... to Juneau from Baghdad
I am Spc. Mike Mercer with the Alaska Army National Guard, A Co., 3rd Battalion, 297 Infantry, 1st Platoon, currently serving a year in Baghdad, Iraq. Some folks might know me; some of you might not. Nonetheless, I thought I'd write back to my hometown people.
I was enjoying my day off when I wandered into the day room of our barracks and found a Juneau Empire on one of the couches. It was one of the most amazing things I've seen since I've been here. It was a Feb. 27 edition, but I read it all anyway. Many people complain about what goes on in Juneau, but being so far away from home for so long really makes you realize how precious everything about that town is. I even miss reading the newspaper.
I really just want to take this chance to let everyone back home know that your soldiers miss Juneau very much. I also want to send some shout-outs to some important people back home: my grandma, Bunny; cousins, John, Lloyd, Patty, Warren, Uriah, Ben and Terren; my friends, Kaylee, Ange, Ken, Hay-Hay, Chris, Lily, Billy Jack, my world Jennifer, Jennie Stephens and Sandrenia; my "mom" Cassie and my little "brother" Steven. I haven't forgotten about any of you. Don't forget me; I'll be home sooner than you think. Stay real and keep your heads up.
Spc. Mike "Duckie" Mercer (Lil' Rabbit)
... for kids' watchful eyes
This morning I was genuinely pleased to watch children crossing the street. At the Stephen Richards-Mendenhall Loop Road intersection, two boys and a girl waited for the crosswalk light to change for them. One boy was on roller blades (I would have preferred that his parent or guardian would not allow that), and the other boy and girl were off their bikes, wearing helmets and walking their bikes across. What amazed me the most is that the boy kept a very watchful eye for any and all traffic that might try to run in front of them. He looked up and down Mendenhall Loop Road and also looked over his shoulder at the traffic coming off of Stephen Richards.
I praise these children for their watchful eyes and thank God that no drivers interfered with their right of way. This is one of the worst intersections for children. I am forever shocked and appalled at what stunts some of these local drivers attempt. If only they would stop and think about their little sister or brother, a cousin, niece or nephew. I believe if they imagined one of those little ones killed by senseless drivers, they may finally decide to slow down and watch out for the kids in crossing.
... for supporting auction
Discovery Southeast thanks all the people and businesses who made this year's 16th Annual Auction such a great success. Good food, good folks, good times!
Volunteers: Lady Jane Mulready, Cody Brunette, Zane Chapman, Alice Ottoson, Robin Whidby, Molly Emerson, Dominic McGonegal, Aaron Cohen, Adrienne Bosworth, Aldyn Brudie, Charli Childress, Claire Badger, Hearthside Books, Rainy Day Books, The Observatory Book Store, Cheryl Cook, Kathy Hocker, Jan Carlile, Susan Phillips, Vickie Williams, Jenifer Shapland, Diane Antaya, Larry West, Christy Long, Barb Sheinberg, Mike Stanley, Dave Sturdevant, Marie Larsen, Pat Harris, Sue Baxter, Natalee Rothaus, Nickie Germain, Steve Byers, Zach Stanso, Nancy Peel, Monica Heygood, Debbie Tillingast, Nancy Douglas, Larry Holland, Joyce Sarles, George Holly, Scott Miller, Alex Wertheimer, Dave Haas, Joe Geifer, Andy Romanoff, Molly Sturdevant, Cindy Scott, Dick Stokes and Cathy Connor.
Donors: Acupressure Institute of Alaska, Mount Roberts Stewards, Cross Sound Express, Kodiak Coat Company, Alaska Discovery Wilderness Adventures, Alaska Fly 'n' Fish Charters, Chilkat Cruises, Plein Rein Painters, Driftwood Lodge, Perseverance Theatre, Rainbow Foods, Gustavus Inn, Gastineau Guiding, Faulkner Banfield, Fiord Flying Service, Mountain Market Café, Juneau Artists Gallery, Endurance Outdoors, Chez Santé, Captain's Choice Motel, JRC-The Alaska Club, Seventh Heaven, Super Bear, The Island Institute, Thunder Mountain Sports Camp, Heritage Coffee, Oberle Satterfield Unlimited, Paradise Café, JL Sherburne Landscape Design, Friends of Admiralty, KB's Handmade Paper, Landscape Alaska, Bear Creek Outfitters, Alaska Wild Salmon Company, Alaska Natural History Association, Fred Meyer, JuneauPhotos.com, Alaska State Parks, Auke Bay Landing Craft, Wings of Alaska, Play-It-Again Sports, Foggy Mountain Shop, Alaska Heliskiing, Chilkat Guides, Sockeye Cycle, Snyder Mercantile, Alaska Island Hostel, Barb Sheinberg, Bob and Elaine Schroeder, Alex and Peggy Wertheimer, Cinda Stanek and Fred Hiltner, Mary Ellen Arvold and Dave Haas, Carole and Michael Downing, Cathy Connor, Dana Owen, Dave Sturdevant, Elias Antaya, Eric Kueffner, Fran Ulmer, Frank Rue, Gary Miller, Gerald Garland, Greg Streveler and Judy Brakel, Hanger on the Wharf, Jan Carlile, Jeff Sloss, Jim Alter, Jon and Debbie Tillinghast, Jon Heifetz, Joyce Sarles, Julie DeLong, Kurt Iverson, Larry West, Marie Larsen and Larry Holland, Marjorie Peterson, Martha Murray, Nicki Germain, Odin Brudie and Frankie Pillifant, Pam Curé, Pat Harris, Paul Grant and Susan Phillips, Paul Voelckers, Paula Johnson, Randy Bayliss, Rich Culver, Dick and Jane Stokes, Rob and Koren Bosworth, Sue Baxter, T. Terry Harvey, Tina Kobayashi, Dick Monkman and Forest.
... from the visitor center
With the conclusion of the 43rd annual Fireside Chat lectures, the U.S. Forest Service staff at the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center would like to thank our speakers, local news media and the community for supporting our educational series.
Each Friday night during January, February and March, the visitor center's auditorium filled with two near-capacity audiences. Experts presented talks, photographs and stories focusing on information about and beyond the Mendenhall Glacier environs.
All of our speakers donated their time and expertise toward furthering our understanding of natural processes and human achievements. We are indebted to the following individuals for their excellent presentations: Richard Carstensen and Kathy Hocker; KJ Metcalf; Tom Shirley; Scott Willis and David Stone; Roman Motyka; John Hudson; Bob Armstrong and Marge Hermans; Dave Person; Chris DeWitt; Rod Flynn and LaVern Beier; Nick Jans; and Debbie Miller.
Additionally, we appreciate the assistance of local media outlets for announcing lecture schedules and details. Thank you to KTOO-radio, Juneau Empire, Capital Copy's calendar, KINY-Radio, Capital City Weekly, and Juneau Audubon Society's newsletter.
Funding for the free lectures was provided by two key sources. We are grateful to the Alaska Natural History Association bookstore at the glacier visitor center. Also thanks to each person in summer who paid a small admission fee through the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act. These funds provide summer and winter staffing to keep the visitor center open year-round, facility and grounds maintenance and the fireside lectures.
And finally, our deep gratitude goes to the people of Juneau who support the series by attending. Our goal at the visitor center is to provide a great experience for both residents and visitors. The winter series allows us the privilege of serving important local constituents.
Thank you to everyone who made 2005's Fireside Chats a success.
Larry Musarra, director
Laurie Craig, interpreter
... for help in struggle
I wanted to thank the many people who kept me and my children and Gilbert James' children and family in their prayers during his struggle with cancer. Thanks to the Southeast Alaska Regional Health Corporation doctors, nurses and Andrea Cadiente-Laiti, patient advocate; the doctors and nurses at the Alaska Native Medical Center and my son Chris who helped us when he was in Anchorage by making our travel less difficult.
The Salvation Army, Hospice, the Alaska Native Brotherhood Camp No. 2, Alaska Native Sisterhood Camp No. 2 and Central Council Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska were so supportive.
Your kindness uplifted us. In keeping with traditional custom, we invite you to join the James and Coronell families at Gilbert's 40-day dinner at 5:30 p.m., April 25, at the Alaska Native Brotherhood Hall.
... to Taku Smokeries
The Army National Guard 3rd Battalion would like to thank Taku Smokeries and Ken Hill for the generous donation of 144 cans of smoked salmon. The cans were shipped to the soldiers of the 3rd Battalion currently deployed overseas in Iraq. The soldiers appreciate your thoughtfulness and certainly the taste of "home-cooked" salmon while serving in Baghdad!
Juneau Family Assistance Center