Posted: Sunday, August 23, 2009

Haines resident Lea Harris, 59, above, was recently among 10 men and 10 women to be named as finalists in PETA's Sexiest Vegetarian Over 50 contest.

Harris, who spent part of her childhood in Switzerland, kicked the meat habit 38 years ago after she witnessed the decapitation of a chicken.

"I actually enjoy my meals much more knowing they are more compassionate and healthier, more creative and tasty," she said, noting the benefits of "low cholesterol, low stress, low pant sizes, and a clear conscience."

Harris' defense of animals isn't limited to what's for dinner. She has given school presentations on the proper care of companion animals, and she's active in the campaign to stop Alaska from sanctioning aerial wolf hunts. Harris enjoys traveling, inventing new vegan dishes and going for rides on her Harley.

Harris' photo and bio, along with pictures of the other vegetarian vixens and herbivorous hunks who were selected as finalists, are available at The winners, who will each receive an organic food gift basket from Vegan Divine, will be announced Aug. 24. For more information and to vote in the contest, visit


Valorie Kissel, a Juneau-Douglas High School graduate, graduated from Pacific Lutheran University in May 2009. She earned degrees in English, with an emphasis in writing; and theatre, with a concentration in acting/directing. She is the daughter of Mark and Teresa Kissel, of Juneau.

Kissel also was named to the dean's list for spring 2009. The dean's list recognizes outstanding academic achievement and requires a grade-point average of at least 3.5 for the term. Dean's list standing becomes part of a student's official transcript and is a distinguishing factor for students going on to graduate or professional school.


Air Force Airman Mark S. Estioco, above, a 2008 graduate of Juneau-Douglas High School, recently graduated from basic military training at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas.

The airman completed an intensive eight-week program that included training in military discipline and studies, Air Force core values, physical fitness and basic warfare principles and skills. Airmen who complete basic training earn four credits toward an associate in applied science degree through the Community College of the Air Force.

He is the son of Rodolfo Estigoy, of Juneau.

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