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AP Interview: Feds launch policing bias study

AP Politics - Tue, 09/16/2014 - 2:54pm
AP Interview: Feds launch policing bias study Associated Press - 16 September 2014 22:54-04:00 News Topics: Government and politics, Criminal investigations, Shootings, Violent crime, Race and ethnicity, Racial and ethnic discrimination, Higher education, Crime, Police, Law and order, General news, Social issues, Social affairs, Discrimination, Human rights and civil liberties, Education, Law enforcement agencies People, Places and Companies: Eric Holder, Michael Brown, George Zimmerman, Trayvon Martin, Missouri Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Hunt on for survivalist charged in trooper killing

AP US News - Tue, 09/16/2014 - 2:52pm
Hunt on for survivalist charged in trooper killing Associated Press - 16 September 2014 22:52-04:00 News Topics: General news, Homicide, Shootings, Violent crime, Crime, Law enforcement agencies, Police, Government and politics People, Places and Companies: Pennsylvania Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Scientists' colossal squid exam a kraken good show

AP Top news - Tue, 09/16/2014 - 2:50pm
Scientists' colossal squid exam a kraken good show Associated Press - 16 September 2014 22:50-04:00 News Topics: General news, Science, Colossal squid, Squid, Mollusks, Animals People, Places and Companies: New Zealand Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Orioles clinch AL East with 8-2 win over Blue Jays

AP Sports News - Tue, 09/16/2014 - 2:50pm
Orioles clinch AL East with 8-2 win over Blue Jays Associated Press - 16 September 2014 22:50-04:00 News Topics: Sports, MLB baseball, Athlete injuries, Professional baseball, Baseball, Men's sports, Athlete health People, Places and Companies: Steve Pearce, Jimmy Paredes, Dan Duquette, Buck Showalter, Darren O'Day, Ubaldo Jimenez, Drew Hutchison, Alejandro De Aza, Steve Tolleson, Munenori Kawasaki, John Gibbons, Steve Johnson, Bud Norris, J.A. Happ, Baltimore, Toronto Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Arrieta's no-hit bid for Cubs broken up in 8th

AP Sports News - Tue, 09/16/2014 - 2:40pm
Arrieta's no-hit bid for Cubs broken up in 8th Associated Press - 16 September 2014 22:40-04:00 News Topics: Sports, MLB baseball, Baseball, Professional baseball, Men's sports People, Places and Companies: Jake Arrieta, Brandon Phillips, Matt Szczur, Billy Hamilton, Johnny Cueto, Chicago Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Nats beat Braves to clinch another NL East title

AP Sports News - Tue, 09/16/2014 - 2:37pm
Nats beat Braves to clinch another NL East title Associated Press - 16 September 2014 22:37-04:00 News Topics: Sports, MLB Playoffs, MLB baseball, Athlete injuries, Professional baseball, Events, Baseball, Men's sports, Athlete health People, Places and Companies: Tanner Roark, Ian Desmond, Adam LaRoche, Tyler Clippard, Drew Storen, Aaron Harang, Jayson Werth, Justin Upton, David Carpenter, Bryce Harper, Ryan Zimmerman, Evan Gattis, Fredi Gonzalez, Gio Gonzalez, Alex Wood, Atlanta Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Researchers studying Pacific walrus population

AP Alaska News - Tue, 09/16/2014 - 2:30pm
Researchers studying Pacific walrus population Associated Press - 9 September 2014 19:45-04:00 News Topics: General news, Animals, Marine biology, Walruses, Wildlife, Wildlife management, Biology, Science, Oceanography, Mammals, Environment, Environment and nature, Natural resource management People, Places and Companies: Rebecca Taylor, United States Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Obama's Ebola response: Is it enough and in time?

AP Politics - Tue, 09/16/2014 - 2:13pm
Obama's Ebola response: Is it enough and in time? Associated Press - 16 September 2014 22:13-04:00 News Topics: Health, Government and politics, Ebola virus, Disease outbreaks, Epidemics, Legislature, Regional cooperation, Diseases and conditions, Hemorrhagic fever, Infectious diseases, General news, Public health, International relations, Military and defense People, Places and Companies: Barack Obama, Margaret Chan, Lamar Alexander, Richard Burr, Ban Ki-Moon, Josh Earnest, United States, Africa, West Africa, Liberia, Monrovia, Sierra Leone, District of Columbia Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Obama's Ebola response: Is it enough and in time?

AP Health News - Tue, 09/16/2014 - 2:13pm
Obama's Ebola response: Is it enough and in time? Associated Press - 16 September 2014 22:13-04:00 News Topics: Health, Government and politics, Ebola virus, Disease outbreaks, Epidemics, Legislature, Regional cooperation, Diseases and conditions, Hemorrhagic fever, Infectious diseases, General news, Public health, International relations, Military and defense People, Places and Companies: Barack Obama, Margaret Chan, Lamar Alexander, Richard Burr, Ban Ki-Moon, Josh Earnest, United States, Africa, West Africa, Liberia, Monrovia, Sierra Leone, District of Columbia Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Obama's Ebola response: Is it enough and in time?

AP Top news - Tue, 09/16/2014 - 2:13pm
Obama's Ebola response: Is it enough and in time? Associated Press - 16 September 2014 22:13-04:00 News Topics: Health, Government and politics, Ebola virus, Disease outbreaks, Epidemics, Legislature, Regional cooperation, Diseases and conditions, Hemorrhagic fever, Infectious diseases, General news, Public health, International relations, Military and defense People, Places and Companies: Barack Obama, Margaret Chan, Lamar Alexander, Richard Burr, Ban Ki-Moon, Josh Earnest, United States, Africa, West Africa, Liberia, Monrovia, Sierra Leone, District of Columbia Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Fijians go to polls after 8 years of military rule

AP Top news - Tue, 09/16/2014 - 1:52pm
Fijians go to polls after 8 years of military rule Associated Press - 16 September 2014 21:52-04:00 News Topics: General news, Government and politics People, Places and Companies: Fiji, New Zealand Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Obama's Ebola response: Is it enough and in time?

AP Top news - Tue, 09/16/2014 - 1:27pm
Obama's Ebola response: Is it enough and in time? Associated Press - 16 September 2014 21:27-04:00 News Topics: Health, Government and politics, Ebola virus, Disease outbreaks, Epidemics, Legislature, Regional cooperation, Diseases and conditions, Hemorrhagic fever, Infectious diseases, General news, Public health, International relations, Military and defense People, Places and Companies: Barack Obama, Margaret Chan, Lamar Alexander, Richard Burr, Josh Earnest, United States, Africa, West Africa, Liberia, Monrovia, District of Columbia, Sierra Leone Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Kellie Doherty interviews Deb Vanasse, author of Cold Spell

49 Writers - Tue, 09/16/2014 - 7:00am



Tell us about your background.
I’m a full-time writer. To supplement my income, I work as a freelance editor (developmental and proofreading), and I teach creative writing workshops. My undergraduate degree is in English, and I have a Master of Arts in Humanities.

I live on Hiland Mountain, outside of Anchorage (in Eagle River, actually), but I also spend as much time as possible at my husband’s cabin on the Matanuska River, overlooking the Matanuska Glacier. Before moving to Anchorage, I lived in Fairbanks for twenty years, and before that, I lived in Southwestern Alaska, in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta: Nunapitchuk, Tuluksak, Akiachak, Bethel.
How did you get into writing?

Like most writers, I’ve always loved books and language. At first, writing books—especially fiction—seemed too lofty a goal, so I studied journalism. But then I switched colleges and ended up at a school with an awful journalism program, so I became an English major. The more I studied literature, the more I wanted to write fiction. But when my college advisor asked how I planned to make a living as a novelist, I couldn’t say. He steered me into teaching, but I never let go of my ambition to write fiction. I decided I’d teach twenty years and retire (as you used to be able to do in Alaska), and then I’d do what I really wanted, which was to write books.
Deb VanasseWhy an Alaskan book?
I’m very taken by place, and this is the place I know best. And I think Alaska’s ready for more literary/book club fiction set in our state. Seth Kantner’s Ordinary Wolvesset the standard for all of us in that regard. So I’m hugely excited that the official book launch for Cold Spellis going to be Oct. 3–6 with Seth, who’s launching a new book of his own, a children’s book. It’s fun to be swapping places—he’s the one known for literary fiction, and I’m known for children’s books.
How was the publishing experience for you?
Cold Spell is my fourteenth published book, so I’ve had lots of different experiences in publishing: agented, unagented, big publisher, small press, and now, independent publishing. For Cold Spell, I had what I consider an ideal arrangement: a traditional press published the softcover edition, while I retained rights to the other editions—ebooks, audio books, foreign rights. It’s up to me now to prove to the print publisher that by my active promotion of those other rights, we’ll sell more print copies than we would have otherwise.
You wrote quite a few children’s books. Why such a detour with Cold Spell?

Cold Spell is the novel I always aspired to write, the sort of book I love to read, with intriguing characters, evocative prose, and a compelling storyline. In that sense, the children’s books were the detour; I fell into writing them without really intending to. I enjoy the challenge of children’s books—in many ways, kids tolerate a lot less in terms of sloppiness than adult readers will. And I love interacting with kids. But my desire was to write a well-received novel for grown-ups. It feels great to have finally done that!
Why did you have both Sylvie and Ruth so interested in the glacier?

My characters are an unruly bunch—if I tried to “have” them do anything, they’d turn right around and do something completely different. For the most part, I discover who they are and what interests them by seeing what they do on the page. If I knew from the start what they’d do, I’m afraid I’d get bored with them, and that would carry over to the reader. So it wasn’t until Ruth tore that photo out of the magazine that I knew she had an odd obsession with the glacier, and it wasn’t until Sylvie arrived at the glacier that I saw how her mother’s obsession was going to affect her, despite her best efforts to resist it.
What was the significance of Kenny and Ruth’s relationship?

I suppose it’s another of my flaws as a writer—it’s certainly not very efficient—but I rarely know what anything in a story signifies until after it’s on the page. And in the case of Kenny and Ruth’s relationship, I don’t know that it signifies anything. I suppose on some level I’m interested in sexual politics, in that I’m intrigued by the ways women rely on sexuality when other avenues to power elude them. In the triangle involving Kenny, Ruth, and Sylvie, there’s a lot of that going on.
What was the inspiration for the trucker?

David Vann (an author I hugely admire) wrote that Cold Spellis Greek tragedy; that while you like Ruth and Sylvie and hope they won’t hurt each other, you know that they will. An extension of that is that they also seem destined to harm themselves. When Sylvie feels powerless, she asserts herself sexually. You can only do so much of that before you get into trouble. The trucker is trouble.
Brody and Sylvie seem to have a tenuous relationship. Why did you decide to have their relationship disintegrate, only to resume?

If only I could decide such things, writing would be so much easier. Brody and Sylvie made their moves on the page, and I tried not to be a knucklehead about seeing the obvious, so that in revision, I could clarify what was going on. In retrospect, I think Brody works in opposition to the trucker. He’s vulnerable, though he doesn’t want to be, and it’s through him that Sylvie lets herself become vulnerable, which in turn helps her emerge from her preoccupation with herself.
What do you do to overcome writer’s block?

I always hate saying this, because it seems like I’ll jinx it, but in truth, I’ve never had writer’s block. I think writer’s block is strongly connected to a fear of failure, and while I’ve certainly failed often in life, I’ve never had much fear of it. I can generally write my way through stuck points; in fact, a bigger problem for me is forging ahead in a story when I should have stopped to assess whether it was heading in the best possible direction.
Are there any more books in the works?
Always! I’ve just finished a narrative nonfiction manuscript that I worked on during roughly the same time period in which I wrote Cold Spell, a biography of Kate Carmack, an integral but overlooked figure in Klondike gold rush history. When I was well into the draft, I realized that this book would be the first non-academic rendering of the gold rush from the perspective of those who were there first, Alaska Natives and the First Nations of the Yukon, so I wanted to make sure it was as accurate and compelling as possible. I’m also working on a book for writers: What Every Author Should Know.
What words of wisdom would you give to a writer?
With any luck, the book I mentioned, What Every Author Should Know, will impart 85,000 words of wisdom! One of the most important, in my reckoning, is to persevere. Writing is hard work. At every turn, you encounter discouragement. If you give in to it, you’re done. You write the best book you can, and then you make it better. You don’t quit.


Founder of Running Fox Books and co-founder of 49 Writers, Deb Vanasse has authored twelve books, the latest of which is Cold Spell. Deb is currently working on a narrative nonfiction book called Wealth Woman: Kate Carmack and the Last Great Race for Gold. She lives and works on Hiland Mountain outside of Anchorage, and at a cabin near the Matanuska Glacier.
49 Writers member Kellie Doherty, who has volunteered for us for several years--most recently as a blog interviewer, is leaving Alaska soon to pursue her Master's in Publishing. We wish Kellie well in her new endeavors and thank her for her many contributions behind the scenes.
Categories: Arts & Culture

Movies in Spanish Night

Juneau Public Library Blog - Mon, 09/15/2014 - 4:38pm
Tomorrow (9/15) is the Third Tuesday of the month; and what does that mean at the Juneau Public Libraries? Movies in Spanish Night! No matter what your level of Spanish is, you’re bound to have fun watching one of America’s favorite super heros speaking in Spanish and with English subtitles. Doors open at 5:30. Movie […]
Categories: Arts & Culture

Buddy Tabor taught me to filet a halibut

What Turtle Blood Tastes Like - Fri, 09/12/2014 - 2:35pm
in an interview i ask him what he thinks about when he paints houses? nothing, he says i just go blank you never write songs or poems to occupy your mind while working those hands? nope, he tells me when you get as old as me its a relief, the silent mind i’m deep into […]
Categories: Arts & Culture

Chilkat Curlique

Clarissa Rizal: Alaska Native Artist Blog - Thu, 09/11/2014 - 11:04am

A woven Curlique using Chilkat weaving techniques — by Clarissa Rizal

I am weaving a child-size Chilkat apron as part of a 5-piece Chilkat woven ensemble which will also include a headdress, robe, and leggings.  My goal is to complete the ensemble by end of October; I will have the entire ensemble shown at the Alaska-Juneau Public Market during Thanksgiving weekend at the Centennial Hall in Juneau, Alaska.   Above is a semi-completed image of my first curlique using the Chilkat weaving techniques. The merino yarns were hand-dyed by a yarn company out of Homer, Alaska.  Stay tuned for updates on the “Chilkat Child” ensemble.

Categories: Arts & Culture

Superintendent speaks out about student privacy rights

Juneau School District Announcements - Fri, 08/29/2014 - 2:40pm

Supe's On  - Welcome to the Superintendent's Blog

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Categories: Arts & Culture

School District Report on Investigation into Hazing

Juneau School District Announcements - Wed, 08/27/2014 - 4:35pm

The Juneau School District has concluded our investigation into allegations that on or about May 30-31 of this year a group of incoming senior boys hazed/initiated a group of incoming freshmen boys by paddling them multiple times.

These events were first brought to our attention in early June. At that time the district began an initial investigation, which, due to an active police investigation and summer vacation, was put on hold. When we were informed that the police had concluded their investigation we resumed our efforts.

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Categories: Arts & Culture

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