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US jobless aid applications stay low, a sign of few layoffs

AP Business News - Thu, 04/23/2015 - 1:22am
US jobless aid applications stay low, a sign of few layoffs Associated Press - 23 April 2015 09:22-04:00 News Topics: Business, General news, Labor economy, Unemployment insurance, Economy, Layoffs, Employment figures, Oil and gas industry, Oil and gas exploration and extraction, Government business and finance, Government and politics, Leading economic indicators, Personnel, Energy industry, Industries Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Frito-Lay helps PepsiCo crunch Wall St. expectations

AP Business News - Thu, 04/23/2015 - 1:16am
Frito-Lay helps PepsiCo crunch Wall St. expectations Associated Press - 23 April 2015 09:16-04:00 News Topics: Business, Earnings estimates, Earnings, Financial performance, Corporate news People, Places and Companies: Indra Nooyi, North America Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Lady Gaga to get first 'icon' award at Songwriters Hall

AP Entertainment News - Thu, 04/23/2015 - 1:06am
Lady Gaga to get first 'icon' award at Songwriters Hall Associated Press - 23 April 2015 09:06-04:00 News Topics: Arts and entertainment, Television programs, Entertainment, Pop music, Celebrity, Rock music, Music People, Places and Companies: Lady Gaga, Tony Bennett, Bobby Braddock, Jerry Garcia, Toby Keith, Cyndi Lauper, Linda Perry, Van Morrison, Johnny Mercer, Nate Ruess, Hal David Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Volvo prepares to send 'Made in China' cars to US

AP Business News - Thu, 04/23/2015 - 1:01am
Volvo prepares to send 'Made in China' cars to US Associated Press - 23 April 2015 09:01-04:00 News Topics: Business, General news, Automobile parts manufacturing, Automobile manufacturing, Air pollution, Production facilities, Asset sales, Technology, Consumer product manufacturing, Consumer products and services, Industries, Air quality, Environment, Environment and nature, Pollution, Environmental concerns, Corporate news, Ownership changes People, Places and Companies: China, Chengdu, Shanghai, Europe, Sweden, United States, Gothenburg Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Ex-deputy with Lou Gehrig's disease not guilty in killings

AP US News - Thu, 04/23/2015 - 12:46am
Ex-deputy with Lou Gehrig's disease not guilty in killings Associated Press - 23 April 2015 08:46-04:00 News Topics: General news, Homicide, Lou Gehrig's disease, Legal proceedings, Court decisions, Crime, Diseases and conditions, Violent crime, Neurological disorders, Health, Law and order People, Places and Companies: Madison, Wisconsin Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Southwest tops Street 1Q forecasts

AP Business News - Thu, 04/23/2015 - 12:42am
Southwest tops Street 1Q forecasts Associated Press - 23 April 2015 08:42-04:00 News Topics: Business, Earnings estimates, Earnings reports, Airlines, Earnings, Financial performance, Corporate news, Transportation and shipping, Industrial products and services, Industries People, Places and Companies: Dallas Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

New Whitney design by Renzo Piano a game changer for museum

AP Entertainment News - Thu, 04/23/2015 - 12:41am
New Whitney design by Renzo Piano a game changer for museum Associated Press - 23 April 2015 08:41-04:00 News Topics: Arts and entertainment, Lifestyle, Visual arts, Art museums, Architecture, Museums, Sculpture, Painting, Leisure facility construction, Recreation and leisure, Leisure travel, Travel, Building construction, Construction and engineering, Industrial products and services, Industries, Business People, Places and Companies: Renzo Piano, Robert Frost, Marcel Chagnon, New York City, Manhattan, New York Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

United Airlines posts record profit of $508 million for 1Q

AP Business News - Thu, 04/23/2015 - 12:40am
United Airlines posts record profit of $508 million for 1Q Associated Press - 23 April 2015 08:40-04:00 News Topics: Business, Airlines, Passenger airlines, Transportation and shipping, Industrial products and services, Industries People, Places and Companies: United States Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Timeline of events after fatal police shooting in Ferguson

AP US News - Thu, 04/23/2015 - 12:37am
Timeline of events after fatal police shooting in Ferguson Associated Press - 23 April 2015 08:37-04:00 News Topics: General news, Police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, Violent crime, Lawsuits, Protests and demonstrations, Police, Crime, Shootings, Emergency management, Events, Legal proceedings, Law and order, Political and civil unrest, Law enforcement agencies, Government and politics People, Places and Companies: Michael Brown, Thomas Jackson, Darren Wilson, Jay Nixon, Eric Holder, Missouri, St. Louis Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Truck, SUV profits push GM 1Q profit 8 times above year ago

AP Business News - Thu, 04/23/2015 - 12:35am
Truck, SUV profits push GM 1Q profit 8 times above year ago Associated Press - 23 April 2015 08:35-04:00 News Topics: Business, Automobile manufacturing, Earnings estimates, Stock price movements, Consumer product manufacturing, Consumer products and services, Industries, Earnings, Financial performance, Corporate news, Stock performance, Corporate stock People, Places and Companies: Kenneth R. Feinberg, Detroit, United States Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Lawyer for suspect smuggler says client was paying passenger

AP Top news - Thu, 04/23/2015 - 12:28am
Lawyer for suspect smuggler says client was paying passenger Associated Press - 23 April 2015 08:28-04:00 News Topics: General news, Smuggling, Crime People, Places and Companies: Europe, Sicily, Malta, Italy Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Some officers looking to body cameras on their own

AP US News - Thu, 04/23/2015 - 12:28am
Some officers looking to body cameras on their own Associated Press - 23 April 2015 08:28-04:00 News Topics: Business, General news, Homicide, Weapons manufacturing, Municipal governments, Violent crime, Crime, Aerospace and defense industry, Industrial products and services, Industries, Local governments, Government and politics People, Places and Companies: Barack Obama, Ohio, Austin Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

EU leaders discuss more and faster action on Med migrants

AP Top news - Thu, 04/23/2015 - 12:25am
EU leaders discuss more and faster action on Med migrants Associated Press - 23 April 2015 08:25-04:00 News Topics: General news, Summits, Search and rescue efforts, Political refugees, International relations, Government and politics, Human welfare, Social issues, Social affairs People, Places and Companies: Federica Mogherini, Matteo Renzi, Donald Tusk, Ban Ki-Moon, Europe, Malta, Italy, Middle East Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Ericsson profit hit by poor US performance, global sales up

AP Technology News - Thu, 04/23/2015 - 12:11am
Ericsson profit hit by poor US performance, global sales up Associated Press - 23 April 2015 08:11-04:00 News Topics: Business, Technology, Sales figures, Earnings reports, Financial performance, Corporate news, Earnings People, Places and Companies: Sweden, North America, Europe, United States Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Matthew Komatsu: Alaska and War Writing

49 Writers - Wed, 04/22/2015 - 5:00am
On the night of September 14th, 2012, a team of insurgents armed to the teeth and wearing US uniforms slipped through the wire of Bastion Air Base, Afghanistan. Once inside, they unleashed hell. Firing RPGs, they lit an uncovered jet fuel depot that contained millions of gallons of JP-8 ablaze, destroyed several Harrier jets and killed two Marines. I know this because I was there alongside three of my men. We answered a call for help and got a little more than we expected. In the days that followed, I had an idea to write my way through the experience. It took me over a year to get it down and published (link to the NYT essay is below) but I was hooked. It was time to quit screwing around. Time to write.

I came up with an idea for a short story about a veteran; a veteran I dropped into the Alaskan backcountry I have come to know and love. My wife’s final trimester frenzied the writing with the knowledge that time would soon grow scarce and I wrote with a sense of purpose I’d never found before. I am proud of what emerged, even if I wasn’t able to get it published. War was merely the beginning of the story, not the end. By the final drafts, Alaska emerged as a character as strong as my protagonist, and as deadly as war itself.

To return from war is to grapple with your place in the world. Hemingway knew this when he wrote “Big Two-Hearted River,” even if he was bit limited by the landscape of rural Michigan compared to what lies outside our doorsteps. And surely I’m not the only one to ask whether the story itself would have grown beyond the confines of In Our Time should Nick Adams have found respite on the Kenai, or in the wilds of the great Alaskan Interior. But Nick Adams isn’t the only veteran who turned to the natural world for whatever it might offer. Post-Vietnam, Ed Abbey placed George Hayduke in the Desert Southwest. Homer left Odysseus in the mythical wilds for a full decade. Which of you, I wonder, will write a veteran into Alaska?

Because here’s the thing: few other writers live with what we have outside our doorsteps. No matter where you live in Alaska, from Anchorage to New Stuhoyak, the natural world influences our lives in a way that is not well understood by our friends in the Lower 48. We are privileged with access and knowledge that begins not with a drive or a flight, but with mere steps. The natural world is a constant force within our lives, more so than anywhere else in the nation. It makes perfect sense we tend toward writing the natural world.  I would argue, then, that we’re even better placed to produce the next Odyssey or In Our Time by examining the story of a veteran in such a place.

But should your ambitions be lower than being the next Hemingway or Homer, there is this: our history as a state is intertwined with the twists and turns of both hot, and cold, wars throughout the 20th century. There is a trove of material awaiting research and telling. From the forgotten battles of WWII’s Aleutian Islands Campaign to the Shackleton-esque survival story of the Clobbered Turkey, fell deeds await your words. Socially-minded authors might pay close attention to the untold story of the Alaska Territorial Guard, whose members were not granted veteran status until 2000, and whose example is a forgotten scion of the integration of minorities and women into the military.

I guess that all this is to say that there’s a wealth of material at your fingertips, and it all begins with a keystroke, a scribble in a worn notebook, or a lingering question. I hope you accept the challenge. It’ll make a hell of a story.

Matthew Komatsu is an author and currently serving veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. In 2014, he enrolled in the University of Alaska-Anchorage's MFA in Creative Writing program as a Nonfiction candidate. He has published essays in The New York Times; War, Literature and the Arts; and on stage at Anchorage, AK's Arctic Entries. War, Literature, and the Arts nominated his memoir-essay, "31 North 64 East" for a Pushcart Prize. He also has a flash essay upcoming in the September 2015 issue of Brevity. You can follow him on Twitter @matthew_komatsu.

Categories: Arts & Culture

Recent Reads

What Turtle Blood Tastes Like - Tue, 04/21/2015 - 3:23pm

Once upon a time when not writing I at least would take some time to jot notes about the good words I was filling my brain with so let’s give that a shot again.  Once upon a time I also used to write list poems building on the riff, ‘while you were smoking’ and I’d dive into the multitude of things I’d accomplish or at least observe, think, smell, taste, read and dream while my acquaintances were outside, dying a little.  Okay no dying a little here, these books are more about growing a little as a poet with more process-awareness ninja skills.

Walking down the stairs: selections from the interviews
by Galway Kinnell

This is super interesting, especially Kinnell’s snarky remarks in the introduction about how odd of an assignment he’d been given by the publisher. Basically, go back through all the published interviews you’ve given and select (and feel free to edit or clarify) the ones that capture the essence of your work. It’s like a framed story, the poet, writing about himself, narrating his life as seen through a mirror, or a lense, or an idealized reality, gets a chance to write his wrongs of sorts, or clarify when originally obtuse or at least inarticulate. A good read. While you’re at it check out another from the series by AK poet John Haines called Living off the Country: Reflections on how landscape, the imagination, and the “real world” color the creative process .  These two titles are part of the Poets On Poetry series that University of Michigan Press has been publishing for 40 years.

Close Calls with Nonsense: reading new poetry
by Stephen Burt
Poet and critic Burt equates the challenges associated with understanding poetry with putting together furniture from IKEA. Without the instructions, as challenging as all those pictograms can be, we can hardly imagine the brilliant rocking chair with sleek, modern Swedish minimalist design.

A Poet’s Glossary
By Edward Hirsch

Okay this one is a bit terrifying for a self-taught poet with little, to zero formal training but hey, that’s why I’ll be starting an MFA in poetry in 3 weeks! I’m very interested in the history of literary forms, literary history in general and love reading encyclopedia style entries devoted entirely to esoteric literature. Anyway if you’ve ever wondered what a ghazal or an abecedarian is, this is your chance. Here’s a blurb,

Hirsch defines any term in English you can think of and many more, along with ghinnawa, a form of Bedouin folk poetry; the Sanskrit term rasa, denoting the “soul of poetry”; and shan-shui, China’s rivers-and-mountain verse. A thrilling “repertoire of poetic secrets,” this radiant compendium is shaped by Hirsch’s abiding gratitude for the demands and power, illumination, and solace of poetry, “a human fundamental.”
— Donna Seaman, Booklist (Starred Review)


Filed under: glimpses
Categories: Arts & Culture

And then there was Richard Siken…

What Turtle Blood Tastes Like - Thu, 04/09/2015 - 8:44am

I hope you’ll take a moment to walk with Richard through this postcard and in that moment, by which I mean a universe, you will connect your love for poetry with a love for independent publishers like Copper Canyon Press and Spork Press. Perhaps even that will lead you along a path and at the end of that path, Richard’s long awaited second poetry collection, War of the Foxes.

Please consider supporting this project.

This video says everything I’ve longed to say about why I come to poetry, why my hands too are birds becoming and unbecoming and always flying. Thanks Copper Canyon Press and Richard for this gift.


Filed under: Poetry
Categories: Arts & Culture

Superintendent speaks out about student privacy rights

Juneau School District Announcements - Fri, 08/29/2014 - 2:40pm

Supe's On  - Welcome to the Superintendent's Blog

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Categories: Arts & Culture

School District Report on Investigation into Hazing

Juneau School District Announcements - Wed, 08/27/2014 - 4:35pm

The Juneau School District has concluded our investigation into allegations that on or about May 30-31 of this year a group of incoming senior boys hazed/initiated a group of incoming freshmen boys by paddling them multiple times.

These events were first brought to our attention in early June. At that time the district began an initial investigation, which, due to an active police investigation and summer vacation, was put on hold. When we were informed that the police had concluded their investigation we resumed our efforts.

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Categories: Arts & Culture

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