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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
January 24, 2007

Front Page Photo by Carl Thompson

Evening Reflections
A Taquan floatplane is reflected in the evening's dark blue waters.
Front Page Photo by Carl Thompson

Ketchikan: Ketchikan man found guilty of murdering his wife - A Ketchikan man was found guilty of murdering his wife and tampering with evidence in the death of Carolyn Frisby Pickering. - Read this Anchorage Daily News story...
Wednesday - January 24, 2007
Top Stories
U.S. News
U.S. Politics


Alaska: Cruise line agrees to fine over whale death - Princess Cruise Lines has agreed to pay $755,000 in fines and restitution to resolve accusations that one of its ships struck and killed a humpback whale near Glacier Bay more than five years ago.

A court date to finalize a plea is set for Monday in U.S. District Court in Anchorage.

According to documents filed last week, Princess is expected to plead guilty to a single misdemeanor of "failing to operate at a slow, safe speed while near humpback whales" around July 12, 2001.

The documents indicate that the company would pay a $200,000 fine to the government and $550,000 in "community service restitution" to the National Park Service Foundation, court papers say. That money would go to an account for Glacier Bay National Park. A Princess spokeswoman, Julie Benson, confirmed that the company plans to plead guilty, but said she could add little now. - More...
Wednesday PM - January 24, 2007

National: Bush Calls for Comprehensive Immigration Reform By JEFFERY THOMAS - In his State of the Union address January 23, President Bush called on the U.S. Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform that would confront the problems posed by having millions of illegal immigrants in the United States.

"We need to uphold the great tradition of the melting pot that welcomes and assimilates new arrivals," Bush said. "And we need to resolve the status of the illegal immigrants who are already in our country - without animosity and without amnesty."

Bush asked Congress to create "an immigration system worthy of America - with laws that are fair and borders that are secure."

Estimates of the number of illegal immigrants in the United States vary widely. The Pew Hispanic Center, a nonpartisan research group, calculates an unauthorized population of 11.5 million to 12 million as of March 2006, based on Census Bureau information and other data. - More...
Wednesday PM - January 24, 2007

National: Members of Congress Question Iraq Plan, Seek Alternatives By VINCE CRAWLEY - Senate leaders from both major U.S. political parties are crafting resolutions that formally express concern over President Bush's plan to increase U.S. troop levels in Iraq.

Senators stressed that they do not seek to embarrass or undermine the president, but that it is their duty, under the U.S. Constitution, to state their case when they disagree with presidential policies. However, some lawmakers cautioned that a divided government could harm U.S. foreign policies.

In his annual State of the Union address the evening of January 23, President Bush warned that "the consequences of failure [in Iraq] would be grievous and far reaching."

The president, who is also commander in chief of the U.S. armed forces, is deploying an additional 21,500 troops to Iraq, where 137,000 Americans already are deployed. The goal of the "surge" plan is to place more U.S. troops in Baghdad, Iraq, and in al-Anbar province to support a bolstered Iraqi effort to decrease the level of violence in critical neighborhoods. - More...
Wednesday PM - January 24, 2007


National: Bill targets foreign sweatshops By JAMES ROSEN - A bipartisan group of senators introduced legislation Tuesday aimed at preventing American companies from profiting from the use of foreign sweatshops and other unfair labor practices abroad.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican, joined four Democrats and independent Sen. Bernard Sanders of Vermont in sponsoring a bill that would allow U.S. firms to sue competitors that they believe are selling imported products made in overseas sweatshops.

"Believe it or not, ladies and gentlemen, there's a world out there where people are exploited - sometimes literally to the point of death - just to make a buck," Graham said at a news conference in the Capitol. - More...
Wednesday PM - January 24, 2007

Science - Technology: An effort to control mold growth By DAVID TEMPLETON - It ruins more than old bread.

It can blemish floors, walls and ceilings and destroy entire homes. Worse, it can affect human health.

Long it's been told
of the boldness of mold,
which can damage a home
so it can't be sold.

As it unfolds,
the famed fungus of old
can cost the poor owner
a carload of gold.

Bad but true poetry aside, the Insurance Information Institute said insurance payments for mold damage amounts to a whopping $2 billion a year.

Alan Russell, University of Pittsburgh professor of chemical and petroleum engineering, has led a team in developing coatings that prevent mold growth. The technology could be used in mold-repellent mixtures and coatings to protect everything but bread. - More...
Wednesday PM - January 24, 2007

Alaska: SEARHC EMS to offer Wilderness First Responder course - The SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) Emergency Medical Services department is offering a Wilderness First Responder course that takes place March 4-11 at the SEARHC Community Health Services building in Sitka.

The course includes a national certification through Wilderness Medical Associates (WMA) that lasts for three years. The courses are useful for anybody who spends a great deal of time in the Alaska outdoors. Some emergency medical services units, guide services and search and rescue squads require the Wilderness First Responder course for employees or volunteers, and some groups have been known to pick up all or part of the tuition for their students.

The Wilderness First Responder (WFR) course takes place over 64 hours in eight days. Class times are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. with an hour for lunch, and classes take place in the first-floor conference room of the SEARHC Community Health Services building. No prior experience is required for the class, which also provides three-year WMA certification in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and automated external defibrillator (AED) use. Also available is an Alaska Emergency Trauma Technician (ETT) certification, which is required for many ambulance, fire department and similar emergency services jobs around the state. - More...
Wednesday - January 24, 2007

People of Ketchikan

Southeast Luau heats up Senior Center
Michael Branco, Senior Center Manager, dressed as King Kamehameha
Photograph by Gretchen Klein

Ketchikan: Southeast Luau heats up Senior Center - The Southeast Senior Center held a lavish Hawaiian Luau party with dancing, singing and a delicious Island flavored lunch on January 19th. This January event held in Ketchikan was attended by over 60 people.

Alaska Community Service's Coordinator Gretchen Klein said the Senior Center cook magnificently seasoned the lunch with various Hawaiian flavors and the lunch was served by Siefried Liepelt and Clarence Price. Marilyn Akens provided everyone Luau leis and each lunch setting had favors for the guests to take home.

Michael Branco, Senior Center Manager, was dressed as King Kamehameha, the ancient ruler of Hawaii. Branco inspired dancers Amy Lloyd and her children, Sierra and Marina, to dance the hula.

Clarence Price and Bea Watson entertained with an Island skit. Guests sang Hawaiian songs accompanied by Irma Lawrence on the piano. Patti Fay Hickox and Marilyn Lamberson also performed a hula dance and taught the audience various dance hand movements. - More...
Wednesday - January 24, 2007


Basic Rules

letter More on Ketchikan's Property Assessment Increase By Sandy Powers - Wednesday
letter Mural Unveiling & Renovation Celebration By Marty West - Wednesday
letter Full Plate of Issues Will Get 90-Day Test by Rep. John Harris - Wednesday
letter Tax Cap Needed By Dan McQueen - Wednesday
letter Property value increases excessive By Tyrell Rettke - Tuesday
letter Increased Property Taxes By Michael Spence - Tuesday
letter Read My Lips By Glen Thompson - Monday
letter More Bureaucracy, Less Learning at UAS By Robert D. Warner - Monday
letter Ketchikan Property Tax Assessments By Hunter Davis - Monday
letter Property Tax Hike & the Cruise Ship Tax By Dan McQueen - Monday
letter Thank you By Colette Milam - Monday
letter Proposed container fee from State of Washington By Judith Green - Monday
letter A day to remember JFK By Ken Levy - Monday
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 More Viewpoints/ Letters
letter Publish A Letter


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Columns - Commentary  

Dave Kiffer: Totems - In the last few years, we've all watched our Downtown turn into something different than we all remember. Part of that is just the one constant in all our lives: Change.

Nothing ever stays the same, no matter how comforting that sameness is. I have watched many familiar businesses close or move out of downtown and it saddens me, but unfortunately it is as inevitable as the weather.

Recently, I have also been to far too many funerals for my liking. Six people I have known have died since October. This is a change I could do also do without. Each loss leaves an empty space and Ketchikan is the poorer for it.

When I was in Ireland years ago, I was impressed by a poem by one of the great Irish writers John Montague in which he compared the "old people" around his youth to "dolmens" or Irish standing stones. The old people were immutable, always there. - More...
Tuesday - January 23, 2007

Martin Schram: Fanning the flames of misinformation - It is a problem long recognized but rarely admitted: We in the news media too often end up fanning the flames when we cover the fires.

But our craft's dilemma becomes far worse when the fires we cover were set by arsonists in our midst.

And that is what happened this week. Just days after the consensus presidential frontrunners got off to their way-too-early start of campaign 2008, a small but ever-ready segment of the news media sparked the first brushfire so quickly that even the traditional political dirty tricksters got caught with their matches down.

A little-known conservative publication, Insight Magazine, which is owned by a company controlled by the Rev. Sun Myung Moon, which also owns The Washington Times, put on its Web site an item that it presented as truth, even though it was an unverified, and ultimately untrue, non-fact. Insight Magazine reported that Democratic Sen. Barack Obama, during in his childhood in Indonesia, had been educated at a madrassa, one of those highly religious schools at which fundamentalist Islamic teachings stress militancy and hatred - schools that have produced many Islamic extremists. - More...
Tuesday - January 23, 2007

Jay Ambrose: Getting serious about Social Security - Now that House Democrats have given us 100 hours of razzmatazz - the speedy, unreflective passage of six bills that the Senate will mercifully either kill or amend - maybe they will do something responsible, something desperately needed, something crucial for the country. Maybe they will address the restructuring of Social Security.

More than likely, they won't.

It's easy enough to slap energy and drug companies around because, well, who likes them, anyway, and how many voters get it that the consequence of enacting this vindictive legislation in the years ahead would be boosted oil prices and fewer life-saving drugs? The other initiatives were likewise the stuff voter-approval dreams are made of. But reworking Social Security in substantive fashion is not. - More...
Tuesday - January 23, 2007

Dale McFeatters: The year's official nadir - This past Monday is the most depressing, miserable day of the year, according to a British psychologist, thanks to a dismal convergence of unpaid holiday bills, lapsed New Year's resolutions, the now dissipated glow of Christmas and bad weather-induced lethargy.

And maybe there's something to that 24-hour perfect storm of moodiness. We have days for everything else, why not designate the fourth Monday in January as Blue Monday, a day to be dedicated to moping and self-pity, comforted only by the thought that - if Dr. Cliff Arnall of Cardiff University is right - things have gotten as bad they're going to get for the year and will begin taking a turn for the better on Tuesday.

The drawback to that melancholy observance is that the large army of shrinks, diet gurus, fitness nuts and TV morning show guests - among them Dr. Arnall himself - dedicated to bucking people up will ruin Blue Monday for the rest of us. He says we can snap ourselves out of our funk by resolving to change our behavior "such as giving up smoking, eating better, exercising more and getting that new job." Oh thanks, doctor. We would have never thought of any of that on our own. - More...
Tuesday- January 23, 2007

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