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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
August 09, 2008

Front Page Photo By Lisa Thompson

Port of Call Ketchikan
Front Page Photo By Lisa Thompson



Ketchikan: State announces results for schools' adequate yearly progress - In school year 2007-2008, nearly six out of 10 Alaska public schools made adequate yearly progress under the federal No Child Left Behind Act, according to data released Friday by Alaska Education Commissioner Larry LeDoux.

Of 501 schools statewide, 294, or 58.7 percent, made adequate yearly progress in 2007-2008.

Statewide that represents a decline from nearly 62 percent of Alaska public schools in 2005-2006 and nearly 66 percent in 2006-2007. But the data should be interpreted in light of higher targets for student proficiency that began in the 2007-2008 school year, education officials said. Now, more students must score proficient on state assessments for a school to make adequate yearly progress.

In Ketchikan, schools that made adequate yearly progress for the 2007-2008 school year were: Fawn Mountain Elementary; Houghtaling Elementary; Ketchikan Charter School; Ketchikan Correspondence; Ketchikan High School; Ketchikan Regional Youth Facility; Point Higgins Elementary; and Schoenbar Middle School.

Ketchikan schools not making adequate yearly progress for the 2007-2008 school year were: Revilla Jr/Sr High School and Tongass School of Arts & Sciences. - More...
Saturday - August 09, 2008

Alaska: Resource Rebate, AGIA Top Special Session Accomplishments - Governor Sarah Palin on Thursday thanked state lawmakers for addressing Alaskans' energy needs in the recently completed special sessions, both in the short term by passing an energy relief package, and in the long term by authorizing a gasline license under the Alaska Gasline Inducement Act.

"The members of the Alaska Legislature worked honorably and diligently in the past two months to deal with these critical issues facing our state. I join with all Alaskans in recognizing and thanking them for their accomplishments," Governor Palin said.

Resource Rebate and Energy

The most recent accomplishment came late Thursday as the Legislature passed Senate Bill 4002, which uses revenues generated from the state's resources to provide a one-time special payment of $1,200 to each Alaskan eligible for the 2008 Permanent Fund Dividend. The bill will also provide energy relief. - More...
Saturday - August 09, 2008

Alaska: GCI donates $30 million broadband gift toward education - University of Alaska President Mark Hamilton and University of Alaska Foundation President Mary Rutherford today announced a gift of broadband capacity from GCI worth an estimated $30 million.

The broadband gift benefits not only the university system, but also K-12 schools via the AK20 Network, part of the state's multi-partner Distance Education Consortium. Hamilton and Rutherford made the announcement today along with GCI President and Chief Executive Officer Ron Duncan.

"This gift is absolutely essential to the university system's mission of education, research and public service," Hamilton said. "We've had a $30 million request to the state Legislature for increased broadband capacity for the last several years, but unfortunately it didn't receive the support it needed. In this digital age, the university must have a competitive level of network capacity--it's central to what we do."

"Our company completed the first diversely routed, protected fiber optic network connecting Alaska to the lower 48 states four years ago," GCI's Duncan said. "That network has become a mainstay of the Alaska economy. As an Alaska company, GCI is honored to be able to make this contribution to the university ­ a contribution that will advance the university's research and education mission and benefit every Alaskan. What's good for Alaska is good for GCI and its employees and shareholders. We are happy to be able to give something so material back to the state upon which our success has been built."

Rutherford said the university is grateful for the gift. "It sets a wonderful example of generosity that will benefit many scientists and elementary through university students across the state." - More....
Saturday - August 09, 2008

Alaska: Alaska bootleggers lead troopers on 25-mile river chase By JAMES HALPIN - Two drunken bootleggers who were intercepted on the Kuskokwim River repeatedly tried to ram an Alaska State Troopers vessel as they led officers on a high-speed, 25-mile boat chase that ended with them in handcuffs, according to troopers.

Troopers got a report of a drunken driver operating a vessel on the river near Aniak on Saturday afternoon, and Alaska Wildlife Trooper Tim Hall came across it about 4:20 p.m., troopers said.

Inside were two men who each took a turn at the wheel leading Hall on the long-distance pursuit.

"That's probably the longest I've ever heard of one, but you can't put out spike strips on the river and put out their tires like you can on the highway system," said Sgt. Nathan Sheets, troopers' Aniak post supervisor. "You can't radio ahead for assistance. It just doesn't exist. You're kind of at the mercy of them until they stop or do something stupid." - More...
Saturday - August 09, 2008


Personal Finance: Prepaid debit cards for Social Security dollars now available By KARA MCGUIRE - Social Security is going plastic. A prepaid debit card for federal benefits is now available.

The Direct Express Debit MasterCard was designed to appeal to the nearly 4 million Social Security and Supplemental Social Security Income recipients who don't have a bank account. Also, paper checks are more susceptible to delivery delays and theft; last year, 700,000 checks were lost or stolen.

Electronic payment of benefits also saves taxpayer dollars. "It costs 88 cents more per payment to make a check payment versus an electronic payment," said Judith Tillman, commissioner of the U.S. Treasury's Financial Management Service. "We're still making about $150 million in check payments a year through paper checks."

The card allows Social Security recipients to make purchases and withdraw money from an ATM just as they would using a debit card. Money on the card is FDIC-insured and the card would be replaced if lost or stolen.

The card also comes with conveniences such as free e-mail, text message or telephone deposit notifications, low-balance notifications and the ability to check your balance.

There's no fee to sign up for the debit card and no monthly charges. Users are allowed one free withdrawal per payment from any of the network's 50,000 approved ATMs. After that, the withdrawals cost 90 cents. Out-of-network ATM surcharges may also apply. Monthly mailed statements also cost 75 cents each. If you lose more than one card, it will cost $4 a pop. - More...
Saturday - August 09, 2008

Health - Fitness: Do we have to slow down or have decreased function as we age? By ROBERT N. JENKINS - "Every man desires to live long, but no man would be old.'' -- Jonathan Swift, author

Though no one knows exactly what day it will be -- indeed for each of us, it is different -- there comes a point when the mirror is no longer the amiable companion we used to know.

The mirror has turned accusatory: Apparently overnight, we got old.

What the mirror cannot show, even if we lean across the sink to help our somewhat stressed vision, is that hundreds of thousands of cells have been failing to function at maximum efficiency or even have died.

That didn't happen overnight, of course. Nor has it been confined to your face, as you may have noticed when you got out of bed that morning and wondered why your knees seemed stiff, if not exactly sore. (Or maybe you wondered why you had to get up twice in the night to use the bathroom ...)

So what does happen to us as the years pass? Do we have to slow down or have decreased function as we age? Well, no, and yes. - More...
Saturday - August 09, 2008



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Basic Rules

letterPositive changes at the Alaska Marine Highway System By James Beedle - This administration inherited an Alaska Marine Highway System (AMHS) spiraling out of financial control and lacking operational stability. In the four fiscal years from July 1, 2003 to June 30, 2007, the amount of state funds needed for operations escalated from $43.5 million to $94.2 million. During this period, budgets and operating plans were submitted to the legislature for approval and then routinely changed again and again. In 2006, the legislature became so concerned, it passed language in a bill stating that the AMHS should operate within the budget and operations approved by legislators. We're doing just that, and we're making positive, beneficial changes that Alaskans are likely to embrace. - More...
Saturday - August 09, 2008

letterAMHS schedule By Michael Moyer - Isn't that nice the new ferry schedule is out?!! Too bad that's not the issue! No one ever really cared that the schedule was late in the first place. It's where the ferries are scheduled to travel that was, and still is, the issue. - More...
Saturday - August 09, 2008

letterPolitical Humor & Road Flowers By A.M.Johnson - During the current political season, issues of many colors - -Whoops! Is that a politically correct statement? -- are being bantered about. - More...
Saturday - August 09, 2008

letter Agia equation really can add up By Sen. Kim Elton - Does 1+1=1?

When it comes to the gasline, hopefully so. A week ago, the legislature actually added one to one to enhance getting to one. We figured the TransCanada highway gasline project plus the ConocoPhillips/BP project makes it more likely we get one pipeline that delivers natural gas from the North Slope to North American markets. - More...
Saturday - August 09, 2008

letter Bob's Last Wish By Carroll Parr -Mackie - Of course there should be a "Plaque" for Bob. It would be the "decent" thing to do. - More...
Saturday - August 09, 2008

letterGrilling with Ted By Kris Hansen - Ahhhhhhhh, as they say in California, "Dude"-- please don't post rhetoric that is not backed up by truth. You obviously are a democrat trying to sway the voters of Alaska. The Democrats and no other are behind the Stevens' debacle. - More...
Saturday - August 09, 2008

letter Aircraft Accident By Jerry L. Kiffer - As most have heard we had an accident involving a Cessna 210 going into the water short of the airport here in Ketchikan last week. The rescue of the two persons on board was accomplished by swift reaction of local 135 pilots who were backed up by our rescue service and local civilians. - More...
Monday - August 04, 2008

letterBob's Last Wish By Beverly Reeves - He was born Charles R. Hirsh in Juneau Alaska May 14th 1984. Everyone called him Bob. He was stricken with leukemia at the age of 11 and lost his battle May 24th 2005. He was 21 years old. - More...
Monday - August 04, 2008

letterGrilling with Ted By Mike Isaac - I have heard that Bush and his buddies in the Justice Department want to lock up Ted Stevens for his "bridge to nowhere" idea. The truth is Ted Stevens may be locked up and lose his seat in the Senate over a BBQ grill, trading a classic 1964 Ford Mustang for some run of the mill SUV and having his deck repaired on his little ski cabin in Girdwood that he paid for. Ted Stevens is a good man and not one of those bible thumping, right wing kooks that give Republicans a bad name. He not only looks out for Alaska but the other states as well. I would hate to think how much gas would cost here in California if the pipeline had not been built. - More...
Monday - August 04, 2008

letterAlaska "Roadside" flower By Carrie Beckham - On my way to work this morning, I noticed that the Jeep now has a homophobic slur spray-painted across the drivers side. - More...
Monday - August 04, 2008

letter Alaska "Roadside" flower By Al Johnson - On or around the 20th of July I contacted the State Police regarding What is now a trashed Jeep Cherokee, AK License EEP 229 located at the Whipple Creek pull out. I was advised that abandoned cars were the responsibility of the Ketchikan Gateway Borough enforcement officer. The State Trooper on duty volunteered to pass the matter on to the Borough enforcement officer. I thanked him and departed knowing the issue was being delt with. - More...
Friday - August 01, 2008

letter Rebuttal: The Other Presidential Candidates By Frank McEnulty - I couldn't be more different than Alan Keyes and the others that Tom Proebsting compared me to. First, I am not, nor have I ever been a bible thumper. - More...
Friday - August 01, 2008

letter GIVING AWAY MONEY AT ELECTION TIME By Rep. Mike Doogan - AGIA License in Peril: The bill to grant a state license for the gas pipeline is in the clutches - did I say clutches? I meant, of course, loving hands - of the Alaska State Senate where, I'm sure, a thousand plots are being hatched. I could list them all, but why bother. These things are like soap bubbles and last about as long. So let's talk about something concrete, like logistics, instead. If the legislature is to approve granting a license <> to a subsidiary of TransCanada, it must do so by midnight Aug. 2, which is the last of the 60 days the law allows for legislative review and approval. The way the votes seem to be distributed in the Senate, approval will take four days: send the bill to the floor, second reading, third reading, reconsideration. As I write this, there are four days left. What does that mean? It means the license's opponents have succeeded in stalling long enough that the slightest bobble could kill it. (Necessary disclaimer here: The license's opponents claim they haven't been stalling. But if it looks like a duck and walks like a duck and talks like a duck ) Stay tuned. - More...
Friday - August 01, 2008

letter The Other Presidential Candidates By Tom Proebsting - The media has offered extensive coverage to presidential candidates John McCain and Barack Obama. Every day reveals something new about the two mavericks. However, to be fair and balanced, there are other presidential candidates. There may be virtually dozens running for president, but only ten worthy of honorable mention. - More...
Friday - August 01, 2008

letter The Truth Abouts Cats & Dogs By Chris Elliott - I live on Jackson Street. While I sympathize with Mr. Griffin, I think Ms. Pitcher makes an excellent point. I don't remember cats being such a problem when I was a kid. I don't know if they were more apt to hang out at home or what, but there are a lot of cats running around our neighborhood now. On a nice day, when I've got my front door open, it's not unusual to have a cat poke his nose in. Often, when I go to work in the morning, I find little cat prints on the hood of my car. They get under our house and do whatever it is they do (stinking it up). I wish they would stay on their own property, but they're sneaky, and if you let them out, they're going to cat around. - More...
Monday - July 28, 2008

letter Thank You From the Family of Benjamin Noah Phillips By Karen Galloway - Words cannot express the gratefulness in our hearts as we try to write this thank you. We were (and still are) absolutely overwhelmed by the kindness and generosity of our friends, family and community members when our son and grandchild, "Baby Ben," was critically injured by a truck and had to be medevac'd to Harborview on June 9, 2008. That was the scariest thing any of us has ever experienced and those first few critical days were heart-wrenching. We live in a kind and caring community and your support has been more than awesome. - More...
Sunday - July 27, 2008

letter Neighborhood Cats By Karen Pitcher - I don't live in the Jackson Street neighborhood but I can really understand the frustration of the neighbor who was setting a trap for cats. The cats in my neighborhood also love to use my fenced yard as a large litter box and I get very tired of scooping up after them. Especially when I miss some and don't discover it until I've mowed over it. Yuk. - More...
Sunday - July 27, 2008

letter Energy: We can't just have a box of chocolates By Sen. Kim Elton - This week I'm giving my laptop's keyboard a break. I'm not putting more miles on the A,G, I, and A keys. Truth be told, I'm so tired of downloading and forwarding data on gas pipeline economics that I too need a short break from that acronym I'm not mentioning in this newsletter. - More...
Sunday - July 27, 2008

letter Alaska Driver's Manual By Jay Jones - To Chief Davis, I would hope that operators of Departmental Vehicles would already observe what is included in the second paragraph of your letter concerning pedestrians entering/occupying crosswalks, and that it would already be Department policy, as it is on page 60 of the Alaska State Driver's Manual. - More...
Sunday - July 27, 2008

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