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SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska
June 28, 2006

Front Page Photo by Jim Lewis

Sitka Black-tailed Deer
Front Page Photo By Jim Lewis

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U.S. News
U.S. Politics


National: Flag-burning amendment dies in U.S. Senate - A constitutional amendment to ban flag desecration died in a cliffhanger vote in the Senate yesterday, one vote short of the support needed to send it to the states for ratification.

The proposed amendment, sponsored by Republican Senator Orrin Hatch, represented Congress' response to Supreme Court rulings in 1989 and 1990 that burning and other desecrations of the flag are protected as free speech by the First Amendment to the Constitution. [End]
Wednesday - June 28, 2006

Science - Technology: Earthquakes: A possible boon to oil and gas extraction? By LEE BOWMAN - The bad news: There's an earthquake.

The good news: Seismic waves make rock more permeable and might make it easier to extract oil and gas from natural reservoirs.

No one's really looking for an energy boom to be the bright side of the Big One out West. But researchers in California studying how quakes affect water levels in two test wells have found a striking pattern of quakes making rock more or less spongy.

The study was based on two decades of data from a geophysical observatory at Pinon Flats in Southern California, run by the University of California-San Diego's Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

The monitoring includes records of water levels that rise and fall gradually with changes in local weather, including rainfall, but they also change regularly in a pattern similar to those seen in oceanic tides. That's because the gravitational effect of the moon squeezes and stretches rocks in Earth's crust. - More...
Wednesday - June 28, 2006

Science - Technology: Gray whales thrive in the Arctic, for now By JANE KAY - The number of baby gray whales born along the Pacific Coast has increased over the last five years, leading scientists to believe that for now the pregnant females are doing all right feeding in a warming Arctic environment.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration researchers counting the calves that passed Point Piedras Blancas near San Luis Obispo, Calif., tabulated 1,018 calves in 2006, up from 945 in 2005. The whales migrate about 5,400 miles a year on their way to summer feeding grounds off the coast of Alaska, roaming February to May past popular whale-watching spots such as Half Moon Bay State Park and Point Reyes National Seashore.

The agency reports an upward trend since the counts of 3-month-old, 20-foot-long whales plummeted below 300 in the years 2000 and 2001. The counts began in 1994. - More...

Ketchikan: Ketchikan Voters To Decide on Consolidation - With the final approval on June 26th of the petition to consolidate the City of Ketchikan and the Ketchikan Gateway Borough by the Local Boundary Commission, the state Division of Election now has thirty days to order an election. After the election order, a vote-by-mail election would be held in 30-90 days.

According to the Alaska Department of Commerce, sixty-two percent of the residents of the Ketchikan Gateway Borough are currently served by two local governments. If the voters approve consoldiation of the city and borough governments, that figure will drop to only 3 percent - the residents of Saxman. - More...
Wednesday - June 28, 2006


Alaska: NOAA Fisheries Finalizes Protections For Essential Fish Habitat In Alaska - NOAA Fisheries Service today published a final rule in the Federal Register that will close large areas of the Alaskan sea floor to bottom-contact fishing gear-gear intended to make contact with bottom during fishing operations-to protect sensitive habitats.

Fish Habitat...

Colorful bubblegum corals in the Aleutian Islands provide habitat for rockfish, brittle stars, octopuses and a myriad of other marine species.
Photo by Alberto Lindner -NOAA

The rule, which implements a February 2005 recommendation from the North Pacific Fishery Management Council, establishes a network of fishing closures in the Aleutian Islands and Gulf of Alaska. The rule protects habitat areas including cold water corals and other sensitive features that are slow to recover once disturbed by fishing gear or other activities.

"This rule exemplifies a conservative approach to fishery management" said NOAA Fisheries Service Director Dr. Bill Hogarth. "The best available information indicates that Alaska fisheries have no more than minimal adverse effects on seafloor habitats, but NOAA and the North Pacific Council are taking this action as a precautionary measure to support sustainable fisheries." The fishery closures in the new rule have been widely praised as good compromises between environmental groups and the fishing industry to protect essential fish habitat.

The new rule, effective July 28, 2006, closes most of the Aleutian Islands fishery management area to bottom trawling. Most fishing areas that have been trawled repeatedly in the past will remain open. A zone on Bowers Ridge north of Adak will be closed to mobile bottom-contact gear such as trawls, but fixed gear including crab pots will continue to be allowed there. - More...
Wednesday - June 28, 2006

Ketchikan: IFA Reduces Northern Route Fares - The Inter-Island Ferry Authority announced Tuesday that effective July 1 a 50% discount will apply on round-trip travel aboard the M/V Stikine between Coffman Cove, Wrangell and S.Mitkof (the IFA terminal for Petersburg). A 25% discount is applicable on one-way tickets. The discounts are applicable for travel on the IFA's northern route through September 17 and do not apply to commercial vehicles.

IFA board chair Dennis Watson said that the discounts are being offered to introduce people to the new route. Round-trip service is provided each Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Traffic to date has met the IFA's expectations and is building steadily, said Watson. Since the service was inaugurated on May 18, several Wrangell merchants have reported increases in business from Prince of Wales Island residents. - More...
Wednesday - June 28, 2006



letter Global Warming: Planet is resilient & tolerant of both man & nature By Patrick Branco - Wednesday
letter Open Letter to Ketchikan Citizens & City Council Members By John Maki - Wednesday
letter RE: Consolidation: What they don't want you to know By Gregory Fast- Wednesday
letter Albro Gregory's Story By Eric C. Rodenberg- Wednesday
letter SitNews By Cecelia Johnson - Wednesday
letter Mr. Gurley's Letter By Timothy Droke - Wednesday
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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June 2006
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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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