Thursday, December 11, 2008

Red Dog Saloon to stay open all winter
After years of catering primarily to Juneau's summer tourists, the Red Dog Saloon is under new ownership and ready to fully embrace the locals. This year the bar and restaurant will be open all winter, offering good food and music - and the largest television screen in town.

Second Stage to host holiday doubleheader
The holidays bring all sorts of characters out of the woodwork.

Culture center to transform into miniature golf course
The Juneau Arts & Humanities Council will be transforming the Juneau Arts & Culture Center into a miniature golf course at the end of the month.

Reincarnation of The Bastards to perform Dec. 17
The Bastards are getting ready to explode back on to the local scene.

Registration for Alaska Arts and Culture Conference nears
The 2009 Alaska Arts and Culture Conference will be held Jan. 29-31 at the Hotel Captain Cook in Anchorage.

What's Happening
THURSDAY, DEC. 11

You can't drive to Juneau from Canada
In the Dec. 10 front page Ketchikan Daily News article, "Palin compares Alaska, Canada," Palin shows how out of touch she is with Southeast Alaska and Alaska in general.

Give this season
Once again, it is that very important time of year that we avow our thanks that we live in Juneau and enjoy the many blessings our community affords. One way to express our gratitude is to be aware of those who are in need. As the holidays unfold and the temperatures drop to winter solstice levels, we should reflect on and give support to the social service agencies under the umbrella of our United Way.

Suspicious powder sparks evacuation
Authorities evacuated a state office building at 240 Main St. in downtown Juneau on Tuesday evening, after a clerk in the third-floor mail room opened a letter addressed to the governor's office containing white powder.

Two boys shot in Valley
Two boys were hospitalized after being struck by a single bullet fired from a .44-caliber Magnum on Wednesday afternoon in an apparent accident at a Mendenhall Valley home, police said.

Redfern barge plan for Taku River under review
State permitters this month are reviewing Redfern Resources Ltd.'s revised plan to haul mine supplies and ore on the Taku River year round.

Juneau becomes a 'hot spot' for whooping cough
Doctors in Juneau are struggling to deal with a growing number of whooping cough cases and are trying to stem the growth with new vaccination efforts.

Palin welcomes Juneau to Governor's Mansion
Thrilled to live in a city and state small enough where people can get to know their governor personally, Juneau residents and visitors lined up Tuesday for the annual governor's open house.

FBI widens investigation into suspicious letters
Initial tests of the suspicious white powder sent to the Alaska governor's office did not indicate any danger, though a more thorough analysis in Anchorage was underway Wednesday, officials said. Meanwhile, the FBI's investigation continues to widen as more governors' offices report receiving similar letters.

Economy necessitates changes at Empire
Starting with today's newspaper, Juneau Empire readers will begin to see a series of changes that will be gradually introduced to print editions in the next few weeks.

Bartlett receives expansion approval
State regulators have approved a further renovation and expansion at Bartlett Regional Hospital that's hoped will help boost business and keep patients in town.

Photo: Break in the storm
Mike Tobin takes advantage of a break in the weather Wednesday to take a walk along the Auke Rec beach. A winter weather advisory has been issued until noon today, with 2 to 5 inches of snow expected.

Weyhrauch wants 9th Circuit Court to overturn panel
ANCHORAGE - Former Rep. Bruce Weyhrauch is asking the full 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn a decision which restored key evidence in his corruption trial.

Photo: Making way for parking garage
Employees of Southeast Earthmovers remove multiple big rubber mats used to contain rock fragments Wednesday during blasting downtown. The work is being done to prepare the site at Telephone Hill for a parking garage and transit center. The company is using a whistle system to alert the public when it will blast. One long whistle means preparing to blast, two long whistles mean ready to blast and three short whistles mean "all clear."

Crews working to repair power lines through night
Alaska Electric Light & Power Co. reported sporadic power outages, particularly in the Mendenhall Valley and out the road as a result of snow and fallen trees from the storm that dumped up to 19 inches on parts of Juneau through Tuesday morning.

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

Photo: Moving snow
City employee Steven Hay works to clear sidewalks with a snow blower Tuesday morning along Seward Street after a storm left nearly a foot of wet snow.

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

Around Town
Today

Around Town
Today

A look at what's to come
It's the holiday season, and everybody has a ton of stuff on their minds. What do Mom and Dad need for Christmas? What do you want for Christmas? How do you stomach the annoying drunken stupor of your uncle this year? It should therefore be assumed that some things will slip your mind in the coming weeks.

'Changeling' a hard story to shake
Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? Clint Eastwood knows, and in the brooding, disturbing "Changeling," he puts that knowledge on screen and combines it with a testament to the strength of a mother's hope and love.

Dark Knight's brilliance not just for fans
'The Dark Knight: Two-Disc Special Edition'

Juneau Lyric Opera concert features local chorus and musicians
Local musicians and vocalists will get together this weekend to perform a selection of holiday favorites in Juneau Lyric Opera's Holiday Pops concert.

The mirror of the medicine wheel
So the reign of Hooligan is coming to a close. For some, that is good news, for others it is not. As a writer for the Hooligan from its first pages, I've been privy to a spectrum of comments from readers who have hated it and slammed it, and those who have loved it and supported it.

A list of familiar and not-so-familiar holiday tunes to enjoy
So you chug-a-lugged some spiked egg nog, passed out and had nightmares of hearing "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer" for the gajillionth time. Then ... you got lost in a megamall, only to be mauled by a gaudy Mannheim Steamroller.

David 'Jake' Ramsay
Former Juneau resident David "Jake" Ramsay died Dec. 3, 2008, at his home in Clinton, Wash. He was 68.

My turn: Alaska economy at a crossroads
Alaska and our economy are at a crossroads. If you live in rural Alaska, where heating fuel costs $7, $8 and $9 a gallon this winter, we're on a cliff. In good times leaders can get away with governing on auto-pilot. But from Barack Obama down to our local elected officials, today's leaders don't have that luxury. Easy soundbites won't get us very far. It's time for a dialogue in this state about real, needed solutions.

My turn: Political advice from the long perspective
During these times of political and financial turmoil, many people have voiced their opinions about the dire condition of our great nation.

Outside editorial: Prosecuting Blackwater
Private security contractors have been a constant irritant in U.S.-Iraqi relations for years. Taking advantage of Iraq's lawless environment, they have been known to open fire with minimal provocation and seemingly little concern for the lives of innocent civilians.

Outside editorial: Sick society needs overhaul of health care
Anyone who doesn't believe that the nation's health-care system has become a dysfunctional mess should read the report issued last week on "America's Health Rankings." We failed our physical exam, again, and we're not getting better.

In the shadow of self-reliance
The parking lots at Juneau's Fred Meyer and Wal-Mart were nearly full at 5 o'clock the morning after Thanksgiving. The scene was the same all over the country as shoppers eagerly sought to take advantage of below-basement bargain prices. Is it greed or economic survival that's responding to the nation's economic dive toward depression?

Alaska editorial: Why won't Palin release Troopergate probe deposition?
Much as Gov. Sarah Palin might wish otherwise, she has not given Alaskans a complete, transparent accounting of her actions in Troopergate.

Lessons for Obama's infrastructure plans
President-elect Barack Obama put forward a plan this week for the largest government infrastructure project in a half-century. The idea is to revive the economy and create jobs for America's unemployed. But huge public works projects often fail to revive national economies. Consider the example of Japan in the 1990s.

Alaska Air Group announces changes
SEATTLE - The parent of Alaska Airlines has announced several changes in its executive ranks, including a new president for the carrier.

ACS phone, Internet customers back online
JUNEAU - About 600 Juneau customers lost phone and Internet lines with Tuesday's power outages, and Alaska Communications Systems finished restoring the last of them Wednesday.

Plans already under way for 2010 Census
KENAI - State and federal officials are already gearing up for the 2010 U.S. Census, even though it is a couple of years away.

Borough nixes plans for cell phone tower
FAIRBANKS - Borough planning officials have nixed plans for a 180-foot cell phone tower west of Fairbanks.

Stranded technicians rescued near Kodiak
KODIAK - Four technicians stranded on Sheratin Mountain on Kodiak Island have been rescued.

Plea deal delayed for Alaska woman
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. - Mesa County prosecutors want to talk with the parents of an Alaska woman accused of killing her newborn baby before offering her a plea agreement.

Designers give kudos to NOAA building
JUNEAU - Juneau's new federal fisheries research building in Lena Cove won a design award from architects.

Former lawmaker Dankworth dies
ANCHORAGE - A former state lawmaker who left office under ethical questions has died. Ed Dankworth was 80.

Alaska highest in bank credit card debt
DES MOINES, Iowa - Average bank credit card debt rose by nearly 1.6 percent in the third quarter compared to the second quarter, credit reporting agency TransUnion said Wednesday.

Mariners' test center moves into mall
JUNEAU - The U.S. Coast Guard opened a storefront office at the Mendenhall Mall on Monday.

Ocean Beauty plants searched for records
JUNEAU - Three Ocean Beauty Seafoods Inc. plants were closed Tuesday morning while federal agents searched company records, according to the company.

Kelly retains House seat by four votes
FAIRBANKS - State Rep. Mike Kelly has retained his seat by four votes after a recount.

Empire to enhance its focus on Juneau athletics
To Juneau's sports fans, athletes and interest-obligated parents:

Sports in Juneau
UPCOMING EVENTS

The Rock Dump business consultants work to promote climbing as a youth activity
The new management of The Rock Dump is hoping to take the local climbing gym to new heights.

Falling oil prices will limit state spending
Plunging oil prices may have Alaska looking at a bare-bones state budget for next year, the Palin administration said Tuesday.

Young gives up key post in Legislature
WASHINGTON - Rep. Don Young of Alaska has stepped down under pressure as lead Republican on the House Natural Resources Committee, saying he wants to focus on clearing his name in a corruption investigation.

First Exxon payments reach banks
ANCHORAGE - Plaintiffs in the Exxon Valdez lawsuit are starting to receive their settlement money, nearly 20 years after the tanker spilled 11 million gallons of crude into Prince William Sound.

Stranded workers, rescuers battle extreme weather
KODIAK - With winds blowing 50 mph, in near-whiteout conditions, four men threaded their way through a hazardous landscape full of icy ravines, cliffs and ponds. Equipped with GPS receivers and snowshoes, the men would climb to 2,800 feet in what became an exhaustingly long rescue lasting more than 13 hours.

Former Fairbanks lawmaker pleads not guilty to drug charge
FAIRBANKS - A former Alaska lawmaker faces a February trial after pleading not guilty to felony cocaine possession.

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