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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
February 23, 2007

Front Page Photo by Chris Wilhelm

Masters Show Off Muscles
Five swimmers from Ketchikan participated in the Anchorage Statewide Invitational Masters Swim Meet held on February 16th and 17th. They are (back row) Dawn Allen-Herron, Amanda Welsh, (front row) Bill Elberson, Fred Jorgensen,
and Kelly Reppert. - More...
Front Page Photo by Chris Wilhelm

Top Stories
U.S. News
U.S. Politics


Ketchikan: Ketchikan Man Gives Heroic Last Gift - There are 95,000 people waiting for organ transplants nationally. In January, a 41-year-old man in Ketchikan helped four of those people through his final and generous wish to be an organ donor.

David McLean, an Alaska native, donated both of his kidneys, his liver and heart as an organ donor. With these transplants, he was able to give new life to four people waiting for the gift of life. "We are so proud of David for saving these people's lives," says his mother, Nancy Ross of Ketchikan.

Ketchikan General Hospital, along with the family of David McLean who requested that his organs be used to bring life to others, were recently part of an amazing transplant story. Alaska's designated Organ Procurement Organization, LifeCenter Northwest, worked with a KGH medical team and McLean's family to recover the organs and transfer them by air to the waiting recipients. Ketchikan airport personnel stood by in order to keep the runways open during a snowstorm, while medical teams in distant states prepared patients to receive organ transplants and a second chance at life. - More...
Friday AM - February 23, 2007

Alaska: Resolution Passed Opposing WA Container Tax - The Alaska House of Representatives on Wednesday unanimously passed HJR 8, opposing the adoption of a container tax currently under consideration in the Washington State Senate. The proposed tax would be levied on every container crossing the docks in Puget Sound, at a rate of $50 per 20 ft. equivalent. Most goods coming to Alaska travel in 40 ft. containers, which means the total fee for crossing the dock out-bound and upon return would be $200.

The resolution's prime sponsor, Rep. Bill Thomas (R-Haines), said the proposed tax amounts to an unnecessary tax, which would be substantially paid by Alaskan consumers.

"Alaska depends heavily on goods shipped through ports in Washington State, which has been the case since the Klondike gold rush of 1897," Thomas said. "Over the past 110 years, commerce with Alaska has been very profitable for Puget Sound ports. Many people do not realize Alaska is the Puget Sound's fifth largest trading partner. The close economic connection between our two states is responsible for at least 103,500 jobs and more than $4 billion in commerce."

Chairman of the House Transportation Committee, Rep. Johansen (R-Ketchikan) is a co-sponsor of the resolution. He attached an amendment to the resolution urging the Attorney General for the State of Alaska to research the legal issues raised by such a tax and to file an injunction to stop the tax from being levied for even one day on Alaskans. "Now the resolution puts the Washington Legislature on notice that if they pass this poorly thought out tax, Alaska will immediately challenge it in court", said Rep. Johansen. "There are strong Federal Commerce Clause issues and International Trade and Treaty issues. I want Alaska ready to assert them and stop this tax immediately". - More...
Friday AM - February 23, 2007


Alaska: Palin Outlines Continued Support for Seniors - Alaska Governor Sarah Palin introduced legislation on Wednesday to continue support for low-income older Alaskans by extending the Alaska SeniorCare Program. Without passage of this legislation, the program will end June 30, 2007.

"We must support our seniors," Governor Palin said. "I'm pleased to present a plan that continues this important assistance to Alaska seniors, and helps keep pace with cost-of-living changes."

The SeniorCare program was created in 2003 to help low-income Alaska seniors with monthly cash payments of $120. The program was expanded in 2005 to help cover prescription drug costs. Currently, nearly 7,000 Alaskans are enrolled in the SeniorCare cash assistance program and about 140 receive prescription support. - More...
Friday AM - February 23, 2007

Alaska: Governor Announces 12.6 percent Export Growth - Alaska Governor Sarah Palin on Thursday announced the value of Alaska's exports grew to a record-high $4 billion in 2006, a 12.6 percent increase.

"Alaskans have been first-rate at international trade for decades," said Governor Palin. "I applaud the hard-working Alaskans who help our economy at home, and other economies around the world, through trade." - More...
Friday AM - February 23, 2007

Alaska: Fur flies over bear hunt By ALEX deMARBAN - Flooded with critical e-mails and letters, Alaska fish and game officials want the state's Board of Game to undo its recent decision allowing bear hunts near one of the world's premier bear-viewing areas.

The staff recommendation says bear numbers near the McNeil River State Game Sanctuary are healthy and won't be jeopardized by the first hunt in 22 years. - More...
Friday AM - February 23, 2007

Science - Technology: New findings cast doubt on first people in New World By LEE BOWMAN - The people who for decades have been presumed to be the first inhabitants of the New World probably were not, according to a new study dating tools to a more recent age about 12,000 years ago.

Perhaps more surprising, though, is that the distinctive stone spear points chipped out by what's come to be known as the Clovis culture became the rage across much of two continents in as little as 200 years. - More...
Friday AM - February 23, 2007

Science - Technology: New time change seen as causing discomfort, not disaster By TOM ABATE - In 2005, Congress decided that Americans needed a little more sunshine in their lives and ordered that daylight-saving time be extended four weeks beginning this year.

Now with clocks slated to spring forward three weeks earlier than usual, on March 11, high-tech pundits are wondering how big a headache this will cause for computer users - and whether this will be a replay of the Y2K-bug drama of 1999.

For instance, airlines could be thrown off schedule, creating havoc for travelers. People could miss meetings. Cell-phone calls could be mistakenly billed during peak hours. All kinds of automatic orders and messages could be mistimed. - More...
Friday AM - February 23, 2007

Pollen Scientist...

Pollen scientist was one of a kind
Jim Anderson holds the leash of one of his Samoyed dogs at a Fairbanks dog show in 1993.
Photo courtesy Carol Haas.

Alaska: Pollen scientist was one of a kind By NED ROZELL - Jim Anderson has died, and the world is a more boring place.

Anderson was 66. He suffered from ALS, Lou Gehrig's disease, for several years before his death. A few weeks ago, the disease killed him. I felt a pang of loss even though I spoke only a few times with the former librarian of the Biosciences Library at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

I remember a man who dressed in colorful plaid jackets with wide lapels, someone who was a good interview because he knew his stuff so thoroughly. Until his death, I didn't know he lived alone in a cabin with two Samoyed dogs, 25 typewriters, hundreds of teddy bears, 700 sport coats, and that he had a collection of 12,000 books on his property.

"Sometimes I think people noticed only the eccentricities and the compulsions Jim had (such as collecting 7,000 neckties), and miss the value of that very compulsiveness," Karen Jensen wrote in an email. Jensen was Anderson's co-worker for a few years at the Biosciences Library.

One of those compulsions for Anderson was the study of a small airborne irritant that each spring makes life miserable for one in five northern people: pollen. For years, he sampled pollen with a mechanized air-sniffer on the roof of the Arctic Health building on the UAF campus. By being meticulous in counting the pollen grains trapped on the clear film of his samplers, Anderson came up with a pollen calendar for Fairbanks, and later Anchorage. His calendar shows that birch trees in both cities release the most pollen-up to 4,500 grains per square meter of air-from May 10 through the 20th. - More...
Friday AM - February 23, 2007

Bueza Named Employee of the Month at KGH
Carmen Bueza
Photo courtesy KGH

Ketchikan: Bueza Named Employee of the Month at KGH - Carmen Bueza, Environmental Services Attendant at Ketchikan General Hospital (KGH), was named Employee of the Month by a committee of her peers. Bueza has been an employee of the hospital since 1980.

Bueza arrived in the United States from the Philippines about 30 years ago, and lived briefly in California before traveling to Ketchikan to join a cousin. At Ketchikan General Hospital she has worked in many different areas, and currently has responsibility for the New Horizons Transitional Care Unit. - More...
Friday AM - February 23, 2007

Ketchikan: Gregg Elected Chair of TFCU Board of Directors - Mary Gregg of Ketchikan was elected Chair of the Tongass Federal Credit Union Board of Directors Thursday, Feb. 22nd. Other officers are Todd Ranniger, Vice Chair; Jeanne Sande, Secretary; and Larry Tillotson, Treasurer.

Elections followed the credit union's annual membership meeting February 17th, at which time Mary Gregg and Jeanne Sande were re-elected to three-year terms, and Travis Robbins was elected to complete one year remaining on Bill Hollywood's term. Gregg owns a business providing accounting services to small businesses, Sande is a retired teacher and Robbins is a Ketchikan Police Department patrol officer . Hollywood served eight years on the board and resigned due to travel plans this year. - More...
Friday AM - February 23, 2007


Basic Rules

letterThe Stedman By Al Johnson - Friday AM
letter Legislators' Salaries By Rick Krueger - Friday AM
letterKetchikan Bridge Project: Open Letter to the Governor By Robert Warner - Friday AM
letter The Stedman Hotel... By Pamela (Stevens) Dunn - Thursday AM
letterGravina Project: Open Letter to Governor Palin By David Beebe - Thursday AM
letter Stop the Road Building on Gravina By P. J. Travis - Thursday AM
letter Out Of Site Out Of Mind By Ken Levy - Thursday AM
letter Ban Nicotine Nationwide By Chris Elliott - Thursday AM
letterKeep public facilities open and affordable By Bill Thomas Sr. - Wednesday AM
letter Road Conditions By Dave Hanger - Tuesday PM
letter Open Letter To Governor Palin regarding the Gravina Access Highway By Heather Hollowell - Tuesday PM
letter Re: Novel litter idea By Karen Ramsey - Tuesday PM
letter Youth Indoor Soccer League By Phil Doherty - Tuesday PM
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

Tom Purcell: A Clever Tax Scheme - "Let me get this straight. You've developed a foolproof scheme to dramatically reduce your taxes."

"You got it. I've been working to perfect it for a long time, but, boy, does it work."

"Get to it then."

"In the old days, I dreamed of getting rich. I started my own business and worked my tail off. It was then I learned I had silent partners."

"Silent partners?"

"Yes, the local, state and federal governments. They considered every dollar of profit a dollar of taxable income. When I realized how much my taxes were, I nearly ate my checkbook."

"But of course. When you were an employee, many taxes were hidden from you. When you become self-employed, all those taxes became painfully visible."

"Precisely. My employer had paid half my Social Security and Medicare taxes. My employer paid my workers' compensation, health insurance and other benefits. I had no idea that the total cost of employing me was roughly 30 percent more than my salary." - More...
Friday AM - February 23, 2007

Ann McFeatters: Bush administration is MIA when it comes to healing our soldiers - A day at Walter Reed Army Medical Center is an eye-opener - about our soldiers, our government generally and the Bush administration.

I visited the renowned hospital complex after The Washington Post ran a series of articles exposing serious problems at the center, where as many as one-fourth of our injured soldiers from Iraq and Afghanistan are treated. The halls are swarming with the wounded and their families. Residential facilities for recuperating soldiers and their spouses have a long waiting list.

The Post reported that soldiers are housed in deteriorated conditions of mold, mice infestations, disrepair and inadequate facilities for amputees. Depression and post-traumatic stress syndrome are often overlooked. Nightmarish paperwork stymies even the most aggressive.

What I saw was not a lack of caring or quality medical care. But I found a soldier without his legs sent in four different directions for four forms over the course of a day. His exhausted wife, near tears, was pushing him in a wheelchair through ice.

I talked with a woman whose husband has been in and out of Walter Reed for nearly two years after losing his face in war. He sat calmly waiting for yet another surgery attempting to craft features such as a nose and a lip. His wife had nothing but praise for his plastic surgeons. But she said Walter Reed's bureaucratic morass is unbelievable. - More...
Friday AM - February 23, 2007

Clifford D. May: A war of ideas - In Iraq, we have been losing not clashes of arms but clashes of perceptions. Our enemies understood early on that they could not defeat American troops in combat. But they were clever enough to realize they didn't need to. Instead, they could win a war of ideas.

Their strategy was audacious: They would target their enemies - "occupiers," "infidels" and "collaborators" - only opportunistically and sporadically. Their most lethal weapon, the suicide-bomber, they would deploy against ordinary Iraqis shopping in the market, waiting on line for jobs, sitting in cafes.

One might have expected the fabled "Arab Street" to erupt over the slaughter of fellow Arabs. It did not do so. Muslims around the world ought to have been furious over seeing their co-religionists killed in cold blood. They were not.

Nor were Europeans outraged at the mass murder of innocents. On the contrary, many expressed something close to admiration for what they persisted in calling the "Resistance." - More...
Friday AM - February 23, 2007

Arts & Entertainment

Ketchikan: The Arts This Week - KTB's An Evening of Dance featuring the Ketchikan Theatre Ballet's Junior and Senior Company Dancers will take place on the Kayhi Stage on Thursday, Feb. 22 and Friday, Feb. 23, 7:30pm. Tickets are now on sale, call 225-9311 for more info or tickets by phone.

Mainstay Gallery 2007- 2008 season Call to Artists. The Mainstay Gallery Committee invites artists and curators working in all media to submit exhibit proposals for the next gallery season. Proposals are due by 5pm, Friday, Feb. 23. A full Call to Artists including guidelines is available at the Arts Council office and online at If you would like assistance or input on your proposal, consultations are available. Call Lacey at 225-2211 or email at to arrange a time to discuss your proposal ideas and design.

Author Nancy White Carlstrom makes a rare library appearance beginning at 6pm on Monday, February 26. Ms. Carlstrom is one of the most beloved picture book writers in the country with over 50 books written including the classics "Jessie Bear, What Will You Wear," "Happy Birthday, Jesse Bear," "Raven and River," and "Does God Know How to Tie Shoes." A book signing will follow with books provided by Parnassus Books. More information is available at 225-0370. - More...
Friday AM - February 23, 2007

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