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SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, AlaskaFront Page Photo Augustine Volcano

Augustine Volcano Erupts
Photo by S. Prejean; Photo courtesy of Alaska Volcano Observatory
and the U.S. Geological Survey.


audioKetchikan: Listen to the House Transportation Committee's discussion on January 10th of federal funds previously earmarked for the Gravina & Knik bridges and the STIP and testimony. (MP3)
KTOO Gavel to Gaval

audioKetchikan: Listen to the House Finance Committee's discussion on January 11th on the Knik Arm Bridge and Toll Authority & Gravina Island Bridge - Includes comments by City Mayor Bob Weinstein and J.C. Conley. (MP3 19.7 MB)
KTOO Gavel to Gaval

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Alaska: Augustine Volcano Erupts - Alaska's Augustine Volcano located in Cook Inlet, about 180 miles southwest of Anchorage, erupted with two explosions at the summit of the volcano on Wednesday morning.

The eruptions, which are likely just a warm-up of bigger eruptions to come, produced an ash plume that reached about 30,000 feet above sea level. The ash plume detached from the volcanic vent, and winds were reported to be blowing the ash away from populated areas Wednesday, but this status can change at any time say officials.

"Augustine Volcano is one of the best instrumented volcanoes in Alaska," said USGS Volcano Hazards Program Coordinator Dr. James Quick. "As a result, our scientists were able to detect unrest and correctly forecast the likely behavior of the volcano before it erupted." - More...
Thursday - January 12, 2006

PhotosAlaska: Alaska Land Opened To Oil Drilling By M.C. KAUFFMAN - Alaska Governor Frank H. Murkowski welcomed the Interior Department announcement on Wednesday to open almost 400,000 acres on Alaska's North Slope for exploratory oil drilling some of the most promising oil and gas areas in the northeast corner of the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska.

The amendment to the Northeast National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska 1998 plan was approved Wednesday by Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Interior, Chad Calvert, paving the way for drilling in an area that previously had been off limits because of concerns about the impact on wildlife. The approval came just three weeks after Congress blocked energy development in the nearby Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

"I am very pleased with today's Interior Department decision," said Governor Murkowski. "It is consistent with my administration's recommendations, and reinforces the fact that Alaska's abundant energy resources are absolutely critical to meeting our nation's energy needs."

The Northeast National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska may contain as much as two billion barrels of economically recoverable oil according to the Bureau of Land Management officials. This decision also opens the way for an additional oil and gas lease sale, probably in the fall of 2006. - More...
Thursday - January 12, 2006

PhotosNational: Bush Explains Methods in War on Terror, U.S. Goals - A day after speaking to the Veterans of Foreign Wars in the nation's capital, President Bush took his conversation with the American people about the war on terrorism to Louisville, Kentucky, talking to and answering questions from his audience.

He expressed a willingness to answer questions about domestic as well as international topics, but the president confined his opening remarks to the War on Terror and U.S. efforts and goals in Iraq. The war against terrorism, he said, "came to us as a result of actions an enemy took on September the 11th, 2001 and I vowed that we'd find those killers and bring them to justice.

"And that's what we're doing," Bush continued. "We're on the hunt for an enemy that cannot stand freedom [and] does not believe in free speech, free religion, free dissent, does not believe in women's rights, and they have a desire to impose their ideology on much of the world." - More...
Thursday - January 12, 2006

Ketchikan: $30,250 in grants awarded to Alaska community organizations - The Seattle-based Community Advisory Board (CAB) of American Seafoods Group, one of the nation's largest seafood processors, announced Wednesday it has awarded a total of $30,250 to 23 Alaskan community projects through its community grant program.
Proposals were approved at the CAB's December meeting in Anchorage, and include SeaPro in partnership with Ketchikan's Alaska Ship and Dry Dock ($2,000), the St. Paul Food Bank ($2,000), Bristol Bay Native Association Regional Food Bank ($4,000), and the Aleknagik First Responders ($2,000).  - More...
Thursday - January 12, 2006

More than 10 percent of Interior Alaska now looks like this because of two severe fire years back to back.
Photo of Cripple Creek drainage by Ned Rozell.

Alaska: 2005 Fire Season Again Oddly Large By NED ROZELL - Midwinter may seem an odd time to think back to midsummer, but 2005 was another extraordinary fire year in Alaska, and the stats are in.

Michael Richmond of the National Weather Service office in Fairbanks wrote a recent review of the 2005 fire year, during which Alaska lost more acreage to fire than it had in all but two of the preceding 50 years (detailed Alaska fire records only go back to 1956). Richmond is the Fire Weather Program Manager for the Fairbanks office.

An area of Alaska larger than Connecticut and Rhode Island burned in 2005, this after a chunk of acreage burned in 2004 that equaled the size of Vermont. The 4.5 million acres in 2005 was dwarfed only by the 6.7 million acres last year and the 5 million acres that burned in 1957. - More...
Thursday - January 12, 2006



letter Celebrate Our Civil Rights Leaders! By Janice Jackson - Thursday PM
letter New Postal Rates By Karen S. Hollywood - Thursday PM
letter I Ask For Your Vote For KIC Tribal Council by Tonia J. Nebl - Thursday PM
letter Support Nebl for KIC Tribal Council By Marvelle Lahmeyer - Thursday PM
letter Sanderson For Tribal Council By John Morris Jr. - Thursday PM
letter Efforts Applauded By Frances C. Natkong - Thursday PM
letter Donald Rumsfeld Didn't Send the Rght Message to Iran By Mark Neckameyer - Thursday PM
letter On World Government By Josep Ll. Ortega - Wednesday AM
letter More on the Wiretapping Controversy By Theresa Cullen - Wednesday AM
letter PLEASE Donate Alaska Airline Mileage or Tickets By Nyna Fleury - Tuesday PM
letter Where Do You Live? By Jerry Cegelske - Monday
letter Response To "World Government" By Bob Caldwell - Monday
letter More Email, Less Postage By Marie Monyak - Monday
letter RE: Wiretapping Controversy By Robert Freedland - Monday
letter A letter to My Daughter's Birthmother By John Wall - Monday
letter Why children from our country aren't being adopted... By Ellen Rardin - Monday
letter More Viewpoints/ Letters
letter Publish A Letter

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January 16, 2005, 5:30 pm - Ketchikan Borough Assembly regular meeting - City Council Chambers.
Agenda & Information Packets

January 19, 2005 - 7:00 pm - Recreation Plan Public Meeting at the Southeast Alaska Discovery Center, 50 Main Street. The meeting will be held in the Learning Center and people should go around to the back of the building to enter. The contact person for the Ketchikan meeting is Karen Brand at 228-4108.

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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January 2006
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Columns - Commentary

Jason Love: Sunflower Seeds - My wife is a crackhead. She eats sunflower seeds by the silo -- chewing, spitting, crack-crack-cracking. I suppose she eats like a bird.

The seeds have nothing to do with it; Yahaira is after the salt. Glorious, iodized, vein-bloating salt. Each bag of seeds comes with enough sodium to kill the Niagara Falls.

But it's okay, see, because my wife has only "one more handful." That is the crackhead's mantra -- "one more handful." Yahaira has been on her last handful since August.

An important part of crack addiction is that you do not, for any reason, stop moving your lips. It dates back to Freud's oral stage, where people get hooked on things like sunflower seeds and, say, cigars. - More...
Thursday AM - January 12, 2006

Preston MacDougall: Chemical Eye on Snapdragons by Candlelight - "If you play with fire, you will get burned." That's what my father told me, and it's what I have told all of my children. Except for recently, when my finger was on fire and I told my son "If you watch a trained chemist play with fire, you will get learned."

After capturing his attention with the large blue flame that had engulfed my finger, I was planning on explaining the drastic reduction in heat released during combustion of partially oxygenated hydrocarbons, such as ethanol molecules in the flaming Sambuca, as compared to those lacking oxygen, such as wax molecules in candles.

But all I got was a pater-patronizing "That's cool Dad", and then "They're getting ready to drop the puck for the second period of the hockey game." I guess the pyrochemistry demonstrations that impressed me as a student just don't cut it after the heavy metal stage shows of Ozzy Osbourne. - More...
Thursday AM - January 12, 2006  

Bob Ciminel: I'm Sad to Say, I'm On My Way - With respect to Harry Belafonte's comments about George Bush, and the great pluralistic (read socialist) state Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is trying to create, I can only repeat the words of that great Negro "spiritual" we've heard a thousand times on United Negro College Fund commercials, "A mind is a terrible thing to waste."

I would burn all of my Harry Belafonte records, but I don't own any. Besides, most Americans under the age of 50 probably think Winona Rider sang "Day-O" (Beetlejuice 1998).

Harry needs to stop worrying about Venezuela and refocus his efforts on helping the African-American community here in the United States. Why even Chavez ignored the needs of our predominantly African-American inner-city neighborhoods and instead offered discount heating oil to ease the suffering of the Kennedy and Kerry families. - More...
Thursday AM - January 12, 2006  

John Hall: Town and gown in the Capitol - What was striking about Judge Samuel Alito's opening statement to the Senate Judiciary Committee was that he never once glanced at notes. The senators all read their three hours of statements. Not he.

In his extemporaneous speech that lasted more than 10 minutes, Alito spoke in perfect sentences with nothing in front of him except a small piece of scratch paper. He never once looked down except to get a drink of water. His eyes remained fixed on the senators behind the long, curved bench. - More...
Thursday AM - January 12, 2006   

Dale McFeatters: A stealth galaxy arrives - If you're prone to brooding about what's going on in outer space, this New York Times story had an arresting lead:

"A previously unrecognized galaxy appears to be merging with the Milky Way, bringing hundreds of thousands of stars into our home galaxy that no one has noticed until now, astronomers said Monday."

That's disconcerting news, that a galaxy, even a dwarf galaxy as this one is believed to be, can sneak up on us and mingle with our stars like a gate crasher at a cocktail party. Indeed, it has sidled up to about 30,000 light-years from Earth. - More...
Thursday AM - January 12, 2006  

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