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SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska
February 04, 2006

The Village of Port Gravina

The Village of Port Gravina
On July 5, 1904, a fire destroyed the sawmill, the store and more than half of the dwellings in the town of Gravina, which never rebuilt.
Photo courtesty Ketchikan Museums

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Ketchikan: The Village of Port Gravina By DAVE KIFFER - Every so often Ketchikan residents - squeezed between Tongass Narrows and the mountains - look over at the relatively flat bench land of Gravina Island and wonder "why didn't someone build a town over there?"

In 1892, someone did.

In the last decade of the 19th Century there was a small village that was as large or possibly larger than the nascent village of Ketchikan. But like many settlements in Southeast Alaska, its life was short.

The village of Port Gravina was located near what is now the north end of the Ketchikan International Airport runway. It was founded in 1892 by a group of Tsimpsians from Metlakatla who had attended the Sitka Industrial Training School. - More...
Saturday - February 04, 2006

jpg NTSB Files Preliminary Report...

January 25th crash of the Aero Vodochody L-39MS
Photograph by Tracy Mettler ©2006

Ketchikan: NTSB Files Preliminary Report on Jet Crash - In an official preliminary report which is subject to change, the National Transportation Safety Board released its initial facts, conditions and circumstances pertinent to the January 25th jet crash in Ketchikan.

In a narrative, the NTSB stated in its preliminary report that at about 12:50 pm Alaska Standard time, an Aero Vodochody L-39MS airplane, N104XX, a surplus military warbird built in the Czech Republic, was destroyed by impact and postimpact fire when it collided with the ground, and an occupied trailer home during an instrument approach and while circling to land at the Ketchikan International Airport.

The experimental airplane was being operated as an Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) cross-country ferry flight under Title 14, CFR Part 91, when the accident occurred. The airplane was operated by Air USA Inc., Quincy, Illinois.

The airline transport certificated pilot Stephen Freeman, the sole occupant, received fatal injuries. Eight persons on the ground received minor injuries. - More...
Saturday - February 04, 2006

Jaws-of-Life Ribbon Cutting

District One Representative Jim Elkins has the honors of cutting the ribbon with the jaws-of-life, a hydraulic tool for extracting people from car wrecks. Standing next to Rep. Elkins is NTVFD Fire Board Chairman Steve Phillips.
Photograph by Dick Kauffman

Ketchikan: Jaws-of-Life Ribbon Cutting Ceremony By Louise Brinck Harrington - Though the celebration went of without a hitch, it was not your typical ribbon-cutting ceremony.

It was a ceremony of traditions-both old and new.

District One Representative Jim Elkins took time from his legislative duties to come and do the honors cutting the yellow fire-scene ribbon. But no ribbon before or since has been cut with a jaws-of-life, a hydraulic tool for extracting people from car wrecks.

"I was surprised how easy they were to work," Elkins said, referring to the jaws-of-life. "The handles are designed right so you don't feel the weight." - More...
Saturday - February 04, 2006



letterDear Freeman Family By Jeff Hendrickson - Friday
letter Steve Freeman By John Apodaca - Friday
letter Steve Freeman By Mark Weidhase - Friday
letterButch Freeman By Nancy Pretzer - Friday
letter A Healthy Community By Diane Gubatayao - Friday
letter Bridge Alternatives By Doug Barry - Friday
letter So-called "childish" behavior of Democrats By Ted Wright - Friday
letter Creek Street History By Robert Patton - Friday
letter Reasonable? By Jennifer Brewer - Friday
letter Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaw those Serbians By Iliya Pavlovich - Friday
letter Regarding Democrat's Behavior during State of the Union Address By Doug Barry - Friday
letter Seems really clear to me...COMMUNICATING WITH THE VOTERS By Bobbie McCreary - Friday
letter To my fellow Ketchikan area residents By Renee Schofield - Wednesday PM
letter Officers and dispatchers deserve our support By Kristina M. Townsend - Wednesday PM
letter Dear residents of Ketchikan and readers of Sitnews By Mike Daudet - Wednesday PM
letter Butch By Rob Holston - Wednesday PM
letter Major Freeman By Tori Jackson - Wednesday PM
letter Democrats at State of the Union Speech Acted Outrageously! By Theresa Cullen - Wednesday PM
letter A Reasonable Pactice? By Mark Neckameyer - Wednesday PM
letter More Viewpoints/ Letters
letter Publish A Letter

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Monday, February 6th, at 5:30 - The Newtown Historical District Association will provide a venue for Q&A at a special meeting at St. John's Church

Monday, February 6th, at 5:30 pm - Ketchikan Borough Assembly Regular meeting - City Council Chambers
Agenda & Information Packets

Teleconference meetings - Legislative Information Office - Check the Calendar

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February 2006
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National: Working past retirement age impacts taxes, benefits By MARY DEIBEL - Older workers who are considering phasing into retirement have other financial concerns to take into account besides collecting a paycheck and a pension, starting with what working will do to their Social Security benefits and tax bill.

Congress and President Clinton changed the law in 2000 so people 65 and older who want to continue working can collect their Social Security benefits in full.

Collect Social Security at 62 or older but less than the full retirement age for your age group, however, and you still face an "earnings test" that cuts Social Security benefits $1 for every $2 in pay above a threshold that is set yearly and is $12,480 this year.

The year your reach your full retirement age, $1 is deducted from Social Security benefits for every $3 earned up to a different yearly limit, but only for the months before your birthday. The annual limit is $33,240 for 2006. Note that investment, pension and inheritance income do not count, and neither do IRA distributions. - More..
Saturday - February 04, 2006

National: Thinking of a phased retirement? Rules may hang you up By MARY DEIBEL - Sam Johnson always gets a rise out of town hall meetings when the Texas congressman tells constituents it's against the law for them to ease into retirement by tapping part of their pensions and working part-time for their current employer.

"With people living longer, healthier lives, the natural offshoot is that they're staying in the workforce longer," says the eight-term Republican lawmaker. "It's time for the common-sense idea of allowing people to collect a pension and a paycheck from the same employer ... through phased retirement."

Johnson added a phased-retirement provision to the House-passed pension bill so that workers 62 and older can continue to work part-time for their employer and collect a partial pension instead of quitting cold-turkey to work as a consultant or for a competitor. The Senate-passed version has no similar provision providing for a gradual goodbye, and House-Senate negotiators will work out the differences by spring.

Johnson's proposal also contrasts with a Bush administration initiative to allow phased retirement starting at 59 1/2 years old, the same age workers can start taking distributions from tax-deferred 401(k) retirement savings plans and Individual Retirement Accounts.

The administration proposal, first put forward in 2004, has stalled over objections that it would be an administrative nightmare that would discourage employers from voluntary participation. - More...
Saturday - February 04, 2006

National: Older workers in demand in 'brain-draining' job market By MARY DEIBEL - Online entrepreneur Renee Ward wanted to start a Web site to help teenagers land their first job only to find that corporate employers sought to recruit an older crowd.

"They asked us to put together a site to reach 50-plus workers and current retirees looking to work part-time and bring their talent, energy and experience to the bottom line," she says.

Today, her 5-year-old Web site - site - counts Bank of America, Regal Cinemas, Petco and Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield among its clients.

These employers are ahead of the curve, to judge by a new white paper from consultant Ernst & Young:

It found that two-thirds of employers across a spectrum of industries are aware of an impending brain drain as 76 million-plus baby boomers march toward retirement, but fewer than a fourth of these firms consider the issue of strategic importance to their company's future, and fewer than 3 percent had tried phased retirement. - More...
Saturday - February 04, 2006

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