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SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska
March 21, 2006

Front Page Photo by Marie L. Monyak

Griese's Latest Book About Gillam's Historic and Ill-fated flight
Alaskan author, Arnold Griese, Tim Bercher pilot with Taquan Air, Josh Murdock pilot with Pacific Airways, and Irene Nichols (Grandmother of pilot Carl Zink with Taquan.)
Front Page Photo by Marie L. Monyak

Ketchikan: Griese's Latest Book About Gillam's Historic and Ill-fated flight By MARIE L. MONYAK - Long time Alaskan resident and author Arnold Griese of Fairbanks was in Ketchikan last week to talk about his latest book; Bush Pilot, a biography of the early Alaskan aviator Harold Gillam, Sr. The presentation held at the Ted Ferry Civic Center was sponsored by the Tongass Historical Society.

To understand his extensive knowledge of aviation and the copious research Griese committed to in an effort to provide the reader with the clearest possible picture of a man many consider a legend, one should know a little of Griese's history as well. - More...
Tuesday - March 21, 2006

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Alaska: U.S. officials ramp up bird flu preparations; Emphasis now in Alaska - Springtime is here and, with it, fevered chirping about bird flu.

Health and Human Services Secretary Michael Leavitt, Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns and outgoing Interior Secretary Gale Norton began the week by presenting a joint update on national preparedness, covering bird testing, poultry industry protections, anti-smuggling measures, vaccine development and the status of state and local emergency planning.

Leavitt also is in the midst of a multi-city tour, answering questions about the virus' spread globally and telling Americans how to respond should it reach U.S. shores. He is asking people not to panic - even if it should reach birds here, that doesn't mean people are at risk - but to start stockpiling enough non-perishable food, water, flashlights, batteries and medicine to last a couple of weeks, just in case. In a report issued last week, Leavitt said: "It is only a matter of time before we discover H5N1 birds in America." - More...
Tuesday - March 21, 2006

Pacific Coast: Salmon season, livelihoods on brink By MATT WEISER - Along 700 miles of the Pacific Coast, fishing towns and fishermen are facing the unthinkable this spring: a total closing of the salmon season.

For consumers, it means there may be no local wild chinook (or king) salmon in markets and restaurants this year.

For fishermen, it could mean bankruptcy, the end of a way of life. - More...
Tuesday - March 21, 2006

National: Foes of foreign ownership cite security fears By JAMES W. CRAWLEY - The Chinese almost bought Unocal last year. This month, a Dubai firm announced it would give up its recently acquired terminal operations at six U.S. ports.

Congressional and public outcry thwarted both deals over fears of foreign control.

And, the specter of national security has fueled further debate and legislation over who should own the backbone of America the critical infrastructure of ports, utilities, power plants, transportation systems, oil and gas facilities and defense contractors.

Many Republicans and Democrats, conservatives and liberals, in the House and Senate, have spoken out against foreign ownership. - More...
Tuesday - March 21, 2006

National: Economists call foreign investment a necessity By JAMES W. CRAWLEY - In George Washington's hometown of Alexandria, Va., a German firm operates the municipal water supply.

A French company runs the water and sewer plants in rural Reidsville, N.C.

Across Kentucky, electric customers plug into the world's second-largest utility firm, which is based in Germany.

By summer, drivers in Indiana will pay tolls to a Spanish-Australian partnership. - More...
Tuesday - March 21, 2006

National: Need for new U.S. nuclear arsenal disputed By JAMES STERNGOLD - Scientists say evidence is mounting that the radioactive plutonium used in nuclear weapons could have a far longer useful life than previously estimated, raising questions about the need for an expensive Bush administration program to build more than a thousand replacement warheads.

With hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars potentially at stake, the research on the aging of this dangerous and complex weapons ingredient, being conducted at the nuclear weapons laboratories, is being followed closely by Bush administration officials, lawmakers and nuclear weapons experts. - More...
Tuesday - March 21, 2006

The Erwicks of Ketchikan

The Erwicks of Ketchikan
Johanna Erwick with Jennie Erwick at the Laurel Beach Sanatorium in West Seattle.
Photograph courtesy Mike & Marta Hart

Ketchikan: A Glimpse Back In Time

The Erwicks of Ketchikan By DAVE KIFFER - In the first two decades of the 20th Century several hundred Norwegian families migrated to Southeast Alaska, primarily to take part in the fishing industry.

Part of their legacy is the town of Petersburg and Ketchikan's historic First Lutheran Church building.

The story of the Erwick family in Ketchikan in the first half of the 20th Century is a fairly typical one, but with some interesting twists.

The migration was part of a larger migration that saw thousands of single men and families leave Norway for a better economic or social life in the United States.

According to a history of Norwegian migration to the United States on the Minnesota State University-Makato website, many of the immigrants came because of cheap farming land in the US, but there were also social reasons to leave Norway. - More...
Monday - March 20, 2006


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Poll ended 03/14/06


letter Waterfront Storage Development By Neil Gray - Tuesday PM
letter North Tongass Community Club By Tony Yeisley - Tuesday PM
letter An issue of the heart By John Maki - Tuesday PM
letter Naha Bay Residents By Ed and Linda Purvis - Tuesday PM
letter STOP THE SPRAYING PLEASE! By Frances Natkong - Tuesday PM
letter Keep Aid to Municipal Governments Limited to Basics by Rep. Vic Kohring - Tuesday PM
letter Vote No on Don Hoff By Tom LeCompte - Tuesday PM
letter After Katrina By Virginia E. Atkinson - Tuesday PM
letter Circling Around The Truth About the Port Bond By Marie L. Monyak - Monday am
letter THOU SHALT STEAL By Alan Lidstone - Monday am
letter Some make the right choices By Cynthia Grant - Monday am
letter Support dock expansion By Shauna Lee - Sunday
letter Support growth By Bill Ayers - Sunday
letter Panhandlers By Jessica Mathews - Sunday
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
letter More Viewpoints/ Letters
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March 22, 2006 - 5:30 pm - Ketchikan Board of Equalization meeting - City Council Chambers - Agenda

March 22, 2006 - 6:00 pm - Ketchikan School Board Meeting - City Council Chambers - Agendapdf

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March 2006
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Columns - Commentary  

Martin Schram: Life without parole is enough for Moussaoui - We are a nation of leaders who like to remind the world that the genius of the American legal system is the consistency of its application of the law and the even-handedness of its judicial punishment.

That foundation is being put to a bizarre and implausible test in the death penalty trial of Zacarias Moussaoui. And most recently, the government's argument has been shaken by the latest testimony of one of the government's own witnesses, FBI agent Harry Samit.

The more the FBI agent testified in the federal court in Alexandria, Va., the less solid the government's case seemed to be. For the core of the government's reasoning is that Moussaoui should be put to death by lethal injection because of his failure to tell the authorities what he knew about al Qaeda's plans that resulted in the 9/11 attacks.

(Moussaoui is an admitted al Qaeda operative and would-be major terrorist. He pleaded guilty to conspiracy to hijack an airplane; he says his role would have been to fly the plane into the White House; but not in the 9/11 plot.)

Comes now FBI agent Samit, testifying he told his FBI superiors more than 70 times that Moussaoui was an al Qaeda terrorist, but they did not act to prevent 9/11. Samit says he told his superiors he believed Moussaoui planned to hijack an airplane for a terror mission and that his FBI superiors frustrated his every effort to obtain warrants to search Moussaoui's computer and other possessions. In other words, his FBI superiors all failed to act when they could have prevented the 9/11 attacks. - More...
Tuesday - March 21, 2006

Dan K. Thomasson: Testing brings misery, expense - In this test-happy era of education it was inevitable that the system would become overloaded and the inherent weaknesses of trying to measure everyone against the same standard would be exposed before all those frustrated parents and students who have been victimized emotionally and financially.

The proof, of course, emerged not only in the weakness of the major college entrance test itself with its vulnerability to short term improvement but suddenly with the fact that grading mistakes have resulted in thousands receiving lower scores and a handful higher than they should have. It's enough to make the most pious parent curse the double domes who thought up this nightmare of passage, particularly if hundreds of dollars have been laid out to make sure the children have the best chance of getting into the college of choice.

The exams dictated by the No Child Left Behind Act and other programs that have begun trying to measure even pre-school and kindergarten children are merely a way of making things easier on those charged with educating Americans. At the college level particularly it has to some degree always been a weeding out tool for admissions, one that is often a terrible predictor of the potential success of a student, especially when many of those who score well have undergone hour after hour of expensive outside preparation that those who score lower have been unable to afford. - More...
Tuesday - March 21, 2006

Dale McFeatters: Absence makes the politics grow bitter - Congress is such an overpowering presence in Washington that it was bound to attract notice that the lawmakers aren't around the capital all that much.

Two who did notice were political analyst Norman Ornstein of the American Enterprise Institute and Kathy Kiely of USA Today, who documented their absence, especially in the House.

Congress, just back from its Presidents Day recess, is now taking a weeklong St. Patrick's break. And the House, which plans to take off two weeks in April, one week each in May and July, and all of August, and then knock off early to go home and campaign for the midterm elections, is on schedule to be in session 97 days. Votes are scheduled on 71 of those days, but, as Ornstein notes, on 26 days no votes are scheduled earlier than 6:30 p.m., meaning the members can arrive back late in the day Monday and even Tuesday.

Kiely notes that the House has been in session only 19 days so far this year (versus 33 for the Senate), including one marathon five-minute session on March 6. She observes that even Harry Truman's "do-nothing" Congress of 1948 met for 108 days. - More...
Tuesday - March 21, 2006

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