Illegal entry to the US shouldn't be rewarded by the DREAM Act
After reading all of the information about the DREAM Act the U.S. Senate wants to push through and how much money would be paid by each taxpayer for each illegal immigrant, I have one question to ask.

Tax cuts at the top must be done away with
Many of the debates our Congress holds seem out of touch with the priorities of American people. The debate over the extension of Bush-era tax cuts takes the absurdity of our Congress to a new level. It is difficult to imagine a more straightforward issue. Our country is deep in debt; politicians are scrambling to cut spending wherever they can get away with it. Ending the tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans would save $700 billion over the next 10 years. Shouldn't this be in the interest of any lawmaker who is serious about decreasing our deficit?

Juneau's newest Americans welcomed in naturalization ceremony
"Mommy and daddy are going to be Americans today," 4-year-old Johan Smuts said as his geologist father Lourens and registered nurse mother Emmarentia Smuts joined 18 of Juneau's newest Americans in a naturalization ceremony in Juneau Federal Court on Friday.

Window wonderment amazes young, old alike
If, like the popular holiday song says, "It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas, everywhere you go," then you must be going to the corner of Seward and Third Streets. Even Santa Claus stopped to peer inside on Gallery Walk Friday night to catch a glimpse of the newest creation by REACH facilities director Dan Elstad.

Photo: Santa, what does an 11 month old want?
Charlie Begenyi, 11 months old, visits with Santa Claus on Friday for the first time during Gallery Walk. According to his mother, Charlie asked Santa for "Things to put in his mouth."

Photo: Making a safe landing
An Alaska Airlines Boeing 737-400 aircraft featuring the "Spirit of Alaska Statehood" design won in a Paint The Plane state-wide contest by Sitka High School's Hannah Hamberg was unveiled in 2009 taxis into the Juneau airport. The design celebrated Alaska's 50 years of statehood and featured a musher and sled dog, state ferry, Native Alaskan canoe, bear and whale, and the statement, "We're all pulling together."

Photo: Playing the favorites
Members of the Floyd Dryden String Band entertain holiday revelers during Friday evening's Gallery Walk to kick off the Christmas season.

Police & Fire
This report contains information provided to the Empire from law enforcement agencies. This report includes arrest and citation information, not conviction information. Anyone listed in this report is presumed innocent.

Police & Fire

Save money, save the planet, express yourself
Editor's note: This is the second in a two-part series on local textile recycling. Part one appeared in the Empire on Nov. 14.

Photo: Holiday cheer on ice
Participants of the Santa Skate pose Nov. 26 at the Treadwell Ice Arena.

Recent births at the Juneau Family Health and Birth Center:

Crazy for Krazy Glue
In Alaska, it seems you find novel uses for all sorts of things. I regularly find myself shoveling my steps with a pick-axe, changing tires with a Mag-Torch (nothing loosens stubborn lug nuts faster) and manicuring my yard with a chain saw.

Hospice fundraiser aims to light up lives
Light Up A Life is Hospice and Home Care of Juneau's main fundraiser, held at the Nugget Mall from Thanksgiving through Christmas each year. There are two trees set up on which to hang stars and candles with the names of those who have died and those who are living who light up our lives. Many people contribute year after year and hang stars in honor of loved ones who have died.

The Canvas invites public to refashioning workshop
For those interested in learning about refashioning, The Canvas Community Art Studio and Gallery will hold its first repurposed clothing workshop from 2 to 5 p.m. on Dec. 13. The event is free and open to the public, said MK MacNaughton, the workshop's organizer.

The season of Advent is drawing near
Christians who observe the liturgical year are now a week into the four-week season of Advent. Advent (from the Latin "adventus," which means "to come") is a time of preparation for the coming of Jesus. Traditionally, Advent, like the season of Lent, lasted 40 days and had a markedly penitential and ascetical character. Advent was a season of prayer, fasting, self-denial and almsgiving in preparation for the celebration of Christmas and the coming of Christ into our world.

USS Tarawa veterans requested for reuinion
The USS Tarawa Veterans Association is searching for mates and announcing the 22nd annual reunion, to be held April 28 through May 1 in Maltimore, Md. Those interested in attending may contact Cliff Gardner at (401) 539-1149 or, or Walter Tothero at (765) 362-6937 or

Film festival ends today
The final screening of the Canvas Film Festival is at 3 p.m. today at The Canvas Community Art Studio and Gallery. The festival features original short films written, directed and produced by REACH artists. For more information, call 586-1750 or visit

Big success for Bigs and Littles
On Nov. 9, about 200 Juneauites met to celebrate Big Brothers Big Sisters at Centennial Hall. There were Big Bothers, Big Sisters, Little Brothers and Little Sisters. The following table hosts invited their friends and co-workers: Donald Hoye, Gary Droubay, Nicole Hallingstad, Scott Fischer, Sherry Patterson, Liz Perry, Holly Johnson, Katherine Harris, Katy Jordan, Caitlyn McLaughlin, Steve Sue Wing, Claudette Curtis, Denny Dewitt and Reggie Bass.

Thanks for well wishes
Many thanks for all the telephone calls, cards, flowers and e-mail messages. I am convinced your prayers and good wishes have been instrumental in my continuing recovery.

Appreciation for cheerful Floyd Dryden crossing guard
I do not know your name, but I want to extend a huge thank you to you, the cheerful crossing guard lady I see out on Mendenhall Loop Road by Floyd Dryden Middle School every school day morning. You diligently keep our kids safe on these cold, dark winter mornings (you may be there in the afternoon, too - I don't know), and spread friendliness with your warm smile or wave to us passing drivers (and parents). To you and to all school crossing guards throughout the City and Borough of Juneau - we applaud you and thank you, thank you, thank you.

Romeo memorial offers closure, promotes respect for all creatures
The First People of North America often regard wolves as guides and teachers. Believe me, after this loss, I am open for instruction. Juneau was given a new trail into the circle of life, and I am trying to find my way through difficult terrain. The margins of life grew a Romeo. He kept vigil near us humans. Juneau answered his invitation. Many 4-leggeds and 2-leggeds vigiled him back. A tribute to the power of Romeo's cross-species flirting was the pattern of leftover dancing paw prints after a play session with several dogs. Each winter day created a series of these roundabouts. The arrival of boot prints in the snow showed us humans catching a second finding of playful wonder as huge prints pranced with pet prints.

Douglas community does it right
Thank you to Chatham Electric for their boom truck to replace strings of lights the tree at 1106 Third Street. Thanks to Alaska Department of Transportation and the Juneau Police Department for closing part of the street for the event. Thank you to the Douglas firefighters for tent assembly, placement, directing traffic and handling the barricades. Thank you to the Douglas Community United Methodist Church for the tree, hospitably and refreshments. Thank you to Keith Giles and the Rozwick Giles Music staff for the sound system. Thank you to all 4th of July Committee members, Treadwell Ice Arena staff and the City and Borough of Juneau Parks & Recreation who help create a happy start of this holiday season.

Good to see 'King Island Christmas'
A big thank you to all those involved in the sharing of "King Island Christmas" with our community again this year. Thanks to Jean Rogers and Rie Muñoz, who gave us the story; to those who worked long and hard on the production; to the great musicians - vocal and instrumental - who shared their wonderful talent and time; to the parents who drove youngsters to practices; and to all the many people behind the scenes. It was a wonderful and special gift beyond all measure.

Last wishes
A number of people, speaking to me of the death of my father, Bob DeArmond, have expressed some dismay that there are no observances planned.

Senior menu
Monday, Dec. 6

Volunteer Opportunity of the Week
Organization: The Salvation Army

Marty Holmes
Marty Holmes, 65, died Nov. 18, 2010 of a heart attack. He was born a twin on May 2, 1945 in Sitka to Clinton and Alice (Brown) Holmes. He married Christy Gates of Bozeman, Mont., in 1968, divorcing in 1987. They had two children: Todd in 1974, and Dusty in 1976.

Aloizy Kuchta
Aloizy Kuchta passed away Nov. 29, 2010. Known by most as "Big Al," he will be remembered fondly for his sense of humor and bone-crushing handshake.

Marjorie Ann Bukovich
Marjorie Ann Bukovich died Dec. 1, 2010, in Juneau. She was born Feb. 13, 1927 in Aberdeen, Wash.

Outside editorial: N. Korea goes rogue
The following editorial appeared in the Kansas City Star:

Outside editorial: Congress should act on critical to-do list
The following editorial first appeared in the Kansas City Star:

Christmas preparations and the gift of faith
My predecessor and friend, Bishop Michael Warfel, was not one for Christmas decorations at the bishop's residence. In fact, he had a pre-decorated 2 1/2-foot Christmas tree in the closet. From what I understand from diocesan personnel, it simply stayed decorated all year long - in the closet. When it came time for him to have guests at the house for Christmas, he would pull out the Christmas tree and place it on the table in the living room. That was the extent of the Christmas decorations at the bishop's residence.

Disclosure without a cause
All the hoopla about whether WikiLeaks has harmed U.S. foreign policy has missed the most stunning lesson of this drama.

April 11, 1954: A date that will live in monotony
All hail the march of science. The cure for cancer or even the common cold eludes us, but we can now say definitively that we know the date of the Most Boring Day ever:

Winter Ferry Tales
I am on the ferry as I write. Presently, I am somewhere near the tip of Vancouver Island in Johnstone Straits. It is the Inside Passage at its best - calm waters and snow-capped peaks bathing in the colors of the sunset. The only thing missing is the humpbacks. I enjoy these long, tranquil moments on the ferry. They kinda of make up for those nights sleeping on the floor with the swim team who, of course, arrive in a jubilant mass at 1 a.m.

What do you think?
Was the judge in Fairbanks correct in moving Joe Miller's lawsuit to Juneau?

TOE Cartoon

Temporary closure for Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center
The Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center will be closed temporarily Saturday and Sunday.

Surgery center opens in Fairbanks
FAIRBANKS - Fairbanks has a new surgery center.

2 found dead in Chevak home
ANCHORAGE - Alaska State Troopers are investigating the deaths of two people in the village of Chevak northwest of Bethel.

Fairbanks school district will make up lost days
FAIRBANKS - The Fairbanks North Star Borough School District has extended the school year by one day and turned a teacher work day into a regular class day to make up for time lost to an ice storm last week.

14 vehicles reported rifled Saturday morning
Fourteen vehicles were rifled through in an area along Glacier Highway between Brotherhood Bridge and Auke Lake, according to a release from the Juneau Police Department.

Wooden cross work of vandals at store
SOLDOTNA - An Alaska store owner says a wooden cross wrapped to the store sign in Soldotna was an unwelcome act of vandalism that goes against her pagan and spiritual beliefs.

Fairbanks man gets 2 years for 9th DUI
FAIRBANKS - A Fairbanks man has been sentenced to two years in prison for his 9th drunken driving conviction since 1975.

Judge denies Alaska Natives' request to join suit
JUNEAU - A state court judge has denied a request by the Alaska Federation of Natives to intervene in a lawsuit challenging the U.S. Senate race.

Task force urges Alaska scholarship account
FAIRBANKS - A task force has asked the Alaska Legislature to create a new state scholarship account.

Man dies in Wasilla log home fire
WASILLA - An Alaska State Troopers spokeswoman says an 83-year-old man is believed to be the victim in a log home fire off of Stanley Drive in Wasilla.

Bristol Palin: Mom didn't force her to dance
ANCHORAGE - Bristol Palin says her mother didn't force her to go on Dancing with the Stars.

Ferry rides out storm in remote bay
ANCHORAGE - A state ferry carrying 40 people has arrived in Cordova after anchoring overnight in a remote bay to ride out a storm that hit Prince William Sound.

Docks and Harbors Board Ops Committee meeting rescheduled
The Docks and Harbors Board Operations Committee meeting scheduled for Wednesday has been rescheduled and will be held as a joint meeting with the Docks and Harbors Finance Committee meeting at 5 p.m. Dec. 14 in the Assembly Chambers.

Midnight Suns take third place in Hawaii
The Midnight Suns baseball team from Juneau recently competed at the En Fuego Invitational Tournament in Honolulu, Hawaii and returned as third-place finishers after a successful trip.

Bears rebound on Saturday
It felt like it could be another long night for the Crimson Bears hockey team - until the fourth quarter, that is.

Floyd Dryden dominates Hooptime tourney
The future of Juneau area high school basketball is looking great as local middle school teams captured the lion's share of the trophy den during the 2010 Hooptime-Rebounders-Fastbreak Tournament championships Saturday night at Dzantik'i Heeni Middle School gym.

Falcons freshman Demmert expected to contribute
Thunder Mountain freshman shooting guard Michaela Demmert has played basketball since the fourth grade. Demmert was born in Juneau but moved with her family to Ashland, Ore., when she was in the first grade, where she lived for four years before returning back to Juneau. She said she sees herself being a contributing factor on this year's Falcons squad, even as a freshman. And although she wasn't a part of last year's team, she said they should be considerably improved this season.

Federal spending joins oil to stabilize state's finances
Alaska's state government is expecting continued strong federal spending in the state over the next two years, according to the state's official revenue forecast for the coming years, released Friday.

AP Interview: Parnell feels freedom to chart course
JUNEAU - Monday's inauguration marks a coming out of sorts for Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell, who spent his first 15 months in office in his predecessor's shadow but now feels the freedom to chart his own course. And he plans to seize the opportunity.

Miller gambles with Senate challenge
JUNEAU - Joe Miller is fighting as though Alaska's Senate race has yet to occur.

Agency OKs bonds for Mat-Su prison sewer project
ANCHORAGE - A state loan agency agreed to a complex deal Friday to sell up to $20 million in bonds to finance the troubled private sewer project at the new Mat-Su prison in the Goose Bay area.

Rough seas for ship being towed in Bering Sea
ANCHORAGE - A cargo ship that broke down in Alaska's Aleutian Islands while carrying canola seeds and nearly a half-million gallons of fuel oil continued its slow journey to a safe harbor Sunday as a tug boat pulled it through rough seas and up to 25-foot waves.

Tow vessel reaches struggling ship in Bering Sea
ANCHORAGE - The Coast Guard says a crippled cargo ship carrying half a million gallons of fuel is now under tow in the Bering Sea toward a safe harbor.

$25M school boosts pride in Kongiganak
ANCHORAGE - Building Alaska's newest Bush school meant pounding steel pilings 60 feet into the tundra, installing special devices to keep the permafrost frozen, and building a frozen airstrip on a lake.

National monument status urged for Arctic refuge
ANCHORAGE - President Obama is being urged to bestow national monument status on the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for its 50th anniversary in what supporters say would finally put the refuge's coastal plain beyond the reach of oil companies.

AP: Feds propose listing for seals
ANCHORAGE - The federal government on Friday proposed listing two seals that depend on sea ice as threatened species because of the projected loss of ice from climate warming.

Sex traffickers targeting Native girls
ANCHORAGE - Police are warning tribes and villagers that Alaska Native girls are being targeted by sex traffickers and pimps in Anchorage.

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