Shakespeare, unhinged
I t would be tough to argue that Shakespeare's works are undeserving of the reverence shown to them in the literary world. But it's possible that the lofty position they've been granted has obscured their origins as the people's plays, and their broad-based, unscholarly appeal.

First Friday openings include Jacob Higgins, Rob Roys
Here's a look at what's going on around town for this month's First Friday.


Southeast Rap Explosion Saturday
The Southeast Rap Explosion, organized by Juneau's Lance Mitchell, will take place Saturday, Oct. 3 at 9 p.m. at Jaded bar in the Goldbelt hotel.

Folk duo LoveLifeMusic to perform two shows this weekend
Alaska-based folk music duo LoveLifeMusic will perform at 9:30 p.m. Oct. 2 at the Alaskan Hotel & Bar.

French crime novels featured at Evening at Egan
On Oct. 2, University of Alaska Southeast faculty member Robin Walz will present "Rogue Cops, Elegant Criminals, and the Popular French Crime Novel" in the Egan Lecture Hall.

Teaching artists workshop series begins Nov. 3
A six-part workshop series will be offered to local artists interested in working in Juneau's schools, honing skill, strategies and knowledge about working with students of all ages.

Reviewers circle held this week at the downtown library
Love to read, but can't find anyone to talk books with? The first Thursday of each month from 7-8 p.m., the downtown library hosts a Reviewers' Circle. Come prepared to talk about a book (or audio book) you've recently read and to engage in casual conversation.

'Rock Candy' juxtaposes hard and soft, bitter and sweet
In her debut collection, Jenifer Rae Vernon's verse celebrates "sweetness in bleak times," the raw beauty that despite dire surroundings elevates the ordinary, creating moments of triumph and empowerment. These moments become jewels in the rough country of rural western Washington.

Wooly mammoths and wars and floods, oh my!
Perseverance opens its 31st season with a roller coaster ride of fun and frustration, Thornton Wilder's Pulitzer Prize-winning play within a play, "The Skin of Our Teeth."

Steel string guitar soloist Alex de Grassi ready for return to Alaska
Grammy-award nominated guitarist Alex de Grassi is one of the premiere steel string soloists in the world, and seeing him in concert might not be your average musical experience.

Take your expectations down a notch
From the team that brought you "Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines"!

K3 hosts Seafood fest and a Night of the Blues'
This Saturday at the Yacht Club, K3 has lined up back-to-back events that will be a feast for ears and stomachs. The Seafood Festival, an annual event, will be held from 4-7:30, followed by a Night of the Blues from 7:30 on.

Fourth annual theater 'Miracle' held this weekend
The idea of pulling an all-nighter to complete a writing assignment may be a sweaty-palm-inducing flashback to college for some, but for Geoff Kirsch, one of four writers participating in this year's 24-Hour Miracle, staying up all night to write a play sounds like heaven.

New chapter books just added at the library
We're adding lots of new chapter books to the shelves at the Juneau Public Libraries - look for the latest in The Stoneheart Trilogy, the first in a new series called In the Cards, and new titles from favorite authors like David Adler, as well as the titles below.

Photo: Walker wins top wearable art award
Micaela Fowler Croteau models "Lady of the Wood," a wooden dress created by David Walker, during the Wearable Art Show in February at Centennial Hall. The piece won first place the first night of the show and second place the next day. Walker won top prize last week at the 2009 Montana World of Wearable Art Awards show in Wellington, New Zealand. Walker was a third time entrant in the show,which is in its 21st year. This year 165 garments were displayed, with entries from New Zealand and 10 other countries. A full profile of Walker and his creation will appear in Monday's Empire.

Palin's work ethic didn't extend to state
According to her publisher, "Governor Palin has been unbelievably conscientious and hands-on at every stage, investing herself deeply and passionately in (her memoir)."

The reality of Ballet Measure 2
Smoking is unhealthy and costly, that much is obvious.

Cruise tax does effect state tourism future
The Empire's "Attack On A Tax" article is a good beginning in educating its readership about the important public debate over our state's cruise tourism future. Sunday's article only scratches the surface of complex public policy as implemented by the Cruise Ship Taxation, Regulation and Disclosure ballot measure of 2006.

City mulls leash law revisions
Some local dog owners are worried proposed changes to Juneau's animal control ordinance could result in more restrictions and more fines for dog owners.

State seeks $8 billion for retirement funds
Alaska is seeking more than $8 billion from Mercer Inc., its former actuary that it blames for part of its multibillion dollar pension plan deficit.

Photo: Street artist
Former Hoonah resident Earl Austin paints freehand Tlingit designs on baseball caps during lunch at the Glory Hole. Homeless and camping in the woods, Austin hopes to open a shop along Franklin Street some day. He said he is working on projects for Celebration Festival in June. "I also paint headbands for hats," Austin said. "Kind of like a 'gangsta' style ... really popular with the younger kids."

Weyhrauch's court appeal date set
ANCHORAGE - The U.S. Supreme Court will listen to oral arguments Dec. 8, as former state Rep. Bruce Weyhrauch seeks reinstatement of a court order limiting the federal mail fraud case against him.

Kookesh subsistence trial delayed
The trial of Sen. Albert Kookesh, D-Angoon, and three co-defendants over subsistence fishing violations will not take place on Monday as previously scheduled.

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

An A1 story about leash laws in Wednesday's Juneau Empire misstated a proposed change regarding the licensing of service dogs. Currently, service dogs are required to be licensed and the fees are waived. The change would establish fees.

Around Town
Today, Oct. 1

First frost bites two weeks early
Clear skies Monday night sent temperatures below freezing, Juneau's first frost of the season.

Report: Juneau population may be inching up
The Juneau Economic Development Council on Wednesday published its 64-page annual report of Southeast Alaska economic indicators that shows the region's downward population trend may be reversing course.

Legislators order audit of natural gas agency
A legislative committee Monday ordered an audit of the Alaska Natural Gas Development Authority.

Red king crab fishery closed
The red and blue king crab commercial fishery will not open in Southeast Alaska this year, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game announced last week.

Photo: Mattress King
Ted Sadtler gives his famous finger-pointing dance pose on Tuesday as he sets up his firstMattress Ranch location in Southeast Alaska in the Nugget Mall. "Price-wise I got them," Sadtler said. "Come on out and say 'hi' and dance with me. Well, I don't really call this dancing; I kind of fidget. ... I've been here three hours. I love it! How about this weather?" The grand opening is Oct. 5.

Photo: Candidate conversation
From left, District 1 Assembly candidates Ruth Danner and Stephanie Madsen address a question from homeless National Guard veteran Ric Willard, of Angoon, during a lunch forum at the Glory Hole. Homeless since February, Willard has lived on the streets in Bellingham, Wash., Sitka and Juneau. "I help every homeless person I meet," Willard said. "I tell them I will do all I can todeligate for them, to get them help and bring them T-shirts and socks and tell them where to go for food and where to sleep."

Ex-Empire publisher returns to fill in interim
Jeff Wilson has been named interim publisher of the Juneau Empire. Wilson came out of retirement in Augusta, Ga., to replace former interim publisher Ronnie Hughes. He will serve four weeks as interim until the permanent replacement arrives in Juneau.

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

Breast Cancer Awareness Month Today's featured cancer survivor: Patricia Yearty
Age: 59.

Around Town
Wednesday, Sept. 30

Candidate 'speed-dating' event slated
If you've been curious what it would be like to date a politician, you'll get your chance Friday.

Grassroots cancer group helps when going gets tough
A local grassroots organization designed to assist people living with cancer will have a chance to shine this month during Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Parnell declares disaster in Pelican
Gov. Sean Parnell signed an administrative order Wednesday declaring disaster in the tiny city of Pelican, thereby granting the municipality access to as much as $100,000 in disaster relief funds.

David Stone the right voice for District 1
Assembly District 1 candidates David Stone and Karen Lawfer both have shown a passion for local politics and a deep commitment to serve Juneau. However, we believe David Stone is the most prepared heading into what will be a difficult few years as the city repositions itself to handle budget deficits.

American beauties
"One learns that the world, though made, is yet being made. That this is still the morning of creation. ... Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where Nature may heal and cheer and give strength to body and soul alike." - John Muir

Nutty response from ACORN
Isn't it obvious? If you believe you're the object of a witch hunt, the first thing you do is stop hanging around with witches. You'd think that'd be common sense, but then, the paradox of common sense is, it's not all that common.

Stephanie Madsen will work hard for District 2
The Assembly District 2 race to fill the seat left vacant by Sarah Chambers is sure to be a close race. Choosing between Stephanie Madsen and Ruth Danner was difficult. It's unfortunate only one can win. Despite who gets the most votes, Juneau will have competent and capable elected official in office. That much we're sure of.

Truth is in the ear of the listener
Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean that someone's not after you. Over the past few months, a lot of writers have dusted off Richard Hofstadter's classic 1964 essay on the paranoid style in American politics just so they can explain away the loony rumors and conspiracy theories coming from the far right. But no amount of intellectual condescension is going to make those powerful untruths go away.

Message to smokers: Here's another nail in your coffin
Most Americans, and I am sure the chief executive officers of the major tobacco manufacturing plants, knew that smoking was not good for your health more than 50 years ago.

Happy fiscal new year
It's a new year and we have a problem. Oct. 1 marks the beginning of the new fiscal year, and while there are achievements to celebrate, we have a serious failing to fix. Indeed, we may require a new fiscal year resolution.

The story behind a story
"If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense. Nothing would be what it is, because everything would be what it isn't. And contrary wise, what is, it wouldn't be. And what it wouldn't be, it would. You see?" - Alice in Wonderland

Child porn suspect arrested in Anchorage
ANCHORAGE - Police arrested an Anchorage man accused of possessing child pornography.

Officer's body found in Kuskokwim River
ANCHORAGE - The body of a Southwest Alaska village police officer who drowned in the Kuskokwim River was found Tuesday by searchers.

Two swine flu deaths reported in Fairbanks
ANCHORAGE - Two more swine flu-related deaths have been reported in Alaska.

Grand jury indicts Chignik Lake man
ANCHORAGE - A 24-year-old Chignik Lake man has been indicted by an Anchorage grand jury on charges of second-degree murder and two counts of assault.

Families urge expansion of Denali KidCare
ANCHORAGE - A dozen families crowded into an Anchorage church Monday night to press state lawmakers and the commissioner of Alaska Health and Social Services to expand Denali KidCare.

Anchorage reviewing city labor contracts
ANCHORAGE - The Anchorage Assembly has asked the city attorney to review whether labor contracts approved last year were handled properly.

Pilot aborts takeoff in Fairbanks
FAIRBANKS - A plane was taking off from Fairbanks when the pilot slammed on the brakes and aborted the liftoff because of concern an incoming plane was too close.

Utility agrees to terms removing Klamath dams
MEDFORD, Ore. - The utility that owns four hydroelectric dams on the Klamath River has agreed to terms for their removal, a key milestone in efforts to restore what was once the third biggest salmon run on the West Coast and end decades of battles over scarce water.

Kodiak debuts expanded armory
KODIAK - The Kodiak National Guard Armory has been expanded to allow space for classrooms, an exercise center, a distance-learning room and a women's bathroom.

Assembly reschedules leash law meeting
JUNEAU - The Juneau Assembly subcommittee meeting on "competent voice control verbiage" regarding the leash law revisions has been rescheduled for 1 p.m. Friday in the Community Development Department conference room of the Marine View Building downtown.

Woman dies in rollover at Chenega Bay Airstrip
CHENEGA BAY - Alaska State Troopers said a woman died at the scene after she lost control of a sport utility vehicle at the Chenega Bay Airstrip.

NTSB releasing report on Alaska Ranger sinking
WASHINGTON - The National Transportation Safety Board said it will announce the probable cause of the sinking of the Alaska Ranger at a meeting Wednesday in Washington, D.C.

Two girls die after falling into lagoon
ANCHORAGE - Two 4-year-old girls died after falling through thin ice into a lagoon in the small city of Barrow in northern Alaska.

CPA admits stealing from Native corporation
SEATTLE - A 45-year-old Seattle-area accountant has admitted that he embezzled $288,000 from a subsidiary of an Alaska Native corporation.

Late wildfire burning in Kenai refuge
KENAI - A rare autumn wildfire is burning in the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge.

Tsunami advisory for West Coast issued
LOS ANGELES - Federal experts issued a tsunami advisory for possible dangerous currents in coastal areas of California and Oregon following a magnitude-8 earthquake in the Pacific Ocean near Samoa.

Audit ordered of natural gas authority
JUNEAU - A legislative committee has ordered an audit of the state-funded Alaska Natural Gas Development Authority.

Knee injury not it for Perkins
It's a bombshell no one wants to hear heading into the final games of their high school football career, but it was a bombshell indeed for Juneau-Douglas senior captain Jack Perkins on Wednesday.

Sports in Juneau

Flu vaccine on its way to Alaska
ANCHORAGE - The first 4,200 doses of swine flu vaccine have been ordered for Alaska. State health officials awaiting their arrival said Wednesday they may not reach state health centers for 10 days.

Native corps defend federal contracts
ANCHORAGE - Five Alaska Native corporations have launched a public relations campaign to fight congressional attacks on government contracting.

Class ring makers join Pebble Mine boycott
ANCHORAGE - The growing list of jewelers vowing to boycott gold from the proposed Pebble Mine in Alaska now includes major manufacturers of class rings.

Sitka hunter fends off grizzly attack
ANCHORAGE - Karl Wolfe had a half day to hunt for blacktail deer, but the outing ended just 15 minutes after he left his truck.

Search for captured US soldier yields few clues
KABUL - The troops hunting for the young private have little to go on: He disappeared near the border with Pakistan, his Taliban captors released a propaganda video of him two weeks later, downcast and frightened. Then, at least publicly, nothing about the only U.S. soldier missing in the Afghan war.

Gravina bridge in state DOT plans
KETCHIKAN - Plans for Alaska's so-called Bridge to Nowhere are long scrapped, but the state continues to look for ways to improve access between the Panhandle town of Ketchikan and its airport on nearby Gravina Island.

Mount Redoubt volcano alert downgraded
ANCHORAGE - Mount Redoubt volcano appears to have finally settled down, months after its last major eruptive event.

Officials: Rudder blamed in Alaska fishing vessel sinking
WASHINGTON - A fishing boat that sank off the Alaska coast last year most likely lost its rudder, then flooded and went down, killing five crew members, federal safety officials said Wednesday.

Former News-Miner publisher Massey dies at 75
FAIRBANKS - Paul Massey, the former publisher of the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, has died while vacationing in Germany. He was 75.

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