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SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska
March 06, 2006

Front Page Photo by Heidi Ekstrand

Foggy Tongass Morning
Front Page Photo By Heidi Ekstrand

Ketchikan: Ketchikan's unemployment rate rises to 9.0 percent; Statewide, unemployment rises to 7.7 percent - Ketchikan's unemployment rate rose 1.3 percentage points in January to 9.0 percent. Although higher than the unemployment rate in December 2005 of 7.7 percent, according to Dan Robinson, Economist with the Alaska Department of Labor & Workforce development, the increase is typical for January, the low point of the year for employment activity statewide.

Statewide, Alaska's unemployment rate rose eight-tenths of a percentage point in January to 7.7 percent, Robinson reported that over the longer term, unemployment rates have shown a gradual downward trend since the summer of 2004. - More...
Monday - March 06, 2006

Source of Prudhoe Bay leak located...

Spill Clean-up - March 05, 2006
Photo Courtesy Unified Command

Alaska: Source of Prudhoe Bay Pipeline Leak Located; Clean-up Continues - Spill response workers located the source of the Prudhoe Bay crude oil leak early Sunday morning. The leak was found on a low-lying 34" crude oil transit line that leads to the trans-Alaska pipeline following snow removal around a culvert in a caribou crossing. The area of the leak is located about one mile from Gathering Center 2 (GC-2).

A total of 60 spill responders, 30 for the day shift and 30 for the night shift are working in the field cleanup efforts according to Unified Command. With temperatures dipping below -10º F and frostbite a concern, response crews are frequently swapped and warm-up shacks have been provided for the workers. - More...
Monday - March 06, 2006

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


National: Congress retreating on ethics reform By ROB HOTAKAINEN - A new set of ethics rules headed for a Senate vote this week is missing two big changes that many lawmakers pushed hard to get passed: a ban on privately financed travel and the creation of an independent watchdog office to oversee the conduct of lobbyists and members of Congress.

After putting ethics atop its agenda amid an unfolding influence-peddling scandal two months ago, Congress has shown signs of retreat.

Sen. Mark Dayton, D-Minn., is ready with an amendment to do away with privately paid travel as a way to curb abuses by lobbyists, but it's unlikely to pass. In the House, there's increased talk of imposing a one-year moratorium on private travel, a far cry from House Speaker Dennis Hastert's original proposal to ban all free private trips in response to the Jack Abramoff scandal.

The Office of Public Integrity, proposed as a way to stop lawmakers from being forced to police themselves, appears dead. It didn't survive a committee vote last week, as a majority of the Senate's Governmental Affairs Committee said the current ethics process is working just fine.

"If it ain't broke, don't fix it," said Sen. Norm Coleman, R-Minn., a member of the committee. "I don't know if it's broke." - More...
Monday - March 06, 2006

National: Concerns mount over higher rates on student loans By ZACHARY COILE - The Republican-led Congress and President Bush are facing growing anger on college campuses as students and their parents prepare to pay higher borrowing costs because of new changes to federal student loan programs.

Congress narrowly passed a deficit-reduction bill last month that cut $12 billion from student loan programs, which was signed by the president. The new law will slash subsidies to lenders and raise interest rates on loans taken out by parents.

Lawmakers already had approved a steep increase in interest rates for Stafford loans, used by nearly 10 million students each year. Both rate increases take effect July 1. - More...
Monday - March 06, 2006

National: Whistleblowers view Moussaoui trial with mixed emotions By GREG GORDON - It's been 4 1/2 years since Tim Nelson and Hugh Sims each dialed the FBI and warned that a terrorist might be in the Twin Cities, taking lessons in flying a 747 jumbo jet.

Now they wonder if their fleeting encounters with Zacarias Moussaoui - and their separate decisions to blow the whistle on a suspicious flight school customer - will lead to his execution.

With testimony beginning this week in Moussaoui's sentencing trial, the two men who started it all will be among those closely monitoring the developments, hoping their lingering questions about the now-confessed al Qaeda conspirator will be answered. - More...
Monday - March 06, 2006

International: Yukon's Dawson City treading on thin ice By CHRIS BEACOM - his is a town built on ice, which is a real concern to Norm Carlson, who runs Dawson City's public works.

He has seen the early warning signs of climate change: massive spruce beetle infestations, extreme wildfire and fast spring floods.

Next up: melting permafrost.

For this outpost of 1,500 people, that could lead to the destabilization of the town's dirt roads, buried sewers and water lines, which are encased in naturally occurring ice or frozen muck just below the surface. - More...
Monday - March 06, 2006

Front Page Photo by Carl Thompson

Front Page Photo by Carl Thompson

Science: Study links anorexia to genetics By LEE BOWMAN - Genetic predisposition is responsible for more than half the risk of developing the eating disorder anorexia nervosa as a teen or young adult, according to a long-term study involving more than 30,000 twins.

The study also pinpointed "neuroticism" - a tendency to be anxious and depressed - earlier in life as a significant factor linked to later development of the eating disorder.

Anorexia is a psychiatric illness characterized by a person's refusal to maintain a minimal healthy body weight, intense fear of weight gain and a distorted body image. It occurs mainly among females in adolescence and young adulthood. It's estimated that up to 1 percent of females have anorexia, and the condition is estimated to be fatal to as many as 15 percent of those diagnosed with it. - More...
Monday - March 06, 2006

Sports: WBC has chance to be classic By MARCOS BRETON - Amid all the whining and American apathy toward the World Baseball Classic, it's been easy to overlook one important point: This Classic could be a classic.

The first true "world" series could be a blast, a rare shot in the arm for baseball that's steroid-free.

In fact, the only real problem with the tournament - aside from ignorance among some American players and media - is that it's been rigged so Team USA has an embarrassingly easy path, facing lightweights such as Mexico, Canada and South Africa (not a misprint) in the first round. Team USA opens play in Phoenix against Mexico on Tuesday. - More...
Monday - March 06, 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

View Poll Stats


letter Next Alaskan Generations will Reap Billions by Sen. John Cowdery - Monday PM
letter CONNOR PIHL INSIGHT KUDOS By Pete Ellis - Monday PM
letter Criminal DNA Database Expansion Working In Alaska by Rep. Tom Anderson - Monday PM
letter Fun with Math - Alaska Airlines By John Maki - Monday PM
letter "APPLAUSE" regarding the School District's financial scrutiny By Rick Grams - Monday PM
letter New After School Policy By Connor Pihl - Saturday PM
letter What lessons will they learn? By David Hull - Saturday PM
letter What message are we sending to our student athletes? By Matt Olsen - Saturday PM
letter Ugliest Photo Contest! By Robert D. Warner - Saturday PM
letter It does take a village By Tonia J. Nebl - Saturday PM
letter Veil of secrecy By Mary Lynne Dahl - Saturday PM
letter Bond poll: Why I voted NO! By Jim Dornblaser - Saturday PM
letter BRAVO KAYHI TEACHERS! By Lynne Miller - Saturday PM
letter Emerald Bay By Evening Star Grutter - Saturday PM
letter Spraying of Long Island By Jean Bland - Saturday PM
letter Pro dock expansion By Tom Ferry - Saturday PM
letterDesecration Bridge By Don Hoff Jr. - Saturday PM
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
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 07, 2006 - Tuesday - 7:00 pm - Special City Council Meeting - City Council Chambers. Presentation by CH2M regarding the evaluation of a potential municipal water supply disinfection by-products reduction program using ammonia injection and ultraviolet light disinfection.
pdfAgenda & Information Packets

March 09, 2006 - Thursday - 5:30 - 7:30 pm - Planning for the Newtown Area. Everyone in Ketchikan is welcome.
pdfKetchikan Historical Assoc. Flyer

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March 2006
Click on the date to read the stories published on that day.
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Fish Factor

Laine Welch: Alaska's halibut fishery starts - Sunday marked the start of Alaska's halibut fishery and fresh fish was on its way to eager buyers by Monday night. Managers selected the March 5 start date so the fish could be on supermarket shelves early in the week; it also coincides with the beginning of Lent.

"We've had some years with weird opening dates when the fish would get to market on the weekends. That makes it kind of hard to get the ball rolling," said Matt Moir, general manager of Alaska Pacific Seafood in Kodiak.

As usual, there is "lots of anticipation and excitement" at the start of the Pacific halibut fishery, Moir said, from harvesters to high end restaurants. But where the market starts and how long it lasts is always the big question, he added.

"In the opening game there are always some winners and losers, depending on when the fish gets there. In general, folks are enthusiastic, but there is also some caution to see where the market stabilizes over seven to 10 days," Moir said.

Dock prices to fishermen last year started off at well over $3 a pound in most Alaska ports and, seldom dipped below that for the duration of the eight month season. In fact, the average halibut price for the 2005 season was $3.05 per pound, according to Tracy Buck, permit operations manager at the Restricted Access Management division of NOAA Fisheries in Juneau. - More...
Monday - March 06, 2006

Columns - Commentary

Preston MacDougall: Chemical Eye on Redistricting - Inspired by Canadian downhillers like Ken Read and Steve Podborski - two of the Crazy Canucks - when I ski, I like to go fast. When I was young, and went skiing in the Alps, just as for Bode Miller there weren't any Olympic medals hung around my neck. Although an irate, older gentleman did make a hand gesture suggesting that if he ever caught me, he would wring it.

You would think that the fastest way down a ski hill is "straight down". That would be true if mountains were shaped like cones, but they're not. They do have peaks, but they also have cornices, ridges and valleys. And, after many people have been skiing on them, they develop moguls.

You will, however, maximize your speed at any point on the hill if you follow the path of steepest descent, which in mathematical terms is called the negative gradient. This still won't guarantee the shortest time down the hill - there is an art to downhill skiing, not to mention those pesky gates. You may not even make it all the way down. (Swiss lugers didn't leave those sleds with red crosses near the top of the chair lift. They are for getting injured skiers to the lodge, and orthopedic care.) - More...
Monday - March 06, 2006

Dick Morris: With Cultural Forces Behind Her, Hillary Can Win In '08 - The Republican Party appears to be coalescing around the happy assumption that, while Hillary Clinton will win the Democratic nomination, she cannot be elected. So, the self-delusive logic says, she is really God's gift to the Republican Party.

This optimistic set of assumptions comes through loud and clear in the comments the president and Karl Rove made to Bill Sammon as he interviewed them for his new book "Strategery." But their confidence indicates simply that they don't even begin to understand what they will be up against in a Hillary candidacy.

It has always been Mrs. Clinton's "strategery" to wrap herself in the generic. By embracing a set of liberal issues, she avoids personal scrutiny. By identifying with working women who are "trying to balance career and family", she buys a pass on charges of a conflict of interest over Rose Law Firm representation of Arkansas while her husband was governor. And now, by hiding behind the generic question of "Are we ready for a woman president?" she invites the question of whether we want this particular woman in the Oval Office. - More...
Monday - March 06, 2006

Michael Reagan: Who's a Xenophobe? - Michelle Malkin was right on when she wrote that the elite right "has simply lost its marbles."

Like her, I am infuriated by that small coterie of Washington conservatives who have somehow got it into their heads that they are the sole arbiters of what is the proper position those of us on the right must adopt to be able to call ourselves conservatives. They promulgate the party line and we are all expected to fall in behind them.

This has been bothering me for some time, but lately they have really gotten under my skin with their suggestion that those conservatives who have serious doubts about the wisdom of the Dubai ports deal are motivated by bigotry. As far as they are concerned, we're all a bunch of anti-Arab xenophobes whose questions about the deal are really our way of expressing our anti-Semitism because Arabs, after all, are Semites.

As Michelle Malkin noted in her column, Grover Norquist, one of the high priests of the Washington conservative elite, had the gall to tell the liberal Los Angeles Times that the "only whiners left by next week will be the registered bigots." - More...
Monday - March 06, 2006

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