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SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska

January 02, 2006

New Year's 2006 Fireworks

New Year's Fireworks
Photo Gallery by Carl Thompson

Photos2006 was welcomed in by a dazzling fireworks display in Ketchikan's Pennock/Narrows area. The fireworks were made possible by the Ketchikan Lions Club from donations from the Fourth of July Queen's Contest, CHARR, and the Ketchikan Gateway Borough and WildCats. The Pennock/Narrows fireworks were originally intended for the Fourth of July 2005, however the fireworks display was canceled in July due to weather conditions.

Ketchikan: Body of missing Ketchikan man found, search for missing Angoon man suspended - The Coast Guard has ended its search for a missing Ketchikan man after his body was found Monday. The search for a missing Angoon man has been suspended.

The body of Aaron Hope, 22, of Ketchikan, was found in Whiskey Cove at 8 a.m. Monday by a boat crew from Coast Guard Station Ketchikan. Hope left Pennock Island between 11:30 pm Saturday and 1 a.m. Sunday morning headed for Bar Harbor. His 14-foot skiff was discovered on the beach in Whiskey Cove noon Sunday. - More...
Tuesday AM - January 03, 2005

International: World becoming more peaceful, study finds By LISA HOFFMAN - With the passing of another year scarred by war and terrorism, it might seem the world is becoming a more dangerous and bloody place.

But a unique study of wars, genocide, military coups and human rights abuses across the globe has found that our planet has actually turned substantially more peaceful over the past decade.

"Over the past dozen years, the global security climate has changed in dramatic, positive, but largely unheralded ways," says the report by the Human Security Centre, located at the University of British Columbia in Canada. "More wars stopped than started" since 1988.

The three-year study - hailed by the International Crisis Group and other experts in the field as a comprehensive compilation of data on world conflict - credits the end of the colonialism and Cold War eras, along with an increase in international peacekeeping and preventive diplomacy, as the factors most responsible for the positive turn of events. - More...
Monday AM - January 02, 2005

Ketchikan: Searches continue for missing men in Ketchikan, Angoon - Searches continued Sunday for two separate missing boaters according to the United States Coast Guard and Alaska State Troopers.

A 22 year-old male resident of Ketchikan left Pennock Island between 12 and 1 a.m. Sunday morning headed for Bar Harbor. His 14-foot skiff was discovered on the beach in Whiskey Cove noon Sunday. A 47-foot motor life boat crew from Coast Guard Station Ketchikan conducted a search of the area.  The identity of the missing man was not released. - More...
Monday AM - January 02, 2006

Front Page Photo by Marie L. Monyak

New Year's Resolutions 2006
By Marie L. Monyak
Pictured: Jesse Zaugg, Eileen Small,  Michelle Masden, Barbara Pearce, Michael Freeman, Lila Greer, Margaret White, Julie Steiner, Will Miller and Phil Tucker.

Ketchikan: New Year's Resolutions 2006 By MARIE L. MONYAK - A fresh new year, a fresh new start.  Many people across the nation share that view and decide to make resolutions normally designed to improve their lives or the lives of those around them. - More...
Monday AM - January 02, 2006

Alaska: Fishing Industry Highlights from 2005 by LAINE WELCH - Going into the New Year, commercial fishing in Alaska remains a vibrant industry that is the envy of every other fish producing country in the world.  Alaska's fisheries abundance is guarded with protective zeal by those entrusted with its care, and its management is regarded as a model for conservation and sustainability.  The robust stocks will continue to provide a solid foundation far into the future - even as Alaska's fisheries are being retooled to conform to the tough realities of changing times.

Here is a sampler of industry highlights from 2005, in no particular order or priority:

Fleet reduction is a major trend across the North Pacific and rationalization, restructuring and revitalization remained the buzz words of 2005.  Managers and policy makers continued to seek ways to winnow down the number of participants, both to protect the fishery resources and boost bottom lines.  

Alaska's salmon industry continued its slow rise from the ashes, brought about by its own good merit, millions of state and federal dollars, and unprecedented bad press about farmed fish.    The 2005 salmon harvest was the third largest on record, topping 206 million fish. The value of the catch was also up for the third year in a row, worth $295 million at the docks (up $23 million from 2004). 

A national poll revealed that 31 percent of Americans are concerned about mercury in seafood and are cutting back on the amount they eat. The poll added there is tremendous confusion about what seafoods contain mercury. A Harvard study countered that if fish consumption is reduced, there will be serious public health consequences, notably higher death rates from heart disease and stroke

The nation's new Food Pyramid watered down its original dietary guidelines that advised Americans to eat fish at least twice a week, instead treating it as an afterthought and listing it under the "meat and beans" section.  

Studies from around the world continued to tout the medical miracles stemming from the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish, especially salmon. Sales of fish oil supplements in the U.S. climbed from $35 million ten years ago to $310 million in 2005. - More...
Monday AM - January 02, 2006


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National: Congress' failure to act means more taxpayers face AMT By DAVID WESTPHAL - As many as 17 million Americans begin the new year facing the possibility of sharply higher federal income taxes in 2006.

Because Congress has not yet intervened, the number of taxpayers affected by the Alternative Minimum Tax could soar to 20 million or more. Many of the new victims could see their federal tax burdens grow by several thousands of dollars.

Congressional leaders say that will never happen, pledging that the House and Senate will pass remedial legislation early next year limiting the growth of this surtax to a much smaller number. But there's no assurance this will occur, in part because some in Congress have other priorities, such as pushing tax preferences for capital gains and dividends.

As a result, there's at least a chance that millions of Americans are in for a rude awakening on the tax front, and that some of them won't find out about it until they file their returns in 2007.

Maggie Doedtman, a tax preparation expert for H&R Block in Kansas City, Mo., says the Alternative Minimum Tax constitutes a major surprise for a growing number of taxpayers.

"People think of this as something that should just not happen to them," says Doedtman. "Even if Congress does another short-term patch, the number of people affected by this will continue to grow." - More...
Monday AM - January 02, 2006

National: Bernanke to become 14th Fed chair By MARY DEIBEL - Ben Bernanke will succeed the retiring Alan Greenspan as head of the Federal Reserve at the end of this month, becoming the 14th chairman since Congress created the central bank to put an end to "moneyed trusts" that politicians blamed for periodic financial panics.

Before Congress chartered the Fed in 1913, it fell to Wall Street financiers, principally J.P. Morgan, and thousands of small community banks to bankroll American business and territorial expansion. The economy was based on a constant currency supply pegged to the price of gold so that money couldn't expand in case of a bank run.

After a century of these panics, Congress set up the Federal Reserve System in hopes of maintaining an adequate supply of currency and credit and to try stabilizing a mushrooming industrial economy.

Meantime, the United States and other nations gradually moved away from the gold standard, which the U.S. severed entirely in 1971 when President Nixon announced the United States would no longer redeem dollars for gold.

Still, the Fed remains custodian for a quarter of the world's monetary gold reserves at the New York Federal Reserve Bank 80 feet below sea level on Manhattan bedrock in a gold vault visited by more than 20,000 tourists each year.

The Federal Reserve Board of Governors, led by the Fed chairman, was established with 12 regional Federal Reserve Banks to supply the nation with money through commercial banks.

The Fed also was set up to supervise nationally chartered commercial banks' operations, including lending practices. - More...
Monday AM - January 02, 2006



letter Would enjoy better maintained roads By Caroline Luckey - Monday
letter Faculty vs. Staff in Education By Robert D. Warner - Monday
letter Stimulating the economy By Jay Jones - Monday
letter Dangerfield Earned Respect By Al Johnson - Monday
letterWe profess; we teach. We are faculty. By Rod Landis - Friday
letter A Ketchikan 'Auld Lange Syne' By Colleen Scanlon - Friday
letter Native or Indigenous By Don Hoff Jr. - Friday
letter Ketchikan 'Auld Lange Syne' Article By Melissa Miller - Friday
letter First Place Winner By Darlene Guzman - Friday
letterHow about an alternative? By Rick Grams - Tuesday PM
letter Portal to somewhere! By David Hull - Tuesday PM
letter RE: Unanswered Questions By Peg Travis - Tuesday PM
letter Vote for Rob Sanderson Jr. - Where experience counts!! By Kevin Kristovich - Tuesday PM
letter "Indigenous" By Janelle Hamilton - Tuesday PM
letterVote for Rob, He's the man for the job!! By Kevin Kristovich - Monday PM
letter Unanswered Questions By Jay Jones - Monday PM
letter Remember the men and women in uniform By David M. Korkowski - Monday PM
letter Letter To Santa By Jerry Cegelske - Friday PM
letter Holiday Blues & Networking By George Miller - Friday PM
letter Town Tree is Beautiful By Al Johnson - Friday PM
letter Holiday Wishes By Karen & Charlie Jones - Friday PM
letter Heartfelt Thanks for Those who Supported the Toy Drive! By Tyla Williams - Friday PM
letter Thanks to KTGW/KTKN - Gateway 106.7 By Samantha Kuzakin - Friday PM
letter 2005 By Joseph Branco - Friday PM
letter Ketchikan Youth Court By Karen Lybrand - Friday PM
letter Guard Rails & Free Speech By Penny Eubanks - Friday PM
letter More Viewpoints/ Letters
letter Publish A Letter

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Tuesday, January 03, 2006
5:30 pm - The Ketchikan Borough Assembly will hold a regular meeting in the City Council Chambers.
Agenda & Information Packets

Wednesday, January 4, 2006, at noon - The Ketchikan Legislative Liaison CPL Committee will meet in the City Council Chambers to discuss the priority of community projects for submittal to the Legislature. - The meeting is open to the public.

Saturday, January 21, 2006, 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. - Public Hearing - Petition by the Ketchikan Gateway Borough for Legislative Review - annexation of approximately 4,701 square miles to the Ketchikan Gateway Borough. City Council Chambers, 334 Front Street, Ketchikan, AK
Summary & Annexation Petition & Exhibits

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December 2005
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National: Treating strep throat the old way isn't working anymore By LEE BOWMAN - When it comes to treating strep throat, older types of antibiotics are increasingly less likely to kill the germ that causes millions of sore throats, fevers and missed school days for children each year.

Yet recent studies show that as many as 90 percent of children treated for strep still get amoxicillin or penicillin rather than newer antibiotics known as cephalosporins.

One study presented at a recent scientific meeting on antimicrobials found that taking the newer drugs even for a few days is more effective against strep than the traditional 10-day course of the older antibiotics.

Pediatricians at the University of Rochester Medical Center found that 25 percent of children treated for strep with penicillin ended up back in the doctor's office within three weeks of treatment. - More...
Monday AM - January 02, 2006

International: Frustrated consumer fights a credit card war By SINCLAIR STEWART - Don Rogers wanted to make a statement. A 32-foot credit card statement, to be precise, one he hopes will help him win a long-simmering privacy feud with his bank and at the same time nab a place in the Guinness Book of Records.

The 62-year-old retired city councilor from Kingston, Ontario, paid his $230 Visa bill in 985 installments, often pennies at a time, to protest against the fact that his bank outsourced some of its credit card processing to a U.S. company. Rogers said he asked Vancouver-based Citizens Bank of Canada several times to end the practice, because U.S. authorities could potentially gain access to his personal information under the wide-ranging Patriot Act, a piece of legislation designed to crack down on terrorism.

When the bank refused to take action, he decided to employ what he describes as his "creative solution" - paying down his Visa in tiny increments over the Internet and generating a statement that was 35 pages long and a half-inch thick. - More...
Monday AM - January 02, 2006

Business & Economy: After a surprising '05, economic outlook is good By PATRICIA SABATINI - As the nation enters its fifth year of an economic expansion, the big question is: Will the economy be naughty or nice in 2006?

The consensus seems to be nice, although probably not as agreeable as it was this year.

The economy surprised many forecasters in 2005, quickly regaining its footing after a battering by hurricanes and energy prices.

"You can't help but be impressed with the U.S. economy's performance in 2005," said Bernard Baumohl, executive director at The Economic Outlook Group in New Jersey.

"Its resilience in just the last few months has been nothing short of remarkable. There was lots of talk of stagflation, recession, a plunge in confidence, a collapse in housing, and consumer spending shutting down. But none of these scenarios materialized." - More...
Monday AM - January 02, 2006

Business & Economy: EPA seeks improved fuel mileage standards By DON HAMMONDS - The Environmental Protection Agency will propose new methods of calculating and estimating gasoline mileage sometime next month, with a goal of putting them into place in time for next fall's 2007 model introductions.

But while consumers presumably would get more realistic, reliable gas mileage ratings from the updated standards, they also may find fewer car choices available in the showroom.

EPA has long been criticized for using outdated standards for evaluating fuel economy that consumer groups, auto industry officials and car buyers say severely overstate mileage by failing to reflect contemporary "real world" driving conditions.

Officials at the EPA, which has used the current standards since 1985, agree that changes need to be made but warn that shifting to updated methods likely will mean a substantial lowering of fuel mileage estimates for many vehicles. - More...
Monday AM - January 02, 2006

Business & Economy: Future of health, pension benefits looks cloudy By LEN BOSELOVIC AND CHRISTOPHER SNOWBECK - When Verizon Communications announced this month that it would freeze pension and retiree medical benefits for about 50,000 management employees, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Ivan Seidenberg raised retirement insecurities of workers everywhere.

"This restructuring reflects the realities of our changing world," Seidenberg said. "Companies today, including many we compete with, are not adopting defined benefit pension plans or subsidized retiree medical benefits."

In 2004, 11 percent of Fortune 1,000 companies had frozen or terminated pension plans, up from 7 percent a year earlier, said consultant Watson Wyatt Worldwide. Experts expect the trend to continue. - More...
Monday AM - January 02, 2006

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