Eugene Carl Haberman
P.O. Box 1581, Anchorage, Alaska 99510-1581
Telephone (907) 277-2415
July 26, 2004
Dear Fellow Alumni:
I don't know if you remember me well but I am a member of the graduating class of 1970 from Cherry Lawn School.
It was at the suggestion of one of my advisors that I should contact those who knew me many years ago who could be of some assistance.
Since September 30, 1977 I have been living in Alaska and currently publisher and owner of Alaska's Entertainment, Sports and Recreation Magazine®.
I miss those years attending Cherry Lawn School. The day of graduation from Cherry Lawn was very difficult for me. It was not until years later that I would understand how my years at Cherry Lawn School was to be a significant factor in my early development.
During my four years at Cherry Lawn School I focused most of my energies in my studies. If I did anything else it was spending time organizing activities like a book sale to raise funds to financially help others attend the school.
My commitment to my studies was a result of my decision at the start of attending the school to not disappoint my parents in providing me this opportunity.
Years later I would reflect those years and realize that Cherry Lawn represented more than what I learned in books, but what I learned from the quality of people that I associated with there.
One moment during my years attending Cherry Lawn that I still recall as if it was just yesterday was the night of the fire and the days that followed.
One of the buildings of Cherry Lawn was the residence for the younger boys and girls. It was also the facility providing our school dining, gym and theater.
One night when we were all just about to fall asleep a fire alarm sounded. When hearing this alarm we were not concern at first because we were use to regularly having a fire alarm practice in case of such of an event.
Quickly all of us safely left the building. Behind us a fire was blazing from the building.
Members of the local fire department came and put out the fire. All of us returned to our rooms. Not long after that a fire alarm sounded again.
We knew when hearing this that it was no practice drill. We all safely left the building, but this time the fire was out of the control. When leaving the building members of the local fire department were not there. Moments later when they arrived it was too late. They could no longer control the fire in order to save the building and our belongings.
Later we were informed that this fire was arson deliberately started by someone else.
When most schools would have been temporary closed due to this event, we did not. In fact the very next day classes were held for all the students.
Those of us who were in that building the night of the fire owe our lives today to those on the faculty who watched over us to ensure that we knew how to leave the building safely and quickly if such an event occurred.
Cherry Lawn School did continue the next day and few years more, but then it closed.
Cherry Lawn was not a financially stable school as we all knew while attending. It would be not hard to miss this fact.
Why such a school should close when situated in the heart of some of wealthiest families in the country living next door we all knew the answer to this too.
Over the years Cherry Lawn School faculty and students represented individuals from all walks of life.
Many of the residents of neighboring communities that surrounded this school did not all hold these same values.
Unfortunately Cherry Lawn School had to close its facilities. But even though Cherry Lawn School was closed, the values in life that were taught in that school were still being taught by the students who attended Cherry Lawn School.
From these same students others would understand those same values that were taught to them at Cherry Lawn School.
In the spring of 1970 I graduated from Cherry Lawn School. In the fall of that same year I attended Carroll College in Waukesha, Wisconsin. Four years later I would receive from that school my degree in Political Science and Chinese and Japanese History.
During those years I found myself in a situation in which it was difficult for me to successfully focus on my studies.
One professor told me that I didn't know how to write. Years later I would find out how mistaken he was. It was not true that I did not know how to write. The truth of the matter was that I had nothing to say.
During those four years attending college I started up several environment organizations. One was located at the college. Other organizations were formed in my home town in New Jersey.
In the summer of 1972 I saved up funds and traveled to Stockholm, Sweden to attend the first United Nations Conference on the Human Environment.
At the start of my trip to Stockholm I was surprised to find that on board my plane included the passenger, Kurt Waldheim, Secretary-General of the United Nations.
Just before arriving in Stockholm, we stopped briefly at a neighboring airport. After getting off the plane for a short break I noticed a press conference taking place with the Secretary-General.
I asked an officer if I could go up and ask a question. He stated to me that it would be alright after the press conference was over.
When I walked up to Kurt Waldheim I asked him the question whether any agreements had been reached prior to the conference. He gave me an unhappy look, and asked me who I was. Moments later the police came over and escorted me away.
I explained to them who I was. Satisfied with this they allowed me to board my plane and proceed with my journey.
Years later I would realize what had happened. As many of you recall Kurt Waldheim after leaving the position of Secretary-General of the United Nations was charged with being associated with the atrocities committed by the Nazis during World War II.
Looking at me at the airport that day on the way to Stockholm his past was in front of his eyes.
In the spring of 1974 I graduated college with a degree of political science and Chinese and Japanese history.
In August of that same year President Nixon resigned from office.
During the fall of that year I packed up all my possessions and stored them temporary at the home of a classmate from Cherry Lawn and then traveled to Washington, D.C. in search of a position in government.
During the next few months I must have knocked on every door in Congress in search of a position.
One day, across the street from the White House I went inside a building. I had noticed on this directory an environmental listing.
I went upstairs to that department. I mentioned to the party there at the time that I had graduated from college and was willing to take any position.
They gave me a telephone number to call and indicated that these people were hiring.
I called that number and the person on the other line invited me over for an immediate interview. During this call they requested that I go to the gate of the Old Executive Office Building and give them my name.
I went inside for the meeting. At first they were unwilling to hire me because I was overqualified and expressed more of an interest to find me a more qualified position elsewhere.
Days later after being unable to find me a more qualified position, they hired me for the position of working with them at the Presidential Clemency Program.
In August President Nixon had resigned. When Gerald Ford took over the position of President he had provided former President Nixon a pardon. At the same time in order to calm and bring together the country he established the Presidential Clemency Program.
The Presidential Clemency Program was established to review all cases of individuals who received less than honorable discharge from the military during the period of the Vietnam War.
When I was brought into this position former Senator Charles Goodell had been appointed by the President to be in charge of the program and only a handful of people were on his staff.
Within a few weeks from the time I was hired our offices were moved from the Old Executive Building to a building to house several hundred attorneys who would review and process the applications.
Approximately nine months later I moved on to a clerical position with the Department of Commerce.
A few days after beginning work in this position I received a call from personnel for the Department of Commerce and a request to visit their office.
Upon visiting their office I was informed that I was requested by the White House to be the “golfer” for the President of the United States.
I declined this offer at that time because I felt that I was obligated to stay on with the position I had accepted just a few days earlier.
Looking back I realize that I had lost a great opportunity, but even with this knowledge I have no regrets and I am glad to where my journey has taken me.
After working for the Department of Commerce in two different clerical positions I became disgusted with many who were working for the government and how those around me forgot on who they were working for, the people of the United States.
I wanted to do something for the community as a whole and I felt that I could do more by finding other work in another community.
I left Washington, D.C. leaving almost all my belongings except for a few items that I could carry in a knapsack.
I traveled this journey with a bus pass. This enabled me to travel around the country to determine the community I wanted to live and work.
For the next several months I traveled around the country. One day in San Francisco, California I made a decision without knowing anyone there to move to Alaska.
I had ten days left in my bus pass. From California I traveled non-stop on a bus to Washington, D.C. picked up some personal items, and then traveled back non-stop by bus to San Francisco, California.
From there I rested for a few days and then hitchhiked to Alaska.
It wasn't easy at first but I made it to Anchorage, Alaska on September 30, 1977.
I knew no one there, but quickly found me understanding the spirit of Alaska that has been forgotten or not known by many who reside here today.
Two women who sensed I was a decent person offered me a spare room to settle so I could get started.
When arriving in Alaska a severe recession had entered the entire state. The oil pipeline had just been completed and thousands of people were leaving the state in search for other employment.
During that time I took whatever position I could obtain. I became a dishwasher at a local restaurant and later in a major hotel.
Later I received a position working for a real estate company, but shortly after receiving this position I was laid off due to the economy.
Finally things started to open up for me as result of my work in the environmental movement.
I was placed in the position in monitoring all local government activities. On Monday nights I would monitor the planning and zoning commission. On Tuesday nights I would monitor the assembly.
On Tuesdays nights when the assembly ended at midnight and there was no public transportation, assembly members would give me lift home. On the way home we would go out for a beer and talk.
Other days in this position I would have the opportunity of monitoring some of the meetings with the mayor on issues related to local transportation planning and it's funding.
Later when my contract with the environmental organization was coming to an end, another organization hired me for several more months to carry on the same line of work.
The result I had the rare opportunity to have a position for eighteen months in gathering a significant understanding of the administration of the city and their residents.
Over the years in Alaska I would be involved in taking a leading role in issues of public concern.
Many of you have heard of the national organization People for the American Way. What you and including founders of this organization may not know is that I was one the leaders in this country working on issues addressed by this organization long before this organization was established or many in the country knew what was going on.
For many years Alaska has been a testing ground for political movements.
In the late seventies the far right was moving into taking control over the political direction of the country on certain issues.
In Alaska there was a local organization called Moral Majority. Their pastor here was successful in gathering up support that led to the National Republican Party removing their support for the Equal Rights Amendment for Women.
During those early days of monitoring this organization I would attend their church services. On those occasions a friend would drop me off far from the church fearful of being too close to church members.
By monitoring their activities I realized I became one of very few who was aware of the direction that they were taking against other Americans.
I knew also one day their activities would draw the national press to Alaska for an explanation of this movement that few if any were watching closely.
One day in my investigation and research with the help of government documents in Washington, D.C. I found that the major financial contributor to the national organization of Moral Majority was Holly Coors, a member of the family who owns the privately held company that produces Coors beer.
I released this story as a press release to alternative papers around the country. The result the second national boycott occurred against the company that produces Coors beer.
After the National Republican Party removed their support for the Equal Rights Amendment for Women and a second boycott began on the company that produces Coors beer, a crew from ABC National Network that produces the program Nightline came to Alaska.
One morning word came to me of their arrival. In my effort to locate them the local affiliate station for ABC would not assist me.
That same day there was a walk in support of the Equal Rights Amendment for Women happening in Anchorage. I realized by attending the walk the crew from ABC Network that produces Nightline would more than likely be there.
During the walk I spotted the ABC logo with a camera and news crew. I walked over to them and they confirmed to me that they were the news crew for Nightline.
I informed them of my efforts in monitoring the local and national activities of Moral Majority. They recommended that I drop off some of my papers to their hotel later that evening.
That evening I had a lengthy meeting with the entire news crew who was preparing the news program that would cover Moral Majority in Alaska.
In a discussion with them they wanted me on national TV to debate the pastor and leader of Moral Majority.
I declined this offer and suggested to them to have the leader of Free Voices. A person who I felt would calm the listening public more when hearing the issues discussed.
I was on that program addressed to the national public, but not in a direct debate with the pastor and leader of Moral Majority.
After the program went on national TV millions of Americans became aware of a political movement that few understand before.
In the early eighties of the last century I had establish myself in the community in such a way that if I wanted to release a statement before the press I was able to have it broadcast over ninety percent of the radio stations within twenty-four hours, and receive significant coverage by all major newspapers in Anchorage.
Around that time I was hired by the student government to be the editor of a college newspaper. I was not a student at this college. I had received this position for being recognized in the community as a professional journalist.
When releasing the first issue of the publication I reported that I had filed charges with the state ombudsman that the community college was in violation of the open meetings law and freedom of information act for the state of Alaska when blocking me from investigating the impeachment of a student senator.
The result within days of the release of the story the administration and the student senate prevented me from further publishing the student newspaper. Because of my position in the community I had received in response to their action significant coverage by the local press.
Because of this coverage and my standing in the community the college permitted me to publish another edition.
In the next issue I reported that I had filed charges with the state ombudsman that the community college was in violation of the open meetings law and the freedom of information act for the state of Alaska when blocking me from investigating issues pertaining to the facilities for the handicap.
A few days later I was invited to see the dean of the school. During that meeting I was informed that some members of the student senate had met without my presence and decided that I was to be fired.
A few minutes after leaving the office of the dean I returned to my office and had a telephone conversation with a member of the press. During this conversation the back door that had been locked had opened. Someone entered looking surprised at my presence, and said what are you doing here?
He informed me that he was given authority the other day to change the lock on my door. This would have prevented me access to my office and any of my papers that were left there.
Fortunately for me I planned for such event many weeks before. During the period that I was under fire for the publication I would have the practice of never keeping my records in the office in case such an event occurred.
In fact students would approach me seeing me weighed down with papers remarking of my appearance and I would respond by saying that I carried my papers with me for fear that the door to my office would be locked to prevent my access to my papers.
That event left me with a difficult decision to make. My reputation at that time was so ethical that many in the business community would be concern about hiring me for fear of what I might find out on what they were doing.
I had a choice. I could leave Alaska and start all over; or stay in Alaska. But if I stayed I realized work would be very difficult for me to obtain.
I realized at that time that if I decided to remain in Alaska I would need to start up my own company in order to earn a living.
My interest was in publishing. But opening a publishing company from the start with a given product is one of the most difficult business ventures to undertake and be successful.
In reviewing other publications in my area I found a key to allow me to undertake this business challenge with significant less chance of failure.
There was a weekly publication in Alaska called the Alaska Advocate that had ceased publication. In reviewing this publication I noticed that even after closing they still maintained a typesetting division offering their services.
From this I realized that instead of immediately releasing a new publication in the market I would first venture the funds I was able to obtain in purchasing state of the art typesetting equipment.
From this equipment I would produce and sell typesetting for others while learning at the same time the skills of the trade that were critical in producing any future publication.
In 1982 I established Alaska Media Productions. During the next few years I spent long days and nights learning the very skills in this field.
Then in the fall of 1986 Alaska was in a deep depression. The bottom fell in the price of oil. Thousands of Alaskans without even selling their homes left their homes and the state behind them in the hope of better job prospects elsewhere.
My business was not strong with these market conditions. I looked for an answer to these difficulties. One day during a visit to Seattle, Washington I found an answer to this when discovering that visitor publications produced by private sector operations in markets of San Francisco, Portland, and Seattle had not been introduced at the time in Alaska.
In reviewing these publications I saw that the same company was the publisher for the visitor guides in these cities.
In examining this I realized that this company would probably be on the next boat to Alaska to develop a visitor guide for an Alaska visitor market that was about to explode.
After a few days in Seattle, Washington I returned to Anchorage, Alaska. Less than eight weeks later I published a full color visitor guide for Anchorage, with plans for a new issue to be released monthly.
In March of the following year I had streamlined the company to publishing the magazine entirely myself. A few years later I would release a Fairbanks edition monthly, and then a Juneau edition monthly.
I would produce, sell advertising and distribute three editions monthly throughout the state of Alaska.
In Anchorage my only real competition was the Anchorage Convention and Visitors Bureau that was producing only one visitor guide once a year.
It was my expectation that they would discontinue their product which was funded by public funds when the private industry, myself was providing a better product.
Unfortunately for me and the community they continued to publish their publication financed with public funds and compete with me and my publication.
In order to deal with this situation I continued to develop a better product, and develop more publications in other markets in order to expand my advertising base.
In the summer of 1994 I had now extended myself even further when opening another publication this time for the market located in the Yukon Territory, Canada.
When doing this I had stretched myself so thin to the extent that anything could break-up my entire operation.
One day when communicating with my father by telephone I found that a secretary of his company was not being truthful.
Concerned about this I made a visit to see my father. During that visit I was not allowed to see my father privately. Instead this same secretary was present during one and only meeting I had with him during this trip.
I returned home frighten for him. The result I lost whatever I had of my company while trying for several years in rescuing my father.
This was a case of elder abuse. I sought out the people who knew me over the years, those who lived in Alaska.
During the next few years authorities in New Jersey claimed after their investigation that there was no problem.
Time passed, and one day in October 1997 my father without letting anyone know of his travel plans came to see me in Alaska.
During this trip he was assisted by his companion.
In our first meeting together I reported to him my concerns. I remarked that I wish that he had no money, for without funds I would not fear for our welfare by people of questionable character.
In response to my report the companion stated to my father in my presence that everything I reported to him was true.
Prior to his visit I had addressed these issues of concern with other associates of my father.
One included my brother who responded that I should be more concern with my affairs in Alaska.
My father returned to New Jersey after his visit with me in Alaska. During the next several months my father investigated the character of the employee I had questioned.
Later others who were close to the investigation of the former employee informed me that this employee had been guilty of requesting kickbacks during the time of their employment with my father.
My father removed this individual from the company.
Now that I no longer needed to be concern that individuals could threaten the welfare of my father I started a new publication.
I carried over my old clients into this new product and provided them a full credit from the remainder of the advertising contract in the old publications.
I no longer published a visitor guide. Instead I published an entertainment sports and recreation magazine for Alaska.
I no longer published three separate magazines twelve times a year, but one magazine less frequently.
Instead of publishing for one market the tourist industry I developed a publication that was accepted by the entire marketplace.
Later I moved the publication into another direction. The period in my life concern over my father's welfare had brought me to understand and appreciate those who helped me during those difficult times.
It also had awoken me to the fact that many in Alaska had forgotten, or never knew the spirit of Alaska. That spirit where Alaskans helped each other through those difficult times.
One day during publishing this new magazine I was introduced to Norman Dane Vaughan, adventure and explorer and an example every day in his life of that spirit of Alaska.
When leaving him I realized that those who I should feature in future issues would be those who exemplify that spirit of Alaska.
By publishing these portraits of their life I felt this would remind those of that spirit of Alaska and educate those who never knew what the spirit of Alaska was all about.
Shortly before releasing this issue my father passed away in July, 2001.
That summer I released the issue featuring Norman Dane Vaughan. In that same issue I announced the schedule in September of that year of three informal receptions for Alaskans to meet and say thank you to Norman Dane Vaughan. The receptions were held in three different communities in Alaska with the entire cost covered by me.
On September 11, 2001 the tragedy of 911 occurred. Following that tragedy the receptions for Norman Dane Vaughan took place as scheduled so that Alaskans could expressed their best wishes and appreciation to the values that this one man carried each day of his life.
In the summer of 2002 I released the next issue of my publication featuring a portrait of the life of Fred and Sara Machetanz who had provided the world a portrait of Alaska with their films books and paintings.
Sara Machetanz had past away prior to producing this issue, and five months after releasing this portrait issue of them Fred Machetanz joined his wife Sara.
After my father passed away in July 2001 my work in publishing frequently had to be placed on hold while my attention had to be directed to issues of accountability regarding a trustee and other parties involved in the preparation and administration of a trust that was established for me by my father.
Without going into the full details of this matter I have been left in a situation in which I have not been able to obtain appropriate legal counsel.
As you have seen by my letter to you I have a sense of direction that finds me in situations in which it is not just a personal matter, but a matter that affects all Americans.
In my case I researched this matter to the extent that I found that in the United States rarely do private law firms now represent plaintiffs in matters pertaining to accountability.
A few weeks ago I had placed a full page advertisement in newspapers in search for a lawyer to represent me in matters pertaining to my trust.
This advertisement was placed by me in the publication of the New Jersey Lawyer and in the publication of the New Jersey Law Journal and was first published in the issue dated June 28, 2004.
Prior to the placement of this advertisement I had spent the previous six months searching for an appropriate legal counsel to represent me after dismissing my former attorney for failing to appropriately represent me.
As I stated in my advertisement:
“…It is my belief that a significant part of the reason for the lack of interest of large law firms in my matters was result of a conflict in which these law firms represented businesses that would not approve of their law firm taking on a client who was concerned with legal issues pertaining to accountability.
Some of the same large law firms that I interviewed in the past few months are the same parties representing defendants in cases pertaining to accountability.
As a reader of the New York Times during the past year I would rarely come across a report by this newspaper of a legal case in matters pertaining to accountability where the plaintiff is being represented by a private law firm.
Instead, almost all of these legal cases reported by this newspaper stated that the plaintiff was being represented by the federal government by officials with the justice department, or being represented by the state government by the attorney general in the state that the legal action is filed.
Since 1987 I have been and continue to be the publisher of magazines in the State of Alaska.
During the past few years my work in this area had to be placed frequently on hold while I focused my concern on issues of accountability…”
At this time I received only four telephone calls from attorneys in response to my advertisement.
I consider this further evidence that the legal profession in the United States today declines for the most part to be involved in matters pertaining to accountability.
In my opening statement of my advertisement I stated that:
“If we fail to address issues of accountability, investors in the market place will no longer have confidence in their investments, and decline to provide the needed capital for businesses in the future.”
Over the years your work has brought you before many who hold the position of an attorney.
I appreciate very much your assistance in finding the appropriately legal counsel to represent me in the above matter.
Please note I am looking for an attorney licensed to practice law in the State of New Jersey, and who has experience in legal Trust and Estate matters.
Also I wish the attorney representing me to have the experience to deal with these issues and the commitment and ethics to follow through in finding resolution to those matters that concern me today.
I hope you can assist me in finding the appropriate closure to these matters.
As I had mentioned earlier in my letter to you during the past few years my work in this area had to be placed frequently on hold while I focused my concern on issues of accountability.
These issues I have addressed to you in this letter are more than just issues pertaining to personal matters.
These issues deal with accountability and the fact that in the United States today the private law firms for the most part rarely represent a plaintiff in matters pertaining to accountability.
Before closing I would like to say hello again to those of you who were able to attend with me at this year's class reunion.
It was great seeing you and remembering the old days at Cherry Lawn.
I know many of you had expressed at yesterdays reunion that you have been trying for years to find my whereabouts.
Please forgive me. It was not until recently during the past few months that I had been using the internet.
As a publisher I had over the year's difficulty with this product and was boycotting it in response to my concern that this was a dumping ground of information by individuals who claimed to be publishers, and who were not responsible for the information that they reported over the internet.
For those of you who couldn't make yesterdays reunion I hope to have a chance to see you or hear from you again, perhaps at the next class reunion.
Eugene Carl Haberman
(Class of 1970)