Thursday, December 18, 2008

Good night, sweet Hooligan
Change can be a good thing if it's kept in perspective.

Tickets on sale for Jan. 3 statehood ball
Tickets are now on sale for the Juneau Statehood Ball to be held on Jan. 3 at Centennial Hall.

Pre-Christmas CD and art sale slated for Dec. 22
"Three Nights Before Christmas," a Juneau CD and art meet, will be held from 5 to 9 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 22 at the Juneau Arts & Culture Center.

Juneau Student Symphony announces auditions
The Juneau Student Symphony is seeking instrumental musicians of all ages for their winter concert.

Woodford on 'Applehood and Mother Pie'
Singer-songwriter Riley Woodford doesn't try to compose your typical lyrics.

Oral history project StoryCorps to visit Juneau Jan. 5-30
StoryCorps, a national non-profit oral history project that aims to bring families, friends and neighbors closer together by listening to each other's stories, will be in Juneau from Jan. 5 to Jan. 30.

What's Happening
THURSDAY, DEC. 18

Don't experiment on the Taku River
On Dec. 10, I attended the Redfern hovercraft meeting at Centennial Hall. As most of us know, this issue revolves around using large hovercraft barges to transport goods on the Taku River to and from the mine. As we all also know, the Taku watershed is one of the most beautiful and productive fisheries in Southeast Alaska, and is used by many Alaskans and tourists for recreation, commercial fishing and ecotourism.

Hold Palin accountable
Hasn't Gov. Sarah Palin, backed by the same political ideologues as President George Bush, put Alaska in the same light? She has ignored subpoenas, possibly perjured herself, and ignored the constitutional protocol for handing over gubernatorial powers to the lieutenant governor when out of state for a prolonged period. Not to mention ethic complaints and turning the office of the governor into a family affair.

High schools see uptick in drug arrests
Five area high schoolers have been arrested this month on felony drug charges for marijuana possession, and the head of the region's juvenile probation office said he's been "inordinately busy" with school drug cases.

Water, sewer rates poised to increase
Water and sewer utility rates are poised to increase following a Juneau Assembly committee recommendation.

Police & Fire
Alarm:

Correction
A story in Wednesday's Empire misstated who appointed two members to the State Officers Compensation Commission. Former Senate President Rick Halford was appointed by Gov. Sarah Palin. House Speaker John Harris, R-Valdez, appointed Juneau resident Gordon Harrison to the commission.

Committee opts to wait on hoverbarge stand
Juneau-Douglas Fish and Game advisory committee members met last night to take a stand on a Taku River hoverbarge proposal, but decided to table any decision making until they know more.

Photos: Winter Wonderland
Dan Arnold sits in a precarious position to have his picture taken by friends Tuesday in front of the Mendenhall Glacier. Arnold is in the U.S. Air Force and is in town training with the Air National Guard. Danny Babcock helps his son, Cade, 5, learn how to skate Tuesday on a pond in front of the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center. Many Juneau residents took advantage of the clear, cold weather to explore the ice and snow. Today's forecast calls for continuing sun, breezy conditions and highs around 21.

City mulls Tlingit-Haida tax exemption
The Juneau Assembly will hold a public hearing on an ordinance it is considering Friday to exempt tribal governments from sales tax.

Photo: Whooping cough vaccinations
Megan Dallas, 8, leans over to look at her father, Brian, as he receives a Tdap vaccine Tuesday at Floyd Dryden Middle School. The clinic will move to Dzantik'i Heeni Middle School from 2 to 8 p.m. today. There have been a growing number of Pertussis (whooping cough) cases reported in Juneau this year.

Juneau man faces DVD piracy charge
Federal authorities have indicted a Juneau man on copyright violation charges in connection with a movie pirating business.

Photo: Ice road truckers
A truck hauls gravel Tuesday around Mendenhall Lake to the new Nugget Falls trail.

Hedge fund investments down but not out in Alaska
A giant Ponzi scheme that's roiled Wall Street since last week wasn't part of Alaska's big investment funds and probably couldn't have been, state investment managers say.

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

Photo: Spreading holiday warmth on a cold day
Clark Gruening, left, and Greg Wagner, of the Downtown Rotory Club, thank a donor Wednesday as they watch a Salvation Army bucket on Front Street. They said about 100 people dropped money into the bucket during their hour-long shift.

Around Town

Photo: Homecoming celebrations
Alex Botelho, a senior at Juneau Douglas High School, paints a sign Wednesday in the school's commons. JDHS students were preparing signs and decorations for Homecoming festivities this week.

Photo: Nice ice
A lone skater glides Wednesday across Auke Lake against a backdrop of the Mendenhall Towers. The weather will continue to be clear and cold today with highs around 18 and east wind from 15 to 25 mph. Wind chills to 20 below zero are expected in the morning.

Around Town
Today

'Earth' remake hardly a classic
A s is inevitable with a remake of a film, especially one first released more than five decades ago, changes have been made in the new edition. Some of the changes are automatic upgrades, others are less successful. The end result is a brand new, big-budget remake of a sci-fi classic that is ... OK.

'Seven Pounds' success lies not in its enigmatic plot but in its actors
The rules for a weeper, a movie tear-jerker, could not be simpler. Touch us. Make us fumble around in the dark for a Kleenex. But earn those tears.

Iraq war miniseries excels in its genre
'Generation Kill'

The microphone is open
Alaskan Bar's weekly musical forum going strong for 18 years and counting

Give the gift of music - and save your money for food
O ne tiny blessing about celebrating the holidays during these hard, hard times is it's not so much about the shopping.

Sound Bites
Jamie Foxx, "Intuition" ★★ ½

Aidan Neary
Juneau resident Aidan Taylor Francis Neary died Dec. 10, 2008. He was 14.

Barbara L. Darnell
Juneau resident Barbara L. Darnell died in her sleep on Dec. 12, 2008, while visiting her daughter in Everett, Wash. She was 74.

Lloyd William Grant
Former Juneau resident Lloyd William (Nunny) Grant died Dec. 7, 2008, in Seattle, Wash. He was 48.

My turn: Committee needs a seat representing science
As a member of the general public, I recently attended a meeting of the Juneau Douglas Fish and Game Advisory Committee. There I learned that this committee of advisors is comprised of 15 members, all with seats designated for particular user groups. There are, for example, seats designated for commercial fishers, sport fishers, trappers, hunters, wildlife watchers, and so on. This array of users, I'm told, represents a recent reorganization of the committee.

My turn: Research an important draw for university
One of the University of Alaska Southeast's great strengths is its faculty. Not only is the university still small enough to have great student-teacher ratios across the board, but the teachers themselves consistently seem invested in working with their students to enrich the students' experiences and enhance their level of understanding.

Outside editorial: In Iraq: Mistakes, embarrassments
During President Bush's first trip to Iraq, under cover of darkness in November 2003, security was so tight that Iraqis didn't even know he had been there until he was long gone. Iraq's progress has been so dramatic that, for the president's visit Sunday, he left the security of U.S. military bases and, in daylight, held a joint news conference with Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

Alaska editorial: Praise for Palin's plans to back state health initiatives
Gov. Sarah Palin has proposed some excellent health care initiatives that will make a big difference to affected families in the coming year.

The recession's silver lining
Call it the gospel of hard times. With all this bad economic news, we're starting to hear a chorus of voices preaching the cultural benefits of financial crises.

Obama should wait before rushing into Iran
A bevy of foreign policy experts are pressing President-elect Barack Obama to move quickly on his promise to "engage in aggressive personal diplomacy" with Iran.

Coogan pleads guilty to drug charge
JUNEAU - The week before his trial was scheduled to start, 25-year-old David Coogan pleaded guilty on a lesser charge for trying to smuggle oxycodone, a prescription painkiller, into Juneau.

Munitions detonated in Lemon Creek
JUNEAU - Juneau police and other officials detonated World War II munitions at about 5 p.m. Wednesday in Lemon Creek.

Palin a runner-up 'Person of the Year'
NEW YORK - President-elect Barack Obama has won another contest: He's been named Time magazine's "Person of the Year" for 2008.

Trial for Cowdery delayed until March
ANCHORAGE - The trial of state Sen. John Cowdery has been delayed until at least March.

Man dies in SUV crash in Klawock
KLAWOCK - A crash outside the Prince of Wales Island community of Klawock killed the driver of a sport utility vehicle.

Stadium shooting trial near deliberations
ANCHORAGE - A prosecutor gave his closing argument in the trial of two men accused of firing shots across the Anchorage Football Stadium.

Japan flights back after Palin intervenes
FAIRBANKS - Eighteen winter flights from Japan to Fairbanks are on schedule again after Gov. Sarah Palin intervened with federal customs authorities.

Fairbanks grants $10,000 to Quest
FAIRBANKS - The Fairbanks City Council will give $10,000 to the Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race.

Airborne to pay $7 million settlement
WASHINGTON - The maker of Airborne dietary supplements has agreed to pay $7 million to settle allegations by 32 states, including Alaska, that it made false claims about the benefits of its fruit-flavored products.

Sitka company pays fine to EPA
JUNEAU - Allen Marine Inc. has settled with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to pay a $15,300 penalty for filling Sitka tidelands without a federal permit, the agency said Tuesday.

Four reappointed as presiding judges
ANCHORAGE - Presiding judges in Alaska's four judicial districts will have familiar faces.

AMHS adds Angoon stop for shoppers
JUNEAU - The Alaska Marine Highway System ferry LeConte will depart Hoonah early Dec. 22 with a stop planned in Angoon to accommodate holiday shoppers this year.

Firefighters sponsor Santa Claus visit
JUNEAU - Capital City Fire and Rescue will sponsor a Santa Claus visit Friday starting at 6:30 p.m. downtown.

Lawmakers question numbers in budget
ANCHORAGE - State lawmakers are expressing skepticism over Gov. Sarah Palin's claim that her proposed budget will not produce a deficit.

GSC finishes age group event
Juneau's Glacier Swim Club got an impressive look at its present and future a week ago at the Alaska Age Group Championships in Ketchikan, and an even brighter look at its present in Austin, Texas, this past weekend.

JRC wraps up singles tourney
The Juneau Racket Club successfully hosted the area's first juniors-only singles tournament last weekend - even if it was three weeks late.

JDHS JV team tops Canadian tourney
It's third time's the charm for the Juneau-Douglas High School Crimson Bears junior varsity boys' basketball team.

JDHS grad gets RMAC weekly award
Juneau-Douglas High School graduate Mary Rehfeld was named the NAIA Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference's co-Player of the Week after leading Colorado Sate-Pueblo to a pair of home wins last week.

2008 Alaska Age Groups Swimming Championships

Parks & Rec. Adult Ordway Basketball League Standings

Sports in Juneau

Looking back
Hooligan says farewell with a tribute to its proud, not-so-proud moments.

Commission urges raises for lawmakers
Gov. Sarah Palin, state legislators and other top government leaders are being recommended for pay increases of 20 percent or more under a plan set in motion by the Alaska Legislature earlier this year, before the precipitous fall in the price of oil and the recession hitting hard.

State officials look into racist e-mails
ANCHORAGE - Alaska officials are investigating racist jokes about President-elect Barack Obama that have been circulating on state government e-mail accounts.

Two trillion tons of ice have vanished since '03
WASHINGTON - More than 2 trillion tons of land ice in Greenland, Antarctica and Alaska have melted since 2003, according to new NASA satellite data that show the latest signs of what scientists say is global warming.

Prison population decreasing in Alaska
FAIRBANKS - Until last month, the gym at the Fairbanks Correctional Center doubled as prisoner housing because of overcrowding.

Legislative salary recommendations came from knowledgeable group
Legislative pay increases have long been a politically touchy issue, especially for legislators who might find themselves facing tough re-election battles.

Trustees file lawsuit over pollution in Cook Inlet
KENAI - A group is alleging that the Environmental Protection Agency manipulated and falsified discharge data to justify an increase of toxic pollution that can be legally dumped into Cook Inlet.

Prosecutors say witness lied to protect Jerry Ward
ANCHORAGE - Former state Sen. Jerry Ward persuaded a witness in the trial of U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens to invent a story about an immunity deal and then lie about it to protect Ward from prosecution, according to federal authorities.

Habitat protection proposed for sea otters in Aleutians
ANCHORAGE - A federal agency is proposing habitat protection for Alaska sea otters in the Aleutian Islands, where numbers have dwindled by more than half in 20 years.

Companions rescue skier buried in avalanche at Turnagain Pass
ANCHORAGE - A skier at Turnagain Pass was buried by an avalanche but rescued by companions.

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