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SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska
February 08, 2006

Front Page Photo by Carl Thompson

Hangin' Out
Common merganser ducks hangin' out
Front Page Photo by Carl Thompson

National: Many in Congress say Bush out of line By EDWARD EPSTEIN - Just what Congress meant on Sept. 14, 2001, when it authorized President Bush "to use all necessary and appropriate force" to fight "those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks" of three days earlier is at the center of the roiling dispute over the administration's domestic spying.

The Bush administration cites the resolution for the authorization of military force as a legal basis for the president's order for the secret National Security Agency to eavesdrop on phone calls and e-mails without a warrant issued by a special court.

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But many in Congress, from both parties, say they authorized no such thing when they granted Bush the right to wage war against al Qaeda, in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks on New York and the Pentagon. - More...
Wednesday - February 08, 2006

International: 'It is not what I want to happen' By DOUG SAUNDERS - In late December, a young Danish man flew to Beirut. In his suitcase was a package of spiral-bound booklets in green covers, neatly compiled using a color photocopier. Their contents consisted mainly of cartoons depicting the prophet Mohammed.

He was unlikely to have stood out. A short man of 31 who could have passed for half that age, he had a feminine voice and soft hands and was somewhat toughened by his struggling beard and an air of calm confidence.

Ahmed Akkari, a young Islamic scholar and Danish activist, was on a mission. Having failed to get the prime minister to take action over the cartoons' perceived slight to Islam, he had sought help from esteemed figures in the Muslim world, he says. - More...
Wednesday - February 08, 2006

National: Feds: Crime of cash smuggling is booming By LISA HOFFMAN -
In a minivan bound for Mexico late last year, U.S. border agents in Texas discovered that three passengers had hidden nearly $56,000 in cash under their clothes and in a bag.

In a similar seizure around the same time, a man also heading south of the border from Texas was arrested after agents found hidden bundles of cash totaling $94,000 stashed in his vehicle's engine area.

Not long after, a Virginia man was busted with $111,000 in bundled cash in a taxi he had hired to take him from Texas across an international bridge to Mexico. - More...
Wednesday - February 08, 2006

Front Page Photo by Lisa Thompson

Blue Heron
Saxman area south of Ketchikan.
Front Page Photo By Lisa Thompson

Alaska: Legislature Extends Salmon Tax Credit Through 2008 - Monday the Alaska Senate unanimously passed SB 164, continuing the Legislature's commitment to revitalize the state's salmon industry. With today's vote, the Senate concurred with the House's amendments and agreed to extend the Salmon Product Development Tax Credit through December 31, 2008.

The bill, sponsored by Sen. Bert Stedman (R-Sitka), extends a successful investment incentive program developed by the Joint Legislative Salmon Industry Task Force and passed by the legislature in 2003. The program encourages innovation in Alaska's salmon processing industry by offering a tax credit to business investment in new technology and equipment intended to add value to Alaskan salmon products. The tax credit is designed to expand markets, increase wholesale value and generate greater profits for Alaskan fisherman.- More...
Wednesday - February 08, 2006

Alaska: Elkins Supports Increse in Veterans Program - Representative Jim Elkins (R-Ketchikan) voiced his full support Tuesday for a $30,000 increase in the State Service Officers grant requested by the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs.

"The State Service Officer's Program which is run by The American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars and The Disabled American Veterans, provides Alaska veterans assistance in obtaining benefits from the U. S. Department of Veterans Affairs," Representative Elkins stated. - More...
Wednesday - February 08, 2006

Southeast Alaska: Thomas Concerned About Ferry Service in Southeast Alaska - Representative Bill Thomas (R-Haines) traveled to Cordova, Alaska over the weekend for the Iceworm Festival where he heard the concerns residents have about the Alaska Marine Highway System (AMHS).

"I spent the weekend talking to people in Cordova and other Southeast towns and I continue to hear praise about the ferry services they've been receiving," said Representative Thomas. "But I also hear concern that when the summer tourism picks up, they want to be sure that the ferry system is there to carry people to and from coastal towns." - More...
Wednesday - February 08, 2006

National: What is cheese? FDA wrestles with issue By LANCE GAY - It comes in various shades of yellow, it's hard and it's derived from milk.

But is standard cheese manufactured from ultra-filtered milk really cheese?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which has been wrangling over the issue for six years, suggests it is, and the agency is proposing new food rules recognizing that standardized cheese made from ultra-filtered milk can be marketed as real cheese. - More...
Wednesday - February 08, 2006



letter Knik Arm Crossing Will benefit Entire State by Sen. Charlie Huggins - Wednesday PM
letter To the Citizens of Ketchikan By Eric Woytek - Wednesday PM
letter What's Next? Government to Tie Our Shoes for Us? by Rep. Jim Holm - Wednesday PM
letter Response is right and just By Vicki O'Brien - Wednesday PM
letterRe: Mentality of This Town By Lynne Miller - Wednesday PM
letter Sealaska Shareholders By Don Hoff Jr. - Wednesday PM
letter Police Officers of Ketchikan By Phillip L. Alderson - Monday
letter To Freeman's Family & Friends
By Rick Watson - Monday
letter Eye-Opener By Jacob Martin - Monday
letter Unleashed dogs By Karen Ramsey - Monday
letter Were the Democrats really out of line at the State of the Union Speech on Tuesday? By Cindy Schwartz - Monday
letter Open Letter to Sealaska Shareholders By Martha Gallagher - Monday
letter Dock expansion By Tracey Stall - Monday
letter Democrats Misbehaving! By Virginia Atkinson - Monday
letter Ketchikan's Drinking Water By Don Hoff Jr. - Monday
letter Federal Subsistence Management Board Meeting By Charlotte Tanner - Monday
letter Reasonable? By Bob Harmon - Monday
letter Moral Integrity By Alan Lidstone - Monday
letter Mentality of this town By Andrew Hamilton - Monday
letterThank you from the voters! By Roberta "Bobbie" McCreary - Monday am
letter More Viewpoints/ Letters
letter Publish A Letter

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Teleconference meetings - Legislative Information Office Wed., Feb. 8 1:30pm-3:30pm, the Senate Community & Regional Affairs will meet to discuss SB193, "An Act relating to an optional deferral of municipal property taxes on certain primary residences owned and occupied by individuals with incomes at or below federal poverty guidelines for the state." Testimony will be allowed with a 3 minute limit, interested person may also listen.

All meetings will be at the Legislative Information Office, 50 Front Str., Suite 203. For more information, please call 225-9675.

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February 2006
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Newsmaker Interviews

Bill Steigerwald: Kane says the wage gap is relative - Tim Kane, one of the top scholars on economic policy issues at the Heritage Foundation think tank, is no ivory-tower intellectual. A former software company entrepreneur and former college economics professor, the U.S. Air Force Academy grad has done government research work for Congress, the CIA and several defense agencies. I talked to him recently by phone from his offices in Washington about what one of his areas of expertise -- the income gap between rich and poor. - More...
Wednesday - February 08, 2006

Columns - Commentary  

Jason Love: Baseball - Some say that baseball is the national pastime, while others believe it is watching celebrities have nervous breakdowns. As that debate rages on, we will focus on baseball.

Baseball dates back to 1845, when Alexander Cartwright created an actual rulebook with page numbers and everything. He convinced players to stop throwing the ball at the runner, and he replaced the upright poles with soft, harmless bases (the kind of forward thinking inspired by impalement).

Not everyone agreed with his rules, but Cartwright had the upper hand: He could write.

Soon there were "umpires" and, shortly thereafter, chants to "kill the umpire!" I can be watching a broadcast two thousand miles away and still shout loud enough for the umps to hear. - More...
Wednesday - February 08, 2006

Bob Ciminel: Where the Rain Never Falls and the Sun Never Shines - The recent coal mine tragedies in West Virginia reminded me of the dangers that my grandfathers faced shortly after the turn of the century when they entered the coal mines. Both of my grandfathers came over with the wave of immigrants from southern Europe in the early 1900's. The larger coal companies wanted immigrants because they provided a large, inexpensive labor force. The enticements included free transportation to the mine site, the opportunity for steady work, and company-provided housing that allowed immigrants to send for their families. All that was needed was youth, a strong back, and a willingness to accept the hazards and working conditions that existed underground. - More...
Wednesday - February 08, 2006

Preston MacDougall: Chemical Eyes Keep on Truckin' - If, as President Bush said in his State of the Union address, "America is addicted to oil", how come it is LSD that is banned, even for psychiatric research?

According to the Swiss chemist, Albert Hofmann, who invented this mind-altering drug in 1938, it isn't addictive. Like a similarly named, but unrelated, German chemist who had earlier discovered Aspirin by chemically modifying the salicylic acid that is abundant in willow bark, our venturesome chemist was searching for new compounds that might be derived from the lysergic acid that is found naturally in a fungus that grows on wheat. - More...
Wednesday - February 08, 2006

Clifford May: The cartoon intifada - Muslim demonstrators have been torching embassies, stoning churches and threatening mass murder to protest cartoons characterizing Muslims as violent extremists. They have been burning flags and stomping on crosses and Stars of David to express their outrage at those who say they are intolerant.

The damage these demonstrators are doing to the image of Islam is incalculable, far beyond what any poison-penned cartoonist could accomplish. So why are they doing it? - More...
Wednesday - February 08, 2006

John Hall: Feeding the addiction - When President Bush despaired that the nation had become "addicted to oil," it was difficult to tell where he was going with that line. Was he prepared to turn it into a big domestic climax to his career?

His State of the Union ideas for making fuel out of switchgrass and woodchips got a little funding in the president's budget that came out Monday. The Energy Department's $298 million for research into ethanol and biodiesel, as well as solar power, was a trifle in Bush's big war-and-security budget. - More...
Wednesday - February 08, 2006  

Dale McFeatters: Will Canada again welcome deserters? - In a case closely watched on both sides of the border, Canada's Federal Court this week took up the appeal of Jeremy Hinzman, 27, a U.S. Army deserter who is seeking political asylum.

If Hinzman succeeds, perhaps as many as 200 deserters living secretly in Canada will do likewise, and other unhappy soldiers may then be tempted to follow them north.

But his petition for asylum was rejected last March by Canada's Immigration Review Board, which found that Hinzman did not meet either of the two broad criteria for refugee status: - More...
Wednesday - February 08, 2006  

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