Thursday, June 18, 2009

Catch up on the latest fiction while driving with audiobooks
Look for new audiobooks on CD by bestselling authors Jodi Picoult ("Songs of the Humpback Whale"), Alexander McCall Smith ("The Comforts of a Muddy Sunday"), and Charlene Harris ("Dead and Gone") as well as the titles below.

ARTS & CULTURE CALENDAR
ART, EVENTS & PERFORMANCE

Suitcases full of skivvies
Plates, jeans, jackets, hats: Used is as good as new when you're down on your luck. But there are exceptions. So when Janice Davis, who is coordinating a group fundraising trip to Juneau, asked Glory Hole director Mariya Lovishchuk what new items she needed at the downtown homeless shelter and soup kitchen, underwear quickly sprung to mind.

City museum launches virtual exhibit on Capitol construction
As the 50th Anniversary of Alaska Statehood Celebration approaches, the Juneau-Douglas City Museum has announced the addition of "Federal and Territorial Building: Constructing the Capitol" to its virtual exhibit offerings.

Tsimshian master carver visits Juneau
Pete Clevenger, a Tsimshian master carver from Metlakatla, has spent the past two weeks in Juneau working on a variety of pieces at the Friends of the Alaska State Museum Store.

Fast-paced 'Pelham' is worth a viewing
It's no secret that "The Taking of Pelham 123" is about a bad guy (John Travolta) hijacking a subway car in New York City. The previews also make it abundantly clear that much of what you will see in "Pelham" is Travolta playing opposite the good guy (Denzel Washington), even though the two men are in remote locations - Travolta in the subway, Washington in the control center.

Minnesota Boychoir to perform Saturday at Northern Light
The Alaska Youth Choir will be hosting the Minnesota Boychoir at 7 p.m. Saturday, June 20, at Northern Light United Church, 400 W 11th Street.

Alaska State Council on the Arts announces grant awards
The Alaska State Council on the Arts awarded $69,868 in grants for special projects to Alaska artists and arts organizations at the annual meeting on June 5. In addition, $39,973 was provided for Artists in Schools grants. In total, 19 communities will be receiving grants through these programs.

Photo: Cutting the glare
Students try on snow goggles at one of the interactive exhibits in "The Way we Genuinely Live: Yup'ik Science & Survival," on display at the Alaska State Museum through Oct. 19. The traveling exhibit from the Anchorage Museum includes hands-onactivities that focus on Yup'ik life, technology and beliefs.

Concerts in the park schedule, summer 2009
Juneau Arts & Humanities Council has annoucned the schedule for this summer's free open-air concerts.

White Nights Russian festival held Saturday at Centennial Hall
The second annual White Nights Festival of Russian Culture will be held from 2-10 p.m. Saturday, June 20, at Centennial Hall.

Could a Supreme Court ruling help kill the cruise ship head tax?
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday slapped down the city of Valdez's tax on oil tankers, which may have legal implications on the state's $46 tax on cruise ship passengers.

Police suspect kitty litter bandit at it again
The Juneau Police Department is searching for a 20-year-old man they believe was involved with two burglaries earlier this week in the Mendenhall Valley.

Around Town
Thursday, June 18

Parks Division to study House of Wickersham trees
State Parks officials are delaying their plans to cut trees at the historic House of Wickersham until they know more about the property's cottonwood trees, said Mike Eberhardt, Southeast parks superintendent.

New US climate report dire, but offers hope
Rising sea levels, sweltering temperatures, deeper droughts, and heavier downpours - global warming's serious effects are already here and getting worse, the Obama administration warned on Tuesday in the grimmest, most urgent language on climate change ever to come out of any White House.

Climate change is already here
A new White House climate change report devotes a chapter to Alaska, where temperatures have risen twice at twice the rate of the rest of the country in the last half-century.

Tongass Blvd. home vandalized with racial slur
Vandals recently spray painted a racial slur on to a homeowner's fence facing Tongass Boulevard.

Thorne Bay opposes Sealaska bill
The city of Thorne Bay on Prince of Wales Island really does not want Sealaska to get a prime chunk of its island for logging.

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

Lawmakers predict confirmation for new attorney general
Key state legislators say new Attorney General Dan Sullivan is unlikely to meet the same fate as Gov. Sarah Palin's last attorney general, the controversial Wayne Anthony Ross, whom legislators rejected.

Around Town
Today, June 17

Photo: Orca affair
A pod of killer whales is seen June 14 in Carroll Inlet.

Correction
A Neighbors story in the Juneau Empire on May 31 about affordable housing misstated the amount of financial assistance the Strong family received from the Home Opportunity Program. The family received a $30,000 no-interest loan from the program and a $180,000 bank loan for their home.

Photo: His biggest fish
Trevor Gong shows off his king salmon catch he made Tuesday evening from a boat near the mouth of the Fish Creek. With a length of 42.5 inches and a girth of 28.5 inches, the fish weighted between 44 to 45 pounds. "It's the largest fish I have ever caught," Gong said.

Photo: Seeing iris
Sharron Lobaugh studies a nice display of iris for her painting Wednesday along Riverside Drive.

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

Ruth Francis Sherren
Juneau resident Ruth Francis Sherren died at 5:45 a.m. June 16, 2009, at the Juneau Pioneers' Home. She was 92.

Harold "Skip" Zenger Jr.
Former Juneau resident Harold "Skip" Zenger Jr., of Bothell, Wash., died June 10, 2009, in Kirkland, Wash. He was 64.

Katherine Johnson Grant
Lifelong Hoonah resident Katherine Johnson Grant, whose Tlingit name was Kaa.tut.wu.oo, died June 14, 2009. She was 89.

Dave LeClercq
A prolific boat builder who for decades built boats for the Alaska fishing fleet has died in the Seattle area. Dave LeClercq was 93.

Alaska editorial: Appeals court does right by 1989 oil spill plaintiffs
A federal appeals court struck a blow for justice Monday when it awarded the maximum allowable punitive damages in the Exxon Valdez oil spill case - and told Exxon Mobil to pay interest dating back to 1996.

Outside editorial: Remote Pakistan region takes big step fending off Taliban oppression
Villagers in a remote area of northern Pakistan took a big step last week toward halting the advance of Taliban fighters and fending off a new era of oppressive Islamist rule. What happened in Pakistan's Dir district might not seem terribly relevant from a U.S. vantage point. But these are among the little battles that could head off a much bigger one, involving American tax dollars and thousands of U.S. troops, in coming months or years.

Alaska and ... Exxon?
The name of one of the world's largest corporations has been in the news a lot lately. I am of course referring to Exxon Mobil, the oil and gas behemoth.

Outside editorial: Sensible precautions still best swine flu antidote
Don't throw that mask away just yet. The World Health Organization declared the swine flu - or H1N1 - outbreak a pandemic, meaning the virus is now a global risk. The disease has spread to 74 countries, with nearly 30,000 cases confirmed and many more suspected but not reported.

My Turn: Palin should seize Taku opportunity
There is now a unique opportunity for Alaska and British Columbia to come together and ensure the long-term productivity of the Taku River and its fisheries.

Too many choices
If there's one thing we don't need, it's more choice in life. Take the supermarket. It's tough enough sifting through the variations of each product on the shelves, but it's a miracle if you make it home with the right one. So what does Coca-Cola do? Come out with a new flavor.

My Turn: Shareholders still waiting for equality
Last year, at Sealaska Corporation's annual meeting in San Francisco, I addressed the company's board of directors regarding a flawed and unjust election system that utilizes discretionary votes to re-seat incumbent directors again and again and again. Some have been in there for nearly 40 years!

Letterman no joking matter for beleaguered conservatives
A reader wants to know why I didn't mention what David Letterman said.

Police ID persons of interest in Mendenhall valley burglary
JUNEAU - The Juneau Police Department has identified two persons of interest relating to a burglary this week in the Mendenhall Valley and are searching for another man.

City making waterline repairs in North Douglas
JUNEAU - The city's water utility will make waterline repairs today in North Douglas.

Berkowitz won't run for US House next year
ANCHORAGE - Former state Rep. Ethan Berkowitz said he will not run for U.S. House next year but he hasn't ruled out a try for governor.

Gay rights ordinance comes back before Anchorage board
ANCHORAGE - An ordinance banning discrimination based on sexual orientation is back before the Anchorage Assembly.

Anchorage officer shoots, wounds youth wielding BB gun
ANCHORAGE - An Anchorage police officer is on administrative leave after wounding a man in a fast-food restaurant parking lot.

Goldbelt nonprofit gets education grant
JUNEAU - The Goldbelt Heritage Foundation will receive $276,220 as part of a federal grant to improve education for American Indian children, the U.S. Department of Education announced Wednesday.

DOT obligates $94M of stimulus funds
JUNEAU - The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities has exceeded its mid-June deadline to obligate at least half of the $176 million provided to the state under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the department announced Wednesday.

Cowan finalist for North Slope Borough job
JUNEAU - Peggy Cowan, who will leave her post as the Juneau School District superintendent on July 1, has been named a finalist to fill a top-level position in the North Slope borough.

State makes more safety corridors
ANCHORAGE - Alaska State Troopers announced the creation of two more highway safety corridors aiming to reduce the number of traffic fatalities.

Exxon, TransCanada to meet with lawmakers June 23
ANCHORAGE - Representatives from Exxon Mobil Corp. and TransCanada will update Alaska lawmakers on their recent agreement to build a natural gas pipeline from the North Slope across Canada, feeding Midwestern markets.

State closes trail over bear concerns
ANCHORAGE - Concerns of grizzly bear activity have prompted state officials to close a popular trail.

Work begins on new Mat-Su prison
WASILLA - A groundbreaking ceremony was planned Wednesday for the new state prison at Point McKenzie, even though work has already started on the project.

Division titles still up for grabs
With only two weeks left until the 34th Annual Rainball Tournament, to be held June 26-28, the men's and women's division action has kicked up another notch.

Every rodent has its thorns
Just the other day while bushwhacking through blueberries and wind-thrown trees, I startled a baby porcupine. It was really small; head and body together maybe reached seven inches, and it was very dark, without the yellowish guard hairs that adults have. Young and small, yes, but it had all the normal defensive reactions of turning its back and flaring its quills. In fact, little porcupines are able to do this almost immediately after they're born, even before their thousands of quills are fully hardened.

Sports in Juneau
Thursday, June 18

Palin nominates Daniel Sullivan as attorney general
Gov. Sarah Palin on Tuesday appointed a former Anchorage lawyer with White House and State Department service to be Alaska's new attorney general, just weeks after state lawmakers rejected her last choice.

Feds to complete review of Alaska cases by July
ANCHORAGE - Federal prosecutors by the end of next month will complete their review of misconduct that may have contributed to the convictions of two Alaska lawmakers.

'Car surfing' suspected in Fairbanks man's death
FAIRBANKS - A 34-year-old Fairbanks man found dead along a rural road had apparently been "car surfing" on the hood of a speeding truck.

His resume sparkles - but is he lawyerly and Alaskan enough?
Alaska's new attorney general has an impressive resume with senior staff positions in the administration of President George W. Bush, but appears to have little actual experience practicing law.

Sarah Palin accepts David Letterman's apology for joke
NEW YORK - Sarah Palin says she accepts David Letterman's apology for the joke he made about her daughter.

Sockeye bag limit increased in upper Kenai
ANCHORAGE - The Alaska Department of Fish and Game has doubled the bag and possession limits for anglers seeking red salmon on a popular section of the Kenai River.

Palin backers raising funds for her legal defense
ANCHORAGE - Supporters of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin are holding a Web-a-thon to raise money for her legal defense fund.

Former CIA chief advises to keep politics open
SITKA - During his tenure as director of the Central Intelligence Agency, Adm. Stansfield Turner said he constantly debated how far the United States government should go to obtain secret information from foreign governments.

Photo: Soldier for a day
Nicole Vandall tries to squeeze on a small army helmet on her sister Kayla Collyer-Platzer Monday in preparation for their flight in a CH-47 Chinook helicopter. Collyer-Platzer, 15, who has been diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma, was treated to a day in the life of a soldier at Fort Greely U.S. Army Base near Delta Junction. Vandall is a first lieutenant at Fort Greely.

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