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Ketchikan: KCC Superintendent Retires After 30 Years; Acting Superintendent Named - The Alaska Department of Corrections announced the retirement of Alan Bailey, who has been superintendent of the Ketchikan Correctional Center since July 16, 1988. Superintendent Bailey oversaw his facilities accreditation from the American Correctional Association.

The department has selected Lt. Diane Gregory as acting superintendent.

Superintendent Bailey began his career with the (then) Division of Corrections in Fairbanks as a Correctional Officer. In 1978 he promoted to training officer and transferred to Anchorage. Bailey began working for Juvenile Probation in 1980 but returned to the department in 1984. - More...
Thursday - June 12, 2008

Alaska: Is China drilling oil off the Florida coast? By ERIKA BOLSTAD - As Congress debates energy policy, an unusual argument keeps surfacing in support of drilling in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Why, ask some Republicans, should the United States be thwarted from drilling in its own territory when just 50 miles off the Florida coastline the Chinese government is drilling for oil under Cuban leases?

Yet no one can prove that the Chinese are drilling anywhere off Cuba's shoreline. The China-Cuba connection is "akin to urban legend," said Sen. Mel Martinez, a Republican from Florida who opposes drilling off the coast of his state but backs exploration in ANWR.

"China is not drilling in Cuba's Gulf of Mexico waters, period," said Jorge Pinon, an energy fellow with the Center for Hemispheric Policy at the University of Miami and an expert in oil exploration in the Gulf of Mexico.

Even so, the Chinese-drilling-in-Cuba legend has gained momentum and has been swept up in Republican arguments to open more U.S. territory to domestic production. - More...
Thursday - June 12, 2008

Politics: Candidates' use slogans and bromides to woo us By CARLA MARINUCCI - American voters, prepare yourselves for what could be the first $1 billion presidential campaign in American history -- a high-stakes sales job for the ages.

But according to experts in the world of marketing, sales and communications -- weighing in on the opening salvos in the five-month long race for the White House -- both candidates need to up their games.

Republican John McCain, the presumed GOP contender, has already formally begun his sales pitch to the millions of Americans who can help him win the presidential campaign.

He appeared last week with an eye popping -- or headache-inducing, as some critics complained -- forest green backdrop proclaiming him, multiple times, to be "A Leader We Can Count On." It was a clear jab at his presumed Democratic rival Barack Obama's slogan, "Change We Can Count On."

McCain also unveiled what MSNBC and other media outlets say may be a test for his coming presidential campaign slogan: "Reform, Prosperity and Peace," a slogan Steve Cone, author of "Powerlines: Words that Sell Brands, Grip Fans and Sometimes Change History," pronounced "dead on arrival."

"If you like platitudes, you'll love those three words," he scoffed. "Who isn't for them? And who even remotely believes any will happen anytime soon?"

Obama's mantra of "Change We Can Believe In" -- and the latest slogan for his current economic tour, "Change That Works for You" -- both rely on an overused concept, Cone said. But they do one trick very well, he added: "With the media bombardment, it's more important than ever to show a personality and an attitude that comes through in a few words that are spot-on." - More...
Thursday - June 12, 2008

Alaska Science: Alaska taking shape near Yakutat by NED ROZELL - The forces shaping Alaska never sleep, especially near Yakutat.

Alaska taking shape near Yakutat

Hubbard Glacier, restless as ever, calves into Disenchantment Bay north of Yakutat.
Photo by Ned Rozell

I visited the fishing town of about 800 people and many dogs a few years back. My assignment was to write about scientists studying Hubbard Glacier, which slammed the door on Russell Fiord in summer 2002, creating the largest glacier-dammed lake in the world for a few weeks until the dam broke.

The relentless advance of Hubbard Glacier takes center stage in Yakutat, but the area surrounding the town is one of the world's great examples of geology in action.

To the west of Yakutat, Mount St. Elias rises like a white pyramid to an elevation of 18,008 feet in one of the world's most dramatic transitions from sea to summit. The Yakutat block, a chunk of Earth's crust larger in area than Pennsylvania, is responsible for forming Mount St. Elias and the other mountains of the St. Elias and Chugach ranges. The Yakutat block formed somewhere off the West Coast of the U.S. or Canada and, in a trip that took a few million years, rode the top of the Pacific plate to its present location along Alaska's Southeast Coast. The Yakutat block rams into the North American plate at a speed of about two inches each year, twice as fast as India is shoving into Asia to form the Himalayas, according to GPS measurements by researchers with the Geophysical Institute at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Near West Nunatak Glacier, about 30 miles northwest of Yakutat, scientists including Chris Larsen used GPS receivers to find a hillside rising toward the sky at one-and-one-third inches each year. The rise is due to the ground rebounding from the weight of melting glaciers, and to a lesser extent earthquake activity. Along with the Glacier Bay area to the south, the land around Yakutat is rising faster than any other place measured, except for scattered volcanoes that are inflating with molten rock. - More...
Thursday - June 12, 2008

Alaska Weather: May temperatures near normal for much of Alaska; Cool and rainy start for Ketchikan - On the whole, May brought near normal temperatures to much of Alaska. Individual stations showed mean monthly temperature departures from normal in the range of 2 degrees Fahrenheit to minus 2 degrees Fahrenheit. Precipitation varied across the state from more than twice the normal amount in Barrow to less than half the normal amount in Southcentral Alaska. Normally, precipitation is relatively light across the state in May as compared to the late summer and early autumn.

Ketchikan had a cool and rainy start to the month of May, but finished with beautiful, warm weather. Precipitation totaled 9.21 inches, half an inch more than normal. There were four days with totals of more than 1 inch. Temperatures averaged 55.1 degrees Fahrenheit, about half a degree above normal. The average high and low temperatures were 56 degrees and 43 degrees, respectively. The high for the month, 30 degrees, was reported on May 9. Heating degree-days were about 30 units less than normal, with 486 units. - More...
Thursday - June 12, 2008


Columns - Commentary

Dan K. Thomasson: Welcome to the real campaign, Sen. Obama - Pitching himself to voters as a centrist candidate with a slight adjustment to the left who appeals to both sides of the political aisle and is a prototypical outsider is going to be a tough sell for Barack Obama who has supported his party's line for the two years he has been in the Senate and is advised by leading insiders.

His economic mantra of readjusting the nation's incomes to soak the rich and help the middle and lower classes through government spending is pure liberal dogma. It is the solution to our economic ills that the Democratic Party has espoused since Franklin Roosevelt. There is nothing wrong with that if one believes it will work except that it has been roundly rejected in the last 50 years or so of presidential elections.

Obama would make sure everyone had health care at taxpayer expense. He would raise the capital gains tax and up the corporate and individual income taxes for the "wealthy" and slow down if not end trade agreements in an effort to protect American labor despite the fact these alliances work. He is calling for a $50 billion economic stimulus plan that would include rebate checks for the unemployed and health care subsidies paid for by the above mentioned tax increases. So much for "Mr. Down the Middle." - More...
Thursday - June 12, 2008

Micahel Reagan: McCain: Four More Years of Mumbling? - The last thing America needs is another four years of listening to a president mumble. I don't care how great the man is otherwise, and a quick look at the amazing progress in present day Iraq accomplished by the president reveals a greatness that offends liberals, but if he's a mumbler that's what he'll be seen as.

The same is true of John McCain. His wartime heroism and whatever he's accomplished in the United States Senate fades almost into obscurity because he is seen -- and joked about -- as a politician who, despite his boast of being a straight talker, is seen as a man who mumbles his way through the verbal thickets.

You can't make a point if you can't articulate it in the strongest and clearest way possible. - More...
Thursday - June 12, 2008

Martin Schram: It will take governmental guts to cure America's gas pains - When Washington is in crisis mode, its officials move into high-speed action mode. Which is to say, they start talking faster.

And America's gas pains -- economic and political -- are a major crisis that is hurting worst those who can afford it least. So Washington officials are a blur of action, racing in front of the cameras to promote their pet solutions.

Here's where we are today: Gasoline prices are shooting up faster than the gas station guys can scurry up the ladders to change the big numbers on the big signs. Indeed, the only thing shooting up as fast are the profits of Exxon and the other big oil companies -- huge profits, record profits. Exxon's profits for the first quarter of 2008 were a whopping 17 percent higher than its huge profits from the previous quarter. - More...
Thursday - June 12, 2008

Paul C. Campos: Expertise versus opinions, in obesity and global warming - For nearly a decade now, I've been writing about controversies regarding the relationship between weight and health. In the course of studying the matter, I've concluded that much of the conventional wisdom about the subject is simply wrong.

During the last couple of years, whenever I've pointed out that claims of an "obesity crisis" are not well supported by evidence, and that many of the supposed solutions for this "crisis" are likely to do more harm than good, I'll hear from people who tell me that everything I'm saying applies equally well to the subject of global warming.

At first glance there are some striking similarities between the two topics. Unfortunately, I can't judge whether those similarities are merely superficial, or whether, like the purported "obesity epidemic," global warming represents a moral panic over a relatively minor or imaginary problem. - More...
Thursday - June 12, 2008



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Basic Rules

letter Stimulus Check By Mary Hemli - I just received a letter from the IRS telling me that since I only made less than $3,000 last year I will only get a check of $300 for the stimulus. The people who made more than $3,000 on up to $75,000 will get the whole $600. Now I don't know what is wrong with this country but to me that is backwards. The people who have the least amount should get $600 not the people who have the most already. - More...
Tuesday PM - June 10, 2008

letterBlatherings By Doug Barry - "The Democrats are Stuck with Obama" intones regular Sitnews letter writer Mark Neckameyer. Right now, I'd rather be stuck with Barack after being stuck with George for eight downward spiraling years. - More...
Tuesday PM - JUne 10, 2008

letter U.S. Postal Service By Robert McRoberts - I am just amazed at the stupidity of the U.S. Mail. It seems every few months the rates are going up. Well, I am sorry but if I buy stamps at 41 cents and you change the rates you should let me use up the stamps. For the first time this year I got caught up and paid all my bills on time. But then they start coming back to me because I owe 1 cent and now my payments are late. - More...
Tuesday PM - June 10, 2008

letter Obama's the one! By Joseph Prows - Mark Neckameyer sure piped up to parrot the lukewarm party line with his recent post about Obama. I consider myself an Independent, but I couldn't be happier to be "stuck" with Obama. For the next eight years we're going to be "stuck" with an honest, intelligent, thoughtful, tactful, strategically brilliant President who represents ALL of America, not simply the "Haves and the Have-Mores"! Even Ron Paul prefers Obama over McCain. - More...
Tuesday PM - June 10, 2008

letter Miss Witherspoon By Susan Brown - I know that June is a busy month for activities, however I strongly urge you to make a date to go to the Plaza to see Miss Witherspoon. It is a delightful comedy, not nearly as "dark" as the advanced advertising would have you believe. - More...
Tuesday PM - June 10, 2008

letter Borough Bus By Laurie Price - Now that The Bus seems to be fairly successful, how about some shelters north and south of town. Many days on my trek to and from town I see poor wet and cold souls waiting to be picked up. - More...
Tuesday PM - June 10, 2008

letter RE: The Democrats are stuck with Obama now By David Ferrall - Mark Neckameyer you are really scared aren't you? Never thought I would read it from you, but you are. Maybe instead of one of your customary paranoid rants you should lay out how the Republicans are going to lower health care cost for working Americans, deal with Iraq, heal the economy and what their vision is for America (when we are dealing with $5.00 and up for gas). Maybe then you can convert someone into your paranoid camp. - More...
Tuesday PM - June 10, 2008

letter Single issue voters are the real problem By Mike Isaac - I just thought I would respond to a Anchorage resident post 5-27-08 who thought that my post ( Voters are the real problem ) was about all voters. Which is not true. However there are many people I know here in California and across the west that are voting for McCain just because he has a (R) next to his name and buys the lesser of two evils line. Others like her worry more about simple issues like gay marriage , the life choice issue, global warming, Iraq and family values. - More...
Tuesday PM - June 10, 2008

letter Enough with the "You Guys"! By Susan Round - Perhaps I am in a club of one, but my toes curl when I hear fledgling humans address mature members of the species as YOU GUYS. This season I am employed in the visitor industry and find myself in the company of the 18 to 20-something crowd during my work day. It has truly been a pleasure and great fun for me . . . . until I hear a bus load of folks in their golden years addressed as YOU GUYS; as in, "YOU GUYS need to take all your stuff with you. " (Stuff, now there's the STUFF of another Sitnews letter!) - More...
Sunday - June 08, 2008

letter Legislature chewing on TransCanada decision By Sen. Kim Elton - The Reverend William Sloan Coffin reminded us back in the 1960s that "it's one thing to say, with the Prophet Amos, let justice roll down like the mighty waters and quite another to work out the irrigation system." - More...
Sunday - June 08, 2008

letterThe Democrats are stuck with Obama now By Mark Neckameyer - The Democrats have all but officially nominated for the most powerful elected position on Earth a young, unknown, inexperienced and thoroughly unaccomplished candidate from the furthest left fringe of the party. The best way to judge Senator Obama's credentials and character is to evaluate his chosen associations. His friends include Bill Ayers and his wife who are unrepentant domestic terrorists and cop killers. His minister for twenty years has been the racist reverend Wright and other unsavory religious characters like Rev. Michael Pfleger and even a Louis Farakahn connection. - More...

letterAlaska's Personal Information Protection Act By Sen. Gene Therriault & Re. John Coghill - For the past four years we have worked together with other legislators in a true bipartisan effort to pass legislation to protect the identity of individual Alaskans. In the modern world of electronic commerce and massive databases, it is now common place to read headlines detailing the latest data breach and steps that can be taken by people to protect themselves. However, as the concern by Alaskan consumers grew, it became increasingly apparent that Alaska laws lagged behind most states when it came to personal information protection. With that in mind we set out to develop a solution to help you better protect yourself. These efforts resulted in the passage of House Bill 65 this year, and Alaska is now poised to become a leader in protecting individuals' personal information while allowing modern commerce to continue. - More...
Wednesday - June 04, 2008

letter Congratulations Ketchikan Assembly By Lance Mertz - I was happy to see that you stuck to your earlier decision and confirmed the lease of White Cliff for the Borough offices. Dawson says it will have the building ready in seven months and I believe them. - More...
Wednesday - June 04, 2008

letter RE: Noise Pollution: Continued By Savanah Stewart - There might be a shooting range in the Ketchikan city limits, but at least you know when you hear a shot ring out it's the gun range and not some lunatic shooting up your neighborhood. - More...
Wednesday - June 04, 2008

letter Re: One last point By Kathleen Svenson - Eileen Small's "One Last Point" letter is particularly disturbing. Not only does the comparison between adult behavior by an adult (American in Aruba) and this child ejected from Kanayama for "not fitting in" not add up, but Small's referring to the Ketchikan child as "chaffe," is really way out of line. - More...
Wednesday - June 04, 2008

letter Unsupervised young people By Charles Ratcliff - Obviously, the Natalee Holloway case was very tragic. But the letter specifically mentioned young people traveling out of the country. Do you not concede that young people without proper adult supervision also create a high-risk group for irresponsible behavior when they travel domestically? Every year, there are fatalities in Panama City Beach, Florida that involve unsupervised young people behaving irresponsibly. - More...
Wednesday - June 04, 2008

letter Downtown / Newtown by Rodney Dial - Ketchikan has come a long way since the demise of the pulp mill and it's exciting to see the improvements occurring in the downtown and Newtown areas. If I could make a suggestion to our elected officials it would be to keep a close eye on the image being communicated to our visitors, especially during the weekend nights. - More...
Monday - June 02, 2008

letterK-Hi/Sitka Softball Class Acts By Dave Smith - As the Iraq war drags on, and the Polar Bear count drops, I witnessed cause for hope this last Saturday afternoon. The K-Hi girls were in the midst of a several game weekend with the Sitka Wolves, and my little T-Ball team (ages 4 to 7) and I were scheduled for a game in between, while the high school girls took a break. As the girls wrapped up their game in the hot sun, I approached K-Hi head coach Joe Austin, and asked if any of his girls would like to be in the dugout or on the field with the T-ball girls? Joe asked his team, and much to my surprise I think all of them stayed. - More...
Monday - June 02, 2008

letterNoise Pollution: Continued By Sharon Preston - I'm happy to see my letter got some attention. I have received some calls at home in support of my view. However, some of you may have missed the main point. "The firing range within city limits and close proximity to homes is a bad idea" was my main point. The floatplanes are a whole other issue. - More...
Monday - June 02, 2008

letterDamen Bell-Holter By A. M. Johnson - Was not the article on Demen Bell-Holter in Saturday's issue of the Ketchikan Daily News uplifting, inspiring,gratifying and compelling? Mr. Cohen caught the spirit of this lad in words that can only encourage other like mined young persons to take it up another notch. Particularly noticed was the candor relating to his desire to succeed at every opportunity and his expectations of having to demonstrate this desire at the college level. - More...
Monday - June 02, 2008

letter Getting the message out By Kathleen Svenson - Expatriate Tony Hatano-Worrell, writing from half a world away, appears to have more information and to know more about the Kanayama Board deliberations leading up to the ejection of the student who had participated in all fundraising and educational activities than the student's own family knows! Is Hatano-Worrell a Kanayama Board member too? It's unclear exactly who the Kanayama Board members are; it's a kind of secret society. Apparent board members are: Ginny Clay, Jim Alguire, Gail Alguire, Ole Sullivan, Pat Perrier, Eileen Truitt, Carrie Allen, Christa Bruce, and who knows who else. Hatano-Worrell it appears. With a board that refuses to share its by-laws and which has no due process, nor policies and procedures for Ketchikan students, anything is possible after all. - More...
Monday - June 02, 2008

letter A Bit Harsh By Kathleen Svenson - Eileen Small's harsh criticism of a Ketchikan student who went on the Kanayama Student Exchange to Japan a few years ago was way out of line. The student simply became separated from the student's father-chaperone and the group of students in a Japanese city because the child walked out the wrong door of a shop. According to the child's father, the child was only "lost" for about a half-hour. According to the Kanayama Board it was five hours. Some people say the student was located by cell phone GPS; others say our cell phones don't work there. Who knows? This story has passed into legend as far as I'm concerned, and to dredge it up now seems peculiar at best. - More...
Monday - June 02, 2008

letterReverend Pflagler Quid Pro Quo? By Mark Neckameyer - Rev. Michael Pfleger, the race baiting, rabble rousing proclaimed buddy of Rev. Wright, Louis Farrakhan and Senator Barack Obama, clearly went way over the line this week in his loudly cheered racist, anti-feminist tirade at Wright/Obama's Trinity church. He sounded every bit as terrible as any White Supremacist or Klansman ever has on the other extreme side as he mocked and belittled Hillary Clinton and the entire White race. As soon as the video got out, Obama faintly rejected the man and even Pflager made a halfhearted apology but is this enough? - More...
Monday - June 02, 2008

letter One last point By Eileen Small - One last point: I am sure that all parents and many young people remember the tragic mess in Aruba several years ago when a young woman on her senior trip went "missing" and still remains so -- probably dead -- today. - More...
Monday - June 02, 2008

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