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February 05, 2007

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Ketchikan: Beach Recreation Areas Limited In Ketchikan Says KBA (SitNews) - Ketchikan is an island community, yet shoreline areas suitable for recreation and public use are limited and in danger of declining and Ketchikan Beaches Association (KBA) would like to do something about that. According to this local group, research shows that nine percent of shoreline accessible by the road system on Revilla Island is under public management and available for recreation and general pubic use. The remaining 91% of Ketchikan's 38 miles of shoreline is private, subdivided, commercial, industrial, steep and unsuitable for recreation, or for boat harbor use says KBA.

The shoreline research was done by KBA member Eric Muench, a forest engineer, using data from the Ketchikan Gateway Borough Planning Department. Muench assessed saltwater shoreline areas accessible within a quarter to half mile from the Ketchikan road system which included 200,000 feet of shoreline (38 miles) from the Settlers Cove Park on the north to the Beaver Falls Cannery property to the south.

Finding a community beach with public access may be getting even harder as the current owner of the local Coast Guard Beach, the Alaska Mental Health Trust (AMHT), has stated its intent to rezone and subdivide the waterfront property. These beaches and other AMHT lands, South Point Higgins Beach, Surprise Beach, and Mountain Point Beach, boat launch and harbor are 1/3 of the nine percent of available Ketchikan recreation land.

Alaska Mental Health Trust lands are managed by the Trust Land Office (TLO). The Trust Land Office is mandated to generate maximum revenue from their lands to benefit recipients of mental health services throughout Alaska. These properties could be sold to private stakeholders to meet this mandate if AMHT decides.

Formal designation of Coast Guard Beach as a park has been a community priority since the Borough's 1976 Comprehensive Plan according to Ketchikan Beaches Association. In 1985 the Borough also passed resolution 607 that stated, "The Assembly supports the establishment, expansion and maintenance of State Park facilities at Coast Guard Beach located at Point Higgins for the citizens of the Ketchikan region as one of the area s prime waterfront recreation sites."

The limited shoreline set aside for public use in Ketchikan is a concern causing some Ketchikan residents to take direct action. Ketchikan Beaches Association (KBA), group of concerned residents, organized to raise awareness and develop alternatives to the development of two beach properties - Coast Guard Beach and the South Point Higgins Beach. Primarily KBA is focused on raising the funding needed to acquire these two properties so that they will be publicly accessible in perpetuity. KBA s coordinator Carrie Dolwick said the acquisition of these two beaches from private hands and into public management will preserve current usable beach areas held by AMHT. "Recreation areas and open space makes Ketchikan an attractive place to live and work," Dolwick said. "They also increase the value of neighboring residential property." - More...
Monday - February 05, 2007


National: Warming of the climate is unequivocal; US Officials Agree With Climate Change Report - Secretary of Energy Samuel Bodman said the United States embraces the findings of the 2007 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). "We agree with it, and the science behind it is something that our country has played a very important role in," he told journalists February 2 in Washington.

"Warming of the climate system is unequivocal," stated the IPCC Summary for Policymakers, released February 1. Most of the warming over the past 50 years "is likely to have been due to the increase in greenhouse gas concentrations," and human activity "very likely" is the source of these gases, it said.

The report concludes, with what it says is about 90 percent certainty, that the recent, rapid climate change is the result of increased global atmospheric concentrations of the "greenhouse gases" carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide, likely generated by emissions from human use of fossil fuels. - More...
Monday - February 05, 2007

International: British Columbia on alert for possible big quake By JANE ARMSTRONG - Scientists have alerted British Columbia's emergency-planning department to the possibility of a catastrophic earthquake striking the province's southwest coast this week.

While the probability of a quake is still low, rapid strides in earthquake detection have given federal scientists with the Pacific Geoscience Center on Vancouver Island greater confidence in their ability to predict when and where one will occur. Garry Rogers, a seismologist at the center, compared the current earthquake odds to the dangers of driving a car.

"Everyone drives their car every day, and the probability of getting in a car accident is small," Rogers said. But during rush hour, the probability of getting into an accident is much higher. "Well, Vancouver Island is now driving in rush hour."

What prompted the alert was a series of imperceptible tremors emanating from deep beneath the ocean, which scientists now recognize as ominous warnings that the earth is on the move again off Vancouver Island.

They now estimate the long-awaited giant quake will hit closer to the island's western shoreline than previously thought.

The tremors occurred on what is known as the Cascadia subduction zone, which lies beneath the Pacific Ocean off the West Coast and runs from Vancouver Island to Northern California. The rumblings began last week near Puget Sound near Seattle and made their way north to Vancouver Island in recent days. - More...
Monday - February 05, 2007

Our Troops

Our Troops
Michael Baldwin
United States Army

Ketchikan: Baldwin proudly serves in the United States Army in the 14th Combat Eng BN, HHC Company. He has served one year in Iraq and is scheduled for another tour of duty in Iraq in January 08.

Born in Vallejo, CA, Baldwin calls Ketchikan his home. He is married to Amber Willams-Baldwin who was born and raised in Ketchikan. They have two boys, Dametre and Alex.

Baldwin and his family are stationed at Fort Lewis, Washington. Most of Amber's family still lives in Ketchikan and Michael's mother, Anita Metcalfe, lives in Lewistown, MT.
Our Troops

National: Defense Chief Lists Iraq Benchmarks, Says U.S. Not Targeting Iran By Vince Crawley - The United States is not planning a war against Iran and believes the current diplomatic process is getting results, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said February 2.

Gates also told Pentagon reporters that he does not see a classic civil war in Iraq but, instead, four separate overlapping conflicts.

In addition, Gates outlined benchmarks the Iraqi government should meet for continued U.S. military support. He said he is recommending that President Bush nominate Admiral Timothy Keating to be the new chief of U.S. Pacific Command, which oversees military forces in East Asia. Keating currently leads Northern Command, responsible for North America.

"With respect to Iran," Gates said, "the president has made clear; the secretary of state has made clear; I've made clear we are not planning for a war with Iran."

Speculation about U.S. motives against Iran has grown in recent weeks due to the deployment of a second aircraft carrier battle group to the Gulf, as well as a crackdown on militant networks in Iraq that has resulted in the apprehension of some Iranian operatives, Gates said.

The secretary said he ordered the second carrier to the Gulf to underscore to allies and potential adversaries that the United States continues to view stability in the region as a vital national interest. He added that recent coalition operations in Iraq have found evidence of Iranian involvement in explosively formed projectiles, or EFPs, found in sophisticated roadside bombs that can penetrate thick armor and even destroy an M1 Abrams main battle tank. - More...
Monday - February 05, 2007


Basic Rules

letterPublic Beaches Under Threat By Eric Muench - Monday
letter"Take Off" By Karen Pitcher - Monday
letter Trashing of Alaska By Anita Hales - Monday
letter Airport Shuttle Needed By Ken Levy - Monday
letter Very Proud By Veta Mutart - Monday
letter Molly 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 Borough Assembly will hold a regular meeting in the City Council Chambers on Monday, February 5, 2007 at 5:30 pm
pdfDownload the Agenda & Information Packet (Zip File)


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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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