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Ka-ching: Euro exit would cost Greece dear, shake eurozone

AP Top news - Wed, 02/18/2015 - 7:17pm
Ka-ching: Euro exit would cost Greece dear, shake eurozone Associated Press - 19 February 2015 04:17-05:00 News Topics: Business, General news, Euro, Currency markets, Economic outlook, Economy, Central banking, Financial markets, Banking and credit, Financial services, Industries People, Places and Companies: Angela Merkel, Greece, Europe, Germany Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Ka-ching: Euro exit would cost Greece dear, shake eurozone

AP Business News - Wed, 02/18/2015 - 7:17pm
Crying fowl: Crates of chickens fly out of tractor-trailer WNEP-TV - 19 February 2015 11:53-05:00 News Topics: General news, Oddities People, Places and Companies: Pennsylvania Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Vegas police, family defend mom killed in road-rage shootout

AP US News - Wed, 02/18/2015 - 7:13pm
Vegas police, family defend mom killed in road-rage shootout Associated Press - 19 February 2015 04:13-05:00 News Topics: General news, Shootings, Homicide, Violent crime, Crime People, Places and Companies: Las Vegas Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Teresa Sundmark: Tricky Writing

49 Writers - Wed, 02/18/2015 - 5:00am

I sometimes have a hard time sitting down to write, but I’ve found a few tricks to help get me going.
My first trick is taking notes.
When I sit down to write I worry about sounding good for an audience. You know, the audience. The people who will read my words and judge whether or not I’m making any sense or sounding smart or saying anything remotely interesting.
But when I’m just taking notes, I am not worried about my audience. Subsequently, anything interesting I have to say first shows up in my notes.
Note taking is where I ask questions and search for answers. It’s where I’m honest. Usually when I’m honest, I realize that my initial thoughts are just precursors to bigger, more compelling ideas that are lurking on the other side of the topic I had set out to write about.
Recently I sat down to write about old time music—playing it, the culture of it, the festivals I’ve attended and the people I’ve met along the way. I didn’t know where to start, so I began by taking notes. I asked questions: How did learning to play fiddle change me? What do I find so appealing about the music and everything that goes along with it? What are my favorite tunes, and why are they my favorites? All the notes I took in my attempt to answer those questions led me to my religious upbringing—more specifically to Pentecostalism.
I didn’t see that coming, but now more intriguing questions are surfacing. There is more depth, more potential to my work than what I’d anticipated.
Note taking allows me to write informally alongside a subject. It allows for unexpected diversions. I’m reminded of the times I needed to have a serious conversation with one or the other of my teenaged children. Sitting them down at the kitchen table to talk about a specific issue usually ended in either a yelling match or a lot of eye rolling and frustration. Our discussions were always more productive in a less formal setting. Driving was good, so was walking. Something about spending time alongside each other was less threatening than facing each other head on, and more often than not I was surprised at how open they were to talking when they didn’t have to look me in the eye.  
It’s true that note taking isn’t separate from writing, that in fact it’s just a part of the process. Calling it something other than writing is just part of the game I play to get myself to put words on a page. But it works.
What other games do I play in order to get work done? I ground myself in the present moment.
As I’m writing this, my two black lab/muts are running around the house tackling each other. There is a fire in the woodstove that’s in danger of going out and feeding it is going to require heading out to the woodshed and splitting a few rounds. I have a down blanket on my lap, though, so I can put off the trip outside for a little while longer. The low-angle, February sun is streaming through my window and I’m looking out at Kachemak Bay. The water is choppy but the sky is blue and clear. The only thing resembling a cloud is the snow blowing sideways off of Sadie Peak.
Looking at this view, I think about my neighbor whose memorial service I’m going to attend this afternoon. He and his wife homesteaded this piece of property that my husband and I have called home for the past eighteen years. His view for over fifty years was this same view that I’m enjoying right now. When I think about it though, the view is never the same from one moment to the next. It’s why I keep looking and taking photos and more photos. Unlike the people who live here, the view never gets old.
Writing is a little like my view that way, I approach it from a similar angle almost every time I sit down, but it surprises me with where it leads. It helps me untangle ideas. It unleashes stories I didn’t know were harbored inside me. It sparks my memory.
Today for example, I thought I was going to write about the tricks I use to get my writing started, but all of these things—the way fiddle music connects me to spirit, the way one day teenagers are rolling their eyes at you and the next day they’re gone, the way hardy homesteaders grow frail over time—these beautiful and heartbreaking bits of life bubbled up from somewhere.

Teresa Sundmark lives in Homer, Alaska. She has an MFA in Creative Writing from UAA. Her work has been featured in Cirque: A Literary Journal for the North Pacific Rim and is forthcoming in Stoneboat Journal. She blogs intermittently at

Categories: Arts & Culture

Auke Bay Plan Available Here

Assembly News - Thu, 02/05/2015 - 12:00am
Categories: Local Happenings

State Library in Juneau Features Artwork of Hannah Lindoff’s Book

Clarissa Rizal: Alaska Native Artist Blog - Wed, 02/04/2015 - 2:50pm

The Alaska State Library will exhibit artwork from the book Mary’s Wild Winter Feast by Hannah Lindoff. Come feast your eyes on a selection of the illustrations, a collaboration between Tlingit collage artist Clarissa Rizal and digital artist Nobu Koch. They feature Mary’s adventures hunting, fishing, and foraging with her family in southeast Alaska. This exhibit is made possible by the University of Alaska Press and will be on display through March 27. First Friday opening reception will be on February 6 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Alaska State Library on the 8th floor of the State Office Building. For more information, contact Claire Imamura at (907) 465-2458or <> .

See it here:

Categories: Arts & Culture

Birthday Bio

Clarissa Rizal: Alaska Native Artist Blog - Tue, 02/03/2015 - 5:54am

Clarissa and her children, Ursala, Lily and Kahlil – July 2011

A couple of weeks ago, one of my apprentices asked me if I would write a bio of myself that explained when I began to do my art and why.  She said she had to choose someone who had influenced her life to become an artist; she choose me.  This was an assignment she needed to present at her art class.  My initial response was “Gee, I inspired her to become an artist?  But I don’t want to write about me, it is so boring to go back that far and talk about who, what where when and why…”  However, I gave her my word that I would do this for her that night.  So, I “set the stage” with low lighting and a cup of tea; I do this whenever I have to write about my personal life to help me focus with very little struggle – then with very little editing, the words just flowed from my head down through to the keyboard onto the computer screen.  Here’s what came…

19 January 2015

Sitting in the direct heat of the fake firelight of the electric Amish heater in my studio, always bundled in my sheepskin coat, sheepskin boots and hat because the heating device is not large enough to heat this one room where I work and sleep, I am never quite warm in Winter, though it’s better than being outside right now with 0 degree starlit snow. I reflect upon my life as an artist and wonder where it all started and if living the life of a full-time artist, especially now in a place without running water, without sewer, and without sufficient heat, was and continues to be, worth it.

No matter what age, for the past 59 years, I’ve always been a child of creativity, with a drive that is endless. I exist on 6 hours sleep a night; from the time my eyes are awakened by the early dawn until I suddenly stagger to my bed 18 hours later; like I am going-going-going, then gone! It’s only in the past couple of years that I realized that not everyone is like this; where have I been?

38 years ago today, my first child Kahlil was born, named after Kahlil Gibran who wrote many inspiring books including The Prophet, Spirits Rebellious, and my favorite The Broken Wings.  Spiritually-inclined at a very young age, anything written about Christ had to be read; any paintings, prints and photos of Jesus had to be studied, so natural it was to read all of Gibran’s works when I was a young adult. And even though in the western way of living having a child at 20 was considered young, it was natural for me to think it normal because our Tlingit culture had the wisdom to know children are a gift of God.

My parents guided me into the way they were conditioned to get a “real job” to secure a pension plan to retire in 40 years.  This worked for a little while.  From the age of 14 to 20 I had real jobs working as a librarian assistant, a home-health aid for the elderly, a clerk typist for the Governor and for the Bureau of Indian Affairs Division of Contracting, until of course Kahlil was born. Being a new mother was challenging; I was not a natural-born mother because I was such a tom-boy and it was next to impossible to stay indoors day in and day out while the baby napped, I had to keep up with the diaper changes and laundry, and he had to be nursed every 2 hours 24-7! Holy cow!

To keep my sanity I turned to gardening; it got me outdoors yet close to home! I turned to drawing, crocheting and sewing. While he took his naps, and directly after putting the entire household to bed each night, I’d stay awake ‘till at least midnight, creating; it was my therapy! During the raising of my three children, I made a living over the next decades in a variety of ways: besides designing and making Tlingit ceremonial regalia in button blanket, Chilkat and Ravenstail weavings, I was an entrepreneur before I knew what that meant.  I made hats, I sewed custom-made clothing, created costumes for local theatre companies, owned a landscape gardening company, and was co-owner of an online newspaper.  In the 70s and early 80s, I took up learning our traditional arts from some of the best artists of their time: carving, regalia-making, traditional song and dance, metal-smithing, basketry, Chilkat and Ravenstail weaving. Just before my children were grown up and gone I had created a name for myself as one of the few, if not the only, Tlingit women who has been a full-time artist working in all of the above mediums for nearly 40 years, all in the name of keeping my sanity and being a stay-at-home-self-employed-mother because I did what my mother recommended I do: stay home with my children.

In a few years I will be 65; do I see myself retiring soon? No way. I have no pension plan; I have no savings; and I surely do not have an inheritance.   I cannot afford to retire. And what would I retire to!? Would I retire to taking vacations? What for?…vacations are boring; I don’t want to relax – relaxing is a lot of work! Would I retire to volunteering at something?   I been there done that volunteering all my life with the house concerts I used to produce in my own home; with the children’s theatre I used to co-produce; with the art shows and classes I used to teach, just to name a few.   Would I retire to what most people retire to? Watching TV from the couch. What for? Is that really fun, is it productive, is it creative, does it do anyone any good? The only results I see from watching TV is weight gain—too much potato chips!

Would I retire to what some of us retire to? Art and music.

Hello? I am already there; I have been creating art and playing music all my adult life. Does this mean I’ve been retired all my life?   Hmmm…an interesting perspective.

It looks like I will continue doing what I have been doing for almost 40 years.  Why change now?  I’m in the groove.

My children now have families of their own. Each of my children and their spouses are self-employed artists. I have watched them struggle with making ends meet like the way their father and I made ends meet never knowing where our next paycheck would come from and if next month’s bills would get paid. I watch them live like I have, not afford brand new cars, not take any vacations, not have the latest styles of clothing, all the while living with tension about the ability to keep a roof over their heads, mouths fed, and clothing clean. However, there’s a sense of pride and awe that I feel when I see the fact that they stay at home with their children, making wholesome meals from scratch, tending to a flourishing garden, doing their “art” and their little kids “working” right alongside them: happy. These are values I did not realize were taught to them by my own example, someone who has passionate creativity, a drive that has always been driven, at the edge.

Kahlil is a professional film-maker/director who also teaches film a couple of days a week at the Institute of American Indian Arts; his wife Miki is a counselor at the Santa Fe Arts Academy; their 7-year-old Violet enjoys chess tournaments, sewing, ice-skating, gymnastics and basketball. Lily is an award-winning, professional storyteller/actress and also a Ravenstail/Chilkat weaver and teacher; her husband Ishmael is also a professional storyteller/actor, excellent writer who recently published his first book of poetry. They have four children who are being home-schooled. Ursala is an oil painter, block-print maker, graphic artist/web designer, and is president of a local Charter school she is starting; her husband Chris is a lead singer/songwriter in his band, a sculptor and a house painter.  Their two daughters are obviously following their footsteps!  My children and grandchildren live fully.

To my best of my ability, I live a life of integrity. I keep watch of what I do to see what I believe. My offspring and my work is love made visible. I follow my heart because my heart follows the source of creativity that inspires me and continues to drive me. I am old enough to look back upon my life and enjoy it a second time around. All my relations, my parents, my children and their children are proof of the legacy that I co-created and will leave. And when I leave, my conscious will be clear and free, knowing all that I loved and lived, was worth it.

Categories: Arts & Culture

Have You Seen The “Chilkat Mini-Coopers?”

Clarissa Rizal: Alaska Native Artist Blog - Sun, 02/01/2015 - 10:05pm

Hand-painted mini-coops in Chilkat yellow and Indian red! by Clarissa Rizal

Let’s go for a quick road-trip in one of these “Chilkat Mobiles” zipping through the Redwood Forests and out across Canyonlands and Arches National Monuments sliding into Sedona across the Mohave dessert and up towards the Rocky Mountains!  Yep, zippidity do dah at your fingertips in the miniatures of miniatures!

Categories: Arts & Culture

Clarissa’s Tentative Schedule for the Arts 2015

Clarissa Rizal: Alaska Native Artist Blog - Fri, 01/30/2015 - 8:58pm

“Chilkat Child” headdress and collar – trimmed with sea otter fur and 22. bullet shells – designed and handwoven by Clarissa Rizal

I am currently gearing up for a full year of travel to art shows, cultural center openings, weddings and of course visiting my kids and grandkids along the way!  Here’s my 2015 schedule:

1).  Heard Museum Indian Art Market and Fair, Phoenix, AZ – March 5-8th – Booth #D45

2).  Catherine and Dylan’s Wedding, Austin, TX – April 18th

3).  Grand Opening of Soboleff Cultural Center, Juneau, AK – May 15

4).  Eiteljorg Indian Art Market and Fair, Indianapolis, IN, June 27-28

5).  Teslin’s “KusTeYea” Celebration, Teslin, Yukon, July 24-26

6).  Santa Fe Indian Market, Santa Fe, New Mexico, August 21-23

7). Haskell Institute Native Art Market, Lawrence, KS , September 12-13

8).  Cherokee Art Market, Tulsa, OK, October

9)  Autry Native American Art Market, Los Angeles, CA  November

10).  NMAI (National Museum of the American Indian) Holiday Art Market, NYC, December


Categories: Arts & Culture

Happy 35th Birthday to Lily Lalanya Hope

Clarissa Rizal: Alaska Native Artist Blog - Thu, 01/29/2015 - 9:47pm

Ishmael and Lily Hope with their 4 children Elizabeth, Mary, Eleanor, Louis and Santa! – December 2014

Another fortunate child of mine who snuck in like her brother and sister when their mother wasn’t looking!   Cheers to you for holding up with 4 children, and for making plans to go for your Masters Degree in Education, and starting the online weaving source called the Northwest Coast Weavers Supply, all this while helping to support Ishmael and his career as a writer and culture-bearer!  You could sound like your mother, alas, you are your own strong-willed person — keep it up my dear while continuing to lovingly care for yourself!  Lots of big hugs and kisses, my Nina!

Categories: Arts & Culture

My Blog is Back!!!

Clarissa Rizal: Alaska Native Artist Blog - Mon, 01/26/2015 - 8:39pm

Donna Beaver Pizzarelli, Al Pizzarelli, and Clarissa Rizal — street bench near Basin Road, Juneau, Alaska

For whatever reasons, my blog crashed on November 18, 2014.  I didn’t know about it until three weeks later when I received a call from a total stranger out of Minnesota who was roaming my website and could not pull up my blog and thought he’d better bring it to my attention — like how cool is that!?  How many people would go through the trouble?

In between her full-time job working for the USGS and doing her own creative works especially in Haiku poetry, and assisting her husband’s creative endeavors,  Donna worked hard getting my blog up and running again, finalized today!  YAY!

Check out Donna and Al’s poetry:

Categories: Arts & Culture

Letting Go of My “Chilkat Mobile”

Clarissa Rizal: Alaska Native Artist Blog - Thu, 01/22/2015 - 8:08pm

Back side of my 1991 Toyota Corolla — Clarissa calls it her “Chilkat Mobile” — license plate “CNH 794″ She considers these letters and numbers “good…!”

My “Chilkat Mobile” is originally from Juneau, Alaska.  In December I put the car on the ferry for a 3-day sail to the port of Bellingham, Washington State.  From Bellingham, I drove down to the mountains above Los Angelos, then across to Scottsdale and up to Pagosa Springs, Colorado.  I drove through all kinds of storms, wind, rain, sleet, snow and finally sunshine!  This car can make it up the infamous Wolf Creek Pass to Denver no problem.  Though remember because it is a 4-cylinder, you have to drive in 2nd gear up the mountain passes.

Front of Clarissa’s “Chilkat Mobile”

“Chilkat”  was owned by an elderly blonde woman who is now 92.  22 years ago, she and her husband bought two of these cars, a his and her pair:   one for her, one for him.  The cars were originally red, but they had both custom painted yellow.  A little over a year ago, they both went into an elder-care home and so they sold both of their beloved machines.   They took VERY GOOD CARE of these cars; in fact, they each had their own garage built especially for them; no kidding!  Except for a few tiny nicks here and there from tiny rocks on the drive down here, the body is straight, no dents and no rust anywhere except for a small strip across the bottom part of the window on the back hatch door; I remedied that situation by placing yellow duck tape (the exact color of the car!) across the line of rust.

I bought the “her” car.  Peggy  was retired when she bought the car and had no children or grand-children, she mainly used the car to go do errands and such in the remote town of Juneau which has about 70 total miles of road as the town is land-locked.  The car most likely did not ever go more than 60 miles an hour, if that, until of course, I drove it on the freeways from Bellingham — the car hums at 75 no problem with a load.   When I drove down from Bellingham, I had the car packed with two suitcases, my paintings and prints and weaving looms.  It probably hasn’t had any kind of load like that before.

On the car deck of the “MV Malaspina” ferry from Juneau, Alaska to Bellingham, Washington, then the long drive down to Colorado…!

Both cars were well maintained partially due to the fact that the husband was a boat and car mechanic as well as an inventor and both he and his wife were meticulous about everything they owned.   I knew them personally.  I grew up with them.  They talked me into buying this car because they wanted me to have it because they knew I liked older cars and they knew I took care of my things.  They also knew I needed a car to teach my classes up in Yukon Territory!   For a 22-year old car, the interior is clean, barely worn anywhere because the car was mainly used by one person, so the grey upholstery is in great shape, no tears, no stains, no worn spots – there is only one worn spot on the carpet.   I have my own maintenance records for a little over a year I’ve owned it since, I’ve had the oil changed three times; totally serviced and new rear brakes before I jumped the ferry with the car.  I haven’t had to do anything major.  It handles snow real well, hugs the road like a roadster; it’s a sweet thing!

As you can tell, I am proud of my “Chilkat Mobile”.  I would not have sold it if it weren’t my need for a travel van.  I need something larger because I am an artist who travels to a variety of shows “west of the Mississippi!”  I need to carry all my art plus the display units.  After at least 10 inquiries from prospective buyers from around the country in just a couple of days on the Craigslist market, “Chilkat” is now living in Taos, New Mexico with her new owner.  I wish her a longer and more prosperous life; she served me well and in turn I wish her the best!

Categories: Arts & Culture

Superintendent speaks out about student privacy rights

Juneau School District Announcements - Fri, 08/29/2014 - 1:40pm

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 - 3:35pm

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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