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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
August 12, 2006

Front Page Photo by Carl Thompson

Herring Cove Black Bear
Front Page Photo by Carl Thompson

Top Stories
U.S. News
U.S. Politics


National: Bush couldn't beat Gore or Kerry again, poll finds By THOMAS HARGROVE and GUIDO H. STEMPEL III - President Bush has become so unpopular in recent months that he'd have a hard time beating Al Gore or John Kerry if he had to face his former Democratic rivals again this year, according to a Scripps Howard/Ohio University poll.

And the president would be thrashed if he had to run against his own father, George Herbert Walker Bush, losing by more than a 3-to-1 margin in a theoretical match-up in which people were asked to pick between father and son.

The 2000 and 2004 elections are among a very few presidential races that Americans would change, according to interviews with 1,010 adult residents of the United States conducted last month by the Scripps Survey Research Center. The poll asked people how they would vote "knowing what you know now" in every recent presidential race starting with 1960.

"In 75 percent of these elections, those who won before have won again," concluded Brookings Institution scholar Charles O. Jones, who has published histories of the presidencies of Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton.

"The top vote getters in this poll are Kennedy and Reagan, which also generally concurs with rankings made by historians," Jones said. "Although the more recent rankings for Kennedy by historians have been declining while Reagan's rankings lately have been going up." - More...
Saturday AM - August 12, 2006

National: Experts call venting opinions a response to vulnerability By JONATHAN CURIEL - Within hours of the news that authorities had disrupted an alleged plot to blow up U.S.-bound commercial airlines, liberal bloggers and commentators attacked the announcement, saying it was part of a plan to derail the political momentum of Democratic candidates such as Connecticut's Ned Lamont.

"It's only a matter of time before this latest 'assault on our freedoms' turns out to be a big fat hoax like EVERY SINGLE OTHER major terror alert there has been," wrote one critic at "I give it a month." - More...
Saturday AM - August 12, 2006

National: Conspiracy theories abound for alleged terror plot By THOMAS HARGROVE - Conspiracy theorists in the "blogosphere" were quick Thursday to question British claims of foiling a terrorist plot to bomb airliners, suggesting it was really an effort by the White House to deflect attention from the bloody conflict in Lebanon.

Or maybe it's a plot "to force a wavering public" to support government policies?

Or was it yet another conspiracy to end the civil liberties of airline commuters? - More...
Saturday AM - August 12, 2006


Ketchikan: State Health Officials Warn of Unsafe Levels of Lead in Children's Toys Distributed by Libraries - Bendable dog and cat toys given away at many public libraries this summer might contain unsafe levels of lead. Thursday state health officials in the Department of Health and Social Services issued a consumer health alert regarding the toys, which were distributed as part of a statewide summer reading program at public libraries throughout Alaska, and in at least 30 other states nationwide.

In Ketchikan, the Pets and Pals Summer Reading Club and Bark About Books Read Aloud Club ran from June 3, 2006 through Aug. 1, 2006 with approximately 430 Ketchikan children participating. Judith L. Anglin of the Ketchikan Public Library said the 4-inch bendable toys, which are the subject of the recall, were awarded as prizes for listening to 15 books. "Prizes are often traded and exchanged between children so we encourage all parents to look for these toys and turn them in at the library. We will send them to the State Library for proper disposal," said Anglin.

The rubbery toys are roughly four inches long, with round heads and long bendable arms and legs. They come in various colors. The toys are stamped "Made in China" on the back of the head, and "China" on the back of the body. In recent tests run on three of these toys, lead levels ranged from 0.24 to 0.4 percent lead. The Code of Federal Regulations stipulates that lead may constitute no more than 0.06 percent of the weight of the paint applied to a toy. - More...
Saturday AM - August 12, 2006

Ketchikan: Ketchikan General Hospital Auxiliary announces raffle results - In its raffle, which culminated at the hospital's booth at the Blueberry Festival, the Ketchikan General Hospital Auxiliary raised $5,670 to purchase new medical equipment for KGH. "We are extremely grateful to all who purchased tickets to support this effort, and especially to the organizations and individual who donated our wonderful prizes," said Carolyn Wilsie, Auxiliary president. - More...
Saturday AM - August 12, 2006

Ketchikan: Allen Marine's efforts to enhance passenger safety praised by USCG - Following three groundings involving tour boats operated by Allen Marine, Coast Guard Sector Juneau required the company to perform a comprehensive self-evaluation to reduce the risk of future marine casualties and ensure the safe operation of their vessels. 

Allen Marine fulfilled the Coast Guard's mandate by holding "Safety Stand Down" meetings in its three ports of operation; Juneau, Ketchikan and Sitka in mid-July. Vessel captains brainstormed with senior management to create a comprehensive plan to improve the company's crew training procedures and operational safety practices.  - More...
Saturday AM - August 12, 2006

Float plane, charter boat collision

FAA, Coast Guard, Craig Police
investigating float plane, charter boat collision

Photograph courtesy Craig Police Department

Ketchikan: FAA, Coast Guard, Craig Police investigating float plane, charter boat collision - The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the Coast Guard, and the Craig Police Department are cooperating in the investigating of an incident on August 5th when a floatplane and a fishing charter boat collided near Craig, Alaska while the floatplane was attempting to land. 

The plane, a DeHavilland Beaver, clipped the top of the boat, a 22-foot Olympic Resorter, tearing off the boat's fiberglass roof.  The plane suffered damage to one of its floats, but landed safely at the airport in Ketchikan.  - More...
Saturday AM - August 12, 2006

Alaska: Two survive after vessel capsizes - A Coast Guard helicopter crew assisted the people aboard the vessel Silver Fox 1 in the recovery of a 75-year-old man after his 16-foot vessel capsized with three people on board near Homer in vicinity of Dangerous Cape Friday.

The Coast Guard received a call at 1:43 p.m. Friday from the crew of the Silver Fox 1 reporting they were responding to a capsized vessel, and had retrieved Mike Speece and Charles Speece from the water. Gene Speece, owner of the capsized boat  was under the hull. The crew of the Silver Fox 1 was unable to rescue him. - More...
Saturday AM - August 12, 2006



letterWhite Cliff Project Yes, Funding Method No By Samuel Bergeron - Friday
letterGuard Island Heritage Meeting & Lighthouse Tour By Rob Holston - Friday
letter Yes, to White Cliff Center By Alaire Stanton - Thursday
letter Sales Tax By Jim Wingren - Thursday
letter Yes to sales tax increase By Kathy Bolling Graham - Thursday
letter What would you do? By Peter Klein - Thursday
letter How and Why? By Mark Neckameyer - Thursday
letter Baseball is... By Ken Lewis - Wednesday
letter The answer is... By Charlotte Tanner- Wednesday
letter No 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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August 2006
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Columns - Commentary

Dale McFeatters: A leak there and a surge here - Just how fragile and interconnected the world's oil markets are was glaringly evident when BP announced it would have to shut down production at its Prudhoe Bay field in Alaska, accounting for 8 percent of domestic U.S. production, to replace up to 16 miles of corroded pipeline.

Crude oil prices surged $2.22 a barrel to $76.98, just a nickel away from the nominal record set last month. (For whatever consolation, prices in inflation-adjusted terms were higher in 1980-81.)

Future increases may be moderated somewhat by the Bush administration's quickly announcing that it would use the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to boost supplies; OPEC's volunteering to make up the shortfall; and BP's saying it would try to find alternate ways of getting at least some of the Prudhoe Bay oil to market. - More...
Thursday AM - August 10, 2006

Michael Reagan: Decent Men Need Not Apply - The message was loud and clear: there is no longer any room for the likes of Joseph Lieberman in the Democratic Party.

Forgotten were Lieberman's decades of service to his party, his vice presidential candidacy in 2000, his years of loyally voting for his party's liberal measures in the U.S. Senate and his incredible decency. All that counted in this week's Connecticut primary was his support of the war in Iraq and his refusal to go along with the cowardly cut-and-run group that has taken over his party.

In their eyes this was the unforgivable sin, and for committing it he earned the scorn of the left-wing crazies who have managed to take control of the party of Harry Truman, Scoop Jackson and John F. Kennedy. He simply had to go. - More...
Thursday AM - August 10, 2006

Martin Schram: Tell the tough truth on drilling in the Arctic - For years, assurances of environmentally safe oil exploration in Alaska's Arctic wilderness gushed all over the nation's capital, creating a slick that stretched from one end of Pennsylvania Avenue to the other.

President Bush promised in 2005 that the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR in Wash-speak) can be drilled in "environmentally responsible ways ... with little impact on the land or wildlife."

Comes now the news that has put us all in touch with the environmentally ungentle side of oil exploration. The quick reaction is to say that this was bad news. But we'll see here that the bad news may indeed be good news. Because it should force Americans to slide past the slick and focus on the real choices we must make in an age when energy independence is a national security imperative - yet safeguarding our environment is also vital. - More...
Thursday AM - August 10, 2006

Tom Purcell: Dinner Bells - It's August and I'm longing for the sounds of summer I knew as a kid.

In the '60s and '70s, you see, only one or two houses in our neighborhood had air conditioning. Most neighbors kept their windows open, allowing the outside sounds to come in and the inside sounds to go out.

I woke every morning to the birds chirping outside my window screen, a dewy chill in the air. I'd smell the Big Guy's pipe, which he smoked while he read the paper downstairs. I'd go down to greet him. Sometimes he'd make scrambled eggs and toast covered with butter, and we'd eat while the birds kept on singing.

The evening sounds were equally powerful: a dog barking; a motorcycle downshifting on some faraway hill; people out on their porches listening to the Pirates play on the radio; a baby crying; a couple talking; children laughing; a window fan humming. - More...
Thursday AM - August 10, 2006

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