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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
February 25, 2007

Front Page Photo by

Walk'n the Dog
Marta Poore and her dog Fred enjoy an outting in the snow Friday morning.
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Fish Factor: Reporting of Alaska's Seafood Harvesting Labor Data Could Be Improved By LAINE WELCH - Alaska's seafood industry provides more jobs than oil and gas, mining, agriculture and forestry combined. However, a lack of harvesting labor data means there is no way to realistically estimate the number of crew members who work in any given community or census area.

That hampers efforts by fisheries-dependent communities to influence public policy-making, build infrastructure and grow local economies, concludes a new report by Anchorage-based Northern Economics, Inc. Titled "Improving Seafood Harvesting Labor Data," the report outlines ways in which collection and reporting of Alaska's seafood harvesting labor data could be improved.

Git'er Down

Git 'er Down

He was not a Smart Gear contest winner, but that didn't stop Alaskan Ace Callaway from refining and patenting a gear to protect fragile rockfish. Callaway lives in Fairbanks and operates a sports charter boat each summer out of Valdez.
Read Git'er Down in today's Fish Factor...

"State and federal policy makers are often in the position of having to make decisions that will impact crew members and communities without having any historical information about the seafood harvesters. In fact, in most cases policy-makers generally know more about the average fish than they do about the average fisherman," said Wanetta Ayers, director of the Southwest Alaska Municipal Conference (SWAMC), which commissioned the report.

Fishing crew are considered contract workers, not employees, so no wage and salary reporting is required by the state Dept. of Labor, explained report author Marcus Hartley. "The number of crew licenses is collected each year by communities, but those are general to all commercial fisheries," Hartley said.

A 2005 report by the Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game summarizes the dilemma by stating: "Using existing data, it is not possible to know if the crewmember fished at all, where they fished, how much they fished, how many crew fished from a vessel, or how much they earned."

The lack of harvesting data also results in an inability of individuals and communities to access federal programs and grant funds that are readily available to others. - More...
Sunday AM - February 25, 2007


Washington Calling: Daylight saving ... cost overruns ... affinity cards ... more By LISA HOFFMAN - Are you aware that daylight-saving time begins in about two weeks?

Rep. Ed Markey doubts you are, and he's goosing the Department of Transportation to get on the stick and spread the word.

The Massachusetts Democrat led Congress in 2005 to bump up the spring time switch by three weeks, and March 11 is the first time the change takes effect.

Concern is growing that many computers and other digital devices won't recognize the time change because they were programmed before 2005. Microsoft and other companies are alerting customers that they should install software updates to avoid disruption and confusion.

But Markey says Transportation, the agency in charge of educating the public about the change, has done little to publicize the fast-approaching date.

Indeed, as of late this week, neither the Transportation homepage - - nor its "FAQ" or news links had a word on the change.


The U.S. Capitol Visitor Center, an underground behemoth that will serve both to boost security and educate tourists, is falling even further behind schedule. Since November alone, construction slipped by two months, pushing the center's completion date from October to December 2007. This time, the main problem was delays in installing the fire-alarm and smoke-control systems, according to the U.S. Government Accountability Office.

Originally scheduled to open in 2005 at a cost of $265 million, the center now is likely to debut in early 2008 at nearly double the cost, GAO auditors predict.


Move over, affinity credit cards. The new way to contribute to a cause is via cell phone. Just launched is Planned Parenthood Wireless, which will reap 10 percent of the wireless charges racked up by pro-choice consumers who sign up for the plan. Subscribers also will receive free calls between plan members, who can keep their current mobile-phone numbers, and those who sign up by March 31 will get a free camera phone.


Maybe they could build a wall.

Despite billions spent to combat invasive species brought into the United States in recent years, there are more invaders than ever before. Everglades Park rangers have resorted to implanting radio transmitters inside seven Burmese pythons caught in the marshland, using them to find and kill more of their own kind. Ash borers and an oak disease are threatening to cost the timber industry upward of $30 billion.

Exotic pet imports are blamed for many of the critter problems, but a new Nature Conservancy report says the biggest culprits are plant pests that hitchhike into the United States on board some 2.5 billion live plants imported into the country each year. The study calls on the Agriculture Department's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service to revise its rules to confine imports to more restrictive holding areas until they can be thoroughly assessed for disease or pests.

But Ag official David Tenney recently told a conference that he fears the effort to stop invasive species "is not a battle we are going to win ultimately." - More...
Sunday AM - February 25, 2007


Basic Rules

letter Encourage a Round Log Export Ban By Larry Jackson - Sunday AM
letter Soccer at the Ketchikan Rec Center By Tony Gwynn - Sunday AM
letter All Eyes on Gravina By Gregory Vickrey - Sunday AM
letterPromotional Flyers By Bobbie McCreary - Sunday AM
letter Gravina Access Highway and Bostwick Road: Immoral, Illegal, Unchecked By Jessie Ballowe - Sunday AM
letter "Thanks" By Jerry Cegelske - Sunday AM
letter Gravina Island By Stephanie Patton - Sunday AM
letterJune Allen By Chris Elliott - Sunday AM
letter Palmer, AK By Lynn Dockendorf - Sunday AM
letter What is Victory in Iraq? By Mark S. Beatty - Sunday AM
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
letter More Viewpoints/ Letters
letter Publish A Letter


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Columns - Commentary

Jason Love: Spin Class - When I arrive at the gym, I feel satisfied with the achievement. That was the deal, right? Go to the gym. Any work I do after that point is pretty much gravy.

Mmm. Gravy.

You can always tell the regulars from those of us undoing 10 years of beer and pizza. The square-headed men grow so big that they can't even bend their own elbows.

"Hey, Bob. Do me a favor -- scratch this itch on my chin."

The ladies spend more time with the Stairmasters. If I owned a gym, I would just build it on top of a really steep hill, and by the time people reached the door from the parking lot below, their workout would be over. Think of the savings!

Recently, I followed a flock of women into spin class, which I had always avoided for two reasons: 1. questions have already been raised about my masculinity, and 2. it seemed tedious as all get-outa-here. I mean, maybe if they were performing some function like churning butter or generating electricity...

Being a macho manly man, I decided to try anyway. This was, after all, the same activity that I mastered at age six on my Big Wheel.

The regulars were all smiles, helping me with the knobs. Righty-tighty, lefty-loosey. One woman was indecently thin, as in management might intervene.

"We're sorry, Kitty, but you've become entirely too skinny. We're going to have to cut you off."

I want a thin physique, just not as much as I want desert. Had I been Gandhi, I would have tried a different tack altogether -- to eat and eat until the British moved out or I finally exploded. - More...
Sunday AM - February 25, 2007

Preston McDougall: Chemical Eye on Lincoln Blogs - If money really could talk, I presume one of the first things it would say is "What does E Pluribus Unum mean? After all, Latin was a "dead language" long before anybody started whispering their heart's desires to amphibious pennies.

To a pocket translator, it means "From many, one." But what does it mean to you? Or, to get to the point, what does it mean to us?

Every great President has forged this motto into a timeless message that best served the needs of the country at the time. JFK did it in a grammatically awkward way, when he memorably prepositioned his message with "Ask not what".

For my money, though, Lincoln's second inaugural address echoes most loudly during this time of national division and international strife. You know the best part of it - by heart - even if you haven't seen it carved in marble on the North wall of the Lincoln Memorial. I'll bet a Franklin that most Americans would give me back a "with charity for all" if I gave them a "With malice toward none".

Just before Presidents' Day this year, I was visiting the Lincoln Memorial while the U.S. House of Representatives was debating the Iraq war. Coincidentally, the last time I had visited Lincoln was also around Presidents' Day, but back in 2002 and with my two sons. - More...
Sunday AM - February 25, 2007

Bob Ciminel: Give Me That Old Time Religion - Please! - A couple of weeks ago I attended a christening at a Presbyterian church near downtown Atlanta. From the size of its parking lot, this church had a large congregation. Of course size is relative, and this house of worship was small compared to the Southern Baptist church out where I live. It has a parking lot that would put some shopping malls to shame.

I would say the congregation was young to middle-aged, with a really good mix of ethnicities and nationalities, and that usually means it is a vibrant church with lots of kids. As with size, the term middle-age is also relative. I, for example, am in my early Sixties, but I plan on living until I'm 120 so that makes me middle-aged, right?

They say that first impressions are lasting impressions, so when I walked into the church foyer I was impressed with its modern appearance and the friendliness of the people who greeted us. So far, so good; everything correlated with my expectations for a Presbyterian church in a large metropolitan area. However, things kind of went downhill from there.

When I entered the sanctuary I expected to see the traditional cross hanging over an altar and a seating area for the choir with a pipe organ or piano nearby. That seems to be fairly standard for most Protestant churches, although as an ex-Catholic I prefer an arrangement with the choir and organ in the back of the church. After all, we are supposed to go to church to commune with God, not watch a show. - More...
Sunday AM - February 25, 2007

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