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SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska

May 03, 2005

Front Page Photo by Rick Grams

'Mt. Edgecumbe'
Front Page Photo by Rick Grams

National: Bush hits the road with latest Social Security plan By BILL STRAUB - President Bush traveled to the politically friendly state of Mississippi on Tuesday to convince about 2,000 autoworkers to support a Social Security overhaul plan that could wind up reducing their anticipated benefits.

Addressing employees at the Nissan North America manufacturing plant in the central Mississippi town of Canton, Bush said reform is necessary because the current system isn't collecting enough money to pay out future retirement benefits.

"So a lot of younger workers out there will be paying into a system that's bankrupt," the president said. "And that's not fair."

While the system doesn't face bankruptcy - it receives a continuous flow of money - Social Security trustees predict trust funds will run dry by 2041, necessitating a 30 percent cut in benefits. Bush said he wants to avert that potential train wreck by offering a plan that would protect benefits for low-income retirees while reducing payouts to others. - Read more...
Tuesday - April 03, 2005

Debunking the Myth of Polar Bear Hair

Beaufort Sea, Alaska - May 1982: Steve Amstrup of USFWS with large sedated polar bear...
Photographer: Captain Budd Christman, NOAA Corps - Photo courtesy NOAA

Alaska: Debunking the Myth of Polar Bear Hair by Ned Rozell - Look for the largest land-dwelling mammals in Alaska and you'll find them in the north. Polar bears prowl on the northern rim of the state and on sea ice off the coast, as well as on the northern coasts of Russia, Canada, Greenland and Norway. A thick coat of white fur helps bears survive in these latitudes. During the past few decades, scientists have speculated that this fur keeps bears warm because each hair routes warm sunlight to a polar bear's skin.

Daniel Koon, an associate professor of physics at St. Lawrence University in New York, became fascinated by the subject when he first read about it in a physics text book. His interest led him to assemble an Internet site that holds a few dozen newspaper and magazine articles that describe how light can travel the length of a polar bear hair in the same way water flows through a pipe. The theory goes like this: sunlight is captured by each hair, directed to the bear's black skin, and converted there to heat, thereby providing warmth to the polar bear. - More...
Tuesday - April 03, 2005

Adventure with Sprouts

McKenzie thinks about sprouts...
Photo by Nancy Coggins


Ketchikan: "Adventure With Sprouts" By Nancy Coggins - "What is a Sprout-Tasting Party?" exclaimed son-in-law Rob Skinner in disbelief with a mocking sneer.

He got his reply, "Don't know, just made it up, hostess Nancy Coggins replied. "But, sprouts are 'just about the best food you can eat.' " (Robert O. Young, Ph.D., The pH Miracle)

On the Sprout-Tasting Party day, Rob and 15 other guests ages 2 1/2 to 80 ogled the festive spread of food around the buffet table including its eight bowls of organic sprouts. These little living crops of sprout plants had been grown from seeds, beans and grains over the previous six days on the kitchen counter with only light and water!

Sprouts have had various incarnations in popularity over time. Why do they keep cropping up? Microbiologist/nutritionist Robert O. Young, Ph.D., D.Sc., believes these living foods reclaim health. - More...
Tuesday - May 03, 2005



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National: Schools question plans to limit foreign students' access By LANCE GAY - Universities and scientists are protesting Bush administration moves to limit foreign students' access to research equipment that might be valuable to spies or terrorists.

Academics and scientists are scheduled to meet Friday at the National Academy of Sciences to discuss Commerce Department plans to write regulations governing use of the equipment. The rules could deny foreigners access to hardware involved in a broad array of research projects - from microbiology to computer software.

University leaders say that moves by Commerce to impose business restrictions on universities are unworkable and will discourage foreign students from studying for graduate degrees at America's leading research universities. School officials say that new background checks required of students after of 9/11 should be sufficient to determine whether students are coming to the United States to learn or spy. - More...
Tuesday - April 03, 2005

National: Officials review putting more information on wine labels By MICHAEL DOYLE - Wine labels could become a lot more crowded.

Or informative; it depends how you look at it. Either way, the Treasury Department is now uncorking a fresh look at what wine labels should include. It's something winemakers worry about.

"I would hate for it to get any more restrictive than it already is," said Hank Battjes, owner of California's Gold Hill Winery. "You don't have any room as it is, with all the (stuff) they require you to put on now."

The alcohol labeling review begun last week is not the first time officials have reviewed label requirements. Consumer advocates and winemakers alike have previously sought to revise the acutely detailed federal labeling standards. - More...
Tuesday - April 03, 2005

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June Allen Column

photosAlaskan Chris Leding: 1886-1975; A Norwegian adventurer - By June Allen - Today's Ketchikan phone book includes a fair share of Scandinavian surnames. There are, however, relatively few Norse names among the records of the town's earliest settlers. Most of Ketchikan's Norwegian population originated later, during the early 1920s when the halibut fleet, its skippers, crewmen and families moved north from the Seattle area. An exception was the late Chris Leding, who wasn't yet a fisherman  when he settled down in Ketchikan the mid-1920s and who discovered commercial fishing much later in life. - More...
Thursday - April 07, 2005

arrow A Personal Tribute to Tom Coyne on St. Patrick's Day

arrow It's Iditarod Race Year 33! a ghost story of the southern route

arrow Ketchikan's 'Rotary Wheel' Still Turning; Hardworking club celebrates a century

arrow Sitka's Pioneer Home Statue; Whose face is cast in bronze?

arrow L. Ron Hubbard's Alaska Adventure; His long winter in Ketchikan

arrow ACS Bids for KPU Telecom: ACS a longtime presence

arrow Betty King the Dog Lady; Ketchikan's one-woman humane society

arrow Ketchikan, Alaska - Let There Be Light! -- Citizens Light & Power and then KPU

arrow The State Capitol and Its Marble and keeping the capital in Juneau

arrow Read more feature stories by June Allen...

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