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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
March 09, 2007

Front Page Photo by Carl Thompson

Tongass Sunset
In the foreground is the USCG Base.
Front Page Photo by Carl Thompson

Ketchikan: Threatening note surfaces in another local school - Ketchikan School Superintendent Harry Martin announced this afternoon that a similar note to one found at Schoenbar was found written on a stall in the girls' restroom at Houghtaling Elementary School Thursday afternoon. - More...
Thursday PM - March 8, 2007
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Southeast Alaska: Trial Court Order Denies Religious Basis to Overturn Felony Drug Plea; Second hearing unnecessary in Craig marijuana grow operation - A March 1st court order may mark the end of an appeal by a former Craig, Alaska couple that challenged a felony marijuana conviction on their claim that their conduct was protected under the Alaska Constitution's free exercise of religion provision.

In 2003 Michael and Maria Lineker pled no contest to charges of misconduct involving a controlled substance in the fourth degree for possession of 50 marijuana plants found in a hidden room in their home in Craig, Alaska.

The Linekers appealed their drug convictions claiming the marijuana was grown to be used in their religion. The Alaska Court of Appeals remanded the case back to Judge Larry Weeks for a two-part evidentiary hearing. The first hearing was to decide whether there was a religion and whether the Lineker's had a sincere belief in that religion. The second hearing was scheduled for May 2007 to allow expert testimony on whether the State had a compelling interest to justify regulation of marijuana if used for religious purposes. - More...
Friday AM - March 09, 2007

Southeast Alaska: NOAA FISHERIES BEGINS RULEMAKING FOR CHARTER HALIBUT FISHING IN SOUTHEAST ALASKA - Despite recent rejections of new restrictions to the Alaska halibut charter boat fleet, NOAA Fisheries Service and the state Department of Fish and Game are working to develop new management measures to help fishers avoid exceeding harvest levels.

NOAA Fisheries Service Alaska Region has initiated a rule-making process that will make changes in regulations for fishing for the charter halibut industry in southeast Alaska (area 2C).

This year, the International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC) recommended that the United States impose bag limit reductions on the sport charter fleet operating in south central (area 3A) and southeast Alaska. The IPHC recommendation came in response to the sport charter fleet having exceeded guideline harvest levels established by the North Pacific Fishery Management Council. - More...
Friday AM - March 09, 2007

Alaska: Hardy Appointed to Deputy Commissioner for AMHS - Dennis L. Hardy, P.E., has been appointed to serve as Deputy Commissioner of Marine Operations. Commissioner Leo von Scheben appointed Hardy to the post effective April 2. Hardy will reside in Juneau.

Hardy, 59, worked for 35 years with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and is currently the chief of the Civil Works Division responsible for planning, design and investigations of projects affecting flood protection, storm damage reduction, maritime navigation investigations, stream bank and coastal erosion.

"Dennis is exactly the guy I was looking for to lead the Alaska Marine Highway System as it faces many challenges to its economic efficiency and long-term sustainability," Von Scheben said. "Dennis has excellent management skills, is data driven in his decisions and works well with the public and stakeholder groups." - More...
Friday AM - March 09, 2007


Ketchikan: Ketchikan Owners Receive Dividend in February - Ketchikan business owners continue to see the benefits of an innovative workers' compensation dividend program that, in the face of rising costs, pays them dividends when the program is profitable.

In 2000, the Alaska Cabaret, Hotel, Restaurant and Retailers Association (CHARR) began the program with Conrad Houston Insurance of Alaska, an Anchorage-based insurance company, in order to offer a workers' comp insurance policy to its members. Conrad Houston Insurance works with Republic of Indemnity Company to offer the policy.

This year marks the third year that area business owners have received dividend payments, paying out to Ketchikan businesses an average of $4000 ­ a 24 percent return on what they paid into the program. This year a total of 96 participating CHARR members statewide received $393,000 in dividends. Seven of those members are from the Ketchikan area.

Donna Luther with Sourdough Bar & Liquor has participated in the workmans' comp program since its inception. Luther, who is a CHARR board member at both the state and local level says, "The rates are great and the dividends are marvelous." The Sourdough Bar received almost a $2000 dividend. - More...
Friday AM - March 09, 2007

National: Study: Salmon farming is here to stay By PETER B. LORD - Americans are consuming more than four times more salmon than they were just two decades ago, according to a major study by professors in Rhode Island and Alaska. And most of that salmon was raised on foreign farms.

The changes in American eating habits reflect a changing global market for salmon. Farmed salmon grew from 2 percent of world supplies in 1980 to 65 percent in 2004, the study found. During a similar period, the value of wild salmon caught in North America declined from $800 million to $300 million.

The report analyzes the feuding between supporters of farm-raised salmon and wild salmon and concludes it's time to move away from trying to choose between one or the other.

"Salmon farming is a major world industry, which is here to stay," the authors conclude. They say wild salmon is incapable of supplying the much larger domestic and world salmon market that has been created by farmed salmon.

The report, titled "The Great Salmon Run: Competition Between Wild and Farmed Salmon," was authored by Cathy A. Roheim and James Anderson, economists at the University of Rhode Island's department of environmental and natural-resource economics; and Gunnar Knapp, a professor of economics at the University of Alaska, Anchorage.

The report was sponsored by TRAFFIC, a wildlife trade monitoring network created by the World Wildlife Fund and the World Conservation Union. Roheim says the sponsors had no say in the study's conclusions and the final report was peer reviewed by other scientists. - More...
Friday AM - March 09, 2007

Match of the Month

Match of the Month: February 2007
"Big Brother" David and his "Little Brother" Isaiah
Photograph by Nancy Coggins


Ketchikan: Match of the Month: February 2007 By NANCY COGGINS - Big Brothers Big Sisters meetings between "Bigs" and "Littles" require only a little pre-planning and material. After that, all it takes is doing what comes naturally. For "Big Brother" David and his "Little Brother" Isaiah, one of their best activities turned out to be pitching rocks over the water at Settlers' Cove. Yes, that day, Isaiah learned how to throw.

Isaiah's mother Kim said, "Being part of a match doesn't take a lot of time or effort. Sacrificing one hour in front of the TV [once a week] would be just about all it would take for prospective 'Bigs' to apply to become part of a match." - More...
Friday AM - March 09, 2007

Ketchikan: Asset Builder of the Month: February 2007 - Some wonderful "Asset Builders" in Ketchikan work discreetly and prefer to remain anonymous and out of the limelight. Such is the case with PATCHWorks' selected "Asset Builder" for February.

This adult is dedicated to providing opportunities for youth to become, and stay, physically fit by playing basketball. The nominator wrote that her nominee "works tirelessly to organize opportunities for youth of all ages to play basketball" and that by doing so young people "learn the meaning of good sportsmanship." The nominator also wrote that the young basketball players become more involved in the community by taking part in service projects and fundraisers with their team. - More...
Friday AM - March 09, 2007


Basic Rules

letter Schoenbar incident By Rebecca Clark - Thursday PM
letterSchool Superintendent, Wrong Plan for Wednesday Morning By Reggie Reinhardt - Thursday PM
letter To the Manly Mark Neckameyer By Ken Lewis - Thursday PM
letter The Iraq War By Ken Levy - Thursday PM
letter Organ donation By David J. Undis - Thursday PM
letterOliver North By Neil Kinunen - Thursday PM
letter Our President By Sarah Harney - Thursday PM
letter Gravina logging road By Eric Tyson - Thursday AM
letter Schoenbar: A Reality Check By Shauna Lee - Wednesday PM
letter School should advise parents & police By Mike Ross - Wednesday PM
letter Trees are a renewable resource By Forrest Mackie - Wednesday PM
letter Thank you Dick. By Dave Kiffer - Wednesday PM
letterAl Gore! Are you Kidding me! By Scott Kline - Wednesday PM
letter AIRPORT SHUTTLE By Ken Levy - Wednesday PM
letter Job Well Done, Dick Kauffman By David Landis - Tuesday PM
letter Bostwick Bowl By Rob Sanderson Jr. - Tuesday PM
letter Shooting threat at Schoenbar? By Bob Grace - Tuesday PM
letter Gravina Viewpoint Appreciated By Gregory Vickery- Tuesday PM
letter Good-Bye Dick By Tom LeCompte- Tuesday PM
letter Gravina road By Scott Adler- Tuesday PM
letter Tribute to Dick Kauffman By Diane Gubatayao - Tuesday PM
letter Rest Peacefully Dick By Gretchen Klein - Tuesday PM
letter Forgotten Heroes By Ken Levy - Tuesday PM
letter Our loss By Cecelia Johnson - Tuesday PM
letter Goodbye Dick By Tamela McColley - Tuesday PM
letter Litter in Ketchikan & Organ Donation By Kathy Morris - Tuesday PM
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 More Viewpoints/ Letters
letter Publish A Letter


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Columns - Commentary

Dave Kiffer : The Next Billy Graham - ike most six year olds, Liam appreciates a bit of a schedule.

Oh, he complains a bit when we cut off his morning cartoon in order to pile him into the car for school, but he appreciates the fact that there is a morning routine.

On school days, we drag him out of bed (like his father he prefers to sleep until noon), feed him and let him watch a little bit of "PBS Kids" before school. Because of his schedule, he always watches a bit of "Curious George" before heading off to the land of knowledge.

So it came as a bit of a shock last week, when he loudly announced after breakfast: "I don't want to watch Curious George."

It wasn't a case of him "outgrowing" the show as he seems to have outgrown "Teletubbies," "The Wiggles" and "Sesame Street."

No, there was something entirely different at work.

"I can't watch 'Curious George' for 40 days," he explained.


"Mrs. Mertz (his kindergarten teacher) says I have to give something up for 40 days. I'm not going to watch 'Curious George.' "

A dim light-bulb started to flicker in my dusty cranium. It was Lent and my little Catholic School child was doing his part, after a fashion. - More...
Friday AM - March 09, 2007

Jason Love: Silly Questions - When I arrive at the Pearly Gates, I'll have some questions. For starters, are Pearly Gates really enough to keep out the bad guys? I mean, these people orchestrate heists and campaign for office.

There will be other questions, to be sure. Would you know I've been writing a list...

Why are there "no shoplifting" signs? Are there places where it's okay?

How come psychics never win the lottery?

Why not one long month with 365 days?

If necessity is the mother of invention, how come we have so much useless crap?

How can Santa Claus get old but never die?

What is the Universe expanding onto?

Why is there boxing at the Goodwill Games?

What do you call a fly with no wings? A walk?

When people go to the bathroom, why do they say they'll be right back? Do they ever stay?

Where do Hawaiians go on vacation?

If we don't say "amen," does God just keep on listening? - More...
Friday AM - March 09, 2007

Martin Schram: Democrats should look for the end of the surge - Trying to figure out what to do about President Bush's failed Iraq policies, congressional Democrats and many Republicans have correctly focused on The Surge - Bush's dispatch of some 20,000 more troops to mostly wage short-term urban combat.

But they have focused on the wrong end of it.

The Bush policy critics have focused on the beginning of The Surge. Mainly, how to stop this mission that the Joint Chiefs of Staff and many retired and still-serving generals warned is unlikely to succeed and may help terrorists and insurgents recruit new followers.

But the point where congressional focus, action and perhaps intervention will be needed is not the beginning but the end of The Surge. That key decision point will be upon us in just months.

Our new man in Iraq, Gen. David Petraeus, who is widely regarded as the military's best at counterinsurgency, believes he has designed a new strategy that can make this surge succeed - and he says we will see evidence of its success (or failure) this summer. America's new (more flexible and reasonable) defense secretary, Robert Gates, has said so too. - More...
Friday AM - March 09, 2007

Dale McFeatters: The Walter Reed problem - Washington has come up with twice the usual number of solutions to the problem of scandalously poor outpatient treatment and housing at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

President Bush has named former Senate Republican leader Bob Dole and former Health and Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala, a Democrat, to co-chair a bipartisan commission to study the care given wounded troops once they're brought home. Both are respected Washington veterans, and Dole would seem an inspired choice given his own hellish recovery from wounds in World War II.

Bush also named a Cabinet-level interagency task force to come up with immediate improvements in the after-care of the wounded, a sad episode that had been simmering out of sight of the larger world until The Washington Post spotlighted it. - More...
Friday AM - March 09, 2007

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