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SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska
January 30, 2006

Front Page Photo by William Greer

'Hoist Training North of Ketchikan'
Front Page Photo by Petty Officer William Greer, USCG

National: State of Union puts the squeeze on Bush By CAROLYN LOCHHEAD - President Bush has promised to talk about big things in his State of the Union address Tuesday, but talk may be all he can deliver in an election year when Republicans fear losing their 12-year grip on Congress and Democrats smell blood.



Ketchikan: Due to road conditions and after consulting Laidlaw and the State of Alaska DOT, the Ketchikan Gateway Borough School District has decided that in the interest of safety, schools will let out one hour early Monday, January 30th, and all bus routes will be running one hour early.

FreemanKetchikan: To Send Condolences To The Freeman Family - In response to the many requests for contact information for the Freeman family, cards of condolences may be mailed to the following company address for Major Stephen Freeman's family.. - More....
Saturday - January 28, 2006


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U.S. Politics



Five years of rapidly rising federal spending on everything from the Iraq war and Hurricane Katrina to big entitlement programs such as Medicare and Medicaid are driving Bush into an ever-shrinking corner of unpleasant choices.

"He's trapped himself," said Leon Panetta, head of the Panetta Institute in Monterey, Calif., and former chief of staff to President Bill Clinton, a Democrat. - More...
Monday - January 30, 2006

International: Despite enmity, Israel, Hamas expected to talk By ANNA BADKHEN - Hamas leaders say they never will negotiate with Israel, a state the militant group has pledged to destroy. Israeli leaders say they will not deal with Hamas, which swept to stunning victory in Palestinian parliamentary elections last week.

But in the crowded confines that Israel and the Palestinian territories occupy, confrontation is likely to take a back seat to the demands of day-to-day concerns, analysts say. And some say the inevitable interaction between the two sides - which once seemed impossible - may push Hamas and Israel toward broader cooperation.

"It's inevitable that Hamas will be dealing with Israel ... in matters relating to infrastructure - water, electricity, security, trade, crossing borders," said Naseer Aruri, a professor of political science at the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth and a former member of the Palestine Liberation Organization's Central Committee. - More...
Monday - January 30, 2006

Keeping Kids in School...

Ketchikan School Board member Mike Harpold
Photo by Marie L. Monyak

Ketchikan: Ketchikan For A Positive Economy & Keeping Kids In School By MARIE L. MONYAK - Invited guest speakers at the Ketchikan Greater Chamber of Commerce luncheon meeting last Wednesday were Mike Harpold, a Ketchikan School Board member, and Superintendent Harry Martin. Both spoke before the Chamber about keeping kids in school.

Before hearing from the guest speakers, Mike Holman, Chamber member and a property owner in the Newtown area, announced the formation of a new citizen and business group, Ketchikan for a Positive Economy.

The purpose of the Ketchikan for a Positive Economy (KPE) group is to keep the public informed and promote the port project and support the city's bond election. Holman, acting as organizer, announced that Zig Zigler of Alliance Realty and Dennis Pope of First City Electric would fill the positions of Co-Chairmen. Chris Parks of Tongass Trading would be Treasurer and John Kimmel, Deputy Treasurer.

Ketchikan for a Positive Economy held its first community meeting on January 27th to provide information about the Berth III Renovation Project, the proposed Port Revenue Bond and the special election scheduled for April 11, 2006. Representatives of KPE were available to answer questions and discuss issues. It is the hope of KPE that all residents of Ketchikan and local businesses will recognize the importance of the visitors industry. - More...
Monday - January 30, 2006



letter This is our home. By Dennis Pope - Monday
letter TAKES BOTH TO MAKE IT HAPPEN By Bobbie McCreary - Monday
letter Thank you Ketchikan By Teresa P. Richardson - Monday
letter Port Renovation Project By Chris Parks - Sunday PM
letter Thank you Ketchikan By Carolyn Pedison - Sunday PM
letter Dear People of Ketchikan By Doyle Cowart - Sunday PM
letter Major Stephen Freeman By Jerry Sandel - Sunday PM
letter Steve Freeman By Leslie Whitmire - Sunday PM
letterThe 'bridge' and alternatives to it. By Dave Rettke - Saturday AM
letter Smells Like Rotten Fish By Wayne Sanger - Saturday AM
letterAlaska Missing the Boat on Baby Boomer Retirement By Mark Neckameyer - Saturday AM
letterLocal Family Needs Help By Jennifer Brewer - Saturday AM
letter Monies From Ward Cove Sale? By Dave Rettke - Saturday AM
letter Tragic to lose a fellow flyer By Jim McClain - Saturday AM
letter Where to send a card? By Jodi Goffinet - Saturday AM
letterThe Consolidation Myth By Rodney Dial - Friday AM
letter A true Hero By Richard Wuensche - Friday AM
letter Disaster Ready By Cindy Taylor - Friday AM
letter Respectful Story By Chris Rose - Friday AM
letter Slow Down Folks By Wanda Pew - Friday AM
letter Passionate and compelling By Aftan Zink - Friday AM
letter Compliments By Diane Stittgen - Friday AM
letter Imagine By Susan White Hoff - Friday AM
letter Respectful article By Tom Mabrey - Friday AM
letter They were wearing their seatbelts By Susan Bachant - Friday AM
letter More Viewpoints/ Letters
letter Publish A Letter

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Monday, January 30, 2006, noon - Ketchikan City Council Special Meeting - City Council Chambers
Agenda & Information Packets

Thursday February 02, 2006, 5:30 - 7:30 pm - North Tongass Volunteer Fire Dept. Open House and Board of Directors meeting - Ribbon cutting ceremony for new building and more...

Teleconference meetings - Legislative Information Office - Check the Calendar

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January 2006
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Alaska: U.S. Finalizing Wild Bird Surveillance Program, Officials Say By KATHRYN MCCONNELL - The United States is making final details of a national bird surveillance and testing program that the administration hopes will help guard the country from the spread of a potential outbreak of highly-pathogenic - or lethal - bird flu, officials say.

The U.S. federal government is coordinating its efforts with Alaska, other states and Canada, over which wild - or migratory birds - from Asia and Russia fly during spring season to their final destinations in Central and South America, said Ron DeHaven, administrator of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

The program is a follow-up to the National Strategy for Pandemic Influenza, announced in November 2005 by President Bush.

DeHaven, together with Dale Hall and Susan Haseltine of the Department of Interior's U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), on January 27 briefed congressional staff and the media in Washington.

As part of the program, the United States will increase the number of bird surveillance stations along the Alaska and Pacific "flyways," coordinating with local "flyway councils," to determine if any birds exhibit symptoms of bird flu, also known as avian influenza, Hall said. - More...
Monday - January 30, 2006

National: Helping needy illegal immigrants would be crime under House bill By LUCIA GRAVES - Priests could be imprisoned for providing food and water to illegal immigrants. Nurses could be jailed for tending the sick. Good Samaritans could face a five-year sentence for helping a neighbor tile her bathroom floor.

All of these people and more could face criminal charges under a new border security bill passed by the House last month. Though the controversial provision may be unlikely to become law, it has incited active lobbying campaigns and vehement debate.

"It's an unjust bill," said Cathy Caples, executive director of Catholic Charities, Diocese of Fresno. "Immigrants don't have much in the way of income or benefits, so my agency provides help to them. ... Our mission is to provide help to anyone in need." - More...
Monday - January 30, 2006

National: U.S. Ambassador Asks Mexico To Probe Incident on Texas Border By Eric Green - U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Antonio Garza has asked the Mexican government to investigate a January 23 incident in which people dressed in Mexican military uniforms "apparently intervened to prevent a drug shipment from being intercepted" by U.S. authorities in Texas.

In a strongly worded statement January 25, Garza said he sent a diplomatic note to the Mexican government on the matter "because this type of incident is indicative of the danger faced by our law enforcement officers daily" along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Garza said the individuals in military uniforms were carrying "military-style weapons and using military vehicles."

U.S. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack also commented January 25 on reports that men in Mexican military uniforms had crossed over the U.S. border into Texas. McCormack said the U.S. Department of Homeland Security had been apprised of this incident and was investigating the reports. - More...
Monday - January 30, 2006

National: Heavy armor ... political lessons from Canada ... and more By LANCE GAY - Hoping to head off attacks from Capitol Hill, Pentagon pooh-bahs are ordering soldiers in Iraq to add hefty armor to protect their sides.

There's already grumbling from the ranks, who aren't happy with the difficulties in carrying the 50 pounds of ceramic plating that goes with chest and back armor. The side vests could add another 20 pounds. Troops protest that the weight makes them less agile when trouble erupts - and even when there's no gunfire, Iraq's notorious 120 degree Fahrenheit summers translate into misery with that extra poundage.

The brass isn't backing down, contending the side armor could saves lives. Democrats have already made the lack of armor given troops in Iraq one of their big issues in this November's elections.


It could be a trend, but the Base Realignment and Closing Commission is following in the path of the 9/11 Commission and planning to stay around cozy Washington after it officially goes out of business in April.

The BRAC says it needs to ensure that its legacy is fully implemented. The 9/11 panel eventually gave up when many of its recommendations languished for lack of interest.


In spite of repeated government warnings, and the difficulties after Hurricane Katrina and the 9/11 attacks, most Americans haven't devised a family rescue plan or stockpiled for an emergency.

The Rand Corp. looked at earthquake-prone Los Angeles. Although polls show that nearly 60 percent of Los Angeles residents expect their city will be hit by terrorists in the next year, the Rand survey found that only 28 percent had gathered emergency supplies and barely 17 percent had devised a plan for reunifying the family after an emergency. - More...
Monday - January 30, 2006

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