Bright moments of 2009: A look back
It would be hard to live in Juneau and not be affected in some way by the vibrancy and variety of our arts community. For a small city, we are blessed with abundance in all areas of the arts, and the talent we encounter in our neighbors and friends is often staggering.

Juneau Dance registration underway for Jan. 4 classes
Juneau Dance Unlimited is currently registering students for its winter and spring 2010 semester classes. Classes begin Monday, Jan. 4 and continue through May 30.

Juneau Lyric Opera Mid-Winter festival runs through Jan. 8
This year's Juneau Lyric Opera Mid-Winter Vocal Festival will celebrate the music of Broadway. Guest artists for the festival are conductor Dr. Byron McGilvray and accompanist and vocal coach Janis Capelle. Classes are offered Dec. 29 through Jan. 8 and include group voice, festival chorus, and master class.

Mickey Avalon to perform Jan. 7 at Marlintini's Lounge
Mickey Avalon, one of hip-hop's most enigmatic stars of the last several years, will perform in Juneau at 8 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 7 at Marlintini's Lounge.

Stepping out on New Year's
Here's a look at what's going on around town tonight.

Empire contributors share their arts picks for 2009
Top five reads, from Empire bookreviewer Jonas Lamb

Sherlock Holmes, the action star
Who knew Sherlock Holmes was an action star? I always pictured Holmes as a sort of snooty, but relaxed, older guy. Good thing for "Sherlock Holmes" it wasn't me behind the camera. Guy Ritchie has that title. Yeah, the director of "Snatch," "Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels," and "RocknRolla" is the guy they (whoever "they" is) chose to bring Sherlock Holmes to the big screen.

Indigo Piano Trio to perform Monday
Two accomplished young Alaska muscians and a third from Canada will perform Monday in a two-part classical program featuring works by Piazzolla, Debussy, Bach, Ysaye, Mark Summer and Dvorak.

Woodford, Wygant, Oil Barrel Band play January Gold Street concert
Juneau recording artist Riley Woodford will be among at least seven musicians taking the stage for the Jan. 2 Gold Street Music concert.

Alaska String Band to perform Friday
Fresh from a 10-week tour down South, The Alaska String Band is back on home turf, and will perform for local audiences Friday night.

New audio books include Baldwin's 'Another Country'
We're adding lots of new fiction audiobooks on cd for fans of mysteries, thrillers and classics. Look for new titles by Colleen McCullough, T.C. Boyle, and P.G. Wodehouse in addition to the titles below at our public libraries.

Arts & Culture CALENDAR

Media deluded about health care reform
After reading Ruth Marcus' article "Twisting Arms in Senate, No big deal" in Monday's Empire, one is left with mouth agape. The statement that Sen. Harry Reid giving away tens of billions in taxpayer dollars for votes is the same as Tom Delay offering a personal endorsement for the same just shows how far adrift the media has become.

Resolve to practice tolerance in New Year
In this time of holidays and of bringing cheer to others, hate crimes seem very foreign. Thus the revelation of a young couple in Anchorage being prosecuted for perpetrating a crime of hate against an Alaska Native last summer seems completely out of season, both then and now. The couple not only harassed this man, they threw bottles and eggs at him and pushed and kicked him, all the while taunting him with racial slurs. They then put their attack on YouTube (since removed).

More stations should broadcast in HD
When I was in Anchorage, we stayed in a hotel that had satellite television broadcasting by the DISH Network. All of the local television stations that are broadcast in Southeast Alaska and in Anchorage were broadcast in high definition.

Juneau travelers see few flight delays
Thick fog caused the only delay for Ron Smith and his son, Elliot, on a Tuesday morning Alaska Airlines flight from Fairbanks to Juneau.

Juneau's top stories in 2009
Editor's note: Due to space constraints, not every story on our list was able to make it into print. Below are our Top 10 selections, chosen by relevance to the Juneau community.

Around Town
Today, Dec. 31

Photo: Capital performance
Members of the Juneau-Douglas High School dance team perform Wednesday during the Capital City Classic.

Juneau sends city employees new pay offer
After reducing its budget by $4.5 million over the next two years, the city is rescinding its request that its largest union entirely forgo a contractually scheduled pay increase.

Woman arrested for pulling a gun on landlord
A 19-year-old woman was arrested Monday on a felony assault charge after pulling a gun on a landlord serving an eviction notice at the Glacier View Trailer Park.

Photo: Glacier by sunset
Hikers make their way Tuesday along the frozen Mendenhall Lake with the sun setting through heavy fog.

Free cabs offered for New Year's Eve
There is never an excuse to drink and drive and this New Year's Eve there is no reason anybody should get behind the wheel drunk in the capital city. Free cab rides are being made available throughout Juneau for the holiday.

Photo: Into the fog
Darla Orbistondo takes her mid-morning walk Tuesday along Channel Drive in heavy fog. Cold clear skies this week could lead to more morning fog and icy streets.

ANB supports new subsistence groups
The Alaska Native Brotherhood has raised $10,000 to form two organizations to protect Native subsistence rights.

Drunk Pelican man arrested for trying to flee van
An inebriated 49-year-old Pelican man was arrested Tuesday night after trying to avoid detainment for public intoxication.

Around Town
Today, Dec. 30

Police & Fire
Juneau police and fire officials reported:

Police & Fire
Juneau police and fire officials reported:

Carmel D. Roberts
Former Ketchikan and Juneau resident Carmel D. "Punky" Roberts died Dec. 18, 2009, in Mount Vernon, Wash. She was 63.

Benny Lingle
Skagway resident Ben L. Lingle died peacefully in his sleep the morning of Dec. 13, 2009, at his home. He was 82.

Outside editorial: Screening flights for terrorists
This editorial appeared in the Los Angeles Times:

Tongass truce?
The following editorial first appeared in the Anchorage Daily News:

City facing more drastic measures to avoid crises
A month ago, I requested that Juneau's general bargaining unit forego a negotiated 3 percent pay raise scheduled to take effect on Jan. 1. I have decided to withdraw that request and instead ask that they agree to defer the pay increase to Jan. 1, 2011. I do this after a thorough re-examination of the city's financial condition, which I outline in more detail below.

My turn: Rule needed to protect Tongass roadless areas
Since a suit was filed to put the Tongass National Forest back into the Roadless Area Conservation Rule, there has been a lot of debate about the effects it will have on the Tongass. Many of the claims have been inaccurate or misleading.

Changing demographics told story of the past decade
For many Americans, the decade we are now closing began on Sept. 11, 2001, not Jan. 1, 2000. And why not, given 9/11's magnitude?

Targeting the debt 'fixers'
Can you imagine getting a job at which your boss tells you that you'll get your paycheck every two weeks whether or not you show up? And performance doesn't matter. Everything's fine as long as you merely say you'll do the work.

Legacy of a lost Mexican gray wolf
Many years ago, at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, I had my first and only encounter with a live Mexican gray wolf.

Soldier accused of shooting wall
FAIRBANKS - A Fort Wainwright soldier faces a felony weapons misconduct charge because police say he fired several shots through an apartment wall following a dispute with his wife.

Air quality worsens in Fairbanks area
FAIRBANKS - Fairbanks residents have been warned to limit prolonged exertion because of worsening air quality.

2 juveniles arrested after Anchorage assault
ANCHORAGE - Two juveniles have been charged with felony assault following an early morning attack in west Anchorage.

Stroke blamed for Sutton man's behavior
PALMER - A Sutton man who pointed a gun at Alaska State Troopers in September has been released into his girlfriend's custody after a Superior Court judge in Palmer agreed his bizarre behavior was likely caused by a stroke.

Judge says jury should hear Trooper shooting case
ANCHORAGE - A federal judge says a jury should decide whether Alaska State Trooper Jesse Osborn was acting with a legitimate police purpose when he shot and killed an unarmed man at a Kenai highway pullout near seven years ago.

Assembly vacancy attracts 15 candidates
FAIRBANKS - The latest vacancy on the Fairbanks North Star Borough Assembly drew 15 applicants by Monday's deadline.

Fairbanks poker game ends in gunpoint robbery
FAIRBANKS - Fairbanks police are looking for three men who robbed a group of poker players at gunpoint.

Custody battle over Palin's grandson to be public
ANCHORAGE - Sarah Palin's oldest daughter appears to have lost her bid to keep a bitter legal dispute with her 1-year-old son's father confidential.

Hacker attacks restaurant's network
ANCHORAGE - Police said the source of credit card information taken from hundreds of Anchorage residents was a family-owned restaurant in South Anchorage.

Anchorage Museum sets new 2010 rates
ANCHORAGE - The Anchorage Museum's admission rates increase Jan. 1.

Former lawmaker sentenced in drug case
FAIRBANKS - Former Alaska state Rep. Nick Stepovich has been sentenced to 352 hours of community service or 45 days in jail after his conviction of felony cocaine possession and tampering with evidence.

Fuel removed from damaged tugboat
VALDEZ - Almost all diesel fuel from the undamaged tanks of a tugboat that went aground on Bligh Reef has been removed.

US grandparents lose international custody battle
BOISE, Idaho - The Idaho Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that two orphaned children will remain with their grandmother in Argentina, not with family members in California who also wanted custody.

13 state attorneys general threaten suit over health care deal
COLUMBIA, S.C. - Republican attorneys general in 13 states say congressional leaders must remove Nebraska's political deal from the federal health care reform bill or face legal action, according to a letter provided to The Associated Press Wednesday.

Coast Guard rescues 2 teens from Afognak
KODIAK - A Coast Guard helicopter crew has plucked two teenage hunters from Afognak Island north of Kodiak after they did not return as scheduled to a pickup point.

Coast Guard delivers salmon to Kotzebue
KODIAK - A U.S. Coast Guard aircraft delivered more than 20,000 pounds of silver salmon fillets to Kotzebue as part of a humanitarian mission.

North Pole man faces more charges in attack
FAIRBANKS - A North Pole man already facing a string of charges following an alleged attack on a woman has now been indicted on four counts of sexual assault.

Bears' D stifles Service
For the second time in as many nights, the Crimson Bears scored early and often, storming to a 16-0 lead and rolling to a 66-26 win over Service.

Crimson comeback
The Crimson Bears staged a stirring fourth-quarter comeback Wednesday, scoring 26 points in the final frame to upend Palmer 56-49 in the last game of the Capital City Classic at Juneau-Douglas High School.

Girls' crowned Classic champs
Juneau-Douglas tallied its lowest offensive output of the season, but the team's defense made up the difference.

Crimson Bears, Cougars battle at charity stripe
Juneau-Douglas played from behind virtually all night and couldn't come up with the buckets it needed down the stretch, falling 73-58 to Service on Tuesday in the second round of the Capital City Classic at JDHS.

Falcon boys win holiday thriller
Thunder Mountain pulled out a 46-45 thriller against tournament host Monroe Catholic on Tuesday after what proved to be the game-winning lay-up from Reese Saviers with 21 seconds remaining.

Alaska coach nears 900th victory
ANCHORAGE - Chuck White is 68 years old and feeling his age. His right hand shakes with tremors and his bones creak when he moves. He has spent 45 years in the same profession and every March he considers retiring.

Photo: Classic collision
The Mud Dogs' Adam Soto knocks over the Snow Mens' Stuart Thurston Tuesday as they fight for the ball during the second half of Game 2 of the Holiday Cup Juniors Division playoffs. View photo galleries updated daily online at www.Sports in Juneau
• Beginning Jan. 1, Sports In Juneau information must be submitted online at Submissions via e-mail, phone, fax or other will no longer be accepted. For more information e-mail

Palmer girls top East Anchorage 49-35
Senior guard Shauna Thein scored 16 points and Jaimi Cox contributed 14 more to give Palmer's girls' team a 49-35 win over the East Anchorage Thunderbirds Tuesday.

Parnell names new in-state gas line coordinator
ANCHORAGE - Gov. Sean Parnell has chosen a state geologist to take over the job of in-state gas line coordinator, a position that was vacated last month.

Coast Guard investigates tugboat grounding
ANCHORAGE - The Coast Guard is running two parallel investigations into the tugboat grounding on Bligh Reef last week.

Photo: Crystal clear
The sun sets behind Steve Dean as he works on an ice carving depicting the head of a walrus sitting atop a pair of mukluk footwear Sunday afternoon in front of the University of Alaska Museum of the North in Fairbanks. Dean said he returns to Alaska every year in the winter to create eye-catching carvings for various local businesses.

Iowa lawmaker predicts Palin run in 2012
JOHNSTON, Iowa - Iowa U.S. Rep. Steve King predicted Tuesday that former Gov. Sarah Palin will seek the Republican presidential nomination and has a good chance of winning Iowa's leadoff caucuses.

Prudhoe Bay oil spill as much as 100 gallons now
ANCHORAGE - BP now estimates as much as 100 gallons of crude oil may have spilled in an area around a well house where a pipe broke in the Prudhoe Bay oil field, Alaska officials said Tuesday. BP's initial estimate was 3 gallons of oil.

Census to kick off in rural Alaska
ANCHORAGE - Long before spring breakup, when many residents of rural Alaska head off to fish camps, U.S. Census Bureau workers will begin their count of residents living in communities off the road systems.

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