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SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska
February 28, 2006

Front Page Photo by Jodi Muzzana

American Dipper
Front Page Photo By Jodi Muzzana

Ketchikan: American Dipper Photo By Jodi Muzzana - The American dipper sings most of the year and are the best singers of the Wrens and Thrushes. They can walk, completely submerged, along the bottom of rushing streams. - More...
Tuesday - February 28, 2006

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Ketchikan: Tongass Eyes Motorized Recreation - Many people explore the country's largest national forest on foot while others prefer a more "motorized" approach. Off-highway vehicle enthusiasts, including fans of all terrain vehicles, want to responsibly enjoy public lands in their own way and Tongass National Forest land managers are making sure they can.

The Tongass is taking up OHV issues in light of the national regulation, announced by the Forest Service in November, concerning recreational motor vehicle use in national forests and grasslands.

"Affording people opportunities for first-rate outdoor recreation experiences is a critical part of our mission," said Tongass National Forest Supervisor Forrest Cole. "We must balance the responsible use of OHVs for subsistence, hunting, fishing and just plain fun with protection of the resource."

According to the Forest Service, a management policy was needed because use of OHVs has exploded over the past 30 years causing erosion, water degradation, habitat destruction, damage to cultural sites and conflicts between users. Nationwide, the number of users has climbed from about 5 million in 1972 to almost 36 million in 2000, which is a 600-percent increase.

The new regulations require national forests to designate routes for motorized use. Once these are identified, off-route travel on National Forest System lands will be prohibited. These regulations do not apply to snowmobiles, boats or aircraft and direct forest's to complete motor vehicle road, trail and area designation decisions at the local level. - More...
Tuesday - February 28, 2006

Alaska: Alaska Exports Continue To Grow At Record Pace - International exports of Alaska goods continued to show record growth, increasing 14 percent in 2005 to total $3.6 billion, Governor Frank H. Murkowski announced. International exports grew by $435 million from the 2004 total.

"Improving international exports translates into good jobs for Alaskans," said Murkowski. "We've worked hard to improve Alaska's business climate and to aggressively market our products abroad. In the last two years, we have seen great progress."

Alaska finished 2004 with $3.2 billion in sales for the first time in more than a decade. That was $418 million, or a 15 percent increase, over the previous year. - More...
Tuesday - February 28, 2006

Alaska: Hatcheries examined as key to Alaska crab recovery - In the basement of the Alaska Fisheries Science Center on Kodiak Island, what just might be the key to rebuilding the state's crab fisheries swims nearly invisible within tall plastic tanks.

In the tanks, billions of tiny single-celled algae called diatoms have turned the water the color of tea. Brad Stevens, a research fisheries biologist at the center, is growing the algae as food for about 1000 juvenile Bering Sea blue king crab that were hatched and are being raised at the center. Stevens said growing the food was one of the biggest hurdles to successfully growing crab in captivity.

"It took us about four years to find just the right diatom strain that would grow in the water temperatures we had here," said Stevens. "We tried using local strains but we couldn't isolate them from other diatoms and the other diatoms would outgrow them."
Stevens said cultivating crab in a hatchery and releasing them into the wild-much like the state's salmon ranching program-may one day help Alaska's depressed crab stocks recover.  Stevens said his crab cultivation program is a small-scale model of the sort of operation that would be needed to rebuild the state's crab stocks. - More...
Tuesday - February 28, 2006

Front Page Photo by Lisa Thompson

Red-breasted Sapsucker
Front Page Photo By Lisa Thompson

Ketchikan: Red-breasted Sapsucker - Woodpeckers occupy much of the forested regions of Alaska. according to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, seven species of woodpeckers are found in Alaska: the northern flicker, red-breasted sapsucker, yellow-bellied sapsucker, hairy, downy, three-toed, and black-backed woodpeckers. - More...
Tuesday - February 28, 2006

Alaska: Economic impact of alcohol and drugs in Alaska - The Governor's Advisory Board on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse (ABADA) released a 2005 update of the 2001 report Economic Costs of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse in Alaska at their February 22nd board meeting. Prepared for ABADA by the McDowell Group, a Juneau-based consulting and research firm, the report details the impact of alcohol and
other drug abuse on Alaska's economy.

The total cost of this dependence to the Alaska economy was estimated to be $738 million during 2003. The report chronicles the costs of alcohol and drug abuse and dependency in the areas of lost productivity, criminal justice and protective services, health care, traffic accidents and public assistance. - More...
Tuesday - February 28, 2006

Alaska: Controlling ownership of American Seafoods acquired by company's management group and Alaskan partner - American Seafoods, one of the largest integrated seafood companies in the United States in terms of revenues, announced Monday that its management group and Coastal Villages Region Fund, the company's Alaskan business partner, have acquired all of the equity interests in the company held by Centre Partners, giving them ownership of substantially all the voting securities in American Seafoods.

Centre Partners, a leading, middle-market private equity firm with offices in Los Angeles and New York, sold its nearly 23 percent equity interest in the company to a management group led by Bernt O. Bodal, the company's chairman and chief executive officer, and Coastal Villages. - More...
Tuesday - February 28, 2006


Opinion Poll
Web Polls Are Not
Scientific Polls

On April 11th city voters will have an opportunity to vote on the City of Ketchikan's $38.5 million port improvement bond. How would you vote?

Cast Your Vote

View Poll Stats


letter Investing public money secretly By Mary Lynne Dahl - Tuesday PM
letter Don't lower expectations By Vicki Harsha - Tuesday PM
letter What Does the Coast Guard Know? By Alan Lidstone - Tuesday PM
letter What has happen to the Republican Party? By Mike Isaac - Tuesday PM
letter Unique idea... By Rob Glenn - Tuesday PM
letter Public Employees and Teachers Retirement Systems by Rep. John Harris & Rep. Bruce Weyhrauch - Monday PM
letter Keep school doors open By Charles Edwardson - Monday PM
letter Historic Preservation of Newtown By Dave Rubin - Monday PM
letter Possible closing of KEC By Neil Gray - Monday PM
letter Good News On The Move. By George Miller - Monday PM
letter A unique idea By Ken Kirschenman - Monday PM
letter Wasting Money By Robert McRoberts - Monday PM
letterKeep those school doors open By Linda Koons Auger - Sunday PM
letter Permanent fund issues By Gregg Erickson - Sunday PM
letter American Ports By Martha Leftwich - Sunday PM
letterYoung By Peg Travis - Sunday PM
letter Stand up for our Cops By Licha Kelley-King - Saturday
letter Border crossing By Hunter Davis - Saturday
letter Alaska Clearing House By Don Hoff Jr. - Saturday
letter A million choices wouldn't fix the problem By Dinah Pearson - Saturday
letter To flee evil temptations... By Rob Holston - Saturday
letter Moving the southern terminus By Neil Gray - Saturday
letter Background checks By Virginia E. Atkinson - Saturday
letter More Viewpoints/ Letters
letter Publish A Letter

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March 01, 2006, Wednesday - 6:00 pm - Teleconferenced CONSTITUENT MEETING with SENATOR STEDMAN,
at the Ketchikan Legislative Information Office, 50 Front Street, Suite 203. Snacks will be served! - This is an informal teleconference for members of the community to discuss issues or concerns with local legislators.  Persons interested in attending may contact the LIO at 225-9675.

March 01, 2006, Wednesday - Tongass School of Arts & Sciences begins enrollment for Fall 2006 school year. Enrolling Kindergarten - 6th grades. TSAS Information pdf

March 02, 2006, Thursday - 7:00 pm - City Council Regular Meeting - City Council Chambers
pdfAgenda & Information packets

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February 2006
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National: GOP opposition signals troubling start to 2006 for Bush By DAVID WESTPHAL - Suddenly, President Bush is having trouble keeping the troops in line.

On issue after issue, prominent Republicans are breaking ranks, cracking open the bonds of solidarity Bush maintained with his GOP allies throughout most of his first term.

Last fall, supporters vowed that a couple of conservative insurrections - one against Harriet Miers, the president's ill-fated nominee for the Supreme Court, the other against Bush's big spending increases - would be short-lived anomalies. But the defections keep coming.

The revolt by Senate GOP leader Bill Frist of Tennessee against the takeover of U.S. port operations by a Middle Eastern company is only the latest in a string.

In recent weeks, the White House has been grilled by key Republicans on its domestic eavesdropping program, on the rollout of its Medicare drug plan and even on a mild Bush proposal to study Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

It's hardly the fresh start White House aides had hoped for in 2006.

"I'm not sure the problems we saw spring up with the Miers nomination have gone away," said Andrew Busch, government professor at California's Claremont McKenna College. "There are some lingering credibility problems for the president." - More...
Tuesday - February 28, 2006

National: Border security or boondoggle? By TYCHE HENDRICKS - A proposal to build a double set of steel walls with floodlights, surveillance cameras and motion detectors along one-third of the U.S.-Mexican border heads to the Senate next month after winning overwhelming support in the House.

The wall would be intended to prevent illegal immigrants and potential terrorists from hiking across the southern border into the United States. It would run along five segments of the 1,952-mile border that now experience the most illegal crossings.

The plan already has roiled diplomatic relations with Mexico. Leaders in American border communities are saying it will damage local economies and the environment. And immigration experts say that - at a cost of at least $2.2 billion - the 700-mile wall would be an expensive boondoggle. - More...
Tuesday - February 28, 2006

National: Experts explore its energy potential of pet poop By CAROLYN JONES - In the future, we might be heating our houses with dog poop.

As San Francisco and other cities strive to reach self-imposed goals of keeping every bit of trash out of landfills by 2020, even animal waste is being scrutinized to see how it might be reused or recycled.

And so San Francisco has become the first city in the country to consider turning Fido's droppings into methane, which can heat homes, cook meals and generate electricity.

"Poop power? Yes, it's possible to produce electricity, natural gas and even fuel from Rover's poop and other waste material," said Robert Reed, a spokesman for Norcal Waste, which carts away the waste San Francisco, San Jose and a dozen other Northern California cities generate. "There are a lot of bugs to work out, steps to figure out, costs to be considered, but we are beginning to talk to the city about it and look into this area more actively." - More...
Tuesday - February 28, 2006

National: Mexican food becoming America's favorite ethnic treat By LANCE GAY - Hispanic food - particularly Mexican - is becoming so popular that it is threatening to displace those long-time ethnic favorites, Italian and Chinese.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says Americans are eating four times more Mexican food than they ate 20 years ago, and sales of salsa - once a specialty condiment used for tacos - are outstripping ketchup's sales.

Roberto Quinones, head of the American Tortilla Industry Association, estimates that sales of tortillas topped $6 billion in 2004 - double that of a decade ago.

Quinones said it's difficult to get a true estimate of the size of the business because there are many small mom-and-pop manufacturers often operating out of their homes. Tortillas are also finding a niche in American palates, with popular sandwich "wraps" replacing traditional bread. Quinones said demographics are a driving force for the popularity of tortillas. The U.S. Census Bureau says that Hispanics last year became the nation's No. 1 minority. The 2000 census counted 35 million people of Hispanic origin in the United States.

"Then there's the portability factor - it's hard to eat moo shoo pork driving down the road," Quinones said. "A lot of things are converging on each other."

McDonald's is trying to catch the trend. The hamburger giant has bought majority ownership in Chipotle Mexican Foods, which operates 450 restaurants in the United States. Denver-based Chipotle floated a stock offering this year, saying it intends to use the money to add stores. - More...
Tuesday - February 28, 2006

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