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Thursday, October 30, 2003

In agreement
Let's have some more articles by Ken Dunker. It is rare to find a person that realizes how out of date the laws in our country are.

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.

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?"

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?

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.

Accidents happen
In response to Reggie Cruz's Oct. 29 letter regarding slowing down at intersections, I'd like to remind those who believe that "pedestrians are the targets of fast drivers" that accidents happen. Sometimes there is no rhyme, reason or fault.

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.

From a 'not highly qualified' teacher
I rarely get my feathers ruffled, but I was dismayed by the Empire article stating that only 16 percent of Alaska's teachers are "highly qualified" and that we fall below the national averages. I am writing this letter to caution readers to please evaluate the criteria used for this rating.

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...

Road expands possibilities
In regard to Erik Lie-Nielsen's Tuesday letter: I support a road to and from Juneau. I'm not one of those people who "comes to Juneau and right away starts hollering to change things to make it just like where they came from." I was born and raised in Southeast Alaska and, as much as I love Juneau and this part of the world, I would like to be able to drive out once in a while to visit other parts of Alaska and Canada. I'll probably even take trips south when I retire.

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.

Ferry is not an affordable option for all
I have just one question for Mr. Lie Nielsen and all other opponents of a road north. How do you respond to people who would like to drive to Skagway or Whitehorse for the weekend, but cannot afford the cost of a round trip to Skagway with their car on the ferry? There are probably more people than you would guess that live in Juneau that the Marine Highway is cost-prohibitive for.

A rebuttal on road arguments
I just wanted to clarify the record to Erik Lie-Nielsen's rebuttal to my comments about the road to Skagway. Yes I do work for DOT, but my capacity is that of a computer network technician, so there is no conflict of interest.

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.

Fisheries group researches impoundment
Alaska fishermen may be able to make more money off their catches if they hold the fish live for a while before selling. The practice is known as impoundment and the Alaska Fisheries Development Foundation is researching it with help from a federal grant.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Photo: Repair work
Doug Unruh saws a beam Wednesday on the Auke Bay Floating Breakwater. Unruh, of the city Harbor Department, was replacing the "whalers" on the breakwater. Whalers are the wooden trim which act as buffers around the concrete dock.

Area offers plenty of Halloween alternatives
As Juneau youngsters prepare to be scared out of their wits this Friday, some area churches are planning alternatives to Halloween activities so their parishioners can have fun without celebrating the holiday. Many Christian faiths discourage Halloween celebrations on the premise the holiday is rooted in ancient paganism and has evil connotations.

Photo: Sorting through debris in 1939
This photograph, taken in 1939, shows a group of Filipino "Pickers" removing debris from an ore-sorting conveyer belt at the Alaska-Juneau Mill.

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

Alleged cross-dressing burglar nabbed
Juneau police arrested a man wearing a woman's jeans allegedly taken from her Industrial Avenue-area residence Tuesday night. Brian Abbott, 34, appeared in Juneau District Court on Wednesday on a felony first-degree burglary charge that could carry a prison sentence of up to 10 years, Magistrate John W. Sivertsen told him.

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.

Correction
A thank you letter published in the Neighbor's section in Wednesday's Empire misspelled the name of Dale Wygant and his band. Also, a listing in last Friday's This Day in History column, provided by The Associated Press, referred to an Alaska Airlines event in 1929. The company did not exist at that time.

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

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

Company could bring natural gas to the area
Alaska Intrastate Gas Co. is conducting a marketing and feasibility study for bringing natural gas service to Juneau and 16 other communities in Southeast and Central Alaska. The study aims to establish the potential volume of gas required for the area and the number of customers likely to request service, said Douglas Lee, a project manager with Montana-Dakota Utilities Co., which is conducting the study.

Assembly reorganizes, Powell deputy mayor
In an unusual move, Mayor Bruce Botelho made no nomination before the Juneau Assembly elected Jim Powell deputy mayor on Wednesday. The Assembly also restructured some committees as it reorganizes under a new administration. Traditionally the mayor nominates a person and the Assembly is pressured to go along with that pick, Botelho said after the meeting.

University of Alaska union votes for strike if talks fail
Most University of Alaska faculty members who teach lower-division and vocational courses have authorized their union to call a strike. But teachers and university administrators, who return to the bargaining table today in Anchorage, said they are hopeful a strike will be averted. About two-thirds of the 313 members of the Alaska Community Colleges' Federation of Teachers have voted to give union leadership the authority to call a strike, the union said Wednesday.

Thank you
... for senior meals program support

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.

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.

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

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

My Turn: Claims of inequity are untrue
Buck Lindekugel's op-ed on the Cape Fox-Sealaska Berners Bay land exchange was right on when he said Cape Fox's claims of inequity were, at best, overblown and at worst were untrue. The Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, ANCSA for short, did not envision that every Native corporation would receive lands of exactly equal value as every other Native corporation.

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
Sports in Juneau is a service provided by the Juneau Empire to provide information on upcoming sports and outdoors events in Juneau.

LeBron lives up to hype, but Cavs fall
LeBrilliant - except for the result. LeBron James more than lived up to his hype in the first regular-season game of his NBA career, playing like no other 18-year-old ever had in his professional debut as the Cleveland Cavaliers lost 106-92 Wednesday night to the Sacramento Kings. James had 25 points, nine assists, six rebounds and four steals, mesmerizing one of the league's loudest crowds with skills no teenager had ever displayed at this level.

Juneau Parks and Recreation volleyball standings
Local volleyball league standings as of Oct. 27.

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.

Looking to grow
Clipboard in hand, Kris Mercer stood at the edge of the mats and smiled as about two dozen Juneau-Douglas High School wrestlers went through their paces Tuesday afternoon. Mercer is the new head coach for the Crimson Bears, and one of his biggest goals is getting more wrestlers out for the team - a team that ended last year with only a dozen healthy bodies but still finished eighth in the Class 4A state meet. Mercer, the long-time coach at Dzantik'i Heeni Middle School, takes over from Bob Mahon, who moved back to Oregon.

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.

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.

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.

Cash-flow problems force Hydaburg layoffs
This Prince of Wales Island city has laid off its entire staff of four because of a shortage of money. Mayor Steven Dilts Sr. said he met with the clerk, janitor, foreman and water plant operator last week, told them they were being laid off and asked them to volunteer their time. So far, only the water plant operator has agreed, he said.

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.

This day in history
In Alaska; in the nation; in the world.

Photo: Spectacular light show
The aurora borealis fills the southwest sky Wednesday morning above Soldotna. Astronomers from the University of Alaska Fairbanks were predicting that Wednesday night's aurora would be visible across the entire United States in the aftermath of one of the largest solar flare eruptions in years.

Alaska Digest
News in brief from around the state.

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.

Cartoon: The Buck Stops Where
Local cartoon by Toe.

Briefly
Local entertainment news in brief.

The Ninth: Movement by movement with Juneau Symphony conductor Kyle Wiley Pickett
1st: "The very beginning of the first movement is a representation of chaos. It's like the universe before it formed. It takes a couple minutes before you sort of launch into form. It's all murky and mushy and then it's like the heavens catch on fire. It's the storm of creation."

Halloween at the bars: beats, ghouls, bluegrass and funk
Juneau drummer and composer Andy Engstrom has seen enough audiences in town to believe he knows what makes people dance. "Unless you play something old and recognizable, most people don't dance," Engstrom said. "And being a team player in a band, you can't keep the flow of music going. There are people looking down at their set lists and stopping and saying, 'What's the next song?' It's a dance-floor killer. I've always noticed that the dance floor DJs, the people slipping some fat loops, always have the success for getting people out," he said.

What's Happening
Arts and entertainment events in Juneau this week.

Movies where & when
Local movie times in Juneau.

Back-story: Beethoven's revolutionary Ninth Symphony
Beethoven was born to a family of court musicians in Bonn, Germany, on Dec. 17, 1770. A virtuoso pianist, a violinist and a composer, he moved to Vienna, Austria, at the age of 20 with the support of a local prince. Vienna was the musical and cultural center of Europe, and Beethoven sought to become the star of court society.

An ode to creative forces
Last winter, when Juneau Symphony music director Kyle Wiley Pickett began formulating the idea of conducting Beethoven's Symphony No. 9, he saw two obvious challenges. First, the symphony would have to assemble a string section large enough to handle the punishing task of the lush, layered arrangements. Second, and perhaps more daunting, the orchestra would have to create its own group chorus to sing, in German, Beethoven's transcendent, 15-minute interpretation of Friedrich Von Schiller's "Ode To Joy" in the fourth movement.

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