Friday, December 5, 2008

A bigger, better 'Nutcracker'
Juneau Dance Unlimited has been packaging its biggest and best holiday gift to the community yet, with an expanded version of its annual "The Nutcracker" ballet.

Beauty of 'The Little Prince' allows immersion in another realm
Those who are familiar with Antoine de Saint Exupéry's novella "Le Petit Prince" will recall the outline of the story: A boy comes to Earth from his domain, a tiny star named B 612. He has become enamored of an exquisite rose on his planet who wounds and confuses him. So he decides to explore the galaxy to learn about love and responsibility, finally arriving on Earth. He lands in the Sahara desert and meets a pilot, who, though initially irritated with the Prince's ceaseless questions and requests, grows to appreciate the prince's priorities, allowing a shift in perspective that is quite contagious.

Sitka Fine Arts Camp 2009 registration opens Jan. 1
The Sitka Fine Arts Camp announced dates and registration information for its 34th annual camp, to be held in June and July.

Perseverance Theatre to present holiday double-header
Perseverance Theatre will present a holiday double-header with performances of two plays Dec. 11-14 and 18-21.

Tellebration celebrated in Juneau on Dec. 7
Tellebration, a worldwide celebration of story, will be held at 7 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 7, around a fire at the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center. The event is free and open to the public. Donations are appreciated.

This month's Gold Street Music slated for Dec. 6
Gold Street Music will present local folk music beginning at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 6, at Resurrection Lutheran Church,

What's Happening
THURSDAY, DEC. 4

An artist's revelation on parking garage
On Nov. 17, I received an e-mail notice from Juneau Arts & Humanities Council notifying of a Call for Artists interested in designing, producing and installing artwork on the Downtown Transportation Center. I contacted the city Engineering Department to get some idea of what these structural surfaces, both interior and exterior, might include. I was told that was up to each artist to decide and to prepare a written concept. Fair enough. So I downloaded a free virtual software program that enabled me to "walk around" and orbit city existing architectural drawings of the parking garage and transit center.

On punishment and consequence
I work with "at risk" youth and when I read the article "Juneau parents upset about student hazing," I decided to respond. The word punishment was used a few times in the article when referring to what I would call discipline or consequence.

Legislative child care center OK'd
As a legislator, Rep. Mary Nelson, D-Bethel, couldn't find child care for her infants. She brought in her 81-year-old grandmother from Colorado to Juneau to care for her children.

Social club out of Assembly's crosshairs
Eight days after formally directing Mayor Bruce Botelho to condemn a social club's participation in an Adopt-a-Highway program, the Juneau Assembly rescinded its order, taking the Men's Crisis Center out of its crosshairs.

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

Redfern submits Taku hoverbarge permits for mine
Tulsequah Chief mine operator Redfern Resources Ltd. finished building a key road this week. And a year after first applying, the company is making progress on Alaska permits to travel on Taku River ice.

Alleged 'source' of OxyContin in city scheduled for trial
David Coogan, 24, is scheduled to go to trial later this month on charges that he tried to smuggle a large amount of the prescription painkiller OxyContin into Juneau.

Business returns to normal after snow, power outage
Snow-laden trees falling on utility lines caused power outages throughout virtually all of Juneau on Thursday morning, though it looked like business as usual across town shortly after 10 a.m.

Police: 15-year-old girl kidnapped, assaulted
Juneau police said they are looking for a kidnapper who sexually assaulted a 15-year-old girl and then let her go two hours later.

With election certified, a recount likely awaits
The state Elections Division on Wednesday certified the Nov. 4 general election results, showing Rep. Mike Kelly, R-Fairbanks, as victor in the House District 7 race.

AK permanent fund quietly shifts strategy
Managers of the Alaska Permanent Fund are backing away from their long-term investment plans in the face of the ongoing Wall Street crisis.

Photo: Getting out of the gym and into snow
Pictured: Harborview Elementary School fourth-graders, from left, Myra Luna, Brooke Miller, Annaka Brayton and Megan Weston wipe out as they sled down a hill during gym class on Thursday at Evergreen Cemetery. No lights in the gym due to a citywide power outage plus lots of fresh snow made for a great sledding class.

First Alaskans Institute will hold discussion on statehood
First Alaskans Institute will host a discussion series on Alaska Native perspectives of statehood, "Looking Back, Moving Forward: Alaska Native Perspectives on 50 Years of Statehood," from 5:30 to 9 p.m. Tuesday in the Treadwell Room of the Baranof Hotel.

Photo: Dropping by Juneau
Anchorage Mayor and U.S. Senator-elect Mark Begich speaks to the Juneau Chamber of Commerce on Thursday during a luncheon at the Moose Lodge. Begich made various appearances around Juneau on Thursday.

Photo: Leaving no 'Doubt'
Todd Hunt, left, master electrician for Perseverance Theatre, and Alex Olsen, a technical intern, burn the set from the play "Doubt" which recently completed its run at the theatre. The next play, "Wittenberg," will begin in January.

Photo: Streaming
A University of Alaska Southeast student streams into the Egan Library Annex Wednesday as colorful holiday lighting depicts a salmon swimming upstream.

Around Town
Today

Police & Fire
The Juneau police blotter was not available by the Empire's Thursday deadline. Juneau fire officials and state troopers did not report any incidents in the Juneau area.

Photo: Eagle eye
An adult bald eagle keeps watch in a cottonwood tree as another takes off Wednesday along the airport dike trail.

Around Town
Today

'Wanted' is for your eyes, not your mind
'Wanted: 2-Disc Special Edition'

'Transporter' delivers solid action
T here is something to be said, I think, for a movie that understands what it is. It is this quality that makes most Adam Sandler flicks tolerable. It is also perhaps the most important quality for the action genre; the last thing anybody wants to see is Sylvester Stallone mowing down bad guys in one frame and then attempting to show emotion in the next (yes, I mean you, "Rambo").

'Australia': Epic only in length
An epic drama that carries on so long you start to feel as if you've been deported to Sydney, Baz Luhrmann's "Australia" falls into a curious trap: It's a labor of love that's sorely lacking in heart.

A few holiday song suggestions for the irreverent
H ere comes Christmas! O joy! Hallelujah! Peace on Earth, and goodwill toward people who think, act and look like you think they should!

Sound Bites
Akon, 'Freedom' ★★★

Juneau Bach Society isn't Bach exclusive
If one were to Google "Bach society," they'd come up with thousands of sites about various musical organizations around the world. These groups vary in function, but each is centered around the celebration of music by this pretty cool dude who lived back during the Baroque era.

'Starry Night Swing' held at culture center Dec. 5
Capital City Celebrations and the Juneau Arts & Humanities Council will co-sponsor the "Starry Night Swing" musical event as part of the Alaska 50th Statehood festivities following Gallery Walk on Friday, Dec. 5.

Juneau Jazz & Classics to host Barney McClure
Barney McClure, world-class jazz pianist, teacher and accompanist, will return to Juneau to offer a five-day cabaret workshop hosted by Juneau Jazz & Classic from Jan. 25 to 29 at the Juneau Arts & Culture Center.

Bringing the outdoors in
This evening, during the annual Gallery Walk, REACH artists at The Canvas community art studio will unveil an outdoors-inspired art exhibit titled "Art in the Wilderness." The product of a five-month focus on nature-inspired art at The Canvas, the exhibit will include a three-dimensional tribute to the Tongass National Forest, among many other works.

Juneau International Folkdancers to host Winter Wonders Ball Dec. 13
Juneau International Folkdancers is sponsoring its annual winter formal, the Winter Wonders Ball, with the Thunder Mountain Big Band at 7 p.m. on Dec. 13 at Centennial Hall.

Poetry Omnibus calls for fresh, surprising poems from locals
JUNEAU - Poetry OmniBus, together with the Juneau Arts & Humanities Council and Capital Transit, are looking for this year's fresh and surprising poems from Juneau locals. Poetry writers can submit in either the youth (fifth-grade through high school) or adult categories. The submission period closes Jan. 5.

Thanks for contributing to our tree lighting
Thank you to Chatham Electric for stringing the lights with their boom truck on to the tree at 1106 Third St. Thanks to the Alaska Department of Transportation and the Juneau Police Department for the street closure permit of part of Third Street during our event. Thank you to the city Public Works street division for the barricades and cones. We appreciated the Douglas Fire Fighters for putting up the piper's tent and directing traffic. A thank you to the Douglas Fourth of July Committee members, the Douglas United Methodist Church, Treadwell Arena staff, Parks and Recreation and friends who worked to create a great community event.

Urgent Care to host International Holiday Family Party Dec. 13
JUNEAU - Juneau Urgent & Family Care is hosting an International Holiday Family Party from 6 to 9 p.m. Dec. 13, on the second floor of Juneau Urgent & Family Care, 8505 Old Dairy Road.

Widowed Persons Program to hold monthly brunch
JUNEAU - The Widowed Persons Program will hold its monthly brunch at noon Sunday, Nov. 7, in the Nugget Room of the Baranof Hotel.

Alaska Giving Coalition announces 'Pick. Click. Give.' campaign
ALASKA - The Alaska Giving Coalition starts a statewide campaign today to introduce Alaskans to a new way to support their favorite nonprofit organizations. The project, "Pick. Click. Give.," allows Alaskans who file online for their 2009 Alaska Permanent Fund dividend check to give all or part of it to qualifying nonprofits or to campuses of the University of Alaska.

Juneau World Affairs Council to sponsor speaker on terrorism
JUNEAU - The Juneau World Affairs Council will sponsor a presentation, "Root Causes of Terrorism," by Dr. Karin von Hippel at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 10, at KTOO Studio, on Whittier and Egan, downtown.

Thanks, Bullwinkle's, for hosting our party
A big thank you to the staff and management of Bullwinkle's Pizza for hosting a party for the Juneau-Douglas High School cast and crew of the play "Auntie Mame" and allowing us to show backstage footage on their big screen. Providing a friendly venue (that welcomes such a loud group) is a significant display of community support for our teens. We all appreciate it! You are really Top Drawer.

Thanks for contributing to our pet photos
Capital Kennel Club of Juneau would like to thank Mendenhall Mall for donating the space for our recent fundraiser, "Pet Photos with Santa 2008." We had a good turn out and as always, a lot of fun. It would not have been possible without their willingness to allow dogs in the mall.

Thanks for donating toward Turkey Bowling
The Treadwell Ice Arena would like to thank Wal-Mart and Alaskan & Proud for their generous donation of turkeys to our annual Turkey Bowling Open Skate last week. Their contributions were very much appreciated. After a tightly contested competition, the top youth Turkey Bowler was Calli Conerton. Stuart Gerger won in the adult division. Each took home a nice-sized turkey for Thanksgiving.

Mac is back
In 1965, the senior class' gift to the high school was a large brown bear to be used as a mascot. The bear was given the name Mac, after George MacMillian, the principal of Juneau-Douglas High School from 1954 to 1965. The bear stayed within the school walls for one full year.

Finding the purr-fect cat name
The first cat I named was Puff, like Dick and Jane's pet in my first-grade reader. The most recent cat I helped name is called Schafter, a name plucked from his owners' family tree. Original? Not at all in either case. My choices paralleled the trends of the day.

Steve Turner receives award for service to Juneau Youth Sailing
Steve Turner recently received an Outstanding Service Award for his 12 years of volunteer service to Juneau Youth Sailing. Turner and three others volunteered in 1997 to create a low-cost, nonprofit sailing program for Juneau kids. Through hundreds of hours of fundraising and teaching, this group organized a summer program of lessons on the water.

Huntsman, Mikesell to wed
Alyssa Marie Mikesell and Kyle Don Huntsman, both of Juneau, will marry on Dec. 30, 2008, at the Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Manti, Utah. An open house for family and friends will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 12, at the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center.

Pets of the week
Bunnies, 6-year-old cat seek homes

Consortium hires new tribal recruitment coordinator
SITKA - The SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium has hired Romee McAdams as its tribal recruitment coordinator. She will work to increase the number of Alaska Native and American Indian employees at SEARHC.

FYI
Births

Senior menu for the week of Dec. 8-12
Monday, Dec. 8

Toni Marie Navarro
Lifelong Juneau resident Toni Marie Navarro died Nov. 26, 2008, at Mountain View Apartments in Juneau. She was 52.

Margaret McClintock
Former Juneau resident Margaret A. "Babe" McClintock died Nov. 20, 2008, in Prescott, Ariz. She was 101.

Geneva B. Trafton
Former Juneau resident Geneva B. Trafton died Dec. 1, 2008, at Mat-Su Regional Medical Center in Palmer. She was 87.

Eaglecrest improvements this season benefit many
On Thanksgiving, before heading off to feast, I headed up to Eaglecrest Ski Area to see how things were looking.

My turn: There are limits to predator control
The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner editorial "A Public Purpose?" (Nov. 17) argued that killing young wolf pups at dens was not reprehensible if it resulted in more caribou and moose for hunters. Such killing of pups at dens might ultimately serve a broader public purpose and critics should broaden their view.

Outside editorial: Praise governor for taking hard line with oil companies
The following editorial first appeared in the Anchorage Daily News:

Alaska editorial: The Legislature should keep Alaskans informed of pipeline progress
Remember the Alaska Gasline Inducement Act?

George W. Bush could be seen as a modern Herbert Hoover
As he prepares to move back to Texas, our 43rd president is the beneficiary of Bush fatigue. The nation has long since repudiated him. Americans are looking ahead to the promise of Barack Obama.

There's no making war on terror
The Mumbai metropolitan area is home to an estimated 19 million people, but it took just 10 men to shut the city down.

Comments sought on Southeast herring
JUNEAU - Federal fishery managers are asking for information on Southeast herring.

Greens Creek owner settles on Idaho EPA violations
JUNEAU - Hecla Mining Co., which owns the Greens Creek mine on Admiralty Island, agreed Thursday to pay thousands of dollars for Clean Water Act violations at its mine in Idaho.

Groups challenge state's wastewater permit authority
JUNEAU - Native villages in Bristol Bay and conservation groups on Thursday challenged the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's decision to delegate Clean Water Act permitting and enforcement to Alaska.

Homeless man rescued in tent fire
JUNEAU - A homeless man trying to stave off winter temperatures was hurt in a fire to his makeshift tent.

Palin files late disclosure for trips
ANCHORAGE - Gov. Sarah Palin has added to her financial disclosure forms two free trips that she took nearly two years ago but failed to report.

North Pole man rescued from house fire suffers frostbite
FAIRBANKS - Two people were rescued from a second floor balcony after a North Pole home caught fire in temperatures approaching 30 degrees below zero.

Nenana residents get NOAA weather radio transmitter
ANCHORAGE - The residents of Nenana will be able to get 24-hour a day weather reports from Fairbanks thanks to a new weather radio transmitter.

Conservation group sues to protect walrus
ANCHORAGE - A conservation group went to court Wednesday to force the federal government to consider adding Pacific walrus to the list of threatened species.

Kodiak museum to get makeover with federal grant
KODIAK - The oldest building in the state of Alaska is getting a makeover, thanks in part to a federal grant.

State: Rural schools lose hundreds
State researchers hoping to determine how many people have left rural Alaska for bigger communities report that rural schools lost 1,802 students in the last five years.

North Pole refinery status in question
FAIRBANKS - The company owning a North Pole refinery is reviewing its options for the facility's operations as market conditions worsen.

Sports in Juneau
UPCOMING EVENTS

JDHS ready for regional foes
The Juneau-Douglas High School wrestling team is headed to Wrangell this weekend for the Southeast Conference 4A Regional Tournament. They will square off against Ketchikan for the right to continue on to state in the various weight classes.

Bears hockey hosts Lathrop
If ever the Crimson Bears needed a rowdy Treadwell Arena crowd to lighten their skates, this weekend is it.

An artful Season
Juneau's annual Gallery Walk, a highly anticipated event held the first Friday of December, will feature a wide variety of local and regional art to admire and procure this holiday season. From paintings to prints to photography, dozens of original art pieces will be on display throughout downtown and beyond. Below is a roundup of exhibit openings.

Alaska higher education falls short
Alaska's higher education system has not made the grade, according to a recent national study.

Palin unveils health goals
ANCHORAGE - Gov. Sarah Palin has unveiled plans she says are aimed at improving the health and well-being of Alaskans.

Fatality rate of Kenai Peninsula grizzlies soars
ANCHORAGE - For the second time in three years, the fatality rate for Kenai Peninsula grizzlies has exceeded 20 bears with this year's total expected to be nearly double.

BP budgets $1.2 billion for '09
BP is budgeting $1.2 billion in capital expenditures for Alaska in 2009, a 33 percent increase from current year spending, according to the outgoing president of the local subsidiary.

EPA levies $3.1M in fines in 2008 in Northwest
BOISE, Idaho - Companies, state agencies and cities in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington paid $3.1 million in penalties and agreed to spend nearly $58 million to clean up or control pollution during fiscal year 2008, according to the region's top federal environmental enforcer.

Lawmakers quiz state officials about oil leases
State lawmakers want to understand why two energy companies ready to drill for natural gas have not received lease-related considerations from the state.

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

Senator balks at talk about Palin as rival
ANCHORAGE - Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has indicated she's open to a presidential run in 2012, but her spokesman said Wednesday she has never stated she would first seek the Senate seat held by fellow Republican Lisa Murkowski.

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