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SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska
February 22, 2006

Front Page Photo by Carl Thompson

 Polar Breeze
Front Page Photo by Carl Thompson

Ketchikan: Emerald Bay Timber Sale Appeals Rejected by Forest Service By M. C. KAUFFMAN - The United States Forest Service announced Tuesday that two appeals have been rejected that would have blocked timber sale and the harvesting of 16.4 million board feet of timber on the Cleveland Peninsula located northwest of Ketchikan.

According to the Forest Service, the proposed 600-acre project, which is located approximately 40 air miles north of Ketchikan within the Ketchikan-Misty Fiords Ranger District, would provide nearly 90 jobs in Southeast Alaska.

Emerald Bay Timber Sales

Emerald Bay
Photo courtesy Sitka Conservation Society

Tongass National Forest Supervisor Forrest Cole signed the Emerald Bay Record of Decision in November 2005, approving the harvest of approximately 16 million board feet of timber from 600 acres on the Cleveland Peninsula.

Residents of Meyers Chuck, users of the Cleveland Peninsula, and regional and national conservation groups filed the appeals against what they said was a money-losing timber sale that would damage stunning Emerald Bay on the Cleveland Peninsula.

The appeals said the Forest Service had not adequately analyzed the project's economics and effects on wildlife were rejected by regional forester Dennis Bschor on Tuesday. Also questioned was if the Emerald Bay timber sales could proceed based on an August 4, 2005 decision by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals that found the Federal Tongass Land Management Plan to be defective because of a Forest Service error that doubled its projections of market demand for Tongass timber.

Responding to Tuesday's announcement, Gregory Vickrey Director of the Tongass Conservation Society said Wednesday, "This is the losing mentality we have come to expect from the agency. They do not care how many tax dollars are lost on this or any sale. They do not care about standards and guidelines associated with loss of habitat for various species in the area. They do not care about the economic losses afforded us through multiple use of Emerald Bay and the peninsula on the whole." - More...
Wednesday PM - February 22, 2006

Gas pipeline agreement...

From left to right: Tony Hayward (Group Managing Director and CEO of E&P for BP), Frank H. Murkowski (Governor of Alaska), Morris Foster (President of ExxonMobil Production Co.), Jim Mulva (Chairman of the Board and CEO of ConocoPhillips) and Jim Clark
(Chief of Staff to Governor Murkowski).

Alaska: Governor Announces Agreement on Gas Pipeline - Alaska Governor Frank H. Murkowski announced Tuesday that the State of Alaska and the producers have reached agreement on a natural gas pipeline contract. He also announced that he is proposing legislation to reform the state's oil production tax.

"Completion of the gas pipeline contract represents a major milestone in securing a natural gas pipeline, which will provide hope and opportunity for Alaska's future. Modernizing our oil tax system will provide Alaskans with revenue today," said the governor. "These are two historic events, ones that will define the state's economy for decades to come."

"We are pleased to have completed the gas portion of the Fiscal Contract and are working to finalize durable oil contract terms that incorporate the new oil tax structure. This is a significant milestone. We see merit in a profits-based oil tax system, provided it appropriately balances risk and reward to enable additional investment," said Steve Marshall, president of BP Alaska.

"ConocoPhillips is pleased that all parties have reached an agreement in principle with the State of Alaska on the base fiscal contract terms for an Alaska gas pipeline project. We also believe that a well-constructed net profits tax could benefit Alaska and provide the fiscal certainty that will support future investment," said Jim Bowles, president of ConocoPhillips Alaska. - More...
Wednesday AM - February 22, 2006

Top Stories
U.S. News
U.S. Politics


PhotoNational: Bush Again Calls for Development of Alternate Energy Sources - The United States must reduce its heavy dependence on oil -- much of it imported from uncertain sources overseas -- to enhance both its national security and economic security, President Bush says.

Choosing a Milwaukee, Wisconsin, facility of the technology-based Johnson Controls Inc. as the venue for his February 20 speech, Bush called for rapid development of alternate fuels and technology for both motor vehicles and the nation's homes and offices.

The president repeated a phrase he had used in his State of the Union address January 31, declaring, "America is addicted to oil." - More...
Wednesday AM - February 22, 2006

National: Bush Backs U.A.E. Company's Administration of Six U.S. Ports - President Bush said congressional and state leaders who have expressed opposition to a deal allowing a Dubai-based company to take over administration of six major U.S. seaports are sending "mixed messages" to the international community because a foreign-owned company from the United Kingdom previously had been running the ports.

Bush said, "I really don't understand why it's okay for a British company to operate our ports, but not a company from the Middle East, when our experts are convinced that port security is not an issue."

He accused critics of holding Dubai Ports World, a state-owned business in the United Arab Emirates to "a different standard" from the British company Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company, which has been running the major commercial operations at the ports of Baltimore, Miami, New Jersey, New Orleans, New York and Philadelphia. - More...
Wednesday AM - February 22, 2006

National: Purple Heart group gets flak over nod to Sen. Clinton By LISA HOFFMAN - It was a simple plaque, the sort handed out every day on Capitol Hill by interest groups showing their appreciation for a legislator's efforts on behalf of their cause.

In this case, it was the Military Order of the Purple Heart organization that presented an award to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., last Thursday.

The nonprofit group honored Clinton for her stewardship of measures calling for a commemorative Purple Heart postage stamp and the establishment of Aug. 7 as Purple Heart Recognition Day, as well as her advocacy for veterans' health care. - More...
Wednesday AM - February 22, 2006

Science: Did first Americans float here or walk? By LEE BOWMAN - Generations of schoolbooks have portrayed the arrival of the first modern humans to America as an epic ice-age hike across a land bridge from Siberia to Alaska, then a dash between glaciers covering the west and east of Canada.

But scientists who have devoted much of their careers over the past several decades to better understanding of the peopling of the Americas are increasingly doubtful that the first arrivals only walked into the hemisphere, if they walked at all. Instead, evidence is growing that they paddled, or floated, much of the way, perhaps via the Atlantic as well as the Pacific.

"The coastal-migration theory has yet to be proven with hard evidence, but we have been finding earlier and more widespread evidence for coastal settlement around the Pacific Rim," said Jon Erlandson, an anthropologist at the University of Oregon who spoke during the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science here over the weekend. - More...
Wednesday AM - February 22, 2006

Front Page Photo by Jim Lewis

Moon Over Ketchikan
Front Page Photo By Jim Lewis

Alaska: Alaskan lawmakers consider shortening legislative session By RICHARD RICHTMYER - Legislation that would shorten Alaska's regular legislative session from four months to three appears to have stalled in committee, but the debate about how long lawmakers should take to do their work isn't likely to end there.

Election officials are checking signatures on a citizens' initiative petition for a 90-day session, and backers expect it to be cleared for the November ballot within the next few weeks.

Proponents of a shorter session are ready to pitch their idea directly to the voters this fall if their colleagues don't pass legislation to make it happen. - More...
Wednesday AM - February 22, 2006

PhotoAlaska: UFA Selects Senator Murkowski as Person of the Year in Alaska Politics - United Fishermen of Alaska (UFA), representing 31 Alaska fishing groups, announced Monday that Senator Lisa Murkowski is UFA's 2005 "Person of the Year in Alaska Politics."  The vote approving the selection of Senator Murkowski was unanimous.  UFA selected Senator Murkowski for this award because she has supported the Alaska fishing industry and Alaska fishermen.  

"Senator Murkowski has continued to follow through in Washington DC in her efforts for Alaska fishermen. Senator Murkowski was a major force in maintaining the differentiation of wild and farmed seafood as part of USDA country of origin labeling following through with former Senator Frank Murkowski's work on this. UFA feels that this differentiation in supermarkets was a major component in the rise in many Alaska salmon prices to fishermen this year," said UFA President Bob Thorstenson, Jr. - More...
Wednesday AM - February 22, 2006


Marlane Waggoner
Photo courtesy KGH

Ketchikan: Waggoner Named KGH Employee of the Month - Marlane Waggoner, Child Care Attendant, was named the KGH Employee of the Month for February by a committee of her peers. Waggoner began her employment with KGH in 2004. Her first position with the KGH Child Care Center was as a part-time cook, but soon moved into the fulltime Child Care Attendant position. "She loves her job," stated Pat Stack, Manager of the Center. - More...
Wednesday AM - February 22, 2006

Southeast Alaska: 2006 Ethel Lund Village Health Occupations Program (VHOP); A great opportunity for high school students - Few people get to watch real emergency room doctors in action, be with operating room staff during surgery or even watch a dentist performing a root canal. Southeast Alaska Native high school students can experience these and other opportunities when they participate in the Ethel Lund Village Health Occupations Program (VHOP). - More...
Wednesday AM - February 22, 2006

Hydaburg: EARTH study gives Natives from Hydaburg a chance to take charge of their health - Alaska Natives living in Hydaburg are invited to register for the EARTH study, a national health and wellness study designed specifically for Alaska Natives and American Indians. Registration takes place from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily on March 10-16 at the Hydaburg Boys and Girls Club. Walk-in and evening hours are available upon request. Transportation also is available upon request. - More...
Wednesday AM - February 22, 2006



letter Dock project By Anita Hales - Wednesday AM
letter What's wrong with you people! By Rick Watson - Wednesday AM
letter Drug problems By Wanda Pew - Wednesday AM
letter Ketchikan's troubled youth By Renee Tacker - Wednesday AM
letter Ketchikan In The 50's By Pat Moore - Wednesday AM
letter If ALL parents showed an interest? By Neil Gray - Wednesday AM
letter No one solution to the drug/drinking problem By Ben Rosenfeld - Wednesday AM
letter "All that they can be" By Mark Neckameyer - Wednesday AM
letter Pressure to Pass ANWR By Rob Glenn - Wednesday AM
letter Golden Gate Bridge By Mary Currie - Wednesday AM
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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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  

Dale McFeatters: Port security or something else? - The objections to Dubai Ports World's taking over the contracts to manage operations at six U.S. ports boil down to two: It is Arab-owned, and it is based in the Mideast.

DP World is owned by the government of the United Arab Emirates, and it acquired the port-management contracts for New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Miami and New Orleans last week when it bought a British-based firm with a wonderfully 19th-century name: Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation Co.

The Bush administration must approve the change and was about to do so with assurances from Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff that "the deal is appropriate from a national security standpoint." Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said that the Justice Department had also vetted the takeover, planned for March 2.

Then the political firestorm hit.

Republican Govs. George Pataki of New York and Robert Ehrlich of Maryland, Senate GOP leader Bill Frist of Tennessee, a number of other Republican lawmakers and Bush's usual cast of Democratic critics are urging him to kill the deal. Democratic Sens. Charles Schumer of New York and Robert Menendez of New Jersey are authoring emergency legislation to do just that. - More...
Wednesday AM - February 22, 2006

Editorial: Our Arab-run ports? - It sounds absurd when U.S. soldiers are dying in the cause of preventing further terror attacks on America, but it's true: A company from the United Arab Emirates - home to one of the 9/11 hijackers, and loaded with al Qaeda sympathizers who helped finance its attacks - is poised to take over significant operations at the Port of New York and New Jersey, as well as the ports of Baltimore, New Orleans, Miami and Philadelphia.

Although the Bush administration calls the United Arab Emirates an ally in the war on terrorism, such skeptics as Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., are wise to raise questions. He is concerned about "outsourcing" port security to foreign-owned operators.

The company, Dubai Ports World, has won U.S. approval to take over operations of the ports from the London-based Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Co., for $6.8 billion, having convinced U.S. authorities that this poses no security risk. The deal was cleared this month by the secretive U.S. Committee on Foreign Investment, which includes representatives of the departments of the Treasury, Defense, Justice, Commerce, State and Homeland Security. But some critics wonder where Dubai Ports World got the money, and whether it makes sense to invest so much trust in a company operated with the blessings of an Arab state. - More....
Wednesday AM - February 22, 2006

Rob Holston: Prevention or Detection - My grandmother used to say, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." & ten pounds of detection, I'll add, so make sure you know the difference. I can still picture a billboard along side Interstate 90 on the outskirts of Spokane, Washington. The year was about 1998, as I recall, and the eye-catching graphic, a partially exposed female human breaston a billboard? Yes! But what really caught my attention was the message in huge letters, I now paraphrase, "PREVENT BREAST CANCER WITH REGULAR BREAST EXAMS".

This billboard message seemed to be part of a nationwide campaign by the American Cancer Society, as similar ads also appeared in a few magazines during that same time period. I often spend time picking on drug companies and food companies but here I'll make an exception. Although I applaud any organization's attempt to "prevent" cancer, from my perspective the billboard message was misleading and detrimental to those actually promoting prevention. - More... 
Wednesday AM - February 22, 2006

Steve Brewer: You can fix up your house, but it'll have to stay home - You can dress up your home, but you can't take it anywhere.

No matter how much you redecorate and refurbish, underneath you're stuck with the same old house, on its same flood-prone lot, next to those neighbors with the filthy habits. It's like that old saying: You can dress a pig in a silk gown, but you can't exchange that gown later, even if you've kept the receipt.

Real estate has become a cult, and redecorating its main ritual. "Resale value" is spoken in the hushed, reverent tones once reserved for "nirvana" or "salvation."

We've all got so much dough tied up in our houses we'll do most anything to boost our investments, up to and including renovation projects that change the whole floor plan. - More...
Wednesday AM - February 20, 2006  

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