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Saturday & Sunday
May 27 - 28, 2006

Front Page Photo by Marie L. Monyak

Sea Hawkers Booster Club and fans.
Front Page Photo By Marie L. Monyak

Ketchikan: TAILGATE PARTY - KETCHIKAN STYLE! By MARIE L. MONYAK - It isn't every day that professional ball players show up in Ketchikan but early Friday morning that's exactly what happened. As the Holland America cruise ship Westerdam pulled into port at 7:00 AM, local fans lined the dock waiting to see members of the Seattle Seahawks.

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Waiting on the cruise ship dock since 6:00 AM to meet and greet and hopefully get an autograph of several of the Seahawk's football players reported to be on board were the spirited members of the recently formed Sea Hawkers Booster Club clad in their Seahawk's shirts and hats. They were joined by Kayhi Kings' Head Football Coach Blaine Ashcraft and players Sam McDonald, Ty Gass, Karl Benson, Ryan Borup, Keisuke Ikeshima, Bryce Timm and alumnus member Paul McDonald.

Also present and in full regalia, the KIC Inter-Tribal Dancers began performing in anticipation of the arrival of the expected celebrities. Rounding out the gathering were many die-hard Seahawk fans both young and old, wearing the Seahawk's logo in the familiar pacific blue, navy blue, neon green and white. - More...
Saturday - May 27, 2006

National: A Fatal Freedom: Deaths in motorcycle crashes on rise By THOMAS HARGROVE - Deaths in U.S. motorcycle crashes have nearly doubled in a decade, mounting to 4,000 annually, as more states have repealed mandatory helmet safety laws, according to a Scripps Howard News Service study.

One federal analysis concludes that nearly 700 lives could have been saved in one year alone if all motorcyclists had worn helmets.

Yet motorcyclists have become so passionately opposed to mandatory helmet laws that they've formed powerful state and national lobbies, persuaded Congress to muzzle federal highway safety experts and convinced lawmakers in 30 states to roll back their statutes.

Nine of the 10 states with the worst motorcycle death rates don't require adults to wear helmets, according to the Scripps Howard study of records provided by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. - More...
Sunday - May 28, 2006

National: Many motorcycle dead may be in throes of midlife crisis By THOMAS HARGROVE - An unusually large number of divorced middle-age men are dying in motorcycle accidents, prompting speculation by experts that many chose to take up the often-risky sport of cycling as a symptom of midlife crisis.

Scripps Howard New Service obtained death certificate records maintained by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta to paint a statistical portrait of 3,697 people who died in motorcycle accidents in 2003, the most recent year available.

Dead motorcyclist are overwhelming male (90 percent) and disproportionately white (87 percent). Although teenagers and young adults are over-represented in fatal car accidents, motorcycle fatality victims are disproportionately middle-aged with 46 percent in their 40s or older. About a third have attended college, compared to about half the general public.

The Motorcycle Industry Council, a consortium of manufacturers, said its marketing data show similar patterns for race, gender and age of owners. The council has tracked a rapid aging of the cyclist community, rising from an average age of 27 in 1985 to 41 in 2003. - More...
Sunday - May 28, 2006


Week In Review By THOMAS HARGROVE - Personal info stolen on 26.5 million veterans

Veterans Affairs officials announced Monday that personal information about 26.5 million U.S. veterans was stolen from a VA employee's home. The missing computer disks included Social Security numbers, prompting authorities to begin a massive mailing warning veterans to carefully check for credit fraud and identity theft in the coming weeks. VA Secretary Jim Nicholson told members of Congress he's "mad as hell" that he was not informed about the two-week-old theft earlier.

Gonzales says reporters can be prosecuted for printing secrets

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales went on the Sunday morning talk shows to warn that reporters who publish or broadcast government secrets may face federal prosecution. "We have an obligation to ensure that our national security is protected," he said. The United States does not have a British-style Official Secrets Act making the press liable for leaks, but Gonzales may be contemplating the 1917 Espionage Act, never used in press cases. - More...
Sunday - May 28, 2006

Washington Calling: 'Baghdad ER' too graphic for troops ... fish tales ... and more By LISA HOFFMAN - The hunt is over for the missing file from now-Chief Justice John Roberts' work on affirmative action during the Reagan administration: The National Archives says it can't find the file or determine if it was "taken intentionally, unintentionally or lost" after a nine-month investigation.

Archives officials' assurances to the contrary, the 64-page in-house report said agency procedures weren't followed when Bush White House staffers were allowed to bring in personal belongings and were left alone for as long as 30 minutes when they ran pre-nomination checks on Roberts.

The White House has denied any role in the file's disappearance.


Young voters born under the sign of Reagan are as concerned as their elders with political Washington's performance on jobs, the economy, education, gas prices and the Iraq war. Republican pollster Ed Goeas and Democratic pollster Celinda Lake report that 63 percent of voters 18 to 30 think the country's on the wrong track, and 73 percent of them plan to vote.


Work is now about half done on the new Navy warship USS New York, which will be constructed using 24 tons of steel salvaged from the World Trade Center site after the 9/11 attacks. The amphibious transport ship, which survived Hurricane Katrina in an Avondale, La., shipyard, is being built by Northrop Grumman. Some workers have postponed their retirement to participate in the historic project. - More...
Sunday - May 28, 2006



letter What do we do with illegal immigrants? By Mike Harpold - Sunday
letter Memorial Day By Sen. Ted Stevens - Sunday
letter Paintball Field is NOT a Target Shooting Range By Bobbie McCreary - Sunday
letter RE: Minutemen/Border Patrol By Walt Bolling - Sunday
letter Balancing Patriots and Privacy By Mark Beatty - Sunday
letter Minutemen By Kay Gettle Lopez - Saturday
letter Minutemen By Virginia E. Atkinson - Saturday
letter One Revilla Graduate's Success Story By Ralph and Lauren Mirsky - Friday
letter Minutemen are good Americans By Mike Isaac - Friday
letter Burning fuel By Robert McRoberts - Friday
letter Scared to print the truth? By Pete Baltzer - Friday
letter Ask Governor to veto appropriation for proposed aquarium By David Hanger - Thursday
letter Tourists By Jerry Cegelske - Thursday
letter Re: Minutemen/Border Patrol By Gerry Nance - Thursday
letter Aerial Genocide on Long Island, Alaska By Robert A. Sanderson Jr. - Wednesday
letter Oppose Head Tax By Anita Hales - Wednesday
letter Minutemen/ Border Patrol By Virginia E. Atkinson - Wednesday
letterNew Front Roads By Patti Fay Hickox - Tuesday
letter Vigilantes along the border By Neil Gray - Tuesday
letter Homeland security? By Ken Lewis - Tuesday
letter Don't Spray on Long Island By Frances C. Natkong - Tuesday
letter Good to be home... By Archie Inoncillo - Tuesday
letterTime to return to the gold standard? By Peter Morici - Monday
"YES" on the Cruise Ship Ballot Initiative By Carrie L. James - Monday
letter Wrong about the "vigilante" groups By Erni Grace - Saturday
letter RE: New Guest Worker Program No Substitute For Cracking Down By David Levin - Saturday
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 More Viewpoints/ Letters
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Columns - Commentary

Dave Kiffer: Giving Our Fellow Lawbreakers A Break - Once again, a tip of the ten gallon hat to our "fellow Amaricuns" in the Great State of Texas.

Law enforcement is making great "pinto pony" strides in the Lone Star State and we should think about doing the same.

I was reading in the national news last week that folks in Texas (particularly in the Great Empty that is West Texas) have decided that the 70 mph speed limit is too confining and that - to make the time and terrain move quicker - the new speed limit ought to 80 mph

In itself, this is not unusual. There are other big Western states (such as Montana and Wyoming) where the daylight speed limit is essentially "as fast as the goll-danged Chevy can go" because enforcement is nil.

But what caught my eye in the Texas story was that the state officials said they were only bowing the reality that everyone in West Texas drives at 80 mph anyway and moving the limit to 80 would recognize the reality and make all those "speeders" legitimate. - More...
Sunday - May 28, 2006

Preston MacDougall: Chemical Eye on Paths of Glory - Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.

This thought has come to mind recently, frequently actually. Then, last week, I was reminded of who said it and why.

As Colonel Dax, an honorably patriotic Frenchman played by a striking Kirk Douglas in Stanley Kubrick's low-budget 1957 anti-war movie "Paths of Glory", tells a scoundrelly General Mireau, this statement was an entry in the politically-charged lexicon of 18th century English author Samuel Johnson. A bit of research yields the noteworthy time and place: April 7, 1775, London. - More...
Sunday - May 28, 2006

John Hall: Saturday-night warning - The Saturday-night FBI raid on Rep. William Jefferson's office, said to be an unprecedented and reckless intrusion by the executive branch into legislative space, produced a bipartisan cry of outrage from Capitol Hill.

Although Jefferson is a New Orleans Democrat, the rush to protect him was led by House Republicans, giving them political credibility. Speaker Dennis Hastert of Illinois, as well as the new majority leader, John Boehner of Ohio, mounted an all-battle-stations effort to protect the institutional sanctity of the House and the separation-of-powers doctrine.

Hastert charged down Pennsylvania Avenue and took the matter directly to President Bush, claiming a breach of the wall between the two branches. Now House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi of California is joining Hastert in a bipartisan demand for a return of everything the FBI took out of Jefferson's office. - More...
Sunday - May 28, 2006

Ann McFeatters: Congressional fulminations - There is no cash wrapped in foil in my freezer. Nothing but ice, some past-its-prime meat, and vegetables. I would think that any self-respecting burglar would check the freezer these days.

The FBI, which also checks freezers, says it found $90,000 in cash wrapped up in the freezer of Rep. William J. Jefferson, D-La. This has caused a firestorm on Capitol Hill, one that should interest Americans.

Jefferson is being investigated for possible public corruption. The FBI claims it videotaped him accepting $100,000 in marked $100 bills stuffed in a briefcase in a sting operation involving alleged bribery and influence peddling. The freezer money allegedly is part of that operation, taped last July. - More...
Sunday - May 28, 2006

Newsmaker Interviews

Bill Steigerwald: All Not Quiet on the Southern Front; Interview with Steve McCraw, Texas' Director of Homeland Security - Waves of illegal immigrants are the least of Steve McCraw's problems. Texas has the longest border with Mexico, and McCraw, the state's director of homeland security, has the difficult job of trying to keep some very nasty criminals and potential terrorists from crossing it. Appointed by Gov. Rick Perry, McCraw, 52, is a former FBI intelligence expert who oversees state and local police resources that have been deployed to make Texas safer and help the U.S. Border Patrol. I talked to him Thursday by telephone from his offices in Austin:

Q: What is it you are supposed to be doing?

A: The focus, as the governor has laid out, is deterrence and prevention. This started in 2005 as part of a five-year strategic plan that identified that our most significant threat, the porous 1,240-mile Texas-Mexico border, didn't constitute just a national security threat but was a public safety threat as well. There has been an escalation over the years. - More...
Sunday - May 28, 2006

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