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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
January 14, 2008

Front Page Photo Courtesy Cindy Barber

The Great Outdoors
Cindy Barber, Ken Arriola, & Sarah Cool pose for the
camera during a group hike up Deer Mountain.
Front Page Photo Courtesy Cindy Barber


Science - Technology: Growing a heart By JOSEPHINE MARCOTTY - Researchers at the University of Minnesota have grown a beating heart in a jar.

They used detergents to strip a rat heart of its own cells, leaving behind a white, three-dimensional scaffolding of connective tissue. They then infused it with living cardiac cells from newborn rats, which multiplied and grew into a fully functional heart -- a first in the field of tissue engineering.

"We've figured out how to use nature's own matrix -- chambers, valves, blood vessels," said Dr. Doris Taylor, the lead researcher and director of the university's Center for Cardiovascular Repair. She said that the technique holds promise for growing human tissue to repair not only hearts, but many other parts of the body. It might be possible, she said, to grow whole organs for patients who need a transplant.

Other tissue-engineering scientists around the country said there are enormous obstacles to using the technique for people.

But they described the work as exciting and a landmark. - More...
Monday - January 14, 2008

Washington Calling: Nobody home at the FEC ... Call of the wild ... More By LISA HOFFMAN - Yoo-hoo, anyone home at the Federal Election Commission?

We're in the midst of the most expensive campaign season in recorded history but the panel that is supposed to keep watch over contributors and spending -- and spank those who break the rules -- has so many vacancies it can't even meet.

Currently, only two of six commission seats are filled, and an ongoing spat between the Democratically controlled Congress and the White House over the qualifications of one nominee means there's no end in sight to the vacancies.

It takes a quorum of four for the commission to act. So, while staff members continue to collect campaign finance reports, the commission cannot conduct probes, order reviews or issue rulings to campaigns and political action committees on what's legal and what's not. So much for oversight.- More...
Monday - January 14, 2007

Fish Factor: Quota share program, Fish and the Farm Bill, and Halibut catches comin' up By LAINE WELCH - Bering Sea crabbers who came up empty in the new quota share program will soon have a chance to own some of the catch.

When quota share programs were implemented in Alaska's halibut, sablefish and Bering Sea crab fisheries, they included a federal loan program designed to let disenfranchised deckhands and skippers buy in. The direct loans are funded by a portion of the fees paid by fishermen to cover management and enforcement costs, which are based on their annual catches.

Since 1995 eligible entry level and small boat halibut and sablefish harvesters have availed themselves of the opportunity, which lets them finance up to 80 percent of the cost of purchasing quota shares over 25 years at a fixed, low interest rate.

"The funding has been set at $5 million a year for the life of the program, and we've committed that full amount each year. So it has been a popular program," said Leo Erwin, director of Financial Services for NOAA Fisheries.

But Bering Sea crabbers have been on hold for the loans since their quota share program hit the water in 2005. So what's the hold up?

'This is the first year there has been an appropriation to authorize the loan program," Erwin explained.

Congress has budgeted $3 million to be used for the so called Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Crab Financing Program. That means the feds can begin writing the rules to really get things moving.

"We're moving ahead on publishing and implementing regulations," Erwin said. "It's a multi-step process. At this point we're hoping to get the first step done, which is the proposed rule, probably in late winter or early spring. We're looking forward to hearing from the public and getting the program up and running, most likely sometime next year," Erwin said.

"People should keep an eye out for the proposed rule so that we can get as many comments as possible and incorporate those considerations into the final rule," said Chief Financial Officer Gary Reisner.

Neither would estimate how much the additional money might generate in crew loans.

"We need to get some experience in the program, and I don't have a good understanding of what the market is for crab quota. So it is pretty hard to speculate," Erwin said.

One thing is certain - the quota shares will be pricey. Latest prices peg red king crab quota at $28-$30 a pound for the most prime fishing districts, said Jeff Osborn at Dock Street Brokers. Snow crab is in the $10 range, Tanner crab is priced closer to $12 per pound and golden king crab is listed at $7.50-$12 per pound. Osborn said future catch limits, grounds prices and uncertain political developments will dictate the ups and downs in the Bering Sea crab quota market. - More...
Monday - January 14, 2008


Basic Rules

letter KETCHIKAN: OUR TOWN HAS A FUTURE AS OUR BRAND by Ken Bylund - The Ketchikan Daily News [KDN] January 12-13 2008 weekend edition had a great editorial 'TOWARD GROWTH'; it starts and ends with the warning that we as a town are experiencing a steady decline but centers on hopes that we as a community need to come up with new industries and new ways of creating jobs in old ones. I love this editorial; it is smack on target... and then back to reading 'THE UPSIDE' by Adrian J. Slywotzky who spent his life researching business success stories and failings. Here's the deal; we learn and think in analogies [Jeff Hawkins - On Intelligence], by comparing this with that, and if our town can be compared to a business, well... we are the Kodak Brownies and Polaroid Film industry in a world of Canon Digital and SanDisk. - More...
Monday - January 14, 2008

letter Alaska Marine Highway By Paula Peterson - I was born and raised in S.E. Alaska. I am 51 years old, so I've seen a few things during my life. One of the things that I have seen is how important the Alaska State Ferry System is to S.E. Alaska. Alaska is vast and complex when it comes to public transportation and so the Alaska State Ferry System was formed to address the complexity of public transportation in S.E. - More...
Monday - January 14, 2008

letterLibrary By Robert McRoberts - In a recent conversation the other day about the library, beside the facts of road grade, parking, access to bussing and walking. what I would like to know is who is using the library? With the internet, is the usage less than ever before? Is the fact that we are losing people in our community not making an impact on usage? - More...
Monday - January 14, 2008

letterAmerican Injustice for Marion Jones By Mike Sawyer - I continue to be amazed at how our country differentiates between steroids and tobacco. - More...
Monday - January 14, 2008

letterRoad Rage/ Intimidation/ Women By Carol Christoffel - I have read Mr. Hansen's concerns and I am quite sure that he is not among the macho drivers that I referred to. However, may I remind Mr. Hansen that the original Lady described having a hard time in a very difficult snow storm managing her car while being tailgated by a truck, who then gave her a vulgar gesture after forcing her to the side of the road. - More...
Monday - January 14, 2008

letterA New Public Library or Castle on the Hill? By Robert D. Warner - There have been several excellent SitNews letters recently critizing the decision to build a new public library at Ketchikan's old Main School site. Who made this decision to move the library rather than the museum? The public needs clear and professional economic analysis of possible locations for the library and for the museum. Why haven't citizens been given such basic essential information to consider? They are entitled to full information to verify whether it is the museum or the library that should move from the Centennial Building. Have we actually reached the time when a move is necessary? - More...
Saturday AM - January 12, 2008


Public Meeting

arrowKetchikan City Council - Special Meeting - January 16, 2008 at 7:00 pm in the City Council Chambers.
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Front Page Archives
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letterMain School Library Site Selection By Linda Koons Auger - To Charlotte L. Glover: Thank you for setting the record straight on the facts regarding the public vote for funding of a new library building. I should have done my research. I stand corrected. - More...
Saturday AM - January 12, 2008

letterHistory lesson... By Charles Edwardson - I would like to thank the unofficial historian on the background of the library location issue. It took all of those people, all of those meetings, and all of that public information and apparently half the town's participation, to pick possibly one of the least convenient locations in downtown Ketchikan for a library (Public library??) If it was not voted down it should have been or should be given the opportunity to be voted up or down by the public. And if all that public participation did not come to this conclusion than maybe it was not as public a process as some remember. - More...
Saturday AM - January 12, 2008

letterThe "New Library" Location By Robert D. Warner - I join many other citizens of Ketchikan in protesting the proposed new location for the public library. How could anyone with library experience support such a difficult to access and isolated location for a public library? - More...
Saturday AM - January 12, 2008

letter Thank You For the History By Signe Markuson - I would like to say 'Thank You' to Charlotte Glover for her letters to Sitnews. I appreciate your gently and precisely informing us about what is going on. - More...
Saturday AM - January 12, 2008

letterUnsung Heroes By David Hull - With all the tragedy that has befallen Ketchikan recently, I think a small group of people is consistently overlooked when it comes to "back patting" or "thank you's". This group consists for those civilian individuals who choose to get involved by calling 911 and assisting the victims in the earliest moments of an emergency. These individuals include family members, passerbys, or complete strangers just wanting to help. They are often victims of the collateral damage that the incident produced and left out when it comes to information sharing. It is time to at least acknowledge their contributions. - More...
Saturday AM - January 12, 2008

letterThe erosion of state jobs in Juneau By Sen. Kim Elton - I've asked the governor's chief of staff to freeze any proposed transfer of state jobs from Juneau to points north unless the governor has given her approval. - More...
Saturday AM - January 12, 2008

letterSaga of the Missing Bus Benches By Carol Baines - I don't mean to belabor this topic, but I feel it's important to address this: I think it's unnecessary to go through the expense of re-installing special benches that prohibit someone sleeping there at night. The previous benches seemed to be appropriate and functional. - More...
Saturday AM - January 12, 2008

letterRoad rage, intimidation By Cody Hansen - I recently read a letter on Sitnews about road rage and intimidation. A former Ketchikan resident stated in this letter that males feel "comfortable" shouting at young women and older women alone. I think that statement is absolutely false. She also stated that the "mad macho drivers" pick on the women because they know if they did that to a male driver they might be looking at a fist down their throat. Another false statement in my opinion. - More...
Saturday AM - January 2008

letter Water front views By Judith Green - Isn't it lovely when driving through town these days, we see sitting at the new city dock a blue and white ship with a smoke stack showing "8 stars of gold on a field of blue". Just to see the beauty of this ship and know of its size and comfort in accomodating the citizens of this great state sitting in full view, brings to mind the phrase "beauty is in the eye of the beholder" (in the book "Molly Bawn" of the late 1800's). - More...
Saturday AM - January 12, 2008

letterLibrary Building Project By Charlotte L. Glover - As the unofficial library historian (I would be happy to share my binders full of newspaper clippings, documents, and scrapbooks going back decades with anyone who asks), I wanted to address Linda Auger's concerns as we have been getting a lot of questions about the library building project. - More...
Thursday - January 10, 2008

letterTLMP By Jim Colier - I see where the Tongass Land Management Plan (TLMP) cost the tax payers $23 million, then it had to be redone again at the tax payers' expense. I see this as mismanagement and someone or ones should be held accountable. - More...
Thursday - January 10, 2008

letter Marty West's Response To Library Issue By Linda Koons Auger - I believe that the City of Ketchikan owns property off of Forest Avenue (new extension to the north of the Third Avenue Bypass), adjacent to the property of George Lybrand. Why isn't this property being considered for the new location of the Library? - More...
Tuesday PM - January 08, 2008

letter As firefighters and EMTs... By Jim Hill - December 15th has always been an important date in my life. On December 15, 1980 the West Valley City Fire Department began providing services to a newly formed community in Utah. A few months later I became a member of that department and after a few thousand emergency calls and 21 or so years later, I retired. I left West Valley to accept a position with the Ketchikan Fire Department in Ketchikan, Alaska. Little did I know that the December 15th anniversary date would one day be associated with the needless death of children. - More...
Monday AM - January 07, 2008

letter Library Location By Marty West - The city owns the land where the new library is set to be built. The present library space will be used to expand the museum. Plans include elevator access from the parking lot below. - More...
Monday AM - January 07, 2008

letter Sprinklers in the home once more... By David Hull - There has been a bit of misinformation put out there on residential sprinkler systems. First, the sprinkler requirement is not for all new homes, only those where the department cannot get an engine closer than 150 feet. Don't want a sprinkler system in your new home? Build your driveway so the fire department can get an engine within 150 of your door. Done Deal! - More...
Monday AM - January 07, 2008

letter Her Light Was So Bright By Lois Munch - Bright, bubbly, beautiful...and kind. Beautiful inside and out, and genuinely compassionate of humans and critters alike, Kelly Nausid touched many during her short life. Her ever present smile was infectious, and she was just plain fun to be around. Her zest for life was equally obvious when she waited tables at Salmon Falls during college summers or when encountered on the street. Even the briefest conversation was delightful. - More...
Monday AM - January 07, 2008

letterLibrary Area Bus Stop Seating By Charlotte L. Glover - I can certainly understand how people would want a dry area with seating to wait for the bus in front of the library. The city is looking for new seating that would allow a person to wait comfortably for a bus without being so spacious as to provide sleeping space. - More...
Monday AM - January 07, 2008

letter Replace Library Bus Stop Benches (Please?) By Carol Baines - Someone mentioned the word "bullies" in regard to people complaining that the bus stop benches at the library were removed. I think the bullies are the ones who decided to take harsh action -- without fair warning -- by removing the benches and thereby punishing everyone. - More...
Monday AM - January 07, 2008

letter Snow driving By Patrick Branco - I wanted to responded to the story by Jessica Peavey called "A Little Snowy Advice for Drivers". Her story reminded me of something my father always used to say "There are only two kinds of drivers, the ones who drive too slow when you are behind them and the idiots who drive too fast". Sadly, few of us are perfect drivers. Dangerous conditions require prudence. Is it prudent to go out on the road, in the dark, in a vehicle poorly suited to the conditions? We each should decide whether a trip to Walmart is worth it. Does the driver of a big SUV with studded tires and 4 wheel drive have the right to pressure less capable vehicles to go behind their safety parameters and driving ability? Clearly not. The law requires that if you have a line of 5 or more vehicles behind you and you are driving under the posted limit, you should safely pull over and allow them to pass. This does not mean that you should bury yourself in a snow bank or inch over onto what barely passes for a shoulder on most of our roads. It means safely. - More...
Monday AM - January 07, 2008

letter Snow Advice By Kimberly Morton - I would like to say sorry to Jessica and the other drivers out there that have real concerns about the snow and the bad behavior that some drivers have towards them. Though it needs to be known that if you are driving a vehicle with children in it that can't pull out from the side of the road, then it is unsafe for you to be on the road. It amazes me that we live in such a small town and that some people without snow tires or four wheel drive decide to drive anyway. They end up getting stuck and causing many more traffic problems than the drivers that are using their "middle finger". With all the accidents that can happen if your car is not able to get around in the snow, then call a friend and let those that are ready and prepared for the snow do the driving. I have ridden with many people that get scared or nervous during snowy conditions and they are usually the ones that are not prepared. This can lead to serious accidents and even death. - More...
Monday AM - January 07, 2008

letter Road Rage, Intimidation, Women By Carol Christoffel - Ladies, I am sorry to learn of someone attempting to harass you while driving. I believe that this happens more to females than to males, as a male feels "comfortable" shouting at a young woman, or older woman alone. Often the "mad macho" drivers pick on women because they know that if they did it to another guy they might just be looking at a fist down their throat! "This ties in to the idea of the male superiority vs a respectful treatment of women. Unfortunately there are too many macho drivers out there these days. - More...
Monday AM - January 07, 2008

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