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April 07, 2006
Gymnastics Club Hosts Annual Exhibition
Beginner and Intermediate Classes
of the Ketchikan Gymnastics Club received their medals and certificates
of achievement at Thursday's Gym Show.
Front Page Photo By Marie L. Monyak©
Gymnastics Club Hosts Annual Exhibition - The Ketchikan Gymnastics
Club (KGC) held their 2006 Gym Show and Award Ceremony last week
on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings. The KGC is a non-profit
organization governed by a board of directors and managed by
Head Coach Rhiann Golder with the help of assistant coaches Aliyah
Pipal, Alison Kelly, Calli Olmstead and Kim Cole.
The annual Gym Show provides
an opportunity for the student athletes to show off their progress
and accomplishments for parents, family and friends prior to
receiving their medals and certificates of achievement.
The beginner and intermediate
classes of 3 through 10 year olds held their Gym Show on Thursday
evening. Charming, adorable and precious are the words that come
to mind while watching these young athletes exhibit their skills.
The audience was so captivated and enamored by these young performers
that many commented that their faces actually hurt from smiling
for so long!
The 3 year old through preschool age group, clad in their colorful
leotards followed one another single file across the floor performing
their routine of forward and backward rolls, cautiously walking
the balance beam and even attempting one complete revolution
on the parallel bar with assistance from the coaches whenever
a student discovered that gravity was preventing their much heavier
bottoms from completing the turn.
The audience was hushed as
though watching world class athletes performing in the Olympics
when one gymnast who appeared to be about 3 years old broke the
silence as she completed her turn on the balance beam and shouted
into the audience, "I did it Mommy!" to the laughter
and delight of all those present. Not to be outdone, another
gymnast stopped in mid-routine, looked into the audience and
asked, "Got your camera Dad?" The pure innocence of
these young stars endeared them to everyone watching.
The next group to perform was Kindergarten through 10 years of
age. A bit more advanced, they performed the same forward and
backward rolls but added handstands and cartwheels to their act
along with floor routines. Obviously a tad more self-conscious,
the athletes tugged at their leotards, brushed hair from their
faces and nervously darted glances at their parents seeking the
encouragement they needed to perform publicly. As each student
ended their routine they quickly ran from center stage, obviously
relieved to be out of the limelight.
Allowing the young groups time
for a break, the more experienced Pre-Team and Team Groups entertained
the audience with their floor routines and more advanced skills
on the uneven parallel bars. Since graduating from beginner and
intermediate classes, these gymnasts exhibited more confidence
and resolve in their demeanor as they performed. Even mistakes
were applauded providing the inspiration needed for the athletes
to complete their routines and feel satisfaction at performing
Ending the evening's Gym Show, the Beginner and Intermediate
students were called individually to center stage. With faces
beaming with satisfaction equal to their parent's look of pride,
the blossoming athletes climbed to the top level of the award
stage to receive their medals and certificates of achievement
to a rousing applause. - More...
Sunday - May 07, 2006
NTVFD's New Fire
Photograph By NTVFD Chief Dave Hull
Tongass Volunteer Fire Department Opens New Fire Station #8
- If you have driven by the construction site for North Tongass
Volunteer Fire Department's fire station #8 you might have seen
trucks parked near the intersection. According to NTVFD Fire
Chief Dave Hull, as of April 20th three rigs were moved from
their former location at 12.5 mile North Tongass Highway to the
new station 8 location at 13110 North Tongass Highway.
Hull said, "North Tongass
Volunteer Fire Department is now officially in both of their
new stations." NTVFD's other new station is located at 12.5
mile North Tongass. Regarding station #8 Hull said, "There
is a lot of construction yet to do but thanks to Chuck Pool of
Pool Engineering we are able to house our Tanker-8, Engine-8
and Medic-8 during the night time hours. During the day time
when work is underway inside the building the rigs are moved
to the bottom of the driveway and backed in each night."
Hull asks that everyone please
note the new location. Chief Hull said, "The North Tongass
residents know well that dark stretch of road just north of the
Guard Island Lookout." He said, "Thanks to Ketchikan
Public Utilities a street light has been installed and will soon
light up the intersection and the tanker loading area."
Hull said, "Signs have also been placed at both stations
to remind motorists that fire stations are near by. Plans call
for the signs to flash yellow lights when calls are in progress."
Sunday - May 07, 2006
over Alaska for more than three decades By NED ROZELL - On
a midwinter night almost 40 years ago, an American B-52 bomber
carrying four hydrogen bombs crashed into a bay near Thule, Greenland.
From that event came an opportunity for a would-be rocket range
A rocket launches from
Research Range in Interior Alaska.
Photo courtesy Geophysical Institute
"The Danes were not happy
with the U.S. military at that point because the Danes thought
that the United States had promised not to deploy nuclear bombs
in Greenland," Neil Davis wrote in his new book, Rockets
over Alaska: The Genesis of Poker Flat (Alaska-Yukon Press).
"An immediate consequence of the bomber crash at Thule was
that Denmark essentially threw the U.S. military out of Greenland."
A later consequence of the
bomber crash was the creation of a facility to launch rockets
in Interior Alaska. When the Danish government wouldn't let the
military launch rockets from Greenland as part of a study of
how nuclear blasts affected the upper atmosphere, a plan was
waiting on deck.
Davis and his colleagues at
the Geophysical Institute of the University of Alaska Fairbanks
had wanted to build a rocket range from which to study properties
of the aurora. With sketches in hand and a lease available on
land near Chatanika, 30 miles northeast of Fairbanks, Davis and
his cohorts were ready when the federal government explored the
possibility of a rocket range in Interior Alaska.
The Interior was a good choice
for blasting rockets 60 or more miles into the sky. Few people
live in the places where those rockets would arc to the ground,
and most of that ground is federal land. Researchers who wished
to retrieve their rocket payloads could also do it easier on
the tundra of northern Alaska than from the ocean, the landing
point of rockets fired from most other northern ranges.
With a verbal agreement for
a good chunk of the $100,000 needed, "so began a crash program
that would involve roughly half of the Geophysical Institute's
staff before it was over in March 1969," Davis wrote. -
Sunday - May 07, 2006
Finance Passes Petroleum Production Tax Legislation; House Speaker
asked to delay vote until the contract is released - The
Alaska House Finance Committee passed the Committee Substitute
Bill 305, Oil and Gas Production Tax, Saturday morning, by a
vote of 9-2.
The Committee Substitute is
a combination of SB 305, as passed by the Senate, and the House
Resources, HB 488, retaining provisions from both bills. The
House Finance version retains the 20/20 credit rate in both the
oil and gas tax rate and the investment credit rate. The Committee
Substitute retains progressivity, which allows a higher tax rate
at higher prices.
The bill also includes a provision
to reduce the Cook Inlet oil tax rate to 5%.
House Finance Co-Chair Mike
Chenault (R-Nikiski) said, "We are trying to ensure that
Alaska is open to investment by both producers and explorers.
We hope to see, with this proposed tax structure, more exploration.
This is a step forward in Alaska's future and an opportunity
to capture a higher return for our resources when prices are
high." He continued, "The House Finance Committee has
done its best to be fair with industry while representing the
best interests of Alaska."
"The package that Finance
has proposed is a bill that keeps the tax rate low enough to
attract more investment to Alaska, yet captures Alaska's fair
share. With progressivity, we protect Alaska's interests as prices
increase. We've done our best to strike the delicate balance,"
said Representative Kevin Meyer (R-Anchorage).
Committee Substitute SB 305
now moves to the House floor for consideration.
On the heels of a Superior
Court decision Friday (PDF) requiring Gov. Frank Murkowski
to release a controversial pipeline contract to the public and
Legislature, two Alaska legislators have asked House Speaker
John Harris to delay a vote on oil tax reform until the contract
Sen. Hollis French and Rep.
Les Gara (both D-Anchorage) have sent a letter to Harris urging
him to postpone the historic vote on the Petroleum Profits Tax
(PPT) until Legislators have an opportunity to see the long-disputed
contract. French had filed the injunction that led to the court's
"Legislators on both sides
of the aisle have argued all along that the governor was illegally
keeping the contract out of public view," French said. "Now
that a superior court judge has affirmed our position, it would
be irresponsible to vote on PPT without knowing what's in that
"We can't make this historic
vote with half the information," Gara said. He added some
of the PPT proposals, including the governor's, would reduce
oil revenues to the state by upwards of $1 billion as some have
argued concessions are needed to seal the pipeline deal. In February,
after agreeing to link oil taxes with a potential gas contract,
the governor reduced his oil tax proposal by $1 billion. - More...
Sunday - May 07, 2006
Washington Calling: Cutting
the bureaucracy ... robots in combat ... and more By LANCE
GAY - GOP calls for a "Sunset Commission" that would
recommend closing unneeded federal agencies are gaining momentum
on Capitol Hill.
Republican leaders vow to put
the measure up for a vote on the House floor before leaving for
summer vacation, and believe they now have enough support.
This wouldn't be any ordinary
commission, but a panel with teeth. It would operate like last
year's base-closing commission. Lawmakers couldn't tinker with
the final recommendations, but would have final say on whether
the package is accepted or rejected. -
Sunday - May 07, 2006
The Week In Review By THOMAS HARGROVE - Goss resigns
as CIA director
In a surprise, CIA Director
Porter Goss resigned Friday. "He has led ably," President
Bush said. He didn't name a successor. Goss, a former congressman
from Florida and head of the House Intelligence Committee, had
been CIA director only since September 2004. Goss was described
as having poor relations with the CIA's clandestine service.
A million people march for
More than 1 million mostly
Mexican and Hispanic immigrants and those in sympathy with their
cause marched in at least two dozen major U.S. cities Monday
in the national "Day Without Immigrants" boycott that
also shut down thousands of businesses. The event was meant to
demonstrate the vast size of the nation's growing immigrant presence
and to urge Congress not to pass legislation punishing illegal
immigrants. The largest demonstrations occurred in Los Angeles
and Chicago, where police estimated crowds at 400,000 in each
Sunday - May 07, 2006