Friday, September 28, 2007

'Italian Lover' a good read in spite of an overcrowded plot
"The Italian Lover" (Little, Brown & Co., 340 pages, $23.99), by Robert Hellenga: This is the sequel to the tantalizing historical novel about a bashful Midwesterner who moves to Italy, falls in love and loses her inhibitions.

New nonfiction includes an overview of ancient Alaska and a Buddhist classic
New nonfiction for fun and information is at all the Juneau Public Libraries.

State does not provide fluoride tablets
In the community discussion about the upcoming vote on fluoridation of Juneau's city water, misinformation is being circulated that the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services' Juneau Public Health Center can provide fluoride tablets for free to all who want them.

Be reasonable, fluoridate
Things you can "learn" on the Internet: The Jews were behind the Sept. 11 attacks. (Really it was Islamic terrorists from Saudi Arabia.)

Setting Perseverance's record straight
I shook my head in disbelief upon reading PJ Paparelli's assertion that Perseverance Theatre had a 30 percent attendance prior to him coming aboard.

Cut school admins
Friends, consider this not a letter to the editor but a lead for investigation. Upon reading your editorial this morning "Who Cares," I believe that apathy is directly connected to powerlessness.

Please don't fluoridate
I am a person living with thyroid issues. I have struggled with these problems and medication dosage problems for the last four years until the city stopped putting fluoride in the water.

Vote for incumbent Assembly candidates
Juneau Assembly incumbents Johan Dybdahl and Randy Wanamaker have worked very hard for Juneau for a long time, have been very effective and deserve our votes.

Let's build the new Mendenhall Valley pool
Being a parent of swim club and high school swimmers in the Juneau community for the last eight years, I support a second pool in Juneau. I was very involved in the last pool effort, and it is good to see that many of the recreational components of the last pool effort are included in this new pool.

Oppose fluoridation because of known risks
The fluoride issue should be a straightforward exercise in logic, but instead it has become a polarized argument between us-or-them "sides" that feel very passionate and possessive about their beliefs. It shouldn't be this way.

Vote yes on Proposition 2
What is the only thing crazier than doing the same thing over and over again, hoping to achieve different results? The only thing crazier is finding what does work, benefiting from it for decades, and then deciding to stop. That is what Juneau has done.

Read the fine print before voting on Prop 1
For those of you who live in Juneau without city sewer and who hope that Proposition 1 will provide sewer to your existing homes, please be advised that the first priority for sewer extensions will be given to undeveloped land.

Choose freedom from fluoride
With all due respect to the local and national dental trade associations, I believe their position for compulsory fluoridation is misguided. I agree that assisted cavity prevention is a legitimate public health concern for a part of the population.

Common sense rejects fluoridation
According to an Empire story on Sept. 16, it seems the pro fluoride folks are out to take over Juneau's basic water needs with their highly splashy and very pricey ad campaign. Certainly, $46,000 is nothing to sneeze at and could just make you a television star, in the bargain.

A strong Navy leaguer
Jo Anne Bell-Graves is not only a "plankowner," founding member, of the Juneau Navy League, but she is also its only life member. What is more, she was the first president of the Juneau Council and was later treasurer as well.

Keep 'poisons' out of our drinking water
The calcium phosphate mineral that makes up the enamel of our teeth is far more resistant to decay when treated with fluoride. The best way to treat your teeth is with a commercially produced fluoride toothpaste.

Bong Hits 4 election
Your recent profiles of the two unopposed school board candidates make it clear that neither of them understands or respects the free speech rights of students. I hope that others will join me in voting for a write-in candidate: Joe Frederick.

Bellingham voters opposed fluoride
In 2005 the citizens of Bellingham, Wash., faced the same vote you are about to take - to fluoridate our water or not. Like your initiative, the initiative we voted on was funded by outside interests through the Washington State Dental Assoc. and Washington Dental Service Foundation, the nonprofit arm of Delta Dental Insurance Co.

Pool will help students
I appreciated your article on the pool in Sunday's paper. As a mother of three in the Valley and an educator and counselor, I know the importance of giving kids a positive place to recreate year-round. I have also seen first-hand the self-discipline that kids develop as a result of participating in a swim program. But one very important feature about the new pool needs a little more highlighting.

Kendziorek tracks big picture, minute details
Many people who live in Juneau aren't afraid to share their thoughts and opinions. It's not always comfortable to hear or read diverging viewpoints, but it challenges me to explore what I believe and why regarding issues.

An ironic call for bleach in our drinking water
Those who feel it's their right to decide what's in my toilet, washing machine, shower and kitchen sink think it's their right to decide what I drink - because they want to protect my teeth. Get a life.

Swimming in reasons to support pool
Let's not let this chance pass us up for a second time. The research group listened to the voters in 2005 and have worked very hard to put together a valued option for a swimming pool that is half the cost of the one originally proposed.

Propositions could prove costly
Proposition 3 - artificial turf fields - would require an annual tax levy of $12 per $100,000 of assessed property value. Proposition 4 - swimming pool - would require an annual tax levy of $34 per $100,000.

Caption correction
The picture on the front of the Empire on Sunday, Sept. 23, was captioned that, while dentist Hardy Limeback was readying his presentation opposing fluoridating city water, I took "a sip of bottled water."

Kendziorek is a good egg and candidate
I keep thinking of the maxim we were told as kids - that it's awfully hard to put the omelet back into the shell once the egg is broken.

Apply fluoride to teeth, not the the water
Good news! We don't need to fluoridate Juneau's city water to protect and strengthen our children's teeth.

Fluoridating water strengthens teeth
The debate about fluoride got me thinking about other dangerous chemicals in our modern world.

Fluoride helps family
I am one of five siblings raised by a mother who taught us to brush our teeth after eating and, when flossing came along, to "floss the teeth you want to keep."

Vote for Kendziorek
With a large number of state and city workers looking at retirement in the next five years, and younger people unable to afford the high cost of living in Juneau, this community is looking at a smaller job base, declining school enrollment, a stagnant business sector and reduced city revenues.

Europe actually does fluoridate
There are so many rumors and half-truths floating around town, I feel it is my duty to counter at least one. I read in a letter to the editor that England and Europe are now either cutting back or have abandoned adding fluoride to the drinking water.

Funding cuts may end avalanche forecasting
The Southeast Alaska Avalanche Center announced it won't be able to produce avalanche forecasts this winter, unless it receives last-minute funding.

Photo: Last cruise ship
Tourists and tour guides stand on shore Thursday at Crescent Harbor in Sitka. The Noordam, anchored in the background, is the final ship of the season in Sitka.

Police & Fire
Reports from police, fire officials and state troopers

Herring raise concerns for Kensington Mine
Coeur Alaska responded to a decision by federal scientists to look into whether Lynn Canal herring are threatened or endangered, saying that such a listing could have "significant impacts to critical aspects of the Kensington project."

Chamber forum heats up over road
A candidate forum hosted by the Juneau Chamber of Commerce on Thursday ended in a tense exchange over the proposed road out of Juneau, after touching on an array of issues.

Sides wait for voters' decision on fluoridation
Voters will be asked Oct. 2 whether they want fluoride returned to community water supplies in a ballot measure that appears to be the most debated issue in this year's city election.

Around Town

Areawide Assembly candidate: Alexandar bills himself a change candidate; says capital creep top issue
As a clinician at Juneau Alliance for Mental Health Inc., Alexandar has dealt with problems posed by substance abusers and the mentally ill. He says he also sees problems with Juneau and is running for the areawide Assembly seat in an attempt to fix those problems.

Critical Mass builds up for cyclist's rights ride
The organizers of tonight's Critical Mass bicycle gathering hope at least 20 to 30 cyclists show up for the 30-minute ride.

Areawide Assembly candidate: Incumbent says affordable housing issue needs long-term perspective
Areawide Assembly incumbent Johan Dybdahl said his Tlingit perspective, grounding in Native culture and 60-year residency in Southeast Alaska have benefited him during his one Assembly term and will hopefully see him through his 2007 re-election bid.

Business Digest
Sheryl Weinbergappointed executive director of SERRC; Small-businesscenter kicks off fall schedule of classes; Training focuses on negotiating skills for women entrepreneur

Areawide Assembly candidate: Kendziorek says technology will help Juneau keep the capital
Areawide Juneau Assembly candidate Marshal Kendziorek said he's proud of his background in science and hopes it's the edge that will win him the 2007 race.

JIA project planning takes off
A $10 million renovation and expansion of Juneau's aging airport terminal is slated to begin next summer in what airport planners hope will be the first phase of a much bigger project.

Photo: Urban art
Jason Christopher Holtfreter paints a mural Wednesday at the Pipeline Skate Park. Holtfreter, an artist from California, expected to complete his mural, "Subject Alive," by Wednesday night. He also painted a mural at the Zach Gordon Youth Center.

Police & Fire
Reports from police, fire officials and state troopers

Doll, Kerttula will run for re-election
Juneau's two Democratic state legislators say they'll be running for re-election in 2008.

Around Town

FYI

Sweden, Norway part III: Closed for Easter
Last month I ended Part II: Sweden and Norway with the statement, "We were unaware of our big mistake." Our big mistake was that we picked up an Oslo/Bergen schedule at the train station without talking to a Scan-Rail information clerk.

Describing ourselves with characteristics, not strengths and weaknesses
As I'm writing this, water is dripping off the eaves. The foliage outside my office is thick and lush. The wind is pushing the branches and disturbing the shrubs. It is a beautiful day.

Trip to the tug
Auke Bay Co-op Preschool students participated in a field trip aboard the Juneau-based tug Chahunta last Thursday and Friday at Aurora Harbor downtown.

Finochio, Endicott to wed
Susan Finochio and Eric Endicott, both of Juneau, will marry in a private ceremony at 4 p.m. on Oct. 6, 2007. Friends and family are invited to attend a reception at 6 p.m at The Counterfitters.

Reece, Foster wed
Gail Reece and Steve Foster were married in a private ceremony on June 23, 2007, at the Mendenhall Glacier Pavilion.

Neighbors Digest
Ohler to give 'Digital Kids' presentation

Holsts to celebrate
Janice and Butch Holst, of Juneau, will celebrate their 46th anniversary on Sept. 30.

Student artist spotlight: Vaipuna Toutaiolepo
Student Artist in the Spotlight is a weekly feature on the Neighbors page and is in collaboration with the Juneau School District Elementary Art Program.

Neighbors helping neighbors
AWARE provides safe shelter, advocacy, education and support for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse, and community prevention/education on these issues

Julian, Dye wed
Michelle Julian, of Juneau, and James Dye, of Sonoma, Calif., were married at sunset on Aug. 18, 2007, on a beach in Maui, Hawaii.

'Saw Stop' thank you
Juneau-Douglas High School students in Craig Mapes' Creative Woods class pose Tuesday next to their new "Saw Stop" safe table saw that the Southeast Alaska Building Industry Association and Alaska Marine Lines donated to the the Juneau School District.

Alexandar, Black wed
Sheri Suzzane Black and Iskandar R. Alexandar, both of Juneau, were married in a Scottish-themed wedding on Aug. 25, 2007, at the United Pentacostal Church in Juneau. A reception followed at St. Ann's Catholic Church Parish Hall.

A healthier high school
This is the first full school year that SEARHC has been contracted to supply student health care services to the high school, and the staff and clinic space has more than doubled.

Neighbors mailbox
Thank you for helping our 'S'more Salmon' bake, dessert auction; Thanks for welcoming summer visitors to our community; Thank you to the lady, police officer for helping in the highway

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Vernon Wallace Hamey
Juneau Wildflower Court resident Vernon Wallace Hamey died Sept. 25, 2007, of natural causes. He was 87.

Gerald Daniel Patrick Cashen
Former Juneau resident Gerald Daniel Patrick Cashen died Sept. 18, 2007, with his children at his side at his daughter Colleen's home on Camano Island, Wash. He was 88.

Empire editorial: Artificial turf field is a luxury, not necessity
Of the four proposed bond measures on next Tuesday's city ballot, the one calling for $3.9 million for artificial turf for two Juneau ball fields is by far the least important relative to community needs, at least in the immediate short term.

My turn: Study claims fluoride causes cancer in youth
Last month the Empire published a My Turn column on water fluoridation from ABC science columnist Lee Dye which accused "some Juneau residents who posture themselves as public health advocates" as distorting scientific research to "suit their own purposes."

My turn: What I learned on the Fluoride Study Commission
As a member of the city Fluoride Study Commission, I would like to share some of the thoughts and conclusions that resulted from over two years of careful study of the water fluoridation issue.

Empire editorial: Kendziorek, Dybdahl toss up, Wanamaker clear District 2 winner
Only two races for the Juneau Assembly will provide any head scratching at the polls come Oct. 2.

Tips for keeping our political house clean
"To see politics come to this shambles was very disheartening," juror Susan Pollard told the Anchorage Daily News this week after the jury found former state Rep. Pete Kott guilty of federal bribery, extortion and conspiracy charges.

My turn: We must fix the housing problem
Today, nearly two thirds of the homes on the market are affordable to only one third of Juneau's population. Seven thousand Juneau households cannot afford the average priced home.

My Turn: Politicians cause trouble in Bristol Bay
Alaskans should feel proud of our current high environmental standards for natural resource development.

My turn: Another doctor against fluoride in the water
My opposition to water fluoridation was solidified when I read the National Academy of Sciences 2006 report "Fluoride in Drinking Water: A Scientific Review of EPA's Standards."

My turn: Engineering consent for fluoridation in Juneau
What influences a town to poison its own drinking water? Money? "Authority"? Or just the sheer momentum of an outdated con-job by a skilled public relations specialist?

My Turn: Harsh treatment helps discourages future candidates
Im getting pretty discouraged with whats going on in the investigations of our legislators. As I see it, the main result will probably be to discourage anybody from ever wanting to run for the Legislature, most of all the people who actually want to help the rest of us.

Undefeated teams to clash at Adair-Kennedy
The Juneau-Douglas High School football team can go 8-0 for the first time in school history on Saturday. However, the Crimson Bears will have to go through a quality Lower 48 opponent to accomplish that first.

JDHS gets 2nd shot at Palmer
For the Juneau-Douglas High School boys and girls cross country teams, there was no talk of revenge or vindication as they prepared for Saturday's Alaska School Activities Association Cross Country Championships in Palmer.

Wildfire breaks record in North Slope tundra
Alaska's largest wildfire of the year is now also the biggest tundra fire ever recorded on the North Slope.

APOC looks for options to enforce campaign rules
The Alaska Public Offices Commission expects its investigation into illegal polling to be productive and useful, the agency's executive director said Wednesday.

This Day in History
In Alaska, in the Nation and the World

Agrium fertilizer plant to shut down
Fertilizer maker Agrium Inc. said it will close its Kenai nitrogen fertilizer operations, laying off 100 employees.

Man settles with state in trooper prisoner-abuse case
A Bethel man has won $575,000 from the state in a settlement over claims he was repeatedly tortured and brutalized while in the custody of Alaska State Troopers.

Alaska SeaLife Center diver dies in training
A diver with the Alaska SeaLife Center died during a scientific training session in Resurrection Bay.

Watchdog group urges probe of earmark linked to Young
A watchdog group asked the House ethics committee on Wednesday to investigate how a $10 million earmark for a Florida highway interchange, which was backed by Alaska Republican Rep. Don Young, was inserted into a bill that already had won final congressional approval.

U.S., Canada practice spill response on maritime border
The U.S.-Canada maritime border runs along the center of the canal as it winds its long and narrow passage from Portland Inlet to the Hyder-Stewart area.

This Day in History
In Alaska, in the Nation and the World

Alaska Digest
Douglas artist wins $5,000 prize at show; Turning the Tides holds logo contest; Alaska students' test scores improve; Search for missing fisherman called off; Walrus rehabilitating at SeaLife center; UAF gets grant for look at Native health

Stevens, worker at odds over fundraising
Sen. Ted Stevens' campaign has no evidence a contracting firm paid workers to help run the Alaska senator's fundraisers, the campaign treasurer said, disputing one employee's claim that he parked cars and performed odd jobs while on the contractor's payroll.

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