Burbia Man: Thirty Years as a Federal Civil Servant
By Paul Steucke (Paul Steuke, $14.80)
The blurb: This memoir recounts Paul Steucke's experience in several organizations such as the Federal Aviation Administration and the U.S. Forest Service and his involvement in projects such as the pipeline and the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act.
Excerpt: "When John called and told me about the job with the Land Use Planning Commission, I was ecstatic. At last a chance to move west. When I called my brother Wally and told him about it he said, 'Well congratulations, you could hardly get any further west than that!' The State and Federal directors had a trip to Washington, D.C. scheduled, so they interviewed me while there. I gave thirty days notice to the Water Resources Council and put the condo up for sale. It sold in one week.
"I called Duncan Reid, one of the associate directors, asked if had snowed yet in Anchorage and said we hoped to get there before the winter set in (the District was still enjoying nice fall weather.) He laughed heartily and said, 'You are too late; winter in Alaska has arrived.' I later discovered that Alaskan winter starts in October. The sun is so low by that time that the ground on the shadow side of a fence is frozen solid, snow of no snow."
Haa Léelk'w HÃ¡s AanÃ Saax'Ãº / Our Grandparents' Names on the Land
Edited by Thomas F. Thornton (Sealaska Heritage Institution)
The blurb: This collaborative project with Native communities of Southeast Alaska records and analyses more than 3,000 Tlingit, Haida and other Native names for geographic points in Southeast Alaska.
Excerpt: "Xunaa KÃ¡awu (Dwelling Place in the Lee of the North Wind) is the only Tlingit geographic community that is not referred to as a kwÃ¡an, the term kÃ¡awu being a synonym for (human) dwelling place. Emmons reports that this name was bestowed on local Tligngits by a Sheet'kÃ¡ (Sitka) leader who attempted to journey territory for a visit but was delayed for days by strong north winds, prompting him to exclaim, 'I wonder when I will be able to see these men from the direction of the North Wind.' Xunaa, from which the present day town of Hoonah and the Huna (Xunaa) Tlingits draw their names, is short for Xunniyaa, meaning 'Lee of the North Wind,' and neatly describes the community's sheltered location within Port Frederick."
-- Compiled by Matt Sullivan, Anchorage Daily News