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SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska
March 16, 2006

Front Page Photo by Lisa Thompson

'Kathleen K'
Front Page Photo by Lisa Thompson

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Alaska: ANWR drilling again tied to Senate budget bill By LIZ RUSKIN - It didn't work last year, but Senate backers of opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil development are again trying to pass the drilling measure as part of a budget bill.

"It's a little bit of deja vu all over again," said Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska.

So far, the game plan looks identical to last year's. A Republican-drafted Senate resolution calls for opening the refuge. It is headed for a vote, probably Thursday.

The resolution doesn't have the force of law, but it lays the groundwork for an ANWR measure later, in something called a budget reconciliation bill. Under Senate rules, budget bills of this type can't be held up with a filibuster, so they need just 51 votes to pass instead of 60.

Last year, the budget bill with ANWR in it passed the Senate with 52 votes. Then it skidded to a halt in the House, where a group of anti-drilling Republicans sided with all the Democrats to defeat it. It passed only after House leaders took out the ANWR provision.

Once again, the moderate Republicans in the House are balking at passing a budget that includes ANWR drilling. - More...
Thursday - March 16, 2006

Alaska: Conoco's new ads oppose higher taxes in Alaska By RICHARD RICHTMYER - Just weeks after endorsing an oil-tax increase that Gov. Frank Murkowski says is part of a tentative natural gas pipeline deal with the big three oil companies, Conoco Phillips has begun an advertising campaign opposing any higher taxes.

The ad campaign comes as state lawmakers are mulling changes to the governor's oil-tax plan. It makes a simple assertion: Higher taxes would suppress oil-industry spending in Alaska and would be bad for the state's economy.

"I don't see how additional taxation can do anything but discourage investment," says one man in a 30-second television spot. - More...
Thursday - March 16, 2006

Alaska: King overcomes obstacles to win the Iditarod By KEVIN KLOTT - An Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race marked by ferocious winds and the most brutal cold snap in a decade ended early Wednesday morning with Denali Park musher Jeff King literally coasting to a fourth victory.

Sun and calm skies smiled on King as he left the White Mountain checkpoint 80 miles from the finish Tuesday afternoon. A bright yellow moon and hundreds of screaming fans behind snow fences were out to greet him here on Front Street nearly 11 hours later on an almost windless, 7 degree night. - More...
Thursday - March 16, 2006

Southeast Alaska: USCG releases more about hiker's daring rescue - A Coast Guard Air Station Sitka helicopter rescue crew conducted a daring rescue of a climber trapped on a 9,077-foot mountain known as Devil's Thumb north of Petersburg, Alaska.

Zack Hoyt, a 30-year-old hiker from Idaho requested help when weather conditions worsened and he became trapped during his descent from the peak of Devil's Thumb. A Coast Guard HH-60 helicopter rescue crew and a Sitka mountain search and rescue crew rushed to his last reported position after severe wind gusts forced a Temsco helicopter crew to turn back from an earlier attempt. - More...
Thursday - March 16, 2006

Beans, Broncs and Crumpets...

Jack Shay as the stodgy alcoholic stuffed-shirt radio announcer, Leslie Briggs-Stratton
Front Page Photo by Sharon Allen

Ketchikan Arts & Entertainment  


First City Players opened a winning production of "Chaps!" last Friday night at Cape Fox in Dinner Theatre form. It starred Jeff Seifert as Archie Leitch, Jack Shay as Leslie Briggs-Stratton, Alejandro Chavarria as Miles Shadwell, Seth Krasnow as the silent, yet noisy Stan, Deb Turnbull as Clive Cooper and Tekla Helgason as Mabel Halliday.

This hilarious play, written by the matrimonial team of Malcolm Hillgartner and Jahnna Beecham, was directed by the talented Maria Dudzak and catered by the capable culinary chuck-wagon genius of Chef Tim. And if you didn't make it to either the Friday or Saturday night openings, don't worry. You're not too late to enjoy this triple treat of food, fun and frolic, because it runs again this Friday and Saturday night!

The title is a pun and indicates the silly, slapstick storyline--referring to both the cowboy garb and the reluctant, reserved staffers at the British Broadcasting Company who must fill in when America's favorite singing cowboys, Tex Riley and His band don't appear in time for a special live broadcast to the troops during World War II. - More...
Thursday - March 16, 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?

View Poll Results
Poll ended 03/14/06


letter Some things should be illegal By Anita Hales - Wednesday PM
letter Give respect a better chance to work By Bill Thomas Sr. - Wednesday PM
letter What is our civilization coming to? By Donna Peterson - Wednesday PM
letter Past memories By Gene Allen - Wednesday PM
letter Legalization: What comes to mind? By Joe Garrison - Wednesday PM
letter Looking for Heads to Roll By John Maki - Tuesday PM
letter ANWR oil could reduce foreign dependency by up to 20% By Timothy Droke - Tuesday PM
letter Calling All Addicts By George Miller - Tuesday PM
letter Adults far more likely to abuse drugs By Samantha Sizemore - Tuesday PM
letterDEC refuses to answer our questions! By Carrie James - Monday
letter Don't bash teen parents By Christina Lewis - Monday
letter Republican agenda By Martha Leftwich - Monday
letter Drug usage ... or non usage By Shirley McDonald - Monday
letter FEMA Wasted Much More Than Our Dollars By Bob Smither - Saturday PM
letter Drug problem trickles down By Ken Lewis - Saturday PM
letterThe World's Oil Supply By Don Hoff Jr. - Saturday PM
letter More Viewpoints/ Letters
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March 16, 2006 - Thursday - 7:00 pm - Ketchikan City Council Meeting - City Council Chambers
pdfAgenda & Information Packets

March 16, 2006 - Thursday - Noon - Assembly/School Board Liaison Committee meeting - City Council Chambers, 334 Front Street. The committee will be discussing items of mutual concern to the Assembly and School Board. The public is invited to attend.

LIO: March 16-Alaska Board of Education will meet at 8:00am.  Testimony from 8:00am-9:00am
LIO: March 18-House Finance Committee will meet at 10:00am.  Topics of discussion will be HB365 & HB366.  Testimony from 10:00-11:00 only with 2 minute limit.

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March 2006
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National: Bills would bar protests at military funerals By MARA LEE - Fourteen years after Fred Phelps began picketing funerals, federal legislators have introduced bills that would make these protests a felony.

At least, some of them.

Phelps, founder of Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kan., preaches a radical anti-gay message best captured by his slogan "God Hates Fags."

He began by picketing funerals of AIDS victims, and gained national attention by picketing the funeral of Matthew Shepherd, a Wyoming college student murdered because he was gay.

Phelps also picketed President Bill Clinton's mother's funeral, to protest Clinton's support for gay rights.

In the last year, his church began picketing soldiers' funerals, and that's what's inspired legislators to act. - More...
Thursday - March 16, 2006

International: The last outpost By KEVIN SITES - Tell the soldiers of the 10th Mountain Division, Alpha Company, that the war in Afghanistan ended four years ago and they might be apt to clear up some of your misperceptions.

Early this month, 21-year-old Sgt. Rick Zamora of Del Rio, Texas, was on Observation Post 4 near the Pakistani border when he heard shots being fired.

"It's not unusual around here," he says. "We thought it was just the ANA (Afghan National Army). They're always firing their weapons. But when the machine guns started opening up on us we knew something was going on."

Zamora and other members of 1st Platoon say they came under attack by assailants using small arms, machine guns and RPGs (rocket-propelled grenades) from ridge lines about 550 yards away. - More...
Thursday - March 16, 2006

Wallet Watch: The brave new world of retirement planning By MARY DEIBEL - With the Dow Jones average above 11,000 again and other stock indexes at five-year highs, workers with 401(k)s and other tax-favored retirement accounts may feel emboldened about investment risks and forget the bear market that tanked their accounts.

Yet with company after company freezing or ending traditional pension plans in favor of 401(k)s, workers confront a brave new world of retirement planning in which they should ask: "What do I have to save, and how should I invest it, to make up for the monthly check my pension was supposed to provide for life?"

The answer: You need to save lots and invest wisely, Temple University retirement expert Jack VanDerhei reports in a new study for the Employee Benefit Research Institute.

To be sure, the answer depends on individual factors including age, income, tenure with the firm, pension type, investment choices offered by its replacement and investment returns those options earn.

Still, VanDerhei illustrates the problem by pointing to a 50-year-old worker who has 20 years with a company and makes $70,000 this year, when the firm freezes pension coverage and replaces it with 401(k) accounts. So instead of collecting the $35,989 pension on retiring at 65, the freeze cuts that yearly pension benefit to $13,596. - More...
Thursday - March 16, 2006

Technology: Technology is not always your friend By DAN FOST - Cruising the geekfest known as South by Southwest Interactive in the Texas capital, it's easy to think that technology is a wonderful thing, connecting communities and empowering individuals.

Adam Greenfield had a different message.

Greenfield, author of the new book "Everyware" from Berkeley's Peachpit Press, told a room packed with more than 200 people that an age of "ubiquitous computing" is upon us, with technology able to monitor nearly every facet of daily life and feed it all into databases.

Think about it: Computer chips can go into Band-Aid-like devices that sit on your skin and monitor your pulse, temperature and other vital signs. People in Hong Kong swipe electronic cards to get into the transit system - and can also use the cards as keys to open their home or office, or put money on them and use them to pay for things. Cameras on London streets can scan faces for identifiable features and match them to a database of suspected terrorists. A new senior citizen housing development in South Korea has sensors in the floors, so if a resident falls, paramedics are notified - and the door automatically unlocks. - More...
Thursday - March 16, 2006

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