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SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska
March 22, 2006

Front Page Photo by Misty Pattison

Knudson Cove Marina
Front Page Photo by Misty Pattison

British Columbia: Passengers, crew rescued as ferry sinks off BC By ALLAN DOWD - VANCOUVER, British Columbia (Reuters) - A ferry carrying about 100 people sank in the early hours of Wednesday off Canada's rugged Pacific Coast, but officials said they believe everyone was evacuated by lifeboat and rescued. - Read this story...
MetroNews -

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Ketchikan: Timeline and Steps To Amend Tongass Forest Plan Launched By SitNews - The timeline and steps needed to amend the Tongass forest plan in response to a 2005 federal appeals court decision was outlined yesterday by Tongass National Forest Supervisor Forrest Cole in an address to the Southeast Conference meeting in Juneau, Alaska.

Addressing the Southeast Conference yesterday Cole said, "I want to take this plan from excellent to outstanding, by building on new knowledge to add to the science we used ten years ago," He said, "With these changes, we can do an even better job of providing clean air, clean water, abundant wildlife, and economic stability for future generations."

Cole also reported that a new timber demand analysis, from the Pacific Northwest Research Station (PNW), would be available to the public later in March. "The demand analysis is a key component of the amendment process, because it's the science that lets us answer one of the Court's findings," Cole noted. "I was able to read it once the independent peer review was completed, and I believe that the scenarios it presents will allow us to chart a future course for the Forest that will provide long-term vitality for the communities of Southeast Alaska and significant conservation of pristine landscapes."

Responding to Tuesday's announcement Gregory Vickrey of the Tongass Conservation Society said, "Clearly this is a monumental opportunity for the Forest Service to improve upon its practices on the Tongass. This opportunity allows the Forest Service to truly serve the mandate of multiple use - subsistence, recreation, fishing, hunting, tourism, and habitat conservation deserve proper attention; the Tongass is far more than a timber resource." - More...
Wednesday - March 22, 2006

Alaska: Alaska lawmakers hope to put aside $600 million of oil surplus By RICHARD RICHTMYER - State lawmakers are planning to squirrel away $600 million of this year's projected budget surplus to pay for education and capital projects in future years.

Since the start of the session, Republicans and Democrats alike have called for saving a significant portion of what is now a projected $1.4 billion surplus, a windfall from the recent spike in oil prices.

On Tuesday, they began to carry out that idea when the House Finance Committee laid out a specific plan to set aside the money in its rewrite of a "fast-track" supplemental budget bill Gov. Frank Murkowski introduced in early February.

The fast-track supplemental budget bill covers costs for the current year's budget that were not foreseen when lawmakers approved it last spring, and the Legislature is expected to pass it before it begins work in earnest on next year's spending plan. - More...
Wednesday - March 22, 2006

Alaska: Study links safety in Alaskan villages to liquor bans By ALEX deMARBAN - Remote Alaska villages that ban alcohol are significantly safer than those that don't, with fewer serious assaults resulting in death or hospitalization, according to a new study. Those same villages are even safer when they have law enforcement officers, said co-author Darryl Wood, of the University of Alaska Anchorage's Justice Center.

The study, which examined death certificates and state trauma records for 132 off-road villages between 1991 and 2000, comes as cash-starved communities fight to keep local safety officers and grapple with questions over alcohol policy.

The dry-versus-wet debate has long nagged rural villages, but some residents say local law enforcement is more important than whether a community is legally wet or dry. - More...
Wednesday - March 22, 2006

Fostergrandparent program

Fostergrandparent Dorothy Coady.
Next to Coady is Pastor John Judson.
Photo courtesty Foster Grandparents Program

Ketchikan: Fostergrandparents Needed To Share Wisdom With Children By Marie L. Monyak - If you are a senior, 60 years or older and would like to share your wisdom and experience with children or young people right here in Ketchikan, the Foster Grandparents program is for you.

Facilitated by Alaska Community Services located on Water Street just upstairs from the Senior Center, the Foster Grandparents Program is a branch of the National Senior Service Corps that values the experience, talent and wisdom of our older citizens.

Once retired many seniors find themselves with extra time every day that they may fill with mundane choirs or doing nothing at all, suddenly feeling alone. The Foster Grandparents program not only allows the senior to contribute their valuable time to children in need but to have a sense of pride and accomplishment.

Whether you're tutoring a young child in reading, nurturing a sick child or counseling older kids, you walk away knowing that you're a contributing member of society, using your life skills to improve the lives of children that may otherwise not have a mentoring adult in their life. - More...
Wednesday - March 22, 2006

Frank Named Employee of the Month

Kathy Frank Named KGH
Employee of the Month

Photo courtesy KGH
Ketchikan: Frank Named KGH Employee of the Month - Kathy Frank, a Customer Service Representative in the Admitting Department, was named the KGH Employee of the Month for March by a committee of her peers. Frank began working with the hospital in 1996, and has worked in both the Admitting and the Patient Financial Services Departments.

On the front lines as the hospital serves the community, her job includes greeting the public, directing people to various departments, and registering patients for lab work, imaging studies, emergency care, and outpatient surgery. Most commonly Frank works on the evening or night shifts, often answering and routing calls on the switchboard as well.

Prior to her employment at KGH, Kathy Frank worked for 16 years for Ketchikan Indian Community, and as a teachers aide at Valley Park School.

What does she enjoy most about her job? "I like meeting people, whether they be patients, visitors, or other employees," she said. - More...
Wednesday - March 22, 2006



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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