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Friday, October 1, 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.

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.

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."

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.

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.

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.

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.

Causeway would limit hunting, fishing opportunities
Although I've had many slow days fishing and hunting on the Mendenhall Wetlands, I've also had my share of banner days there with full limits of duck, geese, or silvers. Regardless of what I come home with though, I've always felt very lucky to have a place to hunt and fish that I could access as quickly and easily as the Flats.

Let's not destroy our greatest resource
Juneau's greatest resource is its setting that attracts college students, retirees, tourists, etc., eager to escape the automobile-dominated communities Americans have "perfected" elsewhere. Why would we want to destroy another important part of the tideland refuge that dominates our city? Could we improve the charisma of our town this way? Let's not do it.

Misinformation could block any second Douglas crossing
The group opposing the Safe, Affordable, Future, Efficient, or SAFE, Committee's proposal to move forward with a preferred alternative and financing plan for a North Douglas Crossing at Sunny Point has generated flyers, newspaper and radio advertisements falsely claiming the SAFE Committee's proposal is "dishonest." This misinformation campaign can also mislead the public into believing no other crossing alternatives will be considered as the permitting and National Environmental Policy Act environmental assessment process moves forward.

Photo: Lunchtime at the glacier
A young porcupine nibbles on willow leaves near the Mendenhall Glacier Visitors Center on Thursday.

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

Baranof Hotel to change ownership
A landmark hotel is changing owners but nothing else.

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.

Empire looking for local breast cancer survivors
In recognition of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the Juneau Empire is looking to profile local survivors of the disease. If you, or someone you know is a Southeast Alaska survivor, please send contact information to the Empire at editor@juneauempire.com. Data can also be mailed to Charles Ward, Interim Managing Editor, c/o the Juneau Empire, 3100 Channel Dr., Juneau, AK 99801, or dropped off at our office.

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.

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.

Former Thane camp manager charged
On Wednesday, Gordon Valle was issued a summons for violating a domestic violence restraining order prohibiting him from possessing firearms.

Jury selection to begin for former JDHS coach
Jury selection is set to begin Oct. 11 for a former Juneau-Douglas High School basketball coach accused of sexual assault.

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.

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.

Bartlett defends HR department, review
Bartlett Regional Hospital's CEO defends the human resources department that has come under fire for its letters to employees, but adds a review is coming soon.

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.

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.

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.

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.

George Raymond MacClanahan Jr.
George Raymond MacClanahan Jr, 85, passed away at the Veterans Home of California on Sept. 21, where he and his wife Mary have lived for 14 years.

Justine Lown
Justine Lown died Sept. 14, 2010 in Vancouver, Wash.

Why I will vote yes on Proposition 2
Oct. 5, the citizens of Juneau will vote on whether to allocate sales tax money to build a North Douglas Crossing. For more than 25 years the need for a second connection to Douglas Island has been recognized for safety and emergency reasons. In fact, when the Game Refuge was created in 1976 a section was included stating that expansion of the airport and a transportation corridor were "preferential" uses in the Refuge.

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

Proposition 2 wouldn't be prudent
Oct. 5, our community will make some important decisions. Juneau residents will elect school board members, City Assembly members and settle three ballot propositions. The one I wish to address is Proposition 2.

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: 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.

Vote yes on Prop. 2
Tuesday, Juneau voters will be asked to consider whether a second crossing from mainland Juneau to Douglas Island is a project the community should support. We believe this has merit and urge a yes vote on Proposition 2.

... for the love of the sport
Their names are a virtual "who's who" in the running community of Juneau. They have sprinted past the Capitol, slogged across the Mendenhall Wetlands State Game Refuge, burned their quads up Eaglecrest and slipped in bear scat on the glacier trails.

Tides
Today, Oct. 1

Shooting hours: Oct. 1-15
Friday, Oct. 1 6:32 a.m.- 6:31 p.m.

Professor: Big squid strayed too far north
It didn't take long for Chance to find the pink-ish, stinking pile of decomposing squid on the beach.

Event to provide tips, gardening inspiration
Eileen Hosey believes that gardens make life richer and souls whole.

New rescue @ the Juneau Raptor Center: 'Baby'
Name: "Baby"

Beetles: Part deux
Last week I wrote about the remarkable burying beetles, which typically inter and prepare the carcasses of mice and small birds as food for their beetle larvae. The individual beetle that prompted my interest was just crawling across the ground, but it looked very strange. It was covered, top and bottom, with at least two layers of tiny, squirming mites, hundreds of them.

2010 Empire Cup Results
Empire Cup Results September 25, 2010

JRPC holds target comp
On what started as a cool, windy Sunday morning, six members of Juneau Rifle & Pistol Club saw the day warm, become partly sunny and have the wind turn to minor gusts during their Sept. 26 target competition.

Wild shots
Isanotski Volcano on Unimak Island, known locally as "Ragged Jack," is pictured on Aug. 4.

On the hook
Show us your big fish

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

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

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

House passes bill honoring Ted Stevens
ANCHORAGE - The U.S. House on Thursday passed a bill naming a mountain and part of an ice field after the late Ted Stevens.

Wrangell Hospital gets $20 million loan
ANCHORAGE - A $20 million construction loan is being provided to help build a new medical center in Wrangell.

Crowley constructs 2 double-hulled barges
ANCHORAGE - A maritime company will build two doubled-hulled barges for use in western Alaska.

Man crushed in heavy equipment accident
ANCHORAGE - Anchorage police say a heavy equipment operator died in an accident at a construction site.

Group attempting to revitalize Downtown Juneau Neighborhood Association
A group of downtown residents are working on revitalizing the Downtown Juneau Neighborhood Association. They are hosting a round-up at 5:30 p.m. Sunday at the Juneau Arts and Culture Center with a potluck, children's activities and opportunities to help the organization craft its future vision.

Police arrest suspected graffiti taggers
ANCHORAGE - Anchorage police have arrested four suspected graffiti "taggers."

Downtown business owner finds strange substance in letter
A local business owner reported receiving a pair of strange letters, one containing an unknown substance, to the Juneau Police Department, according to a press release from JPD.

Inmates get TB tests
ANCHORAGE - All inmates at a correctional facility north of Kenai will be getting tested for tuberculosis.

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.

Fronimos emerges as a star for Falcons
Thunder Mountain's calling card this season has been its ability to run the football, and spearheading the attack with eye-popping statistics is senior Cameron Fronimos.

Star-crossed in Crimson
One of Juneau-Douglas' best football players has barely seen the field over the last three years.

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.

JDHS looks for revenge against Chugiak
It was nearly a year ago that then-interim coach Rich Sjoroos watched his No. 1-seeded Crimson Bears fall to Chugiak on a last-second safety during the first round of the 4A state playoffs at Adair-Kennedy Memorial Park.

Falcons look to keep the pressure on against perennial power Soldotna
It might sound odd to say Saturday's Thunder Mountain-Soldotna matchup is the biggest game in Falcons football history - which is all of 15 games old - but that certainly is the case.

Rouse likely to be tapped as Obama's chief of staff
A former Alaskan has reportedly been selected to be the new chief of staff for President Obama, and he's being praised from Washington, D.C. to Juneau.

New officers to head Permanent Fund board
The Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation's Board of Trustees has elected Ketchikan banker Bill Moran as its new chairman.

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.

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.

Miller deletes 'inappropriate' tweets
JUNEAU - A series of tweets in which Alaska Senate hopeful Joe Miller sounded confident in his chances of winning have been removed from his Twitter feed.

Murkowski takes aim at Tea Party Express in ad
A new TV ad by U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski takes aim at a national tea party group days before it's set to return to Alaska to support her GOP rival.

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.

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.

Poll shows Murkowski close
A new poll shows Alaska GOP Sen. Lisa Murkowski in a tight race with Republican rival Joe Miller. But critics say there's reason to doubt the numbers.

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.

Photo: A master of the craft
Norman Griffin, a longtime builder of wooden boats, shows his most recent project in Homer on Sept. 23. Work by Griffin, 92, is all over town, from wooden boats in various yards and at the Wooden Boat Festival to the steeple on Faith Baptist Church.

Filtration system used on tainted well water
FAIRBANKS - Five homes are being provided with in-home water treatment systems designed to remove a chemical used in refining oil in North Pole.

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