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SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska

April 24, 2006

Front Page Photo by Jim Lewis

Sweets & Treats
Front Page Photo By Jim Lewis

Ketchikan: Sweets & Treats Front Page Photo By Jim Lewis - As this beautiful rufous hummingbird is enjoying the sweets provided by a Ketchikan feeder, it is providing endless viewing treats for the photographer. One treat was seeing and photographing the hummingbird's long tongue as it fed on the sugar water. - More..
Monday - April 24, 2006

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


National: Rising gas prices couldn't come at worst time for Bush, GOP By JAMES ROSEN - Unseasonably high gasoline prices are causing a new political headache for the White House and Republican lawmakers already on edge as they head into their re-election campaigns.

President Bush's sagging approval ratings over the Iraq war and a host of other problems led him to begin a White House staff shakeup. New polling data suggests the rising cost of gas could cause more political damage.

Three-quarters of Americans said they disapprove of Bush's handling of the gas-price surge, according to an ABC News/Washington Post poll. Fuel and oil prices jumped to third place - behind Iraq and immigration - in a Gallup Poll survey asking Americans to rate the country's most pressing problems.

One problem for Bush is that oil traders' fears of geopolitical instability have been fueled by his major foreign-policy initiatives - first in Iraq, where the war is into its fourth year, and now in Iran, which is defying warnings from Bush and other world leaders over its nuclear ambitions.

Fifteen Democratic senators wrote Bush last Tuesday, asking him to convene an emergency energy summit and to back anti-price-gouging legislation.

"In the absence of leadership or cooperation from your administration, we will soon be moving ahead with our own set of real solutions, which will spur the kind of innovation and investment America needs to secure its energy future for the 21st century," the senators wrote. - More...
Monday - April 24, 2006

Alaska: $70 oil prices expands Alaska's coffers By WESLEY LOY - The price of North Slope crude oil closed above $70 a barrel for the first time Wednesday, yet another monster milestone for Alaska's most vital commodity.

North Slope crude for delivery to West Coast refineries settled at $70.37, up 82 cents from Tuesday's close.

Energy watchers say the nuclear stalemate in major Mideast oil producer Iran, militant attacks in Nigeria, and worries that oil suppliers can't meet global demand helped propel oil prices upward.

High oil prices are flooding state coffers with unexpected tax and royalty riches, and lawmakers are enjoying a respite from chronic budget deficits and are finding ways to spend nearly all the newfound wealth, state budget officials say.

Alaska oil has been on an incredible hot streak since May 14, 2004, when it closed above $40 a barrel for the first time. - More...
Monday - April 24, 2006

Business - Economy: U.S. standoff with Iran pumps up gas prices By MATTHEW B. STANNARD and DAVID R. BAKER - Steaming drivers furious at $3-a-gallon gas can direct at least part of their anger at the row between the United States and Iran, which experts agree helps increase prices by frightening investors - and there isn't much anybody can do about it in the short term.

Most of America's options on Iran offer little promise of lowering prices, according to several foreign policy experts, and some could push them still higher.

Several warned against radical short-term fixes, such as tapping the nation's strategic petroleum reserve, and they predicted that even if tensions don't diminish, the price of oil will - in time.

"Remember, this will play out over months, if not years," said Anthony Cordesman, an expert on energy and the Middle East at the private Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. "If the president commits the SPR to deal with a panic, the end result could be a very costly way of damping a panic that would fade in any case." - More...
Monday - April 24, 2006

Discovering Invasive Plants of Ketchikan
Pam Fletcher speaking to audience members and answering their questions.
Photo by Marie L. Monyak

Ketchikan: Discovering Invasive Plants of Ketchikan By Marie L. Monyak - Just in time for the spring planting season, the Southeast Alaska Discovery Center Friday Night Insight Program hosted the presentation; Invasive Plants in Ketchikan ~ Nip them in the Bud! The guest speaker was Pam Fletcher, U.S. Forest Service Ecologist for the Tongass National Forest.

With the assistance of a power point slide show, Fletcher began by saying, "We're going to be talking about the invasive plants in Ketchikan. I chose to take the 5 most common [plants] seen around town."

Fletcher explained to the audience "Invasive plants have become such a problem that in 1999, President Clinton issued an executive order because the government realized that we were having a problem because these plants are overrunning our country so we need to control it."

Realizing the need to define just what an invasive plant is, Fletcher described them as, "Any plant that moves into a new area by accident or on purpose, not from down the block or from another state but from another country, not North America."
- More...
Monday - April 24, 2006

Reindeer tasting: Nice work, if you can get it
A test panel of volunteers judges the qualities of Alaska reindeer meat. Clockwise from left, Ned Rozell, Doreen Fitzgerald, Thomas Devon, Aaron Olsen, Lisbeth Johansson, James Stone and Jack McFarland.
Photo by Greg Finstad.

Ketchikan: Reindeer tasting: Nice work, if you can get it by NED ROZELL - Using my tongue, I pressed the meat to the roof of my mouth. The folded slice oozed with a slight taste of blood. I chewed the sample, which was so tender it disintegrated. Then came the hardest part-I had to spit the meat into a cup without eating it.

Six of us, the "sensory panel" for the University of Alaska's Reindeer Research Program, gathered together to sample reindeer meat from animals on the Seward Peninsula. We didn't know we were sampling reindeer backstrap in two forms-one from a reindeer carcass that had been electrically stimulated, one from a carcass that had not.

Eva Wiklund, a meat scientist and research associate professor with UAF's Reindeer Research Program, had set up the experiment. Wiklund is from Sweden, where there are 2,500 reindeer herders and 250,000 reindeer grazing over almost half of the country. The scale of the reindeer industry is a bit smaller in Alaska, where herders on the Seward Peninsula are still trying to recover from the infiltration of the Western Arctic caribou herd in the 1990s. When caribou and reindeer mix, reindeer often follow caribou to places unknown. Once, 17 herders on the Seward Peninsula had reindeer. Now, seven have reindeer and their herds total about 7,000 animals. But things are looking up, according to Greg Finstad, manager of the Reindeer Research Program; caribou have withdrawn to the eastern part of the Seward Peninsula during the last three winters, and the herders sell meat to local people and village grocery stores. - More...
Monday - April 24, 2006

Open House...

Holy Name Catholic School Holds Open House
Photo By Marie L. Monyak

Ketchikan: Holy Name Catholic School Holds Open House By Marie L. Monyak - Holy Name Catholic School located at 433 Jackson Street held their open house last Tuesday so that interested parents could explore the options available to them to fulfill their children's educational needs for the upcoming school year.

Children were treated to ice cream in the dining hall while their parents wandered from room to room, meeting with faculty, inspecting the classrooms and observing the many student projects that lined the walls, shelves and tables.

Established in 1946, Holy Name School in Ketchikan has offered an alternative to the public school system for 60 years. As HNS Principal John Dickinson said, "It's wonderful for parents to have options when choosing a school, the more options, the better."

HNS offers kindergarten through sixth grade as well as preschool. For those working parents that must provide care for their children before and after school while they're working, HNS also offers extended-hours programs in both the morning and afternoon at a cost far below the average day care center. - More...
Monday - April 24, 2006



letter "Twilight Zone" By Jerry Cegelske - Monday
letter A Warning to Alaskans by Rep. Vic Kohring - Monday
letter Aerial Pesticide Spraying By Mark Schindler - Monday
letter Long Island A Subsistence Area By Jean Bland - Monday
letter The true hero, Bill Blackwell By Eric Muench - Sunday
letter Addiction to oil By Joseph Prows - Sunday
letter Comments By George Jackson - Saturday
letter Timber Company Plans Spraying of Dangerous Chemicals By Jonathan Neiss - Saturday
letter Medical Malpractice By Jane Marshall - Saturday
letter $3.00 a gallon! By Marty West - Friday
letter Release Election Records By Hunter Davis - Wednesday
letter A fate worse than global warming? By John M. Crisp - Wednesday
letter Cheap labor; Price of gas By Robert Glenn - Wednesday
letter Litterbugs By Jenny Smiley - Wednesday
letterKind and Generous People By Jerry Cegelske - Tuesday PM
The "Younger crowd By Rick Grams - Tuesday PM
letter To All of my Eagle-Eyed Readers By Bob Ciminel - Tuesday PM
letter RE: Plug Into Shore Power By Dave Kiffer - Tuesday PM
letter Thought Provoking By A.M. Johnson - Tuesday PM
letter Immigrants/Amnesty By Virginia E. Atkinson - Tuesday PM
letterThe Oil in the ground belongs to the people of Alaska, not BP By Samuel Bergeron - Monday
letter Alaskans should not be overly concerned as bird migration resumes By Matt Robus - Monday
letterNight of High School Music-ians! By Judith Green - Monday
letter More Viewpoints/ Letters
letter Publish A Letter



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April 24, 2006, Monday, 5:30 pm - Special Assembly meeting/ work session to discuss the borough budget.
Agenda & Information Packet

April 25, 2006, Tuesday, 6:00 p.m. - Teleconferenced CONSTITUENT MEETING with
, REP. ELKINS & REP.WILSON at the Legislative Information Office,
50 Front Street, Suite 203, Ketchikan. This is an informal teleconference for members of the community to discuss issues or concerns with local legislators. Contact the LIO at 225-9675 for more information.

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