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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska

April 05, 2007

Front Page Photo by Kip Tyler

Discovery Center Reopens In Time For Hummingbird Festival
Front Page Photo of Ketchikan Hummingbird by Kip Tyler

Ketchikan: Temporary closure to timber in Tongass - AGREEMENT: Logging sales can still occur in areas accessible by road. By JEANNETTE J. LEE - More than two million acres of roadless tracts in the Tongass National Forest have been temporarily closed to timber sales under a pending settlement between environmental groups and the U.S. Forest Service. - Read this Anchorage Daily News story...
Thursday -

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Ketchikan: Discovery Center Reopens In Time For Hummingbird Festival - The lights are back on and the Southeast Alaska Discovery Center is open once again to visitors. The Center will be open 10 am - 4 pm both Saturday, April 7th and Sunday, April 8th, 2007 just in time for the first weekend of the Alaska Hummingbird Festival.

During April the Southeast Alaska Discovery Center will be open 10 am - 4 pm Thursday through Sunday and admission is free. With the majority of the work completed, the Center is open to support events for the Alaska Hummingbird Festival.

The first events will be held in the Learning Center and is specifically designed for kids. Come build Recycled Hummingbird Feeders between 1:00 pm -3:00 pm on Saturday. Kids will learn what attracts hummingbirds to feeders while making there very own decorative feeder. Participants are asked to bring a clean plastic or glass bottle for this program. Hummingbird artwork created by students from Ketchikan High School will also be featured this weekend at the Discovery Center. - More...
Thursday - April 05, 2007

Alaska: Governor Palin Asks for Changes to Federal Fish Farm Proposal - Alaska Governor Sarah Palin on Wednesday expressed her administration's objections to elements of the federal government's proposal to allow fish farms in the open ocean off of America's coasts.

"While the latest proposal is an improvement over past versions, we still want to make sure that there will be adequate protections for Alaska's world-renowned wild fisheries in the event it passes into law," Governor Palin said. "Alaska's fishing industry has had great success in recent years by extolling the virtues of our wild seafood; we must make sure that any new federal laws don't muddle this message."

The Governor was commenting on last week's announcement by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) of its support for a proposed federal bill. The federal administration's draft "National Offshore Aquaculture Act of 2007" would open federal waters between 3 and 200 miles off the coastline of the United States to what is known as "open ocean aquaculture," or floating fish farms. Governor Palin outlined several specific concerns that she has, based on extensive public comment from Alaskans in recent years, including:

- marketplace confusion about Alaska's healthy, wild seafood resulting in lost fisheries value;
- disease and parasite transmission;
- escapes/releases leading to potential colonization and genetic impacts; and
- environmental effects.

The Governor has asked Alaska's Congressional delegation to include provisions in the Aquaculture Act to prevent potential damage to the state's fisheries. The Palin administration is requesting that the legislation include a five-year moratorium on new offshore aquaculture development until environmental and socio-economic impacts are adequately evaluated.

"The moratorium is needed because the potential impacts of offshore aquaculture to the environment and to our wild capture fisheries are so great," said Governor Palin. "During the moratorium, the federal government should do scientific research and analyze the socio-economic effects on Alaska's communities and economy." - More...
Thursday - April 05, 2007


National: Get ready for debate about who lost Iraq By EDWARD EPSTEIN - The highly partisan question "Who lost Iraq?" will be heard repeatedly in the coming months, historians and political scientists say, as President Bush and a Democratic Congress spar over ending an unpopular war now in its fifth year.

Bush's decision to launch military operations to oust Saddam Hussein in 2003 has made the protracted Iraq war the centerpiece of his presidency. Now Democrats who took control of Congress in November are trying to force an end to the war by setting deadlines for troops to leave Iraq.

If the war ends poorly for U.S. interests and for Iraq, Republicans will have an opening to charge that "cut-and-run" Democrats, not Bush and their party, were responsible for the defeat. And if Bush's strategy works, the GOP can say Democrats were too quick to call for a withdrawal, the analysts say.

In previous instances over the past six decades, Republicans have repeatedly charged Democrats with dangerous weakness in the face of overseas challenges, sometimes to great political effect, and it's a charge experts expect to hear again, perhaps soon.

"It's worked again and again, and it could again," said Ron Peters, a University of Oklahoma political scientist.

Assuming Bush's insistence on keeping forces in Iraq means continued U.S. involvement until he leaves office in January 2009, historian Robert Dallek said Bush's possible Democratic successor would be the one to bring home U.S. forces. If a Democrat wins the White House in 2008, "a Democratic president is the one pulling the plug on this, (and) the 'D' (for defeat) will be on them."

"The Republicans will have the chance to hammer the Democrat once again as weak on national defense," Dallek said.

But polls show that at least 60 percent of U.S. voters agree with Democratic calls for a specific timetable to withdraw U.S. combat forces from Iraq. And only about 35 percent of those surveyed approve of the president's handling of the war.

So, Dallek added, if the war drags on into 2009, the public might be so upset that the Democrats could escape blame for a messy ending.

The charge that Democrats are weak on national defense goes back to the Yalta conference of early 1945, when ailing Democratic President Franklin D. Roosevelt accepted Soviet control of Eastern Europe as World War II ended. Betrayal, cried his critics, including many Republicans.

FDR's supporters argued that the president had accepted the reality that the vast Red Army already occupied Eastern Europe and couldn't be dislodged except through another war.

In 1949, communists led by Mao Tse-tung routed the Nationalist government of Chiang Kai-shek and took over China, spurring Republican charges that Democratic President Harry Truman and his administration had lost China. - More...
Thursday - April 05, 2007


Official U.S. Coast Guard photo by Station Ketchikan.

Ketchikan: COAST GUARD MEDEVACS 77-YEAR-OLD WOMAN - Coast Guard Station Ketchikan received a request to medevac a 77-year-old female at Clam Cove on Gravina Island reporting chest and arm pain. The station launched a safe boat, arriving on scene within 15 minutes. She was delivered in stable condition to EMS ashore for further transport to Ketchikan General Hospital. - More...
Thursday - April 05, 2007

Alaska: Murderer ends pursuit of UAA social degree By LISA DEMER - Micheal Purcell, an aspiring social worker with a murder in his past, is giving up his bid to earn a bachelor's degree in social work at the University of Alaska Anchorage.

But though his record has kept him from the UAA program, Purcell said he's not abandoning his goal and hopes to apply to other schools.

"I just gotta keep trying," said Purcell, who will turn 40 this year.

A deal finalized this week ends his court fight to force open the School of Social Work doors. Having lost in Anchorage Superior Court, Purcell has agreed not to appeal that decision to the state Supreme Court.

He also agreed not to reapply to UAA's social work program for five years. In turn, the university won't go after him for $3,500 in legal fees assessed against him by the Superior Court judge. - More...
Thursday - April 05, 2007


Public Meetings

The Ketchikan City Council will hold a regular meeting on Thursday, April 05, 2007, in the City Council Chamber at 7:00 pm.
Agenda & Information Packets (pdf) Click on the agenda item to dowload the packet.

Basic Rules

letter Elkins will be missed By David Hull - Thursday PM
letter Treatment of School Board President By Peter Bolling - Thursday PM
letter Proud of Superintendent Martin's Performance By Bill Thomas Sr. - Thursday PM
letter Never mind By Chris Elliott - Thursday PM
letter Ketchikan Underground By Evan Bolling - Thursday PM
letter More on Maturity and "K.U." By Peter Stanton - Thursday PM
letter Ketchikan Underground By Shane Johnson - Thursday PM
letter RE: "Fancy paint Jobs" By Scott Willis - Thursday PM
letter Dog breeding By Margaret Cloud - Thursday PM
letter Hooray for Purebred Dogs! By Vickie Hansen - Thursday PM
letter Puppy Mills By Kris Hansen - Thursday PM
letter Tongass Coast Aquarium/ Oceans Alaska By David G. Hanger - Wednesday PM
letter My gratitude to Mr. Martin By Cecelia Johnson - Wednesday PM
letter New School Superintendent By Mark Murdock - Wednesday PM
letter SE Alaska State Fair- Ketchikan Town Rep. Needed ASAP By Frances Field - Wednesday PM
letter Mature? By Jaime Zink - Wednesday PM
letter REC Center By Michelle Fry - Wednesday PM
letter Bored in Ketchikan? By Shari Fisher - Wednesday PM
letterThank you for your support By Tony and Sharyl Yeisley - Wednesday PM
letter RE: Breeders, Kids .......... Volunteering By Scott Kline - Wednesday PM
letter Dog Breeding Debate By Laurie Donati - Wednesday PM
letter Please Don't Attack Those You Don't Know By Kajla Bellon - Wednesday PM
letter Maritime History By John Stewart - Monday
letter Ketchikan Underground By Rowan Henderson - Monday
letter Elected School Board's Decision By Bobbie McCreary - Monday
letterFancy paint jobs By Tony Alenskis - Monday
letter Time to move forward by Sharon Geldaker - Monday
letter Keep Tenakee beautiful By Meryl Chew - Monday
letter RE: Dogs, kids... and volunteering By Margaret Cloud - Monday
letter A Total Joke By Ken Levy - Monday
letter Bridge to Nowhere By Charlotte Tanner - Monday
letter Local government By Alaire Stanton - Sunday
letter Parents Should Know By Diana Chaudhary - Sunday
letter Superintendant's Firing By Dan Williamson - Sunday
letter Time to recall By Alisha Greenup - Sunday
letter Ketchikan's school board By Walt Bolling - Sunday
letter Bridge to nowhere By Ken Leland - Sunday
letter Correction By Dave Kiffer - Sunday
letter Superintendent Martin By Al Johnson - Sunday
letter Levy-Lewis . . . The Battle of the Rock! By Tony Gwynn - Sunday
letter Walter Reed Army Hospital is no Ketchikan General By Mark Neckameyer - Sunday
letter Dogs, kids... and volunteering By Scott Kline - Sunday
letter RE: Puppy Mills and Breeders By Margaret Cloud - Sunday
letter Breeding dogs By Erin Bellon - Sunday
letter Annette Island By Jeff White - Sunday
letterSuperintendent Martin By Amy T. Thompson - Friday AM
letter Tongass Forest Plan By Hannah Wilson - Friday AM
letter I'm voting 'no' April 3rd By Senator Kim Elton - Friday AM
letter"Yes" on April 3rd By Rep. John Coghill - Friday AM
letterStand up and take a bow By Judith Green - Friday AM
letter OPEN LETTER TO SITNEWS' READERS By Robert D. Warner - Thursday
letterSchool Board Recall, Where Do I Sign? By Karen Owings - Thursday
letter Thanks Ketchikan for your support By Sara Sivertsen - Thursday
letter Re: Dog Breeders By Margaret Cloud - Thursday
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
letterMore Viewpoints/ Letters
letter Publish A Letter


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Science - Technology: Mars also experiencing global warming By DAVID PERLMAN - Global warming has hit Mars, but the planet's shifting winds and swirling dust devils that power climate changes there bear no relation to the heat-trapping gases that now concern the people of Planet Earth.

Researchers studying images of the Martian surface taken by generations of orbiting spacecraft have found that the planet's most prominent features have darkened and lightened in recent decades, altering the way sunlight reflects from its sandy soils, its rocky heights and its deep craters.

The result, say the scientists, is that the average global ground temperatures on Mars have risen by more than 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit during the past two decades, while the surface air temperature has risen by a little more than a degree in the same period.

That level of climate change, extended over a century, is well within the ballpark of the 5 degree global-warming trend on Earth that has been forecast by the International Panel on Climate Change with more and more certainty for the end of this century.

A report on Mars and its global warming was published Thursday in the journal Nature, by Lori Fenton, a planetary geologist with the SETI Institute's Carl Sagan Center in Mountain View, Calif., together with Robert M. Haberle, a climate model expert at NASA's Ames Research Center in Sunnyvale, Calif., and Paul Geissler, a Mars specialist at the U.S. Geological Survey in Flagstaff, Ariz. - More...
Thursday - April 05, 2007

National: A significant erosion of home readiness By LEE BOWMAN - The stash of crackers in the hall closet fell victim to a midnight snack. The bottled water - well, it would have been stale by now anyway. The plastic sheeting became essential when the den was repainted two years back. And the duct tape is now holding together assorted home repairs and school projects.

The smart-looking container of bandages and ointments got stripped of most of its contents when the kids' team needed to restock a first-aid kit. And the fire extinguisher shows suspicious signs of having sprung a leak.

Such is the state of family emergency preparedness in many households nearly six years after 9/11 - and despite several years of governmental reminders that homeland security should begin in the home.

A new survey done for the American Public Health Association points to a significant erosion of home readiness. Forty percent of a national survey of 925 adults said that although they had once taken steps to prepare for an emergency, they have let those arrangements lapse. Forty-six percent said they have no disaster supply kit. - More...
Wednesday - April 04, 2007

National: War protesters withhold tax payments By PIA SARKAR - Dorothy Hansen used to pay her taxes faithfully every year - until the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.

Since then, she has stopped filing her income tax returns to show her disapproval of the war.

"I am very sure that I don't want to have any part in killing people and I certainly don't want a part in any wars that do just that," said Hansen, 87.

With the tax-filing deadline just two weeks away, some Bay Area residents are using it as an opportunity to protest the war by withholding their tax dollars to fund it.

Known as war tax resisters, they consider it an act of civil disobedience. Some withhold only a symbolic portion of what they owe - $10.40, for example, to represent the 1040 tax form - while others, like Hansen, refuse to pay anything at all. Many will redirect their tax dollars to a charity of their choice. - More...
Wednesday - April 04, 2007

National: Sea birds washing ashore on West Coast By GLEN MARTIN - West Coast seabirds are dying, apparently from a lack of food - and some researchers think the phenomenon may be linked to global climate change.

This is the third year that scientists have found unusually large numbers of marine birds - mainly common murres, but also rhinoceros auklets and tufted puffins - washed up on beaches in California, Oregon and Washington. In 2005, the first year of the phenomenon, large numbers of Cassin's auklets also died.

Hannah Nevins, the coordinator for Moss Landing Marine Laboratories beach survey program, said 253 dead murres were recovered on 11 Monterey Bay beaches during the first week of March. During the past nine years, an average of nine dead birds were collected on the same beaches during the same week, she said. - More...
Wednesday - April 04, 2007

Arts & Entertainment

Ketchikan: The Arts This Week - This week in Ketchikan Me, Myself and I, a self portrait show in the Mainstay Gallery opens Friday, April 6. As perhaps man's most intimate and pure display of consciousness, self-portraiture reveals the artist as he sees himself, as he wants to be seen, how he studies himself, and as the simple signature which states "I lived", lingering long after the artist has passed. Refreshments and first viewings will be from 5-7pm. The Mainstay Gallery is sponsored by the Arts Council. Call 225-2211 for more information.

Evening of Dancing & Dessert will feature ballroom dancing for all. Bring your favorite dessert and your taste for good music and ballroom dancing. Come show your best Waltz, Foxtrot, Swing and other ballroom dances on Saturday, April 7 starting at 7pm at the North Tongass Community Club across from Refuge Cove State Park on the South end of Sunset Drive. The cost is $10/ person, BYOB, wear your best Ginger Rogers or Fred Astaire outfits! Call the arts council for more info, 225-2211.

Presbyterian Church Presents New Lenten Art Show: A new collection of art with Lenten themes is now on display at the Ketchikan Presbyterian Church. The six pieces in the collection were all created in the 20th century; one represents a mid-century traditional Jesus, one represents a depiction of a medieval Jesus, one is a modern wheat weaving, and three are strikingly modern. This show will be on display through Easter and is available for viewing on Sundays or by appointment with the church, 225-3619.

Annual Hummingbird Festival Juried Art Show calling for art for the April 13th, 5-7pm opening reception at the Ketchikan Visitor's Bureau. Work inspired by spring migratory birds of SE Alaska is due by 5pm on April 4th at the Ketchikan Visitor's Bureau, 131 Front Street, Ketchikan, AK 99901. Cash prizes will be awarded. A full list of eligible birds and guidelines is available by contacting Leslie Swada at 907-228-6247 or

First City Players and ActOUT Youth Theatre Program invites you to join the Pevensie siblings - Lucy, Edmund, Susan and Peter- as they enter the mysterious and magical world of Narnia in the production of C.S. Lewis' timeless classic, The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, adapted by Joseph Robinette. Tickets are available at the FCP office or call 225-4792, $15 ad, $10 srs, college, military, $5 st thru 12th gr. - More...
Wednesday - April 04, 2007

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