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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
April 08, 2008

Front Page Photo by Lisa Thompson

Front Page Photo by Lisa Thompson


Alaska: Conoco-BP joining together to build gas line; Work to begin immediately on new joint pipeline effort to bring Alaska gas to market - BP and ConocoPhillips announced today that they have combined resources to start Denali - The Alaska Gas Pipeline. The pipeline will move approximately four billion cubic feet of natural gas per day to markets, and will be the largest private sector construction project ever built in North America. The project combines the financial strength, arctic experience and technical resources of two of the most capable and experienced companies in the world.

BP and ConocoPhillips plan to spend $600 million to reach the first major project milestone, an open season, commencing before yearend 2010. Following a successful open season, a process during which the pipeline company seeks customers to make long-term firm transportation commitments to the project, the companies intend to obtain Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and National Energy Board (NEB) certification and move forward with project construction. The FERC and NEB certificates are the critical permits that provide government authorization to construct a pipeline.

"This project is vital for North American energy consumers and for the future of the Alaska oil and gas industry. It will allow us to keep our North Slope fields in production for another 50 years," said Tony Hayward, BP Group Chief Executive. "The Alaska gas pipeline will be an historic project and we are pleased to be working with ConocoPhillips to move it forward."

"Our goal of bringing Alaska's North Slope gas to market is becoming a reality. Denali - The Alaska Gas Pipeline project will deliver natural gas to meet North America's growing energy needs," said Jim Mulva, ConocoPhillips chairman and chief executive officer. "ConocoPhillips is pleased to be working with BP on this project; our companies have a long history of successfully developing projects on Alaska's North Slope, in Canada, and around the world. The time is right to start moving this project forward."

The project consists of a gas treatment plant on Alaska's North Slope and a large-diameter pipeline that travels over 700 miles through Alaska, and then into Canada through the Yukon Territory and British Columbia to Alberta. Should it be required to transport gas from Alberta, the project will also include a large diameter pipeline from Alberta to the Lower 48 states. BP and ConocoPhillips will seek other equity partners, including pipeline companies, who can add value to the project and help manage the risks involved.

The companies already have assigned staff to the joint project team which will be ramping up over the coming months. A new project headquarters in Anchorage will be identified and a new company formed to manage the project. The project will provide jobs and business opportunities. ConocoPhillips' previously announced intent to conduct summer field work in Alaska will be rolled into the joint effort.

Alaska Governor Sarah Palin said, "We look forward to any progress they will be able to show us on this project. Their decision to proceed is further proof that competition does work," Governor Palin said. "However we are able to access our vast natural gas resources, the outcome can't help but serve the interests of Alaska and Alaskans."

Senator Lisa Murkowski also welcomed the news that Conoco Phillips and BP have joined together to form a new separate company to build the Alaska natural gas pipeline.

Senator Murkowski said that the companies' commitment to invest $600 million in the next two years on field work, surveying, engineering, environmental field work and finalizing financing for a gas line prior to applying for final key permits from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the National Energy Board in Canada shows a new commitment by the producers to move forward with construction of a gas line. - More...
Tuesday - April 08, 2008

Alaska: Without running water, illness rates soar, CDC finds By GEORGE BRYSON - Rural Alaska Natives in homes without running water experience far higher rates of pneumonia and other serious lower-respiratory-tract infections than do Natives in homes where water is readily available for bathing and hand-washing, a new study by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has found.

Areas where residents haul their water from a central source and dispose of wastewater in "honey buckets" also suffer higher rates of antibiotic-resistant staphylococcus aureus, or "staph," and other skin infections, the study found. The results were published this week in the American Journal of Public Health.

While it's long been known that access to modern sanitation services can reduce death from gastrointestinal illnesses, the study is believed to be the first in the United States to demonstrate a link between water availability and respiratory infections. - More...
Tuesday - April 08, 2008

Alaska - Bad weather strands Japanese teens on Alaska glacier By BETH BRAGG - Their food almost gone but their mood upbeat, 10 young Japanese tourists stranded for a week on Ruth Glacier returned to Talkeetna, Alaska on Sunday.

The group, which included a 10-year-old boy, got more than it bargained for during a trip to Mount McKinley that was supposed to end a week earlier.

Strong winds and a blizzard turned the weeklong stay into a two-week adventure that ended when Hudson Air made four trips to the glacier to retrieve a dozen people -- the 10 tourists plus two guides -- from the snowy 5,500-foot camp. - More...
Tuesday - April 08, 2008

Alaska: Creamery fortifies Alaska's dwindling dairy industry - A handful of dairy farmers here can breathe a sigh of relief. The new Matanuska Creamery, in the works since last year, is up and running, which means farmers will no longer have to dump milk.

The creamery near Palmer, a town just northeast of Anchorage, took its first load of milk and made its first batch of cheese last week. Manager Kyle Beus said he hoped to begin selling local milk as well as cheese curds and hunks of mozzarella by late April.

That was welcome news for four nearby dairy farmers, who represent the bulk of Alaska's remaining six dairy farms. The four have been without a buyer for most of their milk since mid-December, when the state-owned Matanuska Maid dairy was shut down. While the farmers were able to sell about a third of their milk to the Northern Lights Dairy in Delta Junction, they've had to dump much of the rest. - More...
Tuesday - April 08, 2008

Alaska: Russian-American research team examines origins of whaling culture - Recent findings by a Russian-American research team suggest that prehistoric cultures were hunting whales at least 3,000 years ago, 1,000 years earlier than was previously known. University of Alaska Museum of the North archaeology curator Daniel Odess presented the team's findings at the Society for American Archaeology annual meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia last week.

"The importance of whaling in arctic prehistory is clear. Prehistoric settlements were situated and defended so that people could hunt whales," says Odess. "Yet, as important as whaling is, we know very little about how, where and when it began." - More...
Tuesday - April 08, 2008

West Coast Fisheries: Hatchery fish outnumber wild chinook salmon in troubled fall run; Hatchery controversy takes on new significance as salmon populations crash - A recent study indicates that wild salmon may account for just 10 percent of California's fall-run chinook salmon population, while the vast majority of the fish come from hatcheries. The findings are especially troubling in light of the disastrous decline in the population this year, which will probably force the closure of the 2008 season for commercial and recreational salmon fishing.

The role of hatcheries in the management of salmon populations has been a contentious issue for many years. The new findings appear to support the idea that including artificially propagated fish in population estimates can mask declines in natural populations caused by a lack of suitable habitat.

"Our finding that 90 percent of the fish are from hatcheries surprised a lot of people," said Rachel Barnett-Johnson, a fisheries biologist with the Institute of Marine Sciences at the University of California, Santa Cruz. - More....
Tuesday - April 08, 2008


Ketchikan: "Beatles, Bugs and Bach" - The Ketchikan Community Concert Band has something special in store for listeners on Saturday evening. Their first "Lightweight Concert" (sub-titled "Beatles, Bugs and Bach) will feature family-oriented lighter musical fare that will include many favorites such as the march, "Stars and Stripes Forever", a medley of Disneyland songs, "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band", and "Don't Cry For Me Argentina".

"Beatles, Bugs and Bach

The Ketchikan Community Concert Band during one of their many practice sessions.
Photograph courtesy McPherson's Music

Ketchikan High School graduate and high school math teacher, Terri Walker, will be featured on Leroy Anderson's "Trumpeter's Lullaby", and the trombone section will take over during "Seventy Six Trombones", from "the Music Man". A very interesting new composition titled "Rhythm Stand" is played mostly with pencils on various parts of the music stands and the band will perform three movements from the popular "Bugs Suite" that they presented several concerts ago. The musical portraits are the "Black Widow Spider", "Praying Mantis", and "Army Ants" (for which the percussion section built a special marching machine). - More...
Tuesday - April 08, 2008

Ketchikan: Hat and Glove Affair Will Mark 50th Year Celebration in May; Red Apple Awards to be presented in April By SARAJUSTINE BLACK - This year will mark the 50th year celebration for Ketchikan's Epsilon Chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma which began back in 1958 when a group of women educators from Ketchikan began a charter group of The Delta Kappa Gamma International Society and Beta Gamma (Alaska) state. These women would have a "Hat and Glove Affair" every time they met at their chapter meetings. Now in Ketchikan, Delta Kappa Gamma Epsilon Chapter is involved in many community services projects. Annually, the local Epsilon Chapter offer's a $500 mini grant for teachers to fund projects or materials they may need for their classrooms that are not covered in the budget.

The local Epsilon Chapter provides a scholarship to a graduating senior or a student in college, preferably seeking an educational profession. This annual scholarship is traditionally given out at the scholarship assembly at the High School. This scholarship is paid through annual holiday sales. Currently there are 25 members here in Ketchikan. They do various service projects, work on different platforms, state wide leadership and trainings, and put welcome back packages in each school district teachers lounges right before school starts.

Each year nominations are taken to honor a select number community members that touch the lives of our youth, but may not necessary be educators, through the Red Apple Award Program held in April each year. This year the presentations will be April 10th 2008 at the St. John's Church conference room at 7:30 PM. The venue brings members the recipients together in a casual fun evening together. It is free and community members are invited to join in the celebration. If anyone knows of recipients for 2009 please contact Sarajustine Black 225-6567. - More...
Tuesday - April 08, 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
View Results

Poll Ended
April 04, 2008

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

letterRe: Quality Care By Shannon Guthrie - I completely agree with the overall direction that Eileen Stated in the "Quality of Care for Elders". Being a Care provider myself, and having worked with the elderly for over a year, I think that it is not only important for Care providers to being competent of the job they are hired to do, but also compassionate and caring for the person/people they work with. This is what most people who enter the Health Care Field are aware of when they make the decision to become whichever profession they choose. - More...
Tuesday PM - April 08, 2008

letterEgg Hunt clean up By Angie Olson - There were about 7 of us that went around that day to pick up the garbage. I'm sure much was missed, but have gone back twice twice then. It may take some time, but we will be continuing our clean up efforts until the job is complete. - More...
Tuesday PM - April 08, 2008

letterEgg Hunt By Jim Lewis - I would like to thank the people who put the Sunday Easter Egg hunt together. Thank you. Even though I didn't have any children there it was a joy to view with beautiful weather. - More...
Tuesdy PM - April 08, 2008

letter Why is anyone a Democrat? By Mark Neckameyer - Every death of a valiant American soldier is a terrible tragedy. Irregardless of the ranting of Liberal Democrats who want us to surrender in Iraq now (at least that is what they say in the "I am more of a dove than you" Democrat Presidential Primaries!) it is important to keep things in perspective while remembering that freedom is not free. There were 39 combat related killings in Iraq in January. In the fair city of Detroit alone there were 35 murders in the month of January. Detroit is just one American city, about as deadly as the entire war-torn country of Iraq . Have you read lately about the adventures of Detroit's Democrat mayor? Freedom is never free. In World War 2 from 1941-1945, 450,000 American lives were lost, an average of 112,500 per year. Over the past 5 years the war on terror has claimed around 750 American lives per year, trending down now and remember, when the Muslim terrorists bombed New York on 9/11, 3,000 innocent lives were lost in just one business center. They have their evil eyes on lots more of our buildings but they have not been successful even once in the past six years. Thank you George W. Bush! - More...
Tuesday PM - April 08, 2008

letter Let's make use of the veneer mill scrap logs By Margaret Cloud - There are some large piles of logs at the veneer mill that are not usable for veneer. Some of these logs have already been sold or given away for fire wood. This wood is really the community's wood as it is our money that has been used for years at the site. - More...
Monday - April 07, 2008

letter Easter Egg Hunt By Charlotte L. Glover - I know firsthand how much work go into making successful public events and I am glad that everyone enjoyed the Easter Egg Hunt at Ward Lake coordinated by Angie Olson, but I have to express my disappointment at the mess that was left behind. - More...
Monday - April 07, 2008

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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