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2006 Fourth of July Schedule

SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska
July 01, 2006

Front Page Photo by Chris Wilhelm

Stars and Stripes
Front Page Photo By Chris Wilhelm

Our Troops

Nate Maplesden
Chief Warrant Officer2
Alaska Army National Guard

Nate Maplesden, who is currently serving in Iraq, is a CW2 in the Alaska Army National Guard. Maplesden enlisted in the National Guard in 1996 as a parachute rigger (a packer of parachutes). After two years as a rigger supporting the 207th LRSD out of Ft. Richardson in Anchorage, Maplesden and his wife Sarah and three sons moved back to Ketchikan where he was born and raised. - Read more about Nate Maplesden...
(Our Troops - click here)
Saturday - July 01, 2006

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


National: Immigration reform faces a long, hot summer By MICHAEL DOYLE - The immigration reform debate will sizzle this summer. Whether it produces anything besides heat is another question.

Business and labor lobbyists are mobilizing. Lawmakers are maneuvering, onstage and off. Congressional hearings are convening, potentially including one in California's Central Valley.

Some of the action will be public, like a July 5 House hearing in San Diego, Calif. There's nothing subtle about these hearings, starting with one titled "Border Vulnerabilities and International Terrorism." The hearings will continue through August, spinning the debate in one direction.

"They're being held in areas where it will be playing to the enforcement crowd," noted Rep. George Radanovich, R-California.

Some of the action will be private, like the closed-door planning meeting late last week between five House Republicans and five Senate Republicans. The GOP members, including Rep. Ray LaHood of Illinois and Rep. Jeff Flake of Arizona, are setting the stage for a post-Independence Day show of force by supporters of comprehensive reform.

"We're going to get a broad group in the House," Flake said. "We'll have a sufficiently large group to meet with the (GOP) leadership."

Immigrant activists will be convening all summer as well, leading up big marches planned for the Labor Day weekend. These marches, though, can be politically tricky. An earlier series of immigrant demonstrations actually drove away potential Republican supporters of comprehensive immigration reform, said Rep. Devin Nunes, R-California. - More...
Saturday - July 01, 2006

National: Immigration advocates flex their political muscle By CRISTINA RAMIREZ - Immigrant advocates have unveiled a "Democracy Summer" campaign to convince more than 12 million legal immigrants to seek U.S. citizenship in time to vote in the 2008 presidential election.

The Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights and the We Are America Alliance, among other organizations, also announced Thursday that they will hold citizenship workshops this year in 19 states in hopes of registering at least 1 million naturalized citizens in time for this year's congressional, state and local elections.

The groups issued a study of foreign-born legal residents that found 14 million could be eligible to vote someday, and that 12.4 million of them have lived in the United States long enough to be eligible to vote in 2008. - More...
Saturday - July 01, 2006

Washington Calling: Costs soar for Visitor Center ... Megan laws ... more By LANCE GAY - Another month, and Congress is pouring more money into the extravagant marble-lined Taj Mahal officially called the Capitol Visitor Center. The much-delayed three-story project is buried from public view under five acres of the Capitol's east front.

Original 2001 cost estimate: $265 million.

"Official" cost estimate in February 2005: $455 million.

Latest price tag: $584 million.

Original opening date: December 2005. Latest projected opening date: August 2007 - but don't bet on it.


The hefty costs of the war on terror are taking a toll on the U.S. Navy, which has been relegated largely to a supporting role for the Army and Marines fighting land battles in Iraq and Afghanistan. Under the Reagan administration, the Navy was built up to almost 600 ships. Today, it's been cut down to 280 ships. Some lawmakers say that the reduction in Navy shipbuilding is unwise, given uncertainties about China's rising naval ambitions. - More....
Saturday - July 01, 2006

Ketchikan Youth Court

July Marks Seventh Year For Ketchikan Youth Court
Jared Hoover, pictured with his mother Trish,
received a special award for his six years of KYC service.
Front Page Photo by Gretchen Klein

Ketchikan: July Marks Seventh Year For Ketchikan Youth Court - Ketchikan Youth Court, a non-profit program, celebrates it seventh year of community service this month. Gretchen Klein, Ketchikan Youth Court Director, said Ketchikan Youth Court is based on the principle of restorative justice.

The Ketchikan Youth Court program helps the community by allowing District Court or Juvenile Probation first-time youth offenders' cases to be heard by a panel of youth said Klein. In the past seven years, "We are proud to have trained 180 students to handle first-time offenders, and have handled 260 cases since starting to handle cases in 2000," said Klein. - More...
Saturday - July 01, 2006

Front Page Photo by Carl Thompson

Why is a moose's nose so big?
A Soldotna area moose.
Front Page Photo By Carl Thompson

Alaska: Why is a moose's nose so big? By NED ROZELL - A wolverine without tenacity is just a big weasel. A grizzly without a taste for flesh is an oversized koala. A moose without a big nose is a broad-antlered elk. The quality that makes the moose one of the stars of Alaska wildlife is also the subject of a study. Why, asked scientists from Ohio, does the moose have such a big nose?

And, one might ask, why do scientists from Ohio care?

It can tell them about evolution, says Lawrence Witmer. Witmer is a biologist and professor of anatomy at Ohio University. As part of a study of unusual noses on dinosaurs and modern animals, Witmer and his colleagues examined the enigmatic nose of the moose. - More...
Saturday - July 01, 2006


Alaska: Man and dog rescued after 3 days adrift at sea - The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Morgenthau rescued a man and his dog in a 15-foot skiff, 10 miles northwest of Unalaska Island in Alaska Friday afternoon.

Josh Zyelinske, 22-years old, had struck a submerged object in his skiff, which disabled the engine and set him adrift after getting underway from Chernofski Harbor. 

Man & dog rescued

Josh Zyelinske walks his dog Teddy on the Coast Guard Cutter Morgenthau.
Official Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer Kim Hawkins

Zyelinske had no means to call for help and had been adrift for three days before the Coast Guard cutter came across him on a routine patrol. - More...
Saturday - July 01, 2006

Alaska: Governor Signs Capital Budget - Friday Alaska Governor Frank H. Murkowski signed into law SB 231, the FY2007 capital projects bill, which appropriates a total of $2.3 billion to nearly 1,200 individual projects statewide.

Murkowski said the capital budget reflects a commitment to improving Alaska's economy through investment in transportation infrastructure, resource development, and education at the K-12 level, as well as in university and vocational education facilities. The bill also invests in safe and strong families through projects and grants for public safety agencies.

"The action I take today reflects my strong belief that this capital budget represents the good work of the Legislature in responding to the capital construction needs of Alaska," Murkowski said. "While this bill's bottom line of $2.3 billion from all funding sources is bigger than many capital spending bills we have seen lately, there are valid reasons for that level of spending. Everything costs more than it used to. There is a pent-up demand statewide for capital projects and infrastructure maintenance. And many of these projects will enable us to transition more smoothly and effectively into a period of gas pipeline construction. I am pleased to be able to sign this bill into law today." - More...
Saturday - July 01, 2006


Political Cartoonists

Political Cartoonists

Minimum Wage Slaves
Pat Bagley, Salt Lake Tribune
More Political Cartoons


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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June - July 2006
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Alaska: Clash over dental help for Alaska natives softens By LIZ RUSKIN - The American Dental Association has softened its once-vehement opposition to an Alaska Native health program that sends specially trained health aides to drill and extract teeth in Alaska villages, where severe tooth decay is epidemic.

"We still believe that patients are best served by a licensed dentist," said William Prentice, lobbyist for the ADA in Washington. "But we're trying to do everything we can to try to respond to the tribes' concerns on getting dental care in frontier Alaska."

The national dental organization is now backing a federal bill that says Alaska dental health aides, if they consult with a dentist on certain types of cases, can perform work the ADA had previously insisted must be done only be dentists.

"This is somewhat of a breakthrough," said Dr. Mark Kelso, dental director at the Nome, Alaska-based Norton Sound Health Corporation. He oversees two dental health aides who are being dispatched to Savoonga and Unalakleet, Bering Sea villages of about 700 people.

Rural Alaska, like most of rural America, lacks dentists. Dentists visit some Alaska villages only once a year. Many villages don't have fluorinated water or a tradition that emphasizes brushing. And soda pop is ubiquitous. The rate of tooth decay among Natives is more than twice the national rate, and a greater percentage of Native adults have lost all their teeth. Sixty percent of Native children 5 and under have severe dental decay, according to research the ADA cites.

In response, Native and federal health organizations launched the dental health aide program in 2003. It is an offshoot of Alaska's community health aide program that the Indian Health Service started in the early 1960s. - More...
Saturday - July 01, 2006

Ketchikan: Special flag donated to state archives - Former Ketchikan resident Alexander Kotlarov has donated to the state a thirteen-star American flag that was flown at Fort McHenry in Maryland in 1985. The same flag also was flown over the Alaska Capitol on Flag Day, June 14, 2006.

Kotlarov, in 1985 an intern from Ketchikan for then-Senator Frank Murkowski, represented Alaska at Flag Day ceremonies at Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine. The ceremony was sponsored by the National Flag Day Foundation.

The defense of Fort McHenry during the Battle of Baltimore in 1814 inspired Francis Scott Key to write the poem "The Star-Spangled Banner," which became the words of the National Anthem in 1931. - More...
Saturday - July 01, 2006

Alaska: State Reaches Agreement on LeConte - The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities has negotiated an agreement with the three maritime unions to continue operations of the M/V LeConte beyond June 30.

Under the agreement reached on Friday with the Masters Mates & Pilots, Marine Engineers Beneficial Association and Inland Boatman's Union, the ship will operate with a crew of 15.

Captain John Falvey, General Manager of the Alaska Marine Highway System, said negotiations were tough. "We are delighted that we have reached an agreement and are able to continue service to Alaskans in the Northern Panhandle."

In March the U.S. Coast Guard directed AMHS to operate the M/V LeConte in a manner that assures that crew get a minimum amount of rest. The state has been negotiating with the union since that time because changes in ship operations that affect crew staffing levels require modifying the existing contracts. - More...
Saturday - July 01, 2006

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