Wednesday, November 20, 2002

Artistic objection
This is to object to the sexual stereotyping in one of the editorial cartoons you ran in Sunday's paper.

Pray for peace
How fortunate we are to live in a country that is abundant in resources, beauty and most of all freedom. We take for granted our right to move about the nation exercising our freedoms and enjoying life.

Involvement required
Alaska, rich in beauty, resources and human talent. So why do we have the same kind of social problems as the rest of the world? Other states look at our vast oil production and can't understand why we have a budget mess. Our Alaska dividend seems beyond belief for the rest of the nation, sometimes the media characterizes the dividend as "... the government pays people to live there." Strange misunderstandings of simple truths.

Re roads: You get what you pave for
Recent letters and My Turns indicate that the general public does not understand that there is a difference between capital costs for road improvements and maintenance costs for maintaining those roads. Virtually all of the new road construction and/or reconstruction by the state in Alaska is with federal motor fuel tax funds allocated through the FHWA.

Killing thousands of people doesn't accomplish good
"George Bush: Terrorist! Tony Blair: Terrorist! Sharon: Terrorist!" This was the indictment chanted by a British delegation of Globalize Resistance at the European Social Forum last. For the past two months I've been traveling in Europe and though it's not always as vehement, the anti-war sentiments expressed by the people I've met remain consistent.

Child molester serves less than 10 months for crimes
A man originally accused of raping a young female family member for almost 10 years will be out of jail and on his way back to Mexico after serving less than six months in jail. Jose Garcia-Lopez, 41, recently pleaded guilty to a felony charge of second-degree sexual abuse of a minor and was sentenced to 10 months in prison. Garcia-Lopez has been incarcerated since his arrest in June. With time off for good behavior, he is expected to be released before the end of the month and be deported to Mexico.

Long-time Juneau photographer dies
A downtown photo-shop owner who documented the construction of the trans-Alaska oil pipeline and shot portraits of Alaska government leaders died this week.

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

Photos: Getting ready for World AIDS Day
Above, Juneau-Douglas High School freshmen Tessa Haralovich, center, Kabil Ed, left, Jonathan Maki, and Eli Wray, right, cut red ribbons after school Tuesday in preparation for World AIDS Day on Dec. 1. Next week the students will be passing out the ribbons to commemorate those who have died of AIDS as well as those who are still fighting the disease.

Valley school plan OK'd
The Juneau School Board unanimously approved the schematic design for the new Mendenhall Valley high school Tuesday night. The design now goes before the Juneau Assembly for final approval. "We've passed on the schematic with some suggestions," said School Board President Chuck Cohen. "If we continue to move in a reasonably prompt manner we may have this school open in August '06."

TSA meets federal screening deadline in Southeast Alaska
The Transportation Security Administration has hired and trained more than 100 federal passenger screeners for Southeast Alaska's airports, meeting today's federal deadline, the agency's regional security director said Monday. The agency also will meet a Dec. 31 deadline to screen checked bags for explosives in Southeast Alaska, federal waiver or not, said David Mitchell, TSA's top regional official.

Move threat fades, home sales rise
Following a temporary hiatus to await the outcome of the legislative move vote, homebuyers in Juneau are beginning to resurface, according to some people in the real estate business. Others, however, say business has been on the upswing for several months.

Neighbors plead for Decoy Boulevard fix
Ask an adult where Decoy Boulevard is and you might draw a blank stare. But ask a teenager and you'll probably get directions and an account of the Mendenhall Valley street's bumps and turns, according to resident Ginger Blaisdell. "You'd be very surprised how many teenage kids drive excessively fast down Decoy," she told the Juneau Assembly on Monday. "It's a joy ride and it's dangerous."

Vandals get six months for spree
Two young men will serve six months in jail for their part in a summer vandalism and theft spree that caused nearly $20,000 in damage at a Juneau middle school. Michael Johnson, 19, pleaded guilty Monday in Juneau Superior Court to a felony charge of second-degree burglary and a misdemeanor charge of first-degree criminal trespass stemming from a string of summer burglaries at Dzantik'i Heeni Middle School.

Correction
Due to a reporter's error, an article in Tuesday's Empire said drug defendant Gary Martin had been fired from his job with the state Department of Education. A department spokesman said Martin was removed from his position as an administrative manager.

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

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

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

Tea party scheduled for Cathy Cuenin
There will be a "thank you" tea party for Cathy Cuenin on Saturday, Nov. 23, at the Valley Senior Center, 2 to 4 p.m. Cathy has been a nurse and counselor in Juneau for many years, most recently at Riverbend Elementary School.

Lush foliage is a surefire way to beat winter blues
The cold drives all the tender species into shelter. Orchids and azaleas, oranges and figs, cactus and euphorbias all get pulled back into the house. Bonsai trees are wrapped and placed in sheltered places and potted Japanese Maples are half buried and mulched with chipped up evergreens.

Supporting 'The Sound'
The kids take the stage. But behind the scenes at any youth theater production, parents take care of much of what's needed to put the show together. Northern Light Junior Theater Director J. Althea recruited dozens of parents and other community volunteers to put "The Sound of Music" on stage at Northern Light United Church. The musical opened Nov. 15 and shows three times this weekend, at 7:30 p.m. Friday, and 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are $5 at the door.

Thank you
...for the support.

Meyers, Hopper wed
Lynn Meyers of Spokane, Wash. and Thad Hopper of Juneau were married July 30, 2002, in an evening ceremony at Bozarth Mansion in Spokane.

Pets of the week
This little, stray kitten was crying for her mother when gentle Jimbo stepped in. The big, white, neutered male bachelor started washing the kitten's face and purring reassuringly. The two have become inseparable. They are being offered for adoption as a pair.

Humans can heal with rituals
As we move toward the holidays, I am reminded of the rituals that accompany the season. Many I cherish; some leave me cold. Christmas music playing at Fred Meyer the day after Halloween seems nothing short of cynical. Still, those same songs played quietly in a candle-lit room on Christmas morning sound sacred. I think the difference lies in the intent.

Sidney Delman Greenewald
Former Juneau and Hoonah resident Sidney Delman Greenewald, 56, died Nov. 5, 2002, at his home in Renton, Wash.

My Turn: Alaska's next senator
Gov.-elect Frank Murkowski will be making one of the most important decisions of his political career, and Alaska's future, in the next few weeks. The person he selects to go to the U.S. Senate could be representing Alaska for years, building seniority, negotiating with senators, congressmen and the president, and working to protect the interests of our state well after our new governor has completed his work in Juneau.

My Turn: The end of a remarkable run
The election of Frank Murkowski as governor ends a remarkable run for Alaska's Big Three - Murkowski, Ted Stevens and Don Young. Sens. Stevens and Murkowski and Rep. Young have been Alaska's sole representatives in Washington for 22 years, a feat unmatched by any delegation since the U.S. Constitution was amended to provide for the direct election of senators in 1913.

My Turn: Jurors are more valuable than their pay
Nov. 18 to 22 is juror appreciation week in Alaska. Jurors are appreciated in this country because they make decisions that are made in other countries by bureaucrats or people in black robes or blue uniforms. In this country, disputes between individuals or disputes between individuals and the government are most often decided by jurors from a cross section of the community.

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

Correction
Due to incorrect information provided to the Empire, the listing of Juneau-Douglas High School wrestling results in Thursday's paper contained an error.

Cavaliers action
At Houston, Cuttino Mobley scored 12 of his 19 points in the fourth quarter and the Rockets never trailed after the opening minutes.

Spurs stick it to Cavs
SAN ANTONIO - Struggling to find wins, the San Antonio Spurs have temporarily found a solution - play the Cleveland Cavaliers. Tim Duncan scored 25 points to lead San Antonio over Cleveland 104-78 Monday night, the Cavaliers' seventh straight loss.

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

Southeast, Yukon swimmers converge on Juneau for ABC Invitational meet
Members of the Juneau-Douglas High School boys swimming team, fresh from claiming a share of the state title earlier this month, led local swimmers at the ABC Invitational swim meet held last weekend at the Augustus Brown Pool.

Man sentenced to 26 years for shooting at trooper
FAIRBANKS - A Fairbanks man was sentenced to 26 years in prison for shooting at an Alaska State Trooper last December.

State Briefs
Berners Bay land trade passes Senate; Assembly approves archery range funding; Mendenhall Boulevard to get new stop signs; Ice jam causes flooding in Salcha; Wasilla woman faces charges for running over man; Troopers name new head of criminal investigation bureau; Gov. Knowles names trade rep for China

Murkowski announces cabinet appointments
Gov.-elect Frank Murkowski announced several cabinet appointments for his administration during a press conference today in Anchorage. Gregg Renkes, who has served as Murkowski's chief of staff and chief counsel in Washington, D.C., and as this fall's campaign coordinator, was appointed attorney general.

Katz resigns as head of Alaska's Washington, D.C., office
ANCHORAGE - The man who has headed up the Alaska governor's office in Washington, D.C., for the past two decades is stepping down. John Katz said Monday he will quit once Gov.-elect Frank Murkowski is sworn in.

Sealaska wants to work Yakutat gravel deposit
ANCHORAGE - Sealaska Corp. wants to develop a high-grade sand and gravel deposit near Yakutat and is looking for a partner to help it pursue the venture. Sealaska officials say the Broken Ore Cove deposit just outside Yakutat could supply all aggregate needed for major Southeast construction projects in the future.

State worker accused of embezzling
State officials allege a former Department of Education staffer took almost a quarter million dollars in government funds and used some of the money to buy illegal drugs. Gary Martin, 43, former administrative manager for the state library system, already faces drug and weapons charges. At a bail hearing Monday, a department finance officer alleged Martin embezzled $246,184 from the agency. Law enforcement officials said they are investigating the case and may seek felony first-degree theft charges.

Permanent fund spokesman Kelly set to retire
Alaska Permanent Fund Corp. Communications Director Jim Kelly has announced his retirement following 17 years with the corporation that manages the state's oil-wealth savings account. As communications director, Kelly works as a liaison between the permanent fund corporation, the Legislature, the governor, the media and the public.

State Briefs
Assembly appoints JEDC board members; State unemployment rate flat in October; Emergency signal causes four-day search; New state regulations on cruise ship waste begin; Woman arrested in Barrow stabbing; Aftershocks continue to rattle the Interior; Barrow bids farewell to the sun

5 killed in crash on Seward Highway
ANCHORAGE - Five people were killed Tuesday when a tractor-trailer truck crossed the center line and smashed into a van taking prisoners to Seward, Alaska State Troopers said.

Murkowski transition team gets down to work
ANCHORAGE - Gov.-elect Frank Murkowski's transition team includes former state legislators, appointees from the administration of former Gov. Wally Hickel, industry representatives and even a cabinet member who once served under Gov. Tony Knowles. Since Murkowski was elected two weeks ago, his staff has declined to say who is working with the outgoing administration. Murkowski will hold a news conference Wednesday to discuss the transition, said spokesman John Manly.

AIDEA writes off $91.3 million
ANCHORAGE - A state agency is writing off $91.3 million it invested in two huge development projects that failed to make money. The board of The Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority approved an audit Tuesday that writes down about half of its $50 million investment in Alaska Seafood International, a struggling seafood plant in South Anchorage. The agency also took a write down of about half of the $125 million it sank into the Healy clean-coal plant, which operated for a brief test period and has been mired in problems even since. A write down is official recognition of a loan or investment that won't be recovered.

Trial of accused pipeline shooter begins in Fairbanks
FAIRBANKS - A lawyer for Daniel Lewis, the man charged with shooting the trans-Alaska oil pipeline last year, plans to present evidence discrediting the main witness in the case, Lewis' brother Randy.

Murkowski spends last day in D.C.
FAIRBANKS - Sen. Frank Murkowski was wrapping up business in Washington, D.C., today before he returns to Alaska to take the helm as governor. Murkowski told the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner he feels his 22 years in the Senate have been productive. "I'm certainly going out of here very comfortable and satisfied with my contribution," he said.

Teacher at Christian school charged with sexual abuse
ANCHORAGE - A teacher at a private Southcentral Christian school was arrested and charged with three counts of sexual abuse of a minor. Brion Williams, 28, who was athletic director at the Heritage Christian School in south Anchorage, was being held Tuesday in the Anchorage Jail.

New count leaves Nov. 5 elections results unchanged
Republican Tim Worthen still trailed Democrat Gretchen Guess for Senate District J in Anchorage after absentee and questioned ballots were tallied Tuesday. In one of the closest legislative races in the state, Worthen nearly halved the lead Guess previously held and trailed by only 47 votes.

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