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February 19, 2007

Harry Nunan & the New England Fish Company

Harry Nunan & the New England Fish Company
New England Fish Company complex from the Tongass Narrows, circa 1930
New England Fish Company Photo Album
Donor: Howard Lee, Tongass Historical Society
Photograph courtesy Ketchikan Museums

Top Stories
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Ketchikan: Harry Nunan & the New England Fish Company - A feature story By LOUISE BRINCK HARRINGTON - Boat loads of halibut, salmon and sablefish. The steamers New England, Kingfisher, Manhattan and schooners Knickerbocker, Prospector and Tyee coming and going. Trolling boats, tenders, seiners and gill-netters tied to the wharf. Floating traps, fish pirates, overdue and lost vessels, shipwrecks, cannery fires and dock accidentsthese were everyday happenings at the New England Fish Company plant in Ketchikan. And the manager of the plant dealt with them all. - More...
Monday - February 19, 2007


Fish Factor: Alaska Lawmakers Say 'No Way' to Hefty WA Shipping Tax By LAINE WELCH - Alaska lawmakers and the seafood industry are saying 'no way' to Washington senators who aim to put a hefty new tax on shipping containers.

The Washington State Senate is considering a bill (SB 5207) that would impose a $50 fee per 20-foot equivalents for shipping containers at Puget Sound ports. The industry standard is 40 feet.

'So a 40 foot container would be taxed $100. That's both directions - inbound and outbound ­ on all products," said Kathy Hanson of the Southeast Alaska Fishermen's Alliance and statewide chair for United Fishermen of Alaska, which opposes the tax.

The senators claim the money is needed "to mitigate the enormous burden imposed on the state transportation system by the overland movement of cargo shipped to and from Washington State ports." The tax would be imposed on marine terminal operators, who would keep 10 percent to cover accounting costs. The remaining 90 percent would be spent on infrastructure improvements to state of Washington ports.

The people of Washington should pay for those improvements, not Alaskans, said Rep. Bill Thomas (R-Haines). Thomas has sponsored a joint resolution (HJR 8) opposing the container tax. Thomas points out that the AK/WA shipping connection provides $4 billion in commerce, and he suggests that Washington find other ways to fund its port fix ups.

Major Alaska seafood companies also oppose the measure 'out of hand', said Glenn Reed of the Pacific Seafood Processors Association. He said according to analyses done by the bill sponsors, 25 percent of the container traffic coming in and out of Washington ports are from Alaska.

"I understand the first year the tax would be expected to raise more than $300 million and close to half a billion dollars in total taxes within three years - 25 percent of which would be impacting Alaskan trade" Reed said.

Reed said the bill is unlikely to pass at the $50 tax rate and "compromise" numbers are being bandied about. Meanwhile, Reed said Alaska shippers are considering doing business with alternative ports. "Depending on how many containers you ship, the numbers get pretty big, pretty quick." - More...
Monday - February 19, 2007


Southeast Alaska: Over 500 Species of Lichen in Southeast Alaska By SARAH RED-LAIRD - Artic Kidney, Pixie cup, Old Man's Beard, Lungwort, Flaky Freckle Pelt, Crinkled Rag, Dimpled Specklebelly, Witch's Hair, British Soldiers, Pimpled Kidney, Devil's Matchstick, and Fairy Barf.

This colorful list of names is not ingredients' for a witch's stew, but little friends we have right here in our back yard. As fascinating looking as they sound, we are talking about lichens.

Witch's hair (alectoria sarmentosa)
Photo by Sarah Red-Laird

What is lichen? We have all heard the word uttered, have definitely seen it around, and some of us can even identify a few of the 500 species we have here in southeast Alaska. But what is lichen exactly? What does it do, what is it good for? In this article, we'll explore the wide world of lichens.

Lichen is a symbiotic relationship between fungus and algae, or cyanobacteria. There are four basic categories: Foliose, the flat leafy lichens; Crustose, crusty and hard lichens that are found on rocks, or buried in tree bark; Fruticose, mini shrub like or long and flowing lichens; and Squamulose, scaly lichens that look like a cross between foliose and crustose.

Lichen come in a most remarkable array of colors. Elegant sunburst lichen, which prefers rocky surfaces, is bright orange and resembles a flattened sea coral. Devil's Matchstick, which loves to strike up on mossy boulders, has a shinny black head attached to a sea foam green stock. British soldiers have a similar stock, but with a flaming lipstick red top. Tundra spaghetti looks just like it sounds, long white tubes, which grow in the alpine zone in southeast Alaska. Lungwort was given its name by medieval healers, because its texture so closely resembles lung tissue, even though it is a bright, rich green.

Lichens are a pioneer species. They often grow where nothing else can, and pave the way for other species to colonize, as well. You may often see lichens on bare rock, desert or glacial sand, dead wood, animal bones, or rusty metal. You won't notice them changing much, though. Most lichen colonies grow less than a millimeter per year. Growing slowly, but surely, some lichens are thought to be the oldest living things on earth. - More...
Monday - February 19, 2007


Basic Rules

letter Newtown Zoning By Christy Showalter - Sunday PM
letter It is time for our whole Country to go to war By Patrick Jirschele - Sunday PM
letter Death of Gordan Wright By Roger McDonald - Sunday PM
letterForest Service Plan: Clearcuts Help Stop Global Warming By Soren Wuerth - Sunday PM
letter Novel litter idea By Dan Patton - Sunday PM
letter RE: More Smoke By Willi & Kären Johannsen - Sunday PM
letter Ban Smoking in restaurants By Taylor McDonald - Sunday PM
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 More Viewpoints/ Letters
letter Publish A Letter


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Columns - Commentary

Ann McFeatters: Be defiant and read this - Since you are reading this (bless you), you have not succumbed to what many think is the next big trend - the end of the written word.

Newspapers are in big trouble - circulation is falling for many if not most papers. Wall Street hates newspapers on the grounds they don't make as much money as they used to make, although compared with many other businesses they are still lucrative. Advertisers are seeking new venues.

The number of books published in this country is declining. As many as 40 million American adults are barely literate. Many college students are doing more poorly than their predecessors did on reading-comprehension tests.

Instead, we are watching more television, playing video games and being mesmerized by online graphics.

Is this bad? And what is it going to do to the practice of democracy?

Some think this is a good trend, which will lead to less stigmatizing of people because they can't read or write. In other words, people are not stupid just because they are not literate. - More...
Sunday PM - February 18, 2007

Dan K. Thomasson: That was then ... and now is what really matters - The thorniest question in the current free for all for both the Democratic and Republican presidential nominations unfortunately may be one that is also highly unfair and actually irrelevant - whether the candidate voted for the resolution supporting the invasion of Iraq. Well, who cares?

It is not unlike holding one accountable in 1968 for voting for the Gulf of Tonkin resolution, which completely changed the nature of U.S. involvement in Vietnam. Nearly everyone did. Both resolutions were based on assumptions that later turned out to be false and, in the case of the Tonkin Gulf on an event that may not even have happened.

But faced with the available information at hand both times few members of Congress were willing to vote "no."

In both instances, voting for or against the military action called for was (as historically is often the case) a political crapshoot. If the assumptions proved to be correct and the war goes well, all the supporters are home free. If it turns out badly, of course, all the supporters are held accountable. But few have the courage to deny a president his wishes in these cases when presented with what seemed to be a credible reason for proceeding. Once engaged, troop support then tempers opposition. - More...
Sunday PM - February 18, 2007

Steve Brewer: As the years pile on, so do the maintenance issues - Having recently "celebrated" the passing of a milestone birthday (one that ends in a zero), I've given much thought lately to aging.

I've decided it's not impending mortality that makes getting older so hard to take. It's not the decline in vitality and possibility. The worst part of aging is all the darn maintenance.

Talk about a paradox. We have less life ahead of us with every passing day, but more and more of our dwindling time is spent on caring for our faces and our bodies and our overall health. By the time we finally take our final breaths, we're ready to die, just so we can stop fussing with our hair.

It's so much easier for the young. I watch my sons get ready for school in the morning and marvel at how little effort is required. They roll out of bed, throw on some clothes from the array on the floor, shovel in some breakfast, and they're ready to go. They barely give the mirror a glance. They're teens, they're male, they assume they look fine.

If pressed, I can still do the quick shower and dress and out-the-door in 15 minutes. (What we call around here "sliding down the Batpole.") But most mornings require that more attention be paid to the mirror. - More...
Sunday PM - February 18, 2007

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