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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
January 29, 2008

ront Page Photo & Gallery by Carl Thompson

10th Annual Jazz and Cabaret Festival
The 10th Annual Jazz and Cabaret Festival, presented by the First City Players, featured local talent. The festival included two weeks of classes in solo voice, vocal duets, trios and quartets, Blues guitar, woodwind and small jazz and pop instrumental ensembles instructed by world class musicians Anne Phillips, Matt Perri, Paul Meyers and Bob Kindred. Locals learned to perform, then wowed the audiences at the Ted Ferry Civic Center on January 25th & 26th with their talent.
Cabaret Photo Gallery (click here)
Front Page Photo & Gallery by Carl Thompson


Alaska: Supreme Court Accepts, Makes Public Alaska Delegation's Brief in Support of Oil Spill Victims - The United States Supreme Court on Monday accepted an amicus brief authored by Alaska's Congressional Delegation in support of the plaintiffs in Exxon Shipping Co. and Exxon Mobil Corp. v. Grant Baker, et al. The brief was filed Friday. Upon the Supreme Court's review and acceptance today, it is now available to the public.

Alaska's Congressional Delegation, Senator Ted Stevens, Senator Lisa Murkowski, and Congressman Don Young, filed an amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court on January 25, 2008, in support of the victims of the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill in the case Exxon Shipping Co. and Exxon Mobil Corp. v. Grant Baker, et al.

In the brief, the Delegation discusses the origins and legislative history of the Clean Water Act (CWA), the federal law that is central to the controversy. The brief incorporates law from Supreme Court cases and other federal decisions, as well as authority from Congressional records and academic sources. The Delegation contends is that the punitive damages awarded to those affected by the spill are legally protected under maritime law as well as CWA, a conclusion that directly contradicts Exxon's arguments. - More...
Tuesday - January 29, 2008

Alaska: Alaska Files Exxon Amicus Brief; State Supports $2.5 Billion Punitive Damages Award to Alaskans - Alaska Governor Sarah Palin today announced that the State of Alaska has filed an amicus, or "friend of the court," brief supporting the award of punitive damages against Exxon Mobil stemming from the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill.

The State filed its amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court, which agreed in October to hear Exxon Mobil's appeal. The case is on appeal from a 9th Circuit Court of Appeals decision upholding punitive damages of $2.5 billion dollars. Exxon has continued to appeal a 1994 jury award of punitive damages to Alaskans.

The State asserts maritime law permits a court to hold Exxon responsible for the conduct of its employee and ship's captain, Joseph Hazelwood.

The State also asserts the federal Clean Water Act does not prevent harmed parties from obtaining punitive damages. The State views such damages as a deterrent to unsafe conduct and as partial compensation for injured parties whose relief is otherwise limited by technical rules of maritime law. - More...
Tuesday - January 29, 2008

Alaska: AMHS crews overcome burdensome weather, equipment failures on ferries - For much of Sunday, as chilling temperatures and high winds battered Southeast Alaska waters, crews aboard Alaska Marine Highway System (AMHS) ferries overcame sea spray and extreme icing that wreaked havoc for the crews and travelers.

AMHS crews overcome burdensome weather,

Thick ice covers everything aboard the Alaska Marine Highway System (AMHS) motor vessel LeConte as it sails off the coast of Hoonah Sunday, Jan. 27, 2008.
Official AMHS photo by Kurt Rehfeld,
Chief Purser, motor vessel LeConte

The motor vessel LeConte departed Hoonah around noon Monday, a day behind schedule, after the ship, its crew and passengers remained overnight there. While transiting from Juneau to Angoon, the LeConte crew measured sustained winds of 70-knots and a peak gust of 120-knots that created sea spray and excessive icing conditions.

"The icing aboard LeConte knocked out the ship's radar and GPS systems and also encased the engine room air intake vents," said Capt. Dave Jancauskas, AMHS Senior Port Captain in Ketchikan. - More...
Tuesday - January 29, 2008

Alaska: AMHS' 2008 summer schedule released - The Alaska Marine Highway System (AHMS) today announced the release of its 2008 summer schedule.

"While we apologize for the delay in getting the schedule out, we are happy to present the schedule to those interested in traveling with us, and we certainly don't expect any future schedule release delays," said Dennis Hardy, Deputy Commissioner of Marine Operations, Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (DOT&PF). "The delay was a one-time occurrence that resulted from major changes in our schedule. The changes were necessary to make more efficient use of the vessels and help meet the needs of communities like Haines, Skagway, and Sitka."

AMHS general manager, Capt. John Falvey, explained that although this year's summer schedule was later than recent years, AMHS officials worked very hard to accommodate persons contacting AMHS to book reservations.

"AMHS has tracked calls from customers seeking to make reservations when the schedule was unavailable," Falvey said. "Our staff will immediately begin returning calls to customers and booking those reservations." - More...
Tuesday - January 29, 2008


Columns - Commentary

Dave Kiffer: Salmon Slickers - Last week I was trolling through the couple of hundred "Ketchikan" related items on EBAY when something caught my eye.

Nearly lost in the all the "last minute" cruise cabin offers was one that was truly out of the ordinary. An enterprising seine boat captain from Washington state was offering a personal tour of the Inside Passage on his seine boat for the reasonable price of just over $5,000.

To make it even more personal, the winning bidder could choose his or her own itinerary and decide where to go between Seattle and Skagway.

Talk about a dream come true. And at a price that was not that much more than a normal cruise (undiscounted) would cost. - More...
Tuesday - January 29, 2008

Preston MacDougall: Chemical Eye on FOX Holes - We cannot directly see or touch individual atoms, nor watch how they behave, so people who teach chemistry rely heavily on models and analogies to get the job done. That's fine with me - my mother raised me on cabbage rolls and metaphors.

For instance, if I was harping incessantly about my desire for a Rat Patrol lunch box, all the while clutching my Speed Racer lunch box, she might have said calmly "An empty can makes a lot of noise." I would voluntarily go to my room and try to figure out what that meant. She got the job done. - More...
Tuesday - January 29, 2008

Michael Reagan: Environmental Terrorism and the Price of Oil - Here we have the humiliating spectacle of a president of the United States begging an Arab potentate to increase our supply of oil while Democrats, who bear the major responsibility for the problem, scoff at him as a mendicant groveling at the feet of a foreign monarch.

As humiliating as it is for the United States to be put in a position where our economy is held hostage to foreign oil producers who can make or break our nation simply by limiting their petroleum production, thus causing the price of oil to skyrocket, it is even more shameful that we have allowed the so-called environmental movement to escape the blame for our predicament. - More...
Tuesday - January 29, 2008

Dale McFeatters: An overstimulated bill - Even as President Bush cautioned against loading up the stimulus bill, the Senate was loading it up.

In a rare display of cooperation, indicating that in the eighth year of Bush's presidency there may still be hope for bipartisanship, the White House and House Democrats agreed on a $146 billion bill consisting largely of tax rebates. The idea was for a clean, simple bill and quick passage.

With stimulus spending, speed counts, because its impact is largely psychological. Congress' attempts at stimulus are notorious for entering the economy just as the instant financial crisis has passed. - More...
Tuesday - January 29, 2008



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Basic Rules

letter Salvaging the Status Quo By Gregory Vickrey - In the political arena, it has become commonplace to proclaim victory and success after salvaging the status quo. The Reagan Administration brought this tactic to the fore, and the apparatus was further refined during the Clinton years. - More...
Tuesday - January 29, 2008

letter ROD SPOILS WILD By David Beebe - The recent Record of Decision (ROD) for the court-ordered Amendment to the Tongass Land Management Plan (TLMP) has been signed by Regional Forester, Dennis Bschor.

The Amendment was required to correct the failings of the Forest Service, violating the National Environmental Policy Act (on three counts), and one count of violating the Administrative Procedures Act (APA). - More...
Tuesday - January 29, 2008
letterGood News!!! By Rodney Dial - You may remember that in the days leading up to the Consolidation vote (November 06) the Save Ketchikan Group took on the Chamber of Commerce and local government to warn that if we consolidated our island would lose millions if the Commercial Passenger Vessel Tax ($50 per head, cruise ship tax) passed. - More...
Tuesday - January 29, 2008
letter Closing Forest Service Roads By Drew Mathews - Recently there has been a push by the USFS Ketchikan Ranger District to close some of the old and new logging roads in the Ketchikan area. As a user of these roads I am concerned that non-logging interests are being over looked. The USFS builds these roads for logging and once the logging has been done, they want to close them. I can understand that they do not want the expense of maintaining them, but these roads provide us use for berry picking, sightseeing, hunting, fishing and other activities. - More...
Tuesday - January 29, 2008
letter Trashing Ketchikan By Tom Ferry - The only way to catch the hillbilly trashers is to install a network of video cameras with motion detectors and infrared. There is a power source on every power pole and could send the video when triggered by motion to the Cegelske control lair which would record the hicks dumping their junk on a digital recorder. - More...
Tuesday - January 29, 2008
letterRoadside Trash By Dan McQueen - I don't know why in these areas of high dumping the Ketchikan Gateway Borough doesn't just put out a couple of big dumpsters. Seems like it would be worth a try. Who knows it might just work! - More...
Tuesday - January 29, 2008

letter TRASHING WILL NOT STOP ABSENT ENFORCEMENT By Pete Ellis - The continued pleas of Cegelske to stop trashing our highway areas go unanswered and unresolved. Needed is a strict and diligent enforcement effort with hidden camera monitors, well planned and co-ordinated patrols and much higher maximum fine levels to severely punish those who transgress. - More...
Saturday PM - January 26, 2008

letterAlaska Marine Highway By Mike Moyer - Our Governor and other South Central politicians are showing their true colors and their appointees at the AMHS are parroting their line. Now they are trying to make Alaskans think THEY are the only ones fiscally responsible. Does that mean that the public is irresponsible because we want a Marine Highway System that will provide inexpensive, efficient, safe, and FREQUENT public transportation between our communities and the lower 48? - More...
Saturday PM - January 26, 2008

letterWILL IT NEVER STOP By Jerry Cegelske - I don't know how you react when someone comes onto your property and dumps their trash for you to clean up, but it happens frequently in Ketchikan and it is often on property owned by the Borough. The landfill challenged individuals that are too selfish to take care of their trash want the taxpayers of the Borough to clean up after them, while putting people at risk with hazardous materials. - More...
Saturday - January 26, 2008

letter Proposed halibut charter fishing regulations By Ron Moyer - I would like to clarify some hidden issues related to Friday's article. Every lodge owner and most charter fishermen are opposed to this.

The board has two options available to them. The four fish annual limit which they are proposing will in reality put the majority of lodges in area 2C (Southeast) out of business within two years. A 50% reduction in our limits will send most anglers to British Columbia or further north in Alaska, anywhere but SE Alaska. Remember this limit only applies to area 2C. - More...
Saturday - January 26, 2008

letter Our Only Highway: The Alaska Marine Highway By Jerilyn Lester - Since coming to Southeast Alaska in 1984, I have seen the government of this state do some bone-head things; but to cut your nose off to spite your face by cutting one of the only ways we have to get to the lower 48 is really stupid!! I take that ferry - and to only have one of the most profitable runs on the Ferry system is really dumb. THIS IS THE HIGHWAY SYSTEM FOR THE ISLANDS OF THE SOUTHEAST OF ALASKA!!!! DO YOU NOT UNDERSTAND THAT?? - More...
Saturday - January 26, 2008

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