Tuesday, October 29, 2002

Integrity and moral fiber
I strongly encourage people to cast their vote for Bruce Weyhrauch for state House. I first heard of my father's friend when they worked on private non-profit hatchery issues.

Apology is due
Fran Ulmer owes U.S. Sen. Frank Murkowski a huge apology for her party's recent targeted mailing labeling him a "Corporate Accomplice" with the Enron and WorldCom debacles, accusing him of aiding and abetting corporate greed. The flyer suggests that Sen. Murkowski is somehow a criminal by placing a silhouetted caricature holding a name and number in front of cell bars.

Juneau treasures
We are fortunate to have two fine candidates for Juneau's Senate seat. I appreciate Cathy Muñoz' long service on the Assembly. I hope she will continue to serve the public in many ways, with her proven care and talent.

Sad but not surprised
As I thumbed through Sunday's Empire, I was saddened but admittedly not surprised by the endorsement of Frank Murkowski. Why was I not surprised? Because your publisher continually fails to reflect the community he supposedly serves in the editorial pages. The publisher either doesn't get it or chooses not to, I suspect the latter.

Fairness for fishermen
Our fishing industry is too important to give it less than our best. I would appreciate your assistance in making sure residents of Alaska's coastal communities are not misled about my position.

Vision of cooperation
Juneau and Ketchikan, and Southeast in general, will be well served if Bruce Weyhrauch is elected to the Legislature.

The need for more
The mantra of the day seems to be "No more..." Whether one is listening to news of local, state, national or international concerns, one hears "No more...."

Intelligent representation
Last night on the KTOO debates, Cathy Muñoz endorsed Frank Murkowski for governor. Voters in Juneau who vote for Fran Ulmer as governor hopefully will not be voting for Cathy Muñoz.

Cathy's voice needed
Cathy Muñoz is skilled at balancing many diverse opinions. A good example of this was her work as co-chair of the Trails Working Group. Cathy brought together the Forest Service, CBJ, Department of Natural Resources, Trail Mix, small business owners, and the public to complete the first comprehensive plan which supported local business while mitigating the impacts of tourism.

Careful thinker, open mind
Election day is fast approaching and those of us who live in Juneau District 4 have a big decision to make about who will fill Bill Hudson's shoes. I believe Bruce Weyhrauch is the best choice to represent us.

Printing question
The problem of the voters pamphlets going to the wrong regions is a very bad mistake but I have a question that has concerned me for some time, which is: Why is the printing of the pamphlets being done in another state when Alaska has well-qualified printers who may have caught the mistake before printing as they would known the names and where they belonged.

Continuing the legacy
I've known Bruce Weyhrauch for many years as my friend and as the attorney for the Alaska Southeast Pilots Association. As a Southeast Alaska Marine pilot for 24 years, I've been involved in many issues that were debated in our Legislature.

It's not 'beauty' that's needed
In your Friday paper I read Erik Lie-Nielsen's letter to the editor supposedly contrasting the gubernatorial contest between Fran Ulmer and Frank Murkowski as a contest between Beauty and the Beast. He referred to Frank Murkowski as an "egocentric, rude, money-oriented, boorish, blockheaded, offensive retrograde, regressive, and taking support from Big Oil and Big Business largely from outside the state."

Stuck with the bill
I would like to thank the people who just voted to raise my property taxes. I am willing to bet that the Bond Proposition 1 was passed by a small number of voters who will have no property tax bill due at the end of next September.

Bus policy leaves kids in tears and in danger
My wife and 11-year old-daughter came home in tears yesterday thanks to our school bus driver. Apparently Hannah rushed off the bus at DZ to retrieve a birthday party invitation for a friend. When she returned the door was closed so she tapped on the door. Instead of acting like a sentient being or kind citizen and opening the portal for the child, the driver chose instead to wag his finger at her, sit for another minute and then drive off. Her backpack and school work were in the bus.

Politicians want roads
Roads, roads, roads. Whenever you pick up a newspaper, you see a politician promising roads. It's the same when you watch TV or listen to the radio. It's very clear that the politicians want more roads. It's also very clear that it's motivated by politicians and not by the people.

Constitutional convention
Alaska's Constitution is one of the best, if not the best, in the United States. It is recognized and used as a model by constitutional scholars around the world. It provides for the protection of group and individual rights. It establishes checks and balances between the three branches of government (legislative, executive, judicial) and the people. It is concise, flexible, and individual parts can be changed or added as needed. One such addition, made in 1972, was our Right To Privacy amendment. The amendment process works well for handling specific areas of concern.

No friend of Saddam
I'm writing to reply to a letter concerning my brief 1990 visit with Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein (Images and Action, Oct. 23). In spring 1990, as a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, I and four other U.S. senators were on a tour of Mideast nations attempting to gauge the possibilities for Mideast peace. In Egypt, President Hosni Mubarak urged us to change our plans and meet with Hussein in Iraq.

Don't appease the majority
I am a lifelong Alaskan and I believe Kim Elton has done a great job as Juneau's senator for the past four years. We are lucky Kim is willing to serve. Kim fights hard every day for the families and working people of Juneau and brings home real results because of his integrity, honesty, and sincere commitment to doing the right thing - not just for the people of Juneau, but for all Alaskans.

Bruce understands what balance is
I've had the good fortune of knowing Bruce Weyhrauch for some time now. Bruce is a solid choice to replace Rep. Hudson for House District 4. Bruce is sensitive and knowledgeable to the needs of small businesses yet understands the role and importance of government in the community.

The best candidate
Sen. Kim Elton deserves reelection because of his great success in bringing good jobs and economic development to Juneau.

The problem doesn't exist
It was with interest that I read the excellent My Turn in Sunday's paper about the new push by our dog cop unit to leash all dogs on Juneau's trails and parks. My reaction was one of what brought this on? Is there really a problem here?

Remember state pride?
Recent debates and statements to the media have sharpened Alaskans' collective vision of the two front-running gubernatorial candidate's platforms. Fran Ulmer says she will tax my income and your income to pay for more government. Frank Murkowski says that the fiscal gap can be narrowed with the kind of economic stimulus that Alaska hasn't seen for the last eight years; and that new taxes won't be part of his plan. Fran Ulmer says she just might want your permanent fund dividend so that she won't have to cut budgets or raise non-tax revenues. Frank Murkowski knows that PFDs are vital to Alaskans, and has proposed a fiscal plan that will keep politician's hands out of our wallets.

Environmentalists, drugs, Fran
Having served in the cabinets of Gov. Hickel and Gov. Hammond, I worked with Murkowski and Ulmer. I well remember the differences between the administrations and their philosophies. The Hammond administration was the beginning of a liberal attitude in state government.

A leader with courage
We are fortunate to have a candidate for governor who believes Alaskans are grown up enough to hear the truth and smart enough to understand straight talk about the future of this state.

Schools need Proposition C
I am writing in support of Proposition C. Proposition C would help fund needed educational facilities expenses. Money for these projects will not come just from Proposition C, but also from other sources, including the local school districts, but these important projects cannot be completed without this support.

Sticks and stones
Edwin Johnson chastised me in the editorial page of Monday's Empire. I don't think I ever met the man. Nonetheless, he infers a good bit about my character, saying I am "brainwashed." Presumably that's because he disagrees with my political views.

Candidate with backbone
We all have our own way of divining whom we will vote for. Pet issues, campaign promises, flyers we get in the mail, opinions of trusted friends, all of these play their part. But how well do we know these people? Probably not well enough.

Government should enhance private-sector economy
Alaska has the opportunity to return to its "statehood roots" and get out of the environmental "dark ages" we have been laboring under since the gubernatorial election of 1974. This can be accomplished by electing Frank Murkowski governor in the upcoming election.

A governor should listen
In 1995 Sen. Murkowski introduced a bill that would have made logging the dominant use of the Tongass and required the Forest Service to provide 2,400 timber jobs no matter what the cost to others who depend on the Tongass, like fishermen, tourism and recreation businesses, and hunters.

End domestic violence
While it is commendable that 350 people marched in Juneau for peace, how many people marched this month to end domestic violence? Until we have peace in our homes and families, how can we ever hope to achieve world peace ?

Ready to debate
On Sunday I was asked to enter into a debate with Sen. Frank Murkowski and Lt. Gov. Fran Ulmer by Dan Saddler at Bartlett High School in Anchorage Thursday. This was at 7 p.m. and around midnight he called me back and said that the leading candidates for governor would not allow the other governor candidates to debate, treating us like we were second-class citizens.

Getting nervous?
The supporters of Kim Elton must be getting nervous because they're starting to use dirty campaigning.

Crab harvesters are for Bruce
We members of the largest association of Bering Sea crab harvesters are writing in support of Bruce Weyhrauch in his bid for Alaska Legislature. Bruce is very well qualified for this position and will make a great legislator. He is very familiar with legislative process, and has worked with us on legislative matters for more than a decade.

Experienced senator
I've been amused at the tenor of Cathy Muñoz's campaign for state Senate. Cathy and some of her supporters think that legislators must be at all committee meetings to be effective.

Honesty, knowledge
As the owner of a small seafood processing business, I have worked with Bruce Weyhrauch for the last several years. I am impressed with his honesty and his knowledge of how Southeast Alaska's commercial fishing economy works, as well as his interest in Alaska's well-being.

Senate majority insults voters
Two huge issues confronted the state in the last Legislature - subsistence and a state fiscal plan. The Alaska Senate stonewalled both, bringing us no closer to the solutions the public wanted. What did the majority that controlled the senate do instead?

Rare leadership
Juneau is lucky this year. We have two really qualified people running for the state Senate. They both know our community; they've both served on the Assembly; they both have businesses and families here in the capital.

Cathy gets the vote
When we compare the two candidates for our Senate seat, I can only support one candidate and that is Cathy Muñoz. She is not a one-issue candidate. I have known Cathy since she was in high school with our children and it is rewarding to see how she has grown into a responsible young women.

Weyhrauch supports fishermen
As commercial fishermen and long-time residents of Juneau, we support Bruce Weyhrauch for House District 4. For many years, Bruce has worked closely with Southeast Alaska's fisheries, representing various commercial fleets before Alaska's Legislature, with federal agencies, and in the court system.

Bipartisan efforts
"Alaska leads the nation in alcohol abuse. Statistics show that 80 percent of all crimes are committed by individuals under the influence of alcohol or drugs." - U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens, Republican

Record of results
Sen. Kim Elton's opponent says that Juneau needs a senator who can work with members of both parties. I agree. That is precisely why I am voting to re-elect Sen. Elton to the state Senate.

Majority-endorsed
The Republican Senate Leadership Council has been actively involved in all 17 Alaska Senate races being held this election cycle.

Astute management
Lt. Gov. Fran Ulmer's bid for governor brings to this race one of the most qualified persons to ever seek this office. In her career as legal counsel to the Legislature, assistant to the governor, mayor of Juneau, state representative, and lieutenant governor, she demonstrated her outstanding ability to bring all parties to the table for resolution of differing opinions and realistic compromise.

Heart and experience
As a teacher, I have kept an interested eye on state funding for education and school construction. I am voting to re-elect Sen. Kim Elton because he understands the complicated mechanics of the foundation formula, how it works for both urban and rural districts, and the need to offset the erosion of inflation on our classrooms.

Tools for success
As a student and a voter in the state of Alaska, I support Bruce Weyhrauch in his campaign for representative. I had the privilege of working for him over the summer a few years ago, where I witnessed his passion for education and his desire to equip students, such as myself, with the skills of the working world.

'Backwater' relations
As a former Sitka resident, I have to take offense with Donn Liston characterizing it as a "backwater." I was raised in Sitka and know many smart, hard-working,friendly people that are anything but "backwater." It is comments like that that drive a wedge between Juneau and the other fine communities in S.E. Alaska.

Unfailingly polite, respectful
As a resident of Juneau since 1985, I've watched legislators come and go, work hard and hardly work. I can say, without hesitation, that Sen. Kim Elton is one of the hardest working, most dedicated, and most caring ones with whom I've had the pleasure to interact.

Imagine the ideal governor
Imagine a governor who is honest, genuine, smart, hard working, personable, and easy to understand. Imagine a governor who becomes as informed as possible before making decisions, makes every attempt to understand all points of view, and is responsible with the use of public money.

A reasonable voice
In my classroom, we don't use "putdowns." Instead, we offer "appreciations" or compliments for a classmate's work or effort. It's a pity that similar rules don't apply to state election campaigns. This time of year is ripe with smears, insinuations and other innuendoes.

Response to Empire's endorsement
I suppose we shouldn't be surprised by the Juneau Empire's endorsement of Frank Murkowski. But, oh for the days when a hometown newspaper was owned by people who lived in the town! For what does this endorsement represent?

Big tobacco's deadly influence
As election day approaches, our future elected officials are staking out their stand on issues that will be important to us all. One issue that I'm concerned about is protecting kids from big tobacco.

Advocate for children
For me, the critical issue in this year's race for governor is how Alaska treats kids. Fran Ulmer has proven she truly values Alaska's young people and understands how we as a state can promote our children's health and well-being. Fran has always been an advocate for children. In the last eight years alone she has been instrumental in establishing and supporting the Alaska Children's Trust fund, and has been outspoken in promoting the governor's children's agenda, including Denali Kidcare.

Politician and role model
Having grown up in Alaska and spent part of that time in Juneau working in the Legislature, I like to follow the ongoing issues facing Alaska. With the governor race I find two qualified candidates, however uniquely qualified in different ways. I have never met Sen. Murkowski so I cannot speak to potential as the governor.

Endorsement based on gossip, not facts
I wrote the Empire's editorial endorsement of Knowles-Ulmer eight years ago, and I've had the privilege of working for them for the past seven years. So, yes, your endorsement of Frank Murkowski over Fran Ulmer really cheese me off.

Show your support
I have known Cathy Muñoz all of my life. She is a hard worker, nice person, and a strong supporter of youth activities who has done a lot for the city of Juneau. I have helped Cathy in her campaign by delivering and putting up yard signs.

Ignore the editorial
I'm not surprised the publisher of the Empire endorsed the Republican candidate for governor in the Sunday edition, given the conservative flavor of the editorial page in recent years. But I think Mr. Smith has it backwards, and should perhaps go to Washington where he will feel more comfortable, and where his choice for governor actually belongs. A Sitka writer said it best in a letter published here some time ago, when he stated the obvious: We need Sen. Murkowski in the U.S. Senate where he usually knows what's going on and, teamed with our delegation, can get things done. His campaign thus far has proved that he knows far too little about what it takes to govern Alaska.

Local and state Briefs
Fog stalls air traffic in Juneau - again; Company withdraws proposal to use trail at Brotherhood Bridge; Mayor assigns members to committees; Wasilla woman sentenced in son's arson death; Husband shoots wife, tries to kill himself

Assembly to hold off on stream buffer changes
Juneau Assembly members on Monday unanimously decided not to include changes to stream-buffer rules in an amendment to the city's comprehensive plan, deciding instead to tackle the issue later.City Community Development Director Dale Pernula suggested the Assembly remove language that specified requested changes in the code governing development near streams and lakes. Instead, the comprehensive plan amendment would direct the city to "consider" making changes.

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

Bear shot after attacking dog
A Thane resident killed a black bear known for causing problems in the neighborhood Saturday evening after it attacked his dog.

Police search for valley rapist
Police are looking for a man who allegedly broke into a woman's Mendenhall Valley home and raped her over the weekend.

Bike company may withdraw trail tour proposal
The city's Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee is scheduled to consider a proposal Tuesday that would allow commercial bike tours on part of the Kaxdigoowu Heen Trail near Brotherhood Bridge, although the company proposing the tours will likely withdraw its application.

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

Calling to curb session move
Sen. Kim Elton, a Democrat, and Republican challenger Cathy Muñoz call Juneau residents Sunday urging them to vote no on ballot measure No. 2, which would move legislative sessions out of Juneau.

Photo: North Douglas firewood
Jane Terry lifts a cut tree as she and Peter Cross cut and collect firewood along North Douglas Highway near False Outer Point on Monday. The roadside trees have been cut for an AEL&P project, and Terry and Cross were making use of the downed and free wood.

Cruise ship researcher to speak
Ross Klein, an author and professor of sociology at Memorial University of Newfoundland in St. John's, will speak about his research on the cruise ship industry in Juneau on Wednesday.

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

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

Leah Comer Beck
Leah Comer Beck died Oct. 23, 2002, at Mount Edgecumbe Hospital in Sitka.

Ervin E. Hagerup
Former Juneau resident Ervin E. Hagerup, 87, died Oct. 4, 2002, at Overlake Hospital Medical Center in Bellevue, Wash.

Lois L. Weeks
Juneau resident Lois L. Weeks, 71, died Oct. 22, 2002, at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

My Turn: Why Lt. Gov. Fran Ulmer is the best choice for governor
I won't take a back seat to anyone when it comes to promoting the development of Alaska's natural resources. The Alaska AFL-CIO, an organization representing 60,000 Alaskans, also doesn't play second fiddle to any individual or organization when it comes to supporting and promoting good jobs and a strong economy for Alaskans. So I must take exception with the opinions of my good friend and colleague, Jerry Hood, regarding the condition of our state's economy and with regard to which candidate for governor is best qualified to address the challenges and opportunities for Alaska.

My Turn: 8 years of growth under Knowles, Ulmer
Paulette Simpson's doom-and-gloom portrayal of how Juneau has fared under the Knowles-Ulmer Administration (Empire, Oct. 24 was filled with numerous inaccuracies and misleading statements.

My Turn: Alaska is long overdue in building a highway system
Economic and social advancement of great civilizations have always been tied to functional surface transportation systems. One needs only to study the Roman Empire and its extensive road system to realize that its culture and economy depended on its roads.

Empire editorial: Kerttula for District 3 House seat
Republican challenger Mike Race is making his third run at besting Democratic incumbent Beth Kerttula for the House District 3 seat. The district, traditionally a Democratic stronghold, encompasses downtown Juneau, Douglas, Lemon Creek and the Juneau airport area.

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

Lakers go for fourth straight title
The quest for a four-peat has begun, and so has the taunting from the Los Angeles Lakers.

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.

Rosen powers way to world crown
Juneau powerlifter Ira Rosen waited week after week for the news this summer. Rosen, 52, a national record holder in his weight class of the men's masters age 50-54 competition, was forced to miss this year's national masters championships in May due to a back injury. But he still had a shot at making this month's world competition in Villa de Maria, Argentina, as an alternate, and he waited to hear from the U.S. team coach.

Carlos Boozer's big night
When former Juneau-Douglas High School basketball star Carlos Boozer Jr. makes his NBA debut tonight, it will be coming off the bench as a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers' "Kiddie Corps."Boozer, a 6-foot-8, 258-pound rookie power forward out of Duke University and Cleveland's top second-round pick in June's NBA Draft, will become just the second former Alaska high school player to play in the NBA.

Ulmer aims to be state's first woman governor
She's been part of the inner circle for the past eight years, serving as lieutenant to a popular two-term governor. But Lt. Gov. Fran Ulmer has been waging largely an underdog campaign in her bid to become the first woman elected to the state's top office. And that's with good reason.

Anti-war march in Anchorage
Two women carry signs honoring U.S. Sen. Paul Wellstone at a Saturday rally opposing military action against Iraq. Wellstone, a Minnesota Democrat killed last week in a plane crash, opposed a congressional resolution authorizing military action against Iraq. The rally coincided with other anti-war rallies across the country.

Resolutions at annual convention focus on tribal sovereignty
Delegates to the Alaska Federation of Natives annual convention voted over the weekend to approve resolutions to protect tribal sovereignty.

Ice artists go into sculpture business
FAIRBANKS - As if six months of frozen fingers aren't enough, two local artists want to make ice sculpting a year-round art form.Heather Brown and Steve Brice, who have worked side by side in the World Ice Art Championships and decorated the city with outdoor ice art for years, have joined to create indoor ice sculptures for parties, weddings, conventions and banquets.

Four try long-shot chance to be governor
Small parties have played a large role in some of Alaska's gubernatorial elections. But a batch of minor-party candidates isn't expected to make such a splash this year, said one political science professor.Republican Frank Murkowski and Democrat Fran Ulmer have monopolized the political energy this year and no small-party candidate appears to have the steam to draw a lot of votes, said Jerry McBeath of the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Alaska Natives opt against backing gubernatorial candidate
The Alaska Federation of Natives will not endorse a candidate for governor this year. The question never came to the floor at the annual convention, which in itself speaks volumes, said AFN Chief of Staff Mike Irwin. The largest annual gathering of Native people in the state ended Saturday.

Lockout led to pamphlet delay
Voter pamphlets for the Nov. 5 election arrived late in Juneau residents' mailboxes last week due in part to a 10-day West Coast dockworkers lockout, according to the state Division of Elections.

Murkowski seeks solutions in oil drilling
Frank Murkowski thinks a little belt-tightening and a lot more oil could plug the nation's largest state budget gap. Republican Murkowski says his plan could spare Alaskans from opening their pocketbooks after a generation of not paying a statewide income tax. But Murkowski's approach has its detractors, and a state oil regulator says, while possible, it would be a Herculean feat.

To many Alaskans, 'environmentalist' is a pejorative term
Harry Crawford is an ironworker with a deep-fried Southern drawl and pro-union politics. It is difficult to imagine him hugging a tree. But Crawford, an incumbent state representative from East Anchorage, is spending much of his re-election effort trying to convince voters that he is not bent on trying to stifle development in Alaska.

Race for governor's seat
Opponents: Republican gubernatorial candidate Sen. Frank Murkowski, an Alaska Republican, left, shakes the hand of Democratic candidate Lt. Gov. Fran Ulmer after a gubernatorial forum at the Alaska Federation of Natives convention Friday in Anchorage.

Ulmer protests ads attacking record
ANCHORAGE - Republican political advertisements blasting Fran Ulmer for actions as a legislator distort her record and attempt to mislead voters, Ulmer said Monday.Ulmer, the Democratic nominee for governor, said the ads are designed to distract voters from a central issue of the campaign - the gap between state earnings and spending.

Road to Homer reopened
The Sterling Highway, which connects Homer with the rest of the Kenai Peninsula, was reopened today. Murph O'Brien with the state Department of Transportation said the washouts at the Deep Creek Bridge have undergone their initial repair and one lane of the highway is reopened with flaggers directing traffic. The Sterling Highway at Stariski Creek also is opened to one lane of traffic.

Murkowski campaign dismisses column as speculation
Republican Sen. Frank Murkowski dismissed a report that Teamster official Jerry Hood would be a possible replacement to fill his U.S. Senate term if he's elected governor.A Murkowski spokesman said the senator has not made a decision and disputed a Sunday Chicago Sun-Times column by conservative pundit Robert Novak.

Murkowski touts McCovey field to close fiscal gap
ANCHORAGE - As part of his plan to close the state's fiscal gap, Republican candidate for governor Frank Murkowski is touting what he says is a new North Slope oil field that could pump hundreds of millions of dollars into the state treasury within the next few years. "It's a field we hope will come in with as much as 300,000 barrels a day and which would provide the state with as much as $400 million a year by 2006," Murkowski told a statewide television audience from Fairbanks last week.

Rahoi launches write-in campaign against Whitaker
FAIRBANKS - State representative Jim Whitaker will have some competition in next week's election. Fairbanks octogenarian and perennial candidate Urban Rahoi has filed to run as a write-in candidate against Whitaker in his bid for re-election to the Alaska House representing Fairbanks.

One Ward challenger drops out of race
The Democrat seeking to unseat state Sen. Jerry Ward has dropped out and thrown his support to the Republican Moderate in the race.

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