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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
June 16, 2008

Eight Puppies Rescued From Burning Home Front Page Photo by Cindy Balzer

Eight Puppies Rescued From Burning Home
Front Page Photo by Cindy Balzer


Ketchikan: Eight Puppies Rescued From Burning Home By MARY KAUFFMAN - An investigation is still underway to determine the cause of a fire that erupted at the Woodland Avenue home of Cammy and Martin Smith on Saturday. No one was home at the time of the fire; however, there were two adult dogs and eight puppies in the home at the time the fire started.

Eight Puppies Rescued From Burning Home

Some of the rescued pups
Photo by Cindy Balzer

Ketchikan Fire Department Assistant Fire Chief Jim Hill said the two adults dogs were upstairs and were able to exit the home by apparently using dog doors that were installed. However, Misty Archibald, a friend of the Smiths, said that Ralph Bolton Jr. broke down a door to the burning house to let the mother dog out. "Who knows how it may have turned out if [Bolton] hadn't done that," said Archibald.

The eight puppies were rescued by staff from the Ketchikan Fire Department and Ketchikan Police Department.

Hill said the eight puppies were locked up in the basement inside a fenced-in area. Hill said when he reached inside he was hoping the pups didn't bite as they were large pups. But the pups were ready to be rescued. Hill said, "When I reached inside, the first one jumped right in my arms. Then I reached in again and felt around and another one jumped in."

Then the count started. Hill said, "We went one - two - three.... and we counted one through eight and I said, how many pups did she say there were?" The response to his question was eight. "Good, let's get out of here," said Hill.

It will be up to the insurance company to determine the status of the damage to the house said Assistant Fire Chief Hill. He said the fire had a good running start before the firefighters arrived and the water used to extinguish the fire added to the damage. Hill said the fire and smoke damage was on the main floor to the kitchen, living room, and bedrooms. He said there was significant water and smoke damage to the upstairs also.

Hill said the fire department is looking at the possibility of a space heater that may have malfunctioned; however, the cause of the fire is still under investigation. The cause at this date is reported as "accidental but still undetermined". - More...
Monday PM - June 16, 2008

Alaska: Ignition interlock device required for persons convicted of DUI - Persons who have been convicted of driving under the influence will be required to install and maintain an ignition interlock device on the vehicle they intend to drive. The device will analyze the person's blood alcohol content (BAC) and will prevent the car from being started if the person's blood alcohol content is above a set level. - More...
Monday PM - June 16, 2008

National: Obama's and McCain's tax plans fall along party lines By CAROLYN LOCHHEAD - Sens. Barack Obama and John McCain offer voters a stark if orthodox choice on the economy, but according to experts, intense new budget pressures -- including military costs and health care spending -- could render economic orthodoxy outdated.

"Everyone knows we're entering a difficult fiscal environment, and neither of the candidates have dealt with it in a serious way at all," said Steven Sheffrin, an economist and dean of social sciences at the University of California, Davis.

Democrat Obama would sharply skew tax cuts and spending toward lower-income people and social programs. Republican McCain would just as sharply tilt policy toward upper-income classes and business investment.

Strains on the economy are hitting middle-class pocketbooks in ways not seen since Jimmy Carter lost to Ronald Reagan in 1980.

Central to the debate are President Bush's $3.6 trillion in tax cuts, which expire in 2010. That means the next president will have to propose new tax laws upon taking office in 2009.

As much as Obama blasts the Bush tax cuts, he would expand large portions of them, promising even more tax cuts for middle- and lower-income groups.

Taxes would fall most sharply for lower-income groups while rising sharply for top earners, according to a new analysis by the Tax Policy Center, a joint think tank of the center-left Brookings Institution and Urban Institute.

Obama's campaign contends that no one earning less than $250,000 a year would see any tax increase.

For those earning more than $250,000, taxes could rise to levels not seen in decades. If Obama imposes higher Social Security payroll taxes on top income earners, as he has suggested, they could see an effective tax rate of more than 55 percent of their income, not counting state income taxes, the Tax Policy Center analysis showed.

Taxes on the top 0.1 percent of filers would rise by nearly $790,000 under Obama's plan.

"The increase in taxes is on about 3 percent of the tax population in the Obama plan, and that 3 percent are in the top two brackets," said Robertson Williams, a co-author of the analysis.

McCain goes in the opposite direction.

He now embraces the Bush tax cuts that he once voted against, aligning himself with GOP tax orthodoxy.

He would make the Bush tax cuts permanent, leaving in place all the middle-and lower-income tax cuts Obama wants to expand, but keeping the lower Bush rates on top income earners and the reduction in capital gains and dividends taxes to 15 percent. McCain would also slash the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 25 percent, and phase out the alternative minimum tax, which hits upper-income groups. - More...
Monday PM - June 16, 2008


Columns - Commentary

Dave Kiffer: An Idea That's All Wet! - It may come as a surprise, but we have a lot of "farmers" here in Our Fair Salmon City!

No, I don't mean there are huge plots of corn and wheat and whatever springing up all over the place.

It would be nice if there was.

I love fresh stuff popping out of the ground - well, anything fresh besides skunk cabbage.

But since we have about six inches of topsoil on our granite Rock of Revilla, it doesn't make much sense to try to plow the Back Forty.

Not that we haven't had "farms" in the area.

Long ago, the Stenslands (on Gravina) and the Bishops (on the mainland near the Unuk) had farms that provided Ketchikanders with the occasional fresh fruit or vegetable and once upon a time we actually had some fresh dairy milk thanks to the Anderes and Pittinger families.

But those halcyon days are gone.

Or are they? - More...
Saturday - June 14, 2008

Martha Randolph Carr: Happy Father's Day - Here's to all of the great fathers out there who consistently put their families first. This Father's Day, instead of a gift purchased in a store like a tie or a new ratchet set let's return the favor and spend a little time just hanging around good old Dad.

We can show these men who tried to mentor us that we've learned a thing or two watching them all these years and bring along a good attitude as well. Pick out an activity, nothing showy or expensive but definitely something they'd like to do and just be there for them. Go bowling if that's his hobby, or try out a few golf swings at the driving range or just take a slow walk around the neighborhood. Be fully present and hang on every word without thinking about what you'd really like to talk about if you could only figure out how to change the subject. Save that for the next day when you can go back to leaning on Dad's shoulder. This day, even a lazy afternoon on the couch watching old reruns on TV is acceptable if that's what would make your dad happy. - More...
Sunday - June 15, 2008

Tom Purcell: For Father's Day -- Son of a  !!! - Get this: Dads are essential to kids.

According to the National Fatherhood Initiative, kids who grow up without dads are more likely to grow up poor, drop out of school, end up in jail and encounter numerous other struggles in life than kids who grow up with dads do.

This information comes as no shock to most men. We know that boys are prone to stupidity and that the creature best suited to taming them is the like-minded fellow called dad.

When I was five, my father told me to stop jumping around the tub, but I did so anyway. I slipped and hit my head on a ceramic soap dish. It busted into a dozen pieces. My father responded to my stupidity the way he often did.

"Son of a !!!" - More...
Sunday - June 15, 2008



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Basic Rules

letter The State's Capital Match: Investing in Our Future By Gov. Sarah Palin - Since the Alaska Gasline Inducement Act was voted into law by Alaskan legislators last year, some people have questioned the necessity of the state's potential $500 million capital match. The question has been asked, even by some of those who voted for it, "is AGIA worth $500 million?" While the fact that AGIA was passed so resoundingly would appear to be a strong indicator, it bears repeating now and until legislative action is taken this summer - the answer is unmistakably yes. The $500 million provided under AGIA is an investment in our resources that will pay for itself directly as well as indirectly. - More...
Saturday - June 14, 2008

letter Gas Pipeline By Ed Stahl - We are building a 48 gas pipeline and what direction is it going? The wrong way, east to Canada, not towards Fairbanks, Anchorage, Valdez and other coastal communities of Alaska, on board American-built tanker ships. We could fuel our cars, boats and homes on this gas, and there is no such thing as a natural gas spill. - More...
Saturday - June 14, 2008

letter A review: Hosie shines his feature length AGIA gig By Sen. Kim Elton - Spencer Hosie is to oil and gas litigation as actor Johnny Depp is to Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest -- charismatic and very, very, very successful. So it's not surprising Hosie's 90-minute 'Pirates of Deadhorse' gasline gig was strong on both substance and style. - More...
Saturday - June 14, 2008

letter United States Postal Service By Rhonda Payne - In reference to the letter by Robert McRoberts 6/10/08, while the Postal Service may do some "stupid" things (as has been the case with every business in America), raising rates is not one of them. What other service can you purchase that never raises rates? What other company tells you MONTHS in advance that the price of goods is increasing (as did the Postal Service) and then gives you a one year grace period as Mr. McRoberts suggests? What's wrong with purchasing the additional postage to use with your old stamps? - More...
Saturday - June 14, 2008

letter Bravo to Susan Round! By Denise Buker - Over the past few years I have noticed that in this town, customer service has declined, severely. The level of respect for elders and others has dwindled away!! - More...
Saturday - June 14, 2008

letter RE: Stimulus Checks By Misty Archibald - When I drive by the low income housing units around town and I see hummers parked outside in resident spaces, quite honestly I can say that that really ticks me off. We have people all over the country who abuse the system. They claim their minimum wage salary, but not the $100-$200 they make in tips from various jobs. - More...
Saturday - June 14, 2008

letterStimulus 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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