Thursday, October 3, 2002

Business Briefs
Alaskan Winter Ale back for 2002 season; McDowell Group to celebrate 30th anniversary; Hummingbird Services to move to new location; Construction wages boosted

Port lockout taking toll on other businesses
FREMONT, Calif. - The only major vehicle production line west of the Mississippi shut down as the West Coast port shutdown began to burden shipping-dependent industries across the country. The sole glimmer of hope came with word that dock workers' union representatives and shipping lines planned to resume federally mediated contract talks Thursday. The stalemate has stopped all commercial shipping at 29 ports in California, Oregon and Washington state.

Business Profile: Van Reuben
Title and company: Owner, Van Reuben Willis Insurance, which offers State Farm insurance, investing and banking services.

Looking back to the elders
Invitees to a Tlingit potlatch would dance for their host as they approached, said Ethel Makinen, a Sitka elder.Performers from the Naa Kahidi Dancers of Sitka sang and drummed softly in the shadows as she introduced them from the stage Sunday at the American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Conference at Centennial Hall.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Diplomacy first before attacking Iraq
Are we really prepared to again don the cloak of the Ugly Americans as we flex our might as the world's only superpower? Do we really want to destroy the unparalleled support our country enjoyed after the 9-11 tragedy by acting like a two-bit despot from a banana republic?

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.

Shooting bear was reasonable
I would like to respond to the article in the Oct. 2 newspaper about the police shooting the bear in Switzer Creek mobile home park.

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.

New radio station brings more jazz, blues to town
A labor of love will bring more exposure to jazz and blues for some Juneau residents when KBJZ-FM, 94.1, goes on the air at midnight tonight.The station will be operated by Gastineau Broadcasting, a nonprofit organization incorporated in May 2000. It is one of 255 stations granted licenses by the Federal Communications Commission in December 2000 under a program aimed at creating more diversity in local radio programming.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

Teacher role in Day of Silence questioned
The Juneau School Board did not take an official position on the Day of Silence at Tuesday's meeting, saying students are entitled to express themselves at school as long as that expression does not interfere with class.Board members did raise questions about whether it is appropriate for teachers to participate in the event during school hours, or give extra credit for students who are involved.

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

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

Alaska Swimming Top 16 Prep Times
Here are Alaska's top 16 times in each event for the 2002 high school swimming season. This list is compiled by Juneau-Douglas High School swim coach John Wray and is through meets of Sept. 28. It includes all reported meets.

Adult Volleyball League Standings
Here are the standings through Sept. 29 for the Juneau Department of Parks and Recreation men's and women's adult volleyball leagues.

Cavs' gala preview a dud
CLEVELAND - The Cleveland Cavaliers at least had pictures of their two new marquee players, Darius Miles and Ricky Davis, available on the cover of their media guide on Monday.Davis was a no-show and Miles arrived 95 minutes late for a media day that turned embarrassing for a team seeking to overcome the stigma of three consecutive 50-loss seasons.

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.

Swimming siblings lead Juneau
For a large part of the Juneau-Douglas High School swim team, the sport is a family affair.The Kreuzensteins (Jake and Kaitlin), Hugheses (Aaron and Paul), Josephsons (Tom and Matt) and Potdevins (Kelsey and Weather) make up a large, vital part of this season's squad. Freshmen Holly and Tanya Trucano are on the Juneau diving team.

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

State Briefs
Musher Jonrowe battles cancer; Voters keep Kotzebue damp; Anchorage man pleads guilty to identity theft; Woman dies in highway crash

Campaigning behind bars
Operating on a shoestring budget in an election where her party is struggling to maintain official status, Green Party gubernatorial candidate Diane Benson has spent much of her time talking with Alaskans who aren't allowed to vote.Benson, an Alaska Native who lives in Chugiak, visited the Lemon Creek Correctional Center in Juneau on Tuesday to speak with Native inmates about disparities in Alaska's prison system. During the election season, Benson also has visited the Fairbanks Correctional Center and spoken with prisoners in Palmer by phone.

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.

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.

Sitka mayor loses to challenger
Sitka and the Ketchikan Gateway Borough will have new mayors soon.Incumbent Sitka Mayor Valorie Nelson trailed challenger Fred Reeder by 141 votes after Tuesday's city election. However, 313 absentee and questioned ballots are still to be counted.

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

Proposed ANWR compromise includes wilderness designation
ANCHORAGE - Congressional Republicans have offered to designate much of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge as wilderness in an effort to open the coastal plain of the refuge to oil drilling, but Democrats are not impressed.Rep. Billy Tauzin, a Louisiana Republican, presented the idea Wednesday to House and Senate members trying to negotiate a compromise on a national energy bill.

Panel pushes for changes at DFYS
ANCHORAGE - An advisory panel says the state's child protection system should put more emphasis on families, streamline record keeping, hire more caseworkers and provide additional services including alcohol treatment and counseling.The 17-member commission was appointed by Gov. Tony Knowles in August to draft a recommendations for the next governor and Legislature.

Anchorage pastor drives down cost of dying in the Bush
ANCHORAGE - It's more expensive to live in rural Alaska and it costs more to die there, too. The Rev. Charles Bridges says he's doing his part to lower the cost of caskets for the Bush, and claims he can cut by at least half what competing funeral homes offer for most burial-related services.

Task force advises state to subsidize prescription drugs
Alaska should join 34 other states in creating a program to subsidize the rising cost of prescription drugs to those in need, according to a state report issued Wednesday.The report was part of several recommendations from a task force Gov. Tony Knowles appointed in August to study the rising costs of such drugs to seniors and the disabled.

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.

What's up with that?
Q: Why are the doors that go from the Federal Building lobby to the post office closed and locked up?

Alaska Positive 2002
Juneau photographer Michael Kelly took top honors in Alaska Positive, the biennial statewide photography exhibit sponsored by the Alaska State Museum. Alaska Positive 2002 opens Friday with a reception from 4:30 to 6 p.m., and the museum will remain open until 8 p.m. This fall the museum will continue the First Friday program, offering free admission and extended hours the first Friday of each month.

Letting a joke stand on its own
Comedian Steven Wright decided early on that swearing and off-color jokes would not play much of a part of his act."In the beginning I wanted a joke to get the laugh it deserved on the concept of it," he said. "I realized if you swore it would get more of a laugh for some reason. I also didn't want to build up material I couldn't do on regular television. I swear a little, maybe four or five times in 90 minutes."

Large heads top body of new work
Large heads and other curious endeavors are not genetic experiments gone awry. Juneau artists Nikki Morris and Patrick Ripp have spent the past two years preparing a body of work to showcase in an exhibit they're calling "Large heads and Other Curious Endeavors." About 18 of their paintings will be featured at the Juneau Arts and Humanities Council gallery this month, including oversized portraits and landscapes conjured from dreams and travels.

Songwriter Tom May ties past to present in his music
Folk singer and songwriter Tom May reaches into the past for many of his songs, but he prefers to think of it as bringing the past forward. "I try to tell a little about history in the songs and then also bring in the present in contrast, comparing the attitudes and situations then and now," he said. "History brought forward, I like to call it."

First Fridays offer evening of art at downtown galleries
Leah Sturgis has been bringing art to the people for the past year. Now she's working to bring people to the art. Sturgis, who operates the gallery Rock Paper Scissors, has organized a series of exhibits she's calling First Fridays Art Walk. The event begins Friday, Oct. 4, in conjunction with the opening of exhibits at the Juneau Arts and Humanities Council and the Alaska State Museum. Receptions will be held at all three locations from 4:30 to 7 p.m. Friday.

Steven Wright's Angle on the world
Steven Wright's official biography reads: I was born. When I was 23 I started telling jokes. Then I started going on television and doing films. That's still what I am doing. The end. In truth, he is somewhat more complicated, but the deadpan tone and understated delivery are pure Steven Wright. The comedian, actor and Academy-Award winning writer brings his trademark comic timing and seemingly inexhaustible one-liners to Juneau on Friday, Oct. 4, for a performance at Centennial Hall.

What's happening
Theater

Best Bets: Too many arts choices, too little time
Art is bursting out of the woodwork this weekend in Juneau. Friday evening offers an opportunity to take in a wealth of artwork. The Juneau Arts and Humanities Council and the Alaska State Museum are opening new art exhibits, and after a long hiatus, KTOO once again is featuring the work of a local artist in the station. Once or twice last winter, more by coincidence than planning, several galleries and the city and state museums held concurrent openings. Rather than competing, the result was a synergistic boost in energy and attendance that proved to be positive for everyone involved.

Movies where & when
"Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever," (R) ends Thursday, Oct. 3, last show at 6:50 p.m. at Glacier Cinemas.

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