Valdez doctor convicted of trespassing on ski trails after ban

Posted: Friday, September 21, 2001

VALDEZ (AP) -- The Valdez physician who got in a confrontation with a snowmachiner on the Valdez ski trails has been fined $630 for violating an order from the city to stay off the trails for two months after the Dec. 23 incident in Mineral Canyon.

Andrew Embick was convicted Sept. 11 by Superior Court Judge Joel Bolger. The doctor, who defended himself in the case, admitted defying the city's ban, but argued the order itself was unlawful.

The judge wasn't moved.

''Whether or not the ban was legitimate is not an issue before this court,'' the judge told Embick. He fined Embick $100 for his first trespass, $200 for the second, and $300 for the third, plus a $10 fee for each violation.

Nancy Peterson, who is assistant city manager and director of parks and recreation, banned Embick from the trails Jan. 4. She testified that police told her Embick admitted striking the snowmachine rider with a ski pole.

Snowmobiles are banned from the ski trails, which Embick helped to set up. The youth involved was issued a citation for riding in a closed area. Assault charges against Embick were dropped.

Embick told the Valdez Vanguard he was researching legal action against the city over the ban. In a letter to the Vanguard, Embick said he was leaving the community, where he has lived for more than 20 years, because of the city's prosecution of him.

Embick is known for his participation in rigorous outdoor races and his 1994 book, ''Fast & Cold: A guide to Alaska White Water.''

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