New chapter books for kids include 'When Heaven Fell'
New chapter books for kids who like school stories, scary stories, family stories, sports stories, and much more are on the shelves at the Juneau Public Libraries.

Books for young readers: The gifts that keep on giving
A few shopping days left - what to get the kids who have everything? A book, of course. Not just any book but one to be read and re-read and shared with loved ones. These recent releases will provide hours of entertainment for readers young and old.

Best Sellers

State workers receive extra holiday
Gov. Sarah Palin is giving Alaska state employees an extra day off for Christmas this year, after Pres. Bush did the same for federal employees.

Powder Launch
The economy's melting, but the snowpack still builds. Sean Janes is optimistic that the reasonably well-heeled still have the money to go skiing this year.

Around Town

Government quietly shifts to Anchorage
ANCHORAGE - Alaskans have argued for generations over the location of the state capital, about access and power and the weather in Juneau. But in just two years, and with hardly any debate, Gov. Sarah Palin has shifted the center of state government to Anchorage.

Alaska Airlines cancels 47 flights in Northwest amid severe weather
Northwest airline passengers were forced to put their holiday travel plans on hold Saturday after Alaska Airlines announced 47 flight cancellations.

Photo: Santa comes to town
Santa waves as he rides on top of a Capitol City Fire and Rescue fire engine Friday during his annual ride through Juneau. The tradition of Santa riding through Juneau on a fire engine goes back several decades.

More travelers stranded amid winter storm
The weeklong snowstorm that has grounded airline travel in the Northwest worsened Sunday, forcing Alaska Airlines to suspend about 75 percent of its flights out of Seattle and Portland, Ore., airline officials reported.

Firefighters to replace dump truck tanker
The decades-old dump truck Capital City Fire and Rescue has been using as a water tanker will finally be put out to pasture, Division Chief Richard Etheridge said following an announcement Friday of a $225,000 grant for its replacement.

Photo: Unique treats
Timothy Staley, 11, left, and Conrad Kapsner, 10, both students at Harborview Elementary School, point to humpback whale tail cookies that they decorated Friday at the Oceana offices as part of a lesson in whale identification. The unique markings on humpback whale tails, which are as distinct as fingerprints on humans, can aid in identifying individual whales.

Photo: Sign of the season
A colorful peace sign decorates the hillside Sunday as shoppers drive to and from Costco and The Home Depot.

Around Town

Photos: Watching for Birds
Juneau bird watcher Steve Zimmerman scans the skies Saturday at the Juneau waterfront during the annual Audubon Christmas Bird Count. Top, a juvenile eagle perches atop a tree on Telephone Hill. Eagles, marbled murrelets, kingfishers and gulls were among the birds counted. Audubon holds the nationwide event every year. "Scientists rely on Christmas Bird Count data to assess bird numbers and distribution and to identify birds in need of conservation action," said Matt Kirchhoff, Audubon Alaska's Director of Bird Conservation "Every Christmas Bird Count participant plays a critical role in helping us monitor bird distribution and abundance in Alaska. The count is also helpful in developing Audubon Alaska's WatchList, which identifies declining and vulnerable species in Alaska in need of conservation help."

Police & Fire
Attempt to serve:

Photo: Relaxing ride
Ron Antaya pulls his daughter, Elin, 4, during a skate Sunday at Twin Lakes.

Photo: Brisk business
Carlisle Doria, right, Carter Westlund, left, and Greg O'Cleary, background, load a pickup truck with seasoned and spilt hemlock and yellow cedar firewood Sunday at the Western Auto Marine parking lot. O'Cleary said his friend, Steve Seley of Pacific Log & Lumber in Ketchikan, shipped 14 cords in two containers to test the Juneau market. He said they would continue selling the firewood through the cold months this winter. The hemlock was selling for $275 per cord and the yellow cedar was $300 per cord.

Police & Fire

Photo: A season for giving
From left, Curtis Christiansen, employee at Annie Kaill's, Susan Hickey, of the Downtown Business Association, Chava Lee, of Gastineau Humane Society, Darby Hinz, owner of Annie Kaill's, and Asha Falcon, employee of Annie Kaill's, pose for a check-passing ceremony.

Alaska Sea Grant seeks college students for marine policy fellowship
FAIRBANKS - Hoping to extend their winning streak to a third year, the Alaska Sea Grant College Program is looking for a few good men and women currently enrolled in higher education to apply for a paid Washington, D.C., fellowship in marine policy.

Training program seeks mature Alaskans who are looking for work
JUNEAU - Mature Alaskans Seeking Skills Training program - an adult education and employment program at The Learning Connection - is seeking people 55 or older who are looking for work.

KTOO, CoastAlaska selected for national fundraising project
JUNEAU - KTOO and CoastAlaska are among 20 organizations nationwide selected to participate in Leadership for Philanthropy, an initiative funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting to assist stations in building major gift fundraising programs.

Senior menu for the week of Dec. 22-26
Monday, Dec. 22


Preliminary results reveal no link to ancient human remains
Preliminary results from DNA research on ancient human remains discovered in Southeast Alaska did not establish a genetic connection to potential living descendants from the region. However, scientists are not ruling out eventually finding a genetic link between Southeast Natives and the 10,300-year-old man, who was given the name Shuká Kaa (Man Before Us) by Native people in September at his burial.

Bu che de Noel
Thunder Mountain High School French students competed in their annual B uche de Noel contest on Dec. 19, for which they made traditional French yule log cakes. The yule log cakerepresents the Yule log, which brings good luck in the New Year if burned all Christmas Eve night. The cake is a traditional Christmas dessert in France.

Fall colors
As I was driving into Douglas one day last fall, I spotted a gaudy maple tree, all red and gold-but only on one side. The other side was still bright green. Near this half-and-half tree were some Sitka alders. No gaudiness for them! Their leaves just turn brown and fall off.

Giving of ourselves with 'no strings attached'
"No strings attached." Unfortunately for many of us, that phrase probably raises a red flag.

Photo: Sitting pretty
The Juneau-Douglas High School dance team performs a revival of a chair routine from theearly 1990s during the high school's first basketball game against Palmer Friday at the high school. The team will perform again during Capital City Classics.

Klukwan's Lani Hotch wins health education award
KLUKWAN - Lani Hotch, the WISEFAMILIES Through Traditional Knowledge Camp Coordinator in Klukwan, recently was awarded the Barbara Berger Award by the Alaska Health Education Consortium for excellence in health education and health promotion in Alaska. The award was presented during the Dec. 3 luncheon at the Alaska Health Summit in Anchorage.

Pets of the week
Wonderful, talkative cats seek warm homes

Capital City Celebrations enlists Sean Parnell's help with medallions
JUNEAU - One of the "official" duties of Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell is "Keeper of the State Seal" and to ensure its proper use. Therefore, Kaysa Korpella was appreciative of Parnell's help when she came up with the idea to recast the Alaska Statehood Medallion authorized by the First Alaska Legislature in 1959.

Curtis Torres Howard
Juneau resident Curtis Torres Howard died Dec. 16, 2008. He was 27.

Linda M. Hensley
Longtime Sitka resident Linda M. Hensley died of natural causes on Dec. 11, 2008, at her home. She was 60.

William "Bill" Lampe
Juneau resident William "Bill" Boyd Lampe died Dec. 18. 2008, in Juneau. He was 79.

My turn: We need Obama's help to make pipeline a reality
Congratulations to President-elect Barack Obama on his victory. We, like all Americans, wish him great success in overcoming the challenges he faces as he takes office. Certainly, one of his most pressing concerns must be stabilizing our nation's economy. The unraveling of the financial markets, a sharp rise in unemployment and a nationwide mortgage crisis all make for a daunting challenge for him and for us as a country.

Economy a target-rich environment
Exactly four years ago this month, I predicted the economic depression that has since enfolded the entire world. Here is what I wrote:

Outside editorial: Detroit's holiday gift
Christmas has come early for General Motors and Chrysler. Friday, the Bush administration pledged up to $17.4 billion for the two distressed carmakers - enough money to save them from bankruptcy. Actually, the cash comes not as a gift, but as loans, with strings attached. Still, it does give GM and Chrysler a second chance at survival, and that's more than they got from Congress, which adjourned last week, unable to agree on a bailout bill.

Outside editorial: The special election
This editorial appeared in the Washington Post:

Outside editorial: It is, after all, just a prayer
Barack Obama's choice of Rick Warren to give the invocation at his inauguration understandably has angered some of the president-elect's supporters. But Obama was convincing Thursday in arguing that his invitation to the evangelical pastor, who opposes abortion and backed Proposition 8, didn't constitute an endorsement of Warren's views on gay marriage or any other issue.

Madoff's willing partners
There seems to be little doubt that Bernard Madoff is a cheat. His apparent Ponzi scheme, in which capital from new investors would have been used to pay "dividends" to earlier investors, ultimately cost the participants many billions of dollars. But was it all Madoff's fault? I contend that the losses would have been less severe, and might not have occurred at all, if many of the Madoff's investors had not been cast from the same mold that Madoff was.

Working with China, India and Russia
As I made my way from one national-security discussion to another, the conversation never strayed far from an imposing topic: the 21st century's emerging or renascent powers. Whether Americans like it or not, they must share influence with several countries that have risen in prominence, notably China, India and Russia.

Toe Toon
This week's toe toon.

Weekend Chenega sailings canceled
JUNEAU - Bad weather has canceled two sailings of the ferry Chenega, the Alaska Marine Highway System announced Friday.

Airline flight makes emergency stop
JUNEAU - An Alaska Airlines flight made an emergency stop in Juneau Saturday morning when an equipment malfunction led to four people needing treatment for carbon monoxide poisoning.

Jury convicts man of failing to pay support
ANCHORAGE - An Anchorage man who ignored orders to pay child support will spend a month in jail.

Assembly OKs tribal sales tax exemption
JUNEAU - The Juneau Assembly unanimously approved a sales tax exemption for federally recognized tribal governments on Friday.

Kenai congressional office to close
KENAI - The congressional office in Kenai will close next year to the disappointment of Mayor Pat Porter.

Police investigate death as homicide
ANCHORAGE - Anchorage police are investigating the death of a man who died suddenly on Thanksgiving as a homicide.

Western Alaska sees rash of suicides
ANCHORAGE - Six people have killed themselves in communities in western Alaska this month, many of them teenagers.

JDHS girls sweep Moose
The Juneau-Douglas girls basketball team rallied back from a rough start Saturday night to easily top the Palmer Moose 45-27 and complete the weekend sweep. The Bears won Friday night's matchup 58-49.

Bears boys 2-0 after wild finish
The Juneau-Douglas boys' basketball team looked comfortable in their new uptempo attack this weekend, putting at least 60 points on the board in both wins over the visiting Palmer Moose.

Crimson Bears hockey loses in OT
The Juneau-Douglas High School hockey team picked up a big win and plenty of confidence with a 9-0 shellacking of visiting 3A Tok Friday night. Unfortunately, Saturday was a whole new game.

Holiday Cup praised as community event
Young soccer players converged at the Dimond Park Fieldhouse Saturday in freezing conditions to test their soccer skills and compete in the first day of the Juneau Holiday Cup.

Sports in Juneau

Alaska's business future could be with China, speakers say
Those who want to do business in China need an agent. The catch: everyone who speaks English and Chinese calls themselves an agent.

Cowdery stays in Senate after guilty plea
ANCHORAGE - State Sen. John Cowdery pleaded guilty to a federal conspiracy charge but remains a member of the state Senate.

Kott asks for release from federal prison
Former Rep. Pete Kott, now serving time in a federal prison in connection with his corruption convictions, is asking to be let out of prison while his appeals are heard.

Eagle River boy to return home after transplant
ANCHORAGE - An Eagle River boy is expected to return home in a few days after a three-year absence in which he underwent a heart transplant.

State's animal abuse ranking improves, but remains high
FAIRBANKS - Alaska improved its position this year in a report looking at animal cruelty laws throughout the country.

Elton receives two top posts in Senate
Juneau Sen. Kim Elton has been appointed to two top positions in the 26th Alaska Legislature, convening Jan. 20.

Monegan plans to run for Anchorage mayor
ANCHORAGE - The former state commissioner at the heart of the Alaska "Troopergate" investigation says he will be in the running for Anchorage mayor.

Palmer jury convicts man in machete killing
WASILLA - A Palmer jury has convicted a man of killing his father with a machete.

Mother of Palin daughter's boyfriend arrested in Wasilla
ANCHORAGE - Alaska state troopers have arrested the mother of Bristol Palin's boyfriend on drug charges.

Substance abuse treatment center opens
FAIRBANKS - A 10,000-square-foot treatment center for substance abusers has been unveiled in Fairbanks and will begin taking clients next month.

Complaint filed against government conduct in Stevens trial
WASHINGTON - A federal employee with extensive knowledge of the investigation and corruption trial of U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens has filed a whistle-blower complaint alleging that the government intentionally withheld evidence and committed other misconduct.

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