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SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska

January 14, 2006

Front Page Photo by Carl Thompson

'Early Morning Fog'
The Coast Guard Base is shrouded in fog earlier this week.
Front Page Photo by Carl Thompson


Artist's concept of Stardust's sample return
capsule parachuting down to Earth.
Image courtesy: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Alaska: Alaskans Participating In Stardust Re-entry Campaign - The Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska Fairbanks, has a professor and graduate student participating in the NASA hypervelocity re-entry campaign for the Stardust sample return capsule.

The Stardust vehicle will release the capsule into Earth's atmosphere at 12:56 a.m. on Sunday, January 15. The capsule, containing interstellar dust from the Wild 2 comet, will re-enter at a whopping 28,600 miles per hour. This re-entry is the fastest in NASA history.

Professor of Geophysics Hans Nielsen and graduate student Takashi Kammae, both of the Geophysical Institute, are monitoring the capsule's ablative heat shield during re-entry. The heat shield has never been flown before, but is designed to absorb the intense heat generated during re-entry into the atmosphere. If it performs well, it's engineering could be replicated for return vehicles that contain crews. Nielsen and Kammae will monitor the heat shield aboard NASA's DC-8 aircraft, an airborne laboratory full of instruments. There, they will observe data collected by a high-speed imager, designed at the Geophysical Institute for auroral research. - More...
Saturday - January 14, 2005


Top Stories
U.S. News
U.S. Politics


Washington Calling: Taxing ... Choosing a new House GOP leader ... More By LANCE GAY - How complex is the tax code? The Tax Foundation estimates that Americans spent $265 billion last year trying to comply with the rules and regulations, and filling out various forms. That translates into about 22 cents in compliance costs for every $1 collected by the IRS.

It's going to get worse, and GOP plans for sweeping tax reform have disappeared from Washington's agenda. Tax Foundation President Scott Hodges predicts that compliance costs will escalate to almost $483 billion by 2015 thanks to changes in tax laws already in the works. The Foundation says its estimates are conservative, and don't include the cost of appeals or Tax Court proceedings. - More...
Saturday - January 14, 2005

The Week In Review - Alito coasting toward confirmation

Judge Samuel Alito underwent 18 hours of grueling Senate questioning during hearings over his nomination to the Supreme Court. Democrats challenged his credibility, independence and philosophy, but Alito said nothing to undermine support from Republicans and appeared headed toward confirmation.

Sharon's condition improves

Ariel Sharon moved his left hand for the first time since his massive stroke. His doctors said the 77-year-old Israeli prime minister was no longer in immediate danger of dying but they cautioned that it would be days before they could know how much damage he suffered from a brain hemorrhage.

Bush returns to Gulf Coast

President Bush returned to the Gulf Coast for the first time in three months and said he was committed to rebuilding communities after Hurricane Katrina. Bush toured still-devastated neighborhoods where there was little evidence of recovery. "There's no homes to repair," the president said. "It's just been flattened. That's what the people of America have got to understand." - More...
Saturday - January 14, 2005

National: Questions raised about having judges testify By BOB EGELKO - When seven current or former federal judges sat before the Senate Judiciary Committee to laud their colleague Samuel Alito, it sparked a debate about the propriety of their appearance in the politically charged setting of a Supreme Court confirmation fight.

Some legal analysts were dismayed.

"It's a really bad idea," said law professor Stephen Gillers, who teaches legal ethics at New York University. "One would have hoped that the judges themselves would have refused to do it, and one would have hoped that Sen. (Arlen) Specter would not have broached the subject. - More...
Saturday - January 14, 2005

International: A bird dies and a campaign takes flight By MARK HUME - Sometimes British Columbia farmer Kevin Sinclair thinks about giving up his crusade to save the swans of Judson Lake, then he remembers the day he went out with his two young sons and found a great white bird dying on the shore.

Trumpeter swans are the largest waterfowl species in North America. They usually announce their presence with sonorous trumpeting that has been compared to the baying of hounds. - More...
Saturday - January 14, 2005

Volcanoes, permafrost...

Tim Tannenbaum stands on the shore of Devil Mountain Lakes maar, a volcanic crater on the northern Seward Peninsula and the largest of its type in the world.
Photo by Jim Beget

Alaska: Volcanoes, permafrost, earthquakes shape Alaska By NED ROZELL - One hundred thousand glaciers, 41 volcanoes that have erupted since the 1700s, 11 percent of the world's earthquakes: Alaska has its share of superlatives. And here's another one-Alaska has the largest maar on Earth.

What's a maar? It looks a lot like a lake. It's circular and it exists because of colossal explosions that happened when molten rock met water. Jim Beget has visited the world's largest set of maars, located on the northern horn of the Seward Peninsula east of Shishmaref.

Landforms shaped in dramatic fashion intrigue Beget, who works for the Alaska Volcano Observatory and the Department of Geology and Geophysics at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. At a recent science conference he showed a photo of the Devil Mountain Lakes maar, the largest one on Earth. - More...
Saturday - January 14, 2005


Augustine volcano viewed from the west.
Image Creator: McGimsey, Game
Image courtesy of U.S. Geological Survey.

Alaska: Augustine Active Friday - Alaska's Augustine volcano exploded five times on Friday producing ash plumes, mudflows, and pyroclastic flows on the island. The ash clouds produced Friday were in excess of 30,000 ft, as reported by pilots and radar data provided by the National Weather Service. Ash was carried to the east-southeast and light ash falls were reported in communities of the southwestern Kenai Peninsula.

The current level of concern continues at RED which indicates a significant eruption is occurring or explosive eruption is expected at any time. - More...
Saturday - January 14, 2005

National: Seeking a new life on eBay By DANIEL BARBARISI - For sale: one extended family, eight members, to work for five years at a resort or private facility. Tropical climate a must.

Family has expertise in cooking, cleaning, computers, construction, auto maintenance and landscaping; all are friendly, educated, willing to work - housebroken, of course - and can start almost immediately. - More...
Saturday - January 14, 2005

Tarik Lagnaoui
Photo Courtesy UAS Ketchikan

Ketchikan: Term Math Professor Named at UAS Ketchikan - The University of Alaska Southeast Ketchikan welcomed Tarik Lagnaoui to the faculty for the spring semester for the mathematics department. Lagnaoui will be teaching three of the four math courses offered at the Ketchikan campus this semester.

Lagnaoui, originally from France, recently completed his Masters of Science in Mathematics at the College of Charleston in South Carolina. He completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Alaska Southeast Juneau campus after living and working in the United States for a number of years. - More...
Saturday - January 14, 2005

Science: N.M. astronomers use lens to travel back in time By SUE VORENBERG - Some things just aren't supposed to change.

Things like the speed of light, the mass of a proton and the charge of an electron should be immune to changes over time.

Astronomers working with the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Socorro, N.M., are trying to find out if that's the case. To do so, they're studying some of the oldest objects in the universe. - More...
Saturday - January 14, 2005



letter New marine service center By Beverly Anderson - Saturday
letter 45 Neighbors meet to discuss future plans for NewTown By Bobbie McCreary - Saturday
letterSanderson Best Choice By Dorothy Nix - Saturday
letter Open letter to KIC citizens: Reasons Tribal members need to vote on January 16th By Rob Sanderson, Jr. - Saturday
letter VERIFY! By Virginia E. Atkinson - Saturday
letterCelebrate 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 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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Ketchikan Columnist  

Dave Kiffer: Honey, we shrunk the state! - My fellow Alaskans, our great state in shrinking!

No, I don't mean the total size. It's still around 656,000 square miles including water. But my - and by extension your - portion of the Great Land is shrinking.

It's primarily because we - as a population base - continue to grow. With the exception of the minor volcanic eruption, our land base does not.  

For some time now it has been one of those tenets of life in Alaska that because we are so few and the state is so big that our population density means that there is just about one square mile of land for each of us Alaskanarinos. - More...
Saturday - January 14, 2006

Columns - Commentary  

Jay Ambrose: Inquisitors v. Alito - Poor Samuel Alito. He did not tell the Democratic senators who grilled him what they wanted to hear. He did not say he would vote to overturn Roe v. Wade if he made it to the Supreme Court, and that it would not matter a bit what the specific case was about or what the arguments were. And he did not tell them something else. He did not say he was a bigot.

That's what the first two days of nationally televised hearings of President Bush's nominee were about. The Democrats had one issue in mind above all others - abortion - and they wanted Alito to say something extreme enough to justify their pre-ordained opposition to him. - More...
Saturday - January 14, 2006

John Krist: China and India will determine energy future - Americans practically panicked in late summer when gasoline prices soared past $3 a gallon. The price has fallen considerably since that peak, and although the current figure of $2.32 is still about 53 cents more per gallon than the U.S. average a year ago, the drop has been sufficient to quiet the howls of public outrage, which for several weeks had federal lawmakers trampling each other in their eagerness to address the matter.

The outrage had cooled so much by year's end, in fact, that the GOP-led charge to finally throw open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling ran out of steam just as it appeared to reach the home stretch. A centerpiece of President Bush's energy plan since the fossil-fuel industry drafted it for him, ANWR drilling failed to muster sufficient congressional support even when attached to an unrelated bill funding such can't-lose causes as military support and disaster relief. - More...
Saturday - January 14, 2006

Dale McFeatters: Flying steerage - Carry-on bags are not an issue that you would think might preoccupy Congress, but next month the Senate Commerce Committee plans to wade into the question of how many bags passengers should be allowed to lug on board airplanes.

The committee chairman, Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, and the flight attendants frame the question in terms of security: By restricting passengers to one carry-on bag, the screeners will have fewer bags to examine and thus more time to scrutinize the ones they do examine. - More...
Saturday - January 14, 2006  

Will Durst: 2006 Predictions - It is the beginning of the new year, and typically the time for ink-stained wretches to trot out the tried but true ye olde predictions piece. The wretches who don't resort to trotting out the trite-but-true ye olde resolutions piece that is. Being the average traditionalist wretch with great respect for heritage that I am, (especially lacking any other fertile ideas whatsoever). I am proud to honor this revered journalistic practice. Hence, I have your predictions for the new year right here. Resolutions will show up the next time I get stuck for other fresh and bright ideas. In other words, soon. Happy 2006 everybody. - More...
Saturday - January 14, 2006

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