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June 15, 2006

Front Page Photo by Jim Lewis

Traitors Cove Rock
Front Page Photo By Jim Lewis

Ketchikan: State Settles Wrongful Death Claim Against Ketchikan Correctional Center - SitNews - According to Seattle civil rights attorneys, Ed Budge and Erik Heipt, the State of Alaska has paid $573,000 to settle a federal civil rights lawsuit involving the death of a young man in the state-run Ketchikan Correctional Center. Thirty-one-year old Troy Wallace died in his jail cell during the early morning hours of July 24, 2004. The lawsuit alleged that jail employees, including corrections officers, were negligent and deliberately indifferent to Wallace's serious medical needs in the days and hours leading up to his death. Alaska Attorney General David W. Márquez approved the settlement.

State Settles Wrongful Death Claim

State Settles Wrongful Death Claim Against Ketchikan Correctional Center
Ketchikan Correctional Center
Photograph Courtesy Alaska Department of Corrections

Budge and Heipt who represented the young man said Troy Wallace lost his life due to serious complications from alcohol withdrawal. The attorneys said Wallace was an alcoholic who voluntarily presented himself to the jail to serve a ten-day sentence for disorderly conduct.

They said Troy was admitted to the jail during the afternoon of July 20, 2004. When Wallace was admitted, according to the attorneys, Wallace was suffering initial signs and symptoms of alcohol withdrawal. Those symptoms progressively worsened during his short incarceration said Budge and Heipt. By the second full day of Wallace's confinement, they said Wallace was hallucinating, sweating profusely, and suffering other serious complications due to a medical condition known as "delirium tremens." Delirium tremens is a serious medical emergency that often results in death without aggressive in-hospital treatment said the attorneys.

The lawsuit was brought on behalf of Troy Wallace's mother, Julia Walker, of Mt. Vernon, Washington. In the course of investigating Troy Wallace's death, Seattle civil rights attorneys Ed Budge and Erik Heipt said they uncovered evidence that jail employees failed to respond appropriately to Wallace's worsening symptoms. Eventually, Wallace suffered seizures and collapsed in his cell. - More...
Thursday - June 15, 2006

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Alaska: Experts give Alaska gas line good odds By RICHARD RICHTMYER - Independent consultants hired by the Legislature to scrutinize Gov. Frank Murkowski's proposed natural gas pipeline contract say the state has greatly overstated the risk of cost overruns and low prices sidelining the massive project.

Los Angeles-based Econ One Research also told lawmakers the Alaska gas project is potentially among the most profitable oil and gas projects anywhere in the world.

Their testimony came Wednesday on the first of three days of hearings before the Legislative Budget and Audit Committee, which is meeting this week in Anchorage to continue work on the governor's complex, 460-page proposal.

It would set tax and other state terms that would apply if BP, Conoco Phillips and Exxon Mobil decided to build a pipeline, estimated to cost $19 billion to $27 billion, from the North Slope to Chicago or Alberta, Canada. - More...
Thursday - June 15, 2006

Ketchikan: House bill blocks spending on Alaska bridges By LIZ RUSKIN - The U.S. House passed a bill Wednesday that prohibits Alaska from spending its federal transportation dollars on two controversial "bridges to nowhere."

Rep. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., added a provision to the annual transportation spending bill last week that prohibits the state from spending any of this year's appropriation on bridges from Ketchikan to Gravina Island or across the Knik Arm from Anchorage.

Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, a steadfast champion of both bridges, did not try to take the measure out during the debate over the bill. His spokeswoman, Meredith Kenny, said he opted against a battle on the floor and instead will try to remove the bridge spending prohibition when the bill is reconciled with the Senate version in a conference committee. - More...
Thursday AM - June 15, 2006

Alaska: BP gets subpoena for leaky pipe in Prudhoe Bay By WESLEY LOY - BP must turn over a section of leaky pipeline as evidence in a federal grand jury investigation of this winter's record oil spill at Prudhoe Bay, a BP spokesman said Tuesday.

BP received a subpoena for the pipe as well as an assortment of documents, BP's Daren Beaudo said.

Workers will have to cut a few feet out of the steel pipe and plug the openings on either side. It's quite an operation and one reason BP asked federal pipeline regulators to extend this week's deadlines to run testing and cleaning devices called pigs through the pipe, Beaudo said. - More....
Thursday - June 15, 2006

Alaska: Thawing soil in permafrost a significant source of carbon - Permafrost, permanently frozen soil, isn't staying frozen and a type of soil called loess contained deep within thawing permafrost may be releasing significant, and previously unaccounted for, amounts of carbon into the atmosphere, according to authors of a paper published this week in the journal Science.

Preliminary assessments by scientists from Russia, the University of Florida, and the University of Alaska Fairbanks indicate that loess permafrost, which covers more than a million square kilometers in Siberia and Alaska, is a large carbon reservoir with the potential to be a significant contributor of atmospheric carbon, yet it is seldom incorporated into analyses of changes in global carbon reservoirs. - More..
thursday - June 15, 2006


Ketchikan: Local Non-profit Works To Preserve Ketchikan's History By MARIE L. MONYAK - There's a non-profit organization in Ketchikan that works quietly, maintains a low profile and performs services that assist both local residents and tourists alike. There are several notable historic buildings in Ketchikan that have benefited from this group's attention such as the White Cliff Elementary School and the Clover Pass School.

Local Non-profit Works to Preserve Ketchikan's History

Old KPU Water Department Warehouse on Park Avenue that is being renovated as a retail space including a viewing platform over Ketchikan Creek.
Photo by Marie L. Monyak

Whale Park and the old Ketchikan Public Utilities Water Department Warehouse on Park Avenue were both destined to become small parking lots until this group worked with the City to encourage a more aesthetic use for the properties. Looking for a written history of Ketchikan? In 1992 this organization published Spirit, written by the well-known writer June Allen as well as three editions of Our Town, the most recent in 2003.

Tourists, as well as those in the tourism industry are familiar with the local walking tour map of Ketchikan. The redesigning of the map that occurs almost yearly, as well as the corresponding interpretive kiosks found at Thomas Basin Park, on Stedman Street and Front Street is funded by this organization.

Have you figured out who this enterprising non-profit group is? Does Historic Ketchikan ring a bell? It should since they've been around since 1990. When interviewed, Executive Director Dave Kiffer gave a great deal of insight into the organization's activities and the benefits derived from them.

According to Kiffer, in the mid 1980's a survey was done by the Borough of Ketchikan which found there were more historic structures per capita in Ketchikan than anywhere else in the State of Alaska. "This was the impetus in 1990 to create Historic Ketchikan," Kiffer said.

The basis behind their efforts is to boost economic development through the use of the town's history. In recent months there's been much talk of retaining the historic appearance of Ketchikan's buildings. Historic Ketchikan takes that idea one step farther. Kiffer explained, "We work to protect and preserve Ketchikan's history for future generations and then use that history to improve the local economy."

The funding to accomplish their noble goals comes primarily from community agency grants from the city of Ketchikan and the occasional state or federal grant, according to Kiffer. Additional funding is provided by the sales of their publications mentioned earlier. - More...
Thursday - June 15, 2006



letter Open Letter to the Ketchikan School Board By Shelley Stallings - Thursday
letter Peter York By Gigi Pilcher - Thursday
letter Baseball & Ketchikan's Volunteers By Travis Sharp - Thursday
letter Visiting Ketchikan By Sherry Freeman - Thursday
letter Thou Shalt not Disagree By Alan Lidstone - Thursday
letter Environmentalists Messed Up By Robert McRoberts - Thursday
letter Eminent Domain-Give Me Back My Property, Dude! By Tom Proebsting - Thursday
letterAvian Flu and Pandemic Influenza Preparedness By Jim Hill - Wednesday am
letter School Board members are interested By Tom LeCompte - Wednesday am
letterPlease support Mr. Eklund By Connor Pihl - Wednesday am
letter Global Warming By Marvin Seibert - Wednesday am
letter Consider ramifications of supporting actions of superintendent By Wendy Gierard - Tuesday
letter An awesome principal!!! By Rhonda Bolling - Tuesday
letter Peter York - A life well lived and appreciated By Lynne Miller - Tuesday
letter A capable administrator; A valuable asset By Doug Edwards - Tuesday
letter Let's stay focused on keeping good people in the right positions By Peter Bolling - Monday
letter A fair process is not limited to private meetings By Susan Doherty - Monday
letter Let's stick to the FACTS, ISSUES and PROCESS By Karen Pitcher - Monday
letter Baseball By Justin I. Williams - Monday
letter Hello from Kanayama! By Bonnie Sullivan - Sunday
letter Is America Veering to the Left? By Tom Proebsting - Sunday
letter A passion for baseball By Tracy DeBruler - Sunday
letter Facts? By Rob Thomas - Saturday
letter"Concerned Horde of Citizens" then as now By A.M.Johnson - Saturday
letter "Veiled" threats By Rick Krueger - Saturday
letter Re: What Are They Thinking...Kiffer By Bobbie McCreary - Saturday
letter Mean-spirited, public apology owed By Gigi Pilcher - Saturday
letter More Viewpoints/ Letters
letter Publish A Letter

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National: Bush: No plans to withdraw troops from Iraq By MARGARET TALEV - Back from a surprise trip to Iraq, an emboldened President Bush told anti-war Democrats and fellow Republicans wary of the war's impact on congressional elections later this year that he has no intention of withdrawing U.S. troops to appease voters.

"One message I will continue to send to the enemy is, don't count on us leaving before the mission is complete," Bush said in a Wednesday morning news conference from the White House Rose Garden. "Don't bet on American politics forcing my hand because it's not going to happen."

The president said his visit, including face-to-face time with Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, renewed his confidence that he has a viable partner in Iraq's new leadership.

"I'm convinced this government will succeed," Bush said. "There's a sense of hopefulness."

Bush said he would dispatch Cabinet secretaries and other officials to advise their Iraqi counterparts on various issues. These include setting up a public finance system, dealing with the question of amnesty for insurgents, and perhaps establishing a royalty trust, similar to one Alaska has, to give citizens a stake in the country's oil assets. - More...
Thursday - June 15, 2006

National: Bush seizes on favorable Iraq developments By MARC SANDALOW - President Bush's aggressive sales pitch on Iraq of late provides a glimpse of how the White House plans to use developments there to validate a prolonged U.S. presence and boost the Republican Party's chances in the November congressional elections.

In the past week, Bush has grabbed hold of the very issue that threatens to bury his presidency, keeping the 3-year-old war at the top of the nation's agenda.

Seizing upon the killing of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, al Qaeda's leader in Iraq, and the completion of the new Iraqi Cabinet, Bush this week convened a meeting of his top foreign policy advisers at Camp David, took a high-stakes trip to Baghdad and invited reporters to the Rose Garden to ask him questions about Iraq.

On a day when Democrats had hoped that attention would be on their program for a "new direction" for America, Washington was instead focused on Iraq. In fact, Democrats canceled their planned town hall meeting to outline their domestic agenda because the president summoned House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid, among others, to the White House to brief them on his trip. - More...
Thursday - June 15, 2006

National: Without fanfare, America nears 300 million milestone By THOMAS HARGROVE - The population of the United States will hit 300 million sometime in mid- or late October, a milestone likely to trigger anxiety and political rancor rather than a national celebration of growth and prosperity.

Unlike the commemorations in 1967 when Americans hailed the 200 million mark, federal authorities this year won't be building giant population clocks as props for jubilant politicians. Nor will they encourage the news media to locate the newborn who put the nation over the top.

Instead, critics of rapid growth will question anew whether America can remain prosperous while burgeoning at the unprecedented rate of 1 million new residents every 127 days. Others will angrily argue that the 300 millionth American very likely will be an illegal immigrant.

Aware of the anxieties, the Bush administration is low-key about the approaching population landmark. The only official recognition planned so far is a modest press briefing by federal demographic experts.

"We won't style it as a celebration, particularly," Census Director Louis Kincannon said in an interview. "I don't think we will try to achieve much theater." - More...
Thursday - June 15, 2006

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