Local library boasts new chapter books, Warriors, Echo Falls, Sammy Keyes series'
Lots of new chapter books are on the shelves at the public libraries, including the newest in the Warrior series, the Echo Falls mystery series and the Sammy Keyes detective series.


So long, Slim
The end of a music era will climax in the early hours of the Fourth of July as former Juneau one-man dance band Wisconsin Slim exits the stage for a final time.

Summer theater: Where STARs are born
The only prerequisite for participating in Perseverance Theatre's Summer Theatre Arts Rendezvous (STAR) program is a willingness to put your heart into the experience, says Director of Education Shona Strauser. Shy kids, gregarious kids, inexperienced and experienced, all can - and do - find their place and flourish.

Intershelter domes: 'Art that can help people'
JUNEAU - Captain Don Kubley describes himself as "just a fourth generation kid from Ketchikan," but he has a business on his hands that could change the way the world responds to natural disasters.

'Transformers' sequel a downhill ride, no plot
Where to begin?

Alaska's 50th
On July 4, 1959, Alaskans celebrated statehood and American independence in front of the Veterans Memorial Building, now the Juneau Douglas City Museum. At that time, Secretary of State Hugh Wade, Governor William Egan and Juneau Mayor McSpadden, along with delegates from each of the other 48 states, were present to witness the raising of the flag. The ceremony also included the ringing of the bell 49 times signifying Alaska's place as the 49th state of the Union.

Strange beauty in 'Sin Nombre'
There is much strange beauty in the poverty and desperation captured by "Sin Nombre," an evocative and impressive first feature from writer-director Cary Joji Fukunaga tracing both the journey north taken by so many from Mexico and Central America and the gang violence that stunts the lives of the many others who stay behind.

Lessons to be learned from Nancy Drew
As Judge Sonia Sotomayor's professional and personal lives are combed for clues in advance of her hearing for a Supreme Court justice slot, one juicy tidbit stands out for me:

First Friday
Most galleries will be open and hosting opening receptions from 4:30-7 p.m. on July 3, as this month's first friday coincides with pre-july 4th activies around town. Here's a look at what's going on.

Recovery Act Arts Grants now available
The Alaska State Council on the Arts is announcing the availability of $250,000 in grants to organizations through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Called "Alaska Art WORK Grants", the funds are Alaska's share of the stimulus package from the National Endowment for the Arts.

July 4th
Fourth of July is a time to celebrate our national independence through food, fireworks, and music. And this year is no exception.

Canvas offers classes with Calif. teachers
Lyena Strelkoff and Dean Purvis, performing artists and writers from Los Angeles, will be offering three weeks of classes at the Canvas Art Studio and Gallery. The pair, founding members of the award-winning Ziggurat Theatre Ensemble in Los Angeles, will concentrate on storytelling through movement, scriptwriting, and acting, and classes are open to all ages. Lyena and Dean are both founding members of the award-winning Ziggurat Theatre Ensemble in Los Angeles.

Canvas community tree project under way
Through the support of the Alaska Association of School Boards, the Canvas is hosting an opportunity for the community to create a sculptural art piece. This youth-led project, organized by 14 year-old Anna Thompson in coordination with Canvas staff, will incorporate recycled aluminum and glass.

King of Pop party held next Friday
In recognition of the passing of Michael Jackson, a "King of Pop Till you Drop" party will be held at 9 p.m. next Friday, July 10, at the Hangar Ballroom.

Teen dies after fall on Mt. McGinnis
The body of a 16-year-old boy who went missing during a hike Wednesday afternoon on Mount McGinnis was recovered Thursday.

Teenage hiker missing on Mount McGinnis
Rescue groups are searching for a 16-year-old Juneau boy who became separated from friends while hiking on Mount McGinnis.

Around Town
Today, July 3

Task force considers expanded drug testing
The Juneau School District's drug testing task force will draft a mandatory random drug-testing policy for high school athletes and extracurricular participants, but its sights are on something bigger - a voluntary testing program for the whole high school student body.

Campers return from Glacier Bay, Baranof Island
A new summer camp from the University of Alaska Southeast, Discover Design Research, took 15 high school students out of the classroom and into the wild.

Local charter wants to step up Southeast air service
Gustavus-based charter Air Excursions is ready to fly scheduled flights in Southeast - if the federal government overrules an objection from a competitor that the company owes more than $600,000 in federal taxes.

Highway bumps at Sunny Point ground away
Highway crews worked to smooth Egan Drive Wednesday, removing pronounced bumps at two bridges on the recently completed Sunny Point Interchange project.

Teenager arrested for car rifling, two others sought
A 17-year-old boy was arrested for rifling through cars in the Mendenhall Valley early Wednesday morning, and police are looking for two teenage accomplices.

Senator Begich listens to Juneau's health care woes
Sen. Mark Begich, D-Alaska, received a standing ovation before even speaking Thursday at the Alaska Native Brotherhood Hall, and it's not surprising considering his big election victory in the capital city last fall.

Photo: Contented at concert
Attentive audience members listen Wednesday as Director Mike Bucy leads the JuneauVolunteer Marching Band in a concert at Marine Park.

Moe pleads not guilty in Little League theft
Arlene Moe pleaded not guilty Thursday to stealing more than $40,000 from the Gastineau Channel Little League.

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

Photos: Images from another time: 49 stars rise in 1959
CROWD: Lowell Thomas Sr. prepares to address a crowd in front of what was then the Juneau Public Library during the 49 star flag raising ceremony. Thomas was a well-known radio announcer, american writer, broadcaster and world explorer.

Around Town
Thursday, July 2

Photos: Images from another time Eight stars of gold
The last float in the 1959 Juneau Fourth of July parade, the Juneau Emblem Club, turns the corner on Main St. and Calhoun Ave.

Photo: Who me?
A young black bear attempts to access a Fosbee Apartment Dumpster Thursday morning on Distin Ave., half a block west of the Governor's Mansion. According to the photographer, Peter Metcalfe, the bear was unable to obtain breakfast from this particular trash bin.

A page one story and headline in Wednesday's Juneau Empire misidentified Coeur d'Alene Mine Corp.

Photo: Fish, football and fundraising
Fisherman Andy Massey, left, and Thunder Mountain High School football coach Bill Byouer weigh halibut for customers aboard the Tia Lynn in Harris Harbor Thursday. The fish costs $6 per pound with average sizes in the 14- to 20-pound range. The event is a fundraiser for the football team.

Shirley Ann Nygard
Juneau resident Shirley Ann Nygard died peacefully on June 7, 2009, at Wildflower Court in Juneau. She was 79.

Alaska editorial: United States ought to start acting like an Arctic nation
Alaskans are well aware of something the rest of the country generally overlooks: We are an Arctic nation. As the Arctic warms, polar ice retreats and a race for resources gets under way, the United States has a huge stake in what is happening in the far north. So do the Alaskans who live at the front lines, coping with the profound change that's under way. That's why U.S. Sen. Mark Begich wants to give Alaska's Arctic residents a formal way to offer their advice and perspective on decisions affecting the region.

My turn: American health care system can learn from the Brits
As an expatriate Brit and now resident here, I have watched the debate over impending health care reform with interest and sometimes incredulity. Having had almost 40 years experience of a "public option" health care system, I wanted to add my two cents to the debate and try and clear up some misconceptions that seem to abound.

Outside editorial: Islamic nation finally being returned to its rightful owners
As the United States prepared to invade Iraq in 2003, then-Secretary of State Colin L. Powell famously warned that "if you break it, you own it." In many ways, the U.S. did break Iraq, ousting Saddam Hussein's quarter-century regime without ensuring that a stable government would take its place. That ushered in a bloody, six-year occupation that cost the lives of more than 4,300 U.S. troops and nearly $700 billion. Americans will always bear responsibility for this misbegotten war of choice, but now, at last, the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraqi cities marks the beginning of the country's return to its rightful owners - Iraqis.

Kensington decision creates palpable sense of enthusiasm
This past Tuesday, I attended a gathering of very happy people at the Hangar Ballroom in downtown Juneau, a party to celebrate the U.S. Supreme Court's recent decision to uphold the fill discharge permit issued by the Army Corps of Engineers for the Kensington Mine project north of Juneau.

No justice today at Guantanamo
Like his fellow prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, Kuwaiti detainee Fayiz Mohammed Ahmed al-Kandari hoped that President Obama's election would finally bring justice. Judges, not political appointees, would prevail and restore the rule of law.

Outside column: 'I made a mistake' excuse getting flimsier by the minute
I have a proposal.

Outside editorial: Strengthen SEC to deter the next Bernie Madoff
With a 150-year prison sentence on Monday, Bernard Madoff got what he had coming to him - and certainly more than enough to guarantee that the 71-year-old master swindler will die in prison, not in the Hamptons.

Colbert mocks Coeur decision
Stephen Colbert brought up Juneau's Kensington mine controversy Wednesday evening on "The Colbert Report," his Comedy Central show that satirizes conservative news pundits.

Municipal libraries closed Friday, Saturday
JUNEAU - All three branches of the Juneau Public Libraries will be closed on Friday and Saturday in observance of Independence Day. The downtown library and the Mendenhall Valley library will reopen at noon Sunday. The Douglas library will reopen at 1 p.m. Sunday.

Ketchikan-bound cargo goes overboard
KETCHIKAN - Three 40-foot cargo containers bound for Ketchikan went overboard in what was described as a weather-related mishap in British Columbia's Milbanke Sound.

Juneau office building permitted
The largest building project in 30 years to be proposed in downtown Juneau received a permit from the city planning commission.

FedEx lobbying in Anchorage
ANCHORAGE - Executives from FedEx took their campaign against chief rival UPS to Anchorage.

Closures to occur at rifle range
The Hank Harmon Rifle Range on Montana Creek Road will have limited closures over the next few weeks for grading and drainage maintenance. Work is expected to be under way today.

City approves funding for housing coordinator
The Juneau Assembly decided to fund a full-time position to coordinate efforts for more affordable housing in the city.

Bike rider killed in Anchorage intersection
ANCHORAGE - Witnesses told police a bicycle rider was talking on his cell phone when he ran a red light Tuesday afternoon at an Anchorage intersection and was struck by an SUV.

Small plane makes belly landing at Anchorage field
ANCHORAGE - There were no injuries when a small plane with landing gear problems made a belly landing Wednesday at Merrill Field in Anchorage.

Coast Guard plans memorial for PO
KETCHIKAN - The Coast Guard will hold a memorial service today for a petty officer who died in a fishing accident.

Alaska Elite lives up to its name
The Juneau Cheer Club's first competitive team, the Alaska Elite, competed June 6 in Valencia, Calif., bringing home several first place finishes among other awards, including 1st place Grand Master Champions.

Photo: Cyclists win gold, silver in Kluane Relay
Juneau cyclists brought home three first place medals and one second place finish in this year's Kluane International Bike Relay. Among those who placed were: John Bursell, 1st place for the mens solo division; Tara Jeans and Vicki Orozco, 1st place for the two-person womens division; and Maren Haavig, Donna Young, Heather Conway, Shelly Saviers, Amy Carroll, Heather Johnson-Smith, Nicki Neal and Julia Carver won 1st place for the eight-person womens division. Janice Sheufelt and Robert Sowers earned 2nd place for the two-person mixed division.

Southeast Road Runners
East Glacier Trail Tangle

Abortion question one step closer to ballots
Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell certified a parental notification ballot initiative backed by Gov. Sarah Palin, the governor's office announced Thursday.

State's top doctor, Public Health director leave posts
Two top Alaska Public Health officials who have been directing the state's swine flu response have left state employment in an action that may be linked to Gov. Sarah Palin's anti-abortion views.

Cruise West suspends Ketchikan stops in 2010
KETCHIKAN - A cruise ship company will bypass Ketchikan next year in favor of tours out of Juneau and Anchorage.

State senator files gubernatorial intent letter
ANCHORAGE - The Democratic state senator who oversaw the "Troopergate" investigation of Gov. Sarah Palin filed a letter of intent Wednesday to run for her job.

Photo: Busy as a bee
This June 29, 2009 photo shows a honeybee hovering in front of wild Bluebells of Scotland blossoms in Kenai, Alaska. Wildflowers are in full bloom in the area.

Columnists award Palin dubious honor
The National Society of Newspaper Columnists chose Gov. Sarah Palin last week as the winner of its annual Sitting Duck Award, a tongue-in-cheek honor that pokes fun at "the crème de la crème of the most ridiculed newsmakers in America."

Pro-Palin Web site attacks Fairbanks Rep. Jay Ramras
FAIRBANKS - A pro-Palin Web site has accused Rep. Jay Ramras, R-Fairbanks, of a conflict of interest for owning BP stock. The Fairbanks Republican denies any breach of ethics and says he has made a full disclosure of his stock trading.

Bus mechanics union strikes at Denali National Park
ANCHORAGE - A union representing 16 bus mechanics, radio technicians and warehouse workers at Denali National Park says the employees have gone on strike.

UAF professor calls for better Arctic regs
FAIRBANKS - A multi-national council this spring recommended northern countries, including the United States, adopt uniform and mandatory rules for construction of ships that access the Arctic Ocean, where thinning ice and increasing resource development should accelerate commercial shipping.

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