Open doors and big windows
The Canvas Community Art Studio and Gallery is an inspired artists’ space. Located downtown on the corner of Seward and Second streets, the thriving three-room artists’ studio brings together REACH artists who experience disabilities and other local artists in a new model for successful social integration and inclusion.



'Rare Exports' a spooky, spectacular alternative to holiday schlock
From a certain angle, “Rare Exports” might sound like a typical heartwarming yuletide yarn: It’s 24 days till Christmas, and a precocious young boy is determined to prove that Santa exists, while his hard-working widowed father suffers a major business setback. But the nog is spiked with twisted black humor in this frosty Finnish fantasy.

Turn winter bills into holiday thrills
With the holidays ramping up and the temperatures dropping off, the bills are bound to begin piling up around your house. To defeat those winter bills blues, think outside the box by using the bills themselves (OK, their fabulous textured envelopes) to spread some holiday cheer! Here are two projects to take you from down-and-out to in the holiday spirit.

New essentials
Ah, the holidays. This is the time of year when my addiction to so-called "Christmas" music is briefly viewed as normal behavior. Tchaikovsky's "Nutcracker" and Vince Guaraldi's soundtracks to the "Peanuts" television specials are some of the most popular year-round tunes on my playlist, but they have caused raised eyebrows among friends when I've put them on out of season.

Tollefson back in town to play Wednesday
Former Juneau resident Eric Tollefson, now of Bend, Ore., will play one show at the Alaskan Hotel & Bar next week on Wednesday, Dec. 29.

'Legacy' a treat for the faithful
This has been a good year for nerds, hasn't it? Harry Potter made an appearance. "Inception" made it temporarily acceptable to endlessly debate the details of a movie about stealing secrets from people's dreams. Facebook's creator (Mark Zuckerberg), still in his mid-20's, is a multi-billionaire, the subject of an immensely popular movie and Time's Man of the Year. Finally, right before Christmas, every dork that has waited patiently for almost three decades for a sequel to their beloved "Tron" gets just that with "Tron: Legacy.

New at your local library: fiction from all genres
New fiction from all genres is filling the shelves at the Juneau Public Libraries.

DADT repeal not in the public interest
Legislation repealing the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy has turned the United States military into a new front for social and cultural experimentation. This is not in the public interest.

Request from Native mothers
I’ve heard a lot of Alaska Native mothers say they want the tribal, state, and federal governments to bring their kids home from Arizona. Their kids are in Florence Prison, too far away to visit. Most of the Native mothers cannot afford to go down there, so they want a prison built in Alaska. For a couple of years now, I’ve heard Native mothers asking tribal leaders and state representatives to make it happen.

Moonwatchers treated to total lunar eclipse
Skywatchers got an early holiday present this year: A total eclipse of the moon.

New aquatic center slated for spring opening
The new Dimond Park Aquatic Center is about 80 percent complete and is expected to open in March or April.

Bartlett looks to lobby for adolescent care
Bartlett’s leaders met with local legislators recently to discuss upcoming objectives.

Photo: Ready, set, fly
A flock of Mallard ducks lifts off from the Mendenhall Wetlands State Game Refuge on Tuesday morning.

Photo: Smooth skating
If you build it they will come. Brad Greenwell attempts to make smoother skating ice for a skating rink on Tuesday on Auke Lake. After hand shoveling the ice Greenwell used a hand auger to make a hole, placed a new bilge pump in the lake, hooked the pump to a car battery and a garden hose and pumped lake water onto the frozen surface. “Not bored,” Greenwell said. “I just think this will be a fun ice rink.”

Police & Fire
This report contains information provided to the Empire from law enforcement agencies. This report includes arrest and citation information, not conviction information. Anyone listed in this report is presumed innocent.

Photo: A long night ahead
Thane residents and friends gather Tuesday for a Winter Solstice bonfire on the beach at Sheep Creek. Thane resident Larri Spengler said the fire has taken place annually for many years, even in weather that is less than ideal. Tuesday’s fire was paired with strong winds that blew sparks up and down the beach. A high wind advisory will remain in effect until 4 p.m. today.

Next Gen plan tweaks in the works
Improvements are being made to the Next Generation education plan in the Juneau School District, following a program review this fall that showed serious flaws in its implementation.

Keeping Hoonah warm
HOONAH - Driving slowly around Hoonah, you quickly learn a few unspoken rules of the road. Wave to everyone you pass. Offer a ride to anyone who looks like he needs one. If you see someone's dog running loose, call its owner. And on Wednesday, pickup trucks loaded with split firewood illustrated one more: make sure elders have enough wood to keep warm in the winter.

D&H to seek marine passenger funds for Statter Harbor
The City and Borough of Juneau's Docks and Harbors Department is requesting $2.1 million in Fiscal Year 2012 for part of the Statter Harbor project.

Photo: Cover from the chill
A snow shoer takes cover from the wind Sunday along the Perseverance Trail. Portions of the trail have become deceptively icy and require spiked shoes. Multiple options exist for safer hiking trails or activities on various lakes and ponds in the area. Hikers should check conditions of their chosen trail and leave an itinerary of their trip and return time with friends or family.

Police & Fire
This report contains information provided to the Empire from law enforcement agencies. This report includes arrest and citation information, not conviction information. Anyone listed in this report is presumed innocent.

Ariz. hospital loses Catholic status over surgery
PHOENIX — The Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix stripped a major hospital of its affiliation with the church Tuesday because of a surgery that ended a woman’s pregnancy to save her life.

Travel-trained: Americans take security with sigh
NEW YORK — Explosive snow globes? You’ve got to be kidding, Robyn Burford thought when security inspectors at the Portland, Ore., airport demanded she hand over her two glitter-filled souvenirs.

US teen birth rate at all-time low, economy cited
ATLANTA — The U.S. teen birth rate in 2009 fell to its lowest point in almost 70 years of record-keeping — a decline that stunned experts who believe it’s partly due to the recession.




Outside editorial: Healing hidden wounds
The following editorial first appeared in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

Petraeus has answers on Afghanistan, based on hope
As President Barck Obama was rolling out his Afghan policy review, I had the chance to visit U.S. forward-operating bases in the Taliban heartland and to interview Gen. David Petraeus.

Obamacare and the risk of 'positive rights'
The recent court decision striking down the linchpin provision of the health care bill is a reminder what’s at stake is larger than the future of Obamacare. If this law passes constitutional muster, the question is whether the federal government can be constrained by any limits at all.

Outside editorial: Making good history
The following editorial first appeared in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

School reform, Georgia style
Given the level of concern some American have expressed over the performance of the nation's public schools, some might want to follow the lead of the Republic of Georgia by putting the former chief of that nation's prison system in charge of the country's schools.

For the TSA, all risks are created equal
John Pistole, the head of the Transportation Security Administration, recently told The Atlantic in an interview that "we'll never eliminate risk" of terrorist attacks on aviation.

US rig count up by 5
HOUSTON, Texas - The number of rigs actively exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. increased by five this week to 1,714.

Treadwell: State will seek to certify Senate race
JUNEAU - Alaska's lieutenant governor says the state will seek to have U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski certified the winner of her race as soon as possible.

Emergency unemployment benefits extended
JUNEAU - Thousands of Alaskans could benefit from an extension of an emergency unemployment program.

3 new Mat-Su schools planned
ANCHORAGE — Matanuska-Susitna Borough planners are looking for sites for three new schools at Wasilla.

Parnell picks Campbell to head Fish and Game
JUNEAU - Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell is appointing adviser Cora Campbell to head the state Fish and Game Department.

4 sickened by carbon monoxide near Fairbanks
FAIRBANKS — Firefighters say a malfunctioning oil-burning furnace clogged a chimney with soot, flooding a rented house in the Fairbanks area with carbon monoxide and sickening four people.

Panel finds probable cause of ethics violations
ANCHORAGE — An ethics panel has found probable cause that Republican state Rep. Bob Lynn violated the Legislative Ethics Act as he campaigned for re-election.

City encourages pipe-freezing prevention
The City and Borough of Juneau Public Works department reminded people in a press release to take preventative measures with pipelines during frigid weather conditions to prevent line freezes. Things which can help prevent line freezes include keeping water circulating through pipes by leaving a trickle running in faucets, closing the foundation vents on your house, insulating and/or adding heat tape to pipes and checking to ensure drains are clear of all obstructions and debris.

Flags lowered for former Alaska lawmaker
ANCHORAGE — Alaska state flags will be lowered to half-staff Tuesday in tribute to former state Rep. Walter “Wally” Kubley.

Murkowski 'leaning toward' support of 9/11 bill
JUNEAU — Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski says she is “leaning toward” supporting legislation to aid responders to the 2001 terror attacks.

Juneau avalanche study approved
JUNEAU - A study on avalanches on Mount Juneau has been approved.

Anchorage elementary getting wind turbine
ANCHORAGE — Begich Middle School in Anchorage has won school board approval to install a wind turbine.

State posts population gains over decade
JUNEAU — New U.S. Census data shows Alaska’s population grew by 83,299 people over the last decade.

Stevens to introduce 120-day session bill
KODIAK — Senate President Gary Stevens plans to revive the debate over the 90-day session.

Young hopes to chair at least 1 subcommittee
JUNEAU - U.S. Rep. Don Young is looking to chair at least one subcommittee when the new Congress convenes.

Spilt pallets cause closure of Egan Drive
The Juneau Police Department closed both inbound lanes of Egan Drive on Tuesday night, after receiving multiple reports of pallets in the roadway, according to a release from the department.

Photo: Southeast Holiday Hoops Classic
Juneau-Douglas sophomore forward Gary Speck (54) soars for a lay-up against Thunder Mountain on Tuesday in the inaugural Southeast Holiday Hoops Classic at Thunder Mountain High School.

Crimson cleans up
The inaugural Southeast Holiday Hoops Classic JV basketball tournament concluded Wednesday night at Thunder Mountain High School, but it was the Juneau-Douglas boys' and girls' teams that took home the first-place hardware.

Sports in Juneau
• Sports In Juneau information must be submitted online at Submissions via e-mail, phone, fax or other will no longer be accepted. E-mail for more information.

College Watch
• Former SE Conf. preps playing college basketball

State to sue over polar bear protection
ANCHORAGE — Alaska officials filed notice Tuesday the state would sue the federal government over a decision to designate a swath of the Arctic as critical habitat for polar bears faced with the effects of climate change.


Parnell's choice to lead DFG approved
The joint boards of fisheries and game approved two applicants for commissioner of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, including Gov. Sean Parnell’s pick to head the agency.

State high court throws out Miller claims
JUNEAU - The Alaska Supreme Court delivered another stinging setback to Republican Joe Miller, refusing to overturn election results that favored his GOP rival, Lisa Murkowski, in the state's U.S. Senate race.



Oil rig operator wants to drill on Arctic shelf
ANCHORAGE — An oil rig operator that intends to drill in Cook Inlet wants to expand operations to the Beaufort and Chukchi seas.


Alaska incentives ample; film workers are scarce
FAIRBANKS — A generous tax incentive program has brought dozens of film productions to Alaska during the past two years, but the state is short of film crew workers.

Murkowski: I'm not a reliable vote for Obama
JUNEAU — U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski cautioned against reading too much into her support for major pieces of the Democrats’ agenda during the lame duck session of Congress.

Report: Pipeline not in long-range projects
JUNEAU - Federal analysts believe it will not be economical to build a major natural gas pipeline in Alaska for at least the next 20 years, according to a recent report by the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

A year of iPads, Betty, 'Glee,' multiple Palins
Politics and pop culture. Remember when they used to be, well, separate? In recent years these two worlds have seemed to inch ever closer, or maybe to overlap, but in 2010, nobody traveled between them more successfully than Sarah Palin.

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