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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
August 08, 2006

Get a LIfe: Taking a Dip into the High Seas

Get A Life: Taking a Dip into the High Seas
Ketchikan maritime interns Vanessa Catron and John Fraley
aboard the ATC tanker ALASKAN FRONTIER
Photograph courtesy SEA Link

Ketchikan: Get A Life: Taking a Dip into the High Seas - For four Ketchikan youth this summer could be the beginning of a beautiful career at sea. Ty Nausid (18), Amos Gray (19), John Peter Fraley (19), and Vanessa Catron (18) have long contemplated a sea-going career and are now experiencing life as interns aboard one of the U.S.-flag vessels critical to Alaska's economy, whether they are bringing consumer goods to Anchorage, fuel to the "bush", or crude oil to the West Coast.

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Gray and Fraley, recent high school graduates from Ketchikan, along with Nausid and Catron are spending a summer at sea aboard Valdez-based oil tankers in a joint collaborative project sponsored by the Alaska Tanker Company (ATC), Seafarers International Union, SEA Link, Inc., a Ketchikan-based maritime employment referral service, and the Lund Memorial Scholarship Trustees.

This is the latest project to grow out of a nearly-decade long initiative by the Seafarers International Union (SIU) and its contracted companies to assure that Alaskans have every opportunity to find a career at sea, potentially on ships that transit Alaska. Since the start of the program in 1997, over 350 Alaskans have been given training and a job opportunity in the U.S. merchant fleet (including Jones Act vessels in the Alaska trade). According to Tracey Mayhew, the SIU's Anchorage-based representative, "the program has come full circle. We now have one of the original summer interns or riding maintenance gang members aboard Alaska Tankers as an experienced able-bodied deck hand who is serving as a mentor to the young people from Ketchikan."

Enthusiasm for the program is shared by Mr. Anil Mathur, Alaska Tanker Company's President and CEO, "This program has proven to be a tremendous success. ATC is very proud to participate in this Alaskan hire initiative with the SIU and SEA Link whereby ATC is able to provide employment and career path opportunities for Alaskans." - More...
Tuesday PM - August 08, 2006

Alaska: Shutdown of Prudhoe Bay Unit Serious Concern to State - BP Exploration (Alaska), operator of the giant Prudhoe Bay oil field, announced Sunday that it would shut down production until the extent of pipeline corrosion from gathering lines that transport oil to the Trans Alaska Pipeline System can be assessed. Governor Frank H. Murkowski said yesterday that the State of Alaska is very concerned about the implications for Alaska's economy and state government revenues if oil production at Prudhoe Bay remains off-line for too long. The state is also very concerned about a sufficient supply of crude oil for in-state refineries.

"This is a very serious problem for Alaska and for the nation because Prudhoe Bay produces approximately four percent of the nation's domestic oil supply," Murkowski said. "We estimate the loss of 400,000 barrels per day will mean a loss of $6.4 million in revenue to the state every day the field is off-line. In addition, we are very concerned about how this shutdown will impact the in-state refineries at North Pole, Valdez and Nikiski."

The North Pole refinery, Flint Hills, relies heavily on royalty oil it purchases in varying amounts from the State of Alaska. While the volume for August was originally expected to be 56,000 barrels per day, the loss of Prudhoe Bay production will cut the amount available to 28,000-30,000 barrels per day. The Tesoro refinery at Nikiski and the Petro Star refinery at Valdez do not use royalty oil, but could be impacted by the shutdown, as well. - More...
Tuesday PM - August 08, 2006


National: 'Do-nothing' label sticking as congressional recess begins By MARGARET TALEV - Returning home now for a month of summer campaigning, congressional Republicans and Democrats are blaming each other for what some are calling the biggest "do-nothing" Congress since President Harry Truman hung that tag on lawmakers in 1948.

The criticism refers to the scant number of days the 109th Congress has spent on the job, and also to its failure to finish a litany of legislative priorities.

American workers, confirmed two Supreme Court justices, updated statutes governing bankruptcy and class-action lawsuits, and opened a big swath of the Gulf of Mexico to oil and gas drilling.

But it's the unfinished business that stands out: legislative standoffs over immigration policy and a minimum-wage hike. No solutions for the fiscal crunch looming over Social Security and Medicare. No tightening of rules on lobbying despite a flurry of scandals. No decision on how much power a wartime president should have to spy on citizens or to try detainees in the war on terrorism.

Then too, perhaps the most politically significant consensus that Congress achieved this year - bipartisan passage of legislation to expand embryonic-stem-cell research - drew President Bush's first veto.

As November's congressional elections approach, pollsters say that voters are more inclined to blame the gridlock on the Republicans, who control both houses of Congress and the White House, than to punish the Democrats for obstruction.

Even so, many analysts say the criticism may be little more than a side issue in an election driven by deeper fears about the war in Iraq, chaos abroad and the painfully high price of gasoline. Not even a determined Congress could do much about those anytime soon.

"It's not about accomplishment," said Sen. Norm Coleman, R-Minn., who doesn't face re-election this year but is closely watching his state's race to replace Democratic Sen. Mark Dayton, who's retiring. "It's about Iraq. That's the great discontent that is out there. Those events are beyond our control."

Thomas Mann, a veteran congressional scholar with the Brookings Institution, a center-left research center, agrees: "Basically, I don't think anything Congress does from now out will have any material impact on the elections."

"What's driving voters is the war in Iraq, high energy and health-care prices, and overwhelming pessimism by Americans," he said. "I have believed for many months this is one of those once-a-decade national tide elections in which we get a strong referendum on the party in power."

The last time that happened was 1994, when Republicans swept Democrats from power in both houses. In the hope of mirroring that rout, Democrats are hammering away at the "do-nothing Congress." - More...
Tuesday PM - August 08, 2006

Guard Island Lighthouse...

Guard Island Heritage Announces
Tour/Cruise Annual Meeting
Photograph courtesy Rob Holston

Ketchikan: Guard Island Heritage Announces Tour/Cruise Annual Meeting - Guard Island Heritage, Inc. announced today that its annual membership meeting will be held on August 13th while onboard the passenger vessel Lighthouse Endeavor. GIH, Inc. President David Owings will conduct the 2 1/2 meeting as the vessel provides a tour and circumnavigates the historic lighthouse. Guard Island Heritage, Inc. has over 1,000 lifetime members and hopes to revitalize the historic Guard Island Lighthouse.

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Guard Island Lighthouse is located approximately nine miles north of Ketchikan, Alaska. The light marks the eastern entrance to Tongass Narrows and is one of the few Alaska lights equipped with a machinery-activated fog bell at the light tower's northern face. Guard Island Lighthouse was established in 1904. - More...
Tuesday - August 08, 2006

Ketchikan Judoka travels
to Camp Bushido West

Alycia Johnson executes a ground
work technique on her partner.
Photo courtesy of Justin Breese.

Ketchikan: Ketchikan Judoka travels to Camp Bushido West - Five local Ketchikan Judoka members recently attended Camp Bushido West in Northern California. Camp attendees included Sensei Justin Breese, Becky King, Alycia Johnson, and Robert Williams. Carlyn Williams attended as a chaperone and Fawn Breese attended as camp baby.

Becky King, assistant instructor of the Ketchikan Judo Club, said despite record temperatures in the triple digits, the campers enjoyed three to five judo classes a day, swimming, and camp games. King said Camp Bushido is located in the lower Sierra Nevada Mountains of California 90 miles North East of Sacramento, CA. This was the camp's 20th year said King.

Regular instructors included Charlie Robinson, Mark and Lisa Guerrero, Hans Ingebretsen, Tony Scuderi and Dave Barlow. This year's special guest sensei was world champion, Dr. Ann Maria Rousey De Mars. She was the first American judoka to win a world championship. - More...
Tuesday PM - August 08, 2006



letterNo to Sales Tax Increase By Samuel Bergeron - Tuesday
letter Clothes for kids? By Tori Jackson - Tuesday
letter Alaska's Oil By Robert H. Shipman - Tuesday
letter French chickened out By Mark Neckameyer - Tuesday
letter What Not To Wear By Chris Elliott - Monday
letterBinkley's letter regarding priorities and ethics By Al Johnson - Monday
letter ON CONSOLIDATION By David G. Hanger - Sunday
letter Honest Leadership Will Restore Trust By John Binkley - Sunday
letterBoon-Doggles By Don Hoff Jr. - Saturday
letter Baseball By Michael McColley - Saturday
letterChildren's Clothes Over The Line By Jim Dahl - Friday
letter Cigarette taxes By Joan Hurliman - Friday
letter State for the record... By Al Johnson - Thursday
letter Waste of Alaska dollars By Frances C. Natkong - Thursday
letter Poor Mel! By Mark Neckameyer - Thursday
letter Youth Baseball By Chris Elliott - Wednesday PM
letterGovernors saving Time By Charlotte Tanner - Wednesday PM
letter The Global Warming Hysteria rears it's ugly head again! By Marvin C. Seibert - Wednesday PM
letter Lick Three Times, Then Bite? By Suzan Thompson - Tuesday PM
letter Youth Baseball By Brad Groghan - Tuesday PM
letter Re: Consolidation can be for the better. By Rodney Dial - Tuesday PM
letter Borough Assembly Candidate By Gregory Vickrey - Tuesday PM
letter Concrete Classic Closed By Hunter Davis - Tuesday PM
letterPennys for the Poor, Millions for the Rich By Alan Lidstone - Tuesday PM
letter More Viewpoints/ Letters
letter Publish A Letter

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Metlakatla: Tsimshian Historic Cultural Event taking on more Traditional Significance - A Tsimshian tribal historical event is being planned for August 2007 to celebrate the 120th Anniversary of the Tsimshian's move to Metlakatla in 1887. Started by Eli Milton, the planned event started out as a Name Giving Feast for the individual who will be named a Chief for Metlakatla, Alaska.

According to Terrance H. Booth, Sr., this type of event in and of itself has never happened for the Tsimshian people of Metlakatla, Alaska. He said in a news release the plans have brought attention to the Tsimshian Hereditary Chiefs of the entire Tsimshian Nation and they will be in attendance at this Tsimshian Name Giving Feast planned for August 2-3, 2007 in Metlakatla.

A great deal of work and planning goes into bringing a historical event of this magnitude together. Booth said at this Feast in 2007, 16 Tsimshian Canoes will be given to the Hereditary Chiefs of the Tsimshian Nation. Holding this historic Tsimshian Cultural Event will require 17 Tsimshian Canoes to be carved and built in two locations said Booth. Booth said permission has already been implemented to the Tulilap Tribal Council to utilize a building on that tribal reservation located in Marysville, Washington just north of Seattle. Booth said the canoe building will start there because the Tsimshian Artists and Carvers are at their summer's work of salmon fishing.

Booth said, "It takes time to do 17 Tsimshian Canoes and the Tsimshian Artists and Carvers are awaiting start up time and readily available to do these 17 Tsimshian Canoes. It may take for a year's work and effort to complete these 17 Tsimshian Canoes either double or triple shifts to have them completed for the Tsimshian Historic Cultural Event 2007." He said it was the hope that there would be one Tsimshian Canoe in the "Paddle to Muckleshoot" but the project got delayed and new timelines had to be established. The "Paddle to Muckleshoot" happened at the end of July 2006.

Booth said Eli Milton has been working on this Tsimshian Canoe Project for three years to get it going. the Tsimshian Canoe Project was started to commemorate the 120th Anniversary of the Tsimshian move from British Columbia to Metlakatla, Alaska. The 120 Anniversary will be on August 07, 2007.

Booth's family of Metlakatla decided to add two twin Commemorative Totem Poles one to be placed in Metlakatla, BC and the other to be placed in Metlakatla, Alaska. He said, "Following Tsimshian Protocol Hereditary Chief Clarence Nelson will be approached to announce and gain permission to place and raise the Commemorative Totem Pole in Metlakatla, BC. A formal letter was submitted to Mayor Victor Wellington of Metlakatla, Alaska to place the twin pole there in Metlakatla, Alaska." The two twin totem poles will be gifted and used to honor this Tsimshian Historic Cultural Event and the crossing to Metlakatla, Alaska from Metlakatla, British Columbia said Booth. "To honor those who participated with this move and to permanently have remembrance - for some it was with great difficulty and for others a blessing." This in of itself brought more cultural significance to the Tsimshian Historic Cultural Event 2007. Tsimshian Protocol has to be implemented to follow the Traditional Ways of the Tsimshian said Terrance H. Booth, Sr.

Another significant occurrence that has happen said Booth is that a Tsimshian Hereditary Chief has decided to escort the 17 Tsimshian Canoes over to Metlakatla, Alaska. His purpose is to re-unite with his family who moved over from Brithish Columbia to Alaska. This Tsimshian Hereditary Chief has traced many Tsimshian names prior to their locating to Metlakatla, BC from the Tsimshian Domain to Metlakatla, Alaska. Booth said this Tsimshian Hereditary Chief will bring his documentation of his findings to Metlakatla, Alaska. The Tsimshian Hereditary Chief himself and his family will construct 4 Tsimshian Canoes. This needs to be shared with the entire Tsimshian Nation said Booth.

Booth said, "Of Cultural importance is another event - the Haida Nation is returning a Tsimshian Song to the Tsimshian of Metlakatla, Alaska. This Tsimshian Song was given to the Haida 100 years ago. They will be escorting the 21 Tsimshian Canoes to Metlakatla, Alaska to bring the song to Tsimshian of Metlakatla, Alaska." - More...
Tuesday PM - August 08, 2006

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