Alaska store owner, atheist says wooden cross unwelcome act of vandalism

Soldotna, USA - A store owner says a wooden cross wrapped to the store sign in Soldotna was an unwelcome act of vandalism that goes against her pagan and spiritual beliefs.

Rondell Gonzalez arrived last week at her store, the Pye' Wackets on the Kenai Spur Highway, and found a makeshift cross about 7 feet tall attached to her business sign with plastic food wrap.

Gonzalez, 45, said she believes in spiritualism rather than organized religion. Her store specializes in wellness and self-help books, candles, oils and crystals. It also offers classes, workshops and seminars.

Soldotna police said it may be the first vandalism of a religious nature in Soldotna.

Gonzalez took down and disposed of the cross herself, said Soldotna Police Sgt. Duane Kant.

"It wasn't like someone scratched it in the door or painted it in the door or something permanent," Kant said. "It doesn't appear to be anything more than that."

Gonzalez said she has nothing to say to whoever hung the cross on her business.

"I just think it's pathetic there are still so many small-minded people and it's someone that probably has never stepped into my store," she said.