Wednesday, September 18, 2002

Whatever it takes
I am supporting Merrill Sanford for CBJ Assembly because he supports education and Juneau's kids!

Embarrassing conduct
I write to honor you for reporting embarrassing and unfit conduct by the federal government concerning the "FBI Watch List."For those who grew up after the Communist witchhunts of the '50s and the oppression of anti-war protesters during the Vietnam war era, the coming weeks and months should be an unforgettable education.

Suspicious names
Read your column on how Lt. Cmdr. Musarra got on some murky federal watch list entirely likely because of his Arabian name.

Outside influence
I'm writing in response to Lew Williams' column, "Following the Enviros' Money Trail." I suggest everyone visit the Web site http://www.opensecrets.org and look to see what kind of influence is being peddled - Outside money being spent right here in Alaska, yep, Outside money, influencing what goes on in our state!

War is no answer
I want to express my opposition to an invasion of Iraq by the United States. From the relative safety and comfort of our homes it is difficult to imagine what an invasion of Iraq would really mean. To untold numbers of innocent Iraqi people, it would mean death and destruction; it would mean the death of sons, fathers, daughters and mothers, and the destruction of homes, schools and public facilities.

Republican for Ulmer
I am a Republican who supports Fran Ulmer for governor. I firmly believe she is the best candidate for Juneau, Southeast Alaska, and rural Alaska villages. Anchorage, Fairbanks, and central Alaska will be well governed while other communities' needs are also prioritized. Fran Ulmer is a governor for all of Alaska.

Threat from within
Thank you for free press writings. I feel strongly about my country's freedom and would enlist to fight for it if necessary even at 57 years old, but never thought I would have to worry about it coming from within.

Berners Bay giveaway
I think the Berners Bay land giveaway is a bad idea because only a select few will benefit. Why don't we have a way that everyone can benefit?

Honored, not branded
Kudos on articles (Musarra on watch list, Empire Sept. 11 and 15) with the guts to say it as it is. Hopefully, more and more journalists will rise (from the dead?) to defend what our nation is about: Freedom, guts, and the compassion to do what is right.

Specifics are missing
Having been involved in numerous public policy discussions with Alaskans of all political parties about the future of our state, I have heard the consistent cry for leadership.

Many misstatements
In a recent opinion piece (Empire, Sept. 16), Lew Williams presented many misstatements about Alaska's state-based conservation groups.

Harassing good citizens
Thanks you for your interest regarding Larry Musarra (Empire, Sept. 11 and 15). He is my nephew (my deceased brother's son). He is one of the finest young men you could ever hope your daughter to meet and marry. He put himself through college and joined the Coast Guard and became an active member, giving service to his country.

Universal enemies
I am deeply opposed to a war against Iraq. Daily I grow more alarmed and outraged at Bush's calls for war. His bullying and tough posturing at the United Nations are an embarrassment to all of us. Don't let his rhetoric about the axis of evil persuade you that Iraq is our enemy.

TV disappoints
It was disappointing to see an Anchorage TV news director make public his displeasure at learning he can't moderate a gubernatorial debate this fall. Media and politics are both competitive enterprises, and you can't always get what you want. A few additional facts might put the matter in better perspective.

Could it happen to me?
You can't imagine how astounded I was to read about my nephew, Larry Musarra, being on a terrorist list. Thank God my brother, his dad, has passed away. I can't imagine how heartbreaking this would have been for him. Here is one of the finest young men I know, having served his country faithfully for 23 years now having to be harassed by his own government because of his name.

Government as business
I cringe every time I hear a candidate for office say government should be run like a business. Chuck Collins' words to that effect before the Chamber of Commerce last Friday show a basic misunderstanding of the nature of the job he's running for. We have a representative form of government. I don't work for members of the Assembly, they're supposed to work for me - or at the very least listen to my opinions.

Juneau Jewish Community observes Yom Kippur
Forgiveness from God, forgiveness from others, honesty in the corporate world and peace in the Middle East were the themes this year as the Juneau Jewish Community celebrated Yom Kippur on Sunday and Monday in the Northern Light United Church.Rabbi Hillel Gamoran of Seattle officiated the services for the holiday, among the holiest in the Jewish year.

Move would strike Juneau where it hurts
CRAIG - The pain would be swift, driven first by the loss of 380 jobs in Juneau connected to the state Legislature. Assuming the capital is next, 5,000 total jobs, 8,000 residents and $175 million in annual payroll would follow.The region would feel the blow, primarily through its transportation system. Airline, ferry and barge prices would increase. The frequency of service would decline.

School Board: Cornwall: Better services for disabled students
Louise Cornwall, 35, has no children of her own, but said she considers children's welfare her life work.A respite worker for REACH who provides support to disabled children and their parents, Cornwall decided to run for the Juneau School Board because she feels children and families, especially disabled children and their families in the Juneau School District, are being overlooked in the system. Politics and bureaucracy seem to obscure what is really going on, she said.

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

School Board: Brodersen worries about student representation
Carl Brodersen, 18, is a straight-A student with top Scholastic Aptitude Test scores, who uses SAT words such as "preponderance" with the frequency many other people his age use the word "like."Though he probably could get a scholarship to more than one Outside college, he says he'll stay in town for the next three years after he graduates from Juneau-Douglas High School in the spring if he is elected to the Juneau School Board.

Photo: Progress on the ice rink
Work progresses Tuesday on the Treadwell Arena ice rink at Savikko Park in Douglas. The arena is expected to be complete before the end of the year. brian wallace / the juneau empire

Correction
The type of gun found at the scene of a shooting reported in a news brief report in Tuesday's Empire was incorrect. Police found a .22-caliber rifle.

Mine area land swap foments criticism
Some Juneau residents are concerned the environmental study for a mine near Berners Bay won't consider the impacts from a proposed trade of nearby national forest land to private companies.Coeur Alaska, owner of the proposed Kensington mine 45 miles north of downtown Juneau near Berners Bay, has submitted an operating plan it says is cheaper and has less impact on the environment than a previously permitted plan.

School Board asks Assembly to fund bond ads
he Juneau School Board voted Tuesday night to send the Juneau Assembly a resolution supporting the passage of a general obligation school bond package on the November ballot. It also asked the Assembly to pass a similar resolution of support and appropriate $25,000 to a group called Education First that is campaigning for the passage of the bond measure.

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

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

Correction
Sunday's Empire editorial incorrectly implied Juneau residents still could register to vote in the Oct. 1 city election.

Local Briefs
School time capsule before School Board; Police find weapon at shooting scene; In-person absentee voting underway

SE Conference considers alternate ferry management
CRAIG - The Southeast Conference is exploring ways to turn management of the state-run ferry system over to an authority or a board of directors.The conference of local government and business leaders from Southeast Alaska spent much of Tuesday discussing significant changes to the Alaska Marine Highway System. About 225 people are attending the group's annual meeting in Craig this week.

District 2 Assembly: Ridgeway would focus on Mendenhall Valley
The Juneau Assembly needs to pay more attention to Mendenhall Valley residents and projects, according to Stan Ridgeway, a candidate for the District 2 seat."Three years ago we voted to build a new high school in the Valley that has been meeting a lot of opposition from our Assembly," he said. "I think the Assembly has done a good job in a lot of respects improving our community downtown and in Douglas and I think it's time the Valley got a little of that attention."

District 2 Assembly: Don Etheridge pushes jobs in the community
Don Etheridge said his decision to run for re-election to the District 2 Juneau Assembly seat is rooted in a desire to provide more jobs."One of my biggest goals to make sure we put people to work," said Etheridge, a business agent and lobbyist with the Alaska State District Council of Laborers. "This time for the first time in eight years, my union hall for the laborers was empty. ... I just want to look at other ways of creating more jobs and more income for our community."

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

Smith, Woodruff to marry
Jordan Smith of Wichita, Kan., and Dusty Woodruff of Juneau will be married in a ceremony at 7 p.m., on Oct. 12, 2002, at Central Church of Christ in Wichita, Kan.

Juneau Pride Chorus looking for members
The Juneau Pride Chorus is looking for women to sing with like-minded women. The group is seeking new members to join it every Friday, 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. at the Resurrection Lutheran Church at 740 West 10th Street.

Tree forts combine with the wild world in Southeast Alaska
Look at any landscape scene, a photo, a painting, or the one right outside your window, and the main elements of the picture are likely to be trees.They are the dominant plant forms on our planet, not that they are the most numerous, the most widespread or the most successful in all conditions.

Neighbors briefs
Accountants to meet; ERA donates funds to UAA scholarships; Arts and crafts fair participants needed; Paris named MADD youth coordinator

Pets of the week
Calico is a beautiful mature, medium-hair spayed and declawed tabby. She needs and dotes on lots of attention and wants to be near her person rather than held. Zach is a most wonderful shorthair neutered male tuxedo kitty. He has a great personality and is very friendly, playful, curious and affectionate.

Sealaska Heritage Institute wins $600,000 for language programs
The Administration for Native Americans has awarded a grant to Sealaska Heritage Institute for Native language immersion programs in Southeast Alaska. The funding bodes a major step forward for SHI's Tlingit language program, said SHI President Rosita Worl. "This is a significant step toward perpetuating Native languages - a priority for the institute," Worl said.

Academic honors
The Grand Camp of the Alaska Native Brotherhood and Sisterhood has awarded scholarships to approximately 200 students enrolled in college and vocational education classes.

Herbert Leroy Godfrey
Juneau resident Herbert Leroy Godfrey died Sept. 16, 2002, in Juneau.

Stella Mae Dodson
Juneau resident Stella Mae Dodson died Sept. 16, 2002, at Bartlett Regional Hospital in Juneau.

Word of Mouth
It's quarter till 10 and there is no paper yet, and there is no answering machine on your phone. Same thing was true last week. This kind of thing has been going on for two months. You're going to lose a lot of customers, including me.

My Turn: Situation 'kind of ridiculous'
I read with great interest and with some disbelief the story written by Julia O'Malley about my beloved nephew Lawrence Musarra (Empire, Sept. 11).There couldn't be a more patriotic family than ours. Although my father (Larry's grandfather) was born in Sicily, once he came to America, he considered himself an American. Even when my father had about nine children he tried to join the Navy during World War II, only to be rebuffed because of the number of dependents he had at the time.

My Turn: The other September anniversaries
The anniversary of last September's attack on American institutions is occupying the politicians and press to a degree surpassed only by the events themselves. As we remember the victims of those terrorist acts, we would do well to ponder also a couple of other September anniversaries, of events largely forgotten in the U.S., but which carry greater significance in the Arab and Muslim worlds than Sept. 11, 2001.

My Turn: Fulfill the dream of a road to Juneau
Thank you Ken Koelsch, for your leadership in passing the resolution by our Assembly supporting the completion of the Juneau Access EIS. I also wish to thank the other four Assembly members who had the courage to stand up for Juneau and be counted. This should have been a slam-dunk resolution passing with all members support.

My Turn: Other Musarras on watch list
Even though I was the first, and continue to be harassed (as well as Ann, who has our name by marriage), I haven't gone any further than to call the FBI in Washington, D.C., and to write to Sen. McCain (whom I may add, has never responded to my letter). My first reaction was that I was on the list due to: Our name, which is Arabic in origin or the fact that I had worked in Saudi for nine years.

Klondike 'Trail of '98' International Road Relay - 2002 Final Results
Here are the complete team and top individual results of the 2002 Klondike Trail of '98 International Road Relay, a 10-stage, 110-mile relay held Friday and Saturday, Sept. 6-7, between Skagway, Alaska, and Whitehorse, Yukon Territory. There were 129 teams in this year's relay - the 20th time it has been held. Some teams were given 300-, 600- or 900-second penalties for making substitutions during the race; penalties are noted and included in final team times.

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

Crimson Bear spikers head north
The Juneau-Douglas High School volleyball team spent the last two weekends seeing where it stood in Region V-Class 4A action.Now, after sweeping four region matches by lopsided margins, the Crimson Bears are headed north to see how they match up against some of the state's top teams.

Cavs deal for Palacio after Cleaves fails his physical
CLEVELAND - A week after trading for Mateen Cleaves, the Cleveland Cavaliers sent the point guard back to Sacramento on Tuesday after he failed his physical.Still hoping to shore up their backcourt, the Cavs traded a future second-round draft pick to the Phoenix Suns for guard Milt Palacio.

Suspensions, injuries to key players deplete Washington State lines
PULLMAN, Wash. - Washington State coach Mike Price has suspended two key players indefinitely for breaking unspecified team rules, which could mean more playing time for a pair of linemen from Alaska. Price said Sunday he suspended defensive tackle Rien Long and offensive tackle Billy Knotts for an incident that occurred after No. 16 Washington State's 25-7 loss at sixth-ranked Ohio State.

Alaska State Footabll 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 Sept. 14, total poll points and previous rank in the poll.

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

Miners want access to Alaska Range
FAIRBANKS - Mining companies are pressing the state to take possession of more than 200,000 acres of federal land in the Alaska Range to develop mineral deposits in the area, 160 miles south of Fairbanks.In recent years mining companies have explored the area bordered by the Denali Highway. The area is believed to have deposits of platinum, palladium, copper and nickel.

Gov. Knowles promotes transportation improvements made during his tenure
ANCHORAGE - Gov. Tony Knowles touted the accomplishments of his administration, including transportation upgrades and salmon habitat improvements, in a farewell address to the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce.One of Knowles' major goals when he took office eight years ago was to improve the state's transportation system, he said in a speech Monday. Long, bumpy miles of Alaska's major highways were narrow, unsafe and unpaved. Airports needed overhauling, and the ferry system needed faster vessels.

Haida Corp. poised to take 63 acres near Sitka
SITKA - A Native village corporation on Price of Wales Island is about to receive about 63 acres of national forest land in Sitka Sound, the U.S. Forest Service said.The Haida Corp. requested the land on Siginaka Islands and the Silver Point and Cobb Island areas as part of the Haida Land Exchange Act of 1986.

Groups dispute Greens Creek Mine bond
An environmental group claims a $24.4 million bond required to be posted by the operators of the Greens Creek Mine on Admiralty Island is inadequate to cover future cleanup costs at the site.Kennecott Greens Creek Mining Co. officials said the bond would be adequate for cleaning and monitoring the site, but said the bond issue is between the environmental group and state regulators.

Alaska governor's race loses another candidate
Dawn Mendias is dropping out as the Republican Moderate Party candidate for governor.Family commitments won't allow an active campaign, Mendias said. She is caring for two grandchildren, ages 13 and 8, while her son attends school, she said. Mendias, 58, of Chugiak, ran unopposed in her party's primary.

State Briefs
Rep. Moses suffers stroke; Mount Veniaminof volcano stirs; Anchorage man pleads guilty to drug conspiracy charges; Mat-Su adopts land-use controls

Dow jeopardized this year's permanent fund dividends
ANCHORAGE - Eligible Alaskans will receive a permanent fund dividend of about $1,550 in October, but for a brief time in July it looked like the state wouldn't be able to make the payment.A plunging stock market had temporarily wiped out the fund's reserve account, where investment profits go. Under state law, only this account can be tapped for dividends, not the fund's massive principal.

Alaska officials work on West Nile virus program
ANCHORAGE - Alaska public health officials are working with other state, federal and local agencies and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to develop a statewide West Nile virus surveillance program.No cases of the mosquito-borne virus have been reported in people or animals in Alaska. Officials are developing the statewide surveillance program as a precautionary measure, said Louisa Castrodale, an epidemiologist with the state Department of Health and Social Services.

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