Friday, November 16, 2007

Local libraries feature eclectic, quirky nonfiction
Here's a little more nonfiction for readers of the eclectic and quirky.

Walter Mosley closes the book on Easy Rawlins after a decade
When the world first met Easy Rawlins, he was 28. It was post-World War II Los Angeles - a city full of opportunity and without a long history - not a bad place to be for a smart, confident black man. Fired from his job, Easy was in need of fast cash to pay his mortgage.

Oprah Winfrey chooses Follett historical novel for her book club
Oprah Winfrey went for the big time Wednesday with her latest book club pick, choosing Ken Follett's 973-page "The Pillars of the Earth," an announcement that will likely mean hundreds of thousands more sales for an author with a huge, international following.

A career the military not recommended
I read the article in the Sunday paper, "Despite bonuses, recruiters struggle to find an Army," with suspicious interest.

Quit trying to catch up to '50s model
It is so easy to criticize the Alaska Marine Highway System. Over the past 25 years the politicians of Alaska have made sure of that. But let's give our new governor a chance to reform the state's systems, including the ferry system.

Bravo, student actors
I spent an unexpectedly delightful evening on Saturday watching an excellent cast of 40 or so Juneau-Douglas High School actors who brought the daily events of a Korean War field hospital back to life. The future of theater arts in Juneau is looking good.

Some handicapped spaces removed
If any of you handicapped people have noticed, Fred Meyer has done away with its "handicapped" parking spaces across from the main entrance, leaving them only at each end - miles away from restrooms, the pharmacy, the jewelry, etc.

Poor aren't only ones who can't afford sports
I could not help but notice that in the opening paragraph of Greg Skinner's "Money's not there" article, he used the word "equity." For those of you who do not know what that word means, it is defined as "the quality of being fair and impartial." Take note.

Road promises sound like they come from vacuum salesmen
Recent letters and comments in articles in the Empire have assumed a dismissive tone toward those who oppose the proposed road to another ferry terminal.

A road leading out of Juneau is inevitable
I'm sorry, but the road out of Juneau is inevitable. I remember when I was just a lad. North Douglas road was a one-lane dirt pothole. At night, you watched bears in the road by the garbage dump at Tee Harbor, and it was brutal driving to the Boy Scout campground. Loop Road glorified the word "road."

Around Town

Business Digest
Resource Data Inc. hires new employee; Director leaving development council

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

Photo: Embracing education
Gastineau Elementary School students, parents and faculty hold hands Wednesday around the school in Douglas. The activity was organized to "symbolically embrace our school," Principal Angie Lunda said.

Around Town

Correction
A story in Wednesday's Juneau Empire incorrectly quoted Senate President Lyda Green, R-Wasilla, on whether there was time to complete work on an oil tax bill during the special session.

Photo: Vigil for the needy
Jorden Nigro, left, director of residential services for Juneau Youth Services, speaks to about 60 people attending a vigil at Marine Park on Thursday to highlight youth homelessness in Juneau.

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

Gold Town Nickelodeon theater may shut down
The Gold Town Nickelodeon movie theater is facing the possibility of closure once again.

Parents concerned about themed academies
Two concerns dominated the public comment session on the Next Generation plan Wednesday night, as parents doubted their kid's ability and desire to make career choices in high school.

Photo: Accident halts traffic on Egan Drive
Firefighters look at a pickup truck that was involved in a two-vehicle accident Wednesday in the northbound lane of Egan Drive. One person was transported to Bartlett Regional Hospital with unspecified injuries.

Juneau group behind new TV series of short films
Thanks to the Juneau Underground Motion Picture Society, or JUMP, local filmmakers have had a venue to bring their films to a wider audience since 2002.

Vigil to highlight homeless youth problem in Juneau
It's difficult to focus on school when you're worried about where you're going to sleep at night, homeless advocates say.

Police secure airport while city looks for new contractor
Police officers have taken over as security guards at Juneau International Airport while the city looks for a new contractor.

Community task force to look for ways to fund sports
The evolving debate over funding a dual sports and activities program in two Juneau high schools has led the city and school district to develop a task force charged with finding ways to fund school sports and activities.

Workshop to address mine permits
A public workshop on large-mine permitting will be held from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. today in the Egan Room at Centennial Hall.

Paste storage plan floated for Kensington tailings issue
Closed-door meetings between Coeur Alaska and three conservation groups have resulted in a plan to ask the U.S. Forest Service to consider a different method and place for storing tailings from the Kensington gold mine.

Pets of the week
Delightful animals look for loving homes

Recognitions
Lars Bernard Waldo, of Juneau, has enrolled as a member of the call of 2011 at Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H.; Air Force Airman 1st Class Micheal J. Bickmore graduated from basic military training at Lackland Air Force Base, in San Antonio, Texas.

Hit us with your best shot
The Juneau Convention and Visitors Bureau recently announced the winners of its "Hit Us With Your Best Shot" 2007 photo conest.

Neighbors Digest
'Bye Bye Birdie' to show tonight and Saturday; Empowering workshops to be held Saturday; High school activities to hold auction, dinner; Broadcast of suicide survivor roundtable; Child advocate info meetings begin Monday; Sitka patient housing project breaks ground

Theme-based academies at new high school are limiting
The construction of the new high school offers the opportunity for educational reform designed to engage more students.

Neighbors mailbox
Thank you for helping, supporting my son after he was assaulted

Student artists in the spotlight: Shawna Else and Alexandra Crowder
Student Artist in the Spotlight is a weekly feature on the Neighbors page and is in collaboration with the Juneau School District Elementary Art Program.

FYI

Master Gardeners host 'Hardy Geraniums'
For the third presentation of the Southeast Alaska Master Gardeners' monthly Presidents Program Series Joan Kasson gave a lecture on Hardy Geraniums Tuesday evening at Floyd Dryden Middle School.

Zimmerman, Meyer wed
Sharla Anne Zimmerman and Terrance "Terry" Meyer were married Oct. 27, 2007, in a private service in front of Nugget Falls near the Mendenhall Glacier with the bride's sister, Kari Huffman, officiating.

Promote breastfeeding, help save the world
I was the lone passenger in the Super Shuttle van as it careened from the airport through heavy California traffic towards my hotel. The young driver asked me why I was in town.

Photo: Thanksgiving support-the-troops drive
Transportation Security Adminsitration representatives present Sgt. 1st Class Kevin Zulauf, center right, with a donation from their Thanksgiving support-the-troops drive Wednesday at the Juneau International Airport.

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Veronica Kay Dunnam
Juneau resident Veronica Kay Dunnam died on Oct. 25, 2007. She was 50.

My turn: Sealaska land grab clearly a bridge to nowhere
Tax-sensitive Americans recall the Bridge to Nowhere.

Alaska editorial: State revenue sharing must be maintained
Alaska municipal leaders made a strong and convincing case last week for the state to share the wealth from higher oil taxes with local governments.

My turn: Recruiters, veterans deserve respect
I was at the Oct. 17 Juneau School Board meeting at Juneau-Douglas High School. I was appalled when School Board member Margo Waring stated that being in the military is controversial. She did not say that the military's role in Iraq is controversial.

My turn: Requiem for a heavyweight
"I saw Carmen Basilio take one of Paddy De Marco's best punches, go out on his feet, start to sit down on the canvas, and then with his butt three inches from the ground, Basilio did a one-legged knee stand, pushed up, avoided a knockdown.

Empire editorial: Accord could lead to a mine solution
The Kensington Mine's owner and environmental groups acted this week in a way that may come as a surprise to many Juneau residents - they acted in agreement.

Alaska editorial: Big oil companies can't expect tax breaks when oil is worth $100 a barrel
Oil at nearly $100 a barrel makes it difficult for oil companies to buck a tax increase for the industry.

Outside editorial: Repression rubies
Thanks to Hollywood and a tireless campaign by human-rights activists, many people have heard of "blood diamonds."

SPORTS IN JUNEAU
Sports in Juneau is a service provided by the Juneau Empire to provide information on upcoming sports and outdoors events in Juneau.

SPORTS IN JUNEAU
Sports in Juneau is a service provided by the Juneau Empire to provide information on upcoming sports and outdoors events in Juneau.

Photo: Wrestle mania
Juneau-Douglas High School wrestler Jufer Librando, front, wrestles Palmer's L.J. Leppanen in the 112 pound division Thursday at JDHS gym. Librando won the match 8-4.

JDHS hockey falls to Kenai Central
When a defenseman pinches in to try and keep the puck in the opposing team's zone and trips, the goal that results is usually for the other team.

Bears wrestling gets its time to shine
For the Juneau-Douglas High School wrestling team, this weekend isn't about filling every weight class or plugging holes in the lineup.

Senate committee backs oil tax hike
The Senate Finance Committee reversed its course Wednesday night and decided to back Gov. Sarah Palin's tax hike on oil companies' net profits.

Oil pipeline rate may be worth hundreds of millions of dollars
While Gov. Sarah Palin's oil tax bill is still in play, the state may already be on the way to winning one crucial battle.

Alaska senior population to triple by 2030, experts say
State demographers say Alaska's population will likely surpass the 800,000 mark sometime between 2025 and 2030. The largest age group will be seniors, they added.

Alaska Digest
City offers free holiday parking for shopping; Wal-Mart responds to crab-label critics; Police ID man dragged to death by truck; More soldiers setto arrive home Friday; Four plead not guilty to Halloween robbery; Anchorage woman pleads to drug charge; Sitka man leads school board group

State to investigate king crab labeling
Gov. Sarah Palin's office said Wednesday it has asked the state's attorney general to investigate whether labeling on certain king crab products violates any laws.

Coastal village escapes ire of Chukchi Sea storm
A wind storm brewing on the Chukchi Sea on Thursday failed to become the destroyer feared by residents of a vulnerable village on Alaska's northwest coast.

FBI eyes golf tournaments in Young probe
The Justice Department is investigating whether an Alaska oil contractor used golf tournaments to funnel cash to Rep. Don Young, people close to the corruption investigation said.

This Day in History
In Alaska and in the Nation

Restoring public trust may be behind rush for a new oil tax
State lawmakers have until midnight Friday to put their stamp on oil tax reform or risk having Gov. Sarah Palin call a second consecutive special session.

Employment booming on the North Slope
Employment is booming in the North Slope oil fields, according to a state labor economist.

Alaska Digest
City creating maps to improve emergency response system; Afghan ambassador to the U.S. to speak Tuesday in Juneau; Palin announcesclosure of regional office in Wasilla; Fire causes about $150,000 in damage to Anchorage condo; Anchorage man pleads guilty infatal auto rampage

Photo: Focus on the governor
Cameraman Chris Balcom, right, films Gov. Sarah Palin's interview with CNBC feature correspondent Mike Hegedus on Wednesday in front of the Mendenhall Glacier.

Woman proceeds with hair appointment after crashing into salon
It was a hair-raising situation when a woman's car plowed into a hair salon.

Senate hands Palin oil tax victory
The Alaska Senate passed changes to Gov. Sarah Palin's oil tax bill that are likely to match the tax increases passed Sunday by the House of Representatives, leaving them close to completing work by today's midnight special session deadline.

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

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