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SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska
March 02, 2006

Gravina Bridge as viewed from Saxman

Statewide Transportation Approved By Feds
Funds For Gravina & Knik bridge projects amended

Ralph M. Bartholomew Veterans Memorial Bridge
Rendering of Ketchikan's Gravina Bridge As Viewed From Saxman.
Rendering courtesy of Gravina Access Project/AKDOT

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Ketchikan: Statewide Transportation Plan Approved by Feds; Funds for the Gravina and Knik bridge projects amended - The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities announced today that its new, 3-year Statewide Transportation Improvement Plan (STIP) has been approved by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). Approval of the STIP means that federal funding for the projects in it, as well as funding for municipal planning organizations in Anchorage and Fairbanks, will be available for the upcoming construction season.

The approved STIP reflects changes from the draft STIP released in mid-November for public comment through December 31. It includes 180 projects that have been either moved up in the STIP priority list, or that were earmarked by Congress in the surface transportation authorization bill last year, but were not included in the draft because DOT did not have complete information on them.

DOT said they have treated the "de-earmarked" bridge funds for the bridge project in Ketchikan and the bridge project in Anchorage in conformance with its regulations. Of the total $452 million originally earmarked for the bridges, 48 percent went into the National Highway System program (NHS), 39 percent into the Community Transportation Program (CTP), eight percent into the Alaska Highway System program (AHS), two percent into amenities, such as bike paths, sidewalks, and waysides under the TRAAK program, and the remaining three percent into a flexible funding category. - More...
Thursday PM - March 02, 2006

National: Stevens Announces He Will Not Pursue Cherry Point Legislation - Senator Ted Stevens (R-AK) today went to the Senate floor to announce that he will not pursue S. 1977, a bill that repeals Section 5 of the 1977 reauthorization of the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972.  S. 1977 would ensure that the Cherry Point refinery in Washington State can continue to receive deliveries of crude oil and maintain its current capacity.

According to Stevens upon its introduction, the bill was met with press releases deliberately mischaracterizing its intent and effect.  These releases claimed the bill would increase tanker traffic and the size of tankers allowed in Puget Sound.  The bill did not raise either of these issues, and Stevens continued to advocate for its passage because it would address Western States' concerns about the impact of high energy prices and limited fuel supply.  - More...
Thursday PM - March 02, 2006

International: Bush Reaffirms Intention To Visit Pakistan Despite Terror Attack - President Bush expressed his condolences to the families of those killed in the March 2nd bombing outside the U.S. consulate in Karachi, Pakistan, but said the attack would not deter him from visiting Pakistan later this week.

"Terrorists and killers are not going to prevent me from going to Pakistan. My trip to Pakistan is an important trip. It's important to talk with President Musharraf about continuing our fight against terrorists," Bush told reporters at a press conference in New Delhi March 2nd. - More...
Thursday PM - March 02, 2006

National: Political hurricane brewing in congressional races By THOMAS HARGROVE - A Democratic takeover of Congress, especially the House, appears possible this year despite conventional wisdom.

Pundits and odds makers recently have upped the numbers of House districts they count as competitive despite a still common assumption that Congress is so carefully gerrymandered that challengers have little hope. - More...
Thursday PM - March 02, 2006

National: A move to ease pesticide laws By JANE KAY - A little-noticed section of a congressional bill to overhaul the Endangered Species Act would give federal regulators a five-year pass from seeking expert scientific advice from wildlife agencies on the harmful effects of pesticides on rare animals and plants, a move environmentalists say would further threaten hundreds of species.

The Environmental Protection Agency evaluates insecticides and herbicides up for registration or, every 15 years, for re-registration. Under the law as it is now, if it finds evidence that a pesticide could affect animals and plants protected by the act, the agency must consult with wildlife agencies before approving its use.- More...
Thursday PM - March 02, 2006

jpg Bush and Singh

President George W. Bush and India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh exchange handshakes Thursday, March 2, 2006, after their press availability at the Hyderabad House in New Delhi.
White House photo by Paul Morse

International: Bush, India's Singh Sign Civil Nuclear Cooperation Agreement - President Bush and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh took a major step toward strengthening U.S.-Indian relations March 2 by concluding a civil nuclear cooperation agreement that would allow U.S. businesses to support the development of India's nuclear power industry.

Bush hailed the agreement as a way to move beyond the era of fossil fuels and ease pressure on global energy markets.

The deal has stirred controversy since the two leaders first proposed the idea during their July 2005 summit in Washington, in part because India is not a signatory of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. However, Bush defended his decision to move ahead with the agreement, saying that India has taken adequate measures to ensure against proliferation risks. - More...
Thursday PM - March 02, 2006

Science - Technology: Leftover lifesavers By JANET MOORE - One afternoon last summer, after reading about a rash of heart-device recalls, Paul Maher made the rounds at several Minneapolis-area funeral homes and collected 54 used pacemakers and heart defibrillators.

None had been returned to the manufacturer - not even the 11 that were subject to safety recalls. - More...
Thursday PM - March 02, 2006


Opinion Poll
Web Polls Are Not
Scientific Polls

On April 11th city voters will have an opportunity to vote on the City of Ketchikan's $38.5 million port improvement bond. How would you vote?

Cast Your Vote

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letter Allegations of Misconduct: Rumors vs Facts By Steve Corporon - Thursday PM
letter Allegations of Misconduct By Debra Azure - Thursday PM
letter We apologize for any misunderstanding By Dennis Pope - Thursday PM
letter WHAT'S GOING ON WITH THE PERMANENT FUND!!! By Rudy McGillvray - Thursday PM
letter Hanging out after school By Daphne Schnur - Thursday PM
letter Support music education By Rob Holston - Thursday PM
letter Alaska Marble By Sandy DeShaw - Thursday PM
letter Port Bond By Steve Ripley - Thursday PM
letterMusical education program close to dwindling away By Brian K. Schum - Wednesday PM
letter Lack of respect and trust shown to students By Teri Matiashowski - Wednesday PM
letterFirst Concern By Taylor McDonald - Wednesday PM
letter Lazy People By Jerry Cegelske - Wednesday PM
letter LET KIDS STAY IN SCHOOL AFTER HOURS By Kevin Mackey - Wednesday PM
letter Bond Poll By Tom Ferry - Wednesday PM
letter Secret investments of public money By Charlotte Tanner - Wednesday PM
letter Wiretapping is nothing new. By Virginia E. Atkinson - Wednesday PM
letter Investing public money secretly By Mary Lynne Dahl - Tuesday PM
letter Don't lower expectations By Vicki Harsha - Tuesday PM
letter What Does the Coast Guard Know? By Alan Lidstone - Tuesday PM
letter What has happen to the Republican Party? By Mike Isaac - Tuesday PM
letter Unique idea... By Rob Glenn - Tuesday PM
letter Public Employees and Teachers Retirement Systems by Rep. John Harris & Rep. Bruce Weyhrauch - Monday PM
letter Keep school doors open By Charles Edwardson - Monday PM
letter Historic Preservation of Newtown By Dave Rubin - Monday PM
letter Possible closing of KEC By Neil Gray - Monday PM
letter Good News On The Move. By George Miller - Monday PM
letter A unique idea By Ken Kirschenman - Monday PM
letter Wasting Money By Robert McRoberts - Monday PM
letterKeep those school doors open By Linda Koons Auger - Sunday PM
letter Permanent fund issues By Gregg Erickson - Sunday PM
letter American Ports By Martha Leftwich - Sunday PM
letterYoung By Peg Travis - Sunday PM
letter More Viewpoints/ Letters
letter Publish A Letter

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March 06, 2006 - Monday - 5:30 pm - Ketchikan Borough Assembly Meeting - City Council Chambers
Agenda & Information Packets

March 01 - March 15: Tongass School of Arts & Sciences begins enrollment for Fall 2006 school year. Enrolling Kindergarten - 6th grades. Enrollment ends March 15th.
TSAS Information pdf

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Feb. - March 2006
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Columns - Commentary   

Dave Kiffer: Citius, Altius, Fortius, Ketchikanius! - Well, the Winter Olympics are finally over.

At least I think they are.

My wife - who normally loves the Olympics and is the only person in North America with a complete set of Olympic Figure Skating Trading Cards - hijacked the TV to watch "American Idol" the past two weeks.

So I never actually saw the Olympic flame get doused in Turin, but I have to think that since it was been six days since I have seen a "Bode Miller off course" headline in the Daily Fish Wrap that the games have finally run their course.

Now it is time to think about Ketchikan's bid to host the 2014 Winter Olympics.

What, you say? We have no facilities? Like that stopped Athens from bidding on the 2004 summer games! As far as I could tell, its 2004 Olympic facilities were finally completed sometime in the fall of 2005. - More...
Thursday - March 02, 2006

Clifford May: Persuading the new Palestinian leaders to forgo terrorism - The problem is not that Hamas will not recognize Israel. The problem is that Hamas cannot recognize Israel.

Hamas is a terrorist group that has become a political party. More significantly, however, it is a religious organization and part of a global movement.

That movement goes by various names: Militant Islamism, Islamic Fascism, Radical Jihadism and Salifism among them. Rivals for the movement's leadership include Osama bin Laden and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

A distinguished and moderate Muslim religious scholar with whom I spoke recently observed that in Islam it is not only people and communities that have rights. God has rights too. For Hamas, it is an article of faith - in the most literal sense - that any lands conquered by Islamic warriors belong to Allah. If those lands are then taken (or re-taken) by infidels, it is the duty of Muslims to wage jihad, holy war, to win them back. - More...
Thursday PM - March 02, 2006

Dan Thomasson: Crossing a fine line in wiretapping - A friend who is a former member of the intelligence community speculated the other day that what really concerns the Bush administration is that the National Security Agency's warrantless wiretapping has not been confined to overseas calls despite claims to the contrary.

He said that although Attorney General Albert Gonzales testified before Congress that President Bush put purely domestic calls and e-mails off limits to NSA eavesdropping and surveillance without court approval, that ban makes little sense in keeping tabs on the chain of communications that might link those suspected of having contact with terrorists. Breaking that chain, he said, would be unthinkable if there was the least bit of suspicion of illicit activity.

He gave this scenario: A person makes a call from Los Angeles to Pakistan that is picked up by NSA. Finishing that conversation, the caller then immediately places another call to New York reporting on his previous call. Does anyone really believe for a second that NSA immediately halts the eavesdropping after the Pakistan call, either permanently or to rush to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act judge to seek a warrant? - More...
Thursday PM - March 02, 2006

Ann McFeatters: A changing nation - We're not the same nation we were just a decade ago.

While a lot of what the federal government does drives a lot of people bananas, the statistics it compiles about demographic trends are insightful.

We know that Latinos, the fastest-growing segment of the U.S. population, are now the largest minority group. By mid-century, one out of every four people in America will be Hispanic. But a new study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has found that coming to America has a downside for many. In the past decade, the rates of obesity, high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes have risen significantly for Latinos. The longer they are here, the higher the rates of all those diseases are among them. Not a good trend in a country with 47 million uninsured people. - More...
Thursday PM - March 02, 2006

Eric Newton: Why we need journalists - Perhaps surprisingly in this day of write-it-yourself Web sites, there dwell in America some 125,000 human beings known as "general news journalists."

Hardly anyone likes them. The bloggers call them "mainstream media." Liberals call them "corporate media." Conservatives call them "liberal media." Everyone else just dismisses them as "THE MEDIA."

Truth is, it's easy to bash journalists. Hollywood paints them as a yammering, amoral horde. That's entertaining, but wrong. The boring reality is that most professional journalists actually have ethics. They're good people. They try to dig out facts and stick to them. They hope to keep their corner of the world a little more honest. We watch or read or listen to their work because we need news - especially bad news - to properly run our countries and our lives. - More...
Thursday PM - March 02, 2006

Jay Ambrose: So long, Europe; hello, India - It's hello, India, and goodbye, Europe, as the United States seeks out a strong new partner in world affairs, one that is growing, bold and confident instead of one that is hiding from the future and in steep decline.

If that assessment of President Bush's meeting with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh puts too sharp an edge on something that will take years for history to chisel into something so definite, it is nevertheless the case that a lot more was going on than a deal on nuclear energy and closer bilateral trade ties.

If Congress approves the treaty, the United States is embracing an India that, during the Cold War, frequently sided with the Soviet Union's evil ambitions. For decades, some observers note, India was a haphazardly governed bureaucratic nightmare and an impoverished economic flop that got that way because of the socialist stupidities furthered by long-term leader Jawaharlal Nehru. - More...
Thursday PM - March 02, 2006

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