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February 08, 2007

Front Page Photo by Hamilton Gelhar

'Birds of A Feather'
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Ketchikan: Standing Room Only! 56 Youth Sign up for Youth to Work Program - The kick-off meeting held on January 31st at the Job Center for youth interested in the newly developed job readiness initiative nicknamed "The Pipeline" was attended by an impressive number of youth and young adults. Those attending ranged in age from14 to 24 and they all showed up and not, apparently, just for the free Pizza, because 56 filled out the application for the newly launched training and mentoring program.

This program, a collaborative effort between Ketchikan Youth Initiatives (KYI), the Job Center, Ketchikan Indian Community and UAS-Ketchikan has come together under the guidance of Jesse Harrington, an AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer who came from a rural town in New York last August to fill an opening posted by Ketchikan Youth Initiatives. Providing job readiness training and work experience is the third of three strategies adopted by KYI to carry out their mission that is: "to empower the community by fostering and funding youth and young adult initiatives designed to create a constructive social environment."

Harrington said, "I have had the opportunity to fill a lot of short-term jobs myself and work with youth in jobs where I was a manager. There is a great opportunity here in Ketchikan to prepare local youth to fill jobs with local employers. I am very pleased with the high degree of interest and support shown by everyone." - More...
Thursday - February 08, 2007

Alaska: Problems plague BP oil tankers By WESLEY LOY - BP's new fleet of oil tankers, already dogged by cracked rudders and missing anchors, now has a new glitch.

Fleet managers have been forced to replace deck fixtures called mooring bitts on three of four ships after tests showed they were defective and one violently broke down.

Mooring bitts are stout metal posts around which ropes are lashed for tugging on ships or securing them to a dock.

On Sept. 12, the tanker Alaskan Navigator was approaching the dock in Valdez when a bitt on the starboard bow broke off as a tug boat pulled on a mooring line, according to people with the U.S. Coast Guard, the ship's operator and a Valdez-based oil-industry watchdog group.

When it broke, the heavy iron bitt shot over the side of the ship and plunked into the water.

Fortunately, no one was in the way when the bitt broke loose, said Cmdr. Michael Gardiner, captain of the port for the Coast Guard in Valdez.

"If you were standing near it, it probably would have scared you pretty good," he said. "It was a pretty big piece of metal flying through the air."

The ship's operator, Alaska Tanker Co. of Beaverton, Ore., used X-rays and other tests to determine that the failed bitt plus dozens more on three ships were defective and needed to be replaced. - More...
Thursday - February 08, 2007

'The Swans'
Ward Lake Swans
Front Page Photo by Jodi Muzzana

Ketchikan: Southeast Raises Over $32,000 During 3rd Annual St. Jude Radiothon - The 3rd Annual St. Jude Radiothon hosted by Gateway Country collected over $32,000 for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. According to information provided by on-air personality and event participant Jason Hettinger, the event held on February 1st and 2nd was a huge success receiving overwhelming support from many local businesses, organizations and individuals.

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital is the known as world's premier center for the research and treatment of cancer and other catastrophic childhood diseases. Medical advancements made at St. Jude are shared openly with doctors and scientists world-wide, including physicians here in Southeast. Since 1962, treatment protocols developed at St. Jude Children s Research hospital have brought survival rates for childhood cancers from less than 20 percent to about 70 percent overall. - More...
Thursday - February 08, 2007


Alaska: Gray whales journey from California to Alaska By ZEKE BARLOW - Soon, Goleta, California will be a freeway of whales.

Mothers shepherding their young on their journey north will swim within 100 yards of shore, showing their newborns the route to the fertile feeding grounds of Alaska. Massive tails will fan the air, puffs of seawater will shoot out of blowholes and maybe even the grandest prize of them all will rise in front of the team of volunteers - a 30-ton gray whale breaching the water.

But not just yet.

There were no whales on the first day a team of volunteers was monitoring the great gray whale migration from a Goleta cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The only gray to be seen on Jan. 29 was the slate of the sky and the steely sheen of the calm ocean. Nary a waterspout nor the signature knuckle of a gray whale's back was seen, no matter how many times the volunteers scanned the horizon with binoculars and spotting scopes. - More...
Thursday - February 08, 2007

Alaska: Priest faces lawsuit for child support By LISA DEMER - A child-support case winding its way through the courts offers a new twist on an old scandal: The accused deadbeat father is a Roman Catholic priest.

The two "kids" suing him and the Jesuits for support are now grown men with children of their own.

Jesuit leaders have known for nearly 40 years that the Rev. James Jacobson had children here and eventually kept him out of Alaska to avoid "any possible scandal for the Church in Alaska," according to a new legal filing on behalf of his two sons. The mother of one of the men also is suing Jacobson for child support and damages. The other mother has died. - More...
Thursday - February 08, 2007

National: Why would an astronaut jeopardize career, family? By L.A. JOHNSON - Love IS strange.

What would possess a woman to don a diaper and drive 900 miles to confront her lover's other woman, as alleged by authorities?

More to the point, what would make a married mother of three and an accomplished astronaut - one of only 106 overall active U.S. astronauts and one of only 24 active U.S. women astronauts, according to NASA - jeopardize and potentially sacrifice her family, her future and her successful career for a love affair?

That was the water-cooler question of the day as news spread that 43-year-old Navy captain and astronaut Lisa Marie Nowak drove from Houston to Orlando, Fla., early Monday, according to police, to kidnap Air Force Capt. Colleen Shipman, a Patrick Air Force Base engineer who works on space-flight-related hardware at Cape Canveral, Fla. Nowak wore diapers on the 14-hour drive, so she wouldn't have to stop to use a restroom. - More...
Thursday - February 08, 2007

Quilting in the Rain

The Arts This Week

Quilting in the Rain XVI

National: Drink this product and lose weight? Doubts persist By STACY FINZ - Consumers cruising the aisles of supermarkets this week will find a new green tea beverage with an astounding claim - drink it and burn calories.

The Coca-Cola Co. and Nestle say consuming three cans a day of their new product, Enviga, will burn 60 to 100 calories - and you don't have to run laps around the track, pedal a stationary bicycle or even bench-press weights. These calories can be burned merely by lifting the cans from table to mouth.

It seems too good to be true, and some say it is. In fact, one watchdog group already has filed a false-advertising lawsuit against the two companies, and Connecticut's attorney general has launched an investigation into the calorie-burning claim.

But Coca-Cola representatives insist that the drink has been scientifically tested and that it works. Food industry specialists say this is the first time beverages have been marketed as negative-calorie drinks, and they believe it could be the wave of the future. Last year, Elite FX Inc., which started as a food research company in Florida, released Celsius, a green tea soft drink that the firm claims is the world's first calorie-burning beverage. - More...
Thursday - February 08, 2007


Basic Rules

letter THANK YOU KGB MAYOR AND ASSEMBLY MEMBERS By Reggie Reinhardt - Thursday PM
letterNo Different Than Child Abuse By Carl Webb - Thursday PM
letterProposed Waterfront Zoning change By Ed Purvis - Thursday
letter Charitable Gaming Legislation By Vicki O'Brien - Thursday
letterBarge litter to Canada By Ken Lewis - Thursday
letter Family Choices By Dinah Pearson - Thursday
letter Response to "Litter and Slobs" By John Kiser - Thursday
letter "Metlakatla Moon" By Judith Green - Thursday
letter Second Hand Smoke in Cars By Rob Holston - Thursday
letter Children Without Choices By Carl Webb - Tuesday PM
letterRevised Tongass National Forest draft Management Plan By William E. Brown - Tuesday PM
letter Litter, and Unclean Streets In Some Areas By Carol Baines - Tuesday PM
letter 'Take Off' By Chris Elliott - Tuesday PM
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 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  

Dan K. Thomasson: Can the new Congress finally meet its responsibilities? - Congress has no more important function than controlling the nation's purse strings. That is, of course, when it chooses to fulfill that duty - which recently has been more than a bit haphazard.

Last year it failed to pass nine of the 11 annual money measures relying instead on a string of temporary resolutions to fund the government.

There is only one problem with this, folks. These measures had become incubators for much of the corruption that has marred the Washington political scene the last few years. The resolutions were loaded with so-called "earmarks" - anonymously sponsored - that have costs taxpayers billions and billions of dollars for pet projects like the infamous bridge to nowhere in Ketchikan, Alaska. This distortion of the budgetary process has reached such embarrassing levels that the Democrats, who now control Congress, have pledged to reform it.

How bad is it? During the last 10 years earmarks have increased from 4,126 in 1994 to a spectacular 12,652 last year, setting the stage for any number of abuses still not uncovered and several that have been. One of these resulted in the bribery conviction and jailing of one House member, California Republican Randy "Duke" Cunningham, who was earmarking funds for defense contractors in return for extensive favors. - More...
Wednesday AM - February 07, 2007  

John Crisp: More diplomacy, not war, in Iran - The scent of war with Iran is in the air. This is surprising, since many experts agree that our military options for Iran lie somewhere between very, very few and nonexistent. Journalist James Fallows, for example, reported in the December 2004 "Atlantic Monthly" on a group of experts and strategists who convened a war game with options for military action against Iran. Their conclusion: Prudent military alternatives for Iran do not exist.

Besides, war ought always to be the last resort. It's available, of course, if diplomacy fails, but creative diplomatic possibilities with Iran are far from exhausted. In fact, Iran is a country that we should to be able to get along with.

True, its current president is given to extreme, inflammatory positions, but we shouldn't allow him to obscure a surprisingly long democratic tradition in Iran that has been characterized at various times and in various degrees by legitimate elections and free speech. President Ahmadinejad's outrageous pronouncements have raised his profile abroad, but they've cost him politically with the moderates at home. - More...
Wednesday AM - February 07, 2007

Dale McFeatters: Big government, big problems - President Bush's new 2008 federal budget points out that our government is indeed big but not in the way most people think.

Dollar-wise, as a projected cost of $2.9 trillion, it is huge, but most of what it does involves moving money around, mostly from individual income and Social Security taxes, to retirees, the ailing, the disabled and the poor.

The single largest expenditure, at $612.5 billion, is Social Security, followed closely by national defense at $606.5 billion. They are followed, in order, by Medicare, unemployment and welfare, Medicaid and interest on the debt.

The interest on the national debt is projected at $261.3 billion for 2008, almost 10 percent of federal spending. The interest costs are the fasting-rising expenditure because the federal debt is rising, from $5.6 trillion when Bush took office to $8.6 trillion and rising.

After the debt, the size of federal expenditures falls off rapidly. The next-largest category is veterans' benefits at $83.4 billion. - More...
Wednesday AM - February 07, 2007

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