An old story, in a new way
Puppet theater has had a very long, distinguished history in many cultures around the world - Japan, Indonesia, and India to name a few - but in modern American culture, the genre is often associated with children's entertainment (Elmo et al).

A family affair
This weekend, Opera To Go will continue its world premier of two one-act operas written by the parents of a local university professor.

Grumpsicle makes his 30th visit to town
If you live in Juneau, chances are the Grinch isn't the only holiday villain you're used to. The Grumpsicle, a fiendish interloper who tries every year to ruin Christmas, will make his 30th attempt this year, courtesy of the Janice Holst School of Dance.

Juneau-raised jazz singer releases debut CD
After hearing Jeannette D'Armand sing on "Stage Road," her newly-released debut CD, it's surprising to learn that acting, not singing, was her intended career path.

'Tis the season
A "thank you" is in order. From me to you. No, I'm not preemptively sending out "thank you" notes to anyone who might think to send a little Christmas something to me at Juneau Empire. I'm kidding there, of course, although by all means feel free to send some goodies. No, this "thank you" is for something you did not do.

Sinking a hole in one for art
Golfers of all abilities will have the chance to sink a hole in one this holiday season with the Juneau Arts and Humanities Council's second annual "Hit the JACC Putt."

Arts Digest
Holiday Jazz at the Canvas tonight

Santa Claus an important tradition
It seems each year a growing number of people are downplaying the importance of Santa Claus. I would like to express my concern about this.

Berners Bay at risk for mine mess, too
I am writing about the article in the Nov. 19 Empire about the mine mess left at the Tulsequah Chief Mine, owned by the Redfern Resource Ltd., that is draining into the Taku River.

After-school program to close
An after-school program put together when the Juneau Boys and Girls Club abruptly closed in September will also come to an end, families were told this week.

Ford tries to access Skinner dealership
Ford Motor Company is trying to gain access to a local dealership that was abruptly shut down 12 days ago.

Around Town
Today, Dec. 17

Police & Fire
Juneau police and fire officials reported:

Police & Fire
Juneau police and fire officials reported:

AEL&P struggles to control Bart Lake Dam leaks
Leaks from Alaska Electric Light & Power's Bart Lake Dam are continuing to plague the Lake Dorothy Hydroelectric Project, utility officials say.

Sealaska ready to take heat on biomass
Sealaska corporate executives are banking on the sometimes-truth, "If you build it, they will come," by making a commitment to biomass as an energy source.

Craig sees savings with biomass
An 18-month-old biomass plant in Craig is saving the city money on its heating bills, but the transition hasn't been without complications, according to City Manager Jon Bolling.

Police: Sergeant's death accidental
The Juneau Police Department experienced a big loss with the death of Sgt. Warren "Tom" Bates on Thursday, Chief Greg Browning said Tuesday.

Photo: Firewood frenzy
Tim Mosher cuts up a downed tree for firewood Tuesday along the North Douglas Highway.

Photo: Father-son outing
Florian Wade, 4, shoots a hockey puck past his father, Laurent Dick, during some father-son hockey time recently on Twin Lakes.

Around Town
Today, Dec. 16

An incorrect photo in Sunday's Neighbors section online was posted with the story "Dr. Mitchell Wilkinson joins consortium Dental staff." The correct photo will be posted soon.

Photo: Music of the Season
Floyd Dryden Middle School choir members Maxfield McVay, left, Jordan Harris, and Taylor Sutak sing during Tuesday evening's Music of the Season concert.

Christopher Stumme
Former Juneau resident Christopher Stumme died Dec. 14, 2009, at his home in Altoona, Iowa. He was 17.

Ralph B. McLawhon
Former Sitka resident Ralph B. McLawhon died Dec. 1, 2009, in Aiken, S.C. after a lengthy battle with cancer. He was 73.

Marilyn Lanor Rapp
Longtime Juneau resident Marilyn Lanor Rapp died Dec. 9, 2009, in Juneau. She was 26.

Clay Kishpaugh
Former Juneau resident Clay Kishpaugh died Oct. 29, 2009, in Mesa, Ariz. He was 47.

Hazel Lucart
Former Juneau resident Hazel Lucart died Dec. 2, 2009, in Port Angeles, Wash. She was 82.

Outside editorial: An enemy within
The following editorial appeared in the Washington Post:

Outside editorial: National zoo's loss is an endangered species' gain
The following editorial appeared in the Washington Post:

My turn: Palin's climate change views don't match reality
Sarah Palin's special commentary in the Washington Post, reprinted in the Juneau Empire on Dec. 11, and titled "Copenhagen's political science" fell right in with the conservative push to portray global warming as a hoax perpetrated by liberals and the majority of the world's scientists.

There's a reason I don't have a Christmas Tree
Stop. Take a whiff of the air around you. Go on. Get two or three. If people start looking at you like there's a wolf pelt on your head, just tell them the Empire told you to do it. No one will think you're crazy then.

Here's hoping criminals get jobs back
News reports keep telling me the recession is over, or at least ending, but if that's the case, why won't my wife let me write a check once in a while?

Palin a new kind of puzzle for GOP
Sarah Palin. Need I say more? Buoyed by a ubiquitous autumn, she has cemented her status as a brand that excites and exasperates, titillates and polarizes. Sort of like Madonna.

Giving the gift of life
Most people who haven't finished (or even begun) their shopping are starting to worry about what gifts to give a friend, relative or spouse. Quick, what did you give or receive last year? How about two years ago? Most of us can't remember, unless it was a big-ticket item.

AT&T cell phone service interrupted
JUNEAU - An interruption of AT&T voice and SMS service occured Wednesday in Alaska and Hawaii.

Bethel man accused of raping 11-year-old
BETHEL - Police have arrested a 45-year-old Bethel man accused of raping an 11-year-old girl about twice a month for approximately a year.

Assembly drops bar 'safety hour' proposal
ANCHORAGE - The Anchorage Assembly has dropped a proposal to extend bar closing times by one hour.

Anchorage now has special DUI prosecutor
ANCHORAGE - A special prosecutor in the Anchorage prosecutor's office will target drunken driving cases.

Eielson youth football gets $1,000 grant
FAIRBANKS - The Ben Eielson Raven youth football team at Eielson Air Force Base has received a $1,000 grant for uniforms and equipment.

Cab driver foils Fairbanks TV thefts
FAIRBANKS - Police said a Fairbanks woman hired a cab to drive her home two nights last week when she stole TVs from Sam's Club.

Anchorage nightclub owner forfeits business
ANCHORAGE - A 66-year-old Anchorage nightclub owner will forfeit his business and liquor license as part of a plea deal in a federal drug case.

Two pistols, badge stolen from Homer police officer
HOMER - Two Glock pistols, a police badge and handcuffs were among the items stolen from the personal vehicle of a Homer patrol officer.

Group of 14 airlines signs preliminary biofuel deal
SEATTLE - Moving to cut dependence on petroleum for jet fuel, 14 airlines, including Alaska, have signed an agreement for the potential purchase of plant-based fuel from a Seattle company that plans to build a production facility in Anacortes, Wash.

Vote on new Wasilla library shelved
WASILLA - The lack of a quorum stopped the Wasilla City Council from voting whether to spend $1.5 million to buy a downtown shopping center.

Salcha man's death may be homicide
FAIRBANKS - A Salcha man found dead in his cabin earlier this month may have been killed.

Attorney seeks delay in Wade's fraud trial
ANCHORAGE - Lawyers for a Anchorage man accused of murdering a neighbor are asking for a delay in a trial involving the use of the dead woman's ATM card.

Assembly overrides mayor's library veto
ANCHORAGE - The Anchorage Assembly voted to override one of Mayor Dan Sullivan's vetoes to the city budget.

Mask carver wins USA Fellowship grant
ANCHORAGE - An Alaska mask carver has won a $50,000 grant from United States Artists.

Government transfers 126,000 acres to Doyon
FAIRBANKS - The federal government has turned over another 126,000 acres of land to the Fairbanks-based Native corporation Doyon Ltd.

Oregon auto company buys dealership
FAIRBANKS - The Kendall Automotive Group of Eugene, Ore., has purchased the Auto Service Company in Fairbanks.

Richardson Highway closed at pass
VALDEZ - The state Transportation Department has closed the Richardson Highway at Thompson Pass near Valdez due to high avalanche danger, heavy snowfall and blowing and drifting snow.

Wasilla woman dies in car crash Monday
ANCHORAGE - A 20-year-old Wasilla woman has died from injuries suffered in an accident on the Glenn Highway in Anchorage.

JDHS wrestlers go 0-2 at state meet
The state wrestling meet concluded Saturday and Juneau-Douglas wrestlers and coaches returned home disappointed, but excited for what is in store for the future.

Photo: Bears top Houston
Juneau-Douglas picked up it's second win of the season Wednesday, 4-1, over Houston after rebounding from a 2-1 loss the night before. Chris Budbill, Bill Holbrook, Zane Chapman and Eric Verrelli each scored. Matt Noreen had 26 saves on the night. The Bears (2-8, 2-4) host Tok in a Friday-Saturday doubleheader this weekend.

JDHS hockey falls 2-1 to Houston
The Juneau-Douglas Crimson Bears hockey team fell 2-1 on Monday to Houston at in Mid-Alaska Conference play at the Wasilla Sports Complex.

Charity basketball tournament begins today at Floyd Dryden
Hoops for Charity will be holding a basketball tournament featuring 16 teams in Juneau beginning today at Floyd Dryden Middle School and ending at Thunder Mountain High School on Sunday

Photo: JAHA crowns champions
Tier A - Svensson Boatworks Tier B - Capital Embroidery Tier C - Maroon Women's Division - Green The Island Pub's Dan Teske, right, is pestered by Svensson Boatwork's Nicholas Korzen during their Tier A final of the Juneau Adult Hockey League championships on Dec. 9. Svenssen won 5-2.

Sister keeps cold case vigil
KENAI - The first time they spoke, she accused him of murder. Thirteen years later, she considers him a brother. Though they've never met, Sarah Musgrove-Short and Art White are connected by a shared love: a love for Jennifer Rachel White.

Pipeline chief urges decision
ANCHORAGE - Gov. Sean Parnell's in-state gas pipeline chief said the tug-of-war among various gas line and hydropower proposals caused him much frustration but didn't prompt him to quit.

Two-legged dog gives hope to disabled Army veterans
LOS ANGELES - For several years, Jude Stringfellow and her Lab-chow mix have toured the country with a simple message: Faith walks.

Two lawsuits challenge Alaska offshore drilling
ANCHORAGE - Native Alaskan groups who depend on whaling and a coalition of environmental groups sued the federal government Tuesday, seeking to block a Shell Oil subsidiary from drilling next year in the Beaufort Sea.

State official speaks at climate talks
Alaska is on the front line of global climate change with melting glaciers and softening permafrost, an Alaska official told delegates during the United Nations Climate Change Conference held in Copenhagen.

Hearing starts for CG officer facing sex charges
FORT RICHARDSON - A military investigative hearing began Tuesday for a senior Coast Guard commander facing numerous charges, including indecent acts and conduct unbecoming of an officer.

Spend more to attract other doctors, says Alaska commission
ANCHORAGE - A state commission concluded Alaska needs to invest more money to train new doctors and lure other doctors to the state to ease a shortage of primary care physicians.

Yukon Quest field still looks strong
FAIRBANKS - With three former champions, three runners-up and several other compelling entrants, the 2010 Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race field is the strongest in recent memory - and perhaps ever.

Mountains drew hotel shooting victim to Alaska
ANCHORAGE - Sang In Chun was used to getting up in the early morning hours, well before anyone else, and passing the time before the first service at his Korean church by walking from his Government Hill home to downtown to wait for a bus at the transit center.

Villages upset by Pebble opposition
ANCHORAGE - Two Bristol Bay village corporations are angered by their regional Native corporation's vote to oppose the proposed Pebble copper and gold mine.

Wildlife group says oil, gas drilling endangers polar bears
WASHINGTON - To better safeguard threatened polar bears, the federal government should expand the size of its proposed critical habitat area in Alaska and curb oil and gas development there, the National Wildlife Federation said Wednesday.

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