Wednesday, October 2, 2002

No to Iraq war
I would like to add my voice to the many who have written lately expressing opposition to the U.S. administration's headlong rush toward an attack on Iraq. The path President Bush has taken flies directly against the ideals of freedom that have symbolized this country and given us an identity as a nation.

Setting an example
Lately, there's been a lot of news about another bungled Florida election. Though Gov. Bush spent $32 million to right the historic wrongs made in the 2000 election, he and his cabinet still couldn't get it right. I'm glad they're not my elected officials.

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.

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.

Hostage to bullies
In all this talk of road access and a capital move I find one line of reasoning to be flawed. This is the line about Juneau needing to be more responsive to the rest of the state in managing our own affairs. I grew up in Washington, D.C., so this line is quite familiar. When you live in a capital city you get used to being beat up by the rest of the country. Alaskans need to make a distinction between the residents of the capital city and their local government, and the people who run the state government.

Sacrifice, commitment
Another busy tourist season comes to an end. As medical director of Capital City Fire & Rescue I have the pleasure of working with a group of very dedicated pre-hospital care providers. During the course of this summer, career and volunteer staff have been called on to work long hours, overtime, weekends, and more.

To be gay is a choice
I've followed with interest the Day of Silence at the Juneau school and the many letters debating the merits of the issue. I wasn't going to get into the debate, but I must. To remain silent would condone or accept something I strongly disagree with.

Back to work
I'd like to thank my fellow Juneauites for their support in yesterday's election. It is an honor to have the faith and trust of the voters for three more years of hard work on the Assembly. It is a privilege to serve this great community once again.

Appalled by endorsement
As a retired Teamster, registered Alaska voter and former director of the Alaska Teamsters Political Action Committee, I am appalled at the endorsement by the Alaska Teamsters of Frank Murkowski for governor.

'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.

Juneau man puts a global twist on balloons for charity
A Juneau man has organized a worldwide balloon-twisting event involving more than 500 people in 11 countries.From Bangkok, Thailand, to Kent, England, and from Juneau to Charleston, S.C., balloon sculptors today will twist thousands of balloons into wiener dogs, hats and a variety of inflated latex sculptures as part of Balloons Around the World.

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.

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.

Bond prop too close to call
Absentee and questioned ballots could make a difference in a $15 million general obligation bond proposition for harbor, water and sewer improvements in Juneau.Proposition 1 was failing by 31 votes Tuesday with 3,649 people voting no and 3,618 voting yes. Election workers counted 546 absentee ballots Tuesday and will count more absentee and questioned ballots Friday. Last year, election workers counted 1,250 absentee and questioned ballots.

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

Election results
Assembly - Areawide Mark Wheeler 3,992 Chuck Collins 3,127

Winners: Wheeler, Sanford, Ridgeway
Two new faces will take seats on the Juneau Assembly this fall, based on preliminary results from Tuesday's city election.Areawide Assembly member Marc Wheeler was the sole incumbent to win back a seat. He had 3,992 votes (56 percent) to 3,127 for Chuck Collins, a margin of 865 votes. Juneau School Board member Stan Ridgeway won the District 2 race with 3,837 votes (55 percent) compared to incumbent Don Etheridge's 3,088.

Van Slyke, Brodersen win seats on board
One of the two winners in Tuesday's Juneau School Board election says he may not stay in office very long.Juneau-Douglas High School senior Carl Brodersen said he may resign his seat by next fall if he is offered a scholarship from an Outside college. Early in his campaign, the straight-A student with top Scholastic Aptitude Test scores, said if elected he would attend the University of Alaska Southeast so he could serve his full three-year School Board term. At election central Tuesday night, Brodersen said he still was applying to schools Outside, and may leave Juneau if he is offered a scholarship.

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.

New classification pits Crimson Bears against Fairbanks, Mat-Su
Juneau-Douglas High School's basketball and volleyball teams will play in a new, larger-school division in the 2004-05 season. But the Crimson Bears aren't sure what to think about their new classification.The Alaska School Activities Association passed a resolution at its fall meeting in Anchorage last weekend that creates a fifth classification for the state's high schools, and Juneau is the only Southeast school to move up to Class 5A. The proposal also revamped the sizes for Class 4A and Class 3A schools.

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

Neighbors balk at bear killing
Scattered bits of noodles in front of a trailer are all that's left of the cold can of spaghetti enjoyed by a black bear before police shot and killed it Tuesday.The cinnamon-colored, 150-pound bear was shot by two police officers around 10 a.m. Tuesday in Switzer Village Trailer Park behind the recreation center near Shooting Star Street. A spokeswoman for the state Department of Fish and Game said biologists believe the bear was old and not in good health.

Photo: Bears in the backyard
A glacier-colored black bear, left, and one of its two cubs wander through the Mendenhall Valley backyard of Wilson Valentine last weekend.

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

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

Photo: Juvenile justice conference
MADD Youth in Action members traveled to the Juvenile Justice Conference in Dallas in September. Sixteen youth from Southeast Alaska, Homer and Anchorage attended sessions on preventing underage drinking. MaChelle Atherton of the Division of Juvenile Justice and Jessica Paris, YIA coordinator, attended with the group.

Neighbors briefs
Story hour set at Douglas Library Community Building; AWARE offers volunteer training

TV program examines aging issues
Mark your calendar for Wednesday, Oct. 9, at 8 p.m. A two-hour special will air on public television to help prepare Americans for an emergency health-care issue of staggering proportions. "And Thou Shalt Honor ... Caring for Our Aging Parents, Spouses, and Friends" will be hosted by award-winning actor Joe Mantegna and will feature the real-life stories of men and women all over America.

Ensign Kato earns naval aviator status in Pensacola
Navy ensign Joseph J. Kato, son of Ruth J. and John J. Kato of Juneau, was recently designated a naval aviator while serving with training Squadron 86, Naval Air Station, Pensacola, Fla.

Pets of the week
Mac is a handsome short-hair 1-year-old male tabby who is a former stray from West Juneau. He is a friendly, talkative, somewhat independent kitty who thrives on attention. Tiggie is a lovely medium-hair black spayed female who is described as having a sweet temperament.

Mesdag, Shrader to wed
Gail Mesdag of Juneau and Joshua Shrader of Juneau will be married in a ceremony planned for Oct. 5 in Juneau.

Thank you
...for your help; ...for your work; ...for your time; ...for the hard work; ...for all the help.

Milton Nickerson
Juneau resident Milton Nickerson died Sept. 23, 2002, in Juneau.

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.

Empire editorial: Municipal election delivers surprises
On a wet blustery day, approximately 7,300 voters turned out to pick winners in three Assembly races, fill two School Board seats and vote on a $15 million municipal bond. In all three races the margins were decisive. Congratulations go out to Marc Wheeler, Merrill Sanford and Stan Ridgeway on their respective victories. Congratulations, too, to Bob Van Slyke and Carl Brodersen on winning seats in the School Board race.

Editor's Note: To our readers:
From late July through Tuesday's local election, the Empire limited to one the number of politically themed letters or My Turns published from any individual writer. More than 100 people expressed their political views on our pages during the state primary and local election seasons.

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

New School Classifications
Here are the new size classifications for high school sports, as adopted by the Alaska School Activities Association in its fall meeting this past weekend. The new classifications take effect in the 2004-05 school year for volleyball and basketball. Enrollment figures are for the 2002-03 school year.

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

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.

Armed guards spook West Coast dock worker negotiators
SAN FRANCISCO - West Coast ports weren't the only thing shut down today. So were contract talks between dockworkers and their employers after efforts to bring in a federal mediator collapsed.The mediation session ended before it began Tuesday after the presence of armed guards hired by the shipping lines association spooked union negotiators.

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.

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.

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."

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

Photo: Speaking out on a bridge in Ketchikan
Carol Cairnes, left, and Mike Sallee hold "Vote Yes" signs Monday on a Ketchikan street corner, where supporters and opponents posted their messages about a measure to build a bridge to Gravina Island. Ketchikan voters came out 2-1 Tuesday in support of the bridge.

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.

'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.

Anchorage Archdiocese adopts code of conduct
ANCHORAGE - Roman Catholic leaders in the Archdiocese of Anchorage are meeting today and Thursday on a new code of standards, adopted locally in response to issues of sexual abuse.The code makes explicit what church leaders in the past presumed to be acceptable conduct.

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.

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.

State Briefs
Consolidated Haines elects mayor; Wasilla picks Keller as new mayor; Kenai borough re-elects mayor

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