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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska

August 16, 2006

Front Page Photo by Ruth Hart

Blue Angels
Front Page Photo By Ruth Hart

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


Alaska: BP 'chronic neglect' to be probed by Congress By LISA ZAGAROLI - A congressional committee that oversees pipeline safety has scheduled a Sept. 7 hearing on last week's partial Prudhoe Bay oil field shutdown, and the chairman vowed to examine deeply the company's "chronic neglect."

Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, wrote in a Friday letter to BP's London-based chief executive, John Browne, that the firm for months had repeatedly assured the committee that a pipeline breach and a large tundra spill in early March were just an anomaly. The discovery of extensive corrosion that led to the shutdown "contradicts everything the committee has been told," Barton wrote.

"The consequent disruptions to energy production and delivery and resultant adverse impacts on American consumers and the American economy are not excusable, particularly in light of substantial evidence that BP's chronic neglect directly contributed to the shutdown," Barton wrote. - More...
Tuesday PM - August 15, 2006

Craig: Project plans to convert sawmill wood waste into energy - Alaska Governor Frank H. Murkowski and US Senator Lisa Murkowski met with U.S. Department of Agriculture Deputy Undersecretary Mark Rey on Sunday in Craig to review plans for a project to convert sawmill wood waste into energy to heat the local school and swimming pool.

"This project is a tremendous win for the city and school district, which together will save about $60,000 each year on heating costs. It is also a win for the sawmill to have a buyer for wood waste that it must currently stockpile," Murkowski said. "I look forward to this facility going into operation in about a year." - More...
Wednesday AM - August 16, 2006

Science - Technology: A new idea to fight global warming By KEAY DAVIDSON - Global warming could be slowed by injecting carbon dioxide into the Earth's crust - perhaps in oceanic sediments that surround the U.S. coastline, according to a new scientific report.

The United States has enough coastline to bury thousands of years' worth of carbon dioxide emissions from factories and other stationary sources, scientists report in the most recent issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. They propose liquefying the gas and burying it under several hundred feet of sediment. Those sediments - located off both East and West coasts - are beneath ocean waters about 2 miles deep.

For years, experts have also investigated and tested ways to bury carbon dioxide underground on land, for example by squirting it into abandoned oil wells. President Bush has mentioned so-called "carbon sequestration" as one potential answer to climate change.

But some environmentalists argue there are better, cheaper and more immediate solutions to global warming, such as energy conservation. - More...
Wednesday AM - August 16, 2006


Fish Factor: Alaska seafood a favorite in Great American Seafood Cook Off By LAINE WELCH - The Great American Seafood Cook Off is designed to feature local specialties from across the nation, but Alaska seafood is a favorite in every state. That was the response of the 20 chefs who competed in last week's event in New Orleans.

The chefs and their assistants gathered on a huge stage last Sunday under the glare of Food Network lights at the downtown convention center as part of the Louisiana Foodservice Expo, the annual trade show for the restaurant industry. It marked the third year for the Cook Off, which is the brainchild of our nation's top federal fisheries manager, Bill Hogarth, as a way to draw attention to domestic fisheries. "It's our job to manage fisheries in a way that ensures that you have enough to eat," Hogarth said in his introductory remarks.

The 2006 event was also a way to lure people back to "The Big Easy" as it slowly rebuilds itself after the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina. While the downtown region has recovered, all of the local neighborhoods remain as ruined, rubble covered and abandoned as they did after the hurricane hit one year ago.

"This means so much to our state and New Orleans and our fishing industry, as well as to all the fishermen around the country," said Ewell Smith, event producer and director of the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board, his voice choked with emotion.

Alaska's Naomi Everett of Settlers Bay Lodge at Wasilla bested four other top chefs in a state cook off to represent Alaska at the national event. "I am so excited to be here. I feel very blessed and nervous. The competition is awesome," she said as she anxiously prepared her Alaska salmon, halibut and king crab roulade entry. "Everyone is kind of amazed that I'm here from so far away, they regard Alaska as kind of a special state. The other chefs love talking about Alaska seafood, but they're not really very knowledgeable about it. Everyone mentions our 300 pound halibut," she added.

And halibut is clearly a favorite among American chefs. "Halibut is our number one selling dish. Every ticket has two orders on it and we sell at least 40 pounds a night," said chef Shawn Wellersdick of Port Land Grille in North Carolina.

"We use halibut three different ways at our Ocean Restaurant, and your fresh king salmon is the best. You guys have a great state up there with some great seafood," said Troy Guard of Colorado.

Alaska halibut and salmon is featured on the menu in many restaurants in Kentucky, said chef Jay Denham (Park Place on Main & Browing's Restaurant and Brewery). Salmon is a big seller in Missouri, said chef Tim Grandinetti of Renaissance Grand, who added that more diners are definitely aware of the difference between "wild and farmed." - More...
Wednesday AM - August 16, 2006

Red King Crab

Red king crab, like this egg-bearing female, once thrived in the cold, clear waters around Kodiak Island. State, federal and university scientists hope to cultivate king crab in hatcheries in numbers large enough to rebuild wild populations.
Photo courtesy Jason Wettstein,
Alaska SeaLife Center.

Alaska: Multiagency effort launched to rebuild Kodiak red king crab stocks - What might be the future of Kodiak's red king crab fishery arrived in Seward, Alaska recently, wrapped in wet burlap and packed in coolers marked "live crab."

"They look great, they're in fine shape," said Celeste Leroux, a University of Alaska Fairbanks graduate student, as she gingerly unpacked 32 plate-size crustaceans, some clutching burlap in their pinchers.

The crab were collected by Alaska Department of Fish & Game biologists in Alitak Bay on the south end of Kodiak Island, Alaska. Sara Persselin, a NOAA Fisheries research biologist, prepared the crab for their flight from Kodiak to Anchorage. A van ride to the Alutiiq Pride Shellfish Hatchery along the Seward waterfront completed their journey.

Scientists say 16 egg-bearing female crab will serve as brood stock in a research project they hope will help rebuild Alaska's Kodiak red king crab fishery. In addition, 16 male crab were captured for pathology and genetic analysis by ADF&G. - More...
Wednesday AM - August 16, 2006

Peggy Pennington

Pennington Named KGH Employee of the Month
Peggy Pennington
Photo courtesy KGH

Ketchikan: Pennington Named KGH Employee of the Month - Peggy Pennington, Office Assistant at Southeast Surgical Clinic, was named Employee of the Month by a committee of her peers.

Pennington's history at Ketchikan General Hospital (KGH) dates to 1980 when she began work as a Certified Nurse Aide in the Long Term Care unit. Having left Ketchikan in the interim, she returned in 1993 to train in the lab for certification as a phlebotomist. This led to three years working in the Pathology Department where she trained as a histo-technologist. - More...
Wednesday AM - August 16, 2006

Alaska: Removing the mystery from washboard roads By Ned Rozell - While driving Alaska's graveled highways, countless people have no doubt wondered about how an unpaved road surface turns into a bouncing bed of corduroy. Keith Mather, who was studying nuclear physics in Australia in the early 1960s, had the same question. He wrote a paper about washboard roads in 1963.

Mather pointed out in his article that many people, particularly in Alaska, see washboard roads as "a welcome assurance of privacy in the outer reaches of suburbia." He also wrote that corrugated road surfaces were a literal pain in the neck in many developing countries, where major highways featured hundreds of miles of milkshake motorways.

He wasn't satisfied with the theories of the time: that "peculiar soil," wind from passing vehicles, car exhaust, or impulses from car engines caused washboard roads. He doubted all these possible causes because he noticed that many different surfaces, such as train tracks and ski trails, can also be afflicted with a tiny roller coaster pattern. - More...
Wednesday AM - August 16, 2006



letter Gov. Murkowski has done a remarkable job By Gary Emard - Tuesday
letter Are you serious? By Rodney Dial - Tuesday
letter Jason Love's column By June Allen - Tuesday
letter White Cliff Community Center By Jean Bartos - Monday
letter Taxes By Laurie Price - Monday
letter Cruise Ship Ballot Measure Gives Alaska A Fair Share By Gershon Cohen - Sunday
letter Some Thoughts on Consolidation By Samuel Bergeron - Sunday
letter White Cliff Project - Questioning Funding Rationale By Lynne Miller - Sunday
letter White Cliff School Renovations and Sales Taxes By Robert D. Warner - Sunday
letter Sales taxes / Gas line/ Visitors tax By Robert MacRoberts - Sunday
letter Quality care for those living in nursing homes By Jane Marshall - Sunday
letter White 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
letter More Viewpoints/ Letters
letter Publish A Letter

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Columns - Commentary

Jason Love: Wine-Tasting: Not Just for Snobs Anymore - I owe a lot to wine. According to reports, it played a major role in my conception.

Unfortunately, I'm not much of an expert. When a waiter brings the wine list, I use the time-honored system of "eeeny meeny miny mo." Otherwise you run the risk of waiters raising an eyebrow and making French sounds through their nose.

They promised that I'd be safe at Bodee's, a six- or seven-star restaurant "nestled into a remote country location" (translation: somewhere near Middle Earth).

Bodee's owner Michele Cromer-Bentivolio lives on a ranch behind the restaurant and picks avocados during her commute. These she hands over to executive chef and man of the hour, Christopher Watson.

At the wee-lad age of 27, Chris has rubbed spatulas with top cheffing dignitaries and is personally in charge of everything digested at Bodee's. He and I conducted research in Bodee's "fern grotto" (translation: patio), where Chris lined up the wine white to red. - More...
Monday PM - August 14, 2006

Bonnie Erbe: The secret to ending the wage gap - We now know the secret to closing the gap between men's and women's wages: promote more women to upper-level management. The Washington Post reports: "American women earn substantially more money and narrow the long-standing gender gap in income if other women in their workplaces reach the ranks of senior management." This finding was released at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association (ASA) and based on a review of 2000 Census data of 1.3 million American workers in nearly 30,000 jobs and 79 metropolitan areas.

Conservative women have long argued there is no wage gap. Liberal women insist there is, but find it to be a mite larger than the one revealed by sociologists. Conservatives say that among young women and men with equal educational credentials, women earn 98 cents for every dollar earned by men. They add that women's lifestyle choices (staying home to raise children, taking family leave time and/or working fewer hours) - not prejudice - dictate lower earnings. Liberals insist gender bias is still alive and well in the American workplace. - More...
Monday PM - August 14, 2006

Steve Brewer: Family life often is the lesser of evils - Every family needs a balanced division of labor.

Each household has many tasks that must be done regularly, and it's only fair that spouses divvy them up, according to time and ability and personal preference. Once kids reach a certain age, many chores can be dumped on them, but it still should be equitable. That's the democratic ideal.

A pivotal moment in my marriage came early on, when my wife and I made the following pact: She would pay the bills and do the household paperwork, and I would do the laundry. - More...
Monday PM - August 14, 2006

Dale McFeatters: Neptune, Pluto, Xena, Dasher, Dancer ... - If it's one thing we thought we knew, it's that the solar system has nine planets, beginning with closest-in Mercury and extending to farthest-out Pluto. But apparently we got ahead of ourselves, and the astronomers are saying not so fast.

The solar system may instead consist of eight planets, or 10, or 53, or some number in between. An astronomy conference now under way in Prague, Czech Republic, may decide to demote Pluto or promote a 10th, nicknamed Xena, to planethood.

Pluto's planetary status, always shaky since its discovery in 1930, received a blow last summer with the discovery by a Cal Tech astronomer of Xena, or 2003 UB313, farther out and slightly larger and brighter than Pluto. Like Pluto, it has a moon. - More...
Monday PM - August 14, 2006

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