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Alaska: Senate passes budget bill with ANWR provision By LIZ RUSKIN - he Senate narrowly passed a budget bill Thursday that could lead to drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, but there are more hurdles ahead and an end to the decades-old controversy is far from certain.

"We recognize that this is just the first step, but you've got to get through the first step so you can move it down the road," said Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska.

The vote Thursday evening was 51-49. It came without the emotional debate and poster-sized wildlife photos that have come to characterize the fight over the coastal plain in Alaska's far northeast. An expected Democratic amendment to strip ANWR drilling from the bill never materialized, and ANWR got hardly a mention on the Senate floor.

It wasn't for lack of caring. Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., who led the anti-drilling battle last year, decided to try another tactic this time

"What it came down to was an overall assessment today that if we offered the amendment we would have lost again and that we should try to get the overall bill killed," said Cantwell's spokeswoman, Charla Neuman.

It didn't work.

Murkowski said two amendments helped win the bill's passage. One provides $10 billion for Gulf Coast restoration. That was especially important to Louisiana's senators, and Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., crossed party lines to vote for the budget. Another provides $3.3 billion for low-income heating assistance. That seemed to satisfy Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, who usually votes against ANWR drilling but voted yes Thursday. - More...
Friday - March 17, 2006

National: Confident or out of touch, Bush doesn't waver on Iraq By MARC SANDALOW - There was no ambiguity when President Bush declared three years ago that "the security of the world requires disarming Saddam Hussein now."

In a prime-time address, Bush gave Hussein and his sons 48 hours to abandon their country, asserting that their weapons stockpile made it necessary to attack "before it is too late."

After more than 1,000 days of war, 2,311 U.S. deaths, more than a quarter of a trillion dollars spent and no end of turmoil in sight, most Americans say it was a mistake. The doubt has spread to influential neoconservatives who once pushed for a confrontation with Iraq, such as Johns Hopkins University Professor Francis Fukuyama, who now says the war has spawned new terrorists, and Bush supporters such as William F. Buckley Jr., who wrote last month that "one can't doubt the objective in Iraq has failed." - More...
Friday - March 17, 2006

mpgScience: Study Links Smog to Arctic Warming; Reducing ozone pollution improves air quality, eases climate warming - NASA scientists have found that a gas involved in summertime smog and global air pollution also plays an important role in warming the Arctic.

In a global assessment of the impact of ozone on climate warming, scientists at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York evaluated how ozone in the lowest part of the atmosphere - called the troposphere - changed temperatures over the past 100 years.

Most weather occurs in the troposphere. The troposphere begins at the Earth's surface and extends to an altitude of 16-18 kilometers over tropical regions and less than 10 kilometers over the poles.

According to a March 14 NASA press release, the GISS computer model study used best estimates of global emissions of gases that produce ozone to show how much the single air pollutant, also a greenhouse gas, has contributed to warming in specific regions of the world.

The new research says ozone was responsible for one-third to half of the observed warming trend in the Arctic during winter and spring, when ozone is efficiently transported from industrialized countries in the Northern Hemisphere to the Arctic. - More...
Friday - March 17, 2006

The cracked surface of McGinnis Glacier in the Alaska Range is evidence of its winter surge.
Photo by Dana Moudra-Truffer.

Alaska: McGinnis Glacier surges in Alaska Range by Ned Rozell - Tim Cronin of Fairbanks wanted to climb McGinnis Peak in the Alaska Range recently, but on his approach to the mountain he and his partner ran into a giant wall of ice that wasn't there a year earlier. Over the winter, McGinnis Glacier had surged, changing from a smooth white belt to a rumpled ice sheet fractured with crevasses.

With its violent winter transformation, McGinnis Glacier becomes the latest of several glaciers in the Alaska Range that get up and go after long periods of sloth. Ice experts call these "surging" glaciers. Surging glaciers build up snow and ice in their upper portions for years until all that weight flows downhill in dramatic fashion. Surging glaciers aren't necessarily growing glaciers; when a glacier surges, ice mass that was at high elevations moves to lower elevations, making a mess of the glacier in the process.

"There's about a dozen of them in the Alaska Range, but if you think about all the glaciers worldwide, surging glaciers are exceedingly rare," said Martin Truffer, a glaciologist with the Geophysical Institute at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. - More...
Friday - March 17, 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 ANWR By John S. Hutton - Saturday am
letterHelp stop pesticide spraying on Long Island By Robert Sanderson Jr. - Saturday am
letter Loss of F/V Slayer and Crew By Richard Clark - Saturday am
letter Imposing Democracy and Peace via Pre-Emptive Wars? By Stanley Arcieri - Saturday am
letter Government Secrets By Virginia E. Atkinson - Saturday am
letter Vote No on $38.5 million Port Revenue Bond By Don Hoff Jr. - Saturday am
letterOutrageous By Kara McElroy Steele - Friday
letter Commandments By Dayle Amundson - Friday
letter ANWR should remain pristine By Charlotte Tanner - Friday
letter New town or old town? By Robert McRoberts - Friday
letterSome 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 More Viewpoints/ Letters
letter Publish A Letter

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Canceled March 18th:
Monthly Grind

Canceled March 16th - 18th:
Kayhi Drama Club: Your Fish is Dead.

 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.

March 20, 2006 - 5:00 pm - Ketchikan Board of Equalization meeting - City Council Chambers - Agenda

March 20, 2006 - 5:30 pm - Ketchikan Assembly Meeting - City Council Chambers - Agenda & Information Packets

March 22, 2006 - 5:30 pm - Ketchikan Board of Equalization meeting - City Council Chambers - Agenda

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March 2006
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Columns - Commentary  

Dave Kiffer: Shopping for Unmanly stuff - The other day I was in the checkout line at A and P and I found myself explaining to the checkout clerk why I had all these little kiddie toys and games in my basket.

Natch, I was without the five-year-old. Otherwise, there would have been no need to explain.

The clerk smiled pleasantly as I droned on about having to buy little toys to leave in special lunch bags for my child for each of the days I was out on town on a trip.

She appeared interested, but about half way through I could tell that - behind her glasses - she was obviously thinking counting the minutes until her shift ended. She didn't really care what I was buying. It was only her job to help me buy. I could have walked up with three cartons of cigarettes, a keg of beer and 10 packs of condoms and said it was for my son's birthday party and she would have just smiled and said "that's nice." - More...
Friday - March 17, 2006

Preston MacDougall: Chemical Eye on the Bogeymen Stealing Our Fresh Air - In "The Sound and the Fury", William Faulkner wrote famously of the scent of honeysuckle in the Southern summer air. His not so subtle metaphor was hard to misinterpret. In certain subdivisions outside another quaint Southern town, the summer breezes flutter the veil over a different "hidden treasure" - garbage.

At a gas station near one of these subdivisions, a newspaper reporter asked my friend, Nick, what he thought of the county's plan to expand the landfill that sat where the big X was on another man's treasure map. His response was characteristically succinct - "It stinks."

The landfill expansion proposal wouldn't have crept up on folks quite so unpleasantly if nearby Nashville hadn't decommissioned their Thermal Transfer Plant earlier than expected. "Thermal Transfer" is a euphemism for burning garbage to provide heating and cooling, and to reduce solid waste. - More...
Friday - March 17, 2006

Tom Purcell: The Value of Irish Humor - With the world in such a tizzy these days - with so many people ready to shout and argue and poke each other in the eyes - I can't think of a better time to embrace the Irish spirit.

It's my great good fortune to be a fellow of Irish descent. I share my good fortune with a quarter of all Americans, who can also trace their heritage to the rolling, green hills of Ireland.

As a lad, I remember my father the Big Guy sitting on the back porch on Sundays. Uncle Mike would sometimes visit for a couple of beers, and few things gave them more pleasure than swapping Irish jokes.

Such as the one about the fellow who was touring the Irish countryside. Hungry, he stopped at a farm and asked for refreshment. The lady of the house served him a bowl of soup. There was a pig in the house that kept running up to the fellow.

"That is the friendliest pig I ever did meet," he said to the woman.

"He's not friendly at all," said the woman. "That's his bowl you're using." - More...
Friday - March 17, 2006

Dick Morris: Fourth-Place Finish In Memphis Shows McCain Is No Front Runner - Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) is destined to find that his love of the Republican Party will be unrequited.

His dismal showing in the recent Nashville straw poll underscores the fact that while he is the Democrats' and independents' favorite Republican, he's not the Republicans' top choice by a long shot. Twenty years of independence, courage, creativity and conscience will do that for you (as Joe Lieberman is finding out across the aisle).

You can't be a front-runner for your party's nomination and win 5 percent of the vote in a regional straw poll, finishing fourth, behind Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (Tenn.), Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Virginia Sen. George Allen. While McCain still leads in the national polls (not counting former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani), he is no genuine front-runner. He lacks the requisite enthusiasm he would need among core Republicans to cop that title. - More...
Friday - March 17, 2006

Rob Holston: Childhood Obesity - Childhood obesity will almost double in the next four years! That is the chilling report recently published in the International Journal of Pediatric Obesity. Their prediction is that by 2010, nearly 50% of all children in the U.S. will be overweight. Their study sates that "only significant changes in diet and lifestyle can change this prediction." The report goes on to state that the results of childhood obesity will be heart disease, diabetes, liver disorder & high cholesterol (for starters). In my opinion this is a Katrina sized national crisis in terms of medical costs, lost production and lost potential and we simply must avoid this catastrophe. Dr. Philip James of the IJPO describes the situation as "epidemic" and blames Western worlds food industry as the cause. This author primarily blames parents.

Parents do have a choice and as children become older, the choice becomes theirs. An ancient Proverb (22:6) says, "Train up a child in the way he is to go and when he is old he sill not depart from it" As parents, as a community and as a nation we are failing our children by ignoring this dietary and lifestyle advice. - More...
Friday - March 17, 2006

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