IRS offers toll-free numbers for help
The Internal Revenue Service is offering toll-free telephone numbers for a variety of small-business help and for taxpayers waiting for refunds.

Business profile: Brian Holder
Title and company: Owner, Mobile Oil Service

Learning without the risk
Håkon Såtvedt, a pilot for Coastal Helicopters, ran into some trouble during a flight Tuesday afternoon. He was struggling with engine failure, low fuel, and extremely rough conditions, and couldn't hold the machine steady enough to land. "Oooh ... oh, he's done for," said John Garrard, a Coastal pilot who was monitoring Såtvedt's flight. When Såtvedt crashed nose-first into the ground, though, he walked away unscathed, leaving no broken machinery or burning ruins.

Jensen's, Lyle's now one store
The Jensen family, which until mid-November operated two of Juneau's largest furniture stores, is now the owner of one home-furnishing superstore in the Mendenhall Valley. The former Jensen's Home Furnishings, which had been in the Nugget Mall, and Lyle's Home Furnishings opened as one store called Jensen's and Lyle's Home Furnishings on Nov. 24. The store is in the Lyle's site on Jordan Avenue.

On the Move
Aspen Hotels names Wright as Juneau GM; Habeger joins Royal Caribbean Cruises; Abel elected president of WBMA

At a safe distance
The headline for a front-page story in Sunday's Empire was: "Conservatives dispute Bush's rosy take on Muslim religion." The story was a report on the unhappiness of many conservatives, including some in the Bush White House, over the president's characterization of Islam as "based on peace, love and compassion."

Through the fog
A few weeks back, I saw several hook-and-ladders at the airport, shooting hundreds of gallons of water into the air. At the time, I had no idea whether it was an actual fire or a Homeland Security drill or what, but I have since received classified information that is my duty to share with you.

Both sides love Alaska
On Tuesday, KTOO TV presented a Sierra Club-funded film on Wilderness Society founder and John Denver fan Mardy Murie. Afterward, all I could think was: what an incredible display of unbelievable, in-your-face arrogance.

Respect bicycles
I also lived in a Midwestern town and rode my bike regularly across the Mississippi River bridges. I was constantly amazed at the obvious irritation of drivers that thought I belonged on the sidewalk!

Drugs aren't the answer
In response to the rebellious attitudes of many who are determined to preach their wicked, selfish ways to so many innocent souls out there, I am compelled to confront this justification that has arisen lately in our community. Are we so gullible and naive to accept this preaching that drugs are so good for the better of society?

Steering our ship
Hindsight is always 20-20. As a property owner who the Juneau Assembly has asked to fund harbor and utility projects because the $15 million general obligation bond package was approved by the voters in October, I have some observations that my recently earned 20-20 hindsight is prompting me to share.

Police and Fire
Juneau police, fire officials and state troopers reported:

Fog foils fliers again
Louise Earnest sat on the floor next to three empty children's car seats this morning near the Alaska Airlines desk at Juneau Airport. Looking like she had been at the airport for hours, which she had, she talked about her family's planned trip to Washington and Oregon. The vacation was supposed to start Tuesday evening but has been delayed by fog. More than 80 percent of Alaska Airlines' flights into and out of Juneau since Monday have been canceled, said Jack Walsh, spokesman for the airline.

Winter games would close some local schools temporarily
The Juneau School Board decided Tuesday night to send a letter to the city supporting Juneau's bid for the Arctic Winter Games, despite questions about how the district would handle required school closures. "Conceptually, it is a good idea," said School Board member Alan Schorr. "Practically, I am wondering what the implications will be for thousands of students."

This Day in History
In 1905, Roald Amundsen, en route through the Northwest Passage, reached Eagle from Herschel Island. He left his ship, the Gjoa, in frozen ice and sledded to Eagle to telegraph his crossing.

Police and Fire
Juneau police, fire officials and state troopers reported:

Photo: Perched in the fog
A mature bald eagle perches on a limb in front of the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center on Wednesday. Michael Penn / Juneau Empire

Around Town
Around Town is a listing of local nonprofit events.

Around Town
Around Town is a listing of local nonprofit events.

Released inmate accused of attempted sexual assault
A man with more than 40 criminal convictions in Alaska since 1987 pleaded innocent in Juneau Superior Court on Tuesday to beating and attempting to sexually assault a woman who had given him a place to stay. Larry Rieger, 45, faces felony charges of first-degree attempted sexual assault and third-degree assault. A grand jury had indicted him for sexual assault, but prosecutors amended the charge to attempted sexual assault.

Photo: Finally - a frost
Frost coats cow parsnip in the Mendenhall Wetland State Game Refuge on Tuesday near Sunny Point. Winter weather is arriving later than usual this year, but frost finally appeared in most parts of Juneau in the last several days.

This Day in History
In 1912, the 100-stamp mill at the Perseverance Mine in the Silver Bow Basin was destroyed by fire.

'Test first, fish next': New geoduck rules may help divers
Southeast Alaska's commercial divers should find more opportunities to put lucrative, live geoduck clams on the market this winter under a new health-testing plan. An agreement this fall between the state Department of Environmental Conservation and the Southeast Regional Dive Fisheries Association is changing the way the state tests the giant clams for paralytic shellfish poisoning.

Due to a reporting error, Tuesday's Empire article on a partial state hiring freeze inaccurately stated that an ordered two-month freeze on personal service contracts could extend to professional service contracts.

Pets of the week
Reggie was just a skinny little stray cat, but look at him now. He is a gentleman with a fluffy, pumpkin-colored coat and an elegant plume of a tail. Mister is a beautiful, tri-colored Australian cattle dog. Alert and very bright, he responds quickly to commands.

Christmas Bazaar, bake sale set for Dec. 7
Holy Trinity Episcopal Church craft-makers started getting ready for the church's annual Christmas Bazaar in September. "We began getting together in the fall doing projects, group and individual projects, with the Christmas Bazaar in mind every Saturday morning," said Terry Hoskinson, one of the event's organizers. "We've made fabric items, knitted items, beading projects, soap, bath salts, candy wreaths and other items."

Photo: Student of the month
Veronica Johnson, a senior at Juneau-Douglas High School, has been selected for recognition as Glacier Valley Rotary Club's Student of the Month for November 2002.

Neighbors Briefs
Ann Chandonnet to write for 'Encyclopedia of American Food'; St. Vincent de Paul offering assistance to local families; JDHS swim team selling Christmas trees; Sharing Tree on display

Gastineau Channel Little League announces its officers for 2003
The Gastineau Channel Little League board of directors met recently to organize for the coming 2003 season. J. Allan MacKinnon was re-elected president. He has been on the board for nine of the past 10 years, serving as president for six of those years. He is a longtime volunteer and held various positions in the organization while his boys played baseball.

Thank you
...for your efforts; ...for your cooperation; ...for your hard work.

Henry Allen Collais
Juneau resident Henry Allen Collais died Nov. 29, 2002, at Bartlett Regional Hospital in Juneau.

Alaska editorial: A little foggy in Juneau
Those people who supported a proposal to move legislative meetings to the Mat-Su, only to see the plan defeated in last month's election, probably are enjoying something of a last laugh.

Juneau wrestlers ready to renew some old rivalries
It's been nearly three years since Juneau-Douglas High School wrestlers last faced opponents from the Class 4A Anchorage schools. The Crimson Bears will renew those rivalries starting today, as the team begins a long weekend of competition with a four-team meet at Dimond High School, which will also include Skyview and Service.

Casey's body found on Connecticut beach
JUNEAU - The body of Thomas Casey - a Juneau summer resident and avid runner who failed to return from a kayak trip on Long Island Sound last month - was found Monday along the Connecticut shore.

Cavs finally win
CLEVELAND - It was "Rookie Night" for the Cavs last night at Gund Arena and the youngsters came through like veterans. First-year players Dajuan Wagner and Carlos Boozer had a big hand in the Cavs' 111-101 win against the Chicago Bulls. The victory snapped a 15-game losing streak for the Cavs (3-17). The Cavs set single-season highs in points and points in a half. They led 60-45 at halftime.

Sports in Juneau
Information on upcoming sports and outdoors events in Juneau.

New liver, lots of heart
The pager, her electronic lifeline, was tucked safely inside her gym bag inside the locker room at Anchorage's Sullivan Arena. As she waited for the telephone call that could save her life, Brittney Kroon was playing the most important basketball game of her life. The pager was supposed to be with her at all times, but what was she supposed to do? Clip it to her basketball shorts? Kroon had a championship game to play, and surely for those two hours the call wouldn't come. A liver wouldn't suddenly become available. What were the odds?

Sports in Juneau
Information on upcoming sports and outdoors events in Juneau.

State to cut salmon catch from Canadian Yukon R.
WASHINGTON - Alaska will harvest fewer salmon from the Canadian portion of the Yukon River, under a new management plan signed Wednesday by the United States and Canada.

Newspaper remains in running to buy Fairbanks TV station
FAIRBANKS - If federal regulators decide to allow companies to own television stations and newspapers in the same town, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner could end up with a local television outlet.

Permanent fund board blasts Deutsche Bank
ANCHORAGE - The Alaska Permanent Fund Corp. has blasted a major New York financial services company for concealing what the fund's board says was a serious conflict of interest.

Nikiski teen saves sister, 4, from drowning
KENAI - When a friend told Jean Mapes that the family's dog had fallen into Thetis Lake about 50 yards from her home, she sent her son to pull the animal out of the shallow water. But as Mapes watched from a window, 13-year-old Christopher ignored the dog and instead lifted a pink bundle from the water - his 4-year-old sister Olivia, dressed in her pink raincoat.

State Briefs
Woman arrested after 4-car smash; Mystrom to run for mayor again; Bush declares Alaska disaster; JEDC offers workshops; Vandals damage fairgrounds; Anchorage man charged with robbing credit union; Labor agency rejects unfair-practices charge

Scientists say fishing is not the main cause of sea lion decline
ANCHORAGE - Scientists asked by Congress to find out why the Steller sea lion population has plummeted in Alaska have concluded commercial fishing probably is not the main culprit. The conclusion presented Wednesday to the North Pacific Fishery Management Council differs from that reached in November 2000 by the National Marine Fisheries Service, which said Alaska's $1 billion groundfish fishery was a threat to the survival of Steller sea lions competing for food.

Research center on building in cold climates wins funding
ANCHORAGE - The federal government will provide $175,000 for design of a center that will do research on home construction in cold climates. The $2 million center is being developed by a nonprofit corporation formed by the Alaska State Home Builders Association. It will be at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. The center is expected to be completed by spring 2004.

Permanent fund market losses reach their peak
The permanent fund posted a 7.3 percent quarterly loss in September, the largest three-month decline in its 26-year history, said a report by the Alaska Permanent Fund Corp. Sharp drops in domestic and international stocks - which account for less than half the $23.1 billion fund - were partly offset by gains in the bond market, the quarterly report showed.

Governor picks acting heads
Gov. Frank Murkowski has appointed 10 temporary commissioners to fill positions vacated by those appointed by former Gov. Tony Knowles. Commissioners under the Knowles administration ended their terms of employment on Monday, when Murkowski was sworn in as governor. Because of heightened concerns for homeland security, Commissioner of Public Safety Del Smith and Commissioner of Military and Veteran Affairs Adj. Gen. Phillip Oates will continue to serve until replacements are found, the Murkowski transition team said.

Senate GOP announces committee leaders
The state Senate majority announced committee leadership assignments Wednesday, picking Mat-Su Sen. Lyda Green and Fairbanks Sen. Gary Wilken to co-chair the powerful Senate Finance Committee. Wilken will oversee the capital budget and the flow of legislation through the committee, and Green will coordinate the state's operating budget.

Forests decimated by beetles slated for harvest
KENAI - Hundreds of acres of forest killed by the spruce bark beetle near Ninilchik and Homer will be up for bid in mid-March. The timber sales are part of a continuing effort by the state Division of Forestry to remove hazardous trees from populated areas.

SE committee picks next intertie links
Power lines connecting Juneau to Hoonah and Petersburg to Kake are next on the list of priorities for regional leaders trying to offer cheaper electricity. The Southeast Conference's intertie committee last month scheduled the connections for more study. The organization represents business and municipal interests; its committee is charged with creating a regional electric intertie.

State Briefs
Church burgled, damaged, little taken; How to get a North Pole postmark; State to recount ballots in House race; Charge reduced in flight disruption; Fairbanks school board member unhappy with recruiting policy; Judge refuses to reduce bail

Juneau artists, groups win grants
JUNEAU - Nine Juneau arts groups and four individual artists have been awarded $10,000 in grants by the Juneau Arts and Humanities Council.

Is Fred Astaire REALLY Eminem's father?
Yo! Eminem, The Movie, is in town. You can tell by the clots of steaming 14-year-olds leaving the theater seconds after they went in, looking, they had hoped, mature enough to reach up with their $8.75 and score a ticket. The movie is titled "8 Mile," actually, and, though rated "R" (hence the ejection and outraged humiliation of the adolescents), it's about family values - as seen through the eyes of a (mentally) 14-year-old boy whose primary form of expression is the extended whine.

Holiday cards with ornaments
JUNEAU - Instructor Noelle Dersé will teach a class in making holiday ornament cards from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7, at the Juneau-Douglas City Museum. The cards will include a two-dimensional ornament that decorates the card and also becomes a holiday gift.

Bayou diva
Marcia Ball rolls blues, Cajun and rock and roll into one rollicking style. Linda Windeborn of Juneau saw Ball at the New Orleans music festival Jazzfest a few years ago, and she's been singing her praises ever since. "She's electric," she said. "She's not just tapping her foot as she's playing piano - she's bouncing her whole leg. It amazed me how rubberlike her legs were. She's the center of the music. She is the music."

Art in abundance
Art featured in Gallery Walk this weekend ranges from classic paintings by Alaska master Sydney Laurence to new works by contemporary artists. More than two dozen Juneau galleries and stores will host receptions Friday evening and display artwork. Most open at 4 and all are open by 4:30 p.m. Friday, and will be open throughout the weekend as well.

Best Bets: Classic play to clowns, Marcia Ball to 'Amahl'
Gallery Walk offers the opportunity to take in a wealth of artwork this weekend. There's also some fine dynamic live entertainment to complement the fine art. After hitting the galleries Friday night, head to Centennial Hall for some dancing and great upbeat music with Marcia Ball and her band.

Movies where and when
"Santa Clause 2" (G) ends Thursday, Dec. 5, last show at 7:20 at Glacier Cinemas.

What's Happening

Amahl's night of adventure
A funny thing happened on the way to Bethlehem. The three wise men encounter mischief, music and a miracle when they stop at the home of a young shepherd and his mother. "Amahl and the Night Visitors," Gian Carlo Menotti's one-act opera-in-miniature tells the story of the young shepherd, Amahl, and his encounter with the Magi one night as they follow their star to the famous stable. Juneau Lyric Opera presents six performances of "Amahl and the Night Visitors" during the coming two weeks. The 50-minute musical production opens Friday, Dec. 6, at McPhetres Hall. The story is told entirely through music and song, and the opera, in English, has no spoken lines.

Air Force Band holiday concert
Top Cover, a traveling group of musicians from the Air Force Band of the Pacific, will perform a free "Home for the Holidays" concert at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 11, at Centennial Hall.

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