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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
March 28, 2007

Front Page Photo by Chris Wilhelm

"Who's Your Paddy?"
Rob Alley and his hauntingly beautiful bagpipes...
Front Page Photo by Chris Wilhelm

Ketchikan: A Ketchikan communication tower's service was interrupted early Wednesday morning during high winds disrupting most long distance calls off the island, cell phones, and island internet services.

Top Stories
U.S. News
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Ketchikan Arts & Entertainment: "Who's Your Paddy?" A Review of the March Monthly Grind By SHARON ALLEN - This year there were a lot of choices when it came to St. Patrick's Day entertainment. There was the Cancer Auction, the Norton Benefit, and of course, The Monthly Grind. But, whether you started the morning with Green Eggs and Ham or waited until after work for a draft of Green Beer, this month's Monthly Grind was a great way to end the day's celebrations. Right from the beginning, the leprechauns were in the house and the pace didn't slow.

First up were the Kanayama Kids. A group of twenty exchange students for the 2007 school year, they performed two tunes, the last being an absolutely hilarious and upbeat M-O-U-S-E Mickey Mouse song with cute choreography the kids had created themselves. Although the songs weren't Irish, no one minded a bit, and the youths smiled and waved as they left the stage to resounding applause for a job well done.

Next was good to see the familiar faces of Ketchikan's own talented group, The Otter Limits. Mary Larson, Tom LeCompte, Terry O'Hara, Don and Peggy Pennington and Dave Rubin performed two whiskey-themed songs, Ode to Whiskey andWhiskey in the Jar. Whiskey in the Jar is a great pub sing-a-long about a man who robs Captain Farrell on the road. He brings the money home and shows it to his love, Jenny. Then while he's sleeping, his love takes his money and tells Captain Farrell where to find him. Metallica covered it in 1999 based on a version by Thin Lizzy. The crowd's part in the latter song was to sing along to a refrain of:

musha ring dumma do damma da
whack for the daddy 'ol
whack for the daddy 'ol
there's whiskey in the jar.

And with all of the enthusiastic chanting, stomping and whistling of the audience, it was a wonder the roof on the tribal house didn't come down by the end of it!

Not to be outdone, the River People, a wonderful group of musicians from Prince of Wales, took center stage then. Robert Cherney, Doug Black, Jay Bruns, John Bruns, Sally Burch and Kosami varied their folksy tunes with two island songs which found favor with the crowd. Another favorite, a John Prine song entitled Great Rain also was a favorite. Not having heard them before, I respected their skills and, judging by the applause, many others felt the same. I look forward to hearing more from them in the future.

As always, the tea, Raven's Brew Coffee and homemade desserts were delicious and the twenty minute intermission was just enough time to partake of the goodies and catch up with friends.

The Otter Limits opened up the second half of The Monthly Grind with two more songs; Holy Ground and Tell My Ma. They rattled off the reels and jigs with gusto and had the audience stomping along in time. Mary's penny whistle was excellent and as always, Terry O'Hara's strumming strings were outstanding. - More...
Wednesday AM - March 28, 2007


Alaska: Alaska's crab fishermen go prime time By SARAH HENNING - Captain Phil Harris lost a crew member overboard. He broke his back (twice), all his fingers, both shoulders, an ankle and a wrist. Many of the guys he started fishing with were killed on the job. Both his wives left him.

Crab fishing's been better to him than most.

For starters, he's 50 and still alive.

The Seattle-based captain of the Cornelia Marie has never returned to land broke. His record annual haul: $500,000.

The combination of jackpot earnings, dogged crab fishermen and life-threatening weather has made the reality-TV series "Deadliest Catch" the top-rated show on the Discovery Channel, with about 6 million viewers per week.

The show has turned craggy boat captains like Harris into unlikely reality-TV stars, who now receive crab pots full of fan mail and romantic proposals.

In the third season, which debuts at 9 p.m. EST Tuesday, April 3, cameras roll as crabbing crews leave Dutch Harbor seeking a windfall on the Bering Sea.

The first episode ends in the middle of a Coast Guard search, with the ominous image of a yellow survival suit floating empty on the waves. - More...
Wednesday AM - March 28, 2007

National: Oldest female veteran dies at 109 By LISA HOFFMAN - The last surviving American female veteran of World War I and the oldest woman military veteran died Tuesday.

Charlotte Winters, 109, died at a nursing home in the Boonsboro, Md., area, according to her niece.

Her death leaves alive just five other known American vets from the "war to end all wars."

At a time when American women were not permitted to vote, Winters served as a "Yeomanette" in the World War I Naval Reserve. Women were not given the right to vote until 1920.

One of more than 11,000 such women stateside, she worked in a gun factory and as a secretary. None were allowed to remain in the military after the war ended. - More...
Wednesday AM - March 28, 2007

National: Pros and cons of immigration By SCOTT MaCKAY - Several years ago, Terry Gorman began to think there was an opinion gap on the volatile issue of illegal immigration.

Leaders in the business and political communities, Gorman says, did not appreciate the anger among average citizens over the issue of people entering the United States illegally, working illegally and having children who automatically become U.S. citizens.

"I think there is a huge disconnect between how average people feel about this and the politicians and leaders of many groups," says Gorman, a retired U.S. postal worker. "You go to the State House hearings and testify and it seems all the (media) coverage comes down on the side of ... the ACLU, the Urban League, and the Latino organizations.

"I'm not against immigrants, we need immigrants," Gorman says. "But you have to come here legally." - More...
Wednesday AM - March 28, 2007

Mobile Mammogram Van's visit

Williams looks forward to mobile
mammogram van's Kake visit
Tina Williams of Kate beading...
Photo courtesy SEARHC

Southeast Alaska: Williams looks forward to mobile mammogram van's Kake visit - Tina Williams of Kake used to travel for her yearly mammogram. This time the mammogram is coming to her.

Williams went to the SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital in Sitka for last year's mammogram, and in previous years she went to a clinic in Petersburg. Williams already has plans for an appointment when the mobile mammogram van makes its April 23-25 visit to SEARHC's Kake Health Center.

"It's been almost a year," Williams said. "The last time it was in Sitka, and I've had it done in Petersburg, too. But not here in Kake. It is nice not to have to travel."

Williams, 48, said her doctors make sure all of her regular screening tests are up to date. A mammogram is an x-ray of the breast and an important tool for the early detection of breast cancer. - More...
Wednesday AM - March 28, 2007

Ketchikan: New Members Elected to Ketchikan Landless Committee - On March 24, 2007 elections were held at 429 Deermount to elect four members to the Ketchikan Landless Committee. Those elected are: Joseph Reeves III; William (Bill) Williams; Ivan Leighton; and Cecelia (CC) Johnson. They will serve on the board for the Ketchikan Landless community at large urban Sealaska Corporation shareholders. Terms expiring in February 2009 are: Richard Jackson-Chair; Robert (Bob) Sivertsen-Vice-Chair; Bonnie Newman-Secretary; and Kenneth Arriola At Large member. - More...
Wednesday AM - March 28, 2007


Basic Rules

letter VA Hospitals, Health Care, Hillary... By Rebecca Clark - Thursday
letter Dog Breeding Letters By Kerry Watson - Thursday AM
letter Dogs & Breeders By Kevin Mackey - Thursday
letter Puppymills and Breeders By Maggie Garmle - Thursday
letterKetchikan School Superintendent By Bill Thomas Sr. - Wednesday
letter Ketchikan school board's lack of focus By Chas Edwardson - Wednesday
letter Open Letter to the Ketchikan School Board By Debra Azure - Wednesday
letter Family Night at Ketchikan Public Library, Children's Library By Christy Moss - Wednesday
letter Pet Food By Charlotte Glover - Wednesday
letter Sealaska: Voting No By Don Hoff, Jr. - Tuesday PM
letter Talk about propaganda! By Anita Hales- Tuesday PM
letter Finding animals... By CJ Hoggard- Tuesday PM
letter Military Hospitals, War and ... By Amber Leslie Williams Baldwin- Tuesday PM
letterDog Breeders By Kara Jeanne Blazier- Tuesday PM
letter The best dog... By Dain Ellis- Tuesday PM
letterAMHS Southern Gateway Shuttle Ferry Needs to be Operating in 2008 By Mike Round - Sunday AM
letterDog Breeders By Margaret Cloud - Sunday AM
letter Neckameyer is right on with his Islamofacisist remarks By Bob Harmon - Sunday AM
letter Roads on Gravina By Mike Salee- Saturday PM
letter School Superintendent By KJ Harris- Saturday PM
letter New airport in lieu of bridge By Edward Brown- Saturday PM
letter School Board Controversy By Diana Chaudhary - Saturday PM
letter KPU Dividend? By Mike McColley- Saturday PM
letter Daylight Savings Time By Ken Levy- Saturday PM
letter How Ketchikan "used to be" By Jeanine Miller- Saturday PM
letter Some explaining to do... By Jon Hurley- Saturday PM
letter Dog Breeders By Kara Jeanne Blazier- Saturday PM
letter Re: IT errors at PFD By Glen Thompson - Saturday PM
letter Tourism money and city projects By Christy Smith - Saturday PM
letterAn accurate, technical explanation of the PFD data loss By Norm Snyder - Thursday AM
letter Finding Peace... By Mark Neckameyer - Thursday AM
letter GLOBAL WARMING AS AN INDICATOR By Ken Bylund - Thursday AM
letterGang Type Activity in Ketchikan By Laura M. Warren - Wednesday AM
letter Never buy a dog from any breeder By Margaret Cloud - Wednesday AM
letter Just heard... By Rick Krueger - Wednesday AM
letter Daylight savings time & government health care... By Ken Lewis - Wednesday AM
letter Taxes and Bus Service By Rodney Dial - Tuesday AM
letter KANAYAMA BEGINNINGS By Bill Tatsuda - Monday AM
letterDowntown Sitka By Sarah Corporon - Monday AM
letter Looking for photo of an old boat (the "Famous") By Heidi Ekstrand - Monday AM
letter Gun Safety By Kerry Watson- Monday AM
letterGravina By Eric Tyson - Monday AM
letter EIS hearings in Saxman By Anita Hales - Monday AM
letter Defensive Driving in the Snow By Chris Elliott - Monday AM
letter Too many pit mixes in town By Tammy Sivertsen - Monday AM
letter Daylight Savings Time
By Ken Levy - Monday AM
letter Gravina Views By Robert McRoberts - Monday AM
letter AIRPORT SHUTTLE By Ken Levy - Monday AM
letter LIFE LESSONS By Jeff Wahl - Monday AM
letter Israel-Finding Peace with its Arab Neighbors By Tom Proebsting- Monday AM
letterMore Viewpoints/ Letters
letter Publish A Letter


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Columns - Commentary

Dave Kiffer: I Grocery Shop Therefore I Am - You can date a local by how they refer to Ketchikan grocery stores.

For example, I tend to immediately think the name "Wingren's" when I think of local grocery stores.

My mother, on the other hand, still occasionally refers to something Downtown as "near the Piggly-Wiggly."

If my great-grandfather were still around, I'm sure he'd patiently explain that some place was "a couple of doors down from 'Clark and Martin.' " So it goes.

I have a friend who calls the store next to the mall "SeaMart." Another friend calls it "Carrs." Only a real cheechako would call it its current name "Safeway."

It's probably no surprise, then, that I tend to mark life changes by grocery stores.

Growing up in the West End of Ketchikan, I have fond memories of the two West End stores, :"Wingren's" and "Log Cabin," as they were called in the 1960s. They were both located on the bottom floors of the two 10 story, concrete bunker apartment buildings that towered over our daily lives (they were the "Wingren" and the "Austin" buildings then). - More...
Wednesday - March 28, 2007

Preston McDougall: Chemical Eye on Capitol Flora and Fauna - Readers who join us here each week, know that I was on Capitol Hill recently, listening to the Iraq debate in the U.S. House of Representatives. I also paid a visit next door. I wasn't prepared for what I saw - it was a jungle in there!

Literally. Since I didn't have a pass to the Senate chamber, I crossed First Street and toured the U.S. Botanic Garden Conservatory. It was my maiden voyage through this myriad of flora from all corners of the planet, and quite a few interesting niches as well. My flight was the last one to Nashville, so I had time for a three-hour tour, a three-hour tour.

Although there is a fascinating World Deserts exhibit - featuring numerous cactus species with more barbs than the House debate - this is no uncharted desert isle. I grabbed a map at the front desk, and made notes on it as I explored this haven from the politically rough weather across the street.

In the West Gallery, it is your sense of smell that does most of the exploring. Seeds of all kinds are grouped in displays that tell the story of spices, such as Asian curry with its blend of turmeric, coriander, cumin, fenugreek, cloves and fennel seeds. I have often wondered how roots and seeds of less-than-tantalizing plants (except for fennel - I love fennel) ended up as key ingredients to delicious entrées. If not for the courage of the fearless crew (in some ancient kitchen) tandoori ovens probably wouldn't be so popular in London. - More...
Wednesday - March 28, 2007

Bob Ciminel: One Thing About Trains . . - I received an email recently from one of my two loyal readers asking when I was going to write another article about the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway, which used to be my home away from home before my company put me on the road. Case in point, I just came back from three wonderful days in Minnesota where I had the opportunity to experience a blizzard. You know, I'm almost positive that when I hired on with my company I distinctly told them that I did not want to go north Interstate 40 in any month with an "R" in it. They must have forgotten.

But, getting back to the Blue Ridge Scenic, this is the start of the railroad's 10th season, as well as my 10th year as a conductor. However, I work as a brakeman most of the time. I find that stubborn locomotives or cranky engineers are easier to deal with than 400 impatient passengers. Besides, a conductor is really just a brakeman who can read and write. In fact, the definition of a conductor is "a brakeman displaying pencils."

Many of my fellow volunteers enjoy dressing up in their conductor uniforms and hob knobbing with the passengers, whereas I, on the other hand, get infinitely more enjoyment emptying the sanitary tanks. That is a job requiring skill and coordination, as well as a stomach made of iron. I think I'm beyond iron though because as I look in the mirror these days I see lead. - More...
Wednesday - March 28, 2007

Rob Holston: Pets, Kids & a 50-pound Rock - I recently took my daughter's pet bird to the veterinarian's. As I waited in the vet's office for Tika's appointment, I picked up a Science Diet book and thumbed through. It was then I discovered the stark similarity between they way Americans take care of their pets and the way they take care of their children and themselves. I was also struck by an obvious (to me) contrast. Science Diet is committed to formulating the absolute best possible food for your pet cat or dog throughout the various stages of life that the spectrum of a dog or cat's longevity requires. Human "food" manufacturing companies are primarily interested in profit and offering a huge amount of choices, some of which are healthy and many of which are not. Wisdom is the ability to discern proper choices and make them and this pet food book seemed to display wisdom that should be applied to human lives as well.

The section of the Science Diet book that caught my attention was "Obesity Facts". I thought, 'Here's a health concern Americans share with their pets.' The book stated that 50% of dogs & cats are overweight or obese. I thought, 'A recent study shows that in just 4 years, overweight & obese American children will increase from the present level of 25% to 50%.' It is scary for me to see this feeder system generation face such obesity risks, not just for them as children, but also for the adults, which they will become. If the present epidemic levels of diabetes, heart disease and stroke are alarming now, the next generation will be far more disposed to premature death and disability than the present generation of adults. That is VERY alarming! - More...
Wednesday - March 28, 2007

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