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June 27, 2006

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Alaska: Senators urge Exxon to pay up for Valdez spill By LIZ RUSKIN - Two dozen U.S. senators, led by Sens. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, and Patty Murray, D-Wash., have sent a letter to the chief executive of Exxon Mobil urging the oil giant to negotiate or pay up on the $4.5 billion punitive damages judgment stemming from the Exxon Valdez oil spill.

About 3,000 plaintiffs have died waiting for their share of the judgment a federal court jury in Anchorage, Alaska, awarded them 12 years ago, the senators wrote.

"Unfortunately your corporation has chosen a legal strategy of delay and appeal," the senators wrote. "Your lawyers have filed hundreds of motions and over a dozen appeals, while the fishermen and impacted communities continue to suffer from the aftermath of the tragedy." - More...
Tuesday - June 27, 2006

Alaska: Conservationist sounds alarm on global warming By KATE CHENEY DAVIDSON - For a woman committed to a depressing subject, Deborah Williams is disarmingly optimistic. Like her hero Paul Revere, Williams has crisscrossed the state over the past 10 months spreading the alarm, and the need for hope, about global warming.

A year ago, Williams left her position as executive director of the Alaska Conservation Foundation to spread word of global warming's dangers. Part passionate conservationist, part savvy politician, she calls it the biggest threat to Alaska and the world. On a warm summer day in Anchorage, Williams doesn't so much sit at her desk as scoot between ringing phones, dinging e-mails and frequent trips to answer the door. The looming question is: Can a one-woman show change comfortable habits and spur the audience to action? - More...
Tuesday - June 27, 2006

Alaska: Walruses lured to their deaths By ALEX deMARBAN - Federal wildlife biologists have erected a 250-foot-long fence to stop walruses from accidentally plummeting off cliffs to their death on a Bristol Bay beach.

About 30 bulls took the fatal plunge last year, said Rob MacDonald, a biologist with the Togiak National Wildlife Refuge. More than 150 went over the edge between 1994 and 1996, he said.

The mysterious walk-offs seem to occur only at Cape Peirce, where thousands of walruses sometimes gather to rest between meals, MacDonald said.

If too many squeeze onto Maggy Beach, a quarter-mile-long strip of dark-brown sand, dozens may traipse up a chute and onto a grassy plateau, he said. When it's time to feed, the animals seem to beeline for the water, which leads them across the plateau and over a cliff that's up to 150 feet above shore, he said. - More...
Tuesday - June 27, 2006


National: Idea of strike on North Korea missile assailed as overkill By MATTHEW B. STANNARD - A proposal calling on the United States to consider a military assault on North Korea if it refuses to mothball a new long-range ballistic missile has roiled the debate over how best to confront the dangers associated with the North's nuclear arsenal.

The idea comes from two experts in defense policy: William Perry, secretary of defense in the Clinton administration and now a senior fellow at Stanford's Hoover Institution, and his former assistant secretary of defense, Ashton Carter, now at Harvard University. Writing in the Washington Post, the two argue that while the doctrine of pre-emption has been unwisely ballyhooed by the Bush administration, the White House should still consider a military intervention against North Korea before it can develop into a mortal threat.

"I have a lot of respect for both of those guys, and I was really surprised" by the essay, said Daniel A. Pinkston, a Korea specialist at the Center for Nonproliferation Studies in Monterey. "My jaw practically hit the floor."

The threat could develop, Perry and Carter warned, if North Korea - which says it has developed nuclear weapons - is permitted to perfect its Taepodong-2 ballistic missile, which could have enough range to reach U.S. soil. - More...
Tuesday - June 27, 2006

National: Congressional calendar crunches hopes for immigration bill By MICHAEL DOYLE - The congressional calendar can be friend or foe for immigration reform this year.

Friend: In the relative calm after November's elections, lawmakers could use a lame-duck session to be statesmen instead of politicians.

Foe: By insisting on another two months of field hearings this summer, House Republican leaders have probably booted formal negotiations with the Senate until September. With Congress scheduled to adjourn Oct. 6, that leaves precious little time to complete extraordinarily complicated work.

In politically volatile times, predictions are dangerous.

"That's like a lifetime away," Rep. Peter King, the New York Republican who chairs the House Homeland Security Committee, said of a potential lame-duck session.

There is, in fact, widespread and barely muffled skepticism on Capitol Hill about the prospects of any immigration bill being completed this year. One influential committee chairman simply shook his head when asked about the immigration bill's future. - More...
Tuesday - June 27, 2006

National: 14 Guantanamo Detainees Transferred to Saudi Arabia - Fourteen detainees have been transferred from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to Saudi Arabia, the Department of Defense announced in a June 24th press release.

Thirteen were approved for transfer by an Administrative Review Board, which annually reviews each detainee's case and determines if the detainee should be released, transferred or continue to be detained. One detainee was found no longer to be an enemy combatant by the Combatant Status Review Tribunals. - More...
Tuesday - June 27, 2006



letter Is Good News Overlooked? By A.M.Johnson - Tuesday
letter Global Warming By Marvin Seibert - Tuesday
letter Flag Burning Amendment By Robert Freedland - Tuesday
letterFed up with break-ins By Beckie Allen - Monday
letter Consolidation: What they don't want you to know By Rodney Dial - Monday
letter Global Warming By Keith Page - Monday
letter As depraved as the so called "Terrorists" By Dave Gurley - Sunday
letter Global Warming By Anne Mareck - Sunday
letter 4th of July fireworks By Steve Corporon - Saturday
letter Fed up with break-ins! By Mike Brownstead - Saturday
letter Coming to grips with our broken borders By Mike Harpold - Saturday
letter FIVE MINUTES TO SAVE A LIFETIME By Dennis Archambault - Saturday
letter Fireworks on the 3rd By Jackie Williams - Friday
letter 1931 Ford roadster By Lynn Claughton - Friday
letter Major newspaper sharing state "secrets" By Mark Neckameyer - Friday
letter Global Warming Jihadists were out yesterday in full force. By Marvin Seibert - Friday
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 More Viewpoints/ Letters
letter Publish A Letter

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Arts & Entertainment

Ketchikan: Arts This Week - This week in Ketchikan singer, songwriter and producer Sara Hickman performs in Ketchikan, June 30th at 7 pm in the Kayhi auditorium. Sara Hickman is an award winning singer/songwriter with a wide range of guitar and vocal music. Her show will be a family friendly show that is sure to please audiences of all ages. Tickets are now available at Matty's World and the Library, $10 adult $8 for kids 12 and under. Please call the Library at 225-3331 for more information. Sponsored by the Ketchikan Public Library.

Canada Day Ceilidh featuring fiddler Laurie Hart will be a night of folk dancing and secret chef's desserts to raise money for Paddys Leather Breeches' Ireland trip. The festivities will run 7-10:30pm at the Coast Guard Base Crow's Nest on Canada Day, July 1, 2006. Tickets are on sale now at McPherson Music, Silver Basin and the Arts Council. Sponsored by Sweet Second Saturdays.

Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing will take you back to a Shakespearean Summer with a festival feel. Bring a picnic and come early to enjoy period games, food, and music before the show. Rain or shine, this production will go on, in case of inclement weather the show will take place inside, warm weather is not guaranteed, but a good time is. The final two shows will be July 1, 2, Saturday at 7pm and Sunday at 5pm. The box office will open 11/2 hr. before the start of the performance. Sponsored by First City Players, for information and tickets call 225-4792.

Ladies' Song Circle. Come sing Carter Family old-timey songs emphasizing harmony and rounds on Friday, June 30 at the Sugar Hill Dance Hall (16 miles North Tongass) from 6:30-9:00pm. Singers do not need to know how to read music. All are welcome that enjoy singing and can easily catch onto verses. Space is somewhat limited. Please call Sher Schwartz at 617-4387 to sing up. - More...
Tuesday - June 27, 2006

Columns - Commentary

Jay Ambrose: The right to live - One of these days, if you lose a son, a daughter, a cousin or a good friend in a terrorist attack, blame whoever perpetrated the deed first, but secondly blame The New York Times, whose irresponsibility may have enabled the killers to obtain necessary financing.

In an institutional act even more reprehensible than the plagiarism and made-up stories of the notorious former reporter Jayson Blair, the Times has provided previously unknown details of an intelligence program that has accomplished the arrest of a top, civilian-murdering al Qaeda operative and otherwise thwarted life-ending terrorist ambitions.

Blair's stories hurt the newspaper's reputation for integrity and credibility. This story on how the government tracks terrorist funding likewise hurts the paper while also hurting America as a whole by telling the enemy how he might be found out. Said Tony Snow, presidential press secretary, the Times and other papers that broke the story "ought to think long and hard about whether a public's right to know" counts for more than "somebody's right to live ..." - More...
Tuesday - June 27, 2006

Martin Schram: Tracking of international bank data no surprise - The revelation that ever since 9/11 the United States has been tracking international banking data to follow terrorist money is easily the most bizarre of the recent news leak controversies.

For starters, it appeared to be not a leak but a gusher, spouting from news spigots coast to coast. It sprung first on the night of June 23 on the Web site of The New York Times, in a long and detailed report. Within hours, it was gushing out as well on the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post and Los Angeles Times Web sites, and then it appeared in the old fashioned way, in ink on newsprint, on our doorsteps (or perhaps in our rosebushes).

It didn't take long for the moanings and wailings to gush forth, as predictably as the leg swing that follows the knee tap. From the bloggers and talk-showoffs of the left came accusations that our privacy has been massively violated - yet again - by the government. From their counterparts on the right came claims that the terrorists had been handed a vital gift by a secret-telling, enemy-helping news media. Then, President Bush and Vice President Cheney - who run the Federal Sieve - led a coordinated burst of outrage not at the leakers, but the messengers - their new enemy, The New York Times. "Disgraceful" story. Caused "great harm." America needs a time out. - More...
Tuesday - June 27, 2006

Dale McFeatters: Old Glory doesn't need legal help - An election-year Fourth of July is upon us, and so it is that a proposed flag-burning amendment to the Constitution is upon us.

Senate GOP leader Bill Frist of Tennessee has called up the amendment for debate this week with a vote likely just before the Senate knocks off for the Fourth recess. Like the gay-marriage amendment, the flag exercise is designed to stir up those comprising the Republican "base," who could be forgiven if they start to suspect that their party thinks of them as a bunch of reflexive rubes because GOP strategists treat them that way.

The danger this time around is that the amendment will pass - it has already passed the House - and ultimately be ratified by the states. As a feel-good political issue, flag-burning is hard to beat, but constitutionally outlawing it will chisel away at the greatest of the amendments to that document, the first. Said the Senate's No. 2 Republican, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, over the weekend: "I think the First Amendment has served us well for over 200 years. I don't think it needs to be altered." - More...
Tuesday - June 27, 2006

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