Total Pageviews

Wednesday, December 31, 2003

NBC shows Iraqi vid of Dying GI

Piestewa Family: Video of Injured Soldiers Sparking Anxiety, Hurt
By Ananda Shorey Associated Press Writer
Published: Dec 31, 2003

PHOENIX (AP) - The family of a soldier killed in Iraq had harsh words Wednesday for the network that aired footage of her, bloody and bruised, in an Iraqi hospital bed shortly before she died.

The footage, aired Tuesday on "NBC Nightly News," shows Lori Piestewa and Jessica Lynch - Army privates and best friends - at a hospital where they were taken after a March 23 ambush. Lynch was rescued April 1.

Airing the tape - which NBC said was filmed but never broadcast by Iraqi television - created a sense of fear, anxiety and hurt, Piestewa's family said in a statement.

"This terrorism was not from any foreign group wishing to harm the United States, but from our own people wanting to make a quick buck off the misfortune of two beautiful young women," the family said.

Wayland Piestewa, brother of the fallen soldier, released the statement but declined to answer questions.

NBC spokeswoman Barbara Levin said the network contacted the Pentagon so the families of Piestewa and Lynch would know about the footage.

"Undeniably there's news value in it," Levin said, because it bolsters Lynch's statements that she did not remember what happened after her unit was attacked, and because it shows Piestewa was alive for a time after the ambush.

"It gave some clarity to the situation," Levin said.

On the tape, Piestewa's face is swollen, bloody and bruised and her head loosely bandaged. Her lip is shown curling back in an apparent grimace.

Lynch, 20, is also shown bandaged, her lip cut. Neither appears awake or alert.

The footage was somewhat comforting for fellow former POW Spc. Shoshana Johnson, who verified Lynch's and Piestewa's identities for NBC.

"It was a little shocking to see Lori, but it also gave me a little peace to know that they tried, they did their best for her," Johnson, 30, told the network. "I mean, it was obvious they tried to bandage her up and give her medical care."

Iraqi doctors have previously said the women were brought to a private clinic after the ambush, and that Piestewa, a 23-year-old mother of two from Tuba City, Ariz., died half an hour later of severe head injuries.

Although they disagreed with NBC's decision to air the footage, Piestewa's family said some people definitely should see it.

"Let us make sure that both President Bush, his father and each of his aides and advisers get a copy of Lori dying in agony so that they realize, from the comfort of their homes, that war should be the last option," the family said in the statement.

AP-ES-12-31-03 2330EST

Copyright 2003 Associated Press

Tuesday, December 30, 2003

Russian bears are as hungry as Alaskan bears!


PETROPAVLOVSK-KAMCHATSKY, December 29. /RIA NOVOSTI CORRESPONDENT OKSANA GUSEVA/ -- RIA Novosti was told in the Kamchtka search-rescue detachment that a bear tore a man to pieces in the Kronotsky wildlife refuge.

One of the oldest workers of the Kronotsky wildlife refuge and well-known Kamchatka photographer and hunting specialist Vitaly Nikolayenko fell victim to a big bear 1.5 kilometres from the station on the territory of the wildlife refuge.

Nikolayenko was taking a photograph of the beast and failed to use the weapon he was carrying when the bear attacked him.

The rescue workers brought the body to Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky.

A total of about 600 Kamchatka bears live on the territory of the Kronotsky wildlife refuge but cases of attacks on man by beasts of prey are extremely rare.

Monday, December 22, 2003

So it's almost Christmas

...and Saddam Hussein is in "jail," with certain people hoping like heck he doesn't spill his guts about everything he knows...and we are now at Orange Alert...What I want to know is why Tom Ridge keeps talking about Homeland this and Homeland that. I could have sworn we were in the United States, not some place called "Homeland"...and it snowed like a son of a gun in Anchorage but its cold and clear here in Bethel...

Saturday, December 06, 2003

Alaska's first flu fatality?

Health officials suspect flu in death of 17-year-old girl
KOTLIK: Fatality is the first this year in Alaska as vaccine supplies rapidly dwindle.

Anchorage Daily News

(Published: December 6, 2003)
As officials scrambled to find more flu vaccines during an unprecedented shortage, the state health department Friday evening reported Alaska's first possible death from the flu this season.

Health officials said a 17-year-old girl from Kotlik died this week in the western Alaska village from a respiratory viral illness that resembles influenza.

Dr. Franc Fallico, the state's acting chief medical examiner, said his staff performed a preliminary autopsy Friday and learned the girl had pneumonia, which can be related to the flu.

Fallico said the death confirms the serious nature of this year's flu season. "Young women don't usually die of respiratory diseases like this," he said.

Dr. Joseph Klejka, medical director for the Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corp., said he's seeing a lot of viral illness in that region right now. Influenza typically causes fever, cough, headache, muscle aches and fatigue.

Other states, including Colorado where six children have died, have reported deadly flu outbreaks this year. All the Colorado victims were under 16.

Fallico said state health officials are still running tests on the Kotlik girl to confirm if influenza killed her. During the past 10 years, Alaska has had at least three flu-related deaths annually, the state health department said.

The state Section of Epidemiology reported Friday that it also is struggling to find flu vaccines to meet Alaska's needs.

"We decided to do something we've never done before and try to order some more vaccine," said Dr. Beth Funk, medical epidemiologist. The state got bad news: Its main distributor had none left. On Friday, the two main manufacturers of flu vaccine for the nation announced they had both run out.

Funk said the department ordered 90,000 doses this year -- which is more than it typically orders -- but started hearing from health care providers this week that they had run out. Her staff called around and found 5,000 more doses that should arrive in Alaska next week but at a rising price.

"It probably won't meet demand," she said.

The department also is collecting about 1,000 unused doses from around the state and plans to redistribute them.

The Municipality of Anchorage's health department also is running out of vaccine. It received 3,000 adult doses earlier this fall and then an additional 300 this week, but is already down to 115, said Hisa Fallico, program manager for disease prevention and control. That's unlike past years when the department had to throw out vaccine that never got used, she said.

Klejka said he's also investigating how much vaccine remains in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta.

As of Friday, the state Section of Epidemiology reported 183 cases of confirmed influenza in the state, with most of them coming from Anchorage, the Valley and the southeast part of the state.

There are likely many more cases of influenza here, she said.

"We're not out to count every single case," Funk said. "We're just out to document that flu is in a community."

The state health department is now reporting widespread influenza because it has detected laboratory-confirmed cases throughout Alaska, she said.

Funk said she's reminding health care providers that people at high risk for complications from influenza should receive the vaccine. Those people include the very young, very old and anyone with medical conditions that affect their immunity.

People should call their health care providers to find out who has remaining flu vaccines, Funk said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

More blatant attempts at a Google ranking!


Sorry, it's not here.

Monday, November 24, 2003


KCNA Blasts Rumsfeld's Vituperation
Pyongyang, November 22 (KCNA) -- U.S. Defense Secretary Rumsfeld reportedly slandered the DPRK as an "evil country" and an "evil regime" again during his Asian visit. It is nothing surprising that Rumsfeld talked such nonsense as he put Hitler into the shade in man-killing and war hysteria.
But we can never pardon him for malignantly slandering our dignified and inviolable political system whether he is a political dwarf, human scum or hysteric.
His hands are stained with the blood shed by so many people.
He is, indeed, a human butcher and fascist tyrant who puts an ogre to shame.
It was none other than Rumsfeld who set out the theory of "preemptive nuclear attack," massacred innocent people in every part of the world and hurled GIs into the Iraqi war and other abysses of death. Wherever he went he sparked aggression, war and horrible disaster.
It is ridiculous of such a war fanatic to talk about evil and other country's policy.
It is tragedy that he does not know he himself is a kingpin of evil.
Such vituperation was let loose by Rumsfeld known to play a major role in shaping the politics of the U.S. administration at a time when Bush is talking about "written security assurances" to the DPRK. This goes to prove that the "security assurances" are nothing but a farce to deceive the DPRK.
This also clearly proved that the Bush group remains unchanged in its wolfish design to unleash a new war on the Korean peninsula at any cost, far from opting to co-exist with the DPRK in peace, and its inveterate denial of the DPRK system.
If his vituperation represents the stance of the Bush administration, it can not but cast a doubt about the prospect of the six-way talks but only reinforces the conviction that there is no other way but to stand in confrontation with the U.S. to the end.
And this compels us to approach with vigilance the true intention of the Bush administration clamoring for a "peaceful settlement" of the nuclear issue.
The wrong way of thinking and sinister intention of the U.S. bellicose forces to detain us in the conference room and focus on mounting a preemptive nuclear attack on us behind the curtain clearly prove the justice of our decision to increase our nuclear deterrent force.

Monday, November 17, 2003

Honoring Lori Piestewa

Indian Leaders Honor Hopi Servicewoman Killed in War With Iraq
By Susan Montoya Bryan Associated Press Writer
Published: Nov 17, 2003

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - Army Spc. Lori Piestewa, the first American servicewoman killed in the war with Iraq, was remembered Monday as a brave soldier who made her family and fellow American Indians proud.

Piestewa's mother, father and two small children watched as the National Congress of American Indians signed a proclamation honoring the fallen soldier during its annual conference.

The proclamation said Piestewa served her country valiantly when the 507th Maintenance Company was ambushed by Iraqi forces in March. Piestewa, a member of the Hopi tribe in Arizona, and eight other soldiers were killed when their supply convoy became lost and entered Iraqi-held Nasiriyah.

"Today we look to the creator to comfort the parents and the children of Lori and the families of all of these fallen warriors," NCAI President Tex G. Hall said.

Her mother, Percy, wiped tears from her eyes and gave kisses to Piestewa's youngest child, 3-year-old Carla, as she bounced up and down to the beating drums of an honor song played by two members from Taos Pueblo.

The soldier's father, Terry Piestewa, told The Associated Press on Monday that his family was honored to travel to New Mexico to meet with people who have found a place in their hearts for his daughter.

Two of Lori Piestewa's friends, Pfc. Jessica Lynch and Spc. Shoshana Johnson, were captured in the same ambush and survived.

AP-ES-11-17-03 2258EST

Hopi woman killed in Iraq is honored
In a salute to veterans, the Seminole Tribe hosts ceremonies honoring Army Pfc. Lori Piestewa, a Hopi, who became the first woman soldier to die during Iraq duty.


That Seminole word, meaning ''thank you,'' was repeated many times Thursday as Native American veterans from around the nation honored one of their own, a Hopi who was the first female soldier to die in Iraq.

Gathered at the Seminole Big Cypress Entertainment Complex on Broward County's western edge for the 16th annual Veterans Day Celebration, about 300 Native Americans were part of a tribute to Pfc. Lori Piestewa.

She was 23 years old in March when Iraqis ambushed her 507th Maintenance Co. and captured her comrades, including her closest friend and roommate, Pfc. Jessica Lynch. On Sunday, NBC will broadcast a TV movie about Lynch's ordeal.

Piestewa has not received the same level of attention, said Seminole spokesman Elrod Bowers, but tribes from across the country have pulled together to show their support for her family.

''In the Seminole culture, it's not accepted to be loud about your accomplishments, to be out there about what you've done,'' he said. ``We are more subdued.''

Nodding in solemn gratitude, Piestewa's parents accepted a hand-carved flute decorated with fringe and American flags.

In Seminole culture, the flute symbolizes healing, tribe member Steven Bowers explained. The dead soldier's father, Percy Piestewa, listened intently as his wife, Terry Piestewa, wrapped her arms around Lori's children, Brandon, 5, and Carla, 3. Piestewa was divorced, and the children now live with her parents.

Highly guarded about the details of their daughter's life, the Piestewas were quiet throughout the day's events, but seemed comfortable joining in a victory dance performed by the Comanche Little Pony Warrior Society, a national group with some Florida members.

''We are very humbled,'' said Percy Piestewa. ``We thank you, and God bless you all.''

Immediately after they received news of their daughter's death, they told the cavalcade of reporters who descended on their town that Lori might be embarrassed by all the attention. Nevertheless, her name and legacy are now etched in American history. For example, Squaw Peak in Phoenix was named after her this summer.

The Seminoles contacted the Piestewa family in June, offering to pay their way from their home in Arizona to South Florida for the ceremony. The tribe traditionally hosts a memorial before Veterans' Day to allow Native American servicemen and women to celebrate with their fellow soldiers of all backgrounds on the national holiday, which this year is on Tuesday.

Military accomplishments were acknowledged proudly Thursday, with four hours of dancing, singing and schoolchildren from the Seminole's Ahfachkee School reading poems and essays with patriotic themes.

A display included photographs of decorated Seminole soldiers. The tribe's members have been awarded purple hearts, and have served multiple tours in Vietnam and World War II. One was a member of the White House staff under three presidents, earning him the President's Service Badge.

Dave Forman, president of Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 23 Broward, said 14 Seminoles gave their life in that war. He served as an Air Police officer from 1964 to 1965.

He said he feels a solidarity with Native American veterans. ''When we came home, we had to fight with the federal government to get everything we got,'' he said. ``And they have fought just as hard to get every honor they deserve.''

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

Lest We Forget: Veterans Day, 2003

In Flanders Fields
By: Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918)
Canadian Army

IN FLANDERS FIELDS the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place, and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Browser Wars

Let me say it LOUD AND CLEAR
"I Hate Microsoft Internet Explorer."
I also run a Mac.
Soooooo.....being the openminded browser bigot that I am, I did not hesitate to adopt what used to be called Chimera, now Camino, a fine open-source Mozilla product.
Camino 0.7 has been out and stable since March, and I love it.
The other night I started messing around with Firebird 0.7.1 (for Mac OS X) and the only gripe I have it that it won't use Java 1.4.1, which is the version I have on the machine. Other than that, I must say it is on the verge of being competitive with Camino in several ways, not the least being appearance. I just love color in my toolbar widgets and Firebird has that, even if it doesn't have as many widgets as Camino.
Now, Mark, what about Safari? Good question. I basically use safari for "type-in" java applications and little else. It looks goofy and I like being contrary anyway!
So if you are looking for a good browser, if you are on a Mac use Camino, and if you are a poor windozed user, I recommend Firebird. If you are a Mac user, give Firebird a test drive, too. It has a way to go, but it is fun and fast, important on a dialup no matter where you are.

Shocking news, but TRUE

Salmon, it seems, is GOOD for you. Whoda thunk it?

Running columnist praises Alaska salmon as great endurance food


I trust everyone is following Achewood this week.

Monday, November 10, 2003

DID NASA nuke Jupiter?

I like to take a look at The Enterprise Mission every now and then to see what Marsfan Richard Hoagland has to say. Hoagland is an enigmatic character, to put it mildly, but he is tenacious in his view that the "Face on Mars" is really an artificlal construct conveying a message similar to that ascribed to the Pyramids of Giza.
His latest item, though, stands some serious attention. His headline, Did NASA accidentally "Nuke" Jupiter is based on the coincidental appearance of a mysterious dark spot on the gigantic planet a month after NASA deliberately crashed the Galileo space probe into it. Check it out.

Snow, Finally!

My co-worker looked out the window of our office this afternoon and said, "It looks like we've already gottenas much snow as we had all last winter."
No kiddin'!
We should be hearing snogos zooming around any minute now, although the Kuskowkim River is still running like a faucet.

Monday, November 03, 2003

No, we DON't have the

Treadwell mauling audio
Treadwell bear mauling audio
Grizz-et greenie mauling audio

or any other search criteria you put in
(but we'll put these in here to get a Google ranking!)

Thursday, October 23, 2003

Well, it WAS an ENGLISH boy's school...

Schoolboys hospitalised after taking Viagra

October 23, 2003

Six English schoolboys were hospitalised after they took Viagra pills in their lunch-break, education bosses said today.

One of the Year Eight pupils, all aged 12 and 13, is believed to have brought in the tablets and handed them around to five of his pals at the all-boys comprehensive school in Berkshire.

Teachers at the Forest School in Winnersh called 999 when word spread of what they had done.

A spokeswoman from Wokingham District Council, the local education authority, said: "It is believed that a pupil brought the tablets from home into the all-boys school and shared them with five friends. The school responded quickly to the situation and, as a precaution, paramedics were called.

"The pupils were taken to the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading. All six have subsequently been discharged and are not expected to suffer any ill-effects.

"All of the tablets have been accounted for. The school has a strict no drugs policy and a pupil will be temporarily excluded for actions which placed other pupils at risk."

The incident happened last week.

Viagra was launched by pharmaceuticals giant Pfizer in 1998 as a breakthrough in the treatment of male impotency and is a prescribed drug, although it is available for sale on the Internet.

Sexual health experts have said the effects of the drug on young people are untested and side effects unknown.

Although it is not thought the boys will be seriously affected, doctors say any reaction with other medication could be dangerous.

- PA

THIS could be fun!

Moans and screams as Germans fall for porno karaoke

October 23, 2003

Germans are screaming, moaning, and panting for the latest nightlife craze: porno karaoke.

Film producers Satt und Durstig organised a premiere in Berlin last month after a successful test run in the northern city of Hamburg, and the trend has already spawned imitators in other major cities.

Porno karaoke is similar to traditional karaoke - but, instead of standing in for Whitney Houston or Frank Sinatra, contestants belt out the soundtracks of adult movie stars.

Players pair off in male-female teams as an XXX film is loaded into the projector. With the sound turned off, each duo is handed two microphones, and has one minute to provide the aural fireworks for the action on the screen.

The crowd, which tends to find the show more comic than erotic, then chooses the couple that has given the most convincing, creative, and ecstatic performance of faking an orgasm before hundreds of strangers.


Wednesday, October 15, 2003

How NOT to camp in bear contry

Biologist believes errors led to attack
BEARS: Californians' choices may have contributed to fatal encounter.

Anchorage Daily News

(Published: October 10, 2003)

Human remains and clothing found in the stomach of a 28-year-old brown bear killed by National Park Service rangers Monday have confirmed that the animal fed on the bodies of California animal activist Timothy Treadwell and girlfriend Amie Huguenard, authorities reported Thursday.

Fresh details about the attack near Kaflia Bay in Katmai National Park on Alaska's southwest coast also began to emerge.

According to a memo from Alaska Department of Fish and Game biologist Larry Van Daele, Treadwell set up his bear-viewing camp "in such a way that bears wishing to traverse the area would have had to either wade in the lake or walk right next to the tent. A person could not have designed a more dangerous location to set up a camp.''

In videos found at the scene, Van Daele said, Treadwell described "his campsite as (in) a potentially dangerous location, but he expresses his confidence that he understands these bears and they will not harm him.''

On Wednesday, Fish and Game dispatched Van Daele -- author of a book on the history of the brown bears on Kodiak Island and an authority on the half-ton coastal cousins of the grizzly bear -- to Kaflia to investigate what is believed to be the first deadly bear attack in Katmai park history.

"What caused this individual bear to kill and eat humans is unknown,'' Van Daele concluded. "It was very old but not in remarkably poor condition.''

Most likely, the biologist said, there was a chance encounter between the people and the bear that resulted in the bear attacking and the situation worsening from there. Though authorities who arrived on scene Wednesday found two bears competing to eat the carcass of an adolescent bear also killed by rangers on Monday, Van Daele stressed that he saw nothing to indicate "strange bear behavior occurring in the area.''

Alaska brown bears commonly scavenge any mammal carcasses they find, but attacks on humans are rare and cases of brown bears actually eating humans are so uncommon that even calling them rare would be an overstatement.

Audubon Society biologist John Schoen and other experts on Alaska grizzly and brown bears on Thursday pointed out that Treadwell's proclivity for trying to get close to Alaska bears for more than a decade illustrates nothing so much as the bears' amazing tolerance for humans. The self-proclaimed former drug addict and eco-warrior from Malibu, Calif., regularly approached bears on his summer sojourns here, often easing to within feet of them while talking to them in a sing-song voice.

On videotape recovered at Treadwell's camp, Van Daele said, there is more evidence of this potentially dangerous behavior.

One "video shows Ms. Huguenard within 3 meters (10 feet) of a sow with cubs as they fish,'' Van Daele wrote.

"One of the cubs came even closer to her while (Treadwell) filmed. She seemed uncomfortable but did not move. Some journal entries suggest that she was not as comfortable with the situation as he was. One of the last of his journal entries described his dismay as a large, adult male fought with one of his (Treadwell's) favorite sows near the camp.''

Such fights among bears are not uncommon, particularly late in the year when the bears are scrambling to put on as much fat as possible before winter. A poor berry crop this year and tapering salmon runs would only compound the situation, said Van Daele, who noted that the smaller brown bear killed in the area by park rangers and Alaska State Troopers on Monday had been largely eaten by other bears by Wednesday.

Rangers, troopers and Fish and Game biologists had to drive one bear off what was left of the carcass and shoo away another lurking in the alders nearby in order to investigate Treadwell's camp. They literally battled their way in, firing firecracker shells and using the whoop-whoop-whooping of a helicopter overhead to drive the animals away and keep them away.

From what was found at the campsite in this bear-infested area, and other information, Van Daele said he developed a theory on how Treadwell and Huguenard might have died on Sunday night.

"We will never know exactly what happened, and it is somewhat risky to speculate,'' he warned, but in effort to lend some sense to what happened, he offered this hypothesis based on journals, videotapes and evidence at the scene.

"The most telling piece of information is an audio recording made during the actual bear attack. This goes on for about six minutes and starts with (Treadwell) outside of the tent investigating a bear that came into camp. It was obviously raining very hard at the time and seems to have been twilight or evening, judging from some comments.

"The bear attacks (Treadwell), and he calls for help. Ms. Huguenard opens the tent fly and is very upset. At her urging, he 'plays dead.' It sounds like the bear then retreated for a couple minutes but returned. It again went after him, and he begged her to hit it with something. She in turn screamed for him to fight. The audio ends with his sounds no longer evident and her screams continuing.

"Based on all the evidence, I would guess that this old, large boar had been hanging around the areas getting the last fish of the season. There was little else available to eat, and he competed with the sow for food. Although not in bad condition, he needed more fat for the winter.

"That evening, probably Sunday night, (the male) was walking along a major bear trail and walked by the tent. When he encountered Mr. Treadwell, the bear reacted and either bit him and/or hit him. When he 'played dead,' the bear left, but as is often the case, when Mr. Treadwell started moving again, and/or Ms. Huguenard came to his aid, the bear returned.

"At this time, for some reason, the bear killed and ate him. I suspect that Ms. Huguenard's screams, which sound eerily like a predator call, may have prompted the bear to return and kill her. He then cached her body to be eaten later.''

A predator call is a device hunters use to lure foxes, coyotes and wolves into rifle range. It has a high-pitched tone meant to imitate the call of an injured animal. The calls have been known to attract bears in Alaska.

The old boar that fed upon Treadwell and Huguenard -- and is likely the one that killed them both -- was estimated to weigh more than 1,000 pounds and had broken canine teeth. Van Daele doesn't think the other bear that rangers shot at the scene Monday, an apparent 3-year-old, had anything to do with the killings. That bear's stomach, along with most of its carcass, had already been consumed by other bears.

"In my assessment,'' Van Daele added at the end of a five-page memo, "Mr. Treadwell's actions leading up to the incident, including his behavior around bears, his choice of a campsite and his decision not to have any defensive methods or bear deterrents in the camp, were directly responsible for this catastrophic event.''

Treadwell had carried bear-repelling spray for self-protection when he first began coming to Alaska to commune with the bears but had stopped carrying it in recent years. The founder of Grizzly People, an organization for bear lovers, Treadwell didn't believe it was right to spray bears with the irritating pepper spray -- even if it caused no long-term injuries to the bears.

"He just felt that was an invasive, aggressive mechanism that translated into a kind of attitude. He didn't want to have that attitude,'' said friend Joel Bennett, a Juneau filmmaker. "He kind of wanted to resign himself to whatever happened.''

Daily News Outdoor editor Craig Medred can be reached at

Thursday, October 09, 2003

Treadwell: 'Get out here. I'm getting killed'

MAULING: Sound of bear attack that killed two was captured by video camera.

Anchorage Daily News

(Published: October 9, 2003)

Among the last words Timothy Treadwell uttered to his girlfriend before a bear killed and partially ate both of them were these:

"Get out here. I'm getting killed.''

Words caught on a tape recording of the attack also reveal Treadwell's girlfriend, Amie Huguenard, shouting at him to play dead, then encouraging him to fight back.
Alaska State Troopers report that is what they heard on a videotape recovered Monday at the scene of a bear mauling in Katmai National Park and Preserve. The tape was in a camera found near the bear-buried remains of Treadwell, 46, and Huguenard, 37.
Troopers spokesman Greg Wilkinson said there are no pictures on the tape, leading troopers to believe the attack might have happened while the camera was stuffed in a duffle bag or during the dark of night. Treadwell had talked to an associate in Malibu, Calif., by satellite phone around noon Sunday. He mentioned no problems with any bears.
The remains of the Southern Californians who periodically came to Alaska to live intimately with the bears were found the next day. A large but scrawny old bear with bad teeth that a pilot had seen sitting on the brush and dirt pulled over the bodies was shot and killed by National Park Service rangers at the scene after it charged them.
Troopers Wednesday refused requests to release the audiotape, but said it convinced them the two people had been killed by a bear. Speculation about whether a bear had actually done the killing had been fueled by Treadwell's oft-stated but unsubstantiated claim that he spent summers at Katmai to protect the bears from poachers and sport hunters.
"I'm their lifeguard,'' he told a reporter for The Davis (Calif.) Enterprise in 1999. "I'm there to keep the poachers and sport hunters away. I'm much more likely to be killed by an angry sport hunter than a bear.''
The Kaflia Bay area of Alaska's Gulf Coast -- where Treadwell spent most of his time in the state -- has long been closed to sport hunters, and Katmai rangers said there is no history of poachers killing bears in the area.
When bears die, they are usually killed by other brown bears, said park superintendent Deb Liggett, noting that 90 percent of the cubs each year are killed, and often eaten, by other brown bears. Adult bears sometimes kill each other there, too.
In this case, Wilkinson said, troopers are confident a bear was also responsible for killing the Malibu couple. Troopers are also convinced, he added, that the bear seen feeding on their bodies was the bear killed by Park Service rangers. There is no way, however, of knowing whether that bear or another shot by troopers at the scene did the actual killing.
The tape full of screams and rustling sounds details the attack, Wilkinson said, but adds little to explain exactly what happened or why. The tape, he said, lasts about three minutes. Scratching and dragging noises on it have led troopers to believe Treadwell might have been wearing a body mike when the attack began.
After Treadwell calls for help, Wilkinson said, Huguenard can be heard shouting "play dead.'' That is the recommended response to being grabbed by a brown or grizzly bear, but authorities stress the idea of playing dead should be abandoned if the bear continues to press the attack.
On the tape, shortly after the warning to "play dead,'' Wilkinson said, "Huguenard is heard to scream "fight back.'' Treadwell later yells "hit him with a pan,'' Wilkinson said.
After that, the tape goes dead. Because there are no pictures, troopers believe it is most likely the bear came in the night. The tent in which Treadwell and Huguenard had been camping showed no signs of being ripped open by a bear trying to attack people inside, but a friend of Treadwell's said it was common for him to leave the tent in the dark to confront bears that approached his camp.
"His way of operating was to get out of the tent immediately when he heard a bear around,'' Juneau filmmaker Joel Bennett said Wednesday. "He subscribed to the theory that the worst thing you could do was stay in the tent."
Bennett knew the flamboyant Treadwell well. Only two weeks before Treadwell's death they had spent weeks on Kodiak Island working on a Disney film about bears.
"You probably know that I've done three full-length films with him,'' Bennett said. "There's no question he had a remarkable repertoire with bears and had a remarkable ability for them to tolerate him ... (but) just so people don't get the wrong idea, Tim definitely knew there were bears out there that were bad medicine.
"This incident sounds to me like it had nothing to do with his work during the day to look at bears or photograph bears. It was a campsite situation.''
Dozens of scientists, bear guides and outdoor authorities who have spent their lives around Alaska's bruins have criticized Treadwell's daytime activities. The Californian had a seemingly overwhelming need to get close to bears.
"He was a strange dude,'' said Joe Darminio, a former guide at the Newhalen Lodge who used to take bear-viewing tourists to meet Treadwell. Many of the tourists, Darminio added, recognized Treadwell from television or his book, "Among Grizzlies -- Living with Wild Bears in Alaska.''
Opinions among the tourists were split on whether Treadwell's bear-stalking antics were crazy, but Darminio said there was agreement the blond Californian in the black Carhartt's with the bandana tied around his head like a pirate was entertaining.
It was hard to avoid being shocked or impressed by the fearless way he eased up to within feet of some of the most powerful predators on the continent. Treadwell said he could calm them by talking in his high-pitched sing-song voice and tell from their body language whether they posed any threat.
"He really was a Dian Fossey in that way,'' Bennett said. "She could have been killed by one swipe of a gorilla at any time. Dian Fossey got close to the gorillas. She touched them. Timmy did not encourage other people to do this. He says over and over in his films, 'Do not do this. Do not copy me.' It's obviously not something people should do, but it's something that he did."
Huguenard was exposed to Treadwell's daring antics at a grizzly bear presentation in Boulder, Colo. A graduate of the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine with a degree in molecular biology from the University of Colorado in Boulder, she knew trying to get close to brown bears was dangerous, but went along with Treadwell anyway.
"It was part of her life,'' sister Kathie Stowell told The Times' newspaper in their old hometown of Valparaiso, Ind. "They had a passion and that overrode everything.
"She definitely died, according to her, in the most beautiful, pristine place on earth.''

Reporter Elizabeth Manning contributed to this story. Daily News outdoor editor Craig Medred can be reached at

Wednesday, October 08, 2003

Ahhh....So he didn't REALLY want to be eaten!

The case of Timothy Treadwell and his innocent companion Amie Hugenard is sad, very sad. In her case, tragic because the poor woman really had no idea of what she was getting herself into, following a suicidal lunatic into the Alaskan bush to "live among the grizzly."
Treadwell has opinied on several occasions that he would be honored to be a meal for the ursus, but did he intend for his female companion to be dessert?
Well, truth be told the camera (at least the audio track) doesn't lie. Treadwell, friend of all that walks on two legs and growls, spent his last moments on Earth screaming for help, begging for his life as the jaws of an animal he thought should be elevated to "the kindred state" with a couple of species of marine mammals closed around his fragile human body as an undoubtedly terrified Amie watched in horror and awaiting her own fate.

Katmai bear mauling recorded on tape

By RACHEL D'ORO, Associated Press Writer

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (October 8, 6:55 p.m. ADT) - The graphic sounds of a fatal bear attack were recorded on tape, Alaska State Troopers discovered Wednesday while reviewing videotape recovered from the campsite where a wildlife author and his girlfriend were killed.

The remains of Timothy Treadwell, 46, and Amie Huguenard, 37, both of Malibu, Calif., were found Monday at Katmai National Park and Preserve on the Alaska Peninsula.

Trooper Chris Hill said the tape suggests the video camera was turned on just before Treadwell was attacked. The recording is audio only and the screen remains blank for all six minutes.

"They're both screaming, she's telling him to play dead, then it changes to fighting back. He asks her to hit the bear," Hill said. "There's so much noise going on. I don't know what's him and what might be an animal.

"It's pretty disturbing. I keep hearing it in my mind."

An air taxi pilot who arrived to pick up the couple near Kaflia Bay contacted the National Park Service and troopers to report a brown bear was apparently sitting on top of human remains in the camp.

A ranger shot and killed a large brown bear when the animal charged at them through the dense brush. Troopers and rangers later killed a smaller bear apparently stalking them.

An autopsy on the human remains confirmed the couple were killed by bears, according to results released Wednesday.

Troopers recovered video and still photography equipment as well as three hours of video footage from the site, which is located across Shelikof Strait from Kodiak Island.

Much of the footage is closeup shots of bears. Treadwell built his reputation as an author and videographer living among Katmai bears each summer for more than a decade. Huguenard, a physician's assistant, had been traveling to the park for the last couple of years with Treadwell - co-author of "Among Grizzlies: Living With Wild Bears in Alaska."

Some of the recovered footage has bears no more than a few feet away from Treadwell. Others show a more timid Huguenard leaning away as bears come close to her on the bank of a river.

Hill said he was stunned by what he heard.

"The audio starts while he's being mauled and ends while he's being mauled," Hill said.

Perhaps Treadwell heard a bear and asked Huguenard to turn on the camera, which was found with the lens lid on and packed in a camera bag, Hill said.

"At first, she sounds kind of surprised and asks if it's still out there. I'm not sure if she was asking if a bear was outside their tent or in the brush," Hill said. "The audio stops because the tape runs out. Otherwise, it probably would have captured the whole thing."

Hill said he will attempt to transcribe the tape. There are no plans to make the recording or transcripts public, trooper spokesman Greg Wilkinson said.

On Wednesday, the Park Service focused its investigation on the campsite.

A multi-agency team, including rangers and troopers, flew out to the remote area again after being socked in by bad weather Tuesday. A state biologist was on hand to take tissue samples from the dead bears for necropsies.

Human remains and a T-shirt were found in the stomach of the larger bear. But other bears had eaten most of the smaller bear or buried some of its remains, Hill said.

There's no way to tell if either bear killed Treadwell and Huguenard, said John Quinley, a Park Service spokesman.

"No doubt we'll be looking for evidence of human remains, but there's a difference between killing and consuming," Quinley said. "The fact that those bears consumed humans doesn't mean they did the killing."

Rebecca Dmytryk, who oversees an animal rescue organization in Malibu, said Treadwell was more fearful among humans sometimes than with bears.

She recalled video footage of Treadwell before his death that showed him in a streambed near an older bear he nicknamed "Quincy."

"Quincy, do you remember when you stood over me? You were so hungry, and you should have eaten me, but you didn't. Thanks for not eating me, Quincy," Dmytryk recalled him saying to the bear in the clip. "If Quincy had eaten me, good, 'cause he's a nice bear. Love 'm."

Added Dmytryk: "He did love those bears. They were family. He sacrificed his life to protect them."

Treadwell's family was in shock.

"I was dumbfounded, ready to fall through the floor," said his father, Valentin Dexter, who lives in Pompano Beach, Fla. "Oh God, I was very proud of him."

"We talked about the risk of him living by himself in the woods, but we never dwelled on it because he always came home happy and with so many good stories," said his mother, Carolann Dexter.

"Not too many get to do what they love and he did just that."

"I would be honored to end up in bear scat"

Wildlife author killed, eaten by bears he loved

Wildlife author killed, eaten by bears he loved
KATMAI: Many had warned Treadwell that his encounters with browns were too close.

Anchorage Daily News

(Published: October 8, 2003)

A California author and filmmaker who became famous for trekking to Alaska's remote Katmai coast to commune with brown bears has fallen victim to the teeth and claws of the wild animals he loved.

Alaska State Troopers and National Park Service officials said Timothy Treadwell, 46, and girlfriend Amie Huguenard, 37, were killed and partially eaten by a bear or bears near Kaflia Bay, about 300 miles southwest of Anchorage, earlier this week.

Scientists who study Alaska brown bears said they had been warning Treadwell for years that he needed to be more careful around the huge and powerful coastal twin of the grizzly.

Treadwell's films of close-up encounters with giant bears brought him a bounty of national media attention. The fearless former drug addict from Malibu, Calif. -- who routinely eased up close to bears to chant "I love you'' in a high-pitched, sing-song voice -- was the subject of a show on the Discovery Channel and a report on "Dateline NBC." Blond, good-looking and charismatic, he appeared for interviews on David Letterman's show and "The Rosie O'Donnell Show" to talk about his bears. He even gave them names: Booble, Aunt Melissa, Mr. Chocolate, Freckles and Molly, among others.

A self-proclaimed eco-warrior, he attracted something of a cult following too. Chuck Bartlebaugh of "Be Bear Aware,'' a national bear awareness campaign, called Treadwell one of the leaders of a group of people engaged in "a trend to promote getting close to bears to show they were not dangerous.

"He kept insisting that he wanted to show that bears in thick brush aren't dangerous. The last two people killed (by bears) in Glacier National Park went off the trail into the brush. They said their goal was to find a grizzly bear so they could 'do a Timothy.' We have a trail of dead people and dead bears because of this trend that says, 'Let's show it's not dangerous.' '' (more)

Tuesday, October 07, 2003

The only good griz is a DEAD griz

They are one of the most, if not THE most dangerous animals in the world.
Timothy Treadwell decided they were more fun than drugs. Well, well... He was found "partially consumed and cached" along with his companion Amie Hugenard yesterday.
"feeding on humanremains"
"partially consumed and cached" "that is not an unusual behavior among bears"
met a bear that challenged his concept of bears as friendly animals
Here's what he thought of bears, from his website
"Grizzly People is a grassroots organization devoted to preserving bears
and their wilderness habitat. Our goal is to elevate the grizzly to the kindred state
of the whale and dolphin through supportive education
in the hopes that humans will learn to live in peace with the bear,
wilderness and fellow humans".
The kindred state of the whale and dolphin? Are you serious? Neither whales nor dolphins feed on "human remains."
Bear Expert and Companion Killed in Bear Attack at Alaska Park
By Rachel D'oro Associated Press Writer
Published: Oct 7, 2003

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - A self-taught bear expert who once called Alaska's brown bears harmless was one of two people fatally mauled in a bear attack in the Katmai National Park and Preserve.

The bodies of Timothy Treadwell, 46, and Amie Huguenard, 37, both of Malibu, Calif., were found Monday at their campsite when a pilot arrived who was supposed to take them to Kodiak, state troopers said Tuesday.

Treadwell, co-author of "Among Grizzlies: Living With Wild Bears in Alaska," spent more than a dozen summers living alone with and videotaping Katmai bears. Information on Huguenard was not immediately available.

The Andrew Airways pilot contacted troopers in Kodiak and the National Park Service after he saw a brown bear, possibly on top of a body, at the camp near Kaflia Bay.

Park rangers encountered a large, aggressive male brown bear within minutes of arriving. Ranger Joel Ellis said two officers stood by with shotguns as he fired 11 times with a semi-automatic handgun before the animal fell, 12 feet away.

"That was cutting it thin," said Ellis, the lead investigator. "I didn't take the time to count how many times it was hit."

The victims' remains and camping equipment were flown Monday to Kodiak. Ellis said investigators hope to glean some information from video and still cameras.

As the plane was being loaded, another aggressive bear approached and was killed by rangers and troopers. The bear was younger, possibly a 3-year-old, according to Bruce Bartley of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

The victims' bodies were flown to the state medical examiner's office for autopsy.

Dean Andrew, owner of Andrew Airways, said the pilot was too upset to comment. The company had been flying Treadwell to Katmai for 13 years and Huguenard for the last couple of years. Andrew said Treadwell was an experienced outdoorsman.

Treadwell was known for his confidence around bears. He often touched them, and gave them names. Once he was filmed crawling along the ground singing as he approached a sow and two cubs.

Over the years, Park Service officials, biologists and others expressed concern about his safety and the message he was sending.

"At best he's misguided," Deb Liggett, superintendent at Katmai, told the Anchorage Daily News in 2001. "At worst he's dangerous. If Timothy models unsafe behavior, that ultimately puts bears and other visitors at risk."

That same year Treadwell was a guest on the "Late Show with David Letterman," describing Alaska brown bears as mostly harmless "party animals."

In his book, Treadwell said he decided to devote himself to saving grizzlies after a drug overdose, followed by several close calls with brown bears in early trips to Alaska. He said those experiences inspired him to give up drugs, study bears and establish a nonprofit bear-appreciation group, called Grizzly People.

Grizzly and brown bears are the same species, but "brown" is used to describe bears in coastal areas and "grizzly" for bears in the interior.

The deaths were the first known bear killings in the 4.7-million-acre park on the Alaska Peninsula.


Thursday, October 02, 2003

ADN Letter 'o the Day

Performing arts center would be a great place for a gaming hall

From what I read in the paper, it appears that the upcoming legislative session will be taking up the gambling issue again. Someone once suggested that the performing arts center could easily be combined as a gambling establishment and a PAC, which seems an excellent idea.

The center is a blatant, flashy structure without grace, charm, dignity or beauty. I'm sure had this project been submitted to a kindergarten class as a contest the kids would have come up with a more acceptable structure and decor.

After a few short months, that fancy roof had to be renovated at great expense because it leaked. The carpet, a special loomed job patterned from an artist's conception of Alaska wildflowers, hundreds of yards of it (and extremely expensive), hits you right between the eyes when you walk in the door -- talk about gaudy, busy and loud; it says it all. But we did save money on the benches -- it looks like they just salvaged them from the nearest park and painted them harsh green.

I have been in several performing arts buildings in various cities and, believe me, this one is truly an uncouth "I don't care how they do it in the Lower 48, Alaska-tacky."

I suggest we name it "Tony's Tavern & Casino -- Live Entertainment." After you have been seated and have recovered from the assault on your senses, you will truly enjoy the "Live Entertainment."

-- Lucille M. McConnaughey

Eagle River

Wednesday, October 01, 2003

Alaska AG sez "We are not at war with tribes." We say bullshit.

State isn't waging war on tribalism by Gregg Renkes, Alaska Attorney General (and former lobbyist and former Senator Frank M. staffer and Yalie and who knows what else.
Read his column. We say bullshit.

We're #1

If you search Google for isofrabon!

Tuesday, September 16, 2003

Whale on the Table

Kristoff is still kicking around the Arctic!
Whale on the Table

Thursday, September 11, 2003

Eat miso, fight cancer

EAT YOUR WAY TO HEALTH: Study: Miso soup cuts cancer risk
The Asahi Shimbun

`Three bowls a day slashes breast cancer risk by 40%.'

Women in their 40s and 50s, around the time menopause sets in, who consume at least three bowls of miso soup a day cut the risk of developing breast cancer by as much as 40 percent, a study by the National Cancer Center Research Institute found.

According to the study, released Tuesday, post-menopausal women who consume isofrabon, which is found in foods containing soybean such as miso soup, were much less likely to develop breast cancer.

The results of the study suggest isofrabon works to block production of the female hormone estrogen, which is believed to cause breast cancer, researchers said.

But consuming processed foods containing soybean-tofu, fried bean curd and natto (fermented beans), for example-did not cut women's risk of developing breast cancer, the study found.

Researchers, led by Shouichiro Tsugane, director of the institute's cancer prevention research department, questioned about 22,000 women since 1990 on their daily diet for the study. The women were all aged between 40 and 59 and from Iwate, Akita, Nagano and Okinawa prefectures.

``Eating miso soup is effective in preventing breast cancer. But drinking too much miso soup will lead to an excessive salt intake, which is bad for the health, so it's important to eat a balanced diet,'' said Tsugane, a specialist in epidemiology and disease prevention.(IHT/Asahi: September 12,2003)

Tuesday, September 09, 2003

Good. He's finally gone.

In case you don't know the story, he wanted to shoot of nuclear devices to build an artificial harbor at Point Hope. Read THE FIRECRACKER BOYS by Dan O'Neil. Or look at this Project Chariot website.

Edward Teller Is Dead at 95; Fierce Architect of H-Bomb

Edward Teller, who was present at the creation of the first nuclear weapons and who grew even more famous for defending them, died yesterday at his home on the Stanford University campus in Palo Alto, Calif., according to the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, which Dr. Teller once headed. He was 95.(more)

So what does this make BOTH BARRELS?

FCC Says Howard Stern Show Is News Program
Tue Sep 9, 6:56 PM ET

By DAVID HO, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON - When you think about news shows, what comes to mind? There's "Meet the Press." And "Face the Nation." And now, Howard Stern's radio show.
That's right. The Federal Communications Commission (news - web sites) ruled Tuesday that Stern's raunchy radio program is a "bona fide news interview" program.(more)

Thursday, September 04, 2003

More Kristof, afloat in ANWR

What Price Drilling?

ARCTIC NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE, Alaska — In March, Interior Secretary Gale Norton described this area as a "flat white nothingness" that could best be used as an oil spigot.

I thought about that as I rafted down a river here, a giant grizzly bear on my left and a herd of caribou on my right. A bit earlier, I had cooked lunch with my backpacking stove on a sandbar as four musk oxen, huge buffalo-like creatures, observed me as intently as I watched them.

A bush pilot set two friends and me down on a sandbar on Saturday just north of the Brooks Range, and since then we've been rafting and hiking through this wilderness, perhaps the wildest place left on earth. I want to understand this land — whose future is hotly debated, mostly by people who haven't seen it — and figure out whether it should be opened to Big Oil.

Here on the ground, it's obvious that this refuge, far from being a barren wasteland, is actually teeming with wildlife, even as winter begins. At one spot, I saw grizzly and wolf tracks side by side, a tribute to the way this South Carolina-sized refuge preserves a patch of America as it was before Europeans arrived.

Moreover, the animals seem completely unused to humans. The first time we spotted a distant herd of caribou, we hauled in our raft downwind and crept up silently. Finally the caribou spotted us, and immediately approached for a closer look. They seemed to be trying to determine whether we were pitifully deformed caribou, and I think the females were encouraging the males to ask us for directions to the rest of the herd as it headed south.

The same thing happened when we sailed our raft as close as we dared to the first musk ox we saw, which came in for a closer look and called its pals to share the excitement. This land is truly an Arctic Serengeti.(more)

Wednesday, September 03, 2003

The envelope, please.

Kim Jong Il's Reelection as Chairman of NDC of DPRK Proposed
Pyongyang, September 3 (KCNA) -- It is the absolute intention and firm will of all the members of the Workers' Party of Korea, officers and men of the People's Army and people of Korea to build a great prosperous powerful socialist nation and achieve independent reunification of the country and the final victory of the revolutionary cause of Juche under the Songun banner, with leader Kim Jong Il in the van of revolution. Deputy Kim Yong Nam said this in his speech on the first agenda item of the First Session of the 11th Supreme People's Assembly of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea held on Sept. 3.
He courteously presented to the session a proposal of the Central Committee and the Central Military Commission of the WPK for reelecting Kim Jong Il chairman of the National Defence Commission of the DPRK.
Invariably entrusting Kim Jong Il with the chairmanship of the NDC of the DPRK is a manifestation of the firm revolutionary faith of the army and people of Korea to accomplish the revolutionary cause of Juche to the end, firmly united around him and an expression of the absolute trust of them who clearly realized his greatness in the long revolutionary struggle, he said, and went on:
Thanks to Kim Jong Il's energetic ideological and theoretical activities and tested leadership, the immortal Juche idea and the original Songun idea, the embodiment of the idea, were formulated and a radical turn has been brought about in the cause of building the Party, revolutionary armed force and state.
His Songun politics has set up a milestone of national reunification common to the nation and opened a phase of an epoch-making turn in development of inter-Korean relations for the first time in the history of its division and unprecedentedly strengthened the international position and authority of the country by remarkably expanding the external relations of the Republic as it is a genuine patriotic and independent policy, he pointed out, and continued:
To re-elect Kim Jong Il to the top post of our state is the supreme requirement of our revolution and the earnest and solemn request of all the Korean people and the progressives who strive to make the 21st century a century of a great prosperous powerful nation and a century of victory in the human cause of independence.
Our army and people, conscious of the important mission of the times given by history, will faithfully strive to carry out the revolutionary cause of Juche pioneered on Mt. Paektu to the last, build a great prosperous powerful socialist nation in this land, reunify the country and speed up the cause of global independence, holding Kim Jong Il in high esteem as the supreme leader of our Party, State and revolutionary armed forces.

Kim Jong Il Reelected Chairman of DPRK National Defence Commission
Pyongyang, September 3 (KCNA) -- The first session of the 11th -term Supreme People's Assembly of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea reelected leader Kim Jong Il chairman of the National Defence Commission of the DPRK. The session solemnly declared at home and to the world that it reelected Kim Jong Il, general secretary of the Workers' Party of Korea and supreme commander of the revolutionary armed forces who has performed immortal feats to be recorded in the history of the country forever and glorified the DPRK as the everlasting country of the great sun, chairman of the NDC of the DPRK, reflecting the unanimous will and desire of all the servicemen and the people.
The historic moment Kim Jong Il has been reelected chairman of the NDC of the DPRK all the deputies to the SPA and the participants in the session broke into stormy cheers of "Hurrah!" overwhelmed with unbounded emotion, jubilation and ardent reverence.
It is the greatest honour and happiness of the servicemen and the people of the DPRK and a great auspicious event of the country and the nation to have reelected Kim Jong Il to the highest post of the state.
This is an expression of the absolute support and trust of all the servicemen and the people in him, who has turned the country into an ideologically and politically strong country and a military power, consolidated the single-hearted unity of the leader, the Party, the army and the people as an unbreakable one, created a new history of prosperity of the country with his Songun revolutionary leadership and made an immortal contribution to accomplishing the cause of independence against imperialism.
And this marks a great event strikingly demonstrating the firm will and faith of the servicemen and the people of the DPRK to resolutely meet all challenges of the imperialists and reactionaries and foil their moves to isolate and stifle the DPRK, firmly defend the security of the country and the sovereignty of the nation and build a great prosperous powerful socialist country on the land without fail under the experienced and seasoned leadership of Kim Jong Il.

85 witha 13 year daughter. In Alaska, we call that normal.

Ex-lobbyist, deal maker Lew Dischner dies at 85
A FORCE: Criminal conviction overshadows successes for working people.

Anchorage Daily News

(Published: September 3, 2003)

Lew Dischner's death is "the passing of a true legend in our state," Greg O'Claray, labor commissioner, said.

Lew Dischner, one of Alaska's most powerful lobbyists until he went to prison in the 1980s North Slope corruption scandal, died at his home in Portland, Ore., early Monday morning of a heart attack.

At 85, his death came just days before a birthday celebration to mark 100 years in the combined ages of himself and his 13-year-old daughter, Molly, both born on Sept. 7.

Dischner, a trained carpenter and born deal maker, arrived in postwar Alaska when opportunities -- and inequities -- abounded. He became a force for organized labor, the Inupiat people of the North Slope and the Filipino communities in Southeast Alaska. An old-school, rough-edged, blue-collar working man, he was still giving advice to government officials late last year.

"I spoke to Lew just after I became commissioner," said Greg O'Claray, labor commissioner in Gov. Frank Murkowski's Cabinet and a former official of the Seafarer's and Marine Engineers unions. "He said keep your head down, kid, stay loyal to your boss, and do what's right for working people. That was Lew. Actually, he said, 'Keep your head down and your ass up,' but you probably can't print that."

O'Claray said Dischner was "one of the pillars of the state" whose accomplishments on behalf of working people and minorities were overshadowed by his criminal conviction in 1989, for which he served five years in federal prison.

"It's the passing of a true legend in our state," he said.(more)

Tuesday, September 02, 2003

I couldn't feel more honored

Our deepest gratitutde goes to Mr. Taylor for selecting US, of all people in the world, as a worthy partner in this important endeavour. Stay tuned. Oh yeah: This MUST begin with a big, wet, Sic!






AS result of my discrete search for a reliable foreign partner, Iam
delighted to confront you based on my believe that you could invest these
funds wisely. I now decided to write you as well as to let you know
that I need your assistance in helping me and my father to invest THESE
money in any lucrative venture of your choice. Prior to my conviction of
your capability to assist hence we shall go into partnership deal. I've
decided to move these funds to your country.

Infact, The funds where deposited with a certain security companies in
this four countries and the contents was falsefully disclosed as some
diamond and Africa art values which are very expensive to the knowledge
of the security companies. In the
agreement between my father and the security companies, it was
mentioned that a possible change of ownership is allowed, so I will fax you the
documents involved penden to which country you can be able to fly to as
soon as possible, in order to sign off the release of the fund to you
as the sub-owner, since you have to apply for the change of ownership as
soon as I have forward
the documents to you for further confirmation of the deposition of the
consignment that contained the funds. FOR your effort, 20% will be your
share as soon as the funds are release to you and you have to open a
bank account in each of this country to enable you pay the fund into each
account and have the money transfer to
your bank account in your country and 5% will be for any expenses that
we both may incur during the process of releasing these funds and the
rest percentage will be for me and my father.Hoping you will respond to
my call to assist us in investing this cash,this is 1000% risk free, as
I have taken proper care of every
arrangement. Feel free to assist please! MORE INFORMATION WILL BE GIVEN



And in Alaska we called this Legend a "Lobbyist"

Former commissioner, racketeer dies in Portland

By DAN JOLING, Associated Press Writer

ANCHORAGE (September 2, 7:15 p.m. ADT) - Lewis M. "Lew" Dischner, who served as Alaska's first state commissioner of labor and was convicted of racketeering after leaving office, died Tuesday in Portland, Ore. He was 85.

Dischner was at home with family when he died, said longtime friend Howard D'Spain of Mesa, Ariz. The cause of death was not immediately available.

Dischner was president of the Carpenters Local 1243 in Fairbanks before statehood and was a leader in the Teamsters Union. A longtime Democratic Party activist, he was appointed Department of Labor commissioner under Gov. Bill Egan, when Alaska became a state in 1959.

He later became a Juneau businessman and powerful legislative lobbyist for the North Slope Borough as oil dollars flowed into the borough from the recently constructed trans-Alaska pipeline and the borough attempted to provide 20th century services to people in the harsh Arctic.

In the North Slope Borough scandal, Dischner and his partner, Carl Mathisen, were convicted in 1989 on more than 20 felony counts of extortion, mail and wire fraud and racketeering. Dischner also was ordered to forfeit $5.8 million.

"Lew Dischner was a great man who just went astray at one point in his life," said Doug Pope, Dischner's Anchorage attorney. "Whether people will remember him that way I guess only history will tell.

"He was a great man who contributed to the growth and development of Alaska before he was ever charged with a crime."

Dischner negotiated with oil companies to ensure that only Joint Crafts Council members were hired for construction of the trans-Alaska pipeline, according to his family and friends, and during the 1970s arranged for high school seniors to serve as pages in the Legislature to expand their knowledge of state government.

But his public service record was forever tainted after his conviction for bribing former North Slope Borough officials with gifts and trips, then using their influence over borough contracts to win kickbacks from contractors.

Dischner and Mathisen were convicted of corrupting the North Slope Borough government during the administration of Mayor Eugene Brower between 1981 and 1984.(more)

In Alaska we call this "Lobbying"

Strip Club Manager Pleads Guilty in Scheme to Repeal 'no Touch' Nude Dancer Ordinance
By Seth Hettena Associated Press Writer
Published: Sep 2, 2003

SAN DIEGO (AP) - A strip-club manager admitted taking part in a scheme to buy influence from three San Diego city councilmen in an effort to repeal a city ordinance prohibiting nude dancers from touching patrons.

John D'Intino, the 56-year-old manager of Cheetahs, pleaded guilty Tuesday to conspiracy to commit wire fraud as part of a deal with federal prosecutors.

D'Intino admitted in court that he conspired with his boss, club owner Michael Galardi, and others to funnel campaign contributions to councilmen Ralph Inzunza, Charles Lewis and Michael Zucchet to repeal the city's "no-touch" law.

He said that the city's "no-touch" law was hurting business at Cheetahs. A proposal to have the City Council reconsider the law never made it onto the agenda of a council committee.

Galardi and the three councilmen have pleaded innocent.

"Mr. D'Intino has accepted responsibility for his own wrongdoing and is looking forward to moving on with his life," his attorney, Geoffrey Morrison, said outside court.

D'Intino, the first of the group to reach a plea deal, agreed to be held without bond pending sentencing.

In court, D'Intino said he directed his employees to write checks to various City Council candidates and then reimbursed them to disguise the source of the money.

D'Intino also dropped off thousands of dollars in contributions at a Zucchet fund-raiser.

As part of a separate indictment, D'Intino also pleaded guilty to weapons charges.

An almost sensible op-ed peice from the New York Times on ANWR

A Grizzly's-Eye View of a Refuge That Oil Drillers Covet


As I write this, I'm huddled in a tent on the tundra of the wildest part of America, about 175 miles above the Arctic Circle in the last great wilderness virtually untouched by humans other than Eskimos and Indians.

This fate of this wildlife refuge is to be decided by politicians in Washington in perhaps the most contentious debate about the environment today. Supporters of oil drilling make much of the fact that almost none of those who insist on protecting this refuge have ever seen it or ever will, and they sometimes argue that it is a frozen wasteland — even though their own visits consist mostly of staring down through the windows of a plane.

So I decided to visit for a week — boots on the ground, or snow — and backpack and raft through this pristine land now up for grabs. Assuming that my satellite-telephone batteries hold out, I'll write about what the land is really like — and, on the way, make up my own mind about drilling.(more)

Monday, September 01, 2003

School is back in session

So lets look at some of the (gasp) philosophy that underlies "modern" education.
First, give a read to Dewey's Pedagogic Creed, the schoolteachers version of the Hippocatic oath. Except, in Dewey's Creed, the School Teacher DOES NOT vow to "do no harm..."

Then take a gander at the webpage of former New York Ciy teacher John Taylor Gatto.
Gatto offers the followng view of Dewey's Creed:
School is a religion. Without understanding the holy mission aspect you’re certain to misperceive what takes place as a result of human stupidity or venality or even class warfare. All are present in the equation, it’s just that none of these matter very much—even without them school would move in the same direction. Dewey’s Pedagogic Creed statement of 1897 gives you a clue to the zeitgeist:

Every teacher should realize he is a social servant set apart for the maintenance of the proper social order and the securing of the right social growth. In this way the teacher is always the prophet of the true God and the usherer in of the true kingdom of heaven.

What is "proper" social order? What does "right" social growth look like? If you don’t know you’re like me, not like John Dewey who did, or the Rockefellers, his patrons, who did, too.

Saturday, August 30, 2003

Fed's, Tribal Police take action in Navajo country

More Than 20 Arrested on Bootlegging, Drug Charges on Navajo Reservation
By Anabelle Garay Associated Press Writer
Published: Aug 30, 2003

PHOENIX (AP) - Twenty-three residents of the Navajo Reservation were arrested and charged with bootlegging and drug dealing after a two-month undercover investigation by federal and tribal authorities, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.
The probe is part of "Operation Bootleg," an initiative designed to combat unlawful liquor sales on the vast reservation that covers parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah. Officials believe curbing access to alcohol will curtail the reservation's high crime rate.
"The return that we see from our efforts in this area is a safer community because we're attacking the underlying cause to a crime of violence," U.S. Attorney Paul K. Charlton said Friday after announcing the arrests in Window Rock, the Navajo Nation capital.
Eighteen people were charged with unlawfully dispensing intoxicating liquor; five others were arrested on drug charges and probation violations.
Bootlegging is a misdemeanor offense and probation is usually given on a first conviction. Second-time offenders are typically sentenced to a year in prison.
Alcohol sales have long been banned on the reservation. Yet most of the violent crimes investigated by the FBI on the Navajo Reservation involve assailants under the influence of alcohol, studies by the U.S. Attorney's Office show.
"I believe targeting bootleggers will reduce the cycle of violence bootlegging brings to the Navajo Nation from domestic violence to sexual abuse to murder," said Navajo President Joe Shirley Jr.
Shirley's 29-year-old daughter was killed by a drunken driver on Nov. 24, 2001.
In October 2002, a retired California dentist and his traveling companion were killed in a drunken-driving crash. Larry Wilson was sentenced to nearly 11 years in prison after his blood-alcohol content was found to be 0.392. The legal limit in Arizona is 0.08.
Another alcohol-related crime was an August 2001 carjacking and double murder. When sentenced to life in prison, Gregory Nakai blamed his actions on alcoholism.
"The result doesn't just touch on the usual domestic violence. Now we're seeing very violent crimes," said Deana Jackson, a spokeswoman for the Navajo president. "We're seeing Navajos killing Navajos as a result of alcohol consumption. All as a result of purchasing from bootleggers."

AP-ES-08-30-03 0155EDT

Tuesday, August 26, 2003

Booze? In a sportfishing lodge? No way!


WWDS (What Would Dilbert Say?)

Burn Rate of World Trade Center Cubicles Key to Investigation
By Devlin Barrett Associated Press Writer
Published: Aug 26, 2003

GAITHERSBURG, Md. (AP) - Computers and other office equipment fueled the World Trade Center fires long after the jets that crashed into the towers incinerated, suggesting a need to consider new fire codes for modern office buildings, federal investigators said Tuesday.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology, which is investigating the cause of the buildings' collapse on Sept. 11, 2001, recreated the World Trade Center fire in a mock cubicle.

Investigators discovered that while the jet fuel and the plane's contents burned up in a matter of minutes, the contents of the buildings, including the many office cubicles on the upper floors, continued burning until the structures collapsed. (more)

Ray's Advice

What are your feelings on meeting girls on the internet? I've had some really amazing experiences, some really horrible experiences, and some just plain embarrassing ones, mostly from girls met on What do you think? Is it a totally respectable way to meet folks or a little bit pathetic? Any tips? I've seen Téodor and Vlad at it, but they are not quite the role models I consider you to be.
BF in Madison

Dear BF,

Yeah, it’s lame. Usually the woman will just choose a photo that really flatters her, and you can’t see that she has like a dumb little ankle tattoo of a rose, plus an aluminum cane, the kind with four little feet of its own. Then when you meet there’s this awkward mutual feeling that you’re both fatter than you said you’d be.

What we learn from the blog log....

That some rich old bat in Newport R.I. named Eileen Slocum is REALLY popular. Whats up with that? Cult of the personality or cult of the pocketbook or what? We see more hits from Google searches on her name than for almost anything else. How do YOU spell weird?

Saturday, August 23, 2003

West Nile Virus, An Alaskan's Persepctive

The Associated Press wire is carrying a story about a few folks that have had a tougher than others time with West Nile Virus, the mosquito borne bird disease that we fully expect to hit Alaska in the very near future (i.e. next few summers). The story is certainly worth a sympathetic read, and two quotes jump out at me: one makes me want to hurry up and contract it, the other leads me to believe WNV is ALREADY here in Alaska.
As a litle test for my loyal readers, the first one to send me an e-mail identifying the quote that makes me want to catch it, and the one that makes me figger it's already here wins a years free subscription to BOTH BARRELS!

Thursday, August 21, 2003

He didn't REALLY say that, did he?

The latest rumour is Uncle Ted said, more or less quoting, "I support Lisa Murkowski, but I am not going to campaign against my friend Tony Knowles."
Lets dissect this comment and apply a few calculus functions t it, shall we?

In the first place, if Senator Stevens DID say such a thing, it has the enormous effect of writing off Senator Murkowski's chances of election next November. Now, we all know there was no love lost betwixt and between the Senate President Pro Tempore and the Senator Murkowski the First. The day Frank the former banker took to the Senate Floor and badmouthed his Senior Senator, more than a few of us knew it was all over.
I cannot hlep but think Senator Stevens was appalled at the brazenness of the Governor's appointment of his own daughter to the United States Senate not to mention the length of time it took for Alaska's one-term Governor to make his decision, a delay that cost our State precious seniority in the most powerful legislative body on Earth.
Now for Seantor Stevens to refer to Alaska's most vicious former Governor as his close personal friend is just astounding. Senators only call each other "friend." Now what does THAT telegraph, eh?
Ok, Senator Stevens needs a protege', someone he can teach the ropes and tell all the secrets to. Lisa Murkowski ain't it, believe me. If you thnk Senator Stevens is gonna tell HER what to whisper to a colleague on the Senate Floor, arm on shoulder, during a vote, you've got another thing coming.
Much as I HATE to say it, Tony Knowles is probaly Senator Srevens' first choice to be that protege.
Lookit- the Senator is nothing if not a pragmatist. He's Old School. Hell, he's the President Pro Tempore, third in succession to the Presidency, at least until the Democrats regain the Senate.
Now, with that in mind, why on earth would Senator Stevens be giving a de facto endorsement to Tony?
Good question. Maybe he considers it Alasak's insurance policy. Knowles will run on ANWR. He will say over and over again that he and only he can get Democratic Senators vote to let a little geophysical work happen in the 1002 Area.
And the fact of the matter is that the fat hog we think we are cutting with Uncle Ted won;t last forever- the ONLY thing that is gonna save our collective asses is pumping some serious grease out of the ground, and Tony is the only Alaskan politician with the stones to tell the Athabascans to pack sand. And Uncle Ted knows it.
I guess the best argument for electing Tony Knowles is that he is already about as corrupt as they come, so he'll have a short learning curve in Washington.

Wednesday, August 20, 2003


Checkout the Achewood Songfight on Song Fight. The theme is the notable comment by Roast Beef that "What we need more of is science."
Your blogger couldn't agree more.
If you are going to listen to just one song, I suggest the one by MC Hawking.


You know who you are!

Tuesday, August 12, 2003

They's my dogs!

Cops feel cuffed without firearms
Hooper Bay leaders fear guns would make village more dangerous

The Associated Press

(Published: August 11, 2003)

HOOPER BAY -- When Hooper Bay's seven police officers go on patrol, they tend to deal with small-town peacekeeping duties, not the violent crime of their big-city cousins. And that's fortunate, for Hooper Bay is the only known municipality in the United States whose police officers are forbidden from carrying firearms.
The desire of officers to carry arms and the refusal of village leaders to permit them have caused a rift between the two. Town leaders fear firearms will just make the village more dangerous, even in the hands of cops. Police say town leaders are being unreasonable.
"Unpredictable, unexpected things don't happen here often, but they do happen," said Police Chief James Hoelscher, 27, who has lived in Hooper Bay since he was 13 and became a village police officer at 18. "A little Yup'ik Eskimo village is not immune to what can happen in Anchorage or Los Angeles or anywhere else."
Village leaders are unconvinced.
Elmer Simon, tribal government administrator, said he would support properly trained officers using guns -- but only in emergency situations. Otherwise, he said, they should keep them locked up.
"A lot of young people wouldn't hesitate -- especially if they're under the influence of alcohol -- to grab a handgun from the officers and use it against them," Simon said. "Not that we're against handguns. But accidents do happen."
Hooper Bay is a village of 1,100 on the windblown Bering Sea coast, about 515 miles west of Anchorage. It is among the last communities in Alaska without running water or a sewage system.
The village has existed for more than a century, incorporating as a city in 1966. It has steadily grown in recent years despite high unemployment and few job opportunities. Commercial fishing and subsistence fishing and hunting are the primary means of support. Well over a third of the population is unemployed and receiving public assistance.
And no one can remember a time when police carried guns.
Hooper Bay leaders cite concerns over potential mishaps or misuse of authority, even by professionally trained officers. Hoelscher and two other officers graduated last fall from the University of Alaska Fairbanks' law enforcement academy.
Both The Fraternal Order of Police and the International Association of Chiefs of Police said they were unaware of any other organized municipality in the nation whose officers don't carry guns.
But Hooper Bay police have never carried firearms, old-timers say. And until the current flap, it's never been an issue.
"We're not a big enough village to justify carrying guns," said City Administrator Raphael Murran.
The chief said there's good reason for his officers to carry firearms. In fact, he keeps his own gun locked up at the station and, policy or not, he has taken it on a few potentially risky calls. It's not always possible to wait for armed help from state troopers in Bethel, 150 miles away, he said.
"I'd rather be fired than killed," said the married father of four. "I have a family to go home to."more

Saturday, August 09, 2003

Chief Peter John passes away at 102

Athabascan leader Peter John dies

The Associated Press

FAIRBANKS (August 9, 2:05 p.m. ADT) - Chief Peter John, the traditional chief of Athabascan Indians, died Friday in his log home in Minto.

John, 102, was surrounded by family and village elders when he died.

"He'll be greatly missed by everybody," said Andy Jimmie, chief of Minto. "It was an honor to live in the village with him."

John was born Oct. 15, 1900. His mother died when he was 2 and he saw his first white man when he was 10 years old. His formal education ended in elementary school.

John never stepped foot outside of Alaska and lived most of his life in Minto, a community of about 230 people 130 miles northwest of Fairbanks.

John's mother died when he was 2 and he saw his first white man when he was 10 years old. His formal education ended in elementary school.

Known as an outspoken man, he testified for Alaska Native land claims during the late 1960s and advocated sobriety for Alaska Native people.

He was elected by Athabascan elders in 1992 to be their traditional chief. The position is a teaching role, not a political one.

He taught tradition and sought to remind people what it meant to be Athabascan. He wrote a book, "The Gospel According to Peter John."

The self-taught John was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Alaska Fairbanks in 1994. His wife Elsie John died in 1995.

Gov. Frank Murkowski on Saturday ordered that the Alaska flag be flown at half staff from Monday morning through Friday afternoon in John's honor.

Friday, August 08, 2003

Talk about funny!

Federal security forces on hand for Greenpeace visit

The Associated Press

KETCHIKAN (August 8, 3:35 p.m. ADT) - Six members of the Federal Protective Service are on duty here for a visit by the environmental group Greenpeace.

The officers, dressed in black tactical uniforms, work in shifts, with two officers on duty at all times to protect the Federal Building, said Officer Katherine Maxey.

The six officers were pulled together for the assignment from posts in Vancouver, Wash., Anchorage and Seattle, Maxey told the Ketchikan Daily News. If the Greenpeace ship Esperanza moves to Juneau, or another city containing federal property to protect, the officers also will move, she said.

Maxey said the officers' mission, as explained to her, is: "just to assure nothing goes wrong, given that Greenpeace is here and given the history of Greenpeace."

She said she and fellow Officer K.C. Gardner were enjoying Ketchikan's warm weather and the view of salmon jumping in Thomas Basin while they patrolled the Federal Building parking lot.

The little-known Federal Protective Service, formerly a unit of the General Services Administration, has been transferred to the Homeland Security Department, Maxey said.

Melanie Duchin, a Greenpeace campaign coordinator aboard the Esperanza, called the federal agency's presence in Ketchikan excessive.

"I think it's a waste of taxpayers' dollars," Duchin said. "And those security officers could be used on a real security issue in Ketchikan."

Duchin acknowledged that Greenpeace has at times performed acts of civil disobedience, but said more than 99 percent of its activities are legal.

"We have no plans to disrupt anything here in Ketchikan," Duchin said.

Greenpeace is in Ketchikan this week as part of a trip through Southeast Alaska to protest logging in the Tongass National Forest.

"Kiss me again before you go/there's something more that you should know/my life will be hell/without you, my belle"

Cheap Tricks newly released album Special One has soemthing on it for everyone.It's dark, and it's light. It's catchy and confusing. It once again showcases the awsome talents of what is arguably America's best rock band. From opening rocker "Scent of A Woman," a tune which seems to be offending some critics under the age of, oh, say, 13 to the haunting title cut "Special One" the Trick proves once again that they can do it their way.
I've browsed a few reviews of the album and suffice to say they are split down the middle, but count ME on the right side.

Cheap Trick has written more than a few songs about suicide (Auf Wiedershien; Oh, Candy to name 2) and "Special One" had the working title of the Dr. K (Kevorkian) song. If you know anything about suicide then it can take a few listens to to get used to. However, it can only be called a love song.

Cheap Trick cancelled at the fair- I'm Downed

But the fans in Northern California are excited about going to see them August 23rd at the Reno Hilton!

Thursday, July 24, 2003

"The Murkowski pledge to get tough on crime sounded like music to my ears during the campaign."

Cutting VPSOs not tough on crime


(Published: July 24, 2003)
Anchorage Daily News

During his campaign, Gov. Frank Murkowski promised to "get tough" on crime. Unfortunately, the Murkowski administration's actions do not back up the "get tough" rhetoric.
Recently the governor wielded his veto pen to cut 15 Village Public Safety Officer positions from the budget. VPSOs are first responders to crime in Bush Alaska. Now, instead of waiting minutes for a local law enforcement officer to respond to an emergency, rural communities affected by the cuts will wait hours or even days for a state trooper to arrive by airplane.
Rural Alaska has long been plagued by high crime rates and slow police response times. One study found that 57 percent of the emergency requests from Alaska Native communities in rural areas were not answered within 24 hours of the incident.
Twenty-four hours is a lifetime in an emergency. Indeed, we know from the Godfrey tragedy that 45 minutes is an unacceptably long time to wait for a police response to a violent crime. The study's conclusion was that residents of Alaska Native villages have the distinction of receiving the slowest police response times in the entire United States.
Combine the decrease in public safety officers with the Bush's historically high rates of homicide and rape and the outcome is not difficult to predict: In the years to come there will be more crime, more victims and fewer criminals held accountable.
The Murkowski cuts to VPSOs are especially problematic, as they fall on the heels of recent legislative efforts to beef up the program, efforts that candidate Murkowski pledged to support. Two years ago the Legislature, recognizing the need for more local law enforcement, expanded VPSO responsibilities to include probation and parole monitoring duties.
The idea was to allow offenders to return home and reintegrate within their communities once their prison sentences had ended instead of having to stay near a state parole office in less familiar surroundings. Cutting these positions means that probationers and parolees from these 15 communities will not be able to reintegrate with their communities as readily.
The same bill, which passed both the House and Senate with only a single "no" vote, increased VPSO salaries and added some modest retirement benefits. As the Legislature recognized, VPSOs are a cost-effective front-line force for public safety.
In a speech covering public safety issues made Aug. 7, 2002, at the Eagle River Chamber of Commerce, candidate Murkowski delivered this pledge:
"We need to evaluate and improve our delivery of police protection and justice to our Bush communities. There should be no compromise when it comes to public safety in those communities." Gov. Murkowski didn't just compromise; he surrendered outright in the 15 villages that no longer have a VPSO as a result of his cuts.
My own background tells me that reducing the number of VPSOs is an ill-considered idea. I was a state prosecutor from 1996 to 2002. I was in and out of court on a daily basis. Though I spent most of my career in Anchorage, I also helped out in Bethel, Dillingham and St. Paul.
Those communities have had their share of difficulties in attracting and retaining qualified police officers. The best officers were the ones who took the time to understand something about the people and the place they served. The VPSO program was founded on that simple idea: Use local knowledge and familiarity to your advantage in fighting crime.
The Murkowski pledge to get tough on crime sounded like music to my ears during the campaign. But the music stopped when the budget ax fell. Common sense says that you can't cut the number of law enforcement officers and get tough on crime at the same time.
When the legislative session begins next January, I will file legislation to restore these lost positions. Many of the legislators who voted to increase the program in 2001 are still serving. I hope that their commitment to public safety is as strong now as it was then.

Hollis French, a Democrat, represents West Anchorage and Spenard in the Alaska State Senate.