 25 through Oct. 2, the American Library Association has released a list of books challenged or banned in 2009. This year's list includes a particularly scandalous volume, the Merriam Webster Collegiate Dictionary, challenged at a Menifee, Calif. school for inclusion of the term "oral sex." According to the ALA, the book was pulled in response to the challenge, and the school district is considering a permanent classroom ban.

Thurston would be a tremendous asset on the school board
Please join me in supporting Barbara Thurston for the Juneau school board. While we are fortunate to have three excellent candidates running, I truly believe the election of Thurston would be tremendous asset for our community. She will serve Juneau with integrity, intelligence, a commitment to equity and academic excellence and an ability to listen well and dissect data.

Voters should read entire ballot initiative before voting on Proposition 2
When voting on Proposition 2, I urge voters to read the full ballot initiative. The Safe, Affordable, Future, Efficient, or SAFE, committee is practicing rhetorical alchemy in an attempt to change fiction into fact. For example, George Elgee stated "After conducting a thorough review and preparing an environmental impact statement, the city will again ask the voters to approve a bond, which will be repaid using sales tax funds" (Please see "Time to step up on to the plate on second crossing" in the Sept. 22 Empire).

IRS urges Alaska nonprofits to file returns
We at the Internal Revenue Service are concerned because as many as 1,000 small community-based nonprofits in Alaska are in jeopardy of losing their tax-exempt status. This loss could greatly impact the organizations' charitable work and their donors' potential tax deductions.

Proposition 2 serves interests of a narrow group of Juneauites
Once again, the financial interests of a narrow group of Juneau citizens is pushing a project that does not serve the overall public or the quality of life in our community.

Thurston a perfect fit for school board
When I think about what it takes to be a good school board member, here's what's important: Someone involved directly in the schools, who follows school board issues, is fair, can listen to different opinions and then come to a conclusion, and who always puts the needs of students at the top.

Juneau, all of Alaska will benefit from Kensington Mine
Early governors knew the economic future of the territory of Alaska would depend upon development of its natural resources. Remoteness, geography, climate and a lack of infrastructure all stood in the way, but Alaskans were legendary for their hardiness.

Miller met his obligation
Recent accusations regarding Joe Miller's military service obligation are not grounded in truth, but are a weak attempt to embarrass an honorable man.

Who's got experience?
Is experience knowing how to vote what the Republican Party and your corporate sponsors demand in exchange for a $1 million campaign chest, or knowing how to take the strings-attached one-half million campaign dollars of wealthy California Tea Party donors and the Republican Party?

Glad to see Miller's win against 'good ol' boy' Murkowski
Just to set the record straight, there were many Republicans who voted for Joe Miller instead of Lisa Murkowski. I am one of them. Murkowski was and is one of the "good ol' boys" and it was and is time for a change. Serving in the state or federal legislature is a calling and not a profession. I do not believe our Founding Fathers envisioned career politics. I am a Republican who believes in term limits. Murkowski, you lost the Alaska republican primary. Your decision to run as a "write-in" tells me that you are a cry-baby and perhaps a hypocrite; that you do not have confidence in the will of the people. Your decision tells me that you do not think the "little people" are smart enough to know what is in their best interest. It is because of people like you that some of the electorate wonders what good it does to vote.

Alaskan Brewing gives early donation to Glory Hole
Christmas came early to the Glory Hole.

Kensington Gold Mine opens with a flourish
More than two decades ago, Idaho-based Coeur d'Alene Mines Corp. started working on a difficult but potentially lucrative mining prospect near Berner's Bay.

Oxeye daisies didn't stand a chance
Oxeye daisies at Eaglecrest fought a losing battle against 60-70 Juneau-Douglas High School freshmen Tuesday morning.

Future likely to exceed expectations for Kensington Mine
Executives with Coeur d'Alene Mines Corp., in Juneau to celebrate the opening of the $400 million Kensington Gold Mine, may not be telling the full story of the mine.

Candidates differ on economic development, other strategies
Four of the five people running for three Assembly seats offered their ideas at a League of Women Voters forum Wednesday evening.

School board candidates discuss budgeting, pensions
Three candidates are competing for two seats on the Juneau School Board, but their answers at a League of Women Voters forum Wednesday evening sometimes made it difficult to determine their positions.

'Culture of Fear' lingers at Bartlett hospital
If letters received by at least three Bartlett Regional Hospital employees from the human resources department are any indication, a "culture of fear" lingers at the hospital.

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 members honored at annual banquet
Often overlooked for their bravery and work ethic, members of the Juneau Police Department were honored at the department's annual awards banquet Sept. 18 in Centennial Hall.

Airport hires new advertising company
New advertising technology will now accompany the renovations at Juneau International Airport. The Younger Agency of Reno, Nev. has been named as the airport's new advertising concessionaire.

Photos: Last cruise ships of the year
Joan and John Harlow of Connecticut pause to look out at the rain as they shop downtown Tuesday on the last day of the cruise ship season in Juneau. They were off the cruise ship Zaandam.

Photo: Cleaning up for the winter
A Juneau Marine Services employee cleans off the bottom of a 32-foot pleasure craft Wednesday at their downtown yard. The boat is one of 10 belonging to Nordic Tug Charters and is the last to be put away for the winter.

Photo: Dodging rain downtown
Juneau residents dodge the rain Wednesday while walking the downtown harbor boardwalk. Today's forecast calls for a chance of rain with a high of 54 degrees and low of 44 degrees.

Wells Fargo advisors help private business
A big part of the private and family business lifecycles involve transitioning from one owner to another. Eventually such owners must decide who will get their businesses after them.

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.

Philip Martin
Philip Martin died Sept. 24, 2010 at Virginia Mason Hospital in Seattle.

Joseph William Bennett Jr.
Joseph William Bennett Jr., passed away Sept. 17, 2010 at Island Health and Rehabilitation on Bainbridge Island, Wash. with his family by his side. He was born to Alice and the late Joseph Bennett Sr. in Juneau on Nov. 26, 1938. He was 71 years of age.

Bill Razpotnik
A celebration of life for Bill Razpotnik will be held at The Sandbar on Saturday from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Friends and family will gather to wish him fair seas and good fishing.

Outside editorial: Texas messes with Islam
The following editorial first appeared in the Los Angeles Times:

Outside editorial: Where mammograms fit
The following editorial first appeared in the Los Angeles Times:

Baseball and the married man
In some ways, domestic relationships are based on hating stuff the other person's in to. Spouse, partner, "special friend" - whatever you call them, they're also your roommate and roommates are inherently annoying. Even ones you make out with.

My turn: It's time for Juneau's second crossing
Egan Drive was built more than 30 years ago. It connects Juneau, bringing us together and giving us opportunities. It gives Juneau and Douglas easy access to the shopping areas of Mendenhall Valley and makes cheaper shopping like Fred Meyer possible. It opened affordable land in the valley for development. It provides for significantly enhanced safety and opens recreation opportunities. The new crossing will too.

My turn: Katrina redux
The fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina has seen a lot of news lately, mostly recovery stories about how families and businesses are doing. We also must remember what happened, and how we can do a better job of responding to large disasters.

My turn: Students should consider all funding options, including loans, for college
Interesting article ("Regents hear student and parent complaints about tuition increases" in Friday's Empire), however the one quote regarding the University of Alaska Fairbanks student who was forced to take on a Safeway job after leaving journalism studies seems to be a misleading choice of quotes based on the specific and unique state of that particular career.

Anchorage sexual abuse suspect arrested in Oregon
ANCHORAGE - A man suspected of sexually abusing two Anchorage children has been arrested in Oregon.

Alaska checking Bristol Palin's bar stop
ANCHORAGE - A state investigator is apparently checking whether it was legal for "Dancing with the Stars" contestant Bristol Palin to be in a downtown Anchorage establishment while dancing partner Mark Ballas performed.

Alaska minister indicted in fatal motorcycle crash
FAIRBANKS - An Alaska minister has been charged with criminally negligent homicide in an accident that killed a motorcyclist on the Fourth of July.

Anchorage police ID man found dead outside
ANCHORAGE - Anchorage police have identified the man whose body was found outside last week.

Anchorage woman shot, wounded, husband arrested
ANCHORAGE - Police arrested the husband of a woman who was wounded Tuesday night at the family home.

McAdams airing his first TV ad of general election
JUNEAU - Alaska Democratic Senate hopeful Scott McAdams is airing his first TV ad of the general election.

Doyon, Limited endorsing Murkowski write-in bid
FAIRBANKS - An Alaska Native corporation is endorsing U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski.

Court denies evidence for Weyhrauch trial
ANCHORAGE - An appeals court has thrown out evidence that federal prosecutors hoped to use in a corruption case against former state Rep. Bruce Weyhrauch.

Fort Wainwright plans weapons training
FORT WAINWRIGHT - Communities south of Fairbanks may be hearing loud noise next month.

Jensen Yorba Lott celebrates 75th anniversary
Alaska's oldest architectural firm, Jensen Yorba Lott, turns 75 this year. The firm was founded in 1935 as the HB Foss Company and has gone through 10 changes of ownership since, a press release states. It focuses most of its practice in coastal Alaska.

NANA president receives high award from Chamber
The Alaska State Chamber has presented one of its highest awards, the William A. Egan Outstanding Alaskan of the Year Award, to NANA Development Corp. president Helvi Sandvik.

Alaska Airlines expands to St. Louis
Alaska Airlines announced this week it has launched daily service between Seattle and St. Louis. According to a press release, the airline is offering a promotion of a $106 one-way fare on select flights purchased between Oct. 2 and Oct. 17 on the new route.

JDHS boys aim for Bartlett gold
The Crimson Bears cross-country team has been building momentum since Day 1 of the season. And with the state meet approaching in Bartlett on Saturday, Juneau-Douglas hopes it has saved its best for last.

Local kids in the latest Top 16 swim rankings
2010 Alaska High School Season Top 16

Falcons get first taste of state
Thunder Mountain cross-country takes its biggest step yet as a program this weekend after qualifying its first-ever runners for the state meet, and they're all sophomores with two more years of improvement ahead.

AP interview: Miller: Past benefits irrelevant
JUNEAU - Alaska Republican Senate candidate Joe Miller believes recent reports that he and his family have received government benefits are "pretty darn irrelevant" to the race.

Stevens laid to rest at Arlington Cemetery
ARLINGTON, Va. - Former Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens, who served in the Senate longer than any Republican in history, was buried with full military honors Tuesday at Arlington National Cemetery.

Records office: Miller hasn't filed disclosure
JUNEAU - Alaska Republican Senate candidate Joe Miller hasn't yet filed a required financial disclosure with the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Ethics, the office of public records said.

Court rules in favor of USFS over timber sales
A federal district court ruling this week went in favor of the U.S. Forest Service in an environmental lawsuit concerning Logjam timber sales and logging of 3,422 acres of old-growth forest on Prince of Wales Island. The Alaska Department of Law aided the USFS in its litigation against the plaintiffs Cascadia Wildlands, Greenpeace and the Tongass Conservation Society. Both sides of the issue weighed in on the meaning of litigations like this that concern Alaska's natural resources.

In Senate race, ad aims at 'Princess Lisa'
JUNEAU - A conservative nonprofit group is running radio ads in Alaska portraying U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski as a spoiled princess trying to hold onto a seat her father gave her.

Berkowitz criticized for 2002 tax vote in AK race
FAIRBANKS - A 2002 vote for a state income tax when Ethan Berkowitz was an Alaska legislator has come back as a target for criticism in the race for Alaska governor.

Miller, wife once got low-income hunting license
ANCHORAGE - Republican Senate candidate Joe Miller and his wife obtained hunting and fishing licenses at the low-income rate when they were new to Alaska.

Anchorage police union launches ad campaign
ANCHORAGE - The Anchorage police union has launched an ad campaign trying to head off possible layoffs.

Plans for Healy coal plant to be resubmitted
FAIRBANKS - The state's top environmental manager said he plans to send new permitting plans for the Healy coal power plant project to the federal government in about six to eight weeks.

Pilot spots debris from missing plane
ANCHORAGE - Debris from an airplane missing more than a month with three National Park Service employees and a pilot on board has been spotted in Katmai National Park.

Tea Party Express returning to Alaska
JUNEAU - A national tea party group that spent hundreds of thousands of dollars supporting U.S. Senate hopeful Joe Miller in his upset primary victory is returning to Alaska.

ConocoPhillips rep: No wavering on gas line
JUNEAU - ConocoPhillips isn't wavering from its support for a proposed natural gas pipeline in Alaska, a company spokesman said Tuesday.

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