Thursday, July 9, 2009

Picture books are always arriving at the library for Juneau's youngest book-lovers
New picture books for babies through early elementary school arrive regularly at the public libraries. Here are a few of my recent favorites.

ARTS & CULTURE CALENDAR
ART, EVENTS & PERFORMANCES

Home Skillet Fest
Home Skillet Festival comes together through the combined efforts of many hands, minds and pocketbooks. At its heart, however, it is the manifestation of a simple pleasure - sharing high-quality music - cultivated by its founders, Nicolas Galanin and George Huff.

Listening to the landscape of Breathe Owl Breathe
In lyrics that are at once vivid and obscure, Breathe Owl Breathe sings of mastodons and glaciers, toboggans and boats, evoking landscapes through their music that would be easy enough to imagine were formed right here in Southeast Alaska. However, Northern Michigan is their base, another place where winter encourages creativity.

Sunglasses manufacturer makes film about Juneau road
It may seem like an unusual pairing: Florida-based sunglasses manufacturers Costa Del Mar has released a film, "Blue Highway," which seeks to inform the public about both sides of the issue surrounding the Juneau Access Road.

B-Real from Cypress Hill to perform tonight
One of the most highly anticipated concerts in Juneau in the past decade takes place tonight when B-Real of Cypress Hill takes to the stage at Marlintini's Lounge. Doors open at 9 p.m. and tickets cost $35.

Depp's charm obscures Dillinger's true nature in 'Public Enemies'
It is a good thing Wikipedia is free. Every time a movie like "Public Enemies" comes out - a movie based on historical events and real people - I inevitably wind up at Wikipedia reading up on the folks I have just seen depicted. With Michael Mann's new film about John Dillinger (based on the book, "Public Enemies: America's Greatest Crime Wave and the Birth of the FBI, 1933-34"), there are countless criminals and lawmen with their own links and back-stories. At first the objective is just to figure out how far Mann and company deviated from real life, but before long it is simply damned good reading!

Ballroom dance held this Saturday at Centennial Hall
Juneau International Folkdancers will host their monthly ballroom dance from 7-10 p.m., Saturday, July 11, at Centennial Hall.

'Bubble feed' dinner supports Wallen's waterfront whale
"Creating a Bronze Sculpture, From Studio to Foundry to Site" will be presented by R.T. "Skip" Wallen at a whale project fundraising "bubble feed" dinner Saturday July 11 at the Moose Club.

Juneau Dance Unlimited offers jazz/hip hop workshop
Juneau Dance Unlimited still has space for the Work It! jazz/hip hop workshop for students ages 11-18, to be held at the dance studio from 6:30-8 p.m. Monday through Friday, July 13-24.

Court lifts injunction on Kensington permits
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday lifted its injunction on construction at the Kensington gold mine, bringing the mine one step closer to getting back into business since it was halted in mid-2006.

Dog days mean the flu for some Juneau pets
Juneau's dogs are passing around the flu. The sickness that started showing up in the city's four-legged population a few weeks ago first looked like the more common kennel cough but turned out to be canine influenza, the Gastineau Human Society learned form the Office of the State Veterinarian this weekend.

Bail reduced in strong-arm robbery case
A Superior Court judge on Wednesday halved the bail of a convicted felon accused of a strong-arm robbery while on probation.

Would-be miners are anxious to begin work
Coeur Alaska Inc. posted ads for four jobs Monday. But many more in Southeast Alaska, including former employees who were laid off, are hoping for a chance to work there.

Mine opening won't fix city budget crisis
The pending opening of Kensington mine will positively impact the city's projected budget deficit but "certainly won't fix the woes," city Finance Director Craig Duncan said Tuesday.

Voters may face $11.8 million school bond question
Voters this October will likely be asked to issue $11.8 million in school bonds for a renovation at Gastineau Elementary in Douglas.

Photo: Up the ladder
Spawning chum salmon swim up the 450-foot fish ladder Tuesday at the Macaulay Salmon Hatchery. According to the hatchery, the spawning male chum's strongly developed teeth, resembling canine fangs, give it its nickname, "dog salmon."

Photo: Full moon
An orange-colored full moon rises off of the horizon Tuesday night as it reflects onto the Gastinueau Channel. According to Kristine Spekkens, of "Ask an Astonomer" at Cornell University, sometimes the moon looks orange because when it's close to the horizon the light reflecting off it has to pass through more of Earth's atmosphere. As it does this, the shorterwavelengths, like blue, are scattered and the colors with longer wavelengths, like orange, pass through.

Photo: A little off the top
Paul Duran, assistant chief of engineers at DIPAC, trims the hedges alongside the road Tuesday. He said that he enjoys working outside on these sunny days and that he's glad to make the area look better for others who live here and visit.

Photo: Wax on
R.T. "Skip" Wallen puts a yearly layer of wax on his 1,500-pound bronze statue of a brown bear Wednesday. The statue, called "Windfall Fisherman" and crafted by Wallen, was commissioned in 1984 in honor of the silver anniversary of Alaska's statehood. The statue, which sits at the Dimond Courthouse plaza, is owned by the city of Juneau and has a maintanace fund set aside for it. The wax keeps the bronze from turning green and protects it from the elements.

Around Town
Today, July 8

Photo: Busy cruise day
A group of tourists stand Wednesday on a platform toward the top of Mount Roberts overlooking the Sea Princess. The Sea Princess was one of six large cruise ships that stopped in Juneau on Wednesday bringing in more than 13,000 passengers and crew members to Juneau for the day.

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

Around Town
Thursday, July 9

Corrections
Wednesday's Juneau Empire had three errors:

My Turn: Robert McNamara's War
This past week saw the passing of Robert McNamara, Secretary of Defense under Presidents Kennedy and Johnson. This decent, talented and intelligent man was a study of contradictions symbolic of the Vietnam War era and reflects in many ways our country today.

Fish story is a cautionary tale
I f ever there were a story that foreshadowed the political and legal Waterloos that loom in seeking solutions to climate change, surely that cautionary tale is the one about the Columbia and Snake rivers' salmon and their imminent extinction.

We all have a huge role in tackling climate change
B ehavioral economists will tell you that the simple act of placing an electricity consumption meter in plain view can substantially cut a home's energy use. The same goes for real-time miles-per-gallon meters in cars, which change the way we drive.

Outside editorial: Don't mean to HARP
It's been four months since the Obama administration rolled out its policies to help homeowners battle a declining housing market. As you'll recall, the administration's declared objective was not so much to rescue homeowners who were already in or near foreclosure as it was to identify those who could avoid foreclosure with a little bit of well-timed government support.

Outside editorial: Learning from McNamara
A mid the rending of garments and gnashing of teeth over the recent death of the King of Pop, it's worth noting the loss Monday of the King of Bang. Robert Strange McNamara, who died at his home in Washington at 93, helped engineer the nuclear escalation of the Cold War and the military escalation of the Vietnam War, a brilliant man who rose quickly to the pinnacle of the corporate and government worlds only to become the poster child for wrongheaded hubris.

Free-market health care reform is just what the doctor ordered
President Barack Obama is right when he says that the U.S. health-care system needs reform. Although this country provides the finest care in the world, our health-care system has serious problems. It costs too much. Too many people lack health insurance. And quality can be uneven.

US and Russia talking again, truly a good start
Progress on reducing strategic nuclear arms is big news out of the Russian-American summit conference, but overshadowed side agreements are true windows on improving relations.

Infant on cruise ship medevaced to Bartlett
JUNEAU - A Coast Guard crew from Air Station Sitka helicoptered a 1-year-old child off a cruise ship to Bartlett Regional Hospital early Tuesday.

Juneau to host tourism summit
KETCHIKAN - The impact of fewer people visiting southeast Alaska and what can be done to change that is the focus of an upcoming summit sponsored by First Things First Alaska Foundation, a Juneau nonprofit.

Fort Richardson soldier dies in Afghanistan
FORT RICHARDSON - The Army says another Fort Richardson soldier has been killed in Afghanistan.

Cruise ship makes unscheduled stop in Auke Bay
JUNEAU - The Serenade of the Seas, a Royal Caribbean International cruise ship with a 3,360 passenger and crew capacity, made an unscheduled stop in Auke Bay harbor around 7:30 p.m. Tuesday to offload a medical patient.

Palin plans to pick two judges
FAIRBANKS - Gov. Sarah Palin plans to appoint two Fairbanks judges before she leaves office July 26.

Tuesday's open burning ban lifted
JUNEAU - Capital City Fire and Rescue on Wednesday canceled the open burning ban that was in effect Tuesday throughout the borough.

Juneau boy arrested for car rifling
JUNEAU - A 17-year-old boy was arrested early Tuesday for car rifling in North Douglas.

Police fielding bear break-in calls
JUNEAU - Seven nuisance bear encounters occurred in the community in as many days, according to a bear report the Juneau Police Department's released Wednesday.

Kenai dunes chained off for preservation
KENAI - The city of Kenai is working to chain off environmentally sensitive dunes before the Kenai River dip-net fishery opens Friday.

New public cabin going up in Wrangell
JUNEAU - Wrangell Island is getting its first U.S. Forest Service public-use cabin this summer.

Kayaker rescued in Bering Strait
NOME - A Norwegian kayaker has been rescued from the Bering Strait after asking for help when he was blown off course.

More testimony in Anchorage on gay rights
ANCHORAGE - The Anchorage Assembly chamber was packed for another round of public testimony on a gay rights proposal.

Google mum on jet in Juneau
JUNEAU - A media representative for the Internet corporation would not confirm nor deny Tuesday that the Boeing 767 parked at the Juneau airport is the "Google Jet."

State responding to fire near Nenana
NENANA - The state Division of Forestry says the Minto Flats South fire about 13 miles northwest of Nenana has grown to more than 79,000 acres and is threatening cabins, timber and a drilling rig.

Incoming Alaska governor to tweet less than Palin
ANCHORAGE - Alaska's incoming governor isn't the tweeter that Sarah Palin is.

Alaska Air Guard rescues 2 plane crash survivors
PALMER - The Alaska Air National Guard has rescued two survivors of a small plane crash northeast of Palmer.

Land O'Lakes hot cocoa mix recalled
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has recalled Land O'Lakes International Drinking Cocoa in the "Madagascar Vanilla" flavor, due to possible Salmonella contamination of the dry milk in it.

City imposes open burn ban
JUNEAU - Capital City Fire and Rescue issued a ban Tuesday on all open burning throughout the borough.

Coast Guard helps sinking boat near Kodiak Island
KODIAK - The U.S. Coast Guard assisted a 50-foot fishing vessel that started sinking on the northwest side of Kodiak Island in Spiridon Bay.

Coast Guard: man overboard near Aleutians
KODIAK - The Coast Guard says it's searching for a 58-year-old Japanese man reported overboard from the commercial fishing vessel Alaska Warrior in waters about 200 miles west of Dutch Harbor, Alaska.

Hiking the Dan Moller Trail
A trip up the Dan Moller Trail in late June led through many muskegs, where the flower show was well under way. Two or three kinds of violets — purple, lavender and yellow — pink bog rosemary, a little pink bog laurel, white starflowers and numerous three-leaf goldthreads.

Warm weather graces Juneau softball fields
It is hot and sunny, and a fabulous time to be playing softball while surrounded by the glacier and the snow fields — where else but Juneau? Last week was pretty quiet and that was probably good, as many players were still recovering from the Rainball tournament.

Gov. Palin defends decision to resign
KOTZEBUE - Gov. Sarah Palin returned to the spotlight Tuesday with an appearance in a remote Arctic village where she defended her perplexing decision to resign.

Legislature to hold hearings on Lt. Gov.
The Alaska Legislature is asserting a role in the appointment of a new lieutenant governor after Gov. Sarah Palin steps down and is replaced by current Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell.

Palin's leaving opens political doors for others
Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's early departure from office is creating political opportunity for others who want to be the state's next chief executive.

Legislators say special session may be needed
Confirming Gov. Sarah Palin's choice to become the new lieutenant governor may require a special legislative session, and that may give legislators unhappy with Palin's veto of $28.6 million federal stimulus money an opportunity to override it as well.

Group will sue EPA over pesticides in polar bears
ANCHORAGE - An environmental group said Wednesday that it plans to sue the federal government to stop approving pesticides that end up in food eaten by polar bears.

Alaska man gets 30 years for sex abuse
FAIRBANKS - Describing the offenses as "among the worst I've ever seen," a Superior Court judge sentenced an Alaska man to 30 years in prison for sexually abusing four children under the age of 13.

Luxury camping in Alaska's wilds
EAGLE RIVER, Alaska - A pair of campsites at the Eagle River Campground may not come with five-star concierge service like a luxury hotel - but in the world of camping, they offer more than just a place to pitch a tent. Dan McDonough, owner of Life Adventures in Palmer, is testing a new market for camping in Alaska with specialized campsites that provide a large wall tent, firewood, citronella candles and water.

Burns' new documentary notes Alaska national parks
Award-winning filmmaker Ken Burns, with his new documentary on America's national parks, has touched the hearts of Alaska's conservationists and the tourism industry, both with their own personal passions for seeing these parks thrive for generations to come.

16 billionth barrel of North Slope crude oil
FAIRBANKS - Sometime this summer the 16 billionth barrel of North Slope crude will flow down the 800-mile trans-Alaska oil pipeline.

New law targets Anchorage homeless camps
ANCHORAGE - The Anchorage Assembly has approved a crackdown on homeless camps.

Palin racks up air miles and has time to tweet
ANCHORAGE - Gov. Sarah Palin spent another day on the move in far-flung locations Wednesday at a time when many Alaskans remain mystified over her decision to step down and not finish her term.

GOP candidates in Va. and NJ wary of Palin
NEW YORK - Sarah Palin's decision to step down as Alaska governor was driven in part by her wish to help Republican candidates across the country, associates say.

States lure consumers with seafood branding
BOSTON - You've heard of Alaska King Crab and Maine Lobster. Why not Massachusetts Mackerel or maybe Cape Cod Cod?

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