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Tuesday, September 2, 2003

Move somewhere else
Mr. Whelsley, you go right ahead and pray for us and when you do, please pray for the men and their families of all races that are trying to make ends meet by working in these fields. And in case you are wondering, I am not an Alaska Native, but I am a human being and I do believe that above everything else the human race takes priority.

Paid professionals
I read a letter from Bobbie Haffner in Friday's paper in which he (or she) complained about the way we, as a nation, have changed for the worst and that Juneau is not better than the rest of the nation because of the way Greenpeace was treated here.

This is Alaska?
A friend from England has been visiting me for the last 10 days, one of those independent travelers Juneau is seeking as an alternative to being overwhelmed by environmentally destructive cruise ships and their infrastructure-destroying human cargo, for which we taxpayers pick up the tab. She is of a certain age and profession, a member of the British traveling classes. Her last adventure was to walk the Milford Track in New Zealand.

Not equal
I am happy Juneau-Douglas High School has a $21 million renovation, including an atrium with many square feet of unusable classroom space!

Greenpeace a victim
In Tuesday's paper, William Tonsgard Jr. accused Greenpeace of "terrorist activities." The rest of the letter is his usual routine, but I want to address his use of the word "terrorist."

Half right
Steve Hites got it half right in his commentary, "Cruise ship head tax proponents are missing the boat ..." But the reason is the Passenger Service Act of 1886. There is a $300 fine for each passenger who wants to cruise in Alaska waters, e.g. Juneau to Whittier.

Around Town
Around Town is a listing of local nonprofit events.

This Day in History
In 1969, Lathrop High School in Fairbanks closed an hour after opening on the first day of the school year when computerized class lists failed to arrive. Approximately 1,500 students had no idea what classes they were in.

State's Douglas Bridge plan is back before the Assembly
A state plan to change the configuration of lanes on the Douglas Bridge to lessen traffic will be back before the Juneau Assembly on Wednesday. The panel will hold a work session to revisit the plan, which was voted down at a previous Assembly committee meeting and by the Juneau Planning Commission. State Department of Transportation officials have proposed changing the two-lane bridge to a three-lane route with a reversible center lane. Separate bike lanes would be eliminated, which has brought opposition from bicyclists.

Of tanks and scorpions
Spc. Will Rusaw doesn't know whether the 10 months he spent in Kuwait and Iraq were worth it. He doesn't insist the United States had to overthrow Saddam, but he doesn't say the intervention was unnecessary, either. All the 22-year-old Juneau-Douglas High School graduate knows is that duty called. "I was told to go, so I went. I didn't see Baghdad prior to the war, so I can't really make that call," Rusaw said last week in his parents' Mendenhall Valley home.

Police and Fire
Juneau police, fire officials and state troopers reported:

Local couple finds new interest in writing books about science
Bobbi McCutcheon, who has written science fiction, now is writing science fact. Husband Scott McCutcheon, who built his own telescope when he was 14 but doesn't work as an astronomer, is helping write a book on space and astronomy pioneers. The McCutcheons' lives have taken new turns since they received a contract to write and illustrate books for Facts on File, a New York City publisher of reference books. They co-authored "Marine Science Handbook," which was published this summer.

Photo: Running against cancer
Michael Fleischhauer, who is currently being treated for precancerous squamous cell carcinoma, pins a paper heart to his shirt before the Eighth Annual Prostate Cancer Run/Walk on Saturday at Mendenhall River School. The heart is in memory of his brother, Peter, who died of lymphatic cancer 10 years ago.

Title

My Turn: Politicians lie; voters suspend disbelief
I remember a Schwarzenegger movie called "Commando" where he first told one of the bad guys he would not kill him but later, while holding the guy over a cliff, said, "I lied." He still does. He says he can handle all of California's problems with just cuts (no details, just press photo ops) and no new taxes (Warren Buffet suggested property taxes).

Alaska State Football Polls
Here are the Anchorage Daily News/Alaska State Coaches Football Polls, as voted on by high school coaches and compiled by the Anchorage Daily News. The poll lists each team with first-place votes in parentheses, records through games of Aug. 31, total poll points and previous rank in the poll.

Sports in Juneau
Information on upcoming sports and outdoors events in Juneau.

Bears slide to No. 5
The Juneau-Douglas High School football team slid three spots in the state's rankings released on Monday. The Crimson Bears (3-1 overall, 1-1 Cook Inlet Football Conference) suffered their first loss of the season on Friday, 28-27 to then-unranked Dimond. Juneau now is ranked fifth in the Anchorage Daily News/Alaska State Football Coaches Poll. The Crimson Bears were ranked second last week.

Ex-lodge owner was 'reluctant pioneer'
PALMER - At 85, Cecile Betts doesn't mince words. "If I could have left Alaska the day I arrived, I would have," the author said during a book signing Aug. 11 at King Mountain Lodge. Betts recently published a memoir entitled "Reluctant Pioneer," chronicling the years she and her husband, Jack, owned and operated the landmark lodge, located alongside the Glenn Highway about 30 miles north of Palmer.

6-year-old boy dies after fall from Kodiak cliff
ANCHORAGE - A 6-year-old boy died after he fell from a cliff near Kodiak, Alaska State Troopers said Sunday.

Alaska Briefs
Halibut prices high; Man enters no contest plea to rape charge; Plant to continue pumping warm water into Chena River

Inflatable golf dome towers over Anchorage neighbors
ANCHORAGE - An inflatable dome as tall as a six-story building has sprung up in South Anchorage, much to the dismay of its neighbors. But the owner of the new indoor driving range said he hasn't finished decorating the black-and-white bubble. A city skyline etched on its side will look like trees, as originally promised.

Unalaska plays host to legislators
UNALASKA - Unalaska will host what could become the city's largest legislative fly-in ever. Lt. Gov. Loren Leman and 20 legislators are scheduled to arrive Wednesday, according to city natural resources analyst Frank Kelty. Only three people showed up for the last fly-in a few years ago, Kelty said.

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