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Wednesday, October 29, 2003

Driver deserves sympathy as well
To the driver which struck Skyler: I don't know who you are, but you have my deepest sympathies for what you must be going through. I hope that you seek counseling and that you have a support system. Please remember that it was an accident.

Why is traffic light not in use?
For an unknown reason the yellow blinking traffic signal on Glacier Highway at the old Penske garage entrance of the Kmart building was recently extinguished.

Guards helping tourists, but not youths
I wonder why so many crossing guards are working downtown in the summer, earning $13 per hour, to assist tourists crossing our streets and yet we have none to assist our children...

Some type of traffic control needed
Since the traffic island has been in place and the traffic light installed at Steven Richards and Loop Road, it is definitely easier - and safer - to get out of our neighborhood (we live behind Glacier Valley school) during high-traffic times.

Bicycle safety seminars needed
When was the last time a bicycle safety seminar was held in any of the Juneau schools? I am a 14-year-old student and the last time I was taught about bicycle safety was in the first grade in Mountain Home, Idaho.

Rebutting arguments for a road
Matt Koepple chastises me for my opinion about a road north from Juneau (Oct. 21). With all due respect to Mr. Koepelle and his unique perspective as a DOT employee, which undoubtedly qualifies him far better than me - and perhaps opens issues of conflict of interest - I wish to point out some flaws in his argument.

Why people want forest policy change
Why are they giving away our forest? Officials with the United States Forest Service state that the embarrassing numbers on timber industry subsidies are correct, but the Forest Service is not in the business of making money. However, they fail to answer the crucial question - "why are they giving away our forest?"

A voice of agreement
Touche Mr. Tom Milliron. "Amazing Grace" is what I hear from your article in "My Turn" on Sunday, Oct. 26.

Slow down at intersections
One accident leads to a fatality on an intersection near my apartment complex. I remember listening to the radio and heard the news that there was an accident on Mendenhall Loop road early in the morning. When the victim was a 10 year-old boy who was crossing the street got hit by a driver driving a truck, I was shocked and angry. The question I asked myself is why did it happen? Why are the pedestrians the target of fast drivers?

Anyone can be a MADD Mother
I'm writing as a MADD Mother. No, I'm not an angry woman: I'm a father of two children. It may surprise you to know Mothers Against Drunk Driving is made up of 65 percent men and 70 percent of MADD members are not direct victims of alcohol-related vehicle injuries. We are people who realize how serious driving drunk and underage drinking is.

Please be more courteous on trails
I must comment on the committee to look into dogs on trails and dogs on trails in general. I walk my dog on the trail along the Mendenhall River three or more days a week year-round. Some of the other dogs we encounter are better behaved than others, but I have never felt myself or my dog in danger from another dog. I cannot say the same for a few inconsiderate bicycle riders.

Pets need special attention
I agree with the gentleman that said we all are entitled to have pets, but you must be a responsible pet owner. My husband and I choose to call ourselves parents. Our precious girl is a child to us. She is a beautiful Great Pyrenees and very spoiled, although we are her parents and we decide what is best for her. You dog lovers need to remember that no matter the dog's age, they only mature to a level of a 3-year-old child. And as you would a 3-year-old, you need to protect her from trouble she could get into that could hurt others, and also protect her from herself.

Too many words?
I read Joe Geldhof's letter to the editor published Sunday, Oct. 26, titled "Not speaking for the organization." I think Mr. Geldhof was telling us that he does not speak on behalf of his employer, the Marine Engineers' Beneficial Association (MEBA), when he comments about the cruise ship industry. It sure took him a lot of words to say that, though. I never thought he purported to speak for MEBA in that regard, but understand how people could make such an association.

Photo: Icebreaker in port
The Coast Guard cutter Healy, the newest polar icebreaker/research vessel, docked in Juneau on Friday. The 420-foot ship was in town for a regular port call. It had been in the Arctic Ocean doing scientific research and it sets sail today for its home port of Seattle, Wash.

Juneau sewer rates more than double those of Anchorage, higher than Fairbanks
Juneau's wastewater rates as of Dec. 1 will be more than double those in Anchorage and slightly higher than the rates in Fairbanks. Juneau's water rates will continue to be lower than those in Anchorage and Fairbanks.

Around Town
Today: Day of Quilting, Sewing and Good Fellowship, 10 a.m. every Wednesday, Resurrection Lutheran Church. Quilts donated to Lutheran World Relief. Details: 586-2380. Low-Impact Exercise, 10 a.m., Juneau Senior Center and Valley Senior Center. Details: 463-6175. Storytime, 11 a.m., downtown library. Details: 586-5303.

Panel OKs preliminary plans for subdivision
Juneau's planning commissioners agreed on at least one thing Tuesday night with developers of a proposed 25-home subdivision upstream from the Mendenhall Wetlands.

This Day in History
In Alaska: • In 1867, an Army post was established at Sitka, with General Jefferson C. Davis in command. • In 1918, Juneau was quarantined to help prevent the spread of Spanish influenza. • In 1940, radio station KINY-AM moved into the Decker Building in downtown Juneau.

Citizens petition to change crossing
Skyler Lee Kim's grandmother presented a petition with about 300 signatures to the city Assembly Monday night seeking changes to an intersection where Kim and another resident were killed in the past three months.

Man accused in burglaries decides not to agree to deal
A man charged this spring in two felony cases involving vehicle burglaries left a Juneau courtroom Tuesday facing a possible third indictment after rejecting a plea agreement.

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

Around Town
Today: Valley Toastmasters meeting, 6:10 a.m. every Tuesday, Henry's. Details: Jim, 789-3074. Sewing Circle, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Valley Senior Center. Details: Betty, 789-7236. Life Ring, a support group for women, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. every Tuesday and Thursday, Cathedral of the Nativity basement, Fifth and Gold streets. Lunch is provided, all are welcome. Details: Cathedral of the Nativity, 586-1513. Quilting Circle, noon-4 p.m. every Tuesday, Valley Senior Center. Sponsored by the Quilting Resource Center. Details: Betty, 789-7236.

This Day in History
In Alaska • In 1936, members of the Matanuska Valley Farmers Cooperative Association formed the largest distributor of locally grown produce in Alaska, Matanuska Maid. • In 1949, amidst growing skepticism over the validity of the Fishwheel Gold Strike, 160 miles north of Fairbanks on the Yukon River, a University of Alaska geologist revealed one of the nuggets he examined from the strike was brass and two others were pocket worn.

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

Photo: Almost gone
Left to right, Staff Sgt. Jacob Johnston, Spc. Clinton Grant, Spc. Zachary Barrickman, Sgt. Robert Rein, and Sgt. 1st class Donald Ramey watch the horror movie "28 Days Later" on a portable DVD player while waiting for the arrival of the plane that will take them and the other 800 men of the Army's 1st Battalion, 501st Parachute Infantry regiment being deployed from Fort Richardson to Afghanistan on Monday.

Middle school students offer Halloween treat for young kids
Little ghosts will roam and plastic ducks will be yanked out of the water by magnets, as middle school students put on the popular Ghost Walk at Mount Jumbo Gym.

Thank you
... for senior meals program support

Blowin' in the Wind
Organist J. Allan MacKinnon plies his trade on the theater organ last week at the State Office Building. MacKinnon performed a medley of counterculture folk singer Bob Dylan's hits along with some lesser-known tunes. The sonorous instrument gave a new authority and weight to such favorites as "The Times They Are A-Changin," "A Hard Rain's A Gonna Fall" and "Don't Think Twice, It's All Right."f

Building balsa bridges, then breaking them
A Building Balsa Bridges presentation and activities will take place in the Juneau-Douglas City Museum on Saturday, Nov. 8, from 1 to 3 p.m. The Museum will have a balsa bridge presentation on how truss bridges and beam bridges are constructed and then several balsa bridges will be tested to failure.

Pets of the week
ARCHER Big 'panda bear' is affectionate, bodacious Three-legged Tripod is sweet, mature

Celebrating National Home Care and Hospice Month
When you are sick, where would you like to be treated? If given the choice, I imagine you'd prefer the comfort of your own home to just about anyplace else, and 4.5 million Americans would agree with you. Luckily, with the assistance of home health services, your wish to remain in your home during illness or rehabilitation can be granted. In November, we will celebrate the miracle of home health during National Home Care Month and National Hospice Month. Why do we celebrate? More than just providing excellent care where and when patients need and want it, home care and hospice save this country and commercial health insurers billions of health care dollars each year.

Sylvia Doris Montero
Juneau resident Sylvia Doris Montero, 59, died Oct. 23, 2003, in Juneau.

Katherine 'Kathy' Laverne Rogers
Juneau resident Katherine "Kathy" Laverne Rogers, 80, died Saturday, Oct. 25, 2003, at Bartlett Regional Hospital in Juneau.

My Turn: Wealth of memories of Mike's Place keep it alive
The letter of Oct. 17 by Pat Pusich regarding Mike's Place restaurant stirred memories for me. I don't know Pat Pusich, but I do know Rudy and Mary, and several members of the Pusich family very well. When I arrived in Juneau in 1960, Mike's Place and the Baranof dining room were the nicest places in town for dining. There were several other places to eat such as the City Cafe, the PaMarRay, the Northlander Hotel, Percy's and Glover's Spruce Delicatessen, but only two really classy places. If you wanted a special occasion out, or if you had company from out of town, you went to Mike's or the Baranof.

My Turn: A mother's thanks to Juneau after her son's fatal accident
Numerous times I have tried to write this, but the tears keep smudging the words. Even now as I am writing this, I weep. As all of you know our son, Skyler Lee Kim, was the unfortunate victim of a tragic accident on Oct. 20.

Sports in Juneau
NEW CALENDAR ITEM • Treadwell Arena - Halloween Costume Skate - Ice skaters wearing costumes will be judged in several categories, and prizes will be awarded during an open skate from 7:45-9:15 p.m. at the Treadwell Arena in Douglas. Candy and treats will be provided for the whole family. The event is the same price as regular open skates - $4 adults, $3 youths (age 17-younger) and $2 seniors (age 65-older). Skate rental is $2. Info: Treadwell Arena, 586-0410.

LeBron James alters the NBA landscape in Cleveland, beyond
EL SEGUNDO, Calif. - Kobe Bryant said he probably will miss the Los Angeles Lakers' season opener against Dallas today, and again lashed out at Shaquille O'Neal.

Brunette, Anderson lead GSC in Sitka
Cody Brunette won eight of his 10 individual races, while Cassie Anderson went 7-for-10 in her events to lead the Glacier Swim Club during the October Splash meet held Oct. 10-12 at Sitka's Blatchley Swimming Pool.

Sports in Juneau
UPCOMING EVENTS: Saturday, Nov. 1 • Juneau Alpine Club - Mount Ben Stewart to Mount Meek traverse, this is a moderate difficulty trek. Please RSVP with the trip leader if you plan to go. Info: Trip leader Kathy Landry, 789-7058.

Alaska Digest
PALMER - A preacher was acquitted Monday of two counts of manslaughter and two counts of criminally negligent homicide in the shooting deaths of two intruders at his Big Lake Community Chapel last spring.

Anchorage woman goes to Taiwan to search for missing son
ANCHORAGE - An Anchorage woman is in Taiwan looking for her son, who vanished in May while sightseeing.

Teachers make pitch to School Board
Juneau teachers, seeking a new contract, took their case directly to the School Board on Tuesday, saying there should be enough money in the budget to give them raises and more help with health insurance costs.

Ethics complaint filed against Stevens over Boeing deal
ANCHORAGE - A new political watchdog group has filed an ethics complaint against U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens over his acceptance of nearly $22,000 in campaign contributions from Boeing executives in 2001.

Judge bars taking DNA samplings from sex offenders
ANCHORAGE - The state can not demand DNA samples of convicted sex offenders who have completed their sentences, under a temporary restraining order issued by a federal judge.

Alaska Digest
Federal prosecutor accused of hitting wife ANCHORAGE - A federal prosecutor in Anchorage is charged with domestic violence, accused of striking his wife. Assistant U.S. Attorney Dan Cooper was arrested Oct. 12.

ASEA opens contract negotiations
Alaska's largest labor union, the Alaska State Employees Association AFSCME Local 52, will begin negotiations with the state today on long-term labor contracts.

Senator proposes fed land purchase in Craig
KETCHIKAN - The federal government would buy almost 350 acres from the city of Craig under legislation introduced by Sen. Lisa Murkowski, an Alaska Republican.

State sues ACS over promotion
The state has filed suit against telephone service provider ACS Communications Inc. over a free promotion government attorneys say forced consumers to call and cancel a service they never ordered.

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