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Friday, December 26, 2008

2008 New Year's Eve roundup
Henry's party, 6 p.m.

Artist create mini golf putts with Alaska theme at culture center
JUNEAU - As a fundraising event for the Juneau Arts & Culture Center, local artists have created Alaska themed miniature golf holes set up at the center, to be available for public enjoyment from noon to 9 p.m. starting today until Tuesday, Dec. 30.

Juneau Dance Unlimited now registering for winter, spring classes
JUNEAU - Juneau Dance Unlimited is registering students for the new winter and spring 2009 semester classes which begin Jan. 5. The class schedule and registration forms are available at www.juneaudance.com.

Poems for Poetry Omnibus due by Jan. 5
Poetry OmniBus, together with the Juneau Arts & Humanities Council and Capital Transit, are looking for this year's fresh and surprising poems from Juneau locals. Poetry writers can submit in either the youth (fifth-grade through high school) or adult categories. The submission period closes Jan. 5.

Motion picture, TV title designer Fitzgerald to speak Saturday
JUNEAU - Wayne Fitzgerald, three-time Emmy award winning motion picture and TV title designer with more than 1,000 title designs to his credit, will speak at 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 27, at the downtown library.

Dillingham, students to perform 'Stories from the Wilderness'
JUNEAU - Children's book author and acclaimed storyteller Brett Dillingham and students from his family storytelling workshop will perform their stories at 3 p.m. Sunday at The Canvas. Pie in the Sky will open at 2:30 p.m. for the event so attendees can get their hot drinks and baked treats before the storytelling.

Juneau Lyric Opera to hold Mid-Winter Vocal Festival
JUNEAU - The Juneau Lyric Opera will celebrate its 20th anniversary with a Mid-Winter Vocal Festival held Jan. 2-9 at Chapel by the Lake.

ARTS & CULTURE CALENDAR
ART & PERFORMANCE

Grants for new pool come up short
Grant requests are coming back softer than expected, so city officials need to come up with about $2.5 million if plans for a geothermal heat system and therapeutic resistance channel at the proposed Dimond Park Aquatic Center are to stay in the design.

Downtown traffic to be studied
Engineers will be systematically counting and tracking vehicle and pedestrian traffic around the cruise ship docks downtown this summer as part of a study intended to help policy-makers manage traffic and reduce congestion.

Book on Tlingit battle wins national award
Among the 14 winners of the Before Columbus Foundation's 28th annual American Book Awards was "Anóoshi Lingít Aaní Ká: Russians in Tlingit America, The Battles of Sitka 1802 and 1804" - a book by Juneau residents Nora Marks Dauenhauer and Richard Dauenhauer and the late Lydia Black, of Fairbanks.

CEO leads business success in Hoonah
Aside from the occasional yawn, balancing a busy schedule appears effortless for Huna Totem Corp. and Icy Strait Point CEO Bob Wysocki, who, in addition to catering to Huna Totem's 1,300 shareholders and ISP's 100-plus local employees, finds time to serve on several boards, train for triathlons in the summer and father two young girls, Sydney, 2, and Katelyn, 4.

Photos: Christian congregations
Sisters Kiersten Johnson and Dorian Smith sing during the Church of the Holy Trinity Christmas Eve services held at St. Ann's Parish Hall. The sisters are the granddaughters of Rev. Samuel McPhetres, after whom McPhetres Hall of Holy Trinity is named. The congregation will start to hold services at its rebuilt Church of the Holy Trinity next year. The choir of the Cathedral of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, right, sings during the Midnight Christmas Mass.

Interest in mini-bonds low
For 12 days In September, the city had $4 million in bonds up for sale to locals. Those bonds were part of the $19.8 million of borrowing that voters authorized in an October 2007 referendum for the Dimond Aquatic Center.

Stores offer gift cards for chains a plane ticket away
If gift card racks are any indication, the people of Juneau love the Olive Garden - despite the city and the whole of Alaska being completely without the Italian restaurant chain.

Photos: Celebrating Christmas
Father Thomas Weise preparescommunion during the midnight Mass at Cathedral of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Photo: A festive walk
Frank and Twylia Osborne walk near the intersection of Egan Drive and Glacier Highway with their children, Tyrone, 4, and Aaliyah, 6, on their way to buy Christmas dinner on Wednesday.

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

Around Town
Today

Police & Fire
The Juneau Police Department's daily bulletin was unavailable at press time. Friday's Empire will have updated police and fire information.

Around Town
Today

Anything can, does, happen in 'Yes Man'
DISCLAIMER: It is possible, perhaps even likely, that my opinions about "Yes Man" were overly enhanced toward the positive end of the spectrum thanks to the locale (Hawaii) and the company (sister and girlfriend) with whom I saw it.

Juneau resident shares caramel nut bars
Got a recipe you would like to share with our readers? Looking for something special to make over the holiday? You never know what yummy recipe is just waiting to be tried. Send Auntie Emo your requests and recipes.

STUDENT ARTISTS: Tisa Becker's first-grade class
This class will perform a version of "The Gingerbread Man," which they wrote themselves.

Photo: Suited for statehood
Two generations later, Marcella Stutte, center, shows daughter, Kaysa Korpela, left, and granddaughter, Kelsey Korpela, the dress she chose in 1959 to wear to the statehood festivities and inauguration of William Egan, the first governor of Alaska. This tea-length, black velvet dress is V-backed with organza and black lace on the bottom. Now, 50 years later, it just might be in style. The 50th anniversary of Alaska Statehood will be celebrated Jan. 3 at Centennial Hall. Tickets are available at Hearthside Books.

Neighbors mailbox: Thanks for sponsoring the charity walk and picking 'our' tree
On behalf of the Gastineau Humane Society Board of Directors and staff and all animals everywhere, we wish to thank the Downtown Business Association for sponsoring the 12 Trees of Christmas Charity Walk. Thank you to Annie Kaill's for picking us as their charity and for designing such an awesome tree. And thank you to everyone who voted for "our" tree.

Neighbors mailbox: Friend gives tribute to Sigurd T. Olson
Sigurd T. Olson, longtime resident of Douglas and renowned Alaskan wildlife biologist, passed away at the Juneau Pioneers Home, Dec. 21, at the age of 85.

John Sherman Simpson
Former Juneau resident John Sherman Simpson died peacefully on Dec. 7, 2008, in Seattle, Wash. He was surrounded by his family, who had gathered from Seattle, Juneau and Oslo, Norway. He was 93.

Janelle Marcie Byers
Lifelong Hoonah resident Janelle Marcie Byers died Dec. 20, 2008, in Hoonah. She was 15.

Alaska editorial: Insulation good for the economy as well
Up here in the Last Frontier, we know a thing or two about insulation. Whether it's our boots, our attic or the car battery, we've found ways to keep the cold at bay.

Outside editorial: A season for giving
This is, by almost any account, the most economically challenging holiday season since the Great Depression. As the unemployment rolls grow by hundreds of thousands, and net worths and 401(k) savings plummet, it may seem reasonable to decide that charity is someone else's responsibility. But now, more than ever, is the time to answer the call of beneficence, whether by donating money or time.

A new old U.S. arms control program
For all their agreement on matters such as Afghanistan and defense spending, President-elect Barack Obama and Defense Secretary Robert Gates are on record disagreeing over a central matter for U.S. security: the future of nuclear weapons.

Outside editorial: China takes a step back on Internet
Prior to the summer Olympics, China pledged to free up Web sites. It unblocked some sites but failed to comply fully with its promise.

Don't give Caroline Kennedy a 'bailout'
We saw what happened when the mighty and powerful captains of Wall Street and the big banks asked for a giant blank check from Congress. What was promised to be a stimulus to our economy turned out to be a money grab in which the banks can't or won't tell us how they are using the money. They aren't making loans; they aren't assisting families or small businesses. They've turned out to be arrogant parasites.

Outside column: 'Recession' tree reflects hard times
My son and I traipsed around our property and several adjacent woodlots before settling on our "recession tree." This Christmas the pickings were slim. A man just up the road was selling the fuller-figured, domesticated variety for $25, and he probably would have given us the neighborhood discount. But I lost my day job early in the fall.

Outside column: Fresh thinking for a connected world
If there are any of us who still doubt that the world has shrunk, that we all are linked and dependent on one another, this has been the year that proved us wrong. The evidence is all around us. Early this year, homeowners in Wichita, Kan., and Fuquay Varina, N.C. (among 1,000 other places) defaulted on their mortgages. And so it began.

Discovery Days are back at Eaglecrest
JUNEAU - Discovery Southeast and Eaglecrest Ski Area will host the winter celebration, Discovery Days, from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 2, at Eaglecrest Ski Area. Future Discovery Days also will be on Feb. 16 and March 27.

Police investigate attempted robbery
JUNEAU - Police are investigating an attempted robbery that occurred Tuesday in the Mendenhall Valley.

Woman killed in highway crash
ANCHORAGE - A 22-year-old Pennsylvania woman has died in a crash on an icy stretch of the Seward Highway.

Facility receives temporary license
ANCHORAGE - The state has granted a temporary license to a long-term nursing home in Anchorage after the owner agreed to sell the embattled facility within 60 days.

Coast Guard delivers goods in Southeast
ANCHORAGE - Coast Guard cutter crews have completed their yearly stint as Santa Claus for several Southeast Alaska communities.

Deicer fumes invade plane at Sea-Tac
SEATAC, Wash. - Deicer fumes made their way into an Alaska Airlines plane at Sea-Tac Airport and irritated the eyes of passengers and the crew.

Prison bonds sold
ANCHORAGE - The Matanuska-Susitna Borough has sold $240 million in bonds to help fund construction of a new prison.

UAF Web site taken down for work
ANCHORAGE - Most Web pages of the University of Alaska Fairbanks are being taken down next week for maintenance work.

Classic attraction
The Capital City Classic has become an informal homecoming for the Juneau-Douglas High School basketball teams over the years, with recently graduated players and wayward-living alumni returning for the holidays and a weekend of competitive basketball.

JDHS boys still looking for chemistry
The Juneau-Douglas High School boys basketball team is a group in search of an identity after changing offenses in the offseason and scrapping their way to a pair of tight wins over Palmer to start the season.

Girls ready to face local, international tests
The Juneau-Douglas High School girls basketball team was impressive in the season's first two games against Palmer, but a sampler platter of Australia's, Ohio's and Wasilla's best high school players may provide a tougher test at this weekend's Capital City Classic.

Photos: Halftime heroes
The Juneau-Douglas High School dance team performs at halftime of Dec. 19's boys basketball game. The popular squad is coached by Leslie Dahl and has a long history of success performing locally, nationally and even internationally. The team will perform at halftime of all JDHS games this weekend at the Capital City Classic.

Sports in Juneau
UPCOMING EVENTS

Bleak tourism year forecast for Alaska
FAIRBANKS - State tourism officials are warning that 2009 could be a bleak year for Alaska's tourism industry, with some projecting decreases in business of about 30 percent.

Witness says he received immunity offer
ANCHORAGE - David Anderson, the government witness at the center of the storm involving ex-state Sen. Jerry Ward and allegations of misconduct in U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens' trial, has written a new letter to the judge in the Stevens case asserting again that prosecutors promised him and his friends immunity.

Snowzilla rises again
ANCHORAGE - Someone has told the city of Anchorage what it can do with its cease-and-desist order to prevent Snowzilla - the giant snowman - from rising up again this winter in an east Anchorage neighborhood.

Designer offers thousands of colorful collars for pets
ANCHORAGE - Leslie Pruett-Walters dropped out of fashion design school and thought her future in haute couture was over. Turns out, she was just focusing on the wrong leggy models.

Fairbanks Catholic diocese receives complaints
ANCHORAGE - Someone has told the city of Anchorage what it can do with its cease-and-desist order to prevent Snowzilla - the giant snowman - from rising up again this winter in an east Anchorage neighborhood.

Records detail Johnston arrest
WASILLA - Alaska authorities say the mother of Bristol Palin's boyfriend sent text messages to two police informants discussing drug transactions before her arrest on felony drug charges.

Photo: Getting a lift
Avery Thomas and Dave Dishneau work to secure straps from a crane hook to a submerged utility truck Monday afternoon on the Chena River. The vehicle's multiple occupants escaped unharmed after breaking through thin ice near Pike's Landing the previous night.

This Day in History
In Alaska, in the Nation and the World

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