Sunday, October 31, 2010

Values, not fear, should control at the ballot box
Does fear rule in all aspects of politics? Once again, fearmongering rears its ugly head to cloud a perfectly straightforward process of discernment. As I understand it, a representative democracy works because each individual can, without fear, choose the candidate that they believe will best represent their interests and values in Washington. What is it about us that wants to choose a winner? Why are we so afraid of the tea party candidate that we would be swayed to vote for the incumbent just because her campaign or the polls suggest the Democrat can't win?

McAdams will try to represent all Alaskans
If Joe Miller is elected, you'll never get past his security detail to actually see him. If Lisa Murkowski is elected, she will have to abandon the moderates who got her there when she rejoins the tightly orthodox Republican caucus. If Scott McAdams is elected, we'll have a senator who listens to ideas and will try to represent all of us, liberal, moderate and conservative.

McAdams the only pro-choice candidate
On Nov. 2, Alaskans will elect our next U.S. Senator. The three major candidates differ on most of the issues. But only one is truly pro-choice and will steadfastly support the rights of all women to have accessible, affordable health care, including reproductive health care, and will not allow the government to interfere with a woman's right to make her own decision. That candidate is Scott McAdams.

Give McAdams a chance
As many others, I too was initially skeptical of Scott McAdams for his lack of experience. But I started to ask myself "How does one gain experience if not given the chance," "What additional experience does Joe Miller have?" and "How much more experience did Lisa Murkowski have before her dad gave her the seat?"

Looking for a few new legislators
The League of Women Voters of Alaska encourages voters to weigh the facts of Ballot Measure 1.

Cast a vote you can be proud of
To Democrats: Thinking about voting for Lisa Murkowski? Imagine waking up Nov. 3 (or Jan. 3, as the case may be), and Murkowski has been announced the winner of Alaska's U.S. Senate seat. Will you be proud of your vote? You will have succeeded in stopping Joe Miller, yes. But you will have disrespected your values and forsaken an opportunity to make a difference. Your vote will support future legislation that is anti-choice, anti-gay, anti-Social Security, anti-Medicare, anti-education, and anti-Alaska. Will you be proud of your contribution to that legacy? Even worse, imagine waking up on that morning and Miller has won, with Scott McAdams just a few votes behind. Will you be able to look yourself in the mirror and be proud of what you've done? Don't succumb to fear, lest you wallow in regret.

Miller misguides on Sealaska bill
It continues to surprise me that Joe Miller speaks to his judicial experience, data-centric and judicial evaluation skills and how they will apply to important issues for Alaska. If this is so, then why would he claim that the Sealaska land bill lacks transparency and would set a precedent with its new selection areas, when the facts say otherwise? Sealaska has held more than 225 community and special interest group meetings over the past 18 months resulting in legislation that Sen. Lisa Murkowski has changed considerably from the initial package in order to reach a fair compromise and address each of these issues.

Murkowski worked hard to lose my vote and McAdams worked hard to gain it
I voted for Lisa Murkowski in her last election. Back then her voting record showed that she cared about Alaska, but in the last two or three years she has worked very hard to lose my vote. A review of her voting record shows the very people who depended on her most in the U.S. Senate were the furthest thing from her mind. It wasn't just one vote and then another vote. It was almost all of them. She voted against major legislation that would have helped us in Alaska. I do not know who she was thinking about when she placed her votes but it was not Alaska. She worked long and hard to lose my vote.

Vote your values
Since the primary, I've talked to many friends and neighbors about the U.S. Senate race. I have heard one theme over and over: people think Scott McAdams is the person who best represents their values, but they are afraid he can't beat Joe Miller, so they are considering voting for Lisa Murkowski.

McAdams supports fairer taxes
Scott McAdams supports fairer taxes for Alaskans. I am supporting him for US Senate. Lisa Murkowski voted against lowering our income taxes to help revive the economy from this recession. Now she wants to give continued lower taxes to people making more than $250,000 a year. McAdams says "no" to tax breaks for the rich. Is supporting the private consumption of a wealthy minority really a national goal? Is this the motor we wish to drive the economy forward? Should we go on expanding the frontiers of high living, while teachers and police face layoffs and parks and libraries close? That is not the America and Alaska I want to support. I am supporting McAdams for U.S. Senate.

Miller's election would remove Social Security from Alaska's economy
The 2010 election rhetoric has brought about a plethora of insults and promises on Social Security. There are few threats seniors especially should note. U.S. Senate candidate Joe Miller promises to "do away with" Social Security as unconstitutional. This is a major plank in the tea party platform. We can expect Miller and the tea party to eliminate Social Security in time. Or we can vote for candidate Lisa Murkowski who has voted 14 times to throttle Social Security and Medicare in favor of increased drug company profits and tax cuts for the wealthy. Murkowski has voted with her party to privatize the entire Social Security operation.

Tuesday's election is about more than Alaska
Tuesday's election isn't about Alaska. It's national. In part it's about a recession that is devastating the lives of our loved ones living in the Lower 48.

McAdams has a chance, he should be your choice.
The political scene across the country is full of poisonous posturing and Alaska is no exception: our U.S. Senate race is dominated by the bizarre Joe Miller and Lisa Murkowski show. The calm, steady voice of Scott McAdams speaking about important issues has been the welcome exception when not drowned out or ignored.

McAdams' grasp of the issues will make him a good senator
As a retired teacher, I feel the need to remind my friends and neighbors to be sure to vote on Tuesday. I am sure that your readers are concerned citizens and are planning to vote anyway but after seeing how Sitka's mayoral race was decided by two votes, I felt a reminder was appropriate.

Ballot Measure 1: preserving your voice
In Alaska we redraw our election district boundaries every 10 years following the results of the U.S. census. This process ensures that, as population shifts, each Alaskan's vote still counts the same as every other Alaskan's.

Coast Guardsman Gassan risks life to save another
On Aug. 4, 2009, subsistence spear fisherman Trevor Richards' foot was caught in a rope strung from a raft to a rock set 20 feet below the surface of the cascading waterfall at Sweetheart Creek, 40 miles south of Juneau.

Photo: Meet and greet
Governor Sean Parnell and wife Sandy greet Ve Maake and Tevita and Ofa Maka at Saturday's Luau at Thunder Mountain High School.

Police & Fire
This report contains information provided to the Empire from law enforcement agencies. This report includes arrest and citation information, not conviction information. Anyone listed in this report is presumed innocent.

Burns tapped as Citizen of the Year by Juneau Chamber
The Juneau Chamber of Commerce awarded not one, but two Lifetime Achievement Awards plus its Citizen of the Year Award at this year's masquerade ball.

Local artist teaches Native crafts to students
Students at Gastineau Elementary have gotten a taste of Alaska Native arts for the past three weeks with their Artist Residency program.

Johnson, challenged by cancer, emerges as a survivor
Today may be the last day of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, but it's certainly not the last for breast cancer awareness. As anyone who's faced the disease knows, the battle can't be forgotten. However, facing off with the consequences can still end in victory, both medically and spiritually.

Berkowitz changes direction on oil industry
Democratic candidate for governor Ethan Berkowitz is attacking incumbent Gov. Sean Parnell, saying his natural gas pipeline plan and oil tax system are failures, but those plans are more directly linked to Berkowitz' Democratic allies in the Legislature than they are to the Republican former lieutenant governor.

Photo: Taming dragons
Lisa Murkowski gets the Tickle Dragon vote from one-year-old Gavin Holt and mother Mona Hamilton-Head during Murkowski's rally at Juneau's Jordan Creek Business Center on Saturday.

Palin on the national scene to stay, UAS prof says
A lot of factors, including good timing, went in to the phenomenon that is Sarah Palin, said Clive Thomas, professor of political science in Juneau.

Bar association tries to tackle homelessness issue
The Juneau Bar Association learned some of the less fortunate facts of the city on Friday, as two representatives of the Juneau Homeless Coalition gave their concerns on the numbers they've seen and informed the lawyers of current developments to combat the problem.

Sealaska board approves shareholder payments
The Sealaska Board of Directors approved distributions to tribal member shareholders at its Friday meeting. These distributions will be administered on Dec. 3, approximately, according to a press release.

Getting in on the green scene
Not that long ago, "green building" in Juneau meant your siding needed replacing, or at least some serious power washing. And the historic buildings that give downtown Juneau its character were designed to meet early 20th century ideals like "western prosperity" and "the hometown you left behind," not "a smaller carbon footprint."

Senior menu
Monday, Nov. 1

Photos: Celebrating 15 years
The Native dance group “All Nations Children” (above) celebrated their 15 year anniversary on Oct. 16, also honoring Vicki Soboleff (right) for her years of hard work and dedication.

Thanks for supporting AWARE
Aiding Women in Abuse and Rape Emergencies (AWARE), Inc. is grateful to the Juneau community for participating in and supporting events to raise awareness of the challenge of domestic violence. October is Domestic Violence Awareness month and many partners worked with us to offer a variety of activities and programs.

Thanks to Trail Mix and SAGA
It's wonderful to live in a community that has so many amazing hiking trails and a multitude of recreational opportunities. In my ten years as a resident of Lena Loop, I often take advantage of a short hike near my home. Although the Lena Loop Rotary Park Trail is only about a mile long, it's a perfect quick getaway for me when I surround myself with this familiar stretch of rainforest. The real reward, however, is the end of the trail, which terminates at Point Lena - a rocky cliff and the site of the 1952 shipwreck of the Princess Kathleen. This 30-foot cliff provides a beautiful view of Favorite Channel as well as Stephens Passage to the south and Lynn Canal to the north. It's a truly impressive place to be during a winter storm when winds are out of the north. With the frequency I see others on this trail, it must be a special place to more than just those in my neighborhood. Unfortunately, the trail also exhibits some of the same downsides as many of Juneau's trails: steps that are too high, large mud holes, brush growing into/over the trail corridor and many parts uneven with rocks and tree roots. To my relief, my recent visits to the point were more enjoyable as the majority of these issues were recently corrected. I would like to offer a sincere thanks to Trail Mix and SAGA. We're all familiar with their work; such major undertakings such as Perseverance Trail, the new Under Thunder Trail and the highly anticipated facelift to the Treadwell Ditch Trail. But I'm really writing to recognize their efforts and give special thanks for all the work they do on these smaller, lesser-known trails that are so important to individual neighborhoods. Thanks for making Juneau a better place to live.

Thanks for celebrating our anniversary with us
The entire staff of Jensen Yorba Lott would like to thank everyone who shared in our 75th anniversary celebration. The staff at the Juneau Arts and Culture Center, Abby's Catering and the Rendezvous did a wonderful job in providing a venue and amazing food and drinks. To everyone who was able to attend either in person or in spirit, we truly thank you. Serving Alaska for 75 years is an honor and it is the great people we work for and alongside that make it so worthwhile. We look forward to many more years of continued service in Alaska.

Thanks for putting in your 13.1
We would like to extend a huge thank you to everyone who braved the wind and the rain to participate in the second annual Hasty Half Marathon on Oct. 2.

Thanks for helping a duck out
We would like to thank everyone that attended the annual Ducks Unlimited fundraising banquet that was held on Oct. 9 at Centennial Hall. The evening featured a prime rib buffet-style dinner as well as raffles, silent auctions and an outcry auction. There were 231 people who attended this event. The proceeds from this fundraiser go directly to wetland conservation and improving duck habitats. Ducks Unlimited conserves, restores and manages wetlands and associated habitats for North America's waterfowl. These habitats also benefit other wildlife and people.

Take the chance to vote your values
Many parents enjoy remembering back to special moments in their lives with their children. I am no exception. I remember when my daughter took her first steps and I remember my son's favorite Halloween costume. Out of all of my parenting memories, one I hold dear is taking my oldest child with me to vote. He was about 2 years old. I took him by the hand and we walked the two blocks to the church basement where our precinct voted. I held his small hand and I told him about what a privilege it is to vote in our country and how we all need to come together to make important decisions. I told him about brave women like Susan B. Anthony, who fought for my right to vote, and how my great-grandmother would not have been able to vote just because she was a woman.

Photo: Birthday wishes
Members of Girl Scout Troop 4030 presented a gift basket to Bartlett Regional Hospital Family Birth Center in the Bartlett Beginnings Family Area Friday. The basket of baby goodies will be given to the first baby born on Oct. 31 or directly after in honor of Girl Scout founder Julliette Gordon Low's birthday. Obstetrics manager Karen White and obstetrics nurse M J Hinman stand with girl scouts (clockwise lower left) Shay Purvis, Brenna Hinman, Emma Murphy, Alicia Airozo and Ellie Knapp.

Polasky, Lauer wed
Sophia Polasky of Juneau and Christopher Lauer of Waunakee, Wis., were married in a ceremony on July 31, 2010, at the Shrine of St. Therese in Juneau.

Photos: Pumpkin play
From left, Halee, 2, and Koree, 1, inspect a fresh-carved pumpkin last week.

Pezzente, Walsh wed
Jessica Pezzente of Brooklyn, Conn., and Owen Walsh of Juneau were wed at 3 p.m. on Oct. 23, 2010 at Christian Fellowship Church in Scotland, Conn. A potluck reception will be held at 6 p.m. on Nov. 7 at Auke Bay Bible Church.

UAS Digest
Tidal Echoes receives funding

Volunteer Opportunity of the Week
Organization: Credit Attainment Recovery and Employablility Skills (CARES)

Lions Club to hold annual fundraiser
The Mendenhall Flying Lions Club will hold its 15th annual barbecue and auction at G.W. Teal in the Mendenhall Mall to benefit the Juneau Chapter of the American Diabetes Association. The event will start at noon on Nov. 6. The cost of the barbecue is $15 per plate. The auction will begin at 6 p.m., featuring items donated by local businesses. If you would like to donate to the auction, please call 723-9168.

Interact to host Sleep Out Project
The Juneau-Douglas High School Interact Club will sponsoring their annual Homeless Awareness Sleep Out Project on Nov. 5. Interact members will sleep outside from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. to raise awareness for the 194 homeless students identified in Juneau in 2010. The purpose of the event is to raise money and benefit the homeless students in the Juneau School District as well as The Glory Hole family food boxes. The public can help by sending donations to JDHS Interact Club, 10014 Crazy Horse Drive, Juneau, AK 99801. For more information, contact jdhs.interact@yahoo.com or call 523-1581.

Michael Devoe Fishel
Michael Devoe Fishel, 21, passed away Wednesday, Oct. 27, 2010.

My Turn: It's not pork, it's fish
Joe Miller's ads say "If you want to change Washington, you have to change the people." Alaska's history tells us this is not true. In the U.S. Senate, the way to get things done is through seniority, key committee assignments and the ability to work with people.

Making good law with hard facts
The following editorial first appeared in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram:

Title
This year's election season has been more polarized and hyper-intense than any I've experienced in my life. It is healthy for the citizens of a democratic nation like the United States to express their strongly-held views and to advocate for the election of people who share those views.

My Turn: Murkowski makes the most sense
First and foremost, I hope if you have the ability next Tuesday, you vote. I am embarrassed I ever acted like missing a vote was no biggie. It is. And the fact it is so easy to do (Really? You don't have ten minutes to spare in your life to cast a ballot? Really? Too busy catching up on the DVR? Too many texts to send to pals? Really?) makes it even sillier if you neglect to vote Tuesday. Nike's new slogan (Boom!) does not quite work, but their old one certainly applies: Just do it.

Toe Cartoon

DOT finds moderate wear and tear on Peterson Creek Bridge
Department of Transportation bridge inspectors found moderate amounts of decay, crushing and splitting in the Peterson Creek Bridge.

Anchorage Sheraton loses case against NLRB
ANCHORAGE - The Anchorage Sheraton has lost its case against the federal agency that overseas labor disputes.

North Pole man faces charges in drug overdose
ANCHORAGE - Alaska State Troopers say a North Pole man is facing murder charges after providing a woman with prescription narcotics that caused her to overdose and die.

Ketchikan man sentenced in drug case
ANCHORAGE - A 40-year-old Ketchikan man has been sentenced to more than three years in prison in a federal drug case.

Fairbanks projects $1.3m surplus in 2011
FAIRBANKS - The city of Fairbanks is projecting a $1.3 million surplus in its latest budget in the first major executive action by new mayor Jerry Cleworth.

Talkeetna man shot and killed at downtown bar
TALKEETNA - Alaska State Troopers say a 53-year-old Talkeetna man was shot and killed at a downtown bar Friday night. Another Talkeetna man has been charged with his death.

Campaigns, parties maintain focus on election
ANCHORAGE - The campaigns and political parties are taking a wait-and-see approach on monitoring the vote count in Alaska's Senate race.

Juneau-Douglas boys romp to Region V title, girls take second
It was business as usual in the pool for the Crimson Bears swim team over the weekend in Petersburg.

Photo: Karate students earn rank

Murkowski: Right now, we're winning
ANCHORAGE - U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski believes she's winning the hotly contested Alaska Senate race, but she said she's not taking anything for granted.

Begich: Miller loss would send a message about Palin
ANCHORAGE - U.S. Sen. Mark Begich said a loss by Alaska Senate hopeful Joe Miller would send a message to the rest of the country, that this state rejects the politics of Sarah Palin.

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