Tuesday, October 1, 2002

'Frankie Pillifant kills'
Frankie Pillifant kills. Juneau Assembly member Frankie Pillifant, who is running for re-election, is a cold-blooded killer - she swats mosquitoes when they bite her. Don't you think my first sentence is misleading? It is. And so was Don Smith's Friday publisherial in which he wrote so many half-truths about Pillifant's voting record on transportation, the high school renovation, and Juneau Access.

Thumbs down
As a property owner and a voter, I am taking a close look at the $15 million of projects in the bond package. Are some of the projects worthwhile? Sure! Are all of them necessary? No one has convinced me of that!

The real evidence
It is unfortunate that candidates running for public office like Marc Wheeler and Frankie Pillifant don't have the courage of their convictions to tell voters exactly what they think.

For Frankie, Marc and Stan
Leaders that allow diversity of opinion, open debate on all issues, and balanced, thoughtful public policy decisions help build a more viable and stronger community.

Timber realities
Having worked in the woods for 44 years, you begin to think you might understand a few things. You also become an historian. Environmental concerns were an issue when I began as a young forester, yet there was no way of forecasting how the movement would progress.

Frankie supports kids
I'm thankful that Frankie Pillifant is running for re-election to the Assembly. Her record supports kids and making our community a better place.

Pure of heart
"We've got people being intolerant of our intolerance. Where will it end?" So asks the Rev. Mr. Frega in a recent Juneau Empire story of the concern many Juneau citizens have expressed over his church's stance against gays and lesbians.

Take the high road
I am deeply saddened by the personal attack on Don Etheridge by some long-time, prominent citizens of this community.

Elect a student
Most high school students are too busy to worry about democracy. They spend their time winning soccer games, planning dances, studying chemistry, or trying to get into college. There are a few of us, though, whose responsibility it is to represent the student voice.

Strong voice for kids
During the first two years as an Assembly member, Marc Wheeler has put words into actions for the benefit of Juneau's children and schools. He fought hard to get increased funding for the school district during this year's Assembly budget debates. And Marc has worked constructively with the School Board in supporting the second high school in the Valley.

Committed to transportation
Friday's editorial from the Empire publisher was off base to question Frankie Pillifant's commitment to safe and efficient transportation in Juneau, when it has consistently been among her highest priorities.

Local decisions
Regarding Mr. Alan Kinsolving's letter of Friday, my long-term home has been Juneau for the past 35 years. During the last 27 of those years, my husband and I have been and are friends of William S. Morris III (Billy) and his wife.

Choke hold
Juneau is the only state capital city on the North American continent that cannot be reached by road.

Paved with pork
The idea that a road to Juneau will save the Capitol is nuts. Those that want the move are not going to back off just because they can drive over 800 miles to go to work.

Public servant
It's a great compliment to our community that we have so many qualified candidates running for public office this fall.

Berners Bay beauty
I'm writing this letter by candlelight on Sunday night from the Berners Bay cabin. We have explored the surrounding area for three days, having paddled here in our kayaks from Echo Cove. We make this trip twice each year - in May during the hooligan run and again in late September.

Conference: Tourism lets Alaska Natives tell their story
Tourism offers American Indian and Alaska Native tribes the opportunity to tell their own stories, says Tex Hall, president of the National Congress of American Indians.

Tribal group seeks payback for land
John Morris remembers watching the city of Douglas burn down his home in the Douglas Indian Village in 1962. The fire trucks were there to keep the fire in, not put it out.

Police and Fire
Reports from Juneau police, fire officials and state troopers.

Photo: Last ship
Passengers aboard the Holland America cruise ship Zaandam line the bow as the they pull up to the downtown dock Monday. The Zaandam was the last cruise ship of the season to visit Juneau.

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

Landscape manager: Fire was no accident
The manager of a Mendenhall Valley garden-supply and landscaping business that caught fire early this morning believes the blaze was no accident.Landscape Alaska Manager David Lendrum also said the fire in a storage building may cost upwards of $60,000 in repairs and replacements.

Suicide threat closes local road
Police shut down the North Douglas road to Eaglecrest for nearly three hours Sunday while they talked to a man threatening to kill himself.

Deluge doesn't dampen election turnout
Heavy rain and a morning wind advisory didn't appear to keep people away from the polls for today's city election.Poll workers at the Juneau Airport precinct at the Nugget Mall were reporting average turnout. At 9:20 a.m., 50 of the precinct's 1,250 registered voters had cast ballots, said chairman Tom Perkins, an elections worker for 10 years.

Absentee numbers hold up to last year's
Almost 880 people have asked for absentee ballots for Tuesday's city election, about the same number as last year when about a quarter of Juneau's registered voters went to the polls, said Beth McEwen, deputy city clerk.

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

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

Hitching a ride
Photo Isaac Musser, 14, and his electric-powered wheelchair provide a lift for friends Shanye Howard, 13, left, Travis Evans, 13, center, and Mike Wood, 13, on his skateboard as they make their way Saturday afternoon to the skateboard park in the Mendenhall Valley. michael penn / the juneau empire

My Turn: Another view on the JDHS Day of Silence
I am saddened deeply by Pastor Tim Frega of Auke Bay Bible Church's statement, which said: "...We love the lesbian and the gay individuals ... but there is plenty of places in the word of God that say (homosexuality) is wrong."

My Turn: Random drug tests undermine trust
To those school board candidates who favor random drug testing for students who participate in extracurricular activities - have you really thought about this or were you merely parroting some sound bite spun off by the "war on drugs?"

My Turn: Preserving Alaska for Outside environmentalists
Deborah Williams' letter (Sept. 28) attempts to rebut Lew Williams' excellent piece (Sept. 17) on environmental organizations. With two Williamses involved, I have taken the liberty to refer to them as Deborah and Lew.Deborah's letter at best was astounding, at worst misleading. First, it was interesting what Deborah did not say.

Iditarod tightens rules on coaching
ANCHORAGE - The Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race is cracking down on "outside assistance" - help mushers can receive from supporters at checkpoints.The move came at the urging of defending champion Martin Buser, who told race officials that 2002 runner-up Ramy Brooks seemed to be getting a lot of attention from his mother, famed dog driver Roxy Wright.

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

Sports in Juneau
Sports in Juneau is a service provided by the Juneau Empire to provide information on upcoming sports and outdoors events in Juneau.

Candidate gets equal time on TV
Candidate Joseph Easaw has been reading promos for TV news shows. It's not what he expected when he decided to run for the Fairbanks North Star Borough School Board, but it's one more way to get his face in front of voters.

Liquor sellers, buyers stock up before tax hike
Alaska's liquor merchants and drinkers are buying booze in unprecedented volumes to sidestep - at least for a while - a spike in alcohol taxes coming on Tuesday.

Ozone holds hope for treating tanker water
Trials of ozone treatments used to kill invasive bacteria and tiny animals in oil tanker ballast water are giving scientists hope that the creatures can be kept from taking hold in Alaska.

Workers, shipping lines no nearer to deal as west cargo ships remain idle
SAN FRANCISCO - Car parts sat unloaded at Bay Area ports. Korean televisions remained boxed up in Southern California. Avocados from Central America sat idle in containers at the Port of Tacoma, Wash.A labor dispute between dockworkers and shipping lines dragged into today, leaving containers stationary from Vancouver to San Diego and cargo ships brimming with car parts, produce and other goods anchored offshore.

Couple charged with stealing UA servers
Two former University of Alaska Fairbanks student employees have been charged with stealing two computer servers and selling them on eBay.

Judge finds Chignik salmon co-op legal
ANCHORAGE - A Juneau judge on Monday ruled in favor of the Alaska Board of Fisheries in a lawsuit challenging the legality of a commercial salmon fishery cooperative at Chignik.

Salcha homesteader, inventor dies
A Salcha homesteader known for his businesses and inventions died last week.

Anchorage retailers say no shortages for a while
ANCHORAGE - A labor dispute continued to idle West Coast seaports and hold up shipments of goods to Southcentral Alaska, but major Anchorage retailers said consumers won't notice shortages unless the dispute stretches out far longer.

Moose-cutting rookies learn the finer points of big-game butchery
When Chelsie Venechuk took a break from her job in Nikolai, her co-workers gave her an assignment for her stint in Fairbanks.

'I'll see you in hell,' Brand told Godfrey
ANCHORAGE - Sitting on a pillow in a hallway closet with a protein bar, a bottle of water and a .44 Magnum revolver lifted from the house she'd broken into, Karen Brand apparently passed the time with a Tom Clancy novel.She was awaiting the return of Glenn and Patti Godfrey and, probably more importantly, waiting to hear their reaction to the message she left on their answering machine.

New law: carrying insurance ID a must
Alaska State Troopers will start citing motorists Tuesday if they can't prove they have insurance as required by a law that went into effect July 1. Other law enforcement agencies are following their lead.

Court: Bush cops are good enough
ANCHORAGE - The state's law enforcement system in remote, predominantly Native villages is not unconstitutionally inferior to law enforcement in Alaska's road-accessible communities, a state Superior Court judge has ruled.Bush residents sometimes get less police protection than urban Alaskans, but that's largely because of their geographic isolation, Judge Sharon Gleason said in the ruling handed down Monday. It's not because the state's system is designed in a way that systematically discriminates against Natives or rural residents, Gleason said.

Correction
Due to an Associated Press error, a news brief in Friday's Empire gave the incorrect final day for registering to vote in the Nov. 5 statewide general election. Sunday, Oct. 6., is the final day for registration. Juneau's elections office, in the Court Plaza Building at 3rd and Main Streets downtown, will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and from noon to 4 p.m. Sunday to register voters. Registration also can be done during regular business hours at the city clerks' office, the Department of Motor Vehicles and public libraries. Registration forms also are available on the Internet.

BLM: No serious leaks at petroleum reserve wells
The Bureau of Land Management did not find anything alarming over the summer after it finished its first look at 37 years worth of abandoned wells and drill sites in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska.

State Briefs
Petersburg man missing, boat found; SE lighthouses on Norton's list; Air carriers endorse Murkowski; Anchorage man dies in crash

Man arrested after returning to stolen car
Police staking out a car that had been reported stolen arrested a Fairbanks man on an outstanding drug warrant Saturday, then added some new charges.

Two charged for robbery with hammer
Two men have been charged with armed robbery after one of them went into a Wasilla convenience store and threatened the cashier with a hammer, according to Alaska State Troopers.

AIP won't support its gubernatorial candidate
Before the statewide primary in August the Alaskan Independence Party said it would "disavow" gubernatorial candidate Don Wright if he won because he refused to meet with party officials or sign the party platform.Since Wright won, the AIP's official statement on the candidate is "No comment."

Plan would make oil companies fill budget gap
ANCHORAGE - Republican Moderate state House candidate Ray Metcalfe has resurrected his old plan for closing Alaska's fiscal gap by boosting taxes on oil companies. The proposal is drawing some support from three other small political parties.Metcalfe distributed an updated version of his plan at a press conference last week attended by representatives of the Alaskan Independence, Green and Libertarian parties. The AIP formally endorsed Metcalfe's ideas. The Greens' candidate for governor supports it. The Libertarians like some parts of the plan.

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