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May 19, 2006

Governor Opens Historic Public Meetings...

Governor Opens Historic Public
Meetings on Gas Pipeline

Governor Frank H. Murkowski opened the first of a series of public meetings on the proposed gas pipeline in Alaska's First City, Ketchikan, Friday morning.
Front Page Photo by Dick Kauffman

Ketchikan: Governor Opens Historic Public Meetings on Gas Pipeline - Alaska Governor Frank H. Murkowski today opened the first of a series of public meetings on the proposed gas pipeline contract in Ketchikan. Speaking to a gathering of about 60 at the Ted Ferry Civic Center, Murkowski noted the historic significance of the proposed contract, and how appropriate it was to hold the first hearing on it in Alaska's First City.

"We have the opportunity to shape the future for Alaska's next generation, and the generation after that, as well," Murkowski said. "The gas pipeline will create jobs and business opportunities. It will bring in at least $70 billion in state revenues over the first 35 years of its operations. Its presence will extend the life of the TAPS oil pipeline by at least 20 years, because gas and oil are found together."

Murkowski said the purpose of the public meetings that will be held statewide is to receive the comments and input of Alaskans regarding the contract and the pipeline project.

"We are wholly committed to the public process we are opening here today, and have set out a very rigorous, statewide schedule of hearings," he said. "Your voice truly matters. Your input is needed to make sure we get the right deal for all Alaskans. We are working with the Legislature to be sure they fully understand the contract, and that they are confident the public is comfortable with it." - More...
Friday - May 19, 2006

Top Stories
U.S. News
U.S. Politics


Ketchikan: US House Votes Spending Millions on Logging Roads Isn't Good Investment - Thursday the U.S. House agreed that spending taxpayer dollars on building logging roads on the Tongass National Forest is not a good investment. The amendment to the Interior Appropriations bill which calls for ending subsidies for logging roads was sponsored by Republican Representative Steve Chabot of Ohio and Democrat Robert Andrews of New Jersey. It passed 237 to 181.

According to the Southeast Alaska Conservation Council, the Chabot/Andrews amendment is supported by nearly 80 Southeast Alaskan businesses and 21 outfitter and guiding businesses.

"Southeast Alaskans rely on and care about the health of the Tongass. The Forest Service has to balance the needs of other users of the forest with those of the timber industry-that means not wasting money on logging roads, but using their limited funds to support growing sectors of the economy," says Beverly Anderson, Business and Community Outreach Coordinator of the Southeast Alaska Conservation Council. - More...
Friday - May 19, 2006

Alaska: Governor Clarifies Position on Reserves Tax -Alaska Governor Frank H. Murkowski today cleared up any lingering misinterpretation on the proposed reserves tax after it was earlier reported this week that he would back the reserves tax, a tax on the North Slope's natural gas reserves, if the gas pipeline contract is approved.

Murkowski said his position is very simple. "If the reserves tax proposed by Representatives Croft, Crawford and Guttenberg passes in November, it would go into effect 90 days after the election is certified. It would immediately begin levying an annual tax of $800 million to $1 billion on North Slope gas. This tax will very effectively kill any chance of a gas pipeline, because over the ten years it will take to build the pipeline, the tax will add $10 billion to the cost of getting the gas to market. It destroys the economics." - More...
Friday - May 19, 2006

Alaska: U.S. hunt for bird flu begins in Anchorage By DOUG O'HARRA - At a salt marsh along Anchorage's mucky west coast, federal scientist Bob Gill palmed a tiny shorebird trapped only minutes earlier in a fine-mesh net.

It was a female pectoral sandpiper and, Wednesday morning, the little pond-wader became the unwitting volunteer in an extraordinary quest:

Find the first carrier of deadly avian flu in North America.

One of the world's impressive long-distance migrants, most pectoral sandpipers range from Argentina through Alaska to Siberia. The fear is that some wild birds will catch the flu in Asian breeding grounds and bring it here.

This particular bird, the first captured for testing here at the edge of the continent, had probably arrived in Anchorage only days ago to forage for bugs and worms in marshes below the Coastal Trail. It's likely bound for Russia or Arctic Alaska. Just passing through. - More...
Friday - May 19, 2006

Hybrid grizzly-polar bear...

Hybrid grizzly-polar bear a curiosity
American hunter Jim Martell, left, is seen with a hybrid bear he shot while on a hunting expedition on Banks Island, Northwest Territory, Canada, in April 2006. Genetic tests showed the bear had a polar bear for a mother and a grizzly bear for a father. Roger Kuptana, center, right, was the guide on the expedition. The other men are unidentified.
Photo: Canadian Wildlife Service

Alaska: Hybrid grizzly-polar bear a curiosity By NED ROZELL - When he heard the news of a grizzly-polar bear hybrid shot in Canada's Arctic last month, Tom Seaton thought back to an unusual polar bear hide he'd once seen at Nelson Walker's home in Kotzebue.

"He had two polar bear rugs in his house-one was a huge one, and the other was special; it had lots of brown in it," Seaton said. "It looked like a regular polar bear, but for every square inch of hide, 5 to 20 percent of the hairs were brown instead of white."

Walker, who has since passed on, was a polar bear hunting guide in the village; Seaton was then a teenage hunter who loved to listen to Walker's stories. He's now a biologist with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game in Fairbanks. Because he had heard that polar bears and brown bears had bred successfully in a zoo, Seaton was pretty sure Walker's white-and-brown hide was from the mating of a polar bear and a brown bear. That combination of large bears is so rare that DNA testing of the hybrid bear shot recently off Banks Island in Canada's high Arctic proved for the first time that a wild bear had a polar bear as its mother and a grizzly as its father. An Associated Press reporter wrote that the bear had brown patches on its white coat, long claws, and the humped back of a grizzly. - More...
Friday - May 19, 2006

Jazz Night A Celebration

Windjammers Jazz Club directed by Roy McPherson
Photograph by Valerie Hendel

Ketchikan: JAZZ NIGHT A CELEBRATION By VALERIE HENDEL - Ever wonder why we use the same words to describe food and jazz? On Tuesday, May 16th, The Jerry Galley Memorial Scholarship Concert was performed at Kayhi. The scholarship fund, established in Spring 2000, raises money to help Kayhi seniors pursue the arts in college. Roy McPherson, Director and one of the Coordinators for Jazz Night, introduced the evening as one of "celebration." Chris Peabody, friend of the late Jerry Galley, described Jerry as "a man of action" and ushered in an evening of lively instrumentals.

Dale Curtis, in his third year of involvement with Jazz Night, directed the Kayhi Jazz Ensemble who started out the evening hoppin' with "Jumpstart." Silky and sweet was "All Blues" arranged by Miles Davis. The Band played a fabulous and diverse selection that included "Aristocrat," "Bossa for Ralph Baby," and "Kansas City." - More...
Friday - May 19, 2006

Wine Tasting Event...

Spring Wine Tasting Event Helps Raise
Funds For Scholarships
CHARR President Wes Loe, Elvis and
CHARR Vice President Donna Luther.
Photograph by Marie L. Monyak

Ketchikan: Spring Wine Tasting Event Helps Raise Funds For Scholarships By MARIE L. MONYAK - Recently the Ketchikan CHARR (Cabaret, Hotel, Restaurant and Retailers Association) held their annual Spring Wine Tasting Event at the Ketchikan Visitors Bureau located downtown on the cruise ship dock. The steady flow of people attending the festive event indicated that it would be another successful fundraising program for CHARR.

Wes Loe, President of CHARR and Donna Luther, Vice President along with Carrie McLaughlin, Director of Special Projects were all on hand to greet the guests as were many other CHARR members who were volunteering their time. KRBD Public Radio staff was also present and contributed to the festivities by announcing door prize winners throughout the evening and assisting in various ways.

According to Luther, the Annual Spring Wine Tasting is one of three yearly fundraisers which CHARR holds to raise the monies necessary to support the CHARR Scholarship Program and KRBD Public Radio and the donations collected from this recent event will be split evenly between the two. - More...
Friday - May 19, 2006


Alaska: Native leader says culture aids suicides By LIZ RUSKIN - Alaska Native villages tend to suffer waves of suicide, with one tragedy triggering other similar deaths. William Martin, chairman of the state Suicide Prevention Council, told a U.S. Senate committee he thinks he knows why.

"I believe there is a copycat effect that is encouraged by how we talk about people after they kill themselves," said Martin, a Native leader from Juneau, Alaska.

At their funerals, no one speaks ill of the deceased, he said. "But there may be a person listening in the audience, a young person, who might think to themselves, is this all I need to do to gain respect from my family and my friends and my elders? And so it starts a compounding effect," he said. - More...
Friday - May 19, 2006

Alaska: Bristol Bay Salmon Permit Holders Approve Regional Marketing Association - Bristol Bay salmon drift gill net permit holders have approved a self-imposed one-percent tax for a regional marketing effort. By a margin of 410 "yes" votes to 297 "no" votes a one-percent tax passed to go to the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association (BBRSDA).

The election was completed by Alaska Division of Investments staff and certified by Commerce Commissioner Bill Noll. The vote represents 38 percent of Bristol Bay salmon drift gill net permit holders.

This is the second RSDA to be formed in the state under legislation HB 419 that was signed into law by Governor Frank H. Murkowski on June 21, 2004. The first RSDA, Copper River/Prince William Sound Marketing Association, was formed on May 26, 2005. - More...
Friday - May 19, 2006

National: Global oil production: Has it peaked? By LANCE GAY - Since Henry Ford rolled out the first Model T almost a century ago, the world has been riding a hydrocarbon bubble that transformed America's landscapes and lifestyles.

But some oil experts and economists warn global oil production is peaking. Oil production isn't going to drop off a cliff, they say, but the future is one in which annual supplies will for the first time begin gradually diminishing, precipitating even higher prices and perhaps shortages.

It's a vision where $70-a-barrel oil - which translates to about 11-cents a cup - could be considered a bargain.

"The days of inexpensive, convenient, abundant energy sources are quickly drawing to a close," warns a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers study, which projects there's only 41 years left before the world uses up the proven reserves of oil. "World oil production is at or near its peak and current world demand exceeds the supply." - More...
Friday - May 19, 2006



letter New guest worker program no substitute for cracking down By Mike Harpold - Friday
letter Palin is Party's Brightest Hope By Lysa Maher - Friday
letter Computer Users Over 60 By Lisa Pearson - Friday
letter Guard Won't Solve Illegal Immigration Problem By Neil Gray - Friday
letter Ketchikan By Marvin Seibert - Friday
letter Paintball! Sunday May 21st! By Gregory Vickrey - Friday
letter Revilla High School was there for me. By George Jackson - Friday
letter National Security, Needles, and Haystacks By Alan Lidstone - Friday
letter Good job, Trixie! By Vicki O'Brien - Thursday
letter Life really is easy By Greg Harris - Thursday
letter AQUARIUM OF DEAD FISH By Robert McRoberts - Thursday
letter A winner of a plan? By Al Johnson - Thursday
letter War on terror with a border open By Paul Groh - Thursday
letter Illegal Immigration By Charles Mayer - Thursday
letter MORE ON THE AQUARIUM OF DEAD FISH By David G. Hanger - Wednesday
letterIsn't It Amazing How... By Jerry Cegelske - Wednesday
letterAn Open Letter on Illegal Immigration By Byron Whitesides - Tuesday
letter Pesticides found in Alaska By Carrie L. James - Monday
letter Republicans need to rely on more than Fear! By Robert Freedland - Sunday
letterPLEASE BE COURTEOUS!!! By Alan R. McGillvray - Saturday
letter Democrats need to call for more than revenge By Lucille Moyer - Saturday
letter A wonderful man By Anita Hales - Friday
letter ALS CAN STRIKE ANYONE By Linda (Teal) Kreider - Friday
letter Some things never go out of style By Chris Elliott - Friday
letter JOIN US SUNDAY MAY 21st - NEW PAINTBALL PARK By Bobbie McCreary - Friday
letter More Viewpoints/ Letters
letter Publish A Letter

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Columns - Commentary

Dave Kiffer: From Google Eyes to Googling - One of the advantages of living in a small town is that you pretty much know what you're getting when you get "involved" with someone new. After all, many folks have lived here for a while and everyone has a really long memory.

Of course, there are plenty of "transients" to spice things up. They are often referred to as "fresh meat" yet what they really are, are "tabula rasas." They are blank slates and a major advantage about moving to Ketchikan is that you can do the big "etch-a-sketch" shake with your personal history and take advantage of a "mulligan" or do over.

I was talking to a single friend recently and she as bemoaning the fact that a recent boyfriend turned out to be carrying more smelly baggage than an Alaska Airlines fish flight. - More...
Friday - May 19, 2006

Bob Ciminel: Maturation - I can't put it off any longer; I finally have to admit I'm getting old. It's tough because most people who know me don't believe I'm going to be 61. I didn't believe it either, so I looked at my birth certificate just to be sure. Yep, it was right there on that officially sealed piece of paper. I was born on May 29, 1945 at the Muroc Army Air Force Base hospital (now Edwards AFB), off of Route 66 in the Mohave Desert of California, home of "Twenty Mule Team Borax."

What started me worrying about growing old was that I finally heeded my wife's advice and bought a pair of hearing aids. To me, nothing signifies aging like needing hearing aids. According to my paradigm of life, young people may need to correct their vision, and middle-aged men may need angioplasty or heart bypass surgery, but only "old" people need hearing aids. The fact that you ride around the house on a scooter, or need to wear diapers, can be totally unrelated to your age. Hearing aids, however, definitely tell the world you are an "old fart." That is why I waited until the technology advanced to the point where hearing aids are practically invisible. - More...
Friday - May 19, 2006

Preston MacDougall: Chemical Eye on the Da Vinci Mode - Larger than life, there it was. There He was. Even though I was standing motionless, Leonardo da Vinci's Last Supper painting moved me.

Less moving is the central idea in Dan Brown's best-selling novel - The Da Vinci Code - that there she was too. Mary Magdalene in disguise. And the thought that Leonardo would paint his two main subjects anachronistically performing a Village People dance move (the "M" in Y.M.C.A.) is as offensive to his visual artistry as it is to Christianity.

Otherwise, I enjoyed the book - the plot really moved. Like many people, I found it hard to put the book down. In many ways, it took me back to the time I read Star Wars - from Tatooine to the Massassi Temple - in the back seat of a Ford Five-Hundred between Toronto and Hilton Head. Fantasy is a real page-turner. - More...
Friday - May 19, 2006

Rob Holston: Pink Bats - The spring of 2006 was marked by an historic baseball event. I am not speaking of Barry Bonds eclipsing Babe Ruth's 714 home run career count. I'm speaking of major league baseball breaking out the "pink bats" to fight breast cancer.

Just how baseball can fight breast cancer with pink bats remains to be seen, but the plan goes something like "It will bring a lot of awareness to the problem." And the pink bats, or at least some of them will be auctioned off and the revenue will support the efforts of the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. Thinking I had a lot to learn about their struggles against breast cancer and how pink bats might help, I clicked onto I was astounded by what I saw and didn't see. - More...
Friday - May 19, 2006

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