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 Note to Candidates: SitNews will again be providing free web pages to all candidates who file for local office.

Candidates, please e-mail a digital photo, your background & qualifications for the office you are seeking, contact information, and your campaign statement to

Candidate's campaign information will be published as received beginning on September 7, 2005. The deadline for submission to SitNews is September 26, 2005.



SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska

September 16, 2005

Alaska's Constitutional Convention

Alaska's Constitutional Convention: 1955
Honoring its 50th anniversary

Photo: The Constitutional Convention, Nov 1955 - Feb 1956
Photograph used with permission of the University of Alaska Fairbanks

Alaska: Alaska's Constitutional Convention: 1955; Honoring its 50th anniversary By JUNE ALLEN

"We the people of Alaska, grateful to God
and to those who founded our nation and pioneered this great land,
in order to secure and transmit to succeeding generations our heritage
of political, civil, and religious liberty within the Union of States,
do ordain and establish this constitution for the State of Alaska."
Preamble to Alaska's Constitution

These simple words were written by Alaskans and for Alaskans as the introduction to the Constitution of the State of Alaska, the treasured document that gives citizens the reasons and intent of the law under which they are governed. Alaska's Constitution is  uncomplicated, written in plain English that anyone can read. It is a short document,  designed to leave the greater authority to the state's legislators, elected by us, among us and for us.  

Gaining Statehood wasn't easy for Alaska. The federal government required of Alaska's political body lengthy and complete preparation, dedication, and perseverance toward its goal. Alaskans would need to prove to Congress that Alaska had the courage to take on the responsibilities of Statehood, that it had the resource wealth to support itself, that it would not become a financial drain on the federal government, and, perhaps most of all, that it could govern itself wisely and well. That was a charge that a delegation of Alaska's leaders, the delegation charged with drafting a Constitution were ready to address. - Read the rest of this story by June Allen...
Friday PM - September 16, 2005

The Week in Review: Bush takes responsibility for sluggish Katrina relief

President Bush took responsibility for the federal government's slow response to the Hurricane Katrina disaster and called for rebuilding the Gulf Coast in one of the largest reconstruction projects ever. In a televised speech from New Orleans, the president also promised that the federal government will review the disaster plans of every major American city.

Bombings kill 152 in Baghdad

In one of Baghdad's deadliest days since the American occupation of Iraq began, more than a dozen explosions killed at least 152 people and wounded 542. Al Qaeda in Iraq claimed responsibility. The worst attack was a suicide car bombing in a crowd of laborers assembled to find work for the day. Explosions erupted for hours throughout the day, bringing Baghdad to a standstill.

Bush urges terror fight

President Bush told world leaders at the United Nations that terrorism needs to be fought by spreading democracy and an ideology of hope. He said the industrialized world should work together to combat poverty and diseases such as malaria and HIV-AIDS. "We must change the conditions that allow terrorists to flourish and recruit by spreading the hope of freedom to millions who've never known it." Bush said. He addressed more than 160 presidents, prime ministers, kings and ambassadors gathered to commemorate the United Nations' 60th birthday. - More Week in Review...
Friday PM - September 16, 2005

Fishing vessel Perseverance

Fishing vessel Perseverance
sinks near Spasski Island

The crew of the Perseverance abandoned the vessel after it struck a rock and began taking on water in the Icy Straits near Spasski Island. - More...
Official Coast Guard Auxiliary
photo by Mike and Noreen Folkert

Washington Calling: Capitol money pit ... Blabbermouth senators ... Other items By LANCE GAY - Another year, and a few more millions of taxpayer money thrown into the bunker that is supposed to be the U.S. Capitol's new underground Visitor Center.

This lavish Taj Mahal, buried under the Capitol's east front, was scheduled to be opened this month. But the Government Accountability Office's new estimate for ribbon-cutting is Feb. 26, 2007.

The explanation: unanticipated work delays caused by lawmakers complaining that noise from the center's construction disrupted the reveries in their Capitol hideaways, and alterations in the original building plans adding "expansion spaces" (more private offices) for the House and Senate.

New price tag: $559 million. That's almost double the $265 million the Architect of the Capitol estimated when Congress approved the project back in 1999, and more than a fivefold increase from the modest project floated in 1995. - More Washington Calling -
Friday PM - September 16, 2005

Ketchikan: Matiashowski to Return to Private Sector; Resigns as Department of Administration Commissioner - Alaska Governor Frank H. Murkowski announced Friday that Commissioner of Administration Ray Matiashowski has stepped down to pursue business opportunities in Ketchikan.

"Ray has been a valuable member of my administration and has brought a strong private sector foundation to the business of government," said Murkowski. "The Department of Administration manages a diverse array of functions, including the operations of the daily workings of state government. Ray has been a valuable and effective leader in bringing a new level of efficiency to state government." - More...
Friday PM - September 16, 2005



letter One nation UNDER GOD! By George Miller - Saturday
letter Bridge to Gravina By Bob Allen - Saturday
letter 'Innocent Until Proven Guilty' By Sabrena Vitcovich - Saturday
letter Katrina Relief Concert/ Dinner/ Silent Auction By Rob Holston - Saturday
letterConservatives question spending on Katrina relief By Charlotte Tanner - Friday
letter Bridge to Gravina By Blake Bousley - Friday
letter Prince George and Princess Pat By Dave Kiffer - Friday
letter "Under God" unconstitutional! By Frances C. Natkong - Friday
letter 30th Class Reunion? By Primo M. Rodriguez, Jr. - Friday
letter Calls for accountability By Vashti Varnado - Friday
letter More Viewpoints/ Letters
letter Publish A Letter

Political Cartoons

Government Is The
Problem And The Solution

RJ Matson, The St. Louis Post Dispatch- Distributed exclusively to subscribers by Cagle Cartoons, Inc.

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Ketchikan Columnist

Dave Kiffer: "Close Encounters of the Cellular Kind" - Since my family is apparently the only one in North America to not go "cellular" that puts us in a unique position to observe the ways that other folks use their cell phones "conveniently" intrude upon our lives.

First off, there are good reasons to have cell phones in Ketchikan. If you are hiking - for example - and you get in trouble, a cell phone can be a life saver. Same thing if you are boating and something goes wrong. Being able to communicate could be the difference between life or death.

Heck, I even accept the use of cell phones in the grocery store because it could be a matter of life and death if you bring home the wrong thing. A short telephonic consult in the vegetable aisle could - at the very least - save a marriage. - More...
Friday PM - September 16, 2005

Columns - Commentary

Ann McFeatters: The capital's chilling climate - It's been a terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad month. And it's not even over.

With hundreds of thousands of people uprooted, their lives in turmoil, their misery unfathomable, we now have the spectacle of politicians caviling over what went wrong, who's to blame, what to do next, how much to spend. Etcetera. Etcetera. Etcetera.

And we've had the John Roberts hearings. They have brought out the worst and the ugliest aspects of Capitol Hill. Rancor, suspicion and distrust are so legion that even our smartest and ablest can't talk to each other without malice. They don't even hear each other. - More...
Friday PM - September 16, 2005

Joe Crankshaw: Constitution 101 - Question: Name the oldest, federal, democratic republic in the world?

Answer: The United States of America, which turns 218 this year if you count from the adoption of the Constitution on Sept. 17, 1787, or 221 if you count from the Continental Congress under the Articles of Confederation.

Question: What makes it different from other governments?

Answer: While all power is vested in the people, it is exercised through a delicate system of checks and balances that seeks to ensure that no individual, party or agency of government exercises total control. In addition, certain rights are guaranteed to the people, not the government, which ensure the supremacy of the electorate. - More...
Friday PM - September 16, 2005

News Maker Interviews

Bill Steigerwald: Celebrating Constitution Week; Interview with Ken Gormley - Happy Constitution Week. Sept. 17 was the 218th birthday of the longest-running constitution in world history, and Constitution Week runs through Sept. 23. To help us celebrate, we called up author and Duquesne University law professor Ken Gormley, who specializes in constitutional law, the First Amendment and the American presidency. Gormley, who wrote "Archibald Cox: Conscience of a Nation" in 1998, is currently working on a major book about the constitutional and legal highlights -- and lowlights -- of the Clinton presidency.

Q: How is our Constitution holding up at age 218?
A: It really is holding up remarkably well when you stop and think about what in the past five or six years we've been through as a country: the impeachment trial of a president; a contested presidential election; an attack on U.S. soil on 9/11; a war in foreign territory; the death of our chief justice; the flood and destruction of a major U.S. city, which we would never have imagined. And despite all that, we're all still standing and working together and resolving legal issues that flow from all of these things through the three branches of our government - More...
Friday PM - September 16, 2005

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