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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
July 28, 2010

Front Page Photo By JIM LEWIS

Ward Lake: Beaver
Front Page Photo By JIM LEWIS


Southeast Alaska: Spill containment boom set around grounded fishing vessel - Monday the Seattle-based fishing vessel Cape Cross grounded in Main Bay more than one mile away from the Main Bay Salmon Hatchery located in the western portion of Prince William Sound. A Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter arrived on scene at 1:25 p.m. Monday, lowering two dewatering pumps to the crew of the grounded fishing vessel Cape Cross and the Coast Guard Cutter Long Island arrived on scene at approximately 8 p.m. Monday with two Marine Safety Unit Valdez salvage response personnel aboard to work with the Cape Cross crew to assess the situation and minimize pollution, providing two additional dewatering pumps.

Spill containment boom set around grounded fishing vessel

The fishing vessel Cape Cross lies on its side after crews were unable to refloat the vessel which ran aground in Main Bay in Prince William Sound July 26, 2010. The fishing vessel crew was able to cover all fuel vents to restrict potential flow of fuel from the vessel before it rolled on its side at approximately 5:15 a.m. Tuesday.
U.S. Coast Guard photo courtesy of the Coast Guard Cutter Long Island.

However, the hole in the main engine room could not be plugged and the flooding continued. At approximately 10 p.m. Monday with heavy rains, a rising tide, and unsuccessful attempts to dewater the vessel, MSU Valdez personnel on scene removed all salvage crews from the vessel for their safety.

The fishing vessel Cape Cross crew was able to cover all fuel vents to restrict potential flow of fuel from the vessel. At approximately 5:15 a.m. Tuesday, the Cape Cross listed 90 degrees to port.

Although the vessel's fuel tanks do not appear to have been breached or leaking, response crews have commenced exclusionary booming of the Main Bay Salmon Hatchery before lightering of fuel aboard the Cape Cross can begin.

"There is a light sheen surrounding the vessel from the bilge residue coming out of the engine room," said Lt. Cmdr. Erin Williams, alternate Captain of the Port of Prince William Sound. "The personnel on scene report that the diesel tanks do not appear to be leaking at this time."

Responders are assessing the stability of the Cape Cross through the tidal phases. Low tide is at 6:30 am Wednesday.

R & R Diving Company, hired by the Cape Cross's insurance company, reported to the scene at 6:30 a.m. Tuesday and determined the vessel is salvageable and have installed boom to contain the sheening. During low tide, R and R Diving Company plans to install a temporary patch on the hull of the vessel. When the patch is secure, the Cape Cross will be repositioned to facilitate the lightering of all fuel onboard. Once all fuel is removed and the vessel is stable, efforts to remove the vessel from Main Bay may begin. - More...
Wednesday - July 28, 2010

National: U.S. House considers allowing lawmakers to use Skype By ALEJANDRA MATOS - Skype may soon join Facebook and Twitter as tools that members of Congress are using to communicate with their constituents.

A free program used to make video and phone calls, Skype has been banned from House computers since 2006 for security reasons.

"The peer-to-peer software which is the basis for Skype has been deemed a risk to House information system's infrastructure," Kyle Anderson, a spokesman for the House Administration Committee, said.

The House has video conferencing capabilities, but Rep. John Culberson, R-Texas, said they are insufficient. Skype offers a far less expensive way for lawmakers to stay in touch with the folks back home, its backer say.

"It's another example of Congress wasting the people's money," Culberson said. "Why spend tax dollars on outdated video conferencing systems when we could just use a free service like Skype? Speaker Pelosi needs to update the rules so they're in synch with the times."

Anderson said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., has asked for the rule to be reexamined. - More...
Wednesday - July 28, 2010

Science - Technology: Erasing all your footprints on the Internet all but impossible By ALEJANDRO MARTINEZ- CABRERA - It's been almost two decades since mainstream users began trekking into the World Wide Web. Now, several years into that excursion, many are taking a long hard look at the trail they've left behind.

The idea of tracing our steps through the digital jungle and departing it like we were never there seems too ambitious, almost unfathomable. But what would it take for an individual to erase his digital footprint? Is it even possible to exit the Internet?

The short answer is no.

Every time we go online to sign up for a new service, buy a T-shirt, update our social networks, send an e-mail or use a search engine, we leave behind data. Details we share through offline actions like filling out a credit card application can also squirrel their way into the Internet. Information collected through cookies -- bits of code that remember a user's interactions with a Web site -- can be stitched together to create a thorough profile.

Then there's information about us that was beyond our control even before the Internet. Public records on government Web sites, for instance, would be next to impossible to remove.

"There are lots of ways for you to inadvertently send your information to the Internet," said Ryan Calo, a residential fellow at Stanford University Law School's Center for Internet and Society. "It surprises me, even as a person who has worked in this field for a number of years, how easy it is for information to flow from one point to another."

The information is used in different ways. Google, for instance, uses it for advertising and to constantly improve its search algorithms. Services that search for people cater to Internet users wanting to learn more about potential love interests, or find old classmates or distant relatives. Ad networks, marketers and other online databases sell and use the information they collect to deliver tailored advertisements. - More...
Wednesday - July 28, 2010


Columns - Commentary

MARTHA RANDOLPH CARR: Check Out a Library - If there is one moment at the start of our country that probably ensured our ongoing freedom more than any other it was when Ben Franklin talked everyone else into building and opening libraries to the masses. Books were too expensive for most people in those days and therefore a lot of information was being held by a small number of people.

However, Franklin knew that discussion, debate and even heated arguments based on as much information and facts as possible were the best prevention of anarchy and the best step toward invention and creation of new ideas. If voting rights were going to be opened wide beyond landowners, and therefore beyond book buyers, then the flow of information needed to somehow get to more people too.

A system of libraries across the newly found America was his solution to making sure the ideal of democracy was kept alive for generations to come. He set the tone by not requiring that libraries leave out other ideas, and in particular political views, therefore making it possible for people to form their own opinions. That's what countries like Iran fear most.

Libraries made it possible for those who couldn't afford an expensive education to still be able to gain access to a rich wealth of information. There have even been studies in recent years that show a correlation between an active and healthy library and a lower crime rate in a neighborhood. - More...
Wednesday - July 28, 2010

JAY AMBROSE: Grading Congress - A Gallup poll reveals that only 11 percent of Americans have a great deal of confidence in Congress, and though it's the lowest ranking ever, one wonders what malady afflicts the yea-sayers. Might a review of reality correct their misperceptions?

To do the task justice would require at least as many pages as some of the bills Congress passes, but that itself is a place to start -- mention of a debt-stimulating stimulus bill over 1,000 pages long, of a topsy-turvy health-care remake over 2,000 pages long and of a recent financial-regulation mishmash also over 2,000 pages long.

Members of Congress maybe have some study-guide notion of what's in these bills, but no grasp of all the possible catastrophes hidden in multiple unread clauses. Passing them is therefore akin to the blindfolded racing of a bus down a busy highway. The public -- the passengers -- knows even less, of course, and has to guess at what might happen to it.

At least some of the devilish details do emerge in time, and so you learn that even if an $862 billion stimulus was defensible in theory, the political handouts got out of hand, virtually ensuring any assault on the recession would be feathery at best.

The health bill, it turns out after inspection by various nonpartisan groups since its enactment, was pretty much a fraud from beginning to end. It's going to control health costs? Just the opposite, and here is more bad news -- this fiercely expensive entitlement comes on top of old entitlements -- Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid -- that already threaten to help create fiscal chaos and uncontrollable debt in not so many more years. - More...
Wednesday - July 28, 2010


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Questions, please contact the editor at editor@sitnews.us or call 617-9696.

letterBack to old tricks. By Glen Thompson - I haven't written Sitnews in a while but the issue is simply too important to let slip by. When I was elected to the Assembly, the Borough finances were in shambles. We had less than $1 million in General Fund reserves, we had a Schoenbar project that was in serious trouble and under water by several million dollars. Thank heaven we had a Land Trust Fund with a few million savings in it that we could borrow to fill the gap. Had the Legislature not come through and reimbursed us to the tune of $6 million, we would be in a fine pickle still! Our mill rate was approaching 7 and we were having trouble funding basic services and schools. - More...
Wednesday - July 28, 2010

letterDrainage (and the purpose of government) By Dustin Hofeling - Living in a rain forest, drainage is a problem we all have to face sooner or later. I live on Deer Mountain Court, which is a road that has been forever plagued by drainage problems. I plan to put to fix the drainage issue on my property - what home owner wouldn't want to do this? But it will do no good unless the city fixes the drainage issue on the street that they built and paved. - More...
Wednesday - July 28, 2010

letterBailey Bay Hot Springs Should Remain Public By Mike Sallee - Many of the people in the Ketchikan area have enjoyed Bailey Bay Hot Springs - known to some as Shelokum Hot Springs.  It is a picturesque and remote hot springs nestled next to excellent trout fishing on Lake Shelokum, just north of Bell Island Hot Springs. - More...
Wednesday - July 28, 2010

letterWhat Happened to our SkatePark? By Bobbie McCreary - Monday night I appeared in front of the Borough Assembly during public comments. I passed out a letter from Taira Wilhelm (Kayhi grad 2008) along with the recent Sitnews letters. I explained I would take only a little of their time as this was a special meeting to address the White Cliff building. I explained that day as I left the Youth Center building project on Park Avenue and drove up Schoenbar towards the bypass I passed by Walker Field. I looked at the fenced lot with a truck and a few pieces of miscellaneous equipment in it and said (out loud, actually!) WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO OUR SKATEPARK? - More...
Wednesday - July 28, 2010

letterSupport Bill Walker for Governor By Radford, Harrington, Fultz, Carson, Radford, Bakk, Cooke - We listened to gubernatorial candidate Samuels on the radio this week. Ralph talked about the decline of oil output, which provides 90% of our State income, but we didn't hear any plan to replenish this lost revenue. He would like to see more oil drilling in Alaska. Wouldn't we all, but does anyone seriously think we can count on that to pay for our State government in the near future? He mentioned cutting State spending, but we are talking about 90% of our income disappearing! He supports a natural gas bullet line which he says will provide cheap energy to Alaskans, but the figures all show that a gasline carrying only the small amount Alaskans would use would be far too expensive to provide low cost fuel. Also, there are no permits, rights of way or environmental studies done for a bullet line, which puts construction ten years in the future. - More...
Wednesday - July 28, 2010

letterAlaska Lifeline: Walker for Governor By Barb Lander - Reality Check! Think oil and gas issued aren t important to us in SE Alaska? Oil production is approaching a critical low that will mark the end of the pipelines viability. No oil flowing through the pipeline no oil revenue. The massive cuts in services AND new taxes needed to keep this vast state even barely functioning are staggering. Alaskan life as we know it is about over! - More...
Wednesday - July 28, 2010

letterFaces of the Sea By Judith Green - We in South East communities are used to artists giving us photos, drawings, paintings, and writings based on the culture of this great land. - More...
Wednesday - July 28, 2010

letterJapanese Knotweed By Jane Collins - I have had this awful weed behind my shoe shop here in Northampton, UK for the last 4-5 years if not longer. It will NOT go away, despite everything I try to do. We are now using a powerful chemical that my husband uses on his farm to see if does the trick so it is just a matter of waiting to see the result. - More...
Wednesday - July 28, 2010

letterJapanese Knotweed Removal By Samantha Quinn - I was reading the letters regarding the Japanese knotweed problem some are having and found this information on Wikipedia.com on it's removal. I hope this helps! - More...
Wednesday - July 28, 2010

letterRE: Stolen Truck By Steve Rosendin - We have found our truck. It was parked in the harbor master garage near Bar Harbor. - More...
Wednesday - July 28, 2010

letterStolen Truck By Dave Rosendin - My Light Blue 91' Chevrolet S10 4x4 (FCT548) was stolen between Friday July 23rd and Saturday the 24th. It was parked on Tongass Avenue around the Ellis building. - More...
Tuesday - July 27, 2010

letter RE: Cape Fox Corp. Lack of Respect for Shareholders By Eric Trout - TO CAPE FOX SHAREHOLDERS: Marilyn Blair's letter is just another attempt to twist the issues while protecting her real personal interests. We all know there are two types of politicians, the ones who tell the truth and fight for what's right, the other politicians who twist the issues to benefit their own personal interests. Marilyn has been in the Cape Fox Board room for over 15 years I would say she has a history and experience in twisting issues. - More...
Monday - July 26, 2010

letterWater Street Sidewalks By Chris Elliott - We have a one-way tunnel with a road going the other way around it. Now we have parallel sidewalks on Water Street. - More...
Monday - July 26, 2010

letterSkateboard Park By Norm Noggle - I would like to second Vicky's suggestion to develop a skateboard park in Ketchikan. I agree that the existing half pipe at the rec center is very limited in developing skateboard riding skills. I would suggest that if there are a solid number of kids who want a qulaity skateboard park, then they need to organize (with adult assistance) and begin identifying the assets and barriers involved in the development of such a site. Some of the concerns that need to be addressed include: - More...
Monday - July 26, 2010

letterRe: Skate Park By Keith Woodard - Although I haven't really followed the skate park issue, I can sympathize with you Vicky. I know what it was like growing up as a bored teenager in this town with seemingly little to do. And I'm really saddened that as much community spirit this town has and as much as people would like to help the youth here, there still hasn't been a new skate park built among other things. - More...
Monday - July 26, 2010

letterRE: Skate park By Lexie Jones - I'm a 24-year-old who thinks we shouldn't always be looking for handouts! - More...
Monday - July 26, 2010

letterDoing Business without insurance By Terry Miles - Recently, I took my motorcycle, that happens to be a custom chopper into a local "Detail" shop here in the Ketchikan area, to have it cleaned and detailed. The bike is worth about $75k... it's a custom.  - More...
Monday - July 26, 2010

letterConcerned about Japanese Knotweed By Melinda Stewart - Browsing Sitnews this morning I saw the letter posted on Rotary Beach. Reading the description and looking at pictures online of knotweed, it is EXACTLY what I have growing in my yard!! - More...
Monday - July 26, 2010

letter Goodbye, Don & Lois Kralis By Bill Sullivan - I was saddened to read of the passing of Don and Lois Kralis. They will be missed. - More...
Monday - July 26, 2010

letterAdhere To Immigration Laws By Donald A. Moskowitz - The federal government, working with the border states, should provide the personnel and resources to secure our borders. - More...
Monday - July 26, 2010

letterWrong one fired! By Hugh T. Wilson Jr. - I was a State Certified Police Officer for the town of Metlakatla for approximately 5 years. I served the people of the community of Metlakatla to the best of my ability and I never complained. I was fired June 9, 2010 by Chief of Police Nick Yliniemi in the driveway of my home for reasons I'm still trying to figure out. Now after overcoming adversity, working hard and putting the people that deserved it behind bars, I now have to figure out how I'm supposed to support and take care of my family of 4 with one (maybe 2) on the way. - More...
Monday - July 19, 2010

letterGlad for our black bears By Judith Green - OK Ketchikan, aren't we glad for our black bear population? Gives us lots of opportunity for photos and stories, along with eye to eye viewing. I never get tired of yet another picture of these grand creatures with whom we share a love for local-wild salmon and fresh off the bush vitamin packed berries. - More...
Monday - July 19, 2010

letterSkate park By Vicky Campo - I want to know when our kids are going to get their skate park. Everything I hear is that there is always a reason why it isn't being pursued. My son is a skate boarder and he is also involved in a lot of Ketchikan's activities including High School. He is involved in basketball, football, and baseball. These kids are always being told that can't skateboard anywhere in Ketchikan besides the rec center, with the talent they have the rec center only allows so much for them. - More...
Monday - July 19, 2010

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