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September 09, 2006

Patrol Boat Roundup

Patrol Boat Roundup
Roanoke Island, Anacapa, Naushon and Liberty
Front Page Photo courtesy of Coast Guard Station Ketchikan

Alaska: Union will not endorse candidate for governor By KYLE HOPKINS Anchorage Daily News - The union that represents more than 13,000 teachers, librarians, custodians and other school workers decided today not to endorse a candidate in this year's governor's race. After interviewing the three major candidates -- Democrat Tony Knowles, Republican Sarah Palin and independent Andrew Halcro -- the Alaska chapter of the National Education Association voted to try to make education a bigger issue in the campaign rather than back a particular candidate. - Read this Anchorage Daily News Story,,,
Saturday - Sept. 9, 2006

Alaska: Murkowski says he's far from finished By MATT VOLZ - Gov. Frank Murkowski says he returned from a duck hunting trip to the surprising news that he was simply going to hand off two years' worth of natural gas pipeline negotiations to his successor. - Read this Anchorage Daily News Story...
Saturday - Sept. 9, 2006

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National: Bush alters message, emphasizes terror threat By MARC SANDALOW - It was only last week that President Bush, speaking to a group of Republican donors in Tennessee, boasted that "amazing things" are happening in Iraq.

"Oh, I know the news is full with terrible suiciders, and it shakes our will. I know that," Bush said, delivering a boilerplate fund-raising appeal for Senate candidate Bob Corker. "But when you really think about it, amazing progress has been made."

That was last week's message.

The new message, contained in a four-speech series that concluded Thursday in Atlanta, is a much darker warning about the dangers that confront America if it does not follow the president's policies.

"9/11 lifted the veil on a threat that is far broader and more dangerous than we saw that morning - an enemy that was not sated by the destruction inflicted that day and is determined to strike again," Bush said in his latest speech, which was accompanied by the release of a 20-page booklet outlining administration efforts to protect Americans.

"To answer this threat and protect our people, we need more than retaliation; we need more than a reaction to the last attack; we need to do everything in our power to stop the next attack. And so America has gone on the offense across the world," the president said.

There was little in the four speeches that would surprise those who have listened carefully to Bush's words since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. The war in Iraq, the president insists, is the central front in a larger war on terror that he calls "the decisive ideological struggle of the 21st century."

Yet the menacing language - Bush compared Osama bin Laden to Lenin and Hitler and described Islamic totalitarians as hateful, cunning and evil - illuminates the way his administration is trying to frame the conflict on the eve of the 9/11 anniversary and 60 days before an election in which the Republican Party is in danger of losing its congressional majority.

During 170 minutes of speeches containing more than 20,000 words, Bush did not once repeat the phrase "amazing progress," and made only fleeting reference to the Iraqi elections, the unity government and the advances in security that had been the mainstay of his previous addresses. - More...
Saturday - September 09, 2006

National: Net neutrality meets election-year reality By TOM ABATE - The network neutrality debate galvanized Internet companies and users for much of the year, but quieted down over the summer while Congress was in recess. But even though lawmakers have returned to Capitol Hill, don't expect the issue to be settled soon. Political observers say pre-election posturing has stalled this issue that pits Internet companies and activists against telephone and cable companies.

But while net neutrality may be in a legislative coma, its Internet supporters say it's not dead. Meanwhile, their telecom industry opponents are looking to the states, particularly California, for legislative help they have so far not gotten from Congress.

In a nutshell, the issue breaks down like this. Advocates of what's known as net neutrality want Congress to order the Federal Communications Commission to write rules to preserve the status quo on broadband Internet pricing. Basically, they believe all electronic traffic should be given the same delivery treatment at the same price as it has since the start of the Internet.

On the other side, Verizon Communications, AT&T Inc. and their allies in the cable and networking industries say that competition between broadband providers - backed up by the threat of FCC action if pricing is unfair - is all the policing that the Internet needs. - More...
Saturday - September 09, 2006


Washington Calling: Gas prices ... resilient kids ... vulnerable GOP By THOMAS HARGROVE - The recent tiny drop in oil prices will be brief.

High prices are driven by worldwide demand and OPEC nations are pumping as much as they can, Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman warned members of Congress this week. When it comes to the volatile gas market, supply-and-demand pressures can erupt like a Texas gusher or ooze downward like a leaky Alaskan pipeline.

The recent discovery of a major oil field under the Gulf of Mexico is good news, but Bodman said the field is five or even 10 years away from production. And alternative fuels won't come to the rescue. Ethanol production is soaring, thanks to high prices and a 50-cent federal subsidy. But the 3.9 billion gallons that will be produced each year still equals only 3 percent of the U. S. fuel supply.

At least Washington can still offer futile gestures.

As a tiny step toward oil independence, Bodman soon will switch to a government car that runs on so-called "E85" - the mixture of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline. But his driver will have to go three miles across the Potomac to fill up at a station near the Pentagon, the nearest of the nation's mere 800 gas stations outfitted for E85.


The list of vulnerable Republicans in the House has become Chinese water torture for the Grand Old Party, a steady drip of bad news. The latest estimate by nonpartisan political bookmaker Charlie Cook shows 34 Republican seats either "tossups" or that have only a slight "lean" toward the Republican. Democrats need only pick up 14 of those since former House GOP leader Tom DeLay's Texas seat is already counted as a probable Democratic win. "Republicans will likely lose the House and their dominance of the nation's governorships," Cook said. The Senate still seems safe for Republicans.


Crikey! The recent death of "Crocodile Hunter" Steve Irwin has prompted a Washington child-psychiatry group to issue a guide for parents titled "Talking With Children About the Death of a Public Figure."

Dr. David Fassler of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry warns that the sudden loss of the popular reptile-hugging Aussie TV personality, killed while swimming with giant stingrays in the Pacific, may leave some young children sad and confused.

"Parents, teachers and caring adults can best help by listening and responding in an honest, consistent and supportive manner," said Fassler. "Fortunately, most children are resilient."- More...
Saturday - September 09, 2006

Front Page Photo by Jim Lewis

Toxic Amanita Mushroom
Front Page Photo By Jim Lewis

Alaska: The Mystery of the Missing $40,000 Doorstop By Ned Rozell - "Wanted: a 40-pound chunk of Alaska's largest meteorite. May currently be employed as your doorstop. Call University of Alaska Museum."

Roland Gangloff never ran that classified ad, but he might have considered it. Gangloff, former earth science curator at the museum, once uncovered a mystery when researching the Aggie Creek meteorite, the largest heavenly body fragment ever found in Alaska. When miners discovered the iron-nickel meteorite clanging around in the rock tumbler of a gold dredge in 1942, it was reported to weigh about 95 pounds. Today it weighs 57 pounds. Its curious weight-loss program is what Gangloff calls "one of those great Alaska mysteries."

The mystery of the Aggie Creek meteorite began long, long ago. No one knows exactly how it was formed, but here's a possible scenario: A planetary body large enough to have a solid core broke apart after a violent collision with something bigger. Fragments scattered, including iron-nickel chunks from the core. After a collision with other space-borne matter, a piece was sent hurling toward the Earth. Earth's gravitational pull drew the metal chunk closer. The meteor heated into a glowing mass as it whizzed through the atmosphere, and it was large enough that it didn't melt to nothing, as do most meteors that enter the atmosphere. - More...
Saturday - September 09, 2006



letter Not a critique By Craig Moen - Sunday
letter No to White Cliff Project By G. J. Williams - Saturday
letter Pride & Prejudice By Jennifer Brewer - Saturday
letter Stop Schoencliff By John Beck - Saturday
letter Admission to Alaska Tax By Doug Irish - Saturday
letter Retort: Divisions By Don Hoff Jr. - Saturday
letter Consolidation By Bill Thomas Sr. - Friday
letter Goodbye Bowling By Neil Gray - Friday
letterWhere are we going? By Robert McRoberts - Friday
letter Bully Breeds By Kelly Needham - Friday
letterKetchikan Chapter T&H Delegates By Robert A. Sanderson Jr. - Thursday
letter Proposed subdivision will deny public access to Herring Cove By Joan Beraldi - Thursday
letter Those were the days my friend... By Sam Osborne - Wednesday
letter Divisions By Anita Hales - Wednesday
letter Gravina Island Clean-Up By Dave Lieben - Tuesday
letter All bowled out? What a shame. By Brian Gray - Tuesday
letter We enjoyed our visit By Vita Rokaw - Tuesday
letter Courtesy? By Craig Moen - Tuesday
letter Pit Bulls By Michael Moyer - Tuesday
letter Who does Kofi Annan represent? By Mark Neckameyer - Tuesday
letter Gravina bridge response to editorial By Michael Spence - Monday
letter Theft of Our Lands in Ketchikan - The Dark Days By Don Hoff Jr. - Saturday
letter Gravina Island Clean-up Begins By Jerry Cegelske - Saturday
letter It's a wash... By Chris Elliott - Thursday
letter Farewell By Tyrell Rettke - Thursday
letter Protecting our Rights on the Stikine River By Renee Claggett - Thursday
letter White Cliff Center project By Karen Eakes - Thursday
letter Thanks for your support! By Gregory Vickrey - Thursday
letter James's Last Trip to Alaska By Doug Barry - Thursday
letter More Viewpoints/ Letters
letter Publish A Letter

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September 2006
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Week In Review: CIA, crocodile hunter share week's headlines By THOMAS HARGROVE - Bush confirms CIA has secret prisons

President Bush confirmed Wednesday that the CIA secretly has held terrorism suspects in overseas prisons when he announced that 14 men will be transferred to the special military jail at Guantanamo Bay. Bush said the controversial program, first reported by The Washington Post last year, is "one of the most vital tools" in the war against terrorism. Among the prisoners is the alleged mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. Bush repeated past assurances that CIA prisoners were not tortured. "It's against our laws, and it's against our values. I have not authorized it and I will not authorize it," he said.

Australia's beloved 'crocodile hunter' dies at sea

Popular television naturalist Steve 'Crocodile Hunter' Irwin died Monday when he was stung in the chest by a stingray while filming a show on Australia's Great Barrier Reef. Irwin, 44, was internationally famous for his reptile-hugging antics on programs that taught children, and adults, about the wonders of the animal kingdom. Both Queensland Premier Peter Beattie and Prime Minister John Howard suggested Irwin merited a formal state funeral, calling him a "great ambassador" for Australia. But the family has opted for a private service with a public memorial later.

ABC defends and edits Sept. 11 docudrama

ABC executives defended, but also said they continue to edit, a miniseries titled "The Path to 9/11" following withering criticism by former top members of President Bill Clinton's administration. Former National Security Adviser Sandy Berger objected to a scene that, he was told, showed him refusing to authorize an attack on terrorist leader Osama bin Laden despite the request from the CIA. "No one has seen the final version of the film, because the editing process is not yet complete," ABC officials said in a statement Thursday. "Criticisms of film specifics are premature and irresponsible." The two-part drama is scheduled to air Sunday and Monday nights.

Partial Senate report released on Iraq war intelligence

A much delayed Senate report on the intelligence used by the Bush administration before the invasion of Iraq showed Friday that there was no evidence deposed Iraqi chief Saddam Hussein had any dealings with Abu Musab al-Zarqawi or other members of Al Qaeda. Senate Democrats quickly charged the findings undercut President Bush's justification for going to war. The White House said the report shows "nothing new."

Polygamist leader returns to Utah

Mormon polygamist sect leader Warren Jeffs was extradited to Utah and appeared in court Wednesday to face charges that he forced an underage girl to marry an older man, charges called "rape as an accomplice." He faces a similar charge in Arizona. Jeffs, 50, looked thin and pale and said little during his arraignment. Police arrested Jeffs Aug. 28 during a routine traffic stop near Las Vegas. He had been sought for more than a year and had been on the FBI's Most Wanted list for three months.

Ford steps down from nation's No. 2 automaker

Bill Ford stepped down as chief executive of the automobile manufacturing company founded by his great-grandfather, ending a tumultuous five years of attempts to restructure the troubled firm. He was replaced by Boeing executive Alan Mulally, often praised as part of the team that brought a resurgence to the airline giant. Ford Motor Co., under Ford, cut 35,000 jobs in one round of restructuring only to announce in January additional cuts of 30,000 people by 2012. Ford plans to close 19 plants.

Intel to cut 10,500 jobs

Computer chip manufacturer Intel Corp. announced Tuesday that it will eliminate 10,500 jobs through layoffs, attrition, and sale of poorly performing divisions, a restructuring that will trim nearly 10 percent of its workforce. The San Jose, Calif., firm said it hopes to save $3 billion a year by 2008, although it must pay $200 million in severance costs. The firm that once dominated the microprocessor chip market has suffered declining profits and shrinking market share in competition with a resurgent Advanced Micro Devices Inc. - More...
Saturday - September 09, 2006

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