Friday, October 10, 2003

Why do people destroy?
Senseless killings, random acts of violence, religious murders, invasions and waste of resources are daily fare these days. Ever wonder why? I know each situation has its own unique reasons where both sides have very logical sounding arguments. But I'm looking beneath that, deep inside us all at the pre-dispossession human beings have to decide issues of the day with the application of force, almost always leading to destruction of something or someone. What makes us go there so quickly and easily? After careful consideration, I think throughout human history right and wrong has been determined by who was stronger physically and better positioned. I know, you're shocked. But as simple as that sounds, I believe it has deeper implications.

Kadashan misses mark
Kadashan ought to be ashamed of himself. His Oct. 5 editorial unapologetically insinuates that atheists are somehow incapable of good. This is an absurd claim that can only come from a person too ignorant of the facts to realize that atheists can be every bit as decent and moral as anybody else. In fact, given the string of clergy members who are now going to prison for abusing children, I'd say a strong argument could be made that atheists have the upper hand when it comes to "decency" and goodness.

Paying the price for vandalism
When my wife first noticed the broken windows on Juneau-Douglas High School's new atrium on Monday morning during our drive to work, I shrugged them off as accidents, thinking maybe some construction-related mistake must have caused them to break or some other improbable thing like that. Call me an optimist.

An injustice in Iraq
The Iraqi War was premised on ties between Al-Quaeda and Saddam Hussein and the existence of weapons of mass destruction. U.S. State Department, CIA and Pentagon officials, the United Nations, world diplomats, arms inspectors and world religious leaders warned that those premises were, at minimum, shaky. They are now being increasingly questioned by the American public and their elected officials.

Missing cartoon's meaning
As someone who has always enjoyed John Corso's quick wit, I was surprised that he either didn't get the point or took offense at Gary Trudeau (Doonesbury) having his cartoon president express doubts about his own military service record when compared to that of General Wes Clark because "the Guard is a joke."

Juneau Co-op Preschool is a community asset
I appreciated your recent article about preschool teacher and yoga instructor Rhonda Gardinier. My children have attended Juneau Co-op Preschool for the past four years and Rhonda is a great example of the caliber of the teachers there.

Please help drill team
I would like to address the cancellation of this year's Juneau-Douglas drill/dance team tryouts. I wanted to let you all know how the people in our school are affected by this postponement. I have been going to the drill team clinics since I was five years old and many of my friends have, too. Many of the girls at Juneau-Douglas High School were really looking forward to drill team tryouts. However, there is a problem. We need some coaches to go on with this year's tryouts. We know that the school district is trying their hardest to find a coach. We all hope that if some of you who are cut out to be a coach for the drill team would really come and help.

Good news: There's still a Dance Drill Team
Good news everyone! The JDHS Dance Drill Team is alive and well and has a full slate of coaches. Tryouts were postponed - not cancelled. Tryout training clinics will be held Saturday, Oct. 11, from 1-4 p.m. at Marie Drake; Monday, Oct. 13, from 7-9 p.m. at Harborview; Tuesday, Oct. 14, and Wednesday, Oct. 15, from 7-9 p.m. at Marie Drake. Tryouts will be held beginning at 5 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 16 at Marie Drake.

Seeking true campaign finance reform
I view the ongoing campaign finance and lobbying disclosure controversies as merely the consequences of many citizens allowing themselves to be treated like political quadriplegics.

Teachers are not creating a 'product'
After reading Mr. Hale's article, "I support the teachers, but...," I felt the pain of so many of our Alaskan educators and administrators. Mr. Hale, you imply that teachers' salaries are to be based on the "product they produce." With all due respect, the public classroom is not a factory. Our children are not products. They are human beings and it is not the job of the teacher to "produce" quality product. That's your job and the job of every single parent and guardian.

Voter turnout in Juneau drops from 49 to 35 percent since 2000 election
Voter turnout was down in Tuesday's city election compared to 2000 when the races for mayor and Assembly were tighter, according to unofficial vote tallies. Nearly 35 percent of registered voters cast ballots Tuesday, compared to 49 percent in 2000.

Learning early about gun safety
Handled with care: Juneau Police Officer Matt Torok, left, demonstrates safe gun-handling skills to Floyd Dryden Middle School student Brandon Shaw on Wednesday during a hunter education program at the Juneau Gun Club range. More than 200 sixth-graders from Floyd Dryden Middle School traded math class for firearm safety instruction and protractors for .22-caliber hunting rifles this week.

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

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

Changes in bears tied to less accessible garbage
The Sitka area wildlife biologist for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game said he doesn't doubt a Tenakee Springs man was legally justified in shooting two brown bears in August. Phil Mooney said he is sure the man, who was not identified, acted in defense of life or property, as state law allows, in the community about 45 miles southwest of Juneau. He said the reason the case isn't closed is that one of the required reports explaining the man's justifications hasn't reached his office.

Walk to school
Teacher's aide Brian Felix, far right, escorts a group of Gastineau Elementary School students as they walk to school from Savikko Park on Wednesday morning. About 155 students and 32 adults at four Juneau schools - Gastineau in Douglas, Riverbend and Glacier Valley in the Mendenhall Valley, and Harborview downtown - participated in International Walk to School Day. It was sponsored by the Juneau Safe Kids Coalition and is intended to promote physical activity and pedestrian safety.

Survey says Juneau split on road debate
Juneau residents are divided over whether to build a road to Skagway or improve Lynn Canal ferry service, according to a study released this week by the State Department of Transportation. Haines and Skagway overwhelmingly support improved ferry service, according to the poll conducted this summer by the Juneau-based McDowell Group.

FYI
Births, judgments and other legal happenings.

This Day in History
In Alaska • In 1914, a speed-limit law with a top speed of 8 mph was put into effect in Juneau. • In 1959, Gov. William Egan publicly opposed Alaskan House Majority Leader Peter Kalamarides' suggestion that the capital be moved from Juneau.

Nurse describes life in Iraq since U.S. attack
Most of the Juneau residents who attended a speech Thursday night about post-war Iraq were familiar with the tales of chaos, hunger and other bleak conditions they heard from Seattle nurse Gerri Haynes. In the words of one attendee, Haynes was "preaching to the choir." The nurse spent two weeks in Iraq last spring during her fourth trip to the country, and the report she gave at Thursday's event, sponsored by the Juneau World Affairs Council, was non-combative but strongly critical of the Bush administration and the war in Iraq.

As they say in Vicenza, in cod we trust
VICENZA, Italy - From the Middle Ages through the Renaissance, Italy produced renowned explorers, travelers and navigators who awoke the appetites of Europeans for trade and conquest. Marco Polo, from Venice, brought tales of the court of Kubla Khan, not to mention diamonds and rubies stuffed in the hems of his coat. Christopher Columbus, from Genoa, discovered a whole new world and later, Amerigo Vespucci, a Florentine, mapped it and gave his name to two continents.

Group mounts effort to recall Murkowski
Following the success of the California recall, Alaskans in Anchorage, Fairbanks and the Kenai Peninsula are meeting this weekend in Talkeetna to craft language for a ballot initiative to recall Gov. Frank Murkowski. Soren Wuerth, 38, a former chairman for the Alaska Green Party and an Anchorage activist who has worked on various initiatives for more than a decade, called Murkowski morally bankrupt for policy decisions he's made since taking office last year. Murkowski spokesman John Manly said the group has no legal grounds for recalling the governor.

AroundTown
Juneau Gastineau Rotary Club weekly meeting, 7 a.m., The Prospector Hotel. Details: 789-4354. Airport Board Finance Committee meeting, 9 a.m., Taku Room of the Juneau Airport. Details: 789-7821. Storytime, 11 a.m., Douglas library. Details: 586-5303. Litter Free, Inc. meeting, noon, Mendenhall Library. Details: John, 789-5601, or Laurie, 790-4768. "Sharing Our Secret Carrot Recipes," a Juneau Garden Club potluck, noon, Valley Senior Center. Details: Carolyn, 789-9724. Baby-Parent Time, noon-1:30 p.m., Bartlett Regional Hospital administration building classroom. For parents and their infants up to 1 year old.

Voter turnout in Juneau drops from 49 to 35 percent since 2000 election
Voter turnout was down in Tuesday's city election compared to 2000 when the races for mayor and Assembly were tighter, according to unofficial vote tallies. Nearly 35 percent of registered voters cast ballots Tuesday, compared to 49 percent in 2000.

Hoonah vets, circa 1945
Hoonah soldiers who served in World War II pose for a photo in about 1945. The small village sent more than 50 men to serve in the conflict. "Many of the men who went to war were attending school at Wrangell Institute when the war started," veteran Amos Wallace said. Left to right, are (front row) Phil James, James Williams Sr., William (Buster) Davis, Charlie Sumdum, Adam Greenwald, Richard Dalton Sr., Al Anderson, Wallace, (back row) Kelly St. Clair Sr., Leo Houston Sr., Frank Wright Sr., Richard Bean Sr., Charlie Marvin, Edwin Lindoff, George Mayeda and Bill Horten.

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

25,000 public comments pour in on roadless rule
The U.S. Forest Service has received about 25,000 comments on a proposal that would exempt the Tongass National Forest from the roadless rule temporarily, Alaska Region spokesman Ray Massey said Thursday. The comment period on the proposed regulation closed last month. Comments are being analyzed as the agency's ecosystems planning staff works on recommendations to send to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which will make the final determination.

... for supporting disc golf
The Juneau Disc Golf Association would like to thank the following businesses and organizations for supporting the development of the Dimond Park Disc Golf Course.

... for benefit luncheon
The elegant Ladies in Red Luncheon benefiting the Armed Forces Emergency Services Program was a great success.

... helping fight cancer
On behalf of the American Cancer Society and the Juneau Relay for Life Committee, we want to offer our heart felt thanks to everyone for their contribution to the 2nd Annual Relay for Life.

Student recognition
Army Reserve Pfc. Katrina J. Hotch has graduated from basic military training at Fort Leonard Wood, Waynesville, Mo.

Photo: Salmon Glacier
Salmon Glacier, located north of Hyder, emerges from low clouds and fog in early September.

Teacher Talk: Recognizing teachers' impact on young people
While growing up in California, I didn't have many of the luxuries that today's students have, but I did have excellent teachers who helped me throughout my school years, pushing me to achieve my best. Economically, my family would have been considered disadvantaged. Ethnically I am Irish, German and Native American. My parents focused rightly on raising seven children to be productive adults. They didn't have the energy necessary to attend parent meetings, conferences or band performances, but they did take pride in my achievements and encourage me to do my best.

Neighbors Digest
Community-related news in brief.

Evely Henkins
Juneau resident Evelyn Henkins, 85, died Sept. 26, 2003, in Juneau.

My Turn: Cape Fox land bill: Justice for Alaska Natives now
As former president of Sealaska Corp., I've seen many emotional arguments against development, sometimes made just as passionately as the complaints against the proposed land exchange involving Sealaska and the Cape Fox Village Corporation of Saxman. That doesn't mean that the complaints are accurate, fair or just.

In Arnold, conservatives are embracing wrong man
California's recall - a riot of millionaires masquerading as a "revolt of the people" - began with a rich conservative Republican congressman, who could think of no other way he might become governor, financing the gathering of the necessary signatures. Now this exercise in "direct democracy" - precisely what America's Founders devised institutions to prevent - has ended with voters, full of self pity and indignation, removing an obviously incompetent governor. They have removed him from the office to which they re-elected him after he had made his incompetence obvious by making most of the decisions that brought the voters to a boil.

Election reflections
T he first order of business is to congratulate the winners: Juneau's new (renewed) mayor Bruce Botelho; Assembly members David Stone and Dan Peterson; School Board members Julie Morris, Andi Story, Phyllis Carlson and Rhonda Befort.

Cavs beat Hawks, improve to 2-0 in NBA preseason
ASHEVILLE, N.C. - LeBron James had six points, three rebounds and three assists as the Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Atlanta Hawks 83-80 in a preseason game Wednesday night. James played 30 minutes, shooting 3-of-7 from the field. His shots included an airball and a one-handed breakaway dunk that left the sellout crowd at the Asheville Civic Center buzzing.

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.

Runaway success
Brian Felix doesn't appear remarkable when he is standing, in street clothes, with a group of other students from Juneau-Douglas High School. His chiseled physique hidden by loose-fitting clothes, Felix doesn't look extremely large and sometimes he even appears smaller than his listed 6-foot-0, 196 pounds. Instead, Felix comes across as kind of quiet and shy, but with a quick grin as he rides his scooter to school. It's when he puts his pads on and steps onto the football field that Felix sets himself apart from the rest of his peers. A junior, this year Felix has put together the best season a running back has ever had for the top-ranked Crimson Bears.

Alaska state football playoffs
The brackets for the 2003 Alaska State Football Playoffs, which opened on Friday, Oct. 3

Sports in Juneau
Today, Oct. 9; Juneau Youth Football League - Junior Division Playoffs, championship game: No. 1 seed vs. No. 2 seed, 7 p.m. at Adair-Kennedy Memorial Park football field (Note: This game has been rescheduled from Oct. 8 due to the state high school football playoffs).

Juneau volleyball team traveling to Sitka for weekend tournament
Four Juneau-Douglas High School volleyball teams will head to Sitka on Friday and Saturday for the 2003 Small Schools Tournament.

Alaska high school state football champions
Past statewide winners, plus Juneau playoff results.

Swimming
Here are Alaska's top 16 times for the 2003 high school swimming season. This list is compiled by Juneau-Douglas High School swim coach John Wray and is through meets of Oct. 4. It includes all reported meets, but is missing results from the Sept. 5 dual meet between West Anchorage and Chugiak. First names are not available for all athletes. Corrections and missing meet results should be sent to Wray at jwray@hisea.org

Bears expect aerial attack from Lathrop
Two of the state's top high school football players will be on display tonight when the top-ranked Juneau-Douglas Crimson Bears take on the No. 5 Lathrop Malemutes in the state football semifinals. The Crimson Bears (7-2) bring junior running back Brian Felix, who has rushed for 1,661 yards and 17 touchdowns this season. Meanwhile, the Malemutes (7-2) feature senior quarterback Brock Graziadei, who has thrown for 1,871 yards and 31 touchdowns, with just five interceptions. Game time is 6 p.m. at Anchorage Football Stadium, and the game will be broadcast on the radio locally on KINY AM 800.

Hoonah vets, circa 1945
Hoonah soldiers who served in World War II pose for a photo in about 1945. The small village sent more than 50 men to serve in the conflict. "Many of the men who went to war were attending school at Wrangell Institute when the war started," veteran Amos Wallace said. Left to right, are (front row) Phil James, James Williams Sr., William (Buster) Davis, Charlie Sumdum, Adam Greenwald, Richard Dalton Sr., Al Anderson, Wallace, (back row) Kelly St. Clair Sr., Leo Houston Sr., Frank Wright Sr., Richard Bean Sr., Charlie Marvin, Edwin Lindoff, George Mayeda and Bill Horten.

Audiotape records fatal bear mauling
Timothy Treadwell can be heard desperately fighting off a brown bear on a three-minute audiotape of the fatal mauling that claimed his life and that of his girlfriend, Amie Huguenard, in Katmai National Park and Preserve earlier this week, Alaska State Troopers disclosed Wednesday. The Malibu couple had been camping in a remote corner of the 4-million-acre park on Alaska's southwest coast for several days to observe the bears. Treadwell, 46, was a self-taught bear expert who frequently described his adventures with the animals on television and in schools.

Whitaker wins Fairbanks race
In local elections around the state, Alaskans chose new mayors and decided such matters as taxes, smoking in public and access to alcohol. New mayors were elected Tuesday in Fairbanks, Juneau, Nome and, possibly, in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough, which was still processing hundreds of absentee and questioned ballots.

Airlift supplies family fighting Park Service
Volunteer pilots have begun flying winter supplies to a family in Wrangell-Saint Elias National Park and Preserve that is embroiled in a fight with the National Park Service. Papa Pilgrim and his wife and 15 children have been unsuccessful in getting a Park Service permit to use the road leading to their back country cabin. Friends and a group called the American Land Rights Association now have begun to assemble donations and willing pilots to make the trip.

Haida travel to museums to collect remains
Archeologists in the late 19th and early 20th centuries believed looting graves was the right thing to do because aboriginal peoples, such as the Haida of the Queen Charlotte Islands, were thought to be dying out. Museums wanted to chronicle their history and fate for posterity. But the Haida didn't die out and for the past eight years they have been successfully negotiating with museums in North America for the return of their ancestors' remains. This weekend, a delegation of 30 Haida travels to the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago for the return of about 140 bones, skulls and some nearly intact bodies.

Photo: Competing in the Humpy 500
Golden King Salmon, driven by Austin Roberts, left, and the Sports Fisher, driven by Thor Stenfjord, await the start of their race with their pit crews behind them last Saturday in the annual Petersburg Chamber of Commerce Humpy 500 Go-Cart race.

This Day in History
In Alaska • In 1914, a speed-limit law with a top speed of 8 mph was put into effect in Juneau. • In 1959, Gov. William Egan publicly opposed Alaskan House Majority Leader Peter Kalamarides' suggestion that the capital be moved from Juneau.

This Day in History
Today in Alaska; in the nation; in the world.

Tribes blast Stevens' remarks
Tribal advocates want an apology from Sen. Ted Stevens, saying he made racist remarks while explaining attempts to prevent Alaska tribes from receiving certain federal grants. Stevens, an Alaska Republican, said last week that the tribal sovereignty movement was a threat to the state.

Man accused of stealing thousands with fake checks
A California man is accused of stealing the identity of an Anchorage man and swindling thousands of dollars from businesses in the victim's name. Albert A. Bachelier III, charged with numerous felony counts, told Anchorage police he dug through trash bins at a state Division of Motor Vehicles office and other places around town to get the records to assume another identity and create fake checks, according to charging documents filed in court this week.

Alaska Digest
News in brief from around the state.

Alaska Briefs
Man charged with sex crimes against girl, 10. JUNEAU - A 38-year-old Juneau man faced a judge this week on five counts of first-degree sexual abuse of a minor. Russel Griffin was released from the Lemon Creek Correctional Center Tuesday after posting $10,000 bail. The charges allege sexual activity with a pre-teen girl on five occasions between Aug. 26 and Oct. 6.

The Swamp
Cartoon by Toe

Snakes, cockroaches and one blood
It's been a year of contrast for world music mezzo-soprano Lila (pronounced Leela) Downs, a product of contrast herself. In March, she became the first Latin woman to perform an Oscar-nominated song at the Academy Awards when she sang "Burn It Blue" from the soundtrack to "Frida" with Brazilian legend Cateano Veloso.

what's happening
Events in Juneau

briefly
Television stand-up comedians Kyle Dunnigan and Juston McKinney will appear at 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 9, at Marlintini's Lounge. Tickets are $12. Dunnigan is one of the newest cast members on "Cedric the Entertainer," which airs Wednesday nights on Fox. He trained with the improv sketch groups Groundlings, Chicago City Limits, Some Assembly Required and Population Ten, then played the role of Johnny Fame on MTV.

A station apart
Nobody is paid to work at KBJZ. The station doesn't advertise, doesn't solicit donations from listeners and acquires most of its music from what volunteer DJs bring to the studio.

The importance of being low-power
KBJZ-LPFM went on the air for the first time Oct. 4, 2002. About a week later, a few days before Columbus Day, the Morning Madame debuted her morning show. Since then, the Madame - Juneau resident/performer/fisher Collette Costa - has held down the 6 a.m.-noon shift Mondays through Fridays. The show may not always be live, but it always starts with "Wake Up Everybody" by Teddy Pendergrass and includes 40 minutes of comedy in each of the first two hours.

A trumpet in violin's clothing
Juneau's Rick Trostel is the principal trumpet player in the Juneau Symphony, a music teacher at Harborview Montessori and an instructor for almost 70 students at his Thrush Hill music studio. Still, he feels conspicuous when he picks up his instrument of 33 years.

movies where & when
Movie schedule

Don't hang up - this is not a sales call
"Hello, Mrs. So-and-So, my name is Julia and I am calling on behalf of the child-care provider you recently inquired about. This is not a sales call, rather I am conducting a brief survey to help us improve our services. Do you have a minute?"

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