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SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska
June 21, 2006

Front Page Photo by Dick Kauffman

Creative Patriot Spreads Patriotism One Roof At A Time
The "Creative Patriot" Scott LoBaido in Ketchikan, Alaska. In the background is the flag LoBaido has painted on the roof of Tongass Dock Store.
Front Page Photo By Dick Kauffman

Ketchikan: Creative Patriot Spreads Patriotism One Roof At A Time By DICK KAUFFMAN - Scott LoBaido is a "Creative Patriot" and this New York City artist is on a mission - a "once in a life-time" mission to spread patriotism across the country. With an unmistakable New York City accent, LoBaido described how he is traveling the states to paint the American flag on one rooftop of one building in each of the 50 states. "Fifty roof tops, fifty flags, fifty states," said LoBaido. And Ketchikan is LoBaido's 19th stop and now a part of LoBaido's mission.

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LoBaido said the question most frequently asked is why is he doing this. "I have pretty much more freedom than most people being an artist and I realized that people die and still do today so I can live free and express myself." LoBaido said he has always been patriotic and decided to take nine months and show how grateful he is to the veterans and to those serving our country, thus the Flags Across America project was born.

LoBaido said his dream is to promote patriotism in a grand and visible way. "I want to support our troops and welcome them home with an appreciative view from the sky." He hopes that his efforts will inspire others to be "Creative Patriots" also. But most importantly, LoBaido said of his project, "I will honor the veterans who gave me this creative opportunity and in return, thank them for the greatest gift to civilization - freedom!"

In choosing Ketchikan for the Flags Across America tour, LoBaido said he first did some research. He said," I've kind'a fell in love with the girl. She's alright, this place." With the assistance of Blaine Ashcraft of the local Chamber of Commerce, LoBaido was able to make connections and get down to work. After looking over Ketchikan, the roof of Tongass Dock Store was chosen as the ideal location. The management was then approached. - More...
Wednesday - June 21, 2006

National: Senate to debate troop reduction By EDWARD EPSTEIN - The election-year congressional debate over the war in Iraq moves this week to the Senate, where Democrats have introduced a resolution calling for a phased withdrawal this year of U.S. forces, which they hope can bring together a large majority of Democrats and enough Republicans.

The nonbinding measure doesn't set any numerical goal for withdrawal this year and doesn't set a deadline for all of the 130,000 U.S. military personnel in the country to leave. By adopting such wording, the resolution sponsored by Sens. Carl Levin, D-Mich., and Jack Reed, D-R.I., and co-sponsored by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., seeks to avoid the Republican criticism that Democrats advocate a "cut and run" policy in Iraq.

But the Senate measure, the result of long negotiations among the Senate's divided Democrats, doesn't go as far as the House proposal of Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., the longtime military hawk who has proposed a six-month timetable for pulling U.S. forces out of Iraq. Another measure will be introduced this week in the Senate by two other Democrats, Sens. John Kerry of Massachusetts and Russ Feingold of Wisconsin, which would require all U.S. combat forces to be withdrawn from Iraq by July 2007.

"The change of policy we call for is significant," Levin said. "The current administration policy - that we will stay as long as the Iraqis need us - will result in the Iraqis depending on us longer."

"This amendment is not about 'cut and run.' This is about getting the president to do the job properly," Reed said. - More...
Wednesday - June 21, 2006

Governor Murkowski Visits Alaska Troops In Iraq

Governor Murkowski Visits Alaska Troops In Iraq

Governor Frank H. Murkowski met with Alaska Army National Guard troops Wednesday during a helicopter inspection trip to Tall Afar, the most northly Coalition forward operating base near Mosul, Iraq. Photo courtesy Office of the Governor
Alaska: Governor Murkowski Visits Alaska Troops In Iraq - Alaska Governor Frank H. Murkowski today returned to Kuwait from a day-long visit into Iraq, during which he had lunch with approximately 60 troops from the 207th Aviation Battalion of the Alaska Army Guard from Ft. Richardson and the 172nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team from Ft. Wainwright. The troops are currently serving at a coalition base at Tall Afar, near Mosul, Iraq.

"It was very heartwarming to visit with Alaskans in Iraq," Murkowski said. "These young people are engaged in a dangerous mission in a very hot, dry and dusty part of the world, not exactly what they are used to in Alaska. But they are doing an excellent job, and I was proud to be able to spend some time with them." - More...
Wednesday - June 21, 2006


National: House leadership throws roadblock at immigration legislation By MARGARET TALEV 0 House Republicans on Tuesday put the brakes on immigration reform, saying they won't begin negotiations with the Senate until they hold town-hall meetings across the country highlighting what they dislike about the Senate's plan.

While that strategy doesn't inherently rule out Congress sending President Bush a comprehensive immigration bill, several lawmakers and immigration policy advocates said it makes it very unlikely. Bush has said that he wants to sign immigration reform creating a guest-worker program and addressing the issue of potential citizenship for some of the nation's 12 million illegal immigrants.

"There are policy provisions in that bill that I have concerns about and I suspect others have concerns about," said Majority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio. "Providing illegal immigrants the opportunity to have more benefits than American citizens - in-state tuition as an example - I think is horrendous. But I just throw that out as one example."

The field hearings are to be organized by House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., and the chairmen of seven House committees with some jurisdiction over immigration policy, aides said.

They would begin next month and run through August. That would make September the earliest starting point for conference negotiations. Congress is set to recess in early October. - More...
Wednesday - June 21, 2006

Alaska: In six months, Western Alaska sees 17 rabies cases By ALEX deMARBAN - Health officials with the Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corp. are vaccinating dogs and treating exposed humans to ward off the latest threat of rabies in Western Alaska, where the disease has spiked for the first time in four years.

In the last six months, people in three villages have undergone a month-long series of inoculations after being bitten by a rabid dog or fox or exposed to a rabid dog's saliva, said Louisa Castrodale, a veterinarian with the state section of epidemiology. That compares with an average of one person per year in the previous three years, she said. Seven dogs with rabies have also been killed this year, compared with an average of two a year.

Rabies is a common concern in rural Alaska, where wild foxes carrying it have easy access to dog teams staked in lots or pets roaming outside houses.

Caused by a virus that affects the central nervous system, rabies often makes animals aggressive and more likely to bite. The rhabdovirus travels by saliva into wounds or mucous membranes, such as those lining the eye. It kills thousands of people around the world each year. - More...
Wednesday - June 21, 2006

National: Feds fault Chiron for lax cleanup of flu shot plant By SABIN RUSSELL - Chiron Corp.'s troubled flu shot factory in England earned poor marks from federal regulators last summer, just weeks before it expected to resume shipments to the United States - and despite a 10-month effort to turn the plant around, according to a newly released report.

The report by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, obtained by the San Francisco Chronicle under a Freedom of Information Act request, details the results of a nine-day inspection the FDA conducted in July.

Today, the same Liverpool plant is in full production for this fall's flu shot season, and the company expects to produce up to 40 million doses for the U.S. market. It also has been tapped to fill a $62.5 million federal contract to make an experimental human vaccine against the H5N1 strain of bird flu. - More...
Wednesday - June 21, 2006


Match of the Month

Match of the Month
Heather & Nancy at Settlers Cove State Park on
Clover Passage, Revillagigedo Island
Little Moments. Big Magic.

Ketchikan: Match of the Month Story by Nancy Coggins, Photo by Pat Nowell - You'll experience an incredibly good feeling when you are matched with a "Little." And, you actually become a "Big Brother" or "Big Sister" within Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southeast Alaska - Ketchikan (BBBS SEAK - Ketchikan). All of a sudden, you feel so worthwhile. As a Big with your Little, you might start out by sharing simple, fun activities such as beachcombing for treasures: beach glass, "used" shells, rocks, and dried seaweed; looking at teaming-with-life tidal pools; planting flower seeds; picnicking and toasting marshmallows; picking berries; sitting on a rock or park bench and just "hanging out." You might meet to hike a trail, take a boat ride, or fly a kite. - More... 
Wednesday - June 21, 2006 


Alaska: Research expedition braves world's worst weather - The Mount McKinley Project, funded by the International Arctic Research Center (IARC) at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, has endured its share of horrific blizzards, heart-stopping ridge ascents and the unrelenting burn of a blazing sun during the past four seasons of weather station installation. The expedition climbs to 18,700 feet, just below the 20,320 foot summit of Mount McKinley, to perform upgrades to the weather station perched upon the tallest peak in North America. It's one of the three highest altitude meteorological stations in the world.

In recent years the equipment contained two components, a weather station to record meteorological data and a telemetric component to broadcast data to a base station in the town of Cantwell. The weather station failed at some point during the previous four seasons, causing researchers to modify the design. Last year, although the telemetry worked well, the data contained obvious inaccuracies after September. - More...
Wednesday - June 21, 2006

Science - Technology: Fossil evidence of aquatic birds helps fill in avian tree By LEE BOWMAN - No humans were around to roast them, but spectacular new fossil evidence from China shows that feathered birds not much unlike today's loons and ducks swam and dove on lakes there 110 million years ago.

Details of five fossil specimens of the ancient birds, published Friday in the journal Science, are helping to fill in the avian family tree and suggest that modern birds may have gotten their start in watery environments.

Scientists led by Hai-lu You of the Chinese Academy of Geological Science in 2004 recovered the samples from mudstone deposited in an ancient lake. The sediment captured and neatly preserved the impressions of bones in three dimensions, and even preserved the outlines of feathers and webbed feet. Previously, no more than a fossilized foot of one of the birds had been recorded. However, none of the remains included a skull. - More...
Wednesday - June 21, 2006



letter Political Stew By Walt Bolling - Wednesday
letter Strange Things are Done as Summer Fun! By Jerry Cegelske - Wednesday
letter Every ecosystem IS a petri dish By Dr. Ann Hupe - Wednesday
letter Free Electronics Recycling this Friday and Saturday By Gregory Vickery
letter National Education Assn: Annual Convention By A. M. Johnson
letter Grandma Hjorteset By June Allen - Tuesday
letterFireworks on the night of July 3rd? By Tom LeCompte - Monday
letter Structure Fire and Firefighter Training Exercise By Chief Scott R. Davis - Monday
letter Cut fuel use and curb population By John Seager - Monday
letterThe flip side of the gas contract; Are we looking at both sides now?  By Sen. Kim Elton - Monday
letter Ketchikan Baseball By Neil Gray - Monday
letter Ketchikan becomes a large Petri dish in the summer.... By Robert Glenn - Monday
letter "Sometimes nothing is really something" By Wayne "Buzz" Allen - Monday
letter Happy Father's Day By Bob Ciminel - Sunday
letter New Agenda for the Democrats - Ideas, not Policies By Tom Proebsting - Sunday
letter Have A Happy, Healthy Tourist Season By Marie L. Monyak - Saturday
letter Why?Why?Why? By Joan Hurilman - Friday
letterHistoric Ketchikan Article By Dave Kiffer - Friday
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 More Viewpoints/ Letters
letter Publish A Letter

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Columns - Commentary

Martin Schram: A surprising - and welcome - plan for troop withdrawal - No wonder Americans are confused and frustrated. From Iraq comes war news that's as bad as ever. From Capitol Hill comes a war policy debate in which the House of Representatives sounded like a wholly owned subsidiary of Jingo R Us.

As House partisans spun things, America's choice seemed to be either "cut and run," surrendering to the "evildoers," or endless "grotesque" failures dooming U.S. troops to fight and die in an unwinnable war. "Is it al Qaeda or is it America?" thundered one Republican hack. His Democratic equal addressed the House with hands tied by a thick rope, an idiotic made-for TV protest of a parliamentary rule. Next came the Senate, where legislators are smoother and savvier, but clarity is not among their virtues. - More...
Wednesday - June 21, 2006

Dale McFeatters: Muddying the waters - The Supreme Court has waded into the Clean Water Act and left the waters much muddied.

In a wildly divided decision - five separate opinions - the court came up one justice short of severely rolling back the Army Corps of Engineers' authority to protect wetlands under the 1972 Clean Water Act. A series of regulations and court decisions has steadily broadened that authority "beyond parody," in the opinion of Justice Antonin Scalia.

The decision was rendered in what is likely to be a pattern for this court, with the four "conservative" justices, insofar as those terms have meaning - Roberts, Scalia, Thomas and Alito - issuing one opinion; the four "liberal" justices - Breyer, Ginsburg, Souter and Stevens - issuing another, and Justice Anthony Kennedy being the swing and deciding vote, as he was on this case. - More...
Wednesday - June 21, 2006

John Hall: Love us or lose us - Ordinarily, the U.S. Senate is so far out of touch with the daily ebb and flow of events it has all the urgency of an undiscovered tomb.

But for just a few hours, watching Tuesday's session was like a glimpse into the war room, complete with the news bulletins and diplomatic cable traffic.

The mutilation deaths of two U.S. troops in Iraq came just as the Senate was voting on an amendment criticizing a reported Iraqi proposal that would have granted amnesty to those who kill American forces. Somehow, those two brutal deaths brought the war home and into the Senate chamber in a way that hadn't quite happened before. - More...
Wednesday - June 21, 2006

Clifford May: After Zarqawi: Time to re-think goals in Iraq - The elimination of al Qaeda commander Abu Musab al-Zarqawi presents an opportunity that should not be missed: Now is the time to take a fresh look at America's goals in Iraq.

The White House's "National Strategy for Victory in Iraq" was written nineteen months ago. In the "medium term," it looks forward to an Iraq that provides "an inspiring example to reformers in the region." We're not there yet.

In the "longer term," Iraq is to become a nation that proves "the fruits of democratic governance," and serves as "an engine for regional economic growth." At this point, most Americans would probably settle for less. - More...
Wednesday - JUne 21, 2006

Will Durst: Good news, Bad News - It's almost dead-solid meteorological summer and the crossing of the solstice seems to have inaugurated a season of good news, bad news for George W. Bush, the Democrats, Iraq, you, me, pretty much everybody. Allow me to illustrate.

- The good news is George W. Bush pulled off a secret mission and flew to Baghdad in the dead of night. The bad news is he only stayed five hours and then came right home.

- The good news is Ben Roethlisberger is going to be okay. The bad news is that diagnosis is based on the Gary Busey scale.

- The good news is oil prices are going down. The bad news is they're taking stock prices with them. - More...
Wednesday - June 21, 2006

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