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June 29, 2006

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Our Troops

Our Troops - Michael James Harrington

Michael James Harrington
United States Coast Guard

Michael James Harrington graduated from the United States Coast Guard Training Center in Cape May, New Jersey.

Harrington is now stationed at the United States Coast Guard Training Center in Petaluma, CA where he is attending Electronics Technician (ET) school.

He is a graduate of Ketchikan High School and the son of Cathy Geer USCG (retired) of Ketchikan. - Our Troops...
Friday am - June 30, 2006

National: Increase the Minimum Wage Say Senate Democrats - Of the many issues that arise during an election year one is the minimum wage, and Senate Democrates are saying it is time for a change and hard working Americans deserve a raise before Congress gets another pay increase.

The minimum wage has not been raised in nine years and for the last 9 years, anyone working 8 hours a day, 40 hours a week 52 weeks a year-without a single day off-earned just $10,700. In the same period members of Congress have given themselves a $31,600 raise. At a time when Americans are struggling with high gas prices, high health care costs, and the high cost of college tuition, Senate Democrats say they believe hard-working Americans deserve fair pay. - More...
Thursday - June 29, 2006

Ketchikan - Statewide: $1.25 Million Available for Youth Employment and Training Programs - The Alaska Department of Labor & Workforce Development's Division of Business Partnerships is soliciting proposals to provide employment and training programs for eligible youth ages 14-21 under Title IB of the Workforce Investment Act.

"We want to fund programs that will help prepare Alaska's youth for good jobs, particularly those in the high-growth oil, gas and mining industries," said Commissioner Greg O'Claray. "We want them to be aware of their options and give them every opportunity for careers in Alaska's top fields." - More...
Thursday - June 29, 2006

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Alaska: Federal Agencies Collaborate to Expedite Construction of Alaska Natural Gas Pipeline (SitNews)- The U.S. Department of Energy and fourteen other federal departments and agencies have signed an agreement to expedite the permitting and construction of the Alaska Natural Gas Pipeline, the Department of Energy announced today.

The departments agreed that when operational, the Alaska Natural Gas Pipeline will substantially increase domestic natural gas supply and advance the Administration's energy security policy. The agreement signals the U.S. government's commitment to expedite the federal permitting processes for the Alaska Natural Gas Pipeline and establishes a project management framework for cooperation among participating agencies to reduce bureaucratic delays in construction of the pipeline and delivery of natural gas to consumers.

"We need to do all we can to increase our domestic supply of energy - including natural gas - and the Alaska Natural Gas Pipeline will help us do that," Secretary Bodman said. "Alaska's North Slope is a valuable natural resource that has tremendous potential to provide a significant portion of our nation's natural gas needs to help heat homes, and build industry. I appreciate the coordinated effort of all of the federal agencies who are working together to help make the pipeline a reality."

The pipeline is expected to supply about 10 percent of future U.S. natural gas demand. When the Alaska pipeline is fully operational, it will carry 4 billion cubic feet of natural gas each day. Natural gas serves six of every 10 American households, about 62 million homes, and is used to generate about 16 percent of the nation's electric power. Natural gas is also indispensable as a feedstock for fertilizer and chemical manufacturers. In recent years, rising demand and limited increases in supply have resulted in high natural gas prices that affected residential and industrial users across the economy. - More...

National: Supreme Court decides hot-button issues in latest term By MARY DEIBEL - A reshuffled Supreme Court chose during its term ending Thursday to decide cases on narrow grounds that allowed rare unanimity on such contentious issues as abortion, assisted suicide and religious freedom.

New Chief Justice John Roberts sought to make his mark by urging greater agreement among the justices despite their deep divisions over many hot-button issues. In his view, more consensus is likely if such cases are decided on the "narrowest possible grounds."

"Yes, there was more unanimity, and, yes, Justice (Anthony) Kennedy is the new swing vote, having inherited the center from Justice (Sandra Day) O'Connor," said Tom Goldstein, a Harvard and Stanford law professor who has argued 16 high court cases.

The court - in transition for the first time in years - was unanimous in 46 of 82 decisions, slightly more unanimous than before, he said, and it waited until term end for most split decisions. The court produced 10 decisions by 5-4 votes. - More...
Thursday - June 29, 2006

National: New chapter in battle of words over tracking terrorist financing By JOE GAROFOLI - Republicans in Congress, conservative commentators and like-minded bloggers have taken an aggressive, blame-the-media tone after recent newspaper articles that detail how the administration is monitoring international bank transfers to track terrorist financing.

Some want to charge reporters and editors with treason and espionage for publishing stories that they say compromise America's national security.

Free speech advocates say there is little legal precedent to pursue such charges, but they expect the Justice Department to soon take some sort of legal action to thwart journalistic probing of the White House's data mining. - More...
Thursday - June 29, 2006

Front Page Photo by Mimi Eddy

'City' Black-tailed Deer
Front Page Photo By Mimi Eddy

National: Stolen VA Laptop Recovered - The Veterans Administration OIG, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Baltimore's Montgomery County Police Department announced today the recovery of the stolen laptop computer and the external hard drive taken during a burglary on May 3rd.

The FBI said a preliminary review of the equipment by computer forensic teams determined that the database remains intact and has not been accessed since it was stolen. A thorough forensic examination is underway, and the results will be shared.

U.S. Secretary for Veteran Affairs Jim Nicholson said, "The investigation continues to see whether or not this information has been compromised in any way or copied. There is reason, however, to be optimistic." - More...
Thursday - June 29, 2006


National: U.S. Seeks to Rebuild Afghanistan's Civil Society, General Says; Three decades of war, extremism and terrorism, have taken toll - The commander of U.S. Combined Forces Command in Afghanistan says the goal there is to "rebuild Afghanistan's 'Middle Ground'"-- its civil society -- after three decades of warfare, extremism and terrorism.

In his prepared statement, Army Lieutenant General Karl Eikenberry said Afghanistan still is plagued by terrorist groups, drug traffickers and a determined criminal element, as well as tribal conflicts and land disputes. All these elements continue to challenge the overall security environment, he said. Eikenberry testified before the House of Representatives Armed Services Committee June 28.

The enemies of the fledgling Afghan democracy are not particularly strong, the general said. However, the institutions of the Afghan state still are relatively weak, which allows the enemy to operate in some areas of the country, according to Eikenberry. Taliban fighters have returned in some strength -­ groups of 40 to 50, he said -­ in some districts, especially southern Afghanistan. - More...
Thursday - June 29, 2006

National: Iraqi Security Forces Making Significant Progress By DAVID MCKEEBY - The new Iraqi security forces are making significant progress and are on track to have most of the administrative systems required to field even more robust operations in place by the end of the year, says a top coalition general.

"The performance of the Iraqi units in the field, given what they're facing, has actually been quite remarkable in my view," U.S. Army Lieutenant General Martin Dempsey told journalists at a June 27th Pentagon press briefing.

Dempsey heads the Multinational Security Transition Command, responsible for supporting authorities as they build the new Iraq's army and police forces.

The challenge of building a modern military from scratch, Dempsey said, requires attention to the complex and "inextricably interwoven" diplomatic, information, military and economic issues that contribute to the security situation in Iraq. - More...
Thursday - June 29, 2006

National: Weapons labs hit for poor oversight of their explosives By KEAY DAVIDSON - Tons of chemical explosives are improperly monitored at two nuclear weapons laboratories in New Mexico and, as a result, may be at risk of theft, according to a federal audit released this week.

The explosives may also be unsafe because neither of the labs - Los Alamos and Sandia national laboratories - routinely checks their "stability and safety characteristics," the U.S. Energy Department's inspector general said in the report.

During a federal inspection, Sandia officials "could not account for at least 410 items, including detonators, rocket motors, shaped explosives and bulk explosive powders," the report said. In addition, that lab's inventory system lacked records for about 190,000 pounds of explosive propellant used in 39 rocket motors. - More...
Thursday - June 29, 2006   


Political Cartoonists

Political Cartoonists

Minimum Wage Slaves
Pat Bagley, Salt Lake Tribune
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letter Rebuttal To Consolidation: What they don't want you to know By Glen Thompson - Thursday
letter Global Warming's Affect In Alaska By Carrie L. James - Thursday
letter Honor for "Family Day Celebration" By George Miller - Thursday
letter Global Warming Jihadists By Alan Miller - Thursday
letter Global Warming Questions By John Harrington - Thursday
letter Global Warming Letters By Tori Jackson - Thursday
letter LET'S TAKE BACK OUR TOWN By Janice Williams - Thursday
letter Global Warming: Where is the evidence? By Anne Mareck - Thursday
letterGlobal 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 More Viewpoints/ Letters
letter Publish A Letter


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Columns - Commentary

Clifford D. May: Human rights and wrongs - A few days ago, two American soldiers, Pfc. Kristian Menchaca of Houston, Texas, and Pfc. Thomas Tucker of Madras, Ore., were taken prisoner in Iraq. They were brutally tortured, and so severely mutilated that their faces were unrecognizable. They were tied together with a bomb between their legs - a booby trap intended to kill whoever tried to recover their remains for burial.

Would you regard such actions as serious violations of the laws of war and fundamental human rights? It is not clear that the wealthiest and most powerful human rights organizations see it that way.

For example, Amnesty International, which claims that its mission is "to protect human rights worldwide," appears to have nothing to say about the torture and killing of Menchaca and Tucker. As I write this, its Web site features instead an article on arms control, and another on a "new international treaty to prevent torture and other ill-treatment through a system of regular visits to all detention places." Evidently, "all detention places" does not include visits to the places in Iraq where al Qaeda and Baathist forces detain their prisoners - briefly, in most instances. - More...
Thursday - June 29, 2006

Dick Morris: Base Desires - The GOP And Immigration - A recent poll by Tarrance Associates shows how out-of-touch the House leadership is with rank and file Republican voters. Far from appeasing the "base" by their tough position on immigration, they are alienating the very voters upon whom they most depend.

Tarrance is a Republican polling firm. The poll was sponsored by the conservative/ free-market Manhattan Institute.

The Tarrance survey asked Republicans how they feel about the Senate approach (without identifying it as such), thoroughly describing the broad outlines of the bill passed in that house. - More...
Thursday - JUne 29, 2006  

John Hall: Grand illusion - The cruel history of the Iraq war is that each moment of optimism and success by allied forces is quickly dwarfed by the enormity of the challenge in the region.

Trouble knocked almost the moment that word leaked that substantial withdrawals were being planned next year. Two close U.S. allies in the region, Afghanistan and Pakistan, suddenly looked to be in substantial trouble in their war against terrorists, and American commanders warned that U.S. forces would be stuck in western Iraq for a very long time because of the ferocity of the fighting there.

So it goes in this war. A shock and awe victory is followed by roadside bombs and a vicious insurgency of unexpected duration. The capture of Saddam Hussein is followed by a bloody Sunni-Shiite religious conflict, with allied forces caught in between. - More...
Thursday - June 29, 2006

Jay Ambrose: Iconoclasts and the Fourth - The greatest of our national holidays is upon us, July Fourth, but here come the dynamiters of pride, those who would have us believe ours is a nation founded by aristocrats to suit them and their kind - a nation of, by and for the rich.

The idea goes back as far as the historian Charles Beard, whose inaccurate and analytically flawed 1913 book on the Constitution said it was little more than an instrument to serve the economic interests of its well-heeled authors.

Other historians pretty quickly caught up with his mistakes, and they have caught up with the outrageously subjectivist, unsubstantiated drivel of Howard Zinn, too, which has not kept him from producing stuff that would make an intellectually honest man blush. - More...
Thursday - June 29, 2006

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