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SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska
June 22, 2006

Front Page Photo by Gretchen Klein

Ketchikan Citizens Recognized for Volunteer Service
Representative Jim Elkins, Juanita Diamond, Cheryl Carpenter, Bonnie Siltman, Dorothy Coady. Front row left to right: Mary E Fitzgibbons, Lorriane Huffman,
Patsy O'Dell, Joan Hurliman, and Siegfried Liepert.
Front Page Photo by Gretchen Klein

Ketchikan: Ketchikan Citizens Recognized for Volunteer Service - Fifteen Ketchikan citizens were recently recognized for their volunteer service by Alaska Community Services. The event took place at the Ketchikan Senior Center on Thursday, June 15th. Special guest, Representative Jim Elkins had the honor of presenting the awards to the 2006 Ketchikan Branch Volunteers. - More...
Thursday - June 22, 2006

Southeast Alaska: Court appeal seeks to block Long Island spraying; Six environmental, Native groups oppose spraying herbicide near Hydaburg By TONY CARROLL JUNEAU EMPIRE - Six Southeast Alaska groups have gone to court to block a permit authorizing Klukwan Inc. to conduct aerial herbicide spraying on Long Island this summer. - Read this Juneau Empire story...

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National: Under Surveillance: Government spy cameras proliferate By LISA HOFFMAN - In an unprecedented proliferation of public spying, government is casting its watchful eye on millions of ordinary Americans through largely unregulated surveillance cameras trained on public spaces throughout the nation.

A Scripps Howard News Service tally found that at least 200 towns and cities in 37 states now employ video cameras - or are in the process of doing so - to watch sidewalks, parks, schools, buses, buildings and similar community locales. That number excludes the approximately 110 other municipalities that use traffic cameras to catch speeders and red-light runners.

But despite their proliferation and potential for altering the very tenor of public life in America, virtually no one is keeping track of the use of these security devices long associated with authoritarian regimes. - More...
Thursday - June 22, 2006

National: Few rules regulate government cameras By LISA HOFFMAN - Even as more corners of America's public spaces are coming under the eye of government-run surveillance cameras, few rules or regulations exist to oversee their use.

Neither Congress nor most state legislatures have imposed specific boundaries on how, where or when such video cameras can be trained on ordinary law-abiding citizens as they go about their daily lives.

Nor have they, or any regulatory bodies, set legal parameters for the length of time those images can be kept, who is allowed to see them, for what purposes they can be used, who will enforce the rules, or how violators will be punished. About the only recourse for those who believe their privacy has been violated is a civil lawsuit. - More...
Thursday - June 22, 2006

National: Fighting crime with cameras By CHRISTINA RAMIREZ AND LISA HOFFMAN - Big and small, cities across the United States are installing video surveillance cameras in public places to fight vandalism, crime and terrorism. Here are some examples: - More...
Thursday - June 22, 2006

Personal Finance: Dispute charges at your peril By DAVID LAZARUS - If you've ever reversed the charge for a dubious credit card transaction or online purchase, your name could be on a secretive overseas database that consumer advocates say may violate protections guaranteed under U.S. law.

The database is maintained by a Panama company named Goldwell Corp., which runs an online service called ChargeBack Bureau (

Chargebacks are a right provided to U.S. consumers under the Fair Credit Billing Act. The system allows people to reverse credit card payments for goods or services that were unauthorized or end up being different than advertised. - More...
Thursday - June 22, 2006


Alaska: North slope ravens force researcher to go incognito By Ned Rozell - Some biologists hang from climbing ropes to study birds. Others get up painfully early in the morning. Stacia Backensto wears a fake moustache.

Raven researcher...

Raven researcher Stacia Backensto disguises herself as an oilfield worker in an attempt to fool ravens she has captured before.
Photo by Jim Zelenak.

Backensto works in the oilfields on Alaska's North Slope. Her study subject is ravens, and she has taken to wearing a moustache because they seem to recognize her as she roams the industrial landscape. She now tries to fool them by posing as an oilfield worker and tucking her hair below a ballcap, wearing Carhartt overalls, and sticking on a moustache.

"All of the adults I've tagged remember me," Backensto said. "It makes them hard to trap or get close to."

Backensto, a Ph.D. student with the University of Alaska Fairbanks' Regional Resilience and Adaptation Program, is studying how the raven fits into the equation of how oil and gas development affects migratory birds. During her fieldwork, she spends much of her summer at oilfield camps near the Arctic Ocean. Workers there started noticing ravens as the only bird species during a Christmas Bird Count years ago, and now there can be more than 100 ravens in the dead of winter at Prudhoe Bay.

"I think there were likely ravens on the North Slope (before oil development), but they weren't breeding with the density and distribution we're seeing now," she said.

Though the landfills on the North Slope are clean because workers burn food and cover trash when they move it, ravens and other animals (glaucous gulls, grizzly bears, and arctic foxes) are there in good numbers because humans are there, Backensto said.

Ravens scrounge human food in winter but go to natural sources when it gets warmer. They eat lemmings, shrews and the eggs of eiders, geese, and ducks. - More...
Thursday - June 22, 2006



letter Flags Across America By LeiLani Lake - Thursday
letter Marines and sailor charged with murder an outrage By Ash Gee'd - Thursday
letter Big Fan By Carl Thompson - Thursday
letter Crackdown on Illegal Immigrants By Tom Proebsting - Thursday
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 - Wednesday
letter National Education Assn: Annual Convention By A. M. Johnson - Wednesday
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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June 2006
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Columns - Commentary

Jason Love: Fashion for Men - In junior high I was named "best dressed" in drama class, which immediately concerned my father. Fortunately, the testosterone kicked in and by twelfth grade my taste had so declined that "matching" merely meant that all my clothes were wrinkled.

For whatever reason -- cultural, spiritual, X-chromosome deficiency -- men are clumsy dressers. Most days it looks like we get dressed in the dark. While intoxicated.

When a woman stands in the closet, she is planning, inventing, dreaming. When a man stands there, he is wondering what time the game starts. So we keep things simple -- three or four outfits max. Compare to women, who may wear that many outfits IN THE SAME DAY.

Men's fashion woes date back to the beginning, when Eve took one look at Adam's covering and said, "No, that bougainvillea just doesn't work for you. It's so last season." - More...
Thursday - June 22, 2006

Preston MacDougall: Chemical Eye on Yellow Stars and the White Rose - With the alarm set at 4 am, to catch an early flight into Washington, D.C., alone, it wasn't shaping up to be the happiest of birthdays. So, for the full effect, I went to the Holocaust Museum - for almost seven hours.

Actually, I had wanted to visit this museum ever since my daughter did, along with the rest of her classmates in Lasater's Amazing Fifth, over three years ago. (Her older brother Devon made the same visit, with the same teacher, and had the same reaction, four years prior to that. Dads sometimes need to be reminded what's important.) I have been to D.C. four times since my daughter's visit, but always found a reason not to go. I guess I was in the mood on this fifth trip, and it was amazing. - More...
Thursday - June 22, 2006

Ann McFeatters: A war debate that resolves nothing - Watching hours of debate in the U.S. Senate about the war in Iraq was akin to listening to canned political speeches at a county fair - tiresomely repetitive and a little pathetic.

A few weeks ago, many Senate Republicans were unsure about what to do in Iraq, worried about increasing violence and the weakness of Iraqi leaders. Now, after relentless prodding from the White House, they've all climbed on board the administration's rhetorical bandwagon - no "cutting and running." More people must die in Iraq to justify those killed already. Turning Iraq over to the Iraqis now would be tantamount to surrender, according to Senate Republican leader Bill Frist of Tennessee.

"Withdrawal is not an option. Surrender is not a solution," he said on the Senate floor. - More...
Thursday - June 22, 2006

Michael Reagan: A Time for Rage - The Biblical book of Ecclesiastes tells us tells us there's a time for everything, including a "time to love and a time to hate...a time for war and a time for peace."

There is also a time for rage, and in this time of war that time is now.

The bodies of two courageous U.S. soldiers, Pfc. Kristian Menchaca and Pfc. Thomas Tucker, were found Monday, and, according to CNN reports, "mutilated and booby-trapped." They had been so horribly mutilated with their eyes gouged out and their remains so desecrated a visual identification was impossible - DNA testing was needed in order to confirm their identities. CNN also reported that not only were the bodies booby-trapped, but homemade bombs also lined the road leading to the victims, an apparent effort to complicate recovery efforts and kill recovery teams. - More...
Thursday - June 22, 2006

Dale McFeatters: Who will watch the watchers? - The Fourth Amendment is the source of Americans' right to privacy but while the home is sacrosanct the courts have said that a citizen in a public place has no reasonable expectation of privacy.

Thanks to the spreading use of surveillance cameras, a citizen now has no expectation, reasonable or otherwise, of any privacy at all in a public space. An average American now appears on a surveillance camera between 10 and 100 times a day.

In "Under Surveillance," her examination of the use of these all-seeing eyes, Scripps Howard News Service reporter Lisa Hoffman writes that there are an estimated 5 million surveillance cameras in the U.S. today and their number is expected to double in five years. Selling, installing and supporting these cameras is now a $9 billion industry that is projected to reach $20 billion by 2010. - More...
Thursday - June 22, 2006

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