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SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska
January 23, 2006

Front Page Photo by Carl Thompson

Nothing Says Home Like The Rain
Sgt. Ed Irizarry is welcomed by Ketchikan Borough Mayor/
Saxman City Mayor Joe Williams who was among the many
who turned out to welcomed home our troops Sunday.
Front Page Photograph by Carl Thompson

Ketchikan: Nothing Says Home Like The Rain By MARIE L. MONYAK - When you've been in the arid desert with temperatures well above 100 degrees, nothing says you're home like the rain, good old wet Ketchikan rain and there was plenty of it to greet the seven Alaska Army National Guardsmen returning home from Iraq Sunday night.

gif correctionSix of the seven soldiers expected, arrived home Sunday. Robert Bates, Kevin Clevenger, John Day, Ed Irizarry, Jason Kiern and Rodney Perez appeared blissfully happy to be home. Jerry Lee Caspersen of Metlakatla didn't arrive with the troops as he's in Anchorage for the next few weeks attending a class.

The Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4352 had alerted the town of the impending return of the troops and Ketchikan turned out in true form, regardless of the pouring rain. The entire parking lot on the Ketchikan side of the airport ferry was filled to overflowing. Once every space was filled, vehicles were left haphazardly where they stopped and no one cared or complained. - More...
Monday AM - January 23, 2006


IFA Launches Its Second Ferry, the Stikine
Bottle break: Alaska's First Lady Nancy Murkowski christens the M.V. Stikine at Anacortes, WA, with Governor Murkowski assisting.
Photograph by Peter Kuhnlein ©2006

Prince of Wales: IFA Launches Its Second Ferry, the Stikine - It was a festive scene on Saturday as Alaska's First Lady Nancy Murkowski christened the M/V Stikine at Dakota Creek Industries shipyard in Anacortes, Washington. The new sister ship to the Inter-Island Ferry Authority's M/V Prince of Wales was decked out in marine signal flags and red, white and blue bunting. The Anacortes High School band played the national anthem following the traditional breaking of a bottle of champagne over the ship's bow.

Alaska Governor Frank Murkowski also attended the christening and launching ceremony. He was accompanied by Alaska Department of Transportation Commissioner Mike Barton. IFA Board Chair Dennis Watson, who is also Mayor of the City of Craig, welcomed the approximate 150 guests at Saturday's shipyard function.

Also participating were IFA board members Richard Duvall of Petersburg, Vice Chair; Judy Bakeberg of Wrangell, Secretary; Harvey McDonald of Thorne Bay; Dee Dee Jeffreys of Coffman Cove; Otis Gibbons of Craig; Jeff Nickerson of Klawock; General Manager Tom Briggs and Loren Gerhard, IFA's Vessel Project Manager. - More...
Monday AM - January 23, 2006

Training & Volunteers Essential...

Training and Volunteers Essential In Providing Fire & Emergency Services
NTFD Chief Dave Hull and Lt Jerry Kiffer
Photograph by Marie L. Monyak

Ketchikan: Training and Volunteers Essential In Providing Fire & Emergency Services By MARIE L. MONYAK - After 9/11, firefighters and emergency medical service (EMS) personnel became the unsung heroes of America. Ask any firefighter or EMT and they'll say they're just doing their job, but how many jobs involve saving lives at the risk of their own?

Training is the key. In 2005, the North Tongass Volunteer Fire Department personnel invested over 5000 hours in training alone. Initially, all training was conducted out of town at a huge expense but NTVF is fortunate to have Chief Dave Hull and Lt Jerry Kiffer. Hull is a qualified instructor in EMT2, EMT3 and Paramedics, Kiffer completes the picture with his qualification as an EMT1 instructor.

Born and raised in Ketchikan, Kiffer has been married for 18 years, with a son serving on the Polar Star (an icebreaker) currently heading for Antarctica. Kiffer's inspiration to serve as a firefighter and EMT came at an early age when, as a young boy scout, his troop assisted at the site of a plane crash. Making lunches and handing out sandwiches while watching the local emergency response personnel is all it took and Kiffer was hooked like a salmon to a hoochie. - More...
Monday AM - January 23, 2006

Prince of Wales Island Offers...

Prince of Wales Island Offers
Beauty And Recreation

Pictured: Dennis Benson
Photograph by Marie L. Monyak

Ketchikan: Prince of Wales Island Offers Beauty And Recreation By MARIE L. MONYAK - Dennis Benson, an amiable fellow with the lengthy title of US Forest Service Recreation, Lands, Minerals & Heritage Staff Officer for Prince of Wales Island was the guest speaker for the Friday Night Insight Program at the Southeast Alaska Discovery Center this past Friday evening.

There were many people in the audience that had never been to Prince of Wales Island and the wonderful overview Benson presented was educational.

Although Benson has only been a Staff Officer in POW for a short time, he has in fact worked on the island previously in recreation maintenance and construction.

Prince of Wales is the third largest island in the United States and Benson's love for it was obvious in his enthusiasm. POW is contained within the Tongass National Forest and is comprised of 2 million acres, 80% of which is public lands. There are 11 towns ranging from the largest, Craig, to the tiniest, such as Port Protection or Point Baker. - More...
Monday AM - January 23, 2006



letter Loss of Alaska Guardsmen By Richard Heller - Monday AM
letter No justification By Dave Kiffer- Monday AM
letterForgiving By Charlotte Tanner- Monday AM
letter STEELER FANS UNITE By Pat Long- Monday AM
letter Sometimes you can't 'Latch On to the Affirmative'. By June Allen - Saturday PM
letter Bridge to "somewhere" By Rick Grams - Saturday PM
letter Alaska State Senate to Examine University by Robert D. Warner - Saturday PM
letter VISTA Volunteer By MJ Turek - Saturday PM
letter Bridges to the future... By Don Hoff Jr. - Saturday PM
letter Ketchikan's priorities? By Don Hoff Jr. - Saturday PM
letterApology? By Tom LeCompte - Saturday PM
letter Treatment of guests is reprehensible By John Stewart - Saturday PM
letter Disgraceful Behavior By Charlotte L. Glover - Saturday PM
letter Lack of signage greatest problem By Charlotte Tanner - Saturday PM
letter Newtown Plans By Betty Lee Lien Marl McLendon - Saturday PM
letter Thank You By Tonia (Lahmeyer) Nebl - Saturday PM
letter Uncompassionate By Tommy Bergeron - Saturday PM
letterSTIP & Bridges to the Future By Mike Barton - Friday PM
letter We need to work together By Bobbie McCreary - Friday PM
letter Chamber guests deserve a public apology By Joann Flora  - Friday PM
letter Emerald Bay timber sale
By Tom and Jackie Timm - Friday PM
letter The being "uncompassionate" issue By Theresa Cullen - Friday PM
letterAntifreeze, batteries, shot gun shells... By Jerry Cegelske - Friday AM
letter Intoxicated driver = Possible tragedy By John Maki - Friday AM
letter Re: "Uncompassionate towards suffering" By Mark Neckameyer - Friday AM
letter KIC election rules By Elroy C. Edenshaw, Jr. - Friday AM
letter American Pit Bull Terrier Misunderstood By Tina Greenup - Friday AM
letter More Viewpoints/ Letters
letter Publish A Letter

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Tuesday, January 24, 2006, from 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm - Zoning for the Newtown Area Commercial & Residential meeting is scheduled - 640 Park Avenue (across from the American Legion).
pdfMore meeting information

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January 2006
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Fish Factor  

Laine Welch: Opening date for halibut announced - Halibut fishermen will hit the water on March 5 this year - a Sunday opening date that will get the fish to market early during the first week of Lent. Harvesters will also take home a slightly lower catch during the halibut fishery which will last through mid-November.

That news was announced Friday by the International Pacific Halibut Commission, which sets annual catch limits for Alaska, Washington, Oregon, California and British Columbia. The Commission recommended a coast-wide halibut catch totaling 69,860,000 pounds, a 5.37 percent decrease from the 2005 catch limit of 73,819,000 pounds.

The IPHC said in its 2006 annual report that the halibut stock appears healthy throughout much of its range, but is believed to have declined in the Western Gulf of Alaska and parts of the Bering Sea. This is the second year in a row that harvest rates for those areas have been lowered as a precautionary measure, the IPHC said. Following are the 2006 halibut catch limits for Alaska. - More...
Monday - January 23, 2006

Columns - Commentary  

Preston MacDougall: Chemical Eye on Dodgy Leapfrog - If the Guinness Book of World Records contained an entry for the decade with the most entries, it would have to be the 1970s. I recall a peak period where newspapers and television had almost daily updates on record-breaking anatomical anomalies. And although I haven't checked into it, I would wager that the expression "get a life" probably originated at about this time.

Shortly before I got a life - marked by the moment when I fell in love in Grade 12 French class - I was recruited by the organizer of a fundraising event for cystic fibrosis that was to be held in the jam-packed midway of the Canadian National Exhibition in Toronto. The idea was to charge a nominal fee, which would go to charity, for a shoeshine - breaking a world record along the way. There was a stage, colorful signage and uniforms, and an official observer. Even an old timey carnival barker exhorting folks to "step right up!" - More...
Monday - January 23, 2006  

Bob Ciminel: Just a Coincidence? - Nothing ever happens to me.

I was in the second grade the last time my name appeared in a newspaper, and that was only because a friend of mine who was playing Captain Marvel broke both arms after jumping from a second-story fire escape while wearing a blanket for a cape and then ratted on me and gave my name to a newspaper reporter and told him it was my idea and we'd been doing it every day for a couple of weeks. Of course, I lied and said I'd only mentioned it in passing, and I wasn't stupid enough to jump off a fire escape while yelling, Shazam! Look, it was either him or me, and that little prevarication saved me from a big old can of "Whoop-Ass," which one or both of my parents would have opened up if they thought I was trying to fly. - More...
Monday - January 23, 2006

Dale McFeatters: And now some words from Osama - After 13 months without calling or writing, Osama bin Laden has favored the world with a missive whose rambling content suggests that wherever he's hiding it's not on this planet.

The aptly named nut graph of his audiotape - he hasn't put out a video since the fall of 2004 - says, "You have occupied our lands, offended our honor and dignity and let out our blood and stolen our money and destroyed our houses and played with our security and we will give you the same treatment."

And this happy thought comes after he offered the United States a truce wherein we both have security and stability and work together to rebuild Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Bush administration wasn't buying. "We don't negotiate with terrorists. We put them out of business," said presidential spokesman Scott McClellan. Vice President Cheney was a tad harsher: "I think you have to destroy them."

The tape, whose authenticity the CIA verifies, is said to be of poor quality, suggesting it was produced under difficult conditions, and bin Laden's voice is thin, suggesting he may have his own problems. - More...
Monday - January 23, 2006

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