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SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska

August 01, 2005

Front Page Photo by Carl Thompson

'Summer Sunset'
Front Page Photo by Carl Thompson

Southeast Alaska: Briggs Named IFA General Manager - Tom Briggs has been appointed general manager of the Inter-Island Ferry Authority effective August 1st, board chair Dennis Watson announced Thursday. "We are delighted to have a person with Tom's background as the chief administrator of the organization", said Watson. The IFA will be adding service between Prince of Wales Island's Coffman Cove, Wrangell and Petersburg next spring. A sister vessel to the IFA's M/V Prince of Wales, the M/V Stikine, is presently under construction at Dakota Creek Industries shipyard in Anacortes. The new vessel will serve the northern route. The IFA is a public corporation formed by the Prince of Wales Island communities of Craig, Klawock, Thorne Bay and Coffman Cove, together with Wrangell and Petersburg, and is operated by an independent board of directors selected by the communities.

The M/V Prince of Wales entered service on January 15, 2002 and provides daily service between Hollis on Prince of Wales Island and Ketchikan year-round, with two daily roundtrips during the summer months. In 2004 over 56,000 passengers and 15,000 vehicles used this service.- More...
Monday am - August 01, 2005

Alaska: Humans trading short-term food production for long-term environmental losses - Your breakfast this morning came at a cost not only to your wallet. Your bowl of Cheerios and cup of coffee and all the other meals for the other 6 billion people in our world cost the Earth a bit of its water, a bit of its ecological diversity, contributed to its pollution and may one day cost us our livelihood.

In the July 22, 2005 issue of the journal Science, co-author Terry Chapin, professor of ecology at the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) Institute of Arctic Biology (IAB), and colleagues point out that modern land-use practices may be trading short-term increases in food production for long-term losses in the environment's ability to support human societies. Part of the solution, according to Chapin, is the students in UAF's Regional Resilience and Adaptation Program (RAP).

Local land-use practices such as clearing tropical and boreal forests, practicing large-scale agriculture, expanding urban centers and intensifying farmland production are so pervasive their effects are now observed globally. Fertilizer use, which has increased 700% in the past 40 years, and human-caused atmospheric pollution now negatively affect water quality and coastal and freshwater ecosystems. Biodiversity is lost due to modification, fragmentation and loss of habitats, soil, and water, and exploitation of native species. Land-use practices play a role in changing the global carbon cycle, and possibly, the global climate.- More...
Monday am - August 01, 2005

Northern woods filled with potential drug

Chemist Tom Clausen, left, and University of Tennessee botanist Joe Williams on the Porcupine River near Old Crow.
Photo by John Bryant.

Alaska: Northern woods filled with potential drug by NED ROZELL - Saplings of the Alaska paper birch tree produce a sticky resin on new branches that discourages snowshoe hares from eating them. Some scientists think that such chemical defenses might be useful drugs and a new natural resource for Alaskans to tap.  

Tom Clausen and John Bryant think so highly of birch trees' promise that they took a 600-mile journey up and down the Porcupine River early this summer to clip birch twigs from different locations. Using Clausen's 21-foot wooden strip boat with a 30-horsepower motor, the researchers compared twigs from Circle all the way up to Old Crow in the Yukon Territory. They found new twigs of birch were more heavily encrusted with resin nodules the farther north they went. - More...
Monday am - August 01, 2005



letter Who Will Join Me? - for a "Vote No" Ad? By Roberta McCreary - Monday am
letter Inflated Ward Cove Sale By Rob Holston - Monday am
letter Bridge? Local Hire? By Elroy C. Edenshaw Jr. - Monday am
letter No New Discharge In Ward Cove By Rob Holston - Monday am
letter Ode to Alaska By Bob Allen - Monday am
letter Bush's nuclear policy regarding India mystifying By Srinivas Kuppa - Monday am
letter More Viewpoints/ Letters
letter Publish A Letter

Handwriting on the wall
By: Larry Wright
The Detroit News
Distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons, Inc.
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August 2005
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National: Windmills are coming to America By LANCE GAY - Coming soon to America's fruited plains and atop the purple mountains majesty: a lot of giant windmills.

Buried in the energy bill Congress sent to the White House Friday is almost $3 billion in subsidies that supporters have earmarked to build thousands of electricity-generating windmills in the United States. President Bush's spokesman Scott McClellan said the president is eager to sign the bill.

Advocates say windmills are a simple, cheap and pollution-free way of providing energy without burning $60-a-barrel oil or natural gas imported from unstable regions of the world. They are more capital expensive to install than natural-gas power plants but, once up and running, require only occasional oiling to keep working and often can be fixed by someone sitting in an office with a laptop computer. - More...
Monday am - August 01, 2005

Columns - Commentary

Linda Seebach: The gospel according to certain enlightened liberals - For certain enlightened liberals on university faculties, the lesser intellectual stature of Christians and conservatives is so much taken for granted that they do not hesitate to write about them in terms dripping with condescension and contempt.

An example I encountered this week is especially odious, and I am happy to bring it to the attention of a wider, non-academic audience.

The authors are four political scientists at the University of Pittsburgh, Barry Ames, David Barker, Chris Bonneau and Christopher Carman, and their paper is a critique of a study published earlier this year examining the statistical evidence that not only Christians and conservatives but also women in higher education tend to teach at less prestigious institutions than their scholarly qualifications would suggest. - More...
Monday am - August 01, 2005

Steve Brewer: Our new national addiction: e-mail - If you're the sort of person who checks his e-mail while you're in the shower, then this column's for you.

The nation is addicted to e-mail, perusing it around the clock and sometimes in the most inappropriate places, according to a new survey by Opinion Research Corp. and America Online.

(We'll pause while you mop up the beverage that you spewed when you read that America Online, one of the nation's largest providers of Internet service, is talking about e-mail "addiction." You've still got a little something on your chin. There, that's better.) - More...
Monday am - August 01, 2005

Ben Grabow: The way the world least on the evening news - Good evening. We interrupt your regular, unwatched news programming for this special report on hurricane... um... well, there's another hurricane. Let's go live to our reporter in the field. Larry, how's it looking out there?

Thanks Steve. Well, it's pretty calm out here. I'm reporting live from, uh, Southwest Ohio, which is about as far south as our travel budget allows. Right now it's pretty calm and sunny, but we are prepared for the onslaught, as you can tell by my poncho and golf umbrella.

That is a nice poncho, Larry. We'll come back to you in a moment. Right now let's take a look at our Doppler Ultra High Resolution 3,000 Color Super Llama Weather Radar and see how this storm is shaping up. What's on the screen there, Pete? - More...
Monday am - August 01, 2005

Marsha Mercer: Why 'March of the Penguins' is summer's surprise hit - Two-thirds of Americans say newspapers focus too much on bad news.

So, today I have words for gentle readers who are discouraged by the trials and tribulations of the human race. Those words are: emperor penguin.

It sounds improbable, but emperor penguins are this season's antidote to bad news and sweltering heat. There's something cool, literally, you can do to change your perspective. Step into a darkened, chilly theater and watch emperor penguins battle for survival in Antarctica. - More...
Monday am - August 01, 2005

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