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February 15, 2007

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Ketchikan: Intertie Project Viewed By Legislators - A group of six legislators traveled to Ketchikan Thursday, to view the partially completed intertie project linking the Swan Lake Hydro plant with the Tyee Lake Hydro plant, according to a House Majority news release. A 9:00 helicopter tour was planned to take the legislators over the interie's right of way. This intertie is the first leg of a long awaited power grid for the communities in Southeast Alaska. The intertie could eventually be linked with another transmission line to allow power sales into the North American power grid.

Connecting the two hydro plants built in the 1980's will allow the excess power capable of being generated at the Tyee Lake Hydro plant near Petersburg to be wheeled south to the Swan Lake Hydro plant and used in Ketchikan area. The Tyee Lake Hydro plant is producing at far below its capacity. Failing to fully utilize that capacity means the energy equivalent of 5 million barrels of No. 1 heating oil is being wasted each year.

"I was very encouraged when the Governor recognized the value of renewable energy in her State of the State speech and her comments in Ketchikan after the blueberry festival recognizing the value of the project to the entire Southeast region. I am also very thankful and encouraged by these legislators taking valuable time to view and become familiar with the project," said Johansen. - More...
Thursday PM - February 15, 2007

National: Congress' Iraq move may yet constrain Bush By CAROLYN LOCHHEAD - By all appearances, Congress' first challenge to President Bush on Iraq since Democrats assumed control last month looks feeble.

More than a month after Bush ordered 21,500 more U.S. troops to Iraq, the House is expected to pass a resolution opposing the action but doing nothing to stop it. The Senate heads into a recess in a partisan stalemate over its own nonbinding resolution.

Meanwhile, U.S. soldiers are fighting in Baghdad's neighborhoods and the president has made clear he intends to ignore Congress.

Still, Bush may be feeling the heat, historians say, much as four decades ago President Lyndon Johnson desperately sought peace talks in Vietnam after abandoning his re-election bid, and President Richard Nixon assumed office promising a secret plan to end the war.

"Obviously the president still has a lot of muscle and is still doing what he wants, but the evidence is that this administration is starting to feel a bit checked," said Julian Zelizer, a Boston University historian who outlines congressional resistance during the Vietnam War in the March issue of the American Prospect.

Bush has two years left in office and enormous - though not unlimited - power to continue the war. He does not face re-election. Republicans in Congress do, however, and could brake Bush if they abandon him in large numbers. - More...
Thursday PM - February 15, 2007


National: Lots of talk about Iraq war, but don't call it debate By MARC SANDALOW - Only by the loosest of definitions could the speech-giving marathon taking place on the House floor be described as a debate.

As Democrats and Republicans take turns at the microphone to talk about the war in Iraq, it is at times unclear that they are discussing the same proposition, let alone interested in hearing what the other side has to say.

What the public learns from the weeklong talkathon, and whether the White House will adjust its course after its likely rebuke from the House, is unclear.

The opportunity for persuasion seemed remote Tuesday as the House opened its debate over President Bush's decision to send 21,500 more troops to Iraq, with each side talking past the other.

Democrats said they owe it to the American people to stand in the way of an escalation. Republicans said they owe it to the troops to settle for nothing less than victory.

Back and forth it went from noon until midnight. Lawmaker after lawmaker rose, nearly 100 in all, to repeat by-now-familiar arguments about a war that will enter its fifth year next month.

"President Bush's escalation proposal will not make America safer, will not make our military stronger and will not make the region more stable," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California said as the debate began. - More...
Thursday PM - February 15, 2007
Ketchikan: Discovery Center Closed for Renovations - The Southeast Alaska Discovery Center will be closed to the public in order to renovate the lighting in the facility through April 6, 2007. The goal of the work is to provide improved lighting throughout the Discovery Center and to address electrical hazards. The facility lighting has several areas of concern and was deemed a priority for repairs by the US Forest Service whom manages the building.

Initially, the lighting replacement was to work around the Center's winter hours, but after work began it was determine to be a safety concern for the visiting public. The entire Discovery Center, with four exhibit rooms, and the Alaska Natural History Association bookstore outlet will be affected by the contract. The Center will reopen its doors Saturday, April 7, 2007 and return to its normal early spring hours of Thursday through Sundays 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM. - More...
Thursday PM - February 15, 2007

Alaska: DEC warns consumers about Peter Pan and Great Value peanut butter recall due to Salmonella - The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are warning consumers not to eat certain jars of Peter Pan peanut butter or Great Value peanut butter due to risk of contamination with Salmonella (a bacterium that causes foodborne illness).  The affected jars of Peter Pan and Great Value peanut butter have a product code located on the lid of the jar that begins with the number "2111."   Both the Peter Pan and Great Value brands are manufactured in a single facility in Georgia by ConAgra.  Great Value peanut butter made by other manufacturers is not affected. DEC is telling Alaska food distributors and retail markets to remove the recalled products from their supermarket shelves.

If consumers have purchased any of Peter Pan or Great Value brand peanut butter with 2111 on the lid since May 2006, they should discard it. - More...
Thursday PM - February 15, 2007

Adventurers head down Yukon

Adventurers head down Yukon to monitor permafrost
Kenji Yoshikawa's 43-foot boat, the HokiMai, frozen
into Elson Lagoon near Barrow in winter 1996.
Photo by Kenji Yoshikawa.

Alaska: Adventurers head down Yukon to monitor permafrost By NED ROZELL - Kenji Yoshikawa has seen a good portion of the planet he calls home. Born in Tokyo, he has biked across Australia, walked the Sahara, skied across Greenland and to the South Pole, and he made his way to Alaska by sailing to Barrow from Japan.

In Barrow, he let his boat freeze into the sea ice. He spent a dark winter on the tilted boat, enjoying solitude and working on his college degree. He calls that period "the greatest time in 43 years of life."

Yoshikawa is a permafrost scientist at the University of Alaska Fairbanks who will soon head down the Yukon River by snowmachine to visit village schools. Along the way, he hopes to establish permafrost observatories at the schools by drilling through soil that has remained frozen for at least one year. Much of the permafrost along the Yukon River is within one degree of thawing.

Yoshikawa wants to include villages on the Yukon in a "permafrost health monitoring program" and work with students and teachers on the permafrost boreholes he hopes to drill at each site. The boreholes are about 2 inches in diameter; he snakes a cable down the hole that gives permafrost temperature readings from about 20 feet down to the surface. He has already installed such observatories at eight schools, from Barrow to Glennallen. - More...
Thursday PM - February 15, 2007

Ketchikan Theatre Ballet

SEARHC Breast and Cervical Health Program
hosts Ketchikan Theatre Ballet on March 1

Ketchikan Theatre Ballet
Photo courtesy SEARHC

Craig: SEARHC Breast and Cervical Health Program hosts Ketchikan Theatre Ballet on March 1 - The SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) Breast and Cervical Health Program is hosting the Ketchikan Theatre Ballet for "An Evening of Dance" at 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 1, at the Craig High School Auditorium.

The show is designed to raise awareness about the importance of early screening tests for breast cancer. Special guest Debbie Trozelle, from Craig, will speak before the show about how her involvement with the SEARHC Breast and Cervical Health Program's mobile mammography van affected her life. In addition, Gwen Hamilton of the SEARHC Breast and Cervical Health Program and Brenda Isaacs with the SEARHC WISEWOMAN women's cardiovascular health program will give brief talks about their programs and women's health screenings.

The Ketchikan Theatre Ballet senior company features 16 of the school's most advanced dancers. They are led by Marguerite Auger, a former KTB dancer and the troupe's director since 1984. The dance group also will give some classroom demonstrations at Craig elementary school classrooms on March 1. Cake and punch will be served after the performance, and there will be a chance to meet the ballerinas. - More...
Thursday PM - February 15, 2007


Basic Rules

letter Funding PERS and TRS is Vital by Rep. John Harris - Friday AM
letter Vessel Management Systems for Commercial Fishermen An Onerous USCG Requirement By Rep. Bill Thomas - Friday AM
letter Trumpeter Swans By Bev Kingdon - Thursday PM
letter Complaints By Jerry Cegelske - Thursday PM
letter More Smoke By Charlotte L. Glover - Thursday PM
letter Smoke-free Valentine's Day Dinner? By Rick Grams - Thursday PM
letterElizabeth Peratrovich Day By Janice Jackson - Tuesday PM
letterLosing Our Soul, Speeding Up Around a Blind Curve By Jill Bohr Jacob - Tuesday PM
letter Children of Smokers By Valerie Hendel - Tuesday PM
letter Smoke-free Valentine's Day Dinner? By Kim Flores - Tuesday PM
letter Different Views By Dinah Pearson - Tuesday PM
letterBorough Bus Should Go To Airport By Anna Hoon - Tuesday PM
letterWhat People Think By Jerry Cegelske - Tuesday AM
letter Airport Shuttle Was Best Idea By Ken Levy - Tuesday AM
letter Smoking By Robert McRoberts - Tuesday AM
letter Disclosure vs Shorter Session By Rep. Peggy Wilson - Monday PM
letter Government regulation of smoking in cars with children By Devin Klose - Monday PM
letterVehicular Homicide By Rob Holston - Monday PM
letter Trash Everywhere By Andrea Wick - Monday PM
letter Re Firing Squad By Carl Webb - Monday PM
letter Thank You Dr. Walton and staff By Agnes Moran - Sunday PM
letter Welcoming Letter to the Tourists By Carol Christoffe - Sunday PM
letter KETCHIKAN BOROUGH Airporter BUS.. A Solution? By Gigi Pilcher - Sunday PM
letter No Bridge By Don Hoff Jr. - Sunday PM
letter Pro Family Choice By Charlanne Heath - Sunday PM
letter RE: Children Without Choices By Dave Kiffer - Sunday PM
It IS different By Dinah Pearson - Sunday PM
letter Child abuse in Cars? By Ron Currit - Sunday PM
letter Bring your rubber boots & help clean up By Gretchen Klein - Sunday PM
letter Why is this happening in Ketchikan By Tony Gwynn - Sunday PM
letterTHANK 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 City Council will hold a regular meeting on Thursday, February 15, 2007 in the City Council Chambers at 7:00 pm.
pdfDownload the Agenda. Click on each agenda item to download the information packet.


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Columns - Commentary

Tom Purcell: For Valentine's Day - When There Was Romance - Hey, pallie, what the heck happened to romance?
I use the word "pallie" in deference to the great Dean Martin. Last summer, just before the annual Dean Martin Festival in Dino's home town of Steubenville, Ohio, I decided to compare today's hits with his.

I started with the No. 1 song on Billboard Magazine's Hot 100 list, "Hips Don't Lie" by Shakira. This song was a hit, no doubt, because of its eloquent lyrics:

Nobody can ignore the way you move your body, girl
And everything so unexpected -- the way you right and left it
So you can keep on shaking it

No. 2 on the list was "Ridin'" by Chamillionaire, a rap performer. Here's a little taste of that song's poetry:

Tippin' down, sittin' crooked on my chrome
Bookin' my phone, tryin' to find a chick I wanna (slang expletive)

No. 3 on the list was "Promiscuous" by Nelly Furtado, a song brimming with love and affection:

You expect me to let you just hit it
But will you still respect me if you get it

Ah, modern romance. Things sure have changed since Dino dropped off the charts. Now I know why: Romance is dead. - More...
Tuesday PM - February 13, 2007

Dave Kiffer: Our Cajun Sister State - I read recently that the most popular baby names in Alaska are "Madison" for girls and "Ethan" for boys.

It seems odd to name a young girl after either a president or an avenue, but what do I know? Maybe there are a lot more "Splash" fans out there than I realize.

The name Ethan has been a pretty popular one for boys for some time, so that is no surprise.

Once upon a time just about every young child was named either John or Mary, so at least we are progressing beyond that.

After all, it could be like the 1890s when an awful lot of kids were being saddled with Gertrude and Horace.

Naming someone Gertrude or Horace in 2007 would lead to a later-in-life lawsuit for "parental malpractice."

I was curious about baby names in other states so I checked with the Social Security Administration website to see where Alaska's name choices ranked. - More...
Monday PM - February 12, 2007

Jason Love: Computer Hell - It was a typical day -- chop wood, carry water -- when I got a pop-up from Symantec: "Your Norton virus definitions are about to expire. Renew now?"

I thought virus definitions went on forever like the giant tortoise or Dick Clark. Evidently, they have to be renewed any time Norton demands "payment."

The Internet was such a good idea on paper. Now we tiptoe through the day afraid of spyware and macros and worms -- oh, my. It's enough to make you become a plumber.

What do hackers get out of the virus anyway? They're not even around to enjoy their evil. It's like ordering a pizza to someone else's house:

"I'll bet they're opening the door right now ... I'll just bet ..."

Norton promotes itself the same way our government does: "malicious threat" ... "security risk" ... "buy this or die!" Norton is even now spreading new viruses should we fail to pony up. So it goes. - More...
Monday PM - February 12, 2007

Ann McFeatters: An unrealistic budget - President Bush's spending blueprint for the rest of his term is what his father used to call "voodoo economics" - cut taxes, increase spending on the military and balance the budget - with a lot of devils in the details.

Nobody is going to spend much time on the president's massive $2.9 trillion budget proposal as written. With Democrats controlling, barely, the House and Senate, it's proverbially dead on arrival. But it is important to look at the budget because this once-a-year exercise tells us where Bush wants to take us for the next two years.

The thinking in the White House is that if unrealistic budgeting was good enough for Ronald Reagan, it's good enough for his wannabe clone. But Reagan's sleight-of-hand figuring gave the country enormous deficits. Also, George W. Bush is not Ronald W. Reagan. This president has already spent his political capital on Iraq.

This White House is to be congratulated for finally including the cost of the war in Iraq in its budget - instead of sending up off-budget spending resolutions, as it has been doing. (We will have spent more for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan than we did in Vietnam, even adjusted for inflation.) But the buck stops there. - More...
Monday PM - February 12, 2007

Dan K. Thomasson: Communities bear burden of Iraq - Not long ago while perusing reports of the daily slaughter in Iraq, I noticed that one of those killed in action was a 48-year-old enlisted man with five children.

What, I asked myself, is a man of that age with those responsibilities doing in this fight? We didn't take those men in World War II. Then it occurred to me. He was either a member of the National Guard or the Reserve.

The recent casualty lists from Iraq reflect a military problem common to most wars but punctuated in this one by the apparent lack of professional troops, a reliance on citizen soldiers who signed up for the National Guard to serve their states and to be called up to federal duty in extraordinary times. Iraq seems to be one of those times as the U.S. military struggles to keep up with the manpower demands.

The result has been the loss of their services, often permanently, to their families and communities that was never anticipated when they enlisted for part time duty in what has been known, sometimes derisively and unfairly, as the "weekend warriors." These are often men and women approaching middle age who come from the same locale, not 18-year-old regular military volunteers who come together from different parts of the country. The impact, therefore, can be devastating to their towns.

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who is running for the Republican presidential nomination, sees this as one of the major concerns of the continuing long-term deployment of Guard troops, calling the overuse of these forces the result of "a tone deafness" that has plagued the war planning and management from the beginning. He notes that in his state 80 percent of the guard has been called to fight in Iraq, "exacting a huge strain on families and employers both private and public." The losses to community services include policemen, nurses and teachers, fathers and mothers. - More...
Monday PM - February 12, 2007

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