Thursday, August 26, 2010

Totem poles through an intercultural lens
It's tough to imagine a more visually striking art form than the totem pole. With the stature and substance of a tree, the character variety and depth of a complex novel, the impact of a billboard, and the artistry of fine sculpture, these monumental works of art have amazed non-Native cultures for 250 years, beginning with the very first white men who saw them in the late 1700s. That strong reaction to the form - from a culture that lacked the tools to understand it - and the ways that fascination played out over time is one of the threads explored in a new book, "The Totem Pole: an Intercultural History," by Aldona Jonaitis and Aaron Glass.

A list of local totem poles
This list of local totems includes publicly available poles and is not exhaustive. For sources, see bottom of story.

'The Way Out' is The Books' thrifting at their finest
In the first seconds of The Books' newest album, "The Way Out," listeners are greeted by the voice of a man offering the opportunity of a new beginning. He introduces the experience that is about to be had by noting that the following will be "music specifically created for its pleasurable effects upon your mind, body and emotions."

Go ahead, pick on Aniston
Picking on Jennifer Aniston feels kind of like poking fun at some kid who just got beat up by a bully on the playground. You feel like a jerk for doing it. Why, after all, would you want to make that little kid feel worse? He just skinned his knee for crying out loud! With Aniston, who is on the cover of at least one magazine in the checkout aisle at the grocery store without fail, it has somehow become the norm to feel sorry for her. She is not on the covers of those magazines because of Oscar buzz or because her current movie is atop the box office.

Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen release CD
Frank Solivan's background is far from the norm for bluegrass musicians.

Learn, enjoy with library's new nonfiction
Look for new nonfiction books about dental care, landlord-tenant rights, children's literature and much more at the public libraries.

Free Family Day held this Sunday at the Canvas for all ages
Juneau - The Canvas Community Art Studio and Gallery will host a Free Family Day this Sunday from 1-4 p.m., featuring fabric collage with Kathleen Harper. Fabric collage is like painting with fabric or quilting without sewing. Participants will cut and glue varied and colorful fabrics, many of which were donated by Perseverance Theater, creating vibrant and tactile works of art.

Paula Deen prepares feature on Alaska
ANCHORAGE - TV and magazine personality Paula Deen visited Alaska in August for a lengthy feature in her magazine, Cooking with Paula Deen, that will highlight Alaska travel and wild Alaska seafood in early 2011.

City Museum solo show applications due Monday
JUNEAU -The City Museum is currently accepting applications for the fall 2011/winter 2012 season. All applications are due by Monday, Aug. 30.

Nomination deadline approaching for 2010 Governor's Awards
Juneau - Deadline for nominations of individuals and organizations for the Governor's Awards for the Arts and Humanities is Sept. 1. Award categories are Arts Education, Individual Artist, Arts Organization and Native Arts.

Tersteeg reunion class and workshop scheduled next month
JUNEAU - Friends and former students of retired University of Alaska professor Alice Tersteeg are invited to join Tersteeg in an Art Class Reunion Show and Workshop to celebrate and honor her teaching legacy. If you are one of the many artists Tersteeg inspired and mentored, consider exhibiting a piece in this show and/or attending the Saturday workshop.

S.T.A.R.ry eyed
As I write this, it has been a short and unbelievably long 365 days since "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" opened as part of Perseverance Theatre's STAR program, the summer arts program for Juneau youth. It was such a great privilege to work in your beautiful and welcoming community. It was a great disappointment not to be with you all again this summer

Searing 'Restrepo' documentary depicts war at its rawest
Losing a buddy on a battlefield is a universal theme in Hollywood war films, and yet when it happens in the Afghan war documentary "Restrepo," there's no foreshadowing, no soaring soundtrack, no mood lighting.

Juneau needs flowers
Juneau needs the flowers in hanging baskets, containers by shops, turn outs, docks, beds in the meridians, etc. planted by the Parks and Recreation Department around town. We all need the flowers to feed our spirits, hearts and souls. Juneau's downtown was rather grim looking in the 1950's before expanding into landscaping and what a great job has been done.

Utility rate increases outpacing wage increase for many Juneauites
The City Assembly has decided to raise water and sewer rates 7 percent Oct. 1 this year, and 7 percent next year. Alaska Electric Light & Power has also deemed Juneau consumers can and must afford an 18 percent rate increase, with more promised if approved.

New faces at local schools
Juneau School District has a lot of new faces this year that are leading schools and teaching students.

Local vote totals unavailable Tuesday evening
As of press time Tuesday night, elections officials had finished counting ballots in House District 3, the Downtown and Douglas Island district, and House District 4, the Valley district, but declined to release results of how Juneau voted.

Juneau charts its own path in state races
In Tuesday night's primary races, Juneau residents showed a stark contrast to the rest of the state, giving a huge margin of victory to incumbent Gov. Sean Parnell, and giving a strong show of support for fellow Southeast Alaska native Lisa Murkowski.

Photo: Awaiting their masters return
Duke, Fred and Archie wait for their masters, Pat and Becky Kemp, to return from voting Tuesday at the Juneau Senior Center.

Police & Fire
Juneau police and fire reported:

Photo: First day jitters
Lehi Winge, going into the second grade at Gastineau Elementary School, is reluctant to release his mother, Teri, during the first day of school Tuesday in the Juneau School District.

New sensors on traffic lights keep vehicles moving
The Alaska Department of Transportation recently installed new video detection cameras on top of traffic signals in the Mendenhall Valley area.

Police & Fire
Juneau police and fire reported:

Suspicious item causes evacuation of airport
A brief evacuation was ordered at the Juneau International Airport at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday when a Transportation Security Administration employee noticed a suspicious item during security screening.

Internet opening Juneau to scams
In early days it was easy to spot the snake-oil salesman as his wagon came to town with signs and bottle labels testifying to the wondrous elixir in his possession.

Alaska Wildlife Alliance forming first independent chapter in Juneau
The Alaska Wildlife Alliance has created its first branch chapter in Juneau.

Consignment store opens in Foodland
A new stop at the Foodland Shopping Center is offering some variety to the local day crowds.

Assembly: Auke Bay Elementary to get renovation funds
Auke Bay Elementary school will get $18.7 million for renovations, while an assemblyman and citizen voiced concern about the project.

Rudolph (Rudy) William Maier
Rudolph (Rudy) William Maier died at the age of 74 in his Juneau home on August 17, 2010 among family and friends. He spent most of his years in Juneau, the city he loved from the day he was born until his passing.

Bryce J. Mielke
A long time Alaskan pioneer, Bryce J. Mielke, died June 22 in Craig at age 86 after an extended illness.

Outside editorial: Offshore oil: Same old drill
The following editorial first appeared in the Los Angeles Times:

Outside editorial: The 'He's a Muslim' canard
The following editorial first appeared in the Los Angeles Times:

This is who 'we' really is, Glenn
A few words about who "we" is.

Time to stop using standardized tests to judge school performance
In the report card of Alaska's schools released earlier this month, eight of Juneau's 14 schools failed to meet the Annual Yearly Progress standards established by the No Child Left Behind Act in 2001. The results across Alaska weren't much better. But rather than blame the schools' teachers and administrators for failing to perform, maybe it's time we let go of the standards based educational measurements.

Social security, retiree Ponzi scheme $16T short
Social Security just celebrated its 75th birthday. Love it or hate it, it has done its job and should retire. We need a new system, the Personal Security System, which retains Social Security's best features, scraps the rest, and covers its costs.

Woman Wall Street hates most is right for the job
Seventy-five years ago this month, a Lockheed Orion Explorer airplane crashed in Point Barrow, Alaska. The one passenger, a rugged man originally from Oklahoma Indian Territory, died on impact along with the pilot.

Sitka, Chefornak airports get millions
ANCHORAGE - The airport in Sitka is getting $30 million to extend its runway.

Woman indicted for banking violations
ANCHORAGE - A 37-year-old Seward woman has been indicted for violating federal banking reporting laws.

Alaska woman must pay $18,000 for identity theft
FAIRBANKS - An Alaska woman convicted of identity theft in 2004 has lost her appeal over restitution for about $18,000 in wages earned while lying about her professional nursing credentials.

Soldiers spending time in Anchorage schools
ANCHORAGE - About 180 soldiers from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson will spend time this school year helping out in Anchorage classrooms.

Minor 3.6 Cook Inlet quake felt in Anchorage
FAIRBANKS - The Alaska Earthquake Information Center reports a magnitude 3.6 quake was felt in Anchorage and Eagle River.

Body found in Alaska river is missing federal agent
FAIRBANKS - Alaska State Troopers have identified a body found in the Yukon River outside of Eagle as a U.S. Customs agent missing since last month.

FAA boss says safety rules already on the books
ANCHORAGE - FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt says safety rules are on the books; the problems come when pilots break them.

State voter turnout stands at 27.5 percent
ANCHORAGE - The Division of Elections reports voter turnout at 27.5 percent in Alaska's primary.

2 dead in Alaska plane crash near Mount Susitna
ANCHORAGE - Federal and state investigators are looking into a small plane crash near Mount Susitna that killed two people.

Comment period extended for sea lion proposal
ANCHORAGE - The public comment period on a proposal to change groundfish fisheries in order to help Steller sea lions has been extended.

Changes abound for Bears
If the Juneau-Douglas tennis team plans on another successful return to the state tournament - and it does - new faces will have to fill the voids left by reigning state champions and contenders.

Don't count the Crimson Bears out
The Juneau-Douglas High School swim and dive teams are back in the water with big expectations for 2010, but the Crimson Bears also are hoping to erase a certain memory from last season.

New challenges arise for Thunder Mountain swimmers
With every new season comes new challenges, especially when you're a second-year program trying to establish your own identity.

Photo: Truckers take title

Photo: Walking Wounded wins D-II

Miller, Murkowski bracing for long count
ANCHORAGE - As Sen. Lisa Murkowski watched the shocking election returns come into her election headquarters on primary night, she became painfully aware of two powerful forces in American politics in 2010: anti-government rage and Sarah Palin.

Miller, Murkowski too close to call for GOP nomination
ANCHORAGE - Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski trailed her lesser-known conservative opponent Tuesday in a surprisingly tight race that was seen as a test of the political power of Sarah Palin and the tea party movement.

Search still on for missing plane in SW Alaska
ANCHORAGE - About 10 aircraft were out Tuesday searching for a small plane carrying a pilot and three National Park Service employees who disappeared four days ago in Katmai National Park and Preserve, a park spokesman said.

Parnell wins nomination in convincing vote
ANCHORAGE - Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell, who inherited the job from Sarah Palin and was credited with restoring calm after her tumultuous tenure, won the GOP gubernatorial primary Tuesday.

Democrats see opening if Murkowski loses GOP primary
ANCHORAGE - Political upstart Joe Miller continues to lead incumbent U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski in the Republican primary race in Alaska. Alaska Democrats couldn't be happier.

Voters defeat lobbying measure
ANCHORAGE - Alaska voters have defeated a ballot measure that would have banned municipal governments and school districts from spending public money to lobby.

Barbs begin between Parnell, Berkowitz
ANCHORAGE - Not even a day had passed since Alaska's primary and already campaign barbs were being flung Wednesday between Republican Gov. Sean Parnell and the Democrat who wants to replace him, Ethan Berkowitz.

Young defeats Fisher for GOP nomination
ANCHORAGE - There may be anti-incumbent sentiment elsewhere in the country but little was evident in Alaska's U.S. House race.

Treadwell seals GOP nomination with big win
ANCHORAGE - Mead Treadwell has won the Republican nomination for Alaska lieutenant governor in his first campaign for elected office.

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