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Tuesday, November 5, 2002

For positive action
Dick and I endorse Cathy Muñoz for Senate. Cathy has proven her ability to bring people to the table to work together for positive gain. Cathy fosters good working relationships and she knows that supporting neighboring communities is important economically. Cathy facilitates positive and constructive action on issues that are important to constituents and business. Please vote for Cathy Muñoz for Senate.

Fran, for the future
If you care about the quality of education for our children, vote for Fran Ulmer. If you care about Alaska's environment, vote for Fran Ulmer. If you care about Alaska's economy, vote for Fran Ulmer. Fran's solutions to the state's most critical challenges have been innovative and effective. Fran is articulate, sincere and effectively works well with people of different backgrounds.

Democratic team
I urge Juneau to vote the Democratic Party ticket this Nov. 5. The Democrats have always led the fight to protect the right of working people to a living wage and a safe work environment, the right of women to have control over their bodies, and the right of children to a quality education regardless of their parent's economic status. These values are the cornerstone of the Democratic Party platform, and we will always stand firm against those who seek to undermine them.

Excellent coverage
I am writing to thank and congratulate the Empire's staff on the excellent job it did during the runup to the present elections.

Making Juneau better
Sen. Elton is a dedicated public servant and I am voting for Kim Elton because he has done a good job. Sen. Elton is dedicated to Juneau, and has made lifelong decisions that show a commitment to Alaska. Kim Elton votes his conscience, representing the under-represented.

Responsible reporting
Re your peace march article (Empire, Oct. 27), thank you! Thank you! It seems that your paper has the integrity and shows the responsible reporting that is so very sadly missing in the Anchorage News/Times.

Candidates of integrity
I cannot imagine better candidates for office than Fran Ulmer and Kim Elton. Both have the highest integrity, have worked tirelessly for Juneau and on all state matters and are committed to resolving our fiscal problems in a way that does not leave Alaskans in jeopardy for the future, even though it entails making hard choices. Fran has been a major force in seeing that the government in the state works as efficiently as possible, spearheading the movement toward state services on the Web, which benefit all Alaskans. I will be voting for both of them on Tuesday.

If anyone is keeping track
I really enjoyed Dean Nordenson's My Turn in Sunday's paper. I too have been wondering about the choices being made for DOT's road maintenance cutbacks. Specifically I was wondering why they had a guy spend the entire month of September playing around with his side-of-the-road weed-cutting machine on North Douglas Highway.

Dignified District 4 race
I will have the pleasure of voting for Bruce Weyhrauch for all the superb traits of honesty, intelligence, collaboration, empathy, compassion etc. that readily inspire others to ask for his representation. As a result of his candidacy however, I will face having to find a replacement attorney to assist in bringing justice to problematic labor issues that have been a hallmark of our present administration. At the same time I am heartened to know that Bruce will apply his astute understanding of the political climate as well as his command of strategies and savvy needed to bring ethical justice and a greater good for all.

Promise-keeper
In the pragmatic and often cynical world of politics, it is rare to find a candidate with a strong set of core beliefs that they're willing to stick by. Sen. Kim Elton is one.

Open to our views
I've noticed quite a few letters in support of Cathy Muñoz for state Senate and would like to add my voice to the chorus of support for this fine woman. I have known Cathy all of her life - first as her babysitter growing up in downtown Juneau and more recently as a very effective member of the Juneau Assembly and a woman in private business.

No substitute for experience
This year's race for Juneau's Senate seat is a critical one.

Stunning record of service
On Tuesday, Alaskans have the opportunity to exercise the greatest privilege of a free democratic society - to vote in an open election for the choice of our leaders. I believe that Alaska and Alaskans will be best led and best served by electing Fran Ulmer as governor. Fran Ulmer has a stunning record of service to Juneau, Southeast and the entire state of Alaska. She is quick, smart, committed and strong. She knows the issues like no other candidate. She is a consensus builder, a listener and a doer. She is honest, ethical, educated and articulate. She is a wife, mother, daughter, sister and a friend. Fran Ulmer cares about Alaska and she cares about you. Alaska needs Fran Ulmer's leadership. With your vote, Fran Ulmer will be elected the next governor of our great state and her leadership will make us continue to be proud to call ourselves Alaskans. Vote for Alaska. Vote for Fran Ulmer on Tuesday.

To bring Alaskans together
As an Alaska Native who has lived outside Alaska for the last 18 years, but who has nonetheless maintained close ties to my home state, I would like to say that for the first time since leaving Alaska, I wish I were still a resident, so that I could cast my vote for Fran Ulmer.

Voting with confidence
Many people have written to the paper recently in support of candidates on the basis that they "will be in the majority." What this line of reasoning fails to consider is that since 57 of the 60 seats in the Legislature are up for election this year, there is no guarantee as to which party (or parties) will form the majority or what their agenda will be. Regardless of who forms the majority, Kim Elton already knows how to get Juneau's work done, no matter who is in charge.

Real can-do candidate
Having watched Frank Murkowski campaign for governor, I understand why ANWR hasn't been opened. Regarding natural resource development, what passed for "leadership" in decades past has degenerated into an angry, ineffectual blame game with little to offer Alaskans. We are left with a lot of angry handwringing by Jerry Hood, the Voice of the Times, and Frank Murkowski as they pine for the days when mosquito control consisted of dumping barrels of diesel into swamps. They've simply been unable to adapt to today's market in which industry isn't the only player at the decision making table.

Cathy is all about education
Cathy Muñoz stands for education. Cathy worked diligently for founding Juneau's first public community charter school. As a cofounder of Juneau's first public school, which is now in its sixth year of operation, Cathy was an integral part of its inception. JCCS is a model school program where the arts, music, and foreign language are integrated into the daily school activities.

Where does Frank stand?
As a commercial fisherman of 30 years, I am writing to express my wholehearted support for Fran Ulmer for governor. Fran Ulmer is the candidate with the vision, knowledge, and experience to lead Alaska's troubled fishing industry into the 21st century.

Elton has more experience
When I opened my mail a few days ago I had campaign literature from both candidates running for Juneau's single Senate seat. I've met both of these people. They both are longtime Juneau residents and they both seem to be genuinely nice people. When I looked at their campaign literature I'd received that day, however, a clear difference emerged.

Anchorage-dominated majority
I am writing to support Kim Elton in the upcoming election. Cathy Muñoz and her supporters thinking joining forces with the majority in the Senate will be helpful to Juneau disturbs me. This majority has already cut state jobs and services to the bone. This is the Anchorage-dominated Republican majority Cathy proudly wants to serve with. Does anyone remember the downturn in the Alaska economy during the '80s?

For education
Anyone who knows me knows that one of my top priorities is education. My life in Juneau has been wrapped up in teaching my own children, teaching the students in my classroom and, more recently, working on the School Board for all of Juneau's children. When I look at the candidates, the most important thing I consider is how they stand on educational issues. I feel very comfortable with my decision for governor. I will be voting for Fran Ulmer. In the over 20 years I have known Fran, I have always known her to be honest, approachable and an extremely strong supporter of children and education. During this campaign, I also have learned about her fiscal plan and how that plan will keep our educational system strong. If you feel as I do about the education of our children, please join me in voting for Fran Ulmer.

A road is an opportunity
The letter printed on Thursday, "If a road is built, who will come?" identified a road into Juneau as nothing more than a tourist convenience. Juneau's aristocratic sentiment has traditionally been anti-road. While this may be fine for wealthy families who have a few extra thousand dollars to spend, the rest of us who can't afford expensive round-trip ferry or airline tickets for an entire family have a different opinion.

Hurting Juneau's economy
Frank Murkowski will probably cut jobs in Juneau and put important projects at risk with his lack of fiscal direction. He said in his televised debate that he is in favor of "reviewing government" and "trimming inefficiencies." Juneau doesn't need an elected official that needs to take valuable time to "learn the ropes" and then cut Juneau-based state jobs. Fran Ulmer has been fighting for Juneau jobs and leading state and local government on a stable course for 17 years.

Fishermen must look deep
Don't get fooled by UFA's endorsement for governor. It's much more about Tony than it is about Frank. In their rush to vent frustration and disappointment with Tony Knowles, UFA didn't even read Fran's response to the questionnaire prior to making their endorsement. They just skimmed the surface. What's done is done. But just because UFA based their endorsement on the past doesn't mean you should. Look below the surface. Make this election about the future of the industry, not the past.

Work from the inside
Fellow voters, even Kim Elton and Mike Miller would agree that having our state senator in the majority would contribute substantially more in local spending, jobs and capital improvement projects for Juneau and our neighbors around Southeast than having our sole senator in the minority and excluded from the decision-making process. Given legislative politics, we've lost a lot of opportunities in the last eight years.

Records dreadful and clear
In raising our children we do not want our good kids to associate with bad kids because we fear that the influences of peer pressure may turn them into even more bad kids. Similarly, in politics we should be careful not to elect good people to a bad caucus for fear that the influence of caucus pressure may in fact turn them into even more bad caucus members.

For Ulmer and Elton
There are many fine people running in positions to represent Juneau this year, creating tough choices for most voters. I am voting for Kim Elton in the Senate race. Normally during an election year, I am not compelled to write to the editor, but this year with the endorsements the Empire has made, I would like to add my voice to the fray. It's true that we live in a largely Republican state, making it more difficult for Democrats to win in elections. The situation is made even more difficult when our primary local paper spurns two fine local politicians, Kim Elton and Fran Ulmer, who have greatly benefited both the city and the state.

11th-hour cheap shot
I have some sympathy for the revolving door Juneau Empire publishers and editors of late. These are the guys who blow into Alaska for a couple of years to earn enough stripes in the Billy Morris chain to move up to a "real" newspaper at Georgia corporate headquarters near the Augusta Golf Club. I've also always wanted to play Augusta.

Distinguished candidates
I am new to Alaska and to Juneau, and I have spent considerable time exploring the issues in this election. I have discovered that Fran Ulmer is the appropriate choice for our next governor, and that Kim Elton has earned reelection to the state Senate.

Worthy of trust
I build houses. Not the boxes you keep your stuff in, but hopefully something we both can be proud of. I spend my day, better part of 365 of them, outside in the rain, thinking about what it will take to make each house a better home and how that home can be a successful addition to a neighborhood. I do all this on the come, on spec, in spite of some Railbelt legislator's desire to drive to work. Risking my daughter's Ivy League opportunity with each home, I keep a close eye on the small stuff - I need someone I trust to track the big stuff. I need someone to make my risk worthwhile; someone who can take our neighborhoods and meld them into a community with an appeal that merits a 30-year note on $350,000 home; someone advocating for our community that understands why we live here, our opportunities and our obstacles.

Vote Yes on Ballot Measure C
If voters approve Ballot Measure C on Tuesday, the state of Alaska will reimburse Juneau voters for its share of the second Juneau high school. We will finally have enough funds to build the new school at Dimond Park. If you're looking for one more reason to support Ballot Measure C and the second high school, think about local basketball, volleyball and football.

A qualified candidate
Mike Race has my vote on Tuesday. Mike is the kind of guy who will go out of his way to help a fellow human being. To him, Juneau is still a small town. Everyone here is a neighbor, and to him that means more than just sharing a fence. It is impossible for him to walk a block downtown without being stopped several times by folks who are proud to call Mike a friend.

Membership requirement
I've been watching Juneau's Senate campaign lately, and I felt I had to weigh in.

Winners will be us
No matter who wins, congratulations to all the local candidates for the fine races they have run. The winners will be us, the local population, for having such a fine selection to make. I am even a bit surprised that the governor's race has had only a modicum of edgy marketing. As usual, I am a bit disappointed that Don Smith must insert his misguided comments (Sunday Empire editorial) into the fray. He really does need to let the pros do their job.

Anti-labor record
Oh spare me, isn't it so obvious why Jerry Hood, current Teamster and former Democratic National Committee member, conveniently switched parties six months ago and got his union to support Murkowski. Hood wants a big job as U.S. senator. Union workers across Alaska shouldn't be fooled by Hood or Murkowski. Murkowski is no friend of labor. He voted four times to allow companies to hire permanent replacements for striking workers. He voted 11 times against raising the minimum wage, and voted nine times to raise his own salary.

Honor the state
The only candidate for governor who has felt the pulse of the people is Fran Ulmer. She has been a public servant for 30 years and can communicate with people from all walks of life: fishermen, housewives, politicians, business executives, laborers, rural and bush citizens, city dwellers, the elderly, our children, the limited and the mentally ill. It would honor the state of Alaska to elect her as our next governor.

Make your vote count
When Juneau goes to the voting polls on Tuesday it is imperative that we elect a senator who is capable of crafting and passing legislation on her own. Even more important is having a member of the majority representing Juneau who will be involved in the crafting of important legislation such as budget, transportation plans, and fiscal gap remedies. The other benefit of being part of the team is the ability to hold up legislation that is detrimental to our community, such as capital move measures.

Do the right thing
It has been my pleasure to know Fran Ulmer since I arrived in Juneau in 1980. In that length of time, I have only ever been able to say good things about her. She is responsible, articulate, intelligent and thoughtful. As I grow older, I appreciate even more another of her attributes. Fran Ulmer is also a compassionate person. I think the people of this state deserve a governor who wouldn't mind being called kind, and indeed would be proud for the label. Let's do the right thing and vote Fran Ulmer governor of Alaska.

Meaningless slogans
Juneau has a big decision to make on Tuesday. Do we move forward as a community and as a state, or do we fail to deal with the issues that confront us? Frank Murkowski has done nothing in his campaign except spout meaningless slogans and empty promises. If elected he will spend his time representing his rich friends and eliminating Juneau jobs. Murkowski has spent the last few decades in D.C. bowing to special interests because they continually fund his re-election to the U.S. Senate.

Fran knows Southeast
This year, Southeast Alaskans have a chance to vote for a governor who really understands the problems and concerns of Southeast Alaska. So often it seems that Southeast is ignored by those with special interests in Anchorage and Fairbanks. Funding for schools, public facilities, and roads is regularly directed northward by lawmakers with no ties and no concern for Southeast Alaska.

Tim has been there
I urge my fellow commercial fishing families to vote for Tim Grussendorf for state House. Tim has been a commercial fisherman for 23 years and has lived through the tough fishing seasons. Tim knows what needs to be done to save our lifestyle.

Thumbs down
Thumbs down to the Juneau Empire. Not only did our hometown newspaper fail to endorse our hometown candidate, Fran Ulmer, for governor (Oct. 27), Don Smith saw fit to publish yet another editorial Nov. 3) boosting his favorite candidate and again telling untruths about the Knowles-Ulmer administration. I guess that's his right. He gets to use his bully pulpit for whatever purpose he wants, even if it includes spreading misinformation and divisiveness. I hope Juneau residents can see through this arrogance.

From J-Bird to Jive Turkey
"Jive Turkey" is not merely the 1970s word for "poser." Rather, the retro term and accompanying turkey logo have come to symbolize free speech, student independence and adolescent rebellion for a hundred or so students at Juneau-Douglas High School. Jive Turkey is the underground, online student newspaper at JDHS. The name is a pun on the school newspaper The J-Bird, Jive Turkey's more pedestrian, administration-sanctioned cousin. The first issue of Jive Turkey was posted in early September at www.jive-turkey.com. Two months later, the paper has a hundred registered contributors and gets between 200 and 300 hits a day.

Photo: Ready to play
Kyle Hebert helps his son try on hockey gear after they signed up for recreational hockey at Centennial Hall on Monday evening. Hockey leagues and other ice skating groups are gearing up for the new ice arena at Savikko Park.

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

Game Board looks at protection for wolves on Douglas Island
Members of the state Board of Game seemed to be searching for a compromise over the weekend as they questioned Juneau residents about a proposal to ban hunting and trapping of wolves on Douglas Island until a population has built up.

Voters flood the polls in Juneau
Voter turnout for today's election has been higher than any in recent memory, according to some local election officials. "We did 100 voters in less than 50 minutes this morning; we didn't know we could work that fast," said Stuart Sliter, an election official at the Douglas Library polling station.

Health-care businesses move to Industrial Blvd.
South East Alaska Medical Suppliers and Cornerstone Home Health moved to new office space on Industrial Boulevard last week, making way for Bartlett Regional Hospital's orthopedic staff at the Salmon Creek Professional Center.

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

Last-minute push against move
Juneau entered the final stretch today in its effort to defeat a ballot measure to move legislative sessions to Anchorage or the Mat-Su Borough.

Corrections
Due to a reporter's error, Monday's Empire article about the Game Board misstated the days it will deliberate on proposals. The board is scheduled to meet through Thursday. Call 465-8901 for recorded information on the schedule.

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

11 local roads won't see state snowplows
Some Juneau residents who live on rural roads are bracing for state cuts to snowplowing and sanding this winter.As part of statewide budget cuts, the state posted "no maintenance" signs last month in Juneau. The change will affect 11 roads, some of which are school bus routes.

Radio club to expand, improve system
The Juneau Amateur Radio Club is fine-tuning its ability to respond the next time an emergency hits.

Earthquake vibrates the Valley
The major earthquake that rocked Interior Alaska on Sunday afternoon was felt in Juneau, especially in the Mendenhall Valley and on the water.

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

Amy Williams Ebona Nelson
Juneau resident Amy Williams Ebona Nelson died Nov. 2, 2002, in Juneau.

My Turn: Alaska has an opportunity for health
Thank you Juneau Empire for your article on Oct. 13, about the Juneau school lunch program, which brought to light some very tough and troubling issues regarding the nutritional health of our community's teens.Changing the school menu alone will not solve the problems of childhood obesity and poor eating choices. It will take the entire community working together to help children create a healthy lifestyle.

Word of Mouth
Word of Mouth gives readers a forum to express opinions on a variety of issues by telephone. Calls must be limited to one minute. We reserve the right to edit calls for clarity, length and libel.

My Turn: Biting the hand that feeds
I am disappointed in Boyd Brownfield. A friend and colleague for many years, he has decided to use his past public service as a deputy commissioner with Department of Transportation and Public Facilities for potential political gain. I will not comment on his political motivation but I must respond to his false accusations regarding the Department of Transportation. Mr. Brownfield pretended to be loyal for the 7 1/2 years he was a deputy commissioner. He heartily supported the administration's policies and showed that by contributing the maximum amount allowed by law to the Knowles-Ulmer re-election campaign in 1998. Now, after being forced to retire in July 2002 because of the Legislature's budget cuts, he has suddenly begun to question the policies he helped to develop, implement and support throughout his tenure.

Empire voting recomendations
It's probably a fair assumption that readers of the opinion page have already voted or will likely do so tomorrow. In the off chance someone is reading this who is ambivalent about going to the polls, this message is for you.

My Turn: Vision, access, energy: keys to Alaska's future
When Secretary of State William H. Seward negotiated the purchase of Russian America and a draft Treaty of Cession of Russian America to the United States was signed March 30, 1867, there was substantial opposition to the purchase of Alaska in Congress and the media. Ernest Gruening's "The State of Alaska" is worth reading again to realize how important vision was to the purchase and development of Alaska.

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

Dean of college rugby
When Josh Dean first arrived at the U.S. Air Force Academy three years ago, he and fellow Juneau cadet Christian Kolden saw a flier advertising the school's rugby program and decided to give the sport a tryout.

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.

Eagles' new mew
One Wing, right, and his mate, The Old Witch, are shown at the Bird Treatment and Learning Center Thursday in Anchorage, where they are housed in the center's new eagle mew that was dedicated Sunday by traditional Native spiritual leader Kenny Gardner. Dane Ketner built the mew for his eagle scout project. One Wing, a bald eagle rescued after the Exxon Valdez oil spill, will never be released, but blood transfusions from the bird have benefited about two dozenother birds.

Vote OK bonds
ANCHORAGE - The last oil stored at the trans-Alaska oil pipeline terminus in Valdez has been loaded and no more crude will be shipped south until the pipeline is repaired and restarted. As of midday today, Alyeska Pipeline Service Co. hadn't decided when the pipeline could resume operations. Spokesman Mike Heatwole said the company is reviewing 160 key components of 211 miles of pipe closest to a major earthquake that hit Interior Alaska on Sunday.

Crews rush to fix quake damage
Aftershocks continued to rattle Alaska's Interior today as crews worked to repair highways left with huge gaps from a powerful earthquake that rocked the state.

Alaska boy's 4-H project goes global
KENAI - Eleven-year-old Walker Boyle is working to help one big problem in a place far away - and so far people have been more than willing to help. His 4-H project goal is to collect 400 children's books to send to elementary school students in Madina Village, Papua New Guinea.

State Briefs
Zoning change to allow bear sanctuary; Chairman of Ahtna Inc. resigns; Fisherman goes overboard in Bering Sea; Police identify victim in fire

ANB opposes legislative move, Chamber supports school bonds
Endorsements for statewide ballot initiatives and propositions were made in the final days before Tuesday's general election.

Man pleads out in porn case
A Ketchikan man has pleaded no contest to one count of possessing child pornography.

Caves raise concerns about SE logging plan
A group of underground explorers wants the U.S. Forest Service to drop plans to log timber on an island west of Ketchikan that's honeycombed with caves.

Alaska earthquake felt in Louisiana
When people saw water sloshing about in ponds, bayous and pools, an earthquake more than 3,000 miles away seemed an unlikely culprit.

Police look for missing hot tubs
Anchorage police are looking for thieves who stole several hot tubs in October.

Quake damage keeps Alaska pipeline closed
ANCHORAGE - The last oil stored at the trans-Alaska oil pipeline terminus in Valdez has been loaded and no more crude will be shipped south until the pipeline is repaired and restarted. As of midday today, Alyeska Pipeline Service Co. hadn't decided when the pipeline could resume operations. Spokesman Mike Heatwole said the company is reviewing 160 key components of 211 miles of pipe closest to a major earthquake that hit Interior Alaska on Sunday.

Murkowski maintains healthy lead over Ulmer in race for governor
ANCHORAGE - The last oil stored at the trans-Alaska oil pipeline terminus in Valdez has been loaded and no more crude will be shipped south until the pipeline is repaired and restarted. As of midday today, Alyeska Pipeline Service Co. hadn't decided when the pipeline could resume operations. Spokesman Mike Heatwole said the company is reviewing 160 key components of 211 miles of pipe closest to a major earthquake that hit Interior Alaska on Sunday.

Native groups launch marrow drive
KENAI - Several Kenai Peninsula organizations are addressing a serious shortage of Alaska Native and American Indian bone marrow donations. The Kenaitze Indian Tribe, Kenaitze Cuya Qyut'anen Head Start, Salamatof Native Association and the Blood Bank of Alaska Kenai Peninsula Center are teaming up to host a minority bone marrow testing and blood drive next week.

Man charged with pipeline shooting faces 10 years
ANCHORAGE - The man charged with shooting a hole in the trans-Alaska oil pipeline last year, causing a 285,000-gallon oil spill, faces 10 years in prison for a weapons violation. A sentencing hearing was held Monday in Fairbanks for Daniel Lewis, who was convicted of a federal charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm. At the hearing, federal Judge John Sedwick said he is convinced Lewis shot the pipeline. Lewis was in possession of the weapon the same day the pipeline was shot.

Anchorage basks in balmy weather
ANCHORAGE - In a month that often sees skiing, Southcentral golfers are still on the links.

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