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May 05, 2007
A Fly-by in Remembrance of
Numberous helicopters made a fly-by Friday over the Tongass Narrows
- the day a memorial was held in Ketchikan for Ken Eichner. For
many years, Mr. Eichner flew Old Glory at the start of Ketchikan's
4th of July Parade. Flying the flag Friday, was pilot Alan Zink.
A Ketchikan resident, Eichner was the founder of TEMSCO Helicopters
(Timber, Exploration, Mining, Survey, Cargo Operations). The
88-year old Eichner passed away January 27, 2007 in Seattle.
Photograph by Ruth Hart
artist & ANS paleontologist in line for natural history awards
- An artist with an obsession with fish and a paleontologist
who discovered a missing link will each receive a prestigious
award for their achievements from The Academy of Natural Sciences
at its 195th Annual Meeting on Friday, June 1st.
Ray Troll, an artist, naturalist,
author and musician living in Ketchikan, Alaska, will receive
the Gold Medal for Distinction in Natural History Art for contributing
to a better understanding and appreciation of living things.
Armed with a life-long interest
in natural history, Troll got his start in pop culture by creating
offbeat depictions of fish and other sea creatures for T-shirts.
He has co-written and illustrated six books including Rapture
of the Deep and Sharkabet, has written blues songs about fish
and is the art director for a traveling exhibition that opens
June 2 at the Academy called Amazon Voyages: Vicious Fishes and
Dr. Ted Daeschler, who co-discovered
the 375-million-year-old Canadian Arctic fossil that is an evolutionary
link between fish and limbed animals, will receive the Hayden
Memorial Geological Award for excellence in scientific discovery
and research. - More...
Saturday - May 05, 2007
Submits Comments on Tongass Land Management Plan to USFS
- Alaska Governor Sarah Palin has submitted comments on behalf
of the State of Alaska to the United States Forest Service (USFS)
with regard to the Tongass Land Management Plan (TLMP). The public
comment period ended April 30, 2007.
"This administration took a different approach in voicing
the State's opinions," said Governor Sarah Palin. "With
the best interests of Southeast Alaska in mind, this administration
submitted comments on behalf of three departments, rather than
each, independently. We believe one, united voice will send a
clear and concise message that we need help to stabilize and
revitalize the industry."
The following policy guidelines were used to craft the combined
comments of the Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic
Development; the Department of Fish and Game; and the Department
of Natural Resources: - More...
Saturday - May 05, 2007
Week In Review By THOMAS HARGROVE - Bush vetoes Iraq
President Bush on Tuesday night
vetoed the Democratic-controlled Congress' $124 billion spending
bill that required U.S. troops to begin withdrawing from Iraq
by Oct. 1.
"I am confident that with
good will on both sides that we can move beyond political statements,"
Bush said. Democrats lacked a two-thirds majority to override
the veto. Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York and Robert
Byrd of West Virginia on Thursday proposed repealing the 2002
resolution authorizing the use of force in Iraq. "If the
president will not bring himself to accept reality, it is time
for Congress to bring reality to him," Clinton said.
Into Tongass Narrows
The excavator demolishing the Nordby Building is pictured leaning
Friday after falling through the floor -- it later falls into
Tongass Narrows. - View
a larger photo...
Photograph by Chris Wilhelm
GOP candidates support current
All 10 Republican presidential
candidates supported the current U.S. military mission in Iraq
during the GOP's first debate Thursday at the Ronald Reagan Presidential
Library in Simi Valley, Calif. "We should never retreat
in the face of terrorism," said former New York Mayor Rudolph
Giuliani. Sen. John McCain of Arizona said the recent U.S. military
buildup increases odds for success, although he said Bush has
"terribly mismanaged" the war. Former Massachusetts
Gov. Mitt Romney said the United States should not pull out so
quickly "that we have to go back."
Violence flares during L.A.
Los Angeles police clashed
with immigration-rights demonstrators Tuesday in McArthur Park,
swinging batons and firing hundreds of rubber bullets. The FBI
announced Thursday it will investigate whether protesters' civil
rights were violated in the violence. A video showed police attacking
demonstrators and journalists from behind as they tried to walk
away from the scene. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa cut short his
visit to Mexico and promised a "thorough and transparent
investigation" into police conduct. - More...
Saturday - May 05, 2007
Fish Factor: New
law would protect deckhands from unscrupulous skippers by
LAINE WELCH - Deckhands will no longer be able to get stiffed
by unscrupulous skippers if a new law gets the nod from Alaska
A measure being proposed by
Rep. Bill Thomas of Haines, a lifelong commercial fisherman,
would require contracts that outline how and when crewmembers
will be paid. The written agreements would mirror a federal law
that applies to vessels of 20 gross tons or more. Thomas' proposal
would apply to all state fishing boats, even those with just
one deck hand.
Many Alaska skippers routinely
provide contracts for their crew, but most do not. And many agreements
are ambiguous and open for wide interpretation.
"This would professionalize
the relationship by putting a statute into Alaska law,"
said Thomas' fisheries aide Ian Fisk. "It would require
contracts that outline how and when crewmembers will be paid.
We're not trying to tell skippers what expenses are allowable,
because that's up to them to determine. But the crewman needs
to know what expenses are going to be deducted from the gross
proceeds to arrive at the adjusted gross upon which his or her
percentage will be paid."
Fisk, also a fisherman, said
the contracts would be 'very basic' and could be "tweaked"
to accommodate variances in different fisheries.
"We're not trying to limit
the skipper's discretion in terms of how he or she wants to write
a contract - as long as the crew agrees and knows up front what
the arrangement is," he said.
Penalties for non-compliance
are still being defined, but not having copies of crew contracts
on board would likely result in a fine or ticket.
Several deckhands said requiring
a clearly defined crew contract is a good idea.
"When salmon season was
over, my skipper told me that I wouldn't get my full share if
I didn't haul and chop firewood for his home use, and also paint
his fence," said a Kodiak deckhand, speaking on condition
of anonymity. "He made similar threats about my sticking
around 'just in case' he wanted to make a few quick trips into
Several deckhands on a Kodiak
halibut boat also lamented long lags before getting paid, with
no explanations by their skippers. Similarly, Fisk said he and
Rep. Thomas decided to take action after two Juneau crewmen complained
they had each been shorted $10,000 by a skipper.
Fisk said time might not allow
for the crew contract bill to be heard during the legislative
session that is set to end on May 16. He said a draft will be
circulated to fishing groups for public comment during the year
and the measure will be taken up by Alaska lawmakers in 2008.
'We want this to be a requirement,
similar to having car insurance. It would be a law that is enforced
and has some teeth to it," Fisk said. "Fishing is a
profession and whether a deckhand is working for a summer or
the rest of his life, it's only fair to know how and what you're
being paid. By having a contract signed by both parties, we hope
to reduce the amount of disputes that end up in court."
Saturday - May 05, 2007
Columns - Commentary
- It was the best of times; it was the worst of times. My
community lived in relative peace -- shopping, sunbathing, recreational
surgery -- while in the hills of Simi Valley underage kids were
being gunned down by paintballs.
I'm a pretty peaceful dude.
If I were king, our troops would shower the Middle East with
LSD until they all discovered oneness. There would be no Us and
Them, just Brothers of the Blue and Green Marble.
"This is the dawning of
the Age of Aquarius..."
You can see, then, why I might
balk at the idea of paintball, and by "balk" I mean
make the sound of a chicken. Still I showed up at Paintball USA,
where players poured in wearing camouflage and motocross helmets.
I looked for, but could not find, Mad Max.
Mike Schwartz, owner of Paintball
USA, Close Encounters, says that it's like playing G.I. Joe but
in real life. I myself was into PlaySkool, and casualties were
rare. Weebles wobble, but they don't fall down.
At the sign-in desk we found
Art, head referee. Art would not divulge his surname but swears
that he is not running from the government. Art, in fact, had
the hyper-organized feel of a Green Beret and probably knows
the truth about Roswell.
Art wasn't the tallest guy
in town, but you got the feeling that should you cross him, he
could skeletonize you by hand. Remember Vavoom from Felix the
Cat? The one who started avalanches with his voice? That's how
Art covered the rules.
"DO NOT SHOOT THE LIZARDS.
THEY WILL DIE." - More...
Thursday PM - May 03, 2007
the American Prom - Proms sure have gotten expensive these
According to the San Jose Mercury
News, high school kids spend nearly $4 billion annually for dresses,
accessories, flowers, beauty products, limos and other prom-related
items. The average couple spends upward of $1,000 for the one-time
That got me thinking about
my own prom in 1980.
I didn't know my date very
well. She was in my photography class, pretty and, more important,
available. We arranged a pre-prom meeting to get to know each
other. We played tennis on a blistering-hot day, then headed
back to her house for something cold to drink. After she berated
her sister for drinking all the Tang, she turned her turret on
"I heard about you, a
regular class clown," she said. "You better not show
up in a limo, wear a top hat or cane or do anything else to embarrass
I knew right away things were
going to work out fine.
Still, I wanted to impress
her. I was running a stone-masonry business in those years and
was making a lot of money for a kid.
I figured I'd use some of my
dough to impress her.
I bought her the finest corsage
in our high school (it cost $45, a lot of money then). I bought
a box of frozen steaks, snacks and other refreshments for the
after-prom party. But my investments turned out to be bad ones.
Thursday PM - May 03, 2007
D. May: What
the deep thinkers are thinking - For their May/June issue,
the editors of Foreign Policy magazine asked 21 "leading
thinkers" to propose ideas to "save the world"
- or, failing that, to come up with "one solution that would
make the world a better place."
Almost all the thinkers assigned
to this task do their thinking at think tanks, universities and
activist organizations. Is there nowhere else that sages can
be found? I mean that as a question, not a criticism.
Foreign Policy's thinkers tackle
a diverse list of dilemmas - from poverty to gender inequality
to climate change to terrorism. I think their solutions range
from the innovative to the far-fetched. See what you think:
Amy Myers Jaffe, a fellow in
energy studies at the Baker Institute in Texas, notes that oil
is no longer owned primarily by private companies. Instead, government-controlled
oil companies "now command close to 80 percent of the world's
remaining reserves." As long as we are dependent on these
oil-baron states - e.g., Saudi Arabia, Iran, Venezuela, Russia
- they will have power over us.
Her solution: "shift the
automobile fleet to plug-in, hybrid electric vehicles."
The technology already exists, she says. We just need to get
the cars on the road sooner, rather than later. I'd add: Abolish
taxes on liquid fuels that can serve as alternatives to gasoline.
John Arquilla, a professor
at the Naval Postgraduate School, argues that "nearly six
years into the first great armed conflict between nations and
networks"- global terrorist organizations - "the nations
are still fighting the last war." - More...
Thursday PM - May 03, 2007
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