Friday, June 4, 2010

Celebrating Native art
The winners of the fifth Sealaska Heritage Institute Juried Art Show were announced last night at an awards ceremony at the Juneau Arts & Culture Center. Seven artists took top awards for best contemporary and traditional Native art.

Skagway and Homer writers' conferences carry state's literary fire
Writers from across the state and beyond will gather at two conferences this month to gain inspiration in a series of lectures and panel discussions exploring the craft. The North Words Writers Symposium will be held in Skagway, followed later in the month by the Kachemak Bay Writers' Conference in Homer.

Rapper Murs performs tonight
Tonight the rapper Murs will be performing at Marlintini's Lounge for the first time in Juneau. Doors open at 8:30 p.m. and local rap and hip hop performers Astronomar, Judo and Phonetic will open the show at 9 p.m. Tickets are available for $25 at groovetickets.com.

'Prince of Persia': Entertaining but not worth repeating
Somehow, Jake Gyllenhaal has gone from awkward teen ("Donnie Darko") to hunky-heartthrob in his current role as Prince Dastan in "Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time." He has pulled this off despite the fact that spelling his last name is a riskier proposition even than crossing paths with Ben Roethlisberger late at night in a seedy bar. (Seriously, isn't there some unwritten Hollywood rule that actors change their names when they have last names like, ah, Gyllenhaal? And we have two of them thanks to Jake's sister, Maggie!) Certainly, Ben Kingsley has been acting the hell out of roles for decades and he is always a welcome addition as a backstabbing, treacherous villain (he plays Dastan's evil Uncle Nizam in "Prince"). Alfred Molina, too, has become a staple in movies both big and small of late - usually in a supporting role like the one he has as a sarcastic Sheik in "Prince."

Bluegrass Camp for Kids kicks off this Sunday
Young musicians of all levels still have time to register for Bluegrass Camp for Kids, which begins Sunday, June 6. Organized by Kate Hamre of the acclaimed bluegrass band Bearfoot, the camp exposes kids to bluegrass, old-time and folk music through a variety of activities, including instrument instruction (beginning through advanced), dancing, singing, jamming, songwriting and performing.

New listens at the library
There are plenty of new non-fiction audiobooks on CD at the Juneau Public Libraries.

Perseverance hosts beach potluck
Perseverance Theatre will hold an end-of-season potluck celebration this Sunday, June 6, from 5 -8 p.m. at Sandy Beach.

First monthly Socrates Cafe meeting tonight
A new Juneau discussion group, Socrates Cafe, will gather tonight at the Silverbow for the first of its monthly meetings on a variety of topics. The meeting is not a debate class, but rather a Socratic seminar in which members search for the truth together. It is not about argument but discovery.

JDU to sponsor whale watch
Juneau Dance Unlimited will sponsor a whale watching, wine tasting, and silent auction cruise on Saturday, June 12, from 5:30-8:30 p.m. Boarding begins at 5 p.m. at the Don Stratter boat harbor.

Alaska Youth Choir to hold auditions
Calling all singers: The Alaska Youth Choir will hold auditions this Saturday, June 5, for their 2010-2011 season. Auditions will be held by appointment. Call Heather Miller at 790-3310 or email alaskayouthchoir@gci.net to schedule an audition.

Alaska arts council seeks nominations
Nominations are now open for the 2010 Governor's Awards for the Arts in the following categories: Arts Education, Individual Artist, Arts Organization and Native Arts. Deadline for nominations is August 1.

Wildlife Authors at Sea cruise Friday
his Friday, Hearthside Books will bring together local vistas and the writers inspired by them, in a cruise featuring local wildlife authors.

Alaska on paper
"Familiar Plants of Coastal Alaska: A Guide to Identification," by Stephen MacLean

Will anything be different in Alaska?
"I'm the president, and the buck stops with me," said Obama, in reference to BP's deep well oil blowout. After a long month, he has finally taken charge of the entire spill crisis by reiterating the already famous presidential words o f Harry S. Truman. Upwards of 19,000 barrels or 780,000 gallons of crude oil and likely more per day now plagues the Gulf marine environment, its people and its entire ecosystem. Many millions of gallons of pure crude to date are at work befouling the marine and marsh waters. Meanwhile the common man can only wait to see and to hope that all the highly trained and specialized oil engineers and sheer amount of human power united will, with lots of dumb luck and sincere determination, overcome yet another major human catastrophe through perhaps permanently plugging this very deep-ocean reservoir of opulent misguidance.

Let's hope wolves don't share same fate as Bison
During the weeks that have passed since the recent wildlife management/extreme predator control event and rally, my thoughts have often turned toward the similarities between shooting wolves from helicopters in the 21st century and shooting the American Bison from train cars in 19th century. Both activities satisfy the naked desire of some to kill for the sake of killing, rather than hunting for sustenance. The America Bison, the largest land animal in North America, was driven to near extinction by "hunters" riding the Transcontinental Railroad and indiscriminately shooting bison from railroad cars. Within only 20 years of driving the golden spike at Utah's Promontory Summit in 1869, 40 million American Bison had been reduced to only 500. Today's bison are carefully farmed and live in only a few controlled ranches in the western United States.

Finding long, long lost relatives
Many people have some idea where they come from, but Brian Kemp's research branches out much further than any family tree.

Grand Entrance
Celebration, the region's biennial Native Alaskan dance and culture festival, continues for the second day today with hours of dancing, a soapberry contest and lectures at Centennial Hall.

Unofficial kickoff to Celebration 2010
Around 200 people wearing traditional Native regalia, drumming, cooking, eating and visiting gathered on the shore of Auke Bay Wednesday afternoon to welcome three canoes making their gradual approach from Angoon.

Keep doing the right thing
I had a couple of thought provoking conversations last week. The first occurred while I was out and about running some errands. A young man approached me and posed the question, "If I started taking steroids, how long would it take me to get really big?"

Photos: Celebration 2010

Police & Fire
Juneau police and fire officials reported:

Photos: Go, cart, go!

Photo: School's out for summer
Students in Sarah Hopkins kindergarten/first grade class play under a parachute during Gastineau Elementary School's Field Day at Savviko Park on Wednesday. Today is the final day of school.

Photos: A Celebration kickoff
Dancers: Members of the Juneau School District's Tlingit Culture Language and Literacy Program dance group perform Thursday at Centennial Hall.

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

Rayford "Ray" Earl Lemons
Long time Juneau resident Rayford "Ray" Earl Lemons died peacefully at home on May 29, 2010, surrounded by family after fighting lung cancer for 2 1/2 years. He was 68.

Craig Flory
Haines resident Craig V. Flory died Dec. 16, 2009, at Providence Extended Care in Anchorage after suffering a hemorrhagic stroke. He was 50.

Richard Allen Burns
Richard "Rick" Allen Burns of Seattle, Wash., died March 12, 2010, after a long battle with cancer. He was 54.

Jeffrey Reid Ingalls
Former Juneau resident Jeffrey Reid Ingalls died Thursday, May 27, 2010 after a 14 month battle with cancer. He was 59.

Spare us the spare engines
The following editorial first appeared in St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

Outside editorial: We need a national criminal justice commission
In late April, after 19 years in prison for a murder he did not commit, Frank Sterling became the 253rd person in this country to be exonerated by DNA testing. The former trucker had confessed to police after a marathon interrogation - 12 hours of questioning that followed his 36-hour driving shift. He later recanted, to no avail.

Pro: Is President Obama's push to pacify Afghanistan by July 2011 doomed to failure?
COLUMBUS, Ohio - Are we really making America safer by backing Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai?

Nuance matters in abortion debate
The idea has taken hold that Americans have become more conservative on abortion. Sarah Palin put this new conventional wisdom to political work in a speech two weeks ago when she claimed polls showed "more Americans proudly proclaiming themselves as pro-life ... and that's a huge victory."

Con: Is President Obama's push to pacify Afghanistan by July 2011 doomed to failure?
WASHINGTON - Eighteen months into the Obama Administration, the American focus has shifted sharply from Iraq to Afghanistan. The U.S. once again has more troops in Afghanistan than in Iraq. And Fiscal Year 2010 marks the first time the U.S. will spend more money there as well.

When 'anything' that can happen, does
When Sharon Early saw a 6-foot-high wall of ice and rock careening toward her, she could only think one thing: "It's still coming, it's still coming, if it keeps coming there's nothing we can do."

June brings new life to Tracy, Endicott Arm
For thirty minutes I've been squinting through binoculars at a tremendously pregnant harbor seal. I'm perched on a ledge about 400 feet above an ice-choked Tracy Arm, and the seal is lying on a berg in the middle of the fjord. She's over a mile away, but I'm guessing that her constant repositioning means she's in labor.

Sandy shores spying
The rocky intertidal is often rich in species of many kinds. It is usually a popular habitat to visit for a class field trip or just a family outing. By comparison, sandy shores seem to provide poor fare for curious naturalists. Nevertheless, there can be much to see and contemplate in such places.

Weekly Whale Feature: 'Crack Tail'
This whale gets its name from the crack on the right upper side of the fluke.

Photo: BOW: A success story
Michele Holom is pictured with spoils from the crabbing class during this year's Becoming an Outdoors Woman workshop series. Organizers would like to extend a big thank you to all involved. Next year's event will be held at Echo Ranch May 20-22.

Wild shots
Submit your wild shots

Tides
Today, June 4

State waits for judge's decision on wolves
ANCHORAGE - The state is holding off on plans to kill wolves on the caribou calving grounds inside a national refuge on Unimak Island until it hears from a federal judge.

Fire crews get slight break with cooler weather
ANCHORAGE - Crews fighting Alaska's numerous wildfires are getting a break in the weather.

Princess Kathleen oil removal project complete
JUNEAU - Divers have finished removing oil from the Princess Kathleen wreck off Lena Point. They have removed an estimated 110,000 gallons of bunker oil and additional amounts of other oils and contaminated water.

Vendor permit applications open for July Fourth
JUNEAU - The city Parks and Recreation department is accepting applications for commercial and nonprofit vendor permits for food and merchandise sales at Savikko Park in Douglas for July Fourth.

Goldbelt conducts annual shareholder meeting
JUNEAU - Goldbelt Inc. held its 36th annual meeting of shareholders Tuesday at the Juneau Tlingit and Haida Community Council Building.

Trans-Alaska pipeline spill contained by berm
ANCHORAGE - Alaska and Alyeska officials say the crude oil spill at a pipeline station near Delta Junction apparently was held within a lined, bermed containment area.

State approves herbicides along Alaska Railroad
ANCHORAGE - State environmental regulators have approved spraying herbicide along Alaska Railroad tracks, but environmental groups are appealing the permit.

Memorial held for Haines boy who drowned
JUNEAU - Andrew Williamson, a 14-year-old basketball player and student at Haines Middle School, drowned Saturday in Lynn Canal.

UAF athletic department cuts contracts
FAIRBANKS - Athletic Director Forrest Karr says three-fourths of the University of Alaska Fairbanks athletic department will work on shortened contracts to help balance the budget.

Weather continues to give fire crews small break
ANCHORAGE - Alaska wildfire crews took advantage of continued scattered showers Thursday and slightly cooler weather.

Bear harrassing campers at Brent's Beach cabin killed
JUNEAU - A bear harrassing campers at Brent's Beach Cabin on Kruzof Island was killed Thursday, Alaska State Troopers reported.

Prison workers critical of DOC commissioner
ANCHORAGE - State prison employees are upset that Corrections Commissioner Joe Schmidt is not acting on a legislative audit recommending more prison guards.

Fairbanks man sentenced to 33 years in prison
FAIRBANKS - A Fairbanks man who robbed two men at gunpoint and another at knifepoint has been sentenced to 33 years in prison.

Hundreds to take on Mt. McKinley's peak
ANCHORAGE - The 2010 climbing season on North America's highest mountain is peaking with hundreds of mountaineers hoping to reach the top of Mount McKinley in Alaska.

Tanana Valley campus hopes new name ends confusion
FAIRBANKS - The University of Alaska Fairbanks' Tanana Valley Campus could be history by the end of the week.

Man shot, killed in Anchorage parking lot
ANCHORAGE - A 28-year-old man is under arrest in connection with a fatal shooting that took place in the parking lot of an apartment complex in Anchorage's Mountain View section.

North Pole group attempts to recall mayor Isaccson
FAIRBANKS - North Pole Mayor Doug Isaacson is facing a recall effort.

Unbreakable
Brittany Fenumiai isn't just a beast with a basketball in her hands, bombing away from all over the court.

Crimson clout
They are the Crimson Bears, and they are the kings of clout in the state of Alaska for 2010, combining for a staggering 37 round-trippers in just 24 games this season.

Pursuit of perfection ends in Palmer
The baseball state tournament might be played in Palmer this weekend, but other teams will have to go through in-state undefeated Juneau-Douglas to get it.

Juneau-Douglas has few flaws
Much like the Juneau-Douglas baseball team's quest back to the top of the mountain after winning a state championship two years ago before coming up short last season, the Crimson Bears softball team is looking to regain the crowns it won in 2007 and '08.

Crimson Bears crush Kodiak 19-0 in first round of state
The Juneau-Douglas Crimson Bears took one step closer to a state title with a 19-0 mercy-rule rout of the Kodiak Bears on Thursday evening, with starter Miles Bedford giving up no hits in five innings of work.

Baker named Gatorade Player of the Year
The Juneau-Douglas baseball team picked up another honor Wednesday on its quest for a state championship and a perfect in-state season, as senior pitcher/slugger Dylan Baker was named the 2010 Gatorade Alaska Baseball Player of the Year.

Parnell strikes $300 million from state budget
Gov. Sean Parnell denounced a "spike" in spending by the Legislature, but then issued a relatively modest slate of vetoes Thursday - about $300 million out of a $3.1 billion capital budget.

Alaska high court OKs abortion initiative as-is
ANCHORAGE - The state Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that an initiative requiring parental notification for minors seeking an abortion will be on the August primary ballot.

Governor vetoes Denali KidCare expansion
ANCHORAGE - Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell announced Thursday he will veto expansion of a health insurance program for low-income families because he recently found out the program pays for abortions.

Cessna crashed into Anchorage business district
ANCHORAGE - A small airplane crashed in a busy business district near downtown during rush hour, killing a 4-year-old boy and injuring the four other people onboard, authorities said.

Plan blocked to immediately kill wolves on Unimak Island
ANCHORAGE - A federal judge rejected the state of Alaska's request to immediately kill seven wolves in a national wildlife refuge on Unimak Island.

Alaska Pacific struggles through another tough quarter
Alaska Pacific Bank racked up another loss in the first quarter of 2010, following unusual yearly losses in 2008 and 2009.

Doctor: Alaska crash victims critical but stable
PORTLAND, Ore.- Three family members injured in a fiery plane crash in Alaska were in critical but stable condition Thursday and face long, painful recoveries, a doctor said.

Palin endorses GOP challenger in Senate
ANCHORAGE - Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin gave longshot Republican U.S. Senate candidate Joe Miller a boost Wednesday by endorsing him in the Aug. 24 primary against Sen. Lisa Murkowski.

Fairbanks church members' lawsuit dismissed
FAIRBANKS - A Superior Court judge dismissed a lawsuit filed by members of a Fairbanks church who opposed a young pastor's firing.

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