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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
February 03, 2007

Front Page Photo by Hamilton Gelhar

'Take Off'
Front Page Photo by Hamilton Gelhar

Top Stories
U.S. News
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Alaska: Alaska Statewide Salmon Forecast for 2007 Released - The Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) has released its annual salmon harvest forecast for 2007, and is projecting that the Alaska statewide commercial salmon harvest will be significantly larger this year than it was in 2006. The pink salmon harvest is expected to be higher than last year's, the sockeye salmon catch is expected to be similar to that in 2006, and chum salmon harvests are expected to be higher than in 2006.

The 2007 commercial catch all-species projection of 179 million includes estimates of 789,000 Chinook salmon, 40.9 million sockeye salmon, 4.8 million coho salmon, 108 million pink salmon, and 24.8 million chum salmon.

At this time last year, ADF&G biologists were expecting an all-species commercial catch of 167 million for the 2006 season. As it turned out, the all-species catch reached 141 million. In 2006, the overall catch of pink salmon was 73 million compared to the preseason projection of 108 million. The lower-than-expected pink salmon catch in 2006 was due to a very weak 2006 pink salmon run to southern Southeast Alaska. The overall chum salmon catch was 21.1 million compared to the preseason projection of 17.6 million. - More...
Saturday AM - February 03, 2007

Fish Factor: For 17th Year, Alaska fishing port #1 for seafood landings By LAINE WELCH - For the 17th year in a row, Dutch Harbor remained the nation's #1 fishing port for seafood landings. The (belated) annual report just released by NOAA Fisheries showed that commercial fishermen offloaded 887.6 million pounds of fish and shellfish at Dutch Harbor in 2005, the latest figures available. The catch represents a 1.2 million pound increase from the previous year.

Kodiak was the only other Alaska port making the top ten list for seafood landings, ranking as number four in the nation. A total of 373.4 million pounds crossed the Kodiak docks in 2005, an increase of almost 20 million pounds from the previous year.

The port of New Bedford, MA once again claimed the top spot for value of seafood landings, setting a record at $282.5 million, an increase of $75 million from 2004. That was due to continued sky high scallop prices at New Bedford. Dutch Harbor ranked a distant second for landing values at $166.1 million. Kodiak ranked third for seafood values at $95.8 million, an increase of $1.8 million from 2004.

Three other Alaska ports made the top ten list for seafood values: #8 was Naknek-King Salmon at $54.3 million (up $11.8 million from 2004); #9 was Seward at $52.2 million (up $8.6 million); and Cordova ranked #10 with seafood landings valued at $46.5 million, an increase of $14.7 million.

Total U.S. fish and shellfish landings for 2005 were 9.6 billion pounds, valued at $3.9 billion at the docks. The complete list for all U.S. port rankings will be available on Monday, a NOAA Fisheries spokesperson said. - More...
Saturday AM - February 03, 2007


Alaska: Workshops Will Be Held To Consider Fish Mercury Data - Alaska Governor Sarah Palin announced this week that a series of public workshops in response to preliminary data collected in the state's ongoing fish monitoring program will be held. The data shows that certain fish contain mercury levels that meet or exceed limits for unlimited consumption.

The early findings show low levels of mercury in the following fish: ling cod, yellow eye rockfish, halibut over 50 pounds, spiny dogfish, and shark. With regard to all these species of fish mentioned, it appears the larger and older ones carry more mercury than the younger and smaller fish.

"The early findings show no reason whatsoever to stop eating or even for most individuals to reduce their consumption of fish," said Governor Palin. "I love Alaska seafood and will continue to enjoy it on a regular basis." - More...
Saturday AM - February 02, 2007

Week In Review By THOMAS HARGROVE - Tornadoes kill 19 people in central Florida

A violent storm system that spawned deadly tornadoes ripped through central Florida on Friday, killing at least 19 people and heavily damaging hundreds of homes. Hardest hit were the towns of Paisley and Lady Lake north of Orlando, where scores of mobile homes were destroyed. About 10,000 customers were without power. The state's Emergency Operations Center was opened and several counties opened emergency shelters. The tornado system was the deadliest to hit the Sunshine State since 1998, when five storms killed 42 people over a two-day period.

Study: Humans 'very likely' responsible for global warming

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a comprehensive study in Paris on Friday that concluded global warming is "very likely" caused by human activities such as the burning of fossil fuels. The resulting melting ice will cause a rise in the sea level that will "continue for centuries," the group said. "There can be no question that the increase in greenhouse gases are dominated by human activities," said U.S. scientist Susan Solomon. But Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman said mandatory reductions in greenhouse-gas emissions "may lead to the transfer of jobs and industry abroad" to countries with less stringent air-pollution standards.

Senators negotiate anti-Bush resolution

In an effort to get a filibuster-proof majority to oppose President Bush's surge of troops to Iraq, Sens. John Warner, R-Va., and Carl Levin, D-Mich., announced Wednesday new language for a nonbinding resolution opposing the buildup. They need to get at least nine of the Senate's 49 Republicans to support the measure in order to stop any filibuster by senators who support Bush's Iraq policy. However, some Democrats criticized the resolution for promising to maintain funding for troops already in Iraq. - More...
Saturday AM - February 03, 2007

Jeremy Mutart

Our Troops

Ketchikan: Staff Sgt. Jeremy Mutart of Ketchikan (front, center) was recently featured in a full page Army Strong advertisement in the January 15th issue of TIME magazine. Staff Sgt Mutart and his wife Lisa (Kearney), also of Ketchikan, and their family are currently stationed at Fort Riley, Kansas.

Mutart is with the 1st Infantry Division, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 1st Battalion, 28 Infantry Regiment Charlie Company, 1st Platoon.

Staff Sgt. Jeremy Mutart is preparing for his second tour in Iraq in a few weeks.
Our Troops

Washington Calling: A new danger in Iraq ... Kisses ... Another $1 coin ... More By LISA HOFFMAN - Remember these three letters: EFP.

What they represent may soon supplant IEDs as the most feared insurgent weapon in Iraq.

EFP - for "explosively formed projectile" - is the new acronym of death for U.S. troops, who are increasingly falling victim to such bombs on the already treacherous byways of Iraq. Unlike "improvised explosive devices," these weapons pack enough punch to fell a mighty Abrams tank, something the relatively crude IEDs only aspire to do.

Adding to the menace of these new bombs - made with pipes, explosives and copper disk heads - is the belief by analysts that they can be tied directly to Iran, which possesses the machine-milling technology to produce the more sophisticated devices.

If these devices proliferate in Iraq, and are definitively linked to Iran, the drumbeats for a forceful confrontation with Tehran will only gain volume in the more hawkish - and often influential - corners of the administration.


Speaking of long shots, Sen. Arlen Specter is pushing to allow TV coverage of the Supreme Court. The Pennsylvania lawmaker, who is the top GOP member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, just introduced a measure that would bar cameras only if a majority of the justices felt the rights of a litigant would be violated.

A hidebound anachronism in the e-age, the court has repeatedly shuddered at the thought of its public hearings being seen by anyone but the 100-or-so spectators who can snag seats there. Specter says he is encouraged by new Chief Justice John Roberts' promise during his Senate confirmation hearing to keep an open mind on the issue. Rookie Justice Samuel Alito also gives Specter hope because of his vote as an appeals-court judge to permit TV coverage in the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.- More...
Saturday AM - February 02, 2007


Basic Rules

letterMolly Ivins By Jill Bohr Jacob - Thursday PM
letter Black History Month By Congressman Don Young - Thursday PM
letter Re: Why is this happening in Ketchikan? By Richard Hurley - Thursday PM
letter Thank You! By Dave Lieben - Thursday PM
letterLitter and the Slobs By Jerry Cegelske - Thursday PM
letterThe Forgotten War By Ronald Smith - Thursday PM
letter People need to just chill about the MLK Jr. Day parties By Mark Neckameyer - Thursday PM
letter Jazz and Cabaret Performance By Karen Eakes - Wednesday AM
letter Ketchikan Airporter By Bill Thomas Sr. - Wednesday AM
letter "RECONNECTING TIES" UPDATE By Terrance H. Booth, Sr. - Tuesday AM
letter SS George Washington & SS Denali By Michael Naab - Monday PM
letter RE: SS George Washington By Michael Spence- Monday PM
letter Elected Officials By Charlie Johnson - Monday PM
letterWhy is this happing in Ketchikan? By Tracy Lindahl - Monday PM
letter Health Insurance By Alan Lidstone - Sunday PM
letter North American Union By Darlene Hall - Sunday PM
letter Airport Shuttle By Signe Markuson - Sunday PM
letter Ketchikan Taxman By Robert McRoberts - Sunday PM
letter Democracy/Liberty: Surprise to some, old news to others By Iliya Pavlovich - Sunday PM
letter History of Steamships By Pat Bundy - Sunday PM
letterAirport Shuttle Response By John Harrington - Friday PM
letterTax Increases By Charlotte Tanner - Friday PM
letter 57% property tax increase By Mike Isaac - Friday PM
letter Modest Proposals By Chris Elliott - Thursday PM
letterShuttle To Airport By Ken Levy - Thursday PM
letter Open Letter to Congressman Young: NO on North American Union By Mike Jones - Thursday PM
letter More Viewpoints/ Letters
letter Publish A Letter


The Ketchikan City Council will hold a regular meeting in the City Council Chambers on Thursday, Febuary 1, 2007 at 7:00 pm
pdfDownload the Agenda & Information Packet
(Click on each item on the agenda to download its information packet)


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Columns - Commentary

Dave Kiffer: Men in Sage Brush - If you Google "Men in Trees" you come up with my name.

I know this because quite a few folks in other locales have done just that and then reached out and electronically touched me.

It is not because I have much of anything to do with the sorta popular TV show that is set in but not really filmed in Alaska. But I wrote about the show last fall and when you "Google" the show, you get my column. But only after you go through about 20 screens full of other "hits."

I mention this because it shows how determined some folks are to find out about "Men In Trees." They are determined enough to scroll on and on and on past the endless blogs and the television network and station websites until they finally reach me.

Then - at least two or three times a week over the last four months - I have received emails asking about either "Alaska" or "Men In Trees."

I have received emails from as far away as Australia and Germany. I have received emails from many American states. I have even received a couple from British Columbia, which as you will see in a minute is pretty ironic. - More...
Saturday AM - February 03, 2007

Preston MacDougall: Chemical Eye on Seeds of Genius - What can brown do for chemistry?

If you were in Times Square in New York City on Mole Day last year - that's October 23rd for any non-chemists - than you might have noticed a series of geekish visual vignettes on the Jumbotron.

In this 15-second video, that ran several times each hour over a two-week period, everyone is wearing plastic safety goggles. That's the only thing that makes it geekish. That and the requisite pose of holding up a flask, containing a colored liquid, and staring at it as though it was a van Gogh.

The video was produced by the American Chemical Society, and it featured several Project SEED scholars, with their volunteer mentors, engaged in laboratory research. Subtitles informed onlookers that these students might have been searching for new medicines or clean sources of energy, or perhaps developing tools for forensic science or homeland security. The take-home message was "Make a difference be a chemist." - More...
Saturday AM - February 03, 2007

Star Parker: Black History Month should be a time for reflection, too - Dr. Carter G. Woodson established the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History in 1915. Woodson, a black scholar, wanted to bring the black man into the history of the United States.

Eleven years later, in 1926, he launched Negro History Week to raise awareness of the contributions of blacks. Carter picked February for Negro History Week because of the birthdays of Frederick Douglas and Abraham Lincoln.

Scholars and philosophers have long examined the question of history, what it is and why we study it.

Probably the most widely quoted observation is that of philosopher George Santayana: "Those that do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it."

What are the lessons of the past that we might be thinking about today? - More...
Saturday AM - February 03, 2007

Dan K. Thomasson: Jane Fonda at the anti-war ramparts again - If you wondered what happened to "Hanoi Jane," she's alive and well and making a comeback.

The darling of the anti-Vietnam movement who lent her looks, voice and whatever prestige she had as a member of Hollywood's elite Fonda family of actors to the turbulent protests of the '60s and '70s is once again at the head of the march, demonstrating against another president's plan of action . . . this time in Iraq.

Age, which has been quite kind to her physically, hasn't seemed to dampen her enthusiasm for confrontation although she has been away from the scene for nearly 40 years and even had earned a measure of respectability in the straight world of God, motherhood and apple pie. If the early Jane is back, can Tom Hayden, her onetime husband and leader of the protest band, be far behind? - More...
Saturday AM - February 03, 2007

Dale McFeatters: It's official: Iraq is a mess - The 16 U.S. intelligence agencies have weighed in with their collective judgment on events in Iraq, and their findings, which should come as no surprise to anyone who keeps up with the news, are: The situation is bad and getting worse.

A declassified version of their National Intelligence Estimate became public this week and its pessimism seems to have silenced even that dwindling cadre of Bush cheerleaders who insist the war would be going well if only the press reported it that way.

However, the report did come close to laying out a timetable, saying the Iraqi government would be "hard-pressed" to bring about political reconciliation and have its police and army provide appreciably better security in the next year to 18 months - about the maximum length of time the American public would tolerate. - More...
Saturday AM - February 03, 2007

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