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SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska

June 22, 2005

Front Page Photo by Chris Wilhelm

'On the Grid'
Front Page Photo by Chris Wilhelm

National: What Medicare's looming financial crisis means for patients By BILL STRAUB - If you think Social Security is facing a financial crisis, as President Bush maintains, wait until you get a load of the Armageddon facing Medicare.

Despite the attention afforded Social Security as Bush stumps for his reform plan, Medicare faces significantly greater fiscal challenges. The Medicare Hospital Insurance Trust Fund that pays hospital benefits already is operating in the red and is projected to run dry by 2020 - 21 years before the expected depletion of Social Security trust funds.

The impact on consumers could be substantial, possibly resulting in higher payroll taxes, additional out-of-pocket expenses for beneficiaries or cuts in services offered by the national health-care program for senior citizens and others. - More...
Wednesday - June 22, 2005

National: Biden says Bush has created 'credibility chasm' about Iraq By MARGARET TALEV - en. Joe Biden of Delaware, the first prominent Democrat to formally announce his intention to run for president in 2008, said Tuesday the U.S. military is overextended in Iraq and President Bush's overly upbeat assessments of the conflict have created a "credibility chasm" that can be closed only if the president speaks in more candid and stark terms about the situation.

The top-ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, who recently returned from his fifth visit to Iraq, also said that he thinks it will be at least two years before the United States can reasonably expect to complete its mission in Iraq and that the U.S. military needs more help from other nations. - More...
Wednesday - June 22, 2005

National: Public broadcasters rally to save federal money - Stations across the country are fighting back by lobbying members of Congress, circulating petitions among worried parents and enlisting the support of their viewers and listening audience.

In Anchorage, Alaska, KSKA radio and KAKM television, which stand to lose about 15 percent of their operating budget, have been airing "testimonials" about once an hour from business leaders and other supporters.

"Public TV and radio stations are among the last of the locally controlled media left in America," Lawson said. "It would be a real shame if we lost these local independent voices." - More...
Wednesday - June 22, 2005

National: Bush tells Frist: Up-or-down vote on Bolton By LAWRENCE M. O'ROURKE - President Bush insisted to the Senate Republican leader Tuesday that he wants to continue the fight to confirm John Bolton as ambassador to the United Nations.

The president's call to carry the Bolton confirmation effort forward came three hours after the GOP leader, Sen. Bill Frist of Tennessee, told reporters that the fight over Bolton had reached a dead end. - More...
Wednesday - June 22, 2005

National: Senate blocks Florida effort to stop offshore oil tests By LANCE GAY - From their vantage points on the state's sugar-white beaches, Floridians might see more than oil tankers on the horizon in the future.

With oil prices hitting $60 a barrel, Congress is putting together a massive new energy bill that directs the government to conduct seismic surveys using new 3-D technologies to determine how much oil and natural gas is under the oceans around the U.S. continental shelf. - More...
Wednesday - June 22, 2005

Front Page Photo by Weston Davis

Front Page Photo by Weston Davis

National: Bite-sized news from here and there - Police are keeping an eye out for a highly skilled and frustratingly elusive prankster who has been tampering with city traffic lights for more than three months.

Whoever is behind the shenanigans has kept a low profile and drawn no attention to himself - or herself - while surreptitiously turning traffic lights around to face the wrong way, tampering with control boxes so the lights flash red in all directions and throwing the timing off to stymie motorists, said city spokesman John Pilger. - More...
Wednesday - June 22, 2005

National: Debate continues on effectiveness of weapons ban By DAVID WHITNEY - It's been 10 months since the federal assault weapons ban expired, and for an idea of what's happened since then, pick up a copy of a gun magazine.

There you will find advertisements for semiautomatic rifles and pistols looking like something out of a war zone, with ammunition clips holding 30 or 40 bullets - many features that 11 months ago, U.S. manufacturers could not make and gun stores could not sell. - More...
Wednesday - June 22, 2005

Scientists used computer-aided digital imagery to analyze the aerodynamics of rufous hummingbird hovering. Rufous hummingbirds are common to the Ketchikan area...
Credit: Dean E. Briggins,
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Science: Scientists reveal aerodynamics of the tiny bird's flight - Hummingbirds are masters of the air - unique among birds for their ability to hover for long periods of time. Using a sophisticated digital imaging technique, scientists have now determined the aerodynamics of hummingbird flight. These latest data disprove conclusions from numerous earlier studies that hummingbirds hovered like insects despite their profound muscle and skeletal differences.

The team found that hummingbirds support 75 percent of their weight during the wing's down stroke and 25 percent on the up stroke - in contrast to insects, which produce equal amounts of lift during their down and up strokes.

Co-author Bret Tobalske said, "We were surprised to find that the up stroke in the hovering hummingbird was much less active than the down stroke. This finding provides new insight into evolutionary trends that led to sustained hovering in birds." - More...
Wednesday - June 22, 2005



letter Something New to View! By Jerry Cegelske - Wednesday
letter Timber Carnival Prohibits Axe-Thrower From Participation By Kristen A. Thweatt - Wednesday
letter Schoenbar Project By Mark Tollfeldt - Wednesday
letter Schoenbar By Rhonda Erickson - Wednesday
letter McGraw & Schoenbar, PIPSTERS... By Bill Ayers - Wednesday
letter Opinions By Amy Schmitt - Wednesday
letter Let's Continue To Help Iraq By Devon Jones - Wednesday
letter Acushnet By Joe Chasse - Wednesday
letter Downing Street memos By Nelson Guyther - Wednesday
letter The truth? By Matt Connell - Wednesday
letter Yes, Wouldn't it be great! By Chris Elliott - Wednesday
letter PIPSters, Don't Lose
letter More Viewpoints/ Letters
letter Publish A Letter

Such a deal
By: Larry Wright
The Detroit News
Distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons, Inc.
arrowPolitical Cartoonists

Note: Roger Maynard, Ketchikan Editorial Cartoonist will not be updating his website for awhile.


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June 2005
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Columns - Commentary

Dick Morris: Hillary Rising - The most recent Fox News survey substantiates the truth of Abraham Lincoln's observation that you can fool some of the people all of the time: Sen. Hillary Clinton's popularity is at an all-time high, having moved up dramatically in the past seven weeks.

She now is seen favorably by 52 percent of the electorate and unfavorably by only 37 percent. In the 4 1/2 years since she left the White House, her favorability rating had never before risen above 47 percent.

These ratings are truly a landmark for her: Only very rarely did her popularity rise to the 50 percent mark during her eight years as first lady. - More...
Wednesday - June 22, 2005

Preston MacDougall: Chemical Eye on Knights Molecular - Diamonds may be a girl's best friend, but under normal conditions they are not
the most stable form of carbon. Graphite is.

The shiny, dark grey surface of crystalline graphite confused early chemists, who thought it was a lighter form of lead. Lead is in the same column of the periodic table as carbon, but it is four rows down, in the band of heavy metal toxic elements, with mercury and thallium. There never has been any lead in pencils. - More...
Wednesday - June 22, 2005

Steve Brewer: Filing systems for all occasions ... or not - Every business needs a filing system, but efficient filing is particularly vital for those of us who work in home offices.

When you work at home you must be able to retrieve information without a lot of wasted time and effort. Every minute counts. And if you work alone, you have no one else to blame when stuff goes missing. - More...
Wednesday - June 22, 2005

Cliff May: The high cost of Gaza housing - Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice announced this week that Israeli and Palestinian officials had agreed to demolish more than a thousand Israeli settlers' homes in Gaza.

The New York Times reported: "Palestinian officials were not eager to keep the red-roofed, middle-class homes" which, they indicated, were not appropriate to current needs. - More...
Wednesday - June 22, 2005

Conrad C. Lautenbacher: Offshore aquaculture in our future - The Bush administration's National Offshore Aquaculture Act of 2005 - introduced in Congress June 8 by Senators Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, and Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii - holds great promise for securing the future of America's seafood supply and reducing the seafood trade deficit.

If enacted by Congress, this legislation will let commercial ventures operate fish farms between three and 200 miles off our coasts in federal ocean waters. This marine area covers an enormous space - about 3.4 million nautical square miles, larger than the combined land area of the lower 48 states. - More...
Wednesday - June 22, 2005

Dale McFeatters: Drill off someone else's condo - The Senate has voted 52 to 44 to add a provision to the energy bill that would require the government to inventory all of the nation's offshore oil and gas reserves.

Coastal-state lawmakers fear this could lead to a resumption of offshore drilling that with a few exceptions - Alaska and parts of the Gulf of Mexico - has been under a moratorium since 1981. It is not totally an idle fear.

Political attention has largely been focused on permitting drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, but if - a big if - the national goal is greatly increased oil and gas production and the elusive "energy independence," then the remote and frigid north coast of Alaska is not the first place you would look. The more accessible coasts of the Lower 48 would be the more likely place to start. - More...
Wednesday - June 22, 2005

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