Library's new audiobooks for kids includes Percy Jackson series
New audiobooks for kids include classics such as "Alice in Wonderland" and "The Little Prince," and favorites like "Hatchet" and "Redwall," in addition to the audiobooks below.

Arts & Culture Calendar

Self-constructive tendencies
For Fairbanks-based artist Da-ka-xeen Mehner, the creative process is something of a reciprocal relationship. As he forms his pieces and brings them into the world, they also form him and help to orient him in modern society.

Soloist evokes tepid reaction
I 've spent the past 48 hours trying to decide what I thought of "The Soloist," the true story of Nathaniel Anthony Ayers (Jamie Foxx), a homeless musician in Los Angeles and the L.A. Times reporter (Steve Lopez, played by Robert Downey Jr.) who befriended him. So much about the film is worthy of praise, and certainly the story is one worth telling... and yet by no means did I walk out of the theater two days ago thinking, "I have to get everyone I know to see this movie!"

Yuungnaqpiallerput : Sharing knowledge of Yupik culture
Though "Yuungnaqpiallerput The Way We Genuinely Live: Masterworks of Yupik Science and Survival" is billed as a science exhibit, the 250 objects brought together in this collection are neither scientific instruments nor art objects, but something in between.

First Friday events include a community forum on climate change
Art and science will join forces this First Friday at the Juneau Arts & Humanities Council gallery. Art-walkers can admire paintings and photographs of the Mendenhall Glacier in the gallery beginning at 4 p.m., and then participate in a community forum on climate change in the main hall.

'O Lovely Glowworm' opens at Perseverance
"O Lovely Glowworm," written by Glen Berger and directed by Weir Harman, opens tonight at Perseverance Theatre and runs through May 24. The production will be the last of the 2008-2009 season.

Juneau history and culture workshops offered at museum
The Juneau-Douglas City Museum will offer two workshops on the history and culture of the Juneau area on May 4-5 and 6-7. Although geared to providing people in the tourism industry with accurate information about the area, these workshops are also great for members of the community who are interested in learning more about Juneau's history and culture.

Concert band's Spring Concert Saturday
The Juneau Concert Band presents it's Spring Concert: Saturday, May 2, 7pm at the Juneau Arts and Culture Center: An hour of band music featuring some of the finest wind and percussion players in Juneau. Featuring Nathan Bastuscheck in a Tuba Concertino. Additional music includes selections from "West Side Story" Sousa marches and a piece written in remembrance of the events at Columbine 10 years ago this month.

"Science on a sphere" opens at state museum
The Alaska State Museum has announced a new addition to its first floor exhibition galleries. Titled "Science on a Sphere" (SOS), the dramatic, room-sized exhibit features a six-foot diameter suspended globe upon which can be projected various kinds of information about the Earth and solar system. The effect is a full-color model of planet Earth in a darkened room.

Full Circle Music to present annual recitals
The students of Greg Burger and Mary DeSmet will perform in two recitals, one at 3 p.m. Saturday at and the other 3 p.m. Sunday. Both recitals will be held at Aldersgate Church.

Arts council seeks nominations for the Governor's Awards
Nominations are now open for the 2009 Governor's Awards for the Arts in the following categories: arts advocacy, individual artist, business leadership and the Margaret Nick Cooke award for Native arts and languages. Eligibility is open to any individual, organization or institution that has made a significant contribution to the arts in Alaska is eligible, with the exception of current ASCA Council members, staff or prior Award recipients.

"Sit in with the band" at Rendezvous
Every Thursday at the Rendezvous, musicians of all varieties are invited to "sit in with the band." Those interested can come down at 9:30 p.m. with their instruments - and an amplifier if needed - to sign up for a slot. The band will have a mic set up for acoustic instrumentalists and singers.

Bluegrass camp for kids held June 8-11
This year's Bluegrass Camp for Kids, taught by members of the Bearfoot bluegrass band, will be held on June 8-11.

BRAVEmonkey to play Friday at Zephyr
BRAVEmonkey, a groove-based funk, jazz, blues, rock, Norwegian folk fusion band from Juneau, will perform from 9:30 p.m. - 12:30 a.m. Friday at Zephyr Restaurant, downtown.

Student artist of the week Wilson Suzuki
Age: 15

Where is Muñoz's credit for pushing Juneau subport bill?
An article that appeared in the April 16 Juneau Empire, titled "How a bill doesn't become law," contained harsh statements directed toward Rep. Cathy Muñoz. One instance was when a lawmaker interviewed said the effort "... got off to a rough start ... with key mistakes made by Rep. Cathy Muñoz, including not lining up Southeast support, addition of cosponsors, lobbyist opposition, etc."

Avoid swine flu by going vegetarian
The World Health Organization has just ratcheted up the threat alert for the swine flu epidemic to Phase 5 (out of 6). Along with the avian flu of a decade ago, the Hong Kong flu of 1968 and the Asian flu of 1957, swine flu has been traced to animal waste in a factory farm. Its strain is nearly identical to that of the Spanish flu, which killed more than 50 million people in 1918 to 1919.

My son wants to know: Why doesn't Sarah Palin like us?
My 16-year-old son made a statement to me recently that made me realize just how much this governor of ours has divided our state. My son asked me: Why doesn't Gov. Sarah Palin like us?

Harbor dumping regs enforced
New Harbormaster Phil Benner is trying to curtail wasteful harbor spending - literally.

Road to Recovery
Recovering from drug and alcohol addiction isn't just about staying sober; sometimes victory can be found in screwing up less often and badly than the time before.

Forum: Juneau's OxyContin problem 'epidemic'
More than 75 people attended a community forum on OxyContin on Wednesday night at Thunder Mountain High School to discuss ways to combat the "epidemic" in Juneau created by the highly addictive narcotic.

School board wants $37 million for renovations
The Juneau School Board wants voters in October to approve $37 million in borrowing to pay for renovations of three school buildings.

Coast Guard leads mass rescue exercise
KETCHIKAN - Screw up the head count, and the rescue fails. In 2006, a British Columbia ferry sank, and two people were not accounted for; they died on the ship. Counting people is the hardest part of the rescue - but also the most important.

Car show to feature King T
At its ninth annual Classic, Custom and Antique Auto and Cycle Show, the Juneau Dipsticks, a local automobile and motorcycle enthusiast club, will feature the winner of the 1964 America's Most Beautiful Roadster - the King T.

Spring King Salmon Derby kicks off today
Derby officials are hoping Juneau's nice weather will stay for this year's Spring King Salmon Derby, which starts today and closes at 9 p.m. on May 31.

Juneau awaits budget items
After months of battling over the state's capital budget, Juneau is awaiting word on its $28 million share of the $2.2 billion package.

Photo: Food and feathers
Julie Nielsen and Alan Steffert stop for a lunch break just off the Airport Dike Trail Thursday. They took in a little sun and some great eagle watching.

Assembly OKs budgets for hospital, docks and ski area
The Juneau Assembly's Finance Committee recommended approval Wednesday of the 2010 operating budgets of Bartlett Regional Hospital, Juneau Docks and Harbors and Eaglecrest Ski Area, but withheld judgment on a $271,000 piece of funding for the Juneau International Airport that could keep it from running a deficit in 2010.

Photo: Baby magnet
Six-month-old Sylas McRae draws a crowd of attention along Front Street on Wednesday including his mother, Naomi, far left, Christian Aycock, standing, and friends.

Photo: High-speed takeoff
An U.S. Air Force T-38 takes off from the Juneau International Airport after a pair of them made a high-speed pass over the runway Thursday afternoon. The two planes from Texas stopped for refueling and continued to Anchorage for an airshow.

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

Photo: Blowing in the breeze
A slight wind keeps a small group of sailboats moving near Mayflower Island in Gastineau Channel on Wednesday evening.

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

Around Town
Today, April 30

Around Town
Today, May 1

Stella Soboleff
Former Juneau resident Stella Alice Buxton Atkinson Soboleff died April 15, 2009, at the Sitka Pioneers Home. She was 86.

Alaska editorial: Consider your own Alaska vacation
Alaskans don't view themselves as tourists in a tourist land, but we are. In fact, we're among the most enthusiastic and reliable of tourists. Other folks might visit this state once in a lifetime. We're here every year, all year, and the statistics show we travel a lot.

Alaska editorial: Court ruling advances oil, gas leasing
A recent federal court decision nullifying the Interior Department's oil and gas leasing program for areas offshore of Alaska was, on most counts, a victory for the Bush administration. Only on one issue did the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia rule against the leasing plan.

My Turn: Court ruling advances oil, gas leasing Nation's failure to protect workers' rights a tragedy
Our nation stands ready to emerge from the modern-day era of the robber baron. For three decades, we've valued corporate profit over people and chief executives' pay over that of laborers. We've put up pedestals for Wall Street tycoons while building barriers for working people.

My Turn: Juneau school board should rethink shifting start times
The school district recently announced it was considering shifting high school start times later to 9:15 a.m. I fully support a later start time for high school students. However, I cannot support it at the expense of the rest of Juneau's students, particularly the youngest ones, who need the most sleep of all.

You can't help Detroit by hurting dealers
My family has been in the automobile business since 1921, when my grandfather opened a Ford dealership in Hope, Ark. My father sold cars, I sold cars, and my sons are in the business. We've been fortunate to build our enterprise at home and overseas even as that original dealership in Hope is still going strong.

Swine flu not a world-ending catastrophe
The recent swine flu outbreak has caused worldwide anxiety. But there's one thing we don't need to be anxious about: We are not facing a pandemic. As flu virologists always have defined them, pandemics involve totally new viruses to which no one has any immunity, allowing them to spread rapidly and destructively.

Studded tires must be removed by Friday
ANCHORAGE - State transportation officials said studded tires must be off vehicles by Friday.

Blessing of the Fleet set for Saturday
JUNEAU - The annual Blessing of the Fleet and Dedication of Names will take place at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Alaska Commercial Fisherman's Memorial, in front of the Twisted Fish restaurant downtown.

Eagle River man wins second bowling title
ANCHORAGE - An Eagle River man has won consecutive titles on the Professional Bowlers Association Senior Tour.

Wasilla man sentenced to 26 years for abuse
WASILLA - A Wasilla man was sentenced to more than 26 years in prison for sexually abusing a 12-year-old girl.

Kodiak vies for new UA research vessel
KODIAK - The Kodiak City Council will urge the University of Alaska to consider the island city as the home port for its proposed new research vessel.

Palin signs bill for stopgap Guard benefits
ANCHORAGE - Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has signed a bill providing temporary state funding for World War II veterans whose federal retirement pay was being reduced.

Palin welcomes TV chopper group
ANCHORAGE - Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin recently hung out with one of the stars of the "American Chopper" reality TV series - and their time together will air Thursday on the popular Learning Channel staple.

Man dies when SUV plunges off cliff
ANCHORAGE - A 35-year-old man died when his sport utility vehicle crashed through a concrete barricade and plunged down a 386-foot embankment.

Boat catches fire Wednesday night in Harris Harbor
JUNEAU - Capital City Fire Rescue is crediting some Good Samaritans with saving a boat from destruction after an explosion and fire broke out in Harris Harbor Wednesday night.

Plane loses power, hits fence on landing
ANCHORAGE - The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the crash of a single-engine aircraft at Anchorage's Birchwood Airport.

Trident to pay $112,000 for EPA violations
JUNEAU - Seattle-based Trident Seafoods Corp. settled this week with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for failing to report ammonia storage at four seafood processing plants.

Park to close trail where bear mauled biker
ANCHORAGE - Parks officials in Anchorage this summer will close a trail where a grizzly bear mauled a young woman on a bicycle.

Circle man joins brother at Fairbanks jail
FAIRBANKS - Fairbanks police say a Circle man wanted to go to jail with his arrested brother, so he shoved an officer and got his wish.

'Flushable' wipes cause woes for Sitka crews
SITKA - Sitka officials are asking residents not to flush the so-called flushable wipes down the toilet.

Man dies in Anchorage shooting
ANCHORAGE - A woman has been charged in the shooting death of a 75-year-old man Thursday at his home on the east side of Anchorage.

Bears run away with home opener
Sophomore pitcher Jennifer Nelson tossed a complete-game two-hitter, the Crimson Bears offense cranked out nine runs in the top of the seventh, and the Juneau-Douglas High School softball team turned Thursday's Railbelt Conference opener into a 15-0 laugher over visiting Lathrop at Melvin Park.

Juneau Invitational opens today
The Juneau-Douglas High School track and field team will host five other schools from across the state today and Saturday for the annual Juneau Invitational High School Track and Field Meet at Adair-Kennedy Field.

JDHS boys soccer clips West, Palmer
The Juneau-Douglas High School boys soccer team slipped past formerly top-ranked West Anchorage on Wednesday with a 1-0 score to open up their four-game roadtrip up North.

Sights from a late-April Audubon bird walk
Partly cloudy, light breeze, temperature in the high 30s. A late April Audubon bird walk drew 15 birdwatchers at eight in the morning. Snow and ice still packed the trail through the woods, but the meadows near Crow Point and the Boy Scout camp were mostly clear. We were hoping for mountain bluebirds and sandhill cranes, both of which had been seen here recently, but no luck.

Photo: Matt Brakel Award winners
2009 Matt Brakel Trophy award winners Gabriella Hebert, left, and Noah Machakos pose with their prize recently. The award is given each year in memory of Matt Brakel, who died tragically in an avalanche while skiing on Mt. McGinnis in 1999. Each year, the Mitey Mite coaching staff gives an award in his memory to the Mitey Mite Boy and Mitey Mite Girl who best exemplify Matt's dedication.

Sports in Juneau

No cases of swine flu in Alaska
State health officials by this weekend expect to have in hand enough medication to treat swine flu in about 100,000 people if there is an outbreak in Alaska.

Palin directs agencies to seek stimulus funds
Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has directed state agencies to begin applying for federal stimulus funds after indicating she wouldn't veto legislative approval of more than $900 million available to the state.

University of Alaska lays off 7 in Fairbanks
FAIRBANKS - The University of Alaska will lay off seven people at the Geophysical Institute in Fairbanks to counteract a half-million dollar shortfall in the institute's $35 million budget.

Alaska, Washington lawmakers urge more spending on ferries
WASHINGTON - Lawmakers from Washington state and Alaska are teaming up to push for a dramatic increase in federal spending on ferry systems nationwide.

Real Palin begins tweeting, so does fake Young
ANCHORAGE - Two of Alaska's most recognizable politicians - Gov. Sarah Palin and U.S. Rep. Don Young - are newcomers to Twitter, but in Young's case, it's not a happy introduction to the social networking site.

Mystery of Kodiak's disappearing king salmon
ANCHORAGE - For years, Kodiak Island's 25-mile-long Karluk River offered some of the finest king salmon fishing in North America.

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