Trial set for senator's drunken driving charge
JUNEAU - A June 15 trial was set Monday for a state senator from Bethel arrested Saturday night on a drunken driving charge.
Lyman Hoffman, a Democrat, was stopped by an officer who witnessed him driving erratically at 10:01 p.m. Saturday near Sixth and Gold streets, police reported. He was charged with driving under the influence and refusing a chemical test.
Appearing before Juneau District Court Judge Peter B. Froehlich, his attorney, Thomas Nave, entered not-guilty pleas on his behalf while standing at his side.
At the request of Nave, Froehlich modified the usual conditions of pretrial release by allowing Hoffman to travel outside of Juneau.
When asked after leaving court if he planned to take the matter to trial, Hoffman answered, "I'm keeping my options open." He said he had no further comment.
Levy, Sigler, Clark win concerto competition
JUNEAU - The Juneau Symphony announced Sunday that Abraham D. Levy, Andrew Sigler and Lindsay Clark were the winners of the Symphony's 2004 Youth Concerto Competition.
As the grand prize winner, Levy will perform the first movement of Grieg's "Piano Concerto No. 1 in A minor" with the Juneau Symphony at their winter performance next season. Levy is a junior at Juneau-Douglas High School and takes piano lessons with Mary Watson.
Sigler, 13, will perform the first movement of Accolay's "Violin Concerto No. 1 in A minor" with the Juneau Student Symphony next season. Clark, 12, will also perform with the Juneau Student Symphony. She will play Viotti's "Violin Concerto No. 23 in G major." Both Clark and Sigler take violin lessons with Guo Hua Xia.
The competition was held Sunday and featured nine young musicians: Levy, Sigler, Clark, Isabel Bush, Megan Bush, Agatha Erickson, David Miller, Maggie Ross and Benjamin Weyhrauch. High school music teacher Julia Bastuscheck, conductor William Todd Hunt and pianist J. Allan MacKinnon were the judges.
"All the musicians played very well," Hunt said. "They all had worked hard on their music, and it showed. It was a tough decision, and we are very pleased that three winners will play with our symphonies next year."
The annual competition is open to all young musicians in Southeast Alaska. Applications for the spring 2005 competition will be available in January. For more information, contact the Juneau Symphony office at 586-HORN.
Human rights activist to speak in Juneau today
JUNEAU - Human rights activist Medea Benjamin will visit Juneau today to speak about global economic justice, multinational corporations and her vision for how foreign policy must change in order to promote lasting peace and security.
She will present "Code Pink - How Women Are Waging Peace" from 12 to 1 p.m. at Northern Light United Church, 400 W. 11th Street. And she will lead "Building a Movement Against Empire: From the WTO to the Occupation of Iraq" from 7-8:30 p.m. at the University of Alaska Southeast Egan Auditorium.
Benjamin's visit is sponsored by Juneau People for Peace and Justice, Juneau World Affairs Council, the UAS Global Connections and KTOO's "By the People" project.
Benjamin, founding director of the San Francisco-based human rights organization Global Exchange, is a progressive activist who has spent the last 25 years supporting pro-democracy, human rights and social justice movements around the world. She has worked on improving the labor and environmental practices of U.S. multinational corporations and the policies of international institutions, such as the World Trade Organization, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. She is a leading activist in the peace movement and helped bring together the groups forming the coalition United for Peace and Justice.
In early December, 2003, Benjamin organized a delegation of military families and veterans to Iraq to see the reality being faced by U.S. troops and Iraqis.
In January 2002, she took a group of Sept. 11 victims' families to Afghanistan to meet with victims of the United States invasion. In Oct. 2002, Benjamin made national news for interrupting Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld in Congress as he pitched his plan to invade Iraq.
Benjamin co-founded Code Pink, a women's peace group that held a four-month vigil outside the White House to try to stop the war against Iraq.
Rescuers recover body of Gakona man
ANCHORAGE - The body of a man swept under the ice of the Gakona River was recovered Monday morning, police said.
Alaska State Troopers said Charles Cunningham, 60, of Gakona fell into the river Saturday while trying to rescue his dog.
Cunningham's body was spotted by the postmaster of Gakona at about 5:25 a.m. Monday, according to troopers. Volunteers rushed to the scene and recovered the body soon after.
The incident was reported Saturday afternoon after the pipeline security guard walked into the frigid water after the dog, then apparently slipped on a submerged ice shelf.
"Chuck went out to try to get the dog, and he fell through and hung on for as long as he could, and then he just went under," said Barbara Strang, a close family friend and owner of Gakona Lodge. "It is terrible."