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July 06, 2006

Front Page Photo Courtesy Alan Bailey

"Ketchikan's Own"
Pitcher Kraig Bailey and short stop Chais Fuller
Front Page Photo Courtesy Alan Bailey

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


Alaska: Governor Details Gas Pipeline Benefits to Rural Alaska; Murkowski Speaks to AFN Leadership Forum in Anchorage - Alaska Governor Frank H. Murkowski today outlined potential benefits to rural Alaska from the proposed gas pipeline to members of the Alaska Federation of Natives Leadership Forum 2006 in Anchorage.

Speaking at the Hotel Captain Cook as part of the two-day conference on fostering innovation, economic growth and prosperity, the governor outlined four key ideas he believes are in the best interests of rural Alaskans as the public continues to weigh in on the proposed gas pipeline contract. The governor highlighted shipping gas via the Yukon and Kuskokwim rivers to feed Western Alaska; filling the Power Cost Equalization endowment with the passage of new oil tax legislation; providing energy to run refrigeration and ice machines crucial to quality fish production in rural Alaska and creating a Permanent Fund Dividend "check-off" system for investing in the natural gas pipeline.

"Higher energy costs make traditional ways of earning money in rural Alaska more difficult," Murkowski said. "Imported diesel is so expensive that the ice made from diesel powered machines in Bristol Bay is hard for fishermen to afford, even with the higher price of fish.

"With this gas pipeline, there will be a potential off-take point at the Yukon River. That will allow for the potential shipping of propane and butane by river to Western Alaska and outlying areas. We can lower the costs of energy by supplying a cheaper alternative to imported diesel and other petro-fuels with what are known as mileage-sensitive rates, meaning only the cost of shipping the gas from the North Slope to the Yukon River."

Murkowski also spoke to delegates about the potential for personal investment in the natural gas pipeline with a "check-off" system on the Permanent Fund dividend. The system would allow individual Alaskans to invest a portion of their Permanent Fund dividend check in gas pipeline bonds that would receive the federally-mandated rate of return on the project set forth by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. - More...
Thursday - July 06, 2006

Alaska: US Energy Secretary Bodman Calls For Gas Pipeline Decision This Summer - U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman has sent a letter to Alaska Governor Frank H. Murkowski and the Alaska Legislature urging action this summer on approval of a pipeline system to transport Alaska North Slope natural gas to market.

In the two-page letter, Bodman argues that now is Alaska's opportunity to get its gas into the marketplace, and if the state "does not conclude necessary legislative and contractual work promptly, Alaskans may lose the opportunity to pursue this project for several years or even a decade."

In his letter, Bodman commended the state's leaders for the work they have done on the project so far, and added, "I encourage recognition not only of the State's interests, but of the strong National economic and security interests in developing the State's natural gas resources. I strongly believe that the National interest is best served by a decision this summer on the critical legislative and contractual issues currently being considered by the State and its leaders." - More....
Thursday - July 06, 2006

Ketchikan's Fireworks...

Ketchikan's 4th of July Fireworks
Front Page Photo by Bill Hupe
View A Fireworks Photo Gallery by Bill Hupe

National: Killers' writings, father's diary released By KEVIN VAUGHAN and CHARLEY ABLE - A diary kept by the father of a Columbine killer and writings by the two murderers - including one called "The Mind and Motives of Charles Manson" - were made public Thursday by Jefferson County sheriff's officials in Colorado.

In all, 936 pages of evidence seized from the homes and cars of Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris was released, the result of a four-year court battle for access to evidence in the case.

The diary kept by Wayne Harris, Eric's father, the existence of which was first reported by the Rocky Mountain News in January 2004, was among the items seen publicly for the first time. Contained in a 60-page steno notebook with "Eric" written on the cover, the journal detailed contacts with law officers, other parents and school officials. Writing appears on more than 20 pages in the notebook. - More...
Thursday - July 06, 2006


Alaska: Musk ox numbers declining on Alaska's North Slope By ALEX deMARBAN - Musk oxen, the shaggy ice age relics that once vanished from Alaska, are dying in big numbers on the North Slope.

Musk oxen
Musk oxen
Photograph courtesy U.S.
Fish & Wildlife Service - Alaska

They're starving on remote barrier islands, drowning in floods and being devoured by grizzly bears, according to wildlife managers who recently banned musk ox hunting in the region to preserve the North Slope population.

Most of the losses have been in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

There was just one musk ox there this spring. Biologists say it may be dead.

"It's just a mystery," said Dick Shideler, a state Fish and Game biologist in Fairbanks. "We're trying to put different pieces together and figure out why all of a sudden this is happening."

Built for cold weather and lean times, the stocky animals wandered Alaska for thousands of years but disappeared in the mid-1800s, some say because of hunters. The federal government brought them back in 1931, shipping about three dozen from Greenland to Fairbanks.

Five years later, the animals were barged to Nunivak Island off the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta coast, where they thrive today. Some of those musk oxen were transplanted to Western and Northern Alaska to start four other herds beginning in 1969.

That's when the first of 64 Nunivak musk oxen were transplanted to ANWR. The herd flourished there for years, expanding in all directions and peaking at more than 700 in the mid-1990s.

That's when the first of 64 Nunivak musk oxen were transplanted to ANWR. The herd flourished there for years, expanding in all directions and peaking at more than 700 in the mid-1990s.

A few hundred of those moved to an area west of ANWR around Prudhoe Bay. Like the musk oxen that stayed in ANWR, their numbers are dropping fast too, from 302 to 216 in three years.

Puzzled state and federal scientists say herds elsewhere in the state are healthy. They're scrambling to figure out why the numbers are falling on the Slope and say disease or poor nutrition may be factors.

The state and federal managers have shut down four different hunts in the last three years, mostly affecting villagers in Nuiqsut and Kaktovik, said Geoff Carroll, Barrow-area state biologist.

One big factor in the decline: multiple kills by grizzlies. They seem to happen only on the Slope, not to musk oxen in other herds such as those at Cape Thompson or on the Seward Peninsula in Northwest Alaska, biologists say. - More...
Thursday - July 06, 2006



letter Consolidation / Round Two by Rodney Dial - Thursday
letter Dirty Bug By Dawna Vigil - Thursday
letter Legal machinations obscure our rights By Gregg Erickson - Thursday
letter Pipeline deal should benefit Alaskans for generations By Rep. Les Gara - Thursday
letter Freedom of Speech By Alan R. McGillvray - Thursday
letter An open letter to Sealaska and Sealaska's original shareholders By Michael Nelson - Thursday - Thursday
letter Offended by anti-war Bug! By Cindy Inouye - Thursday
letter Global Warming By Robert McRoberts - Thursday
letter Deterioration of South Tongass Highway By Walt & Carol Hoefer - Wednesday
letter The Rumors Are True By Rhonda Bolling - Tuesday
letterSo Cindy Sheehan is going on a "hunger strike for peace"? By Mark Neckameyer - Tuesday
letter The Global Warming theory and what-ifs! By Marvin Seibert - Tuesday
letterPerspectives on Global Warming By Anne Mareck - Tuesday
letterConsolidation By Richard L. Burton - Monday
letter Putting Global Climate Change in Perspective By Jessica Price - Monday
letter Climate Hype By Jay Jones - Monday
letter Ready to get out of Iraq By Max Michels - Monday
letter The rumors are true By Rebecca Brown - Saturday
letter More Viewpoints/ Letters
letter Publish A Letter


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Newsmaker Interviews

Bill Steigerwald: Debriefing Ollie North - Oliver North spends so much time on patrol with or interviewing the troops in Iraq, you'd think he is still an active colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps.

North, who has been to Iraq seven times and Afghanistan once and fought in Vietnam, is a conservative commentator for Fox News, where he hosts "War Stories" at 8 p.m. Sunday nights. July 9th's episode on the role of baseball in wartime, "From the Ballpark to the Battlefield: Baseball and WWII," will air the night before the All-Star game. I talked to North on Tuesday, June 27, by telephone:

Q: What is your assessment of the condition of the U.S. military today?

A: There has never been a brighter, better-educated, better-equipped, led or more combat-experienced military than the one we have today. And I can say that having spent 25 years in uniform. A lot of it has to do with the fact that it is all volunteer. - More...
Wednesday - July 05, 2006

Columns - Commentary

Dick Morris: Republican Voters Back Senate's Immigration Bill By Dick Morris - Now that Felipe Calderón seems to have won and the threat that was embodied by Chavista Andrés Manuel López Obrador has been defeated, it is time for the Republicans in the House to look beyond their own noses and deal generously with our neighbor to the south.

The Mexican people have just rejected a leftist anti-American alternative and embraced free-market capitalism in a dramatic vote. It is one thing for middle-class Americans to do so, but for Mexicans, many of whom are impoverished, to turn away from a candidate who promises a 20 percent pay increase and free gas and electricity and embrace a free-market alternative is a testament to the sense, perspective, balance, wisdom and maturity of the Mexican electorate.

Would that our own political leaders had such gifts. - More...
Wednesday - July 05, 2006

Jay Ambrose: Flying burros - A new book about the late Cleveland Amory reminds us that one way we define our humanity is how we treat creatures that are not human. But before we get there, let's talk about a black, wavy-coated, brown-eyed Portuguese Water Dog named Queen Isabella.

My wife and I named this pet of ours after Queen Isabella of Portugal, the mother of the queen who financed Christopher Columbus's trips to America. For short, we call her Bella, which is Italian for beautiful. It is, in my biased opinion, a more imaginative name than Splash, which is what Sen. Edward Kennedy calls his Portuguese Water Dog. - More...
Wednesday - July 05, 2006

Steve Brewer: Furniture guide for guys - During the recent real estate boom many of us played residential musical chairs, "flipping" houses for profit, parlaying the winnings into ever bigger McMansions, movin' on up.

Now the music's stopped and we're all stuck with our current houses, hunkering down until the signs of a market boom resume.

While we catch our breaths, it's a good time to inventory the furnishings in the risky investments we call home. Maybe it's time to retrench, to pour some of our hard-earned money into new furniture.

Move every few years and you regularly face the need to adapt furniture to new spaces. You end up with strange combinations, or matching pieces in different rooms or stuff stacked in the garage, awaiting use in future homes. - More...
Wednesday - July 05, 2006

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