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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
April 03, 2008

Front Page Photograph by Jim Lewis

Evening at Ward Lake: Trumpeter Swans
Front Page Photograph by Jim Lewis


Alaska: Governor Palin Unveils the Alaska Gasline Inducement Act - Governor Sarah Palin on Wednesday unveiled the Alaska Gasline Inducement Act (AGIA). The Governor's gasline bill heads first to the Legislature to begin the public review process.

"We must move a gasline forward as expeditiously as possible. We need low tariffs to maximize the returns to Alaskans. We envision an open access line so new fields will be explored and new reserves developed and shipped through the line for decades to come," said Governor Palin. "I am confident that this vehicle, the AGIA, gets us there and gets us there quickly, but ALWAYS with the best interests of Alaskans in mind."

The AGIA accomplishes six primary goals:

  • Initiates an application process open to any project sponsor
  • Takes all possible steps to promote the construction of a gas pipeline as quickly as possible
  • Ensures the North Slope basin is open to long-term exploration and production
  • Ensures reasonable natural gas tariffs
  • Ensures North Slope natural gas is made directly available to Alaskans
  • Creates natural gas pipeline jobs for Alaskans

"Our plan focuses on what's best for Alaskans: beginning with an open and transparent process, followed through with absolute "must-haves" for Alaskans and a strong commitment to low tariffs, while maintaining focus on becoming a viable and significant player in the nation's energy plan," said Governor Palin.

The bill contains specific mandates from any entity or coalition of entities interested in constructing the gas pipeline, which will protect Alaska's best interests:

  • Applicants must commit to expanding the pipeline project when justified by enough new gas
  • Applicants must commit to propose and support tariff rates that would produce the lowest reasonable costs to produce the highest price at the wellhead
  • Applicants must offer "distance-sensitive rates" to delivery points in Alaska
  • Applicants must provide a minimum of five off-take points in Alaska
  • Applicants must commit to establishing a local project headquarters, and local hiring offices in Alaska and to hire qualified Alaskans, as allowed by law

In return, Alaska will provide a matching state capital contribution on the cost of obtaining the initial regulatory certificate. The state is willing to contribute up to $500 million during this high-risk phase to induce an applicant or group of applicants that become the state's AGIA licensee, to move toward FERC or RCA certification. - More...
Thursday - April 03, 2008

Alaska: Osborne Prevails in Ninth Circuit - A three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday that convicted rapist William Osborne has a federal constitutional right to DNA testing on a condom and associated hairs police found near the scene of the crime for which he was convicted in 1993.

Over fourteen years ago, an Anchorage jury convicted Osborne and another man of rape, kidnapping, and felony assault for raping a woman at gunpoint, beating her with an axe handle, shooting her in the head, and leaving her for dead in a snowbank near Earthquake Park. The day after the assault, the police found a used blue condom at the scene. They ran a DNA test on the sperm in the condom and found that the type of DNA in it was shared by about one-sixth of the African-American population. Osborne is African-American, so the evidence tended to link him to the crime, but it was not conclusive.

When he went to trial in 1994, Osborne's defense was that the victim was mistaken in her identification of him and that he had an alibi. His lawyer decided not to have additional testing of the DNA in the sperm in the condom because she believed additional testing might solidify the state's case against him. The jury did not believe Osborne's defense and he was convicted of two counts of first-degree sexual assault, kidnapping, and first-degree assault. The Alaska Court of Appeals affirmed his convictions in 1996. - More...
Thursday - April 03, 2008

Ketchikan: A Success Story: An Interview with Anastasia Connolly By Dawn Rauwolf - Kayaking along our local coast and bicycling through our rainforest both take plenty of physical fortitude. Anastasia Connolly has that strength. She has guided tourists on wilderness excursions, using her muscles to propel herself and to lead the group in experiencing our unmatchable region.

UAS Ketchikan Graduate
Anastasia Connolly and Killian

Connolly's adventures have not been limited to this Revillagigedo Rock; she was raised in Homer and has spent summers working in Craig. Though Connolly's strong legs and toned arms are impressive, it is her intellectual strength that has sustained the most resistance and growth in the past few years. Connolly's educational journey has been rigorous, which is just the right level of challenge for her. Currently, Connolly is working for Dr. Anthes as a medical assistant and anticipates entering nursing school at Oregon School of Health Sciences in Portland, Oregon.

Connolly says, "I wound up in Ketchikan after traveling abroad and I was talked into taking classes here." That fall she enrolled at our University of Alaska Southeast - Ketchikan with a full load of classes in her freshman year. At that time, Connolly had a vague idea about future career goals, but was certain she preferred working with people. She thought the nursing field would be a smart choice because she had heard about the national shortage of quality nurses. That semester, Connolly kept her mind busy and her body sturdy by walking up Jefferson St. to the Paul Building every day. Although her ultimate goals were indefinite, Connolly was motivated to triumph in her new challenge. - More...
Thursday - April 03, 2008


Columns - Commentary

George R. Pasley: WHEN YOU WALK A DOG, WALK IT PROUD - As a pastor of a church, I stand in front of a congregation every week and preach a sermon.

When I preach I have a desire to give them my best every time, but that is not humanly possible. Sometimes I really struggle with what to say and how to say it. Sometimes I am deeply distracted by events in my life. Sometimes I simply am not in touch with my congregation. Sometimes, though, I do everything right and I think, "Oh, I wish I could do that every week."

But whether I am well prepared with one of my best sermons or not, I recall two lessons from seminary. The first is a story told me by a graduate assistant in my preaching class, Michael Brothers. One week when he was preaching he gave a sermon that he felt wasn't top-notch, and he apologized in advance for his effort. In fact, during the course of the sermon he gave the written sermon less than his best oral efforts. - More...
Thursday - April 03, 2008

Preston MacDougall: Chemical Eye on a Vibrating Professor - A European friend and colleague reintroduced me to an English word that I haven't heard much since my Beach Boys 8-track tape broke in the 70s - vibrations.

Chemists talk about bond vibrations all the time. And beginning at the sophomore level we teach students how to use infrared spectroscopy to measure the frequencies of these vibrations as a way to probe the molecular structure of matter at the nanoscale.

But those weren't the vibrations he was talking about - he meant the "good, good, good" kind - and he was observing that there seemed to be a lack of them resonating across the campus during his two-day visit. - More...
Thursday - April 03, 2008

Jay Ambrose: Politics of Bear Stearns bailout - The left is jubilant, for the evidence is in hand. Owing to Bear Stearns' near collapse and the Fed's rush to rescue, we now know beyond the possibility of contention that CEOs are skunks, that conservatives would rather help the rich than the poor and that tons more government regulation is the last, best hope for decrepit capitalism.

Such are the arguments now being made in no uncertain terms and with a rather astonishing moral grandiosity. In opinion pieces I've encountered, we are told in so many words that, over here, among enlightened progressives, we have truth and virtue, while over there, among the benighted right, we have falsehood and sleaze. - More...
Thursday - April 03, 2008

Dale McFeatters: They say 'earmarks,' we say 'pork' - Last fall, the newly ascendant congressional Democrats promised a thorough reform of earmarks or, failing that, a one-year moratorium on them. That was then and this is now, and now is an election year.

Earmarks are the lawmakers' pet pork projects and though the individual projects are not necessarily bad -- indeed, many of the projects are quite worthwhile -- they are attached to spending bills outside the regular budget process. Receiving little or no scrutiny, many earmarks are simply wasteful; the worst of them, like the "bridge to nowhere," are painfully easy to caricature. The lawmakers know the earmarks make Congress look bad and make them look like spendthrifts -- last year, earmarks totaled $18 billion -- but it would take collective will to act.

Right now, the collective will says, "Let's get re-elected." - More...
Thursday - April 03, 2008


Public Opinion Poll

The General Services Administration, landlord of the downtown Federal Building, plans to paint the structure this summer. Should GSA go with the original, historic white; or retain the "pink salmon" color?

Click here to Vote

View Vote Stats

Federal Building Poll

Federal Building
File Photo by Dick Kauffman

Ketchikan Federal Building Added to National Register of Historic Places - To some locals it is the "Big Pink."

The workers within its walls often call it the "Pepto (Bismo) Palace." - Read this archived story by DAVE KIFFER...


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Basic Rules

letterQuality of Care for Elders By Eileen Small - This is an interesting topic and one that I have some experience with. My mom is 95 -- nearly deaf and blind and unable to walk very far or on her own. She has a Medicaid waver and since she signed up with Community Connections she is getting her respite care through them. It is important to understand that a "not for profit" organization is simply a tax status -- it does not mean that they are not billing for everything they do, billing highly and making a profit. - More...
Thursday - April 03, 2008

letter Refuge Cove By Mark Hanzlik - Thank you Leslie Engler for cleaning up Refuge Cove. The broken glass on all the local beaches has bothered me for quite a while, but it always seemed like there was too much of it to bother trying to clean up. - More...
Thursday - April 03, 2008

letter Egg Hunt at Ward Lake By Joey Tillson - I just want to express my gratitude for the Egg Hunt at Ward Lake this year. Both my older and younger daughter enjoyed themselves and the weather could not have been better (except maybe a bit warmer). I want to thank everyone who made this possible so we could have a memorable Easter with the community and nature! - More...
Thursday - April 03, 2008

letterKVRS Rocks! By Melissa Ausman -On Sunday March 23, around dinner time, a young girl went missing in the woods behind Bear Valley. This area leads to mile after mile of dense dark forested land. She had played behind the house for years, without ever a problem. Not this night. After looking and calling for her to no avail, her dad called the State Troopers and Ketchikan Volunteer Rescue Squad. When I came upon the scene, it was scary. A great deal of people had gathered, walkie talkies and flashlights in hand. Search dog ready to roll. They were all gathered around the KVRS mobile unit. It's a large panel type van, filled with computers, gps systems and more. On top of this van is mounted two large poles with bright bright lights on top. People were searching under cars, between houses, before getting their search instructions and heading off into the woods. Every minute seemed so long. After several hours, YEAH!! she was found, safe and sound, although cold and scared she put up a brave front. - More...
Tuesday PM - April 01, 2008

letter Bristol Bay is burned out By Cindy Roque - When a lightbulb is burned out in our homes, we change it - and things are bright once again. I'm afraid some of the brightness of Bristol Bay has burned out and it's all in the face of the economic & energy crisis that has silently sneaked up upon us and is holding us captive. Our communities are blowing away in the cold wind around us as life long residents of Bristol Bay are migrating out of the Bay. - More...
Tuesday PM - April 01, 2008

letter Alaska Marine Highway By Elma Schiel - Our family of eight (included three generations) visited Alaska in May-June of 2003. We traveled by plane, train and ferry. We had a fantastic experience and hope someday to be able to return. - More...
Tuesday PM - April 01, 2008

letterSeward's Purchase of Alaska By Rudy McGillvray - I just love correcting writers. The "Purchase of Alaska" was NOT for the territory itself. Russia didn't OWN Alaska: what they sold was "Rights of Governance" to the United States, and no one, except an educated few understand that point. What Russia had in Alaska was colonies, (some of them stil exist today), and she sold us the right to govern those colonies for the 7.2 million dollars the U.S. paid for them. - More...
Tuesday PM - April 01, 2008

letter Federal Building By Barbara Morgan - I am glad that the Federal Building is going to be painted again as it now looks like a spawned out salmon. However, I do not really like either the original white or salmon pink options. - More...
Tuesday PM - April 01, 2008

letter Teens & Alcohol By Brenda (Zwieg) Benson - This is about my nephew -- a good kid from a good family that made a bad decision one night. We are also parents and are involved through Girl Scouts and other oraganizations with kids in our own community. We would like his story to be a learning tool so other teens will think twice before drinking. - More...
Tuesday PM - April 01, 2008

letterRE: Various Medical Economics Responses By Joel Galli - I'm glad to see there are those out there with a pulse and who actually care about some of the real issues in the upcoming elections and I'm pleased to be a part of the healthy debate here on SitNews. If you missed the premise of this response, I encourage you to read Mr. Harmon's and Mr. Neckameyer's March 15 opinion responses to one I wrote not long ago regarding universal health care. The scope of issues has since grown and I will now respond to all of the items raised by these two gentlemen. - More...
Tuesday PM - April 01, 2008

letter Ketchikan Youth Initiative Scores Big! By Nancy Coggins - When recently talking on the phone with an older female family friend in North Carolina, she was complaining about the teenagers who are into drugs and other destructive behavioral activities. So I told her about the Ketchikan Youth Initiative (KYI) and its goal to renovate a vacant building [the Water Warehouse (WW)] to benefit teenagers. In this plan, the teenagers would be its leaders, and we adults, their mentors. Our aim, I explained, is to provide a safe place for teenagers not only to hang out but also to get a chance to run a small business like an ice cream or a gift shop. The whole idea gave her a lot of hope for America's teenagers. - More...
Sunday - March 30, 2008

letterSqueezin' out a big bucket o' savings By Sen. Kim Elton - As we begin, I agree it is not irrational to believe giving a lot of money to politicians is like giving a credit card to your teen before they head to Vegas on a class trip. - More...
Sunday - March 30, 2008

letter School budget process By Charles Edwardson - I guess my last rambling letter missed the mark appealing to the public to attend and comment on the Ketchikan school budget process. Only one guy commented and apparently the budget is perfect so none of us has any room to complain. Good job school board and borough budget committee. You have passed a perfect budget that needs no public comment or participation. The public trusts you completely and has no qualms about how things are running. Microsoft could take some pointers from this budget committee and the school board. - More...
Sunday - March 30

letter March for Babies By Janie Odgers - The March of Dimes March for Babies (WalkAmerica) has taken Ketchikan by storm! Over a long weekend ladies from around Ketchikan gathered at the Ted Ferry Civic Center for the annual Scrap-A-Thon organized by Heather Borch. They raised $3,520.00! - More...
Thursday PM - March 27, 2008

letter Bridge, No Bridge By Angela Garton - I just wanted to say a brief thank you to Dan Williams for expressing so clearly some common sense about that bridge. I have lived in Ketchikan for 22 out of my 23 years. My dad worked at the airport for many years so I spent quite a bit of time traveling on the ferries back and forth to visit dad's work. - More...
Thursday PM - March 27, 2008

letter School budget process By Charles Edwardson - I am afraid this letter will be too late for the budget comment period for the district on March 26, 2008, never the less I urge the people who have time to participate in this process to express your opinions. - More...
Tuesday PM - March 25, 2008

letter Rev. Wright's viewpoint of America is wrong By Patty Alsup - I consider Rev.Wright's speech just a speech & not a sermon. The speech did not address religious ideals it appears to promote only hate for white people & for America. If this is the type of speeches he promotes then it is no wonder the African American population can not forget Slavery or Racism! People need to remember that Slavery is an unfortunate history. But that is what it is .. "History"! A War was fought to also abolish Slavery... Slavery is not now. - More...
Tuesday PM - March 25, 2008

letterHillary's wild stories and ... Lies! By Mark Neckameyer - The crazy stories Hillary has been telling make no sense. We all have seen people with no "resume" make up tales of war heroism or athletic accomplishments but Hillary has had a stellar career; top corporate attorney, First Lady, U.S. Senator and more. So why the crazy tales? Here are a few examples; - More...
Tuesday PM - March 25, 2008

letter Thank you Ketchikan! By Angie Olson - I am so proud to call Ketchikan my home! My friends and I decided to put together a community Easter egg hunt out at Ward Lake, the support we received was amazing!! - More...
Monday PM - March 24, 2008

letter The Bridge By Chuck Saunders - The first time I ever heard of "the bridge" was when it hit national news due to the cost. Having visited Ketchikan several times now, I think I understand the need for "the bridge". - More...
Monday PM - March 24, 2008

letter Behavioral Health Services By Camielle Call - I am the most recent director of Gateway Center for Human Services, having tendered my resignation on or about March 1 of this year. It is important for me to clarify some issues associated with this position and with recent SitNews letters and the Ketchikan Daily News of March 8 - 9. - More...
Saturday - March 22, 2008

letter Infestation of Local Faith Groups By George Miller - There a several local churches downtown who could be listed as part of the 'infestation of non-profits' -- at least in the eyes of those who might belittle faith along with everything else. It is a proven fact, practiced by even the faithless rich, that generosity brings financial health -- and that the opposite is also true. Those who support groups that are doing good for our community are doing themselves a favor. - More...
Saturday - March 22, 2008

letter Petition to the MIC Council to apply Due Process By Steven G. Booth - A Petition to the MIC Council to apply Due Process states: We, the undersigned Members of the Metlakatla Indian Community (MIC), do hereby in signing this petition affirm that every Member should have a basic right to due process of MIC laws and procedures when faced with charges against us in MIC remedial forums. When MIC Council violated Mayor John A. Scudero, Jr. s due process rights on February 6, 2008, the Council set (or continued to set) a precedent for the type of treatment any Member can expect at all MIC remedial forums, including tribal government. - More...
Saturday - March 22, 2008

letter Non-Profits By Debra Pomeroy-Dundas - In response to Jay Jones' letter, I also have to protest with Ms. Antonsen! Not only is this non-profit agency, Community Connections, an asset to Ketchikan and the many people they help, they are part of the out lined communities, providing respite care and PCA services! They also employee people in other communities. - More...
Saturday - March 22, 2008

letter The Bridge By Forrest Mackie - I had a thought outside the box! I heard it said once that it would be cheaper to build an airport on this side that we could drive to than build a bridge. - More...
Saturday - March 22, 2008

letter Stimulus Loan By Judith Green - Thank you, RK Rice, for your thoughts about the Stimulus Loan which is being offered to citizens by our Federal Government. - More...
Saturday - March 22, 2008

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