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SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska

Thursday & Friday
April 04 - 05, 2006

Front Page Photo by Marie L. Monyak

Airlift Northwest upgrading local services
Front Page Photo By Marie L. Monyak

Ketchikan: Airlift Northwest upgrading local services By MARIE L. MONYAK - Wednesday evening Airlift Northwest, an emergency air medical transportation organization, hosted the monthly After Hours event at Steamers Restaurant. After Hours is a once a month networking activity sponsored by the Greater Ketchikan Chamber of Commerce to allow members to better understand the workings of the business hosting the event in a casual and relaxed setting accompanied by light refreshments and hor de' oeuvres.

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Airlift Northwest is a not-for-profit organization founded by three medical facilities; Children's Hospital and Regional Medical Center, Harborview Medical Center and University of Washington Medical Center and they maintain seven bases located throughout the Pacific Northwest and Southeast Alaska. - More...
Thursday - May 04, 2006

Alaska: Some puzzled by Alaskans' opposition to wind farm By LIZ RUSKIN - First it was Alaska Congressman Don Young who was blocking a giant wind farm off the coast of Massachusetts. Now it's an amendment by Alaska's senior senator, Ted Stevens, that is standing in the way of the nation's first offshore wind project.

What is it, the wind farm advocates wonder, about Alaskans and this project in Cape Cod?

"You have to ask, 'What's in it for Alaska?' " said Mark Rodgers, spokesman for Cape Wind Associates. The company wants to erect 130 turbines in Nantucket Sound. Each, the opponents like to point out, would be taller than the Statue of Liberty. - More...
Thursday - May 04, 2006

Alaska: Stevens Reiterates Concerns About FAA Budget Cuts To Alaska Programs - Today, Senator Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) participated in a hearing held by the Senate Appropriations Transportation, Treasury, the Judiciary, and Housing and Urban Development Subcommittee. The purpose of this hearing was to review funding cuts in the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) Fiscal Year 2007 (FY07) budget. During the hearing, Stevens shared his concerns about the impact proposed budget cuts to Alaska programs will have on aviation safety.

Stevens highlighted the national importance of Alaska's aviation safety programs. "In the past, our skies were the most dangerous in the country," he said. "[These] expenses are necessary to meet the United States' obligation to those who fly into or out of our airspace." - More...
Thursday - May 04, 2006

National: Senate committee passes port security bill By LES BLUMENTHAL - A far-reaching port security bill that could eventually lead to screening of all cargo containers headed to the United States was approved by the Senate Homeland Security Committee on Tuesday.

The measure would also increase funding for port security by more than 300 percent, create a new federal maritime security agency within the Department of Homeland Security and streamline the movement of cargo for importers that agree to abide by tougher security procedures.

The committee action came just weeks after the collapse of a controversial port deal involving a Dubai company that focused renewed attention on the security of overseas cargo headed to the United States.

In the wake of the 2001 terrorist attacks, the 9/11 Commission concluded that even as commercial aviation remained a possible target, the risk of maritime terrorism might be greater. - More...
Thursday - May 04, 2006

Paintball Club....

Dream Of Establishing Paintball Club Comes True
Referee Tower of Ketchikan Hot Shots Paintball League...
Plans to clean up the tower and use it as a spotting station for the referees is underway.
Photo by Marie L. Monyak

Ketchikan: Dream Of Establishing Paintball Club Comes True By MARIE L. MONYAK - At 19 years of age, local resident Ty Rettke had a dream to share something he was passionate about with other teenagers and young adults in the Ketchikan area. He had no lofty goals of finding a cure for cancer or establishing world peace, it was something much simpler and easily attainable, or so he thought. He wanted to share his love of paintballing and begin a club.

Rettke began by utilizing the Viewpoints and the free classified section of SitNews to advertise for others to join him in his quest. There were a few responses but whenever a group got together to compete they inevitably ran into obstacles. While playing in the woods surrounding Ketchikan the group was approached on two occasions by U.S. Forest Service Rangers advising them they could not play on National Forest property. On at least one occasion, State Troopers advised the group they could not play on State property either. "Each time they were all very nice, just told us to move on," Rettke said. Puzzling when one considers that the paint ball ammo is non-toxic and water soluble and Ketchikan doesn't seem to have a shortage of rain to wash it away. - More...
Thursday - May 04, 2006

Ketchikan Harley Riders...

Ketchikan Harley Riders' Hold 16th Annual Spring Event
Mark Harris & Cindy Griffen
Photo by Valerie Hendel

Ketchikan: Ketchikan Harley Riders' Hold 16th Annual Spring Event By Valerie Hendel - There was rain and there was hail but that wasn't thunder that rumbled through Ketchikan, Alaska over the weekend. The Ketchikan Harley Riders' Association welcomed riders from Wrangell, POW, and Prince Rupert for their 16th Annual Spring Opener held at Whipple Creek. The Opener provides an opportunity for Riders to gather to see old friends. It also brings awareness to the Association and helps to raise money for community charity.

Approximately 49 bikes were assembled Saturday at Tongass Dock for "The Blessing of the Bikes" officiated by Pastors Grant Smith, of Clover Pass Community Church, and Jeff White, of the Church of God. Pastor Smith thanked the Association for their contributions to the community over the years.

Following "The Blessing of the Bikes", the traditional Poker Run through town culminated at Whipple Creek where a 130 lb. roasted pig stuffed with chickens greeted riders tired from the rain and hail. Music by Bill Fish of Prince of Wales and Ketchikan's own Don Kralis kept spirits up late into the night.

The highlight was the Sunday Rodeo with events designed for fun and to sharpen the skills of the riders. Adults and children competed in rain and mud for prizes in events such as The Slow Ride, Ball Scoop, and obstacle courses. A 50/50 raffle was held to raise money to help pay medical expenses for a member. The winners of the raffle generously donated their half back to the charitable fund. - More...
Thursday - May 04, 2006


National: Senators seek clarification of wiretapping measures By MARGARET TALEV - As the immigration debate grips Capitol Hill, some lawmakers are quietly turning their attention back to a subject that was just as much a lightning rod only a few months ago: President Bush's domestic eavesdropping program.

The Senate Judiciary Committee was scheduled to consider three measures Thursday that alternately seek to legitimize the controversial program with few changes; give a secret court power to oversee the administration's program; and pave the way for the Supreme Court to quickly take up cases challenging the program's legality.

The Judiciary Committee's chairman, Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., said he wants to send all of these measures to the Senate floor for a full debate, but he acknowledged enough controversy exists within his own committee that he may have trouble putting together the votes to move ahead this week. "We're trying to work out some problems," he said in an interview. "Different senators have different concerns." - More...
Thursday - May 04, 2006

National: Consumers beset by rage at the gas pump By LANCE GAY - With gasoline prices soaring, gas-station owners are reporting a spate of rip-offs, drive-offs and pump rage.

High prices aren't the fault of station owners, but psychiatrists say people are venting pent-up anger at the first target they see.

Los Angeles psychiatrist Robert Butterworth says he understands what drivers are feeling because he's flushed with anger from filling up his Lincoln Town Car in California, where gasoline is well over $3. - More...
Thursday - May 04, 2006

National: Frist defends $100 rebate as relief for high gas prices By RICHARD POWELSON - Some Senate Republicans favor giving taxpayers $100 rebate checks as some relief from high gasoline prices, but Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist conceded Wednesday that the idea is not fueling broad public appeal.

"The issue ... doesn't seem to have the support that had been anticipated," the Tennessee Republican said in an interview.

Frist said he likes the idea because "a lot of people" could use help paying for gasoline. The $100 figure was chosen, he said, because that is what the average driver pays in federal gasoline taxes over nine months. - More...
Thursday - May 04, 2006

National: Jury sentences Moussaoui to life in prison By GREG GORDON - Unable to reach consensus on a death penalty in the nation's only Sept. 11-related criminal case, a federal jury sentenced Zacarias Moussaoui Wednesday to life in a high-security prison without the possibility of release.

The verdict, after 41 hours of deliberations over seven days, brought to a stunning conclusion a three-month penalty trial in which the government invested massive resources to try to prove that Moussaoui's lies to federal agents contributed to the carnage. - More...
Thursday - May 04, 2006



letter I'm an Alaskan Ad Campaign By Peter Bolling - Thursday
letter Energy from trees By Gordon Wadle - Thursday
letter Community Support Overwhelming, Thank you! By Ty Rettke - Thursday
letter Heroes?? By Susan Allen Wall - Thursday
letter Generals and felons By Sam Osborne - Wednesday
letter Oily Mess By Robert McRoberts - Wednesday
letter Wild salmon with pesticides or farmed salmon? By Mark Schindler - Wednesday
letter Spirit of cooperation By Eugene Martin Sr. - Tuesday PM
letter Controlled by big business interests By Dionne Jackson - Tuesday PM
letter Integrity and Ethical Behavior Part II By Jon T. Van Essen - Tuesday PM
letter Safety priorities By Tony Alenskis - Tuesday PM
letter RE: A Warning to Alaskans By Samuel Bergeron - Monday
letter Forever grateful to residents of Ketchikan By Sherry Freeman - Sunday
letter In defense of the Ketchikan Borough and Animal Protection By Georgianna Zimmerle - Sunday
letter THE AQUARIUM OF DEAD FISH By David G. Hanger - Saturday
letter Ketchikan's litter problem By Karen Ramsey - Saturday
letter Bear Valley Pride Despite Zoning Ruling By Lynne Miller - Friday
letter Response to integrity & ethical behavior lacking By Tamela McColley - Friday
letter Protests against aerial spraying By Frances Natkong - Friday
letter RE: Drugs By Catlin Rettke - Friday
letter Murkowski Must Show His Cards By Sarah Palin - Thursday
letter A UNIQUE ADVERTISING CAMPAIGN By David G. Hanger - Thursday
letter Aerial Spraying By Andreas Lenz - Thursday
letter Alaskans deserve full disclosure new bill would provide By Rep. Berta Gardner - Thursday
letter Drugs By Kayleigh Martin - Wednesday
letter More Viewpoints/ Letters
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May 04, 2006, Thursday - Ketchikan City Council meeting - City Council Chambers
pdfAgenda & Information Packets

Monday, May 8, 2006 @ 12:00pm TELECONFERENCE - The State Board of Education & Early Development will meet in special session. The public may offer comments and testimony at the Legislative Information Office, 50 Front Street, Suite 203. For more information, please call 225-9675.

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April - May 2006
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Columns - Commentary

Jason Love: Perfect World - In case you didn't notice, the world is not a perfect place. There's war, pollution, hunger, injustice, and of course Anna Nicole Smith. Even little things don't make sense: rush hour traffic not going anywhere, boxing at the Goodwill Games, DVDs showing us highlights of movies THAT WE'RE ABOUT TO WATCH.

One night, after being flagrantly overserved by a bartender, I scribbled on cocktail napkins a list of world improvements. First I called it "If I Were God," then, as the beer wore on, "What Happened to My Childhood" and finally "Gibbledy Gobbledy Goo." - More...
Friday AM - May 05, 2006

Martin Schram: Hybrid tax-credit folly - MEMO TO: Senate/House Republicans, progressive Democrats and all advocates of market-based solutions and tax-cutting incentives for patriotic corporation and consumer action.

SUBJECT: A quick fix to continue America's quest for energy independence.

For decades, you spoke out against government regulations and said you wanted in the worst way to enact tax incentives as market-based solutions for reducing America's perilous dependence on oil imports. - More...
Friday AM - May 05, 2006

Dale McFeatters: Hint: Louisiana's sort of boot-shaped - Adults prone to brooding over the inadequate education of our young have yet more reason to brood.

The National Geographic Society polled 510 Americans ages 18 to 24 and found that the majority of them, in the broadest sense of the term, don't know where they are.

One-third couldn't locate Louisiana and nearly half couldn't locate Mississippi on a map of the United States despite those two states dominating the news coverage last fall. OK, so these aren't exactly top tier, destination states, but half couldn't locate New York state either. - More...
Friday AM - May 05, 2006

Bonnie Erbe: Scientific puzzle - It's no longer news women earn more B.A. degrees than men. Small, liberal arts institutions are so female-dominated, some coeds worry more about finding a man than passing their biochemistry final.

More recently we learned that women now outnumber men in science and engineering undergraduate programs. The National Science Foundation reports in 2001, women earned more than 202,000 such degrees compared with 197,623 earned by men. But what we cannot figure out is the bizarre rationale behind why these gains in women's education levels have yet to translate into gains in the real world of work. Two years ago, there were just shy of 575,000-employed science and engineering PhD's nationwide. - More...
Friday AM - May 05, 2006

Michael Reagan: Pumping Gas - The free market will take care of the gas crisis. People are already taking steps to reduce their fuel consumption, curtailing unnecessary travel, driving slower, car pooling - all things that help reduce demand for gasoline at a time when the law of supply and demand decrees higher prices at the pump.

Nothing, however, is taking care of the gasbag crisis - the hemming and hawing of politicians doing their darnedest to pump votes out of the gas price hike.

In the process, the people on Capitol Hill are either totally ignorant of the facts behind the crisis, sufficiently cynical to exploit the public's ignorance of the subject, or worse - to misinform them. That's a nice way of saying they lie like rugs. - More...
Friday AM - May 05, 2006

Jay Ambrose: Freedom's economic benefits - Wham! Katrina hit New Orleans and the Mississippi coast and the U.S. economy took a step back, but now it is racing ahead.

Wham! Oil prices went out of sight, and the pain has been felt in a host of ways, but inflation is paltry, the annual growth rate in the first quarter was an amazing 4.8 percent and unemployment is a barely noticeable 4.7 percent.

Afflict this economy with first one woe and then another, and it may slow down for a minute - but the next thing you know consumers have their confidence back, businesses are making profits, hiring is increasing, production is at its most efficient ever and the government is issuing numbers telling us the happy story. - More...
Friday AM - May 05, 2006

Paul Campos: Under the GOP, the rich get richer -- everyone else stays the same - Over the past generation, much mainstream economic thought has assumed that what is good for rich people is good for America. Naturally, this view has tended to transform university economics departments and business schools into cheerleaders for the Republican Party.

Ask Professor Pangloss of the University of Chicago what we ought to do about capital gains or the inheritance tax or unions, and he will dazzle you with equations supposedly demonstrating that the political outcomes sought by the wealthiest Americans are also best for society as a whole.

That, at any rate, is the current economic orthodoxy. How well does it reflect reality? - More...
Friday AM - May 05, 2006

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