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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
July 07, 2006

Front Page Photo courtesy Ketchikan Museums

Alaska State Ferry Malaspina arriving at Ketchikan, 1963
Feature Story By DAVE KIFFER
Photograph Courtesy Ketchikan Museums

Ketchikan: THE GRAND SHIPS OF THE ALASKA MARINE HIGHWAY SYSTEM By DAVE KIFFER - By all accounts, it was one of the largest traffic jams in Ketchikan's history.

Hundreds of cars plugged Tongass Avenue as more than 3,000 residents tried to reach the Ketchikan Marine Highway System Terminal in the Charcoal Point area north of Ketchikan's West End, according to the Ketchikan Daily News.

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But it wasn't a mass exodus that spurred the commotion, it was an arrival. The first arrival of the brand new state ferry Malaspina on Jan. 23, 1963.

Ketchikan - and the rest of Southeast Alaska - had been without regular passenger ship service for nearly a decade, since the Alaska Steamship Company stopped passenger service in 1954.

Although air travel was increasing, the Panhandle was generally more isolated than it had been since the early part of the century and Ketchikan residents were thrilled that newly minted State of Alaska was moving to ease that isolation.

The genesis of the Alaska Marine Highway System was some 14 years earlier, in 1949 when Steve Homer of Haines started a commercial ferry on Lynn Canal.

Homer - together with Robert Sommers and Associates - purchased a surplus World War II Navy LCT that he christened the Chilkoot. The 100-foot-long vessel could carry 13 autos, 20 passengers and had a crew of seven. It had a day lounge, lavatories, a galley and crew quarters and steamed up Lynn Canal at about nine knots.

Chilkoot Motorship Lines operated from Tee Harbor - 18 miles road miles north of Juneau - to Haines-Port Chilkoot and Skagway, according to Stan Cohen's 1994 history of the Marine Highway System "Highway on the Sea." The Chilkoot generally made one trip a week, but could make more if traffic warranted. - More...
Friday - July 07, 2006


Ketchikan: Man's Arrest Leads to Discovery of Suspected Stolen Items By DICK KAUFFMAN- The arrest of 20-year-old Aaron Dixon by Ketchikan Police early Thursday morning has led to additional warrants being serve by Alaska State Troopers said Rich Leipfert, Public Safety Director.

According to Leipfert, the Ketchikan Police Department was notified by the Alaska State Troopers' dispatcher at approximately 2:05 am Thursday that a vehicle had been broken into at 5887 South Tongass Highway. The suspect, who was later identified as Dixon, had been confronted by the complainant. Dixon fled the South Tongass Highway scene in a maroon Ford Explorer leaving behind a handgun and a crowbar in the vehicle he was seen searching through.

Trooper personnel were on standby at that time of the call so Ketchikan Police Department personnel responded to the scene. Ketchikan Police Department officers took the report and attempted to identify the handgun, and to determine if it was a gun stolen during a previous burglary from a city residence. - More...
Friday - July 07, 2006

jpg organic produce

Big Benefits of Eating Organic
Ketchikan resident MJ Cadle
is one of many locals fond of organic-produce.
Photo by Nancy Coggins

Ketchikan: Big Benefits of Eating Organic By NANCY COGGINS - Organic food is healthy for us and our planet, and it's becoming more affordable. While buying and eating organic food helps our bodies, its consumption may help our planet even more.

Over roughly the past five years, you've probably noticed that the price of organic food has gradually been coming down. Phil Lempert, supermarket-trend analyst, confirms this in The Green Guide, a source of information on organic food.

Why are more people eating organic food?

Organic food is now more readily available. And it contains no toxic chemicals. Most organic food can be eaten with its skin on, providing the benefit of additional vitamins and minerals. According to a leading microbiologist and nutritionist, Dr. Robert O. Young, organic produce contains as much as 300% more nutrients than non-organic.

Organic farmers use none of the chemicals the EPS now considers carcinogenic -- 60% of all herbicides, 90% of all fungicides and 30% of all insecticides. Eating organic is one opportunity to choose a path to optimum health, lowering our risk of heart disease and cancer that seem so rampant these days.

After consuming fresh organic produce for six weeks or so, you may suddenly experience an "Aha!" moment - like, "I feel great!"

Another advantage to eating organic food lies deeper in the ground. Instead of using synthetic chemical fertilizer, organic farmers use a combination of either farm-made or commercially-produced non-synthetic organic fertilizer and mature compost. - More...
Friday - July 07, 2006


Southeast Alaska: Lessons from the oldest man in Alaska tests By NED ROZELL - An obituary for the man whose bones are the oldest ever found in Alaska might read as follows: He died on Prince of Wales Island around 9,200 years ago. He was in his early 20s. He was adept at using tools, many of which he crafted with imported stone. The man ate as much seafood as a seal or a sea otter. He explored Alaska's coast, probably in a boat made of skins. He leaves behind a jawbone, right hip, scattered teeth, parts of his backbone, a few ribs. Cause of death is unknown, but a giant bear that lived on the island may have killed him.

Paleontologists Timothy Heaton and Fred Grady discovered the oldest human remains ever found in Alaska in 1996. Heaton, who works at the University of South Dakota in Vermillion, was looking for mammal bones at the time. When he recognized the bones as human, Heaton stopped digging. He contacted Forest Service archeologist Terry Fifield, who called in Native representatives from local tribal governments, the Klawock Cooperative and the Craig Community associations. Tribal leaders agreed that the digging could continue. Heaton and others, including interns from local Native tribes, found more of the bones. Researchers determined that all the bones, the oldest human remains so far discovered in Alaska or Canada, were probably from the same man.

The clues he leaves behind have scientists rethinking how ancient people spread themselves over North and South America in the final colonization of the planet by our wandering species. - More...
Friday - July 07, 2006

Alaska: Why a 'pretty girl' takes up boxing By MEGAN BAEZA - What's a pretty girl like you doing in a sport like this?"

If I had a dollar for every time I heard that in the weeks before my Alaska Fighting Championship debut, I would have made my prize money twice over. In a sport that's just beginning to find its place in mainstream American culture, there still is little room for women to be taken seriously.

It's perfectly fine to wear a bikini and wedge heels as a ring girl, but strap on the gloves and pop in a mouthpiece and you're an anomaly.

I can handle that. Actually, any woman who can put up with the training required could handle the odd stares and seemingly innocent questions.

The Alaska Fighting Championship is a mixed martial arts fighting venue held monthly. All styles of martial arts are allowed, and participants follow very few but highly enforced rules like "no eye-gouging" and no "head-butting." Fighters don't wear protective gear, only 4-ounce gloves to cover their knuckles. Normal fights are three three-minute rounds, and the rules are the same for men and women.

Crowds average 3,000 people, but some events have pulled as many as 4,500. Most nights feature 10 fights on the card. - More...
Friday - July 07, 2006



(And We Thought Gateway Forest Products Was Bad)
By David G. Hanger - Saturday
letter The governor, the jet and right or wrong By Sen. Kim Elton - Saturday
letter Consolidation By Robert McRoberts - Saturday
letter Re: Offended by anti-war Bug! By Charlotte Tanner - Friday
letter Raw Data and Concerned Scientists By Jay Jones - Friday
letter Thank You All By Cindy Inouye - Friday
letterConsolidation / 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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Columns - Commentary

Ann McFeatters: North Korea: The nation progress left behind - No Man's Land, which stretches eerily between North Korea and South Korea, is like no place else on Earth, a relic of a war ended with an uneasy cease-fire 53 years ago this month.

Panmunjom is a creepy little village in the demilitarized zone between the two countries, where American soldiers and North Korea's communist forces maintain a tense standoff. Americans are warned against flamboyant or provocative clothing, jewelry and gestures. In 1976, two U.S. soldiers were killed there by North Koreans.

North Korea has the world's fifth-largest army, about 1 million active-duty soldiers. It boasts it has nuclear weapons. Even worse, it also has one of the world's most bizarre and ruthless dictators.

Regularly, Kim Jong Il, the "dear leader" and isolated despot of North Korea, reminds the world of his existence by showing his military might and creating crises the United States must recognize. Thumbing his nose by testing intercontinental missiles on the Fourth of July was his most recent effort. - More...
Friday - July 07, 2006

Preston MacDougall: Chemical Eye on Bleach Bonds - I teach chemistry at a large public university, so my daughter's green hair wasn't shocking, just puzzling.

This was back in 1998, when my daughter's hair was naturally blonde, and we were spending the summer in a California condominium complex that had a pool. I have to admit that, even without any prodding by Greenpeace, I suspected chlorine was to blame.

Pool water is chlorinated for the purpose of reacting with organic matter, such as bacteria, but hair is organic too. So there was presumably a means. Elements can't have motives, but there was plenty of opportunity - the pool was a novelty for us, and the kids almost developed gills that summer. But, like Lieutenant Columbo, I wasn't ready to jump to the obvious conclusion. I just couldn't fit all the molecular pieces together into a chemical method. - More...
Friday - July 07, 2006

Betsy Hart: How siblings shape us - Ah, so now I can prove to my four kids that their siblings sometimes torment them for a good purpose after all.

Time magazine this week, in a fascinating cover story, explored the impact that siblings have on each other over the long term. In "How Your Siblings Make You Who You Are," Jeffrey Kluger delves into the growing understanding among researchers that our brothers and sisters have a huge impact on shaping the person each of us becomes.

This isn't about birth order. This is about the interaction that occurs between siblings. By the time children are 11, they devote "33 percent of their free time to their siblings," more than to anyone else, including parents, Kluger writes. Even busy adolescents spend about 10 hours a week with their sibs. And researchers are discovering that that's pretty powerful.

Back to the tormenting part. It turns out a lot of the "shaping" of siblings may come from fighting and yet having to resolve the conflict simply because they are permanent fixtures in each other's lives. (Kluger reveals that between ages 3 to 7, for instance, kids clash about 3.5 times an hour and at younger ages it's worse. No surprises there!) - More...
Friday - July 07, 2006

Dale McFeatters: The Americans are coming! The Americans are coming! - If the United States doesn't invade Venezuela, Hugo Chavez is going to be one very disappointed dictator. He's promised his people an invasion and one of the many grudges he holds against this country is our refusal, with typical Yankee arrogance, to supply one.

He told the BBC last fall not only that we were going to invade, but that he was in possession of our secret plans to do so. Right away Americans smelled a rat. If these plans are so secret, how come they haven't appeared in The New York Times? Answer us that, Dictator Boy.

And, Chavez says, the United States isn't going to risk going one-on-one with Venezuela. No, sir, we're going to have NATO helping us.

Last month, Chavez held a week of military maneuvers to rehearse repelling the American attack, with Venezuelan marines playing the part of the invaders. Apparently, he's not real confident of winning, because he has backup plans to set fire to the nation's oilfields and for the population to melt into the jungle to fight a 100-year, Vietnam-style guerrilla war. - More...
Friday - July 07, 2006

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