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SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska
February 15, 2006

Front Page Photo by Christy Zinn

Mountain Point Sunrise
Front Page Photo by Christy Zinn

Ketchikan: Quilting In The Rain XV By MARIE L. MONYAK - And the winner is... Pink Lemonade! And we aren't talking about a beverage but rather the Best of Show Winner in the 15th Annual "Quilting in the Rain" Show presented by the Rainy Day Quilters. There's plenty more news about the winners at the end of the story but first a little bit about the Rainy Day Quilters themselves.
Quilting in the Rain XV

Quilt Diva
Best Machine Quilted
Owned by Barb Milner
Made by Dena Minicucci

The Rainy Day Quilters were established in 1988 and currently have about 85 members and are always ready to welcome newcomers. The purpose and goals of Rainy Day Quilters are to promote cooperation and exchange of ideas among those interested in or engaging in quilt making; to instruct members in methods and techniques and to inspire personal achievement; and to encourage and maintain high standards of design and technique in quilt making.

If you don't think that a quilting club can be altruistic, think again. The members have a community service program that would rival any local charitable organization. After Hurricane Katrina, the club members stitched 78 quilts and had them sent to the storm ravaged South. - More..
Wednesday - February 15, 2006

Ketchikan - Statewide: State, Borough 2005 Populations Released - While the Ketchikan Gateway Borough's population decreased from 14,059 in 2000 to a provisional estimate of 13,125 in 2005, Alaska's statewide population increased by 5.9 percent, or 36,730 people, over the same period from April 1, 2000, to July 1, 2005, according to new population estimates released recently by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Alaska Department of Labor & Workforce Development.

Alaska's growth was slightly faster than the 5.0 percent growth in the same period for the U.S. as a whole. The number of people living in the state climbed from 626,931 at the time of the April 2000 Census to a provisional July 1, 2005, estimate of 663,661.

Alaska's rates of change were an annual average of 1.1 percent per year for the 2000-2005 period 1 and 0.9 percent for the 2004-2005 period. Alaska is still the 47th most populous state, larger than North Dakota, Vermont, the District of Columbia and Wyoming. - More...
Wednesday - February 15, 2006

Bitter Crab Syndrome...

Bitter Crab Syndrome
Photo courtesy NOAA Fisheries

Alaska: Scientists Scrutinize Bitter Crab Syndrome - This summer, a team of Alaska Fisheries Science Center biologists continued their scrutiny of bitter crab syndrome (BCS), a disease affecting a variety of crab species worldwide.

BCS is caused by a single-celled parasitic dinoflagellate of the Hemotodinium species. In contrast, non-parasitic dinoflagellates are important members of plankton communities and contribute to primary productivity of the world's oceans.

In Alaska, the disease is known to occur in Snow crab, Chionoecetes oplio, in the Bering Sea, Chukchi Sea, and Norton Sound, and in Tanner crab, C. bairdi, in Southeast Alaska, the Gulf of Alaska, and the Bering Sea. - More...
Wednesday - February 15, 2006

Alaska: Alaska's Long-term Medicaid Forecast Released - In 20 years the Alaska Medicaid program focus will center more on seniors than on children, according to projections of a study released today by the Lewin Group and ECONorthwest. At the request of Representative Mike Hawker, the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services retained the Lewin Group to develop a Medicaid forecasting model to predict Medicaid program spending from 2005 to 2025.

"This model shows us that the Alaska Medicaid program will fundamentally change over the next 20 years from a program that centers on children to one that is dominated by seniors," said Janet Clarke, DHSS Assistant Commissioner. "What is most helpful from the Lewin Group's effort is that the forecasting model will enable the department to take into account actual current expenditures when developing calculations for the future." - More...
Wednesday - February 15, 2006

Schoenbar Wrestling Team...

News In Photos
Members of the Schoenbar Wrestling Team

Ketchikan: Schoenbar Wrestling Team Brings Home Trophy - Schoenbar Middle School's wrestling team participated in an eight team tournament in Petersburg this past weekend and came home with the 3rd place trophy, according to Coach Kuehl.

Bringing home 1st place medals were Justin Duruji at 95 pounds, Ian Fultz at 110 pounds, and Jeremy Duruji at 127 pounds. - More...
Wednesday - February 15, 2006

Alaska: Two Alaska Seafood Processors Agree to Pay for Clean Water Act Violations - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently reached settlements totaling $28,000 with two Alaska seafood processors for alleged violations of the federal Clean Water Act (CWA).

Island Seafoods Inc. has agreed to pay $5,000 for waste water discharge violations at its Kodiak facility. During an August 2003 inspection, EPA found several violations of the facility's National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit including failing to properly treat all seafood waste prior to discharge, failing to maintain adequate records and failing to submit records as required under the permit. - More...
Wednesday - February 15, 2006

Why did the vole climb the tree?

A northern red-backed vole
from the Eagle River area.
Photo by Kalb Stevenson.

Alaska: Why did the vole climb the tree? by NED ROZELL - At 40 below in Interior Alaska, ravens commute back and forth to communal roosts, talking along the way, and chickadees flit from tree to tree, singing their squeaky songs, but the woods are mostly silent during a cold spell.

That's why a faint scratching noise surprised me on a recent walk. I looked to the source, a skinny spruce tree, and saw a red-backed vole looking me straight in the eye. It scrambled down the tree and into a hole in the snowpack, and left me with a question: what was that tiny, mouse-like creature doing out in that frigid air? - More...
Wednesday - February 15, 2006

Fish Factor: Alaska Fishermen's Wheel of Fortune By LAINE WELCH - Wheel of Fortune may take on a whole new meaning for Alaska fishermen. Federal managers are set to decide in April if small lots of halibut quota shares will be made available to crewmembers by a lottery system.

When a quota system was implemented for Alaska halibut and sablefish in 1995, shares of the catch were distributed according to each fisherman's historical participation and poundage. About five hundred people were issued very small amounts, many less than one hundred pounds.  They've never fished them, and those shares have lain dormant. Federal fishery managers have suggested for years that the quota simply be revoked, and put into the total pool made available for each year's halibut fishery. More recently, the Deep Sea Fishermen's Union (founded in 1912) has proposed that the shares be redistributed to qualified crewmembers through a lottery system.

There is not much halibut involved, said Phil Smith, director of the Restricted Access Management (RAM) division of NOAA Fisheries in Juneau. "In most areas, halibut quota that would be subject to the lottery would be less than one tenth of one percent of the entire quota share pool. That's about 150,000 pounds statewide. And if we put the word out to these people to use it or lose it, there is a good chance the amount available would become even smaller," Smith said.  - More...
Wednesday - February 15, 2006



letterKayhi's athletic program By Brad Groghan - Tuesday PM
letter The news from the Muslim world really is scary By Bob Condor - Tuesday PM
letter Isn't that just typical? By Darlene Guzman - Tuesday PM
letter Ooligan By Bill Thomas Sr. - Tuesday PM
letter Free Library Services? By Robert D. Warner - Tuesday PM
letter Best reason to start buckling up By John Maki - Tuesday PM
letter "Thanks" By Jerry Cegelske - Tuesday PM
letter Honoring Our Youth at Elizabeth Peratrovich Celebration By Janice Jackson - Tuesday PM
letter My First Day in Ketchikan By Alan Rudolf McGillvray - Tuesday PM
letter RIDICULOUS bridges By Charlotte Tanner - Tuesday PM
letter Thanks for leaving the porch light on! By Scott Davis - Monday PM
letter A Bridge to Possibilities By Patrick Branco - Monday PM
letter Unleashed! By Pamela Lind - Monday PM
letter Islamists don't understand us ... At all! By Mark Neckameyer - Monday PM
letter Reuniting Communities By Irene Dundas - Monday PM
letter Better ways to spend our transportation dollars By Emily Ferry - Monday PM
letter Gas Prices? By Chuck Moon - Monday PM
letter Alaska to the rescue! By Bob Harmon - Monday PM
letter What is the cost to our freedom? By Jay Jones - Monday PM
letter My condolences By Susan Smith - Monday PM
letter More Viewpoints/ Letters
letter Publish A Letter

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February 15, 2006 at 8:30 am TELECONFERENCE FOR Legislation relating to HB420 will be the subject of a teleconference on Wednesday sponsored by House Special Committee on Fisheries, at the Legislative Information Office, 50 Front Street, Suite 203.  Testimony will be allowed with a 3 minute time limit. HB420 "An Act relating to riparian protection standards for forest resources and practices; and providing for an effective date." For more information, call 225-9675.
Information concerning legislation can be found by accessing the BASIS website

February 16, 2006, 7:00 pm - Ketchikan City Council Regular Meeting - City Council Chambers
pdfAgenda & Information Packets

For more upcoming meetings and events, check the February Calendar

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February 2006
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National: Watch out: Feds aiming to close the 'tax gap' By MARY DEIBEL - Tax scofflaws who cost the government $345 billion and maybe more each year will have a tougher time holding out on Uncle Sam if efforts succeed in closing the "tax gap" between what Americans owe and what they pay.

That Internal Revenue Service estimate of the tax gap from 2001 is based on new checks of 46,000 personal returns from that year and other updated data, but the actual gap "may be higher," IRS Commissioner Mark Everson concedes in urging Congress and the administration to take steps to improve tax enforcement. - More...
Wednesday - February 15, 2006

Science - Technology: 'Addiction to oil' cure has a long way to go By TONY BIZJAK - For a century, most American car owners have known but one energy drink, one source for their daily drive: oil refined into gas. Now, it's time to move on.

That was the message delivered two weeks ago by President Bush, a former oil executive, with his instantly famous assertion: "America is addicted to oil." - More...
Wednesday - February 15, 2006

Science - Technology: Nuclear moves to the front burner By DAVID R. BAKER - Nuclear power, long shunned by the public, stands poised for a comeback. Credit a strange mix of politics and environmental desperation.

President Bush wants nuclear power to feed America's growing hunger for energy. He has promised tax incentives to companies that build atomic plants, promoted the technology abroad and pushed research into recycling nuclear fuel. His State of the Union address cited nuclear energy in the same breath as wind farms and solar arrays - saying all three will change the way the country powers its homes and offices. - More...
Wednesday - February 15, 2006

National: Cheney tries to mitigate damage in PR disaster By LANCE GAY - For a media-savvy administration that has perfected the art of rapid response and spin doctoring, the handling of Dick Cheney's hunting accident has been a public-relations disaster, experts say.

For five days, the Bush administration let the Feb. 11 shooting incident become the brunt of blogosphere banter, fodder for late-night TV comedians, and the subject of mounting political grumbling against a White House that reluctantly shares information with the public. - More...
Wednesday - February 15, 2006

National: Throughout history, political animals run amok By MICHAEL COLLINS - Jimmy Carter fought off a killer bunny. Ronald Reagan was almost flogged by a turkey. And Andrew Jackson's potty-mouthed parrot was barred from his funeral.

Vice President Dick Cheney may be a national laughingstock after shooting a fellow hunter while aiming for a flock of quail. But he's hardly the first politician who has suffered an embarrassing and potentially disastrous run-in with nature's creatures. - More...
Wednesday - February 15, 2006

National: Patients can live with pellet lodged in heart, doctors say By LEE BOWMAN - A shotgun pellet, even one not much larger than a grain of pepper, lodged in or near the heart muscle, is potentially a very serious condition, but often something a person can live with for years, medical experts said Tuesday.

The announcement that 78-year-old Harry Whittington had a birdshot pellet in or touching his heart after being shot by Vice President Dick Cheney in a Saturday hunting accident heightened an already high level of concern about the incident around the country. - More...
Wednesday - February 15, 2006

National: Moussaoui barred from court By GREG GORDON - A federal judge Tuesday barred al Qaeda conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui from juror screening for his sentencing trial after he angrily refused to promise to sit quietly during the proceedings.

Moussaoui, during a contentious, eight-minute exchange with U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema, angrily charged that his case is fixed to send him "to the gas chamber or lethal injection." - More...
Wednesday - February 15, 2006

Health - Fitness: Weight-loss drug shows promising results in study By LEE BOWMAN - Steady use of a weight-loss drug called rimonabant, coupled with dieting, produced modest but sustained shedding of pounds and improvements in "good" cholesterol levels and blood-fat levels after two years, according to a study published Wednesday.

The drug, awaiting government approval to be sold by prescription under the brand name Acomplia, works by blocking receptors of a brain chemical called cannabinoid 1, which stimulates hunger and other cravings in the brain and is also present in fat tissue. The receptors are the same ones that create the sensation of hunger - "the munchies" - in people after smoking marijuana. - More...
Wednesday - February 15, 2006

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