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SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska

January 07, 2006

Front Page Photo by Sabra Lichty & Spotlighter Justin Ming

'Hoo, hoo, too-HOO'
Photograph by Sabra Lichty & Spotlighter Justin Ming

This Ketchikan owl was spotted Friday evening at mile 15 North Tongass Highway by Sabra Lichty and Justin Ming. With the help of SitNews' readers, this beautiful creature was identified as a Barred Owl. - More...
Sunday - January 08, 2006

National: Troops' support for war declining, survey says By MATTHEW B. STANNARD - An annual survey of active-duty troops who subscribe to the Military Times newspapers found a slump in support for President Bush and the war in Iraq, the papers reported this week.

But support for the war and the commander in chief remained higher among readers of Army Times, Navy Times, Air Force Times and Marine Corps Times than in the U.S. population at large.

The newspapers are published by the Gannett chain, not the Pentagon, and the poll was not necessarily representative of the military at large, the report cautioned. The survey, conducted Nov. 14 through Dec. 23, represents the mailed responses of more than 1,000 subscribers who identified themselves as being on active duty.

Nevertheless, the Military Times poll has been cited in the past by opinion writers and politicians taking the temperature of the military. - More...
Saturday - January 07, 2006


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The Week In Review: Mine explosion kills 12

A coal-mine explosion in West Virginia trapped 13 miners. More than 42 hours later, all but one was found dead. Officials said most of the miners survived the blast, but died as they tried to escape carbon-monoxide poisoning. The miners' families were mistakenly told at first that 12 of the men were alive. They didn't learn the truth until three hours later. The only survivor, Randal McCloy, was the youngest of the trapped miners. It was the nation's deadliest coal-mining disaster in more than four years.

Sharon suffers stroke

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon suffered a massive stroke that caused extensive bleeding in his brain. Physicians said even if the 77-year-old prime minister survives, it appeared unlikely he would recover sufficiently to return to politics. The former army general has received international praise for ordering the withdrawal of Israeli settlers from the Gaza Strip last year after 38 years of Israeli occupation.

Divine punishment, Robertson says

Christian broadcaster Pat Robertson suggested that Sharon's stroke was divine punishment for "dividing God's land." On his TV program, "The 700 Club," Robertson said, "God considers this land to be his. You read the Bible and he says 'This is my land,' and for any prime minister of Israel who decides he is going to carve it up and give it away, God says, 'No, this is mine.' " The White House criticized Robertson, calling his remarks "wholly inappropriate and offensive." - More...
Saturday PM - January 07, 2006

Washington Calling: Abramoff ... Latest from the French and Indian Wars ... More By LANCE GAY - A new era of righteousness is dawning on Capitol Hill as the expanding Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal has lawmakers scrambling to come up with plans to curb Washington's lobbying excesses.

Cynics will find the "reforms" have all the sincerity of those "stop me before I kill again" bumper stickers. Topping the list of proposed reforms the GOP is floating are measures that would ban or limit lobbyist-paid gifts, junkets and meals. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., wants more disclosure of what lobbyists are doing, and to increase from one year to two years the "revolving door" prohibition against ex-lawmakers and their former staffers from engaging in lobbying.

Sweeping reforms that would change campaign finance laws to diminish the clout of lobbyists aren't in the cards. Lobbying is a $2.1 billion business and the number of Washington's army of lobbyists has more than doubled, from 16,000 in 2000 to more than 35,000 today.

About 250 former lawmakers or senior agency officials now work as lobbyists, according the Center for Public Integrity, and even former congressional press secretaries command salaries of more than $300,000 for going over to K Street lobbying shops with their prized contacts.


Little-noted provisions in a budget bill headed for approval in Congress this month would require patients seeking Medicaid payments to show a birth certificate or passport to prove that they are eligible.

Leighton Ku of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities said the measure could cost some of the 49 million low-income patients their medical benefits. Most Americans don't have passports, and many elderly don't possess copies of their birth certificates. Supporters of the new rule say it is needed to prevent illegal immigrants from obtaining Medicaid by falsely claiming to be citizens. - More...
Saturday PM - January 07, 2006



letter In the dark of the night! By Al Johnson - Sunday
letter Owl Photo By Dave Person - Sunday
letter RE: Write-in Sally Chapin By Samuel Bergeron - Sunday
letter Please write-in Bill Thomas Sr. for KIC President By Bill Thomas Sr. - Sunday
letter Harriet Hunt Lake Trash -- Pick It Up By Doug Barry - Sunday
letter Response to "Wiretapping Controversy" By Mark Neckameyer - Sunday
letter Reponse to Notification of Subsistence Survey By Dave Person - Sunday
letter Subsistence Usage Study By Cheryl Haven - Saturday PM
letter Wiretapping controversy By Robert Freedland - Saturday PM
letter Violating what privacy? By Virginia E. Atkinson - Saturday PM
letter Happy New Year By Robert McRoberts - Saturday PM
letter Pick it up By Nick Tucker - Saturday PM
letter Lines on roads needed By Amber Williams - Thursday
letter Harriet Hunt Trash Indicates White Trash Mentality By Doug Barry - Thursday
letter Great Earthquake By Craig Alleman - Thursday
letter Southeast Alaska - The Ultimate Travel Destination By Susan Walsh - Wednesday PM
letter What's in a name? By Chris Elliott - Wednesday PM
letter Would You Like A Tour of Schoenbar? By Jackie Williams - Wednesday PM
letter Fireworks By Cecelia Johnson - Wednesday PM
letter World Government By Bob and Miriam Harmon - Wednesday PM
letter An open letter to Alaskan Republican Senator Ted Stevens By John Sodrel - Wednesday PM
letter More Viewpoints/ Letters
letter Publish A Letter

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Monday, January 09, 2006, 5:50 pm - The Ketchikan Borough Assembly will hold a special meeting in the City Council Chambers.
Agenda & Information Packets

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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Dec. - Jan. 2006
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Columns - Commentary  

Bill Steigerwald: Don't assume anything in Steven Spielberg's "Munich" is really true.

As it admits in the opening credits, the blood-spattered movie about Israel's revenge killings of 11 Palestinians responsible for slaughtering 11 Israeli athletes at the 1972 Olympics is "inspired by real events."

Translated from Hollywood doublespeak, here's what director Spielberg's disclaimer is really saying to his trusting audience: "Believe nothing you are about to see or hear. Unless you are a member of Israel's Mossad intelligence agency or an expert on Middle East counterterrorism techniques, you can't possibly distinguish between what's really true and what I've made up. So sit back and let me entertain and misinform you."

Spielberg's overly long, not-so-great but critically acclaimed geopolitical thriller is not a documentary. Nor is it a $70 million propaganda piece for the state of Israel, which many of his most fevered conservative critics apparently seem to think it should have been.- More...
Saturday - January 07, 2006

Star Parker: More than new laws needed to 'fix' Abramoff scandal - There is so much about the breaking Jack Abramoff scandal that should sicken every American it's hard to know where to start.

Many in the Washington establishment are shaking in their Gucci shoes wondering who will be nailed now that the once high-powered lobbyist has pleaded guilty to federal charges of conspiracy, tax evasion and mail fraud. Abramoff will wind up with a lighter sentence in exchange for fingering those who were part of his influence-peddling circle.

Perhaps we should hope first that the right conclusions are drawn about the nature of the problem and the nature of the solution. It's difficult to be optimistic given what I read and hear so far.

Already there is talk in Washington about "lobbying reform legislation." Washington has seen many scandals over the years, followed by a lot of reform legislation that was supposed to close the gaps allowing improper influence and corruption. Yet, despite a lot of laws about what lobbyists can and can't do, along came Abramoff to show what a truly talented, creative, and energetic liar and charlatan can accomplish. - More...
Saturday - January 07, 2006

John Hall: GOP sleaze explosion - The House of Representatives is the People's House. The Republicans have had the keys to the place for more than a decade and have been so solidly entrenched that it seemed no one would oust them for another 50 years.

Now, the stench of corruption may become too pungent even for the most potent fundraising machine ever invented. The indictment of super-lobbyist Jack Abramoff has shaken this party from the top down. Last week, the scandal literally had Republicans, led by President Bush, turning money Abramoff gave them over to charity, as if casting away their sins.

A couple of Democrats also got Abramoff's campaign contributions. But Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid said this was a Republican scandal and he would resist dragging Democrats into it by giving back money he got. Ah, the friendly bonds of principle. - More...
Saturday - January 07, 2006

Dick Morris: How The Democrats Saved Bush - Why have President Bush's poll ratings improved lately? Some say it is because he became more visible and vocal in defense of his policies. But I believe the Democrats drove voters back to his camp with their attacks on the Patriot Act and the administration's wiretapping policies.

Bush's Democratic and liberal critics tend to see opposition to the war in Iraq and complaints about domestic spying as two sides of the same coin - both positions that defend what they see as our values in the face of government recklessness.

But while the critics have a plurality on the question of whether the war in Iraq was a mistake, they're in the minority in complaining about the Bush anti-terror policies at home. - More...
Saturday - January 07, 2006

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