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SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska

February 20, 2006

Photographer: Paulu Toivo Saari

Boom Town, Ketchikan in the 1950s
North portal of the new Ketchikan Tunnel, 1954
Photographer: Paulu Toivo Saari
Donor: City of Ketchikan, Tongass Historical Society
Photo courtesy Ketchikan Museums

Ketchikan: Boom Town, Ketchikan in the 1950s By DAVE KIFFER - The years immediately after World War II were lean ones in Ketchikan.

While the Depression had had less of an effect here than elsewhere in the country, the economic boost of the war years had artificially supported the local economy. With the end of the war, it became obvious that the dominant industry - the canned salmon industry - was in sharp decline and as the fishing industry waned so did Ketchikan.

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When the canning industry boomed in the 1920s and early 1930s, Ketchikan had risen to a population of nearly 6,000 and for a time was a largest city in the state. But by the end of the war, the population had dropped back to down to 4,500 and there was no sign of any industry that would make up the jobs that were being lost each time a cannery closed.

In order to boost the economy of Ketchikan and the rest of Alaska, the federal government looked toward the Tongass National Forest and the billions of board feet of timber that it contained. - More...
Monday AM - February 20, 2006

National: Rice Says No Direct U.S. Funding Now to Hamas - The United States cannot and will not give direct financial assistance to a Hamas-led government so long as it is committed to terror and the destruction of Israel, but at the same time will not abandon Palestinians in desperate need of help, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says.

Rice made the comments in a roundtable discussion with journalists from Arab states February 17, just days ahead of her planned visit to Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates.

While a Palestinian government "that is not committed to peace and the international consensus" simply will not receive the sort of direct fund transfers that have been given to the Palestinian Authority, Rice raised the prospect of continued humanitarian aid through other mechanisms.

She cited "programs in support of refugee policies that the U.N. runs" and "policies that relate to food assistance through the World Food Programme," as well as other projects carried out through nongovernmental organizations.

"The United States of America is not going to stop giving money for the immunization of Palestinian children," Rice pledged. "It would be against our values to do that. So, for the most vulnerable and innocent populations, you know, we will find a way to respond to those humanitarian needs." - More...
Monday AM - February 20, 2006

Fish Factor - Decline in commercial salmon catches projected By LAINE WELCH - State fishery managers are projecting a significant decline in commercial salmon catches this year. The 2006 harvest for all species is pegged at 160 million fish, well below last year's record catch of 221 million salmon. That harvest topped the previous record of 218 million fish set in 1995. At a glance, look for drops in this year's pink and sockeye salmon harvests compared to the 2005 season, a slight increase for chinook, similar catches for coho salmon, and higher chum harvests due to increasing runs in Western Alaska.

Here is the projected breakdown for the 2006 salmon catch by species ­ for chinook salmon, managers expect a catch of 780,000 fish, up from 682,000 last year. For sockeye, the harvest is projected at 35.6 million, down from 43.28 million last year. The coho catch is pegged at five million, up just a tick from the 2005 take of 4.79 million. For pink salmon, managers project a catch of 108 million, compared to more than 161 million humpies harvested last year. And for chum salmon, the projected catch is 17.6 million, up from 11.3 in 2005.

The value of the 2005 salmon catch showed a big increase over that of the previous three years, ringing in at $305 million dollars at the docks. That compares to $257 million in 2004 and $195 million in 2003. Last year marked the first time that the value of broke the 300 million dollar barrier since 1999, when the salmon harvest was valued at $370 million. - More...
Monday AM - February 20, 2006

Ketchikan: $18,500,000 for Ketchikan Airport - Representative Jim Elkins (R-Ketchikan) announced Sunday that the U. S. Department of Transportation had awarded the Alaska State Department of Transportation and Public Facilities $18,500,000 to repave the runway at the Ketchikan International Airport and improve the runway's safety. - More..
Monday AM - February 20, 2006

Air Ambulance Meets Critical Care Needs...

Dr. Eric Stirling, owner and medical director of Guardian Flight, Inc.
Photograph by Jason Cerovac

Ketchikan: Air Ambulance Meets Critical Care Needs of Remote Alaskans By MARIE L. MONYAK - Speaking before the Greater Ketchikan Chamber of Commerce last Wednesday was Dr. Eric Stirling, owner and medical director of Guardian Flight, Inc.

Ed Fry of Guardian Flight introduced Dr. Stirling who graduated from Loma Linda University, California in 1974. He is board certified in both Emergency Medicine and Internal Medicine and has over 50,000 on-call hours to his credit.

Guardian Flight is a regional air ambulance service located in Fairbanks, Sitka and Ketchikan. Although Guardian Flight was started in Fairbanks by Frontier Flying Service in 1997, they separated and became a privately owned company in just three short years keeping Fairbanks as their main base of operations. After providing critical care air ambulance service to the Interior they opened a base of operations in Sitka in 2004 followed by our local service here in Ketchikan in 2005.

In Ketchikan, a Lear 35A jet is available around the clock with a two-pilot crew, flight nurses, paramedics, physician assistants and respiratory therapist. The Lear jet is always fueled and ready for any emergency and has the capability of carrying two patients and when every minute is critical, the jet has a cruising speed of 500 mph getting the patient to a regional medical center in record time.

Dr. Stirling told the audience that he wanted to talk about cardiac patients in Alaska and what their options are.

Giving some rough statistics, Stirling said, "There will be somewhere between a million and a half and two million heart attacks in America this year and a half a million cardiac deaths. You ask, what is the standard of care? The standards are that you should have a catheter in your heart, in that coronary artery, inflated to open up that artery in 90 minutes. That's a little tough to do here." - More...
Monday AM - February 20, 2006



letterNothing else to do? Take responsibility. By Sonia Streitmatter - Monday AM
letter Friendly discourse is the American way By Patrick Branco- Monday AM
letter Do you remember....? By June Allen- Monday AM
letter War on drugs? By Ken Lewis
letter HOW MUCH IS A BILLION? By Chris Schelb- Monday AM
letter Concern for young people By Bill Thomas Sr.- Monday AM
letter Looking for history... By William J. Zimmer- Monday AM
letter Important problems By Rob Glenn- Monday AM
letterBridge By Wieslaw Czajkowski- Monday AM
letter One if By Land... By Dave Kiffer - Friday PM
letter Legendary Groceryman By Coleen Scanlon- Friday PM
letter Dreaming By Charlotte Tanner- Friday PM
letter Wake Up By Kayleigh Martin- Friday PM
letter More Viewpoints/ Letters
letter Publish A Letter

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Tuesday - February 21, 2006 - 5:30 pm - Ketchikan Borough Assembly Regular Meeting - City Council Chambers
Agenda & Information Packet

Tuesday - February 21, 2006, 5:30 - 7:00 pm - Planning for the Newtown Area - St. John's Church - Announcementpdf

Wed., Feb. 22, 2006 @ 3:15pm Legislation relating to HB447 will be the subject of a teleconference sponsored by House Labor & Commerce Committee, at the Legislative Information Office, 50 Front Street, Suite 203. Testimony will be allowed. -- HB447 - "An Act relating to the use of broadcasting to promote raffles and lotteries." -- For more information, call 225-9675. -- Information concerning legislation can be found by accessing the BASIS website

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February 2006
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Columns - Commentary  

William O. Beeman: U.S. instigated Iran's nuclear policy in the '70s - The White House staff members who are trying to prevent Iran from developing its own nuclear-energy capacity, and who refuse to take military action against Iran "off the table," have conveniently forgotten that the United States was the midwife to the Iranian nuclear program 30 years ago.

Every aspect of Iran's current nuclear development was approved and encouraged by Washington in the 1970s. President Gerald Ford offered Iran a full nuclear cycle in 1976. Moreover, the only Iranian reactor currently about to become operative - the reactor in Bushire (also known as Bushehr) - was started before the Iranian revolution with U.S. approval, and cannot produce weapons-grade plutonium. - More...
Monday AM - February 20, 2006

Steve Brewer: Handy hints for happily paying bills - With consumer bankruptcies hitting an all-time high in 2005, paying the bills has never been more challenging or alarming.

In our current economy, money "trickles down" to each household and then pours out again in a torrent. Keeping up with the flow can be a frustrating experience, and experts believe the associated hair-tearing is one of the major causes of baldness in America. - More...
Monday AM - February 20, 2006

John Hall: European wake-up call - The continuing riots and economic boycott against Danes and other foreigners in the Muslim world appear to be having a profound effect on attitudes throughout Europe.

The resolve of the NATO allies against radical Islamic terrorism is still far softer than it was against the Soviet threat. American leadership remains in question in Europe.

Yet the last few weeks have been a real wakeup call for Europeans. The changing reaction of key leaders indicates a scare is being thrown into the continent by the continuing violence and intimidation aimed at publication of the prophet Muhammad cartoons. - More...
Monday AM - February 20, 2006

Dale McFeatters: A trillion here, a trillion there - Treasury Secretary John Snow this past week informed Congress that he would begin borrowing from the federal employees' retirement fund to avoid exceeding the nation's statutory debt limit of $8.184 trillion.

In other words, our great national credit card was about $10 billion shy of maxing out. Snow estimated that he could buy time until mid-March, but then Congress would have to raise the debt limit, which it last did in November 2004. - More...
Monday AM - February 20, 2006

Barbara Bova: Computers can open up a whole new world - For those folks who haven't caught up with the 21st century and still remain in the realm of times gone by, you don't know what you're missing. You're missing a lot if you're still afraid to use a computer and wander the Internet.

A friend of mine told me years ago something that made sense when I thought of computers as something too difficult to conquer.

"Do you drive a car?" he asked me." - More...
Monday AM - February 20, 2006

James Derek: Protecting the privacy of your email - I get a lot of mail from people who are concerned about their privacy. One question is: Can other people read my e-mail?

The answer, of course, is yes. If you send mail from work on a company-owned computer, you should assume it is being read by others. A good rule of thumb is don't put anything in e-mail that you would not want on the company bulletin board. (And e-mail, as some people have learned, is subject to discovery in a lawsuit.) Company officials have the right to read your mail, scan it for certain keywords or just log it. It's their equipment.

The simple rule is don't put personal stuff on company computers, period. - More...
Monday AM - February 20, 2006

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