Gravity research
Extreme athletes are the superstars in ski and snowboard films, but the mountains and shooting locations add special character to a movie in their own right.

"Unmasking Mental Illness Masquerade" held Friday
The Juneau branch of the National Alliance on Mental Illness will host a Halloween-themed event Friday, Oct. 23 beginning at 7 p.m. at the Juneau Arts and Culture Center. The "Unmasking Mental Illness Masquerade" has been organized to promote mental illness awareness, and to break down stigmas. Attendees should plan to come in costume.

October Barn Dance held Saturday
An October Barn Dance will be held this Saturday, Oct. 24, from 7:30-10:30 p.m. at St. Ann's Parish Hall, located at Fifth and Gold streets downtown.

Sitka to host 'Wild and Scenic' film fest
The largest environmental film festival in North America comes to Sitka this weekend.

City museum's Coffee & Collections series begins Saturday
This Saturday, the Juneau-Douglas City Museum will kick off its third season of Coffee & Collections, a monthly presentation series highlighting various aspects of Juneau's history and culture.

Carve pumpkins, make a plate at the Canvas
Upcoming events at the Canvas Community Art Studio & Gallery include pumping carving, pie-plate making, and oil painting.

Non-expert panel samples Malbecs available locally
Choosing a bottle of wine can be a frustrating experience. We all know what we like when we taste it, and most wine drinkers know which type of grape they favor, but that knowledge alone isn't enough to steer us toward a decent bottle.

Troxels hosts 'Extend the Season' party
Troxels Steak & Seafood, located at the Breakwater, will host a party beginning 9 p.m. Friday to promote the movement to help Eaglecrest stay open an additional two weeks at the end of the season.

Lots of violence, but little point
I figured I would know what to make of "Law Abiding Citizen" after I slept on it for a night.

UAS Alumni & Friends to host wine tasting at the Prospector Friday
The ninth annual UAS Alumni & Friends Beer & Wine Tasting will be held Friday from 6-8 p.m. at the Prospector Hotel. A selection of wine and beer will be provided by K&L Distributors, Odom Company and Specialty Imports. Beer from the Alaskan Brewing Co. will also be available for tasting.

Perseverance Theatre continues its season with 'Leading Ladies'
Perseverance Theatre's 31st season continues with the opening of "Leading Ladies" by Ken Ludwig Nov. 6.


Just in time for Halloween, thrilling tales for the young
Halloween is coming soon! Look for these and other great spooky, silly and just plain fun picture books.

Evening at Egan presents Kane lecture, '15 Years of Clay'
This Friday's Evening at Egan lecture will feature UAS Assistant Professor of Art Jeremy Kane, who will speak about his artwork and what has influenced his vision in "15 Years of Clay."

Alaska on paper
"A Tender Distance" presents fifteen vignettes that explore the perils and joys of raising two fearless boys from toddlerhood to young men.

Superior court judge upholds city smoking ban
The legality of the Juneau smoking ordinance is less hazy after Superior Court Judge Philip Pallenberg shot down a private association's assertion that it was not subject to the city smoking ban.

Report: Racial gaps persist in schools
Student achievement gaps between ethnic groups persist in Juneau, but a significant increase in graduation rates, especially in the Alaska Native population, offers hope for the future, said Juneau School District Superintendent Glenn Gelbrich.

Police & Fire
Juneau police and fire officials reported:

An A1 story in Wednesday's Juneau Empire about cruise ship passenger visits misstated how many ships are leaving Alaska and incorrectly suggested two new ships will begin making Alaska stops the same year. In 2010, three ships will be relocated out of Alaska and a fourth ship is reducing its stops in Juneau. Two new ships are coming to Alaska in 2011.

Floyd Dryden school holds ninth annual outdoor skills program
"How many of you have hunted before this class?" firearm safety instructor Ken Coate asked a room full of sixth-graders.

Parks officials consider skate park restrictions
The city has ordered a fence for the Pipeline Skate Park to keep out unwanted visitors in hopes of reducing vandalism, graffiti and other illicit nighttime behavior at the facility, officials told skateboarders at a meeting Wednesday night.

Carlson appointed state rural education director
Juneau School Board member Phyllis Carlson will be the state's first director of rural education, Gov. Sean Parnell announced Thursday.

School of Salmon
"Jump! Jump! Jump!" second-graders shouted at a fish tank near the entrance to the Douglas Island Pink and Chum hatchery Wednesday afternoon.

Red Ribbon Rally mixes fun, anti-drug message
Like many Alaskans, ripple effects of alcohol and drug abuse have found their way into Mayor Bruce Botelho's life. He remembers his favorite Russian literature professor from college drinking, driving and dying.

Parks, neighbors agree on House of Wickersham
Controversial changes to the historic House of Wickersham that neighbors had objected to won't be happening soon, and may not happen at all.

New Juneau Empire publisher named
Mark Bryan has been named the new publisher of the Juneau Empire after five years as publisher of the Newport News-Times in Newport, Ore.

Group to present Auke Lake plan
JUNEAU - The Juneau Watershed Partnership will hold their annual member meeting at 7 p.m., Wednesday in the Glacier View Room at the University of Alaska Southeast to present the final draft of the "Auke Lake Watershed Action Plan."

Photo: Dissecting a salmon
Elin Antaya, 5, holds salmon eggs and eyeball she disected from a salmon Wednesday in Eldri Sierra's Harborview Elementary School kindergarten class. "We learned that fish have a backbone," she said of the learning experience. "We found an intestine and squished it and p-o-o-p came out ... and we held a fish heart."

Breast Cancer Awareness Month; today's featured survivor: William John Harris Jr.
Age: 79.

Juneau Gun Club looking for volunteers
JUNEAU - The Juneau Gun Club is calling for volunteers to help with the annual Nov. 21 Turkey Shoot.

Photo: Boat house
Gillnetter Chris Place, left, works with Jerry Burns of Juneau Marine Services Thursday to build a covered structure for his 42-foot boat downtown. Place said he had a laundry list of projects to do and wanted a little protection from the winter weather.

Around Town
Today, Oct. 23

Coast Guard Auxillary member earns award
JUNEAU - For his contributions and dedication to recreational boating safety, Mike Folkerts, a volunteer member of the Coast Guard Auxiliary in Juneau, was honored in September with the National Association of State Boating Law Administration's President's Award at its meeting in Corpus Christi, Texas.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month; today's featured survivor: Val Hillyer

Police & Fire
Juneau police and fire officials reported:

Around Town
Today, Oct. 22

Daniel Reese Bibb
Former Juneau resident Daniel Reese Bibb died Sept. 14, 2009, in New York City. He was 43.

Jean Thompson Taylor
Former Juneau resident Jean Thompson Taylor died Sept. 7, 2009, in Centralia, Wash., after a struggle with cancer. She was 82.

Obama's health care bill ignores plight of the average American
S o Nancy Pelosi and President Obama are adamant Congress pass its health care bill. They have dismissed the August protesters and are pushing for passage as soon as possible. But, what does this mean for the average American - we'll call her Mary Smith, a single mother of two struggling to get by in a down economy?

Nobody wins in Afghanistan's runoff election
P oliticians love photo ops. So when Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., appeared alongside Hamid Karzai as the beleaguered Afghan president announced that he would agree to a runoff election, it was hardly surprising. Kerry was doing what politicians do.

Media, money and a degree of madness
The following editorial first appeared in the Star Tribune:

Preventing oil spills
The following editorial first appeared in the Fairbanks DailyNews-Miner:

Juneau's deafening silence
When it comes to the 2009 municipal election, the experts, politics and pundits have missed it again. The people of Juneau have spoken. Their choice is a resounding "None of the above."

Who's afraid of the free market?
As everybody knows, the two biggest battles on Capitol Hill - reforming health care and regulating Wall Street - have unleashed massive campaigns from the enemies of free markets.

Achieving radio free America
During the Cold War, the Voice of America and Radio Free Europe were among the broadcast entities that effectively penetrated the Iron Curtain to deliver truth to the "captive nations" that were being fed a steady dose of propaganda by their communist rulers. Those dictators did everything they could to "jam" the signals so that their people would only hear what their unelected overseers wanted them to hear. Contemporary versions of jamming and other forms of censorship occur today in Venezuela, Cuba and many other places where dictators believe public ignorance is essential to their unchallenged rule.

'Mother lode' of lures
When a boat anchor didn't dislodge a ball of lures rooted on the bed of Cowee Creek, David Athearn fashioned a makeshift grappling hook, looped it onto the bumper of his SUV and pulled the tangle - which had been deviling anglers all season - from the water.

Hudson tops Oct. Gun Club shoot
JUNEAU - Peter Hudson topped the American Trap Association and Pacific Trap Association shoot on Oct., 10 with two wins in two out of the three events.

Hunter information, basic training course offered
JUNEAU - A hunter education and basic training course will be offered Friday and Saturday, Nov. 6 to 7 at the Juneau Hunter Education Facility.

Deer numbers down as season hits upswing
Early November is prime time for Juneau deer hunters. Bucks are active and may respond to calling, the leaves are off the trees and visibility is good, and most deer have dropped out of the alpine down into the forests.

Rocktoberfest to rock a bit bigger this year
Juneau's local climbing gym is hosting the third annual Rocktoberfest fall climbing competition and the fourth annual Reel Rock Film Tour this Friday and Sunday, Oct 23 and 25.

This amazing autumn is one for the books
I feel like I have been getting away with something I shouldn't be.

My friend the runner ... my runner the friend
I have a friend who runs. Well, actually, I have a runner who "friends."

Cavity nesters know how to stay safe
Most of our local breeding birds build open-cup nests, more or less like deep saucers with no roof. Robins, mallards, hummingbirds, warblers, and sparrows are examples of open-cup nesters.

On the hook
Local angler Holly McKinney with a bright coho she landed from a nearby stream on Sept. 28.

Out & About
Today, Oct. 23

Ski club hosts food, information, silent auction Saturday
JUNEAU - The Juneau Ski Club is inviting the public to eat, talk and win prizes at the annual Open House Potluck Dinner and Silent Auction on from 4:30 to 7 p.m. Saturday at the Eaglecrest Day Lodge.

Feds drop charge of bear-baiting against photographer
ANCHORAGE - The bearbaiting charge filed against a Soldotna photographer has been dropped.

Police shoot burglary suspect in Eagle River
EAGLE RIVER - An Anchorage police officer shot a burglary suspect in Eagle River.

Fed decision triggers 30-day review of Shell plan
ANCHORAGE - A federal agency says Shell Oil's application to drill exploratory wells in the Chukchi Sea is complete.

Territorial Guard statue unveiled in Fairbanks
FAIRBANKS - A Territorial Guard statue unveiled in Fairbanks is one of eight that will be displayed around Alaska.

Palin backs 3rd- party candidate in NY House race
ALBANY, N.Y. - Less than a year removed from serving as the Republican vice presidential candidate, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has endorsed a third-party candidate for an upstate New York House seat.

Coast Guard to recognize ferry crew for vessel rescue
JUNEAU - The Coast Guard is recognizing the crew of the Alaska Marine Highway System ferry Taku in a ceremony today for their rescue of two men off the fishing vessel Alaskan Pride in Chatham Strait last week.

Motel room shootout wounds three men
FAIRBANKS - Police said a drug deal in a Fairbanks motel ended in a shootout in which three men were wounded.

Former Palin aide pens own book
ANCHORAGE - Sarah Palin isn't the only member of her former administration planning a book.

Senate Republicans confirm Coghill
ANCHORAGE - State Senate Republicans have given their approval to the appointment of John Coghill to the body.

Begich says he doesn't have city e-mails
ANCHORAGE - U.S. Sen. Mark Begich says he doesn't plan to hand over private e-mails to a lawyer for the municipality of Anchorage because he doesn't have any that relate to last year's budgetary process.

Building from the mat up
With the season already underway, the Thunder Mountain and Juneau-Douglas wrestling teams look to make more early season progress this weekend in Skagway.

6 Bears earn All-State honors
After a season that ended much too soon in the eyes of Juneau-Douglas football players and coaches, the Alaska State Football Coaches Association gave credit where it was due, naming a half dozen Bears players to Alaska's All-State football teams.

Sports in Juneau

Photos: Gators conquer Huskies in JYFL Juniors CHAMPIONSHIP
The Gators beat the Huskies 8 to 7 in the Juneau Youth Football League Juniors Championship game, held Oct. 17 at Adair Kennedy Memorial Park.

Sports in Juneau

State challenges polar bear listing
ANCHORAGE - The state of Alaska is trying to bolster its efforts to overturn the listing of the polar bear as threatened under the Endangered Species Act.

Prosecutors seek prison time for Allen
ANCHORAGE - Federal prosecutors say the former chief executive of a company that did construction work for oil companies should be sentenced to nearly four years in prison for offering bribes in exchange for legislation favorable to the petroleum industry.

Oceans ambassador calls for Arctic research
ANCHORAGE - The United States must move forward with science research to make good decisions about how to manage human activities in the Arctic Ocean, the ambassador for oceans and fisheries said Wednesday.

Obama designates 200,000 square miles in Alaska for polar bears
WASHINGTON - The Obama administration said Thursday it is designating more than 200,000 square miles in Alaska and off its coast as "critical habitat" for polar bears, an action that could add restrictions to future offshore drilling for oil and gas.

Commissioner: Rural police program improving
ANCHORAGE - Alaska's rural police program is improving, with more officer vacancies filled and a significant reduction in turnovers, the state's top police officer said Thursday.

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