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.

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.

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

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.

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.

Much to be learned
Thanks Wally Olson, for your excellent comment (Empire, Dec. 12) on Alaska's economy! Yes, our economy is more than timber, fishing, mining and oil. How unimaginative it would be to think otherwise. Theater, arts, books and other forms of creativity are more than diversions or entertainment, they are viable forms of strengthening economy.

Court upholds rule that bans building new roads in roadless areas of Tongass
A federal appeals court on Thursday lifted an injunction that suspended the Clinton administration's "roadless rule," which banned logging and road construction on a third of national forest lands. The rule was to take effect in May 2001, but was stopped by U.S. District Judge Edward J. Lodge of Idaho in response to a lawsuit filed by the state of Idaho, the Kootenai Indian tribe of Idaho and logging interests.

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

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.

'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."

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.

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

Sealaska OKs first dividends in years
Sealaska Corp., the Juneau-based regional corporation for Southeast Natives, announced it will pay a dividend of $1.82 per share to about 11,500 of its 16,000 shareholders today. More than 2,000 Sealaska shareholders live in Juneau.

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.

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.

Due to a reporter's error, the Best Bets column in Thursday's This Week section of the Empire misstated the day for the Alaska Youth Choir concert at Northern Light United Church.

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.


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

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

University plan to cover Ketchikan mural sparks reaction from public
KETCHIKAN - Some Ketchikan residents are unhappy with plans by the University of Alaska Southeast to demolish a 24-year-old mural painted by Native students on one of its buildings. Construction on the Robertson/Hamilton building is scheduled to start Jan. 6. UAS Ketchikan campus director Karen Polley told the Ketchikan Daily News that the university building has not been remodeled since the late 1970s, about the same time the mural was painted.

Thank you
...for the help with Kids Voting; ...for the donations; ...for your help; ...for the effort; ...for your generosity.

Touching Lives
Though Pastor Jimmie Woods of the Glacier Valley Baptist Church will be a member of the Juneau community for at most two years, the role he plays in the church community is substantial. Woods retired from the active pastorate in Arizona and spends his retirement acting as an interim pastor for the Southern Baptist Convention. He and his wife, Gladys, spent the summer of 2001 filling in at Sand Point, on the Alaska Peninsula, and Whittier, on the Kenai Peninsula. They served in Samoa and American Samoa in 2000, and arrived in Juneau six weeks ago. He replaces Greg Clark, who left Juneau for North Carolina in September.

Neighbors Briefs
Charter school now taking applications; 4-H teens accepting food donations; Advent Evensong set; Lutheran church play scheduled; Group sets toy drive;

Photo: Broadcasting winner
Although originally entered in the student category, Callie Conerton's interview with Gov. Tony Knowles and his wife at last year's Holiday Open House took top honors as Best TV News Feature during the recent Alaska Broadcasters Association's annual competition.

Lighting of Hannukah menorah tells humans a light shines for us
Jews around the world have just finished celebrating the 8 days of Chanukah that begins each year on the 25th of the Hebrew month of Kislev. Hannukah commemorates two events: the military victory of the Maccabees in 165 BCE and the miracle of a small cruse of oil, which burned in the temple for 8 days.

George Walter Obert Jr.
Juneau resident George Walter Obert Jr. died Dec. 11, 2002.

Rena A. Johnson
Douglas resident Rena Elizabeth Johnson, 83, died Dec. 12, 2002, at the Juneau Pioneers' Home.

Gary Paul Smith
Hoonah resident Gary Paul Smith died Dec. 8, 2002, in Hoonah.

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

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.

Elizabeth Arvold Haas
Juneau resident Elizabeth Arvold Haas, 20, died Dec. 10, 2002, in Juneau.

My Turn: Don't create second-class neighborhoods
I feel compelled to further explain the situation between the Duran Construction processing operation located on Alaway and the property owners of the Eagles Edge subdivision, as well as the homeowners of Creek Side Park.

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.

Roughhouse boxing tonight
An injury prevented tonight's main event pugilists from fighting during last April's Southeast Showdown, but the two youth boxing coaches will get their chance to do battle tonight.

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.

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.

Tourney time
Lindsey Pettijohn of the Juneau Christian School Girls B team has the ball stripped by Skagway's Kristen Moore on Thursday during their Fast Break/Rebounders tournament game at Dzantik'i Heeni Middle School. The Panthers' Ali Doland, far right, goes for the loose ball as teammate Erica Harris watches from down the court.

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

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

Hoonah advances at state
The Hoonah Braves advanced to today's semifinals at the Class 1A-2A-3A (West) state volleyball tournament, claiming a four-game victory over Dillingham in Thursday's opening round at Anchorage's Bartlett High School.

Rhea leads DZ-A girls to victory over Ketchikan
Dzantik'i Heeni A's Talisa Rhea scored 18 points for the second straight game as her team edged past Ketchikan A, 29-27, on Thursday in the Fast Break/Rebounders middle school basketball tournament.

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.

Williams still looking for buyer of Alaska assets
FAIRBANKS - Williams Cos. has found a buyer for its Memphis refinery, but its North Pole and Alaska properties are still unclaimed.

Wards Cove shuts down fish plants
One of Alaska's oldest and largest fish processing companies, Wards Cove Packing Co., announced Thursday it is halting its Alaska salmon operations after 75 years. The Seattle-based company's decision sparked fears that some fishermen would be without markets for their catch and hundreds of seasonal jobs would be lost here.

Feds give state $455,000 to fight terrorism
ANCHORAGE - Alaska will receive nearly a half-million dollars to better prepare state and local governments to fight terrorism, officials with the Federal Emergency Management Agency said Thursday. The grant of $454,844 comes from a fiscal year 2002 supplemental appropriation as part of President Bush's call to have states take greater responsibility for their own security by better preparing state and local responders.

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;

Teacher accused of assaulting child
ANCHORAGE - Anchorage police and Anchorage School District officials are investigating an allegation that an award-winning fourth-grade teacher assaulted a child during a field trip last week, school officials said Thursday. "We are taking this very seriously," Superintendent Carol Comeau said. The department expected to complete its investigation this week, Comeau said.

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
Skater's Cabin reservations available; Haines man killed in Thorne Bay fire; Alert dispatcher saves six lives; Man charged with kidnapping ex-girlfriend;

Norwalk-like virus strikes Ketchikan
KETCHIKAN - Ketchikan is experiencing an outbreak of a Norwalk or Norwalk-like virus, and state health officials are investigating possible cases in Juneau, officials said. Dr. Joe McLaughlin of the state Division of Public Health's Section of Epidemiology called on the public to report possible cases to the state. "The bottom line is how we can prevent more cases," he said.

B.C. mine wins OK
The government of British Columbia said today it has approved the proposed Tulsequah Chief Mine 40 miles northeast of Juneau and 60 miles south of Atlin in northwestern B.C.

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.

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.

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.

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?!?!

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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