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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska

July 28, 2006

Mining, Once Ketchikan's Principal Industry

Hadley smelter on Prince of Wales Island, 1904
Photographer: Harriet Hunt - Donor: Forest J. Hunt, THS
Photo courtesy Ketchikan Museums

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Ketchikan: MINING, ONCE KETCHIKAN'S PRINCIPAL INDUSTRY By DAVE KIFFER - These days, when millions of dollars worth of non-native gemstones are sold each summer in Ketchikan, it pays to remember that once upon a time mining was the principal industry in town.

Although Ketchikan was initially settled because of its proximity to the great Ketchikan Creek salmon run, by the time it was incorporated as a city nearly half of the 95 individuals who signed incorporation petition in 1900 were miners or employed by the mining industry.

As far back as the late 1880s, there were a few miners in the area, picking away in the gullies and streams for a little color. Many had come here after going through previous booms in Juneau and the Cassiar in Canada.

By the middle part of the 1890s, some larger mines had sprung up on Prince of Wales in places like Hadley, Dolomi and Niblack as well and Ketchikan was growing as the main supply center for those projects.

But it was the "activity" in Dawson City, Yukon Territory, some 700 miles north of Ketchikan, that gave the village its first economic jolt between 1897 and 1900. - More...
Friday - July 28, 2006

National: U.S., U.K. Leaders Say Peacekeeper Needed in Lebanon "Quickly" - President Bush said an effective multinational force needs to be dispatched quickly to southern Lebanon in order to help Lebanese government forces establish control there, as well as to help speed the distribution of humanitarian aid and facilitate the return of displaced persons.

Speaking with British Prime Minister Tony Blair at the White House July 28, Bush also said Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is returning to the region July 29 for discussions with Lebanese and Israeli officials "to seize this opportunity to achieve lasting peace and stability for both of their countries."

The president said the top priorities of the United States and United Kingdom are to provide immediate humanitarian relief, end the violence, ensure the return of displaced people and assist with reconstruction efforts. "We recognize that many Lebanese people have lost their homes, so we'll help rebuild the civilian infrastructure that will allow them to return home safely," he said.

In the coming week, both countries are seeking a U.N. Security Council resolution that sets "a clear framework" for the cessation of hostilities and mandates the multinational force, Bush said. - More...
Saturday AM - July 29, 2006

National: Stanford professor stumps for electoral alternative By MATTHEW YI - A Stanford University computer science professor has come up with an idea to circumvent the more than 200-year-old Electoral College system and institute a national popular vote to elect the president of the United States. The proposal by John Koza, who also invented the scratch-off lottery ticket, is receiving serious consideration by lawmakers in several states. Legislators in California, New York, Colorado, Illinois and Missouri have sponsored bills to enact such a plan.

Koza's scheme calls for an interstate compact that would require states to throw all of their electoral votes behind the winner of the national popular vote, regardless of which candidate wins in each state. The plan doesn't require all 50 states to join, but a combination of states that represent a majority (at least 270) of the electoral votes. If the largest states join in the agreement, only 11 would be needed. - More...
Friday - July 28, 2006


Alaska: Tub toys reveal much about ocean currents By KATE CHENEY DAVIDSON - You've probably heard the tale.

How a ship bound for Seattle foundered in rough seas in 1992, dumping nearly 29,000 rubber tub toys into the Gulf of Alaska.

Ten months later, Sitka residents were scooping them from the beaches in armfuls. Some still refer to it as the rubber ducky invasion.

Between November 1992 and August 1993, scientists calculated about 400 plastic ducks, frogs, turtles and beavers were discovered between Cordova and Coronation Island, west of Prince of Wales Island. Not since 80,000 Nike shoes flew off a ship two years earlier has flotsam so excited the beachcombing community - or oceanographers. Three authorities on the toys are headed for Alaska in the next two weeks.

And the story is still unfolding. - More...
Friday - July 28, 2006

The Week In Review By THOMAS HARGROVE - More U.S. troops to patrol violence-torn Baghdad

Despite political pressure to reduce U.S. troop strength in Iraq, President Bush said Tuesday that additional forces will be assigned to patrol Baghdad, where sectarian violence threatens Iraq's new government. "Obviously, the violence in Baghdad is still terrible," Bush said at a White House meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. "This government stands by the Iraqi people." The U.S. Central Command said that 5,000 additional troops in armored vehicles will patrol Baghdad streets, where nearly 100 civilians die each day, many of them victims of reprisal killings by death squads.

Israel's war with Hezbollah intensifies in Lebanon

Israeli attacks against Hezbollah strongholds in southern Lebanon intensified this week as warplanes and artillery battered the region, killing at least 443 Lebanese civilians and four U.N. observers. But Hezbollah has continued a steady barrage of missile attacks that killed at least 19 civilians in northern Israel. The Israeli army reported that 33 troops have died so far and estimates that 200 Hezbollah guerrillas have been slain, although Hezbollah reports only 35 casualties. U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will return to the region this weekend.

Heat wave kills at least 132 in California

The record-breaking heat wave throughout California was blamed for 132 deaths, mostly elderly people who perished during two weeks of temperatures of up to 119 degrees in Los Angeles County. The Stanislaus County Office of Emergency Services reported 29 heat deaths, well up from its usual average of only one such death a year. Utility officials were forced to cut power in some areas as air conditioners statewide soaked up a record 6,165 megawatts of electricity. Friday was the first day since July 16 that highs remained in the double digits statewide. - More...
Friday - July 28, 2006



letter Murkowski's jet By Victoria Canul Dunne - Friday
letter If You Want My Vote By Samuel Bergeron - Thursday
letter Ketchikan Concrete Classic By Tracy Mettler - Thursday
letter Picturesque City By Bill Thomas SR. - Thursday
letter Four years is enough By Charlotte Tanner - Thursday
letter Don't forget your year-round customers By Jean Bland - Thursday
letter Protesters & Baseball By Scott Kline - Thursday
letter The Government is Here to Help By Alan Lidstone - Thursday
letter Tax or Not to Tax or even Tax Higher By Marvin Seibert - Thursday
letter Intertie By Norma Lankerd - Wednesday
letter Nouri al-Maliki By Mark Neckameyer - Wednesday
letter All Stars selection By Vanessa Ohlson - Wednesday
letter Breakfast of champions By Judith Green - Sunday
letter The most picturesque city in all of Alaska By Jay Hamilton -Sunday
letterWho's eating the "cash cow"! By William Schultz - Sunday
letter Mixed Messages By David Blasczyk - Friday
letterBostwick Timber Access Road By Chuck Moon - Friday
letter Munching on the Cruise Ship Ballot Initiative By Gregory Vickrey - Friday
letter Do Your Part! By Kara Steele - Friday
letter Taxes By Anita Hales - Friday
letter THERE'S NO CRYING IN BASEBALL By Allan Cline - Friday
letter More Viewpoints/ Letters
letter Publish A Letter

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Columns - Commentary

Dave Kiffer: Wild Kingdom: Ketchikan Style - There was a wee bit of a traffic jam on the Third Avenue bypass a week ago.

I know because I was at the tail end of it.

Since I was running late - and since I am not a patient, laid back driver - I uttered a few trenchant observations about the heritage of the driver at the front of the snarl. And, no, my big-eared, five-year-old son was not with me at the time.

Then I discovered the reason for the tangle. Three deer were going back and forth across the road. This was causing the drivers to slow down and rubberneck. After a few minutes, the deer got tired of slaloming the cars and bounded (deer always bound) into the woods. Traffic returned to normal.

This was the third time that I had seen deer on the bypass this year. A friend reports that she saw a wolf on the bypass one morning this spring.

I suspect that the proximity to town of wolves might be part of the reason that we've seen more deer around this year than last. At any rate, come August 1 (and hunting season) we won't be seeing that many hooved ungulates roaming the local byways.

But the recent sightings are just a quick reminder that ­ for all the civilizing attributes of our fair city ­ we remain a outpost at the edge of the wild.

And to be honest I like the fact that a small herd of deer is still enough to cause us to stop and gawk.

We lost interest in the plethora of bald eagles around here years ago. So much so that we smirk at the visitors who gather and point at the "National Birds" that we don't even notice anymore. - More...
Friday - July 28, 2006

Preston MacDougall: Chemical Eye on Raveling DNA - The normal fate of a pair of jeans is to be worn out. Never mind the different definitions of "worn out" on either side of the generation gap.

In between wearings, however, they must be stored, and again the generation gap inserts itself. Like I did at his age, my son prefers the crumpled pile method. Nowadays I opt for folded. I'll admit it; I did try hanging, but later discovered that Mommie Dearest was right - "no metal hangers, ever!" Vertical creases go in and out of style, but horizontal creases? Definitely a fashion faux pas.

There is undoubtedly some interesting chemistry behind why cotton is more susceptible to being creased than some other fabrics, but the big news this week is that the long-sought secret code to packing long DNA molecules into compact chromosomes has started to unravel. Since our DNA also contains the codes for our numerous inherited genes, you could say that this new, embedded code may reveal nature's preferred method for folding genes.

During cell division, and when the gene codes are being read, or "transcribed", in order to synthesize proteins following natural just-in-time operations, our chromosomes must quickly unfold and unravel back to the stringy double-helix that has become iconic. - More...
Friday - July 28, 2006

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