Business profile: Jan Kunat
Title and company: Co-owner, Wild Alaska Mama Bear Kitchen.

His job is to plug in the smile
A portrait photographer makes use of many tools during family photo shoots for the Christmas season: a top-of-the-line camera, lights, a computer, scanner and printer, backdrops, furniture and rugs and, of course, puppets. "I want you to meet a friend of mine," said Juneau photographer Cam Byrnes during a portrait shoot last weekend. A puppet shaped like a cow sat on his left hand, and a noise similar to that of a cat's came out of his mouth.

The Scuba Tank expands, moves to new location
The Scuba Tank, a 13-year Juneau business, has moved from La Perouse Avenue to larger quarters at 2219 Dunn St., across from Frontier Suites on Glacier Highway. Carleen Mitchell, who took over ownership of the shop when her mother- and father-in-law, Joel and Marge Mitchell, retired in 2000, said the move to the more visible and larger location will boost business and provide a place for local scuba divers to meet and exchange ideas.

Creative frontier
I find it a sad and sorry situation when people say that Alaska's resources consist of only timber, fish and minerals. This magnificent state has a bountiful resource of artists, writers, creative people, innovative entrepreneurs, Native and non-Native.

Same drunken rut
Over the past few weeks, Juneau has experienced a rash of incidents due to drunken driving. This past year we lost 43 Alaskans to this preventable tragedy. Unfortunately we seem to be stuck in the same rut, hoping it doesn't happen to someone we know and assuming it won't happen to us.

Format and delivery
My hat is off to you and your staff. I think you all have done a wonderful job with the newspaper's format and new delivery system.

Historic photos
That was so cool to see that old picture of when the bridge (Empire, Dec. 10) opened up in 1935. My Grandpa, Wilbur Converse, held a one-of-a-kind job during the building of that bridge. He sat in a skiff rowing around under the bridge to be ready to pull anyone out of the water that may have had the misfortune of falling off.

Kids and guns
Kids receive enough mixed messages as it is without being handed guns in a school-sponsored program. I am responding to the article in the Juneau Empire on Dec. 6 about the so-called outdoor survival program for sixth graders at Floyd Dryden.

Other people's money
Again, Ted Stevens ignored his oath to the U.S. Constitution. This time he embezzled $28 million from U.S. taxpayers to fund a railroad spur to serve a handful of tourists. "It's years ahead of its time," he stated. That's like saying the Delta Barley Project was years ahead of its time.

Meeting the new governor
While the governor's annual open house is as much a tradition for some Juneau residents as a stuffed turkey or the Yule log, Tuesday night's reception also offered visitors a chance to shake the hand of the man who moved into the executive residence barely one week earlier. Although most of the decorations were in place by the time the new first family moved in, Gov. Frank Murkowski said he and first lady Nancy Murkowski found a nativity scene in the attic of the Governor's House. They gave it prominent display on a piano in the ballroom.

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

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

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

This Day in History
In 1902, the Kotzebue Post Office was established with Dana H. Thomas as postmaster.

Neighbors and construction company at odds over noise
Chris Erickson said that when he turned on his radio and talked on the phone last summer, he heard nothing - nothing, anyway, that he could make out over the symphony of soil separators or the screaming of giant boulders plummeting into other rocks near his trailer home. Erickson is just one of many residents near Alaway Avenue who are livid over a summer of raucous noise, jarring vibrations and toxic fumes they said Duran Construction Co. produced even after the city issued a stop-work order.

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

Planning Commission OKs bridge redesign
The Juneau Planning Commission on Tuesday approved the state's conceptual design for changes on the Douglas Bridge and the intersection of 10th Street and Egan Drive, although cyclists said the plan puts their safety at risk. The vote was 4-3.

Federal Building construction in early 1960s
The Federal Building being constructed in the early 1960s. This photo is taken on West 7th Street. The building since has been named after government engineer Hurff Saunders.

Cookbooks the perfect, useful holiday gifts
From practical to extravagant, cookbooks make great gifts. With the holiday shopping season in full swing, I thought I'd make a few recommendations for cookbooks that are fun to read, well-organized and simple to follow. To accomplished cooks these books will offer much to explore. To novices they will offer confidence. To both, they will offer inspiration.

Board of Fisheries to consider sablefish, herring changes
The state Board of Fisheries next month will consider extending the commercial sablefish season in Chatham Strait, creating a roe-on-kelp herring fishery in Berners Bay, and giving Southeast fishermen more access to bait herring. The Board of Fisheries is scheduled to meet Jan. 20-29 in Sitka to deal with groundfish, herring, subsistence and shellfish issues in Southeast. The board will consider Southeast salmon proposals at a meeting in February in Ketchikan.

Meeting on new high school airs board-CBJ rift
In the first public meeting between the two groups in months, the Juneau School Board on Wednesday presented its plan for a Mendenhall Valley high school to the Juneau Assembly's Public Works and Facilities Committee. Despite talk from both groups about how the rift between the School Board and Assembly has been exaggerated in the press, old tensions flared, and the meeting turned argumentative.

'Storm Boy' fuses cultures
This year at Glacier Valley Elementary the holiday performance will not involve reindeer costumes, Hanukkah medleys, or choral versions of "Frosty the Snowman." Instead, the school is putting on a play called "Storm Boy," based on myths from northwest coast Natives. "I feel that the spirit of the holiday is coming together from different backgrounds and working on something larger than ourselves," said music teacher Lorrie Heagy. "It captures the holiday spirit without putting a label on it. At least that is the hope."

Thank you
...for your participation; ...for your kindness; ...for your support.

Pet of the week
Thor is a great Alaskan dog, a black Lab-husky mix. He is a neutered male just 1 year old. Thor is looking for an active, outdoorsy person who'd like his company on runs and hikes.

Plan ahead to lessen depression during the holidays
The pain of losses sustained during the past seems to be heightened at this time of year. Widowed persons, in particular, often feel depressed during the holiday season and facing the holidays can be a daunting challenge. Holidays are thought of as family times, so memories may be stronger and the absence of a loved one felt even more than usual.

Light gardeners make a difference
Everything changes. The ground shifts, seasons move on, our pets age faster than we do, winter is wet rather than cold and nothing is at all like it was. Our responses are various, some fade, some wait and some move on with the times. Following the conditions we find keeps us in synch with the world. We plant when we can, dig when the ground is willing, and hunker down when the weather turns foul.

Photo: Mask makers
Laine White, left, and Hannah Marx, first-graders at Auke Bay Elementary School demonstrate how they lay on the floor while the plaster for their masks dried.

Gary Paul Smith
Hoonah resident Gary Paul Smith died Dec. 8, 2002, in Hoonah. He was born Dec. 7, 1963, in Juneau. He was T'akdeintaan, from Yeil Ku Dee Hit, Kaagwaantaan Yadi.

George W. Obert Jr.
Juneau resident George W. Obert Jr., a Kaagwaantaan Box House leader, died Dec. 11, 2002, in Juneau.

Doris Ham
Former Juneau educator Doris Marie Ham, 83, died Sept. 28, 2002, in Humble, Texas.

Eva Flossie Pardee
Eva Flossie Pardee of Klukwan and Haines died Oct. 23, 2002, in Anchorage.

Herbert W. Jaenicke
Herbert William Jaenicke died Dec. 9, 2002, in Anchorage after a brief illness.

Cavaliers 96, Raptors 83
At Cleveland, rookie Dajuan Wagner scored a career-high 33 points as the Cavaliers knocked off injury-plagued Toronto, which was missing six players to injuries.

Crimson Bears go King fishing this weekend
At its last home meet the weekend before Thanksgiving, the Juneau-Douglas High School wrestling team came close, oh so close, to winning the team title. But Ketchikan whisked away the Brandon Pilot Invitational championship by just 2.5 points, 171.5-169, leaving the Crimson Bears anxious to defend their home mats against the Kings at this weekend's rematch in the JDHS main gym.

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

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

Washington receiver Hooks booked into jail after traffic accident
SEATTLE - Washington wide receiver Wilbur Hooks Jr. was booked into jail for investigation of hit-and-run and reckless driving after his car crashed into another vehicle.

Dzantik'i Heeni, Floyd Dryden split middle school tourney openers
JUNEAU - The Fast Break/Rebounders middle school basketball tournament opened Wednesday evening with the Floyd Dryden A boys team claiming a 50-29 victory over Dzantik'i Heeni A.

Red Dog Mine posts loss
ANCHORAGE - The Red Dog mine near Kotzebue posted an operating loss of $10 million in the third quarter despite higher zinc production, according to Teck Cominco, the mine operator. Mine operations lost $6 million during the same quarter last year.

Tribal groups seek efficiency to avoid forced consolidation
ANCHORAGE - Alaska Native groups are working to find ways to streamline and economize the delivery of federal services to the state's 229 federally recognized tribes.

Former state Rep. Hayes to head UAF Alumni Association
FAIRBANKS - Former state Rep. Joe Hayes of Fairbanks has been hired as executive director of the University of Alaska Fairbanks Alumni Association.

State Briefs
Gov. Murkowski mulls judicial appointments; Barton tapped to be acting transportation commissioner; Defendants ask to withdraw plea in murder-for-hire case; Searchers recover bodies in Arkansas crash;

Yakutat beach gains national acclaim as a prime destination for surfers
Last August, California sportswriter Tim Dowell did what he's done every summer he can remember: he surfed. Only this time, he wasn't paddling out with dozens of tan-backed youths to catch warm California waves. Dowell was in Yakutat, Alaska, population 800, where "town" consists of a post office and a single store, and bears roam freely along the few gravel roads.

Murkowski orders road maintenance to continue
Gov. Frank Murkowski directed state transportation officials to continue highway and aviation maintenance at last year's levels on Wednesday. In Juneau, the order means state roads that had been cut from the state's maintenance list will be plowed and sanded this winter. The state earlier had eliminated plowing on Auke Nu, Channel Vista Drive, Chilkat Road, Dotson's Landing, Engineer's Cutoff Spur, part of Montana Creek Road, Nine Mile Creek Road, Otter Way, Point Stephens Road, Point Stephens Spur Road and Skaters Cabin Road.

Murkowski vows to 'clean out' Department of Labor
Gov. Frank Murkowski vowed this week that his new labor commissioner would "clean out" a state department that has deteriorated and become highly politicized. Exactly what problems there are with the department is a question for which Ed Flanagan would like an answer.

Sitka black-tailed deer spotted in Anchorage
ANCHORAGE - A Sitka black-tailed deer was reported bounding across the road this week in what was apparently the first modern sighting in Anchorage.

State Briefs
Troopers prevent suicide in Fairbanks; Eielson airmen detained in drug raid; Commission denies permit for dog lot; Crewman dies, two injured south of Adak; Flags lowered for Pignalberi

Government, Native corporation cap anglers on Karluk River
ANCHORAGE - An Alaska Native regional corporation and the federal government have reached agreement for a 10-year conservation easement allowing limited public access to the Karluk River.

Report: New cruise ship rules working
ANCHORAGE - A new state report says tougher regulations designed to protect Alaska's waters from cruise-ship pollution effectively protect the environment. The report, released Tuesday by the state Department of Environmental Conservation, found that newly installed waste treatment systems on ships filter out much of the bacteria and other pollutants generated on board. The wake of the ships effectively dilutes what is released, the study said.

What's up with that?
Q: Are the Christmas decorations on the Governor's House recycled each year? And why are they using fake boughs on the fence around the yard?!?!

Holiday concert features 4 choirs
Holiday favorites and music from around the world will be showcased in the Juneau-Douglas High School Choral Extravaganza next week. The concert with the jazz choir, the treble choir, the men's chorus and the concert choir will begin at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 17. The high school string quartet also will play a few selections. Because of the remodeling at the high school, the concert will be at Northern Light United Church, 400 11th St.

A life of dance
Eckhard Heidrich started dancing to stay out of trouble. "My father wanted to keep me off the streets," he said with a smile last week in the studio at Juneau Dance Unlimited, where he now serves as dance master and ballet instructor. He's well suited to the position. Heidrich, 60, spent much of his life as a professional dancer, performing with ballet companies throughout Europe and North America. He began dancing at age 11 and these days his agility and nimble step are evidence that a life of dance has been good to him.

Best Bets: A host of Christmas performances
The coming week holds three holiday concerts and an opera with a Christmas theme, entertainment guaranteed to offer an infusion of holiday spirit. And despite the lack of snow for winter sports enthusiasts, there is a positive side to the warm winter weather for outdoor lovers.

Movies where & when
"Star Trek: Nemesis," (PG-13) starts Friday, Dec. 13, at Glacier Cinemas, shows at 7 nightly, with second shows at 9:30 Friday and Saturday nights, and matinees at 1:40 and 4:20 Saturday and Sunday afternoons.

What's happening
"Amahl and The Night Visitors," Christmas-themed opera in English, 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 13, and 4 and 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14, at McPhetres Hall, Fourth and Gold streets. $10.

Singing Christmas Tree returns
The concert features a custom stage, dancers, drama, soundtrack orchestration and video. It's not Broadway - it's the singing Christmas tree. This weekend the Juneau Christian Center celebrates the 30th anniversary of the singing Christmas tree, the church's annual holiday concert, called "When Love CameDown" this year. The program will be presented in four free concerts at 7 p.m. Friday through Monday, Dec. 13 through 17, in the sanctuary at the Juneau Christian Center, 8001 Glacier Highway.

Holiday community caroling
JUNEAU - All singing voices are welcome at the Juneau-Douglas City Museum for community caroling from 4 to 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14.

Alaska Youth Choir performs winter concerts
The 40 singers in the Alaska Youth Choir will raise their voices this weekend in two performances of a winter concert. "We've put a twist in this year's concert having the audience as part of the concert. There'll be a holiday sing-along," said Missouri Smyth, who directs the choir.

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