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March 04, 2007

Front Page Photo by Peaches Wallin

Deer Mountain
Front Page Photo by Peaches (Naona) Wallin


Founder of SitNews Passes

Family mourns loss
of Dick Kauffman

Ketchikan: Richard P. Kauffman, 74, founder of SitNews Passes - Richard Paul Kauffman, founder of SitNews, died at Ketchikan General Hospital at the age of 74, on Wednesday morning, February 28, 2007.

Kauffman was born July 17, 1932, in Sugarloaf, Pennsylvania to George and Geraldine Knorr Kauffman. After graduating from high school he joined the United States Army and served in Army Intelligence as a cryptologist in the U.S. occupied German Zone. After being honorably discharged, he later was employed by the CIA and continued to serve his country in Japan. Kauffman later became an employee of the Federal Aviation Administration and was the FAA Air Traffic Manager at Ketchikan International Airport from 1983 until his retirement in 1999. Kauffman received a distinguished service award from the FAA upon his retirement after 38-years of service.

He is survived by his wife of 26 years, Mary C. Kauffman of Ketchikan; daughter, Yvonne Kauffman of Anchorage; brother George Kauffman III of Sugarloaf, PA; and sisters Karen Minos of Raleigh, NC and Joan Crawford of Penrose, NC. Kauffman is also survived by three adult grandsons Koji Gailey, Kenji Gailey and Seiji Gailey all of Anchorage; and four nephews and five nieces. - More...
Saturday - March 03, 2007

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


Ketchikan: Governor's Budget Amendments Include $28 Million for Intertie - The Swan Lake - Tyee Lake hydroelectric intertie project would receive $28 million under Governor Sarah Palin's proposed budget amendments released Thursday. If the project funds are approved this year by the Alaska Legislature, the intertie will go online in the last quarter of 2009.

$28 Million for Intertie

The Swan Lake Project is located approximately 22 air miles northeast of Ketchikan, Alaska, on Falls Creek which drains from Swan Lake to Carroll Inlet on Revillagigedo Island.
Front Page Photo by Mike Martin ©

The project stalled for lack of funding in the fall of 2004. At that time $55 million had been spent and the project was over half-way complete. This made funding for the hydroelectric intertie stand out as a priority.

The Four Dam Pool Power Agency has requested $46.2 million to complete the 57-mile project which connects the Tyee Lake hydro facility south of Wrangell with the Swan Lake hydro facility near Ketchikan. The project is fully permitted, the Right-of-Way has been cleared and 50% of the micropile foundations have been installed. A combination of federal, state and local funds have financed the project so far. When complete, the line will enable 63 million kilowatt-hours of surplus Tyee Lake hydropower to be delivered to Ketchikan.

Unlike many other parts of Alaska, the Southeast region would never directly benefit from the energy a natural gas pipeline could provide. The huge potential of hydropower in the future makes a regional hydroelectric power grid the equivalent of a gas pipeline to Southeast Alaska. Also, exporting power to the North American power grid in the future would help the rate payers of Southeast Alaska.

Representative Kyle Johansen (R-Ketchikan) said Wednesday he is extremely pleased the Governor recognizes the importance of this project. "The time is now for this intertie," Johansen said. "For more than a decade, Southeast Alaskans have been frustrated that the energy equivalent of 5 million barrels of No.1 heating fuel goes unused annually in the form of excess water spilled over the top of the dam at Tyee Lake."

"The Governor sent a clear message in her 'State of the State' Address and in her comments last fall at Southeast Conference supporting funding for completing the Swan Lake - Tyee Lake hydroelectric intertie," said Johansen. "Alaska must invest in stable sources of clean and renewable energy, like hydro, for the future of its residents and businesses. By taking this first step in completing an eventual Southeast regional power grid, Governor Palin is producing results that will benefit Alaskans in the region for decades." He said, "This helps individual Alaskans and businesses struggling with high energy costs from diesel fuel. It will spur economic development while also being better for the environment."

Senator Bert Stedman (R-Sitka) also praised Gov. Palin's $28.0 million FY 08 Capital Budget amendment for the Swan Lake-Lake Tyee electrical intertie. - More...
Sunday - March 04, 2007

Southeast Alaska: Juneau-Lynn Canal Highway $11 Million Materials Contract Cancelled - At Governor Sarah Palin's direction, the Department of Transportation & Public Facilities (DOT&PF) cancelled a materials contract related to the Juneau-Lynn Canal Highway project, totaling nearly $11 million. The cancelled contract was for concrete girders which would have been used to construct bridges on the Juneau-Lynn Canal Highway.

"The concrete girders contract committed millions of dollars to a project that is still under review and lacks the necessary permits to proceed," said Governor Palin. "In my opinion, DOT&PF acted prematurely in awarding the girder contract."

The concrete girder contract was part of a rushed process and was signed on December 4, 2006, the day Governor Murkowski left office. The cancelled materials contract was announced on Wednesday, February 28th.

The governor's office has also considered DOT&PF's purchases of roughly $9 million of piling and culvert materials. DOT&PF has assured the administration that the materials could be used on other public projects in the state. The benefits of cancelling these contracts are less clear, in part because partial contract performance has already occurred. - More...
Sunday - March 04, 2007

Alaska scientists aim at offering climate services

Alaska scientists aim at offering climate services
Is Sea ice outside Shishmaref safe for travel? In a new program, Alaska scientists will try to take existing information from NOAA and make it more useful to everyday people.
Front Page Photo by Ned Rozell

Alaska: Alaska scientists aim at offering climate services By NED ROZELL - Seasons are not what they once were in Alaska. Ice roads on Alaska's North Slope have a shorter lifespan than they had 30 years ago. The extent of sea ice hugging the northern coastlines gets smaller every year. These changes affect Alaskans and people who work in Alaska, and a few scientists just received funding to make climate science user-friendly for those people.

"If I'm buying boats to move oil to villages on the west coast of Alaska, I need to know if I should buy boats to handle broken ice or no ice at all," said Dan White, the head of the Institute of Northern Engineering at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. "Right now, there are no climate services that tell you what kind of ice to expect in five years off the coast of Alaska."

White, along with John Walsh of the International Arctic Research Center, Fran Ulmer of the Institute for Social and Economic Research at UAA, and Craig Gerlach of UAF's Department of Anthropology are among the scientists involved with a project to make National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration products more applicable to people affected by climate change in Alaska. They've teamed to create the Alaska Center for Climate Assessment and Policy. - More...
Sunday - March 04, 2007


Fish Factor: Pre-season Halibut Prices Raise Eyebrows By LAINE WELCH - Prices paid for halibut prior to the March 10 start of the fishing season have raised eyebrows among both buyers and fishermen.

Each year fishery scientists conduct surveys in the winter to collect tissue samples from the spawning grounds, and during the summer to collect data on the halibut stocks. The research includes various areas - this year occurring off the Queen Charlotte Islands in British Columbia, in the Central Gulf of Alaska and in Bering Sea waters along the Aleutian Chain.

The researchers have special permits to offload and sell the halibut they catch in local ports. The landings are quite low, and prices intend to be inflated. But the pre-season landings do give an indication of market interest, and they can be summed up in a word: high.

In early February, 7,000 pounds of halibut crossed the Homer docks and fetched $6.55/lb for all sizes. "That compared to an average price last summer of $3.77/lb. So there was a big jump interest over the winter," said Claude Dykstra, survey manager for the International Pacific Halibut Commission which conducts the annual research.

At Dutch Harbor, two deliveries in early February of 8,500 pounds and 10,000 pounds were broken out by size classes. Halibut weighing 10 to 20 pounds paid $3.60/lb; 20 - 40 pounders got $3.95/lb and larger sizes received $4.35/lb. The average price paid in Dutch during the summer was $3.41/lb, Dykstra said.

One major Kodiak buyer said the pre-season landings by researchers have little bearing on the actual market. However, he agreed there is no doubt the halibut market will be strong, adding that prices are likely to hit $5/lb in some areas. "But when there's that much of an increase in value, it can go sour really fast and buyers will be extremely cautious," he said.

Starting prices for halibut last year approached or topped $4.00 a pound in major ports and seldom dipped below $3.00 during the eight month season. The statewide average price for 2006 was $3.71/lb. Alaska's 2007 commercial halibut fishery has a catch limit of just over 52 million pounds. The Halibut Commission has a call out for several research charters starting this summer, preferably for vessels over 55 feet. Contact the IPHC for more information at (206) 634-1838 or .

Fast food features fish sandwiches

Fast food giant McDonald's is using interactive, online computer games to lure more folks to enjoy its Filet of Fish sandwich.

The new multi-media ad campaign allows consumers to 'interact with the brand' by challenging gamers to go 'head to snout' with one of the ocean's most competitive creatures ­ the dolphin. In a game of 'Aquatic Tennis' (which would more correctly be called volleyball), 'man and dolphin' try to bang a fish sandwich past each other. In 'Ocean Commotion,' man tries to balance a sandwich on his nose longer than the more adept dolphin. And in a popular repeat from last year called 'Sharkbait,' players try to keep the Filet o Fish away from a swarm of hungry sharks. All games are timed, allowing gamers to compete with one another. The promotion, in both Spanish and English, also offers wallpapers, cell phone ring tones and t-shirts. Nearly all of McDonald's fish sandwiches are made from Alaska pollock, and the company claims to sell more than 300 million sandwiches each year. ( - More...
Sunday - March 04, 2007


Basic Rules

letterLast Chance To Save Public Beaches By Eric Muench - Sunday PM
letter Youth Sports By Kelli Carlin-Auger - Sunday PM
letter Bostwick Road/Gravina Island By Erin Murphy - Sunday PM
letter Airport Shuttle & Bridge By MJ Cadle - Sunday PM
letter 3rd Ave Bypass By Sonia Streitmatter - Sunday PM
letter Time to dust off the soap box! By Tom Scott - Sunday PM
letter Dick Kauffman By Dan Hart - Sunday PM
letterGoodbye Dick By Anita Hales - Sunday PM
letter Dick Kauffman By MJ Cadle - Sunday PM
letter Organ Donation By Janet Cadero - Sunday PM
letterOrgan donation By MJ Cadle - Sunday PM
letter Worst President in American History By Ken Levy - Sunday PM
letter The Forest Service's TLMP revision By Stephen Todd - Wednesday AM
letter The only bridge Ketchikan needs... By Michael Spence - Wednesday AM
letter Our Forgotten Heroes By Ralph Mirsky - Wednesday AM
letter "Bridge to Nowhere" By Robert D. Warner - Wednesday AM
letter Government with wrong priorities for Gravina Island By Amy Kay Snider - Tuesday PM
letter Open Letter to Assembly & City Council By David G. Hanger - Tuesday PM
letter Eyes on Gravina By Roberta McCreary - Tuesday PM
letter Heroic Last Gift By David J. Undis - Tuesday PM
letter Litter By Janelle Hamilton - Tuesday PM
letter Academy Awards By Mark Neckameyer - Tuesday PM
letter Encourage a Round Log Export Ban By Larry Jackson - Sunday AM
letter Soccer at the Ketchikan Rec Center By Tony Gwynn - Sunday AM
letter All Eyes on Gravina By Gregory Vickrey - Sunday AM
letterPromotional Flyers By Bobbie McCreary - Sunday AM
letter Gravina Access Highway and Bostwick Road: Immoral, Illegal, Unchecked By Jessie Ballowe - Sunday AM
letter "Thanks" By Jerry Cegelske - Sunday AM
letter Gravina Island By Stephanie Patton - Sunday AM
letterJune Allen By Chris Elliott - Sunday AM
letter Palmer, AK By Lynn Dockendorf - Sunday AM
letter What is Victory in Iraq? By Mark S. Beatty - Sunday AM
letterThe Stedman By Al Johnson - Friday AM
letter Legislators' Salaries By Rick Krueger - Friday AM
letterKetchikan Bridge Project: Open Letter to the Governor By Robert Warner - Friday AM
letter The Stedman Hotel... By Pamela (Stevens) Dunn - Thursday AM
letterGravina Project: Open Letter to Governor Palin By David Beebe - Thursday AM
letter Stop the Road Building on Gravina By P. J. Travis - Thursday AM
letter Out Of Site Out Of Mind By Ken Levy - Thursday AM
letter Ban Nicotine Nationwide By Chris Elliott - Thursday AM
letterKeep public facilities open and affordable By Bill Thomas Sr. - Wednesday AM
letter Road Conditions By Dave Hanger - Tuesday PM
letter Open Letter To Governor Palin regarding the Gravina Access Highway By Heather Hollowell - Tuesday PM
letter Re: Novel litter idea By Karen Ramsey - Tuesday PM
letter Youth Indoor Soccer League By Phil Doherty - Tuesday PM
letter More Viewpoints/ Letters
letter Publish A Letter


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The Ketchikan Borough Assembly will hold a regular meeting in the City Council Chambers on Monday, March 05, 2007 at 5:30 pm.
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Week In Review By THOMAS HARGROVE - Army secretary quits over Walter Reed scandal

Army Secretary Francis Harvey stepped down Friday amid widening complaints about squalid conditions for outpatients at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, a primary facility for treating troops injured in the Iraq war. President Bush ordered a comprehensive investigation into conditions first reported by The Washington Post. The Army on Thursday announced that Maj. Gen. George W. Weightman, hospital commander, was fired for failing "to address needed solutions for soldier outpatient care." Bush said he wants to know if "similar problems have occurred at other military and veteran hospitals."

Violent storms kill 26 in South and Midwest

A huge storm front stretching from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico spawned tornadoes and violent winds Thursday that killed at least 26 people in Southeast and Midwestern states. A tornado struck Enterprise High School in southern Alabama, killing eight students when the walls and roof were blown off a wing of the school. Enterprise Mayor Ken Boswell said parts of his town look like a war zone. At least six people died and several homes were destroyed in Newton, Ga. Police said storms killed a young girl in Missouri. Heavy snows closed roads in Iowa, Nebraska and Minnesota.

Bus plunges off Georgia highway

Four Bluffton University students, the driver and his wife died Friday morning when their chartered bus fell from an overpass onto Interstate 75 in Atlanta, in an accident that injured 29 others. The bus was carrying the baseball team of the Mennonite-affiliated college to play its first game of the season in Sarasota, Fla. Classes were called off at the 1,150-student campus located 50 miles south of Toledo, Ohio.

Kennedy historian Schlesinger dies

Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Arthur Schlesinger Jr. suffered a heart attack while dining with his family in New York City and died Wednesday. He was 89. Among Schlesinger's books is "A Thousand Days" which chronicled the Kennedy administration for which he worked as a speechwriter, "Robert Kennedy and His Times" and "The Age of Jackson." He coined the phrase "imperial presidency" in his strong criticisms of the Nixon administration and spoke bitterly in opposition to America's current war in Iraq.

Anna Nicole Smith's body returns to the Bahamas

Former Playboy playmate Anna Nicole Smith's body was flown to the Bahamas Friday, ending a bizarre legal battle between her boyfriend and estranged mother over where the model would be buried. Tourists and fans cried "Anna! We love you!" as her coffin was delivered to the Mount Horeb Baptist Church in Nassau. She was buried at Lakeview Memorial Gardens, next to the grave of her 20-year-old son, Daniel, who died in September of an apparent drug overdose.

Wall Street stumbles in 416-point plunge

The Dow Jones industrials average plummeted 416 points Tuesday following deep declines in Chinese and other Asian markets amidst fears that U.S. and Chinese economies were facing recession. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke issued a calm assessment for Congress Wednesday, assuring lawmakers that the markets "seem to be working well." Investors calmed down Wednesday and Thursday, but started another, milder round of selling Friday. The Dow dropped more than 120 points Friday. - More...
Sunday - March 04, 2007

National: Alleged madam telling tales? ... Red Menace! ... Blame at GAO By LISA HOFFMAN - Iraq, Iran, the bilious stock market - all undeniably matters of great moment to official Washington. But nothing can compete with an alleged high-priced hooker operation threatening to release the phone numbers of 10,000 clients.

That's what is concentrating minds here, as more details emerge about Deborah Palfrey, whom authorities say ran a $2 million business that recruited young women in college for $300 assignations with high-rolling clients. Busted on racketeering charges, Palfrey is considering selling client contact information as a way to raise money to pay for her legal defense.

According to the charges, Palfrey hired only women with at least some college education, and employed more than 130 over the past 12 years for "Pamela Martin and Associates," as the operation was named.

Palfrey denies the charges and says she ran a legal escort service.


The Government Accountability Office is prolific in churning out reports that point out the flaws and flubs in federal agencies. Now, the auditing outfit finds itself on the other end of the blame-throwing, as GAO employees accuse management of trying to stifle efforts to organize union membership for 1,500 GAO analysts.

Lawyers for the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers have accused the unit's chief, Comptroller General David Walker, of breaking the rule that he must not disparage the union campaign. Walker denies doing so, but 21 members of Congress, who aren't so sure, have written to remind him of it.

Also percolating is an effort in Congress to create an inspector general at the hugely influential GAO, which, unlike most federal agencies, largely escapes oversight itself.


It's been a while since the Red Menace has raised its ugly head in Washington, given the sorry state of the Communist Party around the world. But Texas GOP Rep. Pete Sessions found cause to red-bait last week, writing House colleagues to warn them that the Communist Party USA was strongly backing the Employee Free Choice Act, which would make it easier for workers to organize against employers' wishes. Didn't do much good, apparently, given the bill passed on a largely party-line 241-185 vote Thursday. - More...
Sunday - Marych 04, 2007

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