Animals have long played important cultural roles in societies around the world. A new book by Juneau resident Alexander Dolitsky highlights the cultural significance Siberian tigers have held in the Russian Far East.

Juneau artist Wallen subject of documentary
A new documentary about Juneau artist R.T. "Skip" Wallen that airs nationally this week helps highlight the importance Alaska played in the Allies' victory in World War II.

Summer exhibits to close at state museum
Several summer-long exhibits will be closing in the coming days at the Alaska State Museum.

Juneau Dance Unlimited to host open house Oct. 11
Juneau Dance Unlimited will hold an open house and the organization's annual meeting from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 11, at the dance studio, located at 8420 Airport Blvd., Suite 202, in the new Alaska Litho Building.

Reptile naturalist to visit Juneau on Oct. 19
Naturalist Scott Shupe from the Kentucky Reptile Zoo and the Natural History Educational Company is touring schools and libraries with his live reptiles and will make a stop in Alaska's capital city.

What's Happening

Incumbents retain Assembly seats
Two Assembly members challenged by newcomers to Juneau's political scene retained their seats in Tuesday's municipal election.

Record dividend size brings new garnishments
The Alaska Permanent Fund dividend windfall, boosted by the Legislature to a record-high $3,269 this year, is having some unanticipated consequences.

Voters OK covered playground at Dzantik'i Heeni Middle School
Voters approved building a $1.7 million covered playground at Dzantik'i Heeni Middle School, the sole ballot measure in Tuesday's municipal election.

Fisheries managers tweak halibut subsistence rules
Limited subsistence fishing for halibut will be allowed in Juneau and Ketchikan, by Alaska Native tribal members with an educational or ceremonial permit.

Flanagan and Saddler elected to School Board
Ed Flanagan and Sally Saddler were elected Tuesday to serve on the Juneau School Board.

Unofficial results by precinct
The following are unofficial results by precinct in Juneau's 2008 Municipal Election.

Photo: Relaying election results
Juneau city employees Diane Kyser, left, and MIchelle Brown receive election results by phone Tuesday evening in the Juneau Assembly chambers.

Photo: A helping hand
Sherrie Jans relocates a small porcupine Saturday near the Mendenhall Glacier. The 6- to 8-month-old porcupine was seen hanging around the parking lot and in the road near the visitor center for the past week and was almost run over a number of times. Jans decided to help the young porcupine reach a safer area in the woods.

Photo: Bug zappers
Spencer Comes, right, and Brady Barger shoot spiders and insects in a video game called "Let's Go Jungle" on Wednesday at Bullwinkle's in the Mendenhall Valley. The boys are seventh-graders at Blatchley Middle School in Sikta. There were visiting Juneau for a soccer game, and were enjoying an after-game dinner party with the rest of the team.

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

Around Town

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

Around Town

'Blindness' worth seeing
What would you do if right now, this very second, you lost your eyesight? No warning signs, no symptoms, just blindness. Maybe you're at work, maybe you're driving, maybe you're cooking dinner, but whatever you're doing... your world suddenly goes dark. Think about that honestly for a second. What would you do? How scary would that be? Who would help you?

Zellweger should have been run out of town in 'Appaloosa'
"Appaloosa" is half a good Western.

New version of 'Evil' released on DVD
'Touch of Evil'

Juneau's Cinema guide

Juneau hosts Legendary Irish folk musician Tommy sands
R enowned singer-songwriter and peace activist Tommy Sands has seen firsthand how music can bring people together.

Gordon Bok's Juneau stop inspires fruitful search
This is about free music by legendary folk singer Gordon Bok and those inspired by his songs of the seas. But, as my last column as a U.S. resident, it serves a larger point: There's a lot I'm going to miss about Juneau, including how brief stops by artists frequently lead to discovering vast new resources of music "out there."

Yamagata releases second album despite label's refusal to back it
You've probably heard the music of singer/songwriter Rachael Yamagata even if you're not aware of it.

Cold War, Cool Band
Cold War Kids, "Loyalty toLoyalty" ★★★ ½

Juneau artist to be featured on national television tonight
Alaska artist R.T. "Skip" Wallen was recently the subject of a national Public Broadcasting Service documentary, "Sanibel to Siberia," which will air statewide on 360 North (KTOO TV's Alaska content channel, 18) tonight at 9 p.m. The 30-minute program will air nationally this month.

Local submits hot tamale pie recipe
Calling all cooks. I have had requests to do another crock-pot recipe challenge, so here it is. Our October challenge is crock-pot or slow cooker recipes.

Fall: Balancing contradictions
Fall is a contradictory time for me. As a kid, I loved the colors of crisp leaves and pumpkin patches. Now, as an adult, I have a different love of fall.

L'Envoi or farewell for now
To my loyal readers and the staff of the Juneau Empire, thanks for the chance to write a weekly column for the spring and summer months.

Attractive invasive weeds to avoid
No doubt many of you have heard about invasive species and the havoc they can wreak on our local ecosystems. As for plants, Bohemian (aka Japanese) knotweed, orange hawkweed and oxeye daisy are among some of the most commonly known and found in Southeast Alaska.

Bleicher, Thibeault wed
Jennifer Sarah Bleicher and Jacques Roland Thibeault were married Aug. 30, 2008, at St. Albert's Church in West Stewardstown, N.H. The reception was held at Jackson's Lodge in Canaan, Vt., where they danced all night with friends and family.

Michael James Brown
Former longtime Juneau resident Michael James Brown died Sept. 21, 2008, in Mount Airy, N.C. He was 47.

My turn: Keep an eye on social decorum
I have had the good fortune, for all my adult life, of indulging in the press of warm flesh and personal contact I rarely see in today's couples.

My turn: We can see Russia from our house
Lost in the "I can see Russia from my house" jab that was levied at vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin is a closer look at a claim to foreign policy credentials that one can make for being governor of Alaska.

Outside editorial: Campaigns enter dangerous territory
The tone is ominous, the shadings dark. "Who is Barack Obama?" asks the latest campaign advertisement from Sen. John McCain. "He says our troops in Afghanistan are 'just air-raiding villages and killing civilians' ... How dishonorable. ... How dangerous. ... Too risky for America."

Outside editorial: Candidates cling to pre-meltdown mind-set in debate
"Since you last met at Ole Miss 12 days ago," Tom Brokaw told the two presidential candidates as they began their second debate Tuesday night, "the world has changed a great deal, and not for the better."

Humanity: A test Palin failed
For Gov. Sarah Palin, last week's vice presidential debate was about political survival. She performed well enough to remain in the race all the way through to Election Day by speaking with reasonably intelligent language. But especially in regard to the foreign policy discussion, it was readily evident she wasn't expressing any deeply formulated personal views.

Danger on remote Pakistan border
The most urgent issue facing the next president (beyond the economy) will be how to deal with a remote area along the Afghan-Pakistan border, the new haven for al-Qaida and radical jihadis.

Baby Boomers are part of perpetual sequel
Baby boomers. It's always been about us. And why not?

Globalize financial crisis response
The financial crisis has gone global. Stock indexes have fallen and credit markets are seizing up around the world. In recent days, as most Americans focused on the political drama of the rescue package, a number of European banks have failed or been taken over. Several in Russia and Eastern Europe are teetering on the verge of insolvency. Many Latin American countries are newly vulnerable because foreign banks are big players there. Few nations can escape the financial contagion.

Coeur rejects SEACC mediation offer
JUNEAU - Coeur Alaska Inc. declined the Southeast Alaska Conservation Council's offer this week to help restart the permit process for the Kensington Mine.

SEACC offers to facilitate mine talks
JUNEAU - The Southeast Alaska Conservation Council offered this week to help Coeur Alaska Inc. jump back into the permit process for the Kensington gold mine by facilitating meetings between the mine and its permitting agency.

Group wants Palin; Dems call for Tina Fey
LANSING, Mich. - After Republican presidential candidate John McCain halted his Michigan campaign last week, several attempts were made to lure in running mate Sarah Palin.

Voter registration up before general election
JUNEAU - The number of registered voters in Alaska - always robust during a presidential election - is sharply higher this year.

Adult Day Program announces meals
JUNEAU - The Bridge Adult Day Program of Catholic Community Service recently announced its participation in the U.S. Department of Agriculture Child and Adult Care Food Program administered by the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development. Meals will be made available to enrolled adults at no separate charge without regard to race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability.

Sickness, but no quarantine, on island
JUNEAU - A rumor circulating Wednesday that Prince of Wales Island was under a quarantine is false, according to a Craig city public health official.

Demmert named SEARHC Board chair
JUNEAU - The SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium Board of Directors elected Victoria Demmert of Yakutat as its new chairwoman during the September SEARHC Board meeting in Juneau.

Icy Strait Point wins tour-industry award
JUNEAU - Huna Totem Corp., Hoonah's Alaska Native village corporation and the town's largest employer, announced this week that it won an industry award for sustaining indigenous culture.

UAS Ketchikan gets $131,500 grant
KETCHIKAN - The University of Alaska Southeast Ketchikan was awarded an additional $131,500 to its existing Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian-Serving Institutions Program grant to further develop and implement a comprehensive system of student support services for rural and Alaska Natives on Prince of Wales and Annette Islands. The initial grant was awarded in 2004.

Snow causes power outages in Anchorage
ANCHORAGE - The season's first snow left some Anchorage area residents in the dark.

Man sentenced for smuggling walrus part
ANCHORAGE - A federal judge in Anchorage sentenced a Virginia man to a year's probation and fined him $5,000 for smuggling an illegal walrus bone into the U.S.

Wasilla man dies in one-car crash
WASILLA - Wasilla police are investigating the cause of a one-car crash that killed a local man along the Parks Highway.

Randolph gets season-high series in Sunday Bowling
Vanda Randolph set season new mark for women's high series in the Sunday Mixed Bowling League with a 577 total, including games of 224 and 193. Randolph's great night led Just For Fun to four wins to move into second place as the league approaches the end of the first quarter of bowling.

Alaska high schools top 16 swimming results
Alaska High School

Sports in Juneau

Cleaning the coast
What do two pro-surfers, an art director, a forester, an attorney and a Coast Guard public affairs specialist have in common?

Judge deals Stevens trial prosecutors a setback
WASHINGTON - A federal judge on Wednesday refused another defense request to declare a mistrial in the corruption case against Sen. Ted Stevens, instead deciding he would tell jurors to ignore disputed portions of the government's evidence.

Stevens jurors hear tape of plot to hide free work
WASHINGTON - Two close friends of Sen. Ted Stevens schemed to conceal the fact that one was paying for expensive remodeling and repairs done at the senator's cabin in Alaska, according to FBI audiotapes played Tuesday at Stevens' corruption trial.

Health officials investigate respiratory illnesses, death
ANCHORAGE - A respiratory illness that health officials say likely was caused by a virus circulating on Prince of Wales Island has killed one person and put another on a ventilator in an Anchorage hospital.

Todd Palin says contacts with his wife's administration were proper
ANCHORAGE - Gov. Sarah Palin's husband defended his role as a close adviser to his wife Wednesday but was adamant that he didn't meddle in her administration to try to settle a family dispute.

State to review Palin per diem payments
ANCHORAGE - Gov. Sarah Palin's practice of charging the state when she stays in her home must be reviewed to determine if she should pay taxes on the payments, state Finance Director Kim Garnero said Tuesday.

Governor chooses 7 for Pacific Salmon Commission
Gov. Sarah Palin this week announced her Pacific Salmon Commission panel picks.

This Day in History
In Alaska, in the Nation and the World

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