Saturday, September 14, 2002

Be realistic
Putting or not putting a road out of Juneau has been going on for years. What we really need to focus on is the cost of construction and upkeep. Who is going to pay for it?

Act of favoritism
I would like to express my disappointment regarding the Murkowski camp's decision to ignore our requests for their candidate to join our live televised gubernatorial debate. It came as quite a surprise to our newsroom when his debate schedule was announced (by e-mail) that KIMO (KJUD JUNEAU) was not included, though Alaska's Superstation made requests as early as July to accommodate his Senate and campaigning schedule.

Legislated math won't balance state's budget
I would like to comment on a certain argument that keeps cropping up in a legislative races. It has been championed in the past by Bill Hudson, and now seems to be a mainstay of Cathy Muñoz. It basically goes: "The Republicans are in the majority, so we need to elect a Republican from Juneau or else no one will listen to our concerns."

Access this
Mr. Glotfelty, of the North Pole Alaska Independence Party, wants to vacation in Alaska's capital, but he doesn't want to fly, ferry in, or swim. Only a road will do. Furthermore, he asserts that if we continue to "stonewall," his party will move the capital someplace he can vacation in.

For no better reason
Paul Berg, in his letter to the editor of Sept. 8 (Crossing to Fran) begins with: "As a lifelong Republican..."

Consider age, health
At Gustavus it is against the law to use your four-wheeler to take out a moose. You are supposed to be able to get permission to use your four-wheeler if you are in poor health. I am 83 years old, the same age as the pope. I have a heart pacemaker. I have other health problems but if those two won't do the job nothing else would help.

Road rage
I thought we voted against a road out of town already. Now our home newspaper publisher, and a very simply majority of the Assembly and some other influential types are saying we will have that road, like it or not, or else the capital will surely migrate north or another terrorist attack will force us all to swim Lynn Canal to escape Armageddon and most likely against a minus tide, in the dead of winter.

Attn: Maxwell Smart
In response to the story about Larry Musarra (Wednesday's Empire), anybody who works for or near the government knows that with the highly sophisticated way they have of hiring only the best and smartest people for any given job without regard to race, color, creed, or political consideration.

Right decision sometimes contrary to public voices
Patrick McGonegal's My Turn (Thursday's Empire) implies that voters should decide critical issues facing the Assembly. We should all remember that we do not have a democracy, where the public votes on every issue. We have a democratic republic wherein we elect decision makers and trust them to make decisions based on all the information available.

Worthy effort
I want to express my gratitude and admiration to JPD and Alaska Fish & Game officers for the prompt, safe and responsible manner in which they conducted themselves here at Creekside Park (aka Lemon Creek Manor) Trailer Court during the observation, containment and humane capture of one sow black bear and her three cubs during their repeat visit here recently. I am so happy with the outcome!

Good food page
Good job on the new food page. The improvements are noticeable and appreciated. I especially enjoy Ben Bohen's column with new ideas for local products. Please continue his column.

Not reason enough
At this time, I do not see any need for a war with Iraq. Saddam Hussein would be a threat to the United States only if (1) he has weapons of mass destruction; (2) he is able to deliver those weapons to the U.S.; and (3) he is willing to sign his own death warrant by participating in an attack on the U.S. that might be traced back to him.

Dad gets 4 years for cutting off baby's breathing monitor
A man who destroyed his infant son's breathing monitor because it wouldn't stop beeping was sentenced Thursday in Juneau Superior Court to four years in prison.Brian Bevelhymer, 35, pleaded guilty in July to one count of third-degree assault, a felony, stemming from an offense of Feb. 18.

Armory, UAS center clears permit hurdle
The Juneau Planning Commission approved a conditional-use permit this week for a building that will house a University of Alaska Southeast recreation center and a National Guard armory.The 54,000-square-foot building will be constructed near the UAS Auke Lake campus on land between student housing and Auke Bay Elementary School. The facility will include a gymnasium, kitchen, locker room, classrooms, indoor track, a student lounge for the recreation center, and office space for the armory.

From edibles to equity
Whether it's a knife to cut vegetables or a manual to write a business plan, Deborah Marshall has spent her life in Alaska giving people tools.As a founder and former owner of Juneau's Fiddlehead Restaurant, as director of Alaska InvestNet, a nonprofit organization focused on helping entrepreneurs finance their business goals, and as a foster grandparent to an 8-year-old boy, Marshall has found satisfaction in making changes in her own backyard.

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

Photo: Rare bear rambling
A glacier bear looks for a way out of Robert Bishop's backyard Monday on Dogwood Lane in the Mendenhall Valley. The bear wandered in the yard for about 10 minutes until it found its way onto the street and ran to Duck Creek for shelter. Glacier bears, with their silvery coats, are a rare color phase of the black bear.

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

Juneau horses to get West Nile shots
With more than 3,000 cases of West Nile virus documented in the United States, including in Montana and Wyoming, veterinarians with the Southeast Alaska Veterinary Clinic are recommending horses in Juneau be vaccinated for the virus.Dr. Barb Deyell, a veterinarian at the clinic, said authorities do not know for certain whether the West Nile virus poses a threat to Southeast Alaska horses.

Basement fire causes $25K in home damage
The family living in a Mendenhall Valley home that caught fire Thursday evening was displaced but uninjured by the blaze.Around 6 p.m. Capital City Fire and Rescue responded to the fire on Chelsea Court near Back Loop Road after an off-duty Alaska State Trooper saw heavy smoke coming from the house, said fire Capt. Jerry Godkin.

FYI
Births

Neighbors Briefs
Group celebrates 10th anniversary; Women's retreat set; 'Operation Christmas Child' schedules first meeting on Saturday;

Day care wins $5,000 grant
The day care at the St. Vincent de Paul Society in Juneau received a $5,000 grant last week to improve the society's services to low-income youth.

Organizing against an attack
Nearly 50 people gathered Tuesday at Northern Light United Church for a discussion about seeking peace with Iraq. The meeting was a roundtable discussion on the options available to Juneau community members who are concerned about the current U.S. political and military stance towards Iraq.

Thank you
...for the help; ...for the generosity.

Cook, Janes to wed
Rebecca Beth Cook and Sean William Janes, both of Juneau, will be married on Sept. 14, 2002, in a ceremony at the Orca Point Lodge on Colt Island.

Marks, Ramirez to marry
Jocelyn K. Marks and Luis E. Ramirez, both of Juneau, will be married in a ceremony planned for 3 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 21, 2002, at the Northern Light United Church. A reception will follow at 6 p.m. at Chinook's Restaurant at the Goldbelt Hotel. Friends and relatives of the couple are invited to the wedding and reception.

Academic honors
Sharon Malaby has been named to Portland State University's dean's list by carrying a grade point average of 3.83.

Photo: Icefield training
On an unusually sunny day in August, Lt. Col. Tim Koeneman (right), commander of the Alaska National Guard's 3rd Battalion, and Lance Miller, executive director of the Juneau Economic Development Council, visited Camp 17 to discuss possible training activities on the Juneau Icefield.

Joseph Bennett Sr.
Juneau resident Joseph Charlie Bennett Sr. died on Sept. 9, 2002, at his home in Juneau.

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

Crimson Bear runners head to Petersburg meet
The Juneau-Douglas High School cross-country running team will travel to the Petersburg Invitational this Saturday - the last regular-season event before next week's Region V meet in Ketchikan.The Crimson Bears will be sending a mix of varsity and junior varsity runners to the Petersburg meet, as coaches Guy Thibodeau and Merry Ellefson try to sort out the final places on the varsity rosters for the region meet.

Crimson Bear spikers get set for Wolves
When Sitka High School volleyball coach John Franceschini compares his team to the Juneau-Douglas Crimson Bears, he sees teams playing at two different levels.He sees Juneau as a squad needing just a little bit of fine-tuning before it's ready to compete with the elite teams in the state. Franceschini's Wolves, on the other hand, feature several inexperienced players needing to get more varsity matches under their belts before they can compete at the same level as the Crimson Bears.

Lawmakers put some gas-line provisions in federal energy bill
FAIRBANKS - Congressional negotiators approved some Alaska provisions for the federal energy bill, but natural gas line tax credits and Arctic refuge oil development remained unresolved.

Kodiak man convicted of fraud
ANCHORAGE - A federal jury Thursday convicted Richard R. Blankenship of Kodiak of tax fraud.The jury found him guilty on six counts of failing to file a tax return, four counts of mailing threatening letters to several people including state judges, and attempting to cash a phony draft.

State Briefs
Forest Service cuts Tongass budget to pay for fires; Subaru found sunk in channel; Mat-Su teachers approve contract

City to return funds seized from boy's bank account
ANCHORAGE - The Anchorage municipal clerk threatened to resign Thursday unless the Anchorage Assembly returned nearly $700 seized from a 6-year-old boy's savings account.By early afternoon, clerk Greg Moyer got the word: the money will be restored to David Antunes' Wells Fargo bank account. The $672.34 was to have gone toward paying some of the attorney fees of the boy's uncle, Robert W. Hayes, an Assembly candidate who unsuccessfully sued the city and Moyer last spring over an election dispute involving the winning candidate, Brian Whittle.

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