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SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska
April 15, 2006

Front Page Photo by Carl Thompson

'Aleutian Snow'
Front Page Photo By Carl Thompson

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Alaska: Will U.S. get hooked on ocean fish farms? Some hope not By LANCE GAY - The way Mark Vinsel sees it; ocean fishermen are the last of a dying breed in a hunting-gathering tradition that stretches back into history.

But Vinsel fears the days are not long before fishermen go the way of America's small farmers, who are being squeezed off lands by the growth of agribusiness and commercial farming operations.

"The oceans belong to everybody - they should not be fenced off and sold off to the highest bidder," says Vinsel, a Juneau artist and the executive director of United Fishermen of Alaska. Fish-farm technologies can't improve upon nature, or produce fish any cheaper, Vinsel noted: "The way I look at it, a healthy ocean system is natural and cannot be improved upon." - More...
Saturday - April 15, 2006

Alaska: PACE to advise APFC on gas line investment - The Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation Board of Trustees selected PACE Global Energy Services (PACE) on Thursday to serve as an advisor on potential Alaska gas pipeline investments.

"Infrastructure investments are a growing asset class for institutional funds because they can provide risk and return profiles similar to real estate, along with increased diversification" said Carl Brady, Board Chair. "A gas pipeline could represent an excellent infrastructure investment opportunity for the Permanent Fund."

PACE is based in Fairfax, Virginia, with 12 offices around the world. The firm has significant experience in working with large international energy infrastructure projects. PACE does not make investments in the energy industry, and does not have conflicts of interest in advising the APFC. - More...
Saturday - April 15, 2006

Alaska: Governor Murkowski Promotes Alaska Seafood in Germany - Alaska Governor Frank H. Murkowski and a group of Alaska trade, fishery and tourism representatives hosted a press reception and trade luncheon at the Atlantic Kempinski Hotel in Hamburg Thursday to promote Alaska seafood in the German market. The event was co-hosted by representatives of the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute.

Twelve members of the consumer and trade media attended the reception, including representatives from Essen & Trinken, Fischmagazin and the Frankfurter Zeitung. Ten representatives from major German seafood companies attended the trade luncheon, including members from Frosta AG, Gottfiried Friedrichs, Pickenpack and Royal Greenland.

A broad menu of Alaska seafood products was served, accompanied by a display of Alaska seafood products. The governor provided opening remarks, which were followed by a presentation about Alaska seafood production and exports by ASMI's international program director, K.C. Dochtermann. - More...
Saturday - April 15, 2006

Science - Technology: Teflon manufacturing substance gets increased scrutiny By CINDY SUTTER - What should I do about my Teflon cookware?

That was a question that popped into a lot of people's minds in January after a news report that DuPont, the maker of Teflon, and the Environmental Protection Agency had reached an agreement to phase out production of a chemical used in the making of Teflon.

The chemical, a suspected carcinogen known as perfluorooctanoic acid, or PFOA, also can be a byproduct of a variety of other products that are resistant to wrinkling, stains and grease, such as clothing, fabric protectants, pizza boxes and microwave popcorn bags. - More...
Saturday - April 15, 2006

Condor Airlines...

Governor Murkowski met with Condor German Airlines and major German tour operators on April 13, 2006 to push for expanded air service to Fairbanks and Anchorage from Frankfurt. L to R: Güenter Rücker, Air Tours International; Matthias Rotter, Meier's Weltreisen; Nina Dumbert, Thomas Cook AG; Per Illian, Dertour; Nicolas Kitzki, Ikarus Tours; Mrs. Murkowski;Governor Murkowski; Dieter Knöefel, Condor German Airlines; Tilman Uhlig, Terranova Touristik; Boris Ogursky, Thomas Cook AG.
Photo courtesy Office of the Governor

Alaska: Governor meets with Condor German Airlines; Governor Encourages Condor to Start Year-round Alaska Service, Promotes Increased Winter Tourism - Alaska Governor Frank H. Murkowski met Wednesday with Condor German Airlines and several major German tour wholesalers in Kronberg am Taunus near Frankfurt to encourage Condor to consider year-round Alaska service and promote Alaska as a winter tourism destination.

"This meeting with Condor and tourism companies in Germany was a great opportunity to push for additional summer and year-round service," said Murkowski. "Germany is our number one international visitor market for summer. We talked at length about our state's winter experiences and outdoor activities and it is clear that these companies are serious about Alaska and plan to take a closer look at more service." - More...
Saturday - April 15, 2006

Alaska: Renters sue landlord who 'terrorizes' By ROSEMARY SHINAHARA - A group of Mountain View renters and former renters say their apartment management "terrorizes the tenants."

The group of four has filed a lawsuit seeking to bar their landlord and property manager from being allowed to manage any rental property in Alaska. And they want the landlord and manager to pay them damages. - More...
Saturday - April 15, 2006

Alaska wood frogs...

Alaska wood frogs hopping in mystery
An adult wood frog and a younger frog just out of the tadpole stage.
Photo courtesy Mari Reeves.

Alaska: Alaska wood frogs hopping in mystery By Ned Rozell - Kathy Turk has seen several wood frogs near her home in Tok, and she wonders how the farthest-north amphibians can live in such a cold, dry place.

"Since we are pond-starved in my Tok area, how are these frogs laying eggs and where do the tadpoles grow?" Turk wrote in an email.

Before answering that question, let's pause a moment to marvel at wood frogs, which range as far north as the Arctic Ocean in Canada and have been spotted around Anaktuvuk Pass in Alaska. These palm-size creatures survive Alaska's winter by burrowing into the duff and allowing the cold to freeze them solid, even their eyeballs and hearts. After spending the majority of the year as tiny ice cubes, protected from drying out by the glucose their livers flood their systems with as they hibernate, they thaw and hop to breeding ponds in early to mid summer. In most of mainland Alaska, they are the only cold-blooded, smooth skin creatures roaming the boreal forest. The same species of wood frog ranges all the way south to Arkansas. - More...
Saturday - April 15, 2006

Ketchikan doctor gives surgery workshop...

Ketchikan doctor gives surgery
workshop in Manila

Dr. Wolf (left)
Photo courtesy KGH

Ketchikan: Ketchikan doctor gives surgery workshop in Manila - Ketchikan shares rich cultural and personal ties with the Philippines, and many of Ketchikan General Hospital's 400 employees still have family members there. Dr. Alan Wolf, PeaceHealth Orthopedic Surgeon for Southeast Orthopedic Clinic and Ketchikan General Hospital, recently had the opportunity to experience the warmth of those ties when he was invited to conduct a weeklong knee & shoulder arthroscopy workshop at the University of Santo Tomas in Manila.

According to KGH, the Filipino heritage employees were thrilled that Dr. Wolf had the opportunity to visit Manila, and sent him off with pesos and addresses of family members. Dr.Wolf was also accompanied by his friend and colleague Dr. Christopher Jordan, world-renown orthopedic surgeon and surgeon to the past President of the Philippines, Erap Estrada. - More...
Saturday - April 15, 2006

Ketchikan: KGH's new program will benefit unique needs of hospital and community; Ketchikan General Hospital applies for Critical Access status - Ketchikan General Hospital (KGH) has applied with the State of Alaska to be designated a Critical Access Hospital. The new status will allow the hospital more flexibility with many federal rules and regulations. In addition, the hospital will be eligible for a higher level of payment from the Medicare program. The Ketchikan General Hospital Governing Board approved the plan at its last meeting.

"When Congress made changes in the Medicare program in 1995 they unintentionally penalized small rural hospitals. Rural hospitals have different needs than larger hospitals," said Patrick Branco, KGH CEO. "This program will allow our hospital and others like it to continue providing high quality, affordable health care services right here in our community." - More...
Saturday - April 15, 2006

Ketchikan: KGH Home Health "goes live" with electronic record - On April 3 the Ketchikan General Hospital (KGH) Home Health Department implemented an electronic medical record. This new software, called Horizon Homecare, will enable the Home Health clinicians to do real-time charting via laptop computers, while in patient homes or when they return to their vehicles.

All Home Health teams throughout PeaceHealth in the Pacific Northwest will implement Horizon Homecare, however Ketchikan's team was the first to "go live." - More...
Saturday - April 15, 2006



letterFancy propaganda ads will not cover the truth By Mike Moyer - Thursday PM
letter Plug into shore power By Carrie James - Thursday PM
letter Legislature in process of limiting personal rights By Carey Crawford - Thursday PM
letter Protect our children By Carrie James - Thursday PM
letter Opposed to the idea of my government deciding By Catlin Rettke - Thursday PM
letter Thanks By Neil Gray - Thursday PM
letter Port Bonds By A.M. Johnson - Wednesday PM
letter It's Time to Help Prevent Identity Theft and Protect Our Data By Sen. Gene Therriault and Sen. Gretchen Guess - Wednesday PM
letter We cannot tax our way into prosperity By Gov. Frank H. Murkowski - Wednesday PM
letter Questions By Neil Gray - Wednesday PM
letterHawaii Abortion Tourism By Mark Beatty - Wednesday PM
letter Abuse Can Impact Children Negatively For Years By Patrick Cody - Wednesday PM
letter Clarification By Anita Hale - Wednesday PM
letter Ketchikan's youth doing amazing and positive things By Karen Eakes - Tuesday PM
letter "Suddenly Over the Hill" By Kirk Thomas - Tuesday PM
letter Drivers responsible By Greg Harris - Tuesday PM
letter Drug abuse affects everyone in some way By George Jackson - Tuesday PM
letter Thank you By Frances C. Natkong - Tuesday PM
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letter Publish A Letter

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April 15, 2006 - Saturday, 7 - 8pm - Friday Night Insight Programs at the SE Alaska Discovery Center: Discover Southeast Alaska's Wildlife on the Alaska Coastal Wildlife Viewing Trail: Jamie Karnik will introduce you to the Wildlife Viewing Trail concept.

April 17, 2006, Monday - 5:30 pm - Borough Assembly Meeting - City Council Chambers
Agenda - Information Packet

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Health-Fitness: Another gene variant that's linked to obesity By LEE BOWMAN - It's been clear to scientists for a while that heredity plays a role in obesity. But figuring out which genes are involved - and how - has proven as complicated as human metabolism itself.

Geneticists have estimated that a person inherits 30 percent to 70 percent of a tendency to be fat or thin (or body mass index) from his or her parents.

At least 70 different mutations or variants of 10 different genes have been implicated in obesity thus far, but just how common the mutations are in people or groups of people is not always clear.

An estimated 65 percent of Americans are overweight and 30 percent are considered obese. Obesity is a risk factor for a variety of diseases, including diabetes, stroke and high blood pressure.- More...
Saturday - April 15, 2006

The week in review By THOMAS HARGROVE - Immigration attracts mass demonstrations nationwide - Hundreds of thousands of immigrants, their families and friends staged protest marches in more than a dozen major U.S. cities Sunday and Monday, reacting against congressional proposals that would make illegal entry into the United States a felony. Sporting white clothing and carrying thousands of U.S. flags as well as the banners of their former homes, the demonstrators called on Congress to approve the guest-worker program supported by President Bush and offer a path of citizenship to an estimated 11 million undocumented workers already here. Crowds were estimated up to 500,000 in Dallas, 50,000 each in San Diego and Atlanta, and more than 100,000 on the National Mall in Washington.

Bush defends leak of once-classified information to media

President Bush confirmed Monday that he had declassified a once-sensitive intelligence report on Iraq to counter critics who said he exaggerated Saddam Hussein's nuclear capabilities. A federal prosecutor broke the story last week, reporting that Vice President Dick Cheney's former chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, testified he'd been ordered by Bush to release the intelligence report to the media. "I wanted people to see the truth and thought it made sense for people to see the truth," Bush told a crowd at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. - More..
Saturday - April 15, 2006

Washington Calling: Immigrants ... Power windows ... A burro for Mom ... More By LANCE GAY - While the immigration demonstrations forced congressional leaders to back away from tough measures cracking down on illegal immigrants, the American public doesn't seem to be so inclined.

Pollster John Zogby said that in a survey he conducted after the protests, 61 percent said they were less sympathetic to the plight of illegal immigrants as a result of the demonstrations, compared to 32 percent who said they were more sympathetic.

A Gallup poll this month also showed that more than half of Americas are skeptical about the effectiveness of a "wall" that some members of Congress want to construct along America's southern border. What might work to curb illegal immigration, according to 84 percent of those asked, is forcing employers to ensure that they give jobs only to those with proper documentation.


The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration agrees with citizens groups, and is banning rocker and toggle switches used to operate power windows in cars. At least 50 children are strangled in automobile power windows each year in the United States, according to Kids and Cars, the group that led the effort to have the switches banned. Under a new rule published this month, NHTSA says safer pull-up or pull-out switches already standard in Europe and Japan will be required in future cars with power windows.

Janette Fennell, founder of Kids and Cars, said the switches are only a partial victory, and that the group is still pushing for window sensors that work like sensors on garage doors to stop or reverse blocked power windows. - More...
Saturday - April 15, 2006

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