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Curious Juneau

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Curious Juneau

KTOO Public Media

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In Juneau, quirky people, untold stories and little mysteries are as abundant as the rain. For the things about Juneau you can’t Google, why not work with a KTOO reporter to satisfy your curiosity? Curious Juneau is a recurring news feature driven by questions and reporting from our audience, starring you and your questions.
 
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Charles McKenry poses in front of the menu at Juneau’s downtown Taco Bell in 1999. (Photo courtesy of Charles McKenry)https://media.ktoo.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/03TacoBell.mp3 In the late ’90s, Juneau had two Taco Bells. But by the early 2000s, they were both gone. Juneau has a history of fast food franchises coming and going, but the disapp…
 
A street light near the Juneau Public Library glows purple on Sunday, Jan. 23, 2022. (Photo by Bridget Dowd/KTOO)https://media.ktoo.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/24PurpleLights.mp3 On a foggy Sunday night in Juneau, the corner of Ferry Way and Marine Way is made eerie by a violet glow coming from a nearby street light. It’s just one of several lig…
 
A Maloja Snake or naagáas’ cloud formation over downtown Juneau at dawn on Aug. 26, 2021. (Image captured from SnowCloud Services webcam) In the 2014 film “Clouds of Sils Maria,” the climax of the story features a scene in the Swiss Alps where the two lead actresses, Kristen Stewart and Juliette Binoche, hike up high in the mountains to witness an …
 
The 1958-1959 girls’ high school rifle club poses for a yearbook photo in the basement of Harborview. (Courtesy of Karleen Grummett) As part of KTOO’s Curious Juneau project, a listener asked: “Was there really a gun range in the basement of Harborview Elementary School?” The short answer is yes. It was there for decades, and there are plenty of pe…
 
https://media.ktoo.org/2019/05/28GOLDDREDGE-CJ-NPR1.mp3 It’s after work, and the summer sun and the tide are out at John Wright’s go-to fishing spot in Juneau: the wide, sandy beach where Sheep Creek meets Gastineau Channel. “I’ve been fly fishing in Alaska — Juneau specifically — for seven years. I’ve been fly fishing for 20 years. I’m 32, so that…
 
Even in the middle of the workday on Tuesday, there’s steady traffic at Costco in Juneau. The city assessor’s records put its total square footage at 76,696. (Photo by Jeremy Hsieh/KTOO)https://media.ktoo.org/2019/03/28COSTCO-CJ.mp3 The other day, Phil Fleming was loading up a car in the parking lot of the Costco in Juneau. He said a salty version …
 
The alder trees — and the peace sign among them — at the end of Commercial Boulevard in Juneau are about 10 years old, pictured here on Jan. 8, 2019. The Juneau Urban Forestry Partnership and local chapter of Veterans for Peace got an OK from a Juneau Assembly committee on Monday to prune the overgrowth and plant spruce seedlings in the peace sign’…
 
Norah Jones performs on tour in 2010 promoting her album “The Fall.” (Creative Commons photo cropped from original by youngrobv) Juneau mom Mara Jennings said she was over the moon when she found out Norah Jones was playing a concert in Juneau. Over the years, she’s sung the nine-time Grammy Award winner’s songs like lullabies to her kids at night.…
 
The alder trees — and the peace sign among them — at the end of Commercial Boulevard in Juneau are about 10 years old, pictured here on Jan. 8, 2019. The slope was cut and stabilized as part of the construction of the Home Depot. (Photo by Jeremy Hsieh/KTOO) https://media.ktoo.org/2019/01/11PEACE.mp3 Have your own Curious Juneau question? Submit it…
 
Have your own Curious Juneau question? Submit it, subscribe to Curious Juneau podcast and catch up on past curiosities on the Curious Juneau page. https://media.ktoo.org/2018/10/30CJBELLS.mp3 As recently as 2009, clock bells marked a specific location in Juneau. That year, former KTOO reporter Casey Kelly began a story like this: “As the clock chim…
 
The famous gun as seen on Aug. 13, 2018 — more than a century after famous gunslinger Wyatt Earp is reputed to have left it behind on his way to Nome. (Photo by Jacob Resneck/CoastAlaska) Juneau’s Red Dog Saloon claims it has a pistol that belonged to one of history’s most notorious gunslingers. But does the bar’s story check out? Wyatt Earp was am…
 
“Barefoot Guy” Ezra Strong looks out on Dredge Lake during a hike. (Photo by Adelyn Baxter/KTOO) Xtratufs, Bogs, Muck Boots — comfortable, waterproof footwear is pretty much a necessity here in Juneau. But not for the local some know as “the barefoot guy.” Curious Juneau stars you and your questions. Every episode we help you find an answer. Catch …
 
A cold weather phenomenon known as the Taku winds causes white caps and water to mist into the air Friday, Jan. 6, 2017, on the Gastineau Channel as seen from U.S. Coast Guard Station Juneau. (Photo by Tripp J Crouse/KTOO) John Hollis began serving in the Coast Guard in 1974. He transferred to Juneau three years later for a 13-month stint in public…
 
A doll display at Aunt Claudia’s Dolls museum in downtown Juneau. (Photo by Tripp J Crouse/KTOO) Kerri Tanner has lived in Juneau for six years — but there’s one place she’s never been, and she has lots of questions: Curious Juneau stars you and your questions. Every episode we help you find an answer. Catch up on past episodes, or ask your own que…
 
Bronze pelicans dive bomb the concrete behind a bus stop near the Federal Building in Juneau on Thursday. (Photo by Tripp J Crouse/KTOO) At the corner of Ninth Street and Glacier Avenue in downtown Juneau, there’s a 16-foot column of bronze. Closer up, you can see the bronze was sculpted into nine individual pelicans, oriented so they appear to be …
 
Douglas resident Mark Calvert wants to know what the concrete blocks in the Lemon Creek area were for. (Photo by Tripp J Crouse/KTOO) Tall tales abound about the mysterious blocks near Lemon Creek: Ancient monoliths, hatches for alien spacecraft, White Alice — even cow graves. But nothing really, so to speak, concrete. Curious Juneau stars you and …
 
(Video still by David Purdy/KTOO) Curious Juneau stars you and your questions. Every episode we help you find an answer. Catch up on past episodes, or ask your own question on the Curious Juneau page. https://media.ktoo.org/2018/01/180103CJ-TUNNEL.mp3 Ever notice a set of doors on either side of Juneau’s Telephone Hill? There’s one next to the Stat…
 
The ice cracks under my feet, and I realize that is probably one of the scariest sounds in the whole world. I’m on thin ice, really. I’m gingerly stepping along the edge of pond ice just off the Herbert Glacier trail. Big mistake. I can’t tell what’s ice and what’s firm ground until I step on it. It’s November, just after the first big freeze and s…
 
The statue of Patsy Ann, once Juneau’s official greeter, watches downtown Juneau’s waterfront in December 2017. The Friends of Patsy Ann commissioned the famous bull terrier’s statue, which was presented in July 1992. (Photo by Julia Caulfield/KTOO) Brooks Pinney, 7, and his 4-year-old brother Bridger love learning about the bull terrier Patsy Ann.…
 
Statistics for 2011 to 2014 are from a 2016 Juneau Police Department annual report. Statistics for 2015 to 2017 were provided directly by JPD. Cases are cleared when there’s an arrest in the case. (Graphic by Tripp J Crouse/KTOO)https://media.ktoo.org/2017/12/05CJCARTHEFT.mp3 Juneau isn’t on the road system, yet car thefts in the de facto island ci…
 
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