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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
May 27, 2008

Front Page Photo by Cindy Balzer

Canada Goose: Perfect Landing
Front Page Photo by Cindy Balzer


 Ketchikan King Salmon Derby 2008

arrow"Unofficial" King Salmon Derby Ladder for Week 1 ( May 24-26, 2008)

The first weekend of the 61st annual Ketchikan king salmon derby concluded at 9 p.m. on Monday, May 26. The second weekend begins Saturday, May 31. The 2008 derby days are: May 24, 25, & 26; May 31 & June 1; June 7 & 8.

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National: Supply, demand imbalance causing oil price spike By DAVID R. BAKER - Call it a failure of economics. Even as the cost of crude oil has soared in recent years, the amount pumped from the ground hasn't.

Since the start of 2004, oil's price has quadrupled, from $33 per barrel to $132. Production, meanwhile, has risen just 1.8 percent, to 84.6 million barrels per day.

That's not enough to keep pace with the world's growing thirst for oil, which has increased 3.7 percent during the same time.

The imbalance -- one of the main reasons gasoline now costs more than $4 per gallon -- isn't the way economics is supposed to work.

When a product is in short supply, the price rises, and the companies that make it usually produce more so they can cash in. Supply eventually outstrips demand and the price goes down.

Faced with rising global demand and record prices, the oil companies in theory have a powerful incentive to find, pump and sell as much crude as they can.

But in reality, they're having a hard time keeping their output level -- much less expanding it.

That's because hitting the geological jackpot --big, untapped oil fields known as "elephants" in industry parlance -- is getting harder and harder.

"There aren't many elephants or super-fields left," said Ken Medlock, an energy research fellow at Rice University's Baker Institute for Public Policy. "The major (companies) are looking for places to make large investments, but they haven't found many."

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, meanwhile, refuses to pump more oil, saying there's enough on the market. But that refusal may mask problems within the cartel, analysts say.

While some OPEC countries could increase production if they chose, others, such as Iran and Venezuela, haven't invested enough money in their oil fields and have seen their production decline as a result.

Stagnant production over the past few years makes some wonder whether the dreaded moment of "peak oil" has arrived. That refers to the theory that because oil is a finite supply, it will become increasingly scarce after production reaches a peak.

No one knows when that moment will hit. It's the kind of milestone that can only be seen in retrospect, after years of falling production.

But the fact that oil companies have not yet been able to ramp up their output to capitalize on today's prices alarms people who believe peak oil is upon us.

"It's a strong signal that global oil production is probably peaking about now," said Richard Heinberg, senior fellow at the Post Carbon Institute think tank in Sebastopol. Heinberg has popularized the notion of peak oil in a series of books.

Many if not most oil industry analysts disagree. A few even argue that enough new wells will be drilled in the next few years to create an oil glut and lower prices. - More...
Tuesday - May 27, 2008

Ketchikan: Crew douses minor fire aboard ferry Columbia - The crew aboard the Alaska Marine Highway System (AMHS) ferry Columbia extinguished a generator fire at sea Sunday afternoon near Wrangell.
Columbia was transiting northbound from Ketchikan with about 285 passengers and 113 vehicles after departing at 10 a.m. when the fire began in the number one generator about 1:30 p.m.
"Obviously the crew performed quite well in extinguishing this small fire and keeping it contained," said Capt. John Falvey, AMHS general manager. "We're very thankful that there were no injuries or substantial damage to any of the ship's other systems."
AMHS representatives transferred the Columbia passengers to the ferries Kennicott and Taku to continue their travels. - More...
Tuesday - May 27, 2008

Ketchikan: Governor Palin Signs FY2009 Budgets - Friday Alaska Governor Sarah Palin signed into law House Bill 310, the FY2009 Operating Budget; House Bill 312, the FY2009 Mental Health Operating and Capital Budget; and Senate Bill 221, the FY2009 Capital Budget. The Governor also signed House Bill 314, authorizing $315 million in general obligation bonds for transportation projects to appear before voters on the November 2008 general election ballot.

The FY2009 Operating Budget Bill totals $11.1 billion and includes funding for public education, the university system, public health and safety, transportation and resource development. In signing the bill, the Governor committed to saving at least $20 million in state agencies' operating budgets.

In a prepared statement Governor Palin said, "In this time of unprecedented resource revenue, we have an opportunity to address needed deferred maintenance, transportation and infrastructure projects." Palin said. "Alaska is blessed to invest in education, public safety and revenue sharing for our communities and citizens while putting a significant amount of surplus revenues into savings."

"I commend legislators for committing $5 billion to savings and for focusing a significant portion of their proposed spending on the key priorities of public safety, education and infrastructure. I appreciate that legislators acknowledged that nothing in this budget was veto-proof. Our comprehensive review of the budgets confirmed that those legislators who prioritized projects made a concerted effort to follow new guidelines in making changes to the budget process and we appreciate their desire to do things better."

"This administration takes its fiscal responsibility seriously," Governor Palin said. "Especially during this time of extraordinary revenue, we must be responsible stewards of Alaska's resources to prepare for the future."

Commissioners are developing strategies to achieve this savings target within the budget beginning on July 1. Savings achieved during the fiscal year will roll into the Constitutional Budget Reserve fund at the end of FY2009. The governor removed $2.6 million in the operating budget through line-item veto.
- More...
Tuesday - May 27, 2008


Columns - Commentary

Dave Kiffer: It's The Water - For some reason, the coming of the summer always reminds me of beer.

Which is odd, because I don't drink beer.

I don't drink much alcohol at all. Whenever I see my doctor, she asks "do you drink alcohol?" and I say "not really." To which she replies "it's okay to drink a little."

I know a lot of folks who would LOVE to hear that from their primary health care providers.

But - truth be told - I bet have about one glass of wine a month. And I don't think I've had a beer since last summer. I just never developed a taste for it. Obviously, I am not my father's son.

Anyway, I was thinking about beer the other day. I'm not sure why, other than sunny days just do that to me. - More...
Tuesday - May 27, 2008

Tom Purcell: SUV for Sale - "Ah, the summer season has arrived and the wife and I hope to hit the road. That means one thing. I must dump my SUV."

"Dump your SUV?"

"With gas prices soaring, who can afford to drive such a gas guzzler anymore? What's worse: My giant hunk of steel is worth several thousand less than I owe on it."

"Those are the breaks. But isn't that the risk you took when you bought it?"


"Surely you know that a third of the world's crude oil comes from the Middle East, one of the most volatile regions in the world. That volatility has led to erratic gasoline prices before."

"It has?" - More...
Tuesday - May 27, 2008

Dale McFeatters: Libertarians and the ever hopeful third parties - In all the Memorial Day excitement you might have missed it, but over the weekend the Libertarian Party nominated former Georgia congressman Bob Barr as its presidential candidate. Barr was chosen on the sixth ballot in Denver, a far livelier and more contested convention that either the Republicans or Democrats are likely to have.

The Libertarians along with the Green Party are the two largest of our two dozen or so third parties. The fact that "third party" is a generic term attests to the dominance of the two major parties and if the past is any indication, come November the third parties will garner only in the low single digits as a percentage of the popular vote and end up with no electoral votes. - More...
Tuesday - May 27, 2008


Public Meetings

The Board of Education of the Ketchikan Gateway Borough School District will meet in regular session on Wednesday, May 28, 2008, in the Ketchikan City Council chambers. The meeting begins at 6 p.m.
Agenda & Information Packets (pdf)


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Front Page Archives
April - May 2008
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Basic Rules

letterTeens and Adults Linking in Ketchikan By Karen Eakes - T.A.L.K. (Teens and Adults Linking in Ketchikan) has become a regular PATCHWorks event during the past couple of years. Gathered in small mixed groups of youth and adults, participants have been building understanding and positive communication. Topics have been explored ranging from concerns related to teen drug and alcohol use, to factors that encourage and/or discourage students to stay in school until graduation, to the importance of parental awareness and involvement in the lives of their teens. The continually expressed desire by youth at all T.A.L.K. events for a special place that teens can call their own, helped lead to the current effort by KYI (Ketchikan Youth Initiatives) with the help of the NCCC Americorps group, to begin to restore and develop the Water Warehouse. - More...
Tuesday PM - May 27, 2008

letter Non -voters are the problem By Edward Brown - A government of "We the People" will not function well if our "lazy electorate" remains at home. These non-voters ignore their responsibility to govern. These non -voting chumps stand by as our governing bodies run things like they do not need our permission or our vote. Therefore non-voters are the real problem. - More...
Tuesday PM - May 27, 2008

letterKanayama: Staying with the Group By Tony Hatano-Worrell - I'm glad to hear from Mr. Tom Ferry. First of all, you are right about the student in question. The student is indeed smart, loves reading, bright colors, and (I'm told) the dramatic arts. These are only some of the reasons this student was originally chosen to be an exchange member. - More...
Tuesday PM - May 27, 2008

letter Obama By Mark Neckameyer - Barack can't get away with bald faced lies like he told yesterday! Barack Obama is in big trouble again with Jewish voters and with any and all voters who expect some level of truthfulness from national political candidates. - More...
Tuesday PM - May 27, 2008

letter Noise Polution By Heidi Entwit - Are you seriously complaining about float planes buzzing your house? You live in Southeast Alaska, better yet on Pennock Island. Did you not see the float planes when you landed on this island. - More...
Tuesday PM - May 27, 2008

letterMemorial Day: A day of remembrance By Sen. Lisa Murkowski - A few years after our Civil War, General Order 11 was given that designated the 30th of May as a day to remember those in both the North and South who had died in the Civil War. - More...
Sunday - May 25, 2008

letter Memorial Day By Rep. Don Young - Every year at this time we enjoy a three-day weekend in honor of Memorial Day. But how often do we actually stop and remember why we have the extra day off from work? This country is home to millions of courageous men and women who have served their country with honor and bravery, and Alaska is where many of them call home. - More...
Sunday - May 25, 2008

letter Can we avert an economic meltdown? By Sen. Kim Elton - We are in desperate need of a series of unaffiliated solutions -- neither Democrat nor Republican -- to the looming U.S. energy crunch. - More...
Sunday - May 25, 2008

letterVoters are the real problem By Mike Isaac - Many voters are too simple to vote for change regardless of their education level. They whine and cry about all the money they spend on gas, food, utilities, property, income and sales taxes but turn around and vote or support someone who will raise their taxes, stand in the way of any domestic energy development which will cause food and all other prices to go up. Even though these issue are real and affect many people on a daily basis,the same voters turn around and vote for someone who is pro life, for gay marriage, builds a new school in their town but have no kids, or buys the whole global warming spin as they look for their snow shovel on this first big weekend of summer to dig out their Prius. - More..
Sunday - May 25, 2008

letter Democracy By Charlotte Tanner - I was stunned in 2004, when my children who were attending college were not able to vote, BECAUSE Loren Lehman, the Lieutenant Governor at that time, put all absentee ballots in the mail with insufficient postage. They were held in the Post Office until the correct amount of postage could be added. - More...
Sunday - May 25, 2008

letterIf only cars ran on political hot air ... By Mark Neckameyer - Washington would be supplying the world instead of begging hat in hand for the kind Saudis to rescue us. The TV shows are in re-run, football season hasn't started and I don't like baseball so I am stuck watching the buffoons who pass for our Senators and Congressmen (sorry, the Democrats are the dumbest ones!) make believe that they are asking "hard questions" of oil execs to somehow prove that the oil companies are "profiteering", whatever that means. They are so incredibly stupid in real life. They all look so clever in the ads they run all Summer to get re-elected but they are so much dumber than dirt trying to think on their feet or on their ample behinds is more accurate. If they were smart they would stay off live TV. - More...
Sunday - May 25, 2008

letter Taking Care of Our American Heroes By Senator Ted Stevens - This weekend, we must take time to remember and honor those who have worn our country's uniform, particularly those who paid the ultimate price to preserve our freedoms. It is a chance to show our gratitude and deepest respects for generations of American heroes. - More...
Friday - May 23, 2008

letter Noise Pollution By Sharon Preston - Short term or impulse noise is becoming a bigger problem in Ketchikan all the time. Some examples include: whistles, horns, bells, sirens, fireworks, gunfire, blasting, pile-driving, aircraft flyovers, and dogs barking. - More...
Thursday PM - May 22, 2008

letterNo Democracy among Democrats By Anita Hales - The Democrat primary has me feeling very ill at ease and leaving me wondering where the media is to protest the gross disenfranchisement that is happening in this primary. - More...
Thursday PM - May 22, 2008

letterSafety Issue for Kanayama Eject a Ruse By Kathleen Svenson - The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior. The child who was not allowed to go to Japan has never "disappeared" from school, nor anywhere else. I checked her attendance records. I also checked with the Troopers. No report of her missing. - More...
Thursday PM - May 22, 2008

letter Are Halibut, Chinook, and Coho Salmon populations in Southeast Alaska heading for a crash? By Andy Rauwolf - There are serious issues with the Southeast Alaskan marine ecosystem that have been steadily getting worse. For instance, the 2007/2008 winter King troll fishery just closed after harvesting only 45% of the 45,000 fish quota. Furthermore, for the first time in history both the halibut and summer Chinook commercial quotas have been cut by 48%. Sport and guided sport fishing have been severely restricted as well. - More...
Tuesday PM - May 20, 2008

letterToday is a Gift By Louise Clark - If you missed the Friday, May 16 band concert "Today Is A Gift" at Kayhi, you really missed something. The music was superb. I'm a big Glenn Miller fan so it was almost impossible not to get up and jitterbug during the "Glenn Miller in Concert" and "Wilson Suite For Euphonium And Band" was so incredibly beautiful, and "Today Is The Gift" was absolutely wonderful. - More...
Tuesday PM

letterWe all wish Ted Kennedy well but he is no paragon of virtue! By Mark Neckameyer - When Senator Ted Kennedy had his stroke scare Saturday morning, all the TV networks including FOX News went on the air with a glowing obituary sounding retelling of the Senator's life. They lionized the man, made him sound like combination of George Washington and Saint Peter. Fortunately Kennedy's health issue was not as serious as it first appeared but I can't help comparing the reality of his life and works with the flowery garbage we have been hearing on TV all day. Here are the facts about his "accomplishments". - More...
Tuesday PM - May 20, 2008

letterThanks for a Great Year By Patrick E Johnston - I just wanted to say thank you to all the people I have had the pleasure to work with and serve this past year. - More...
Tuesday PM - May 20, 2008

letterIn support of Kanayama! By Amber Williams - Most of my friends will tell you how much I love Japan. Their points of view, clothing, music ect. are wonderful. That trip changed my life for the better. If I could, I would love to move there forever. Long have I said "If I go missing, I'm in Japan, don't come and find me" - More...
Tuesday PM - May 20, 2008

letterA GRADUATION MESSAGE FROM YOUR ALASKA STATE TROOPERS By Captain Kurt Ludwig - This is graduation time for high school seniors in Southeast Alaska. Most teens enjoy parties and other get-togethers, especially around graduation. And while celebrating this time is appropriate and natural, there are often decisions made by some parents and teens that are cause for concern for the public's safety. - More...
Saturday - May 17, 2008

letter Getting Spammed! By Scott Willis - Are you getting UCE or Unsolicited Commercial Email, better known as SPAM? Well, if you are a KPU customer with a .KPUNET.NET email account, then maybe I can help you filter some of that out. Here's what you do: - More...
Saturday - May 17, 2008

letter Stop the secrecy By Thomas Ferry - Regarding the participant that was just kicked out of the Kanayama program, Mr. Worrell cites that some unthinkable negative things have been said about the program in retalliation. This child had supposedly broken some rules of commitment and safety set down by the controlling committee. I, like many others would like to know exactly what transpired to get this child kicked out. As people gossip and retell stories, the truth sometimes gets lost in translation on both sides. - More...
Saturday - May 17, 2008

letter There's Nothing to Do in Ketchikan? NOT! By Bobbie McCreary - Come out Sat nite to have FUN & support our Youth Try this on for size: Skateboard contests, capture the flag, paintball target range, pie eating contest, kids corner with face painting, balloon animals, go fish, BBQ dinner, and a theme based auction. Fun for the whole family. - More...
Saturday - May 17, 2008

letter THANK YOU By Mindy Lloyd - I want to thank the gentleman who contacted the Shelter (animal )after my dog was hit. I'm sorry that you were the one. But I thank you so much that I know how she passed. To let you know the wind blew our front door open and our little dogs got out. They do chase cars that's why we normally have them tied out or in our home. - More...
Saturday - May 17, 2008

letter Attention dog walkers By Julia Guthrie - I have lived on Alaska Avenue for about 7 years now. I would just like to say that I am really tired of dog walkers letting their animals use my front yard as a dumping stop. My children play in my yard. - More...
Saturday - May 17, 2008

letter What he's trying to say By James Greenberg - I have a couple of places to find an answer to your question, first go into your bible and read Luke 21:10-11 also Mark 13:8. Another scripture of interest is 2 Timothy 3:1-5, it shows how people will be during what the bible calls the last days. - More...
Saturday - May 17, 2008

letter Is Somebody trying to tell us something? By Charlotte Tanner - In reply to another one of Mark Neckameyer's wonderful letters, I can only reply that perhaps we are being told to be better Stewards of the Earth, as the Bible commands us.  - More...
Saturday - May 17, 2008

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