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SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska

Fat the only fuel for migrating salmon....

Fat the only fuel for migrating salmon
A technician tests a method for electrically checking the fat content of
a king salmon on a dead fish from the Yukon River.
Front Page Photo by Joe Margraf

Alaska: Fat the only fuel for migrating salmon by NED ROZELL - As you read this, salmon are darting through the deep blue ocean off Alaska, eating everything they can catch. Some of those brilliant silver fish are packing on fat to power them 1,500 miles up the Yukon, past Eagle and well into Canada. They will not eat during the journey.

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"Fat is the gasoline in their tank," said biologist Joe Margraf. "Migrating salmon start their trip with that tank, and there's no refueling along the way."

Margraf and other scientists have been experimenting with a method to check the primary health indicator of migrating salmon-the fat within their bodies-without killing the fish. Margraf is a fisheries professor with the USGS Alaska Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Salmon entering the Yukon River begin their journeys to spawning grounds with huge fat reserves. At the Yukon River's mouth, 20 percent of a fish's body weight might be fat.

"(Fat) is what makes salmon such an amazing food," Margraf said. "They have this high percentage of fat, and it's all omega-3s, the good stuff."

Fish caught on the lower Yukon are often dripping with fat even after people preserve them by smoking. Fish upriver have lower percentages of fat, and as they make it to their spawning grounds, water replaces most of the fat within their cells. A test of spawning male chum salmon on the Delta River showed that 75 percent of their body weight was water after an 850-mile journey from the mouth of the Yukon. - More...
Friday - April 28, 2006

Ketchikan: Ketchikan's Unemployment rate falls to 8.5 percent in March - Ketchikan's unemployment rate fell in March to 8.5 percent, down from 9.3 percent in February. The Alaska Department of Labor & Workforce Development reported a labor force of 7, 109 for Ketchikan in March. Of Ketchikan's labor force, 604 were reported as unemployed in March.

Alaska's unemployment rate fell five-tenths of a percentage point in March to 7.7 percent, according to the Alaska Department of Labor & Workforce Development. The March rate was two-tenths of a percentage point higher than March 2005's rate of 7.5 percent, marking the first time in 24 months that the unemployment rate hasn't shown an over-the-year decline.

According to the Alaska Department of Labor, it will take several more months of data, however, before any conclusions can be drawn about a change in the downward trend of unemployment rates statewide. The statistics are in large part based on a survey of only about 1,000 Alaska households and are prone to considerable month-to-month variability. - More...
Friday - April 28, 2006

National: Drive less? Politicians won't ask By MARC SANDALOW - The remedies prescribed by the nation's political leaders this week in response to $3-a-gallon gasoline might hold political value. But they largely ignore the nation's addiction to oil, raising doubts among economists that they will accomplish their goal.

Though everyone agrees that the nation's economic well-being, its environmental health and perhaps its national security depend on reducing its reliance on foreign oil, the election-year rhetoric from Washington carefully avoids any suggestion that Americans - who hold about 2 percent of the world's known oil reserves and consume about 25 percent - take any steps to cut back their use.

"We want fossil fuels. We want oil. We want gas. We want nuclear. We want renewable. We want wind," Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., declared Thursday, reflecting the widely held belief that plentiful energy is an American right. - More....
Friday - April 28, 2006



letter Forever grateful to residents of Ketchikan By Sherry Freeman - Sunday
letter In defense of the Ketchikan Borough and Animal Protection By Georgianna Zimmerle - Sunday
letter THE AQUARIUM OF DEAD FISH By David G. Hanger - Saturday
letter Ketchikan's litter problem By Karen Ramsey - Saturday
letter Bear Valley Pride Despite Zoning Ruling By Lynne Miller - Friday
letter Response to integrity & ethical behavior lacking By Tamela McColley - Friday
letter Protests against aerial spraying By Frances Natkong - Friday
letter RE: Drugs By Catlin Rettke - Friday
letter Murkowski Must Show His Cards By Sarah Palin - Thursday
letter A UNIQUE ADVERTISING CAMPAIGN By David G. Hanger - Thursday
letter Aerial Spraying By Andreas Lenz - Thursday
letter Alaskans deserve full disclosure new bill would provide By Rep. Berta Gardner - Thursday
letter Drugs By Kayleigh Martin - Wednesday
letter Integrity & ethical behavior lacking By Jon T. Van Essen - Tuesday
letter Positive examples needed By Bruce Dixon - Tuesday
letter Pesticide Spraying By R.K. Rice - Tuesday
letter Kohring has his allegiances confused By Peter Bolling - Tuesday
letter Re: $3.00 a gallon By Ken Lewis - Tuesday
letter Palin Shows She Can Lead Even Her Political Opponents! By Ed Middleton - Tuesday
letter RE: Twilight zone By Catlin Rettke - Tuesday
letter 71st General Assembly of the Central Council of Tlingit- Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska By Dana Ruaro - Tuesday
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 More Viewpoints/ Letters
letter Publish A Letter

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May 01, 2006, Monday, 5:30 pm - Borough Assembly Meeting - City Council Chambers
Agenda - Information Packet

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April 2006
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Washington Calling: GOP revolts ... a helicopter that doesn't work ... and more By LANCE GAY - Congressional vows for sweeping reforms of how lawmakers do business with lobbyists in the wake of the Jack Abramoff scandal are being watered down regularly.

In the latest skirmish, House leaders facing a rank-and-file revolt backed away from proposals requiring the naming of sponsoring lawmakers to be associated with all special spending measures buried in huge bills.

So-called "earmarks" are what congressional critics call pork, but they're bacon for incumbents who are fiercely protective of the special projects they win for home districts. House leaders agreed with the dissenters that the House wouldn't impose the requirement to disclose the sponsors of secretive spending measures unless the Senate did as well. - More....
Friday - April 28, 2006

The week in review By THOMAS HARGROVE - Bush halts federal gas purchases, promises investigation

Reacting to growing public anxiety over rapidly rising petroleum prices, President Bush announced Tuesday he'll temporarily halt federal gasoline purchases for the national strategic petroleum reserve in hopes of reducing demand for gas costing at least $3 a gallon in most cities. "Every little bit helps," Bush said. The president also ordered the Justice and Energy departments to start investigations into possible price gouging or any other improper manipulation of the market.

U.S. oil companies report largest profits in history

This week Exxon Mobil Corp., ConocoPhillips and Chevron Corp. announced a record $15.7 billion in first-quarter profits, 17 percent more than earnings during the same period last year. The companies filed some of the largest profit statements in history. Some members of Congress are calling for new windfall-profit taxes against oil producers, a measure President Bush rejected. But Bush urged the oil giants Friday to re-invest their profits to increase gasoline supplies.

TV pundit Tony Snow becomes top White House spokesman

President Bush selected conservative TV pundit Tony Snow as his new press secretary Wednesday, shrugging off past criticisms Snow had made of his administration. "My job is to make decisions and his job is to help explain those decisions to the press corps and to the American people," Bush said. The president said he asked Snow - who once called Bush "something of an embarrassment" - about the remarks. "You should have heard what I said about the other guy," Snow assured the president. He told the White House press corps, "I believe in the president."

Suicide bombers hit Egyptian resort, killing 24

Three nearly simultaneous bombings hit the Egyptian Dahab beach resort popular with foreigners Monday at the height of the tourist season, killing 24 people and wounding dozens of others. Most of the dead were Egyptians celebrating the start of spring. The attack was the third in the Sinai peninsula in the last two years and came a day after Osama bin Laden released a videotape calling on Muslims to support al Qaeda's struggles. Hamas, the radical anti-Israel group controlling Palestine, condemned the attack.

Florida lawmakers to shut down boot camps after boy's death

Florida Senate and House negotiators reached a deal this week to replace four so-called "boot camps" for juvenile offenders with new programs that will minimize contact between juveniles and their guards. The action follows the death of Martin Lee Anderson, 14, who died Jan. 6 after he was beaten by guards at one of the camps. Meanwhile, Florida Attorney General Charlie Crist called for an investigation into Medical Examiner Charles Siebert, who ruled the boy died of natural causes. Crist wants the Florida Medical Examiners Commission to review Siebert's records to determine if there are "any other flawed autopsies of which we might not be aware."

North Carolina stripper made similar rape charges 10 years ago

The exotic dancer who said three members of the Duke University lacrosse team raped her also told police in 1996 that three men sexually assaulted her when she was 14. North Carolina authorities said the case was not pursued. The woman told Essence magazine she did not push for prosecution then for fear of her safety. Meanwhile, one of the Duke defendants, Collin Finnerty, 19, was ordered to stand trial in Washington, D.C., in an unrelated assault case in which he is accused of punching a man who asked Finnerty to stop calling him "gay and other derogatory names."

Spanish version of national anthem prompts White House ire

President Bush joined the criticism against a new Spanish-language recording of the national anthem by British pop-music producer Adam Kidron. "I think people who want to be citizens of this country ought to learn English," Bush told reporters assembled at the White House Rose Garden. "One of the things that's very important is - when we debate this issue - that we not lose our national soul." Kidron said he recorded "Nuestro Himno" or "Our Anthem" to honor American immigrants. - More...
Friday - April 28, 2006

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