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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
April 11, 2007

Front Page Photo by Don Loughman

Port of Ketchikan Improvement Project
Front Page Photo by Don Loughman

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


Alaska: LeConte Assists in Mariner Rescue - The Alaska M/V LeConte came to the assistance of a mariner who has run aground in Upper Lynn Canal on Tuesday, according to Capt. Ron Bressette, master of the LeConte.

A photo from the scene show what appears to be a 34-foot pleasure craft on the beach.
Photo courtesy AMHS

Information provided by Capt. Bressette to the Alaska Marine Highway System reported the LeConte was traveling north in Upper Lynn Canal when a Mate on watch noticed a boat on the beach at about 10 a.m. at the base of an avalanche chute. Bressette made the decision to launch a fast rescue boat to investigate the boat after determining the boat was not likely abandoned and that no one responded to a whistle from the LeConte. - More...
Wednesday - April 11, 2007

National: Google Earth zooms in on Darfur carnage By VERNE KOPYTOFF - In an effort to raise awareness about atrocities in Sudan, Google Inc. has updated its online satellite mapping service with images of burned villages, refugee camps and wounded children.

The project, done in partnership with the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, offers users of Google Earth a bird's-eye view of the aftermath of four years of fighting between the East African nation's Arab-dominated government and the largely black residents of the Darfur region. The United Nations has said that more than 200,000 people, many of them Darfur civilians, have died and 2.5 million have been displaced in the conflict.

Elliot Schrage, Google's vice president of global communications and public affairs, said the new high-resolution images are intended to encourage individuals to act against what he - along with U.S. officials and many human-rights groups - describes as genocide.

"We're joining with the museum ... in this initiative because the situation in Darfur is a global catastrophe, and because we believe technology can be a catalyst" for education and action, he said at a press conference in Washington.

Among the hundreds of locations highlighted with icons that resemble flames and tents on Google Earth are the remnants of small villages that had allegedly been set ablaze. Users can zoom in on the black outlines of huts and livestock pens dotting the savannah.

Pop-up windows tell part of the story: For example, in Ganbi, 237 of 259 buildings are listed as being destroyed. In all, more than 1,600 damaged villages are highlighted on the service, along with overhead images of large refugee camps, where thousands of Darfur residents have fled for food and safety. - More...


Ketchikan: 2007 Sourdough Stampede Kicks Off Running Season - Ketchikan's running season started off with a bang Saturday, April 7 with the Ketchikan Running Club's Sourdough Stampede. Kayhi student Coleman Alguire smashed the one mile record with a scorching 5:18 effort. The women's mile winner was Kyleen Luhrs with a time of 6:29. Kyleen's run was the second fastest woman's time in the eight years of this race. The 5K race winner was Rory Jenkins with a 18:11. Rory's time was also the second fastest in the history of this event. The 5K women s race featured a tie for first place with Tara Wilhelm and Natalie Pfeifer crossing the line at 22:58.

Stampede Winner

Coleman Alguire smashed
the one mile record with 5:18,
winning the one mile run.
Photo courtesy Bill Elbertson

Thirty-one runners completed the one mile run and 27 finished the 5K. This popular annual event starts and ends at the Veterans Of Foreign Wars building at 3113 Tongass Ave. A pancake breakfast and awards followed the running event for every participant.

Race director Fred Jorgensen said: "This is a really great kick off for our local running season. The event works because of the community spirit of the many volunteers. The VFW has hosted the crowd of hungry runners since 1999. Princess Tours provides bus transportation to the 5K start at the car wash. Tongass Trading, Alaskan and Proud, Northern Sales and Remax of Ketchikan provide prizes for all our athletes plus we have returning excellent pancake cooks Bev Zaugg and Laurie Elberson." - More...
Wednesday - April 11, 2007

Bear cubs...

A day in the life of a spring black bear
Biologists with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service inspect newborn black bear cubs in the Yukon Flats National Wildlife Refuge.
Photo by Mark Bertram,
courtesy the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

Alaska: A day in the life of a spring black bear By NED ROZELL - Imagine, for a few minutes, that you are not reading a newspaper science column. Pretend it's springtime in Alaska, and you are a black bear living somewhere between Ketchikan and the southern flanks of the Brooks Range. You have slept fitfully for the past six months, stirring on occasion to roll over, or, if you're a pregnant female, to give birth to cubs. Your body temperature, about 92 degrees Fahrenheit during your six months in the den, will soon rise to its normal 100 degrees.

You somehow sense that it's time for a change. Perhaps prompting you is the persistent sunlight that strikes the snow covering your den. Maybe meltwater collecting in your nest-like bed wakes you, and reminds you of how uncomfortable you are. Whatever the reason, you nose toward the light and paw at the framework of twigs you pulled over the entrance to the den months ago. - More...
Wednesday - April 11, 2007



The Ketchikan School Board will hold a regular meeting Wednesday, April 11th at 6:00 pm in the City Council Chambers. Among the items on the agenda is a citizen motion to reinstate Superintendent Harry Martin's employment contract. Also among the agenda items are a motion to approve contract terms for Interim Superintendent Larry Eklund, and a motion to approve a contract for Sam Nelson as Principal of Ketchikan High School.
Download the Agenda and Information Packets (pdf)

Basic Rules

letterNew Running Track! By Becky Maynard - Wednesday PM
letterA Time to Refocus By Michael Spence - Wednesday PM
letterDo We Really Need a New Public Library? By Robert D. Warner - Wednesday PM
letter Driving Team Announced! By Tom LeCompte - Tuesday PM
letterDon Young Guest of Honor at Pork Dinner By Carol Cairnes - Tuesday PM
letter Tongass Roads By Joan Hurliman - Tuesday PM
letter Swan Death over Easter By Terri-Lee Gould - Tuesday PM
letter In the interest of "facts" By Penny Marksheffel - Tuesday PM
letter Thanks Jim for your caring... By Anita Hall - Tuesday PM
letter A Bridge to Somewhere By John Maki - Tuesday PM
letter Trash By Rebecca Simpson - Tuesday PM
letter Bridge to Where? By Charlotte Tanner - Tuesday PM
letter Coming Home to Ketchikan By Aisha Marshall - Tuesday PM
letterFacts, not opinions By Joel Galli - Sunday PM
letter Tongass Coast Aquarium/ Oceans Alaska By Rob Holston - Sunday PM
letter School, etc By Alaire Stanton - Sunday PM
letterK-town in general By Richard Harney - Sunday PM
letter 70% of the community?
By Soren Wuerth - Sunday PM
letter Bridge to Somewhere!! By Forrest A. Mackie - Sunday PM
letter The Liberating Truth By George Miller - Sunday PM
letter Traduced By Chris Elliott - Sunday PM
letter Open Letter to Sitnews By Patti Fay Hickox- Sunday PM
letter Mutt Breeders By Vickie Hansen - Sunday PM
letter 70 percent of our population? By Kevin Mackey - Sunday PM
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
letterMore Viewpoints/ Letters
letter Publish A Letter


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Columns - Commentary

Dave Kiffer: Ketchikan: Unplugged - It was a sad scene at one of Ketchikan's more popular eateries one morning recently.

A mother and her two kids were trying to get a breakfast meal, but the machine taking credit cards was down. The kids were fussing and the mother was irritated.

"Can you take a check?" she asked the counter person.

No, the restaurant no longer takes checks.

Ok, she said, I guess I can go to the ATM.

But most of the ATMs were down too. She was out of luck.

For about 15 hours that week, Ketchikan crashed back to the "Stone Age" of the communications world.

With both cell phone service and internet down because of a problem at Tolstoi Mountain on Prince of Wales, an awful lot of folks were left with the modern equivalent of two tin cans and a piece of string. - More...
Wednesday AM - April 11, 2007

Jason Love: Fishing with Dad - My dad came down the mountain -- Big Bear -- holding one commandment: Thou shalt go fishing. Dad is an old fisherman and I ... well, I carry Purell.

My dad thought I was a natural when he caught me, age three, plucking fish from the aquarium. He freaked out like I was eating them, when it was strictly catch and release.

Why, anyway, would I hunt for something that costs a dollar at McDonald's? And while we're asking questions, isn't "Filet-O-Fish" a little ambiguous? Filet o' what kind of fish? Goldfish? Gefilte fish?

McDonalds: Ask us no questions; we'll tell you no lies.(tm)

At least my dad didn't charter a boat. Fish aren't the brightest of God's creatures, yet we come on with radar, sonar, migration charts. Some fish just lose their nerve and jump in the boat as you pass. - More...
Wednesday AM - April 11, 2007

Preston McDougall: Chemical Eye on Giving Mules Their Sexy Back - Justin Timberlake, a Memphis-born pop superstar, was recently dissed by the State Senate in Nashville - apparently he is too sexy. If Idaho Gem were to make an appearance during Mule Day (April 12 - 15) in Columbia, Tennessee, I'm sure that he would receive a hero's welcome - from the mules at least, since he represents them getting their sexy back.

Mules, as you may know, are a hybrid species created by crossing a jack with a mare. Farmer Brown has 23 pairs of chromosomes, Sire Jack has 31, Dam Mare has 32, but, like all mules, Idaho Gem has 31 and a half pairs.

This odd number of chromosomes makes mules incapable of reproducing - the old-fashioned way. However, cloning provides a reproductive pathway for sterile animals, such as mules. Modern cloning technology made headlines in 1996 when Scottish scientists took the nucleus, which contains all 27 pairs of sheep chromosomes, from a mammary cell of a mature ewe, and inserted it into an evacuated egg cell from another ewe. The lamb went to full term, and was named Dolly in consideration of her origin, which was ramless. - More...
Wednesday AM - April 11, 2007

Bob Ciminel: Things I Don't Care About - I don't care how Anna Nicole Smith died or who fathered her daughter. I don't care what Sean Penn thinks about George Bush. I don't care that the Justice Department fired eight Federal prosecutors, just like I didn't care that Bill Clinton fired 92 of them. Heaven knows we can always find more lawyers!

I don't care what Al Gore thinks about global warming. In fact, I don't care about global warming. If we stopped global warming today, tomorrow the liberals would begin complaining about global cooling! Besides, if you listen to the enviro-wackos, all we have to do is elect a Democrat in 2008 and the globe will stop warming.

I don't care if Hillary Clinton wins the 2008 presidential election or that the Democrats control Congress. In the four years they have to totally screw up our government, judicial system, tax code, and war against terror, they will guarantee a Republican president and Congress for the rest of my lifetime. I will go into retirement comfortable in the knowledge that my grandchildren may have the opportunity to live in a world at peace, but if they don't, at least they will live in a country that can still kick butt in any part of the world that does not want world peace. Are you listening, Iran? - More...
Wednesday AM - April 11, 2007

Dan K. Thomasson: Trumpets sound for global warming - What's that old line: "The end of the world has been delayed indefinitely because of a shortage of trumpeters"? Well, there's an increasing number of them now. Hardly a day goes by when someone hasn't signed up to trumpet the Apocalypse, from Al Gore to international scientific panels and even the U.S. Supreme Court.

Whatever your feelings about global warming, the political realities of it are here to stay. If there was any doubt about that, the high court dispelled it with its narrow ruling that puts the Environmental Protection Agency on notice that claiming lack of authority to regulate greenhouse gases in auto emissions won't cut it.

Between the lines of the court's opinion is the recognition that "yes Virginia, there is a boogeyman" and it comes in the form of chemical elements that are trapping the heat of the Earth, an opinion that preceded by only a few days a long anticipated international report that 90 percent of the problem is manmade. For any agency or administration to ignore this issue in the face of such an overwhelming chorus of warnings is to flirt with political suicide. - More...
Wednesday AM - April 11, 2007

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