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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
June 18, 2007

Front Page Photo by Carl Thompson

Wolff Point Sunset
Front Page Photo by Carl Thompson

Top Stories
U.S. News
U.S. Politics


National: Congress struggles to write an energy strategy By LES BLUMENTHAL - Even as senators were debating a national energy bill for the fourth straight day last week, a representative of a Washington state office-products supplier was testifying elsewhere on Capitol Hill that her company is being squeezed by gasoline prices that have jumped 35 percent in two years.

"We just don't have a lot of options," Janet Myrhe of Chuckals Office Products told the Senate Small Business Committee.

Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., asked the Tacoma businesswoman a quick question and then hustled to the Senate floor, where senators were debating whether nuclear and coal should be considered renewable energy sources like wind and solar.

Congress is struggling to write an energy strategy as government experts warn that gasoline prices could return to record levels by the end of the summer, the United States remains increasingly dependent on foreign oil and concerns mount over global warming.

Lawmakers are considering raising auto-mileage standards for the first time in 18 years, imposing stiff fines and criminal penalties for gasoline-price gougers, increasing production of biofuels and providing greater tax incentives for solar, wind and other alternate energy sources.

As in past years, coal, oil, auto and other manufacturing interests are furiously lobbying to block or dilute such measures. Their allies on Capitol Hill include Democrats who lead key committees. The White House is issuing almost daily veto threats. - More....
Monday - June 18, 2007

Alaska: Prospecting company revives search for Alaskan gold By BRANDON LOOMIS - An international prospecting company is reviving the chase for gold in Cook Inlet sands a century after the first attempts didn't pan out and two decades after most everyone gave up looking.

Hemis Corp., a 2-year-old company with offices in Switzerland and Nevada, has paid an exploration company for the right to pick up where it left off in 1986 with state prospecting applications that are still pending for an offshore zone north and west of Anchor Point.

There are flakes enough along the Kenai Peninsula's sandy southwest clam beaches to keep recreational panners curious, but Hemis aims to drill into coastal sediments this summer and prove there's also a lucrative concentration there.

"The area looks very promising," Hemis President Norman Meier said from his home in Zurich, Switzerland. Aspen Exploration, the company that applied for prospecting rights in the 1980s, found gold on the beach and did aerial magnetic monitoring that indicated metals underwater, he said.

"They found large proof for magnetite on the ground, and usually gold occurs with magnetite. The (beach) samples are high-grade."

Others have heard that before, though, and say they're not ready to get worked up over a would-be dredging rush in the migratory path of the Peninsula's golden egg, the salmon. Agents for Hemis met with community groups this spring, but many commercial fishermen have been busy readying their boats for the season. - More...
Monday - June 18, 2007

Front Page Photo by Rhonda Bolling

 Eaglets Have Hatched
In May a photograph of this mother eagle sitting on her nest was featured as a front page photo. She's successfully hatched two eaglets and the little ones appear (through binoculars) to be doing well.
Front Page Photo by Rhonda Bollling

National: Eagles may lose endangered status By ZEKE BARLOW - The bald eagle eyed the man warily.

It flapped its wings, spat guttural clucks from its hook-shaped beak and climbed onto a branch in the massive nest, spreading its 6-foot wings to make it look bigger than the 8-week-old eaglet it was.

But Jim C. Spickler was unfazed. He'd flown across the country, hiked through canyons on Santa Cruz Island and climbed this tree for this one moment, to grab this young bird so the scientists waiting below could study it.

Distracting the bird with a branch, Spickler used his free bare hand and snagged the leg of the bird just above its dagger-sharp talons.

Then the canopy biologist, who had performed this same ritual on bald eagles across the country, bagged the bird and lowered it to the ground, where a group of biologists waited with a tackle box full of syringes, calipers and scales. - More...
Monday - June 18, 2007

Front Page Photo by Jim Lewis

Front Page Photo by Jim Lewis

 Mother Grouse & Chick
This mother grouse and one of her chicks were recently photographed at Traitor's Cove.
Photographs by Jim Lewis

National: Single-gender education gains ground as boys lag By JANINE DeFAO - For more than a decade, the conventional wisdom has been that schools have shortchanged girls, who were ignored in the classroom as they lagged behind in math and science.

But now a growing chorus of educators and advocates for boys is turning that notion upside down.

Boys are the ones in trouble, they say. They are trailing girls in reading and writing, are more likely to get in trouble or be labeled as learning-disabled, and are less likely to go to college.

The educators, citing emerging brain research, say that the two sexes learn differently and that schools are more geared to girls than to their ants-in-the-pants counterparts. But they are adopting strategies to help boys succeed, from playing multiplication baseball to handing out stress balls and setting up boys-only schools.

Juanita McSweeney, a 30-year teaching veteran, two years ago had a class full of "strong boys" who outnumbered the girls in her fifth-grade class at Happy Valley Elementary in Lafayette, Calif.

"I was going nuts. ... My salvation that year was two words: Koosh balls," she said, referring to the toy balls covered with hundreds of soft rubber strands.

McSweeney had stumbled across a growing body of literature confirming what she had long intuited -- that boys and girls do learn differently -- and providing strategies to help keep boys, especially, focused and engaged.

"Instead of twiddling with your neighbor, you'd twiddle with your Koosh ball. The way to get rid of that extra energy seemed genius to me," she said. - More...
Monday - JUne 18, 2007



Basic Rules

letter Alaska State Pension Investments By A. M. Johnson - Monday PM
letter Gravina Road By Michael Spence - Monday PM
letter Every Other Tuesday!! By Tara Wilhelm - Monday PM
letterCruise Ships' Diesel Exhaust By Randy M. Lake - Monday PM
letter Ketchikan's Road to Nowhere By Ken Levy - Monday PM
letterRoad to Nowhere By Carol Cairnes - Friday PM
letter Kanayama Exchange a 20-year tradition By Pat Perrier - Friday PM
letter Enough of the back room deals! By A.M.Johnson - Friday PM
letter Children are customers too! By Linda Williams - Friday PM
letter Special session: myths vs. reality By Sen. Kim Elton - Friday PM
letter Fools rush in By Jeff Beatty - Friday PM
letterApproach to energy independence is just dumb By Mark Neckameyer - Friday PM
letter Concerned and Angry Mothers By Ann Smith & Dawn Uttke - Tuesday PM
letter An Apology By Ardath Piston - Tuesday PM
letter Air miles By Amber Baldwin - Tuesday PM
letter RE: Good News for America By Byron Whitesides - Tuesday PM
letter Kiffer's Airline Upgrade Column By Gigi Pilcher - Tuesday PM
letterAlaskans getting the short end of the stick By Melissa O'Bryan By Melissa O'Bryan - Sunday
letter Senior Benefits by Rep. Mike Hawker - Saturday
letter The senior class of 2007 had a party and...... By Ardath Piston - Saturday
letter Congratulations By Cecelia Johnson - Saturday
letter Slobcard By Glen Thompson - Saturday
letter Leaving The Path By Ken Levy - Saturday
letter Airline's special sale By Charles (Chuck) Moon - Saturday
letterGood News for America By Mike Isaac - Saturday
letter TOP TAX RATE TOO LOW By Paul G. Jaehnert - Saturday
letter Immigration Bill By Peg Travis - Saturday
letter Land Use Density Limitations By Rob Skinner - Wednesday PM
letter Bars or jewelry stores? By Mellanie Isner - Wednesday PM
letter LOOPHOLES IN IMMIGRATION BILL By Byron Whitesides - Wednesday PM
letter YOU'VE GOT SLOBCARD - YOU DESERVE IT, USE IT! By Jerry Cegelske - Wednesday PM
letter Immigration Bill By Jake Jacobson - Wednesday PM
letter The Great Pronouncer By Mike Sawyer - Wednesday PM
letter THE BANK(S)? TO NOWHERE By David G. Hanger - Monday
letter Clean Up & Poster Contest By Jerry Cegelske - Sunday
letter Immigration Bill: An Open Letter By Byron Whitesides - Sunday
letter Borrow and Spend By Robert Rice - Sunday
letter More Excuses at UAS By Robert D. Warner - Sunday
letter RE: Top 10 Reasons to Live in KTN By Charlotte Tanner - Sunday
letter Top Ten Reasons for Someone to live in Ketchikan By Kayleigh Martin - Sunday
letter Bus #8 Students By Yeda Hicks - Sunday
letter Gas Prices By Andy Williams - Sunday
letter More Letters/Viewpoints
letter Send Your Letter For Publication To:


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Washington Calling: Grim Iraq assessment ... AG's charm offensive ... More By LISA HOFFMAN - In remarkably blunt terms, a little-known but highly influential adviser to the top U.S. commander in Iraq is predicting that July and August could be among the deadliest months ever for American forces and Iraqi civilians.

That's the assessment of David Kilcullen, an Australian army veteran who is considered one of the world's top authorities on counterinsurgencies. Kilcullen is a personal adviser to Gen. David Petraeus, the commander of U.S. and allied troops in Iraq.

A colorful character who stays out of the limelight, Kilcullen has been meeting with unit commanders to prepare them for what could be a savage offensive by insurgents in advance of the pivotal assessment Petraeus will make in September on the progress of the "surge" and prospects for the future.

Almost as striking as Kilcullen's blunt talk is where it was reported: buried deep in an in-house Army News Service article, which apparently escaped the attention of most in the non-military press. - More....
Saturday AM - June 16, 2007

Columns - Commentary

Michael Reagan: Going Down with the Ship - The S.S. GOP is sinking fast, and it looks like Skipper Bush is going down with his ship.

That's only fair ­ after all, he's the one who torpedoed his own ship with the immigration-reform-bill warhead. Not fair is the fact that he's taking his party down with him.

I can understand his stubbornness in sticking with this insane program that doesn't do a damned thing to plug the leaking borders that are allowing the United States to be flooded with all manner and shapes of illegal aliens, some of them terrorists who want to kill large numbers of Americans ­ he really has nothing to lose.

In less than 18 months he'll be history ­ one of those curiosities who at one moment wielded the vast powers of the presidency and the next found themselves with all the other John Q. Citizens. - More...
Saturday AM - June 16, 2007

Martin Schram: Heads in the sand on immigration - Our focus today is on folly and deceit underlying the government's ostrich-based policy of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."

We are talking about, of course, the U.S. government's policy on illegal immigrants.

There are more than 12 million of them now, by the official estimates of the officials who enforce the policy that pretends these illegals don't exist. By the time you finish reading this sentence, these officials estimate that the number may have risen to 13 million.

(Don't be chagrined if you fell for the head-fake in the opening sentence. Of course, you are correct that the government's only officially stated policy of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" is the military policy that allows homosexuals to serve in the armed forces -- fight, bleed and die for America -- as long as nobody officially knows they are homosexuals. That policy is so inane that retired Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. John Shalikashvili has come around to saying it should be scrapped so gays and lesbians can openly serve. But today we are not talking about scrapping that policy. We are focusing on the other head-in-the-sand policy. The one that was forged not on homophobia, nor even xenophobia, but on an "economania" that was made in the USA.)- More...
Saturday AM - June 16, 2007

Tom Purcell: For Father's Day - The Window Fan - Even on the hottest nights of the summer, my father (the Big Guy) knew how to make our house ice cold.

We lived in a modest two-story home typical of the '60s and '70s -- red brick on the bottom, white aluminum siding on the top. There were four bedrooms upstairs and a master bedroom downstairs (my parent's room, which we added onto the back of our house in 1972).

Only one house in our neighborhood had air conditioning back then. It was locked up tighter than Fort Knox.

Most houses were wide open all summer. This allowed the outside sounds to come in and the inside sounds to go out.

I woke every morning to the sound of birds chirping, a dewy chill in the air. I'd hear sausage sizzling in a neighbor's kitchen. A screen door slamming, a car starting, a father lumbering off to work. - More...
Saturday AM - June 16, 2007

Dale McFeatters: Parenting and power tools - Let's be frank. Father's Day is kind of a me-too observance.

It follows Mother's Day by five weeks, and comes on the third Sunday in June, when there's a lot of other stuff going on. President Calvin Coolidge declared Father's Day a national observance in 1924 -- 10 years after President Woodrow Wilson had done the same for Mother's Day.

And, by the measure everybody understands -- money -- Mother's Day is way ahead. The estimated spending on Mother's Day this year was $15.7 billion; for Father's Day, it will be $9.9 billion, according to the National Retail Federation.

The average person this year spent $139 on Mother's Day; for Father's Day, it will be $98. That's up $10 from last year, but then Mother's Day is up $17. - More...
Saturday AM - June 16, 2007

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