Posted: Sunday, April 01, 2001

'In The Blood' offers community forum

JUNEAU -- Perseverance Theatre is hosting a community forum 7 p.m. Tuesday to talk about issues raised in the play "In the Blood."

"We invite the community to attend and offer their perspectives," said Patricia Hull with Perseverance Theatre.

Poverty, welfare, domestic violence, reproductive rights, deadbeat dads, economics and civic responsibility are among the topics raised in the play, which runs through April 8 at Perseverance.

"In The Blood" looks at a week in the life of a homeless woman and her five children who live under a bridge, and the adults who profoundly influence their lives.

Hull said representatives from Head Start, the Glory Hole, Gastineau Human Services, Catholic Community Service and other agencies will attend the forum.

"People can ask questions," Hull said. "The play really raises a lot of issues, and it's a chance for people to process what they've seen and look at what they can do about these issues. And also to talk about the play as a piece of art."

The forum will be held at the Douglas theater.

Alaska may get part of missile defense system

ANCHORAGE -- A former Reagan defense official and state officials say President George W. Bush has indicated he will go ahead with a national missile defense system, and at least a part of that system could be based in Alaska.

"He wants to build defense systems," said Henry Cooper, who served as director of the Strategic Defense Initiative Organization under former President George Bush and as President Ronald Reagan's chief negotiator on defense and space talks.

With that in mind, the head of the Alaska National Guard, Brig. Gen. Phil Oates, is preparing plans to provide his troops the technical expertise and training to help operate and maintain the defense system. And Gov. Tony Knowles has appointed a "missile defense coordinator" to make sure Alaska workers and contractors get a piece of the action.

The prospects of an increasingly dangerous world populated by rogue nations powered with nuclear arms were discussed Friday by panels of defense experts, officials and journalists in a seminar sponsored by the Institute of the North, Commonwealth North and other groups.

Former Gov. Wally Hickel, the institute's founder, kicked off the talks in a 15th-floor banquet room of the Hilton Anchorage Hotel.

Development of the national defense system stalled during the Clinton years. There were doubts about the viability of the "hit and kill" technology needed for one missile to track and knock another from the sky. Russia and America's European allies objected that building the system would violate the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty signed with the former Soviet Union in 1972.

Cooper said Friday the treaty never made sense to him and makes even less since North Korea launched a missile over Japan in 1998. The treaty bars the U.S. from locating defensive missiles anywhere except North Dakota, and a defense system in North Dakota wouldn't protect Alaska, Hawaii or American interests in the Pacific.

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