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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
January 19, 2007

'Clouds Over Ketchikan's Waterfront'
Front Page Photo by Carl Thompson

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Ketchikan: Property Assessments Go Up As Much As 35% (SitNews) - Ketchikan Gateway Borough real property assessment notices were mailed on January 17th according to Dennis Finegan, KGB Director of Assessment. In a news release, Finegan stated, "A review and analysis of the real estate market has mandated adjustments to assessed values." He said State Statutes and Borough Code require that assessments be at full and true value as of the January 01, 2007 assessment date.

Finegan said the reappraisal area for 2007 included Ketchikan residential property from the tunnel/Schoenbar bypass to south Ketchikan city limits and all property from South Ketchikan City limits to the south end of the road - except Saxman residential. George Inlet and Dall Head areas were also reappraised.

"The 2007 assessed value in reappraisal areas will typically have substantial increases over the 2006 assessment level," said Finegan.

"Most City of Ketchikan residential properties that were not reappraised will have upward value adjustments ranging up to 15%. Some condominiums will be returning to 1999 value levels with adjustments up to 35%. Commercial and industrial parcels in the City of Ketchikan will receive adjustments ranging up to 25%," said Finegan. - More...
Friday - January 19, 2007

Ketchikan: Officials to address code enforcement & fire prevention changes and improvements - The Ketchikan Fire Department and City of Ketchikan Building Officials will be at The Ted Ferry Civic Center on January 29th from 1:00 pm until 3:00 pm providing "Fire Prevention and Code Enforcement" information for members of the Ketchikan business community.

During this 2-hour session officials will provide information and handout materials regarding some of the changes and improvements that are taking place regarding fire code enforcement and fire prevention activities in the City. There will also be time to answer some of the questions local business people may have regarding Ketchikan's deferral from the State Fire Marshal's office. - More...
Friday - January 19, 2007

Alaska: Study Shows Alaska Short On Child Protection Workers; Fixes Needed This Session Says Gara - A recent state analysis shows Alaska has work to do if it is going to fix its child protection system.

"I think we have a legislature and Governor willing to take the steps needed to protect Alaska's most at-risk children," said Rep. Les Gara (D-Anchorage), who's called for the state to adopt recommendations in a 2006 state-commissioned study of Alaska's Office of Children's Services.

Following increasing public concern and a federal audit of the state's agency charged with protecting foster, abused and neglected children, the state commissioned an outside audit to identify staffing reforms needed so the state can adequately investigate child abuse concerns and offer needed help to foster children and families. - More...
Friday - January 19, 2007

Car goes over embankment, lands on Tongass
Ketchikan Fire Department personnel extricating an unidentified driver after car goes over embankment.
Front Page Photo by Dave Zenge

Ketchikan: Car goes over embankment, lands on Tongass - At approximately 2:15 pm Friday, the Ketchikan City Fire and Police departments responded to a call of a car that had driven over an embankment at the 2700 block of Tongass Avenue.

Although there was no official comment regarding the incident, a bystander said it appeared that the car traveled from the Presbyterian Church parking lot onto Second Avenue going through a fence, over an embankment and landing on Tongass Avenue. - More...
Friday - January 19, 2007

Alaska: Animal rights groups put heat on zoo over elephant By MEGAN HOLLAND - Maggie gingerly guides a red ball back and forth from one end of her enclosure to the other. She explores the nooks and crannies of the concrete around her, searching and smelling. And sometimes she extends her trunk through the steel bars to a visitor and blows a gush of warm elephant breath on a hand.

She'll play the harmonica if encouraged, her keepers say.

The 7,500-pound African elephant does all of this while she whiles away her hours from mid-October to mid-April in her concrete and steel cage the size of two racquetball courts. - More...
Friday - January 19, 2007


National: Lawmakers fire on Pentagon officials over war costs By JAMES ROSEN - Lawmakers from both parties criticized senior Pentagon officials Thursday for using emergency spending bills to fund the Iraq war, which they said should have predictable costs by now.

Democrats and Republicans at a House Budget Committee hearing also questioned the Iraq war's rising price tag, saying they face increased pressure from constituents to justify congressional support for the conflict.

The bipartisan grilling at the budget panel's first session in the new Congress underscored the difficulty that President Bush faces as he seeks legislative approval for sending 21,500 more U.S. troops to Iraq.

Rep. John Spratt, D-S.C., the budget panel's new chairman, displayed a chart depicting the Iraq war's annual costs since the U.S. invasion in March 2003. Another chart put the total cost of the conflict at $379 billion, with fighting in Afghanistan adding $98 billion.

"How do you account for the fact that the cost of the war keeps going up and up and up?" Spratt asked a panel of three Defense Department officials, led by Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England.

England said costs have risen the last two years - from $108 billion in 2005 to a projected $170 billion this year - partly because the wear and tear is requiring the Pentagon to replace planes, tanks and other costly weapons.

England didn't cite the unexpected strength of the Iraqi insurgency and the spreading sectarian violence. But he alluded to it, telling one exasperated lawmaker: "War is dynamic. Turns out that the people we fight have a say."

The last Congress provided $70 billion for the two wars in the Pentagon appropriations bill for the current fiscal year. England said Bush will send the new Congress a supplemental funding measure next month; he didn't deny lawmakers' claims that it will seek an additional $100 billion for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. - More..
Friday - January 19, 2007

National: House Democrats celebrate 100-hour agenda By MARGARET TALEV - Democrats congratulated themselves Thursday as they led the House of Representatives to pass the last of their six priority bills well within a self-imposed deadline of the first 100 legislative hours.

"We have delivered on the promise," said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. "We have demonstrated that the Congress of the United States is not a place where good ideas and the optimism of the American people go to die."

The partisan celebration may be short-lived, however. For all the House Democrats' success in delivering on their campaign promise to win results in their first 100 hours in power, the achievement reveals little about whether they'll be able to push the federal government in a new direction.

Future measures promise to divide Democrats, unlike their initial six bills. And even if they can drive their agenda through the House, Republicans already have shown that they can block Democrats in the Senate, where opponents can derail bills with just 41 votes and Republicans have 49.

In fact, Republicans sidelined the first bill that come up for a vote in the new Senate - ethics revisions - forcing Democrats to negotiate over details. - More...
Friday - January 19, 2007


Basic Rules

letter Ketchikan assessment headaches By John Harrington - Friday PM
letter TAX GLUTTONS By Ken Bylund - Friday
letter Let's walk the talk when it comes to the kids in Ketchikan. By Patti Fay Hickox - Friday
letterRacism Report Card By Carol Christoffel - Wednesday PM
letter Proposed container fee legislation will increase cost of groceries By Bill Tatsuda - Wednesday PM
letter At what price glory? By Valerie Cooper - Wednesday PM
letter The Internet Economy By Rick Grams - Monday PM
letter Tribal Council Vacant Seat By David Jensen - Saturday PM
letter Proposed addition of a paid firefighter/EMT II position By Kevin C. Murphy - Saturday PM
letter Simple Request By Joe Johnson - Saturday PM
letter The tides are changing By Myrna Gardner - Saturday PM
letterNTVFD...Show us the numbers! By Ed Fry - Wednesday PM
letter Tribal Members, It's Time for Change By Albert White - Tuesday PM
letter ACCOUNTABILITY STANDARDS By Peter Ellis - Tuesday PM
letter NTFD -Tax Cap - Consolidation By Cheryl Henley - Tuesday PM
letter Micro-managing the war By Anita Hales - Tuesday PM
letter Shut Down Of Airport Shuttle By Ken Levy - Tuesday PM
letter NTVFD/I was wrong By Mary Henrikson - Tuesday PM
letter Litter on Ketchikan's roadways By Kathie Morris - Tuesday PM
letter More Viewpoints/ Letters
letter Publish A Letter


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Alaska: JOULE II rockets launch with success - From Poker Flat Research Range north of Fairbanks, four NASA rockets launched into an aurora display over northern Alaska, starting at 3:29 a.m. Alaska Standard Time. Scientists hope to learn more about electrical heating of the thin atmosphere from about 60 to 120 miles above Earth's surface with the launch of these rockets. The project is called JOULE II.

This photo captures the third rocket in the JOULE II series to launch January 19 from Poker Flat Research Range. As part of JOULE II, two pairs of rockets were launched in a series. Each pair included a rocket that released a trimethyl aluminum vapor that glowed in the upper atmosphere, and another full of instruments to track the glowing trails of the vapor as it moved in the winds 60 to 120 miles above Earth.
Photo by Michael "Snap" Conger, Honeywell

Staff at Poker Flat Research Range coordinated with the Federal Aviation Administration to ensure that airspace was secure before launching all rockets. Each rocket's flight lasted about 12 minutes, and all rockets performed as planned, flying to their desired locations in space, with precision greater than 95 percent.

Miguel Larsen, a professor at Clemson University, was the principal investigator for JOULE II, which consisted of two Terrier Orions, a Black Brant V, and a Black Brant IX. The rockets launched in two pairs-the pairs consisted of one rocket with instruments to read the detailed structure of the electrical currents within the aurora, while a second rocket released a visible tracer of trimethyl aluminum vapor to measure the winds and turbulence at that altitude range. - More...
Friday - January 19, 2007

Alaska: University of Alaska Geologist Studies Chicxulub Impact Crater - About 65 million years ago, a massive disruption led to worldwide extinction of dinosaurs. The impact of a giant asteroid created massive tsunamis and spewed forth a global cloud of carbon gases that altered Earth's atmosphere and blocked the light for weeks, possibly years. In recent years, that impact event has been linked to a 112-mile-wide crater, dubbed Chicxulub, on the coast of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula.

Since its discovery in the 1980s, the Chicxulub crater has left its own impact on sky-watchers and sci-fi fans worldwide, and impact events have been depicted in Hollywood films such as "Armageddon" and "Deep Impact," as well as countless artistic renditions.

Despite the spotlight on the theories surrounding the impact, Michael Whalen, associate professor of geology at University of Alaska Fairbanks, has managed to stay "out of the limelight, yet into the limestone" with his work sampling the core of the crater. Due to the efforts of Dr. Buck Sharpton, UAF Vice Chancellor for Research, Whalen became part of an international effort to correlate seismic data with information obtained from a drill hole that reaches more than 1.2 miles deep, through the impact layer and beyond. - More...
Friday - January 19, 2007

Arts & Entertainment

Ketchikan: Arts This Week - This week in Ketchikan, the Friday Night Insight Program at the Southeast Discovery Center presents Experiences of Glacier Bay National Park. Pat Schmidt will present pictures and her impressions of her experiences as a summer Interpretive Park Ranger at Glacier Bay National Park, on January 19th from 7-8:00 pm at the Southeast Alaska Discovery Center. All shows are free and open to the public.

Funday at the Museum arrives again with ocean-themed art and science activities for kids of all ages. Happening Saturday, January 20th 10:00 AM - Noon at the Tongass Historical Museum. Call the Museum for more info, 225-5600.

The Mad Hatter Tea Party is in its seventh year and all are invited to attend! Crafts and refreshments for the entire family are available starting at 3pm on January 20 in the children's library. There will be prizes for the most beautiful hat, most unusual hat and most comical hat. For more information call 225-0370.

January Monthly Grind: Saturday, January 20, 7pm in the Saxman Tribal House. Live local talent, dessert and coffee, all for just $5 per adult and $1 for kids. Buy a ticket, bring a homemade dessert and get a refund. - More...
Friday - January 19, 2007

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